Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Paris Window

I took this picture as I stood on the bridge across the Seine river in Paris, France. My cousin and I maneuvered our way through the underground metro (which took us at least 30 minutes because we kept getting turned around) and made our way street level; cars, crowds and buildings far older than anything we had ever seen rose up in front of us. They were old and ornate, they bespoke of queens and kings, of revolutions and royalty. And here I was standing in history; standing on the streets of Paris!

We walked down the Champs Elysee and sat on a bench where we ate baguette sandwiches, chocolate crepes and drank Orangina. We watched the cars and the beautifully dressed people go by. I had always dreamt of such a moment, but never really thought it would become a reality, an actuality. It was beyond my dreams!
Sometimes, I am in awe of some of the things that I do. Isn't that a weird thing to say? I executed a plan which put Sonja and myself on a plane to France and surrounded us in a culture and language that was foreign on so many levels.
The reality of my life is that I sometimes bog myself down with too much thinking and sensibility. I put my mind into overdrive and can literally think myself out of things that I really want to try or what I imagine myself capable of doing. I can be so irritatingly practical at times.
I stood in front of Notre Dame! See the picture? That's me -- standing in front of Nortre Dame! How unbelievably incredible is that?! I often dreamt of what it would be like to walk the halls of the cathedral, look up at the stained glass windows or sit on the church pews and soak up the atmosphere. Now, I don't have to wonder any more. It was awesome!
Of all the photos I took while in Paris . . and trust me there are a lot of them, this next picture is my favorite. TAH-DAH!!!
A picture of our window looking out on the street below. We stayed on the 5th floor in the Hotel de Paris, which is in the 19th district. Basically, we were on the outskirts of the Paris district. We were hard pressed to find any Americans in that area. And still, we strolled the streets as if we belonged. We became prolific in saying, "Bon joure" and "merci" to everyone we met. And we even ordered croissants in French. Can you beat that?!
And every night, after our daily adventures, I would sit on the window sill and look down on the street, listening to a cacophony of Parisian sounds below: sirens that echoed in the night (we found it was a regular occurrence), and sounds of laughter and music floating up to our open window . . . I was thrilled by it all! I was in love with Paris! I love Paris!

It was exhilarating knowing that I had done something so out of the norm, and out of character! I want to carry those feelings and memories of being courageous. It's so empowering! So, I think I'll make a copy of my Paris window and carry it around with me. It'll be the reminder I need to always be courageous enough to just . . . try.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

RE: Email on Burundanga Drug‏

So, I got this email from my cousin in Hawaii. You know how it goes: spams, forwards, junk mail, alert! alert!, this was so cute, I just had to send it, etc., etc. The gist of the email was that some lady at a gas station was approached by some guy who gave her his business card. She drove away and noticed the guy following her; she also noticed a strange odor on her fingers and began to feel dizzy, and couldn't catch her breath. With some quick thinking on her part (so the email goes), she got away, the man drove away, and thus we now have an email about drug-laced business cards.

The email states: "This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA' and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them."

I replied to everyone (42 people) who's email was attached to mine . This was my reply:

You know how sometimes good intentions get the better of you? This is one of those times. I read the email below about the drug-laced business card and I thought to myself "how crazy is this world getting? You know?" And then, it got me thinking...can someone actually ingest a drug (of such high toxicity) into their skin just by holding onto a business card? Really? On a business card? Who are these people handing out these cards? High-level espionage spies?! And why go to all that trouble to stake out unsuspecting women at gas stations? And if such a thing were taking place among the general population, wouldn't that be something that the press would have jumped on? I mean, come on, that would be a HUGE storyline!

So...I googled the name of the drug "Burundanga." As it turns out, it is a drug which originated in Columbia; similar to date-rape drugs and often used on unsuspecting tourist, so the story goes, which you can read on the following website which also has copies of the aforementioned emails: According to the website, the drug is typically "slipped into the food or drink of the intended victims, or it is packed into cigarettes or sticks of gum." The website also indicates that the drug cannot be absorbed through the skin, and there are no legitimate reports of it having happened here in the United States. Basically, (and thankfully) the drug is currently only associated within the regions in and around Columbia.

And now we can all rest less crazy situation to worry about! Ahhh.... :) Rita

Sometimes, I have way too much time on my hands. LOL!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The "Four" Tag

Four Things I did today:
1.) Made breakfast for my uncles and family.
2.) Went with my uncle to pay off funeral services for my aunt (it's been a tough month).
3.) Picked out an Urn for my aunt's ashes (I think she would like it).
4.) Sent out online obituary to Honolulu Advertiser for my aunt.

Four Things on my To-Do List:
1.) Get back on my work schedule.
2.) Pack away my aunt's clothes for my uncle.
3.) Organize my aunt's financial paperwork for my uncle.
4.) Get my own bills organized.

Four Guilty Pleasures:
1.)'s my favorite past time.
2.) Alone Time...just to get away from everyone.
3.) Food...of all varieties. Ummm...yummy.
4.) Wanting to hibernate to read and write.

Four Random Facts:
1.) I really, really like croissants.
2.) If I could do without a cell phone, I would.
3.) I want to go to my high school reunion this's in Vegas!!
4.) I'm thinking of moving back to Hawaii...still in the thinking stage, only.