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Alex Carnevale
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Kara VanderBijl
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Mia Nguyen
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Durga Chew-Bose
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Brittany Julious
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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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Wednesday
Oct222014

In Which We Accept That You May Require Different Remedies

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.

Hi,

My boyfriend Aaron and I have been seeing each other for six months after meeting on Tinder. He is something of a nervous guy at times, never more so than when we are being intimate. He is extremely well-endowed so has nothing to worry about on that front. Still, he gets a little anxious and as we start, begins narrating every aspect of ahat is happening. The amount of apologies on offer is amazing, but quickly gets old. If my head is accidentally bumped he will stop completely and ask me if I am OK. Once, completely unprompted, he left to get me ice.

I have tried to talk to Aaron about this, but even after I explained, he looks verbally constipated during sex and I can tell he's not himself. Is it possible to get him over this hump?

Lucianne R.

Dear Lucianne,

I despise puns.

Some men are brought up to think women are very delicate. At the same time, they ignore pretty clear evidence that Angelina Jolie keeps the souls of the men she couples with. Do you think she was like, "Hey Brad, I'm heading for your anus" on that fateful first date? Some things are better when you don't know about them beforehand, like Ellie Goulding and the Batmobile.

I suggest physical intervention in this case. Aaron won't shut up, but he probably wants to, so put your finger on his lips and shush him as you take over. Failing that, cover his mouth and nostrils tightly. When he begs for his life, remind him, "I thought I told you to close your trap."

If you are keen on a more psychological approach, tell him a story about a friend named Marcia Hamsbottom who had an ex-husband who would not stop quoting The Big Lebowski, no matter how many times she told him she hated it. If he says that the name Hamsbottom sounds made-up, wonder aloud how he has not heard of RCA recording artist Duracell Hamsbottom. I think he was in Outkast?

Hi,

My girlfriend Anne really loves to discuss political issues. Sometimes these arguments can get a bit out of hand; to a certain extent I have gotten used to leaving emotion of such discussions, but when we are socializing with friends or family, Anne is just as vociferous about her views. I'm not trying to change who she is, and I really don't mind. But these arguments lead to conflict that gets us not invited to places and affects other people's enjoyment of these events.

Anne seems to understand that everyone does not share her views, and I don't think she holds grudges or even argues in anger. What can I do to alleviate this situation?


Markel S.

Dear Markel,

People who are confused about their views are far less likely to articulate them to others. You need to cloud Anne's thinking on a number of issues, and a subscription to National Review isn't going to get the job done.

If necessary, approach her from the left and right on each issue. Make her feel like she isn't going far enough - she is already advocating for taking rich people's hard-earned money; why not their houses, cars, and children too? If she feels like her views mean that she is going to have to be the mom of some insolent teen portrayed by Amanda Bynes, she's going to have reexamine her viewpoints closely. Playing the devil's advocate is just a gaudy old-fashioned way of saying you're a professional troll.

Then again, the last person who did the wrong thing for the right reasons ended up married to George Clooney.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. Access This Recording's mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com.

"Put Your Number In My Phone" - Ariel Pink (mp3)

"One Summer Night" - Ariel Pink (mp3)

 

 

Tuesday
Oct212014

In Which We Clean Our Fridge By Food Group

The Host

by NATHAN JOLLY

We are at a house party, walking from room to room, while Charlotte points out the tiny signs that the host is a functional junkie. Things that only someone who had been a drug addict before would ever notice: slightly bent paperclips, odd items in rooms they should have no occasion to visit, snowflakes of ash on bookcases, slight burn marks on pillowcases, the Lost In Translation soundtrack perched on the stereo.

Charlotte was once a drug addict and is now a drug user because even bread has habit-forming qualities and is probably killing us just as quickly. She was right about soy snacks, about plastic and fake sugar and Susan's old boss, and she swears she is right about this, too - so I believe everything she says. Charlotte fell asleep on her arm two nights in a row, and it scared her enough to slide slightly straighter. We split up weeks after that, and neither of us argued hard that this wasn't the real reason.

This kitchen is immaculate, which Charlotte notices and now I notice, and she assures me this also means something, and I nod, and she smiles, and we wonder how firmly we need to ingratiate ourselves with the host before we can change the CD. I like when house parties have CDs rather than iPods, and I like when they have punch, too, because we all learned early from the same ten TV shows that punch equals party and therefore this is a common bond we share with every single host who serves punch - even if she is a closet junkie who spends hours manically cleaning and organising her fridge by food group.

Charlotte tells me you can instantly tell a house party will be filled with terrible people if there isn't a bookcase and a stereo in a common room. We argue for a bit about how books are often kept in bedrooms, especially in share houses, before Charlotte points out there should be more books than bedroom storage, especially in a share house. This presents another wrinkle: does the overflow mean the books in the common room are an accurate representation of tastes - three people's least precious reads - or a greatest hits collection, a boast which vastly overstates each individual's true tastes, making the more-interesting seem less, and the less more? We can't decide. I helpfully point to a cracked tile, but it doesn't mean anything apparently - sometimes tiles crack.

The living room is filled with people I will never know. The stereo is loud and muffled, like it has been ordered to shout but is embarrassed by what it has to say. I take this music as a personal attack on me, but Charlotte sees it as a shortcut, the way she has seen most human behaviour ever since she changed majors from economics to sociology then back again. Charlotte never finished her degree and her mother still doesn't know. She has never needed it, and come to think of it, neither have I. "I need a T-shirt with a photo of Yoko on" she says lazily, before collapsing into a cane chair. Charlotte once told me the best time to interact with society while being on drugs was before 9am, because everyone looks like a shaken mess that early in the morning anyway. It made me skip back over every morning spent with Charlotte to try to remember signs: to remember her eyes, her reaction time, her pale, speckled face. But Charlotte was always quicker and much smarter than me (than I?) and now her eyes are dancing because she caught me looking at them for too long; I realised I didn't know what color they were - or thought I didn't - until I knew of course I did. She kisses me on the lips sharply, then slowly for a few seconds longer. I realise I'm now sitting in her lap, on a cane chair in a lounge room swimming with strangers, so I get up and walk with purpose towards the stereo, but am too scared to stop the music.

There are piles of blankets near the door leading out to the back porch; the evening is stupidly cool for an October and our host is kind in that pure-hearted way where she steps out future scenarios and makes sure she is prepared. I want to tell her that I'd noticed this but since she doesn't know me, it can't have anything resembling a positive effect, so I don't.

The punch looks a different, more troubling color than it was when we first arrived, so I decide not to risk another dip in the bowl; communal anything is a nice idea but it runs a short race. Charlotte's friend Lucy is already asleep, her neck craned uncomfortably, and because the three of us had walked to the party together, we'd signed on to bring each other's bodies home - especially because this house is across from the dark corner of the dog park where the floodlights die and no taxi dare roam.

I grab a bunch of blankets and cover her, and try to find a cup clean enough to fill with water and sit near her. She flinches and grabs my face and whispers to "Charlotte" to "try to bang [me] tonight", because "he is being so obvious" - I stay and stroke her hair until she either falls asleep or stops moving. I slide under her limp, coathanger arm, and head out into the yard to find Charlotte. Past the fire and the five-stringed acoustic guitar, she is scrunched against the fence, her phone shining a light on her face. "I was trying to find you," she smiles, and puts her arms out, as if she needs me to drag her to her feet. 

Nathan Jolly is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in Sydney. He last wrote in these pages about the one. He tumbls here and twitters here.

Paintings by Frances Barth.

"I Cover The Waterfront" - Annie Lennox (mp3)

"September in the Rain" - Annie Lennox (mp3)

Monday
Oct202014

In Which The Inside Of Pacey Is Everything I Expected

You Make A Beautiful Ranchhand, Pacey

by DICK CHENEY

The Affair
creators Habai Levi & Sarah Treem

Noah Solloway (a craggy Dominic West doing his usual terrible American accent) has sex with his wife on a Thursday. He is on top of her when she starts laughing. He asks what's funny? "You were making a weird face," she explains. They have three kids together, but he uses this as a reason to cheat on her with a depressed waitress named Alison Lockhart (the English actress Ruth Wilson, whose accent is better but barely passable).

I have always been kind of a Wuthering Heights guy, but the new Showtime series The Affair is entirely uninteresting until Joshua Jackson takes the stage. He plays Alison Lockhart's husband Cole, and he has kind of rapey sex with her in their driveway. Alison lost her child, and visits the grave often. It's clear she wants to be with the more English of the two men, but she can't because reasons.

Pacey lets his wife work catering jobs to pay for his Xanax smh

Noah witnesses one of the more disturbing sexual escapades of Alison and Pacey as he is out for a scenic stroll on in the greater Montauk area of Long Island. "Cole and I had anal sex," Alison blurts out to her sister-in-law. When someone confesses one thing to you, they are nearly always hiding something more. Infidelity is only actually feasible in urban settings or beach towns; otherwise too many people see your car.

Noah masturbates in the shower while thinking of the borderline crime he has accidentally strolled upon. His wife (a gorgeous Maura Tierney) offers to join him, but since he has just ejaculated on the floor of the shower, he declines. Are you really all that surprised that Fiona Apple sings the theme for this show?

Wife and girlfriend are in Montauk, heart is in B-more

Noah and his wife are staying with her parents, and they are not all that nice to him, I guess because they think he is faking the accent? When he is out with the kids he sees Alison selling jam at a local fair and dramatic piano music starts playing. He is completely nonfunctional for the rest of the day. The Affair replays some of its scenes twice, once from the male perspective and once from the female. You only get to see Dominic West masturbate the once however.

But honestly who cares about all this, Pacey is back and he's a creepy ranchhand! I dreamed of this; I even wrote weird fan fiction where Pacey was the president of the United States and the First Lady cheated on him: it was so sad.

"I met my wife at Williams" is the beginning of most murder mysteries.

Even though Noah has a Macbook Air (2013 edition) and a loving family, this is still not enough for him. "I'm just bored," he whines to his wife. He has a lot of balls to cheat on her and complain about her, he should really pick one. He also tells his daughter her dress is too short, which I regard as inappropriate. The Affair feels like something that happened in the late 1990s; people are reading print books (wtf?) and no one has a Galaxy Note.

The irony of course is that Noah's wife is actually a great deal more alluring than his mistress. It is more that Noah is really tired of her parents, but that's the thing about dissatisfaction. It is incredibly contagious. The mistress actually has kind of a weird, off-putting set of lips and her shape looks like a smoothed out dumpling. "Marriage means different things to different people," Alison explains to Noah. "Not to me," he says, unaware perhaps that this makes no fucking sense at all.

riding without a helmet is the dumbest thing anyone can do

It's amazing that white people have all this time to cheat on each other, or even that anyone would want to cheat on Pacey. "How many times have we had sex?" Pacey's wife asks him. "10,000?" Who would ever get bored of that smooth beard rubbing up against their thighs, except everyone Joshua Jackson has ever loved?

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. Experience the This Recording mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com.

"No Shadow" - Young Statues (mp3)

"Flood" - Young Statues (mp3)