Monthly Archives: March 2010

Being fun

Apologies for not getting the blog out on Tuesday. I’m sure that has affected many lives in a dramatic way, but I’m sure we can move past this.

Yesterday was one of the holiest days for my people – yes, St. Patrick’s Day. While my nerd self felt quite content staying at home working on homework and the seemingly endless tasks associated with finding a job, I couldn’t ignore the holiday. Not to mention, I could see my youth floating away. Alright, I said to myself, I know I’ve got that 8 a.m. class, but one drink is the least I could do to honor my ancestors.

And so, I dressed in my festive green to represent the grand Flaherty clan and headed out. I waited outside a crowded bar only to discover my friends were going to be late. Rather than wait I thought, no Colleen, from now on you are going to be daring. Go in, have a drink, make some friends!

I wandered in to find a massive crowd around the bar. The music was played at the usual bar level of way to loud, so shouting at my neighbors was pleasant, but hardly friend material. After five minutes, the heat got to me and my sense of adventure died.

Later, I met up with someone quite by accident with plenty of strangers, so my friend mission was accomplished. But of course this lame adventure of mine had to prompt yet another old-timers question: why is it fun to go out?

Now, there’s nothing I love more than a fun bar with good music, good friends and good drinks. But the bar scene on a crowded night in any college town seems beyond me when it comes to fun.

One, you can’t hear people. Two, drinks, even drink specials, are expensive. Three, you never really meet new people most of the time; despite people seeming to love the crowd, the scene is oddly cliquey and people tend to stay where they know.

Have I missed something? As with everything cool, that’s most likely.

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My Time in NYC

Here I am in the big apple. It’s the city where dreams come true as often as hearts are broken. If you want your life lived, this is the place to do it.

So what’s your dream, Colleen, and how are you living it? Well, it’s pretty simple. I need a low or no pay internship by this fall in this career I’ve chosen.

Way easier said than done.

Alright, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy. The job market isn’t so great, and the newspaper industry is worse. But today, while being active in my search and forcing optimism in my attitude, I was thoroughly put in my place.

I have this wonderful family friend, someone who used to work with my pops. He introduced me to someone to meet with, a director at this amazing investigative journalism organization, Propublica. Oh boy, was I excited.

Well, I was thrown off right away when I got on the wrong elevator, bad omen. Then when I met the very friendly Jennifer, she was nothing but gracious and helpful. I was not in my element so much, especially after she had to explain what computer assisted reporting was, which by the way was her entire job.

I then asked her about internships at this place with a hopefully obvious hint-hint. I wasn’t so sure she was impressed by my wit and charm, but I had to go for it. She told me to apply anywhere and everywhere, a sort of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” career advice move. She said I should even apply to Propublica, the one currently employing four Pulitzer prize winners and one of the last remaining places newspapers can get investigative stories.

And then she introduced me to an intern. She had all the confidence of a twenty-something ambitious lady with a well-cut suit, but cut the introduction short as she had more important things to do, obviously.

And then the zinger. As Jennifer and I walked away, she said, “I wish we had more variety in our interns. She’s another graduate student from Colombia.”

Ouch. I left slightly dismayed. As she walked me out, she assured me she could get me more names in contacts, a little cushion to my fall.

But still, without ivy league education and no New York networking to speak of, I really need to keep the faith. If all else fails, there’s always my fall back career – country music star!

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Goodbye, Mr. Bond

For class, we had to write an obituary for any person we liked. I chose Sean Connery who is NOT dead, just in case you’re wondering. I decided that since he smoked since he was nine and has had cancer twice, this 79 year old should die from windsurfing. He is, after all, Bond.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery, known to the world by his 007 stardom and an acting career that astounded the movie industry for decades, was found dead outside his Bahamas home Wednesday. He was 79.

He was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was declared dead at 8:06 p.m. Local authorities report that his death was a result of a windsurfing accident. However, no additional information has been released at this time.

The international community has already begun grieving for the beloved Scottish actor. He will be remembered most for his film career, from international man of mystery to stoic mentor. When presenting Connery with the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, co-star Harrison Ford put it best: “John Wayne gave us the old west. James Stewart gave us our town. You gave us the world.”

Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 25, 1930. He began his renowned acting career in the 1950s. At the time, he was an avid soccer player and was even offered a contract with Manchester United, but turned it down for a role in the play “South Pacific.”

“I realized that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor, and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves,” said Connery in an interview with Mud and Glory, a Scottish soccer magazine.

It wasn’t until 1962 that he landed the role that would make him a legend. He was cast as secret agent James Bond, a part that would earn him international acclaim and solidify him as a “ladies’ man.” He starred in seven commercially successful Bond films, ending with “Never Say Never Again” in 1983. The fame of the role stuck with him his entire career and beyond. According to The Guardian, when asked at a press conference how long Connery thought he’d be identified with the international man of mystery, he was all too correct when he said, “It’s with me till I go in the box.”

His break into the mainstream led to several critically acclaimed films throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s including Hitchcock’s “Marnie,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” “The Wind and the Lion” and “A Bridge Too Far.” His role in “The Untouchables” earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In an interview with biographer Douglas Thompson, when asked about his change from dashing secret agent to playing older characters, Connery said “I think the fact that one’s hair disappeared early made it easier.”

Even so, Connery maintained his status as a sex symbol. He was voted People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989. Upon hearing the news, he joked, “Well, you don’t find many sexy dead people now do you?”

Connery continued to star in blockbuster hits, including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Rock” and “Entrapment.”

However, Connery had a rocky relationship with Hollywood that led to his retirement. After several disappointing films, he turned down a role in “Lord of the Rings” because he “didn’t understand the script.” CNN reported he may have lost out on an estimated $400 million. This led to his decision to star in “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” another script he admitted to not understanding, which turned out to be a box office flop.

“I get fed up dealing with idiots. There is a widening gap between those who know about movies and those who green-light movies,” Connery said to a London Times journalist. He officially retired from movie-making shortly afterward in 2005.

Throughout his life, Connery was a proud Scotsman who worked tirelessly for his homeland. Before acting, he enlisted in the Royal Navy where he acquired his tattoos: one in honor of his parents reading “Mum and Dad,” and another with patriotic sentiment reading “Scotland Forever.” He donated huge sums of money to the Scottish Nationalist Party and even came out of retirement to lend his voice to the party’s advertisements. The party oversaw the instatement of Scotland’s own parliament in 1998.

Sadly, Connery never again lived in his home country. He was often criticized for supporting Scotland so fervently while living in the Bahamas, but he explained when he told reporters that he vowed not to return to his homeland until it is independent during a 2008 press conference for “Being a Scot,” his autobiography. “Scotland should always stand alone, always.”

Still, Connery’s relationship with Great Britain was not a bitter one. In July 2000, Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to Film Drama. He told BBC News, “It’s one of the proudest days of my life.”

Connery is survived by his second wife of 35 years, French painter Micheline Roquebrune; his son, actor Jason Connery, and one grandson, Dashiell Quinn Connery. He is also survived by his brother, Neil Connery.

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