Mom mom mom mom mom

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Even when your kids move out, when they’re adults, when they’re feeling independent, even when they know everything, and even when they think you’re old…they still need you. That’s a good thing. Be cool. Be in touch. Be a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Diary: Fortunes and Cookies

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Dear Diary,

The rain has started again. Even Vampires are unable to see through the windshield of an automobile when it is raining.

My old friend Randolpho came over to help me put new wiper blades onto my car. He was wearing his tall hat. I told him that it is not the fashion now. He said it was always the fashion because he, as a Vampire, made the fashion. Then he said something about someone called Slash who also wore a tall hat. Who is named Slash? I asked if he was a serial killer or an actor in horror movies. Randolpho said Slash was a killer guitarist. I asked if this Slash person was in prison. Randolpho looked at me in a confused manner and stopped talking. I did not pursue the line of conversation any longer.

I can now drive in the rain and see the road.

I think of guitarists and wonder how many are killers. I asked Randolpho about it. He said there was a band of musicians called The Killers but they do not kill. He said he thought at least one of them might be of the Mormon faith and from Las Vegas. He said The Killers were one of his favorite bands. He said a lot of great bands are from Las Vegas. He said so was Wayne Newton but he did not like the way Mr. Newton sounded like a girl. I had never heard of this Wayne Newton. I did not ask any other questions on the chance my head would explode.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years I still have much catching up to do. I often have the expectations that everything has changed. Unfortunately I must report that some attitudes and barbaric practices still exist. How superior “Modern” society thinks it is when in fact it is not. I do not understand why.

There is only one young woman living on my street as my neighbor. There were two others who have gone away to study at universities. The one left, with the name of Kylee, is going to a place of higher learning a few miles away. I am impressed that young women are now going to such places of great thinking to learn to be leaders.

I tell them all to watch out for men who would prey upon them. As a Vampire it is my duty to protect those in my life I care for. I find my heart has started to beat a few times when I think of the way my neighbors watch for me. I do not ask them to, but they happily inquire about my well being. These people offer to help me with tasks with no expectation of payment. I do not understand.

I do not understand how my heart, so hard and strong, has become like that of … I do not know. I cannot explain how I feel almost warm-blooded.

I am a Vampire King. I have led armies. I have ruled an empire of the undead. I have been just and cruel showing swift justice to those who have crossed me, and my people. And even though some call me cute, I have been feared. I have ordered heads be put on poles outside of my castle. I have watched Vampires feast as blood dripped from their chins while I laughed. Yes, I have been feared. I have made hearts stop and souls grow cold.

Yet, here in this world in which I now live, my neighbor, a woman named Liz, asked me to feed and pet her cat while she is gone for the weekend. Liz once asked me to watch her children for a few hours when she took her husband to the hospital. The children were small, a feast for some less cultured Vampires, but I watched them. The baby was not yet walking but crawled in my lap and laughed and drooled. The older child, a small boy of about six years showed me how he could draw a cat. It was, dare I say, cute.

I told him stories about the animals of the forests near where I lived as a child. There was a great bear who would eat men who came to kill for sport. He would only let those who killed for food go home to their families. There were birds who would talk and tell the secrets of all, and whisper them to the bats, who in turn would whisper them into the ears of sleeping humans, who would then wake in confusion with a sense of unknown betrayal. I told him of the beautiful hawk I hunted with. I told him of my horses, but not of the battles. This child is one who would one day make a good Vampire but I did not tell him that. After he had gone to sleep I showed the baby my fangs. She laughed. I also laughed. I knew she would keep it our secret.

I feel warm. That troubles me, but it is not altogether bad. I must go feed the cat now. Her name is Daisy. Like the flower, only she is a cat.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I was out at one of my favorite night spots, a small old local bar where people of all ages sit at dark wooden tables, and at a long bar, and talk while sipping drinks and listening to Irish Punk music (yes, I do know what that is. I am not that much in the dark about current culture.)

A few young women who frequent there like to give out cookies. I do not eat cookies. I am a Vampire. Then I thought of the singer Randolpho told me about. There were cookies made of figs called Newtons. I wondered if the singer who sounded like a girl ate fig cookies. I wondered if he wandered the Nevada desert like Moses of the Bible because figs are biblical. Then I had another glass of wine to ease the pounding in my head. I wanted blood but I would have to wait.

