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Showing posts from January, 2008

BACK OFF, buddy

So yet another armed services guy is on the phone with my kid.

This time I am not going to yell "he's got asthma" in the background like I did when the Marine called a couple of months ago. That just embarrasses the kid. But this guy has been pumping my boy with questions about his post-high school plans for five minutes--I can tell he's an expert at getting kids to talk. Andrew's said more about his future interests than I've heard for months. And I'm holding back the scream of HANG UP, DAMMIT.

Oh. The kid did finally politely get off the phone, with something along the lines of sorry, not interested.

Me: why didn't you just say no thank you and hang up?
Kid: I don't want to be rude. He's an army rep I see around the school.
Me: He visits?
Kid: He's a nice guy. Plus I knew it would drive you crazy, so I'm totally okay with talking to him.

off script

Lots of OMIGOD he's so brave posts because he doesn't let the conversation go the way it's obviously supposed to, but I say that's not the point. Montel Williams, who has a habit of getting Self Righteous, doesn't get pissy for once because he knows he's not the story. That's what I like. Pay attention to his words, not him.

Thursday Thirteen--Amie Stuart

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Sometimes I have ebook writers for my Thursday Thirteen. Sometimes I feature NYC names. Today I have both in one package.

Amie's a hot writer and has books with Black Lace and Liquid Silver. She has four books with Kensington Aphrodesia. Only one is out so far--along with novella in an anthology.

I admit it, I haven't read her books. But I've read enough snippets and I've read her blog and know enough about her writing to push her stuff onto my TBR pile. That counts eh? OH look, she's got some a free read, too. (Uh oh. Curse you PBW, the tbr pile is not happy.)

This picture of Amie was taken during RT after major partying. Not her fault that she has that Laura Bush glazed eyeballs thing going on.

Thirteen things about Amie Stuart by Amie S, also known as Celia:


1. I won't use a Microsoft wireless keyboard because I can't stand the way the keys feel. Matter of fact, I can't even type if I have fingernails because they're so strong. It doesn't hurt bu…

trivial pursuit du jour

Hair!

I'm going to get it all chopped off. 28 inches at least, probably saved for some kind of hair donation thingy. So what to do after that? A buzz cut? Curly locks/ Hair coloring and perms? Red? Yellow? Black? I've never done any hair dying and this will be a boredom coloring. I can live with my six or seven grey hairs--they've only recently shown up and are still kind of interesting--but the rest of the brown stuff is dull and boring.

Around here nearly every last West Hartford mom goes for subtle blonde highlights. Tasteful and chic. Should I give in, like Claudia has been begging me to do?** Or maybe a nice jet black with violent violet highlights is the answer. I'm tempted to make a statement but I'm not sure what hair actually says. I could get the pats logo shaved into the side of my head like the kid down the street. No doubt what he's trying to say.

The last time I got a major chop job, maybe ten years ago? I had a firm jawline. Not so much now. That…

ebooks don't die

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Learning Charity just got a cool button, too. <--That's a link to the review. The novella's been out almost two years and still gets reviewed now and then. Ebooks do make for a different sort of world what with them books not going out of print. I like it.
A check-mark goes in the credit column for ebooks.**

UPDATE: and yowza, would you look at that, Learning Charity just got another review. Interesting!

I betcha part of the reason a review shows up two years later is the ebook world's terrifying backlist--there are dozens and dozens of new releases every week.
I'd say that's a mark in the debit column for ebooks.**

________________________

**This list I'm drawing up ( courtesy of Bertie Wooster) is strictly from the writer's POV.

Hot Dudes

Via Teresa Bodwell:
Vote for your favorite Austen man. Pretty fun way to advertise the shows. Includes dating profiles of Jane Austen's guys. I picked the best toady** evah! Bcause...um.... I could.
_________

**Mr. Collins, duh== although Mr. Thorpe was tempting. The actor is way too handsome to really be Mr. Thorpe.

look what we got

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Who's Your Daddy got this from Romance Junkies. I don't think the actual review's up yet, so no link. Yet. Should say "OUR book rated five blue ribbons" because it's me, Lyn and Alexis. I hope RJ doesn't mind me putting up a bit of the review:
Each story is unique, witty and told with enough heat and emotional tone to keep readers engrossed in the pages.Kudos ladies, WHO’S YOUR DADDY? is an insightful thought-provoking read and a wonderful book to add to your keeper file.

SBD, free read (with free whine.)

jeezuz, I'm sick of panic attacks. What a pain in the ass they are. Due to some fine biology (and I think not so much something nasty in the woodshed) I'm getting a minimum of one a day which means a lot of my time is spent observing the panic rise and fall blah blah blah. No point in attempting to do anything but hang out in the bathroom or run on a treadmill. I can't work or read because any thinking is polluted. Except I can listen to PG Wodehouse. He's my man about now..... /end whine, I hope.

So Scott Adams who's funny and insufferable, but mostly funny, goes on about his free book and how lots of people read it, but that the truth is, giving it away didn't help him sell his other books. Anyway, from a promo marketing point of view, his free book experiment thingie didn't work. He has an MBA so he knows these things. Or maybe it's some kind of computer science degree and I'm wrong about the MBA.

I'm finding is that many of the free books …

hey look at this!

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Bettie Sharpe rocks ....
and not just because she's a great writer, an actual FNV. She made a very cool button for Dean who won a contest here.

It's such a cool button that it makes me want to hold another contest. February, maybe
and
Maybe I'll make it a title / back cover copy contest because I love those things and they're a great way to practice writing:
1. blurbs
2. query letters
3. sucknopses. (in which you try to keep a perky style while giving away key plot points)

Why should I care about you , my fellow rioters getting some practice with these skill sets? Because Bettie did my button as part of a play it forward thing so now I'm tagged it. She refuses socks and says I should continue to support "wobbly baby deer writers" (I love that phrase)

Attention: any baby deer in search of real guidance should head over to PBW. Also learn to hold very still so you blend into the landscape. (that's not so much for the rioters as for any real bambis who might…

in which I figure out it will never work

Oh, damn.

This phrase at tumperkin's place"fierce authors" caught my eye.

It's a great phrase and I nodded along and I agree. Impassioned, fierce. That's what readers want. That booming back-beat sort of music--nothing wispy--directed and intense that moves your belly. Stories with boiling hot action, anger, hunger...intensity. I'm reading those books and I can feel that word fierce in everything, from the plots, characters to word choices.

That isn't me or my writing. At my very best, I approach EF Benson's pace.

There are only so many slots for the wispy stuff. Please, fate, don't make me have to go back to writing magazine articles again. I really like writing fiction.

Today's post

I'm somewhere else again, today, blogging about Red Haired Heroine Remarks (aka RHHR, code for WTF? comments about stories.)

Part of my wroth week series.

Heh. I forgot about it being wroth week. Any suggestions for next week's sin? Maybe greed and it'll be a 3000 calorie chocolate recipe a day.

Sloth is nice ...mmmm. Naptime. That will be a week with no entries.

Some day I might try for a blog like PBW, with useful facts and ideas. Or maybe not.

paranoid? me?

A visit from the SEC?

I never check my stats but for some reason (a very specific reason = really bad bit of writing I need to change and am avoiding), I did tonight. And someone from the SEC spent more than ten minutes looking at four pages.

Why would anyone from the Securities and Exchange spend a single second here?

The socks? Are they interfering with our economy?

Because I don't sell a lot of those guys. Nope. And I don't make a cent on them, either. And the ladies don't make more than a couple hundred at most. Even someone from the IRS would have nothing to complain about, nosirree.

Also hello to the reader from Finland.

UPDATE:boy two thinks I should reassure my reading public that I am not attempting to smuggle narcotics in the socks. For some reason he thinks that the SEC might be worried about that. I think we're both not clear about what that particular government agency does.

I know all about the census bureau and the bureau of standards--that's where my b…

Thursday Thirteen--pairs of socks (booties, actually) and stuff

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See entry below. See pretty, pretty socks. And rugs. (which aren't tough enough for plain floors). And bags.

These are the same batch seen from two different angles.

Buy socks from me.

Thank you.

Here're some pots. They aren't for sale, but I like them and the socks are on the floor next to them so why not?

My sister made all but one brown cup and casserole and the stuff up on the far upper left. Also the big metal lid to a wok--> not hers.

OH. damn

So I've been selling socks for my ladies for five years. You'd think by now we'd have the basic communication down. Words like big, little. Yes, we manage. And they may have never learned the English words for colors but I can fake enough Bosnian for colors so we get by.

But the word CUFF is still not there.

I had an internet order from a wonderful person and the only thing she wanted was 24 pairs of CUFFED socks. Not booties, socks. Socks with CUFFS as show on that page I linked to above. Simple, eh?

I made the mistake of trying to do this over the phone instead of drawing little pictures....silly silly silly Kate. Five years (actually ten) of miscommunication should have taught me something.

I went to pick up my order to ship it off just now.

24 pairs of booties.

So. Anyone want to buy a pair of booties? $12 a pair plus shipping?** Also, because I felt so bad, I picked up a couple of rugs and some bags. I haven't paid for any of it yet, but eventually all these damn s…

Today's post

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is over at Samhain.

It's all about authors stealing teh wacky.

These random pictures don't make sense unless you go read that. Yikes, I look bad in that picture of me hugging Esther (I was snorfling, the sniffling/laughing one does on these occasions).

I didn't even put in the part where my husband-to-be went jogging with his sister hours before our wedding and got lost in Rock Creek Park. Surely someone's written that one into a rom-com?

And, yes, if I were to do it again, I wouldn't wear that frou-frou dress. The hair was bad enough. Gah.

SBD--grammar ??? edition

A few questions.

1. what's it called when a book is in first person and second person? Does it have a name? FSPPOV (First Second Pornographic POV)?
example:you greet me at the door, your double-d breasts jiggling with excitement.

2. When you make grammar mistakes on purpose because you don't want to sound elitist (the "whom" issue) is it really a mistake? Is there a name for that kind of error, other than dialect?

3. If you're consistent about a mistake throughout a book. a lot spelled alot for instance, can it be argued that it's not a mistake but rather a stylistic choice?

4. What kind of a bad comic strip name is General Butt Naked? Did the guy really answer to it? He's now an evangelical type, but they can still be kind of nasty. Maybe he no longer lops off the thumbs of anyone who calls him that to his face. Seriously, is there an offfical title for names that are stupid jokes? Ima Hogg-ian humor?

Happy MLK day. We're going to go read Letter from a Bi…

the seven things meme

Bettie Sharpe (who will be famous any minute) gave this one to me.

1. I worry about yelling at my kids because I grew up with a shouter parent. So every time I start, I turn it into a humorous event--I go over the top, so all involved end up laughing. ha. ha. Discipline around here sucks. The "wait until your father gets home" thing I swore would never happen, happens. He doesn't shout. He just looks at the kids with thin lips and they crumple. If necessary he speaks to them in a low, tense voice. (and sometimes I wonder if maybe shouting isn't better.)

2. I miss the denim/corduroy jacket I lost eight years ago--actually I'm pretty certain it was stolen. Every time I go into a store, I look for a version of it. I don't think I'd buy one, but I still look. Also I look for the cutest pair of baby shoes and I most definitely won't be buying them.

3. When I was 14, I went to Denmark with one of those exchange programs (The Experiment, it was called. Heh. B…

oh for god's sake

I really do have an unhealthy and rather BORING obsession about not recommending friends' books.

Screw it.

I liked Sam's book. I mean Sam Winston's book Zombie Jack. It was fun and fluffy (which is my idea of a good time) and I want to read more in that funky, MIB world she's built. Okay? Fine.

And now I have to go back to the eight RITA books.

Must....resist......urge....to ...... pimp......friends.....

I really hate that. And I know you know what I mean because it's all over the interwebs: vizzz The cliquey types who only talk about how brilliant their friends are. They can't Admire Themselves, because that would look seriously conceited. No looking in the mirror and admiring how gorgeous their hair and eyes are, but if someone else, one of their good, mutual admiration society friends, happens to mention it, okay. And they also associate with just the prettiest, best people. Their BFF are the best writers.

I've always tried to avoid books by people I know just because of that. And the whole quid pro quo thing. The reviews over at Amazon that mention lists of friends' titles ....no, I mean it. Don't get me started because, hey, it's wroth week here at Casa Kate.

But can I help it if I happen to know a lot of people who write good books?

A couple of days ago, I couldn't restrain my glee when I saw that Dee and Sharpe had books out. And listen, I didn't …

fun stuff

How to be romantic.
Includes all the standards
Here's Chocolate:
Chocolates are not only romantic, they're complimentary. When you give a box of chocolates to your beloved, it says, "You could pig out on this tub of lard and bloat out to three tons, but you'd still be the apple of my eye." It doesn't matter if it's true -- it's the message that counts. But the real reason to give your loved one chocolates is because any loved one worth her salt will turn right around and offer you some. It's a win-win no matter how you look at it. Buy her a red one shaped like a heart, and you're in like Flynn.

Oh, so many great links over there. Go back the main site and you'll lose at least an hour's work looking around--guaranteed or your money back!! [found by way of SBTB]

ranting about THAT again? the "get a life" edition.

Forget envy. For the week ahead, the featured sin will be wroth, which is a wonderful word. Wrath is pretty, wroth is just elegant and a good old word, too. Love the writhing factor.

From Merriam-Webster
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wrāth; akin to Old High German reid twisted, Old English wrīthan to writhe
Date: before 12th century: intensely angry : highly incensed : wrathful

WROTH entry number one:

Do you know what I bloody HATE? Writing contests, as in contests for writers. I already mentioned the fact that I entered the Suzannah (opened to pubs!) and got rotten scores, including 45 out of 115. That means that the judge gave me many, many, many ones. She only gave me two fives and both of those were for having a neat manuscript. The rest? Mostly ones (on a scale of 1-5) with a few 2s.

Low scores don't set off the wrath. Yo, I think no one gave me over 78 for either of the two manuscripts I entered--no, I really don't know what I was thinking, either--and the remark…

Thursday Thirteen--things about SAM WINSTON

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I'llbe back in a bit to post pictures and whatnot. Got Things to Do first. Done

Thirteen Things You'd Never Guess About Sam (Dude. I might have guessed #1, except the part about Jimmy Conners.)
by Sam Winston...who lives in an elegant house in France, which doesn't seem fair to the rest of us, but I don't see her feeling bad about it.

1) She can understand pig Latin, so watch what you're saying in front of her. One night, during a dinner, Jimmy Conners was talking in pig Latin to his friend, and they were talking about the girl sitting in front of them. But instead of letting them incriminate themselves like any smart cookie would have done, she stopped them right away with a glare and a 'Ithaguykithaganithagundithastandyithagoo." She also added "Jithagerk", which is why she's probably not married to a tennis pro now and looking like a sun-wrinkled prune.

2) She can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, and once fell asleep during a photo shoot - the p…

If I'm going to pimp.

first,it would be nice if I didn't hit send before I'd written the damn thing.
second,I should pimp La Summer.

On the right side, there's a long list of books--a really long-ass one. One of hers is there. Yay, Summer!

Only here's what I don't get--Summer won some reviewer ecataromance prize a while back but when I search her name at that site, there's no mention of it there. I know I didn't dream it, I have the "U IZ A WEINRE" button. Or I did at some point. Uh oh.

I get email!

question from a blog reader/pal:
Don't you get tired of pimping the same group of writers over and over?

answer:
not really!

Remember, keep the cards and letters coming.

pimping

Bonnie Dee and Bettie Sharpe both have books out at Samhain this week.

Here's how good those two are:

When I pick up one of their books (or really, my laptop, since we're talking ebooks) I do NOT have the following response (stolen from ferfe's blog)
“I’m in a lonely, angry, bitter place.” ~ Anthony Bourdain upon being presented with fries at a restaurant that he deemed better than the fries he serves at his Restaurant in NY.

When I read their books, professional envy doesn't exist -- because I get too caught up in the story.

Once I'm done reading, all bets are off, though.

Fry and Laurie

Facts so often get in the way of a good moral education (this was produced before creationism became all the rage over here...) ah, the things they teach in schools these days.
Stolen from some lefty blog or another. Atrios, I think. Aren't F and L young and adorable?

SBD---reinventing Kate and Kissing

Today is All Kate All the Time except here. I've posted two unrelated entries and neither of them at my own blog. No, here we have lots of snow.

So go read about tangled, dancing, mating tongues at total Ebound (I'd say it qualifies as a real SBD)

And

Enter a contest to invent my next name and bio at Bam's. Win a book from Summer (and Lyn and Alexis)

You will note those aren't suggestions. If I wasn't lying in bed, watching the snow fall and listening to the little whimpers of happiness from my children, I'd look up the grammar on that. Interlocutovable or something--the official structure of an order. Whatever it's called when you don't leave someone a choice.

If I don't get enough comments, I'll step up to threats. You've been warned.

It's fine if you get zero comments at the home (blog), but when you go out in public, all dressed up, you want to look as good as possible and that means people not ignoring you. Or so I hear.

notes to self

possible blog topics for Bam.Ten A Day! How to write and edit at least ten pages every day (remember to point out not the same ten pages)Organizing! An essential for every writer! (???:hypocrisy as heinous a mortal crime for writers as plagiarism?)Exercise! The writer must maintain peak physical health. Healthy body, healthy imagination.[note to self: kids to remove clothes piled on treadmill, push 300 lb object blocking family room into back corner ??? husband: too early to consider freecycle?]Jump Start That Start! Write a winning beginning.
Positive Attitude! A must.later….The Joy of Being Published! There is some joy, really. Make list ...??? other pubbed.Rejection isn’t Always Bad News! Read between lines of the rejection letter.The Sagging Middle. Cut the fat
Beating the procrastinating bug!later….Learn to Love those Rejections! What You Can Learn from a Rejection Letter, or two or ... (?? self: must one write thank you notes to rejectors?).Writer's Block. doing anything but w…

who's right? who's wrong?

when it comes to the Cassie Edwards Event:**
Nora's right. Jenny's right. Selah's right. And, of course, Shannon's right. And you can go find them on your own because by god, I don't have time to link. I have to work. I spent too much time babbling pontificating at Selah's

Speaking of taking up space in other people's blogs. I'm supposed to guest blog at Bam's place on Monday. Those kinds of bloggingses at other places are sort of a balancing act of promo and informative. You don't want to look as self absorbed as usual (at a personal blog like this, self absorbed is the name of the game) on the other hand, isn't the point to sell books? Maybe? What is the point?

How do I talk all about my writing without talking about me, me, me or my books? What would you write about in such a post? I'll give away a copy of the new novella (actually the whole anthology.) I could write all about giving away books.

** updated to add, the boy is right too: Wh…

Thursday Thirteen--tangible manifestations of love

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No authors lately. They're standing me up, the bassets. I'm haunting Diane Farr but until I nab someone, here's a different Thursday Thirteen...13 physical manifestations of love.

1. first and foremost (along with an explanation of what the hell I'm talking about): J's bathrobe. The night my father died, we all gathered around his body to say adios. When it was time to leave, I discovered that I couldn't drive. My brother drove my car and me to his house. I stayed there, awake all night, throwing up and watching movies. My sister in law loaned me a bathrobe. I think it was blue.

All I truly recall is that the bathrobe was warm and soft and it held me all night long. And slightly delirious with panic and/or grief or whatever, I thought this is love. A bit of cloth wrapped around me is love. God is love, therefore this bathrobe is God.

It was the closest I'd come to religion for a long time. But that sensation lingers now and then. When I look at some objects, I…

holy crap

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This laptop has a built in camera. Who knew?

if I get bored later, I might brush my hair or take off a few layers and try again. I'm wearing three shirts and a sweater because it might be warm outside but it's flipping 50 degrees in this house.
I stink at first lines and at back copy, so of course I always look for good ones so I can feel...what's the opposite of schadenfreude? Schadenangst? Schadensorge? Envy?

Over at her myspace journal Amie Stuart's posted the first line of her WIP:To his friends and family, he was Will; to everyone else, he was God, as in "Please God, don't kill me."I read it and wonder, hey, is plagiarism so bad? Will anyone notice if I steal it? I'd change it a bit.

hair products III

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I found a product that's made my hair stronger. After stalling out about mid-butt, my hair is even growing longer again.

My hair is shinier and less frizzy than it's ever been and I'm shedding a lot less and I'm convinced this conditioner is why.

So what? you ask. What's the big deal? Or if you're Beth, maybe you're thinking hey, this could be good.

And for you bored people, it's not like I'm obsessed with hair products, okay? I think it comes up maybe once a year. This isn't just about the hair, though.

Because also--and this might not be a coincidence--I have had many cravings for oatmeal. Mmm Steelcut, flake. Give me oats. You can ask Charli--we had a discussion about it, even.

I bought the stuff from the local pet store because my neighbor Judy uses it for IDS (itchy dog syndrome). I thought damn, Roger her Pup's not equine, but it sure does make the his coat look good.

Really good and it doesn't smell bad either. And it did fine things f…

meanwhile, over at the real bitches

the dirty word....plagiarism. And the worst kind--the "can't be bothered" lazy sort.

SBD--promo, fromo, gromo, tromo, promo

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Summer has a new release today.

This is the hawt infertile lurve story. Probably the only smut story with an infertility theme out there. I really like this story I wrote because....ummm. I do.

Direct Deposit is an e-novella in an e-anthology called Who's Your Daddy with Summer, Lyn Cash and Alexis Fleming. I love Lyn's take on the conversation that got this started. It's not so far off the mark, only there were more rioters early on.

I think her blog entry is way more fun than this particular SBD which is in dire need of some cheerleader smilies or maybe more and better coffee (new year's resolution: cut back on the coffee. So far, bleargh). Rah, Rah Rioting!

Here's yet another link to the anthology.
AND HERE is my SBD for the day: Go on, buy our book.

Complain to Lyn if you hate it; write to me if you love it.

Back to some usual bloggage. . . Ember's done

It's safe to go over to Bam's place and start the book because you can get the whole thing read and not have to wait and wait and ... PHEW.
Thanks, Bettie.

thanks guys

I was taken aback by how much it hurt because Cathy hasn't been part of my daily life for years. I felt sort of like a fraud in a way when her death is referred to as "my loss" ....until I started thinking about how silly it is to get possessive about loss. If portions of grief were possessions, nine tenths of that loss would belong to Christian and people like Hildegunde. I'd be doled out a minuscule share.

Anyway, beyond that silliness, I can only imagine how people who saw her ever day and took care of her feel now.. Probably pretty exhausted and kind of blessedly numb for now--I remember that.

nearly back only slightly morbid

jeeebus, I forgot how much like a vacuum grieving is, sucking up everything in its path. My friend had been sick a long time so I thought I'd done that pre-death grieving thing. But Cathy was too much like herself. Funny, cranky, stylish...just very Cathy.

When my mother was old and I was driving her to a funeral I asked So does it get any easier? Do you get used to your friends dying?

She said no, it gets worse. Each new death brings up all the others.

I haven't found that to be entirely true except that one similar death recalls others--so when Mom died, it reminded me of Dad's death. I think the answer to avoiding this grief thing is to either have very, very large groups of friends, or keep all of your friends and relations in separate compartments, never let them meet each other--and don't let them cross busy streets or breathe foul air. It helps to make sure they're all much younger and healthier than you, too.

Or maybe the answer is to only have online friends.…
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How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead read in a fruity British accent a la Lucky Jim

goodbye cathy

I love you, and should have said it more often. Always say it more often.

play time--what's YOUR slogan?

Stop. Go. Kate Rothwell.Enter a word for your own slogan: Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more kate rothwell slogans.
The boy is done with the college applications. Now I'm doing financial aid applications. = Sucks.