Disco Mania and Other Things…

It has been one of those days…

So when I went on Facebook and noticed a friend put up an announcement for “Paddle Fest,” I thought it was, well, it took me a few seconds to realize it was a BOATING event, not something else.

When you’re the parent of college aged children you’ll find that they still ask you pressing important questions. Just last night my daughter asked, “The Allman Brothers is a disco band. Right?”

And finally, this morning I filled up the bird feeders. This is who showed up.


I’d name it Melissa but I think it is a boy turkey.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Both Ends

This morning, overheard between my husband Teddy and our 18 year old Clara.

Teddy: Honey, you have to stop and get some rest. Between school and work you can’t keep staying out late every night. You’re burning the candle at both ends.

Clara: What candle?


vampire teens



College Life – What I learn from my child

One thing I LOVE about having a child in college is that I learn almost everything my child learns (except the math.)

Ever since Clara, was a preschooler she has always told her dad and I all about what she learned in school. Even when she went on field trips she’d repeat to us what the park rangers, or museum docent said.

Yesterday afternoon she told me about her new political science class (second semester of college started this week.) I learned about the instructor (he used to be a spy, and has two kids.) I learned about how he runs a classroom (no immaturity allowed – he will drop kids who don’t act mature.) I learned what the students will be learning. My child and I talked for about an hour about the two-hour class she’d just finished.

Like I said, this isn’t something new. During the fall semester I learned all about religion, our environment, weird fellow students, art, history, philosophy, and everything except math and Spanish. I did learn all about the math and Spanish classes – the teachers and the fellow students.

I learned who put out tables on campus – mostly political and religious groups. I learned about blood drives, especially after the Las Vegas shooting.

Now the second semester is starting. I’m looking forward to learning about the US Government and Marine Biology.

I’m looking forward to hearing my child’s nightly observations and insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing the passion in her voice.

She knows her parents will actively listen too.

Clara told me that if she tells someone else what she learns it will help her retain the information. True.

My child isn’t one of those brainiacs who always got straight A’s and was wooed by Stanford University or Ivy League schools. But she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

It isn’t advanced math that will make her go far. She has passion. She has communication skills. Yes, people skills. She listens. She observes. She evaluates. She relates. She sees learning as an active life long skill.

She is my child and I am amazed every single day.

She is also hilariously funny.

Over the years I’ve posted “What we talked about this morning on the way to school” posts. I’ll have to start doing that again. She has her own car now, but we still talk before and after school.

When she leaves for the big university we’ll still talk.

If you get one thing out of this parenting blog THIS is it: Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. LISTEN. Encourage them to talk to you and with you. Hear their thoughts and ideas. The more you listen the more they’ll want to talk to you.

And you’ll say, “Life is good.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


By the way we also talk about pets, music, people we know, fashion, beauty products, the weather, movies, Netflix, cat and possum memes, and other daily stuff… but that is another blog post.





Rules For My Young Adult Vampire Children

When I started this blog my youngest was in Middle School. Now my Vampire children are now 18 and 21. They’re both in college and have jobs. They’re adults. Holy shit. They’re adults.

Mind you they aren’t those creepy kind of Vampires who look like teens and go to high school and college forever. They are just like other college students. The only difference is that they’ve always been Vampires. No big deal.

It is time for another one of my famous bulleted lists.

A Few Rules for Young Adult Vampires:

  • Stay away from fan fiction. Don’t read it. Don’t write it.
  • Don’t spend money you don’t have. Pay cash.
  • Don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. You know where I’m going with this. The same thing applies for the necks you choose to bite.
  • Don’t drink bad wine or cheap booze.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Listen.
  • Read for fun.
  • Vote.
  • Wear sunscreen and sunglasses even when it is raining.
  • If someone asks you to turn them into a Vampire always say NO.
  • If someone asks you if you’re a Vampire always say NO.
  • If you feel uncomfortable the answer is always NO.
  • Being somebody else’s trophy or arm candy is ALWAYS in bad taste.
  • Don’t have your social media accounts under your own name.
  • You’re not a bigot if you avoid Demons, Goblins, or Black Eyed Children.
  • It is ok to be afraid.
  • It is ok to mourn the dead.
  • It is ok to laugh out loud in public.
  • It is ok to not care what others think. You’re a Vampire. Why should you care?
  • Don’t stay in a relationship out of habit. Stay in it out of love and mutual respect.
  • Break up with your bad habits.
  • Don’t date assholes.
  • If someone asks you to move into a crypt with them always say NO.
  • Don’t sleep in coffins. You don’t have to.
  • You don’t have to be a leader, but never be a follower.
  • Learn how to get blood stains out of all kinds of fabric. Keep the cleaning supplies handy.
  • Never be tempted to drain someone of all of their blood. Then you’ve killed them and you have to deal with a body. It isn’t cool. Don’t do it, even if you’re having a party with your friends.
  • Avoid Zombies.
  • Keep basket ball shorts on the court.
  • Try not to let your bra show, especially the back strap. Nobody wants to see that.
  • If you don’t take yourself seriously nobody else will.
  • Avoid humorless Vampires.
  • Don’t worry about Werewolves. They tend to take care of themselves. I know they tend to be tacky dressers, loud, and rude, but don’t get into it with them. You’ll always win, but do yourself a favor and avoid it.
  • Don’t start collecting animals until you own your own home. Your parents have enough animals and don’t need anymore.

I could go on for another hundred points but not today. Sure they know most of this, but it is always good to remind them. Gently remind them.

They might be adults, but they’re still your kids.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman




We (my 15-year-old Clara and I) were on our way to the skate rink yesterday talking away about SAT tests and AP History when a story on the radio caught my ear. I turned up the volume. It was an interview with a writer who’d written a short story anthology.

I wrote a short story anthology. Hey, I need to be on NPR. I have been on NPR in the distant past but that is another time/place/life.

Anyway…to make a short story that seemed really funny to us even shorter…

The author we were listening to read a few paragraphs from her story. Clara grabbed for the tuner knob saying, “No, I hate this sort of stuff.”

My child has a low tolerance for “mommy” stories – so do I for that matter. But back to the story.. The bit read was about a child’s birthday party and well, not what we usually read. I’m sure it was quite good, if you like that sort of stuff.

I stopped my dear child from her knob turning and said, “Wait, I want to hear this. I like to hear what other authors do.” It was a great story. I liked this woman. She sounded like someone I’d like to have a glass of wine with and talk about kids and husbands and writing.

Then she said something that made Clara and I both perk up our ears. She said she’d submitted a story to thirty different publishers/publications and received thirty rejections. Then someone suggested she submit a story to The New Yorker. The suggestion surprised her. She’d never thought of that. So she submitted her story and 48 hours later she received a call saying her story would be published.

We thought this was great. Then we discussed another option. What if I submitted the same story thirty times to The New Yorker under thirty different names?

This was one of those moments when we both laughed and laughed and laughed. We were at that moment the most brilliant comedy team ever. Then again, Clara and I are the most brilliant comedy team ever 24/7.

Yes, this was funny to us. Thirty submissions of the same story under thirty different names.

My husband Teddy did not think this was funny. He just gave me one of those looks. It was more of a half look. He doesn’t appreciate our humor or that fact that we’re always laughing at something stupid. I just want to tell him, “you can run but you can not hide.”

Maybe I will submit a story to The New Yorker, but under my own name and just once.



~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Morning at the Vineyard now available on amazon.com (and tell the folks at NPR and the LA Times that this is the best book you've ever read and that they should interview Juliette Kings NOW. Any other media outlet would work as well. Yes, this is shameless but what do you expect? I'm a Vampire. We have no shame.

Morning at the Vineyard now available on amazon.com (and tell the folks at NPR and the LA Times and The New Yorker  that this is the best book you’ve ever read and that they should interview Juliette Kings NOW. Any other media outlet would work as well. Yes, this is shameless but what do you expect? I’m a Vampire. We have no shame.


Talking about high school and whatever…

Yesterday in Sophomore English.

Emily: Excuse me, what are Ack-Ra-Tees?

Teacher: Do you mean atrocities?

You have to remember that Emily was the one who once, when a teacher was lecturing about The Black Plague in the 1300’s, said, “Excuse me, shouldn’t you be saying The African American Plague.”

And yes, the child was sent out of the classroom. Mind you this is a girl dresses like a slut (but never puts out) and gets straight A’s (according to my 15 year old sources.) I’m sure I’ve posted that one before but it is too good to keep stored away.

It has gotten to the point where everyday I ask my teen, “What did Emily say today?” Really, there is enough to fill a book.

Of course just after I tell everyone she loves her teachers I hear how they are making life miserable with lost assignments, late grade postings and dull confusing assignments. Several students are going to talk to the counselor. No, I will not call the school until the child asks me. I am not one of THOSE parents. I care but at this age the teens are old enough to fight their own battles – and I believe they can win some if they go about it right. I’m here to help and advise, not to go up to school and be known forever as “that pain in the ass mom.” Dad is another matter. Heaven help anyone who gets on his bad side or seems unreasonable.

I told Clara to start taking pictures of her assignments on her cell phone. There will be a date stamp and a time – right before class.

Clara told me about one of her best friends, a kid like us, a kid named Zac. He received a message on one of the social networking sites asking “Are you gay. You sure act gay.” I kid you not.

Zac replied saying, “The only reason you sent this was to try to hurt me. I don’t know your motivation but you failed. I’m not going to answer your question or respond to any of your future messages.”

Good for Zac. It made me angry that kids taunted him. It is an ongoing thing at the school. I’ve posted about it before. You’ve seen the posts. If not I’m going to create a page soon on school posts and you can look them up there.

I recently answered survey questions from the principal of the high school about behavior. There was an open box. I told her all about the sexual harassment. I told her about kids being rude to teachers because of their religion. I told her how bad the behavior can get. I mean, this is high school so behavior is bound to be bad, but within limits, within reason. Yes, you can have reason in high school. Delusional as I am, I do believe that.

Calling kids out because of religion or perceived religious beliefs. Race and religion. General rudeness. Kids making fun of teachers.

This week Clara talked about Jewish kids being the target of nasty remarks. I never understood people persecuting Jews. Tonight Clara was researching it in school and she was surprised how far back it went. WTF? It doesn’t make sense.

Then there are the kids who continue to rag on Mormons all day. Why does that even matter? They make up about a quarter of the schools population. I swear they do. So get over it kids. They’re nice people. You don’t have to join their church and you don’t have to be rude to them either. You don’t need to be rude to anyone who isn’t like you. You know what teens, you will change. Your views will change, especially your views on religion and race and social class and just about everything else. So get over it now. Life will be easier if you do.

On a good note… when I picked Clara up the other day I saw a couple of fashionable teen girls with pretty long hair getting into what I assumed was the family SUV (I’m the only parent at the school who does not drive a mini van or an SUV.) One of the girls has Downs Syndrome. I told my daughter that not so long ago girls like her wouldn’t go to school. They wouldn’t have pretty clothing or pretty hair. They wouldn’t be treated like “normal” kids. They wouldn’t have gone out in public because other people would have said it was shameful. Shameful why? I never got that one.

For all the shit I gripe about there is a lot of good going on with those kids in that school. The Homecoming King was in a wheel chair. Not because he was in a chair but because he was a great kid with a strong will and a “screw adversity” attitude. The school is full of great kids.

Unfortunately there are a lot of jerks, just like in the grown up world.

I asked Garrett (my son who is a freshman in college this year) about it. He said that in college he sees it with sex and relationships. Girls get called sluts for putting out. They get called sluts for not putting out. Boys get labeled as being so dull they might as well be dead because they’re not out banging every girl on campus. Nothing new there. You can make someone a friend with benefits but make it clear you’ll never fall in love with them because of their race, religion, social standing or GPA. Then you string your FWB on forever. But THEN you get all butt hurt because the FWB becomes involved with somebody else. I almost told him that it sounded like his Uncle Max (one of my 4 brothers) but I kept quiet.

In college people tend to keep ugly racial and cultural comments to themselves, or at least Garrett hasn’t heard much. He said he heard all sorts of crap in high school but he brushed it off. His sister, on the other hand, seems to be hearing a lot more of it. Her high school circle isn’t so exclusive (small) as his was.

So now what? Maybe schools should hold the same standards as the workplace. Better yet, maybe parents should talk to their kids about these issues. Maybe parents should raise their sons to be more like Zac. Maybe they should raise their daughters to be more like Zac. Maybe they should put talking with their teens as a number one priority. Not just talking but listening and discussing everything that goes on in their child’s life. Not be shy. Don’t try to protect them. Don’t keep them in a bubble. Adulthood is almost here. They need to be informed and ready. They need to be morally strong. That is where being a parent comes in – so do your job. Be a strong parent.

So why do I even send my kids to school? You know the Vampire/paranormal thing and all. Because we live in a diverse world. We all need to hear the opinions of others. We all need to learn new views. Our kids need to learn things that we don’t know. Our kids need to learn how to deal with difficult people. They need to make life long friends. They need to laugh with those friends. They need to compare notes, solve problems and learn … they need to learn everything they can.

We can’t let our children become backwards and isolated like shadow creepers or end up like Vlad – heartless in a world that needs love (wow I out did myself on that one.)

So we’ll talk more tomorrow, my kids and me. We’ll always talk.

In the meantime, talk to your kids. Listen and learn and teach.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman