I found this EP in my closet yesterday and thought I’d post these songs for others’ enjoyment. Good luck trying to find these MP3s anywhere else on the internet…

The Mr. T Experience, “Alternative is Here to Stay”

The Mr. T Experience, “New Girlfriend”

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One of the worst feelings in the world is when you have a dream that you were not able to sleep last night, and then wake up remembering that dream. Such a thing happened to me yesterday morning, and although I made it through my day at the newspaper without collapsing on my desk because of my exhaustion, real or imaginary, I arrived home in a foul mood that has continued today. The other day, I noticed that the right-front tire on my car was low on air, so yesterday I stopped to put some air in it, and to improve the fuel efficiency as well. However, when I couched down to put air in the tire, I saw steel looking back at me. “Yikes!” I thought, “this isn’t safe and I’ll need to get new tires tomorrow when the stores are open.” And my next thought was, “Goddamnit, this is going to be fucking expensive.” That same sentiment is still with me now, the next morning with my car at the shop. I hate having to depend on a car, I hate car insurance, I hate having to buy gas, I hate expensive repairs and maintenance on cars, etc. Screw cars! Gimmie a train or a motorbike any day…

I’ve been keeping myself quite busy between the paper and delivering pizzas and some other projects that have to be kept under wraps for the sake of surprise. However, I’ve been feeling a little guilty for not keeping up the garden like I should and need to get on that during the weekend when I’ll be around the house again.

The weather here continues to confuse me because the last two days have been cool — I would say cold — and I keep thinking that it’s supposed to be warm and hot this time of year. And life seems to have fallen into a rhythm and I’m wary to say if I’m fond of it or not. It’s sort of the wake up, make coffee, pack lunch, eat breakfast, go to work thing that kinda gets to me. Some people relish monotony, but I’m still on the borderline of my mind and not sure if it’ll lead to an assurance of stability or eventually to some mental collapse; I’m still trying at this age to figure out my own personality and which side I fit into.

Nearly every weekday morning when I’m in the kitchen scrounging around for coffee and food for the day, I turn on the TV to see what the morning news has to say. Unfortunately, PBS doesn’t have a morning news show, so I’m subjected to commercials every few minutes while I’m grinding coffee or getting some fruits and veggies together for lunch.

This morning, one particular commercial caught my ear. It was a car commercial saying that some company would wave the payments on the car for the first three months. Then I started thinking, “Do people actually fall for this? Is this country one where marketing people really think they can get people to buy a car just by saying they don’t have to make payments for three months, never mind that you’ll have to keep paying for like five years or something?”

So do people actually fall for these little advertising gimmicks? Or do most people think like me and listen absorb the information in these commercials with a critical ear?

I suppose there are a few things that I can take away from last weekend in Chicago:

-Phil, Doug, and Sarah are weird for not hanging out.
Erin M. is possibly the lamest person ever for not hanging out.
-My brother is an asshole in general (but we all knew that anyway).
Lillian is awesome for putting up with a ton of people she didn’t know.

That pretty much sums up the weekend. Oh yeah, and Dylan — my younger brother — got married which leaves me the only person in the family who is still single.

I suppose a large chunk of the days in Chicago were spent traversing the city, either for wedding related activities or just wandering around with Lillian, which included a trip to a manufactured “Chinatown” and meeting up with Christine (who previously worked for VIA and now Lillian is in her position).

It was a good time with some good moments, including me dancing with Dylan’s very short mother-in-law while wearing an ao dai. We’ll just leave it at that…

Allow me to rant about politics for a few minutes…

I’ve written a couple articles for the paper involving the smoking ban that went into effect in Ohio last year, and from one of the local veterans’ groups in town I’d learned that they were appealing the decision of the courts to extend the ban to private/fraternal organizations. Well, yesterday the idiotic supreme court of Ohio upheld the ruling from a lower court and let the ban stand completely; for all indoor locations. Now, let me quote from the actual ballot, in other words, what voters actually read and agreed with:

“Exempt from the smoking restrictions certain locations, including private residences (except during the hours that the residence operates as a place of business involving non-residents of the private residents), designated smoking rooms hotels, motels and other lodging facilities; designated smoking areas for nursing home residents; retail tobacco stores, outdoor patios, private clubs, and family-owned and operated places of business.”
(emphasis added)

There you have it. That’s what the voters chose. And now the supreme court said that even the private clubs, which the voters chose to exempt from the smoking ban, are not able to allow smoking. What’s worse is that the supreme court didn’t even have written decision to accompany its inaction. Not only was I not able to vote for this issue because I was out of the country, but now the court is not even acquiescing with the people’s wishes.

These veterans’ groups are starting to hurt now. They do a lot of charity and community work in cities and small towns, and now they’re losing members and money and in turn it’s going to affect others, all because the members of these veteran groups can’t go into a building, socialize and have a smoke.

So here’s my position on the issue: if the government truly cares about its citizens’ health, it would completely ban tobacco and smoking. But the government can’t do that because tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry have power and influence and like it or not, tobacco is a part of this, and almost every other culture. However, if the government doesn’t have the guts to courage to completely ban tobacco, it should stop making these half-assed laws that just harass smokers. Oh, and if cigarettes are so bad for the people, then stop taxing them and using the revenue to fund the ridiculous government that’s trying to ban their consumption! In other words, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.