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, July 11, 2013

T-shirt #112: Rorschach

Me having dinner at Sava's in Ann Arbor
T-shirt #112: Rorschach - Going to David Byrne and St. Vincent

What does the Rorschach ink blot test or the Rorschach character from the Watchmen comic book have to do with David Byrne and St. Vincent's tour to promote the album Love this Giant?

I do have a connection, but it's going to take some text to make it.

I have been wanting to get more pictures of myself in T-shirts that are not taken in my office, living room, or bedroom.

How many photos have my office door and the Deadman toy in the background?

Faced with the question of what T-shirt to wear to the concert, this shirt was in my closet as I planned to feature it in the blog soon, which is part of the process, moving shirts from auxiliary closets to the main closet.

So this T-shirt was hanging there, and it seemed like as good a choice as any other. And then I made a connection. More to come on the connection.

Me foolishly shopping for more books that I think
I need in the Dawn Treader Book Shoppe in Ann Arbor
The shirt is meant to recall the classic character of Rorschach found in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' The Watchmen published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987.

When I looked in the closet, I saw this shirt and thought, why not?

Mainly, I made my decision because I was not sure I wanted to write more rhetoric about The Watchmen, not because I do not love it, because I do, but I am thinking about how subject matter may be incidental. Do I always have to feature the subject of the shirt with my blog writing? Do I always have to explore the subject of the shirt in great depth? The Watchmen is one of the greatest comic books/graphic novels ever written. Especially since the movie came out, it is one of the most often read graphic novels in the history of comics. In fact, Time Magazine ranked it as one of the 100 best novels ever written.

My point is that it's a little boring to always write about the thing on my shirt.

Rorschach is a cool character, and The Watchmen is a great novel. You should just read it. Nothing I can write will have a greater effect on you than the book itself.

Before the concert, Marquee in the background

So, when I saw this shirt in my closet, I realized that I may not be able to write anything that really adds significantly to the discussion about The Watchmen. I liked the idea of wearing it to the concert because it's white, and I tend to wear white shirts in the summer. Also, the Rorschach shirt reminded me of identity because the Rorschach Test assesses a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning or, in part, a person's identity.

So, why not? Why not wear the Rorschach T-shirt.

Read The Watchmen, if you have not already. If you have read it, maybe you should read it again. I may read it again. It's worth reading often. But I am dedicated here to what is going on in the pictures.

On Monday, July 8th, I went to see David Byrne and St. Vincent at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor on their tour to promote their album called Love This Giant.

David Byrne and St. Vincent
Performing "Naive Melody"
The name of the album comes from "The Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman:

"I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop there, I go with the team also." - from Stanza 13.
Here's the full poem.


Rorschach makes me think of identity and self and Whitman's "Song of Myself" is the quintessential, romantic, transcendental poem to self. Everything is connected.

I bought the album when it came out last year and loved it immediately. Originally, I bought tickets to bring my wife, Liesel, to the show, but when she had to work and could not re-arrange her schedule, I asked my friend Erik Pye (not pictured) to accompany me as I knew he was also a lover of the album.

St. Vincent solo: "Cruel"?
After a quick and easy drive to Ann Arbor, and parking in the Liberty Street ramp against my better judgement, we had dinner at Sava's. A good evening always starts with a good dinner. And thus the first photo: I am happily at dinner.

I had the Paella and a Pilsner Urquell, my favorite beer, which they had on tap. We shared a bowl of mussels in coconut curry sauce.

SAVA'S - Ann Arbor - 216 S. State Street.

After a delightful repast, we were off to the Dawn Treader Book Shoppe to do a little searching for used books. I even had a list. Unfortunately, I could not find used copies of the Zelazny and Gene Wolfe classics recently recommended to me. The second picture shows me deep in the SF-Fantasy-Horror section with Seven of Nine peering over my shoulder. This is the same place where my wife took a photo of me a couple of years ago and labeled it "Chris in his natural element."

We had coffee and queued up to enter the theatre. Going green, I had no tickets. I had to share my credit card and ID, and the tickets were printed with a nifty little contraption with a shoulder strap by the usher. Please note the third picture as I am about to enter the concert.

I am not one for tons of concert pictures or videos, but I did snap two. Lastly, Erik tried a picture of me after the concert with the performers names on the marquee in the background. You can barely make out my dark shape in the foreground in this final picture to the right of this text.

Today's blog entry culminates in the purchase of a new T-shirt and the two St. Vincent solo albums that I did not own.

Though I am not going to give a full review of the concert, and though I plan to feature more on these artists and their album in tomorrow's entry (featuring the new T-shirt), I do want to share a few thoughts before closing.

Erik and I were discussing how we never go to a concert and are treated to the headliners coming out and doing their show promptly and without an opening act. I was just stating how much I would like to experience such a show, when out came Byrne and St. Vincent and their huge brass band and did their show. No opening act.

One of the things I enjoy most about concerts is the outpouring of love the flows back and forth from audience to performers. I have seen many concerts and been a part of many audiences. This show featured a really great audience and a massive flood of love, which cascaded from the crowd to the stage and back again. There were many shouts of "I love you" for both David Byrne and St. Vincent, though the majority of people at the show were there to see Byrne because of their love of Talking Heads. It's powerful to be part of that love, like standing in the ocean as the waves swirl around and surround you.

PLEASE NOTE: As we were told with the band's live album: "The Name of this band is Talking Heads." NOT The Talking Heads.

I loved the show and the whole experience. My love co-mingled with the love of the audience as we shared this wonderful experience. It is times like this one when I have hope and faith for humanity. I feel connected to a greater force, a force of pure goodness and love, and I let the art flow over me, and I sing along.

"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
- Whitman  - "Song of Myself"

"The threat of natural disaster promises an emotional epiphany; urban apocalypse gives way to a garden party." 
- D.Byrne&St.Vincent
- chris tower - 1307.11 - 9:29