Hanging with the poets…

Posted on August 28th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 2 comments

Life has been good the last few weeks. The job is good. My personal life is good. My health is good. I even lost a pound or two. Everything is wonderful. Except my writing. I’m bone dry. I’ve written one blog in two weeks. The muse is fickle. She abandons you when you’re not in pain.

Last night I was the featured reader at a the Bellmore Memorial Library. It’s usually a poets event, but I was asked to read by my new cousin-in-law Christina. I said yes as soon as she asked, but all day I was regretting it. It’s one thing to read to a roomful of readers, it’s another to read for writers. Everyone is comparing themselves, all waiting to be impressed. Poets are a tricky bunch, a different breed. Once upon a time I was a poet. … Read More »

Bye Bye, Miss American Pie…

Posted on August 26th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 2 comments

“All the best songs have been written” – Rich Doherty

followed by – “You’re an asshole” – Thomas Hoban

Last night, the VMA’s were held… in Brooklyn. My hometown.

20 years ago, this would have been a cause for great excitement, but 20 years ago, MTV would have never gone anywhere near Kings County. I wish they stayed away.

Truth be told, I didn’t actually watch the VMA’s last night. I worked.

Instead, I watched clips of the performances on Youtube this morning. This is the era that we live in. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed.

In fact, I was depressed. What the hell happened to music when I wasn’t looking? Doesn’t anyone know how to rock? Doesn’t anyone have any balls at all?

I remember back when I was a kid coming up in the world, I lived through the Disco vs Rock wars. Every … Read More »

Been a long time since I Rock and Rolled…

Posted on August 12th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 4 comments

On Saturday night, I headed up to New Rochelle with the muse in tow. New Rochelle is a place. It’s not in Brooklyn. I dont like leaving Brooklyn too much. It fucks with my chi. Or my Zen, I’m not sure which.

I was off to see the debut performance of  Chronicles, a Rush tribute band. Growing up, I loved Rush, and hated tribute bands. I thought they were a rip-off of the artist. When I was about 16, I snuck into L’amour with fake ID to see The Crystal Ship, a Doors tribute band. In between sets, I waited by the dressing room area and when the dude playing Jim came out, I shook his hand and leaned into him.

“Morrison fuckin hates you.’ I whispered to him. He looked at me funny and then kept walking to the stage. I … Read More »

Ooooh… that smell…

Posted on August 9th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 3 comments

On the morning of Sept 29, 1987 (or was it already afternoon?), I woke up with a head full of cement, a nose full of bloody snot and a 72-hour gap in my memory. At that point, I made a decision. I decided that I was going to take a vacation from the way I was living and give myself a month of drug-free living to let my body and my wallet recuperate. It was a fairly ridiculous decision since I hadn’t gone more than 10 days without getting high since I was 15.

I was 22 at the time.

25 plus years later, I’m still here. I’m blessed… and really lucky. If I made no other good decisions since then, that one was enough. If I made any good decisions, they can all be traced back to that day.

The best part … Read More »

Hi ho… Hi ho…

Posted on August 8th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

I put the key in the door at 5:30 am… I’m home.  Two weeks ago, I was leaving the house at 5:30 am. Life takes funny turns and strange bounces.

It’s five weeks in, and I still don’t know whether or not I like this job. Oh, I like it well enough on Thursday evenings when the direct deposit lands, but I’m waffling the rest of the time. People ask me about my new gig all the time and I make the most ambiguous responses…  “Ah… kinda, I think so… I mean, it’s better than the last place…” Blah Blah Blah…

Truth be told… it’s a great company, and a great place to work and the people have been really helpful and willing to teach, and frankly I’ve been surprised by it… Most places resent the new guy and worry that he’s … Read More »