Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

The Entertainer

with 2 comments

Total Black: $2,621.22
Total Red: $235,585.30

Another Friday night with Naked Boys Singing.  Naked Boys Singing only performs on Friday and Saturday night whereas most of the other shows at New World Stages run the regular Broadway course: two shows on Saturday, two on Sundays, then every week night except one.  At least at New World Stages, the ushers get to work different shows.  I’ve wondered how ushers at other theaters, those who see the same show each night, like The Phantom of the Opera for example, how they handle it.  That same music over and over eight times a week.  Songs from Naked Boys has already begun to earworm (yeah, I’m turning it into a verb).  I wake with songs playing in my head.  Occupational hazard, I suppose.  That said, though, I was intrigued tonight when I found myself actually listening to the lyrics of one of the songs.

Have a listen.  Maybe it’ll worm your ear too!

The Entertainer reminded me tonight of my experience with this blog.  You, the reader, come here to see my “show.”  I too open up my heart.  I do my little dance here too.  And sometimes you clutch your chest.  More often you shake your fist instead.  And sometimes I think: it’s all a lie.

The song is a farce about entertainers, of course.  About putting on a show, night after night.  Presenting a face to the audience and how that face is really just a facsimile, as the song calls it, of everything the entertainer wants you to see.  And even though I’ve watched the show for quite a few weekends now, I hadn’t really listened.  Not to this song, at least.  But tonight it got me thinking about my efforts with this blog.

I wondered why I started a blog.  And why people blog, in general.  Why people read them?  I don’t mean resourceful blogs—for lack of a better description.  Informational blogs or political blogs.  I get that, I suppose.  But gossip blogs?  Or confessional blogs like mine?  Maybe Andy Warhol was right when he claimed that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.  But he didn’t speak to the reason we seek the limelight.  Or put people in it.  Or allow it to continue.  Warhol just predicted a future fact.  Seeking stardom just a product of this Age of Celebrities?

After yo-yoing finances throughout my two years at the law firm (and perhaps a bit while still in law school), being laid-off and then unemployed brought my financial mess to a head.  And I hit upon this blog at the moment at its worst point: facing unemployment and the prospect of having to move back in with my mother.  I intended this blog to focus me on my finances.  Like Jack Bauer pushing some bad guy’s face up against the wall, a blog would force me to examine my debt, spending habits, and handcuff me to dealing with my finances.  Hard to forget or let it slip my mind if I had to write a post every day addressing my debts and efforts to eliminate them.

But why a blog?  Why not just grab a pen and write in a journal?  Practically-speaking, I haven’t been successful with journals in the past.  A stack of uncompleted journals sits on the floor in my apartment.  Pretty covers though.  And decent content for what I wrote.  But a journal is different from a blog.  Too intimate, perhaps?  Typically no one else reads others’ journal so they frequently contain thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams.  Easy to digress and go off on tangents.  Too Venus; I needed more Mars.

So why not type my efforts as a word doc? Tried that too back in law school.  Now I can’t recall the password.  Only got about two entries written.  I knew that I needed the equivalent of a gym buddy.  Someone out there, rooting for me and encouraging me on, but mostly keeping watch.  Making sure I stick to my routine.  And certainly readers have done that, especially when I’m late updating a post, something occurring all to frequently these past few weeks.

But I’d be less than honest if I denied that the thought of stardom never crossed my mind before I sat down to write my first entry.  Nearly impossible not to think of it, given the increasing attention on bloggers and other online persons.  And occasionally I do feel the warmth of that limelight shining.  But that was certainly not the goal.  Maybe some of us just need the attention?  And some of just us want to attend?

So, on with the show . . . .

Total black is hovering at the same amount; I’ve suspended paying bills until I secure an apartment in the new location.  Not sure how much I’ll need in advance.  Typically I just throw money at my monthly bills.  Not in any strategic way either, so not paying any has me twitching like an addict needing a fix.  Didn’t think not using money would be so difficult.  I have managed to avoid spending on anything other than food though.  Kept the Spend Devil at bay when passing quite a few shop windows.  Shook him off when he tried to pull me into Brooks Brothers or Pink.  Just gotta keep it up.

2 Responses

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  1. Won’t you consider debtors anonymous? People helping people. You’re truly a talented, worthy, hardworking person, but this level of debt is crippling. Why go it alone?


    May 21, 2010 at 09:15

  2. I’m guessing some sort of twisted pride… same reason there was a refusal from day one to seek any kind of bankruptcy, etc.

    I honestly don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel, barring landing another uber-job at a big firm, but I am still curious as to how things pan out at the new job and how that affects the debt levels.

    I suppose maybe we’ll all be surprised though.



    May 21, 2010 at 11:28

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