Moving on – 2019 USA Roller Skating National Championships

From the 2019 USA Roller Skating National Championships. Yes, this is my child. She was absolutely wonderful. I rarely post personal photos here, for obvious reasons. Now that  Nationals are over we’re getting ready for the next phase of both her life and mine.  She’ll be moving out and down to Southern California to the big prestigious university.  She’ll do great. Roller Skating has been such a great sport.

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I’ll get back to my regular programming involving parenting advice, Vampires, Ghosts, and darker things later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Burning Question #16: In Honor of the 2018 World Cup

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Women’s Team USA wins GOLD 2015

American’s are protective of their sports. They’re sort of protective over Canadian sports too. But hey, what do I know.

This is the list of sports I watch live and in person:

  • Artistic Roller Skating
  • Baseball – Go Giants. OMG they have the most beautiful ball park in the world.
  • Basketball – I’ve kind of given up on the Kings, but the draft pick just happened and you never know.

And what I’ll watch on TV:

  • Ice Skating
  • Ice Hockey – GO LAS VEGAS
  • Baseball
  • Olympics stuff, odds and ends like three minutes of the Scottish Games, Lumberjack Games, Naked and Afraid, Dog shows, Triple Crown Horse racing, etc.

I also like to listen to baseball on the radio. There is something so soothing about it.

BUT…

We’re (USA) just isn’t a soccer kind of place. Our Football is well…FOOTBALL. I don’t watch THAT either.

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My brother Aaron’s kids played soccer when they were small. We went to all of the games. It was great fun. They graduated up to other sports when they got older.

I’ve played soccer. It is hecka fun to play. I’m good at it. I never had the opportunity to be on the team.

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Is it ballet or is it soccer? This guy knows the real answer.

It isn’t as if I don’t like soccer. I just don’t have any feelings for it. I’ll glance at a baseball game, or even football in a bar but I won’t glance at soccer. OK if cats are playing I’ll glance at it.

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I’ll watch anything with a cat.

And that brings us to the World Cup Game which is famous for wild fans, South African’s with weird horns, and all kinds of crazy shit. It is pandemonium unlike anything even Pablo Sandoval could ever imagine.

Which brings us to a question that many a suburban dad asks…

Burning Question #16: Is Soccer a Real Sport? 

 

AP QUICK HITS THE 99ERS S SOC FILE USA CA

Yes, it is a sport! Ice cream and Jello shots for everyone.

Why soccer this week? The original Burning Question #16 was a scrape the bottom of the barrel silly post about Werewolves. That one might resurface as Burning Question #37. My darling husband said, “You can’t ask that.” Oh ye of little faith in my readers. So HE came up with this question about soccer. Blame it on Teddy. He’s a Vampire so you can blame a multitude of things on him. Please, feel free.

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Excuse me but all of this silly talk about soccer is going to make my head explode. Cheap laughs woman. Just cheap laughs is all you care about. For God’s sake ask them about Werewolves.

I have to admit that the parks, once completely filled with children playing soccer, are now filling up with Lacrosse players. My kids roller skate and surf. I just walk around the park with the dog. But that said, soccer is pretty popular and there is always talk of a pro team coming to town. But would anyone go watch? Maybe. Maybe sort of not. Is it a sport? A real sport?

If you haven’t already, please click on your answer on the poll. Spout out your opinions in the comments below but don’t be too mean or snotty. If you have a suggestion for a burning question let me know. You know how to reach me (look on my about page if you don’t.)

Have fun. Play hard. Stay cool.

For more Burning Questions CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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After Circe turned the men into swine they found themselves quite bored. To pass the time they invented soccer. But is it really a sport?

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.)

Vampire Diary: Game Day

Dear Diary,

The cat stood at the door. She asked to go out, or I assumed she did from her meowing. I opened the door. She walked away. I’m not playing this game. The door is now open. She doesn’t realize that the cold doesn’t bother me. For a brief moment I reveled in the thought that the cat does not understand Vampires. Then she jumped on the table and bit my hand. She was purring. I do not understand her game. I hate cats.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

My neighbor took me to a Kings Game. He told me that I was to dress casual and to wear purple if I had it. I wore a purple dress shirt with a black tie and black slacks. The ladies had to rub my arm and smile. Women are so forward now. They said I looked gorgeous.

We arrived at the stadium. The Kings were going to play the Celtics. I missed pageantry and was feeling excited about the spectical.  Every seat in the stadium was full. People wore purple and green. Some had cowbells. A new leader, someone they called the Coach was to be crowned…or at least I thought.

The Celtics were not the Celts I knew of. They were huge, tall men. Some were over seven feet tall. They did not look like Celts.

Then the Kings came out. They were the huge men as the Celtics. I wondered what sort of challenges they would partake in. I saw no weapons.

They played with a ball. They threw it into a basket. At first I didn’t understand why everyone was so excited, then I was swept into the pandemonium. Girls danced. Music played, The crowd cheered. People yelled. Everyone danced. My neighbor’s wife grabbed me and we were on the “hug cam.”

Nobody was killed during or after the game. The losers were not punished. Everyone was happy. I don’t understand. There must be consequences unless this is just a circus show masked as a royal tournament.

~ Vlad

 

Kings vs Celtics

 

Dear Diary,

The spectacle of last night made me think of a story my Baba used to tell. It was long centuries ago when I was a child. It was back when my blood still ran warm and my heart would beat strong in my chest.

Once there was  a prince called Alexander who was betrothed to marry a woman he did not love. This woman was beautiful but she was also shrewish and it was rumored she took many lovers and would continue to do so after marriage. She planned to lock Alexander up and keep him to herself, as her toy. Young Alexander, only 16 years old, wished to be free like the squirrels and other woodland creatures. So on the eve of his wedding to the woman he did not love Alexander fled into the woods. 

Alexander became lost in the deep dark forest. The branches tore at his clothing and hair. He did not know what to do until he heard the sound of clicking and then laughing. Going towards the noise he found himself in a clearing. In the middle of patch of mowed grass was a table. At the table sat a squirrel, a possum, a cat and a snake. They sat around the table with bottles of wine and a cup of dice. 

They looked up at the startled young prince. The cat said in a voice rich with musical tones, “please, Alexander, come sit with us. Come play our game.”

“Tell me the rules,” said the prince.

The squirrel bushed up his tail and turned his head to the side. “First you must tell us your wish. Then we all throw the dice. Those with low scores must take a drink. The player with the high score gets to ask a question of one of the players.”

Alexander thought this was an odd game. “Who wins?” 

“You’ll see,” purred the cat, then she licked her paws and slicked back her whiskers. “What is your wish.”

“I wish to marry for love, eventually. I’m only sixteen,” said Alexander.

They all nodded, even the snake who stared with a flicking tongue and black eyes like polished obsidian. 

The cat motioned for the game to start. The squirrel rolled five, the cat rolled seven, the snake rolled two, the possum rolled eleven and Alexander rolled twelve. 

The snake hissed and rolled it’s eyes, “I win because I rolled my own eyes. I’m also tired of our wine.”

“And we’re tired of your whine,” said the squirrel. He then took the snake by the tail and threw it into the forest. Alexander could hear it cursing and slithering away through the brush.

The all drank big slugs of wine and told Alexander to ask a question of one of them. “I will ask you a question,” he said turning to the possum. “Why do you play dead?”

The possum grinned with sharp teeth and answered, “I play dead because there are Vampires in the woods. I wish to keep my blood so I play dead.”

The squirrel laughed. “Roll the dice.”

The squirrel had the high score of ten. He asked the cat, “Do you like living in the woods.”

The cat slowly closed then opened her bright green eyes. “I love my friends but I wish I had a forever home.” 

The possum started to cry because her answer made him so sad, so they all quickly took a drink and rolled the dice again and again. The game went on for hours until they were all too drunk to play anymore.

In the morning Alexander woke up on the table with the cat sleeping in the crook of his arm. The squirrel was sleeping on a branch above them. The possum was sleeping under the table. The snake had returned and was sleeping curled in a tight coil by the prince’s feet. 

The cat opened her eyes and started to purr. Alexander scratched under her chin. “Who won dear cat?” 

“You did,” said the cat, “but there is a catch. You must take me back to your home in the castle.”

Alexander and the cat said goodbye to their friends and promised to return. 

Upon his return Alexander was greeted with angry words from the woman he was to marry. She pulled him by the ear and slapped his face. When he could take no more he opened his jacket and out jumped the cat. The horrified woman backed away. Her eyes started to water and turn red. Then she sneezed so hard that her brains blew out of her nose and she fell dead upon the floor.

The cat said, “I had heard she was allergic. That is why all cats were banned from the castle as soon as the engagement was announced. Now you can become a man in peace and I will live with you as your cat. I’d like to tell you that I’m really an enchanted woman, but no such luck, I’m just a cat.”

Then the dogs came in and licked up the brains and they lived happily ever after together. And eventually, about ten years later the prince found his true love, and she loved his old cat as much as he did.

And that was the end of the story.

After writing down this story, my cat jumped in my lap. I wondered if she would kill for me. I doubted it.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

Tonight I went out for dinner.

Meals used to involve cunning and seduction. Sometimes meals would involve force and stealth.

Now I go to a local gathering place and women approach me. They smile and tell me I’m cute or gorgeous or dreamy. Their goal is to seduce me. I don’t understand this change in culture but I am not going to complain. Finally there is something about the modern world that I find pleasing.

When I arrived home I put my hand in my coat pocket and to my surprise it contained a pair of dice. In the woods next to my house I could see the glow of eyes and the rustle of leaves in the trees above me.  My cat rubbed against my legs and mewed. The game is on.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

A note about this post:

This is in response to a contest run by Evil Squirrel.

These were the rules:

1. The theme this year is games. I want some form of a game to be involved in your creation. Anything that involves competition between two or more participants is allowed… board games, sports, multiplayer video games, children’s activities… etc.

2. Since we don’t want any solo gaming, your creation must include at least two characters… and they must be at least two different species of animals (and while your entry may contain humans, they do not count towards this two species requirement. Fictional animals, such as unicorns, do count towards this requirement). Note that your creation may have as many characters as you wish, just so long as there’s at least two different animal species represented.

There are a lot of other really great entries. Please check out the link below or CLICK HERE to see all of it.

http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2015/02/01/the-second-annual-contest-of-whatever/

And thanks ES for another fun contest.

 

~ 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

 

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