Birthday Suit


5/20/16 - Happy birthday CYG! It’s our second anniversary and we’re (still) celebrating Blac Chyna, (still) fearing menstrual sponges, and sending shine to our listeners and guests.

Transcript below.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Spotify.


Producer: Gina Delvac

Hosts: Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman

Theme song: Call Your Girlfriend by Robyn

Visual Creative Director: Kenesha Sneed

Merch Director: Caroline Knowles

Ad sales: Midroll


Blac Chyna taking the whole Kardashian pie


Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.

Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Aminatou: I'm Aminatou Sow.

Ann: And I'm Ann Friedman.

Aminatou: I almost said "I'm Ann Friedman" just because I hear you say it all the time.

Ann: I mean . . . 

[Clips from past episodes repeating on top of each other]

On this week's agenda -- on the agenda this week -- Amina's amazing meeting with the notorious RBG, how to start a long-distance friendship.

Ann: Hey, happy anniversary, boo!

Aminatou: Oh, oh! Two years, girl!

[Theme Song]

Ann: Ugh, what do you give for a two-year anniversary? Is it like paper or something?

Aminatou: I think it's like paper or plastic.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Or wood. 24 months of consistently doing a podcast.

Ann: For a digital product paper is a rather interesting anniversary gift. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I expect a very nice print from you.

Ann: Ooh, good thinking. Okay. Or maybe like a set of calling cards? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Something like that. Just say it was a gift. [Laughs]

Ann: I'm just going to start singing "Looks like we made it." Some sort of -- like what is the ultimate anniversary thing we could be doing right now? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my gosh. Well one, we're sorely overdue for a trip so we should go celebrate somewhere, like duh. Also, I don't know. I'm very proud of us.

Ann: Can you believe we actually stuck with this?

Aminatou: You know, I can believe it because Gina made it happen. [Laughs]

Ann: Oh my god, it is true. The glue that holds this podcast together.

Aminatou: I 100% believe that it's why the trains are still running.


Ann: Here's a question for you: when we record the podcast do you actually picture lots of people listening? Or do you not think about that?

Aminatou: No, you know? Since we're doing this startup-style let's just bare our souls about making the thing, I will say the most surprising thing to me about making this podcast is that people who are not our friends listen to it.

Ann: [Laughs] It's true, although those people feel like our friends, right? They feel like they know us. That's the weird thing about it.

Aminatou: No, I know. But I'm just like you people have so much time. There's no obligation. There's so many of you. Every time we run down the analytics or somebody will come up to us on the street or whatever I'm always like you're such a beautiful human being. Why are you wasting your time listening to the podcast? [Laughs]

Ann: Stop. Listening to us shoot the shit in our closets?

Aminatou: I know! It's just, you know, I'm not trying to be self-deprecating or whatever. That has been very surprising to me. I thought we would make this thing and a couple of our friends would listen to it and it would be fun, because more than anything I enjoy making it. I think that part of the reason that it's been so fun to make, and honestly that it has been successful in the mainstream -- LOLs -- is the fact that we didn't set out to make an incredible podcast.

Ann: Right. We had very low ambitions. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh yeah, we had the lowest ambitions. I'm like let's see if we can do this again next week.

Ann: Oh my god, yeah, it's true. Can we show up consistently? The answer is yes.

Aminatou: It's been fun. Are you still having fun?

Ann: Obviously, although it always amuses me when people do not believe -- people will ask "Oh, where do you guys record? What's your setup?" And I'm like no, no, I'm not joking. I'm actually in my closet when we do this. Like people think it's some kind of conceit, like we're super home-made. But we're very scrappy. I'm very proud of that about us.

Aminatou: Yeah, I know. I don't even think it's a conceit as much as it's a necessity.

Ann: It's a reality, yeah.


Aminatou: [Laughs] And, you know, shout out to all those people who are produced to within an inch of their lives, like go into studios and do all of that stuff. I don't have time for that in my life.

Ann: It's true. Also shout out to the people who email us five months after an episode to make a point about something we talked about back then. I appreciate your tenacity.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Like episode two.

Ann: You were totally wrong. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Yeah, you know, I think that has also been really interesting, the relationship with the inbox and how much anxiety and joy it brings at the same time.

Ann: How completely overwhelming it is.

Aminatou: Yeah. For me that's always the reminder that other people listen to this thing, you know? And they're like "Hi, you misspoke about XYZ. You said this person's name wrong." Or -- I'm going to stop complaining, because if we're really honest most of it is praise and just very, very, very kind words. And that I think is more overwhelming to me than anything else.

Ann: It's true. I want to especially shout out the older listeners that we have who always preface their emails by saying "I know you don't make this podcast for me, you make it for younger people, but I listen and I enjoy it." I'm like it's for you too!

Aminatou: No, we make it for you!

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: In fact we make it only for you.

Ann: Target demo.

Aminatou: I know, my target demo is a 63-year-old woman wearing cotton everything right now.

Ann: Yeah, only natural fabrics.

Aminatou: Yeah, wearing natural fabrics, drinking Rose on a dock and thinking about the joint that she has stashed somewhere in her beach house.

Ann: In her bra more likely. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Exactly. That's our core demo.

Ann: Oh, what a dream.

Aminatou: It's been also funny to see how the podcast has changed. I tried listening to our pilot episode. I'm going to tell you now don't do that.

Ann: Wow, you're a braver woman than I am.

Aminatou: Oh yeah, no, I tried listening to it. Literally ten minutes in and I was like no thank you. I'm getting off this ride right now.

Ann: Oh, I haven't even tried. I have a hard enough time just trying to listen to us in real-time or listen to episodes as they come out.

Aminatou: I know, I can't do that. And people will quote things back to us and I'm like what are you talking about? And I'm like oh, I guess one of us said that. [Laughs]


Ann: It's true, I pretty much instantly forget. There's like a few -- you've had a few true gems that I can recall. I mean I'm still thinking about trading Jack White for The Weekend in the racial draft. I continue to think about that and think about what that would be like and what other trades we would make. You know, things like that.

Aminatou: Yeah, we can talk about the trades offline but I'll tell you I have many people I want to give to your people.

Ann: Too hot for the air.

Aminatou: Too hot for the podcast.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: What else? What else?

Ann: I don't know. I also think that I am proud of us for sticking through all of our technical woes. I feel like we actually have fewer of them now. Maybe I'm wrong here, but remember? I don't know. We had a solid, oh, the first year-and-a-half where we had to re-record half of our episodes.

Aminatou: Really? I don't remember the re-recording as much as it just takes us 20 minutes to get into gear every time.

Ann: Oh my god, you don't remember "Oh, shit, my computer ate the whole file?" Like I remember that. We've both done that.

Aminatou: Probably. No, you're right, I've probably just blocked it. But also, you know, it's like two years in and every time I plug this thing in I'm like is this going to work? Is this working now? Can you hear me? What's going on?

Ann: Right. It's true.


[Clips from old episodes overlapping]

Aminatou: Let me adjust my filter real quick.

Ann: I'm recording. I'm recording.

Aminatou: I'm recording.

Ann: Fuck.

Aminatou: Do you want me to do the intro? Hello?

Ann: Can you hear me?

Aminatou: It sounds good now. Okay, let's try it again.

Ann: All right, welcome to Call Your Girlfriend, a pod . . .

Aminatou: A podcast . . .

Ann: Take it from the top.

Aminatou: I have that five-minute panic of "Did I record this?"

Ann: I'm hitting record.

Aminatou: Hi, Gina! Pow-pow-pow!

Ann: I'm already scared of our technical problems montage.


Ann: I also haven't checked in with people in the iTunes comments who dislike the way we talk. Have not checked in with those people in a while. Don't know if they're still going wrong or what.

Aminatou: Yeah, I don't know. I don't really read reviews even though you should keep leaving them. [Laughs] But I definitely -- I don't know, I think I still get a steady amount of mail from people who tell me they hate how I talk which honestly makes me a little happy, you know? I'm an ESL student. I didn't learn English until I was 15. My parents paid a lot of money for this accent so as far as I'm concerned what I give you is what you get.

Ann: You know what you should do with those people if they email you? You should reply and be like "Cool, thanks for your feedback. I would like you to record a podcast in a language that you did not begin learning until age 15 or later and please submit it to me for my review. I would love to judge your accent. All best, Aminatou."

Aminatou: [Laughs] I know. Those people annoy me. The other kind of person that annoys me, although granted I've gotten very few of these emails, but I've gotten them enough that I remember, are the people who will email me specifically -- and I don't know why me, not like the CYG inbox or you -- to tell me that we need to feature more black voices. [Laughs]

Ann: Oh, that's crazy. I have not gotten any of those just to me.

Aminatou: My response to those people is always Google me, please. I don't have time for this.

Ann: Right. You're like I'm a black voice, hello.

Aminatou: [Laughs] I'm like I'm sorry, I'm a black voice. This is a black podcast. We own Black History Month. Get out of my face.

Ann: I can't. I really . . . yeah.

Aminatou: It's crazy. It's so crazy. But you know what? So it's been fun. Even though we started out doing this thing and I thought that it would be you, me, and Gina working on a weird thing, and now it's like tens of thousands of our closest friends. [Laughs]


Ann: It's true. When you said just you, me, and Gina . . .

Aminatou: Oh, no, hundreds of thousands of our closest friends.

Ann: Oh, I know. So many. So, so many. Well do you want to do a little Wayne's World time hop through history?

Aminatou: Yes, please guide me. Hold my hand and guide me.

Ann: Okay. So just a couple of moments . . . first is menstrual sponges I believe.

Aminatou: Oh my god. 

[Clip Starts]

Aminatou: They're advocating buying this on Etsy. You know I love Etsy as a platform but I am not putting anything in my vagina that comes from an artisanal shop. No thank you.

Ann: I'm sure there are all kinds of artisanal things for your vagina on Etsy. I'm sure that's a whole subcategory.

Aminatou: Yeah, and they're not fucking FDA approved. That's for sure.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: People are being reckless with their vaginas out here.

Ann: I feel like given my track record for replacing kitchen sponges, which is not as bad as some roommates I've had in the past but is not anything I'm proud of, any kind of sponge-based contraceptive or menstrual I'm just a little not into.

Aminatou: I've been watching a lot of period dramas right now and any time anybody has sex this is all I can think of. I'm just like what are you doing for contraception? What are you doing for menstruation? You live in the worst time in the world. Stop this. And this just seems to me like something -- like sponges are shit that people in the medieval pages would put in their bodies because we hadn't invented tampons yet.

Ann: Well, also all medieval sex, clearly withdraw method, right? Like contraceptively-speaking.

Aminatou: Oof. Not according to Hollywood.

Ann: [Laughs] Maybe they just . . . 

Aminatou: Get out of there! Get out of there! Get out of there now! [Laughs]

[Clip Ends]

Aminatou: Ann, that was maybe the most controversial moment in Call Your Girlfriend history.


Ann: A lot of outraged reader mail about us disdaining natural sea sponges.

Aminatou: But in very classic hippy-dippy feminist fashion it happened months after the episode aired. [Laughs]

Ann: Okay, I'm not going to hate on anyone for being late listening to a podcast because lord knows I am.

Aminatou: But it was late enough that it was like I have forgotten about this, and I remember I was sitting around at work and friend-of-the-podcast Dori Schrafeer (?) texts me and goes "Oh my god, you are involved in a controversy on the Internet." And that's literally my biggest fear. And she sent me screenshots of this page on Instagram that was literally like "Write these women. Tell them that they don't know anything about sponges and this is not okay." And you know us. We spend a lot of time on the Internet. We know how Internet controversy starts. And I was terrified. I was like this is the moment where they pull the plug. This is it. This is it. Should've never said anything about sea sponges.

Ann: But the great thing is there is no they to pull the plug. It's just us.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And obviously we're a united front on not buying any kind of thing to put in your vagina on Etsy. We all agree and we own the podcast so . . .

Aminatou: I know! You know what? And then on that Flash Forward podcast that Rose Eveleth -- I hope I'm saying her name right -- hosts, she had a whole episode around menstruation and menstrual accessories and confirmed the fact that sea sponges are maybe not okay.

Ann: Controversial. I wonder what her inbox looked like.

Aminatou: I know. I mean I was scared for her. I was like sponge Internet is going to come for you. And here's the thing about everything that we say on this show. One, we're not your fucking doctor or OBGYN.

Ann: We're not even your WebMD.

Aminatou: We're not even your WebMD. We're not even judging what you put in your own body. Just rely on the strengths of your own conviction. If you're okay putting a thing that you buy from Etsy into your body, that's cool. I'm not going to do it and you shouldn't tell me to shut up because I don't believe that.


Ann: I also feel it overstates the power that we have. It's like listen, if somebody is a devoted sponge user they've really leapt through some hoops already to get there and we are not changing their minds, right? Like go for it.

Aminatou: Ann, these people call this the media. We're part of the problem. [Laughs] And I was like what? That's a thing honestly that will never . . . it's both shocking/will never get old for me, is people who are like "But you have this big platform and you say things." I'm like I'm literally sitting in my closet drinking whiskey in a very disheveled way right now. If you think that I have the power to move all of this stuff, that's on you, not me.

Ann: I mean context is everything, right? We did not write a faux-reported let's talk to a scientist thing where we were like never use a sea sponge. The two of us were like eww, don't want to do it. Very different context.

Aminatou: Exactly. So I feel like we're reopening the wound all over again.

Ann: Oh my god, I know. It's true. Although, okay, basically just we were right. That's the takeaway from that one. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Exactly, we were right. Just look up some research. My god. But if it works for you, good for you.

[Music and Ads]


Aminatou: Honestly I don't even remember how we ended up talking about Blac Chyna on the show. Well, I know why, because I'm obsessed with the Kardashians. But . . .

Ann: I believe I asked you to explain to me the historic -- that's how that started. I was like please explain to me the beef. Step-by-step, what happened first?

Aminatou: Let's start way back. When. . In 2007, 2008, Kanye West, a rapper, now a Kardashian, started dating this beautiful woman named Amber Rose. [Music] Amber Rose is awesome. She's a feminist. She's so down for a lot of lady causes and she was his muse.

Ann: She's also sharp as a fucking tack, it should be noted.

Aminatou: Oh yeah. So Kanye and Amber date for like two years, very tumultuous. When it ends he writes an entire album about her, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Important Amina/Ann album. [Laughs]

Ann: So much drunk dancing to that album.

Aminatou: Oh, like I can't even start. It's all about Amber Rose. So it's like listen to it to get in the mood. So Kanye and Amber break up. Amber starts dating this rapper called Wiz Khalifa who has some hits but mostly is popular for being the second coming of Snoop Dogg and how much pot he smokes.


Ann: Yeah, he's like a pot GIF icon on Tumblr.

Aminatou: Amber and Wiz are married for like two years and then got divorced I think in 2014 because of cheating, but anyway, pause. Pause on that relationship. In the meantime Kanye West had a kid and married Kim Kardashian-West. [Music] The whole thing is just a beautiful affair. Concurrently happening, Blac Chyna who is a model and eyelash entrepreneur is dating this rapper named Tyga who we don't like but they have a son together named King Cairo. King Cairo and Bash are like besties.


Ann: Also Amber and Blac Chyna, besties.

Aminatou: Yes, Amber and Blac Chyna are besties. But plot twist, in this era Blac Chyna and Kim are besties. So anyway, Blac Chyna and Tyga break up. And even after the break-up Blac Chyna and Kim are really good friends. There's much Instagram, taking pictures of their butts side-by-side and trips to Paris. When Tyga and Blac Chyna break up he starts dating Kim's little sister Kylie Jenner. Kylie is a minor. Tyga is not. 

Earlier last year Amber goes on this show called The Breakfast Club, talks about Tyga and Kylie, and she makes the observation that Kylie's underage. I think she said something like "Kylie's a baby. She needs to go to bed at 7 and relax. Why is Tyga -- why did he leave his girlfriend and baby to be with a 16-year-old?"

