Oh Crap

If you’re a parent of a child of any age, especially a child who believes they are socially aware and socially responsible, you need to tell them that it is important to pick their battles well.

By that I mean that they are not to fly off the handle and get hysterical at everything they see, because it might not be what they think it is.

A few weeks ago I took my 86 pound German Shepard to the self dog wash. A self dog wash is a place with lots of waist level tubs with lovely ramps so that the dogs can comfortable walk into the tub. Then you can wash your dog without destroying your drains and bathroom at home. The dog wash supplies shampoo, conditioner, brushes, warm water, and towels. There are always a lot of dogs there of every size and shape. It is a regular dog party.

The last time I took my dog in we had a unsavory moment in the parking lot. We couldn’t park in front of the dog wash so we had to park a few feet over in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. As I walked my dog Alice across the parking lot she stopped. I assumed she’d stopped to sniff something, but much to my dismay she was in that uncomfortable squatting position trying to poop.

I pulled her over to a planter where she did her business, then turned to go back to my car to get a bag to clean it up. In the meantime a women (in her 20’s) who saw it all started to go hysterical.

She screamed, and I mean she screamed, “OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. THAT IS DISGUSTING. PICK IT UP. PICK IT UP. OH MY GOD. PICK IT UP.”

I yelled back that I was on my way back to my car to get a bag. The woman rolled up her window and continues to shriek at me.

By the time I got the bag, picked up the poop, and took it to the garbage can the woman was out of her car and I assume in Trader Joe’s or one of the other stores near there.

So I left a note on her back window explaining that I was on my way to get a bag to pick up the poop. I also used some not so nice descriptive words so she’d know I was talking to her and not somebody else.

I wish I’d also added, “you’re not so fucking woke as you think you are.” But I didn’t. Maybe next time. Besides, I’d already used the F word on the note.

As a parent I know I should not have left the note. I do not recommend my children or their friends leave such notes, but my kids and their friends are better people than I will ever be.

Later I told my extremely socially aware 19-year-old daughter about the incident. She was shocked. Not because my dog pooped in public, or that I left a nasty note on the car of a shrieking banshee.

With the all of her wisdom, for my daughter is one of the wisest people I know, my child said, “If you’re going to get hysterical save it for something that is really important, not dog poop in a planter.”

Yes, I know there are those of you who ask what if ALL of the dogs crapped in the planter? 

All of the dogs don’t crap in the planters. The woman acted as if I’d crapped in the planter. She acted if I’d killed my dog in the planter. She acted as if I’d slashed her tires and smeared dog poop all over her car. She acted as if I’d caused Global Warming. She acted as if her entire world had ended.

What she should have done is offered me a bag. Or she could have just minded her own business about my dog’s business. Or she could have told me there were bags inside of Trader Joe’s. Instead she acted like a hysterical fool.

It is ok to react to things you do not like, but before you start going nuts and making assumptions you need to STOP and THINK first.

I swear to God I feel sorry for anyone who dates that woman.

It is also not a good idea to yell at someone with a large dog, especially dogs of certain breeds, because you never know if it is trained to protect it’s owner. My dog is a mild mannered love muffin, but if the woman had been out of her car there would have been growls. If it had been a different dog there could have been more than growls.

Kids have to learn to stop and think. That goes for adults too. That doesn’t just apply to crap in a parking lot. It applies to everything. 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can ask me, or read many of the dozens of popular advice columns out there (Dear Prudence on slate.com is my favorite.)

My poor dog doesn’t do bad things intentionally. Most dogs don’t. Also, remember that busy people sometimes forget to put poop bags in their purse or pocket. Remember that parent’s leave the house and forget snacks and kids get whiney. Remember that old people are sometimes really slow and that they were once young and slow. Remember that it isn’t worth driving around all day with a nasty note attached to the back of your car because you pissed off a Vampire mom with a large dog.

That’s all. I’m done. Now I’ll get off of my soap box and take my dog for another car ride. With any luck she’ll go before we go.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lost Keys and Lies

Every have one of those days when getting out of the house seems nearly impossible?

I couldn’t find my keys this morning and of course I was running late. And no I can’t just change myself into a bat.  That only happens in fiction.

I’m scouring the house but nothing. Then I heard a throat clearing.  I turned around and behind me is the Ghost, damn him, with my keys.

“I believe I have something of yours.” He said that with a nasty curl of his lip then flicked a lock of black hair out of his eyes.

I reached for the keys and they vanished, along with the ghost.

I let out a string of not so nice words (the kind moms pretend not to know) and then tried to sense where he could have gone.

Off of the bookshelf I grabbed the box with all of the spare keys. Does anyone else have keys to cars, doors and safe boxes they don’t even remember?

Anyway I grabbed the spare keys to my car and yelled, “If you don’t give me my keys back I’ll pour a bottle of Pinesol on your grave. I’ll pour a gallon on it.”

Nothing.

“I know where your grave is Nigel. I looked you up. I know all about you.”

I heard a clang as the keys dropped on the tile floor of the kitchen. I picked them up and headed for the front door.

He stood there waiting for me. “How’d you find out where my grave is?”

“I don’t even know your last name. How would I know where your grave is?” I looked at him with such calm as his eyes narrowed and threatened to turn me to ice.

“You’re a Vampire and a liar,” he snarled at me.

“And I’m really good at being both.” Then I smiled and headed out the door.

Anyway, tell your kids that lies and bad words are not acceptable…of course unless you’re dealing with a ghost.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman

First posted April 2013

Musings on a Hot and Unremarkable Day (with Dogs and Vampires)

girl and her dog

Yesterday my friend Jack was complaining about his allergies. I purred “poor sweetie,” into his ear, sank my fangs into his neck, took a half pint of blood, and his red eyes cleared right up. He just texted me that he felt great all day without the jitters he got from allergy drugs.

I could fix Jack, but on the way home the air conditioning in my car wouldn’t get cold. It just blew sort of warm coolish air. I rolled down the windows. Heat and Vampires are not good friends. I put my hand on the cooling vent, but I couldn’t fix it. Damn.

I’d witnessed several things with no hope of being fixed like a few crazy people I saw. I’m not talking about people with mental illness. I’m talking about people who are nuts. These are folks who are just oblivious to others, without any social filters, etc. You know the type. As a Vampire I tend to avoid those types. Too much bad blood and weird vibes.

I swear, I don’t get it. These people have been wasting our time for centuries (now a lot of them just go into politics.) They are totally oblivious to the world around them. They’re oblivious to others. They’re as bad as Goblins (don’t even get me started on them.)

My respect goes out, especially to small business owners, who have to deal with nut jobs.

So yesterday I couldn’t get my temperature under control. Being undead isn’t all it is cracked up to be in fiction. We’re on the top of the food chain but we have our issues. To be serious I don’t like the term “undead” and rarely use it, but, anyway…

I got home and discovered the pup had a lump on her jaw. After digging in her mouth just to make sure she wasn’t chewing on a rock or some other piece of yard stuff, I discovered it was not in her mouth. I put my hand on the lump. There was no pain. I couldn’t help her. I don’t heal animals, except with love and my soothing voice. At the veterinarian office everyone thought my Alice was the cutest puppy ever. At four and a half months she weighs 39 pounds.    Alice wiggled and barked and got really excited. All of the people were feeling warm and fuzzy. Alice was super cute. I was feeling cold and detached. It is what my kind does at times. But I’m thankful that there is someone who can take care of dogs and cats.

At home I warned the pup NOT to chase or bother the cats. Of course she didn’t listen to me. The cats don’t listen either. Sometimes my husband listens. But I don’t have to worry about my husband scratching anyone or giving them abscesses.

When I came home from the vets office the math tutor was standing by the front door. The teen had fallen asleep and didn’t hear the doorbell. Vampire or not, teens sleep like the dead. Sigh.

While the math lesson was in progress I went outside to sit in the shade and thought about how I’d sat with people as their lives slipped away and their souls went on to another plane. It was always unnerving when there was no soul. Those are the times when even the hardest Vampire or Werewolf will look around for something unsavory that even makes us feel a bit unsafe and uneasy. Then the pup jumped on me with her giant paws and cool nose, and long wagging tail. Time to play.

Jack texted me again this morning to let me know he is feeling better than he has in weeks. Aside from the allergies, his wife just got a new job (her dream job), and an article he’d written had been published in a prestigious professional journal. I had to smile.

I looked outside for ghosts and didn’t see any.

And now it is time for more coffee, and time to get to work.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

We all need our dogs.

We all need our dogs.

 

 

Top things I hate about people who aren’t Vampires

Top things I hate about people who aren’t Vampires

Followed by a few things I like about people who aren’t Vampires.

Warning: Strong language, adult situations, offensive to everyone who thinks they are the shit.

People who won’t give you a recipe or leave out ingredients. Get over it. Your cookies, cake, salsa, tuna casserole, fill in the blank aren’t that special. Vampires don’t cook much but when we do we SHARE. That is what you’re supposed to do. Were you raised in a fucking badger hole or what?

Sexist views and general sexism. Men and women are different, but that doesn’t mean one is lesser than the other. So get over it – both men and women.

Humans who put dogs in crates. Unless your name is Schrödinger or you’re going on a trip or to the vet, dogs (and cats) should be allowed to be part of your life, not your prisoner. If your dog is so badly behaved that you have to lock it in a box MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE A DOG. Ever think about that? And don’t tell me that dogs feel safe in crates. Visit your local prison to see how it feels.

People who say they don’t like cats and constantly tell you about it. WTF? I don’t care if you don’t care for cats but you don’t have to make a big immature deal about it. That is just rude. You’re an adult now. Act like it. Are you threatened by the fact that people have cats? Are you threatened by cats? What the crap did a cat ever do to you? Just get away from me.

I hate it when people tell parents with small children, “just wait until she is a teenager. She’ll be HORRIBLE.”  Excuse me? Come over here in the corner and have a nice chat with the Vampire. Just because YOU were a horrible parent doesn’t mean that everyone else will be. And of course some kids have bad days. Some adults have bad days. But please, talk to your kids. I mean from the time they are born until the day you die and it won’t be bad. In fact it will be good. But really, back to the first point… don’t be rude. Don’t be an asshole.

What the crap is up with people who want us all to be Puritans again? Ahhh, they are obsessed with sex or more so what other people are doing in their bedrooms. And why the fuck are they all running for public office? Just mind your own business and wish people happiness in finding love and a sense of family and stability. And don’t tell me that YOU were a virgin when you got married because we all know you weren’t. The Puritans aren’t around anymore because nobody liked them. And nobody will like you if you don’t shut the fuck up. Just keep your thoughts to yourself. Go back to your badger hole.

I HATE people who say “I not into Vampires,” right in my face BEFORE they’ve ever read my blog. They have no idea what this blog is about. Do I tell them to shut the fuck up. No, I just smile politely and leave the boorish person alone with the guy who wants to discuss the relative properties of hydrogen vs helium and how he misses his ex-wife’s big tits. You’ve lost my attention and my respect. You aren’t that special. I listened to your stories and said nice things? Well? And it isn’t just my blog. How many times have you had someone tell you that they don’t like something you do for no reason other than to be rude.

Politics. Nonstop talk about politics. STOP IT. Just shut the fuck up.

 

I could go on until this is one of those literary “long form” blog posts, but I won’t.

I’ll now say a few nice things in a nice bulleted list.

  • I like how people laugh.
  • I like friendly open people, especially when I’m feeling a bit shy.
  • I like people who have open minds.
  • I like that fact that people are warm. That is pretty cool when you’re a Vampire to feel warm skin next to your cold skin. It is kind of like sitting next to the heater vent (your cat can tell you all about that.)
  • I like the way people give back and pay it forward and help others.
  • I like the way people write and tell stories after all these centuries. Seriously they keep coming up with NEW stories. Wow.
  • I like the way some people still have hope.

So thanks for listening. Feel free to add your thoughts on people who aren’t Vampires. And don’t tell me that you put your dog in a box – just don’t.

xoxoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Small Sharp Sticks

What the crap is that nipping at my ankles?

I looked around, then found myself being poked with a small sharp stick.

“I don’t have time for you.”

Lack of sleep and too much on my mind has rendered me impatient. I threw the Pixie across the room where it landed against the wall in a horrible splat.

They were everywhere. I was surrounded. I know I should ignore them but the keep biting and poking.

“Ignore them,” says my husband.

My parents have always done a superb job at ignoring them. Pixies don’t dare go around them. Unfortunately my siblings and I are not so skilled. The nasty little creatures keep reminding us of everything trivial that we shouldn’t be wasting our time on. They poke and poke and nip and bite and taunt.

Finally I said enough this morning and in celebration fixed a nice cup of green tea.

One of the little bastards came scuttling around with tiny sharp teeth and an impish grin. With the accuracy of a major league baseball player I threw my tea spoon at it and bonked the nasty little thing on the head. It stood shocked, then wobbled, and then vanished in a puff of pink and green smoke.

“Tell your friends I mean business,” I said just the last bit of it went away.

Outside my window I saw a ghost. It was one I’d never seen before, dressed in Gold Rush era garb. They get thick in the woods around here. I flashed it my fangs. The ghost opened his eyes wide and vanished. Ghosts and Pixies. Two things we can all do without.

Now I’ll have that tea.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

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Foxy Mendoza the Earl of Suave

He went by the name Foxy Mendoza but was neither Foxy or had any ethnic background that warranted then sir name Mendoza. The last time I saw him we was going by Mitchell Smyth-Robinson. Just imagine a Vampire in a cheap suit, no, please, don’t do that. Vampires don’t usually wear cheap suits. This time Mitch, excuse me Foxy, was wearing lime green skinny jeans, a tight black tee, a small black pork pie hat and had something that looked like a Yorkshire Terrier growing off of his chin. Gold hoops adorned his ears and he carried a bright red organically grown cotton man-purse. He called it a satchel. It was a man-purse. He still smelled of violet water. You can’t get the Victorian out of this Vampire who is always reinventing himself.

Foxy Mendoza is the epitome of ridiculous but he is also so successful at everything he does. Well, almost everything.

To make matters worse is the fact that I’m stuck with Foxy Mendoza aka Mitchell Smyth-Robinson aka Sonny Valentino aka John Earl… that fact is that I am stuck with this creature of many names is because I am the one who turned him into a Vampire. I cringe each and every time I think of it.

“So where did you get the name Foxy?” I had to ask.

“My flaming red hair of course.”

He is a strawberry blonde at best. I didn’t even ask about the last name Mendoza.

My kids were glad to see their Uncle Mitch. Aside from the strange ungodly hair on his chin they thought his new look was exceptionally cool. They laughed at his new name. Foxy laughed with them. But they still called him Uncle Mitch.

I have to admit that we all have those weird, eccentric, unusual and unique people in our lives. Those qualities are quiet annoying at times but can be quite charming as well. And face it, if you want to be a successful Vampire you have to have at least 3 out of those four qualities.

Yes, I know you’re curious about the circumstances in which I turned Mitch, I mean Foxy, into a Vampire.

It was 1879. We were really young. I was a few months from turning 20. Mitch, known then as John, was 22.  I met him on a boat, at night, in San Francisco Bay. There was no moon, only stars out. Anyway, I’ll write up the entire tale later, but he knew I was a Vampire. We started to talk. At first I wanted to rip out his neck he was so annoying but then he grew on me. He made me laugh. I made him smile. We talked until dawn and then kept talking. No, we were never involved romantically. Oh he could be so annoying that it frustrated me to no end, but there was something about him that was so… I don’t know, because he is SO annoying. But friendship is weird that way. So there you go. On my 20th birthday he was a Vampire and we were still friends.

Friendship is like that. I do need to tell you more about Foxy but then again you might want to tell me “NOOOOOO I can’t take it anymore.” Foxy brings that out in people.

Crap, now I have to figure out how to get him to shave that ridiculous thing off of his chin. What is it with guys and beards? My husband never had a beard and only one of my brothers sports one right now. Val has a neatly trimmed short beard that actually looks good on him. I have to take a break and smile here because Val thinks Mitch/Foxy is the most annoying person in the world and it takes a lot to annoy Val. Just makes me laugh.

And did I mention my friend’s laugh? Maybe it would be better if I didn’t. Think fire trucks and snorts.

Have fun everyone and never make an excuse for your weird and annoying friends. Just think of how boring life would be without them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Big Hat

One more bit of news… My first stand-alone collection of short stories is now available (with good reviews) on Amazon.com

Morning at the Vineyard

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