Back, but drained

So there I was at the train station, waiting for a bus.

That’s right. My train was four hours late, so they let me hop an Amtrak bus (!!) instead. The ride was rather nondescript (I mostly read the book I had brought along, Dreamcatcher); upon arriving at Portland, I elected to forget the local bus system and just hike to my hotel.

If you ever want to write a fish-out-of-water story, you might consider the case of me inside a Hilton. You see, my preferred dress involves jeans and a polo shirt; the average Hilton guest has a friggin’ suit on, and the hotel itself tries to create a suit-worthy ambiance. Luckily for me, I didn’t care—I was exactly one block away from the test, and one block away from both Subway and McDonald’s. Thus the Hilton put the purpose of my trip, and the sustenance to keep me going, in easy reach. For breakfast I had a McGriddle, which was actually quite tasty.

Lately, I understand, McDonald’s has been trying to give itself a higher-class image. Until visiting the Portland McDonald’s, I laughed at the thought; my local McDonald’s looks like a giant kiddy structure, and the food was meh at best. The newer structure in Portland was quite nice, and did look classier; even the people (both employees and customers) seemed more cheerful. With all that in addition to McGriddles and salads and whatnot, McDonald’s really does look like it could undergo the transformation it wants.

The test itself was much like the practice exams I took; my best-guess estimate for my score, right now, would be 32/40, with however many of the other eight I happen to guess correctly as icing. Though I’m sworn to secrecy about the contents of the exam (or, rather, they’ll beat me severely if they find out I talked), I can say that my darkest hour was realizing I didn’t know a formula I should know—and my greatest triumph was deriving that formula from the stuff I did know.

After the exam I hiked back to the train station, where I learned my train was a mere hour late, this time. The trip itself was again quiet (although something akin to a plane trip with constant turbulence). As you might surmise from this post—though definitely not from the long gap between this and my previous post—I made it back in one piece.

The delay in posting is due to the eXXtreme fatigue I’ve felt ever since returning from Portland. I’ve been plagued by a constant sense of being tired for the last month or so, and the stress of the trip and the exam just made things that much worse for me. Yesterday I was woken up to walk Yoshi (everyone else was occupied, and he had to go); today Calliope decided to do an all-out assault on my door from 5–6 am. Both days left me with less sleep than I really needed, and I wound up requiring Mountain Dew to accomplish the minimal amount of work expected from me. Today I took a nap in the late morning, and it managed to make me barely functional—a nice improvement over my earlier status of completely useless.

I did brighten up for one moment, yesterday, when I realized that Marin has a copy of Final Fantasy X-2 that I can now play without guilt. I also have manga, anime, dancing, Flash programming, video editing, practicing photography, disc golf (once Brian returns from Iowa), among other things, on my agenda. If I ever get my energy back, I’m going to enjoy the heck out of life right now.


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