Mom, can we keep him?

A couple of days ago I was traveling near the border of Utah and Colorado. I saw this cutie standing by the side of the highway begging for treats. Yes, dinosaurs are real.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A Drive With Marilyn

Mono Lake Tufa SNR

Mono Lake  – A sight to behold on Hwy 395

 

I’m a little under the weather (even Vampires get under sometimes) so rather than trying to make up something fictional for today I’ll just tell you a story about my brother Val and me, then give you some high-minded moralistic opinion about the state of American culture.

It was October 1963 and we were driving Val’s black 1962 Corvette down Hwy 395, along the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We stopped in the small town of Lee Vining at dusk, wondering if we should stop for the night or keep going.

I got out of the car and looked up at the mountains. After I took off my scarf I held it up and let the breeze make it into a flag. Everything smelled so fresh. The mountains were so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off of the sight.

Val came up to me and took the scarf. He put it over my hair and wrapped it loosely around my neck. “You look like Marilyn Monroe tonight. She was buried in a dress almost like yours, with a scarf like yours.”

Removing the scarf again I looked down at my green dress, then brushed a bit of blonde hair out of my face. Yes, it was blonde at the time fixed in sort of an over teased should length flip. I’ve taken my false eye lashes off as soon as we left Las Angeles earlier that morning.

“How do you know what she was buried in?” I had to ask.

“A friend of a friend went to the viewing,” answered my brother. “She was murdered.”

“Does the friend of a friend know who murdered her?”

“No. What a shame. We’ll read about it later. Jewels, she was having sex with everyone named Kennedy and all of their friends.”

“Does it matter? Does it really matter Val? It isn’t like we knew the woman.”

He ignored my comments. “I feel like I’m in a movies set out here. The obvious choice would be a Western, but it seems more of a mystery tonight. Do you want to stay the night or move on?”

We agreed to stay.  At first we got a skeptical look from the woman at the desk of the Motel when we told her we were brother and sister. Neither one of us wore rings on our left hands. What should she think when two fashionably dressed young people come into a hotel in a mountain town? Plus we came in a sports care. That would be a recipe for immoral behavior in anybody’s book. A man, the owner of the establishment, came in and gave us the key, saying it was obvious how much we looked alike. Some people always have their mind in the gutter.

We went to the cafe next door to get a feel for the place. The view of Mono Lake from our table was unreal as the sun settled down over the mountains. The waitress was friendly and took our orders of coffee and rare burgers. When she came back she told me that the cook thought I looked like Marilyn Monroe. I was polite. Val kicked me underneath the table.

“As soon as we get to Reno I’m finding a salon and switching back to brunette.”

“You’d better get rid of the eyeliner too,” said Val with a wink. “I think she was murdered for sleeping with the Kennedy brothers. Think about it.”

“I’d rather not Val.”

“Do you think Marilyn would have made a good Vampire?”

“The Beatles would make better Vampires. They don’t seem so needy. Honestly would you convert someone as needy as Marilyn Monroe into a Vampire? It would be a disaster then you’d be stuck with her.”

“That might not be such a bad thing.”

“Stop thinking with your…”

“I’m not.”

“Are too.”

“Am not.”

“Val, to be a Vampire one must be fairly independent and strong-willed. You have to be disciplined at all times. I mean, I didn’t know the woman but she wouldn’t have made a good Vampire.”

We picked our way through the food and finished our coffee, then went for a walk down the road. Stopping in a bar we picked up our real dinner for the night. After all, Val and I are Vampires.

The next day we took a leisurely drive with the top off of the car. Once we arrived to Reno I became a brunette again. A month later President Kennedy was assassinated.

I used to get angry at Val for his temporary fascination with celebrity. It started when we where children and he’d pick up bits of information in Harper’s Weekly. From there it snowballed. He couldn’t seem to get enough of gossip and sorted stories about people he’d never met. I’d tell him to read a book and he’d just get pissed off and close up to me. He has backed off but occasionally I’ll catch him catching up on celebrity gossip.

I don’t understand the current fascination with people who are famous for having an unnaturally large number of children (and their disgusting self-serving exploits), or for rich women who are unnaturally made up. If your only claim to fame is the fact that you have a big butt and a rich father why should you get so much time in the news. It isn’t news or even entertaining. It is just stupid and annoying. When I see a movie I don’t want to know about the actors, I want to know about the characters they are playing. That is all.

But it seems the spirit of P.T. Barnum live on in the worst way possible. Some people say there are no more freak shows but it isn’t true. There are plenty of people who are glad to put themselves in the spotlight as freaks.

Thank goodness that isn’t what Vampires do. We might read the gossip but we refuse to be the gossip.

Have a good week everyone. Stay classy.

 

This was first published in October 2015

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Marilyn

Yes, almost like that, but not quite.

 

On Tour With Vampire Maman (or maybe that was “on the road”)

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We went on an amazing trip. No magic bus but hey, I’m a Vampire so I’ve got magic everything – well just about.

I’m home after ten days on a crazy non-stop cross country road trip. We (17 year old Clara and I) logged in almost 4,000 miles, saw a lot of amazing scenery, and met some wonderful people.

Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska

Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska

Aside from a lovely visit with my friend Amelia (thank you so much a hundred times over), we had great luck with Air BnB. We stayed in lovely homes with lovely hosts. If you haven’t tried it out you should. It was perfect for my 17-year-old daughter and me.

My brother Andy’s friend James sent me a message saying he should open up his home as an Air BnB place. Yes, he does have a beautiful six bedroom home with a view of San Francisco Bay, but he is only looking for a free meal. On the other hand, he would make a good host, with that charm that he turns on for warm blooded beings. But boy, is he annoying around his own kind, or at least to me. I don’t think I have ever been alone with him and NOT been propositioned.

On the other hand, the guests of Vampires would never complain of not having a good sleep. In fact they’d rave on about having the best night’s sleep of their lives. Just make sure (if you are a Vampire host) to put out plenty of juice and cookies for your guests. You know, it is like a blood bank sort of situation. They give blood so they are going to be tired, but in this case they won’t know they gave blood.

But staying with a horn dog Vampire like James could be a bit dicey if you’re a Vampire female. I don’t think he could ever understand the full meaning of being a good host.

Knowing James he’d never leave his house again until the next big earthquake.

Our trip, from the Sacramento, California area, to Lincoln, Nebraska for the USA National Roller Skating Championships. My child and her partner received bronze for their efforts. No such luck using our crafty Vampire ways to always place first. But they were absolutely beautiful – stunningly beautiful.

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We stopped by Dinosaur National Monument, Arches National Park, The Sunken Gardens, The National Roller Skating Museum, An interesting cemetery, Thunder Mountain (I’ll have a post about that place), and many more features across the amazing country we call America.

Arches, NP

Arches, NP

Aside from talking, which we did A LOT of, we listened to the radio. We heard the Democratic convention (any political comments will be removed) and 2016 Lollapollooza. It was the 25th year of Lollapolloza and a lot of fun this year.

Our favorites were… drum roll please…

  • The Strumbellas (who surprised us in this live show)

  • The Struts

  • And my new favorite band Saint Motel

We also listened to Fritz and Tantrums Handclap about 50,000 times.

 

Night Riots also came out with a new song “Nothing Personal” that I’m still on the fence about. Still, it is better than 99.9% of what is out on the radio now.

And now we’re home. I’m still unpacking my brain from the car, and I’ll be looking for fresh blood tonight, dog training tips, ghost stories, and more very soon. Yeah, I say that a lot, but hey, I’m a Vampire, you have serious problems if you count on me for much of anything. That is just my nature. But I’ll try.

Hey, and thanks for your support and all of the nice notes.

And in the meantime don’t forget:

  • Talk with your kids.
  • Listen to their music with them.
  • Teens aren’t scary.
  • Take a road trip.
  • Dogs and Cats Rock.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Skipping the drama and skipping town

I’m skipping anything political tonight (pathetic speeches by a long list of D list celebrities with an insufficient number of brain cells, plagiarized passages, and general self congratulations of people who are lower than the worst soulless Shadow Creeping Vampire) and watching Preacher (which I recorded from a few nights ago), and America’s Got Talent. Or we might go out, or take the dog for a walk in the woods under a full moon, or we could do anything, except partake in the spectacle of something which both puzzles and maddens us at the sheer waste of time and stupidity of it all.

We’ll not doubt skip the other convention as well.

We vote, but we are not like them.

Saturday was my husband Teddy’s birthday. Someone suggested I cover my mouth with frosting and ask him to lick it off. As you can imagine, I politely shrugged off that brilliant idea for something a bit more subtle.

I spend the evening among a band of Vampires from France and America. The flow of languages was like music. We talked of outrageous adventures, and plans for more outrageous adventures. All of the teens left to play Pokemon Go in the historic old central street of town.

New friends and old gathered. We were all the same in our common love of my Teddy, but all so different. That is what makes it interesting. That is what makes us adore each other even more. It is that discovery of ideas and stories that makes us make our magic together.

Clara and I are busy packing for another road trip, half way across the country to the USA National Roller Skating Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. In all of the novels and movies Vampires just sit around in the dark looking for warm necks to suck. All they do is lurk and act creepy. In reality, we’re on the go. Warm necks are everywhere, so that is never a problem. Why lurk around in the shadows where there are places to go, people to meet, obscure sports to be champions in. 

We’ll keep you posted from the road. My husband Teddy and son Garrett are staying at home – holding down the fort and the cats. They’ll get in some male bonding time, you know, beer, blood and belching.

In the meantime I’ve been interviewing my old friend John on what it is like growing up next to Vampires. His family has lived next to my kind for generations. It makes for some interesting viewpoints.

I’m also edition, doing damage control, and figuring out some new projects. I’ve had a lot of suggestions about making some of my series into books. The most often mentioned by my readers are “Vampire Diary” featuring Vlad the Vampire King, and the Austin and Elizabeth stories (The Hunter.) Then there is that science fiction story I need to finish.

I need to finish a lot of things. Don’t we all.

And Nigel the Ghost. There is a lot more to come out of that guy.

So like I said, I’ll be sending blog cards from the road, plus more random thoughts about teens, parenting, Vampires, modern life, and other stuff.

One more thing… Do yourself a favor and turn off the TV news. Radio too. Stick to music you can sing along to and gardening shows.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

cat-tongue-catster

 

 

 

 

Unlikely Friendships

My brother Val and I were telling my kids about the time we didn’t spend Thanksgiving with our family.

In 1966 we were driving up the coast from Southern California to our parent’s house in San Francisco.

We turned off to take a back road, Val wanted to talk to a guy who built furniture. It would take maybe and hour he said. About ten miles off of the main highway a black sedan came up to our bumper. Another black car passed us, and before we could say “Change the radio station,” they had us blocked in and off of the road in a ditch.

It was cold and foggy out. I was in a great geometric design Mary Quant dress but had the good sense to be wearing flats. Val was in a suit. I mean, it was a holiday and we wanted to be respectable young Vampires and look good for our parents. I’d just turned 107 in October and Val was 108. We were still their babies.

Five men came out of the cars. “Don’t look into their eyes,” yelled one of the men.

Val swore under his breath. The men were Vampire Hunters. Just our luck. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we were, as usual, already late, and now this. It was always this.

And to add insult to injury one of the assholes torched my car. I’d had it for about six months. My beautiful green Austin Healey 3000 up in flames. Thank goodness my purse was still on my shoulder.

We stood in the light of the fire, surrounded. Our fangs were out.

“Gentlemen, why don’t we make a deal. If you let us go we’ll grant you a favor just like a genie in a lamp. We can do that. We can make sure nobody ever hurts you or your family. How about it? We can make sure your son’s draft number never comes up. We can make sure your daughters don’t fall in love with a dirty hippy. Think about it,” I said.

It was true, I could do all that and more. I could, but I’m no genie which means I can also lie about it. I can guarantee you that I wasn’t telling the truth, but they didn’t have to know.

To make a long story short, they started to come in closer with knives, guns and fire. Then shots. LOUD shots and the sound of a revving engine.

“Get the Hell out of here,” someone shouted, then shouted in the direction of Val and me and shouted, “GET IN.”

So we got into the truck. Two Vampires in the dark surrounded by angry Vampire Hunters often don’t have other options.

I slid in the middle seat between Val and the man driving. A large happy black dog was jammed in there with up.

The man didn’t look at us but talked as he drove. “God damn Vampire Hunters. You ok?”

“Yes, thank you. We’re ok,” said Val. “What do you mean by Vampire Hunters?”

“I know what you are. Fuckers. Not you, the damn Vampire Hunters. I swear one of these days I’m going to blow their heads off.”

I glanced over at Val trying to recalculate our situation.

Our driver continued, “I know you’re wondering how I know. My sister Debbie, the bitch, is dating one of those guys. My other sister Lydia is a Vampire. You know who I’m going to side with. Debbie is bat shit crazy, not to mention has bad taste in men. I’ll drop you off at the Greyhound station and wait until you get on your bus. It will take you as far as San Francisco. If you’re going anywhere else you’ll need to make a transfer.”

I looked over and saw his face. He was younger than he sounded. We talked more as we drove another hour to the bus station. His name was Bill. He’d just served a tour in Viet Nam and was home for a while before he had to go back. War was an ugly thing he said. He had no tolerance for violence at home.

“So you don’t care if we’re Vampires?” I had to ask.

“Why should I? The world is a strange and violent place. But the world if full of all sorts of creatures and I don’t see your kind, or most other creatures creating the problems. It is the assholes I’m concerned with. You know who I’m talking about. Hell, I think you’re interesting. After I get out of the Army I plan on spending more time with Lydia and her friends. They’re the only people I know right now who make any sense.”

“Some people believe we’re dead,” said Val.

Our driver laughed. “A lot of people are dead. Why should that bother me?”

We took the bus up to San Francisco and were picked up by our parents at the station.

That was such a long time ago and until today I’d almost forgotten about it.

Thanksgiving was great. My husband Teddy brought home and old bugle that we all made a lot of noise with and laughed so hard our sides hurt. The kids had fun being home from school. All was well.

And everyone made it here, with no adventures, no hold ups, no Vampire Hunters. Everyone was safe. It was all we could ask for.

After a sampling of Bourbon and dark chocolate I called my old friend with the truck. He is now living in Monterey in a house with a view of the Pacific Ocean. He is 73 years old now and retired from a career as a politician and environment lawyer. His grandkids and his sister Lydia were all there.

You never know where you’ll meet life long friends but it is always a blessing.

Wishing you all a blessed season of joy, and love, and all good things.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

A Drive With Marilyn

Mono Lake Tufa SNR

Mono Lake  – A sight to behold on Hwy 395

 

I’m a little under the weather (even Vampires get under sometimes) so rather than trying to make up something today for Short Story Sunday.  I’ll just tell you a story about my brother Val and me, then give you some high-minded moralistic opinion about the state of American culture.

It was October 1963 and we were driving Val’s black 1962 Corvette down Hwy 395, along the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We stopped in the small town of Lee Vining at dusk, wondering if we should stop for the night or keep going.

I got out of the car and looked up at the mountains. After I took off my scarf I held it up and let the breeze make it into a flag. Everything smelled so fresh. The mountains were so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off of the sight.

Val came up to me and took the scarf. He put it over my hair and wrapped it loosely around my neck. “You look like Marilyn Monroe tonight. She was buried in a dress almost like yours, with a scarf like yours.”

Removing the scarf again I looked down at my green dress, then brushed a bit of blonde hair out of my face. Yes, it was blonde at the time fixed in sort of an over teased should length flip. I’ve taken my false eye lashes off as soon as we left Las Angeles earlier that morning.

“How do you know what she was buried in?” I had to ask.

“A friend of a friend went to the viewing,” answered my brother. “She was murdered.”

“Does the friend of a friend know who murdered her?”

“No. What a shame. We’ll read about it later. Jewels, she was having sex with everyone named Kennedy and all of their friends.”

“Does it matter? Does it really matter Val? It isn’t like we knew the woman.”

He ignored my comments. “I feel like I’m in a movies set out here. The obvious choice would be a Western, but it seems more of a mystery tonight. Do you want to stay the night or move on?”

We agreed to stay.  At first we got a skeptical look from the woman at the desk of the Motel when we told her we were brother and sister. Neither one of us wore rings on our left hands. What should she think when two fashionably dressed young people come into a hotel in a mountain town? Plus we came in a sports care. That would be a recipe for immoral behavior in anybody’s book. A man, the owner of the establishment, came in and gave us the key, saying it was obvious how much we looked alike. Some people always have their mind in the gutter.

We went to the cafe next door to get a feel for the place. The view of Mono Lake from our table was unreal as the sun settled down over the mountains. The waitress was friendly and took our orders of coffee and rare burgers. When she came back she told me that the cook thought I looked like Marilyn Monroe. I was polite. Val kicked me underneath the table.

“As soon as we get to Reno I’m finding a salon and switching back to brunette.”

“You’d better get rid of the eyeliner too,” said Val with a wink. “I think she was murdered for sleeping with the Kennedy brothers. Think about it.”

“I’d rather not Val.”

“Do you think Marilyn would have made a good Vampire?”

“The Beatles would make better Vampires. They don’t seem so needy. Honestly would you convert someone as needy as Marilyn Monroe into a Vampire? It would be a disaster then you’d be stuck with her.”

“That might not be such a bad thing.”

“Stop thinking with your…”

“I’m not.”

“Are too.”

“Am not.”

“Val, to be a Vampire one must be fairly independent and strong-willed. You have to be disciplined at all times. I mean, I didn’t know the woman but she wouldn’t have made a good Vampire.”

We picked our way through the food and finished our coffee, then went for a walk down the road. Stopping in a bar we picked up our real dinner for the night. After all, Val and I are Vampires.

The next day we took a leisurely drive with the top off of the car. Once we arrived to Reno I became a brunette again. A month later President Kennedy was assassinated.

I used to get angry at Val for his temporary fascination with celebrity. It started when we where children and he’d pick up bits of information in Harper’s Weekly. From there it snowballed. He couldn’t seem to get enough of gossip and sorted stories about people he’d never met. I’d tell him to read a book and he’d just get pissed off and close up to me. He has backed off but occasionally I’ll catch him catching up on celebrity gossip.

I don’t understand the current fascination with people who are famous for having an unnaturally large number of children (and their disgusting self-serving exploits), or for rich women who are unnaturally made up. If your only claim to fame is the fact that you have a big butt and a rich father why should you get so much time in the news. It isn’t news or even entertaining. It is just stupid and annoying. When I see a movie I don’t want to know about the actors, I want to know about the characters they are playing. That is all.

But it seems the spirit of P.T. Barnum live on in the worst way possible. Some people say there are no more freak shows but it isn’t true. There are plenty of people who are glad to put themselves in the spotlight as freaks.

Thank goodness that isn’t what Vampires do. We might read the gossip but we refuse to be the gossip.

 

Have a good week everyone. Stay classy.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Marilyn

Yes, almost like that, but not quite.