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.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

T-shirt #145-StereoLab-Red

T-shirt #145-StereoLab-Red: Colors and more roundup

More roundup!

No, not the weed killer.

Various and Sundry. Geek and Sundry (this is a You Tube Channel). Today's blog will explore a variety of subjects though, as for the T-shirt, today is dedicated to a great band: STEREOLAB.

It is a red shirt. This is a significant fact.

After THE COCTEAU TWINS broke up, I was bereft. The Cocteau Twins are one of my favorite bands of all time. Easily, they are in my personal top ten with The Jam and 10,000 Maniacs. For years, I searched for music that would replace the melodic beauty of Cocteau Twins in my life. Eventually, I found Stereolab. In 2006, I had the pleasure of going to Chicago to see Stereolab live in concert. I bought two T-shirts. Today I feature the red one.


Yesterday, I explored my blog work so far by subject-based categories. But there is another set of categories that I must work to employ: shirts by color.

Several years ago, despondent after a bad break-up from a relationship, I decided that it was time to exert some control over the chaos in my life. I pulled all of my clothes out of my closet and organized them by type and color: all the pants together, long-sleeved dress shirts, short-sleeved shirts, polos, and T-shirts all sorted by color. I have kept my closet more or less organized this way ever since with few exceptions.

Originally, my T-shirt selection was smaller and the colors less varied. I owned very few red shirts and for a time no shirts in yellow (which is something I have discussed previously). Mostly, I owned black, blue, and white shirts. Though now I own more red shirts and quite a few more yellow shirts than my core three for spring, I still find that I have very few orange, green, pink, and/or purple T-shirts. These colors are among the least represented in my ownership.

I thought it would be interesting, at least to me, to set up categories for the blog by color and examine the most popular color of the T-shirts I have featured so far. I am not going to make fine distinctions between shades of certain colors; for instance, I am grouping light blue with darker blue. I also have a couple shirts that are more gold than yellow, but I placing them all together in the "yellow" category. Likewise, "White" contains shirts in off-white and more of a beige color. And so, now, I have created (as of this date) categories for shirts by color, just like my closet. Like yellow and blue, the grey shirts vary in hue from a very light grey to various shades of dark grey or even greenish-grey. I have these separated in my closet more effectively. Here, I include all of these shirts in one grey category for ease of data collection and fewer categories.

In all, I created NINE color categories: Assorted, Black, Blue, Grey, Green, Grey, Purple and Pink, Red, White, and Yellow. Here's the statistics as of today (1308.13), reorganized by frequency
  • White = 36
  • Black = 29
  • Blue = 21
  • Grey = 19
  • Yellow = 10
  • Assorted = 6
  • Green = 5
  • Purple and Pink = 4
For someone who thought he only had three yellow shirts for spring, I have TEN, which surprises even me. I think I have shared all of yellow shirts I own so far. Also, I have shared all my purple (2) and pink (2) shirts, as I have so few. The Assorted category consists of Brown, Orange, Tie-dyed, and colors that I cannot classify any other way. Since I tend to wear White shirts in the summer, I am not surprised that White has taken over the lead for most shirts so far.

I have no idea why I am capitalizing the colors.


Sadly, by the time I saw Stereolab, original member Mary Hansen had died (in 2002) and so was not with the group.

I was lucky to see the band in 2006 as they have chosen to go on indefinite hiatus in 2009.

The WIKI for STEREOLAB is pretty good.

A few quick reasons that I love them:

  • Stereolab lists the Surrealist and Situationist cultural and political movements as influences.
  • Stereolab's music is sometimes sung in French giving it a very European flair.
  • I am going to love any band that has a rock and pop sound with "lounge instrumentals" and sing-song female vocals.
  • The band uses various organs, including the MOOG.
  • My Stereolab smart playlist contains almost 18 hours of Stereolab music and 230 songs.
  • Stereolab has been called "one of the most fiercely independent and original groups of the Nineties"[1].
  • Stereolab was one of the first bands to be called "post-rock."
  • Sometimes the Stereolab lyrics are sung in English, but they still have a Euro-flair.
  • Stereolab started its own label: Duophonic Records.
I am including three videos (all from my favorite album) at the end of today's entry.

RED (the movie)

Last night, Liesel and I decided to watch Red, the movie, for the second time. The film is very loosely based on a comic by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, and it stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Karl Urban, Ernest Borgnine, and Brian Cox.

This movie inspired my post today. Lying in bed thinking about the color red, I decided to share today's shirt and put together a hodge podge of blurbs: dribs and drabs as I am pouring my way through final grades for one of my schools. GRADING ROBOT NEEDS POWER!

Liesel and I both wanted to see Red again before we go see Red 2, which may not be doing as well as other films in box office and is already in reduced showtimes here in the greater Kalamazoo area. Still, I expect to enjoy it. I really enjoyed Red, especially the second time. It's brilliantly funny.

Red is an acronym for "Retired-Extremely Dangerous," which is a clever designation for a former super agent (played by Bruce Willis in the movie). I am not planning on writing  a review of the film as there are plenty online if you wish to read one. Though the film is only loosely based on the Warren Ellis comic, the story and script capture his unique sense of humor very well. If you have not seen this film, and you like action films, especially ones that vary from the usual model, this film is very much worth your time.


Usually Liesel and I have a date night (or afternoon and early evening) every other Friday.

We started Friday the 9th early as she needed to get the heck out of dodge, which derailed my plans for a surprise flower delivery, the arrangement seen here. I ordered from POLDERMAN'S in Portage, which I highly recommend not only because I know the owner, Linc Polderman, but Polderman's is a long-standing, local business, and I believe in supporting long term, local businesses.

I have enormous gooey gobs of fun with my wife. Our day ended up being completely random, which is something that often happens around Liesel. She is unpredictable. This is one of the ten thousand reasons that  I love her as much as I do.

View from below covered bridge
walkway at Nature Center
We started our day at the Cupcake Zoo in Otsego. We bought some highland beef in a local market. We wandered around the Otsego Antique Mall and resisted the urge to buy anything. Then, as we drove, Liesel suggested we go to to the Nature Center, which we did. I took a couple of photos that I have included here. I was blown away by how overgrown and sheltered the walkway to the main building has become since my last visit, which could have been over a decade or more ago. We ended our evening with dinner at Fricano's. Not one to complain, a dining experience has to be pretty awful before I say anything. I did not complain at the restaurant, but I will share here. We will not go back. Terrible food, awful service, a horrible view from the deck, and we were surrounded by people with a yucky vibe, yucky energy. I repeat: we will not go back. Still, we had a wonderful day. We were together and that's all that really matters.

Owl at Nature Center
I owe her another dinner, though. I had meant for that dinner to be her birthday dinner as I will not be able to take her out on the 17th because of my aforementioned "milestone." She does not want that dinner to qualify as her birthday dinner and neither do I.


Yesterday, I spotted an article about Mark Cuban's reaction to Major League Baseball's decision to attempt to ban Alex Rodriguez from the game for life but instead levied a ban of 214 games, which A-Rod is appealing.


I know I am in the minority when I say that I have always liked Alex Rodriguez and that I hope he wins his appeal. I know that in part my feelings are my tendency to "go the other way." I tend to take the opposite view of public opinion. Since the prevailing public opinion is so much against the PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) users and Alex Rodriguez in particular, this just inflames my passion for the opposite view and siding with Alex.

Still, I would be lying if I tried to claim that I have not always liked A-Rod because I have. He is well spoken and appears humble. It may be an act, but his act is good. LeBron James is another case. I have never liked him, and I still don't, but I have to admit that his humble act is REALLY GOOD (and it may not be an act).

With A-Rod, I am pretty sure he is all PR and spin doctoring, and I just don't care. I like how well spoken and articulate he is. And he has been one of the best Baseball players in the history of the game, so it is difficult to ignore that fact. Did he succeed because of help from PEDs? Maybe. Still, I don't care. I want to see him on the field, so if PEDs help him heal faster, I am supportive. As for power, it's the same case as with Barry Bonds: the player still has to hit the ball. Hitting major league pitching is about the most difficult thing to do in all of sports, and so very few people can actually do it or do it well. Do PEDs help with the hand and eye coordination, the bat speed, and the power? Maybe. I really do not care. I like seeing the players on the field, and PED use does not strike me as "cheating" any more than my taking of Motrin before a game of Ultimate gives me an advantage and helps me play better.

I know many people do not agree with me on this subject. But I don't care. I am not trying to convince anyone. This is not a persuasive argument. It's just my opinion.

Nothing really can sour me on Baseball.

As for the article, Cuban's words hit home. I do think Bud Selig has a vendetta against Alex Rodriguez. Cuban makes a good point that Selig is making up his own rules where A-Rod is concerned. It's despicable.

Bud Selig's Mafia. I would like to see Bud Selig suspended for 214 games. I would enjoy Baseball much more if he was not a part of it (that is assuming whatever follows is better).


Speaking of not being soured about Baseball, how could I? Even Peralta's suspension did not lessen my passion for the game and the Detroit Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers put together an impressive set of winning streaks lately. And now with two losses in a row, the streak is over.

First, the Tigers won four straight from 7/21-7/24, but then, the team put together an amazing streak of TWELVE consecutive wins from 7/26-8/8.

The team had some monster wins, scoring 38 runs in a four day span from 7/27 through 7/31, winning from behind on home runs in the 8th and 9th innings, and though the streak is snapped, Miguel Cabrera, while injured, has hit four home runs in four consecutive game, a feat last accomplished by the great Willie Horton.

Though the Tigers have lost two in a  row now, and only took one of three games against the Yankees, they have a night game tonight and a day game tomorrow against the lowly Chicago White Sox, after seeing that team's best pitcher (Chris Sale) last night.

It's a good day to be a Tigers fan.


The Sandlot in 5 Seconds


"You're killing me, Smalls." - The Sandlot

"I wish my father could have seen me... God, I love Baseball." - The Natural


My go-to blog guy writes about the new Thor Dark World Trailer:

Loki Steals New THOR: THE DARK WORLD Trailer

I have to say that I am growing very excited for the new Thor movie. This trailer definitely increases that excitement. Good stuff on the Thor horizon: Sif, Heimdall, Volstagg, Malekith the Accursed, and a glimpse of THE DESTROYER. Very cool mix of the old classics with new twists and new visions.

Thor: The Dark World trailer UK - OFFICIAL Marvel | HD


Here are three Stereolab songs. A great introduction to the band.

This is my favorite Stereolab song from my favorite Stereolab album Dots and Loops (1997).

Stereolab - Tickertape Of The Unconscious [Original Ver.] 

Stereolab - Miss Modular

"All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun". - Jean-Luc Godard 

Music: Stereolab - Miss Modular

Stereolab - Rainbo Conversation

Also from Dots and Loops with cool imagery.


CHECK OUT - the Sub-Machine Gun blog.

This is the link for the "Vague" post. Dial back to home if you want to scan them all.

The blog uses movie stills with text overlays each day. I think the text comes from the actual film being featured. It's very clever, and a blog that's much quicker to take in than mine.

This one struck me yesterday as representative of my mood.

Grading Robot suffers, which is why this blog entry took all day to write.

- chris tower - 1308.13 - 19:50