Sexy Too Soon – Miley & The Gang

Miley Cyrus and the stripper pole at Teen Choice awards – did you see it? 

I saw it in the clips shown on TV later and checked it out on You Tube and while it wasn’t a full pole dance, it was meant to simulate one.  Honestly it wasn’t a shock.  When the skirts on pre-teen and teen stars rose up to crotch level, there wasn’t anyplace else to go except to take that next step into stripper territory.  No offense to strippers.  No offense to mini-skirt wearing ladies.  I was one of the latter and have nothing against the former.

Girls getting sexy too soon makes me sad for them.  What they’ll miss is far greater than the immediate attention they’ll gain.

What I’m missing as a shopper for a much younger girl is little-girl clothes.  Among the size 6X panties in the  girl’s department there’s a wide  assortment of tiny thongs and very few offerings in full-coverage cotton prints.

I raised one girl and I’m watching her raise one, and she and the little girl’s daddy find they need to have frequent discussions about everything clothing-related. 

You moms of pre-teen and teen girls have my sympathy.  I wonder how you’re handling the total exposure of the girls your girls look up to? 

Ó Anita Garner

Fear Of Fear

By Anita Garner

What could we  do if we weren’t afraid?

Are we better off accepting our fear?  Should we keep trying different ways to overcome it?  Some advice about dealing with fear says acknowledge the fear, addressing it directly.

“Hello old nemesis. I see you there.  I feel you too.   Stay here if you want to, but I’ll be going around you to get to where I need to be.”

My brother and I had many conversations about the subject, coming from an unusual childhood where fear of doing/saying the wrong thing was ever-present. We wondered how much each of us should credit fear for the progress in our lives.

We looked at how many things each of us had learned to do and concluded that fear was a big motivator in much of what we’d achieved. Fear kicked our butts.  Got us going.

Obviously fear is also paralyzing.  I’ve been there too, and I wonder which is the more frequent result:

1) Fear causing us to run away from something before giving it a chance, or

2) Fear causing us to run toward something that turns out to be good.


The Music-Memory Connection

By Anita Garner

I read an article by Judy Jones about boosting memory in general and it contains a fascinating sidebar.  The work of British psychologist Catriona Morrison is quoted briefly, and specifically it mentions her exploration into how music affects memory.

Which of course got me thinking about how music affects my own brain, and not just in terms of memory. I’m a writer  and I’ve found that when I’m working, if I play music from exactly the time and place in the piece, one thing happens.  A kind of calming.  A yes, that’s right.  Uh huh.  It’s a feeling that tends to increase my recall of details needed for the piece.

But if I switch to something completely different from the story I’m working on – another whole set of mental triggers kick off – and sometimes they lead to something better than what I started with. Often the new thoughts aren’t memories, but rather completely new avenues.  Of course this often takes me to an entirely different route, far away from where I began – which could be considered procrastination, but I’m not apologizing for that.

Here’s an  important finding from my own personal research: Playing music while I work always leads to something good emotionally, which eventually leads to an enhanced version of whatever I’m doing.

I’m now testing this theory away from the computer, changing music during chores to see if I let my mind follow the music, will I be more or less productive or relaxed or in what ways, exactly, will things change?

I can see why therapists consider music a crucial tool.  It’s an absorbing topic.  And now I’ve wandered away from the original article I want to recommend, which must be due to the music I’m playing.


Ó Anita Garner 2009


Multi-Tasking Pro & Con – Some very (very) brief comments

In this abbreviated exchange of emails, one generation of multi-taskers laments and the next generation has the last word. 

I emailed my friend, Sueann and my daughter, Cathleen, to brag about a fleeting spurt of energy.  Most of our group emails have to do with handicapping Dancing With The Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, and since neither show is on right now (sigh) we’re back to discussing real life.

Sueann and I go way back to the days when each of us raised kids and ran a company and volunteered many hours and were sometimes married and sometimes not.  We were multi-tasking dynamos. Cath belongs to a more Zen school of thought.

Here’s my email to Sueann and Cath:

I am pleased to announce that I may be getting my multi-tasking mojo back.  Proof positive is the fact that I’m making oatmeal/raisin/walnut cookies at this moment, while scanning the newspaper, while jumping up to add paragraphs to a short story in progress, while replying to emails.  Oh yes I am.  I had almost forgotten how to multi-task, but it’s working for me today.  I will probably give myself a headache, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Sueann:  I am so proud of you.  I lost my multi-tasking mojo a few months ago and I’m not concerned about where it went.  I’ve decided that it just could be overrated. 

Mine:  Oh puh-leeze.  Today is a freak occurrence.  I didn’t seek it out.  It just snuck up on me.  I agree with you.  It’s overrated.  I look back at us in the 80’s and wonder, what were we thinking?

Sueann:  Okay then, a sneak attack is acceptable.  Don’t want you traveling to the dark side. I’m actually eating almonds as I type this.  Does that count?

Cath:  Can’t talk.  Skiing.   

Ó Anita Garner 2009





Christmas is too far away.

Last month a local radio station played Christmas music and called it “Christmas In July.”  I was right there, singing along.  Our local American Cancer Society Discovery Shop also declared it was “Christmas In July” and devoted half of the store to decorations, special china, the works. I browsed but didn’t buy.

Now that it’s August, Christmas still seems too far away.   I could use a little Christmas right now.

Every year I buy at least one new holiday CD.  Last year it was Yo Yo Ma’s “Songs Of Joy & Peace”  which features guest stars, among them  Diana Krall and James Taylor.  I’m humming those songs and seriously considering taking my holiday music collection out of storage. 

It’s been a long time since Christmas created any kind of frenzy in my life.  I don’t shop all that much even during the season, but I look forward to a round of trading meals and baked goods and conviviality with friends.  

I’ve now settled into more of an appreciation of how Christmas looks and sounds and smells and of course, how nice everyone is to everyone else.

With this  weather, it’s hard to picture lights twinkling from every window the way they do in December, but if I squint and use my imagination…

Ó Anita Garner 2009