Skip to content

REBECCAH DEAN Posts

Pretty Voice

When I was in my early teens, I started taking piano lessons. My teacher also taught classical voice and, at some point, my sister started taking singing lesson with her.  One day my sister couldn’t come to the lesson and the teacher—she probably just didn’t want to loose the money—suggested I take her place. We went through some of the Italian art songs every beginning classical singer learns. It’s such a shame these songs around mostly sung (i.e., slaughtered) by novice singers, because many of them are extremely beautiful. Here’s Cecilia Bartoli doing one of the most widely sung Italian…

Leave a Comment

What Do You Want From Us?

In 1998, about six months before I moved to Berlin, I got a full-time job at a call center in the Embarcadero for a company called Aegis. The company offered a mortgage acceleration program; they took people’s mortgage payments out of their bank accounts with a certain amount consistently added on top of the principle, so their mortgage was paid off at a faster rate. The program was on the pricey side and stupid really, since in theory anyone could do this by themselves. But I didn’t really mind it because we were allowed to be honest. When people called…

Leave a Comment

Poor Old Me

What am I anyway? A hair on the left hindleg of a microscopic mite, a single speck of plankton in an ocean upwelling fifteen miles long. No one, niemand, nada, nichts. Yes folks, welcome to my own private pity party, a regular nobody-likes-me-I-guess-I’ll-go-eat worms affair. Ach Rebeccah, why so glum? Dunno. Maybe it’s the birthday blues 71 days too early. Maybe it’s the eve of a Berlin winter, when it’s already dusk at 4:30 in the afternoon, when sleet and ice and snow are a daily affair, when the sun disappears behind an unmoving blanket of gray and won’t come back…

Leave a Comment

Awesome, Amazing And Cool

This video gives you a little tour of my apartment and I just noticed the three words I use most often are awesome, amazing and cool. What can I say? I like my life. 😉 Here are a few links to the things I mention in the video: For art by Christoph Preussmann (not Preussler like I say in the video): click here For my brother in law’s work, click here You can read about L’Inconnue de la Seine here and check out different stuff I’ve done with the mask in my etsy shop, Augenblickphoto. I’ll be closing the shop…

Leave a Comment

Berlin Or Bust

At the dawn of a Trump presidency, I’m sure some of you are thinking about moving to Berlin or somewhere else in Germany. If you need any advice on your options or how to jump through all the inevitable bureacratic hoops, click here to get in touch with the good people at Expath, an organization specializing in helping out expats and expat wannabes with such issues. Since I’ve lived in Berlin for 17 years, I thought I’d do a series of videos where I talk about some of the cultural aspects you’ll face if you decide to move to here.…

Leave a Comment

Harry Nilsson, Where Have You Been All My Life?

I’m not one of those people who needs silence to concentrate. The opposite is true: I need sound, I need music. As I write this post I’m at Hallesches Haus, digging the commotion around me while I listen to my playlists on Spotify with my red Bowers & Wilkens earphones, a Christmas present from my husband last year and so much better than those cheap earbuds I used for years and years and years. Depending on my mood, the music I listen to ranges from Lou Reed to Pergelosi’s Stabat Mater, Stacey Kent to a Tribe Called Quest, Bill Evans…

Leave a Comment

EFL 1: The SKB

I started my “career” in teaching English as a Foreign Language in 2001. I wrote “career” instead of career because, other than selling macrame potholders and hemp seed salad dressing at the farmer’s market or getting stoned and watching telenovelas all day when you don’t speak Spanish, there’s nothing more hippie and/or slacker-like than teaching EFL. At least where I started: the Sprach- und Kulturbörse, SKB for short, a language and culture institute tied to Technische Universität Berlin. The SKB was formed in 1989 by a couple of left-wing sociology students who used the winter semester strike of 88/89—which they most likely…

1 Comment

Motherless Child

No song can make me weep as much as the spirtual Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child. Why is that? My mother is still alive and well, though she’s always been more of a peer and a pal than someone who fits the bill of the great mother archetype. True, I am a long-time expat—I am and will always be part alien here, an eternal Ausländer—but in many ways I feel more at “home” in Berlin than I ever did in California. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, a long way from home When I listen to this song it’s like…

Leave a Comment

Vladimir, Ya tebya lyublyu

In men, the physical type I’m most attracted to is what they call a Kerl in German. Not too pretty, not too tall; tough and stoic, but emotionally explosive underneath. Harvey Keitel in The Piano; Gabriel Byrne in Miller’s Crossing; Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West. I’ve never actually been involved with this type of man in real life—personality wise, I doubt we’d be compatible—but in movies they still make me weak in the knees. The hottest of the silver screen Kerls? Hands down, the Russian actor and singer Vladimir Vysotsky. Check out this video from 1974, the…

Leave a Comment