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.”

You never know about anything, not really.

“Nothing is certain aside from the fact that we are Vampires, and we are not like the rest of everybody else.”

So my father used to tell us when we were children.

He gave his brood of five (four boys and me) this advice, but also tried to keep us from being clannish, and prevent us from being closed minded when it came to everybody else, be they Vampires, or others. There were more “others” than I ever imagined.

I remember as a child watching in fascination and disgust at the Werewolves who’d walk along the river front in their garish but expensive clothing. They’d smirk and look as if they were going to eat everyone they saw. That was far from the truth. Despite their arrogance they rarely killed anyone while in their wolf form. I later learned that they were sort of pathetic, and sad creatures.

But enough of that. A lot has changed since the 1860’s. Most Werewolves blend in to the point where nobody notices that they’re never around on full moon nights. I mean, really, who would notice?

I’m full of busy today, but I thought I’d take a few moments to re-share a story (first shared her in 2014) of my childhood, about strangers, those who aren’t like us, and Werewolves.


Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Mars was exceptionally bright in the sky last night. The moon was less than full but still exceptionally bright.

This morning I dropped the kids off to school. Garret’s car is in the shop so mom gets to drive. Anyway, I drop them off behind some temporary classrooms (that have been there for 45 years) because Clara doesn’t want to have to walk by the large group of “Stoners” who hang out every morning at the logical drop off point. So this morning she tells me she over heard one of the Stoners saying “That woman stops and turns around every morning. Weird. I guess she doesn’t want to stay here.” They had no idea I was dropping off kids. Sigh.

So the moon, teens, clueless thoughts… what does that all lead to? It made me think of a distant memory of when my brothers Val, Aaron and I were teens.

Go back to 1873. We lived in a city that had regulairly flooded, burned down, flooded again and survived illness and lawlessness and all sorts of disasters (Sacramento of course.) It was enough to make anyone want to leave, but instead people thrived and it grew. Railroads made kings. Agriculture was starting to boom. It was a city with growing art and culture and the new capitol building was almost finished. But to us it was home and our concerns were not those of adults or even most people. We were teens, comfortable in our own skin, a little less Victorian than most our age, a little more independent than most. My brothers and I lived in a tight knit community of Vampires, part of the Modern Vampire Movement. But you already know that.

One night, under a full moon, my brothers Aaron (age 17), Valentine (age 14) and I (age 13) were taking a stroll along the Sacramento River. We were always out looking for vagrants and activity from any riverboats. We were on the prowl, three well heeled Vampire kids who could use our innocence and charm to get in and out of any situation before our prey ever knew we were there.

With our stomachs full and our dark little souls throughly amused we walked home through a grove of trees on the edge of the riverbank. There we came upon a camp. Two figures were hunched over half a dozen large fish, I believe stripers or maybe steelhead. They grunted and tore at the fish. At first glance we thought they were coyotes or large dogs, but then we realized they were something else.

“Werewolves,” whispered Aaron holding his hand out to signal us to stay still.

We watched in fascination, with a bit of disgust, as the two turned back into their human form – a young man and a young woman. They were about our age and completely naked. He was skinny, unlike my muscular brothers. His skin was pale under the moonlight like the bellies of the fish he’d just devoured. She was also thin with ribs sticking out and knobby joints. Her grayish unhealthy looking skin was covered with red welts. Long dark hair hung below her waist. But what surprised us most was the hairless tail that hung down about 6 inches on the end of her spine.

I elbowed Aaron and he gave me a quick look that said “don’t move.”

“She has a tail,” Val whispered a little too loud. Aaron put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth.

The Werewolves put on their clothes, plain and worn compared to our fashionable togs. We had a home and parents. These two were obviously strays just trying to survive their miserable condition.

Val and I wanted to approach the Werewolves but Aaron was against it. He said we should just let them be and they’d be dead more sooner than later. There was a prominent pack of well-heeled Werewolves in town but we had little to do with them and it was obvious that these strays were not part of their pack.

Occasionally my parents would deal with the Werewolves, but always held them at a distance and with considerable contempt. One thing that stood out about the well to do Werewolves was their fondness for velvet. No kidding. Those Werewolves loved their velvet.

This isn’t going to be a moral story where we went back and helped the young Werewolves. We went back and they were gone. None of our friends had ever seen them. We told our parents about them. In turn they mentioned the strays to the pack leader in town and he had never heard of the young Werewolves.

It was just one of those weird things. Ships that pass in the night.

I asked my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, about the pair when I stopped by his studio this morning (he is a photographer by trade.) He’d never heard of them. The tail on the girl turned out to be something extremely rare, just like a tail on anyone who is remotely human like.

“Why didn’t you help them?” Of course he had to ask.

“I don’t know. We were just kids. We thought they were dangerous. Beside that, maybe they didn’t need or want help. My parents asked around. Nobody knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it. I’m talking both Werewolves and Vampires. Nobody knew anything.”

I knew there would be nothing online about them but I after I left Adam I checked anyway. There was nothing.

This story has no moral or reason behind it. Just a story of something that happened a long time ago that I’ll tell my kids about and maybe they can find a moral in it.

It might be a mystery forever. But I have a knack for finding people and things so you never know. You never know about anything, not really.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman





We’re Not so Different

This is a season for stories both old and new. We tell old tales we love, and new stories become traditions.

I’m continuing the Vampire Maman Christmas Story Fest with this tale from my friend Mandy White. “We’re Not so Different” can also be found in the WPaD anthology Tinsel Tales (click here for link).

We’re Not so Different

By Mandy White

My daughter was clearly upset when she arrived home from school. Crystal tossed her pink, sparkly book bag into the corner and gave it a kick.
“Bad day, honey?” I asked.
She didn’t answer at first. Instead, she ducked her chin and pouted as only a twelve-year-old can.
I waited. Finally she looked at me.
“Is it true?” she demanded.
“Is what true, sweetie?”
“That we’re going to Hell?”
“What? Where on Earth did you get that idea?”
Crystal mumbled something unintelligible.
“Pardon me?”
“Becky Bullock! I hate her so much!” she ranted. “Just because her father’s a minister she acts like she’s God and treats everyone else like dirt!”
“Now, I hardly believe God would treat anyone like dirt, honey. Come here and talk to me.” I sat on the sofa, shoving aside a pile of towels I had been folding so she could sit beside me. Crystal plopped into the cushion, arms folded, glaring at the wall across the room.
“Why exactly does Becky think we are going to Hell and she is not?” I asked her. I suspected I already knew the answer, but I wanted to hear it from her classmate’s perspective as well as hers.
“Because of my report,” she said.
“Your report?”
“Yeah, we were all supposed to do an essay about holiday traditions and I did mine about the Christmas tree. I didn’t know the stupid teacher was going to make us read them in front of the class.”
I nodded knowingly. I saw where this was going. “Go on,” I prompted.
“So anyway, my essay was about the Christmas tree, and how it’s Pagan in origin. Like the story Grandma told us, about how in the old days it was a custom to bring a live tree inside the house to symbolize life and good luck and all that junk.”
“You actually said it that way?” I laughed.
“Not really,” she went to her book bag and withdrew a crumpled piece of paper and handed it to me.
I relaxed into the cushions to read the essay. I was impressed; it was quite good. Crystal explained how ancient Pagans believed evergreen trees had the power of eternal life because they stayed green through the dead of winter. During the winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year, they adorned their homes with the boughs of evergreens in hopes that the magic of the trees would bring the sun back for another year. It was said that the ‘sun was born’ during the Solstice. Feasts and celebrations were also held during this time to keep people’s spirits high and fend off the starvation that threatened during the lean months.
It was clear that Crystal’s depiction of the pre-Christian roots of some holiday traditions had offended her classmate, who had no doubt learned a different story in her household.
“So, at lunchtime Becky and a bunch of her snotty friends corner me and start teasing me, telling me that my whole family is going to Hell. ‘Jesus is the reason for the season!’ she says to me. Then she starts calling me a witch and a Satanist and a h-heretic!” Crystal sniffled and began to cry.
“What did you say to them?” I asked.
“I called them a bunch of assholes and then I ran away.” She peeked warily up at me from beneath tearstained eyelashes, checking to see if she was in trouble.
I burst out laughing. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. The mental picture of Little Becky Bible-Thumper and her friends’ faces after my daughter called them assholes just wouldn’t leave, and try as I might, I couldn’t help cracking up. That’s my girl, I thought. Your Great-Grandmamma would have been proud.
“That wasn’t very nice of you to say that. And it wasn’t nice of them to make fun of you either,” I told Crystal, who had begun to giggle through her tears at my reaction. “But, you could have gotten yourself in trouble. Remember the old saying, ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Becky is entitled to her beliefs just as much as you are.”
“But Mom!” Crystal insisted, “She doesn’t have to be mean about it!”
“No, she doesn’t,” I agreed. I put my arm around my daughter and cuddled her close. “You remember all the stories Grandma used to tell? The ones about her ancestors?”
Crystal nodded. “Yeah, that’s where I got the one about the tree stuff.”
“Well, then you also remember that our family lineage goes way, way back, to long before Christianity was even thought of. Our kind has been through happy times, and there have been dark times as well. Many of our ancestors were persecuted by the church and burned at the stake for things as trivial as practicing herbal medicine, or for voicing their own beliefs, much as you did today.”
“Which is why they’re a bunch of assholes!” Crystal said.
“From your perspective, it may seem that way. Try to think outside the box for a moment. Christians have also been persecuted for their beliefs in the past. Jesus was executed for the ideals he taught. Look at the Jewish people, and think of all that they have been through, or the Native Americans. No matter which culture, which religion you look at, you will find some point at which those people were victimized because their beliefs were different from someone else’s.”
“So everyone gets bullied, no matter what they believe, then. That doesn’t make it right.” Crystal observed.
“No, it doesn’t. It’s not a question of right or wrong, good or evil. From our own personal perspective, each of us is right, and the Creator has given us many paths to choose from. What’s great about the times we live in is that we are no longer in fear of being slaughtered for our beliefs. Neither is Becky Bullock’s family, or Jimmy Goldberg’s. We live in a time when a Wiccan child like you can learn in the same classroom as Becky, Jimmy, and all the other children who come from different cultures and backgrounds. Opinions will always differ, but if God is perfect, as Becky’s father teaches, then all must be right in the Universe.”
“So how am I supposed to deal with Becky next time she calls me a Satanist? Put a hex on her, or just punch her in the eye?” Crystal asked.
“Neither!” I laughed. “What you put out there is what you will get back, threefold. To quote your grandmother, ‘Remember ye the law of three. For what ye do comes back to thee’. Or, to put it in terms Becky might understand, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’. So, to answer your question, if you approach a situation expecting disharmony, you will encounter disharmony. If you go into it intending harmony, then that is what you will get back. Somebody famous once said, ‘Peace is achieved through understanding, not conflict.’ Remember that Becky is not so different from you. She deserves to be treated with the same tolerance for her beliefs that you expect for yours.”
“Fat lot you know about bullies, Mom. The whole, ‘walk away’ thing doesn’t always work. I may still have to punch her in the face, just warning you.”
“If walking away doesn’t work, then ask her how Jesus would have handled the situation. That might make her stop and think. You think about it too. How do you think Jesus have reacted?”
Crystal shrugged. “I guess Jesus would have turned the other cheek. Isn’t that what the Bible says? To love your enemies and stuff like that?”
“Exactly. Treat others with compassion, even those who oppose you. It’s what my mother taught me, and what I’ve always told you. Our beliefs are not much different from what Jesus taught.”
“But I don’t love Becky! I can’t stand her! She’s just so… mean to everyone. Especially me.”
“You don’t have to be her best friend or anything. All I’m saying is, think before you react. Negative reactions won’t result in peace. If that doesn’t work… well, be sure to ask your teachers for some homework if you get expelled.”
“Becky might get expelled, too,” Crystal commented, a hint of hope in her voice.
“See? I told you, you aren’t so different from each other.”
We giggled and snuggled on the sofa. The Christmas tree sparkled in the corner, the angel at the top smiling down at us as we gazed out the window at the falling snow.

Copyright © 2013 Mandy White


Thank you Mandy!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Tinsel Tales download is now available for only $0.99. Part of the proceeds will go to MS Research. Click here.


Werewolf Moon

Short Story Sunday Monday: Werewolf Moon

#17 of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories


Elizabeth woke to something dripping in her face. She opened her eyes.

