The N-word

I guess this is me fully embracing, or at least getting comfortable with, the “nerd” tag. How else can you describe someone who’s into superhero comics, films, books and whatnot, who then suddenly decides to come up with a blog and call it — corny as it sounds — “Parallel Realms”?

I’ve no problem with the word “nerd” (or “geek”). It’s just that at 40, when labels should no longer matter, I feel kinda icky describing myself as such — especially now that being one is already fashionable, thanks to Netflix and those MCU/DCEU films and the World Wide Web.

Though pundits may dismiss me as a bandwagoner, deep inside I know I’ve been a nerd for years. My high school and college life revolved around TV shows like The X-Files, Millennium, Seinfeld, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and That 70’s Show, among others. I collected toys and trading cards, and was an avid reader of horror books, X-Men comics and Jessica Zafra columns. It’s just that after college I became more preoccupied with real life. Career and family took over; all things nerdy fell by the wayside. There was even a turbulent period of alcohol dependence — the gonzo years, as it were. Not proud of it.

But about four years ago, as I settled in for midlife and yearned for quiet afternoons instead of all-night boozing, I rediscovered the simple joy of following a TV show or a comics series. Thanks in big part to the Internet, which made everything more accessible and hooking up with like-minded people much easier. The big Marvel and DC movies that came out in the past 10 years or so also helped reinvigorate my interest. Next thing I knew I was hooked, and comics and films and TV shows became my life again. It’s been a joyride ever since.

And now a blog.


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