Where are you now? Juliette’s Dusty Memory Files.

Ships that Pass in the Night.

Missed Connections.

Where are you now?

On the way to school this morning my sixteen year old daughter and I were talking about politics and what is going on now compared to a long time ago. Right now a long time ago is the 1970’s and 1980’s. In US history (APUSH) the kids are learning about the Cold War, which to them seems like it happened just a few years after the Civil War. Anyway, we talked a bit about the generations. There was a time between the baby boomers and the Generation X kids. That was that weird in-between group that we used to refer to as the ME Generation. Those were the people who graduated from high school in the late 70’s and early 80’s and came into adulthood in the crazy and creative 1980’s.

SO…. on the way home I dug through those dusty drawers in my brain and I found a worn folder full of random people, but they were more than random. They were brief encounters that stuck in my mind enough to be filed away. It got me to thinking where they are now. But the problem is that I don’t know or remember their names. The encounters were sometimes brief – less than fifteen minutes. Sometimes the encounters were longer but not to the point of longterm friendship.

Where are you now? I’d like to know. Maybe by some random chance someone will read this and say hey that is me.

So take a look at the list. If it sounds like you let me know. I’m guessing at the dates.

1980-82: Andy. Cute guy. Red curly hair. You went to UCD. I think you were in the UCD band. You were sucked into Scientology. You sold your musical instruments. You finally escaped the clutches of the cult. Where are you now?

1979-1980: It was a beautiful day on the quad at UCD. A lot of groups had tables out that day. It was everything from Jews for Jesus, to Future Grape Growers, to Peace Corps, to Native American Native Language League… But there was a curious table that stood out to me. A pretty young woman with dark hair sat at the Young Spartans table. I paused. She spoke. The Young Spartans was a communist organization. That seemed so totally bizarre to me. It still does. The young woman was so happy. Are you happy now? Where are you? Are you still involved in political or social organizations?

1988-1989: I was on a plane going between Sacramento and Seattle. I wore a blue dress. I sat next to a young man (late 20’s – mid 30’s) who was a landscape architect. He asked me out. I wish I’d accepted, but oh well. Where are you now? Hope you’ve done amazing things.

1979: I was on a bus traveling somewhere between Los Angeles and Dallas. I sat next to a woman who was from Poland. She and her husband and two children had escaped the communist state by pretending they were on vacation. She told me a tale of how they left everything behind. They could trust no one. The communist state encouraged people to turn in family members who were unfaithful or trying to escape the country. Where are you now? I hope you are happy and your kids are happy. You might even have grandkids now.

1983-84: Karen. You made signs with an old letter press. You and your husband were going to travel to India. You DID go to India. How did that work out. Are you happy now?

There were a few others but it those were either too vague or too personal to mention. No Vampires on this list because I never forget another Vampire (read the blog if you don’t understand the reference.)

Anyway, if you read this, and you’re out there, let me know how you’re doing. Or you can send me a private note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

And if anyone else out there needs to find someone let me know. I might do future posts like this, you know, like in the future.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Terrors and Horrible People

Vampire Wisdom

Now that my children are older, adults really (16 and 20) I am happy that I am out of that period where we have to deal with those awful parents from Hell that seem to litter elementary school, middle school, and kids sports. You know the kind who act as if they are their precious children are perfect and without fault. They constantly complain about teachers and coaches. They go so far as to get people fired because their little darlings are soooo unhappy. They usually say “God bless” to all they see. At the same time they lie, backstab, and their children tend to be bullies. On social media they act like victims, when in fact they are the predators. They move from school to school, from sport to sport, from club to club, spreading their brand of poison. You know the type.

Then I thought about writing about our state’s two university systems (California) and how HORRIBLE the administration is (Click here for just one example.) I could rant about how the leadership is unqualified and grossly overpaid for their jobs. Hey Jerry Brown give me the job. I’d do it right. Anyway, I am beyond disgust and my heart goes out to the students, professors, instructors, and parents.

Then my brother Max dropped by and I was off the hook, because I was distracted by his shit-holery.

Max is one of those alpha Vampire guys who is so full of testosterone that he can hardly function. OK that isn’t totally true. He is in full control of everything he does, or at least gives that impression. Of all of us kids (there are five of us) Max is the least likely to hang out with “normal people.” With women, and sometimes men, he acts as if he is in control, which means he is either making a fool out of himself over someone nobody else likes, or it means he is being an asshole to someone he ought to be treating with respect.

I know, I have an attitude today. Just a teeny tiny bit of attitude. Anyway…

Max is also part of our (Vampires) enforcement group, our version of the US Marshalls, who keep the world safe for everyone.

So he shows up last night with one of his newest guys. From time to time, when he is in town I let them stay at my house. I have a huge attic I’ve converted to a suite for visitors. Most of the folks he works with are friends of mine. Max is also my husband’s best friend.

Max introduced us to Charles the newest member of his crew. Charles is charming with movie star good looks (he looks sort of like Chris Pine.)

Charles is one of those good-looking guys who knows he is good-looking, but at the same time is charming, yet so full of himself. His life has always been charmed. He can do no wrong, even when he is doing wrong. Charles is what my daughter and her high school friends call an F-boy – short for Fuck Boy (look it up on urban dictionary.)

All Vampires have that power of attractions, but he is such an alpha like my brother. Charles has Max’s favorite protégé. Vampires have an old expression “sleeping in the same coffin.”  They are like that. Not lovers, but too close for the comfort of others – a little too much favoritism. I hate the way he has always showed blatant favoritism in every aspect of his existence. He would have been a horrible teacher.

Max loves his new puppies. But as someone living with a real puppy, I know that the new puppy gets old, and bites, and craps all over the carpet, and chews up everything. Yes, you still love the puppy, and adore it, but it is nice when your husband brings the puppy to work with him, so you can get some work done. So, yes, it was like the new puppy deal, in a way…anyway…

I’ve always worried about Max and his tendency to show favoritism to one staff member over the others. His group is tight. Most of them have known each other since the 19th Century, but when he is training someone it is like, well, a teacher with a pet. A new puppy. I just want to yell get a room, but I don’t.

The women who work with Max give him crap about everything. I’m glad they do.

To be honest Charles was lovely and polite to a fault. He really was. But there was something about him that was too glossy, too shiny, too perfect to completely trust.

Max was in good humor too. My brother even smiled a lot, which is a rare thing. He has such a beautiful smile too, especially when his fangs are out.

Maybe it was just a bad time. I’m trying to potty train a four-month old German Shepard who is always hungry, always chewing, always active, and poops and pees three on my carpet times her weight every single day. Did I mention she seems to double her weight almost every week? She is also exceptionally sweet, but a lot of work.

A lot of other stuff is going on as well and I can’t seem to dig myself out of my hole of stuff that never gets done so I wasn’t really feeling the hostess thing. That is why you haven’t seen may blog posts lately.

Thank goodness my husband Teddy was home, along with my teenager Clara to be social.

At one point I went to the kitchen for a break, and a glass of water, and maybe open a bottle of wine.

Leaning against the counter was Nigel, the ghost. Vampires and Ghosts, as a rule, don’t get along. Vampires are undead, but Ghosts are really dead. They covet what we have to the point of seething hate and loathing. They’re so insecure.

“I see Max is here with his new boy toy,” said Nigel with a smirk. Today his black hair was styled like Steve Perry’s in the height of Journey’s popularity. He wore the black suit he was buried in.

“Charles isn’t Max’s boy toy.”

Nigel rolled his eyes.

“So what is this tonight? Are they planning on going out and taking down a bunch of crazy Vampire Hunters, or are they just lurking about?”

“I don’t know what their business is Nigel. I hear a clutch of Shadow Creepers was found earlier this week, so he might be there for that. I didn’t ask.”

“Why not? Don’t you care? Aren’t you curious? Don’t you wonder what two leather clad alpha Vampires are up to?”

“No really Nigel. I have a headache, and I’m tired, and I just want to go to bed.”

I looked up from the wine bottle I was opening and saw Charles standing there.

He looked horrified. Of course he did. I had a Ghost in my kitchen.

Nigel stepped towards Charles. “You were such a weasel.”

“You’re alive,” said Charles. “I thought you were dead.”

“No, Chuck, I’m dead. I’m a fucking Ghost.” Then Nigel faded in and out of transparency.

“You were murdered.”

“No shit Sherlock. When did you become one of the blood sucking undead?”

“1988. When did you die? 1987?”

“86.”

They knew each other from way back when. They were teens and young men running in the same circles. Small world. One was now a Ghost who would have been 56 years old. The other was a 58-year-old Vampire who looked like he was twenty-nine. Don’t try to do the math and say I’m wrong. They were both born in October.

I sat there as they caught up. It was exceptionally weird. Nigel had been my Ghost. He’d been my annoying Ghost friend. Now there was some F-boy in my kitchen talking to him. I didn’t stay annoyed too long. It was sort of nice to see two old friends now in lives that most people would consider exceptionally weird catching up.

I wished I had some moral to this story. I wish I had an allegorical message. I don’t. It was just nice to see two old friends catch up, even if I found both of them exceptionally annoying. I was happy for them. Plus it was interesting to listen to them.

Leaving them alone I went back into the other room and put my arm around my brother’s waist. Max put his arm around my shoulder and kissed the top of my head. He was telling Teddy about a Vampire woman he has been on and off with for years. She’d been dealing with keeping Demons in line.

I thought of mentioning that my kids were out of Middle School so I didn’t have any demons to deal with but I kept the thoughts to myself. Then a glossy dark shape with a long think tail curled up on my feet and closed her precious puppy eyes.

That could segue into a story about how creatures who are so different can get along and live together, but that is for another day.

Now I’ll just say, have a wonderful night, and I wish you all well. I’m feeling a lot better now, and not pissy whatsoever.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

And as usual this post was written in under 30 minutes…I think about 15. Whew. The cats were not good editors.

 

vm_rick

 

 

 

 

A Lunch Date With Zombies

Fridays are usually my lunch hunt date. I switched things up this week and took Cody, my young “Vampire in Training” out with me on Thursday.

Lunch dates are fun ways for Vampires to hunt right out in the open. They involve fun, flirting, a bit of seduction and just enough blood to get you going for the weekend ahead. And regular humans never even suspect. They just leave the situation feeling warm and fuzzy, a little tired, and they think they’ve, well, you know.

Cody and I had arranged to meet an old friend of mine at my office with an associate of his. They were Lobbyist for the farming industry (after all we’re in the State Capitol and in the largest agricultural state).  Mike and Melissa. I’m in public relations and do work for them from time to time.

Cody is shy by nature, a sweet likeable young man, but when it comes to hunting he is extremely shy. Most new Vampires can’t wait to get hunting, but with Cody it is more of a sweet romance, rather than just taking what one wants.

So to make a short story long, a guy in a suit shows up at the door. He looks like he’s been to hell and back then I recognize him as Mike. Behind him is Melissa, who is usually the perkiest blonde I’ve ever met, looking ashen and un-perkey.

I wonder if someone died, then realize, somebody has. They don’t smell right. They don’t look right. My stomach turns. Even Cody is picking up on something.

I step back.

“Juliette” says Mike “You have to help us.”

He puts his hand on my arm and I immediately feel it – ZOMBIES.

Funny, likable and extremely smart Mike, a sixth generation California farmer, graduate of UCD (THE Farm School) and successful advocate for the farmer is now…for all practical purposes DEAD.

And don’t give me any crap about being a Vampire. My flesh isn’t rotting and I’m not craving human brains for lunch. Plus I know where my soul is.

I’m confused. Both Mike and Melissa look good, all things considering.

Plus I thought all the Zombies had been confined to a compound in the Mojave Desert outside of Barstow.

“We’ve taken massive amounts of antibiotics to help prevent the rot and we’ve been drinking a lot of embalming fluid. That keeps the smell off and slows down the rot.” Mike told us.

The pair was driving across the Imperial Valley when they were stopped at a roadblock. Little did they know what seemed to be police were actually rogue Zombies.  Later that night they were picked up by the authorities and brought to the super secret Area Z, where Zombies are kept to be monitored and studied.

I thought of long afternoons with Mike and how sweet his blood tasted. I thought of the slow seductions and languid after glows. Now here he was, doing everything he could to keep his skin from falling off in sheets. Holy crap, this was bad.

“What do you need?” I asked.

Mike put a hand to his face, adjusting his left eye back into the socket. “I want you to turn us into Vampires.”

OK, this is where the sound effects do a screeching halt. The very idea of a Zombie is revolting but putting my lips on the flesh of a Zombie and sharing blood. Putrid rotting blood.

“Has this ever been done?” Asked Cody.

“No, or at least never that I’ve heard of.” I said. “So much could go wrong.”

“Nothing could be worse than it is already.” Melissa wailed and watched as her thumbnail fell to the floor along with the tip of her thumb.

I thought about it for a moment then spoke in secret to Cody. I had an idea. If it worked we’d be heroes. If it didn’t we’d have to kill the Zombies, no matter that they were our friends.

I took Cody into the small kitchen area of the office where we bit into our wrists and let our own Vampire blood drain into two coffee cups.

The Zombies drank and before our eyes their skin went from gray to the color of their former living flesh (peaches & cream and coffee & cream – Vampires always think of everyone in terms of food, we can’t help it).

“I won’t turn you, not yet, but see if this helps. Don’t tell a soul, or anyone without a soul. Don’t tell anyone or I will hunt you down and kill you myself. Do you understand?”

They said they understood. I thought my stomach was going to drop out and my head would explode as they left the building.

Cody was about to speak when I told him. “The same goes to you Cody. If you tell a soul I will kill you and it won’t be fast or painless.”

“Got it.” Said Cody. I thought of my favorite movie line and said to Cody. “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Cody smiled.  Then and there I knew he’d make a great Vampire.

I’ll keep you posted on Mike and Melissa – when and if I hear anything.

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I’m not going to win any writing awards on this – none of my posts take more than 15 minutes to write, but Zombies are always on the back of our minds. For more information about Zombies go the OFFICIAL US Government Web Site (Center for Disease Control). Really, yes, this is a REAL government site. Good stuff.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies_novella.htm

CDC has a fun way of teaching about emergency preparedness. Our graphic novel, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic” demonstrates the importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that people of all ages will enjoy. Readers follow Todd, Julie, and their dog Max as a strange new disease begins spreading, turning ordinary people into zombies. Stick around to the end for a surprising twist that will drive home the importance of being prepared for any emergency. Included in the novel is a Preparedness Checklist so that readers can get their family, workplace, or school ready before disaster strikes. Click on the image below to view the novella. A transcript can be found by clicking on the “accessible text” PDF. You can also download the novella on Google books here or download a printable pdf versions here.

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http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/phpr.aspx

http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm

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