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, December 31, 2013

T-shirt #285 - Hawaii, the Land, and the Kilauea Lodge

Here's a suggestion for my fans and friends: use the above as graffiti. I want to see the quote above on a bathroom stall or on a highway underpass or a railway car.

As you can see my wife posted it, and I think it's a fitting way to the end the year.

The quote captures the spirit of what I have tried to provide since March 22nd on these pages.

And I want to start today's post by proclaiming loud and clear: "I believe."

T-shirt #285 - Hawaii, the Land, and the Kilauea Lodge

Today is a picture fest. I realized the other day that I let my Hawaii trip shuffle through the cracks. I still have three shirts (counting today's) from my Hawaii trip to feature on the blog. So, I figured it was time to get busy. Welcome to the photo fest, dedicated to my wife Liesel.

When I originally planned this blog entry, I decided to extend my story from Christmas Day on the Greatest Gift Ever for how Liesel and I met (re-met, actually as I will explain), fell in love, and got married, the last of which, the marriage part, was the subject of T-shirt #279. My plan formed a nice capstone: marriage in the Christmas Day post and falling in love in the New Year's Eve post. Then it occurred to me that there's a more significant day coming up to commemorate: the date of our first date, which by the time I report on it, will be five years ago to the day (January 10th). So, you, dear reader, have this awesome story to look forward to. Meanwhile, I restrict myself to a travel log, returning to comic books tomorrow for an early Weekly Comic List post, and then sundry and various, some easy, some pre-written, as Mr. T-shirt Blogger Man takes a little blog vacation for the visit of his best friend, the Lord of Chaos. Just a little preview of what's to come.

Today's shirt  was purchased at a cool little shop in downtown Hilo on Hawaii, the Big Island, called Hawaiian Force. The shop is run by local activists who believe in the spirit of the land, which is a "mainland" to them. I learned that many people on Hawaii do not like that the rest of the United States is called "the mainland" and Hawaii is referred to as just an island, so these folks refer to the rest as "the continent" and Hawaii as "the land."

I am sorry that the picture below is a bit blurry. The shirt bears the inscription in Hawaiian, which means "How you care for the land, is how the land cares for you."

One thing I was told that stuck with me was a story shared by the tour guide who took us to the top of Mauna Kea (which I have written about -- see T-shirt #197 and  T-shirt #198 and I have more to share about it). He talked about the way many Hawaiians believe that the land is sacred and that taking anything from the island that is not freely given, even a little sand in a jar, will bring great misfortune upon the thief of the sacred land. He told us this story standing next to an altar on our way up the mountain. The altar was made of many sacred stones, family stones, special stones that had been in families for many generations. He told us of a special office kept by the Volcano National Park that has hundreds, possibly thousands of packages of sand, stones, and all kinds material taken from the island that people later regretted taking, possibly because of all the misfortune that they began to suffer, and so they returned the items in the hopes of balancing the karmic scales.

The guide, Deano, talked for quite a while, and I cannot recreate all that he shared, but one bit struck me. When he decided to become a guide, he spoke with many elders of the families on the Big Island, so that he could best represent it, its people, and its spirit in taking people on what would be, for many of them, one of the most memorable experiences of their lives as they journey to the top of Mauna Kea. He shared what one old Auntie said to him. When someone takes a rock or a jar of sand from the island, it's like cutting off her ear or her little finger and taking the piece away to the continent. "Would you cut off my ear to take with you? Would you cut off one of my fingers?" she asked. This, she explained, is what it felt like to have someone take something from Hawaii that was not meant to leave, something that was a part of Hawaii and it's spirit.

Essentially this story illuminates the shirt's inscription.

"How you care for the land, is how the land cares for you."


When we stayed on Hawaii in October, Liesel's Aunt and Uncle gave us a night in Kilauea Lodge in the village of Volcano (named for the, um, volcano...), as a way to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. It was a lovely time, so some of the pictures to follow are from that stay, but I included a few others with a theme of the land and caring for the land. I insert a bit of text in between some of the shots.

The photo to the right is from the Ribbentrop's backyard. Below is my favorite tree from the entire trip. It's in Hilo, near the downtown area. It's a shower tree or Rainbow Shower Tree, though at this time it was not so rainbowed. I feel strongly spiritually connected to this tree and trees like it. Something about it speaks to me. The sense of shelter is palpable.

When I saw this tree, I had a strong desire to live in Hawaii.

These are the majority of the pictures I shot when were at the Lodge, except the first two, which are from the Lodge's website.

The dining room. This was taken at breakfast the next morning.

My dinner. German chef's meatloaf. AMAZING and delicious.

The lovely place setting for our anniversary dinner.

 I really liked this "Friendship" fireplace, with many Rotary plaques from all over the world.

The German influence is also clear again here with the steins.

I tried for a close up of one of the plaques from England (below) but it did not come up too clearly.

Many shots from the gardens. These are mainly what I had in mind with the shirt today and its inscription. I could research all these plants and give identification, but that's way too much. Just enjoy the visual beauty. Though the pictures my wife took were much better.

Above is the backside of the secondary lodge house (there's two) where we stayed.

Yes, I was quite fascinated with getting a good picture of this flower. Not sure that I succeeded.

Here's the hot tub where we has a pre-dinner soak and Liesel asked me to read Night Film as I explained in T-shirt #204 (the first mention in which I explained how Liesel asked me to read it) and T-shirt #215 with the review once I finished it.

View from the hot tub.

The next two shots are of the Lodge common room.

Our room.

Anniversary love at the Kilauea Lodge.


- chris tower - first published - 1312.31 - 19:32
final publication - 1401.01 - 8:12