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The Sternal Journal

Wait, what about cacosthenics?
Hello Sternal Journalists,

Most of the time, I have a boring or crazy week. Then at the end of it, I find something I need to or want to talk about in this, The Space Nobody Asked For But Some People Actually Really Do Enjoy I Swear.

And then other times, things still go crazy or boring, but it's really more about other people--coworkers, friends, loved ones--and then I have nothing to say to you! It's not my story nor my revelation.

But that's not fair to you (to me)! I made a promise to you (to myself) that I would share something, some thoughts, some whatever, every week so that I can go to sleep on Sunday feeling like I did something, and so you can wake up on Monday with at least one correspondence that is not an awful or (worse!) mundane work thing.

And I wrote all that to stall really while I figured out what I would write about, but I think it's nice to keep just as a reminder of the metaphorical contract I wrote up and signed for both of us without your permission. 

ANYWAY, then I remembered I do have some news to share, and I'll do that now!

I built myself a recording booth this week out of a large cardboard box, two C-stands, and $15 worth of foam (the box was regrettably from Amazon, so my friend Alexis has dubbed my creation "Amazon Studios." 10/10). With it, I will complete three forthcoming projects:

a. Julian Stern, As Per Usual, Blows You Away THE ALBUM. This is a recording of my 2019 live show, performed at the Comedy Central Stage. As Per Usual was a work I was still tweaking and then COVID came along and now it's finished. Because you know the adage: 

"A bit is never really done... unless a pandemic comes along and makes you feel like a different person who, yes, still loves that material but really doesn't see themself working on it in a meaningful way in at least a few years, so just put it out there."

b. SEO NIGHTMARE's Logic Pro X Trial Will Expire in 89 Days. This is a 9-track 17-ish minutes album of music I composed (as my producer alter ego, SEO NIGHTMARE), fully during the free trial of music production program, Logic Pro. 

A very cool, but anonymous benefactor purchased the full version for me because they said my ideas were "too big for garage band" and guys? It made me tear up. It also made me slog on the lyrics a bit, so technically it was due this week, but it'll be a few more. Hey, that's the music industry, baby. Surprise drops. WATCH OUT!

(some of the songs are completely, truly unwritten so if you have a subject, topic, or person you'd like a song written about, throw it my way. Like every great artist, I need prompts.)

c. Julian's Untitled Sports Podcast. This is a thing where I'm talking to a lot of friends, loved ones, strangers who are passionate about sports and trying to figure out where and why I went so Sportsball. (You can hear a 6 minute very rough demo I made here.) 

I'm taking challenges from some of these kind people who are giving me interviews, and one of them prescribed me with becoming a Damien Lillard fan. I watched, for the first time, an entire professional sports game by myself on Saturday (Trail Blazers-Grizzlies). 

And I didn't hate it! I'm definitely jealous they get to hug and there was some very exciting business afoot. Also, I like Damien Lillard's eyes. They are intense, but welcoming. I feel like if I was telling him a story, his eyes would make me feel like he really cared what I was saying. ("So the billboard has a hotdog on a train...")

Not sure how that will fit into the overall narrative, but I can tell you I've done two interviews so far and there will be plenty there for the sports fans and sports doubters! (Also, I'm gonna try to keep the episodes down to like 35 minutes. You don't have time for a new hour+ pod in the docket! I know you, you're busy makin' moves!)

Okay, that's a lotta news, but I gotta leave you with something non-promotional. 

NEW WORD ALERT: Cacography: deliberate misspelling of a word. 

Examples: Inglourious Basterds, I Can Has Cheezburger, 2 Chainz. (Seriously, what did the alphabet creators think they were doing when they came up with Z?  "What if we had one that only does the fun S sounds? Just so S know where it stands." 

Bonus fact: cacography is the etymological antonym to calligraphy. Caco=Bad, Calli=beautiful. You can find caco in cacophony (bad sound) and calli in calisthenics (beautiful strength). No funny here, just good word stuff. 

Okay, that's all for now. Next time (maybe)? 

We'll explore cacography's parent concept, catachresis, 

and/or I'll share the connection between the 2020 election and my grandma's discordant thoughts about why Eminem shouldn't sing if he can't sing, but I should be able to play the Cowardly Lion in North Bethesda Middle School's Wizard of Oz because I couldn't sing, 

and/or maybe I'll have one of these projects ready. (Probably not yet).


-This cold-ass article called The Week Old Hollywood Finally, Actually Died if only for searing takes like "The most interesting profiles of entertainment executives are, literally, obituaries." or this sentence about executives getting fired from Warner Media: "In a series of brisk video calls, executives who imagined they were studio eminences were reminded that they work — or used to work — at the video division of a phone company." Even I felt for them a bit there. 

-This MoMA profile of Gordon Parks, the first black staff photographer for Life magazine. His pictures look like movies. 

That's truly all for now! 

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

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