What We’re Talking About Today: Disgusting People, School, Road Trips & Looking to the Future and THE DOG.

Trigger Warning: We will be discussing politics, Star Wars, Star Trek, and being rude and maybe using bad language. I’m also going to ramble on and be long winded because this is my blog.

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Trigger, in his natural state, before being dressed up. And yes, he was stuffed after he died. I find the taxidermy aspect kind of creepy (and I’m a Vampire for heaven’s sake)

For years I’ve been blogging about what my kids and I are talking about.

You all know my mantra is talk to your kids. Seriously, no matter how young, or how old they are, you need to talk to them, and with them, and listen as well. Pretty much no subject should be off limit.

First of all, the age of #MeToo, which should have come long before now, Alex Acosta resigned in as the Secretary of Labor due to his lax dealings and deals with the King of Perverts Jeffrey Epestein.

As the Epestein story unfolds we’ve talked about all of the stories about how rich and powerful men think it is OK to rape girls. Someone was calling them “underaged women.” These are CHILDREN we’re talking about, procured for the disgusting habits of rich men. Yes, folks this has been going on for centuries and it has to stop NOW.

All of the news about nasty creepy men who abuse, threaten, rape, and buy girls is so disgusting. They are not under age women – they are GIRLS and CHILDREN. What asshat thought of the term underaged woman? Obviously someone who wants to excuse the rich and powerful of their disgusting crimes. Anyone would would be friends or associated with any child abuser makes me sick. So many people know about powerful people who buy girls for their own perverted purposes. To me these people are equally guilty for not saying anything. These girls will suffer their entire lives with love self-worth, health problems, and in ways most of us can never imagine. Pedophilia is a crime for everyone – no amount of money or religion can make is acceptable under ANY circumstance.

My kids and I have also talked about teachers, Hollywood figures, and others who also take advantage of young people for their disgusting urges. No excuses. Consenting adults means ADULTS. Any adult who can’t control themselves around children needs to be locked up FOREVER.

We also talked about those horrible adults, including parents, who put their daughters out there, more or less selling them to the highest bidder. We see it all the time. It is all over the place. It is disgusting.

I’ve spent over twenty years drilling it into my children’s heads not to make fun of how other people look but we ended up talking about THIS PHOTO.

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All of the young folks are passing it around laughing saying they can’t get it out of their heads. This is a bad photo all around.

Who the Hell would give their children such creepy old fashioned hair cuts. This is not cute. They look like they’re wearing helmets. It is MEAN Mrs. Acosta. And NOBODY dresses their children in matching outfits anymore. You might think it is cute to dress your children like weird matching twin dolls out of The Shining but everyone else is wondering WTF?

By the way, there are entire web sites and blogs devoted to bad family photos. Look it up. The holiday photos are exceptionally funny.

Mike Pence looks exceptionally short which is weird because he is 5″10′ tall in real life, but we’ve decided that NOTHING in Washington D.C. outside of the Smithsonian Museums has anything to do with reality. On the other hand Mrs. Acosta could be close to seven feet tall. We just don’t know. And hey, Mike Pence, what are you doing so close to a woman who isn’t your wife. Do you feel tempted? Come on Mike, tell us. We won’t blab your secret (yes we will but that’s ok.)

We seriously think men who use the excuse “I won’t be around other women, who aren’t my wife, because it is out of respect for my wife, and I don’t want the temptation” are moronic perverts. Seriously dudes, if you can’t be left alone in a room with another woman, or be around women without the possibility of dirty thoughts then you need to be locked away FOREVER. This isn’t the 12th Century. Get with it guys. Stop thinking with your dicks.

Vlad, the King of Vampires (you all know Vlad) was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, missed the 18th – 20th Centuries, and he is still more advanced than these guys when it comes to women. Then again, Vlad is a Vampire, so of course he is socially advanced. Vlad is also 5″10′ but nothing like Mike Pence. Vlad’s leadership skills are far better. Vlad is also sexy and cute AF but that is another story.

It seems that religion, so called family-values, perversion, violence against females, and politics are all dancing around the May Pole together, and happily, or unhappily falling into bed with each other. Yes, that is what I’m talking about with my kids. I don’t want them to end up so sick and twisted as all of the rich and powerful who choose to use and abuse their power in the name of money, religion, and politics.

Those who turn their backs when they see this behavior, adults harming children, are just as guilty as those who do the actual harm.

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Now from one soap box to another…

We just saw the new Star Trek series poster. Forget the actual series, just look at the poster. It is beautiful. And THE DOG. Look at THE DOG.

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I also have a thing for men in long coats. It goes way back.

My kids didn’t grow up with Star Trek or Star Wars, at least not a lot. They were not around for the first wave of shows/movies and it isn’t on their social radar. But, they live in The United States of America so they KNOW enough. They’ve seen enough of the movies to the extent where we can talk about it.

I guess I could say my children are more of the Hunger Games generation.

There has always been a contrived battle between those who like Star Trek more and those who like Star Wars more. Come on folks, get off it it. They are both part of our now collective folklore. Get over it.

The thing that has made both of the series of stories so successful isn’t that they take place in space, but in the characters and their relationships with each other. Especially with Star Trek, it is all about friendships.

But there have been fails, horrible fails with both.

With the Star Trek series the first show was something different. It was fun. It was campy. People remembered it.

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Then came the first Star Trek movie in 1979 “Star Trek – The Motion Picture.” It was HORRIBLE.

But then, wait, something sort of wonderful and about as wonderful and campy as it gets happened.

THE WRATH OF KAHN

I have a soft spot for “First Contact” from 1996.

The rest were ok. Fun to see with friends for no good reason. Then in 2009 “Star Trek” came out with CHRIS PINE. OMG talk about eye candy. It was a fun movie. We all liked it.

The next few were fun too, but the last one “Beyond” was so jumbled with massive explosions, special effects, and other violent nonsense that we didn’t even realize there was a story line.

But going back to Picard… I’ve tried to explain this to my kids who won’t take the time to watch it… “The Inner Light” episode of The Next Generation was a wonderful stand alone story. Picard has memories of another life where he lives in a calm and nice community, has a family, and lives a life different from his own. There is no explanation of where these memories come from. It just is what it is.

Now, not to skip it, we talked about Star Wars.

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I find the direction the “Star Wars” series has taken extremely sad.

The first three films are now locked into our culture and mythology, as hard and fast as Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes are locked into Greek mythology.

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Return of the Jedi (1983)

These three movies are what we think of when we think of “Star Wars.” The Return of the Jedi was a perfect movie. All three were magic.

Unfortunately all that followed (except one) were HORRIBLE. What the fuck were they thinking?

In 2016 “Rogue One” came out and surprised us all. It had good actors, a good solid story, and great characters. After that the following movies all went down hill crashing and burning all the way down.

My daughter’s boyfriend described “Solo” this way: It was like someone asked a thirteen year old kid off the street where Solo came from and made the lame answer into a movie.

Way to go Disney.

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We’re kind of done with the Avengers too. The movies got too confusing with too many  disjointed story lines, too many characters, too many stupid things, too many fights, and not enough good lines or a real plot.

But hey, you already knew all of this. It is what we’re talking about this morning.

Aside from political scum bags we don’t personally know, and movies we have other things on our minds.

Both of my kids are looking for places to live next year. They’re filling out applications for renting houses or town houses. I get a million questions about frustrating questions on the applications. They’re adults now for sure, but sometimes need help in  navigating it all.

Fall with a new school, and graduate school is looming on the horizon.

An empty nest is looming on the horizon for me. I have big plans for building an office/studio space for my writing, art, and other business. I’m going to get rid of so much stuff that it would make even Marie Kondo cry, or extremely proud.

We’ve all been on the airbnb site so much that we’re going to shut it down. For the next two months there will be road trips up and down the state of California both for school and fun. In a few weeks we’re also blasting up to Spokane, Washington for the 2019 National Figure Roller Skating Championships.

My kids and I are talking about a lot of things. We always do.

No matter how old they are keep talking with your kids. It is easy, and free. Plus it will always make you feel good.

I’ll end this off with a photo. My daughter is at the coast for the weekend. No matter where she goes she sends me photos. This  one is of a bobcat she was walking down the road by the house she is staying in. Good stuff.

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~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Empty Nest

At the end of my street is a bald eagle nest. The babies hatched this spring have learned to fly a few weeks ago and have now left the nest. We might see them around occasionally during the rest of the summer, but they’re more or less gone. This is the third year we’ve had eagle babies. This is the third year we’ve gone out to the nest and watched new hatchlings grow and leave mom and dad.

The nest is now empty.

Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university. It is not a clinical condition.

My daughter just turned twenty. She’ll be moving out in September to attend a prestigious university on the coast of Southern California. I am over the moon proud of her.

I have kept a safe and sound nest for my birdies. They have learned how to fly.

I’ve prepared my children to be adults. They have far exceeded my expectations. I am so proud. I think I said that already, but I am. I always will be.

I prepared my chicks but I didn’t think that I’d be so unprepared.

It isn’t as if I’m unprepared. It isn’t as if I don’t have anything to do. It isn’t as if I don’t have a dog who needs ALL of my attention, elders to take care of (that is another story that breaks my heart), cats to heard, and a husband who is going through his own transitions.

It has been years since I have felt my heart breaking like this. I had no idea.

Yet, I am filled with joy and excitement because my kids are adults and they’re going to make all kinds of awful mistakes, and have wonderful adventures, and be amazing, and successful, and they’ll change the world for the better. I know for a fact that they’ll change the world for the better. When I think about that I am less likely to start crying.

When you have a baby you know that in 18 or 20 years that… your baby will be an adult.

But you know what? Your babies will always be your babies.

Having kids is the best thing, the hardest thing, and the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. At least it has been like that for me.

I finally found something I was good at. REALLY good at. Better than most at. The BEST at. And now I have to do something else that I can be the best at.

Just between us I’ll still be the best mom ever.

And if you’re reading this you can still be the best mom, or dad, ever too.

Just keep saying to yourself, “Don’t panic. They all grow up.”

You’ll be OK.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Just stuff – musings on life, kids, me, stuff

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Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I’ve been … things are changing quickly around here.

I’ve been spending time with the elders Eleora and Tellias. They’re extremely old. They’re forgetful and need time and care.

Clara is spending her last summer at home before going to the big prestigious difficult to get into university in Southern California (NO not any of the ones involved with the cheating scandals.) Unlike her brother who went off to college with his BFF, she is looking for housing and searching out potential roommates. She is also getting ready to go to the regional championships for her sport then on to the national championships. She is also working and spending a lot of time with her boyfriend, and with me.

Teddy, my husband is working a lot, and diving into a lot of new things. I don’t talk a lot about Teddy, other than his good looks and winning personality. Did I mention his good looks and winning personality.

The eldest child is home on and off after his first year in graduate school. His BFF Randy is still his BFF. They have girlfriends. That is plural girlfriends. I keep out of it.

My writing consortium WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants) is coming out with our THIRD horror anthology soon. I’ll keep you posted. I believe that will be our 12th book.
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Summer always brings mixed feelings for Vampires. The weather brings more people out, in fewer clothes. That makes meals easier. Then again, it is hot and bright and we need gallons of sunscreen and I’ve never liked the extreme heat. But with the heat comes flowers and I love my flowers.

So anyway, I am reorganizing my life along with everyone else so I hope to bring more news, stories, thoughts, and interesting blog posts this summer.

One thing I am doing is spending a lot of time at the art museum. Fun stuff. Vampires love art, so of course we support all of our local museums and art events.

In the mornings I love to sit on my deck before dawn with my coffee and listen to the birds. I feel, I KNOW, I’ve done a great job preparing my little birdies for the big outside world. My chicks have spread their wings and are now flying on their own.

Parenting, and writing about parenting has been such a huge part of my life for the past 23 years that I now find myself at a loss for words, as the last one finished up community college and is now leaving… moving 450 miles away. Hey, at least I know there are plenty of cheap flights down her way, and it isn’t really that far of a drive.

OK, I’m done. Time to go out and plant more sunflowers. Yes, it is an odd thing to think about – a Vampire planting sunflowers, but we do all kinds of unexpected things. If you’re a Vampire you’ll understand.

Have fun,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Thinking Back on Being A Parent

When I started writing this blog I was dealing with Middle School and summer camp. Now I’m helping my kids navigate lease agreements and finding the best coffee grinders.

Over the years I’ve talked about navigating school and social situations. We’ve gone to concerts. I’ve seen first love come and go, but I’ve also best friends, and bonds that will last the ages.

In the great big world my children and I have discussed school shootings, the environment, and politics. We’ve been to political events so the kids and their friends could have that experience and see what it was all about. We’ve known what it is like to be different. We’ve known what it is like to be part of a group.

Every family is different, but I feel, I know there are some things that all parents must do.

So many people think schools should raise their children and teach them everything. Or many think going to church (God forbid) will teach their kids all they need to know about being a decent person. But they miss the point.

As a parent it is YOUR responsibility to raise your child. Not just feed them or clothes them but to share your world with them.

The number one most important thing I can say to parents is to TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. I don’t mean lecture them or talk at them. I mean talk with them and LISTEN to them. Discuss things with them.

Encourage your children to be “big picture” people and go beyond their family, friends, and school. One day they’ll go out into the big wide world. You don’t want our little birds to take wings and get eaten by the first raptor who comes along. Teach them to see, to watch, to question, to be aware.

Teach your children to have their own opinions. Not everyone is a leader, but you don’t want you child to be a follower. They need to know that it is alright it they take their own path. If they choose to be with others that is OK but it must be their choice.

And yes, they should be allowed to make their own choices but you, as a parent, need to guide those choices. If they hang out with a bully then STOP that friendship cold. Let your child know why. If they have a friend you don’t like and the alarms go off then STOP that friendship. You’re the parent. Teach your kids to have real friends, not just kids to hang out with. Teach them NOT to give into negative peer pressure or bullies. Talk to them about it. Always encourage them to take the higher road. Even tiny children understand that to some extent.

Early on explain to your child how important reputation is. It is easy to lose one’s reputation but it is extremely difficult to get it back. Kids lose their reputations by hanging out with kids who offer nothing but trouble. Don’t think you can save someone by being good. They will only drag your kid down with them – and they won’t care. I know this is harsh but I’ve seen it happen too many times.

At the same time teach your children that good friends are a treasure. Teach them that they can have friends that are a different sex, a different color, a different sexual orientation, a different faith, and just different. Diversity is good. I speak from experience. Acceptance is awesome. Love is awesome. Friendship is awesome.

I love my children’s friends. I have grown to love their parents too. As much as I wail on about things I don’t like – I have been honored to have met so many great kids and awesome parents. Woo Hoo.

Laugh with your children every single day.

Encourage your kids to always be curious.

Raise a child who will be a life long learner.

Raise your children to be better than you are.

Raise your children to be better than you are. Even today my daughter showed me that she is a much better person than I am. I won’t go into details, but I can be an asshole. My child gives no second chances (like her dad) but she is smart, kind, and thoughtful. She has tact. Don’t get me wrong, most people think I’m the sweetest thing in the world (even other Vampires) but I can be… well, not always the person I should be. I’ve raised my child not to be like that.

I’m not the perfect parent. I think I’m a better parent for not reading copious amounts of parenting books. Shirley Jackson’s Life Among the Savages is a must read. Real parenting stories are the best – not theory from experts and cold clinical studies. Besides, every child is different. Every parent is different. Every family is different. What works for me might not work for others. But I have to admit I am so proud of the kind of mom I’ve been.

Hey, how many kids can say “my mom blogs about vampires.” Not many.

No matter what you do, make your kid proud of you, and be proud of your kid.

Love them.

Encourage them.

Talk with them.

TALK.

Keep the communications open. Be positive. Be understanding. LISTEN. Let them know that YOU are their safe place.

Parenting doesn’t stop at middle school, or even high school. It is a life long job, even when they move out, gets jobs, and start their own families. Let them live their lives but let them know that you’re always there for them with your love and your understanding.

~Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Surprise! They’re Adults! More Parenting Fun.

Vampire Maman

Why is there so much paperwork?

Oh the joys of being an adult.

And the joys of being a parent. You still need to answer their questions.

Adult child: Why is there so much paperwork?

Parent of adult child: Fuck, I don’t know.

For the parent of the rare Vampire child there are even more questions. My children continue to have questions. Clara who is 19, is pretty good about accepting whatever comes her way, taking charge of it, and rolling with it. Garrett, who is 22, tends to over think, but that’s ok.

A few days ago Garrett called me and asked, “When am I going to age out?”

Me: Age out?

Garrett: Mom, you know what I’m talking about. When am I going to stop aging? How old am I going to look for the rest of my life?”

Me: I don’t know. I suppose between 25 and 40. The average seems to be early to mid 30’s.

Garrett: I don’t want to age out before I’m 25. What if I always look like a college student.

Me: That depends on how you dress. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.

Then he asked: What’s up with all these creepy older Vampires hitting on me?

Me: What do you mean by older?

Garrett: Like your age or older.

Me: Tell them no. It’s the same as with people who aren’t Vampires. Don’t let them bother you. They’re older and maybe have a lot of power, but they don’t have power over your body or your emotions. Tell them to stop. If someone won’t leave you alone call me. I’m still your mom. I’ll deal with them.

I told him that some old Vampires have been reading too much fiction. Also, creepers come in all forms. Why are we still even dealing with that issue? You’d think that everyone would have evolved by now.

Speaking of evolving…

High School and a person’s early 20’s are a fun time. It is a time to explore who you are and what you want to become. It is a time when the popular culture such as music and fashion sticks with you and becomes part of who you identify as. You’ll always identify with that time. That isn’t a bad thing.

The bad thing is when someone sticks with that time and those experiences as who they are forever. Just listen to Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” or “1985” by SR-71. You can love or hate either or both songs, but the message is clear. Don’t be that person who is stuck in a time warp. Vampires tend to do that and become ridiculous parodies of their own lack of vision. Yes, I had a great time in 1885 but I’m living in the 21st Century. Stay relevant.

Yes, stay relevant. That is one message you can’t say enough to your adult Vampire child.

My brother Aaron was always resisted technology. Sure Aaron, you were born in the 1850’s but you don’t still have to act like you are living in the 1950’s. Finally our dad who was born in the 1650’s pulled him aside and told him to get with it and stay relevant.

Sure I loved bustle dresses, but I don’t wear them anymore than I still wear huge shoulder pads.

Garrett: Why is everything so expensive?

Me: I don’t know.

I try to explain fluctuations in fuel prices, international politics, weather changes, and other factors that go into inflation. Sometimes things are just expensive for no reason. I never took any economics classes and those things make my head spin. That is when I say, “go ask your dad.”

Garrett: Why do they take so much out of my paycheck?

Me: Hell, I don’t know. Vote.

The paycheck message is brutal. Unfortunately our representatives in government believe they are leaders. They are not leaders. They were elected to represent us. They’re doing a piss poor job of it (all parties, all sides.) They always have done a piss poor job. Vote. Get involved. Vote.

Garrett: Do you think there will ever be a time when we, you know Vampires, can come out in the open about who we are?

Me: No.

Garrett: Why?

Me: Because they’ll kill us?

Garrett: Why?

Me: Because we drink their blood.

Garrett: I get it but…it isn’t right.

Me: People are always afraid of what they don’t understand or can’t comprehend.

This conversation has been going on for years. We went on in-depth about Vampire Hunters and all sorts of assholes out there who are going to try to knock us down. You just have to be true to yourself, do what is right, and move on.

Just imagine being a Werewolf. They have no control over what happens on a full moon night.

Anyway, I guess the whole point of this chat over my first morning cup of coffee is that no matter how old your kids are you have to be there for them. They will have those burning questions. They’ll always have questions, even after they’re grown. You won’t always have the answers but that is ok. Sometimes they just need someone to talk to. And sometimes you just need to listen.

If you don’t have an answer you can look for it together.

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A bit of business: This is week 51. The 50 Burning Questions ended last week. Yes, for 50 weeks I posted Burning Questions for YOU to answer and discuss. It was super fun. Thank you everyone for participating. I’ll have more fun in the future along those lines. In the meantime I need a break. I also need to get back to writing more parenting and Vampireing posts. Click here to see all of the Burning Questions.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Always the Romantic…

A few days ago my 22 year old son Garrett called me. I know, I don’t write much about him now that he is off on his on in graduate school and working and doing grown-up stuff.

As a teen he wrote love letters which I’d find folded up in the dryer. Tiny little squares would fold out to a full sheet of legal paper written with a find point Sharpie. I’d fold them up and stick them back in his pocket, then call him to come fold his clothes.

I was never the kind of parent who would search their children’s rooms or go through their stuff, but a verses of love found among the dryer sheets is fair game.

This is the kid who broke his harm when he turned at the top of some stairs at the high school to blow a kiss at a girl and then tumbled head over heels down to the bottom.

My son isn’t a player, but he is always a charmer and a flirt. That’s fine. I have no problem with that. And now that he is older he doesn’t seem to allow his heart to be broken every three months or so.

So a few days ago Garrett called me. We talk almost every day but this conversation sort of stuck with me.

He’d met a girl. He liked her a lot. It wasn’t serious but she was fun to hang out with. Then she started asking him all kinds of questions about Vampires and paranormal things. Most of it was just silly popular culture type of stuff.

Then one evening she asked him why his diet was so limited. Then she asked him why his skin was cool. She nagged him about his sensitivity to the sun. Then finally she asked him if he was a Vampire.

“Mom,” he said, “the only reason she wanted to be with me is because she heard from someone that I was a Vampire.”

“What did you tell her?” I asked.

“I told her she was fucking crazy, excuse the language, and told her there were no such thing as Vampires.”

“How’d she react?”

“She called me an asshole and a freak and left.”

“So she wasn’t taken in by your good looks and charm?”

“No. But she should have been.” Then he laughed a little.

I have to admit my son is charming and good looking. Then again, most guys his age are, or at least they need to be told that every once in a while, even if the person telling them that is their mom.

“Garrett, do you ever tell anyone that you’re a Vampire?”

“No Mom. Absolutely not. If they already know, then they know. But not regular people. No way.”

“Good.”

My kids are still young at 19 and 22. They haven’t achieved enough in life to have people wanting to be around them for their fame, fortune, or some other unknown status. Actually that isn’t true. People do like to be around them, but it is because they’re just nice kids. That and the fact they have cool parents (just kidding but kind of not.)

I’m glad my kids can and do talk to me about anything and everything. I will always answer my phone, my texts, and keep my heart ready for them.

February is almost here. It is that time of the year when the traffic on this blog gets clogged with people looking for love letters, advice, and answers to those mysterious matters of the heart.

In the meantime, no matter how old your kids are, they still need their mom and dad. So keep listening. Keep talking. Keep loving. And yes, keep laughing – preferably with them and not at them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman