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, October 22, 2013

T-shirt #215: Powell's Books

T-shirt #215: Powell's Books

Three subjects today only one of which is related to Powell's Books. Today, I will review the book Night Film. I want to deliver a heartfelt thank you to my readers. And, of course, I have a few things to share about the resignation of Jim Leyland from the Detroit Tigers.

Today's shirt comes from my recent visit to Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.

The shirt came wrapped in a paper band bearing the quote: "Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light." - Franz Kafka (1883-1924) The Metamorphosis.

I did not go nuts in Powell's with pictures, but my wife did take a photo of us together. Can you guess which section we're in? Where I found her in my wanderings?

Not much else to say about Powell's. It's a great bookstore? Yup.


Once again, I had someone tell me that he loves the blog. I never expect this to happen. I think I blushed. I feel a little embarrassed each time, like I got away with something I should not have. This particular comment came from someone I respect a great deal. He was a senior when I was a freshman. I had no idea that he was reading my blog at all, even once. I looked up to him a great deal when I in college and since. I am honored by his praise.

I do watch the stats that Blogger collects. Though I know that many of the "hits" to my blog are robo-bots, collecting URLs to sell me alleged readership boosting services, looking at the numbers, I also know that many of those hits represent readers or at least quick clicks, people who pop in and skim or glance or peek.

Page views yesterday totaled forty-three (43). Page views last month totaled fifteen hundred and twenty-two (1522). So far, page views all time total nine thousand four hundred and seventy-four (9474).

(Stats reflect the activity for the month)

On October 16th, the blog peaked at 101 pageviews. Interesting stats pop out. T-shirt #176: Isher Artifacts earned itself a whopping 216 page views. I suspect this spike in views has to do not with the subject of the shirt and searches related to it but all the comic book content on the page, as I reviewed Forever Evil, Infinity, X-Men: Battle of the Atom, and Avengers AI, all of which may lead people from Google searches to my page.

It's no surprise to me that my tribute to my dear friend Bob Russell received over 80 hits for T-shirt #171. It's interesting that my recent adventures in Hawaiian food, featuring my People's Food Co-op shirt, in the post for T-shirt #199, has received 70 page views. And interstingly, the hodge podge that is T-shirt #209 has received 22 page views. And finally, not so strange, but an interesting fact is that my post on Nightwing, T-shirt #62, has received 57 page views. Is this due to the number of Nightwing fans among my readers, on the Internet, or the spike in Nightwing attention due to his unmasking in Forever Evil?


I will just post the Blogger chart below to save time. Isher still leads not just for the month but all time posts probably because of all that comic book content. The Neahtawanta Bob Russell tribute follows due to my promotion of it on the Bob Russell memorial page and all the people who love Bob. I am intrigued that Batgirl ranks third, though like Nightwing, this may be due to increased interest in the character due to her stories in the DC universe. The Barn Theatre post ranks fourth because, again, of my promotion of it through the Barn page on Facebook and all the Barnies who may be interested in my tribute. Lastly, T-shirt #118 was my posting about the Trayvon Martin case, which I cross promoted to both Reddit and Stumble Upon. BTW, the links in the chart below are live links. Feel free to click.

Ultimately, the upshot here is that I want to thank my readers, both those I know and those I do not. I am humbled and honored to have what I write read at all. There's a certain amount of hubris necessary for writing and publishing. I have that hubris, but I try to keep it in check. I will work hard to deliver quality content as often as possible and be worthy of your time and attention.

THANK YOU for reading.


Following the defeat of the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, Jim Leyland has resigned as head coach and manager.

Jim Leyland steps aside as Detroit Tigers manager: 'The fuel's getting a little low' - FREEP

I recently wrote about Jim and his tenure with the Detroit Tigers in T-shirt #210. I defended Leyland against castigation by an idiot sportswriter, who turns out to have been right that Leyland would not continue if the Tigers lost the ALCS. I still think the local sports writer guy is an idiot.

As I wrote before, I was not on the band wagon that the pivotal change in 2006 that got the Tigers to the World Series was Jim Leyland. I think Leyland would agree with me. I defended him against criticism in recent years. I have not always agreed with his moves, but I do not think he is the reason the Tigers lost the ALCS, despite the Game Two debacle. Still, it's not a bad decision for him to step down. New blood may help (though, like the Red Sox last year, it may not).

Even though, Alan Trammell was my all-time favorite Baseball player, he was not my all-time favorite Baseball manager, a distinction I must grant to Sparky Anderson. Tram does not rank second either. In terms of Tigers managers, I must say I have enjoyed Jim Leyland's tenure more than other notables, like Billy Martin, Ralph Houk, and even though they were before my time Mickey Cochrane and Ty Cobb.

Thanks for a great eight years, Jim Leyland. We will miss you.


I am not posting a bunch of links here. Just one to share the CBS Sunday Morning story via a cool blog by someone named Lisa.

Did you see Marisha Pessl on CBS Sunday Morning?

I first mentioned Night Film in the post for T-shirt #204.

In that post, I explained how I came to read Night Film and how much I was enjoying it (so much so that I read nothing else). It ranks with Ready Player One and Red Shirts as the three best new books I have read this year. Though I endorsed Warren Ellis' Gun Machine, and I enjoyed it, that book cannot compete with these others.

Night Film has already made my list of favourite books of all time.

My review here will not be extensive, and I am not posting reviews by others. I just give this book my strongest recommendation. Along with the other two I named (though Red Shirts will not appeal to everyone), I will bug people to read these books. Fantastic.

Night Film could have been hokey. But it's not. My first reaction to a novel that mixes straight prose narrative with "found" objects, such as police reports, magazine articles, and blog posts is that it can be a sign of a lazy writer. But perhaps this kind of thinking is the old way and not the new vanguard, not the zeitgeist. Marisha Pessl is not a lazy writer; she is a masterful and accomplished writer, who creates a vivid tapestry of character and suspense.

Night Film chronicles the investigation of the death of Ashley Cordova, daughter of reclusive cult horror film director Stanislas Cordova, who has died of an apparent suicide. Pessl has invented a rich history of Cordova and the people associated with the making of his films as well details about the films themselves. As the book begins, Cordova has not been seen in public in over 30 years, he has not made a film in over ten years, and his last few films were so horrific that no mainstream company would distribute them. The films are shown in underground locations (literally, like the catacombs in Paris) and are expensive commodities to come by copies.

To frame Cordova, think a cross between Lynch, Polanski, and Kubrick, and even that triptych is not an accurate portrait. My wife proclaimed, as she read the book, that she wished someone like Cordova actually existed.

I do not want to spoil any of the surprises of this masterful work that seems to elevate the suspense genre to new heights and intricacy. Suffice to say that this is one of the single best books I have EVER read, and I look forward to re-reading it multiple times. Do not hesitate. Do not pass go. Proceed straight to obtaining this book, take a deep breath, and plunge into the darkness with your eyes wide open.

Sovereign, deadly, perfect.

Included here are the fictional movie posters for the fictional movies in the fictional book. Enjoy.

This last image is not a movie poster;
it's just a page from the book
- chris tower - 1310.22 - 10:04