King Kaufman

Another attempt to solve the unexpressed thoughts problem

Jan 14
It was a daytime show at a bar. That’s about all I remember. Kind of a gearhead-scene show. Lots of vintage car type dudes. 
whatjanewore:

“Jane in new wig—Fullerton”
That’s what I wrote on this picture from September 1999.  This was back in the day when I used to wear slips as outerwear and wigs just as part of the outfit.  The husband was in a band called the Smokejumpers, and I’m standing in front of the BOV—Big Orange Van—that took them all over.  In this case, to a gig in Fullerton that I don’t remember.  I do remember stopping to shop and getting the wig and some ‘70’s flares with trains all over them.  I love the pattern mix here!
Wig: vintage store in Fullerton or Long Beach
Top: present from King
Vintage mini-slip: thrifted somewhere
Furry leopard purse: 9 & Co
Boots: Urban Outfitters in Berkeley
Bracelets: thrifted mostly in Indiana 
Sunglasses: ?
Photo by King.

It was a daytime show at a bar. That’s about all I remember. Kind of a gearhead-scene show. Lots of vintage car type dudes. 

whatjanewore:

“Jane in new wig—Fullerton”

That’s what I wrote on this picture from September 1999.  This was back in the day when I used to wear slips as outerwear and wigs just as part of the outfit.  The husband was in a band called the Smokejumpers, and I’m standing in front of the BOV—Big Orange Van—that took them all over.  In this case, to a gig in Fullerton that I don’t remember.  I do remember stopping to shop and getting the wig and some ‘70’s flares with trains all over them.  I love the pattern mix here!

  • Wig: vintage store in Fullerton or Long Beach
  • Top: present from King
  • Vintage mini-slip: thrifted somewhere
  • Furry leopard purse: 9 & Co
  • Boots: Urban Outfitters in Berkeley
  • Bracelets: thrifted mostly in Indiana
  • Sunglasses: ?

Photo by King.


Dec 5

Are you more risk-averse than a 5th grader?

The wife, the kids and I were watching the cute game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and all of a sudden some kind of game theory/philosophy seminar broke out. 

The contestant, a woman named Stephanie, had reached the final question, worth $1 million. She had earned $500,000 by correctly answering the previous question. If she got the million-dollar question wrong, she would walk away with $25,000. 

She could see the subject of the final question before deciding whether to answer it, and she could walk away at that point with the $500,000. But once she saw the question, she had to answer. 

The subject was music. Stephanie looked disappointed, but she also said she’d taken violin lessons for 10 years. She was 25 years old, I guessed and a post-show Google search confirmed. Her name is Stephanie Wambach. She’s from St. Louis, where the wife and I used to live—and which requires that I say she went to Marquette High School. And she went to the wife’s alma mater, Indiana University. This is all foreshadowing, in a kind of lame way. 

Here’s a clip of the last few minutes of the episode, uploaded to YouTube in 2007.

Stephanie had mostly breezed through the answers, on questions ranging from second- to fifth-grade level, struggling only a little and using just one of her three “cheats.” “Fifth-grade level” makes these questions sound easier than they are. They’re not rocket science, but fifth-grade questions aren’t pushovers. If you’re not familiar with the subject, or don’t remember it from fifth grade, you’re sunk. One of the fifth-grade questions Stephanie had answered asked what country Sweden shared its longest border with. 

Now she thought over whether to go for the $1 million on the music question or “drop out” with $500,000. 

"You have to go for the million," I said to the wife. Oh, no, said the wife. You have to take the half-million. "If she gets it wrong she’d be giving away $475,000," the wife said. That’s how the host, Jeff Foxworthy, had phrased it as Stephanie struggled with her decision: "If you answer the question incorrectly … you give back $475,000." 

That comment seemed designed to push her toward not going for the million, which struck me as odd, since a contestant winning the million bucks would be a home run of a moment for the show. Foxworthy should have been all Dr. Evil: “Think about it: A MILLion dollars,” as if $1 million were a lot of money or something. But he explicitly said he wanted to “talk about the downside.” 

"She’s not giving back anything," I said. "She walked in empty handed. The floor for her, the worst thing that can happen, is she walks out with $25,000. That’s a pretty damn good floor. She’s ‘giving back’ $500,000 by not trying for the million." 

And there you have it. Two fundamentally different ways of looking at risk. 

The wife: How can you live with herself if you’d “given back” $475,000 by getting the last question wrong. 

Me: Any time I can bet $475,000 of house money to win $500,000, I’m putting the money down as if it weren’t mine—which it isn’t. I never really “had” dollars 25,001 through 500,000 any more than Stephanie “had” dollars 500,001 through 1 million. 

Get the last question wrong and the consolation prize would be $25,000. I’d live with myself just fine. I’d walk out thinking, “Losing stinks, but it was the right bet.” And if the same situation came up again, I’d do the same thing. 

Stephanie opted out. Interesting: A male person close to her had been in the audience the whole show holding up a sign that said “Go for the $1 million.” Is this a gender thing? Sample size of two so far. The guy, a friend, later wrote a blog post about it. 

Foxworthy asked Stephanie if she wanted to see the question and she quickly said, “No!” That followed from her first decision. She didn’t want to risk feeling terrible if she knew the answer, even though, given her decision, she must have thought there was a good chance she wouldn’t know the answer.  Wouldn’t it have felt great to know she’d made the right call? 

Fortunately, she quickly changed her mind, since it’s hard to imagine the show not revealing the question. She said, “All right, fine,” I think in response to shouts from the audience. Foxworthy revealed the question: “In the 1720s, what man composed a series of violin concertos known as ‘The Four Seasons’?” 

When Foxworthy, reading the question off a video display, got to the word “man,” Stephanie put her hands on her head and gasped, “Oh my God!” Then she crumpled onto the podium. She recovered quickly, took it well, flashing a smile. Foxworthy had her look into the camera and say what I gather is the show’s tag line, but she customized it: 

"I guess I’m not smarter than a fifth grader," she said, "but if I woulda answered the question, I would have been!" 

I think that’s right. Even if her answer had been wrong. 


Nov 20

Dear anti-#OWS people: Some reading for you
Dear person who thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement is a bunch of whiny hippies who are protesting against money or capitalism or the fact that they have college loans. Dear person who thinks the protesters are envious of people who have more money than they do or jealous of people who have beaten them at the game of life.
Dear person who thinks the protesters are lazy and ought to go get a job, that they are entitled crybabies who don’t have the sand to go out and make their own way through good old-fashioned hard work. 
Dear person who says the protesters are hypocrites because they use iPads and shave with Gillette razors and make their signs on cardboard made by Weyerhaeuser while “protesting against corporations.” 
I am sure you’re a nice person. We might even be friends. I bet you’re a reasonably intelligent person. If that’s the case, I believe you are willfully misunderstanding what the protests are about. That is, I think you have made up your mind to distort who the protesters are and what they’re saying. And I think you are glibly arguing against these made-up statements. 
I don’t want to argue with you because I don’t think you will listen to me. 
But maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe you really haven’t taken the time and made the effort to understand what the movement is all about. If that’s the case, I’d like to invite you to read the pieces I’ve linked below.
Please read them with an open mind. I might add new pieces from time to time. If you read the material below and still want to argue about the occupy movement or its aims, I’d be interested in what you have to say. But if you’re still inclined to repeat the arguments above, I’m not going to waste my time or yours arguing about a fantasy world.
Thanks to my friends around the web for suggesting some of these:
Professor Kuznick Weighs in on Occupy Wall Street by Abbey Becker
I know I’m giving you a lot to read here. If you’re going to do me the honor of reading any of it, but you’re only going to read one, read this one. It’s a short interview with American University professor Peter Kuznick, in which he spells out very clearly what people are upset about, and ties the movement to earlier social and protest movements in the U.S. 

Excerpt: When you add to [“stunning” income inequality] the fact that the government bailed out the top Wall Street banks at the same time that homeowners were being hit with foreclosures, Wall Street was doling out huge bonuses, taxes for the wealthy were being cut, unemployment was rising, students were drowning in debt and facing miserable job prospects, and the U.S. was waging three wars and supporting an overseas empire of approximately 1,000 bases, you can see why Americans are angry.

NEW (11/23): Occupy Democracy (video) by Robert Reich 
Another (see below for the first) lucid explanation of “what they’re protesting about” from the former Labor Secretary, this time on video. 

Excerpt: Now some public officials say occupiers are public nuisances. Well, it’s true: Peaceful non-violent protests, inclucing encampments, can be inconvenient. But the real public nuisance is the tsunami of big money into politics, making it almost impossible for the voices of average Americans to be heard because most of us don’t have the dough to break through. 
And that’s exactly what occupiers and others like them are protesting. We don’t have the money to influence politicians directly. We are not Wall Street or big corporations that can now spend unlimited sums, corrupting our democracy. We are the people, and all we have is our ability to peacefully assemble and make our voices heard loudly and clearly.  

Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating by Matt Taibbi. 

Excerpt: When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.

The Shocking, Graphic Data That Shows Exactly What Motivates the Occupy Movement by Les Leopold
Pretty self-explanatory. Charts and graphs spelling out how the very few very rich have been getting richer and the great masses of the rest of us have been getting poorer. 
Occupy Wall Street: It’s Not a Hippie Thing by Roger Lowenstein
This piece is in Bloomberg Businessweek, which is hardly a lefty, anti-capitalist publication. 
Unsavvy People by Paul Krugman
The New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist is some kind of bogeyman for conservatives, so this is one of those times where I’m asking you to read with an open mind. Krugman wrote this a few days into Occupy Wall Street, which he admits to underestimating at first. 

Excerpt: There will, of course, be the usual attempts to dismiss the whole thing based on trivialities. Look at the oddly dressed people acting out! So? Is it better when exquisitely tailored bankers whose gambles brought the world economy to its knees — and who were bailed out by taxpayers — whine that President Obama is saying slightly mean things about them?

Can the Fed Prevent the Next Crisis by Eliminating Interest on Student Loan Debt? by Ellen Brown
If you think the protesters are just a bunch of whiny deadbeat students who don’t want to have to pay back the loans they agreed to take out, read this TruthOut piece. Brown explains how student debt could wreak as much havoc on the economy as the toxic debts on the books of Wall Street banks. 

Excerpt: A whole generation of young people has been seduced into debt peonage by the promise of better jobs if they invest in higher education, only to find that the jobs are not there when they graduate. If they default on their loans, lenders can now jack up interest rates and fees, garnish wages and destroy credit ratings; and the debts can no longer be discharged in bankruptcy. 
Total US student debt has risen to $1 trillion - more than US credit card debt. Defaults are rising as well … The threat of massive student loan defaults requiring another taxpayer bailout has been called a systemic risk as serious as the bank failures that brought the US economy to the brink of collapse in 2008. 

America’s corporate tax obscenity by Andrew Leonard

Excerpt: Altogether, according to “Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10,” a blockbuster new report  put together by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy … 37 of the United States’ biggest corporations paid zero taxes in 2010. The list is a blue-chip roll-call. …
Listening to our politicians talk, you would imagine that corporate America’s neck is permanently under the tax man’s steel-tipped boot. When, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.

Washington Pre-Occupied by Robert Reich
The former Labor Secretary on the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country, which he writes is greater than it’s been since the ’60s. 

Excerpt: The two worlds are on a collision course: Americans who are losing their jobs or their pay and can’t pay their bills are growing increasingly desperate. Washington insiders, deficit hawks, regressive Republicans, diffident Democrats, well-coiffed lobbyists, and the lobbyists’ wealthy patrons on Wall Street and in corporate suites haven’t a clue or couldn’t care less.

Photo by Howard Dyckoff/Oakland Local Flickr, Creative Commons

Dear anti-#OWS people: Some reading for you

Dear person who thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement is a bunch of whiny hippies who are protesting against money or capitalism or the fact that they have college loans. Dear person who thinks the protesters are envious of people who have more money than they do or jealous of people who have beaten them at the game of life.

Dear person who thinks the protesters are lazy and ought to go get a job, that they are entitled crybabies who don’t have the sand to go out and make their own way through good old-fashioned hard work. 

Dear person who says the protesters are hypocrites because they use iPads and shave with Gillette razors and make their signs on cardboard made by Weyerhaeuser while “protesting against corporations.” 

I am sure you’re a nice person. We might even be friends. I bet you’re a reasonably intelligent person. If that’s the case, I believe you are willfully misunderstanding what the protests are about. That is, I think you have made up your mind to distort who the protesters are and what they’re saying. And I think you are glibly arguing against these made-up statements. 

I don’t want to argue with you because I don’t think you will listen to me. 

But maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe you really haven’t taken the time and made the effort to understand what the movement is all about. If that’s the case, I’d like to invite you to read the pieces I’ve linked below.

Please read them with an open mind. I might add new pieces from time to time. If you read the material below and still want to argue about the occupy movement or its aims, I’d be interested in what you have to say. But if you’re still inclined to repeat the arguments above, I’m not going to waste my time or yours arguing about a fantasy world.

Thanks to my friends around the web for suggesting some of these:

Professor Kuznick Weighs in on Occupy Wall Street by Abbey Becker

I know I’m giving you a lot to read here. If you’re going to do me the honor of reading any of it, but you’re only going to read one, read this one. It’s a short interview with American University professor Peter Kuznick, in which he spells out very clearly what people are upset about, and ties the movement to earlier social and protest movements in the U.S. 

ExcerptWhen you add to [“stunning” income inequality] the fact that the government bailed out the top Wall Street banks at the same time that homeowners were being hit with foreclosures, Wall Street was doling out huge bonuses, taxes for the wealthy were being cut, unemployment was rising, students were drowning in debt and facing miserable job prospects, and the U.S. was waging three wars and supporting an overseas empire of approximately 1,000 bases, you can see why Americans are angry.

NEW (11/23): Occupy Democracy (video) by Robert Reich 

Another (see below for the first) lucid explanation of “what they’re protesting about” from the former Labor Secretary, this time on video. 

Excerpt: Now some public officials say occupiers are public nuisances. Well, it’s true: Peaceful non-violent protests, inclucing encampments, can be inconvenient. But the real public nuisance is the tsunami of big money into politics, making it almost impossible for the voices of average Americans to be heard because most of us don’t have the dough to break through. 

And that’s exactly what occupiers and others like them are protesting. We don’t have the money to influence politicians directly. We are not Wall Street or big corporations that can now spend unlimited sums, corrupting our democracy. We are the people, and all we have is our ability to peacefully assemble and make our voices heard loudly and clearly.  

Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating by Matt Taibbi. 

ExcerptWhen you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.

The Shocking, Graphic Data That Shows Exactly What Motivates the Occupy Movement by Les Leopold

Pretty self-explanatory. Charts and graphs spelling out how the very few very rich have been getting richer and the great masses of the rest of us have been getting poorer. 

Occupy Wall Street: It’s Not a Hippie Thing by Roger Lowenstein

This piece is in Bloomberg Businessweek, which is hardly a lefty, anti-capitalist publication. 

Unsavvy People by Paul Krugman

The New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist is some kind of bogeyman for conservatives, so this is one of those times where I’m asking you to read with an open mind. Krugman wrote this a few days into Occupy Wall Street, which he admits to underestimating at first. 

Excerpt: There will, of course, be the usual attempts to dismiss the whole thing based on trivialities. Look at the oddly dressed people acting out! So? Is it better when exquisitely tailored bankers whose gambles brought the world economy to its knees — and who were bailed out by taxpayers — whine that President Obama is saying slightly mean things about them?

Can the Fed Prevent the Next Crisis by Eliminating Interest on Student Loan Debt? by Ellen Brown

If you think the protesters are just a bunch of whiny deadbeat students who don’t want to have to pay back the loans they agreed to take out, read this TruthOut piece. Brown explains how student debt could wreak as much havoc on the economy as the toxic debts on the books of Wall Street banks. 

Excerpt: A whole generation of young people has been seduced into debt peonage by the promise of better jobs if they invest in higher education, only to find that the jobs are not there when they graduate. If they default on their loans, lenders can now jack up interest rates and fees, garnish wages and destroy credit ratings; and the debts can no longer be discharged in bankruptcy. 

Total US student debt has risen to $1 trillion - more than US credit card debt. Defaults are rising as well … The threat of massive student loan defaults requiring another taxpayer bailout has been called a systemic risk as serious as the bank failures that brought the US economy to the brink of collapse in 2008. 

America’s corporate tax obscenity by Andrew Leonard

ExcerptAltogether, according to “Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10,” a blockbuster new report  put together by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy … 37 of the United States’ biggest corporations paid zero taxes in 2010. The list is a blue-chip roll-call. …

Listening to our politicians talk, you would imagine that corporate America’s neck is permanently under the tax man’s steel-tipped boot. When, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.

Washington Pre-Occupied by Robert Reich

The former Labor Secretary on the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country, which he writes is greater than it’s been since the ’60s. 

ExcerptThe two worlds are on a collision course: Americans who are losing their jobs or their pay and can’t pay their bills are growing increasingly desperate. Washington insiders, deficit hawks, regressive Republicans, diffident Democrats, well-coiffed lobbyists, and the lobbyists’ wealthy patrons on Wall Street and in corporate suites haven’t a clue or couldn’t care less.

Photo by Howard Dyckoff/Oakland Local Flickr, Creative Commons


Nov 12
whatjanewore:

1996 SuperdressThis is what I wore one day to go buy a sewing machine at Sears.  Then I took a crash course in sewing.  I never finished the garment I started in that class and haven’t used the sewing machine since.  But I still have it.  Hope springs eternal.
Dress: a little store in SoHo by my brother’s apartment.
Purple platform boots: Steve Madden, somewhere in NYC.
Thigh-highs: Merry Go Round.
Earrings: somewhere in Kobe Japan while working for Semester at Sea.
Sunglasses: the souvenir shop at the Winchester Mystery House.
Vintage purse: antique shop in Brown Co., IN.
Photo by King in the Mission.  Not our truck.



Yum

whatjanewore:

1996 Superdress
This is what I wore one day to go buy a sewing machine at Sears.  Then I took a crash course in sewing.  I never finished the garment I started in that class and haven’t used the sewing machine since.  But I still have it.  Hope springs eternal.

Dress: a little store in SoHo by my brother’s apartment.

Purple platform boots: Steve Madden, somewhere in NYC.

Thigh-highs: Merry Go Round.

Earrings: somewhere in Kobe Japan while working for Semester at Sea.

Sunglasses: the souvenir shop at the Winchester Mystery House.

Vintage purse: antique shop in Brown Co., IN.

Photo by King in the Mission.  Not our truck.


Yum


Nov 7

Oct 26

I’m your biggest fan …

whatjanewore:

Pop Art.

So happy these leggings came in the mail yesterday!  So it’s an Andy Warhol theme: the soup cans represent 1962 Warhol, and my disco ball necklace is his Studio 54 period.

I really like the picture of me walking across the street—it’s like the paparazzi got me!  They’re always trying to photograph academic advisers.  It’s rough.

Leggings: BlackMilk.com.

Tunic & Boots: Sears.

Necklace: F21.

Coat: Tommy Hilfiger from O.co.

Sunglasses: Mars on Telegraph.

Stud earrings: Kohls, the Avril Lavigne line.

Photos by Sonya.


Oct 15

Hot today

whatjanewore:

Who’s that on your shirt?

I don’t know, but several people asked me that.  I really like clothes with faces on them.  And I love pink & black together.

It’s 75 degrees & sunny on Oct. 14 in the Bay Area.  So I wore a summer outfit.

Tank: Factory2U in the Mission.

Shorts: Dickies from Sears.

Mary Janes & belt: Hot Topic.

The bracelets & earrings are: thrifted, F21, Sears, yard sale, from Anita.

Sunglasses: the place on Durant in Berkeley.

Photo by Monica on the balcony of our office, & by King at Paul Revere Elementary.


Sep 9

My life as a Scorsese movie

One recent morning as I walked through the fare gate at the Montgomery Street BART station I saw a cello quartet sawing away. But I couldn’t hear them because I was listening to music through headphones.

The contrast between what I saw and what I heard made me feel like I was in a Martin Scorsese movie, which is a pretty good feeling to have on a Tuesday morning on your way to work.

Then I took the headphones out and realized the contrast wasnt quite what I thought it had been.


Jun 5

Mar 22
3/8

3/8



New bag

New bag


3/5

3/5


Smile

Smile


Have I mentioned I love our mirrory elevator?

Have I mentioned I love our mirrory elevator?


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