Allegory of Art and Life and Whatever (and College Students and Vampires)

I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about art.

Yesterday I stopped by my brother Val’s office/house downtown. I’ve always loved this large stick style home. He purchased it around 1910 and has done a remarkable job of keeping it up over the years when so many Victorian and Craftsman style homes went into disrepair.

Val’s office is on the bottom floor. The second floor is a comfortable space where Val keeps his official home address. On the third floor is an apartment occupied by a couple of college students.

Neither one of the young men, now in their third year of college, would have been able to go to school away from home without the horrible nightmare of college loans had it not been for Val’s Home Away From Home (so they call it.)

I’m not completely sure where he found Colton and Luke. I think Val met Colton studying in the old cemetery or something along those lines and the other kid came along. Colton was worried he’d have to move home and transfer schools and majors, or maybe just drop out. In exchange for rent they watch the place when Val is gone, do yard work and house cleaning, and keep their grades up.

The boys aren’t Vampires either, and they have no idea about Val. All they know is that Val is exceptionally cool and a little different.

Anyway, I was at Val’s thinking about art. Luke showed me some sketches he’d done of some friends of his on his way out to classes at UC Davis (a short trip across the causeway.) The kid is good. I’m ready to beat the crap out of anyone who discourages him.

Val was at his big desk with his computer checking all kinds of financial stuff I know nothing about. I looked up on the wall at his Maynard Dixon painting. It was of a woman wrapped in a shawl looking in profile towards a gold and orange landscape.

“You should donate that to the museum,” I said. “It is a hidden uncatalogued gem.

“Maybe. I haven’t had it that long.”

“You bought it from the artist. How old can it be?”

“Sometime in the 30’s. A mere matter of days for the typical Vampire.” He smiled and gave me that amused look that makes the girls all melt. Well except me because I’m his sister and I know his tricks.

“Why don’t you donate some of your art Juliette? God knows you’ve got it coming out of your ears.”

“I can’t. Not yet. I’m too attached. And I need more. I always need more art.”

Val laughed. I continued. “I bid on something for the art auction, you know the one for public television. I’m spending at least one day a week at the museum. Clara is taking an art history class so we’re talking about a lot of art. That isn’t a bad thing mind you. I’m also working on my art again. I’m also reading a book about art. My house is full of art. I’m going to go into an art coma.”

“Is that a bad thing?” My brother looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

“No Val, it isn’t a bad thing. It is a good thing. I’m just kind of overwhelmed. And I don’t have a Burning Question for Saturday.”

He told me to make it about art. We thought about it and threw around a lot of really stupid ideas, which is par for my Burning Questions feature.

I’ll think of something, or use one of our ideas.

Around that time Luke came rambling downstairs to say hello to Val. He was a typical twenty year old male with that sort of cute and, always together, always smart, and always on the verge of some sort of disaster look. It was charming.

“The outside lightbulbs are out, on the front and back porches.” said Luke. “Do you have any extras?”

“Sure. In the second story hall closet, next to the laundry room.”

“Thanks. Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead,” said my brother.

“You kind of like the dark don’t you. I know you aren’t cheap so it isn’t the electricity bill you’re worried about,” said Luke.

“Good observation,” said Val. “Glad you asked. My eyes are sensitive to the light and I just need to rest them.”

“Makes sense. OK I’ll change those bulbs, then I have to study.”

“On a Friday?” I asked.

“For a bit. I’m going out later. There’s a movie at the Tower, Sisters Brothers or something like that. I’m going with Madeline.” Then he gave a shy smile.

Val slipped him a couple of twenties. We talked for a little bit longer.

Val and I are very old. It is always good to be around the very young.

But now my old brain must think up a Burning Question for October 6. It will be something about art – that thing which has twisted up my heart and soul for as long as I can remember.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Allegory of Painting

Allegory of Painting, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

 

 

 

Trained

33154390_10213897022838841_1806623425502904320_n

I won’t come when you call me but I still love you so much.

I came downstairs in the wee hours of this morning to find my brother Max making coffee. Being the eldest of my four brothers, and my husband’s best friend since childhood Max frequently crashes at my house when he’s in town.

“Watching Queer Eye?” I asked. Max usually wears all black being the brooding alpha male Vampire he is. Today he was wearing tan shorts with a button down multi-colored flowered shirt, a gray sweatshirt and red Vans without socks.

“Very funny Jewels. Yes, but no tha.” he said. “Coffee?”

Max poured two mugs full before I could answer. My German Shepard Alice nudged him with her squeaky dinosaur toy.

“Is she crate trained?” Max asked me.

“She isn’t anything trained,” I said. My dog has gone to dog class. She knows what all of the commands mean and then some. But she does what she wants. All I ask is that she doesn’t pee in the house.  “She goes to her bed when I tell her to,” I said.

Max is getting married sometime next year. I wonder how trainable he’ll be. I know crate training won’t be an option.

“Do you go to bed when you’re told to?” I asked.

He smiled. “Rarely. I’m housebroken too, if you’re asking.”

I looked at the long dark red scar on his arm. “Does it still bother you?”

“No. Not often. I’m not letting the demons get the best of me.”

I thought both mentally and physically but I didn’t voice it.

“Where are you and Mehitabel going to live after you get married? Your house is practically haunted.”

“Funny coming from my sister who has a ghosts in her house.”

“My ghosts are harmless.”

He shrugged.

I glanced out the window and could see Nigel The Ghost flipping me off from my back deck.

“Max, what if you have kids? You can’t have a baby in a house with demons?”

“I’ll get to that when the time comes.”

I can see why he doesn’t want to move to his home with a grand view of the Golden Gate. He has been there since the 1930’s. But no matter how much you like where you live you don’t need to share demons with your children.

We talked some more about marriage and my kids, and our niece and nephew (our bother Aaron’s grown children.) More coffee too.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Featured Image -- 18965

Below is the original post about Max’s demons. As a side thought: Don’t let your demons get the best of you. You don’t need to be carrying that poison around inside of you.

Demons

I’ve had several posts mentioning Demons, especially concerning my brother Max. A few years ago I visited him at his house in San Francisco. Our parents and brother Andy, also live in the City by the Bay. I’m the one everyone calls when things get weird. Max is single and lives alone, and I’m also married to Teddy, his best friend since childhood.

Anyway, this is why we don’t like Demons around, at least one of the reasons.

strangereyes

My eldest brother Max, for those of you who don’t know, is one of those alpha Vampires who hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and all sorts of nasty evil and just plain annoying creatures and things that go bump in the night. He is a hunter and sometimes a killer – that said, he and his associates protect us all from things we shouldn’t need to deal with.

Max looked like Hell warmed over. He’d been out on a call and found himself up against a group of Demons. Yes, that kind of Demon – nasty and evil, no doubt straight from Hell and running rampant trying to cause problems anywhere it could.

Teddy still has the cold hard fear of Demons. That isn’t a bad thing. We don’t like them. They’re creatures that don’t derive from humanity but like goblins, have no problems pretending they derive from humans.

A long nasty deep pair of scratches ran across Max’s arm. There was no sign of healing on the ugly red marks. He’d been cornered and put up a fight before his back-up team arrived. The Demons were taken care of but not first without doing damage to Max and who knows who or what else.

Late into the night we talked over several bottles of wine and blood. Our brother Andy came by as well for a few hours to visit. Max was restless the entire night. Just before dawn we all retired to spend a rare day sleeping (Teddy and I live during the daylight due to school hours.)

I was awake before dusk. It was a beautiful clear day. From the back window I could see a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay going out into the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. No wonder Max loved living here so much.

In the kitchen making tea I discovered Max’s old friend Celeste. She was beautiful beyond compare, wearing nothing but a pair of black lace panties and a magnificent seal skin coat. That wasn’t unusual because Celeste is a Selkie. On the land she is a women and in the ocean a seal. I was and wasn’t surprised to find her there. Max says he won’t mingle with those who aren’t like him, but I know who his friends are. I have no problems with Celeste or her kind.

Celeste rolled her shoulders and told me about my brother. “He called me last night. Said he needed some distraction. You know how Max is. His brain just gets full or he gets bothered and doesn’t know what to do about it. You know, Juliette we’re just friends with benefits. I just fuck him and talk. Nothing else. You think I’d be crazy enough to fall in love with a Vampire? Not on your life. Just friends. Always just friends.

Celeste then put a wedge of lemon in her tea and continued, “There is someone else, a Vampire girl he has a strange sort of bond with, but he doesn’t want any emotional entanglements with her. He was afraid she’d be too much for him, for his heart. I’ve never seen a guy try to logic and think his way out of falling in love like Max has this time.”

I saw a long burn along Celeste’s arm. “Oh that. I brushed against Max’s arm where the demon scratched him. Damned if it didn’t burn me too. The salt water will heal it. But you need to check in on him. He’s in pretty bad shape. The Demons really got to him this time and not just physically. They really fucked with him big time,” she told me in her whiskey and silk voice.

I took her arm and looked at the burn. It was hot to the touch. I spit on my finger and rubbed it along the burn.

“It stopped hurting. Thanks,” she said with a smile full of sharp white teeth. It was a smile that she won’t show a Regular Human. I have to admit I was flattered.

After a bit more small talk she left and no doubt went back into the Pacific Ocean and turned back into a seal.

I went upstairs to Max’s room. He was asleep, curled in soft gray blankets wearing a black silk robe. I took his arm and looked at the deep scratches that had turned an angry blackish red.

He opened his eyes. The usual blue gray hazel had turned dark, almost a dull black. I could tell he wasn’t well.

“I saw Celeste. She is worried about you.”

He gave me a “join the club” look. He didn’t need to say it out loud.

Taking his arm, I put my hand over the poisoned gashes and saw the ugly face of the Demon who clawed him.

“Don’t little sister. You’ll get sick,” Max said.

Ignoring him pricked my finger with the tip of my fang and let a drop of blood fall on his wounds. I put my hand back on his arm and willed the poison away.

Yes, I did end up making it to the bathroom before I threw up and almost fell over from my head spinning, but I was fine after a few minutes (ok hours). The poison wasn’t meant for me so I was fine – bothered but fine. It could have stayed with Max for weeks or even months. It could have set him back into a spiral of depression and hopelessness that if not taken care of could have done permanent damage. Demons are like that. They’re horrible evil things.

I kissed his cold cheek and left my brother to sleep.

When someone you love is poisoned by Demons you need to help them get through it – no matter what kind of Demons. They do a lot of damage, but it can be fixed. Demons hate any kind of love or understanding and will poison us against it. So we fight them. And those like Max fight them so they can’t hurt anyone else.

Like I’ve said, when you’re a Modern Vampire every single day has the potential of being weird, but we do what we can do avoid it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Juliette: Odd Dreams, Relationships, Possums, and a Question About the Vampire King.

crowletter

Dear Juliette,
It appears that I have had several dreams of being a vampire however in all my dreams I always simply wake up before another dream of being a vampire in a different time era comes to be there is more tendencies that I tend to have but do not disclose almost all of these however have a blood red moon before I wake I don’t know if you have any insight on this but my dreams are not always the same sometimes I’m a vampire other times a Lycan I feel like something inside is trying to reach out to me…

You might just be having random dreams. We all do. On the other hand you might have a Vampire messing with you. We’ll do that you know – give you dreams. Maybe you remind someone of times gone by. Maybe they have a crush on you. An overly romantic vampire can be more than a pain in the neck; they can mess with your sleep as well. I hope you don’t ever become a Werewolf/Lycan. Oh man, they don’t walk and easy path. Stay away from those wolf-folk. Stay away. If you’re watching a lot of vampire movies or reading a lot of vampire fiction it might be time to give it a break for a bit. On the other hand write it all down. You might have a best seller on your hands.  

design

Dear Juliette,
How can I tell if my boyfriend is a troll? He stays up all night pounding on the underside of a bridge asking crossing goats how to become a Vampire… wait. Never mind.

You might consider counseling on your choice of romantic partners. I’m pretty sure the guy is a troll, or at least a creep. Seriously there are a lot of great guys out there who are already Vampires (and they’re totally cold and hot.) And stay away from guys who try to pick up on strange goats.

design

Dear Juliette,
When is it time to give up on my art?

Never.

 

design

Dear Juliette,
I think possums are cute. Am I weird?

People who don’t like possums are weird. You’re just fine.

design

Dear Juliette,
I have to ask you about your posts about Vlad of “Vampire Diary” fame. Is he based on Vlad the Impailer? Is he based on Dracula? Why is he living in surburbia if he is the Vampire King? That doesn’t make sense. He should be in LA or New York City living in a penthouse or a lavish mansion ruling this new Vampire kingdom and followers. I understand that he is sexy and dangerous but why add all of the cuteness. He is a cold powerful Vampire not some guy out of a Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts novel. Who is that idiot Randolpho he hangs out with? Just asking for a friend.

Uh hem (that was me clearning my throat.)

No, he is not based on that violent ugly little shit soulless Vlad the Impailer. He is not based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He is living in surburbia because it is comfortable and he can have a little peace. He lives in a very nice upper middle class neighborhood with lovely people. He isn’t in LA or New York City because he just wants to be low key for a while. Yes, it would be easy for him to jump right into being Vampire King but he is still trying to navigate living in the 21st Century. Now about the cute thing… Vlad is really cute. He is powerful. He can be quite dangerous and cold. He could be a guy in a Nora Roberts novel but he isn’t. Nicholas Sparks? Maybe not, but hey, Vlad can be a sensitive guy. As for Randolpho…he and Vlad have been friends since childhood. So what if you think he is an idiot. A good friend is a beautiful thing, even if you’re a Vampire. Jeeze, that was weird. Go take a chill pill or something. 

And if you’re reading this and don’t know about Vlad’s Vampire Diary CLICK HERE.

 

Ask Juliette

 

 

 

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire) is a somewhat frequent feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question about ANYTHING (Vampires, relationships, parenting, life, weird stuff, etc.) just leave a comment here or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

Thanks for dropping by and have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others (or don’t trade in your soul because you can’t get it back.)

coffee

Coffee with Vampires and Ghosts

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others.

This morning I met for coffee with my brother’s friend James.

James is one of those people I find extremely obnoxious, but we have a connections through my brother Andy and through some shared experiences. We all have friends like James.

When he isn’t just hanging out with old friends, James is a psychiatrist to some pretty well known individuals. He is good at giving people ways to find normalcy in their lives. That is their normal. Everyone has his or her own normal, they just have to find it. The same goes with inner peace and contentment. James gives his patients the tools and teaches them how to use those tools to keep healthy.

As I drove to his house, through one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the city (East Sacramento), I passed a home I’d once been in, years ago. The house belonged to a wealthy man. I’m talking insanely wealthy. A friend of mine was his executive assistant.

I was there for a party. He was lovely and friendly. I’d met him before and he remembered me. My friend adored him. He was a good man.

Unfortunately his ex-wife, his narcissistic daughter, and his psychiatrist only saw dollar signs. They poisoned him with their demands and their bad advise. It was never about him. People who cared couldn’t get through to him. The women took and took from him, stabbing out pieces of his soul until one day he killed himself.

“There is a special place in Hell for them. No, really, Jewels, the reservations have been made,” James told me as he poured me a second cup of coffee in his well-appointed kitchen.

I believed James, because like me, he is a Vampire. He lives with one foot in death’s door at times. He knows what it is like to grab up your own soul and hold it tight. For unlike Regular Humans, Vampires can’t give away or trade our souls, but sometimes there are those who try to come up from the depths of Hell and steal them away.

“And to think,” I said, “people call us ghouls.”

“They’re such hypocrites,” said James.

We had more coffee and talked about our friends, our work and books we’d read over the summer. I looked around the beautiful kitchen. Too bad not much cooking happened in it. Most Vampires don’t cook much. We do, but not much. I don’t need to explain why.

James made a lame joke about cooking and I laughed. Then he smiled with a sexy bit of fang and said, “Let’s go upstairs and fuck.”

I smiled back. “You know I’m married.” Yes, that is the reason I don’t see much of James.

“Right, you’re married to the most handsome Vampire in the world, but come down to the dark side with me this morning. Nobody will ever know. Mix it up a little.”

“Oh James,” I said, “even if I was single I’d have to say no. It isn’t going to happen. But thank you for the coffee. It was delightful.”

“At least I can try,” he said taking my hand and kissing it.

Now I’m home, taking a break from my work, sharing my morning. I’m also wondering if anyone is mourning still for the lovely man who was driven to his death by demons who took the form of friends and family.

I look at my old dog sleeping on the cool tile by my feet. I hear a hawk outside. It is a calm space where demons are not allowed. I will not let them in.

Close the door if they knock, even if they look like someone you know.

Beware those who have already traded in their souls at the expense of others.

OK everyone, have a nice day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Featured Image -- 18965

I’m on the road with my handsome husband and beautiful daughter this week touring one of the colleges by the ocean in Southern California. Yes, this is the parenting part. So anyway, this is a repost from August 2015. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll tell you all about it soon.

Thought so…

I was my mail box and overheard two men walking by.

Guy 1: Look at all those chickens.

About a second passes.

Guy 2: Did I hear you say chickens?

Guy 1: Oh. I meant turkeys.

Guy 2: Thought so.

Laughing.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

29791784_10213587011568753_666892534261219328_n

 

 

 

Cats, Lies, and Vampire Parenting Blogging

I was out on my back deck this morning holding my cat Oscar close because I love him. I love the feel of him, the way he hugs my shoulder and purrs. He is so warm and soft (like a rabbit). I heard a noise and looked out in the field to see a coyote trotting along. Oscar tensed up but held on, not with his claws but like a small child would. We both watched the coyote. It glanced up at us then turned and trotted of the way it had come. I held Oscar tight and told him “Come in before somebody eats you.”

Warm things are nice, especially if one is a Vampire. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cool touch but, anyway, I thought of my lunch meeting with Jack, my regular lunch date and regular human. He also knows I’m a Vampire a fact that has complicated our once simple symbiotic relationship.

Jack was out of his shirt, my hands were on his shoulder. He kissed me lightly and pulled me down next to him on the couch. My kiss moved to his neck and just as I was about to sink in my fangs Jack says, “Stop, I can’t do this today. I’m giving in a blood drive tomorrow. They called yesterday needing my type.”

I stopped. I could have continued. But I’m not that kind of Vampire. I’m the kind who blogs about parenting and being nice. Needless to say I was sorely disappointed. I could have ripped his throat out. But I just sort of sat there feeling a bit disappointed.

I stood up and sort of tried to think of some witty thing to say. Jack came to me and pulled me close. “I know you like my warmth. Let me share that with you.”

I ran my hands down his arms, over his chest then around his waist, setting my face on his shoulder. I could hear his heart beating.

Then Jack said, “I saw your blog.”

That shook me out of any dreams of blood lust or any other kind of lust.

“Which one?” I had to ask for this isn’t the only one.

“Vampire Maman, musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. I liked it. You write just like you talk.” He went on to talk about his favorite posts and how he liked the short stories and the parenting stuff and writing on the ancient and elderly. He liked the humor (thanks Jack.) He said I was right on target.

“Good.” I said that not knowing what else to say at the time. For a rare moment I just wanted to be quiet. OK it isn’t that rare, but at that time I just wanted still. Like when he’d found out I was a Vampire I was feeling a bit exposed. I wanted run.

But I stayed. I held him close, because sometimes just something warm is nice. He turned me around to face a mirror. His image was clear. My own Vampire image was a shadow or like a ghost. It was like the image in a daguerreotype that vanishes when turned or shown in the sunlight.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror and I’ll become clear.”

We stood there looking at each other in the glass, so different, yet connected in our weird way. My image became as crisp as his, as so did my nerves.

We talked a little more about our kids and other odds and ends of everyday life. I guess it is those odds and ends and kids that make it all clear for us.

Just like with Oscar, I suddenly felt protective and wanted to say to Jack “come in before somebody eats you.” I kept that thought to myself.

As I left he gently kissed me again, as he always does. He didn’t say he’d keep checking the blog because he knows me well enough to know that the uncomfortable truths are always wrapped up in lies and disguise, but in the light of the day it is like a warm hug or a kiss that brings it all into the light, or at least makes me feel like I can be clearly seen.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This post was first published in 2013.