Dear Teacher: End of the year letters to high school teachers

shell

Dear Mr. M,

My son will be starting college in the fall as an Environmental Science Major with a Minor in Art. Over the past 2 years you’ve shown him the connection between the world of science and that of art. Not just that, you’ve also shown him that through science and humanity all things are possible, all things inspire, all things are important – as long as it is based on truth and knowledge and understanding. You showed your students that being curious is a good thing. You opened up worlds full of possibilities mixed in with those cold hard facts and formulas that they must learn (or else.) You’ve made a difference, not just for my son but for hundreds of teens. They will change the world – and that is a good thing. Thank you.

 

keep-calm-we-re-teens-3

 

Dear Ms K,

All year long I had to hear my daughter complain about you and about your class. Every evening she would describe the Bedlam type conditions in a room full of insane psychopaths and deviants and sex fiends. And there you were trying to be warden for these kids. Yes, there were a handful who wanted to be there and wanted to learn. Their grades might not reflect the fact that they did learn. At the same time my daughter was complaining about you and your curriculum she was also bringing up topics for discussion such as the comparison of presidential speeches or mythology or poetry. She talked about the books she claimed to hate reading (you have very different tastes.) The more she talked about you the more I told her that you were an amazing woman for teaching that class full of horrible monsters every single day. And you got through to kids. They don’t know that yet.

One of my most popular blog posts was written about you. It was called Thank You For Pissing Off My Teenage Daughter. I could have emailed it to you but I thought it was better not to. You might have taken it the wrong way. But that said, thank you for staying in the battle and for educating your students – even the monsters.

Also, please don’t edit this letter. I know it is making you hurt due to my fast writing and lack of correct grammar today. I know I have no excuse. Just thanks for sticking in there for the kids who want to learn. Thanks for trying to get through to the kids who don’t want to learn. That is all.

 

Everyone needs to get along!

Dear Mr S,

Thank you for taking over from a marginal strung out teacher mid semester and taking over another out of control class full of rude young people. My daughter thanks you too. You told the sexist kids to shut the F up and you tried to keep control in the class. I swear I don’t know why you teachers are put in such a battle zone. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you’ve done an amazing job. I told the principal that she needs to hire you on perminately. She’d be a fool not to.

books

 

Dear Ms A,

My children have not only learned another language from you – they’ve learned another culture and a new view of the world. Thank you for bringing Spanish alive for them. Thank you for making the class more than memorizing. Thank you for making a different kind of grammar interesting. They don’t just know a different language, they know that despite the language that we’re not that different from each other.

 

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Dear Mr. J,

My child hates math. But she likes you and has requested to have you as a teacher for math next year. She said you’re the best teacher according to the students her age. She hated you at first but then she realized that she really just hated math. I appreciate the communication and resources you’ve shared with the students and teachers. The fact that my otherwise A student didn’t fail your class is a good thing. Maybe next year she’ll shine. Just a note: Some kids need a little extra coaching from the teacher because they never “get it”. Hint hint.

 

hipster+cat

 

Dear Mr. G,

The Night Coach post is not about you. In all seriousness the kids adore you. Good job. You’ve gotten them up off of their butts and maybe helped build some life long fitness habits.

 

High School Coach thinks he is going to score with a Vampire mom only to find himself in a passion that is off the score charts!

High School Coach thinks he is going to score with a Vampire mom only to find himself in a passion that is off the score charts!

 

Wishing you all a wonderful summer and many thanks. You are appreciated.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

flying pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superstition Personified…And do you think the good looking guy in the bedroom would be a good Vampire?

 

Was human life as precious in the dark recesses of the past as it is now?

When we dwelt in rude huts and lacked the learning we have now was it less precious? When people were more or less owned by others…

Is it precious now? To some it is, to others depending on various factors it isn’t. Try explaining that to your kids. Try explaining anything the human race does to your kids… go ahead, I dare you. I do it all the time. No problem.

When you spend a century being a superstition personified you tend to see the world in both extremely harsh light and in the faint glow of hope.

My Great Great Great Grandmama Lola once said, “Stop thinking about everything so much Juliette.”

But my brain will not stop the way I can make my heart stop.

And speaking of hearts stopping… One of the most frequent questions I get about this blog (not to mention search terms) is: How do you convert someone into a Vampire? Or variations on that theme.

Lola has turned a great many people into Vampires over the centuries. Like everyone in our family she is quite skilled at it. I also have a natural talent for it. It is a matter of knowing who to turn and who not to turn. Unfortunately many Vampires aren’t as choosy or skilled as we are. That results in, well, bad results. Very bad results.

Anyway, Lola will turn 671 this year (or 1071 depending on who you talk to.) She is old even for a Vampire.

I never know if Lola is telling the truth or not. We’re beyond even caring or trying to figure it out. My children adore her.

At least she sticks with her stories unlike other life long liars who twist and turn the facts and fictitious facts to suit whatever situation they are in at any given moment.

I suspect that every boy I knew growing up, except my brothers (she is after all their Grandmamma), and including my husband, had a crush on her.

Last night it seemed like summer – the heat has already come our way and bats were fluttering around the porch of her cottage. The subject of strange people we’d met came up and we sat giggling like teenagers as we traded our stories.

Lola closed her eyes in the warm breeze then said to me, “Last year I was out walking in the woods one night a few years ago with a young man I’d seduced when we came upon some crazy people standing naked around a bonfire. They were celebrating Summer Solstice. My companion wanted to join them but I held him back chiding him for his stupidity. Honestly what is wrong with people?”

“What did you do?” I had to ask.

She shrugged. “I called the police. They were on private property without permission or a fire permit.”

Next she drained a couple of pints of blood out of her companion and dumped him at the doors of a fire station. He never remembered a thing. Lola is like that. She is unsentimental about her prey. She never harms them but unless it is someone she wishes to keep around she’ll never treat them as if they are special. You’re rarely special in Lola’s universe unless you’re a Vampire.

Of course there have been exceptions over the years but she tends to save her heart for those who aren’t looking to kill her for a second or third time.

“You’re a peculiar little creature,” she always says to me. Then she gives me a fanged smile and tells me to lighten up or to get more serious or to visit her more or something.

Over the years I’ve learned much from Lola. I hope that maybe, just maybe, that she might learn a few things from me, at least about the current century.

She sat across from me in a large lounge chair with elaborately carved griffins on the arms. Her wearing a short black dress and dark gray leggings, she tucked one leg underneath her and stretched the other one out with perfectly manicured silver toe nails shining in the dark. Her dark curls were piled on her head and held with a Sharpie. Her pet armadillo is curled up in a flannel lined box under her chair.

I heard a slight sound of someone moving inside.

That would be Sean. I had him for dinner,” she said.

Right, Sean. He works for the Federal Government and visits her every so often. The both get something out of the deal. I’m waiting for him to fall in love with her, or for her to turn him into a Vampire. But realistically, I don’t think either of those things will happen. Sean is handsome in that sun kissed blonde highlighted California-boy-next-door way. I like Sean.

Lola looks at me and says, “Have either one of your children converted a regular person into a Vampire yet?”

I forgot about Sean and almost spit out my wine. “Excuse me? Of course not. They’re teenagers.”

“Have you trained them yet?”

“No. I haven’t turned anyone in at least thirty-five years.”

“It is time they learn…”

“I don’t even let them drink alcohol, blood from live people, or have sex in my house. I’m sure not going to be encouraging them to turn people into Vampires.”

“Juliette you are too protective…”

“Lola, this isn’t the 12th Century.”

“I was thinking of Sean. I’m quite fond of him and he’d be perfect. He’s an only child with deceased parents, 36 years old with no marriages or children. He has been engaged twice but it never worked out. Nobody would miss him, at least not like parents or a spouse would. Nobody would notice. Besides, he could keep his job until everyone started to notice he wasn’t aging.”

“He might not survive.”

“I’ve checked him out both mind and body. The odds are better than usual.”

We heard a click of a door. “Odds are better than what?” There stood Sean, brushing the blonde hair off of his forehead with his fingers, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and six-pack abs. No wonder Lola liked to have him around.

“California Chrome,” I said. “Local horse does good.”

He pulled a tee-shirt over his head and joined us on the porch. Lola and I kept giving each other “looks” until we were both laughing. Sean was pretty relaxed about it all. Of course he didn’t know he was sitting between two Vampires.

And that was it. Nothing more to that story for right now. It isn’t like the movies where we go around biting people and tearing out throats and converting everyone we meet into Vampires. It just doesn’t happen that way. You’d hear about it. I’ve written about this before (click here for that.)

I know you’re all expecting me to wrap this up in a nice neat little package with some sort of moral ending. Hmmmm. It does have one. Your children don’t need to rush into anything – not alcohol or sex or relationships or converting people into Vampires. You DO need to teach them to be smart and live with their eyes open (put a rush on that one.) You need to teach them to love and respect others and to respect themselves.

And you need to teach them to watch out for ancient Vampires. They’re fun but don’t believe a word they say. Believe me on that one.

By the way, I did talk to Sean for a while before I left. He is smart and funny. Maybe he would make a good Vampire. That would be up to him, but considering he doesn’t even know Vampires really exist, time will tell.

Have a good weekend everyone. I’ll have more stuff for you later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Lola

Lola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATG and Cocktails is Back. Summer has officially started!

When we’re not discussing 18th Century political philosophy and obscure South American literary figures …

Summer is almost here which means the annual Vampire Maman’s Cocktails and Amarica’s Got Talent Night Blog Posts! Woo Hoo! This is our third year posting about this silly show.

For those of you who don’t know, here are the facts:

1. AGT stands for America’s Got Talent

2. It is only on in the summer season on NBC.

3. It is the only “Talent” show we watch. We don’t keep up with The Voice, Dancing with Stars or whatever.

4. Unlike other shows ATG is open to all ages and all kinds of talent. It ranges from singers to dog acts to artists, to acrobats, to inbread families on unicycles to stand-up comedians, to magicians, to dancers, to weird things we’ve never even imagined.

5. Audtions take place in cities all over the country.

6. The 4 judges pick who will make the finals and it goes from there. Nick, Howard, Howie, Heidi and Mel are all back. Look them up on NBC.com.

7. Eventually YOU the audience gets to pick by voting online or various other ways. That is always fun.

8. Then you read this blog for my extremely opinionated views, and those of my family and friends, of the acts. We also comment on the judges etc etc etc. We tend not to like snotty kids, people who dislocate their joints, large creepy squeaky clean family acts or that family of dancers from somewhere in the Southwest who come back each year to exploit their own children. We don’t like male pole dancers who show off their crotches while wearing high heels. But we do like men who rock the costumes (we loved Prince Poppycock a few years back.) We also do not like breathy female singers and we’re getting tired of male opera singers with sad stories about how their families hate them. So on with the show.

9. There are no Vampires on the show because we’d obviously win. We never want to give an unfair advantage.

My husband Teddy hates the show but he’ll watch it with us just to tell us that it sucks. Then he gets sucked in. But in the meantime he fixes cocktails.

So that is it in a nutcase, I mean nut shell.

It is fun, despite my snarky descriptions. It makes us happy when we can all pile up on the couch together and just have fun together.

All of that said LAST NIGHT – the FIRST night for this season of AGT was exceptionally FUN. There were so many super good acts. And there was a singer with a good story. He was the last. He was 18. He was good. He was there with his mom. He’d been a foster kid and his parents had adopted him and his sister. How cool is that!!!! Also shown were several fun comedians, a pair of exceptionally lovely female (very hip and stylish gals) opera singers, ballet dancers, acrobats and all sorts of fun. Unusual stuff too like the 91 year old strong man who pulled a car full of people (including his lady friend) with his teeth. Yes, he pulled it with his teeth. He was so cute.

It looks like it will be a fun summer for AGT.

Oh right, cocktails.

Teddy’s Skinny Summer Blast

Fill a highball glass with ice. Fill it 1/4 full with gin, 1/4 full with sugar free strawberry lemonade and fill it to the top with diet tonic water.

So whatever you do in this hot weather have fun, don’t start any fires and remember your hats and sunscreen!

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Cheers!

 

 

Children of Men. Images of the Past.

vm steampunk girls

They dressed them up in boots and buttons.

vmboredgirl

Teenage days wondering if things would ever become less boring.

vm white trim

A beautiful gown of silk and lace. A chance to dance with a handsome stranger.

vm 3 sisters

We were smart girls. No fools to be trifled with.

vm lovely girl

We were fine. We were fierce. We were the ones who might change the world.

vm charming

I knew where Tesla hid his death ray and I never told a living soul.

vm man of the future

I am the man of the future.

vm little lord

I am a man of style and class. The ladies are in the palm of my hand.

vm three siblings

There is more to us than you can see from this image.

vm darling girl

And we are not amused.

 

 

 

Photos from the collection of Juliette Kings. Taken from my not-so-smart-phone. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Short Story Sunday: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Sharp pain then exquisite pleasure unlike anything he’d every imagined. Teeth sinking into his neck, the idea so repulsive, as to make him jerk away, but he welcomed her fangs, her lips her mind on his mind, her heart on his… her cold unbeating heart on his going so fast he thought it would burst out of his chest.

Then he woke in a cold sweat.

“I have a date with a Vampire,” he said aloud as he stared up at the ceiling in his bedroom. The clock said 2:49 am. She’d be wide awake. Their date was for 8:00 pm the next evening, at dusk. Maybe he’d surprise her and show up early.

Then again surprising a vampire wasn’t always a good idea. As a Vampire Hunter Austin had learned how temperamental and jumpy the creatures could get.

With his gun in a holster under his jacket and a knife strapped to his leg he drove to the house of the vampire. She was his vampire. He smiled at the thought.

Elizabeth wasn’t like the musty creepy creatures he found in the basements and attics of the old buildings he restored. She was alive and living in the real world – his world. Smart, stylish and successful is how he’d describe her – almost charming and quaint in her quiet way. Yes, there was still that sense of unease knowing she was a predator and he was the hunter. Either one of them could become prey at any moment but he doubted that would happen. Well, sort of doubted in a wishful thinking sort of way.

It could turn into a love affair, a science experiment or a fight to the death. He was up for any of the three options but as hoping for the first. He’d never been involved with a Vampire in any sort of social situation, much less having one in his bed. What a rush. No matter what happened he’d make sure he was on top of and in full control.

He stood in front of the arts and crafts house knowing she was inside. Her car, an unassuming Ford Fusion was in the driveway. A faint light came through the living room curtains. Sure she could see in the dark but the soft glow of artificial light was always welcome.

 

The front door opened. She stood in shorts and a sweater. An average girl. That is if an average girl was around 180 years old.

“Austin, what are you doing here?” 

“You could smell me couldn’t you.”

“I sensed you were out here. You should be in bed.”

“Yes we should be.”

 

Then he snapped out of his brain fart fantasy and continued to look at her front door wondering what she was doing inside. A light came on in another room. He could see her with another woman and a man. He recognized both as Vampires. No dark shadowy creatures were here. They were the hippest of the hip. Modern Vampires who had no intention of sleeping in basements or lurking around in shadows.

Walking back down the block to his car Austin thought about the weirdness of it all. He was sure they despised the Vampires he exterminated as much as he did.

There was something about Elizabeth that was so human and alive. He remembered her cold hands and lips then thought of how hot she was. He thought about how afraid she was of him, but then again how… no, just don’t even go there tonight. In a few hours the sun would come up, then the dusk would come again and he’d put on a suit and pick her up for their first official date.

It isn’t everyday one dates a Vampire. It isn’t everyday one dates a Vampire Hunter.

 

Vampire Maman

 

For the first part of this story of Austin and Elizabeth click here for The Hunter.