Day 79: Frozen zombies

Utter exhaustion. That is what I’m feeling right now, and it’s barely past 10 p.m. Energy levels were definitely at an all time low today. I was really pumped and excited for church at 7:45 a.m., but that kind of died in the middle of service by the time 9:30 a.m. rolled around. For the third day in a row, it was a coffee day. (I really need to cut back. It’s hurting my wallet and I think I’m building up a caffeine tolerance.)

I spent the day writing my politics essay. It was pretty subdued in our room today. Kitty was holed up in her room, and I in mine. Christmas needs to arrive now. At about 4:30 p.m., I headed out to church with Jasmine and her friend Rachel. We were waiting for our transfer when I looked up and saw a store called Serious Cheese. Of course we had to go in. It turns out this store only sells bread and cheese. (Needless to say they probably make the best grilled cheese in the city. At more than $5 for one order, it’s definitely the Starbucks of the grilled cheese world.)

Sadly they don’t serve “lunch specials” after 3 p.m. We settled for some already made bread. There was one kind of bread that looked like a cross between a pretzel and a danish, and it was stuffed with a bunch of cheese, spinach, onions and garlic. It was awesome! Actually, we almost broke our teeth on the first bite because we didn’t realize it was supposed to be crunch bread. But once you’re ready for it, it’s actually really good. I can’t wait to go back to try their grilled cheese.

Church ended early today, which was fine by me. I was much too tired to function properly. It also didn’t help that today was -3 degrees, but feels like -10 with the wind chill. I was chilled to the very core. I think my bone marrow was frozen solid, never mind my poor extremities. (Well who needs toes, fingers and a nose anyway?)

I feel like I should explain what exactly happened yesterday that created the exhausted shell of Veronica sitting at the laptop today.

Day 78: Late night with Santa

I was fully intending to sleep in – the way Saturdays were intended. Of course I ended up rolling out of bed just before 9 a.m., unable to sleep another minute. My body can be cruel that way. Halfway through brushing my teeth, I realized I was really energetic. I decided to hit the gym. It was great! There are very few people at the athletics centre at 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday (just the other fools like me).

I was back, showered, and packed for South Keys by 11 a.m. I bunked down in Chapters and did some solid work for five hours. I got all my readings done and even knocked off a few pages of my essay. By 4:30 p.m. I needed a change of scenery. I decided to head back to res and pay Jasmine a visit. When she answered the door, she was all bundled up and ready to head outside.

“Where are you going?”

“The Santa Claus parade! Wanna come?”

In hindsight, this is the very moment that is responsible for the absolute exhaustion I feel right now. I threw on as much winter gear as I could grab in about 30 seconds and we hopped on the bus to a parade we didn’t know where to find. We were wandering around about five blocks from Parliament, listening for music or some sort of tip-off as to where this parade was. We turn a corner and see a family walking by.

“Children!” we both said a little too enthusiastically. We followed them. People probably though we were creepers, but hey, unless you have a better way to locate a Santa Claus parade …

We met up with our friends Jason and Andrew, and ended up finding the parade. It turns out it was right in front of Parliament. We grabbed hot drinks from Second Cup and stood out in the freezing cold for the next hour and a half watching the parade. There was a Mr. Peanut costume! We never actually waited long enough to see Santa. He was just taking so long to get here! It was about 6:30 p.m. by then and all four of us could no longer remember what warmth felt like. We decided to fast-track the parade by walking towards the starting point. We finally saw Santa on his float with reindeer. We kept cheering and waving, trying to get his attention and he ignored us. Mean old Santa.

We decided to head into ByWard and get some dinner. Every restaurant was packed! We ended up going to an Irish pub, Heart and Crown. It was so good to be warm again. (Well actually my face felt like it was on fire after being out in the cold for so long.) The food was great! I had this Irish stew that just never got any smaller no matter how much I ate. I also finally found a beer that doesn’t make me gag. Keith’s Red. I definitely got that from my dad. After 19 years of hearing “Richard’s Red,” you’d think something would have stuck with me.

It was about 9 p.m. by the time we headed out. Jason and Andrew were heading to their friend Ryan’s place (another guy we know from church, who’s also in my Chinese class). Jasmine and I decided to tag along. We figured the night was young and we’d catch the last bus back to school. I thought I’d be home by midnight and still have plenty of time for a my Skype date with Em and Rach (who feel really far away right now. I miss them). But that didn’t end up happening.

We didn’t get on the bus until about 10 p.m. (We stopped at Sugar Mountain on the way for a candy run. I learned Jelly Belly’s combination for a “banana split” is actually pretty revolting. Just stick with the individual jelly beans.) We got off at the wrong stop and ended up trekking through some abandoned school yard and through an entire neighbourhood (in the dark and the cold) before finally ending up at Ryan’s house at 11 p.m. And the best part: he wasn’t even home!

His housemate let us in. About 10 minutes later, Ryan shows up with a big fluffy white dog. We saw it outside earlier wandering around the streets. It’s not Ryan’s. We have no idea who’s dog it was, but we were playing with it for a while (before we discovered his owner was probably a smoker because he was stinking up the house so we shooed him out).

Then began a night of Rock Band on Ryan’s PS3. I don’t know how, but before I knew it, it was well past 1 a.m. The buses were long gone. Jasmine was asleep on the couch, and I was close to drifting off myself. I decided it was time to call a cab and head back. (I had to get up early and go to the Met with Natalie in a few hours!)

Jason and Andrew decided to head out too. We dragged Jasmine with us, who was still in dreamland. We shared a cab, staggered up the stairs to res, and I passed out at about 2 a.m. I know that’s nothing for the rest of the student population, but I’m betting the rest of the student population doesn’t get up before 8 a.m.


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