Mai 2006

I surrender--or: fictitious letter to TAB

Dear Transit Adjudication Bureau of New York City,

I surrender. I give in. I confess.

I'm sure your police officers were way too busy yelling at me and go through my stuff, reading the printouts of very private emails, showing one email that revealed my homosexuality to each other with evil smiles, so they weren't really able to realize that I had a valid 30-days unlimited ride metro card in my hand and showed it repeatedly and visually to both of them when they stopped me and issued me a fine for supposedly riding the subway without paying the fare.

I promise that I try to understand that my credit card statement that proves I've bought a 30-day unlimited rides card can not be used as evidence of my innocence. Every sane human being would say I'm innocent, but I give in, you're right: although I had a valid metro card in my hand, and although I've sent the metro card two times to your office (after you returned it with a letter and forgot about that).

I'm sorry your phone number is very busy and to get through to you takes like 90 minutes each time, I think that's my responsibility too. I'm sorry that once you kept me waiting for three hours on the phone pretending you're doing something for me. And I'm sorry you hung up on me after three hours, calls from Germany to the US aren't really cheap by the way--I guess that's my fault as well. And I'm sorry another clerk hung up on me too right after that, this clearly proves your point that I didn't respond. And I'm sorry your letter was sent back to you labeled "insufficient address", but since all other letters have arrived, it is clear I didn't provide a wrong address to you. And yes, I try to understand that as soon as a letter has left your office, it's completely my responsibility that I get it. It's completely my fault the Post wasn't able to deliver the mail to me, you are so right. I promise I will try to understand why you "see no good cause" to get this solved. And I try to understand why you say that I don't respond to your letters. Responses by phone, fax and letters always on the same day I got your letter seems not to be enough in your world.

I'm sorry I got no letter I could have responded to, and I'm sure your late penalty for not answering to a letter that came back to you labeled "insufficient address" makes sense to you. And I'm sure your promise sending me the letter again, but instead just sending another late penalty is fine as well. I grew up in a country of justice, and maybe I just expected that in your country as well. I'm such a dork. I confess.

I'm sorry that I've expected to be treated like a human. Now I know how stupid I was to hope you would help me out of this ridiculous ticket. I pay the ticket, and the two late fees, although I didn't do anything wrong. And--as your form says--by paying I confess my guilt. So that's what I do now.

If the State of New York and the City of New York need money that bad, that they even start to fine innocent tourists because they can't come back for a court case, I just give in. I don't want to become famous for being the guy who didn't spare a couple dollars for a (maybe? at least they act like that) bankrupt state.

Take my money, take my pride. But please never ever do that again.

How to find a compromise

Finding a compromise is not always easy. But I'm sure I can explain it with a tiny example of German politics.

Before the elections in September 2005, the SPD (comparable to the Democrats in the USA) said with them there will be no raise of VAT. The CDU (comparable to the Republicans in the USA) said there's a need to raise VAT by on percentage point. None of them got enough votes, so there is a big coalition of both of them in power.

Addlebrained people might be going to think that a compromise between no raise and a raise of 1 percentage point might be something like a raise of 0.5 percentage points. They're mistaken. They're dumb, stupid and crazy.

As you can learn from our goverment, if one party wants no raise, and the other one wants a raise by one, the compromise is a raise of 3. That's right, VAT in Germany will go from 16% up to 19% by the end of this year. Well done, government, thanks for showing us how to compromise.


That's so creepy. I took this test to find out what age I'm acting. There are some questions about favorite dessert, TV habits and stuff like that, and then they calculate your age. To make it clear, you don't enter any number, neither your birth year nor your age, the calculation is only based on these favorite dessert thingy question. I am 29, and this was my result:

You Are 29 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

To the Best Mom Ever!

People say that nearly every gay boy loves his Mommy. This might be true, but I'm not only loving her--she's really the best Mom ever! She was a perfect Mom while I needed a Mom, and she is also my best friend--and still a Mom, that'll never change.

She was in her mid-twenties when she gave birth to me. Oops, I know, I'm not supposed to tell the age of a woman. But I mean, I'm already older than she had been when I was born. I'm not mature enough to take care of my indoor plants, while she has always been a perfect, loving and caring Mom.

This picture was taken exactly two years ago, May 2004. She and I went to New York City, I wanted to show her the city I love, now she's loving it as well.

You know, I want to move to New York City by the end of the year. I'm not living in the same city as my Mom already. I only see her once each month, but we're talking on the phone regularly, and I know I can be with her in an hour if I want so. I'm afraid I'll see her only once a year or less after I've moved. She's the only person I'm gonna miss very much. And somehow I'm afraid that after some years I'll regret that I hadn't been able to spent more time with her.

Mom, thank you so much for everything you did for me so far, thank you for being such a great mother and a lovely friend. Thank you for your love and care. Thank you for your support after I came out. Thank you so much for you're always there for me, thank you for all the things you've taught me, thanks for your advice, thank you for making me who I am. I love you.

The one about language.

Some of my American blogging friends got comments about bad grammar or spelling lately. Usually I think it's really cheap if someone uses that to insult someone else. It's like you don't agree with something that had been said, but you're not bright enough to reply with real content. In Germany we say that the one who's complaining about your grammer has already lost the argument.

Anyway, I'm in a different situation. I'm obviously not a native speaker, I make many mistakes and I know my English sucks. I started blogging in 2003 in German, and then I just forgot to continue. When I started to blog again just 3 months ago, I decided to do it in English for one reason. Besides the reasons someone has to blog at all, I chose a foreign language to improve my language skills.

That also includes that I appreciate hints or corrections. If you realize that I misspell a word all the time, or that I make the same grammar mistake again and again, I would be very happy if you can give me a hint. Thanks!

Gimme 5 times 5

Today's questions on Gimme5:

1. Tell us 5 things you’ve done this morning.
I just got up, so nothing special happened so far, but ok ...

  1. I did number one.
  2. I did number two.
  3. I did a phone call.
  4. I was reading some blogs.
  5. I checked my email.

2. Tell us 5 things you’re going to do today.

  1. I'm gonna present a prototype to a customer in the evening.
  2. I have to study for my exams.
  3. I need to return some goods to the store.
  4. I need to go to the bank.
  5. I have to run some errands.

3. Tell us 5 things you couldn’t live without.

  1. good friends
  2. music
  3. strawberry and raspberry cake
  4. phones
  5. good cheese

4. Tell us 5 things you would like to live without.

  1. wasps
  2. friends who are false
  3. smoke (in restaurants, pubs and clubs)
  4. tickets
  5. disappointment

5. Tell us 5 things you would like to achieve.

  1. my university degree
  2. an appartment in Brooklyn Heights
  3. a job in New York
  4. a relationship
  5. maybe a PhD