Parenting: Teaching your kids culture, but it is OK if they don’t know a 40 year old band, and don’t be an old fart.

When our kids were small we decided that part of their education would be teaching them the classics. On road trips Teddy would play music and the kids would identify the classic rock bands. At a young age (by the time they were six or seven) our offspring could identify Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimmi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and a myriad of other bands. This included my husband’s favorite summer road trip band Van Halen.

Just to keep the record straight on this: He prefers Diamond Dave. I prefer Sammy. But hey, it’s all good.

This all is leading us down a path to somewhere, and I’m sure you know where (or maybe not.)

The extremely popular and talented seventeen year old singer Billie Eilish said in an interview that she didn’t know who the band Van Halen was.

Asshats all over the Internet jumped right on it. They criticized her for her musical knowledge. Seriously? Does it matter that she doesn’t know a band that started out in a time that seems like centuries ago to most teens?

In an attempt to educate my children and make them into cultured little Vampires we’d have Saturday Night Opera Bath. I’d plunk the babies into the tub and turn on the radio. Now twenty years later they don’t listen to opera and can only recognize a few songs. Does it matter that their Uncle Andy is a trained opera singer? Not really. He sings to the kids but not opera. That’s ok. Opera isn’t for everyone and neither is Van Halen.

Over the Thanksgiving break my daughter didn’t know who Steely Dan was. Do I care? Not really. I don’t go out of my way to listen to them and neither does her dad. At twenty she knows who Glen Miller was but not Steve Miller. That’s ok.

As a parent you have to make sure your kids don’t grow up in a cultural void, but you can’t teach them everything. They learn things along the way and they won’t know it all by the time they’re seventeen, twenty or even fifty.

For example my kids know art. They can tell you if a work is Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Dada, Pop Art, Medieval (their least favorite and what they consider the weirdest), Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Surrealism, and many many other movements. Art is important to us, so we passed that love on to our children.

They can’t tell you who any of the presidents between John Quincy Adams and Abe Lincoln were, or anyone right before or right after Teddy Rosevelt. If they really think about it they might be able to come up with some trivial facts, but neither one are American History Majors, or Music History Majors.

We all teach our kids our own culture. In my house it is art and music we like, and how to grow herbs, and bad puns. They’ll catch up on all of the other stuff. Believe me, they can, and will, beyond your wildest expectations.

The fact that Billie Eilish didn’t know who Van Halen is is OK. She is only seventeen. Maybe her parents didn’t like Van Halen. Nobody is going to play music to their children unless they like it. Some people do play music to their kids that they don’t like but they’re just weird and read too many child rearing books.

Ms Eilish obviously had caring parents who shared a wealth of knowledge and encouragement to their child.

One of the things I like best about her is that she is her own young woman and a good role model to other teen girls. She doesn’t rely on dressing like a later day Playboy Bunny to get attention. It is her music not her T&A.

Another thought…

Don’t EVER stop learning about and listening to new music. My kids introduced me to so many new bands. Of course as Vampires we have to keep up with things as a matter of survival, but that’s another blog post. Some of the best concerts I’ve ever been to were with my kids. I even went to Warped Tour with them. Yes, we had more fun than I could have imagined years ago at a Black Veil Brides Concert. Parents and other adults – don’t be old farts. Expand your musical horizons. If you have questions just look it up on my blog. I think I’ve written a dozen posts about going to concerts with and sharing music with my kids.

I’d like to think that most people reading my blog are life long learners.

So keep learning. Keep sharing information. And keep encouraging others not tearing them down (unless they’re assholes, then you can tear them down as much as you want.)

I’ll leave you with some music. I’m off to hang lights on my Christmas tree, and then maybe dance the night away.

~  Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

What we talked about today

I used to write a regular post “What we talked about on the way to school today,” but now that my kids are in college we get in our talks whenever we can.

We are wondering why the public is obsessed with an obscenely rich twenty year old woman, with parents who have done nothing but exploit her for their TV shows. Now this young woman is pregnant and we’re expected to care? The child will grow up without anything normal about it’s life. It will be part of the freak show, that is no different than the exploitation of the Dionne Quintuplets. Have a kid and exploit it. When it turns thirteen start giving it lip injections, butt injections and a 25 year old lover. That is no way to raise a child. And she is no role model for any girl or young woman. And unfortunately she has no good role models.

Some rapper is trying to prove the Earth is flat. Again, why is this guy getting air time?

If NFL players or anyone else wants to kneel then let them. So let’s get pissed off because they are exercising their right to free expression. The first priority of our POTUS is to rant and rave about it like a rabid dog. Oh just fuck it all idiot man and go on to issues that matter. Or better yet, try educate yourself on WHY people are protesting by kneeling. You might not agree with them but you MUST agree with their right to protest.

Forget all of the bullshit above. Why isn’t our government doing anything about Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other places hit so hard by recent storms. But that is easy. That is about normal, regular people. That isn’t any fun.

This morning I received phone calls from my daughter’s college. The sheriffs were on campus, there was a lock-down, then there was nothing. Then I received a second message. The sheriffs were on campus to apprehend someone. There was a lock down. I texted my child. No answer. I texted again. No answer. My head was spinning.

Then finally I heard from her. It was a different facility, in a different part of town from the main campus. It was in a place where she goes to class one morning a week.

A guy with two guns came on campus. He was going to shoot someone. When he saw the sheriff officers he dropped the guns and ran. He was caught. Nobody was hurt.

Why did this guy have guns? Why are there still shootings at colleges, schools, and workplaces? WTF?

I told my husband that I’m going to be a ghost for Halloween. We’re going to a big party. A ghost costume is easy and fun. He just looked at me with no response. A Vampire would be tacky. I’m not dressing up like a “Vampire.”

We are living in a time when everything we see or hear pisses us off.

I’m also having…I don’t even want to say this…I’m writing a book and my mind has gone blank. The current chapter sucks. I will continue on. I can rewrite it. I can get my mojo back. I can and will move forward.

So Clara and I decided to make a list of things that don’t piss us off.

  • Dogs (most dogs)
  • Cats (except my cat who peed on my dining room table.)
  • Trees
  • Fall bulbs
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Cool antique silver patterns
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Cute comfortable shoes
  • Cute dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirt
  • Cool Fall Weather
  • Chickens
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Deer
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Warm clean necks
  • Clean ears
  • Art pottery
  • Blue vases
  • Art
  • Music
  • Singing along to the radio in the car
  • Puns
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves with a sense of humor
  • Sunsets
  • Sunrise
  • Otters
  • Good friends
  • Books
  • My daughter’s friend decided to stay in the arts because that is where her passion is – rather than go into science (somebody else’s passion.)

That is a start. Deep breath. Relax before you’re head explodes. Or if you’re a Vampire just sit still and retract your fangs thinking of being on a quiet foggy beach with nothing but the sound of the waves, and nothing on the schedule.

I give up. Maybe. Not quite but my head is hurting. I’m done with the outside world (until I see a mushroom cloud, but then it won’t matter anymore.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Write ALL THINGS VAMPIRE

 

 

 

 

The Bachelor – Another Viewpoint with Options

In the wee hours of this morning I was scanning my Twitter feed (no you haven’t landed on the White House Web Site) and kept seeing stuff about The Bachelor. You know, the TV show where about 25 women wear tight clothing and fight over the same man. I doubt if they have knock down drag out physical fights (but it would be fun if they did) but I’m sure they get plenty catty.

I’d usually ignore something like this because I don’t watch the show but I noticed something weird. All of the guys look the same. Seriously they look like a set of fraternal quads – kind of like armadillo pups.

In fact I saw #cookiecutterguys on one of the threads. These guys are so white-bread boring that it is a wonder any girl would want to take the time to dig and claw her way to the top to get his rose.

Look at these guys. If you scroll the page down and just see their smiles the first three could almost be the same guy. If you just see the tops of their heads you’ll know they ARE the same guy.

Unlike MTV’s Are You The One, with 22 contestants who all pair up with their perfect match, making eleven couples, The Bachelor is so one sided.

But imagine if we redid The Bachelor and added some interest to the mix. Let’s make the guy interesting and special so the women will REALLY have something to WANT.

So dear readers… Who would YOU pick for the next Bachelor if you had a choice?

Adam Driver. He was HOT in Star Wars. Sure Han and Leia were shitty parents, but there was something about Adam Driver that makes him able to transform himself from a goofy looking average guy into a bundle of dark evil male hotness.

 

Darcy. Ladies, need I say more?

 

John Steinbeck. Ladies, need I say more?

 

This guy. OK, I have no idea who he is. I looked up “Average Guy” on Google and this is what came up. If he is average then I’m not sure what universe we’re in right now. Then again, my husband Teddy is in that realm of a 27 on a 1-10 scale, so I’m used to it.

 

Animal lover, confident in his masculinity. I bet he does a great Chicken Dance.

 

Secure with all the self-confidence any woman could ever dream of. Bring it on baby. He has that Russell Brand thing sort of going on doesn’t he?

 

How about the Hipsters? A guy with a well groomed beard, great hair (same style as my son) and a scarf. Who needs the quads when you could have this guy. I bet he also makes great toast and French Pressed coffee (yeah, I’m sure he knows how to do all kinds of great French things.)

 

Dare I say that the Quads are painfully white? So I’d like to introduce you to this guy. And I like how he is dressed. I’m sure undressed is just as nice. He put the STEAM in Steampunk.

 

And what about Goth Guys? He is the one who will heat up any cold dead Vampire girl on a dark winter night. Ladies, go for the style and mystery. You know he’ll never be boring.

 

He might look like a Silicone Valley Geek but he makes a Million and a half a year plus benefits. AND he can fix your computer and maybe even more. And he is sort of cute – you have to admit.

 

Blondes. There were no Blondes in the armadillo group. Blonde guys rock.

 

Dead guys. Wait, this guy isn’t dead. This guy is Keith Richards. Nuff said. Ladies, feast your eyes before he turns into old Keith. Hell, even old Keith is great – just listen to him play on the new Rolling Stones Album. HOT HOT HOT

 

Peter Cushing. Oh come on ladies, you have to admit it.

 

 

My name is Gorn and I always agree with Juliette.

 

Even my cat Oscar would be more interesting and he’d like ALL of the women on the show.

 

FINALLY maybe they could pick a Vampire – because everybody loves to get a red rose from a Vampire. And a Vampire will ALWAYS treat you as if you’re the only one.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

You asked and we answered (more answers about Vampires)

Answers About Vampires

Yes, if we’re on the grid we’re required to get health insurance under the affordable insurance law. I know, I know, I know, but that is just the way it is.

Yes, if we’re on the grid we file income taxes – just like everyone else.

No I can’t (won’t) turn you into a Vampire.

Yes, I am one of the best but the answer is still no.

The answer will always be no.

Yes, the blog does have a slightly new look for 2014. I’m still working on it.

You’re right, we’re not above Rick Rolling. Bahahahahaha.

No, you can’t domesticate a bat. No, it isn’t a good idea to dress a bat in cute little clothes. What the Hell are you smoking today?

No, Vampires don’t eat people. We drink their blood. Zombies eat people.

According to the Werewolves I know they don’t eat people either (but we all know that like cats, Werewolves are liars.)

Yes indeed Vampires love screw with the minds of Time Travelers. Then again, we love to screw with the minds of just about everyone, from any time, all the time.

Of course we’re sophisticated. Did you expect anything less?

I can’t tell you that.

No.

No.

No.

Yes the 80’s were crazy! But we had so much fun. What were you saying about big hair and shoulder pads? No, not the 1980’s. I was talking about bustles and tight corsets, you know, the 1880’s.

Most Vampire Hunters wouldn’t know a real Vampire if it bit them on the neck.

They also wouldn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground but that is an entirely different post.

Yes my husband IS the sexiest man alive, or sort of alive. He’s a Vampire what do you want me to say?

Yes I like to wear black. I’m wearing black right now.

All in all, most Vampires can be very sweet. OK sort of sweet. It depends on what kind of mood you catch us in. Don’t surprise a Vampire or ask it too many questions. Do yourself a favor and just don’t do it.

If you met me in person you would never know. And I would never let you know.

Vampire Maman

Have a good weekend everyone … and stay curious.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Heros and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly?

Super Heroes. They wear tights. We all know tights run and snag. If you follow the news you already know that in real life (outside of parties) only cowardly weak minded terrorists wear masks. Yes, these guys in tights and masks are great for comic books but not for any real life applications.

Like the word “quality” and “guarantee” hero has almost come to mean nothing.

All teens are fans of something or someone. They follow bands and know every single detail of band members lives (including where they live, their girlfriends names, etc etc etc).

But the blind following of public heroes appalls me. So many of these “heroes” and “role models” especially sports stars are not fit to be heroes. They use drugs, break the law, and cheat on their spouses and the only reason they are noticed is because of good PR.

Kids get caught up in it and are encouraged by parents. STOP. Your child should look up to people he or she knows. It is the everyday that is so important and overlooked.

We can learn lessons from famous people but it has gone too far. I blame the media but I blame parents who get caught up in all of the drama and hero worship.

So what if your kid is disappointed in a public figure and is sad about it. Tell the to buck up and that the real world can be a harsh place. This would be a good lesson in choosing whom you idolize and what character really means. You can’t protect your child from everything and maybe you shouldn’t be.

A hero is someone who stands up for what they believe – unmasked and out in the open

A hero is someone who mentors and supports others.

A hero is real.

Heroes fart. They belch. They engage in sexual activity (sometimes in an actual relationship with someone they love). They get pissed off. The go over the speed limit. They get paper cuts. They accidently catch the cat’s tail in the door. They eat Cheetos and ham and at fridge door late night when nobody else is looking. They scratch their butts. They know all the words to Mandy by Barry Manalow. They do all the things we try not to think of them doing.

Why would any boy idolize Lance Armstrong more than he’d idolize his history teacher? The history teacher knows it isn’t about money or fame. History teachers rock. The media should make history teachers our new media stars – along with language, art, science and math teachers. Or how about the neighbor on the local Swat Team (talk about kick ass). How about your orthodontist. I admire him a lot more than I’d ever admire some attention grubbing football player (look everyone I can pray) or that guy who races bicycles. Kids should admire relief workers who go into the most horrible spots on earth to help in hopeless situations. Admire the guy who wins without cheating. Admire the guy with nothing to hide.

Tell your kids to admire the team of smart cookies who developed the smart phone I’m writing this post on. It is nothing short of magic.

Most of all TALK to your kids about who they choose as heroes and role models. yes, be a hero – talk to your kids and listen.

~ Juliette