Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things I might wear to Anna-Lisa's wedding

She is getting married on Flag Day, you know, (although I think she decided on this day as an homage to my MTC date). So I thought that I should probably come up with a fitting dress for the occasion.
Although I'd like to point out that the 2nd one is being sold as a wedding dress. I don't think I'll go with that one as I don't want to upstage the bride.
But then I got thinking that since she's living in the South now...
On second thought, I hate the confederate flag, so I think I'll pass on that one, too.
So I'm still stuck in my conundrum: what to wear?

I don't know which one to pick.
But I did find a beautiful bouquet for A-L:
Speaking of the day I entered the MTC:
*L2R, back row: Melissa Thomas, Julie Rae
*L2R, middle row: Cousin Andrea, Me, Melissa Schlegel, Jess Hess, Desiree Kidman (soon-to-be) Preston, Steve Preston, Natalie Thomas (now Oldham)
*L2R, crouching: Laurel, Scottie

And a random picture and comic, just for good measure:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fake Things in Heaven

I realized a while ago that I had this crazy idea, well fantasy, really, about what Heaven was going to be like. Mainly I thought that I would get to see Asher Lev's art--his two Crucifixions being the most important. I would think about how excited I was to be able to see his art, as if when you die fiction became true or real. Honestly. I constantly have to remind myself that this isn't true. Truthfully, though...I still sorta hope that it is.

This desire to see Asher Lev's art has since been extended to encompass other fiction:

I'm excited to visit Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. I know that they're building a theme park. But it's not going to have real magic. So that's something that I'm foolishly looking forward to in Heaven.

You may wonder about Star Trek. Well the truth there is that since it's set in the future, it has as of yet to happen, so it's more like I'm just waiting for it to happen.

Ok, I know full well that I am crazy. But you can't tell me that you don't have things from fiction that you don't wish were real and could sometime see them in person. In fact, I bet there are other things that I'm just expecting to be able to see or hear that I'm not going to get to see. Shoot.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Manifesto and a License Plate that makes you go HAH!

I can't remember where I found this, but can I tell you how hard it made me laugh?

Speaking of kids, my dad who, for the most part, treats his 4 children like the adults that we are has a tendency to want to give us a bedtime, still. Often when I talk with him at night he'll tell me at the end of the conversation that I it's "time for (me) to start winding down." Now that Laurel's in Sacramento with him, he's been pulling the bedtime on her, too.
So, at her request, I wrote a Bedtime Manifesto. Well, truthfully I stole large portions from 9 different speeches or writings, and then doctored them a bit. I'm thinking about giving an award to the person who can name all 9 documents/speeches.
Anyway, here's the manifesto for anyone who's interested:

Bedtime Manifesto

I, the daughter of Clark Swenson, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common happiness, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and Clark’s posterity, do ordain and establish this Manifesto concerning the free decision of a bedtime.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the juvinal bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of adulthood, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Adulthood and of Adulthood’s Power entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that should declare the causes which impel them to the separation of childish rules from the Standard of Adulthood.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that I am created equal to other adults, that I am endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, and the Freedom to put myself to bed when I deem the hour prudent.

Fourscore and seven minutes ago my father brought forth again the incontinent idea, conceived in childhood and dedicated to the proposition that I remain seven.

Now we are engaged in a great domestic war, testing whether that bedtime or any bedtime so anciently conceived and long ago dismantled can continue to be endured.

Father Figure Swenson, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for this familial union and the western United States, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this front room! Mr. Swenson, tear down this bedtime!

But why, some say, the liberal bedtime? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, so many years ago, retire at 9:30pm or perhaps 7:00pm? We choose to go to bed at the time that best suits us! We choose to go to bed and do many other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win!

Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this condo will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of America in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of East Sacramento can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for a little over two decades of life.

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of an Adulthood with no parentally-imposed bedtime, and, therefore, as a free woman, I take pride in the words "Ich bin eine Erwachsene ohne Schlafenszeit."

My cause must be your cause too. Because it is not just young adults, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.

And so, my fellow condo-mate: Ask not what your bedtime can do for you—ask what my lack of imposed bedtime can do for me.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what Adulthood will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 2:00am.
Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 1:25am.
Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 12:15am.
Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 2:45am.
Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 12:55am.
Yes, one day I will have a dream—at 3:35am.

And if the condo is to be a great home, this freedom to retire to bed at my will must become true. So let bedtime freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let bedtime freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let bedtime freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let bedtime freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let bedtime freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let bedtime freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let bedtime freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let bedtime freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let bedtime freedom ring.

When we let bedtime freedom ring, when we let it ring from every twin-sized bed and every futon, from every sleep sofa and every air mattress, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Clark's children, Julie and Scott, Laurel and Vanessa, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank Clark our Father, we are free at last!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've been away from blogging for a bit, partially because I've been so busy doing things that are perhaps perceived as out of my character. Well, I don't know about that, but it might be shocking the things that I've created. I've taken pictures for the proof.
For Mother's Day, I decided to make a cape for my mom. She had quipped something about a super-hero cape hidden in her closet, lilac colored, a few Sundays before Mom's Day, so I decided to make one for her. I had to enlist Newt's sewing knowledge and her sewing machine, but I made quite the cape for my mom, who went by Crae (see-ray) as a kid and still does sometimes to this day:

Then, for Mother's Day dinner, I decided to make a recipe that I'd briefly seen on the Food Network: Couscous Stuffed Chicken Breast with Feta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives. Truth be told, I didn't use the wine, but freshly-squeezed tangelo juice, orange juice and lemon juice, and I got rid of the olives (blech). But it was darn tasty. I actually like to cook and would do it more if I had the time and the patience. I never cooked before my mission, but realized while down there that I'd better learn how so that I could make all of the things that I'd miss. My mom was so shocked by my cooking after my mission, that in the Christmas letter that she sent out to everyone after I'd returned from Brazil said only about me: "Vanessa's home from her mission. It's great to have her back. She cooks now."
That's all that it said about me after serving my mission. I guess that's how big of deal my cooking was.
Anyway, here's the picture of what I made my mom for dinner:

*Notice the sautéed zucchini and tomato at the right. That's was Emily's idea.
**Shout-out to Scottie for his help in making the dinner.
***Laurel, don't you wish you'd been there for this meal?

Then, in the middle of this fit of domesticity, I made a quilt for Megan Snoderly Jackson's baby shower. It was cute and pink:

Sorry that I don't have a better picture, but you get the idea.

So there you have it. Sometimes I surprise myself with my endeavors. I think my 15-year-old self simply wouldn't believe what I've been up to lately, claiming that I'd staged a nutty. It's funny how things change, eh?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

license plate

the people that owned my car last left the rusted old screws in the license plate, making it impossible to switch out the plate. in fact Andy had to dremel off the tops of the screws just to remove the old license plate. since half of the screws are still stuck in place, my license plate has been hanging out in my rear view mirror.
the officer who pulled my over tonight reminded me that this wasn't an optimum solution. he tried his best to get the screws out, but to no avail. he offered me some ideas on what i could do to fix the situation, reminding me that i should probably deal with it ASAP. then he wished me a good night and told me to get home safe.

i'm thinking i should get this done before going to wyoming this friday.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

mitt is so hawt

Religion, Politics and why I'm grateful for my religious leaders

I've always been so grateful that the Brethren have told us to be active citizens but have never told us what to think politically or who to vote for. We have a great tradition of our religious leaders being active as citizens, and I think Brigham Young would probably be very sympathetic to the Green Party, but never do I remember their throwing it in our faces, never do they tell us who to vote for, only to approach this decisions informed and with prayer. I think this is amazing because not only does it show their great leadership, but it also shows their restraint and how they don't strive to influence us unfairly. Honestly, in today's world and political climate, this fact is amazing.

The reason why I find all of this so important is because for the last 30 or so years religion has crept into politics in a weird way. Republican nominees now feel that they have to shore up the conservative front by getting pastors and preachers to endorse them. But now with that we get endorsements from people that don't really represent the values of the politicians. I really have a hard time believing that John McCain thinks that one of the main reasons the U.S. was founded was so that we could destroy the "satanic religion of Islam" because its first prophet received revelation from demons (the clip's a little melodramatic, sorry). For that matter I doubt that the Senator believes that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for a multitude of sins--or Pastor Hagee's crazy ideas about Israel--or that the Catholic Church is like Hitler. But because of people with religious power meddling into politics, telling their followers who to vote for, Republican leaders have had to pander to these people and even be supposedly thankful for their endorsement.
Barack Obama was eviscerated for someone else's beliefs, (Jeremiah Wright), having to finally, for the millionth time, repudiate Wright' statements and the man himself. It's interesting that John McCain defended Barack Obama on this issue, "I think that when people support you, it doesn't mean that you support everything that they say." I'd wager that it's because McCain doesn't like the fact that pastors and preachers have infiltrated politics.
Even Mike Huckabee said that the Wright issue was bunk, saying that Wright wasn't the issue and that the presidential race "should be about Senator Barack Obama."

--An aside: It's funny that Sean Hannity was pushing McCain so hard on the issue that Jeremiah Wright d---ed America after September 11, but somehow it's okay to let Hagee and Parsley off the hook for similar statements about different disasters.--

This is why I'm grateful that our LDS leaders don't meddle, that they don't ask for political pandering, that they tell us to live the Gospel, trust our conscience and vote based on our beliefs. If these pastors and preachers would get themselves out of politics and not teach crazy, hateful things, allowing their parishioners to vote based on what they feel is best for their family and country, can you imagine how much better off we'd be?

This religious meddling is a large part of why Mitt Romney lost out because he's a demon Mormon wanting the presidency so that he can woo a whole lot of lost souls to the LDS faith from the presidential bully pulpit (coupled with really bad advice from his staff about how to campaign). This is why the last however many weeks were spent on the really minor Jeremiah Wright issue instead of the important problems facing America. This is why McCain--who is so much more conservative and Red, Red, Red Republican than we ever hear--felt that he had to go after an extreme wing of U.S. society.

Religion isn't destroying America, it's the people using religion as a red herring to push crazy ideas.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sneak Peek: Harry Potter 6

Some clips I stumbled onto. Making of, etc.:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More Sesame Street

Remember that last entry that I posted with a clip from Sesame Street? Tweeeeeeeeeeee...lve

Anyway, here's Sesame Street getting a little bit high falutin' with these Monsterpiece Theater clips:

But really, you should just watch all of these.

You know that they did that for the moms who were home watching as a shout out.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Misspellings of my Name

My name is intriguingly hard for people to spell correctly. More often than not it's spelled wrong. Every single letter of my name has been written wrong, save for the final a--well until this last week. Yes, someone got the final a in Vanessa incorrect. "How?" you might ask. Well, I'll tell ya, with 2 of them. Vanessaa. ???What the????Huh?? So there you go.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I've decided to do an acrostic poem of sorts, celeb(r)ating the variations of my name. (The double SS only gets one spot for logistical reasons):

V ..... b w
A ..... e i u
N ..... nn ns
E ..... i a
SS ... s z
A ..... aa

To be honest, some of them I don't get, like the ns for the n: Vansessa? Some of these variations are by non-native English speakers: b, w, z. Ooh, I can't stand Wanessa. Blech. One of the funniest ways I ever saw my name (inexplicably) spelt was Venison. No, I'm not kidding. But that's such an aberration that I didn't include it in the acrostic poem. I also get Venice a lot. But it's just because they think my name is Venice even though I say [vænɛsǝ], stress on the vanEssa. vEnice?
Anyway, it's fun to play mix and match with the letter possibilities:
wennizaa or binsasa or vunnissaa
The creations are multitudinous and all are pronounced singularly as Vanessa. Have fun playing!! And if you come up with any fun ones, or perhaps can think of letter misspellings that I left out, do comment!

**Here is where my father would vehemently interject say that my name is to be pronounced solely as
[vænɛsǝ], with that first a pronounce as the a from or dad or apple and not the a from about. I'm fine with that, but it completely goes against the majority of American English speech patterns, to say nothing of being bizarre to our phonotactic registry (or what sounds the American English accent allows to be strung together). I try to explain this to him, that it's abnormal to say that a like apple sound there for Americans, but does he ever flip a wig and say that they should easily be able to and I should demand so much...that it is my name after all... But really, I don't care how people say my name and don't often bring up the characteristic save for anecdotally. To be honest, it's when I pronounce my name "correctly" that it causes the most spelling and comprehension problems, thereby bolstering my argument that this antiquated pronunciation falls outside the bounds of normality.
Wow, that was totally more than you bargained for or even needed to know, I bet.
But for those of you who read this long addendum, you all get a sucker!!!