December 30, 2003


Library bound. I have been inside a library for nine hours today. How slowly the hours pass. Reading. Working. Tick. Tick.

Well, speaking of time (the worst, most cliched, transitional phrase ever), I just finished The Hours by Michael Cunningham.


I have never been a fan of current or modern male literature, but after reading this novel I cannot help but wonder at the inapplicability of gender in writing...or maybe this is just an exception.

Michael Cunningham, for instance, describes a beloved member of his own gender:

"He has removed his tie, unbuttoned his shirt; he exudes a complex essense made up of sweat, Old Spice, the leather of his shoes, and the ineffable, profoundly familiar smell of his flesh--a smell with elements of iron, elements of bleach, and the remotest hint of cooking, as if deep inside him something moist and fatty were being fried."

A man wrote this? Incredible. He has become a woman. The very average-looking man on the book's jacket appears to have wiggled on a girdle in this scene. Good for him.

I loved the entire story, not just the transvestite writing. The pace. The character development. Beautiful.

The story, as may already know, has been made into a movie. I have not rented it yet, but I am happy to have read it first. Barbara Miller, a teacher at Seton Hill in the Writing Popular Fiction program (we work together @ library), said that the movie gives it all away...the twist I mean.

And what a twist it was...JUST IMAGINE: A meek librarian turning one of the last pages of her novel and then screaming, "OH MY GOSH! IT WAS HIM!! I KNEW IT WAS HIM!" Just a note**That was not a spoiler, just a calm, collected observation :-D

Because I have to act the part. Meek librarian. Meek librarian. Maybe if I keep saying that to myself it will come true. Heck it works with other things. But I don't think I ever will be that quiet.

All the characters in The Hours were too quiet, too sedate. Thankfully I will never have that problem :-)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:46 PM | Comments (6)

December 28, 2003

Familial connection

It has come to my attention that my cousins have found my blog. I am now feeling the strain of writing for them as an audience. That is to say, I am not completely free to rant anymore...

But then, I think, isn't this a lesson in growing a thick skin? I think so. If I can take family criticisms, I can take anything.

The thing with family is that they know you--really know you (from baby bowel movement misadventures to the complexities of teenage haircuts)--and there is nothing to change that.

So I am still meeting the world and combatting my past. I love that they have found my blog and have visited. They are discovering a new side to me, and my views. Because, to be honest, I have written things on this blog that have gone against many of my formal views in public--does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe.

But maybe I was hiding those views inside to save myself the grief of a fight with family, and now I feel free. The anonymity of a blog is a wonderful thing, but when you are found and commented upon by family, the writing becomes a test--one that will probably enable me to grow as a writer, not a coward.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 7:46 PM | Comments (3)

December 21, 2003

Archer? Clean-cut Babyface? Pirate?

The Return of the King has just come out, and I have noticed the upswing in blogs about the subject. Legolas is one of my favorite characters, but I must say that Orlando Bloom as Will Turner in The Pirates of the Caribbean (long brown hair and goatee) is my favorite look for the young actor.

Please vote on YOUR favorite Bloom...he is a pretty one all-around though.

bloom.jpg PIN51121.jpg bloom4.jpg

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:39 PM | Comments (10)

December 20, 2003

Tired retinas

I have been staring at the stylesheet of my blog for hours. I am tired of it. To heck with colorizing my blog.

I know that many of them look very pretty with color, but I have resigned myself against it. HTML makes my head dizzy.

Make me stop....I keep trying and I don't get anywhere. I just end up pasting in my blah blog sheet again.

Oh well, I guess everyone is just going to have to like me for the gal I am.

I was going for this whole pretty ocean look....shut up,'s no use.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:06 PM | Comments (8)

December 19, 2003

It's a Party, Smarty

Christmas parties always, always make me a little bit nervous. The people. The crush of forced conversation. The nasty appetizers that you aren't sure have been cooked long enough.

Well, I am going to one party tonight that I have attended since childhood. It is at my pastor's home. I love it. The one party that I can endure. It is like a family reunion without the blood link to everyone. More like a spiritual bond. Definitely.

My pastor's alpine-inspired house is the epitome of hominess: big overstuffed couches, fireplaces, lights on their three trees, and a huge bear rug for those unlucky people that can't get on one of the big overstuffed couches (ME). And food that you can eat because you can trust the "mothers" of the church to cook things thoroughly. And most importantly, no alcohol!!!!!

This year, more than any other, I am looking forward to it all. My hair isn't going to be wet from swim practice (high school sports are finished!!!) The snow is beautiful. The cold even--it makes me feel alive. I have also invested in some very warm sweaters (thank you, Gabes). Winter road conditions still frighten me, but I am (excuse the reverse pun) warming up to the season.

It is sort of a dark love that I never thought to take notice of. Boy, am I bad with puns tonight. I need to get pretty...gotta plug in the curlers and pile on the makeup...please excuse me. Even churchy girls should look pretty for parties. hehehe.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:34 PM | Comments (4)

December 18, 2003

My favorite things...pretty dresses

Two very pretty dresses.

One great price. $2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, that is right. two dollar dresses at my favorite cut-rate store Gabriel Brothers.

gabriel_logo.gif Gabes!!!!!!

How did I find them? I did it the hard way. I looked all over the store. Tried everything that I thought I wanted on, and then went back for one more look at the clearance racks...and there they were.

Ralph Lauren red full-skirted A-line and black-laced bodiced blue Jones of New York. Two dresses from excellent designers. The material alone is worth more than $4.

Sure they need some work, a dart here, a little bit of dry cleaning there, but I love them.

The red one I am wearing to church. It screams, WEAR ME and KNOCK OUT THE CHURCHY BOYS. It looks like the one Nicole Kidman wore in Moulin Rouge, but to the shin--not the floor. BUT for church's sake, I will wear a demure black sweater over top, at least for the song service, when I am in front of everyone. THEN AGAIN, maybe not. I need to get out there again.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:26 PM | Comments (7)

December 15, 2003

A little bit of RNR

Reading Nora Roberts. What can ya say? A little bit of smut, easy reading, and a nice little murder in a small town.

What would Andy say to that? Heck, I think Andy did a little more with Helen than take her to dances. hehehe.

Anyway, I just finished one of her books. Carnal Innocence.

Kinda crappy. The characters weren't developed enough.

I think I will go back to The Old Man and the Sea and Summer (Edith Wharton). Much better for my warm-weather-classic-loving mind.

Setting is so important to me when I read. Ethan Frome made me shiver in the summer. I get so wrapped up in the story that I am lost in it. Maybe that is the root to my idealism and perfectionist tendencies. I have read too many books on the subject. Books are evil--NOOOO--Fahrenheit 451 makes me feel so sad. The Catcher in the Rye. Poor Holden Caulfield. Ahh. I love books.

This entry is beginning to look like my notes for an article: incoherent. Forgive me, I am reveling in puttering around the house, laughing and crying at movies. Without interruption. Just wanted to blog about holiday happiness.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:58 PM | Comments (6)


I was just thinking how screwy these blogs can be.

I was just thinking about throwing my computer out the second-story window of my home.

I was just thinking how easily I could do that.

I am thinking now how pleasant it would be to not have this urge to write down every little thought that popped into my gray mass.

I was just thinking that.

You see, I just wrote down something very eloquent, very beautiful about my love for the English language, and then POOF!!! it was all gone like the ice on a newly-antifreezed windshield.

That was a pretty bad simile--please forgive me. I have been out of school for days.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am still blogging. As much as I do not care for computer systems that delete things, wonderful, beautiful things.

The egotist has returned. Can't cha tell?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003


I am going to crunch my McAfee software in a woodchipper if it doesn't let me on the internet soon. It's Fargo all over again.

I tell ya, I was trying to get online all evening and the stupid "Privacy Service" was filtering EVERYTHING out.

MSN must be a bad site. I must have a bad blog. The only thing it would let me see is Disney--and they are sooooooooooo safe.

This is what I got--the top of the line virus scan protection--for old ladies and paranoid mothers. I thought this was going to be a great thing, but all I get is a great big headache.

Well, anyway, I think now I have it all straightened out. I hope so.

But it really makes me wonder if I would have more problems with a virus than with the stupid software I am dealing with now. Viruses suck. Computers are the devil.

And yet I love them. I love the internet. I love typing backspace instead of using the dreaded whiteout. Technology is meant to enhance our lives, though; instead, we are underneath even more, our productivity stunted with the problems heaped even heavier. Big SIGH--

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:53 PM | Comments (3)

December 8, 2003


Ozzy Osbourne was in an ATV accident.

Am I the only one that finds the image of Ozzy Osbourne on an ATV hard to conjure up? And when I do, I want to howl.

Well, apparently something went wrong with that image. He reportedly broke his collarbone, some ribs and a vertebrae in his neck. What a spill!!

I have been in some ATV accidents (running over my foot, flipping one in a creek bed) but none like that.

My Aunt Melanie broke both of her wrists in an accident on an ATV. She had hot pink casts. I wonder what Ozzy will look like with all of those bandages. The dark one--Mummy style? Hmmmmm.

I guess he'll be screaming "SHARON" more often now that he is incapacitated.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)


After the breakup...

Can I see you sometime?
Can I?

Can we...?


Not even sometimes.

**Just a note: Men, little boys, whatever, do not try this with me--or any girl. We are intelligent creatures, and we know that saying "just friends"is a sneaky technique to wheedle back into our favor.

No more romance vibe on my blog, just me...who is enough. Remember are one entire person and you do not need a man/woman to complete you. We are not halves walking around this world. When we do find someone, they are a compliment to our lives, not the last puzzle piece to our existence.

Sorry to all you wonderful men out miniscule population. I am very sorry you had to experience this rant directed to disloyal, jerkish men. I am finished now. don't have to fear Madame Medusa Amanda anymore.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:54 PM | Comments (4)

December 6, 2003

Resurrected from the bed

Where has she been?

What has happened to the blogger you once knew?

She has been under thousands of books and papers, shifting beneath the weight of it all. And finally she is back...of shaky mind and sick body. I just woke up. My bed is sooooo soft and warm.

Now that school has ended, I find that my room is in shambles. I have cups of three-day-old coffee sitting in my room, clothes strewn EVERYWHERE, and my car...well, let's not go there.

As for the shaky mind, I spent the past week in front of a computer screen, jumping from one to the next. I am also becoming very familiar with seeing the sun rise...and not because I like to get up early.

The sick body thing probably stems from my lack of sleep and unbalanced nutrition. I haven't been eating regularly *Sorry Karissa I missed our lunch*; work seems to dictate everything sometimes. I have also developed a slight cold that is marked by terrible wheezing coughing attacks. I get them every year. At least they aren't asthma. Speaking of my link, Karissa, I am so happy that you are okay. We didn't really get to talk. That whole bug spray incident is nutty.

Now that school has ended, I am going to veg out and do the things I have been moaning about for months MOVIE NIGHTS, CAPPUCHINO, POPCORN, READING A BOOK THAT DOESN'T HAVE A BIBLIOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!

It's a Wonderful Life tops my agenda for Monday. It really is a wonderful life...and I am starting to love the snow...what a grand step.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:13 PM | Comments (4)

December 1, 2003

Great points...a little hard to get a hold on

After reading Alterman (a great name for the guy), I went on to Bias, looking for the nasty elements of Goldberg. And I found them. Alterman makes some great points not only about Goldberg, but about Ann Coulter (what a baracuda!) as well, albeit in a string of verbose .

Alterman is right. The conservatives have overrun the networks and overall media.

These "conservatives" however, are more liberal than in the past. That is where the world is going. Where the US was years ago is a different place than where we are today--a given. I think that is where the rhetorical discrepancy is happening. The "liberal media" does not exist, just a bunch of culturally default conservatives banding together appearing to past generations as "liberal". I know many conservatives would be angered with this statement, but it makes sense doesn't it?

Though some people believe a media bias exists, others, such as the Berkshire Eagle referring to the new Reagan movie, believe in an Alterman-like stance.

The Reagan-movie foofarah also distracted the country from the far more damaging media bias in actual news coverage, which is, however inadvertently, deeply pro-Republican and specifically pro-George W. Bush. Conservatives often complain that press and broadcast news coverage of Mr. Bush is not "balanced" and "even-handed" when in fact it is precisely both of those, to a fault.

And so the battle wages on...I don't really know where I stand yet, but I am developing opinions in the politics area very quickly. I stand behind Alterman because of his concrete points and backup information. Sometimes it is all in the way it is presented. I think I'll have to remember that one.

As a good friend of mine once said, "Some people do not have basis, but they can have plenty of bias." Alterton showed the least amount of bias, and I appreciate is a nice refresher from the Goldberg writings. woohoo.

But the world is changing; labeling is not so easy anymore.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)