Avoiding Crisis

Archive for February 2007

animate me!

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So apparently, this is what I look like animated.  Kinda cool, huh?  It was actually really fun to do.  Check out Meez if you want to see what your animated self looks like.  But I feel that it is my responsibility to tell you that it’s kinda addicting and rather time consuming.  You’ve been warned.  So don’t go blaming me when you spend 2 hours of your precious time making yourself into a cartoon character. 

So my husband doesn’t think that animated me looks anything like real me. Is he blind? Can’t he see the striking resemblance? Okay, damn it, he’s right.  It doesn’t look like me.  It’s more like a skinnier, younger, more hip version of me.  Though I do dress just like this on a daily basis and I really am the proud owner of a pair of bright orange rubber clogs. (Oh, how I love my Crocs.)  So what if animated me looks like a teenager? 

Anyhoo, I’m off to create an animated version of my husband so that animated me and animated him can have an animated affair.


Written by nicolemarie

February 28, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Posted in avatar, general, meez

confessions of a twin sister

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As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m a fraternal twin.  My twin is a boy, which makes him my brother – duh!  Being identified as a twin is important to me, it has always been important.  I even have the kanji symbols for twin tattooed on the inside of my right ankle.  And no, before you ask, my brother doesn’t have the same tattoo.   

My brother and I have kinda grown apart in recent years.  I know this.  He knows it.   Neither one of us actually talks about it.  It’s just how it is.  It kinda sucks really.  There’s this one person that you think will always be your closest friend and then one day you wake up to realize that you don’t even know that much about them anymore.  How does that happen?  Life, I guess, just gets in the way.  Neither one of us is to blame and yet we are both to blame. It’s not how I ever imagined things between us, but things happen.  We both, I guess, have gotten caught up in our own lives.         

Obviously my brother and I turn 30 on the same day –  actually he’ll turn 30 a whole 13 minutes before me, but who’s counting?   Soon after I started this blog I remember asking him if he was bothered by the prospect of turning 30.  He said that he really hadn’t thought much about it but that he didn’t think it would be an issue for him.  Why does he react one way and I another to the same life event?   And then, it hit me, like a ton of bricks, of course turning 30 wouldn’t bother him.  He’s doing exactly what he thought he’d be doing by the age of 30.

For as long as I can remember my brother wanted to be a politician.  And if my memory serves me, his dream has always been to be a United States Senator one day.  That’s a pretty lofty goal for a kid.  When we were younger I used to laugh at him when he would say this and never for a minute thought that it was possible.  I know, it was totally wrong and completely unsupportive of me.  Give me a break, I was like 16 years old!  And besides,  he used to call me a dog and once threw a hammer at my head.

My brother moved out to Colorado a few years back.  Colorado has been good for him.  He loves it there.  Says he’s never coming back East.  (Not like I’m one to judge, I don’t even live in the same hemisphere.)  He will run for office in Colorado some day, I’m sure of that.  As for now, he works for the State by day, and is “super Democrat boy” by night. 

I never realized just how involved and how dedicated my brother (whose first name is Mark) is to achieving his life long goal until I came across the following in a blog post on DemNotes

Let me stop and say a couple of words about Mark. …Mark is easily one of the most under-rated folks in the State Party structure. Quietly, he’s been walking door-to-door with candidates across Colorado — doing everything he can to elect Democrats whereever he can. He does all of this in addition to his normal job duties as Treasurer, which are incredibly taxing (no pun intended). Here’s my point: I sure hope that the folks on the State Central Committee keep Mark — he is a HUGE asset to our Party.


There’s a lot I don’t know about my brother.  Even still, I’m one proud twin sister. 

Written by nicolemarie

February 27, 2007 at 11:35 pm

just call me little miss fix-it

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I’m not going to talk about the Oscars, which, by the way, were carried by TNT in English without Spanish overdubbing.  The first time in 4 years that I’ve been able to watch them in English, plain old English.  Ahhh….the mother tongue.  I actually wouldn’t have minded one bit if they were in Spanish but I just can’t do the whole English with real-time Spanish translation.  Ends up sounding like a whole new language to me.     

So the fact that the Oscars were in English this year caused me watch a lot more of it then I had planned.  Needless to say, since they didn’t start 10pm Argentina time and lasted 4 hours (though I called it a night after enduring just under 3 hours of the broadcast)  I woke up a very tired and somewhat cranky individual this morning.  Though the cranky part may have something to do with my lack of coffee intake.

Our coffee maker broke the other day.  Okay, 5 days ago to be exact.  But who’s counting?  I have very bad karma when it comes to coffee makers.  Since I’ve been married, I have been the proud owner of 5 different coffee machines.  That would be approximately a coffee machine per year of marriage.  So the fact that this particular machine broke is of no real surprise – it was long over due seeing that we’ve owned it now for almost 18 months.  Aren’t these things suppose to last longer than a year? 

This time, probably because it’s on the more expensive end as far as coffee makers go and because i’m just sick and tired of buying new coffee makers, I wasn’t about to give up that easily.  After a bit of research I was able to identify the problem – the one way valve in the bottom of the unit was clogged – and fix it.  As of 10PM this evening our coffee maker works!  Hallelujah!    

And all thanks to my new found expertise of being able to fix small appliances.  Remind me sometime and I’ll tell you the story about how I fixed our portable DVD player.    

Written by nicolemarie

February 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Posted in general, personal

Oscars and Ice Cream

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The regular featured Blog will not be posted this evening due to prempting by the Oscars which will, of course, be accompanied by a huge bowl of vanilla ice cream.

I’ll be sure to fill you in tomorrow on what it’s like to watch the Oscars as they are simultaneously dubbed in Spanish.

Written by nicolemarie

February 25, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Posted in general, oscars

the strong silent type

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My husband went to Blockbuster last night and returned with 3 movies – 2 for us and 1 for the kids.  Among them was Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center.  I’ve never had a desire to watch this film, or any other film about the events of 9-11.  I know my own limitations and reliving the events of that day is something I’m not ready to do.  Something I maybe never be ready to do.  Still, it seemed important to him that we watch it; that he watch it. 

He lost a friend that day.  We rarely talk about it.  We should.     

Fifteen minutes into the film, my husband turns to me and asks me to shut it off.  He didn’t have to ask twice.  The urgency in his voice to put an end to the emotional rollercoaster that he was on was apparent.  

I was reminded that my husband is not super human and that under the stoic exterior he shows the world there is a sensitive and vulnerable person.  I was reminded of why I fell in love with him in the first place.

I fumbled for any remote I could reach and just started pressing buttons trying to erase the images from our minds as quickly as possible.  The images remained.  These are not images that will go away just because I shut the television off.  These are not images from a movie set but are own memories burned into our consciousness that will not go away no matter how hard we try.      

We sat in silence for a bit.  I crawled over to where he was sitting and just wrapped my arms around him holding on as tight as I could.     

He watched the entire movie this afternoon while I was attending a birthday party with my daughter.  He needed to get through it.  He needed to grieve.  He needed to remember. 

If I could only be that strong.

Written by nicolemarie

February 24, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Posted in 9-11, husbands, personal

soon, very soon, a return to normalcy

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In just 5 more days  summer vacation will officially end.  The new school year begins.  Ah, the moment I’ve been waiting for.     

Routine is good.  Routine is wonderful. I don’t care that some people think routine stifles creativity; that routine is boring and that following a routine is like being in a rut.  In my world, routine is a necessity, and not only for my kids. 

Before I go on, I know what some of you are thinking.  You’re just dying to say that I should be spontaneous and take one day at a time and live life to the fullest.  That it’s best not to plan out everything.  I get it.  I really do.  And just to reassure all of you who want to grab my shoulders and shake some sense into me, when I talk about “routine” it’s more like a framework as opposed to a minute by minute schedule.  So no, I don’t have my children’s days mapped out from the time they get up to when they go to sleep.  Now that I got that out of the way.

When I was pregnant with my first child I remember reading about, and of course being offered unsolicited advice about, how it is best to get your newborn on routine.  Having had a friend or two that lived their lives by their children’s routines, my husband and I were not ready to jump on that bandwagon.  So instead, much of our early parenting was on-demand.   But, of course,  after a month or so our newborn had set her own routine and was forcing us to live by it.  We just couldn’t resist – it really did make life a bit easier.  Who would have thunk? Dr. Spock and my mother might actually know a thing or two. 

Needless to say, when our second child was born we were all about getting him into a routine as a quickly as possible and sticking to it.  Now, the fact that he didn’t like our routine and wanted to set his own – which involved continually waking up screaming at 2 in the morning for about 2 hours and doing this for nearly 3 weeks – is a completely different issue.

The short of it is that my children are much happier when they know what to expect during a given day. And they are oh so much more grumpier and difficult (though still managable I should point out) when they are thrown off their daily routine.  Needless to say they (and I) are eagerly awaiting the start of their school year when things get back to normal. 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been a bit on the anxious side lately.  Vacations make me anxious.  Holidays and school breaks make me anxious.   You know why?  Because they force me to give up not only my children’s routines, but my own as well.   Instead of being proactive about the day I am forced to be reactive. 

I never really thought of myself as a routine based person until after I had kids.  Though looking back on it I always have been one.  

I now understand why I hated the first few weeks of every semester when I was in college.  At Barnard, like most colleges and universities, there was a system in which you pre-register for classes at the end of one semester for the next.  But at Barnard, that schedule was like a place holder of sorts and at the beginning of each semester the students would shop around for classes and then, about 3 weeks into it they would be required to submit a final schedule of classes.  This gives students the opportunity to try out different classes and rearrange their schedule to best meet their needs –thus minimizing, to a degree, the administrative nightmare of massive drops and adds.  For me, this process was painful.  So, most semesters, okay, all semesters, the pre-registered schedule that I painstakingly developed at the end of one semester for the next was my schedule.  You can only imagine the horror of having a class canceled on me or the time changed.  What can I say, I like order and routine.

So yes, I’ll admit it, I’m counting down the days until my kids go back to school.  For me it has nothing to do with getting the kids out of the house – okay, maybe that factors into it just a teeny tiny bit.  But more so, it’s all about getting our lives back to normal.  

How great it will be when I can finally just go with the flow wonderful and oh so needed routine that is my life.

Written by nicolemarie

February 23, 2007 at 11:37 pm

shaving your head IS NOT self-mutilation

with 6 comments

Psychiatrist Dr. Carole Leiberman and and psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall have really annoyed me.  So has any reporter, or daytime talk show host,  who equates Britney’s head shaving incident with self mutilation. 

Here’s the thing, shaving one’s head has nothing to do with self-mutilation.  While it may be self-destructive, especially when you’re whole life is about your image, it’s not mutilation.  

By definition, self-mutilation involves the destruction of one’s own body tissue.  So unless Britney pulled her hair out of her head resulting in her bald state — which, sadly enough, some people do; it’s called Trichotillomania —  she has not mutilated herself.  Her choice to be bald, while yes, is self inflicted, it is not a bodily injury.      

Why is this bothering me so?  What exactly is it that has caused my blood to boil?   I’ll give you a hint – it has nothing at all to do with Britney Spears.  It has everything to do with the repetitive use of the term “self mutilation” to describe what is really self-injurious behavior (SIB), the later term being that which doctors and reporters shouldhave used when speculating about Ms. Spears recent actions. (Regardless of how it has been or should have been characterized, I still don’t see the act of shaving one’s head with a pair of clippers as SIB.) 

Like many self injurers, I find the use of the term self mutilation as inaccurate and offensive.  With a general lack of understanding and awareness about SIB, a term such as mutilation conjures up images cut off limbs or genitals.  SIB is not about disfigurement, it’s about feeling and coping.    

I never cut myself with the intention of causing life long scars.  I never scratched the skin off of my legs thinking I’d leave permanent marks.  I cut so that I could feel and I cut to stop feeling.  I cut to get through the day without panic. I cut to feel pain; to remind myself that I was alive.  I never cut to die.  I  cut when I was 9 years old, when I was 14 years old, when I was in my 20s.  I cut my arms, my legs, my abdomen.  I covered up the marks so no one would know.  I used broken mirrors, scissors, the metal piece on a pen cap, paper clips, safety pins. I used my own nails.  I’ve banged my head against walls. I didn’t do it for attention.  It wasn’t a cry for help.  It was how I lived, how I survived.

Today, 7 years removed from the worst of it, I do have one noticable scar. It serves as a reminder each day of how far things got and how bad it could be.  The rest of the scars you cannot see unless I point them out to you.  I know they are there and I hope they never fade.

Britney’s hair will grow back. 


March 1st is Self Injury Awareness Day. 


Written by nicolemarie

February 21, 2007 at 12:19 am