A Walk With Alice and a Turkey Trot

This morning my dog Alice and I went for a walk. Our luck was good because we managed to catch the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Parade. The fog was burning off and left us with a cool blue sky.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Good, The Bad, and The Really Bad: Staying Home, Parenting, and Too Much TV.

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Stay at home

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School, Kids, Staying At Home, Zoom

Once again I send my love and admiration out to all of the teachers, students, and parents who are attending class at home through Zoom and other online magic. The same goes to everyone who is working from home.

To those who are complaining bitterly about our Governors, in my case Governor Gavin Newsom, shutting things down: GET OVER IT. To those who complain and while about how much YOUR kids are missing out: GET OVER YOURSELF. From pre-schoolers to graduate students they are ALL missing out. My kids are doing online college. Yes, they worked hard to get into top universities and now are hunkering down in their apartments with Zoom. You want to complain? Don’t. Get over it.

So many students, and everyone else have had to deal with cancelled classes, graduations, sports, dances, weddings, birthdays, concerts, museum days, vacations, and everything else. SO GET OVER YOURSELF. Most people aren’t complaining. Be like them. Don’t complain. Just do what you have to do and make the best of it.

Spend your energy THANKING the teachers who’ve had to suddenly switch their classes to online. THANK the medical professionals, grocery store workers, farmers, and others who are still working on the front lines so you can be ok during this.

Come to think about it the people who are whining now are the ones who always whined before this all happened. GET OVER YOURSELF.

Also, please don’t go into a massive panic over Zoom. Yes there are hackers and jerks, but that is the exception rather than the rule. My daughter told me that hackers just start putting in random numbers and when they get to a meeting they post porn or start being disruptive. This is rare. More than anything, as in the case of one of my child’s classes, you find bored 18 and 19 year old boys. One came to a statistics class without clothes and from his bathroom. The professor told him to get dressed and get out of the bathroom. Another creeper started to try to pick up on girls and make rude sexist comments about them. The professor shut down all audio and visuals except for himself. All interaction with the professor was then private. None of her other classes have had problems. I’ve had Zoom meetings and they were delightful.

Don’t get caught up in panics. Take a deep breath. It will be ok.

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And no whining. You aren’t special.

Be Creative!

Look what you can do with felt pens and your own fingers. Fun stuff.

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What Not to Watch on Netflix: Badland

A few night ago Teddy and I thought it would be fun to watch a movie. Badland, a Western, was #4 in popularity on Netflix. Hey, everyone else was watching it so it must be good. It had a good cast that included Bruce Dern, Mira Sorvino, Amada Wyss, Trace Adkins, and Kevin Makely. Holy shit this movie was bad.

Dialogue: Melodramatic at best. It seemed the writer was trying to make an attempt at making the characters speak as if they lived in the 19th century. It came off as stiff, and sort of stupid.

Plot: A Pinkerton Agent is searching for bad former Confederate officers to bring in to be hung by the neck until dead. There is a sort of side story with a Pinkerton boss and his son that really doesn’t make sense but hey, nothing else in this movie does. In the first part he meets with an old Indian friend/rival just because there has to be an Indian friend/rival. Then he kills a bunch of criminals and gets beat up. The Pinkerton hero meets a woman on a ranch, sort of falls in love, saves her ranch, doesn’t kill her war criminal dad. Then he moves on like Shane and rescues some whores and saves the day in a town fill with people who are really stupid. He gets stabbed. The Indian friend/rival saves him, then he goes back to the woman he loves on the ranch.

Acting: Two out of five stars. Most porn actors do dialogue better (this is before the sex.) With such an experienced cast you’d think it would be better. You’d think. I know that none of these actors will be putting this one on their resume. They’ll be begging IMDB to remove it from their listings. I believe Kevin Makely wanted to be good but with that script and direction he didn’t have a hail stone’s chance in Hell.

Directing: This movie was written and directed by Justin Lee. Hey Justin USC and CSU Long Beach both have great screen writing programs. Maybe you should sign up and learn how to write a real movie script. I COULD DO BETTER. Seriously, I could do better. YOU could do better. But hey, he pulled it off getting such a great cast. Then he wasted that cast.

Sets: Looks like they are all cast offs from other old Westerns. Nothing interesting.

Costumes: Just about the worst I’ve ever seen. EVER. It was like he told the female members of the cast to just find something from the local Goodwill store or from the back of their closets. There must be something from the 1970’s you have hanging around. 1970’s, 1870’s same thing.

Out of five stars I’d give this move a 2 at best. Maybe a 1 because it looked like it might be a lot better. It was awful to the point we were laughing and saying rude things at the screen.

But the joke is on us because everyone is watching it on Netflix. Ugh.

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This is the poster for Badland. It had a decent cast. I should have known by looking at the poster it was a disaster.

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How the people who made this movie thought women dressed in the Wild West. Notice her hair is expertly highlighted and DOWN. Excuse me. Her hair would have been UP. Adult women of the time always wore their hair UP. For Pete’s sake even when I garden I put my hair up.

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What she should have been wearing if the costuming staff would have done their jobs rather than jacking off and saying “oh just bring something from your closet at home.”

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Pioneer Women

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Pioneer women.

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These are the costumes from Badland. The women look like they were told to dress like pioneer whores so they dug whatever they could find out of the backs of their closets. Bad Halloween costumes at best.

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A real 1870’s Madam. No nonsense. Note that despite her small waist she does not look like she is ready to go out for trick-or-treating. No puns intended.

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Soiled Doves. They don’t look much like the whores and dance hall girls we see in a lot of movies. What the hell is wrong with people who create movie costumes?

 

Movies and TV We’ve Liked

Hawaii Five-0 ended on Friday. I will miss Alex O’Laughlin’s and Ian Anthony Dale’s gorgeous faces. As a side note: I’m not overly fond of most Vampire movies or television series. I absolutely adored Alex O’Laughlin in Moonlight. It might have been because, well, isn’t it obvious.

Know Hawaii Five-0 wasn’t the best and never won any Emmy Awards but it was a fun Friday escape. We got some great drinking games out of it.

Now that we’re all home everyone is watching a lot of TV. Too much, but hey, I’ll be creative and productive later today.

What we’ve watched at my house in the past week:

  • Better Call Saul
  • Ozark
  • Briar Patch
  • Unorthodox
  • Tiger King
  • Expedition Unknown
  • 100 Humans
  • The Sinner
  • Last Tango in Halifax
  • The Black List
  • Hawaii Five-0
  • Pioneer Woman
  • My Lottery Dream Home
  • Twilight Zone (the original black and white from the 60’s)
  • Alaska State Troopers
  • The Curse of Oak Island which has been a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME this season #OakIslandCursers. It isn’t quite as bad as Badland but almost.
  • Lots of car shows. Lots of prison shows.  Lots of Food Network. Lots of nature shows. Lots of science shows. We finished all of the paranormal type shows we’d been watching.
  • Don’t judge me. Put suggestions in the comments if you have them.

Movies we’ve watched in the past week and liked:

  • JoJo Rabbit (5 stars)
  • Peanut Butter Falcon (4 stars, a exceptionally cute and sweet movie)
  • Rashômon (5 stars)

If you get really bored I have over 150 short stories posted on this blog.

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Getting Out While Staying In

I’m staying at home but sometimes I do get out for a walk around my neighborhood. I’m fortunate enough to live near a parkway and my home backs up to parkland. I’ve posted before about night walks. Here are some photos of yesterday’s daytime walk.

 

You might be wondering what ever happened to Austin Durant the Vampire Hunter, my brother Aaron the Vampire and the rogue Vampires. Nothing so far. They’re headed out to the hills today to take care of the problem. I’m not going with them. Nope, not today. No no no no. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

I’ll be visiting Eleora and Tellias the ancient Vampires later today. Someone needs to check in on them and bring them some supplies. They also need the company and a little comfort.

My daughter asked me to do some art for one of her roommates so I’ll be working on that today too. I’ll post photos of what I come up with.

Thank you for dropping by. Feel free to leave a comment, share a movie suggestion, or let me know what you’ve been up to.

Stay safe. Stay chill. Wash your hands. Stay positive.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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A walk in the woods and other night music…

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Musings on the California Drought, Frogs, Family Time and the Grammy Awards (and of course being a Vampire)

My brother Val stopped by at twilight for a stroll by the lake. We got the kids to put on their shoes and leave their crypts, excuse me, their bedrooms (as all teens, as you well know, have crypt like bedrooms) and come with us.

We walked along the dry path missing the tall green grass of last winter. The drought has reduced the ground to a gray brown clumps of dead grass. The grasses should be bright green and knee deep. The frogs should be calling out in their winter seasonal ponds. The only sounds are birds and cars. Nothing from the ground where the frogs live. I wonder where they are. Maybe dried up waiting like Vampires for the liquid of life to release them and bring them back from their ghastly dried up slumbers. Will they miss a generation of tadpoles because there is no pond to romance each other in and leave their eggs?

Anyway, it is easy to muse on frogs when their usual deafening night music is absent.

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My teens walk ahead, talking about their friends and school and of course music. The Grammys are going to be on. Only a few of their favorites have been nominated but they want to see it anyway.

Val and I walk behind shoulder to shoulder with private jokes that go back for years.

“Hey, I just discovered that if right after you take a donor, if you chase it with a shot of Jefferson’s Presidential Reserve Bourbon, oh my God, it is a bit of heaven mixed with the best sex you’ve ever had.”

“Who were you with?” I HAD to ask.

He laughed. I knew him too well. It always comes down to a woman (many many women.) He always chases his blood with shots of expensive booze. I mean we all do it, but he feeds more at night than I do. I do it when the kids are in school, meet with donors (as I like to call it) not take shots. Hey, like I’ve said before, we’re Modern Vampires, we don’t lurk around and steal into the bedrooms of strangers and do creepy stuff like that. We’re more civilized and have more fun when we hunt. Why brood when you can have fun or at least…whatever. There is no reason to ever brood.

We got back to the house just in time for the Grammy Awards to start. It was a lot of fun. Something for everyone. One thing that we liked was the fact that one or two artists didn’t win all of the awards (ok 3 or 4 did but still it is better than some previous years.) And this year the performances were good – even the bands/performers we usually don’t listen to. Pink was too much fun. All the old guys were out too. Carol King is not an old guy though – she is a force – an amazing talent. Just about everyone was good and it was fun. There were several bands we all thought should have been nominated. Maybe next year.

So that was my take on the Grammys. Teddy came in towards the end and had to let us all know what crap it all was (except Metallica.) He always has strong opinions on music. I have to admit Madonna was sort of scary and creepy (and a bit sad) in her cowgirl outfit and looking much older than any 55 year old women I know. Yoko was really scary too. If a Vampire thinks something is scary then it is scary.

We all thought the music teacher award was super cool! Go Music Teachers! We know who we’re going to nominate for next year!

Earlier Teddy was at the Kings game with old friends earlier in the evening. They lost (the Kings not the friends.) But the night wasn’t a total loss. Chased with beer rather than Bourbon. And of course friends. That is never a loss.

So a new week starts. I can only hope it will bring more fun and adventures.

Wishing you all a good week.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lake Natoma as twilight (from the Vampire's little magic phone box)

Lake Natoma as twilight (from the Vampire’s little magic phone box)