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Alex Carnevale
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Mia Nguyen
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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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Entries in hard to say (161)

Wednesday
Oct082014

In Which We Administer Opinions And Temper Expectations

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,

Should I cheat on my boyfriend? I think I'm bisexual. I love him and can see myself staying with him forever, but I'm afraid the other side may be better and I'm missing out. It would be a one time thing, and he'd never have to know.

Aubrey H.

Dear Aubrey,

Do whatever you want, but don't do it under the influence of FOMO or buyer's remorse or self-exploration or whatever it is you're going through right now.

You're going to learn so many things about yourself throughout your life, things that will rock your world out of orbit, things that will make everything that was previously really, really important to you seem old and outdated and ill-fitting. Some of it, yeah, you're going to have to toss. Other things (or people) will reveal themselves to be surprisingly willing to walk through a new door with you. (Threesome?)

Sit down and really think about what you want. Remember: "having it all" is a myth. Everything requires some sort of sacrifice. You don't have to be a fucking zen master to understand this. You may need to quit Twitter for a while though.

Hi,

My grandma recently moved into a nursing home, and she calls me all the time. I mean, at least twice a week, always in the evening, even though I've told her I'm busy at that time. When I don't pick up or call back right away she freaks out and says she's worried about me. She's 94, so it's not like she's going to live for that much longer, and I'm afraid that if I blow her off I'll regret it when she dies, but I also have a life!

Jared V.

Dear Jared,

Pick up the fucking phone. Unless you're actively curing cancer, deploying nuclear weapons or finding a way to to air Outlander before April, saying "Hi, Grammykins, it's so good to hear from you" and carrying on a five-minute conversation is the least you can do. 

Look, I don't approve of her guilt-tripping, but when you're 94 you can expect to be allowed to get away with shit. She loves you. She just wants to hear your voice. She's stuck in a building with people who are forgetting their name, who complain that their children never visit, who fall asleep mid-sentence. She needs you.

 

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

"Close to Me" - Minnie Driver (mp3)

"Tell Me Why" - Minnie Driver (mp3)

Wednesday
Oct012014

In Which We Give You The Consultation Of Your Lifetime

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,

I have been friends with a guy I will call Alan for a few years. We both play music but never play together (different styles); still we have kept up with each other over the years.

We have good chemistry when hanging out one-on-one, and I've always enjoyed it whenever that happens. Alan's made it clear that he would be open to something more, but I am concerned that things might get competitive with both of us sharing similar goals. The few times that it has come up, arguments have tended to ensue. Am I right to be wary of conflict?

Bess M.

Dear Bess,

No happy relationship was ever described by the words, "we fight a lot about about melodies." With that said, ground rules for a relationship can accomplish a lot, just as the security of a prenup can assuage the mind of the more financially sucessful party.

Here are some ground rules to keep in mind considering your situation:

1) What kind of music does he play? House? Cool.

2) What are his thoughts on Savage Garden? Neutral. Cool.

3) How well does he know the lyrics to "Girlfriend in a Coma"?

4) Did he seem really low-key and collected when he found out that Thom Yorke unexpectedly released an album? Great.

That should do it. Tread carefully.

Hi,

I go out with a group of friends who always order wine at every meal. At first I didn't mind not being the only one drinking, but our dinnertime conversations are becoming progressively sloppier and it makes the evening something of an ordeal. 

Is there any way to improve these circumstances without coming off as a killjoy?

Maureen A.

Dear Maureen,

Wine, or sad juice as it is called through the greater Pennsylvania area, was created for Europeans who have less problems and anxieties than Americans. Wine is highly addictive: some experts believe it is even more compulsive than cocaine.

Your friends are therefore ensconced in the saucy, grapey grip that won't let go. The only way to free them from their urges is to take things even more thoroughly in the messed up direction, until the entire group can barely wake up the next morning. Next time y'all meet up at dinner, you can meekly ask for a dry evening. It will be that day that each of your liquored-up friends will understand one of life's most important lessons: sobriety can, at times, be as exciting as chardonnay.

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

"Maid Lamenting" - Sam Amidon (mp3)

"Your Lone Journey" - Sam Amidon (mp3)

 

Wednesday
Sep242014

In Which We Consider These Troubling Problems And Times

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,

One of my friends just moved in with his girlfriend. She’s basically a freeloader — she’s quitting her job to pursue painting full time now that she doesn’t have to pay rent — but my friend seems blind to the fact that she’s only into him for his money. Also, they’ve only been together for 8 months, so there’s no way this can end well. Our entire group of friends is thinking about planning an intervention. How can we convince him that this is wrong on so many levels?

Jess F.

Dear Jess,

You don’t convince him. You grab some popcorn, pull up a chair, and watch the train wreck happen.

This may sound cruel, but after you’ve given him your honest opinion of the situation (presuming you’re close enough with him to share your opinions without coming across as a busybody), there’s nothing more you can do. After the wreck has happened, help him pick up the pieces, and don’t say, “I told you so.” You’re allowed to think it, though.

Hi,

After graduation, most of my college friends and I stayed in the same town. We hang out all the time, and I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t have to “start over” like so many people do after college.

Here’s the problem. Most of my friends got into pretty well paying gigs right after graduation, while I only found an administrative position. Whenever we hang out, they want to do expensive things like go out to dinner or buy lots of drinks at a bar or take weekend ski trips and stuff like that. Obviously, I can’t afford most of this stuff, but I also want to hang out with my friends. I’m too embarrassed to bring this up, and I’m racking up a considerable amount of credit card debt. I’m so anxious about money most of the time that I have trouble sleeping. What should I do?

Andy T.

Dear Andy,

You gotta tell your friends.

If you want, you can try to go the sneaky route, like trying to suggest that someone cook instead of going out to dinner, or by saying you’d rather snowshoe around the neighborhood than take another ski trip to Banff. But it’s easier to just sit your friends down, look ‘em in the eye, and say, “Gertrude, Bob, Hazel? I just can’t afford to do all this stuff anymore.”

Chances are, your friends aren’t giant dicks and love being around you, and they’ll happily agree to scale back the expensive outings so that you don’t lose sleep over money anymore.

I don’t think I need to tell you that racking up credit card debt, not to mention a slow-burning resentment of your friends, is no way to live your life. So be honest. It’s free.

"Amanda" - Foxes in Fiction (mp3)

"Glow" - Foxes in Fiction (mp3)