SHAME ON YOU. College Admissions Cheating.

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard or read about the dozens of wealthy parents who have been caught in a nationwide cheating/fraud. In order to get their brats into a hard to get into college such as Stanford, Yale, USC, and UCLA, these parents bribed coaches to say their children were star athletes, and they paid a college prep organization to take SAT and other tests on behalf of the students, or correct their answers.

This included famous parents such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

In 2012 when I started this blog most of the posts were about Middle School and High School happenings.

Over the past few years it has been about college. That includes college admissions.

I’ve watched about a dozen kids, including my own, work hard to get into Colleges and Universities. They’ve busted their butts to get good grades. They’ve worked hard and smart in their extracurricular activities. They’ve put their hearts and souls, and everything else they have into getting into their chosen school.

I’ve also heard heartbreaking stories of amazing kids, with great grades and impressive achievements get rejection letters from all of their top choices. There is absolutely no logic or reason these kids should not have been accepted. My heart just broke every time I heard about another unreasonable rejection letter.

Maybe now we know at least part of the story. Douchebag parents with a shit load more money than your average middle class family are bribing and cheating to get their little lazy ass darlings into good schools.

Is this jealously of the rich and famous? No, because I could have afforded to cheat to get my child into a fine university, but the price would have been too high. The price of losing my child’s respect and knowing I’d done a bad thing would have been too high.

There is no room for cheating when it comes to parenting. There is no room for cheating when it comes to life.

History is full of people who have cheated to get into the right college and get where they are right now, including some who hold extremely high offices. They threaten to sue those who uncover their dishonesty. They brush it off. Some die with their secrets.

The same kids who cheat to get into a school are the same ones who get money from mommy and daddy to hire someone to write their papers. They’re the same parents who will pad their children’s resumes with fake jobs. The list goes on and on.

Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy are acting as bad, or even worse than the characters on his show Shameless.

Families who are involved from admissions cheating should be banned from any respectable College or University, public or private.

For those of you who say the students should not be punished, only the parent: I say bullshit.

Most kids I know don’t even let their parents help with applications, writing admissions essays, helping with their SAT, or anything else that has to do with the actual admissions process.

As parents we are allowed to go with them on school tours, listen to their concerns, pay for anything we can, and give them moral support. The young people in my life would be absolutely horrified if they knew we’d cheated on their behalf. None of these kids would want to ever talk to their parents again. They’d say NO.

But you know what? I am sure the pampered children of the rich and famous cheaters were fine with this. They never say “NO MOM.” Cheating and paying to get everything they want is normal for them. They don’t know what it means to work hard.

The children I feel sorry for are the ones who did not know what their parents did. They will suffer in the fall out of their parent’s bad actions.

Money can buy a lot. I have no problems with money. I have problems with cheaters and bad parents. I have no problems with parents who help their kids get jobs and educational opportunities HONESTLY and above board. I have problems with cheaters and liars.

I have problems with people who STEAL university spots from hard working deserving kids.

  • Don’t cheat.
  • Don’t be a douche.
  • Support your kids in their dreams without doing it all for them.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Encourage your kids to be independent.
  • Be a person that your child will look up to, or at least love and respect.

 ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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This looks like how I feel about the subject of you cheating to get your child into the university of your choice.

 

For more information go to slate.com, npr.com, cnn.com or your favorite news source. Read all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Night Terrors and Horrible People

Vampire Wisdom

Now that my children are older, adults really (16 and 20) I am happy that I am out of that period where we have to deal with those awful parents from Hell that seem to litter elementary school, middle school, and kids sports. You know the kind who act as if they are their precious children are perfect and without fault. They constantly complain about teachers and coaches. They go so far as to get people fired because their little darlings are soooo unhappy. They usually say “God bless” to all they see. At the same time they lie, backstab, and their children tend to be bullies. On social media they act like victims, when in fact they are the predators. They move from school to school, from sport to sport, from club to club, spreading their brand of poison. You know the type.

Then I thought about writing about our state’s two university systems (California) and how HORRIBLE the administration is (Click here for just one example.) I could rant about how the leadership is unqualified and grossly overpaid for their jobs. Hey Jerry Brown give me the job. I’d do it right. Anyway, I am beyond disgust and my heart goes out to the students, professors, instructors, and parents.

Then my brother Max dropped by and I was off the hook, because I was distracted by his shit-holery.

Max is one of those alpha Vampire guys who is so full of testosterone that he can hardly function. OK that isn’t totally true. He is in full control of everything he does, or at least gives that impression. Of all of us kids (there are five of us) Max is the least likely to hang out with “normal people.” With women, and sometimes men, he acts as if he is in control, which means he is either making a fool out of himself over someone nobody else likes, or it means he is being an asshole to someone he ought to be treating with respect.

I know, I have an attitude today. Just a teeny tiny bit of attitude. Anyway…

Max is also part of our (Vampires) enforcement group, our version of the US Marshalls, who keep the world safe for everyone.

So he shows up last night with one of his newest guys. From time to time, when he is in town I let them stay at my house. I have a huge attic I’ve converted to a suite for visitors. Most of the folks he works with are friends of mine. Max is also my husband’s best friend.

Max introduced us to Charles the newest member of his crew. Charles is charming with movie star good looks (he looks sort of like Chris Pine.)

Charles is one of those good-looking guys who knows he is good-looking, but at the same time is charming, yet so full of himself. His life has always been charmed. He can do no wrong, even when he is doing wrong. Charles is what my daughter and her high school friends call an F-boy – short for Fuck Boy (look it up on urban dictionary.)

All Vampires have that power of attractions, but he is such an alpha like my brother. Charles has Max’s favorite protégé. Vampires have an old expression “sleeping in the same coffin.”  They are like that. Not lovers, but too close for the comfort of others – a little too much favoritism. I hate the way he has always showed blatant favoritism in every aspect of his existence. He would have been a horrible teacher.

Max loves his new puppies. But as someone living with a real puppy, I know that the new puppy gets old, and bites, and craps all over the carpet, and chews up everything. Yes, you still love the puppy, and adore it, but it is nice when your husband brings the puppy to work with him, so you can get some work done. So, yes, it was like the new puppy deal, in a way…anyway…

I’ve always worried about Max and his tendency to show favoritism to one staff member over the others. His group is tight. Most of them have known each other since the 19th Century, but when he is training someone it is like, well, a teacher with a pet. A new puppy. I just want to yell get a room, but I don’t.

The women who work with Max give him crap about everything. I’m glad they do.

To be honest Charles was lovely and polite to a fault. He really was. But there was something about him that was too glossy, too shiny, too perfect to completely trust.

Max was in good humor too. My brother even smiled a lot, which is a rare thing. He has such a beautiful smile too, especially when his fangs are out.

Maybe it was just a bad time. I’m trying to potty train a four-month old German Shepard who is always hungry, always chewing, always active, and poops and pees three on my carpet times her weight every single day. Did I mention she seems to double her weight almost every week? She is also exceptionally sweet, but a lot of work.

A lot of other stuff is going on as well and I can’t seem to dig myself out of my hole of stuff that never gets done so I wasn’t really feeling the hostess thing. That is why you haven’t seen may blog posts lately.

Thank goodness my husband Teddy was home, along with my teenager Clara to be social.

At one point I went to the kitchen for a break, and a glass of water, and maybe open a bottle of wine.

Leaning against the counter was Nigel, the ghost. Vampires and Ghosts, as a rule, don’t get along. Vampires are undead, but Ghosts are really dead. They covet what we have to the point of seething hate and loathing. They’re so insecure.

“I see Max is here with his new boy toy,” said Nigel with a smirk. Today his black hair was styled like Steve Perry’s in the height of Journey’s popularity. He wore the black suit he was buried in.

“Charles isn’t Max’s boy toy.”

Nigel rolled his eyes.

“So what is this tonight? Are they planning on going out and taking down a bunch of crazy Vampire Hunters, or are they just lurking about?”

“I don’t know what their business is Nigel. I hear a clutch of Shadow Creepers was found earlier this week, so he might be there for that. I didn’t ask.”

“Why not? Don’t you care? Aren’t you curious? Don’t you wonder what two leather clad alpha Vampires are up to?”

“No really Nigel. I have a headache, and I’m tired, and I just want to go to bed.”

I looked up from the wine bottle I was opening and saw Charles standing there.

He looked horrified. Of course he did. I had a Ghost in my kitchen.

Nigel stepped towards Charles. “You were such a weasel.”

“You’re alive,” said Charles. “I thought you were dead.”

“No, Chuck, I’m dead. I’m a fucking Ghost.” Then Nigel faded in and out of transparency.

“You were murdered.”

“No shit Sherlock. When did you become one of the blood sucking undead?”

“1988. When did you die? 1987?”

“86.”

They knew each other from way back when. They were teens and young men running in the same circles. Small world. One was now a Ghost who would have been 56 years old. The other was a 58-year-old Vampire who looked like he was twenty-nine. Don’t try to do the math and say I’m wrong. They were both born in October.

I sat there as they caught up. It was exceptionally weird. Nigel had been my Ghost. He’d been my annoying Ghost friend. Now there was some F-boy in my kitchen talking to him. I didn’t stay annoyed too long. It was sort of nice to see two old friends now in lives that most people would consider exceptionally weird catching up.

I wished I had some moral to this story. I wish I had an allegorical message. I don’t. It was just nice to see two old friends catch up, even if I found both of them exceptionally annoying. I was happy for them. Plus it was interesting to listen to them.

Leaving them alone I went back into the other room and put my arm around my brother’s waist. Max put his arm around my shoulder and kissed the top of my head. He was telling Teddy about a Vampire woman he has been on and off with for years. She’d been dealing with keeping Demons in line.

I thought of mentioning that my kids were out of Middle School so I didn’t have any demons to deal with but I kept the thoughts to myself. Then a glossy dark shape with a long think tail curled up on my feet and closed her precious puppy eyes.

That could segue into a story about how creatures who are so different can get along and live together, but that is for another day.

Now I’ll just say, have a wonderful night, and I wish you all well. I’m feeling a lot better now, and not pissy whatsoever.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

And as usual this post was written in under 30 minutes…I think about 15. Whew. The cats were not good editors.

 

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A brief message about parenting failures, the Duggars, ignorance, and environmental issues from a Vampire Maman.

The biggest environmental threat to our planet is human over population. Period.

A few months ago I told my family that something in the Duggar family was going to come crashing down. I said there would be a tell all book written by one of the children. Someone would come out of the closet. Someone would crack.

This week TLC announced they were taking the show off of the air because the eldest son had mollested several girls when he was a teenager. No surprise there.

As a parenting blogger I always advocate spending time with your kids. I advocate listening to your children. I advocate letting them find their own interests, grow and fly.

The Duggar children don’t have that option. They are part of a factory, run by their parents, to produce and exploit their own children. The mother is obsessed on getting a higher and higher number of offspring. She doesn’t care that her children might not share all of their dreams with her. Her daughters are not allowed to dream. They too are destined to obey their parents and become baby factories. The sons are also told that they will have wives and hordes of kids. It is all about quantity not quality.

In any society, be it a family, a village or a country, where knowledge, ideas, free thoughts, and the equality of the sexes are not valued there will be a breakdown. Where there is no equality there will be anger, frustration, ignorance, violence and life will be a mindless existence.

In the culture of the Duggars, children must obey and be happy at all times. I’d rather my children love and trust me than obey me. I’d rather had children mind me and do what is right rather than obey. To me the word obey makes me think of violence – as in a man striking his wife or abusing a child because they do not obey.

When a group like the Duggars and their society is obsessed with sex and the dominance of males and the absolute chastity and innocence/ignorance of women when it comes to sex, bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

When people can’t freely choose who they love bad things happen.

When people can’t explore the world around them and see different points of view bad things happen.

Another show will start soon on TV about nauseously sweet people with a dozen musically talented kids. You might have seen them on America’s Got Talent last summer. It makes me sick just thinking of them. There is another family obsessed with fame due to their high fertility rate.

All families are different. Some are small and some are large. If you can pull off a large emotionally healthy and creative family then I’m behind you. If it is all about your needs to get that magic number then I’m against it. If having a large family is more about “family” than it is about your individual children then I am against it.

No good can come of reality TV shows featuring families. I wonder about creatures such as poor messed up Honey Boo Boo, and Kate with her eight exploited children. Will you be happy Kate when one of your kids writes that tell-all book? Will you care as long as there is a lot of money in the bank?

And for Mr. and Mrs. Duggar. I hope you are ashamed of yourselves, but then again people like you have no shame. You have no moral code except your own self-centered need to have attention and absolute control over your brood of fucked up children.

Shame on you.

If you’re new to this blog please see my page on what I believe and practice as a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

All Time Low – All Time High (taking your teen to a rock concert)

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All Time Low Ace of Spades, Sacramento, California April 15, 2014

 

The most wonderful words a parent can hear from their teen is “You’d never embarrass me mom.”

That is what I heard as we walked up and way to the back of the line that ran around the block before the All Time Low concert with Man Overboard and Handguns at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California on Tuesday night (April 15, 2014.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken my teens to concerts. I wrote a now popular article last year “What I learned from going to a metal concert with my teen.” Before you take your teen to a rock concert for the first time please read the article. Click here for the link.

And the key as a parent is to relax, do your research ahead of time and have fun – and let your kids have fun.

I enjoy the music my teens have introduced me to. Going to concerts with them has been a blast and a truly great bonding experience. Think about it. Music is something that we should SHARE with out kids. Not to the point where you (the parent) act like a fool going nuts and dressing like an idiot (too sexy, tight, weird for your age), but you know, just share. Have fun. Talk, discuss, sing, enjoy and treasure that time with your teens. It isn’t going to ever be like this again so enjoy it. Savor it.

Over the past three years we’ve been to a lot of concerts, including most recently, seeing Fall Out Boys, Panic! at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots in San Francisco at the America’s Cup Pavillion. Wow, that was amazing.

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View from the Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco concert in San Francisco. A perfect night and a perfect view!

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Fall Out Boy San Francisco

So you can imagine that I was more than happy to go with the teens to see All Time Low.

All Time Low

All Time Low

All Time Low
Alex Gaskarth – rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards
Jack Barakat – lead guitar, backing vocals
Zack Merrick – bass guitar, backing vocals
Rian Dawson – drums, percussion
Additional musicians
Cassadee Pope – additional vocals
and she was absolutely darling. All the girls adore Cassadee. You can see her singing with Alex in the last photo on the post (the blue one.)

The April 15 show was at a sold out venue at The Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California. I can’t start to tell you how much I love going to a concert in a smaller hall (under 1,000 people.) Everywhere you stand or sit is a good view. It is intimate and personal. You can see faces. And you can see your kids. I was on the balcony (in a bar) that overlooks the floor. A great place for parents. You can enjoy the show with a great view and see everything in the club. Everyone up top with me was having a good time. It was a friendly group of parents mixed with other over 21 year olds.

Handguns opened the show. They are a Pop Punk band from Pennsylvania. Loud and young but with a lot of potential to grow and refine. The sound seemed off on their set which was too bad. That said, the audience loved them and they loved back. Fun band with a great future.

Man Overboard is a fun experienced Pop Punk band from New Jersey. They were loud and had the crowd dancing and clapping and jumping. And that is exactly why we go to these concerts! I’m sure with their loyal fan base that they’ll be around for a while.

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All Time Low

All Time Low was as tight and together as any band I’ve ever seen – ever. That includes big well known mega bands from the 60’s – 80’s. Yes, they’re THAT GOOD.

Just a bit of trivia before we start…

All Time Low holds the record for most bras on stage. If you throw them a bra they’ll donate to a breast cancer charity. The top of their truck (and it is a BIG truck) is covered with bras of every color and size.

They’re from Maryland and tour full time. They’ve been together since high school. They’re so happy and fun. Click here for the official All Time Low web site.

I’m not a professional music critic. I’m a parent, an artist, a parenting blogger, writer of Vampire tales and stories – so I’ll make this short and sweet.

Thank you ALL TIME LOW for a great night full of some of the best live music I’ve ever heard. Thanks for staying together all these years. Thanks for making music that my kids love and will love for years to come. And guys, I want to see you still playing 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 40 years from now. You have what it takes to be one of those great bands that just keeps going and creating for a long long time. You’re classic and smart and you inspire a generation of young people. And people your parents age like you too (THAT is SUCCESS.)

At the Sacramento show they performed an impressive long set with the following songs.

Do You Want Me (Dead?)
So Long Soldier
The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver
Stella
For Baltimore
Break Your Little Heart
Lost in Stereo
Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last for a Night)
Vegas
Guts
Weightless
Remembering Sunday (with Cassadee Pope)
Therapy
Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)
When I Come Around
Somewhere in Neverland
Time-Bomb
Backseat Serenade
Oh, Calamity!
The Reckless and the Brave
A Love Like War
Dear Maria, Count Me In

It was great. If you have the opportunity – go see them. If you don’t know their music check it out on Pandora, Youtube or your favorite online music site.

And if this isn’t your style, find out something that is and enjoy it with your teen. You’ll be glad you did.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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A Special Note to ALL Parents:

When I arrived home I found this message on my phone (on Facebook, sent twice): “I’m  all alone I’m really scared and I can’t find you guys can you please send someone into the bathroom to get me?”

This was from a girl we know who came alone. Not good planning. Especially since her mother was posting on Facebook all night about dancing and drinking with her friends. What the fuck is wrong with people? While she was out with her besties or boos or whatever the crap she calls her friends, her over sensitive daughter, who didn’t plan with friends ahead of time, was alone and scared and reaching out to other adults.

Hey LISTEN UP – If you have kids  – your kids are your first priority. You don’t just drop off a teenage girl alone at a concert – especially if she has never been to a concert like this before. There is no excuse for bad parenting like this. Mom should have been at the concert with her daughter, not out playing at trying to be hip and young or whatever the fuck she thinks she is. Your kids should come FIRST. PERIOD. Excuse the bad language, but this really really pisses me off.

The mom should have made sure her daughter was meeting at a specific time and place with other people. She should have called the other parents ahead of time to make sure all would be safe and sound. That is what parents do. Let me say that again…THAT IS WHAT PARENTS DO.

My kids and their friends never did see this girl but they called her later, after we got home and I saw the message. I don’t know who she got a ride home with or if she had a good time or not. Bad call on so many levels.

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All Time Low

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