Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 403 - "Take One Step Forward"

I just registered for the GRE.  After saving for a couple of months, I'm hopefully one step closer to getting into graduate school.

November 19, 2010, is the big day - GRE day!

I've already taken the day off from work since my test is scheduled at 12:30, I'm looking for test prep materials, and I'm excited and a little bit nervous.  I know that, with a little brushing up, I'll be fine when it comes to the verbal reasoning and the writing sections, it's the quantitative reasoning (math) section that worries me.  I haven't had a math class in 4 1/2 years, and even then I wimped out and took the easiest math class possible.  It's not that I stink at math - on the contrary, I can be really good at it when I want to be - but the fact that I haven't had math in such a long time that worries me.

By the way, if anyone knows of free GRE prep resources, especially online, send them my way please!

I just keep telling myself that I need to take baby steps.  First step, register for GRE.  Next step: finish those applications.

One step forward.  Hopefully I won't have to worry about any steps backwards.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 396 - "A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down"

What an appropriate day to share this. 

I have a killer cold.  Headache, stuffy nose, fatigue - if it's an ailment from the collar bone up, it's wreaking havoc on me and my usual good mood.

However, I, along with millions of uninsured 18 to 26 year olds across the United States, have to be carried on our parents' health insurance again as of today.  Those of us who are employed but don't receive insurance as a job benefit?  We can go see the doctor again.  All of the college students who aren't carried on insurance policies besides those offered by the college or university?  Well, they no longer have to worry about falling down steps and spraining an ankle. 

Great day to come down with a cold, right?

Granted, I still have to re-enroll with the insurance company and my dad has to get the paperwork from his boss (who is in a similar situation) and I have to wait until the enrollment period begins at the first of the year, but it gives me peace of mind that I will have health insurance that is actually worth something shortly.  We no longer have to live vicariously with the threat of thousands of dollars of medical bills if we get hurt and we don't carry health insurance.  We no longer have to suffer without flu shots, regular check ups, and emergency room visits when we get in car accidents.

For me?  It means that I can go to the doctor and get medicine that actually works when I have a cold instead of going through box after box of over the counter cold medicine that may or may not work.  It also means that I can have this bump on my shoulder, which I'm pretty sure is a bug bite gone wrong, looked at and hopefully removed.

But more importantly, I don't have to worry about getting seriously hurt in a car accident and not having insurance to cover the medical expenses.  I'll no longer have to worry if I get hurt at work or in the yard and stay at home to nurse myself back to health because I can't afford the costs of emergency care.  My mind, and my health, is now at ease knowing that I can actually now afford to see the doctor if I need to - once I find a doctor, that is.

Needless to say, knowing that someone has my back (for the cost of a co-pay) makes me feel much better than this generic Sudafed does.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 379 - "Bad Boys, What You Gonna Do When They Come for You?"

Why, hello again.

I've spent my entire holiday weekend busting plagarizers - how was yours?

Anyway, another writer at Suite101discovered a site called, which was taking articles and copyrighted work from other websites, reframing them on their website, and altering the Google Adsense code so that they got the profit from ad clicks instead of the people who, oh you know, actually host the material and own the copyrights.

I'm just steamed.  I never really had to deal with this before I became a feature writer, and in less than two months I've had two cases of plagarism.  Granted, it's the risk I take by putting my work into the public domain for anyone and everyone to see, but don't people respect copyrights anymore?  What happened to creating original work and competing with one another to be the best?  Writing market fundamentals, anyone? 

Buehler?  Buehler?  Buehler? 

After all of this emailing unknown web hosts who don't wish to be found, filing DMCA complaints with Google, and hoping that lightning hits these people, I could use a good glass of wine.  Or a very stiff drink and a good long nap. 

Dante should've created a separate circle of hell for those who infringe on someone else's copyrights and make them suffer with eternal paper cuts or carpal tunnel syndrome, depending upon how they stole the material.