When in doubt wear a dress

“I’m not going to crawl under a building again. It is going to be a hundred degrees out today. That is bad enough if you’re a regular person but we’re Vampires. Remember? Aaron?”

I have four siblings – all male. I am the youngest of the brood. Aaron is smack in the middle.

When I arrived at his downtown law office I was greeted by Aaron and our brother Val (short for Valentine). Val is between Aaron and me. I’d brought my daughter Clara with me.

“Wear a dress,” I told her.

“Why?”, she had to ask. They always have to ask.

“So your Uncle Aaron won’t ask you to do anything. So he won’t ask you to crawl under a building or into an attic crawl space, or between a wall or into a sewer. You know how he is.”

When we were small, young Vampires in the American West, my brother’s had great fun sending their tiny little sister into small spaces. Be it a hole in a tree or a hole in the side of a building, in I’d go.

Consequently we ended up knowing everything about everyone in the growing city in which we lived. We also knew where all the creepers were, and we had a lot of scary fun tormenting them.

The Creepers, as we called them, were a type of, or more of a Vampire of a certain culture (not ours.) Shadow Creepers were Vampires who were content being ghouls who lurk in the shadows and get all overly happy about finding blood. They’re like those socially awkward kids or the intense annoying kids my daughter goes to school with. They aren’t what we call Modern Vampires. They’re disgusting.

And since they tended to be nasty but awkward we took it upon ourselves to annoy them.

While we slept in real houses and in real beds, the Shadow Creepers tended to search out basements, attics, crypts and holes in the riverbank or in the bottom of ;rage paddle boats. We’d search them out and start our childish torments.

One of our favorite activities would be to go into their lairs and make loud sucking noises. Shadow Creepers have such disgusting eating habits. When they’d wake we’d hiss and scream at them. Of course we’d do other things to them. Mean things. Then again, we knew most of them didn’t even have souls. Plus they’re the ones, in our opinion, who give Vampires a bad name.

Even now the few who remain hate us with a passion. Oh well. They could change, and some of them have, but most of them choose to be nasty horrible beings.

Oh, I forgot, and the absolutely worst is running into a Creeper I used to know back in another century. Ugh. Talk about uncomfortable.

Which takes us to present day when one of them shows up occasionally after being found asleep or awakened from a hundred year sleep.

Over the past few years I’ve been asked to go check them out. Aaron is an attorney so for some reason people come to him when they find these unsavory creatures.

I end up covered with dirt and in the face of some dried up husk of an animated corpse of a Vampire. No self-respecting Vampire would ever ever end up like that on purpose. Plus they always act like it is still the nineteenth century. Wake up assholes, that isn’t cute anymore. It doesn’t make you look smart or mysterious. It just makes you look stupid and creepy.

It is always an unpleasant experience finding Shadow Creepers and I’d just rather call a Vampire Hunter to take them out. You know, like when you call someone to get rid of the wasp next under your front porch.

My brothers were both in a good mood. They just wanted to go for lunch and to the art museum. Thank goodness. It was a lovely diversion. The dresses worked out just fine.

Wishing you all a week of pleasant diversions and remember your sun screen.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

First posted here in June 2015

Weird Days

Redefinition

I’ve thought about that word a lot lately.

This morning I was going to walk the dog down for coffee, not for the dog, but for me. I usually use my lovely little red French Press… anyway, you don’t care about that.

I didn’t get coffee because I was called out. My brother Aaron said I must come quickly to his office. I asked why. He just said to come to his office. I yelled at him to tell me. I hate games. Just tell me. He hung up the phone.

What is it with Vampires that they’ll never tell you anything.

Thirty minutes later (I didn’t want to get a ticket) I was sitting across my impeccable brother in the law offices of Todd and Xavier, my brother Aaron being the Todd half of the firm.

He smiled, something he doesn’t do enough of. “So how are things?”

Really? How are things? “OK,” I said. “Clara made the highest score in the class on her English essay. It was about peer pressure.”

“Fantastic.”

That was all he said. I could hear the birds outside and some traffic in the distance. Otherwise we sat there in silence.

“Why’d you call me Aaron? What is it?”

He slid a paper across his desk. He didn’t tell me to read it. He just put it in front of me.

It was to Mr. Aaron Todd, Esq.  It made me slightly proud of my brother. Then I read what he’d pushed in front of me.

I read the letter then shrugged. I like to shrug when I think something is stupid.

“You never told me you had a grave,” said Aaron.

Back in 1921 my then boyfriend Pleasant Van Dusen and I were buried. Then we were unburied and, long story but in a cemetery in Southern California are empty caskets and a double headstone with our names on them.

Aaron’s office phone rang. He answered and said, “show him in.”

And there was Pleasant, my old flame. “I hear someone wants to exhume us.”

Then we just laughed. I mean, there wasn’t anything that could be done about it. We could say no but why not add to the mystery. How someone even found Aaron as the heir to the Aaron who lived in 1921 and took care of the “estate.”

My brother spoke up. “They want to film a documentary on cemetery mysteries. It seems as if someone back then thought you were Vampires. I don’t want to have to answer to anyone when they dig up empty caskets.”

Pleasant smiled. “The caskets aren’t empty.”

Well, that was a surprise.

“Who pray tell is in them?” I had to ask. I mean, I really had to ask.

Pleasant sat next to me and took my hand. “You’re looking good Jewels. How are Teddy and the kids?”

“Who is in the caskets?”

“An architect and his wanna be movie star girlfriend.”

“Donald and Olive. I thought they’d skipped town.”

“After they tortured and killed his pregnant wife they headed out with all of her money but…some friends of his wife, who were also friends of mine took care of them.”

I suddenly felt sick thinking about all of the stupid things I’d done in my past. But I had no idea this had happened.

“Do whatever you want. I don’t care. They don’t have our real names so nothing will come back to us. Beside that we’d be, what, a hundred and twenty years old according to the dates on the gravestones.”

“I’ll say no,” said Aaron. “Rest in peace.”

Pleasant and I left Aaron’s office together and walked around the corner for coffee. It was nice being with Pleasant even thought there were so many times that I truly hated him.

We talked about our spouses and raising Modern Vampire children. Of course we raised them to be far smarter and wiser than we were in our sorted pasts.

Pleasant took my hand and asked, “do you think we could have made it together.”

“Maybe, but no. We were too stupid. We would have stayed stupid if we’d stayed together.”

He laughed and we agreed to keep in touch.

So anyway, I try not to dwell on the past. I know where the bodies are hidden but that doesn’t mean I need to go visit them, much less think about them.

I headed over to meet my daughter for coffee (around the corner at a different coffee place that is exclusively organic) and talk about college. How things have changed. Her life will be far better and far more sane than mine ever was. That is a good thing. The same goes for Pleasant’s children.

The goal is to learn from our mistakes, before we become parents. I can’t expound on that anymore than I already have.

So much for weird days. Then again, most of my days are weird. I can only hope that yours, dear reader, are not.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

First published April 28, 2015

About those Vampires… and other things

I blog about parenting.

this guy

And Vampires.

vampire teens

If you’re looking for the latest trend in massive mondo strollers, yoga pants, sparking pedophile Vampires, chins dripping in blood, dark evil Vampire Lords, tiger mom shit, you’ve come to the wrong blog.

So here we go… this is the story.

In 1849 several groups of Vampires headed West of California for a new beginning. They were part of the growing movement, later called the “Modern Vampire Movement, of individuals who no longer wanted to live in the dark, hidden away. They lived with regular people, as regular people, except they were Vampires. Aside from their hidden identities and some rather different biology and lifestyle issues they were indistinguishable from most people.

My family settled in the Sacramento area, where some of us till love. I was born here, part of a family of rare Vampire children. Yes, Vampires can had children together. They can’t have kids with non-Vampires.

Werewolves also moved West and lived in their communities as well. They could always be picked out of crowd by their flashy clothing and snarky personalities.

That is about it. No blood dripping Dark Vampire Lord. No sparkling pedophiles. Sure there are what we call Shadow Creepers. They’re the Vampires who act like creepy ghouls, in the shadows and lurk in the dark at night. There are also those who are truly dead due to the fact that they have no souls. They’re the dangerous ones. OK, fine, we’re all dangerous to some point, but seriously less so than our warmer blooded relatives.

This is the end of the explanation.

I write about my family and my world.

My message isn’t really about Vampires.

This is what it is about:

  • Talking to your kids.
  • Listening to your kids.
  • Relationships.
  • Cat Poetry.
  • Accepting differences.
  • Modern Life.
  • Fitting in.
  • Not fitting in.
  • Being different.
  • Being the same.
  • Talking to your kids.
  • Communication with your children.
  • Short fiction.
  • Musings.
  • Odds and ends.
  • Venting.
  • Cats.
  • Dogs.
  • Old people.
  • Life changes.
  • Empty nest.
  • Deliberate parenting.
  • Old or interesting cemeteries.
  • Funny stuff.
  • Burning Questions.
  • Musings.
  • Possums (and other woodland creatures)
  • Other things.
  • Being there for your kids. Always.

I believe that covers most of it. I’m still half asleep so if I left something out I’ll post it later. I need either more coffee or I need to go back to bed. I’m not sure which yet. I’ll know in about five minutes.

Thanks for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Savor the Summer. They’re growing up but they still need us.

Summer is officially here. It isn’t June 21 yet, but it is hot, summer school starts today, and I’m juggling a new season of activities. Yes, all of you parents out there, parenting does not end when your kids turn 18. It just goes into a different universe. For me that has been a nice mellow universe.

My son’s best friend Randy came over this morning. He has grown up since I started this blog from a funny skinny kid with long blonde hair and a fondness for orange plaid, to a gown man with broad shoulders, a man bun, and still a unique sense of style.

Being an adult Vampire is easy in college. Students live in close quarters. There are parties every night. The bar scene is big for the over 21 crowd. But unlike creepy Vampires in a lot of fiction, one can’t stay in college forever, even if you still look like a college student.

You never want someone to tell you “Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days was written about you.” Never. Believe me, you NEVER want anyone to say or even think that. Even if you’re not a Vampire you never want anyone to say that.

Randy sad down with me over coffee and we talked about his life. He is working for my brother Aaron this summer to see if he might like to work in a law office.

“I’m excited about my last year of college, but being a Vampire. Like, we’re supposed to be on top of things, but going out there in the big world, maybe to a place where there might not be a lot of us is kind of scary.”

“It can be scary,” I said. “But you won’t be alone. You’re family, you’re community, all of us are here for you.”

“I know. The worst part is not knowing if I’ll always look like I do not, or if I’ll end up aging out to my 30’s.”

“Don’t worry about it. Your parents aged out in their late twenties. I bet you will to.”

“I don’t want to look twenty-one forever. Well, twenty-two in August.”

We talked for a bit more when my son Garrett showed up with new hiking boots and a bag full of hair products. Ah, my well-rounded son.

 

I love the fact that no matter how old my children’s friends get, they will always be welcome in my home. I will always be there for them to talk, and for a hug when needed.

Nobody at any stage of life, be it Middle School, or the seasoned 457 year old Vampire knows what the future will bring. We all need support from teacher other at all stages of life. Like I’ve said before, our kids learn from us, and we can learn from them.

The key is just to be there for each other. And rather than rush to judgment, and throw them in the pool before they learn to swim, we need to let them go their own pace and test the waters, and know we’re here if they need a rope.

Summer is here. We’ll be taking some short trips to the beach and the woods. We’ll be going to the book stores and taking the dog out more. We’ll be talking a lot, and laughing, and learning, and savoring our time together until the boys have to go back for their last year of college.

Have a great week everyone, and savor your time with those you love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Burning Question #11: I had to ask…yes, it’s about Vampires

Well crap, I accidentally posted this today instead of Saturday so just pretend the weekend is starting early. As an added bonus I’ll post burning question #12 on Saturday. And remember don’t just tell me you like this post, give me an answer. It is fast, painless, and easy.

vampire girls

If you’re here you know this blog is Vampire Maman – Musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. And if you’re here you know it is Saturday and time for the BURNING QUESTION.

Yes, I have to ask this one. 

Everyone has different ideas about Vampires.

Some believe they are evil beings lacking souls and from the depths of Hell (of goodness.) Some believe the Twilight shit and think they are weird old sparkling creatures who stalk high school girls (the whole concept disgusts me, both as a parent and as a woman.) You do know that is fiction don’t you? It is. Get over it.

Some believe they follow ancient blood rituals and live by a strict order set down by ancient laws (I can’t even hardly write that without laughing.) It just doesn’t work for most Vampires.

Some believe they are all like Dracula or the Vampires in the Anne Rice books (all fun and well written, or at least most of them.)

And some… a few, know that Vampires are just like everyone else except we live a long long long time, have a lower body temperature, can see ghosts, drink blood, can be pretty scary if we want, are extra sexy, can get a bit pissy, and are generally good parents, among other things.

And sometimes Vampires are just dried up old assholes who live in crypts and come out at night with their joints creaking as the dust falls off of their jackets and scare the shit out of people. There ARE Vampires like that and they’re pretty disgusting.

Just like normal folks real Vampires come in a lot of flavors.

If you aren’t sure of an answer please feel free to ask questions, or search this blog for answers.

Burning Question #11: Would you willingly become a Vampire?

 

Now that didn’t hurt a bite, I mean bit.

Oh come one, admit it was fun.

I’ll be back next Saturday with Burning Question #12. If you have a burning question you’d like answered let me know. See me on FB or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Diary: Modern Knowledge

Dear Diary,

I was out looking for blood.

Just as I was about to go in for the seduction and take my dinner to a quiet spot she asked me, “Who did you vote for?”

“What?” I asked not understanding her question.

“You’re fucking gorgeous and so cute I can hardly believe it, but I can’t take you home if you voted for Trump,” she said.

“Where I come from there is no vote,” I said. I did not tell her that I was king and in charge of the life and death of every single citizen in my kingdom. It did not seem to be, what do they say, neither here nor there. I looked into her lovely brown eyes. “I am not yet a citizen here. Tonight, let us forget the overload of news that gives us all headaches and heart aches, and makes our blood go cold, and concentrate on just you…” I paused and brushed her cheek with my lips. “And me.”

After I drained her of about a half pint of blood I made her forget she ever met me. If I see her again we can do the dance all over again.

Upon arriving home I found my love Gillian and my friend Randolpho sipping wine and playing cards.

I asked them a question. “Do you vote?”

“Of course we do,” said Randolpho. “We might be Vampires but we pay taxes like everyone else.”

I considered what he said. Since I was the King of Vampires I did not pay taxes. Now I do. How different my existence is now.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I am still marveling at the modern world.

Vampires of my class have always kept clean to keep the smell of death off of us. However it was not the standard of clean that is today. I like this new clean. They call it personal hygiene.

When I was Vampire King dozens of women would wash the linens of my castle in large boiling pots. My own clothing was washed by a select staff of women with a light touch for my fine fabrics. Now I do it all myself with my machines at home. Gillian and I do what is called binge-watching-Netflix while we fold our clothing. I open a bottle of wine. It is relaxing. My clothing is not as complicated as it used to be.

I remember one time when I traveled to the castle of Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires. His home was filthy. It smelled of death and decay.

I said, “Michael, why are you so filthy?”

He said, “To remember that we are not alive or dead.”

I said, “That is a stupid answer. You will get maggots growing under your arms.” I scanned the room full of his gaunt and dirty followers. “No wonder your Vampires are starving. They smell so horrible that people can smell they before they see them. It is pathetic that your meals run from you in advance. Your Vampire’s stench is even making me sick. No self-respecting Vampire should smell like a rotting corpse.”

Michael looked confused and angry. “So my Vampire army should smell like a botanical garden?”

“It wouldn’t hurt,” I told him. “You would attract more willing food sources.”

When I left Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires I stopped in an inn and asked for a bath to be drawn. My golden blonde hair had turned a greasy ashen gray after spending time in the putrid atmosphere of Michael’s castle.

A week later Vampire Hunters had wiped out the entire lot of Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires. Their Vampire heads were put on poles and their hearts cut out and sold to oddity seekers. The castle was covered in vomit from the Vampire Hunters who had become ill at the vile smell. How embarrassing and unfortunate to be remembered to be the Dark Lord of Vomit.

This is a cautionary tale for any Vampire. If you smell like death you will be death.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I have been thinking of those three hundred years in which I was locked in a crypt. I missed the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. I missed the birth of this strange and confusing modern world.

To catch up I read a great deal. My friend Randolpho told me of a man named John Waters. It was John Waters who said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”

As I sat reading into the morning, the blinds drawn against the raising sun, my cats settled in my lap. The coyote Jane curled her skinny gray coyote body at my feet. Gillian, my love, was asleep upstairs in my bed. I was tempted to join my love, but I had to finish the last chapters of the book.

The book was about a man who studied the sea. He walked among the tide pools. He was educated but the men and woman who loved him were among the lowest of the people of his world. They had no common sense or learning, or money, yet their hearts were large. The last pages were about music and love and animals and science, and of the human heart.

Even now
I know that I have savoured the hot taste of life
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light.

He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. And the white rats scampered and scrambled in their cages. And behind the glass the rattlesnakes lay still and stared into space with their dusty, frowning eyes. 

I was born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer. Over the centuries I have appreciated his legacy, and that of the ancient masters and classics of previous centuries. Yet, it is the modern words that speak to me and touch the very shadow of my soul. These words that are written now speak not just to the scholars, or the kings, but to all. They speak to the quite times when one has cats in his lap, and a canine creature curled at his feet, and the woman he loves upstairs in his bed. They are stories that touch even the coldest Vampire heart.

I must now sleep. There is wedding planning to start tomorrow night. So I’ve been told from the woman in my bed.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 37th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To start from the beginning CLICK HERE.