I’m never leaving home again

I just got back from a trip to Victoria. It sucked. It was a rainy day that wasn’t good for doing much outside at home so I thought I’d make the best of it and head to Victoria to take care of five errands I had gradually accumulated.

Alas, memory is short, and I had forgotten just how godawful and downright tedious driving in Victoria is. It’s fucking gridlock from Mackenzie all the way to Dallas Road. Plus, I neglected to consider that we are only a week away from Christmas, and every other jerk like me was out there, madly dashing about trying to find gifts before zero hour arrives (only one of my errands was picking up a gift but that still makes me one of the hoard).

I could have been ok with the traffic if my errands had gone smoothly, but they didn’t. One by one, they each went progressively worse than the last. On the first one, I accidentally drove past my destination and wound up driving several extra kilometers on a bunch of stupid one-way streets, doing numerous U-turns before I finally got it right. Not terrible, but annoying, for sure.

On the second errand, I had to park three blocks away from the Dutch Bakery and hoof it there through torrential rains and hurricane winds. I forgot both my reusable shopping bag and to put money in the parking meter so I turned back, prolonging my time in this soggy hell. As I walked hurriedly, the top of my umbrella bashed the low-hanging awning of a shop and it in turn bashed my glasses into my face. I played it cool because I was in public but I was secretly murderous. Then the debit machine at the bakery had a tipping option and I gave a 15% tip solely because the girl who served me was attractive, and I hated myself for doing it. I wish all servers were hideous old people so that I never felt this yearning to appease attractive people. It’s fucking absurd but it’s a tough bastard to shake. I think that’s a blog post in itself.

Then I went to The Turntable in Fantan Alley. I was looking for a particular disco compilation record called Don’t Walk, Boogie.

Dont-Walk-Boogie-best-I-can-find

This is an unreal disco compilation, and the genesis for my love of disco music.

They didn’t have it. This errand really wasn’t so bad because the owner of the shop was quite determined to eventually find it for me in his never-ending record hunting, and I happily hung out and chatted music with him and a few other guys there for a bit. I love that shop, and Fantan Alley in general. Such great vibes there. But keeping in the theme of this post, I did not find what I was looking for so this mission was a complete failure.

Next, I went to Chinatown to find kitchen chair cushions made of straw-like material, like this:

tatami-kissen-jw10010

Or this:

Corn-bran-Straw-Seat-Cushion-Handmade-Round-Futon-Cushions-Japanese-Style-Tatami-home-decor-FREE-SHIPPING

I went to numerous shops but none had anything close to what I was looking for. A kind woman overheard me and suggested I try Capital Iron. I did, and they didn’t have shit either. I was really hoping to avoid buying these things online, waiting months for them to actually show up, and then only to find they don’t fit on our chairs or are only 1/4″ thick and hard as rocks, but I guess that’s the route I must now go.

Then I went to buy a vintage home stereo amp from a guy. His ad said “works well, clean condition,” but when I showed up he casually mentioned that the lights on it didn’t work, and would be a real nightmare to replace (he did some work on the stereo but didn’t bother with the lights because they were too much of a pain to access even when he had it all apart). Well, shit. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to him that I wanted the fucking lights to work but when I told him I was going to pass on it, he gave me that bitchy, passive aggressive, “no, no, sure, yeah, no problem, yup, nope” response, ie thanks for wasting my precious time here, now I’ve missed 10 minutes of Duck Dynasty for nothing. He’s not the one who drove all the way to fucking Victoria to fight traffic and get fucked around and disappointed by every jackoff he dealt with so I don’t know why he was so upset.

Then I fought traffic through the pouring rain all the way home. That was my trip to Victoria today.

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laser treatment for toenail fungus is a scam

i’ve had toenail fungus since i was a sweaty, greasy teenager. i’ve tried a lot of treatments to get rid of it over the years. i tried oral antifungals when i was 20 or so and they almost worked — one toenail was still affected by the time i finished the meds — but i neglected to get more meds and continue treating the fungus till it was completely gone so it wound up slowly coming back, full force. since then, i learned that oral antifungals are hard on your liver and kidneys, and can affect your heart, so i now don’t want to take them for a cosmetic issue like this.

i tried various home remedy stuff, like tea tree oil, different topical antifungals, mixtures of those things, grinding the nails down with a die grinder before applying any of that stuff…none of it did a damn thing.

i heard good things about laser treatment for toenail fungus a few years ago but it was way out of my price range so i didn’t give it any further thought until i got extended medical coverage through my employer. at that point, i decided to give it a try. what i read said it was quick and easy, painless, and had an 85% success rate.

that turned out to be bullshit.

it was quick but that’s about all i’ll give it. it actually hurt a lot. basically, the laser tech points a scorching laser at a toenail until it gets painfully hot, at which point you say “it’s too hot,” and then they move on to the next toenail. for me, this happened about 25 times per visit to the quack, and i had 6 visits so that’s approximately 150 experiences of unbearable heat on my toes. i wasn’t weeping in their office or anything but let’s be honest about it: the treatment is far from pain-free. i’d rate the pain at a 4 or 5/10. it was substantial. i don’t think kids, seniors, or anyone with a low pain tolerance could stand it.

but the worst part is that it was completely ineffective. i followed all the advice of the podiatrist, applying topical antifungal cream every day, using antifungal foot spray — i even bought a UV light for my fucking shoes to disinfect them regularly — yet after all those painful, expensive treatments, all 10 of my toes look exactly the same as before.

so a few weeks ago i decided to do some more reading online about laser treatment for toenail fungus, and guess what. it turns out that the studies that claimed great success were paid for by the laser companies, whereas subsequent independent studies found very little, if any, effect from the treatment. it turns out laser treatment is a total fucking sham.

bearing that in mind, i want to warn people to stay away from dr. mirchoff in victoria, bc.

drwilliammirchoffdpm-victoria-bc

just look at this guy. what a cheesy, used car salesman smile. i saw red flags the first time i met him. i should have listened to my guts then and run away screaming.

he’s the clown behind my whole awful experience. when i initially met him, the first thing he did was try to sell me $500 orthotics, even though i’ve never had foot problems and was only there about my toenail fungus. then he tried to sell me on the laser treatment but i told him i was apprehensive about that and was actually there to ask him to surgically remove my toenails so that i could treat the nail beds with topical antifungal creams while the nails grew back healthy, since that is an accepted treatment for severe cases like mine. he said no way, that’s way too invasive and painful…instead, he’d rather burn each of my toes for a total of 60 minutes with painful, ineffective laser treatments. that makes much more sense. then he used a die grinder on my toenails to make them look a little more presentable, but when i said i had a die grinder at home and might try doing that myself, he said “i have a paint brush at home but that doesn’t make me a painter,” as if i need to go to med school to use a simple tool on my toenails? give me a fucking break.

so here i am, several years after that initial meeting, and about a year past thinking my extended medical coverage was going to be the magic ticket to finally beating my ugly toenails, and i’m no better off. i’m still hopeful about finding a doc to pull my toenails off though. it just won’t be that corny liar, mirchoff.

fuck it, maybe i’ll do it myself.

big smoke

last week, we went to victoria with some pals to take part in a ‘horror escape’ thing. it’s like a series of interactive puzzle rooms — figure out the clues to unlock the door and move on to the next room. it had a satanic/exorcism theme. it was awesome.

after that, we all went to a bar. then jenn, gen, and i were walking to my car when we stopped at mcdonald’s to get some garbage food. we stood in line and some really tall, happy, weird dudes who appeared to be high on MDMA were in front of us. when they got their burgers, they started eating them right then and there with big smiles on their faces, and sort of dancing. one of them came over and was dancing right in our faces as he chewed a huge mouthful of cheeseburger. i know, i should have punched his goofy face out. but i didn’t, i just laughed about how much he was enjoying his burger. it was funny.

then we met gen’s bf matt outside mcdonald’s and hung out there for a minute. while we stood there, a mint condition ford aerostar — a sport edition ford aerostar, no less — stopped at the traffic light in front of us. being connoisseurs of ugly older vehicles, matt and i couldn’t help staring at and discussing the aerostar. the pretty blonde woman driving it noticed us, and we exchanged a wave. she rolled her window down and said in an english accent, “do you like my minivan?” we said we did. she said, “it’s a ford aerostar, 1995.” the light changed and she, her aerostar, and her amused passengers putted off into the city night. this was also funny.

i288395

aerostars are still turds, though.

neither event was particularly crazy or interesting, but both stuck out to me as kind of neat. and we didn’t spend hardly any time in vic that night yet we still managed to come across two amusing little episodes that we are (or i am, anyway) likely to remember for a long time. so it struck me that it’s amazing how much more goes on in the city: surround yourself with more people and more stuff going on, and the law of averages dictates that you will likely encounter more noteworthy human interactions. i guess i would spend more time in the city if i was lonely.

traveling to vancouver is a fucking pain in the ass

my in-laws are booking their ferry rides to vancouver and i’m reminded of why i hate going to vancouver so much. it’s expensive as all hell and takes for fucking EVER.

the cost of two people taking a car on the ferry is $90 each way. so $180, plus gas, is roughly $200 each trip. for a cheap prick like myself, that’s a lot of money.

bc ferries are fucking crooks who are trying to pass off their job of being an extension of the highway as a tourist attraction. that’s horseshit. they can keep their shitty buffets, massage chairs, and fake wood floors and give me a reasonable fare instead.

and from our place, it’s at least an hour drive to either the nanaimo or victoria ferry terminal. then we have to get there about an hour early to make sure we make it on the ferry. then it’s an hour and a half ride plus another half hour of waiting to drive off the ferry. then it’s about an hour drive into vancouver. that’s a grand total of 5 hrs to get from my house to downtown vancouver, and over half of that is sitting around waiting for the fucking ferry. i could drive to port mcneill at the north end of the island in that time, or someone in vancouver could drive to vernon. and guess what, it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to drive to either of those places rather than take the ferry over to vancouver.

i don’t even like vancouver in the first place. it’s a fucking shithole cosmopolitan city like every other shithole cosmo city in the world, suffering from an abundance of concrete, rudeness, annoying “go get ’em” business types, hipster vegans, people in general, pollution, non-stop gridlock traffic, and claustrophobia (among other things i’m forgetting right now, i’m sure). couple that with the difficulty and cost to get there and it’s no wonder i rarely make the epic slog of a journey.

fuck traveling anywhere. gotta stay in shawnigan.

while searching "hate vancouver" i came across this awesome site. i love it.

while searching “hate vancouver” i came across this awesome site. i love it.

happiest in desolation

i continue to accumulate wonderful summer experiences.

last night i went to liz’s bbq and met some of her pals. after dinner, we walked a little path along the water and it was beautiful, an instantly classic, warm memory. it was a lovely time spent with smart, funny, charming people in a lovely place. afterward i drove genevieve home and finally saw her place in chinatown. from the moment we got out of the car i was enamoured, and the feeling continued growing as she showed me the building and her place. the views from her windows of fantan alley, the roofs of neighbouring buildings, and the empty street at night were absolutely mesmerizing to me. all i wanted to do was spend a night sitting by those windows with a bass in my hands, writing music.

this morning i was emailing bill about it when i realized why i think i liked it so much. the street and alley were almost completely empty, yet there was traditional chinese music playing loudly from somewhere, and all the cool old stores on the street were glowing with neon signs. it was like the place had been bustling and then everyone had suddenly disappeared, leaving the lights and music on, like a ghost town or some kind of post-plague/apocalypse scene. it was eerie and hauntingly beautiful. if it was like that all the time, i would absolutely adore living there.

this is where i was last night.

while working out this morning, i was thinking more about why i’m having such a good time this summer. i think part of it can be attributed to the fact that in the last few years, i have had too many projects lined up, the most notable being the constant chain of project vehicles i have taken on. i love working on them but there comes a point when they feel like more of a burden, something i simply need to get done, rather than a fun hobby. since i sold the last project tercel, i have had way more time for everything else i want to do, and with far less feelings of guilt that i should be home being more productive, catching up on bullshit. it feels really good to be so much more free. i will try to keep this in mind when i come across the next potential project vehicle.