The Reliable Source

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 28, 2007; 12:00 PM

Reliable Source columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, what you think about their recent columns or who you want to see them writing about in future ones.

In today's Reliable Source: Ron Paul gets the Bunny Ranch vote. Ted Kennedy faces the pressure to turn in a juicy book. And Mira Sorvino's kids love the Four Season's Christmas tree. In recent days: Why is Huckabee's Iowa director in Costa Rica hunting snakes? What does Miss D.C. mean about being too "pale"? Big G makes his network debut. And Brad Pitt blows off his D.C. movie role.

Reliable Source Columns

A transcript follows.


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! Looking forward to your questions. Roxanne's already here and everything, so please give her a nice greeting.


Conrad: Now that That Other East Coast Newspaper revealed the truth about the power set shopping at Costco in a story yesterday, will you two be making regular celeb-hunting visits there? (and picking up a 50-roll package of toilet paper and a 10-pound tube of toothpaste while you're at it)?

Amy Argetsinger: Indeed, the New York Times had a story about fancy Washingtonians going to Costco for all their party shopping, with a big photo of our very own Sally Quinn pushing a shopping cart through its cavernous expanses.

There's not enough room in my apartment, or even in my car, for a 50-roll package of toilet paper. I'm afraid I'm stuck paying too much at my local Whole Foods.


Mira Sorvino: Why would Capitol File magazine have a party for an actress who hasn't worked in years, and probably won't work anytime soon, unless someone decides to make Romy and Michelle's 25-year high school reunion?

Amy Argetsinger: They had a party for her because she was on their cover. And hey, she was in a kinda prestigey movie recently -- Reservation Road, a face-off of my two favorite moody hotties trying to look middle-aged, Mark Ruffalo and Joaquin Phoenix... though I don't think it did very well at the box office.... They have parties for all the Hollywood people who agree to be on their cover.


Roxanne: Congrats for being early -- how did you manage it?

Roxanne Roberts: Dumb luck.

_______________________ Tightening the Beltway, the Elite Shop Costco ( The New York Times, Nov. 2)


NYC: Rox in da house...What up, girl?!

Roxanne Roberts: Column writing, Christmas shopping, gingerbread house baking and getting ready for the Ken Cen Honors this weekend.


Being too "pale": The Miss D.C. contestant is full of it -- everybody knows you use spray tan! The recent season of "Dancing With the Stars" claims that 14 gallons of spray tan were used during the span of the competition.

Roxanne Roberts: I heard that! So, are you happy with this season's winner? Caught the finale last night---first show I've seen.


Mallorca, Spain: Amy, why not lose the "Arget?" ... Do you need it? Wouldn't life be simpler without it? And Roxanne, how old are you? I need to know if you make the cut on my older (but not too old) woman list ...

Amy Argetsinger: Why would I lose the "Arget" when that's the most interesting part, and the one most likely to throw people off? BTW, in case you were wondering, the name is very easy to pronounce and spell. Rhymes with "target slinger," and it's spelled like it sounds, even though people who've known me for years still say "Ar-jet." My favorite mispronunciation was "arrr-GHJAAY-singer," kinda French like.

Don't worry, Roxanne makes the cut.


Washington, D.C.: Were you at Capitol File's bash last night? Are they still as crowded as they were, when they first came to town?

Amy Argetsinger: I was not... Anyone else got any intel?


Mrs. Amy Argetsinger-Craig: So how many covers of the latest issue of GQ are tacked to your cubicle wall?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, is he on the cover? Hawt. Funny, they usually send me the new issue. Haven't seen it yet.


Brad Pitt's D.C. Movie role: While this is sad that he won't be back here for filming, at least you got to have him at the Post offices! Maybe it was all a ploy by Brad to get to see the two of you!

Roxanne Roberts: Why didn't WE think of that?

Amy Argetsinger: It all makes sense now.


Holiday Celebrity sightings: Is it just my imagination, or do there seem to be more celebrity sightings in the D.C. area over the holidays?

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good question. I don't know if there are more sightings or if they're just slightly more interesting sightings, since the VIPs who are here turn out to be here for non-business reasons and therefore are a little more unexpected (i.e., Michael Kors with a big family group at the National Gallery; Peter Jackson on break from filming in Pennsylvania with his family at the Spy Museum.)


Springfield, Mass.: So sorry I can't be there live with you...We went to Manhattan last weekend. In the Carnegie Deli we were seated by five different pictures of Bill Clinton at the deli and one picture of Chelsea. I thought the Clinton campaign had removed pictures of Chelsea eating out. Totally different subject -- any update on the whereabouts of the Jenna Bush wedding -- do we taxpayers foot the bill?

Roxanne Roberts: White House appears to be off the wedding list. Jenna just doesn't think of it as home. Conventional wisdom is that she's leaning toward Texas (probably the ranch)in late spring.


Gingerbread houses: You make them for showing, I assume? My sister-in-law just won a best in show award at an exhibit for her reproduction of American Gothic in gingerbread. It was quite well done.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm doing one for a charity auction. Did you see the "American Gothic?" How big? Did she use licorice for the pitchfork?


Kensington, Md.: ACK! I will miss the chat today. Did you see the news that Mary from the Bachelor (picked by Byron) was arrested last week! They seemed like such a classy couple. Perhaps this is why they aren't married yet?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, thanks for bringing this up, Kensington. This was the most exciting bit of news to break over the holidays. For those of you not up-to-speed on your "Bachelor" trivia, this is the couple that met during the season devoted to "old" (by reality TV standards) people -- Byron, a 40-something professional bass fisherman (now there's a catch) and Mary, a former Buccaneers cheerleader. They made history by actually STAYING TOGETHER after the show... and three years down the road were still living together and talking about getting married soon. And they had JUST appeared on TV talking about this last week -- and then hours later, she get arrested for punching him in the face.

Now THAT'S how you know when one of these reality-TV relationships is real. You have to be pretty serious about each other to develop such utterly destructive patterns of dysfunction. Betcha anything they do get married.


Washington, D.C.: No offense to the good journalists of the world, but isn't Brad Pitt a little too pretty to be a newspaper reporter? You guys spend all day in a newsroom, aren't reporters a little more funny looking? Like they have not shaved, ironed anything, or seen sunlight in days? Brad Pitt doesn't have that needed bar scene in Star Wars look.

Roxanne Roberts: We're pale, in the no tanning bed sense of the word.


Name change: I have a co-worker with a three-part name, one of which was Thunder. He decided he wanted to make the name simpler and dropping the Thunder. Now he has just a plain, run of the mill Irish-American name, completely non-descript and forgettable. He should have changed it to Thunder Thunder McThunder.

Amy Argetsinger: Thunder Thunder McThunder. I think this is the name we should assign to the hot neighbor cop that our Falls Church correspondent is crushing on. Where is she anyway? We need an update?

Thunder is a cool name, but do you know what name is cooler? J. Freedom du Lac.


Mark Ruffalo: So you were the one person in America who saw "Reservation Road"? Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: No, didn't see it -- just gleaning from the previews. I was so hoping that movie would be good. I can't think of two more appealing men that probably have so little in common with.


Fan of Helio's: Will the "Dancing With The Stars" tour be coming to D.C., and will hottie Helio Castroneves' professional driving schedule allow him time off to be on said tour? Do you think he'd get invited to the White House?

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, I finally watched this show -- just so you and I would have something to talk about today -- and Helio really is that adorable. And a hell of a good dancer too. Clearly the voting system in which we've put our faith and trust has performed adequately.

Is it my imagination, or is it always a male "star" who wins that show? Call me crazy, but I'm beginning to suspect that possibly the voting on this show is controlled by middle-aged straight women and gay men.


Washington, DC: Do you know who has been staying at the Ritz Carlton at 22nd and M these past few days? I go to they gym at Sports Club/LA and secret service was EVERYWHERE when I left Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, a bunch of the delegates for the Middle East summit happening in Annapolis this week are staying there. The hotel even made up a very cute "Peace" cookie with a dove on it that they're putting on everyone's pillows or something.


Washington, D.C.: In your expert opinion, who's autobiography is worth $8 million?

Or asked another way, which is the autobiography that has not been written that you would most like to read?

Roxanne Roberts: Kennedy's will worth $8 million IF he really dishes about the less-senatorial aspects of his life. What do we think the chances are? Small, I'd say.

I'm mulling an answer to the second question. The Queen?

Amy Argetsinger: Katie Holmes after deprogramming?


Woodbridge, Va.: Does anyone know what on God's earth Lynn Spears thinks of her daughter and all the foolishness surrounding her?

Amy Argetsinger: You should check out US magazine's special report from maybe two weeks ago. They did some in depth research into the Spears family going back three generations and -- spoiler alert! -- turns out they're totally dysfunctional.


Washington, D.C.: I had an idea yesterday when walking around our lovely downtown streets, admiring all the office buildings and hotels that are now officially decked out for the holidays. I think the Post (or maybe a chat) should do an article/chat that features some of the most lavish or most festively decorated commercial buildings. Maybe this is more of a Home section idea, but I don't know -- when I am walking around downtown on my lunch hour, I am always keeping an eye out for local celebs, so I might have the opportunity to tip you all. That was my chain of thought in proposing this idea.

For instance, the Sun Trust bank on the corner of New York Ave and 15th Street (the Victorian red brick building) has fantastic wreaths all around its exterior, and even garland on the roof!

Amy Argetsinger: This is a good idea. Or maybe for the Financial section during the slow days around the holidays...


14 gallons of spray tan : Can you get that at Costco? The first time I went to Costo I spent $400 just doing my normal weekly grocery run. I had the same unopened bottle of ketchup in my fridge for 2 years.

Roxanne Roberts: That's how they get you. I go once ever couple years with a friend, just to gawk.


Chat Holiday Schedule: Are you taking any time off over the holidays from the chat? It's the highlight of my week, so I need to plan now if I'm going to be missing it!

Amy Argetsinger: No discussions at all during Christmas week -- they'll resume Wednesday, Jan. 2, just in time for our chat.


Falls Church, Va: re: Amy, why not lose the "Arget?"

Have you ever thought of adding an "n" and changing it to Argentsinger? Boy, then you could hold your head high!

Amy Argetsinger: That's probably the most common misspelling, actually. Why does that sound more natural to people than Argetsinger? I don't understand it.


Amy Targetslinger: You should definitely change your name to this.

Amy Argetsinger: Just got a GoogleNope on it, so apparently it's available.


Arr-jhay Singer: Mispronunciations like that are reason enough to keep the last name. I hope you keep it after marriage. You should trademark or copyright it or something, just in case someone decides to make a movie by that name.

Amy Argetsinger: I'd pay to see that movie.


Enchanted: I do wish Princess Giselle had popped through a manhole near a D.C. Metro station instead of New York City. Patrick Dempsey could have been soulless lobbyist instead of a divorce lawyer, and Giselle's big song and dance production could have been in Rock Creek Park instead of Central Park, and somehow, our beloved Butterstick the panda could have been involved in the musical number.

Amy Argetsinger: Truly, Hollywood is missing a lot of opportunities here.


Costco, party of one: I was lured into getting a membership at Costco when they were selling contorted filbert shrubs one Spring (okay, so maybe that's a comment for Adrian Higgins.)

Anyway, the croissants are actually very good -- made with real butter. But then there's the quandary about what to do with 12 of them.

I recommend a trip to the Glen Burnie Costco for anyone low on money, but hankering for a brief vacation among another culture.

Roxanne Roberts:"Contorted filbert shrubs?" GREAT band name! Pray tell, what is a CFS? And don't say something dirty.


Boston, Mass.: What was up with the pepper spray beauty contest? Is The Post newsroom so catty?

Roxanne Roberts: I feel an inch coming on. Amy, you're the pageant expert: Are journalists a) more bitchy or b)less bitchy than beauty queens?

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, most every pageant winner I've encountered is insanely earnest and sweet. A couple years ago when my posse rolled up to Atlantic City for the Miss A pageant, we sat in front of a bunch of pre-teen pageant winners (i.e., Miss Junior Scholastic Sunshine Colorado, etc.), and they were all trying to outdo each other to see who could say the nicest things about the lamest contestants on stage. It was really cute.

Journalists aren't bitchy, so much as they're just mean as polar bears.


Argentsinger: Well, Tour d'Argent, you know. I mean, argent is actually a word, if not in English. Never heard of arget as a word, except perhaps by a pirate with a speech impediment.

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, of course you mean the legendary Parisian restaurant. (Thanks, Google.)


Source chatters rule!: The Post Web site has "Ask Tom" as the most viewed discussion. Just more proof that there is a very select group of discerning chatters who know that all the good stuff is on the Source chat!

Amy Argetsinger: We're number 8, and workin' harder!


Butterstick: Speaking of our favorite local celebrity -- any word on him having a sibling? I know a while back they thought maybe there was a pregnancy, but it didn't happen. It would be like D.C. having its own Nick and Drew Lachey...

Roxanne Roberts: I know Butterstick. Butterstick is a friend of mine. Nick Lachey, you're no Butterstick.


Anonymous: First the famous jockey dies (who is so famous I can't remember his name). Then the Gatorade inventor dies. These things always happen in threes...should the inventor of Chia pets, or the maid on the Brady Bunch or the guy who wears the question mark suit be getting nervous?

I just had to say that, some moron always has to bring up the people dying in threes superstition.

Amy Argetsinger: Ann B. Davis -- still alive! I'm not sure I would have gotten that right in a trivia contest.

I'm convinced that our obituary staff upstairs privately has the wickedest death-pool going on. Sometimes if I beg and plead, they tell me about the advance obits they're working on these days. Adam Bernstein was really psyched about his Fay Wray obituary -- and of course she died like two weeks after he told me about it.


McLean, Va.: So no Shaq-brand wine? What a disappointment.

Is he a big wine person, did he just love that Virginia countryside, or had he just been obsessed after watching season one of Falcon Crest on Netflix?

Roxanne Roberts: He'a big person with a passing interest in wine and he does like Virginia---remember the stint he pulled as a reserve sheriff's deputy? Word is that the newly-divorced superstar also found romance in the Commonwealth, but no confirmation.


Snake hunting in Costa Rica: Thanks for this information -- I learn so much from your column! I did not even know about this sport, which is actually rather interesting since it doesn't involve killing. What a great follow-up to that information about the pope's kitty plate collection!

Amy Argetsinger: Wasn't that fascinating? I'm thinking maybe we should organize a special Reliable Source Snake Hunting in Costa Rica tour package. Figure there'd be a lot of interest in that.


Christmas baking: Does Amy have any Christmas backing specialties since Roxanne has cornered the (baked) housing market?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, there's an outstanding gingersnap cookie that I make maybe once every three years or so.


Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo: Us magazine reports they are "dating" and she spent Thanksgiving with him in Dallas. Could this be true, or has Jessica been out of the gossip pages so long that she's using this to get back in?

Amy Argetsinger: HAS she been out of the gossip pages for so long? It seems like she's in every damn issue of US magazine whether she's doing anything or not.


Argent Singer: Then you could say you were a singer in Argent (they did Still The One, in the 1970s.)

Amy Argetsinger: You are incorrect, sir. Orleans, fronted by U.S. Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), sang "Still the One." Argent sang "Hold Your Head Up."


RE: Kennedy Center Honors: Who is being honored?

Amy Argetsinger: It's a very sexy list this year -- Steve Martin, Martin Scorsese, Brian Wilson, Leon Fleisher and Diana Ross. (That's Miss Ross to you.)


Indianapolis: Just curious -- what kind of name is Argetsinger? That Portuguese?

Amy Argetsinger: We used to think it was Dutch but now we think it might be more Germanish.


Washington, D.C.: You read that Us Magazine story on Britney, right? What was the deal with her ex-boyfriend, who dated her for years, and had to keep quiet when she was becoming famous and keeping her virginal image?

Shouldn't he and Jason Alexander get their own show on E! or VH-1 where they spend all day plotting to beat up K-Fed?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh yes. That was the best part of the story.


Gingerbread house: Roxanne--Will you post a photo of your gingerbread house? Is it a famous Washington residence, like the White House or Blair House or the Custis-Lee Mansion?

Roxanne Roberts: It's not really a house: For the Washington National Opera's opening of "Hansel and Gretel" I'm doing the front of Lincoln Theatre on one side and the stage scene where the kids come across the witch's candy-covered gingerbread house in the woods on the other side.


Reservation Road: Just a thought -- but would Joaquin Phoenix have much of a career if his better looking and more talented brother had not died? Kind of like how Jim Belushi would have gone nowhere if not for his attempt to fill the void of his much funnier brother?

Anyway, I liked him more when his name was Leaf.

Amy Argetsinger: I would quibble with your premise that River was better looking or more talented than Joaquin. No disrespect to River.


Washington, D.C.: Hear what they're calling Whole Foods now?

Whole Paycheck.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha ha ha! Yeah, I think I drop about $50 every time I go in there, and I walk out with a single bag that has nothing but blueberries and bread and a hunk of aged Parmiggiano-Reggiano.


Anonymous: Amy, you just need to get someone with an authoritative voice, such as Carl Kassel, to pronounce your name. Then everyone will know how to say it correctly. It worked for Roxanne, right?

Roxanne Roberts: The great thing about my name---aside from the melodic alliterative qualitiy---is that no one EVER mispronounces it.


Ummm....:"I got 2nd runner up, which is incredible, since they were never going to pick a girl as 'pale' as me anyway."

Michael told us yesterday the Post was an "inside joke" about not spending enough time in the tanning bed to look good in her swimsuit.

So, who exactly does she think she's fooling?

Amy Argetsinger: She had a very speedy answer, so it's possible she genuinely didn't mean what you think she means. But giving her the benefit of the doubt -- which we're perfectly willing to do -- it was a dumb thing to say. Even given a more innocent alternate meanings, you'd think someone would be aware of how it might sound to others the minute it was said (or typed).


The 'Burbs: Hey, quit knocking Costco -- I got kids to feed; their soccer teams need browines; I need Dockers for casual-dress cubicle, and you can't go wrong at a book club by putting out the Costco cream puffs.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmmm, cream puffs. You buy CLOTHES there?


Hulk Hogan Divorce: I saw on the Web that the attorney for the kid injured in Hulk's son's accident thinks the "divorce" is a smokescreen to get some assets safe from a lawsuit. How would that work? The attorney said if the wife was not an owner of the car that Nick Bollea was driving, she can't be sued. This seems like a bizarre twist on parents who get divorced so the kid can get more financial aid. Or the spouse who quits their job to avoid child support/alimony.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm finding this hard to follow. Let me know how it all works out.


Ohmigod, you guys: I just read this on

"Aguilera believes the moment of conception occurred when Bratman -- a music executive whom the singer married two years ago -- visited Georgetown during a tour stop, when she had one month of physically challenging concerts still left to perform. (Her Washington, D.C. concert took place in early April -- which could conceivably mean the baby's due in January.)"

Our city is the city of looooove.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh yes -- we just saw that news this morning too. Now, don't you think she should name her baby in honor of the place of conception? Like Ron Howard and his wife did with all their kids (i.e., Bryce Dallas Howard).

Clearly, "Washington" is a burdensome name. What about George? Or maybe Ritzy, or Season?


Still the One: This was possibly the worst Orleans song recorded. And then the Bush campaign (I think -- it might have been another dastardly Republican) tried to use it WITHOUT PERMISSION during the 2004 campaign! I had a big crush on John Hall back in high school -- it's weird (yet cool) to see him all cleaned up and trying to legalize gay marriage and end global warming.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, then you're probably the right person to ask, especially since you prompted the hypothetical.... What, exactly, was the BEST Orleans song recorded?


Washington, D.C.: Any news or pictures of Sean Taylor's girlfriend and Andy Garcia's niece? The baby is beautiful.

Amy Argetsinger: There was a picture of her in the A section today...


Shaq/wine: He found romance in Virginia? It seems like a job of our local gossip columnists to track this down and educate or inform us.

Roxanne Roberts: We inquired, but you know how these things are: Unless you have confirmation from multiple sources or pictures, it's hard to know who's just friends and who's the next Mrs. Shaq.


Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Sooo, can you spill who's staying at the Ritz in Georgetown tonight? They had no parking signs for today over where the celeb buses usually park...

Amy Argetsinger: Drawing a blank here. Maybe they have overflow of peace summit delegates? (A bunch of whom are staying at the Foggy Bottom Ritz).

Also -- there will be heaps and heaps of celebrities coming into town in coming days for the Kennedy Center Honors. Steve Martin's already been spotted in town.


Costco Clothes: Socks and underwear. It's all about the socks and underwear.

Roxanne Roberts: Big screen TVs and batteries, too? I've seen people walk in to pick up a birthday cake and roll out with the cake, a massive TV and pork rinds. Go figure.


The Bachleor: I would like to see the next Bachelor feature the hottest guy from a trailer park picking among trailer park/strip club hotties. Sort of a reality "My Name is Earl." I think that would be some fun TV.

Amy Argetsinger: Aren't there already a lot of reality-dating shows that kind of feel like that? Whereas I love the cheeseball faux-classiness of The Bachelor. What I want to see is another season with "old" people (i.e., 35-plus). That's where you get the most drama and desperation, and apparently the strongest likelihood that the couple will actually stay together long enough to start punching each other in the face.


Richmond, Va.: Joaquin is far more talented than River.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thank you. Do you think we should set down some kind of web chat Memorandum of Understanding? -- i.e., We are pro-Beyonce; pro-Clooney; anti-voice-over; we pick Harry over Wills, we think Joaquin is more talented than River....


Hulk Hogan Divorce: A married couple is deemed to own certain assets jointly, meaning that if one party is sued, then the entire asset is available to satisfy the debt or legal judgment, etc. She may be afraid that her "half" of the assets, the half to which she would be entitled if the couple divorces, would go to satisfy a judgment against the family unit in the event they lose.

On the other hand, some states might not allow the complete division of the assets if it is seen as a way of avoiding paying a valid legal judgment against the family.

Much of this analysis and the variety of potential results depends on which state we are talking about. Florida is generally pretty good at sheltering its residents' assets from legal claims, which is why O.J. Simpson relocated to Florida after he was acquitted in Nicole's death.

Roxanne Roberts: I love that you know this AND read our chat.


need Dockers for casual-dress cubicle: Just make sure they aren't pleated!

Amy Argetsinger: Does Robin Givhan have a web chat? Why not?


Barack Obama : Have you seen what they're charging for arugula at Whole Foods these days? He actually said that, to a bunch of Iowa farmers.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh dear. I laugh every time I hear that. It's like the story (which I'm pretty sure is true... R.W. Apple repeated it!) about Sarge Shriver going into a New Hampshire bar and ordering a cognac.


Who's here?: One of my coworkers just said that he saw a woman surrounded by secret service agents at Chipotle on M Street in Georgetown. He didn't recognize her, though. Any idea who it could be?

Amy Argetsinger: Um, no.


Best Orleans Song Recorded/John Hall fan: I stopped listening to Orleans when "Still the One" came out (coincidence? I think not!) in 1976 or 1977. I was in college and had moved on to the Sex Pistols and Bruce Springsteen. My albums are sitting in storage. So I will have to punt, and say that the answer is gone, due to middle-aged, parental memory loss.

Amy Argetsinger: That was sort of the choice people had to make back in 1977, wasn't it -- Sex Pistols or Steely Dan? And you could only go down one path...


Teddy Tell All: He has had quite the life -- I cannot imagine him being able to honestly write about it all, from Chappaquidick, to his first marriage, to his bachelor days. He cut some serious swath.

Where is his first wife, Joan, these days? Did she remarry?

Roxanne Roberts: She never remarried after they divorced in 1982. She's now 71, living in Boston, and busy being a grandmother as far as we can tell.


Georgetown Bratman: And who can forget Posh and Becks' son, Brooklyn, who was named because he was conceived in New York, according to Posh's autobiography (which incidentally, was worth $8 million).

Amy Argetsinger: Wait -- I read that too (definitely worth $8 million -- cannot wait for the sequel).... and I thought she said they just thought it was a cool name, no? I keep that book handy at all times, along with Robert Shelton's "No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan." Both are indispensable reference materials. Shelton can tell you all about how Dylan's tumultuous relationship with Joan Baez is reflected in the sneering lyrics of "Queen Jane Approximately," whereas Posh can tell you all about the complicated debate and soul-searching that led to her decision to get hair extensions.


Washington, D.C.: Any word on why Mary beat up Byron (the Bachelor). They were on the reunion show just last week claiming how happy they were!

Amy Argetsinger: Because.... grrrr, he just made her so MAD!


Next Bachelor feature the hottest guy from a trailer park picking among trailer park/strip club hotties.: Wasn't that called Rock of Love?

Amy Argetsinger: I knew it had been done before.


GQ Cover:: I heard there are three "man of the year" covers for GQ this year --which would you pick to frame and put in your stocking from Santa, for your home office (hey, that's what I'm telling the hubby): Daniel-Yummy-with-a-spoon-Craig, Bill Clinton, or Kanye West?

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting lineup. I bet Fitty's seething, thinking "shoulda been MY cover!"


Washington, D.C.: Roxanne, love you on "wait, wait, don't tell me" -- here's my question -- is Mo Rocca as funny off the air as he is on the air? And do you schlep to Chicago regularly for that show? What else can/will you tell us about the behind the scenes aspect of it?

Roxanne Roberts: Mo is the same guy on and off the air---very dry wit, very funny when he's trying to come up with an answer to a question he doesn't know. All the panelists fly to Chicago to tape the show. There's not really any back-stage dirt because we all like each other.


Costco: Had no idea I was so cool by shopping there.

Thanks NYT.

Amy Argetsinger: We could have told you how cool you are, just by showing up here.


Washington, D.C.: A girlfriend once put Orleans "Dance With Me" on a mix tape for me. Needless to say, that relatioinship didn't last.

Amy Argetsinger: Wow. That's what I'd call a deal-breaker. I mean, even if she meant it in an arch, ironic hipster kind of way... actually, no, ESPECIALLY then. I'm sorry. I hope you have better taste in women now?


Costco: Has anyone noticed that the rise of the super-big discount stores (Costco, Sam's Club) coincided with the increase in square footage of the average residence? You need all that storage space for your purchases!

Amy Argetsinger: Absolutely.


Costco: Just a tip, go on a Saturday afternoon and graze through the free samples. Then drive down to Total Beverage for the free wine samples. Some good eating, and at a low, low cost.

Probably what Sally Quinn does.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I basically get my lunch for free on Saturdays at Whole Foods. Gotta get there early though!


Britney and babies: Is she really adopting babies from China, or is this just a rumor?

Amy Argetsinger: It's so hard to tell anymore.


Costco: Every day on my walk from the Pentagon City Metro Station to my office I smell baked goods. The smell is intoxicating. I watch as people stop on the sidewalk and look around trying to find the source of the cookie smell. I finally found out that the smell is coming from the Costco bakery. I have no car and live in a studio apartment, but based on that smell alone I immediately bought a Costco membership.

Amy Argetsinger: I think we've been infiltrated by the Costco marketing team. Let's put an end to this.


Roxanne Roberts: Time to dash---I hear Costco has some killer free samples today. Behave, all you bargain hunters, and send your celeb sightings from the aisles straight to Cheers, kids.


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