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 nice guy shuffle (1)


In Which It's Like They Know I Don't Smoke

Pretend to Wave


So we’re at that place we always go to, and by always, I mean something like five times a year. But every time we’re here it feels like we’re always here. Maybe because nothing about this hipster lounge/bar/art space/salon/I don’t know what in Culver City never changes. The crowd is always disappointing. The women are always far more attractive than the men, the most attractive men are outside smoking, and they’re always with the more attractive women anyways. But we keep going here.

We realize that life could be far worse.

So we go here and I always order a dirty martini and she never does and we talk about our lives. And it’s always about the same people. Her boyfriend, Briar, did this but he didn’t do that and maybe he’ll do this but if he doesn’t it’s not really a huge deal unless he does the other thing. I tell her about the guy I’m seeing, Eric, unless it’s Roger, the other guy I’m seeing. Sometimes there are men in between those two guys but it always comes back to those two.

We always see people we recognize but they don’t recognize us. Sometimes people recognize us and we don’t recognize them. I realize that when you’re young, white, and dressed like an Urban Outfitters store window, people seem to blur together. “I think that boy standing over there, the one who kind of looks like Danny Masterson—

“Who’s Danny Masterson?”

“I think he’s a DJ.”


“Or no, I think he’s an actor.”


“He might be both.”

“Oh. OK. Yeah I think I know who he is.”

“I think that guy over there who kind of looks like Danny Masterson is the first boy I ever kissed.”

“Really? What’s his name?”

“I can’t remember, but we just friended each other on facebook. I don’t think that’s him though; he looks a lot thinner in person than in his facebook photo.”

“When did you kiss him?”

“5th grade. For some inexplicable reason, or maybe it was just that kids are assholes, in 5th grade everyone decided to hate me. So during one recess, tucked away in the back corner of the volleyball courts, I played Truth Or Dare with them, not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to fit it, and they dared him to kiss me and everyone shrieked. Like who would want to kiss me? Like I was some horrible melting Nazi at the end of the Indiana Jones movie.”

“Kids are so mean.”

“I know. So he goes into kiss me, but he misses, and he kisses my hair. So the kids ask, did he kiss you? And I said, well, no. And so then they go, SHE WANTS HIM TO KISS HER AGAIN!! And you know now I look like I have a huge crush on this asshole. I didn’t really care. So he goes in for a kiss, and this time it landed, and that was my first kiss.”


“He looks like a dandy. Look at his glasses. Do you think he even needs glasses? And those pants. Who died and made him Jarvis Cocker?”

“And look at his girlfriend. Straight out of an Urban Outfitters catalog. Flowered dress, oxford shoes…”

“Oh God I know, and that quirky little braid thing around her head, like Fraulein Maria or something. Jesus I hate the way people dress. I’m not even going to say hi to him.”

So we sit there and we tell each other how awful or poorly dressed everyone is and how sorry we feel for ourselves and then we decide to go to the patio for a smoke because that’s usually where the more interesting people are. We don’t smoke but I have a cigarette anyway and when I go to light it with a match everyone stares at me. It’s like they know I don’t smoke. This freaks us out and we’re ready to leave.

Before we can get out of there we have to do the awkward “Nice Guy” shuffle. This is where a “nice guy” or, guy who is not your type at all but is too polite for you to be mean to, tries to get to know more about you when you just really want to leave. One step two step red fish blue fish and we’re out the door and it’s only 11:00 because LA is an early city.

We can’t drink too much because we have to drive everywhere but we decide to stop at one more bar/lounge/clusterfuck hybrid because we feel lame for ending our evening so early. Our friend Abe boasts about some place on Fairfax or something that is so hard to get into you need to personally know the doorman, which he does. We find a place to park, which would only be a miracle if this were a Friday or Saturday night, but it’s not, it’s some odd Tuesday, so we’re not bowing down to anybody yet. There’s a line or a grouping or something happening in front of the place so we awkwardly stand there. That small grace period that you get when you arrive to a place like this where there may or may not be a line and you have to check that out has passed, so now we’re just standing there, practically tourists, two hot seconds away from taking out our cell phones so we can look like we’re calling people for a confirmation of, yes this is the right place or, yes we’ll wait for you, imaginary person, it’s going to be OK.

“You ladies want to come in?” asks the doorman. Is this a trick question? We answer yes. He asks to see our IDs. “You looked confused,” he says. Great. Now even the doorman, of some yuppie place we don’t even care to go to, can feel our inner torment. I try to offer an explanation but it trails off. I half expect to see a tumbleweed bounce by and when it doesn’t, we giggle and he opens the door for us, and we go in.

It’s packed inside and loud and getting to the bar looks like an uncomfortable scenario for just about everybody. “This is the place where you need to know the doorman?” we ask, grateful for our chance to mock Abe. “And for what?” There’s a theme going on somewhere in here but it seems confined only to the sweaty guys behind the bar in Errol Flynn mustaches.

“Let’s go,” she says.

“But we can’t,” I say. “We had that whole awkward thing with the doorman.”

“Oh, that’s right,” she says. When Larry David gave us Curb Your Enthusiasm did he ever think it would strike such a chord with two 22 year old girls? We understand it so well, the potential for awkward social interaction at every turn. I wish facebook was around when Seinfeld was on the air. Think of the episode possibilities. George trying to facebook Marisa Tomei. Elaine accidentally posting something personal as a note instead of as a private message to the guy she was seeing. Kramer starting a facebook group that turns into a real religion. And Jerry would probably be all about facebook etiquette: You just don't stay facebook buddies with your ex's friends! It's bad form! Come on!"

So we decide to stay a little longer, to appease the doorman, who is outside, and does not know or care what we are doing in here. Neither of us wants to drink as we have to drive but we look over the menu anyway to kill time. That was fun.

“Let’s pretend to wave to someone we know across the room.”


“Hey, Dave,” I shout, waving my arm, “Dave, over here!”

“Hey Dave!”

“Listen, Dave, are you going to Eric’s later? ERIC’S! What?”

“He’s so confused.”

“I know, right? That’s so Dave. OK DAVE, WE’LL TALK TO YOU LATER. CALL US.”

I make the “Call me” hand motion and feel like James Spader in a 90s movie. We decide to hang out for 10 more minutes and then we’re gone. We want the doorman to think we’re cool. That we could come in, but not for too long, because we have other places to be.

I went home.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She blogs here.

"Beauty" - The Shivers (mp3)

"The Ghetto" - The Shivers (mp3)

"Roses" - The Shivers (mp3)