Does March Madness bring to mind college admissions instead of NCAA showdowns? Are you sick and tired of the status-mongering of college admission that brings $150-an-hour SAT test prep? Oh, and did you know there are more than 10 colleges in the United States worth applying to?

Books have been my constant companions for as long as I have memories. Here's who I've been hanging out with lately...

I am loving the blog HEY NATALIE JEAN these days! It is a sweet peek into the life of a mom and her toddler. I am endlessly nostalgic about motherhood. For several years, I was obsessed with A Baby Story on the Discovery Channel.

Sir Ian MacKellen and Cookie Monster recently explored the concept of delayed gratification on Sesame Street. But it's not the first time Cookie Monster has taken part in his own version of the Marshmallow Experiment. He's been talking delayed gratification for quite a few years.

I'm talking early decisions, the bill of goods that is the "perfect school" and how to trash talk in the face of rejection over at TeenLife in Dealing with Early Decision Rejection. You can read the entire piece here.

It's Joan Didion's birthday today -- December 5th.Mildly obsessed with Joan Didion for many years, you can see some ofher genius in this tribute:  Because it's Joan Didion's birthday, here are some of her very best quotes. It doesn't really do her justice, but it's a start. 

Between 1968 and 1974, more than 600 students at Bing Nursery School in Palo Alto, Calif., took part in the "marshmallow test," one of the most famous studies in psychology. The "test" was the brainchild of psychologist Walter Mischel, then of Stanford University, who set out to understand how children develop the ability to delay gratification, a critical skill for success in life.

On Aug. 18, 2004, Sukey Forbes' middle child woke not feeling well. Forbes sent her two siblings off to camp and kept 6-year-old Charlotte home. They made cinnamon toast and put each other's hair up in pigtails. A few hours later, in the emergency room of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Charlotte was dead, having succumbed to a high fever related to a rare genetic disorder.

You know how you don’t really remember the pain of childbirth? You won’t remember the stress of the college application process once it’s over, either. Honestly. Though just as we continue to share the blow-by-blow of our delivery room action as we bond with other mothers, we find ourselves trading stories of the trials and triumphs of the college application process, too.