My Shadow

Uh. Hi. Yeah, so it’s been a while. Sorry about that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog, this blog, and blogging in general. Although I haven’t been writing on here nearly as often as I’d like, I have been busy with microblogging on Tumblr and Twitter.

Why is that? Well, I’ve been fortunate to have a ton of actual paying work (LOL), and don’t have the mental acuity necessary to write the epic posts I’d like to think are the signature of this blog. But when I’m transitioning from task to task during my work day, I hop online and check out what’s going on. Microblogging allows me to post pictures, articles, quotes and videos quickly – whether for their own sake, or to remember for ideas for longer posts.

But, I miss being over here. So, I’m thinking about turning Miss Expatria into a hybrid of microblogging and macroblogging. I’m not sure what this will do for my subscribers – sometimes I can post as many as ten microposts a day, which I would imagine could become spammy for inboxes everywhere – but I’d like to hear what you think about this. Because I don’t want a month or more to go by without contributing to this amazing thing I’ve built here.

In other newsy news:

1. Some U.S. dirtbag debt collector is making my life hell. More than that, and ten times worse, is it’s making my mother’s life hell, as she is the one getting phone calls and scary-looking documents. The kicker is, I’m almost positive I paid it off – like, two years ago. Of course, all of my paperwork is in France. And I’m in Italy. Loyal reader, aunt and attorney KH is going to get this cleared up right quick, though.

I think I’m going to do an interview with someone who is an expert in this field, particularly with expats, as it’s something that can happen to the best of us. If by “best of us” I mean “people like me who really, really suck at finances even though they seem to have their act together in every other aspect of their lives.”

2. I’ve procured a ticket to TBEX 2010, being held this year in New York at the end of June. This is the second year of its existence. I distinctly remember watching it on live streaming last year, and was crushed I couldn’t be there. All of my travel writing idols and Internet friends were there. I think it’s an incredible opportunity to meet people who have the same driving passion as I do about travel.

Of course, I have no idea how I’m going to swing the exorbitant plane ticket to be there. But I am determined to make it so. (If anyone would like to sponsor me, now’s the time to speak up, yo.)

3. An old friend from back in my ad agency days contacted me with a favor to ask: Her daughter was doing a variation of a “Flat Stanley” project for school; could she send me “Shadow Mia” and maybe take some pictures of where I live? A few days letter, a large black paper cut-out the size of Mia turned up in my mailbox – and she traveled with me from Montpellier to Rome before I sent her back. To take a look at the trip, check out the quick blog I made for her.

4. Yeah, hi, I’m in Rome! And I took my cousin Kevin to eat at the Meatball Palace! And the Meatball Lady was actually sweet and lovely! And I’ve been feted by the Gay Mafia upon my grand return. All’s well. Cal and I have decided that I need to come here more often, for shorter lengths of time, for the sake of my own sanity. We’re not a 24/7 couple; but as two freelance writers living and working together, we kind of have to be. So, he goes to Madrid for long weekends to stay sane, and I take 17-hour train trips to Rome.

5. Yes, 17 hours. Four trains. There’s just no other way.

6. I had a phone date with my beloved MK over the weekend. She is a true travel addict. We sounded like two junkies looking to score, talking about all the places we’ve been together and separately, our plans for future travel together and separately, and what we could both do for a living that basically would pay us to travel and be fabulous all the time. More on this in a later post.

7. West Coast Gay Mafia Don SuperMatt recently wrote about how astounding it must be to live in a place that forces one to come in frequent contact with very, very old things. I’ve been musing about this, as I believe it does change the way someone views life. More on this in a later post.

So, that’s all for today, class. Please, let me know how you would feel about the following:

  • More frequent posts
  • Multiple posts per day (if I promise not to inundate you)
  • Posts only tangentially related to travel
  • Posts comprised solely of photos, videos or quotes, without much or any editorial from me

I’d love to hear your opinion on this. I EXPECT LOTS OF COMMENTS. Ha!


27 thoughts on “My Shadow

  1. I think all of the above work fine. I am really into your blog, your posts, your photos, your commentary, your rambling, all of the above. Keep it up!

  2. I need help. I have been meaning to email you and a few others (Rubber Slippers In Italy, Bleeding Espresso) for quite some time, and have been stumbling and tripping over the wording, and how I would present myself. I guess I just decided to take the plunge. I am warning you, I am about to overload you with information. A year ago my wife went to University in Ferrara, outside of Bologna. She graduated in December with a degree in linguistics, specializing in Italian. She is now applying for a masters program that begins in the fall. Hopefully she gets accepted. When she was there studying last year, I met her there, proposed to her there, and absolutely fell in love with the people, the sounds, the smells, the food, and the lifestyle. I had never been outside of France in Europe. We would like to make the move whether she is accepted or not. We desperately need help. I guess what I am looking for, is someone to hold my hand and guide me through it. I have no idea where to even begin. or if it is even possible. When we first met we were blinded by “love” and we were very stupid. We quit our jobs and bought plane tickets the next day. Obviously that didn’t work out. 4 years later, we want to do it the right way. Can you help? I am ten years older than her, so she is having a hard time understanding why I am worried about losing our savings and everything we have worked for. Both of us feel in our hearts that we belong there. We are not meant to be in Denver, and everyday that we are here, is a day less that we are there. I appreciate any help, tips, pointers, or whatever you are willing to do to help make our dream come true. Please feel free to email me.

  3. I have a deep, unreasonably intense love for Italy and all things Italian, and am constantly scouring the internets for anything I can find, which is how I came across your lovely little blog.

    Then (alas!) just as I found your blog, you left! So I am thrilled that you are back, in any capacity. All the things you are suggesting would work for me.


    • See, that’s what I like to hear! I’m sorry I left just as you got here – I shall not abandon you again!

  4. I first went to Italy at least in part to escape my U.S. creditors. Tell them vanno all’ diavolo.

    You made it from Madrid to Rome in 17 hours? Took me 3 1/2 days!

    It was the last weekend of bullfighting season, and it took me a while to get trains out of Spain.

    Then I spent the night in Barcelona, Montpelier, and Genova.

    Went on from Rome all the way to Trapani, all the way around the (Mediterranean) horn.

    Great trip. Had una siciliana aspettando per mi alla fina. 🙂

    Ciao, ciao,


    Love the photo. Lovely girl. Do not think I could use a manual (typewriter) anymore.

    • That pic is of the fantastic Ava Gardner, who I imagine I look like when I’m not able to see my own reflection in a mirror.

      I made it from Montpellier (the other place I live) to Rome in 17 hours. From Madrid… I’d fly LOL.

      I looooooove Trapani, and the Egadi islands. I want to live on Levanzo for one year.

      • Ava Gardner is on my list (it’s a long one) of Loveliest in the Movies, for The Killers (1946) and, eighteen years later, for Night of the Iguana (1964).

        She is eclipsed in length of service (pardon the expression) on the list only by

        Jennifer Connelly — Once Upon A Time In America (1983) through The House of Sand and Fog (2003);

        Genevieve Bujold — King of Hearts (1966) through Dead Ringers (1988);

        Meryl Streep — The Deer Hunter (1978) through The Devil Wears Prada (2006, I think).

        I’m all for getting married and staying, but how Frank Sinatra could have resisted La Gardner is beyond me.

    • That’s a great idea – not surprising, coming from you darling. I may do that. Maybe with links to the Tumblr stuff? That might get annoying though. I’ve been playing around with WP “Press This” but I feel like I’m cheating on Tumblr. LOL

      I hope we will be seeing each other!! You coming down at some point? If not, maybe I could stop and visit on my lengthy trek back to Montpel?

      I have to make TBEX happen. But the tickets in high summer… are KILLING ME.

  5. Love you and will take everything you are willing to throw out there. Please come to NY, I would love to come and see you and stay at some lovely hotel and EAT EAT EAT.

  6. In response to your request about what we’d like to see you blog, I enjoy whatever you post, whatever the subject. Blogs, the anti-tweet, but quite a treat. 🙂

    • I do feel that each platform has its place, but I would love to incorporate all of that here – and then “feed” them to the proper platform afterward? I DON’T KNOW!

  7. More frequent posts – Definitely
    Multiple posts per day – Not on your life (and not in mine)
    Posts only tangentially related to travel – Great. I lcve to be led astray.
    Posts comprised solely of photos, videos or quotes, without much or any editorial from me – Fine

    Sylvia and I lived in Montpellier in 1987-88 and enjoyed life like never before. We’ve only been in Rome for 2-3 days at a time, so we’re going back for a couple of weeks in May. We’ll stay in a B&B in Trastevere. Guidebooks say that mugging is a problem at night there. Should we believe them?

    • Ha, thanks for the line by line opinions, I love it.

      Montpellier is a wonderful place… it’s just not for me. Eh, it happens.

      Re Trastevere, mugging is not a huge problem. Whatever problem it is, is because there is a high concentration of Erasmus students there, who tend to be drunk a lot, and probably are sloppy with their possessions walking home at night; also, they are seen as “rich Americans” by muggers, I would think.

      I do sometimes get a sketchy vibe from Trastevere at night, but if you’re even a little bit street smart you will be absolutely FINE.

  8. Anything you write I want to read, blog away. Pics – yes, more of them. I have no idea what micro or macro blogging is and my brain has no room for knowing it but if you write it, it will be read by me! Love you

  9. MORE POSTS, for sure. Big posts, small posts, big subjects, small subjects, I’m hungry for all of it. I want to hear your take on things, read your perspective of what you find.

    BRING IT, I say.

  10. Bring it on! Ant time, as many as you want. There will always be open welcoming arms (and eyes) for anything you send.

  11. I have missed your posts and pictures so would like to see a blog entry a week. With our slow internet it is hard to view someone’s ‘flicker’ account or whatever so be an editor and do one post a week with good pics. And make sure to squeeze in a visit the farm before we leave in September. Do you and Cal want to pick and move to it? It might be available.

    • I would love to, but Cal would wither up and die in such a location. Ha! Actually, being a city girl my entire adult life, I don’t know how well I’d fare, either. But I definitely want to visit, you’re moving???

  12. SOOOO Glad you’re back! Don’t you know you are our vicarious selves? I so look forward to travelling and experiencing all the beauty and wonder that is your life!! Don’t get me wrong, OC is great, but, hey, you are in France and ITALY too. So jealous and so appreciative! Love your life!! We should all be so lucky, but until we are, keep ’em coming!

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