“What do you need Brandon?”

“It’s a werewolf moon tonight and I’m a werewolf baby.”

“You’re drooling on me. How’d you get in?” She sat up and knocked her book on the floor.

Brandon laughed, with almost a howl and a growl. “I know where you hide the key.”

Elizabeth pushed him away sat up on the couch, this time almost knocking over her half finished glass of wine. Brandon grabbed it before it spilled.

“Liz, babe, come run with me tonight.”

“No. I’m not a werewolf.”

“You could be,” said Brandon giving her an over the top I’m-a-sexy-guy look.”

“No Brandon, I couldn’t be a werewolf.”

The hair on his arms started to get thicker. He cleared his throat in a raspy grown. “Um, mind if I use your bathroom? You know, full moon time.”

“Sure. You can leave your clothes here too.”

Elizabeth thought of how weird her life would have seemed to her sixteen year old self. She could have never imagined she’d be friends with a werewolf. On the other hand, she could have never imagined she would be a vampire.

She brought the wine glass and book into the kitchen. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, but then again, her life seemed so normal.

There was a light knock on the door, then it opened. A good looking guy with a paper grocery bag came in. She could smell something good.

“I was starving so I got Chinese on the way in. Hop Sings. I wasn’t sure if you’ve be hungry or not, but I couldn’t wait.”

Her boyfriend, if she dared call him that, Austin was here. She smiled, minus her fangs, and then gave him a kiss. They headed off to the kitchen, where Austin started to get out plates and chop sticks. Unlike the folks on TV and movies they didn’t eat their Chinese food out of the cartons, unless it was on a midnight left-over binge.

Austin picked up the book and read the dust jacket.

Alex Goldstein has a thriving law practice with his wife Tasha Alexander. Life is is good. Well, except for the fact that he drinks too much, and his wife regularly cheats on him. To keep his mind off of his problems Alex writes about by serial killers. His most recent obsession is The Killer of Virtue.

Liz Hobbs is born into a large family of sneaky manipulative children with an unhealthy fear of God only ranks second to the fear of their narcissistic parents. After the murder of her brother and only ally Steve, and the loss of a college scholarship for bad behavior, Liz falls in love, and into an abusive marriage, with relationship counselor Greg Atkinson.

When Liz decides to end it all and jumps from a bridge, only to find herself in the bed of her friend Darren Crawford. He isn’t just a friend; he is The Killer of Virtue. Fortunately for Liz, he dies before he kills her. With everyone thinking she is dead, pulls a Huck Finn and runs.

After misreading the phone number of a women’s shelter Liz ends up in office of Alexander and Goldstein. Alex helps her build a new life as his own life falls apart.

“Sounds like fun. Is it any good?”

“I like it. Good characters, a lot of twists and turns, and of course a lot of witty dialogue. It’s been on the best seller list for a couple of months.”

“Good. I’ll have to read it after you finish.” He continued to unpack the containers of Chow Mein, Mongolian Beef, Chicken with Green Beans, and Schezwan Eggplant. “So is that what you did? I mean, start a new life when you became a vampire, or did you just keep doing what you’d always done.”

“I started a new life. Back then nobody just stayed in their old lives like a lot of new vampires do now. It was different back then, especially for women. I was engaged to someone I didn’t love so I took the opportunity and more or less died.”

“Who was he? The man you were engaged to?”

“The son fifth son of a wealthy man. I was the lesser child of a slightly lesser wealthy man. He was handsome and rich but I didn’t like him. I couldn’t imagine having his children or spending the rest of my life under his thumb.” She opened a container with steamed rice and closed it back up. “Back then young women didn’t have a lot of choices. When I became a vampire I found myself in a world where I did have choices and was treated as an equal by my peers. That is why I worry about the next election and the threat to women’s rights and…”

“Grrrrrrawwwwwwwwoooooooooolllllllll. Ackkk.”

Austin and Elizabeth looked up. In arch between the kitchen and the living room stood a beast, half wolf and half man. It’s eyes glowed amber black. Large teeth dripped saliva.

Backing up Austin put his arms out to protect Elizabeth.

