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REBECCAH DEAN Posts

Deep Love On A Perfect Day

FYI: If you hire a freelancer to do a project, always give them a deadline, even if it’s completely arbitrary. Something as simple as asking, So, when do you think you might be finished? is probably enough to make sure they keep their eye on the ball. But if you hand over a project with no deadline whatsoever, chances are, instead of giving said project their undivided attention, they might decide to waste time recording a schmaltzy version of the Bee Gee’s How Deep Is Your Love in their living room. Ok, so most people probably wouldn’t do this but…

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What I’m Reading At The Moment

Like I wrote in this post, I’m the kind of person who reads a lot of different books at the same time. At this point in my life, I don’t always finish everything I start, but this wasn’t always the case (Don’t really like, but still must finish, was once my more compulsive credo). From my list last month, I still haven’t finished Americanah, but only because I can’t find it for some reason. Once it turns up again, I’ll read the rest. H is for Hawk has been placed on pause for now, for the same reasons I mentioned; Der…

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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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Thanks, Spotify!

Yesterday morning my husband took his sweet time before heading off to the office. He stomped around the apartment and rustled papers and made one coffee after the other and basically drove me nuts. Couldn’t he see I was trying to work? To be fair, my „office“ is technically also the „living room,“ so instead of complaining, I went to Spotify and put on some music to try to stop him from distracting me. It didn’t work. Here’s what happened: Husband: What are you listening to? Me: Eddie Gomez’s album „Palermo.“ Husband: Which album? Me: Palermo. Husband: Speaking of Eddie…

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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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EFL 2: How I Learned My Brain Is Asian

I taught English as a Foreign Language here in Berlin for over 15 years. Although I am admittedly a bit of a grammar nerd, the main reason I stuck with it so long is it’s a job where you spend a great deal of your time talking to people and hearing their stories and, of course, get paid for it. What could be better than that? (I earn my keep these days more from translating and writing, but I mainly do the work in my favorite cafe so I at least have the semblance of being connected to other people…)…

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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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