Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

On the Seventh Day . . .

with 10 comments

Total Black: $285.77
Total Red: $226,342.25

I did not work today.  Not at the theatre, nor at the contract attorney position.  A few emails came through this morning from the associate at the law firm I’m working for, but I wasn’t needed after all.  Earlier in the week I had gotten my shifts at the theatre covered.  So I had the entire day to myself.  Not that I intended it that way, at first.

I awoke around 10am to emails from the associate at 7am.  I didn’t respond until after 11am.  I’m just a temp, right?  I started getting ready to head in to work.  I had every intention of putting in time at the contract attorney job today.  But then I remembered that this was the third Sunday of the month—the day the gay men’s book club I started meets.  And I haven’t been to one of our brunch book discussions in months.  Only a few guys were going to this month’s meeting, so I had to attend; there was no one I could have serve as my proxy.

That threw a wrench in the works: either I rush over to the contract attorney job now to get started, then leave for the book club, then come back afterward.  Or I just hang around and go in after the book club ended.  But I wanted to hit the gym as well.  All the permutations of those plans.  I opted to go in late.  I took a casual stroll downtown—after converting my coins to cash at TD Bank’s Penny Arcade.  They’ll count your coins for free.  I had twenty-three dollars.  That covered brunch.  Once I got downtown though, and had my Starbucks coffee in hand (a $1.50 Pike Place no less), I remembered that Manhattan has nowhere to sit.  Benches are hard to come by on streets.  I don’t actually know if the city has any at all frankly.  Not in a park that is.  So I just stood around for about an hour.  It was too beautiful outside to sit inside Starbucks.

Eventually my fellow book-lovers showed; we brunched; and then we left.  I brought my gym bag with me and walked to a nearby gym.  And once I finished my thirty-minutes—fifteen on the treadmill and fifteen on a bike (I’d been doing thirty on the treadmill, but since getting sick it’s taken a bit much to get back up to my previous level)—I hit the showers, the steam room, and then the streets.  And I decided to play hookey from the law job.  At most I’d get in about seven or eight hours—if that, as the work I’d have available might not have taken too long.  It was rough convincing myself to do that because it meant giving up about two hundred dollars (after taxes).  But instead I took a nap, changed my sheets, cleaned up my apartment a bit: dusting, washed dishes—and took T-Bag’s advice and made myself some pasta—for dinner and for lunch for a few days this week.  I would have cleaned even more, but I needed to update blog entries.  And so now it’s time for bed, so further cleaning—like floors and tables and such—will have to wait for another day of rest.  Hopefully it won’t be too far in the future.

I can see now why God rested on the seventh day.  I needed rest.  And it was good.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

March 21, 2010 at 23:50

10 Responses

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  1. Excellent!


    March 22, 2010 at 01:26

  2. This might be a dumb question…but if you primarily use a gym for treadmill-bicycle, why don’t you just jog/bike in the park or around town?

    I guess I’m assuming you have to pay for the gym and that it costs more than whatever bicycle you’d buy (and be able to keep in your apartment, I guess).

    However, I suppose that many folks, including/especially? gay men, like gyms as “meeting” places too, so there’s that.

    Oh, and don’t forget the Roomba…they’re great, as long as you don’t have throw rugs with fringe. Entertainment for the cat(s) when you’re gone too.



    March 22, 2010 at 07:44

  3. You spent $23 on brunch?


    March 22, 2010 at 16:37

  4. No, brunch was a prie fixe menu at $14.95. But add in tax and tip and you get pretty close. Even a happy meal at McDonald’s will run you upwards of $7.00

    Have you eaten in Manhattan before? It’s no picnic price-wise.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 22, 2010 at 16:52

  5. Have you heard of diners?!


    March 22, 2010 at 18:32

  6. Seriously, dude? Really? If I can’t spend $15 on brunch—for the first time in over three months—then I might as well slit my wrists and end it now. What did you hope to accomplish by that post? Make me feel guilty? Stupid? Ignorant? Clearly I’ve “heard of” diners—and been to them.

    Do people really think about their posts? Or do they just concoct a quick “one-liner” jab and get so excited they rush in for the hit. Looks like the Return of the Mad Men. Guess they’ve got to displace their Tea Party anger somewhere.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 22, 2010 at 18:38

  7. Again, timing is an issue. With a gym membership, I can, like today, step out at noon and hit the gym, run on the treadmill for a bit, then shower and get back to work in a reasonable period of time. Running in town or a park would require that I do it at the end of the day or the beginning. Or just be really stinky at the office if I did it during the day without a place to shower. Not really safe to be running around Manhattan anywhere late at night—typically the time when I’m finishing up work. In the morning—yeah . . . I’d love to do that: get up at 6am, run, shower, eat breakfast, read the newspaper, all by 7:30am. Super efficient machine. But I’ve not been able to achieve that after ten years of off-and-on trying. Probably a battle worth abandoning already. So, I’m stuck with middle of the day. And that necessitates a gym.


    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 22, 2010 at 18:53

  8. Try not to get too bent out of shape…I think some folks just think to themselves, “Hey, if I was struggling with debt, I wouldn’t spend $23 on brunch,” all without considering that once struggling with debt becomes a “lifestyle,” per se, one must remain human and do normal things once in a while.

    So, in a way I think you’re right in that such posts are “quick” and without much thought. But I don’t necessarily think they’re ill-spirited…just un-empathetic.

    I sincerely hope that if you take one of these jobs (if offered), which it sounds like you have made your mind up to do, that it is a net gain for you. By the way, I had a typo in an earlier post and what I meant to say is that I did NOT think that you’d be cool with living anywhere located 1600 miles away from NYC!

    You’re a city guy…that much is clear. I think if you move to East Bumfuck (no gay pun intended…it’s just an expression) you’ll be miserable. Also, I don’t know where this place is, but don’t discount that almost everywhere else you go within 1600 miles is going to be a place much more “small-minded” and less accepting than where you are now.

    If at all possible, take that Fed. clerkship if you have the choice.

    As I’ve said before, you obviously are a conscientious employee and want to do a good job. Also, you’re not against putting in the long hours. Those are qualities of successful people, but you’re just starting off with a bitch of a disadvantage with that debt. Do yourself a favor and at least try to appeal to the law office that you’re temping for (not the temp agency) and get to talk to someone there about what you can do for them (I suppose through the associate, to start) if you plan on bailing on the temp job anyway…you’ve got nothing to lose.

    I don’t know…it just sucks to see someone who is willing to work as hard as you failing to gain traction, and even though your rent is killing you and you have an occasional $23 brunch, you should still be making some progress.

    Think long and hard before you decide to bail and begin anew somewhere else…put it in a spreadsheet and see if it’ll work out, and don’t be overly optimistic that this move is going to lead to something high-end in a couple of years, as it very well may not.

    Want to be living paycheck to paycheck in NYC, or do you want to be doing it in Topeka, KS? I think I know the answer, if you had to choose between the two.



    March 22, 2010 at 22:06

  9. Where I hail from, it was East Bumblefuck. Hmm…sounds like your neck o’ the woods might have been more fun growing up. 😉 hehehehe

    Good end question…and food for thought for today’s post. I was looking for something to write about.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 22, 2010 at 22:10

  10. If brunch was an atypical frivolous expense for you, that would be one thing. But you have a habit of spending $5 here, $10 there, $15 or $20 there…without bothering to add up all of those little expenditures. I mentally add them up in my head when you read your posts, but you’re oblivious to the total. You NEED to track your expenses so you can see it too.


    March 22, 2010 at 22:22

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