T-shirt #303 - Space Ghost with Red Collar
I originally posted this blog entry the day before my birthday. I am completing it a few days later, which allows me to have photos and videos from the day I originally posted it.
Birthdays have always been special in the Tower household. My mother always put on quite an elaborate show in celebration of our birthdays growing up and then into adulthood, so that we would feel extra special and loved. Not that we had any doubt that we were extra special and loved. And by "we" here I mean my sister and me and my father.
Unfortunately, I do not have any digital copies of any of my childhood birthday celebrations, though this should come along some time in the next year or two.
Our family has always celebrated birthdays in a way that makes me feel very special. I have photos and videos from several birthdays on this page. The photos of me in the featured shirt come from my 44th birthday in 2006. Farther below, you will find a video and a picture of my cake from my 2007 birthday as well as time lapse videos from my current 2014 birthday.
So far, I have written about SPACE GHOST twice though not in much depth. Given that I am behind schedule, I am unlikely to deliver much depth today either.
T-shirt #69 SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST BLUE
T-shirt #169 SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST BROWN
T-shirt #69 features a nice picture of me with my parents from May of 2013.
I also wrote the following text.
I love capes.
Space Ghost has a cape.
I love Space Ghost.
This blog (the whole project not just this entry) is a unique vehicle for self-inventory, for making categories, for reflection. More on this process as I proceed. Maybe it will inspire others for similar reflection and self-inventory. Maybe some of the entries will remind people of pop culture icons long forgotten or make others ask: "who the Hell is Space Ghost?"
SPACE GHOST COMIC. There have been a few comics featuring Space Ghost. I have at least one more Space Ghost shirt, so I will have another chance to catalogue and review. I like this one by Joe Kelly and Ariel Olivetti very much.
Would there have been a Buzz Lightyear without a Space Ghost?
For T-shirt #169 (do you like the unintended and random number connection between 69 and 169), I explored many topics, including mail call. I discussed the parlor trick CD that came in the mail (a Kickstarter I had funded), The Parlour Trick, fun with Ernest Cline author of Ready Player One--one of my favorite books of last year and maybe of all time--a call to stop the killing in Syria, and a review of the awful City of Bones book. Not much on Space Ghost.
But today... maybe a bit more on Space Ghost once I get rolling and all.
BIRTHDAYS AT MY HOUSE
Birthdays at my house were always like national holidays. Normal activity ceased and everything focused on the birthday boy or girl. My mother set impossibly high standards for how to make someone's day super special, a standard I strive to meet with my wife and kids and rarely live up to.
Since my mother's coma and meningitis, we have all carried on trying to make birthdays extra special events for everyone in the family, but none of us could match the special care and thoughtfulness of my mother, Marjorie.
One element of special birthdays was our special cake. We always received a specially baked cake, our favorite, baked with care by our mother and then decorated with great artistic talent by our father.
I only have one example of the many examples currently in a digital form (see above). There's a cake of my favorite superhero of the time: NOVA. I would guess that to be from around 1976-78 as the Nova comic was published during those years. I would guess that it might be my cake from 1977.
My father works very great with frosting. I hope in time to get more of his cakes on the Internet as they were truly amazing works of art.
In the photos of more recent birthdays, we did away with the special cake decorations. In the photos of me from 2006, in the Space Ghost shirt, it looks like I am leaning over a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: a cake known in our family as the "wacky cake." The 2007 cake is my father's favorite, pineapple-upside down cake with frosting. My father loves frosting. This year's cake (seen in pictures below) is my favorite cake, known as the lemon "poke" cake because holes are poked in the cake and a lemon juice (from real lemons) mixture is poured in. The cake is baked with lemon jello to make it more spongy.
