November 5, 2008

hate crime

i got worked up and made a "no on 8" sign out of construction paper (election day photo above).

my car was parked in LA on election night. unfortunately, i discovered the next morning that someone vandalized the back of the car with red paint. a good samaritan had tried to wipe it away, but there was still paint all over the back of the car.

hate is a bummer.

October 18, 2008

homecoming mum

it all started one day earlier this year in a conversation with my friend from dallas:

jake: did your high school have homecoming mums?
anneke: i don't think so. is that like a sorority mother? some kind of maternal figure that presides over the homecoming court?
jake: no, mum like chrysanthemum. you know, the big flowers that you wear on your shirt?
anneke: like a corsage or a boutonniere for a formal dance? yeah, i guess we had those.
jake: no, no, no. they're huge, and you pin them to your shirt and wear them around at school all day. they have ribbons and stuffed animals glued to them...
anneke: *disbelief*
jake: you should google it.

so, i did, and i couldn't believe what i found. a homecoming mum looks like a glorified best-in-show ribbon. it's an obscene floral bouquet, streamed with ribbons, often adorned with spirited flair. from what i can tell, it is tradition in certain parts of this great country of ours for high school girls to receive homecoming mums from their parents, their boyfriends, and/or their boyfriend's parents. they affix these monstrosities to their shirts and parade them around during homecoming season. as with any bizarre and materialistic ritual, size matters. the bigger the mum, the more popular the girl. and some of these are big. think: dinner plate. in addition to conducting some google research, i confirmed the myth of the homecoming mum with my texan coworker, and i've been mildly fascinated by this previously-unknown-to-me sliver of americana ever since.

i've been traveling a lot for work lately -- hanging out with our sales force inside retail stores. so, you can imagine my surprise when i found myself in mid-october...inside a grocery store. jackpot.

apparently, kroger is your homecoming mum destination:

inside the floral departments, you find walls of unadorned mums just waiting to be jazzed up with accessories selected from the "flair board."

i was so shocked to see this seemingly unreal phenomenon with my own eyes, i started to feel like snapping pictures on my blackberry was producing results akin to those grainy photos of the loch ness monster. if my california compatriots were to understand the true nature of the homecoming mum, i was going to have to capture one in the wild and bring it back to the west coast.

to select my homecoming mum, i had to talk to the experts. i met with two floral department employees at a kroger store in allen, tx. upon going native to procure said mum, my first shock was to learn that homecoming mums can put you back up to $200. lucky for me, allen high school's homecoming had just passed, and i was going to get a substantial discount.

the second shock was the weight of these bad boys. especially once they've been weighed down with flair, a homecoming mum can start pushing a few pounds. when i asked how these abominations are worn, i got a lesson in creative pin usage. apparently, some girls attach their mums to their bra straps for extra support. others go the less-aesthetically-pleasing route and hang them around their necks with ribbon. the florist told me about one girl whose mum was so big that she requested straps so she could wear it like a backpack. a mum backpack.

and that's just the tip of the mum-culture iceberg. i started to ask about who buys the mum, because i'd heard it can come from different sources. i learned that buying your own mum is just about the lamest thing you can do -- it's much more socially acceptable if someone else buys it for you. "but what if multiple people buy mums for you?" i asked, "is it appropriate to double mum?" the answer is yes, and it's not that uncommon. yikes.

it also turns out that the color of the mum is very important. each class has to wear different colors. for example, freshman have red mums, sophomores have blue mums, juniors have red and blue mums, and seniors wear all white.

the mum i finally settled on was a heart-shaped junior mum. it featured a stuffed eagle head (for the school mascot: the allen eagles), a glittery football helmet, sequined streamers, feather boa bits, two(!) whistles, and a cow bell. it was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. i presented it as a gift to my dear friend julie.

April 9, 2008

our shirts are famous!

check out the tshirt on the front page of BBC online...

get your own.

March 4, 2008

GOP popularity contest

republicans love mccain, but they love obama almost as much.

February 29, 2008

February 13, 2008

can't attack obama

mark mckinnon, a senior campaign adviser to both bush and mccain, said that he could not serve mccain if obama became the democratic presidential nominee.

"I met Barack Obama, I read his book, I like him a great deal. I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama. I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign.'' 

- mark mckinnon on all things considered, 2/13/08

February 12, 2008

love-cost analysis

economic analysis: long-distance relationships are expensive.

stuff i like

the truth is out. apparently, i'm white.

February 9, 2008

latest RCP poll

obama > clinton (part 3)

more proof for the equation: obama > clinton

character. integrity. do.

obama > clinton (part 2)

more proof for the equation: obama > clinton

Clinton - 50%, McCain - 47%
with a 3 point margin of error, that's a statistical tie

Obama - 52%, McCain - 44%
margin of error ain't no thang, baby

February 3, 2008

obama > clinton (a proof)

a proof in support of the mathematical equation: 
obama > clinton 

for the independents and democrats who are undecided about the 2008 primary, i have some words of advice: please vote for obama. 

not sold yet? ok, here's why: a clinton nomination is a de facto vote for at least four more years of republican presidency. clinton cannot win the general election. 

this is not a criticism of clinton's policies or principles. i could spend time highlighting the ideological and policy differences between obama and clinton, but the fact is that those differences are almost negligible beyond the democratic primaries. as general election candidates, they would be fairly similar from a policy perspective. both are intelligent, capable leaders. the difference is in their political approaches and reputations. whereas clinton is fiercely polarizing, obama has bipartisan appeal. obama has a unique desire and ability to work with both sides of the aisle to approach complex policy problems. not only does he have the ability to unite people within this country, but his non-divisive style and rhetoric will go a long way towards uniting this country with our estranged allies across the world.

while obama unites america, clinton unites the GOP. should she be the nominee, the fractured republican party will undoubtedly come out in droves, unified again for a cause they can all believe in: defeating clinton. if a mccain-clinton line-up is on the ballot in november, i predict record GOP turnout, GOP absorption of independent voters, and an apathetic democratic electorate.

still need more proof that obama is a better candidate than clinton? i have some anecdotes... 

1. the right hates clinton, but kinda likes obama
i was on facebook
the other day, and saw that my mormon cousin was part of a group called Mormons Against Mitt. the group's founders deride romney for his lack of "moral values" and his "selfish ambition." while perusing the group's page, i looked under "Related Groups" to find that Stop Hillary Clinton: (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary) was the closest match based on group membership.

the second best match? Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack) 

2. clinton's baggage will take her down
sources within the republican party admit that they fear an obama victory in the democratic primaries because, quote, "we barely have anything on him." in contrast, their political operatives are salivating at the prospect of a clinton nomination. "let me put it this way," one source said, "we're going to cream her."

don't think my sources are reliable? you can read about it here. 

3. polls show clinton losing to mccain
has been tracking polls on potential general election match-ups. both clinton and obama appear to handily defeat romney and huckabee (it is interesting to note that obama's wins are by a much larger spread). however, since mccain is almost a shoo-in for the GOP nomination, it's more pertinent to examine his numbers. obama consistently does better against mccain than clinton. if you look at the five most recent polls, clinton loses to mccain every single time. in the mccain-obama match ups, it's a tie. clearly a primary vote for obama doesn't ensure a democratic president, but at least he presents a fighting chance to reverse the last eight years of republican rule.

4. clinton's "strengths" become weaknesses
all of the qualities that clinton touts to paint herself as a stronger candidate than obama become moot in a mccain-clinton general match-up. her political experience and national defense acumen look paltry and petty next to mccain. she'll have to fight to avoid perception that she's a second-rate version of another old-school politician. although mccain's political resume and military strength greatly outweigh obama's, at least obama brings a fresh perspective to the table, heralding a new approach to politics and leadership. he positions himself as something different from mccain, thus making the election a true competition. 

5. clinton can’t win independents
to compete against mccain the democratic candidate will need to have wide appeal not only within the party, but outside of it as well. the candidate will need to be able to change the minds of independent voters, encouraging them to support democrats in november. mccain has traditionally been a magnet for independents, so it is going to be a challenge for any democrat to compete with him for independent voters. however, obama’s fresh approach to politics puts him in a much more favorable position. not only is clinton a polarizing candidate, but 91% of those polled by Time say they already know enough about her to form an opinion. that is, they’re not likely to change their minds. contrastingly, obama has a positive image, and there are still 51% that haven’t yet formed their opinions about him. (source

i hope i’ve made a compelling argument and that you’re closer to making a decision for the primary. and i really hope you’ve decided to support obama. i do.

socks run amok

these sock monsters are adorable. 

These monsters are handmade in Canada. So they are safe, and polite, and good at keeping the peace. Each is one of a kind (even monsters made from a pair of socks are unique individuals!) 

check out socks run amok at

January 22, 2008


if you think hillary has the best chance in the general election, look at this.

obama for america, friends.