I know I shouldn’t really look for more reasons to spend time on the internet, but I’ve finally created a Twitter profile. It’s still unfamiliar territory and it’s unclear to me how exactly twitter differ from simple Facebook status updates and the like. If you are there, look for me!


Spanish Inquisition

I gave my first full lecture for a university class yesterday. The lecture was for a survey course, which meant I had to cover a lot of ground and couldn’t really get into too much detail. The topic? The Inquisition and the Jews in the Early Modern period. The lecture went well, I invited some colleagues to come and write a report about it for me but what I really wanted to show was this:

November 20, 1999

We met over a postcard. It was September 1, 1996 and I had been on the internet for about six months. We both used to hang out in chat rooms through IRC and one day I asked people to send me postcards from where they lived. I collected postcards, you see. I was also fascinated about knowing more about other places, languages and cultures. He sent me a private message asking me for my address and promised a postcard from Montreal, where he lived. All I knew about Canada at that point was that it was the land of the totem poles and grand British buildings (I had been to Victoria, BC, when I was 7 years old). I also had vague notions that some parts of the country spoke French. So we started talking. We found we had much in common. So we started looking for each other every night. Soon we were talking for 3-4 hours every day. Sometimes for 8 hours straight. We had exchanged pictures during the first week but he avoided telling me his age. I knew he was much older but didn’t know how much. But it didn’t matter when he could read my mind and finish my sentences from 7,000 miles away. We soon discovered we were soul mates, we fell in love. Eleven months later I would come to Montreal to take an English course and we would meet for the first time. We were 100% comfortable with each other from the very first moment, there was no awkwardness or embarrassing silent moments. People who believe in re-incarnation might be on to something; it feels like we’ve been together for generations. We married as soon as I graduated from university in Brazil and today we celebrate 9 years of marriage and we are as in love and as attentive to each other as in those early days. We are so comfortable that we forget our anniversary every year. The only reason we remembered in the first year was because my mother called. Thank God for modern technology – I was able to write this post a week ago and post it today, before I forgot again.

Happy anniversary sweety.

PS: we talked so much that first day when he asked me for my address that I think we both forgot what initiated the conversation. While he sent me many postcards, letters and gifts later, that initial postcard was never sent.


Thank you for the anniversary wishes! To celebrate, we went out to La Palette, a little French bistro at Kensington Market. We had been there before for lunch and were very impressed so decided to try it for dinner. French food always does it for us. It takes us back to some of the most romantic dates we’ve had. It’s not just the food – it has to do with the ambiance, the sound of the French language, the lingering meal… We had the $50 five-course tasting menu and although it was very good, I’m not sure it’s a better value than the $32 prix fixe menu. The wine? A Spanish one to take us back to our days in Spain…

Kiva on the news

I started lending money on Kiva two years ago. I didn’t have much money so I limited my loan to $100, which I split among four different loans. These have since been paid back, and I have re-invested the money, which have been paid back and re-invested once more. In the past two years that $100 has helped 10 different individuals or groups. I tend to favour women when I choose someone to lend to and so far have lend money to women in Togo, Samoa, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Uganda, Pakistan, and Lebanon.

The Toronto Star had an interview with one of the creators of Kiva this past week and I wanted to post it here to help spread the word about this great initiative. Check it out here.