Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – but please no yoga pants

Odds and Ends – Musings on my state of mind.

This morning as I was leaving the self-serve dog wash with a clean old dog and a fifteen pound bag of dog food under my arm I saw road rage. Yes, right there in the Trader Joe’s parking lot between the organic bakery and the dog wash.

Fresh from getting her Zen and Zang aligned with the universe at her Friday morning yoga class, a woman in an expensive SUV started screaming “BITCH you can’t have my spot.” She was screaming at another woman who was also in an SUV (woman number two was not wearing yoga pants.) It was one of those WTF moments for me. After helping my old dog with the bad leg into my car I could only hope that nobody would scream at me. If they did there might be hell to pay later, much later, but maybe not. It just isn’t worth my time. Karma will get the screamer much more effectively than any Vampire could.

As a rule, aside from swimwear and underwear I never wear anything with an elastic waist band. I do not have road rage. Yes, of course I swear in the my car and curse enough to make the Devil himself blush – I’m a mom. All mom’s swear in the car, just as any child. BUT I do not have road rage.

I’ve been out and about during the day a lot more lately. Things are different in the light of day. At night people are predictable. They are usually tired or drunk or happy to be where they are. During the day the world if full of women who are full of rage. Raging women with well manicured hands and yoga pants. There are also the moms with a baby in one hand and a dog pulling the other with a leash. Yes, it looks good on paper, but in reality the dog and the baby rarely want to go in the right direction. The three I saw today were so cute. I remembered those days except I had two exceptionally large hairy girl dogs (90 and 125 lbs) and babies in tow. Auto pilot time!

When my children were small I always knew a lot of the well-kept raging women with their aligned Zen were blissfully ignorant of their husband’s girlfriends or of their market value going down in the workplace. I was never Zenfully aligned in any way shape or form. The universe has never been an aligned or straight forward place for me. That makes things difficult at times but you know, it just the way things are.

Disclaimer: Not everyone who does yoga is one of those women so don’t get all pissed off.

Then I saw two guys with a lot of hair and backpacks. I don’t know if they were homeless or just traveling through. At the light a Lumbersexual (you know, the long hipster beard, boots and red plaid jacket or shirt) talked to the hairy guys. It was cool.

I saw the old guy with the purple mohawk who rides his bicycle along the streets. I saw the tiny kindergarteners in their cute sun hats all holding on to a rope and walking to the park with their teachers. With a rope no kids can complain of holding hands with blisters or a hand of someone they don’t like or being paired up with a hand squeezer. Ropes rock when it comes to controlling children. And it is sooooooo cute.

As I’m driving home with the now clean dog, I realized that now I smell like dirty dog. When you wash a dog it is just a matter of you transferring the vile smells to your own body. I turned on my music because the dog can’t use the car stereo system like the rest of my family. Nobody was there to change it. I played my own soundtrack for my own movie.

I keep adding songs and pushing some off of the playlist. Some are on the list forever while others only last a week or two. And I am still pissed off at Apple their asshattery when they slapped the U2 album on my iPhone. More mom swearing. But back to my yen and yang…

We all have to find our own soundtracks. We all have to find what route we want to take on any given day. Even when we’re forced to take another road to another place, even if that place is unknown, it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it is usually a good thing.

Then there are those rings that are old and new like my fifteen year old and her sixteen year old partner skating to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” In two hours he’ll be listening to Metallica and she’ll be listening to Night Riots or some sort of smooth jazz but for now, they dance like Fred and Ginger on eight wheels. Today it is International (nor organ music like American dance, just orchestral.) They’re really beautiful out there on the floor.

Other things run through my mind like calls from my brothers about getting out blood stains, dealing with females, and dealing with the ends and outs of living in world that is just a little bit different. Not bad, not wrong, not strange to us, just different.

I thought about the time, a long time ago, when my brother Val and I were kids. We were walking along the edge of the river and found a giant dead sturgeon on the beach. We swore it was at least twenty feet long. Looking back I think it was about six feet long – still a large beast. It was just one of those random thoughts that I’ll call him about tonight or maybe tomorrow. I thought about a lot of things today with my only company being the dog.

Rummaging through the dusty files in my brain I pulled out cracked faded folders on old lovers, images of places I can’t remember and things I remember as if it had happened this morning. Closing my mind I could feel the warm summer breeze on my bare skin as I walked along the beach, hoping it would stay warm, if only for another few hours.

Next I sent Garrett (who is off at college) about a dozen photos of the dogs and cats playing in the tall winter grass. I also sent him pathetic photos of the dog being washed. Fun stuff. A lot of xoxoxoxo sort of stuff followed and came back. He sent selfies and some included friends. I thought again of the mom with the tiny baby and the dog. She has no idea how much fun she will have or how much love.

So reach into your brain, take out your files and throw them into the air, with all of the brittle paper that might fly into bits along with dust and old love letters and bits of this and that. Holy crap, what a mess that would make.

I’m looking forward to a calm evening for tomorrow… who knows what it will bring but it is always something.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Jasmine

First posted in February 2015

That was the last time I took Jasmine to the dog wash before she passed away. She wasn’t feeling well for a few months, then had a stroke before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I still watch people in parking lots and know they live in another universe than I do. And the kids are doing great. I still miss Jasmine. 

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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

 

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Come Along Miss Havisham

Come Along Miss Havisham

Sometimes you have those days when you answer the door and it is someone you used to know and he seems shocked to see you.

He’ll say, “What are you doing here?”

And I’ll say, “What are YOU doing here?”

Then he’ll say, “Time travel.”

Then I’ll say, “I live here. This is my home.”

Then he’ll look confused because the last time I saw him was 1893. And no, I’m not going to tell him I’m a Vampire. I’ll just screw with him and let him wonder. A little mystery never hurt anyone. OK maybe it has, but that isn’t this post.

When my daughter was about five or six years old she said that one day she was going to build a time machine. She said it would be red. She said it would fold up flat, about the size of a book, so she could take it with her so nobody could steal it while she was in another time.

My old friend (the one I just mentioned) jumps into the future, then jumps into the past. I asked him if he ever lives in the present. He looked confused, then sort of sad. Like a drug, one can find time travel an easy way out to not deal with anything. Of course, like most Time Travelers, he was sort of a jerk to begin with.

When you’re a Vampire you need to remember your past, look forward, but engage in the present for survival. I suppose we’re all like that. Too much past and we all end up like Miss Havisham. Too much future… I don’t know too many people who live too much in the future, except those who keep saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” But that is just procrastination (something I know nothing about.) We need to plan. We need to look forward. I have to admit there is nothing I like more than planning a trip, or a party.

More coffee and more sleep is also on my list.

I told my old friend, “You need to get off of that machine and stay for a while. Aren’t you lonely?”

“No,” he tells me.

“Why not?” I ask.

“Why are you still here?” He asks.

“I’m a Vampire,” I tell him.

He laughs. HA HA big joke. I don’t show him my fangs. I just stand there in my pajama pants and bath robe, and ask him if he wants coffee.

We talk for a while then he decides to go back to 1893, then realizes he can’t go back. He’d be out of place, aside from a lot of other things. So he stays for another cup of coffee. And I tell him I have a single friend I think I’ll introduce him to.

He asks, “What’s her name?”

“Miss Havisham,” I say.

He laughed. “David Copperfield.”

I didn’t. “Great Expectations.”

He shrugged. “So seriously Juliette, what are you doing here? I know it isn’t suspended animation because that won’t be safe for another thirty years. Do you time travel too? What’s up?”

I remembered his blood type was O+. All I could think of was lunch. A long lunch at that considering nobody would miss him – at least not this year.

 

Don’t forget to warn your children about Time Travelers, people who don’t read, and other pot holes in the road of life. And as always, talk with your kids every chance you get.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Teens have always had their own style.

Teens have always had their own style.

 

Opinion: Juliette Kings

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Facebook is full of memes saying …

When I was a kid we were polite, we respected our elders, we were beaten with switches and had our mouths washed out with soap… 

Oh screw that. I’ve always seen RUDE hateful mean despicable young people. I’ve seen it for decades. They learn it from their elders. They learn it from those same parents who are posting those stupid memes.

The teens (and little kids for that matter) in my life are polite. They are respectful. They are great. And you know what? I didn’t have to resort to paddles or other barbaric violent means of teaching them how to be good.

I think back of when I was young and saw unspeakable things done to other children. I remember them being physically and emotionally tortured. I remember children being humiliated by their unloving abusive parents. These were “normal” two parent Christian households. Throw not the first stone they say, but these people should have had stones thrown at them. When I look back I can’t even say out loud, or write the words of what some of the children I knew when through – it is too disturbing. But I can see patterns in the type of parents they had. Some things never seem to change.

Fortunately now there are resources, though not enough, for children who need help. There is never enough help. Foster care isn’t an answer. Family counseling isn’t a solution. These kids need new permanent families who love them, even if it isn’t a traditional family.

I see families where step-parents are the real parents. I see single dads and moms raising kids on their own and the kids are GREAT. I see kids doing great things. I see them talking about everything. I see them questioning the world. They need to question. They need to have their own opinions in order to grow.

Well mannered and polite teens are more of the rule. They aren’t the exception.

The teens in my life have more empathy than anyone of my generation ever had. They are smart. They are focused. They like old people.

They question the world around them. They want to make the world a better place.

The media would have you think otherwise.

If you want the teens and young adults in your life to show respect then you have to give some respect as well. You need to listen to them. I don’t mean “blah blah blah” sort of listening. I mean hearing what they have to say. I mean respecting their opinions even if you don’t agree. I mean explaining things to them if you’re pissed off rather than yelling at them.

Show them that their time is as important as yours. Because it is.

Yes, of course there are kids who are assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. But look at their parents. The adults they live with are usually assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. Unfortunately for the rest of us, and for teachers, there are one or two of those children (and their awful parents) in every single classroom.

And you know what? It is those asshole parents who post those negative memes. So screw them. If they want respect they have to show a little respect. Show a little interest. Get out of your own head and your own tiny little world. Learn something new.

Fortunately by the time kids are in high school a lot of the assholes (and others) have learned that their behavior gets them nowhere. Teens aren’t playing by playground rules anymore. Assholes are put in their place, and a lot of them realize what jerks they’ve been. It is called growing up.

In AP History the 11th grade students are reading Huckleberry Finn. My daughter and I have discussed the book and the context of the book considering when it was written.

She said, “Huck’s father was just like the white trash, or any of the trash that you see now. They don’t want their kids to do better than they did. It is awful.”

So if you see a kid who is an asshole consider the source. Consider who that child is learning from. Maybe that kid can learn from you. Think about it.

It isn’t Vampires you should fear. It is apathy. It is lack of empathy. It is people refusing to listen to everyone, young and old.

You need to study history because if you don’t know where you’ve been you can’t understand where you are going.

In turn, we need to look forward to the future. We need to listen to the young people and have open discussions with them. For they are the ones who can change the future. Now is a scary time. Now is the time to listen to the teens and young adults. They can see with a fresh eye all of the bull shit the rest of us have become numb to.

So stop complaining and see the incredible talent and resources right in front of us – in our young people. If you’d just open your eyes, your ears, and your heart you will see what I see.

Spend some time with a young adult – some real quality time. It isn’t all smart phones and hook ups. It is a lot more.

 

~ Juliette aka The Old Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Vampire Diary: Sharp Dressed Man (and pizza)

Dear Diary,

What is this thing on Friday nights they call pizza? I do not understand.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I stood upon the cliff, the wind in my hair, eyes closed, thinking of long ago when I ruled all that I could see. I opened my eyes to find myself nodding hello to a man walking his dog.

Another man passed on a bicycle wearing skin-tight pants. It was not attractive.

There is peace in the land, at least in this little stretch of land I now call home. It is a neighborhood. I have neighbors. They are not powerful. They are not concerned with power.

One of my neighbors mentioned a debate among those who wish to rule. This debate will be next week. Then he said there would be a drinking game. When certain men who wish to be powerful say certain words everybody drinks. Is it so bad that people must drink to forget about what horrors might come to pass if these men come into power?

But it isn’t just men. There are women too. Scary women. Scary women who yell, but seem to yield little true power. Where are their men? Where are any true men in this game. Where are men who are brave and true? They should not talk. They should fight. To the death. With swords and knives like real men.

I do not understand. I will try to stay away, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

The cat has no opinion on the matter. She does not care.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I went into my front yard today to inspect a plant called Bird of Paradise. The exotic flowers do indeed look like exotic birds. I shouldn’t take joy in such a trivial natural event, but I found myself in wonder.

One of the women of the blue house down the street greeted me.  Her name is Joy. She is always happy. Her eyes went from the top of my head, down to my feet, then back up to my face. It made me feel as if she was inspecting a slab of meat hanging from a butcher’s window.

“You look sharp today Vlad,” she said to me.

My fangs were not showing. I did not understand.

“You always dress so well, nice jacket, jeans that show off those cute buns, natural blonde highlights. You’re so cute. All the women say they could just eat you up,” she told me with a grin full of large white teeth.

If my heart had been beating it would have skipped a beat. What sort of woman was this who would tell me that she was going to eat me? What horrors have I yet to discover in this quiet neighborhood?

Why did Joy talk about buns? Was she thinking of making me into a sandwich?

I excused myself and went back inside my house. Fear isn’t a normal feeling for me, but there was a slight tinge of it along with rage and confusion.

I was starting to feel like a prisoner in my own home.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I was out tonight on a quest for blood. I found it. I drank deeply from the necks of two beautiful women, then left them with smiles on their faces.  I suppose the power of cute has its advantages.

I was relieved that neither one of them wanted to eat me up.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

Gillian, my Vampire lover, was here in my bed tonight. I ran my fingertips over her cold skin and kissed her shoulders and neck. She purred like a kitten and kissed me.

“What sort of women eat the flesh of men?” I thought she’d know the answer.

She gave me a confused look and said, “Vlad, tell me what happened.”

I told her of the conversation. Gillian said nothing, but laughed out loud, then took me in her arms and I belonged to her for the rest of the night.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I looked up cannibalism on a place called Wikipedia. There have been only a few cases of men who eat human flesh in this area since the Donner party in the late 1840’s. Most of the cannibals have not been women. This frightened me for women are far more dangerous than men.

I will watch, and as I did in days of old, I will protect my people. I will protect my neighborhood.

I am the Vampire King. My people will not be eaten. They will not eat my cats. They will be stopped. I will not be cute.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

Civilization has changed in so many ways, yet in so many ways it stays the same.

I do not remember a time when there has not been war. I do not remember a time when fools have not ruled great countries. I do not remember a time when ignorance has not been worshiped over knowledge.

I do not remember a time when I was called cute. I looked in a mirror and caught my reflection, which if difficult unless I am completely still and looking into my own eyes and the lighting is just right. I am attractive. Women have always thought so.

I look away from my haunting reflection. Masculine beauty is a gift and a burden. It is something I can be undead with.

Gillian came over with a large flat box.

“I brought pizza. We can eat it tonight and watch Grimm.”

I opened the box. There in the box was a large flat round of dough, like a tart, with blood-red sauce and round blood-red pieces of meat. I took in the haunting fragrance. I agreed. We should eat pizza.

I took two goblets out and filled them with spiced blood.

Then I fed the cats. They do not eat pizza.

Gillian, my love, said, “Life is good.”

Yes, life is good, even for the undead.

~ Vlad

 

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Keep checking back for more installments. Click on the links below for read the entire riveting story. And yes, put down your coffee or you’ll spit on the screen.

Vampire Diary

#1. Vampire Diary: The Beginning

#2. Vampire Diary: Intervention

#3. Vampire Diary: Game Day

#4. Vampire Diary: Feeling Alive

#5. Vampire Diary: Blood Red

#6. Vampire Diary: Embroiled in a Dream (and still cute)

#7. Vampire Diary: Something I do Understand

#8. Vampire Diary: Modern Worlds

#9. Vampire Diary: White Wedding

#10. Vampire Diary: Under the Beautiful Skye

 

 

 

Kissed by a Vampire