Days after Amber's interview Kanye also goes on the aforementioned Breakfast Club and he talks about his relationship with Amber and he says this really awful thing about how he had to take 30 showers after being with Amber to get with Kim which is awful. And Amber, she defends herself. She slips in a couple of shots at Kim. Like she's obviously hurt but she still says that she used to love him so she's not going to talk shit about him and then also famously tells him that she's not going to humiliate him because the Kardashians will humiliate him when they're done with him.


Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Again foreshadowing.

Ann: Too real.

Aminatou: Anyway, Amber and Blac Chyna have like the best friendship. They keep going to award shows. They wear matching outfits, like at the VMAs they wore the one that has all the derogatory stuff about women on their bodies. Amber hosts a slut walk in LA. It was amazing. You know, the entire Internet is there for her. At the slut walk she famously forgives Kanye for what he said about her. Everybody is like okay, everything is fine. I'm sorry this is taking so long but I had to give you the entire background to this crazy story.

Ann: I am living for this right now. Do not apologize.

Aminatou: And then what happens this week? Blac Chyna Instagrams a picture of herself and there's like a man's arm around her body. The entire Internet full of investigators like me noticed that that arm that is around her, the tattoo looks very similar to one Robert Arthur Kardashian.

Ann: [Gasps]

Aminatou: Brother of Kim, Khloe, Kylie, and the rest of the family. So Blac Chyna is hanging out with Rob. So remember Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose's ex-boyfriend?

Ann: Barely, but yes. [Laughs]


Aminatou: So Wiz says on his Twitter, he's like "Hit this KK and become yourself." Anybody who peripherally follows Wiz knows that KK is Khalifa Kush. It's like his brand of weed or whatever. Kanye interprets KK to be Kim Kardashian.

Ann: Because he's paranoid?

Aminatou: Because he's paranoid and he's crazy. All of these tweets are now deleted but he went on this crazy rant and was like "Don't put my wife's initials on Twitter, Wiz Khalifa." Whatever.

Ann: [Laughs]


Aminatou: Ann, seriously the rant was like 20 tweets.

Ann: I know!

Aminatou: He says to Wiz, he says "You let a stripper trap you." The stripper is their mutual ex Amber Rose.

Ann: Bad choices, Kanye. More bad choices.

Aminatou: Bad choices. And he even has a dig against the kid in there. Surprising to me, Wiz Khalifa takes the high road and he's like "KK's a weed." He's like "I'm just stepping out of this."



Aminatou: And then Kanye realizes that he's made a mistake and he's like "Please excuse the confusion."

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: You think the whole thing is over, but that's when Amber Rose who is like a stealth Twitter ninja fighter steps into the ring at this point and goes -- in fact I'm just going to read it. She goes "Aww," at Kanye West, "are you mad I'm not around to play in your asshole anymore? #fingersinthebootyassbitch." And then the index finger up emoji.

[Clip Ends]

Aminatou: No, you're right. That was how it happened. But I was really surprised at how people really took to it. That's like one thing that I feel gets referenced all the time and it makes me laugh so hard.

Ann: I don't know. There are not that many good, reliable sources for a comprehensive timeline of stuff like this. Like it's kind of scattered around gossip Internet and Instagram and now there's starting to be more journalism that's like okay, if you're just tuning in, there is that recent long BuzzFeed piece about Blac Chyna that kind of functions the same way. It's like look, this is who she is. This is what she's been up to. This is why she's important. I don't know, this is the kind of thing that people -- journalists have not taken seriously in a long-term way.

Aminatou: You know, that's fair. I'm just so happy for her. I hope the baby is a real baby and not a hoax baby. I'm like good for you, you're taking the entire Kardashian pie and not just a piece of the slice. Good for you.

Ann: Here's a question for you: have they started saying her name on the show yet? Because I was watching episodes from a couple of months ago when I was on a plane recently and . . .


Aminatou: They haven't said her name specifically but they have mentioned her because she did a very disrespectful thing to Kris recently and Kim was not having it.

Ann: And so she called her by name? Because before on the show, right, they were just like "Oh, she, blah, blah, blah." It was always kind of implied.

Aminatou: I mean there's literally only been, in the timeline of the show, she could only have been mentioned like twice.

Ann: Oh wow, so I was watching a current episode. Who knew? I always just assume I'm behind. [Laughs]

Aminatou: No, you're watching the current season of Kardashians. She was never mentioned before even though her and Kim were really good friends.

Ann: Okay.

Aminatou: Yeah, no, this season of Kardashians is kind of . . . it's mind-blowing. It's mind-blowing because it's so close to all of the tabloid stuff you're reading. I'm like some people have sports. This is what I have.

Ann: I think that's why I was confused. I just assumed that I'm watching it late, like I'm consuming everything behind the curve when it comes to the Kardashians. And so to be like oh, wow, this is actually happening in real-time is sort of trippy.

Aminatou: Yeah, you basically have like six weeks from when it goes from Daily Mail into the show so that's a good way . . .

Ann: That's like the full Kardashian media arc?

Aminatou: Exactly. There's this woman on -- I think it's one of the Gawker sites who does the Keeping Up with Kontinuity Errors, Kontinuity with a K, where she goes and matches up every scene of every episode with the tabloid episode that it's part of and shows you just how the editing is just masterful and very deceiving on the show.

Ann: Wow. I think we should add an editor from the Kardashians on our bucket list of interviews.

Aminatou: Oh my god, yeah, no. Look this up. I think it's on Jezebel. It might've been on Defamer before, Keeping Up with Kontinuity Errors. You will die. It's incredible.


Ann: Right. And speaking about our meta convo about this being a milestone show, I feel like one thing I have been so pleasantly surprised by is people write us all the time and say "Thank you for talking about the Kardashians alongside the Supreme Court alongside other stuff in the news."

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: No, but I've come to recognize that as a real value we provide as opposed to just a thing that happens.

Aminatou: You know, that's fair, but I guess you're talking about my real life, not a service I provide. So far as I'm concerned . . .

Ann: Listen, your real life is a service through this podcast. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god. I'm like listen, if you get me you're definitely going to get Kardashian talk. It's incredible.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: I do. I really do appreciate that. I think that most people are pleasantly surprised that we talk about the high and the low. I think pop culture is very important. If anything it's the prism through which I see the world.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: Thomas Friedman should write a book about that.

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: Instead of all of his garbage taxi driver fake stories.

Ann: Right. It's all like celebrity gossip bloggers instead of taxi drivers.

Aminatou: Right? I'm like please, how Kim Kardashian explains the world, I would read that.

Ann: Please. That is a book you were meant to write. Why are you not on the horn to a literary agent right now writing that book?

Aminatou: Oh my god. Well you know what happened very recently is Iran . . . Iran is always doing too much. They accused Kim of being a secret agent for Instagram.

Ann: I mean this is so geopolitical.

Aminatou: It really is, you know? And she does so much for people to recognize the Armenian genocide. Kim Kardashian should be a UN peacekeeping ambassador. People keep focusing on Angelina Jolie and all of her good works which are incredible but I think that it's high time that we give Kim credit.

Ann: I want you to write this book. I want to read this book.

Aminatou: Oh my god, Ann, you're right. Maybe this is my life's work is how Kim Kardashian explains . . .


Ann: I'm going to Obama inauguration you. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Write the Kim Kardashian book.

Aminatou: [Laughs] We are the ones we've been waiting for. Oh my god you are so ridiculous.

Ann: I mean just put it on the list. Add it to the list.

Aminatou: You are so ridiculous. This is a very ridiculous aside but I don't know if you've noticed my new Twitter avatar. It's my favorite picture in the whole land.

Ann: Oh my god, how recent is this?

Aminatou: It's very recent.

Ann: Okay, I haven't really . . . I haven't Twittered hard today. I'm looking.

Aminatou: I'm going to let you discover it for yourself.

Ann: [Laughs] Sad face Barbara Bush and grinning Obama.

Aminatou: I know, I'm like what did he do to her? I don't know why I saw that picture and it made me laugh a lot. It has nothing to do with anything. I just love it a lot. But also it just reminds me how much I'm going to miss the Obamas.

Ann: I was just going to say, I feel like that's the other . . . I feel like that's the next big milestone for this family is end of the Obama presidency.

Aminatou: I'm not ready. I'm very emotionally upset about it, then I'm like what else are we going to talk about on this podcast when Michele Obama is no longer first lady and babe in the White House? Ugh.

Ann: I mean we will have plenty of things to talk about because we will have a new president and I'm confident we can continue to find things to talk about. But I hear you. I hear you.

Aminatou: You're right. You're right. I'm excited about our next president. She's going to do a great job.

Ann: Right. And yeah, the pre-missing Obama is real.

Aminatou: You know? So here are the things that anchor the podcast/our friendship: talking about things on the Internet, talking about pop culture, talking about current events. I feel like almost everything from our real lives translates here in one way or the other.

Ann: It's true. I mean there are definitely . . . there are lots of real things that do not get air time, but let's be real, how could you condense all the real things in your life to an hour anyway? This is like the public-relevant parts of our friendship.

Aminatou: It's true. What's one thing that doesn't get air time that you wish could get air time?


Ann: Oh my god, that I wish could get air time?

Aminatou: Yeah, or that you think would be good if it got air time.

Ann: Oh, different things, because I feel like there are things that I would like to talk about with you at length that I don't think are necessarily scintillating listening.

Aminatou: I know. Give me . . .

Ann: I just love hearing about what you're eating.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And also what luxurious things . . . you're very good at everyday luxury. I really would love like an okay, what have you done for yourself this week that's really nice? Like that is one of your really good skills and I would love to hear more about it.

Aminatou: Oh man, you know, I just got back from the spa so it's really funny that you say that. I'm very relaxed.

Ann: No doubt. I have no doubt you're just back from the spa. Do me a spot.

Aminatou: I'm back from the spa. My nails look amazing. Okay, we'll do that. We'll do more in our check-in of what's going in.

Ann: Opulence check-in.

Aminatou: Yeah, opulence check-in. What have you bought this week?

Ann: Okay, what's one thing you want to talk more about?

Aminatou: Oh man.

Ann: I just spoke from the heart, okay? You've got to speak from the heart.

Aminatou: It's true. It's like you always make really good meals and I'm like talk to me more about what kind of delicious grain bowls you're making.

Ann: Ugh, chickpeas today, girl. So good.

Aminatou: Yeah, you're right. I understand why we think that this is boring.

Ann: It's not that interesting. It's like a thing that . . . this is what we should be texting each other and not talking about on the air, although maybe we can wiggle in a little opulence/grain bowl talk.

Aminatou: Ugh, it's so perfect.

Ann: Like a rapid-fire situation.


Ann: Okay, finally we have to have a major shine theory moment because obviously we do not make the show alone or even the two of us and Gina. We have had tons and tons of fabulous guests in our first two years and I think, do you want to do a roll call?

Aminatou: Oh my god, let's do a roll call. We had Lindsey Weber was our first-ever guest on the show when we had no idea what we were doing.

Ann: Ugh, like praise. Praise to Lindsey Weber. [Horn sound]

Aminatou: I know, Lindsey, thank you for coming and believing in us. And now Lindsey hosts like the hottest podcast on the block, Who? Weekly.

Ann: Ugh, full circle.

Aminatou: We've only ever had two men on the show, two male voices, Cord Jefferson. Like god, that was such a fun episode, remember? We taped that upstate.

Ann: It's true. It's true. It was like honestly too we did not realize how rare -- well, maybe we did -- it would be to have male voices on this podcast, but I'm happy it was Cord.


Aminatou: Right? I'm happy it was him. And for a full year it was just him.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: And he was great. Speaking of opulence and luxury.

Ann: Ugh, yes, a man who understands opulence.

Aminatou: Exactly. He gets it. And then the only other male voice we've ever had on this show is Andrew Golis.

Ann: Right, who dude-splained something for us on request.

Aminatou: I know, like important feminist. Important feminist man who doesn't take space at all. We recommend him. I love those two and it makes me laugh a lot when people pitch us things now, like dude products all the time or like men to come talk on the show. We're like if you listen to the show you would know how rare it was.

Ann: You would know what a reach this is to pitch a man. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Exactly. It's like they literally have to be family.

Ann: Okay, other shout outs. Some of our very best friends have been guests, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, Aren Carmone, Marsha Chatlin, Marissa Miltzer. Like a really good run of core besties.

Aminatou: I know, and some really important ladies to us also, Steph Beatriz, Tavi Gevinson, Heather Havrilesky, Shawnee Hilton, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Dodai Stewart.

Ann: Ugh, Virgie Tovar, Jenna Wortham, Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, Melinda Gates -- what?

Aminatou: Melinda Gates on the podcast. [Laughs]

Ann: Can't believe that happened.

Aminatou: You know what? Shout out to Melinda Gates and Bill Gates.


Ann: I know, the white Bill Gates.

Aminatou: I know. We had Wendy MacNaughton, we had Rebecca Traister who blessed us by having us be a part of her incredible book.

Ann: Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen, Huma -- obviously a huge moment for this podcast . . .

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: Donna Edwards.

Aminatou: Shout out to Huma.

Ann: Donna Edwards, which I don't know if we ever did an update on-air but she ended up losing her primary campaign but I'm very excited for us to check in with her in like six months to a year and find out what's up with her world domination plan.

Aminatou: I know. Oh my god, Maryland, what fools you were not to elect her. But you know what? She's still going to dominate so it feels good. We had Kara Swisher on, a.k.a. my fairy godmother. We had Maria Konnikova on and I'm reading her book right now and it's blowing my mind. And I believe the last guests that we had on here were Heben and Tracey from Another Round.

Ann: Oh my god, what a strong finish.

Aminatou: I know! Two years, lots of friends, lots of LOLs. It's been quite an adventure.

Ann: Oh my god, and like many, many, many -- all the love and everything to Gina Delvac who makes this happen! I know we do not get to talk to Gina all that often but it just goes without saying that every name we just read should've been like "And Gina Delvac. And Gina Delvac."

Aminatou: I know. I wish Gina were sitting in on this session. Gina, tell us what you think about two years of doing the show.

Ann: Seriously, just have like a Gina interlude. We'll wait.

Gina: I mean how I think about doing the show is really simple. It is the highlight of my late Thursday nights every week because I push everything to the deadline to get things done, and the greatest pleasure is just to hear you grow every week. As a producer it's been really amazing to hear what sophisticated hosts you've become in these past two years and that's a talent to be the talent. I don't think everybody knows that it's not as simple as just talking into a microphone sometimes. I certainly don't think so. And then I'd say most of all it sounds corny but to have the pleasure of being in your earbuds on this run or in your car right now, wherever you're listening. Thank you for sharing your kind of personal intimate time with us too.


Aminatou: Okay, boo-boo, this has been such a self-indulgent episode. But you know what? It's fine. It's our show.

Ann: I feel great. Okay, wait, now we're all over the Internet because we've been doing this for two years at, on Twitter at @callyrgf and on Instagram at the same handle, on Facebook -- just search for it -- and on email at

Aminatou: You can subscribe to our banging newsletter The Bleed at and this podcast is produced by Gina Delvac.

Ann: See you on the Internet, boo.

Aminatou: See you on the Internet! Here's to one million more years of podcasting.

Ann: We're just like podcasting while crusty, ancient women. I love it. We're like 90 years old and we're like this is the secret to our success. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Ann, you know I already told you that reading and writing is over. 18 months tops.

Ann: I know, we're going to survive in the post-words economy.

Aminatou: Yeah, this is it. It's like join the movement now. They're going to stop teaching the kids how to write. It's over. 18 months, tops.

Ann: Yeah, this is still early. Board now. Just board right now.

Aminatou: Don't get left behind. It'll be great.