History

“I was tired of Rome. When the first opportunity came up to go to Britain I took it. It was sometime around 78 or 79 AD. My timeline is a little fuzzy on that. I had no idea where I was going or that I’d meet the love of my life and some of the best friends I’ve ever had there. There was nobody like me in Rome. I was alone. I’d always been alone as long as I could remember, since I was a small child. I’d met other Vampires, but they weren’t like me. They were distant and fearful, living in the shadows. I was almost a demigod. Imagine that, and here I am, an old man, living on a farm by a river in California.”

Tellias didn’t look like an old man. He looked about nineteen or maybe twenty. Today Tellias was wearing yellow flip flops, black tuxedo pants, an orange and brown work shirt with the name Lloyd embroidered above the pocket, and his 1966 Rolex Submariner. His white blonde hair was tucked behind his ear.

We were in my brother Aaron’s office,  a restored Italianate mansion built in the 1870’s. Aaron has a law practice. Today his cohort and friend (if you could call it that) Austin Durant was there. Austin Durant is a history professor but he also restores old building. He is also a Vampire Hunter. This is where it can get complicated.

Durant works with Aaron to rid the world of Shadow Creepers, the Vampires who have no souls, and/or no redeeming value to society. They’re the ones who can’t control themselves, cause problems, or just fill out walls and craw spaces with their dried out crusty nasty barely animated corpses. Sometimes I begrudgingly help them out.

I know, I’ve been distracted… I’d stopped by with Eleora and Tellias, the ancient Vampires that I keep an eye on. My great great great great Grandmaman Lola was also along.

Austin was enchanted by the stories. When I first met Austin he tended to be a little tense being the only non-Vampire in the house, but by now he knew we wouldn’t harm him. Why would we?

I went to the kitchen to make tea, and check my email. Eventually Austin met me in their. I poured him a cup and we chatted a bit while we watched the storm outside.

“When I think of all of the history you and your family has experienced, it is just mind boggling,” said Austin.

“We have seen a lot. Sometimes too much.”

Lola came in and got a glass of water. She flirted a bit with Austin then moved on. Nobody would pick her out as a Vampire with her wavy brown hair, jeans and a sweater. Sometimes she walked with a slight limp, but otherwise she looked your average twenty five year old woman.

After she’d left Austin asked (in almost a whisper), “How old is she?”

“Lola is six hundred and seventy five years old. She was born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer. Same day too. When is your birthday Austin?”

“July 5.”

“You have the same birthday as P.T. Barnum. It seems fitting doesn’t it. You’re a historian and a Vampire Hunter. That makes you sort of a purveyor of freaks and important facts nobody wants to understand.”

“How…”

“You have the same birthday as my daughter. She was born July 5th, 1999.”

“Is she, your daughter a Vampire? Your kids are Vampires like Aaron’s kids aren’t they?”

“Of course they are.  By the way, I have the same birthday as Weird Al but I’m exactly a hundred years older than he is.”

“You were around during the California Gold Rush.”

“Right after the Gold Rush. My husband Teddy was born on the Panama Peninsula when his parents were on their way to California in 1849. They were among the first. My brother Max was born in Sacramento a few weeks after Teddy’s parents and my parents arrived. Aaron was born in 1854. I came along in 1859. Our other brothers Andy and Val were also born in the 1850’s. 1851 and 1858. We were a big family of little Vampires. I suppose we were around during the tail end of the Gold Rush, kind of sort of. I vaguely remember adults talking about the war, you know the Civil War. My big memories are more about the city growing up around us, floods, fires, the art museum, and the railroad. The rail road was big. Oh, and I remember then the State Capitol building went up. That was glorious fun. We had roller skates too, for indoors. The streets weren’t good enough for street skates.”

“You skated?”

“Yes, we skated.”

“I know all of this, or most of what you’re telling me, but when I hear it from you…when I hear it from you, it’s like…I don’t know. It’s extraordinary. The things you’ve seen…”

“Austin, don’t have too much adoration for us. You have your own extraordinary talents and experiences.”

Dear Eleora blasted into the room, twirling her red circle skirt, and singing something that sounded like a long lost Motown song. She kissed my cheek, then kissed Austin on the cheek.

“Would you like some tea sweetie?” I asked her.

“Not right now, but when you’re done with yours come back and join us, and bring Mr. Austin with you.” Then she fluttered out of the room.

“She is the wife of Tellias, right?”

“Yes she is. I’m not sure if they ever were formally married but they’ve been together since he arrived in Britain from Rome.”

“How old are they?”

“Over two thousand years, but nobody knows for sure. We believe she is older, but we don’t ask.”

“They look like teenagers.”

“They act like old people. They are old people.”

We finished our tea and got back to the others. I took all of my elders home. Aaron and Austin got to work on some restoration and nasty ghoul extraction they’d been working on.

One day I might sit down with Austin and tell him all of my tales of bygone days. Then again, I think he just might get depressed when he finds out that nobody ever learns from their mistakes. Nobody listens to reason, or cautionary tales, or cares about anything in the past or in the future. Then again, I might be wrong.

It doesn’t matter how old someone is, or how young, but how they see the world. It is how they choose to see the world.

I tell my kids that. My now legally adult children. They seem so young, because they are. And of course, they keep me young as well – all 159 years of me.

Stay young. Share stories. Live well. Learn from your mistakes, and from your success, and from each other.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Musings on a rainy day about myths, motherhood, and random moments.

There are myths that Vampires can’t enter a home unless they are invited. That is utter and total bullshit. Like most Vampire lore it is untrue.

I’m not going to give you a list of Vampire facts or a list of what is not true. This is about parenting and other things.

From an early age I’ve told my children to not believe silly things that people say about large groups of individuals. The key word is individual. If one person in a group is a jerk it doesn’t mean that everyone in that group is a jerk. In today’s political climate it is tempting to do that – judge a large group. I don’t mean hate groups and extreme religious/social/weird groups that one joins voluntarily. I’m talking about groups we are born into, or groups that we physically become part of. You know what I’m talking about. I’m preaching to the choir here.

I raised my children to have open and skeptical eyes. I also raised them to accept the magic of the world, and to accept the differences of others.

As we grow older (even Vampires) some people become set in their ways and beliefs. What we need to do is grow more understanding as we grow older. As you get older you learn more, know more, and experience more, to be able to break free from long held beliefs that just might not be true. You learn from experience what battles to fight, and what battles to fight for others.

Yesterday I was meeting up with a lunch date. Yes, it was that kind of lunch date. I am a Vampire after all… anyway… I was having some real food too.

We decided to meet downtown near my friend Jack’s office, at a place we’d been meeting for over ten years. He texted me that he was running late. I waited, which was no problem. Waiting lets me relax and people watch. Due to the rain I was under my umbrella, bundled up in my furry fake fur coat (that my daughter calls my sheep coat, and my cat calls her new bed.)

Across the street, I saw a man – another Vampire. Yes, we can usually tell if one is like us, not by the way we look, but by a strong vibe we get… I can’t explain it. I don’t have to explain and it doesn’t have anything to do with this. He was old, but like most of us didn’t look his age. I’m married, don’t get me wrong, and my husband is unusually handsome, so I wasn’t looking for handsome Vampires. I already have my own. But there was something familiar about this guy. Not someone I’d dated, but something else. This happens to all of us. We see someone. We wonder where we know them from, if we know them from anywhere, then they vanish. A lot of things in life are like that. But I digress.

I’d never seen him before. That isn’t so unusual. I live in a metropolitan area of about 2.5 million people. I can’t be expected to know every Vampire, and believe me, we have a larger than normal population of them around here. It is a historical thing that few know about but that’s ok. It doesn’t matter.

The Vampire across the street doesn’t see me yet. I’m taken by the way he looks. The guy is seriously handsome in that take-your-breath-away way.

I hear my name being called and turn to see my friend Jack. Then I glance back and the Vampire is gone.

A couple of scruffy ghosts in large stovepipe hats look out the window of an old restored building. I ignore them and join my friend.

If you live in a world where you see the unseen, and the hidden, you learn what to ignore and what to pay attention to in a more extreme way than most. The amount of information can be overwhelming at times. I suppose that is why Vampires don’t have problems with the Internet and other bombardments of information that can be overwhelming for some.

As with anything we need to all take a deep breath and think about things. On the other hand sometimes we can think about things too much. That is what one of my siblings calls brain fever. 

I share my umbrella with Jack, who is holding his closed. There is only so much room on the sidewalk and I like his warmth. It is daytime, and even with the rain the sun makes it light. I will not fry. I will not die in the light. I glance at my reflection in a window and smile without fangs.

On the drive home I can still taste Jack’s blood on my tongue. I smile knowing I’ve left him with good thoughts and sweet dreams for at least another week.

I stopped at the grocery store for cat food and silver polish. Yes, I do have silver in my home. What? You believed that too?

I thought about the handsome Vampire and wondered who he was. I thought about the ghosts. I knew who they’d been. I can’t walk past that building without them whispering about the old days when they knew the railroad barons and were important men. They need to move on.

Yes, we can learn a lesson from them and all strive to move on. Staying stuck in another century isn’t fun for anyone, or practical, or right.

That’s all I got for today.

  • Don’t forget to talk with your children and listen to what they have to say today – even if they’re grown.
  • Hug your kids.
  • Check on those who are alone.
  • Read.
  • Laugh.
  • And always be aware of what is going on around you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

More Weirdness

Look at the babies. Even for a 159 year old Vampire this is weird. She picked on up by it’s little itty bitty arm. They’re flailing and crying on the ground. They’re naked. Poor babies.

And NO Vampires don’t steal or eat babies. Unlike our regular human counterparts we’ve evolved.

Right now we live in weird times. Let me back up a bit. It has always been weird but for some reason it seems especially weird now.

My 19 year old daughter  works in a smoothie and juice place. This morning a woman in her shop (blonde, white, dressed like what we call a crunchy hippie type) came in and accused a man of Indian descent (nice looking, dressed nicely like most guys in the many nearby high tech companies) of spying on her other covert activities. The poor guy was calling his wife on his phone to ask her if she wanted anything. He took the call outside and the blonde hippie woman followed him and started to yell at him. The staff of the smoothie shop was in shock. They apologized and gave the poor man free smoothie coupons. What the fuck is wrong with people. I feel so bad for the poor kids who work in the store, but especially for the poor guy just making a call to his wife. I was appalled.

Damn, I don’t even want to talk about the political scene. Shit like this keeps happening and politicians are enjoying every minute of it. They’re fanning the fire. I swear Vampires should start getting involved. There are so few of us but at least we have the history, and background, and education to make reasonable decisions. We can look back into the past and logically see what will happen and the consequences of certain actions. We are also passionate with a strong sense of values. We are experts in good and evil.

But alas I don’t think anyone is really ready for us. They aren’t read for a female president. I don’t think they’re ready for a gay president. I don’t think they’re ready for anything that isn’t spoon fed to them by a machine that resembles the worst kind of cult.

If we (Vampires) got involved we’d all be dead within a few years. They’d kill us. Nobody wants to understand us.

On the other hand…

Every year large beasts are being found in the ocean and vanishing jungles of the world. Even the term “vanishing jungles” should seem weird. I digress… back to my point. Do you think a Sasquatch or Bigfoot population will ever be found?

I don’t mean some fuzzy photos, a sound recording that sounds like coyotes howling or squirrel chatter, a weird footprint, or a tuft of what looks like German Shepard fur. I’m talking about a real physical being. Maybe a baby Squatch left at a campsite with a note saying, please take care of me. One can only imagine.

Don’t laugh at the note part. If they do exist they’ve managed to hide for a long time. The ability to read and know human language would aid in the ability to keep hidden. If you know where your enemies are and what they are doing you can make sure they never find you. Yes, maybe the hunt for Bigfoot is the ultimate hide-and-seek. Or maybe it is just a bull shit fairy tale. You never know.

Sometimes I still see guys with their pants down around their butt cheeks. I still don’t understand that. How can they walk. Plus it looks so unflattering. Dude, have some self respect. I don’t see it very often anymore but it still is so weird.

Urine. There are people who drink urine and even put it in their eyes. I’ll say no more on the subject.

Did you know that even NPR has a strange news page? It does. Here is the link: https://www.npr.org/sections/strange-news/

We’re all drawn to weird things on some level because it is something different that we don’t always see.

Then again there are those people in our lives we consider weird. There is Ramona who won’t talk to men and only drinks goat milk. There is Vance who dresses like a 1970’s British Horror movie Vampire, complete with red lined cape. We keep telling him to just wear jeans and a button down shirt. Vance wonders why he can’t get a date. Vance is a weird and lonely Vampire. Maybe I should introduce him to Ramona. I could go on and on but I know you have those weird people in your lives. Maybe you’re the weird person. That’s OK. It really is (sort of, sometimes, as long as you don’t bother me.)

I always told my kids that there is a find line between letting your freak flag fly, and being an asshole, or bully bait, or just an idiot. Like with all things, weirdness can often be transformed into a lovely sort of uniqueness. That is the goal.

Well, and finding Sasquatch. The goal is always to find Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, maybe a space alien, matching socks, plastic lids that fit, your keys, your sanity, and a good friend.

I’m outta stuff to say.

If you have anything weird to share feel free to put it in the comments. This is a hate free zone. Have at it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Musings on Inspiration, Change, and Art

Oscar the cat enjoying my art

Oscar the cat enjoying my art. He says I need to start drawing again.

The other night my husband and I were watching something about the Lost Neck, I mean, Loch Ness Monster. A guy came on who was a cryptozoologist. I told Teddy I wanted to be a cryptozoologist. He said he wanted to be a luxury lifestyle consultant like David Bromstad on “My Lottery Dream Home.”  Seriously you have to love David Bromstad.

Then we laughed. Our kids could tell their friends, “my parents are a cryptozoologist, and a luxury lifestyle consult.”

Then we realized that they already say, “my dad is an antiques dealer and my mom blogs about Vampires.”

I used to be an artist but I forgot how to draw. I think I’m forgetting how to write most of the time too. I’m forgetting a lot of things. My world is getting smaller, yet it is more complex, and growing, and changing.

As life changes our inspiration changes. It is kind of like the moon, waxing and waning. In that way Werewolves are lucky. They have a degree of certainty in their lives.

Anyway, until I can learn to get my passion back for drawing (it was beaten out of me, long story you don’t want to hear) I’ll be inspired by other artists. I will also try to inspire those who do art or want to create.

Hey, please don’t send me “you can do it” messages about this. I appreciate it but I’m fine, really.

I’m going to be an art museum docent. I guess I already am, as I plan my final tour before I graduate and become an official docent. This is super exciting.

Now that my children are grown I’ll be teaching a new crop of children all about art, and history, and all manner of related things. I hope to inspire the young hearts and minds so that they might one day take on the world with wild abandon.

Wild abandon is something we all need. I watch my children, as grown as they are, and hope that they learn the fine line between control, and passion.

I hope they learn not to listen to assholes. I hope they know that deep down inside that in the long run their opinion about their own lives, talents, and passions is all that matters.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Frogs, Rain, and Finding Unexpected Company Under the Floorboards: Keeping in the Light

In the land of eternal drought it has been raining. It has been raining a lot.

The rain means frogs around my house. From May to October we get very little or no rain. In the summer most of the frogs go underground into their mud shells and wait for the rain. A few come up to my deck and hang out in the planters, or hide underneath the front porch in the hot weather but most vanish under the ground.

Anyway right now their chorus is deafening at night. They’re called Sacramento Valley Chorus Frogs. Really. That is what they’re called. They’re tiny little things with huge voices.

My dog lets me know when deer and coyotes come into the field behind my house. There are always turkeys. If I look up into the sky I can see eagles, hawks, and a large assortment of song birds. If I go outside the humming birds will buzz around my head. The hummers are fearless because they know nobody can catch them.

Occasionally my brother Aaron will call me to help distract some old dried up shadow creeping Vampire from a building. His friend Austin Durant, a Vampire Hunter, often is along. The only reason they call me is because I’m not afraid and I’m the only one small enough to get into most of the tight places under houses and in attic walls.

I guess the point is that even when it is raining or seems like nasty out nobody needs to stay hidden behind walls. I wonder why my brothers, friends, and I choose to Vampires who live in the real world, and others crawl away and hide. Sometimes they hide for years, until they dry up, like frogs who live in a drought for a hundred years.

There are regular people like that too, living like the frogs who get stuck in the hardened ground forever.

If you know anyone like that you need to go water them. Bring them out. Let them sing their songs again.

Then again, if they’re Vampires, leave that to the experts. Let me know and I’ll hook you up with someone who can help. You don’t want to mess with Vampires.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Rain and Frogs

One of our frogs. They’re tiny. You could fit 6 or more in the palm of your hand.

Vampire musings on a cool sunny day.

About every few years someone calls my brother Aaron’s law office because someone wants to exhume them.

Let me back up a bit. Someone who is a Vampire wants Aaron’s help to prevent their empty grave from being dug up by well meaning family members (future generations) who feared their ancestor was murdered.

Luckily for us normal DNA testing won’t pick up that fact that someone is a Vampire. What it will do is make the Vampire with the empty grave become the closest relative.

I don’t know why I was even thinking about this today. When you’re a Vampire you need to think about these things. My advice is just to stay away from having a grave altogether if you must move on. Vampires just don’t have graves anymore. It makes things a whole lot easier.

Today I’ll be digging in my yard, not graves, but the spring garden. The annual explosion of flowers is also starting with tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and bird of paradise flowers. The trees are also flowering. This flower explosion will continue through fall. This is not by chance, but a well planned effort. It is my well planned effort. I call it painting with flowers.

There are no bones in my yard, only river rocks and old roots. Sometimes the Ghosts Nigel and Mary will come out and visit with me while I work the dirt. The only thing I really have to worry about is the giant dog digging up everything. Thank goodness for tomato cages. All of the plants get tomato cages until they’re at full size.

From there I’ll clean off the decks with all of the mud and damage from the winter storms.

Sure, maybe Vampires should be living in crypts. It would be easy, but the quality of life is horrible. I can’t imagine anyone truly wanting to live that lifestyle.

So I’m off to dig under the trees, outside with the birds, and the dog, and whatever else comes my way before the next storm.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman