Charleston's "occupiers" are not happy campers

Now entering their seventh week of protesting, Occupy Charleston participants are cold, wet and miserable. You can read more in my story for today’s Charleston Daily Mail. (You also could go buy an old-fashioned paper copy. Those are more fun to read.)

When Daily Mail photog Bob Wojcieszak and I visited the Occupy camp on Monday, I came away with a whole lot of stuff that didn’t make it into the story. I suppose that’s what blogs are for. So here goes:

Occupy Charleston's main tent. (Photo by Bob Wojcieszak)

I mention early in my story that people are sleeping in the camp’s main tent, even though they’re not supposed to. What I didn’t mention is that some of them are sleeping on church pews.

The Occupiers bought three old church pews from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They originally intended to use them for seating at their nightly “general assemblies.”

The pews are set them up inside the main tent in a U-shape, giving the space a ramshackle tent revival look. Instead of a pulpit, there is a torpedo heater. A local carpenter’s union donated it to the protestors. They’re having trouble keeping a large enough supply of kerosene to run it.

Behind the heater hangs a giant dry erase marker board. It’s covered in scribblings. Protestor Trevor Payne said they use the board for announcements and to post information for the group’s “teach ins.”

Foot traffic and recent heavy rains have turned the ground at the Occupy Camp into a sloppy, muddy mess. They’ve put down metal grates and pieces of plastic to make walkways, but it’s impossible to walk anywhere without getting your boots dirty.

Note: If you plan on visiting the Occupy camp in Charleston, wear boots.

Protestors have spread straw on the ground to dry up the mud. Payne said the straw needs to be shoveled up and replaced, especially in the main tent, because some occupiers have spit and vomited on it.

Protester Trevor Payne grabs some grub. (Photo by Bob Wojcieszak)

The pantry, a tent set up inside the main tent, appears to be well-stocked. They’ve even got a small refrigerator for perishable items. Payne told me people stop by regularly to give the protesters food.

On Monday, they dined on chicken portobello stew. Most ate from plastic containers, including reused Chinese takeout bowls. One guy ate his lunch from a hollowed-out bell pepper.

Across from the pantry is another tent, the community storage area. There’s a small clothes rack inside. I spotted a WVU jacket.  There are more clothes scattered on the floor. Payne said people don’t respect the storage area. It gets ransacked every time somebody leaves the camp.

Folks signing up for government-issued cell phones. (Photo by Bob Wojcieszak)

As Bob and I were leaving, I noticed a white Dodge van parked outside the occupier’s main tent. Two lines formed on either side of the car, one at the driver’s window and another at the front passenger’s window. The people in the lines were disheveled but did not look like protesters.

A lady in line told me she was waiting on a free cell phone with 100 minutes of service. I asked Payne about it.

“Obama phones,” he said. Free cell phones for the poor.



Top ten Christmas episodes of television to put you in the Christmas Spirit.

Say what you will about the commercialization of the holiday season, but I am all for it.  I love Christmas commercials, Christmas advertisements, Christmas movies, Christmas bottling and packaging.  The greatest part of the commercialized Christmas is the Christmas television episodes.

Now, I’m not saying that the commercialization of Christmas should take away from the true meaning, but I do think it can add a great deal to the Christmas season.  There’s room for both.  I hear people say that they can’t get into the Christmas spirit, perhaps these episodes of television classics can help.  This is my list of the top 10 television Christmas episodes of all.  I didn’t include the obvious Christmas specials, like Peanuts and It’s A Wonderful Life because those weren’t regular series.

10. Ozzie and Harriet (1957) “The Christmas Tree Lot 

Ricky and David Nelson come across problems after deciding to sell Christmas trees to buy a gift for their father, Ozzie.  I include this episode because it’s one of the first Christmas episodes of any television series.  The dry humor of the family may be lost on  people who aren’t aware of the series, but for fans, this is one of the coolest old episodes of any series.  Ricky and David are older in this one and Ricky was on his way to becoming a great early rock star and teen phenom.


9.  The Wonder Years (1988) “Christmas” 

Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) is in love with Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar).  Every boy in 1988 was.  The difference is, Kevin Arnold had to buy her a Christmas gift…for six bucks.  The Arnold family also comes to grips with the onset of color television on Christmas of 1968.  Wayne Arnold was a butt-head about the whole thing…as usual.


