Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

This is what an asthma attack feels like…

On Friday, I woke up from a nap with a little bit of a tickle in my throat. I figured maybe my throat was just dry, but no matter how much water I drank, that little tickle wouldn’t go away.

For those who don’t know, Friday night was the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Generally, if you’re in good health and not pregnant, you fast for 25 hours. I was expecting to fast, and then write a loooooooooooooong bitchy post about how much it sucked. But anyway, before we fast, most people go out to a big dinner. The husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant in Dublin. The door was open to let in the evening breeze, which should have been lovely, except for the smokers out front. 

“Should I ask them to close the door?” I asked. Which was stupid. Why didn’t I just GET UP AND CLOSE THE FUCKING DOOR?! But I didn’t. I started coughing in the restaurant. As we walked back, that tickle in my throat moved down into my lungs, and I started coughing non-stop.

I know how people view folks with asthma. We’re all short and we breathe heavy, and we can’t play in sports with the other kids. The stereotype is pretty well personified in an episode of South Park, where a Jewish asthmatic kid comes to visit. The thing is, for most of us, it drives us crazy. I remember being a little girl and just WANTING to go run and play, and never understanding why I was always sick. It was humiliating to explain to the other kids why I was wheezing or why I couldn’t get over a cold as quickly as they could. And I think, until fairly recently, that might have even been how my husband viewed it. He’d never REALLY seen me in full on asthma mode, because as much as it may have impacted his life before (read: not all that much, really), I had managed to keep it under control.

But this is Europe. People smoke. People smoke in the US, too, but for some reason my asthma has gotten worse here.

So there we were, Friday night. I’m trying to maintain a conversation, and at some point I stop even trying. Then I stopped walking. Finally, I collapsed onto the ground, coughing and gasping.

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Some folks stopped, and helped us into a cafe where I was able to get a coke (little known trick: if you’re ever with an asthmatic who has lost their inhaler and they’re having an attack, caffeine will slow the attack until you can get serious help). We sat there as my coughing subsided. My husband must have asked me 4 or 5 times if we should go to an ER, but I wanted to get Max home to bed. It wouldn’t do my asthma any good if I was panicking because he was screaming and exhausted.

So here we are now. It’s Monday. I couldn’t see anyone over the weekend because I think the clinics were closed, so I’ve had this low-level ongoing attack for four days.

You know how you’ll see an ad from time to time, and they liken an attack to trying to breathe through a straw? Maybe that’s how it is for some people, but for me, it’s worse. I cough and cough, because my chest tightens. Then I get thirsty, but no matter how much I drink I still feel dehydrated. That’s because my bronchial tubes start filling with fluid. Is this gross? I can’t tell. It moves down into my lungs, and I cough and cough, but no matter how hard I try, I just feel like I’m drowning inside my own body. It’s horrible. It’s horrible, and humiliating, and I wish I didn’t have it. People ask me why I am just NOW thinking about weaning Max, at 15 months. You know why? Because if there is ANY chance that extended breast feeding would mean that he didn’t have to collapse on the street of a foreign city, not knowing when he would be able to catch his breath, I will fucking do it. I’ll nurse the shit outta this kid. I’ll eat fucking goji berries or whatever else. 

So that’s my deep dark secret. That’s my weakness and humiliation. I have another 35 months in a country I really enjoy, but may be slowly killing me.

 

 

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15 Comments »

Let’s all write about suicide! WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I get it. I do. September is Suicide awareness month, and also the Bloggess (if you REALLY needed that link, you are a naughty little blogger indeed!) has written something on it, and I believe everyone’s favorite terrifying Le Clown may have touched on the topic as well. So I understand. Most people don’t blog because their lives are SO amazing that they feel the need to share the awesome with the rest of the world, though I hope some folks do.

I personally started this blog because I needed an outlet for my rage and pain. I had actually written to the Bloggess at this point in my life, and told her how fucked up everything was for me, and how I didn’t know what to do. I had a new baby, and absolutely zero way to financially provide for him.

“That’s nothing!” you might say to yourself, but we all have our own demons, and mine looks a lot like poverty.

So here is my token Suicide post:

Don’t. Just don’t. Suicide solves nothing and it ends nothing, other than the opportunity for things to get better.

At my darkest, I thought my son might be better off without me. A little voice whispered in my ear, “but what if he needs you later on, and you’re not there?”

You may think no one does, but SOMEONE needs you. Don’t take yourself away from them.

So far, you have a 100% win rate of surviving shitty days. That’s a pretty fucking awesome track record. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m her. Legit. I am. The Bloggess was there for me, so I am paying that shit forward. I’ll even give you my Irish cell phone number, and you can call me in the middle of the night, because I have a toddler so I’m always up anyway! I’ll tell you stories about how I cluck like a chicken and moo like a cow in the playground to make my son laugh, and how other moms will back away slowly from me. Good times.

So there you go. I’m gonna have some chocolate now.

#FuckDepression

8 Comments »

My very first Irish panic attack: tastes like ‘Merica!

Of the settlement money I received when my lawsuit ended, I was supposed to save HALF for taxes, just in case. That shouldn’t have been hard for a normal fucking person, but my husband and I had just decided to move to a country in recession because life hates when things go easily for me. This morning, the husband and I looked at our bank account, and realized we had 1/4 of the settlement left.

Gentle readers, this takes us back to where I was when I first started writing this blog. Jobless. At home. Watching our bank accounts dwindle. It’s all very Circle of Life.

So now we get to the crux of it. When I first moved over here with my husband, I said that I would stay as long as financially possible. It’s been a month. I don’t know whether I should stay on and continue to look for a job, or move back to the States and try from there. What I do know is that we can’t sustain my being unemployed much longer.

The other day, I told my friend that I was giving this whole deal until October. If I haven’t found a job by then, I told her, I’ll have to move back. She felt I should extend my search time frame and cut myself some slack. But for those of us who have been unemployed and struggled not for weeks, not for months, but struggled for YEARS to get back on our feet and put a roof over the heads of our children, it’s not about just being proud of the progress you’ve made on the SEARCH. I need a JOB. I need money. I need to be able to pay the bills and get out of the house and not feel like I’m circling the drain AGAIN.

I don’t know, you guys. Do I stay? Do I go? But how much longer can we keep this up? How many more posts are y’all willing to read about my being unemployed, again? But I can’t complain too much; I agreed to move here… let’s see what my next move will be.

29 Comments »

I don’t speak their language, and also I am now eating cheese. Lots of cheese.

I’ve moved to Ireland, which is a nice way of saying, “HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” We were here about a week before we found an apartment (YAY!), and I was in the apartment about two weeks before I forced every mother, nanny, and random homeless woman on the playground to be my friend and show me where all the cool babies hang out. That’s right: when charm doesn’t work, I simply force you to be nice to me with my American/Jedi mind trick of offering cookies. Anyway, it worked, and Max and I hit up the local church (there’s GOBS of churches around here, you guys!) to get some quality toddler time in. Then Max pooped himself, we all sang songs (not about the poop, that would be weird), and Max passed out in a wee little toddler stupor on our way home. Mommy-win. HUZZAH! I am a stay at home mom who is no longer forced to actually STAY AT HOME.

But that’s not why you read this blog. You read it to hear the stories of the time I accidentally-on purpose flashed our tour-guide my nipples, and yelled at a half naked man on the street, and I’m not even sure why I yelled at him, because I can’t be entirely positive he was saying anything mean to me. So, let’s get into that, shall we?

After the aforementioned orgy of toddlers and toys and Barney (oh my!), Max took his afternoon nap. We had a lovely lunch of noodles and sardines (don’t judge me), and I was all, “F THIS! It’s a nice day out! We’re going to the park, kid!” and he was all, “Fuck yeah, mommy!!!” “kitty.” So I strapped him into the stroller/buggy/pram, and off we went to the park in what I can legit call some SERIOUS heat. I thought Ireland was supposed to have MILD weather! Whatever. As I turned a corner, there was this sunbathing beauty on his front lawn. And by that, I mean the man was easily in his 70’s with nipples the size of silver dollars. Since it was eleventy-billion degrees and I had burst into flames no fewer than four times since leaving the house, I had taken off my SWEATER that I had put on that morning when it was cold enough to see my breath. I was wearing a dress, so I’m not sure what the deal is, but I assume the sight of my pale flesh offended the man, although to be honest I have no idea what he yelled at me because I speak a language called ENGLISH and he yelled something at me that I can only assume was a dialect of fucking KLINGON.

“OH YEAH?!” I yelled back, because I’m a New Yorker so I do that, “Well why don’t you go slap a bra on those man-boobs?!”

Let’s all take a moment to wonder why the Diplomatic Corps refused my application, shall we?

Moving on, I located a cheese monger in Dublin. Yes, I WILL allow you a moment to giggle at the 21st century use of the word MONGER. I also have a FISH MONGER near me. I giggle constantly at that. Anyway, I went to my cheese monger and asked for Irish goat or sheep cheese.

Fact 1: Did you know Irish cheese is DELICIOUS?! Because: yes. So, SO much yes.

Fact 2: Did you know I have zero will power and the only reason I am not currently FINISHING off all the cheese I bought two days ago is because I need both hands to type? I am going to be ten thousand pounds when I leave this country. My husband and son will be able to ride me as a floatation device. If we sail home, I’ll have to worry about orcas trying to mate with me.

Also, I have to line-dry all my clothes like I’m in a Charles Dickens novel. DAMN YOU, EUROPE! YOU TAKE ALL THE GOOD CHOCOLATE, BUT YOU HAVE SHITTY LAUNDRY SERVICES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???

P.S. my posts will most likely, almost certainly, just maybe get better. Although they may not. No promises. Read at your own peril. I’m going to eat some cheese.

20 Comments »

Motherfucking Ireland!!

So, I’ve been here for a little over a week. For those who don’t know, read my blog. HA! But also, I’ve moved from DC to Dublin. Ireland. Like, the country. Right now, my husband has taken my son so I can send out resumes and write on my blog.

So here I am. On my blog. In Dublin. With a pint of Guinness to my right. And here’s the conclusion I’ve come to about this country:

It’s completely underrated!

If Europe were a college, you’d have several stereotypical students here. France would be the annoying, pretentious philosophy student. They drink wine and smoke, right? Italy would be the art major… ugh. I mean… delightful? Poland would be that odd Gamer that comes to class but nobody knows their name. Germany would be the straight A student who is president of the Virginity club, but smokes meth on the side. England would sorta be that general kid on campus who is ok, maybe he parties a bit, but he’s not bad.

But Ireland? Ireland is the frat boy of the group, and everyone judges him for it. But here’s the thing about that kid: what you don’t know is that he volunteers his summers to Special Olympic events, and works to put his younger siblings through school, and yeah he blows off steam, but for good reason.

Likewise, Ireland is a little under rated. This is EASILY the most baby-friendly country I’ve ever been to! Do you know how many times someone has said to me, “Oh! Look at your lad! Isn’t he just the lovliest thing you ever saw?!” Well, yeah… but I think that because he’s MINE. I don’t expect others to feel the same way… but they do. OMFG do they love kids here. And they’re so friendly you could throw up. A bus driver took my dad TO MY APARTMENT because he got lost. Now, yeah, it was along is route, but the driver didn’t have to do that!

Do they drink here? For sure! I live in Drumcondra, right near a major sports stadium, and on the day of the Big Game (some crazy irish shit they only play here with… like…. fuckin’ hedgehogs or whatever) the area was PACKED. And people still backed out of the way to let the lady with the baby through. And drunk people apologized to me. And I won’t even go into how technologically advanced they are! Frankly, I was a little ashamed at how my husband and I gawked at some of the things they have around here. Uh…. when did the frat boy major in programming?!?!?! 

So, you can now reach me at 18 Frat Boy lane. That’s my address. And, if they’ll have me, I’ll raise a pint to them all.

So you online. I’m blogging from Dublin now, y’all!

11 Comments »

Re-Branding

It’s been exactly 8 weeks. I know that, because pretty much every day I’ve said to myself, “I should blog. It would make me feel better.” but I don’t, because there was too much going on and I didn’t know how to put it all into words. 

First, let’s start with how this blog is going to have to be re-branded. For those of you who either know DC, love DC, live in DC, or are just fairly certain that those are letter which appear in the English alphabet (YAY EDUMACASHUN!), I can, after almost 8 years of living here, no longer call it “Sunny Days in DC”………….

………………………………because we’re moving to Ireland. 

THAT’S RIGHT! I AM OFFICIALLY DOUBLING THE JEWISH POPULATION THERE!!

So kids, let’s put our feet up and talk through our emotions, shall we? Excited? Check. Nervous? Check. Completely fucking terrified because from the time they made the job offer to my husband until the day we leave is about four months? HUGE. FUCKING. CHECK. 

It’s not that I don’t want to move to Dublin…

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*This is what my son will look like in six months*

…it’s that we have next to NO time to plan all of this. So, take an international move with a now-1-year-old, no current job in my new country, a refinance with my less-than-stellar credit after this last year of unemployment, and two cats that have to go through the process of getting (and I am completely NOT shitting you here) “kitty passports,” and you essentially have the recipe for a nervous break down a la Hannah. Naturally, I am coping the only way I know how: I ate enough chocolate and sugar over this past weekend to make me sick. Then I went through a bout of self-loathing (like you do), and now I am recommitting to writing. Sort of. Cuz I’m gonna go to bed after this. 

Also, I photoshop pictures of my son. 

So. I’m moving to Dublin, Ireland. What have you been doing with the last 8 weeks? 

16 Comments »

And then, the tidal wave of shit hit me in the face… like a… a shitty similie.

I’ve sat down to write this a dozen times, not because it’s emotional, but because I’m easily distracted and there’s been a lot to distract me lately, both good and bad.

If you’ve read all my posts, then you have a tremendous amount of spare time to devote to feeding my ego, and I thank you for it. But also you may have realized something: at one point, I was both unemployed, and pregnant. This was not a coincidence.

For anyone reading who is not in the US, please don’t think that what I’m about to write is par for the course here, but…. I was fired for being pregnant. I can say that, because MY CASE FINALLY SETTLED!!!! It was over a year of litigation and pushing through the rough times and the expenses, but finally, they blinked.

I don’t know if I can go into the details of my case, but suffice it to say, they were blatant about why they were letting me go. And the foolish woman that I was, I thought, ‘Surely, the man who owns this company is a man of honor, and once he finds out what happened, he’ll settle the case, and maybe even fire the people who did this!’ but I was wrong. What I DID get in return was 9 straight hours of a deposition, which is essentially being asked the same 5 or 6 questions in different ways. For 9 hours. But then, finally, two weeks ago, my lawyer called me and said that they were willing to settle.

I had won. I WON. I won’t be rich, but that was never really the point. The point was that they had broken the law, and they should be penalized for it. And I won’t tell you how LITTLE they are NOT being penalized, but hell, at least I won. And that’s not nothing.

Anyway, then work sucked my fucking will to live, and my boss is mad because I made two mistakes on a spreadsheet that no one looks at.

Did I mention this was a complain-y post? Well, it is.

On the bright side you guys, I wrote a short story and the first draft is almost done. Then I’ll edit that shit, and work toward getting published. Because while you sonsofbitches are amazing and you’re all each my special little snowflakes, mama needs to make some money off of writing. After all, winning your case isn’t like winning the lotto… sadly.

Whatcha been up to? Who’s pregnant? What did I miss??

12 Comments »

I’m like the Agatha Christie of BDSM, you guys!

Not gonna lie, I totally had to look up how to spell that name. Also, was Agetha Christie someone who solved puzzles? Or did she hunt down criminals? Because I’m not actually hunting down criminals in leather…. although that sounds fun, too.

As you may or may not know, I’m FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIRLY comfortable with my sexuality. I feel like a lot of the world’s problems might be solved if the right people had a few more orgasms, or maybe just better ones. It’s like a modified version of the Quaker religious philosophy. Because I like Quakers. And they’re delicious, delicious oatmeal.

I should probably eat dinner before posting.

Anywho, I’m feeding Max when my friend Em calls:

Em: “Soo……. I wanna give my boyfriend a gift for his birthday…”

Me: “Yup, sounds nice. Whatcha thinkin?”

Em: “I was thinking of arranging a night at a swinger’s club.”

Me: “Uhhhhhhhhh……….. mkay.”

Em: “Can you figure out what the best one for me is?”

Me: “WHAT THE?!?!”

Only what I REALLY said was, “Okee dokee!” because I’m an idiot with not enough things to do with the few precious hours she has in the evenings!

So, now I have to go onto FetLife, which REALLY means I have to remember my password and login ID, and I have to drag my ass to the swinger’s group, and ask them, and then I have to have CONVERSATIONS with people (I do that shit ALL. DAY. LONG.) and find a good place for her. Why?

Em: “PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! Because when I think of kinky sex stuff, I think of YOUUUUU…”

I am entirely unsure of how to feel about this. Thanks?

14 Comments »

We went to Florida. I’m fairly certain the entire state regrets it.

My dad has very bad asthma, which explains why he and my step-mom have a condo in Boca Raton, Florida, also known as the OTHER Jewish homeland. They invited us to come down for a long weekend, because they had clearly kicked puppies in a previous life, and felt the need to atone for it. Whatever… SUCKAS!!!

The husband and I packed up El Bebe, a few thousand of our most important baby accoutrements, and high-tailed it to the sunny south, where, ironically, it was overcast almost the entire time we were there. Of course, lack of sun was the LEAST of anyone’s concerns, because, and I’m setting the scene here for you: *I* was invited down to an Orthodox Jewish community. An ELDERLY Orthodox Jewish community. It went about as well as you would imagine.

The best flight we could get was a Friday (shabbat), so we fucked the rules and flew out on the sabbath. Max was actually BEAUTIFUL on the flight down; he fell asleep during take off, and woke up just as we started to land, and stared happily out the window as daddy held him to watch the city lights at night. Of course, this was 10PM, a full three hours past his bed time, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

We grab our bags, with Max smiling and flirting at every.single.woman in sight, which is basically fate’s way of saying, “invest in hair dye, bitch, you’re gonna be dodging a LOT of pregnancy scares in about 16 years.” My dad and step-mom can’t drive on shabbat because….. I don’t know. It has something to do with G-D, and not lighting a spark, but then also not wiping your ass with proper toilet paper because Jesus favors bidets. It’s all very confusing when you don’t really care. My parents had told us to keep an eye out for a driver who would meet us and pick us up. A white ford Taurus. Sounds legit! Then, a dude smelling like cigarettes, pungent body, and a thousand other things I don’t even want to GUESS at pulls up. Fine. Your car, I don’t care if you smoke cigarettes when I’m not in it. He helps my husband pack the things in the trunk, and I carefully load Max into his car seat. Then, with all three of them safely in the car…… he pulled away.

Seriously.

That motherfucker LEFT ME STANDING AT THE GATE.

“HEY ASSHOLE!!” I yelled, but I’m fairly certain is was my husband in the care saying, “Uhhh…. so… that’s my WIFE back there…” that actually got the guy to stop. I ran after them, hopped in, and chose to ignore the fact that HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! And that’s when I saw it… the toupe. If you washed a cat’s fur with lye, shaved the cat, then crazy glued that shit to a base, you would get this dude’s toupe. And it just stared at me from where I sat behind him, for the entirety of our ride (approximately 45 minutes). Max, thankfully, fell asleep, and the guy driving seemed partially deaf, so my husband did the heavy lifting of the EXTREMELY awkward conversation.

Him: “I had to go to a special minyan to get permission from the Rabbi to drive on shabbat.”

Husband: “Oh…. ok…. thank you?”

Him: “………….”

Me, in the only actual EFFORT you will witness during this entire trip: “So….errr… are you from Florida?”

Him: “No. I’m a lawyer.”

Me: “Ahh…”

Whatever. We got to my parents’ place, tucked in the wee little Peanut, and got ourselves to bed. Huzzah!

The next day was the ACTUAL sabbath, which meant that we couldn’t turn the tv on or off, couldn’t turn on lights, and just sorta hung out and went on walks. It’s actually LOVELY in the summer, when the days are long and you can hang out and chat and be outside. But then dinner rolled around. My step mom had made a BEAUTIFUL dinner with all the trimmings and had food galore for Max who, in his very first statement to the group on exactly HOW he was related to mommy, proceeded to strip off his pants, stand in his pack-n-play, and sing to the group.

My son: celebrating the holy sabbath the way G-D intended, without pants.

The husband and I laughed, and I’m pretty sure my parents thought it was hilarious, but deep down inside thanked G-D that their friends weren’t there to spot the little kosher shmeckel that had made its debut.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, except that I learned my stepmother has an ENTIRE table that can only ever have meat placed on it. Like, you can’t pour yourself a bowl of cereal and be all, “I’m just gonna have me a bowl of my cheerios right the fuck here…” NO ASSHOLE!! THAT’S MY GADDAMN MEAT TABLE YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!!

I don’t even know how you make a table a “meat table,” but if you have any theories, I saw we hash this out in the comments section. WORK THE PROBLEM, PEOPLE!!

In case you were worried, there was a dairy table too, so we survived just fine.

I’m kidding. My parents were awesome, as one must be when dealing with me, as I am under medicated a delight. Finally our day of departure came, and we said our goodbyes and gave lots of kisses, and packed my son onto the plane…. where he pooped himself as soon as the golfcarts of food came down the aisles, so I was stuck with him until a flight attendant took pity on me and told me to take him to first class.

Interesting story: they let you take a baby to first class, but they wont let him buy mommy a couple of drinks. Frigid jerks.

But, long story short, we’re home now. Which is good, because I couldn’t shlep my computer with me to blog, but I also felt awkward writing words like “motherfucker” on my dad’s computer.

….because that’s technically true…….

50 Comments »

HEY, RODRIGUEZ!!

I stood outside the FAA building in DC, waiting for my friend to come out of the garage and pick me up on the corner.

“HEY! RODRIGUEZ!” a guy yells at me from across the street. I don’t know who Rodriguez is, and I’m not feeling particularly rape-y tonight, so I try to type a WordPress post on my phone.

“FUCK!” I mutter under my breath, but probably not, because I’m kinda wasted. “Fucking POST!”

“Can I help you?” it’s a security guard. Act cool, you guys.

Crap…. you’re not even here. You’re in my head.

“Uhhhh….. waiting. Friend…. car….. drinks… NO! *I* had the drinks! She’s driving me home! It’s, uhhh… her birthday.”

“You should probably wait over there, ma’am.”

“Mkay….. uhhh…. why?”

“Uhh…. because if she pulls out of the garage, then you’re standing on the DRIVER’S side of the car.”

“OH! YES! BRILLIANT! Thanks so much!” I cross to the other side, where the passenger will sit.

Mama’s a little shwasty tonight… so I probably won’t read many more blogs. I have left random, drunken comments for several people.

My husband was annoyed I came home so late. Whatver. It’s my first night out in a LONG time, and I love this friend SO much. We rolled down the windows and sang to 90’s music at the top of our lungs all the way home.

And so, my parting words to you tonight, my sweet friends who put up with me without payment, sex, or payment for sex, is this:

HEY! RODRIGUEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…I think that about says it all, don’t you?

17 Comments »

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