Libby’s Post: Do vampires get fat?

So, it’s been a week now and my vampire life has been kinda blah. They totally over exaggerate in the movies. Where are the diabolical plots or evil vampires? Where is the hot, sulky, male vamp to keep me company? Nothing sparkly has stopped by either.

I did feel like there was a crow stalking me in the backyard the other day. Perhaps a fellow vampire in bird form? Then I realized he was just picking off a dead squirrel. I should have known. Yuck.

Then there’s the whole eating thing. I still think blood is pretty gross and I have to find a palatable neck to suck on. I mean does anyone else think most people are pretty unappetizing? There are some people I cringe just looking at. And now I have to put my lips on them? Ew!

I won’t feed on kids either, that’s just creepy. I’m also turned off by really old people. Their skin just looks so dry and baggy. Big, sweaty men are gross too. Can anyone say, salty? So, I’m left with recently bathed young men and most young women. Although, I do find myself judging women by their shoes and handbags. Do I really want to feed off someone who shops at Ross? Oh, and their perfume. Certain perfumes (I’m guessing designer imposters) when mixed with blood, blech.

I also have to figure out how much I have to eat. Like, do I have to hunt every time I have an urge? What if I hold out until nighttime? Will I decay? Or burst into flames? I mean how long can I really go? I’ve been trying to stretch it out to see.

And then there’s the fat factor. Can I still get fat? Can I gain weight from too much blood? I’ve been eating regular human meals. I’ve downed fist-sized chunks of cheese and whole pints of ice cream.

So far, the scale hasn’t moved. I’m remaining optimistic. This could be the best thing that’s ever happened to me!

Then there’s Emme. She’s been going on and on about this Lost Colony stuff lately. I’m almost starting to think she’s crazy. But, hey look at me. I’m a vampire, so I can’t judge her too much. Good news is I have her fooled. She has no idea I’m a vampire.  I must be doing something right. Now if I can just figure out what to do about work tomorrow. Do I really have to go?

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

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Hiking to Blue Lake: moose, mosquitoes, and a really fit old man

Sign at trailhead for Mitchell Lake and Blue Lake

Sign at trailhead for Mitchell Lake and Blue Lake

Hiking. The Rocky Mountains. Waking up before dawn (well, not me) to beat the traffic to the best trailheads. It’s all synonymous with summers in Colorado.

My first confession: I haven’t hiked all summer. Not that I’m some fancy, gear-toting, Powerbar-eating, mountain goat like some of the people who live here, but I do enjoy climbing the hills every so often.

My second confession: Hiking always sounds like a good idea the night before. Then, 6:00 a.m. rolls around and I wake up wondering why I so foolishly uttered the words: we should go hiking tomorrow.

Around 6:30 yesterday morning, I was in full denial mode. We should have been up at least thirty minutes ago, the bed was unusually comfy, and I could always go hiking next weekend instead. I rolled over and pulled the blanket over my shoulder.

Then my husband did the unthinkable. He sat up and stumbled out of bed.

Crap. He’s actually getting up. I think we’re actually going to go. Fine, I guess I’ll have to go enjoy the fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery.

I doddled. He kept forgetting things. Whole Foods had nothing appetizing in their prepared foods section. Everything seemed to be standing in our way.

We got to the Brainard Lake Rec area at *gasp* 9:10 a.m. We knew this meant certain misery. We wouldn’t be able to park at the trailhead.

Since we hadn’t been there all summer, we didn’t realize they had a new day use parking area. You can no longer park along the road. Now, we had to walk an additional (I’m going to guess) mile (I have been known to exaggerate) to the trailhead. On the way there, it’s not so bad. On the way back you begin to wonder why they couldn’t install one of those moving walkway things like at the airport.

The hike started off okay. I tried to pace myself.

We hadn’t even made it to Mitchell Lake and I began to struggle. My thighs were trembling, my heart was in overdrive, and I couldn’t get enough air to satiate my demanding lungs. I began to wonder if I was too young to have a heart attack.

