Additional Reminders

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I was sitting here and a pop up message popped up on my screen.

You haven’t written anything yet.

Thanks, but I don’t need any additional reminders.

Seriously, I don’t need any reminders right now, or ever.

I hate compute pop-ups. It just makes me feel hate. It is worse than the hate I feel when I see commercials with inappropriate music. You know like when Microsoft used “Start Me Up” and some clueless marketing asshole decided to show a small smiling girl using a computer right before the lyrics “You make a dead man cum.”

Aside from stories about raccoons scaling tall buildings (yes that is a real story) I’m trying to stay away from news stories concerning politics. I don’t need any reminders about any of that. I have yellow jackets to deal with.

You’d think it would be easy being a Vampire. You know, you just lurk around, sneak into rooms and drink blood, occasionally scare someone, and watch out for Vampire Hunters, but it isn’t like that. Jeez, not at all. Wouldn’t that be a horrible existence? Sort of like being a Zombie or more like a politician. You know, all dead and rotten on the inside with no feelings except the desire to feed and create a brood of sniveling bootlickers. And I’m talking both sides of the barbed wire fences they put up to keep their camps in line.

The yellow jacket sting burns and has put me in a temporary bad mood. Can you tell?

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Several other things have also put me on edge but … but it will be a good day. My wonderful 84 pound shadow of a dog is with me. Despite the asshole yellow jackets my yard is beautiful (I’ll post photos later.) I feel creative. OK not this second because I’m venting, but I’m feeling creative. My kids are driving to the coast for the day and I’m happy for them. My husband was in a good mood. Nobody was eaten by coyotes last night (at least not anyone I know.)

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My dog Alice

So what is bugging you today? Feel free to vent. Or better yet, feel free to share something good that is going on. We could all use some of that.

Sometimes it is good to have a reminder, but nobody wants to be bugged by yellow jackets or by their own computer.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Teens

Half a dozen teens ate Tide Pods.

About half a million people tweeted about it.

Twenty million believed that half a million kids were eating Tide Pods.

Thirty Million posted memes on Facebook about kids eating Tide Pods.

Those same people are now criticizing kids for speaking out against school violence because they believe that all teens eat Tide Pods.

This is what is wrong.

Everyone WANTS to judge.

Nobody THINKS about these things.

Nobody asks the teens they actually know about this shit.

People are stupid.

I’m sick and tired of it.

STOP EMBRACING IGNORANCE.

THIS is why Vampires sleep during the day. It has NOTHING to do with sensitivity to light. It is because people are stupid and they rush to embrace ignorance.

How do we change this?

Listen to young people for a change. They are our future. Listen to old people. Sometimes they have good ideas and nobody listens to them anymore.

Or maybe just shut the fuck up for a change and THINK before you post. Listen before you post. Have an original idea.

Go back to bed. Clean out your garage. Take a deep breath. And realize that there are different ideas and opinions out there to every problem.

This is for ALL issues.

In June all of the kids I had watched grow up will now be voting.

ALL OF THEM.

I wish them the best. 

They are our future.

We’ve let them down.

Let’s hope they won’t let us down.

 

Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Don’t talk AT them. Talk with them. Engage them. Force the conversations. Spend time with them. Hug them. Love them.

Don’t parent by accident. Your children deserve more than that.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What we talked about today before school… I wish it wasn’t true…I wish it wasn’t again…

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For years, since 2012 I’ve been posting on what I talk about with my kids on the way to school, and now that they’re in college just what we talk about.

Today we talked about:

  • The school shooting in Florida
  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC
  • The Olympics

School Shootings:

27973291_10215310182698618_2142073823464310448_nThis morning I hugged my child as she left for her college classes. I almost cried.

My daughter told me not to worry. She has told me that so many times that I can’t remember. She said “I’m in college. Don’t worry.”

I told her, “Virginia Tech, UC Santa Barbra, Roseburg, Oregon.”

Another school shooting. Another mass shooting. I don’t know as a parent how much more I can say. How much more can I cry for the loss and for the families and friends left behind.

How many more of these posts do I have to write? I almost didn’t write this one. But I must.

Another school shooting. This time, on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, Seventeen People Were Murdered – SHOT WITH A LEGALLY PURCHASED GUN THAT WAS MADE FOR KILLING PEOPLE.

More parents, friends, and families are mourning tragic losses today. This has to stop. It is unacceptable. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help. We’ve tried that already. Your vote, your phone calls to your representatives, and your LOUD VOICES, are a needed. Never again. Shout it out NEVER AGAIN.

We’ve all seen the horror of the reports in Florida. Students filmed the attack. One girl said, “I watched my friend get her face blown off.”

Seventeen dead.

This wasn’t a foreign terrorist. It was a kid that was so fucked up that he couldn’t act like a human. It was a kid who followed hate groups. It was a kid who proudly wore one of Trump’s Make America Great Again hats. This isn’t making America great. And we all know Trump will do nothing because as his son puts it “Trump’s America is Red, White, and Green.” Follow the NRA money.

We need law enforcement to follow up when people are concerned about what they see on social media – yes, this recent shooter and others have been reported  BEFORE the crime and nothing was done about it. If you want I’ll make a list. Right now I can think of the Isla Vista killings (guns and knives were used.) It was planned. The killer rejected mental health care his family provided. His family alerted the police. The list goes on and on and on.

The Columbine shootings happened in 1999 the year my daughter was born. She is now an adult. She has NEVER known a time without regular mass shootings, and school shootings in the United States of America.

The should not the our children’s NORMAL. It is anything BUT normal.

Of course our leaders DO NOTHING.  They don’t want law enforcement agencies to take threats seriously. They don’t want any kind of meaningful gun control, they don’t want to address mental health, they don’t want anyone to dare talk about hate groups, they don’t want to make adults who let minors have access to guns share responsibility for crimes, they just want to say meaningless works like “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and Prayers have NEVER prevented a school shooting. They have never made loved ones feel better. They are EMPTY words that now sound like insults.

I’ve written more than one article about mass shootings, including school shootings (links below). I always hope that each will be the last, but it never ends. This is the world my daughter grew up in. Today as she left for her college classes she told me not to worry – but I do worry. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is not right. I am so heart broken today about what happened yesterday in Florida that I don’t have it in me yet to write a blog post about it.

I DID contact all of my representatives in the Senate and Congress. I will contact the local representatives today.

Below are links to just a few of the articles I’ve posted since 2012 about mass shootings in the United States. Contact those in government who represent you. This has to stop.

Sandy Hook: https://vampiremaman.com/…/in-honor-hug-your-kids-talk-to-…/

Las Vegas: https://vampiremaman.com/…/04/a-reflection-on-horror-and-h…/

Marysvile, Washington: https://vampiremaman.com/…/a-shooting-threat-at-our-high-s…/

Orlando: https://vampiremaman.com/2016/06/12/today-is-sunday/

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  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC

It isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It is about ALL of them. They don’t care about the people who elect them. All they care about is the status and the money. It is all about the next campaign.

Men who were born in 1959 act as if they were born in 1859. They act like it is 1918 not 2018.

We all agree that Washington D.C. is full of old boys who act like assholes and sexist pigs 24/7 because they can get away with it. Their mommies are all dead, their daddies were sexist pigs. It is what they know. It is what they’ve been allowed to get away with because they are rich and they are bullies.

Then I think of Melania Trump. I can’t even imagine how much she must hate her husband in real life. I can’t imagine what she is thinking when she hears about her husband having sex with porn stars (and others no doubt) while she was home with a newborn infant. I can’t imagine what she thinks when she knows her husband has always chated on her. I can’t imagine the disgust she must feel when Trump touches her.

Then again it is what she wanted. Her family got a free ticket to America. They live off of Trumps fortune. For some that might be a good deal.

A lot of political wives are like that. Had I been Hillary Clinton I would have had the biggest bonfire in history on the White House Lawn when Bill was cheating. But then again, the love of money and power is sometimes more tempting than a healthy normal life.

This is where I’m going with this… these people, men and women in Washington DC are so out of touch with reality that it seems like some sort of weird alternate universe that they live in. The know everything about low class and NOTHING about the Middle Class.

But back to our current First Lady (who would have looked so much better without all of that needless plastic surgery) I know what her current favorite songs must be. You can listen below.

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics

This morning we talked about ICE SKATING. Oh my goodness. I’m just going to post a video. This is so beautiful that you’ll cry for all the good reasons.

Yes, I’m so off today I can’t write much of anything, so just watch this.

The Olympics have been wonderful. We’re following and cheering for everyone there.

That’s it for today. I have to go hug my dog.

And what I can’t stress enough: TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Value their opinions. Teach them what is right and wrong. Teach them compassion. Teach them to be strong. Hug them. Kiss them. Protect them. Treasure them. It doesn’t matter if they’re babies or in their sixties – do all these things. Always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Connections, Net Neutrality, and the Thoughts of an Old Vampire Blogger.

As most of you already know I don’t say certain things were meant to be. I don’t believe that bad things, or even most good things happen for a reason. What reason is there for a child to get cancer? What reason is there for someone to lose a limb, or a job, or a home to fire, or the freedom of speech? Bad things can make us stronger, or wiser, or closer to those we love, but that does not make them good, or reasonable.

I do believe in a certain amount of what I’ll call, for no other words, magic.

Let me tell you a story about something amazing. It is a story of magic. It is a story of creativity. It is a story of a group of people meeting by chance over the Internet and doing wonderful, amazing, magical things together – through love of storytelling, words, pictures, and eventually each other.

Once upon a time, before I stared this blog in 2012, I wrote stories and books. I wrote plays that were produced. I wrote stories. I wrote books. I wrote poetry. I wrote alone.

When the Internet and social media came along I jumped onboard early. As an artist and a writer I could see the potential. Sure, we all loved the Hamster Dance, but there was so much more. There was community.

In the early days of Facebook a family member asked me to join. I discovered old friends, and things like FarmVille. Then I discovered FB groups. I joined a few writing groups but didn’t participate. I just listened in. Every once in a while I’d post a story. Nobody ever responded. I’d read works by others and press “like.” Sometimes I’d say, “That was great. More please.”

Then a troll invaded the group, and people started to talk. We banded together and beat the shit out of the troll. We made him leave. Then something amazing happened. About ten of us started to interact. We decided to have our own writing prompts. The first was for erotica just because it sounded like a challenge and a bit naughty and fun. So rather than put our naughty bits out in a public group of 2,000, we formed our own group. We called it our Den.

For almost ten years we have formed a bond as tight as any group that meets face to face.  We have faced personal tragedies such as the death of one of our members. We’ve celebrated success together. We have become true friends. We have loved, supported, and treasured each other. We became Writers, Poets, and Deviants, aka WPaD.

We are from The United States, Canada, and Austria. We are one. We transcend borders because our culture is that of free speech, creativity, great stories, and art for everyone.

We just published our 8th Short Story Anthology. I am always in awe of the true talent and dedication of this group, especially of Mandy White who acts as our publisher, editor, and den mother, and Jason Kemp, who has provided the original illustrations and design for several of our covers.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe – WPAD Science Fiction.

Best Horror Anthology of 2015

Creepies 2 – Best Horror Anthology of 2015

Without the support of WPaD I would have never started Vampiremaman.com in 2012. Who else would have cheered when I said I was writing a Vampire/Parenting blog? Without WPaD I would have never considered publishing a book on my own. I would have never become a mentor to other writers, artists, and bloggers. I would have never met the amazing people I’ve come to know in the WordPress writing community.

To my WordPress peeps – I hold you all close to my heart as well. I will fight for your freedom to keep blogging and speaking your mind – forever.

To my WPaD friends – I truly admire, appreciate, adore, and love you for who you are, and for what you do.

In the old days, when I was a child, nobody had computers. People had pen pals. If we wanted to speak to someone we went out into the street to see who was there. More often or not doors were slammed in our faces.

But now, with the true magic and FREEDOM of the Internet I have met the most remarkable group of creative people I could ever imagine. I am not religious but I do feel blessed. I do feel this is something so rare and so special.

Net neutrality was ripped apart this week after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to repeal the network neutrality rules that prevented internet providers from blocking or controlling access to websites or charging websites to access users at faster speeds. Let me rephrase that – before ignorant and greedy trolls at the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the network neutrality rule. 

I encourage every American who reads this to contact their Congressional Representatives, and Senators and encourage them to reverse the hateful and dangerous repeal of the network neutrality rules.

We will continue to create, speak out, and love what we do, and who we do it with. We will contiue to support each other for we are the ones who create the magic. We are the ones.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Begging and Other Undesirable Actions

I have 72 thousand contact updates on Linkedin and other messages in my email inbox tonight. I don’t even know why I have a Linkedin account. More useless junk to throw at me, and then attempt get information off of me like a Kentucky strip mine.

Since before the election (you know which one) I’ve been bombarded with emails from all sorts of interesting groups. They all ask for my opinion THEN they ask for my MONEY. It is a constant pleading and begging for money that is so distasteful that I feel like turning against it all.

I’m unusually annoyed at our new Senator for sending out polls and asking an opinion, but I really feel like all she wants is my money. Nobody wants to listen, but everybody wants to get paid.

As a parent sometimes I don’t know what to say. One does not want to say we live in a society where our elected government never listens, but hey, we all know they don’t listen.

Who the young folks DO listen to are teachers. Yes, they DO listen to teachers. We’ve been discussing the two-party system and our two ineffective parties. We’ve been discussing all the assholery and shit-for-brains behavior on both sides. We’ve watched how that in spite of our government (both state and federal) that we will survive…or at least most of us.

In darkened corners, and in the light, we must teach our kids to fight ignorance. We must teach them not to be followers but to be free thinking citizens. We must teach them to question everything. We must teach them to follow the rule of law, but if that law is unjust they must use the system to change it. We have to start at an early age too. It is never too young to teach your child to question, and research, and form opinions.

One thing that makes our country, The United States of America, unique is that we’ve always questioned our parents, our elders, our government, and forged ahead. There are those who would take us back to the good-old-days of discrimination and sexism and inequality. Fuck them. Seriously, they can fuck themselves, but then again they’re already fucked because of the backlash that is guaranteed to come in good time.

Vampires don’t live in the dark because light burns their skin. They lived in the dark because it is the best place to find easy prey. Teach your children not to become prey. Teach yourself not to become prey.

And no matter what kind of relationship you’re in, be if political, romantic, or anything else – don’t beg. It is so unflattering and will leave you high, and dry, and alone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Trigger Words and Neutrality

A year or two ago I read an article that some colleges (not any my kids will ever go to) were telling professors to not say certain “trigger words” so sensitive students wouldn’t get upset and kill someone, kill themselves, cry, attack classmates, get depressed, or drop out of school.

No kid should be that sensitive. My feeling is that kids in college need to learn to backhand trigger words like Venus Williams backhands a tennis ball. Bring it on. Make it a sport.

We banter and discuss and generally talk a lot at my house. It’s a good thing. If someone throws an issue out there we’ll talk about it, or at least acknowledge it.

But still, we all have our trigger words. I can hear my husband whispering to the kids, “don’t say that around your mom. It’s a trigger word.”

I have a long list of trigger words that have the potential of sending me right on top of my soap box with a tirade of well grounded opinions. I dare say I’m sure I’ll offend some of my readers but here it goes. Yes, this is a warning. You can leave now if you want to.

Juliette’s Trigger Words and Phrases and Subjects With Pictures

Anything to do with the Trump family. In case you don’t know who they are I’ve posted this photo of them. (from left to right Melania, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka)

My political trigger words include: Trump, Shitgibbon, Bannon, EPA, Arts, Education, DeVos, Melania, Trump Children, Marla Maples, AND about a million other words…you get the direction this group is moving in. I also have no kind words for those who are bigoted against my LGBT friends, those who are obsessed with marriage, the sex lives of others, or any other kind of ignorant and hateful bigotry.

Don’t talk to me about RELIGION. That is YOUR business. When I hear the following it drives me NUTS:

  • It happened for a reason.
  • It is God’s will.
  • God has a plan.
  • God had a reason for it.
  • The Bible says so.
  • God only gives you what you can handle (if that is the case then most people I know can handle about six nuclear wars, a plague of yellow jackets, and rattle snakes in their beds, and their ex-lovers in their shower – all of their ex-lovers at the same time naked in the shower with them and NO HOT WATER.)

You get where this is going too. I’m not an atheist by any means (read my blog) but ugh. And don’t even get me started on people who say they don’t believe in science or evolution. Trigger trigger trigger trigger.

Vampires. 

I’m not going to bash Twilight because it got so many teens to start reading. They went from Twilight to other books and that was a good thing. BUT don’t talk to me about Twilight. Don’t. Just DON’T. I don’t want to hear it. I also don’t want to hear anyone say, “I don’t like to read about Vampires.” Fine then don’t fucking read about them. You don’t have to tell me about it.

Other literary and film triggers:

I don’t like (I despise) Eat Pray Love, Bridges of Madison County, Steel Magnolias, Little Women, 50 Shades of Whatever BUT –  I don’t care what you like to read as long as you’re reading. Just don’t question what I read. In fact don’t question what anyone reads. If you want to bash a genre then fuck you. We all have our ways to relax in private with a book. It isn’t for anyone to judge what anyone likes to read. With one exception….

Self-Help Books

90% are SCAMS and GARBAGE that spout Sunday School crap to confuse people, rip them off, make them feel bad, and … it just pisses me off. There are a very few good books out there for those looking for help, but proceed with caution or you’ll have me screaming.

All of that said…

I usually don’t say anything UNLESS I’m with my husband and children. I’m talking about real  life, not Twitter, or someplace else on the Internet (which by is now going to be a place where YOU will be sold like a piece of meat.) I’m speaking of real life.

In real life I tend to be neutral. I’m like Switzerland. I don’t take sides. I distract others away from trigger situations. I move conversations forward and back to where those conversations should be. I can take the most hair-brained off-target discussion and steer it back to where it is supposed to be. And unlike this post, it will all be in a thoughtful and usually good-natured way. My voice is calming and quiet. I’m like cool jazz background music, that calms, but you aren’t even sure you even heard it.

So I’ll rant about my triggers words right here, right now (don’t tell me later that the Jesus Jones ear worm is from me) because this is MY BLOG. I’ll turn it back to you later on with something witty, useful, and profound, and maybe marginally entertaining.

In the world of Vampires we see a lot of things come and go. We try to take everything in stride knowing that most things do pass. Then again a lot of things don’t pass (no puns please) and so THAT is why it is OK to get mad, speak out, vent, and use your voice sometimes.

That’s it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And this is a bunch of guys in hats for no special reason.