17 September 2006

Taking the plunge

So now I am out here. (There?) And it feels scary. And I have no idea what I shall write about, or how often I will even be able to write. And I probably would not have taken the plunge at all except that Wordgirl, whose writing I so admire, urged me to do this. So here I go (she said, pinching nose shut and jumping in feet first.)

So what does one write in one's very first post? Perhaps I should tell you about the blog title. As stated in my terse profile, I was an ex-pat for many years, during which time I lived in Madrid. Catalina is just the translation of my first name. The vecina part (vecina = neighbor/neighbour) stems from a popular rhyme that goes:

Catalina mi vecina
Mujer de mucho aparato
Que se come la sardina
y la culpla le echa al gato

Roughly translated, it might go like this:

Catherine, my neighbor
Woman of great means
Blames the cat
For eating the sardines

When, of course, it was Catalina who ate them. That's in the original little ditty, but it was hard to work into the translation and still have it rhyme in English. :-)

During my years in Madrid, I worked in a publishing company, amongst other places, and in the early days of doing part-time proof-reading work, it was my boss who used to sing this out every time I waltzed in to pick up the latest proofs. Eventually I wrote textbook material, supervised recording work, and became a full-time editor. But that's another couple of chapters... The point being that the nickname stuck. And as it was a large part of my life and who I am (a re-patriated ex-pat with not a little culture shock, even after almost eight years back in the States), I decided to pay homage to my moniker and name my blog title for that. It will also explain the frequent references to things Spanish, something unavoidable in my life, for I will always have one foot in my beloved Madrid.

P.S. The *handle* Ortizzle is just an extension of my current surname which comes from my husband. Women's rights activists: I took on the surname for professional reasons only, but maintain my maiden name as my legal middle name. (This is also another chapter.)


Nilbo said...

Welcome to Blogworld, Catalina, my neighbour! This will be fun ...

Ortizzle said...

Thank you, Nilbo, from the bottom of my heart, for being the first to welcome a new "neighbour."

Gina said...

Ah-ha! That is why I couldn't find you at first, you didn't have a blog yet! Welcome!

Ortizzle said...

Hi Gina! Yes, it has taken me a while to get rolling. Hope I can do this on a part-time basis. Thanks for stopping by :-)