NTMP #45: Clitterati
If one is good, two must be better
New-to-me Phrases, December 18, 2022
The beef grifters * Neanderthin * Task initiation * The Chess Grandmaster Anal Bead Conspiracy * The snake clitoris * I can’t believe I'm going to jail for an NFT salesman 😔 * Slanguage * Cheetos tomb * Plowlaski
The Phrases, With Context
I can’t believe I’ve been doing this newsletter for nearly a year now. It started in January as a way to have some creative fun after a two-year period of work and COVID burnout. Eleven months later, I woke up this morning and thought, “It’s newsletter day!” And I felt HAPPY about it. I’m calling that a win. Whether you’re new here or have been around from the start, please know that I’m grateful that you take the time to read NTMP.
To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to choose a 2022 Phrase of the Year.
Now I have to figure out how and where to build that survey. Feel free to dive into the archive to search for your fave.
And now for this week’s phrases!
1. The beef grifters
This beauty comes from the Maintenance Phase podcast, a treasure trove of phrases and an informative and hilarious show that debunks wellness myths and diet fads.
You can read transcripts here if you’re not an auditory learner.
This particular phrase is from the Jordan Petersen episode, Part 1, The Carnivore Diet. It’s kind of a wild ride. Also, I wish Joe Rogan would stop giving assholes like this a platform and tacit legitimization. If wishes were horses, I’d want them to bite Joe Rogan really hard somewhere really tender.
From the same episode of Maintenance Phase, this is the actual name of an actual diet that actual people actually follow.
3. Task initiation
Virginia Sole-Smith, writer and podcaster atinterviewed Davis recently. Sole-Smith shared this IG post and it broke my brain in the best way:
The consumerist fetishizing of sterile tidiness and matchy-matchy household perfection is NOT a baseline . . . it’s a hobby. Is that kind of mind-blowing to read, even if home perfection was never your aim? If you’re into that sort of thing, great. But for those of us out there wondering — as we so often do with our bodies — why our homes don’t look like a photo shoot from [insert magazine or influencer account here______], there’s a reason for that: It’s curation, not livability.
Also: I think it’s worth asking why we’re cleaning and tidying and arranging our living spaces. Are we creating staged scenarios for external reasons or internal desires? Personally, I’d rather go with the latter and shoot for “mostly decluttered and non-disgusting.”
I got sidetracked and almost forgot to write about this phrase. In the book, Davis talks about how task initiation is a struggle for so many people. I immediately related, because I’m one of them, and so is one of my neurodivergent kids. She differentiates between motivation and initiation — if you don’t want to do something, that’s a lack of motivation. If you DO want to do something but can’t get started, that’s a task initiation issue.
This book makes me feel so seen and understood. Davis writes often about how having a messy home is not a moral failing, which also rang like a bell for me. I may never have aspired to have a magazine-worthy home, I have often equated my inability to keep up with the chaos in my home with failure. “Why can’t I just . . . “ is a question that many of us with differently wired brains use to beat ourselves up. This book is a guide to knocking that shit off, and I am here for it.
I’ve enjoyed reading how Davis untangles our complicated feelings about our homes, the baseline care they require before we even get to the teeth-grinding levels of Home Edit/KonMari curation, who usually is burdened with that care and why, and what all of it means.
I’m not yet done with the book but if you’ve read or watched guides to home organization and that shit has never once worked for you, this might be a good read. It’s more of a mindset reset than a practical how-to, which is fine by me because everyone’s tired and we all have enough to do.
4. The Chess Grandmaster Anal Bead Conspiracy
Does this phrase even need an explanation? I mean, the screenplay writes itself, no?
Would not watch.
I tried reading up on the backstory but quickly grew bored and frankly don’t care except to know that it started as a Reddit joke but somehow got taken mildly seriously.
5. The snake clitoris
Now there’s something I’ve never contemplated before. This phrase should really be “the snake clitorises” because it turns out that snakes actually have TWO of them.
You go, girlssssss! (This is the dumbest joke I’ve ever made.)
When I saw this phrase, I immediately wondered: Do other animals have a clitoris?
According to this NYT article (gifted link for non-subscribers),
“The clitoris can be found in all mammals, all lizards and some birds.”
Cool! But which birds? (My Google algorithm is having a WEEK!)
According to the website The Bird Spot (giggle), both 1) cassowaries and 2) red-billed buffalo weavers, the latter of which are “renowned in the animal kingdom for their marathon sex sessions,” have an avian version of the magic button.
I truly, madly, deeply love the internet sometimes.
I decided to also Google nicknames for the clitoris and found the following:
Butter bean (WHAT)
Little man in the boat (WHAAAAAT)
Skittle (I like this better than butter bean. I guess)
6. “I can’t believe I'm going to jail for an NFT salesman 😔”
I know this is “New-to-me Phrases” and not “New-to-me Sentences.” But the great part about running the show here is that I do what I want, and this line was too good not to include on the list.
You can probably guess who this is about, but if you didn’t catch last week’s bizarro planet news where Trump touted a “big announcement” that turned out to be NFT trading cards depicting him as a buff superhero (WHAT), well, that happened.
In response, one of the “very fine people” going to jail for participating in the January 6th insurrection (👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻) Tweeted these words and really, is there any better outcome for either them or Trump than this? I love it so much I want to figure out how to make it into a cross stitch.
I found this phrase, a portmanteau of “slang” and “language” in one of Sharon McMahon’s deep-dives on IG, about Walter Winchell and Josephine Baker. Winchell was known as a master of “slanguage, the vernacular used by journalists, actors, gangsters and young people of the 1920s.” It’s giving big Janet Snakehole vibes.
Merriam-Webster says that slanguage was first used in 1870. Interestingly, there isn’t much detail about the etymology of this word that I could find.
8. Cheetos tomb
Not the snack food I’d have chosen, but sure, why not?
Late to the plow-naming game, the City of Chicago is running a “You Name a Snowplow” contest. My friend Mike texted this to me and I IMMEDIATELY got to work on Chicago-centric plow names, including:
Over by Dere (alternative: Shovel by Dere)
You Can’t Plug That In; A Union Guy’s Gotta Do It
My husband added “Plowlaski” to the list, which is both very clever and VERY Chicago. I think he should enter it into the contest.
I also asked my friends on IG to share their ideas, and they produced some gems including:
Plow Jones - Brilliant but not really Chicago-related
Mister Dibs - That’s MISTER Dibs to you, bub!
Dibz Nuts - Maybe they’ll be old enough to run for President in 2024
Dibsy McDibsface - Approved
Plowjob - Dirty and I like it (which is also a great snowplow name)
Re: the dibs references, for non-locals, my friend runs in IG account dedicated to documenting the creative ways in which Chicagoans strive to reserve their hard-won parking spots, forged from snow and ice, like this (caption: “Jesus saves . . . my space!”)
Local media links to ChicagoShovels.org but I’m not finding a link to submit plow names on that page. Maybe it hasn’t opened up yet? Maybe you can’t submit an idea without a union guy? I don’t know. What would you name a Chicago snowplow?
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious!