The Reliable Source

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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 31, 2006; 12:00 PM

The Reliable Source is back, under the stewardship of Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts . Appearing in the Style section on Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays, The Reliable Source brings you gossip from across the region and around the world -- candid looks at the lives and loves and hijinks of all your favorite bold-faced names, be they congressmen or millionaires,ballplayers or newsbabes, nightlife divas or master thespians, DJs or gadflies, has-beens or will-bes.

Argetsinger and Roberts are online each Wednesday at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, what you thought about their recent columns or who you want to see them writing about in future ones.

Reliable Source Columns

Argetsinger is a veteran of all leafy-green, protein-rich sections like Metro and National while Roberts brought you the champagne and bon-bons of Style's society beat.

A transcript follows.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! Kind of a weird week, what with the long weekend. We've been stalking mystery men, from the guy who went all vigilante on the Georgetown crepe store stereo speakers with his cane, to the guy picking up twin Barbara's dinner at Indigo Blue. We compiled the perfect Frankenstein's monster of a celebrity commencement speech and checked out which Senate wives dresses were selling on EBay and which were not. Also, some televised talent show crowned its winner, and some pretty white people had a baby in Africa. What else? Remind us...

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Arlington, Va.: During the Pearl Jam concert last night, Eddie Vedder mentioned that he spent Monday night in Mt. Pleasant. Did you hear of any sightings?

Also, a big thank you to Metro for ruining my night last night with their usual horrible post-event service. Thanks guys!

Amy Argetsinger: We are in the process of tracking Vedder's pre-show whereabouts as we speak. Looks like we'll have something in tomorrow's column. Anyone got a lead, send it to reliablesource@washpost.com.

He had some pretty choice words from the stage for the vice president, from what we heard.

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Bethesda, Md.: Great story today on the return of Mel and Morty's Deli. I was at the Deli just this weekend for my long missed fix of Mel Krupin (such a class act)and his great brother Morty. The food's already better and the local stories and gossip are flowing. This place is different though, no one whispers the gossip here -- they scream it. Cy and Myrtle Katzen (AU Gallery) were there to celebrate with family and enjoy the return of the Krupin's too. It's a great place for Washingtonians with loud voices and lots to say.

washingtonpost.com: So's Your Brother: The Krupin Shtick Is Back (Post, May 31)

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks! What did you eat? And we'll bite: What gossip were they screaming?

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Gray Like Taylor: I'm devastated! EW gives the American Idol cast album only a C and calls it mediocre. And I was so thinking it was Grammy material.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, are you talking about "American Idol Season 5 Encores"? I've got it right here on my desk. So excited to hear Bucky Covington's rendition of "Superstition" again.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you know if Christine Baranski has a stunt double in Mame? When she runs cross stage in a floor-length sequined gown and plants her head in a chorus boy's crotch while he lifts her upside down over his head, that's what legends are made of.

Roxanne Roberts: Nah. Christine is a pro and in great shape, and takes great pride in her ability to do all sorts of tricks on stage.

And, as Amy points out, you can't have a stunt double in live the-at-re.

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FL native now in MD: Why can't we get this kind of local gossip? This is why I'm homesick!

Fla. Man in Women's Bathing Suit Arrested (Breitbart.com, May 30)

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, man, that's good. Sad to say, though, that if that happened here, our little gossip column would not be able to contain it -- stuff that rich goes straight to a section front, or it should.

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Intern hell: How about a summer contest, "Annoying Intern Incident" -- the best of the worst of Metro-seat-hogging, drink-spilling, badge-waving inanity that is official D.C. in the summer? I suspect I'll have nominations as soon as next week ...

Amy Argetsinger: That's a great idea. Got any greatest-hits nominees from seasons past?

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Winchester, Va.: Okay, so you are probably tired of this question but ... why on earth did Brangelina name their baby after a civil war battle? Or a storybook dog? And did Gwen Stefani ever give her son a name?

Roxanne Roberts: Winchester: Don't know if you had a chance to see the column this morning, but we discussed this very topic:

"@²ad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stretched out the news cycle on the birth of their daughter to a record fourth day, allowing her doctor to tell People magazine yesterday that Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt came into the world via scheduled C-section, owing to the fact she was in breech position. Speculation continues to swirl over the significance of her name, which some have translated as "new Messiah" (no, seriously!). Or it could be a homage to Bethesda author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's children's classic "Shiloh," the heartwarming story of an abused beagle pup. Naylor, whose book won the 1992 Newbery Medal, did not return a call seeking comment."

Makes Gwen seem so...normal. Gwen and hubby Gavin Rossdale welcomed Kingston James McGregor Rossdale into the world on May 26. Conceived in Jamaica? Ontario?

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Potomac, Md.: What is the news if any on the Yacht Club of Bethesda? Is there any chance of it opening anywhere else or even at all? Thank you.

Roxanne Roberts: Tommy the Matchmaker had plans to reopen when the appropriate space became available, but those plans are on hold for the time being: Tommy was hit by a car in LA and---last time I heard from him---cheerfully healing on the West Coast. We'll let you know when he's back up and running.

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Washington, D.C.: Any idea who the distillers lobbyist is in the blind item from Wonkette a few days ago?

Amy Argetsinger: No. Would you recognize the name of any distillery lobbyists if we did?

I think the Wonkette boys said it best in that posting: "(BTW - we don't actually care who it was. And we do so love the alcohol lobby.)"

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Washington, D.C.: Is there any truth to the rumor that Washington is getting ANOTHER gossip column?

Roxanne Roberts: Is there? What fun! Details?

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Intern hell: Best bit from pervious years: the 12 identically-clad (wrinkled khakis, wrinkled white shirt, loose red tie, blue blazer) drunken frat boys who were shoving each other and yelling on the Orange Line late one night.

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good one.

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Annoying PAST "Interns": I was at Cap Lounge on Sat night watching the United soccer game. A group of early 30's folks came in and took over the downstairs bar. Turns out it was the 15-year reunion for their Congressional Page Class (you know, those dorky overachievers who wear blue blazers and run errands for Congresspeople?). Turns out they are still dorks, only sans blazers, and some of them definitely can't hold their liquor!

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, come on, you can't just call them dorks without describing HOW they were dorky...

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Nouvel?: Um, Angelina, it's either "nouvelle" for a girl, or "nouveau" for a boy. "Nouvel" is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Roxanne Roberts: Hey! Who says they have to spell like everyone else? Maybe it's their own, very special name.

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Bethesda, Md.: Penn Jillette should be charged with Child abuse for naming his children those awful names! Moxie Crimefighter? That's only a good name for a comic book character. What's the next child's name, Spiderman?

Roxanne Roberts: The Joker?

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E-Bay Dresses: Just for fun I checked them out -- they look like a bunch of ugly old lady dresses. Who is going to buy them?

Amy Argetsinger: We hope to report out who's buying them (if they're buying them)in the column later this week...

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Washington, D.C.: Come on, guys, Shiloh was clearly named after the Neil Diamond song!

Amy Argetsinger: We should try to get Mr. Diamond to issue a statement on this.

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Virginia: Seemed odd that President Bush recently appointed men who are single, married but no children and other.

Amy Argetsinger: Uh, I'm not following.

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Nationals Hottie: You gals never mention anything about Nationals hottie, 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman (UVA alum). Where does he hang out and live when in season here? Not only cute, I read a Richmond newspaper article on him and he is a nice guy, too!

Amy Argetsinger: Hey there! We'd love to have some dish on Ryan Zimmerman, but no one's serving it up. I've been told that our local professional athletes keep a low profile intentionally -- they hate to be in the gossip columns -- but I think a lot of it is that folks in the know don't realize we'd be very interested, so don't think to fill us in. So, sportsfans and sportsstalkers and groupies -- the lines are standing open! Send us your news to reliablesource@washpost.com. Meanwhile, we do have plans to bring you some news from the world of professional sports later this week...

Ryan Zimmerman does sound like a honey. Barry Svrluga had a very nice profile of him a couple months ago, to which we'll post a link...

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Washington, D.C.: What's the big gossip story everyone seems to be alluding to today?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know -- which allusions are you talking about?

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washingtonpost.com: Calmly Fielding Anything Life Throws at Him (Post, Jan. 18)

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Washington, D.C.: Amy,

It seems that the celebrity baby boom continues, with Mira Sorvino giving birth to a boy -- and giving him a nice, normal name to boot!

Do you think celebs are feeling peer pressure to reproduce, knowing it gets them some play one of the many gossip spreads on "baby bump" sightings? What's going to happen to all of these kids once the baby trend ends?

Roxanne Roberts: Mira and her husband Chris Backus named their second child---drumroll, please---Johnny.

Babies seem like a big business today because there are more tabloids to follow every bump in the road. But, as the historians in the crowd will remember, the birth of Little Ricky----Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez's TV baby (and real-life daughter) was practically a national holiday.

All those adorable babies are going to turn into teenagers, who will force all the Hollywood types to reevaluate why they thought this kid thing was such a good idea.

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Name Game: I love the Shannon Bream/Eun Yang duo on Ch 4. I call them The Fish and The Dish.

And if Eun Yang married Eric Eun, she'd be Eun Eun.

Amy Argetsinger: Just GoogleImaging on Shannon Bream (to make sure that you're referring to the kind of fish she shares a name with and nothing untoward about her appearance)... did you know that she was Miss Virginia in 1990 and a top 10 finalist at Miss America? All right!

Eun Eun -- that's great. Are they both single?

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D.C. ex pat: Better than intern hell -- I was at a bar with a friend and someone I knew from work was there. The friend thought he looked familiar. After the introductions (name, place of employment, serial number), she knew why -- he used his "official" administration picture in his profile on a popular dating Web site. You know the one -- flag in the background, far off look in the eyes. The next day she very thoughtfully sent me the link. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Too bad the pic is gone -- and he is too.

Amy Argetsinger: That's hilarious.

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RE: Nouvel: I read that she was named after Jean Nouvel, one of Brad's favorite architects, because Brad is such an architecture wonk.

Roxanne Roberts: Whew. Coulda been "T-Square."

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Washington, D.C.: In defense of Penn Jillette, we had a Hungarian exchange student named Zoltan when I was in high school and a college professor, who was Hungarian, named his kid the same thing.

Roxanne Roberts: Maybe Penn will name his next kid Ink. Or Razor.

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Arlington, Va. (but not a Yorktown High School grad): As we bid adieu to hometown girl Katie Couric today on Today, what is the scoop on her love life? She just focusing on her job right now? Any chance we will see her around during her long hiatus between gigs?

Amy Argetsinger: As we reported last fall, she was having some dates with a D.C.-based businessman... but according to various other publications, she was having dates with a bunch of other interesting guys, a musician, a doctor, an artist... She hasn't alerted us to her travel plans, but we of course hope you'll keep your eyes open and write to reliablesource@washpost.com if you ever see her...

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Herndon, Va.: Are you going to watch The Hills tonight? Aren't you super excited for L.C.'s foray into fashion and the drama that could only happen in L.A.?

Amy Argetsinger: Geez, if only I had cable. That "Laguna Beach" is one fine show. Our colleague John Maynard reviewed "The Hills" in today's paper, and it sounds like a very well-done show. I love the bit about LC going into a job interview saying she wants to work in PR and be a "fun party girl."

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washingtonpost.com: MTV Beach Bunch Gets a Taste of Reality in 'Hills' (Post, May 31)

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Washington, D.C.: RE: Gossip today

Tom Sietsema started the rumor:

"Lots of rumors flying around this morning! But I'd rather dish up the straight story than mere gossip culled from the ol' grapevine. So ... on we march."

Amy Argetsinger: Oh. Well, then, you'd have to ask Tom Sietsema, and it probably involves the D.C. restaurant world. My guess is that he was referring to various unconfirmed tidbits his webchatters were asking him about and which he wasn't going to post without more information. We pretty much take the same approach in our chats...

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Celebrity spawn: Yes, they will grow up and pour out their hearts on Myspace like Marie Osmond's teenage daughters.

Roxanne Roberts: Yeah. That was....awkward. Osmond is reportedly furious about the explicit profiles Jessica, 18, and Rachael, 16 posted on the Web site. Not exactly a proud Mormon mother's dream.

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Pittsburgh, Pa.: While security seems to have been Fort Knox-like for Pitt and Jolie, it didn't seem difficult at all for some magazines to report, days before the event, that Jolie would have a C-section on Saturday, that her brother would be in attendance, the location of the birth, etc.

I know this happens a lot in the world of gossip mags, but how? Is it a well-placed "mole" in the Pitt-Jolie entourage who has been given permission to "leak" stuff to the press? Is it dumb luck? Is it a source within the Namibian gov?

Reminds me of the announcement that Jolie was pregnant (People mag), which was supposed to be a breaking new story, but the next day they had photos and interviews, seemingly all ready to go.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, clearly, Brangelina had some kind of deal worked out with People, judging by all the on-the-record "exclusives" they got. Beyond that, when no names are attached, it's very difficult to figure out who the sources are in the world of celebrity glossies, and whether they're accurate or knowledgeable. Sometimes it's disaffected support staff talking trash, sometimes it's friends of the stars themselves or publicists who have been authorized to spill stuff and spin these life-crises to the stars' liking, sometimes it's third-hand speculation that proves not to be true at all.

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Kensington, Md.: So I picked up an adult cat from the pound yesterday and I don't know what to name it. All the good ones are taken, Moxie Crimefighter, Apple, Shiloh, Kal-el, Zolten, Moon Unit, Chastity. What's a new owner to do? Even Johnny, which is sad, it being my Dad's name.

Roxanne Roberts: A. I am very proud of you. Good person!

B. Is it a male or female?

C. You could go unisex with "K.C." (Kitty Cat.)

D. Moxie is actually a good name for a....cat.

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Falls Church, Va. : There are MAYBE two of those Laura Bush dresses that are acceptable looking enough to wear again -- but I can't justify to my husband spending $100 on a dress sight unseen

Amy Argetsinger: You see, this has always been my problem with buying clothes over the Internet -- not justifying it to your husband, but how do you know whether it's going to fit or look good?

Roxanne Roberts: All true. But for those you can afford to make a charitable gesture, it's possible to buy one of these dresses and donate it to a charity like Suited for Change, which supplies professional duds to women reentering the workplace. Not a bad idea for anything stuck in the back of your closet, too. Win, win.

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Washington, D.C.: E-bay dresses -- A number of crossdressers that I'm acquainted with are disappointed that the dresses are all small sizes. Aren't there any large congressional ladies out there?

Roxanne Roberts: Not in this auction.

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Seems as though we are very overdue for a juicy sex scandal here in D.C. We need something like that to get us through the summer here. Hear any good rumors?

Amy Argetsinger: Alas, it doesn't matter if we've heard rumors; in the end it all comes down to if we've got something confirmable to report. But, yeah, I second that emotion.

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Osmonds: are the pages still up on myspace?

Roxanne Roberts: Haven't checked, but read at least one is down.

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Shenandoah Valley: Hey -- heard about lots of Steve Carrell sightings in Waynesboro, Va., for filming of the "Bruce Almighty" sequel, along with the D.C. area shoots. Any dish on how he treated locals?

Amy Argetsinger: We heard only lovely things about his behavior towards the locals in Charlottesville and Crozet... Also, that he sprained an ankle on the set, but you probably heard that already.

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Washington, D.C.: What's the latest on the Bush twins and their quests to have a White House wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: Their quests to have a White House wedding? Sounds like someone's fantasy for a series finale. Only Jenna has a long-term serious boyfriend, and if either of them are on any such quest, only those in the tightest inner circle would know. Which is to say, who knows? But if we were placing bets on a WH wedding happening in the next two and a half years, I would bet no. And seriously hope to be proven wrong. Because how awesome would that be?

Roxanne Roberts: I have to agree with Amy. The twins show no signs of settling into domestic bliss. But just THINK of the dance floor at the reception.

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Shiloh ...: Shiloh is the name of a Quaker camp in Standardsville, Va. Any chance the Brangelinas are Quakers?

Amy Argetsinger: actually, it's Stanardsville, not Standardsville. I love that drive over the mountains on U.S. Rt. 33. Any chance they're Quakers? Oh, come on.

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Marketing Anyone?: One obvious reason the dresses aren't selling is that they're horribly displayed -- did someone just hold them up by the shoulders for those pix? Anyone ever heard of a mannequin or dress dummy so that you could see how it's supposed to hang? Sheesh

Roxanne Roberts: Absolutely. The bids might have been higher if a professional displayed them to their best advantage.

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Rockville, Md.: Many folks are puzzled about the rappers complaining about not being on Oprah's TV show. Huh? What? Oprah's show does not, in any way, appeal to the demographic that rap and hip-hop appeal to -- literally and factually. So it makes absolutely no sense -- none -- to whine and complain about not being on a show that doesn't appeal to your demographic. Who cares? No one. And why should these rappers -- many of whom are multi-millionaires -- care, anyway? The whole thing makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever, from any angle. So these guys need to stop their whining and enjoy the lavish lifestyle that the vast majority of people on this planet will never get to enjoy. When you think about it that way, you realize just how ridiculous their complaints are!

Amy Argetsinger: I'd totally watch Oprah if she had 50 Cent on as a guest. That would be one awesome show, especially if she made him cry about childhood traumas or something.

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Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.: What do y'all think of all the talk about how Ashlee Simpson has become The Pretty One? Many of the blogs have taken to calling her sister "Messica" b/c she seems to be striving for the Britney Spears look.

And then Ashlee, with her new nose job and feminine look, has been outshining her sister at events lately.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, Ashlee -- thanks for joining the chat!

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Amy Argetsinger: Confidential to the person who wants to know why we don't post their comments about how they think a local woman is homely and has had a bad facelift: Because your comments are at best mean-spirited, and at worse libelous. That's why.

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Washington, D.C.: Today's review of "The Hills" didn't say L.C. was the one who wanted to be a fun party girl -- it was her roommate, Heidi.

Amy Argetsinger: My apologies to LC and Heidi.

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Nouvel : Isn't Angelina's mother French?

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, I read an interview with Angelina not long ago in which she said that contrary to popular belief, her mom is NOT French. She's at least part Native American.

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There is nothing wrong with Chastity: There is a long an honorable western tradition of naming daughters after virtues: Patience, Prudence, Temperance, Faith and Hope. It might be terribly old-fashioned, and somewhat ironic for Cher, given her long trade on her sex appeal, but it isn't wacky.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm with you on Faith and Hope. The others are pretty dated and just begging for years of teasing.

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Washington confession: I secretly love Ashlee.

Amy Argetsinger: We won't tell...

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Shiloh Nouvel: I read somewhere that "Shiloh" means peaceful one and that they may have gotten "Nouvel" from a French architect with that last name. Brad is reportedly a big architect buff.

Just my 2 cents ... plus I like the names.

Amy Argetsinger: I still prefer the "new Messiah" theory.

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Washington, D.C. : I named my cat K.C., but it stood for Killer Cat (she was a runt. was funny at the time). My then boyfriend renamed her K.C. Jones after the Grateful Dead song.

The point: she was a terrible cat. Very princess, very feline. Loved her terribly. But you should know the name has precedence.

Roxanne Roberts: Ha! Well, then. Maybe "Angelina?"

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Roxanne Roberts: We could spend the entire day thinking of cat names (Jenna? Barbara? Oprah?) but then who would write tomorrow's column? Pick up your camera phones and send us a pix of Jenna and her new haircut, and we'll name a cat after YOU. You know where to find us: reliablesource@washpost.com. Same time, next week.

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