Digging a Hole

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Fracktivists Cross the Delaware

Oh, werd?
After months of frantic organizing, letter writing, and occasional text blasts to everyone in my cell phone, we can exhale. The Delaware River Basin Commission decided to delay the scheduled vote to open the river basin to fracking. Huzzah!
On Monday, what was to be a day of mass rallying and civil disobedience became an unexpected celebration hosted by Josh Fox of Gasland. Speakers from Dimock, PA came to ask the crowd for help replacing their drinking water supply. The Catskills Mountkeeper displayed his grizzly mountain beard. And, as Chief Gentlemoon of the Lenape Nation looked on, not one, not two, but three speakers invoked the image of Washington crossing the Delaware at Trenton to push out the "occupying foreigners", the Hessians. Oops. (Also, if "Washington Crossing the Delaware, at Trenton" isn't already the name of a condo development in New Jersey, it should be.)
I don't know about fourth grade history in other states, but in New Jersey, Hessian-hating is one of the best parts of elementary school history. That's our Boston Tea Party moment. It was a nice touch to link Monday's surprise victory in Trenton to the famous icy ambush of legend, but can we all agree to not use "occupying foreigners" language un-ironically again? At least not when the Chief of the Lenape Nation is standing behind you?
The rally concluded with a march to the Statehouse featuring (at least, *I* think "featuring") NJEF Montclair's fabulous, glitter-covered, Jersey Shore themed signs. If there is one thing we do well in the Montclair office, it is making political protest fun.
Josh Fox approved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Point Short of 30

Oh, werd?
Twenty. Nine.
Or as Tara and I like to call it, our "late twenty".
Considering that I have not lived at home full-time in nine years, I figure it's time to update the address on my driver's license to reflect that fact. I am at my third post-Walnut Street address, but I can't seem to shake it off my primary form of adult ID. Why?
Well, this story starts ten years ago when, so legend has it, some disgruntled young men with fake NJ IDs decided to go one step further than sneak into a bar in Hoboken and knocked the Twin Towers down. As a result, the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles came to the conclusion that laminated pieces of paper are not the most secure form of government ID. Not only that, but in order to receive a new *digital* license, you now need to show "6 points" of identity verification, and, I believe, sign an affidavit saying you will not knock down any major American landmark buildings.
Five years ago, I attempted to collect the 6 points together for my new license. Here's where it got weird. I could not prove that I lived in Montclair with Eric. I am not on the lease. I split the internet with Shamar, but it was in his name, not mine. My cell phone is a family plan, and I don't get the bill mailed here. My pay stubs said "Walnut St" because I needed my official work address to match my driver's license in case I got stopped by the police while canvassing. I didn't have a credit card yet. My bank statements were going to Walnut Street because I am an idiot.
The only address I could "prove" that I lived at was my parents' house. So, despite my best efforts, I was forced to scam the super secure "6 point" system with a false address because I could not prove that I had moved years before. Awesome.
Since that time, I have opened a credit card account. I have switched my official bank address to Montclair. I am now a registered Montclair voter. Last night, I confidently opened the "6 point" website to prepare for my new license.
4 points - Current NJ digital license. Check!
1 point - Social security card. Check!
1 point - ATM card with signature. Che- Crap! My card is so worn that I can't read the signature. Okay okay. I am sure there are other 1 point documents that I have.
-Insurance card with recent pay stub. Nope. My pay stub says Walnut Street to match my old license.
-Credit card bill or bank statements. Shit. I shredded those when I cleaned the living room last week.
-First class mail from a local government. Yes! My sample ballot! Crap! I took out the recycling already!
I raced outside into the rain to go through the paper recycling and retrieve the 6th point. I tore through saturated Arts Sections and Mother Earth News magazines. Alas, drenched in rain water and stale recycled beer bottles, I was forced to admit defeat. I don't have proof of address unless I want to prove that I "live with my parents" again. Sigh...
I still have two weeks. Hopefully, I get a credit card bill.
Also, the 9/11 hijackers did *not* use New Jersey driver's licenses.
Can I have my paper license please?