Wednesday, December 30, 2009

six ways from sunday: blue moon

When the clock strikes twelve, the second of December's full moons will illuminate the way to the millennium's second decade. Whether you're in Times Square watching the ball drop or quietly counting down the seconds miles from anywhere, be sure to enjoy it. Once in a blue moon ... and who knows when we'll be back this way again.

Happy New Year. Happy New Decade.

See you, in 2010.

Once in a blue moon. Bjärred, Sweden. (2009).

Six Ways from Sunday is felix's daily starfish and waffles' resident music column. Your mix tape with a theme, clicking on the active links below lead you to full-length, third-party, tracks of the day's musical selections.

As always, happy listening.

1. See the World :: Gomez :: How We Operate (2006). There are still roads left in these shoes - and how about you? In 2010, see the world. "See the world / Find an old-fashioned girl / And when all's been said and done / It's the things that are given, not won / Are the things that you've earned."

2. Insomnia :: Electric President :: Electric President (2006). One of these sleepless nights, maybe a light turns on. "I hope you're learning to listen / And I hope you’re learning to stay / And I hope you find what you're missing / And I hope that you're making you're way."

3. Your Rocky Spine :: Great Lake Swimmers :: Ongiara (2007). Pine-gazing, sparse and jangly, starfish float me away lakeside in that north country folk. "I was moving across your frozen veneer / The sky was dark but you were clear / Could you feel my footsteps / And would you shatter, would you shatter, would you?"

4. It's Not True :: William Fitzsimmons :: Goodnight (2006). New year, new chances. "Should I decide it's true / That you would leave if given half the chance to go and / I'd be left here on my own / To find myself in bed / Wishing everything that changed would be the same."

5. If You Would Come Back Home :: William Fitzsimmons :: The Sparrow And The Crow (2008). No pretentiousness here. Just one wish. "If you would come back home / We could start all over / If you would come back home / I swear it would be better."

6. An Anniversary Away :: Reverie Sound Revue :: Reverie Sound Revue LP (2009). It's getting late; I can't remember the proper analogy now. Something about drifting away to distant shores. Something about the freckles on your face. Something about next year. "Start murmured hearts, and amplify the marks / From questions left to scar, the patterns I depart. / For beds better made, in a city to be named / By the one with the face; I tried to escape ... / I tried to escape."

Thursday, December 24, 2009


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
There were bears and ... a pineapple?
Yes, the greatest holiday tradition of them all!

Happy Christmas, from all of the mammals here at felix's daily starfish and waffles. May the season be bright and the pineapple rings juicy.

The dedicated staff of felix's daily starfish and waffles, a couple of whom are pictured here with the blessed 2009 Christmas Pineapple, wish you the very best of the holiday season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

go fish

It's been awhile since we've developed anything new for the menu of the starfish and waffles café. Time to get back to work in the dingobear kitchen.

Atlantic Laxfilé in a Maple-Pear Cider Glaze, another original recipe from the dingobear kitchen.

This is a gross oversimplification, but in my (simple) mind, most traditional Swedish cuisine can more or less be classified into two separate categories. First, there's the unpretentious, everyman kind of food like ubiquitous meatballs, boiled potatoes in brown gravy, and lingonberry sauce. Then, there's the taste-acquired, dare-you-to-eat-it-fare, like pickled herring, tangy beets, and cabbages in adventurous sauces. Yummy!

I suppose exactly where one chooses to file salmon fillets in my be-all, end-all, Swedish food classification system is largely a matter of taste. What is indisputable, however, is that salmon became something of a staple for me and the editor during our two year, Viking-land stay ... and one of the original recipes we came up with is listed here below.

Atlantic Laxfilé in a Maple-Pear Cider Glaze
2 small Atlantic salmon fillets
500mL Swedish-style, sweet sparkling pear cider
1 Anjou pear, diced
1 splash Canadian maple syrup
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon fillets and diced pears in the dish. Pour about 350mL of pear cider into the dish up to, but not over, the height of the salmon fillets. The diced pears should be completely submerged, but the tops of the salmon should be open to seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season, cover the dish with aluminum foil, poke several holes in said foil with a fork, and pop everything in the oven, middle rack. If the fillets are starting from frozen, baking time should be approximately 30-35 minutes.

In the meantime, make the simple maple-pear cider glaze on the stove top. In a small pot over medium heat, pour in the remaining pear cider and add a splash of maple syrup. Stirring regularly, evaporate the liquid until only a thick, deliciously brown and caramelized, glaze remains.

Plate the salmon fillets alongside fresh spring greens or, better yet, some Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts (click here, for the recipe). Spoon the diced pears over the fish, carefully pour a bit of glaze (a little goes a long way) on top of the pears, serve, and enjoy.

Mmmm ... now that's some good eatin'!

Still hungry? For more original recipes from the dingobear kitchen, check out the corresponding links on the the left side of this webpage.

Friday, December 11, 2009

cold fusion

Icy deep freeze. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Freshly fallen snow fills space in the western Canadian deep freeze, now 30 below and still sliding. It's night. But then again, here, it's always night. Days are short as office hours are long, and sun comes at a premium - in any context, really.

Catalyzing energy from this icy empty is a bit like cold fusion, trying to make something out of nothing. Anyone have a spark? If so, please apply within.

Wintertime in the city. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

line of best fit

Out of focus and out-of-sorts, early in the morning on 100 Avenue in Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Winter roars in like a lion, plunging the mercury off a cliff. In more ways than one, December is 2009's aphelion - cold, dark, and far away from where things were ... and where we could be. All told, it's just another point in life's grand, bewildering scatterplot.

I draw a line of best fit and reflect.

Tomorrow, is another day.

Line of best fit. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Cold December. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

100,000 starfish and waffles

And just like that, in the wee early morning hours of this November 26, the odometer turned ... clocking in the 100,000th visitor to felix's daily starfish and waffles!

The esteemed editor of felix's daily starfish and waffles celebrates 100,000 visitors with a sweet and refreshing Bears' Pear Honey Fizz.

I guess it's only fitting that this happy, humbling occasion occurred on none other than Thanksgiving Day. But make no mistake, there's no turkeying around here: for each of our 100,000 visitors, we give you 100,000 sincere thanks. May you still be with us when it comes time to celebrate a million.

Until then, let's drink and be merry! And, wouldn't you know it, in typical starfish and waffles tradition, we've come up with an original beverage idea just to fit the bill.

Bears' Pear Honey Fizz
1/2 lime, juiced
1 splash of acacia honey
1 shot of pear-flavoured vodka
250mL sparkling lime seltzer

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add the ingredients in the order listed above. Stir. Garnish with a wedge of pear. Drink and be merry!

100,000 mammals agree: sweet and satisfying, the Bears' Pear Honey Fizz will make you wish you were celebrating 100,000 every day. Well, maybe not every day because then you might have a problem. But you know what we mean. Chug-chug ... cheers!

Still thirsty? Check out the links organized under the heading "Bartending School" on the left of this webpage for more original starfish and waffles drink recipes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

domo arigato, mr. roboto

November is bad poetry month here at felix's daily starfish and waffles - yay! Lucky you. On tap for today: the haiku, a poetic form universally appreciated much like other popular Japanese exports such as sushi, superior electronics, and Hello Kitty. Hai, sugoi!

Torii in the mud flats at Itsukushima-jinja (Itsukushima Shrine) in Miyajima, Japan. (2002). I suppose this picturew would've been more interesting had I waited for high tide.

Retro Music
80's. So bad, it's
Good. Dōmo arigatō,
Mr. Roboto!

Helpful Winter Advice
Det snöar! Men det
Är inte vitt snö. Varning!
Ät inte gul snö.

By the Sea
Par la plage venteuse,
Rendez-vous, sous les étoiles.
Vous, je me souviens.

The Good Life
Vino Toscano.
Vino, grappa, vino, sì!
La dolce vita.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

six ways from sunday: another time, another place

Anna's globe. Lund, Sweden. (2008).

"Baaaa-aaa!" I called out, down in the direction of the sure-footed mountain goats on the cliffs below.

Ironically, I felt sheepish when Myra, my Californian travel buddy, pointed out that goats didn't make that sound.

We were in Byron Bay, hiking the winding path up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, the most-easterly point in Australia. I remember the blue of the Pacific. I remember the rippling patterns of the waves.

That was more than nine years ago. There's no good reason for me to be thinking about Australia now, not at 4am when I should be sleeping and dreaming of other things. But there you go.

Another time, another place.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, Australia. This goregeous multi-exposure HDR photo was taken and processed by Jose Alfonso Palad, and is published here on felix's daily starfish and waffles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic license.

Six Ways from Sunday is felix's daily starfish and waffles' resident music column. Your mix tape with a theme, clicking on the active links below lead you to full-length, third-party, tracks of the day's musical selections.

As always, happy listening.

1. Stars All Seem To Weep :: Beth Orton :: Pass in Time (2003). According to legend, Orton showed up at the studio, threw down this hauntingly captivating track in one take, and left. Ben Watt, of Everything But The Girl and Buzzin' Fly fame, on the synthesizer. "I think about you on a moonlit night / And the stars all seem to weep. / When there's so much to lose / There's never any time for sleep."

2. Do It Now :: Dubtribe Sound System :: Baggage (2003). The disco song to end all disco songs. Lyrics kick in somewhere past four minutes. "You say you're lonely / Don't care anymore / Emptiness abounds / And love surrounds / The hole besides your heart."

3. Unspoken :: Four Tet :: Rounds (2003). No words here. Just hit repeat on the player and drift off to another time, another place.

4. Day's End :: DJ Krush, featuring Kazufumi Kodama :: 漸 -Zen- (2001). In the Six Ways From Sunday universe, Hideaki Ishii (a.k.a. Krush) is Tokyo's finest at 33 1/3 rpm. Kazufumi Kodama on jazz trumpet.

5. Meiso (Da Beatminerz Remix) :: DJ Krush, featuring Black Thought and Malik B. :: Another Maze (1996). Just clap your hands to the beat. "Yin for yang, I walk on a line / Between ghetto slang and stimulation of the mind / Life is a labyrinth for dollars and cents."

6. Final Straw :: R.E.M. :: Around the Sun (2004). Simmering defiance, growing anger, bulletproof conviction. Rare activist candor in an indifferent age. "I raise my voice up higher / And I look you in the eye / And I offer love with one condition / With conviction, tell me why / Tell me why."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

follow your star

Follow your star. Hjärup, Sweden. (2009).

Rare October fog drifts in from the river valley at first light, obscuring the normally bland skyline from view. From within the mist, faint outlines of shady elms and still-lit streetlamps diffuse a certain understated charm, detached from the regular, smog-filled bustle of the morning traffic rush.

I dawdle slowly, by foot, to work.

On a day like today, I think to myself that one could actually mistake the city for being beautiful, which is interesting for at least two reasons. First, I know better than this. Second, I find it ironic that I consider Edmonton to be at its most beautiful best when I actually can't see most of it.

Both times, I moved here out of financial necessity (read: employment), and maybe that's explanation enough as to why I have little in the way of real or sentimental attachment to this provincial capital. With Edmonton, the ugly city, it's just business. Fine. But be that as it may, what troubles me most is that many of the relationships I've managed to form here seem terribly fairweather and superficial - and, this, after six-plus broken years, grows incredibly tiresome. For whatever part of this fatigue is my fault, I take full responsibility. But as the saying goes, I doubt it's all me, so it's high time I quit being an apologist for those who simply don't deserve it.

For the lone, independent thinker, the city is a lonely, uninspiring place. In order to fit in here, I've always felt that one has had to adhere to an unspoken, you're-either-with-us-or-against-us type of social contract, which underwrites all of the headline features of the self-proclaimed, "advantaged" Alberta life. Business friendly. Low taxes. Plentiful shopping. People who are willing to do anything, to get ahead.

Funny, and maybe it's a matter of perspective, but from the window of my overpriced downtown apartment, all I see are downsides to the deal. Another SUV on the crumbling roads. Senseless, unplanned urban sprawl stretching to the suburbs as far as the eye can see. Rising poverty, homelessness and inner-city street crime. Kowtowing to the whims of Big Oil, without regard to the environment or the future. Electing right-wing governments that stay in majority power for 30 years at a time, entrenching the flaws of the status quo. Declaring war on dangerously radical and progressive ideas like, say, that theory on evolution. Proudly living off the world while remaining grossly ignorant of living in it, all the while waving a flag. And so forth.

If these really are the terms, then maybe I don't want to fit in here. But the fact remains: until I decide to either give in and conform or successfully leave altogether, I'm left wandering in a fog, looking for whatever beauty I can find in so much blank space. Although I remain (blindly?) hopeful for some kind of positive upside surprise after all this time, right now, this just feels like a whole lot of empty nothingness.

So here I am, stuck, writing about a whole lot of apparent nothing.

"Just follow your own star," Amanda used to say, when I would get stuck during an assignment and stare at a blank screen back in the days when I studied at the Castleman School of Travel Writing.

Follow your own star. I always kind of liked how she said that, and not just in the context of writing - but also life. It could be because there ought to be enough stars in the night sky for each of us to look up and choose one as our own ... and, in this, there's inherent hope somewhere in the skylight of finding some semblance of singularity against the backdrop of a society so seemingly characterized by abject sameness.

Needless to say, I'm not in a good place right now. But as the fog of day dissipates into the clarity of night, stars shine and the promise of something better, awaits.

In the meantime, let's see what kind of hate mail I get for posting this.

Evocative space. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Magnolia. Lund, Sweden. (2009). I suppose six months ago, I could foresee what was going to happen.

Festival of Lights. Berlin, Germany. (2008). I suppose one year ago, life was different.

At least the cupcakes here are good. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the ugly city

The ugly city. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Six weeks in, there's plenty to say. But to just downright pan the place to oblivion isn't what starfish and waffles is about and, besides, it wouldn't be productive anyway.

So, all I'll say is this.

This, is pretty much playing out as I envisioned it. This, is proving to be a creative sinkhole. This, isn't the answer.

More stories to come.

The skating rink at West Edmonton Mall, the region's biggest tourist attraction. This retail monstrosity and tribute to North American consumerism covers real estate equal to some 48(!) city blocks, and still ranks as the fifth largest shopping mall in the world. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

The provincial capital. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the couch that could

You might remember the picture below of our Swedish apartment and its centerpiece IKEA Klippan sofa. We had initially published it here on starfish and waffles when we did our story on Klippan (both the couch and its namesake Swedish town) a couple of months ago.

The former European headquarters of felix's daily starfish and waffles - complete with an IKEA Klippan couch - at Vildanden W in Lund, Sweden. (2009).

Now take a peek at the next picture ... and focus on the middle photo that spans the centerfold of the magazine. It looks like our Klippan has been published again!

Peanut (right), the editor, and Björn (left), the Swedish intern, proudly grinning from ear-to-ear. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Indeed, our beloved Klippan (and swank apartment in Lund's famed Vildanden W) were featured in the August 14 edition of Meubel, a Dutch designer furniture glossy. The magazine was commemorating the 30th birthday of the iconic IKEA Klippan, and we're proud our very own Klippan played a small part in the festivities.

So, I think all of this excitement proves two things. First, the editor's network of media and publishing contacts is truly incredible. Second, the Klippan is the greatest sofa of all-time.


The editor, who is apparently fluent in Dutch, reads about his old Klippan. Meanwhile, the Swedish intern waves to the crowd! Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

outer space

The far side of the moon. Otherwise known as Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

It's the Year 2000, straight out of a 1968 Kodachrome film reel. In the movie, I'm floating in the eerie silence of outer space, holding a wrench.

What am I trying to fix?

Good question, I don't know. But I guess it's nice to have an apparent purpose, even in these strange, 5am nightmares.

Monday, September 07, 2009

wiki starfish and waffles

True story: had you Googled "starfish and waffles" just last week, one of the search results that would've returned was a Wikipedia article on, you guessed it, felix's daily starfish and waffles. Cool, huh?

Sadly, for reasons unfathomable to us, the Wikipedia police very recently took down the page. What an outrage! Fortunately, our lawyers had warned us of this possible consequence, so we took the precaution of copying the text of the article - and we've reproduced it below, just to keep the history alive.

Haha, it was a bit entertaining reading about ourselves, if I do say so myself.

The editor works late into the night at the new North American headquarters of felix's daily starfish and waffles in Edmonton, Canada. (2009). Note the unquestioned awesomeness of our IKEA Klippan sofa and Smila Stjärna wall lamp!

felix's daily starfish and waffles
starfish and waffles or, fully titled, felix's daily starfish and waffles, is a blog that follows the lives of the main author, dingobear (also known by his given name, Felix) and the editor, Peanut, a happy, larger-than-life Canadian brown bear. Since starfish and waffles' creation during the height of mainstream blog popularity in Spring 2005, it has gained a cult following among a small group of loyal readers. As of 1 September 2009, the website counter resident on the blog had counted 92,898 page views.

felix's daily starfish and waffles, which is subtitled "your picture window to my strange world", has attempted to live up to its sub-billing by following dingobear and Peanut throughout their travels, in-between stints lived in both Canada and Sweden. Although not exclusively a travel blog, as at 1 September 2009, starfish and waffles has featured posts on dingobear's (and, to a lesser extent, Peanut's) experiences in such diverse locations as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and the Vatican City.

Periodic posts adhering to specific themes, organized in separate series, are a distinguishing characteristic of starfish and waffles. Such series include:
  • Six Ways from Sunday, a music column featuring track picks with corresponding links to YouTube music videos and usually posted on Sundays, as the name implies;
  • dingobear kitchen recipes, with original recipes created by dingobear;
  • Bartending School, with original drink and cocktail recipes developed by dingobear;
  • Wild Animal Kingdom, wildlife-related posts, sometimes humorously featuring stuffed animals; and
  • My Simulated Reality TV Life, a 22-episode spoof on the proliferation of the reality television craze, which was produced with "simulated" reality characters from the popular PC game The Sims 2 and starring "simulated Felix".
The popularity of starfish and waffles has inspired several spin-off websites, all of which were created by dingobear and Peanut. These sites include:
  • dingobear: miami, which did not survive the transition to the new Blogger and is now defunct;
  • dingobear photography, a photo blog which has garnered its own loyal following by differentiating itself through an emphasis on photos and the EXIF info of those photos;
  • dingobear photography at Zenfolio, the dedicated gallery and online store of dingobear's photography; and
  • starfish and waffles lite, which perhaps can be best described as a stripped-down version of the original starfish and waffles.


Peanut is the renowned Editor-in-Chief of felix's daily starfish and waffles. A small brown bear from the Canadian boreal forest, Peanut made his first appearance in December 2005 and is widely credited with vastly improving the creative content of starfish and waffles since his arrival as editor. Peanut's cute, cuddly face, larger-than-life persona, and dedication toward building and maintaining the starfish and waffles media empire have made him a hit with fans worldwide. Highly respected for his charity work, in 2007 Peanut spearheaded an ongoing initiative where a portion of the advertising revenues of starfish and waffles are donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

An ultimately unsuccessful campaign to elevate Peanut onto the labels of Jones Soda in 2007 garnered the well-liked editor bear significant popular support, raising speculation of a run for public office. To date, these rumors have not materialized.

Personal Problems
The difficult demands of being editor, combined with the occasional documentation of his hard-drinking ways on the pages of starfish and waffles, have caused some onlookers to express concern as to whether Peanut has a drinking problem. However, such conjecture has always been rebutted by starfish and waffles brass, who have consistently cited the editor's impressive ability to drink several times his body weight and excellent tolerance for a small bear.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


On the move at Franz Josef Strauss Airport in Munich, Germany. (2008).

Back in the office and back, to life, for the cubically inclined. The last time this happened, I planned on staying six months. Somehow, it became six years.

So what will become of this trip around horn?

Well, at least the vitals aren't terrible. Fitter? Yes, certainly in mind if not necessarily in body. Happier? Yes, people and places missed notwithstanding. More productive? Yes, surprising even myself.

Let's hope all of this beats a more efficient path to the next desired destination, wherever that shall be.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the launching pad

Please pause for a word from starfish and waffles corporate headquarters.

This is long overdue, but today me and the editor are happy to announce that we've officially launched a dedicated website for our own distinctive brand of dingobear photography! Click here, to visit ... please, bookmark, browse around, and tell us what you think.

Finally (!) you can now seamlessly order prints of your favourite pictures featured here on felix's daily starfish and waffles. In addition, many pictures on display are available to be licensed for a variety of editorial and commercial uses. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Online checkout is fast and secure, and payment by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and PayPal is cheerfully accepted. Are you a regular reader of felix's daily starfish and waffles? Email us now for a coupon code, and get 25% off your first order.

Thank you for indulging us in our little marketing pitch and we hope you're doing great, wherever you are.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Well hello there, good lookin'! Lund, Sweden. (2009). This, the pictures below, and many of your other favourite shots as seen here on felix's daily starfish and waffles are now available for sale as prints on the new dingobear photography at Zenfolio website.

Boats. Marsaxlokk, Malta. (2008).

Night lights. Bergen, Norway. (2007).

Dreamy. Nice, France. (2008).

A place like no other. Lund, Sweden. (2008).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

forever summer

Morning sun. Lund, Sweden. (2007).

So, I guess this is it.

Thirteen posts after exiting stage left across the Atlantic, it's time to sign off on a Swedish summer that will always be my own.

I look back on what I wrote two years ago, when moving was done in the opposite direction. See the difference? Then, it was about things to forget. Now, it's about all there is to remember. I think we're making progress.

On this first real night in my new old home, I lie awake thinking of those who made my last two years as other-worldly as could be.

Somewhere, may it be forever summer.

Somehow, may summer one day take me back.

Please, leave a light on. Lund, Sweden. (2008).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

absolut åhus

For a country of nine million supposed socialists, Sweden sure punches above its weight when it comes to famous, homegrown companies and brands. IKEA furniture. H&M clothing. Volvo cars. Sony Ericsson cellphones. And, of course, there's Absolut vodka.

Absolut Sara, in front of the corporate offices of Absolut Vodka. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

The Absolut Company hails from the town of Åhus in northeast Skåne, and offers tours of its distillery during the summer. This, in itself, would be reason enough for a daytrip but Åhus is also renowned for a couple of other drawcards. First, there's the eel, a local delicacy. Second, there are the glassbåten, boats docked at the harbour with the express purpose of selling you copious amounts of ice cream.

Vodka. Eel. Ice cream. Now that's a trifecta if I've ever heard of one.

As you might expect, the Absolut operations are quite sizable in scale. Apparently, an eyebrow-raising 20%(!) of all farm acreage in the province of Skåne is used to grow the grain required to feed the Åhus distillery. I'm inclined to think there's an ethical question in there someplace. As Julian would later remark, that's a lot of bread.

In any event, the distillery tour turns out to be pretty good. We see a bottling line, and then a "History of Absolut" video that can only be described as very corporate. I secretly hope that they serve us a wide range of vodka samples at the end, but Sweden's strict alcohol laws skewer that dream. God, the alcohol laws.

I won't talk in any length about the ice cream boat ice cream because, embarrassingly, I failed to finish the five litres of pistachio, coconut and soft serve that they gave me in a waffle cone the size of my head. But I hasten to add that Sarah didn't finish hers either!

And the eel? Sadly, we never got around to it. Oh well, I guess two out of three isn't bad. Besides, it leaves something to do for the next time we're in Åhus.

Absolut Jonna, in the Absolut Vodka boardroom. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut Sarah, with a supersized bottle of drink. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut directions. Just for the record (and because it's hard to tell from the picture): Sara's pointing at Bombay, Jonna at Lima, and Sarah at Berlin. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut confusion. I don't know what this is, either. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut glassbåten (ice cream boat), before my Absolut ice cream failure. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut tree, in front of the Absolut distillery. To us, the droopy tree looked decidedly drunk - almost certainly from too much Absolut vodka. Åhus, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut vodka. Although the bottle was once mine, the picture was taken by Julian (check out his cool Tumblelog here) and is published on starfish and waffles in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Lund, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut wheat. 20% of this will become Absolut vodka. This great picture was also taken by Julian, and is published here in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Bjärred, Sweden. (2009).

Absolut editor, with his very own björnbär vodka shot. Look how happy he is! Lund, Sweden. (2009).