Special Report: Happy Birthday, K&K Podcast!

Greetings, Readers!

Have I got something good for you today. A party! A celebration.  A fifth birthday has arrived!

On August 20, 2006 a podcast was born.

Over the past few months, I have gotten totally hooked on the Katia and Kyliemac podcast, recorded live on most Saturday evenings here in Paris, France and posted on their site every Wednesday and Sunday. A couple of months ago, I had the genius idea to interview Katia and Kyliemac (aka “Kylie”), just like they interview guests on their show except in writing. So, I got in touch and asked if they would be willing to grant me an interview for my blog, and they were more than happy to do so!

To learn more about the wonderful Katia and the wonderful Kyliemac, please read on!

© katiaandkyliemac.com

So here’s the thing.

I am actually here:

Ontario, Canada

Probably, in fact, sitting in the screened-in patio you can see to the left of the main house, there, reading, or talking, or hanging out. The person who is writing now is the Ghost (Alien?) of Karin Past, who is hopefully successfully post-dating this entry so that you are seeing it on August 20, 2011 in the comfort of the civilized world where they have electricity and they don’t have toilets like this:

The Privy*

Here’s a view from the outside:

The Privy Outside

* For those of you not-in-the-know, a “privy” is an outhouse, an outdoor toilet, a fancy hole in the ground.

I jest a little. It’s not all as bad as that, although the privy is still fully functional and used daily. The cabin pictured has indoor running water and plumbing these days, plus a shower with hot water, heated via propane gas. The refrigerator and range are also powered by propane, but there is no electricity. We are able to check e-mail on a laptop when Paul’s dad runs a gasoline-powered generator for just such a purpose, but competition for e-mail time is fierce, and only available for brief periods of time, and not necessarily every day.

So Karin Past is writing and pretending to be Karin Future, while Karin Present (at the time of this posting) is far, far away from Paris in the hinterlands of Ontario, Canada.

But let’s not get off-track. The reason I am posting is what I have already written: the most terrific podcast from Paris, France, the Katia and Kyliemac Podcast, is turning five today!

Katia and Kyliemac: Dynamic Duo

Katia and Kyliemac, July 2011 at Angelina in Paris © Paris Karin

Who are Katia and Kyliemac and what do they do?

You know when you were in university, sitting around in your dormitory room with drinks and snacks, shooting the sh*t with your best friends and dorm mates, having a great time laughing together and learning about one another? That’s just like the Katia & Kyliemac podcasts, only they’re better because not only do Katia and Kyliemac share about their expat lives and adventures in France, they interview very interesting guests who share about their adventures, interests, and projects, too.

The podcast team are self-described on their site: “Where Country Australia & Mid-West America collide in the Katia & Kyliemac podcast. Twice a week they laugh about their adventures & share their unique perspective on the expat life in France.”

Katia (pronounced katie-ah) hails from rural Australia, and is a graphic and web designer and free-lance writer. She lives in Paris with her husband, the Muffin Man and their kitty cat, Symphony. She fell in love with a Frenchman and found herself in Paris ten years ago. She’s never been a francophile, but thinks Paris is a great place for adventures. She very much loves the life she and the Muffin Man have in France.

Kyliemac is a native Michigander residing in Paris. She’s been in France since 2003. She came to teach English as an assistant (like so many do) and ended up staying. She just this year received her Master’s degree in British, North-American, and Post-Colonial Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. She also finished a “Licence” (a three-year French degree, roughly equivalent to the Amercan Bachelor’s degree) in English at the Sorbonne Nouvelle the year prior.

(You can learn more about both ladies at their “About K&K” page on their website.)

K&K Episode Number One, “the one where they talk about the Eiffel Tower… and stuff…” was posted on August 20, 2006. As the podcast team approach their fifth anniversary, I really wanted to share with my blog readers about the podcasts because A) I adore these ladies and their show, and B) if you like the style of my posts (especially my older adventure, stream-of-consciousness, “thoughts of the day” types of posts), I think you will fit right in with this dynamic duo. I. LOVE. THEM.

K&K Podcast Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Why do I love them so?

I think it was about a year-and-a-half ago when I first linked to the podcasts at Katia and Kyliemac. I’m not sure exactly how I found them, but it was probably on a search for my own blog on a topic about Paris or it was listed on someone’s blogroll. I tried to listen to a few episodes while I was doing other things on our once-upon-a-time lone desktop, sometime in the mid-to-late-300’s episode range of the K&K podcasts, but found that I was getting distracted easily and could not focus on the podcast, sitting still, at the desktop. Facebook and other things kept making miss stuff while I listened, and I’d find myself backtracking three or four times, “rewinding” to the bits I’d missed. It was not an ideal listening environment for me. For some dumb reason it never occurred to me to load the MP3s onto my iPod Nano until I was, like, one day, “DOH. Girl! Put the podcasts on your iPod and listen to them while you houseclean three hours a week!” It was a revelation.

I remember the first episode I downloaded and listened to in full was number 422, “the one where they learn more about the life of a trailing spouse… and stuff…,” featuring author Ann Mah, who wrote the novel Kitchen Chinese, and all about her adventures being the “trailing spouse” of her husband, who is a US Diplomat currently assigned to the US Consulate in Paris. I was completely hooked after that one, and I have been listening to each and every episode ever since. I have also downloaded several past episodes, including the first ten episodes from which Katia and Kyliemac lifted off (archives of all the episodes are here). From the get-go, these ladies have found their groove, delivering great discussions, wit, information, and just plain interesting, well, stuff.

In addition, now that I have a laptop of my very, very own (hurrah for Paul and his being a birthday present god!), I recently participated in my first LIVE episode on a Saturday evening, to which listening is extra fun because of its interactive chat feature. I was really excited because I actually got a mention as Paris Karin with something I commented on the chat, which thrilled me to no end. 🙂 (episode 444)

That’s a little of how I came to the podcasts. Now, I’d like to get to some questions for Katia and Kyliemac that have been burning inside of me since I have been listening, the answers to some of which might just be buried in the 409+ episodes to which I have not yet listened. I may get there, eventually, but that’s a lot of listening (like 200+ HOURS, kids), and I want to know some of the answers more quickly than that. So, in honor of their fifth podcastiversary, let’s let Katia and Kyliemac speak for themselves!

*Note: While I met Katia and Kyliemac at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli in July to talk a bit about their answers, they were gracious enough to provide written answers for me as well. I did not record a spoken interview like they do, but hopefully I can bring to life the interview as if we were meeting up in the Alien Parisienne studio for a live show as well!

The Interview

Karin: Katia, Kyliemac, welcome to the Alien Parisienne “studio.”  I really appreciate your taking the time to answer all of the questions I have had running through my mind as I listen to the podcasts.

So first off, how on earth did you guys meet? I recall in episode nine, where you talk about the Internet being really, really great, you say that you met online. When did you first connect? Could you please share a little of that story? How does a girl from rural Australia hook up with a girl from the American Mid-West, pray tell?

Kyliemac: We first met on a Friday night in Paris. It was March 11, 2005, to be precise (and I had to look that date up), at the Klein Holland – a Dutch bar in the 4th arrondissement. I “crashed” a blogger meet-up hosted by Petite Anglaise that Katia was attending. I was invited to tag-along by two American bloggers I had met up with for the first time earlier that day – Vivi from Dispatches from France and Kim from Francophoney.net – both of whom I’d met through non-blogging means. I did actually have a blog at the time, but wasn’t connected to the Paris blogging scene. And that was really the beginning.

Katia concurs with Kyliemac’s response (“I met Kylie in 2005 at a bloggers meetup and we just became friends.”). She also has a blog, which she started in January 2003 and where she still posts occasionally, at aussielass.com.

Karin: Why and how did you decide to create a podcast together?

Katia: The podcast was created on a bit of a whim, but I’d been wanting to do something like this for a long time… Something beyond the standard blog that I had been writing and the likes of which could be found all over the internet – I wanted to do something different. For me, at least, it’s a fantastic way to explore my creativity and also to scratch that theatrical itch.

Kyliemac: We were at Ikea one rainy day, and as we were walking up the steps Katia said to me, “We should do a podcast.” And I said, “Okay.” Then we drank an obscene amount of coffee in the cafeteria (free refills! a rarity in France) and had a deep and meaningful conversation about Cap’n Jack Sparrow. (The Muffin Man had NO idea what he was in for. The poor man.) The next day I got a phone call from Katia saying that her husband had spent the evening looking up the equipment we’d need to do the aforementioned podcast and they were going to go buy it at that very moment and did I want to join them to do it. I did. So we did. And we’re still using the same equipment to this day – except that we’ve now bought even more of it.

Karin: I was originally going to ask you about the intro/exit music, but then I heard in episode nine (09) — and later confirmed on your webpage here — that the music is a song by a guy/band named “Little Thom” and is entitled “Inside Joke.” It’s a really fun song, and I think it makes a great intro/outro, but what were your reasons for choosing it? Were there ever any other contenders for the music? If so, care to share any of the rejects?

Kyliemac: Yes — our theme song is by an American musician named “Little Thom” – who happens to be married to an Australian woman. I remember us scouring some websites that catered to podcasters – there are quite a few that are “podcast friendly” – our song, if I’m not mistaken was discovered on the Podsafe Music Network. I don’t remember any of the “rejects,” though I know there were several, but I do remember not being bowled over by “Inside Joke” the first time Katia played it for me. But the title? Our whole show is an inside joke! Now I can’t imagine us using anything else. (And we’ve got it available for free as a ringtone on our website.)

Versailles fountain © cutestmidget (Katia) on flickr

Karin: You both have adventures together not only in Paris, but in other parts of France, too. Recently, you visited Versailles with Axel of Paris Urban Adventures, who also is a “fountain operator/assistant” responsible for turning some of the fountains on and off (which sounds a bit silly until one realizes it is quite a responsibility and not as easy as it is typed! Readers can listen here (443) and here (444) for more information about this amazing adventure).

I think it is in episode ten (10) where you have your first adventure(s) on which you report in the podcast: a visit to the Thanksgiving store in Paris to prepare for a Thanksgiving Day feast, and to Père Lachaise Cemetery. It was Katia’s first visit (after she’d already lived here for five years! I’m glad she finally made it there).

How many adventures in the past five years have you taken together, do you estimate? What has been one of the best/your most favorite adventures on which you’ve reported?

Kyliemac: How many adventures have we taken together in the last five years? Many, many adventures. Katia may have a better guesstimate than I do. It’s rather hard to break down because sometimes we have multiple mini-adventures inside of a bigger adventure – like when we went to England a few years ago. Katia & the Muffin Man had some friends visiting from Australia and the lot of us took the ferry over to England in two cars (which was in itself an adventure). We had some adventures in London all together – then they went one way and I went another – and finally we met up later in Nottingham, where we had a whole other set of adventures. In early shows, our idea was to visit a touristy place each week and do a kind of review. Obviously the show has changed since then. We’ve done things from visiting the Paris Sewers (on one of our K&K Get Cultured outings), to seeing the musical WICKED in London, to going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Paris, to learning all about how Cognac is made in Cognac, to watching the “Soupe des chiens” at the château de Cheverny. But really for us, anything can be an adventure!

I’d have to say one of the most unusual adventures we’ve had is one of our more recent ones, when we went to a snail farm. This was both a educational and terrifying experience because it is the first (and so far only) interview that we’ve conducted entirely in French.

Katia: The number of adventures we’ve had together HAVE to be in the hundreds… Some of my favourites have been when we visited Cognac (and about 10 distilleries in one week), went on mini-breaks with friends in Normandy and the Loire Valley, spent hours wandering around the various food salons and exhibitions that happen in Paris every year, and our recent visits to a pastry shop (some photos here) and a snail farm!

Snail Escape! © kyliemac on flickr

*Note: You can see all of the photos on Kyliemac’s Flickr set here. You can also click on the pic above to go to the Flickr site.

Karin: In your earliest shows, you have conversations about things like Neopets (“Neo-Nerd Moments”) and other geek stuff (which is all very fun and a charming aspect to the show…), but it does seem like at some point (maybe episode 10?) things shift into more reporting about Paris (and France) and adventures themselves. There is a familiarity for me with episode 10 and the more recent shows I have listened to.

Could you tell my readers a little bit about the evolution of the show, and when it was that you really felt you hit your stride with, well, you know, the “thing,” the “gestalt,” the way that the show is today? When do you guys feel like you started to “hit the mark” for what you wanted; when did you “get your groove on” with the show and feel like it was really happening for you?

Katia:  As you’ve suggested, the show has evolved significantly in the last 5 years… We started off in 2006 doing one show a week, a little off the cuff and somewhat rambly, but very quickly we realised that we were having so much fun doing it that we began doing two shows a week and started to put some serious thought into what we wanted to talk about.

Our next big step was in 2008 when we launched two spin-offs of our original show: Katia & Kyliemac Learn French (where we talk about at a different French idiom every week, learn equivalents to that expression in French and English, and try to figure out who to use it with and when) and Katia & Kyliemac Tourist Tips (general hints about how to make the most of travelling in France).

We also had our first live audience show at the end of 2008, and our second in 2010, with listeners coming in from different places around the world just to participate in the show and watch us “perform” live! It was really thrilling for us to be able to meet all these amazing listeners and to see how many people were excited about what we’re doing! In early 2009 we also set up cameras in the studio and started streaming the recording of the shows live in front of an internet audience with a chat room, which added a real spice to things – this meant that we can get feedback in real time as we’re doing the show and integrate listener responses into our own discussions!

Author Ann Mah and her diplomat husband Chris on the podcast © cutestmidget (Katia) on flickr

It was in 2010 that we also started to expand our guest base. We began focusing on interviews with people doing interesting things around France and in relation to travel. We had already been very excited about what we were doing before this but we really hit our stride when we had the opportunity to chat with so many fascinating people: David Lebovitz, Stephen Clarke, Ann Mah, Heather Stimmler-Hall, Janet Skeslien Charlies, Amy Plum, and the list goes on…

Five years in and we’re only just getting started.

*Note: To find out which episodes special guests have recorded, see the List of Friends who have participated in the show on the K&K website.

Karin: Do you still play Neopets? 😉 If yes, WHY? If no, WHY NOT!? Actually, as a part of this, I am wondering how you have time for your lives and jobs and school in and around the podcast. I have a hard enough time blogging once a month, much less do a podcast twice a week. Do you guys live on your computers? (Kind of kidding about that… kind of not, lol.)

I can obviously tell, though, that the Internet seems to have impacted your lives very much, like it has in my life, too, and that you greatly enjoy what you do online (as evidenced by your activity not only on the website/with the podcasts, but also on Twitter and other social networking sites). How do you find a balance between online life and face-to-face, non-virtual life? How do your online lives enhance your non-online lives?

Kyliemac: I do, I must confess, still have a Neopets account. Katia was the one who introduced me to Neopets – and I think I’d feel kind of badly about totally abandoning them (despite the fact that they are pixels).

I think that by merit of doing a podcast with a co-host, there is already the potential of having a measure of “balance” between online life and face-to-face life. Katia and I only record our shows when we’re physically together in the same place (as opposed to some podcasters who do shows with co-hosts using other means, like Skype). So there is automatically a factor of human interaction already figured in just by merit of recording. We record our shows “live” in front of an Internet audience. To do the podcast, I’ve got to get up and dressed and brush my hair and actually leave my apartment to get to the studio. Plus, when we do have guests on the show, we get to meet with them in person and have a real conversation – not just on the show, but also before the show when the microphones are not on. We record all of our shows on Saturdays, and release them into the feed during the week – this leaves the rest of the week for work and other adventures & shenaniganery*.

The internet today, with services like Twitter and Facebook, can really give you an opportunity to connect with people in a way we couldn’t really do before. We’ve got a ton of listeners who are connected with each other and when we/they do get an opportunity to meet in person – even for the first time – for the most part they/we’ve got an idea of who that person is already, and it’s more like meeting up with an old friend than a new acquaintance. We really noticed this aspect after we started doing the live shows – once the listeners had an opportunity to interact with each other in real time, we had a jump in listeners de-lurking. And it’s ALWAYS exciting to find out more about the people on the other end of the Internet.

Katia and Kyliemac Neopets Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Katia: No more Neopets for me, even though I’ll always be a gamer girl at heart! Not that I didn’t love it, just that it was hard to find the balance. I work full time, then prepping and recording the various podcasts takes up a small chunk of the weekend, plus having a lively social life means that I don’t have as much time for gaming as I used to.

In terms of how our online lives enhance our offline lives? There’s not much difference between the two! Thanks to the podcast (and the internet in general) we’ve met some AMAZING people, many of whom I now count as dear friends. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus – all this social media allows us to keep in constant contact with our listeners and friends and it all overflows into “real” life as well. Just as long as you know when to turn off the iPhone occasionally and make the most of the people you’re with. 😉

*Note: Shenaniganery™ is what Katia and Kyliemac are up to on the show — their acts of playful mischief — and things they do during their adventures. Related to “shenanigans,” only better, and with less trickery. 😉

Knitting - some Katia shenaniganery™ - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Karin: How do you decide what to talk about in each show? Not to sound too dense; I mean, part of it is you just talk, or converse/have dialogue/chat — something at which you are both very facile — but I know you often refer to “show notes” and I know that when you interview guests, you have lists of questions you want to ask them. There is a method in the madness! 😉 How long does it take to prep the shows? How do you prepare for them, and make decisions about what to say or ask?

Katia: Throughout the week we both keep lists of topics that come up in the news, things that have piqued our interest, or experiences we’ve had that we think could be interesting to share on the show… Then on Saturday we sit down in the studio and merge our lists together and come up with an interesting series of topics that we call our “show notes.” We use these notes as a base for the show, but most of the time we veer off-topic and get to chatting about other things. But we always have our show notes as a life-line to help us get back on track, so we never suffer from a lack of things to talk about! When we have guests on the show we generally need to do a bit more work – we’ll try to meet up sometime during the week before we record and nut out some topics together. Every part of this process is a team effort – it just wouldn’t work as well otherwise!

Our Learn French episodes, despite being only 5-10 minutes long, require a LOT more work – we each do research on our own, then we’ll get together and compile a base for each idiom, then we’ll chat with our “équipe de choc” – our network of native French speakers who help us in our understanding of the phrases and help us find the best French equivalents. It’s a huge job but we absolutely love doing it.

Kyliemac: Prep time varies. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes, sometimes it takes a bit longer. Sometimes there is a topic that is just begging to be talked about – or an experience one of us has had during the week that sparks a conversation. When we have a guest in, obviously, we take more time. If we have an author on, we want to read the book before the show – then we get together and talk about what sorts of things we want to ask. In a perfect situation, we love to have the opportunity to meet before the interview to just talk and get to know the guest first. It makes for a much better conversation. Of course, as you have listened to the show, you know that often the “show notes” get thrown out the window and we “derail.” But often those become some of the best shows.

Karin: How has doing the show changed each of you in the past five years? What have been the biggest rewards of doing the show? What have been your biggest challenges in keeping the podcasts going twice a week for five years?

Katia: In terms of rewards… Well, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity, thanks to the podcast, to meet so many amazing people. Every single one of our listeners has a fascinating story and we love receiving their emails. It’s especially exciting when we have the chance to meet up with them in person here in Paris (and in other places too – we’ve both been able to meet up with listeners during our travels elsewhere in France, in the UK and in the US)! Paris is also a hub for some really creative, energetic and enthusiastic people, and I feel lucky that we’ve met so many of them! We’ve made many dear friends thanks to the show and I will always be thankful for that.

I recently went to the US for the first time, just to go to a wedding – of a listener who has turned into one of my dearest friends. If that’s not a testament to the power of this show, I don’t know what is.

One of the other biggest rewards for me is that I’ve been able to hone my storytelling skills! It can be hard to keep your thoughts on track when you’re describing events and I think my tales today are a lot more coherent than when we first started! I think I’m just able to express myself more clearly in general, which is always a plus! That said, I think I’ve still got a fair way to go… Especially after a couple of cocktails!

Our strength truly lies in the fact that we’re a duo. If I had been doing this podcast by myself I probably wouldn’t have lasted 6 months – or it would be a very different beast altogether. We motivate, support and bounce ideas off each other, which makes for a solid team and a much more interesting show!

Kyliemac: I have definitely loosened up on some things in the last five years of doing the show. I used to edit the episodes a lot more, and take out things like the “Um”s and “uh”s and the sound of the mic cords. Katia kind of had to smack me (metaphorically) upside the head and say, “You. must. stop. doing. that.” I finally mangaged to break myself from that habit, so there is very little editing that goes on these days – it really is just us having a real conversation.

The biggest reward has been the opportunity to meet so many people from all over the world. Of course, it helps that Paris is, in and of itself, a huge tourist destination. For example, we just celebrated Bastille Day here with our now annual Bastille Day picnic – and we had people come in from Belgium and London just to hang out with other people from the K&K Empire for the day. It’s just cool to be a part of something that brings awesome people together!

The biggest challenge is making sure that we are consistent for the listeners, that they have something in the feed every Sunday and Wednesday. There are times when Katia or I will be out of town and unavailable to record (which is rare, but does happen), and we have to have all the episodes pre-recorded and edited and ready to be released in the feed in advance. Organization is paramount! We can’t really cobble something together at the last minute, because there are a lot of steps (and equipment) involved.

July 14, 2011 K&K Annual Bastille Day Picnic © Paris Karin

Karin: Okay, since you have known one another as long as you have, I’d like you, Katia, to please describe Kylie in five adjectives/nouns, and Kylie, please describe Katia in five adjectives/nouns. (Be nice. Or not, lol — up to you!)

Kyliemac: (about Katia)

– Animal Lover (Show her a video of baby animals on YouTube. Go ahead, I dare ya.)

– Voracious Reader (I couldn’t find a stronger adjective than Voracious. Have you seen her Goodreads?).

– Scrabble Goddess (She’s amazing. Really. And she, unlike me, doesn’t have to cheat.)

– Cocktail-making Champion (She makes a mean margarita).

– Fabulous Foodie (My taste-buds have definitely benefited from this partnership).

Katia (and the Muffin Man)Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Katia: (about Kyliemac)

– Dreamer: she’s the one who thinks of the craziest ideas for the shows. K&K bobble-heads? Yep, she’s thought of that.

– Know-it-all: but not in a bad way! She knows everything about everyone and what everyone is doing, has been doing and is going to do. Amazing.

– Child-wrangler: taking care of kids for the last babillion years means that she knows exactly how to deal with temper tantrums and hissy fits. Useful when she has a podcasting partner who sometimes throws temper tantrums and hissy fits.

– Adventurous: she jumps out of planes. And she scuba dives in icy waters. And she will always try whatever weird thing is on her plate. Or someone else’s plate.

– Predictable: yes this MAY seem like a contradiction to the previous point but she is an enigma. She will always choose the same route. And she has read Pride and Prejudice 17,000 times. And we ALL know that she won’t traipse through the woods unless her jeans are tucked into her socks (even though that could be considered prudent. Have you SEEN the spiders in France? We have.). So perhaps this should’ve been “reliable.” But “predictable” will make her laugh so let’s keep it at that!

Kyliemac Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Karin: Why is “the Muffin Man” called “the Muffin Man”? (Readers: see the Cast of Characters here.) And what about Symphony the Cat? Is there a story behind the cat’s name, too?

Katia: Ahhhhh. The Muffin Man makes incredible muffins. That’s it. There is no need for you to know more! 😉

The Muffin Man Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

As for Symphony – The Muffin Man and I debated for a long time over the best name for a cat. I wanted to give her a name starting with S (we all have our quirks, right?) and it took us WEEKS to agree on something 😉

Symphony the Cat Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Karin: A final question — who is someone you would LOVE to have access to for an interview on a podcast, and/or what is a French Adventure you would LOVE to go on, but have not yet done so? What would be your ideal dream-show, your best-evah! K&K podcast?

Katia: I honestly don’t have any dream guests (I expect Kylie’s list is LONG here!), but my real hope is that one day we’ll be able to really take this on the road and get insider access to some of my favourite places in France. I’d love to visit the Abbey at Mont Saint Michel or the underground area at Opéra, and to be able to talk to the people who work there and learn more of the history and secrets of these fascinating places.

Kyliemac: The first name that jumps to my mind is, of course, and not surprisingly, Johnny Depp. I even had a dream recently where I ran into him in Paris and asked him to be on the show. He said “Yes.” I like to think it’s a prophetic dream. As far as French Adventure? There are simply too many choices out there to choose just one! And my pick for best-show-evah? The ones we do after our K&K Tour Australia and K&K Tour America – ‘cause that would just be AMAZING. (Anyone interested in sponsoring those trips should feel free to get in touch with us! 🙂 )

Johnny Depp Wallpaper - click to enlarge, then right click to save & use as desktop wallpaper!

Bonus Round

When I met up with Katia and Kyliemac in July, I wanted to ask them some things they asked their very first guest, Lisa Taylor-Huff from The Bold Soul, in episodes 23 & 24. It was a variation on the Proust Questionnaire, and they asked Lisa about five Paris-related things. While we were in Angelina enjoying hot chocolate (them) and tea (me), I tossed these questions at them. Here are their responses:

1. Have you climbed the Eiffel Tower?

Katia: Not to the top.

Kyliemac: More times than I can count on one hand — maybe six?

2. Have you stepped in dog poo here in Paris?

Katia: Never. I have “poodar” (like radar, but for dog poo). It’s my superpower!

Kyliemac: It’s been a while… measured in years.

3. What’s your favorite monument in Paris?

Katia: The Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. It’s the oldest monument in Paris, and right where Paris was born.

Kyliemac: The towers of Notre Dame de Paris. Everywhere you look, there’s a story –it’s been incorporated into stories, too. Quasimodo! I love its Gothic features and the fact that it’s in the heart of Paris.

4. What’s your favorite French food?

Katia: Foie gras, confit de canard, escargot.

Kyliemac: Baguettes.

5. Last but not least, what’s your favorite French phrase?

Katia: “C’est ne pas la mer à boire.” Literally, “it’s not the sea to drink,” which means something like, “C’mon, you can do it. It’s not that big a deal! It’s not like I’m asking you to drink the sea.” I use this a lot at work. Another one? “On n’est pas sortir de l’auberge.” Literally, “we haven’t exited the inn,” and means “we’re not out of the woods, yet.” 

Kyliemac: “Oh lala.” I really like the different ways of saying it and the way it fits for varying circumstances.

In Closing…

Not only do Katia and Kyliemac do terrific podcasts about the expat life and adventures in France on their website, but they also have:

— a blog, where they post “snaphots from our everyday lives and random scribblings about Paris… and France… and everywhere else. Stuff we’ve seen, stuff we’ve done and miscellaneous shenaniganery.”

— K&K Learn French, “Discover the French you don’t learn in class with Katia and Kyliemac. Everyday French expressions, how to use them and when not to!”

— and K&K Tourist Tips, “Bite-sized tourist tips with k&k, served weekly, designed to help you avoid international diplomatic incidents. The stuff you should know when travelling (or things we wish WE knew before we left).”

The website is like a big, giant bag of M&Ms where you can reach in and grab a handful of goodies! Please visit it, and download a couple of podcasts onto your MP3 device or smart phone. They are on iTunes, too. Give ‘em a listen as you houseclean! You’ll love it. It makes the drudgery FLY by with great pleasure!

They are also present on Facebook at the Katia and Kyliemac Empire, and as mentioned before, on Twitter.

In fact, why don’t you run over to their Facebook fan page or onto Twitter and wish them a very happy podcastiversary today? (How about via the tweet button below?! I’m not around to tweet about this myself, so if you had fun reading, send a tweet from the tweet button under this post and include @katiakyliemac and let them know you have appreciated the interview.)

And, if you would like to know even MORE about the origins of the podcast, please check out Episode 300 where they reminisce about the previous 299 episodes and are interviewed by Frog With(out) a Blog, aka “Froprah” in the episode, who asks them similar kinds of questions as I have in this post. I was really informed and entertained by that epi! Check it out.

So that’s all I have to say about that. Thanks for reading. I’ll be returning to post more in September, reorganized for the “rentrée,” which is what they call back-to-school mode here in France, and which has always felt to me a bit like the true New Year when things really start over.

This is Katia, Kyliemac, and Karin, an alien parisienne, signin’ off.


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6 thoughts on “Special Report: Happy Birthday, K&K Podcast!

  1. ken

    Very clever (and tech savvy) to have a timed posting.

    I like the idea of podcast as I could realy tap into the flow of conciousness that is ideas instead of interupting that flow with the process of writing things down. It would be even better with a partner to bounce things off of as I am more reactionary that proactive. The other advantage over text is that one can convey “flavor” and in that I mean sarcasm oftimes just doesn’t translate well in text. Truth is that I am a multi-media fan at heart. Why choose, when you can have it all? Voice, text, video, interactivity, technology affords us wonderful things (and I am a greedy SOB).

    LOL @ roughing it. It seems my great grandfather’s place in Arkansas got indoor plumbing just AFTER our visit.

    “Kyliemac… a native Michigander… finished a “Licence” (a three-year French degree, roughly equivalent to the Amercan Bachelor’s degree) in English at the Sorbonne Nouvelle the year prior.” and the irony of an american getting a degree in english from a french university isn’t one of your burning questions?

    “I’d have to say one of the most unusual adventures we’ve had is one of our more recent ones, when we went to a snail farm. This was both a educational and terrifying experience because it is the first (and so far only) interview that we’ve conducted entirely in French.”

    One of the little details I like to point out when doing habitat restoration here on the california coast is the snail shells often found in our fields. California snails have very thin and brittle shells that seldom last long after the demise of their occupant, but the shells we find are very thick and old. I tell the kids that is because they are french escargot snails that were farmed here for the very rich who would dine in what was a remote resort-like place (it only had a narrow gauge railroad for access at the time).Seeing these shells constantly has made me wonder about the farming process (I had heard somewhere that they have a special grain diet), so it does not please me all that much that this interview was entirely in french. Maybe there is a text version translated to english in existence somewhere?

    I notice that David Lebovitz is on their guest list. Is there anywhere he isn’t??

    ” when we do have guests on the show, we get to meet with them in person and have a real conversation – not just on the show ”
    I can really get behind this, great to meet interesting people face-to-face, but technology can afford so much more. I am reminded of those viral videos where musicians from all over the world jam together on one song thanks to software that allows for real-time recording like that. This very same software could be used (or one could even use Skype as the news-agencies do, but that software still isn’t as smooth as what was in those videos)for the same purpose. This increases the scope of the interview possabilities world-wide (as long as they agree and the equipment can be shipped, set up, ect…), ok yeah, this is why news-agencies use Skype…

  2. Hi Karin,
    Nice to read a looong post of yours again! I can see you are back to normal.
    Fun article.
    Keep well,
    DeeBee :)))))

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  4. Love it, love it, love it!

    Enjoy the rest of your stay across the pond, and see you soon!

  5. Hi everybody! Thank you for your comments, and I’ll reply in more detail after Friday the 26th, when we are back in Paris. I’m at Paul’s sister’s home in Lake Anne, MI, and have to rush out the door for a shopping expedition now, but wanted to stop in to thank you while I had a moment. 🙂

    Thanks, and see you back here very soon!

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