A year ago today.
I think he doesn't remember and I almost forgot.

Sandra: this one's for you!

Sandra and I were born on the same year, same month but different days, I see her every second year when she comes visit us in Portugal. Though separated by an ocean, in Vila Fria we are neighbors. A couple of years ago on her last visit, Sandra would get up early in the morning, cross the field that separates our houses and still in our pajamas we would have a complete early breakfast sitting on the picnic table under the persimmon tree.
I remember when we were kids and they came to visit us in Toronto. I always thought she was so lucky because her mom would let her grow her hair long and she could braid it all up in the evening and the next morning it would be fussy and wavy, so in style in the 90’s!! My sisters and I we had to keep it short.And now she's got the nicest natural curls!! B---h!!
Sandra always came to Portugal for summer holidays which meant beach, sun, and Olá icecreams. But this year was our special Christmas, so she came in the winter. Of course she spent the whole month saying “Gosh it’s so warm here!” Followed by: ""Aren't you hot?!" Crazy Canadian!
(And to think this was going to be the Christmas tree...)

Aside from the weather and opening the gifts at midnight, Sandra is almost a full grown Portuguese: she sometimes speaks right, she enjoys a good cup of starbucks coffee and listening to english Christmas carols!
One thing I enjoy about having Sandra over is that after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner we were always expecting a knock on the door followed by an "Olá"! Somehow my parents house seemed to be alot more fun! I pity not being able to spend more time with her here. But Sandra, next visit must be either Los Angeles or New York!! See you in the states!

mitochondria, apoptosis, metacaspase

My younger sibling has taught me so many new things! With Helena I have learnt original and interesting ways to improve conversation engagement:

- There is no better pick-up line than: “Did you know that metacaspase is directly related to cellular apoptosis?

- Or, I can now go to my local bakery and suggest: “Did you know you should strengthen the use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in order to enhance your current production?”

- Or even, when we have guests over for dinner and suddenly run out of conversation topics, I can always rescue the evening from certain boredom with: “How about those mitochondria proteins..? Aren’t they so essential to multicellular forms of life?”

    Anyways… what I am trying to say is congrats Helena on her hard work, endless sleepless nights and no social life for the past year it got her an 18 on her master’s thesis today!! Hurray!!


    Every year the Oxford University Press announces the “Word of the Year”. The impact of online social networking conceived a new form of disconnecting: unfriend became word of the year for 2009.
    I never thought I would disconnect someone from my list of friends from Facebook. But today, and by special request, I unfriended a long time friend. It doesn’t feel right, but I understand the circumstances.

    The pilgrimage

    There are those who take their pets for daily walks and those who walk themselves religiously to Sunday mass and there are those who go every Saturday to the feira da ladra…

    Anna in Andalucia

    We met last year. She was our guest through couchsurfing. We became friends and decided we should get together again but this time in Andalucia. She flew and I drove all the way to Malaga. It became a weekend road trip from Malaga to Marbella, to Ronda, to Seville and back to Malaga.

    We talked, we laughed and ate tapas and drank claras and discussed our cultural differences: Anna is Russian, by the way! She spoke to me of her Christmas and New Year’s with her sister Julia, of her work as a photographer and her desire to be a mother. I spoke to her about my work, my list, my life in Lisbon.

    We strolled around Malaga and came across Funny Beach; slept in a cozy hostel in Marbella’s casco antigo; almost swam in the Mediterranean; found our way to Ronda and nearly lost our car; got lost several times in Seville even with a map; I slept like a baby in an 8 dorm room and Anna wished our Italian dorm buddy would stop snoring just for 5 minutes; we watched flamenco and were very disappointed with an aqueduct.

    At the end we had that awkward good-bye situation and promised to meet again but this time in Brussels.
    До следующей поездки, возможно, немного больше земли к северу от Европы!

    # 19 fly my kite

    Last year for my birthday Pete gave me a most thoughtful and unexpected gift: a kite. Today we finally flew it!

    By candle light

    New Years was spent by candle light. After a cod dinner (without sauce) and dancing to the eighties, there was a loss of power and the lights went off at 3 in the morning. But like every positive thinker, that didn’t stop us: plenty of candles, a fireplace to keep warm, baked sausages, cell phone music and beer. We laughed the whole night through!


    At work, at my desk, reviewing the exhibition catalog, looking through 19th century engravings and drawings.
    What do I do? I look at pictures.

    Arquivo Histórico Militar

    #49 No pants

    This was fun!! And I kept a straight face.

    We were almost 100 flashmobbers divided into groups, each with a metro station to get off in their underwear and “act normal”. I read a newspaper. And despite the rainy weather and low temperatures, I didn’t feel the cold. The ear muffs kept me warm!
    Unfortunately, the station where Pedro and I got off we were followed by inconvenient photojournalists, tv cameras and reporters who spoiled the moment for most us. This was suppose to surprise and trouble casual Sunday metro riders, but we ended up trying to get away from them and acting as normal as possible.
    But overall it was great! A different way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. 

    Guess who this casual traveler is?!

    No Pants

    Flashmobs are fun! This sunday, if all goes as planned I'm taking off my pants for a metro ride and completing item # 49 - participate in a flashmob. It's No Pants!!
    I know I have the guts to do it and I don't know if I can keep a straight face!

    Ventura Terra

    Photos: Manuel Correia; Arquivo Fotográfico de Lisboa
    This building was designed in 1902 by Miguel Ventura Terra and is one of the very few still standing from early republican Lisbon and one of the few correctly attributed to this architect. It is still in good condition and has beautiful interiors. Unfortunately, city officials must have serious problems with historical buildings; they seem to bother them in many ways that when private owners request permission to demolish them, city hall authorizes it even when the area is protected by heritage laws. Interesting? I honestly don’t understand how this is still happening.
    Greed is an ugly thing…

    Day Zero

    January 1st 2010 is Day Zero! I have a list to finish (still half way through) and a list to accomplish! Today I'm starting my piggy bank which will only be opened on the 6th of June 2012. I'm searching for a decent hairdresser and I'm taking parachuting into consideration, even though I have unresolved issues when it comes to jumping from high places...
    In the next few days I'm going shopping so I'll be looking for the perfect black dress and  I already have an album to keep all museum and concert tickets.
    So, I'm getting settle in and started.

    This was Christmas.

    A proud grandfather

    A cheerful family

    Aunts in the kitchen

    Cabbage, patatoes, cod and sauce

    A long and cosy dinning room table