Still more IN HER SHOES casting news: Ken Howard is Michael Feller and Candace Azzara is Sydelle. Ken Howard was on a show called THE WHITE SHADOW, which I have promised to read up on later, and is also a graduate of Amherst College. Where they'll take anyone.

Candace Azzara was in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, but I'll have to watch it again to figure out who she was. She seems to have the right look, though. Of all the characters in IN HER SHOES, Sydelle was probably the one I could picture most easily. I know exactly how she's supposed to look, and it looks like the film people got it.

Much of the news, along with another Toni Collette interview, comes from The Philadelphia Inquirer, which, I've noticed, has quit referring to me as "former Inquirer staff writer." I'm now just "Philadelphia author." Hmm.

But I was pleased to learn that Collette was thrilled -- as I was -- with Shirley MacLaine being cast as Ella. I've started feeling very proprietary about the actors in the film. For instance, I will be strenuously rooting against Sofia Coppola at the Oscars, because wide-spread Hollywood rumor has it that the ditzy blonde karaoke-singing actress in LOST IN TRANSLATION was a jab at Cameron Diaz (or, as I am calling her in my head these days, My Cami).

You'd think a woman who turned in such a stinkbomb of a performance in The Godfather Part III -- and who existed as a punchline for years because of it -- would be a little more reluctant to rake another actress over the coals, no?

Anyhow. This is the best and smartest thing I've read about Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, and the sexism implicit in the way the media treats would-be first ladies. Personally, I like the idea of having a first lady who looks like she'd be perfectly at ease wearing rubber Vulcan ears at a Star Trek convention. Nerds of the world unite!