Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Trying Experience

As you may recall, I was ticketed by park police for allegedly walking Lenny without his leash. As unanimously suggested by you guys, I went to the court and fight it. I was scheduled for an 8:30AM hearing (or so I thought). Now, I am not a morning person but to prove that I am not guilty (and to save $100), I dragged my ass out of bed and went to court earlier than scheduled.

As usual, most government bureaucracies are slow to move, I sat there waiting patiently for more than an hour until they called my name. Finally at 9:35 AM the administrative clerk judge called me. We sat in his office and he turned on his recorder and started writing jibberish (it looked like my hubby's writing)

Now, this is not really my first time at this sort of hearing. I once complained about a taxi not driving me home because I live in different borough (it's a typical stereotype that if you live outside of Manhattan, you pretty much live in the ghetto - little they know, we live in prime Parkslope) and btought the driver to a hearing. I knew I was going to win my case based on the law in NYC that no taxi can refuse a fare because the destination is in the different borough. Also, they stupid taxi driver brought his meter record which actually proved my case. Long story short, I won and the driver got penalized.

Having watched my favorite show Judge Judy thousands of times, I pretty much knew how to act in with the clerk judge: Never say anything until you are asked a question. Answer only Yes or No questions and bring proof/evidence.

So finally the clerk judge spoke;

CJ: Do you want this case to be adjourned and for me to give you a lower fine or do you want a hearing?

JB: I would like my ticket fine to be lowered if possible.

CJ: I can't do that; you need to pay $100.

JB: I guess your honor; I have no choice but to do a hearing.

CJ: Do you want the officer to be present during the hearing?

JB: (If I'm wasting my time here I think it's fair if the officer should waste his time too) Yes, your honor.

CJ: Are you going to have a lawyer represent you?

JB: (I think my husband can represent me but I don't want to look cocky in the eye of the "real" judge and end up losing the case and his sympathy) No, your honor. I will represent myself

CJ: Very well, we will send you a letter for your next hearing. You can go now.

That's it? I wasted 1 1/2 hours just to answer this stupid questions? They should have just send me the questionnaire and I would have mailed it back to them via Fed-ex!

I will be waitng for the next hearing. Hopefully it doesn't come anytime soon while I'm half a world away for the next 2 weeks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maligayang Kaarawan Nanay

Today is my mom's 61st birthday. Because her birthday fell on Good Friday this year, we celebrated with the family last week. Believe me, it is not always an easy feat scheduling a get together with all of my family, which includes my uncle, Ivan (my uncles BFF) and my two brothers. My older brother often works weekends and my younger brother's schedule is just ever unpredictable because he is in the army. In fact, last weekend was the last weekend he was around before going out of state for three weeks for training. We all had an intimate dinner at Mulino Ristorante (formerly Trattoria Mulino - they moved up in the world!), one of our favorite restuarants in the neighborhood. Afterwards we went back to my house for ice crean and this ridiculously cheezy Filipino movie called "Dubai."

On her actual birthday, I met my mom for lunch. Since she was in a hurry to get bact to church, we net and had a wonderful pizza lunch at Sbarro in mid-town, (truth to be told, Sbarro's is a tourist trap - most New Yorkers wouldn't be caught dead there.) As usual, my mom was a bit slow to order so the guy thought that she was a tourist also. He started screaming at her that there is a long line and if she is not sure what to order, she needs to get off the line (ah that New York hospitality!) I thought it was pretty funny that my mom has lived in New York for a quarter of century and she still hasn't adopted the New York life.

On the left is a picture of my mom eating a slice of pizza along her favorite drink - cranberry juice.

To my mom, happy birthday! Without you I'd never have gotten to experience the New York life. And although our mother/daughter relationship went through some though times the past few years, I'm happy that we were able to start over. On your 61st birthday, I wish you a wonderful year, good health and many more birthdays for us to celebrate together. I also hope I can join you on your vacation back home next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that time will permit me.

Cheers Nanay!