Your Open Thread

From WSJ: You too can own a Warhol or a Renoir—if you’re okay with postage-size art and napkins:

Small items—overlooked gems, dashed-off scribbles, even scraps artists may have assumed were headed for the garbage—are increasingly being auctioned off to an eager and growing audience.

In the last year, a Florida couple successfully bid on their first work of art—a postage-stamp sized sketch by Pierre-Auguste Renoir—for $6,250. At another auction, a signed napkin Andy Warhol covered with squiggly lines fetched $1,395. For less than $4,000 each, collectors nabbed a Pablo Picasso ceramic bowl emblazoned with a bullfighter and letters Henri Matisse adorned with fanciful doodles.

Photo: Allegra

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13 Comments / Post A Comment

andnowlights (#2,902)

I go back and forth on this issue. On one hand, I love art and think it’s great that these smaller pieces are going for less. On the other hand, there’s more to art and antiques than major name artists that you recognize from your art history survey. If I’ve learned anything from watching (now dozens of) hours of Antiques Roadshow, it’s that the biggest piece of junk to me may be worth hundreds of thousands to someone else, and what’s worth a lot to me is worthless to the person down the street. Also, I really enjoy when someone bought a piece for a lot of money, go on the show thinking it’s going to be worth even more, only to be told it’s worth a third of what they paid.

Art! It’s completely subjective to the market (buy what you like, not what you think is an investment)

cawcawphony (#2,990)

Does anyone else feel like they’re going to get royally screwed over by Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

It’s just a general feeling I have, after having to consolidate to a higher interest rate and dealing with their customer service a few times. So many hoops to jump through. Tiny, tiny hoops.

@cawcawphony Why did you have to consolidate? My only concern is that the program in and of itself will disappear, but apparently it’s a repayment option in my MPN, so they couldn’t retroactively say “nope, no can do.”

cawcawphony (#2,990)

I’m speaking as someone who is only dimly aware of the issues relating to my student loans and who is practicing a Logan-ish avoidance of learning any more details in order not to freak out.

I had Direct Loans for graduate school (2008-2010), and when I submitted my paperwork to the PSLF people they said I had to consolidate to FedLoan Servicing. And…now that I look at the paperwork it is actually the same crappy interest rate (6.85%) that I had with the Direct Loans. I guess I jsut didn’t realize how high it was before.

I’m also worried it will disappear, but don’t think it’s in my promissory note.

@cawcawphony We went to graduate school almost exactly the same time (I was 09-11), it should be in there!

I also avoid looking too closely at my student loans; I make sure my direct debit goes out each month, I send in my IBR re-filings promptly, and then count down the number of government payments I have left. There’s not much else I can do when paying more than my IBR payment would be throwing money away; those payments (I don’t think?) county towards a PSFL payment and if they’re just going to be forgiven anyway….

a27 (#2,268)

@polka dots vs stripes i’m sorry to be so ignorant, but do you have a handy link that explains loan forgiveness? i work for a non-profit in education so assume it qualifies…?

@a27 I’m on my phone so I’m not sure how to make this a live link, but this PDF should help: http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/public-service-loan-forgiveness.pdf

Your work should qualify! Although I am not an expert/lawyer/etc.

thegirlieshow (#5,285)

What a weird week. I got what I thought was a vague and somewhat contradictory not-altogether-positive performance review from my boss, then I got a (small) raise. I’ve decided not to analyze further.

@thegirlieshow I got an email from someone who says often how much he likes my work that simultaneously applauded me for using a big word but also seemed to make fun of how young I am – I just said, oh look, he appreciates my vocabulary and am choosing to ignore the latter part.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@thegirlieshow Take it and run!

oni_kenbai (#6,421)

Is it still the weekend over there? I’m in my fourth year in Japan and started my new job at a hotel company at the beginning of April. I was told that all company workers were going to go through training first, to understand the company better and to understand the ethic of customer service. Training was 5 days of workshops and such about our company’s business, how to talk politely on the phone, etc.

Then we entered the company and started training, part II, which was 12 to 13 hour days of working as servers and learning everything from how to fold napkins to kinds of glasses to where to put the dirty silverware after it’s been used. Way long days. Lectures, commands, demands and explanations all in 100% fast Japanese. Superiors’ teaching style was like “Do you know this?! You DON’T know this??!! RAWR” and their direction during events was really harsh too, like “Get out there! Get the fuck out there! Go go go!”

Not to mention that I am one of two foreign company workers in the entire company, and the other guy (different nationality) is in another location. And the vast majority of the new company workers who were hired with me are very nice people, but it just takes that one high school graduate who thinks it’s funny to imitate my accent to make me mad for like a month. It’s like, I’m sorry: let’s talk about how many fucking languages YOU speak, and how many countries YOU have been to?

Never make fun of someone’s accent, people! If they speak weird English, why don’t you speak their language since it’s supposedly so fucking easy? What they are doing is HARD.

Anyway, I told one of my superiors I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be able to survive training, and they affirmed that I was going to be transferred to other location by next weekend.

And after that 6 day burst they have been giving us all lots of days off. In my case, 5/6 of the last 6 days have been off. I should be recovered by now, but I still feel like crawling into a blanket fort and whimpering to someone about how nobody understands me and it’s not fair that they expected me to memorize those sake names on top of everything else. And even though unlike some of the other workers, I don’t have to stay in this section until August, and even though people are being nicer and I have improved at the job, I am still scared of the last 3 days and whether I will be working and what I’ll be doing.

I know this is really long and completely out of left field but I really wanted to write it somewhere.
Thank you…I will return to my blanket fort now.

samburger (#5,489)

@oni_kenbai That sounds so stressful! Sending you good vibes!

I used to teach English as a second language and I witnessed SO MUCH accent mockery. It was also a mono-lingual student learning algebra for the first time mocking someone who was in the process of mastering their fourth language in their 9th country. ABSURD.

oni_kenbai (#6,421)

@samburger Thank you. Your good vibes seem to be working! I’ve only got one more potential workday as a server and then it’s off to other location, where I can become “person with valuable language skills” as opposed to “person who performs worse than native speaker”
Man, a kid learning algebra is already way past the age of ought to know better. I used to teach kindergarten students and if they imitated me I didn’t mind, but if you are above like, 7: not OK. :(

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