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20 area Halloween events for every taste

Why waste a great Halloween costume on just one night of fun? With these 20 exciting Halloween events including creepy-crawly creatures, scary-good performances and kooky costume parties for a variety of tastes and ages, you're sure to have a goulish good time this Halloween season.

1. 'Cabaret Macabre' at Theatre Project

Venture into the dark, odd mind of artist Edward Gorey, who inspired this story of gothic romance presented by Happenstance Theater. If you're in need of a departure from all the Halloween costume parties, enjoy theatrical amusement instead. On stage now through Nov. 2. 45 W. Preston St. $12-$22. theatreproject.org.

2. Happy Healthy Halloween at the Y of Central Maryland

For tips on keeping it healthful when tempted by all that Halloween candy (hey, give it a shot), Family Center YMCA locations are hosting events promoting happy, not-as-sugary fun. Among the offerings: games, nutritious snacks and costume contests. Running Friday and Saturday (Oct. 24 and 25); times...

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'Survivor' recap, 'Blood is Blood'

Back from last week’s Tribal Council, where Drew effectively engineered his own ousting. Jon is madly trying to do damage control (since he just lost his closest ally), but Jeremy sees right through it. If his eyes rolled any harder, they’d fall out of his head.

Over at Coyopa, they are relishing the fact that they aren’t the tribe doing the ‘walk of shame’ into the reward challenge for once. Alec is gobsmacked that his brother got voted out and thinks it must have been because he was a huge threat. Or because no one could stand him.

Enough of that, because Jeff announces that it’s time for everyone to drop their buffs. But it’s not a merger, it’s time to mix up the tribes.

New Coyopa is Kelley and Dale, Missy and Baylor, Jaclyn and Jon and Keith.

New Hunahpu is Josh and Reed, Wes, Alec, Jeremy, Julie and Natalie.

This really doesn’t look good for Keith, but at least he has a hidden Immunity Idol. Jon is super-relieved, because he knows that he wasn’t in the best position in his old...

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Relationships column: After a breakup, an immediate emotional swell

I finally felt good.

My arduous work week was ushered out by a picturesque Saturday. The sun's steady beam managed to ease my overactive mind and place positivity in my soul.

I walked out of the mall, several bags in hand, glowing naturally. I wasn't sure if I was happy about the weather, or the fact that Call It Spring still had a sale on accessories. Whatever the case, Round 1 of retail therapy was complete.

Walking through the parking lot, it felt like all eyes were on me. My aura that day was so strong. At last, my internal conditions were mirroring my outside appearance.

Just as I walked up to my car, my phone rang. I looked like a crazy woman, fumbling between bags and contorting my body, just to grab it from my back pocket. It was my best friend.

"Hey girl!" I answered.

"Girl, I have something to tell you about T," she said.

My heart sank to my soles. My stomach ignited with anxiety. All I could do was let out a colossal sigh of frustration.

T was my boyfriend and at that moment...

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Great Baltimore cocktails: The Hope Floats at Maryland Live Casino

Make the world a better place by drinking and gambling? Sign me up.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in case you missed those bright pink cleats on Torrey Smith or the bubblegum-colored ribbons adorning any number of consumer products for sale. Recently, this monthlong campaign has come under fire for using laughter and fun to promote their fundraising efforts.

But that's a bunch of nonsense. Why not take every opportunity to be relentlessly optimistic in the fight against cancer? This Sunday marks the 22nd annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley. In an effort to broaden support and to reach a wider audience, Komen has partnered with Maryland Live Casino to offer a special cocktail that is both sweet and charitable: the Hope Floats.

Yes, the Hope Floats is, you guessed it, pink. Get over the girly aspect and enjoy the Hurricane-style punch it packs.

A heavy pour of Malibu rum is mixed with Sierra Mist and cranberry, then topped with a float (get it?) of...

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Take 5 with Maria Aldana, Great Halloween Lantern Parade director

Each year, lights and sounds fill the air in Patterson Park, as the community gathers for the annual Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival produced by the Creative Alliance and Friends of Patterson Park.

Maria Aldana, 33, of Hampden, is Creative Alliance's community arts manager and directs the event. She said what started in 1999 as a way to promote community safety and solidarity has grown into a wonderful display of artistry and music. The Halloween festival begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the parade kicks off at 7 p.m.

Aldana shared with us the five things that make this year's Halloween Lantern Parade truly great.

Community

That takes years to build and that is what makes this event even exist — because there's always a market for it. It's its own entity and people come who we don't even know are involved and bring their own neighbors.

Color

In terms of people of color in leadership positions, we've been very intentional about that. And also the colors of lanterns and...

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Farmstead Grill's bar pleasantly surprises in Canton

Canton Crossing — the 326,000-square-foot, 12-month-old shopping center in Southeast Baltimore — is convenient but not exactly exciting.

As a resident living less than a mile away, I find myself there frequently, but almost always with practical intentions. Trash bags? Target. Above-average fast-food chicken? Find me in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, except on Sundays. I can already see a last-minute trip to Michaels for a makeshift Halloween costume.

But from my vantage point, Farmstead Grill — the retail center's huge centerpiece restaurant that opened in June — blended into the background, despite its size and prominent placement. Canton Crossing, in my mind, was a place for errand-running, not leisurely dining or social drinking.

That association changed quickly on a recent Friday evening visit to the restaurant's bar.

From afar, Farmstead Grill looks like an oversized barn, but one step inside reveals a beautiful setting with a ceiling that never seems to end. Accents of wood keep it...

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