Conversations on Trout and Life with Vampires

This morning Garrett (age 19) and I stopped by to see Great Great Great Grandmama Lola. Even as Vampires go she is old (born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer), but she looks all of twenty-six.

In her living room was a large fish tank. Garrett immediately went over to check it out. “When did you get this Grams?”

“Last week. I caught the fish myself. Aren’t they lovely.”

In the tank were two rainbow trout, fresh from the river. I could have given her flack about catching wild fish but I didn’t. It would have been a waste of my breath.

Garrett held out his arm and an African Gray parrot landed on his wrist. Lola claims the parrot is over 200 years old but I never know what to think. She has had the bird for over 80 years so she could very well be right. But then I never know with Lola.

I noticed a pair of boots on the floor, tucked halfway under the coffee table.

“Company?” I asked.

“Upstairs sleeping. He’ll sleep for the rest of the day so you don’t have to worry about any awkward moments.”

“So he is just a Regular Human and not a Vampire?”

“Of course,” said Lola. “He works nights for the Highway Patrol. I think it was the boots that did it for me, well that and everything after he took the boots off. Anyway, I’ve made sure he won’t wake up for another six hours at least.”

Then she looked at me and smiled. “Remember the time, when we sat on the wall on the boardwalk watching the ocean and smoking cigarettes for hours. There must have been a thousand shooting stars that night. Then we went dancing with the two brothers from San Francisco.  I could taste the whiskey in their blood. Oh God, I can smell the salt air thinking about it. Do you remember? They were so funny. We couldn’t stop laughing.”

“They both died in the trenches,” I said.

“Trenches? World War One?” Garret asked.

“Yes,” said Lola. “You’ll learn that…” she paused. Then she twisted her long curls into a knot on top of her head, then took a deep breath. “I know you’ve thought about this Garrett. Over the years you’ll meet a lot of people and you won’t forget any of them. Some will go to the back of your mind of course. But what I’m trying to say is you need to respect the memories of those you come across and respect their lives. Respect those you entertain for blood, as well as those you entertain for company. They are more than prey. Respect that.”

“I do respect them. Believe me Grams, I do.”

“Good,” said Lola. “You’ve raised him right Juliette.”

On the way home I thought about those young men, Albert and Hubert. Al and Bert. I thought that war would be the last. We all had that sort of wishful stupid thinking. But no such luck. People are still as stupid and evil as ever. Thank God I was born a Vampire.

Garrett said he wanted to invite Lola down to see him at college. I thought it was a good idea. It is always nice when grandparents visit their college aged grand children, even is the grandparent looks more like a sister.

Lola still suffers from nightmares of things that happened long ago. She has shakes from bouts with Vampire Hunters and scars that have never quiet healed on her body and spirit. She won’t admit it. She lies and says she is alright. I have to admit that we all do that to some extent.

So I excuse her for keeping trout in her living room, and a parrot who sings dirty songs in French and Italian. I excuse her for having men with six pack abs in her bed sleeping off blood loss from the night before. I really don’t need to excuse her, because I accept her. There isn’t anything wrong with her.

I find myself wondering if the mom in me has made me think in ways that are too prim and proper for my own good.

A few days ago I was laughing at this (look below at the funny from Classical Art Memes.)

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And my sixteen year old said, “Most parents would have no idea what this means, and you’re laughing out loud at it. That is what makes you the cool mom.”

I don’t always feel cool, but I can out hip any hipster. What was that song? Make “Em Laugh. You know, Donald O’Connor. Look it up on YouTube. I can Make Em’ Laugh. And I can out hip. Yes I can and without looking stupid. Vampires invented hip.

I doubt if my grandkids (when I have them in the far future) will find a 32-year-old CHP officer in my bed, but I’ll be relevant. I’ll be more than relevant. Even now my kids aren’t embarrassed to be with me. Granted we’re Vampires, but teens are teens. Holy crap, I wouldn’t want to be a Werewolf parent. Their kids are weird.

So anyway, just keep laughing, and loving, and don’t bring wild game home, or CHP officers if you can help it (I don’t care how good looking he is.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lola

Lola

Am I not hip enough for you?

Cody, my new Vampire friend (it will be a year in April that he has become a Vampire) told me I needed to be more “hip”.  Cody is 27. I met him downtown wearing black slacks, heels and a blue jacket with pearls. I can’t wear scarves, sweaters and canvas shoes all the time. Come on, give me a break.

We’re Vampires Cody. V A M P I R E S. Now say it after me “We’re Vampires”.

What Cody? Am I not hip enough for you? All of the teens I know think I’m “hip” and they are the future. And they think I’m funny. They think I’m really funny.

I buy local wine, local organic produce, local blood, local beer, local jewelry and just about anything else that I can get local. I reuse and recycle everything. I listen to indie music. We go to small clubs to listen to that music with our teens. I watch indie films. I drink a lot of coffee and tea. I read indie and self published books. I read poetry. I wear fingerless gloves. I wear flip flops in the winter. I wear a lot of black (but I’m not Goth, but I could be and I can be whatever I want to be despite what you think). AND I’m a graphic designer (a professional graphic designer who uses a MAC).

I garden in my back yard – organically.

All my pets come from a shelter. And they are all spayed and neutered.

We have Ikea furniture but won’t get any more because it is a pain in the ass to put together and too heavy.  We get more stuff off of Craigslist and find cool old antique stuff that we mix and match. We have stuff fixed and we repaint and we repurpose. We’ve always done that.

I don’t do this because I’m trendy, or hip, or even making a statement. I do this because it is the right thing to do. It is what I’ve always done. And I’m not young. I was doing this before you were born. Before your parents were born.

I DO draw the line with living in a small space. I need space. I need MY SPACE. I won’t budge on that one.

My kids were brought up going to a FREE MONTESSORI PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL. We live near the FREE PUBLIC WALDORF school, or as we call it the “hippy school” and they have a very happy art filled school. Very cool. We like them.

Montessori is the ultimate in hip education. It is the bomb in hip everything. All kids should go to Montessori schools. Montessori Schools ROCK. Charter schools ROCK.

So don’t look at me and judge me, because you don’t know how hip I am. Yes, I do wear a Rolex and have a Coach bag which I will wear with my old beat up Doc Marten Oxfords. I wear jackets from the 1950’s and sweaters from Target and whatever I can mix and match together with the earrings I get from the local craft fair.

Judging people (as we learn in the Montessori school) is totally and completely UNHIP. So don’t do it. That means YOU Cody. Ahhh you have so much to learn young man.

And I write a blog. A blog about parenting from a Vampire Maman (mom) point of view but this applies to all mom’s and all parents and all teens. Enough said.

So today’s list (with bullets) is:

  • You don’t have to be hip.
  • Do what is right – not what is popular
  • Wear what you want.
  • It is ok to be hip.
  • It is ok not to be hip. (There is a song about that. Look it up)
  • It is ok to be old.
  • It is ok to be young.
  • It is ok to wear ugly hats if you want to (but I don’t advise it.)
  • Or like the man sings – you can leave your hat on.
  • It is ok to be yourself even if your friends aren’t you (think about it.)
  • It is not ok to judge or feel like you are morally profound, unless you are a saint. And I know you are not a saint.
  • Sometimes it is ok to vent even if some people will think you’re an a_hole.
  • Everyone will eventually be hip somewhere in the space/time continuum.
  • Not everyone is going to be like you and it is fun to have friends who are not like you. Really. Take my word on it.
  • My daughter has a shirt with a picture of a cat on it wearing a knit hat. Our cats won’t wear hats.
  • Cats will always be hip.
  • Flying Squirrels will always be hip – they’re beyond hip.
  • Listen to your mom.

____________________

On more of a fun note…and I don’t mean to judge. When we look up the neighborhood connections at our house we see stuff like Chuckslink, ATT2394, Comcast1256, JackandLisa231 etc etc etc. A few months ago my daughter went to visit cousins in a different part of the country where the culture is a little different. A place where there is a large Vampire population (my parents lived there before they came to California). Anyway she said the connections were all named “F___ you rednecks get your own damn internet”, Not your F____ing internet, F_____ you a__hole” etc etc etc. We had to laugh…but I’m not judging. Just telling a story. I thought it was funny.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

hipster+cat