BIG CANDLES and CANDLE TRAIN
Added 1401.28: I came across this photo above of the Daredevil cake. I had forgotten the big candles and the candle train that accompanied our birthday celebrations. There was a large white candle with our ages printed along the side. The idea was to burn just that year's worth at each birthday celebration. There was also a candle with a clown face (seen above right, just barely), which we burned to the point that there was little left of the candle. At the bottom of the photo, you can barely see the tips of a small train with cars made of wood, linked together with metal eyelets: one train car for each year. Once was passed the age of the original wooden train cars, my mother bought plastic ones, but ultimately, we had to give up the train as she could not find more cars to add. I still liked using it, even if there was not a car for each year (which by now would fill the damn table). Also, I like noting my mother's care with all these elements. I believe the candles are sitting on either circles of cardboard wrapped in foil or inverted plates wrapped in foil. The cake sits on an inverted metal pan or pan lid wrapped in foil. These preparations are further evidence of the boundless spirit of my mother's love for us and for being a mother.
As a way to make our birthday even more special, my mother would assemble "nut cups," which contained our favorite (chosen by us) nuts and candies. I am partial to cashews and fruity candies, though I do like whoppers as well (malt balls).
You can see an example of the nut cup next to the Nova cake in the picture as well as how we carried on the tradition (my sister in this case) in the photos of me in my Space Ghost short from 2006. See? There's a nut cup next to me.
Very sweet. Literally and figuratively.
I think this is a tradition to which we need to return.
Our homes was decorated extensively for birthdays, which is a bit challenging as my birthday is not long after Christmas. Crepe paper streamers, balloons, special cardboards on the walls (featuring our favorite cartoon characters) as well as matching paper tablecloth, napkins, plates, and nut cups bought especially for birthdays in the birthday celebration section of the store or at the Hallmark or Birthday specialty store. This attention to what we liked and the theme of our birthday carried on into our adult hood. The year my mother came down with the meningitis (2000), I turned 38 years old, and I am not ashamed to say I still had a birthday with all these trimmings hosted by her and my father still decorated a cake.
MY MOTHER'S WRAPPING
My mother's wrapping of presents was a work of art. She carefully chose special paper, which she hunted for in stores year around on her frequent shopping trips. She would add bows, ribbons, special cardboard cutouts of our favorite cartoon characters or of Santa Claus and others ate Christmas. Each present bore a tag, even on our birthdays when the presents were all for us. The tags also had special things written in them, but most often: "To Christopher With Love Mommy and Daddy."
UNWRAPPED GIFT PICTURES
Sometime after the event of the day, though sometime later that same day, but not always, we would pose for pictures with our gifts as seen above and to the left. As you can see, when my sister was young, she posed too even when it was not her birthday because she got presents, too! Yes, so she would not feel left out (and the same for me with her birthday), she would receive a few small presents on my birthday so she would have something to open. I was treated to the same on her birthday.
THE LIST OF GIFTS
In addition to posing for pictures with our gifts, which has morphed in our adult years to just pictures of us with the gifts after we unwrap the packages, we would write down or our mother would write down for us (when we were young) what we got as gifts. My mother wanted these lists as records. She wanted to avoid repeating gifts the following year. She wanted to use the list as a budget guide for the following year. She wanted to keep the list to consult in case she got a good idea, so she could repeat it the following year, such as our elaborate and thoughtfully appointed stationary boxes, filled with stamps, special sticky note pads, pens, folders, bookmarks, and other office supplies and school supplies, again, for which she shopped throughout the year and stashed her purchases. I think my mother also just liked having the lists as keepsakes. I still make lists of my gifts because I know she wants me to and for many of the same reasons. It's nice to be able to look back at the lists years later. They have come in handy while creating this blog. I have been meaning to type the lists from the last few years into computer files.
WRITING IN BOOKS
My mother liked to write in the books we received as gifts as another record keeping and keepsake measure. I shared one such note in T-shirt #119 that appeared in my Doctor Strange book. I re-present it here.
DESSERT TO SCHOOL
Around the time of our birthday, our mother would make a load of treats and bring them, herself, to school to share with our classes. This got me beaten up, so it was good she stopped this practice just around junior high.
We did have parties as kids, though neither my sister nor I were possessed with large numbers of friends. Though we both can remember a year or two with parties and large numbers of kids, our best times were with a friend or two over as guests for play dates around the time of our birthday.
However, for my 18th birthday, my parents hosted an elaborate event in which we had a quest of live action role playing for myself and nearly a dozen of my friends. Yes, I was and I am a geek.
I can never capture in text how wonderful my parents were as parents and how much they showered us with love and special treatment. I am probably spoiled rotten, but I have come to realize just how special all this treatment was and I do not expect it. I am honored and blessed by whatever I am given, and I cherish the memories of my idyllic childhood. I try to share this special treatment now, with my family, though I cannot live up to my mother's standard of excellence, but I can try. Because the true gift is giving and the true love is seeing how you make other people happy. This is what my parents taught me. I am not spoiled. I am blessed. And I much prefer giving than receiving.
PHOTO LOG OF BIRTHDAYS
Comments will precede the photos.
Blowing out candles on my 2014 cake. I no longer need to wish for what I always used to wish for. I have it. I am loved, and I am blessed.
Yes, those are shaving cakes. I still lather up in a cup and brush the lather on my face: old school. And no aerosol cans to dispose of.
You're going to get some shirt previews. In the next, WONDER GIRL! Not to be mistaken for WONDER WOMAN. No, that's Donna Troy's.
Get ready for some METAL MEN content. That's the shirt for the Iron robot.
Birthday at Pattiwood, my parents new condo with my wife, Ivan, my Mom and Dad, plus my sister Lori and her husband Noel. Getting ready to blow out those candles.
Get ready for some METAL MEN content. That's the shirt for the Gold robot.
My mother is laughing in the next photo as my sister distributes cake but not BECAUSE my sister is distributing cake. :-)
RECOGNIZE the next one? Famous comic book sorcerer. I already mentioned him in this blog. :-)
Now, we stop back to 2006 and the birthday that I received and immediately donned the Space Ghost short. But first the Quickdraw McGraw Bobblehead and some pint glass that I cannot identify in the picture. Underdog perhaps?
More with the Bobbleheads! Baba Looey and Quickdraw McGraw! And yes, I am saving those bows for re-use.
BOOKS!! There's Boondocks if you can spot it, and several others that relate to my writing: Parallel Universes, a couple of books on magic, and one on cataclysmic and prehistoric meteor strikes that pummeled the planet.
SPACE GHOST COMICS!! These are not mine. I got this picture off the Internet, but I do own all of these.
ABOUT SPACE GHOST
Reprinted from T-shirt #101 - the Jetsons.
Space Ghost is a top my Top Ten favorite Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Also, note Quickdraw in the honorable mentions, so hence the bobbleheads.
I am also mad for the Herculoids, but I have no shirt to feature them. I am adding a Herculoids video to this HUGE blog just because. So there.
TOP TEN LIST OF FAVORITE HANNA-BARBERA PRODUCTIONS
- Space Ghost
- Jonny Quest
- Atom Ant
- The Herculoids
- The Jetsons
- Fantastic Four
- Wacky Races
- Super Friends
- Birdman and Galaxy Trio
- Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Yogi Bear, QuickDraw McGraw, Top Cat, Scooby Doo, Hong Kong Phooey, Harlem Globetrotters, and Josie and the Pussycats.
SPACE GHOST RESOURCES
SPACE GHOST WIKI
SPACE GHOST FAQ
SPACE GHOST COMIC VINE
SPACE GHOST REDDIT
SPACE GHOST TUMBLR
SPACE GHOST GALLERY NERD LUNCH
SPACE GHOST FAN FICTION
SPACE GHOST COMIC REVIEW - BASEMENT REJECTS
SPACE GHOST TRIBUTE - ALEX TOTH
SPACE GHOST TOONPEDIA
I am not sure I need much more to create a Space Ghost love letter. Between all the art, the links, and the videos, you should see the love. It's vibrant. Check out Space Ghost for yourself if you don't know anything about him. He's awesome.
Now where's my Space Ghost pint glass. Time for a BREW.
SPACE GHOST VIDEOS
MY BIRTHDAY VIDEOS
Some special videos. Not too exciting here unless you know me. But I did post them to You Tube.
First the 2007 birthday. Then 2014 in time lapse and finally some gaming from earlier this month in time lapse.
Whew. This is a lot of content. I am tired.
COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 62 shirts remaining
- chris tower - first published - 1401.18 - 20:56
final publication - 1401.21 - 19:58