Have Some Cake (and Parenting of Course)

In honor of the Grammy’s I was planning on doing a post of the WORST songs ever (Rhiannon, McArthur Park, Spill the Wine, Sylvia’s Mother, Seventeen, That horrible roller skate/key song, The Thong Song, Free Bird, anything featuring Barbara Streisand, Ariana Grande, St. Vincent, or The Doobie Brothers.) I decided to skip it for something not so negative. Musical taste is so subjective.

But it was fun this summer driving across the endless Utah desert with my child, after the air conditioner had failed, listening to the worst songs ever. Let me explain…when a song on the “worst songs of all time” list came on I’d turn it up as part of my daughter’s cultural education. She listened to the entire performance of McArthur Park. I had to explain that the cake out in the rain and finding the recipe was a metaphor for lost love or some bull shit like that, while my seventeen year old child laughed out loud. We both laughed out loud in our 400 degree F car driving along about two hundred miles from the nearest town.

Everything in life isn’t good, no matter how hard you try to put that twist on your child rearing philosophy. At least there are times, like with music, when you can use humor to teach your kid about bad taste, bad judgement, bad fashion, bad friends, bad politics, and all of those weird things that come across our pathway.

Music, like art, literature, and cats, is something you can share with your kids. It brings people together. Stay with me on this because I know a lot of people hate their kids music. At least you can make an effort to understand what they like, and why they like it. Or maybe you can find something new together. Expand your horizons. Take a leap of faith and turn to a different number on the radio dial together. You might hate it. You might love it. But you did it together – with your kid.

Now for the real reason I brought up music. Yesterday I posted a story about a couple of Vampire kids in college called “Why I Hate Valentine’s Day.” Blog traffic was through the roof (because I am the Queen of Love Letters). But NOBODY, not a single person mentioned the reference to a song in the story. Oh come on guys, humor me a little.

And yes, I do love each and every one of you who reads and follows this blog.

OK, here it is. Listen and look for it.

Listen to the next songs too. Have fun even if you don’t like it. Or as your mom would say, “Don’t complain, it’s good for you.” Here are a couple of the best covers ever. Yes, listen to the Vampire – it’s good for you. Don’t complain.

By the way, the band CAKE is from Sacramento, my hometown. We’re a creative kind of place.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Perhaps

 

 

Dear Juliette: Stop bugging me. Let’s listen to music.

Ask Juliette

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question about anything either comment here or send me a private note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com

swing-time-fred-astaire-ginger-rogers-1936

Why can’t I find the perfect man?

Because my dear that creature doesn’t exist. And if you did find him you’d be bored to death within a month or two. It is in the imperfections that we find what makes another endearing, sexy, and exciting. If you’re looking for love throw away your worn out old list of must-have qualities, and open your mind, and heart, to something new. You never know what you like until you try it.

Or maybe just stop being weird about romance. Maybe it is YOU not him. The biggest turn offs for most guys (and women) are:

  • Being too clingy
  • Expecting perfection.
  • Being needy.
  • Acting desperate.
  • Being demanding.
  • Being childish.
  • Being judgmental because he isn’t perfect.
  • Not being yourself around him.

So look deep, and be your best, be an adult, and good things will happen.

Dr-Jekyll-y-Mr-Hyde

What do you think of the 2016 election?

I’m trying not to think about it. I mean, what do you think of impending doom? What do you think of someone hovering over you your neighborhood polling place? What do you think of all of the time and money wasted on so much stupidity? What do you think of guys who date sheep? What do you think of the universe rewarding only ignorance. What do you think of two political parties who couldn’t come up with two people that we actually want to vote for?

As for those cars with covered with caustic in your face bumper stickers…left or right they’re all assholes.

24-masks-twilight-zone.w750.h560.2x-1450978483

 

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Stop it.

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How many people have you turned into Vampires?

Come now, that is like asking someone how many men she has slept with.

 

halloween-costume-vintage-antique

Who are you voting for?

NO

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

What is your perfect playlist?

Finally a question that is fun to answer. Thank you. It depends on my mood. This is my Friday play list, but just this Friday, it will be different next Friday (can’t guarantee you will like it.) It could be opera. It could be Blues. It could be anything.

But today it is THIS:

The song title is first, then the band/artist.

Time Bomb – Rancid

Stranger Eyes – Stranger Eyes

Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Trick of the Tail – Genesis

Hand Clap – Fitz & The Tantrums

Spirits – Strumbellas

Midnight Movies – St. Motel

The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

Move – St. Motel

Rock You Up – The Romantics

Cold Cold Man – St. Motel

Bailando (English Version) – Enrique Iglesias

 

 

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question about anything either comment here or send me a private note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Innocenzio D’Antonio

Innocenzio D’Antonio came to Sacramento in the 1850’s with a troupe of actors to make his fortune. He’d started as an opera singer in his native Italy and unfortunately did not make it into the famous opera houses in Europe, fell in love with an Austrian actress and ended up with her talking him into joining an American theater company touring California during the Gold Rush.

Innocenzio D’Antonio had the voice of an avenging angel, rich and strong. He could certainly sing the corset off of any woman but he was pure of heart and a true and honest lover to his dear Austrian maid. Well at least until she left him high and dry in San Francisco, leaving him for a dashing gambler.

Upon reaching Sacramento Innocenzio D’Antonio noticed a young man singing one night at a party held by a well-known business man. It was odd to him that a child so young should be up so late into the night. But that was put aside when he heard the child’s beautiful voice. The voice was precious beyond compare. It was the voice of heaven and the angels above. It was the voice of all that was good and pure in the world. It brought Innocenzio D’Antonio to tears. And yet, there was something strong and dark about the voice. There was something about the voice that brought the opera singer both to tears and made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

A well dressed man stood next to Innocenzio D’Antonio and said “I noticed you were moved by the sound of the my son Andrew’s singing. Amazing considering he is only nine years old. However, my child could use formal music lessons from a master, such as you. If you’re interested I will pay you well. I have four other children as well. The eldest three could all benefit from your talents Mr. D’Antonio.”

The next evening Innocenzio (as we shall now call him by his first name only) showed up at the elegant home of the child Andrew. He was met warmly by the father and met the rest of the family. The oldest boy was 10-year-old Maxwell, followed by 9-year-old Andrew, then 7-year-old Aaron, then 16 month old Valentine and the infant Juliette. Their mother was a vision of beauty and all that was good and pure. Such elegance in movement in style he had rarely encountered in his lifetime.

Over the next few months he came to look forward to music lessons for the three eldest boys. Maxwell and Aaron had uncommonly beautiful voice, but it was young Andrew who had the voice of an angel sent straight from heaven. Innocenzio thought of how many churches, even those in Rome would give anything to have this voice in their stables of singers. He thought of the great opera houses in Europe that would be mobbed with patrons trying to hear Andrew sing.

Before meeting this most wonderful family Innocenzio had suffered deep waves of melancholia. He’d blame it on heart-break, disappointment or even being cursed, but now, every time he left the home of Andrew’s family, Innocenzio felt as if he were the most content and happy man alive.

After a time the father announced that they would have a party and invite all of their closest friends. Andrew would sing at midnight. Innocenzio thought that was too late for such a young child but the parents brushed it off with a gentle smile. It was difficult for Innocenzio to disagree.

The night of the party was filled with excitement. The large mansion was filled with the most elegant people he’d ever seen. Some he’d met before while out in the evenings around the city and some were stranger. But they all had a certain quiet about them and calm that he had never seen anywhere else, not even in a church or monestary.

The mother, the beautiful mother who still took his breath away when he saw her, asked him to sing. Innocenzio was feeling happy and light so he sang the drinking song from the fairly new opera La Traviata and to his delight the group joined in. They all had good voices. Afterwards they gathered around Innocenzio and congratulated him on his success and welcomed him into their society.

While he was delighted and honored there was a certain sense of unease about him. Innocenzio had a sense that something was about to happen, as if he was a lamb facing the hungry jaws of a lion. A strong sense of fear started to creep into his soul. He was confused and ashamed. After all, he was in the home of people who had become dear friends, a second family almost.

The mother, pulled him aside and put her arm in his. “My dear Innocenzio, my love, do not fear. I know what is in your heart and soul. You know us so you sense that we are different. We are different you know. We’re very different from you.”

Her eyes were the color of a fantasy seascape, her lips perfect, her chestnut hair was loose around her shoulders. He lost himself and took her into his arms and kissed her. His head went light. She stepped back and smiled. It was as if he’d lost his entire heart and more so his soul to her.

“I could take your soul if I wished, but dear Innocenzio, I must tell you a story of my life and of my people.” Then she sat him down and told him the most fantastic and horrific tale he’d ever heard in his life. He was both seduced and repulsed. His senses were confused, his emotions out of control, his body yearning for everything she had to offer.

—————————————————-

2013

Sometimes being a mom is everything, but sometimes I like to have my time with my friends.  I heard the knock on my door and standing there was my dear friend  back from a trip to Europe.

“Juliette” he said with his gorgeous voice, “you are still more beautiful than Venus herself”.

“And you’re still full of crap Innocenzio D’Antonio ” I said with a smile.

“Never,” he said taking my hands and kissing my cheek.

We don’t keep many friends so long, but when we do it is worth it. Every time I see my mother I want to thank her for talking Innocenzio into being one of us.

As Vampires we don’t bring just anyone into our world, but when we do it is magic.

On the other hand, anytime a true friendship forms, even if nobody changes, it is magic and a true joy.

_____________________________________________

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

dashing man

The Night Belongs to Us

The night belongs to us. Of course it does. We’re Vampires. But we’re also parents, and this is a first and foremost a parenting blog.

My main message is to talk with your kids, share with them, listen to them, teach them, respect them, treasure them. Don’t spoil them except with love and knowledge. Open the world to them and they will explore on their own. They will bring their discoveries and knowledge back to you. The circle is complete.

This morning my 16-year-old Clara showed me a new cover by the band Night Riots.  Let me back up a little bit since some of you may have never heard of Night Riots. I feel like they are one of the best bands out in the past thirty years. Seriously, I like this band that much. My daughter started listening to them. Then I did. I was hooked. We saw them at Warped Tour this summer in Mountain View, CA.

Night Riots Vans Warped Tour 2015 Mountain View, CA

Night Riots, Vans Warped Tour 2015
Mountain View, CA

 

So this morning I received a text from Clara (while I was out on business) saying they’d done a cover of “Because the Night.”

When I arrived home I Clara was excited to share it with me. I listened to the Night Riots version. It was great. Wow.

I asked Clara if she’d heard the Patti Smith version. She said, “I didn’t know it was written by a woman.”

Of course it was. By Patti Smith, who is still singing. Patti Smith is, well, Patti Smith. Need I say more?

She loved the Patti Smith version too.

Her first comment was, “I love her voice. It isn’t whiney.”

Clara doesn’t listen to female pop stars for the most part. Neither do I. So many are breathy or have fake auto tuned voices. They don’t sound real. They sound childish. They sound annoying.

Patti Smith is none of that. She sings. She really sings.

So the guys in Night Riots do justice to her music by putting out a fantastic cover.

I’m not sharing this so much as a music post, but as a parenting post. We share with each other. We learn from each other.

We discussed musical influences from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Not disco crap or silly really bad pop music, but real music that lasts.

Just like real parenting lasts. Real communication lasts. Deliberate parenting lasts a lifetime. If you’re going to have kids then put in the effort. Make them yours. Let them make you theirs.

Yes, let your kids make you theirs. They learn from you and you mould them. In turn, you can learn from them. Let them make you a better person. Let them open your eyes to new things.

 

 

This Thanksgiving be thankful for the young people in your lives. Don’t spend your time judging or criticizing them. Don’t get after them about their hair, their clothing, their music or whatever stupid superficial thing that you think is important. Listen to them and let them tell you about what they think is important. Find out what their dreams are. Tell them about your dreams. Share your music. Share some turkey. Share some love.

Teens are as precious and important as babies or toddlers. Parenting doesn’t stop at elementary school. Now more than ever they need you. And now more than ever you need them. You might not know it but you need them too. They’ll keep you young. They’ll introduce you to music. They’ll be in awe of your shared knowledge. They respect you for respecting them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Night Riots: Contagious

Things you need to do with your teen

Things you need to do with your teen.

You know right off the bat I’m going to talk about talking with your teen. TALK WITH YOUR TEEN. DO IT. NOW.

 

fruit bat cutie

Right off the bat…

 

Movies you need to see with your teen:

Lost Boys

Click on the movie titles above for information about the movie (and so you’ll see the right movie)

 

Must do things  to do with your teen:

  • Take your teen to a concert. Not something YOU want to see. Not something you THINK will be culturally enriching. Take them to see a band THEY listen to. Go to a smaller venue. Listen to the music before you go. You might like it. You might like it a lot. Click HERE for guidelines. Click HERE too and HERE.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour - Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour – Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

  • Take your teen to Van’s Warped Tour. If you’re the parent who buys the ticket you get in free. What a deal. I saw seven bands that I liked. There were dozens more.
Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

  • Take you teen to the an orchestra concert. Even if you don’t have a major Symphony or Philharmonic orchestra in your area, most communities have excellent community groups. Many high schools and colleges have orchestras. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and GO. Yes, this is the cultural education. You’ll have fun.
  • Go to the zoo. Zoos aren’t just for little kids.
  • Take your teen to a vintage clothing store and try stuff on – both of you. Boys and girls. Rock the vintage stuff.
  • Tell your teenager a bad joke every single day. Laugh out loud. Pretty soon they’ll be laughing along with you.
  • By the time our children get to high school and college the family pets are ancient senior citizens. Keep the love going but make sure you are there for your kids when the four-legged members of your family move on. It sucks but it seems like most teens live with ancient pets – well-loved ancient pets.
  • Cook with your teen, even if you’re a Vampire. When they get into college their roommates will love them if they can cook. Everyone loves a good cook.
  • Go for walks at least twice a week. It gives you a chance to talk and spend some quiet time together. No phones.
  • Go to a baseball game. Any team will do – professional, high school, college, T-ball. It is all fun.
  • Go roller skating.

 

Talk to your teen about:

  • Sex (if you aren’t responsible enough to use protection you are not responsible enough to have sex. Sex is normal but just because you are physically able to do it you might not be emotionally ready. High School is a fun time – don’t complicate it with sex. Yes, the conversation is easy. Don’t lecture, just discuss and let them know they can come to you and trust you for good fact based answers)
  • Birth Control (Don’t be silly, cover your Willy. AND ALWAYS use birth control. Even if your kid is not sexually active have this conversation because when they go off to college they WILL become sexually active and they need to know how to be smart about it.)
  • Diet: Eat right. Don’t pack on the pounds with the Starbucks Ultra Thick Carmel Chocolate Mocha Bomb every single day.
  • History: You don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been. Talk about your history, your Uncle Duff’s history, George Washington, or anything that has happened before the year your child was born. Tell them about the old days before personal computers and copiers and cable TV. Tell them about MTV when they actually played music. Tell them about seeing The Rolling Stones in concert when Keith Richards was hot (they won’t believe you so you’ll have to show them photos.)
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Yes, this is Keith before he died and came back as himself.

 

Watch silly YouTube videos with your teenager.

I suggest:

  • SMOSH Teleporting Fat Guy
  • Anything with cute animals
  • Famous Rap Battles of History
  • Short horror films
  • Make-up tutorials
  • More cute animals
  • Music your teen likes
  • Music you like

 

Alright, that should have filled up your brain and your time. I’ll have more later.

What would you add to the list? What do you and the teens in your life do together? Let us know.

Have fun

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Strange Days Indeed (Guest Post from Our Favorite Squirrel)

Great post about one of the best cover songs ever and my favorite Vampire movie….

You can’t go wrong with the Evil Squirrel!

Evil Squirrel's Nest

It definitely doesn't get much stranger than this. It definitely doesn’t get much stranger than this.

It’s the day only a fat, lasagna eating, orange unemployed cat could possibly hate… good old Monday morning!  And at The Nest, you know what that means.  DJ Scratchy and her two little record fetching Sponkies are ready to press Play on the next exciting song in our Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time Countdown!  We’re in the upper echelon of cover song greatness now, and your eardrums have to just be quivering with anticipation over finally getting to hear what lucky song number seven is going to be!  Let the muzak play!

top30covers

#7. “People Are Strange” – Echo & the Bunnymen

The Doors were one of, if not perhaps THE predominant American rock band of the late 60’s.  They broke on through not only with a series of multi platinum albums, but with a little help from their audacious frontman…

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