Thursday, January 25, 2007

plug 'n' play

I'm walking south down a residential street in Reykjavík, Iceland, not so much because I know where I'm going, but more to avoid facing the bone-chilling, Arctic wind which is howling at my back. Sure, it's supposed to be spring - but when you're in the northernmost capital city in the world, it's wise to adjust your expectations accordingly.


In Reykjavík, Iceland, funky statues can pop up at any turn. (2006). I took this photo with my Olympus SP-310 on a cold, May morning. For other posts on my trip to the North Atlantic last year, click here.

Still, as I put my hood up to cover my ears, I can't help bitterly muttering to myself: "Next time, how about picking a warm-weather country to visit?" You see, sometimes I'm about as brilliant as a guy who, well, bitterly mutters to himself. Umm, yeah.

Anyway, I keep shivering down the road and, eventually, I happen to stumble upon a captivating, unmarked statue. I'm immediately intrigued. Who created it? Where did it come from? Why is it here?

I need answers! But it soon becomes apparent that I have none.

Completely defeated by this mystery, I drop to my knees and cry to the heavens, "Oh, won't somebody please send me a sign!!" ...

***
Now, if I were a real travel writer, I'd be able to finish the above story without you falling asleep. But, alas, I am not a real travel writer. As a result, the editor has ordered me back to school and signed me up for Amanda Castleman's online travel writing course, over at writers.com.

If I manage to successfully graduate without getting myself kicked out of class first, will it mean I have become a real-life, travel writer? Probably, no. But that's ok since becoming a travel writer isn't the ultimate goal - all I really want is to be able to impersonate a travel writer. Besides, if the course ends up being half as much fun as Amanda's blog, I figure it'll be worth the price of admission. I'll let you know how it all turns out in the end.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

empire state

Truth be told, when me and the editor started starfish and waffles a couple of years ago, we didn't do it just so we could post a couple of travel photos, share a few recipes, and present you with scenes from My Simulated Reality TV Life. We did it, in fact, to launch our own media empire and ... well, we needed to start somewhere.


The quiet streets of San Francisco's financial district early in the morning on New Year's Day, 2005. See the beautiful office buildings? One day, the powerful starfish and waffles media empire will own all of them. This, people, is inevitable. But try to act surprised when it happens.

The most exciting thing about the path to conquering one's very own media empire? Oh, it's so many things ... the notoriety ... the riches ... the women ... but most of it all, it gives you the opportunity to call yourself a media mogul. Haha, "mogul." I love that word.

But to be a media mogul, you need to own some real estate and, in blogosphere, what real estate is more valuable than a cogent dot com address? So, with corporate charge card in hand, we recently purchased the rights to starfishandwaffles.com and dingobear.com at an incredible price (what can I say, the editor is an amazing negotiator) and, the history of the business world was forever changed!

So go ahead, try out the new addresses, and update your bookmarks. Today, the starfish and waffles empire is smiling down on you.

P.S. Yes, I know I'm obnoxious. But admit it: this is yet another reason why you love me! :-)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

my simulated reality tv life: episode nineteen

Yeah, we know it's been awhile since we last aired a new episode of My Simulated Reality TV Life ... but we couldn't help it. With simulated Felix rehabbing in the Betty Ford Clinic and Bridgette holding out for an eight-figure contract extension, we were kind of stuck in a difficult position. But we're happy to report that all of the drama is now behind us, so let's get to the new episode! Miss the last one? Click here for a rerun. New to My Simulated Reality TV Life? Click here to start at the very beginning, or look down the left sidebar of this page for links to all of the old episodes. Ok, enough talk, let's get to it!


Simulated Felix: the undisputed, swimming pool champion of the world!! Unfortunately, for you, simulated Felix, the attractive women in the pool are heeding no attention to your, haha, huge biceps. (But hey, nice nipples). Author's note: just in case all of you out there in blogosphere are wondering, in real life, I have a way better upper body than simulated Felix.

Episode Nineteen
Four out of five of the world's leading swimming pool psychologists agree: you can tell a lot about a person by watching how he or she goes off a diving board. So, how do you jump off a diving board? Do you opt for the graceful, dignified swan dive, or do you go for the big splash belly flop?

In the case of the simulated me, it's the latter. 'Tis true my friends, simulated Felix is a belly flopper. Not that you should be surprised, though, if you've seen any of the old episodes of My Simulated Reality TV Life. The simulated me loves the attention and nothing gets attention around a swimming pool like a well-executed belly flop.

Wife Bridgette, on the other hand, appears to favour the ever-popular cannonball. This, too, fits her personality: the cannonball is no-nonsense and efficient, yet fun. In fact, it is these very qualities, which are serving Bridgette well in her endeavours as a new entrepreneur.


The belly-flopping simulated Felix goes for a big splash off the diving board.


Wife Bridgette, on the other hand, is a talented cannonballer.

If you recall, two episodes ago, after a high stakes rock-paper-scissors match with the simulated me, Bridgette bought her very own flower shop with her winnings. And let me tell you, it hasn't taken her very long to become a huge success. With the help of her top sales associate, simulated -c, customers are buying bouquets of types of flowers they've never even heard of. Woohoo! The cash is rolling in.

On the downside, however, success at the flower shop means Bridgette is away from home a lot. And it's getting to the point where the simulated me and our little toddler, Felicia (remember her?), aren't seeing much of Bridgette anymore. Is this a foreboding sign? It's becoming clear that Felicia misses her mom ... and, as for the simulated me, temptation is starting to make an appearance, what with that sexy maid in the house ...

Surely, something's afoot here on My Simulated Reality TV Life. Make sure you tune in to the next episode to see what happens!


A typical scene from Bridgette's Flower Shop: simulated -c (in the pink top) starts off unsuspecting customers with a great sales pitch and Bridgette closes the deal by ringing up their purchases.


"Just picture it ... if you buy a bouquet of our orchids and put it in your window, people will be so impressed they won't even remember that you're a registered sex offender!" As you've probably figured out by now, simulated -c is one helluva salesperson.


Simulated -c puts together a bouquet of ... hey, are those tulips? Haha, tulips.


Simulated Penny delivers a painful left jab to the arm of her friend, simulated Felix, when he disagrees with her assertion that "Charlie R. Potter is the coolest fucking person alive."


Felicia's teddy bear to simulated Felix: "Just trust me, I'm a skilled painter. Take off your pants."

Monday, January 01, 2007

new year housekeeping

For better or for worse, on this first day of 2007, I've completely converted felix's daily starfish and waffles over to the new Blogger. After much frustration and tinkering with HTML code, I think I've finally managed to make this blog look, more or less, like it did before. Please do let me know if anything looks a bit funny or completely out of whack (especially those of you out there on Windows / Internet Explorer setups). Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year.


Nothing says Happy New Year like a pair of red tulips growing like weeds on a non-descript Swedish lawn. Ok, so maybe that doesn't make a whole lot of sense but hey, around here, it doesn't always have to. Happy 2007!