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4 entries from January 2011

I Like Selbstgemacht


Kid: "In America our fridges are way bigger. Our steaks too. And you can buy potato salad ready-made". American Dad: "WOW.  We can't buy anything so delicious!"  German hostess: "Not here, either. It's home made."  American Dad: "I like home-hade!"  Announcer: "Season it with a little Whip"

Cultural decode:

  • Americans are addicted to convenience food and have forgotten how to cook
  • Americans talk too much about America when abroad
  • Americans are cowboys who play baseball.
  • Many Americans speak heavily accented, but grammatically-correct, German.
  • Germans are more tasteful, dignified and restrained, and have a quiet, generous tolerance of others when they say something foolish.

Fair and accurate?  Deplorable stereotyping?  Go wild in the comments.


About thirty miles from St. Moritz, in the Swiss Alps, we stumbled on a quiet village.  It had everything; a picturesque town square, great restaurants, a beautiful church, plenty of  ski lifts, and ice-skating on a frozen lake.  But even at the height of the ski season, we saw few crowds.  Master Right and I felt the town could attract many more visitors.  It just has a small marketing problem to solve.


The Third Annual International Day to Bite Me, January 13.

Clean desk loafing
Look at the photo above.  What do you see? 

Here's what I see.  A clean desk.  And absolutely no work being done!

It astonishes me when self-righteous neat-freaks suggest that a desk with no sign of work upon it shows more evidence of industry than a desk which looks like it's actually used.

That's why the second Monday in January—National Clean Off Your Desk Day—gets my goat.

In 2009, Deutschland über Elvis declared an anti-holiday in response.  The International Day to Bite Me occurs every January 13, and celebrates a number of things. 

It celebrates creativity, thoughtfulness, and humanity.  It celebrates a temperate and relaxed order to one's life, as opposed to an obsessive quest for absolute control over everything that happens around you.   It empowers you to resist, when others tout their neuroses as virtues.


First, choose your target.  When they nag you, let'er rip.  Then  go to the Official International Day to Bite Me Page, and leave a comment.  Let us hear your stinging riposte. Tell us who you told off.  How did they take it? 

If you're feeling really riled up, you might like to post a story on your own blog.  Or show your support on the IDTBM facebook event page.

And you can get into practice for the big event on January 7.  It's I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take It Any More Day.  The perfect warm-up, wouldn't you agree?