Monday, September 5, 2011

$250 parking ticket?

I just got a $250 parking ticket, for parking a commercial vehicle in a residential area.

Really? $250? For parking? One night?

That's almost as much as my registration. And my 6-month insurance payment. Both of which are due this month. It's also more than I paid in a whole YEAR of parking tickets back before I figured out where to park without getting ticketed. Or so I thought. It's certainly more than I spent on fuel to drive to LA and back last month. One ticket.

This is a deeply troubling development.

The ticket was stamped early in the morning, before sunrise, before most people are awake, so I don't think it was a neighbor complaint.

It might have been a particularly unpleasant and sadistic cop, with either nothing better to do, in a bad mood, but that wouldn't explain the outrageous fine for something so simple; cops don't set the amount of the fines.

So it was a city government either deeply corrupt and shaking down everyone they can for money, or on some kind of weird war march against... something, I'm not sure exactly what.

This is really bad. I'm in kind of a financial hole right now, and I'm not sure how to get out of it. I spent much more than I made last month, including on that trip, and I didn't work at all because of the trip.

The registration bill is $350, and the insurance is $350 too. This is ugly. What I really should do is try to get the vehicle re-registered as an RV, then the registration will be $80 or so, and insurance will probably be less too. I have the paperwork; I just need to make the appointment to go in and get it done.

So now here I sit. My source of random programming gigs has seemed to dry up. I have one project I can and probably should complete for money, even though it probably won't amount to that much, but I can't get motivated to do it, even though I don't want to disappoint the customer who's waiting for it.

Like the ticket, this situation is really my own fault, due to fatalism and weariness really. I was really tired last night, and I just wanted to sleep, wanted to be left alone. I picked a spot that I'd parked in many times before, even though it didn't really feel right, because I hadn't been back there in a year or so. The last time I was in that neighborhood, I got a ticket for not turning my wheel properly against the curb on a hill. Still, that was only $35. And I stayed away for a while. I really should have continued to stay away. I certainly will now. Whatever is going on there regarding cops and parking, I don't want any part of it, thank you very much. $250 for parking!

My work fatalism is similar. I'm tired. Even after fixing my glasses situation, I can't really focus my brain on programming. It's torture, it's not fun, and the only reason I do it is because people will pay me to do it. Reading code and documentation makes my eyes, head, and neck ache. Doing mechanical-related stuff doesn't wear on me as much, because I don't have to use my eyes and brain so much, I can use my body, hands, etc, and that's less strain. But all my van-related projects are mostly done, and I don't see any reason in making work (or spending money) on stuff that isn't really necessary. I just want to be left alone, to maybe read non-software-related stuff, and think about more human things.

I've felt this before: like I keep getting hit, and I want to crouch down in a fetal ball and wait for the beatings to stop. I felt it a lot when I first started vandwelling. But, what I've learned over the last few years is that there is that the beatings do not stop on their own, that they just get worse. I'll have to battle back on my own in order to obtain any real relief. And I'm so tired, so much just wanting to rest, to sleep, to grow old quietly and safely. That is all I want.

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