December 10, 2012
by Robin


We’re back! Hear all about our last week in the US and our first week back in Cape Town! And, you know, super on-topic discussion of ugly people and Collin’s eyeballs.

00:00 Intro
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!
16:51 Signoff
17:07 Extra bit!

November 26, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in CPT Podcast Episode 25: HitchDieds in USA

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!

00:00 Intro
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!

November 19, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 24

If you love animals, this is the episode for you! We went on a mini safari this weekend and have lots to say about it and pictures and video to share!

00:00 Intro
00:20 This week we still enjoyed the company of Collin’s cousin Jennifer
01:26 Brittany Murphy RIP
01:42 Weird audio drop-out, sorry
02:21 Tapas feast at Fork
02:47 We went on a mini Safari!

03:30 Collin mispronounces “hectares”
03:48 South Africa mainly has “game reserves” which are a little different from safaris, but still awesomer than zoos.
05:00 Tortoise!

05:08 Foam locust! (the worst part of the safari!)

05:40 Lions!

07:00 controversy about the Nyala, solved: it has spots on its side

Source: Wikipedia

but also on its face and the myth is about the face spots, so I win, but we were both correct.

09:20 A dazzle of zebra, including a three-day-old baby zebra, which you can barely see in the photo above, so I highlighted him below:

10:10 Elephant on video! [Turn the volume up to hear my commentary]

10:25 Sad story about rhinos! Viki, grab tissues!

11:38 They did survive having their horns poached so there is a sort of happy ending, though.
14:36 We’re going back to the US for Thanksgiving!
15:39 Have a FABULOUS Thanksgiving holiday and look forward to our special HitchDieds in America podcast next week!
15:58 Outro

And Proof:

November 12, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 23

00:00 Intro
00:30 Robin had trouble getting past jet lag all week
01:05 We had to take public transit this week because our car is in the shop
02:36 I’m super embarrassed that I misused “less” here. FEWER PEOPLE. There are FEWER PEOPLE in first class.
03:25 I’m also embarassed that we sound like such rubes talking about BRAIN SCRAMBLING RAILWAY LINES.

04:57 Some guys tried to steal Collin’s phone but he fought them off like a badass!
08:58 Collin’s cousin Jennifer is in town, which is awesome!
09:44 Attempting to watch a streaming copy of Center Stage, we had to adapt to our slow connection by playing a game where we “guess what happens next.” Our version of the story has more face punches.
11:36 We took the Red Tourist Bus out to wine country and tasted wine at Groot Constantia.

12:37 Seeing a convention hall two days before a convention starts changed my perspective on those events FOREVER.
14:06 We’re both going to the US next week!
14:48 Attempting to end on a positive note.
15:40 Sign-off

November 8, 2012
by Robin
1 Comment

The Election from Abroad

I watched the US Presidential Election from the distant vantage point of Cape Town. It would have been better for my sanity, my jet-lag recovery, and my liver if I’d just gone to bed with Collin before the East Coast polls closed, but once I in, I was IN. Haunted by memories of 2000, I couldn’t go to bed without knowing who’d be president next year.

Even though, with our new extra hour of time difference (South Africa doesn’t do Daylight Saving Time), that meant an “early” 11:15PM EST call for Obama happened at 6:15 AM on Wednesday for me.

Hopey Changey view from our balcony a few minutes after they called Ohio.

But it was a long road to called-victory, and even I couldn’t soldier on to the point where Romney actually conceded and they candidates gave their speeches.

When our election night began, it was still only 10:00AM on the East Coast of the states, but we switched to CNN International anyway.  They were basically offering a primer on American politics to confused International viewers, running segments that might have well been called “The Electoral College: No, Seriously” and “Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Glad You Have a Prime Minister instead of a President.”

This coverage seemed odd to me, not only because it was by and large coming from American (or at least American-accented) reporters, but because it assumed that the audience for CNN International on America’s Election Day is mostly confused Citizens of the World instead of desperate Ex Pats, which isn’t what I would expect. But it’s not like I’ve done market research on the subject, and I’m guessing they have.

As the night went on a bit (but still hours before anything newsworthy happened in the states), we started seeing foreign correspondents at Election Day parties around the globe.  They all seemed kind of drunk, but I wasn’t really in a position to judge them at that point.

Collin went to bed just before they switched over to good old American CNN’s feed, which was still an hour before any of the polls closed.  I told myself I’d stay up until they “called something important” but quickly realized that was a) probably not going to happen at any reasonable hour b) probably a lie anyway.

I stress ate. I drank too much. I clung to Twitter like a lifeline. I wondered if I was only able to stay up because of jet lag or if I was ruining my progress in getting past my jet lag.

When I woke up in the middle of the next day, still exhausted, the US was sleeping off their celebration, and I had to wait a few strange hours for news coverage on all the additional issues of Election 2012 (gay marriage, weed, Puerto Rico, possible 20% female representation in the Senate).  I felt further away from home than ever, which is saying something.

That’s the story of my first Election Day abroad, and hopefully my last.

November 5, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 22

We’re back! Exhausted, but happy to be with each other again.

00:00 Intro
00:22 Clarification of the episode numbering
00:40 Robin is back in Cape Town!
01:04 Story of my two-day journey back to Cape Town.
02:28 Collin picked me up at the airport Saturday morning, but we were waylaid by car funnies.
04:26 A live recording of our car dying on the N2
05:30 Reading the manual allowed us to restart our car and get it home
07:00 Picture of the scary sight under our hood when we got home:

08:22 Bond Party! Seriously, so awesome.

11:10 I met with my editors from LeWeekly at the Mount Nelson hotel for afternoon cocktails
11:37 Collin did go out a few times without me before I came back!
12:17 I’m making pasta while Collin is talking about this stuff, sorry for the background noise.
12:51 Face Time saved our marriage.
13:01 We talk about the best things about being back together.
14:54 Sign-off!
A message from Collin while I was still in the States:

October 29, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 21


Sadly this episode is sans Collin, but my dear friend and gracious host in Pittsburgh Annie D. fills in to help recap the emotional rollercoaster that has been my three weeks back in the states.

00:00 Intro
00:23 Welcome Annie D., my host in Pittsburgh and guest for this episode!
00:56 Update on Collin’s situation in Cape Town (semi-speculative).
01:30 One of our many adventures was visiting Cabela’s in West Virginia and learning about deer.
02:15 Apparently Cincinnati has really cool grocery stores, as though Skyline chili and awesome football uniforms weren’t enough.
03:29 I met my baby neice, you already read about that.
04:06 Congrats to Abby and Mike on their engagement!
04:20 Because of the Frankenstorm I get to stay in America a few extra days!
04:57 We had a great time at this year’s Evaline Halloween Event.
05:17 Annie explains her Halloween costume and uncovers another one of my not very useful talents: last-minute costume construction assists.

08:08 My costumes were both store-bought, but still fabulous, and covered both DC and Marvel universes within a 24 hour period.

09:50 My Evaline hangover this year consisted only of emotional outbursts.
10:29 Annie gets the funniest line in the episode.
13:30 This is what Annie put on after “Still Crazy After All These Years” made me cry:

13:54 I set Annie up to talk about how great it is having me around and she does.
16:04 A very special shout out to my cuun.
17:14 Sign-off
18:14 EXTRA BIT!

October 23, 2012
by Robin

Robin’s Crash Course In Parenting

As you might recall, part of the reason for this trip back to the states was for me to meet my baby niece Veronica, who was born last July 4th.  Through some wacky collision of fortune and misfortune, my visit ended up coinciding with the day after my sister was released from the hospital after having surgery.  While it’s obviously a bummer to have a sick sister, it felt very lucky that I happened to be on the right continent just at the time she really could use an extra pair of hands to help deal with the baby and all the other necessities of life while she recuperated.  So I extended my stay here by a few days and did my best to be as helpful as possible.

And thus I got an unexpected crash course in BABIES.

Lesson the first: BABIES ARE HARD WORK.  I already “knew” this. Everyone already “knows” this.  The parents, they tell you, “you don’t know” and you think “well I can guess.”  And maybe you are better at guessing than I am? But I didn’t know. And what’s worse, I’m pretty sure I STILL don’t know, because I was doing less than 1/3 of the babycare duties for less than one full week and I’m still COMPLETELY BONE DRY SAPPED OF ALL ENERGY LIFE OR SANITY.  So this lesson isn’t even learned.  It’s just threatened.

Lesson number two PUN INTENDED: It is hard to talk about anything other than babies when you are dealing with a baby.  I know it is considered bad internet form to talk too much about your kid, and that your childless friends will explode into ragebombs of “get over yourself gross TMI” when you show them a grainy old-school 2D sonogram and they may be forced to recall that you GASP HAVE A UTERUS IN THERE.  Maybe I’m just a hopeless Twittering product of my generation, but I can’t understand how a significant portion of your daily life can suddenly revolve around cleaning up someone else’s poop and vomit and you are expected to keep mum about it.  And just keep tweeting instagrammed sandwiches or whatever.

Lesson number three: this is all harder than it used to be.  Ok, so, maybe I was a little less than 100% aware of all the difficulties my parents faced in raising my little brother given I was in the first grade when he was a baby, but I still feel pretty confident in asserting that things were easier back then. When breastfeeding was an option, not the option, lest a drop of formula pass your baby’s lips and suddenly transform her into a Human Monster.  When babies were allowed to sleep on their stomachs and watch TV and chew shards of glass or whatever as long as it made them shut up for five seconds.  We know too damn much about babies now.  It almost makes me want to NOT wait to have kids because sometime in between now and whenever I am “ready” they might find out that babies shouldn’t be exposed to eyelashes  all Reasonable Mothers will rip theirs out because to do any less would be unthinkably selfish.

Lesson number four: None of this matters because of the power of cuteness.  Who cares how needy and gross and irrational and tiring babies are when they have DOUGHY LITTLE ARMS and ROUND CHEEKS and GIANT EYES and when they smile it is like a sunbeam is shining directly on your soul.  I am hoping I forget these feelings as soon as precious little Veronica is out of arm’s reach or it won’t be long until I take on learning lessons one through three the hard, full-time, irreversible way.  I need to stay strong and keep in mind:

Lesson number five: I am not ready for babies.


October 22, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 20: CHIP-A-PALOOZA

This week’s special episode brings you CHIP-A-PALOOZA, a carnival of flavor where we taste test all the weird flavors of chips we could find at the grocery store one afternoon.

I recommend not listening to this episode if you are hungry, or if you have an aversion to crinkly and crunchy sounds.

00:00 Intro
00:30 Explanation of Chip-a-palooza
01:06 Pick N Pay Spare Rib potato chips

02:10 Simba Mexican chili flavoured potato chips

02:45 Clarifying note: South African English uses “chips” for potato chips and French fries
04:30 Fritos Tomato Ribbons

06:10 Pause for palette cleansing with Castle Light (blech)
06:31 Fritos Peri Peri Waves

08:26 Doritos Late Night All-Nighter Chili Ribs Flavoured Tortilla-Style Corn Chips

09:06 Remembering Doritos Roulette
10:10 Pick N Pay Fruit Chutney potato chips

10:50 We’re sophisticated chip tasters, we know how to sniff
12:55 Pick N Pay Smoked Beef potato chips

14:12 Lays Caribbean Onion and Balsalmic Vinegar potato chips

16:00 Outro
16:29 ExTRA BIT

October 17, 2012
by Robin

HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 19: Q&A

Sorry this is late guys, it’s been a busy week in America!

00:00 Intro
00:50 Evie requests us to describe a day in the life in Cape Town.
04:59 Addi asks, “Have you formed any new habits you’d like to bring back with you to the US?”
07:32 Megan asks, “How often are people speaking Afrikaans around you?”
08:22 Map of primary language of South Africans:


10:15 Annie asks “What’s chocolate like there?”
12:04 Annie also asked, “Do you miss all of your clothes?”
12:35 Annie also asked, “What are you excited to enjoy when you come back to America, other than friends and Yuengling.”
16:00 Outro
16:20 Very rude EXTRA BIT

If this isn’t enough to satiate you, I’m also a guest today on the Add It Up podcast, where we talk Love Your Body day. Give it a listen!