Right from the get-go, this day was dead set against me. My alarm went off promptly, and obnoxiously, at 7 a.m. I actually used the Snooze button for the first time in my life. I managed to haul myself out of bed, used up whatever hidden reserves of energy I may have had recovering from the shock I got when I looked in the mirror. Those were some serious bags under my eyes and my hair decided to defy gravity, just for the fun of it!
By the time 7:45 a.m. rolled around, my face no longer scared away small children (or so I hoped) and I was waiting outside Natalie’s room. It turns out she had an even worse morning than I did! Her alarm didn’t go off until 7:30 a.m. and we had an O-Train to catch at 7:50 a.m. She grabbed a pop tart and we hurried out the door . . . just as the O-Train was pulling into the platform. So we ran. (It was a Sunday schedule. If you miss a bus or train, you won’t get another chance for another 30 to 60 minutes, if you’re lucky!)
We caught the bus and headed to the Met, one of the biggest churches in the region. We had to wait 35 minutes for our transfer bus, not even because we missed it, but because that’s how “frequent” they come. Well the good news is we made it to the Met and it was enormous! It reminded me of our church at home. The sanctuary looked more like a concert hall and it must have cost a fortune just to light up the space! The sermon was filmed live so even the people in the back row could see every line and freckle on the pastor’s face as it was projected on enormous screens. I daresay the majority of the people there were white-haired and retired (a pretty good representation of the Ottawa demographic, if you ask me). It was certainly impressive, but I don’t know if I really liked it. The pastor spoke like one of those preaching TV shows that no one watches on Sunday morning. It was all very . . . commercial and sounded overwhelmingly jolly. No one’s that excited to read announcements.
After the service, Natalie wanted to check out one of the Sunday schools. There was one talking about Evolution vs. Creation that caught her attention so we popped in for a while. We sat near the door, hoping to slip out if it was bad . . . but we never got the chance! It was really quiet in the room, and there were only about 20 or so people. It would have been too noticeable. The topic was interesting, but the speaker was . . . well, let’s just say he sounded like he was old enough to have known Moses personally. And he kept blowing air out his nose noisily. I felt bad for the guy sitting right under his nose in the front row! The speaker just went on and on, slide after text-loaded Powerpoint slide, explaining the inner workings of DNA (which he liked to call by its full name by the way – deoxyribonucleic acid. You’d remember it too if you heard it about 100 times in an hour.) Thankfully, there was a question period and we managed to sneak out with little notice.
By then, we were both starving! It was about 12:45 p.m. We hopped onto the first bus we could find and booked it back to school.
The cherry on top of that outing: Right after we arrived at the Met, Natalie turns to me and says, “Why didn’t we just take the shuttle?” That’s right. There’s a shuttle! It picks people up right from Carleton at the decent hour of 8:30 a.m. and Natalie chooses to tell me this, not last night, not this morning, but right after we dragged our tired butts all the way to the church before 8:40 a.m. Timing is really everything.
I wish I could say the rest of my day went better. But it didn’t.
After lunch, I quickly printed off some of my notes for my journalism assignment and ran out to catch the train. I was off to the second day of Take the Plunge. The finals were taking place at 3 p.m., meaning I had a train to catch at 2 p.m. I love Sunday schedules, don’t you?
I managed to get there no problem, but the weather was absolutely horrendous! It was cold, windy, and drizzling steadily. I tried taking notes, but my fingers froze and I was completely drenched within the first 20 minutes. I was only going to stay for a little while, until 4 p.m. but I got caught up in the events and missed the shuttle, which now came every hour. No big deal, I thought to myself. I’ll just stay and watch the rest of the dock jumping contest and leave at 5 p.m.
They ended at about 4:35 p.m. I got some pretty good material from the winning team, but I was chilled to my very core and just ready to go back to res. I hurried indoors and sat inside the casino, with the intention of heading back out to catch the shuttle in 20 minutes. I worked on my story in the meantime. Well I guess I lost track of the time, or the shuttle came early. One minute I looked up and there was no shuttle to be found. Two seconds later, it’s pulling away!
I jumped out of my seat and flew out the door, running after the shuttle as fast as I could. It wasn’t even far away! I could practically touch the back window! It was slowing to a stop before exiting the drop-off ring. And then, like a punch in the face, a security lady stands in front of me and the sweet warmth of res.
“You can’t chase after it.”
“It won’t stop for you.”
“You’ll have to wait for the next one.”
“But that’s in an hour!”
And she strutted away. The shuttle turned out onto the road and drove off along with my hopes and dreams. I was completely miserable – cold, wet, tired and hungry. I ended up calling a cab. The driver was a friendly guy with a heavy Indian accent, a big bushy beard and the biggest turban I’ve ever seen. He kept trying to cheer me up and I was actually in a better mood by the time he dropped me off at the train station. I couldn’t convince him that I wasn’t at the Raceway to gamble away my school money. “You’re a student!” he said. “You should save your money!” In the end, I just gave up correcting him and nodded along.
I caught the O-Train back to school, peeled off my clothes, crabbily went to dinner, and hunkered down in my room for the night working on my journalism story.
Good news: I did manage to finish a first draft of my story. It can use some fine-tuning but I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing before Monday. I wanted to send it out to as many local newspapers as soon as possible before my news became history. I don’t really know if anyone will actually publish it, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Well now it’s 12:20 a.m. and I think I’ve earned a much needed rest. I can finally sleep in tomorrow! There’s something very strange about getting more sleep on a Monday morning than I do all weekend.