Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Archive for February 2010

Wear and Tear

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Total Black: $94.32
Total Red: $226,478.27

I read further in Mind Over Money this afternoon during down time at the theatre; I worked as Greater again.  Since the authors, Ted and Brad Klontz, are father and son, they benefit from unique insights into their own family’s financial histories and each others.  Something the father wrote reminded me of a refrain my mother repeat often in my youth: wear and tear on the car.

Keep reading . . .

Keeping It Down

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Total Black: $143.32
Total Red: $226,236.75

Finally!  My debt is slipping back!  In fact, I’m so ecstatic over this news because it is the lowest my debt has come since starting this project!  Even if a portion of the reduction in total red belongs to an as yet uncapitalized amount, the total is still down.  At this point, I’ll take whatever I can get.  Now just to keep it down.  And speaking of keeping it down, I arrived home to a curious piece of mail with another set of my financial data kept down in records. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 27, 2010 at 22:26

Fight, Flight, or Freeze

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Total Black: $521.48
Total Red: $227,180.54

In Financial Neighborhoods, I mentioned how the authors of Mind Over Money referenced the instinctual responses to perilous situations as fight, flight, or freeze.  I had never heard “freeze” included when referencing the fight-or-flight response.  It’s absence, now that I’ve noticed it, is a clear oversight on the part of psychologists.  The authors of Mind Over Money cite the triple-F response mechanism because that response is often triggered in times of financial difficulties or when we face financial struggles.  It seems asinine to imagine a primal response to something so contemporary as managing finances, but it happens.  Quite often.  To me as well. Keep reading . . .

Financial Neighborhoods

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Total Black: $1,520.58
Total Red: $229,468.86

I worked both jobs today: contract attorney by day, off-Broadway usher by . . . evening I suppose.  Haven’t found me a “by night” just yet—even though I’ve been consistently looking.  Tonight at New World Stages I worked as Greater, directing patrons towards ticket-taking, the box office or will-call, bathrooms, etc., and then after the shows end back to exit.  Tonight was my first time working that position.  I surprised myself that raising my voice and talking over the chattering crowds crowding the entrance doors caused me a wee bit of discomfort whereas a co-worker next to me just spoke up and shouted out instructions.  Perhaps that’s one difference between an actor and a lawyer: all actors have to be able to project their voices while all lawyers do not.  I don’t recall if I mentioned in prior posts that all but one of my co-workers are actors or singers or just theatre people generally.  The outlier also works in law but as a paralegal.  That my co-workers are all theatre people is one reason I really enjoy working at New World Stages.  The atmosphere is young, and fun, and exciting, full of the optimism of youth.  Life’s endless possibilities waft through the air.  More so than the stank of desolate, staring-at-a-dead-end attorneys.  But I’m digressing from today’s topic: financial neighborhoods. Keep reading . . .

A Bad Review

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Total Black: $88.02
Total Red: $229,287.77

Of late I’ve taken to sporadically checking Above the Law, a legal gossip blog tailored mostly to corporate law firm culture and climate.  Once upon a time I scanned it religiously, especially during times of law firm unrest: layoffs and firm shamings, bonus season, and even when salary increases were being announced way back in 2007.  Crazy days of youth it seems now.  But today as I glanced at the site during an electronic stroll, I spotted an article about law firm reviews that took me back to my earlier days at the law firm and when I received my annual review. Keep reading . . .

Awhile Longer

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Total Black: $87.19
Total Red: $229,237.47

Looks like the temp job will last awhile longer.  The staff attorney on the case all but said as much.  I was asked about my plans and availability for the upcoming weeks.  I suppose it wasn’t small talk, right?  I forgot to ask straight-out about the length of this project.  Well, “forget” isn’t exactly accurate.  I suppose “didn’t think to ask” would be more on point.  It was only later that I realized that was a perfect opportunity to find out how much longer they needed me. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 23, 2010 at 23:59

Such a CARD!

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Total Black: $90.46
Total Red: $229,121.20

Ah Congress.   That austere body.  The bequest to countless generations of the Founding Fathers.  And how we have squandered that bequest.  Today the CARD Act went into effect.  And what major changes does it enact?  What manna from congressional heaven will fall?  Not much really.  Keep reading . . .

Something’s Gotta Give

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Total Black: $389.73
Total Red: $229,121.20

I woke four times this morning: at 6am, 8:30am, 9am, and then finally at 10:40am.  I had intended to get up early to put some hours in at the contract attorney position before working at the theatre gig at 11am.  My body just wouldn’t let me get out of bed. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 21, 2010 at 15:25

A Bit Temperamental

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Total Black: $389.73
Total Red: $229,121.20

I spent the entire day working at New World Stages.  I started off the day at The Gazillion Bubble Show in the morning.  Then Avenue Q for the matinée performance.  I had intended to head to the contact attorney position once I finished up at the theatre, but then I got a chance to usher a new show, The Temperamentals, in the evening.  So I took it.  I’ll put those hours in tomorrow that I would have done today.  Glad I saw the Temperamentals tonight.  Got me thinking. Keep reading . . .

I Went To Law School For This?

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Total Black: $447.83
Total Red: $228,960.74

Another day at the contract attorney position.  I spent the entire day working on an assignment from a paralegal. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 19, 2010 at 21:15

If I Can Make It There

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Total Black: $2,647.57
Total Red: $228,960.74

Just started my morning reviewing documents and came across an analyst report that cited ol’ Blue Eyes in its title. Got me thinking. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 18, 2010 at 08:58

Buggin’ Me Again

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Total Black: $1,026.10
Total Red: $228,920.93

They’re back.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 17, 2010 at 22:42

Bark Bigger Than Bite

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Total Black: $1,066.57
Total Red: $228,896.15

Well.  I finally did it.  I answered the call.  Picked up the telephone.  Twice actually. Keep reading . . .

No Holidays For Lawyers

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Total Black: $1,066.57
Total Red: $228,867.93

A few days ago, while at the contract attorney position, I got to talking with the office manager for the attorney temporary staffing agency’s off-site location.  She was working quite late, as was I, and I inquired why.  A new project was starting up and some computer problem had occurred.  She had to stick around until the situation was solved otherwise the project wouldn’t have been able to start on time.  It got me wondering why Law is all-consuming. Keep reading . . .

Stupid Cupid

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Total Black: $1,066.57
Total Red: $228,913.98

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Not much of one here.  I worked two shifts at the theatre and had to smile and beam at all the happy couples (both straight and gay) and giddy families coming to see the shows.  And both shows were sold out too so that meant a lot of patrons. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 14, 2010 at 23:02

Day Off

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Total Black: $1,0644.44
Total Red: $228,913.98

I decided to take the day off.  Well . . . sort of.  I worked a few hours at the contract attorney position today and then three shifts at the theatre job.  I’ll be doing the same again tomorrow.  But I decided to sit my butt down today and just relax for a bit.  Take a break from this blog and the jobs.

Total black has nearly all be allocated to rent.  Just waiting for checks to be cashed.  Total red is up because the monthly IRS statement arrived today and penalties and interest have been added.

So it goes . . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 13, 2010 at 23:23

Constant Craving

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Total Black: $1,084.44
Total Red: $228,537.79

Nope.  Not a post about k.d.  Although I did think about uploading that song—that is, until I googled the lyrics.   Odd.  At any rate, all day today I had these crazy bouts of spending urges. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 12, 2010 at 23:23

Credit Schmedit

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Total Black: $1,086.75
Total Red: $228,537.78

