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The Sternal Journal

This is what I'm listening to right now 
Well, Sternal Journalists--

This week, I'm going to lean into what my dad calls, "You don't need an editor; your style is too manic for an editor." Do we disagree? I can not.

First of all,

A hearty welcome to my new Quarantalent Show subscribers. If you are not one of the [number redacted] new subscribers who joined because of this underground Zoom musical-and-occasional-variety review, but would like to be notified of the next one, let me know and I'll keep you looped!

Now, onto that Selena Gomez stuff.

Kristen and I have been watching HBO Max Original Selena+Chef, or as I like to call it, Relatively Normal People Shout Commands at Selena Gomez and She Handles it Only Okay

I really didn't think I would enjoy this pandemic-produced cooking show where Selena Gomez video chats with chefs as they teach her to make dishes with only the ingredients she had delivered to her door by probably a scared PA.

But I'm 3 episodes in and honestly it's a lot of fun. If you're gonna watch one, watch the Ludo Lefebvre episode where the Trois Mec/Ludo Bird/etc. super chef just really lays into Selena when she can't find specific pans or gets distracted or whatever. 

We just watched the Roy Choi episode and, even though he's super polite, you know who's not? Papa.

Oh, Papa! Selena Gomez's grandfather looks like a cross between Jeff Dunham and one of his puppets, and he just relentlessly gives her shit. It's all in good fun, but you also feel like there's a small chance one will kill the other during quarantine. 

Papa seems to always be around, as well as occasionally Selena's friends and/or assistants. They're all just really messy in an endearing way I wasn't expecting?

And is Selena herself boring? Incredibly! But she also mentions it every other sentence. But then sometimes she injures herself or almost does. So far, none of the meals have gone horrifically wrong, but there is a very alluring shitshow quality a la Nailed It mixed with the weird Statler and/or Waldorf vibe that Papa brings. 

I don't know. Give it a try if you're bored.

What's a WUI?!

If you're not on the West Coast, you probably still know we've got this pesky fire problem ruining or, in some terrible cases, literally ending lives from border to border.

And this is because of a lot of factors, one of which is a thing called the WUI (pronounced like the sound I make when exiting a bathroom after an extended stay). WUI stands for Wildland Urban Interface, and basically a place with a lot of trees, but also a lot of houses.

These WUIs are where a majority of the loss of property and life are happening. And while the fires are absolutely worse because of climate change, they are also worse because states are incentivizing towns to allow more home building in the WUIs, even though they know the WUIs are dangerous places for homes to be built!

[Let us take a moment to again reflect on the inappropriateness of the acronym WUI. It sounds like a new Migos adlib that someone says "Do you know what WUI is?" and I say "Yeah, sure, of course" as a frantically reach for my phone and UrbanDictionary it because I'm too embarrassed to just admit I don't know a word from a rap song--"I mean, I definitely, I knew it at some point, I just, I can't remember exactly--"]

But why would they do this? Oh, just that same old unwillingness to meet gentrification and homelessness with solutions that are effective in making people safer!

So because people have been being priced out of cities for decades, state governments incentivizing communities further and further out to accommodate those people. Which REALLY sucks if you're one of those people, I think we can all agree. It creates a scenario where, even though some fires are taking up the same area as identical fires from years ago, hundreds if not thousands more homes are being destroyed because local governments allowed if not encouraged building in communities they knew were unsafe.

This is all exhausting, but if you want to learn more, listen to last Friday's episode of the Daily from which I lifted almost this entire rant. 

[They of course did not touch on how WUI sounds like a character from a cartoon from your childhood that you suddenly remember and thing, "Wait, is it okay that they named them that?" But they say it a ton.]


What else did I enjoy this week?

Holy shit, Daddy Yankee did a Thong Song interpolation.

I don't want to give you anything more than that. I can't. Just listen to it. Let it give you the energy you need for the week.



P.S. As always, a reminder that you could be the proud owner of an Esqueechamug or Poop Train ASMR experience by [I think] the END OF THE MONTH

Copyright © 2020 Julian M. Stern, All rights reserved.

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