Category Archives: Fortunately/Unfortunately

Fortunately/Unfortunately (Nov. 26, 2013)

Coach Holly here, reporting, live and well (fed) from northern New Jersey, folks!  I think travel inspires me to write Fortunately/Unfortunately posts, so here’s a peek at Sunday’s travels:

Fortunately, modern technology (and the trick of time zones) allows me to wake up in Singapore, and go to sleep later (much, much, MUCH later) the same day in New Jersey.  Only 24 hours of travel are involved.  Living far from family is hard; airplanes make it much, much easier.

Unfortunately, I must wake up at 3 AM in Singapore to make this trick happen.

Fortunately, I can step out of our apartment in Singapore at 4 AM and hail a cab off the street.  When we first moved, we’d pay the extra money to book early morning cabs in advance.  Then, we realized there was really no need for that.  Available cabs are much easier to find at 4 AM than at 8 PM!

Unfortunately, I left my adorable husband sleeping in bed.  I miss that crazy dude!

Fortunately, my first flight (to Hong Kong) was very, very empty.  I had two empty seats next to me!  (Although I would have happily traded the empty seat if I could have had KMN with me.)

Unfortunately, that flight was only 3 hours.

Fortunately, Transfer Security in Hong Kong was completely empty.  Usually, it’s a little nutsy, but I was they only person there this time.  And I didn’t even have to unload every.single.electronic.device from my bag (this is normally what happens to me in Hong Kong, for some strange reason).

Unfortunately, my second flight was totally packed.

Fortunately, I promptly got trapped in the middle of the plane when the first pass of the drink cart started while I was in the restroom.  I got to stand for a solid 15 minutes, bouncing and stretching, without being told to return to my seat.  YAY!

Unfortunately, another American in the same predicament complained and sighed about it.  Some people will complain about anything!  I tried to keep him distracted with some idle chatting – turns out he works in China, and he asked me how long I’d been visiting Asia.  When he learned I lived in Singapore, he contributed this annoying quip: “Well, those of us who live in China think you folks in Hong Kong and Singapore are cheating.”  Thanks for that unsolicited opinion, sir.  For your information, I’m not living in Singapore to put some Asian feather in my American cap.  But thanks for the judgment.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Fortunately, my seatmates were calm and quiet, and I passed an uneventful 14 hours napping, watching one episode each of NCIS, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and whatever other crime shows were on offer, as well as Monsters University (cute!).  I also read Drift, a mature young adult novel co-written by Steph Campbell and former classmate of mine Liz Reinhardt.  Nothing too deep, but these ladies have become my go-to for a light, fun in-flight read.

Unfortunately, the overly salty in-flight food on United’s international flights is becoming increasingly gross to me.

Fortunately, I came in armed with plenty of my own snacks.  NO, not the Tim Tams pictured in my packing post – I brought apples, granola bars, trail mix, Oreos, and some salty-but-at-least-tasty snack mix.

Unfortunately, there weren’t very many water walk-throughs.

Fortunately, there’s a secret water stash at the back of the plane (big bottles of water and little cups).  I just brought my bottle back and refilled it.  Repeatedly. Hydration is important on long haul flights!

Unfortunately, our descent into Newark was a little bumpy. Although it didn’t seem particularly unusual to me, both the people sitting next to and behind me used their air sickness bags.  I get sympathetically nauseous, so I hope they weren’t *too* offended that I closed my ears and eyes.

Fortunately, the immigration, baggage collection, and customs process took less than 25 minutes.  Easy, breezy on a Sunday afternoon, for some reason.  And from this point forward, my “Unfortunatelies” disappear!

My parents were waiting for me (with more snacks and fresh water!), and the drive home was uneventful.  I went for a short run – which was chilly, but invigorating and awesome, then took a MUCH NEEDED shower.  Seriously.  The shower after 24 hours of travel is beautiful.  Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner of roast chicken, salad, and pierogies.  [Gotta work a little Polish tradition in there somehow!]

And from there, it’s been Thanksgiving preparation, a bit of running, a lot of eating, and the perfectly usual jet-lagged sleep schedule of 11 PM – 2:30 AM and 5 AM – 9 AM.  Sure, why not?

I won’t be taking an extended Thanksgiving blogging break, so you’ll see plenty of me around here in the coming week – but I would like to wish safe travel to those of you traveling in the coming days, especially if you’re traveling along the eastern seaboard. And if your travel plans involve airplanes and airports, breathe deeply and remember:

“The test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones.”
-Solomon ibn Gabirol (poet and philosopher)

If you could watch one TV show for the entirety of a long flight, what would it be?

Fill in the blank: “On my ideal international flight, every meal service would consist of only ____________________.” (one food item ONLY!)

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?

Fortunately/Unfortunately and a PF Party

I wrote about my not-so-good foot weekend here.  But by Monday morning, the foot was starting to feel a bit better.  And when I laced it up into my workout sneakers, it felt totally fine!  So I cleared myself for a trip to the gym.

I planned to take a BodyPump class, but go easy on the weights (and forgo any jumping), followed by a yin yoga class.  Since most of yin is sitting (I describe yin yoga a bit more here), there would be very little need to walk or stand barefoot.

Fortunately, I arrived at the gym 15 minutes before class – just 5 minutes after sign-in opened (at Fusionopolis, this is usually plenty of time).  I was spot #34 of 40.

Unfortunately, when I stepped into the room, it was…full.  Like, no space in the front, no space in the back, maaaaybe I could have squeezed in if everyone moved, but *sigh*.  I really do hate being crammed in for Body Pump.  So I’ll admit it: Instead of being “that girl”, I just turned around and walked out of the room.

Fortunately, this gave me ample opportunity to stretch and roll my legs, especially my calves.  Tight calves/Achilles can contribute to plantar fasciitis.  In fact, I *did* find a super tight spot.  [I swear that I am writing a calf-stretching post.  Tomorrow will be the magic day!]

Unfortunately, I still had plenty of time to kill before yoga.  I figured that a mile on the treadmill wouldn’t hurt, since my foot was feeling good, right?

Fortunately, everything seemed to go pretty well, and I did a bit over a mile at a nice easy pace.  I was feeling good, but stopped anyway, and spent another 10 minutes rolling my legs out.  Yin yoga was great, too.  I really enjoy the Monday night instructor (Joyce), and we focused on ankles and feet.  Perfection!

Unfortunately…it’s now Tuesday night, and despite more stretching, rolling, and icing…my left heel does not feel very nice to walk on.

Fortunately, I have a few zillion piles of work to do this week, so perhaps that will keep me distracted while I work on healing the foot.

Unfortunately, my husband still has to live with the cranky, non-running me during that time.

Fortunately, I can still swim and (I think) spin, so I’ll get that cardio in somehow.

Most fortunately, although I’m new to this whole blogging thing, a few fellow bloggers have been kind enough to share several bits of wisdom.  I’ve been harping on ice and tennis balls, but then Cecelia from MommiesRun. suggested that I put a golf ball in the freezer, then roll that under my foot.  Clearly, she already knows how much I love multi-tasking.  Now I just must find a golf ball.

And then Cait (the Arty Runnerchick) reassured me (Was that reassurance, Cait?) that plantar fasciitis is “mysterious”.  This is jiving very well with my experience.  [It hurt two days ago…less yesterday…more today…this step hurt…that step didn’t…now it pulls…next it feel burny…and on, and on…]  She seems to have a bit of experience with this ailment.  And Lisa at Jogging on Coffee is going through a bout of plantar fasciitis as well.  Who said this was an ailment that most often strikes men in their 40s and 50s?  Ladies, I suggest we have a big ‘ole party.  I’ll provide the frozen water bottles and ice cream.  🙂


My foot’s new bedfellows…

Anyone else have to join??
[Trust us, you really don’t want to.]

So what’s your fortunately/unfortunately for today??