If you have a cat…

As a parent, even a parent such as I am, one sees a lot of nasty stupid things. You’d think by the time your kids are almost grown (almost 17 and 20) that it would stop. And I’m not talking about kids, I’m talking about parents.

Dear Super Mom,

Maybe the reason you change your children’s teachers, schools, churches, sports, coaches, sports clubs, isn’t because everyone is insensitive and not doing their job. Maybe it is you. Maybe YOU aren’t doing your job. So just shut the fuck up and stop bad mouthing everyone. Look at yourself. And look at your kids – they’re mean to other kids, and they lie. Because of that other kids and adults don’t like them. Go figure your kids are just like you. How sweet. OK I’m done. Peace. 

 

Now that I have THAT out of the way…

Clara and I are planning another cross country road trip across deserts, mountains, and plains. Vampires love road trips. It is a time to crank up the music and see America. And who doesn’t like to taste the local flavor, if you know what I mean.

We are driving from near Sacramento, CA to Lincoln, NE, through Denver, CO. I’ll make sure I send photos from the road and my travel log. We’re going to the National Artistic Roller Skating Championships.

Excuse me for a second. Outside of my window is an angry Ghost. Did I mention that it is the middle of the day and over 105 degrees farenheit outside? Did I mention that I live on a hill, so the window is about two stories up.

I’ll be right back.

OK I’m back.

I motioned for the Ghost to come inside. He looked horrible – almost dead. I mean, he is dead, but not that kind of dead. Unless he is in his head-bashed-in with a frying pan look he had when he died he looks pretty good. He was one of those guys with almost a pretty face. You know, the kind with the sweet smile and eyelashes that make any woman green with envy. Yet, he is still extremely masculine. That does not sway my opinion of him, which is that he is usually a complete asshole.

He vanished in and reappeared standing behind me. His already shaggy black hair was almost standing on end. His skin look gray, even for a ghost. He wore his funeral suit without the jacket, and his black tie was loose around his neck, and he’d rolled up the sleeves.

“You look like you’ve been to Hell and back,” I said to him.

“Don’t even joke about that,” he said, then whispered the words Vampire bitch under his breath as if I wouldn’t hear.

I haven’t seen Nigel, The Ghost, for months, then suddenly he shows up in a bad mood, expecting my full attention.

I wait for him to speak, as one does with a Ghost. And I wait. He says nothing. Then I try to go back to writing something meaningful for my blog post about traveling with teens and young adults, but I’ve lost track of every thought in my head.

So I ask. “What is it Nigel?”

“Nothing.”

“Is it the heat?”

“I don’t have a physical body. I don’t feel heat.”

I’m not one for guessing games. In fact I hate guessing games. You know the type I’m talking about. Someone comes in and says, “Guess who I saw?” or “You won’t believe this. Guess who is getting married?” I don’t want to guess. I don’t want to throw out a dozen names and still not know what you want to tell me. Just tell me. So I didn’t even ask Nigel anything, and of course that drives him nuts, because he’d come back at me with a “guess what” fill in the blank.

The calico cat rubbed against Nigel’s leg. Yes, cats can do that, even if you don’t see the Ghost. Cats always see the Ghost.

Nigel gave the cat a smile and stroked her head, then he glared at me and vanished. I’m not even going to speculate on why he stopped by, other than to annoy me, or maybe he just needed to see the cat.

The train of thought is lost forever.

But I know that if you have a cat to pet then everything will be alright. If you have a cat your most troublesome Ghost will fade away with a smile on his face.

That’s it for today. Time to cool off.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

First published here in 2016. The kids got silver in their event. In 2017 they won gold. We’re not going this year but we’re still skating. I’m also still watching out for Nigel. I passed the cemetery where he was buried a few days ago and thought about him. As for the cats, they’re still sitting on the table by my laptop. 

 

Editors

My Editors Gloria and Oscar: Food and a box is all they ask for (usually)

 

2018 AGT and Cocktails. Summer is here!

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Summer is here and that means the Vampires gather in front of the big screen TV and watch America’s Got Talent. It also means we drink cocktails and I record all of the comments from the Peanut Gallery.

This well worn tradition of blogging about the show started in the summer of 2012. We’ve been watching it since 2008 when my daughter and I discovered it one night while we were on the road for the artistic roller skating regional championships. We were hooked. We still haven’t hooked my husband Teddy but that’s ok because he drinks, makes rude comments and makes cocktails for the rest of us.

So without any more boring history let’s get on with the show. Right now the show is in the audition stage. Two acts have already received the Golden Buzzer. That means they can go on without a second try-out. One was one of those dance troupes with a zillion kids being thrown into the air and twisted around like so many cute pretzels. Teddy thinks the man who run these groups have latent tendencies towards pedophilia. Hey, I’m just writing down what I hear. I’m not overly fond of those groups either.

The SECOND Golden Buzzer, which was pressed by Simon himself was for Michael Ketterer a pediatric mental health nurse who is also the father of six children. He and his wife had two girls, then they adopted four boys. Michael’s story was that he wanted to show his kids that they could dream big. He also showed everyone that he not only has a big heart but a soulful big voice.

For the first two auditions there weren’t very many acts that stood out. Oh, except the CATS. There were CATS that did tricks. Big fluffy house cats that did amazing tricks! We loved those cats. See the link to the cats at the end of this post.

So last night we watched auditions #3. Yes, we record everything so we can fast forward thought commercials and stuff we get bored with.

My husband, kids, brother Val, Grandmama Lola, and a few friends were over. I was going to give the usual warning about snarky rude comments and bad language but there wasn’t any. By far round three was the best so far. Alright I take that back. We fast forwarded through a large block of dancers (Clara said they copied their moves from YouTube videos.) Most of the dance groups are on the level or below the level of most high school or middle school dance groups. Just an observation. We also fast forwarded the circus acts and the weird techno acts because they are BORING.

But this is what we liked:

This precious 13 year old just might end up being the 2018 Winner (if the cats don’t get it)

I usually don’t like “Quick Change” acts but this is an exception. These two put on a great show, and they were adorable.

And finally… OMG this guy was brilliant and funny and weird. We loved it. And no, he isn’t really German.

Teddy said that the AGT folks should just give the cat act from the first audition group a million dollars just because they’re a CAT ACT.  This is seriously fun.

AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR COCKTAILS!

Summer Chai Chai Cocktail

Last night Teddy fixed something different.

  • 4 ounces cold Chai Tea. Use unsweetened tea bags and either brew it and chill it, or make sun tea. Make it strong. 1 bag for each cup.
  • 3/4 ounce passion fruit puree or juice. You can also use pineapple, or any other tropical fruit depending on what you like.
  • 1 ounce blood (leave out if you’re not a Vampire)
  • 1/2 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 ounce balsamic vinegar

Mix this all together and pour over a glass full of crushed ice. Garnish with mint if you have it on hand.

So have fun, drink responsibly, sing a song, smile, hug your kids, and enjoy the summer. I’ll see you next week for more AGT fun and cocktails.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

vm_rick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burning Question #13: Be Positive. Thank You.

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Once again it is Saturday and time for the 13th of 50 Burning Questions. Answer YES or NO on the quick and easy poll below. Your answer is secret and will not be sold.  

Oscar Wilde

I have always adored Oscar Wilde.

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” ~ Oscar Wilde

This (below) is my cat Oscar who was named after Oscar Wilde. Stay with me here a bit… We had a gray kitten, but I didn’t want to name him Dorian Gray, so I called him Oscar. That was eight years ago. He is wild, especially when we’re trying to sleep. And like Oscar Wilde, my Oscar is a talker.

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

This is Oscar. I love this cat so much.

But we’re not here to talk about cats, Oscar Wilde, or donuts, or the fact that some people spell it “doughnuts.” Why the fur-ball would anyone spell it doughnuts?

But Oscar Wilde, and my cat have a point there. You want to see the donut. I mean, don’t YOU?

What we’re talking about is blood, because as you all know this IS a Vampire blog. And don’t you forget it. OK you can forget it if you’re afraid of Vampires.

We’re also talking about ill tempered Vampires, and others who insist on being negative all of the time and are all doom and gloom and oozing with negativity. Who needs that?

This is also a PARENTING blog so just be forewarned if you’re afraid of parents, or children.

I know you’re all getting tired of me, and I’ve completely confused you (on purpose mind you) so here you go… Burning Question #13… drum roll please.

Burning Question #13: Is a pessimist’s blood type B-negative?

 

jellydonut

Always go for the jelly filled ones.

All negativity aside… I mean, how can you get negative when donuts are involved? Thank you so much for dropping by. I’ll see you next Saturday, or hopefully before then. B-positive!

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Cats, Lies, and Vampire Parenting Blogging

I was out on my back deck this morning holding my cat Oscar close because I love him. I love the feel of him, the way he hugs my shoulder and purrs. He is so warm and soft (like a rabbit). I heard a noise and looked out in the field to see a coyote trotting along. Oscar tensed up but held on, not with his claws but like a small child would. We both watched the coyote. It glanced up at us then turned and trotted of the way it had come. I held Oscar tight and told him “Come in before somebody eats you.”

Warm things are nice, especially if one is a Vampire. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cool touch but, anyway, I thought of my lunch meeting with Jack, my regular lunch date and regular human. He also knows I’m a Vampire a fact that has complicated our once simple symbiotic relationship.

Jack was out of his shirt, my hands were on his shoulder. He kissed me lightly and pulled me down next to him on the couch. My kiss moved to his neck and just as I was about to sink in my fangs Jack says, “Stop, I can’t do this today. I’m giving in a blood drive tomorrow. They called yesterday needing my type.”

I stopped. I could have continued. But I’m not that kind of Vampire. I’m the kind who blogs about parenting and being nice. Needless to say I was sorely disappointed. I could have ripped his throat out. But I just sort of sat there feeling a bit disappointed.

I stood up and sort of tried to think of some witty thing to say. Jack came to me and pulled me close. “I know you like my warmth. Let me share that with you.”

I ran my hands down his arms, over his chest then around his waist, setting my face on his shoulder. I could hear his heart beating.

Then Jack said, “I saw your blog.”

That shook me out of any dreams of blood lust or any other kind of lust.

“Which one?” I had to ask for this isn’t the only one.

“Vampire Maman, musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. I liked it. You write just like you talk.” He went on to talk about his favorite posts and how he liked the short stories and the parenting stuff and writing on the ancient and elderly. He liked the humor (thanks Jack.) He said I was right on target.

“Good.” I said that not knowing what else to say at the time. For a rare moment I just wanted to be quiet. OK it isn’t that rare, but at that time I just wanted still. Like when he’d found out I was a Vampire I was feeling a bit exposed. I wanted run.

But I stayed. I held him close, because sometimes just something warm is nice. He turned me around to face a mirror. His image was clear. My own Vampire image was a shadow or like a ghost. It was like the image in a daguerreotype that vanishes when turned or shown in the sunlight.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror and I’ll become clear.”

We stood there looking at each other in the glass, so different, yet connected in our weird way. My image became as crisp as his, as so did my nerves.

We talked a little more about our kids and other odds and ends of everyday life. I guess it is those odds and ends and kids that make it all clear for us.

Just like with Oscar, I suddenly felt protective and wanted to say to Jack “come in before somebody eats you.” I kept that thought to myself.

As I left he gently kissed me again, as he always does. He didn’t say he’d keep checking the blog because he knows me well enough to know that the uncomfortable truths are always wrapped up in lies and disguise, but in the light of the day it is like a warm hug or a kiss that brings it all into the light, or at least makes me feel like I can be clearly seen.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This post was first published in 2013.

 

I Seek You Out

I seek you out

I attack

Then sing the song of my people

Loud

With gusto

And wake the dead

And the living

To cry out

The fact

That I have found

A rubber band.

 

I am

The Cat.

The end.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

gloria the calico cat

Miss Gloria will be the first to tell you that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your comfort.  Never has. Never will.

 

Burning Question #10: Humorous Byproducts

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This week I want you to make sure your thinking caps are secure. It is time for Burning Question #10.

We’re going to be conscious about the seriousness of this question today. We’re also going to try to stay awake, which is another type of consciousness. We’re going to try to keep our humor about ourselves. And we’re going to all get along or something weird with Vampires might happen and you don’t want THAT.

gothhippie

Excuse me, um yes, we’re going to be philosophical today. On a personal note, true story, I used to date a guy who knew everything about Kant. On a parenting note tell your kids not to date philosophy majors. But I Kant* talk about that now…

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Burning Question #10: Is a sense of humor a byproduct of consciousness or something else entirely?

 

 

23sme

And then there are cats but they aren’t part of this question. That is another question entirely. Dogs are included in that as well. But are cats and dogs even conscious of their own existence? Do they have a sense of humor? The answer is YES and YES on both, at least for cats. OK for dogs too. Cats are just such assholes that they don’t give a shit what anybody thinks but they’ll eat your byproducts (so will dogs.)

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This has been the 10th of 50 Burning Questions. Only 40 more Burning Questions to go. See you next Saturday for #11.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

*Kant didn’t say any of this and is no doubt now rolling over in his grave right now, or he might be laughing. You never know. His name just makes for a great pun.