Day 16 (Sept. 19): Act first, think later

Why is it that the world seems to slow to  a stop every Sunday? It’s not as if everyone suddenly has more time to spend wasting away at bus stops. Natalie and I had hardly finished celebrating our first transit victory (we caught the shuttle to church at 8:30 a.m. – a significant improvement from last week’s horrific hour-long commute). Getting there was no problem, but getting back was a whole other matter. We were standing at the bus stop along with a whole slew of people for nearly 40 minutes before the bus came bumbling along.

But catch the bus we did, though it was no longer morning by then. I was all packed up and ready for a relaxing day at Starbucks where I’d finish all my readings for the week and do a little book shopping as a reward. That plan was short-lived. I’m in the process of trying to set up an interview for my next journalism assignment. We have to write a profile – basically, find a stranger and find out what’s so interesting about them. I decided to interview a lady who’s vice president of the Small Business Association of Canada. I met her at the Take the Plunge event.

I had already given her a call and fired off an email, but no reply. After some snooping on the Internet, I discovered she would be running a booth at a flea market at the Rideau Carleton Raceway today. I wasn’t planning on going there at all, but when as I was walking through South Keys to get to Starbucks, I saw the shuttle to the Raceway sitting conveniently in the driveway, waiting to pick up the next load of weekend gamblers. Without even really thinking it through, I hopped onto that shuttle. Fifteen minutes later, I was wandering through the flea market looking for my interviewee.

Up side: I found her and explained the assignment. She sounds like she’s willing to do the interview, but I’m still waiting on a reply after she sorts out her schedule. I guess I’ll have to make a follow-up call tomorrow.

Down side: The shuttle times were not working in my favour. It was about 1:45 p.m. when I arrived at the Raceway. I asked the bus driver when he would be coming back, and he wasn’t very helpful at all. He mumbled something about every half hour, so there I was standing by the shuttle stop at 2:15 p.m. waiting for the shuttle to arrive any minute. It turns out the Sunday schedule applies to shuttles too! There wasn’t going to be another shuttle until 3:15 p.m! I did not think that through when I hopped onto the shuttle at South Keys. How I loathe Sunday schedules.

It was a sunny day, and I had no intention of spending an extra $20 on a taxi, so I plunked myself down on one of the benches outside the Raceway and did my reading there. It was horribly smoky. In this day and age, you’d think people would have heard enough about lung cancer and second hand smoke to give up their dirty cigarettes, but nope! All around me, there were 70-year-old chimneys smoking away like no tomorrow, and hacking up rib-rattling coughs in between puffs. I spared my lungs and sat on the other side of the driveway.

It took a while, but I finally made it to Starbucks. It was about 3:30 p.m. by then. I found a big comfy chair and settled down with a coffee and a cookie and proceeded to read all about the Canadian Parliament for the next three hours. I rewarded myself with a short perusal of the sale section after finishing my readings.

Jackpot: There was a whole table filled with $9.99 paperbacks! And they weren’t even obscure rejects! These were actually respectable books! I couldn’t resist. I walked out of there with four brand new additions to my library: Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga (the author of The White Tiger). I was in such a good mood that I didn’t even mind when I missed the 6:30 p.m. O-Train and had to wait until the next one came at 7 p.m.

Now I am exhausted. My brain feels so full! After dinner (fried rice and salad, which I ate out of the bag like an animal because I was using my bowl for my rice), I did some research on the Small Business Association in preparation for my profile interview. I have no idea what direction to go in, but I know I have a lot more reading to do.

Then on top of all that, I received an email from the Charlatan detailing a story they want me to cover by Friday. Joyous. How I want to kick Past Veronica for volunteering to do a story this week. We’ll see how that goes. I tried reading more news, but I’m getting a weird twitch in my left eye now. I think it’s time to go to bed.

I haven’t even had time to research for my Canadian Industrial Transportation Association profile yet! Goodness, how am I going to survive until Christmas?

Bonus: It’s laundry day tomorrow.

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