My Book Persona

Saw this on Dayton Ward’s blog, and I had to know…

You’re Les Miserables!
by Victor Hugo
One of the best known people in your community, you have become something of a phenomenon. People have sung about you, danced in your honor, created all manner of art in your name. And yet your story is one of failure and despair, with a few brief exceptions. A hopeless romantic, you’ll never stop hoping that more good will come from your failings than is ever possible. Beware detectives and prison guards bearing vendettas.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

The Best Day Ever

I’ve been holding this news for a couple of weeks now, for a few reasons. First, I wanted to surprise fellow Rush fan Dayton Ward with this news when I saw him last weekend at Shore Leave in Hunt Valley, Md. Second, I wanted to be sure it was okay to post these images before I made them semi-public.

Now let me tell you about the best day ever.

On Sunday, July 8, 2007, I met up with my friends Randy Giudice and Alex Terapane, and Randy’s brother Chris. We had a cool afternoon eating cheese steaks and cheese-fries, then we went to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. There we took part in the pre-show “Meet & Greet” with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush:

From left: David Mack (me), Alex Lifeson, Randy Giudice, Geddy Lee, Chris Giudice, and Alex Terapane.

I was able to give Alex and Geddy copies of my novel Wolverine: Road of Bones, which includes characters named in their honor. And although Rush percussionist extraordinaire Neil Peart does not attend Meet & Greet sessions or meet strangers, they had one of their “Praetorians” bring to Neil my Star Trek novels A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal, which feature the character Jim Peart, named in his honor.

After the Meet & Greet, we went to our seats: second row, dead center. Absolutely perfect seats. The set list was awesome, a great mix of classic tunes they haven’t played in years and a lot of songs off of the new (and mind-blowingly great) album “Snakes & Arrows”.

During the encore, the band tosses special “you can’t just buy these” T-shirts from the stage. A few years ago, on the Vapor Trails tour, I caught one that Alex had pitched into my hand like a fastball. On this occasion, he all but lobbed a shirt right to me in the second row. Frickin’ amazing! (I came home with a beaming grin and said to my wife, “I caught a shirt!”)

Wait, it gets better.

After the show, we got to hang around for a backstage visit. While we waited for the band to be ready to see us, we watched the roadies break down the stage gear while Praetorians brought us tasty, ice-cold beers. Then we were led backstage to our hang-out with Geddy and Alex. (Neil, being Neil, was already a dozen miles away on his motorcycle, a ghost rider in the night.)

We spent an hour hanging out with Alex and Geddy. I chatted with Geddy about wine, his travels in Europe, and restaurants. Talked with Alex about comic books, his work, that night’s set.

Basically, this was an experience I have imagined and dreamed of since my first time at a Rush concert, on the Signals tour in 1982. After 25 years it came true…and it didn’t cost me a thing, because the whole evening was a gift from Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns). He bought the tickets, arranged the backstage passes, everything, for his friend Randy, and I got to tag along. Bryan is a god among men, and I can only hope that one day I have the means and the opportunity to repay this once-in-a-lifetime beau geste in kind.

Now if only there was a way that I could meet Neil… Well, it’s good to have something left to shoot for. 🙂

(Post edited to steal the starman icon from Dayton.)

Not what I had expected, at all

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
80%
Spider-Man
70%
Batman
70%
Hulk
65%
Iron Man
55%
Catwoman
50%
The Flash
50%
Supergirl
36%
Robin
35%
Wonder Woman
31%
Superman
30%
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Okay, color me all kinds of surprised. I’d have thought I was more of a Batman, but my dislike of capes probably disqualified me.

The Sopranos’ finale’s ending…

Okay, I’m not afraid to admit it: I don’t get it.

I mean, was I the only one who saw the scene cut to black and silence, followed by silent credits? WTF?

All right, maybe there was no good way to end that series after all these years, but an abrupt cut to black silence for no reason? After all the buildup in that scene? Was it meant to evoke the idea that Tony and his kin would live under a sword of Damocles all the days of their lives? That the saga would march onward, and this is simply where we got cut loose?

Or was it just Milch Chase and his team in the Avid suite tossing up their hands in defeat and saying, “We give up. Just cut it there and call it avant-garde so we can leave and get dinner.”

I can’t quite put my finger on it…but I feel ripped-off.

(Edited to reflect Keith’s astute note.)

A hard couple of days, months, years, lives

Sometimes things happen in life that, if you saw them in a movie, you'd throw your refreshments at the screen.

Several years ago, a friend of mine from high school died of a heroin overdose, and his funeral, by coincidence, fell on my 30th birthday. At the time — this was in the days before 40 was the new 30 and charcoal was the new black — it seemed so cliché that on a day which in popular culture was meant to symbolize the end of youth and the irreversible plunge into adulthood, I was burying a boyhood friend. Had I written such a scene from my imagination, I would have thrown it away as utterly unbelievable.

But there it was, happening to me.

A few months ago, David Honigsberg, a dear friend of mine who was also my rabbi and the co-officiant of my wedding to Kara just a few years earlier, died of a sudden massive heart attack. He was only 48 years old and had appeared to be the very picture of enviable health. His absence continues to feel, by turns, unreal to me and then like a deep wound. But by horrid chance, his funeral fell on the day of my wife's birthday (thankfully not her 30th), so that gruesome coincidence is now something that we have in common.

Again, if I was scripting my life, I would have uncapped a red pen at that point and gone to work.

Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning while much of New York City slumbered, a sweet and talented young woman named Sandra Jimenez passed away of cancer. Only a few hours earlier, my friend and hermano Randy had married her in a private bedside service, a final testament to the heroic love and devotion he showed as he supported her months-long fight against this swift and tragic illness. His faith in her, his love for her, and his hope for a remission never faltered. If you want to know what courage looks like, this is it.

Would it be believable if you saw it in a movie? Who gives a shit? That's not the point. It's life. That's the point.