Oh, who's getting the boot from AMERICAN IDOL? I saw the teaser commercial last night, and I've been obsessing ever since. Is it Jim? Could it be? Am I that lucky? Is it God's way to compensating me for the fact that it's about 100 degrees here in Philadelphia, and that, even as we speak, old people are boiling to death like so many superannuated stewed tomatoes?

Probably not. (Although any heat wave reminds me of one of my all-time favorite headlines from The Onion -- "If the Heat Doesn't Kill the Elderly, I Will.")

I've been meaning to write about the coolest part of the film deal for IN HER SHOES. First, the deal was done by my brother, Jake, who's moved to the Left Coast and works for a talent management and production company called BenderSpink. For weeks, we were in constant contact, until the deal finally went down, smack dab in the middle of my first meal at Canyon Ranch.

I was sitting in the dining hall when my cell phone started ringing -- embarrassing enough, because you're not supposed to talk on cell phones, as it diminishes the relaxing atmospshere, and also because my phone's ring tone is "Get Ur Freak On."

I picked it up and whispered "hello." Jake told me we had an offer, and walked me through the specifics. I told him it sounded just fine.

"So I should close it?" he asked.

"Sure," I said.

"Say it," he instructed.

"Close it," I murmured.

"Louder!" he said.

I took a deep breath, ignoring the disapproval of my fellow spa-sters, and mustered my best impression of a Hollywood big shot. "CLOSE IT!"

Heh. My one would-be mogul moment.

So Adam and I are off to Vermont for the weekend. Wendell will be staying at his country home in Connecticut, as fireworks cause him to hide, trembling, behind the toilet tank (I think sometimes he perceives the noise as the start of war against the dogs...and, as you might imagine, there are fireworks aplenty in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July).

If you're looking for something to read, I cannot say enough about THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold, which lives up to all its hype and then some. And if you're worried that the New York Times has fallen off its piece-a-week pace on Gary Shteyngart, author of THE RUSSIAN DEBUTANTE'S HANDBOOK, fear not.

Jen