365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

T-shirt #366, pt-1 - More on Y&R



T-shirt #366, pt-1 - More on Y&R

Reprinting from Sense of Doubt blog.



Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #418 - Y&R - 11,000 Episodes

Hi Mom,

So, The Young and the Restless or better known as Y&R is celebrating 11,000 episodes as of September First (this coming Thursday).

Every time I watch Y&R, I think of you, Mom. And I am pleased to tell you that I am caught up. Often I have a huge back log of Y&R to watch. Though I have not watched Friday's (1608.26) episode yet, I am otherwise current with the show.

I often get mocked (criticized) for my Y&R fandom by people close to me, but I no longer care. I am open and leaving myself vulnerable to discuss this nearly daily pursuit of episodic fiction that is near and dear to my heart.

Starting in 1973, we watched so many episodes of Y&R together. Even when I was away at college, The Young and the Restless  is something I watched as often as I could and that we would discuss together when you took me out to lunch.

It was our lunch time thing. For years, I would break for lunch just before 12:30, and we would eat together and watch our soaps (eventually we added The Bold and the Beautiful for a 90 minute lunch time).

When you had your bout with meningitis and were in a coma, I started playing Y&R for you in your Intensive Care room. I hoped that the familiar sounds would be soothing to you, comforting, like they are to me. We continued this practice even after you woke up. For a long time during that hospital stay, you could not talk. But we communicated as best we could, and we talked about Y&R.

Back in 2012, when Y&R celebrated 10,000 episodes (see link at end of this blog entry), we watched much of the celebration together. Checking back in my calendar, I know I spent the day with you on September 8th and again on October 2nd, which was right around the time of the 10,000th episode. We would have Y&R marathons together. I miss those.

At the rate of just about 260 episodes a year (five each week times 52 weeks is 260, but 365 - 104 is 261; 104 is the number of weekend days in a year), it's easy to see how Y&R is gearing up to celebrate its next anniversary with 1000 more episodes to reach the new landmark of 11,000. Since the 10,000th episode both you, Mom, and the grand dame of the Y&R cast, Jeanne Cooper, have passed away.

Before each episode for the past week, Y&R has been showing these interview chats with the cast as they reminisce about past stories and episodes and thank the viewership warmly for its dedication and loyalty. I was tempted to save these episodes on my DVR, but then I found that they are easily available online and so I embedded them here. I also posted the fun promo here as well.

You would have loved all this, Mom. I feel I share it all with you spiritually, but I wish I was sharing it with you physically, in person.

There are big plans for the 11,000th episode. Star Trek vet Nichelle Nichols will play Neil's mother, from whom he has been estranged for his entire run on the show. And Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created the show with her late husband Bill Bell will appear in a scene with her real-life daughter Lauralee Bell, who plays Christine Blair Williams, formerly known as "Cricket."

This is all explained here at SOAP SHE KNOWS - 11000 MILESTONE.


Y&R CELEBRATES 11,000 EPISODES - PEOPLE MAGAZINE - CAST PHOTO BELOW

1st Row (left to Right): Hunter King, Miles Gaston Villanueva, Melissa Ordway, Sean Carrigan, Mishael Morgan, Bryton James, Amelia Heinle, Jason Thompson, Eileen Davidson, Gina Tognoni, Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott, Steve Burton, Sharon Case, Joshua Morrow, Justin Hartley, Melissa Claire Egan, Jess Walton, Tristan Rogers, Christel Khalil and Daniel Goddard
2nd Row (left to Right): Robert Adamson, Sofia Pernas, Michael E. Knight, Beth Maitland, Tracey Bregman, Christian Le Blanc, Doug Davidson, Lauralee Bell, Kristoff St. John, Camryn Grimes, Greg Rikaart, Mara McCaffray, Catherine Bach and Kate Linder

Not pictured: Chrishell Stause (current girlfriend of Justin Hartley) as Bethany Bryant.

Here's a great article by Candace Young, of whom I beginning to become a fan. She writes for SOAPS SHE KNOWS.

http://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/soapbox/381/deconstructing-yr-writers-seem-unable-to-move-on-from-staid-couples-stale-secrets-and-recycled-scenarios


Generally, I stay away from fan sites, mainly because of spoilers as I am often far behind on both Y&R but especially B&B. I think my record is 120-some unwatched B&B episodes on my DVR. I did not watch them. I would read recaps and watch every 12th episode or so.

So, two days after your death, Mom, I posted the first T-shirt blog post that I have posted in two years:

T-SHIRT #366.

I have been saving up content and ideas to do this HUGE Y&R post for the T-short blog, but maybe that's the wrong way to do it. Maybe I need to spread out the content over multiple parts. #366, pt.1; #366, pt.2; and so on. I will cross post this content to T-shirts as #366,pt.2.

I have made other Y&R posts on this blog as part of Hey Mom, but not many.

Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mom #4 - Last Y&R watched together aired Tuesday 1506.30.


Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mother #12 - I miss you

and then, because you would hate it and I would love to taunt you:

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #281 - Y&R - Victor goes to prison.

I have probably mentioned Y&R at other times that I did not save to the Y&R category. I am sure I have mentioned it as part of my Talking Again series. It's a constant theme in my life as I "watch" Y&R while working, just like we did together for all those years. Y&R is part of the soundtrack of my life. Its cadences and rhythms are a soothing music for me. And I do love it, as I love you, Mom.

But in all of this content and photos and things, there's something escaping me. There's an ineffable significance to this TV program and its place in my life, in our lives, Mom.

Maybe in the next Y&R post I make, I will figure out what it is and find a way to articulate it.

ENJOY these videos.




In case the following videos are ever broken, here's the page from SOAP SHE KNOWS that shares the interview videos.


Lauralee Bell (Christine Williams), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams), Tracey Bregman (Lauren Baldwin) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) are the latest stars to share their favorite memories from "Young and the Restless." Picking a favorite moment out of 38 years is "almost impossible" as Davidson notes. However Bregman jokes, "My hair alone, that could be a storyline just there!"

In the latest "Young and the Restless" video celebrating 11,000 episodes, Jess Walton (Jill Abbott), Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott) reflect on their favorite moments. Walton looks back on the "most wonderful relationship" she had with the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) and the hilarious scenes they shared.

In this first video, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) reflect back on the beginning of their characters and their favorite moments. Braeden remarks on a pivotal turning point for his and Scott's characters, "Once I had done that scene, I walked off the stage, I knew that it would open up a Pandora's Box for all kinds of emotional scenes."

In the next video, Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman), Sean Carrigan (Dr. Ben "Stitch" Rayburn), Justin Hartley (Adam Newman), and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Newman) discuss their favorite memories. On Adam and Chelsea, Egan notes, "They are great lovers, but they are great fighters! Chelsea has gone through a lot, but I'm confident that one day she will find her happy ending."











From 2012, the celebration for 10,000 episodes. I tried to embed the link to the video on that page, but it failed. So if interested, go to the page and watch the video there.

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 420 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.28 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

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COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - ## shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1608.28 - 10:10

Monday, July 6, 2015

Coming soon: T-shirt #366 - Y&R, for my mom

Coming soon: T-shirt #366 - Y&R, for my mom

Readers (and random people who stumbled on this by accident),

When I ceased daily transmission of this blog on Friday, March 21 2014, my plan was to resume after a hiatus with new material on an intermittent schedule as I had more t-shirts to feature.

The hiatus was meant to be short, like a month, maybe. It's been a year and a little over three months.

I was planning for my next post to be the one for this t-shirt, dedicated to my mother about the soap opera The Young and the Restless, which I have watched with her, often daily, since its debut in 1973, which is most of my life.

I last worked on this future blog post on 1309.17.

I will now deliver content on this t-shirt in a series of posts, though it may take me a while to generate it all.









My mother died July 4th, 2015 at 10:10 a.m.


Yeah, yeah, I know we're blurry. Blame my Dad.


Or think of me looking at the photo through my tears.


COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - ?? shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1507.06 - 12:04

Friday, March 21, 2014

T-shirt #365: The last shirt in the blog year

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TODAY'S COUNT: 00 blog posts remaining in the T-shirt year!!
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T-shirt #365 - THE END, MY FRIEND... 
... (or is it?) - blank white T-shirt
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Welcome to the "last" entry of the blog year. Important to share with you an understanding of what this word "last" means in this context. A year ago, I set myself the task of posting an entry each day picturing me in another T-shirt and writing about the significance of the T-shirt, at the very least, why I own it. In one sense, the blog served as a means to count T-shirts and to answer the question: "Do I own enough shirts to wear a different one every day of the year?" I will answer that question in a minute. As for the word "last" in this context, I mean that today's entry marks the last of these daily broadcasts. After today, I will cease daily broadcasts. I will continue to blog weekly. The T-shirt blog will continue as well since I have not yet featured all the T-shirts I own, but I am terminating the daily deadline as of today (or at least "today" as defined by when this was originally published since it's taking me about a week to finish it).

TOPIC ONE: TODAY'S SHIRT AND SHIRTS

Today's "actual" shirt is just a blank (plain) white T-shirt. I featured a blank white T-shirt once before (T-shirt #290) when I wanted to write about whatever I wanted to write about and wanted a shirt with no content to make that easier for me. As I am putting together these remarks, I am discovering quite an unplanned and yet very fitting connection. I used the blank white T-shirt of T-shirt #290 to present most of the pictures of my T-shirt year in a grid back on January Fifth. And guess what? I am doing the same thing with this last entry in the blog year.

As I explained in the entry for T-shirt #290, the grid does not contain all 365 T-shirts that I featured this year. It features 361 shirt images not counting the last set of dupes to make sure I included a couple of stragglers. You might be thinking that 361 is very close to 365, but if you scan the grids, you will see all the dupes. I tried to limit the number of times I featured a shirt in more than one of the images in the grid, but I did it several times.

Since the T-shirt blog will continue, though not in daily transmissions, I will eventually put together a set of grids featuring ALL OF THE T-shirts in chronological order of presentation, which, when I take the time to make this grid, will be complete. I would love to hire someone to do this for me, but I have less disposable income than usual right now, so this is off the table for now.

So, today's post is a wrap-up of sorts. I culminate my categories for The Blog Journey, Blog Recap, and Blog Outlook with lots of text and then a huge grid of T-shirts sorted by date. In T-shirt #290, I sorted by name. My sort by date shows files when the photos were taken, and since I often do photo shoots to stash a bunch of photos all at once, the grid does not reflect the actual chronological publication dates in all cases.

As for writing about The Blog Journey, Blog Recap, and Blog Outlook, these are not my final words on these subject categories, surely. But it seemed to be fitting content for the last day of the blog's daily transmission blog year.

As always, thanks for reading!!




THE BLOG JOURNEY

TOPIC TWO: WHY THE BLOG? WHAT AM I DOING?

When I started this blog a year ago, I did not really have a vision for what it would be. You can see this lack of vision in the earliest entries. The photo shoot of pictures produced shots of me in T-shirts that looked like mug shots of the dead. I am not even smiling in several of them. Early blog posts were somewhat perfunctory as well. Given the volumes I produced later, the minimal text of the first five posts really demonstrate that I had no idea what the blog would become when I began.

You can see the evolution of what I am doing in this blog with the banner text at the top of the page. The original banner text, which I have relocated to the bottom of the blog page read:

"Maybe it's narcissism. I have been wanting to increase my blog presence, and I wanted something that was easy to update, much like my frequent "Facebookery." Hence, 365 T-Shirts. I have a lot of T-Shirts. Some may say that I am somewhat compulsive about buying T-Shirts, owning them, wearing them. Earlier this year (as the blog would have been better started on January 1st), I wondered if I had 365 different T-Shirts. I don't know. Now, obviously, I could count them, but where is the fun in that? Better to post a picture of one per day for an entire year to test whether or not I run out of shirts before 365 days have passed. This hobby means taking and displaying a lot of pictures of me, which is not a prospect that I find thrilling. But the pride of embracing my geeky side and my obvious egotism make for a fine marriage in what I hope will be seen as a whimsical blog for occasional viewing, if not even a regular check in for many of my friends new and old. Thus, I present 365 T-shirts, launched on 1303.22 or as others call it March 22, 2013. Now watch as I fail to keep it going for even a week..."
As you can see this passage emphasizes the counting first and the writing second. When I first wrote that text, when I set up the blog on March 22nd 2013, I had no confidence that I could keep it going for more than a week. I committed myself to take it all one week at a time, and eventually one day at a time. Could I really dedicate myself to something that would have a deadline EVERY DAY for an entire year??? Originally, I felt that I could sustain this rate because the original blog posts were rather minimal. Later, I questioned whether or not I could continue to produce the volumes of text, pictures, and videos with extensive research as I produced during breaks from work, such as with T-shirt #105, Ultimate Spider-Man, for which I created my first You Tube video;  for the entry of T-shirt # 119, for which I researched extensively, produced an insane amount of content, and even contacted Cat Yronwode, whom I wrote about, to view what I had written about her work with Doctor Strange; or for T-shirt #77: narcissism, in which I discussed why I started the blog in more depth (beyond what I had written in either banner text pieces).

Somehow, I made it through a year of blogging about T-shirts. What I am cobbling together here is an analysis and final set of words on this long journey and what it means, but I am posting late, adding to this entry daily since it's original Friday March 21st publication. Right now, it could take me a week to finish the final entry, and in a way, that's somewhat fitting. If you have tuned in, you can watch it grow or check back for when I post the completed entry via many social media platforms.

WHY I REALLY STARTED THE BLOG - THE CANCER MADE ME DO IT

The entry for T-shirt #77: narcissism does a pretty good job explaining why I started this blog project, and why I devoted myself to an insane schedule of daily posting.

In short, I found out I had prostate cancer, and a week later, the idea I had rejected in January as narcissistic and possibly unsustainable, I determined to give it a try, at the very least.

I did not reveal my cancer because I was not really talking about it much at all. I did not want to think about it. But once I had the prostate removed, I became more open about sharing with people in person and here on my blog.

And since then, things have come full circle. I posted about one of my Veronica Mars shirts that I bought as a result of funding the Kickstarter the morning of the day I found out I had cancer as explained in the Veronica Mars entry for T-shirt # 240.

And every day from March 22nd 2013 through March 21st 2014, I managed to post something. Originally, the entries were always finished, but as the blog year progressed, I had to post incomplete entries, but I always published SOMETHING.

In fact, the day of my surgery, later in the day, I discovered that I did not really understand the scheduled publishing mechanism in Blogger. I thought I had scheduled the blog to publish around the time of my surgery, but later, when I checked, it was not up. Though a haze of pain medication, I posted, from my tablet, the pre-written blog entry and later, re-published it back in time using Blogger's scheduling tool.

What a long and strange trip.

BLOG EVOLUTION

As the blog evolved, so did the banner text. As I worked on the blog every day for a year, I began to better understand what I was doing and what it could be. This evolution caused the explanatory text atop the blog to change as well.

CURRENT BANNER TEXT (not David Bruce Banner just Banner like a flag not the Hulk)
This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.
I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.
I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.
When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.
The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.
I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.
Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)
What a long and strange trip.

LESSONS OF THE BLOG

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I have learned many things over the year about myself, about my writing, and about this blog. Here are some of the more major "lessons" of the T-shirt blog.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME - APPRECIATING READERS

Though I considered how I would not have readers when I first had the idea for the blog, dismissing the idea as narcissistic and self-involved, I never really thought about how I would attract readers, how many, and who.

I have been blessed with some very devoted readers. I was surprised that some people actually chose to make me part of their daily or weekly reading schedules and consume all or most of what I produce.

Given the reason for the blog's existence, I cannot emphasize strongly enough just what this readership has meant to me.

Thank you readers. Without your attention and feedback, I might not have sustained this pace and output for an entire year. For all my regular readers, both those I know and those I do not, for my occasional readers, and for those who stumble across this blog by Google search, I am very grateful and honored by your readership at whatever depth and/or frequency you managed.

Furthermore, the readership has inspired me to transition into the next phase of my bloggery. More on that in a section farther along in today's entry.


THE COUNT DOES NOT MATTER AS MUCH AS THE CONTENT

I do like saying that in the last year I have posted 365 entries on this blog, featuring a different T-shirt every day (despite some doubles). Though others in the blog-world publish more than that per year, for me, given that I had never done anything like this before, this is an impressive feat. And yet, the count, the total, matters less than the content.

From the beginning, (the photo of the first T-shirt is posted directly to the right), I tried to provide good content, the kind of content that I would enjoy reading, and I tried to keep the content fresh and as varied as I possibly could.

And yet, as I previously mentioned, those early entries were light on content, as the post for my very first entry demonstrates, posted here again for reading pleasure (minus the picture and somewhat reformatted).

 T-shirt Number One: An auspicious beginning, yes? The subject matter/name of this T-shirt is likely to turn away many potential viewers/readers. This may be part of the clever intention. I am mad for comic book themed T-shirts. Retro images from the 1970s are my new kick. The day I passed on ordering a retro Machine Man shirt, this one arrived at the comic book store. I had forgotten that I had ordered it until I saw it in my weekly comic book pull, which is part of the fun (and the endorphin addiction) of ordering, buying, and owning T-shirts. However, the tales of Damion Hellstrom from the Marvel Comics of the 1970s are among my favorites. I am a little surprised that there is no mention of the controversy such a comic character stirred up in the 1970s, though I have no direct knowledge of any Bible thumping disapproval. 

Oddly, I cannot move that link.

Okay, so for every day in the previous 365 days (from the date of this entry's publication), I have thought about "what am I going to post today?" In addition to choosing a T-shirt, which, eventually, I began to do in advance, planning out eight at a time as this is how many fit on the back sides of the French page-a-day calendar I have been using as scrap paper. Often, I would change my mind about the T-shirts I planned to post, but I would at least try to plan out a week at a time, giving myself time to conjure content out of thin air and to even work ahead if my schedule permitted such luxury.

As I accumulated the count, I also accrued content, which I hoped would be of interest to readers.

I have been blessed with a great deal of feedback letting me know that I have been at least somewhat successful.
Oddly, I cannot move that link.

Okay, so for every day in the previous 365 days (from the date of this entry's publication), I have thought about "what am I going to post today?" In addition to choosing a T-shirt, which, eventually, I began to do in advance, planning out eight at a time as this is how many fit on the back sides of the French page-a-day calendar I have been using as scrap paper. Often, I would change my mind about the T-shirts I planned to post, but I would at least try to plan out a week at a time, giving myself time to conjure content out of thin air and to even work ahead if my schedule permitted such luxury.

As I accumulated the count, I also accrued content, which I hoped would be of interest to readers.

I have been blessed with a great deal of feedback letting me know that I have been at least somewhat successful.

I CAN WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT

As I concocted my nefarious plans for the content of the blog, I began to realize that I often wanted to write about subjects that were not directly (sometimes not even remotely) related to the shirt and its imagery (for those shirts with actual imagery).

Eventually, I decided that I could write about whatever I wanted to write about. After all, to whom was I beholden? Was there a T-shirt police ready to flog me if I strayed from the apparent featured subject: the imagery and text or at least the origin of each specific T-shirt?

No, no police. And my readers seemed happy to read whatever I wanted to share. And so, I began to explore whatever subject matter interested me each day and often planned days in advance for the subject matter that I would choose to explore.

After all, I could not buy a new T-shirt every time I wanted to explore some new subject matter. And I could not guarantee that I could find a T-shirt for every subject. For instance, there are no ADAM WARLOCK T-shirts. At least, none specifically featuring that Marvel character and some of the old comic book covers by Jim Starlin from the 1970s. And the CONCRETE T-shirt on Etsy (sold) is a rare, collector's item that I should have bought years a go when I had the chance. Read here about CONCRETE by Paul Chadwick.

And so, I generated all kinds of content for the T-shirt blog that I might not have generated without deciding that the T-shirts should not strictly restrict my subject matter. The categories along the right side of the main blog page reflect well the additional content that I explored in freeing myself from strictly generating content only directly related to the shirt featured that day. After all, I have no shirts that feature Jungian psychology.

And I am most proud of being able to inject new content and make it work with that day's shirt, such as my writing on introversion in T-shirt #161 on a short that is just blue and my inclusion of material about gratitude in T-shirt #78 on Suzanne Vega.

I LIKE WRITING LOVE LETTERS

As I began to generate content for the blog, I realized that with some shirts, I really wanted to create a MASSIVE tribute to the popular culture icon featured on the shirt. I began calling these massive tribute posts love letters.

I began to have an inkling of just how huge my posts might grow when I created the entry for T-shirt #13 also known as the Unlucky Red Shirt. I have since added to this post, so it's even longer now than the one I did eventually. But it was with this shirt that I started to think about how to best deliver content about the thing featured on the shirt itself.

Though on the longer side, T-shirt #13 looks brief compared to some of the monster posts I created later. My time to create such posts waxed and waned with my work and my work deadlines as well as other things in my life all of which must be kept in balance, such as time with the wife and family, homework for classes I am taking, house work projects, and the myriad and quotidian aspects of daily life.

The next entry that grew to a larger size was T-shirt #28 dedicated to Batgirl. But still they would get bigger. Even this is not a full love letter to Batgirl. One of the next really large entries came with T-shirt #45 featuring the evolution of Darth Vader. I did not own T-shirt #45 when I started the blog. I bought it because after a couple of weeks of blogging the Mack Truck of realization creamed me to paste when I it dawned on me that I did not own any shirts for Star Wars.

Often the longer entries would coincide with extra time in my schedule and sometimes they would be bunched together, especially in the early days of the blog before I tried to work ahead. For instance, the entry for T-shirt #61: Replicant and T-shirt #62: Nightwing are back-to-back. T-shirt #62: Nightwing enjoys the distinction of being one of the most viewed entries that I have created on the T-shirt blog. And shortly after posting those really long ones, I completed T-shirt #64: Embrace Uncertainty.

A chronological tour of the blog may be interesting to you. But it's a lot of pages. I am not going to keep going and describe all my long ones. However, there were days when I obviously spent most of the day creating an opus such as T-shirt #86: Erykah Badu or the completely over-the-top love letter to the 1960s live action TV show of Batman featured in T-shirt #94.

I spent the whole weekend of the July 4th holidays creating the following:

T-shirt #104 - Silver Surfer, Daredevil, Black Panther

T-shirt #105 - Ultimate Spider-Man

T-shirt #106 - Captain America

And yet, I spent WEEKS researching and writing one of my biggest and most elaborate posts:

T-shirt #119: Doctor Strange.

Even so, I think I can do better with a love letter to the good Doctor, and I have at least one new shirt planned for the future of the blog that did not make it into the blog year.

As I worked along, I realized that I just did not have time to create the elaborate love letters I wanted to create for some of my shirts. I have two shirts that have been in the works for six months: one for the soap opera The Young and the Restless and a dedication to my mother, who is responsible for my love of it, and a post on homophobia and prejudice against non-heterosexuals, mainly focused on the outrage against Orson Scott Card as the movie of his novel Ender's Game was set to be released. Both of these projects were too large and too demanding, as they were conceived in my head, to be completed with the daily deadline and my allotment of, on average, and hour of blog writing time per day (though I suspect that I averaged a bit more time than that).

And so, now, I have over 30 shirts (again, no actual count) that I plan to feature on the blog with longer, more voluminous love letters. These shirts did not make it into the blog year because I put them off in lieu of easier shirts that I could render posts for quickly, hence the "Hiatus" category you can see in my category list.

THE ONLY ONE HOLDING ME TO THE DAILY DEADLINE IS ME

We're blurry but happy.
I held myself to a daily deadline for an entire year. Though I scheduled posts once I figured out how to work the scheduling tool, I had trouble working ahead, and so I rarely had too many posts scheduled in advance. Usually I faced the daily deadline, requiring myself to post something by the end of the day. Given this rigor, I am surprised that it took me at least two-thirds of the blog year before I posted my first incomplete entry and finished it the next day.

For most of the blog year, I worked on the blog first thing in the morning, and I usually finished and posted it before I started my actual work for the day. Later, I discovered that the blog served as a rabbit hole down which I could lose my way. And so I altered my approach. I tried to work ahead. When I could not work ahead, I tried to spread out the blog work throughout the day, granting myself a reward to work on it some more if I finished more "actual work." But then I still had to post that entry by the end of the day.

Eventually, I realized that my merry band of readers were not waiting expectantly in the next room and would chide me if I posted an incomplete entry.

The only one actually holding me to the daily deadline was me.

When I posted an incomplete entry, not a single person wrote to me and asked "hey, where the Hell is your blog?"

And so, over the year, I relaxed on the deadline. I relaxed so much now that it is over a week since the original publication of this entry, and I still have six other unfinished entries on the blog to finish before I can move on to other projects.

LENGTH SHOULD VARY

I have had a lot of feedback about the length. I have tried to vary the length a great deal. As I shared previously, I have produced some mammoth entries. But then I also have entries like this one:

Thursday, November 21, 2013


T-shirt #245 - Voices

T-shirt #245 - Voices



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR: 120 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1311.21 - 17:41

So, I did not write a book every day, all right?

I NEED MORE SPECIAL FEATURES

As I wrote blog entries, I discovered that I needed more special features than what content the shirt prompted and what content I wanted to explore, and so I created many categories in my list as features, such as the Weekly Comics List; various lists of comic books, comic book characters, or music; the Cover Galleries (I do not not know why I am capitalizing that category), and the T-shirt I am Wearing category.

Now, many of these special features I created will be posted to the other blog, and this one will remain just T-shirts. Though I will surely still stray off topic, if a bevy of comic book reviews is off-topic for a comic book themed T-shirt.

I AM LESS CAMERA SHY THAN I THOUGHT

At first, I was not thrilled at the prospect of posting a different picture of myself in a T-shirt every day. And so, the earliest T-shirt pictures are very mug shot like. However, as the year progressed, I experimented with pictures in different locations, pictures with guest stars, pictures with props, and with multiple pictures for each shirt. I think I did all right. Actually, I have one shirt still in reserve that was going to be featured in a fun photo shoot, and I never got around to making the photo shoot happen.

Though the many photos of me (numbering in the hundreds, well over 365) triggers my fear of narcissism, it's actually somewhat an inescapable fact that narcissism fuels this blog. In the end, I like seeing all the pictures. I am satisfied with the results for the most part.

PEOPLE SEEM TO LIKE BLOG RECAP

I like statistics, and so as I produced blog work, I also described the frequency numbers. One of these posts in which I deliver what I came to call Blog Recap (another special feature) is the single most popular blog entry with almost 300 pages views:Advice from a Volcano: T-shirt #241.

Is that entry popular because of the volcano? Because of the blog recap or because I copied the list from the overview page, like this one below?
I LIKE WHAT I LIKE AND THERE'S NO SHAME IN THAT


I don't have an answer to that question.

Here's the activity in the last week:


Though the volcano post does a good job recapping page view hits, my last and best blog recap to date that assesses the numbers of my posts by subject came near the end in T-shirt #348: Kalamazoo College Alumni.

WHAT I REALLY LIKE BEST ARE COMIC BOOKS

I could go on and on about the subject of comic books, but I already have done so in ONE HUNDRED and eleven posts of four-color fictional goodness. I discovered that I can post a link to the category, so if you want to just browse comic book related posts, click the following:

COMIC BOOK POSTS

Though I feel that I wrote about a wide array of subjects, with comic books charting a little under a third of the total content of the blog year, I discovered that comic books were the easiest subject for me to write about, and probably my favorite subject, my go-to subject. Real talk.




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THE BLOG RECAP

A LINK FOR ALL THE BLOG RECAPS

I like to recap what I am doing all the time as I explained previously. I will continue to recap as I continue to posts about shirts.

You never know when I may update previous entries, and not just the current "unfinished ones."

Please stay tuned.
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WHY T-SHIRTS INSTALLMENTS - more to come

Near the end of the blog year, in supposed "hiatus," I tried to answer the central question of this blog: WHY T-SHIRTS?

Here's all that content:

LINK TO WHY T-SHIRTS CONTENT.

I did not finish the list of reasons and explanations for "Why T-shirts?"

I will continue to explore and finish this subject in future posts.

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THE BLOG OUTLOOK

The official boilerplate for the countdown does and has (for the last twenty posts) explained really well The Blog Outlook.

I am planning to blog here, blog over at SENSE OF DOUBT, and to eventually release fiction episodically.

Once again, as I wrote above, please stay tuned.

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The shirt I am actually
wearing today. GO BLUE!
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE TEXT OF THE LAST TWENTY POSTS COUNTDOWN: Hi. Thanks for reading. I am posting this "boilerplate" text everyday for the last TWENTY posts in the T-SHIRT blog year, which started on March 22, 2013. I will close out daily transmission on March 21st, day 365 of my T-shirt blog-tastic extravaganza spectacular. I will give myself a short hiatus of total non-transmission or  publication for an as yet undetermined period of time, though I am estimating about two weeks. After my blog vacation hiatus, I will resume T-shirt posts on a regular basis, also as yet to be determined (weekly? Twice monthly?) to finish blogging about all the T-shirts that were not featured in the blog year. At some point, once I feel I am rolling along nicely, I will begin regular posting through my main blog: SENSE OF DOUBT. T-shirt posts will direct to the T-shirt blog from SENSE OF DOUBT. I will continue to post THE WEEKLY COMIC LIST, the features of occasional T-SHIRTS I AM WEARING THIS WEEK, book reviews, comic book reviews, and other popular culture nonsense as I have been for a year now but all will go up at SENSE OF DOUBT and some will direct back here to 365 T-SHIRTS. Ultimately, I will begin Internet publication of my fiction, primarily the comic book satire episodic story called POP! among other projects. So, in summary, 365 T-SHIRTS will continue though intermittently. SENSE OF DOUBT will host my main blog presence and fiction writing as well as links to any T-shirt posts shared here. I hope you will continue to follow me in my journey as a writer and a content provider. Thank you for your kind attention and time you have spent with me on this and/or any other day this year. I am humbled and blessed by your readership. - chris tower, blogger, originated 1403.02
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365 T-SHIRTS BLOG: THE BLOG YEAR IN PICTURES

As I explained to start, these are not all the T-shirts featured and not quite in chronological order. I still have to work on the set of photos. But this is nearly complete. It's been a good year.


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COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 00 shirts remaining

It only took me nine days to finish this one. Whew. :-)

- chris tower - first published - 1403.21 - 19:50
final publication - 1403.30 - 18:50