What the heck? Seriously, not kidding, it's an article in the NY Times about building your house on a lava field. (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/30/garden/30lava.html?8hpib)
Apparently, some folks on the Big Island (Hawaii for those of you who don't know one Hawaiian island from another one–and trust me, that was me just a little over a year and a half ago) are building houses on lava fields. One lady, currently being sued by the state, lugged a bunch of stuff, including a disco ball, across a lava field and into a lava tube. She set up house in the cave-like structure, complete with shelves made from boogie boards. She also had a four-poster bed. Now, I'm telling you that real estate is through the roof in Hawaii (the state, not just the island) so it doesn't surprise me. Oahu, the island where I live, is outrageously expensive to buy a house. Still, I'm not envisioning myself on a lava field. Not that we have any lava fields on this island, though Kaena point, at the north western tip, has black lava shelfs that drop off into the ocean. It's pretty cool up there, though very rugged.
If you're a Lost fan, parts of it, where the plane crashed and all that, are filmed very close to Kaena Point. Mokuleia is the beach, I think. I remember that plane scattered over the beach, too. At first, I thought something terrible had happened and wondered why I hadn't heard it on the news. Then my hubby informs me it was a movie prop. I'd been on the island all of two days at this point, where he'd been here for two months. Movie prop or not, it's damn scary to see a wrecked airliner scattered across the ground. Not an image one wants in one's head (to sound totally Virginia Woolf-ish).
In fact, in a totally smart-ass way, we always joke when we drive past that beach about how stupid those Lost folks are; if they'd just walk across the street, Dillingham Airfield–complete with gliders and sky-diving–is RIGHT there. Sheesh.
But okay, before anyone thinks I'm a total b**tch for talking about how I live in Hawaii, let me tell you the bad things about this state. Bugs, dude. Gigantic, humongous, need their own zipcode bugs. Flying roaches with tailnumbers. Centipedes that suffered some sort of nuclear accident before growing to proportions only seen in cheap horror movies. I had never, ever in my life seen a 10-inch long centipede that was also at least 1/2 an inch wide until I moved to Hawaii. Now imagine that in your house at 3 AM. Ohmygod! They come up out of the drains, people. The drains! I make sure every drain in my house is plugged every night. I haven't had a problem, even when I forget, but my friend who lives in a second story condo gets the damn things in her sink and on her kitchen counters if she forgets to plug the drains. And they ain't little.
They tell me there are giant spiders here too, but I haven't seen those yet. And scorpions on the leeward coast. Honolulu is technically leeward, I think, though I'm talking about the west-facing part of the island. Oahu has distinct climates, too. One side, the windward, is lush and tropical just like you'd expect, but the leeward is desert, complete with cactuses. The center is green and lush too, though more forest-y than palm-y, if that makes sense. We even have a freshwater lake in the center of the island where you can bass fish.
But back to those centipedes. They aren't poisonous, thank God, but their sting is supposed to be very painful. I don't want to find out. And they like to hide in your bed, I've been told. I am just paranoid enough to check the bed EVERY night to make sure there are no hidden creatures in it. My hubby used to complain. Now, he just shrugs and says, are you ready to check the bed? So, if you take nothing else from this rant, please be sure that if you visit Hawaii you do NOT walk around barefoot on the grass, especially at night. I am not joking. Just yesterday I watched an egret swoop into my yard in broad daylight and pick up a 5-inch long centipede. I wear slippers (flip-flops) all the time. I take them off to walk in the sand, but I would never walk across grass without them.
And did I mention the geckos? People think they're cute, and so did I until I had to live with them. Nasty creatures who poop ten times as much as they ought to, and usually on your window sills. I have also found gecko poop on my books and on the pillow in my guest room (I promise, if you come visit, I will make sure it's all clean first). We usually try to catch them and throw them out, but it isn't easy. They are very fast. And did I mention noisy? They make a loud clucking sound.
Oh, we better not forget the rats either. Hawaii has rats. Lots of rats, though they are sort of small and shy, not New York sewer rats or anything. They come out at night. Someone had a bright idea once to bring in mongooses to take care of the rats. One problem with that idea. Rats are nocturnal and mongooses are not. It's cuter than heck to see riki-tiki-tavi on the lanai from time to time, though, even if he is useless in the War on Rats.
But, even with all that, I love Hawaii. It took me a while. I had rock fever pretty bad about a month after I got here. I missed Europe, wanted to go back, and felt crammed onto a tiny island. But it isn't as tiny as you think, and the feeling passes. Unless you are the sort of person who loves to drive hundreds of miles every day, you'll be fine in Hawaii. No more long trips, and no more highways packed with 18-wheelers. We don't have many 18-wheelers here at all. One day I passed three on the road and I was shocked. Usually, I don't see any.
Well, this is certainly a long, middle of the night rambling post, but it's the hubby's fault. Apparently, those darned ribs have to start smoking at 3AM to be ready for lunch time. I am seriously miffed about this. I'll talk about critique group and writing stuff another time since rambling on about Hawaii happened because of the NY Times lava article. Blame them, not me. I just want to go to sleep! If you can spare a moment, think sympathetic thoughts for me.