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Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail)

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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Sunday
Apr262009

In Which We Will Routinely Do This Together

As We Dated

by MEREDITH HIGHT

I just spent $900 on new tires and something to do with an engine. They asked me if I noticed the temperature gauge going back and forth. Of course I didn’t. I barely notice stop signs and green lights.

It has occurred to me that I am experiencing some kind of k/carma, ahem. What with all the complaining about the transportationally challenged men I date, etc.


For the record, the last conversation between me and Mario was basically:

me I no more want to spend any time explaining to someone why at this age I would expect them to have a car, then you want to explain to me why it shouldn’t matter.

him I completely agree.


In any case, I thought it might be time to say something nice. give a lil wha what. Also. I’ve been asked if Mario had read the notes, knew about them, etc.

I told Mario, uh, you may want to read some of these.

Mario’s view was, my writing is my thing, it's how I felt in that moment at that time, and he didn’t need to read anything, to know anything.


And, that’s true, because for example, I complained about hand jobs with a full on monologue, complete with hand motions, wild gesticulating, and the like, well before I ever wrote about it.

I am completely and hopelessly transparent when it comes to my emotions, so I think everyone I have written about has heard some version, of what I then go on to write about. Mmm, yes. That really is for the most part true.

I think that is fair. The point is to write about how I feel about it, not to call out or embarrass or hurt anyone’s feelings. I feel badly if I do. I am sorry if I do.


Let’s not talk about khaki pants.

Back to Mario.

Mario is as they say, not from around these parts, and as a result has a way of expressing himself that is completely profound yet requires the most advanced linguistic skills one can muster. If you listen closely, though, through the accent, you will be rewarded.


I brazenly wrote these little sayings down as we dated, unable to keep myself from pulling out my notebook when he said something that at first befuddled me and then became clear to me as another 'Marioism'

This is what my friends are calling them. I thought I would share.

Marioism #1

On religion, specifically the Catholic Church. "The thing is, the church is like a lake. Standing still, unchanging. It should be like a river, always flowing and changing, with the current, time, nature. It should keep moving. And it doesn’t."

Marioism #2

"We have to be honest with each other. Otherwise, it is a plastic relationship."

Marioism #3

"When you meet somebody, it has to be like, you are the ham sandwich. And all they are is the swiss cheese. No one else can be your ham sandwich."

Mariosim #4

On when I wouldn’t do the it, even though you know, dark, naked, hot. "AHHH! This is like when when you are trying to download a file from the internet and it is 99% and you are waiting, so close, you just need that one percent! And you just wait forever!"

Marioism #5

On homosexuality. "I mean, come on! This is not about sticking a finger up your ass when you jack off! This is about the love! Between two men!"

Marioism #6

On being the breadwinner. "You know, I want to make the bread”

Marioism #7

On Meredith. "I can see the wheels turning in your head. What is going on up there? You are like 24 Hour Fitness. You have these little treadmills and they are always on, always going. You are born to analyze. You should work for a testing company."

Marioism #8

On work. "We all have to eat a little shit. Now put some whipped cream on it, no maybe some chili pepper flakes, and just eat it."

Mariosim #9

On why do women expect that if they have a random, one night stand, the man should call them the next day.

“Exactly. I mean, who fucked who?”


Marioism #10

I love you!

You don't know me well enough to say that, I said. Take that back. I love you, is like, I’ll bring you chicken soup when you are sick, I will be there for you if something happened with your family, we will routinely read the new york times together on sunday. I love you, is big. I have not actually spoken the words I love you to anyone since my last boyfriend, and that was over three years ago.

No, I won't take it back.

Well, OK.

I love you a little.

Meredith Hight is the senior contributor to This Recording. She lives in Los Angeles, and she tumbls here.

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"Angela" — Jarvis Cocker (mp3)

"Further Complications" — Jarvis Cocker (mp3)

"I Never Said I Was Deep" — Jarvis Cocker (mp3)

Saturday
Apr252009

In Which This Week Everything Was Nothing And We Had To Watch It

The Week In Review

This Recording is the theater of all my deepest desires, most of which entail dark travails and a massive expense account. When I was at Yankee Stadium last week I took a bath that cost $40. I also had some pizza and other assorted appetizers. I sat in the bleacher section and brainstormed articles for you to enjoy later in your private life. My public life becomes your private life.

In my first life, things were more relevant and important to my existence. Rome in those days was the theater of all my struggles and ideas, as Andrew Zornoza once termed it in these pages. I was a titan of Rome, now I just blog hard and I need your support. Buy a CapGun for christ's sake. I'm tired of looking at you.

If I couldn't be myself, I'd be Ingmar Bergman, who no doubt would have recommended these articles to others using Google Reader had it been invented already.

Who would you be if you couldn't be yourself?

Don't forget these sterling blog entries:

Real life imitates fake life, which creates history. It is so easy to invent important statements like this, which will later by chronicled by my biographer as evidence I thought I was more clever than I am. I was always overrating myself, even back in Rome. Enjoy these:

Basically the world is unfolding as it will, and all we can do is stop, look around, and read the blog entries on various subjects of interest.

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Have you heard the new Maccabees album? Besides the Patriots selecting safety Patrick Chung, it was the highlight of my weekend. Happy Sunday, readers.

"Love You Better" — The Maccabees (mp3)

"Bag of Bones" — The Maccabees (mp3)

"Dinosaurs" — The Maccabees (mp3)

The Maccabees myspace

Saturday
Apr252009

In Which Kazuo Ishiguro Fulfills Our Deepest Fantasies

Reading Ishiguro in Chicago

by BRITTANY JULIOUS

As an English major, I more or less epically fail. Whereas my peers find themselves drawn to literature from a variety of genres, I tend to stick to a few particular authors from a few particular time periods.

Growing up, I never understood The Boxcar Children series. My parents purchased a red cardboard “boxcar” filled with books from the series. I read them, of course, but hated each and everyone, preferring the wisdom of Judy Blume instead.

Even now I still enjoy the act of reading and deciphering a text, but generally not the text that I am assigned. My biggest problem during those years in school, unfortunately, was the balancing act between the literature meant for my downtime (though inevitably creeping into my “homework time”), and my school work.

Upon moving back to the city after having spent well over a decade in Oak Park (famous for Ernest Hemingway, who I hate and love simultaneously), my intense connection to certain authors only increased.

Attending school and living in the city provides you with immense downtime. With three or four hour breaks during classes, I began taking the CTA downtown to the Borders on State and Randolph. I eventually became acquainted with the security guards and cashiers who worked in the store.

Every couple of days I came into the store with a tea in my hand, grabbing five or six books to “check out” in one of the abandoned aisles on the third floor near the CDs. On one occasion my sophomore year, I picked up Never Let Me Go.

The book, a flimsy paperback, was wedged underneath another David Sedaris book or something by Augusten Burroughs on the “3 for 2” sales table. I can’t really remember now and it really doesn’t matter, either. The cover, a closeup of a young girl’s face – pale white skin, light blue eyes looking off into the distance – intrigued me.

I sat down and read the first page. I hated it. I was already bored and already tossing it into a pile of “no’s”. Later that day, I went to check out and realized I only chose two books.

Scrambling at the same sales table, I found another copy of the book and made my purchases.

On the train ride back north, I started reading the book for a second time. I finished the book in two days. Later that week, I went to my school’s library and checked out The Remains of the Day, The Unconsoled and An Artist of the Floating World.

To say the prose struck a chord would be an understatement. There was a striking similarity between each of the main characters in the novels, even if their stories were categorically different. My favorite, of course, was Kathy, the rigid protagonist of Never Let Me Go. She was a female character written brilliantly, perhaps frighteningly so. I like to think that my experiences are strictly my own, but all of a sudden, I found myself immersed in the world of this strong yet fragile woman/clone/being and I couldn’t relate more.

I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I’d ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I’d see it was Tommy and he’d wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that – I didn’t let it – and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.

A month later, I revisited the book, looking to experience the piece beyond my initial impressions. At the end, I closed the book in a huff and threw it on the ground.

Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.

My supposed heroine was a cheat, a coward, and the complete opposite of what one should look up to. She let her best friend Ruth stomp all over her as a young girl. She merely accepted her fate as a clone, despite fantasizing about working in an office of all places. She easily fell into a sexual relationship with her best friend’s boyfriend when the friend died.

And yet, I found her completely fascinating. In many ways, it wasn’t so much that Kathy was someone not to look up to, as she was a copy of everything I hated about my life. She accepted her role in society. She often fantasized about other worlds, better worlds, richer worlds, but then she came down from those clouds and fulfilled her role as a “carer” and as a clone. In the middle of my sophomore year, I too accepted my role in society.

I questioned things, as best as I could, but gosh, it was too damn easy to fall into stereotypes: the angry black woman, the jaded twentysomething, the narcissist millennial. Although Kathy, like many of Ishiguro’s characters, seems to lack a desire for free will, her apathy was something I could hate, and comprehend, and learn from.

I caught a glimpse of his face in the moonlight, caked in mud and distorted with fury, then I reached for his flailing arms and held on tight. He tried to shake me off, but I kept holding on, until he stopped shouting and I felt the fight go out of him. Then I realized he too had his arms around me. And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field, for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us being swept away into the night.

I can’t say a change in attitude was immediate. As I continue to go back to Never Let Me Go, and The Remains of the Day, and every other book by Ishiguro that I own, I continue to feel small pangs of disdain for the characters. I know them so well, and so it’s become easy to feel frustrated with their actions, even if I know why they make them and even if I’ve read the story five or ten or twenty times before.

Like a good record, Ishiguro’s work resonates constantly. I don’t need to read The Unconsoled persistently or constantly re-hash the frustration that is Never Let Me Go. As in the real world, my world of school responsibilities and bills and plagued friendships seem to keep me on a plateau, it’s reassuring knowing I keep at least one of Ishiguro’s works by my nightstand. Sometimes, even a couple of pages of “I don’t understand why she just won’t change,” gives me the boost to do something, do anything to feel joy and live life in my own means. It’s the sort of thing only a favorite author could manifest.

Brittany Julious is the senior contributor to This Recording. She blogs at Glamabella, and she tumbles here.

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 vanderslice website

"Summer Stock" — John Vanderslice (mp3)

"Forest Knolls" — John Vanderslice (mp3) highly recommended

"Oblivion" — John Vanderslice (mp3)