I Feel Like a Ghost …

“I feel like a Ghost most of the time.”

I listened as my brother Val talked about our family. He is the forth of five children, less than two years my senior. Nobody does listen to him, or to me much. The elder children caught the attention of our parents and wore them out before we were born. They give us bad advice, stupid advice, ignore anything we say, and pretty much discount our opinions.

I always tell my children: Marry an only child who is an orphan. Of course if you’re a Vampire that is pretty easy to do. And you know I’m just joking.

I’ve heard my brother Aaron, the middle child express the same thing. Arron is at a disadvantage in that he is trapped between the elder two, and the younger two. I’d say more in the shadow of the elder two.

I tell Val not to stress, not to worry, and to go on with whatever it is that he is doing. I listen. He listens to me.

Val usually is the most confident of us all and never complains about anything. In his own way he quietly observes the world around him, then he stands back, then he takes action.

So to hear this man, the most loyal and chill, and in many ways strongest, of us all, say he feels unseen makes me wonder what I’ve missed. Actually I haven’t missed anything – I just haven’t said anything.

I spend a lot of time listening to my children. We interact. I listen. I make an effort to engage them. Maybe we need to do that to the adults in our lives more as well. We need to teach our kids to engage, interact, and listen.

A King might have loyal subjects but only if he listens and shows that he cares. Loyalty never comes from fear. It comes from understanding.

I’d like to say that of my loyal followers. I love you and I appreciate you in ways you’ll never know. And I will try to continue to be loyal to you with entertaining posts about parenting, relationships, Vampires, and love … and all that scary stuff too that we love this time of year.

Val and I sat on my back deck under the night sky talking about what we’re up to these days. He has reconnected with a woman he first met in the 80’s – the 1880’s when wewere in London. She wasn’t a Vampire back then, but she is now, and living in San Francisco. He hasn’t told our brothers. I tell him about the kids, and about the books I’m trying to write. He listens. He really listens. He never gives me plot ideas or tell me my stories suck.

So that is it for now for my morning musings. I’ll have more Halloween shenanigans and other silly stuff later this week, plus Vlad has will have a new “Vampire Diary” post.

Thanks for dropping by, xoxoxox.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Val – this song is for you.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loyal/

A Reflection on Horror and Hope

This is Werewolf Week here at Vampiremaman.com

I’ve been posting stories of Werewolves, in relation to Vampires, the modern world, friendship, and the never ending quest of trying to understand each other.

It has also been a week of horrors that nobody can explain or understand.

Over the past few years I’ve written too many posts about how to try to explain to my children, and talk to my children about mass shootings and other unbelievable acts of violence. Sandy Hook was the hardest. You can’t explain why, or anything else. Nothing about it makes any sense. No good can come out of something like at, or any shooting. Even a day after 9/11, my two year old looked into the sky and asked, “Mommy, where are the airplanes?” We’d always looked in the sky where I pointed out the planes that flew over our home.

I don’t know a soul who isn’t still shaken from what happened in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

My friends in Las Vegas are deeply shaken. One is painting a mural in honor of those lost. I’ll post photos. The community has come together to help, and heal.

A few weeks ago I received a text message from the college my daughter attends about a gunman at one of the locations. I went cold. Nobody was hurt. No shots. The asshole was caught. Still, it chills even me to my bones.

With the three terrifying storms, and now the Las Vegas shooting we are numb, but also we are called to help. Unlike in a lot of movies, when things go bad people help each other. People mourn for those they have never met. We are one in our humanity, at least most of us are.

Nobody will ever know why a man decided to kill people at a music concert. Nobody will ever know why he decided to murder people who were parents, high school students, friends, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, good people…

I find myself without any original words, only sorrow and the feeling that I’m going to cry.

Nobody can understand that kind of evil, in a world that seems to be so full of evil and hate. Nobody can understand that kind of evil in a world so full of goodness and hope.

I write about the paranormal world, those who are Werewolves, Vampires, Ghosts, etc. I don’t try to horrify but write about the day-to-day existence of such beings in the modern world. I write about what it is like to be a little different, or unique, or strange compared to everyone else.

For example – Werewolf myths and stories have been around as long as humans and wolves. Some cultures believed that all it took was a wolf skin belt to make one become a Werewolf. Some said it was a form of witchcraft. Snopes worthy Werewolf stories have abounded for centuries.

In the Old English Werewolf means man-wolf. Sometimes the Greek term Lycanthrope (wolf-person) is used to describe someone who changes their shape from human to wolf, either by full moon light, on demand, or by some other sort of trigger.

There is also a condition known as Hypertrichosis in which a person is covered with hair – face and all. This is a genetic condition that has nothing to do with shape changing. It is just excessive hair (as far as I know.)

If you look at the history of Werewolves, and especially Witches you’ll find a world of blame.

Nobody could believe that someone would kill fifty-nine people for no reason, or injure more than five hundred so they explained it away with accusations of shape shifting and witchcraft.

They burned people alive, tortured them, and locked them away in the name of godliness. There was horror on both sides, with more innocent people caught in the middle. Ignorance and hate for some reason always seem to come up on top. To be crass, shit floats to the top along with dead things.

We can’t blame the modern horrors here in the United States or elsewhere in the world on Werewolves, Witches, Demons or Ghosts. The horror is human. The horror can’t be explained away.

The fact that people are trying to make all of this political has to stop. Yes, there are going to be assholes who are going to say and even do stupid things. They need to feel important. They aren’t. They need to blame and hate because that is where they find their power. They are broken. Stay good. Stay true. Keep your heart on healing and love.

The true monsters are those who kill, who hurt the weak, who subject women and children to slavery like conditions and keep them from their God given human rights, and who prevent others from the freedom of thought, religious belief, and prevent others from loving who they love.

About the love part. Why do people prevent same sex people from loving each other? Why do they force young people into loveless marriages? Why are transgender people beaten and murdered? Why do people abuse their spouses, children, and the elderly? There is no reason for it, except for monsters who are really human. It is control. It is evil and the cult of ignorance and control. It is every dystopian story ever written come true.

As Pogo said, “We have me the enemy and he is us.”

pogo

Then again, little possum, there is hope. There is always hope, because there are always those who hold the hand of a dying stranger, who wait in line for eight hours to give blood, who donate to build homes for people they’ve never met, who adopt shelter animals, who comfort those in need, and who feel in their hearts for others.

I’ve been writing for a while but I still don’t think I’ve come up with the right words.

Hold close to those you love, and keep your love light burning for all to see, especially for those who are in their darkest days.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

jojo the dogfaced boy

Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy, aka Fedor Jeftichew. The most famous example of someone with Hypertrichosis.

Cults – Real Monsters

There are real monsters in our world and you need to talk to your children about them. You need to tell them where the phrase “Drink the Kool Aid” came from.

I hate cults. Be it religious or some other sort of group who blindly follow a crazed charismatic leader, I loathe them.

They don’t fascinate me as much as I am appalled. I am appalled by the people who start and run them. Most of all I am applied by the people who join them. And of course there is a very special place in Hell for people who bring their children into them.

The same goes for con-artists, so called psychics and clairvoyants  who tell those who mourn that they can contact the dead. It isn’t going to happen. They’re nothing as horrible as predators   who prey on the emotions and desperation of others.

If you’ve read any of my other work you’ll find patterns where I bring up cults, and those who claim to speak to the dead, hear angels, and other bull shit. I have the same opinion for those who say they’re prophets, or have a direct line to God, or lead others on religious journey’s and enlightenment – which really means control of assets, power, sexual abuse, and assorted other bull crap.

When I think of anyone from Branch Davidians and David Koresh, to Bo and Peep of Heaven’s Gate, to Jim Jones, and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and those like them,  it makes me sick. And don’t think it is just religion. Many multi level marketing groups work on the cult model. Far too many political groups work on this model. They all break down potential members then bring them up in a sick and twisted feel good way – taking away the free will of the new member and replacing it with a perverted sense of belonging, awe, and fear of not belonging.

The leaders take away the member’s money, they isolate them from their families and friends, and they demand complete obedience.

Sex and sexual abuse seems to be a huge part of most cults and cult-like organizations.

It isn’t always on a grand scale. There are far too many small groups and organizations that we never hear about. They also prey on the innocent, lonely, and those looking for answers.

Often they use someone of the opposite sex to luer young people in, disguising their hunt as romance, or a connection with a kindred spirit.

When kids go off to college, or out into the world on their own for the first time it isn’t always easy. They will get lonely. They will have times when they feel like they don’t fit in. This is when the preditors go on the hunt after your children.

The preditors hunt the college campuses, often disguised as smiling peers just sharing information. My mind goes back to a girl I met in the late 70’s on a large college campus. She sat smiling like a bride on her wedding day, at a table, giving out information about “The Young Spartins.” This was back in the cold war days. She was from a communist group. I questioned her. She was all glassy eyed wonder. I didn’t have the heart to ask her if she’d ever heard the word “Gulag.”

Another story I’ll never forget is from a sweet young man who had his heart broken by one of the preditors. Fortunately he was smart enough to follow his head and heart, and not his dick. My young friend, a twenty one year old man in his forth year of college, had met a beautiful young woman at a party. They talked all night and watched the sun come up together. He was floating head over heels in love. He’d met his soul mate. Then two days later he was home early from his next date with her. She wasn’t intersted in him. She was only interested in him joining her “religion.” Her religion was something he (a Catholic) didn’t even consider a religion. He was horrified and heart broken. She didn’t give a crap about him, just about making her quota of converts and mindless followers.

Soon after that I was persued by several men of the same cult. They’d always ask me what I wanted to change about myself. I’d tell them “nothing.” They were total losers. I also met someone who had escaped from that same group that claims to be a religion, only after everything he loved had been taken from him – including his musical talent which he gave up for the cult. One is always expected to give something on loves up to prove their loyalty.

I’m not against religion or belonging to a group. I’m not against anyone having strong beliefs. What I am against is those who prey on the innocent and the young in the name of religion or political group, or other sick and twisted belief.

I tell my kids to question everything. I tell them to be skeptical. I tell them not to follow. Even when they don’t want to lead they should never follow, and never do anything blindly. Blind faith is a dangerous thing. Nieveity is a dangerous thing.

Cults are like abusive relationships. They will take everything from you until you are nothing. And they want to own you – both physically and mentally.

Discuss this with your young adult children. If anyone convinces them to stay away from their family and friends they need to RUN. If anyone tells them their family and friends don’t love them they need to RUN. Anyone who wants to break them down, then bring them up is BAD. They are evil.

Cults, con-artists, abusive assholes – it is all the same. They want your children.

I don’t know what else to say about this. Just continue to talk to your kids, even your older children about preditors. Your kids grow up but stranger danger is still an issue.

I speak from experience. A long long time ago I worked for someone who was trying to start a cult. It was scary. It was sick. It was sad. I saw first hand how the leader manipulated his followers to the point of blindness and deafness to reason and the outside world. I hate those people. I hate it when people are so weak that they follow such people.

That’s all. For now at least.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Get Out of Your Crypt

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

This weekend I saw my first love (who is not the guy in my famous meme above, that would be Pleasant Van Duesen, someone with a lasting impact, but not my first), spilled coffee on my iPhone and destroyed it, went to WORDCAMP Sacramento, and went to a Chicken Festival.

Most of all I had helped coordinate (a four month project) a gathering of Vampires who’d been born near the Gold Rush and come into adulthood in the 1870’s. Now STOP your visuals of a lot of women in bustle dresses, and men in tall hats with lamp chop whiskers. We first gathered at a local sports bar looking just like everyone else, in jeans and shirts, maybe drinking a bit more than normal warm blooded folks, but it was a blast. The next night was the big reunion at a local country club (not a castle or haunted house.) On Saturday my friend Amelia (from Las Vegas) went to the Fair Oaks Chicken Festival. There we had saw bands on the Chicken Stock stage, and then visited Dave Hill at BBQ Pro (everybody loves Dave and BBQ Pro.) We ran into old friends we hadn’t seen in over 100 years and had a brew at the Fair Oaks Brew Pub (always excellent.) On Sunday I went to WORDCAMP in Sacramento. Yes, that is when I spilled coffee on my phone and my book (a real paper book.) The book survived, the phone did not.

If you’re a WordPress blogger and have not been to a WORDCAMP event in your area you need to check it out. It is a great way to learn a little bit, or a lot, and get a look at all of the other bloggers in your area. A lot of it was review for me (I might even volunteer to give a talk, or help next year) but worth it. Seriously I missed a day of wine tasting for it. And the Happiness Bar is well manned for anyone who needs help. Woo Hoo. I have to admit that I was the only Vampire/Parenting blogger there. I also didn’t see a lot of writers, poets, squirrel bloggers, pet bloggers, movie and music bloggers, or other more unique points of view. We have to get out there and make our voices and blogs heard.

So now I’m at Peet’s Coffee in Fair Oaks waiting for my new phone to be set up at the Sprint store next door. Nobody knows I’m a Vampire. Nobody cares. OK maybe they would, but I don’t look or smell dead. Seriously folks this is the 21st Century. That said, I have been known to bring the dead back to life, but not phones.

And I watched LaLa Land again. That movie hits me right in the center of my cold unbeating Vampire heart. A lot of things hit me right in the center of my cold Vampire heart this weekend. I’m still in sort of an overwhelmed and numb, and joyful place.

Seeing all of my old friends was amazing. New connections were made, old connections were made better, and then there was that meeting I can’t get out of my mind.

I have a lot of material for blog posts, books, and stories. And I have a lot of things I won’t share, ever.

When I write these posts I try to give some words of wisdom, or something along those lines. Today it would be to reconnect, recharge, look back, look forward, keep in touch, and keep your heart in a good place. GET OUT OF YOUR CRYPT and dance. Get some fresh blood into your life.

Colma Crypt

Your crypt is lovely but you can’t stay in there all the time. Get out. Get a real house. Get a real bed. Put on some sunscreen, glasses. a hat, and go out into the real world. Don’t be a shadow creeper. GET OUT OF YOUR CRYPT.

This is definitely a turning point for me right now.

Now that I’m almost an empty nester, with one child off at college, and the other going to college at home until she transfers to a college far away, my message will be changing a bit. It will always be “TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. LISTEN TO THEM.” But there is also a new message. GET OUT OF YOUR CRYPT. Not just physically but mentally as well.

I’ll be blogging at you later this week about an assortment of subjects. And there is a rumor that Vlad is writing in his diary again.

xoxoxoxobxoxoxo (the “b” is for bite, cute)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Fair Oaks Chicken Festival (Fair Oaks, CA)

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Musings and Conversations with my Millennial Vampire

Between my summer road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska (and the great Western US Adventure), and my trip up to Oregon for the total solar eclipse, I spent time with Garrett.

He is my first born, a late millennial Vampire, now a fourth year college student (they no longer use the terms Freshman – Senior.)

One night we sat together on the back deck watching the bats fly around the tops of the trees. The cats were underneath the porch light catching moths.

He changed his major from some sort of Environmental Science to Music Composition with maybe a minor in Film and Media Studies. He has the talent and the drive to be successful. Plus he has the advantage of being a Vampire. And his Uncle Andy (my bro) is musically gifted in astounding ways, and supports Garrett in every way.

Garrett is still interested in Environmental issues, along with fine art, but his heart is in music, as well as his talents.

Sometimes I am in awe of the remarkable young man who appreciates his talents and gifts. He also appreciates those around him.

“My friends and I,” he tells me, “we don’t take our donors for granted. We never take needlessly or aggressively. We’re not into that.”

I’m proud of my modern young Vampire son. He is by no means a pansy assed wimp. He is strong, and smart, and coming into his own powers. He is also kind, and sensitive, and full of humor. He can compose a jazz, or classical piece of music, then a few minutes later write a love letter for a friend, then go watch a science lecture just for the fun of it.

I worry about the future, but then again, I look at my kids and their friends, all new adults, and I’m not so worried.

As parents we need to teach them the knowledge of the past. In turn, they will create the knowledge of the future. Even as they grow older and lead their own lives, we are still parents. Appreciate their success. Don’t dwell on their failures. Enjoy them. Treasure them. Share yourself with them. And know you’ve done a good job (and if you haven’t it is never too late to turn things around.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Maman

 

Night Musings

It is almost 2:00 a.m. and as usual I am the only one awake on my street. The dog is growling under her breath at the sliding glass door after hearing the coyotes howl behind the house. Earlier there was a bat flying around inside. Yes, this is the second time it has happened in the past two weeks. Yes, we need to get a screen on my daughter’s bedroom window. No, Vampires do not turn into bats, so the wee flying mammal was NOT a Vampire.

The moon is in a perfect half. At the end of the week I’ll be driving up to Oregon with a friend to see the solar eclipse. There will be a gathering of old friends. It should be interesting. I hear my Werewolf friends are planning some pretty big solar eclipse events, but I won’t be anywhere near them.

It is quiet since the coyotes left, with no sounds outside at all. Not a bird, or a dog, or a car, or even the running of a fan. Nights are finally getting cool again. Even that didn’t bring out any lone birds or other late night creatures.

Just half a moon. Somebody must have shared the other half with a friend.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman