Thursday, December 30, 2010

happy christmas

Happy Christmas from all of us at felix's daily starfish and waffles. Saskatoon, Canada. (2010).

Sorry, ananas fans: no Christmas pineapple this year. (We got hungry and ate it before we could get the camera). So instead, we humbly offer you a simple holiday message: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you in 2011.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

syndicated starfish and waffles

Well, kinda. The memo: we've recently retooled starfish and waffles lite to replay some of our favourite felix's daily starfish and waffles photos from over the years. So please do, click through to the new site, take a look, and tell us what you think. Yay!

The familiar, friendly, furry face of starfish and waffles worldwide. (2010). In addition to the newly revamped starfish and waffles lite, dingobear photography at Zenfolio continues as the joint's photohub and dingobear photography soldiers on for the technical photographers. And, as always, felix's daily starfish and waffles remains the flagship operation of the starfish and waffles universe. Yeah! STARFISH AND WAFFLES!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

six ways from sunday: the law of small numbers

The legendary editor of starfish and waffles enjoys the season's last slice of watermelon in this authentic Polaroid re-creation of maybe what's my favourite home photo. Edmonton, Canada. (2010).

The law of small numbers states that observations made from small samples don't necessarily reflect reality at large or the larger reality ... yet, live through enough of these cold and dreary Novembers, and you start to wonder if things could ever be any different. I suppose there's a special kind of irony in having faith that the objectivity of the math will hold, even when the results of immediate past experience would seem to indicate otherwise. Call it paint-by-numbers, bigger picture thinking.

Friday, we walked several city blocks in the -20C chill to split a giant wrap at the popular Zuppa Café, beating the lunchtime rush by mere minutes. Halfway through our meal, she - the one who was responsible for starting all of this starfish and waffles business in the first place, even before the editor and Sweden and simulated Felix and Six Ways from Sunday - walked into the restaurant from out of the early winter cold.

"That was random," Thea said, looking up from her side dish of maple-glazed, watermelon-and-pineapple pasta salad.

Did things just get interesting?

I guess that's a matter of perspective. So happens, I never stop to say hi. So happens, I don't think she even sees me. And so happens, I don't really regret any of this.

Six Novembers later, what's changed is I see just how much things have changed. The math suggests that the prospects of the future are bigger than the memories of the past ... and six Novembers later, I hope I'm the better for it.

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

1. The Power Is On :: The Go! Team :: Thunder, Lightning, Strike (2004). A hand-clapping, toe-tapping, head-bobbing exclamation point of indie Britpop. (!)

2. The Light Is You :: Said the Whale :: Howe Sounds / Taking Abalonia (2008). A brilliant, summery riff to make you forget those cold, November nights.

3. You and I :: Ingrid Michaelson :: Be OK (2008). Super cute song from a super cute girl, but what clinched this track's inclusion on this playlist is this photo of Miss Michaelson chomping on a slice of watermelon. It bears a striking resemblance to the this post's headline photo, no?

4. In the New (Floor Mix) :: Reverie Sound Revue :: Reverie Sound Revue EP (2009). Of Broken Social Scene's many related musical acts and offshoots, dare we say that RSR makes the best music of them all. At the very least, it's the sexiest ... with this track being Exhibit A.

5. Sweet Pea :: Amos Lee :: Supply and Demand (2006). Really that simple. Really that good.

6. From the Morning :: Nick Drake :: Pink Moon (1972). I can't tell if this song is hopeful or depressing, but there's no denying that it's as beautiful as they come.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

rip the universe

Delighted with Takashimaya fish pastries. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Blistering heat, blinding sun, and Yan and Sherm, good friends from another time, meet my arrival in last stop Singapore. Carefree exploring on foot of southeast Asia's crossroads city-state follow. These are simply happy days, but unbeknownst to me at the time, they'll turn out to be the summer's last.

In the three months since, finding the right words has often been difficult, as testament by the slowing trickle of posts here on starfish and waffles. Lately, not even the editor's been very hard on me.

In time, I gather this freeze, too, thaws. For now, I'll just continue to defer and let the pictures do the talking.

Esplanade, with tourist ferries whizzing by on Marina Bay. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Singapore, new and old, with the stupendous Marina Bay Sands rising in the distance and the iconic Singapore Merlion anchoring the foreground. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Classic Ann Siang Hill. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Apparently happy about Temple Street. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Thumb-sucker. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Blue-eyed cat. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Electric Clarke Quay. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Intricate Hindu carvings grace the gopuram at the Sri Mariamman Temple. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Chinatown bookshop. Singapore, Singapore. (2010).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

hello, stranger

Malaysian royalty. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (2010).

After Australia, retracement of old footsteps continues on, to Malaysia. This is the homeland of both my parents, and breaking a personal 18-year absence from the equatorial tropics is important for different reasons, not the least of which are related to family.

Customary visits and non-stop food headline, while heat and humidity remain suspended in air, as I remember.

And, just like that, in an instant, I'm gone.

Hello. Goodbye. See you again, another time.

Spicy. Ipoh, Malaysia. (2010).

Bridging the blue sky. Putrajaya, Malaysia. (2010).

The old house. Ipoh, Malaysia. (2010).

Afternoon peanuts and oranges. Ipoh, Malaysia. (2010).

Putra Mosque. Putrajaya, Malaysia. (2010).

Traditional hats. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (2010).

Dodging traffic at Merdaka Square. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (2010).

Colonial train station. Ipoh, Malaysia. (2010).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the city

Night skyline from Darling Harbour. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

And ten years to the day, I return to Sydney.

While the city is still undoubtedly world-class, the circumstances are different this time and, consequently, so is the feel.

I see the Opera House here and the Harbour Bridge there, but the awestruck wow of the backpacker from a decade ago is replaced instead by a quiet appreciation of the spectacle under the night's lights ... as if all of this is simply as it should be, with nothing more and nothing less.

Maybe years of travel have blunted my enthusiasm. Maybe I'm just getting old.

I'm eating late dinner with Linda, my old roommate from Lund and native Sydneysider, under the stars at the Opera Bar. Being in the thick of Australian winter, it's a chilly 6C outside, but it doesn't matter much to me.

It's just nice to catch up with a friend that I've missed ... to talk about life in the 13 months since I last saw her, and the hope for the future.

Looking out over Sydney's magnificent harbour, I think of the distances travelled just to be here ... and the distances left to go.

Maybe there's a wow in this after all.

Linda at the Opera Bar. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Sydney Harbour. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Rainbow Lorikeet. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

The Bondi faithful. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Koala at the Taronga Zoo. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Tasmanian Devil. Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Meerkats! ... keeping warm on a winter's day. Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Best view in Sydney. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

time machine

Coconut palm. South Mission Beach, Australia. (2010).

I leave western Canada on a rainy Monday night ... and arrive in tropical north Queensland late on a Wednesday afternoon. Long flight, maybe, but what I really think is that I've discovered the elusive secret of time travel!

Julian is there to pick me up from the airport of the future in Cairns. I've come all this way for his wedding and, somehow, it seems fitting that I arrive one year to the day I left Sweden, given that he was one of my closest friends during starfish and waffles' European adventures.

"It's good to see you," I say, smiling, while shaking his hand.

Jetlag or otherwise, the next few days are a bit of a blur. Still, I recall plenty of friends, family, and food ... and of course the beautiful ceremony on the beach at Etty Bay.

After the wedding commotion, I ask Hanna, the happy bride, how she's doing.

"I'm enjoying being married to Julian so much," she beams, "... this is even better than marrying him yesterday." No way anyone could wipe the smile off her face on this day.

And there it is. For all of life's big events, funny how it's the non-descript moments of such splendid realization, which seem to resonate most.

When it comes to happiness like this, may time move just a little slower.

Down the aisle. Etty Bay, Australia. (2010).

The happy couple. Etty Bay, Australia. (2010).

Bridesmaid parasol portrait. Etty Bay, Australia. (2010).

Morning in the tropics. Cairns, Australia. (2010).

Friday, July 30, 2010


Sydney Opera House. Sydney, Australia. (2010).

It's pouring rain the day Kim drops me off at the airport. It's pouring rain the night she picks me up. I suppose if I were sharper, I would've seen some kind of omen in that, but I'm not, so I don't.

As it happens, tonight is the last time I get to hold her the way I want to. Sobbing, she walks away while I watch, and she doesn't look back.

This one, hurts.

Monday, July 12, 2010

reach for the sun

Two for the sun. Devon, Canada. (2010).

Just as things at home begin to heat up, it's time to hit the road again. Ironic, no? Ahhh, well. Good things come to those who wait, and travel to the far-flung corners of the South Seas provides opportunity to see people missed and reflect on life's unexpected directions.

We'll see you in a little while.

Monday, June 28, 2010

the light brigade

Follow the leader at the Canadian Road Nationals 2010. Edmonton, Canada. (2010).

High noon, high June ... outside under the hot, summer sun. The 2010 Canadian Road National Cycling Championships are at my doorstep, and the editor has me on assignment for a report.

The race itself: 180 kilometres (112 miles) on a difficult, hilly course produces little separation and there's a sprint to the finish in the end.

But the real story in my eyes? It's the summertime, seemingly back again.

Let's keep this thing moving ... and we'll take it as far as we can go.

Maximum 50? Exceeding the speed limit, flying down Groat Road in Edmonton, Canada. (2010).

150 metres to go, it's a sprint to the finish into William Hawrelak Park at the Road Nationals 2010. Edmonton, Canada. (2010).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

it's a small world after all

Small kryptonite. Devon, Canada. (2010). A Malachite butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) drinks the nectar from some tiny flowers.

At long last, sunny rays beam down and warm the days of June - maybe, even in time, to mend the crumbling story (hope?) of the bigger picture. Somehow, we've been here before, and acting surprised doesn't quite seem to be the better course of action.

I turn in and concentrate on capturing the consequences of little things - whether through a viewfinder and mirror box or, ultimately, otherwise.

Best efforts be damned.

Back home, I drink a clear cane soda (pop), and look under the cap.

Small fortune, behold: telling, of better days to come.

Rusty. Devon, Canada. (2010). A Leopard Lacewing (Cethosia cyane) at the Devonian Botanic Garden.

Greensleeves. Devon, Canada. (2010). A Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon) in spectacular display.

Stretch. Devon, Canada. (2010). I'm having trouble identifying this species; if you know what kind of butterfly this is, please drop me a line.

Purple heart. Devon, Canada. (2010).