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REBECCAH DEAN Posts

Albums That Make Me Happy

It’s another, and another day means hours spent in front of the computer doing work I want to do and work I’m getting paid for. Someday, I hope the work I’m getting paid for is also the work I want to do, but in the meantime I’ll keep trucking. And really, I can’t complain. I have a nice life and, when the going gets tough, I have music to help me along and Spotify to play it on. When I work, I usually listen to playlists, but I occassionally also put on an album. Here are some of my favorites:…

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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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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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