Video of the Day


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

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in advice (157)


In Which We Find A Reason To Romanticize Things

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday (whoops) 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.


My girlfriend and I live in an apartment building. Recently, we have become friendly with a married couple in the building, who I will call Mark and Tina. We had them over to our apartment and then we went to theirs. They seemed like a nice couple.

Last week, I ran into Tina at a coffee shop and she told me how unhappy she is in her marriage and expressed a desire to see me again in a social context. Since there is only one reason she could have for this, I understand I was propositioned. Tina is a beautiful woman; however I am happy in my relationship with my girlfriend.

I worry that this is going to steam out of control, and having been confided in in this way, I don't know what to do with the information or if I should tell my girlfriend. Help!

Jaime S.


Dear Jaime,

Ninety out of one hundred times, you should your girlfriend everything immediately what has occurred. The reasons for doing so are as follows:

- If you wait to tell her, and then go on to tell her, she will wonder why you waited to tell her. And you will have no good reason.

- If you wait to tell her, and then she finds out from Tina that you spoke to Tina, she will wonder why you did not tell her. And you will have no good reason.

- If you tell her part of the truth, you may indicate by subtle signs that you are lying. This is not a good look for fall.

- If you tell her only that you spoke to Tina in a coffee shop, she may find out there was more to it, she may not. However, it already does not look good that you seemingly met up with Tina in a coffee shop.

For all these reasons, it is best for your girlfriend to be told the full story now. I think she will take it fine, although there is the outside chance that she will confront Tina and make things worse. Let's hope that doesn't happen, and it is a risk you have to take. After all, it will only be the truth with which your girlfriend is armed.

As for what you should do about Tina... If you have some kind of personal connection to Mark, I would talk to him about the marriage and give him some ways to improve things without mentioning you spoke to Tina. A good dead rarely goes unpunished, but since there is a self-serving aspect to this behavior, maybe you will be all right.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.


In Which We Devour Our Ingrained Habits

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.


In recent weeks, my girlfriend Maria and I have begun talking about getting engaged, a conversation that she initiated. In the course of our discussions about whether it is the right step for us, she mentioned that she has no interest in taking my name or having our potential children take my name. I was a bit surprised but I said nothing.

After thinking about it more, I can't help but feel a bit bothered by this. She has no professional reason not to do it, but my main concern is that kids would find it confusing to be called by different or hyphenated names. Should I bring up this concern to Maria and how should I do it?

Roberto T.


Dear Roberto,

Modernity has equipped us with a phenomenon called concern trolling. It's actual a quite ancient method. It allows people to offer a series of hypothetical statements intended to shit all over a topic without actually saying what is meant. In your situation, a concern troll might suggest, "Is it really the best for a child to be concerned about her name?"

Nothing actually has a name. These are simply made up designations. You are no more a Roberto than you are Matzoh Ramshackle. You're just a thing that exists, a thing that spends hours and hours concern trolling yourself, asking, "What should I call things, and what should I call myself?" in a high voice that sounds like Minnie Mouse.

If you really loved Maria, you'd take her name. However, she has not asked you to do this. If you offer, she might take yours, but probably not, because Maria Ramshackle sounds like the name of a prostitute. If you ever have a child, let your wife name it. It came out of her body after all. You can give your most raucous bowel movements your last name.


My girlfriend Andrea takes so many showers. Like so many. Whenever we leave our apartment for any extended period of time — when we come back, the first thing she does is shower. Maybe I would understand this if we lived in a particularly dirty city or if she had the same level of obsessiveness about her clothes, which actually touch chairs, couches and seats where other people's bodies have been.

I know for a fact that she is not OCD about anything else in her life, so this passion for showers is inexplicable to me. When I ask her about it, she just acts like it's no big deal and she enjoys the private time or whatever. But I mean this is like ninety minutes every single day just holding yourself under running water.

Jessica C.


Dear Jessica,

Given that your girlfriend does not seem terribly worried about making herself clean, it is probably something that she is hiding in the shower. It is at least conceivable that she is using drugs in the shower, or maybe just devouring a giant sized cupcake. I once ate a chicken sandwich in a bathroom; it is not a time in my life I am particularly proud of. She probably could hide both of these habits in easier ways, and there is a simpler explanation: masturbation.

A lot of people feel they can't masturbate in front of their partner. They don't want their significant other to feel like because they enjoy pleasuring themselves that it makes the other person inadequate. Many people masturbate within the context of relationships, either because they have a higher sex drive than their partner or more likely because it is an ingrained habit of dealing with stress or anxiety.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.


In Which We Are Not As Excited As You Are About This

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.


Something has seemed off lately with my partner, Lynn. I haven't seen or heard any actual evidence that she has been cheating on me, and I'm afraid to confront her, entering a sour note into our relationship where previously there had not been any. I've been in a situation before where accusations led to distrust between both parties. Is there any way to bring out the truth without risking everything if it turns out I am wrong?

Sandra T.


Once someone has been unfaithful to you, it is more than natural to look for ghosts where there are not any. Knowing this, it is important that you mount a covert operation with substantially more discretion than a certain James Comey. Don't read texts or e-mails – that would just come back to bite you and it might really hurt your feelings in other ways.

Instead, look to innocently prove than Lynn is doing what she says she is doing when she says she is doing it. People rarely just lie about one thing.


My friends Aaron and Jean have been making plans to have a child. (They have had issues conceiving naturally and are now moving onto conception with the aid of a health-care provider.) I have tried to be supportive throughout this process, but neither of them seems like they are exactly itching to become a parent. They both value their own free time quite a bit, and Jean has complained to me at various times of the distance she has felt in the relationship. On the other hand, she argues that 'now is the time' and that Aaron would be a dependable father. Is that a good enough reason to procreate?

Nadine R.


Substantially worse things can happen than being born to two loving parents. Relationships and people need to grove and evolve; maybe it is a dangerous cliche to think that having a child will bring Aaron and Jean closer together, but it is not like that has never happened before in human history. If your friends are devoted enough to the concept to go to this much trouble, there must be some part of them that believes it is the correct choice in their lives. I wouldn't go around judging what kind of parents they are going to be from their behavior as single people, either.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 53 Next 3 Recordings »