Smooches and Ginger Ale

A new(ish) video piece

Est. Read Time: 5 Minutes [including watch time!]. Read Time brought to you once again by the Ashburton Energy + Hair Logistics Group, in association with the Bradley Hills Bureau of Corrections. If you like the Sternal Journal, forward it to a friend. They can find the Best of 2020 list here.

Helloooo, Sternal Journalists!

You know; I’ve gotten so into writing and reporting long(ish) read pieces and interviews, I sometimes forget that the initial point of the Sternal Journal was tasteful self-promotion. And hey! This week, I’ve got something to self-promote.

NOTE: I did technically share it on social media already, but there are some really good recs today, so if you already saw it, don’t just click out! Hit the recs! Also also, there were some formatting issues when I first shared, and I’ve re-uploaded and fixed!)

But if you missed it, one of my favorite movies from this year was Sound of Metal, starring Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer who copes with a drastic and psychologically tortuous hearing loss. It does some excellent pontificating on helping hurt loved ones, chasing passions, and cutting losses. It also has an ending that fits perfectly into Julian’s Unifying Theory of Endings He Thought of After Watching 1917. Happy to expand on that if you want to hear.

BUT! That’s all to say I really liked the movie. However, there’s this one gut-wrenching scene where Riz’s character Ruben is fighting with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou as she’s literally packing her bags into an Uber to leave him in an attempt to force him to get help. A truly brilliant and gutting scene. Your heart breaks for their hearts breaking for each other…

but also, it’s like a two minute fight, and the Uber driver just sits there patiently. I’ve been an Uber driver before, so I couldn’t stop thinking about that guy. And I had to imagine what he was going through. And then make a sketch of it.

So enjoy! You’ll be able to see bits of Daniël Bouquet’s excellent cinematography:

And then some of my also cinematography:

It stars my hilarious frenemy Stephen Sanow, and if I didn’t trick you into clicking on one of those hyperlinked pictures already, you can watch it here.

(If you like it, you know what to do! Be the little Sternal Journal street team I always knew you were and pop it on your story if you do that sort of thing.)


Collisions. Poem. Ben Kassoy is one of the artists I’m lucky enough to be very good friends with, and I’ve been truly HANKERING to share this with you since he sent it to me for an early read in January. If you’re like “meh, poems, not my thing” trust me. This is just a fun, heartbreaking, emotive, accessible, and funny 3 minute read.

Every sentence in it is my favorite, but I really like:

One minute you’re wearing a giant shirt that’s yellow for sunshine and the next minute you’re hot with humiliation and melting in your own sweat until you’re the biggest puddle on 24th and Lex and when someone’s dog begins to lap you up she’s like “No, Amanda! No!”

He named his extended metaphor dog Amanda. That’s fucking hilarious. Fuckin damn.

Zayn Malik. Song. While writing this, I remembered that Riz Ahmed was in a rap duo with Heems. This song (which is named after but in no way musically featuring the former One Directioner) is my favorite of theirs.

The Last Scene in Episode 3 of Shrill Season 3. TV Show (scene). Only 4 episodes in, but I’m enjoying this season of Aidy Bryant’s Lindy West show. That being said, the last 30 seconds of episode 3 is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year. Honestly, even if you’re never going to watch it, I would open Hulu, go to episode 3, and fast forward to that last scene. Please reach out if you know what I’m talking about.

Okay, that’s all! Much love, have a wonderful week.