Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘New York Times

Sweet Irony

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Total Black: -$199.84
Total Red: $269,947.64

Total black has been sliding further and further into the red.  I noted in Oops . . . I Did It Again that two bills were pending: a check to the landlord and a check to a doctor—both remaining debts from living in New York.  Both checks cleared, but because of the kinks in getting my finances online in a new city, they cleared with a negative balance.  I was able to get enough into one of my two checking accounts with Bank of America to cover the gap caused by the rent check.  But not enough for the check to the doctor.  Bank of America, of course, charged me an insufficient funds fee for both.  Then, in the other checking account, as I noted in And Again . . . , I got hit with a third insufficient funds fee when a student loan I had on automatic bill pay posted, drawing me into the red.  That’s three bills that cleared, but brought me under.  Today Bank of America just charged me an extended overdrawn balance charge on one account.  I imagine another is in its way for the second checking account.  I can’t imagine any better example of adding salt to the wound than to hit your customers with two fees for the same transaction.  Obviously, if you didn’t have the funds to begin with, you may not have them five days late.  But that’s how the big banks do business, I guess.  Keep reading . . .

What’s In a Name?

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Total Black: $3,497.43
Total Red: $270,410.31

A rose, by any other name, right?  That’s what Shakespeare claimed.  Not always if its your first name.  I walked into a very interesting conversation this afternoon between Officemate and Other Law Clerk.  Other Law Clerk was talking about the crazy names black mothers give to their children.  She’s taken this on as her cause, compiling a list.  She’s already at 700.  It’s the first time I’ve ever heard a black person expressing frustration with names like Ququisha or J’Wona.  I’ll have to let her know she’s not alone.  Chris, of Stuff Black People Hate, agrees.  One name she noted really floored me: Le-a.  I would not ever have guessed how that name is pronounced.  Keep reading . . .

Root of Evil

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Total Black: $83.40
Total Red: $270,623.78

Short post today because of a long day at work.  Another trial.  Expected to last all week again.  As I watched voir dire, I was struck by the depth of the problem of class and crime.  I must beg indulgence because today’s post will be off-topic.  I’m no bible-beater.  I value the book as a source of collected wisdom of one group’s beliefs and culture, and perhaps also a larger testament to humanity.  But the last time I blogged about the Bible was back at the beginning in Keeping My Brother and then a bit later in A Time For Everything.  The past few days, however, had me thinking about that famous biblical passage about money and evil.  Keep reading . . .

Yet Another Update On Efforts

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Total Black: $279.58
Total Red: $230,715.35

I thought I’d take today to give an update on efforts.  I’m at a stand-still.  I suspect it’s because of the nature of the past few jobs I’ve had.  It is a bit befuddling to be running so long and hard, then realize you’re on a treadmill and the horizon hasn’t gotten any closer.  So far since starting this project, I’ve worked as an art seller and now an usher at at theatre, in addition to working at three contract attorney positions.  Each lasted just long enough for me to get things under control and then stopped abruptly.  But clearly my numbers aren’t moving much yet.  So, what’s been the problem? Keep reading . . .

Secret Santas

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Total Black: $6.70
Total Red: $230,660.74

It’s nearly Christmas.  The time when gift-giving abounds and generosity’s cup runneth over.  At the temp job yesterday, I bought twenty dollars worth of $2 scratch-off tickets, ten a piece, for my two fellow contract attorneys.  They were pleasantly surprised.  One had never bought or received an instant lottery ticket.  He won ten dollars.  The other won seven.  Nothing extravagant, but a nice gesture.  Of course one possible downside to such unexpected giving is that people may feel obligated to give something to you in turn.  Today one attorney bought me a coffee at Starbucks while the other bought Starbucks gift cards for me and the other attorney.  I was happy to receive their gifts, but I just they purchased them out of a desire to give and not a feeling of obligation.  That’s why I understand the urge to give quietly and anonymously. Keep reading . . .

Cutting Costs, Corners . . . and Concerns

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Total Black: $435.42
Total Red: $230,977.94

I’ve received a lot of comments, questions, feedback, and suggestions over the past day or so.  Since the blog is just beginning to pick up traffic, I have the luxury of responding directly in a post to many of those responses.  First though I need to lay out my monthly expenses.  That’s something I haven’t done. Keep reading . . .

Virtually Incensed

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Total Black: $63.15
Total Red: $230,600.32

While letting my apartment air out from the exterminators’ visit this afternoon, I took time at a nearby Starbucks to read today’s New York Times.  I was utterly befuddled . . . nay dumbfounded . . . by an article on the front page.  Claire Cain Miller and Brad Stone penned an article titled “Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays.”  I use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.  And I’ve played a few hours of Second Life.  So I’m not unfamiliar to the idea of using real money to purchase virtual currency or virtual goods.  But I would have never imagined what Miller and Stone reported.  Keep reading . . .