Musings on Parenting and Vampires

Love is in the air. I know because by 4:00 am the turkeys are already out making their gobbling love calls all over the neighborhood. They’re in the park, in front yards, in side yards, in driveways, on the sidewalks, and in the streets.

Sleep is also still in the air for teens who have nearly an impossible time getting up in the morning. Bribes of coffee and blood & berry smoothies goes on sleepy deaf ears.

But now I’m fast forwarding to school where the child texts me and says she needs $200 for AP tests (Advanced Placement.) If a Junior or Senior pass an AP test then they might be able to skip a college class. And why yes, the fees are cheaper in states I don’t live in.

So while I get texts from the kids, and listen to the turkeys, rain, and leaf blowers from the gardeners next door, I’m trying to think of a plot twists over coffee.

I explained what I was trying to do with the plot twists to my 17-year-old daughter.

“Don’t do something stupid with it. It has to be realistic, but not stupid,” she told me.

Thanks for the advice honey. I’ll be driving back to school in an hour to drop off the AP test fees.

I think about all of those Vampires who spend their days doing lofty things like fighting off rival Werewolf gangs, or lurking around in formal wear with blood dripping down their chins, or discussing with a far off Vampire council the paranormal forces and fuck it, that just isn’t the world I exist in.

This afternoon I’m meeting with an attorney. I’ll be getting about a pint of blood from him, and as usual I’ll leave cookies and juice (just like at the blood bank.)

Other than that things are pretty normal, not just for me but for most of us. By normal, I mean we’re not living some Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee movie script. Sure there are those assholes and misfits who lurk under floorboards, and graveyards. There are those without souls who haunt dark places in the cities. But who needs that? Seriously, WHO needs THAT.

We tell our kids, and other young Vampires that they have a choice. This goes for any kid.

There are choices. They don’t have to do what is expected by media or public opinion. They don’t have to be like everyone before them. If you’re different you can still be with everyone else. You know why? Because even if you’re different, you’re probably more like everyone else than you think. You’ll fit right in and be happy and nobody will know the difference. As long as they don’t know you’re a Vampire (or whatever) then do what you want.

So put away that red lined cape, and put on some jeans. Believe me, it will make dinner a lot easier. Then again, a little black dress is never a bad thing (but that is another story.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmic Adventures for Friday the 13th (another one again?)

It is Friday the 13th AGAIN. I first posted this on September 13, 2013.  And since it is good luck to read stuff for a second time then here you go – all the facts you need to know about Friday the Thirteenth and Aliens!

Friday the 13th – Cosmic Adventures in the Final Frontier!

I wake with a cool hand stroking my hair. He kisses my neck and then covers my mouth with his. I pull the handsome man beside me in my bed closer. “You’re naked.”

He smiles. “I know.” And we both know the kids won’t be up for at least another 30 minutes.

Friday the 13th isn’t all that unlucky after all.

I was thinking about our conversations last night with the kids.

Amazing Stories Vol.5, No.9Voyager 1  has left the solar system. About a year ago but the signal is slow getting back to us.

My dad got his first telescope in the late 1850’s and we’ve been watching the night skies with close-up wonder ever since. There is something about being a small dot in a large universe that brings on such a sense of awe and wonder that can’t be explained away by reason or logic. And it is great fun! FUN.

And the speculation continues on what is out there, if anything. I’ve always thought it would be very sad indeed if we were the only planet with intelligent life. I’d like to think there would be more advanced places where every single day didn’t seem like Friday the 13th and ignorance wasn’t King.

So now we just wait for someone from another planet to find the Voyager. I’m hoping it will be sooner or later. I can imagine one of them saying “Hey, they have Chuck Barry too!” How cool would that be. And don’t say it couldn’t be because we have so much to learn – there is so much we don’t know about our neighborhood and the universe we live in.

There was a long discussion about space with my husband and kids. That is one thing the Voyager has done – made people think and talk about stuff. Space, the universe, our roles in it, the idea that someone else is out there… good stuff.

I have to say there is nothing sexier than a man who spends a couple of hours talking with his kids about stuff like space and life and imagination and wonder – or anything.

Finding real life in Space, life we could communicate with would be literally earth shattering, or more human shattering.

I’ve imagined if they knew Vampires and Werewolves were real. Just imagine if someone from another planet dropped by for a visit. It is mind-boggling. It is exciting beyond belief.

Then one of the kids brought up the proposed Mars trip. Those who went would volunteer to never come back.

That would be difficult to leave our home forever. There is an attachment we have that tugs us and keeps us here, like an emotional gravity.

If you die in space will your body rot? Not unless there is bacteria. But I could be wrong.

We can’t breathe the little atmosphere on Mars. It is colder than cold. It is a harsh planet, but then again so is ours – thanks to humans.

But imagine going to live on Mars. How cool is that? It is the stuff of dreams – the ultimate dream. The dreams the cumulate in the reality of great science fiction books and films.

We talked about Vampires in space. That might be a logistical nightmare considering our unique dietary needs. It certainly would be a nightmare for our fellow space travelers.

We need to keep our dreams and work on making them a reality. Dreams of home and dreams of places far away in space.

After the kids went to bed my husband Teddy said “I sometimes feel as if I’m an alien on my own planet.”

“You’re completely normal, for a Vampire. That’s why I fell in love with you.”

“There is nothing normal about us my love.”

Well, I thought, nothing is normal except our kids, thank goodness, but they’re our kind of normal which isn’t a bad thing.

Some random thoughts on Friday the 13th:

  • It is Friday the 13th of September, 2013. 9-13-13 an odd string of numbers. This blog is an odd bit of postings. Something to think about.
  • Hold out your hand and the palm reader will tell you to kiss a black cat, fall in love with a mysterious Vampire and dream of your heart’s desire tonight with 13 wishes and 13 candles blazing on the mantle and 13 kisses.
  • There is no bad luck – only good luck missed.
  • Imagine a literary cat with 13 toes and 13 lives and 13 stories to tell.
  • Yesterday was the 12th, tomorrow is the 14th, today is an odd day indeed.
  • Let us ponder the unlucky. A Werewolf with fleas. A Vampire without passion. A Ghost in an empty house. A teenager without friends.
  • But it is Friday so the Werewolf takes a flea bath and goes on an art show. The Vampire tastes the warm blood of a passionate human.  A ghost gets a house full of children. A teen meets kids who think he is really cool.

Favorite movies (of mine) about meeting someone from another planet:

  • Another Earth (2011)
  • Star Trek – First Contact (1996)
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth (1996)
  • District 9  (2009)
  • And every Spielberg film ever made even if it isn’t about space.

And just read any Ann McCaffrey book. I recommend “The Ship Who Sang” and “The Crystal Singer”.

Then anything by H.G. Wells, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. And of course Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat (because it is Friday the 13th) and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

This is just a short list (since I have only spent about 20 minutes writing this post and haven’t thought it out too much). Feel free to share your favorites!

Happy Friday the 13th! Reach for the Stars! And don’t forget, even if you have to force them, talk with your kids! It’s fun – and FREE!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Cat on Mars

Glue Slugs, Teens and the Realities of Modern Vampire Parenting

Most people think Vampire teens live in a Harry Potterish world where the teens live in castle-like Hogwartish schools and earn their first red lined capes. They think every bit is schooling is something kids can sink their teeth into. They think it is all black and dripping blood and castles and dark nights with bats and cobwebs. Think again.

Our kids go to public schools (same public high school that writer Nicholas Sparks and singer Lynn Anderson went to) and live at home with their parents. They go out during the day (with lots of sun screen and protection for their eyes). They don’t wear capes. Black shirts are the same black shirts all the kids get from Hot Topics.

The push for the Modern Vampire movement came around 1800 when the ideals of mankind and the human experience began to change. People were thinking more of freedom, freewill, individualism and personal choice. Tradition was no longer the way of the future. The world was changing and a few free spirited Vampires wanted to change with it.

Vampires were tired of being “in the dark”. Granted we still had to keep secrets but the days of lurking in dark gloomy places were over. No more lurking. We took on a more kinder gentler philosophy of “helping” regular humans rather than harming them. Yes, we still be scary – really really really scary but that is another blog post another day.

The California Gold Rush symbolized a huge change in culture. My parents along with a contingency of Vampires from all over the United States, Canada and Europe came to California to make a new life and a new culture of Modern Vampires. Those in the forefront of the California movement were my parents, Nathaniel Chase, Alphonso and Diana Chase, the Elders Tellias and Eleora and Thomas Kent.

At the same time Vampires in England and Boston were making changes to become more modern and free of the old chains that kept them literally in the dark. Anyway, again, that isn’t what this post is about.

My daughter had to make a model of a habitat for science. I thought in 8th grade they’d be done with models but I was wrong. So at the 11th hour she was trying to glue rocks together to make an octopus cave.

Glue does not attach to rocks – at least not the rocks in our yard. She used white glue and then the glue gun. This was after I said 100 times “don’t get glue on the carpet”.  We ended up with about two dozen glue slugs. Those were the odd creatures that fell off of the rocks we’d tried to glue together. Eventually between the glue gun, the white glue and adding dirt and paper the child figured out how to make it work. It worked quite well.  But that said, I know I’ll be finding glue slugs all over the house for the next year. Stuff like that just seems to migrate.

So needless to say modern Vampire life isn’t like a movie. The only thing that drips much is glue or vases with cracks in them (another story I won’t go into today) or nail polish. Live with a teen girl and there WILL be nail polish spilled.

Spilled milk? Forget that – spilled nail polish always makes me want to cry. At least you can wipe up milk. You can wipe up blood and keep it from staining if you get it early enough. Try wiping up nail polish. Especially black nail polish.  (Simple Green works great on blood and red wine.)

There are bigger things to like visiting colleges in the state and starting to put together dozens of applications. Good grades, leadership and volunteer work are no longer guarantees to getting into anywhere. Living in the state where the public university resides is no longer a guarantee either (then what the HELL have I been paying taxes for all these years?)

In the fall one is starting high school too so there are all those bits and pieces to deal with. Summer is already starting to book up solid with events for school and sports and must-go-to-concerts, and of course books I need to finish (writing not reading.)

To add to this flurry of activity are the Vampire parenting things that other folks don’t have to deal with. We need to teach the teens how to be responsible with their donors and how to hunt. Earlier this year we had seminars in avoiding Vampire Hunters. I’ve covered the whole “Men in Black” issues with them. And there are always Time Travelers, Ghosts, Goblins and a variety of other nasty creatures we have to deal with. No relaxing for the Vampire parents.

They are watching out for their sometimes socially awkward Werewolf friends. Werewolf kids are in the same situation but sometimes their problems are more difficult (the full moon and body hair thing).

So last night after I pulled a glue slug off of my bare foot I was just thinking of stuff. You know, just mom stuff. That’s all.

Have a good weekend everyone. And don’t forget to HUG those teens of yours and TALK with your kids and laugh too. Always laugh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman