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Alex Carnevale

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Mia Nguyen

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Ethan Peterson

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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 (149)


In Which We Ride To Safety Thanks To Our Lieutenant

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.


I recently broke up with my girlfriend of three years. Actually that is a neutral way of putting it since she met someone else and has informed me they are planning their future together.

It has been four months and I finally want to put myself out there again. While my ex and I were together, we used to attend various functions at her job. One of her coworkers no longer works there, but she and I had an easy rapport and her social media indicates she is single. Would it be weird to get in touch with her and how should I approach it?

Duane T.

Dear Duane,

Let's say an airplane plans to land at a particular airport. As the bird approaches, the pilot, who we will call Duane or perhaps Lieutenant Quail, is told that the runway approach is not clear. He must find some other place to land, and the likelihood is that he will crash and burn since he bears no real resemblance to Denzel Washington.

This is the risk you are taking, Lieutenant Quail, and it is best practice to be concerned with preserving your own life. You could maybe contact this woman as a friend; making things romantic from there is not impossible. She will see you coming a mile away, so this is very tough. Proposing any kind of real world activity is insane, but if you pretend to ask for advice and maintain some kind of internet thing for awhile she will probably give you a strong indication one way or another. Be indirect.


For various reasons I am only trying to date Jewish men at this time. My problem is that it seems like only non-Jewish guys are interested in what I am broadcasting, and I am not sure how many of them are serious about possibly converting down the road or if they are just saying that to fuck me. Is there any good way of knowing if someone is truly open to this?

Katey R.

Dear Katey,

Are you telling the Jewish guys you date that you only date Jewish guys? You should really not do this, because the second you do so they sense you are trying to look them to an economic and emotional contract that is likely to lead to divorce and impotence.

Men don't really need to know what kind of guys you prefer. Leave this question open, since restricting the type of person you are looking for is not really beneficial in any way. If you want to meet more Jewish men, go on jswipe or wear a yarmulke. If you want to know if someone will convert, force them to do it two years into the relationship by withholding sex.


In Which We Decide To Take A Trip By Ourselves

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.


I have been dating my girlfriend Susan for over a year and I can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right. Don't get me wrong - we get along great and have so much in common. At times she feels like she is a part of my family because she gets along with my sisters and parents so damn well.

We did have a weird incident where she accused me of cheating. I know she has trust issues but it completely was not true at all and she jumped to conclusions about some texts I had received. Essentially, an ex was texting me and I could have just deleting what was written but I forgot. Susan made it sound like there was still some reason I had it on my phone, when there wasn't.

It is not so much that which bothers me as the fact that maybe there could be someone out there better even though I definitely love Susan. What is wrong with me?

David P.

Dear David,

There comes a time in every man's life when he thinks, I would do anything to be with this woman forever because the prospect of finding someone new sounds like the drizzling shits to me. You are obviously not at that stage yet.

It is best to do something to test your appreciation of Susan without dumping her and ending up regretting it. A few women will allow you to couple with them again after such an event, but most can never bear the sight of your face again.

Things that you can do to evaluate the depths of your love include taking a trip by yourself someone for reasons. How often do you think of Susan? How often do you think of her as God made her? How often do you think of a hotel room somewhere in Russia? How often do you think that masturbating is wrong and effectively punishable by a trip to hell?

The answers, respectively, are not much, a few times, frequently, and from time to time.


Things have been going decently well with this girl Paisley. On our third date something happened that has made me a bit worried. We were at the movies and we were holding hands. When the lights came up, I displayed a visible erection that Paisley seemed to take notice of. She seemed a little out of sorts for the rest of the evening, but I'm not sure what her reaction really was.  

In the ensuing days nothing seemed all that different. When we went back to my place though she made an excuse and went home. I'm trying to figure out how to proceed, since I haven't had a connection this positive with someone in awhile.

Jeff P.

Dear Jeffrey,

Our minds all go to different places when we see a signifier. You have entered the realm of the purely semiotic. Each individual brings different experiences to the idea of a large p rising through some bro named Jeffrey's shawts. Maybe she didn't expect it; or maybe it triggered an identification with some negative moment in her life. Who knows, you might never know.

On some level she was probably aware your penis was living a quiet and flaccid life before this, and at the slightest hint of contact with a human being it would choose to spring to alert, screaming with the urethra as its de facto mouth, "I am aware of the current circumstances, Jeff!"

It is important not to let this slow you. If you do not show a woman that you desire her sexually, she will not be able to respond in a concomitant fashion. There is no such thing as taking it slow. The faster you are able to establish a connection between the body and mind of a woman, the sooner you will have a real relationship, versus the penis-observer functionality that you and Paisley are currently operating under.


In Which We Hand The Bite That Fed Us

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.


I have an old friend named Carina who I have stuck with through thick and thin. Carina's been through some tough times in her life and I'm really proud of the person she has become.

With that said, I feel like recently Carina has been making some decisions I find concerning. She has met a guy and within a few months she feel like they are going to be together for the rest of their lives. I haven't even met him yet but I know that if I don't support her she is going to be crushed. They are already living together.

How should I handle this?

Jamie I.

Dear Jamie,

Some people don't mind when those they care about make mistakes, because they recognize that every one of us is capable of making one. It's not like I have never heard of two people who knew they wanted to be together really quickly working out; it is just that this kind of arrangement has an absolutely terrible success rate.

At some point, it is key to determine which you value more — Carina's continued friendship, which will presumably exist regardless of how deep down the rabbit hole she goes, or doing what you feel is right. We can't protect those we love completely, so say what you feel and drop it after that. This gives you the best chance of preserving your feelings for this woman.


The amount of time my girlfriend Harper spends with her friends is truly astonishing. It is like she is in a cult — they plan constant outings, talk on the phone every night, and their world revolves around each other. I have never quite seen anything like this. On some level I am probably jealous of Harper paying attention to other people besides me. It isn't really the time it takes away from our relationship that is the issue, but maybe I'm just sick of these other relationships? What can I do about this, if anything? I love Harper and the feeling is mutual.

Brent D.

Dear Brent,

Wanting to change the people we love is the only valid use of the slippery slope argument. If you want to spend more time with your girlfriend, do it. She likely will not say no. If it conflicts with the attention that she pays to her friends, complain. But a general band-aid on this situation is not impossible without destroying your relationship. The only thing you can do is slowly arc her towards you over time by offering superior experiences. People do not have just one life.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

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