Dishing on Jason Taylor, Meghan McCain, the First Lady's Pics and More

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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 4, 2009; 11:00 AM

Reliable Source columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, March 4, 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: Jason Taylor, movie star? Meghan McCain's post-election dating woes. The Chertoffs welcome Napolitano, and Eleanor Holmes Norton will park illegally so you don't have to!

In recent days: Shocker! We find the script for "unscripted" drama Blonde Charity Mafia. Michelle Obama's first lady portrait looks a lot like Hillary's -- except, of course, for the arms. "Top Chef" finalist Carla Hall's big new future in D.C.

E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source Blog.

A transcript follows.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone and welcome to -- well, our first chat in March. Not quite the Ides of March, but the post-Inaugural, post-Oscars, pre-March Madness, pre-White House Correspondents' Dinner blahs. Give us something to look forward to, okay?

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What's filming?: Since you are the be-all, end-all in knowledge, any idea what all the film trucks on D St., SW near Printing and Engraving and Ag? I work in the Portals and was walking by a bunch of burly dudes next to a Panavision truck.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, keep your eyes open; we're thinking this might be the start of filming on "Salt," the new Angelina Jolie movie. Which is not the same as saying you're going to see Angelina Jolie here, just that her movie is doing some filming in D.C. this week. Keep your eyes open and fill us in at reliablesource@washpost.com. (Please, e-mail not chat for story tips.) Thanks!

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Woodbridge, Va.: I am sorry to see Jason Taylor go -- my stars, but he is handsome.

washingtonpost.com: Forget Football? Taylor's Got Stars in His Eyes (Reliable Source, March 4)

Roxanne Roberts: Handsome, yes, and admittedly very metrosexual: Mannies, peddies, facials, etc. He's got a gorgeous wife who got him into high fashion and an agent who always planned to market him to Hollywood.

I think he's pretty interested in the acting thing: He would have received $8.5 million for just one more year here in Washington, but didn't want to come to the off-season workouts. I figure he's got other plans.

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Sarasota, Fla: My observation of the two first lady photos is this: holy plastered on smile, Batman! Reminds me of this physical therapist I had in Maryland. Asked him if he had to take a class to learn that cheesy grin he sported every time he said "Great, now do 10 more!" He said yes, and they gave him a mirror for practice. Do you practice your interview smiles?

washingtonpost.com: Pictures: Hmm. That Pose Sure Seems Familiar ... (Reliable Source, March 3)

Amy Argetsinger: First of all, way to make pals with your physical therapist. Second -- what does anyone else think of her smile? I didn't study the photo closely. I guess the test is always, as Tyra says, are you smiling with your eyes or just with your mouth? Because with a true smile, you're also smiling with your eyes.

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Potomac: There's a simple response to Meghan McCain's ramblings: Who cares.

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, we care!

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Washington, D.C.: I just arrived at work this morning in Southwest and noticed a bunch of movie-making trucks at the Mandarin Oriental. What movie are they shooting? Any details or celebrity sightings?

Amy Argetsinger: Maybe probably the movie "Salt," which stars Angelina Jolie as a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian sleeper spy -- and then, naturally has to "go on the run to clear her name" as they always do. Anyway, let us know what you see, and send the tips to reliablesource@washpost.com.

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Burbs, Md.: (fawning)

Roxanne, you absolutely rock on Wait, Wait. That pick which story is true segment? Yours always sounds true, but usually isn't.

I work some Saturdays, and like the extra money but hate missing Wait, Wait.

(/fawning)

In the interest of journalistic fairness, Amy would no doubt rock, too, on the show.

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks---I love to come up with convincing bluffs---and yes, Amy would rock because she knows everything.

As for missing the show: No need. You can now go to the "Wait Wait" website and listen to past shows anytime on your computer, or download the podcast and listen on your iPod. etc. I finally broke down and got one, and listen while running errands. It's awesome.

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Clueless in Santa Monica: Hi Ladies! I think that I should be kicked out of the celebrity sighting club. The day of the Oscars I was with my family in Santa Monica near the pier. This guy ran by and I thought, "Gee, that looks like Christian Bale," but then I doubted myself and thought, "Nah, he looks too nice and what would he be doing running on the beach down here?" Fast forward to a day or two later when we are home from our vacation and I saw a picture of Bale, dressed in the jogging clothes I saw him in, playing video games at the arcade at the Santa Monica Pier. If I hadn't seen the pic, I would have never given my sighting another thought. What really made me laugh at myself was my thought that the nice looking guy who ran by couldn't possibly be the monster I had just heard on the audio tape a couple of weeks before! Btw, he is really cute and I may be forgiving him for that outburst. ..

Amy Argetsinger: That's hilarious. And this leads into an interesting follow-up from our discussion last week about what qualifies as a good star sighting. In New York and D.C., we agree, the best star sightings are the stars completely out of context in an ordinary place -- a sandwich shop, a drugstore. The L.A. corollary is that the best star sightings are the stars completely out of context -- jogging, or having brunch -- in the same clothes that you later see on them in the paparazzi photos. Then you can say, ooh, I saw them THAT day! And it's weirdly thrilling.

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Did I miss something?: Did Roxanne get traded? Or is she just late?

Roxanne Roberts: You missed my first answer. In a shocking twist, I actually beat Amy to the office today. (Barely, but I did.)

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Downtown: Hi. Any idea what movie set is taking up the Old Convention Center lot? I haven't been able to find any references to it on the Interweb. Thanks!

Amy Argetsinger: Ditto, Salt. Send the details to reliablesource@washpost.com.

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Richmond, Va.: This is not your area, but I need to know. I've never gotten highlights before, just a haircut. I fear I may not have tipped enough. How much? Help!

Amy Argetsinger: Well, depends how much you were charged -- and then, what, 15 percent? Unless it's the owner, who you're not supposed to tip, though they usually won't complain if you do.

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If Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: can be a movie star, then certainly Jason Taylor should be able to. He's got the money to get a good agent and wait for some cool parts, if he's serious.

Roxanne Roberts: I think he's serious, which doesn't mean he can act. Think of all the pretty people who have tried and failed. The Rock is actually pretty good---he has great timing.

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Ex-Washingtonian: As disappointed as I imagine Jason Taylor is, I'm confident that he'll be wildly successful in a second career on television, or any other profession of his choice. The man is lovely to look at, and, more importantly, has absolutely amazing charisma!

Roxanne Roberts: Jason---That you, honey?

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Washington, D.C.: I meant to ask this last week... where was Cate Blanchett during the Oscars? I thought her absence was rather strange.

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know. Not everyone's always there. She might have been filming a movie or doing a play; she and her husband live in Australia, so it's kind of a long haul, and if you're not nominated or presenting, a lot of stars don't bother.

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Some Like It Hot: So since you've plugged "Salt" shamelessly for three answers, can you at least tell us the gist of what it's about?

Amy Argetsinger: I already did, didn't I? In the second of my responses. And I'm not plugging it. Just trying to answer the questions and solicit some more information.

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Rockville, Md.: We'll say what everyone's thinking but doesn't want to say: So-called "reality" television shows are, for the most part, terrible. They are terribly produced, directed, written, acted, photographed, blocked, staged, paced and developed. Literally nine out of 10 people on the shows cannot act, do not have camera presence, should not be in front of cameras on a television show (not being snobby, but they come across terribly on camera, and that's just normal for most people, so we're not being mean), they do not have drama or theater or acting or singing experience or knowledge, they are insulting to most people's intelligence, and they are bad for about 150 other reasons. We need the long-awaited return to more dramatic shows and more situation comedies to replace these shows. And network suits wonder why ratings are down? Ratings are down because the majority of people don't want to watch these terrible reality shows -- "Blonde Charity Mafia" included, and the reason for this post.

Roxanne Roberts: But you forgot a critical element: They're cheap. Dramas cost much more and take much longer to get up and on the air. And look at the latest installment of the "Bachelor"----massive ratings.

Speaking of which: Are we pro Jason (the bachelor, not the Redskin) or anti Jason? How long before the sad news that Molly's move to Seattle didn't work out? And why do we keep watching when they never end up staying together?

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Bus Stop: That Donald Rumsfeld piece is a little troubling. First off why would he be taking a bus and why is he back in D.C.? I thought we were done with that big creep long ago.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, he lives here. Never left. And I guess he takes the bus to get from one part of town to another.

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Anonymous: Here's an interesting tip for watching TV -- I mute the commercials and sometimes forget to turn the sound back up for the actual shows and I find I'm enjoying television a whole lot more...

Amy Argetsinger: Ann Hornaday wrote in her pre-Oscar story last week that the test of a really great acting performance is if you can follow the gist of what they're doing with the sound turned down.

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Eleanor Holmes Norton: just keeps going up on my likeability meter! First all those great Colbert appearances and now she is keeping me from getting a parking ticket. What a woman!

Amy Argetsinger: She's sacrificing for you, really. I kind of admire that logic.

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Anonymous: Oh, so now you want me to READ the answers too? Do you have any idea how tough it is to come up with usable questions every week? You guys are really tough.

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry, but it's hard times, we're asking everyone to pull their own weight these days.

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Georgetown, D.C.: Hello ladies -- Did you know that at the end of April the Georgetown "Social Safeway" is closing for two years? It's going be razed and a new one built. What will Jordan's King Hussein, not to mention all the local swells, ever do? I doubt they'll be going to that crummy Giant up the road in Cleveland Park.

Amy Argetsinger: Maybe they'll start ordering in -- or did all those grocery delivery services vanish in the economic freefall?

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Wait, Wait on Podcast -- life saver: I am not a huge hiker but my husband is and is in training for a large mountain, so to be supportive, I am hiking with him. He recently got me an iPod and I have taken to downloading the podcasts of Wait, Wait. I then listen while hiking. Honestly it is getting me through sometimes. Of course it is hard to explain to other hikers when I start laughing like crazy.

Roxanne Roberts: They're just envious you're having more fun than they are.

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Something to look forward to...: um, Cherry Blossoms. March Madness. Spring weather. Amy, you feeling a little blah today?

Amy Argetsinger: But we don't have them YET! I want something to talk about NOW!

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Jean Cochran?: Rox, sometime when you see Karl Cassell at WWDTM, would you please ask him a bit about his AM co-star who reads the news headlines on the half-hour on NPR's "Morning Edition? She has such a soothing voice that inspires confidence, but I've never seen anything about her. Is she the stealth Karl?

Roxanne Roberts: Jean's cool---met her a few times but don't know much about her. I'll get Carl to dish.

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Btw, he is really cute and I may be forgiving him for that outburst...: No! Cuteness is not a reason to forgive. A real apology (done with smiling eyes) is.

Roxanne Roberts: But with actors, how do you know?

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Lancaster, Pa.: I think Michelle Obama is making the sleeveless dress a must-have -- Mellody Hobson, the financial guru, was on GMA this morning and she was wearing a Michelle-like dress. Don't know how the trend will go over up here -- doubt if the Amish will abandon their sleeves. But then again, they ditched their grandma shoes for Nikes (which look kind of odd with black hose).

Amy Argetsinger: I've been going sleeveless a lot lately in solidarity with the first lady. Also because it startles people. Please keep us in touch with what the Amish are doing, fashion-wise-- that looks going to hit the runways soon, I predict.

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One dance step in the right direction: "Like Denzel said, the dancing thing is basically acting and getting into character with your partner every week. So it's a step in the right direction." (Jason Taylor)

Okay, I guess, but what do the men have to do on Dancing with the Stars anyway? Not much.

Roxanne Roberts: Not fair! It takes a good dancer to lead and look smooth. Trust me----he did a good job on that show.

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Germantown: What do you guys know about Marci Wiser, the midday disc jockey at 94.7? She's quite attractive.

Amy Argetsinger: I now know more about her than I did before.

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Alexandria, Va.: The only flaw with the Jason-Taylor-will-be-a-movie-star theory is that most successful actors who cross over from sports are noted for having huge work ethics (Gov. Ah-nold, Dwayne Johnson). Based on his time with the Redskins, when he was always hurt and never willing to train, I'd say his chances are slim to none.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha!

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Anonymous: RNC Chairman Michael Steele's statement that "I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren't what I was thinking..." could certainly be used by lots of celebrities (a certain actor who starred in the Batman film, for example), as well as virtually any guy who's had too much to drink in a social setting. By the way, I think the only celebrity sighting I've had in my life (assuming Stuart Symington arriving at the L.A. airport on his way to the 1960 Democratic Convention doesn't count), was Pierce Brosnan standing in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, that's not bad. RE: Steele, I think all of us could have used that line at some point.

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Kensington, Md.: Do you think they'll use the Octomom in "Salt," sort of a "Face Off" tribute, and if they do, will Selma Hayek feed the babies while she shoots? Will Tony Danza be involved?

Amy Argetsinger: That would be the best movie ever.

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Reality shows are cheap: and they don't require writers. I think reality shows are the biz's never ending "gotcha!" to writers after their big strikes.

Roxanne Roberts: Reality shows demonstrate the difference between actual dialogue and a written script. People are seldom that clever in real life.

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something to look forward to: Well, there's the huge Tree Sluggers softball team meeting coming up. We're going to discuss new shirts.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, I hear that one's going to be pretty controversial. Some pushing for a 50-50 cotton-poly blend, what with the hard times.

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Washington, D.C.: Roxanne, I have a question about Wait Wait: do they ever have two women on the panel at once? I haven't heard every single episode of Wait Wait, but it seems like it's nearly always two men and one woman. Is that a coincidence or a policy? Wouldn't you and Paula be funny together?

Roxanne Roberts: I've been on with Paula several times---you probably haven't noticed because she's hilarious and I'm....less hilarious. Then again, she's a professional.

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Meg, meh, and smile, yeah!: No, we really don't care about Meghan McCain. Why should we? What has she ever done that is worthy of note besides being the daughter of a Senator? Do we need to waste more ink on this person? Are there not countless people out there actually accomplishing things and doing good that we could know about? I am so tired of people being famous for being famous. The whole culture panders to this meme now.

On a more positive note, I think Obama's smile looks lovely, as is the whole photo. I truly don't get the flap about her baring her arms. Uh, so? Mamie Eisenhower did, too!! (I am almost afraid there is a little racism in there -- how dare the uppity black woman show off like that!)

Amy Argetsinger: I hear you about the famous-for-being-famous crowd. Annoying. Believe it or not, Meghan McCain has done more to earn her fleeting fame than 75 percent of them, on the basis of being the daughter of a major presidential candidate who put herself out there during the campaign; entire magazines are based on personalities who have done far, far less. (Remind me what Jessica Simpson is famous for, btw?) Meanwhile, if you're looking for news of good people doing good deeds and accomplishing worthy stuff -- heck, that's just not our forte. Other parts of the paper do that so much better than us! You wouldn't like us if we wrote about those people!

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Meghan McCain: should simply enjoy the people she meets. With any luck, she'll find someone who doesn't recognize her and then, when he finds out "who she is," doesn't care.

Roxanne Roberts: But it's always more complicated than that, isn't it?

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I've been going sleeveless a lot lately in solidarity with the first lady: Don't you get cold? I've noticed the sleeveless fad in the department stores and wonder how folks get through the day. It's COLD out there!?

Amy Argetsinger: Layers. You end up in overheated rooms at some point during the day where it feels like July.

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Social Safeway: I imagine that King Hussein of Jordan will continue to go to the disappearing store, since he has been dead for several years.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha, whoops! The chatter meant King Abdullah, of course. Are you expecting me to fact-check the questions? Sorry, we're making the chatters do their own fact-checking before they submit questions these days. Hard times!

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Reality shows: I hate to burst the previous chatter's bubble, but reality shows actually do have writers (though they're not included in the Writers Guild, which is why they weren't in on the strike). These shows are a little more scripted than you think. Sorry.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, didn't you all read our blockbuster investigative story on Monday in which we revealed the script to everyone's favorite unscripted drama "Blonde Charity Mafia"? Someone had to write that stuff... (link to follow)

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Smiles: Hillary's looks a bit forced; Michelle's looks genuine.

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone else?

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Last Week's Beyonce Tirade: I have to add my two cents to this discussion: I have never been a Beyonce fan, but now I am totally annoyed. What artist tells people that she wants to be an icon? Sure many artists think that, but really Beyonce? You think that by stating you want icon status you're going to get it? Let's be real. Real icons don't have to state they want the status -- it is proffered because your work is worthy. Not because you say "I want to be an icon" during every interview. I'm over it.

Amy Argetsinger: So, guess this would be a bad time to mention that I want to be an icon.

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Silver Spring, Md.: I hope anyone who's feeling sorry for themselves over losing their job reads the Meghan McCain piece and realizes what real pain and sacrifice are.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, exactly!

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New York, N.Y.: Just curious. I remember when the Clintons came to town that the established Washington (Sally Quinn, et. al.) social scene turned on them almost immediately. I couldn't tell if it had to do with the fact that they were smarter and younger than the old crowd or if it was snobbery toward their Arkansas roots (and the folks they brought with them). Now I see a similarly young and smart White House couple with mid-western roots and their own social set and I wonder if there is much crossover with that same establishment (and I do mean same since it's the same crowd only older)? The Bush's seemed socially irrelevant (except the drinking twins).

Roxanne Roberts: The dirty little secret is that Washington never turns its back on the president and first lady first---but sometimes the White House rejects Washington's social scene. The Clintons kept to themselves at first, which bummed out plenty of folks here hoping to hang out with them. The Bushes (43) never had music interest in socializing in D.C. And now the Obamas have plenty of plans to interact with the city and residents, which is not the same making new friends here. They have a tight group of old, close friends, and frankly, will probably spend their precious down time with them.

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Washington, D.C.: Is the 'Social Safeway' also known as 'the Soviet Safeway' (you know the one in Georgetown on Wisconsin)?

Amy Argetsinger: No, the Soviet Safeway is the one at 17th and R, right?

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I can't believe I'm defending Jessica: Jessica Simpson did have a few moderate hits back when Britney had all her real hair and before Christina got dirty. Obviously, her "celebrity" is disproportionate to the level of fame she has earned, but at least she earned it. Meghan McCain was just lucky enough to be the spawn of John and Cindy.

A better comparison would be Rumor Willis or Kimberly Stewart, or even Kim Kardashian (though you might be able to argue she earned her fame too).

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, but she also agreed to put herself out there on the campaign trail; the other three dozen McCain kids opted out.

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Chantilly, Va.: Successful jocks-to-movie stars need two things, charisma and charm. Jason Taylor has both, and he has a marketable look. If he's wise, he will take the road Dewayne Johnson took and start off as a supporting character.

Roxanne Roberts: I think he's smart about this (and so is his agent) and will probably do just that.

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washingtonpost.com: To Keep It Real in D.C., They're Sticking to the Script (The Washington Post, March 2, 2009)

Amy Argetsinger: You see?

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Hillary's looks a bit forced: Hillary's looks territorial, like "I am HERE, IT'S MINE, ALL MINE!" -- whereas Michelle's humbly says "welcome to my home."

Amy Argetsinger: Okay...

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Things to Look Forward To: You're into March Madness? All these years of loyal reading, and I had no idea! Do you ladies bracket up?

Roxanne Roberts: My son is obsessed---he always makes me join the office pool. Amy---not so much. But we have our own annual gossip bracket coming up shortly, as well. Link to follow.

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U Street: Maybe this is more appropriate for Tom, but I already know the food will be good. Surprising the BF with dinner at Minibar for his birthday. What celebs are we likely to see at the bar or in Cafe Atlantico? Any recent celeb citings there? Any celebs whose photos I should make sure to check out before going so I don't miss them? It's just two of us so obviously I'm praying that Michelle and Barack are there next to us, but I'm not holding my breath.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, it's a pretty small place; odds that one of your fellow diners will be faaaaymous is unlikely, but let us know if you see anyone...

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washingtonpost.com: 2008 Reliable Source Tournament (The Washington Post, 2008)

Amy Argetsinger: Here you go.

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Soviet Safeway: is technically 17th and Corcoran, but regardless it's definitely Soviet, long lines and no food

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, that's the one.

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Rumsfeld on the bus: I liked reading that he takes the bus. A true fiscal conservative, I guess. Suffering with the little people, etc.

Amy Argetsinger: Exactly.

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reality shows actually do have writers: And don't forget, the decisions are made "in conjunction with the producers." It's the "Top Chef" fine print. So if you're ever wondering why a particular person got booted off, it might have been a producer decision because the person who SHOULD have gotten booted was more interesting.

Amy Argetsinger: The scales have fallen from my eyes...

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Chantilly, Va.: I'd like to be the first to officially nominate Meghan McCain for The Bachelorette. The hometown visits would be priceless.

Amy Argetsinger: Lord, why has no one thought of that before? That would be fantastic.

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Looking forward to: Easter candy. Enjoyable right now at a store near you.

Roxanne Roberts: My lifelong favorites: The malted eggs with white candy covering. I remember scooping them into bags at Woolworth's when I was a kid. Harder and harder to find really good ones these days.

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Sean Penn: Hi Amy and Roxanne. Any word on what Sean Penn's next move is, after his Oscar for Milk?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, when I ran into him at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, he said he's finishing up work on a Terence Malick movie "The Tree of Life," with Brad Pitt; and he's in talks to play Joe Wilson in a Plamegate movie... Actually, what I meant to say is, that's what I pulled off his IMDB.com profile.

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Give us something to look forward to, okay? : Here's what I'm looking forward to - our school's PTO dinner is this Friday. I haven't been out in months.

Roxanne Roberts: OOOhhh--what are you wearing?

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Anonymous: Since you mentioned office pools, maybe you can help me out with something. It never fails that my friend enters an office pool for like the Super Bowl or something and then he wins and his wife and he spend three days arguing about how much to "tip" the guy who wrote up the pool. She says ten percent and he says it's his decision to tip and what to tip. I know illegal gambling is illegal but in the interest of fair play do you have an opinion on this?

Amy Argetsinger: Wait -- you mean I was supposed to tip Dan Zak the past couple years in a row when I won his Oscar pool? The hell with that; I earned that money!

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Social Safeway: I'm going to miss Social Safeway almost as much as I miss Pepe, the bird who used to live at the Tenleytown Whole Foods salad bar.

And strangely enough, I was able to procure a sled (the only one in stock) from Soviet Safeway on Monday night. It looked like it was left over from the '03 blizzard, and I can't figure out where they've shelved it for the past 6 years.

Roxanne Roberts: They let a live bird near the salad bar? What happened to him?

As for the sled: Did you use it to play? Or take home groceries?

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The Rock v. Jason Taylor: The Rock has a big advantage. He worked his early career in wrestling which is, as you might guess, all about acting.

Roxanne Roberts: Say it ain't so, Dwayne!

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Speaking of The Rock...: Is it true that he is involved in a remake or sequel of Disney's Witch Mountain?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, according to the commercials I see on TV every ten minutes, looks like he's starring in it.

This would be a good time to rent the original "Escape from Witch Mountain," a mindblowing movie that holds a special place in the hearts of anyone who was a kid in the '70s. Did you know that husky-voiced star Kim Richards -- who was sort of the poor girl's Jodie Foster back in the day -- is Paris Hilton's aunt?

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Bailout-ville, Va.: So Vickie Hallett of the MisFits fitness column needs a new writing partner because her sidekick Howie moved to the Post Jerusalem bureau. Who are the likely candidates, ladies? Sietsema, so he can burn off his restaurant meals, Wilbon, because of his sports expertise, or Argetsinger, as a well-known surfer? Have I missed anyone?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, I think you missed probably everyone who is actually in contention for the job. I can't imagine anything more stressful than writing that column. If it were me, I'd have to be lying all the time to make up for the fact that I missed all those workouts I was supposed to be writing about.

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Things you can enjoy right now: Three words -- Girl Scout Cookies!

Roxanne Roberts: Did you see the shout out in Kids Post? National favs are Thin Mints, but Washington LUVS Samoas.

I do have to say, however, that the boxes keep getting smaller and smaller. The Thin Mints were especially stingy this time. This could be my last year buying.

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Coronado, Calif.: Sorry, just got here, it's early! Just caught up and laughed my butt off because Tony Danza's doppleganger fixed our wireless Internet yesterday and I thought of this chat the entire time! How was the surfing, Amy? We're going to try to get out this weekend. He's still learning.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, lord, I am so jealous -- you and Cute Cop have picked up a surfing habit out there? Awesome. Isn't it still a little cold? Everyone warned me against trying to go surf last week when I was in SoCal. And glad to know Tony's working these days.

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Bethesda, Md.: Seen at the Rockville Ice Rink 3/3 at about 9 p.m.: hockey dad David Brooks picking up his daughter. His business attire gave no indication of his loyalty to the local team, the Caps, or his employers' home team, the Rangers.

Amy Argetsinger: A total D.C. sighting.

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Rumsfeld on the bus: I read in Joseph Lash's book on the Roosevelts that Eleanor would sometimes wait to catch the bus in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue!

Amy Argetsinger: That's amazing to imagine.

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The Rock is awesome: He has great comedic timing & I've liked some movies he's been in.

And re: reality TV . . . it may be cheap, with talentless, fame-ho losers, but isn't that the point? Watching the atavistic and often incoherent ramblings is really great for the ego. People have this desire to watch celebrities fall on their face but we reserve special derision for those grasping at celebrity.

It's the self-absorbed, greedy delusions of the -stars- who are so unaware of how horribly they come off that makes watching reality TV so great. And dirty. It is dirty.

Roxanne Roberts: Okay---I'll admit it: I watched all two hours of "Celebrity Apprentice" Sunday night.

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Wheaton, Md.: Re: Meghan McCain -- I only care because I've had to listen or read this about her. She can trade with me. I'm 56,and don't have a man either. She's got a multi-millionaire mother. Maybe she can work my accounting job and I'll cry in my Malbec in Buenos Aires for a month. As a boss once told me "When you have something to cry about, let me know." Sheesh!

Amy Argetsinger: This is the best response on the Meghan McCain issue thus far. Thanks! I kept thinking as I read her essay, so what if you don't have a boyfriend, it sounds like you've had way more first dates than your average girl in the past four months.

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Herndon, Va.: Is Kevin Federline single? If so, he could certainly be an option for Meghan McCain. He's used to the undeserving spotlight. And he probably doesn't know who John McCain is, or that there was an election last year.

Amy Argetsinger: heh heh heh!

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Something to look forward to: How about a trip to the National Zoo to visit Butterstick? Now that he's growing up he's still beautiful, even if not baby-cute any more -- so he needs his friends more than ever!

Roxanne Roberts: Ooohh---you're right. Now I feel guilty; haven't been there since he was cute.

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Washington, D.C.: We are definitely anti-Bachelor Jason. Are we going to talk about this Bachelor conspiracy theory that Jason and the producers planned all along to have him pick Melissa, dump her, and go back to Molly?

Amy Argetsinger: Read about that theory in US. Incredible, isn't it? As if it weren't already the most cruel in the history of broadcasting. They take these poor people and isolate them in laboratory-like settings, then induce false feelings of love in them, and then, bam! pull the rug out from under them so we viewers can study their reactions.

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Timeless Fashion: I buy dented cans from the Amish locally and let me tell you those folks know how to stretch a penny but they don't tend to change their look with every new issue of Vogue. So except for those darling sun bonnets, I would suggest another fashion muse.

Amy Argetsinger: They're just waiting for us to catch up to them -- and THEN they'll totally change up their look.

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Lancaster, Pa.: Me again...The Amish look was literally "in vogue" about 15 years ago. Vogue and a bunch of other magazines were in love with Lancaster and shot several Amish-inspired spreads here. I knew the B&B owner who hosted the Vogue shoot, so I got to be her go-fer. Everyday, the UPS man would deliver boxes of clothing from people like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. The star of the shoot was Christy Turlington, who was kind of shy and just sat around and smoked. The hairstylist was a hoot -- he had an accent and looked like a gypsy. His next gig was doing Madonna's hair for some concert in NYC. I thought all the Vogue people would be running around in Chanel suits but they looked like bums. I was disillusioned.

Amy Argetsinger: But it's a great story!

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OOOhhh--what are you wearing? : Haha, not WHO will you be wearing? I will be wearing a new number from my favorite designer, I call him "Target." Hopefully it will remain make it through the work day without getting any stains.

Roxanne Roberts: You'll look fabulous. Do have have to sit in those little desks?

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Re: Obama's official photo: Are critics envious or merely being snarky? I love the photo and think she looks great, as usual.

Amy Argetsinger: I think everyone's just looking for something to talk about, honestly.

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Black Rock: Network TV is already losing out to cable and here's the reality; as the little box ( computer ) continues doing more of the big box ( TV ) stuff, you will find the only thing left to watch is reality TV and reruns of Momma's Family.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm still new to cable -- where can I find the Momma's Family reruns?

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Shout out!: You've probably known this forever and been told many times, but I just read American Wife this weekend, and the Reliable Source mention was cool!

Amy Argetsinger: So I've heard, thanks! You recommend the book?

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Waldorf, Md.: During the Oscar season, I kept having this horrible recurring dream that in the coming year, Tony Danza is going to have a break-out performance in a small indie film a-la Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler", and we have to find a new B-list celeb to chat about. Can you please make it stop?

Amy Argetsinger: Tony Danza would have been awesome in "The Wrestler." Might have added a little song-and-dance levity -- otherwise it was kind of a depressing flick.

Don't worry. If we ever get tired of Tony, there are plenty of other B-list celebs we can move on to.

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Top Chef: I think Tom Colicchio addressed the issue of decisions being approved by producers after the second or third season. He said that, for his show, producers retain the right to eliminate/keep certain contestants but they don't have to run every decision by them. He also said that producers had yet to step in to manipulate the show, but of course, that was a few seasons ago.

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting.

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Dwayne and Witch Mountain: What kind of TV do you have to watch to not know all about Race to Witch Mountain? Are there actually channels not owned by Nickelodeon? Am I not supposed to watch an hour of iCarly every single night?

Amy Argetsinger: I can't think when I was last so aware of an upcoming kids' movie. Why is that? Are they running a lot of ads during American Idol or something?

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Butterstick: Isn't he supposed to be getting a sibling?

Roxanne Roberts: Pandas are better at looking adorable than they are at sex.

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things to do, zoo: baby gorilla there too...

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, good idea...

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Amy's TV issues: Amy, just watch the TVLand channel. It's all the shows you were watching the last time you had multiple-channel television reception.

Amy Argetsinger: Good, so I can catch up on the last 15 years or so.

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Taneytown, Md.: Everyone on this chat is funnier than me. Can you please remind what I bring to the party?

Roxanne Roberts: An appreciative audience? We're all egomaniacs deep down.

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Thin Mints: Love 'em. And, by request, am sending three boxes to son and daughter-in-law in Peace Corps in Panama. There are a few erzatz U.S. treats for sale there, but they really miss the Thin Mints.

Roxanne Roberts: Very sweet. Check customs before you ship---some countries are very strict about food coming in.

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American Wife again: Absolutely recommend. It takes many of the real events of Laura and George's life and fictionalizes the rest. It's kind of like, you read it and just like to hope that Laura Bush felt those things. It's pretty interesting.

Amy Argetsinger: Good, thanks.

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I'm shocked: People prefer Michelle to Hillary?! Really, was that even a fair question? You have one who most women still begrudge for not leaving her husband - and is now a loser - and one who is the current first lady to a very popular president (who beat out the previous).

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, some of those answers seemed somewhat freighted with complex feelings. We were just trying to get people talking about the photos.

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Meghan McCain?: Ladies, I must have missed something--what's up with all the posts about Meghan McCain? Was she whining about something?

washingtonpost.com: Meghan McCain Quoted "It's like someone taking Lisa Marie Presley out on a date and singing 'Hound Dog' in the middle of dinner."

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, we had a brief Meghan item in today's column about how she's complaining the campaign ruined her dating life. Link above.

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Amy as icon: You made icon status in that Oscars dress!

Roxanne Roberts: That's what I heard, too.

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Frederick, Md.: "Amy Argetsinger: So, guess this would be a bad time to mention that I want to be an icon."

In our eyes, you and Rox already qualify, ma'am.

Roxanne Roberts: This seems like the perfect note to end on.

Kids, all this snow and cold will melt away, and then you'll go out and about (without slipping on the ice) and see some fabulous celebrity doing something interesting and you'll write us at reliablesource@washpost.com.

Or not. Just keep chatting with us. Same time, next week.

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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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