Zombies, Scarface, and Carole


Posted on March 9th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

So, after years of hearing how good The Walking Dead is, I finally took the plunge and started watching the first season. Needless to say, I was hooked from the first episode. I quickly discovered that I can’t watch the show while I’m eating dinner, lest some of the splattering blood land on my chicken cutlets. About a week into the 2nd season, I was watching an episode at 3am when the lights in my apartment went out. Now, the rational part of me knew that it was simply a case of the salt from all the snowstorms corroding the wires in the street, but that didn’t stop me from racing to the hall closet to get my trusty baseball bat and flashlight, and then methodically search the house for zombies.

No, Im not kidding.

It’s funny. When you go to bed at night, you shut all the lights in order to fall asleep, but when the lights are shut for you, you tend to lay there in the dark, listening for footsteps, even though your trusty bat is only a few feet away. When one of the cats jumped onto the bed, I nearly crapped myself.

No. I’m not kidding.

On a different front, I had been trying for the last few months to get someone, anyone, to read and review my book. In many circles, indie-books still aren’t taken seriously, so it’s really difficult to get anyone to respond, but after a few months of badgering, I finally got the website Indiereader.com to agree to review the book. I really wasn’t that confident and to tell you the truth, I was just hoping they wouldn’t trash it.

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail saying, “your review is finished. We’ll post it in a few weeks.” It was sufficently ambiguous enough that I wished that I had never had it reviewed.

A few weeks later, I received an e-mail with this line in it –
Your book is still working its way through the review process, however your four star  review has been completed.

To put it mildly, I was jacked. Then the review was posted and they actually added a half-star. At first I thought it was a misprint or something.

You can check out the review here –>  http://indiereader.com/2014/02/split-rock-road/

A week later, I got another e-mail informing me of another review —> http://arolemodel.com/book-review-split-rock-road-james-mcallen/#   

This one was an even bigger surprise because it was totally unexpected. After I posted the 2nd review to my facebook page, I sat back and waited for the cash register to chime and for the movie offers to roll in.

Ok, I’m still waiting. I guess news travels slower in California.

Yesterday was Valarie’s birthday, so I decided to surprise her and take her to see Beautiful, the Carol King musical. After dinner, I still hadn’t told her where we were going, and it wasn’t until we marched into the box office that she realized what I was up to. She was psyched to say the least. A few weeks ago, she took me to see Wicked, which was great in it’s own right, but this was a different experience altogether.

Simply put, the show was amazing. It covers her life in music, and it’s a pretty daunting resume. Everyone is pretty familiar with Tapestry, which is one of the landmark albums of all time, but her career wrting songs with husband Gerry Goffin is just amazing. You sit there and say, “wow, she wrote that too?” over and over again. I’d recommend it almost as much as I recommend purchasing Split Rock Road.

It was during intermission and after the show that things got a little weird. At least for me, Valarie was still beaming.

As I milled around during the intermission, mingling with the theatre crowd, I was stuck dumb by the number of surgically scarred people out there in the world. Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the desire to remain young and beautiful, and god knows it’s going to be a painful day for me when I no longer am (just kidding… kinda), but I really don’t get what the attraction is towards having your face look like it’s been in an industrial fire.

I’ll admit, there are times when I see the paunch around my middle, and the muscles in my chest starting to sag and I’ve given thought to seeking out some type of chemical assistance. Hell, if I had been a marginal athlete whose only shot of making it to the big time was a date with a shady doctor and a needle, I’d be hard pressed to say that I wouldn’t resort to the easy road. But at no time have I ever seen a plastic surgery face and thought, “Oh yeah. That’s the look I want.” I mean, have you seen Kenny Rogers or Bruce Jenner lately?

After the show, the night was still young, or at least I thought it was, so we contemplated going to some club to dance for a while before calling it a night. My birth certificate says I’m 48, but my cerebellum still swears I’m 33. Well, before last night it did.

I always swore that I would never be one of those “back in my day” people. I’d never let the age gap taint my thinking about today’s youth.

Oooops.

As we walked the streets around time square, I was stuck dumb by how young these club rats really are. Was I ever that young? Sometimes I think I was born 29, but I do have some pictures that tell me otherwise. It was quickly evident that today’s clubs aren’t really geared towards middle-aged couples. We headed back, and walked up and down 42nd, and to tell you the truth, I was a little horrified.

Back in the 70’s, Times Square was crowded with hustlers selling drugs, and fake watches and the promise of easy sex. It was a dangerous place, and the streets were littered with the bodies of kids whose promise in life ended at the curb.

Last night, the duece was crowded with tourists and roaming packs of hoodrats in saggy pants and side-ward hats. In all of this were the hustlers selling comedy tickets, and NY photos, and charcoal portraits. And if I looked hard enough, probably drugs and the promise of easy sex. To tell you the truth, I was a little wistful for the other Times Square. It was almost as if these were the zombies and we were the only survivors.

I love my city, but my city pretty much ends at 14th street. It was time to get out of there. We raced back home to watch another episode of The Walking Dead.

Today we’re heading over to MSG to catch a Ranger game. Truth be told, I was more excited to see the show last night. Maybe I am getting old, but life is pretty good right now. Hope it stays this way.

 





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