Conversations on Trout and Life with Vampires

Vampire Maman

This morning Garrett (age 19) and I stopped by to see Great Great Great Grandmama Lola. Even as Vampires go she is old (born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer), but she looks all of twenty-six.

In her living room was a large fish tank. Garrett immediately went over to check it out. “When did you get this Grams?”

“Last week. I caught the fish myself. Aren’t they lovely.”

In the tank were two rainbow trout, fresh from the river. I could have given her flack about catching wild fish but I didn’t. It would have been a waste of my breath.

Garrett held out his arm and an African Gray parrot landed on his wrist. Lola claims the parrot is over 200 years old but I never know what to think. She has had the bird for over 80 years so she could very well be right. But then I…

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TIME Magazine Ruined Herpes Journalism. Here’s How To Fix It.

Finally someone tells the truth.

Ella Dawson

coverIn 1982, TIME Magazine published a very special cover story: “The New Scarlet Letter.” In five dense pages full of salacious personal anecdotes and some incredibly horrifying doctoral testimonies, TIME set the standard for herpes journalism. I read the entire piece with my friend (and this site’s editor) Gabe Rosenberg so that you don’t have to. Because you shouldn’t. It’s really bad.

Special shoutout to my dad, who found an original copy of the publication on eBay for my birthday. The article is available online behind a paywall here. I’m including scans of sections of the article to provide context.

Ella: What’s your initial reaction to this bad boy?

Gabe: That whoever wrote and researched this piece (COUGH MAUREEN DOWD COUGH) has some great hatred for the “sexual revolution” and wanted to make it seem like herpes was God’s great reckoning for women’s sexual freedom. You see that in the…

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Mr. C’s America

Excellent!

A Late Boomer's Guide to Life

imagesI never thought of him as a bigot. For as long as I can remember he’s been an opinionated old man. Half the time, I didn’t really get the specific issue he was ranting about. He was just my neighbor, “Mr. C”. It was not until years later that I was old enough to recognize the fear and uncompromising distain that tinged his political diatribes.

He never seemed concerned that I heard him swear or cast aspersions on a particular ethnic group or politician. If it was happening on his property, he behaved like he had a sovereign’s immunity from consequence. We’re both older now — he well into eighties and me in college. I still go over and talk with him. I tend to cut older people slack and excuse any outburst as a symptom of mental deterioration — a circle of life where an adult once again passes…

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ro·mance

Vampire Maman

ro·mance

rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans
noun
1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
“in search of romance” love, especially when sentimental or idealized.

2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
“the beauty and romance of the night”

3. a stupid feeling of unrealistic expectations that makes one do stupid and potentially embarrassing things.

In 1988, the night before a business trip from Sacramento to Seattle, I had a dream about a man with sandy colored hair and a great smile. Yes, he was the man of my dreams. I called my brother Val and told him about it. We laughed.

The next afternoon, wearing a blue and black dress that hugged my lovely curves and black heels, I boarded my flight and found myself sitting next to the man in my dream. I kid you not. This is not a flight of fancy or fiction.

We talked…

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