Saturday, February 26, 2011

an email that I just sent

Thought I'd share:

Rep Herrod,

I was interested in your statements that you made during the debate about illegal immigration. Regarding your question as posted in The Deseret News: "In House floor debate, Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, said he's tired of hearing that illegal immigrants are good people. 'They contribute somewhat,' he said, but the real question is should they be treated better."

I figured since you asked the question you would like the answer. In an article that can be found here, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who was speaking at the request of the First Presidency of the LDS Church answered this question: "Meet an undocumented person," he said. "Come to know their family." Included in that article you'll find more information that will help you answer the question.
Another answer to your question is found in Matthew 25:40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Now that you have your answer about what should be done, I expect an email detailing how you are going to resolve your concerns regarding the worth of these immigrants. I also demand that you explain in your email to me what you are going to do to help our immigrant brothers and sisters according to the principles repeatedly described by the leaders of our Church.

I expect an email within the next two weeks.

Thank you,
Vanessa Swenson, great great great granddaughter of various immigrants

If you feel so inclined, please send him an email ( with any tips you may have for him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


At the BYU game tonight there was a man on the row right below me and my grandma at the end of it wearing a WWII Vet hat. I sidled over to him after the game and asked him where he'd served. He told me that he was in the army in Europe and then after V-E Day he was transferred to the Pacific Theatre. In New Guinea he said that almost every man in his squad was killed when they landed, but he survived and went to the Philippines and into Japan where he served as military police.
I shook his hand and thanked him for his service and he smiled. I told him I was sorry about his squad and he smiled again and said that he'd see them again.
I really think they are the greatest generation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorites of the 20th Century

A few weeks ago I set out to make a list of my 100 favorite songs of the 20th century. It sorta blew up in my face because I couldn't keep it at 100. It's now at 139.
This link should take you to the Google Doc so that you can see all 139. Oh blast. 140. I forgot that Cher song. Long live mesh clothing.

My love for Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Staples Singers, Marvin Gay, Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin has already been expressed.
I do need to add in Jackson Browne right here.

So can you recognize what Ralph Vaughn Williams' Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus doubles as in Mormondom?

And how about those cameos in Walking on Broken Glass. I think Annie Lennox chose poorly.
You've gotta love Biz Markie.
I can still remember my 5th grade teacher complaining about Bonnie Raitt winning the grammy for this song. He's crazy. Do you know her Angel From Montgomery?

If you're not familiar with the Estonian Arvo Pärt, you need to listen to his music. Wow.

How does one narrow down a list of Beatles songs? Well, one rotates through favorites.

And I've already mentioned Tears For Fears on my blog before. Shout and Sowing the Seeds of Love have no odd ties to my childhood, but the songs rock.

I went a bit Sondheim crazy and sorta broke my own rule of no more than 5, but I'm justifying it because they come from different musicals. Children Will Listen, No One Is Alone, Finishing the Hat, Beautiful, Pretty Lady, Children and Art, Move On and Johanna are works of genius.
Double Blast: 141. Not a Day Goes By.

Kashmir is almost universally loved.

So, yes, I'm admitting that Will Smith's Miami and Deee-Lite's Groove is in the Heart both make the list. This may change if I ever completely mature out of high school. Whitney Houston's It's Not Right But It's OK will likely never leave. I've been a closet Whitney fan for over 20 years. Rupaul's Supermodel and Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy were oh so close, but in the end, there wasn't enough mustard. But I'm sure you're VERY glad that I linked those two fairly awkward videos.

I'll leave it right there for now. I'm sure I'll be coming back to the list on my blog, adding more links to good songs, etc. etc. Did you make it to this sentence? Wow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Self Discipline > Office Health Gimmicks

Subtitle: But it's not like office health gimmicks are a bad thing

UVU is doing this thing called Spring into Shape. (Notice that the webpage is titled Sping into Shape, the letter R being optional, I guess.) It was the topic of discussion on and off today at the office. People were talking about how it was a great motivator, working in groups and stuff to accomplish goals, how the success rate will be higher. (And don't get me started on the UVU goal of drinking eight 8oz. glasses of water. Yeesh.)

My point was that working in groups, in the end, has nothing to do with success, that it's only self discipline. A coworker made the good point that when she was in this group and had to present something once a week, she made sure she did it. It wasn't like it was graded for a class, she just made sure she did it because they met together.

I countered that with, "Exactly, you weren't graded. In the end of things you accomplished what you did because of your self discipline. What if you missed a week of doing your stuff? You didn't. You controlled your time to accomplish what you wanted. It was all self discipline in the end, which is a good thing."

Scottie tonight made the point that it's very empowering to understand this. What we accomplish in life is all based on our ability to work toward something and persevere through difficulties (with Divine Help for eternal good measure).

It's all about self discipline.
And I have great faith in our ability to accomplish our goals. This concept gives me great hope.

Vanessa "Aiming to take the theory of it all and turn it into a daily practice" Swenson

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vemonator's Tumblr

Hello. I'm Tumblr-ing.
Now can post more things online that I can't do on blogspot. I have grand plans for posting something there tomorrow. We'll see if I can pull it off.
Anyway, that's all.

And I think I got the link fixed.

Dystopia and Young Adult Novels

So I tried the Hunger Games series a while back. I persevered thru the first book because I'd heard/read so many people talking about how they were completely drawn into the series. But I've gotta be honest, I really didn't want to finish that first audiobook, I was so angered (disgusted?) by the situation the kids were in.

When I tried the 2nd book about a month after the first, it was seriously dragging me down. I'm all about pushing thru and finishing a book series once you've started it. I mean, I finished The Work and The Glory series, even though I couldn't handle the cheesy writing style (everyone spoke with a "husky" voice and looked up thru their eyebrows in an anatomical feat of contortionist excellence when emotional). And it's not like I'm trying to avoid pain completely, I am a Mets fan. But there was something about the Hunger Games series that I just couldn't deal with.

Wonderful Wendy said that I didn't have to finish. She answered the few questions that I had and I moved on with my life. Rarely do I not finish a book series. But, wow, Hunger Games haunted me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WIMotW: Edict 2

I will outlaw certain nefarious commercials When I'm Master of the World. the first commercial on the chopping block will be the free/score(dot)com commercial with the men in those nasty nasty nasty full-body navy body suits and the creeper with the hockey mask. Credit scores are a necessary evil, but I didn't think they had to look so skody, too.

But, really, I'm going to ban all credit report commercials for any company.
I feel good about this.