Guess Who Has a Podcast?

The Raisin at the Hot Dog’s End podcast

Me, Kettle Talkers! That’s right, me and my fellow American in Iceland Jonas launched our podcast earlier this month. I broached the idea back in December or January–sometime before I started my second job at the Kindergarten and was feeling a bit bleh about everything. We were going for a walk because it was allegedly a nice day out and all the snow was melted. But when we reached our destination, a park whose name I cannot recall, we discovered that everything out in nature was still covered in snow; a thin layer of snow that hid slippery as hell ice underneath. So as we gingerly walked (engaging our cores) and then slid and slipped along, we talked about what we were going to do in Iceland. I confessed that I wanted to try my hand at a podcast and secretly harbored a desire to do voiceover work. We talked about our favorite podcasts (shout out to 2 Dope Queens and My Favorite Murder) and what we would do if we had podcasts. We left it at that. Nothing planned, nothing concrete, just thoughts blowing away in the gale force Icelandic winds.

After a pilgrimage back to the motherland for some hot sun and family time Jonas returned to Iceland rejuvenated and invigorated. “We should totally do a podcast,” he said. “Right?!” I answered. That’s basically the way the conversation went. We both have kids and Jonas’s are not yet in elementary school and by this time I had started my second job but we weren’t going to let lack of time and mental energy get us down. We had podcast meetings in the brief time between getting off work and kid pick-ups. We rambled into a borrowed microphone we barely knew how to use and I hacked and pieced our first episode together and oh the fun we had doing it! After getting our own, less high tech but more user-friendly microphone, the episodes came fast and furious cause when we get together, we go on and on. Through my cold, an impatient one-year-old, airplanes flying overhead and completely not recording one episode when we totally thought we were recording, we recorded five episodes. Woo! They are available wherever you listen to podcasts and on our podcast website.

Listen, enjoy and do me a solid, subscribe, rate us, write a review–all three would be great doing just one would be of immense help. We are @raisinandhotdog on most social media.

Takk, takk and bless, bless y’all! (Thank you and bye-bye y’all!)

It Happened

The teacup before the tea. Photo by Lydia Holt

It happened. It actually happened. A few months ago when the husband broached the idea of moving to Iceland I was shook, as the kids say. I felt (and will probably continue to feel off and on) scared and anxious and my muffin of a husband gave me the space to feel my feelings. I poured myself many cups of tea and called my momma, because that’s what you do when the shit hits the fan both literally and figuratively. She assured me that no matter what we decided to do– regardless of if, when or where we moved– everything would be OK. Perhaps it was her reassurance that helped nudge me in the right direction but soon after that I  felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. When had I decided that I was incapable of changing my life’s course? I had locked myself into the mentality that my life could only be lived in New York and nowhere else and when I asked myself, why? I didn’t have an answer. New York is wonderful in many ways but it was bleeding us dry. Rent, health insurance, RENT and the cost of just about everything else is sky high in New York. The cost of living is also high in Reykjavík but when healthcare is dirt cheap, activities for the kids cost almost nothing and we have family here, our quality of life improves considerably. I may be stubborn as a mule but I ain’t stupid.

With that mental hurdle behind me but still not ecstatic about the move (because I may have acquired some degree of mental flexibility but I am still a New York City girl at heart), we packed and purged and purged and packed and purged. How the hell did we accumulate so much crap in our apartment? And purged some more yet somehow still managed to have enough stuff to load up into a crate and move to Reykjavík (I like to sing that last part to the tune of The Ballad of Jed Clampett a.k.a. The Beverly Hillbillies theme song — So we loaded up the crate and we moved to Reyk-ja-vííííí´k. Iceland that is. Swimming pools, lava flows). After we said our goodbyes to our dear friends and school was out for summer we headed to the Great State of Texas for a week with my family and did absolutely nothing. The boys ran amok in the backyard with their cousins, spraying each other with the water hose, and I hung out with my family, catching up, harassing each other and breathing together. We soaked up all the Texas heat we could before heading to Iceland with a pit stop in NY and after twenty four hours arrived in Iceland. Here I am, blogging in Iceland. No, for real, I really am.

Me, walking these Reykjavík streets.
Photo by Lydia Holt

The day we arrived in Iceland was the day before a friend from college who was visiting Iceland was leaving so we met her that evening for a mini-in-real-life-not-Facebook-catch-up. How lucky is that? But listen to this, we arrived on a Saturday morning and I’m writing this on the following Monday and we’ve already checked off most of our bureaucratic to do boxes. Yup, keep reading, I’ll explain.

If anything is emblematic of how small and efficient Iceland is, it is the ease with which one can get shit done. In less than two hours we had registered the husband and kids at our new address, begun the application process for my residency, got health insurance (I won’t tell you the cost of the private health insurance we got to cover us until we are eligible for coverage by the national healthcare system, it would be too cruel to my fellow Americans) and the husband set up a bank account. Go ahead, slap the table and look all agog. I know. It’s unbelievable. I still can’t shake the feeling that the other shoe is going to drop and we’ll have to go back through the whole process again and then we’ll have to stand in line for hours before sitting in uncomfortable chairs for another couple of hours, during which time our kids, who will have to accompany us because we have to prove they 1) exist 2) haven’t been kidnapped by my husband, will begin shrieking and howling in pain and boredom and when it seems they will pass out in despair, to finally get our turn in line, fill out all the paperwork, wait for our turn again and then be told that I not only checked a wrong box but used a blue ink pen instead of a black one and don’t have the proper 13 points of identification and stool sample so I need to come back after 5 to 10 business days but only if it’s a full moon cause that’s just about what it took, sans howling children, for the husband to get his residency in the states. Knock on wood, friends. Knock on wood.

Me, standing in our empty apartment.
Photo by Lydia Holt

Our stuff won’t be here for a few weeks so we’ll be staying with family for a bit. I don’t completely feel like we’ve moved here, even with the packing, schlepping and 24 hours of travel. I think it’s most likely because we don’t have all of our stuff and aren’t in our own place so it still kind of feels like any other visit to Iceland. In a few weeks, when we’re unpacking and settling in I may have a freak out as it sets in that I really moved across the ocean to a different country and I don’t speak the language. I’m hoping not to freak out but it would probably be more entertaining to you, my Kettle Talkers, if I did. If I don’t freak out, I promise to include a sensational fictionalized account of events for your voyeuristic pleasure. Until then, the kettle is on.