For a soothing mixture of jazz and great jazz photography, check out the late jazz and fashion photographer William Claxton’s website.

Claxton, who called photography “jazz for the eyes,” was one of the most prominent photographers of jazz musicians in the 1950’s.  His photos of trumpeter Chet Baker are classics.

Claxton died in Los Angeles Oct. 13, one day before his 81st birthday.  


From Karol on How I Got Laid Off:

Unemployment may have tried to take my dignity, my self-esteem and separated my family, temporarily, but it hasn’t broken what spirit I have, and never will. Just like generations before all of us, we have it within ourselves to forge ahead, no matter the crisis, the disaster or the situation. I am stronger for my situation. I know it will be a matter of time but the choice is mine in how I deal with it, and I think I am doing a great job moving onward, looking back when necessary and forward because I have to, want to, and need to. Read the rest of this entry »

For my first face-to-face consultation with my bankruptcy attorney, I prepared a list of what I owed my creditors and what was left under the credit limit for each of my accounts.  The amounts owed were in red, the amounts left in black.  I appropriately entitled the list, “Bob’s Credit Card Hell.” 

Later, when I was going over my petition, he complimented me for being organized.  My mother once told me that when I was five, I insisted on standing in a certain, exact spot next to the sink when I brushed my teeth or I would throw a fit.  I’ve been organized for a long time.  I like being this way.

I assumed there were BK clients who were somewhat less organized than I was.  Little did I know.

From Dana Wilkinson on Bankruptcy Law Network:

Read the rest of this entry »

I was entering a transaction into my Quicken checking account a few nights ago.  I noticed my accounts folder was still entitled, “My Finances, Such As They Are.”

I gave it that title years ago when I set up my Quicken accounts.  I was carrying heavy credit card debt.  I believed I was a financial incompetent, so I gave the folder a sarcastic, self-denigrating title.

I’ve read about BK releasing financial capital.  When people clear their overwhelming debt, they are free to save and spend their money in ways that benefit the whole economy.

Bankruptcy releases emotional capital, as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rachel Steinberg was laid off in January from her public relations job with a San Francisco video game and new media agency.  Her witty, well-written blog, Tales From The Recently Laid Off, tells the story of her journey through the dark forest of unemployment in search of the Holy Grail, a good job with a good salary and self-fulfilling career potential. 

Rachel has been written up in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has assumed a place of prominence in the Laid Off/Recession Blog genre. 

She warns against the siren song of a job, any job with a paycheck: Read the rest of this entry »

Spiritual guidance for the laid off, downsized and otherwise unemployed from

1. Stop complaining.

2. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

3. Start thinking about how much you hated your job.

4. Figure out what you hated about it.

5. Make a list of things that make you happy. Read the rest of this entry »

Bernard Madoff is headed for the slam.  If there’s any justice in this world, other Wall Street aristocrats will be trundled off to federal prison, as well.

With these disgraced masters of the universe behind bars, who will run the financial services industry?

We can’t trust their designated successors.  They’ve learned everything they know from their criminal mentors.

We can’t look to the business schools.  B school grads were the willing Wehrmacht of the meltdown, submitting to 100-hour workweeks while they waited for their turn at the bonus trough. 

Who can we turn to?

These guys. Read the rest of this entry »

Last night, I got a phone call from a North Hollywood Toyota dealership that’s been soliciting me for months. 

I started getting letters from them last fall.  Buy a car from them, even with my shot-to-hell finances, and I would be on the road back to creditworthiness sitting behind the wheel of a shiny Toyota. 

More letters followed.  One began, “Congratulations on the successful completion of your bankruptcy.”  How can one be a successful bankrupted person? Read the rest of this entry »


From Albert Einstein:

Out of clutter, find simplicity.

From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .

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