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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious

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 The Captcha Tells Our Future



To calculate exactly how much influence chance plays in auts is a tricky subject. A certain biomechanical tally could hold falsities. I ran this situation by my therapist, but she could offer no solution. There was nothing making up the mass.

(We were the mass.)

I began getting messages, on and on. You know the type. I'd like to see you again. A likely story.

The onset of randomness was chronicled by a happy man. Could bet that he was keen on seeing his own idea through.

Imagine Kant after completing a manuscript. Sheer elation, that's what an aut is. Someone could probably invent a word for it.

Miniatures were a passion of my therapist, and I understood the appeal. She construed them as docile. They were her followers. I possessed a friend in high school who collected those harsh, neon-haired trolls. He made fools of them.

In 1948 three different sets of twins perished in a global conflict. This kept occurring, until someone was able to make something out of it. In the reproduction, their faces glisten like tiny, far away stars.
     The troll-collector - the one who was my friend, I mean - he ended up joining the army. I asked him if he ever made up voices for the trolls and he laughed. I couldn't then admit that in my head, I had been.

The messages increased in frequency. It was someone who knew my mother, but any other information about the informant remained unclear.

My therapist has this theory of orbits. She hasn't patented it yet. The patent is presumably pending. The patent itself is not an aut, because it is only reproducing or categorizing something that exists already.

An orbit represents a casual link, but implied in the term is that the aut comes back on itself. It is a wrinkle that explains fate too easily, and thus opens the field to greater speculation. Galileo's drawings of the moon resemble captchas more closely than any other object in the universe.

One of the messages said to meet her at a particular time. I had a hard time understanding what anyone wanted.

To change within an aut is a worthy goal. I wouldn't say otherwise. To do something simply for its own sake is a bad way of putting it.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He is a writer living in Manhattan. He tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about The Real L Word.

"Imitate Love" - Quigley (mp3)

You can download the latest EP from Quigley, Pleiades, here.


In Which We Are Unjustly Imprisoned

with his students in Germany

American Vacation


Dietrich Bonhoeffer wanted to go to India. But he could not afford it, so he went to America instead.

When he first stepped foot in lower Manhattan, he was cowed by the size of the buildings. The year was 1930, and the Empire State Building was only just being built. I do not myself believe in the existence of an all-knowing being, but sometimes I feel I understand those who do better than those who don't.

Most troubling to Bonhoeffer about this country was its lack of freedom. Instead of being prohibited from drinking large beverages in restaurants, Bonhoeffer could not consume alcohol while in this country. He wrote to his Jewish friend that "Unfortunately I cannot even drink your health in a glass of wine, which is forbidden by law. This prohibition which nobody believes is a dreadful absurdity." Back home, the Nazi party consolidated its election gains.

at the Union Theological Seminary

Many churches in New York desired his presence, but he expended the majority of his efforts in Harlem. He first surveyed the densely populated region from an airplane. He led groups of black women in Bible classes; his evenings were completely filled, and he never neglected his sight-seeing.

He did not want to stay in America, refusing a Harvard appointment at the age of 25, because of the legacy of slavery. He celebrated his birthday in the company of the New York Jews that housed him.

After he was arrested for trying to overthrow the Nazis, his first months in jail were full of hope that the plan would come to fruition. The letters he wrote and received in prison never despair. He was married shortly before his arrest, to this eighteen year old:

He was executed three weeks before Hitler's suicide effectively ended the war.

Bonhoeffer was surprised by the communal freedoms Americans took entirely for granted, what he called "social courage." In the academic life of his native Germany, it was verboten to each approach a professor outside of class if, for example, you saw him limping across campus. He was both envious and disdainful of his American peers in the Union Theological Seminary. He considered some of the students he met too jaded, others he found hopelessly innocent, and the qualities shifted even between individuals. He quantified it as a kind of naive pessimism.

The outreach programs of the churches he visited, and the social life that surrounded them seemed to replace the idea of a dedicated Christianity. The distinction, which Bonhoeffer eventually grasped, is completely misunderstood by many secular people. The foreign attitudes displayed in Bonhoeffer's appraisal of American literature were also confusing at first. The mixture of hard-won cynicism without a corresponding knowledge of the world baffled Bonhoeffer.

He had barely concerned himself with novels before now, and the ones he read, often autobiographical accounts by black writers, stoked a certain interest. He wrote his grandmother to say that the novel "always awakens in one the wish to get to know the man himself."

in prison

Before his execution, Bonhoeffer was moved to Buchenwald. On the truck the prisoners were enclosed in darkness. He shared his cigarettes with the other prisoners; he only liked to smoke every so often and had more than enough to satisfy that particular urge. He had been learning Russian in his last camp.

Even when I read de Tocqueville I feel first and foremost how easy it is to misunderstand America. With Bonhoeffer, there is nothing he says of this place that is not still true, and yet there are so many sins of omission it is difficult to decide where to start. It would take more than one lifetime, and he did not even have the one he was given.

in Kieckow, 1940

The day of his death he did not want to hold a service demanded by the guards. He feared offending the other prisoners, many of whom were Catholics or not Christians at all. He was forced to do so anyway. His parents were the last to know he had been murdered.

His last act in America was to drive south with his friend Jean Lasserre. They travelled to the Mexican border in a decrepit Oldsmobile and entered the country by train. They made it all the way to Mexico City and then had to talk their way past the border on the return trip. If he had never left America. If he had never left Mexico. If he had never left Germany. These are just three of the infinite number of ways he might still be alive.

Jacque de Vries is a contributor to This Recording. This is his first appearance in these pages. He is a writer living in Chicago. 

"I Love The Rights" - Silver Jews (mp3)

"The War In Apartment 1812" - Silver Jews (mp3)

intercession list, july 1939


In Which We Step Inside Your Closet

Things You Might Read on a Fashion Blog


 - omg new favorite jeans

- This is what the inside of my closet looks like

- I want to change the title of this blog, here are the options: "Anthropologie on Adderall", "Frosting & Flared Jeans", "Scarf Tales". Vote in the comments section! A random winner will be chosen on Friday! You’ll receive a bracelet woven from prairie grass and the hair of an organic farmer’s daughter, omg so boho

- Congratulations to missy52343290342 and omgsopreppy43829043892, who won the bracelets! Be sure to email me with your contact information! Stay stylish!

- What I wore for brunch on Saturday! This lovely blouse was sent to me by fellow fashion blogger, Stephanie, of "Peplums & Pregnant Pictures That Were Probably Faked Because Nobody Looks That Good When They're Knocked Up", I'm going to say I think she wore it better even if I don't lol

- I live in stripes, here is a picture of all the striped shirts I own! I’m considered sending some of them to underprivileged children, but I just don’t know which ones to part with I love them all so much omg

- So hungover from the party I hosted last night, I made cocktails with Pellegrino, pickle juice, and flowers from my backyard, here I am sitting at this Starbucks with an iced coffee the size of my head, my neighborhood Starbucks doesn’t look like a Starbucks outside this is why I come here for my photos, wrought iron outdoor furniture ftw omg so Parisian. I’m wearing a beret in honor of the occasion and also because it’s like 105 degrees and I want to be edgy

- My significant other took this photo, look how cute he is, I won’t tell you that I set his old wardrobe on fire and picked out a whole new one because if I do then you’ll know we beautiful and well-dressed people don’t naturally attract one another and also that I'm crazy

- Haha I’m texting on my iPhone in all of these photos, such a dork

- I wore this to brunch on Saturday morning, we ate pancakes, I never want to eat anything else omg

- omg new favorite jeans they retail for $3289048329

- “I” “really” “love” “the” “vintage” “silhouette” “of” “this” “skirt”

- Omg thank you to the 15,343 people who reblogged my previous post (the photo of me in a the polka-dot dress, which I said was my grandmother’s but looks suspiciously like one they carry at J. Crew) with the word “This.” written underneath it, I feel so special you guys

- My fashion policy is that you can never have too many boyfriend sweaters, I have one in every color of the rainbow and some that are so far off the color spectrum they are invisible to the naked eye

- So I cut my hair short, I’ve always been so adventurous with my hair, I’ve had straight-cut bangs, straight hair, curly hair, pixie cuts, hippie hair lol it also helps that so many of you also have this exact same haircut I could pretty much guess that it would look good on me or at least know that people would like it lol jk

- I’m in New York for Fashion Week

- A lot of you have been asking about my beauty routine well here it is when I wake up in the morning I bathe my face in milk and then bacon fat to keep it well hydrated haha and then before I go to bed I meditate at dusk by the light of the moon and then bathe my face in a solution of my own tears and ammonia that I have kept in this vintage crystal bottle I found on Etsy omg

- I live in Los Angeles with a rooftop terrace that I have decorated with very expensive things that I bought during my numerous vacations to Hawaii and Europe, I documented them here and here, omg still love that bathing suit so much, omg running late for my part-time gig at this local designer I work for (Urban Outfitters)

- I love my parents!!!!!!!!!!

- omg new favorite jeans

- gratuitous picture of my brunch haha, yep still on a pancakes kick

- When I was in New York for Fashion Week...

- Ok guys I've been feeling so melancholy for the past few days, I couldn't shake it, I just felt so deeply about you all and the response to this blog, it's been overwhelming, I even cried a little bit, omg I just can't get over the fact that two years ago there was nothing, and now there's this and I just feel like I'm heading in the right direction with my life, you know? Like this all matters? I don't know if that makes sense lol, anyways here's the new purse my boyf bought for me, haha some girls just get ice cream but I get retail lovin' from my man 

- I absolutely love this neon trend because I’ve always loved neon duh

- I’ve been saving this dress for the perfect occasion, it arrived in the mail a few days ago and i haven’t been able to stop touching it, it’s sort of like a security blanket I even sleep with it

- This is my ultra-cute miniature version of a dog

- I think I’ve worn this skirt like four times, it’s the most I’ve ever worn something before omg I must be tired, maybe I need a break you guys

- Look so out of it in these photos, we had a really crazy weekend at our lake house picnicking and taking the boat out and seeing all our friends and drinking a lot of very aesthetic cocktails and it’s been nice to just lie in bed all day and not have a job, I don’t think I’ve ever included a picture of my jammies before today

- Support your local designers!!!! Today I’m wearing a dress from H&M

- Cupcakes

- Just going casual in jeans and a t-shirt today, guess I'm a normal person too, oh wait look at these Gucci shoes

- My favorite neighborhood thrift store (omg visit if you come to LA) is so amazing, they always set aside things they know I'd like and occasionally sacrifice small animals in my honor

- Sold out online sniff sniff 

- Ugh I've had this bag forever, like since last Saturday, it's already been with me through thick and thin like when I spilled my iced coffee inside, oh boy I had to spend some time at the Genius Bar that day, here's me and Blake the guy who fixed my iPhone, he's got awesome nerd style

- Here is a picture of five-year-old me wearing mom's heels proving I was already so into fashion

- I always say just wear what makes you feel beautiful who cares about the trends OMG POLKA DOTS

-  Important! meetings! in New York necessitating large iced coffees 

- We found this shabby chic couch on the side of the 405, omg I just had to have my daily outfit pic with it so I made my bf wait for a break in traffic and then run out and balance on the median to get the perfect shot, I think it turned out well don't you lol 

- My boyfriend gave me his giant gold watch!!!!! He didn't even know it was so trendy right now, omg love you baby

- Hey look at these vintage pics of my grandparents, obviously style runs in my family

- Here's another picture of my face lol 

- I'm so sorry I haven't updated lately, I've been busy running errands, brunching, spending quality time with my close-knit friends and family with whom I never argue but who don't merit a place on this blog because duh they're not pretty enough, racking up credit card debt

- Book deal! omg guys, it's full of beauty tips, outfit suggestions, interior decorating tips, you can pre-order it here, I did it without you but I'm going to pretend I couldn't

Kara VanderBijl is the senior editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Chicago. She last wrote in these pages about Jeff Buckley. She twitters here and tumbls here.

"Sleep Tight" - French Wives (mp3)

"Me vs. Me" - French Wives (mp3)