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The House Where You Live Forever

Longreads

Amelia Schonbek | Longreads and The Awl | August 2016 | 28 minutes (7,065 words)

This story was co-published with The Awl and funded by Longreads Members.

On a bright afternoon in October 2013, Madeline Gins walked into the office of her architecture practice, in an unrestored loft building on the edge of SoHo, slightly out of breath. Before she arrived, the space—a large open room occupying the fourth floor of the building—had been so still that it was almost possible to forget about the two architects staring into computer screens near the back windows. Gins entered, and the atmosphere began to buzz.

“Is Joke here?” she called out, referring to her project manager — a Dutch architect named Johanna Post — by her nickname (pronounced yo-ka). Post had stepped out, but another colleague informed Gins that she would return before their next meeting. Gins exhaled and nodded. She and the small staff…

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Oh, My Pop Culture Voodoo: The Princess and the Frog

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

princess-and-the-frog-2-hd (1)The Disney Princess movie franchise has been one of the most dominant cultural forces over the last few decades. Recently Disney has launched a campaign to convince people that there’s more to Disney princesses than a pretty face. The Princess and the Frog, released in 2009, embodies much of this new initiative to provide clear, positive role models for girls (and it also gives us our first African-American princess!).

Set in 1920s New Orleans, the movie follows Tiana, a hard-working young woman who works multiple jobs in hopes of saving up enough money to open her own restaurant. When Tiana kisses a frog claiming to be a prince, she turns into a frog herself, and embarks on a journey to find a way to reverse the curse before it’s too late. Voodoo features heavily in the film, and Disney certainly took some flak for it. While Disney does a…

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Oh, My Pop Culture Vodou: Loa Misrepresentation in American Horror Story: Coven, or Will the Real Papa Legba Please Stand Up?

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

AHS Coven VoodooI have been an avid fan and follower of American Horror Story since Season 1, and it’s been quite the ride watching the never-ending barrage of shocking and offensive moments that this show brings us. When I found out Season 3 was to be subtitled Coven, I was extra excited. I love witches! After all, I consider myself to more-or-less be one. It quickly became clear that American Horror Story: Coven was going to be rather different than Murder House (Season 1) and Asylum (Season 2). While still a psychosexual horror show, it was less The Shining and more Mean Girls with heavy occult influences. So I guess kind of like The Craft. That is loosely the plot of The Craft.

And you thought the Plastics were bad. And you thought the Plastics were bad.

Coven had a lot of potential, but did a lot of things very wrong (like refer to the power…

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Quote on love

Friendly Humanist

This quote appeared in a page-a-day calendar recently.

Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new.

I have been unable to verify who the original author is. The page-a-day calendar credits Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite authors, whose style is certainly consistent with the quote. But in trying to find where she said it, I discovered competingattributions of the same quote to Og Mandino. (There’s even this page, which attributes it to both, though it credits Le Guin with more variants of it.)

I don’t know how to resolve the question. I really wish those sites that deal in quotations would provide more details – where they said it and when, or link to someone who does give those details. After all, I think writers should get appropriate credit for their…

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I want to stop writing about depression.

Three Magic 8-Balls

I want to stop writing about depression. I’m sick of writing about depression.

I had fooled myself into thinking that I might not feel this way anymore. After the divorce. I was free, I thought.

I remember feeling like this before. I remember sitting outside on the little deck attached to our upstairs bedroom. I liked it there. I could look into the little natural waterway below and the overgrowth of trees and brush that bordered our house. I remember sitting on the little plastic chair, my mind turning a million ways, hoping that it would just go away. Wishing that he would notice and help me but not knowing how he could. Sometimes it seems like I spent our whole marriage waiting for him. To come home, to notice, to care, to lighten up, to respect me. He didn’t know what to do. How could he? Once it was…

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The Narcissist Stalker: Missing You or Mentally Unstable?

Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

Stalker 1

You tried to end the relationship with your Narcissistic partner, and suddenly they bombarded you with loving texts and emails, and/or showed up at your social events or place of employment.  It’s like the high school boyfriend – on steroids.

For those who haven’t experienced these kinds of behavior before, the difference between (feigned) affection and mental instability can be blurred.  In fact, under the influence of the Narcissist, we often come loose at the seams and their psychopathic behaviors don’t seem so bad, after all.  This is frightening in itself because it’s a sign that we are losing the capacity for logical thought.

See how he loves and misses me so deeply that he can’t go a minute without me?

I invite you to come out of the crazy-making, victim peptide-induced haze and see what’s going on.  Think back to your past relationships and make some distinctions about your Narcissistic…

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