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.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

T-shirt #87: Aliens Zombies & Robots

T-shirt #87: Aliens Zombies & Robots

FATHER'S DAY : Today is Father's Day, so I am featuring a shirt that I gave my step-son Ivan for Christmas, one which I also bought for myself because I liked it. I think I may like it more than Ivan does.

This photo with Ivan was taken by my wife Liesel on Friday, June 14th, 2013.

I love being a step-father, but it has definitely been a learning process. I entered Ivan's (and Piper's, but I will feature her another time) life in 2009 when I met his mother Liesel. Before the year was out, I had married his mother and become his step-father.

I like to think that Ivan and I have a great relationship, and I hope, if asked, that he would say the same thing. He's a great person, and I am very proud to be in a parental role (one of four parents) in his life. I think I have learned a lot about being a step-father in the last four years, and I know that I have a lot left to learn. I embrace the process and try to keep myself open to learning, growing, and changing. Yes, I know this is a very corny thing to write, but it's no less true for being corny or hokey. I never forget that these kids already have a father. I am not their father. I am a secondary figure in their lives, which is okay.

My dad in 2007 with a penguin soap dispenser.
 The kids are with their father this weekend, and so we will not celebrate Father's Day for at least a week or possibly later this month when we celebrate a combined Father's Day and Birthday event with my father on Friday, June 28th.

Since it is Father's Day, I am also going to show my love, admiration, and respect to my Dad: Robert "Bob" Tower.

Pictures of my Dad have already been featured in pictures on this blog in T-shirt #41 and T-shirt #69 and has been mentioned many times, such as in T-shirt #27 and T-shirt #79 among many others.

I love my father very much. He is a great man, a wonderful husband, and an amazingly good father. I would not be the person I am today without my father's guidance. If I can be even a fraction as influential and helpful to my step-son, Ivan, as my father has been to me, I will have accomplished an incredible goal. As for examples of my father's greatness, he is known around Bronson Hospital as Saint Bob, given that he has been my mother's total caregiver since bacterial meningitis left her mostly paralyzed in 2000. As I write this, my mom is in the hospital for another stay (today is Day Six) because of chest pains and now a choking incident that happened yesterday (Saturday June 15, 2013).  I love you, Big Guy. (BTW, I call my Dad "Big Guy" or "beej" for BG = Big Guy. This comes from the 1970s TV show WKRP in Cincinnati.)

A few more thoughts on T-shirts and a re-cap of this blog before I sign off today.

SELECTION PROCESS: How I select T-shirts

Before I started the blog, my method of selecting T-shirts to own fell into nine categories. I know this kind of material may not be of interest to too many other people, but this blog exists to catalogue and inventory, and so I like to make a record of the process. This topic and the three that follow have been on my mind for a while, and so I felt it was time to document them.

  1. T-shirts ordered at Fanfare (mostly comic book related) - T-shirt #1 Son Of Satan
  2. Concert T-shirts - T-shirt #86 Erykah Badu
  3. T-shirts bought on trips and vacations - T-shirt #85 - Up North
  4. Gifts - T-shirt #63 The Comics Code Authority
  5. Ultimate T-shirts - T-shirt #60 Team Venom
  6. Sports T-shirts to show my fandom - T-shirt #15 - Tigers ALCS Champs 2012
  7. Shirts I bought to support a business - T-shirt #9 The People's Food Co-op
  8. Shirts I ordered based on Internet/social media ads - T-shirt #23 Planet of the Snapes
  9. Shirts I had made to order - T-shirt #64 Embrace Uncertainty

Now, I would add a tenth category in that I have been purchasing shirts based on what I want to write about and feature in this blog, such as my Planet of the Apes shirt for T-shirt #79, my Evolution of Darth Vader shirt for T-shirt #45, or my SpektrModule shirt for T-shirt #75.


Shirts with "sayings": There are many T-shirt companies, even more now with the Internet that feature DAILY T-shirts. Prior to the easy accessibility to the Internet, catalogues like Wireless would offer all sorts of specialty T-shirts with cute sayings. Today's T-shirt came from the Wireless Christmas catalogue circa 2012. Though I am not finding it in a Google search at Wireless, but if you like it, try SNORG Tees in grey (not this nice green).

I am very choosy about the "shirts with sayings" that I purchase. I like the Venn Diagram idea, and since I had only one other Venn Diagram shirt, as gifted to me by my best friend (and also a great father), the Lord of Chaos, Tom Meyers, which I featured in T-shirt #77: Narcissism, wherein one could find a secret message that I do not think anyone has actually found yet, I bought this one. (How is that for a complicated sentence??) I think this shirt is clever enough to wear with some pride. However, I am very wary of the "I am Stupid" type shirts, and so very choosy of the shirts with sayings that I own. I have a few more, though, so I will be returning to this topic in the future.

Shirts with brands: Technically, almost all of my shirts fall into this category. A comic book is a brand. The logo of the hero is surely the brand's trademark (and it is legally trademarked). Movies, TV shows, sports teams, and so on are all brands, and I am providing free advertising for them with my T-shirts. In fact, I am spending MY OWN MONEY to be a walking advertisement for the brand. I know I have written about the advertising angle before on this blog, but I am not finding where and in what entries. Feel free to explore and let me know.

So, setting aside these approved brands, you will not see me in a shirt that advertises a clothing company (the Gap, Ambercrombie and Fitch) or a soda pop (though I did have a Pepsi shirt that is now a rag, but I am not sure where it is... though it may make an appearance). With the exception of two shirts advertising Bell's beer, I do not own any alcohol related shirts.

This blog is very much dedicated to the kinds of things I feel are worth wearing on a shirt and parading around with pride as a walking billboard for the product depicted. I am increasingly snobbish about what I find acceptable and unacceptable in this regard, and a trip to the mall the other night MORE than confirmed this snobbery for me. More to come on this subject in future blogs.


Since I have started this blog, I am noticing other people's shirts much more often. Shirts that would not have hit my radar before are now glaring sirens or lit up like flares. Some people have some really STUPID shirts. Again with the snobby. See previous topic. More on this subject in future blogs, also.


I am valuing T-shirts more now than I had been before I started this blog. This may shock some of you, my oh so faithful readers, but I did not really consider myself a T-shirt collector or some great T-shirt fan prior to starting this blog. Really, as I have explained many times, the blog came about as simply a curiosity. Do I have enough T-shirts to wear a different one every day of the year? It was more about being embarrassed for owning so many shirts not really out of a sense of pride, collectorship, or fandom.

Since its inception, this blog has come to mean so much more than a forum for counting shirts. I expect it to continue to evolve over the next 278 days (and counting). Stay tuned.

- chris tower - 1306.16 - 11:19

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