“I don’t know if I can make it,” I said to my husband after the first big push past Mitchell Lake. Like a good husband he was encouraging and sympathetic.

Then, during our 18th stop for me to rest, he asked if we could get moving again. Why was he in such a hurry? Because he was getting cold! Cold! I had already stripped down to my tee-shirt, my face was flushed, and I was dreaming of diving into the next pond I saw. And he was cold. What a show off.

I was becoming more and more dejected. I was ready to give up. But I found motivation–twice.

At the last big pond, before the trail gets rocky in a very ankle-twisting way, we saw moose. Two of them. They were just relaxing, watching all of us gawk at them. The Brainard Lake rec area is a great place to see moose. We’ve seen them here before. The last time we were so close he could have trampled us in four strides if he wanted.

Moose we saw last summer on the hike to Blue Lake

The moose we saw last summer on a hike to Blue Lake

This time they were off in the distance, but no less remarkable. My hubby and I lingered and I got to rest before my husband dragged me farther up the mountain.

Moose relaxing by the pond

Moose relaxing by the pond

The trail steepened and I continued to struggle, but the joy of seeing the moose kept me motivated enough to continue. Descending hikers began to bounce past us, laughing, talking, big smiles plastered on their faces. I hated them. I’m always jealous of the hikers going downhill.

I looked up to make way for the next pair coming down and I felt ashamed. Embarrassed. The guy in the lead was like 100 and pretty feeble looking.

After they passed, my hubby looked back at me with a big grin on his face. He didn’t need words. I knew what he was thinking.

I set my jaw and plastered a look of determination on face. I was going to make it to the top with what little dignity I had left.

The final ascent was glorious and well worth it. As we rounded the final corner, we were greeted by chirping marmots, bright pink wildflowers and the clear blue lake. We marveled at the scenery, ate a few dollops of hummus, and repeatedly brushed away mosquitoes. Seriously, at 11,000 feet you can’t get away from these things. People say cockroaches will be the last creatures on earth. I think mosquitoes might be right there with them.

Snow at Blue Lake CO

Snow at Blue Lake captured during our hike last year

As usual, I excelled at the descent. Hiking is much easier when you’re working with gravity, not against it. I smiled and waved at all the folks going up, happy to no longer be gasping for breath.

Now I’m sore and a little tired, but I’m glad we went. I’m glad we pushed past the little obstacles that can easily become excuses to quit. We got some great pictures of the moose, and I was able to enjoy my shrimp boil without remorse. We’ve even talked about heading back up next weekend. He he. We’ll see.

Libby’s post: I’m no longer afraid of bar peanuts

It’s now my second day as a vampire and you’re probably wondering how the rest of my day went yesterday. BORING, is all I can say.

I spent about an hour in front of the mirror trying to get my fangs to come out.

My lips lifted and stretched into a joker-like smile. I pretended to bite the air, then my forearm, and finally a balled up (clean… I think) sock. Then I tried to get my emotions into it. I acted angry, fearsome, and monstrous. Nothing worked. So, I went for hungry. I channeled my early sorority days. You know like when I ate just a cracker for breakfast and lunch, and then had three vodka waters for dinner. Still nothing. I was beginning to think I was on Punked or something. But I’m not really famous. And I don’t know if that show is even on anymore.

So I went out. There’s a small pub within walking distance of my house. When no one was looking, I sprinted and jumped into the air to see if anything happened, like flying or at least a killer long jump. I maybe gained a few inches from my human jumping distance.

dim neighborhood bar

I stayed at the bar a couple of hours and ate from the peanut bowl. Something I never usually did, but I was kind of immortal now, you know.

Soon, the people around me began to smell. It wasn’t just the usual smoky bar filled with sweaty men and chili cheese fries yucky smell. They smelled like food. My kind of food.

I pushed past two whiskey drinking men and searched the parking lot for something to eat. That’s when two things happened.

The first: I scored my first victim, well the first victim I can remember. She was a well-dressed college student leaving the bar drunk and alone. Her drunkenness made it so easy and I’ve always hated girls with naturally long eyelashes.

The second: I discovered my body still needed to pee. The urge came right after I propped the girl against the bar’s back wall. There was a dumpster nearby that I could have squatted behind. Then I remembered that I am a well to do socialite, the wife of an investment banker, the owner of three Fendi handbags.

I walked back home (there was no way I was running in my three inch heels) and went. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was like undead or something. But, still I peed. And it felt pretty much normal. So, there you go, vampires can and do pee.

All right, I’m off to see my friend, Emme. Wish me luck in faking her out. She already has so many crazy things going on her life, the last thing she needs is a vampire friend.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

Libby’s post: Waking up a Vampire

Hi everyone. My name is Libby and I just had to hijack this blog. Everyone is always talking about my friend Emme. Emme and the Lost Colony, Emme and her new locket, Emme and her strange visions. The usual author of this blog is even writing a book about her. Well, I have some interesting news and I just had to share it with you.

Okay, so you’re not going to believe me, but today I woke up a vampire. This is what happened:

My head pounded like a bad rap song and my neck ached like my neighbor’s craning spine after a day of eavesdropping. I reached for the ibuprofen that lived on my nightstand and fell to the ground. I nearly screamed. I wasn’t in bed; I was on the picnic table under our humongous oak tree. And I was hot. Like on fire. Even in the shade my skin was literally frying.

I ran for the door, trying not to vomit on my favorite Juicy Couture top. Sitting on the doorstep was a brown paper bag and a vial of pinkish liquid. Uh, okay, totally weird. I grabbed the vial and bag and slammed the door behind me. Morpheus, my cat, was on the counter rubbing his head against the can opener.

Oh my god… it was past four in the afternoon. I fed the cat and fell into the couch. It was Friday, right? I ran through the events of the previous night, trying to figure out how I’d gotten drunk enough to fall asleep outside.

My friend, Emme, had come over for dinner and we each had a couple of glasses of wine, totally normal, right? After she left, I painted my toenails a super cute bubble gum pink color. But I didn’t have anything else to drink, did I?

Then I went out back to check on Morpheus and everything went black. Like really black. Not a fuzzy black, where I sort of remember dancing in giant clown shoes on your coffee table, Hot Toddy in hand–it was an utter, void-filled, black.

I dumped the contents of the paper bag onto the couch. There were three more vials, all filled with a clear liquid, and a note. The penmanship was pretty good, but definitely male. The author said he was the one who changed me and now I had a mission. Ugh.  A mission? Seriously? Now that I was a vampire, couldn’t I just live in dark, gothy mansions and lurk around drinking blood? Yuck! The thought of drinking blood was (is) repulsive. But, according to the note, I’d already drank the stuff once and my next meal should be soon.

I flicked the note across the room and freed my blond hair from its ponytail. Evan wouldn’t be home until Thursday. My husband was on one of his weekly trips out of state, so I’d have a couple of days to embrace the new me.

What should I do first? Maybe check out my new fangs in the mirror? Or see if I can fly? Or even better, see if I can become a bat? I looked out the window at the flock of kids passing by. Maybe I should see about getting something to eat??

 

Pinterest: Now offering shots of courage

Courage can come from many places: supportive words from friends and family, an inspirational story, or from deep within yourself.

Well, for me, it came from Pinterest. Not the site per say, but from the quotes I had curated (doesn’t that sound fancy) on one of my boards.

In my last post I talked about my mind-blowing decision to quit my job. But, I still had to give my notice. That would be easier said than done. I’d worked with these people for what felt like forever in my 36-year-old mind. The night before I gave my resignation I frittered about, unable to settle myself. My husband offered me a glass of wine and I said, “no.” Yikes!

Then I logged onto Pinterest and found my new board of inspirational quotations. You know things like “hang in there” or “there is no I in team.” Well, instead of those gems, I had pinned things like:

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.” –Lemony Snicket

“If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.” –Dr. Gregory House

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” –Margaret Shepard

I read through quotes from the likes of Mark Twain, Calamity Jane and Pablo Picasso. Some were not credited to an author; some were about unicorns and mermaids. The butterflies in my stomach settled and my mind stopped rehearsing the resignation speech it had been stuck on all day.

The jitters found me again in the morning, but I pushed them aside. I walked into my boss’s office and just did it. She took it well and that was it. I was a victor over my own self-doubt and society’s insistence on a life of conformity.

The remaining weeks of my six-year tenure, floated by. My last day came and went as if nothing special had happened. I mean, people said their goodbyes. I had a lovely going away party. I gave away treasured items from my cube. Who knew a picture of Ace Ventura with my head plastered over Jim Carey’s would be so coveted?

But nothing special happened inside me. I just walked out of the building for the last time and loaded my things in the car. I didn’t crumple with regret or have confetti thrown over me with trumpets blaring. I didn’t feel sad or afraid or excited or anything. I just was. It was strange. I guess I was just content, satisfied maybe?

I woke up the next day and logged onto my Pinterest account. I clicked on one of my favorite quotes and “the people who pinned this also pinned” feed came up. I scanned down until I found it. The perfect quote:

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different…” –C. S. Lewis

Then, of course, since I am a Pinterest addict, I also found:

“That was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit.”

Very appropriate I thought, until I stumbled upon this one:

“Oh, dear. I really ought to do something but I am already in my pajamas.”

Wow, it’s like they read my mind. Not really though, I am actually quite productive in my pajamas. What do you think I was wearing when I wrote this?

P. S. If you’re wondering about the mermaid and unicorn quotes here they are:

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.” –Author Unknown

“I still like to pretend I’m a mermaid whenever I go swimming. (I’m 28)” –Author Unknown

The Decision (to believe in myself)

I quit my job a few weeks ago. There, I said it. After 6 years of steady, benefit filled employment, I quit. It felt less ceremonial than I imagined. Maybe it’s because I quit long ago, I just never told my body to stop driving in each day to sit in my three-walled cube.

My internal rumblings of dissatisfaction began a while ago, an itch here, a bout of malaise there. Sometimes my frustration peaked rapidly and then deflated with a whoosh. Other times it built slowly, festering, into a quiet contempt.

It’s not that I didn’t like working per se or even working in my current industry. I was just ready for something new–a new challenge, a new adventure. But, I had fallen into the lull of routine, of the known, the easy. It was scary to leave a secure job and embark on something new, something where failure was a possibility.

Then, almost exactly a year ago, I took the first step. I asked to work part time. And within a month, I was working 24 hours per week. This helped. It really did. I was less prickly both at work and at home. I had more free time to work on my novel. And, in my world, Wednesday was the new Friday.

The problem was I still wasn’t happy. This is how things went for most of the year:

Me: Why am I still working there? I don’t like it anymore. I want to do something different.

My husband: Why don’t you look for something else?

Me: Where would I find something that paid this well and still allowed me to work part time?

My husband: Do you want a glass of wine?

Me: Just bring the whole bottle. (Not really, but you get where I’m going.)

Then, something just happened. I’d been working on my novel since November and I was feeling really great about it (my emotions about my book waffle between sheer brilliance and the possibility that vampires are so 1897). I felt confident, bold, and unstoppable. So, bolstered by my new inspirational board on Pinterest, I decided to quit. This is how it went:

Me: I think I’m going to quit. I’ve decided to give my notice on July 1st.

My husband: Sounds good. You know I believe in you. What are we going to do for money?

Me: I dunno. Maybe I can do some consulting work. It’ll be great. Plus, I have a best-selling book on my hands. Remember?

My husband: Oh yeah. We’ll be millionaires soon. How about a glass of champagne?

Me: Yes. Make it something fancy. Like Cristal or Dom Perignon. You know, since we will be straight ballers soon.

And with that, the decision was made. Where do I go from here? I have some ideas. Of course, a publishing contract is in my future 🙂