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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Out Looking Fierce: Jennifer Kent’s “The Babadook”

“You know, honestly, I thought it would be scarier,” Gwen said, gripping an empty bowl of popcorn. “What did you think?”

Dania, meanwhile, gripped the arms of the couch, her nails just starting to break the fabric. “Did we have to watch it at night?” she whimpered.

Gwen brushed this off. “It’s creepy, sure. But it’s more unsettling than anything I’m actually going to be afraid of.”

“Don’t be a tool, Gwen,” Eleanor said, her hand on Dania’s shoulder. “Just because you’re all unfazed by horror movies…”

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Emotional Support Animals: Rarecho and Netflix’s “Aggretsuko”

Five days a week, from 8am until 5pm, Gwen could be found sitting calmly at the reception desk of a Chicago architecture firm. This was her job – her “survival job,” she told people back home. Freelance writing and literary management not serving to pay her rent, Gwen had joined the silent ranks of the artistically unfulfilled, eager for the day when she could stick up a middle finger to her job, quitting as she marched out the front door and into the awaiting limousine to success.

It was a dumb fantasy, and Gwen knew that. It’ll be a cab, not a limo, she thought to herself. But in her heart, she knew she wouldn’t be quitting the job soon – and when she did, wouldn’t want to burn bridges with the people who had been nice to her while there. As she set a phone back in its dock and began to type out client information into a spreadsheet, she considered her ideal departure from work: a new job arising in theatre, the discomforting assertiveness of handing in two weeks notice, the inevitable half-hearted departure conversations about staying in touch and we-hope-you’ll-visit-us-soon. This would happen. In the future. Not now.

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Under The Covers: Ella Quinn’s “The Marquis And I”

The previous week’s viewing of Pride and Prejudice had left Dania longing for the romances. While she had appreciated hearing Eleanor and Gwen argue with Ellen about the film, she herself had found the film perfectly adequate. What it had stirred up in her, however, was a renewed desire to be lost in the rush, the sweep, the passions of a fantasy romance. The kind she had felt as a child, watching movies and not knowing that the female and male leads would always end up betrothed at the end.

All these thoughts swirled around her head as she entered the Barbara’s Bookstore in O’Hare Airport, on her way back home for a wedding. Love was in bloom, she thought, and perhaps if she could find a book to distract her from this during the flight ––

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