Always the Romantic…

A few days ago my 22 year old son Garrett called me. I know, I don’t write much about him now that he is off on his on in graduate school and working and doing grown-up stuff.

As a teen he wrote love letters which I’d find folded up in the dryer. Tiny little squares would fold out to a full sheet of legal paper written with a find point Sharpie. I’d fold them up and stick them back in his pocket, then call him to come fold his clothes.

I was never the kind of parent who would search their children’s rooms or go through their stuff, but a verses of love found among the dryer sheets is fair game.

This is the kid who broke his harm when he turned at the top of some stairs at the high school to blow a kiss at a girl and then tumbled head over heels down to the bottom.

My son isn’t a player, but he is always a charmer and a flirt. That’s fine. I have no problem with that. And now that he is older he doesn’t seem to allow his heart to be broken every three months or so.

So a few days ago Garrett called me. We talk almost every day but this conversation sort of stuck with me.

He’d met a girl. He liked her a lot. It wasn’t serious but she was fun to hang out with. Then she started asking him all kinds of questions about Vampires and paranormal things. Most of it was just silly popular culture type of stuff.

Then one evening she asked him why his diet was so limited. Then she asked him why his skin was cool. She nagged him about his sensitivity to the sun. Then finally she asked him if he was a Vampire.

“Mom,” he said, “the only reason she wanted to be with me is because she heard from someone that I was a Vampire.”

“What did you tell her?” I asked.

“I told her she was fucking crazy, excuse the language, and told her there were no such thing as Vampires.”

“How’d she react?”

“She called me an asshole and a freak and left.”

“So she wasn’t taken in by your good looks and charm?”

“No. But she should have been.” Then he laughed a little.

I have to admit my son is charming and good looking. Then again, most guys his age are, or at least they need to be told that every once in a while, even if the person telling them that is their mom.

“Garrett, do you ever tell anyone that you’re a Vampire?”

“No Mom. Absolutely not. If they already know, then they know. But not regular people. No way.”

“Good.”

My kids are still young at 19 and 22. They haven’t achieved enough in life to have people wanting to be around them for their fame, fortune, or some other unknown status. Actually that isn’t true. People do like to be around them, but it is because they’re just nice kids. That and the fact they have cool parents (just kidding but kind of not.)

I’m glad my kids can and do talk to me about anything and everything. I will always answer my phone, my texts, and keep my heart ready for them.

February is almost here. It is that time of the year when the traffic on this blog gets clogged with people looking for love letters, advice, and answers to those mysterious matters of the heart.

In the meantime, no matter how old your kids are, they still need their mom and dad. So keep listening. Keep talking. Keep loving. And yes, keep laughing – preferably with them and not at them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Modern Problems

Dear Diary,

Over 300 years ago when I was King of the Vampires no one wanted to come into my country. I did not care except for one bad winter when my people were going hungry. I antagonized the ruler of a neighboring land. He sent in a large army of hot blooded men. My people were well fed for the rest of the winter and saved.

I miss those times.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Why was I not told that putting a blow dryer in the sink would cause me to be electrocuted? Until four years ago I did not even know what the word or the very concept of electrocution was.

The blow dryer is an amazing invention that I could have never imagined in my previous life before I was locked in a crypt for 300 years. There has been so much I have missed out on.

There is so much I still do not understand. How was I supposed to know about the dangers of electricity? Why did not anyone tell me of this?

Gillian, my Vampire lover, had left her blow dryer out in my bathroom. A bathroom is another modern marvel that I shall go into sometime in the future. My hair was wet. It is winter. I used the blow dryer.

Several hours later Gillian was shaking my shoulder and calling my name. I was on the bathroom floor. Apparently I had the water running in the sink and somehow the blow dryer became wet.

“Had you been a normal person you’d be dead,” Gillian scolded me.

“By what do you mean a normal person,” I asked her.

“Not a Vampire. I swear Vlad you must be more careful,” she said. “Water and electricity do not mix. EVER.”

“Thank you for telling me,” I said as she helped me up.

She scowled at my sarcastic tone. Women are like that. They give one that look. The look is not a modern thing. It has been going on since time began.

“How does my hair look?” I had to ask.

“Perfect. Your hair always looks perfect,” she said, then she left the room.

I do not understand women anymore than I understand electricity.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I find myself locked out of everything. Not with a key. No, not a key. I am locked out with passwords that do not work.

At one time I, as the King of Vampires, gave out secret passwords for the safety of my kingdom. If I gave one of my subjects a special word I would not then tell him that the word was wrong and that he could not use the same word again and that I would lock him out for thirty minutes no matter how desperate he was to get inside.

No, in this insane world I find myself in I am forced to live in what they call a VIRTUAL world. That means a world where everything is invisible to me. There are no people. There is no help. I am forced to do all of my business in a maze of darkness in which I have no control.

My bank said I had to change my password for my own security. I changed it. Then they said I could not use the new password. Then they said I must have 8 letters, at least one capital letter, and several symbols. I could not use an old password. I put in a new password. They said it would not work and locked me out.

My friend Randolpho said all of his passwords are “Fuckyousuckdick!”

I told Randolpho that he was vulgar and it would end up haunting him. He then told me that he never has problems with his passwords. I find that difficult to believe.

Each time I get on the Internet I must change passwords. Security questions ask things I know nothing of. I did not go to high school. It does not believe my first pet was a unicorn. It asks me questions of things I do not know or have no experience in. Or it will not believe my answers. It. What is it?

One day Randolpho attempted to explain that the brain in a computer was dots and dashes. What are dots and dashes I asked. He could not answer. I think he is, what do they say, pulling my leg. He is telling lies. It is like alchemy. No man can make gold out of nothing. Something is going on that I do not understand. One day I shall find the answer. Maybe not.

I have to admit that a small plastic card is easier than carrying around several pounds of gold coins.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I was out one night, my heart pumping new blood, having a glass of wine when someone caught my attention. Some men were discussing floppy disks in one of those games where they remember their childhood.

“Is that a kind of Frisbee?” I asked. I do know what a Frisbee is. I have friends who have dogs. Dogs love to play with Frisbee disks. My friend Randolpho plays Frisbee Golf in the park with his odd friends.

One of the men laughed and said, “You Millennials are all alike.”

I am 675 years old a far cry from being a millennium old. A thousand years. Yes, it is creeping up on me but I do not look that old.

I asked my love Gillian if I looked ancient or worn out.

“Vlad you always look amazingly good,” she told me.

“Do I look like I am a thousand years old?” I asked.

“No Vlad, you look like you’re about thirty, maybe thirty-two at oldest. You could even pass for younger if you wanted to.”

“Then why,” I asked her, “why did someone call me a millennial?”

Gillian smiled the kind of smile she reserves for children, and for me when I say something wrong.

“Vlad,” she said, “a Millennial is someone born at the turn of the 21st Century. Someone born more or less between the years 1980 and 2000.”

“Have we come to this where we are judged by the years in which we were born. Is this some sort of sooth saying like those who read stars? I thought we were beyond that sort of thing in the 21st Century.”

“It has nothing to do with that. Society and technology changes so fast. Since the Baby Boomers each generation has had their own name.”

“Baby Boomers?” What fresh Hell was that? She did not answer. I think she was done with me. I still found this slightly confusing and somewhat annoying. “So I know nothing,” I said.

“You know more than you give yourself credit for my darling, sweet, precious Vampire,” she said and then kissed me. “There is hope. You are now by default part of the generation that will make things better.”

“Better than what?”

“I’m not sure yet, but they’ll do the right thing.”

I did not argue. I am a Millennial with the soul of an ancient relic. I can only attempt to learn and teach others to learn from the mistakes of history.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I learned that some people do what is called living off of the grid. That is without the Internet or many other modern marvels. They do not wish to be found or seen. They wish a simple time.

I lived in a simple time, but it was not all that simple. People smelled bad, which was awful for Vampires like me. Now our food smells a lot better.

I could go on and on. My point is that when life is good for people then life is good for Vampires. I shall be a crusader for social justice if that is what it would take for all Vampires to have safe and reliable blood sources. You see, I have the mind of a leader for my people, even though I am no longer King of Vampires.

Without the duties of a leader, aside from feeding my cats, I have few beings who depend on me anymore. It is lonely at times, even for a Vampire.

Only to you Dear Diary do I admit this because I am admitting it to just myself.

In the meantime I have made of list of things I must try to understand.

  1. The meaning of the word cute.
  2. Avocado toast.
  3. Fusion in reference to everything
  4. The Dark Web
  5. Bone Broth
  6. Soundcloud (that is thunder or maybe not)
  7. Beard wax
  8. Helicopter Parents
  9. Blue hair
  10. What is a Nickleback and why do people seem to despise it?

I should try to stop this torture in my brain and read a book or just turn on Netflix.

Netflix is something we did not have in my old Vampire castle. Maybe change is good. Like cats. Cats are good.

Cats are always good, no matter how old one is. Especially if one is a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Gerald Atkins, Vampire Hunter.

“Now take that Gerald Atkins. He was the worst Vampire Hunter I’d ever seen. He could spot them but that was about it.”

“What was wrong with him?” Austin poured Grammy another cup of coffee.

“Oh he thought he was so suave showing up all dressed up like Sam Spade in his over coat and hat, smoking those smelly cigarettes of his.”

Grammy put some half and half in her coffee and continued. “Gerald would do stupid things like show up with holy water he’d gotten from a nun down at the Catholic church. I told him that he’d just as well throw Coca Cola at a Vampire for all the good it would do. I believe he was having sexual intercourse with that nun. Sister Ann was her name. I bet half the babies in that orphanage where hers.”

“They weren’t her children,” said Austin.

“You don’t know that Austin.”

“Oh Grammy.”

“Just let me finish my story. Gerald Atkins was an idiot. He showed up at a party with his detective get up, with his briefcase full of holy water, a cross, and some old spike he carved out of a 2×4 piece of lumber. Of course he had a knife too but I doubt if he ever sharpened it. The man was goddamn lazy if you ask me.

In a back room back away from all of the drug addicts doing their cocaine on the glass top tables Gerald Atkins finds a couple of Vampires hanging out. There’s a male and a female. Mr. Vampire looks like he belongs to one of those hair bands. It was the 80’s you know. Miss Vampire wore a royal blue silk dress with the back open almost down to her butt crack. So Gerald Atkins takes a look at then and throws his holy water at them. It splashes all over Miss Vampire’s expensive dress and does nothing but make a bunch of stains. The Vampires jump all over Gerald’s ass and suck enough blood out of him to almost kill him, but not quite. Then they dump him in a gutter.

He wakes up in the hospital blubbering on about Vampires. The doctors were convinced he had bats in his attic and was full goose bat shit loony, and locked him up in the mental ward for a few days.

Another time he decided he wanted to date a Vampire woman. Gerald Atkins was so stupid thinking he might get lucky before he killed her. He talked her up trying to tell her how beautiful she was in a cool sort of way. She listened to him and beat him to any game he might have been trying to play. He ends up telling her his life story and about all of his pathetic sorry romances except for his diddling Sister Ann. He never dared speak of Sister Ann but everybody knew about them. Everybody.

Then the fool thinks the Vampire woman is falling for him because she is smiling so sweetly and making her eyes go all twinkly and pretty the way Vampires do. That Vampire woman tied Gerald Atkins naked to a bed in a fancy hotel and left him with the bill. She never took a stitch of her clothing off. Just left him there naked as the day he was born with a couple of holes in his neck. Idiot.”

“Is he still hunting Vampires Grammy?”

“Gosh no. Those Vampires got tired of his shenanigans and cut his head off one night. They left him in the Old City Cemetery with his body laid out on a random grave and his head on top to the tombstone.”

“That’s awful,” said Austin.

Grammy shook her head. “Not really Austin. He wasn’t careful or smart like we are. He never did his research. He could tell if someone was a Vampire but he sure didn’t have any talent to hunt them down properly. He gave us all a bad name.”

Austin offered Grammy more coffee. She nodded yes.

“No thanks. I will have another one of those sugar cookies you made. I’ll take two.”

“Do you think you’ll ever hunt Vampire again?” Austin asked his Grammy half joking. Just half.

Grammy took a bite of cookie and thought a bit. Then she smiled at her grandson. “I don’t know. I can’t run like I used to but you never know. They wouldn’t expect an old lady like me now would they.”

Austin just smiled and took a cookie. No they wouldn’t expect anyone like his Grammy. Nobody ever expected Grammy.

~ end

Tangled Tales

For more Austin and Elizabeth stories click here.

` Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Burning Question #47: Chucking Wood

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Step right up and see amazing feats of animal skill.

This week brings us to #47 of 50 Burning Questions. I hope over the past 47 weeks that all of you have learned something about yourself and the world around us.

But of all questions… of ALL questions… You KNEW this one was coming.

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.

Sooooooooooooo

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Burning Question #47: Could a Woodchuck Chuck Wood?

 

Here is a video of one of the cute little critters in action. Everyone all at once, give me a big “AWWWWWWWWWWW.”

 

Feel free to leave any questions, answers, or woodchuck stories in the comments area below. You can talk about anything including other animal favorites. How about that new Weezer album? Can woodchucks dance? Sing? How about you? How about skunks, or possums, or lizards? Just say something (nice or funny.)

I’ll see you next week for Burning Question #48.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Winter Cat (and other bad poetry)

Winter Cat
A poem

Cold
Frigid air
Can’t compare
To the stare
Of my cat
“Where you at?”
Wanting me
To fill her bowl
Hollow soul
Teeth and claws
Hidden underneath
Soft calico
Fur of an angel
Demon of my home
And hearth
Then after she eats
She will barf.

 

Red Moon

I missed the
Eclipse
The red moon
Due to rain.
I heard the
Werewolves
Cry in the night
Missing their
Moment
All covered in fur
And no place
To go.

 

Smelter Skelter
or
Something is Fishy in Denmark

Oh smelter
Skelter
Tiny fish
Of Silver Scales
Too small
To be whales
But dry them out
Salt em up
And package them
In bales
Add them to your
Soup
Your stir fry
And your goop
Chicken coop
Feed them up
Salty eggs
Yup yup yup
Rooster Crows
Orange glows
Atomic bombs
Where’s it from?
Far away in a secret land
Come on boys
Give me a hand
Cut off heads
Cut off balls
Cut off feet
Kill them all
Eat their spleens
Snack in between
Their hearts
And their farts
Show your smarts
Tuna sammich
Wish I was rich
I’d eat sushi
Till I die
With pearls and gold
Gray and old
Throw me in a coffin
We’ll all be laughing (rhyme it with coffin)
Fill us up with chemicals
So we won’t rot or grow
Tentacles
Like an octopus
Mr. Cephalopod
With all those legs
You sure look odd
Just like the smelt
All small and silver
Eat up up with Ranch dip
Gluten free
Super hip.
Yep.

 

My House

My house
Was built
On River
Rocks
My dryer vents
Are full
Of socks
The ghosts
Are kept inside
With locks
They dance
At night
In tattered
Frocks
The sheep
Outside
Live in
Flocks
Watch out
For the Fox
Hide in a box
Eat lox
Dance to
The moon
And don’t
Wear Crocks.
Because Crocks
Are
Ugly.

 

Feed Me Not

He served me
Anchovy pie,
Baked sheep eye,
Nut crusted cat spleen,
Rats in a soup tureen,
Chili pie without a bean
Or a Freeto
And no dips
Just snot ball chips,
Hoof jelly
Kind of smelly,
A casserole
Of duck asshole,
A huge skewer
Of mystery meat
That smelled of
Nasty gym sock feet.
I told him that
I’d had my dinner.
I was on a diet
And getting thinner.
I would not eat
His vile cooking
No matter if he
Was real good looking.
I need a man
Who knows his kitchen
Cause I don’t want
To spend my life
Bitchin.

 

Schrödinger Cat
A Poem

I am a cat
Of tabby fur
The past few days
Have been a blur
The man who
Thinks he knows
Physics
Doesn’t know
What
A cat tongue lick is.
The fucker put me
In a box
Then went out
To dine on lox
He ate some rolls
A sausage too
A pint of beer
Roast Kangaroo
Some gummy worms
No fear of germs
He ate it all
On his terms.
Then after that
He went shopping
For hats and gloves
His buttons popping.
I hate that fat fuck
Just my luck
Left in that box
And now I’m stuck.
But he came home
That Austrian Fellow
I knew that I’d
Pee his house yellow.
He said “Dear Cat,
are you alive?
Perhaps you’re dead,
For I hear no cry.
No faint meow,
For physics sake
No kitten purrs
My heart does quake.
He shook the box
THEN
Opened my prison
I jumped out
And sprayed him
Like a proud cat I is.
I peed on his pants
And his favorite chair
I scratched his face
And pulled his hair
I clawed his
Jacket and favorite chair
I was not dead
But everywhere.
Do not contain
Your cat for hours
Unless you want
Cat piss showers.
Treat your cat
Like family
Or you will
Forever
Smell
Like
Pee.

 

T Rex

I want a
T Rex
To play
And keep
The coyotes
Away
Small arms
No big deal
When driving
It can hold the wheel
It can take
My dog
To the park
It will eat
Monsters
In the dark
It will
Brush my
Cats for me
And jump over
The fence
When it has
To pee
A Rex
Will meet my
Needs
To a Tee
T Rex is
The perfect
Assistant for
Me.
Oh reptile
Giant
With giant teeth
I’ll rub your
Belly
Underneath
Scare the
Bad guys
Who might rob
My house
Make them cry
Roar.
Love ya big guy.

 

Have fun,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

At the Crocker Art Museum

My heart is in this place. The Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento California, is such an amazing, beautiful, wonderful museum. Put it on your MUST SEE list.

I’m just posting images today. No words necessary. If you have any questions just ask and I will answer. Or go to crockerart.org for more information.

I can’t always explain the wonder and awe and feeling of being so complete and one with the universe when I’m in the presence of art. It is time travel for the soul. It is the essence of being. It was something that transports.  It is like a high that no drug can match. It is magic. ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Enjoy. Oh, one more thing. I’ll post a story inspired (sort of) by the museum. It is also about dogs and full moons and maybe a little romance…maybe.

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California.

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1998.10-768x_

Night Dogs (A Short Story)

Constantine Jones sat on the bottom of the museum steps wondering what just happened.

Earlier that evening he’d put on his best Armani suit, a Hermes silk tie, and was feeling good about the outcome of the evening. It was to be a charity event. Beautiful people would be there dressed up. Everyone would be relaxed, and happy, and it would be delightfully fun.

After discussing art and drinking champagne he’d lured a few well-heeled patrons to remote galleries to see some unusual modern art. There he took a few pints of blood from wrists and left his donors with no memories, except those of a delightful conversation with a well dressed, nice looking young art expert. Well, a 165 year old art expert, but that was besides the point.

Then in the main gallery, the California Room, he saw her standing in front of the Thomas Hill grand painting of Yosemite Valley. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the room but she was attractive in a cute sort of California girl way, and had that delightful look of both shyness and playfulness. Her olive green dress shimmered along the neckline with iridescent beads. As she turned her head towards him it was like a lightning bolt had hit his heart. First sight.

Second sight as well. A smallish dog of unknown breed stood next to her with a service dog vest on. A service dog. Why did she need a service dog?

With his usual ease, Constantine approached the woman. He asked if he could pet the dog. She said yes. She told him she’d had a head injury when she was in Afghanistan. She’d been in the Army. He would never guessed. The dog could detect seizures.

They talked for an hour about art, and life, and it seemed as if he’d met his soul mate. It was the best hour he’d ever spent. Then she was gone. He hadn’t even asked her name.

So like Prince Charming, he sat at the bottom of the stairs wondering where Cinderella had gone. All he had of her was one of her earrings he’d found on the steps. It was a gold strand with a single diamond on the end. The diamond was real.

I might as well walk home he thought. It was just a couple of miles. He’d clear out his mind. The full moon, and lights from late night downtown bars and restaurants lit the way.

Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw a large dog wearing a back pack. A service dog? A smaller dog in a vest followed. Around the next corner, in an alley, he saw three more large dogs in the dark, all wearing packs.

Maybe it was a training exercise. The dogs could have been German Shepards looking for drugs or a missing person, or even bodies. It was weird, but at this point he didn’t care. He just wanted to go home. He was a Vampire so weird and unusual was over rated anyway.

Constantine thought about the woman he’d met. She’d been a nurse in a convoy, and there was a bomb. She didn’t say anything else except that her dog was named Tess. She liked Jazz music, indie films, and indie books. Of course she liked art too. She was a high school art teacher now, having moved on from nursing. But sometimes she helped out the school nurse. Weird how he got those details. He’d told her… what had he told her about himself? Not much. He was a Vampire so he never told much, at least not at first. He’d told her that he ran a philanthropic foundation that supported the arts, and other causes. He told her he had two cats and liked astronomy. She also was a watcher of the moon and stars. Then she kissed his cheek, excused herself, and a few minutes later he saw her walking out the front door of the museum.

As a Vampire he usually had a good feel for people but he couldn’t get a final read on her. Again, he thought about the fact that he didn’t even get her name. But the dog was named Tess. Tess the service dog.

Constantine thought about war. He could imagine the horrors she’d been through. He was a child during the Civil War or the War Between the States, whatever they wanted to call it. Those weren’t memories he cared to relive. He’d come out to California as soon as he was old enough to be on his own, as soon as he’d become a Vampire, and stayed there.

As he walked along the dogs with packs stayed in the alleys and shadows. Looking at the local news feeds and police scans from his iPhone he found nothing. One of his neighbors was a K-9 cop. Constantine would ask him about it tomorrow.

Arriving home at his craftsman style bungalow he noticed a few dogs in packs at the end of the street. This was getting weird. Odder, and a nice surprise, was that a woman in a slightly wrinkled olive green dress, and a single diamond and gold earring was standing on his front porch.

Tess the service dog stood beside her. Hanging off of her shoulder was a back pack.

No. It couldn’t be. She wasn’t Cinderella. She was a Werewolf.

They introduced themselves, again, but this time with names. Her name was Diana. Like the goddess of the moon.

“You have my earring,” she said smiling and holding out a hand.

“You have my heart,” he heard himself saying, much to his surprise.

Then he kissed her under the full moon, as Tess sat at attention and wagged her tail.

~ End

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman