Let’s Talk Dark Matter (with ghosts and teenagers)

If you know about Dark Matter you know about teens, ghosts, and parenting.

Dark Matter is by definition: Dark Matter is an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Teens by definition: Teens are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind, or interact with negative adults, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Ghosts by definition: Ghosts are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind or interact with just about everyone, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

What about Vampires? We’re in there somewhere. Like most modern relationship status updates on social media Vampires fall into the ” it’s complicated” category.

The reason I bring this up is due to a story I heard on NPR earlier this week. Nigel the Ghost just happened to be hanging out trying his best to act cool and full of contempt.

The story is called, If Dark Matter Can’t Be Seen What About Ghosts?”

Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/13/493725999/if-dark-matter-cant-be-seen-what-about-ghosts

The story is really great and you just need to read it or listen to it. But it covers the issue of how to prove something you can’t see is really there. Seriously, check it out. Let me know what you think.

Nigel, being the asshole ghost he is, flew off the handle. “There are other things you can’t see. You can’t prove love. You can’t prove humor. You can’t prove anything about cats. You can prove reason or lack of reason. You can’t prove what lies in the soul of a man.”

I gave him my best serious mom look. “Theoretically Dark Matter has stability. You’re not stable Nigel. Just chill. I can see you.”

He scowled at me. “Right.”

Then he vanished as usual, this time without a flourish of blue mist or any other ghost trick.

Oh well.

And as usual don’t forget to hug your kids, show interest in what they do, talk with them, and let them know that they MATTER. That kind of matter is REAL.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Crazy Ghost Band

 

 

Ask Juliette: Internet Trolls, and a few other items of great importance.

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire, Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature here at VampireMaman.com

All questions are from my readers. If you have a question about anything (and I mean anything) just send me a note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com

 

Ask Juliette

Dear Juliette,

Lately it seems that I can’t view a single cute or inspiring thing on the internet without seeing at least one asshat trying to ruin the moment with a negative comment. There’s a puppy cuddling a baby, someone says the baby will get germs. There’s a puppy drinking from a baby bottle, some idiot says milk is bad for dogs. (puppies are bottle-fed with special formula, dumbass) A paraplegic rider demonstrates how she mounts her horse, which is trained to lie down. The trolls spewed their poison all over that one as well.

The simple solution is to stop reading comments on things people post, and yet I find myself drawn there every time like a rubbernecker at a car crash. I worry that I’m developing some kind of sick obsession.

What is wrong with people?

And what is wrong with me, that I feel compelled to seek out the trolls? Does that make me a troll?

 

What is wrong with people? They’re assholes. But I’m going to show a few examples. No, I don’t have any answers. Trolls need to grow up and get a life.

If you look at trolls are you a troll? Absolutely not. You’re right, it is like car crash or a train wreck. But it pisses us off because it is like seeing a car crash caused by a drunk driver.

We’ve all left nasty comments (don’t tell me you haven’t) on sites. I don’t do it anymore because when I have I usually feel guilty and troll-like. You just have to let it go. LET IT GO.

LET IT GO like James Bay or Elsa in Frozen but neither one of their songs work for this – so let’s move on.

Now that the US Presidential election is looming and in our faces 24/7 the trolls are out in full force. Be careful. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the mess. Nothing good will come of it.

For the sake of this post we’re going to discuss serial trollers. You know who they are. They’re the people who ALWAYS have to leave a nasty comment or something that contradicts what you’re trying to say. They’re the kind who like to leave their nasty snail slime trail on news stories, blogs, and public online social media groups.

From Wikipedia: “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[3] often for their own amusement.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to forward a feel good news story (usually on NPR) to someone but then saw all of the asshole troll comments on it. I swear some of the regular trollers have no lives. They can’t have lives – not with all of their narrow minded negative energy that they MUST get out.

I have three examples of crap I’ve recently seen.

Linda Holmes writes the popular culture feature Monkey See. Even though I’m a hundred years younger than she is, and don’t always have the same taste as she does,  (but what is there to agree with it is just a popular culture feature to be entertained by) but I love her writing. She is bright and fresh and funny. Anyway, on a recent column about a The Bachelorette TV show she had to start it with an anti-troll disclaimer.

[Note: This is where a spoiler warning would usually go, but in this case, the warning is this: it’s a post about The Bachelorette. You should only read it if you’re interested in a post about The Bachelorette. If you’re not interested in a post about The Bachelorette, I can recommend this story about a snowy owl or this examination of ancient Chinese beer. If you’re not interested in The Bachelorette or owls or beer, I’m out of ideas.]

But even with that there were trolls making comments. The other readers pointed out the disclaimer but trolls gotta troll. They can’t help it. It is their sick and twisted fix. But what is with the guy who doesn’t understand that the program is just fluffy entertainment and went on a rant about politics and the fall of Western civilization?

This is the full article: http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2016/05/24/479291336/parade-of-goofballs-2016-can-jojo-find-a-prince-in-a-haystack

I don’t watch The Bachelorette but I thought the article was laugh-out-loud funny.

Another example was a story with the title, World’s First Surviving Septuplets, Born In ’97, Graduate From High School.

I thought the article about the McCaughey siblings was sweet. I remember when those babies were born. Seven! Count em. And their parents raised them ALL at the same time. Can you imagine the diapers? Can you imagine having seven toddlers? It was a feel good article. But the trolls have to move in and make about every kind of mean and nasty comment they could. Why? I have no idea. Those kids aren’t hurting anyone. And to make matters worse they might read the comments. But trolls don’t care about that.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/23/479248548/worlds-first-surviving-septuplets-born-in-97-graduate-from-high-school

I’ve noticed on news sites that it is the same trolls coming up over and over. Get where this is going? On one of my own social media sites I used to have a cat hater hating on my cats. WTF? I’m not going to hate on your pets.

Recently (today) a young friend of mine posted this disclaimer before posting a funny video on Facebook.

Please, no “this is why you don’t cater to children” comments. We’ve all gone down this path at least once (some only once) and found ourselves eating the damn toast over the trashcan.

No, we don’t give into toddlers like that, well usually, but the video was funny. If you’ve lived with a wild chimp, I mean toddler, you know what the maker of the video was getting at. But it is a shame that the young mother who posted the video had to tell her online friends to back off.

The Artistic (Figure) Rollerskating community is filled with trolls. My own child (a US National Champion) spends a lot of time defending young skaters against older trolls. There are first the old timers who do everything they can to put down young skaters. Yes, old people are trolling young people in their sport. They throw out their old nasty phlegm about how the skaters aren’t any good and how their dresses are ugly. Really? If they want the sport they loved to die they’re doing a good job and helping it along to it’s grave with their negativity and lack of support. By the way – the skaters are better now and their dresses are better than ever. These old folks never even think that when they spread their negative crap that the young people who are working so hard see it. So shut the fuck up skating trolls – or anyone who trolls any young people in an activity they love.

What is even worse is that the old trolls give younger trolls permission to be mean. And don’t even get me started on trolls from one sport who troll another sport (don’t even get me started on them.) If you want respect don’t be a troll. Make sure you tell your kids that – even if your kids are grown.

Earlier this week I asked my readers to give me their thoughts on trolls.

From Kevin A. Ranson:

I think Trolls enjoy participation, but they also like reality TV drama. It’s their chance to be snarky safely behind their keyboards without worry about other people’s feelings — which may say more about the Trolls than their targets.

That said, however, posting anything online invites conversation. If the comments are left on, it may be naive to expect that only supportive statements will be made. Some folks don’t have the education or the experience concerning a particular subject matter and may be asking ACTUAL questions in a way that may sound Trollish while not trying to be. Being accused of being a Troll in a new group can transform someone into a Troll; after all, shouldn’t they act accordingly if no one will take them seriously?

Online conversation tends to exist in a microcosm of support where people may expect to be safe — Facebook groups, for example — but a difference of opinions can manifest between even the best of friends. My own policy is to allow Trolls to be themselves on my threads while I ask them constructive questions to see if they are indeed a Troll or, perhaps, have been transformed into one. One aspect of this behavior tends to be intelligent, articulate, net-savvy folks looking for someplace to belong; make friends with a Troll and they will be your online friend forever!

Many folks I’ve met online started out as Trolls but have since joined a contingent of Trollhunters: Trolls who hunt Trolls — a-holes who hunt a-holes. These are friendly but arrogant folks who target Trolls, luring them away down dark tunnels until they find themselves surrounded and left with little choice but to run screaming back under the rocks from whence they came…and it can be quite entertaining to watch.

For Kevin’s blog Thinking Skull CLICK here. 

From Holly:

I will get personal attacks on my weight or looks when I post pictures of myself (well, when I did, I mean) but they would filter out and never get published. Either I delete and don’t care or, depending on where I am in the depression and such and take it all completely personally.

I know that it has become popular for some people to troll-track or expose people for who they really are, but I view that as just as lousy behavior as the troll. Even in the name of defense, creeping is creeping.

I agree with Holly. The beauty of most social media and blogs is that you can delete trolls, block them out, and get rid of them. Holly’s smart and entertaining blog is https://bloggityramblings.wordpress.com

For my original troll post and the other comments from my readers (THANK YOU EVERYONE) click here. 

When I first started Vampiremaman.com I had a few trolls. OK maybe not complete trolls – they were just people who wanted to tell me that I knew nothing about blogging or Vampires (really?) or spelling. OK I admit I know nothing about spelling. I had a few tell me that I was going to Hell for writing about paranormal creatures of darkness. But I just blocked them out and they went away.

But back to the original question… I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of trolls. Maybe if we just all ignore them they’ll go away.

~ Juliette

 

I added this image of Vincent Price just because he is smoking HOT.

I added this image of Vincent Price just because he is smoking HOT.

Dear readers, I’m soooooo behind, so I only have a few short questions left.

 

Dear Juliette,

My boyfriend has no sense of style. If we’re going out he’ll wear an oversized tee shirt and baggy sports shorts, no matter what the occasion. How can I get him to dress nice without hurting his feelings? 

 

Ask your boyfriend the age-old question, “Are you going to wear that?”

Another version of that same question is, “You’re not wearing that are you?” I find that one the most effective at my house.

Be firm. If he doesn’t get a clue take him shopping and show him the following video cause every girl’s crazy bout a sharp dressed man.

~ Juliette

Dear Juliette,

I met the perfect guy, except I just found out he is a Vampire. What should I do?

 

Run away.

~ Juliette

 

oscar_artistic copy

 

Ask Juliette is a regular feature on Vampire Maman. It is usually posted on Thursday. If you have any questions about anything please ask and I’ll answer the best I can. Send your questions about relationships, parenting, vampires, paranormal stuff, life, love, cats, oranges, ghosts, werewolves, fashion, cooking, art, and everything else to juliettevampiremom at gmail dot com.

Thanks for dropping by. xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ask Juliette

 

 

What we’re talking about – You never have to make an excuse for loving and supporting your children (and other issues)

What we’re talking about…

In the mornings I have NPR (National Public Radio) on and we discuss the stories (the kids and I).  If something boring or especially annoying comes on we might change to music. BUT we discuss what we hear on the radio…and other things. Today we’re talking about all kinds of things, not just what is on the radio.

Rob and Will Portman, Gay Marriage and accepting your kids for who they are.

This isn’t just about having a gay child – it is about loving and supporting your child no matter what. It is about listening and learning. It is about love. Say it again – IT IS ABOUT LOVE. IT IS ABOUT LISTENING.

Upon learning his son is gay Senator Rob Portman said he now supports Same Sex Marriage. Some asshats said “NO HE CAN”T CHANGE HIS MIND”. Sure he can. Senator Portman can change his mind. Change is good. Change shows growth. Those who can’t change are usually hypercritical jerks.

Change isn’t just politics. It can mean you can change where you live, what kind of music you like, your faith, your friends, or anything else you want to change. It isn’t a bad thing. Change means growing and learning and living.

Rob Portman put his family first. I’m now standing up and cheering for him.

The teens asked, “Why don’t they interview any of the bands we like on NPR?”

Hmmm. Maybe we need to ask them. Hey NPR folks why don’t you interview the guys from Black Veil Brides, Never Shout Never, Panic at the Disco or ask My Chemical Romance why the adventure is ending?  They only interview (according to my kids) boring bands that people in their 30’s with bad hair listen to. Hmmmm. I have to say I’m not thrilled by a lot of people they feature (it makes my ears hurt) and I do believe, take that back, I know my kids have complex and refined tasted in music.

They DID like the story about all of the John Denver Covers. That was nice. I saw him in concert a long long long time ago and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Yes I sang along to every song. Get over it. It was great.

Someone asked: Why am I still hungry after eating a pound of grilled squash? That was not on the news and I don’t have an answer to that question.

Why do the Sacramento Kings suck? Not like Vampires but the way the entire issue has everyone’s panties in a wad.  How come we never hear about what the players want? Do they want to stay in town? I don’t know the answers there. We don’t discuss it and we’re really tired of it. A new arena would be nice – so just please somebody make up your freaking mind about it and DO SOMETHING. It doesn’t take 34,000 studies and committees. Make up your mind already. College basketball was on for all of the males in the house but I don’t pay attention. I’m ALL about baseball – GO GIANTS! GO RIVERCATS.

We think Miss Vonn needs to dump Tiger before her fans leave her out in the cold.

Why are Vampires always featured in popular fiction with blood dripping down their chins? That is so gross. We’d never do that. Sigh. Modern Vampires are a little more polite and the dry cleaning bills alone discourage that sort of behavior.

And from the peanut gallery:  I want a manatee, a mouse, a rat, a hedgehog, a baby buffalo, a pug, a white French bulldog, your car when I turn 16 and a white sun dress.

I’ll let you have the sundress and maybe the car. I’ll have to think about the rest.

Have fun this week and remember TALK WITH and LISTEN TO your kids!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

In Honor – Thoughts on Veterans Day 2012

In Honor…Veterans Day 2012

From my friend Dave Stone:

The officer stood framed in the doorway, looked over the class of cadets, and began to speak.

“Cadets, look around you at these walls.  The portraits you see are the great heroes of this country.  Eisenhower, Patton, Marshall, Grant, Jackson: great leaders all, but not the true heroes of this country.  For these people, while they led armies into battle, actually planned the campaigns, and waited for the results.  The true Americans heroes were the thousands of men and women under their command, the soldiers and sailors who fought and died, pushed forward and fell back, won…and lost battles.

Read the rest at: http://davestone1.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/heroes/

This is one blog I will recommend hands down that you follow. It contains some of the best writing on WordPress (or anywhere else).

_______________________________

Why they deserve our honor.

This morning I was taken out of my comfortable can and brought into another world by David Zeitz.  Please listen.

Commentator David Zeitz was a “sapper” in Afghanistan. He detected and disassembled mines. He tells the story of a colleague who was seriously injured just feet away from him on a minefield.
Hear the complete story on the NPR web site: http://www.npr.org/2012/11/12/164940220/veteran-of-afghan-war-searched-for-deadly-landmines

_________________________________

For The Fallen

by Robert Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Blue Blood – Science Story from NPR (I’m sharing my inner Friday Vampire Geek)

I know this one is a little off subject, but maybe not…

I love science. I’m a vampire so of course I love science as much as I love art. It’s a given.

I found this great story on the NPR (National Public Radio) web site about horseshoe crabs. They have BLUE blood. Check it out.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/05/31/154095868/what-the-vampire-said-to-the-horseshoe-crab-your-blood-is-blue

“How do horseshoe crabs come to have blue blood? The phrase traditionally means blood which flows in the veins of old and aristocratic families, and horseshoe crabs are certainly old (they lived with dinosaurs), and, in their way, aristocrats. But they don’t have veins. Their blood kind of sloshes around in their bodies carrying oxygen to various organs, as our blood does.

Our blood is red because we use hemoglobin to move oxygen around. Hemoglobin has iron in it, which gives off a reddish hue. (Think of rust.) Horseshoe crabs use a copper-based molecule called hemocyanin to distribute oxygen. In nature, copper turns things blue or blue-green. So that’s why their blood is blue; it’s copper-based.”

Enjoy! Happy Friday and may all of your days include discovery and wonder!

~ Juliette