Aug 19, 2004


They insisted that it would take me at least a few weeks to grow accustomed to the high-pitched, cacophonous chirping of the dreaded Coqui frog. Even though I hadn't been able to identify the sound they produce before, I wasn't convinced I would be bothered by it. I was warned that they congregate in large numbers in the woodsy areas around here, where moisture and dense canopy cover is always abundant. These little frogs are barely larger than the size of my thumbnail, I was admonished, but they cause a ruckus in the evening that drive many people crazy. Well, good thing I'm not many people.

Efforts are continuously being made to eradicate this alien species from the islands. They were successful in eliminating the population up north, where I just moved from, but over here, they're out of control. As soon as twilight makes its standard slippery appearance, one hears a high-pitched "co-QUI," then another, and another, until the air is filled with distinguishably amphibious "co-QUI's." The realtor expressed more than slight aggravation over their presence, raising my concern levels a fair amount. "How bad are these frogs?" I thought. "Surely, most people must agree that they're entirely obnoxious for it to be officially classified as one of Hawaii's most obnoxious pests."

Thankfully, I was wrong. The coqui makes a most euphonious noise. I recall those evenings where I was walking across campus to my car when I heard such a pleasant double-note coming from a single individual. Admittedly, I thought it was some type of bird high up in the Chinese Banyon tree, and found its chirp delightful. And I was delighted to discover last night that such a chirp belongs to these "horrible" frogs that have caused such an uproar around these parts. They don't invade anyone's home and raid their pantry, they don't gnaw on the infrastructures of their houses, they don't destroy ecosystems, and they certainly don't spread any diseases. They simply stay in their little shady habitats and chirp. To me, they're no worse than crickets, and I find myself appreciating their presence. Without them, this entire area would be completely dominated by cacophonous anthropogenic sounds whenever silence does not prevail. They provide a constant aural backdrop that I find remarkably relaxing, and even uplifting. I'm thankful for them. I can lay back in my bed and listen to them, and slowly fall asleep imagining I'm wandering around deep in a rainforest somewhere. And people go apeshit over these things spreading to their neighborhood? As much as I try, I just can't seem to understand humans. I also appreciate birds a lot more than most people seem to, as well... I often pay close attention to their song rather than simply take them for granted. I can spend hours just watching them fly about the trees, cliffs, or buildings, or waddle about the ground in search of food or personal amusement. Such quick, graceful, aesthetically appealing movements they have... even the big fat myna birds that eat most of my dog's food then poop on our jalecies. What a freak I am.

Perhaps dogs that bark continuously for twenty hours everyday should be the foci of eradication efforts. No, their owners should be eradicated for not having the common courtesy toward their neighbors to actually make an effort to silence their stupid mutts. I've honestly concluded that I generally can't respect domesticated canines that much... not because of who or what they are, but because they inherently have entirely too much human power and influence over them. They are who they are because of humans, and being of a wild nature myself... that's not something I can respect. It's not hard for me to look at a chihuahua and conclude that such a ridiculous-looking thing must have spawned from a sick joke. I can look at certain exotic breeds of toy dogs and feel an urge to personally strangle them, before I promptly remind myself that such an abomination of canine dignity is the fault of humans, not the animal itself. Leave it to humans to turn a majestic wolf into a little panting mop named Sissy. I'd like to personally eradicate every human who treats their own dog as a novelty item. I'd like to eradicate everyone who dresses their dog up and accessorizes it and pushes it around in a stroller like a 5 year old girl would a Barbie doll. I'd like to exterminate anyone who chains their dog to a post and completely neglects it, save for using it on the occasional hunting trip. To see animals so dominated by humans, to see them be so willingly dominated, has always bothered me. To watch them roll over and submit whenever their owner raises their voice makes me feel pity for them, and even a certain degree of contempt. So many desire to have a little slice of the wild living inside their home with them... so long as it's safe and friendly! Of course, I really must keep remembering... an average pampered domesticated mutt wouldn't survive long in the wild. Let them survive on processed dog food and human affection. I know I'd never be happy that way, but so long as they are.

Hm... right now, I'm laying back diagonally on my bed by the window, with my legs bent upward and my notebook resting on my lap. It's an incredibly comfortable position. With a wireless router and wi-fi card, the Internet is transferred straight to my computer, no cables attached. The move worked out wonderfully, the bed issue notwithstanding. As the box spring of my double bed wouldn't fit in the truck, it had to be placed atop the roof rack and transported that way. We decided to go ahead and shove the upper mattress on top of that, too. It worked well until about halfway to our destination. Not long after we came down from the mountain pass and reached the windward coast, the bed was shifting all over the place above me. My father, who followed behind me in the sedan, also transporting several of my possessions, must have waved me over to the shoulder about five times or so, telling me the load needed to be adjusted before we lost it completely and killed another driver. So, that was quite stressful, but we made it to the apartment in one piece. As a result of all our screwing around, we arrived a half hour past our appointment with the landlady for the paper signing. Fortunately, she had stuck around. And just fifteen minutes after that, the Road Runner service professional showed up, ready to hook up the Internet. Good timing, I must say, and I feel it's all good karma, as well-- a sign that my occupancy of this apartment and residency in this town should work out quite well.

I've spent most of the last two days unpacking, organizing, and shopping-- and not much else. My space already appears decent-looking. I'd take pictures, but the day before I left for here, I received the unsurprising news from Minolta that my camera is "economically unrepairable." I just love deciphering such printed cryptograms. It just means that I'm going to be ordering that $399 6.0 megapixel replacement from in no time at all. Hey, I'll have six months to pay it all off, interest-free, and a digital camera is something I feel... almost naked without. I'm not dependent on one, certainly, but without one... I feel so much of my self-perceived photographic talent going to waste. Whenever I see a scene of beauty that I cannot capture-- everyday, that is, I just feel at a loss. I'm going to keep Troy II on a tight leash. No more bounding across slippery rocks in a stream unless he's wrapped tightly around my wrist. Fishing for cameras is not worth all the fishing for excuses later.

Yay for randomness, but I got my own P.O. box today at the downtown station which happens to be less than a mile from here. I treasure my privacy immensely.

This is a rather nice neighborhood, for being a $400/month apartment not far at all from downtown. It's a comfortable distance past the junky old apartments there, full of noisy residents, and it seems very safe. Car alarms are absolutely unheard of around here, and locking the front door at night is something many don't even bother to do. People in this building haven't been making too much noise at all. On one end of the street is a pre-school, where screaming little monsters can be heard in the morning. Definitely a minus, but ear plugs are usually enough to remedy the situation. And on the other end lies Dodo Mortuary, whose sign I can clearly read from the bathroom window. I want to be dead as a dodo at Dodo Mortuary!!

In conclusion... co-QUI!

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