What we talked about today before school… I wish it wasn’t true…I wish it wasn’t again…

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For years, since 2012 I’ve been posting on what I talk about with my kids on the way to school, and now that they’re in college just what we talk about.

Today we talked about:

  • The school shooting in Florida
  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC
  • The Olympics

School Shootings:

27973291_10215310182698618_2142073823464310448_nThis morning I hugged my child as she left for her college classes. I almost cried.

My daughter told me not to worry. She has told me that so many times that I can’t remember. She said “I’m in college. Don’t worry.”

I told her, “Virginia Tech, UC Santa Barbra, Roseburg, Oregon.”

Another school shooting. Another mass shooting. I don’t know as a parent how much more I can say. How much more can I cry for the loss and for the families and friends left behind.

How many more of these posts do I have to write? I almost didn’t write this one. But I must.

Another school shooting. This time, on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, Seventeen People Were Murdered – SHOT WITH A LEGALLY PURCHASED GUN THAT WAS MADE FOR KILLING PEOPLE.

More parents, friends, and families are mourning tragic losses today. This has to stop. It is unacceptable. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help. We’ve tried that already. Your vote, your phone calls to your representatives, and your LOUD VOICES, are a needed. Never again. Shout it out NEVER AGAIN.

We’ve all seen the horror of the reports in Florida. Students filmed the attack. One girl said, “I watched my friend get her face blown off.”

Seventeen dead.

This wasn’t a foreign terrorist. It was a kid that was so fucked up that he couldn’t act like a human. It was a kid who followed hate groups. It was a kid who proudly wore one of Trump’s Make America Great Again hats. This isn’t making America great. And we all know Trump will do nothing because as his son puts it “Trump’s America is Red, White, and Green.” Follow the NRA money.

We need law enforcement to follow up when people are concerned about what they see on social media – yes, this recent shooter and others have been reported  BEFORE the crime and nothing was done about it. If you want I’ll make a list. Right now I can think of the Isla Vista killings (guns and knives were used.) It was planned. The killer rejected mental health care his family provided. His family alerted the police. The list goes on and on and on.

The Columbine shootings happened in 1999 the year my daughter was born. She is now an adult. She has NEVER known a time without regular mass shootings, and school shootings in the United States of America.

The should not the our children’s NORMAL. It is anything BUT normal.

Of course our leaders DO NOTHING.  They don’t want law enforcement agencies to take threats seriously. They don’t want any kind of meaningful gun control, they don’t want to address mental health, they don’t want anyone to dare talk about hate groups, they don’t want to make adults who let minors have access to guns share responsibility for crimes, they just want to say meaningless works like “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and Prayers have NEVER prevented a school shooting. They have never made loved ones feel better. They are EMPTY words that now sound like insults.

I’ve written more than one article about mass shootings, including school shootings (links below). I always hope that each will be the last, but it never ends. This is the world my daughter grew up in. Today as she left for her college classes she told me not to worry – but I do worry. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is not right. I am so heart broken today about what happened yesterday in Florida that I don’t have it in me yet to write a blog post about it.

I DID contact all of my representatives in the Senate and Congress. I will contact the local representatives today.

Below are links to just a few of the articles I’ve posted since 2012 about mass shootings in the United States. Contact those in government who represent you. This has to stop.

Sandy Hook: https://vampiremaman.com/…/in-honor-hug-your-kids-talk-to-…/

Las Vegas: https://vampiremaman.com/…/04/a-reflection-on-horror-and-h…/

Marysvile, Washington: https://vampiremaman.com/…/a-shooting-threat-at-our-high-s…/

Orlando: https://vampiremaman.com/2016/06/12/today-is-sunday/

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  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC

It isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It is about ALL of them. They don’t care about the people who elect them. All they care about is the status and the money. It is all about the next campaign.

Men who were born in 1959 act as if they were born in 1859. They act like it is 1918 not 2018.

We all agree that Washington D.C. is full of old boys who act like assholes and sexist pigs 24/7 because they can get away with it. Their mommies are all dead, their daddies were sexist pigs. It is what they know. It is what they’ve been allowed to get away with because they are rich and they are bullies.

Then I think of Melania Trump. I can’t even imagine how much she must hate her husband in real life. I can’t imagine what she is thinking when she hears about her husband having sex with porn stars (and others no doubt) while she was home with a newborn infant. I can’t imagine what she thinks when she knows her husband has always chated on her. I can’t imagine the disgust she must feel when Trump touches her.

Then again it is what she wanted. Her family got a free ticket to America. They live off of Trumps fortune. For some that might be a good deal.

A lot of political wives are like that. Had I been Hillary Clinton I would have had the biggest bonfire in history on the White House Lawn when Bill was cheating. But then again, the love of money and power is sometimes more tempting than a healthy normal life.

This is where I’m going with this… these people, men and women in Washington DC are so out of touch with reality that it seems like some sort of weird alternate universe that they live in. The know everything about low class and NOTHING about the Middle Class.

But back to our current First Lady (who would have looked so much better without all of that needless plastic surgery) I know what her current favorite songs must be. You can listen below.

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics

This morning we talked about ICE SKATING. Oh my goodness. I’m just going to post a video. This is so beautiful that you’ll cry for all the good reasons.

Yes, I’m so off today I can’t write much of anything, so just watch this.

The Olympics have been wonderful. We’re following and cheering for everyone there.

That’s it for today. I have to go hug my dog.

And what I can’t stress enough: TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Value their opinions. Teach them what is right and wrong. Teach them compassion. Teach them to be strong. Hug them. Kiss them. Protect them. Treasure them. It doesn’t matter if they’re babies or in their sixties – do all these things. Always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Monsters in Love

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I love you. Juliette drew this.

While taking clothes out of the dryer I found a crisp folded piece of notepaper with a note, written with a red Sharpie.

Dear Garrett,
I don’t think you understand how you tear my heart apart. You don’t do anything. You just are. You drive me crazy. You act so cool and I know how you put on a mask. Everyday is Halloween for you.  Stop being so afraid of being yourself. I love you – you idiot.
Ione

Sigh. Seventeen year old Garrett has been writing love letters to girls since he was six years old.  Now girls are writing them to him too. He has known Ione almost his entire life but they just started dating last Spring. If they make it as a couple or not, I’m sure they’ll always be friends – I have a feeling they will (they’re both Vampires.)  So I put the note back in the pocket of his jeans and pretended I didn’t see it.

I went downstairs to find the kids watching the original Frankenstein movie. Wow, they were actually watching a black and white film.

My eyes moved to the TV where the Creature was just coming to life. The poor Creature made me think what would have happened if he’d found true love? What if all of the classic movie monsters had found love?

Monster Love Letters

Dear Creature,
May I call you Frank?  May I be frank? Your size and patchwork of parts might turn off some girls but I find you fascinating. I want to undo your stitches until I get to your heart.
xoxoxo
The girl with the white streak in her hair

_____________________

Dear Mummy,
Let me unwrap your heart. Let me unwind the hardened linen bandages that bind your love. Let me rub your hard dry skin with scented oil until you feel alive again. Let me take you in my arms and wrap my soul up in yours for an eternity.
Love, Daddy

______________________

Dear Wolfman,
You are the silver bullet in my heart.  Even a choke chain can’t keep me away from you.  Let me run my hands through your thick fur and scratch that sweet spot above your tail. I promise to bring the big box of Milk Bones.
Love, Daisy

_________________________

Dear Invisible Man,
You’re more than just a paycheck.
Love,
Your wife

___________________________

Dear Dr. Jekyll,
Stop hyding from me Mister. I want to see your dark side more often.
Love and kisses,
Candi

__________________________

Dear Dracula,
Bite me.
Love,
Lucy

____________________________

Lucy,
I’m tired of being pursued by sluts like you who cheat on their boyfriends. You took me to your bed when you knew another man was in love with you. Shame on you. Tell the same to that little trollop Mina.  And tell Jonathan that Mina isn’t as innocent as she acts.
Drop dead,
Dracula

______________________

Dear Creature from the Black Lagoon,
Let me be your Ester Williams, your mermaid, your gold fish girl! When I scream it isn’t in fear but in love – like screaming for a rock star. You’re my underwater Elvis. You’re my Puffer Daddy. You’re top on the “scale.” Oh kiss me fish lips and let me hold your webbed hand all night long.
Love, Ariel

______________________________

Dear Dr. Caligari
This crazy love, like the Poco song that keeps going through my brain. My world upside down and at a slant when I’m with you like some weird German modernist film. What happened to that wonderful German film industry, oh cut off by tyrants, the style that now only you seem to hold? But wait, my mind wonders because it is so confused by lack of sleep and hopes of love and freedom. I’m tired of sleeping. I’m tried of being in a box. I’m tired of the confines of my cell. I’m tired of being creepy. Please let me go and leave this horror of your world and find love. Love that lives in the world of day and those who are awake without fear of death or heart break. You’ve said that love will be my end but I will take my chances and die for love like Jane and Alan. Let me have my own unique and fantastic sense of modernist style and find my own true love to share it with. Considering everything I’ve done for you it is the least you can do.
Your servant, Cesare

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Love is in the air, in our souls, in our hearts, and in our words. Express your love. Remember if you don’t the answer will always be no.

This was first posted here in 2013.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A Month of Love and Romance

February is such a lovely month for love and romance. Here in the land of sun and calm… I know that isn’t really Vampireish, but that is where I am. So anyway, love and romance…

When I started this blog way back when, my children were in Middle School and High School. Now they’re young adults. They’re in college. They’re working. One is living six hours from home in an apartment with friends. They are also both in love.

This makes my husband (their dad) nervous. He is waiting for the crash and burn of broken hearts to come crashing and burning down.

I’m not waiting for anything. Both of my kids are with nice young Vampires. They could all break up tomorrow, or they could all stay together forever.

So what about Valentine’s Day? Clara and I went to the used record store where she picked out some vinyl records for her beau. She likes jazz. He likes jazz. Great jazz records are cheap. I thought it was romantic, thoughtful and appropriate.

My son on the other hand tends to go overboard. I suggested he skip spending his savings and go for a nice romantic evening on the beach with a nice bottle of Poet’s Blood. He could go to someplace like Target, or even the local thrift store and pick up some fun glasses or goblets. A small token like a pair of cute dangling earrings, beaded gloves from a vintage clothing store, or something small and personal. Bath and Body Works is always a great place to shop for Valentine’s Day.

Young adults, who are mostly on tight budgets, shouldn’t be expected to fork out large amount of money on gifts for a way too commercial day of love. If your kid is with someone who DOES expect your young adult to spend too much money, time, or emotional energy them, it is time to have a talk. At that point it isn’t romance. It is a clear sign of being with the wrong person.

Love doesn’t need flash. Love doesn’t need billboards. Love doesn’t need constant attention. The instant gratification monster can drain the fun and romance out of any relationship. Being too needy or demanding is the kiss of death for romance.

I guess this is why I love this song by Saint Motel:

Yes, the video is sort of silly but listen to the words. I love this band. If you ever get to see them live DO IT.

So February is here. I’ll be publishing new posts about love and romance, as well as old favorites.

So hug, kiss, write love letters, dance, sing, and be smart. No broken hearts this month.

And if you’re single… you’re off the hook.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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And why yes, you can get this true love photo on a shirt. Go to my swag page. Click Here.

Musings on a Winter Afternoon

The weather today is cold and crisp and clear. It is a good day to work in the yard. We can see snow far away in the mountains, but we don’t get snow. We get squirrels and birds. Today I’ve heard eagles, gulls, songbirds, humming birds, crows, hawks, and jays. I’ve seen buzzards. I have no idea what they sound like. The turkey vultures tend to be quiet as they spread their wings and soar overhead with great beauty, in contrast to their homely faces. There are also wild turkeys but I haven’t seen any of them today.

Even in the daytime I see the shadows of ghosts trying to figure out where they ought to be. I wonder why some people won’t let go go the Civil War and realize that the South lost. It isn’t just the Civil War – it is a lot of wars that were lost years, even centuries ago and nobody has the heart to say “move on,” except the ghosts, who would like nothing better.

Because we know that people (especially politicians and religious leaders) don’t read history, or learn from the mistakes in history. They don’t even learn from their own mistakes. If they do they are more rare than a California Condor, or an alien from space.

As I look across the room the 1876 Seth Thomas clock strikes 1:00. It still runs. Things always keep running when they are made well, with pride. Remember that when you raise your children. Teach them to run well with pride. Life will be easier that way (figure it out.)

Anyway, there are patches of color where we’re trying out different paint colors. No rain is predicted for next week so I figure it is a good time to start painting. I fully expect the dog and cats to turn golden yellow, white, and green as their curiosity and sense of territory kicks in.

There is a lot to do before night, when I’ll get to relax with friends, with wine, and a movie, and some fresh blood, and fresh conversation. Fresh conversation is always good.

Have fun. I’ll have a new story tomorrow for Short Story Sunday. And don’t forget the free science fiction poster deal. CLICK HERE to find out more.

And tell your kids you love them. If you don’t have kids, tell someone else.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Murder House

My daughter said, “I bet it’s really a murder house where they’ll throw your bones in a furnace then put your skull on the mantel.”

I love being a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Antiqe Sale

College Life – What I learn from my child

One thing I LOVE about having a child in college is that I learn almost everything my child learns (except the math.)

Ever since Clara, was a preschooler she has always told her dad and I all about what she learned in school. Even when she went on field trips she’d repeat to us what the park rangers, or museum docent said.

Yesterday afternoon she told me about her new political science class (second semester of college started this week.) I learned about the instructor (he used to be a spy, and has two kids.) I learned about how he runs a classroom (no immaturity allowed – he will drop kids who don’t act mature.) I learned what the students will be learning. My child and I talked for about an hour about the two-hour class she’d just finished.

Like I said, this isn’t something new. During the fall semester I learned all about religion, our environment, weird fellow students, art, history, philosophy, and everything except math and Spanish. I did learn all about the math and Spanish classes – the teachers and the fellow students.

I learned who put out tables on campus – mostly political and religious groups. I learned about blood drives, especially after the Las Vegas shooting.

Now the second semester is starting. I’m looking forward to learning about the US Government and Marine Biology.

I’m looking forward to hearing my child’s nightly observations and insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing the passion in her voice.

She knows her parents will actively listen too.

Clara told me that if she tells someone else what she learns it will help her retain the information. True.

My child isn’t one of those brainiacs who always got straight A’s and was wooed by Stanford University or Ivy League schools. But she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

It isn’t advanced math that will make her go far. She has passion. She has communication skills. Yes, people skills. She listens. She observes. She evaluates. She relates. She sees learning as an active life long skill.

She is my child and I am amazed every single day.

She is also hilariously funny.

Over the years I’ve posted “What we talked about this morning on the way to school” posts. I’ll have to start doing that again. She has her own car now, but we still talk before and after school.

When she leaves for the big university we’ll still talk.

If you get one thing out of this parenting blog THIS is it: Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. LISTEN. Encourage them to talk to you and with you. Hear their thoughts and ideas. The more you listen the more they’ll want to talk to you.

And you’ll say, “Life is good.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

By the way we also talk about pets, music, people we know, fashion, beauty products, the weather, movies, Netflix, cat and possum memes, and other daily stuff… but that is another blog post.