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I think the tissue companies created allergies.  i’m pretty sure back in the victorian ages there weren’t allergies.  if something upset your sinuses or tickled your throat, i’m fairly certain it went straight to Tuberculosis or the Bubonic Plague.  none of this pussy-footing around with runny noses and scratchy throats and voices that sound like you are running a late night love-line talk radio program.  tickle, scratch, nose turns black and falls off; that’s how it used to be.

product & image by MyMidnightDesigns on

product & image by MyMidnightDesigns on

of course now that we have ’tissue’ companies, and all those fancy fun boxes of fluffy white, well it seems like everything around can make you sick; dogs, cats, horses, dust, fake Scotch tape that never works as good as the real stuff.  grrrrr…

photo by Char

photo by Char; previously sold on ‘oodle’

i guess i could just blame it on winter.  or better yet, that stupid groundhog who never does what he is told.

double grrrr….

image and product by  wasp42608 on

image and product by wasp42608 on

kinda gwumpy in da mornin

lately when i get up and out of bed, i sorta feel like,

identified flying objects







the frigid she

driving in to work today was sort of like being delirious.  i’m not the biggest fan of winter, cold weather, or freezing my toes and/or nipples off.  i’m a Southern California kind of girl, and still think of winter as something rainy and foggy, with an added inconvenience of sweatshirts and actually having to wear socks for a change.

last night was the first snow of the year, and it DUMPED on us.  (pictures coming later this evening)  we must have gotten six inches or so, and despite the reality of this snow coming with COLD, it was quite beautiful this morning.

the trees lining the road were all dripping with white, little leaves or berries poking their heads out of the mush.  familiar, mundane streets sparkled in the sun covered in a dusting of diamonds.  and the Michigan sky – usually a flat blanket of grey overcast – was a bright cheery blue, making me forget that winter is evil, and almost convincing me that this season has some value and merit.

of course, we’ll see how i feel in february…

but for now, it’s beautiful.


i don’t know what is going on with wordpress, but apparently i can only upload one image right now.  so here it is…

i love the way everything is at odds with each other, and yet best friends as well.  the sky looks cold and frigid (29 degrees yesterday when i took this) and yet pockets of light here and there make the sky seem hopeful, and like it is considering whether to allow the sun to show through.

the tree is practically barren; shedding all its leaves over the last few weeks has made it feel rather lonely.  and yet, the sassy, polka dot texture of the bark is almost giving a finger to winter, saying “i don’t care if it’s mind blowingly cold…i’m going to be cute anyway!”

denelle’s top 10 reasons for having sex


10. It’s a nice way to keep in touch:

Gosh, with all change in the world today, it seems like sometimes you have to make an extra effort to stay connected with your friends and cohorts. People change jobs, move to different locales, and break up and divorce all the time. No one wants to lose all their hard earned friends. Sex is DEFINITELY one way to keep your friends close!

9. It’s a perfect form of worship:

You say god, I say goddess. You say potato, I say French fries. Whatever or whoever you revere or honor, every great deity needs some worship and acknowledgement. Some appreciate sacrifices and libations as well. For me, the perfect form of worship involves sex. Bodies coming together to celebrate life, the world, the earth, and unity of people. I mean UNITY. So go ahead and sit in your pew with your hymnal if you like. Or, you could try my method of honorific studies, and hop in the sack when you need to pray real loud.

8. It’s a great way to stay warm:

This has been – hands down – the longest winter I’ve ever experienced. Granted, I live in Michigan, so extended winters are to be expected. But come on! Winter hits here in November, and by the end of April, when you are still seeing occasional snowflakes…well a girl gets a bit punchy. And cold! Enter the ever popular sex act. With the cost of life going up, and heating bills that stagger the allotted budgetary demands, a nice romp in the hay is the perfect way to stay warm while you’re waiting for spring to show up.

7. It’s an excellent way to be politically active:

You know the old hippie saying “Make Love, Not War”. If everyone was getting a little more, perhaps we would have less war, less crime, less…I don’t know…pollution? I can’t change the whole world, but I have determined that one way I can at least FEEL like I’m making a difference is SEX! I may not be picketing down at the Capitol, I may not be a part of Green Peace, but I can feel like I’m doing my part in active “not-making-of-war” by participating strenuously in the making-love part of the slogan. Being politically active has never been so fun!

6. It’s a healthy way to deal with anger:

People can be annoying. And irritating. And stoooopid. Some days it’s all you can do to keep from punching people in the kisser. And since you’re already thinking of putting something in someone’s kisser, why not turn to your sweetheart for a grumpy quickie? Venting out your anger in sex can make for a hot, passionate – albeit bruising – affair. So you get a little rug burn, or potentially a black eye. What’s a little pain between friends? Especially when it keeps you from overnight jail accommodations due to assaulting a stranger on the subway.

5. It’s an excellent form of exercise:

I may have accidentally put on a few pounds this winter. Not a lot of pounds. And maybe not even pounds, maybe I’m just more…huggable, less firm. So (as soon as it’s warm enough) I’m headed back to my walking routine. But in the meantime, how’s a girl to burn some extra calories so she can fit into her favorite hot skinny jeans? Yup! Sex to the rescue! Interestingly, in a male/female couple, both partners burn more calories if the woman is on top. And hey, I’m striving to tone up, so I gotta do my duty! Check out this chart for more …

 4. It’s the ideal recreational activity:

Bored? Get real. How can you be bored when there is someone next to you with all those nice body parts! I hate when people tell me they have nothing to do and life’s a bore. Or that they went on vacation and it was a big drag. Give me a break! You’re in Montreal, and your BORED!? Not happening. But ok, let’s say you are…let’s say you’re in Montreal, and there’s nothing to do because the whole city has gone to sleep. Or you’re out camping and it rains the whole time. Or you went to go zip lining and the instructor got sick with Sleeping Tiger Fever. (made that one up) Have some sex. It’s a great activity anytime, and it’s completely portable. You can take it with you to Disneyworld, the Bahamas, and even back yard barbecues. (check with your doctor about skydiving and snorkeling…I can’t be sure about those)

3. It’s helpful for cleaning off surfaces:

Come on, I’m an artist. I’m a writer, a crafter, a hobbyist, a Twilight Zone enthusiast, and a reader. I have too many projects and interests to spend any decent amount of time cleaning my house. Luckily for me, a nice bout of sex on the coffee table can clean off ALL my junk in one glorious swoop! Shove all that stuff on the floor and go at it! Look at that; my coffee table is cleared off! Try my method, it’s sure to be a hit. (granted, you have to pick all the stuff off the floor afterwards, but it’s blissfully easier to put away now!)

2. It’s a great exfoliant:

Seriously! You’ve never thought of that? What an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself, refresh your skin, and give yourself that “glow” of health. Sex is THE way to healthy skin; all that wonderful friction to slough off dead skin cells. Certainly a more entertaining way to revive your youthful appearance than an old facial mask.

1. It’s fashion forward:

Sex is THE one thing that goes with everything and NEVER goes out of style. All the cool people are doing it, and some of the important people too. Sex goes with food, fashion, music, movies, alcohol, and all sorts of other forms of entertainment. If I really have to give you ten reasons you should be having sex, you clearly haven’t had the right kind.

accidental happiness; stardate 6.5


Once a year, in the early days of June, my town experiences a bizarre phenomena. People file out of their homes to roam the streets of their city, and gaze with interest at the same buildings they pass daily without a second thought. They travel along the sidewalks with eagerness, looking curiously at the shops they’ve seen before. They smile with unguarded happiness as they travel routes they know by heart but usually ignore because of the thoughts and concerns of the day, or the crappy weather that demands they avert their eyes from the stinging cold. Children scurry along, delighting in nothingness, becoming visibly excited at the same old corner in the same old town they have known their whole lives. This strange yearly occurrence is called “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town”. I assume the idea behind this event is to get residents active, involved and proud of their community. To give kids a good experience in their local environment that might encourage them to be good little citizens, or turn into active little president of the class type people. I’ve known about this event for years, but it always seemed a little goofy to me. Like, what is there to see on Be a Tourist day that I can’t see any of the other 364 days of the year that I live here?

I’ve lived in my town for about twelve years. Hard for me to believe, because I came here when my sister was graduating from college, and we wanted to move in together. But the plan was to live somewhere cool, like Chicago or Boston or Philly. The BIG plan was to move back west and live in Seattle, or maybe Portland. San Luis Obispo or San Francisco were not likely to be in our budget. The plan WASN’T, however, to stay in Michigan forever. This was just a stepping stone, a place for us to hang out while we devised and launched our secret mission, Operation Seattle. But…I’m still here.

This fact made me miserable for a while, and for several years I saw nothing around me but the negative. Cold, frozen winters visited me year after year, and I shivered through, loudly proclaiming that I was an inch from my death and that the hairs in my nostrils were freezing together, which would surely form into an impassable wall that would prevent me from breathing air ever again. If I didn’t die from the cold, perhaps I would die from boredom, as it seemed there was nothing ever going on around town. The sheer force of will it took me to etch out an existence in such a bothersome, loathsome city was a testament to my bravery and ingenuity. Or really, maybe I just didn’t die of boredom because we found some pretty cool video stores to rent movies from. Not the chain stores you find any-old-where, but home grown businesses with quirk and personality, and interesting selections that I didn’t think I would find anywhere but a cool and hip city. So ok, I decided I might be able to tolerate staying alive for another day or so, or at least until we finished watching whatever shows we had already bothered to pay for. Then perhaps I would succumb to death by sudden weather change, or perish from the plague of unemployment.

Over the last few years, my attitude has changed radically, and I’ve fallen in love with my town. Maybe in part because of the geography of where I work, in the Downtown area of the city which is full of unique and personal restaurants, busy little shops and an actual nut shop that still sells fresh roasted nuts. It didn’t hurt any that a local squirrel frequented this nut shop, and would lay himself out on the sidewalk during the summer, panting of exhaustion until patrons offered him bottled water to re-hydrate himself, and some fresh nuts from their bag to sustain him. He made sure to stand on his legs and beg if passersby weren’t fully aware that he was parched to the bone and hadn’t had enough treats yet that day.

Maybe I’ve fallen in love with my town because I’ve found somewhere to work that I really love. A place full of interesting people whose views, opinions and ideals are similar to my own. Going to work is not a drudgery for me, and I sometimes find myself at work on my days off, or long after I have clocked out for the day. It is a wonderful place to hang out, whether you work there or not. Then again, this change of heart may have started right around the time my doctor hooked me up with a nice dose of anti-depressants. Drugs can definitely altar the viewpoint. And though I wasn’t on drugs when I was reminded about Tourist day, I was in an induced state of being from a lengthy walk around my favorite area of town, which had produced a happy high in me.

I happened to be in a bead shop, and I found a little stack of booklets by the business cards. I’m a sucker for pamphlets, booklets and menus. It’s a whole crazy OCD/collector insanity that I can’t even go into right now, the web of the pamphlet monster weaves itself so deep into me it would take hours to tell the story. So obviously, I picked up the booklet; I had to. Was compelled to. And it was this little passport, for the Tourist day which was happening the following week. I looked it over. On the back page were all these cute little boxes lined up in neat little rows. Each box eagerly awaited receiving a stamp from a store in town. The instructions indicated that you should collect as many stamps from as many locations listed as possible, and then you enter your stamped passport into a drawing, to potentially win fabulous prizes.

Well that’s it, I was sold. Because for one, there were going to be people rappelling off the tallest building in town; which – in THIS town – isn’t as high as all that, but STILL, rappelling in your own town is pretty cool. And for two, many of the locations where you could receive a ‘stamp’ were close by my own home, over where I work in Downtown, or in my favorite spot, Old Town. So I convinced my sister that the next weekend would be full of walking, stamping, and silliness. Because, really, this event is surely geared for children and families. But hey, I’m a kid at heart, so off we went.

Who knew the day would be so full of fun? A stop at my local library showed billions (well hundreds) of kids signing up for the kick off of the summer reading program. A guy giving away balloon animals made all the kids squeal with delight. A walk down the block revealed frightened individuals frozen on the top of the building, doing less rappelling than we wanted to see, and more nervous nothingness. Our dad was a sometimes rappelling instructor, so we expected to see bounding off the walls, and exciting feats of bravery. What we saw were two people at the top of the building quivering instead of moving. So on we went in search of stamps. We found them at the art gallery, outside of whose building I wrote my name in chalk on the sidewalk, along with countless other names and drawings scribbled there. Then we skipped across the sidewalk and headed off to the bus station to receive our stamp from a tired and bedraggled, but smiling attendant. We visited the music store and got a free kazoo and guitar pick to accompany our stamp, though sadly, we have no guitar. We got stamped at a local historical building that I am convinced is haunted, and briefly discussed this theory with an agreeable volunteer who seconded my opinion. We went to the farmer’s market, and the huge fancy pet store. We walked along the river to the surveyor’s museum, and snuck into the air conditioned visitors centre several blocks over. Bit by bit we accrued our stamps, until – exhausted – we maneuvered down to Old Town, for a bite to eat. After snapping up the few remaining stamps we could before the end of the day’s events, we happily rested at an outdoor table and readied ourselves to consume much needed delicious morsels that would refuel us after our excursion. Sitting outside, enjoying fine food and watching the “tourists” finish off the day, I couldn’t help but marvel at the complete happiness I feel living in my city. I remember how eager I used to be get out of this town, and now, I can’t find enough time to do all the things I want to do in the city.

This city, this day of being a tourist in my own town, was a treasure, and my most recent accidental happiness.