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

 

 

Submission

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

Stephen King and Monet in Space

Yesterday my 15 year old daughter Clara told me about a conversation she had in school with another girl.

Girl: Who is SteFAN King?

Clara: He was an astronaut.

Girl: An astronaut?

Clara: Yes, he was the 5th man to go into space. He also writes horror novels on the side under the name Steven King.

Girl: Who is Moe-Net?

Clara (knowing it was Monet the painter): He works with SteFAN King. He was the 6th man in space.

Girl: OK. Thanks.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (who is not making this up)

 

Cat on Mars

Cat on Mars

Thoughts on Music, Rock & Roll and Sharing with Your Teens (from the Vampire Mom)

Don’t tell me that you hate your kid’s music. Tell me that you encouraged them to branch out and listen to something new. Tell me that they discovered someone you like too. Tell me that you sang along to a song together. Tell me that you talk about music with your teen.

About Teens and Concerts

I get a lot of traffic on this blog from parents wondering if it is OK to take their kids to a Black Veil Brides concert. Yes, it is. Of course it is LOUD and everyone wears BLACK but the BVB band members give a great show. They also give a safe show. And they have a good message. If your child is under 13 I would not recommend it. Concerts are loud and everyone is packed in. But check out their web site and fan pages  or CLICK here for my article. I’ve taken a lot of teens (mine and friends) to concerts over the years. If you play it safe, check out the band ahead of time, check out the venue, be cool and be safe then it will be fun.

PLEASE DO NOT be an asswipe and drop off your teen young inexperienced teen alone (your under age 17 teen) without a parent or older sibling/friend who can be with them. That is just stupid. Kids get scared and into trouble if you pull shit like that. Remember YOU are the parent (that means you are mature enough to have kids and are responsible for them until they turn 18.)

Go to the concert. Share the music. Have fun even if it kills you. Most smaller venues have places for adults to sit or stand if the kids want to be someplace else. At BIG concerts, like the Fall Out Boy/Panic! at the Disco concert we saw in San Francisco this past fall, you should sit in the stands with your kids (I sat with 8 of them.) It is fun and you can sing along even if you are old.

Black Veil Brides Church of the Wild Ones Tour - Sacramento, CA

Black Veil Brides Church of the Wild Ones Tour – Sacramento, CA

 

 Music Education

There is a lot more to music than what is played on the radio. With YouTube, Pandora and the amazing and old-fashioned but highly successful “Word of Mouth”, kids can learn about thousands of wonderful musicians and musical style options. I am delighted at the variety of music the teens in my life listen to. From Japanese Pop to Alternative Pop Punk to Indie Country to Classical – you’d be surprised what inquisitive teens are listening to and talking about. And yes, we still listen to Weird Al together (the kids and me). Encourage you teens to explore music options.

It is also your job, as an adult, to teach the kids in your life about important music in your life. What did you listen to when you were a teen? What music influences your life? What music made you feel? How did the music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (or whenever) influence social history and the music the kids are thinking about today?

 

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A few more words…

In my household we have a lot of different kinds of music. My brother Andrew is an opera singer. My husband likes heavy metal and classical and punk. My kids like Punk Pop and Alternative. At the skating rink we hear the old fashioned skate music played on an organ. I like it all. OK, I’ll admit that most people think my own taste in music is weird, but it isn’t (but I’ll keep it to myself for now.)

The key, as with everything, is to talk to your kids, share with them and discuss what you’re all listening to. And for YOU the adults – try listening to something new. You might just like it. I know you will.

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Related Links on Teens, Music and maybe even a little bit of Vampire stuff (it is all entertaining and/or informative.)

 

Have fun,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Dear Teacher: End of the year letters to high school teachers

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Dear Mr. M,

My son will be starting college in the fall as an Environmental Science Major with a Minor in Art. Over the past 2 years you’ve shown him the connection between the world of science and that of art. Not just that, you’ve also shown him that through science and humanity all things are possible, all things inspire, all things are important – as long as it is based on truth and knowledge and understanding. You showed your students that being curious is a good thing. You opened up worlds full of possibilities mixed in with those cold hard facts and formulas that they must learn (or else.) You’ve made a difference, not just for my son but for hundreds of teens. They will change the world – and that is a good thing. Thank you.

 

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Dear Ms K,

All year long I had to hear my daughter complain about you and about your class. Every evening she would describe the Bedlam type conditions in a room full of insane psychopaths and deviants and sex fiends. And there you were trying to be warden for these kids. Yes, there were a handful who wanted to be there and wanted to learn. Their grades might not reflect the fact that they did learn. At the same time my daughter was complaining about you and your curriculum she was also bringing up topics for discussion such as the comparison of presidential speeches or mythology or poetry. She talked about the books she claimed to hate reading (you have very different tastes.) The more she talked about you the more I told her that you were an amazing woman for teaching that class full of horrible monsters every single day. And you got through to kids. They don’t know that yet.

One of my most popular blog posts was written about you. It was called Thank You For Pissing Off My Teenage Daughter. I could have emailed it to you but I thought it was better not to. You might have taken it the wrong way. But that said, thank you for staying in the battle and for educating your students – even the monsters.

Also, please don’t edit this letter. I know it is making you hurt due to my fast writing and lack of correct grammar today. I know I have no excuse. Just thanks for sticking in there for the kids who want to learn. Thanks for trying to get through to the kids who don’t want to learn. That is all.

 

Everyone needs to get along!

Dear Mr S,

Thank you for taking over from a marginal strung out teacher mid semester and taking over another out of control class full of rude young people. My daughter thanks you too. You told the sexist kids to shut the F up and you tried to keep control in the class. I swear I don’t know why you teachers are put in such a battle zone. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you’ve done an amazing job. I told the principal that she needs to hire you on perminately. She’d be a fool not to.

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Dear Ms A,

My children have not only learned another language from you – they’ve learned another culture and a new view of the world. Thank you for bringing Spanish alive for them. Thank you for making the class more than memorizing. Thank you for making a different kind of grammar interesting. They don’t just know a different language, they know that despite the language that we’re not that different from each other.

 

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Dear Mr. J,

My child hates math. But she likes you and has requested to have you as a teacher for math next year. She said you’re the best teacher according to the students her age. She hated you at first but then she realized that she really just hated math. I appreciate the communication and resources you’ve shared with the students and teachers. The fact that my otherwise A student didn’t fail your class is a good thing. Maybe next year she’ll shine. Just a note: Some kids need a little extra coaching from the teacher because they never “get it”. Hint hint.

 

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Dear Mr. G,

The Night Coach post is not about you. In all seriousness the kids adore you. Good job. You’ve gotten them up off of their butts and maybe helped build some life long fitness habits.

 

High School Coach thinks he is going to score with a Vampire mom only to find himself in a passion that is off the score charts!

High School Coach thinks he is going to score with a Vampire mom only to find himself in a passion that is off the score charts!

 

Wishing you all a wonderful summer and many thanks. You are appreciated.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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