It has been a few weeks since I last posted, and even though I tend to shy away from personal posts, I thought I would fill you in as to my doings. I am sort of an enigmatic person, so maybe this could be helpful.
In 1980, the year I turned 7, I spent a magical summer at White Lake, an idyllic resort town in North Carolina with lots of charm, as well as piers. I was still a little young to discover girls, but I did end up with two bags of comic books that some unlucky boy had inadvertently left behind. I often think of that poor kid, probably bawling his eyes out, begging his folks to turn the car around. "We'll buy you more!" they probably said, "They're only comics anyway!" My dear mother spent that summer cleaning rooms, and she found the treasure trove, which consisted of mostly DCs and Marvels, with a few Charltons thrown in for good measure. Superheroes, war, horror, this kid had eclectic tastes. I was already having a great time at White Lake, swimming around like a little fish, plunking quarters into the Phoenix machine at The Pavilion, eating way too many hot dogs (chili, mustard, slaw=Carolina Style, baby!), but receiving all those comics started a lifelong love affair.
What do you mean you don't remember Phoenix? It was like the bastard child of Galaga, with these freaky birds swooping down, trying to turn you into cosmic suet. The sound effects were really weird.
Anyway, I decided to take Pooh Bear to White Lake for a day of relaxation. She gets a little edgy if we don't go somewhere at least once every three months. It was a great experience seeing the old place again. Maybe I was romanticizing it, but it seemed much the same. I went for a little swim, but the water is still a bit chilly in April, so we're going back when it gets warmer. It's nice to know that some places don't change.
On the way back, I stopped at the Outlets in Smithfield. There's a book store there, and occasionally they have something too good to pass up. I picked up a copy of Craig Shutt's Baby Boomer Comics, a nostalgic look at the Silver Age ( Nice work, Craig!), but the real drool-inducing tome was The Iron Man Omnibus, for $30, massively discounted because of a small tear in the jacket. 700 pages of vintage Iron Man for $30 bucks? Can't beat that. I also realize that Marvel has been woefully underrepresented on this blog, a situation I hope to address very soon. Let me just make it clear, I love Marvel Comics. I'm not a DC snob by any means, although I am more familiar with DC's mythology.
I spent the better part of my free time that first week I was away reading, but this week, I've been lax in my blogging duties for a completely different reason.
About five years ago, I started dealing with very frequent heartburn. It got worse and worse until I was pretty sure I had an ulcer. I started taking Prilosec, and it did wonders to relieve the pain, so instead of doing the logical thing, ie. going to the doctor to have my ulcer healed, I just kept taking the Prilosec. The main reason for this is that I was really worried that the doctor would tell me I had six months to live, which would have been a major buzzkill.
By the way, it's a common misconception that ulcers are caused by stress. Actually the culprit is usually a bacteria called heliobacter pylori, or h. pylori for short. I promised Pooh Bear that I would finally go see the doc, so I went, got my finger stuck, and had my self diagnosis confirmed. As a result of a "weak positive" h. pylori result, I am currently on two antibiotics and a stronger dose of Prilosec, a regimen I have to follow for two weeks. I'm not allergic to antibiotics, but I have been dealing with the common garden variety side effects which you can Google at your leisure.
I highly recommend that ulcer-sufferers (you know who you are) have this h. pylori test and save yourself a lot of unneccesary misery. It's not very expensive to treat (even without health insurance) and you'll be a new person in mere weeks.
That reminds me, I'm glad to see that Ivan G Shreve, Jr., of Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear fame, is convalescing nicely after his recent surgery. Ivan is an expert on all kinds of subjects, especially vintage movies and old time radio.
While I'm sending shout-outs, much thanks to the folks who regularly link to this site. It's a real honor to be linked to by the likes of Tom Spurgeon, the fine folks at Super I.T.C.H., and the equally amazing crew at The Comics Journal's blog, ¡Journalista!, just to cite a few examples.
Ok, that's all for now. To recap, Iron Man good, ulcers bad, White Lake about the same. More comics soon!