The Titanic and Vampire Maman – Shared Connections

This morning my eldest brother Max gave my son Garrett his Patek Philippe & Cie Gold Chronometro Gondolo Pocket Watch. The watch isn’t working, even though it is a magnificent time piece. The time had stopped at 2:48. That was when the icy waters of the Atlantic finally got to the inside pocket of Max’s jacket after the Titanic sank. There were seven Vampires on the ship. They all survived in the water like death, but not dead. Five women and two men. They stayed together, but it isn’t a story Max likes to tell. Garrett turned twenty-one on April 1st. Max told him that they could have the watch fixed. In the box was also the jacket Max had worn. Even after all of these years it is a story that fascinates us, and horrifies us. There is nothing like mismanagement and bad communication, and inflated egos to make something go so wrong.

April 14, 2012 is the day I started writing the blog Vampire Maman. It is also the same day the Titanic hit an iceberg and started to sink – April 14, 1912.

April 16, 2012 would have been the 100st anniversary of the docking of the Titanic in New York City, if the Titanic had docked.

I have in my possession a curious bit of history. This one is real. Not fiction. It gave me the chills to read this and copy it for this post.

In a scrap book is a press release that would have gone out if the Titanic had landed safely in New York.

Rather than throwing it out an executive employee of the White Star line put it in his scrap book. And that is where it still is. And here it is…copied exactly word for word from the White Star Line.

______________________

To be released for Publication after arrival of ship, April 16th.

The latest Ocean Marvel White Star’s “Titanic”

Largest Vessel in the World Arrives in New York.

THE ACEM OF LUXURY AND COMFORT – SOME STRIKING INNOVATIONS.

The largest steamer in the world arrived in New York today (April 16) from Southampton and Cherbourg and Plymouth. Larger even than the giantess “OLYMPIC” the new White Star Line leviathan “TITANIC” began her maiden trip under the most auspicious circumstances.

Many wonderful innovations have been made part of this newest of transatlantic wonders. The “TITANIC’S” 66,000 tons of displacement and 46,328 tons gross register are not her sole claim to distinction as the most elaborate handiwork of shipwrights. The “TITANIC” is the first steamer to be built with private promenades in connection with some of her splendid suites. Heretofore the floating apartment hotels, but fall to the “TITANIC” to provide the transatlantic traveler with an actual private residence, even to the exclusive promenade deck without encroachment upon the hundreds of first-cabin voyagers.

The “TITANIC”, like its sister ship, the “OLYMPIC”, possesses the great length of 882 feet, 6 inches, and a beam of 92 feet, 6 inches. Over the boat deck, the “TITANIC’S” beam spans 94 feet even, from rail to rail.

Four great funnels rise 81 ½ feet above the uppermost deck with a total distance of 175 feet from the top of the funnels to the keel.

Fifteen watertight bulkheads divide the great vessel, making her unsinkable even though half of her compartments should be filled with water. Eleven steel decks add to the “TITANIC’S” staunchness while an ideal of the vast promenading space may best be had when it is noted that the main promenade deck alone has an unbroken sweep of 190 yards on either side of the ship.

A Parisian Café and Palm Room are but some of the features of this remarkable vessel which will now enter regularly in the Plymouth-Cherbourg-Southampton-New York service with the “OLYMPIC.”

Besides the main dining salon, which has seating capacity for nearly 600 passengers, there is an a la carte restaurant, French service, which seats 200 passengers. The restaurant features will be especially appreciated by those who do not have the desire to be held to regular hours for dining, for night suppers, dinner parties, etc.

The size of the staterooms is also one of the remarkable features of the new giantess “TITANIC.” Varying from 8 feet to 9 feet, 6 inches in height, they are all roomy. Some of the 2-berth cabins are 17 x 10 feet, 6 inches in size. There are no 4-berth rooms, and a great number of single-berth rooms, 8 ½ by 10 ½ feet, have been provided.

A great swimming pool, squash racket course, gymnasium and the Turkish baths are all closely together on the lower deck, from which elevators carry the passengers to the various upper decks.

As in her sister ship, the “OLYMPIC,” passengers on the “TITANIC” will descent the grand staircase to the main reception room, which, in turn, leads into the great dining salon, from which it is separated by glass. Stretching the full width of the vessel amidships, the main dining salon is light and cheerful, and at night, with its myriads of electric lights, it presents a veritable fairyland.

Describing the gathering of the voyages in the reception room, awaiting the dinner hour, a writer has aptly remarked:

“Upon a dark, richly colored carpet, which will further emphasize the delicacy and refinement of the paneling and act as a foil to the light dresses of the ladies, this company will assemble – the apotheosis surely, of ocean-going luxury and comfort. What more appropriate setting than this dignified Jacobean room, redolent of the time when the Pilgrim Fathers set forth from Plymouth on their rude bark to brave the perils of the deep!”

There screws, propelled by turbine and reciprocating engines, furnished the motive power of the great “TITANIC.” Leaving Southampton and calling at Cherbourg and Plymouth for continental passengers on Wednesdays, she is expected to reach New York on the following Tuesday evening. The two ships will maintain an ocean ferry with regularity of other ferries across a river, for their immense tonnage displacement makes them practically impervious to the elements, no matter how adverse these may be.

The “TITANIC” and the “OLYMPIC,” as instruments of commerce, represent the highest skill and perfection yet reached in naval architecture; and in the struggle for supremacy they will easily hold the place of honor and the historic names that have been given them.

 

_________________

It makes you think. It also makes me feel kind of cold as if the icy waters are calling with the ghosts of those who did not survive.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Movies + History = a lot of Daniel Day Louis

the-last-of-the-mohicans-slice-1

It is the end of the school year and my daughter and her classmates have already taken the AP History Test, so they’re watching historic movies in class. By the way, they’re juniors in high school. (AP stands for Advanced Placement, which is curriculum approved by an organization that makes a lot of money off of giving tests to kids who want to get into college.)

Movies + History = a lot of Daniel Day Louis.

My daughter is watching Last of the Mohicans at home, and hour at a time. She’ll write about it and compare the movie/story with historical events for accuracy. She already pointed out a few points that are not accurate but she could have asked James Fenimore Cooper about that. That said, she did point out several accurate points, and also pointed out how smoking hot Daniel Day Lewis was as Hawkeye. Actually, I was the one who pointed out how smoking hot he was. She just said how much she liked his long hair and how attractive he looked.

In my opinion some of the most romantic movie moments EVER were between Hawkeye and Cora in this movie. Sigh.

Yesterday Clara (my daughter) told me that they (the history students) started to watch Gangs of New York in class. She said, “I don’t get it at all. Daniel Day Lewis comes out in some crazy wild colored clothes, and I thought this was supposed to be in the 1950’s. I can’t keep track of anything. I didn’t know Leonardo DiCaprio was in it too. That isn’t a bad thing at all.”

I gave my usual small lecture on costume history, etc etc etc, but as my kids get older the less they listen to my little history lessons. Sometimes I wonder if they ever listened at all. They’re like boyfriends on the first three weeks of dating. They listen politely, then they just turn up the radio and block it out. But as a wonderful mom I listen to everything they say. I listen to what my husband says too but he’ll tell you I don’t.

This time I told Cora that in the 1860’s, the same period of Gangs of New York, Werewolves had taken up loud garish clothing. They always had the brightest of everything, the tallest hats, and the most extreme hair. They delighted in their get ups. This is an odd contrast to their current subdued nature, including their clothing. Back then they didn’t care as much because nobody knew what they were. Now, with all of the popular culture about paranormal creatures, not to mention modern forensics, they have to be more careful. But that is just another one of Mom’s (me) silly tales and it is time to change the subject.

 

220824

Gangs of New York

School is almost out and Clara will be a senior. Then in a year or two there will be no children in my house, only a husband, a dogs, and two cats. Dad is in sad panic mode. I am just in sad mode.

A the same time I am happy that the young people in my life are so excited about their futures.

I’m also glad they have come to appreciate history. If you don’t know where you’ve been you can’t see where you’re going. Unfortunately most people don’t know jack about history and they aren’t interested in learning it.

I’ve always thought the aversion to history by most people is due to several things. The first is just a general lack of curiosity. The second is the way history is taught in so many schools – it is all about dry facts and people in funny clothing. History has to be relatable. That is why I LOVE my daughter’s history teacher. They guy makes it relatable. The third reason is the fact that people don’t value what others have done. They don’t value lives spent to give THEM the right to vote, or speak freely, or pray to whatever they want to pray to, or do anything they want to do.

But I’m off subject again, as if I really had a subject…

If you don’t like history give it a try…see a movie, even if it isn’t accurate, then read a book about it. Sometimes fiction is easier to digest, if you know what I mean. But don’t forget that truth is always stranger than fiction. And if all else fails see a movie with Daniel Day Louis in it. Yes, the kids also saw him in Lincoln, The Crucible, and There Will Be Blood. This summer I’ll make sure Clara sees  Age of Innocence and of course Room With A View. Yes, history can be fun.

So have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

image-1

 

 

 

 

 

We’re different. Unfortunately that could be a problem.

lovelydress

Sabrina had come into our lives with a sweep of silk skirts and an attitude that made everyone stop – and smile.

When I was a child the world was a place where anything was possible. It was different in so many ways, yet it was the same in so many ways.

Different in that we didn’t have the technology we have today. The same, in that people were full of hate, especially for women.

That was the advantage of growing up in the Vampire community. We didn’t care. We were all equal among our own. We knew, that if they knew, they would hate and fear us. So as always, we kept quiet.

There were different groups among our kind, and of course we sometimes give each other the stink eye and talk trash about each other. We’re still a little bit human. But I feel that most of us have evolved. We don’t always agree. We don’t always embrace our differences, but at least we’re not 24/7 assholes about it.

Sabrina came out to California with the second wave of our kind in 1855. Despite the fact that she was engaged three of my brothers had crushes on her. They were just boys at the time, but her charm kept them at her beck and call.

The reason I bring her up is not because of how darling my brothers made of their pre-teen selves over her, but because she had an idea that Vampires should come out of their proverbial crypts and be open about who they were. My mother argued that abolition and women’s rights were the fight she should have been backing, but Sabrina wouldn’t hear of it.

For the most part Sabrina remained publicly quiet, but she took chances. She thought she could trust people – warm blooded people.

In the spring of 1870, on April 23 to be exact, Sabrina vanished. We all knew she wouldn’t be coming back, despite the fact that her husband searched everywhere for her, for years and years and years.

Even before the popular pop culture of Vampires there were still those who knew about us, and others who were different. Why should we have expected anything different than the Irish, or Chinese, or Women, or anyone who wasn’t white and male. It was just the way it was. There were always brave souls fighting it. But the Vampires and the Werewolves kept quiet, because we were also Irish, Chinese, women, white, black, male, but we were profoundly different. We were profoundly scary.

So that was that. I rarely wear a long dress anymore, in fact I rarely wear a dress, but some things never change. Even the ancient Vampires will tell you that. It is unfortunate but true. Ignorance is always the winner.

Try explaining that to your kids, and then tell them to keep hope, then tell them that they can change the world. Maybe they will change the world. We can only hope – and hope for the better.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

An afternoon among angels – a visit to Mountain View Cemetery

This afternoon, after visiting Harlick Boots (for custom skate boots – a lovely and wonderful place if you need the best skate boots in the universe either roller or ice) my daughter and I decided not to head right back home. Driving to Half Moon Bay would have been too far so we decided to visit someplace beautiful and quiet and full of interesting people.

Our destination was in the Oakland Hills – The Mountain View Cemetery. There are about 28,000 internments and many more stories that can be found on the stones and in the air. This beautiful place is a wonderful trip for those who are looking for a stroll, or a rest, or to catch up with old friends, or to find solitude.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to tour the entire 266 acres, but we did manage to take a nice walk around Millionaire’s Row and found quite a few familiar names.

As always in cemeteries there are stories of lives lived and death. Too many lives are cut short. Too many children died before their parents. Too many were lost in wars. That said, there are many stories of lives well spent surrounded by love.

From Wikipedia: The Mountain View Cemetery is a large 226-acre (91 ha) cemetery in Oakland, Alameda County, California. It was established in 1863 by a group of East Bay pioneers under the California Rural Cemetery Act of 1859. The association they formed still operates the cemetery today. Mountain View was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who also designed New York City’s Central Park and much of UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

Many of California’s important historical figures, drawn by Olmsted’s reputation, are buried here and there are many grandiose crypts in tribute to the wealthy who are buried there, so many that one section is known as “Millionaires’ Row.” Because of this, and its beautiful setting, the cemetery is a tourist draw and docents lead semi-monthly tours.

Enjoy the few photos I took from my magic phone. Alas these do not do justice to the place.

IMG_0687

 

IMG_0762

 

IMG_0758

 

IMG_0756

IMG_0757

 

IMG_0755

 

IMG_0752

 

IMG_0746

 

IMG_0742

 

IMG_0741

 

IMG_0735

 

IMG_0737

 

IMG_0736

 

IMG_0733

 

IMG_0732

 

IMG_0731

 

IMG_0726

 

IMG_0729

 

IMG_0728

 

IMG_0725

IMG_0701

 

IMG_0700

 

IMG_0699

 

IMG_0698

 

IMG_0696

 

IMG_0692

 

IMG_0693

   

IMG_0691

 

IMG_0687

 

IMG_0749

 

IMG_0745

 

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Rewriting American History with Gratuitous Sex and Historic Hotties

Rewriting American History with Gratuitous Sex and Historic Hotties

Some you might have heard of the new mini-series Sons of Liberty (not to be confused with Sons of Anarchy.) It was shown earlier this week on the History Channel. Of course this is the History Channel that has little or nothing to do with history anymore. It is more into shows about old junk and inbreeding among humans. Yes, we like Oak Island and my husband is a Pawn Star and Mike and Frank fan … but really where is the history? When the History Channel first came out it was known as the Hitler Channel because everything was about, well Hitler, but I don’t even know what to think now.

Sons of Liberty was not painfully boring as the other recent Revolutionary War series Turn. As you might recall, Turn was the one with Jamie Bell playing a guy who seemed to enjoy suffering in Colonial America. It was long, drawn out and totally confusing. A big snooze.

So I’ll try to make this quick because I have to drop someone off at school this morning then I have real work to do (places to go, people to see etc.)

The American Revolution and those who lived it were far more interesting than anything television producers have put out in their fictionalized versions. I hate to sound like another TV icon but “Just the facts ma’am.” PLEASE.

Getting back to Sons of Liberty…

The six hour mini-series on the American Revolution was sort of disjointed and confusing and half of it completely fictional. I know I already said that but I have to say it again.

Samuel Adams was a rock star of the American Revolution. But was Sam Adams a seriously sexy dark  brooding make your loins ache for him sort of guy? I never met Sam Adams, but I bet that wasn’t the usual reaction to him. Yes, he had a larger than life persona, and women might have been falling all over him but could he turn around and pass for a dark brooding sexy please-have-semi-rough-sex-with-me-please Vampire like Ben Barnes (the actor who plays Adams)? I doubt it. I know actors can’t always look like the people they play but come on History Channel. Really? Sam Adams was 49 years old in 1771. In 1776 he turned 54 (older than the average life span of the time.)

How the History Channel Sees Sam Adams in 1771.

sonsofliberty_samadams2-E

 

 

 

 

 

What Sam Adams REALLY looked like in 1771.

 

J_S_Copley_-_Samuel_Adams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other players in the Revolutionary War include:

John Hancock who was played by Rafe Spall. He was one of the only actors who was close to the real age of the character he played. The looks, though not exact, were closer than the others as well. And if you don’t already know, John Hancock was known for his beautiful handwriting.

How the History Channel sees John Hancock in 1771.

sonsofliberty_hancock-E

What John Hancock really looked like in 1771.

 John_Hancock_1770-crop

Joseph Warren was a wealthy and educated widower with four young children. He unfortunately and tragically died in the battle of Bunker Hill. I seriously doubt if he had an affair with the part-time spy and wife of General Gage, Margaret Kimbell Gage. Warren was 30 in 1771. Margaret Gage was 37, not the delicate young thing (played by the lovely Emily Berrington.) The real Margaret was beautiful and fashionable but risking an affair was dangerous business. Very dangerous. Margaret was said to have anywhere from 8 – 11 children (she gave birth to one in 1776, how fitting) which leaves her little time or energy for an affair with a younger man. I might be wrong but I doubt it. My daughter mentioned “Ohhhh a revolutionary cougar.” But then again, when something is on TV they MUST add the gratuitous sex scenes. And if you’re a fan of gratuitous sex scenes I hear there will be a second season of Penny Dreadful.

How the History Channel sees Joseph Warren in 1771.

sonsofliberty_warren2-E

What Joseph Warren really looked like in 1771.

 JosephWarrenByCopley

How the History Channel sees Margaret Gage in 1771.

sonsofliberty_margaretgage-E

What Margaret Gage really looked like in 1771.

640px-Margaret_Kemble_Gage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you go, the unreal version of the American Revolution from the viewpoint of The History Channel. Huzzah.

So what am I trying to say here? The people involved in the American Revolutionary War were already sexy enough without someone rewriting them into something else.

More on Tee-Vee, history and Vampires later. By the way, neither Joseph Warren or Paul Revere became Vampires or Werewolves. It didn’t happen.

And if you DO need to involve yourself in some gratuitous sex/romance/creativity AND make history – don’t forget to enter the Vampire Maman Love Letter Contest. CLICK HERE for details.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Children of Men. Images of the Past.

vm steampunk girls

They dressed them up in boots and buttons.

vmboredgirl

Teenage days wondering if things would ever become less boring.

vm white trim

A beautiful gown of silk and lace. A chance to dance with a handsome stranger.

vm 3 sisters

We were smart girls. No fools to be trifled with.

vm lovely girl

We were fine. We were fierce. We were the ones who might change the world.

vm charming

I knew where Tesla hid his death ray and I never told a living soul.

vm man of the future

I am the man of the future.

vm little lord

I am a man of style and class. The ladies are in the palm of my hand.

vm three siblings

There is more to us than you can see from this image.

vm darling girl

And we are not amused.

 

 

 

Photos from the collection of Juliette Kings. Taken from my not-so-smart-phone. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman