A word about hate and being a total douche (listen up parents)

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I don’t say much about politics on my blog. I do say a lot about parenting.

It seems like whenever someone wears a MAGA hat something stupid happens. It is even more sad and stupid when a young person wears one. That red hat has become the symbol of blind bigotry and stupidity.

Parents who excuse their children for bad behavior and hateful choices must take responsibility for the actions of their children. They must also teach their children that stupid things they do as teens can and WILL follow these stupid children for the rest of their lives. No excuses. Chosing to be a douche is NOT a choice any of us want for our children. Having those ugly actions spread all over the Internet guarantees that the ugly actions will follow that child FOREVER.

I say this and I will repeat it again and again and again.

Hey kid, forget anything you ever do that is good BECAUSE no matter how much good you do – FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE – this one STUPID SHITTY THING is what you’ll always be remembered for. ALWAYS.

I know you’ve all seen this on the news or Internet. In case you haven’t this is what happened (from NBC news):

A Catholic archdiocese outside Cincinnati is investigating the actions of some of its high school students during the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington Friday.

Some students wearing Make America Great Again hats and clothing appeared to surround and may have taunted a Native American troupe as it performed the “American Indian Movement” song about strength and courage. It’s not clear which of those young people surrounding the Native Americans are students of Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky. There appears to have been jeering by another group of people preceding the incident caught on video.

This isn’t the first time teens did ugly things that will go down in history.

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The little pukes from Covington will go down in history the same way as Hazel Massery (the screaming girl) did in Little Rock. They will always be remembered for their ugly behavior. They will never be able to run far enough away from it no matter how old they are, or if by some miracle they have a change of heart. They will now and forever after been known for their stupidity.

Parents:

  • Talk to your kids.
  • If you want change do it in a positive and productive way.
  • Listen to your children.
  • Teach your children about hate. Teach them that it is ok to have feelings, but to discuss them.
  • Tell you kids that being a douche is NOT OK.

That’s it for now. I have to go write some short stories and a novel. Seriously folks, you’d think shit like this would only be in fiction. It SHOULD only be in fiction.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

There is no excuse for rudeness (even to a Vampire or a Werewolf)

I first published this post in 2013 and thought it needed a second look. Feel free to forward it to the rude people, or those without filters, in your life. Fortunately I can’t think of anyone I know who fits that bill right now… now that my kids are in college, but you never know. 

When a child under the age of 6 or 7 asks a rude question we can brush it off as the innocence of youth. But, when an adult asks rude questions or says rude remarks it just makes them look stupid, insensitive and just plain mean. Not to mention it makes them seem like bad parents.

Their mouths open and rude things just spew out like so much sewage. They have no idea of how them might hurt someone, and how badly it makes them look. On some levels being rude is just another way of being a bully.

I’ve been having this discussion with friends on and off about rude things people ask or say so I’ve made some lists of “What Not to Say ANYTIME”. And don’t be shocked. These are real things we’ve heard people say.

Note: For example purposes all references to a child will be LuLu or Rand. And of course I know none of my regular readers would say rude things like the examples I give below. It is just a list (I like lists. Like to make them. Like to read them.)

Things never to say to people with children:

  • Why do you only have one child? Variations include: You need to have more sex. Only one child? It’s selfish to only have one child.
  • Why don’t you have more kids? Answer: None of your f__ing business.
  • Won’t little Rand get lonely if he doesn’t have any brothers or sisters? Why no, he has a lot of friends.
  • Only children are selfish children. Not true. Go away.
  • Why do you have so many children? Answer: Go away.
  • Which is your favorite? They’re children not ice cream flavors. Go away.
  • What is wrong with LuLu? Variations: Do you get money from the state for her? Shouldn’t she be in a facility for kids like her. Yes, people who say things like that SHOULD be shot or at least slapped silly but that is illegal so just tell them “I love my child and I don’t wish to discuss her with you.”
  • Isn’t that ________________ (sport, activity, camp, club, school) expensive? I could never afford THAT. Answer: Just walk away.
  • I’d never let MY child _______________ fill in the blank. Good for you. Now go away.

Things never to say to people who don’t have kids:

  • Why don’t you have kids?
  • Can’t you have children?
  • Why don’t you want kids”
  • Isn’t that selfish?
  • Who will take care of you when you get old?
  • Well I guess if I didn’t have kids I’d be taking vacations to Europe too.
  • All of the above are rude things to say.

Things never to say to your single friends, especially those over 40.

  • Why didn’t you ever get married? Answer: None of your f____ing business.
  • I have someone I want you to meet. He but he hates cats. This is to the friend with 3 cats. The friend who has always had cats. The friend who WILL always have cats.
  • Life isn’t complete without a mate.  Really? That is both rude and wrong on so many levels.
  • I wish you’d find someone. Answer: Well so do I, so why are you rubbing it in?
  • Are you gay? Honest to God I can’t tell you how many single people I know who have been asked this question. There is nothing wrong with being gay or single. There are gay single people. Gay married people. Gay dating people. Get over it.

Things Never to say to Cat Owners:

  • I hate cats. OK this is the story. The cat is sitting in the front yard watching bugs. Then the cat goes inside and eats, Then rubs up against my leg. What is there to hate? And why do you feel compelled to say you hate MY CAT? I’m not asking you to take it home with you. Go away. You can also exchange cat with dog, horse, rabbit, parrot, fish, husband – some people are just RUDE.

Things never to say to someone on a romantic date:

  • Do you mind if my sister/friend/mom/brother comes with us?
  • How much money do you make?
  • I don’t date many people.
  • I’m not good at dating.
  • You’d be perfect if you lost about 10 pounds. And you’re sleeping alone tonight Mr. Romance!
  • Too much about your ex. That includes ex wives, ex girlfriends, ex husbands, ex boyfriends, ex lovers of any kind. Don’t talk about how badly your kids are doing either. That is also a sure fire turn off.  And don’t use the excuse of being “honest”. That doesn’t fly.  It is RUDE to  do an emotional dump on someone who wanted to spend the evening with YOU and NOT everyone who has ever done you wrong. 

Things Never to Say to a WORKING MOM:

  • I stay home with my kids because they need me.
  • I’m raising my kids. I don’t want someone else to do it.
  • I get to volunteer at the school 3 days a week so I’ll know what my child is doing.
  • Before you know it they’ll be grown and you’ll have missed out on everything.
  • I’m taking a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just can’t get any housework done.
  • All of the above is just rude. Period.

Things Never to say to a Stay-At-Home Mom

  • Why don’t you have a job?
  • Don’t you wish you had your own money?
  • You don’t work so why don’t you have time to go to the gym?
  • You’ve wasted your college education.
  • All of the above is just rude. Period.

Things Never to say to a child that isn’t yours?

  • How much money does your dad make?
  • Who did your parents vote for?
  • What are your grades?
  • Do your parents spend a lot of money on ____________________?
  • It seems like there are a lot of people who try to find out financial information about people they know through the children.  And tell your kids not to answer any questions about money or other private family matters.

Things never to say to a Vampire:

  • Why aren’t you wearing black?
  • Show me your fangs?
  • Do you sleep in a coffin?
  • Aren’t you worried about eternal damnation?

Things to never say to a Werewolf?

  • Do you eat people?
  • Do you have fleas?
  • When you take a bath do you smell like a wet dog?
  • I’m allergic to dogs.
  • Do you have stretch marks?

That’s it. Just remember to gently, or not so gently, keep reminding those unfortunate friends and family members to THINK before they speak.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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White Noise

I missed Short Story Sunday yesterday. I used to write a story each Sunday while I was at my daughter’s skating practice. Maybe it was the white noise of the organ music that allowed me to block out everything except my child and my writing.

Needless to say, I was not at skate practice yesterday since my daughter is in Southern California with her boyfriend this week. I rarely go to Sunday skate practices because she has her own car now. Next year she’ll be in Southern California full time as a college student.

This is part of the whole Empty Nest discussion. Our routine is so keyed into our children that when they grow up we have to find new white noise. Seriously folks, putting our children in sports is just an excuse to have quiet time to read or work on writing during their practice time, or travel to interesting places during their competitions. None of the parenting books will tell you that.

Sunday is now filled with other activities including that man I seldom speak of – my husband. He’s great. We do things together. We even dressed up for a party this weekend. Good times.

Today I’m taking about twenty minutes to finally get out that missed story. I’m not sure where this will lead us but here we go…

White Noise

The radio was on but Elise wasn’t really listening. It was just white noise. When it got to quiet she’d have to listen to her own thoughts and question her actions. If the radio was on she’d feel more connected and it made work more productive.

Today she wished she could have taken the day off to paint but she wasn’t too unhappy. The unsolved crime blog was waiting.

Sixteen years ago her husband had been murdered. Even though he was a police detective his killer was never found. She’d cashed in the insurance policy, sold the house, packed up her three small children, and moved to a coastal city where she fixed up her Aunt Blinkey’s ramshackle beach house. There she taught economics and political science at the high school. Eventually the true crime community contacted her, and she shared her own research and theories into her husband’s death. Soon her grief became the passion of others. She was glad to hand it off. She was glad to help others. Research had always come easy to her.

Today she wrote about murder, with coffee and the radio.

Sometimes she just wanted to be. Not alone, but not really with anyone. She’d smile as her sons talked with their uncles about sports, and yelled at the TV when the score or a call wasn’t to their liking. She wasn’t listening to anything they said. It was just background noise as she painted, or wrote letters of recommendation to former students.

So she wrote about murder while listening to the radio and the rain pouring down on her roof and yard. The storm was so loud couldn’t even hear the waves coming into the nearby beach.

Today’s murder happened three years ago when a couple of twelve year old boys rode out on their bicycles one summer day. They told their parents they were going to the park. Instead they went another two miles down to the river. There they found the body of a young woman face up on the rocks, her arms and legs spread like someone making a snow angel. Her clothing was torn and mostly missing. Her throat was tied with a rope.

As a mother her heart broke for the boys and their parents. A few days later they found out the young woman was a kindergarten teacher who’d walked a few blocks the night before to visit a friend. Nobody even knew she was missing when the boys found her. Her killer was never found.

Elise had gathered clues from the readers of her blog. Someone had seen a woman wearing the teacher’s hand knit red sweater. Someone else had seen her with a tall blonde man. Someone else said it was her high school boyfriend who had kept a bulletin board covered in her photos. Elise was searching her email when she heard a knock on the door.

Standing at her door was her friend Bryan.

“You should have just come in,” she said.

“It was locked,” he answered.

“Where’s your key?”

“Home,” he said, then kissed her lightly and came inside.

She’d known Bryan for ten years. They’d met when their children were going to school together. Their daughter’s had become best friends forever and even gone to college together. He been a good male role model and a friend to her sons. And eight years ago Elise started being more than friends to Bryan.

He was never a boyfriend. They just spent time in bed together, or on the couch, or in the shower. They never told anyone, but eventually everyone figured it out, including their children.

Over the years they’d both dated other people, then ended up back together, or just cheated on the people they were dating. They never considered it cheating, especially when the other relationships weren’t serious. Nothing every got serious for Elise. It did once for Bryan, and Elise accepted it. But she was glad when it wasn’t serious anymore.

Elise turned off the radio and led Bryan to her bedroom. They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other’s company as only two middle aged old friends can. He still dazzled her with his smile, and the way he moved, and the way he laughed, and of course the way he touched her.

As they lay in bed listening to the rain, he fell asleep with his head on her shoulder, his arms around her. Elise closed her eyes and thought about how she loved her time with him. He never told her that he loved her, but she knew he was tied to her with a bond he couldn’t find words for. She always loved him but she’d never tell him. He never wanted that, or at least he’d told her that years ago. Eventually she just didn’t think about it.

Listening to his quiet breathing she stroked his hair and though about her feelings for Bryan.  White noise. White noise.

~ end

 

Have a good week everyone. I’ll have more thoughts later this week. And don’t forget to stop by on Saturday for the 45th Burning Question.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Savor

As I walked downstairs from my bedroom I wondered how many tons of cat vomit is flushed down toilets each year?

At 4:12 a.m. the dog had asked to go out. As I made it to the entryway I saw that the poor thing couldn’t wait. She had tummy troubles and made a huge mess. She is a large dog at 85 pounds, so believe me it was a huge mess. After taking a large bag full of the mess out to the garbage I sprayed the carpet and now I’m waiting to scrub it. Fortunately for me the carpet is being replaced with hardwood floors soon.

So what does this have to do with parenting, vampires, or having an empty nest?

My nest is not so empty. Since there are no children in the house the animals are all more aware of MOM. We are all adjusting. The cats are eating quicker and barfing because the dog is trying to eat their food. The dog is eating cat food and getting huge runny poops. I’m trying to give all of them extra attention.

In the meantime my adult children, young but still adults now, are keeping in touch this week though the magic of the smart phone.

I just received photos of costumes from Paramount Studios, and last night photos from Griffith Park Observatory (yes, the one in LA LA Land.)

Then photos came of Pike Place Market and a friend’s new beard. This is the first beard of the group. It is well groomed, blonde, and a new trendy hair cut. Looks good.

They’re on winter break from school and off with friends, one north, and one south.

When I was that age I also tumbled into adventures, and unfortunately more misadventures. If I had the resources, and the wherewithal kids had now… Yes, I think how different it might have been, but does that matter? I’ll let my alternate universe self deal with that. I’m just happy beyond words to see I’ve given my kids the tools they need. Yes, they have those phones, but there are so many more tools one must have.

They’re curious, and full of adventure. They smart. They’re cautious. They’re playful. They’re young and without fear of the unknown.

The other day Nigel the Ghost, who left his body, ok died, around the age of 26 or 27, told me to tell my kids to treasure their youth and make the most of it.

I was feeling snarky so I said, “we’re Vampires.”

Then he said, “then treasure it all the more.”

He is right. And so, no matter who we are, what we are, or how we live, we should treasure everyday, and every experience.

I thought about all of the adventures I’ve been on with my children. There will be many more to come, and I am glad they are having their own adventures as well now. They’re building their libraries of wonderful memories. Yes, I wish I was there, but like I said, we will have our adventures too.

A new lesson for our adult children should be to savor the moments. Plan fun. Continue to play. Take breaks. Watch for falling stars. And to continue to treasure those you love.

Tell them, as they grow older, they should keep an open mind as well. My mind is much more open now than it was when I was a clueless eighteen year old.

Just remember, and this is coming from an old Vampire, to savor all moments. Even if it is just petting a cat who leans against your leg, or the quiet of a cold winter night.

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Reflections on 2018 and the Year to Come

The first installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary was on December 26, 2014.

Of course I distance myself from Vlad and his cohorts. It’s complicated. I hate that expression, it’s complicated, but in this case it is. Sort of.

I help a lot of new Vampires adjust. I also watch old ones adjust. Sometimes I help. Sometimes I leave that job to others.

2018 was a different kind of year. I have high hopes for 2019. New beginnings along with the ancient. Not being in the possession of a crystal ball I can’t tell the future. But like all of us I can make the future and/or at least influence it.

Outside of my small circle, out in the greater world there are mysteries I can’t predict. I can’t even find spoilers on the Internet. Like will the find if anything is in the Chapel Vault on Oak Island. Is anything on that island except a lot of really cool equipment? Will my dog start coming when I call her? She is now three years old and is the only dog I’ve ever met who ponders the meaning of the word come every time she hears it. Will anyone I know be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship? Will yet another person ask me to turn them into a Vampire? Will my daughter get into the school of her choice? Will my son and his friend Randy continue to be baffled by adulthood? Will people in politics get their heads out of their asses or their asses out of town and let someone else do the job? Will I speak anywhere for large groups of people? I can’t answer most of those questions and right now don’t have the energy to even speculate.

The next year WILL bring posts about art, empty nests, old cemeteries, old photos, Short Story Sunday, and of course Vampires and their complicated lives (which are complicated just like everyone else’s lives.)

The Burning Questions will come to a finish (at least for weekly questions.)

I will continue to work on training my dog. I will work on this blog. I will try not to drive my husband completely crazy. OK I can’t guarantee the last point here. I will no doubt drive him nuts but it is up to him on how to react to my eccentricities.

I’m just sort of pondering and musing here right now. That is all.

Baby New Year will soon come tumbling along, hopefully without projective vomiting, nasty butt rashes, or too many scraped knees. You know how kids are. And with any hope by next December old man 2019 won’t be so worn out that he can’t remember what the Hell just happened during the past twelve months.

I’ll write more resolutions later, maybe. Years ago I used to write predictions on New Year’s Eve and put them in an envelope and seal them up. The envelope would be opened a year later. It was always fun and funny to see what would happen. Of course it was all crazy stuff like who might meet the love of their life, or find a whale in their backyard, or see a space alien, or go to the South Pole. And I would always be surprised to see that a lot of those things would come true. Maybe I should start doing it again.

Christmas is over and the New Year is to come. And in-between we still have the holiday season. Let’s all enjoy it. Let’s all enjoy every season.

By the way, I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. I never know how many people will be over but my door is always open with good cheer. Blood doesn’t always make family – good cheer and shared time does. Believe me when I say that. We are all family.

Thanks for dropping by. Now think about what you’ll write down to seal in that envelope.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman