Friday, 20 February 2009

Avoiding Obama

So Barack Obama hit town yesterday, and it was all over the news: how he picked Canada for the first foreign visit (very diplomatic of him, George Bush kept forgetting we were there); how he dropped into the Byward Market for treats and souvenirs, and picked up a personally-made "Obama Tail (a variation of the Beaver Tails I was dissing a few posts ago).

The excitement accompanying this visit has been described in the media several times as being "rock-star-like", particularly considering the cruddy weather yesterday with large wet flakes plopping in an ankle-deep slushy mass on the sidewalks. Indeed, the Resident Fan Boy and I have been cudgeling our brains to recall a similar response to a foreign dignitary. Certainly not George Bush, who remarked at an Ottawa banquet that he was pleased to see people waving at him and using all five fingers. The Resident Fan Boy noted how close Obama had been to his government office and mourned at missing Obama again

Of course with most of the downtown core blocked to traffic, this was the very day that we needed to: view a possible school for younger daughter way the hell over in Nepean; attend an appointment at the Civic Campus of Ottawa General to check the state of the Resident Fan Boy's shoulder which was separated the same time his head was concussed by a cyclist last November; escort younger daughter to her weekly drama lesson; and meet elder daughter's second semester teachers. This involved:

1. Being stranded in the Queensway Transitway stop, which is in the middle of bloody nowhere, when the bus scheduled in the online OC Transpo Travel Planner simply failed to materialize;
2. With ten minutes remaining until our scheduled interview at the prospective school, our frantic grabbing of a possible bus which took us all the way to the bloody Baseline station, where we frantically tried to phone a cab, only to discover we had no quarters and were offered a cell-phone by a young man who asked me for bus tickets (which I was only too happy to give) and kept chatting on while I tried to help my husband describe where we were...
3. Being fifteen minutes late for the interview;
4. Failing to use the facilities before leaving the school;
5. Tramping for twenty minutes through aforementioned ankle-deep slush in leaky boots over bridge crossing the godforsaken Queensway;
6. Which is a highway, for those of you who don't know Ottawa;
7. Catching the eternal and endless #85 bus which crawls up Carling;
8. Which deposited the Resident Fan Boy for his appointment at the hospital which was delayed for more than two hours;
9. While I stayed on the crawling bus, contemplating about a dozen firetrucks blocking Bronson Street and the bus was detoured over the MacKenzie King Bridge due to downtown being closed off to protect Barack Obama;
10. Not being able to catch the next connecting bus because I had to trek deep into the Rideau Centre to use the washroom (see #4);
11. Getting off the bus several stops early to buy bite-sized brownies for younger daughter because I always get some for her when she's on the way to drama lessons;
12. Dropping off and picking up stuff at house before climbing the slushy hill in my leaky boots to retrieve younger daughter from school and escort her to her drama lesson;
13. Learning that the Resident Fan Boy was stuck at hospital, reading him the list of elder daughter's teachers, while instructing elder daughter when and where to pick up younger daughter;
14. Getting back on the bus to race downtown to elder daughter's school where the meet-the-teacher event was scheduled to start at 4:30;
15. Realizing at 4:15 that the bus was going to be rerouted because of Obama's visit, and so abandoning the bus at the Laurier Bridge;
16. Trying to run like stink against a wall of people walking the other way who had given up on their buses.
17. Arriving at 4:31 to discover that the scheduled teacher would not be coming because of being held up in traffic.

And so on. You know you're tired when you find yourself sleepwalking in the same crosswalk in which your husband was knocked down and concussed by a cyclist three months earlier. I got home and asked elder daughter what her English teacher was doing stuck in traffic when he supposed to be at school when I'd run across the Laurier Bridge to try to meet him, she fixed me with that looks that sixteen-year-olds do so well, and said: "He lives in Chelsea, Mom. He was picking up his kids." Oh, all right...

Elder daughter, incidentally, had gone over younger daughter's spelling words with her and younger daughter got a perfect score today. And David Tennant was on TV in Blackpool. We bought the DVD last December and our local educational channel is showing it uncut this month...


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

So the day ended much better than expected, right? That's a GOOD THING. Sorry you had such a draining experience prior to that...

Jane Henry said...

I saw Obama in Ottawa (one of the rare moments when British TV mentioned Canada) and thought of you...

Sorry you had such a crap day and hoping things look up....