Some days, I'm just very grateful to be able to go out and be calmed down by our front yard ... I thought that every letter of recommendation was due by October 1st - at least, it felt like that at the end of September. Turns out I was wrong - they all seem - at least, all the rest of them - to be due on October 23rd. Memo to everyone out there - don't assume that your letter writers are cheerful and happy at writing letters at - oh, let's say a week's notice. That especially applies to people who have to ask their department chair for letters. You know - we don't just, automatically, write "x is a wonderful person - please give him/her lots of money - they have a fully worthwhile project and we all love them to bits in the department and they totally deserve it." We - er - write letters that suggest that we have met you, and talked with you, and read some of your work, and and and ... And yes, if I sound churlish on a moonlit Saturday night in LA, so be it.