13 Word Love Story on Modern Love


So, I entered a 13 word love story to the New York Time’s column, Modern Love.

They chose to use my story in their podcast which aired a few days ago. I think. Maybe, it aired a while ago, I didn’t look at the date. I just discovered it a few days ago, though.

Anyway, I had to record my 13 words.

It’s a goddamn sentence. I can read a sentence.

I could not read this sentence.

Remember the little guy on Twin Peaks who showed up in agent Cooper’s dreams and talked sort of 13 word love storybackwards but not really?

That is the only way I could read the words “But dial up was too slow”.

Seriously, I recorded this well over 60 times and every fucking time, I sounded like the weird little guy in Agent Cooper’s dreams.

Here’s the podcast. I still have some weird twanginess in the recording. But that was the best I could do. I couldn’t stand to say that stupid sentence one more time. Also, I sound like I’m in a cave. It’s not a good recording.

Anyway, I spoke with Mountain Girl last night and told her about it.

MG: How did you record it?

Me: On my phone.

MG: That’s the problem. You have a shitty phone recorder and it distorted your voice.

Me: That makes sense because every time I’d play it back I couldn’t understand why I sounded so weird. Then after I heard it weird, I started saying it weird and couldn’t stop. I still can’t stop. I’ve been talking like that weird little guy since I listened to this podcast.

MG: Always don’t talk.

Me: Dude, I know.

MG: Why didn’t you use Randy’s microphone setup on his desktop?

Me: The directions from Modern Love only included how to transfer the recording from a phone and I didn’t want to have to figure out how to do that from his computer.


MG: Well, you sounded fine. But you know I can help you with this stuff.

Me: Yeah, I should have gotten you to do it. But then I’d never know what my imitation of that little guy on Twin Peaks sounds like.

MG: There is that.

So, it’s funny, because I actually had completely forgotten about doing this. I think I thought of it earlier in the spring and just assumed they decided to pass on mine.

Also, really switching gears here, but fingers crossed again.

The inspection of the house with the hideous kitchen happens on Tuesday. I believe this is the last potential obstacle. I think if we get past Tuesday without issue, we can relax a little. Oh, and finish packing our house.

Holy shit.


Photo courtesy of Pexels.


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  • I’ve never had to record anything for the New York Times, but every time I have to try and do my outgoing message for work, it turns into an all-day thing in which I worry about what opposing attorneys who call in are going to think about the way I ask people to leave a message. Which syllable I choose to stress suddenly becomes a weird thing.

  • Keyboard player in the band I was in: Why do you put all of that reverb on your voice?
    me: I can’t stand the way my voice sounds without it.
    KP: Dude, nobody can, don’t worry about it.
    me: That’s easy for you to say, you don’t have to sing in this band.
    KP: At least take the chorus off of it, you sound squishy.
    me: Squishy? The fuck?
    Recording is weird like that. Once you hear something you think sounds wrong, that’s all you can hear, no matter what the rest of it sounds like.
    In recent interviews about her new album, which she is proud to have produced herself, Neko Case has said that she doesn’t even know if she likes the songs or not because she still has “producer ears” and all she can do is listen for mistakes and things that she should have done differently.
    The album is magnificent.
    She says she’ll know what’s what after she plays the songs live a few times.
    So it may not just be your phone.
    I would tell you not to worry about it, but that didn’t work for me, so, instead, congratulations…

  • Congratulations!! Sound of our own voice, yikes! I record my message for my company and have had people leave a message that I sound too upbeat, too happy, too sad, too somber, tired, mean, too young, too old, sleepy and forced cheerfulness. That is all off the top of my head, I am sure there has been more comments about my voice and I could add some too.

  • A few months ago Lou Reed’s widow Laurie Anderson, who’s also a performer and composer, was on the radio program Studio 360. The host asked her why she so often electronically altered her voice and she replied that she liked to do different voices and added, “You must get sick of the sound of your own voice.”
    It was really funny to me that she’d say that to the host of a radio show and then he said “Yeah, I do” which was even funnier.
    And if I remember correctly the guy on Twin Peaks spoke backwards then they ran it forward to give it that weird sound and the next time you have to record something I hope you’ll get Mountain Girl to help you try and do that.
    Also congratulations on being selected. You deserved it after that much work.

  • So… I’m trying to really push my VO career forward. I’ve got the microphone, headphones, software, workshops, etc. but no agent nor a decent space in our pathetic apartment in which to record. I do NOT hate the sound of my own voice. It’s fine. I also don’t hate the sound of yours. 😉
    I have a friend in #TheBloggessTribe who lives locally and wants to do a podcast. I want to do the podcast with her. She’d be the “expert” and I’d be the foil. Our problem is that even though we don’t expect our recorded voices to ever make us any money and we’re recording at her kitchen table, my union won’t allow me to work without WC insurance, of all things. #FirstWorldProblems, I guess.
    Thanks for including the link to the podcast you submitted to! It was fun.

By Michelle

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