Discover more from New-to-me Phrases
NTMP 77: Deep Sea 12-Step
Plus: Recipes from the grave(stone)
New-to-me Phrases, July 30, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
This week, we have me wondering just how many animals besides lawyers are into cocaine, a new-to-me legal term, Franz Liszt stans, creepy cooking, and more.
But first, a Poll!
As is customary at NTMP, I’ve chosen a handful of phrases from July for you to both admire and vote on - no context needed, though you can certainly peruse the archive to relive them if you’re into that sort of thing (I know I am!):
Make your voice heard and vote for your July fave, no context needed.
Also, while browsing the July archives, I noticed that I accidentally wrote about Rainbow Chicken twice, here and here. And in the same month! Oof. Embarrassing! AND nobody told me! ::taps mic:: “Is this thing on?”
Normally I keep track of the phrases I collect and the edition in which they appear, but I obviously missed that one. I am finding that thanks to ADHD, when I’m extremely busy and/or going through stressful stuff, my memory gets even worse than usual.
Enough about the past. It’s time for some ACTUALLY new phrases! Let’s get to it!
1. Cocaine sharks
According to The Guardian, plastic-wrapped bales of cocaine are regularly recovered by Coast Guard officials off the shores of southern Florida. When scientists observed sharks acting like day traders, they set out to see if it was due to ingesting discarded coke. When they threw dummy bales into the water, the sharks reacted as if they’d just passed the bar exam, bolstering the scientists’ theory that this was not their first disco. Discovery covered this as part of its annual Shark Week programming, and had I known it’s now hosted by Jason Momoa I might’ve taken some time to watch.
When will we get a Cocaine Bear vs. Cocaine Sharks feature film?
Scientific American also wrote about this, pointing out that some scientists doubt that predators like sharks would attack what amounts to driftwood and that further study is needed.
2. Superseding indictment
This analysis by an attorney (metroadlib on Twitter) of the superseding indictment against one of Trump’s employees is just chef’s-kiss entertaining and informative. For those like me who didn’t know this, a superseding indictment operates as its names implies it should by amending and replacing a previous indictment, usually when more evidence is found. 👀
Trump is so bad at doing crimes—a Benny Hill skit made manifest—that I fully expect to see a stack of superseding indictments as time passes.
I have not seen Oppenheimer and have no plans to do so, mostly because this story isn’t my kind of thing. I happened to come across a Twitter thread by author and journalist Alisa Lynn Valdés that I could not access because I no longer have an account (I can see single tweets but not threads). I found details of it recapped on The Mary Sue, and noticed that Valdes has since made her Twitter account private.
I’m going to go ahead and speculate that it was due to Oppenheimer stans harassing her. After all, a woman with an opinion, online or off, is to be reviled. More on that below. It could also be because, as noted in the Mary Sue piece, not all of the claims made in that thread are easily verifiable.
Valdés stated that the land where Oppenheimer tested the first atomic bomb was not “near-desolate” as the NYT had reported in a review of the film. As far as I’m concerned, “near-desolate” to me sure sounds like INHABITED. There were families there who had farmed and ranched that land for generations, and they were apparently displaced without recompense.
Read about the people who lived downwind of the atomic bomb tests (“downwinders”) and their quest for justice and reparations in this ABC News report.
My pal Noel - a new NTMP subscriber (Hi! Welcome!) sent this to me via Instagram, where we now exchange jokes instead of on Twitter or Tumblr. Bathykolpian came up in a “Word of the Day” video read by a guy named Don Huely, who’s got some pipes on him and whose bios on every social site include . . . nothing but links to his other social media sites. Kind of weird. I smell a pseudonym to protect a corporate job.
5. Massive aggression
I’ve been watching the very different and very funny Our Flag Means Death on Max this summer. It’s such a weird and wonderful mix of gross, dirty, violent pirates, adept physical comedy, dismantling toxic masculinity, queer flirtation and love, and solid punchlines.
In one scene, Stede Bonnet “The Gentleman Pirate” tries explaining to Blackbeard about passive aggression, which Blackbeard later misinterprets by referencing “my massive aggression.”
A friend suggested I read "This is Not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something—Anything—Like Your Life Depends On It" by Tabitha Carvan and I am so glad that I did. It is a short, deftly written, deeply thoughtful exploration of what it means to love something deeply—call it a hobby, an obsession, superfandom, whatever—especially and particularly if you are a woman and how you are treated for liking what you like in the ways in which you like it.
Carvan is an engaging storyteller who examines her own life through the lens of what happens when she develops an unexpected deep fascination and huge crush on actor Benedict Cumberbatch after becoming a parent.
Cumberbitch is a nickname assigned to the legions of fans and the one that seems to have stuck because it’s pretty funny. Other nicknames adopted by or attributed to fans of Cumberbatch include Cumbercookies, Cumberbunnies, and Benaddicts—none of which come close to Cumberbitches.
Carvan looks beyond her own story to explore how women are treated when they get excited about things, and it’s affirming and healing if you’re one of those women who were/are told that whatever you’re about is “too much” or has been disdainfully shoved aside by people in that distinctively patriarchal way for not being "cool” enough for them.
From "This is Not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch" by Tabitha Carvan:
"Do you know about Lisztomania, for example—the fan hysteria for the pianist Franz Liszt that swept through Europe in the 1840s? His swooning female admirers would turn his broken piano strings into bracelets, or carry glass vials containing dregs of his coffee. One woman encased one of Liszt's old cigar butts in a locket encrusted with diamonds spelling out 'FL'—it's the nineteenth century equivalent of paying several thousand dollars on eBay for a discarded napkin!"
I did NOT know about this, but it’s fascinating to see how little things seem to change for us humans.
8. Gravestone recipes
My friend Mike atsent me this one, and I’m glad he did. I’d seen a story on this but not with a phrase attached to it. So now I get to write about it here!
Here’s a TikTok by Rosie Grant, who writes:
Have visited 6 of the 23 gravestones, including the graves of Naomi Odessa Miller Dawson (spritz cookie recipe), Kay Andrews (fudge recipe), Constance Galberd (date and nute (sic) bread), Annabell Gunderson (snickerdoodle cookies), and Margaret Davis (blueberry pie).
Grant’s TikTok bio reads: Cemetery Stories | Gravestone Recipes
Here’s Grant’s Linktree for her “Ghostly Content,” including past media interviews about this project.
Your Random Do-Good List
Sylvanaqua Farms is very close to reaching their mutual aid goal for July. Help them get there with a donation of just $3-$4.
Food Shed Co-Op is a community-owned grocery store in development in Woodstock, Illinois. My family are shareholders as of this summer! They’re trying to raise additional funds to cover the cost of rising construction costs that have happened since COVID arrived. If you’re into community-based food projects like this one, consider making a donation to help them meet their goal.
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay furiously curious.
New-to-me Phrases is an independently produced project supported by readers.
If you love NTMP, would you consider sharing it with a friend you think would also love it?