Musings on Middle School, Empty Nests, Change, and Cryptozoologists

I used to write horror… I mean posts about Middle School. That seems like a long time ago. The mornings with angry mom’s before their coffee kicked in trying to get their kids out of the mini van door without death or dismemberment. There were those with hormonal rages and anger issues – and that was just the parents. The kids were going through puberty too.

After that we all blew through high school with little or no angst. Yes, parents of wee ones, don’t listen to the people who say in their best witches voices, “Just you wait until that child is in high school. You’ll hate them. They’ll hate you. They’ll be sexed up druggies and there is nothing you can do about it.” Seriously, I kid you not, people say things like that to pregnant women and women with babies. Ignore that shit storm of negativity. Ignore it. Don’t eat that poison apple. Don’t be around people like that.

Last week we were in Orange County taking yet another college tour I believe the child have found a home at UCI  (Zot! Zot! Zot!) aka University of California Irvine.

So in a year I will be living in a home without children. They will always been near. We will text. We will talk. We will send funny things over social media. They will call me and come home for holidays and just because. And I will visit them. You’ve read the blog. You know we’re close.

Aside from a childless house, I’m sure you already know, I’m going through other transitions. Major career changes have turned things in a different direction for me and it is perfect timing. So I’m kind of like an octopus with all of my arms going in different directions.

Oh, I have a joke. I made this one up. What do you call a cat who lives underwater? A quadrapuss. 

Now that I’m doing a do over I’ve made a list of ten things I need to do.

Empty Nest Transition List

  1. Change my job title on LinkedIn to Cryptozoologist.
  2. Paint with wild abandon. Note: I didn’t say whether this is my walls or art. This is a burning question and the answer is BOTH.
  3. Start a Vampire blog. Continue blogging about parenting and Vampires and everything else. I really should start a Werewolf blog or maybe help Nigel start his own blog. Yes, Nigel the Ghost. Or maybe not. 
  4. Learn advanced plumbing.
  5. Landscape my back yard.
  6. Make Vlad’s Vampire Diary into a Major Motion Picture.
  7. Win an Oscar.
  8. Write.
  9. Seek out strange new worlds.
  10. Finish. Anything. Just finish. FINISH.

What is on your list? Oh come on, we can be cryptozoologists together. It will be fun, especially if you become a Vampire too (or if you’re already one.)

My brain is empty. I’ll see you next time for Burning Question #23.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vlad and Gillian Make a Movie

And while we’re here… Can you believe the guys in Journey really dressed like this. Cryptozoology.

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When in doubt wear a dress

“I’m not going to crawl under a building again. It is going to be a hundred degrees out today. That is bad enough if you’re a regular person but we’re Vampires. Remember? Aaron?”

I have five siblings – all male. I am the youngest of the brood. Aaron is smack in the middle.

When I arrived at his downtown law office I was greeted by Aaron and our brother Val (short for Valentine). Val is between Aaron and me. I’d brought my almost sixteen year old daughter Clara with me.

“Wear a dress,” I told her.

“Why?”, she had to ask. They always have to ask.

“So your Uncle Aaron won’t ask you to do anything. So he won’t ask you to crawl under a building or into an attic crawl space, or between a wall or into a sewer. You know how he is.”

When we were small, young Vampires in the American West, my brother’s had great fun sending their tiny little sister into small spaces. Be it a hole in a tree or a hole in the side of a building, in I’d go.

Consequently we ended up knowing everything about everyone in the growing city in which we lived. We also knew where all the creepers were, and we had a lot of scary fun tormenting them.

The Creepers, as we called them, were a type of, or more of a Vampire of a certain culture (not ours.) Shadow Creepers were Vampires who were content being ghouls who lurk in the shadows and get all overly happy about finding blood. They’re like those socially awkward kids or the intense annoying kids my daughter goes to school with. They aren’t what we call Modern Vampires. They’re disgusting.

And since they tended to be nasty but awkward we took it upon ourselves to annoy them.

While we slept in real houses and in real beds, the Shadow Creepers tended to search out basements, attics, crypts and holes in the riverbank or in the bottom of ;rage paddle boats. We’d search them out and start our childish torments.

One of our favorite activities would be to go into their lairs and make loud sucking noises. Shadow Creepers have such disgusting eating habits. When they’d wake we’d hiss and scream at them. Of course we’d do other things to them. Mean things. Then again, we knew most of them didn’t even have souls. Plus they’re the ones, in our opinion, who give Vampires a bad name.

Even now the few who remain hate us with a passion. Oh well. They could change, and some of them have, but most of them choose to be nasty horrible beings.

Oh, I forgot, and the absolutely worst is running into a Creeper I used to know back in another century. Ugh. Talk about uncomfortable.

Which takes us to present day when one of them shows up occasionally after being found asleep or awakened from a hundred year sleep.

Over the past few years I’ve been asked to go check them out. Aaron is an attorney so for some reason people come to him when they find these unsavory creatures.

I end up covered with dirt and in the face of some dried up husk of an animated corpse of a Vampire. No self-respecting Vampire would ever ever end up like that on purpose. Plus they always act like it is still the nineteenth century. Wake up assholes, that isn’t cute anymore. It doesn’t make you look smart or mysterious. It just makes you look stupid and creepy.

It is always an unpleasant experience finding Shadow Creepers and I’d just rather call a Vampire Hunter to take them out. You know, like when you call someone to get rid of the wasp next under your front porch.

My brothers were both in a good mood. They just wanted to go for lunch and to the art museum. Thank goodness. It was a lovely diversion. The dresses worked out just fine.

Wishing you all a week of pleasant diversions and remember your sun screen.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Two Years With The Vampire

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Two years isn’t much time to spend with a Vampire, especially a Modern Vampire Maman.

I missed my anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary – that is May 3. I missed the anniversary of Vampire Maman. It was two years April 14.

Two years ago I had no idea… no idea at all that I’d have 780 posts up here. Check them out. Please, I mean it. Check out what you’ve missed. If you need suggestions let me know, or just a search on subjects. Check out the side bar to the left for links, suggestions and more about me and this blog.

My brother Max is up for the holiday. We’ve both been put through the ringer with our jobs. He hunts Vampire Hunters and I help fellow Vampires who are needing help navigating the world around them. And I have a husband, elders and kids to take care of – you all know how that is.

Max always asks about the blog. He doesn’t read it unless there is a short story I really want him to read. Family is like that. Don’t expect them to read what you write. Well, that is unless you’re a Werewolf. They’re such pack animals. If you write a grocery list in a Werewolf family everyone reads it. Pack mentality all the way.

Thank you everyone for following along and reading about my adventures, my bad poetry, my venting, my parenting advice, sketches, science, music, fiction, thoughts on most everything and all the rest. And even the occasional cat.

The next few months will bring more adventures about my Vampire brothers, my Vampire Teens, The Ghost and … you know, I don’t plan any of this out so I really have no idea.

What I do know is that I appreciate you, my readers, more than you could ever imagine.

And why yes, this is a parenting blog – or at least about my experiences as a parent. I believe I’ve done a pretty good job. My style is deliberate, thoughtful, loving, happy, full of humor and dead serious. Being a parent IS the most important job anyone, no matter who or WHAT you are can have.

Life is full of mystery and uncertainty. What you can be certain of is that if you talk with your kids, and do it a lot, they will continue to talk to you.

And if you see a Vampire don’t be afraid. For a pint of blood we’ll give you sweet dreams and a warm and fuzzy feeling that will last you a month. Or nightmares… in some cases… just some.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Juliette Vampire Maman

Juliette
Vampire Maman

 

A Need You 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.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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A small sample of poetry posted on this blog (Vampiremaman.wordpress.com) click on the links below. Enjoy!

For more poems on this blog just search verse or poetry

~ Juliette

Allegorical Thoughts and Blogging

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Allegorical Thoughts and Blogging

I was going to write a post explaining that my blog is written as an allegorical expression of life through the idea of Modern Vampires…

But that would be way too much work and well, not exactly the truth. I’d like to say this is an allegory because I love that word.

Say it out loud, clear and somewhat slowly: Allegory

Sounds nice doesn’t it?

Say it again.

And then there are all of those wonderful classic paintings of allegorical stories.

An allegorical painting about time. Pretty cool.

An allegorical painting about time. Pretty cool.

A pretty allegorical tale about a girl and a bird. The bird of course had "another" meaning. But then again aren't most birds we know like that?

A pretty allegorical tale about a girl and a bird. The bird of course had “another” meaning. But then again aren’t most birds we know like that?

Name your own moral allegory. I like this one.

Name your own moral allegory. I like this one.

My favorite classic “allegory story” is Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I came upon it by accident when I was young (nobody told me to read it). I love it. You should read it. Sort of creepy too (a lot creepy.)

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Someone was asking me about my blog and if I get paid for it and why I do it. I hate it when they ask those questions. I guess I should explain what this is all about (my blog) but I really can’t and I really don’t want to. So here we are.

But I will explain because… well just because. This is sort of a vent, a rant, a musing and a love letter to my fellow bloggers and those who actually like my blog.

I blog about parenting and modern life through the eyes of a Modern Vampire mom. I also cover other subjects that have nothing to do with Vampires or parenting.

I blog about everything.

For example:

  • We had a house full of teens tonight playing will Just Dance. It was fun. They’d been talking all night. Streaks of blue and pink were in their hair.
  • I’m bribing small animals with food to stay in view of my window and in my yard. By small animals I mean squirrels and birds. I am not leaving food for the coyotes. They can fend for themselves. I don’t want them in my yard. For the raccoons and possums – you guys can have whatever gets accidentally left out on the deck at night. Just stop knocking over the patio furniture.
  • I check in on ancient folks who need extra help. Sure they’re Vampires but… whatever.
  • And I had lunch on Friday with a charming and somewhat handsome science professor.  I only took a little over a half pint of blood but it was worth it.
  • Then there was this ghost…
  • And roller skating…
  • Poetry, music and Werewolves (but not always together)
  • And what we think of stuff my teens hear in the news.
Even Vampires have feelings.

Even Vampires have feelings.

Then they start to get personal with their questions…

I don’t tell about my blog stats or how many followers I have anymore than I’ll tell you how many men I’ve slept with. You can look it up if you must know (my WP followers, not the other thing.)

The word “Vampire” in most of my posts automatically repels most people and excludes my blog from the mainstream. I can write the most profound post in the universe (actually I have) but as long as I use the word “Vampire” my fan base will be low (not quite in the millions.) Their loss, not mine.

If I wanted to do something else (not this blog) then I would have started another blog. Easy as that.

People starting out with blogging frequently ask me questions about the fine art we’re involved with. I tell them just to write. Don’t worry about rules. Don’t worry about anything.

Tell your thoughts, your stories, your poetry, your jokes, your music, your scientific passions, your political rants, your parenting stories and elder stories and your Zombie, Werewolf, hot sexy men and of course Vampire stories.

I want to hear from all of the cats, dogs, horses, cooks and collectors of odd bits of weird information that most of the world misses. I want your collective thoughts and ideas about love and romance and life. I want to hear it all, no rules, no preconceived notions and no holding back. I want to see and read all of it. Yes. Just do it and you’ll learn along the way.

If it is your blog then it is your voice and your rules. Pick your subject, change it, turn it around, twist the ending, make a bad joke, make it sad or happy or stupid. It is yours to do with what you want.

Blogging isn’t trying to make a Thanksgiving dinner that suits both traditional turkey and sausage/oyster dressing friends AND your vegan friends. It is about doing what you want. It is your feast to share as you wish. And if somebody doesn’t like what you’re serving then that isn’t your problem.

For those who write blogs that are a little different, or even a lot different – thank you for your point of view and for making me laugh and think and ponder. I’m astounded by the amount of creativity and wit and heart and soul I find in your words, art and photography.

My parting thoughts to my blogging/writing/creative friends is that you should write for YOU.  Just for yourself. It is who and what YOU are, not what somebody else wants. That is the beauty of blogging.

For my readers – I LOVE YOU.

Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Just another note… the most popular post on this blog is about writing love letters. Nice.

Am I not hip enough for you?

Cody, my new Vampire friend (it will be a year in April that he has become a Vampire) told me I needed to be more “hip”.  Cody is 27. I met him downtown wearing black slacks, heels and a blue jacket with pearls. I can’t wear scarves, sweaters and canvas shoes all the time. Come on, give me a break.

We’re Vampires Cody. V A M P I R E S. Now say it after me “We’re Vampires”.

What Cody? Am I not hip enough for you? All of the teens I know think I’m “hip” and they are the future. And they think I’m funny. They think I’m really funny.

I buy local wine, local organic produce, local blood, local beer, local jewelry and just about anything else that I can get local. I reuse and recycle everything. I listen to indie music. We go to small clubs to listen to that music with our teens. I watch indie films. I drink a lot of coffee and tea. I read indie and self published books. I read poetry. I wear fingerless gloves. I wear flip flops in the winter. I wear a lot of black (but I’m not Goth, but I could be and I can be whatever I want to be despite what you think). AND I’m a graphic designer (a professional graphic designer who uses a MAC).

I garden in my back yard – organically.

All my pets come from a shelter. And they are all spayed and neutered.

We have Ikea furniture but won’t get any more because it is a pain in the ass to put together and too heavy.  We get more stuff off of Craigslist and find cool old antique stuff that we mix and match. We have stuff fixed and we repaint and we repurpose. We’ve always done that.

I don’t do this because I’m trendy, or hip, or even making a statement. I do this because it is the right thing to do. It is what I’ve always done. And I’m not young. I was doing this before you were born. Before your parents were born.

I DO draw the line with living in a small space. I need space. I need MY SPACE. I won’t budge on that one.

My kids were brought up going to a FREE MONTESSORI PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL. We live near the FREE PUBLIC WALDORF school, or as we call it the “hippy school” and they have a very happy art filled school. Very cool. We like them.

Montessori is the ultimate in hip education. It is the bomb in hip everything. All kids should go to Montessori schools. Montessori Schools ROCK. Charter schools ROCK.

So don’t look at me and judge me, because you don’t know how hip I am. Yes, I do wear a Rolex and have a Coach bag which I will wear with my old beat up Doc Marten Oxfords. I wear jackets from the 1950’s and sweaters from Target and whatever I can mix and match together with the earrings I get from the local craft fair.

Judging people (as we learn in the Montessori school) is totally and completely UNHIP. So don’t do it. That means YOU Cody. Ahhh you have so much to learn young man.

And I write a blog. A blog about parenting from a Vampire Maman (mom) point of view but this applies to all mom’s and all parents and all teens. Enough said.

So today’s list (with bullets) is:

  • You don’t have to be hip.
  • Do what is right – not what is popular
  • Wear what you want.
  • It is ok to be hip.
  • It is ok not to be hip. (There is a song about that. Look it up)
  • It is ok to be old.
  • It is ok to be young.
  • It is ok to wear ugly hats if you want to (but I don’t advise it.)
  • Or like the man sings – you can leave your hat on.
  • It is ok to be yourself even if your friends aren’t you (think about it.)
  • It is not ok to judge or feel like you are morally profound, unless you are a saint. And I know you are not a saint.
  • Sometimes it is ok to vent even if some people will think you’re an a_hole.
  • Everyone will eventually be hip somewhere in the space/time continuum.
  • Not everyone is going to be like you and it is fun to have friends who are not like you. Really. Take my word on it.
  • My daughter has a shirt with a picture of a cat on it wearing a knit hat. Our cats won’t wear hats.
  • Cats will always be hip.
  • Flying Squirrels will always be hip – they’re beyond hip.
  • Listen to your mom.

____________________

On more of a fun note…and I don’t mean to judge. When we look up the neighborhood connections at our house we see stuff like Chuckslink, ATT2394, Comcast1256, JackandLisa231 etc etc etc. A few months ago my daughter went to visit cousins in a different part of the country where the culture is a little different. A place where there is a large Vampire population (my parents lived there before they came to California). Anyway she said the connections were all named “F___ you rednecks get your own damn internet”, Not your F____ing internet, F_____ you a__hole” etc etc etc. We had to laugh…but I’m not judging. Just telling a story. I thought it was funny.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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