Ich Bin Gestucken

Our excellent neighbor Bob plowed our driveway yesterday afternoon, as he is wont to do when there’s lots of snow, but then snowdrift overnight covered the driveway once more, and deceptively so, as Krissy found out when she drove into snow she thought was a couple inches deep at most but turned out to be several inches deeper than that (the snow shovel there, with its blade completely buried in snow, is there for your visual edification). We ended up spending a fair portion of our morning digging out the car and guiding it back into the garage. So much for any plans we might have had to go anywhere. Not that I go anywhere, mind you. But the other people in the house do, from time to time. Not today.

By the way, the German up there in the title is totally fake. Real Germans are wincing at it.

67 Comments on “Ich Bin Gestucken”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    I ma so jealous. I want 4 feet of snow. I live in Maine for god’s sake. It’s snowier on the Moon for god’s sake.

    Have fun at home. Did you get Bioshock 2 yet? I plan to spend the day with it after I get it this afternoon.

  2. At first glance, I thought the shovel handle was a lightpost and it reminded me of Narnia. And I was about to warn you of fur-filled wardrobes and the White Witch’s spies.

    But then, you know, I read the post and realized it was a shovel handle.


    Nothing like cookies on a day like today. (always distract them with cookies, I say.)

    And send us some snow. The slopes are pretty dry here in CO.

  3. There are two people I dread in this weather:

    The slow poke terrified to go over 5 mph. This morning, I got behind him doing a blazing fast 10 on Montgomery Rd. Why so slow? Ice? No. Unplowed roads? No.

    Unlike the rest of us, this genius only cleaned off half his windshield. The rest of the car was encased in snow.

    The second is the Invincible Four-Wheel Drive Owner (TM). When I got downtown this morning (myself in a 4-wheel drive vehicle), I witnessed IFWDO (TM) punch his gas peddle on the hill on Main Street.

    I laughed as IFWDO (TM) slid across three lanes of traffic between Fourth and Fifth Streets, coming to a stop sideways at the intersection at Fifth.

    When there’s no damage to any car but that of the idiot, it’s great freakin’ entertainment.

  4. If you had consulted with any real Germans beforehand, they could have told you that the proper spelling is “geschtucken”. Other than that, you’re good.

  5. Not just native speakers of German. I’ve lived in Germany for 10 years now, I’m a professional translator, and however wonky my grammar may sometimes get (damn noun declensions), my passive German is pretty darn good, and I have no idea what you were even trying to say. I mean, that’s not only not a word, it doesn’t even resemble a word. You’re in pieces?

  6. Ow man. Ow.

    As for the snow, we’ll gladly take some. It’s been wicked warm here in the NW this winter.

  7. If there are any snow drift against the house Athena can entertain herself the way my dad, his sibs, and neighbor kids did once – jumping out an upper story window into the snow. Grandma finally realized she was only hearing kids run up to the 3rd floor, never down, and put a stop to it.

  8. Real Germans are wincing at it.

    Not really. It’s kind of cute. And it totally sound’s like “I’m stuck”, so it makes sense… in a way…

    But maybe I’m just weird…

    And the snow shovel really looks Narnia-ish.

  9. I am west of DC(near Dulles airport in Virginia). We got 30 inches over the weekend (which still hadn’t been totally plowed as of yesterday) and we are getting 10 more inches today with drifts.

    I pity you not.

    I lived in chicago for 4 years and I have never seen anything like this.

    I am pleading with people who believe in global warming to help speed up the process. Please keep your cars running to help melt our snow.

  10. pennlynn – I'm just me, and I'm also someone who has been cursed by being born with a facial difference and I struggle with this every day!! I'm hoping those who find this blog will be apart of my journey as I go though this life.


    I’m at work watching the snow fall here in Ontario.. thanks for sending it my way maybe I won’t have to go to work tomorrow… although may not make it home tonight may have to sleep under my desk… NOOOOOooooo!!!

  11. Out in VA. Went driving in this storm this AM to pick up my wife from work. Forgot my glasses and then realized they wouldn’t really have helped any.

  12. As someone who studied fake German, I approve of gestucken.

    Um. My husband has shoveled our drive 3 times this snow session. Three times. The snow wall around the concrete, they are mighty!

    Kennst du das Rockies?


  13. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    marciepooh@14: “Grandma finally realized she was only hearing kids run up to the 3rd floor, never down, and put a stop to it.”

    I don’t see why it was a big deal. Anyone with cats in the house knows that game.

  14. Now that I have stopped wincing, I have arranged for Falschdeutschentshuldigungsformular P-56 to be forwarded to your home address. Please complete this in quintiplicate. Send the top two copies to the German embassy, the third and fifth copies to the Bundesausländerrechtschreibungsentschuldigungsministerium in Berlin and retain the fourth copy for your records. There may be a quiz.

  15. You live in the boonies…

    Snow Blower!

    Heck I got one for my house in Utah even though I live in the city. Just to do the driveway, and sidewalks around the house. (I live across from a school so have a zillion kids walking by the house in the mornings and afternoons.

    But I have nothing… nothing! compared to your driveway.

    So get a snow blower, oh and don’t forget your tunes. Damn things are loud.

  16. I love a good storm. I know it makes life difficult for many, but I’m glad when Nature can slow us down from time to time. German is such a romantic language. The way it grinds out of the mouth makes me think of smooth chocolate, leather-clad dominatrices, and Wagner.

  17. Lysana – Awfully eclectic for a Celtic Reconstructionist. Or is that the other way around? I've been around the blogosphere before, but I'm reverting to a pseudonym to keep the family peace. Said pseud is my Second Life name. I might still blog that now and again, too. Just because.
    Blue Raven

    Matthew @28:

    Après moi, le niege.

    La neige. Snow is feminine. I wince in your general direction.

  18. GermanWincer @31–You have now won you very own internet. Where would you like to have it shipped? If you feel that you already have all the internets you can use, it is possible to arrange a donation to the recipient of your choice. Just let us know!

  19. @ The Grey Area #32

    German is such a romantic language. The way it grinds out of the mouth makes me think of smooth chocolate, leather-clad dominatrices, and Wagner.

    c’est le mot juste!

  20. So we all know that that is how an English speaker makes fake German, and we know fake French and fake Swedish, etc.

    What does fake English look like when made by, say, a native German speaker? Or French, etc.

  21. My dad’s old ’61 VW bug had four items on the dash, labeled:
    Der Putterschparken
    Die Drizzleflippen
    Der Glimmerblinken
    Das Schmokegedunke

    So, of course I took German in high school!

  22. Gestucken is obviously the Germanglish conjugation of the verb stuck as in: (sticke, stickten, gestucken)

    It conjugates just like drink (trinke)

    Ich trinke (I drink today)
    Ich trinken (I drank yesterday)
    Ich getrunken (I have been drunk many times before)

    Ich sticke (I stick today)
    Ich stickten (I was stuck yesterday)
    Ich gestucken (I have been stuck many times before)

  23. eviljwintr: As a long-time 4wd driver who learned the hard way in the Rockies, I concur that laughing at the IFWDO™’s is one of life’s finer pleasures. Especially the yuppies who bought $40K SUV’s on the theory that it made them invincible, when it really only shows they’re loonies.

    Especially enjoyable is the look on their faces as Nature demonstrates to them that regardless of additional drive traction they have the same four tires on the road as the rest of us when it comes time to stop and steer on the Slick Stuff.

    (4WD does not keep you from getting stuck. It gets you stuck in worse places.)

  24. Tully @# 39 writes, “4WD does not keep you from getting stuck. It gets you stuck in worse places.”

    And ABS doesn’t keep you from sliding into the intersection, it just keeps you facing forward while doing so.

  25. John, we need that snow here in Vancouver. The Olympics are going to be quite laughable, since we have to truck snow into the snowboarding/mogul venues…

    On the other hand, having that much snow is a pain in Vancouver due to poor drivers running around.

    Too many IFWDOs around here.

  26. @Diondi in #43 – You can have ours. Here in Maryland, the snow’s up to my hips and still falling. Conditions are so bad the state’s pulled its crews off the highways for safety and warned motorists that they might not get rescued if they get on the roads and get stuck …

  27. Und auch, vielleicht, Scalzi konnen auf Deutsch ein Bisschen quatschen, aber Er konn’ nicht Echt’ Bayerisch sprich’!

  28. I too live near Dulles Airport and this storm is a piker compared to the previous one. Yes, we got some snow but nowhere near the 10+ inches they were forecasting. I am very happy about this.

  29. Guess @ 16:

    I am pleading with people who believe in global warming to help speed up the process. Please keep your cars running to help melt our snow.

    That would be funny if there weren’t so many people who seriously think this weather is MORE PROOF that global warming is only a LIBERAL CONSPIRACY intended to SHOVE changes down our throats that … uh … mostly are good ideas for other reasons, too.

  30. *winces*

    But it made me klick a bit faster than usual on you newest entry, because I was all what the frell???

    Ich stecke fest/Ich bin stecken geblieben or Ich sitze fest/Ich bin festgesessen

    There was some snow coming down until the afternoon and it’s very white outside, but besides that it’s okay and it isn’t enough to cause trouble. Although it would be kind of interesting to be snowbound…in a very theoretical point of view.

  31. In Toronto we haven’t had a lot of snow this year so when snow was forecast for this morning, everyone got excited. “Do you know where your shovel is? Will the roads be plowed? Should you leave an hour earlier in the morning for work?”
    Turns out there was hardly any snow to shovel off the driveway, and the roads were perfectly clear. Yay, Great White North! *waves to Vancouver*

  32. Ah Scalzi you left LA too soon. It’s a mid 70’s day, all sunny outside.

    My friend who moved back to LA from the Reston, VA area says he’s glad he’s back here now. I feel sorry for those of you stuck in the snow. But I guess the LA sun is the trade off that we don’t get snow days to sit around and relax.

  33. Of course there were days living in the San Fernando Valley when it had been over a hundred and under 10% humidity for a couple weeks straight that I would have killed for a snow day. Now that we’ve moved down to West Adams/Jefferson Park, the weather is much better.

    Remembering temps in the -30°F range and 48″ snowfalls of my youth in upstate NY, my fond memories of snow are definitely tempered.

  34. I’m getting fracking tired of it. We drove home fro Lawrence, KS on Christmas eve in the teeth of a blizzard. Jim was all, “oh, the weather isn’t bad, we’ll be able to make it up to my folks today.” On the way home we had to stop halfway to deice the windshield because it took so long for the minivan to warm up.

    My mother called at 8 a.m. on Christmas morning saying, “stay home. We’ll have our celebration on Sunday.” She lives in Lawrence, too.

    Mom helped us pay for a furnace and I had to have AAA rescue me from her drive when my car high-centered in her driveway.

    My car door has frozen shut/had the latch stick open about 10 times, including Tuesday morning. I had a minor mental breakdown when I realized I could not enter my new workplace because I couldn’t get the window down/door open to hit the security thingie. Called home, Jim let me use his car that day. Thank goodness we live about 10 minutes from work or I’d have been later.

    I’m done now. I want spring to come!

  35. So yeah its pretty wonky.
    We got the same weather over here scalzi.
    Its been snowing madly :-) I told my mate, we will get 5 days of 50°C (thats very hot you us guys, like in L.A. hot) then straight back to snow 3 feets deep…

  36. @ #37: There are fake english words that are used regularly in the german language or at least in advertisemet. like handy (cellphone) or back-shop (bakery).

    Apart from that, fake english in germany is mostly putting -ing on german words.
    Like: I hate schneeschaufeling.

  37. I feel Krissy’s pain. I once drove head-first into a drift about as high as my hood, under the mistaken impression that if the left lane was driveable, the right lane must be driveable too. Except the right lane was the high side of the drift, which was disguised by hazy lighting and unbroken snowfall into seeming a whole lot flatter than it was.

    To this day I still shake my head at myself, wondering how in the heck I managed to do that.

  38. Hi –

    John, I really hope you didn’t send that form to Bundesausländerrechtschreibungsentschuldigungsministerium, because there is no such thing.

    Everyone knows it’s the Ausländerrechtschreibungsentschuldigungsbundesministerium, or, more exactly, the Bundesministerium für Ausländerechtschreibungsentschuldigung.

    Ye gods, people, get your act together!

    Oh, and when I got married in Germany, I had to fill out a form explaining why I didn’t have a police record to check to see if I had a criminal record or not. The funny part was that there was actually a form for this (in Germany, you always have a police record, whether you’ve done something or not: at a minimum, it tells the police where you’ve lived all your life), and I did have to fill it out in duplicate, one for the office that handled the marriage license and the other for … my non-existent police record in my home town, which at the time was Washington, DC.


  39. Okay, I loved the fake German. And I’m one of two people in the office today in Dulles. The roads are remarkably clear today, but it’s windy as hell out there. It’s finding all the cracks in our weather-proofing at home, making the townhouse colder than normal. And we still have 3′ of snow on our deck, from Saturday.

  40. John,
    Really dude, go down to the third dungeon, move the cob webs out of the way, open the vault door, wave the moths out of your way, grab some of your millions and go buy Krissy a monster snow blower so you don’t have to get out of bed anymore to help her dig the car out of the snow on cold, snowy mornings!

    Wow…how’s that for a long nonsensical sentence.

  41. Up here in New England, some us are really getting ticked off. That’s our snow they’re getting down there, and they’re wasting it.

    My daughter and I went snowshoeing out in central Mass near the New Hampshire border last weekend, and there wasn’t even enough snow on the ground to need the shoes. We were supposed to have a real storm two days ago, but it barely glazed the roads. Meanwhile they got so much snow in DC they just huddled around staring at each other in wide-eyed paralysis. Oh, wait, Congress was doing that already before the snow. But, still. Now the whole city’s doing it.

    The pattern has altered so much that the snow that should fall on the higher latitudes slides down the globe toward the equator. Global warming enables the politicians in Washington to build igloos on the Mall. And do they appreciate it? No! Did they throw some sleeping bags in for a fun winter campout? No! Talk about your profligate waste! They think it’s a sign that global warming doesn’t exist. Come on people, it’s your basic planetary climatology, how hard is that to understand? It’s all a system. You push one side out of shape, and something’s bound to pop out somewhere else.

    Today Dallas got a foot. I lived in Dallas in the late 80’s, and believe me, they don’t know what to do with it. They don’t go cross-country skiing. They don’t go ice climbing. They gon’t go frostbite sailing. They just go spinning around on the 635 exit ramps, bumping into things. Nobody has a primary snowblower, let alone a backup. Makes me weep.

    I will admit, though, there is an alternative explanation to global warming that needs investigating. Are we sure the Nidu haven’t parked a couple of weathermod satellites in orbit to cook off our ice caps? That would be just like those reptilian bastards.

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