They’re fast, and they’re big, and they can’t see you.

Of course I’m at the roller skating rink, organ music in the back ground and hear the voice of the coach yelling at the other skaters to watch for the team dance in a lesson (my own sweet child and her partner.)

I liked what she said.

Watch for them. They’re fast, and they’re big, and they can’t see you.

What a great line to save and use for another time.

The teenage pair, on their roller skates, grace the floor as he twirls her around in moves that both scare and amaze me.

Then I get a vision of a thick forest. Someone is running. Two people. They are breathing hard. Their clothes are getting snagged. I see a glimpse of long sharp white teeth. I see a flash of claws. I hear a faint growl from a mouth dripping with siliva and blood. I see long thick fur. I see panic in their eyes. Then down from a tree jumps a figure in black.

“Follow me,” he says in a raspy voice, with a brief flash of fang. “I won’t hurt,” he says. “Follow me.” 

The organ music starts again in a walt. The team glides across the floor. Even in their plain practice outfits they are beautiful and elegant. Who would guess that heavy metal boy and the alternative girl would jump into another world with such grace and ease.

Then I see a ballroom. Couples dance with grace in beautiful clothing. The don’t see the glowing red and yellow eyes looking in from the window, waiting for the first couple to go outside for some privacy. A chance for a kiss will become a chance for a kill…

Small boys and girls twirl and jump on the wooden skate rink floor. The sound of wheels and the voice of the coach is all I hear. The record is over and the music is silent for now. It is Friday which means pizza after skate practice, or maybe a movie with the family and popcorn. It means staying up late and a lot of giggling.

Yes, staying up late and walking through the graves, with fog heavy in the trees. They hear a noise. Was it stone against stone? They turn and look behind them? Was that crypt open a minute ago? 

I hear the coach, “chest up, head up.” She praises them, then corrects them again. I can see the concentration on their faces. Both have dark eyes and intense expressions. Then they smile. They’re beautiful.

With dark eyes they stood on the top of the ancient tower, overlooking the ocean. The sound of the waves echoed in their ears. “They can’t get to us here,” she whispered. He adjusted his sword. “That won’t help you,” she said. “You must hold up your head and look them directly in the eyes and show no fear.”

Alright now someone is playing Frozen music. All of the little girls want to skate to Frozen music. Not too many dark thoughts with happy tiny children skating.

The snow is up to her waist. The beast is upon her. Grabbing a shard of ice she stabs it in the neck. It never saw her. She wraps her scarf around her face…

takes off her skates and drives home with her mom.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Artistic Roller Sports – Beauty, Grace and Champions

School, homework, skate, homework, sleep, repeat.

The skate part is the break in the madness that is high school. Thank goodness the child has good friends who are going through the same thing.

All teens need an activity or something that they own. It doesn’t matter what it is. But they need that passion that isn’t school.

It is even more so this year because the load is so high. It is also high her list because this summer she and her partner became national champions.

Yes, I’m giving you a rare look at my world outside of Vampire Maman. Yes, I’m going to step out of character for just this one post.

You already know about the skating – I have mentioned it in previous posts. I’m talking about ARTISTIC ROLLER SKATING. Not speed. Not derby.

This isn’t Roller Boogie or disco crap. Hell no. Forget everything you think you know about Roller Skating – especially anything negative.

Artistic Roller Skating is a serious sport – especially outside of the United States. Outside of the USA Artistic Roller Skaters get sponsors and respect. And they deserve it. Last night we watched the Jr. World Class skaters online at the World Championships in Cali, Columbia. Wow. These teens were amazing. Team USA did a fantastic job too. Go USA.

Tonight we’ll watch the Sr. World Class Skaters. Yes, this should be an Olympic sport. The European and South American skaters knock the socks off of any ice skaters – and they do it all on EIGHT WHEELS (yes, four on each foot.)

So, dear readers, let me indulge my motherly pride a bit and share a few photos from the 2015 USA National Artistic Roller Sports Championships, in Albuquerque, New Mexico this past July.

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Getting ready

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Team Dance

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Not bad for a couple of sixteen year olds.




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Christopher Butler, Coach Linda Pricer (Sunrise Rollerland, Citrus Heights, CA), Coach Melody Neill (Roller King, Roseville, CA), Charlotte Kings. First Place Fresh/Soph Team Dance, 2015 USA National Championships.

 

 

 

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Soph A Figures event

 

I have to give special thanks to: Linda Pricer and Melody Neill for being the best coaching team ever. To Paul for having such a great son. To Becky and Adelia for being there with us. For everyone at Sunrise and Roseville for your support. To Jayme for the great photos. To Joyce and Tim for watching all of the events and helping me cheer. To Tim Price for giving me a break while at Nationals and supporting my blog. To USARS for putting on such a great meet. And to the folks at Harlick for making the best skating boots in the universe. Finally nobody is complaining about their feet. To Aunt Geri and Uncle Bill, Dave Stone, The Reed Family, Karen and Jason and all of our friends and family who showed so much support. To especially Steve because you’re the best and we love you.

For more about all Roller Sports CLICK here for the official USARS page.

To watch the Artistic World Championships in Cali, Columbia click HERE for the video feed and schedule. It will be worth your time to check it out.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (who will get back to the usual Vampire, musings, life lessons, and other odds and ends tomorrow.)

Roadtrip Times

Vampire road trips are always fun and interesting. Trust me on this one.

This morning I’m packing up the car for a journey across four states (Western States so keep in mind we’re talking a lot of miles.) We’re leaving the men at home and heading out for adventure (and roller skating.)

First stop is Las Vegas for a visit with my friend and Vampire buddy Amelia. So stay tuned for adventure.

And don’t worry… we will not be picking up any hitch hikers.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

las vegas

Short Story Sunday: A Head of The Game

 

I was so out of it today and off schedule that I forgot it is SHORT STORY SUNDAY.

So here we go…

A Head of The Game

Sixteen year old Quentin opened up his skate bag to find the smell worse than usual. It wasn’t his stinky skates or old socks his mom was nagging him to wash. It was a human head staring up at him with milky brown eyes.

He stood horrified. His skate partner Gracie looked at the bag and let out a small animal like noise and then looked a little closer.

This wasn’t what two sixteen year olds in an old somewhat unpopular sport were expecting for their Friday afternoon practice.

During the week, at school, they were funny and trendy and smart and goofy teenagers. At the skate rink they were elegant, gliding around the floor on their roller skates. Not blades but 8 wheels. They were the best. Regional champions. But it was all about fun. They’d never go to the Olympics in their sport. They didn’t care.

But now that was far from their minds. They stood staring at Quentin’s skate bag. No skates. Just a head surrounded by dirty socks.

All Gracie could think of was Quentin’s dad telling him “you need to practice harder to get a head.”

Gracie’s mom ushered the kids away as Coach Maggie called 911. Organ music played in the background to a tango beat. Moon River.

Gracie kept thinking about the moon. Then she got up and took another look at the head. Going back to her mom she whispered, “Hey Mom, I know who it is.”

Her mother looked her in the eye without a word.

 

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“Mom… what are you writing? That is so bad. Really?”

We’re at the skate rink, back in the real world of Juliette and Clara. The child just changed from her dance skates to her figure skates.

“Mom you need to be writing on your book. You need to finish it up so you can make millions of dollars…”

“This is Short Story Sunday,” I tell my child. But I couldn’t come up with an ending of my story. Then again, five minutes of writing at the skate rink during practice has got me against a creative wall. I’ll let you know when I figure out who that head belongs to.

In the meantime, I have to tell you that I do love this sport.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Is he gay? Well, um, does it matter?

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The other night my brother Val was out in a popular crowded pub, doing what Vampires do, getting a bite to eat, when an attractive woman approached him.

Mind you, for all of you who are new here, we aren’t those creepy creatures with blood dripping from our chins wearing musty old black capes lurking around with claw like fingernails. We’re well groomed, well dressed, clean and most of us are somewhat, if not unusually attractive.

That said, Val was talking with a friend when a pretty young woman came up to him and asked, “What year were you born?”

He was somewhat take aback and told her, with a flirtatious smile, “1858.” A true and amusing answer, especially considering she had no idea what he is. And I have to admit that my brother is awfully cute.

She gave him an annoyed look and asked, “Are you gay?”

“I am if you want me to be,” my brother replied.

Without a word the young woman went back to her friends.

Val has been puzzled all week by her question and her reaction to his answer.

 

This sort of looks like Val but not quite (you know I can't show photos of my family here.)

This sort of looks like Val but not quite (you know I can’t show photos of my family here.)

 

When I tell people my daughter has a skating partner for dance (artistic roller skating) people ALWAYS ask me the one question. “Is he gay?”

Excuse me? The first time I was flustered and said “No he goes to…” and I gave them the name of his high school.

I don’t know the answer to that. I never even thought about it. It doesn’t really matter. Gay or straight he is a good skater and I’m so proud of those kids for being such a great team. They work hard. They have fun. They’re championship material. They could both be gay for all it matters, because it doesn’t matter.

Every time someone asks me that question I just want to scream “What are you stupid on top of being rude?” And I say that because they ask in that weird uncomfortable way… I can’t even describe it.  Ugh. My head is going to explode.

I know they ask because he is a boy who skates. Sigh. Would they ask if he played football or was on the track team? No, they wouldn’t. At least in skating nobody has to be afraid of being who they. In skating you can be yourself and be an incredible world-class athlete.

In skating, if you’re a guy, you can work up a sweat while you hold on to pretty girl who is also working up a sweat and nobody says a thing about it. Skating is a great sport for any guy – gay or straight.

In football guys slap male butts and jump all over each other. Nobody asks if those guys are gay (in a condescending way) and nobody giggles about it.

So why be rude about gay skaters and not about gay football players? Why do football players have to keep it secret if they have a boyfriend (not a girlfriend.)

Yes, it is confusing. So why do people care? Why be rude at all? This is sports not matchmaking. There is no such thing as a gay or straight sport. It is just a sport. It has nothing to do with the sexuality of the athletes. It has everything to do with skill and good sportsmanship.

So please, stop asking me if any of my kids’ friends are gay or straight, or smart or stupid, or pretty or plain. They’re teens just trying their best to make it through high school with as little drama as possible and as many good memories as possible.

My kids just shake their heads about stuff like this. In their world and the world of their friends there isn’t much room for labels. We’re all so complex and different from each other, yet we’re all more alike than we can imagine or even list. So yes, the world our kids are growing up in, in a lot of ways, is a better place.

And we all know… if everyone was the same the world would be a really boring place.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

rollerskating

Do it like you’re screaming out the truck window

Reposted from May 2012

Even vampire kids have sports and one of ours is roller skating. Not Roller Derby, but Artistic Roller Skating on FOUR wheels. An awesome sport if there ever was one. I strongly feel that both Speed and Artistic Roller skating should be in the Olympics.

This past weekend was the BIG Memorial Day Skate Meet for the Artistic Skate Club.

Anyway, my 12 year old daughter had some stiff competition. It was an eye opener for her. But for the “Figures” events she received several medals including 2 first place awards.. Very nice. Then came Dance. When she saw who she was up against she was in a panic. These girls are good. Scary good. National Champion good. But not really. She knew what she had to do.

Needless to say she blew it. She went out there like a wet noodle and totally bombed. She was angry and upset and sulked for a while. Then Steve talked her into some food. A few of the old timers gave her pep talks. I told her “35,000 girls are in the B event (about 30). You’re in the A event so there are 5 of you because nobody else can do what you do. You are still one of the best.” Right, like that was going to help. She knew she bombed.

A little background…everyone at the skate rink thinks my child is a quiet reserved and somewhat serious girl. They don’t know about her other life (she is like her mom in that way). At school, at home, with friends…she is LOUD, funny and nonstop – the girl we all know.

The next event was Creative Dance. Her practice has been so-so. The music was some version of Bandstand (Dick Clark) and Brian Stezer’s Sleep Walk then it transitioned into Brian Setzer’s This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof. She was in a black & white poka dotted dress, white gloves, cute as a button.

She was feeling pretty awful at that point knowing she’d blow it. The competition was fierce. Also, this was the first time she’d done this at a competition. From what I was at practice she was not ready at all. It was sort of sad.

Take it all back a week.

Last Friday here was a Middle School field trip to Great America in Santa Clara (Physics Day). I volunteered to go. Oh boy. My group was the cute smart well behaved 8th grade boys (the ones we would have had crushes on too at that age). It was a lot of fun, but the drive was long (almost 4 hours home).. I took C and two of her best girl friends in our truck. Of course on the way home we were stuck in Friday rush hour traffic through the South Bay Area. The girls were making faces and yelling (monster noises not words) out the window. I told them to stop but I was laughing too. Then they started to sing along to the radio in odd accents and talk about all sorts of funny things. It was a riot.

Anyway…

Before my child went on for Creative Dance I said

“Do it like you’re screaming out the truck window.”

Nobody else knew what I meant by that, but my daughter did. She went out on the floor and took the house down. She was AMAZING. It was the best performance she ever had. Now she has to learn more fancy footwork to make it rock at the Regional Championships.

But the real moral of this story is to always “Do it like you’re  screaming out the truck window”.  Always.

For more information on Roller Sports see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_Roller_Sports