Monday, March 14, 2016

Might As Well Blog About Trump

I realize that there is an embarrassing, overabundant amount of discussion flying around about Donald Trump, on the Twittersphere, the Book of Faces, the media, under my breath. But I think I would be remiss in not mentioning how very, very heartbreaking it is to see the success of such an openly hateful, xenophobic individual bring out the worst part of the American consciousness.

Allow me to share some words of a good friend of mine, Mr. Luke Klima, who very eloquently said what I wanted to and what many others would echo (except he did it without the use of swear words - because he is a gentleman, whereas I am close to being a disenfranchised American with the vocabulary of a truck driving sailor).

"Politicians appeal to us in different ways - Lincoln appealed to the better angels of our nature, but we've had our fair share of appeals to our fears as well. But I have never seen anyone appeal to the lowest and ugliest part of people's psyches in the way Mr. Trump does. He appeals to the worst angels of our nature - the hypothetical little devil that sits on one's shoulder whispering the most depraved and selfish of ideas. Let's keep those people out! Let's win against those people (i.e. make them lose)! Let's kill the children of those others! Let's react with fisticuffs against those who disagree!

He doesn't tell us of the tide that will lift all boats, but of his ability to sink the other boats, while ours remains afloat. This is an ugly appeal, a depraved appeal, and as it intends to depress much of humanity, an ultimately inhuman appeal.

I hope this experiment with anger soon sees the ignominious end it deserves. It's long past time already."

I would add to Mr. Klima's grandiloquent allegory that while our boat might remain afloat, it's quickly filling with water and it's only a matter of time before the inhabitants merely start flinging each other overboard in a selfish attempt to survive. The U.S.S. America, I fear, is doomed to sink regardless.

#Drumpf #Trump #Campaign #LordHelpUs #Republican #Democrat #TrumpRally

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Today, my heart is heavy.

R.I.P. Alan Rickman

My hero.

Most of my family and friends know that I'm a Harry Potter geek. My office at work is filled with HP memorabilia, the walls covered with framed movie posters. The list goes on. They also know that Severus Snape was my favorite and that it was a dream of mine to someday meet Alan Rickman.

Actor and director, Alan Rickman, passed away today from cancer. He was 69. He was surrounded by his family.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stop Trying to Convert Me!

Social Media is not your Political Platform

It’s appalling how many people use social media to try to convert me to their political party.

News Flash: It’s SOCIAL MEDIA. I go there to be SOCIAL – as well as get away from the everyday, hustle and bustle real world, which quite frankly, is pretty damn scary and depressing.
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chap, Peach, Google, Instagram, MySpace [who is still using this?]) – all of that is purely for entertainment purposes. Or, for keeping up with family members – which for some, is also entertainment.

The differing views (religious, political, nutritional, etc.) are in the thousands and sparking debate, controversy and hatred is not the avenue to promote peace. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Nobody cares about your opinions, especially if they don’t align with theirs.

Also, if you ARE getting your political information ([sic] Facts) from Facebook or Twitter, then you really have no basis to spout your claims. Everything on the internet is false. (It's True - I read it on the internet)

Keep Social Media Social! For Pete’s sake – it’s supposed to be all about what folks had for dinner, photos of their amazing vacations that we didn’t take, what Greek God or Goddess most aligns with your personal information so that you can be on several advertising venues, and cat videos.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Scenes on a Beach

(A "re-post" from a few years ago)

The truth about beaches - they smell like wet dog and fish poop. I have nothing against people who like vacationing on a beach, the surf, the sun, et. al. But to tout beaches as a "vacationer's paradise" - it's just a scam to get people to come to their beach and spend their hard earned money on crap that they can pick up in the sand for free.

My most expensive purchase on our recently ended beach vacation was a $65 bathing suit and $10 sunscreen with SPF 50 that was both sweat and water proof. Had it been sun proof as well, we'd be 3 for 3 in it's offered benefits. The numbers in SPF ratings are actually the total number of times you need to apply that particular sunscreen to avoid sun burn. I wasted my money on two tubes.

I also had to buy my son a new bathing suit, as his was swept away in the surf while he was trying out his new "boogie boarding" skills. First, I had to wade out waste deep in the ocean to bring him a towel. That was bad enough because I had previously had no itentions of even getting my new bathing suit wet, let alone filled with sand and sea weed. Face it, anything that forces someone of my size to wear a bathing suit is NOT going to be pleasant or filled with fun. The price of bathing suits at any store on a beach - not fun! There's no Wal-mart on the islands. All the stores are named "Ocean View" and "Pirates Landing" and they sell over priced sea shells, cheap beach towels and little figurines of dudes smoking joints on surf boards. They also sell $65.00 bathing suits and $10 sunscreen. But I digress, because I had to.

Back to the beach. It was hot and I was sweaty and I would have loved to have just stayed in the hotel room, in the air conditioning, reading a book, but I needed to be at the beach, with my kids, because let's face it: if a shark were to attack them or they were to be swept out to sea, I am the ONLY person who would be able to save them. At least, that was all I could think about. So, while my kids and husband body surfed and boogie boarded in the waves, I was their lookout for great white sharks, jelly fish or unfriendly surf. It's a hard job. You can just ask the church camp counselors who were there with 6 - 7 kids each in their charge. I overheard one of them tell another that this was the worst time he had ever had at a beach. Now you know how your mom feels pal!

Let's forget for a moment that most talented authors who write scenes on a beach describe it as "serene and peaceful" and filled with "fresh, salty air" and the hypnotic sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. Yeah, well if by serene and peaceful they mean screeching seagulls and people, maybe. Fresh, salty air - that means sea creature poop ya'll, and if you have the added affect of heated up sea creature poop, in the middle of the hot, summer days - that's what a beach smells like. God probably added the salt to cover that up, though I'm just guessing. Waves crashing on the beach sounds remarkably like static on a stereo with the volume turned really high and the left speaker blown.

This is not to say that I don't like a good vacation with my husband and kids. It's just that my recent vacation on the beach was eerily similar to reading a book in a port-a-potty. Hot, stinky and not a lot of joy in stretching the legs to find a good reading position.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

So This is Christmas

What a lovely Christmas we had with my side of the family in Kansas! No snow this time, though they did receive almost an inch on the day we left. Ain't that some "Burch Luck?"

This year, it was a different Christmas for us - much quieter. Not just because it was the first Christmas without Grandma Burch or Uncle Joe, though their absence was sadly felt. 

Our 2015 Christmas will be known as the one where Uncle Zane couldn't speak. Not that he didn't want to, he is a lawyer, for by, and his voice is usually the loudest in the room; the one heard above all others. 

In October, my brother-in-lawyer, Zane L. Todd, Jr. was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The tumor was removed, as were his tonsils, which is where the cancer began, and the fight was on.

He began aggressive treatments with both radiation and chemotherapy. The radiation he handled well, but the chemotherapy robbed him of most of his energy. He was unable to keep down food and fight off the nausea, so he typically spent the first 2-3 days after the chemo treatment either bent over a bucket or in the hospital on I.V. fluids. He lost a lot of weight, lost the ability to salivate, and the sores on the back of his throat were so painful that it hurt him to swallow or speak. After a month of not being able to eat foods, a feeding tube was inserted in Zane's abdomen so that he could receive nourishment, but even that food did not stay with him long - so great was his nausea.

Two days before Christmas, Zane's doctors decided not to give him his final chemo treatment - but only stick with the radiation. It was really good news for him and the family, as they felt the treatments were all working fine and it would probably hurt him more to go through the treatment than to actually administer.

So yeah, in all - cancer sucks and is bad and all that hoopla. We believe Zane is now on the way to a complete recovery.

What this meant for the Burch family, was a very quiet Christmas. That's not necessarily a bad thing, except that Zane brings a lot of light to the chaotic action of Christmas morning, or any party where we are all together. Again, his voice is the one that is heard above all others.

So a room in which Zane is sitting but not speaking is almost eerily quiet, if you don't count the kids (who range in age now from 6 to 23 - big shout out to my daughter Austyn, who turned 21 on Christmas day - WHOOP).

There was still excitement, and ripping paper, and pouting kids, and whispers about whether or not Santa was real, and was the turkey in the oven yet, and how about some more coffee...

It wasn't a bad silence. Just different. A time to reflect on what it means to be a family, how much we have grown, how big the kids are getting; how accomplished. 

But mostly, this Christmas, it was a time to be thankful. For health, for prosperity, and for God, who gave us the Savior, the one to be heard above all others.

 Rocky Mosler stopped by on Christmas eve to speak with Zane about what 
having the same cancer had done for him and to show Zane that there really 
IS light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I WON!!!

Yes - you read the meme correctly - I'M  A WINNER!

My new novel, Vita Bellum, now has 54,000+ words. I'm well on my way to becoming a published author. 

Thank you.

This, for me, is only my third greatest accomplishment - following the births of my two children. But to write over 50K words in one month is quite a feat!

Of course, the words are mostly crap and National Novel Writing Month (November) should be followed up by National Editing Month (December). Whew! Total drivel - but I will add that some of the scenes I wrote are not only graphic and detailed, they are an example of fantastic story telling. I'm not just patting myself on the back here, folks! It's just good writing.

Not all of it. I feel like I should keep adding that. But enough good writing that I don't totally hate what I wrote and I have yet to delete it because of thinking "Oh Lord, what was I thinking, this is crap?" as I have done in the past.

So far, I have three people reading it for me just for S and G's and two of them have said that it's good stuff. The third person hasn't spoken to me since I sent it to him, but it's my nephew and it's likely he hasn't even read it yet, so I'll just pretend he's so in awe of his aunt's literary writing skills that he remains speechless.

Look for it on the shelves some day. Vita Bellum (that's Latin for "Life at War") by Angela Degelman.