Although these last few weeks have been stressful and hectic, they’ve also been incredibly rewarding. I am eternally grateful for the time I’ve had to spend with family and friends and would like to think that I spent it well. I’ve done a bunch of new things that I’d never done before, things I didn’t really have a chance to do while I was married. It all serves to remind me to be grateful for where I’m at.
Two really significant things happened to me in the past week or so, however. The first is that I had a chance to meet James O’Barr at Comic-Con. For those who don’t know, he is the creator/writer/artist of The Crow, the graphic novel behind the cult classic. I originally saw the movie but it didn’t take long for me to acquire the graphic novel, even though it was already out of print.
I believe my copy is from 1994 and it was already pre-loved when I bought it. Since then, it’s followed me across the world and country so it’s definitely well-loved. I packed it up, anyway, when I accidentally discovered that the man himself would be at Chicago Comic-Con. When we set out for the convention center, I slipped it into Wendy’s satchel, even though it barely fit.
I present it to James O’Barr almost sheepishly. He’d just sold his last copy of The Crow: Special Edition which was all shiny and new and mine.. was not. I apologetically asked if he’d sign my well-loved copy and he said that well-loved it just how it should have been. I could not imagine a more redeeming, relieving comment. I felt completely validated as a fan.
I took a picture of his signature that’s on Facebook. Exciting stuff.
But it really gets better or, at the very least, remains just as awesome. On Friday, I finally was able to see Pat Benatar live in concert. We drove a couple hours to the Wisconsin Dells and piled into one of those formal-ish, assigned-seating theaters. We arrived when some cover band was doing a bunch of classic rock. Not bad but not nearly as awesome as or appropriate for Pat Benatar. We were among the younger people there which made me sad. I don’t know why other people don’t love her more!
Everyone stood when she came on stage and she started in one a popular song. I can’t remember which one, except that she played most of the songs from “Best Shots” minus “Outlaw Blues” and “Painted Cowboy” for sure. She also added “Sex as a Weapon” and “You Better Run,” both of which I knew but I wasn’t super familiar with. Guess who is now?
Even though I was sick, I sang my freaking heart out all night. I’m sure it bugged other people and I only got more into the music as the night went on. One thing I noticed was how much harder, rockier her music sounds in person. Perhaps some of the dynamic-ness of the guitar and drums are lost during recording but while she may sound poppy on the radio or CD, there is no mistaking that she is a rock goddess in person.
We snuck down to the front of the aisle to take some pictures. Unfortunately, we were off center so I didn’t get so many amazing pictures of her but I did get some great shots of Spyder. I appreciate him even more as a guitarist now. He would definitely rock in a blues band, I think. Pat also loves it: she was air guitaring most of the time. Her attitude indicated that she was having fun, she was informal and silly. All in all, she seemed super personable, even flirting with her husband a bit.
I sang along until the very last song which was an awesome version of “Heartbreaker” with some “Ring of Fire” mixed it. I don’t know if she usually does it but it sounded great. The concert flew by and, before I knew it, I was covered in sweat, hungry and walking out the door. We finished up the night with some fast food and finally hit up a Dunkin Donuts because Captain America runs on it, don’t cha know.
I thought I’d see her once and feel satisfied but, now, I just want to do it all over again.
I’ve jokingly said that my life is now complete and I could die happy but it’s sort of true.