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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 24, 2008; 12:00 PM

Reliable Source columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, December 17, 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 column: The Reliable Source 2008 Year in Review, including our The Reliable Source Person of the Year: The 7-Year-Old

In recent days: Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson -- cute new power couple or just-friends? Marlene Cooke -- she's back! Jeremy Piven's new career as a thermometer. Mika Brzezinski's $6 mugging. The best of the holiday parties. And Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law arrested.

E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source Blog.

A transcript follows.

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Amy Argetsinger: Welcome everyone -- the vast crowds of you -- and let's see if we can possibly deal with all your questions. Oh, and please everyone, let's not bring up the whole Roxanne-forgetting-the-chat-last-week thing. She's really embarrassed about it. Pretend you don't remember it.

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Inquiring Minds: Will Roxanne be gracing us with her presence today?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm here! I remembered it was Wednesday! Hooray for me!

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You Like Us! You Really Like Us!: I'm so psyched that you're chatting today! I wasn't expecting this at all. Now I have to think up some questions or comments for you!

Amy Argetsinger: How about... what did you think of our 2008 Year in Review? Do you agree with our choice for Person (people) of the Year?... Well, did you even READ it yet? Come on!... Or were there any great stories from the year that we should have included but didn't?

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washingtonpost.com: The Reliable Source Person of the Year

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McLean, Va.: Hello Ladies -- Okay, I know I'm in the minority but I've got to say it. I just don't get the fascination with Blago's hair. Sure it may be a touch shaggy but it's really just the same basic style as Stephanopolous or David Gregory. Dontcha think?

Roxanne Roberts: It's different somehow---more helmet like. Plus he's obsessed with it, which add to the fascination.

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Washington, D.C.: Anne Hathaway is scary looking...ghost-like. What is the hype behind her? Is she that good of an actress? Did Inspector Gadget blow box office records?

Amy Argetsinger: "Inspector Gadget"? Aren't you thinking "Get Smart"? That's the one she was in, and actually, it did quite well at the box office.

But yes, on to the Anne Hathaway question. A couple years ago, they were poising her to be "the next Julia Roberts," which is what they do with every young actress before tossing them aside, since there is no such thing as a movie star anymore and they're all doomed to fail. She got very good reviews, and will quite possibly get an Oscar nomination, for "Rachel Getting Married," which I haven't seen yet... As for her pallor -- I read somewhere that her stylist told her not to wear bronzer or self-tanner, to just go with her natural coloring... which DOES make her look pale, especially compared to her oranged-up Hollywood peers. That's my theory, anyway. She probably looks normal in person, but we're used to thinking that everyone in US magazine should more burnt sienna.

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Post Pub: Wow -- what heartless jerks the Washington Post is for making you work today.

Roxanne Roberts: Actually, we could have passed. We did it for YOU.

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Lincoln Bible: What books did you two have to swear on when taking the oath to become the Reliable Source?

Roxanne Roberts: I think it was People and US Weekly. Amy? You remember?

Amy Argetsinger: I borrowed Lois Romano's old copy of Almanac of American Politics just to lend more historic significance to the occasion.

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Person of the Year: You are totally wrong. Yes, they are cute, but they really didn't drive the gossip conversation. The obvious winner should be Sarah Palin. She is the link from which all good gossip came from: Levi, Bristol, Todd and his slow machine, Tina Fey, and of course the 7 year old. This Piper obsession is bordering on unhealthy.

Roxanne Roberts: It was piper or drugs. This is a tough job.

Amy Argetsinger: You know what? I just kind of thought Sarah Palin was too obvious. Also, didn't feel like fielding the big stack of impassioned e-mails generated from both sides of the aisle whenever you write about her. Not during the holidays, anyway.

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Alexandria, Va.: Amy, Rox, I'm gonna stretch here for material, and I apologize for that. This one is probably best directed towards Amy though. Since they are coming through town next week...who is your favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I guess Method Man because of his role in The Wire. Or Ol' Dirty Bastard, because his name is Ol' Dirty Bastard.

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The Burbs, Md.: While your feature on Michelle Rhee's constant companion was certainly gossip-worthy, can I say how tired I am of her? Holy overexposure, Batman -- she seems to be on every talk show, in every edition (dead tree, y'all!) of the Post, and on every magazine. She's the Britney Spears of the D.C. education system, minus the head shaving and hospitalization and such.

washingtonpost.com: Rhee & Kevin Johnson: Extracurricular Activities? (Post, Dec. 22)

Roxanne Roberts: But we really don't know that much about her personal life, so she's not over-exposed in the no underwear sense of the term.

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GMU: The biggest story of the year was my beloved alma mater throwing my beloved Gunston under the bus. Just awful. That mascot is terrific and my kids liked it as well. I can't take them to games anymore because they will ask about Gunston. All because the school needed a more fierce mascot. This is what is wrong with America.

Amy Argetsinger: It's a heartbreaking story, really. Gunston getting downsized, at a time when there are fewer and fewer jobs for mascots.

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Arlington, Va.: The Patriot Act has allowed DOD to snoop into Santa's lists. Amy, you made the good list and sorry Roxanne you made the bad girl list. This is the tenth straight year, isn't it Roxanne? Roxanne, we also found out Santa is leaving his favorite bad girl several pairs of Jimmy Choo pumps, the latest collections from La Perla and the Chippendale dancers from Vegas under your tree. Sorry Amy, bad girls rule. Try to be more like Roxanne in the New Year.

And yes we do have the celebrity lists.

Roxanne Roberts: Whoo ho! You just made my day!

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Washington, D.C.: All those beefcake photos of Mr. President-elect had captions re his daughters Malia and "Natasha" -- made me use the ol' Google and learn that "Sasha" is a nickname for Natasha. Who knew? Fun fact for the week for me.

Roxanne Roberts: Could that be right? I think it's just Sasha.

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Reliable Source Oath: I read somewhere that Hello! and OK! have each offered $12 million if the next gossip columnists use their publications for the oath. Any truth to that?

Roxanne Roberts: Only if we have picture approval.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi. I am so happy to see you all here. I got to the airport early to try to do standby on an earlier flight to see my family, but the airline isn't doing standby anymore and wouldn't let me check my bag, so rather than tool around National (with my suitcase, outside of security) for three hours until I could check my suitcase, I came back home. That's me, keeping the D.C. taxi industry in business today!

So, gossip wise, how 'bout Lance and the baby!? Whos' the girlfriend du jour?

Amy Argetsinger: Wow, I totally missed this story. (Time to confess that we're both on our respective vacations, typing from remote locations.) Thanks for alerting me to it. So Lance Armstrong is having another baby. With a girlfriend we didn't even know about -- someone named Anna Hansen, who I can only assume is a tanned and toned blonde. And since you ask, yes, the general thinking was that he couldn't have any more kids after the bout with testicular cancer -- but according to the wire story, "the couple are expecting without the use of artificial fertilization."

I wonder if this was a surprise for everyone.

She's due in June.

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Arlington, Va.: The hype over Anne Hathway: while she's not in say, Kate Winslet's class, IMHO, she has potential to be the best young American actress. She's got range: she was convincing as a bitter wife in "Brokeback Mountain, an Eliza Doolittle dork in the Princess Diaries, and a kick a_ _ action heroine in Get Smart. And the fact she looked spectacular in "The Devil Wears Prada" and has had a truly scandalous (not slutty or drug-filled) love life doesn't hurt her, either.

Amy Argetsinger: That's right, she was really good in Brokeback Mountain... Good choices in movie roles. Bad choices in boyfriends.

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Shopping Mall, USA: I was shopping yesterday for socks for my brother, and there were two Foot Locker-type stores next to each other. One was blasting Beyonce's "If You Like It (Put a Ring on it)." The other was not. That shopping choice was very easy. I thought Amy would appreciate.

Amy Argetsinger: Best song of the year -- anyone disagree with that?

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People/Tots of the Year: While I think that both Piper and Sasha are very cute, I'm not sure I buy that they should get person of the year honors, either separately or together. Why not expand it to Phenomenon of the year? I'd nominate Tina Fey's Sarah Palin wig or Barack Obama's pecs-n-abs.

Roxanne Roberts: Point taken. The abs ARE impressive.

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Washington, D.C.: I think you should leave Michelle Rhee alone. She's not famous just because she's famous (a la Paris Hilton) and she hasn't been accused of anything illegal or immoral. I just think it might be nice to respect her privacy since she has young kids and certainly isn't touting her personal life for private gain like many nauseating celebs.

Amy Argetsinger: When one powerful, attractive newsmaking person is dating another powerful, attractive newsmaking person... we should just ignore it? You trying to put us out of business? And lets just say, we're totally in favor of Michelle Rhee and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson dating, if that's what's going on there. We're entitled to ask, and they're entitled to not tell us.

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Washington, D.C.: "Anne Hathaway is scary looking."

She is scary gorgeous maybe. She is simply stunning.

Roxanne Roberts: Her eyes are like double the size of a normal person.

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Washington Gossip (sorta): What's going on with Sean Penn's marriage these days? Did he and Robin reconcile?

Amy Argetsinger: Seem to have. That was an odd thing.

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West Falls Church, Va.: Amy, ODB is dead.

Amy Argetsinger: I know that. What, does he have to stop being my favorite? Sorry if some past-tense was called for there, but his name is still his name.

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Rahm: Ladies, I find myself inexplicably smitten with Rahm Emmanuel. What do you recommend I do about this condition?

Roxanne Roberts: Start swearing---a lot. He's married and a potty mouth. You can mind-meld.

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Washington, D.C.: I went to the closing show last week at the Church Street Theater's performance of Glengarry Glen Ross, which was quite good. Anyway, after the show, the actors turned on a lamp as they walked off the stage and said it was a Polish tradition in honor of the great Robert Prosky, who recently passed away. Now I'm Polish, and have never heard of this. Is this a tradition I have missed out on? You know anything about it?

Amy Argetsinger: So funny -- I was there too, front row. I didn't quite understand the ritual either and meant to look it up in my Dictionary of Polish Theater Traditions when I got home, but I forgot. Good show. I liked the guy who played Romo, since his interpretation was so different from Al Pacino's.

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Fairfax, Va.: D.C. is right. Sasha is the short for Natasha. I heard Michelle say this once before.

Roxanne Roberts: I learned something new. Thanks, guys.

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Hollywood, Fla.: Oy! That year end wrap-up was such a joy! I hate to mention but you forget Mr. Tony Danza who should be a "Contender" for his nice comeback. He's such a nice boy, that Tony.

Amy Argetsinger: Hopefully he'll be our Person of the Year for 2009. But he's going to have to step it up.

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Fairfax, Va.: OMG, would someone please tell Barry Manilow to stop singing Christmas songs! My ears are packing their bags and threatening to leave the rest of me!

Roxanne Roberts: Be nice. It's Christmas Eve. It's over by tomorrow night.

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Anne Hathaway: No doubt she is pale. However, Gwyneth Paltrow is just as pale.

Amy Argetsinger: But has blonde hair, so less of a contrast. And I think she hits the bronzer, like most of them do.

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Undisclosed locations?: Maybe the electronic age isn't so great. If you two are doing the chat while you are supposed to be enjoying a holiday break, something's wrong with the world. (Sorta like Ana Marie Cox doing her chat from an IHOP somewhere in Maryland yesterday.) I hope you are well compensated for this, in addition to enjoying the affection of your loyal chatters.

Roxanne Roberts: Mostly affection.

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McLean, Va.: Who would you rather not be?

Jenny Aniston: Dumped by Brad who was grabbed by a better, hotter, more worldly woman. Now, recently got Mayer back on the ball and chain after he cheated and tried to flee. Eggs starting to deplete.

Jessica Simpson: Life exposed on MTV. Nick left you for a hotter woman. Go through a series of confusing relationships with ugly dudes (e.g. Dane Cook). Now, almost have the ball and chain on Tony Romo after he tried to leave also. Carrie Underwood, his ex, is hotter and much more talented.

Amy Argetsinger: I would rather not be... anyone who ends up on magazine covers by virtue of their personal life mini-dramas rather than actual accomplishment, and is thus subjected to vaguely sexist and reductionist analyses of their lives by total strangers like us.

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D.C.: re: Roxanne Roberts: Her eyes are like double the size of a normal person.

So is her nose and mouth.

Roxanne Roberts: You mean Anne, right? For a minute I was kinda freaked out.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: I find Lon Anderson of AAA cute as the dickens. Do you agree?

washingtonpost.com: Lon Anderson (Google Images)

Amy Argetsinger: I've always wondered what he looks like. He's a quote machine, isn't he?

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Gobble News: How many turkeys do you think Oprah will eat tomorrow?

Roxanne Roberts: You guys are so mean today! No one in the Christmas spirit?

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Start swearing -- a lot. He's married and a potty mouth. You can mind-meld. : Does Rahm's wife swear a lot? Does anyone know anything about her? He must have something terrible on her -- why else would she marry him?

Roxanne Roberts: Actually, he's really smart and kind of cute, in a wirey way.

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Question: Any idea what Antonio Sabato Jr. is up to these days? I always think about him fondly during the holidays.

Amy Argetsinger: Likewise. My favorite Christmas Eve tradition is looking up Antonio Sabato's wikipedia page while I wait for my relatives to free up the bathroom. Good news: He's reprising the role of Jagger Cates on the second season of "General Hospital: Night Shift" (who knew that such a wonderous show existed?), and in the spring he will star in his own dating show for VH1.

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Hollywood, Calif.: Big news from the Inaugural Committee:

The Committee has decided that this year's Inaugural theme will be "'60s Retro." Here's the entertainment line-up for the Inaugural Balls:

--Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens, Arte Johnson and Jo Anne Worley

--Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell

--Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine

--Paul Lynde, Charlie Weaver, Roy Clark and Minnie Pearl

--John Davidson and Tony Orlando and Dawn

--Adam West and Burgess Meredith

--Andy Griffith and Andy Williams

--Ron Howard

--Up With People

--The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

--Jefferson Airplane

Hope this helps! Should be fun!

Amy Argetsinger: This is going to be an awesome party after all. Two questions, though -- isn't Minnie Pearl dead? And wasn't "Up With People" a '70s thing? In which case let's get the New Christy Minstrels. I'm wearing fringe.

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Water Main Break: Any idea of whether there is any good gossip coming out of the water main break? Destroyed homes or interesting destroyed property belonging to D.C. gossip subjects?

Amy Argetsinger: Good question. I enjoyed Joe Scarborough's narration of the incident yesterday, where he told the audience "this is the part of town where a lot of well-known people live, a lot of people you've seen on MSNBC." Or something like that. Useful context.

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One for the Gipper: Disappointed in you guys : If you really knew football and were such big NFL fans as you oft pretend to be (Cooleys package aside) instead of a couple of fakers, you would know McNabb totally sucks and nobody but nobody wears full length furs any more.

Roxanne Roberts: Doesn't matter if he sucks---he's s still an NFL QB, which is a big deal to a lot of people. And give mom a break.

Jeesh, I'm a totally softie today, aren't I?

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Lon Anderson: Are he and Loni related?

Amy Argetsinger: I just assumed they're twins, right?

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Who would you rather stand with under the mistletoe? Snoop Dog or P-Diddy?

Amy Argetsinger: Is 50 an option? No? Then Snoop.

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Anne Hathaway: Isn't she exactly what the gossip industry should love for? Not drug use, not sleeping around with guys from Limp Bizkit -- but a good old fashioned beautiful actress involved in a scandal-filled affair that involved the Vatican and billions of dollars. It's a great gossippy story that makes people work and think -- as opposed to Britney being a (insert own comment here). To be, Anne Hathaway is the gossip story of the year. However, I don't blame you for not highlighting it, as it is really not a D.C. story.

Amy Argetsinger: Truly, she had a heck of a year. Not even Liz Taylor ever had a scandal-filled affair involving the Vatican, that I know of.

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Brooklyn, N.Y.: I think the person of the year is Mad Men's John Hamm because he's so incredibly handsome. He's a much better looking man than Anne Hathaway.

Roxanne Roberts: She sucks as a guy.

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Christmas, Schmristmas: Bah humbug. I want to know what the Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and pagan celebrities are up to at this time of the year.

Amy Argetsinger: They're participating in our chat because there's nothing else to do. And then tomorrow they're going to go see Valkyrie.

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Sasha as nickname: I haven't a clue about darling little Sasha Obama, but Sasha was more frequently a diminutive of "Alexander" or "Alexandra" in Russia than Natasha. Hence, Alexander Semin of the Caps is know as Sasha Semin. Figure Skated Sasha Cohen's given name is Alexandra.

I've taught several Russian's named Natasha and all go by Natasha, but both Alexandra's went by Sasha.

Roxanne Roberts: Gotcha.

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Git Er Done: I was rather disappointed with Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Special. Did you gals see it? It really lacked something.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm sorry to hear that. He was always one of our great national treasures. But it's hard to stay culturally relevant and at the top of your game performance wise for so many years.

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I know she's on Morning Joe but ...: Seasonal Greetings : You guys may have covered this before but who exactly is Mika Brzenzinski? Where did she come from and is she related to the guy from the Carter administration ?

washingtonpost.com: Mika's Second Act (Post, Dec. 22)

Amy Argetsinger: Yep, she's Zbig's daughter. You can read all about her in Howard Kurtz's story, link above.

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NYC: Best song of the year -- Beyonce? I don't know -- that new Killers song is pretty darn awesome.

Amy Argetsinger: Whatever the new Killers song is is generally awesome. Pretty much at any time over the past four years, my favorite song on the radio at that moment has been a Killers song, a Beyonce song or a T.I. song.

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Just Wondering: Do Scientologists celebrate Christmas?

Roxanne Roberts: Yes. They go to see the new Tom Cruise movie.

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Vienna, Va.: Where the heck is Oprah going to find a $50 mil house in this area?

Granted, there are expensive homes in this area such as a 10.5 mil mansion on Waverly Way that I drove by in McLean a few months ago, or Hickory Hill, but not 50 mil!

Amy Argetsinger: Answer: Oprah is not going to buy a big home in Washington. Don't believe the hype. Yes, there is exactly one home for sale for $49 million in this area, but I can't imagine Oprah wants it. If she needs a crash pad, she'll get a condo at the Ritz Carlton or something. But she's got $50 million worth of house in California; even the richest richies don't need more than one of those. High-end real estate is a breeding ground for bad rumors about celebrities. People don't have enough imagination to realize the buyer is some tech guy or Saudi prince they're never heard of; they just assume "oh, it must be Bill Gates or Oprah or TomKat!" And it never is.

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Beyonce: That Put a Ring on It song might very well be the best of the year, but her video for If I Were a Boy is the best video of the year. Maybe the decade. Maybe not decade, because Eric Roberts did a cameo in Mr. Britesides, which upped that video a few levels.

washingtonpost.com: If I Were a Boy (YouTube)

Amy Argetsinger: You know who Beyonce needs to team up with for her next video? Eric Roberts. That would be so hawt.

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Washington, D.C.: re: Amy Argetsinger: Is 50 an option? No? Then Snoop.

What about white rappers like Vanilla Ice and Eminem!

Amy Argetsinger: Have you SEEN either of those guys lately?

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Alexandria, Va.: First of all, Merry Christmas to both of you. I hope it is a wonderful holiday season. Second, now that the season is moving along -- what was the best holiday party that we all should have crashed and best gift received so far?

Roxanne Roberts: Amy was the party girl this year. But I will say the White House party was unexpectedly fun----awesome eggnog, and the president and first lady both at their best.

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Mistletoe followup: Milbank or Weingarten?

Amy Argetsinger: I think I'm going to have to plead the fifth.

Roxanne Roberts: Both.

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Arlington, Va.: Since this is a slow week, I thought I could include a Troy Aikman sighting. He was at Champps in Pentagon Row Sunday night watching the Giants-Carolina game. Obviously he was in town for the Skins-Eagles game on FOX.

Amy Argetsinger: Uh, you should have called us with that on Monday.

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Quiet today: Seven of my eight comments have been posted.

Amy Argetsinger: No, it's really that you're just that good.

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Alexandria, Va.: In the interest of defending McNabb, it's not like he's any worst than the rest of the NFC East's QBs. Romo is a choking dog media creation, Eli is mediocre on a great team, and Jason Campbell...well, less said about him, the better.

P.S. -- was it McNabb's real mom, or the fake mom he had in the first set of commercials (the mom from City Guys)?

Roxanne Roberts: Real mom. That's what made it fun.

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Washington, D.C.: Anne Hathaway can sing, too. She did a wicked Julie Andrews on SNL.

Amy Argetsinger: That was pretty good.

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Blago: Will he go to prison? (a white collar place rather than a max-security one) If so, would they (heaven forfend) shave his head?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm guessing yes.

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Speaking of pale skin: Check out this chat hostess:

Amy Argetsinger? (The Huffington Post)

Amy Argetsinger: I'm sure I looked especially spooky-Hathaway-pale during the couple of minutes I stood next to tawny-golden Lauren Conrad that night.

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Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: re: lights in theaters

When I worked in my college's theater, we had a lamp we turned on as we were closing the theater for the evening, called a "ghost lamp", but we never brought it out when patrons were still in the theater.

The actor's story sounds fishy to me.

Amy Argetsinger: Any Polish theater experts out there?

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re Rahm's mouth: My college roommate and I had such a crush on him during the Clinton years.

I think the potty mouth is a total turn on.

Roxanne Roberts: Bleeping A, mate.

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Aunt Piper: Maybe I have been out of touch, but when will our co-person of the year be an aunt?

Roxanne Roberts: Any second now---baby was still pending as of last night, as far as I know.

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Alexandria, Va.: So what do you guys think? If I go get sushi for lunch, am I going to have to quit my job, Piven-style?

Amy Argetsinger: A consumer group says you'd have to eat a whole lotta sushi to get mercury poisoning. But hey, if you can get your doctor to write that up on your excuse slip, why not?

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Southern California: I went out for sushi last night and probably had a roll or two too many. What are the signs I am suffering ill effects of mercury? Not like I'm trying to get out of performing in Speed-the-Plow, but there are a couple family events in the next two days where that mercury excuse might work.

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, go for it. If that doesn't work, blame the eggnog.

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Alexandria, Va.: Which is your favorite principle of Kwanzaa?

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone remember Tim Meadows' "Kwanzaa Timmy" character on Saturday Night Live? Very funny.

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Feeling crummy: I'm feeling really crummy today, but wanted to be here for the entire chat before going home sick. I really feel lousy...

Amy Argetsinger: Too much sushi?

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Washington, D.C.: Why do Hello! and OK! have exclamation points in their names? Are you supposed to scream it when you say it? Is that how they answer the phones at those mags?

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, you are supposed to scream it.

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Shout Out for a Quick Recovery !: I don't know why but when I hear about Jeremy Piven and his mercury problem I think about that scene with the dog in Eddie Murphy's Doctor Doolittle ?

Amy Argetsinger: You know, you're the only person who saw Eddie Murphy's Doctor Doolittle.

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Do Scientologists celebrate Christmas?: FWIW, Landless Theater is currently playing A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant now through January 4.

I've heard good things about it.

Roxanne Roberts: The Navitivy scene with animated Katie Holmes is especially nice.

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Anonymous: What is Lindsay Lohan doing right now? I need to know.

Roxanne Roberts: She's resting. Her life is very, very exhausting.

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Stage light: Would this have had anything to do with the superstition about leaving at least one light on at all time in the theater? I remember being told we had to do this in my theater days, but never was sure why. According to Wikipedia:

Ghost light One should always leave a light burning in an empty theater. Traditionally, the light is placed downstage center. That is, closest to the audience, center stage. Several reasons are given for this, all having to do with ghosts:

The light wards off ghosts. A theater's ghosts always want to have enough light to see. Failure to provide this may anger them, leading to pranks or other mishaps. It prevents non-spectral personnel from having to cross the stage in the dark, falling into the orchestra pit, dying in the fall and becoming ghosts themselves. Though it's a superstition, it does have practical value: The backstage area of a theater tends to be cluttered, so someone who enters a completely darkened space is liable to be injured while hunting for a light switch.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, no, this was more a tribute-to-the-late-beloved thing than a warding-off-a-ghost thing...

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Am I Safe?: Growing up in Washington, my daddy always told me I was completely safe, but he said to look out -- when those Reliable Source gossip columnists get out of town to undisclosed locations, do the same. Because they know things. So, should I get going? Or wait until the chat is done?

Amy Argetsinger: Your dad was right. We're always privy to information ahead of everyone else. So word to the wise: Don't go to work tomorrow because... no one else will be there!

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Washington, D.C.: Can we talk about the new Guitar Hero commercial with Kobe and co. and how freakin' awesomely hilarious it is?

washingtonpost.com: Kobe Bryant Guitar Hero IV

Amy Argetsinger: Funny, I hadn't seen that! That was one expensive commercial...

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New York: You gotta love Mamet's remark that Piven must be trying out for a job as a thermometer.

Roxanne Roberts: One of the absolutely best quotes of the year.

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Poolsville, Md.: Do you know if Derrick McGinty is married?

Amy Argetsinger: I believe he's single.

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Katie Holmes: Didn't Tom announce sometime after the couch-jumping incident that she would hereby be known as Kate Cruise? What happened to that?

Amy Argetsinger: A mini-deprogramming by her agent? I don't know...

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Reston, Va.: "was it McNabb's real mom, or the fake mom he had in the first set of commercials (the mom from City Guys)"

No, no, no! In the first ones it wasn't his real mom. That's why it was so weird. I remember the ads and thinking that I've seen that woman on TV before. When people with no life like me made a stink, they got the real mom to come in.

Roxanne Roberts: Really? That's pretty great.

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Frederick, Md.: Does Wolf Blitzer have a cute butt?

Amy Argetsinger: You'll have to e-mail CNN and ask him to turn around sometime on camera.

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Sacramento, Calif.: So glad to see you guys got the Michelle Rhee/Kevin Johnson item in this week! One more piece of evidence that they are a likely item: the two of them were seen running in a very popular 10K here on Thanksgiving Day. Do you really think they were discussing charter school business on Turkey Day?

Roxanne Roberts: Maybe that's their pillow talk.

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Madoff and D.C.: Any idea about how D.C. charities and society will be affected by the Madoff scandal? Or was this one that was limited to N.Y., Palm Beach, Israel and parts of Europe?

Amy Argetsinger: Our colleague Megan Greenwell had a story about the local impact. Link to follow, eventually...

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Washington, D.C.: I read somewhere that LiLo's female squeeze now makes about 3 mil/year as a DJ because LiLo tends to show up when she's working. What a gig.

Amy Argetsinger: That was a gossip item somewhere -- that her fees have gone from $1,000 per gig to $25K. Not bad.

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Story of the year: Not sure if you would care to or can respond to this, but for you two, what was your favorite story to report this year? Most fun? Most interesting to you?

Amy Argetsinger: Too hard to think about right now. Sorry! I'll try to come up with an answer for our next chat, two weeks hence...

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washingtonpost.com: Local Toll Runs High In Madoff Collapse (Post, Dec. 21)

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Bethesda, Md.: I'm leaving work now and going home. Have a great holiday and New Year. Please report back on any New Year shenanigans.

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry, we're off the clock on New Year's. If you hear of any good shenanigans, though, let us know about them at reliablesource@washpost.com.

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Stocking Stuffer: Can you imagine I still have shopping to do but wanted so much to be here to say thanks for all the fun times over the past year. You complete my Wednesdays and this will be a cherished Christmas Eve memory for at least a week.

Amy Argetsinger: No, you complete OUR Wednesdays, and thank you for it. I still have some shopping to do too -- how late are the liquor stores open?

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Breuklyn: On the TV ads for Valkyrie, it boasts that it's the best suspense thriller of the year.

How suspenseful could it be? I think we all know how Hitler's life came to an end. Doesn't that take some of the suspense out? Or does Hitler get killed in this one under "artistic license" and "willing suspension of disbelief"?

Amy Argetsinger: Maybe it's an alternate-universe story where the plot actually works and they actually do succeed in killing Hitler. Anyway, what can I say, there's nothing more fun than Nazi movies; oddly looking forward to this one.

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Put a ring on it...: What about "My Phatty?" or was that last year already? I love that song. Everytime I put on my Seven jeans I sing it to myself. hee.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, good one. I think that was at least a year ago, wasn't it? Hilarious song.

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8 more days left . . .: New Year's resolutions?

Amy Argetsinger: Can I just say, you all really came through in a big way after all with the questions. It was looking pretty bleak at first, but now we have more than we can possibly mention. Running out of time; let's resume our discussion of New Year's Resolutions when we're back here with you on the 7th and we've presumably already broken and/or achieved all of ours already.

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Katie Holmes: As she has stayed in the news and had acting roles, so have several of her colleagues from Dawson's Creek -- but whatever happened to Dawson? Katie is working, and Michelle Williams has been nominated for an Oscar -- but no signs of Dawson? These people would all be nobodies without Dawson.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm sorry, my Wikipedia Christmas Eve tradition is limited to reading about Antonio Sabato Jr. No time to do research on James van der Beek. No time to even check to see if I'm spelling his name right. Sorry. But Merry Christmas to you.

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Jews, Chinese, Hindus-stan: Let's make a minyan and meet up for Chinese food ... isn't that what Adam Sandler, Manilow, Barbra and the gang do?

Amy Argetsinger: You mean... they all get together without US? I may have to rethink my Xmas traditions.

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Dear Amy and Roxanne: Love your chats! I learn a lot from them. Thanks for being here today. What are your plans for tomorrow? I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

Amy Argetsinger: My plan is to have a lovely Christmas with family in the Finger Lakes.

Roxanne Roberts: That's were sweet of you. I'll spend the day with my awesone son and my bad but adorable cats.

All the best to all of you for a happy holiday and great new year. We're off next week; back Jan. 7. Behave, but make sure you get under the mistletoe at some point.

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Washington, D.C.: Did Marlena leave town already or did she make plans to swing by your cubicles to give you guys the lowdown on what she's been up to since she left the country?

She gets 20 mil from Jack and Jack's daughter can't even pay rent?

Roxanne Roberts: Didn't drop by, much to my dismay. But don't blame her for the daughter's plight: Blame Jack's estate trustees. They have plenty of cash and control the purse strings.

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washingtonpost.com: Antonio Sabato Jr. (Google Images)

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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