A brief message about parenting failures, the Duggars, ignorance, and environmental issues from a Vampire Maman.

The biggest environmental threat to our planet is human over population. Period.

A few months ago I told my family that something in the Duggar family was going to come crashing down. I said there would be a tell all book written by one of the children. Someone would come out of the closet. Someone would crack.

This week TLC announced they were taking the show off of the air because the eldest son had mollested several girls when he was a teenager. No surprise there.

As a parenting blogger I always advocate spending time with your kids. I advocate listening to your children. I advocate letting them find their own interests, grow and fly.

The Duggar children don’t have that option. They are part of a factory, run by their parents, to produce and exploit their own children. The mother is obsessed on getting a higher and higher number of offspring. She doesn’t care that her children might not share all of their dreams with her. Her daughters are not allowed to dream. They too are destined to obey their parents and become baby factories. The sons are also told that they will have wives and hordes of kids. It is all about quantity not quality.

In any society, be it a family, a village or a country, where knowledge, ideas, free thoughts, and the equality of the sexes are not valued there will be a breakdown. Where there is no equality there will be anger, frustration, ignorance, violence and life will be a mindless existence.

In the culture of the Duggars, children must obey and be happy at all times. I’d rather my children love and trust me than obey me. I’d rather had children mind me and do what is right rather than obey. To me the word obey makes me think of violence – as in a man striking his wife or abusing a child because they do not obey.

When a group like the Duggars and their society is obsessed with sex and the dominance of males and the absolute chastity and innocence/ignorance of women when it comes to sex, bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

When people can’t freely choose who they love bad things happen.

When people can’t explore the world around them and see different points of view bad things happen.

Another show will start soon on TV about nauseously sweet people with a dozen musically talented kids. You might have seen them on America’s Got Talent last summer. It makes me sick just thinking of them. There is another family obsessed with fame due to their high fertility rate.

All families are different. Some are small and some are large. If you can pull off a large emotionally healthy and creative family then I’m behind you. If it is all about your needs to get that magic number then I’m against it. If having a large family is more about “family” than it is about your individual children then I am against it.

No good can come of reality TV shows featuring families. I wonder about creatures such as poor messed up Honey Boo Boo, and Kate with her eight exploited children. Will you be happy Kate when one of your kids writes that tell-all book? Will you care as long as there is a lot of money in the bank?

And for Mr. and Mrs. Duggar. I hope you are ashamed of yourselves, but then again people like you have no shame. You have no moral code except your own self-centered need to have attention and absolute control over your brood of fucked up children.

Shame on you.

If you’re new to this blog please see my page on what I believe and practice as a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ponderings on dog faced boys, my son’s Werewolf roommate, medical weirdness, art, and an update on my own dog.

When I dropped my daughter off at school this morning she mentioned that today there will be a rally to say farewell to all of the graduating seniors. Seniors were all wearing red – the main school color. Graduation is next week. The last day of school for everyone else is June 4th.

My son Garrett ends his first year of college on June 12. After that he’ll be home for the summer (happy dance for mom time.)

This year he and his best buddy Randy (he of the orange plaid pants) lived in the dorms. They’ve found a small house to live in next year. It is sort of a cottage divided up into a rabbit warren of four bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen and a bathroom. It is cute and old and perfect for college kids. They’re excited to have two new roommates. One is a girl named Layla who lived in the dorms with them. Yes, her parents are Clapton fans. And yes, like Garrett and Randy she is a Vampire. And no romantic interest is there at all with any of the three.

So, being the mom I am, I asked about the fourth roommate.

“Bailey,” said my son.  “She is transferring in from a community college in the bay area. She’s nineteen, like us. She is really cool and wants to learn how to surf.”

Girls. Surfing. College. Boys. OK, I trust my son. I’ve raised him right. He is a sweet kid.

“What’s her major?” I had to ask. It is college so I have to ask.

“Music Composition with a minor in literature.”

“She sounds smart,” I say.

“She is really smart. Hey Mom?”

“Hey Garrett.”

“Bailey is a Werewolf.”

I have no problems with diversity. I have no problem with most Werewolves. But I don’t think my son realizes the problems that he could have living with a Werewolf.

“Garrett, are any of Bailey’s litter mates going to school with you?” Needless to say most Werewolves are multiple births like twins and triplets. Their families are tight and protective.

“Mom, mom, mom. She wasn’t born that way.”

Oh. He went on to explain that she’d been bitten and infected when she was sixteen. It was traumatic to say the least. She is getting along fine with the help of her uncle. I asked if he was also a Werewolf.

“Mom, Bailey’s uncle is a Vampire. He’s her Dad’s brother. His name is Jeff Hayes. Do you know him? He’s been a Vampire for about twenty years. They’re cool mom. Don’t worry.”

“Garrett are you sure she is really a Werewolf and doesn’t just have hypertrichosis?”

“What is hypertrichosis Mom?”

“You know, Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy.”

So I got out my old medical book and texted him a picture.

medical book

My old medical text book. It is full of all sorts of amazing and disgusting and scary things.

 

 

Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy, aka Fedor Jeftichew.  The most famous example of someone with Hypertrichosis.

Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy, aka Fedor Jeftichew. The most famous example of someone with Hypertrichosis.

The entire Jo Jo page.

The entire Jo Jo page.

 

 

 

As I was looking for the article about hairy boys I came across all sorts of interesting things. There were pages and pages on gunshot wounds.

gun shots

 

 

 

There are full color pages (if you have a weak stomach you might want to skip these.)

This adds new meaning to the expression "I just wanted to gnaw my leg off."

This adds new meaning to the expression “I just wanted to gnaw my leg off.”

 

 

And this. The woman with the goiter. For those who don’t know, a goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. It is usually caused by the lack of iodine. That is why a lot of salt you buy in the grocery store contains iodine.

 

A woman with a large goiter. This is so sad.

A woman with a large goiter. This is so sad.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I thought about a painting. Stay with me here…

The first time I saw Bartomlomeo Vivarini’s painting of the Madonna with a Goiter I thought “WTF.” It must have been painted for a patron of the artist in the likeness of his wife or mistress. Why else would someone paint a portrait of the Madonna with a goiter?

 

Madonna with Goiter.

Madonna with Goiter.

 

 

Then I started thinking about all of the other weird and random sort of ugly and disturbing Madonna and Child paintings out there. In so many baby Jesus looks like a middle aged man. Come on guys, you don’t use Karl Malden as a model for a new born baby. Guys, please, do it right next time or think about another profession. Maybe painting babies or women isn’t your thing.

 

Mary with a mini body builder. I mean, dude, yes, you the artist. What were you thinking?

Mary with a mini body builder. I mean, dude, yes, you the artist. What were you thinking?

 

Here's looking at you kid.

Here’s looking at you kid.

 

This is wrong on so many levels.

This is wrong on so many levels.

 

I have no words for this one.

I have no words for this one.

 

The artist used his brothers Jake and Harold as models for this one.

The artist used his brothers Jake and Harold as models for this one.

 

And my favorite - Torpedo Baby!

And my favorite – Torpedo Baby!

 

 

 

 Raphael did it right.

Raphael could paint both women and babies.

Raphael could paint both women and babies.

 

 

Bernardino Lunie did it right.

 

This is so sweet. Oh my goodness. Thank you Mr. Luini for getting it right.

This is so sweet. Oh my goodness. Thank you Mr. Luini for getting it right.

 

 

Then I thought of how both art and medicine have changed, but some things stay the same. There will always be quackery and bad art.

I have a funny little medical contraption my husband Teddy brought home a few years ago. It was just for kicks and grins. Yes, thousands of these things were sold.

 

IMG_1283

Plug me in and charge me up baby!

 

 

So back to my son.

“No Mom, Bailey isn’t like Jo Jo. She is a real Werewolf. We’re going to help her out. We can handle it.”

 

But there are always those disturbing  images you just can't get out of your head.

But there are always those disturbing images you just can’t get out of your head.

 

 

I know it will be ok. I hope. We’ll talk about it more this summer. I hope he is prepared for full moons this fall.

 

UPDATE

Thank you to everyone who read my post about my old dog Jasmine. She is doing better these days. One day she’ll stay in one spot for twelve hours. The next day she will be jumping around like a puppy.

Juliette, I'm fine. You worry too much about me. Um, do you have any treats?

Juliette, I’m fine. You worry too much about me. Um, do you have any treats?

 

 

For all of us in my household and circle this is a time of change. I hope for good change and growth. I have a feeling summer will bring good things. Very good things.

So now… after all of that fun, I have a short story to write and some artwork I need to finish up.

Have a good weekend everyone. And stay away from the medical books.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Note: I’m having problems with the formatting on this post. Ugh.

Bad Moms. And school was good this year.

Warning: I’m going to get a little rude for a bit. 

