Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My New $100 Shirt

Well, $100 if I value my time as my average hourly wage, anyway. The shirt itself was free (the other Slate shirt from Tam, used because I already had white thread in my machine and was too lazy to want to put in another color) and I had an interesting time spending my afternoon doing this instead of being at work, which I couldn't do because the electricity was out at my office after 9:00 this morning. (We hung around in small groups under emergency lights until the bigwigs decided around 10:30 that Austin Energy's estimate of "1 to 6 hours, or more" to fix the electricity was a good reason for us to leave. I thought that estimate was funny in precisely the same way as the "99c (or more)" stores are.)

This one started from a screwed up position because after waffling about planning to do one thing and then another (I wanted to do a wrap-around shirt, but didn't want to mess up the drawing and couldn't see my way to putting it on the back when it came down to it), I managed to cut the shirt too small for myself at the hips (and smaller elsewhere than I preferred). I think I mostly succeeded in salvaging it with darts at the breast, nipping at the waist and the cut-outs at the bottom of the shirt (whatever those are called - Robert thinks the term is "split hem" from his google search). Hemming the cut-outs took forever because I decided that they needed to be longer after I'd already sewn them down, and thus had to hand-sew the rest while trying to fix the angle of the original hem. The stitching looks rather bad and the hem is uneven along the sides in places, but the white-on-white doesn't really show at any normal distance.

Seeing this photo of myself, I think Damn, I really need to stop with the slouching. And no, I don't typically stand around with my hands ostentatiously in my pockets, but I wanted the hem to show well in the photo. I get this sense I should have one hand out of the pocket, tossing a quarter up in the air and catching it over and over again like a character from Guys and Dolls with my ridiculous pose. (I have decided just now to show the full length shot so you can get the complete impact of this look. Also note the goofy shoes that are great for standing around the house but I can't wear outside because they fall off when I try to go down stairs in them. I absolutely am amazed by women who wear backless shoes; they must learn to habitually scrunch down their toes to hold their feet in the shoes. I am flat unwilling to do anything of the kind.)

(OK, in the middle of the last paragraph, we had a brownout which knocked my computer out. This is the second time a computer has gone down on me today. Robert is all Mr. "Computer Backed Up by an Uninterruptable Power Supply." (Of the brand of an old client of mine, incidentally.) It's nice for him to have these little moments to justify the expense of that thing. It would have been a minor tragedy if his reading of the Gene Expression blog had been disrupted in any way. I mean, important news on the topic of "a mechanism for miRNA-mediated repression" shouldn't be missed! In fact, why aren't my readers getting the latest on this fascinating research right now?)

So, that's my $100 shirt. But if I were to make another shirt like this on July 7, it would be totally free because my income will go to zero. (Well, technically, if they will let me, I will stay on the payroll at my job for the following 4 weeks to burn out my accummulated vacation time while staying on the free health insurance a bit longer.) I break the news to my boss tomorrow, assuming there are not other acts of god like today's thunderstorm that keep her from coming into the office. I received my official acceptance letter from the graduate college in this afternoon's mail, so I can with complete confidence use going back to school as my official reason for leaving the job.

Also checking out the separation documents on the agency's intranet tonight, I found out that I have the option of moving the money in my retirement fund out as cash (less 20% taxes but no penalties) or rolling it into an IRA. (I don't have to make this decision now.) It's cool to know that I have, by back-of-envelope guesstimation, about $13,000 cash I could get if I wanted to that is already mine. It's not every day I realize that I'm richer than I thought. This is a nice counterbalance to all the expenses associated with my going back to school plan that keep surprising me - like, you know, they actually charge you tuition and stuff to go to school. Crap.


Debbie said...

Rollin', rollin', rollin.
Keep them doggies rollin'.

Ahem. I recommend rolling the retirement money over into an IRA (directly--don't hold the money yourself--danger!).

Unless there's any chance of your getting another job with the state or TRS or any other pension plan that lets you share, in which case I recommend you wait.

Sally said...

Yeah, it's looking fairly unlikely I am going to end up with a career with the City of El Paso or the like.