Double Standards … and mixed reviews of high school

The transition from a small school to a large high school has had mixed reviews from my daughter.

Last night while on a long walk she unloaded about school. Mainly the kids were stupid. I’ll give you the list.

  • The kids don’t care about their grades.
  • They don’t care about school.
  • All of my teachers but one hate me.
  • There are too many stoners.
  • All the boys think about is sex.
  • The popular girls call me sheltered because I don’t do drugs, smoke or have sex with a bunch of guy. I’m not sheltered. It is my choice not to do those things.

After almost a week off from school it all came pouring out for two hours of hiking in the woods.

I’m glad she talks to me. I think of the kids who don’t talk to their parents. I think it is because their parents don’t encourage it or make it comfortable. One must listen without judgment and without constant suggestions. Just listen.

But we did talk about things.

I believe her teachers DO like her, or at least don’t dislike her. She is quiet in class, asks questions, is involved (if no opinionated) in discussions, and gets really good grades. And she helps other kids when they need it, especially the special needs kids. But she is hard to read for those who don’t know her. She isn’t an open book.

There is a certain cultural group full of tough girls who like to smack girls of other cultural backgrounds. It is a very small group but if you hit other girls people will notice. One of Clara’s friends was hit in PE for no reason other than the color of her ginger hair. The attacker was suspended, but still, it is frustrating. My daughter wonders why these girls – the ones who attack are so stupid and mean and violent.

I asked if any of those girls were in her PE class. She said no, just stoner chicks and they don’t bother anyone.

There are a lot of stoners at school. One of her best friends now hangs out with stoners. He says they are nice to him. She doesn’t know how to handle that. She knows if she hangs out with stoners that everyone will think she is a stoner. That and the fact that she finds stoners disgusting with their lack of ambition and ability to embrace stupidity.

And it always circles around at how sexist the Freshman and Sophomore boys are. They make rude comments, send rude texts and act like jerks if she doesn’t give them attention back. For more on that click here for “Junk Mail.”

There are also the groups of “popular girls” who are beautiful and look Clara up and down when she walks past. The looks are rude and judgmental.

Clara wears great clothes and she is beautiful. She is the California girl with the long blonde hair and I dare say, sultry deeper voice. She is also smart. And she doesn’t take crap. She doesn’t feel the need to follow anyone.

Thank goodness she is making a lot of friends, kids like her who have a high standard for themselves.

Sure she could rip the heads off of the kids who bug her but that isn’t a solution any more than smoking pot to make things feel better. Or worse she could be like the mean girls and making sport of trying to get other girls to feel bad about themselves.

She knows the mean girls and stupid boys will be like the Bruce Springsteen song “Glory Days.” Everything for these kids will be downhill after high school because they never see the big picture or have any idea of what is coming. The big wide world out there doesn’t care who is “popular” or “cool.”

She sees in the older kids (Juniors and Seniors) more mature and smart but that doesn’t make things better. She knows some of the kids will grow up and out of their present immature state but that seems like a long way off.

But it will get better as she makes more friends. Her old friends and new friends more or less all feel the same way she does. They don’t fit into any “group.” They’re just good kids. Not geeks. Not religious. Just good well grounded kids from good well grounded families.

She knows herself and knows she isn’t the one who is weird or off track. She is fine – just surrounded by a sea of stupid.

As for any violence – there are cameras in every classroom so disciplinary action is swift. Unfortunately bad things still happen. Not all the time, but enough to make school suck.

All of these things have never really been a problem before. Everything was always cool or small or less confusing.

As a parent just listen. Let your teen vent. Let them use you as a sounding board. And a hug always helps.

– Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And while you’re online have your teen listen to this. The world is full of jerks but if you’re smart and true you’ll be ok (but the jerks unfortunately are a part of life.)
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/11/30/247842138/science-reporter-emily-graslie-reads-her-mail-and-it-s-not-so-nice

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Why you’re morbidly (and passionately) attracted to Vampires

What is the fascination with Vampires?

Disclaimer: I used the word MORBID in the post title because it sounded creepy and fun. No other reason.

Warnings: If you despise the idea of Vampires, people who like the idea of Vampires, Werewolves and all sorts of paranormal, supernatural, things that go bump in the night and flapping bats, ghosts, elves and cocktails then you might want to go read something else, like the stock reports or the back of your laundry detergent box.

People like to be scared

grossoutRemember when you were a kid sitting around the campfire listening to the stories about the man with the golden arm or the guy with the hook arm or random ghost stories? Then you graduated to your first Stephen King novel and now you can’t look at a clown without wanting to scream? And we love watching those Paranormal Activity Movies even though they are so stupid that we’re laughing at the same time we’re jumping out of our skin scared. A cracked closet door at night contains more than just party dresses… a footstep at night is more than just the cat padding up the stairs…it is the unknown thing that lurks in the deepest darkest corners of our imaginations…it is fear and we love it.

And face it, Vampires can be pretty scary. They can immobilize you with their minds, seduce you, suck your blood and kill you. And they can turn you into a Vampire if they so desire. They’re called undead, like a ghost with a body (not really but that is the mythology.) Plus bad Vampires are really really really hard to kill.

Now, when you’re scared you either become a quivering mass of emotional jelly, or you get an intense adrenaline rush. So being scared turns from something bad into something really fun.

So your assignment for tonight is to get a flashlight, a blanket, turn off the lights, put the blanket over your head, turn on the flashlight and read Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”. Now THAT will creep you out.

Plus without the sense of fear the squirrels would have eaten humans a long time ago. OK, I’m sure the badgers, wolves and bears would have helped out a little, but you know what I mean.

Vampires are Forbidden

If you’re a Regular Human your mom and dad won’t want you to be dating a Vampire. They’re weird, cold and suck your blood. They aren’t like you. But you like the Vampire anyway and think your parents are dorks.  I think that explains the forbidden part of this post.

You like the idea of Power

ignoranceVampires, while hidden, are powerful. They can be immoral, putting aside their souls or thought of others. But they are purposeful and smart. They move in the shadows using seduction (that sex thing again) and power to get what they desire. They are hunters, one of the few beings that are on top of the food chain, above humans. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be there. I love my veggies too but…you have to admit there is nothing like getting your fangs into someone and feeling that surge of energy. What a rush. A rush that no drug can duplicate.

Immortality

No physical aging, more or less. Who wouldn’t like that? On the other hand there are things one might miss out on, like knee replacements…I doubt if there is any of that anyone would miss out on. Plus the almost complete lack of illness, not worrying about elderly parents, the ability to do things over again and again and again…and boredom that could last for centuries if you don’t play your cards right.

Man’s Triumph Over Evil

carrieOh just blame it on the Vampire. Go ahead.

My opinion on this one is that humans must overcome their own evil and look at themselves, not with rose-colored glasses and not with fear. They must put aside their political, religious and cultural biases and stand against evil. When one stands against evil one must not fear it but take it by the neck and strangle it out.

OK to translate that bit of writing I just penned: Evil is violence and hate for the purpose of control and spreading ignorance. Evil hides behind a false mask of religion, power and goodness – so listen carefully when you hear the voice of evil it sounds like the song of an angel. Evil will also tell lies to turn you against good. Pickup any history book and you’ll find hundreds, even thousands of examples. To translate again – don’t believe everything you hear. Being a skeptic could one day save your life. Just read “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” You’ll know what I’m talking about.

In order to explain away evil people, humans have used creatures such as Vampires, Werewolves and Ghosts as metaphors for such bad behavior.

A long time ago, way before CSI, way before Jack the Ripper, before Dracula and before The Bridges of Madison County (sorry, I had to get that in there HA HA HA), humans had a difficult time explaining extreme horrible events such as serial killers. No human could cause such violence. No human could kill/torture/rape in the middle of the night unless…unless it wasn’t human. It couldn’t be human. Well, wake up and smell the warm mead, it wasn’t a Werewolf, back in 835 AD it was Weird Uncle Bill who carved weird little wooden rats and lived with his mom in her mud hut, that is until he killed her and started dressing in her clothes. In 1343 it was charming handsome Sir Albert who was luring all of those woman away to the swamp where he’d do horrible things to them. Or in 1890 the beloved Rev. Donald Green posed as a good man of God, when in truth he was a Godless man, using the local river banks as a dump for the tortured bodies of lost souls who’d come through his soup kitchen.

But wouldn’t it be easier to believe it was a blood sucking creature of the night or a man turned into a wolf who did all the killing?

And just like serial killers fascinate us, we’re fascinated with all inhuman creatures that act in the place of bad humans.

On the other hand, one never knows if it could have been a rogue Vampire or Werewolf. We just don’t know. Well, some of us know…

My husband has always been fascinated with serial killers (and he finds them horrible.) He even has some new theories on the Zodiac. Then again, we live in Northern California a place that seems to be the epicenter of weird killers. Yuck.

Of course a small circle of Vampires, who just happened to be in London in the 1880’s know exactly who Jack the Ripper was.

Yes, Vampires are dangerous to please be cautious. Vampires will suck out your blood. Vampires will lie to you. Vampires will trick you. Vampires will break your heart. Vampires can, if provoked, suck out your soul and rip your throat out. Vampires are not to be taken lightly. And despite what you’ve learned from my blog there are some evil Vampires out there that you don’t want to mess with.

Vampires are Fun!

As you can see by my posts that Vampires usually have more fun than a bathtub full of otters. It doesn’t take much to amuse a Vampire (or piss us off, but we’ve got that under control, at least most of us)

The Romance of Vampires

romanceDrum roll please. Or should it be violins? This is the number one reason why people currently like Vampires. And don’t we all need a little romance in our lives.

Every other post on this blog has to do with romance. The others involve parenting (Vampire teens), poetry and cats. The most popular posts on this Vampire blog are about writing love letters. If you look at most (not all) but most modern Vampire books it is all about dark forbidden romance.

Blame that on Braham Stoker when he introduced Dracula to the general public but since then writers have been creating more sexy Vampires than I could have ever imagined. And they’re right. I can’t even start to list all of the authors (so I won’t right now).

Vampires do the most personal thing someone could ever do – they drink your blood. Your life force that comes from your warm and beating heart. Vampires NEED you in order to survive. It is that intimate physical connection, in the shadows, the forbidden desire, the kiss of cool lips on your neck, the whisper of a voice so young, yet so old… a voice that belongs to a creature who knows all of your hopes and fears…

If fall in love with a Vampire the choices are difficult. Do you go with him forever into the dark, or do you live forever with a broken heart and the knowledge of another world that so few humans ever experience? For the kiss of a Vampire is something no mortal ever forgets.

Imagine the most intense eyes looking into yours. The cool kiss, hot with passion. Every desire, every want, every need will be fulfilled by this creature of the night, a mystery, an unfulfilled promise waiting to be awakened, it is all yours. You feel the kiss on your neck followed by a scrape of fangs, then those fangs sink into your warm flesh, you want to pull away, but you can’t, you want to stay, you want to be consumed with the intense physical desires and the flood of emotions – fear, lust, desire, want, need, love. And that my dear is what happens when you meet up close and personal with a Vampire.

It is also that romance that lasts not for years, but for centuries.

Vampire Love Poem

I was a spirit

In white silk with pink roses

Bustle in back

You in black tails

Took my breath away

And a century later

When you realized

That I loved you

I could exhale.

`

red heart

And face it girls – Vampire guys are HOT.  They just are. I don’t even need to explain. Whew. Fan me off right now.

A Short List of Vampire Posts for Reference on Romance:

There are more posts on the subject…feel free to search around.

~

So to wrap things up…

Everyone should have fun, and who better to have fun with than a Vampire. Take my word for it. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

The Tiger and Vampire Maman

The Tiger and Vampire Maman

This is not a scientific study. Keep in mind the POV (point of view) of this odd little semi-popular blog. Chime in if you want. There are many myths, many truths, many theories about Vampire and their cohorts. I mean, really, would you come HERE for a real scientific study? Really? But please feel free to share your stories and your reason for being fascinated with Vampires. Remarks from haters and priggishly toned know-it-alls will be promptly removed (let’s keep this fun folks)

Back to School – Tips for the First Week

TeensSchool will start in a few weeks. That is a good thing for teenage girls who always look forward to seeing how the boys have grown over the summer. Skinny kids suddenly, over a few short months, grow tall and muscular. Awkward adolescent faces become angled and handsome. Shoulders grow broad and voices deepen. This includes my 17-year-old son Garrett and his friends – who of course, being Vampires, are exceptionally handsome and strong. It is a wonder to behold – especially for the girls.

And speaking of girls, especially one who doesn’t care what Garrett or his dorky friends look like is his 14-year-old sister Clara who starts high school in two weeks.

Clara and Garrett’s Tips for the First Week of High School

  • Don’t wear all black, head-to-toe flowers, a pink tutu, rabbit costumes or anything else extreme or too weird. First Impressions are EVERYTHING. OK don’t go off on your “self expression” rant. I don’t want to hear it. We’re talking practical truths here. The first day of school is like a job interview for both fellow students and teachers. Clara knows she can’t wear her band shirts with the red and black Zombie blood on them, black jeans and black combat boots (or I won’t let her out of the house). She’ll opt for the black pants and boots with a fashionable flowered tee. Or she’ll wear her denim shorts and black shirt and combat boots or flats. The Zombie shirts and Band shirts will come later. The all black and way too much black eyeliner can be worn later but not the first week. This is real world stuff. Making a good impression on the teachers and everybody else is so important. It isn’t shallow – it is reality (think job interview). By the third week of school go ahead and let your freak flag fly high with pride. By then everybody will love you anyway (for exactly who you are).
  • Freshmen girls – don’t get involved with Junior and Senior boys. Clara (age 14) says first of all they just want to take advantage of you. Garrett (17 and will be a senior) says it makes you look stupid if you’re a senior boy and go after Freshmen girls. End of story. Don’t be stupid. Stay with kids your own age. If I have to explain this one then you ought to consider home schooling or a single sex school.
  • Boys – don’t skip. Just walk.
  • Girls – don’t show off in high heels. Your feet will thank you for wearing your Vans or flats.
  • All kids – the first week of school in a large high school can be tough. Clara is coming from a Middle School with only 33 graduating 8th graders and entering a school with almost 2,500 students. She knows about a dozen of them. So anyway IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP. If you can’t find your classroom – ask for help. If you’re lost, confused, frightened, baffled, or totally overwhelmed – ask for help. If you can’t find an answer go to the nearest teacher or to the front office. They can help – and they’ll be glad to help. It is their job. You’d be surprised how many kids feel the same way.
  • Smile (but for Vampire kids make sure not to show your fangs). Smile. Smile. Smile. Everybody likes a smile.
  • Wear sunscreen. Always.
  • Make sure you always have a pen, pencil and pencil sharpener and erasers in your backpack.
  • Don’t let anyone bully you. And don’t bully (or everyone will think you’re an asshole and you don’t want that.)
  • Listen to the teachers.
  • Don’t worry about looking cool. If you worry too much about being cool you’ll look like a dork (to the point where even the dorks think you look stupid).
  • Have fun.
  • Be open to making new friends.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Brush your teeth and use good personal hygiene (nobody likes to sit next to a stinker)
  • Join clubs. It will be fun and you’ll meet friends. Plus it will keep you connected and look great on a college application.
  • Try to learn something.

Special tips for Vampire Teens:

  • Don’t lunch on your friends – lunch with them.
  • Don’t ever show your fangs.
  • Watch for the Werewolf kids. That means protecting them from any harm. You don’t have to be friends with them but you need to help them out. They can feel isolated and shunned – so just help them out when needed.
  • Don’t fall asleep in class (I guess that goes for all kids, no matter what kind of kid they are).
  • Don’t read your teacher’s minds or do any other paranormal behavior in class. Please, know that your parents are right on this issue.

So have fun. And check out Target for cute binders. We found some great ones yesterday.

And DON'T be like THIS GIRL. Your reputation is everything ladies!

And DON’T be like THIS GIRL. Your reputation is everything ladies!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

My mom blogs about vampires

My mom blogs about vampires

How to motivate your cat – yeah right like that is ever going to happen

Our cats do bad things.

We love our cats.

Does that make any sense?

I am a bit pissed off because they didn't need to bring that other cat into my life.

So the cats scratch the furniture. Can we motivate them to scratch somewhere else using treats, sprays, scratching posts? Hell no. They aren’t motivated by food. They aren’t motivated by attention. They are motivated by getting me to stop yelling at them. So I yell.

My cats fight with each other. They run through the house growling and jumping on each other spitting and hissing. I yell again, they keep fighting, I yell again, the dog walks into the other room, they keep fighting. I yell “HEY CUT IT OUT”. That works. It works with my children too.

Vampire Maman's Cat - this makes me want to cough up a hairball - Gloria the Calico Cat

My cats barf. I believe they do this because they enjoy it. We’ve done everything the pet books say. But honestly it isn’t a medical problem. It isn’t a food problem. They like to barf. Only on carpet. Only where we walk. Only where we sleep. NEVER on the tile.

I love my cats.

I put him in his place.

I don’t know why. Actually I do know why. They’re cute and soft and they talk to me in their cute little kitty voices. They purrrrrrrrr. And sometimes they even act like they love me too.

vampire-cat

Short Story Sunday will be back in a few weeks (yes, technically I’m posting this on Saturday but somewhere in the world it is Sunday). I’ll be hit and miss for a bit but if you absolutely MUST get your Vampire fix TODAY click on the links below.

And you want more just scroll through my past posts – there are exactly 500 tall tales, parenting tips and musings to choose from.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

We’re all entitled to our opinions (tell that to your children RIGHT NOW)

Warning: I’m going to say things about your favorite books, movies and musicians that you might not agree with.

There are things that I don’t like in popular culture that people (most) rave about and I simmer with disgust.

I don’t mention a lot of these things to avoid reactions. It is as if I said “I don’t like puppies or kittens.” I mean everyone loves puppies and kittens.  I really love kittens but I just used that as an example.

But I’m not one of those rabid haters who goes into Facebook Groups or other online forums and spreads negativity and acting like, well, an asshole.

That said, there are things I don’t like. I don’t like the books “Eat, Pray, Love”, “The Bridges of Madison County” or “Little Women”. But that is just me. Go ahead and love them. Just don’t hate on me because I don’t share your love. I don’t like Sylvia Plath either (please don’t send me hate mail). There for the first time THAT is out in the open.

The very idea of watching Steel Magnolias makes my teeth hurt. I can’t stand Forest Gump. But you can watch those movies all you want – just don’t expect me to watch them with you or listen to you talk about them with joy and wonder.

Music is something that really gets to people. I hear Fleetwood Mac is coming out with a new album. I’ll hide under my house in a coffin for a month to avoid hearing any of it. I didn’t like them on their first album and I don’t like them now. Those voices put me on edge and make me want to scream. Just like I can’t stand listening to Neil Young, most female singers from the 1990’s, most music from the 1970’s, Bob Dylan and Babs Streisand. But if you love them then listen to them. If it makes you happy listen to them. If you want to read Twilight for the 12th time go ahead.

And that is something that I try to teach my kids. They talk about the rabid haters for some of the bands they listen to. Some of the bands might seem weird. And some of the fans or weird. But worse are the haters who do everything from online hater talk to peeing on graves of band members who have passed away. One band that has a lot of almost violent haters is a band that promotes “being yourself” and also has a strong anti bullying message. Go figure.

If we all listened to the same music then every radio station would be the same and everyone would be bored. Music would die. And with any hope it would be reborn from the lone kid in her bedroom with a guitar doing something different and new.

So back to parenting…I don’t want my kids to ever describe themselves as “jaded”. But I don’t ever want them to not have opinions – even strong opinions. But there is a time or place for those opinions. Teach them to have filters and know when and when not to speak up. And it is ok to speak up, but speak up in an informed and educated manner. Speak up in a friendly manner. Don’t be a hater about it.

A good rule is to wait a second, like the delay on TV (for bad language etc), then if the words in your head seem right speak your opinion. Same with posting something online.

Don’t hate me because I don’t like your books, music or movies. Like me because even if I don’t like your taste in anything I think it is ok for you to like it. I’m cool with it. I don’t care.

All of that said, if you don’t like puppies or kittens there might be something seriously wrong with you and have it checked out by a professional.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

cute-puppies-and-kittens-cute-puppies-and-kittens-wallpapers-dogjing-dot-com

 

 

Bullies are just a waste of human flesh

I talk about parenting and issues that kids go through. Bullies and being different are top topics here and on other blogs. My friend and neighbor Kelly shared a few experiences with me. 
 

Kelly

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, in the early 70’s there was a class at the other end of the school we called the MR class. There was no such thing as sensitivity or political correctness back then. Today it would be some sort of special education class. The kids seemed weird and out of control. They didn’t socialize with us, even if they had siblings in the school. They were outcasts. The boys in my class would yell at them “MR”. Mentally retarded. I don’t know why the kids were in the class, but they were fair game to anyone who wanted to yell at them and pick on them. It was like a personal freak show for the bullies in the school.

Bullying was a way at life at the school. They ruled without any adult intervention. The small, the shy, the different were all targets. The bullies ruled by force and fear.

Nobody ever talked about anything. Kids who were bullied either sucked it up and ignored it or they became weirder and gave into what the bullies wanted. They always wanted more bait and for the bait to do their bidding.

When we all left for Middle School the bullies and mean kids continued to bully but it was easier for their targets to get away in a larger school. But kids grew up. They started to talk and form stronger social bonds. They grew up.

Kids who were bullied reinvented themselves into confident kids with friends. Some of them became popular with wide circles of friends.

When we got into high school the bullies had all but vanished. While all of the other kids grew up the bullies remained what they were – immature school yard bullies. Their behavior made them the social outcasts in our large high school. And while they might have been at school, they vanished.

Sure there were spats and kids who didn’t like each other at our high school but I don’t remember the kind of bullying I hear about today.

Then again we didn’t talk about a lot of things like depression and suicide. Sometimes kids would just go away and we wouldn’t see them anymore and nobody would know what happened to them. Maybe their close friends, but nobody talked about it.

But I wonder about those kids who were bullies. Sometimes there were entire families of them. They seemed to get joy in their actions. It was strange and uncomfortable. It was sad and pathetic.

It also makes me sad that kids who are bullied now don’t feel like it will ever get better. It will. And I want to say to the kids who get picked on “It isn’t you. It is them. They are the weird ones. They are the ones with the problem. They are the ones who will fail in life. They are the ones who everyone will forget. You’ll show them. You’ll thrive. You’ll be fine. They are just a joke and a waste of human flesh. That is what I want to tell them.”

We sat on Kelly’s deck while our kids walked the dogs by the lake. It is sad that we even have these sort of stories.

I always wonder…people think Vampires and Werewolves and Ghosts are scary. Humans are scary. But fortunately not all of them.