California Afternoon, Vampire Guys (again), Parenting and Modern Life

California Afternoon, Vampire Guys (again), Parenting and Modern Life

Yellow Flip Flops

Michinori waited for his teenage twins in the school parking lot. I waited with him. We also had loads of books to donate for the library book sale (our tax dollars not at work.)

I welcomed the company of an old friend on a Friday afternoon as I waited but… as you know, anytime a male Vampire goes into a public place, especially in the middle of the day he’ll get a lot of looks. They just reek of a certain “you want me now.” I just hoped the librarian’s knees wouldn’t turn to jelly when we brought the books in. I could already hear the women in the office and the female teachers saying, “Michinori is here.” It was worse than someone bringing a box full of 6 week old Lab puppies or cake or anything that pulls you and makes you giddy for absolutely no known reason. You know the feeling.

It was almost as bad as when my brother Max would go up to the school, except Max would intentionally flaunt it. He is so bad that way. He is horrible. When my husband Teddy shows up parent information meetings are packed with mothers of teenagers. It is good for the school but almost embarrassing for me. I should keep smelling salts in my purse for all the swooning.

Even years ago (a long long time ago) when people didn’t mingle the way they do now, women would look at my friend Michinori, feeling shocked that they’d be so attracted to such an exotic gorgeous creature. It was so wrong. No matter what color or background they were drawn to him. Then again he wasn’t just Japanese, he was also a Vampire.

He’d come to California years ago as a teenager, about the same age as our kids are now, to build the railroad and maybe escape his life as a less favored son. He met the 8th daughter of a San Francisco merchant. She was just one of 14 children (split between several dead wives.) They’d seen each other by the edge of the river, a place they both went to get away from the world. It was a world they didn’t feel like they belonged.

And when they met they found that they belonged with each other. It wouldn’t be easy for the dark eyed Japanese boy and the blue eyed American girl of Welsh descent.

They would live in the few places where they might be marginally accepted. Proper men and women shunned them.

Fernando and his friend Michael didn’t shun them. They were also a couple of mixed cultures and of the same sex. They lived a dangerous life with a love that wasn’t accepted by anyone. Both couples were outside of the law and outside of common decency.

Yet, in the circle of friends and family Fernando and Michael had made all were accepted. So they accepted Michinori and Rosalie, who in 1875 became Vampires. And they became my friends.

This was around the time my husband Teddy joined our ranks (another story.)

By 1999 Michinori and Rosalie were no longer seen as an oddity, especially where we lived, they were just another normal couple. That was the year their twins were born. That was the same year my own daughter Clara was born.

So we’re waiting at the school when we start to laugh about some stuff our kids had been talking about…

You know you’re from California when…

  • You know YOLO is a county.
  • You live on a fault line and your house is still worth a million dollars.
  • 65F is considered freezing.
  • Everyone gets excited when it rains.
  • You have flip flop tan lines on your feet year around.
  • You always know where the closest Certified Organic Farmer’s Market is and the price of strawberries.
  • You have a stash of old sheets to throw over your citrus trees in the winter.
  • You’ve never experienced a snow day.
  • You get tired of people from out of state asking you how many times a year you go to Disneyland.
  • Every high school has someone famous on it’s alumni list.
  • You NEVER say “Cali” when you talk about where you live.
  • You’re always within a two hour drive of anything you could ever want to do.

We went on for another 10 or 12 items then heard the final bell. School was out. Word was also out about Michinori being at the school.

Our children have a tight circle of friends at school.  The Vampire kids stick together because they like to be with their own kind. But they had friends of all different kinds. They accept that. Despite all the stupid things going on at their school, I hear there is tolerance that isn’t found at most schools. That is a tolerance for people who are different. You know I don’t even like to use the word different. Lets just call it an acceptance of everyone no matter who or what they are. You like the people you like and love the people you love for who they are inside. We teach our kids to see people for how they act and how they treat others – that is what matters.

That said, those Vampire guys… sigh. They’ll always take advantage of their unique charms but as long as they keep everyone happy I guess that’s ok.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Click here for “Why Vampires Wear Yellow Flip Flops.”

What We’re Talking About Today On the Way to School Today

Every since the election in June we’ve been regularly seeing heads explode as we drive along the road, especially in the morning hours. It makes a mess, but our roads are so bad around here that everyone just pretends to assume someone must have hit a pothole, or maybe it is aliens, or turkey vultures attacking suburban drivers…

As always, we listen to the news in the morning. I’ve grown sick of it and turn it out. My children do not. As wee ones they asked cute questions. Now as young adults they make bone chilling comments that make me wish that seventeen year olds could run for President, Congress, and the Senate, because they seem to be the only ones making any sense these days.

LBGT rights. Is there a problem with that? Why should anyone care? Don’t we just want everyone to be happy? LBGT families are like any other family. Parents love their children. Period. Here’s the deal. Married people pay more taxes. Period. See where this is going?

My kids often wonder why some people are so obsessed with the sex lives of others. It is all in the name of religion and morality. If you’re so moral then why are you so obsessed with sex? Why is your attitude so unhealthy. This is out of the mouths of teens. Of course if we’re talking down and dirty gossip then it is all good fun. Who doesn’t like to see the fall of a hypocrite caught in an affair after condemning others for their unmoral behavior? Who is anyone to judge? Especially those who do not even try to understand.

Yes, folks, this is why Vampires, Werewolves, and others keep to themselves. Don’t ask me how you can become one of us, and where our private clubs are because you’re not going to get an answer from me (or any of my friends.) Don’t hate me because I’m cold as death. Just hate me if I’m an asshole (which I hope I am not.) Or just hate me for using too many parenthesis in my writing, but not for my biology.

We discussed how THE WALL will be an environmental disaster among other things. The only ones dealing with walls should be Pink Floyd. The kids also keep asking about the Berlin wall. We all remember how that worked out.

I’ve made a list of news items and ratings from the teens I know:

Ivanka: NO

Grumpy Cat: Yes (even when she says NO) Yes, Grumpy Cat is a girl cat.

Coffee: Yes

AP Tests: Yes, but they still suck

Disneyland: Yes

The Lost City of Z: Yes

13 Reasons Why: Yes to both the book and the TV show

Old Men in Political Positions: NO

Botox: No

Squirrels: Yes (see link below to know why)

Cats: Yes

Dogs: Yes

Fiona the Hippo Baby: YES YES YES

Classical Art Memes: Yes

Canadians: Yes

French Election: WTF?

North Korea: No. And a sad face emoji for the people who live there.

Dentist Pulling a Tooth While on a Hoverboard: NO NO NO

Wells Fargo: WTF? Kids when you start a job don’t do that kind of shit. Not for anyone.

Anything in Washington DC: WTF?

Graduation Class of 2017: YES

Dutch Brothers: YES, even when there is a long line at the one street down from the high school.

Lists: Yes, because I’m not feeling inspired right now.

 

The conversation moved on to the dog who, despite her sweet nature, refuses to cooperate with any kind of training. She can do it. But she doesn’t want to. It is a power thing. Know any kids like this? Adults? Vampires? I bet you do too.

I might not be the biggest dog at the park but I’m going to make damned sure I have the biggest stick.

After dropping off the almost adult child I headed on over to the dog park. The big dog run was closed. The other dog run was full of HUGE (over 100 pounds) aggressive dogs. My young 85 pound German Shepard was dwarfed by these dogs. Of course she went NUTS. Sure I’m in touch with my paranormal side but it was almost too much for me to handle. I almost lost it. I went 0-60 in half a second from loving dogs to hating dogs. All dogs. Even my own dogs. And yes, right now mine is sleeping with her head on my foot as sweet as ever.

Text messages are fling in about a roller skate show tonight. Not at our club but at our sister club that my daughter’s partner skates out of. She and her partner are doing a new routine to Pink and Nate Ruess singing Just Give Me A Reason. They’re so beautiful skating (think Ice Dancing except on quad wheels.) Yes, teens are great.

I always thought Nate Ruess should be doing Broadway musicals. He has THAT kind of voice. Pink too. She is just WOW to me. I usually don’t like female singers (too breathy and high and whiney and I could go on and on) but she sings it.

Yes, I’m just rambling on today. Every have one of those days. In the back of my mind are sick and twisted stories of dark places with brick walls and black velvet curtains. There are howling winds along with howling wolves, shadows that look like ghouls with long twisted claws, and growls that could pass for satisfied purrs of lovers. You know, it is just one of those days when I just had to turn off the radio and turn off most of everything. I’m not as crazy bad as Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul but getting there.

Now for the Squirrel Story (not to be confused with the Squirrel Nut Zippers)

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/04/25/525363273/what-s-it-like-to-be-squirrel

 

Did someone say coffee? Blood?

Oh right, and remember to talk with your kids – about anything and everything. You’ll have fun. They’ll appreciate it. You’ll be the cool parent. And you’ll find out how cool your kids really are. And it is good for everyone. So do it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Musings of a Vampire Mom: All Worked Up & Getting Along

Jasmine and Oscar

I was feeling all worked up yesterday about everything in the news. You know, like the frustrating presidential election process (why didn’t anyone qualified run?), and why the chancellor of UCD hasn’t been fired yet (yes she is the reason why a public college education is so expensive – greed), and why there are so many stupid movie titles like “Batman V Superman” (did someone buy the last pair of XXL tights?), and a myriad of other stupid things.

But that has passed and reality kicks in. Reality around here is a relative term.

One could say that Vampires are like politicians in that we are constantly spouting off half-truths and lies, but it isn’t that way at all. We’re in survival mode. We have to hide what we are. Nobody wants to have their head cut off, be burned to a crisp, have a stake through their heart, or be sealed up in a musty crypt forever. We have a good thing going. Nobody is going to take that away from us. Politicians, on the other hand, have no excuses. None.

My children are engulfed in school. Every day I’m told in person or by phone or text what they learned and discovered. This isn’t something I demand. It is just what they do. I’d like to think I instilled that excitement in them. Then again, I see that natural joy of learning and discovery. It is always sad to me when I see that desire to learn and excitement killed in a young person. We must always keep questioning and learning. Yes, I know there are quiet children who need information coaxed out of them… but never accept a grunt for an answer. Never demand an answer – engage the young people you know.

The more young folks are engaged the less chance of a scary future. Young people need to be encouraged to question, research, discover, and make educated conclusions on their own. And we, the older generations, need to listen to them.

As I write this I have one cat sitting on the table next to my laptop, a puppy curled at my feet, and another cat on the chair next to me.

The facts:

  • Both cats were close to our old dog Jasmine.
  • Jasmine loved both of the cats.
  • Gloria the calico hates Oscar the gray cat.
  • Oscar would like to be friends with Gloria.
  • Oscar is slightly afraid of Gloria.
  • Gloria doesn’t give a shit.
  • Oscar and Gloria hang out together when they are outside.
  • Alice the puppy is hurt because the cats don’t like her.
  • But the cats don’t run away from her.
  • Alice tries.

Yet, they all sit here with me and act civil towards each other. The cats will eat out of the same bowl today. The pup will get closer and closer to the cats but they won’t attack her, only occasionally hiss. They accept the fact that they have to live together. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could be like that.

And why yes, I am rambling on and thinking out loud today.

A cold storm is blowing through and I find myself alone with my thoughts, and three animals who let me know that they need my companionship. I have to admit that I enjoy theirs.

Today is one of those days when I’ve tried to dredge up stories from my past and I can’t bring up anything. It is like a movie with somebody else starring in it.

Today is also a day for new beginnings to look to the future – for my kids, my animals, and for me. Only my notebook for this chapter is still blank.

So we shall see.

 

vm_rick

 

And don’t forget that Thursday is ASK JULIETTE (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone.) It is a regular Thursday feature on Vampire Maman. If you have a question about parenting, relationships, Vampires, other paranormal stuff, gardening, travel, science, fashion, or anything, and I mean anything, just ask, and I’ll answer. Put your questions in the comments on this post, or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

May you find no bad blood in your goblet of life, and no ghosts in your soul.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vampire teens

 

What we’re talking about today (with my teens)

“Can I get my belly button pierced?”

“No”

“Why not.”

“Because I said so. Don’t bring it up again.”

OK I have to admit that one came out of the blue.

“Hey mom, look water falling from the sky.”

Wow. It rained. Not much, but it rained.

The weather. Freezing in far off parts of the United States but here in California…the hills are still a dull brownish gray. The only green is where Teddy cleared the fire line behind our house. It has rained once, and only for about an hour, since October. Before that maybe once since May. Everyone is going out to the lake to see the old Gold Rush towns and bridges that have been exposed by the lack of lake. I’m noticing the smaller lake by my house starting to drop and wonder if old settlements and the original river bed will be exposed by spring.

Back in the drought of the late 1970’s my brother Val and I drove across the bed of Folsom Lake. About a year after that it rained again. The lake filled up. Then everyone was talking about 100 year floods. Just last year people were still saying our area could be the next New Orleans (and old levee issue plus the building of homes where homes should have never been built.)

100 years ago downtown the houses are built with the first story being high off the ground due to a history of floods. Everyone used to have a small boat “just in case.” The good old days. You wouldn’t believe the mud.

Then the subject came up of stupid adults who should know better (than to behave as they do.) A friend (a teen my kids go to school with) gets nasty mean text messages from his mother’s boyfriend. He doesn’t live with his mother, but needless to say, the boyfriend feels the need to be an asshole jerk-off and send this good A+ student hate messages. What is wrong with some people.

It reminded me of a story my dad told me about his childhood a million years ago. When my dad was 16 he was sent to help an uncle dig a ditch. The uncle taunted my father without mercy. This was due to the fact that my dad could read and write. He lived in a house with books and ideas. The uncle said “you think you’re better than me city boy.” After some more digging and insults passed the uncle threatened to kill my dad. So my 16 year old father whacked his uncle on the side of the head with a shovel and knocked him out. My dad was never bothered by his uncle again.

Unfortunately kids can’t just clock someone with a shovel these days and not get into serious trouble. Too bad. I figure the jerk-off who is texting our friend is threatened by the fact that his girlfriend has a smart successful child. The boyfriend is also a bully of the first order. I don’t understand women (and men) who put a new lover before their own children. I will never understand that. I also never understood how people who don’t like kids insist on dating people who have children. Assholes.

Then we talked about how some adults will sexually abuse teens – because they think they can get away with it. There was a story in the news about a girl who finally came out on YouTube about her experiences and everything finally hit the fan for the abusive teacher involved.

I told my kids about a friend of mine who was molested years ago by a responsible adult – her orthodontist. She said that when that happens kids feel helpless to do anything. They feel like they aren’t important. They feel worthless. They feel like nobody cares. She told her parents years later and they said nothing. They didn’t show outrage (as she would if it had happened to her own kids.) The just changed the subject. They were more worried about her smoking with her friends (something none of them did) or making out with boys her own age than her being safe around adult predators. She couldn’t go to them back then and even now there was nothing. It was her word against a respected family man with a lot of education and money. My teens are puzzled and angered by this attitude. So am I.

Please let all teens know that even if their parents might not listen or might be uncomfortable subjects that there is always an adult at school who will listen. Or call 911. Put those perverts in a cell where they belong.

This morning we talked about why politicians take bribes, why there are so many shootings, who should go to the skate meet on Superbowl Sunday aside from the person skating, the need for new jeans, college and the dangers of being a journalist in a war zone.

We talked about music. We talked about all of my teen’s friends. They’re fortunate to have so many good friends.

We’ve talked a lot about the upcoming Winter Olympics. The one to watch is Jason Brown (men’s figure skating.) He is a joy to watch.

On the way out the door I noticed we were all wearing the same thing. Black shirt, dark jeans, black shoes, mismatched socks. All three of us. I do love my kids. We all agreed that their dad would never wear mismatched socks. Oh well.

Have a good weekend everyone and remember TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. It is the best thing you will ever do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman