Vampires Reflect On The Pandemic

Jake: When everything closed down it was a challenge. It isn’t like I could just run to the store. Sure I could get by on the bottled stuff, but it isn’t the same as fresh. I need that, you know, human interaction.

Elizabeth: 2020 and 2021 proves that even if you’re the prettiest girl in the room, if nobody else is there it really doesn’t matter.

Jayne: My workload tripled during the pandemic. I didn’t have time to be creative looking for donors so I signed up for Tinder. There were plenty of guys who weren’t too concerned with social distancing. For the most part it was fun. Everyone got what they wanted. I even have a few regulars now. They say they’ve never slept better. Yeah, blood loss will do that to you.

Max: Over the past month I’ve fed almost exclusively on Vampire Hunters. You can’t believe how satisfying that is.

Gunter: I know a few bottom feeders who are going around to the homeless camps. I try to avoid it. It just seems opportunistic.

Roger: I got my shots. Moderna. You won’t be able to go anywhere without that card. Sure I could have made a fake card, but I wanted to be seen getting the shot. I wanted the experience. I have to be as close to warm blooded normal as possible.

Ginger: I went right for the easy targets. Before the election in November there was a protest at the Capitol every weekend. I went for the extreme nut jobs. Most of them didn’t believe in social distancing so there was always someone I could isolate for a quick bite.

Randolpho: Creating a bubble of close warm friends was the key to success. I’d always bring food, or books, or wine. I’d make them laugh. That was the key. I don’t want to take without leaving anything.

Stay safe. Continue to wear your mask. Be kind. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help. Plant flowers. Don’t be a dick. Kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What We’re Talking About Today (with my kids)

I started writing this post a week ago while I was visiting my kids in Southern California. OK, just the title.

Since then, a long standing and troubling subject of these talks has resurfaced – shootings. Be it a grocery store or a school it seems that shootings are somehow normal. That is, at least a segment of our population who values clumps of cells in a woman’s body, and guns, over the lives of living breathing people – especially living breathing children. They use the term “founding fathers” to justify owning assault weapons that are made for killing humans (not animals for food.) The founding fathers would be horrified if they know their words and intent were used to justify parading around guns like fools and brushing off mass killings of innocent people.

Grocery store home deliveries will last much longer than the current pandemic because people will live in fear of being killed for the simple act of grocery shopping. They’ll fear going out for a massage because some asshole said he had issues with his own perverted sexual hang-ups brought on by religion, bigotry, and his own sick and twisted selfishness. The school shootings will start up again because young men will have access to guns in the homes of their family members, or guns they easily purchase when they turn eighteen.

My daughter was born in 1999 the year of the Columbine killings. It should have stopped then and there. It should have stopped. There is NO REASON this should be happening.

There are patterns. A few diverge but there are patterns. The patterns are ignored. The shootings continue.

With the advent of Covid-19 and various other changes in my life I’m not writing as many blog posts because I’ve sort of lost my sense of humor.

It also had to do with the suffocating political environment we were all living in.

On a good note, since this is a parenting blog of sorts, my daughter has been accepted into the Masters program at a major Southern California University for a double Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning. I am over the moon happy that this funny, happy, positive kid has worked her ass off and worked smart to get where she wants to be.

Of course I’m freely joking that my daughter got in and I’m not going to jail for it.

Cheating in anything is bad. Cheating at parenting is absolutely the worst. If you cheat to get your child into a school you don’t only set them up for failure but you also take a place from a child who deserves it. Of course if you cheat to get your kid to the front of the line you aren’t the kind of person who gives a shit about kids who aren’t yours.

My husband got the dog a new bed and the cat sleeps on it. The Internet if full of photos of cats sleeping on the dog bed while the huge dog sleeps on the floor next to it.

While I was in Southern California my kids and I walked along the beach and talked about everything under the sun and moon. We talked about movies, books, my daughter’s school, my son’s work, the environment, how huge cargo ships are, gardening, and dogs.

I always tell my readers to talk with their kids. Now that they’re grown we are still talking.

Museums are opening back up.

Restaurants are opening back up.

Maybe even movie theaters will start opening.

Werewolves and Ghosts have done alright, but believe me, it will be a lot easier for Vampires right now.

What is left in my coffee cup from a few minutes ago is getting cold, so I’ll stop my ramblings soon.

I miss those days of driving to school in the car with my kids and talking about whatever was on the radio or on their minds. I feel like those talks helped make them the successful young adults they are today. At least it got them thinking about the big picture – the world outside of their own small circle of family, friends, and school.

Stay safe. Keep wearing your masks. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Talk to your kids. Hug your dog, especially if a cat has taken it’s bed. Check in on those who are elderly, alone, or need extra help. And kiss a Vampire – you’ll thank me for it later.

I’ll be back soon – hopefully with something fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Times of Need

He held her hand and listened as she told her story.

“I…can’t…if I die…my body…I’ll be…put…in a freezer…nobody will get….me”

She’d come from across the street where she’d lived for almost twenty years. They’d become friends, sharing glasses of wine on their decks, discussing keeping up their Victorian homes, and everything else under the stars.

Tonight she’d somehow made it across the street. He’d let her in and tucked her into the comfortable bed in his guest room. She could barely walk, barely breath, and barely speak, but he managed to make out her story.”

“I grew up in a place where poetry had to rhyme. Romance always ended in a wedding. Divorced women were predators out to steal husbands. Women didn’t buy their own homes. It was all about waiting for a man. Tonight you’re going to be my man, but not that way. I hope you don’t mind.”

“It will be an honor to be your man tonight,” he told her.

“I’m divorced. My kids are in college. I can’t die of this. If I go to the hospital I’ll die alone. If I stay home I will die. My body will be taken to a storage freezer. My kids won’t know what to do. Their father is worthless. He isn’t in their lives. Will you make sure my children will be alright. They know you. They trust you.”

“I’ll make sure they’ll always be alright. Your children will be safe. You’ll be safe. You aren’t going to die.”

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll catch this from me?”

“No,” he said. “I am not afraid. I won’t catch it. I can’t catch it.”

She gave him a weak smile, knowing he wouldn’t catch it. Then she coughed again with tears of fear and frustration.

“I’ll make it better,” he said. “Is that what you want?”

She closed her eyes as she thought about her choice. As she tried to speak nothing came out. Then she squeezed his hand, and looked in his face.

Brushing her hair out of his face, then off of her neck he said, “Alright. Here we go. Next week we’ll be having wine on your deck and forgetting you were ever sick.”

The next morning she felt like she was having the worst hang over of her life, but the cough was gone. Her sense of smell was back. She laughed.

He came in with a cup.

“Coffee?” she asked.

“Spiced blood. You’ll need it.”

In these times we all need to take care of others. Wear your mask. Check in on those who are alone or might need extra help. Stay safe.

~ end

Over the river and through the woods to nowhere.

This year Thanksgiving will be small. Yes, even Vampires have holidays. Even Vampires have things to be thankful for.

The children, despite being adults, are going through a period of angst that they skipped when they were teens. Thank you Covid-19. Or should I thank all of the people who refused to take this thing seriously and said wearing masks had anything to do with their rights. Oh cut the crap. When Vampires start to complain about it then you know it is bad. When Vampires start to feel nervous and unsettled you know regular people are starting to become extra stupid.

So back to my kids. Only one will be here for Thanksgiving but that is alright. We’ll have some sort of Facetime or Zoom call. We’ll have good wine and a small gathering of four or five.

Sometimes I believe it comes down to this: Humans are the only monsters. The most dangerous disease they have is ignorance. There is a cure but those who have it are bound and determined to say it isn’t real.

Like my friend Randolpho says, “Anti vaxers and Covid deniers cut into our food supply.”

The fog finally arrived for the Thanksgiving season. Cold mornings mean a dog walk by the lake. It will be like going over the river and through the woods this morning but not to grandmother’s house. My dog is waiting. I must go. With any luck the walk will bring more positive thoughts…even Vampires need positive thoughts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Attending Marvels, Parenting, Smoke, Fire, Flying in the Age of Covid-19 and Stupid Stuff.

The fires in California and the Covid-19 Pandemic continue to rage on. 

This morning #45, a man with a name I shall not mention because I will go into an angry rage, was in town to tell us what we are doing wrong, spreading ignorance and generally making a horrible situation even worse.

Before he arrived I was lucky enough to catch a plane going 500 miles south of my hometown. 

I usually don’t comment on politics but after raising my children in a time when school shootings was a common occurrence I feel I can say whatever I want. Anyway his is MY blog.

Between Sacramento and Long Beach there was nothing but smoke. I looked out the window of the plane for an hour. I can usually see farmlands, mountains, cities, small towns, and even Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Today I saw nothing but smoke until we were just a few minutes from the Long Beach airport.

Since I’m visiting my children, and since I’m the mom I was tasked with bringing a few items with me. One was coffee. Apparently nobody in Southern California has coffee as good as Sacramento’s own Chocolate Fish Coffee. Another was roller skates. The average pair of competition custom dance skates with wheels weighs about 378 pounds. At least it feels like that trying to haul them around an airport and get them through security. Now you know why skaters have such great legs. Those skates are heavy.

Due to the pandemic the plane was only half way full. All middle seats were empty. I was the only one in my section. 

As I pulled out my tote bag I discovered I’d left my book at the airport. It was a well worn copy of one of my favorite books of all time: Attending Marvels: A Patagonian Journal by George Gaylord Simpson. The book is a journal about finding dinosaur bones in early 1930’s Patagonia. It isn’t just about the bones. Simpson brilliantly introduces the reader to the wide variety of people he meets (exotic and not so exotic) and most of all introduces us to the fantastic and almost unreal Patagonian landscape. I love this book above almost all others. It had such an influence on me. I can’t explain it because I usually don’t dig for bones. On the other hand I’m always up for adventure. If you can check the book out at the library or you can get a cheap copy on eBay. 

Luckily I’m one of those people who can sit on a plane for an hour and a half and do things in my head. I looked at the tops of the heads of the other passengers. I listened. There wasn’t as much talking at all – not like before the days of Covid-19. But up front I noticed there were two Vampires sitting together speaking quietly in a mixture of the old Vampire language and English. One had honey blonde hair and the other a dark auburn. I didn’t know them or introduce myself. It was just an observation. I didn’t feel like meeting anyone new today or invading their space.

I’m down here for a week with my children. They’re busy but getting weary of the smoke, the pandemic, the feelings of unresolved social injustice, and the environmental mess ignored and left up to them to fix. 

One is spending her senior year of college and working online. The other just received a gradate degree and is working online and trying to start a business with his best buddy from childhood.

Sure they’re Vampires, as are most of their closest friends, but the same things weigh heavy on them that weigh heavy on all young people these days.

When I return home I’ll replace the windshield wipers on my car that have been ruined from the ashes and grit that has rained from the sky. I’m thankful that it is somewhat clear here. It is still smoky but I can see real sunlight. 

While I’m home I’ll savor my time with my children and try to forget everything except us. I’m here, as always, to give them support, and love, and to make them smile.

I’ll have more on our adventures as the week progresses.

Stay safe, wear a mask, turn off the news, be kind to others and yourself. And if you get a chance kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Technical Difficulties and Just Trying to Chill

Forgive any weirdness. I’m trying the new block editor on WordPress. I don’t know where any of the settings are. I’m also on a borrowed tablet as my computer is in the shop. I brought it in a week ago today. The guy in the shop said they’d contact me in three business days. I’m not sure what days they’re doing business but it has been a week. Despite the fact that my computer has survived MIDDLE SCHOOL and HIGH SCHOOL, and by that I mean sharing it with CHILDREN, this is the first time I’ve had to have it in the shop.

Children do weird things when they’re around computers. They pull the keys off of the keyboards. They pour sticky stuff on the track pads. They drop them. They eat over them with the opinion that the more crumbs they drop on the keyboard the better. They paint the outside of lap tops with nail polish and acrylic paint.

I haven’t even started on the weird software and apps they download.

If I ever get my somewhat trusty 2012 MacBook Pro back I know I will get judgmental scowls by the guys in the computer repair shop. This isn’t one of those dark geeky holes that are run like a later day umbrella repair shop. It is a sleep modern place in a somewhat trendy part of town about a block from a HUGE Intel facility. Please, guys, don’t judge me. I know the real problems started when my huge dog slipped her huge horse sized head under my arm and caused me to spill coffee all over my track pad and keyboard about a month ago. It might have been more than a month ago. It might have been two or three months ago. I’ve lost track of time.

My husband suggested I just get a new computer but … I need to see if this one can be fixed. That is just the way I roll.

As I write this I’m looking out the window to my back yard and the dry field behind my house. The clearing has happened for fires but that is small comfort. If a fire rolls through the narrow ravine/canyon there will be no stopping it. There aren’t any fire roads.

Already there are fires exploding all over California. The air is smoky. That adds insult to injury when it comes to yet another day of triple digit weather. My heart goes out to those who have been evacuated or are facing evacuation.

This morning I was going to talk about Lola’s latest adventures and lies but I’ll get to that later. Maybe later today.

For so many, including myself, it is difficult to concentrate on anything right now. Adding stupid things like computer repairs, car repairs, broken air conditioning, and hot water heater leaks just adds to it.

College is virtual this fall. Yesterday my daughter said, “Going to college online is a lot better than having permanent lung damage.” We discussed this after hearing news reports of colleges in other states opening with optional mask requirements. Students and staff came down with Covid-19. No shit. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help you there. Wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands will help.

My not-so-smart phone isn’t working that well either. I can’t get online with it. I can’t text photos to most people. The screen is broken. Yes, I’m low maintenance. I’m not worried about my hair, my nails, or much of anything else. Everything is pretty basic right now.

But last night I had a Zoom class and I couldn’t even get on with this tablet. I tried to download software and put in 34,000 passwords with no results. Finally I think I set up something and the new password I created was CatShit123! Then my husband came in and told me to use his computer. It worked. Thank goodness something worked.

I know I’m just whining. I’m the mom so I rarely whine. I didn’t even whine or use bad words (except for the passwords) last night. I think most of us are doing that. We’re just going along and realizing that everyone is dealing with the same cat shit.

This morning I saw where some bitch was cutting down police lines in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and yelling about masks, and generally being an idiot. A young man in his 20’s filmed her. He was totally an American kid, but she started to spew racial slurs at him due to his dark hair and skin which was slightly darker than hers. She told him to go back to where he came from. I’m sure he came from someplace a few blocks away. WTF? Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with people? Just wear a mask and realize that some places will be closed for a while. Turn on Netflix and watch The Witcher again. Go watch The Floor is Lava. Just chill. Don’t call people nasty names. Don’t be a racist because a playground is closed.

Maybe I’ll try a DROP CAP.

Oh look, a giant letter.

I’ve got to get more coffee and go out and make sure most of my plants haven’t died.

I’ve also put a ban on anything political. The thought of all of that childish and stupid insanity makes me truly want to drop F bombs.

Other than that I’m painting walls and canvases. My kids are safe. We’re in touch with friends and family. We live in a nice house and not a hot dusty crypt. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I can’t figure out how to make a bulleted list so you just get a plain list today, but it is still important.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands.

Kiss a Vampire (it is safe. We can’t give you Covid-19)

Call your kids.

Pet your cat.

Stay safe.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman