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.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

T-shirt #196 - TPTA-white dot

Me and Liesel at the Volcano
on Mauna Loa 1309.30

T-shirt #196 - TPTA-white dot

Happy anniversary to us. Today, four years ago, I married the love of my life, a Hawaiian princess, Liesel Marie Kanohokula Creager (now Tower). It only took me 47 years to find her. Actually, she found me in 1989 or 1990 when she was attending WMU and I was finishing my graduate degrees there. We did not meet again for another 20 years.

at Keith and Rochelle's
where we are staying
Those of you who have been married a long time may not consider a four year milestone a very big deal. But for me, whose average relationship length was nine months throughout my life, feel that this is quite an achievement. Being with Liesel four years marks the longest relationship of my life and definitely the most significant. After all, I am not just blowing smoke when I claim that she is the "love of my life." She is. Our love is a powerful force, like this volcano. I believe it was destined to be.

Here's the short version of our story. Liesel and I originally met in 1990, when I finished my graduate course work. Liesel does not believe that I remembered her years later, and I must admit that when I first saw her, I did not. BUT I had the same reaction years later as I did back in 1990. After she recounted her earliest memory of meeting me, I remember that I thought how perfect she was for me back then and how I got such a good feeling from her, good energy. I would think of her from time to time (she also does not believe this) as in "I wonder what happened to that gorgeous Hawaiian girl my friend was dating?"

Fast forward almost 20 years. December 2008. I am in a suit and tie in a local health food store. The suit is quite uncharacteristic of my usual attire, but I had just helped my friend Chris Dilley do a presentation for Kiwanis. I was hanging with my friend Ryan Walters, who worked at the store, Sawall. I had a couple of things to pick up, so as he went for his pay check, I located my items in the aisles. I spotted this stunningly gorgeous woman right away, and SHE SMILED AT ME. I was quite flummoxed by this, as I am rather shy when it comes to meeting women in situations like that, and I knew we would both leave the store and never see each other again.

at steam vents
I was thinking the same thing when I saw her in Sawall that I had thought all those years ago at WMU: "this woman is perfect for me. Why can't I meet and have a relationship with her or someone just like her?" So, after making my purchases, I am waiting by the entrance for my friend Ryan, and here comes the gorgeous woman. Once again, I am thinking about how perfect she is for me and how I will not have the guts to speak to her because I don't think "Hi, you're perfect for me, so let's get married" is a good opening line. I am watching her leave, kicking myself, when she says "You are Chris Tower." Not a question. A statement. Discussion ensues, as her daughter Piper, who is with her, rolls her eyes, especially when Liesel mentions being on Facebook.

It takes Liesel 26 hours to send me a friend request. During those 26 hours, I must have refreshed Facebook a thousand times. Because this is supposed to be the short version, I will speed up the narrative. A month later, we started dating. Three months later, we decided to get married. Four months later (all of these months later seemed to coincide nearly to the day), I officially asked her to marry me. And then nine months after we started dating, ten months after we met, we got married on October third, 2009 in the June M. Sherman Interfaith Chapel on the grounds of the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital with a reception  following at the Park Club. It was perfect. And for four years, it has been perfect.

Liesel is my best friend and the best partner I could wish for. Given my advanced age when I got married, I did not believe I would find the kind of love I have found so late in my life. But I have, and it is glorious.

Happy anniversary, honey. This is my bloggy anniversary card to you.

Liesel and I standing at the steam vent of the Mauna Loa volcano

MR. T-SHIRT BLOGGER'S OFFICIAL HIATUS TEXT - Mr. T-shirt Blogger (that's me) is on vacation in Hawaii until October 9th. Blog posts may be simple and brief during this time, or there may be many Hawaii pictures and updates. No promises. It's vacation.

When My wife an I got married four years ago (as of 10/3), we never took a honeymoon. With our difficult work schedules, there has never been a good time to schedule a trip. Given recent life events, we threw out caution and welcomed chaos and uncertainty. Carpe Diem! So, off we go (or by the time you read this, there we are).

Today's shirt - Today's shirt is a gift from my father. It is the simple white and black version of the best of the logos of his firm, known then as TPTA: Tower, Pinkster, Titus Associates. I have other TPTA shirts (in one the dot is red, which is why this is the just B&W version), and so stay tuned for a longer love letter dedicated to my father. For now, this is all.

- chris tower - 1310.03 - 15:54 ET (8:54 Hawaiian)