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

 

Report from home on a dog and four cats.

We are still on the road.

Last night I received a call from my husband Teddy.

He said, “I can’t make it down there. I can’t leave the animals alone. Since you’ve been gone they’ve all flipped out. Jasmine (the dog) won’t listen to anything I say. She won’t eat. She’ll eat peanuts if I throw them in the air. But she won’t do anything. And Oscar (a cat) is running all over the house and won’t stop screaming. He keeps looking for you. I can’t get any sleep. He is so flipped out.”

Then I had to ask, “What about Gloria?” Gloria is the calico cat.

“Gloria is fine. She has birds to kill. And I’m watching the cats next door.”

So much for the glorious alpha Vampire I’m married to.

Teddy continued, “I can’t leave them.”

I told him that was ok. I love him for being such an alpha male and I love him for being so sensitive.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

oscar the cat

 

 

Soon

In the side yard, in the warmth of a spring day my old dog is still, on her side, not wanting to move for any reason, except maybe if a small child showed up or a kitten.

Since February she has slowed down and almost stopped moving.

Her joints no longer listen to her brain.

She has stopped listening.

She has stopped her sled dog songs.

She has lost interest in anything but the sunshine and a kind touch.

Soon she’ll just stop.

These fur covered creatures invade our lives and clog our hearts with their soulful eyes and unlimited capacity for love. We end up with fur clogging our arteries or so it seems. I keep wondering why I take them in. I wonder why I love them. Then again, sometimes it seems everything and everyone I love is a pain in the ass. That isn’t always a bad thing.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What I’m taking about with my teens: badly behaved people, teenage boys, music, dogs, and other odds and ends… and Vampires

I live in a world populated a lot of teenagers, including my own. As those of you who frequent my blog know is that we all talk a lot. My mantra is “talk to your kids.”

This week we’ve been talking a lot, about a lot of different things…

The band All Time Low has come out with a new song called Something’s Gotta Give and will have a new album out soon. Cute. We watched the video on You tube. There were both French fries and Zombies in it. Click on the song title above for the YouTube link.

Why do people complain rather than make their things/society/country/home/school better? Let me know when you find out the answer to that one, and then actually convince people to change things for the better and I’ll give you a million dollars and a box of possums.

Why are there still internet trolls and bullies? Keep your eyes open kids.

Fleas. This was a rude shock to all of us when the horrible little creatures invaded our home last week. OK I’ll admit that back in the old days fleas and other nasty vermin were everywhere, but it still grosses me out. We defleaed the pets, the carpets, the beds, the yard… and everywhere else around our house. Our poor dog has chewed herself raw in just a matter of days. She chews up her backside so fast we can’t catch her until she is a disgusting mess.

Our 11-year-old dog is getting noticeably different (not just the fleas). She isn’t listening. She doesn’t hear things. She doesn’t want to do anything most of the time. She has figured it all out. I’ve noticed that sled type dogs like her like to do their own thing anyway. I’ve had them over the years. I love them, they’re the best, but boy can they be stubborn.

Cats are afraid of popcorn makers. What does that mean? Don’t hold the cat up to the popcorn maker when popcorn is popping. End of story. There is nothing more to say. No, I don’t want to see you do it again.

Teenage girls universally hate it when boys wear basketball shorts all the time. Boys wonder why girls don’t pay any attention to them. Boys call boys who wear nice clothes fags. OK guys, wouldn’t you rather be called a fag and get the attention of ALL the girls then wear basketball shorts 24/7. Save the shorts for PE and when you’re at home. Boys don’t call gay boys who wear nice clothes fags. They leave them alone because most of them are smart and popular.

Someone sent a message to Clara’s friend asking him if he was gay.

By this time next year gay marriage will be legal everywhere in the USA. I know it will. I live in Northern California so being gay or straight shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t. So why do boys still call each other fags? Most kids don’t care. Plus it makes you sound stupid. That said… don’t wear basketball shorts every single day.

I also got to hear all about thongs. Not flip-flops but the butt floss type of panties so many girls wear. Um, girls, don’t do it. Even the firmest most athletic butt looks sort of iffy in leggings. If you show a whale tale the boys at your school will NEVER forget. Boys are like that. They’ve always been like that. Even before there were thongs they were like that. Believe me – boys are like that. Thongs are not a good idea. Plus other girls in the PE locker room don’t want to see it.

And speaking of thongs… turn the Thong Song OFF when your mother is driving or in the car or within 20 miles of any radio or electronic device playing that song. It is what is WRONG and encourages stupidity and bad taste in ALL THINGS. And NO it isn’t funny to fight with your mom over the radio buttons and laugh out loud just to annoy her. End of story. If you want a list of songs that annoy your mother I’d be happy to make you one. Old songs are included along with new ones. My annoyance levels go back for years.

Cheese is good.

The dog will now only eat cat food and Gravy Train. Everyone thinks we’re cruel and bad dog owners – BUT our dog won’t eat expensive dog food. She will only eat treats if you throw them in the air first so she can catch them. My husband discovered if you drop dog food all over the floor,  like you accidentally dropped people food, the dog will sneak into the kitchen and eat it. When she does eat food she takes a mouth full, brings it over to the white carpet and drops it before eating it. No amount of yelling or praise will make her eat over the tile. The same goes for the cats when they want to barf. Thank God we’re getting rid of the white carpet soon. Unfortunately we’re keeping the pets.

We can change our minds. I heard an interview on NPR this morning of the group The Decembrists. I always thought they were, well let’s just say they were not my cup of tea. But this morning I listened to their new music and the interview. It was charming. I might even become a fan. Maybe not a big fan, but hey it was fun. Click here for the story.

Also if you like 3 songs a band plays it does not mean you have to like everything they do. The same goes for books/authors and just about everything else. By the way there are exclusions to that rule and the guys who wrote the Thong Song is included. Those are bands and songs I will NEVER like. The Thong Song is on the same list as that Jimmy Webb and Richard Harris for bringing us that horrible song McArthur Park which likens love to leaving a cake out in the rain. That has got to be one of the worst songs ever written outside of anything by Justin Bieber and Melanie Safka.   Also on the list is Dr. Hook for writing Sylvia’s Mother. I was always glad with the knowledge that Sylvia’s mother kicked Dennis Locorriere’s (the singer) whiney ass half way across the state of Illinois. I hate whiney boy songs. Oh please spare me your over sensitive wounded boy shit and grow the fuck up. And to make matters worse Shel Silverstein was the one who wrote the lyrics to Sylvia’s mother. I kid you not. It had to be a joke.

After forcing themselves uninvited onto my phone U2 is off of my list forever. I don’t care if Bono believes he is more interesting than the Dos Equis man – I’m done with you Bono. Get off my phone.

The one thing about music that I want to burn into the minds of my children is to make what they like their own. They should listen to what they want and refine their own tastes. My play list is so gosh awful but at the same time weirdly wonderful and extremely private. I’d almost rather sleep with a good looking stranger rather than show him my playlist (no of course I’m not going to tell that to my children.)

But what I mean by all of that is that one should not listen to music because a boyfriend or girlfriend likes it, or that someone else says it is good. Listen to it because YOU love it.

My brother Max just looked over my shoulder and said, “Christ Juliette, you’re not publishing that are you?”

I glanced up at my eldest brother who is now sporting a short beard. “I haven’t seen you in a beard since the 80’s. 1980’s and 1880’s. It looks good. Just keep it short. Don’t try to do the urban lumberjack look.”

He gave me sort of a snarl and a smile and went back into the other room with my husband Teddy (who is also Max’s best friend.)

Max was recently up in Northern Nevada taking care of some sort of horrible nasty clutch of God-knows-what sort of creatures. They could be humans or Vampires or I don’t know what, I just know that when Max doesn’t want to talk about his work we don’t talk about it.

He’ll go back to San Francisco tomorrow then in a few weeks go down south to visit my son Garrett who is in college. It will be fun. Garrett and I talk almost everyday and text everyday but I still miss him so. At the same time I’m excited for him, off on his own for the first time. No, I’m not one of those helicopter parents. We talk, I don’t hover or get into his business.

He tells me about people he has met – mostly other students and teachers.

A few days ago he asked me again if there would ever come a time when we could tell the world who and what we really are. I told him no, again. People, human people are for the most part reasonable. In some cultures we can be accepting of anyone. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the normal mode of operation. Anything different is bad. And if you’re extremely different or successful or threatening to others they find you scary. Or worse they use you as a scapegoat for all of their problems. Humans have a great capacity for love, creativity and innovation –  but they also have a great capacity for stupidity and ignorance and hate.

I can hear Teddy and Max laughing. It is always good to hear them laugh. Clara has come down to join them after reading an essay to me she is writing for her English class. I didn’t write this in one swoop – I have people come in and out with questions, comments and to tell me jokes. My cat jumped on the table next to my computer and is grooming himself. I hear a frog croaking (sounds like creaking) under my front porch.

So we’re talking and laughing about everything, all things, most things, and even good things. That is what we do. I hope that is what everyone does. I’d like to think that.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

How to motivate your cat – yeah right like that is ever going to happen

Our cats do bad things.

We love our cats.

Does that make any sense?

I am a bit pissed off because they didn't need to bring that other cat into my life.

So the cats scratch the furniture. Can we motivate them to scratch somewhere else using treats, sprays, scratching posts? Hell no. They aren’t motivated by food. They aren’t motivated by attention. They are motivated by getting me to stop yelling at them. So I yell.

My cats fight with each other. They run through the house growling and jumping on each other spitting and hissing. I yell again, they keep fighting, I yell again, the dog walks into the other room, they keep fighting. I yell “HEY CUT IT OUT”. That works. It works with my children too.

Vampire Maman's Cat - this makes me want to cough up a hairball - Gloria the Calico Cat

My cats barf. I believe they do this because they enjoy it. We’ve done everything the pet books say. But honestly it isn’t a medical problem. It isn’t a food problem. They like to barf. Only on carpet. Only where we walk. Only where we sleep. NEVER on the tile.

I love my cats.

I put him in his place.

I don’t know why. Actually I do know why. They’re cute and soft and they talk to me in their cute little kitty voices. They purrrrrrrrr. And sometimes they even act like they love me too.

vampire-cat

Short Story Sunday will be back in a few weeks (yes, technically I’m posting this on Saturday but somewhere in the world it is Sunday). I’ll be hit and miss for a bit but if you absolutely MUST get your Vampire fix TODAY click on the links below.

And you want more just scroll through my past posts – there are exactly 500 tall tales, parenting tips and musings to choose from.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman