Digging a Hole

Thursday, October 28, 2004

"We're Built for This Shit." Part 1.

Oh werd! The Red Sox Won!!!!!
But that's not what this post is about.
This is about KENTUCKY 04! Werd!!!
The trip out:
So, the night before, me and others went to a bar to watch the Red Sox/Yankees game 7, so we were all kinda sleepy when we reconvened at 11am the next morning for the trip to PA. We were stopping to canvass in the boondocks on the way to KY. The Allentown Clean Water office gave us some new forms, and we all practiced our Pennsylvania raps. ("Hi, my name is Kerry from Pennsylvania Clean Water Action. ...Yeah, we're from Allentown!")
Suffice it to say, canvassing in PA did not go well. Aparently, this is an area of turf that the Allentown office does not hit very frequently. People were friendly, but very skeptical. By the end of the night, we were all soaked, and only half the crew had made standard. But then it was back in the van, wet clothes changed in the back seat, money counted, all en route to KY.
More of the trip out:
So, we began our trek at around 10pm in PA. Armed with potato chips and caffenated beverages, we drove through the night. We ran over several dead deer in Maryland, caused a ruckus at a gas station in West Virginia, and almost died in Tennessee when David started getting sleepy at the wheel. Probably his choice of music (2 cds worth of Bright Eyes and the first Shins album) didn't help. It was at this point, while everyone else was sleeping, that we decided David shouldn't drive anymore. It was time for me to drive the 12 person big arse fooking van for the first time...... on no sleep.... as the sun was rising on Friday. I went to grab a coffee and wandered over to the driver's seat. As I backed up, Chris kinda opened one eye. "Holy fuck! Kerry's driving?! Move over David!" Chris shoved David out of the navi-guesser's seat and began helping me back onto the highway. ("That's a RED light!")
To be continued...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

rip: punk rock hoodie

Left at a party in Kentucky.
Hopefully, another drunken activist acquired it, and its legend will grow.

"I found a shell....
Punk rawk HOODIE!
Punk rock beach!"

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kentucky! The Preview.

5 NJ canvassers, 1 'burb', 6 bags of potato chips, 6 hours of sleep since Thursday morning, 34 hours of driving, 2 nights of parties, 4 cases of beer, 1 road atlas, no casualties.
Professional activists party fucking hard as hell.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Road Trip!

Oh werd!
So, first of all, a special shout out to the
MOTHERFUCKING RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Werd!!!!
Thanks for not costing me a paycheck!
Okay, in other news...
I will be going to CONFERENCE in Kentucky this weekend. Where in Kentucky? Somewhere far far away apparently. Tomorrow I do work in PA en route. (Take that PA Dems!)
I will also be in PA on election day. (And *that*!)
So werd, conference. People following what I've been up to know that I work with an interesting cast of characters. What better way to get to know them better ("but not too much better!") than with a road trip?! Me, KT, David, Chris, and Eric will be making the trek to a weekend of parties, workshops, and goofing off. Oh, and almost 24 hours in the car together total. We're gonna get real close.....
Life is already good because as of an hour ago, I won the office bet! (The Bronx Bummer.)
So this means I won't have to take a lot of shit the whole car ride! I won't dish *too* much out.....
So, apparently we stay in like a cabin or a condo or something together. Picture a fucked up version of the Real World. I will return with many stories. I promise.
Have fun at Homecoming y'all! Drink a few too many for me! =D

the...... RED SOX WIN!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Mr. Rogers Has No Idea...

So, some people know that this weekend, an elderly woman behind the counter of the plumbing store around the corner was shot to death. (Ha, and you thought that was gonna be a Pearl Jam reference!) So, initial speculation was that she was shot by her husband which would have been sad but good news for the neighborhood. Husbands can shoot wives anywhere.
Unfortunately, it appears that she was actually murdered in the course of an armed robbery. This is extremely bad news for the neighborhood. Those who have been following Digging a Hole know that there was a shoot out in town a month ago, so let me go on record to say FUCK RED STATE LAWMAKERS WHO LIKE LAX GUN LAWS. Anyhoo.... so, I am now officially scared shitless. I was already scared to walk alone because fists hurt like a motherfucker when they connect with your eye socket. But at least I had my new found self-defense skills to fall back on. I ain't got shit against someone who opens fire on old ladies.
I'm pissed as hell.
So, who wants to visit? =D

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Cheese Curds in the News!

There was an article in the New York Times Magazine about quintessential state foods.
The NJ didn't get any love (does the NYTimes ever love NJ?) but Wisconsin was featured:

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Where are the Updates At?

You may be wondering.... "Why don't you update your blog anymore?"
Or you may not be...
Anyhoo, it's because I had to work 6 days this week for a total of 48 hours.
Plus I got rip roaring drunk Thursday night and came home the next morning just in time to shower, change, and go back to work.
So yeah.... That's why. Time to watch some baseball....

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

It's that magical time of year again....

The "Digging a Hole" Office Pool!

So, as some of you may know, the RED SOX play the yankees tonight and begin, what should be, a long and awesome series.
I already have essentially a paycheck riding on this series (peer pressure at work is a jerk), so I am not talking about any money changing hands here.... but what is everyone's prediction?
Here's what I think will happen. What everyone has forgotten is that Clemens and the Astros are alive and well in the National League playoffs, so really, this year's Curse will not be about the Yankees at all. The Sox'll get past them and suddenly find themselves facing an old nemesis.
That's my storyline. Sox in 7.
What's yours?
Oh, and werd, the Sox should pitch Wakefield every night. Martinez is a head case.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Someone got over 100 yards rushing again...

Unbridled Enthusiasm!

Yesterday, Ben drove down from Wes to go on an adventure... Phoenix Phall Phunfest!(Phest?), or "PPP" as they say in rollercoaster fanatic land. Basically, this insanely amazing park that me, Ben, and Aerob went to last May throws a big party at the end of the season in honor of its prized wooden rollercoaster, Phoenix. Lots of rollercoaster dorks (I mean that in the nicest way, seriously) descend on Knoebels Amusement Park in Pennsylvania to dazzle each other with esoteric costumes, talk face to face with friends from internet newsgroups, and make fun of Six Flags. Oh, and ride the rollercoasters a bazillion times! =D
In my opinion, this sweet little park is the epitome of all things good and right in the world. It's like, fresh apple pie baking in an oven with stickball being played in the street. It's perfect, for a few reasons.
a) It only costs $15!!!
b) Funnel cakes.
c) Vaguely sketchy in a fun way older rides.
d) Brass ring at the carousel!
e) You can camp out under the other wooden rollercoaster.
f) People slapping your hand on the way up the lift hill.
So, yeah, I pretty much had decided that this was a valley of goodness and plenty and pickles and that nothing in the world could possibly be as wholesome and fun......... Until I came for its big day! There was a costume parade with prizes! Every kid in the park who wore a costume won a toy! Free pizza and soda with admission! Detailed jack-o-lanterns at every ride entrance! Zombies! Buckets of candy while waiting on line for the old train ride! As if this wasn't perfect enough, at the end of the night, after everyone had ridden the Phoenix way past official closing time, everyone gathered in the picnic area to hear a speech from the park's owner who was fabulously awful at public speaking, gave toys to children, thanked everyone for coming, and awarded the best costume-wearers with "the *STAFF* shirt from *last year's* PPP!!!" (crowd: "oooooh....") He was like if Willy Wonka was not a creepy hallucination but was in fact a kindly middle-aged man. Following the speeches and clapping, he invited everyone to the campgrounds where a massive bonfire was lit AND...... HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF FREE HOTDOGS AND MARSHMALLOWS!!!! were passed out along with STICKS TO ROAST THEM ON!!! Food on a stick! For free! Unreal! So everyone cooked hotdogs, stuffed their faces with marshmallows, discussed the merits and drawbacks of the new giant rollercoaster being built at Six Flags Great Adventure, and promised to meet again soon at the next rollercoaster event. What an insanely cool day.


Hoorah! From here you can see the stand for Pickles on a Stick!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Navi-Guessing My Way

So, I wrote this really clever post a minute ago, but it got wiped out, so if this post sucks, just think of how cool the deleted post must have been.
Anyhoo, my dad and me are not speaking. That is not what this post is about, but it will complicate my proposal to let a friend crash this weekend for a night...
This post is about my last day "in training" at work. I am now... um... a ... not in training.... canvasser... Yeah! =D
So, I walked in yesterday, took a quick glance at the whiteboard expecting to see my name chilling somewhere with just a "(D10)" written next to it... but no. There was another word!
"Maps?" -me
"Haha! She just walks in here and goes, 'Maps?!' Someone tell Kerry what's going on." -Shanelle, the office manager
"It means you are the navi-guesser." -Chris
So, the navi-guesser, it was explained, has many important jobs like:
1) Getting us to our turf (navi-guessing)
2) Filling out the master map
3) Riding shotgun
"You get to use lots of colored markers and sit in the front seat. ...Just don't get us lost."
Sitting in the front seat comes with responsibilities. You have to control the heat/AC, you have to get change ready for the Parkway, and you have to (!) work the radio! I love controlling the radio! But I always get worried when setting the tunes for a whole van of people whose musical tastes I am less than familiar with. (Do they like this U2 song? Should I turn up Weezer?) Fortunately, much as Chris essentially took the guesswork out of navi-guessing by telling me exactly what directions I should relay to David, the driver, David took the guesswork out of working the radio by offering commentary on all the stations I flipped through. ("What the hell *is* this?" "Maybe we'll hear the new Interpol song.")
My actual canvass day was fairly uneventful. Most of my turf was supposedly this expensive condo complex which Chris suggested I save for later. I had a couple streets of McMansions to hit, so I went there first. A rich lady told me that, "She had already heard all about our schemes." I had not heard, but I'll take her word for it.
After an hour or so of getting rejected, I marched back to the condos, confident that I'd have another great Mahwah night. Unfortunately, funny story, it turns out no one actually took a very good look at the "condos". They were, in fact, tiny apartments... dare I say, a housing project. Whoops... So instead of rampaging through the upper-class, collecting checks like Robin Hood, I was fighting for every 5 dollar contribution from people with little expendable income. In Spanish. No, I don't speak Spanish, BUT I *did* watch Sesame Street which taught me how to count to 10, how to say water, and how to say thank you. That's really all you need, eh? So, armed with the numbers 1-10, I had extensive conversations that went something like this (translated):
Me: "Hi."
Woman: "Hi."
Me: (points at clipboard) "Water. Donations. 10."
Woman: "5."
Me: "Thanks a lot!"
Unfortunately, I could not ask for more than 10, because I could not count any higher. Luckily, most people who did not speak English just politely told me to buzz off. Which, really, made a lot more sense. I was pretty proud of my Spanish, though. =D
So, I had a decent enough time wandering through the apartments... Oh, until I acquired these two boys who started following me around, offering me encouragement.
"Haha! No one will talk to you! Everyone hates you!" Jerks.
I did meet an incredibly cool young couple in the apartments who invited me up, gave me 60 bucks, wrote 2 letters to the mayor, and were generally extremely cool and hip and young. I made standard by the seat of my pants. Werd.
I navi-guessed everyone back home. Blasted the Clash on the radio. Got my second paycheck. Went out and had a beer.
Now if only I wasn't on a disaster course with my dad....

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bizarreness Abounds.

So, today, before we went out and knocked on doors and acquired money and letters and inspired legions of middle-aged Americans and led a revolution of suddenly involved senior citizens and working class moms and brought the power structure to its knees..... before all that... we did a hiring blitz at the local college, Montclair State University. This was a surreal experience, for a few reasons.
1) Talking TO college students and not WITH college students, like, AS A FELLOW college student, is bizarre (see today's post title). I had all these lame phrases I dropped to try and convince these cocksure college students with no jobs and no concerns that our office truly is a hip, cool place to work. Phrases like:
2) "Hey, we're hiring people to help the environment. Make trouble; make money."
Kid who took a flyer: "How specifically do you make trouble?"
me (lamely and lowercase): "Um... by exerting pressure on our legislators to focus on issues they otherwise would have ignored."
Kid: "That doesn't sound like trouble to me."
Me (uppercase): "Lawmakers consider it trouble."
Kid: "Oh, good point."
3) I just WAS a college student merely months ago! In fact, for the sake of keeping it simple for the very very old ladies who open doors, I sometimes just say I still am a college student. I lie to old ladies. It has come to that.
So yeah, that was my experience recruiting college students today. Jerks won't know how good they have it sneering at environmental organizers from behind their radical student organization banners until it's too late. Then we'll hire them. =D

Sunday, October 03, 2004

'Nuff said.

Friday, October 01, 2004

This Just In! First Real World Paycheck!!!

Oh werd!!!
I got paid today!!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!
It's so exciting. All sorts of stuff gets taken out of a Real World paycheck and in amounts that like, actually matter. Currently, I work 1-10pm three days a week, but I am pretty sure I am gonna up it to 4 or 5 days a week starting next week.
Canvassing is hard as hell, but the cast of characters is pretty hilarious in our office, so I am never not entertained. People argue over whether or not Joy Division matters, swap political this and that, and generally goof off. But everyone gets their game faces on when we hit the streets and really kick arse. It's cool. I'm like, how are these people convincing strangers to give them money? But they are somehow.
It's also weird cause everyone is like 23, 24, 28... and I'm like, a freshman in life. Hanging out in the Real World is expensive. We go to bars and drink our paychecks, go bowling, sing kareoke... weird shit man. I don't get drunk in the Real World because it costs too much, and I have to drive home. WTF? (I got a bus schedule to take care of at least part of that problem.) Being responsible sucks.
So, that is my communique from Real World land (and not the Real World where the one gay guy and the one black girl teach 5 white kids about diversity in Philadephia). Pretty interesting place...