This morning, the Periodontist. A 2 hour exam and consult, all can be fixed, for a price - and - pending a few changes in lifestyle. An electric toothbrush. Regular flossing. And quit fucking smoking.

It's like a Tarot Reading..."The Future is in Your Hands...."

It's all overdue, I take it resignedly in stride. This is it then.

After which it's escape from Kelowna, back to Nelson via Vernon & Nakusp. Spots of sun and rain. 

Turning left at the junction there's a big clang-bang, and that's it. 

The car, done. 2 weeks. I'm setting new records. But - what in the hell could it be? I limp to the side of the road, throw on the Hazards. It's been a gem so far, and it is a Honda - sooooo.

Shifting - there's a rattle, as if somethings' dragging on the ground. I can't get it into 4th or 5th. Otherwise - gingerly put it into 1st, 2nd, then third and rev it to Nelson. Only 20 KM, you can do it...

And it does. Now - this is so far outside my budget - but - if it can keep working in first, second & third then I can get to work, hoard my nickels and maybe in a month or so afford to fix it. But - this is inconvenient in the extreme. Count my blessings it happened this close to home.

Kelowna, a short drive (distance), long drive (Paulson Summit, snowing, white-out conditions, and finding after having just traversed it that it's been closed due to mudslides, now to plan another way back, which is fine, because I wasn't going to white-knuckle that again even if it were open). The rest of the drive, lots of rocks to be looked at, low creek beds I should be panning for gold, looking for arrowheads. I pass a series of dilapidated shacks surrounded by heaps of garbage bags, I should have stopped to take a picture, the most BC thing, hundreds of full garbage bags piled high about the most ramshackle dwelling ever, I'd never noticed this before, probably because further into Spring it's obscured by foliage,  

...finally, Kelowna. I remember as a child, 6 or 7, driving into Kelowna, the full moon rising, oversized, sun setting, above a mountain above the lake - magical. 

That Kelowna is long gone. Now, Kelowna is a long strip mall that runs the length of the highway, chain and outlet stores, it has all the fucking charm of a Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

And the traffic. Where in the hell are all these cars coming from, and where are they all going? How are there so many? Why is it so fucking busy?

After this long drive I'm looking for a place to eat, but there's nothing, chain after chain after chain. 

Finally - "Pan-Asian Buffet" - or some such, a huge restaurant. And I'd been hankering for Chinese, a fried rice with chili oil, and so this will do.

THE BUFFET OF INFINITE PERIL

Why, why do I punish myself?

It's huge. I mean, it could seat 300, maybe 400 people, easy. And the buffet has everything. I mean, all of it, hundreds of items, all the Chinese food, crab legs, large shrimp, fried fish, chicken, beef, pork, noodles, rice, more noodles and rice and vegetables, spare ribs, ribs, sauces, 3 dozen desserts, sushi,...

I confine myself to the simpler foods, I'm not taking any chances...

How do they do this? All this food - $30? It's impossible. Impossible. 

We need to get a pipeline from Kelowna to Nelson, move the food there...

Fill my plate. 

...and...yeah.

My heart begins to race. Whatever is in this isn't good for me, I can feel it, a heart attack coming on, and I call it quits after 2 plates. Enough. Flavor wise, well, it's all the same. Shrimp, spare rib, pork, chicken ball, who would know? How could you tell? Not to eat it you couldn't...but, $30...

Disgusting. I had to try. Absolutely disgusting. Nonetheless the place is picking up, it's nearing the dinner hour, I'm pretty sure it will be full...

Tomorrow, at some point after I've left the comfortable amenities of the hotel, there will come a pass where my stomach rebels. IT will come suddenly and with great violence, and I'll be sucking in a fart, pulling over at high speed (hopefully on the highway and not in town), bounding up a mountain side or across a field to hide behind - if I'm lucky - a tree, and discharge this high-velocity mess of grease and flour. And I must make a note, take heed, warning, because it will happen, it always does, and when it does it won't be pleasant...)

** 

Finally, the Hotel. A Sandman. A comfy bed, a desk, wifi, a pool and a gym were I inclined to use it, (I'm not, tired from the days drive, full from the trough of despond).

Enjoy the hotel room. A bath. A TV (I never turned on). A bed. A bed. What luxury is this? Wow. Bath, toilet, bed. My god, did I win the lottery? I heard rumor some people live like this every day of their life. Bloody hell. 

The bath, relaxing, the bed, delightful, I spread out under the cozy blanket, read my book and fall asleep. 

I could live like this every day. I'm sure I could. 

 

This Easter Weekend, substantially overstated, one waiter could have handled the whole thing. Instead it's me and JR, splitting the days. Until Sunday.

It's not even remotely busy. Mind you, it doesn't have to be, at our prices you only need a few tables and the ring-outs get huge in a hurry. 

1:30 Saturday, a pretty girl walks in and seats herself in the back of the restaurant. Jr approaches her, apparently she ate there a few days before, chats to her, she asks about his wedding ring, he confirms he's married - and she stands up and leaves. 

Just like that. 

I'm aghast. Someone - someone - fancied JR. I mean, I know he's married with children but I find him the furthest thing from attractive - a younger version of Ken, who - comparatively - has infinitely more charm and suavity. 

This is incredible. I mean - 5 years ago, when I started, he was a younger version of Leonardo Di Caprio, but now, now he's Leonardo gone down the road of Orson Welles. 

And really - you only need to talk to him for a few minutes - he can be charming, but it's a superficial, guarded charm; you see through it - and she, well, she seemed so normal.

Anyways, had to laugh, there's no accounting for taste...

Sunday, JR, and 2:00 it happens, the endless parade of people wanting nothing to eat but service, we fill, parties of 9 that want to sit down or take out or just mill about admiring the taxidermy, an hour of the good 'ole Cock 'N' Suck. He misses his ferry. 

And then, just as quickly, it's back to normal and the restaurant is empty and he makes the next ferry and there's a little rush later in the evening, but nothing I can't handle. 

The summer begins.

Still fucking sore. The "Hip Abductor", easy enough to do, has taken it's toll. As has everything else. Which only makes me all the more annoying at work: "Feel my Bicep! IT'S HUGE...soooo hard!!! It's LIKE A TUMOR ON MY ARM! I'M GOING TO HAVE TO SEE A DOCTOR AND MAKE SURE IT'S NOT CANCER!!!!". This, is of course, only one of the many muscles I've as of late rediscovered, overextended and strained.

But there's only so many places I can get people to touch.

My reward, I've decided, is that if I can make it another 7 times, use up my punch pass before it expires, I'm going to become a "Life Coach" and bring my own brand of supercililous annoying to the masses. Broadcasting my "Best Life" photos of me photoshopped or AI'd into God's Body on a beach in Mexico and all that. 

Facebook. I'm going to start using my Facebook Account. And set up a better Instagram devoted to pictures of me. 

Image: Osama Bin Laden

In which I write everyone's favorite advice columnist.

OK. I've been on a few internet dates. I confess this with the same reluctance I would admitting to masturbating, adultery, or excessive drinking and drug use. 

This is a list of some of my best -- AND WORST -- dates ever. Note that you gotta go on a lotta dates to get this kinda list, this kinda discouraged. And my online dating thing has been sporadic - an every few years kind of thing at best. Some of these dates go back 10 years, others are a little more recent. And to answer any people who might argue "It beats hooking up at the bar", well, you don't have to hook up at the bar, and at the bar you can see what your getting...

Anyways - apologies to the countless normal, decent dates that I went on but just didn't hit it off with. Memory is selective, it tends towards the extreme, and in this you will find the extremes...