Day 8: Take the Plunge!

On this beautiful, sunny Saturday, I was up bright and early – 7:30 a.m. – to catch the O-Train at 8 a.m. Why you may ask? Well the answer is, as usual, journalism. I had an event to cover at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway. And yes, that is the Ottawa mothership for all gamblers. I got some weird looks from people on the courtesy shuttle to Raceway, but I suppose that’s a valid response. What’s a young, sprightly girl doing skipping off to the slots at 8:30 in the morning?

Rest assured, I haven’t decided to flush away all my money yet. The event I’m covering for my assignment just happens to be taking place in an open field next to the Raceway. It’s called Take the Plunge, in reference to the main event, DockDog competitions. (DockDogs is a water sport for dogs. Basically, dogs participate leap into a 40 ft pool to retrieve a toy. They’re judged by distance, like a long-jump, but there are also competitions for height and speed.) Eight local animal rescue organizations joined together to raise funds and awareness for animal shelters.

There were dogs everywhere! I was there for about four hours, talking to just about everyone. The event organizers were really friendly and, for the most part, pretty chatty, which makes my job a lot easier. Even though I was on the hunt for good interview subjects, taking notes and snapping pictures, I still managed to enjoy the event and ran around petting dogs.

One of animal rescue organizations was dedicated to ferrets. They set up a little play pen for people to play with ferrets and learn about them. I guess I never thought about ferrets needing shelters. You usually only hear about dogs and cats. Well I certainly scrounged up a lot of information. I still have to do a few follow-up interviews tomorrow (it’s a two-day event taking place over the weekend) and I might even go back tomorrow at 3 p.m. to watch the DockDogs finals.

Now it’s just a matter of actually putting it together into something that will get me a passing grade!

You may be wondering why I suddenly have so much time to update my blog without being grouchy that it’s nearing 1 a.m. Well I left the event at about 1 p.m. (I was absolutely exhausted from running around talking to people under the hot sun and couldn’t stay five more hours until the very end) and got back to res at about 1:45 p.m. I organized all my gathered notes and recordings from the day, which took about two hours and by then I was an empty shell formerly known as Veronica. It was awful. I needed a break.

So off I set to South Keys. I figured I’d get a change of scene, take a break from my story and get some of my readings done for my other classes. I hunkered down in Starbucks, treated myself to a big fat cookie and coffee, and didn’t budge an inch (except my highlighting hand) for about two and a half hours. When I finally emerged from my cone of productiveness, it was already dark outside! I didn’t feel particularly awake, but not as drained as before.

I made a quick run through Loblaws, stocking up on munchies before heading back on the O-Train. All the while, I thought it strange that I was so . . . calm after downing all that sugar and caffeine. Just around 8:30 p.m., I was struck with a sudden need to be productive! I ended up completing some of my Mandarin notes (I really like my Mandarin class by the way! It’s not the same as my class in Shanghai’s Fudan University, but I do like the teacher and the people in my class.)

It wasn’t until I hopped in the shower and was partway through shampoo that I felt a wave of energy! All of a sudden I was brimming with optimistic invincibility and the vigour of beautiful life! That, my friend, is why I save coffee for truly terminal cases. Who knew I could get such a delayed caffeine rush?

What does this all mean? I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to be very productive tonight, though I’m hoping I don’t stay up all night because I’m getting up even earlier tomorrow! Natalie and I are going to check out the Met (the Metropolitan Bible Church). It’s supposed to be the most famous church in Ottawa and we always talked about checking it out last year but never got around to it. Well I’m feeling it now! So I did a little research and laid out the game plan for Natalie. Turns out she’s up for it!

Just like that we suddenly have a wake-up call tomorrow for 7 a.m.! I would have gone to Celebration! Church again at 5 p.m. but we have a floor meeting tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. Well, God, this is me making an effort.

I am definitely going to crash and burn. Tomorrow morning is just going to be super. But I’ll deal with that when I get there.

For your entertainment, here’s a conversation I overheard walking back to res from the O-Train today:

Guy 1: Whoa! You’re wearing shorts, flip flops, and sunglasses?

Guy 2: You don’t?

Guy 1: No, it’s just . . . I’ve never seen your legs before!

Guy 2: Oh yeah? I just shaved them yesterday. You like?

My curiosity got the better of me, and I sneaked a peek. His legs were hairy.

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