Lessons in Love for the Shy at HeartWritten by Jennifer G. Smith
One of biggest regrets of my life is that I was cursed with shyness gene. Shyness is an often misunderstood condition that can leave afflicted alone and miserable. As a victim of shyness, I completely understand pitfalls. I also understand that there are levels of condition that start at “painfully shy” or (as I think it is referred to nowadays) “social anxiety” to simply being “uncomfortable” at parties. More outgoing people tend to brush off shyness as something that is easy to get over. However those of us who suffer with it day after day realize that it would be comparable to asking an alcoholic to stop drinking. Doable, yes – but easy? Hardly! But whatever your comfort level, shyness does not have to be a life sentence of aloneness - there is still someone out there for you.
I have more than once longed for days where parents were required to find mates for their children, fully realizing downside of that prospect as well. But considering those days are long gone in our free society, it is time to look at many other varied options available to lovelorn today. Unfortunately most of us aren’t lucky enough for love to just find us. In spite of this there are still those who fall in love with their available classmates, co-workers, or brothers/sisters of their best friends. Another “charmed” way is to have a good friend look through their personal Rolodex and pull out name of that perfect person. I, for one, have never had a single friend with a connection to someone who would be right for me. I would even venture to say that life is just not that easy for majority of us out there. Also for many people, not just shy, bar and club hopping has just plain gotten old. And although it is still possible, placing a blind ad for love in a newspaper or magazine is a daunting proposition at best.
Burn, Baby BurnWritten by Holmes Charnley
A recent report in The Independent revealed that smoking in Hollywood films is making a comeback. Recent research at University of California has shown that stars smoking in films is back to levels of 1950s. This is causing worries amongst many health experts because it has been found that many teenagers, whose screen idols smoke, are likely to smoke themselves.
Let me take you back a bit, away from Hollywood, to a certain incident that took place in my life many years ago when I was a teenager. (Not that many years ago then Holmes, surely…) I settled down with a friend to listen to a record he had brought round to my place one evening.
He had with him Lou Reed’s Take No Prisoners. The record is a bootleg recording, fairly rare to get hold of, and is of Lou Reed live. During one of many rants during this particular performance, Lou Reed lights up a cigarette, then turns to audience and says, and I’ll never forget this: “You can’t have attitude without a cigarette.” High-voltage Lou Reed, and what an insight it gives us into use of smoking within films!
Now, between you and me, Hollywood has never been one of my favourite industries. I am an awful watcher of films, I tend to fidget. I once went to a screening of The Exorcist and fell asleep. I can’t help it. It’s not a genre of arts I find particularly engrossing.
But that aside, I do have some films I will watch time and time again and one of these films happens to be Casablanca. Now, health issues aside, role modeling aside, how in God’s name am I to find Bogart’s portrayal of Rick half as enthralling if he doesn’t chain-smoke his way through a breakdown? Sipping a mineral water and shrugging “C’est la vie” is not going to happen. The man is at threshold to emotional hell, no, is in hell and as such, has scant regard for his cardiovascular system. He also looks cool. Through a haze of smoke, he contemplates on what has been, in all honesty, a bit of a balls up of a life.