The Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg, Germany

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

It looks a little like the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey: “What are you doing, Dave? Don’t touch the black monolith, Dave. Oh no, you touched it, Dave, you stupid pink monkey.” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel. All rights reserved.

For my wife’s birthday this year, I took her to the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. Normally, I would have cheapskated my way out of this and booked an Airbnb or something, but not this time; I wanted to pamper my wife. Pamper her like a drooling toddler.

The Empire Riverside Hotel is a huge building, jutting out from the Hamburg cityscape like an L-shaped Tetris block. (“For the love of god, why won’t you just give me a straight piece?”) If you book a room on the south side, you’ll have an awesome view of the Elbe River and the Hamburg Harbor. If you book a room on the north side, you’ll have an awesome view of the Reeperbahn, some feisty prostitutes and a bunch of dildo shops. The rooms on the east and west sides have views of both, so you can fill your gaze with maritime sentiment, or catch an eyeful of titty. Either way, you win.

For reasons I will never truly understand, my wife loves Hamburg. She even loves the shipping dock, with its endless horizon of container cranes. (Personally, I find shipping docks ugly and unnerving. I mean, they’re filled with giant robots designed specifically to pick up heavy things and maybe — if they feel like it — drop that shit right on your head.) Anyway, my wife and I would typically spend our time in Hamburg strolling along the river or drinking brew doggies on the Elbstrand, but not this time: We just couldn’t leave our badass accommodations.

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

“Wait, where is everyone? Is this the zombie apocalypse? It IS the zombie apocalypse! Oh my god, quick! We have to– oooh, look honey… salad rolls.” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel and © Andrea Flak ( All rights reserved.

With the exception of a quick boat tour around the harbor, called a Hafenrundfahrt (Tee hee! I said “fart.”), we spent the entire time inside the Empire Riverside Hotel. The rooms are super sleek and modern, and the windows go all the way from the floor to the ceiling — so you really get that, “I could totally fall out of this window” feeling. Also, the Wi-Fi actually works, which is surprisingly rare in the hotel industry, even though fast, free, internet access is a God-given right and should be available in every corner of the globe. (It says so in the Bible.)

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

“Afraid of heights? Perfect time for a drink!” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel. All rights reserved.

There’s a very cool lounge on the ground floor called David’s, which offers renowned sushi so expensive it’ll shrink your tuna roll. One floor above is the Waterkant restaurant, where you can easily drop a couple benjamins on dinner for two. And then there’s the bar way up on the 20th floor called, unsurprisingly, Skyline Bar 20up. Everything about the hotel is cool, but by far our favorite part was the spa. It’s not huge or anything, but it is complete; there’s a sauna, steam bath, relaxation room and a gym — you know, for people who like to work out and make the rest of us feel guilty for sitting around all day in fluffy white hotel robes. They also have two foot baths and a full-body submersion pool to help you cool off after you come out of the sauna. And here’s the thing: My wife and I were there mid-week, so we had the whole spa to ourselves! (Everyone else was at work, earning money and paying their taxes on time. Suckers.)

Now, I’ve never been a tremendous fan of saunas — 5 minutes inside of one makes me feel like a hamster in a microwave — but I have been slowly learning to enjoy the experience. (My record time is 11 minutes!) But I discovered I really like steam baths. The one in our hotel was super dark, with cool lights in the walls and steam so thick you could hardly see across the room. Of course my wife preferred the dry heat of the sauna — she’s a true German — but apparently hot, moist, dark places are ideal relaxation conditions for uppity American bloggers like myself.

steam bath

“Ha ha ha! I have no idea what I’m doing!” — Image Credit: Chris Feser ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

I spent way too long in that steam bath. So long, in fact, my wife had to keep checking up on me:

THE WIFE: “Honey? Are you still alive in there?”

ME: *Hissing at her and pretending to be a vampire* “Yessss, we are alive, but the light burns our skin. Close the door, fair maiden, or come inside and stay — stay forever.”

Once I got to the point where I was about to pass out, I would run from the steam room and jump into the cooling pool. The water was ice-cold, which made my heart pound dangerously hard. Then I would go back inside the steam room and do it all over again. I did this so many times the tiny construction workers inside my body were terrified: “We’re in the Congo! Cool this mother down! Oh shit, now we’re in the Arctic! Heat it back up! Oh no, now we’re back in the — hey, wait a minute…”

Thankfully I’m still relatively young, so my heart didn’t stop, but eventually I decided to join my wife in the relaxation room — where the sane people were. We spent the remainder of the day reading and napping in absolute tranquility. It was glorious.

Clearly my wife and I had an awesome time at this hotel. The prices blew my wallet up like a hobo with a hand grenade, but still, I am compelled to award the Empire Riverside Hotel with a triumphant 5 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany
If you’re ever in Hamburg, you should totally stay there. Tell them some American guy from the Internet sent you. That should score you a look of perfect apathy.

Oh, and here are some pictures I took during our trip. Click one to start the slideshow. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


Violent Arachnophobia: My German Wife Kills the Biggest Spider Ever

Giant German House Spider

“Hello Satan. I knew you’d come for me one day.”

There are lots of things I love about my German wife — she’s smart, funny and beautiful, to name a few — but she also has this one particular characteristic which warms my heart every time I see it: Whenever she sees a spider in our home, she grabs the nearest shoe, swings it up over her head and brings it down with ten thousand times the crushing force necessary to end its life.

You see, when it comes to executing spiders, my wife tends not to fuck around. Oh, she’s not proud of herself for killing them — she knows they’re mostly harmless and she should probably just let them outside instead — but nevertheless, her knee-jerk reaction to seeing a spider is murder, and I just love that about her.

My wife is actually a very gentle person, and she abhors violence. That’s why the spider can’t be too big. If it’s huge, she starts to see it as “more of an animal,” and can’t bring herself to kill it. Me? I’m the exact opposite. I believe in spider karma, so I’ll readily share my office with a tiny little wall crawler. I’ll even talk to it. Name it Sebastián or something. But if I see some giant, hairy bastard come swaggering in, I’ll jump up and stomp that bitch straight back to hell.

I actually wrote a blog post about this very subject last year: American Expat in Germany Nearly Killed by an Acorn, Vents His Shame upon the Biggest Spider in the Universe. The spider in that story was bigger than a €1 euro coin. But just a few nights ago, my wife and I were sitting in the kitchen when an even bigger spider ran across the floor. This one was the size of an American silver dollar:

American Silver Dollar

“Disgusting.” — Image Credit: PhotoAtelier ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Now, we were mid-sentence when she saw it, so you can imagine my alarm when her eyes went wide and suddenly darted down and to the left. Oh great, I thought to myself, I get to spend my Friday night chasing a plague rat out of the house.

I was actually sort of relieved when I saw it was just a spider, but oh my Christ was it huge. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any spare change to toss at the beast for comparison, so you can’t appreciate its size from the video I recorded, but you can bare witness to its execution.

Check it out, and have a great week everyone!



Reader Survey: Should I Self-Publish a Book Based upon My Blog, ‘Oh God, My Wife Is German.’?

bad writing writers block funny frustrated author

“Help me. Oh please God help me.” — Image Credit: Drew Coffman ( — Image subject to CC 2.0 License.

Hello, my dear, devoted and totally awesome readers. I need your help:

For a few years now, I’ve been considering writing a self-published book stemming from this blog, but I need some information from you first before I embark on such a ridiculous adventure. Below is a survey which will help me out a lot as I make my decision. Would you mind taking like 5 seconds out of your day to answer a few questions?

If so: you rule. If not: that’s okay too (dick). But as you answer, please assume the following:

  1. The book would contain 100% sarcastic humor, just like this blog.
  2. It would tell the story beginning from the moment my German wife and I met in the United States, right on up to today, as we live together in Hannover, Germany.
  3. It would contain several of my wife’s very best Denglish quotes. (A ‘greatest hits’ type section, if you will.)
  4. It would weave my most traumatic culture shock experiences throughout the story.
  5. It would NOT be a simple regurgitation of the posts you’ve already read on this blog.
  6. It would be completely hilarious. (I hope. Because if it’s not, I will throw myself off the nearest bridge.)

With these things in mind, here we go!


That’s it! So, uh… thank you very much for your time!

Bunny with a pancake on its head

“Seriously though: THANK YOU. You guys rock.” — Image Credit: Andreas Matern ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License. (Text added by me, though it is hardly original.)

Oh, and if you can think of anything else I’ve forgotten or might consider in terms of self-publishing, please leave me a note in the comments section below.

Have an awesome week everyone! YEAH!!


Sexy Plato: My German Wife on Teaching Philosophy to 10th Graders


Meet Plato: Socrates’ little sex kitten. — Photo Credit: aaron wolpert ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License

My wife is German, and she is a great big nerd. Good-looking, but a nerd nonetheless. Specifically, she is a philosophy nerd; you know, the ones who are super smart but somehow fail to notice the gaping void where their post-college job opportunities should be? Luckily, my wife saw that disaster coming and rolled her love of philosophy into a second master’s degree, which allowed her to land an awesome job teaching philosophy to Gymnasium students here in Hannover, Germany. (To be fair, I’m a nerd too, but I’m more the Computer/Sci-Fi/Fantasy type. Also, I wear hoodies 24/7 because they’re the next best thing to a cloak of invisibility.)

As it turns out, my wife is not only freakishly passionate about philosophy, but she’s passionate about teaching it too. She spends countless hours after work preparing lessons and materials for her students, even though I keep telling her teenagers are nothing but a bunch of filthy, stinking ingrates who don’t deserve her extra efforts and we should totally be re-watching episodes of Firefly instead goddammit.

So one evening, after she’d spent over 2 hours making extra materials for her 10th graders, my wife said she would be teaching them about the subjects of death and dying. Personally, I would have loved to sit in on that class, but she wasn’t terribly excited about it. You see, her favorite topics come from the Classical Greek philosophers — Plato, in particular. She could talk about that fruity Grecian forever. (And she does — which is why I no longer ask anything about him unless I want to wipe my schedule clean for the rest of the day.)

Anyway, she went on to explain how the curriculum required her to discuss the larger, more general themes with her students first — like mortality — rather than diving straight into the specific works of the ancient philosophers. And she clarified this point in surprisingly graphic fashion:

“I would rather teach them about Plato, but you know how when you want to have sexy time, you don’t just stick it in — you need to have some foreplay first.”



Weather in Germany: Watching the Seasons Change with the Davis Hill Weather Stick


The Davis Hill Weather Stick: A Dark Magic Gift from Satan Himself

My wife is German, and as I’ve mentioned before, Germans tend to be a very well-traveled bunch of squares. My wife has been all over the world, and she spent a lot of time in the United States. She even traveled around New England and made a bunch of friends there. One of these friends gave her a very peculiar parting gift before she returned to Germany: The Davis Hill Weather Stick.

Weather sticks are shaved twigs from balsam trees, and they’re supposed to predict the weather by bending sharply upward or downward. With absolutely no clue where to hang this goofy thing, my wife lugged it around from apartment to apartment for the next decade until she finally met me. After we moved into a house here in Hannover, Germany, I wasted not one second nailing this thing to the wooden divider in our back yard.


THE WIFE: “Take it down. It looks like a penis.”

Here’s how the magic works, according to the back of the card:

The Weather Stick, from the folks on Davis Hill, will tell you what the weather is doing. With good weather about they will point to the sky; and when things aren’t so pleasant they will point to the ground. We don’t know why, but the old timers had faith in them and that’s good enough for us.

Mount it outdoors with the nail up. Under an eave, on a window frame, or out on the garage wall. Anywhere where you can see it from inside.

These country Weather Sticks are harvested at the right time of year and carefully prepared and dried. When first put up they will take a short while to get used to your house so be patient with them and they will serve you well for a long time.

We’ve seen sticks that are fifteen years old so you won’t need another for quite a while. However, if you’d like another you can get one at this store or write us.

(802) 533-2400

Now, I can’t find an actual website for this company, and that address and phone number are so old they probably don’t work anymore, but you can totally order the Davis Hill Weather Stick online at or from the Shelburne Country Store. Also, this stick doesn’t have any magical (or even mysterious) properties at all; we know exactly what makes this thing bend up and down: humidity.


ME: “Look honey! The sun is giving it a boner!”

Anyway, once I noticed the stick bending exactly as promised — and looking like the thinnest, creepiest penis in the world — I started taking pictures of it. From the fall of 2014 to the fall of 2015, I took pictures almost every day for an entire year. Then, I stitched them all together to make the animated .gif below.

Check it out, and have a great week everyone!



In northern Germany, we don’t need devil sticks to tell us the sky is about to piss rain.



ADAC Helicopter Lands Right in the Middle of Peine, Germany

ADAC Helicopter Lands in Peine, Germany

“ADAC: Just landing wherever the hell we feel like it.”

Not long ago, my German wife and I took a day trip to Peine, Germany. Peine is a little town 40 km east of Hannover, and according to the half-assed google search I just did, it has a population of about 48,000 people. In the 1950s, 7.5 kg of medieval silver bullion were unearthed beneath the streets of Peine, because apparently, those filthy medieval Germans never discovered the piggy bank.

So there we were, enjoying a couple of brew doggs at a café in the middle of the town square, when a very loud propeller-type noise descended upon us. The wind started to kick up something fierce, just blowing shit all over the place:

“What’s that noise?” I asked, wincing as a piece of dirt flew into my eye.

“I think it’s an ADAC helicopter,” said my wife.

“… What the fuck is an ADAC helicopter?”

So, apparently, ADAC is the largest automobile club in Europe. It’s a lot like AAA in America, in that they help out stranded motorists and provide emergency life flights for their members. And since this helicopter was soon joined by a police car and a stretcher, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what we were seeing in Peine that day. Some old bastard probably keeled over in the apartment building next door — “This is it, Doris! This is the big one!” — and ADAC showed up to haul his white ass to the hospital.

Here’s the video I recorded. Check it out, and have a great week everyone!



The Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Germany

Lübeck, Germany

“Welcome to Lübeck, you picture-ruining sons of bitches.”

You know that vacation my wife and I took to Barcelona, Spain? Well, we took a little trip to Lübeck, Germany right after that. (Like, right the hell after. Not a moment to breathe.) Lübeck is a cute little port town in Schleswig-Holstein, and it was a member of the Hanseatic League during the Late Middle Ages — you know, when they used to pour boiling tar on each other and dropkick babies for fun or whatever.

We saw a bunch of old churches, the port with a ton of boats, the famous marzipan company called Niederegger (you can imagine how carefully I typed that), and the Buddenbrooks House, which is actually a museum dedicated to some asshole named Thomas Mann.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I’m just pissed because my computer died and I’m still waiting for my new one to be delivered, so I’m having to type this blog post on my wife’s laptop with it’s insane German keyboard. Every time my finger punches the “Z” key instead of the “Y” key, I must resist the urge to frisbee this goddamn thing right out the window.

Deep breath… okay. Please click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow, and thank you for stopping by!