A Day of Sorrow. Thoughts of Paris, and Thoughts of the Titanic

Each year I post about the Titanic. April 14, 2012 is the day I started writing the blog Vampire Maman. It is also the same day the Titanic hit an iceberg and started to sink – April 14, 1912.

Today is April 15, 2019 and we are all witness to another great tragedy. Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is burning. As with the Titanic, it is one of those events we can hardly believe. Maybe even more so with Notre Dame. The first thing I thought of was the beautiful glass windows, and how long they and the building that housed them had survived. It is a tragedy that I have no words for. My heart goes out to the people of France.

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Below is my past post about what would have happened if the Titanic had not sank, and landed on April 16, 2012. What if it had docked? Would we have remembered it at all? 

 

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This morning my eldest brother Max gave my son Garrett his Patek Philippe & Cie Gold Chronometro Gondolo Pocket Watch. The watch isn’t working, even though it is a magnificent time piece. The time had stopped at 2:48. That was when the icy waters of the Atlantic finally got to the inside pocket of Max’s jacket after the Titanic sank. There were seven Vampires on the ship. They all survived in the water like death, but not dead. Five women and two men. They stayed together, but it isn’t a story Max likes to tell. Garrett turned twenty-one on April 1st. Max told him that they could have the watch fixed. In the box was also the jacket Max had worn. Even after all of these years it is a story that fascinates us, and horrifies us. There is nothing like mismanagement and bad communication, and inflated egos to make something go so wrong.

 

April 16, 2012 would have been the 100st anniversary of the docking of the Titanic in New York City, if the Titanic had docked.

I have in my possession a curious bit of history. This one is real. Not fiction. It gave me the chills to read this and copy it for this post.

In a scrap book is a press release that would have gone out if the Titanic had landed safely in New York.

Rather than throwing it out an executive employee of the White Star line put it in his scrap book. And that is where it still is. And here it is…copied exactly word for word from the White Star Line.

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To be released for Publication after arrival of ship, April 16th.

The latest Ocean Marvel White Star’s “Titanic”

Largest Vessel in the World Arrives in New York.

THE ACEM OF LUXURY AND COMFORT – SOME STRIKING INNOVATIONS.

The largest steamer in the world arrived in New York today (April 16) from Southampton and Cherbourg and Plymouth. Larger even than the giantess “OLYMPIC” the new White Star Line leviathan “TITANIC” began her maiden trip under the most auspicious circumstances.

Many wonderful innovations have been made part of this newest of transatlantic wonders. The “TITANIC’S” 66,000 tons of displacement and 46,328 tons gross register are not her sole claim to distinction as the most elaborate handiwork of shipwrights. The “TITANIC” is the first steamer to be built with private promenades in connection with some of her splendid suites. Heretofore the floating apartment hotels, but fall to the “TITANIC” to provide the transatlantic traveler with an actual private residence, even to the exclusive promenade deck without encroachment upon the hundreds of first-cabin voyagers.

The “TITANIC”, like its sister ship, the “OLYMPIC”, possesses the great length of 882 feet, 6 inches, and a beam of 92 feet, 6 inches. Over the boat deck, the “TITANIC’S” beam spans 94 feet even, from rail to rail.

Four great funnels rise 81 ½ feet above the uppermost deck with a total distance of 175 feet from the top of the funnels to the keel.

Fifteen watertight bulkheads divide the great vessel, making her unsinkable even though half of her compartments should be filled with water. Eleven steel decks add to the “TITANIC’S” staunchness while an ideal of the vast promenading space may best be had when it is noted that the main promenade deck alone has an unbroken sweep of 190 yards on either side of the ship.

A Parisian Café and Palm Room are but some of the features of this remarkable vessel which will now enter regularly in the Plymouth-Cherbourg-Southampton-New York service with the “OLYMPIC.”

Besides the main dining salon, which has seating capacity for nearly 600 passengers, there is an a la carte restaurant, French service, which seats 200 passengers. The restaurant features will be especially appreciated by those who do not have the desire to be held to regular hours for dining, for night suppers, dinner parties, etc.

The size of the staterooms is also one of the remarkable features of the new giantess “TITANIC.” Varying from 8 feet to 9 feet, 6 inches in height, they are all roomy. Some of the 2-berth cabins are 17 x 10 feet, 6 inches in size. There are no 4-berth rooms, and a great number of single-berth rooms, 8 ½ by 10 ½ feet, have been provided.

A great swimming pool, squash racket course, gymnasium and the Turkish baths are all closely together on the lower deck, from which elevators carry the passengers to the various upper decks.

As in her sister ship, the “OLYMPIC,” passengers on the “TITANIC” will descent the grand staircase to the main reception room, which, in turn, leads into the great dining salon, from which it is separated by glass. Stretching the full width of the vessel amidships, the main dining salon is light and cheerful, and at night, with its myriads of electric lights, it presents a veritable fairyland.

Describing the gathering of the voyages in the reception room, awaiting the dinner hour, a writer has aptly remarked:

“Upon a dark, richly colored carpet, which will further emphasize the delicacy and refinement of the paneling and act as a foil to the light dresses of the ladies, this company will assemble – the apotheosis surely, of ocean-going luxury and comfort. What more appropriate setting than this dignified Jacobean room, redolent of the time when the Pilgrim Fathers set forth from Plymouth on their rude bark to brave the perils of the deep!”

There screws, propelled by turbine and reciprocating engines, furnished the motive power of the great “TITANIC.” Leaving Southampton and calling at Cherbourg and Plymouth for continental passengers on Wednesdays, she is expected to reach New York on the following Tuesday evening. The two ships will maintain an ocean ferry with regularity of other ferries across a river, for their immense tonnage displacement makes them practically impervious to the elements, no matter how adverse these may be.

The “TITANIC” and the “OLYMPIC,” as instruments of commerce, represent the highest skill and perfection yet reached in naval architecture; and in the struggle for supremacy they will easily hold the place of honor and the historic names that have been given them.

 

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It makes you think. It also makes me feel kind of cold as if the icy waters are calling out with voices of the ghosts of those who did not survive.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

A Need We Dare Not Admit: Something is missing and that is so very wrong.

 

poetrycats

 

I just read that there will be no poet at the Presidential Inauguration today. I see that as an omen to the law of cultural ignorance, and classless ugliness that might follow today. Don’t let that happen. Don’t let us enter into a culture where beauty is only shown as crass visuals, and tacky popular culture. Share your poetry. Share the poetry of others. Show others the joy and power of poetry. Do it now. Do it today. 

FLOOD THE WORLD WITH POETRY TODAY

I’ve said the following before so I will say it again.

A Need We Dare Not Admit

People won’t admit they read poetry and are moved by it…but late at night they go on the internet and search it out. It is like pornography. I’m dead serious (no pun intended). It is a need that most people will not dare admit to.

It isn’t a good time for me to expound upon the history of poetry or what caused the American population (among others) claim not to like poets. But I would like to remind everyone, especially those of us who can remember the past several centuries that there was a time that poets were the Rock Stars of our culture.

Sometimes I pull out my old volumes of favorites and read in the quiet of the night or on a rain soaked day. In turn, I also look for the new. I marvel at the many voices I see with poetry on the internet.

Part of me believes technology with recorded music, radio, TV etc maybe brought an end to the poet as a popular icon. But in turn the Internet, yes the Internet has brought poetry back to life.

I see in the online communities poets being read, not ignored. I don’t read those words online “I don’t like poetry.” I see people who NEVER would read a poem, forwarding poetry to their friends and loved ones.

Poetry is a gift to the soul. Poetry is for everyone. Everyone needs poetry, like a vampire needs blood, like a hawk needs to fly, like a fish needs to swim. I know that wasn’t very poetic but you get the point – I hope.

Your assignment today is to READ, SAVOR and SHARE poetry with someone you love, and especially with someone you don’t.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Today is Sunday…

Today is Sunday.

Yesterday my teenage daughter talked about Christina Grimmie. She’d followed Christina on YouTube. Christina Grimmie was so alive and full of joy. Then she wasn’t.

She was murdered in cold blood while she greeted people in Orlando, Florida.

We talked about her brother, who from what we understand, kept the killer from possibly killing more people. Then I thought about her brother and how broken his heart and soul must be today. We talked about crazy killers. We talked about hate. We talked about senseless acts of violence. It made us sad.

Then Sunday came to Orlando.

Then my daughter said, “I can see how young men with Middle Eastern backgrounds can learn to hate. At school the Middle Eastern kids are singled out and yelled at. They’re called terrorist. They’re picked on.”

I asked her about her brown friends, her friend with Mexican parents, and her gay friends.

She told me they don’t get picked on. Nobody cares. There are too many of them. That was her answer.

The high school has about 2,500 kids from two different towns. One is 85% white. The other town, the one I live in is 89% white. That is just the way things are.

When I got married my husband’s three best friends were pale as snow, dark as a moonless night, and Persian. Two have since passed on, but they are in our hearts. We never cared what they looked like or where their ancestors came from. We never cared what Gods they worshiped.

My best friend’s sister used to be her brother. We love them both.

I don’t think twice that old friends are gay, or straight, or have a different religion, or different skin tone. Nobody can be paler than me except someone who is a true albino.

So it is hard for me to understand the hate.

It is hard for me to understand why the stupid ass kids at the school single out the Middle Eastern kids, be they Muslim or Christian or Jewish – all 30 of them. It is pure ignorance. It is hate without motive. It is WRONG. When kids get picked on for no reason, with no defense, they learn to hate. They learn to despise their haters. Hate comes full circle. Hate becomes violence. Hate embraces ignorance.

Where the fuck are the parents of both the haters and those who are bullied? Where are they?

Teachers stop it when they see it, but there isn’t a school wide anti hate campaign. Maybe there should be.

In a perfect world, a logical world, a good world, that the only scary things would be those that go bump in the night – like ghosts, rouge Vampires, aliens from space, giant insects, demons, and Werewolves. But those things are tame compared to the unpredictable forces of hate that have come into our lives and hearts.

I would like to think that everyone could take the opportunity to NOW put away the hate, and come together. Forget what the crap you choose to read in your chosen book of your chosen God.

As my husband says, “if God tells me to hate someone then I don’t want him to be my God.”

Take the time not to point fingers and speculate. Take the time not to judge a large group of loosely connected people by the actions of one crazy deranged individual.

Now is the time for healing. It is a time for support. It is a time for love. It is a time to learn more about people who are different from us. When we learn about those who are different we will find that they are not so different than we are.

Let me say that AGAIN: When we learn about those who are different we will find that they are not so different than we are.

Over and over and over I say “TALK TO YOUR KIDS.” Talk to them about these issues. Talk to them about Orlando. Talk to them about the Salem and McCarthy witch trials. Talk to them about WW2. Talk to them about school shootings. Talk to them about Matthew Shepard. Talk to them about everything that ever happened because of hate. I don’t mean talk at them. I mean have a discussion. Have a meaningful discussion.

As a parent you can help stop the hate. It is the generation our children belong to that will change the world – and I truly believe that if we keep the discussion and our hearts and brains open then THEY WILL change the world for the better.

My heart goes out to Orlando.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

It has to stop

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Our hearts are with Paris tonight.

One of most popular posts on this blog is What I Learned from Going to a Metal Concert With My Teen.  I wrote it several years ago after going to a Black Veil Brides concert at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California. It was a great concert. Since then I’ve taken teens to many many many more concerts including Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Never Shout Never, All Time Low, Twenty One Pilots, Pierce the Veil, Van’s Warped Tour and more. It is always loud and always fun. Everybody sings along. Everybody feels good – even the parents.

Today I thought about all the times I’d been with my teens in venues like the Bataclan In Paris. We listened to bands, sometimes not that unlike Eagles of Death Metal (bands covered by Alternative Press). I think of how much fun rock concerts are for young people.

It was a fun night out in Paris with a California band.

It could have been anywhere, anyone, any band, any city. It could have been us.

It has to stop. The hate and violence has to stop.

My heart breaks for the families and friends of those involved today. This hit home.

Our hearts go out to Paris and the families and friends of those lost today. So many hopes and dreams shattered.

It has to stop.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vans Warped Tour 2015

Vans Warped Tour 2015