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.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

T-shirt #134: Explore the Secrets of Balloon Anatomy

T-shirt #134: Explore the Secrets of Balloon Anatomy


After a busy week, Grading Robot is powering down.

ALSO, the little man who runs Grading Robot from the inside is also taking a break.

Since I started this blog, I have realized that it is an EVERY DAY THING. Dedicating myself to 365 T-shirts means that EVERY DAY I have to come up with a post. I have realized that I cannot write a large essay every day. I cannot create a love letter to some beloved popular culture icon every day. And, surely, I cannot expect (do not expect) readers to read every post every day. It all seems a bit much.

And so... I have to figure out ways to manage all of this. One thing I started doing around post #57 is working ahead. I had to start writing the bigger entries in advance or plan them for days so that I had time to render the size of entry I desired. I have been hit and miss with this approach. I have a list through #142 right now with a couple of unnumbered entries logged and queued. And I have been sketching out some of these entries and pushing them back when I am not yet completed with the draft of the content or the thinking through of the content. For a while, I was doing very well with the schedule of sitting down each morning and writing the next day's entry, which gave me plenty of time to think and revise. But I have struggled to maintain this writing in advance system. So, time for a new approach:


What does this actually mean? How can I take the weekend off? If I take time off, wouldn't this mean I would not actually produce 365 T-shirts consecutively and fail in my mission? Yes, that's true. So, I am not skipping any days. There will still be posts. But I refer you (if curious) to T-shirts #s 65-67 posted May 25-27th (1305.25-.27) for the last time I took a weekend off for Memorial Day and family time. There were posts.

But they were short and simple. Same concept.

Today, Friday, I am off to Colon, Michigan, better known as the magic capital of the world with my step-son Ivan. Though I do not plan to wear a T-shirt for the day, expect pictures and a future posting detailing our adventure. We are attending the Magic Get Together that is held every year in Colon. It used to be called the Abbott's Magic Get Together after the name of the magic company located in Colon and the reason why Colon is considered the magic capital of the world. Now, I believe, it is called the Fab MagiCelebration after the new name for the Abbott's Company: The Fab Magic Company. (IMPORTANT NOTE: The previous sentences are inaccurate. Keep reading for the real scoop.)

For those who have not learned this nugget yet from my blog, or know it about me, I used to perform magic as as semi- and part-time professional in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I attended several get togethers in Colon back then and performed in the youth talent contest (which I am currently missing as I could not get to Colon in time for it). This is probably my first get together attendance since 1980-1981-ish. I am excited, and I am even more excited to share it with my step-son Ivan.

Expect more information and dedication to this lovely enterprise in a future blog entry.

Tomorrow, I am heading out the Kal-Haven trail on an extended bike ride with my pal Chris Dilley, and Sunday is a day dedicated to my beloved wife, Liesel, and our home. Though I am not idle, my presence here must be light.

Today's T-shirt is a creation of artist Robert Lewis: "Explore the Secrets of Balloon Anatomy."

I worked with Robert at a Kalamazoo-based comic book company called Chiasmus in the mid-1990s.

Robert is an original and brilliant artist, and I adore his work. I have another T-shirt of his which I will feature in the future.

I have lost track of Robert, and his name is too common to produce much in a Facebook search.

I chose today's shirt because balloons are featured prominently in magic shows, as fun sculptures--balloon animals--and as illusions ("magic tricks"), such as penetrating a balloon with a large needle (one of my favorite all time magical effects).

See you all tomorrow but back to full swing next week!

- chris tower - 1308.02 - 10:19

UPDATE: So, here I am, sitting in the World Famous M&M Grill, which is next door to the Fab Magic shop pictured here. They have free Wi Fi. And ice cream. And homemade goulash.

Why am I updating my blog? Well... because I made a HUGE ERROR.

Guess what? The Fab Magic Company and the Abbott's Magic Company are NOT the same thing!! I am embarrassed that I did not better investigate the situation here in Colon before I came down, and I am even more embarrassed that I did not better educate myself before I officially proclaimed the how and the what of my  re-connection with the world of magic on this blog. I furthered my error by suggesting that Abbott's had dropped its historic name and renamed itself. This is not AT ALL what happened as I have now found out by spending part of the day in Colon. In fact, there's not just two different magic shops. There are THREE different magic shops in this little town of Colon, Michigan.

Apparently, some years ago, two gentlemen had a falling out: the owner of Abbott's and the (now) owner of the Fab Magic Company. Now, because these gentlemen cannot get along, the Fab Magic Company and Abbott's both host their own conventions, which this year are one week apart. Currently, Ivan and I are attending day three of the four day Fab MagiCelebration. Next week, the Abbott's Company will host its 76th annual Magic Get Together. After a visit to Abbott's, we learned that next year will be the 80th celebration of Abbott's as a business (as it opened in 1934) and the 77th Get Together.

I am not sure if I will be back next week, though I may try, as the real re-connection would be with the REAL Get Together of my past: The Abbott's Magic Get Together!!

- one again, now updated, by chris tower - 1308.02 - 17:53