I Was Totally a Romanian Olympic Gold Medalist as a Kid

One of my favorite movies as a little girl was Nadia.  A made-for-TV-movie (as most of my favorites are, hello Lifetime!) about the life of the legendary gymnast Nadia Comaneci.  Oh, I wore out the tape on that VHS. 

<side note: for all you millennials, a VHS is a Video Home System, created by JVC.  VHS is the type of media that preceded DVD’s and Digital shit.  You don’t know the exquisite pain of waiting for a two hour movie to rewind on a VHS cassette rewinder shaped as a car that your parents bought because they didn’t want you using the VCR to rewind whole movies because you might BREAK THE MACHINE JENN!  WE’RE NOT MADE OF MONEY!!  USE THE CAR CASSETTE REWINDER! Sorry…small tangent…moving on>

Anyways..that movie was the movie that I watched incessantly.  I would pretend, quite often, that I was Ms. Comaneci on the balance beam, or the uneven bars, but usually the balance beam, because, do you have any idea how hard it is to pretend to have a set of uneven bars in your living room?  Yeah, it’s pretty tough.  And you fall a lot.  And you injure yourself quite a bit.  But that is neither here nor there...again, moving on.

I remember one occasion in particular when my family and I were on our annual summer vacation to Hawaii.  Stop the whining right now, that is the one thing my parents splurged on.  And it wasn’t even a splurge…my Mom worked in the airline industry and we flew stand-by.  Anyways, we were staying at the Royal Hawaiian hotel and I wanted, nay, needed to practice my “routine” in the pool.  My Mother, God bless her, was probably knocking back a few pina coladas, oh who am I kidding, she was napping.  The kids were entertaining themselves and she needed her beauty sleep.

So there I was, straddling the rope and buoy divider in the tiny circular pool, attempting the start of Nadia’s 1980 Olympic championship balance beam routine.  Picture it, a little girl, with massive orange arm floaties, pretending she is a Romanian gymnast, and most likely talking to herself and giggling. #psycho

Mom was probably sitting there going, What in the hell is she doing?  Hopefully she was just napping, blissfully unaware of her child's flights with lunacy.

My god I can still hear the song…

And above all else <here comes another rant> can anyone explain to me WHY the majority of the cast of Romanians speak perfect English without a hint of an eastern European accent? Even the beloved young Nadia and her Father have stereotypical Brooklyn,New York accents. God damn  American motion picture company.  #murica #whitepeople

Simply Gorgeous

As I have written on here, and elsewhere on the internets, I am a dancer and love all things dancing related.

When Misty Copeland was promoted to Prima Ballerina at American Ballet Theater, I was ecstatic!  Finally, the dance community was starting to see the importance of diversity in their dancers.

My dream as a child was to be a professional dancer (the touring-with-a-pop-star dancer, not the strip-club-by-the-airport dancer).  I envisioned myself standing behind Paula Abdul doing triple pirouettes and sliding across the stage to Cold Hearted Snake.  And popping and locking with Ms. Janet Jackson to Rhythm Nation.  Oh my dreams of dancing were spectacular.

 Cold Hearted Snake.. had to watch this when my parents weren't home.

Cold Hearted Snake.. had to watch this when my parents weren't home.

I don't need to remind you all of the discrimination I faced during auditions and how I was blatantly told I was just too short to be a part of the troupe.

Now in 2016, my hope is to see more diversity in dance.  That my child will be able, if they want to (and possess the talent of their Mother), to dance professionally even if they are ridiculously short.

It's my dream.  And with that, this gorgeous recreation by Ms. Copeland for Bazaar magazine.

Sumptuous. Stunning. Inspiring.

Misty Copeland And Degas: Art of Dance



Little Miss Popular

When I was in the 5th grade I decided to try out to join the cheerleading squad.

I was a good dancer. 
I wouldn't say great, but good
Not good. 

The middle school I would be joining in the 6th grade had a cheerleading team that would compete with the other middle school cheerleading teams in our little city every year.

To make it on the prestigious Monarch's would be a feat. Something to be envied. 
I wanted to be envied.

It seemed as if the whole female student body of the 5th grade at Cox (yes, that was the name of my school) was auditioning. But I knew it was really only between me and one woman.
Candy Tatzinger.

<My God, I hope she never finds this website for fear of something tarnishing her pristine image!...the horror>


Candy, as we would soon find out, was the woman who would always beat me by this much in EVERYTHING I EVER competed for in the 5th grade. 
I was actually a new student to Cox <snicker> elementary school, and had  to work hard to make new friends.  Candy was little-miss-popular, with her perfect figure, perfect blond paige-boy haircut, perfect sparkling blue eyes, perfect nice personality and perfect dimpled cheeks.  I couldn’t compete with that (at least not at this stage in my life, one year later, BAM I got boobs, suck it Candy).

So there we were at the competition, me and my nemesis.  Candy of course looked the part of a cheerleader, but I had the skill set and rhythm.  Basically, I had the talent.  Competing side-by-side we went toe-to-toe and I think we both did exceptionally well, better than the rest of the female 5th grade student body.  Still, we wouldn't find out the results until the end of the school year.

There was an award ceremony at the end of the school year to recognize not only our graduation out of elementary school, but also where exceptional students were recognized in scholastic, athletic, and leadership abilities.  Apparently, Candy and I were up for the biggest award, one chosen by all the teachers, administration, and principal.  As Candy and I stood on the stage in front of the entire student body, the winner's name was read.
Guess who won?  

Candy.  But, as the principal bent down to whisper in my ear, "only by <thiiiiiiisss> much."

At that same awards ceremony we were to find out who was chosen to be on the Monarch’s cheerleading team.  There was only one spot available for an incoming 6th grader, and I knew I would get it.  I mean, I had to.  I was the talented one.  As we sat in the blazing heat of June, the Principal strode up to the microphone to read the name of the new Monarch cheerleader.  <drum roll please>

Candy. But again, as the principal bent down to whisper in my ear, "only by <thiiiiiiiiiisss> much."

Such is life, I thought.  There would be other awards.  Other competitions.  Other cheerleading squads.  I'm not bitter.  Nope.  Not one bit.