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Category: Random Life

The Author Photo Of Rebeccah M Dean

Since I’m likely to become a world famous writer any day now, I thought I’d spend the morning perfecting the image I wish to project to my masses of future readers. So here are a series of potential author photos.* *As I disclaimer, I should tell you these photographs and this post were also done in an attempt to distract myself because I have decided to embark on a journey of intermittent fasting. I’m following the 16/8 plan, which means I can only eat within an 8 hour time frame and have to fast the rest of the time. Since…

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Fucking Wagner

The other day I randomly came across this interview with my former voice teacher, Blanche Thebom. It was so strange to hear the voice of someone who had such an impact on my life all these years later. I would have recognized her voice anywhere. A lot of the stuff she mentions in the interview are things she told me when I was in her studio, ableit the nicer, more diplomatic version. I remember her mentioning the excellent musicians who came to the US after the war, but she also blamed the newcomers for ruining voice technique in the country.…

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Dead Fish And Beautiful Women

Dear Phantom Reader, As I’m sure you know from your oh-so-diligent reading of this blog, I’m first and foremost a writer who likes to dabble in all sort of side hobbies because I’m one hell of a hobby person. Music is my hobby numero uno, but I’ve gone through jewelry making and photography phases. For around five years, I ran the shop Augenblickphoto on Etsy, just for fun really, although it did bring in a little money (in my very best month I  earned 800 euros, but on average I made from around 30 to 100 bucks.) Sometimes people would…

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Nightmare In Bucharest

Most moms of young kids I’ve known can be divided into two groups: baby moms and toddler moms. Toddler moms find the baby days the most stressful, because you can’t talk to a baby and figure out what it wants. Baby moms are the exact opposite. I was definitely a baby mom. I stayed home with both my daughters for the first year (possible because of Elterngeld—thanks German government!). To me, they were both like very intense pets you constantly pamper and carry around with you. Figuring out what they needed and wanted was usually just a question of trial…

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Love Letter To My Phantom Reader

Dear Reader, This weekend, a street festival happened outside of our door called Karneval der Kulturen. If this sounds like fun, believe me it isn’t, especially when you live in the middle of the action. For us, Karneval der Kulturen means drunk tourists yelling under our window at one in the morning, it means hordes of teenagers in leis and beaded necklaces tossing back one five euro capirinha cocktail after another. For four long days, each morning, our street and sidewalk is covered in glittering shards of brown and green glass from broken beer bottles. Can you blame us for…

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Closet Hypochondriac

Dear Reader, Since you’re here, my friend, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am a complete and total closet hypocondriac. Here’s how I figure: There are people with enormously good luck and there are people with enormously bad luck. The people with enormously good luck are the lottery winners, they’re the youngest on Granta’s list of the best young American novelists; they’re the people who are at the right place at the right time with the right idea, who earn enough money in one go to devote the rest of their lives to collecting 17th century German…

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I Loved Dick, I Just Didn’t Know It Yet

When I was 15, I had a dirty little secret, and that secret was Arnold Schwarznegger. On many a Saturday afternoon, my father pulled VHS cassettes out of their paper dust jackets—Conan, Red Sonja, Predator, Total Recall—and popped them into the VCR, with me on the couch, my legs crossed and shoulders hunched forward, my brother sitting next to me, taking two bites of Yoplait Custard style yogurt, forgetting it on the coffee table and taking a new one from the fridge a half an hour later (was that a boy thing or a Dean thing?), my father sitting next to…

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Museum Nerd At The Gemäldegalerie

My husband is always teasing me about what a major museum nerd I am. No matter where we are, even if the nearest museum only showcases rusty farm equipment labeled with fly-specked signs, I still want to go. What’s more, I will also be excited the whole time I’m there, reading the faded lettering, learning all about the fascinating differences between ridge and moldboard plows. Of course, Berlin has some of the best museums in the world, which means a treasure trove for museum nerd moi. Luckily I’ve also done a good job brain washing my children into liking museums,…

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Fermata Moment

In our teens and early 20s my sister and I were inseparable, Siamese twins born two years apart. “Do you guys ever do anything separately?”, people asked us at Chabot Community College, half judgey, half in awe. “No,” we told them. “Never ever.” We both worked at Waldenbooks, both went to Chabot, shared a car and lived at home, at least in separate rooms. When we got off work we sped down Crow Canyon Road all the way to San Ramon, dissed it for the plastic suburb it was, then turned around and drove back home. What else was there to do? We…

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