Finding Pandora’s Box


As a child I loved the story of Pandora’s Box. You all know the story but in case you forgot… Pandora was a girl who lived in ancient times. She lived in a place where a beautiful box was kept. Pandora was told time and time again NEVER to look in the box. You know where this is going.

Some say Pandora was a bride and the box was a wedding gift given Zeus. Some say she was the first woman (always blame it on the woman.) Well, never say that to a girl. Of course she looked. And out of the box came all sorts of horrible things. The box contained evil. Evil escaped and spread all over the world. What a nasty trick of Zeus but of course he blamed it on the girl… but that isn’t the point of the story. Pandora opened the box and something awful escaped. The point is that I could relate to the girl in a big way.

Ahhh but at the bottom of the box, and this was my favorite part, the spirit of HOPE came out. Hope was always pictured as a beautiful fairy. Like a lot of little girls I loved fairies (still do.) But back to the story on hand…

I was like Pandora, always looking into boxes and closets and attics I wasn’t supposed to be looking into. I suddenly realized yesterday why all these years I identified with Pandora. I could have been Pandora. She could have been me.

Yesterday I cleaned out my office room. It is an office, a guest room and a place where junk gathers. It is a room I’ve banned my husband from because he moves things around to fit his own sense of what should be. It will also once again be the room I write in.

I hauled a garbage can and a large recycle can full of papers, boxes and old stuff. I re-acquainted myself with beautiful dresses I haven’t worn in years. My teenage daughter marveled at the beautiful cuts and fabrics. Those clothes are not the same as the mother she knows wears now. They are from a different time and place.

As I went through boxes which haven’t been opened for years my mind and heart went to places I didn’t want to be. Yes, you’ve read my stories of the past and things I’ve done years ago, but that was on my terms. The memories dredged up yesterday were not my choice. These were things that haunt and bit and suck the blood out of my own dark soul. I even wrote a lengthy post about how items symbolize lost dreams that could have been.

The room became my own Pandora’s box full of swirling demons and weirdness.

That led to me writing a couple of agonizing essays on memories and how single items can change a life through their meaning. I wrote of those dashed dreams that are so clear and painful. For hours I kept the it all festering in my brain. Then I realized that if I went ahead and shared those essays on pain and broken dreams that I’d receive comments from worried readers and feel guilty for playing with the feelings of my readers, or making my dear readers feel bad. I want to make my readers feel thoughtful or happy, or even on-edge and angry but not sad about me. I don’t want to tear your hearts out with words about me. Then it all scattered like a puff of smoke from a candle I’d just blown out. It was gone along with the garbage.

I’m not the kind to go back to the past and let it define me. Sure my past influences me. It is who I am. Of course it is that way for everyone. But it isn’t who I am. I’m not that girl I used to be. Like I said, I don’t let it define me. I don’t go back. I don’t ever try to relive experiences, even if it is with old friends who were there with me the first time around.

What the parts of my past I don’t feel comfortable with give me is a roadmap for teaching my own children about choices they make.

At the bottom of the closet, as with Pandora’s Box, were a lot of good things and hope. There were so many times there was no hope, but that was a long time ago. Best of all I have a new office. After a few more hours of work it will be a place where I can relax and create and be the best. Always the best from now on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Mom


Also see: Musings on the Curious Child and Keeping Secrets

Everything will be ok, even when it isn’t.

I had coffee this morning with my brother Aaron at a Starbuck’s by his office. Being the nocturnal creatures we are, coffee is as necessary as blood and water and air.

He wanted to talk about our brother Andrew. We have three brothers, Andrew being the second and Aaron the third in the order of the five siblings. Anyway, Andy has issues. Andy is the one who has to be bailed out of emotional issues over and over and over.

Last week Andy got off the phone with a woman he is in love with. I can’t even call her his girlfriend. He must be a curiosity to her with his long hair and savant like musical talents. He can be like a light summer breeze and then turn around and be so intense and demanding that it can scare even other Vampires (and she isn’t a Vampire, just a regular woman, go figure she likes him.)

Andy told me that his friend found out she was cancer free for five years. She was still worried. He told her “everything will be fine.” He didn’t have a single qualifying fact in the case but he told her what they both wanted to hear.

In reality he was worried. I told him that she’d be fine. I told him that she was a survivor. I told him that she must love him. I was just saying those things to make him feel good. The last one was a lie because I knew, from what I know, that she must think he is crazy or at least a little off. To be honest I don’t even know the woman. I just know what I’ve been told and what I’ve looked up online about her (yes, I was a creeper. We all do it.) And if she does love him then the woman is a wonderful unique spirit – but unique spirits like that don’t come around very often – maybe once every thousand years.

So this morning I’m having coffee with Aaron. I’d gotten the kids off to school and checked on Andy who’d gone to bed at the first crack of dawn. The cats, who normally hate each other were curled up on the bed with him. Odd how creatures react to him that way. Like I said, Andy is special in more ways than one.

So, again, I’m having coffee with Aaron and he starts to talk about how worried he is about Andy. He talks of Andy’s new romance or his illusions of romance. He talks of Andy staying with me and how my kids will react (they love their Uncle Andy). Aaron worries about his brother who is too trusting. He worries about Andrew when he gets involved with weird people and everything always ends up out of control. You know how it is. We all have someone like Andy in our lives.

I touched Aaron’s hand, Aaron my serious brother, who always seems so stoic but seriously worries about everyone, and I said “Andy will be fine. Don’t worry about him.”

That was a lie and we both knew it. Everything won’t be fine. But sometimes when things aren’t fine, we’re fine in the way we care for others and the way we deal with it.

And sometimes, like the urgent need for coffee, we say everything is fine because we need to hear it. With any luck it just might turn into one of those lies that turns into the truth. We can only hope so.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman







Click here for real lies: Lost Keys and Lies

Bedbug, Freeze Out, Hardscrabble – teenage boys in love

Bed Bug, Bedbug, Freeze Out, Hardscrabble,


Sea Maiden

Poseidon’s loyal helper

Sailor’s guardian angel

Violet beauty

I looked at the note on yellow lined paper written in black Sharpie that I found in the dryer. Fragments of the musings of a 16 year old boy.

The first line is names of a town not far from where we live, founded during the California gold rush. The rest of it is taken from Greek Mythology. I knew what it was.

It is Ione. His long time friend Ione. Once a funny little fair haired girl, now a leggy and shapely blonde of 16. She is also, like my son, a Vampire.

I unfolded the note more, crisp from the dryer and still warm.

I have known you forever

Since our time began

As babies

Then children of the night

As teens

Now growing into adulthood

Our hearts

Our minds

Our future

Am I to be with you?

My mythical love

My desire

My chance

A kiss from you

And I would be

Happy forever



So far, aside from the occasional glances at Vampire girls and life long friendships, he has never set his heart on one, especially not one in his tight-knit social circle of “The Vs” as they call themselves.

Ione is quiet and funny and smart. But don’t piss her off because she isn’t one to forgive or forget anything. She also sees herself in some mythical role as avenging angel, taking on the cause of the bullied, down trodden and anyone in her opinion who has been treated unjustly.

Most people see her sort of an exceptionally smart, brilliant dumb-blonde. Smart and goofy. Sort of like my son’s best friend Randy.

I was ready to pocket the note when Garrett came into the laundry room and said “Give me that.”

“I didn’t know you liked her that way,” I said.

“It isn’t what you think.”

“Did you write it for Randy?”

“No. Don’t’ say anything Mom. It isn’t anything.”

“OK.” I smiled.

And then he smiled the shy way 16 year old boys do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman







And thank you Amelia my fellow Vampire Maman, you know why.

And yes, Ione is the name of a real town that used to called interesting names back in the day. 

I’ve missed the boat – but I don’t care…

There are so many times I’ve missed the boat or taken the wrong boat or jumped off of the boat. I’ve even jumped off the pier.

I’ve given up on waiting for my boat to come in. That ship has indeed sailed.  It seems like I’ve spend way too much time standing on the shore watching the mast vanish over the horizon.

When it comes to romance my brother Max definitely took the wrong ship when he ended up on the Titanic and met the wrong woman who broke his heart 100 year later (but that’s another story. She was weird and I’m glad he didn’t end up with her).  Max is always looking for an ideal perfection when I know in my heart of hearts that is the imperfect woman who will make him happy.

On the other hand, it is a good thing I’m a strong swimmer because my own romantic history involves a lot of jumping off of wrong boats, back paddling and treading water. Most of all it involves ships that pass in the night. Wrong time, wrong place, maybe right person, but maybe not. I’ll have to check my life in some alternative universe to find out what might have been.

Missing my boat might not have been a bad thing after all. If I’d taken that boat, that one perfect boat I might not be with the man I love, the man I married, the love of my life. And I love my children more than the universe or any alternate universe. I’d jump off of any boat for my kids.

I’ve grown, as I’ve grown up, that the question of “What if?” should only apply to the here and now or the future. It should never apply to the past. The past is great. We share our memories. It made us who we are not, but the burden of regrets is like a cargo hold full of rotten fish. It will only smell bad and make us sick and miserable.

So what ship am I on now? I’m on the first leg of a fantastic journey into the unknown. I’m on a journey where the wonders of the universe will unfold in front of my eyes – I know that because I live with teens! Everything is possible.

I don’t need to wait for a boat. Now is my time.


Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A kiss so sweet or a kiss divine, all yours and all mine.

You can’t suck the soul from a ghost because a ghost is nothing but a soul. A nasty, annoying, tormented soul that will make you go insane. That is why I hate ghosts.

Sucking souls is nasty business anyway – something to be avoided except in extreme situations.

But kissing is always fun…especially if you’re a Vampire.

My brother Max is still visiting from lands far away, taking a break from the violence and stress of his occupation. He is also recovering from a broken heart. Dear, misguided, Max, the man with lips that any woman (except me, his sister) would be crazy not to want.

We stood on my deck watching the stars when he looked out into the woods. He squinted his eyes which was odd considering he has excellent night vision. “Juliette, there is a ghost behind your house.”

The ghost looked up from his book and gave us the finger.

“Hey ghost, want to meet my brother?” I yelled.

“Screw you Vampire.” He yelled back, then smiled a wicked mean and nasty smile.

My brother looked shocked. Vampires hate ghosts and have as little to do with them as possible. I still instinctively don’t like ghosts but have developed sort of a relationship with this ghost based on mutual disrespect and a bond formed by being a different being in a world where everyone else is “normal”.

The ghost was suddenly closer. “So this is the great hunter. Your heart is broken. You know there are only two cures for that one.”

Anger flashed in Max’s eyes but he said nothing. The ghost continued. “You could go out and let out your blood lust and kill something. But I don’t recommend that. The second and most effective cure is long hot passionate kisses with a woman with fire in her soul.” Then he started to laugh. “You Vampires are pathetic. Your entire culture is based on neck biting and kissing and physical attraction, yet when your heart is broken you seem so shocked. You can handle anything except your own hearts.”

But the ghost was right our culture is based on neck biting and wrist biting and the fine art of the kiss. Without the kiss we’d be lowly predators. We’ve taken our blood gathering to a higher level, to something both Vampire and donor find quite wonderful.

Forget the Vampire stuff, a kiss will cure a multitude of ills, from a mother comforting a child, to a broken-hearted Vampire warrior.

The ghost faded away and I looked at my brother. “Maybe the ghost is right, a kiss and a night of passion might be the cure or at least help you feel better.”

“Maybe.” He said that downing his glass of wine and staring off into the dark. “I remember the time Teddy told me he’d kissed you for the first time. I’d never seen him so happy. I’m glad you finally married him.”

“So am I, so am I. You know Max, your time will come. Your true Vampire love is out there somewhere.”

My brother smiled and gave my hand a gentle squeeze then kissed me on the cheek.

Sweet dreams to all –

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

kiss1 kiss princess bride kiss rodan kiss snow white

My kids don’t care if you hate their music for no reason. They DO care if you hate people for no reason.

This post is in honor and memory of everyone who has every celebrated the wonders of creativity, being different, being yourself and finding joy in those who are different. And sticking to what you believe is right  and standing up for those who need someone to stand up for them.

What is it about young people that they are so quick to judge and call names?  And no offense, but I’ve seen this is especially strong among Middle School boys (girls too but they tend to do it behind backs in a nasty back stabbing sort of way). Why are they so threatened about someone who doesn’t share their taste in clothing or music? Why are they so quick to call another kid (their words not mine) a fag or lesbo? They do it right out in the open with no shame. Kids are hurt. Other kids tell them to stop it but they keep it up.

My daughter (age 13, 8th grade) recently told me about a very sad event – Mitch Luker the lead singer of the band Suicide Silence  was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was a young father as well, leaving behind a daughter he adored. Immediately the hate posts started to go up calling him and Emo Queer and all sorts of ugly names and saying he deserved what he got. It was so hateful and there was absolutely no reason for it. Of course there were many more kind memorials but the haters shocked even me. But the haters “normal” teens, not a bunch of back woods inbred Jeds. It was horrible.

My kids don’t listen to a lot of Suicide Silence but some of their friends do. They all follow the bands and closely follow the music industry. They talked about it. They were sad abut what happened to Mitch Luker, but they were horrified about mean spirited reaction on social media from teen haters making a sad event into an opportunity to hate.

Today my daughter told me kids were calling Panic at the Disco members a bunch of “Emo Freaks” or “Emo Fags”. Really? I’m an adult and I think they ‘re creative and different and I’m glad my kids listen to them instead of all the mindless soul-less crap on the radio. I would LOVE to go to one of their concerts.

But why do people HATE anyone who is creative and different in an artistic way? I just don’t get it and I’ve been around a long long time.

Emo is the last thing I’d think of with this band but tell me…what is wrong with Emo kids? My kids are not Emo, but they know kids who are and the Emo kids are fine. They don’t threaten anyone. They aren’t the ruin of the modern world. Ths same goes for gay kids. Why the attacks there? Why does it bother them? Just like fat kids, slow kids, kids with a different religion or sexual preference, odd-looking kids, shy kids, or any other different kid of kids aren’t going to hurt anyone. In fact those kids have A LOT to contribute – far more than the haters do.

HATERS contribute NOTHING to the world. Absolutely NOTHING.

Sure there are bands I don’t like but (as an adult) I’m not going to spray paint my friends BMW’s with the words “Neil Young SUCKS” or some other stupid thing. I just let them listen to their own music and  I listen to mine. It doesn’t make them a hippy freak. It doesn’t make me an idiot. It just makes us people who like  different kinds of music.

AND THAT is what we need to teach our children. IT IS OK TO LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS. But it is NOT OK to HATE people just because they have different likes, tastes, lifestyles or hairstyles.

It is OK to despise bullies, meanies, haters, gossips and immature turds. It is OK to stand up for friends who are different. It is ok to be friends with someone who is different.

After so many centuries you’d think that humans would finally “get it”. But they don’t and they don’t teach their children to “get it” either.

Darwin was wrong – it isn’t the survival of the fittest but the survival of the meanest. And that needs to stop NOW.

Luckily my son Garrett (age 16) and his best friends Randy and Zoe are Vampires. They don’t take crap from anyone. As extremely popular and successful high school students they’ll walk up to bullies and haters and say “Cut it out NOW” and the bullies and haters WILL cut it out. But not everyone is a Vampire, and not all schools have Vampire teens there to stand up for them.

Unfortunately all kids don’t feel comfortable standing up for what they believe is right, but they should. This is one case where no matter what – doing the right thing is ALWAYS the right thing.

This isn’t about music or lifestyle or personal preferences – it is about acceptance of things that are different and people who are different. It is about what makes life worth living – and that is creativity and the freedom of personal expression, and accepting the personal freedoms of others.

On a good note, I see a lot of kids standing up for what is right. I see them showing sensitivity, not blindly, but as smart and informed young adults. I see them standing up for “doing the right thing.” There is hope in this young generation. It is our job as adults to support them.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


A Note from Wikipedia:

By 2011, Suicide Silence began preparing their third full-length album in Big Bear, California with Steve Evetts as the selected producer.[28][29] During March, the group performed at California’s Metalfest, and a week later, Nevada’s Extreme Thing festivals,[30] at both of these performances, the band confirmed that the new album would be titled The Black Crown.[31] Working titles for the album were “Cancerous Skies”, “Human Violence” and “Fuck Everything”.[32] When asked by Kerrang!, Lucker revealed that the album’s lyrical themes would feature more of the personal topics that No Time to Bleed had in-concept rather than the anti-religious theme that The Cleansing held. Lucker explained “I still have the same beliefs and same views, but I’m more open to everything. At this point in my life, I don’t see the good in making people hate you for something you say. This record [The Black Crown] is for everybody.”[31] The song “Human Violence” premiered on radio station Liquid Metal on May 13, 2011.[33] The Black Crown was released on July 12, 2011 and sold over 14,400 copies in the United States alone during its first week of release, which had it debuting at position number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart.[8][34]

On November 1, 2012, it was announced by Orange County Coroners Office that Mitch Lucker had died from injuries incurred from a motorcycle accident. The coroner’s office said Lucker was “pronounced dead at 6:17 a.m. Thursday at UCI Medical Center in Orange County”. One report stated that Lucker crashed his motorcycle shortly after 21:00 on October 31.[36][37][38]

An official status was also posted on the band’s Facebook page. It said:

“There’s no easy way to say this. Mitch passed away earlier this morning from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. This is completely devastating to all of us and we offer our deepest condolences to his family. He will be forever in our hearts. R.I.P. Mitchell Adam Lucker – We Love You Brother.”

On December 21st, 2012, a memorial show to benefit Kenadee Lucker’s future education costs was held at the Fox Theatre in Pomona, CA. The show was titled “Ending is the Beginning: Mitch Lucker Memorial Show”[39] as a reference to both an early song from the band[40] as well as acknowledging the transitional period for the band following Mitch’s death. The show itself featured the members of Suicide Silence performing songs from each of the bands releases with a different guest vocalist performing with the band for each song.[41] In addition to the memorial show, the band started the Kenadee Lucker Education Fund and continues to promote donations towards Mitch’s daughter.

Go to for more information on the college fund for Kenadee Lucker.

Mitch Luker and daughter

Mitch Luker and daughter