Burning Question #36: Who Will Be At Your Thanksgiving Table?

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Who will be at your Thanksgiving table? I know who will be UNDER my table. But this is about who will be above the table.

Thanksgiving will soon be here. Yes, this week’s Burning Question is about the upcoming holiday. If you don’t celebrate the traditional American (USA) version of Thanksgiving you can still imaging who you would like at your table at any large celebration where there is a lot of conversation and wine. 

Are you tired of the same old Thanksgiving conversations about Uncle Beezie’s corns, or Aunt Lulu’s prize winning rabbit hutches, or why Cousin Karl can’t get his shit together? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to yell, “Shut the fuck up,” before the turkey is even carved?

Just imagine if you could mix it up a little. What if you could add three more new and interesting famous or semi-famous people (animals or Vampires) to your guest list?

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I’ve complied a list of writers, artists, creative film folks, scientists, and others who I think would be interesting. I can’t guarantee they all like turkey, but that’s ok. Everybody can bring their favorite side dishes and deserts to share.

If you don’t know who someone on the list is just look them up. You ought to be able to find everyone if you do the Google thing.

 

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Burning Question #36: Pick Three Guests to Join Your Thanksgiving Table

Hey, if you have room add up to five more guests. The more the merrier.

To tell the truth my Thanksgiving celebrations have been absolutely wonderful with family and wonderful friends. But hey, we always have an open door and welcome new folks at my home.

I’ll have more on Thanksgiving later. In the meantime put in your vote (you can vote multiple answers on this poll) and add your own thought in the comments.

PLEASE add them in the comments below even if you’ve added something to the “other” choice. That doesn’t always show up.

Have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Burning Question #35: The Ultimate Poll – November 6

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Vampires Vote – So Should You

And if you vote YOU GET A STICKER. And if you vote by mail you can feel good about yourself knowing that you voted.

My message is for everyone to VOTE on Tuesday. I might not agree with you or even respect your opinions BUT I DO respect your right to vote. I honor your right to vote. And remember…there are people in other countries who DIE for their right to vote (yes, that still happens).

Also do your RESEARCH. Know WHO and WHAT you are voting on. The ads on TV and the radio don’t tell the truth or only tell half truths. Don’t listen to actors or comedians or late night talk show hosts or haters. Listen to the words of the people running for office. Look at their records. Look at the facts. The better informed you are the better you’ll feel when you vote.

Don’t be IGNORANT. It isn’t attractive. I always tell my children to never date anyone who doesn’t vote. Yes, I do have strong opinions on this subject.

 

Burning Question #35: Are you going to vote?

 

By the way, I’m working as a Poll Officer on Saturday, Monday, and on Tuesday. THAT is how much I care about this. And yes, we do take an oath to make sure you get to vote. Also, don’t yell at your local poll workers – they don’t make the rules. Call your local county officials and yell at them.

My husband Teddy, Cody (our Vampire in training – a new Vampire from the Silicone Valley), Lola (my great great great grandmother), my brother Val and the two extremely elderly Vampires (who were sitting on the floor doing bead work or something crafty).

Cody asked “You’re all US citizens, right?.”

“Of course we are,” said my husband Teddy.

“You were born in Panama.” Teddy always thought that was one of the cool things about Teddy.

My parents were US citizens. I was born along the way when they headed out for the Gold Rush in 1849. That made me a citizen of the United States, because my parents were citizens.

“What about you?” He asked Lola and the ancient ones.

“I was born in Rome but I have lived here since 1801.” Lola’s father was a Pope a very long time ago but that is another post.

“The places we were born don’t exist anymore, at least not as cities.” Called one of the ancient Vampires from the floor.

“Vampires vote.” I said. “As do Werewolves. We all work, pay taxes, send our kids to public schools. We drive on the roads, use the parks, need law enforcement and the help of the fire departments. And there aren’t enough of us to help with National Defense. So of course we vote.”

“We pay taxes,” said Val, “more than our share.”

“What about ghosts?” Cody just had to ask.

“They’re dead.” We all said that at once.

“Zombies?”

“If they’re not quite dead yet they can vote, but if they’re dead with complete brain failure and their soul is gone they can’t vote.” I said

“Do Vampires ever run for office?” Cody looked at all of us.

Val answered. “We have but it isn’t a good idea these days with the media being all over the private lives of those running.”

“It could endanger us all,” I said. “We prefer to work in the background. After all, more often than not it is the background people who make the decisions and really run the show.”

“Has there ever been a Vampire president?” Cody asked.

“Not a president but there have been a few elected officials in high places,” Lola answered. She would know.  “A Vice President or two.”

“Why don’t we just come out of the closet?” Cody was new to all of this. The new ones always ask this question time and time again.

“They’d kill us,” said Val. “That or try to put us in camps. It would be a blood bath. No pun intended.”

“People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” The elders said in unison in their quiet musical voices.

“And most people don’t want to understand,” I added.

Teddy looked up and took off his reading glasses. “It is easier to stay ignorant than informed. So let’s get back to the facts.”

So we sat with our voter books and laptops and did our research. Most of us had made up or minds but it was always good to take another look.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Burning Question #33: Love Bites

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Due to the fact that I’m incredibly tacky and that this is one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live I’m starting this week’s Burning Question with some introduction music.

I know it doesn’t really have anything to do with this but…

This blog is known for four five seven things:

  1. Parenting
  2. Vampires (and parenting)
  3. Love Letters (and parenting and vampires)
  4. Short Stories (and parenting and vampires)
  5. Taking your kids to rock concerts (parenting)
  6. Romance (with vampires, and on rare occasions parents who are romantic with each other)
  7. Burning Questions (with vampires and maybe parenting and mermaids)

Burning Question #33 (out of 50) is a last minute thing since the Internet was down for about 24 hours at my house. Even an old (almost 160 year old Vampire) like me needs the Internet. Sure I read, talk to my family, listen to Science Friday, pet my cat, play with my dog, but the Internet was DOWN all over the neighborhood. I live at the end of the line and in an Internet desert where our only choices are well, they’re crappy. So enough with excuses.

Oh, one more thing… after the poll, which I expect you to answer, I have posted something I wrote a while back about romance with Vampires. You can learn a lot from it. If you change your mind after reading it you can do the poll again (get out of the page then get back in.)

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Kissed by a Vampire

Burning Question #33: Would you kiss a Vampire?

 

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Your Homework Assignment (read it and tell me about it)

Love Bites, Love Bleeds, Falling In Love With A Vampire

Falling in love with a Vampire can suck. It bites. Vampires will leave you cold and in the dark. A Vampire lover will leave you drained and feeling dead inside.

All puns aside, it isn’t a good idea. For the most part, ok for all part, Vampires are cold-blooded predators. Sure we’re sweet and charming and fun to be around, but the embrace of a Vampire is dangerous place to trust your heart and soul. Well, of course unless you ARE a Vampire then the arms of a Vampire is the perfect place to be.

If you’re alive, I mean, a Regular Human, and if you’re lucky, a Vampire lover will leave you feeling the most alive you’ve ever felt. You’ll feel like you want to live forever. Your Vampire lover will fascinate you in every way imaginable.

Proceed with caution, for that good feeling will become like the highest high you’ve ever felt. The cold touch of your Vampire lover will be like the worst of the worst of addictive drugs. It will be both the beginning and the end of you. Then again, sometimes it can be just a normal strange relationship. It depends on how strong both parties are and what the end game is for both parties.

 

A couple of years ago my son, then 16, wrote the following:

 

One day we’ll part,

In different worlds,

Not so different,

Not the same,

You’ll have change,

I will stay the same,

You’ll have wonder,

I will stay the same,

You’ll have wisdom,

I will see the wonders of the ages,

Except that I will miss you,

My heart a broken mess.

 

Kind of breaks your heart. I mean, it broke my heart.

Vampires also become attached to humans, especially the young and new. We love knowing that things will change. We won’t change much but everyone else does.

There are those who keep their hearts cold to the warm-blooded kin, but that makes for a dull existence lacking the richness one gets from the company of others who are different and alive (so to speak.)

Sometimes we just can’t help it. I mean, can anyone help who they fall in love with? My own brother Andy spent 40 years with a woman who died a natural death, old for her time. She never allowed him to change her. He never left her. She knew the risks but also the rewards of loving a Vampire. Andy still speaks of her. It is heart breaking but at the same time, I am rewarded in the knowledge that they found real love. But what the found was rare. It was rare for anyone.

Then again, let me muse here a bit, falling in love with a Vampire carries risk. Let me tell you the risks.

  • Vampires rarely return the love
  • Vampires see you as a food source
  • Vampires take what they want, when they want
  • Vampires don’t always give back
  • Vampires are temperamental and moody
  • Vampires have friends you won’t be safe around
  • Vampires don’t willingly let you into their world
  • You will always be an outsider
  • You might die in the arms of your lover from blood loss, or alone in a back alley.
  • And you could return undead, without a soul of your own, a shadow in the dark.
  • Or you could end up like your Vampire lover and be part of his/her life for centuries, but that rarely happens. Rarely. More than likely you’ll still get dumped and find yourself in a strange world all alone. It is just all in a day’s work for a Vampire.

Now answer the poll and tell me what you think.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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No, this is not you and your Vampire girlfriend. It is not going to be like this. You’re just a dude in love with someone you have no business being with. Run away. Run away. She has fangs. Run away. But then again if you’re in love with her…

 

Burning Question #32: Send in the Clowns

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Saturday is here and it is time for another Burning Question. No clowning around this time. We have some serious business to deal with.

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Who brings on more visceral emotions than Vampires, Ghosts, Zombies, and Werewolves all put together? Clowns.

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Clowns – love them or hate them, they’ve been part of our culture since time began. There was always that person who could make everyone laugh. In turn there was always that asshole who creeped everyone out. This goes back to the time when we were all sitting around the fire at night chewing on wooly mammoth ribs. In every group there was always a clown.

Who doesn’t like a cute kid dressed up like a clown for Halloween? Awwww, those big buttons are so sweet and cunning. Just wait until you see their sharp little teeth.

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Eventually these clowns found out they could make a lot of money by clowning around, or at least have some fun with it. And the rest is history.

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I once knew a woman who had an entire room built to house her clown collection. She loved clowns THAT MUCH. Remember those Italian glass clowns people had in the 60’s that were sort of like flat plates? She had those. She had Royal Doulton Clowns. She had Red Skelton paintings. She loved her clowns. They made her happy.

When I was a kid I feared adults.  I hated the way they grinned with their big teeth as they looked down at me. I hated that they were always asking questions. I hated that they wouldn’t just leave me alone. It was no surprise I found anything like a clown both annoying and profoundly disturbing. Big grins in my face meant nothing but fear and loathing.

So, ladies and gentlemen step right up and answer Burning Question #32.

 

Burning Question #32: Do you like clowns?

 

 

Do you have any extra special clown stories? A favorite clown book? I read IT in one weekend. Do you remember Emmitt Kelly or Red Skelton? Or do you have a fun, delightful, snarky, rabid, heart warming, surprising, or unique clown story to tell? Share, please. It will be like the trick in trick-or-treat.

Mandy White (my favorite horror writer) this one is for you!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Burning Question #31: Twinkle Twinkle WTF?

Fall is here! The scent of pumpkin spice is in the air. Sweater weather is getting started. Halloween is just around the corner. Gourds are weird and wonderful and garnish our tables with colored leaves and mini pumpkins. Little monsters are getting their costumes ready. And we’re all picking out the best candy for our neighborhood kids.

So you go out to the store to find the best pumpkin, get some popcorn and caramels, and Halloween decorations and you hear an all too familiar song.

Then you smell… what is that? Pine and cranberries? Excuse me?

I love Christmas decorations and LOVE Christmas lights. No matter what size my tree is I put up at least 300 ornaments and about 20 strings of lights on my tree. I’ve got the cottages, the wreaths, the lights, the scented candles for the rest of the house. I’ve got it all but…

Burning Question #31: Is October too early to put up Christmas decorations?

 

And to think I was just marveling at the variety of pumpkins that are available now. Pumpkins! And gourds. I love gourds. This is the season of Halloween and harvest and things that go bump in the night. Thanksgiving is in November, and December is for… well, you tell me.

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So plug in your answers and let me know what you thinks. Yes, leave a comment, a poem, a thought, a bitter lamentations, a statement of celebration or whatever you want.

This has been the #31st Burning Question of 50 Burning Questions. I’ll see you next Saturday for Burning Question #32.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Allegory of Art and Life and Whatever (and College Students and Vampires)

I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about art.

Yesterday I stopped by my brother Val’s office/house downtown. I’ve always loved this large stick style home. He purchased it around 1910 and has done a remarkable job of keeping it up over the years when so many Victorian and Craftsman style homes went into disrepair.

Val’s office is on the bottom floor. The second floor is a comfortable space where Val keeps his official home address. On the third floor is an apartment occupied by a couple of college students.

Neither one of the young men, now in their third year of college, would have been able to go to school away from home without the horrible nightmare of college loans had it not been for Val’s Home Away From Home (so they call it.)

I’m not completely sure where he found Colton and Luke. I think Val met Colton studying in the old cemetery or something along those lines and the other kid came along. Colton was worried he’d have to move home and transfer schools and majors, or maybe just drop out. In exchange for rent they watch the place when Val is gone, do yard work and house cleaning, and keep their grades up.

The boys aren’t Vampires either, and they have no idea about Val. All they know is that Val is exceptionally cool and a little different.

Anyway, I was at Val’s thinking about art. Luke showed me some sketches he’d done of some friends of his on his way out to classes at UC Davis (a short trip across the causeway.) The kid is good. I’m ready to beat the crap out of anyone who discourages him.

Val was at his big desk with his computer checking all kinds of financial stuff I know nothing about. I looked up on the wall at his Maynard Dixon painting. It was of a woman wrapped in a shawl looking in profile towards a gold and orange landscape.

“You should donate that to the museum,” I said. “It is a hidden uncatalogued gem.

“Maybe. I haven’t had it that long.”

“You bought it from the artist. How old can it be?”

“Sometime in the 30’s. A mere matter of days for the typical Vampire.” He smiled and gave me that amused look that makes the girls all melt. Well except me because I’m his sister and I know his tricks.

“Why don’t you donate some of your art Juliette? God knows you’ve got it coming out of your ears.”

“I can’t. Not yet. I’m too attached. And I need more. I always need more art.”

Val laughed. I continued. “I bid on something for the art auction, you know the one for public television. I’m spending at least one day a week at the museum. Clara is taking an art history class so we’re talking about a lot of art. That isn’t a bad thing mind you. I’m also working on my art again. I’m also reading a book about art. My house is full of art. I’m going to go into an art coma.”

“Is that a bad thing?” My brother looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

“No Val, it isn’t a bad thing. It is a good thing. I’m just kind of overwhelmed. And I don’t have a Burning Question for Saturday.”

He told me to make it about art. We thought about it and threw around a lot of really stupid ideas, which is par for my Burning Questions feature.

I’ll think of something, or use one of our ideas.

Around that time Luke came rambling downstairs to say hello to Val. He was a typical twenty year old male with that sort of cute and, always together, always smart, and always on the verge of some sort of disaster look. It was charming.

“The outside lightbulbs are out, on the front and back porches.” said Luke. “Do you have any extras?”

“Sure. In the second story hall closet, next to the laundry room.”

“Thanks. Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead,” said my brother.

“You kind of like the dark don’t you. I know you aren’t cheap so it isn’t the electricity bill you’re worried about,” said Luke.

“Good observation,” said Val. “Glad you asked. My eyes are sensitive to the light and I just need to rest them.”

“Makes sense. OK I’ll change those bulbs, then I have to study.”

“On a Friday?” I asked.

“For a bit. I’m going out later. There’s a movie at the Tower, Sisters Brothers or something like that. I’m going with Madeline.” Then he gave a shy smile.

Val slipped him a couple of twenties. We talked for a little bit longer.

Val and I are very old. It is always good to be around the very young.

But now my old brain must think up a Burning Question for October 6. It will be something about art – that thing which has twisted up my heart and soul for as long as I can remember.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Allegory of Painting

Allegory of Painting, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA