THE COZYHUNTER
// she's only happy in the sun.
30
Dec 09
3 comments

meat eaters.

so the other morning i woke up to this scene: my dad on a tractor, two men with beers in one hand and rifles in the other, and devon lifting a cow carcass into the tractor.

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not your everyday occurrence. so i went outside to see what all the fuss was about. and was treated to the sight of two freshly skinned and decapitated cows hanging in a portable freezer box. not really my idea of an optimal way to start the day.

so the backstory is that my parents have a bunch of happy cows on their farm. they’ve raised them from calfs and they keep the grass down and hang out doing what cows do.

now, my parents are not barbaric in the slightest – they are the kind of people who put spiders back in their natural habitat rather than looking for the closest shoe as a weapon (my vote) – but they decided it was time to kill two of these cows for their meat.

no one was really looking forward to the event itself. but my parents considered that:
1. they had raised these cows on their farm and they had lived good lives (by cow standards)
2. they were hormone free, and
3. there’s a lot of tasty persian food that uses MEAT as an integral ingredient

so they hired these two professional cow slayers (i’m sure there’s another name for their line of work but i have no idea what it is) who came out to the farm and ‘took care of business’.

they left the beef hanging for a couple of days and came back today and set up some space in our shed to cut it all up. this was a five person enterprise, with the professionals cutting and slicing (in between swigs of beer), mum & dad packaging, and dev writing on the freezer bags so we’d know what was what. while i, of course, took photos and weighed up vegetarianism.

we now have an entire upright freezer filled to capacity with meat. a.k.a. devon’s dream come true.

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30
Dec 09
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reason #21982 i love melbourne

cafe’s with too many chalkboards full of specials to read.

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29
Dec 09
1 comment

the day the internet died.

so a lot has been happening on my parents farm in the middle of nowhere. i like referring to the farm as ‘the middle of nowhere’ because it truly is. just ask our internet provider, Optus, who told us calmly over the phone that we had reached our internet limit for this billing cycle and we can’t get more internet added to our account because there are no internet ports available where we’re located. why? because we are in the middle.of.nowhere.

anyway let’s rewind to that bit about RUNNING OUT OF INTERNET.

what!? how do you run out of internet? isn’t that like running out of air? i didn’t really listen to what the Optus rep is saying because i was too busy freaking out about what the heck we’re going to do since we are ONE WEEK OUT from the launch of the new SoulPancake site.

inhale. exhale.

i didn’t believe them and thought maybe there was something being lost in translation from australian english to my americanized ears. so we rang back and devon fielded the call while i sat in the corner gnashing my teeth horrified at the appalling customer service (i’m throwing this in for nina and jasmine’s sheer delight).

anyway, after 45 minutes of being on the phone and transferred from one operator to the next with some blood-pressure-raising-hold-music interludes, devon is told the same thing – sorry mate, no more internet for you.  which, if you know devon, is like informing him that surprise! you have a flesh eating skin disease. in fact, he’d rather have the disease so he can still GOOGLE remedies.

we were told that someone moved out of our area and disconnected their internet service, that we could take over their port. there’s no waiting list however, you just have to call back every few weeks and ask if there’s a spare port. because who has anything better to do than sit on the phone with Optus all day.

dev asked what would happen if someone who currently has internet in our area suddenly drops dead – would we get their port then?! but the customer service rep didn’t really take kindly to this line of questioning. i guess we’d capped out on our ‘sense of humor’ limit as well.

so basically we can now only use the internet between midnight and noon. so like the edward cullen we sulk around during daylight hours and work all night. our skin still doesn’t glitter. but rest assured, we’re working on this.

23
Dec 09
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23
Dec 09
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19
Dec 09
3 comments

i feel like we cheated on winter…

because here we are in sunshine soaked australia while the northern hemispherites freeze. it’s no secret that i am not much of a fan of hate cold. it makes me mean and brittle. my sense of contentment has a direct correlation with the temperature outside. i used to be in denial about how bad it was, until after three winters in maine, i finally saw a doctor to try to get to the root of my seasonal crankiness. after a few minutes of my despondent speech about how the world is probably going to end because this level of freezingness could only mean it was the end of the line for humanity, the doc gave me an ultimatum: regular tanning bed sessions or depression meds. pick your poison. yep, gotta love our health-care system.

so, instead, i moved back to australia.

anyway, the winters in tennessee, in contrast to maine, i can handle better. i’m still not thrilled about it, but it’s nothing a few layers and some lashings of scalding coffee every few hours can’t fix. plus, i’m a professional cozy hunter so i’ve learned to find the warmest nook in any habitat and create a nest. sounds creaturely. and yes, you’re right, it is.

today, as i was thinking about the cold and how it brings out the very worst in me, i remembered this image i’d found ages ago. unfortunately i don’t know who to credit it to (i guess – bill preston esq?), but it’s lovely. the simple colors, the handwritten text, the message itself. it reminds me that no matter how rotten my mood can be, i should try not to take it out on the people around me. and instead, put all that energy into finding a bikram yoga class, or a hot tub, or a tropical island.

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18
Dec 09
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17
Dec 09
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for kathy

i often have this sensation where my heart feels so full that nothing more could possibly fit in. like a balloon stretched to capacity. i am grateful for these moments. i’m grateful that i recognize these moments. i marvel at how it is possible to be fueled by this much happiness. i keep thinking, surely there’s a limit – right? everyone gets a particular allotment and i must be reaching my capacity soon. but it doesn’t unfold that way. my heart keeps expanding to allow more in. the sense of peace grows. the pure unbridled joy at being alive seems infinite and there for the taking, and i, like a greedy child, barely pause to take a breath.

i guess one thing i’ve never really excelled at is pessimism. i have tried shutting myself out from the world a few times in my life. but that sun outside was always too bright and sneaky. it would leak its way in and dance around me until i sighed and went outside. and the world outside did a fine job of slapping me in the face with its normalcy. people with smiling eyes. the supermarket – a hive of activity. the pulse of life all around moving forward, unhindered by my personal crisis. and then there is the ultimate anger obliterator – nature. oooh look at me, i’m a pretty iridescent beetle. admire me! wonder at my emerald green wings. the trees turning red and gold peer-pressured me into admitting their beauty. cynicism was a losing battle. even my stint with cigarettes didn’t usher me into the dark pit of despair i was aiming for.

my friends have always been the kind that would never allow me to waste away for long. i vividly remember marabeth and leanna showing up at my first apartment in nashville, where i would walk aimlessly from one cold nearly-empty room into another. all the curtains were drawn. me in my pajamas for three days straight, eyes dark from a torrent of tears. they were all business. ordered me to get changed. we were going outside. i was going to be fed. they didn’t like the ‘whittled away’ look i guess.

today, i thought about my friend, kathy grammer who passed away almost one year ago. i thought about how she entered my life with impeccable timing. she and a few other key women in my life began the process of handing me the needle and thread as i fumbled to stitch together my broken world.  the love, patience, and understanding that kathy exuded filled my heart. she is missed by many. she is missed by me.

15
Dec 09
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unconventional portraits

so, you may have noticed that i have a thing for them.

flicking through stalking my friend roya’s album (yes, she’s a stunner) i found these beauties below. what a fantastic project for my next thrift store outing.

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roya1 roya2

15
Dec 09
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world wide web yourself – literally

check out the mention map where you can pop in a twitter profile name, and before your eyes a web appears showing all the inter-connectivity that relates to your twitter feed.

wowzers.Screen shot 2009-12-16 at 3.30.29 PM

15
Dec 09
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you are what you read

lauren leto, of texts from last night fame, is fast becoming one of my favorite people.

this list, where she stereotypese people based on the their favorite author is deliciously wicked and true.

lauren and her co-conspirator, brandon, are also the masterminds behind mom’s msgs – texts, facebook wall messages, etc. from parents that are too priceless not to share.

some good ones:

The Emo’s are Coming!

Gabe’s Mom: I saw this thing on the news about emo people and how they are sometimes dangerous. are you emo?

Darn Phone

Ravi’s Mom: My phone is broken! It keeps telling me it “missed calls”

Lick and Dry

Gina’s Mom: A 95 dollar haircut? Seriously? She better have licked the shampoo out of your hair.

Not So Special Delivery

Jason: Welcome Edith May!! 7.8 pounds, 20 inches!
Jason’s Dad: Why did you give my granddaughter such a grandma name? Is she going to pull a Benjamin Button or something?

14
Dec 09
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i love my iPhone but even i know when to draw the line with apps

the promotional material for this app asks: “Haven’t you always wondered what you would look like with a unicorn horn protruding out of your forehead?”

um. no, i haven’t.

unicorn

14
Dec 09
1 comment

google street view = art

whenever i use google street view i feel a mix of awe and discomfort. i love that our planet is suddenly so accessible, but the fact that you can actually zoom in and see a location as if you are standing right in front of it, is also a little stalker-esque. no?

today, i stumbled upon an artist, jon rafman, who uses this tool to capture street views of interesting moments frozen in time. you can see more of the series here.

there is something haunting, beautiful, and immediate about these accidental photographs. i’m inspired to scour google street view and see what i can spy.

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googlestreetviewkiss

13
Dec 09
2 comments
13
Dec 09
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beware the scombroid

anyone who has spent time with the lovely devon gundry knows that he appreciates a good meal. he’s a bit like the satorialist for food, and if he had the time to take a photo of each meal and immortalize its glory, he probably would.

in between bites, he’ll also shower the meal-maker with expressions of pretty intense gratitude. he’ll say, “this is life giving”, or “i feel so sorry for anyone who’s not eating this right now”. at his last birthday, his only concern was that there might not be enough of nikki’s amazing yeast free pizza to go around. running out of food before he is full is a crisis in devon gundry land. just ask him if he wants to share a meal with you, and watch his blue eyes widen in alarm.

so, it was a bit of a surprise when a couple of nights ago, dev suddenly stopped eating the fish we were having for dinner, put down his fork, and had to leave the table. he said that the back of his throat had this weird taste that was ‘assaulting’ him (his words), and he had to lay down.

suspicions were aroused and we all stopped eating the fish. poor dev was feeling dizzy, breathless, and had totally lost his appetite so we figured it was some weird reaction to the fish. i made him drink a bunch of water, mum gave him lemon & honey, and dad told him not to worry. dev told us he felt POISONED (i’m using all caps because some statements deserve shouty-font) and we all giggled. (um, we are not sounding like the most sensitive family in this tale of woe).

anyway, today dev was still feeling a bit strange so we googled all the symptoms and lo and behold…

dear internet, allow me to introduce you to scombroid. yes, it is as creepy as it sounds. supposedly, it is the second most common type of seafood poisoning and can result from fish that’s not refrigerated properly. one of the toxic agents released in scombroid poisoning is histamine, and this was causing all of devon’s symptoms.

so yes, he was in fact, POISONED.

13
Dec 09
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where i (the not-so-wild thing) am

right this very minute, i’m sitting on an oversized couch with my sister and dev in my parent’s house, on a farm in gnarwarre, australia.

we are about to play settlers of catan against each other online. i guess this is pretty lame since we are all in the same room within shin-kicking distance of each other. but we are nerds and our laptops are an extension of our nerd arms.

so, our stateside friends might be wondering why we’re not back yet. it’s a reasonable question since we left in october and were supposed to be back a month or so later. the thing is that we love this part of the globe (no surprise there really). my family is here, as is the sunshine. so…we figured we’d stay a little longer. like two months longer.

on the way back we’re stopping by new zealand again to spend a week with the lovely nina. she has warned me that they have an outside toilet, but who cares when you follow that up with “our house is right next to the ocean on a black sand beach”. that pretty much trumps everything. oh, a serial killer lives next door? no problem. you had me at black sand beach.

10
Dec 09
1 comment

longstanding love affair with kites and landscape lines.

credits:

kite painting = here
kiteface = here
landscape lean = here


10
Dec 09
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08
Dec 09
3 comments

flow chart truisms

i’m a sucker for a good flowchart.
maybe 2010 will be the year for flowcharts instead of lists.
imagine the possibilities…are you dazzled with wonderment at the notion?
did i just use the word ‘wonderment’?
is it even a word?

i present you with the top three flowcharts that have recently made their merry way into my life.



01
Dec 09
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attitude of gratitude

i know i’m a bit late jumping on the whole ‘what i’m thankful for’ wagon. blame the fact that i’m in australia and they don’t have thanksgiving here because i guess they were so busy committing injustices and atrocities that the colonizers didn’t make time for a lovely feast with the indigenous people of the land. that’s what the holiday is about right? because no one has ever really explained it to me, and i’m usually so stuffed full of pumpkin pie and lashings of whipped cream to ever bother asking.

and that’s why we have wikipedia.

anyway. i am thankful for so many things. i’m thankful for the BIG things – health, happiness, love, my family, my faith, this beautiful planet i’ve been lucky enough to traverse, and my amazing friends.

and i’m also thankful for strange and wonderful and wacky things, like the fact that my mum says things like ‘i offed the TV’ instead of ‘i turned off the TV’ no.matter.how.many.times.i’ve.corrected.her.

i’m thankful for creative outlets, the old cameras i find at thrift stores, and caspian – our nikon d90 (which i still don’t really know how to use, so it’s always an experiment).

i’m thankful that i have a younger sister who has no clue who alanis morissette is and has a sense of style that out-performs mine 10 times out of 10, and that i can fit her clothes.

i’m thankful for devon. the fact that we work together on soulpancake ALL day and then are still so excited about hanging out together – whether it’s taking a break to hunt down a perfect cup of coffee, going on a photoshoot-turned-wild-adventure, or just finding a cozy space to watch the next episode of the Wire – is astonishing. i love his energy and unbridled enthusiasm. he exudes love and happiness and having a team mate like this makes every other relationship i’ve had pale into insignificance.

i’m also thankful that i love my work so much. getting to develop content for soulpancake is incredible/challenging/inspiring. i work alongside an super passionate and creative team, and i can honestly say that i wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. today, reading these comments below from the site my heart swelled with gratitude.

i wake up each day excited to be alive and ready to tackle what comes next in this grand adventure. so, in the telling-the-universe-but-also-telling-each-of-you-sort-of-way: thank you.



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