Sweet Home Chicago

Written, edited and Presented by

Tim

Good evening,
I’m going to kick off the new month with something that’s close to our hearts over here…
Back in July this year we had the privilege of being able to spend a little time with one of the founders of the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition, Derek Lestat.

Since then the GCVC has been organising itself, and establishing itself, as an important facet of the modern Vampire culture in Chicago. Accumulating a respectable following both on-line and at its live Meet-Up events that are being held, on a regular basis, in the windy city.

We decided to catch up with the GCVC again and see what has transpired since we last highlighted this important, hometown, initiative, accordingly, it gives us great pleasure to welcome back to RVL GCVC Director Derek Lestat and to welcome, for the first time, GCVC Assistant Director Lady Kimberly.

********************

RVL: Good evening Derek, welcome back and a warm welcome to you Lady Kimberly, it’s great to be able to catch up with The GCVC again… too long between drinks eh?

K: It’s always too long between drinks, right? Really, it is great to chat with you and get out what we have been up to.

D: Especially too long between if Tim’s buying…

RVL: *laughs* In speaking with Derek, back in July, confidence was high for the new Chicago based GCVC. Can you tell our readers a little about what’s been happening – internally – with the GCVC since then?

D: Quite a lot, actually, a lot more than meets the eye or that we’re letting on about. We’ve been spending the past few months just laying the groundwork for a number of big projects that, for the moment, we’re keeping close to the vest.

RVL: …and we’ve been seeing some encouraging growth in the live Meet-Up side of the venture… how has that been shaping up?

D: It’s been shaping up quite well, actually. Thus far every Meet-Up not only brings us new faces each month, but also many returning faces.

K: I definitely have to say this is this is one of my favorite parts about being with the GCVC: getting to know everyone who comes out, whether it’s a newly awakened Vampire or someone who has been in the community for a while now. We also have our fair share of Therian and otherkin brothers and sisters who like to join us from time to time.  Everyone has a great time sharing their experiences and getting to know one and other.

Lady Kimberly
Assistant Director GCVC

RVL: Apart from the live, regular, local Meet-up events what plans are afoot, without revealing any “State Secrets” of course, for future events?

D: Without revealing any secrets, eh? Well… For one, we’re looking to amp up the Meet-Ups in a few ways. One is to continue rotating the venues across the expanse of the Chicagoland area, to cover a wider area. Let’s say you’re up on the North Side, and can’t make a Meet-Up on the South Side or the Western Burbs. Don’t worry, we’ll be rotating around to you, too. And we’re always open to more suggestions for future venues.
Also, we’re looking to swap out a few of the “regular” Meet-Ups for some “upgraded” events. Like what? Well there are so many options for a city the size of Chicago. We can visit any of the cultural institutions, take tours or day-trips. One “secret” I’ll let out of the proverbial bag for you is: we’re looking to an unprecedented GCVC Meet-Up this summer at the Bristol Renaissance Fair, where we’ll plan on hooking up with and meeting our Wisconsin brethren. We’ll be announcing the details of that this coming summer.

K: On top of everything we have going on here at home there are those of us who like to mix it up a bit. We enjoy getting out there and attending some of the events put on by other members in the VC all over the country. A few of us will be heading out in February to visit some of the amazing events out west. I think seeing how different areas operate is very beneficial. We are always looking for ways to connect with people in the community.

RVL: As far as the online contact and interaction for followers what resources are available for people to be able to keep up with the GCVC?

K: Of course, there is our Facebook page and group, both Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition.

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterChicagolandVampireCoalition/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/groups/253495805195734/?ref=bookmarks

We also have our Chicago Vampire Meet Up page https://www.meetup.com/vampires-21/. You can email us directly at GCVC.Chicago@gmail.com.

Derek Lestat –
Director GCVC

D: We’re looking into other social media options, as well. If you’re fortunate enough to have friended us on Facebook, you can always message us either via the page, group, or individually.

RVL: …and are there any planned developments in this area? New website perhaps? A blog edition?

K: We are currently in the process of developing a website. So be on the lookout for that.

RVL: Anything big planned for the Yule season or is it better a case of steady as she goes and look ahead to spring 2019?

D: Aside from our Meet-Up in early December, we’re taking a little time for ourselves and everyone else to just enjoy the holidays. Everyone will have their get-togethers and obligations, and in addition to that our Council will have a big and busy 2019 to prepare for.


RVL: Is the GCVC planning a group set-up specifically for ‘Greater Chicago Area’ vamps to join or is the focus going to be on getting Chicagoland followers to the live Meet-Ups a preference?

D: First things first. With what we have in mind, we’re not taking things too fast. First, we want to get our name out there, get people (vampires, therians, Otherkin, any “Night-kind”, even Mundanes; we’re not about excluding) together, start making new friendships. We want to show everyone what we have to offer, give them a taste of what’s to come, and work on growing from there.

K: I agree with Derek. I think we have a pretty good idea of what we want to be. However, as we grow there is always a possibility that things may shift to fit the needs of whoever comes our way. I think our number one goal is to make sure that everyone who reaches out gets what they need out of their time with us (within reason). There are many possibilities that fall in line with that kind of thinking. Any organization that wants to succeed needs to be flexible. It needs to be able to configure itself to fit the needs of those they are serving to move forward. It’s a big undertaking in a big city but we are willing to take a shot at it.

D: What she said.

RVL: …again, without ‘spilling the beans’, what other little projects do the GCVC have in the offing?

D: It’s probably safest to say that we’re looking to turn up our volume in 2019, start making some more noticeable noise. We aim to start going beyond only Meet-Ups.

RVL: …maybe a national invitational event in the not too distant future?

D: Well, there is the big Elders Summit and Leadership Conference coming up next spring. It’s open to anyone, well, except for the part that’s for VC Elders and Leaders only. This is bound to be an historic gathering in the VC, and the GCVC is honoured to be one of the first groups to be included and sponsoring the event.

K: I am really looking forward to the conference. I always welcome an opportunity to learn. It sounds like there are going to be some really great things happening there.

Copyright GCVC 2018

RVL: Sounds like the GCVC has carved out a solid little place for itself in the Windy City, we would think this bodes well for the future of Chicago nightkind yes?

D: I think it bodes quite well for the Nightkind of our beloved City. For far, far too long, there has really been no representative presence, nothing and no one for the Newly Awakened to find, nobody to help them understand what they’re going through, that they’re not alone or freaks.
In all honesty, at every Meet-Up to-date, there is always somebody who tells me they’re glad they’ve found us, that they’re happy we’re here for them, that we are operating the way we are. I’m always happy to hear feedback like that, y’know? It tells me we’re doing something right.

K: Absolutely, its amazing how fast people are finding us and just how excited they are to be around others like themselves. Bonds are being forged and people are really wanting to come and see what Chicago has to offer.

RVL: Thank you for your time today, and for the update on the GCVC, we’ll keep in touch and let’s look for bigger and better things heading into 2019, yes?

D: It’s always a pleasure. And thanks to RVL for giving us this opportunity to let the Community know more about the GCVC.

K: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. We are excited to let you know where things go in the future.

*********

Pretty much everyone active in the modern culture in this country will be aware that, historically, Chicago has been rather “quiet” when it comes to an active enclave of modern living Vampires… not anymore.

This dynamic duo, full of energy, enthusiasm and ideas are drawing Chicagoland’s Nightkind together in an unprecedented way, they’ve started small, at grass roots, at “street” level if you will and it’s coming together. Interest has been high in this venture and now, with the live meet ups happening on a regular basis the nights, in Chicagoland, are seeing the ripples and shimmers in the darkness and shadows.

Chicagoland should be proud of these two pioneers, and Chicago Nightkind should get behind their new champions.

It’s going to be very exciting watching this initiative grow.

Copyright Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition & RVL (unless otherwise noted) 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL International, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL International and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL International Website Disclaimer

 

…in old Chicago town

Photo of Chicago at night (2012) by velgos.com

Written and presented by

Tim

Many of you who follow RVL will be well aware of the problems that the Vampire, Therian and Otherkin communities in and around Chicago have been dealing with most recently, problems that were highlighted in our reports “A flamin’ good flipper & A new dance in Chicago” and the subsequent VVC issued Global Community Warning which ultimately led to the issuing of a declaration of persona non grata .

In the wake of those developments a new initiative was born in the windy city, an organisation that aims to bring a hitherto unseen, and unrealised, joint communities effort to ensure that Chicago is a haven for nightkind from all paths.

The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition is aimed at drawing together the independents, houses and groups that have long existed in the area but have, historically, eschewed formal organisation.

As a committed supporter of the initiative we thought we would get the lowdown on the new body which held its first, official, meeting on the evening of April 29th.

It gives us the greatest pleasure to welcome to RVL this evening GCVC Co-founder and CEO Derek Lestat

img. courtesy of: the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition

——————————————————————————————————————–

RVL: Good evening and thank you very much for joining us today.

DL: Thank you for this opportunity.

RVL: The first question, I guess, would have to be why? Why after so many years of small, secluded, underground groups and meetups, was it see as necessary to bring everyone together under the Coalition?

DL: Because small and secluded little groups appear to be going nowhere fast; it’s stagnation. Think of this from the point of view of someone Newly Awakened. You’re going to look for something or someone where you can learn more about yourself, find others like yourself. Sure, there may be something “out there”, but it’s so far underground that you can’t find it, if it’s even there at all. Or it could be not what you’re looking for at all, maybe even something potentially dangerous.
We are coming together as a resource for those Newly Awakeneds who can’t find what they’re searching for. We’re here for the Elders, the so-called Ronin Vampires. We’re here to unite Chicago’s Vampire Community, and to place Chicago where we belong on the map right alongside New Orleans, Houston, Georgia, and all of the rest.

RVL: …and how long have you, personally, been a part of the modern Vampire culture?

DL: About two decades, Awakened. Prior to that, I couldn’t even say.

RVL: What’s the main aim of the Coalition at this point?

DL: Bringing together the Vampires of Chicago, the stragglers, the Newbies, the Meet-Up groups, the Ronin, anyone who has already worked at establishing something, they can all find unity with us.

We aim to unify Chicago, and to cast us in a positive public image.

We want to bring everyone together under one banner of legitimacy, to be a mentoring resource to those who need it; in unity there is strength.

RVL: …and how many groups or organisations, aside from us at RVL, are represented in the coalition at this time?

DL: Chicago is representing ourselves. We are autonomous. We are, however, affiliating with a significant number of the major Houses and Clans, such as those from Houston, Georgia, New Orleans, New Jersey, upstate New York, Alberta CA, with more coming. Right now we’re building our own base for the City and suburbs, and from there we aim to expand to include neighbouring states in the Midwest and around Lake Michigan area.

img. source: https://shop.teacherheaven.com/

RVL: Operationally, how will the coalition work? Will it be, for instance, somewhat along the model of the renowned Dark Nations or do you see a different operational method?

DL: We are currently still forming our structure. We have our core assembled, our Council of Five. As we grow, we’ll be delegating more positions within our group.

In-person Meet-Ups will play an important part. The act of simply getting together in person, meeting up and talking, getting to know one another, that will go a long way in growing this group into something substantial.

RVL: Would it be fair to say then, that each group, House or Order represented will have a say, or a “voting” right in the organisation?

DL: Of course. We’re not a medieval feudal system or political body. Everyone has opinions and points of view, and all are valid and should be voiced.

RVL: Traditionally the Vampire communities of Chicago have been reticent to come out, do you think that this coalition will change that?

DL: Realistically speaking, I think it will for some. Others, well, some will likely wish to remain shadowed by their own choice. The invitation is out there regardless.

Dan Aykroyd, Ray Charles and John Belushi in the 1980 Universal Pictures hit, “The Blues Brothers”

RVL: …and if we might go all “crystal ball” for a moment, what do you envision, down the road, for the Coalition as far as activities and community involvement might go?

DL: I’m envisioning quite a lot. If we go by the examples preceding us, we can have opportunities to give to the secular community. We can organize drives to feed and clothe the homeless. We can host events, including Halloween parties, fundraisers, perhaps even conventions and balls; there shouldn’t be any limits on what we can accomplish. Not to mention events already established within the City that we can participate in, make our presence known, and bolster our public image.
The possibilities are endless.

RVL: Was there an actual inspiration for the Coalition or is this something that you think there has been a need for here for a long time?

DL: There has long been a need for this. For decades, whatever “scene” there has been in Chicago has either been so far underground as to be virtually undetectable, or it’s been non-existent. This creates a vacuum. And as we all know, Nature abhors a vacuum.

As many are aware, someone else thought they could come in unwanted and dictate to us what’s what. Although mercifully short-lived, this so-called “court” was not organized, and apparently set up as an exercise in spite. This is not what Chicago and the Vampire Community needs. We aim to fill this vacuum, and prevent any such future occurrences.

There are also, of course, individuals and groups that represent themselves as “vampires”, and really have nothing to do with the Real Vampire Community. Sometimes this can present a danger to those seeking something different than what those groups/individuals are offering. This can be anything from simply being misleading to outright dangerous. Our aim to establish legitimacy for Chicago’s various vampire organizations should help to differentiate the honest-to-goodness real vampires and affiliates from those who could be potentially harmful, especially to the youth.

 

RVL: There has been a lot of growth around the concept of unity in the culture over the last couple of years, did this have any bearing on the developmental stages of the Coalition concept?

DL: Right now, our aim is to unify Chicago first, to take care of our own backyard, so to speak. After that then we can shift our focus to the greater Community. “Walk before you run”, so to speak.

RVL: …and of course, not too long ago we saw the arrival, suddenly, in Chicago of a Vampire court which is now defunct… what’s your feeling about the concept of unity in the modern culture?

DL: Myself, personally, I think total Unity for the VC is, of course, not a bad idea, but the logistics would be a nightmare. The main thing, I think, would be trying to work every diverse group under the same banner while maintaining their own individuality and belief systems; not every group in the VC holds to the same definitions or hierarchies, for example, or sometimes what even constitutes a “vampire”. And let’s not even touch on the easily-bruised egos within the Community. Plus, there will always be the “scoundrels” or the “trouble-makers” who pop up. That can cause division from within such a unified structure, as some will say to shun them, others will say they have no personal beef with them, while still others won’t give a damn either way.
Not that it isn’t a noble and worthwhile venture, but if it was so easily workable, would it not have been achieved by now?

RVL: …but are we going to see, in your opinion, a “court” or “king/queen” emerge from the coalition?

DL: In the GCVC, no. We’re not a Court, a Clan, a Coven, or a House. We’re not a monarchy, feudal or political system. We’re a gathering of like-minded individuals.
Yes, leadership is a necessity, but we’re not looking to be a “my way or the highway” organization. Everyone has a valid voice, opinion, and point of view, and all are of equal importance. Should something arise that’s in need of a decision or a vote, we’ve founded our Council of Five. This consists of an odd number so as to avoid any chance of a tie vote, and we’ve arrived at a count of five rather than three because five offers a greater range of viewpoints without being overwhelming.

img. source: https://warwickhotels.com/

RVL: So, what would you like to say to any folks in Chicagoland that may be reading this and are keeping themselves out of the “run-of-the-mill” communities?

DL: Without trying to sound overly cliché: “Come out, come out, wherever you are”.
No, seriously, do come out. Make yourselves known to us. Introduce yourselves to us. We can’t really go stalking around the City and Suburbs carrying membership pamphlets, looking for you. If you’re able to pick up Chicago-based radio stations in your car, contact us. We have a Facebook page and a Facebook group , and email contact can be sent to gcvc.chicago@gmail.com. We plan to have more presence on social media as we go along. In fact, we are interested in others within the Chicago Communities who would wish to join us in filling various positions within the Coalition. The more we grow, the better we’ll be able to serve the Community.

RVL: Thank you very much, Derek, for the insight into this important move today, we are sure that it is both a much needed and very welcome infusion for Chicagoland Nightkind, and thank you for giving us a little of your time to introduce The Coalition.

DL: Thank you for this opportunity, and I hope as the GCVC grows, that this won’t be our last interview together.

 

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Chicago, indeed Illinois, it must be said, has never really been a renowned centre of modern Vampire activity or presence even though it is (as of 2017) the 3rd largest city by population in the United States [1] we may wonder why? We may have our own theories as to why but the fact is that now there is a hub, a growing hub, which has received a great response from across the board.

The focus of the Coalition is, naturally, to work within the greater Chicagoland area but in doing so, as our guest said, to forge links with bodies across the country. Naturally this will bring Chicago “online” in the modern real Vampire culture in a way that it has never been before. It’s a very exciting time in The Windy City and it’s only going to get better as the GCVC grows.

 

Copyright RVL & The GCVC 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

Over the hump…

img. source: Wallpaper Abyss/ Alpha Coders

Created, Written, Edited, Trashed & Presented by

Tim

HEY…!!! Whoa…!!! Can you believe it’s gone past “Hump Day” again… seems like we’ll be getting ready for Christmas 2018 if we don’t watch out. Speaking of which, our neck of the woods, over the last few days, we’ve gone from somewhere around 48 to 88 on the OMG… is that heat? index…and now we’ve got thundery showers and 80% humidity… HELL-OHHHH, what happened to “time to acclimatise?”

But hey, “–it happens yeah?”, like th’ man said…

Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey in “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, 1996.
Forge & New Line Cinema
in assoc. with The Steve Tisch Company.

Yeah, so, I was thinking the other week, while I was writing up a l’il something for Lady Sylvere’s Grumpy Vamp’s Guide to the GVC, wouldn’t it be a hoot if we painted a target on our back and invited people to throw questions at us? Yep, probably the craziest idea in a long line of crazy ideas by Moi…

I figured that with around 4,000 site visits last month, over 1200 Twitterers following us and visits to our Facebook portal there must be some folks out there who have questions about what we do, how we do it and, more importantly, why. So, I’m going to preempt the first, most obvious question that people would probably throw at me, as the Editor-in-Chief, and it comes from Seymour Butz in Soggy Bottom Holler, Seymour would like to know…

img. source: Redneck Romance Writer on WordPress

Welllll… for the answer to that we’d have to go back to the early sixties in working class England…

So, with that one out of the way I would like to invite 10 people, first come first served, to send us answers to these…

  • If you could ask the Editor-in-Chief 1 question what would it be? (Be as forthcoming, straight shooting, intelligent, mildly obstreperous even lightly (intelligently) confrontational if you like)

and, tell us, if you would be so kind, What do you think of RVL E-Zine overall?

Send your entries to our email at giltine51@gmail.com,
send me a Facebook PM (it’ll go to my ‘Other’ folder) at https://www.facebook.com/CaptainNorthstar or,
alternatively, send a message through our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RealVampireLife/

img. source: pnd.typepad.com

 

So, apart from crazy, where are we going today? Been thinking just lately, about history and about origins and about where things come from and I’ve decided we’re gonna have a bit of a time warp… NO, not more of the sublime “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, go to your movie channel or rent the DVD… but, ummm, a bit of this…

Yup, going to throw a bit of Australiana at you today…

What’s news this last week… or so…

Well, one thing we have to report is that technical difficulties will prevent us from bringing you the second part of an interview we ran at the end of March, “Interview with The Goddess” – things change and “–it happens” yah?

However, in some sparkly good news we have become entangled with a new organisation in our very own, beloved, “Windy” City – now, I gotta explain something here… it’s a question that comes up frequently… The “Windy” City, Chicago, has nothing to do with those howling Canadian Nor-Westers that we get, it’s the politics, the politics in Illinois are definitely blow-hard… in fact, I was watching the last Governor Election debate on television, for about 1.5 minutes and the three candidates were yelling over each other simultaneously while the debate master was yelling for order and “one at a time please”… couldn’t make out a darn word…!!! Sooooo glad I don’t have to vote for one of the apes…

Hmmmm… reminds me of some other folks I know…

Alright, I digress, sorry…

img. courtesy of: The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition

The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition has opened it’s doors. Yes – RVL is fully and wholeheartedly supporting the Coalition, yes – the inaugural meeting of the founding members (charter members) was held remotely this past weekend. Yes, they have a website/group which is growing rapidly, even as we speak. I’m not going to let any cats out of bags except to say that we have put forward an invitation to the organisation to give us the lowdown on what’s goin’ down in Windy Town…

…anybody from Australia can tell you about this fella, and the band Cold Chisel… iconic in Australia, always find a song or two played at weddings, it’s mandatory at parties and pretty much mandatory that every red-blooded Aussie knows ALL the lyrics – and if you ever saw him live (raises hand – multiple times) you would really know what ‘goose bumps’ are… seriously…!!!

Incidentally, the guitarist in the blue shirt is Jimmy’s brother in law who goes by the stage name “Diesel”… so, if ya go see Jimmy you actually get two for the price of one…

img. source: Map Collection – WordPress.com

Back in the day… what a curious phrase, don’t you think? Well, back in someday past we used to hang out at the Uni Bars, and in the early part of their career these guys were regularly on the rounds…

Now, I got an invite and picked up on a developing trend this last week… anybody heard about Discord?

I got invited to a “channel” and I thought I’d take a peek. In essence the ‘Discord’ is similar to the older IRC Channels, it provides real-time online chat and from what I can see was primarily designed for gamers to natter back and forth while playing computer games… a social hub, so to speak. Like all things these days, however, it is readily adaptable to all sorts of fun shenanigans.

Privacy looks good, you have the capability of choosing who you want to be connected to, you can make a “friend list” if you want, you can upload links to favourite stuff and all the usual. The only drawback that I can see at this present time is “time zones” and schedules… trying to get to be there when your peeps are is somewhat problematic but no more so than any other place and you can leave messages for folks anyway.

Like I said, it looks fun and can be adapted to be useful in a variety of ways and its biggest hook? It’s free.

img. source: adapted from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”
R.I.P. R. Lee Ermey

Here’s another song that you may have heard from the “old country”…

Some of you might even empathise with the lyrical content…!!!

…and with that I’m going to wander off and think up some more crazy stuff… coz that’s one of the things I do ’round here… much to Lady M’s frustration sometimes I think…

img. source: domica.info

 

Leaving ya with this one… when folks think of Australia they think of Koala’s (They’re not bears btw, they’re marsupials) Possums and Kangaroos… oh, and Great White Sharks… but they also think of beaches and surfing an’ stuff…

Back from 1978… it’s Radio Birdman…

img. source: Radio Birdman/ YouTube

Aloha Steve and Danno

 

ALOHA dudes and dudettes…!!!

Copyright T & RVL (unless otherwise noted) 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer