NTMP #8: Starch Madness
Tuber trials and tribulations
New-to-me phrases, March 20, 2022
The Crone Bone Zone * Castle Breakfast * Starch Madness * Oligarch Tears * Croix de chainage * Internet juggling forums * Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager * Donkey Goggles * Altitoots
The Phrases, With Context
It’s the first day of spring! 💐 My favorite season! Get outside if you can, after reading this newsletter, of course. This week we have an epic dream job, mad potato love and betrayal, and further proof that there’s something for everyone on the internet.
1. The Crone Bone Zone
A good 10% of new-to-me-phrases are just my own dumb utterances. The Crone Bone Zone is one of these, wherein I suggested it as a potential title for my hot single friend’s newsletter. I’d read it.
2. Castle Breakfast
I have found that among my picky-eating family, just putting sliced produce out on a dish is a great way to entice them to eat it.
3. Starch Madness
An annual carb-themed Serious Eats event and a great phrase. I want to air-high-five that graphic designer. While last year was all about pasta, this year’s brackets are potato-centric.
Speaking of spuds, New Zealand resident Doug the Potato is actually a gourd. A moment of silence please, for the tuber we thought we knew.
Did you know that I also collect amusing headlines? I do!
My fave is: “Meetings. Why?”
Anyway, I added that Doug the Potato link above to my list.
4. Oligarch Tears
Pure delight contained in a Twitter thread detailing the seizures of yachts owned by Russian oligarchs. (Thanks, Tiff!)
5. Croix de chainage
This one’s for the history nerds, of which I am only one whilst re-reading Outlander, which I’ve done twice now and am ready to do again if I can ever finish the Wheel of Time fantasy series, which feels like a danged part-time job at this point. It would take Diana Gabaldon a good two pages to describe this decorative and practical structural fix and I’d enjoy every word of it because her writing is just so gorgeous.
Anyway, I am not Diana Gabaldon so a paragraph will have to suffice. I found this phrase via Gabrielle Blair, aka Design Mom’s insta stories, where she shares updates about renovating a home in France. For buildings constructed before crosswise support beams were used, if a crack appeared in the facade, a rod was driven through the building, with crosses or other shapes securing each end to keep the crack from spreading. Some of the end pieces are decorative in nature, others more simply functional x-shaped pieces.
Apparently you can see croix de chainage on older buildings in the Northeastern U.S. and New Orleans but they’re new to this Midwesterner.
6. Internet juggling forums
There really is something for everyone on the internet. This phrase came from a reported essay by Boston Globe writer Billy Baker, which is essentially a love letter detailing how his wife Lori broke the world record for playing Tetris in 2007 by just . . . playing the way she’d always played and not realizing she was the GOAT. (Thanks to my friend Tiff once again for this one.)
Also included in this piece: “the Louvre of the 8-bit world.”
7. Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager
If you hate it when mom and dad fight, this is not your dream gig. But if you enjoy wading into an aggressive dust-up, maybe this is for you.
Yes, it’s an actual job description via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and no, it doesn’t involve inserting yourself between two chest-bumping grizzlies and telling them to take it outside. It’s more like camping out and doing science stuff, which is still objectively cool in my book. Sadly, the application date has already passed but maybe reach out and share your LinkedIn to get your name on their radar.
8. Donkey Goggles
This one’s just a product name for a pair of orange sunnies by Goodr. If there’s an Urban Dictionary phrase for this, I truly do not want to know. I wear Rx sunglasses but I still get Goodr’s emails because their writing is so damned good. Might snag these for pool readers.
While laid up sick this week/end, I caught up on the Shangrilogs archive. One post covered altitude adjustment and altitude sickness, and a commenter added that HAFE, or High-altitude Flatus Expulsion, is also a thing.
Another reader added that they’re known as altitoots.
File under: I KNEW IT.
Also, apologies in advance to family and friends the next time I visit Colorado.
Of note: Three years of living at just over 5,000 feet in Colorado has not netted me any long-term altitude adjustment or other superpowers beyond the ability to move somewhere with a much lower cost of living. Any time I visit Colorado I have to acclimate all over again, damnit.
Not that anyone but maybe one of you cares, but I’ve decided to wait on adding a paid option to this newsletter. I’ve been sick with a non-COVID affliction and could not deal with the number of confirmation emails and sales bits you need to set up and write when adding a paid option. Yes, we should pay writers and artists for their time, and shoutout to my one friend who emailed to say, “I can’t wait to pay you!” But I also feel like this thing is too new and it’s too soon to start pushing a paid option while I’m still figuring it all out and you’re still deciding if this is even worth your inbox time.
A reader reached out last week to say they tried leaving a comment and didn’t realize they had to create a Substack account to do so. So I just came on here to say: Yeah, you’ve gotta make a Substack account in order to leave a comment. Fair warning: You will want to read all of the Substacks once you do that, because there are some truly amazing writers on this thing.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy some potatoes until we meet again.