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New-to-me Phrases, May 21, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
Spring is in full swing here in the Midwest, and it’s gorgeous enough to make one forget how gross most of the rest of the year is here. We’ve reached the peak tree pollen/low humidity phase that precedes the wet oven/bloodthirsty mosquitoes phase, where anything feels possible. I shall exist outside, unmolested by all but men wielding extremely loud motorized lawn equipment and Omar the tom turkey!
But you didn’t come here to talk about the weather; you’re here for the phrases, and phrases you shall have. This week we have orca revenge, proud slugs, foundry fantasies, and more.
Let’s get to it!
A colleague of mine (Hi, G!) and I like Slacking about books we are into, and she recently recommended Emily Henry. I’d already bookmarked this Vulture feature about Henry (EmHen to her fans), so I made sure to toss one of her titles onto my to-read list. The feature was a great read about one woman’s journey as an author in an oft-stigmatized genre.
Also, I’m kind of bummed my name doesn’t make a cute fandom nickname. ToMc reads like a gross foot affliction. Does your name translate well to your theoretical (or real) superfans?
2. The gentrification font
My friend Tonya sent me this article from The Guardian.
The headline reads:
The gentrification font: how a sleek typeface became a neighborhood omen.
The article explores how the presence of a delicate sans serif font called Neutraface has signaled the onset of gentrification in U.S. neighborhoods.
One Twitter user dubbed the font “Times New Craft Brewery,” which is just . . . a chef’s kiss reference to the belief that craft breweries are also a harbinger of gentrification. In fact, a cursory Google search shows there’s a growing body of research examining whether this is true (seems legit but the jury’s still out).
Ironically, this 1992 L.A. Times article describes how Richard Neutra, an architect for whom the font is named, was deeply interested in developing affordable housing in the city. This piece argues that Neutra’s ideas still hold merit and are worth exploring.
3. The Midas shits
In a recent episode of Ted Lasso season 3 (which has been really great so far), Keely is at the local pub and feeling down. She asks the owner, Mae what she’d call the opposite of the Midas touch. Mae quips, “The Midas shits.” Brilliant!
4. Sea slug enthusiasts
It’s almost Pride month, and like Target and parade planners, the sea slugs know it.
A volunteer with The Rock Pool Project, a UK nonprofit devoted to marine wildlife conservation through education, Vicky Barlow was exploring a tide pool and found an “extremely rare” rainbow sea slug. And it made the news! (via 1440)
Here are Barlow’s Instagram images of this cute little buddy.
5. Fire arts
I haven’t been this excited to learn that a thing exists in a while. While attending a meeting hosted by my city and the nonprofit Artspace, they mentioned one of their projects: the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in Minneapolis.
My reaction to hearing the phrase fire arts:
Sparking creativity! Fueling community.
Their favicon is a red flame.
I love these people. I also love that fire arts is a play on fine arts.
“This town needs a foundry!” I said to my friend. And I meant it.
Look at all of the cool shit this place offers: “blacksmithing, enameling, glass, jewelry making, metal casting, neon, sculptural welding, and more.”
I’m hoping that Artspace, a nonprofit real estate developer that helps cities create affordable live/work and collaborative spaces for artists, can help make some cool shit happen in my town, where a higher than average number of artists live and work. Will the leadership here go for it? If someone can make them see dollar signs, maaaaaybe?
6. Twerking class heroes
Morning Brew mentioned this story of exotic dancers at an L.A. dive bar forming a first-of-its-kind union to fight for better working conditions. Twerking class heroes was one of their protest themes.
7. Furly Loosvelt
I keep reading this as Furry Roosevelt and I’m sure there’s a fanfic outlet for that concept. Which reminds me of the time I was at a hot spring spa with friends near Taos1 when a man who very much resembled Teddy R. emerged from a mud bath, prompting me to whisper as if narrating a documentary, “They call him . . . Muddy Roosevelt.”
ANYWAY, recently on Twitter, PhD candidate and textile historian Isabella Rosner shared a list of the “more than 90 wildest early Quaker names” she’s encountered while researching her thesis. I love that “Jesus Christ” is on the list. Yeah, buddy; just own it.
Other faves of note - though there are true gems throughout:
Tag yourself: What’s your early Quaker name?
What is a nurdle? A word game for nerdy turds? A funny way of saying “noodle”? It is fun to say.
Alas, it’s a “wave-shaped blob of toothpaste” recently cited in litigation between two toothpaste manufacturers. (thanks for this one, Mike!)
9. Trust fund tampon
Chris at Sylvanaqua Farms is back at it on Instagram, and this descriptor was part of his extremely salty and accurate take on Elon Musk. He tends to take posts down, so view this delicious takedown while you can. This is definitely the front-runner of nicknames I’ve seen for Phony Stark.
10. White Gladis
This is one of my favorite stories of the year. Killer whales have been sinking fishing boats off the coast of Spain, taking down three so far this year.
From Live Science:
Assaults seem to be mainly directed at sailing boats and follow a clear pattern, with orcas approaching from the stern to strike the rudder, then losing interest once they have successfully stopped the boat.
Some scientists believe that an orca known as “white Gladis” experienced trauma during an encounter with a fishing boat engaged in illegal fishing, and they are teaching younger orcas through her behavior to try and stop similar boats. #TeamWhiteGladis
Another theory that seems more plausible is that this is playful behavior that is similarly being imitated by other whales after seeing it. Teach your children well.
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious.
For the curious: Check out this beautiful visualization of the evolution of butterflies.
tell me you’re a 40+ white lady without telling me you’re a 40+ white lady