There are no psycho moms from Hell in High School and College: You know who I’m talking about. You know who you are – yes you sanctimonious bitch, you know I’m talking about YOU.

grow-up-like-mommy

These women tend to show up in pre-school and start to vanish around Middle School. You know the mom who loves to stand up at every meeting and hog the time with questions about her overly advanced child. You know the moms who are so rude to other moms. You know the moms who are super sensitive about everything and ready to blame everyone but themselves for their badly behaved toxic bratty rude little darlings. You also know those moms who are just bat shit crazy and try to get all teachers fired, threaten to sue the school because their horrible child has to behave, say crazy things about space aliens and believe head lice make good pets. You know the mom who strives to be perfect and expects no less from everybody else. I go on for another 50,000 words on these moms. Ugh. Give it a rest psycho moms. We don’t care.

dd7162fb527a3267fa385eac52741338a55b156003884c61f02a09c4ae56a4aa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The same goes for those over protective moms who end up with pansy-ass sons and clueless daughters. No wonder your kid starts talking back, drinking, having a lot of sex, and doing drugs in high school. If you’re shocked now wait until they get to college. There is more to parenting than saying NO.

wont-let-you-listen-to-the-horrible-music-on-the-radio-buys-you-kidz-bop-thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So enough of my walk down venting memory lane…

School was good this year.

There were no broken hearts this year, at least that I know of. An ex-boyfriend (the only ex-boyfriend) is now wearing Crocs, which is a major NO in my daughter’s mind. On the other hand… parents you might want to get your son some nice new plastic shoes.

photo-792485

The son’s ex-girlfriend who went to Yale will also be home during the summer but all is cool. There is no chance she’ll bruise my son’s heart again – they are back where they started firmly in the friend zone.

So that brings us to High School.

When my kids were small some people told me I’d be in HELL during the teen years. But those were the bad parents. Really. Think about it. Isn’t it always the worst parents who give the most parenting advice?

Like my fifteen year old daughter says, “Why should I be miserable? It just makes everything difficult and everyone unhappy.” I’m not just making that up. She really said that. Her friends, for the most part, are the same way. The teens in my life are happy, well-adjusted and smart, forward thinking kids. Sure they’re silly and sometimes vacuous but no angst or major acting out. The biggest worries concern getting into college or in the case of a friend who wondered if purple hair color can be dyed over. Sure there are spats and the like, but they’re good kids.

There are questions with some kids about sexuality and race and identity. The kids talk about it. They don’t hide things away like in the old days. This generation is far more accepting and understanding of differences in others than older generations.

So it was a good year. It will be a good summer. I will post more about this. I know, I  apologize for getting sidetracked with the crazy-ass mom thing. Oh well. I’m a sucker for memes.

Have fun everyone and remember:

  • Talk with your kids.
  • Keep lines of communication open.
  • Hear the whole story before you judge.
  • Keep trust in front of everything else.
  • Listen to your kids.
  • Hug your kids.
  • Love your kids.
  • Let your kids know that new ideas and experiences are OK. It is an opportunity to discuss issues with your children.
  • Show your children the world and let them explore – even if it is just books. Let them explore and fly. They’ll thank you for it later.
  • And if they fall, you’ll be there to catch them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The True Nature of Things

A small dead bird appeared outside of my backdoor about ten minutes after I let the calico cat out this morning. She usually eats what she kills but this time she just left it. For me? It is a sad and unwanted gift. Is a teeny tiny bird soul flying away right now? At the same time I realize that cats are hunters. It is what they do.

At one time we all think about what our true nature is. OK maybe not, but it sounds sort of lofty and like blog post fodder so I’m going to run with it. Plus we were sort of talking about the subject last night.

My brother Andy decided to bring up politics. We were talking about those who have decided to run for President and those who insist on saying stupid things. “Politicians say things they know are wrong to placate the ignorant masses that might vote for them. They sell their souls to the gods of ignorance and lies. They’ll say evolution is wrong, and rape is acceptable as long as it doesn’t result in an abortion. They’re obsessed with the sex lives of others. They fear beliefs that are not their own. They fear everything they don’t understand. They close their eyes, ears and hearts. Only their mouths keep going, shouting and eating every lie and every soul they can find. They’ll line the road to Hell with bibles, lies and dead brain cells. Men sell their souls for power with the very souls of those they wish to control. It is in their nature to follow even though they pretend to lead. They’re vile creatures who lower themselves to the basest levels of humanity as the grasp for the tarnished idol of power. Antum religio potuit suadere malorum.”

Alright Andy. That was heavy, but more or less true. Val gave me an amused and knowing glance. We stopped the discussion on the stupidity of politicians who embrace ignorance before our heads exploded.

This is one of the reasons Vampires stay hidden in the shadows (along with Werewolves and a few others I won’t mention right now.)

As Vampires, I know some of you would tend to believe that our true nature is to be blood thirsty and rip throats out while the stuff runs down our chins. Stop right there. You all know I’ve written before, many times before, about blood stains and the high cost of dry-cleaning. Plus who wants stuff running down her chin. Come on, are we not adults here?

“Are you still working on the Dracula illustrations?” Val had to ask.

“Getting back to it,” I told him. “I’ve done some sketches but haven’t found the right face for the Count.”

“Don’t make any of them look like us,” said Andy. Of course Val and I know that Andy would love for me to base the likeness of one of the characters on him. I take that back after running the list through my head. No real Vampire would want to be like Dracula, at least not any in our circle. It just isn’t in our nature.

We like people. I have to admit that sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with humanity.

It is in my nature to think of amazing things and visualize them then get distracted. It is in Val’s nature to undistract me. It is in Andy’s nature to be both intense and distracted. As long as we understand our short comings and our strengths we do fine.

Luckily none of us are politicians.

Did I mention I get distracted? I don’t even remember the point of this post. I stepped away for a bit and, well, that is in my nature.

But no matter what my brothers are darling – as darling as they were as teens, a long time ago.

I’ll have more soon. I have art to do.

Have a good evening everyone (or just say it like Dracula in your best fake Vampire accent.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

vm_toast

 

 

 

Memorial Service Details

This just breaks my heart. I’ll share with everyone who follows Rara. The love will always be there. Always.

The Matticus Kingdom

Dave’s (Grayson Queen’s) service is going to be this coming Saturday (May 23, 2015) at the Corpus Christi Church in Corona, California at 10 AM PST.

http://www.corpuschristicorona.com/

3760 North McKinley Street
Corona, CA 92879-1956

Please help me spread the word again, so those who might be interested in attending have enough warning to make arrangements.  I’ll be there for sure…

And, an update on Rara’s address:

Radhika Jaini WF0124
CIW LA 249 LOW
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Keep the RawrLove letters headed her direction. Thank you.

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Morning musings on cats, siblings, the weekend and skating.

oscar_artistic copyThis morning after I dropped my daughter off at school I pulled back into my driveway and noticed the neighbor’s black and white cat lounging like the queen she is on their roof. My own gray and white little cat bastard was rolling around in my front yard singing me songs of welcome. Cats are great.

The wreath on the front door looked like it was falling apart. That wasn’t the case. A bird had added to it and has built her next on my front door. I’ll be able to look through the glass over the next few weeks and maybe see some babies. I just hope the doves (not birds of peace) or the calico cat don’t get to them. I will watch the predators. Mr. Oscar Gray and White doesn’t hunt so I’ll leave him to roll in the dirt and sing the songs of his people.

The text message on my phone dings. It was a group message with my siblings. I’m the youngest of five with four older brothers (Max, Andy, Aaron and Val.)

A few weeks ago my brother Andy was jumped while leaving a rehearsal. Andy is a singer living in San Francisco. He has the voice of an angel, the looks of a heart throb rock star and is as silly as a sixteen year old girl.

Max: We’ve taken care of the people who attacked Andy. Our parents are still in Europe. I have to go to Boston. Will someone watch Andy for the weekend. He is still in a bad way.

Aaron: I just talked to Andy. He said he was fine.

Max: He isn’t fine. His friends are irresponsible.

Aaron: OK. I was going to see Clara skate this weekend. This is big. She needs support from us.

Clara is mine. She also is recovering from a bad fall that resulted in a concussion and bruised leg. Yes, we’re Vampires and we recover quickly but we still get hurt. A huge invitational artistic roller skating meet is at her rink this weekend and we’re involved big time.

Outside the squirrels are performing death-defying circus acts in the oak trees. It made me think about the base jumpers who parishes in Yosemite recently. It brought up discussions with the teen about having passion for something but also about risks. The climbing community is big around here and we know climbers. We’ve done some rock climbing just for kicks and grins over the years. Anyway, I admire passion but don’t follow it to your death – or do, but I don’t advise it. Sigh.

The text bell on my phone dings again.

Val: I can go over there this afternoon. Let me finish up a few things.

Me: Bring him back here. He can stay with us for the weekend.

Val: Are you sure you want that?

Me: Crazy is my middle name.

Aaron: You’re a saint.

Me: I wouldn’t go that far. I’m taking him to the skate meet with me.

So Val will drop off Andy and it will be fun.

Last night I had one of those vivid dreams that seemed real. In my house was a large box – it was sort of like a chest with legs and decorative floral carvings on the front. We (my husband and I) had it for a body. I figure this was going back to the old Vampire/Crypt thing. There was a body in the box. She was a dark-haired woman with ringlets and a white dress in the popular style of 1870. Sometime in the dream she was a stranger and sometimes she was me. I sealed the box with blue electrical tape. There was another body as well but we ended up putting it in a bag. I have no idea who it was. I never saw the face.

Today I’ll get everything together for the skate meet. I’ll get things ready for Andy. I’ll call Andy and see how he is doing after his bout with the Vampire Hunters. I won’t worry about any of it. This weekend will be busy – autopilot time.

That was my morning musings. Now down to the store for blood and brie and a few good apples.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Oscar Gray

 

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