Fortunately/Unfortunately (May 17)

Fortunately, today is Friday (for me!).

Unfortunately, I totally got up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday morning.  [Does anyone else think the use of ‘on’ is weird in this phrase?]

Fortunately, both feet still hit the floor before any other body part, so no injuries were incurred.  [And our bed, according to all the friends who take a tour of our apartment, is “really high”.  So this is good.]

Unfortunately, after waiting >20 minutes for a bus, I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to make it in time for an early morning Body Pump class.

Fortunately, I realized this while still at the bus stop, so I cut my losses and walked back home.

Unfortunately, I was victim of several really poor umbrella habits along the way.  Shaking your umbrella out is fine – shaking it out on my feet is considerably less fine.  So is blocking the narrow walkway with your GINORMOUS umbrella while you try to talk on the phone, juggle the umbrella, and walk at 0.2 miles per hour.

Fortunately, I don’t melt.  And I got in an extra hour or two of work.

Unfortunately, I had to go see a New Doctor.  Finding new doctors is the second-most-annoying thing about moving.  What’s the most annoying thing? Finding a new hairdresser.

Fortunately, his verdict was that I can keep all my moles (for now), and in celebration, I treated myself to a Toast Set:

Strong local kopi (coffee), runny eggs, and toast. Yum!

Strong local kopi (coffee), runny eggs, and toast. Yum!

Eh. Who am I kidding – I’d have had the Toast Set even if he had proclaimed that ALL of them had to be removed.

Unfortunately, we (the modern world, although the United States is a particularly serious culprit – and I’m sure Singapore wouldn’t be far behind, per capita, if anyone bothered to crunch the numbers) mindlessly generate way too much garbage.  This is considerably more problematic than anyone leads us to believe. I’m currently reading Garbology, by Edward Humes.  It’s pretty sobering.

Fortunately, this read provided just the kick I needed to re-establish an indoor vermicomposting system.  I will tell you lots more about this next week (when my supplies will arrive), but suffice to say: Worms will be eating our garbage once again!!!!!!

Unfortunately, I have had a mess of trouble getting the cleats I need on my cycling shoes for spin class.  The problem was a combination of my inexperience, some mis-direction at the bike shop, and generally inferior (compared to the US) customer service practices in Singapore.  I was royally peeved on Wednesday when I realized I’d been sold a $30 set of cleats that were the “only ones that would fit on my shoes”, but were not the right ones for spin (the salesperson told me this after the cleats were mounted – they were not returnable).

Fortunately, my husband is neither surprised nor alarmed to come home to find bike shoes and cleats and screws running all over the kitchen table.

This is a re-enactment.  Things were a bit messier in the heat of the moment.

This is a re-creation. Things were a bit messier in the heat of the moment.

And little more research on my part indicated that the bike shop salesperson was totally wrong.  So I mustered up my courage and indignation, remembered I’d have to stay culturally sensitive (in Asia, you have to point out a mistake without making the person look or feel ashamed or embarrassed – this lets the other person ‘save face’), took a few deep breaths, and went back to the bike shop.  Once I pointed out the problem and the path to a solution, she quickly made the necessary changes and refunded me the difference in cleat price, since the cleats I really needed/wanted were only $10.  This ended up being so much easier than I’d worried it would be.  Also filed in my “future posts to write”: an informative, clear, and simple guide to bike shoes, cleats, and pedals.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t test them out right away at a spin class.

Fortunately, I got to swim, Body Pump, and do some yoga instead.

Unfortunately, KMN’s crazy job kept him going for 36 hours straight the last 2 days.

Fortunately, he finally finished up around dinner time and kept himself awake long enough to enjoy some homemade falafel with me!

The falafel are there, under the lettuce, I swear!

The falafel are there, under the lettuce, I swear!

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet written about the trail race I did on Saturday. 🙁

Fortunately, I am going to do that TODAY!

Happy Friday (or late Thursday), everyone!

Are you as befuddled by cycling shoes, cleats, and pedals as I was/am?  Anything specific you’d like to see in a post about this topic?

What’s your Fortunately/Unfortunately for today?

32 thoughts on “Fortunately/Unfortunately (May 17)

  1. Nicole P

    Unfortunately the ups store was closed and the rite aid copier next door was broken so I couldn’t make my copies. Fortunately, my parking happened to be free due to someone leaving their meter early and I found a dolor on my way to my car.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Well, I think you’ve hit on a new money-making scheme! 😉

      Speaking of UPS….did you ever try to UPS anything from Singapore to the US? I had some bank paperwork that came with am expedited, return UPS envelope. Cue me trying to figure out where I could drop off a UPS envelope, and taking a tour in/around some warehouses in a very industrial neighborhood. [I don’t think people really use UPS that much here…] Not sure if they had a copier, though. 😉

      Reply
      1. Nicole

        I never used UPS there (I don’t think I even knew you could). We did however mail two boxes of ‘stuff’ home to ourselves when we move. In preparation for the two block walk to post office (just beyond Ghim Moh hawker centre) I literally covered every square inch of exposed box in box tape just in case in rained while on route there. Jon made fun of me until it started raining as soon as we crossed the street…Where did you find the UPS store?

        Reply
        1. Holly KN Post author

          I only used it because I received a pre-paid return envelop for some forms I had to return to the US. There are 2 or 3 places you can drop them off…I went to a warehouse in the West (Pandan Crescent), and finding it was…an adventure. Needless to say, I don’t think they got too many hand deliveries!

          Hahaha! Love the box taping story…

          Reply
  2. Amy @ Writing While Running

    Yum for falafel! Fortunately, I arrived at Destination #1 of my road trip (parent’s home). Unfortunately, I drove a far way and just did not feel like running (probably for the best, though since I needed a rest day) even though I have way more driving in the next few days.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Whoops! Ah, well – don’t worry too much about it, I think for the first few days, you actually start to build up a driving tolerance, and can go further and further. [Until you hit driving overload and are totally sick of it; hopefully you arrive before that happens!]

      And it never ceases to amaze me how TIRING it can be to sit/drive all day….

      Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Oh noes!! Hope your kiddos and hubby take good care of you. Rest up, and feel better soon. 🙂

      I am ADDICTED to those falafel. Between that and making hummus, I am going to blow our entire grocery budget buying chickpeas (which aren’t *quite* as cheap here as they are in the US!).

      Reply
  3. Meg

    Fortunately, when my dad got me bike shoes, he got shoes, cleats, and pedals all together. The cleats look really funny (SPD, I think), so I can always find the right ones when I need new ones. The falafel looks great!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Score one for Meg’s Dad! I think I have things straightened out now, but it feels like this shouldn’t be so complicated!!

      The falafel are delicious. If I can think of something brilliant (or you can suggest something) to substitute for the 1/4 cup of flour, I’ll make you some when you come visit!

      Reply
      1. Nicole

        Use besan flour (it is chickpea flour)…I used to get it at Mustafa’s but any market in Little India should have it

        Reply
  4. Allison

    I cannot wait to hear about your composting adventures. Mine is in sad sad sad shape. Ok, so I basically dump food in a pile of dirt in the yard. Thats compost, right? Don’t tell me its not, tell me it is. Tell me its good for the earth and will create great soil for next years garden. Please please tell me I am not just thowing food out and attracting critters and bugs to my yard and by extension my home, b/c I have a sneaking feeling that is EXACTLY what I am doing.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      What I’ll be doing is a little different – composting indoors, with worms. I’ve done it before, and it’s terrific for apartment dwellers. But growing up, we had an outdoor compost pile, not so different from what you describe! We dumped our fruit and veggie waste, as well as some shredded paper, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc – onto a heap in the backyard.

      You WILL create good soil but MOST IMPORTANTLY (in my opinion), you are keeping all of the biodegradable waste from going to a landfill. Because when scraps like that are shipped to the landfill, they’re mixed in with all sorts of things that WON’T biodegrade. They rot, and turn to dirt, but are trapped in a plastic-lined hole in the ground, and never really cycle back into the environment. This is a tremendous waste of landfill space! If everyone would participate in your kind of composting, that would put a substantial dent in the amount of garbage that has to be hauled, shipped, compacted, dumped, and left to rot (or not, if it’s plastic) in a landfill.

      So keep fighting the good fight! [And if critters are a problem, you can consider investing in some kind of outdoor bin to help discourage late-night looters!]

      Reply
  5. Kim

    Unfortunately, I had to play catch-up with my study schedule due to a series of unfortunate events. Fortunately, I had unknowingly built in a little bit of a “buffer” by leaving the two easier subjects for last. This means I might actually finish “Phase 1” of of my plan for Comprehensive Exam world domination earlier than expected!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      WOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! Hooray for accidental awesomeness. 🙂 Hope the end of the semester goes smoothly. Once you finish this semester, do you get a break – or are you also doing a summer course?

      Reply
  6. Jean

    Uh, yeah. Except my “befuddlement” has less to do with how bike cleats work and more with the fact that they exist. Are they for clipping in?

    UNFORTUNATELY, I have to go to work mega-early tomorrow

    FORTUNATELY (?), I’m not allowed to work more than 8 hours so I get to leave early!

    This is a fun game!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Hahaha – yep. There are a few different systems for clipping shoes to pedals, and they are specific to each other (think lock and key, if lots of people had the same locks and keys), and the two parts have to match (but aren’t always sold together, for a variety of reasons).

      It would be silly to sell the shoes with the cleats permanently attached, because people like different cleats, and the cleats have to be replaced every so often anyway, so they have to be removable. So you can buy the shoe, then separately purchase the cleat. The cleat is just a bit of metal that screws into the bottom of the shoe and fits like a key into your pedal lock. Um…I hope that makes sense. Again, we’ll talk more about this in gory detail another time. But hey, you’re a runner! Why do you care? 😉

      WHOOOOOOOT for leaving early!!!!! Got a nice spot for an afternoon run scoped out?? 🙂

      Reply
  7. misszippy1@gmail.com

    I am laughing that you recreated your picture! Yes, cleats, etc, befuddle me, which is why I am fortunate to have a great LBS.

    I would like to read that book…I’m sure I would find it depressing, but also enlightening. I have two friends who use worms w/ their garbage and have for several years. I know there are plenty of places I could improve with “green” things. I get even more depressed when I head to rural Ohio where my inlaws live and see how there is NOTHING going on to help on that end.

    have a great weekend!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      I recreated it…but left all the cleats on the shoes this time. 🙂 I was able to keep track of all the hardware, screws, etc. once – so I wasn’t going to push my luck! 🙂

      I highly recommend the book. It is a bit depressing – but the other options is staying ignorant of a problem that may never real come to a head for you, but very well could for your kids or (eventual, potential) grandkids. And yes – the varying degrees of recycling/environmentalism around the US (nay, around the world) are quite astounding.

      Reply
  8. Allee @ Griselda Mood

    Unfortunately: I had to deal with 22 high school students that did nothing but yell, throw things and ignore me. I had to be the “bad teacher” and scold them.

    Fortunately: It’s FRIDAY. And I don’t have to see them until Monday!

    And PS: You make falafel? Say what?! Just had it for the first time last weekend. Super delicious!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Ugh. Stupid kids. They must know the end of the year is coming…. Throw things back next time? <---NYSDEO, I did *not* just suggest that. Yes. I make falafel. It's DELICIOUS, and really pretty easy, as long as you aren't afraid to pan-fry. I'll be sharing the recipe soon!

      Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Hahaha! Glad you see it that way! 🙂

      And since he declared that my moles can stay…it was a success! [Truly, though, I like him. And I seldom like my dermatologist!]

      Reply
  9. Paul

    Oh wow! Toast + half-boiled egg + coffee = as traditional a Singapore breakfast as you’re going to get! Awesome! Glad u settling down nicely on our little red dot. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Paul, when my husband FINALLY (on my fifth – FIFTH!!) visit to Singapore, FINALLY took me to Ya Kun for the first time, I actually got rather annoyed at him for holding out on me for so long! I like a lot of Singaporean food, but often crave it in phases – but I am virtually always – ALWAYS – in the mood for kopi/toast/egg!

      Reply
  10. Jules

    Ha I haven’t seen those kopi cups in well over a year and I miss them. Need to book my holiday to go home soon. 🙂

    I have an indoor vermi composting box but our worms died over winter as we keep it outside on our balcony. I keep meaning to restart but am wondering whether they will all just die again once it gets colder… Looking forward to reading up on your set up though.

    It looks like we have similar shimano shoes… The ones that look like MTB ones anyway.. Do you know if we can use them in spin class? I’ve read that we can’t hence have never tried.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      If you find your way over to Singapore, do let me know… 🙂

      The worms might be OK outdoors – I think they can handle down to ~5 C, at least. You can usually eek out a few more degrees by covering the bin up with something. Alternatively, you can move the whole thing inside (depending on how squeamish you are about them) – that’s where I kept mine when I lived in the US (and where we’ll keep ours here, actually – since we don’t have a balcony). If you do it right, it shouldn’t smell at all. But do be sure to wash everything out, so that whatever killed your first set is gone. Do start up again! It’s really a terrific thing, and once the bin is well balanced, very easy! Happy to consult any time, if you need it. 🙂

      To figure out if your shoes will work with your bikes in spin, the easiest way would just be to bring them in and test them. Alternatively, ask your spin instructor what kind of pedals your spin bikes have (it varies – in Singapore, most of the spin bikes have SPD clips, but where I spun in the US, we could use either SPD or LOOK). The three major options are SPD, SPD-SL, and LOOK. Unfortunately, there’s no standard, so I can’t tell you what your bikes have.

      If your cleat (on your bike shoe) is mounted with three screws in a triangle over the ball of your foot, then you either have SPD-SL or LOOK (you might be able to differentiate using a Google image search). If it’s mounted with two screws very close together under the ball of your foot, then it’s an SPD clean. Hopefully this helps? Good luck!

      Reply
  11. Debbie @ Deb Runs...

    I like the idea of this post! You’ve already read about my fortunately/unfortunately, but here it is anyway! Fortunately: The pinata cake that I made turned out great! Unfortunately: It imploded overnight and fell apart even more during the four-hour drive to Blacksburg.

    Reply
  12. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    Ugh I’m in the process of finding new doctors, dentists and eye doctors right now and it’s rough. Mostly I just take the suggestion of everyone else and go with it, ha. It’s exhausting.

    BIke cleats baffle me. My brother-in-law just basically sent me options that I could choose from that would work, ha. I have no idea if mine work in the spin classes, though. I would imagine they don’t.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      I am so, so sorry. I hate this process – but I do the same, usually try to go with someone recommended by someone I trust. Because I also feel guilty switching doctors, if I happen not to like the first one I go to…

      I must admit, I’m feeling a bit relieved that I’m not the only one so baffled about cleats. I think I’m going to do a thorough, clear, educational post on them in the future (once I feel well enough informed to write that post!).

      Reply

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