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

 

 

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

 

 

 

You don’t have to love what everyone else loves.

Everyone loves…

Name a movie. Name a book. Name a singer or band. Name a musical.

There are so many on that list of first named things people love that I absolutely loathe. They are things that make me cringe.

Oh yes, I have read, seen, tasted, and heard them all.

My skin crawls and I get a strong physical reaction of disgust when I hear the names of these things uttered.

I see postings on social media (especially Facebook.) I hear talk at parties. Friends assume I love these things as much as they do.

But my dark Vampire heart makes sure I show nothing on my pleasant Vampire face.

Seriously, this should be one of my Burning Questions – Do you love _______? And one of the answers should be What the Hell is wrong with you?

Then I take a deep breath, fall into Mom Mode and think about what I’ve always told my children.

We are all different. There is no accounting for taste. We all have different backgrounds. Some people are just stupid. There are times when you just need to smile politely and keep your opinion to yourself. Move on. Change the subject. Tell them you have other plans. Bow out gracefully. Just say it isn’t your thing and leave it at that. 

This has nothing to do with politics, or morality, or values. It isn’t a case of ignorance (which is usually the case in people who profess hatred for certain types of art, etc.) It has nothing to do with the hateful practice of bigotry.

It has everything to do with bad taste.  It is just the fact that we’re all different and there is something for everyone. Just like there is someone for everyone (or I like to believe.)

I’m leaving food out of this because that is too complex. As a Vampire my diet is restricted so I know how it is not to want to eat everything, especially when one risks being quite ill.

Oh how I would love to publish my list. Read my past posts and you’ll find a lot of stuff listed. You’ll find a lot not.

So least I offend you all, I will do as I tell my kids and keep it to myself.

OK, forget what I said.. It is driving me crazy not to scream it out. And that is what blogs are for – screaming shit out.

My famous partial bulleted short list of popular things that make me want to vomit I can’t stand:

  • Grease (the musical)
  • Never Ending Story (the movie. I fucking hate this movie)
  • Eat, Pray, Love (the book)
  • Twilight Series (the books and movie)
  • Little Women (the book and ALL of the movies)
  • Steel Magnolias (the movie. Sorry to break your heart)
  • Forest Gump (the movie)
  • Bridges of Madison County (the book and the movie)
  • Most breathy female singers especially those popular in the 1990’s.

I asked my husband for some other suggestions but everything he mentioned was on this list already. Like I said, there is someone for everyone.

If you don’t agree with me that is fine. I still love you. I’ll be back for the rest of the week with lovely posts guaranteed not to offend anyone. Then again I’m a Vampire, therefore a liar by nature.

But keep your shit list on your own turf. It’s just easier that way.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Burning Question #2

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I want answers.

I have questions for the ages.

These questions are important.

Today I will ask the SECOND of 50 BURNING QUESTIONS.

YOU will provide the answer. YES YOU. I’ve got a poll below. Don’t just say you like this post. Answer the poll question.

Please comment as well if you want. I encourage it.

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Here today, Gorn tomorrow.

BURNING QUESTION #2

 

Which is it? Star Wars or Star Trek? 

You can base this on anything you want. Is it the hotness level of Chris Pine vs Harrison Ford? Tribbles vs Ewoks? Is it the never ending television series or movies? Seriously I love this stuff but only the good stuff. Both have a lot of crappy movies and TV associated with them. Both have been overdone to death. Both are like car wrecks – you don’t want to look but you can’t take your eyes off of it.

You have to admit, that despite the special effects and science fiction settings, both stories are stories of the close bonds of friendship and loyalty.

YOU KNEW this would be one of the questions. I’m getting it out of the way early. 

 

All of that said, Star Wars and Star Trek have narratives of friendship, loyalty, hot guys, and the thrill of discovery that have become embedded into our culture. They are our campfire stories. They are our legends. They spark the emotions and the imagination.

So what do you think? Maybe you don’t. Just do the poll.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Just because everything is random.

More Science Fiction and Space Opera…

YES, you need to read STRANGE ADVENTURES IN A DEVIANT UNIVERSE and I will send you a FREE POSTER of this amazing cover by Jason Kemp. Click here for more information.

WPAD SciFi

 

Ask Juliette: Popular Culture Edition

Ask Juliette

Ask Juliette (or Ask a Vampire) is a semi-regular feature here at Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question you NEED to have answered, about anything send it to juliettevampiremom at gmail dot com, or put it in the comments here and I’ll answer it on the next Ask Juliette post.

So here we go. I have a lot of small ones this week.

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Why don’t you like the violin player Lindsey Stirling. I think she is awesome.

Good, then YOU listen to her play her magical violin. I don’t know, I just find her extremely annoying and rather weird. If you like her than by all means I’m not going to stop you. Have fun.

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 Why didn’t anyone in your family watch the Grammy Awards this year?

Because it is the same old shit every single year. There are so many talented and fantastic, and original artists who NEVER get recognized. I get tired of the Pink, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, and the rest of the “popular” artists. And I didn’t even mention my shock that the horrible Imagine Dragons song “Thunder” was nominated for anything. Really guys? You can do better than THAT. You used to be brilliant. What the F happened there?

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What movie do you want to win Best Picture at the Oscars?

Unlike the Grammy Awards, I approve of the Oscar nominations. Of course, since Sacramento is my hometown, and I loved the movie, I’d love to see Lady Bird get as many awards as possible. I’d loved that Get Out was recognized. The rest of the films are all deserving. This is one of those years when the choice will be hard, but no matter who wins it will be ok.

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Why don’t you like red pants?

We’ve gone over this before. Only small children (under ten years of age) and really old people (over eighty) should be allowed to wear red pants. Grown men should NEVER wear red pants, especially guys over thirty. So why don’t I like them? Because red pants look stupid on most people.

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What if your favorite Vampire movie?

Nosferatu (1922) because it is so weird and creepy. As a rule I don’t like Vampire movies. I think my next three picks would have to be Love at First Bite, Interview With A Vampire, and of course The Lost Boys.

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How do Vampires find food? It isn’t like you can just go to the grocery store.

Food is all around up. Most of us these days don’t depend on lurking around bedrooms, unless of course we’re invited. We find food at bars, and clubs. We find it at cultural events. Art events are awesome for food, as are concerts.

Most of us have several regular donors we go to. They might not know that they have their own Vampire, but they do. In return for being a regular we give them a certain amount of protection and favors.

Of course we get blood in bottles. Yes we do. And sometimes we DO eat real food. Just stay away from baked goods, sweets, and keep it simple but full of flavor. Poultry doesn’t set well with most Vampires. All things in moderation.

I get a lot of questions about this because everyone is fascinated with what we eat. Seriously folks it isn’t that interesting, but I’ll do more future posts on it.

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What would your exotic support animal would you want to take on a plane?

A fresh water otter. If not that a large goat.

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Alright that is all for now. Vlad’s Vampire Diary is coming up next. And remember if you have any questions about Vampires, relationships, fashion, paranormal stuff, books, following your dreams, anyone I talk about on this blog, parenting, kids, school, travel, cats, ghosts, or anything else you have just “Ask Juliette.”

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Hotties: Werewolves (if you’re into guys who smell like wet dogs)

Werewolf Week 2017 continues…Aside from all of the love letter, taking kids to rock concert, and spoon hanging posts THIS one is in the top five all time most popular.

Halloween Hotties: Werewolves (if you’re into guys who smell like wet dogs)

 

Time to Countdown to Halloween with Halloween Hotties #3 – WEREWOLVES.

Werewolves. I’m torn on this one. I just don’t find them attractive at all. OK – I don’t find most of them attractive.

Now wolves, the wonderful wild wolves who don’t turn back into humans are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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But Werewolves? Really? They’re just gross and disturbing.

This is not attractive or hot in any way shape or form.

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But before he was transformed…Mr Chaney was quite the looker. After the transformation his was just one ugly dog faced boy.

Lon Chaney looking hot in a suit! Sweetheart stay out from under that full moon!

American Werewolf In London = hot guys, ugly werewolves.

Looking cute now guys but wait until midnight!

So what does the whole Werewolf thing mean in modern culture. Man shows his inner beast? Nooooo, it’s just another way to creep us out and give us some scary fun.

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Caution: If you’ve come here for deep and meaningful look at my parenting posts.

That said, if you are looking for a HOT Werewolf… The hero of Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour, Michael Gallatin, is the most smoking hot Werewolf ever to grace the pages of fiction or non-fiction. I love this book. It goes down in my top 10 favorite books of all time. Take my word for it.

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The Wolf’s Hour is about a Russian Werewolf who is a Nazi hunter during WW2. Trust me, this isn’t some silly book. It is powerful, well written and filled with some of the best characters ever written. Read it. Read it. Read it. And by the way, Mr. McCammon you’re pretty hot yourself! I mean, any man who can write how he writes has to be hot.

Then there is Adam, my own Werewolf friend. He just rolls his eyes at me.

Yes, I do have personal experience with these guys. It is creepy when you see hair growing out of the top of somebody’s hand. I can handle the teeth thing, especially since I have fangs too. And I like a man with a little hair on his chest, but not covering his entire body like, well, like a DOG or a bear rug. Nor do I like the idea of kissing a guy knowing that he was chewing on his ass the night before. Yuck.

I once told Adam that I found the idea of turning into a wolf somewhat disturbing. He went off on me for a full 15 minutes about how vile Vampires are and that we’re more or less the most evil disgusting creatures that ever stayed awake all night. I told him I hoped he’d get fleas in his crotch and that I would NEVER forgive him for trying to rip my throat out a while back. I told him he smelled like a wet dog after he’d been a wolf for the night.

Most Werewolves are Halloween Hotties because of what they look like BEFORE the full moon. You gotta admit I’m right about that one. I mean, look at the photo below with the cute guy and the puppy. Cute now…just wait until the full moon and he turns into some disgusting hairy beast that eats Alpo and small children. Maybe we just want to take care of them – like we take care of our faithful dogs. Poor babies…. No, I don’t think so.

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Adam and I didn’t talk for a while after our big Werewolf vs Vampire blow out and insult throwing contest,  but we’re back to being in the close friend category.

Creatures such a Vampires and Werewolves can get a little emotional with expressing our feelings. That said, if you want emotional try spending some time with a ghost.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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He claims he looks more like the wolf, but I've seen him with those wolf teeth and hair growing out of his arms...it is enough to scare the most hardened Vampire.