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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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« In Which We Find This Troubling To Contemplate At All »

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


One of my good friends just found out she's having a baby. I'm happy for her and genuinely excited that she and her partner are going to be parents. But I feel like my friend is changing so quickly! We used to make fun of women who posted pictures of their "baby bump" and we promised each other we'd never be so silly. Now she's doing all that stuff, and I don't know whether to bring it up with her or see if it's just a phase. 

Jean C.

Dear Jean,

It depends. Do you think parenthood is just a phase? 

Sorry, your friend's life — and her friendship with you  will never be the same. All you can do now is show up to her inevitable shower(s) with pastel-colored bags full of tiny, expensive clothing that her mewling, drooling offspring will outgrow immediately and hope for the best.

By which I mean, be supportive. We all make promises about what we'll never do, say, or like that we grow up to break. For example, I said I'd never use the word "offspring" again, but here we are. Telling your friend that you're disappointed in who she's becoming will basically ensure that you'll attend the funeral of your friendship instead of your friend's blessed event.


I met Tim in fall of 2009. Outside of the few times when he was drinking our relationship has always been relaxed and comfortable. Tim doesn't really drink very much, probably because when he does drink, he drinks far beyond the point of excess, and frequently doesn't remember his activity at all.

Let me emphasize that Tim does not get violent when he drinks this much. He generally becomes useless to anyone, fumbles around and can barely take care of himself, which means that me or his friends have to exhaustingly take care of him for the rest of the night.

I'd be lying if I said how I view Tim wasn't affected by these times, but I still consider him my partner and friend. How can I help him without ruining the relationship?

Lauren M.

Dear Lauren,

Everybody has flaws except for young Joan Didion. She should have been preserved in amber. Here are some things that ultimately ended my relationships:

1. Whenever he wore a suit, he would yell, "Zoot suit riot! Throw back a bottle of beer!" Fucking idiot.

2. He asked me where recycled plastic went. When I responded, "A recycling plant," he giggled like it was a joke.

3. He chased pigeons like a poodle.

4. During sex he would get super embarrassed if he sweat at all. Then he would apologize, roll off me and check his e-mail.

5. His sister was named Veronica Toolings. Just no.

6. He would put his hands on my face every time we kissed. When I asked him why he did it, he said because Ryan Gosling did. We didn't break up because of this, but it was still pretty weird. We broke up because he moved to Brazil.

7. If we went to the movies, he bought three boxes of candy. He would save one for later that night.

8. He killed a guy. It was self-defense, but it still worried me at times.

See? Tim is not so bad after all. He most likely has a severe allergy to alcohol that means he will not be a functioning alcoholic, which is way worse than someone who can't hold his liquor. If you really want to make him better, try to get him to take some other drug that is fun when he goes out that will replace alcohol, like mushrooms or arsenic.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

"That Point When" - My Brightest Diamond (mp3)

"Whoever You Are" - My Brightest Diamond (mp3)

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