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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious

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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In Which We Remember You From A Bygone Era

The Five Questions


for Adam Cave

Reported but not observed, belt buckles contain pressure that — once loosened — behaves as a refraction of light. Above that, jury-rigged consecrated cathedral of always. I make the conversation linger, but what's resolved in a strike of tugboats five star hotel room windowless blinds?

Penance less than death is expectant surprise, like "unusual to see you here." The cold commands ask little and I am always trying to say what I belong to. Once shelter was all kicking off the shawl to keep dry. Now it rains harder than it must.

Berries planted upside skip the hills and cut-out pigeons, policy-holders, urgent wheat in the deep end of the pool. Atop the sun shine leggings and motorbikes waiting for hypnosis and the tendrils sweep the high grass where the robins bicker gently as if asking a name.

He writes, "There is no mind better > than the one I have > to pull space around > for the warmth of quiet > nothingness stuck on a pin. > It is what I see when > I have stopped > resembling myself."

The devil panics when he sees the beginning of a crosswalk.

I am dreaming, drowning. All that middle-aged love. Pillow up the bed and under, glimpsing without eyes or place to evince the resulting dilemma. Grief-stricken or opaque, I asked you to put it away the day before yesterday. What does that make today?

Surely you saw the last bit of him go. Certainly there was music, definitely there remains a chorus, in the place of kings.

You see, he died so I could sleep, men were at my window. A star fell from the earth to land on the sky. The pitter-patter lasts until expired, like milk. Vast reverie, as in never coming up for air, or wiping my nose. He is in a hole when I am not. Then announcements: the citadel of December, embossed in red leather. Whether just arriving or leaving finally, where water leads into other water. Enough to ford the tide, graduate. Pages overcome, avalanched on my new bed. Spring was always the wrong season, smiles were too seductive or not enough. My mother, my father in the navy. She watched us go. I came the whole way, all of it, spilling out. Just for this?

I fear being beholden, so bend to choose among the fleet. The unmoving man gestures at the head of a pin and is untouched by choice. Beset on all sides by stone, I stir to collect and shatter on the waves.

Linda Eddings is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

Images by Tenesh Webber.


In Which Ida Lupino Wore A Lot Of Face Paint

This is the first in a two part series about the actor and director Ida Lupino.

She Lived By Night


When Ida Lupino arrived in the U.S. for the first time at the age of fifteen, Paramount representatives greeted her at the dock in Hoboken, New Jersey. She and her mother stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. The next day the picture of the Englsih actress was on the cover of the Los Angeles Times. "By the time we landed," she wrote her father, who was staying behind in England, "we looked like a couple of dead seagulls."

Paramount told her they felt she could be the next Jean Harlow, who was a platinum blonde whereas Ida was a brunette. She was nonplussed, and it was not long before she was making her dissatisfaction known. "I cannot tolerate fools, won't have anything to do with them," she told the press. "I only want to associate with brilliant people."

Before she ever debuted in a starring role, Ida Lupino contracted polio. Her feet were so painful she could barely stand. She thought of killing herself. As she recovered, she returned to the set long before doctors thought she would. That year she made $23,400.

with howard hughes

By 1935, Lupino already had a reputation as a handful. Some directors were scared away by her outspoken nature. "'I'm mad,' they say. I am temperamental and dizzy and disagreeable.," she told the press. "I can take it. Only one person can hurt me. Her name is Ida Lupino."

Her first Hollywood boyfriend was a British stage performer named Louis Hayward. Unlike the Jewish performers who took on stage names to conceal their ethnicity, Hayward's real name was Seafield Grant. This lothario was nine years older than Ida, and had to compete with a variety of men who Ida found uninteresting, including Howard Hughes. Hayward hated when Ida wore makeup, calling it face paint.

with first husband Louis Hayward

At eighteen Lupino was loaned to RKO for a series of films which did nothing but stall her career. She rented a house above the Hollywood Bowl. Returning her hair to her natural color, she decided to leave Paramount. England had no interest in her return, so she fired her agent and married Louis Hayward in the Santa Barbara courthouse. The couple moved to Beverly Hills with their terrier. After a two picture stint with Columbia, Ida demanded from mercurial director William Wellman what would become her breakout role: the slut in an adaptation of Kipling's The Light That Failed.

She signed with Warner, where she starred opposite the tiny, not-yet-a-star Humphrey Bogart in They Drive by Night. In her biggest roles, Ida played crazy with a certain contained zeal. It was not something that was done well very often, and it distinguished her from an entire generation of actresses. Her next film with Bogart inspired the jealousy of Humphrey's wife Mayo Methot. She made more than Bogart on the film High Sierra: 12,000 a week.

ida ronald.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1481209476214

Ida was now a star, and this upset her husband Louis tremendously. He began complaints to her when they woke in the morning, and she pretended to go along with it, explaining to the media that "the man is the master of the house." Louis kept her away from parties; their usual entertainment was recording the conversations of friends during dinner and playing it back afterwards.

Her closest friends had always been men, with whom she felt she did not have to be competitive. Joan Fontaine and Ann Sheridan became her closest actress pals. "Ida Lupino," Fontaine wrote of her during this period, "is the nearest thing to a caged tiger I ever saw outside a zoo. I don't think she has ever been still a whole minute of her life." Absolutely never bored, Ida was most alive in the evenings, when her mind roamed endlessly.

with Humphrey in "High Sierra"

After her father died of cancer, Ida reevaluated her career. A disastrously boring film where she played Emily Bronte was shelved for years before being recut and released to little fanfare. She feared being typecast as a crazy woman, and an idea popped into her head as a way of avoiding the fate Warner had consigned her to: she would be a director.

During the war, Ida visited returning serviceman. Louis Hayward, now a captain in the Marines, was deployed in Japan, where a bullet cracked his helmet. He went into combat carrying a camera purchased for him by his wife. When he returned home, he was intensely traumatized. Hayward was treated at three different hospitals for depression, but none shook his basic conclusion: He was done with Ida Lupino.

Ida went from a nervous breakdown to a new, Casanova-esque boyfriend in just over a year. The Austrian Helmut Dantine was a violent, drunken sociopath who could be charming when he was slightly sober. (Louis Hayward remarried in May of 1946.)

Newly single, Lupino focused on her writing. William Threely was her pen name, and she sold a screenplay she wrote with her friend Barbara Reed to RKO for $3,000. Warner demanded Lupino sign an exclusive contract – her previous deal allowed outside work, an extremely unique arrangement in the industry. When Lupino refused the new terms, she was on her own completely at 29 years old.

Like her last husband, Collier Young was ten years older than Ida. Unlike Hayward and Dantine, he was not an actor but a frustrated Hollywood writer. He was not her first American man, but he was the first one she married, at the Presbyterian Church in La Jolla. "One of the exciting things about Ida," Collier explained to the press, "is her unpredictability."

Even as she continued writing, directing was foremost on Lupino's mind. Many women had been successful screenwriters before Lupino, and a few had even stepped behind the camera. None had ever done with Lupino's ability. In 1945 she met Roberto Rossellini, who told her that "In Hollywood movies the star is going crazy, or drinks too much, or wants to kill his wife. When are you going to make pictures about ordinary people in ordinary situations?"

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.


In Which We Run And Swim And Jog The Whole Time

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.


Things were going very well, I thought, between my boyfriend Charles and myself. Even though we have been together for six months, he feels that it is too soon to meet any of my family. The reason, as he explains it, is that he grew too attached to the family of his ex-girlfriend and when she dumped him it was like losing his entire life. He says he wants to take things slow.

I think this is probably bullshit but I wanted to check.

Anna C.


Meeting the family is an important time in any young boy's life. For a man, however, it is no big deal.

This entire sob story may well be true, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a story. It sounds like Charles had quite a positive experience with the last family he met, and we can presume he has no such strong familial bonds of his own. It is indeed inappropriate for a family to become too close to their in-law before he is properly made their in-law. You can tell Charles this.

Not wanting to meet your family is a major red flag: it signals he is probably going to dump you and doesn't want the extra guilt of knowing the people who sired you before he does so. I would just end things now.


A friend of mine who I will call Nancy absolutely refuses to return any of my calls or texts. We did have an argument over her current boyfriend, but we have been friends for over ten years and it has never gotten this bad.

Even though the argument Nancy and I had was not my fault in any way, and she was the one who I asked my opinion, I regret giving it. I don't like conflict and I want to resolve this. How can I get her to listen?

Gillian R.

Dear Gillian,

Some people are very stubborn, far more stubborn than you or I could ever be. They realize they are vulnerable if they open themselves up the slightest bit, so the only solution is to ward off the doorway to that soft inner part. If you can't get through the door, you're unable to access what's inside. I spent around thirty seconds crafting this metaphor, but I think it gets the job done quite well. The door represents...nevermind.

In the context of a dismantled romantic relationship, just showing up somewhere is pretty creepy, although it definitely can work. In the context of your friendship, it is not nearly as threatening so you should probably just do it that way.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.