Well, looks like I got my wish.  So to speak.  Just yesterday in Seventh Day of Accounting, I expressed my disdain for a particular credit card and noted that it was next on my debt elimination radar screen.  I sent a payment to that card this morning: a $700.00 payment.  Later in the day I got a bit impatient and decided to check the card’s website to see whether the payment posted yet.  Former MBNA credit cards can’t be viewed or managed through Bank of America’s website.  And what did I discover when I checked? Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 11, 2010 at 23:40

Seventh Day of Accounting

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Total Black: $585.56

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $0.00
Secondary Checking: $500.00
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $1.05
PayPal Account (Blog): $3.58
Amazon Payments Account: $0.005
Mutual Funds Account: $80.93

FICO Score 487

Total Red: $228,999.10

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,549.67
Visa: $8,128.78
Visa: $5,949.67
American Express: $417.64
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,178.12
Saks Fifth Avenue Credit Card: $272.19

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,317.19

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,285.85
IRS (2008): $28,116.66
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Seventh day of accounting, but only the sixth month in. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 10, 2010 at 23:48

In Medias Res . . . Again

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Total Black: $585.61
Total Red: $228,964.81

I’ve reached the middle of the road.  Six months into this journey.  And along the way I became an art seller, a contract attorney, and an usher off-Broadway.  I’ve participated in a medical experiment, worked at bit as a solo practitioner, and sold many of my belongings and reduced quite a few expenses.  But it’s not been enough. Keep reading . . .

Money Scripts

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Total Black: $685.16
Total Red: $228,657.45

Every so often you stop and take account of the inherent curiosity of life and its serendipitous moments.  It can give you pause and make even the doubting-est Thomas believe that maybe there is some . . . thing . . . else at work behind the scenes.  Call it energy, God, consciousness:  nonetheless it can take you by surprise and slap a smile across your face.  Yesterday reminded me of that.

Keep reading . . .

Lounging Around

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Total Black: $681.94
Total Red: $228,415.87

My trip to magical Orlando was a success.  Lounging in the lobby of the hotel as I write this entry.  Meetings have concluded but my flight isn’t until this evening.  I’m leaving with a title and without a tan.  And thankfully I didn’t spend nearly as much as I had feared I would, or would have had to.  Tomorrow it’ll be back to the daily grind.  But that’s ok.  I’m looking forward to it.  Even more so because I learned a new word on this trip that I can’t wait to start using.  And even doing.  What’s the new word? Keep reading . . .

A Whole New World

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Total Black: $681.94
Total Red: $228,415.87

I couldn’t help the Disney dig.  Board meetings all day long.  I also ended up spending more than I expected because of the layout of Orlando.  I had thought I’d be able to walk from my hotel to the area where our meetings are being held.  I didn’t know that the Disney area outside Orlando is a magical land where sidewalks don’t really exist and taxis and shuttles must cart you everywhere.  But despite the added cost, the trip has been worth it.  Both from a mental health perspective and a career one. Keep reading . . .

Business Travel

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Total Black: $681.94
Total Red: $228,429.83

I didn’t sleep last night.  I was up late posting yesterday’s entry as well as packing and getting the apartment ready for this short trip away.  And I was excited about coming to Orlando.  I sprang for a taxi to the airport this morning at 4am because I didn’t want to risk missing my flight if I did take the subway at that late hour.  I ended up missing it anyway because of JetBlue’s current reservations fiasco.  I stood in line for over ninety minutes.  That was my first and last time using JetBlue.  But once I made it past security and to the ticked area, I had an odd flashback to a few years ago when I traveled fairly frequently for business.  I miss it. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 5, 2010 at 23:19

Colleague Confusion

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Total Black: $750.64
Total Red: $229,126.19

Numerous comments over the past few months have taken me to task for daring to expect something additional from the colleague I’ve worked for since August.  Way back in Hang A Shingle.  So, I thought I’d take the time to lay out some of the back and forth between him and myself.  Might help to make for a clearer picture.  Note that I’ve changed any identifying information as to persons or corporations. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 4, 2010 at 23:27