Thursday, September 30, 2004

Learned on this vacation: the only activity I am willing to risk physical injury or death for is tidepool exploration. In all other pursuits (inc. street crossing, drawer opening, gas-burner lighting etc.), I live in mincing fear of catastrophic injury, succumbing to a combination of paranoia and complete physical inability rarely seen outside of severely PTSD-stricken preschoolers. But Christ, give me some promising tidepools and I'm right there where waves of cruiseship-sinking size are pounding at unpredictable rates into the lava shelf just below, I'm skipping dryad-agile over rocks Astroglide-slick with algae, I'm cheating death to glimpse what, another sea urchin? In this alone I am reckless, in this alone I taste the marrow-rich savor of ill-advised daredevilry.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

(I'm not nearly done with the Kauai Notes series, but:)

Any agonized-over shortlist of my semisexual fetishes would surely include the tearing of very finely perforated paper, microperforated, where the tearing is silken as the same time as it's crisp. Oh it's heaven.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

First installment of Kauai notes:

* What happens when one takes advantage of Hawaii's lack of a helmet law by renting a Harley and riding it nearly around the island's entire perimeter, with only goggles and insufficient sunscreen above one's neck? Yep, one ends up returning with what looks for all the world like a skier's tan, raccoon-style. The perverse injustices that trail me around the globe! The indignity, the nonconsensual comedy!

* Kauai's justly famed shave ice is best enjoyed watching Waimea High's football team practice, thinking thoughts that are not strictly legal.

* It is blackly ironic that a person as concerned with the treatment of our animal brethren as I am would spend well over an hour tormenting a large praying mantis by blowing on it, shining a penlight at it, poking its feet through the screen it was resting on etc., just to see how furious the poor mantid would get. Pretty damn furious, it turns out. How it punched in my direction with its savagely serrated forearms, how unearthly were its robotic head twists, how disconcertingly rhythmic were its war dances! I can't defend my behavior convincingly. I just wanted to see what rage lay within the insect world's most predatory predator. Still, my guilt grows. PMs deserve a certain respect, and hooting "Sure you could kick my ass if you were my height, but you're not, champ, are ya?" doesn't qualify.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

There will likely not be any Owls! posts until the 28th, as I'm off to Kauai to commune with my darlings.

(While gone, I will be haunted by unanswered questions about the flAtbed truck I just saw, emblazoned not with any company name or any other identifying data, only "MOBILE SERVICE VEHICLE".)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Despite my civic-minded intervention, the coffeeshop whose specials board trumpeted their new "carmel" beverage has not addressed the concerns expressed in my tip jar correction. "Carmel" remains "Carmel" and continues to taze me with its wicked misshape. Fine. They're "lagging", as the kids say. No evidence of ill will, on its face. Only: the specials board now also announces upcoming specials in light of their "anniversery". In this new error, I smell passive aggression. I expect the errors to multiply until the entire board resembles a text message sent by a 13-year-old. I believe this is being done to me.

Monday, September 13, 2004

A well-established phenomenon containing explosive erotic potential that has yet to unleash its core-melting heat: Polynesian NFL players, specifically the Tongan and Samoan contingents. No stone foxes yet (Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu would be a tentative contender were he a little less high on Jesus), but I feel certain that the future holds dreamboats of heretofore unimagined NFL pulchritude.

(Luckily for all known Owls! readers, this will be the only post related to the onset of football season.)

Friday, September 10, 2004

At the coffee shop where I purchase my boss's latte each morning (which I am required to do because he cannot remember the specifics of the drink he likes, no joke), a bulletin board is currently announcing the addition of yet another new caramel-based coffee drink/glorified milkshake. Only "caramel" is misspelt as, wait for it, "carmel", per the apparent tendency of around 85% of Americans. Since I am a tiresome, unbearable pedant, this pink-chalked bugaboo has been gnawing at me for the week or so it's been up there. Today, I . . . Christ, it's humiliating to relate. Today I dropped a note in the tip jar along with my change, suggesting the error be remedied. A note in the tip jar! A kowtowingly friendly, unhuffy note that included a hopefully sting-reducing smiley face (it felt necessary to lighten the mood in this way, but I bit my lip till it bled anyway, as punishment), but a note in the tip jar nonetheless!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Oh good! The annual Bayrea summer shark panic hits full stride. People acting like the sharks are out of line for existing, for being predators, for failing to cuddle. Like something must be done. Pish. Look. If you come into my apartment, you'd best expect my vocalizations to be overloud and my logic faulty. Similarly, if you wade into pisswarm summer waters, expect sealife, possibly including several rows of gleaming dentition.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

On my train ride this morning, I sat directly behind a deeply enhippied whiteboy* whose plentiful thin dreadlocks were French-braided. Remarkably, I do not recall physically harming him.

*anyone with a decent theory on why I must spell it this way is encouraged to share it with me; I'd love to know

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Driving through the Arizona badlands this weekend, right around Bloody Basin (actual), I saw what I can only assume was the corpse of a chupacabra along the roadside. It was not a dog, nor a peccary/javelina, and that there exhausts the other reasonable mammalian possibilities. (The nature of the fur - patchy, lank, ash-colored, a few inches long - immediately eliminated any feline contenders.) My superstitious traveling partner refused to stop the car, the sissy, so I wasn't able to confirm my suspicions with a closer examination of the carcass. But listen, it was a chupacabra.

That I believe this is bad enough, but what's far worse is that, upon returning to internet-enabled accomodations, I knew exactly which websites to visit in order to view photos of other chupacabra roadkill, for the purposes of comparison. "Which will be better, or, hmm . . . " Such knowledge does not enhance my self-image.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

When I . . . no, let's start again. If one read the crossword clue "One on a conger line?", knew the answer was "eeler" then literally goddamn guffawed at the merry punnery of the clue, that means I, I mean one is a really big dork right? Just hypothetically, of course, I mean, I'd never, um . . .

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Some Animal Planet special or other - was it called "World's Most Inexplicable Insects", maybe, or "Top 10 'You're F*cking Joking' Bugs"? - recently schooled me on a certain cricket species. I can't recall where exactly it resides, geographically; Southeast Asia, I believe. It's a cave dweller. The caves it resides in are devoid of other animal life, but used to be home to cave bears and giant sloths, eons ago. When its caves had other denizens, this cricket fed on the other species' dropped food, or dander, or something similarly unsavory. Now that it inhabits these caves sans chums, and thus sans food sources, it has had to adjust, evolutionarily.

It eats its own legs. It eats a leg, then the eaten leg regenerates itself.

This is true.

I do not recommend thinking about this cricket if you've got a weakness for symbolism and/or macabre brooding. Especially the symbolism part, and doubly especially if you indulge in any illicit substances which enhance one's propensity toward overarching metaphor and saying things like "The cricket is us."