Parenting: Teaching your kids culture, but it is OK if they don’t know a 40 year old band, and don’t be an old fart.

When our kids were small we decided that part of their education would be teaching them the classics. On road trips Teddy would play music and the kids would identify the classic rock bands. At a young age (by the time they were six or seven) our offspring could identify Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimmi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and a myriad of other bands. This included my husband’s favorite summer road trip band Van Halen.

Just to keep the record straight on this: He prefers Diamond Dave. I prefer Sammy. But hey, it’s all good.

This all is leading us down a path to somewhere, and I’m sure you know where (or maybe not.)

The extremely popular and talented seventeen year old singer Billie Eilish said in an interview that she didn’t know who the band Van Halen was.

Asshats all over the Internet jumped right on it. They criticized her for her musical knowledge. Seriously? Does it matter that she doesn’t know a band that started out in a time that seems like centuries ago to most teens?

In an attempt to educate my children and make them into cultured little Vampires we’d have Saturday Night Opera Bath. I’d plunk the babies into the tub and turn on the radio. Now twenty years later they don’t listen to opera and can only recognize a few songs. Does it matter that their Uncle Andy is a trained opera singer? Not really. He sings to the kids but not opera. That’s ok. Opera isn’t for everyone and neither is Van Halen.

Over the Thanksgiving break my daughter didn’t know who Steely Dan was. Do I care? Not really. I don’t go out of my way to listen to them and neither does her dad. At twenty she knows who Glen Miller was but not Steve Miller. That’s ok.

As a parent you have to make sure your kids don’t grow up in a cultural void, but you can’t teach them everything. They learn things along the way and they won’t know it all by the time they’re seventeen, twenty or even fifty.

For example my kids know art. They can tell you if a work is Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Dada, Pop Art, Medieval (their least favorite and what they consider the weirdest), Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Surrealism, and many many other movements. Art is important to us, so we passed that love on to our children.

They can’t tell you who any of the presidents between John Quincy Adams and Abe Lincoln were, or anyone right before or right after Teddy Rosevelt. If they really think about it they might be able to come up with some trivial facts, but neither one are American History Majors, or Music History Majors.

We all teach our kids our own culture. In my house it is art and music we like, and how to grow herbs, and bad puns. They’ll catch up on all of the other stuff. Believe me, they can, and will, beyond your wildest expectations.

The fact that Billie Eilish didn’t know who Van Halen is is OK. She is only seventeen. Maybe her parents didn’t like Van Halen. Nobody is going to play music to their children unless they like it. Some people do play music to their kids that they don’t like but they’re just weird and read too many child rearing books.

Ms Eilish obviously had caring parents who shared a wealth of knowledge and encouragement to their child.

One of the things I like best about her is that she is her own young woman and a good role model to other teen girls. She doesn’t rely on dressing like a later day Playboy Bunny to get attention. It is her music not her T&A.

Another thought…

Don’t EVER stop learning about and listening to new music. My kids introduced me to so many new bands. Of course as Vampires we have to keep up with things as a matter of survival, but that’s another blog post. Some of the best concerts I’ve ever been to were with my kids. I even went to Warped Tour with them. Yes, we had more fun than I could have imagined years ago at a Black Veil Brides Concert. Parents and other adults – don’t be old farts. Expand your musical horizons. If you have questions just look it up on my blog. I think I’ve written a dozen posts about going to concerts with and sharing music with my kids.

I’d like to think that most people reading my blog are life long learners.

So keep learning. Keep sharing information. And keep encouraging others not tearing them down (unless they’re assholes, then you can tear them down as much as you want.)

I’ll leave you with some music. I’m off to hang lights on my Christmas tree, and then maybe dance the night away.

~  Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Burning Questions #56: Dancing With The Heavenly Bodies

Welcome to Vampire Maman’s Famous BURNING QUESTIONS.

Get on your dancing shoes (or roller skates) and come with me…

Dancing With the Stars Devil Angels.

This week we’re getting into the realm of Dan Brown. Just kidding, we’re not looking for clues, or even a best seller. We’re just looking for an answer, clues or not. It doesn’t have to even be the right answer, because this is a BURNING QUESTION and there might now even be an answer. Sorry Dan (but I did get ALL of the answers in DiVinci Code because, you know, I’m a Vampire and I’m good at figuring stuff out.)

 

Let’s Get Physical. Maybe not. I hate that song. On the other hand maybe we should get metaphysical, or metaphorical, or just think about something we have no answer for.

From Wikipedia:

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” (alternatively “How many angels can stand on the point of a pin?”) is a reductio ad absurdum challenge to medieval scholasticism in general, and its angelology in particular, as represented by figures such as Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. It is first recorded in the 17th century, in the context of Protestant apologetics. It also has been linked to the fall of Constantinople, with the imagery of scholars debating while the Turks besieged the city.[4][5]

In modern usage, the term has lost its theological context and is used as a metaphor for wasting time debating topics of no practical value, or questions whose answers hold no intellectual consequence, while more urgent concerns accumulate.

So let’s waste some time. If you want to get wasted you may do that as well.

BURNING QUESTION #56: How Many Angels Can Dance On The Head Of A Pin

 

 

With all of these great musical bits I forgot a picture of an angel. Who doesn’t like angels. Who doesn’t like angel food cake. Do angels eat angel food cake? Do they eat Devil’s food cake?  That is a Burning Question for another day.

 

250px-Saint_Raphael

 

Now for one of my favorite numbers, with or without anyone on the head of a pin. Seriously folks, you can’t get better than Fred and Ginger.

Put your answer on the poll. Don’t worry – nobody is going to take down your information. What the crap would I do with it anyway?

Leave your comments, musings, questions, song suggestions, dance steps, recipes, stories, and whatever you wish in the comments section below.

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Have fun and Diamond Dave and I will see you next week for another BURNING QUESTION.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: I’ve Got Your Number (An Intergalactic Romance)

Tangled Tales

 

I’ve Got Your Number (An Intergalactic Romance)

She’d found him on Planet 5309. His call out number was 867. She liked that. Not too many people knew about 20th Century music outside of the big classics like The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, and The Cars.

In the 23rd Century they had their own music, which was OK but she liked the old stuff.

When you run a luxury transport service there is a lot of free time, even when you are on super-hyper-speed mode. There is a lot of free time to go onto chat lines and dark space groups to find other lonely hearts, or at least someone who is interesting.

His name was Tommy. Her name was Jenny. It was meant to be. Old fashioned names with a twist of fate that brought them together with an old song they both loved.

He’d found her number on one of the lines and called her up. That was half an Earth year ago and light years away. They’d talked non-stop almost the entire time.

After landing on the new landing pad, she exited the plane with her eyes wide open. She’d pulled her brown hair up on her head in a mass of curls set with crystal flowers. With gold tipped lashes to match her gold jumpsuit she knew she would turn heads – in a good way. Good looks and a killer figure never hurt in any luxury transport business. It wasn’t always right, but it was the truth.

She saw him, a history professor on a far away planet, standing by the reception structure. Wavy blonde hair framed a handsome face of copper hued skin. Damn, it was good to see another human again, especially a human male.

He smiled and held out his hands, and said, “I need to make you mine.”

And in a galaxy far far away, two history buffs lived happily ever after.

 

~ end

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Driving at Night – Cover Songs, Ghosts, and Not Much Else.

The subject was bad cover albums.

“The Backstreet Boys doing Pink Floyd. Any album.”

“Ariana Grande doing the entire soundtrack of Oklahoma.”

“Jimmy Buffet doing Rolling Stones Start Me Up.”

“Sammy Hagar could pull that off.”

“Maybe.”

“Lorde doing Abby Road, the entire album.”

“Oh my God that would be awful.”

“Sir Paul doing Poison’s Greatest Hits.”

“You’re killing me.”

“You’re safe baby brother. You’re safe.”

I was driving. My brothers Andy and Val were doing one of their “lists.”

Andy, the eldest of the two, is a professional singer. Val is just a judgmental hipster, and extremely good at it. He is also a finance/money guy. No he does not accept bribes, or do disgusting things with underaged girls, or go out of his way to profit off of breaking laws or hurting people. I love them both to the ends of the earth.

Another voice chimed in. “Stevie Nicks doing Jimmy Buffets Songs We Know By Heart Album.”

“That is brilliant and horrible…what the fuck?” My brother Val slid to the door and almost let himself out as we drove down the freeway at 70mph (maybe 75.)

“What? I’m a ghost but I have an opinion,” said a voice as a body appeared next to Val in the backseat of my car.

“You guys, this is Nigel. Nigel, my brothers Andy and Val.”

“Jewels, there is a Ghost in your car,” said Andy.

“I’m Juliette’s Ghost. Well, not HER ghost, because she is a Vampire, and she isn’t me, but I am a ghost and I am in her car. What of it?”

“It’s OK. Chill out. Nigel is annoying but he’s fine. Everything is fine.” I said, trying not to run off of the road or into anyone.

By the way, Vampires can see ghosts but that doesn’t mean we like them, or at least not usually. We usually do not like ghosts. I just happen to have one who hangs out with me more frequently than I’d like.

Three Vampires, and a ghost, in a car, on the freeway, at night.

We continued on down the road to my house talking about cover songs, uncovered songs, and the state of men’s fashion. Well, they talked, I just listened and drove.

Just another night.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Bringing Down the House

Tonight Teddy and I went to the Crest Theater (a beautiful 1940’s theater) and saw 85 year old John Mayall bringing the house down with the blues.

I looked around at the audience and noticed all of the gray hair. At least 80% of the audience.

I over heard a man telling his companion that he saw John Mayall in 1972 opening for Eric Clapton.

I thought about all of the old people in the theater who used to be the young people who changed the world with their music, and tie dye, and radical ideas.

Now they’re ending or retired from professional careers but the music never dies.

These old ladies were the young women who sat on their boyfriend’s shoulders and lifted up their shirts and exposed their naked breasts to bands they liked.

They are now still listening to loud music, and signing along, and dancing, and feeling good vibes, and all is good, at least for a few hours at the Crest.

I’m not saying to tell your daughters to lift their shirts, or tell your kids to smoke wheel barrows full of pot and drop acid. I’m just saying that old folks were not always old, or wise. They were once wild and free. Wild abandon. Appreciate that when you see someone with gray hair.

Tell your kids that they’re cool, but they’ll have to try harder to be THAT cool. The cool that started it all. Also tell them to thank an old person for their music. Tell them to do it now, then share that music. Share it. We should all be so lucky to have someone to turn up the volume with no matter how old they are.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Dear Diary,

My my my

Why do people say that? It is as if they think that they rule the world in their smug sense of overly obnoxious self worth.

What is it about that like in the movie about the little lost fish and the birds who all yelled mine mine mine. Those were gulls.

I have had people say that to me only to minutes later have their throats ripped out. That was a long time ago, in another life. Such is the world of a Vampire King. I now try to resist the urge to rip into the flesh of those who annoy me.

Today I found myself in an overly bitter mood. Back when I was the King of Vampires living in my castle on the mountain I would go into the tower and let the wind blow through my hair, and view all that was mine. At other times I would take my horse and ride through the woods until we were both exhausted.

Now I have a more modern approach. I get into my car and drive.

After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I could not have imagined a world with cars and paved roads. I could not imagine not having a horse. Maybe one day I will get a horse, or two, or three again. Until then I am content with my cats, though they resist riding in cars.

In the past five years I have learned much, including cars. I have two cars. One is electric and quiet. It is also expensive, but that does not matter. My advisories might have taken three hundred years from me but they did not take away my fortune.

My my my.

In my car I open the hole in the top of the roof, then I turn up the sound on the radio. A radio is another thing I could not have imagined having three hundred years ago. I was wearing flip flops and I could not have imagined those either.

The radio is an interesting thing. On it is every kind of music one can imagine. There are also those who talk angrily and excessively. I ignore them. Early in the mornings there are those who speak of farming and fishing. Late at night people speak of alien creatures who live in space and visit people at night, in their beds. I believe they have aliens confused with cats, or maybe even Vampires. It is not worth my time to wonder about it.

While I was imprisoned by my enemies in a crypt and thought to be dead I missed out on so much music. I did not know of Bach or Valvadi. I did not know of Mozart, Handle, Haydn, or Pachelbel. I missed Chopin. I missed the invention of the modern piano, which I now play. I missed Beethoven. I missed Verdi, and Greg, and Lizt. I missed Scott Joplin, Lead Belly, and Janice Joplin. I missed Jimi Hendrix. I missed Ravel, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Strauss. I missed the waltz. I am not sad that I missed Disco or Blue Grass. Those two types of music are not, how do I say it, conducive to the Vampire sense of being. I missed smooth jazz. I missed the starting of Rock and Roll. I missed Toto the first time they sang Africa. I missed so much. I did not exactly miss the polka because the villagers who were not Vampires had loud parties and dances that might have well been polkas. They vomited a lot. Then they slept and the Vampires moved in on them but that is a different story for a different day.

That is the beauty of radio. I can hear all of it now. Except Country Western and Rap Music. I do not listen to those kinds of music. I do not understand them or enjoy the sounds. Yes, for an easy meal, I will pretend to like them, or at least tolerate them for a short time.

Now where was I? I heard a song. It was a song about a Vampire. I do not understand it quite. As I drove my car through the countryside a song came on.

My, my, my.
Once bitten twice shy. 

What is this music I thought as I pulled over to the side of the road to hear more closely.

It was a song about a woman who spent a lot of time with men, but the singer was unsure of her. I think she was a Vampire. She bit him. Now he is shy of her. So she sleeps with many many men. He is of an old fashioned view where he finds that unsettling. Then he thinks she is a failure, but she exacts her revenge in a way I have yet to understand, but she comes out better. He is now shy of her because he fears being bitten again.

I looked this up on my Smart Phone, which three hundred years ago would have been considered magic to the point where if you had one you would be burned as a witch. If you were a Vampire it would have been alright, but regular normal warm blooded people are often ignorant fools who embrace that ignorance and the fear of new things. Vampires must always adapt and accept what is new and what is true.

The band that sang my my my was called Great White. Like a shark, not a racist name. I know now about racists. Great White an odd name but I have long since (for about four years) stopped questioning band names because that would be all that I would do all day every single day.

The men had long hair. I used to have long hair as they did. My golden blonde locks at one point came down to the middle of my back. Maybe my hair was a little longer.

That night after I arrived home I could not stop thinking about that song. Once Bitten Twice Shy.  

My beautiful Vampire lover Gillian came over to see me. I told her I was thinking of growing my hair long again like the men in Great White.

She told me no.

I told her the band Great White would be playing in Reno next month. “We could drive up there and stay for the weekend. It would be fun,” I told her just like a regular 21st Century man would ask his woman for a good time.

She said, “we’ll see,” just like women of every century since the dawn of time.

I may be a 675 year old Vampire but even after all this time, and so many women, I still will never completely understand them. Calling them them the fair sex is quite the misnomer. Women are never fair.

~ Vald

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

You have just read the 49th entry of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read Vlad’s diary from the start CLICK HERE.