Moving on – 2019 USA Roller Skating National Championships

From the 2019 USA Roller Skating National Championships. Yes, this is my child. She was absolutely wonderful. I rarely post personal photos here, for obvious reasons. Now that  Nationals are over we’re getting ready for the next phase of both her life and mine.  She’ll be moving out and down to Southern California to the big prestigious university.  She’ll do great. Roller Skating has been such a great sport.

_AC23596_AC23597_AC23598

I’ll get back to my regular programming involving parenting advice, Vampires, Ghosts, and darker things later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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

 

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

13680745_10208249579816295_4931406850169577125_n

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.

13686770_10208252536290205_1204024807283533174_n

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

 

 

 

 

They’re fast, and they’re big, and they can’t see you.

Of course I’m at the roller skating rink, organ music in the back ground and hear the voice of the coach yelling at the other skaters to watch for the team dance in a lesson (my own sweet child and her partner.)

I liked what she said.

Watch for them. They’re fast, and they’re big, and they can’t see you.

What a great line to save and use for another time.

The teenage pair, on their roller skates, grace the floor as he twirls her around in moves that both scare and amaze me.

Then I get a vision of a thick forest. Someone is running. Two people. They are breathing hard. Their clothes are getting snagged. I see a glimpse of long sharp white teeth. I see a flash of claws. I hear a faint growl from a mouth dripping with siliva and blood. I see long thick fur. I see panic in their eyes. Then down from a tree jumps a figure in black.

“Follow me,” he says in a raspy voice, with a brief flash of fang. “I won’t hurt,” he says. “Follow me.” 

The organ music starts again in a walt. The team glides across the floor. Even in their plain practice outfits they are beautiful and elegant. Who would guess that heavy metal boy and the alternative girl would jump into another world with such grace and ease.

Then I see a ballroom. Couples dance with grace in beautiful clothing. The don’t see the glowing red and yellow eyes looking in from the window, waiting for the first couple to go outside for some privacy. A chance for a kiss will become a chance for a kill…

Small boys and girls twirl and jump on the wooden skate rink floor. The sound of wheels and the voice of the coach is all I hear. The record is over and the music is silent for now. It is Friday which means pizza after skate practice, or maybe a movie with the family and popcorn. It means staying up late and a lot of giggling.

Yes, staying up late and walking through the graves, with fog heavy in the trees. They hear a noise. Was it stone against stone? They turn and look behind them? Was that crypt open a minute ago? 

I hear the coach, “chest up, head up.” She praises them, then corrects them again. I can see the concentration on their faces. Both have dark eyes and intense expressions. Then they smile. They’re beautiful.

With dark eyes they stood on the top of the ancient tower, overlooking the ocean. The sound of the waves echoed in their ears. “They can’t get to us here,” she whispered. He adjusted his sword. “That won’t help you,” she said. “You must hold up your head and look them directly in the eyes and show no fear.”

Alright now someone is playing Frozen music. All of the little girls want to skate to Frozen music. Not too many dark thoughts with happy tiny children skating.

The snow is up to her waist. The beast is upon her. Grabbing a shard of ice she stabs it in the neck. It never saw her. She wraps her scarf around her face…

takes off her skates and drives home with her mom.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

16-harry-clarke-perrault-50watts

 

 

A Vampire Looks Back on 2015 at Vampire Maman dot com

2015 was a year.

juliette

My kids were almost perfect. Really, I’m not being one of those snotty perfect moms who make you want to puke and then stab them in the neck for being so snotty and perfect. My kids are great people. Much better than I’ll ever be or ever was. It was due to good genetics and a lot of long conversations about being a good person. It was a lot of work. OK some of it was not genetics considering how many crazy people are in our respective families. Yes, these people are NUTS.  We’re still trying to figure out if it is environment or genetics.

I keep saying (my mantra) that you have to TALK to your kids, LISTEN to them, and talk WITH them. You have to build that trust. You have to do it early – but it is never too late. That is what parenting is all about. Really, believe me on this one.

A confused Vampire of my acquaintance became much more popular than me in 2015. Yes, that would be Vlad. Yes, the Vampire Diary guy. I have to admit that he is cute. He is really cute. He is also sort of a jerk, former Vampire King that he is. That said you will be hearing more about his adjustment to modern life in 2016. Heaven help us all.

Oscar the cat enjoying my art

The cats were always around helping me out in 2015. The one pictured above is Oscar. He managed to get his face slashed open in February. You can see the scar in this photo  of him admiring my artwork.

In 2015 I didn’t write as many posts. I did write a few swell posts but ended up reposting old but worthy things from previous years.

Fortunately other people were writing and the WPaD group came out with the fabulous and exceptionally good Creepies 2. You should download your copy today if you haven’t already done it.

Creepies 2 - Best Horror Anthology of 2015

Creepies 2 – Best Horror Anthology of 2015

 

12115646_10204728505476103_3178693010559748013_n

 

2015 was a strange year for me. A lot was going on outside of the computer screen. My thoughts were someplace else. I’m sorry. I truly am, not just for you, my dear readers, but for me as well.

I appreciate all of the nice words you sent when my beautiful happy dog Jasmine passed over the Rainbow Bridge in October. Hugs.

12190820_1152283434785022_7163289123025849782_n

But I did put down some brilliant okay words here and there. A few of my favorite more serious posts were:

I've got the moves like Hagrid

I’ve got the moves like Hagrid

 

What is in the future of Vampire Maman you might ask? According to everything remotely pertaining to blog statistics the most popular posts are about love letters and romance. So I will follow the will of my readers (and random visitors) and post more on my one true area of expertise.

A lot of people come to this blog looking for Werewolves. Well, um, yes, you might find a few here. I’ll have to think about that one. The Werewolf posts get a load of traffic. Remember never to confuse a Werewolf with a Hot Dog. Or a dog faced boy for that matter.

images

2015 brought too few posts about the Elders – the Ancient Vampires Tellias and Eleora. There were also too few posts about my brother Max. I promise you that I’ll keep you up on all of their adventures and/or misadventures.

I’ve also thought of doing an advice column. Slate didn’t hire me to replace the last Dear Prudence so I’m going to have to dole out advice right here. If you need questions answered see me first. Seriously. I have answers. I’m a Vampire, of course I have all the answers.

And naturally I will continue the Short Story Sunday feature. This includes more Austin and Elizabeth adventures.

A few of my favorite short stories of 2016 were:

I also had a few wonderful new guest posts from friends:

What other madness happened in 2015?

We visited old friends.

We visited old friends.

ROLLER SKATING. That was outside of this blog, in an alternate universe, but I posted about it anyway. We went to the National Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yes, we drove there and back from Sacramento and had quite the road trip. This is the story – click here. While there I also had the good fortune to meet, live and in person, the talented blogger and photographer Timothy Price.

THANK YOU to everyone who gave us so much support this year on the journey to the National Championships. THANK YOU.

11796368_10206703512729517_5101011977680699340_n 11800374_10206703519489686_5002666071332825573_n

Aside from ROMANCE the other most popular subject on this blog is going to rock concerts with my teens. YES we went to the Van’s Warped Tour in Mountain View, California this summer. It was too much fun. We saw all sorts of great bands. Yes, I am the coolest mom in the world.

Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

IMG_1605 IMG_1600

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour - Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour – Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

And don’t forget the chalk art in Fremont Park (Sacramento) this year! Chalk it up again!

11986486_1024706397562966_8608692339577459622_n-1

11988241_10206102845109269_7009401235080433975_n

11986402_905378729530634_9213209493372220865_n
11951819_10206102844109244_3458330186848769310_n

 

I guess it was a very good year.

Sing it Frank.

That was fun but I like this one even more:

This one too.

Happy New Year. Feel free to sing and dance the night away.

I hope to entertain you more in 2016. And I know all of my blogging friends out there will continue to entertain me (thanks for the fun and inspiration.)

Oh, yes, and one more thing… Nigel THE GHOST is still around lurking in the shadows. You’ll hear more about him in 2016. I’m sure of it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman