Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘medical experiment

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

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Total Black: -$199.61
Total Red: $269,947.74

This is the end.  My only friends.  The end.  Of my elaborate plans.  The end.  Can’t you picture what could’ve been?  So limitless and free.  Desperately in need . . . of some . . . stranger’s hand.  In my desperate land.  It hurts to set you free.  But you’ll never follow me.  This is, after all, the end.    Keep reading . . .

Last Update On Efforts?

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Total Black: $1,404.21
Total Red: $235,585.30

The monthly earnings report from Amazon.com arrived via email the other day.  I haven’t earned that much.  But it prompted me to think about all the various efforts to date in supplementing my income.  It may not be easy finding different gigs in my new location. Keep reading . . .

State of My Union

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Total Black: $83.69
Total Red: $229,225.06

I couldn’t help but co-opt the title for today’s entry from the main feature in the American press: President Obama’s first State of the Union address.  This morning as I was in the dentist’s chair, MSNBC turned on in the background, I couldn’t help but notice an odd similarity of mine to President Obama.  Not that I’m in any way comparable to a man of his caliber and accomplishments, but in a small way, I noticed that we share one similarity: seems that nothing either of us do can appease any of our critics.  He’s taken the fall for the bank bailouts, whether a wise move or not, when it was actually President Bush and Congress who approved it.  His efforts on health care were sabotaged, and even though everyone in the country wanted something done to improve the current system, no one will give him credit for getting something done.  Likewise the economy hasn’t recovered as quickly or as fully as we all would have liked; ask anyone and it is single-handedly all his fault.  Every bemoans the Stimulus Plan as having had no effect.  I can personally say that without it, I wouldn’t have been in that dentist’s chair this morning.  It also got me an additional $25 a week in unemployment benefits back when I was still on the dole.  Sadly, that little bit extra did make a difference.  I could go on with additional examples, but the few I’ve cited suffice.  I suppose unless you’ve achieved something just short of herculean or heroic, people will only go on about your short-comings or missteps.  So, how is the state of my union?  Keep reading . . .

No More Piggy

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Total Black: $121.21
Total Red: $229,479.20

I’m late posting today because I had to leave fairly early this morning to ensure I got in sufficient hours at the contract attorney position today.  I worked from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for a total of twelve hours.  I took off ninety minutes during the afternoon when I stepped out for my final doctor’s office visit.  Today was the last day for the medical experiment.  No more guinea pig here! Keep reading . . .

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January 18, 2010 at 23:56

Bringing It Down

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Total Black: $487.48
Total Red: $229,620.35

And so it’s begun.  Total red has finally stopped climbing and started retreating.  It’s an awesome feeling.  Monday will bring me another $500 from completing the medical experiment.  And then next Thursday I’ll have a sizeable check from putting in ten-hour (or more) days all this week.  That’ll cover rent and allow me to dump even more on my debts.

I worked ten hours yesterday.  I got a late start because one of the windows in my apartment had problems for over a month now—I’ve had more drafts than the health care bill.  Finally the landlord’s window person came by to fix things.  The window company was closed over the holidays.  So much for a city that purportedly doesn’t sleep, eh?  I’m on track to get at least sixty hours in this week.  It’s beginning to take its toll on my energy level, but I’ve got two gyms nearby the office, one that closes later than the other.  I’ve hit those at the end of the each night this week.  The unemployment benefits, which I referenced in Sixth Day of Accounting, still haven’t been paid.  Instead I received a letter in the mail from the New York State Department of Labor asking me to explain the break in my unemployment claim.  I received that last time I claimed unemployment benefits after the October contract attorney position wrapped up.  But back then I was also paid.  This time—at least to date—I’ve not been.  I’ll submit the form anyway though.

Guess that’s it for updates.  Short post today.  I’ve gotta run out and buy a few groceries and then head to the contract attorney position.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

January 14, 2010 at 08:36

Sixth Day of Accounting

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Total Black: $708.59

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $9.95
Secondary Checking: $609.42
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $2.43
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.005
Mutual Funds Account: $86.79

FICO Score 501

Total Red: $230,476.54

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,713.17
Visa: $8,232.42
Visa: $5,644.17
American Express: $2,200.00
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,068.68

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,414.26

Back Taxes

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

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Once again, it’s that time of the month.  Keep reading . . .

Waiting By the Phone

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Total Black: $537.60
Total Red: $230,773.68

Still on hold for the new contract attorney position.  I received about three calls yesterday from the temp agency, including the last call at 10pm from a personal cell phone just to update me about the lack of response from the law firm.  That’s pretty good service and frankly it underscores the points I made in Bah! Humbug! about the willingness of temporary attorney staffing agencies to keep temp attorneys and prospective ones updated  about projects during off-hours.  This morning again the temp agency called to let me know that they still hadn’t heard back from the partner at that law firm.  But they did pass along that they have another law firm that will need attorneys to start tomorrow.  So they’re submitting me to that firm as well. Keep reading . . .

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January 5, 2010 at 11:42

Consulting My Paycheck

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Total Black: $66.71
Total Red: $230,428.77

Another contract attorney and I got to talking today about legal consulting work.  He told me about a friend of his who suggested he help out a third person who had been having difficulty collecting on a promissory note.  This third person had loaned ten thousand dollars to another person, who also happened to be an attorney, and he was not paying and now wasn’t even returning her calls.  Upon hearing from his friend about this woman’s matter, he didn’t feel particularly adept in handling it so he passed along the name of another attorney she might call, also a friend of his.  Sometime later he met up with that friend and asked about the outcome of the woman’s debt collection efforts.  His attorney friend told him that there was nothing he could do to help the woman because the promissory note she had was usurious.  She put in a 10% interest rate.  And if a lawyer had tried to collect on the note, my co-worker’s attorney friend informed him, that lawyer would have been subject to sanction by the court for attempting to collect on a usurious debt—akin to loan-sharking.  What makes this story so noteworthy?  My co-worker and I would have never thought to even consider the interest rate.  Ten percent didn’t seem all that high to me given that credit cards can legally charge up to 30% on your purchases.  His story represented to me the dangers accompanying legal consulting work. Keep reading . . .

To Be Determined

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Total Black: $63.69
Total Red: $230,859.71

Visit any doctor’s office and you’ll find mounds and mounds of magazines.  US.  People.  Reader’s Digest.  I never understood why Reader’s Digest.  Who reads that any longer?  And typically among those stacks you’ll find one or two “serious” magazines, typically Newsweek or Time.  The last time I visited the doctor for the medical experiment, mentioned back in Another Update on Efforts, the cover of Time from September 21, 1999 caught my eye.  It read: “Out of Work in America: Why double-digit unemployment may be here to stay—and how to live with it.”  Not an attractive prospect.  I didn’t have time to read the article because my medical experiment visits are always rushed from room to room and examiner to examiner.  But I also didn’t want to leave behind that information.  So I swiped the magazine.  Keep reading . . .

Another Update on Efforts

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Total Black: $1,316.20
Total Red: $230,870.71

I thought I’d take today, like I did back in September in Update on Efforts, to give another update on my various ventures, joint and several.  I had visit ten today for the medical experiment.  I believe there are a total of thirteen.  Two weeks separates most visits so that means another two months roughly until I earn the $540 or so.  The doctor today observed that I have “slight tremors” in my hands when I hold them out straight.  I wonder if its from stress or the drugs.  The only other complaint I have is just muscle aches and pains.  But that too can be a symptom of depression.  I’ve noticed my vision getting blurrier.  Not good, especially since I had LASIK done back in February 2008.  I wonder if the blurry vision comes from the experimental medication or doc reviewing.  Both seem hazardous for your health. Keep reading . . .

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

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Total Black: $66.92
Total Red: $231,085.13

Eh . . . but it’s not really early.  And I’m not yet wealthy.  Healthy and wise perhaps.  Two out of three so far. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 21, 2009 at 23:09

Eyes on the Prize

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Total Black: $3,921.09
Total Red: $230,663.35

I had another interview with a temporary attorney staffing agency today.  That’s makes four interviews this week and five in the past seven days.  A lot of smiling faces and hopeful talk, but so far nothing’s materialized into a job.  But that’s clearly the wrong approach to take. Keep reading . . .

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October 29, 2009 at 23:05

A Day Without a Post

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Total Black: $2,642.01
Total Red: $230,360.63

I had wanted to finish this project with 365 posts: one for each day from August 9th, 2009 to August 9th, 2010. Yesterday was the first night I hadn’t posted in seventy-five days. I was in the emergency room instead. Keep reading . . .

Fourteen-Hour Days

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Total Black: $619.25
Total Red: $230,281.21

Now that the Recession Art Sale has ended, I’m left with only the contract attorney position.  And that will keep me very busy.  Today would have been my first day working straight through.  During the art sale I would leave the temp position for approximately four hours a day—generally during lunchtime hours.  Today I had to visit the doctor’s office for my two-week check-in for the medical experiment.  So, I was happy to have that interruption.  Testing the drug is coming along just fine.  No significant side-effects any longer.  Or at least none of the type described in Good News & BadKeep reading . . .

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October 12, 2009 at 23:11

A Time For Everything

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Total Black: $68.68
Total Red: $230,649.18

The sun is just stretching its arms and rubbing its eyes as I sit to write today’s entry.  Breaking the late night posting schedule will take some discipline and getting used to.  But it must start sometime.  So, why not today? Keep reading . . .

Updates on Efforts

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Total Black: $142.17
Total Red: $227,804.18

Quick status updates:  the Recession Art Sale opened today with a great preview event.  I suppose technically it’ll “open” on Monday once again.  Amazing work being exhibited.  I’ve often wondered where the Picassos and El Grecos of today are.  I met many of them tonight.  If you’re interested, ask for the only lawyer art seller in the show.  I can hook you up with some beautiful pieces that will only increase in value.

Temp job is winding down.  But another one might be starting up next week.  That one would go for roughly six weeks and pay $40 an hour for approximately ten to twelve hours a day for six days a week.  That could net roughly $17,000 if I worked the maximum amount.  That right there is two student loans paid off.  Or like three credit card bills.  Or tax bills (which the IRS would prefer).  Gotta get the position first though.  And it’ll be tough squeezing in time for the art sale. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 17, 2009 at 23:40

Day of Rest

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Total Black: $159.27
Total Red: $227,634.27

No change.  Spent the day on the couch.  Needed the rest.  Will have a question for the doctor managing the medical experiment though.  One of the reported side-effects is an upper-respiratory system infection.  Curious.  I start taking the pills.  Two days later, I’m down with a cold.  Possibly a coincidence.  Or not.  I don’t know how a pill can cause an infection, or even mimic one, but I’ll be sure to report it.

I hope to feel better by tomorrow morning.  For now it’s back to my Thera-Flu.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 13, 2009 at 23:07

Still Down & Out

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Total Black: $159.27
Total Red: $227,634.27

Cold still has me under the weather.  Interesting footnote to that comment: I noticed that an upper-respiratory infection is one of the side-effects listed for this experimental drug I’m testing out.  Curious, no?  One bit of good news: total red has come down a bit because the IRS updated my balance due.  I owe about $1,000 less on 2007 taxes than I thought.  I guess the IRS updated their records.

Till tomorrow’s post, by when I hope this cold is gone.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 12, 2009 at 22:48

Feeling Fall Approach

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Total Black: $411.44
Total Red: $228,477.37

I dislike Fall the most of the four seasons.  I know how beautiful the changing leaves are, and how delicious the harvest foods.  And I do appreciate them both.  But for me the Fall always brings negative memories: the end of summer, having to go back to school, shorter days.  And for me it usually meant a Fall cold.  Got one again this year.  Being down and out with this cold sucks.  I’m keeping my commitment to post daily, even if today’s post is nothing much.

Job’s alright.  Side-effects from experimental meds have subsided somewhat.  Otherwise, not much to report.  I’ll give the muses rest again tonight.  Hopefully I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 11, 2009 at 23:27

Good News & Bad

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Total Black: $114.17
Total Red: $228,312.40

Today’s post is short.  Just not up for writing.  Got good news and bad.  Both are keeping me from writing in depth.

Good news: I got a job!  It’s a temporary attorney position.  Only scheduled to last a week or so.  But it’s better than not working.  It starts 10am tomorrow morning, so I need to get a good-night’s sleep.  I didn’t get back home until nearly 10pm tonight, so I don’t have time tonight to channel the muses.

Bad news:  Me and the medical experiment drug are not getting along well.  Last night was the first night taking it.  Horrible.  Awake all night.  Elevated body temperature.  Stiff, achy muscles.  Felt like I was coming down off LSD.  I go back to the doctor on Tuesday.  If it doesn’t improve, I’m bailing on the experiment.  Forty dollars a week is not worth this much disruption.  I just took today’s pills and I can already feel it screwing with my head, so I also don’t have the clarity to channel the muses tonight.

Till tomorrow’s post.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 9, 2009 at 23:47

Where’s the Line?

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Total Black: $95.44
Total Red: $228,312.40

I’m short on time, and short on words, because I’m heading out to grab a beer with a law school buddy.  Socializing is good.  Especially for the unemployed.  I read an article today about Labor Day and how the unemployed don’t feel much like celebrating.  I’m saving much of my musing on that topic for Monday.  But one thing that came through was how worn down you get after months of unemployment.  It’s true.  I’ve blogged about it already.  That’s one reason I’m doing everything I can to stay active.  Some of it may be in the hands of Lady Luck.  But otherwise much is just perseverance.  And along the way you need to keep busy, but not constantly job hunting either.  For me one way is writing this blog.  I get to chronicle my efforts at reducing my debt and confess my sins along the way.  I’ve mentioned a few of my other efforts.  I’ve got a new one lined up: a medical experiment to test out a drug not yet approved by the FDA.  It pays $40 a week though, up to about $500.  That’s free money.  And you can withdraw from the program at any time and still get paid for however many weeks you were in.  Although I haven’t started the drug yet, I’m a bit worried about it, wondering whether this is a good time to start playing around with physical and mental health.  Some of the more mild side effects include headaches or upset stomach, back pain or irritability.  But the pill could also cause, albeit at a much lower risk, potentially serious side effects like irreversible involuntary tremors or shaking—akin to Parkinson’s disease—or cataracts.  What we won’t do for money, eh? Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 5, 2009 at 21:02