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Category: Random Life

Boring, Boring/Long Live The Tree Root Fungi!

Dear Phantom Reader, As I’ve sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been around here for a couple of weeks (did you miss me?). The reason, unfortunately, is boring: Lots of boring work because I need boring money because I have a boring hole in my bank account. You can’t live off credit in Germany (thank god) so all these boring needs mean taking on lots of boring work. Ugh. Reality does indeed blow. All this boring work has left me with little energy to do any of my own creative work (i.e. fiction writing, which I’m ambitious about, and music, which…

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You May Kiss The Ring

So I told the ladies in my writing group last night that I’m married to a German Count and the inevitable happened: “Wait, are you serious? You’re married to a Count?” I told them, as I always tell anyone when this comes up, “It’s really not as impressive as it sounds.” German aristocrats were stripped of their official status after the war, but they were allowed to keep their titles as part of their name. “It’s just a fancy name, nothing else.” As usual, they didn’t believe me. “So does this mean your two daughters are countesses?” “Well, yeah. Officially…

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RIP Pheeps

My husband isn’t an animal person. Although I complain about this sometimes, deep down I know it’s a good thing because if he were an animal person I’d probably have a couple of goats in my living room right now. (Here’s your morning kale, Bleaty. Aww, thanks for the head butt. I love you, too!) Yes, I am most definitely an animal person and always have been. When I was less than two I followed a kitten into a sketchy part of Sacramento and got lost for a while. My mom freaked out of course, but what could I do?…

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R&R, Dick and Dad

I read about Ottessa Moshfegh before I read (very much) of her work and my impression was that she’s an arrogant and eccentric misanthrope. But don’t get me wrong: calling her this is not as harsh a judgement as it might seem. An “arrogant and eccentric misanthrope” is pretty much how I would describe myself back when I still lived in the US. (Perky blonde co-worker at one of my many crappy mall jobs: You’re so quiet. Why don’t you talk more? You should smile more. AEM me: Here’s an idea. How about instead I just punch you in the…

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Grandparent Trading Cards

On this coming Wednesday, I’m singing Bill Wither’s Grandma’s Hands in a little concert. The song got me thinking a lot about my own grandparents who played as much—if not a stronger—role in forming the person I am today than my parents did. So I thought, why not create grandparent trading cards? Maybe you can create your own too, and they can face off against each like Magic cards or Pokemon. May the kookiest granny and gramps win! Below are my prototypes, complete with stats (I decided to write about them in the present tense, although all except one grandmother are…

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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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