Conversations on Trout and Life with Vampires

This morning Garrett (age 19) and I stopped by to see Great Great Great Grandmama Lola. Even as Vampires go she is old (born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer), but she looks all of twenty-six.

In her living room was a large fish tank. Garrett immediately went over to check it out. “When did you get this Grams?”

“Last week. I caught the fish myself. Aren’t they lovely.”

In the tank were two rainbow trout, fresh from the river. I could have given her flack about catching wild fish but I didn’t. It would have been a waste of my breath.

Garrett held out his arm and an African Gray parrot landed on his wrist. Lola claims the parrot is over 200 years old but I never know what to think. She has had the bird for over 80 years so she could very well be right. But then I never know with Lola.

I noticed a pair of boots on the floor, tucked halfway under the coffee table.

“Company?” I asked.

“Upstairs sleeping. He’ll sleep for the rest of the day so you don’t have to worry about any awkward moments.”

“So he is just a Regular Human and not a Vampire?”

“Of course,” said Lola. “He works nights for the Highway Patrol. I think it was the boots that did it for me, well that and everything after he took the boots off. Anyway, I’ve made sure he won’t wake up for another six hours at least.”

Then she looked at me and smiled. “Remember the time, when we sat on the wall on the boardwalk watching the ocean and smoking cigarettes for hours. There must have been a thousand shooting stars that night. Then we went dancing with the two brothers from San Francisco.  I could taste the whiskey in their blood. Oh God, I can smell the salt air thinking about it. Do you remember? They were so funny. We couldn’t stop laughing.”

“They both died in the trenches,” I said.

“Trenches? World War One?” Garret asked.

“Yes,” said Lola. “You’ll learn that…” she paused. Then she twisted her long curls into a knot on top of her head, then took a deep breath. “I know you’ve thought about this Garrett. Over the years you’ll meet a lot of people and you won’t forget any of them. Some will go to the back of your mind of course. But what I’m trying to say is you need to respect the memories of those you come across and respect their lives. Respect those you entertain for blood, as well as those you entertain for company. They are more than prey. Respect that.”

“I do respect them. Believe me Grams, I do.”

“Good,” said Lola. “You’ve raised him right Juliette.”

On the way home I thought about those young men, Albert and Hubert. Al and Bert. I thought that war would be the last. We all had that sort of wishful stupid thinking. But no such luck. People are still as stupid and evil as ever. Thank God I was born a Vampire.

Garrett said he wanted to invite Lola down to see him at college. I thought it was a good idea. It is always nice when grandparents visit their college aged grand children, even is the grandparent looks more like a sister.

Lola still suffers from nightmares of things that happened long ago. She has shakes from bouts with Vampire Hunters and scars that have never quiet healed on her body and spirit. She won’t admit it. She lies and says she is alright. I have to admit that we all do that to some extent.

So I excuse her for keeping trout in her living room, and a parrot who sings dirty songs in French and Italian. I excuse her for having men with six pack abs in her bed sleeping off blood loss from the night before. I really don’t need to excuse her, because I accept her. There isn’t anything wrong with her.

I find myself wondering if the mom in me has made me think in ways that are too prim and proper for my own good.

A few days ago I was laughing at this (look below at the funny from Classical Art Memes.)

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And my sixteen year old said, “Most parents would have no idea what this means, and you’re laughing out loud at it. That is what makes you the cool mom.”

I don’t always feel cool, but I can out hip any hipster. What was that song? Make “Em Laugh. You know, Donald O’Connor. Look it up on YouTube. I can Make Em’ Laugh. And I can out hip. Yes I can and without looking stupid. Vampires invented hip.

I doubt if my grandkids (when I have them in the far future) will find a 32-year-old CHP officer in my bed, but I’ll be relevant. I’ll be more than relevant. Even now my kids aren’t embarrassed to be with me. Granted we’re Vampires, but teens are teens. Holy crap, I wouldn’t want to be a Werewolf parent. Their kids are weird.

So anyway, just keep laughing, and loving, and don’t bring wild game home, or CHP officers if you can help it (I don’t care how good looking he is.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lola

Lola

Musings on Morning Distractions

Dry drought landscape without a ghost in sight.

Dry drought landscape without a ghost in sight.

7:25 am: Drop child off at high school. Have fun, love you, learn something.

7:40 am: Arrive late to 7:30 am meeting.

9:00 am: Meeting over. All is well. OK.

9:15 am: Arrive home. Good dog. Glad to see you too. Check email. Hey sweet kitty. Check email. Answer emails. Send invoices. Think about what I’ll read next. What mood am I in?

9:40 am: Go to bank. Get coffee. I usually make coffee but I didn’t feel like it today and I was already out.

10:00 am: Check email again. Good dog. Glad to see you too. 

10:30 am: Start writing. Sketch out idea for mural that popped into my head and make note to call Amelia about it. Start writing again. Good dog. Glad to see you too.

11:20 am: Feel distracted. I look outside in hopes of seeing a ghost. No luck. The only thing out there are turkeys picking bugs out of the dry grass. Even the squirrels and song birds are taking the day off. I go upstairs. College boy is still asleep. I’ll wake him later. Young Vampires need their sleep. He won’t get much after he gets back to school. He said he wants me to take him to Target later to get stuff for his house. Sounds like fun. The girl child is collecting stuff for college already but the man child is lacking in his domestic planning. His thoughts are on his wardrobe. Image is everything. EVERYTHING.

So I’m now here writing a blog post about my typical day because, while I was motivated this morning I’m finding myself with a major case of brain-drain.

The calico cat is curled in the next chair making a loud snoring purring noise. She is exceptionally cute, especially considering what a stealth killer she is.

I check my email again. Someone wants to know how to turn someone into a Vampire. I send the message to my trash bin. Someone else wants to know about writing a novel. I say DO IT.  A friend sends a lunch invitation. It is the kind of lunch invitation I like. A little food, maybe a glass of wine, then some private time with my teeth in his neck, and sweet dreams for him. I could use that. Maybe it will help with my brain drain.

I add water to the fish tank. The goldfish get all excited and swim around like they’re playing Just Dance on the wii. Goldfish are like that. Another reason it is fun to have them around.

I got the goldfish so they could make my office a good workspace. Unfortunately I bring my computer to the breakfast table and work here. The fish space gets too bright in the mornings. Even if I wasn’t a Vampire it would be too bright.

Downstairs I look out the window. Not ghosts. No birds. No cats. No green grass. Just a kumquat tree filled with bees and a sorry mess of droopy orange and lemon trees screaming for me to water them. The rosemary is happy without me. I wish the drought would end.

My coffee is gone that means I need to get back to my book… and wake up my sleeping beauty so I can have an excuse to be distracted again.

Good dog. Glad to see you too. Do you want a treat? Good dog.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Snoring out a purrrrrr

Snoring out a purrrrrr

Things you need to do with your teen

Things you need to do with your teen.

You know right off the bat I’m going to talk about talking with your teen. TALK WITH YOUR TEEN. DO IT. NOW.

 

fruit bat cutie

Right off the bat…

 

Movies you need to see with your teen:

Lost Boys

Click on the movie titles above for information about the movie (and so you’ll see the right movie)

 

Must do things  to do with your teen:

  • Take your teen to a concert. Not something YOU want to see. Not something you THINK will be culturally enriching. Take them to see a band THEY listen to. Go to a smaller venue. Listen to the music before you go. You might like it. You might like it a lot. Click HERE for guidelines. Click HERE too and HERE.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour - Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour – Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

  • Take your teen to Van’s Warped Tour. If you’re the parent who buys the ticket you get in free. What a deal. I saw seven bands that I liked. There were dozens more.
Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

  • Take you teen to the an orchestra concert. Even if you don’t have a major Symphony or Philharmonic orchestra in your area, most communities have excellent community groups. Many high schools and colleges have orchestras. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and GO. Yes, this is the cultural education. You’ll have fun.
  • Go to the zoo. Zoos aren’t just for little kids.
  • Take your teen to a vintage clothing store and try stuff on – both of you. Boys and girls. Rock the vintage stuff.
  • Tell your teenager a bad joke every single day. Laugh out loud. Pretty soon they’ll be laughing along with you.
  • By the time our children get to high school and college the family pets are ancient senior citizens. Keep the love going but make sure you are there for your kids when the four-legged members of your family move on. It sucks but it seems like most teens live with ancient pets – well-loved ancient pets.
  • Cook with your teen, even if you’re a Vampire. When they get into college their roommates will love them if they can cook. Everyone loves a good cook.
  • Go for walks at least twice a week. It gives you a chance to talk and spend some quiet time together. No phones.
  • Go to a baseball game. Any team will do – professional, high school, college, T-ball. It is all fun.
  • Go roller skating.

 

Talk to your teen about:

  • Sex (if you aren’t responsible enough to use protection you are not responsible enough to have sex. Sex is normal but just because you are physically able to do it you might not be emotionally ready. High School is a fun time – don’t complicate it with sex. Yes, the conversation is easy. Don’t lecture, just discuss and let them know they can come to you and trust you for good fact based answers)
  • Birth Control (Don’t be silly, cover your Willy. AND ALWAYS use birth control. Even if your kid is not sexually active have this conversation because when they go off to college they WILL become sexually active and they need to know how to be smart about it.)
  • Diet: Eat right. Don’t pack on the pounds with the Starbucks Ultra Thick Carmel Chocolate Mocha Bomb every single day.
  • History: You don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been. Talk about your history, your Uncle Duff’s history, George Washington, or anything that has happened before the year your child was born. Tell them about the old days before personal computers and copiers and cable TV. Tell them about MTV when they actually played music. Tell them about seeing The Rolling Stones in concert when Keith Richards was hot (they won’t believe you so you’ll have to show them photos.)
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Yes, this is Keith before he died and came back as himself.

 

Watch silly YouTube videos with your teenager.

I suggest:

  • SMOSH Teleporting Fat Guy
  • Anything with cute animals
  • Famous Rap Battles of History
  • Short horror films
  • Make-up tutorials
  • More cute animals
  • Music your teen likes
  • Music you like

 

Alright, that should have filled up your brain and your time. I’ll have more later.

What would you add to the list? What do you and the teens in your life do together? Let us know.

Have fun

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: Sunday Morning Coffee

Andrew stood in the doorway with a cup of coffee in each hand.

“Rise and shine,” he said to the darkened living room.

On the couch lay his friend John, arms and legs around a woman who was laying on top of John. John said he was in love with this one. God knows how many times Andrew had heard John say that. At least she was like them. What was her name? Olive? Yolanda? Olivia. Her name was Olivia. Like in “Twelfth Night.” Olivia.

Andrew liked Olivia, in her little black dress and her dishwater blonde hair that came down to her waist. The girl could talk and certainly made everyone laugh with her stories and commentaries. She was pretty too. A smart pretty girl was just what John needed. It was what most guys needed for that matter.  John had done well considering he was such a jerk most of the time.

Olivia opened one eye, then the other and smiled. “Good morning sweetheart,” she said to Andy as she crawled off of John. “Let him sleep for a while. He needs it.”

She came up to Andrew, taking one of the cups of coffee from his hand. “Thank you. I really need it this morning.”

“So I take it you haven’t been a Vampire for centuries,” asked Andrew. “I don’t mean to be rude. You just have a freshness to you.”

“1982, a year after I graduated from college. I’d been fired from three jobs. My love life sucked. I hated my life. Then I went out one night and met a guy. It wasn’t like a guy I would sleep with. We just talked. He offered me a job. Then he offered me something else. And that is how I became a Vampire and became the confident successful woman I am today. How about you?”

“I was born into it.”

“Wow, that is so rare.”

“Exactly. I know,” said Andrew. He liked Olivia. Doing the math in his head he figured she was maybe 55 or 56 years old. Oh so young.

He asked her about her life and listened over multiple cups of coffee as she told him her tale. She’d grown up the seventh of nine children in Philadelphia. Her parents were good people but like so many of their generation they’d smoked themselves to death. Her brothers and sisters dispersed. She went to California for college then floundered. One night, at a dark low point her life, she met an interesting man who turned her into a Vampire. From there she moved to Alaska, then ended up in Seattle and eventually back to Northern California.

“I bought the winery before it was overly popular. The owner was retiring and so now I have a hundred and three acres of grapes, an a nice little winery. I even design my own labels,” she told him.

Like most with most Vampires, being self-employed is usually the best route to go.

“How’d you meet John?” Andrew had to ask. He’d been friends with John since they were kids. He’d been the one to convert him into a Vampire in 1872.

“At a party. As soon as I saw him I knew there was something special about him. Of course the fact that we’re both Vampires is a big plus. Do you mind if I use your shower? I have some more clothes in the car.”

Andrew showed her one of the guest rooms with its own bath. As he walked back downstairs he thought about Olivia. Nothing about this woman was mysterious. She was an open book.

After a few minutes she came back downstairs wrapped in a towel. Her hair was dry.

“Um, Andrew, there is blood all over the shower stall. The drain looks kind of clogged. Do you have another bathroom I can use.”

“Sorry, try the bathroom at the end of the hall. You’ll like it better. I have a towel warmer in there.”

“Thanks,” she said. And with a wink and a smile Olivia ran back up the stairs.

Olivia certainly was cute. He hoped it would work out between her and John.

In the meantime, he grabbed a bucket and the mom, along with a gallon of bleach. It was a good dinner party last night. He couldn’t wait until the next one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vampire Diary: White Wedding

Dear Diary,

Men still seek out monsters. They look for beings from other planets. They seek fish. They look for murderers. Men dress like women and look like women. Then they remove their clothing and walk naked and afraid. Why are they afraid?

Maybe they want to be like the men and women who solve crimes then make love and rip each other’s clothing, then smoke and ponder the meaning of life, then go back to their guns.

I find myself mesmerized by the women in wedding dresses. I was saying yes to the dress.

I was cheering for men called Giants throwing balls as fast as rockets. Then there were tiny people with tiny little children. Teeny tiny little children who didn’t perform for anyone. Just were playing like any children, just smaller. People spoke of war and economic disaster and weather, but I kept going back to   the two men who helped bring a love lorn woman to a man she’d never met. I thought it was going to be about fish. The man turned out to be somebody else. The woman was angry. They talked. I would have had him killed, but that is just me. I went back to the wedding dresses, then to uneducated people catching alligators, then to ghost hunters and someone praying. I wonder why they pray. Maybe they’re looking for mates or the perfect dress or fish. Or maybe they want a rusty old gas station signs. Maybe they want to find a murderer. They are all looking for drugs. They are all looking for love. They are not all naked but they all seem to be afraid.

I stopped to see a beautiful woman tattoo beautiful images over bad tattoos. Two men, her friends, did the same. They were not interested in fish or alligators or storing units. They were artists. I could not find any other artists.

There was something called The Notebook. I’ve heard women talking about it. I watched part of it but did not understand. I went back to the wedding dresses. I said yes again.

This thing they call cable and TV is insane. I was never interested before. Now, I must turn the machine off and drape a cloth over the large screen on my wall.

~ Vlad

_________________________

Dear Diary,

Last night as I was sinking my fangs into the neck of a beautiful woman my thoughts were not on blood. My hand went down her hot bare body and I wondered would she look better in a ball gown style dress or a mermaid style.

~ Vlad

_______________________

Dear Diary,

My cat is sitting next to me surrounded by her kittens. They sleep together, a ball of vibrating fur.

A man who looks like he has a hairball on his head is on the television screen. He wants to be president. He has offended everyone. My friend Gillian told me about two others called Deez Nuts and Limberbutt McCubbins. I think I will vote for them.

~ Vlad

____________________

Dear Diary,

Last night I walked along the street and stopped in front of the window of a tattoo artist. I went inside.

I told the man I wanted a woman in a white dress on my arm. He suggested a pin-up style and drew a picture. She was beautiful.

He asked about my cold skin. I told him not to worry about it.

Four hours later I left with a white gowned bride on my arm. Her beauty would stay with me, only for a while. By sunrise she was gone. My skin rejects the ink, but I will always have the memory of my bride.

I thought of a wedding, my wedding, many centuries ago. She wore blood red silk. Her dark curls hung down her back. Her eyes only on me. Her image is tattooed in my memories. The feel of her touch is always on my skin.

Where is she now?

~ Vlad

_____________________

Dear Diary,

I have found homes for all of the kittens. I will keep the white and tabby one. I have no name for him yet.

My lover Gillian said I need to get them fixed. I told her there was nothing wrong with them. She rolled her eyes and said fixed means fixing them so they won’t reproduce anymore. She said it was the right thing to do.

Gillian doesn’t know that I imagine her in a strapless white ball gown with full skirts and beading. Despite the fact that Gillian, like me, is a Vampire I often imagine her with warm skin and hot blood as I carry her to my bed.

Unlike hot blooded women Gillian never asks me what I’m thinking or how I feel. She wouldn’t make a very good reality TV show. I don’t understand exactly why I think that, but it doesn’t matter.

~ Vlad

victorian vampire girl

______________________

For more Vampire Diary Installments click on the links below:

Vampire Diary

Vampire Diary: Intervention

Vampire Diary: Game Day

Vampire Diary: Feeling Alive

Vampire Diary: Blood Red

Vampire Diary: Embroiled in a Dream (and still cute)

Vampire Diary: Something I do understand

Vampire Diary: Modern Worlds

Thoughts on Halloween

The night and morning air is beginning to get cooler. In the mornings dew is on the back window of my car. I noticed kids wearing sweat shirts and sweaters this morning. I love fall. It comes all too soon.

I love October the most. Sorry September, I’ll blog through you with love, but October has my heart.

This is why:

  • The weather starts to cool down.
  • It usually starts to rain the week before Halloween.
  • My birthday is in the week before Halloween.
  • Halloween is in October.

I found my brother Val had come by while I was dropping Clara off at school. He was in the kitchen having coffee with Garrett (who goes back to school next month.)

They were talking about Halloween.

I figured Clara and her friends in the Horror Club would have a movie night. Last year she and one of her best friends founded the Horror Club with a lot of support from teachers at her high school. The club is dedicated to kids who like horror books, graphic novels, movies, TV and all things related to the Horror genre. Next week the posters will go up and new members will join the fun.

Last year one of the “religion” clubs ripped down all of the horror club posters. All I could think was “how unchristian and rude.” Most horror novels I love have a strong sense of good and evil. Read classics from Stephen King or Robert McCammon. Read the original Dracula. Yes, in horror movies one person always gets away…leaving something for a future story. But hey, it is just for fun. Yes, fun. People like to be scared and then laugh about it. Think about it.

But the most scary creature of all are those who would censor the ideas and thought of our teens. Those are the ones who are bordering on evil due to their own ignorance. OK they are evil. So sad that some teens are buying into the misguided and evil culture of censorship.

So back to Halloween.

  • Halloween is not evil.
  • Halloween is fun.
  • Halloween brings neighbors together.
  • Halloween is a day to celebrate everything creative.
  • Halloween is a cultural day to celebrate the dead.
  • Halloween is my favorite holiday. I think everyone should have the day off.

So my brother Val was here. I smiled and so did he, with a bit of fang. Aside from being eight inches taller than I am, when I look at my brother I see my male counterpart. It is obvious we’re related.

“What are you doing for Halloween?” He asked, as he always does anytime before October 31.

“I don’t know. Maybe a dinner party with my regular friends.”

He smiled. By “regular” I mean those who aren’t Vampires.

“Or,” I continued, “I might have a party with my Vampire friends. Or maybe both. But you know everyone comes over here on Halloween night.”

My house is Halloween Central. Everyone is here for Halloween.

A couple of fancy pumpkins from last Halloween still sit on my front porch. Both are orange with stripes. They might be really some sort of winter squash but I call them pumpkins. They stay there reminding me that one day it will be cool again and that one day it will be Halloween again.

“We could say that Halloween is almost every day for us,” said Garrett.

“Yes, you could say that,” said Val, “but not really because we’re the ones who go bump in the dark. Well, only the key is not to go bump, but to be quiet.”

Then they laughed because that is what Val and Garrett do.

Anyway, Halloween is coming. Maybe this year I’ll make some real sugar skulls.

In the meantime, we’ll just keep being the best Vampires we can be and plan for the best holiday ever.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman