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NTMP #49: Bread Lab Butterbutt
This one will make you crave carbs
New-to-me Phrases, January 15, 2023
Pinniped peep show * The Son of The Tree That Owns Itself * Baking Ambassador * Tropical Trump * Yeahdenfreude * Stall Street Journal * Magnificent, visible-from-space lies * Butterbutt * Shartsheet * Squeighborhood
The Phrases, With Context
This week, we have more masturbating marine mammals, analog toilet reads, fatty bird butts, serious bread cravings, and more.
Let’s get to it!
1. Pinniped peep show
I’ve written before about Eddie the masturbating otter and this week, I bring you news of a wanking walrus. (You’re welcome.)
This phrase originated from an IFL Science article about Thor the walrus being more of a taker than a giver.
And yes, I did add the headline for this post to my Google doc of assorted amusing headlines:
UK Town Cancels New Year Fireworks For Walrus Only For It To Masturbate And Leave
2. The Son of The Tree That Owns Itself
If you’re from Athens, Georgia you’re likely familiar with this but I, an uncultured rube, was not.
According to local legend, around the late 1800s, The Tree That Owns Itself was deeded autonomous rights in a property owner’s will. The city of Athens went along with it even though trees can’t legally own property because they’re not people. (I’d much rather legally consider trees to be people than corporations, but what do I know?)
When the OG Tree—estimated to have been at least 400 years old—was felled in a windstorm in 1942, the Son of the Tree That Owns Itself was planted in the same spot.
All of this begs the question: Can’t they give this tree a snappier name, like Shawn?1
3. Baking Ambassador
I read this phrase in a handy write-up titled How to Make the Best Homemade Pizza—According to the Pros. Deb Perelman linked to it from her weekly, because she’s featured in it, offering her usual great tips.
Another pizza expert quoted in the piece, Martin Philip, is described as "baking ambassador for King Arthur Flour."
My first thought was, “sweet gig,” (ha!). But then I read Philip’s bio on the King Arthur website. Sure, he’s an accomplished professional baker, renowned expert in his field, and bestselling author. But more importantly, his bio is packed with amazing phrases:
[T]he coveted bread spot on Team USA!
The Kneading Conference!
Head Bread Baker
And then there’s this gem:
Martin’s project in 2018, The Baker Maker Roadshow [another great phrase!], garnered attention as he bicycled through rural Arkansas, cold-called homes, played his banjo, and baked biscuits for strangers.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That we all need to up our bio-writing game?
4. Tropical Trump
I found this via's formidable daily newsletter. Tropical Trump is the nickname for the former president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Like Trump, Bolsonaro lost his latest election. (It's true. They lost. Get over it.) Also like Trump, Bolsonaro has rabid followers who are super into defacing government buildings and casting aside democratic principles like free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power. Seriously, fuck these guys.
Caught this spin on schadenfreude (deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others) in author Leigh Bardugo’s newsletter.
She wrote the following in response to a reader question about professional jealousy among authors:
. . . I have the career I dreamed of. I get to write books. I get to write the books I want to write. That's the hustle I care about now. Continuing to push my craft and challenge myself. Spending less time online. And yes, celebrating the successes of my wonderful, ridiculously high-achieving friends. (I think of this as yeahdenfreude.)
I like it. I like it a lot.
Bardugo wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Six of Crows (a YA “impossible heist” caper set in a fictional world). Hell Bent, the second book in her newer adult fiction series, dropped this week! I really liked the first one, which explores the idea of the secret societies at Yale University doing demonic stuff, and I plan on snagging the latest one, too.
6. Stall Street Journal
This phrase came up in a work meeting as we discussed the various punny names for higher ed periodicals posted in bathroom stalls. My local community college publishes The Flush, for example. Cringey as this seems, it’s actually not a bad way to share news and events with students, and the papers are often student-written and designed.
One of my colleagues mentioned that his bathroom reader was called The Stall Street Journal. Of course I had to share that one here, and I learned that multiple higher ed institutions have cheekily titled their potty papers thusly, including Western Kentucky University, Dartmouth, and Tulane.
7. Magnificent, visible-from-space lies
My friend John wrote this in response to yet another of newly elected GOP lawmaker George Santos’ whoppers about being a volleyball star in college.
The problem with Congress is that in order to reform Congress, Congress has to pass laws that will bring about effective change—like campaign finance reform and immediately shit-canning people who lie about their professional experience and finances in order to get elected.
I love this one SO much. According to Bird Note Radio, butterbutt is a nickname for yellow-rumped warblers! Even though it’s technically their lower back that has the bright yellow patch, I’m willing to play along because BUTTERBUTT is so great.
You can follow Bird Note Radio on Instagram if, like me, you’re into making your entire feed about birds, memes, what your friends are cooking and/or eating, and blocking porn bots.
I was typing a work email referencing a Smartsheet document and accidentally typed Shartsheet. I caught the typo before hitting send, but almost wish I hadn’t. Maybe it would’ve brightened my colleague’s day.
(There’s a Stall Street Journal/”this would make a great name for a college bathroom stall periodical” joke to be made here, were one so inclined.)
My middle kid (who does not read this newsletter) renamed our front yard after NINE squirrels showed up for a nut and apple slice banquet. I love squirrels but it starts getting creepy when there are that many in close proximity.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading and remember to stay curious and remain furious.
This is a bit from The Good Place and I stand by it.