7.28.2008

Testing



Today I took the NCLEX.

I drove to an office complex, pictured above. It was about an hour away, and waking up at 11AM to get there on time was a real challenge (the test was at 2PM). I've fallen back into my insomniac habits, I'm afraid.

I gave up on studying about a month ago, once I realized I knew the answers to the questions I was drilling myself on. A week or so before the test I decided to flip through the questions again..and..yep..still knew the answers.

For the past two nights before the test, I spent my time staying out late and playing trombone, once with a regular band and once in a sort of open jam environment. That's been a lot of fun. I'm jamming with an exciting group of kids tomorrow with the aim of "putting something together", looking forward to that as well.

This is a regular feature of my study habits, to abandon preparation at some point and just enjoy myself for the few days leading up to a big test (or weeks, as the case may be).

While I was waiting in the holding area before starting the test, one of the other candidates was visibly upset, crying and blowing her nose often. When the receptionist asked her if she had allergies, she responded that she was -nervous about the test-. That can't be good.

Unfortunately I can't discuss the test itself (beyond the info that is freely available in the public candidate bulletin, which I covered in a previous post), since I signed some kind of non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement before testing.

75 questions. I walked out of that testing facility in under 36 minutes.

I either did really good or really not-good.

I guess we'll see in two days.

7.19.2008

Cyclic

I might have mentioned this before, but now I can illustrate. Below is the graph of my rank on the Go server I usually play on.



Notice anything unusual? Or perhaps I should say usual?

Although it's not obvious at first due to the irregularity of the graph, it appears to have a 6 month period. Peaks and Troughs are about 3 months away from each other, and the pattern repeats every six months. I should start saving screen captures of these rank graphs every year so I can have a record of how it changes over greater spans of time than one year.

7.15.2008

A festival of sails, the end of an era, in which I rock out on the trombone multiple times

I'll have more nursing related posts soon, hopefully...like as soon as I get a job! I may just wait till I pass my boards (which I'm scheduled to take in a couple weeks) before I start seriously pounding the pavement again. Those extended care facilities are starting to look mighty tempting...

This weekend was our annual street festival / fireworks display downtown. My original plan was to spend all day at an aikido seminar, swing down to the festival to play with a band, then head back to the seminar for some sake and dancing.

Fate had other plans for me this weekend, though.

A few days prior, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus came to town, with a reduced cast and truncated show.



The juggler was a lot of fun to watch, he juggled both rings and balls.



Friday afternoon (just as I was waking up), I got a call from Adam (pictured in a video below) telling me the Hempsteadys lost their substitute trombone player and asking me if I wanted to hop in. I've been wanting to play out as much as possible, so I learned the horn lines to..let's say...8 or 9 songs that night, performed with them friday night, and then again on Saturday night after the fireworks. Bye-bye aikido seminar! That's alright, though, I had a lot of fun. My regularly scheduled performance with Gone for Good went great, although I feel like I screwed up my solo.

I made up for this Sunday night, when a random person (who I've met before, just didn't remember) stopped by the oasis with a full set of drums, so I called the bassist from Welcome to Florida and the three of us jammed out all night. I got to improvise the whole time, which I think is a lot more fun. We played mostly jazz/funk.

So, the tally for the weekend was four performances with three different groups of people. Not bad for only having picked the trombone back up last month!

The best / worst / best again part of the weekend was ISL's last show. Here's a video of the end of their set:



The end of one thing is often the beginning of another, however. There's a project in the works that I'm going to get a chance to be a part of involving some of these people and others from other bands. Two words: Funeral Tangos. Lovely.

For years after I stopped playing the trombone I was kicking myself for not keeping up with it, either because of bands like the one videoed above reminding me of the level of skill that I approached in high school, or others that would have me scratching my head and saying to myself "damn, I was way better than these guys back in the day".

Well, now I'll hopefully have a chance to make some music with the people from around town I've found the most inspiring.

Enjoy the videos!

7.07.2008

absence

The state nursing job I've been after is almost within my grasp, I just have to follow up on the call I got last week some time later today. Hopefully it pans out, not working is more tiring than it sounds!

I practiced trombone with local band "gone for good" for four hours today, my lips are soooo tired. The three songs we've banged out sound tight, though, we got to demo what we've accomplished so far for some discerning ears and got excellent feedback.

We're playing at our local downtown music festival this weekend, which should be a good time. It's going to conflict with the Aikido seminar also taking place this weekend, but I should be able to find a way to shoot my musical wad and return to the farm in time for the gourmet food and flavored sake ;0

I came home from the chaos of downtown tonight to find that there's a fridge full of huge ribs and garlic battered corn. mmmmm...