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.)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

T-shirt #41: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons circa 1987

T-shirt #41: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons circa 1987

BEWARE: Long meandering, semi-stream-of-consciousness post follows.

I have a confession to make: I bought today’s T-shirt since starting this blog. Some people might consider new T-shirt purchases to be out of bounds, against the blog’s stated intent. After all, I started the blog as a means to count my T-shirts. How many do I actually own? If I were to wear one T-shirt per day, do I actually have a different one for each day of the year? And if I am going to pose such a question, why not write about the T-shirts at the rate of one per day? Because, as I have stated previously, I am NEITHER wearing one, new (previously unworn during the year) T-shirt per day NOR am I necessarily wearing the T-shirt I feature that day.

Though, as a point of order, I am wearing today’s T-shirt as I type this entry. I am currently seated in the back seat of my parents’ new Cadillac enroute to see Steel Magnolias at the dinner theatre at Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall, Michigan because I write reviews for the Battle Creek Enquirer, and I need to review this show.

For those making a habit of following my posts (Hello! Thanks for reading!), this is the first post I have written “offline,” as I am not currently logged into any Internet service, and so I am enjoying composing in my favorite word processor, Corel’s Word Perfect X6. Facts such as these bear relevance to our proceedings here on this blog because if it is nothing else (and I am hoping it is so much more), this blog is really a glorified, daily journal on display for all to see and read (or choose to ignore).

My dad is currently accelerating at a high rate of speed on to I-94 as I try to type on the precariously balanced laptop here in the back seat. Gee, this Cadillac has some serious horsepower.

Okay, enough stream of consciousness and positioning myself in the universe in relation to where and when I am creating today’s missive, and back to the subject at hand: Today’s T-shirt.

When I started this blog forty-one days ago, I did so the day after the arrival of a new T-shirt with my comic book order: T-shirt #1: The Son of Satan. I did not select the first T-shirt because it was the most special or most significant of my life. It simply happened to be the most recent acquisition to what I realized was a collection of shirts so potentially sizable that it may exceed three hundred and sixty-five. As I began to blog about the shirts, I chose shirts that often matched the journal aspect of this blog. I commemorated the home opening day of The Detroit Tigers season, I featured my Sigur Rós hirt the day after attending the band’s concert with Liesel, and most recently, I matched my Dungeons & Dragons T-shirt with a recent gaming session of the classic role playing game along with photos of me “in action” at our gaming table with dice, miniatures, and rule books at hand.

For the last forty-one days, I have been thinking about my shirts, and which shirt I wished to feature for  which day and what I might write about the shirt when I completed that day’s blog entry. As I began this thought process, I realized that I had glaring gaps in my collection of shirts. Contrary to what you may believe–and I know that this fact may be difficult to fathom--I have not spent my adult years buying T-shirts planning for this blog in which I would immerse myself in a review of my life in geekdom.

As I considered which T-shirt to select each day based on about what I wanted to write that day that there were several things I would not be able to write about because I did not own any T-shirts, not a single one, for the beloved thing. You may already spot some obvious (and some would say criminal) omissions in my world of geek, but I am going to leave this question open for now and see what kinds of responses I may get in the comments as to what these things may be. After all, what one person might feature in the first forty geek things may not be the kinds of things I would feature. (For instance, I will tell you right now that unless things change and I suddenly become a fan, you will not find ANY Doctor Who shirts on this blog, an oversight that many self-proclaimed geeks (and some who erroneously do not believe themselves to be geeks) would find not criminal but sacrilegious.) Also, in case this point has not already been clear, my T-shirts are not ranked by geek fan love. The first forty shirts are not a “Top Forty,” like a chart of most popular songs on i-Tunes or in radio play. They were all shirts that either fit the day or happened to be in my closet. And I have indulged in several for University of Michigan as well as several for the Detroit Tigers, so they will not all be individual or uniquely devoted to different subjects, though I will try to avoid two duplicate shirts until I get desperate to reach my year-end goal. They also just happened to be close at hand in the closet.

As I meandered down this new line of thinking about what to write about on my blog, for a time, I considered not buying any more T-shirts. After all, I could surely invest enough money in this project to ensure that I do actually have three-hundred and sixty-five by the time I reach March of 2014. I have never been on a total T-shirt fast. I buy new T-shirts all the time. It’s how I found myself owning enough shirts to consider embarking on this blog project. At times, I have tried to limit myself to only a few new shirts a year (or season) simply for budgetary considerations. However, not long after starting this blog, I found myself inspired to go off on a T-shirt spending spree, a binge, a whole hog gorging of T-shirt acquisition. I have since cut myself off, at least for now, after filling some of the (still unnamed) gaps in my collection. After all, with a little attention to inspire me, and a little extra money and lack of self control, I have purchased quite a few T-shirts since starting this blog, which brings me around to how I recently came to own today’s T-shirt.

I bought it.


Off eBay.

After an extensive search for Dungeons and Dragons shirts.

I had seen an advertisement in the local comic emporium for new D&D shirts to be released this year. I had asked my friendly proprietors, and they knew nothing about the shirts (except for the teasing and specious ad). I found this shirt, which I fancied due to my aforementioned wonderful D&D experience (mentioned in yesterday's T-shirt #40 Indiana University in Hebrew). With spring coming, and my propensity for yellow shirts in spring, I decided to purchase it at the "buy now" price (no auction needed).

Rather than featuring another picture of me preparing to role play, I feature some other fun pictures, some images of dice at a game with the aforementioned good friend Tom Meyers (see T-shirt #40 again) circa 2011, and a picture of me taken TODAY at Turkeyville with my parents because, as I shared, I was actually wearing today's shirt today. And yes, I am double posting some pictures.

To recap the things that are important in today's blog:

1. The shirts are not ranked in any order. The #1 shirt is not the #1 most special shirt that I own.

2. Shirts are often chosen due to some special significance either of the shirt itself, of the day the entry is published, or both.

3. I am still buying shirts, and though inspired to go crazy, I am trying to control myself.

4. I have glaring gaps in my collection in which favorite icons of geekdom are not represented (until I buy more shirts).

5. My definition of "geekdom" includes many elements of popular culture which other people would not include and does not (currently) include any Doctor Who merchandise, not because I dislike Doctor Who. It's simply a matter of time and access. I only have so much of either.

6. 1987 was a good year to play Dungeons and Dragons. Arbitrarily, since I cannot remember the actual year, I am going to decide that this was the year of the game described in yesterday's post.

7. It is not as easy as it may sound to write in a Cadillac heading down the freeway at high speeds.

- chris tower - 1305.01 - 20:14
Photo courtesy of Torie the nice waitress