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.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

T-shirt #328 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

HIATUS TEXT: I am taking a short hiatus. A "hiatus" for the 365 T-shirts Blog does not mean that there will not be shirts or that I will skip posting on any forthcoming day. There will be shirts. But the shirts will not be exciting or the featured shirts will not require me to write a small novel to properly generate the content I feel is sufficient. I created a category for my hiatus so as to group together those "easy" shirts that I consider to be "hiatus shirts." The goal of the hiatus is to fill in many blog days with easy shirts in order to complete longer love letters to beloved popular culture icons on more special shirts and to write more complex entries AHEAD OF TIME. The daily grind is becoming too much and causing me to fall behind and to be forced to post incomplete entries. I am hoping that a series of hiatus shirts will allow me to catch up, get ahead, and stay ahead. Ideally, I would like to be writing the bulk of each entry three days ahead while always working on at least one other. I have a lot of great shirts to share before the end of my blog year (after all I was just given SIXTEEN shirts for my birthday). Stay tuned. I promise to post the more interesting and longer T-shirt entries as I finish them. Thanks for reading. BTW, this is the standard HIATUS TEXT that I will include in every "hiatus shirt" entry.

T-shirt #328 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I had to post this as incomplete last night. I am now writing to you from the future. It's Thursday for me though this blog shows it is Wednesday.

It's time for some comedy in the form of the greatest comedy of all time: MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. Since this is supposedly HIATUS time for me, I am presenting again text from T-shirt #271 - SPAMALOT and a short bit from T-shirt #187 as both that shirt and this one were gifted to me by the Lord of Chaos.

But first, I would like to explain Grading Robot's ordeal.

Grading Robot has completed another arduous test of his grading prowess, rendering grades at a record speed though not in a record time. Grades were submitted one hour before the deadline, which I should congratulate myself is at least not one minute before the deadline. The main problem with grades for this school is that every week two sets of assignments (about 120 in all if every student submits which never happens) are due by Friday at 9 a.m. I get one set on Sunday night and the other on Monday night prior to that Friday deadline. Usually this haul is not so bad, especially with later assignments, as many students fail to submit. One week, out of 30 students, I had NINE submit the paper on time. It's easy to give zeroes. It's also easy to give 100/100. It's the grades in between that take time and consideration.

FINAL GRADES, which are what I just finished, are always due one day before the usual Friday deadline, so THURSDAY at 9 a.m. Since I am often up at 5 a.m. and grading feverishly to meet the Friday at 9 a.m. deadline, one can imagine that a deadline 24 hours earlier would send me into a panic. This is further compounded by how many late assignments I have. As students submit late work, I let it pile up until I have time go through it all as the new assignments, the on time assignments, are tied to that deadline that I have to meet each week. This semester I was good, and I dispensed with a big set of late work after week three of the five week term. But more built up since then, despite my cut offs and in some cases refusal to accept late work. So, starting Monday, I had two sets of assignments to grade and LATE WORK plus other classes and responsibilities.

I knew things were not going well when I did not get much accomplished Monday because of class, family, and assorted other obligations. Tuesday was crunch time, but I could see I would need every minute to make that Thursday morning deadline. Wednesday morning I had my programming  class to attend, and then other daily work, and so it was nearly 3 p.m. Wednesday before I could start to crank up Grading Robot to full power. I had dismissed the first two sets of assignments on Tuesday as they were easy. This left final drafts of persuasive essays and all the late work, over a dozen papers, to finish by 9 a.m. Thursday, permitting myself a decent night's sleep. I do not care how much work I have to do, I am not being paid enough to work late into the night. 9 p.m. is the latest I have ever worked for this job and that was too late and due to extenuating circumstances (staying up with Liesel or waiting for Liesel, I forget).

I did two things to speed up. I re-used grade feedback. If the student did not make any changes to the fourth assignment and basically submitted it again for the final draft fifth assignment, then why rewrite all the same comments? The grades were different, but the comments remained the same. Furthermore, if the student submitted late, essentially the Week Three-Week Five assignments were probably all the same or nearly. Once again, the same comments were warranted but with different grades as the preliminary draft (#3) is not held to the same standard as the final draft (#5). This saved me a lot of time as I was able to re-use grade feedback and clear out two late assignments by looking at and grading just one draft. As a result, Grading Robot graded at must faster pace and managed to get to bed at a decent hour, even sleeping in a little rather than bounding out of bed at 5 a.m.

Thanks for reading. I know that these ruminations on my process are probably much more fascinating to me than to anyone else, though I do like the act of writing down what I have done, how, and why.

But today's entry is dedicated to the very great and quite stupendous comedy: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (As for the picture above, this book is a great item to enjoy the film as, sadly, I cannot locate my DVD.

This LINK takes you to a group of nine movies which may be the entire movie of Monty Python and the Holy Grail broken into parts that You Tube will not remove (with German subtitles).

There is a smart chap who made a modern styled preview with action parts and scary parts of Monty Python and the Holy Grail that sells it as an action film.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Modern "Trailer"

By the time I started college, I knew Monty Python well and found many, many people who loved it, too. In fact, loving Monty Python seemed to be almost a requirement for admission to Kalamazoo College along with knowing the air velocity of a laden swallow.

Emphasizing this like-mindedness, this shirt was a gift from my best friend and college buddy Tom Meyers, who may love Monty Python more than I do (which is saying something) as he memorized the entire Word Association Football sketch. Though it was not a recent gift, so it does not qualify as a New T-shirt acquired since the blog's inception.

There are many, many subjects worth exploring about Monty Python, and I am not devoting the time and text to all of them at this juncture. There's the brilliant three-sided LP record Matching Tie and Handkerchief; the most ingenious comedy movie ever made: Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Live concerts like Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and Secret Policeman's Other Ball;and the TV show that started it all Monty Python's Flying Circus, which wisely burned very bright for 45 episodes and stopped production before they ran it into the ground.

In part, I presented these videos before but I present them all again (plus one) because they are, in my opinion, some of the best (though maybe not definitively the best) bits from this great film.


I am sure that every single person reading my blog has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail at least once. If you have not seen it, this is something to dedicate yourself to IMMEDIATELY. If you do not have time to go get and watch the movie, then check out these favorite scenes of mine. If you have seen the movie, you will surely enjoy seeing these scenes again. I will try to keep my set of videos here to a minimum, but I would rather post the ENTIRE MOVIE, obviously. heh. "Obviously." Guard scene. But first, the full French Taunting sequence.

French Taunting - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

There's no reason that this scene should have been left out of Spamalot. Very silly. It's one of my very favorite bits in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Classic John Cleese: "She turned me into a newt" following the longest pause in comedy film: "I got better."

She's a witch!

Surely, no collection of videos for my favorite scenes Monty Python and the Holy Grail could leave out this completely hilarious and often quoted scene. LOVE IT!!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Guards Scene

Monty Python Holy Grail Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Monty Python And The Holy Grail - Help Help I'm Being Repressed

I know, I know. I am leaving out MANY great scenes. Though the KILLER RABBIT never did much for me, so not that one.

Hey, I said I would keep it to a minimum. Four is rather a lot, really. THREE. "Five sir." Five!
Sorry. I get carried away thinking about this movie. :-)

If you want to see more, go SEE THE MOVIE. Again, this LINK may help with that viewing option.

COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 37 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1402.12 - 19:27