Est. Read Time: 8 minutes. Read Time brought to you once again by the Ashburton Energy + Hair Logistics Group, in association with the Bradley Hills Bureau of Corrections.
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Hi Sternal Journalists,
Hilarious stuff. Last week, my post was about getting “good tape [footage]” of one’s stand-up. The points I got across included:
It is tough to get good tape.
Tape is so often bad for reasons outside of one’s own control.
Even a great set often results in bad tape.
But perhaps most importantly it’s always still worth it.
Because what’s the worst that could happen?
TURNS OUT THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IS YOU GET COVID.
Yes. On Monday, I tested positive for the ‘Vid and the only reason I tested was because someone else from that show messaged everyone that they had tested positive.
So we don’t really know that I got it there, but it’s the easiest narrative. I do think that for all the protocols of contact-tracing and social niceties around the pandemic, there’s a real empty space in how we narrativize our contraction.
Like, when a bunch of people catch COVID at a wedding, everyone is like “Boohoo, I caught COVID at this wedding.” But if you think about it, at least one person brought COVID at that wedding (maybe I’m actually the one who brought the COVID to the show and I’d gotten it before without showing symptoms. Nobody actually knows!).
Are we all just engaging in a firing-squad-blank-cartridge-plausible-deniability thing? Maybe! That’s kinda nice actually (in a way that pandemics or firing squads can be nice—which is to say weirdly and maybe not).
Anywho, here are—
5 things I’ve learned while being stuck in a room for a week:
The Darjeeling Limited is my favorite of Wes Anderson’s first six movies. Maybe the only meaningful thing I’ve done with my alone time is set myself the goal of watching all ten of Wes Anderson’s feature-length films over my ten days of isolation.
I’d never seen any of them, and I know a lot of cinephiles who will look down on me for that, but for every one of them, I know ten people in the entertainment industry who lie about the movies or television they haven’t seen. So at least I’m honest! Give me that!
Anyway, I’m really enjoying cranking through these movies, and I feel like I’m learning/enjoying a lot more than I would were I not watching them in context of each other. If you’re ever hankering for a TV show to binge, consider finding a director you’re curious about and watching a few of their movies in order instead!
Anyway, I’m not sure why I liked Darjeeling so much, but I think it could just be that it’s the most relatable at-the-moment-of-viewing. This is the first movie since Rushmore that is really only about people in one age bracket, which is my current age bracket:
Anderson was in his mid 30s when he made it, as were (roughly) Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson. Jason Schwartzman was 27 which is basically 31. They’re dealing with problems that feel very local to people around the age I’m at.
Plus what with it being a train movie, the tiny compartments offer a relatability to my current state of claustrophobia while the wide stretches of open land offer a salve to it. Plus, it’s whimsical and funny and straightforward. I liked it.
There is no such thing as “late COVID diarrhea.” I won’t get into it any more than that, but it’s something I had to google at some point over the past 24 hours.
An “elf fight” is a great way to pass a Covid Christmas. Maybe you already saw this on Instagram, but since Kristen is still negative (and has therefore been doing a wonderful job of caring for my quarantined self), we couldn’t have traditional Christmas togetherness.
So as an activity to pass time and generate holiday cheer, I came up with ELF FIGHT. This is where two or more competitors have to construct a life-sized elf out of only the materials in their space and only during the runtime of holiday Will Ferrell classic, Elf.
I was pretty pleased with my guy created from 6 fitness weights, some styrofoam, a wig, and a costume ball mask:
But even I can agree that Kristen brought the pain with her friend constructed of a houseplant, a massive portable air conditioner, two posters, some mittens, and various empty cans of stuff we had drank in the prior day:
But please, if you find yourself in the midst of an Elf fight, send pics immediately.
4. Something nice can happen on Instagram. I’ve spent enough time on social media over the past 15 years to be pretty certain that it’s a net negative in my life. And the fact that I use it to seamlessly keep up with people I love and (arguably) further my career isn’t really a good excuse, because it also cheapens plenty of irl relationships and zaps me of time I could be more substantively developing creatively or resting mentally. But every now and then—and I mean truly rarely, like maybe every few years—something cool happens.
So on Tuesday, my only day of really shitty symptoms (not, however, the day I googled “late COVID diarrhea”), I was lying in bed tired of binging Only Murders in The Building, and nothing to do but scroll (my screen time was up seventy percent this week, by the way).
And I knew I shouldn’t be scrolling, but nothing was pulling me out of it until I landed on this post from the account heimrecord. I’m not exactly sure what it is because it’s all in Japanese, but she liked one of my posts once and it’s just a woman who posts a picture of a record every day. It’s cozy and felt like a nice non-toxic follow. Apparently, she’s also a musician and so this incredibly relaxing song popped up and I was finally able to put down my phone and just listen.
It felt like when you stumble onto a Subway performer who’s actually really fucking good and think, “Okay, life. You’re kinda cool.” And then I stopped scrolling! Thank you, @heimrecord!
5. Ending the year locked in a room makes you forget that you’re ending the year. Wow, this is the last Sternal Journal of 2021. Sorta forgot about that. Next week, we’ll probably do another best of clip show, but here, I thought I should thank you all for reading through the second complete year of the Sternal Journal.
This year, I was able to do a lot more interviews, some essays about DJ Khaled, raise over $300 for homeless organizations with my snarky L.A. Tragedy shirt, and monetize!
Next year, I hope to continue experimenting and continue upping the quality of this little missive you get every Sunday night or Monday morning (If there were any spelling or grammar errors this week, I plead COVID).
I sort of already gave you all of them, but I’ll collect them here nicely!
The Darjeeling Limited. Film.
heimrecord. Instagram account.
Elf Fighting. Activity.
Only Murders in the Building. Television show. I am the second to last person to have watched this on the face of the earth, but in case your the last, let me be one more person who recommends it to you. It’s cozy, it’s nice, it is yet another piece of evidence that Selena Gomez doesn’t have to be charming or watchable to be both charming and watchable.
Running and/or walking. Activity. Bonus, but this isolation is maybe the longest I’ve gone in a decade without running and the longest I’ve gone in my entire life without being able to walk around a block. Go do one of em. For me!
Okay, Sternal Journalists! A weird one for the end of the year, but a weird end to the year!
Sending all of my love to chase you into the new year and me out of this damn room.
P.S. I spend anywhere between two and twelve hours a week on the Sternal Journal. If you enjoy receiving it (and are RICH) consider becoming a paying subscriber. For just a few bucks a month, you can provide me with a bit more time to come up with fun topics, poems, and interviews; and you with probably fewer typos.