A Plea Regarding Sharks

Image via Mashable



I want you to think back to a time when someone ridiculed you because of a fear you had, (or still have.)  Perhaps it was a fear of flying.  A fear of spiders.  A fear of heights. A fear of small spaces.  A fear that something might happen to your children.  How did it make you feel, to have someone minimize what you felt was a legitimate fear?  Not too great, I’d imagine.

I’m sure Facebook has made you aware of the number of shark attacks that have happened off the coast of North Carolina this summer.  Last year, there was a reported total of 4 shark attacks in North Carolina in 2014.  This summer, seven 8* occurred in less than a month.  The first two were explained away, but as the attacks began trending southward and more violent, I began to get worried.  (Even scientists are all WTF!?!)  You see, we’re getting ready to head down to Emerald Isle, in the Southern Outer Banks, soon.  The 7th and most recent attack at Ocracoke is only about two hours away, and that is when I declared that there would be no swimming in the ocean this year.  While that will make our vacation a little less fun, (and peeing in the ocean inifinitely more difficult**) I feel that a shark taking a chomp out of me or my family would really put a damper on things.

Apparently, I’m a ridiculous human being.
Once news of the shark attacks began circulating on social media, several people fought to stem the tide of panic in the only way social media could: infographics.  Although I don’t typically frolic with cows, I have been informed that I’m statistically more likely to have death by cow.  And, honestly, the next person who says I’m more likely to be struck by lightning is going to get punched in the throat.  I’m pretty sure that the last gentleman to be attacked stood out past the breakers, saying to himself, I’m more likely to be struck by liiiiiiiaaaauuuuuuugh argh bargh thrash splash haaaaaaaaaaaalp!  That’s the thing about statistics- statistically unlikely doesn’t mean there’s a 0% chance.  And people are paranoid, only until it happens to them.  I don’t need to get in the ocean that badly; I don’t need to take that risk.

We then turn to the newest infographic in circulation, which treats fear of shark attack/unwillingness to swim in the ocean as a character issue.


While I understand that it is using the shark attacks to draw attention to violence against women, it’s also creating a straw man which trivializes fear of a shark attack.  Believe me, this ball of anxiety is perfectly capable of multi-tasking.  I can focus on more than one fear at a time.

Getting to the Point
Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that those of you who say that my fear is irrational, (which was said to me at a wedding two weeks ago) and post these infographic responses, (because apparently being irrational also means I’m dumb and need to see a pretty picture to understand?) are kind of being assholes.  If you feel comfortable swimming in the ocean this summer, then go for it!  I’m certainly not going to judge you for deciding that the risk is low and reasonable.  May the wind be ever at your back, may sharks prefer bait fish to you, and live every week like it’s Shark Week.

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But, please, let the rest of us have our fear and respect for these great and creepy creatures.

Side note: Don’t tell me those motherfuckers aren’t creepy.  You know when you’re looking at them swim in aquariums, those cold, dead eyes are looking at you, thinking, I own you, motherfucker! in their creepy Vincent Price voices.

If you’ll allow me, sharks don’t swim in my kitchen so, this year, I’m going to stay out of theirs.  I know that sharks are wild animals who are mostly peaceful and usually bite out of curiosity.  And, sometimes, some sharks behave like assholes.

*Mike just told me an 8th attack occurred Saturday in Surf City, which is even closer to Emerald Isle.

**Anyone going, Ewwwww! You pee in the ocean?– You’ve done it too and you know it!  And if you deny it, you’re a lying liar.

 

A Little Less Close to Fine

 Image source

Today, June 26, 2015, will henceforth be known as the day the Supreme Court of the United States dropped a massive glitter bomb, which exploded all over America.  In a 5-4 decision, the Justices declared that gay couples are entitled to equal protection under the law and may now marry in any of these United States.  The LGBT community and its allies across the nation are celebrating with tears of joy, parades, (tomorrow) Facebook posts, and GIFable videos with confetti.

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While I’m happy for gay couples everywhere, it makes me wonder if anyone has taken a moment during their revelry to think about the rest of us. Does anyone realize how much this ruling turns our worlds upside down?  “Who’s ‘us’ and ‘our’?”, you ask.  Why, straight people, of course.  A cornucopia of choices has been released from a heteronormative Pandora’s box. Single ladies unable to find a man may choose to switch their sexual preference to other single ladies in hopes of putting a ring on it.  Committed and loving straight couples will abandon their marriages now that they have options.

I wonder why they didn’t think of the children?  I hope everyone is prepared for all the Sarah McLachlan commercials with which we will now be inundated. With the dramatic increase of the birth rate that gay marriage will bring, so many children will need loving homes.  And as marriage is nothing more than an institution for procreation, we will now need to fear for the future of our species, as birth rates will begin to plunge.  SCOTUS clearly didn’t think this through.  Children’s mental well-being and sense of stability will simply vanish.  While science clearly shows us that children thrive in orphanages and being bounced from foster home to foster home, now that gay “marriage” is allowed, these children will be forced into so-called loving and stable homes.  Addtionally, these children, who were once straight, will be converted to homosexuality with more exposure to same-sex couples.

I’m sorry to say that I know all of this to be true from experience.  As this blog is entitled, Julie, Unfiltered, I feel a duty to be honest in how this Supreme Court decision affects my family and I. Beginning today, Mike and I will move to end our marriage.  In the wake of today’s decision, our loving and committed relationship has been rendered meaningless.  I intend to marry our cat, Miss Andry.  We know that getting the law to recognize our love will be an uphill battle, but we feel today’s Court decision has paved the way and will make our journey a little less bumpy.  In our spare time, we plan to tour with the Indigo Girls.

I Will Survive.  Hey…..  Hey. 

Life is chaotic right now. I spent half a day scheduling all manner of doctor appointments- pain management, endocrinologist, occupational therapy, etc. 

Rachael was tested for ADHD. The test results weren’t totally conclusive.  She’s basically on the cusp, but they want to rule out, (or in) fine motor control issues, masquerading as an attention deficit, before a final diagnosis is made. 

Meanwhile, Zoë’s behavior has regressed at home and at preschool. I finally broke down and bought books on how to parent “spirited” children.  Don’t you just the PC term for “They’ve lost their fucking minds!”  Family therapy is also on the table. We need to figure out how discipline her with results and how to function better as a family unit.  

Then there’s the kitchen. I’ve been wanting to give it a face lift for a long time. I won’t go into the sordid details; suffice it to say, Mike and I have been engaged in a war of attrition, alternating with detente.  A peace accord has been signed, giving me the rights to paint our cabinets, and putting the ugly Formica countertops off for now. 

So I’ll probably be absent for a little while, but I haven’t forgotten about all of you. Have this meme I created from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt until then. 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I’m cleaning up the vomit from Christmas fever

We’re back home after our visit with Mike’s family. We managed to pull off a magical Christmas for the girls, which is amazing, considering that we accidentally left half their presents at home. We didn’t want the only things Rachael had to open/be from Santa were books and a coral growing set, so Mike and I upheld his family’s long-standing tradition of going out on Christmas Eve to buy last minute presents. I felt horrible, being a reason for someone having to work; I made sure to profusely thank the woman who rang us up at the toy store.

Of course, my ever precocious Rachael said that she already had the best present she could ever ask for: her family. That, coupled with the genuine gratefulness of our children on Christmas morning, just made Mike and I fill with joy and feel like we forgot the rest of the toy store to give to them. We. Are. Suckers.
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How do you say no to that?

Zoë won Christmas, getting a pretend makeup set and a letter W. Why W? We have no idea. She’s extremely attached to the letters of her name and the letter W. When she opened the W her grandparents gave to her, it was like those videos where kids find out they’re going to Disney World.
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Much more subdued Zoë, as she succumbed to her cold.

As for her pretend makeup set, Zoë immediately put it to good use, giving everyone makeovers.
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I make Pa Pa pretty.

Anyway, real posts are in the hopper, including spiced fudge and a gingerbread TARDIS. And I hope everyone else’s holidays were as wonderful and magical as a 3 year old receiving her W.

The happiest place on earth is not an airplane bathroom

I’m on a plaaaaaaane!

Nope. Not nearly the same ring to it as “I’m on a boat”. Nevertheless, that is where I am as I write this. It’s been about 7 years since I last flew. Mike and I are flying to Orlando for a workcation. He has a tech conference for work that requires him to sit through David Blaine. Bwahahahahaha! I, meanwhile, will get to sleep in. Get a massage. Wander around aimlessly. Judge the horrible people at the resort’s beach.* Blog poolside with a drink from the poolside bar. Decide I’d rather blog on my balcony with a drink from the poolside bar.*
Either the planes have gotten a bit smaller or I’ve gotten way bigger. I think the answer to both is “yes”. My seatbelt buckle is comfortably located beneath my left wrist. My trip to the lav was harrowing. I was lured into a false sense of serenity by the futuristic, neon blue light. (I wouldn’t last a fucking minute as a bug. BSZZZZZZT!!!!!! ) Once I trapped myself inside, the blue light disappeared and I saw the mile high toilet for what it really was: A TOILET FOR ANTS! (/Zoolander) Believe me, I know I’m not a small girl, but damn! I sat myself down, and that’s when it happened. Turbulence. Apparently I am not the sort to pee myself while I slightly freak out. I froze like a deer and stared at the various stick figure signs. After a few seconds, I was able to summon the courage to pee while bouncing like a lottery ball. Once finished, I flushed the toilet. Like ya do. There was a delay and then WHOOOOSHROOOOOOAAAAAAARSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUWAAAAAAAAH

The gremlin that lives on the wing of the plane came up through the toilet, reached its scraggly claws through my ears, grabbed onto the auditory processing centers of my brain, bungee jumped back out of my ears, cut the cord and evil-squeaked, heHEE as he flushed himself back down the toilet. I stood in shock, looking at myself in the mirror, and then exited. And there was that fucking blue light again.

The moral of the story is:
Don’t drink before your flight to relax your nerves. You will need to pee.

*So I may have added on to this post the next day because I was too traumatized by my flight.

Know Someone With Fibromyalgia? (Things they probably wish you knew)

This is thorough and accurate.

Shedding Light

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(Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/fybromyalgiaandme)

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2003 and I still feel like the only people that understand are the people that have Fibromyalgia, Lyme disease or CFS/ME. There are so many myths and misconceptions about these illnesses and so little understanding. Here are some of the things I wish people understood:

1. We are not lazy! Ask just about anyone with Fibromyalgia, and they will tell you that there are so many things they wish they could do but just can’t anymore. We wish we could go out and socialize more. We wish we could host holidays and birthday parties. (Okay, in my case that’s a lie. I hate having people over.) We wish we could keep our houses cleaner, volunteer at our kids’ schools, keep our lawn manicured and run marathons. We don’t want to lay on the couch and take naps every day…

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