NTMP 55: Yeethawk
Vicious, delicious papery trash
The Phrases, With Context
This week we have high noon hawks, a word for turning off your porch lights on Halloween, salty spice opinions, and more!
But first: a one-question poll for you
For a project I’m working on with my pal Mike, a Founding Subscriber of NTMP (nice), I have a question for you.
2. Vicious but delicious
I found’s Substack via Deb Perelman’s weekly —regular readers know I rec this one often.
While making the case for eggs over-medium, “vicious but delicious” is how Bull describes the trendy method of aggressive egg frying:
After years of topping my weeknight pastas and fried rice with a fried egg—lacy edges, high heat, plenty of olive oil, high-octane sputtering, a vicious but delicious way to treat an egg—I grew tired of getting up halfway through my dinner to grab a knife. This is not an egg you can cut through with the dull friendly edge of a fork. Those crispy edges that [redacted food personality]* and friends have been peddling us are wonderful on a sandwich but if I am eating something you might consider a lazy meal the whole point is minimal muscular effort between bowl and mouth.
Anyway, changing my LinkedIn headline to read “Vicious but Delicious.”
*Can anyone tell me who [redacted food personality] is? I’m not plugged in to to foodie world enough to know.
3. “Fuck you, motherfucker!”
If you’re a fan of Richard Belzer, you’ve likely heard this one. According to his friend, writer Bill Scheft, these were Belzer’s last words before he died on February 19th.
I had to marvel, while explaining to my kids, the creative grift Belzer pulled where he essentially played himself if he was a cop on multiple TV series as the same character (Detective John Munch). From the superb Homicide: Life on the Street to the abysmal Law and Order: SVU (I wrote what I wrote). Even Sesame Street got in on the action by making him into a muppet for Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.
Sadly, Homicide isn’t available for streaming anywhere, likely due to music rights. Here’s a great clip with Belzer and Yaphet Kotto.
4. Rail Force One
This is the nickname given to the Ukrainian train that whisked President Biden to an unannounced visit in Ukraine earlier this month. It’s catchy and I like it.
5. Foreign Accent Syndrome
I found this via the Morning Brew newsletter, which shared a BBC News headline “US cancer patient developed 'uncontrollable' Irish accent.” Apparently this is a rare medical condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome, likely linked to injury to the part of the brain that controls speech. I’d read of people who could sing but not talk due to brain injuries, but not this. Fascinating stuff.
6. February Nestfest
This week, I discovered what might possibly be the greatest mashup of my interests: Birds and tracking data in a Google doc. In case you’ve ever doubted how cool I am, I’ve followed the adventures of Jackie and Shadow via the Friends of Big Bear Valley (FOBBV) bald eagle cam for years.
This year I discovered this Google doc the group uses to track every detail of the eagle pair’s activities. But they don’t explain what a Nestfest is! If you live somewhere with cold winters like I do, a February Nestfest makes a lot of sense. Hot beverages, jigsaw puzzles, cozy blankets, and existential angst.
I’m going to reach out and see if someone at FOBBV—a 501c3 nonprofit that can always use donations—has an answer to the pressing question of what they mean by Nestfest.
Update: I heard back from the nice people at FOBBV, who wrote:
“Nestfest is a chat game where chatters try and guess how many sticks & fluff J&S will deliver in a month.
"Nestfest" in the Recap shows the current #of sticks to keep the players updated.”
My pal (and brand-new paid subscriber! Thank you! 😘) Rebecca sent me this Twitter thread by @gralefrit explaining that cats are mesopredators, which serve as both predators and prey within an ecosystem.
Foxes are also mesopredators, which led to the amazing descriptor for foxes “cat software running on dog hardware” from that same Twitter thread.
A related phrase I found in an academic paper: mesopredator guild. I would 100% watch this Netflix series.
This phrase comes from B., a true blue introvert. Welcome! My introverted pals will appreciate this one. According to this blog post about Japanese words with no English translation by Education first, isuru means:
“The lights are on, but nobody’s home.”
This is what happens when you pretend that you had to rush out of the house and forgot to turn off the lights. At least that’s what the person knocking on your door is thinking must have happened. Or that you must be asleep with noise-cancelling headphones on. Nobody would ever think that you just don’t want to see anyone and Netflix needs some extra time and dedication.
10. Flavorless, papery trash
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Stay curious and remain furious!
Curious: Did you know there’s a stretch of rocks off Ramsey Island in the UK called The Bitches? Now you do! I’m making this my location on every social media post from now on.
Furious: If you haven’t known for a while that longtime misogynist and creator of the Dilbert comics has Trumpublican brain worms, now you do. Hundreds of newspapers are dropping the Dilbert comic after creator Scott Adams did an unhinged racist rant on YouTube (he’s been shitty on Twitter for years). You love to see it! 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿 (h/t to my friend John for the link.)
In a postscript to last week’s thoughts on the NYT platforming J.K. Rowling, I unsubscribed from the paper. I know it doesn’t much matter what one person does, and I’m disappointed that I should have to do something like this because there’s some stellar writing there. But families like mine deal with enough transphobia right now because the right decided to scapegoat trans folks as part of a power grab a profit grift. I’m simply not interested in subsidizing this flavor of false equivalence served under the guise of journalistic integrity. I’m out.