“Brandon, sorry, I didn’t introduce you. This is Austin. Austin this is Brandon. Hey, do you want something to eat before you go out tonight?”


“OK. Well, have a good time. Don’t get into too much trouble. I’ll see you at sunrise.”

The wolf man growled again and ran out the door, as he transformed before their eyes into a four legged creature.

Austin took a deep breath. “Was that what I thought it was?”

“Yes, Brandon is a werewolf. He stopped by to say hi and transformed a little sooner than he thought he would. He’s a  nice guy, most of the time.”

“If you say so.”

“Come on Austin, you’re around vampires all the time. And you’ve seen a lot of ghosts. Werewolves are alright…most of the time, when they’re not being super annoying. Sit down, let’s eat.”

Austin opened a beer and poured Elizabeth another glass of wine. She picked out a few pieces of beef and eggplant, then told Austin everything she knew about werewolves.

“Times have changed Austin, just look at your family. Your brother-in-law is Jewish. Your sister-in-law checks the three or more races box, and you’re with me.”

“You? You’re whiter than I am.”

“I’m a vampire. My point is…”

“I know. You’re right. When my parents were young, or my grandparents, none of this would have been accepted.”

“Let’s watch a movie tonight. What sounds good?”

“Something light and romantic.”

“Sounds good to me.” Then Elizabeth laughed, and poured herself a glass of spiced blood, then got another beer for Austin.

~ End



For the rest of the Austin and Elizabeth (The Hunter) series CLICK HERE or look at the sidebar for the page. 


Yes, this is a hidden (or not so hidden) message about diversity. I’m a mom so this is part of our world. I’ll have more on this later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman








What we’ve been talking about

What HAVE we been talking about? This used to be a regular feature on this irregular blog. One if the main reasons I blog is so I can tell parents “TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Not AT them. But WITH them. And LISTEN to them without judgment.”

We talk a lot. I’d looked forward to the evening chat when I pick my daughter up but…

Right now I’m waiting. Not for a nice warm neck or a dance partner or a lover or coffee… I’m waiting for AAA to come to my office with a new car battery.

Even if I could turn myself into a bat it wouldn’t help because I’d be too small to carry my purse, computer, purse, coat and two pairs of roller skates. I also have a plant. An aloe. It is in a cute little orange pot.

Yes, I bet you didn’t know that Vampires have to haul things around just like everyone else. And unlike the old days I can’t just commandeer the nearest carriage for my own and haul off as fast as I can get the terrified horses to run.

You know, if we were as nasty and awful as the old stories say we are we wouldn’t be around anymore. Governments would have full armies just to kill Vampires. I mean, honestly, would you rather go around being an uncouth thief and all around shit head or would you rather be civilized? Acting civilized gets you a lot more nice warm necks – I can guarantee you that since I do speak from experience.

I’m at my office, and office I do my business in when I have to deal with people. I have other spaces but today was one of those days when I was… well, whatever. So now I’m stranded in a building at the end of a road too far away from my home to walk.


I’m back. A nice man replaced my battery for me. Woo Hoo.

So what did we talk about today? Warning: I’m kind of tired and rushed so this one is going to miss the mark. Don’t stop following this blog quite yet…

High School Drama and I’m not talking Shakespeare…

Tanner’s mom came to school and grabbed his arm and smacked him in the quad right in front of the entire student body at lunchtime. She did not sign in at the office. She didn’t care if she broke the rules. You see, Tanner had sex with a girl in the bathroom during the Homecoming Game. She wanted to, he’d never done it before (but he talked like he did) so they did it. Her boyfriend found out about it a month later and told the powers that be in the office. Someone from the office called Tanner’s mom. Tanner’s mom was pissed. She wouldn’t even take him home. She made him stay at school. Everyone is talking about it.

Emily was talking too much so the history teacher moved her seat but she refused to sit next to Forest because he was a hippy. Forest asked what made him a hippy (he was pissed she called him that.) She said anyone named Forest had to be a hippy.

There is a very nice by named Sam who is Ukrainian. His parents are still in the Ukraine. He is handsome and nice and tall and doesn’t speak English very well. Some kids invited him to what he thought was a party. They said there would be food and music. The wanted to convert him to their religion. He said they were all crying because Jesus and Moses and angels had visited each and every one of them in their bedrooms. He was sort of freaked out.

He is also upset that all of the Russian kids at the school say rude things to him. That doesn’t make anyone like the Russian kids.

I’m working on composing a letter to the school VP about sexual harassment and every other kind of asshat behavior I hear about. It is constant. These kids have absolutely no manners. Nobody, including teachers, is safe. I keep telling my daughter that this is good for her because one day she’ll grow up and have to deal with idiots – better she learn how to deal with them now. She mainly gets frustrated by boys asking for blow jobs and kids who don’t take school seriously. She isn’t some nerdy book worm but she likes to learn without distraction. What the teachers say is interesting. What a concept.

Don’t Touch Anyone

The one in college told me that he isn’t going to touch anyone until he graduates least he be accused of assault. He also is telling all of his female friends to NEVER go to frat parties or anywhere alone or without a friend. By friend he means REAL friend – someone who will watch your back. Nobody is safe from attacks or accusations.

Mom asks for help

Question: Where are the scissors?

Answer: I don’t know.

Question: Could you go upstairs and get the ribbon for me?

Answer: What ribbon?

Question: Can you help me?

Answer: Why?

Dad Cleans Up and Does Stuff Around The House

This involves a lot of slamming things around and showing how hard he is working while mom writes her blog. It also involves the TV loudly blaring some sort of car show. If I go upstairs everyone will yell at me to come downstairs because I have to see something on TV (a giant lizard, baby bear or unusual car) or they’ve lost something. Then the cleaning frenzy starts and there is a lot of swearing. The final swearing is usually out of my mouth.


It is really stupid to base a TV show around a guy being eaten by a giant snake. Don’t even think about it.

This year Clara loves science. The teacher is covering a lot of Microbiology.

One of Clara’s friends said he doesn’t believe in science. He means evolution which already makes him sound stupid. The kids in the group don’t know what to do with they and they discuss science fact and theory the way some other girls discuss fashion. They discuss fashion too but today they discuss science. I’m proud of them. Who says girls aren’t interested in science. Actually it isn’t just science – they’re interested in everything. They talk about the universe and how it was made and it rocks their minds. They talk about animals and the environment and food and germs and EVERYTHING. These teens aren’t lazy – their minds are going 24/7.

They discuss diversity and wonder what the big deal is. In their group there are boys, girls, boys who want to dress like girls, girls who like girls, boys and girls who like each other, white kids, black kids, kids who are not on any check boxes and the list goes on and on. They don’t really care. That is a good thing.

Like I said before, things have been busy and crazy lately. So my posts are a little random and I’m distracted…

But I just want to continue to stress that no matter how stressed out you are or distracted take time to talk to your kids about their lives and concerns. Be open to what they have to say. Be there for them.

So anyway, have a good week everyone. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday if you have one today or any day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Fangs, Text Books, Ancient Vampires and Thoughts on High School

A few days ago the girl child got her bottom braces off. Don’t look so shocked. My Vampire readers know that sometimes things get weird (just like with any creature with teeth). It is especially important that young Vampires get the proper dental and orthodontic care. Yes, it is true. We don’t sparkle but we do make sure our teeth do.

So off I went to the orthodontist. Hurrah! Braces off. Oh no, we had to go back later that day for the retainer.

But I had to do some work first. Off I go to finish up some illustrations and drop them off. Five hours later I drive back to pick up the child and take her back to the orthodontist. Hurrah!

Next we were heading off towards school to pick up books, class shirt, pay for the year book and take care of general school business. It is a mad dash but we’ll make it on time. About a block from the school Clara discovered she’d left her student body card at home so I made a brilliant U-turn and some creative navigation in traffic and we headed back from wince we’d come.

Side note: Now, I know some of you hard core parents would say “you should have gone back. You should have made your child get the books the first day of school and haul ALL of those heavy books home and pay more for the yearbook blah blah blah.” But you know, my kids are great and I’ve been turning around for lunches, school project, backpacks, skates, ID cards and all sorts of assorted items for years. Shit happens. We all forget things. “Teaching a lesson” in this case would only make my kid think I’m an asshole. I CAN be an asshole but only when it is really needed, which at this point in the parenting game it is rarely needed.

Upon arriving at the house I found my brother Val and the ancient Vampire Tellias waiting for us. “Get in,” I yelled. “You’re going to school with us.”

This was a risky idea considering the havoc when male Vampires show up anywhere during the day. Women can’t resist them. So at a school it is especially bad and inappropriate, but I didn’t have time to worry about that. These two usually behave. Usually is the key word here. Compared to my brothers Max and Andrew these two will be fine. Compared to bringing my husband… oh my goodness, but anyway… there is a lot more to school than showing up with a slate and a piece of chalk.

Teens gathered around each other like long lost family members or fluttering butterflies in the school hallways. Many were escorted by parents because A) they can’t drive themselves and B) mom’s have money and C) all those books are really heavy to walk home or take on a bicycle when it is 100 degrees F outside.

All of the teens, especially the girls, welcomed presence of the stunning young man with Clara. They asked where he went to school and if he was a Senior or if he’d just graduated. The girls were all wondering if he had a girlfriend.

Despite his ancient years (over 2,000) Tellias looks very young. He looks like an extraordinarily attractive 18 or 19 year old to them, not an ancient Vampire who was around during the time of the Roman Empire.

Clara’s friends asked if he had a girlfriend. That made him laugh. They wanted his Tumblr and various other social media accounts.

To his credit Tellias didn’t lead anyone on or pretend to be a boy. He just smiled and said he was older than he looked. He inquired about classes and how the teens thought their year would be. The kids answered as if they’d known him for years. There is nothing more charming than an old Vampire, even if he looks like a teenager.

Later he said to me, “Everyone acts like I’m some senile old fool. These young people see me as exciting and unique. They think I’m sweet and interesting AND cute.”

“You are exceptionally sweet and interesting and cute,” I said, “but when you lose your car keys for weeks on end, forget to eat, kidnap handy men and law enforcement officers, lock yourself in your basement, then call me wondering if I can drop everything and come make everything right in your world…”

“I don’t HAVE to call you Juliette. You don’t HAVE to help Eleora and me,” he said with a slightly annoyed tone.

“Yes I do. I want you to call me. I want to help.”

He shook his head and took my arm. “You’re going to be the death of me.”

I smiled. “Me? Really? I seriously doubt that.”

He squeezed my arm in a grip that would have made any Regular Human scream but I wasn’t hurt by it. “I like being around young people, especially young Vampires. They’re absolutely charming. Next time you take Clara to a concert I want to come along.”

In the meantime Clara was introducing her Uncle Valentine around. I could literally hear knees weaken from the adult women on campus. Sigh. Vampire men will do that every single time.

The Werewolf triplets were there too getting their books and school sweatshirts. I thought how fortunate it was that the full moon had passed before the first day of school. Val thought they were weird. Of course they’re weird, but they’re Werewolves. What did he expect? But they’re brilliantly smart and kind of cute in their own geeky Werewolf way.

The school staff and other students have no idea of the unique underground population of  Vampires, Werewolves and others who attend this large and open high school. It is best we keep it that way.

Sure I could send my kids away to some weird school where everyone is a Vampire, but I love the fact that my kids have friends who are different than they are. There are so many different opinions and points of views. They learn so many life lessons every single day. And I’m not just talking about the students. There are so much diversity in the teachers with different backgrounds and insights. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have quoted teachers, talked about their teachers and been encouraged and influenced by teachers in a good way.

I met the school librarian and asked her about giving a donation to the school library. They get little, if nothing, from the great state of California. Like all school employees she can stretch a dollar in ways that defies all laws of physics and economics.

I challenge everyone to make a donation be it big or small to your local school library. The high school libraries are hurting. The librarians, teachers and the kids appreciate it. Belive me, I’ve listened to the kids – they really appreciate it. High School kids aren’t a bunch of lazy losers. Most of them work hard and have a bright future ahead. And remember, these are the people who will take care of you when you grow old. They will one day be the keepers of the knowledge that makes us who we are. Make sure they’re educated well.

Today is the first day of school. I’ll get the rundown on the new teachers, new friends, old friends and all the weirdness this afternoon. With any luck I’ll have some stories to share with you – and with any luck not all of the drama of last year.

Have fun and learn something!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman