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The Amazing Race for The Amazing Race

Wow. This has got to be one of my all time best stories.

On Wednesday night I was talking to my good friend Jonah and was telling him about the show "The Amazing Race", and how I wanted to apply this year. Jonah and I have gone on a lot of trips together and somehow don't grate on each other's nerves at all. I have a lot of respect for him and his abilities, so I thought he'd be a perfect partner for The Amazing Race. For those of you who don't know about this tv-tastic gem, it's basically a race / scavenger hunt around the world.

I meandered to the application site, downloaded the application, and began to check out the requirements. Guess when the due date for the tape was? Friday at 5pm, which meant that we had one day to create a 3 minute video, fill out the two 11 page applications and get some passport sized photos taken. Not one to back down from a challenge due to complete lack of time, I convinced Jonah to get on board.

My Crush Of 1996.

On The Amused Fly

I can never really pinpoint when my first real crush was. It might have been in fourth grade when I use to eye goggle a girl I believe whose name was Jessica. She had beautiful eyes, brunette hair and she always wore a purple coat everywhere she went. I mean almost all the time when I saw her. Thankfully I didn’t have a full grasp of what would arouse me of a woman’s body so I wasn’t in dire frustration. It was all about face for me. And it still is. Whenever I see a beautiful woman walking down the street I always have to make sure to see her face. I guess it is part of my aesthetic checklist.

But if I had to pinpoint my first real crush it would have to be in the summer of 1996. It was the year of the Atlanta Olympics. I was watching the U.S. gymnastics team perform when I saw for the first time the girl who would take over my whole summer. Dominique Moceanu. She was performing her floor routine. It was basically a timed musical dance but with tons of more flipping. Moceanu was performing under the song “Cotton Eyed Joe”. A horrible song, but with her dancing and gymnastic prowess I could care less for the crappy country song. She pranced, she swayed and by the time she was done I was trying to name our five kids that we would soon have together.

Now in 1996 the internet was new for me just like everyone else. But this new technological resource for me was used every waking moment trying to find pictures of Dominique Moceanu whenever I can. I don’t know what I did once I saw them but I knew that I had to download any picture (before we shortened that word into pic) just to get a glimpse of her. I don’t know what she presented in me but I do know that everything around me ceased to function once I saw her on television or on my computer.

I didn’t know about her biography but from quick tidbits that I listened to from the over enthusiastic commentators of the Olympics she was born in California to Romanian parents. She started to learn gymnastics at the age of three which I hear is little too early for them to start but not too early. Take that from what you will. At the age of ten she trained with the famous BélaKárolyi. The rest is history. Moceanu went on to be part of the world famous Magnificent Seven alongside Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden, and Jaycie Phelps. I followed their work like the equivalent to a thirteen year old girl cutting out pictures of One Direction. It still boggles me today why no music manager in 1996 ever wanted to make a musical record with them. I would so buy their Album covering Abba songs. I would have gone to their concerts and start a fan club the moment there first single came out on Mtv. I would have started a fan club and it could have been called the “I Heart Moceanu” of course but the others would get my attention as well……sort of.

It was a big year for the seven gymnasts. For years the Russians were kicking our ass and this was the first Olympics that the Americans won a gold medal as a team. So more press and that meant more times for me to look at the beautiful Roman princess. Sure everyone was paying attention to Keri Strug because of her miraculous blah, blah, blah, but Moceanu was all I cared about. What made me admire Moceanu the most was she never cried. It was something to see. Every time any other gymnast made a mistake like miss a turn, flop a flip, or drop on their face, when they finished they walked towards their coach and started balling. Not Moceanu. She literally fell on her head on a balance beam and I mean pile drive her own head on it. Not an ounce of emotion. And I mean none. BélaKárolyi would try to coax some sort of emotion out of her from the side but she had an” I don’t have time to bleed” attitude. It was hard not to fall for her.

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