00:22 Happy Valentine’s Day
00:50 South African President Zuma’s State of the Nation address was also on the 14th
02:30 So we were trapped in our apartment by security
03:07 And on top of that craziness, Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend
04:18 Our last-minute plans to have a nice Valentine’s Day night in included beef wellington
05:22 This is what I’m talking about when I say that I can’t say “duxelles” without sounding like a cartoon Russian
05:50 Our varying opinions on how to make proper use of a magic mailbox a la The Lake House
06:40 Valentine’s magic continued on Saturday with a surprise picnic lunch at Noble Hill wine farm:
There was so much food!
07:30 Why are there quotation marks on this sign?
10:00 Collin ran 18 miles on a treadmill because he’s really good at watching television (trust me, that’ll make sense if you listen)
11:45 I was smart enough to get dolled up before Collin returned from the gym so he still had to take me out for dinner even though he was tired from running
12:15 I still have a bunch of Oscar movies to watch but we took a break from that serious crap to watch A Good Day to Die Hard
13:48 “Long story four”? I don’t get my husband sometimes
14:05 Next week is going to be a classic episode of the HitchDieds in Cape Town podcast if I Love Lucy is anything to go by.
14:30 EXTRA BIT
00:22 Things are looking up for Collin at work
02:58 Robin went to an improv class until they ran out of electricity
04:00 We went to Rachel and Jeff’s fancy cocktail party
04:35 It was a lot like this:
06:18 We talk about the documentary Miracle Rising about the end of apartheid in South Africa which you can catch on the History channel
12:20 I found out that I can make there be less language censorship on our satellite TV! Holy $#%&!
14:32 Right where we left off EXTRA BIT
14:48 High five.
00:30 We talk about the wind for several minutes
03:56 Here is what all the fuss is about
04:30 Really, we are not exaggerating about the wind:
05:36 We finally shut up about the wind
05:40 We talk a little bit about our plans to sleep through the Superbowl
06:40 Collin fronts
07:09 Collin’s mid-marathon training feet are like something out of a David Cronenberg movie
08:38 Our friends Liz and Johnny left Cape Town to return to the UK
09:55 Bars and restaurants with outdoor seating at Cape Town often provide fleece blankets for their patrons. I APPROVE.
10:35 I feel me trying to explain the pun of Jackal & Hide to Collin is nicely representative of a huge part of our interactions
11:22 The service at Jackal & Hide was bad even by abysmal Cape Town standards
12:37 We literally complain “the food was terrible, and such small portions!” in this circumstance (incredible hunger after a long wait/overdrunkeness) it is appropriate.
13:15 I make a promise to get back on track putting up a new podcast every Monday
13:54 EXTRA BIT!
00:38 We took a week off again for reasons of sadness
01:00 We talk honestly about what is bumming us out
01:40 Collin talks about science!
02:48 Collin sounds like a vampire.
05:39 Now we talk about fun things!
05:40 We saw Point Break on a rooftop
10:02 We went to a few wine farms, one American-owned that was our favorite yet.
14:30 Just in case you forgot, it’s summer here bitches!
14:46 And now that the festive season is over there are fewer gabronis on our pool deck
15:26 Collin is training for the Two Oceans ultra marathon
16:40 If you live in Pittsburgh, check out the new Arcade comedy theater!
18:04 EXTRA BIT!
00:22 This is Collin’s “Golden episode”, whatever that means
00:50 No one likes sad podcasts, so we didn’t record last week
02:00 Collin and Jenn went shark cage diving
03:10 Collin doesn’t get my reference (Song starts at 2:18)
05:43 Collin bought a new painting
06:30 The truth about art on the Titanic
08:00 I tell Collin to keep things light
08:25 And then Collin immediately takes things to a dark place
09:10 The holiday season feels different when it happens in the summertime
10:12 We had a chill NYE at home
12:03 My abs are stronger than Collin’s abs, but his everything else is stronger than my everything else.
14:01 We talk a little bit about Silver Linings Playbook
14:53 Happy birthday, Viki!
15:38 Obvious jokes about my dead parents are avoided
16:58 Extra bit
[This is one of those abstract, open-ended resolutions that you're warned against, so I'm supplementing it with my old standby of stretching out my hamstrings and the world's old standby of getting back on the flossing wagon.]
But my main goal for this year is to be happy. To believe that I deserve to be happy, and to do what I need to feel that happiness.
It’s been hard to write here on my blog because I’ve been ashamed of how I’m feeling. I am disappointed with myself for not loving living in Africa. I feel guilty for being bogged down in my loneliness and discomfort when I am basically on an extended vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And I feel guilty for being on an extended vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world and simultaneously being surrounded by tremendous human suffering. But all that guilt isn’t fixing anything about this country and it’s ruining me in the process. I worry all the time about not offering enough to the world, but I’m never going to have anything to give if I cocoon myself in my own misery.
I hated the idea of treating our time in Africa as “an adventure” because it felt so distastefully privileged and bougie and self-centered. “This isn’t an adventure, this is real life,” I’d think. But it hasn’t been real life, recently. It’s been less than that, some murky approximation of living under a cloud of depression. If pretending this is a great adventure gets me out of that trap, then that’s what I’m gonna do. Hold on to your butts.
05:15 Jenn and Collin went to a game reserve and had a disappointing experience but still saw cute animals:
07:50 Jenn and Collin prepare to go shark diving, Robin doesn’t because she thinks it is bad karma for a wannabe surfer/because she is a scaredy cat
09:00 We went to the beach on Christmas!
10:37 I edited out like a minute and a half of me singing, and you should be grateful for that.
11:20 Answer: Yes, yes they do.
12:25 I edited out another minute and a half of me singing and you should be EVEN MORE GRATEFUL
13:20 Christmas dinner with Collin’s fellow expat coworkers!
13:50 Jenn had her first Pimm’s cup and fell in love
15:00 Homework assignment
15:32 Extra bit!
16:19 Extra extra bit!
00:42 Another public holiday in South Africa! The Day of Reconciliation, which is weird.
02:30 It’s been hot! (I love it though)
03:32 We did dinner & movies date night and saw Looper
04:45 I think I edited out obnoxious kiss smacks at this point
05:55 We had a couple lazy days to start out the weekend
07:14 Because we had to rest up for the Gugulethu 10k
07:23 (Collin takes off his pants.)
08:25 Long discussion of South African townships
09:45 Suffer through my Italian accent!
13:04 Then we went to the beach
13:50 And later went to a friend’s “roof wetting”
This is a spanspek (supercharged cantaloupe) cocktail! AMAZING.
14:36 SHOCKING TWIST! We’ve been drunk the whole time. Just like in The Sixth Sense!
16:00 Anticipating a visit from our friend/housesitter Jenn!
17:20 Just in case this is our last podcast before the Apocalypse
18:26 Extra bit!
00:22 Explanation of our absence last week
01:05 We took a family field trip to Springfield Illinois to go to the Lincoln Museum and the Lincoln House
02:27 My favorite place in the Lincoln museum is the room about Mary Lincoln’s “social rivals.” I want this for the museum about me.
04:03 Collin and I go through Round 39 of the fight over Robin not knowing what color his eyes are. BUT IT IS HARD. HERE IS PROOF:
05:08 Check out my piece on Bitch Flicks about the film Lincoln.
05:18 We are not exaggerating.
06:38 Fun with Matt and Carrie.
07:00 How Drunk Collin came to call Envy “Wendell.”
07:50 We’re much less jet lagged this time around!
09:40 Collin’s old boss was in town
10:07 And I finally met Collin’s current boss at a dinner party
11:09 Saturday was lost to waiting for the Telkom guy, but we filled the time with ten or so episodes of season 1 of Alias.
11:49 Happy Hanukkah!
12:10 Visit to the Allee Bleue wine farm for a tasting and lunch.
15:37 Surprise peacocks!
16:30 I’ve been going through Internet Friendship withdrawl so be on Twitter and Gchat, people!
17:07 Extra bit!
This week we have a special episode, our first recorded together in the USA, with an even more special guest: Viki Diedrich: Collin’s mom, my mother-in-law, exclamation point enthusiast! Listen on for tales of Thanksgiving and joy!
00:23 Our first episode recorded together in America!
00:32 [That periodic chirping sound is Viki's pet bird Pete]
01:31 Our visit started with my family in Southeast PA
01:45 Happy 22nd birthday to my brother John!
02:00 Lauren completely showed me up as a Thanksgiving hostess
03:11 Then we had an emotional reunion with Collin’s family in St. Louis
04:28 Matt and Carrie also have a new house, igniting my dormant nesting instincts. Watch out, dining room sets on Pinterest, I’m coming for you!
06:20 In the meantime, we’re in the strange position of finding ANYTHING BUT our home bed the most comfortable thing in the world.
08:08 Aunt Jane and Uncle Mark hosted an AMAZING Thanksgiving Part 2 party on Saturday night for 30 people.
08:44 Including my friends Kaitlin and Norm, which was an AWESOME TREAT! [Lion's Choice the next day was also a treat.]
09:55 Viki reminds us to tell a charming anecdote about Norm’s stay.
12:18 Viki talking about how we all like to just sit and look at each other reminds me of Scuttle describing life before Snarfblats:
14:06 Viki gets sappy
16:08 Outro of gratitude and yaaaaaay!
16:32 EXTRA BIT!