I am the King of the Sky!

(no jinx-ies)

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Hello, Sternal Journalists!

Today, I was flying back from Portland for a dear friend’s bachelor party, and I took some pictures. These pictures are not important because they are good pictures. They are for the most part bad pictures.

However, they are still important! Because while I was taking these pictures, I was simply enjoying taking these pictures. While I was taking them, I was thinking thoughts such as, “Dang, I gotta write a Sternal Journal tonight,” and “Ooh, maybe I’ll just post these pictures” and other things that were (again) boring, but pertaining to activities that would occur once the plane landed with me in it.

This is what was so important, Sternal Journalists! Because I, Julian Stern, am a scared-ass-flyer! You need only look as for as this stand up bit I wrote about irrational fears while flying or this totally different stand up bit about the exact same thing to see just how much of my personality is consumed by aerophobia.

So the fact that I was actually making plans for what would happen once the plane landed rather than swiping through moments of my life Tinder-style to try to convince myself it had been a sexy life overall? This was a big deal. You’re talking to the guy who books a roundtrip flight and thinks “Dang, I gotta die in a fiery nosedive twice next month?” Zero rationality.

And the reason I felt so totally fine is that, a few weeks ago at my physical, I told my doctor my fears and he prescribed me what everyone I’ve mentioned it to describes as “like the smallest amount of a sedative physically possible.” And it was great! I got a little bit jittery during turbulence, but not once did I spend a full hour counting down from 100 to try to distract myself from my certain and impending death. And that is a win.

And so here are some meaningless mediocre pictures that meant a lot to me because I had the clarity and boredom necessary to take them in the first place.

This is where I’d normally be scheming with myself about whether I could still get them to let me off this deathtrap if I like faked a medical emergency, but I was just chillin’ and taking pictures of conveyor belt trucks (“Pause and realize that conveyor belt trucks are cool” is the new “Stop and smell the roses.”)

Again, these photos matter much less in content than in context. And I share them with you to let you know that, if there’s something that is really, truly vexing you right now and it seems like there’s no relief possible, keep on talking to professionals!

I’m sure my relief in this regard will ebb and flow, but it’s nice to have a break for however long it lasts, and you too might just find relief and blissful boredom. Failing that, look for some clouds to make poop jokes about. You’d be surprised how nice of a distraction that can be.


SterJour Notable Moment of Sport #1: Jesse Owens. Julian Stern. That’s right. I’m recommending a past Sternal Journal. This was the first and so far only in a series of articles where I try to catch up on liking sports. The Olympics are upon us and they are always cause for excitement, but they are also always problematic (read for yourself!). This Sternal Journal Classic touches on both sides of the equation, like just how dominant Jesse Owens was, but also just how much Hitler’s administration apparently invented the Olympic torch and yet we still use it.

Gossip Girl. Television. I did not watch the original, but I’m getting sucked into the reboot. I especially love how, with the thirsty teachers taking on the Gossip Girl mantle, it really analyzes the voyeur symbiosis between Millenials and Gen Zs. Basically, it’s an extended metaphor for 33-year-olds spending hours a day on TikTok watching content made by 22-year-olds. Still not sure what it says about it, but there’s plenty that needs to be said.

Industry Baby. Song. Lil Nas X proves once again that the party’s just getting started, and Jack Harlow has a great time at said party doing what he does best: showing he’s ecstatic and grateful for being invited in the first place.

And that’s all, Sternal Journalists! Wishing you a week full of quashed angst!