8.  Growing Pains (1986) “The Kid

Ben Seaver (Jeremy Miller) brings a homeless girl home on Christmas Eve and the family’s plans change as they end up trying to help the girl escape from a life on the street.  Mr. Seaver (Alan Thicke) uses his fatherly skills to bring peace on Christmas morning.


7.  Silver Spoons (1982) “The Best Christmas Ever”

Rick Schroder (Ricky Stratton) and Joel Higgins (Edward Stratton III) are a rich and happy father and son.  While preparing for their Christmas at the coolest house in sitcom history, a young homeless family seeks shelter in a nearby cave.  (Not realistic, but heart wrenching nonetheless.)

Joey Lawrence (Joey Thompson) plays the cute kid who sneaks into the Stratton home to sneak some food to feed his family for Christmas.  Ricky finds Joey and insists on playing Santa for the family.  Edward joins in and the Stratton family ends up giving their own Christmas gifts to the Thompson family, along with hiring on the Joey’s father to the Stratton Toy Company.


6.  Happy Days (1974) “Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas

Henry Winkler (Fonzie) is highlighted in this episode while he tells Al how the Cunningham family and he spent Christmas together.  Fonzie doesn’t have a family to spend his Christmas with.  The episode ends with Fonzie being asked to say the blessing over the Cunningham Christmas dinner, truly showing he was now a part of the family.


5.  Seinfeld (1997) “The Strike

This episode should’ve been called “Festivus” instead.  George’s father sets aside December 23rd as the anti-holiday of holidays.  I hesitated to include this episode because it really doesn’t do much to put me in a Christmas mood, but I can’t deny that I think of Festivus every year around this time.


The Feats of Strength, the Airing of Grievances, and wrestling seems to be what most families are thinking around December 26th, right after spending the holidays with their families.

4.  Touched by an Angel (1994) “Fear Not

While Monica (Roma Downey) and Tess (Della Reese) are on their mission to help a small church put on a Christmas pageant, they find out what horrible church music is all about.  They befriend a handicapped boy, Joey, who fears the dark after his parents die in a car wreck at night.  Wayne (Randy Travis) is a cold man who is tired of Joey always screwing things up.  When Joey’s friend Selena dies, Monica has to convince Wayne to accept Joey and love him.  The finale’ of this episode is one of the biggest tearjerkers of all time.

3. M*A*S*H* (1980) “Death Takes a Holiday

Father Mulcahy prepares for a Christmas party for the children locally and Winchester has unsuspectedly been saving up his favorite chocolates for the kids.  The cast is always great, but there’s an incredibly well-done heartfelt storyline with a soldier who is mortally wounded and dying on Christmas day.  The doctors are doing everything in their power to keep him alive through the night so his family doesn’t have to be told their soldier died on Christmas Day.


2.  Little House on the Prairie (1974) “Christmas at Plum Creek”


Michael Landon (Charles Ingalls) and Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) are experiencing the problem people have had for years, providing the perfect gift for their family without having the money.  Laura ends up giving her very best to give her mother the perfect gift.  The entire family learns the true meaning of Christmas, and little Carrie gives her Christmas penny to buy a present for the Baby Jesus.


  1. Highway To Heaven (1986) “Basinger’s New York

Michael Landon (Jonathan Smith) and Victor French (Mark) are on a mission from God…literally.  Their assignment is a newspaper columnist named Jeb, played by the great television actor Richard Mulligan (Empty Nest).  Jeb, a recent divorcee’, can’t seem to get in the Christmas spirit and has become cynical toward mankind in general.


Jonathan and Mark take Jeb with them as they help a modern day Joseph and Mary (who are expecting a child) to find shelter since they are homeless, hungry, and in need of a hospital.  On their way, they help a cab driver find his missing son, a senator and his wife find love, and a group of homeless men find purpose in life.
Jeb gets his Christmas story, miracle after miracle, and Jonathan and Mark show that an angel and a bunch of wise men can really make a difference.  This is number one on my list because it includes every aspect of what a great Christmas episode should include, the manger scene, Mary and Joseph, being thankful, angels on a mission, giving, a bad guy who doesn’t have room in the inn, learning a lesson of selflessness, a miracle or two, reuniting a family, and the poor being rescued from despair.


For more great links to some show that will put you in the Christmas spirit, check out


In remembrance of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Today is Thanksgiving.  Well, it is while I’m writing this anyway.  My wife had to work today so it was going to be me and the dog at home alone munching on Nutrisystem instead of the traditional feast most American families are accustomed to.

Every year I become a little more sentimental around the holidays.  My senses always take me back, whether it be the smell of turkey, the taste of dressing, or the sight of Christmas tree lights.  This year, we got up before she left for work and started watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  This should have been a holiday classic but, after hearing a Brittney Spears song-or-two along with the absolute mess of non-tradition that this fiasco has become, we put in a DVD recording of the 1987 Macy’s Parade instead.

It’s no wonder most people fail to get in a real holiday mood anymore.  There is nothing drawing them to the senses that remind them of what was special about them.  The corny behavior of Willard Scott or the McDonald’s commercials with holiday themes may seem far fetched and odd, but they sure put me in a better Christmasy spirit than commercials for Viagra and Lipitor.

Our DVD collection isn’t what you would consider normal.  We have an array of movies and TV series, but our favorites are recordings pulled from television in the 1970s and 1980s with their original commercials intact.  The 1987 parade was much more festive and joyous than anything you will see today.  Willard Scott interviewed 2 grandmothers from Russia, one who was 102 and the other was 87.  Neither could hear a single thing he said to them.  Realizing that they couldn’t, he began trying to simplify his questions.  That didn’t work either.  It was (unintentionally) comedic gold.

The Snuggle Fabric Softener Bear made his helium-filled debut in a Christmas stocking. He joined Garfield, Snoopy, Spider-Man, and other great oversized balloons floating down the street.

There were some bad parts that reminded you that everything wasn’t perfect in the 1980s.  For instance, there was a really bad musical number dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt and Mary Hartman singing to some kids who appeared to be afraid of her gigantic shoulder pads.  The worst part of it was something called ‘The Starlight Express’.  I can only describe them as dancing and singing robotic Mad Max type characters on rollerblades with New Wave era makeup who looked very proud of what they were doing.

Willard Scott showing off his Paul Revere hat.

The commercials were so much better then.  Snoopy, ALF, the Cosby Show, Mickey Mouse, and other familiar faces.  Clowns and marching bands with big hair added a soundtrack to the show that is absent with today’s version.  I’m not saying today’s marching bands aren’t excellent and very talented, but traditional music around the holidays soothes my mind after a year of working too hard and dealing with the cynical nature society has adopted.

Overall, it was a great decision to go back in time rather than accept the cheap knock-off that today’s parade has become with its boy bands, stars I don’t know, and commercials for prescription drugs.  Perhaps I’m just being stubborn and old fashioned.  Perhaps I’m just looking for an excuse to escape what I believe is a horrible decade for music and entertainment.  This may make me sound like an Andy Rooney type nerd, but I don’t see the problem with commercializing the holidays, as long as it’s good commercialization.


Thanksgiving with Matter Eater Lad

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s a holiday for giving thanks, of course. But also for gluttony!

So, it’s time for a tribute to heavy eaters:

1. Galactus

Galactus = hungry

Galactus = hungry

This guy’s nickname, “Devourer of Worlds,” speaks for itself. BIG appetite. Hungry. The universe is his all-you-can-eat buffet.

He’s an ancient being exposed to a force that gave him long life and incredible hunger. There’s actually a far more elaborate, impressive, dense history but here’s what you really need to know: Galactus wears a strange purple jumpsuit with triangular headgear. You’d notice him if he showed up at Golden Corral.

No worries, though. He’s not that interested in turkey and stuffing. Because he wants to eat planets instead.

According to the Marvel Universe Wiki:

Galactus initially went centuries between feedings, seeking out uninhabited worlds that could support life; but he gradually hungered more frequently, and began consuming inhabited worlds if he could find no others.

He tends to be d efeated by Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards, and the rest of the Marvel good guys.

Ferro Lad sacrifices himself to blow up a hungry Sun Eater

2. The Sun Eaters

These guys are hungry for stars.

They’re not people, but instead weapons that float into a universe like a cloud, ready to consume the sun. Yum!

Guided by some inexplicable instinct, it seeks out vibrant stars and envelops them, absorbing all of their solar radiation. The star in turn, compresses in size, but not in mass. This results in the dying star going supernova. The thermal energy released from the nova-blast powers the Sun-Eater and propels it towards its next destination.

So, that’s kind of ominous. And a lot to eat at one sitting. What do you wash that down with, anyhow? Lemonade? Every now and then a superhero has to sacrifice himself by exploding a bomb in a Sun Eater’s core. Farewell, brave Ferro Lad.

3. Matter Eater Lad

This member of the Legion of Superheroes has an amazing superpower: his own appetite. How wonderful!

When his homeworld of planet Bismoll found that microbes had made all their food inedible, the population evolved their ability to eat all matter as a survival mechanism to overcome that problem. Tenzil had such an ability and used it to gain admission to the Legion.

Why not, right? “You can eat ANYTHING? You’re in!”

According to Blogzarro:

Though disrespected even by his lame teammates, Matter Eater Lad got his buddies out of many tight jams…by eating prison bars, chewing out tunnels, and the like. In fact, he even saved the universe with his lame super power. When the Miracle Machine threatened to destroy the world, Matter Eater Lad gulped down the offending machine … but then went insane.

I don’t think Matter Eater Lad is someone you’d want at your Thanksgiving supper, but he might be a welcome guest when you’re on your fourth day of leftover turkey.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And I hope you’re having an excellent feast.

Just remember: No matter hungry you are, please don’t eat any planets or stars.

Executive producer is 'Buck Wild' … for Christmas sweaters

As of late all of us here in the newsroom have been reading, at times cringing, at headlines referring to MTV’s newest docu-series ‘Buck Wild‘ that will be shot in our beloved West Virginia. Until yesterday, JP Williams, the executive producer and CEO of Parallel Entertainment had remained elusive, and his past rooted in West Virginia had remained equally as mysterious.

Then I got him on the phone and learned that he is from “the sophisticated part of West Virginia,” which is apparently Morgantown. I also learned that the idea behind “Buck Wild” was originally a show about West Virginian housewives that might have been called “Mountain Mamas,” but the younger demographic was more appealing.

“You’re going to have great, fun moments, and you’re going to have, I don’t know if I’d use poignant moments, but it’s life, it’s full of ups and downs,” Williams said. “You’ll see how genuine these people are and how real this really is.”

Here is the whole story:

I’ll spare you the rest of the details and just assume that you’ve read the article. There is one major aspect of old JP that I wasn’t able to include on today’s Daily Mail front page, and that is nailing down exactly what this guy looks like. It’s not like I didn’t try, either. When I asked his publicist to send me a head shot, this is what I got about an hour later:

JP Williams, founder and CEO of Parallel Entertainment/”Buck Wild” executive producer/W. Va. native/Lover of ugly Christmas sweaters

This came attached to an email from Publicist Maggie saying “This is the shot JP uses …….. not kidding. Let me know if you need anything else.”

No, it’s fine, we use paintings of men with their pants unzipped on our front page all the time. Really, don’t trouble yourself.

After requesting another shot/actual picture with no response we here at the Daily Mail decided that it would be helpful to at least share this gem with the masses.

Now you all at least have a face and a sweater and a corn cob pipe to go with the name.

Will MTV's 'Buck Wild' make West Virginia look wonderful?

Let me start with some advice. Don’t do a generalized Google Images search for “Buck Wild.”

Especially not at work.

Do we want our MTV?

Next, I’m wondering what you think about a new MTV reality show by that name. Will “Buck Wild,” a 12-episode reality series filmed in West Virginia, be something we can be proud of?

This hits home with us because some of the filming apparently will take place around Charleston and Sissonville.

I’m still wrapping my little brain around what the show will be about. Here’s what Variety had to say:

Anthropologists studying the Jersey shore will soon have another quirky region to examine: MTV has ordered 12 episodes of “Buck Wild,” a series set in rural West Virginia among a group of friends who have just graduated from high school.

Series produced by John Stevens and Barry Poznick from Zoo Prods. and J.P. Williams of Parallel Entertainment. Series will track the exploits of the recently matriculated Appalachian denizens as they head off to college, work at local jobs or just struggle to get by.

“We know that showing unique slices of youth culture on MTV is something that resonates with our audience,” said MTV programming head David Janollari.

Who knows. Maybe the kids from “Buck Wild really will be a diverse group, going through realistic growth and conflict without reflecting poorly on the rest of the state in a stereotypical way.

This synopsis fromTV Guide sounds not entirely promising:

Janollari says there will even be a Jackass element to the show, as these budding adults take part in regional pastimes like mud racing, squirrel hunting and rope swinging. “They are definitely authentic with a capital ‘A,'” he says of the show’s stars. “These kids have the same kind of issues and goals and desires as we all do. They all want to find true love or have families. They just live in a world that’s really different that many of us live in.”

MTV could face concerns from some critics or area politicians that Buck Wild might ridicule rural America — a question that past reality shows like UPN’s Amish in the City (and CBS’ scrapped The Real Beverly Hillbillies) have had to address.

But Janollari stresses that the show “is so wholeheartedly not making fun of these kids… they have a great sense of humor, and you’re drawn to them and this world.”

West Virginia has some experience with this kind of production, of course. Members of Boone County’s wild White family practically have a cottage industry going now with their “shoot-outs, robberies, gas-huffing , drug dealing, pill popping, murders and tap dancing,” as their “publicity” touts.

Our state even has a representative on “Teen Mom 2,” another MTV show. Leah Messer is “a country girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, Leah is a former cheerleader from a small town and the mother of twin girls Alianna and Aleeah.” That reflects a lot of young people, and I want to make it clear I’m not being critical of Leah or teen moms here.

I’m just afraid ‘Buck Wild’ will help MTV make West Virginians look like jackasses.

How do you think this will come off?



Landau Murphy and Super 8 make this week great

It’s a big week in West Virginia pop culture, which is a phrase you don’t really write that often.

First, the debut album by America’s Got Talent winner Landau Murphy drops. I can’t figure out a way to put an image here, but there was a really smooth looking advertisement for the album in today’s Charleston newspapers.

The album, “That’s Life,” was on sale for $8 today at Amazon. My page suggested I buy it with recordings by Susan Boyle and Andrea Bocelli for an even greater bargain, although I think I will decline.

Amazon on Monday morning was ranking the Logan County native’s record No. 1 among jazz recordings, No. 6 in rock and No. 15 in pop. I call that pretty good.

Did any of you in readerland order or download Landau yet? I’m genuinely curious.

Meanwhile, “Super 8,” which was filmed largely in Weirton, is coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday.

Weirton residents were getting a sneak peak Monday evening at the intriguingly-named n Krazy Bout Sportz, courtesy of Paramount Pictures. The DVD (and the sneak preview) include a bonus featurette called “Rediscovering Steel Town.”

In case you didn’t catch it in the theater, Super 8 is the tale of some small-town kids on the trail of a mysterious creature. To West Virginia viewers, the important aspect to note is that Weirton looks really industrial and cool and probably even more so on BluRay.

My dream is for Super 8 Part 2 to include a cameo by Landau Murphy. He can be a guy who works in the local car detail shop.


Nick Swisher, now available in pinstripes AND in iTunes

I like weird stuff. And I like my homeys.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw this tweet by New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.

And then this:

Nick Swisher, professional baseball outfielder, has a record where he sings?

Naturally, I was all like, “I have got to drop my hard-earned paycheck on that!”

See, Swish is from Parkersburg and so am I. I’ve never met him, but I know people who know people who know him or his family, so that’s good enough for me. It’s easy enough to imagine someone I grew up with, someone who had dreams of cutting an album, actually getting the chance to do it.

Turns out, “Believe” is a children’s album of songs covered for charity, and it’s not half bad. I say that not having dropped my entire paycheck on it but instead $4 for four songs on iTunes: David Bowie’s “Heroes,” “Lean on Me” by West Virginia’s own Bill Withers, the Lennon/McCartney-penned “With a Little Help from My Friends” and the Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

Here’s the full playlist:

1. Heroes
2. I Won’t Back Down
3. Where The Green Grass Grows
4. Lean On Me
5. With A Little Help From My Friends
6. Everyday People
7. Proud Mary
8. Take Me Home, Country Roads
9. Joy To The World
10. Hang On Sloopy
11. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
12. Believe

Swisher has a competent, middling rock voice — and that’s pretty good. His day(or night) job is outfielder, after all. More than that, Mr. Enthusiasm sounds like he’s having a great time.

Here’s how an Associated Press story described the album:

Swisher’s 12-song record, “Believe,” was released this week and includes “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Hang On Sloopy.” The classic John Denver song is for Swisher’s hometown of Parkersburg, W.Va., and “Hang On Sloopy” is a staple at football games at the slugger’s beloved Ohio State University.

“A blast, man. I had a good time with it,” Swisher said. “The opportunity was presented to me and I took it and ran with it. It was a one-time shot so why not.”

The sports blog Deadspin also had a piece on the record and liked it well enough:

Make fun of it all you want, but we find Nick Swisher rather impossible to dislike. He is to happiness what Brian Wilson is to weirdness. And it’s for charity. So we’ll save the cynicism for future artistic endeavors, like the John Lackey Coloring Book.

I’m not sure how often I’ll be listening to the four songs I bought. I might rather listen to the originals most of the time. But I’m glad Swisher got the opportunity to cut his record, glad he’s having fun and glad the money is going to charity.

Besides, I grew up in an era when non-singers used to cut albums all the time. Remember all those hit songs by Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis or Patrick Swayze?


Twilight at Midnight

The fourth installment in the Twilight saga opened at 12:01 a.m. Friday to packed theaters teeming with fans from all walks of life.

I wandered into the Marquee Cinemas well before my showtime at 12:30 a.m. just to scope out the situation. It was crowded, to say the least. The theater was showing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 on all the screens.

I think we're going to need a bigger theater…

There were many young fans but also older fans(I swear I saw a grandmother and her granddaughter both wearing “I like boys who sparkle” t-shirts). There were ladies inside having a girls’ night out and others accompanied by boyfriends.

Team Edward made themselves known but were not outdone by the Team Jacob crew. Personally I’m Team Jasper (he’s got the most interesting, but under utilized back story IMO), but after this movie I’m throwing some support to Team Seth.

Some fans spent the day at the movies catching up to where Breaking Dawn would begin, at Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen’s (Robert Pattinson) wedding.

Great Escape Nitro 12 and Marquee Cinemas, I’m told, offered the previous three movies, Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, all day Thursday. The Nitro theater also participated in Twilight Saga Tuesdays all month where they showed a different movie from the series every Tuesday night leading up to the premiere.

Katie Hodges, a 15-year-old home school student, took advantage of the Twilight marathon with friends and her sister. They planned to stay through the midnight premiere.

Katie wasn’t into Twilight when it first came out but her sister went to see it and she enjoyed it.

“I watched it on DVD after it came out and was pretty much obsessed,” she said Thursday from the theater. She didn’t get to see Twilight in the theaters but did catch New Moon and Eclipse.

She said she was both a fan of Edward Cullen, the vampire who lives on animal’s blood played by Robert Pattinson, and of Jacob Black, the shapeshifting wolf played by Taylor Lautner. She called it Team Edcob, but after watching Breaking Dawn she said she was firmly in the Team Jacob camp.

Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) have a friendly discussion outside of Bella's house.

The movie is also her new favorite of the series, bouncing New Moon from that position. She said Breaking Dawn was her favorite of the books.

Another fan, Cecilia Jones, 37, of Charleston, was at the movie with her husband Mike. They saw the first three movies when they premiered and decided to make it four for four Thursday night.

“He acts like he doesn’t like them, but he really does,” she said. “We argue about them all the time, who should have done what and who should be with who.”

The couple said they enjoyed the movie although there were a few things that they could have done without. They were happy to finally have faces to put with names of the Denali clan from Alaska.

Katie and Cecilia were upset that the book had been split into two movies but Cecilia said it gave her something to look forward to.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in t-minus 364 days.


Super 8 coming to DVD, and West Virginia plans to celebrate

This is a press release issued by the West Virginia Film Office:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As the city of Weirton awaits the Blu-ray/DVD release of J.J. Abrams’ summer blockbuster, “Super 8,” the West Virginia Film Office is conducting an online campaign to promote the Nov. 22 release.

“The film office is very excited to celebrate the DVD release,” said Pam Haynes, director of the West Virginia Film Office, “and has arranged for eight days of giveaways, starting at 8 p.m. Nov. 15, leading up to the Nov. 22 release.” Haynes said there will be daily giveaways through the film office’s Facebook and Twitter pages, culminating with a grand prize that includes a weekend in Weirton with complimentary lodging, dining and a personal tour of the “Super 8” film sites that will be captured by a professional photographer.

The release comes a little more than five months after the film opened in theaters across the globe and will renew interest in the locations chosen for the West Virginia portion of the film. “Super 8,” which was directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, shot for several weeks in and around Weirton. Haynes said that several dozen workers were hired to work on the film and hundreds of locals were cast as extras. She added that West Virginia’s film tax incentive program played an integral role in Paramount choosing West Virginia for filming.

According to Paramount Pictures, the Blu-ray™/DVD combo with digital copy features more than two hours of bonus material, including in-depth, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and more. Haynes said, “Of particular interest to Weirton residents is a featurette titled ‘Rediscovering Steel Town.’ ” She believes Weirton residents will be quite proud of the featurette and other bonus material, and will want to share the experience with family and friends.

For information about ordering the Blu-ray™/DVD combo with digital copy, visit To participate in the film office’s eight-day giveaway, visit, or,