Use Your Filters

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No offense to any monkeys out there. But you get my point (I hope.)

When my kids were small there was always that one classmate, or friend, or friend’s child, who had no filters. I’ll be the first to say that all small children say things that totally and completely embarrass us and others. Tiny tots are notorious for being rude. They ask people why they’re too fat or too thin. They comment on hair loss. They ask rude questions and call everything exactly as they see it – especially if it is not how things are at their house, or with their parents.

Yes, parents of overly precocious children, this is for you. Your little darling is not cute or smart. Your child is rude.

That said, we all grow up. By the time a child is seven or eight they should be learning to use their filters. And no, that age is not too young. Get with it parents. Once a child starts school they need to buck it up and learn to be a good citizen. And you have to get on their little butts and remind them not only to be nice, but WHY they need to be nice.

After a child starts school embarrassing personal (and rude) questions and comments are no longer cute. 

Unfortunately there are always those kids who never learn about filters.

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Remember her? Don’t be a Nellie Olson.

They say things like:

  • My mommy says fill in the blank.
  • At our house we ALWAYS fill in the blank with something the child observes you don’t do.
  • Why do you fill in the blank with something rude and nosey.

As adults these people are insufferable and make horrible friends and co-workers. Most of them, I’d say 98%, don’t even know what they’re doing. The other 2% is just doing it out of spite. I know, I know, I know, we all slip up from time to time, and then feel bad about it afterwords, but those that isn’t what I’m talking about. You know what I’m talking about. Below is a list of examples.

  1. Unsolicited advice or comments about someone’s body. This includes giving friends brochures from diet seminars, groups, or articles about weight loss.
  2. Just one? You need another baby.
  3. Does you husband wish you’d had a boy?
  4. To a pregnant woman: What if your daughter is gay? Does it matter? So what if my child is gay? Do you expect me to love her less? Don’t be homophobic? And what if my child is an artist? What if my child likes chemistry? What if my child gardens? What if my child likes to pretend he is a bear? Just shut the fuck up.
  5. Is he gay? Assuming a young man we know gay because he skated. No but I’ll point out another skater who is. Does it matter? Really? Does it matter. I’ll adore them either way.
  6. Is he good in bed?
  7. Did you do it last night? No it is not ok to be obsessed with your friend’s sex lives and make unsolicited comments.
  8. Beautiful dress. It fits great, but you look better in blue. Yes, we all know about the undermined back-stab compliment.
  9. I like your hair better long.
  10. At a BBQ joint: Don’t they have anything vegan? 
  11. At a Japanese restaurant when somebody else orders sushi: I hate raw fish. OK then don’t order raw fish.
  12. I thought you only dated guys with blonde hair?

I’m sure all of you have examples of blurted out, rude, and sometimes shocking, and usually hurtful comments.

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Don’t people like that just make you want to scream????

So parents, you need to make sure your children, especially your young adult children aren’t doing this. On the other hand, if they act like this it is possible that they learned it from you. I hope not.

Giving advice, or asking questions is fine and normal. Blurting out whatever pops into your head is not. Always, always, always, teach your kids to think before they speak.

  • Will it hurt someone?
  • Will it hurt them?
  • Is it rude?
  • Will everyone think you’re rude and you’ll NEVER be invited back.
  • Will you end up eating lunch alone from now on?

This is basic kindergarten stuff but some kids just didn’t listen to their teacher because they were too busy either eating paste or saying mean things to other kids.

I swear, I don’t even know the motivation of some people. Maybe it makes them feel better about them selves if they try to push down others. That is pretty sad if you think about it.

And of course these are ALWAYS the people who have to make the asshole remarks on social media. Tell your kids that if someone says something on social media you disagree with just to move on. Don’t be a troll. Don’t feel like you ALWAYS have to comment. If someone posts a photo of their Chihuahua dog don’t comment I didn’t know you have a shake and hate. Just say the dog is cute or move on and don’t say anything.

When you’re an adult rude comments aren’t funny. Remind your children of that. And guess what, you DO need to remind YOUR kids. Even the best kids need to be reminded so that by the time they’re adults they aren’t branded as assholes.

I’m not taking about normal discussions, or debates. That is ok. We can agree to disagree. Or we can agree not to agree. Or we can give advice in a nice helpful way. But we don’t have to be crass or rude to put someone down or make ourselves feel superior. 

Of course very ancient, very young, and special needs folks will blurt things out because they can’t help it. This is not about them. We love them because we know what is going on. But most people don’t fall into that category. You can help it.

But you know the snotty condescending types I’m talking about. Don’t be like them. If your college kid is one of these folks don’t be shocked when their dorm-mate asks for a transfer to another room.

This goes for all of you Vampires and Werewolves too. Yes, I had to get that in there. You know who you are.

As always talk to your kids. Talk with your kids. Think about what you say. We could all be better. Even I could be better.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Online Bullies & Monsters Among The Writing Community

This is from one of my favorite writers and friend Nathan Tackett:

Ah yes, the internet – where spineless cowards bark with hateful intention. A terrible situation recently came to light where a fellow artist/author was berated with a vile string of ‘go kill yourself’ comments just because they used stock photos in their work. Guess what?! The individual actually DID try to take their life. Luckily, they didn’t succeed and are recovering.

Artists. We are a sensitive bunch and one can never tell what demons we may be fighting under the poetry and prose. I have seen several situations lately where artists have been trolled to horrible ends. We can do better.

Unfortunately, we live in an atmosphere were shit slinging is commonplace. Weak-minded creeps throw around words like ‘cuck’ and ‘snowflake’ and ‘nazi’ without a second thought. Somehow, this has become an accepted language of the new era. We can do better.

I fully support the first amendment, but I don’t support your right to be an asshole. Unfortunately, the school bully sits safely behind a virtual wall of anonymity. We can do better.

It’s time we start calling these slugs out. I support all of my artistic folk. Whether you’re a best-selling author, or an understood misfit. You can always sit next to me.

~ Nathan Tackett

 

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Thank you Nathan.

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Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Dear Vampire Maman Readers,

More and more I am hearing horror stories of gangs of bully trolls out of online writing groups terrorizing authors by leaving horrible reviews on Amazon and other online book dealers. They also troll blogs, and any social media outlet they can get to. They gang up and go in like blind fire ants killing anything in their way – never thinking about what they are doing.

I have seen this happen to more than one author in my circles.

Don’t get caught up in the group-think mean mind-set. Be an ADULT. Be a professional. Don’t be an asshole. Don’t be a horrible bad person. Don’t get all butt hurt over NOTHING. 

DON’T BE A MONSTER.

THINK before you post.

Stand up against the trolls who troll our fellow writers and artists.

WE CAN DO BETTER.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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For more about Nathan Tackett’s work CLICK HERE. And for a great short story from Nathan CLICK HERE.

Angry Vampire Rules to Live By

Angry Vampire Rules to Live By

  • Don’t be an asshole, even if you’re a Werewolf.
  • Everyone has a right to their opinion even if you don’t agree.
  • Don’t leave your kids for a piece of ass. You may think it is love, but it is a piece of ass.
  • Don’t lie about your child’s other parent to get your way.
  • If you’re going to cheat on someone who loves you break up with them first.
  • Don’t bait people with your political bull shit.
  • Don’t lie.
  • Don’t pick favorites with your kids.
  • Don’t bring strange men home until your kids grow up.
  • Buck up and be a parent.
  • Don’t tell someone getting over a death to deal with it, or that they’ll meet somebody new, or that the departed was needed by God to be someplace else. Just shut the fuck up and be there for them.
  • Don’t act stupid.
  • If someone posts something on social media that you don’t agree with just pass on it. Don’t comment. You aren’t going to change their mind. You’re just going to make them unfriend you – and make all of their real friends mad at you.
  • Don’t be a troll or a jerk in online groups.
  • Don’t be a troll or a jerk period.
  • Stop getting all butt hurt over everything. Being a fucking prima donna isn’t flattering for anyone (especially when you’re an adult male.)
  • Be nice.
  • Make Twilight references on the Twilight fan page – not here. We’re not fans of perverted old Vampires dating High School girls.  THIS (click HERE) is where you go for that stuff. 
  • Wearing clothing that is too tight will not make you look sexy. It will make you look like a sausage.
  • Read. Something. Anything. Just read.
  • Don’t make excuses for what you read. If you want to read romance, or horror, or technical gardening manuals then DO IT. You don’t have to answer to anyone.
  • Believe in yourself. I know that is hard with everyone in the world telling you not to, but screw them. Believe in you. If you’re reading this I BELIEVE IN YOU. Do it.
  • Tell toxic people to either seek professional help, or tell them to go to Hell. Or tell them nothing and stop talking to them. You don’t need them. They are toxic.
  • If someone tells you that they blog about goats, or rabbits, or Vampires, or Chinese myths, please don’t say, “I don’t really like goats, or rabbits, or Vampires, or Chinese myths.” Just say, “WOW, that is really cool.”
  • History isn’t about dead people. It is about what makes us alive today.
  • Don’t be rude to the help.
  • Don’t expect Vampires to go around with blood dripping from their chins. Seriously, who the Hell does that?
  • Vampires can go out during the day. Get over it.
  • NEVER wear black stockings with open toed shoes. Seriously. Don’t do it.
  • You don’t have to show off your boobs to everyone. Let me say that in another way… you don’t have to show off your tits to everyone. Sometimes it is ok to wear a shirt that covers a little more. Sometimes that is the sexy choice.
  • Nobody gives a shit what your wedding dress looks like. They’re all checking out the level of awfulness in the bridesmaid dresses you picked out.
  • Cats are assholes but you MUST still love them and protect them.
  • Don’t tease animals.
  • Don’t be that asshole at the dog park who tells other dog owners that their is something wrong with their dogs, when everyone knows your dog is the jerk. The same applies to parents of human kids.
  • Your child is not the center of MY universe. Get over it.
  • You don’t have to answer the phone every time it rings.
  • Don’t talk to me about religion or politics.
  • Never brush anyone off or discount their worth because of their age. Young or old – everyone has value, and their words, opinions, and talents have worth.
  • Don’t say shit about the state I live in. I’m in California. Nuff said. I love it. I’m here for the long haul. Get over it. If you like where you live I’m happy for you. Seriously. Stop hating on me.
  • We’re Vampires, not flesh rotting Zombies. We’re not rotting. Get over it.
  • Watch out for Goblins.
  • Be there for your kids.
  • Talk to your kids.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Listen to your children.
  • Don’t judge your teens.
  • Listen to your teens.
  • I’m going to say it again – Listen to your teens. Don’t judge them. Hear what they have to say. Hug them. Be there for them. Don’t discount their opinions or dreams.
  • Tread lightly near angry Vampire moms.

Feel free to share your angry rules in the comments below. If you troll anyone (including me) I’ll remove the comment. Or leave cute comments about your cats or dogs. That will work too.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Love Your Poll Workers Tomorrow

I should have called this post: YOUR RIGHT FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.

Tomorrow is voting day.

Tomorrow Clara (my 17 year old) and I are going to be working as poll workers. This will be a great experience for my daughter. She isn’t old enough to vote but she will be part of the process. The three others people we’re working with are from a variety of backgrounds but all are there for the right reasons – they believe strongly in YOUR RIGHT FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.

And they’re cool people. I’m happy to work with them again.

When you vote please REMEMBER:

Poll workers are not the ones who make the rules. They follow the rules set down by their county and State (or Parish if you are in Louisiana.)

Poll workers are there because they believe in YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.

Please do not be snarky or rude to poll workers. It isn’t funny.

When you give the poll worker the name of a dead person, your neighbor, or anything that is not your name just makes you look like a bully. Maybe you are a bully. Maybe you don’t give a shit. Well, you should give a shit.

As a poll worker I can’t give you any opinions. I can only smile, sign you in, give you your ballot, and assist you by explaining how to vote.

I will make sure your vote is private. I will make sure your vote is counted. I will make sure nobody bothers you when you vote. I will make sure nobody prevents you from voting once you arrive. I will give you a smile. I will treat you with respect. 

Yes, no matter how you vote, or how much of an asshole you are, I will treat you with respect. I will be polite. I will respect your right to vote in a free and fair election. 

We will be there from 6 am – 10 pm. It makes for a long day because it is worth it.

Despite what I’ve said, most people who come in to vote are nice.

So is you haven’t already mailed in your ballot, please get out tomorrow and vote.

And maybe, if you aren’t too angry about the election, tell your local poll workers THANK YOU for their time.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Questions your teens should ask.

As both a Vampire and a parenting expert/blogger I’ve compiled a short list of questions that your teens (both high school and college bound) should ask. I’ve also included a few other statements/requests they need to know. This could apply to both school and life in general. Mostly for life in general.

  • Please don’t ask me to be stupid.
  • Is embracing ignorance required to attend this event?
  • Do you really love me or is it just for tonight?
  • Will it kill you to be nice?
  • Will it kill you to relax?
  • Do you want to try something new?
  • My name is __________. What’s your name?
  • Thank you.
  • Let me help you.
  • May I help you with that?
  • Do you want to talk about it? Let’s get coffee (or go for a walk etc.)
  • Let me drive you home. We can pick up your car in the morning.
  • I’m calling Uber. Do you want to ride with me? We can pick up our cars in the morning.
  • Do you need help?
  • Are you hiring?
  • Would you like to join us?
  • Can I bring anything?
  • Can I help with the dishes?
  • I’m going out for blood. Do you need anything?
  • What part of no don’t you understand?

This is just a short list. Sometimes we all forget that if we don’t ask the question the answer will always be NO. We also forget that we need to speak up for ourselves and for others. It is just that simple. It isn’t always easy, but it is simple.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Etiquette with a Vampire

Etiquette with a Vampire

He gave me his best charming man smile and with an additional twinkle in his baby blue eyes he said, “Do that thing when you turn your eyes black.”

Things were perfect before my friend Jack knew I was a Vampire. Now every time I see him it is nothing but requests for paranormal parlor tricks.

So the last time he asked me to turn my eyes black I wanted to say, “Why don’t I do that thing where I rip your throat out?”

Instead I told him that I would engage in normal conversation, with the occasional question, but no more tricks. I took his warm hand into my cold hand. Then I looked into his baby blues and put the slightest bit of fear into his soul.

So you found out your friend/lover/family member is a Vampire. Of course you’re going to have a lot of questions. Of course you’re going to be insanely curious. Of course you’re going to be completely thrown off base on this one. Now what?

Be polite. Don’t ask too many questions. Try to relax and act normal.

For the most part Vampires are polite to a fault when dealing with Regular Humans. So be polite back, even if you’re scared out of your wits. Be polite even when the curiosity is eating you up like a Zombie in Bob’s Discount Brain Emporium.

My brother’s friend James has an 87-year-old parrot named Betsy. She yells things like, “go suck blood,” and “you’re already dead,” to anyone who walks by. Betsy also yells things like, “suck my ___,” (just fill in the blank,) and “nice ass fat boy.” James is obnoxious to say the least and not one of my favorite Vampires, but that brings me to a point, sort of.

James knows when and when not to push the limits of good behavior. And believe me, he pushes those limits every chance he gets.

When you find out someone is a Vampire, please don’t make references to anything written by Stephanie Meyers, Anne Rice, or Bram Stoker. In fact don’t make references to any Vampire books, movies, or TV series. Talking about Vampire books and movies with a Vampire is like, well, let me give you some examples. It is like finding out your friend is Jewish and telling him that your favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof. It is like finding out someone is Gay and telling him that you  love Tennessee Williams and Divine. It is like telling a Priest you read the Exorcist before you saw the movie. Stop. Listen to yourself. Vampires don’t want to hear it.

Don’t be a Ren. That is a derogatory term we used for people who want to be our groupies. Ren comes from Renfield in the novel Dracula. As you recall he was a creepy insane guy who ate bugs, then small animals, then begged for humans, all in order to impress his master Dracula. Read the novel, Bram Stoker portrayed him brilliantly, but don’t talk to me about it every single time you see me. The point is that you don’t want to be some Vampire’s biggest fan. It won’t end well. Believe me. Contrary to popular fiction we don’t like creepy stalker types, or weird followers anymore than you do.

Along the same lines, but not as extreme, you don’t have to act like a Vampire if you’re going to hang out with one. Be yourself. You don’t have to wear black, or drink blood. Please don’t drink blood. That would be creepy even to a Vampire. A nice glass of wine or lemonade would be a better choice.

If you’re going to choose to be friends with a Vampire don’t make it obvious that you’re afraid or disapprove of his lifestyle. Wearing a cross, garlic clove earrings, silver necklaces, and other such talismans out in the open. Those things don’t work anyway and most Vampires find them juvenile and offensive when worn by a friend.

If you are feeling uncomfortable by all means discuss it with your Vampire, but refrain from raising your voice. Listen to your Vampire friend before you pass judgment. If you’re still uncomfortable then maybe it is time to let go of the friendship. Most Vampires understand.

Of course if you’re with a soulless Shadow Creeper you have every right to yell, or run or drag that stake out of your purse “just in case.” But don’t hang out with soulless Shadow Creepers.

As for the rest of us, those Vampires who choose to live in a normal modern society, we’re going to be polite to our human donors. We’re going to be a little bit formal at times. We might even make you a bit uncomfortable – but that is usually for your own good.

Don’t take a bite out of your friendship with a Vampire by asking her to show you her fangs. Remember, she’ll show you soon enough, if she hasn’t already.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman