Sunday, September 22, 2013

Binge Sinning in Vegas

Vaping in Vegas, Getting My Sin On

(Note from Vita: Listen to Katy Perry: "Waking Up in Vegas" when you read this blog.)

In Vegas, sinning is what it’s all about: it’s why people come here; it’s the very purpose of this city.

Whether your preferred sin is gambling, drinking, sex – or all of the above – there’s no place like Vegas to stoop to new levels of debauchery.

Las Vegas - the city that never sleeps, because people are too busy "binge sinning."
People flock here from all over the world to “sin” in Vegas, because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

In the city that never sleeps, people get their sin on until the wee hours of the morning, most of them pulling on their favorite one-arm bandit, hoping to hit the jackpot that will assuage their guilt and give them a great story to bring to their friends back home who weren’t lucky enough to join them. Of course, gambling stories are just another version of fishing stories. You only hear about the "big" one.

"Luck” has another whole meaning for men who may not get lucky often enough back home, and Vegas is full of Girls! Girls! Girls! who can be easily had for about the price of a steak dinner and bottle of wine at one of Vegas’ many lavish restaurants.

I love cocktails that come super-sized!
And the ubiquitous, free-flowing cocktails – which you can carry around with you up and down Las Vegas Blvd. in huge, brightly colored plastic flutes, help to lubricate and fuel the lust for more, More, MORE!  

All of this sinning strikes me as “binge sinning” – a sinning rampage that’s confined to the Sin City.

Perhaps the good people who come to Vegas are over-compensating for their lives back home, where they're good, solid, responsible citizens, dutifully paying their mortgages, flossing their teeth and driving their kids to daycare. 

As a vamp, I don’t believe in “binge sinning.”

I mean, why confine your sinning to a vacation or long weekend when you have to cram it all into a short period of time?

I believe in spreading my sins out: sinning on a regular basis. That way, I’m less likely to “binge sin,” when I sin so much, the night becomes a total blur, and I risk getting hitched to some good-looking dude in nice duds who bought me cocktails and helped me tear up the town.

And when I spread my sins out, I can find time in between to pay penance and atone for my dissolute digressions. (I was raised Catholic. Can you tell?)

I just work sinning into my weekly routine: Work Mon. through Wed., sin on Wed. night, work on Thurs. and Fri., sin on Fri. night, volunteer on Sat., sin again on Sat. night and atone for my sins on Sun. ("...That saved a wretch like me...").

Smoking is for tramps.
Vaping is for vamps!
It’s a perfectly balanced sinning schedule that works for this Vaping Vamp.

Of course, one sin that I've vowed NEVER to repeat is smoking. Smoking's a sin that's no longer in vogue, because it's dirty and trashy. Vaping is not only healthier -- it's sexier! And vampier!

So you want to hear what happened to me this time in Vegas? I must admit: I did get a little extra sinning in.

But you’ll have to wait until next week. I’m getting up the courage to confess all. . .

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Plan B. Every Vamp Should Have One.

I Believe Every Vaping Vamp Should Have a Plan B. And Then Some.

(Note from Vita: Listen to "Plan B - She Said" by Ill Manors when you read this blog.)

As a Vaping Vamp, I’m all for Plan B.

I’m also all for Plans C, D, E – all the way up to Z. Because Plan A usually doesn’t work out.

I have a worse case than the seven year itch. My itches last closer to three and a half. Weeks, that is. They last three and a half weeks.

So I can potentially go through half the alphabet in less than a year.

As a Vaping Vamp, I'm all for Plan B. I'm also in favor of Plans C, D and E. 
Here’s what usually happens: I meet a guy. He puts his best foot forward: holding doors open for me. Sending me love-texts several times a day. Buying me little “just because” gifts.

But it doesn’t take long for him to become “real.” He forgets to spellcheck his e-mails. He forgets to pick up my favorite frosted cardamom cookies at the local co-op. He shows up 20 minutes late.

Note to all men: you should NEVER make a vamp wait.

Pretty soon, he’s tripping over his two “best” feet. And then both he and I realize he just won’t measure up.

Now lest you think I am a vicious vamp, I let him down gently. I accept his apology. I never hold a grudge. I smile pleasantly and enjoy the rest of our date, knowing it'll be our last.

Meanwhile, Plan B is starting to look better and better. We're texting each other, and I’m leading Plan B to think that he could potentially move into Plan A position.

Of course, I’m doing the same thing with Plans C through Z. It’s a carefully calculated juggling game that requires the skills only a vamp has. Skills of flirtation and finesse. Tact and diplomacy.

The true test of how well I’ve handled all of my “plans” is the fact that with rare exceptions, I’ve been able to be friends with all of them.

I’ve been quoted saying, “I give all of my rejected lovers a second chance. I see how well they perform doing yard work.”

Well, you should see how many men are working in my yard these days!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Guess Who Caught the Wedding Bouquet?

Dear Zuri,

Perrin and I enjoyed the rest of our late summer cruise up the St. Lawrence River and around the northwest most part of Canada, stopping at Quebec City, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Nova Scotia and Bar Harbor, Maine.

True to my vampy nature, I bid “au revoir” to Perrin in Boston, kissed him on both cheeks and a delicious kiss on the lips that will have to be my last for a little while (with him, that is), and then hopped on a plane to NYC, where I met Viktor’s plane from Minneapolis.

A few weeks ago, Viktor nursed me back to health after contracting the worst case of strep throat I can remember. So I thought he deserved a special treat, and decided that he would be the one I would invite to be my escort at Allie’s wedding.

My hair at Allie's wedding
Plus, he has been so patient with my world travels and my vampy nature, which he knows he will never change. 

I’ve made no bones about the fact that I have no desire to be molded to anything other than a slightly more perfect vamp, someone along the lines of a Hedy (Lamarr), a Greta (Garbo) or a Bette (Davis).

That reminds me of a highlight of the Friday rehearsal dinner festivities. I had sent Allie Vampsticks (e-cigarettes with no nicotine) for all of her bridesmaids, and she put them into the cutest gift baskets, along with little bottles of lavender Hypnotiq vodka and other goodies.

Zuri, you would’ve fit right in as all of us sat together, all decked out in our vampiest eveningwear, vaping our sleek black cigarettes (with no nicotine) that night after dinner. 

Too bad all the guys who wanted to smoke old-school cigs missed out, because they had to go outside where it was chilly and rainy. 

Allie's hair looked absolutely gorgeous
Allie’s man was a BIT (boyfriend in training) for several years before they decided to get married and now that he’s her husband, I’m optimistic their marriage will last. 

Of course, you just never know. Life is always full of surprises – some good, some bad and some that just leave you reeling, because you never would have predicted them in a million years.

Well, here’s one surprise that I never would have predicted: guess who caught Allie’s wedding bouquet?

Of course, as Allie’s vampy maid of honor, I was forced to get in the group of single young women who stood excitedly and expectantly while Allie threw her wedding bouquet behind her. Naturally, I stood as far back as possible while Viktor looked on bemusedly, no doubt cueing in to what was going on in my vampish mind.  

Guess who caught Allie's wedding bouquet?
No one was more surprised than I was, her vampy maid of honor!
No one was more surprised than I was when she gave that bouquet a huge heave-ho, and it landed right in my arms!

I never heard Viktor create such a ruckus. He was absolutely doubled over, he was laughing so loud. Allie came over with a look of shock on her face and apologized to me and her bridesmaids. But I mean, what did she have to apologize for? I should be the one who apologizes for being such a wedding vamp!

Well, I will just have to prove that one wedding prediction absolutely wrong. In fact, I will make it my mission to simply step up the level of vampiness!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quebec City: Je Me Souviens!

Dear Allie,

I’ll be arriving in NYC on Fri, afternoon in time for your rehearsal dinner. Meanwhile, I am enjoying a little cruise up the St. Lawrence River from Montreal and around Nova Scotia.

I just couldn’t help myself… Perrin just made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Of course, he has no idea I’ll be saying adieu to him in Boston and by that afternoon, I’ll be greeting Viktor at LaGuardia Airport for your weekend wedding festivities.

What a man doesn’t ask, a vamp doesn’t tell. After all, a vamp knows how to juggle these delicate creatures called men.

I did tell you why I finally decided to ask Viktor to be my guest at your wedding, didn’t I? Last week, I came down with the worst case of strep throat I’ve ever had. Rough and ready Viktor nursed me back to health, feeding me homemade warm borscht and tiny sips of Russian vodka.

As the warm brew slid down my sore throat, I decided that the man who comforts a vamp should be the man who holds her hand and wipes her tears during her best friend’s wedding.

Meanwhile, Perrin is pure pleasure to be with during these late summer days floating up the river toward the northwest coast of Canada. Since he’s fluent in French, he has ingratiated us to the predominantly French-speaking people, and he’s even saved us a few Loonies (the Canadian one dollar coin) in the process.

What do Celine Dion, Goldie Hawn and the Queen of England all have in common?
They all stayed at Quebec City's famous Chateau Frontenac. 
Meanwhile, back to the cruise: while I loved Montreal, my favorite city so far has been Quebec City. Founded in 1608, this city of only 500,000 boasts charming cobblestone streets, delightful shops and engaging French people. I’m certainly glad to be here in the summer, because the winter temps are incredibly cold, sometimes as cold as 30 to 40 below zero. Minneapolis is cold enough for me!

Perrin promises me that next time we come here, we’ll stay in the famous Chateau Frontenac, which offers panoramic views of the Old City and the St. Lawrence River.

Shopping along the charming Rue du Petit Champlain
But this trip was magical enough. First, he took me shopping along the charming Rue du Petit Champlain, where he picked out a luscious silk scarf hand-painted in my favorite colors of violet and raspberry at Huo Quebec.

Oh, and good thing we didn’t have to buy cigarettes here – they’re over $10 a pack. Of course, I’m the picture of elegance with my sleek black e-cigarette!

Then, he treated me to lunch at Le Clocher Penche Bistrot where we gorged ourselves on Monsignor Papabile (portobello stuffed meat), Egg Eucharist (pastry sheet covered frittata) and Body of Christ (bagel with eggs and mackerel). After lunch, he totally surprised me with a beautiful, tear-shaped ammolite necklace that glows with bright blues, greens and violets.

I learned that ammolite is even rarer than tanzanite, and that top-grade ammolite such as this could well be exhausted within the next 15 to 20 years. The gift came with a gift card that read, “Mon Amour, You are the rarest one of all.”

Now I knew I was the vampiest one of all, but it is certainly flattering to be considered the rarest one of all! Now I’m wondering that other than being truly vampy, what else makes me rare...

Flattery will get this man everywhere… well, at least to the next port of call on Prince Edward Island!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Blurred Lines and the Dance Between Men and Women

Note from Vita: Listen to “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke when reading this blog.

Yesterday morning, I was in a Zumba class, dancing my butt off to Robin Thicke’s hot new hit, "Blurred Lines."

The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl...

I realized that in a world where very little is black and white, right or wrong, there are lots of blurred lines.

Especially in the dance between men and women.

"You're far from plastic. Talk about getting blasted.
I hate those blurred lines."
For women, there are blurred lines when it comes to deciding when to first sleep with a man. After three dates? One month? Three months? Not until he proposes? After we’re married?

Of course, the man wants sleep with you right away, on the first date. He knows you want to get nasty, too. But society and the pressure to be a “good girl” has taught us not to give it up on the first date.

It’s our one negotiating chip, our ace in the hole. We can wield our power with men, because they are simple dogs in the hunt, while we are the wily foxes. (Remember: we can't be a wily fox if we're smoking and drinking too much, because we risk losing control.) 

For many women, there’s another blurred line: trying to choose between good guys who want to domesticate them, and bad boys who will “smack your ass and pull your hair.” 

"But you're an animal. It's in your nature."
A good guy may be simple, square and boring while a bad boy is exciting, mysterious, intoxicating. But he’s dangerous. Very dangerous.

Then there’s the kind you really have to watch out for: the wolf in sheep’s clothing. 

They’re the ones who talk the good guy talk (“Oh, honey, let me plant your flowerbeds”); meanwhile, they’re planting flowers in other women’s gardens.

The blurred lines are there for men, too. 

Men realize that women will hold out for the “BBD” (bigger, better deal), and so they put their best foot forward, hoping you’ll do what rhymes with hug me as soon as possible.

If you can wait at least a month, his true colors will show through soon enough. Only the most devious of men, those who are pathological cheats and liars, can keep up the ruse for a month.

The cracks will show through soon enough: he has to work late. Again. He doesn’t call you back. You find out he really IS living in his sister’s basement. He shows up in his “real” car, an old beater van, because he had to return his friend’s Porsche.

The beauty of being a vamp is that there are a few less blurred lines.

"You don't need no papers. That man is not your maker."
It’s true, I’m an animal; it’s in my very nature. Don’t try to domesticate me.

I set my rules and I stick to them. I maintain the upper hand at all times.

I don’t play games.

I simply get whomever I want, whenever I want it.

There. The line has been drawn.

I dare you to cross it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to Spot a Fake... or That's Not Love

(Note from Vita: Listen to “That's Not Love” by Keb Mo: when you read this blog.)

Several years ago, I was taken in by a tall, handsome young man, a “BMC” (big man on campus), a charming, freshman Lothario.

Already, at the tender age of 19, he had his romantic routine down.

He started by playing me his favorite love songs by the Beatles: “Love Me Do,” “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You,” “If I Fell In Love with You.”

Then, late one night, he lured me into one of the softly lit parlors in the old brick 19th century building where we were housed. He lit a couple of candles and gave me a private Tarot card reading.

Hidden in the deck but easily accessible with a sleight of hand, he pulled out the Knight of Cups card. Magically, the knight in shining armor card appeared in my reading.

Surely, this was a prophesy of what was to come! Here, in the flesh, was my knight in shining armor!

Certainly, he was the one who was destined to sweep me off my feet to a life filled with magical and wondrous surprises at every turn!

Well, there were surprises at every turn, but they weren’t wondrous.

I learned he had pulled this exact same routine on my college roommate just weeks earlier. Of course, having a healthy ego, I thought that I was different. I was prettier, I was smarter. She was just a practice round. I was the real thing.

Weeks later, he was doing a late-night Tarot card reading with another dewy-eyed, unsuspecting undergrad.

It was then that the vamp in me was born. Never again, I promised myself. Never again.

When my friend Julia told me she had met “Mr. Wonderful,” I was happy for her – but a little suspicious. How long have you known him? I asked. Have you met his friends, his family, seen where he lives, verified he has a job? Does he have a criminal record? You know – the sort of basic questions a friend would ask before giving her the thumbs up.

No, she answered, but he’s met many of my friends! And he’s so talented, plays guitar, is articulate and sensitive and he’s already invited me a concert in September! This must be love!

Slow down, I said. Tell me more. And then I get the full story. The one that reminds me of my Tarot card reading long ago.

He lures her in singing and playing guitar – a wonderful rendition of Jackson Browne’s “My Stunning Mystery Companion.”

He writes her texts only days after meeting her, calling her “sweetheart,” “darling” and “mi amor.” “I can only think of you, hearing your sweet voice and envisioning your beautiful smile! I know it’s real! XOXOXO,” he texted.

But after she was taken in, the surprises begin. First there was the night they had planned to get together, but oh, he had to work late. My poor extroverted friend who lives for going out is left in the lurch, sitting. Waiting. No calls, no texts, no “mi amor.”

The following night – a repeat scenario! And then, the following week – after promising her that last week was highly unusual, there she is again, sitting. Waiting. He finally shows up – at 11:45 p.m. I can think of no other name for that except booty call.

But the next night – Friday night! Tonight will be different! She’s all excited, gets all dolled up and is anticipating a fun evening out. At the 9th hour, she gets another text. He has to work late. Again. The following day, she tries to call him. No answer. No call back. No "darling" or "sweetheart."

That night, she went to the concert they had bought tickets for alone.

Stood up. Times five. She finally got the message. And it didn’t have “XOXOXO” at the end of it.

He’s now playing “My Stunning Mystery Companion” to another woman. I can hear it now, off in the distance.

And my college Lothario is probably doing a Tarot card reading for another woman somewhere.

So how do you spot a fake?

By the fact that he has a romantic routine. And he's got it down pat.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Breaking Up is Hard to Do... But It's Easier When You’re a Vamp

(Note from Vita: Listen to Paul Simon, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" when reading this blog.)

Paul Simon underestimated the number of ways to leave your lover. I can think of lots more than 50 ways to get yourself free.

Of course, I’m a vamp, and leaving your lovers behind begging for more is one thing I do extremely well.

Breaking up is hard to do. Even a vamp has feelings. I feel sorry for my jilted lovers. 
Like Paul suggests, I’ve slipped out the back, made a new plan, hopped on the bus, and dropped off the keys -- all without discussing much. And being coy definitely isn't my style.

I’ve also changed locks, phone numbers, hair color and even cars to avoid being stalked by my jilted lovers.

I love donating to Goodwill. My ex-lovers' shirts, that is.
I’ve sent all manner of stuff back to the fresh ex, from sunglasses to shirts to bedroom slippers – that is, when he was still in my good graces.

When he’s not, anything he was sophomoric enough to leave behind I'll just sell at my favorite consignment shop or drop off at the local Goodwill.

Just last week, I made a pretty penny from a Hugo Boss suit that an ill-fated lover left behind. I went out and bought a pair of vampy purple shoes and treated myself to a nice juicy steak at Morton's.

The problem isn’t figuring out how to leave your lover, but when to do the dirty deed.

I’ve heard of the seven-year itch, but I’ve split that in half to 3 1/2. Weeks, that is. My lovers tend to last around 3 1/2 weeks.

That’s at the point when I get bored and they start to get clingy.

Men who are clingy are like those frogs with suction cup toes. I hate the sound it makes when you un-suction their fingers from you.

A man who’s pompous and all style but no substance doesn’t stand a chance with me. I need a man with some serious substance. I can teach him style.

A man with a gifted tongue has a better chance of sticking around a little longer. And I don’t mean a man who’s a big talker, if you get my drift.

Of course, I give all of my rejected lovers a second chance.

I see how well they perform doing yard work!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Do Vamps Fall in Love?

(Note from Vita: Listen to "Love Reign O'er Me" by The Who when you read this blog.)

As the vampiest woman in the world, I often get asked: Do I ever fall in love?

I’ll tell you later on, but first, let me tell a little story. It all started when I was 17, just days before commencing my senior year in high school at an exclusive boarding school for girls in a little town in upstate New York.

I went to a street festival with my good friend (who has since become a psychic in San Francisco). It was one of those gorgeous late summer days: warm and sunny, but turning a little chilly at night. We watched the sunset from the memorial stone steps leading from downtown up to a well-known university that was also in town.

Along came two young men, both fresh-faced freshman at the university. To make a long story short, we hung out all evening together, eventually going to hear some music.

Mik (short for Mikhail) and I quickly paired up and we held hands, danced the night away and kissed at the end of a magical evening.

I fell in love for the first time that night. And I’ve fallen in love several times since then.

In fact, I’ve fallen in love with falling in love. When the magic is there, the moon is full, the music moves me and the chemistry is right, I fall in love.

Since then, I’ve learned to recognize the difference between falling in love with a man and falling in love with love. Sometimes the chemistry takes over but it's always wise to do your due diligence. Vetting a man takes time, because you need to look for the patterns in his behavior.

Of course, the men in my life are all forewarned. At least I'm honest and I let them know that they're messin’ with the vampiest woman in the world, a woman who knows how to play men even better than the most skilled seducer, the most dashing Don Juan, the most romantic Romeo.

Most men and women are caught in a cat and mouse game: negotiating the thorny issues of lust and love.

The huge advantage we women, and especially us vamps, have in the game of love is the fact that we hold the key. We can say yea or nay. We can tease and taunt all we want and ultimately, we get to select which man is worthy of our glorious bodies and our precious time.

I'm in love with falling in love.
But very few men have gained the key to my precious purple heart.
Only the most deserving of men can get in closer. He must be a true gentleman, someone who treats me with the respect I deserve and demand. That’s the subject of a whole other confession: how a gentleman should treat a lady, or as I like to put it: how Romeo should treat his vamp.

Anyway, back to the subject of love. While I may fall in love easily, that doesn’t mean that any old Romeo gets the real thing: my heart. Love takes time. Love requires a foundation of trust and respect. My Romeo must be patient for my love to rain down upon him.

God save the man who professes his love but forgets to show respect in all matters and at all times. There must be a lot of men like that, because there are many words to describe them: Player. Don Juan. Casanova. Lady-killer. Lothario. Seducer. Philanderer. Skirt-chaser. Wolf.

In contrast, there is only one word for a woman with the shoddy morals of these men: the “s” word. A vamp doesn’t get taken in and seduced by a man, no matter how charming a Romeo he may be.

A vamp, unlike a slut, seduces men and may even exploit them, but she plays by her rules, not his. Rules that she sets, that she lives by and that guide her in the game of love and lust.

So the final answer to your question?

Yes, absolutely, this vamp can fall in love.

But while many men have tickled my fancy, stimulated my mind and satisfied my vampiness, very few men have ever gained the key to my precious purple heart.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Musicians Make the Best Lovers (Here’s Why)

(Note from Vita: Listen to "All the Lovers by Kylie when you read this blog.)

As a classically trained musician, I’ve always been attracted to musicians. 

My lovers have included a violinist, a tympanist (those huge kettle drums), one who played Renaissance wind instruments (recorders and crumhorns), and a session guitarist who literally rocked my world. 

Lenny Kravitz. There's one HOT guitar player. 
Musicians are a whole different animal altogether. They are typically obsessed with making music. 

The expression, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” was made for musicians. You will never take first place in their world unless you can join them.

Despite the huge difference in the types of music they played, I was able to join in the musical world of every one of these talented musicians.

I accompanied the violinist on piano, ushered at the orchestra concerts where the tympanist performed, and played the alto recorder in costume at the Renaissance Festival. I co-wrote songs, sang harmony and produced concerts with the rock guitarist.

While their musical styles were all over the map, one thing they all had in common was the ability to play me.

At first, it was a flirtatious dance, similar to the dance that most men and women do, except it’s all done with music playing an essential role in our romance.

Tympani players can make your kettle drums vibrate.
Men often turn to music as a way to express their deepest emotions. For some, music may be the only way they can really express themselves. 

Men also turn to music as a way to attract female attention; think of all the teenage boys who learn guitar with the hopes that it’ll help them land a cute girl.

The first and most important step is to acknowledge the man’s musical prowess. You’re genuine when you tell him that you find his music incredibly intoxicating. 

You tell him something unique and special that you noticed about his playing, and you relate your favorite songs. You tell him you want to hear more. And more.

You tell him you could listen to him all night long.

Now it’s his turn, and he wants to know how you know so much about music and whether you also play. The dance continues both verbally as well as in the way you both move and sway in rhythm to the music playing softly in the background.

You find yourself getting drawn in closer so that you’re touching each other occasionally, and every time you touch, you feel this incredibly super-charged, kinetic energy. Your skin tingles with the excitement of what’s to come.

Later, when you’re home and you’re talking and kissing on the couch, there’s no music playing. It would be too much, too distracting. 

Sweet violinists. Is there anything more romantic?
The two of you are literally making music together. You can almost hear it in the background; you both move in perfect rhythm to the music in your heads. There’s no awkwardness as your bodies naturally flow together.

He strums you like a fine instrument, making your body sing a song like no other. 

And every time you make love, it’s to a different song; it may be a soft, gentle ballad, a raunchy rock song, or a slow bluesy number. The song is in your heads and it reflects all the feelings that are going on between the two of you at that particular stage in your relationship.

You never know what the lovemaking will be like, because musicians feel more deeply and more profoundly than most men. They’re hyper sensitive. They’re true artists.

And that’s what makes them the best lovers of them all. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summertime. . . and the Men are Easy

(Note from Vita: Listen to "Summertime" performed by Janis Joplin when reading this blog.)

It’s summer in Minnesota and that means that I’m spending much more time outside.

My duplex in south Minneapolis is a wonderful combination of city and suburb -- a little more city than suburb, because the buses and light rail can take you downtown, the Mall of America or Eat Street for some Pad Thai.

I think Rhody's are pretty sexy. . . 
But unlike NYC, Berlin, San Francisco and many other cities I’ve visited recently, there are actually front and back yards with manicured lawns right here, in the heart of the city.

In fact, my neighbors try to outdo each other with showy, flowery landscaping; with the lush lilac azaleas and rosy red rhododendrons in bloom, it’s hard to tell who’s winning.

Me, I don’t spend a lot of time in my yard, because I’m too busy working, traveling, vaping and vamping.

But I do love my lawnmower – especially when he takes his shirt off.

Karl does such a nice job of trimming the rough edges on my front yard. He even comes in handy around the house.

I love to invite him in for iced tea and a vape (he was also a smoker who made the switch). I’m in my exercise clothes and he’s bare-backed as we sit, vaping, talking, taunting and teasing each other.

Because there are no expectations, we can be brutally honest with each other about what we like and don’t like in our lovers.

Viktor can see all of this looking out the window from the other side of my duplex. I fear that this tests the limits of his patience. Sending me off to Berlin to party with Tobias was one thing, but this vamp-display right in front of him really gets his goatee.

Gabrielle Solis (Desperate Housewives) had an affair with her gardener.
I mean: can you blame her?
Funny thing is: I think Viktor is more flustered by the fact that Karl can help me in places and ways that he can’t. Some guys just want to play the hero. While Viktor is incredibly creative, always coming up with fantasy-reality scenes (fantasies we act out), he’s just not as handy with his tools as Karl.

And sometimes, a vamp needs a man with tools who knows how to use them. Someone who can be her hero with a pair of trimmers.

The summer has just begun, and it's already heating up quite nicely. . .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Can Men Be Vamps?

The definition of a vamp is a seductive woman who exploits men by use of her sexual charms. But I’ve often wondered if men can also be vamps.

After meeting Terrence’s friend Miguel in San Francisco, I’m completely convinced that men, too, can be vamps. (I stopped off in San Francisco on my way home from Berlin to celebrate with my gay friend, Terrence and spend an evening with Patrick.)

In fact, I think vampiness comes even more naturally to men. While many women are busy finding a man to feather their nest, men tend to cast about, always on the lookout for their next conquest.

Women and men use drastically different means to lure in their prey, of course.

Women use their bodies, dressing provocatively to show off our best assets: low-cut blouses that expose a bit of cleavage, tight, short skirts that hug our butts, and of course, high-heeled shoes: the vampier, the better!

Men use a whole different tack: courting women with divine dinners, hot cars, and bachelor pads designed to entice and seduce.

Now I’ve seen a lot of seductive bachelor pads in my life, but I’ve never seen anything like Miguel’s. A successful real estate mogul, Miguel owns several apartment buildings and homes in the San Francisco area, where housing prices have increased as much as 30 percent in the last couple of years. Needless to say, he’s doing quite well.

Miguel lives and parties in several houses, but none is more fascinating than his party mansion, which is 5,000 square feet of pure fun and frivolity.

Inside are 32 rooms – each designed and decorated around a different theme: the Elvis room with all the best concepts from Graceland, the I Dream of Jeannie room where you walk into Jeannie’s bottle, and the Bourbon Street room with a full sized carousel horse, Victorian wrought iron gate and a waterfall running down the wall.

The I Dream of Jeannie Room, where you walk inside Jeannie's bottle.
We danced to British invasion rock and roll (“I Saw Her Standing There,” “Bus Stop,” “You Really Got Me”) in the art deco theatre on a cushioned dance floor with two balconies.

Since Terrence was a good friend of Miguel’s, he snuck us into the secret passageways hidden in the walls and under the floors. That’s where we found the most amazing part of the house of all -- an area I’ll call his “concubine dormitory.”

On either side of the hallway were five dormitory-style rooms with a single bed, and at the end of the hall was a room with a circular red velvet couch, sheepskin rug, mood lighting and a seductive sound system.

I wondered: who stays in these rooms? They obviously succumb to Miguel's vamp-charm.

I am not just a vaping vamp;  I consider myself to the be vampiest woman of them all. But I think if we included both women and men, Miguel may just have me beat...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eine Unvergessliche Nacht in Berlin (An Unforgettable Night in Berlin)

Viktor dropped me off at the airport, and while he may say he’s a “camel,” storing up his reserves for the times when I’m gone, I could tell he was a little jealous, knowing that I would soon be partying with Tobias in Berlin.

I have my system down when it comes to international travel: I put on my Victoria’s Secret violet sweatsuit, eat a full evening meal, and then take a half an Ambien. It guarantees I’ll sleep for almost the entire flight, so I’m ready to rock ‘n roll when I land.

After a brief stop in Amsterdam (which holds painful memories of a break-up long ago), I landed in Berlin late on Friday morning.

Don't you love a man who indulges you in gifts in your favorite color?
Tobias picked me up at the airport bearing a dozen passionate purple tulips (don’t you love a man who indulges you in gifts in your favorite color?). I put on my Van Gogh Starry Night scarf around my head as he took me on a spin in his BMW convertible around this international city of 3.4 million people and the scene of one of the oldest celebrations in the world, the Karneval der Kulturen.

That afternoon, we grazed on food from all over the world and danced to the multi-cultural sounds of Berlin. The lawn in the center of the festival area was buzzing with acrobats, magicians, stilt-walkers, witches and wizards, while about 300 market stalls seduced us with fantastic culinary creations.

With nearly 800 musicians on four stages over the four-day festival, there’s something for everyone: from Reggae to the Tarantella, Flamenco to Samba.

Tobias tenderly held my hand as he led me through the rich and winding scene, a virtual treasure-trove of cultural expression with every sort of gift you could imagine.

But Tobias had already bought me a gift: an adorable Steiff bear with violet-tipped mohair and a note around its neck stating simply, “Ich bin dein… für immer” (“I am yours… for keeps”).

After a late afternoon nap, we headed out for the evening, and it’s a good thing we didn’t overdress, because Tobias led me to Berlin’s famous KitKatClub, where there’s an “undress” code. You shed most of your clothing upon entering!

I'm not sure what time we left the club. . . but we saw the sunrise the next morning.
The KitKatClub in Berlin, with its bar, lounge and throbbing discotheque makes the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis look tame in comparison. We were there until the wee hours; I’m actually not sure exactly what time, except we saw the sunrise on our way back to the hotel…

Minneapolis lit the I-35 bridge in celebration of legalizing gay marriage
It was a wild place where literally anything goes and everyone is accepted – gay, transvestite, straight, whatever. Naturally, vaping my sleek black e-cigarette was accepted there. It was a colorful and fanciful fairyland that made me feel proud to be from Minneapolis, where we just became the 12th state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage.

This was a microcosm of the world I want to live in – where everyone feels free to be who they really are – and I can be free to be my utmost vampiest!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May Day, Mother’s Day and Vamps

It’s Mother’s Day – the day when even us vamps celebrate our moms. But for me, I find myself wondering whether moms were vamps like me before they became moms. (They couldn’t be quite as vampy as me, since I’m the vampiest one of all!)

I know my mom enjoys hearing my stories (I tell her some, but not ALL of my stories...) of the fun festivals I’ve been enjoying this spring.

The MayDay Festival features 10-foot tall puppets from In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre
Here in Minneapolis, I strutted my stuff along with about 50,000 other people during the 39th Annual MayDay Parade and Festival, featuring music, masks and 10 feet tall puppets.

It was a day of celebration, campiness and craziness as the long winter in Minnesota and non-existent spring (seriously, snow in May??!) had taken its toll even on those of us with somewhat stable mental health! We all got a little crazy – even normally reserved Minnesota-Scandinavian women were getting their vamp on!

This celebration was just a taste of things to come. . . next week, I fly to Berlin for the annual Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), where I’ll be one vamp among about a million people from all over the world.

Tobias invited me to join him for this years festival, which promises more opulent costumes, imaginative masks and music and food from all over the world.

This time next week, I'll be writing from Berlin, where I'll be partying at the Karneval der Kulturen
But the best part is the after-parties. . . and there will no doubt be plenty of those where the colorful, cosmopolitan characters of Berlin will get particularly crazy, doing the wild boogey to reggae, groovin’ to rock, swinging to the blues and shimmying to samba. Me, I'll be doing all of the above, and then some...

It’s been a while since I’ve been out of town, and I’m a little worried that Viktor will get a little jealous, since he’s been my next-door man, rough and ready when I need him.

But I think he understands you just can’t take the vamp out of a vaping vamp. The vamp is here to stay. So is vaping. After all, I have a reputation to maintain!