Books, Looks, and Canucks

Public Domain Image from Karen’s Whimsy

My husband was able to add himself to the insurance his employers offer.  They’re required to offer him insurance, but they’re not required to make it affordable.  With just him on there, the premiums are somewhat reasonable, but if he adds me, they skyrocket, and if he adds the girls, it’s astronomical!  Fortunately, our household income is presently such that the girls are taken care of via state insurance, leaving me the only uninsured family member (well, me and the cat).

In this country, with our current income level, my children can be insured by the state and my husband can get very very very basic care through his job and I am left to hope I stay healthy.  I can get medical coverage if I want to get knocked up again, but that is a horrible reason to have another child, not to mention that it would only cover pregnancy related concerns, and they love to say things aren’t pregnancy related (such as how dare I get a whopping two UTI screenings when I was pregnant with my older daughter? Because it’s not like I’ve had a damaged bladder since I was three years old and have had frequent UTIs ever since and UTIs are bad for pregnancy or anything like that…).

I sometimes wish that I were a Canadian citizen.  Now, I’m sure, there are probably lots of reasons why I might have been unhappy to be born Canadian (freezing my tits off during long harsh winters would be one, although here lately my part of USA has been experiencing some wonderful winter weather…), but being able to go to the doctor when I’m sick without worrying about where the money was coming from is a wonderful thing.

The inability to provide myself and my family with adequate healthcare coverage at an affordable price is one of the many reasons why I am in pursuit of higher education.  When I become a Doctor of Philosophy in English, I will be at a higher earning potential.  Getting a job, is a horrible reason to spend so much time, money, and effort on higher education if it is ones only reason, but if it is one of many reasons, it is a powerful motivator.

Best case scenario, I can have that magical, mystical PhD by the end of 2013 or early in 2014.  Worst case scenario, I give up or burn out sometime in the next few years and then never go back to finish.  I want what’s behind door number one, Bob.

And as for that, I found I was in need of a confidence boost, not to mention an updated self-/public-image.  So I went to Hellmart the other day and purchased four new pairs of pants, seven new shirts, a hoodie, eye liner, lipstick, eyeshadow, and mascara.  I’m going to get up every day (or most days) and dress to the 7.5s (yeah…I don’t usually have the energy to dress to the 9s…).  I’ll have to do laundry on a regular basis because I’m going to get rid of most everything in my old wardrobe.  I’ll keep a few of the old college Ts for house-lounging and some of the pants and nicer shirts actually still fit me decently, but the point is to have a wardrobe that represents me as a business professional, not a slobby slacker.

Of course, just looking good and feeling good isn’t going to get me through the next few years of education and earn me that degree because a) I’m not the type to sleep my way to the top, b) no amount of makeup and new clothes is going to turn me into a person whose looks are currency, and c) one cannot learn by standing around looking absolutely adorable.

In order to get me the grades I’ll need to get the degrees I want, I’ll have to do something I honestly have never been very diligent about: hit the books.  No, I don’t mean like those guys with awesome 空手 skills.  I mean I’ll have to read and study and study and read and so forth and so on until I’ve stuffed my brain of knowledge so fully the Thanksgiving Turkey feels slighted by comparison.

But it’s not enough just to read the books I am assigned.  A brain needs exercise on a daily basis.  I once read for both recreation and education.  I once read everything in sight.

I once read.

Now…I spend a ridiculous amount of time in the clutches of technology.  I read sometimes when technology has failed me or I’ve found no other way to avoid reading, such as when a college assignment makes reading an absolute necessity, and then I’ll read the book or article or website without fervor and I’ll retain the knowledge for the exact length of time it takes to write an epic essay or pass a quiz or test on the subject matter.

When I decided to start marketing my writing, one of the things I signed up to do was the occasional book review from  The site is a great service for bloggers to get books to read, which in and of itself is an enriching experience, as the site says, “Great books are contagious.”  But I need to read even more often.  The lit course I’m taking este semestre requires that I read seven novels.  I do plan to put up book reviews of those seven novels, and quite possibly also of the other textbooks for my other two graduate courses.  A few of my friends have recently bragged and spewed praise about electronic reading devices.

I haven’t the funds to purchase such a device, but Amazon’s Kindle store is an amazing thing.  You can download a free app from to your computer to read Kindle/eBooks on your desktop or laptop.  There are also apps for smartphones, iPads (and similar devices), and various other electronic devices.  If you have several different electronic devices with the Kindle reader app, they’ll autosync, so you always have all of your books and never lose your “page.”  You can purchase books for your device or take advantage of free books.

I downloaded the app to my new laptop and to my smart phone because everywhere I go I’ll have one or both.  So far, I’ve only loaded it with eight eBooks from the Kindle store, in addition to the three books that came with the app.  Doing this gave me a great idea.  In addition to reviewing my books and my grad school textbooks, I could review eBooks through my Kindle apps.  I know it will take me a while to read through the 11 eBooks I already have queued up.  I am getting excited about my future even if my present isn’t presently presenting me with everything I’d like (such as healthcare…).

Reading Rainbow–Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high. Take a look. It’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow.

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3 thoughts on “Books, Looks, and Canucks

  1. Actually… there is something you can get… Let me find the link *insert waiting music here while I google it again* ok, there’s but that wasn’t the one I found before… *looks again* — bah I can’t find what I was looking for but maybe those help?

  2. Actually… there is something you can get… Let me find the link *insert waiting music here while I google it again* ok, there’s but that wasn’t the one I found before… *looks again* — bah I can’t find what I was looking for but maybe those help?

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