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

How to Not-Not Fall in a Crevasse

I just realized...I never talked about our trip to New Zealand last August.

The hell?

It was nothing short of breath taking.  A dream come true.  Our home away from home halfway around the world.

Oh my fucking god it was amazing!

 I wish there could be a way to describe the scenery other than, magical, but there isn’t.  It’s as if a tropical rainforest, mated with the high sierra and hundred-thousand year-old Redwoods, and oh yeah, snowcapped mountains and sulfuric caves.  But the highlight of our journey was definitely our trip to Franz Josef Glacier…Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I got in a helicopter, and I hiked a glacier.

Did I mention I also fell in a crevasse on said glacier? 

Grab a beer and an eight ball (the powder, not the toy), sit back, and let me tell you what happened.

First, can we just talk about our guide Michael, and how I attempted to cyber stalk him for, like, two weeks after we got back to the states?  Yeah. I did.

Didn’t work out though.

Anyway. I’m deathly afraid of heights and the only way to get ON the glacier, was in a helicopter.  No. 

After two Xanax and a long, and I mean, LONG prayer,  by the grace of our lord Jesus Christ, I did get in the helicopter.  A three minute ride later, where I clutched my beloved with my eyes shut, we landed on the glacier.

Oh. Mah. Gawd. Spectacular.

 Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Let me tell you, the glacier is pretty massive, and the hiking is more than just “a brisk walk”…I forget that the people of New Zealand are quite atheletic.  More atheletic than Americans.  I’m serious.  A colleague of mine warned me, “If they say something is “a bit of a go”, it means it’s a long hike.  A LONG hike.”


We’re climbing through ice tunnels, ice caves, ice bridges, etc..when it’s time to climb up through an ice cave with the help of some ropes and a pulley.  So, we are having “a bit of a go” up this glacier, when it’s time to take a break and take in the views.  Spectacular views.    I’m not quite paying attention as Michael is stomping around making sure there weren’t any watery holes we could fall into, and I’m staring off at the Tazman Sea in the distance.

 Tazman Sea in the distance..

Tazman Sea in the distance..

It’s finally my turn to pull myself through the ice cave, so I stand up, turn around, take three steps towards the cave, and fall, quite spectacularly (and in very slow motion) into a watery ice filled hole.

Up to my God Damn chest.


Here I am trying to look all sexy and athletic and smart and witty for Michael, and instead I look like one of those baby elephants who get caught in the flowing river of mud, and their mother needs to use it’s trunk to help the baby elephant out.

I go to push myself up and out of the hole, and the ice crumbles under my hands, into the watery mess, and now I’m shoulder deep into the hole.


This is where Michael comes along and fishes me out.

And he didn’t realize how heavy I was, soaked in ice cold water.

Wow….fail.  Epic fail.

So I try to dry off as much as possible (and by dry off, I mean I took off my mittens <because my hands are so small, I had to wear the kid size gloves, which don’t have fingers, but are legit mittens> and ring out the water)…and for the rest of the hike, I just sloshed around in my massive boots soaked in icy water.

As we headed down to take the helicopter back down to base camp, we said our good-byes to Michael.  And in the helicopter I once again, clutched my beloved with my eyes shut tight.  This time the pilot turns around, motions to me, and asks the ol’ ball and chain “Is she a’right mate?”

To which my beloved replies, “As good as it’s gonna be!”