Digging a Hole

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Line on the Horizon, but Yes, Whales!

Oh, werd?
As some folks know, I don't *d0* goal-setting. This may or may not be a problem. Maybe it's because I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, even as a little kid.

Lil Kerry: I want to be a Major League Baseball pitcher!
Kerry's Parents: Follow your heart, Kerry! Let's go meet Ron Darling!
Lil Kerry: Hi Ron Darling! I want to be a pitcher!
Ron Darling: Aw, cute.
Lil Kerry: Coach, I want to be a pitcher.
Coach: Okay, here's how to pitch a change-up.
Lil Kerry: World, watch out. I am an aspiring pitcher.
World: You are a girl.
Lil Kerry: Oh..... Fuck.

So, after the dashing of that dream, I never really came up with a follow-up career goal. Instead, perhaps inspired by the beating I took in the summer of 2003, I came up with a list of life goals.
1) Go to Ireland. (done and done and done some more)
2) Meet a wonderful guy. (Hi, Eric! I love you!)
3) See a tornado. (Still working on that one.)
4) Be in an earthquake. (Yeah Indiana crosstrain!)
5 and 5b) See a whale and an ocean sunfish.

Apparently, seeing a whale is really, really easy. As someone who has been on many "whale" watches in NJ but saw only dolphins, I thought they were elusive. As it turns out, they live in Boston. Oh.
So, armed with ample days off and little responsibility, Eric, Kevin, and I headed out for the
We began our weekend cruising north to Massachusetts toting a discounted stay at a 4 star hotel, tickets to a whale watch, and Sunday night U2 tickets. We arrived to find that Boston was in full-blown U2 mode. Fans milled in the hotel lobby swapping tickets and stories. Fellow whale-watchers complemented our old tour shirts as we steamed out of Boston harbor.
Still in a New Jersey state of mind, I figured that the spout I saw in the distance counted as a whale. Little did I know how they roll in New England. The boat wandered over to the general vicinity of the spouts and suddenly, there it was. An absolutely giant animal appeared just below me. Very very few things could distract me from the moment of achieving a life goal.... except a more difficult life goal. A giant tan fin smacked the ocean's surface about 10 yards away. As we drew closer, I saw what it was. An absolutely huge ocean sunfish - the largest bony fish in the sea. It flopped and basked like a massive swimming carpet. When we got too close, it jetted into deeper water with seemingly impossible speed. Many more whales followed, but the close encounter with the elusive mola mola was magic for me.
That night, we celebrated our successful engagement with the sea creatures of New England by partying at the Black Rose, an Irish pub. U2 fans were out in force, an Irish band brought the house down with a mix of trad and U2 covers, and the doorman waved our cover because he did not have change for our twenty. Drunk revelers from around the world wrapped their arms around each other to belt out a terrible cover of "One".
My one complaint about Boston is where they chose to put their football stadium. Why would you put a building intended to hold 50,000+ people several miles from a major highway? The concert traffic backed up all the way to the city itself and a 15 mile trip became a 3 1/2 hour odyssey. Fans chatted between car windows. Many (myself included) ran out of their cars to pee on the shoulder. Finally, with less than 5 minutes to spare, we found our seats in the upper outer reaches of Gilette Stadium. The U2 spaceship stage began to emit smoke. Drums. Lights. Joy. It's U2 concert season again!
I don't know where I am going, but I want to be surrounded by people I love, sounds I love, and experiences and memories that I can share for as long as I am on this planet. Those are my life goals.

Mola mola image by Jens Kuhfs

U2 pictures I stole from U2.com!

U2 bring the house down with Bono's laser suit:

The 360 spaceship in all it's glory:

PS: If you missed it this fall/summer, they are going around again next year. Join the U2 website/fanclub for ticket access!
(See u2.com? I plugged you. Now, don't get mad at my copyright infringement.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Democracy Inaction

Oh, werd?
Sometimes, when I am feeling cheeky, I will introduce myself to contacts as a "community organizer". I actually rarely did that before the presidential election, but it elicits such great reactions from people now. Either people are ready to fly a kamikaze mission for Obama, or they are ready to fly one at him.
For example:
KPd.: Hi! I'm Kerry! I'm a community organizer working to stop dumping in Barnegat Bay! =D
Old White Guy: What did you introduce yourself as?
KPd.: A community... organizer....?
OWG: I don't like that phrase.
KPd.: Why?
OWG: ......Um....
The unfortunate conclusion I have been forced to reach is that many Americans are really really stupid. Bill Mahr reached this conclusion as well, I believe.
The other possible option is that many Americans are really really racist, but they know that it is not polite, so they make illogical policy arguments instead of just coming out and revealing their hatred of black presidents.
Take this exchange in Freehold, NJ:
KPd.: Yeah, the power plant is causing fish kills in Barnegat Bay. We are working to require the facilities to upgrade so that we can protect the Jersey fishing grounds.
OWG: I love striper fishing!
KPd.: Me too!
OWG: But... you know... I just don't like the way this country is going...
KPd.: Oh, yeah? How do you mean?
OWG: You know...
KPd.: You mean the fish kills?
OWG: No, no, no... you know....
KPd.: I'm sorry. I don't know.
OWG: How could they let a black man run this country!?


The other recent common expression of racism is the denial of racism. As in, "I'm not a racist but..."
I overheard this conversation between two old white guys walking dogs in Bergen County.
OWG1: There sure is a lot of debate about this healthcare bill.
OWG2: What do you think about it?
OWG1: Well, I am not sure yet. I don't know a lot about it.
OWG2: Well you know what bothers me? I can't call Obama a communist without someone else calling me a racist. I'm not racist! I just don't like the guy. I don't trust him. It's a gut feeling.
OWG1: Hey! What's that girl selling?!
KPd.: Nothing guys. Just working to stop the dumping in Barneget Bay.
OWG1: The bay?! I fish there! See? There's an issue we can all support.
OWG2: This isn't an Obama thing, is it?



Oh, werd?
I would love to post about my boyfriend's family reunion, but I don't think I should.
I will say this: It involved a keg and an AR-15 rifle.