Friday, December 17, 2010

Google: it's all about the right context

Grad school has taught me some few great things.There is a particular one that I can't stop thanking enough to have learned. I have become keen to notice different social labels and I am fascinated at various kinds of everyday terminology. I am enthralled by this. And this is why it has been quite a few months that I giggle while I login to my Gmail account (or to any Google related products such as this blog). Why you ask? well, the line that is below the username space showing an example, transports me to a completely different social meaning.
~ giggling ~

Have you guessed? yes, no?

Well, it makes me think about Expatriates or the social category of those commonly referred as Expats. And I laugh thinking about how Google is an example of an expat by its own nature of being everywhere and nowhere. Yes I am social sciences nerd.     

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hello Monday!

Beautiful sunny day!

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week. 

One good song to share: Paradise Circus by Massive Attack!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mastering the mystery of Masters

I graduated from my Master in Anthropology yesterday :) it was quite
fun to see the online ceremony. All those happy new grads who like me
share this fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. Yay! I should have been
chosen to write the speech ;)

Oh well, I can just give my own private speech once I receive my
diploma by mail. I have the strong feeling my family won't enjoy it
too much... Well, maybe I'll just post the first 12 pages of the
draft so it will be more enjoyable for them! (insert cheerful giggle sound here)
Nah, Just joking I am not that enthusiastic! Simply very grateful and happy!!

But just in case you were wondering, here is the aproved and published
on line version of my thesis: Aboriginal People in a Time of Disorder.
If the link fails and you really want to read, google my name: Lina
Gomez-Isaza and you'll find it!
Happy reading
And Congratulations to me!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Setting up my agenda

Great things are coming to Toronto these days (By now you should have realized that I really-REALLY like this city)

Awesomeness: Tomorrow, Nov 26th we've got Tim Burton's exhibition at the Bell TIFF Lightbox! It's going to be here until April 2011. I am sooo looking forward to see this exhibition. It comes straight from NY's MOMA, where I've read that it attracted so much attention and crowds, that it became the museums third most popular exhibition - the other ones if you are asking are the retrospectives on Matisse (1992) and Picasso (1980).

Colourful: The Cavalcade of Lights on November 27th: bringing up the Christmas spirit. At 7pm there will be the lightning of a very big Christmas tree. There will be fireworks and some live music.

Toronto's Symphonic Orchestra brings the Messiah. From Dec 16-21. You can hear a very neat podcast of the story of this concert here by it's conductor.

Ice Skating: already open (since Nov 20), at Harbourfront Centre. I will definitely try my (non)skating skills here!
Notice I proudly skate with a helmet...

The very best of the best - ever - most awesome, wonderful, people in the world will be making an appearance in this city for a month: Jesus and Carmenza. I can't wait until December 3rd. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I haven't read all the important stuff... ( just yet)

Tonight at midnight Harry Potter's first last part will open in theatres worldwide. Yeah, it's freaking awesome.
And taking in account the recent blue-ray HP marathon my family and I engaged, I am pretty excited about it. But to tell you the truth I believe I am not half as happy and enthusiastic as those million (or billion) and a half readers out there who faithfully followed the HP saga through written pages.

I just waited for the movies, -which are nice and cool and very creative- and that's as much information (and a couple of random Wikipedia searches) I have on this series. I know, I am lame, blame my interest in other epic sagas: the forensic anthropologist Tempe by Kathy Reichs, or the one and only Lestat and all the world Anne Rice created in 5+ books before seeking other kinds of inspiration and focusing on the Bible and Jesus.... no vampires over there, oh well... Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a very famous Colombian writer has this very very famous book: 100 years of solitude. People say is fantastic, he even won a Nobel Prize for this one! Wow, that means it must be awesome. Yes, another one I haven't read! Why you ask? well I really don't have any explanation, and frankly I don't want to read it. At this point in my life I fell a bit tired about reading of "costumbrismo" or everyday historic life of rural places. Yes, I sound a bit shallow. But I'm not just into it. There, I said it.

So going back to all the cool books people where reading while I was -er- I dunno, reading or watching something else? I sometimes feel I am part of a group that haven't read important stuff. And by important I say really important. I consider myself a news junkie. I check Google News +10 times a day and have been downloading more apps for news on a monthly basis. I even signed up on twitter just to follow minute by minute things that happen. All this information comes and goes as daily events just happen. But to be honest, I can describe with detail what kind of food does Tempe likes and Lestat's joy of music. I can't tell you what was the name of the new elected leader of Myanmar or what party he-she represent (yikes) I can't even tell the gender, and all this was all over the news last week. I am that forgetful.

Going back to Harry Potter, well, I have made my  mind and thanks to let's say, all the enthusiasm my sis describes on this, I have her copy of HP's Philosophers Stone in my hands. One less thing to worry about!
This is the cover of the book
 (yes, I  have it here!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The things I love about TO: under construction

Arriving to TDot by train!
I've been embracing fully this city only recently, so here are my top choices of what I consider awesome about here

- Taking the streetcars makes me feel so stylish... -seriously- I love this piece of public transportation. Adds to the stylishness every time they ring the bell, aww so cute. But if you are wondering about time schedules, don't even bother, enjoy the ride and be aware that they come every 6-7 minutes.

- The Kensington market: what can I say... I find everything I want or didn't even thought I needed, like Colombian Obleas with Alpina arequipe and all, as well as sprouting seeds and inexpensive, organic and assorted sprouting seeds! And on this note, the cheeses grilled place around Nassau street: I give it 5 stars and 2 more for creatively solving the non-liquour licensing issue: go to the bar in front and we'll bring you your food: we are all friends! yay! that's teamwork for you/ 

- The P.A.T.H. although I have to point out that I am not a frequent user, I feel it shows how much urban planning involves functioning regularly throughout winter. I add points: all the coffee places down there, seriously, I could drink more than a cup every single corner twist. -1 point: I get very disoriented  

- Ontario lake makes me happy about not missing the fresh salty ocean water of Vancouver.

- I feel very hypnotized about the CN tower, it is quite colourful yet bulky. Yeah, I have mixed feelings about it. I find it iconic, symbolic and huge. But I can't quite tell if it goes along my aesthetic standards.

- My new neighbourhood as of Dec 1st: High Park- on the Boor Village corridor.  Which I will come back to it often in this blog. And on this note, all the different and contrasting neighbourhoods. This will obviously lead to an all well to discussed-studied-explored rant about TO's diversity, which I choose not to follow, right here but simply point out: yes, is a very diverse city. Much more than Vancouver.   
- On a personal note: being close to my family. Beyond that, I can survive any kind of weather or lousy job market.

Friday, August 27, 2010


My thesis was appoved, and I submited today, yay!
-Doing the celebration dance now, and getting ready for the future of possibilities-

Monday, August 16, 2010

the B.E.S.T. meringue recipe EVER!

Hard Meringue Shells
(Makes about 12 shells)
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon (2 mL) cream of tartar
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla
Beat egg whites until frothy in a large bowl. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks. Add sugar gradually, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla.
Using about 1/3 cup (75 mL) meringue at a time, shape into "nests" with a spoon or pastry bag on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Meringues should be about 3 inches (8 cm) wide, with the edge built up to form a rim.
Bake in a preheated 250F (120C) oven until firm, about 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven with the door closed, for one hour.
Remove from oven and from baking sheet. Store meringues in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
To serve, fill shells with fresh fruit, custard, pudding or ice cream. Spoon a favourite sauce over, if desired.

Thank you Egg farmers of Ontario:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thesis revisions 101

Study combo 101
1) Creating a very changeable playlist, including Depeche Mode, Tool, Placebo, Puscifer, NIN, a track or two of Radiohead and let the "radio" option surprise you: Grooveshark - Listen to Free Music Online - Internet Radio - Free MP3 Streaming

2) Carefully timing your accomplishments, no matter how small or big they are:

3) Icream and Coffee.... lots of the latter yummm yummm

4) Relaxxxx and keep breathing, you still have 11 hours more of work until the next deadline.

4) Think about fun times.....hey, after I finish THIS, I'll have to find some nice hikes to keep me sane. Beyond the multiple activities I have in my mind: job hunting,  moving, and the 10000 x projects I have stacked in my imaginary to-do-list) 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

procrastination 101

1.Is twitter catering specifically to me with cute icons? 
2. Gmail chat: I'm invisible, but I can't miss out on a nice good old skoolchat
3. What if there is really NOTHING in my mind???

4. And this is when I really need to get a life: 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why Twilight is Popular

I'm ready to make this confession: I read the Twilight books (actually I devoured them a couple of years ago). They are well crafted to make you a twi-fan-Happy-Zombie(I was one until I found some other better stuff to do).
I feel obligated to share this short video and way too funny comic, so far this is the best condensed version ever!!
YouTube - Why Twilight is Popular

Colombia courts give first paramilitary jail sentences - Colombia news | Colombia Reports

And now back to thesis and Justice and Peace Law...

Can you believe that they only gave these paramilitary leaders 8 year sentences???
Colombia courts give first paramilitary jail sentences - Colombia news | Colombia Reports

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ghana-Gana vs US?

The word "win" in Spanish is :Gana
We've been word-playing throughout the match F and I.

¿Será que Ghana gana?
¿Ghana no gana?
Si no gana Ghana, gana el otro que no es Ghana

Ok, enough ranting for half time lets go back to: Watching

Image: A man painted with Ghanaian colours dances during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence in Accra. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

*I want that at least one African team passes to the next round. That's why I want them to Ganar!!

17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat - The Oatmeal

17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat - The Oatmeal


Cats keep the world go around and surely kitty love is highly rewarded on this end of the keyboard. I know I promised to keep this space productive with my thesis, but today I received an e-mail form my supervisor announcing a BIG list of comments on my draft, and I won't get them until a week form now (he will be traveling...), so I feel a need to post cute faces, this will make me happy...  --- whose heart wont melt with these cute felines? (I am a proud auntie of the first ones and the three last ones, we've been roommates)

Behold my kitty love gallery:

Kiya (Natalia's new young rommie)

Ace (Molly's new guy-we've got to meet in person)

Lia and Lorenzo (Natalia I, Pablo and Federico's Landlords in Philadelphia)

Sabina and Agatha 

Watson & Me
Now I feel like a crazy cat lady...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sabina & Clea

Sabina & Clea, originally uploaded by lechealpina.
Thinking about you dear Clea....
As the Flickr caption (in Spanish) says: I know you are enjoying kitty heaven full of freshly ironed shirts, warm for your daily naps.

Gardening is not fun

 The garden was attacked by a bunch of Aphids! Nasty tough pests, they killed my desire for planting for the season. I have no energy to keep them away. (They make me soooo angry that I wasn't even able to post a real picture of them here, I can live with a 'cute' version of these buggers)
For now, my "gardening" enthusiasm has limited to Sprouts! Yay, here is instant growing-your-own-food gratification! In your face ...Aphids

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Its planting-garden-season: I have welcomed in my containers tomatoes, arugula, lettuce and cilantro. The oregano and mint survived the winter, yay for mild winters!
Pictures to come soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One dessert at a time

On my goal to stay productive, creative, relaxed, while writing up my thesis, cooking has been a great way to enjoy and have fun -woa! such "easy" goals- I have become a very enthusiastic dessert maker. The AllRecipes webpage is now part of my weekly routine to find something delicious to make: it gives me culinary inspiration and helps me use all sorts of ingredients available in our kitchen. I have a profile and have added some reviews and pictures. They have absolutely fantastic recipes, which I have to thank my friend Jayme for introducing me to this page.
Sooooo to keep up with my Cooking extravaganza I am adding some pictures of some of my latest creations:

Snowball cookies!!
Chocolate cakes
                                                                            Key lime pie

They are all proud products of my once in a weekday midnight baking sessions.

PS. Update on my thesis: more drafts submitted, waiting for feedback is a great feeling (seriously)!!

I am keeping up with the calorie intake haha!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cooking extravaganza II

today I made a quiche! I am still waiting for it to cool off a bit before tasting it. yummmmm I am really excited about this one.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cooking extravaganza

I am not a cook, I learned how to make pasta almost three years ago. In my list of failed cooking experiments I count an exploded microwave by trying to boil an egg (I added an egg with its shell to a cup of water), another time I tried to make pasta by placing it in the pot at the same time as the cold water (a yucky mixture) and I've managed to burn two batches of brownies that were intended for my husbands birthday: they were simply uneatable.

But these past few weeks I've seriously tried to improve both in skills and creativity. I am trying to make things I hadn't done before, using all I've got in my kitchen and it hasn't been an unpleasant experience, I rather consider it a success.

Sunday: I started by making apple muffins. This was the first time I prepared muffins with apple puree I had frozen from November's apple surplus. (I bought a hole bunch of apples from Costco and I was terrible bored of eating them after a while, so I prepared an apple crisp and an apple cider... ahh the holidays) Since I didn't had everything required, including the muffin rack, I had to be a bit creative. I have 6 individual muffin cups, so I had to half the recipe. The flavour was great, but they didn't rise, they chose to stay comfortably below the cup. I was happy though with the experience.

Monday: I woke up with a chickpea theme: I soaked my dry garbanzo beans at noon and prepared them at 6. Those hours were perfect. I made hummus from scratch, I made almond rice and vegetable stew.

Tuesday: I made chicken curry with tomatoes, zucchini and spinach. Not bad for the protein!

Wednesday: I made prawns with pasta and ended up preparing delicious glazed lemon cakes. Ahhhh I am so happy. This really helps me focus on myself, my body and my enthusiasm on creating great stuff!

(BTW I adore finding recipes online!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Updating indigenous HR's situations 2010

Relator Especial de la ONU sobre los Pueblos Indígenas hace público su informe sobre su visita a Colombia en el contexto de seguimiento a las recomendaciones de su predecesor 


El Relator especial sobre la situación de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales de los indígenas hizo la declaración siguiente:

“Resulta patente que existe una atención de parte del Estado de Colombia a los asuntos indígenas y el desarrollo de planes y propuestas orientadas a responder a las recomendaciones de mi predecesor; sin embargo, estoy preocupado por las múltiples indicaciones de que la situación de los pueblos indígenas en el país no ha sido afrontada con la urgencia que la gravedad de la situación merece”, dijo el experto de la ONU en su informe publicado hoy.

“En general, las leyes, programas y políticas del Gobierno no permiten una efectiva protección y satisfacción de los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas en el país” dijo el Relator Especial.

Hoy, el Relator Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre la situación de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales de los indígenas, el profesor James Anaya, hace público su informe sobre la situación de los pueblos indígenas en Colombia que visitó entre el 22 y 27 de julio de 2009. Este informe presenta las observaciones del Sr. Anaya en el contexto de seguimiento a las recomendaciones del anterior Relator Especial, Profesor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, hechas en su informe de 2004.

El informe demuestra que la situación de los indígenas resulta exacerbada e intensificada por causa del conflicto armado interno que aflige al país. “He recibido información sobre una situación sumamente preocupante de violencia y otros crímenes contra pueblos indígenas, así como de desplazamiento forzado y confinamientos, que amenaza a la supervivencia física y cultural de los pueblos indígenas del país” declaró el profesor Anaya.

A pesar del nivel importante de atención de parte del Estado de Colombia a los asuntos indígenas, el informe revela que todavía existen grandes desafíos que debe enfrentar el Gobierno para cumplir con sus obligaciones de protección y promoción efectiva de los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales de los indígenas, incluyendo en materia de derechos a tierras y recursos naturales y la consulta previa con los pueblos indígenas en decisiones que les afectan. A la misma vez, existen brechas significativas en el efectivo disfrute en general de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales de los pueblos indígenas con respecto al promedio general de la población.

En su informe, el Relator Especial presenta una serie de recomendaciones con el fin de que contribuyan a abordar los desafíos y avanzar sustantivamente en el reconocimiento y protección de los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas del país, de acuerdo con las obligaciones y compromisos del Estado en esta materia. Invitamos a consultar el informe completo y las recomendaciones en la página web:

Sunday, January 3, 2010