What We’re Talking About Today (with my kids)

I started writing this post a week ago while I was visiting my kids in Southern California. OK, just the title.

Since then, a long standing and troubling subject of these talks has resurfaced – shootings. Be it a grocery store or a school it seems that shootings are somehow normal. That is, at least a segment of our population who values clumps of cells in a woman’s body, and guns, over the lives of living breathing people – especially living breathing children. They use the term “founding fathers” to justify owning assault weapons that are made for killing humans (not animals for food.) The founding fathers would be horrified if they know their words and intent were used to justify parading around guns like fools and brushing off mass killings of innocent people.

Grocery store home deliveries will last much longer than the current pandemic because people will live in fear of being killed for the simple act of grocery shopping. They’ll fear going out for a massage because some asshole said he had issues with his own perverted sexual hang-ups brought on by religion, bigotry, and his own sick and twisted selfishness. The school shootings will start up again because young men will have access to guns in the homes of their family members, or guns they easily purchase when they turn eighteen.

My daughter was born in 1999 the year of the Columbine killings. It should have stopped then and there. It should have stopped. There is NO REASON this should be happening.

There are patterns. A few diverge but there are patterns. The patterns are ignored. The shootings continue.

With the advent of Covid-19 and various other changes in my life I’m not writing as many blog posts because I’ve sort of lost my sense of humor.

It also had to do with the suffocating political environment we were all living in.

On a good note, since this is a parenting blog of sorts, my daughter has been accepted into the Masters program at a major Southern California University for a double Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning. I am over the moon happy that this funny, happy, positive kid has worked her ass off and worked smart to get where she wants to be.

Of course I’m freely joking that my daughter got in and I’m not going to jail for it.

Cheating in anything is bad. Cheating at parenting is absolutely the worst. If you cheat to get your child into a school you don’t only set them up for failure but you also take a place from a child who deserves it. Of course if you cheat to get your kid to the front of the line you aren’t the kind of person who gives a shit about kids who aren’t yours.

My husband got the dog a new bed and the cat sleeps on it. The Internet if full of photos of cats sleeping on the dog bed while the huge dog sleeps on the floor next to it.

While I was in Southern California my kids and I walked along the beach and talked about everything under the sun and moon. We talked about movies, books, my daughter’s school, my son’s work, the environment, how huge cargo ships are, gardening, and dogs.

I always tell my readers to talk with their kids. Now that they’re grown we are still talking.

Museums are opening back up.

Restaurants are opening back up.

Maybe even movie theaters will start opening.

Werewolves and Ghosts have done alright, but believe me, it will be a lot easier for Vampires right now.

What is left in my coffee cup from a few minutes ago is getting cold, so I’ll stop my ramblings soon.

I miss those days of driving to school in the car with my kids and talking about whatever was on the radio or on their minds. I feel like those talks helped make them the successful young adults they are today. At least it got them thinking about the big picture – the world outside of their own small circle of family, friends, and school.

Stay safe. Keep wearing your masks. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Talk to your kids. Hug your dog, especially if a cat has taken it’s bed. Check in on those who are elderly, alone, or need extra help. And kiss a Vampire – you’ll thank me for it later.

I’ll be back soon – hopefully with something fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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

What we’re talking about – The Wall of Beautiful Men, Music, News and of Course School

I talk a lot with my kids. Not just about taking out the garbage or feeding the cats, but about everything. Over the summer the current events tone down but we still talk quite a bit. Today we talked about a lot of things.

Amber alerts – we’re getting them on our phones. The first was in Nevada a few weeks ago. The second was here at home with the tragic abduction of

The alerts are a good thing but the abductions or need for alerts is not. Abductions should only occur in fiction as something to make a plot line more exciting. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and there are tragic heartbreaking consequences. Modern technology can’t prevent horrible people from doing horrible things but it can help us find those who need our help.

As a parent it is frustrating not knowing the answer to the questions “WHY?” when it comes to people who hurt kids.

Secrets. President Obama is still pissed off about what’s his name. You you work for a government agency and many private companies you sign a nondisclosure agreement. You also have security clearance. Part of that is that YOU will keep any information you find confidential. OK that will exclude finding a head in the file drawer or obvious lurid events BUT if you’re working for the government you KNOW what you’ll be finding and that if you blab it to everyone and compromise national security that you will NOT be considered a hero in most cases. Dude, you knew you’d be in a lot of trouble. You should have thought this out better. I don’t know all of the details but we talked about secrets and keeping them (no political comments please.) So anyway, before you blow a secret, be it with the government or with a friend at school, or with your mom (especially with your mom) think long and hard about your actions and what it will mean to everyone involved.

As Vampires we know all about keeping secrets and those who don’t…well, it never ends well. By the way V kids, like it or not, another one of your seminars/meetings about your responsibilities as a member of the Vampire community is coming up next week before school starts. Yes, Nathaniel Chase will be giving the lecture just as he has for the past 162 years.

Tesla Motors is doing great. Woo Hoo. We see Teslas all around where we live. In fact we always see more unique cars. Going back a while…my husband and I remember at least two amphibious cars in the 1960’s. I saw one in Folsom Lake. There used to be a lot of DeLoreans around here (yes, the stainless steel Back To The Future car). Occasionally I still see one in Fair Oaks. I see at least two cars from Tesla Motors a week. The weekends, when the weather is nice, which is 98.9% of the time, the classic cars come out. That means convertibles from Auburns to old Z cars (a lot of Corvettes, Mustangs, Jags and T-Birds). It means cars from the 50’s, horseless carriages, cars with rumble seats and fins and split windows. It means fun. My son loves it. My daughter is still trying to understand why it happens and where all of these old cars come from and why they are mostly driven by guys in their 50’s and 60’s. I told my daughter that when she learns to drive she can have my car and I’ll get my own Tesla. My 17 year old is content with his 2006 Mustang, but he told me he’d really like a black 1964 Corvette. I’m just glad he didn’t say he wanted a hearse.

California STAR test scores are down. I’ve never given much credit to this stupid way of testing. My question is “How can kids who study hard, write well, are liked by their teachers AND get straight A’s have such wild and crazy text scores that never reflect what the kids really know?” One year the scores will be up, one year down, then back up again. My kids describe them as a bunch of random questions about things we never learned in school. This includes one making exceptionally high scores in science then saying “I didn’t know any of that stuff.” Hmmmm. Something to think about.

Band shirts will lead to new friends in school. That is what THEY the TEENS said. But I said to also respect the musical taste of others and then in a nice friendly manner introduce them to your music. Don’t just say “THAT SUCKS”. OK there are times when you can say out loud that something is awful but take a deep breath first and think of a more diplomatic way to say it.

And speaking of music… In my daughter’s room is her “Wall of Beautiful Men.” My husband calls it the Wall of Freaks. The point is…Fall Out Boys and Panic! At the Disco are both coming out with new albums and new tours and that is all the child has been thinking/talking about. I know a lot of parents reading this can relate (and I know back in the day some of you had your own Wall of Beautiful Men or maybe a Farrah poster or better yet Linda Carter as Wonder Woman.)

A small portion of The Wall of Beautiful Men

A small portion of The Wall of Beautiful Men

School starts in a week.

  • What do you say when a senior boys comes up to you and says “Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” Answer “All the time. Now go away.” Good job Clara. Your older brother has tutored you well.
  • Boys shouldn’t wear Crocs to school. I know we all believe in self-expression, but Crocs on high school boys is just asking for trouble. We’re talking about the plastic clog like shoes that come in all colors that should only be worn in gardens digging for root vegetables. Wait, I hear something else…girls shouldn’t wear them to school either. Well thank you to the fashion police who have noted that nobody in our house own Crocs (but we do have a large selection of cheap flip flops in all colors.) The people at Crocs are now making some cute non-clog like sandals but I was told by the fashion snobs at my house not to look at those.
  • Boots. Mom wants new boots. Daughter still wears her black lace-up army boots with everything – dresses, shorts, jeans…everything. Even when it is over 100 degrees F outside. The man-child is avoiding boots.
  • Self expression. Let your freak flag fly but maybe tone it down a little the first week of school so you won’t shock your teachers too much. I know they’ve seen EVERYTHING but be nice and give them a little bit of a break for just a few days.
  • Why has it taken so long to get our class assignments? OK children, I can explain how budgets work. I can explain logistics. I can explain and make excuses but… I don’t know and it sucks. End of discussion. I hope by this weekend you’ll have your classes.
  • School population breakdown: Regular Humans 2,487, Werewolves 6, Vampires 12. This school has a high population of kids who aren’t Regular Humans. I know I blog about this but we’re a very very very small portion of the population (but these numbers are high for us). Only 3 high schools in the area even have Vampires and only two have Werewolves. We tend to stick together.
  • They ask me “Mom, why are you so excited about school starting?” Maybe because I love you and you’re my children and I have a vested interest in you. And my universe centers around my family and what they do. Plus it sounds fun and interesting and…oh well. And they MUST make good grades so they can get into the college of their choice.  And because while they love me, nobody is excited about anything I do.

This week the family continues to make fun of how I clap my hands. Their loss for the dullness of their claps. Sigh.

The Vampire Ball is later this year – at the beginning of September. So yes, I might have time to design costumes and have them made. I just hope it doesn’t fall on Homecoming weekend.

995765_524107340995387_1280662151_nOh, oh, oh, one more bit of news (and my family is proud of me despite what I usually tell you)…the next short story anthology from the WPaD group will be out soon. It is the Fantasy edition! Three of my stories are in it (under an assumed name). More to come on that later.

Have a great weekend everyone!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman