New Blog: Underneath This

Hello,To anyone who stumbles upon this blog, which I haven’t posted in for quite a while, here is a new blog that I recently started with a friend: It is a collaborative effort and features interviews with musicians, authors and activists as well as thoughts on film, food, feminism and anything else that interests us. Enjoy, and tell us your thoughts!


June 23, 2013 Posted by | Feminism, Music, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

“So what I’m saying is, when you’re older, most of you will be gay. Anyone writing this stuff down? Parents?”

I wish Ellen DeGeneres spoke at my commencement. The speech she gave to the class of 2009 at Tulane University last week was really funny and insightful. Here is the video:

Via Feministing.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Homophobia, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Miss California and Perez Hilton

I think this might be the best response I’ve heard to the incident between Miss California and Perez Hilton. I thought the Miss USA contestant was just being inarticulate, but the time traveler theory makes perfect sense!

You can watch Jay Smooth’s other videos at

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism, Homophobia, politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And I’m Back

It’s been a while since I posted, but now that I have a working computer I’m going to try to post more often. So, some updates…

On May 3, I’ll be participating in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here. It’s my first year doing the walk, so I’m looking forward to it.

Exciting news: Joss Whedon announced plans for a Dr. Horrible sequel. According to Sci Fi Wire, there is a possibility that it could end up being a feature film, but nothing has been decided yet.

More exciting news: On Tuesday, Tinted Windows released their self-titled debut album, which you can stream here. As a longtime Hanson fan, it’s really cool to see Taylor collaborating with different artists. I’ll write more in a separate post.

I’ll end with a video by Matt and Kim, who I had a chance to see when they opened for Cut Copy at the House of Blues (formerly Avalon) in Boston last month. I don’t think I’ve seen a pair of musicians more enthusiastic than these two. The crowd was equally energetic and started moshing, prompting me to move to a quieter corner of the venue, but it was still a fun show. Kim, whose family was present, told the audience about how her brother, a DJ, used to sneak her out of the house to go to Avalon when she was younger. Here is the video for Daylight:

Also, happy belated Earth Day!

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Hanson, Movies, Music, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Novel Writing Month

Every year since 1999, aspiring writers have undertaken the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. I first heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) a few years ago and thought it was a great idea, but the task seemed too daunting to consider. However, I like the concept of encouraging writers to get words on paper without worrying about producing a work of genius. According to, over 15,000 people completed the challenge last year. NaNoWriMo began today, November 1, so to all the participants, good luck and let the writing begin!

If you need inspiration, I recommend reading Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I found the section on shitty first drafts particularly helpful.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

PETA fails, again

Feministing posted about PETA‘s newest attempt at advertising. Apparently, PETA is petitioning the U.S. government to post advertisements on the U.S.-Mexico border to encourage immigrants to choose a vegan diet. The message on the billboards would read (in English and Spanish): “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.” I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a good idea. If they’re just trying to generate controversy and gain publicity, it looks like they are succeeding. Miriam at Feministing pointed out that the fences interfere with migration patterns of animals living in those regions, but PETA doesn’t seem to care about that.

Of course, this isn’t the first time PETA has made poor advertising choices. They continue to rely on sexist advertising that objectifies women. In PETA’s letter in The New York Times last month, the president of PETA defends their advertising by arguing that “sex sells.” She acknowledges that “animal suffering and human suffering are undeniably interconnected” and insists that PETA is concerned about both. However, by continuing to use offensive ads, PETA is sending the message that they respect animals more than they respect people. I don’t think that alienating feminists who support animal rights is going to help their cause.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Sexism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Fox News: “A festival of ignorance”

I just saw this Fox News clip from February 2008 and thought it was hilarious. Lee Camp, a comedian, calls Fox News “a parade of propaganda” and “a festival of ignorance.” The anchor attempts to cut him off and introduces the next segment, a promotion of the book “Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women.” I think that proves Lee’s point well.

Via Feministing

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Sexism, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Meeper Snoodunt Wii Cake

How to make Meeper* Snoodunt** Wii Cake:

1. Call/IM fellow meeperites and plan a baking/Wii party.

2. Follow instructions on cake mix box.

3. Look around kitchen and see what random food items are available.

4. Sprinkle random food items onto pan and into cake mixture.

5. Pour cake mixture onto pan and place in oven.

6. Play Wii.

7. Eat cake!

8. Play more Wii.

*Meeper/meeperite: A person who meeps. Is usually very ticklish.
**Snoodunt: Originated as a typo of “student.” Evolved into a definition of a type of cake.

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Fictional characters get makeovers

According to The New York Times, fictional characters are being redesigned in an effort to bolster sales by appealing to both “parents’ nostalgia and children’s YouTube-era sensibilities.”

Strawberry Shortcake gets a new image

Strawberry Shortcake’s updated look was introduced on Tuesday. The new, flirtier Strawberry Shortcake has apparently lost her appetite for sugary desserts and is now on a fruit diet. Jeffrey Conrad, head creative designer of American Greetings, explained that this change in food preference is part of a new “fruit-forward” theme. It appears that the cartoon star also dyed her hair pink, started wearing lipstick, and replaced her calico cat with a cellphone.

Other makeovers in fictional character land include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with “more muscles and less attitude” and Care Bears with “less belly fat” and “longer eyelashes.”

But Care Bears are supposed to have belly fat! Even cartoon bears have to be skinny now? And Ninja Turtles with less attitude? What is the world coming to?

A new Mickey Mouse is in the works, but I don’t really want to know how that’s going to turn out.

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Sexism, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

China Earthquake Comic Strips

I found this extremely sad, moving series of comic strips depicting rescue stories from the earthquake in China. The stories show the bravery of the Chinese people as well as the terrible tragedy they had to endure. Coco Wang, the illustrator, explains in his introduction that he wanted to tell the stories that people outside of China may not be hearing about. He writes:

I don’t know how much information the BBC or any UK media received from us, I imagine the UK audiences were presented with the major developments of the incident, but you are probably unaware of many important and inside details which are only known to people inside China.

The amount of incredibly moving stories of victims, rescuers, volunteers is simply shocking at the moment. I have been collecting newspapers of all the stories, and telling them in the form of comic strips. I hope these stories could show the UK readers the love, warmth and courage of the Chinese people, also the sad and cruel reality of the horrible 5.12 Earthquake.

They are definitely worth reading, although be warned that they may make you tear up.

Via Feministe

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Cliffs of Dover

Matt Gross of the New York Times recently embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe for his Frugal Traveler column. He chose to begin his journey at the traditional starting point for 18th Century Grand Tourists: Dover, England. He describes the port town in less than flattering terms:

There are, I’ve long believed, two kinds of places in this world: destinations and way stations. Dover, England, is definitely the latter.Dover, England

As I read this description, I thought back to my experiences traveling in England while studying abroad at the University of Kent. On my list of landmarks to see during my semester abroad were the famous White Cliffs of Dover. After making the trip by bus on a warm afternoon, my fellow traveler and I were eager to arrive at our destination. We wandered through town and stopped at a pub before making our way toward the castle, which we could easily spot in the distance. Noticing a foul stench in the air, we decided not to linger and made our way up the hill. However, we were not quick enough, and we arrived shortly after the ticket booth closed.

I attempted the journey again later in the semester, this time with a different friend. As I soon discovered, the castle was well worth the effort it took to get there. The castle’s hilltop location was ideal for viewing the English Channel and the town below. However, the most memorable part of the trip wasn’t seeing the White Cliffs, but exploring the underground tunnels hidden inside them. The tunnels were initially built in the Middle Ages and were later expanded to accommodate troops during the Napoleonic Wars. Visitors are given a guided tour that explains the historical significance of this complex network of tunnels and the important role it played during World War II. As Matt Gross mentions in his column, visitors are allowed to roam freely through the passageways while learning about the castle’s fascinating history.

While the town of Dover can accurately be described as a way station, this shouldn’t discourage travelers from planning a visit to the castle, which is a worthwhile destination. I wouldn’t recommend staying in Dover for days at a time, but it’s a good choice for a day trip.

If you’re not going to be in England anytime soon, I suggest that you at least listen to We Both Go Down Together, a tragic song by the Decemberists that begins, “Here on these cliffs of Dover…”

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment