Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boston and TTT: Asia

Not much to report. Work, yoga, running (slowly still, not sure what's up with me the last six months).  Our fifth anniversary is Friday and the traditional gift for year five is wood.  I came up with an awesome plan -- wooden frames to do the other side of a stairwell.  But I found out yesterday that they're the wrong size.  So I went to a craft store and bought 30 there.  Also the wrong size (well, technically, still 4x6, but they're not the same size as all the others already hanging).  So I just ordered 30 more from Amazon, but since the fastest shipping available is 2-4 business days (as opposed to 4-10), they won't be here in time for our anniversary.  So I have to come up with a creative way to package the photos I've already printed to put in the frames.

Thinking a lot about Boston this week.  Here's what I had posted last year, spending the entire day tracking friends running the race (my tradition if I'm not running), and then the chaos that followed:

I was surprised by a cold front here on Tuesday morning, so I proudly wore my Boston jacket on my run to commemorate the one year anniversary. 

Given my line of work, it shouldn't be particularly surprising that I did some research about whether the victims who died or those injured who survived the Boston bombing have brought any lawsuits.  There was a suit by one survivor against Glenn Beck for defamation (and I believe another defamation suit in NY), and a suit by the ACLU about release of documents related to the bombing, but I was more curious about suits against the BAA, the city, the police/security companies involved with the race, the tortfeasors (the brothers), or governmental agencies. 

While the One Fund proceeds (about $60 million) were distributed (a second, smaller distribution is or was set to follow), obviously the costs were high -- the few who died as I recall were all fairly young, and therefore any one of them alone would likely have had a high value claim for loss of future earnings (though of course for the child, it's much harder to predict).  And of course those seriously injured incurred substantial medical bills (though I think Massachusetts was a state with mandatory health insurance before, so perhaps individuals aren't bearing the brunt as much as someplace like here in Texas where medically uninsured numbers are high), not to mention general damage claims for loss of enjoyment of life, etc. 

The One Fund distribution was broken out by severity.  Families of the deceased and double amputees received $2.2 million each, and the 14 single-limb amputees each received approximately $1.2 million.  Of the others injured, the distribution was based on the number of nights spent in the hospital. A single night was worth $125,000; 32 nights or more qualified victims for $948,000 (not usre how the math worked for someone in the hospital for 10 days for example). The 143 people who were treated as outpatients received $8,000 each.  That kind of system makes sense to get funds out fairly rapidly, without getting too bogged down in particular claims' values (and then receipients can structure it if they want).  But of course there have been some appeals there about people who didn't go to the hospital but the alleged severity of their injuries later became apparent, but as far as I can tell, no direct suits claiming someone was responsible for the bombing.  There was also some lesser distribution from a state victims' fund I've read.  The payments by the One Fund and state funds are tax-free but they do impact recipients' entitlement to other governmental benefits (so if someone was on the state's insurance for the poor, they'd no longer be eligible for that). 

The brothers were apparently judgment proof, so no money to be gotten there.  Given the immunity likely for the state/federal agencies/entities, likely no money there either.  An interesting article, here, indicates that as a non-profit, the BAA's liability is capped (though it doesn't say at how much).  But of course I'd guess they're insured and the policy very well could cover acts of terrorism.  But with over a hundred injured and three dead, policy limits would be expected to go fast, even if they're large, but the insurance won't kick in until claims are over $100 million

Interestingly, if a victim accepts funds from The One Fund, it does not bar subsequent suits (not the case with some central settlement relief funds, such as 9-11), so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  Suits strike me as unlikely, but at the same time, many people losing someone or who are injured look somewhere, anywhere, for compensation.  My quick Google research indicates no suits thus far. 

Okay, enough about work!

And a bit late, but why not, talking about travel.

Rules for TTT - please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section for this post at Without a License so we can all see your answers! Please invite your readers to link back to their post on this post too so we can see everyone's answers and connect with other bloggers! (Remember to add the TTT graphic above and these rules to your post as well!) TTT Topic: Worst Travel Experience
1) What country do you want to visit the most in Asia?
2) Is there a country you'd rather not visit in Asia?
3) Have you ever been to Asia? if so, which countries?
4) Is there any Asian influence where you are currently living?
5) If you could be fluent in Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Hindi, which one would you choose?

Today's Topic: Asia!

1) What country do you want to visit the most in Asia?
My answer is definitely India -- and hopefully a month from now, I will have purchased plane tickets to go there this year!  I'm so excited to see the Taj Mahal, but beyond that, I'm excited about the culture, the food, the chaos, the sights, the different-ness of it all.  I'd also really like to go to Nepal and Bhutan. 

2) Is there a country you'd rather not visit in Asia? Not really.  If I had to put one at the bottom of the list, it would probably be Mongolia, mostly because of the food -- very meat-heavy, which would be tough for me.  And I'm not particularly intrigued by the scenery, but of course, if I had an opportunity to go to Mongolia, I'd seize it -- it's just not somewhere that is likely to be a priority for us anytime soon. 

3) Have you ever been to Asia? If so, which countries? Yes, but not since 2012.  I've been to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and of course China (I recapped the trip all over this blog).  Each country was amazing and wonderful in its own way. 

4) Is there any Asian influence where you are currently living? There is a large Asian community in the suburb north of Dallas, but not particularly significant in Dallas (probably similar to most other cities in the US, excluding places like NY and SF).  There are tons of Asian restaurants -- from our house, within 3 blocks you have Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (if you could Pei Wei, which I will admit is a stretch).  One of our neighbors is from Taiwan, so one of her relatives helped me a lot when I was studying Chinese before our trip.  There's also a Chinese Catholic church where I'm hoping to start taking formal Chinese lessons in May. 

5) If you could be fluent in Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Hindi, which one would you choose? Chinese for sure!  Not only would I love to go back to China to explore different parts of the country, I also think China's influence will continue to grow in the world (as it should, given the size of the population there).  But if the fluency is short-term, just for the next 8 months, then I'd pick Hindi since that would undoubtedly help a lot for our vacation this fall. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yoga and more yoga

Oops -- somehow didn't publish this Thurs night as I intended!

Have I mentioned there's not much to report other than yoga? 

We are having a "fire code capacity" dinner party on Friday night.  It's the same party we have every year in April.  We invite all the people in Dallas who went to Italy for our wedding, and we recreate our rehearsal dinner -- pizza and fries.  We make individual pizza crusts and let friends top their own, then we cook them on the grill.  I try to make sweet potato fries and they're usually not great... 

We also get a small wedding cake from the place that made a cake for our Dallas wedding reception, and I usually try to make a signature cocktail and some awesome appetizers.  It always ends up being a thoroughly fun evening. 

Friday I might even skip yoga to be able to get done with work early and be ready for the party.  That means I'm going to have to do a double to make up for it -- maybe on Sunday?  I'm already kind of dreading it, but I know if I do the double and finish my 30-day challenge, I'll be extra proud of myself.

So here's a few more days of yoga recaps:

Monday, 4-7-14, 6:30 class.  Don't know the instructor's name, short, dark hair, very nice.  My absolute favorite part of class was in between first and second sets of full locust.  She compared it to Baby's lift scene during Dirty Dancing.  I totally love that movie and loved picturing myself doing the lift.  As much as I hate ever being picked up by anyone (I think I'm much heavier than I appear, and my whole life I've worried someone would pull his/her back while trying and learning of my density), but I've told my husband a million times that I wish we could learn the final Dirty Dancing dance.  And occasionally, I will charge at him in the house and tell him to do the lift, but usually I pull back, sometimes I crash into him and we'll both hit the wall or couch or whatever, but he never actually attempts the lift.  But in yoga, with a floor supporting me that definitely won't break under my weight, I feel just like Baby.  I couldn't stop smiling during the second set.  I also felt like my forehead went closer to the floor, and in the second to last posture, I did better at locking my knees. 

Tuesday, 4-8-14, 4:00 class (weird day, had to work after class), instructor was Erika.  I was extremely sore for some reason.  Very tight hips.  Possibly from a fairly tough 6 miles about 10 hours earlier?  Or too many lunges at boot camp on Monday?  Or worked too hard at yoga Monday night?  Either way, in "wind-removing" pose, I couldn't believe how tight my hips were.  In general I didn't work as hard in class.  I didn't sit anything out, but I wasn't pulling or stretching with as much effort as I usually do. 

Wednesday, 4-9-14, 6:00 class.  Instructor was Rene, and she was my least favorite ever.  Young, uses a very singsong voice, seems kind of fake smiley and energetic, seriously grated on my nerves.  She uses a voice that you don't really hear anyone over 30 using, just sounding very immature in general.  And I was next to a loud mouth breather.  And it was one of the most crowded classes I've attended this year, with all 5 rows being fairly full, but enough space between the mats that we were really packed in.  The combination of all of these made for a miserable class.  I kind of figured it was just me, but either way, if I never have another class with her as the instructor, that would be just fine.  At least the class went by fairly quickly.  It seems they really all do lately, which is not how I remember it before. 

Thursday, 4-10-14, 5:30 a.m. class (10k race after work).  Rene again.  What are the odds??!!  And no, it wasn't just a chip on my shoulder on Wednesday.  She is 100% not my favorite.  In fact, she's 100% the only instructor so far I just don't like.  She uses a voice that makes it sound like she's talking to a bunch of three year olds using fake enthusiasm to get them excited about nap time.  She also does a lot of gesturing and stuff, acting like she's a performer in a big show, which strikes me as pointless and distracting unless she's actually demonstrating the postures.  The 5:30 a.m. class only had about 20 people, so she gave people tips on postures but she rarely identified who she was directly her advice at.  Instead I guess she wants you to look at her to figure it out?  At one point in the second part of the first half of triangle, I somehow realized she was talking at me.  I did as instructed and she commended me, but in reality, she was just commending me for doing what she said to correct.  I know my triangle always sucks somewhat, and was particularly sucky in this class as it was less than 12 hours after my last one and I didn't want to push hard with the race in 12 more hours, but it was nice of her to try to help me.  I hope this was my last class with her though. 

I have decided, if I'm still going to yoga in 51 weeks, on April Fool's Day 2015, I want to bring a few whoopie cushions and deploy them during wind-removing pose.  How funny would that be? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


This is maybe only the second or third time I've shared a large amount of text from another source, but it is so worth it.

I came across this from Hungry Runner Girl's blog, and here's the original link she shares:

Google translate for runners.  My absolute favorite was the hamstrings one.  Followed closely by the Thursday one.

Here are my favorites (well, it's pretty much all of them, but I narrowed it down to the best 60% or so for your benefit):

“My training hasn’t been great.”
Translation: “Training has been my life for the past eighteen weeks.”

“I’m just hoping to finish.”Translation: “I will PR or die.”

“I hit the wall hard. I don’t think I fueled properly.”Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I don’t know what happened.”Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I was on pace for the first twenty miles, but then I hit the wall. Training wasn’t great. I’ve been battling an injury. And I just got over being sick. Guess it all caught up to me.”Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I’m just running this race for fun.”Translation: “My eternal happiness hinges on the outcome of this race.”

“Yeah, I did twenty this morning.”Translation: “Can you believe I just ran twenty freakin’ miles? I’m amazing.”

“I’m starving!”Translation: “I’m hungry because I just ran twenty freakin’ miles. I’m amazing.”

“My hamstrings got a little tight.”Translation: “I’ve lost the ability to bend at the waist.”

“My Achilles has been acting up lately.”Translation: “About ten weeks ago, I blew out my Achilles, but I’m still running on it.”

“I took some time off to let it heal.”Translation: “I didn’t run last Thursday.”

“Yeah, I’ll get it looked at after the race.”Translation: “I will wait for it to go away on its own.”

“Yeah, I should probably see a doctor.”Translation: “I will not see a doctor.”

“I get irritable if I don’t run.”Translation: “If I don’t run, I may or may not become homicidal.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Worst Travel Experiences

Tuesday, Tuesday.  Got in 6 miles this morning at 5:15 and with such a short run, I managed to get to work early, early today and am hoping to maybe make it to the 6:00 yoga class tonight.  Only 7 days of the 30 day challenge complete, and my husband is already complaining about not seeing me awake at all.  I feel like this reminds me a little of what it was like when a blogger I read and her husband were both doing Ironman training. 

Since it's Tuesday, I'm going to do the travel prompts again.

Rules for TTT - please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section for this post at Without a License so we can all see your answers! Please invite your readers to link back to their post on this post too so we can see everyone's answers and connect with other bloggers! (Remember to add the TTT graphic above and these rules to your post as well!) TTT Topic: Worst Travel Experience
1) What do you hate the most about traveling?
2) Is there any situation you try to avoid when traveling?
3) How do you avoid that situation?
4) Cruise/Flights/Bikes/Cars/Bus - which is your least favorite way of traveling?
5) What is your worst experience while traveling?

Today's Topic: Worst Experiences!

1) What do you hate the most about traveling?
I hate feeling like I overpaid or got scammed.  Note that I don't hate overpaying or getting scammed, I just hate it if I become aware of it.  One problem with traveling to places with tourists is that there are usually plenty of scammers.  When you add a language component, it gets worse. 

2) Is there any situation you try to avoid when traveling?I try to avoid huge waits.  It's sometimes unavoidable but it drives me up the wall.  I feel like travel time is so precious to me (that whole "limited vacation days" thing), that when I end up in line for hours to wait for the tram to take us down from Hua Shan mountain in China for example, or to get into the Uffizi in Florence, I feel like I'm missing out on things I'd prefer. 

3) How do you avoid that situation?
We try to make reservations for places where we can (like the Uffizi), but for other things, we just try to evaluate whether it's worth it and whether it's necessary (i.e., if we could pay more to avoid the line).  Sometimes there's just no way around it.  At Hua Shan, it had started raining, so masses of people were trying to leave at the same time, and we were ready to go as well, so we didn't want to try to wait out the line.  So when we're stuck waiting, we try to make the best of it, talking to each other, observing those around us, sometimes writing out postcards. 

4) Cruise/Flights/Bikes/Cars/Bus - which is your least favorite way of traveling?Can I say cruises if I've never been on one aside from a few days down the Yangtze in China?  I just have no desire to be on a boat going to different ports with a ton of other tourists, eating my meals on a ship and being on a schedule for when to do things. 

5) What is your worst experience while traveling?Hmm, food poisoning, crime, or lost passport in a city with a consulate closed for three days and a scheduled flight in one day?  Probably food poisoning, which has happened twice -- once in China, once in Kenya.  In Kenya, I was alone and almost delirious with fever, the part of me that was rational was very scared.  And in China, I knew what it was and that it would pass, but it was still miserable for a couple days.  I was also a crime victim in Napoli, Italia once, and that was pretty miserable, I felt very vulnerable and exposed and sad afterward, even when I had changed clothes.  The lost passport thing happened in Poland and probably took about two years off the end of my life (but in the end, it wasn't lost, it was with my brother's roommate, long story).