Why don’t you blog about me anymore? And other things my kids and I talked about including V-Steams.

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Garrett just turned 22 last month and is in his final year of college at the big university right on the ocean. Final year of undergraduate work that is. He is still living with his best buddy Randy.

When I spoke with him yesterday he said, “You never blog about me. I talk to you every day. Almost every day. I text you all the time.”

I’m learning how to transition from minor children to adult children.

So I said to my son, “You told me that what I wrote about you was embarrassing. Maybe I’ll just write about Randy.*”

*Garrett’s best friend Randy. Randy wears plaid pants and other creative vintage clothing. Randy looks like a cross between a young David Lee Roth and Chris Evans. Randy is pretty goofy. Girls like Randy a lot.

The last time I spoke with Randy, a couple of weeks ago, he was telling me about some discussions he’d been having in one of his classes about free will, choice, and what we choose to believe. Somehow the discussion of things we can’t prove like honest politicians, and other cryptozoological beings came up.

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He’d sent me a funny Sasquatch meme. I told him that it got that ass from doing squats. That is why it is really called a Sas-squat.

But seriously, for as long as I can remember there have been stories of Bigfoots aka Sasquatches and the likes. So often people claim to have seen a body of one. I was flipping through the TV channels the other night (Vampires and others are known to do that) and say some guy who’d claimed to have shot a Bigfoot. He said it looked at him before it died. It had whites in it’s eyes just like us. It was small so he could have carried it to his car, but he didn’t. The man claimed because he was on National Park land he was afraid he’d get in trouble.

Really? Dude you shot a BIGFOOT.  A BIGFOOT.

If I found a live Bigfoot (Sasquatch) or even a body or a body part, HELL YEAH I’d take it. Are you kidding? I wouldn’t think twice. I don’t care if I found it in the forest or on the steps of the California State Capitol building. The first thing I’d do it take it over to the UC Davis Vet School and say “HEY, take a look at this!”

I would not advise doing the same if you found a Vampire or Werewolf. I’d advise you back away slowly then RUN as fast as you can.

That night I was hanging out with my husband Teddy and Clara. Clara is 18, in college, and still at home until she transfers to a university by the ocean.

The subject of businesses near my husband’s came up, specifically spas.

My husband and child said they thought I should open a spa called V and next door have a spa for house cats called “The Pampered Pussy.” Then they almost laughed until they were practically falling off of their chairs.

What brought this up? There are spas where you can get your Yoni steamed. Yes, steamed. It will cure everything from unhappy crotch syndrome, tension, Scrophularia, and give you an elevated sense of well being among other things.

It is called a V-Steam. V stands for vagina, or Yoni, or cootch, or Vajayjay, but we prefer vagina in Vampire Land.

Why have women started to call their vagina Yoni? Because they’re cute and musical? Maybe. You never know.

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At these spas you sit on a chair that looks like an old fashioned potty seat, spread your legs and get your parts steamed. WTF?

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My husband suggested that someone would be in the background playing a harp. He hates harp music.

I said a saxophone. We all laughed then Clara suggested Kenny G. Then I thought of Yanni. Why not? Steam your Yoni to Yanni.

Holy shit. They have group parties too. Yes, you can get steamed with all of your friends, drink wine, and even paint a pretty picture at the same time.

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Invite all your friends. It will be fun.

Then the subject of the show Naked and Afraid came up. Bugs and bug bites. Say no more. Nobody, not even the most hardened Vampire wants bugs near their Yoni, not even Kenny G.

We tried to avoid politics. It is just so frustrating. However, I was called up to be a poll worker again for the next election. I show up and after my training know more about the voting system than 99% of people who are running for or currently in office.

Aside from my husband who is in a slightly different mindset than most of us I do not with good things upon a lot of people in Washington D.C.

You know who I’m thinking about. Nasty horrible people who lie, cheat, steal, embrace ignorance, celebrate bigotry, and use religion as a tool of hate and control. You know who I’m talking about. Bitter men born before 1976 who act like they were born before 1876. Rat bastards of the worst kind.

We heard rumor that the cast of What We Do In The Shadows might be having a show on FX. I love that movie. It is absolutely adorable. It is as cute as Vlad (Vampire Diary.)

I usually really don’t care for most Vampire movies. They tend to be seriously bad and boring and stupid. But it makes for great drinking games.  BUT there are exceptions. Don’t hate on me. Most Werewolf movies are even worse than Vampire or Ghost movies. I’m sorry Werewolves. We still love you out of the movies (sometimes, don’t let it go to your heads because you’re still assholes.)

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But back to Garrett…

We talked a lot about his girlfriend, and his classes, and how he wishes he had a dog but won’t get one until he is more settled down. He told me about surfing at night. He told me about finding red starfish in a tide pool. He told me about a book he’d read called “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

That is a thought that no parent wants to hear concerning their own child.

We also talked about The East Area Rapist, also known as the Golden State Killer. He was found maybe six miles from my home. Back in the 1970’s he raped women in their homes a few blocks from where I live now. I lived near there at the time. I’m glad they found him. He’ll rot in Hell for sure.

In Northern California we seem to have our share of serial killers. Sometimes it seems like more than our share. Then again I hear of all of the weird deaths in places like rural Nebraska and the swamps of Louisiana. Things are weird. There are horror stories and then there is real life. It is a fine line between the two. Truth is often stranger and more horrific than fiction.

Anyway, Garrett just texted me again and I have to go.

Love your children. Talk to them. And even when they’re grown they’re still your babies. They’ll always be yours. Listen, love, learn, and always be their heart and soul.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Mom, have you ever converted anyone into a Vampire?

As of this month I’ve been blogging for five years, in April it will be five years for Vampiremaman.com (West Coast Review came first.) To celebrate, if you wish to call it that, I’m going to bring you a few of my classic posts from the early days. This one is for all of the Vampire parents out there. And for everyone else out there, do me a favor and do not ask me to convert you to a Vampire because the answer will AWAYS be NO. 

 

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Vampire Maman

Hey Mom, have you ever converted anyone into a vampire?

Well, um, as a matter a fact…

As a vampire parent, that question is almost as bad as your kids asking you about sex, or more YOUR past sex life. Or worse, asking if you killed a regular human or anyone else before. With vampires the whole conversion thing is a touchy subject.

Unlike popular movies and books, we rarely convert anyone.

Like I’ve told my son before…

“Here are the facts. 80 percent of vampire conversions end in death. Of those 80 percent who die, about 20 percent are immediate deaths.  Those are the lucky ones. The remaining die insanely painful deaths within two weeks.

Of the remaining 20 percent who live, let’s say we started with a sample of 100. So 20 who are converted survive the first two weeks. They have survived Hell. It isn’t about sucking…

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My Mom Blogs About Vampires

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

 

Seriously, I did date that guy, and more.

What you share with your kids and what you don’t is up to your own comfort level. You don’t want to tell them everything. They don’t need to know it all. But you don’t want to tell them nothing. But this isn’t exactly what this post is about.

How do your kids see you now? Who are you? What do you do? Do they know? Do they care? They should care. They should be thrilled.

Do a little bit of PR work on your own kids. Seriously, if you’re a parent you need public relations.

How do your kids see you?

I’m not talking about “honor thy mother and father,” or anything to do with authority. I’m not going to discuss examples of piss poor bad parenting. I’m not going to talk about being perfect.

I’m talking image. AND when you live with teens you know that IMAGE is EVERYTHING.

And don’t tell me it isn’t because I know even kids who SAY they don’t care DO. The very image of not caring about image is their image.

Seriously, listen to me. Your kids are growing up. They’ll be adults soon. Who are they going to turn to as an example of a well adjusted, interesting, happy adult? YOU. I hope it is you.

But wait. Don’t worry. This is nothing to stress over. Just be yourself. Show your kids your best self. Show them the interesting self that deep down in your heart and soul make you who you are. Not the parent. Not the spouse. Not anything that is connected to anyone. Show your kids YOU. Let them know who you are.

We've got plenty of talent.

We’ve got plenty of talent.

What did you want to be when you were a teen? What do you want to do now? Or do you love where you are? Share that with your teen. And if your dream didn’t happen put a positive spin on it. Over the years some dreams grow, some dreams get hidden away, some dreams die, and some live on.

I’ve always done things a little different from others, so no surprise that I blog about Vampires and parenting. Then again, even though every tells me I’m unique and different, I feel that we are all unique and different. Let’s celebrate that with our teens. I mean, who better than your own teen or young adult to celebrate with.

Share your hopes and dreams. Share your long winded stories. Tell them about what you do at work (if you love your job.) Tell them what you love, and tell your kid that one day he or she will have something they’ll love just as much. Passion isn’t just romance. It is the love of doing – even if you aren’t good at it.

Everyone talks of role models for kids. Forget public figures. Make yourself the best role model out there. Don’t be modest. Even the parent with the quiet life, or the simple life, has lessons to teach, and interesting things about herself to share.

For example, among other things, I get most of the answers on Jeopardy correct. Then when everyone else gets it wrong I tell my husband, “You are married to the smartest woman in the world.” Then my kids agree. I’m good at trivia. My kids think that is cool. See where I’m going with this? We all have something we’re good at. Don’t hide it from your kids. Share it with them. Maybe it will spark their passions – even if those passions are different from yours. Try it. It works. Believe me on this one.

You don’t have to make a fool out of yourself trying to be hip and cool, because you already are. Just be yourself, and let your kids know who that is.

That’s all. Nothing profound.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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

What we talked about on the way to school today: stupid people, early people, lost people & the wisdom of teens

What we talked about on the way to school today

Road repairs:

Why does the county/state decide to do all of the construction around a busy high school after school starts? How about doing it during the summer?

So for the past week vast amounts of large machines and vast amounts of workers in yellow vests have been hanging out around a huge hole in one of the main streets that lead to our neighborhood. The workers (about two dozen of them) stand around the hole. One guy directs traffic by the red blinking lights. OK sometimes he directs traffic if someone is walking across the road, but he isn’t doing it very well.

This morning Clara said, “I want to roll the window down and ask them if they’re going to work.”

I told her that I want a job just standing by a hole all day. I’m sure it pays at least $50,000 a year if not more.

We speculated on what was in the hole. Suggestions were electrical lines, pipes, or fiber optics.

We Bury Our Dead

And speaking of holes, it reminded me of a news story I’d heard early in the morning whist making coffee for the blurry eyed teen and me. AI told Clara that I’d heard about a new variety of Hominid that had recently been discovered. They bury their dead. They walked like us on feet like ours. Their faces looked human like. Their hands had fingers that were slightly more curved than ours.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because “naledi” means “star” in a local South African language.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because "naledi" means "star" in a local South African language.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because “naledi” means “star” in a local South African language.

Then the subject went on to how many human like folk there used to be roaming the earth, but we are the only ones who survived (but not for long.) What happened to the others? They made tools and had language. They buried their dead. They loved and lived and danced. Where did they go?

Here is the link to the story: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/10/437249183/south-african-cave-yields-strange-bones-of-early-human-like-species

We know the Neanderthals did the Hokey Pokey with Humans. Some of us even have their DNA. But what about the others?

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Of course I’m not Homo Sapien but I’m still beautiful.

From there Clara talked about how people originally ended up in North America. When I put in my two cents worth she said, “Mom, stop, I know about this.” And she does. She knows a lot. It was like a college history lecture for the next two miles.

Damn, I love being a parent.

Then she mentioned that Bernie Sanders had always been a Socialist. That was the extent of the political talk.

Then we talked about or favorite Kim Davis memes. From there it went to the discussion of bullies and bigots and attention whores. You know who and what I’m talking about. It always makes us sick that the media is obsessed with Kim Davis’s so-called religion or Kim Kardasian’s butt. Like I said, humans will be extinct in about 100 years due to stupidity and the embracing of ignorance.

We talked about the refugees and how they are more like us than they are different. They had jobs and homes and school – the same kind of jobs and homes and schools we have.

Clara suggested that everyone get together and just get rid of ISIS. Stop being politically correct or worrying about boundaries. Just hunt them down and get rid of them. Just say NO. But egos get in the way. There are no resources (yes there are.) We’d be called bigots for fighting evil. Hey, ISIS isn’t about religion. They are like Kim Davis  – their goal is to control others. Their goal is to be in charge. Their goal is evil. Yes, they’re dancing with the Devil.

OK I HAVE to share some Kim Davis memes.

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mike and kim show

 

If the world leaders would listen to teenagers the dance would stop. I’m not talking about glassy eyed followers. I’m talking about most of the teens I know who are so rational and level headed that it can be scary. Listen to them before the adult world comes in and ruins their good ideas. Listen to them before they know what the word NO means.

By then we were at school. I wished my daughter a good day and to try to stay cool. I also told her to have fun and learn something. That is a no brainer.

I told a different way home to avoid the men and their giant machines who spend the day standing around a hole. Maybe a dinosaur is in there. You never know.

I hope YOU learn something today and have fun too.

And remember, parenting doesn’t just happen. If you don’t talk with your kids they won’t talk to you. Talk with your kids. Listen to their ideas. Ask their opinions. Encourage them to share their ideas without adult judgment. LISTEN, TALK, LISTEN.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Learning from mistakes

No need to wax and wane poetically… I was clueless when I was young. I was totally, completely and absolutely clueless. There are large chunks of my younger life that I just try to forget.

But I’m glad I didn’t, not completely, because it has made me a better parent.

Why?

Because I have LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES.

Everybody, say it out loud, all together: I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES.

So when it comes to raising kids I knew I didn’t want my children to be clueless. I didn’t want them to sputter and flounder and feel utterly hopeless and alone. I didn’t want them to feel like dreams and achieving goals is not a fantasy.

Have you ever had someone in your life that you just want to smack because they keep doing the same stupid things over and over and over? Usually that involves romance or jobs or everything.

No matter who or what you are you can’t continue to live in a la la land and be an immature moron forever. It isn’t cute. It isn’t smart. It isn’t safe.

Sure nobody, including me, does everything right all of the time. We live with all sorts of fears. We have different comfort zones. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

But if you have kids you can give them the tools they need to get a good start in life. Sure they have to make their own mistakes, but don’t you want to send them out in the world prepared knowing they’ll have some support. You are the elder. Yes, forget your age phobia, you should have the wisdom to share and support the youngsters in your life.

My greatest fear is that my children will flounder. A lot of doors used to slam in my face. I have shown my kids that you can kick down those doors. You can go around. You can get in through a window. You can yell FUCK YOU and go to a better door. OK maybe not yell the F bomb but you know what I mean. You can quietly think it – then go kick ass, even if you do it quietly.

If you know a young person all it takes is a kind word. All it takes is sharing a book, a story from your life, a URL to an interesting website, or a little of your time. It makes a difference. A small gesture can make the difference between a young person feeling alone and isolated to feeling empowered and hopeful.

As for romantic mistakes… my advice is GET A CLUE. When it goes bad cut your losses. Alway leave making everyone think it was YOUR CHOICE even when it wasn’t. Move on. Keep an open mind. If the situation is toxic you need to leave. And don’t do it again. No. Don’t. Just don’t.

Another thing I have to mention. Teach your kids to like themselves. They need to embrace who they are. So many kids feel compared to others or compare themselves to other. You know who the others are – those kids who always seems smarter, prettier, stronger, better at everything. But you know, they aren’t all that. They just believe they are smart, pretty, strong and good at stuff.

So, yeah, maybe later I’ll post more pathetic young Juliette stories. It isn’t all that bad. Maybe just to me.

UPDATE: Yesterday I posted about my old dog Jasmine. She is doing a lot better today. She was perky and wagging her tail. Good dog. Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Your assignment for today:

  • Tell your kids to LEARN from their mistakes.
  • Learn from YOUR mistakes.
  • Pass that information on to your children.
  • Hug your kids.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Love your kids.
  • Don’t be stupid (again.)
  • Hug your dogs and cats.
  • Kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman