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.

What we talked about today

I used to write a regular post “What we talked about on the way to school today,” but now that my kids are in college we get in our talks whenever we can.

We are wondering why the public is obsessed with an obscenely rich twenty year old woman, with parents who have done nothing but exploit her for their TV shows. Now this young woman is pregnant and we’re expected to care? The child will grow up without anything normal about it’s life. It will be part of the freak show, that is no different than the exploitation of the Dionne Quintuplets. Have a kid and exploit it. When it turns thirteen start giving it lip injections, butt injections and a 25 year old lover. That is no way to raise a child. And she is no role model for any girl or young woman. And unfortunately she has no good role models.

Some rapper is trying to prove the Earth is flat. Again, why is this guy getting air time?

If NFL players or anyone else wants to kneel then let them. So let’s get pissed off because they are exercising their right to free expression. The first priority of our POTUS is to rant and rave about it like a rabid dog. Oh just fuck it all idiot man and go on to issues that matter. Or better yet, try educate yourself on WHY people are protesting by kneeling. You might not agree with them but you MUST agree with their right to protest.

Forget all of the bullshit above. Why isn’t our government doing anything about Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other places hit so hard by recent storms. But that is easy. That is about normal, regular people. That isn’t any fun.

This morning I received phone calls from my daughter’s college. The sheriffs were on campus, there was a lock-down, then there was nothing. Then I received a second message. The sheriffs were on campus to apprehend someone. There was a lock down. I texted my child. No answer. I texted again. No answer. My head was spinning.

Then finally I heard from her. It was a different facility, in a different part of town from the main campus. It was in a place where she goes to class one morning a week.

A guy with two guns came on campus. He was going to shoot someone. When he saw the sheriff officers he dropped the guns and ran. He was caught. Nobody was hurt.

Why did this guy have guns? Why are there still shootings at colleges, schools, and workplaces? WTF?

I told my husband that I’m going to be a ghost for Halloween. We’re going to a big party. A ghost costume is easy and fun. He just looked at me with no response. A Vampire would be tacky. I’m not dressing up like a “Vampire.”

We are living in a time when everything we see or hear pisses us off.

I’m also having…I don’t even want to say this…I’m writing a book and my mind has gone blank. The current chapter sucks. I will continue on. I can rewrite it. I can get my mojo back. I can and will move forward.

So Clara and I decided to make a list of things that don’t piss us off.

  • Dogs (most dogs)
  • Cats (except my cat who peed on my dining room table.)
  • Trees
  • Fall bulbs
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Cool antique silver patterns
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Cute comfortable shoes
  • Cute dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirt
  • Cool Fall Weather
  • Chickens
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Deer
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Warm clean necks
  • Clean ears
  • Art pottery
  • Blue vases
  • Art
  • Music
  • Singing along to the radio in the car
  • Puns
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves with a sense of humor
  • Sunsets
  • Sunrise
  • Otters
  • Good friends
  • Books
  • My daughter’s friend decided to stay in the arts because that is where her passion is – rather than go into science (somebody else’s passion.)

That is a start. Deep breath. Relax before you’re head explodes. Or if you’re a Vampire just sit still and retract your fangs thinking of being on a quiet foggy beach with nothing but the sound of the waves, and nothing on the schedule.

I give up. Maybe. Not quite but my head is hurting. I’m done with the outside world (until I see a mushroom cloud, but then it won’t matter anymore.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Write ALL THINGS VAMPIRE

 

 

 

 

California Afternoon, Vampire Guys (again), Parenting and Modern Life

California Afternoon, Vampire Guys (again), Parenting and Modern Life

Yellow Flip Flops

Michinori waited for his teenage twins in the school parking lot. I waited with him. We also had loads of books to donate for the library book sale (our tax dollars not at work.)

I welcomed the company of an old friend on a Friday afternoon as I waited but… as you know, anytime a male Vampire goes into a public place, especially in the middle of the day he’ll get a lot of looks. They just reek of a certain “you want me now.” I just hoped the librarian’s knees wouldn’t turn to jelly when we brought the books in. I could already hear the women in the office and the female teachers saying, “Michinori is here.” It was worse than someone bringing a box full of 6 week old Lab puppies or cake or anything that pulls you and makes you giddy for absolutely no known reason. You know the feeling.

It was almost as bad as when my brother Max would go up to the school, except Max would intentionally flaunt it. He is so bad that way. He is horrible. When my husband Teddy shows up parent information meetings are packed with mothers of teenagers. It is good for the school but almost embarrassing for me. I should keep smelling salts in my purse for all the swooning.

Even years ago (a long long time ago) when people didn’t mingle the way they do now, women would look at my friend Michinori, feeling shocked that they’d be so attracted to such an exotic gorgeous creature. It was so wrong. No matter what color or background they were drawn to him. Then again he wasn’t just Japanese, he was also a Vampire.

He’d come to California years ago as a teenager, about the same age as our kids are now, to build the railroad and maybe escape his life as a less favored son. He met the 8th daughter of a San Francisco merchant. She was just one of 14 children (split between several dead wives.) They’d seen each other by the edge of the river, a place they both went to get away from the world. It was a world they didn’t feel like they belonged.

And when they met they found that they belonged with each other. It wouldn’t be easy for the dark eyed Japanese boy and the blue eyed American girl of Welsh descent.

They would live in the few places where they might be marginally accepted. Proper men and women shunned them.

Fernando and his friend Michael didn’t shun them. They were also a couple of mixed cultures and of the same sex. They lived a dangerous life with a love that wasn’t accepted by anyone. Both couples were outside of the law and outside of common decency.

Yet, in the circle of friends and family Fernando and Michael had made all were accepted. So they accepted Michinori and Rosalie, who in 1875 became Vampires. And they became my friends.

This was around the time my husband Teddy joined our ranks (another story.)

By 1999 Michinori and Rosalie were no longer seen as an oddity, especially where we lived, they were just another normal couple. That was the year their twins were born. That was the same year my own daughter Clara was born.

So we’re waiting at the school when we start to laugh about some stuff our kids had been talking about…

You know you’re from California when…

  • You know YOLO is a county.
  • You live on a fault line and your house is still worth a million dollars.
  • 65F is considered freezing.
  • Everyone gets excited when it rains.
  • You have flip flop tan lines on your feet year around.
  • You always know where the closest Certified Organic Farmer’s Market is and the price of strawberries.
  • You have a stash of old sheets to throw over your citrus trees in the winter.
  • You’ve never experienced a snow day.
  • You get tired of people from out of state asking you how many times a year you go to Disneyland.
  • Every high school has someone famous on it’s alumni list.
  • You NEVER say “Cali” when you talk about where you live.
  • You’re always within a two hour drive of anything you could ever want to do.

We went on for another 10 or 12 items then heard the final bell. School was out. Word was also out about Michinori being at the school.

Our children have a tight circle of friends at school.  The Vampire kids stick together because they like to be with their own kind. But they had friends of all different kinds. They accept that. Despite all the stupid things going on at their school, I hear there is tolerance that isn’t found at most schools. That is a tolerance for people who are different. You know I don’t even like to use the word different. Lets just call it an acceptance of everyone no matter who or what they are. You like the people you like and love the people you love for who they are inside. We teach our kids to see people for how they act and how they treat others – that is what matters.

That said, those Vampire guys… sigh. They’ll always take advantage of their unique charms but as long as they keep everyone happy I guess that’s ok.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Click here for “Why Vampires Wear Yellow Flip Flops.”

What We’re Talking About Today On the Way to School Today

Every since the election in June we’ve been regularly seeing heads explode as we drive along the road, especially in the morning hours. It makes a mess, but our roads are so bad around here that everyone just pretends to assume someone must have hit a pothole, or maybe it is aliens, or turkey vultures attacking suburban drivers…

As always, we listen to the news in the morning. I’ve grown sick of it and turn it out. My children do not. As wee ones they asked cute questions. Now as young adults they make bone chilling comments that make me wish that seventeen year olds could run for President, Congress, and the Senate, because they seem to be the only ones making any sense these days.

LBGT rights. Is there a problem with that? Why should anyone care? Don’t we just want everyone to be happy? LBGT families are like any other family. Parents love their children. Period. Here’s the deal. Married people pay more taxes. Period. See where this is going?

My kids often wonder why some people are so obsessed with the sex lives of others. It is all in the name of religion and morality. If you’re so moral then why are you so obsessed with sex? Why is your attitude so unhealthy. This is out of the mouths of teens. Of course if we’re talking down and dirty gossip then it is all good fun. Who doesn’t like to see the fall of a hypocrite caught in an affair after condemning others for their unmoral behavior? Who is anyone to judge? Especially those who do not even try to understand.

Yes, folks, this is why Vampires, Werewolves, and others keep to themselves. Don’t ask me how you can become one of us, and where our private clubs are because you’re not going to get an answer from me (or any of my friends.) Don’t hate me because I’m cold as death. Just hate me if I’m an asshole (which I hope I am not.) Or just hate me for using too many parenthesis in my writing, but not for my biology.

We discussed how THE WALL will be an environmental disaster among other things. The only ones dealing with walls should be Pink Floyd. The kids also keep asking about the Berlin wall. We all remember how that worked out.

I’ve made a list of news items and ratings from the teens I know:

Ivanka: NO

Grumpy Cat: Yes (even when she says NO) Yes, Grumpy Cat is a girl cat.

Coffee: Yes

AP Tests: Yes, but they still suck

Disneyland: Yes

The Lost City of Z: Yes

13 Reasons Why: Yes to both the book and the TV show

Old Men in Political Positions: NO

Botox: No

Squirrels: Yes (see link below to know why)

Cats: Yes

Dogs: Yes

Fiona the Hippo Baby: YES YES YES

Classical Art Memes: Yes

Canadians: Yes

French Election: WTF?

North Korea: No. And a sad face emoji for the people who live there.

Dentist Pulling a Tooth While on a Hoverboard: NO NO NO

Wells Fargo: WTF? Kids when you start a job don’t do that kind of shit. Not for anyone.

Anything in Washington DC: WTF?

Graduation Class of 2017: YES

Dutch Brothers: YES, even when there is a long line at the one street down from the high school.

Lists: Yes, because I’m not feeling inspired right now.

 

The conversation moved on to the dog who, despite her sweet nature, refuses to cooperate with any kind of training. She can do it. But she doesn’t want to. It is a power thing. Know any kids like this? Adults? Vampires? I bet you do too.

I might not be the biggest dog at the park but I’m going to make damned sure I have the biggest stick.

After dropping off the almost adult child I headed on over to the dog park. The big dog run was closed. The other dog run was full of HUGE (over 100 pounds) aggressive dogs. My young 85 pound German Shepard was dwarfed by these dogs. Of course she went NUTS. Sure I’m in touch with my paranormal side but it was almost too much for me to handle. I almost lost it. I went 0-60 in half a second from loving dogs to hating dogs. All dogs. Even my own dogs. And yes, right now mine is sleeping with her head on my foot as sweet as ever.

Text messages are fling in about a roller skate show tonight. Not at our club but at our sister club that my daughter’s partner skates out of. She and her partner are doing a new routine to Pink and Nate Ruess singing Just Give Me A Reason. They’re so beautiful skating (think Ice Dancing except on quad wheels.) Yes, teens are great.

I always thought Nate Ruess should be doing Broadway musicals. He has THAT kind of voice. Pink too. She is just WOW to me. I usually don’t like female singers (too breathy and high and whiney and I could go on and on) but she sings it.

Yes, I’m just rambling on today. Every have one of those days. In the back of my mind are sick and twisted stories of dark places with brick walls and black velvet curtains. There are howling winds along with howling wolves, shadows that look like ghouls with long twisted claws, and growls that could pass for satisfied purrs of lovers. You know, it is just one of those days when I just had to turn off the radio and turn off most of everything. I’m not as crazy bad as Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul but getting there.

Now for the Squirrel Story (not to be confused with the Squirrel Nut Zippers)

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/04/25/525363273/what-s-it-like-to-be-squirrel

 

Did someone say coffee? Blood?

Oh right, and remember to talk with your kids – about anything and everything. You’ll have fun. They’ll appreciate it. You’ll be the cool parent. And you’ll find out how cool your kids really are. And it is good for everyone. So do it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Musings of a Vampire Mom: All Worked Up & Getting Along

Jasmine and Oscar

I was feeling all worked up yesterday about everything in the news. You know, like the frustrating presidential election process (why didn’t anyone qualified run?), and why the chancellor of UCD hasn’t been fired yet (yes she is the reason why a public college education is so expensive – greed), and why there are so many stupid movie titles like “Batman V Superman” (did someone buy the last pair of XXL tights?), and a myriad of other stupid things.

But that has passed and reality kicks in. Reality around here is a relative term.

One could say that Vampires are like politicians in that we are constantly spouting off half-truths and lies, but it isn’t that way at all. We’re in survival mode. We have to hide what we are. Nobody wants to have their head cut off, be burned to a crisp, have a stake through their heart, or be sealed up in a musty crypt forever. We have a good thing going. Nobody is going to take that away from us. Politicians, on the other hand, have no excuses. None.

My children are engulfed in school. Every day I’m told in person or by phone or text what they learned and discovered. This isn’t something I demand. It is just what they do. I’d like to think I instilled that excitement in them. Then again, I see that natural joy of learning and discovery. It is always sad to me when I see that desire to learn and excitement killed in a young person. We must always keep questioning and learning. Yes, I know there are quiet children who need information coaxed out of them… but never accept a grunt for an answer. Never demand an answer – engage the young people you know.

The more young folks are engaged the less chance of a scary future. Young people need to be encouraged to question, research, discover, and make educated conclusions on their own. And we, the older generations, need to listen to them.

As I write this I have one cat sitting on the table next to my laptop, a puppy curled at my feet, and another cat on the chair next to me.

The facts:

  • Both cats were close to our old dog Jasmine.
  • Jasmine loved both of the cats.
  • Gloria the calico hates Oscar the gray cat.
  • Oscar would like to be friends with Gloria.
  • Oscar is slightly afraid of Gloria.
  • Gloria doesn’t give a shit.
  • Oscar and Gloria hang out together when they are outside.
  • Alice the puppy is hurt because the cats don’t like her.
  • But the cats don’t run away from her.
  • Alice tries.

Yet, they all sit here with me and act civil towards each other. The cats will eat out of the same bowl today. The pup will get closer and closer to the cats but they won’t attack her, only occasionally hiss. They accept the fact that they have to live together. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could be like that.

And why yes, I am rambling on and thinking out loud today.

A cold storm is blowing through and I find myself alone with my thoughts, and three animals who let me know that they need my companionship. I have to admit that I enjoy theirs.

Today is one of those days when I’ve tried to dredge up stories from my past and I can’t bring up anything. It is like a movie with somebody else starring in it.

Today is also a day for new beginnings to look to the future – for my kids, my animals, and for me. Only my notebook for this chapter is still blank.

So we shall see.

 

vm_rick

 

And don’t forget that Thursday is ASK JULIETTE (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone.) It is a regular Thursday feature on Vampire Maman. If you have a question about parenting, relationships, Vampires, other paranormal stuff, gardening, travel, science, fashion, or anything, and I mean anything, just ask, and I’ll answer. Put your questions in the comments on this post, or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

May you find no bad blood in your goblet of life, and no ghosts in your soul.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vampire teens

 

What we’re talking about: Hell in a Hand Basket Edition

Well, now that the entire world is going to Hell in a hand basket there is no sense even bothering to blog anymore. I’ll just sit around and feel bad for future generations, that is, if there are future generations.

Alright, now that I have everyone in a good mood…

What are we taking about today?

School sucks. I thought this year had started out ok. Now the 15 year old is into her third week of school she thinks it is a big waste of time. I kind of have to sort of agree from how she describes the classes. A lot of it is the other students and their lack of interest. The good news is that according to my daughter most of the kids at her school would be safe from a zombie attack due the absence of brains.

She said she wasn’t learning anything. Then she went on for almost 90 minutes about Greek philosophers, Spanish language use of formal vs. informal, and all about kids she was meeting.

There is a boy from the Ukraine who is here as an exchange student, living with a cousin. He loves it here but is worried about his parents who are quite politically active. He told the other kids (15 year olds) about tanks driving through his town. They were all pissed off because the one pizza place in town was destroyed. That wasn’t the biggest concern but… sometimes it is easier to find something to make light of when the situation is grim. I’m glad the boy is here and that he has so many students and new friends to rally around him.

The three-day weekend is coming up. We’re not going anywhere for Labor Day. The crowds on three-day weekends are so bad that we stay home and visit with friends. I plan on sleeping. I’m about 250 hours behind. Large quantities of coffee are no longer working. Humor is no longer working.

I’ve finally replaced my “not so smart phone” with a phone that works. So now I can check your comments to my blog on my phone. I’m happy.

Despite the news, good things are happening every single day.

The eldest, not yet off to college, is in that strange place between boyhood and manhood. It makes me smile to see him painting or playing his guitar. He has always been the one who has been quick to smile and easy going. He’ll do great no matter what he’ll end up doing. I worry about him getting his heart broken, but he will and no doubt it will be good for him in the long run. If not, he’ll get over it.

He will soon be on his own but he has a strong support system. We talk a lot about it. No specifics, just general stuff. It is all good at this point. I just hope that in October I don’t start getting reports of “I hate college.” In fact I’m thinking that maybe the younger one should just skip high school and go directly to the University. OK maybe not.

As for life in the shadows…

Cody and Lola stopped by last night. We haven’t seen him for a while. Cody, as you might recall, has only been a Vampire for a few years. He comes from the high tech industries of the Silicone Valley. He was a young hip guy who unrepentantly became a Vampire (sounds simple but it wasn’t and isn’t, long story.)

My young Vampire friend is currently wooing Lola who just happens to be my great great great grandmamma. She was born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer. Cody was born the same year as…Sharika and Gerard Way. Cody looks more or less his age (and will continue to look that age.) Lola looks younger, mid 20’s.

Somehow this unlikely couple makes it work. My eldest brother Max is totally against it and freaked out. I told him he was being a jerk, but as the youngest in the family he never listens to me. I also have called him a sexist pig from time to time but that falls on deaf ears (usually.) It might just be that he is over protective of Lola, but it is more that he was Lola’s favorite little baby boy and now she is in love, real love and Max can’t handle it. Asshole.

I’ve been calling Max an asshole a lot lately. No, I haven’t blogged much about it. I haven’t blogged much about my family at all lately. It makes my head feel like it is about to explode.

Yes, we all have siblings who drive us crazy. If not siblings some other family member will step up for the job.

Well, so much for family drama.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year I want to go all out with decorations and entertaining. We shall see… I will keep you posted. At least the festivities on this blog will be BIG.

Yes, the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, but not all of it. Let’s all work hard to keep the good things good.

That’s all for today.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (who is just rambling today but I get to do that occasionally because I’m sort of good at it, kind of.)

 

vm_keyboard