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Last night… Ben’s mom: “How was the drive back [from North Carolina]?” Ben: “OK. A couple traffic jams near Richmond. Also, a gossip blogger was picking on me all day.” So, yeah, let’s do this.

Opera Isn’t so Bad: “Opera’s reputation for being forbidding is unearned, as I found out in my first few months as an enthusiastic amateur chronicler of the art form in Washington.”—TBD Arts Editor Andrew Beaujon in a Tuesday recap of his forays this year into Washington’s opera scene. Beaujon plans more coverage in 2011, provided that “as long as we keep writing about cars from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, there’s plenty of bandwidth for stories about women french-kissing bloody severed heads.”

Speaking of Transformers: TBD’s resident documenter of shiny explosions Ryan Kearney rehashes the accidents, mishaps, coffee-throwing, and all those celebrity “strolls” in Georgetown that came with Michael Bay‘s latest adventure, but you should first read his recap of how local America’s Got Talent contestant John “Prince Poppycock” Quale spent 2010.

National Museum of the American Indian Soup of the DayYucca Soup garnished with Quinoa Crusted Shrimp. Beat that, Chuck and Savannah!

How Best to React?: “I think I’m supposed to be excited that Wale just took the stage at the Roots show. He’s the dude in the varsity jacket, right?”—Kearney, in a tweet from last night’s show by The Roots at the 9:30 Club. City Paper Managing Editor Mike Madden approves, for one.

A Metaphorical Blaze, I Assume: “Philippa Hughes started the fire.”—Incoming Architect associate editor Kriston Capps on Arts Desk yesterday reporting on the Temporium set to open in Mount Pleasant next month. A city project inspired by a brainchild of the Pink Line Project maven will be open for only 24 days at 3068 Mt. Pleasant Street NW offering handmade products from local artists before the location becomes a clothing boutique.

In No Particular Order: “It was a doozy; thorough and jaw-dropping, it also created a controversy when a MAN Q&A with former Getty Museum curator Weston Naef revealed serious questions about whether Muybridge actually made the early work traditionally attributed to him.”—ArtInfo reporter Tyler Green on the Corcoran Gallery’s “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change,” which made the list of his favorite exhibits of the past year. Other D.C. art shows that made the cut include the National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek” and the National Gallery of Art’s “In the Tower: Mark Rothko.”

More Lists!: “The most interesting thing about this song wasn’t its T. Rex of a hook, or Green’s smiling/unsmiling delivery, but the way it barreled its way into the pop-cultural mainstream, cleaning itself up as it went (who can forget “Forget You”?) but still baring its teeth.”—Click Track’s Allison Stewart on Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You!” The soaring R&B ballad topped Stewart’s 25 favorite tracks of 2010, a list that also includes Sleigh Bells‘ booming “Rill Rill” and Titus Andronicus‘ New Jersey anthem “A More Perfect Union.” Our favorite (and most unexpected) entry: the Weezy-sampling Swedish group jj‘s haunting “My Life.”

(No) Accounting for Taste: “Considering Little Fockers just beat out True Grit in the box office last weekend, it’s probably best that the American public isn’t the only curator of what national cinema gets preserved indefinitely.”—Ryan Little on this year’s crop of titles to be added to the National Film Registry. Films like the 1969 avant-garde piece Our Lady of the Sphere and Albert and David Maysles‘ brilliant 1976 documentary Grey Gardens probably didn’t get in solely on the popular vote, Little guesses. Airplane! leads the popular choices. A Zucker, Abrams, and Zucker spoof starring Leslie Nielsen is deemed historically significant? Yes, the National Film Preservation Board is serious, and don’t call me Shirley Bruce.

Boldface Names Talking About Stuff They Liked, AKA Betsy’s Wheelhouse: “The avalanche of end-of-year culture retrospectives scrambles our circuits, so we asked 25 notable Washingtonians to winnow down the best-of pickings for us. Here are their top picks across arts and culture – everything from fine arts to festivals, movies to movements, hyperlocal to extra-global.”—WaPo‘s Jacqueline Trescott and Dan Zak asked 25 notable…well, you get the idea. Rapper Phil Ade cited U.S. Royalty‘s set at the Sweetlife Festival last April in Dupont Circle. (Ade and U.S. Royalty played the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel together during one of those unfortunately-nicknamed blizzards.) And Capital Fringe executive director Julianna Brienza had this to say about the recent goings-on at the National Portrait Gallery: “The banning of ‘A Fire in My Belly’…both fascinates me and terrifies me. The whole idea of censorship of art seems pre-Internet.”

Whose Shoes?

Today’s installment of Whose Shoes features a fuzzy iPhone photo of some sneakers that were lying on the floor of a Washington freelancer about 11:30 last night.

Clue #1: They belong to a guy who last Thursday expanded his use of Google Reader after years of nudging by friends and colleagues (including Fischer) and told the world (or roughly 190 people and Twitter-bots) about his decision.

Clue #2: This move was called “dorky” by a local gossip blogger in her daily roundup of D.C. media rumblings.

Clue #3: The owner of these shoes doesn’t mind being called dorky, or a dork. In fact, he embraces these appellations. He just wanted to correct for the record that the tweet about Google Reader was sent last Thursday, not Monday. And he appreciated being mentioned; maybe it’ll get more people to read his articles for the City Paper.

Clue #4: In response, he was called “uppity.” Shoe owner has been called indignant, obstinate, smartassed, churlish, and much worse over the years. But uppity? Almost suggests that the gossip blogger is trying to keep this guy down.

Clue #5: Our mystery writer then says “whatever,” hoping to move on and focus on his main task of the day: driving home through heavy traffic on I-95. In response he was told to go fuck himself.

Clue #6: He has overdeveloped senses of irony and sarcasm, so an Arts Roundup like this was kind of inevitable after being told to go fuck himself.

Uppity dorks of the world unite!

Top Photo by Stephen Griffin via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.