But tonight the young women, they tell me that these cookies they have are called fortune cookies. I told them that I did not understand. Where they like tea leaves that one could read the crumbs of such cookies to tell the future. They laughed and then one of the women cracked a hard oddly shaped cookie in half. Inside was a small slip of paper with the words You have a charming way with words and should write a book.

That was not a fortune. It was advice. A fortune would say something like tonight you die a slow and painful death.

Another cookie had a note in it with the words You may lose the small ones but win the big ones. I do not understand which ones they are referring to. I did not ask.

The women gave me another fortune cookie. I cracked it open and found the small slip of paper, and it read Boy chased girl around church and catch him by organ. The women all laughed. I did not understand. One said it was one of the dirty fortune cookies. They all laughed again. I still did not understand.

“Why would one want to eat a dirty cookie. Do you not like your food to be clean?” I asked.

They all laughed and said I was too cute. I do not understand. How can I be cute, much less too cute? Kittens are cute. Babies are cute. I am at a loss. The language of women is confusing. I will never understand.

I gave the women the cookies to eat. I went home with one and drank her blood. I left her sleeping with a smile on her face. We only talked. That is what she wanted. She is in love with a young man. I will make sure he falls in love with her. I am a Vampire. I can do that. The next morning I had flowers sent to her. What is happening to me? I, Vlad the Vampire King sent flowers.

Maybe I should write a book.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I started to read a new book. A friend recommended it. She is a Vampire as well. The book is odd but I like it. It is about science and fiction. I like this Science Fiction. It could be real, but maybe not. That sense of the unknown has a certain thrill to it. The drawing of the woman on the cover is beautiful. She reminds me of my sister. I will send her a copy. My sister is a Vampire but she would like space travel.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe

My love Gillian came to me and told me to put down my book. She put her hands on my shoulders and gently carressed them. Then she walked around in front of me and gently kissed my lips. She tasted like fresh blood and cinnimon. She asked what I was reading. I told her I was in the middle of an amusing story called Hollow Heads.

She curled next to me and I read it to her. She laughed and said she wanted me to read more to her, but later… Then we made love as only Vampires can. That had nothing to do with the story we’d read. It is just what we do when we are together.

As we lay in bed, our bodies entwined, Gillian asked me if I believed there were others out in space. I glanced out the window at the moonless sky. I gently kissed her and took her hand, holding it close to my chest.

“I wonder,” I said, “if there are lovers out beyond the stars we can see tonight, asking the same question. There has to be. If I can wake after three hundred years into a world such as this, then there have to be other worlds out beyond our imagination. It would be sad to think that we were so alone, like someone locked in a crypt, withtout hope of a friend who would someday come by and break the seal.”

Gillian whispered, “I love you Vlad,” and kissed my neck, gently scraping her fangs over my skin, then moved her lips to mine.

Yes, I was on Earth, but she transported me to the stars once more, as she always does.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

CLICK here to get YOUR copy of Strange Adventures in A Deviant Universe. Available in electronic or paperback versions.  Recommended by Vampires, and Science Fiction fans of all kinds.

 

 

 

 

 

Have Some Cake (and Parenting of Course)

In honor of the Grammy’s I was planning on doing a post of the WORST songs ever (Rhiannon, McArthur Park, Spill the Wine, Sylvia’s Mother, Seventeen, That horrible roller skate/key song, The Thong Song, Free Bird, anything featuring Barbara Streisand, Ariana Grande, St. Vincent, or The Doobie Brothers.) I decided to skip it for something not so negative. Musical taste is so subjective.

But it was fun this summer driving across the endless Utah desert with my child, after the air conditioner had failed, listening to the worst songs ever. Let me explain…when a song on the “worst songs of all time” list came on I’d turn it up as part of my daughter’s cultural education. She listened to the entire performance of McArthur Park. I had to explain that the cake out in the rain and finding the recipe was a metaphor for lost love or some bull shit like that, while my seventeen year old child laughed out loud. We both laughed out loud in our 400 degree F car driving along about two hundred miles from the nearest town.

Everything in life isn’t good, no matter how hard you try to put that twist on your child rearing philosophy. At least there are times, like with music, when you can use humor to teach your kid about bad taste, bad judgement, bad fashion, bad friends, bad politics, and all of those weird things that come across our pathway.

Music, like art, literature, and cats, is something you can share with your kids. It brings people together. Stay with me on this because I know a lot of people hate their kids music. At least you can make an effort to understand what they like, and why they like it. Or maybe you can find something new together. Expand your horizons. Take a leap of faith and turn to a different number on the radio dial together. You might hate it. You might love it. But you did it together – with your kid.

Now for the real reason I brought up music. Yesterday I posted a story about a couple of Vampire kids in college called “Why I Hate Valentine’s Day.” Blog traffic was through the roof (because I am the Queen of Love Letters). But NOBODY, not a single person mentioned the reference to a song in the story. Oh come on guys, humor me a little.

And yes, I do love each and every one of you who reads and follows this blog.

OK, here it is. Listen and look for it.

Listen to the next songs too. Have fun even if you don’t like it. Or as your mom would say, “Don’t complain, it’s good for you.” Here are a couple of the best covers ever. Yes, listen to the Vampire – it’s good for you. Don’t complain.

By the way, the band CAKE is from Sacramento, my hometown. We’re a creative kind of place.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Perhaps

 

 

Ask Juliette: Unexpected and Exceptionally Fun Play List, and What’s Coming in December

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire, Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a burning question about parenting, Vampires, relationships, or just about anything just ask and I’ll answer. Leave a question here or email me at juliettevampire @ gmail.com

Ask Juliette

My boyfriend likes new and unusual music. Do you have a fun playlist I can share with him? We both like metal and punk/pop.

Here is a list of cover songs by metal, punk and punk/pop groups you might enjoy.

Panic! at the Disco: This is Halloween

Of Mice and Men: Poker Face

Joey Ramone: What A Wonderful World

Smithereens: Want to Hold Your Hand

Pat Boon: Enter Sandman (This is so freaking weird and sort of horrible but you gotta love it in a really sick and twisted way. Awww man this is bad.)

Panic! at the Disco: White Christmas

 

My Chemical Romance: All I Want for Christmas is You

Johnny Cash: Hurt

Disturbed The Sound of Silence

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Hey Juliette, are you going to post all of your Vampire Christmas stories? Are you going to post any new Vampire Christmas stories as well? And how about those Vampire Christmas songs?

Yes, absolutely. Keep checking back over the next month for all of your favorites, including The Travelers. December is a fun time at Vampiremaman.com

 

victorian christmas

Today’s Ask Juliette was sort and sweet. Keep those questions coming. You ask and I’ll answer. Thanks to everyone for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

On Tour With Vampire Maman (or maybe that was “on the road”)

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We went on an amazing trip. No magic bus but hey, I’m a Vampire so I’ve got magic everything – well just about.

I’m home after ten days on a crazy non-stop cross country road trip. We (17 year old Clara and I) logged in almost 4,000 miles, saw a lot of amazing scenery, and met some wonderful people.

Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska

Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska

Aside from a lovely visit with my friend Amelia (thank you so much a hundred times over), we had great luck with Air BnB. We stayed in lovely homes with lovely hosts. If you haven’t tried it out you should. It was perfect for my 17-year-old daughter and me.

My brother Andy’s friend James sent me a message saying he should open up his home as an Air BnB place. Yes, he does have a beautiful six bedroom home with a view of San Francisco Bay, but he is only looking for a free meal. On the other hand, he would make a good host, with that charm that he turns on for warm blooded beings. But boy, is he annoying around his own kind, or at least to me. I don’t think I have ever been alone with him and NOT been propositioned.

On the other hand, the guests of Vampires would never complain of not having a good sleep. In fact they’d rave on about having the best night’s sleep of their lives. Just make sure (if you are a Vampire host) to put out plenty of juice and cookies for your guests. You know, it is like a blood bank sort of situation. They give blood so they are going to be tired, but in this case they won’t know they gave blood.

But staying with a horn dog Vampire like James could be a bit dicey if you’re a Vampire female. I don’t think he could ever understand the full meaning of being a good host.

Knowing James he’d never leave his house again until the next big earthquake.

Our trip, from the Sacramento, California area, to Lincoln, Nebraska for the USA National Roller Skating Championships. My child and her partner received bronze for their efforts. No such luck using our crafty Vampire ways to always place first. But they were absolutely beautiful – stunningly beautiful.

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We stopped by Dinosaur National Monument, Arches National Park, The Sunken Gardens, The National Roller Skating Museum, An interesting cemetery, Thunder Mountain (I’ll have a post about that place), and many more features across the amazing country we call America.

Arches, NP

Arches, NP

Aside from talking, which we did A LOT of, we listened to the radio. We heard the Democratic convention (any political comments will be removed) and 2016 Lollapollooza. It was the 25th year of Lollapolloza and a lot of fun this year.

Our favorites were… drum roll please…

  • The Strumbellas (who surprised us in this live show)

  • The Struts

  • And my new favorite band Saint Motel

We also listened to Fritz and Tantrums Handclap about 50,000 times.

 

Night Riots also came out with a new song “Nothing Personal” that I’m still on the fence about. Still, it is better than 99.9% of what is out on the radio now.

And now we’re home. I’m still unpacking my brain from the car, and I’ll be looking for fresh blood tonight, dog training tips, ghost stories, and more very soon. Yeah, I say that a lot, but hey, I’m a Vampire, you have serious problems if you count on me for much of anything. That is just my nature. But I’ll try.

Hey, and thanks for your support and all of the nice notes.

And in the meantime don’t forget:

  • Talk with your kids.
  • Listen to their music with them.
  • Teens aren’t scary.
  • Take a road trip.
  • Dogs and Cats Rock.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Night Belongs to Us

The night belongs to us. Of course it does. We’re Vampires. But we’re also parents, and this is a first and foremost a parenting blog.

My main message is to talk with your kids, share with them, listen to them, teach them, respect them, treasure them. Don’t spoil them except with love and knowledge. Open the world to them and they will explore on their own. They will bring their discoveries and knowledge back to you. The circle is complete.

This morning my 16-year-old Clara showed me a new cover by the band Night Riots.  Let me back up a little bit since some of you may have never heard of Night Riots. I feel like they are one of the best bands out in the past thirty years. Seriously, I like this band that much. My daughter started listening to them. Then I did. I was hooked. We saw them at Warped Tour this summer in Mountain View, CA.

Night Riots Vans Warped Tour 2015 Mountain View, CA

Night Riots, Vans Warped Tour 2015
Mountain View, CA

 

So this morning I received a text from Clara (while I was out on business) saying they’d done a cover of “Because the Night.”

When I arrived home I Clara was excited to share it with me. I listened to the Night Riots version. It was great. Wow.

I asked Clara if she’d heard the Patti Smith version. She said, “I didn’t know it was written by a woman.”

Of course it was. By Patti Smith, who is still singing. Patti Smith is, well, Patti Smith. Need I say more?

She loved the Patti Smith version too.

Her first comment was, “I love her voice. It isn’t whiney.”

Clara doesn’t listen to female pop stars for the most part. Neither do I. So many are breathy or have fake auto tuned voices. They don’t sound real. They sound childish. They sound annoying.

Patti Smith is none of that. She sings. She really sings.

So the guys in Night Riots do justice to her music by putting out a fantastic cover.

I’m not sharing this so much as a music post, but as a parenting post. We share with each other. We learn from each other.

We discussed musical influences from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Not disco crap or silly really bad pop music, but real music that lasts.

Just like real parenting lasts. Real communication lasts. Deliberate parenting lasts a lifetime. If you’re going to have kids then put in the effort. Make them yours. Let them make you theirs.

Yes, let your kids make you theirs. They learn from you and you mould them. In turn, you can learn from them. Let them make you a better person. Let them open your eyes to new things.

 

 

This Thanksgiving be thankful for the young people in your lives. Don’t spend your time judging or criticizing them. Don’t get after them about their hair, their clothing, their music or whatever stupid superficial thing that you think is important. Listen to them and let them tell you about what they think is important. Find out what their dreams are. Tell them about your dreams. Share your music. Share some turkey. Share some love.

Teens are as precious and important as babies or toddlers. Parenting doesn’t stop at elementary school. Now more than ever they need you. And now more than ever you need them. You might not know it but you need them too. They’ll keep you young. They’ll introduce you to music. They’ll be in awe of your shared knowledge. They respect you for respecting them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Night Riots: Contagious