At the Crocker Art Museum

My heart is in this place. The Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento California, is such an amazing, beautiful, wonderful museum. Put it on your MUST SEE list.

I’m just posting images today. No words necessary. If you have any questions just ask and I will answer. Or go to crockerart.org for more information.

I can’t always explain the wonder and awe and feeling of being so complete and one with the universe when I’m in the presence of art. It is time travel for the soul. It is the essence of being. It was something that transports.  It is like a high that no drug can match. It is magic. ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Enjoy. Oh, one more thing. I’ll post a story inspired (sort of) by the museum. It is also about dogs and full moons and maybe a little romance…maybe.

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California.

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Night Dogs (A Short Story)

Constantine Jones sat on the bottom of the museum steps wondering what just happened.

Earlier that evening he’d put on his best Armani suit, a Hermes silk tie, and was feeling good about the outcome of the evening. It was to be a charity event. Beautiful people would be there dressed up. Everyone would be relaxed, and happy, and it would be delightfully fun.

After discussing art and drinking champagne he’d lured a few well-heeled patrons to remote galleries to see some unusual modern art. There he took a few pints of blood from wrists and left his donors with no memories, except those of a delightful conversation with a well dressed, nice looking young art expert. Well, a 165 year old art expert, but that was besides the point.

Then in the main gallery, the California Room, he saw her standing in front of the Thomas Hill grand painting of Yosemite Valley. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the room but she was attractive in a cute sort of California girl way, and had that delightful look of both shyness and playfulness. Her olive green dress shimmered along the neckline with iridescent beads. As she turned her head towards him it was like a lightning bolt had hit his heart. First sight.

Second sight as well. A smallish dog of unknown breed stood next to her with a service dog vest on. A service dog. Why did she need a service dog?

With his usual ease, Constantine approached the woman. He asked if he could pet the dog. She said yes. She told him she’d had a head injury when she was in Afghanistan. She’d been in the Army. He would never guessed. The dog could detect seizures.

They talked for an hour about art, and life, and it seemed as if he’d met his soul mate. It was the best hour he’d ever spent. Then she was gone. He hadn’t even asked her name.

So like Prince Charming, he sat at the bottom of the stairs wondering where Cinderella had gone. All he had of her was one of her earrings he’d found on the steps. It was a gold strand with a single diamond on the end. The diamond was real.

I might as well walk home he thought. It was just a couple of miles. He’d clear out his mind. The full moon, and lights from late night downtown bars and restaurants lit the way.

Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw a large dog wearing a back pack. A service dog? A smaller dog in a vest followed. Around the next corner, in an alley, he saw three more large dogs in the dark, all wearing packs.

Maybe it was a training exercise. The dogs could have been German Shepards looking for drugs or a missing person, or even bodies. It was weird, but at this point he didn’t care. He just wanted to go home. He was a Vampire so weird and unusual was over rated anyway.

Constantine thought about the woman he’d met. She’d been a nurse in a convoy, and there was a bomb. She didn’t say anything else except that her dog was named Tess. She liked Jazz music, indie films, and indie books. Of course she liked art too. She was a high school art teacher now, having moved on from nursing. But sometimes she helped out the school nurse. Weird how he got those details. He’d told her… what had he told her about himself? Not much. He was a Vampire so he never told much, at least not at first. He’d told her that he ran a philanthropic foundation that supported the arts, and other causes. He told her he had two cats and liked astronomy. She also was a watcher of the moon and stars. Then she kissed his cheek, excused herself, and a few minutes later he saw her walking out the front door of the museum.

As a Vampire he usually had a good feel for people but he couldn’t get a final read on her. Again, he thought about the fact that he didn’t even get her name. But the dog was named Tess. Tess the service dog.

Constantine thought about war. He could imagine the horrors she’d been through. He was a child during the Civil War or the War Between the States, whatever they wanted to call it. Those weren’t memories he cared to relive. He’d come out to California as soon as he was old enough to be on his own, as soon as he’d become a Vampire, and stayed there.

As he walked along the dogs with packs stayed in the alleys and shadows. Looking at the local news feeds and police scans from his iPhone he found nothing. One of his neighbors was a K-9 cop. Constantine would ask him about it tomorrow.

Arriving home at his craftsman style bungalow he noticed a few dogs in packs at the end of the street. This was getting weird. Odder, and a nice surprise, was that a woman in a slightly wrinkled olive green dress, and a single diamond and gold earring was standing on his front porch.

Tess the service dog stood beside her. Hanging off of her shoulder was a back pack.

No. It couldn’t be. She wasn’t Cinderella. She was a Werewolf.

They introduced themselves, again, but this time with names. Her name was Diana. Like the goddess of the moon.

“You have my earring,” she said smiling and holding out a hand.

“You have my heart,” he heard himself saying, much to his surprise.

Then he kissed her under the full moon, as Tess sat at attention and wagged her tail.

~ End

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Burning Question #45: What’s under your kilt?

Animals have been hanging around on Earth for about 560 million years. During that time we’ve seen a lot of critters come and go. From humongous dinosaurs to Neanderthals some failed to make it in their pure original form.

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Be my Neanderthal baby.

Others fared better. Opossums, elephant shrews (I posted a nice little video of one here), crocodiles, horseshoe crabs, snapping turtles, and a multitude of animals are still around after millions of years, just hanging out, doing their thing. In fact, it seems like every year someone finds some weird shark, fish, or bug that hasn’t been seen since T-Rex was the baddest ass in town.

Many creatures have extremely curious background. If you’re a human with blue eyes you more than likely have some Neanderthal DNA in your system. Some dogs can be traced back to wolves, and then there are Pugs. You gotta love them all. Of course I have to mention Vampires who, many thousands of years ago, jumped up a little bit higher on the old evolutionary scale.

Then there are those creatures few have seen and nobody has any fossil or otherwise evidence such as Sasquatch and his buddy the Chupacabra, and of course Mermaids. Who wouldn’t like to find a Mermaid?.

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And last but not least, there are some creatures who never died but are just hiding, and waiting….

Which brings us to BURNING QUESTION #45, with it’s misleading title.

YES, we are going to Scotland to solve a MYSTERY. However, that mystery is not to find out what is under Hamish’s kilt.

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We’re not here to find out what is under Hamish’s kilt, though we’re mighty curious.

We’re talking about Nessie, otherwise know as the LOCH NESS MONSTER.

As we all know the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie is a creature said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Nessie is often described as large in size with a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. My husband Teddy and I still make jokes about it due to the fact that once after too many glasses of wine I called her the Lost Neck Monster.” We’ve caller her Neckie ever since.

1933 photos were taken of the creature (since proved to be bunk) and since then even more photos have been taken, not to mention hundreds of documentaries, books, etc. . Evidence of Neckie, I mean Nessie is a mixed bag of fiction and a lot of stuff that just might be true.

Seriously folks, I’m a Vampire so I’m always open to this kind of stuff. I asked Tellias about it and he just shrugged and told me to go find a Selkie. Tellias never tells me anything until he is ready to tell me. On the other hand Selkies are as real as I am. But back to the Scotland…

I always like the idea of Loch Ness because it is a lake that looks like a lot of beautiful lakes in Northern California (where I live.) Loch Ness is also extremely DEEP, which makes it mysterious. Plus there are castles. Everyone likes castles. And everyone also like SEA MONSTERS.

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For centuries people have been seeing weird things in Loch Ness. Some have even taken photos, which then turned out to be fake. But you never know. I know you WANT to believe something huge and amazing is down there in that cold dark water.

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Could there really be something living in the depths of Loch Ness, in Scotland?

Burning Question #45: Is the Loch Ness Monster Really A Well Hidden Dinosaur?

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Want more information about big mysterious things in fresh water? Check out this list I “borrowed” from Wikipedia. Well-known lake monsters include:

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Loch Ness, Scotland. By the way, a Loch is a Lake.

Now that you’ve pondered another BURNING QUESTION and rocked your world, please share your comments, opinions, possum stories, tell us about that bad date, or about the time YOU saw a Bigfoot, Mothman, or a dinosaur. Hey, don’t laugh. I saw a dinosaur last time I was driving near the Utah/Colorado border. I even took a photo.

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Yes, I saw this right in the middle of the day and took this photo. Believe it or not! I can’t make this shit up.

One more thing… I want to thank Mandy White for suggesting this question.

Thanks everyone for dropping by. See you next week for Burning Question #46.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

There is no excuse for rudeness (even to a Vampire or a Werewolf)

I first published this post in 2013 and thought it needed a second look. Feel free to forward it to the rude people, or those without filters, in your life. Fortunately I can’t think of anyone I know who fits that bill right now… now that my kids are in college, but you never know. 

When a child under the age of 6 or 7 asks a rude question we can brush it off as the innocence of youth. But, when an adult asks rude questions or says rude remarks it just makes them look stupid, insensitive and just plain mean. Not to mention it makes them seem like bad parents.

Their mouths open and rude things just spew out like so much sewage. They have no idea of how them might hurt someone, and how badly it makes them look. On some levels being rude is just another way of being a bully.

I’ve been having this discussion with friends on and off about rude things people ask or say so I’ve made some lists of “What Not to Say ANYTIME”. And don’t be shocked. These are real things we’ve heard people say.

Note: For example purposes all references to a child will be LuLu or Rand. And of course I know none of my regular readers would say rude things like the examples I give below. It is just a list (I like lists. Like to make them. Like to read them.)

Things never to say to people with children:

  • Why do you only have one child? Variations include: You need to have more sex. Only one child? It’s selfish to only have one child.
  • Why don’t you have more kids? Answer: None of your f__ing business.
  • Won’t little Rand get lonely if he doesn’t have any brothers or sisters? Why no, he has a lot of friends.
  • Only children are selfish children. Not true. Go away.
  • Why do you have so many children? Answer: Go away.
  • Which is your favorite? They’re children not ice cream flavors. Go away.
  • What is wrong with LuLu? Variations: Do you get money from the state for her? Shouldn’t she be in a facility for kids like her. Yes, people who say things like that SHOULD be shot or at least slapped silly but that is illegal so just tell them “I love my child and I don’t wish to discuss her with you.”
  • Isn’t that ________________ (sport, activity, camp, club, school) expensive? I could never afford THAT. Answer: Just walk away.
  • I’d never let MY child _______________ fill in the blank. Good for you. Now go away.

Things never to say to people who don’t have kids:

  • Why don’t you have kids?
  • Can’t you have children?
  • Why don’t you want kids”
  • Isn’t that selfish?
  • Who will take care of you when you get old?
  • Well I guess if I didn’t have kids I’d be taking vacations to Europe too.
  • All of the above are rude things to say.

Things never to say to your single friends, especially those over 40.

  • Why didn’t you ever get married? Answer: None of your f____ing business.
  • I have someone I want you to meet. He but he hates cats. This is to the friend with 3 cats. The friend who has always had cats. The friend who WILL always have cats.
  • Life isn’t complete without a mate.  Really? That is both rude and wrong on so many levels.
  • I wish you’d find someone. Answer: Well so do I, so why are you rubbing it in?
  • Are you gay? Honest to God I can’t tell you how many single people I know who have been asked this question. There is nothing wrong with being gay or single. There are gay single people. Gay married people. Gay dating people. Get over it.

Things Never to say to Cat Owners:

  • I hate cats. OK this is the story. The cat is sitting in the front yard watching bugs. Then the cat goes inside and eats, Then rubs up against my leg. What is there to hate? And why do you feel compelled to say you hate MY CAT? I’m not asking you to take it home with you. Go away. You can also exchange cat with dog, horse, rabbit, parrot, fish, husband – some people are just RUDE.

Things never to say to someone on a romantic date:

  • Do you mind if my sister/friend/mom/brother comes with us?
  • How much money do you make?
  • I don’t date many people.
  • I’m not good at dating.
  • You’d be perfect if you lost about 10 pounds. And you’re sleeping alone tonight Mr. Romance!
  • Too much about your ex. That includes ex wives, ex girlfriends, ex husbands, ex boyfriends, ex lovers of any kind. Don’t talk about how badly your kids are doing either. That is also a sure fire turn off.  And don’t use the excuse of being “honest”. That doesn’t fly.  It is RUDE to  do an emotional dump on someone who wanted to spend the evening with YOU and NOT everyone who has ever done you wrong. 

Things Never to Say to a WORKING MOM:

  • I stay home with my kids because they need me.
  • I’m raising my kids. I don’t want someone else to do it.
  • I get to volunteer at the school 3 days a week so I’ll know what my child is doing.
  • Before you know it they’ll be grown and you’ll have missed out on everything.
  • I’m taking a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just can’t get any housework done.
  • All of the above is just rude. Period.

Things Never to say to a Stay-At-Home Mom

  • Why don’t you have a job?
  • Don’t you wish you had your own money?
  • You don’t work so why don’t you have time to go to the gym?
  • You’ve wasted your college education.
  • All of the above is just rude. Period.

Things Never to say to a child that isn’t yours?

  • How much money does your dad make?
  • Who did your parents vote for?
  • What are your grades?
  • Do your parents spend a lot of money on ____________________?
  • It seems like there are a lot of people who try to find out financial information about people they know through the children.  And tell your kids not to answer any questions about money or other private family matters.

Things never to say to a Vampire:

  • Why aren’t you wearing black?
  • Show me your fangs?
  • Do you sleep in a coffin?
  • Aren’t you worried about eternal damnation?

Things to never say to a Werewolf?

  • Do you eat people?
  • Do you have fleas?
  • When you take a bath do you smell like a wet dog?
  • I’m allergic to dogs.
  • Do you have stretch marks?

That’s it. Just remember to gently, or not so gently, keep reminding those unfortunate friends and family members to THINK before they speak.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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You Gotta Believe (a silly little story for Christmas Eve)

“Where’s that friend of yours, the Welsh Corgi?”

“Brad?”

“Yeah Brad, the little guy.”

“He went north to the Pole. Seasonal help with the fat man.”

“No shit. With Santa?”

“His third year. He makes enough money to last the rest of the year. In fact in five years he’ll be able to retire.”

“No shit.”

“I shit you not.”

I was sitting in the booth next to a couple of Werewolves, nursing my coffee until Steve showed up.  I pride myself on the number of conversations I’m able to overhear everyday. Then again, I’m always listening. It is my nature to listen and know everything that everybody is saying and feeling. It has nothing to do with being naughty or nice and everything to do with being a Vampire.

Steve slid into the booth and faced me. I mouthed the words, “Werewolves behind me.”

He smiled then took my hand. “You look sexy tonight.”

If I’d had enough blood in my veins I would have blushed.

After coffee and cherry pie we walked the streets, in and out of art galleries and glancing into bars and restaurants. Christmas lights twinkled in some of the windows. Other windows were painted with holly and Christmas tree designs.

Outside of a trendy club we saw a couple of Vampires we knew talking to a group of attractive young women. They nodded at us. We nodded at them.

I kept thinking about the Werewolves in the cafe. “Steve, do you believe in Santa Claus?”

“Why are you asking?”

“One of the Werewolves was saying a small friend of theirs was going up to the North Pole to work for Santa Claus.”

“I didn’t believe in Vampires until, you know, until I became one.”

He had a point there.

We ducked into a bar full of happy people, all talking and catching up on the last Saturday of the Thanksgiving break. It was warm and collars became undone and scarves were loosened. It was a beautiful sight for a couple of Vampires.

After a moment in a dark corner in a dark corner with a sweet young man named Kyle I glanced up to see the Werewolves at the bar.

For the next half hour I’d be warm so I knew they might not suspect I was different from the rest of the bar patrons. I sat on the bar stool next to them. The large one glanced over at me.

“You were in the diner. You’re a Vampire.”

“Busted,” I said. “Hey, I don’t mean to be rude but while I was waiting for my friend I overheard you talking about your friend going to the North Pole.”

“Sure, no problem. Seriously I love the dude, we’ve been friends forever, but I’m worried he’ll end up being part of some sled team or eaten by bears on the way up.”

“Is there really a Santa Claus?”

He smiled. “We’re here aren’t we? I mean, it isn’t so much as him making toys and all. It is more of a fairy dust sort of thing if you know what I mean.”

I never thought I’d hear a Werewolf talking about fairy dust and Santa, but I’ve come not to be too surprised by anything. It was sort of nice.

A warm hand slid into mine. Steve was next to me, also warm for a short time. We spent the rest of the evening talking with the Werewolves about living like Santa Claus. You know, living in a world where everyone says they believe in you but you know they don’t.

As we went back out into the street I saw a couple walking a tan and white Corgi dog. I looked up into the sky and saw a shining star above the light of the city. Maybe Brad made it to the North Pole. You have to believe. After all, it is beginning to look like Christmas. You gotta believe.

~ End

~ Merry Christmas. Love, Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Halloween Hotties: Werewolves (if you’re into guys who smell like wet dogs)

A favorite from 2013 –  Aside from all of the love letter, taking kids to rock concert, and spoon hanging posts THIS one is in the top five all time most popular.

Halloween Hotties: Werewolves (if you’re into guys who smell like wet dogs)

Time to Countdown to Halloween with Halloween Hotties  – WEREWOLVES.

Werewolves. I’m torn on this one. I just don’t find them attractive at all. OK – I don’t find most of them attractive.

Now wolves, the wonderful wild wolves who don’t turn back into humans are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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But Werewolves? Really? They’re just gross and disturbing.

This is not attractive or hot in any way shape or form.

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But before he was transformed…Mr Chaney was quite the looker. After the transformation his was just one ugly dog faced boy.

Lon Chaney looking hot in a suit! Sweetheart stay out from under that full moon!

American Werewolf In London = hot guys, ugly werewolves.

Looking cute now guys but wait until midnight!

So what does the whole Werewolf thing mean in modern culture. Man shows his inner beast? Nooooo, it’s just another way to creep us out and give us some scary fun.

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Caution: If you’ve come here for deep and meaningful look at my parenting posts.

That said, if you are looking for a HOT Werewolf… The hero of Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour, Michael Gallatin, is the most smoking hot Werewolf ever to grace the pages of fiction or non-fiction. I love this book. It goes down in my top 10 favorite books of all time. Take my word for it.

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The Wolf’s Hour is about a Russian Werewolf who is a Nazi hunter during WW2. Trust me, this isn’t some silly book. It is powerful, well written and filled with some of the best characters ever written. Read it. Read it. Read it. And by the way, Mr. McCammon you’re pretty hot yourself! I mean, any man who can write how he writes has to be hot.

Then there is Adam, my own Werewolf friend. He just rolls his eyes at me.

Yes, I do have personal experience with these guys. It is creepy when you see hair growing out of the top of somebody’s hand. I can handle the teeth thing, especially since I have fangs too. And I like a man with a little hair on his chest, but not covering his entire body like, well, like a DOG or a bear rug. Nor do I like the idea of kissing a guy knowing that he was chewing on his ass the night before. Yuck.

I once told Adam that I found the idea of turning into a wolf somewhat disturbing. He went off on me for a full 15 minutes about how vile Vampires are and that we’re more or less the most evil disgusting creatures that ever stayed awake all night. I told him I hoped he’d get fleas in his crotch and that I would NEVER forgive him for trying to rip my throat out a while back. I told him he smelled like a wet dog after he’d been a wolf for the night.

Most Werewolves are Halloween Hotties because of what they look like BEFORE the full moon. You gotta admit I’m right about that one. I mean, look at the photo below with the cute guy and the puppy. Cute now…just wait until the full moon and he turns into some disgusting hairy beast that eats Alpo and small children. Maybe we just want to take care of them – like we take care of our faithful dogs. Poor babies…. No, I don’t think so.

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Adam and I didn’t talk for a while after our big Werewolf vs Vampire blow out and insult throwing contest,  but we’re back to being in the close friend category.

Creatures such a Vampires and Werewolves can get a little emotional with expressing our feelings. That said, if you want emotional try spending some time with a ghost.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And as long as you’re here…check out the rest of the blog for more fun and don’t forget to subscribe by email, Facebook or as a WordPress subscriber!

He claims he looks more like the wolf, but I've seen him with those wolf teeth and hair growing out of his arms...it is enough to scare the most hardened Vampire.

 

Burning Question #30: Howling at the Moon

We’re down to #30 of 50 Burning Questions. Wow. Today we have yet another profound science based question.

AND you know what time of year it is. You KNOW.

It is almost OCTOBER and that means HALLOWEEN!!!!! And that means a lot of questions and posts about Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves, Zombies, and things that go bump in the night.

Moon Rise Walk, Orangevale, CA

Full moon at the end of my street. Do you think there might be Werewolves up there?

Which brings us to the night sky, space travel, and Werewolves.

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She blinded me with science

I am not basing any of this on old outdated yore of old. This is all new science based and fact based information. But the research is still in progress so you have to come to your own conclusions.

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Look closely at everything.

It is a fact that 12 (twelve) men have walked on the moon. You’d think that it would have been more by now, but unfortunately it is only twelve. But has anyone else been up there? Dogs? Not yet, but wouldn’t that be awesome.

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This photo is so cute I can hardly stand it.

However in previous posts I have proven that there have been cats and other life on Mars. Look it up (Click here for one post about it. And click here for Gassy Planets.)

Cat on Mars

We all know there are cats on Mars.

But back to the moon… and space travel…and Werewolves.

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Werewolves are smart. I know that for a fact. The average Werewolf is well educated, well dressed, and even though they can be assholes at times they’re not all that bad. OK, not usually.

So imagine a someone, who is also a Werewolf signing up NASA or another space program. Imagine a Werewolf on the Moon. I know this is getting long so I’ll get to the question. During a full Moon a Werewolf on Earth transforms, but what about a Werewolf on the Moon? Think about it.

hairy chest guy

I’m not Juliette’s husband or a hairy Werewolf. I’m another Vampire guy with a hairy chest and a great set of wheels. Let me drive you all night baby.

 

Burning Question #30: If a Werewolf is on the Moon will it “transform” when there is a Full Earth?

 

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What do you think? What do you think about Werewolves? Are you a Werewolf? Are you an astronaut? A test pilot? A STEM teacher? Do you have a joke you want to share?  Go ahead and air your stuff in the comment section below.

In the meantime keep watching the night sky, and keep that sense of wonder.

Thank you to my friend Adelia for suggesting this question.

I’ll see you next Saturday for Burning Question #31. Feel free to make suggestions because I have NOTHING right now.

For all of the Burning Questions so far CLICK here.

Ahhhhhhhhh, oooooooooooh

xoxox

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

The following might scare you really bad. Just a warning.