June 29, 2006

On waking

Real is lumpy, under feathers.
It awakens with a twist,
And wraps its victim in a hollow embrace,
Stabbing and striking without a sound.

Its partner is already at work.
The blanks Night sought to clear with a smooth palm,
Light refills with bright and wary answers.
The passion's gone, caged.

Possibility contracts when bedclothes turn.
When feet hit the floor--
Without wings as an option--
There's nothing to believe
Except in one dreaming,
On the other side.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Tanning antics

I'm not what one would call a sun goddess. I am rather chalky most of the year. I do not "go tanning" in booths or beds. I pump SPF 345 on like a nouveau riche armed with her first botte of Chanel No. 5.

I do not like to turn into a peeling radish. I want to skip the wrinkles I've seen on so many women aging after years in the sun. So I avoid the sun these days, only to imbibe when my Vitamin D is lacking. I like a good walk in the forest, a good bike ride or two, but "laying out" is not my cup of tea. It's boring, it's stupid, and just not fun if there's not a pool around.

However, I am pasty. Thus according to society's standards, which sometimes count, I am unhealthy looking. So I've tried self-tanner--this kind. I was amazed a.) at how interesting it is to see yourself turn a totally different color, b.) to see how far my arms could reach across my back--in circular motions, mind you and c.) at how long it takes for the stuff to dry completely.

I also love fooling people into the fake.

"Wow! Amanda, you're really getting dark! Did you lay out this week? You usually burn, what did you do differently this time?"

"Um, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm a bottle tan, and I also have an affinity for alliteration. Incredible isn't it? That I, a self-proclaimed blogging bum and rapacious reporter, would go so far as to fake out the gods of sun and mimic ultraviolet splendor on skin? and win? Oh yeah, I'm big on assonance, too.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006

Local(e) coverage

It's funny how decisions in vocation can really turn a person in one direction or another. Last night while nearly everyone in town was at the local Firemen's Fair, I was holed up in the Borough Building reporting on the events of said town. On my way to the meeting, I passed women my age on the arms of their beaus in flip flops and tiny tanks. They had a night on the little town on their mind and I had a story to write in just a few hours. So carefree and I thought I was going to sink into the hot pavement with how much stress I was under.

Now, I know a lot of people are reading this and are like, "What's so rough about a meeting?"

There isn't so much roughness about it, except that everyone at the meeting knows how the thing works and can hear and understand everything that everyone says. It took me half the meeting to catch on to how softly everyone spoke, and forgive me, but this area has some interesting dialects: mountainese, especially. Don't get me wrong, I love a good "yunz guys" every now and then, but not when I'm working. :-)

And one thing that many people might not realize is that we don't usually finish sentences. Either someone else finishes them for us, or we allow the meaning to be implicitly understood by our audience. This is not a good thing for a journalist.

In one-on-one meetings that I prefer, sentences are usually finished because one knows that it is going in the newspaper. However, though the meetings are taped and two reporters sit in the middle of the room, writing furiously, there is a tendency to say everything but the precious soundbite that a reporter needs to encapsulate the news in a limited space. Thus, I am apt to include the (...) in my quotes or minimize the quotes all together and summarize what was said in a paraphrase.

The meeting began at 7:00 and my deadline was 10:30. The meeting ended around 9:15. I don't think I've ever written a story in such a short period of time. The story writing isn't that difficult--the reporter-speak--but selecting the topics to discuss in the story is. Some things the officials talked about were on the brink of being decided, others were decided, and still others in the planning phase to be discussed.

And then the gavel. I wanted to whack that gavel really hard so badly, and the president of the council only tapped it every once in a while...no satisfaction. Needless to say, I was distracted by its marble-wood echo through the frigid room with orange 70's plush chairs.

I'm glad I had the experience. The other reporter on the beat is on materity leave, so I may be filling in again. However, I'm even happier that I can add this to my resume, and still write under a deadline. Good times, great oldies, 3GMW's.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:12 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

Without Ann Coulter

Last night I had the pleasure of watching Larry King Live without Ann Coulter. They were talking about her. Talking about her without her there to flick her long blond locks and to interrupt the host after he or she delivered the first three words of a sentence.

It was great.

In recent weeks, I've followed the media circus around Ann Coulter's new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. The main beef with the book is that she calls widows of 9-11 derogatory names like harpies and rails against the use of their misfortunes for political clout. I really don't have much to say about claims for or against the claim, uness you read into the things I've already written, but I do want to agree with one host's assertion that she is the right's Michael Moore.

I don't think I've ever seen so much publicity mongering in my life, that is, except for Branjolina's escape to Nimibia. She has made the rounds on practically every network. The television audience can't escape her mane-flicking clutches.

And the most ironic thing that everyone knows she has profit written all over her. The networks get the ratings, she gets more readers, and writing this blog, I'll probably get a spike in my counter because of Coulter name-searchers hitting this page. I expect negative feedback, and especially some four-letter words from either side, but that's the fun of it, right?

She's a golden calf that we all like to see and worship until the media commandments, namely no. 1: move on to a newer, fresher story, will deliver us from the Coulter insanity that has once more claimed the airwaves.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:07 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack