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The In-Crowd Steps Out

Laurie David and Sheryl Crow heated up the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, but weren't spotted at one of three after-parties.
Laurie David and Sheryl Crow heated up the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, but weren't spotted at one of three after-parties. (By James M. Thresher -- The Washington Post)

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We chat up Kwan, who reports that during dinner she gabbed with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about how hard it is to find the right ice skates. Naturally. What else would they discuss? She says she told Rice "that I would get her a pair of skates and fit her."

Valerie Bertinelli is in a corner sitting on some stairs, surrounded by People people, and pronouncing herself a "wallflower." She's sweet as all get-out, fresh off a People cover ("I'm fat") and armed with a new contract to lose weight via Jenny Craig. She brings up her love for the New Orleans Saints and one specific Saint, Deuce McAllister. We're completely football illiterate, but we say he sounds like a real mensch.

"Yeah, Deuce is a mensch," she says.

Minutes later, she stands up on the stairs and surveys the hot and sweaty crowd, looking for her boyfriend, Tom Vitale.

"I see bald heads but not my bald head," she says.

We wander. We see people we know, but they disappear before we can fight our way to them through the crowd. We try to sample more exotic drinks and land ourselves in an arm-wrestling match on the bar. Which we lose.

And then off into the cool night air, weaving ever so slightly across Connecticut Avenue (Is that car beeping at us? Jerk!) and head over to Hitchens's place. This party is smaller and less schmancy. There are pigs in blankies. There's a mostly used-up bar of soap in the bathroom, along with a damp bath towel bearing ominous yellow stains. We are in here with someone else. How did that happen?

We see World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, but we do not his see his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, the World Bank worker for whom Wolfowitz gallantly arranged a raise. We offer several women $20 to approach Wolfowitz and ask for a raise, but we find no takers.

A woman wearing a Little Bo Peep dress asks us to hold her pink roses so she can capture some footage of Wolfowitz on her video camera. She then starts filming Hitchens's bookshelves.

In the next room, Antonin Scalia is in deep conversation with Ana Marie Cox, nee Wonkette, who is on the sofa. They are talking about partial-birth abortion. Ugh!

We mosey over to the Capitol File party at the Colombian ambassador's residence, by now quite fuzzyheaded from teeny-weeny drinkie-winkies, and on our way in we catch sight of booted "American Idol" contestant Chris Sligh.

Hey, Chris! What's it like to be temporarily famous?

"Hopefully, it's not temporary," he says politely.

Oopsie-daisy. Awk-ward.

Out on the patio, we find "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington smoking a cigar. He says he was really psyched to meet Greta Van Susteren and she was really psyched to meet him, and when they met, they were all: I'm a fan; No, I'm a fan; No, I'm a fan; No, I'm a fan.

"We both didn't know how to, like, act," he says.

Whoa. Two strange worlds collide, and love blossoms, and we are all one. We feel so much better about the state of things. Then a friend interrupts to say they have closed the bar. We are deeply saddened.

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