Oct-Dec 2020 - Randy Halprin

Randy Halprin
 "We tend to see a person in the moment, not as the journey they travelled to get here."  Kat Lehmann

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October 1st, 2020

I can't believe it's already October! It's almost like I've been in some weird kind of dream these past six or seven months. I mean, just about a year ago I was given the news that I received a stay of execution and trying to figure out how to reboot my life and 'live' again.

Speaking of my stay and legal affairs, I just received news yesterday (from one of my attorneys) that the State side of things has been handed off to Tarrant County, so whilst I'm fighting things in Dallas County, the DA Office of Tarrant County will be arguing for the State. I just have to say what my attorneys always tell me:

“It doesn't matter who fights us, the facts are the facts, and the facts are SOLID.”

So. as I was settling down for the evening last night, I was told that I was being moved to another cell on B-Pod. I was moved to B-48 cell, and it was kind of strange to pack all my belongings and move after being where I was for so long, but I did it and was in the new cell by 8.15pm. It took me until 10.30pm or so to scrub the cell and feel like I can settle down...The cell had a smell of pee to it, like whoever lived here before me kept missing the toilet. My neighbor told me the poor guy stayed drunk for most of the time, so that made sense. Anyways...I scrubbed and scrubbed, crashed, and then this morning I went over everything again and now it feels clean and bright.

This morning Regional One came in to shake down E and F sections. I don't know if they're finished yet, but this pod should be done by tonight, and hopefully we can all have a breather from the stress.

Earlier a guard came by and told us that we had to take our clothes lines down as per orders from the new warden over death row. He said we can only have them up from 6pm to 6am, and it seems like every time someone new takes over, the first thing they do is bark orders about our clothes lines and then Huntsville has to tell the new warden,

“No...it's fine. They don't leave their cells so they can keep their clothes lines up.”

Who knows what other rules he'll try to implement...

Tonight's movie on the prison radio station is 'Captain Marvel' – I'll definitely be listening to that. It's a surprisingly good movie! I listened to 'It: Chapter 2' last night, and it was my second time hearing it...It seemed better the second time.

In the first movie, Pennywise, the clown, is more playful and disarming...evil, yes, but also like a cat playing with a mouse. In the second movie he is far more menacing and out for revenge. That kind of threw me off on the first listen, but now I get it. After 27 years of waiting on the kids that beat him the first time around, he really wants to make them suffer as adults. I need one more listen though.

I'm looking forward to the weekend...Good music and movies to listen to, and I'm going to begin reading 'Frankenstein' with my girlfriend. We've decided to start reading some of the classics together at the same time. It's been a long time since I read Frankenstein, so I'm looking forward to it.

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.


October 4th, 2020

It's been a long and boring weekend, but you know what? I'm just happy to be here a year after my stay of execution, and I'm so grateful to be alive. Some would say that being kept in a cell all day long and not having any recreation, and not having any control over day to day affairs, isn't much of a life, and there was a time that I would have agreed with that. There was a time when I was younger that I would have much preferred to die than to experience life in this way. Not that I was suicidal at that time – I really wasn't...I wasn't in any hurry to die, but neither did I want a life sentence.

Being completely honest with myself, I still get bouts of anxiety thinking about a life spent in prison - spent in an Ad Seg type environment because of something that happened 20 years ago. But I also know that I can live...I can affect lives and hopefully help others and help to change things for the better. It might sound 'happy-clappy' but those are the kinds of thoughts that keep me going and keep me wanting to live. I want to live beyond myself, if that makes sense. Maybe the world could be a little bit better (no matter what kind of life we're living) if we lived beyond ourselves.

I can remember last year when I received my stay, like it were yesterday...It still seems dream like, in a way. Early that morning I was having a conversation with a good friend, Abel Ochoa (who, sadly, has since been executed) and another guy. I knew I'd be having a legal call later in the day – not a call I was looking forward to because the point of it was to discuss plans for my last days. I was full of anxiety, but still holding onto a sliver of hope. The conversation turned into a conversation about hope and believing that things aren't over until they're over, and the dude (who, ironically, received a stay a couple of weeks ago...) said,

“Y'all need to accept the reality of things. The odds are against you and just accept it.”

Abel quoted some scripture, and they went back and forth and the guy kept saying,

“I know what I did. I accept responsibility and I'm ready to go. Y'all are living in a fantasy world.”

I said,

“Yeah...I can accept reality, but I can still have hope.”

My time came for recreation and I went out, moped about a bit and made small talk with some guys. Whilst I was out there, a guy we call, 'Big White' was in C-Section and he told me,

“Keep your head up. It ain't over until it's over. I was two days away from being executed, and I've had a stay now for several years.”

I told him I appreciated what he said.

I listened to the Texas news at noon just to see if the CCA had made a ruling on my appeal, and when nothing was reported, I let out a sigh and thought,

“Please G-d don't let this drag out until the very end. I'd rather know now so I can mentally prepare myself if the worst is to happen.”

Shortly after that they took Rodney Reed out to a legal call and I joked with him about not hogging the phone because I was expecting a legal call myself. Then, around 1pm, I went out there to visitation for my call, and waited...I could see a couple of guys having regular visits with their friends, and there was a guy directly in front of me visiting with someone, and I waved at him and he gave me the 'what's going on with your case?' signal...I threw my hands up and shrugged like 'I have no clue'...

I had my call and my attorney asked me how I was doing. I said,

“I'm doing my best to have hope and hold on...”

There was a pause...Then he said,

“Well...you got a stay!” The CCA just sent you back to the trial court!”

In the background I could hear the other attorneys in the office clapping and cheering. I was in complete disbelief...I said something like,

“Are you serious?”

He said,


We joked for a second and then the phone line went dead! My mind was racing and I yelled to the officer, and then another guy asked me,

“What's going on?”

“I got a stay!” I blurted out...

“Stop playing!”

“No! For real! I just got a stay, but the phone line to my attorneys just went dead!”

The officer came back and said,

“You're making a bunch of noise to tell me you got a stay?”

I said,

“Well, I got a stay, but the line to my attorneys went dead...I need to call them back!”

She grabbed the phone and tried to get a call out. Meanwhile, the guy in front of me was looking at me like,

“What's going on?”

I quickly wrote on a piece of paper,


(I still have that piece of paper I wrote that on...)

The guy blurted out to the other visitors,


I could hear some people shouting,

“Hell yeah!”

Then, the office managed to get my attorneys back on the line and then it went dead again...

There was another of my attorneys visiting with someone a few booths away and he ran down to my booth, grabbed the phone, and said,

“Is is true?”

“Yeah!” I said.

“Oh, man...Oh man...Thank God! We all worked so hard on it! I can't wait to call them at the office.”

I was filled with so many different emotions...relief, gratitude, happiness...I thought about my Taffy and my friends, my Rabbis...I was trying to process so much all at once. I didn't want to leave the guys behind on Death Watch – I wish with all my heart we were all walking away from there that day. There is a kind of 'survivors guilt'...But I was beyond grateful for all of the hard work of so many people were who were truly behind me.

I wasn't sure when I left visitation if I'd be going back to my cell on Death Watch, but as soon as I entered the death row building a woman yelled,

“Take him to C-Pod!”

I asked about my property and she said it would be with me shortly. Everything felt surreal...like a dream. When I got to C-Pod some guys saw me come in and were like,

“Hell yeah!”

I made talk with some guys until my property arrived and I left it in the middle of my cell until the sun began to set. I didn't know what to do...I was still processing everything.

When I was on Death Watch I had made a prayer,

“Please G-d, let me see one more sunset before I die.”

I didn't think I'd ever get the chance because where I was on Death Watch, I couldn't see the sunset. But, the cell I was on in C-Pod was in the perfect position to watch a beautiful sunset on that very special day. As I watched the sun go down, I had tears in my eyes...I was just so glad to be alive.

A year later and we're still working our way through the appeals. I do know there's still a long fight ahead, and when I think about things I still get scared and have fits of anxiety. But as my attorneys have said numerous times,

The facts are the facts, and the facts are SOLID.”

I'm so grateful to have lawyers who are so dedicated to doing their job. I have to believe, hope, and pray that the right thing will happen.

In the meantime, all I can do is live and continually work to be a better person than I was the day before...to learn as human being, and to love and be grateful for the love I receive and the life that I have. Life is what we choose to make it whatever situation we are in; and to quote 'Red' in 'Shawshank Redemption',

Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.


October 5th, 2020

Monday morning...I'm writing this, unsure of how the day will go. I've been to the shower and I'm waiting for 'The View' to come on...I enjoy that program especially in this political climate. I enjoy Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers – all smart, all funny, and all 3 can really pack a punch when it comes to making a point politically.

I woke up a bit early this morning; I'm trying to get myself back into a normal routine because I find I'm a bit more productive if I get an early start on things. With the pandemic, the lack of recreation, and now the lockdown, I've been staying up late, sleeping in until almost 8am, and I find it's difficult to get a hold on the day like that. I'm naturally a morning person and I do my best thinking in the morning.

So, I went to the shower, came back, and put some laundry in my sink. I'll rinse that out in a little bit and then figure out what to do next. At 1pm on the prison radio station they're starting a new show called the 'Singles Palooza' where we can send in requests for a song. If they have it, they'll play it. I've sent in a few over the last couple of weeks, so I hope to hear at least one. Then, at 3pm, the album of the day will be Billie Eilish. I've heard this particular album before and it's fantastic! I love, love, love Billie Eilish!

We're still on lockdown and expected to be on it until some time next week. Thinking about it...we really don't get recreation at all now and all the days seem the same, so it really doesn't matter. Something has to change though, and I wish there was a way to have some kind of stimulation in other ways...You hear the wishes for TVs, but I mean...it seems like the most reasonable option. I will always want to get out of my cell, and get fresh air, and walk around. But a good chunk of guys would be equally as content to watch TV. And hey, there's a way to limit TV time...they can control our lights with a switch, so they could have the TVs plugged into the same control and flip the switch if people are acting up. If you don't want people staying up all night long, flip the switch. Never mind that it's the ultimate control tool for behavior! People will always act up, so it's easy for them to take the TV out of their cell for a period of time.

With channels like National Geographic, access to the news and other channels, think of the education and mental stimulation that could be gained from that...We'll see what happens, but something needs to change!

Hopefully this day will shape up well and I will update this later on. Right now I'm going to listen to The View and pace my cell for a bit. Then, I'll begin reading, 'Moby Dick'. I've been reading the classics with my girlfriend whose knowledge of English Literature is really impressive! We have a whole list to get through this autumn/winter.

I just heard a funny conversation. The lieutenant just walked through and a guy down the run asked him,

“When we gonna get off of this lockdown?”

To which the lieutenant responded,

“When y'all stop getting cell phones!”

The inmate didn't miss a beat!

“Well, shit! Y'all are the one's bringing them in, so when is that going to stop?”

The lieutenant didn't have anything to say after that...I thought it was funny, but very true.

You know, it had me thinking about this multi-million dollar security system they've invested in that is about as worthless as a kayak with a hole in it. They just 'upgraded' the cameras earlier this year, replaced every single one that was installed in 2009 and they've accomplished nothing. I guess cameras are only as good as the people watching them, huh?

I've been spending some time looking out my window. I can watch the front of the prison from the parking lot all the way into the prison and there's a shocking number of people – guards, nurses, administrative personnel...NONE of whom are wearing masks! Some of them cluster together on the pavement, definitely not socially distancing! It freaks me out and makes me feel like it's inevitable that we'll have another outbreak. Shouldn't it be TDCJ policy that the second you exit your vehicle, you mask should be ON?

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.


October 7th, 2020

Another day on lock-down. You know, I had a thought earlier this morning as I was exercising...There's no doubt that the collective of death row is restless, a bit stir crazy, and tired of being kept confined to cells almost 24/7 since last March. I mean, recreation is almost non-existent! There's been no visits, and they've ended the routine phone calls they were allowing going back to one call every 90 days...and even through all of that, we, as a collective, have carried ourselves with dignity. We haven't lashed out...There hasn't been any assaults or incidents outside of a mentally ill guy who'd had a difficult day.  

I ask these questions a lot: Where is the evidence that the majority of us are 'future threats of dangerousness'? Where is the evidence that we are maniacal mad people? I mean, there is really no carrot they can dangle over our heads to keep us in 'good behaviour', and yet we remain decent.

I had a funny idea...I starting thinking about songs that, at least in title, would make a special edition 'Trump Mix Tape'...Now, lyrically, the songs don't all pertain to Trump, but thinking of the titles made me think of the clown he is. Here they are:

'Liar' – Rollins Band
'Criminal' – Fiona Apple
'Loser' – Beck
'Policy of Truth' – Depeche Mode
'Cult of Personality' – Living Colour
'Been Caught Stealing – Jane's Addiction
'Taxman' – The Beatles
'Highway to Hell' – ACDC  
'My Name is Mud' – Primus

Anyways, thinking of these songs made me laugh!

I've not been doing much today; just listening to NatGeo, and I'll probably torture myself and listen to the VP debates tonight.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 11th, 2020

October is well on its way and we are now two weeks on lockdown. I know that we're still on lockdown because we've not had showers either Saturday or today...and I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that you wouldn't want people going to the shower during a pandemic. I think trying to figure out TDCJ is an exercise in futility...

It's been a relatively peaceful weekend though. Last night's movie on the prison radio station was 'Pretty in Pink'. I heard someone down the run moan and say,  

“A freakin' chick flick?”  

I yelled out,  

“Man, this is a classic! Don't judge it on its title – listen to it and then tell me what you think.”

The movie came out in 1986 and I don't remember watching it until I was in my teens. In fact, speaking of John Hughes movies, outside of maybe 'Uncle Buck', the first 'Home Alone' movie, and 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', I hadn't seen any of Hughes' movies because I always viewed them as 'chick flicks'. My mom had them on DVD but I just never watched them. So, discovering them as a teen was something to behold. How could a movie speak so true to my feelings as a teenager?

Listening to it as a 43-year-old, I was in nostalgic heaven, and it was awesome to hear it again. When the movie was over, the same guy who judged it prematurely, said,  

“That was really good! And the music...I didn't know all of those great '80s songs were in that movie!”

I laughed and said,  

“I hope they continue with these '80s movies at night. There are so many good ones.”

Anyways, it was a nice moment and I hope we get to hear more.  

I had realised this weekend that it was the 30 year anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah. I had turned 13 in September, and I should have had it on my birthday, but there was some kind of scheduling conflict so it was pushed back to October.  

It was a crazy time as a 13 year old! In my elementary years I was a bit of a geek...Then, something happened and I was suddenly noticed by girls and became 'popular'. Over the summer of 1990, I had a growth spurt and was one of the biggest kids going into the 7th grade, and I was no longer picked on. There was an invisible power in that...and still, I had always felt like I didn't really belong. There was a lot of conflict within me in that feeling.  

I did embrace the new life that 7th grade afforded me, although my grades suffered and I began to care less about school. However, for my Bar Mitzvah, I poured all of my heart into my studies when I needed to. I wanted to make my father proud, and I also knew that family would be coming in from all over the country to see me and I didn't want to disappoint anyone.  

I had a girlfriend from my synagogue at the time – Shoshana – so it was an exciting time for me. When it got to the Friday (before I would read from the Torah) I was a bundle of nerves. My beloved Aunt Carol who was battling cancer, was coming to the ceremony...all of my dad's side of the family were coming as well. The plan was, after school, to go out and have a nice dinner. Then I would lead Friday night's services for Shabbat. I went to school, and because of my nerves, I ended up feeling queasy and I threw up all over the place. Still, I pushed through it and when the nurse asked if I wanted her to call my parents and have me go home, I said,


I was not going to have the day ruined.   

After school, I took the bus home and dad was waiting for me. He was making last minute plans for the Saturday night party that was going to be held at our house, and then he said we were going to drive up to D/FW airport to pick up Aunt Carol. He told me to get dressed up nicely for the evening, then Mom came home from work and we headed out.  

I remember seeing the entire family later that evening and we went to a sea food place and then drove to the Synagogue. I saw my friends all sitting together, including my girlfriend. I lead the services and afterwards everyone shook hands with me, and I received a ton of hugs and kisses on the cheek. Then, my girlfriend took me outside to the playground. She said something like,  

“Well, I'll give you your birthday present...”

She leaned in to kiss me and our mouths opened, and it was my first kiss with tongues! What was funny about that moment was when we were younger, attending Hebrew school, Shoshana was also a bit of an outsider/geek, as I was, and she blossomed into a really pretty girl when she turned 13. She used to tell us these crazy stories, and once she told me a story about a swing accident in which she bit her tongue off and had to have it stitched back on...During our kiss, I remember thinking,  

“I hope her tongue doesn't fall off!”

Sheesh! When she pulled away, she kissed my neck and got some lipstick on my dress shirt, so when I returned to my family my brother, Wesley, saw the lipstick and his eyes went big...

“I'm telling!” He said.  

“Telling what?” I asked.  

“You've been kissing a girl!”

He ran off and told my mom and I remember her just laughing it off.  

On the Saturday we drove to the synagogue and I would be leading morning services. Everyone arrived and it was much the same, only this time I would carry the Torah around the congregation and then read from it. I was nervous and afraid I would drop it somehow because I've always been a world class klutz, and there's not a day that goes by when I'm not tripping over something or knocking something over. Thank G-d nothing happened on that day!

I read from the Torah, and then I stood in front of the Ark of the Torah where my dad put his hands on my shoulders and blessed me. I remember standing there feeling so proud and full of emotion as tears streamed down my face. My dad hugged and kissed me, and then after that I read a speech about 'becoming a man' that I'd written. I had added a few self-deprecating jokes to it that went over well, and the congregation laughed. I was so proud of that speech.  

Years later, I read an interview with Sheriff Bill Waybourn, and despite the fact that it was littered with half truths and bare faced lies, the one true thing he did say was that he remembered that speech on the day of my Bar Mitzvah, and he thought,  

“Wow, the kid can write...He's going somewhere in life.”

The service ended and I knew everyone would meet up again later that evening for the party at our house. We drove back home and I changed my clothes and we had some time to kill. My mom took Wesley and I a few blocks away to a harvest festival. We walked up there and I remember entering a raffle to win a foot scooter. Back then, I had an uncanny ability to win raffles and contests. Now, I didn't think I'd win the scooter because the bowl was filled with hundreds of tickets, but I took a chance and bought Wesley and myself a few tickets.  

We walked around for a bit, played some games, and when it was time for the raffle I took my ticket stub out of my pocket and waited as the smaller prizes were handed out. Wesley won a fish tank! He was excited, and I said,  

“You're carrying that thing home.”

When the time came for the scooter prize to be drawn, I thought it was going to be a bust for me. We spent our good luck on a freakin' fish bowl! But as the numbers were called out, each one matched mine and I won! I couldn't believe it. We went and collected our prizes and I remember feeling like the luckiest kid on the planet. A year later, that scooter nearly killed me...

When we got home my parents couldn't believe our luck either. My Aunt Carol and other relatives congratulated us. I watched as the caterers for the party were laying out food and bottles of wine. If I'm honest, the party looked like something more for adults than for me, but I was so happy at that time, I didn't care.  

My friends showed up and we hung out and goofed around in the back yard. Wesley disappeared for a bit and suddenly showed up full of fear...He had a history of creating mischief and this night would be no different.  

“I think I broke the neighbors' window!” He cried.  

“You did what?” I asked, in disbelief.  

“I was playing with some rocks in our driveway and threw one...I heard a crash. Don't tell on me!”

I took a deep breath, and fearful of bringing the party to an end, I decided it would be best to not tell my parents. The neighbors were at the party too, but I knew the daughter...She was a couple of years older than me and was babysitting her baby brother. I figured I could work something out with her.  

I grabbed Wesley by the shirt and dragged him next door. We could hear a baby crying, and when I saw the broken window I muttered,  

“Shit...” and rang the doorbell.  

The girl opened it and said,  


“Uh...my brother accidentally broke y'all's window, and I was-”

“He what?!?”

Suddenly she lunged at Wesley! I pushed him behind me and said,  

“Hey! Calm down...Please! We just wanted to apologise and work something out. I'll give you some of my Bar-Mitzvah money if you say you accidentally broke the window. No one needs to get into any trouble.”

“Oh no...No way! Your brother is going to pay for this!”  

She ran around me and straight to our house to find her parents. It was too late. Her parents talked to my parents and abruptly left. I think it was agreed that Wesley would do chores for the neighbours to pay for the window.

Thankfully, the party continued on, and it was a night I would never forget.  

One more thing that stood out at my Bar-Mitzvah...My Aunt Carol, in her weakest state from chemotheraphy, had hand-stitched a Tallit bag for me...A bag for my prayer shawl. It was maroon, and had a gold stitched menorah on it with my initials on the bottom. It meant more to me than any other gift I received that day and the fact she used what little energy she had to do this for me...I cherished that bag, even more so when the following February, she passed away.  

That was my Bar-Mitzvah...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 12th, 2020

I think I've slept harder than I've ever slept in a long time...I slept through breakfast and I didn't even wake up when the guards opened my door slot to drop some toilet paper in. I woke up at about 6am and decided to get up and start the day. I exercised and then waited for a shower that for some reason hasn't happened at the time of writing this. It's now been 3 days since we've been allowed a shower.  

Early this morning the head warden of the unit gave us an update on things, and he stated that there's been an increase in positive COVID cases. He said that because of this it would now be even longer before he saw visits resuming, which was upsetting news.  

What's really frustrating about this, at least for Death Row, is that we're not getting any recreation...We're not getting the two week phone calls...We're not getting any minister visits, legal visits or regular visits that so many guys depend upon for mental well being...We're not getting anything!...No kind of mental stimulation whatsoever...No fresh air regularly...I know it sounds like whining, but it needs to be said.  

The warden also said that there's a Special Prosecutor now in place, and he will go after anyone involved in the use of or smuggling of illegal contraband, i.e. cell phones and drugs. He said they are prosecuting everyone involved 'to the full extent of the law.' So...there's that.  

WOW...they just started showers at 3pm. The guards just said they've finished shaking down the building and we might be off lockdown tomorrow!

I'm now on chapter 10 of Frankenstein, and I'm just about done reading Moby Dick – I'll probably finish that later this evening.  

That's my day in a nutshell!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 13th, 2020

We actually had recreation today, and the lockdown is over with. Initially I was scheduled for 4th round rec which would've been late in the afternoon, but a guy who was scheduled for 2nd round asked me if I wouldn't mind swapping with him so he could go out later...That was fine with me.  

To say that the day has been chaotic is the understatement of the year. The officers act like they forget how to operate when we go long periods without recreation...Things quickly turn into insanity!

While I was out at rec a guy upstairs from me noticed that the guards weren't putting anyone outside. He told me to ask the officers working if he could go outside, so I asked the woman doing the paperwork,  

“Excuse me, ma'am...the guy in 50 cell wants to know if he can go outside, seeing as it's open and all.”

She looks at me, blinks as if I'm speaking a foreign language, and says,  

“I ain't gonna do that because it'll mess up the system I'm working with.”

“Yeah, but the rec yard is open and it makes sense to utilise that rec yard, and you'll have less rec to do or to leave for 2nd shift, and it ensures that people actually have a chance to go to recreation.”


“So?” I continued.  

“It may seem like I don't know what I'm doin' but I do. I just ain't figured it out yet. Be patient with me.”

“Clearly.” I said.

I looked at the guy in 50 call and said,  

“She said 'no'.”

And that was that. They never did put anyone outside the entire day.

I spent 3 hours at rec, which was nice, but it wore me out. I worked out, chatted with some people, and then I was fortunate enough to go straight to the shower.  

The rest of the day I was tired, and waited on mail.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 14th, 2020

Today has been one of those 'bleh' kind of days. I knew we weren't going to have rec today, but I woke up early and decided to get a jump ahead on the day and get my workout done. I was fine yesterday, no soreness, but lately my hip flexer has been tender...This morning it felt like it was on fire! I'm thinking this has to do with my mattress as it's several years old and starting to fall apart. I've requested a new one but I'm always told,  

“You're on a waiting list.”

There a policy here called, 'The Decency Policy', and it requires all inmates to have a mattress in their cell. I sometimes feel like kicking this thing out my door and having it thrown away, just so they HAVE to give me a new one.  

Anyways...I backed off exercising and instead paced back and forth until it was my turn for the shower. When I got back I started a letter to my girlfriend, and began my day.  

For most of the day I've been listening to the radio and reading off and on. These political advertisements in Texas are ridiculous – for both parties! Each party describes the other as nothing short of being a monster. They're utterly ridiculous, and the one I roll my eyes at the most is some sheriff talking about some District Attorney race and he says,  

“If I say it you know it's true...So and so wants to abolish prisons and let gang members free from jail to roam your neighborhood. You won't be safe with him.”

Okay, firstly, that's just a big crock of dog doo doo...No single person has it in his power to 'abolish prisons' and who in their right mind would?? What sane person would think the chaos of that could be a good thing?? What he's trying to do is conflate prison REFORM and restorative justice with 'letting prisoners go.' So, no Mr Sheriff! If you say it, it isn't necessarily true. You're trying to scare voters and manipulate them which is actually very dangerous.  

Another advertisement has a woman running for Senator – a Democrat – and one I actually support, but her ad is ridiculous. She talks about when serving in the military and in Afghanistan, and her helicopter was shot down by the Taliban. Another helicopter comes and rescues them and she straps herself to the landing skids of the helicopter and returns fire on the Taliban...Now, whilst I'm sure some of that story is true, all I can see is a Hollywood action movie in my head, with a soaring and pulsating score in the background. It just sounds so far fetched that this would be how you get people to vote for you. What does any of that have to do with policies??  

Another ad from a Republican is where he talks about his grandma and the chocolate chip cookies she used to bake, and he'd sell, showing that he “knows how to take care of small businesses!”

Listen, if you're deciding how to vote for someone based on a 30 second political ad, then there's something wrong here. Do your research and please make an informed judgement based upon that research.  

That's my rant for the day!

I'm on chapter 12 of Frankenstein now...The narrative changes from Victor to the monster, and I love that the monster gets to share his perspective on being rejected and not seen as human. It allows the reader to empathise with him. Even in real life when someone does something so completely unacceptable, it's easy to label the person with all manner of titles. Good people will always want to listen and get to the root of that person's problem...When we do that we get to know the root of the action, and that it's far more complicated than just black and white.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 16th, 2020

It's a very nice and cool Friday, although I feel a bit anxious today. It's probably because we have a really mean spirited guard working. I really don't understand why she is even working this pod when so many people have written legitimate harassment complaints against her, and the majority of her own co-workers don't like her because she creates chaos every single time she works.  

We're not having rec today...Not that I expected it for our section. Yesterday they ran rec for only two sections on the pod – C and D, and I currently live on D. I went outside and it was lovely...We were stuck outside for 4 ½ hours, which I didn't mind at all. It was warm, and the clean and fresh air was wonderful! I cherished every single minute of it...The way things are right now, it might be a long time before I get outside again.  

We were expecting commissary yesterday and they usually arrive no later than 3pm with our orders, but I knew that when it got to second shift, they wouldn't be coming. Then, close to 7pm, they suddenly showed up! I've never seen that happen before. Apparently a couple of the employees who run commissary suddenly quit, so that department is now understaffed as well. It's abundantly clear that nobody wants to work in a prison anymore – even when work is hard to find right now. We get these new officers by the dozen each week. They come in, work for a couple of weeks, and then vanish.  

I think it comes down to two key issues...If you have any kind of empathy or a smidgen of a heart, you don't want to see prisoners treated the way they are. Plus, the media and the justice system portrays the collective whole as 'violent thugs' and criminals, and yes there are some, but there are plenty of violent people who are not in prison...So...

And then there's the officers who see a completely different side of things. So many of them have told us over the years that we are not what they expected us to be...Go figure!

The other issue is just poor management. The people who make supervisor or 'rank' are often immature and don't know how to resolve problems or how to lead, or even how to treat their fellow co-workers. In fairness, they aren't given the necessary training, so how can we expect them to do their job to its full extent?

That's my take on things anyways...

I digress...It was weird seeing commissary coming so late.  

Nothing more to report today; just an average kind of day.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 18th, 2020

I realised as I was about to begin this journal that our Presidential Elections will have been decided by the time this entry is posted...weird, and slightly scary. Well, big breath of air and... “Let's Go Joe!” G-d willing...

It's unusually loud for a Sunday morning. For some reason on this side of the pod, everything is amplified and it echoes around like a cavern. For someone like me who is very noise sensitive, and with supersonic hearing, it all gets mixed in my brain as a cacophony of sounds and can be really, really irritating.

It's been a fairly uneventful weekend. They've not done any recreation since Friday, and there's not been a really good explanation as to why. They keep saying that they're 'short staffed' but we've had 3 officers working the pod every single day, and they have extra officers to do things like pull guys out for legal phone calls and medical...So, it sounds like a big crop of crap.  

Here's a plea and call to action for those who have loved ones on Death Row, or pen pals...Please get with organisations like TIFA or call TDCJ or even the warden of Polunsky and explain how important it is for us to get to recreation on a regular basis. The warden himself has said that he does not see visitation opening up any time soon. Make a request that we get a 5 minute phone call every other week, like they were doing a while back.

I don't like to sound like I'm complaining...I'm naturally introverted...I enjoy my own silence and treasure it as a gift, but I'm not anti-social and I do not like being couped up in a cell 24/7 or not having routine contact with my loved ones.  

Anyways...I hope this next week will be nice and peaceful. I still cannot believe that we're just two weeks away from the holiday season! I'm looking forward to all of it and even though I'm Jewish, I enjoy the movies, the music, and the spirit of the season!

That's it for now. My brain is kind of all over the place today and I can't really focus on much.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 19th, 2020

A very boring Monday...They ran rec for E/B sections, but that's the only two sections they did on the pod. This rec schedule makes zero sense, and here's the thing: You'd think the guards would be done with everything by now and have all of the showers done, but they're not...More than likely they will leave work for second shift to do, so if the goal was to finish their work load early, they've failed horribly.  

My friend, Clinton, came over to the day room in my section and has been stuck in there now for almost four hours. It's cool though because we've not really had much time to talk recently, but we had a great conversation about hope and how we both have very good chances for retrials. I hope it works out for him.  

I found myself getting a bit anxious and restless today...It happens from time to time, and I think if I had more things to do to distract myself, and have a bit more structure than the chaos and uncertainty of the past year, I'd be able to cope with these feelings in a better way. What a weird year it's been for everyone!

So, last night was very interesting. A guard came to a guy's cell with a phone, and let him make a call. They put the phone up to his door on speaker-phone, and fortunately everyone on my section was quiet and respectful. He had a five minute call, and then they went to another cell, but that guy didn't get through. I guess instead of taking us out of our cells now, they'll just bring the phone to us and put it on speaker-phone.  

I asked the guy later if it was his 90 day call, or a call like they'd been allowing us earlier this year, and he said he just put in a request so he wasn't sure. I went and ahead and filled out a request, and sent it in. I can but hope. I guess I'll know in the next week or so whether my request is approved or not.  

And that's been my day...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 21st, 2020

Yesterday our section had recreation and I went outside first round. It was nice to get outside and get some fresh air. There's a guy down the run from me who has this 'sense of entitlement' and he threw a fit because he also had to go to rec first round. He got into an argument with the guard, saying he wanted to out second round, but the guard was having none of it.  

The inmate told the guard,  

“I don't do first round! I want to go second round!”

To which the female officer said,  

“I don't care what you do or don't do. You'll either go out first round or not at all. Your choice.”

They bickered back and forth, and he cussed her out and said,  


A lot of times the guards don't want to argue with him so they let him have his way...But it's annoying to the rest of us. The guy I was outside with said he had been living next to him for over a year now and was sick of him, and couldn't wait to be moved away from him.  

One of these days the dude is going to piss off the wrong guard and it isn't going to be good for him. I don't like seeing my fellow inmates treated badly in any kind of way – none of us do – so it upsets me when I see dudes behave in a way that could get them into trouble. It's not that I don't get the frustrations of this place...I get as frustrated at the next person, but nobody needs any extra frustrations in this place.  

After I came back in they shut everything down, so he wouldn't have been able to go to rec second round anyway. They said the big exterminator was coming, but he never did. They didn't even resume showers until that evening.  

Speaking of evenings, mine was good last night. There's a program on the Prison Radio Station at 9pm – it's a new wave '80s/'90s alternative music show and they call it 'The Lizard Lounge' based on an actual club in Houston and in Dallas back in the day. That's the program that usually plays one or two Cure songs. So, I thought I'd send in a playlist of song suggestions I'd really like to hear, and see if the DJ would play them. Last night he played the entire list! I was super excited and listening to the songs for an hour, I was proud of myself for the vibe...All of the songs meshed really well and I thought I'd share the song list in this journal. He played them in this exact order:

Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies
What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy) – Information Society
Flesh for Fantasy – Billy Idol
Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? - Paula Cole
In a Big Country – Big Country
Rapture – Blondie
Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
Midnight City – M83
I Think I'm in Love – Beck
Letting the Cables Sleep – Bush
Beautiful Girl – INXS
Saved By Zero – The Fixx
Walls Come Tumbling Down – Erasure
Under the Milky Way – The Church
Ruined in a Day – New Order
Inbetween Days (Remix) – The Cure

It's a really good mix!

Today they have rec shut down again, saying the exterminator is going to come around...We'll see what happens.

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 27th, 2020

Insanity...That's the only way to explain this place and what's been going on for the past week. We're on our second lockdown within a month, and as I write this we're waiting to go through another shakedown. It's stressful, and really it's unnecessary because they have the technology to find what they're looking for in a matter of seconds.  

Still, it bothers me more that we just can't ever seem to get to recreation with any kind of normalcy...I'm sick and tired of being trapped in the cell!!

Also, the food they've been giving us has been the worst ever...I shared an article some time ago about the sack meals they give, and as a result of that the article TDCJ had promised to improve the quality of the food. During the summer, for the COVID-19 lockdown/quarantine, there were some improvements in the form of real milk, fresh veggies, and fruit, and even some palatable pouch meals. But for the life of me, whoever is in charge now clearly doesn't care.  

Here's what we've been having consistently:

Breakfast: two pancakes with a smear of peanut butter...The peanut butter has been cut with oil, and that's no joke! When they first gave it to us my stomach was in knots for a whole day – it was horrible. We get a biscuit with that and sometimes there might be a hard boiled egg.  

Lunch: Cut peanut butter and jelly, and a corn dog, and maybe about 20 raisins. The corn dog might be substituted with something we collectively call 'cat food' – pureed bologna with added mustard or relish. They smear about two tablespoons of that on some bread.  

Dinner: The same as lunch...The exact same thing...

There's little variation from day to day, week to week, and one day they gave us cornbread with meat crumbles mixed in. Another day they gave us a soggy chicken pattie, but this has been what they've been feeding us. It's by far the worst sack meals we have ever had, and if you write prisoners back here just ask them...This is no embellishment or exaggeration.  

I don't like complaining about the food, I really don't. I try to remain mindful that people are starving all across the world. However, I guarantee if you gave one of these sacks to a homeless person, they would peer inside and look at you like,  

“Are you playing with me?”  

They would probably throw it away...It really is that bad.  

Well, the Supreme Court is now a 6-3 majority for conservatives. How that will affect us on death row remains to be seen. It's scary, especially since (in the past week) two guys from this pod were just given execution dates. Now, the new Justice appointed (as a matter of her Catholic faith) is personally opposed to the Death Penalty...or so she has written about in legal journals over the years. But just as progressives have demanded she recuse herself because of personal beliefs on issues such as Roe V. Wade, I would assume many Catholics demand she recuse herself on capital punishment cases as well. Everything is up in the air and yet to be seen. We just have to wait and see...G-d be with us.  

I can't believe it's almost November...Time is flying!  

Not much else to report today – just waiting to get this shakedown over with.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 29th, 2020

Thursday morning it's f-f-f-f-reezing! I mean, it really is cold! It took a lot of willpower to crawl out from under the blanket this morning, but here I am getting a jump on the day and hoping for the best.  

Yesterday they did our shakedown again. They did F and E sections during the day time, and then around 7pm they pulled out my section (D) and took us to some holding cages in the hallway as they searched our cells. My cell was a  mess when I returned...Nothing was missing or trampled on like the one we had a few weeks ago, but it took me a long time to straighten and clean my cell up. I was glad to be back in good order.

My neighbours are so funny! They keep me laughing. One is choc full of conspiracy theories, and thinks the guards are always messing with him...The other tells the wildest and most grandiose stories I've ever heard! I think he truly believes them...

So, last night as I was trying to get to sleep, they were talking. The guy to my right said,  

“You know, in the last shakedown they took my book, but I see they returned it today.”

I jumped into the conversation (from bed, I should add, blanket pulled up to my chin and snug as a bug in a rug!) and said,  

“Wait...that doesn't even make sense! Why would a guard take your book, keep it for three weeks, and then say,  

“Well I'm searching his cell...maybe I should return that book I stole. He'll never notice it!”

I mean...dude...are you sure you just didn't find it after reorganising your things? Maybe misplaced it? It would make more sense for the guard to just read it, take it home, or throw it away...

He replied,  

“Oh no! You'd think that, but they do that kind of stuff to me all the time.”


Something that isn't funny at all is the food they're feed us. I've been locked up 25 years and I've never seen it this bad. I don't know how they're getting away with it either. If I had to guess what our calorie intake is on a daily basis, right now, it's barely 1100 calories...And it's all sugar/carbs. Bread upon bread, and that's it!

Breakfast this morning was two pancakes and some kind of square piece of dough with sugar in it. Yesterday, lunch was a corn dog and PB&J sandwich. That was it! The diabetics here must have problems with their blood sugar levels, and the medical staff isn't expressing any concern to the administration or to the kitchen staff.  

After the report from Kerry Blakinger last summer, we were promised the food would get better, and it's only gotten worse. I really don't like complaining about it, but what they're doing is inhumane and cruel, and it's going to end in long term health damage for all of us.  

Anyways...I feel like I'm whining, but it's a serious issue. I mean, who puts vegetable oil in the peanut butter to spread it out?

All that being said, I'm in a relatively decent mood. It's a beautiful and bright day, and I'm dreading the elections next week...Come Tuesday the 3rd I'll be a nervous wreck, but I have to just believe that it will all turn out the way it should. I have to believe this country will come to its senses and course correct things...It's our only hope.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


October 31st, 2020

Happy Hallowe'en!! It's a bright and beautiful Saturday – the last of the month. I woke up feeling full of positive energy, even if we've now been on our lockdown for almost two weeks. Eating this awful food has my stomach torn up from the inside out, and this is expected to go on for another week or longer. But as my Taffy always says: Onwards and upwards!  

I'm loving this fall weather spell we've been having. It got really cold the other day, and they turned the heat on which made it feel nice and cozy. In the mornings I have to fight myself to get get out of bed, but it feels just perfect...just like fall should feel.  

Yesterday was a pretty good day. The prison radio station had been out for a few days. The DJ, who goes by the name, 'Megamind', (an inmate in general population who has been assigned to handle programming etc.) came back on around noon and explained why the station had gone out. Apparently, the office where the radio station equipment is kept – thousands of dollars worth of equipment, donated by various Churches and volunteer services in the free world – is in an indoor gym in general population. Well, some guards were shaking this gym down for contraband, and decided to ransack the office and mess with the equipment as well. The DJ said he could tell it was done deliberately, and with malice, and asked us to pray for those who carried such hate in their hearts.  

Anyways...everything was running smoothly by the afternoon, although my heart was crushed at 3pm when they did the afternoon 'Album Spotlight'. I was super excited when I heard the Cure's opening notes to the song. 'Plainsong' – the first track of the Disintegration album. It played for about a minute and then clicked off. The DJ then came back on and said,  

“Oops! Wrong album! It's supposed to be Boston today...”

I was crushed!

Later that evening he began the audio movies and announced the beginning to the Hallowe'en Fright Fest. He played 'It: Chapter One' and 'It: Chapter Two'. At 3am (waaaay to early for me) he was going to play, 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose', and tonight it's going to be the original 'Child's Play' and 'The Nun'.

I'm taking the day off from politics news today...I'm already a nervous wreck anticipating Election Day. I'm surrounded by Trump supporters here, which is just mind boggling to me, especially since the dude is so fond of the Death Penalty.

I received a wonderful letter from my girlfriend last night, as well as some other great mail in general...It really has my hopes and spirits running high! It's going to be a good day, and I hope we're going into what will turn out to be a great month!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


November 8th, 2020

It's a new day in America! There's a song by U2 on their 'War' album, called '40', and it's based on Psalm 40. I think of the line,

"I will sing a new song."

That's what's been going around in my mind.

It's been a long and stressful week starting with election day. I wanted to write a journal, but every time I sat down to do it, I found it hard to not spew a ton of verbal vomit, so I waited as patiently as I could. Believe me, for one who is anxious (even if often people say I always look calm and peaceful...my girlfriend always calls me a 'swan' because above water I look graceful, but below I'm kicking furiously) and neurotic by nature...it was difficult! Especially as results were taking days to come out, but moreso because I would listen to some of the officers who voted for Trump repeat baseless claims of election fraud, saying things like,

"They're stealing the election. Trump said they would do this."

It's easy for me to blurt out things like, 'idiot', and I'm guilty of it from time to time. But I think we're at a place where insults aren't really going to get the country anywhere, as a whole. I don't know what the solution is...I don't know why people believe in conspiracy theories...I don't know whether more progressive values or conservative values makes any of us less or better than the other when it obviously doesn't. So, it begs the question: How do we find middle ground?

I really believe, and it's my fervent hope that Biden is the person who can calm things down, bring us together, and begin to heal our country. We need that more than ever.

I told a friend back here (a die hard Trump fan...),

"Dude...I'm glad Trump is outta here, but I love you, and it's going to be alright."

And I mean that...

Yesterday was a good day. Just as news broke that Biden was declared the winner, the guards started to schedule recreation. Our three week lockdown was ending, and I wasn't expecting rec because we had already had our showers. Our section was set up for outside which was perfect. It was warm, but not hot. The sun was out and I enjoyed every minute of it. I kept getting teary-eyed as I thought about the election and Biden's win. The feeling I had can be summed up in one word: Relief! The emotions were very much the same emotions I had on the day I received my stay of execution. I was thinking...

"Thank G-d...now I can move forward."

Four years of Trump were devastating to our country. I don't think that is an opinion or point of view - it's fact! I think history will bear that out. Who knows what the next four years will bring? But I think if people stay engaged and participate in their democracy...if they are willing to find middle ground...willing to compromise on some things...We'll come out a little bit better than we were before.

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.


November 17th, 2020

Sigh...another day trapped inside of my cell with nowhere to go and very little to do. It seemed that last week things were looking up. We had several straight days of recreation, and I was able to get out of my cell and start up my jogging routine and get back into the groove. We all felt that with an influx of brand new guards, they would start getting us back to a normal schedule. Then, a ton of old guards up and quit and we were back to being short-handed again. It seems to be a vicious cycle...Hire new guards, old guards quit...Nothing changes...Rinse and repeat. It's become so bad that even as I type this the night time guard is still here this morning, working overtime until they finish the showers. Hey, at least we're getting showers, right?

Well, last Friday was a bit strange because I had just come back from the shower early in the morning, and started to clean my cell and do some laundry, when a guard showed up to my door and said,  

“Hey, you need to pack your stuff and get ready to move.”

I was dumbfounded. For one, they rarely ever move me these days, and for two, I've never been moved that early in the morning. I asked the guard where I was moving to and he told me A-Pod. I wasn't upset about it...To be honest, whilst I love my friends on B-Pod, I was ready to move off the pod. There was too much negative energy there from a few, and it was kind of messing up my own positivity because I felt like I was walking on eggshells around certain individuals. Not to mention the noise on that pod – it was pretty bad!

I wondered if I'd be moved during the day or later that evening, but around lunch I was shuffled over to A-Pod. The first thing I noticed is how quiet it is over here! Some guys yelled out their 'hellos' to me, but it was quiet apart from that. The cell was nice and clean and thank G-d there doesn't seem to be any cockroaches! I still cleaned and scrubbed before I settled in, but it didn't require the effort that other cells sometimes need.

My only complaint is that the reception for my radio isn't great, and my view sucks. All I can see is the medical building, and on the horizon, the tree line poking over the top of other buildings. For the past few days, even though there's been no rec, it's been peaceful. Everyone is positive and I'm around some good friends here, and haven't been able to speak with them since I got my execution date last year.  

Today is our commissary day, and after over five weeks without, everyone is eagerly awaiting its arrival. I told my neighbour,  

“I've been craving chips for so long that I'm just going to grab a bag and obliterate it...I'll be spitting out pieces of plastic. I don't care!” (ha ha)

Anyways...today is my brother, Wesley's, birthday; he's 40 years old. Whenever I think of him I see the same kid that would get on my nerves, but I loved him to pieces anyway – even when we'd fight. I was thinking of a memory to share...Because he got into trouble a lot, it was often my responsibility to look after him and be in charge. That came with its own set of headaches, and we'd squabble if he wouldn't listen to me. But I look back at those times and miss them, and I miss him.  

I think when I look back at us, the things I feel most guilty about is not being there after leaving home in the summer of '95, and at times, when we would fight I'd say,  

“Sometimes I wonder if you're even my real brother at all!!”  

I never meant it and even thinking of those words now brings some tears to my eyes. But just like my little brothers, I wish I had been there for him. I think with some stability at home, and maybe having me to turn to when he needed me, maybe whatever mental illness that lay dormant inside of him wouldn't have been awakened, and consumed his life going forward.  

Anyways...I wanted to say,  

“Happy Birthday, Wesley! I love you little brother.”

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


November 23rd, 2020

I can't believe that in a few days it's going to be the Thanksgiving holiday. It certainly doesn't feel like it! I'm ready for the good food though.  

It's been an interesting few days – mostly good, but a bit of the strange as well. I'll start with the good...

On Thursday I had a legal call and that went really well! I can't speak about the details, but there are definitely very positive developments. After we talked the legal stuff, we caught up on life in general and I'm always pinching myself because I can't believe how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful group of people representig me. They are all such good human beings, and I have a deep appreciation and love for all of them. I've never left a legal visit or a call feeling down in the dumps...Even when I had an execution date and I was scared, I was always optimistic after a discussion with them.  

Later that Thursday I was listening to one of the music programs on the Prison Radio Station, and the DJ said,  

“Friday night on the alternative music program, we're going to do a Cure concert. Three straight hours. In anticipation of that I thought I'd warm y'all up with the singles album, 'Galore'."

Of course, it was great to hear that, and I was bouncing off the walls with excitement waiting for the Cure concert. Friday night couldn't arrive soon enough! I kept busy for the whole day, and when the concert came on it was amazing! After the concert was over the guy who does the alternative show on Fridays, came on and said,  

“How about an encore?...I'm going to play Cure: Show, and Cure: Live in Paris.”

I was up until after 3am!! Any great song or band always energises me. It's like drinking a thousand cups of coffee back to back! Electricity courses through my body...I can't explain it. I think any great art does that for people if they're open to it.  

I fell asleep shortly after that and woke back up at 7am...I was still full of energy. I thought they might do recreation but they didn't, so I kept busy for most of the day.  

Sunday is when things turned a little strange. Shortly after showers a ton of guards poured into A-Pod and went straight to F-Section. They began to pull guys out of their cells and take them into the hallway. After that the Warden showed up and the guards began to tear up the cells. They spent several hours shaking the entire section down...I've been on death row for 17 ½ years and I've never seen that happen before – especially on a Sunday! It had the rest of us on pins for the rest of the day. That evening the Wizard of Oz came on so I listened to that, and was in bed before 10pm.  

Today I woke up and was told I was scheduled for 6th round recreation, which means I'm probably not going to make it. A little while ago I had a conversation with a guy from F-section, and he said that none of them knew why they were shaken down, and the guards didn't even find any contraband. We talked about how the whole process of a shakedown can be humiliating and violating, and then he said something insightful...He said,

“You know, when I was free I didn't think twice about stealing or robbing someone. I never intended to kill anyone – that was never my intent – but I got a certain excitement from robbing. I can't explain it. But you know, years of going through this bullshit, of having my cell destroyed and my stuff taken or torn up by the guards...it forced me to think about all of those people I've robbed or when I broke into a house and tore up a bedroom to look for money or something I could pawn. I realised that sense of violation that I have when it happens to me is the exact same feeling, if not worse, that those people felt. I've never felt sorry...I'm just being honest. I never had any regret for the robberies. I definitely regret killing, for sure, but never for robbing someone. It was just part of the hustle. But now? I understand...I ain't going to lie. I broke down and cried last night and felt bad...Suddenly, I got it.”

He was becoming very emotional in the day room, and I said that empathising and understanding that your actions have hurt someone is part of self-discovery, and that he was now on a healing path...It was a very profound moment.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


November 26th, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!!! It's a cool Thursday, and very peaceful. They didn't run rec today – a trend they started a couple of years ago. For a long time things ran as normal on Thanksgiving, but then they started letting the guards have it easy on the holidays. So, I got up early, went to the shower, and began my day.  

We had a pretty good meal; our paper cold tray had cobbler, cake, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, black olives, onions, and some pickles...Then, the hot tray had turkey, chicken (some had pork) potatoes with garlic and butter, green bean salad, beans, biscuits, and stuffing with gravy. My neighbour started to complain which annoyed me, especially after we turned in our trays and he wasted half of it. I said,  

“You were complaining about not getting enough food, but then you leave half of the tray?!?”

He said,  

“Well, that's the stuff I don't eat.”

What??? Trust me, it was a lot of decent food!

In the evening they passed out sack meals, apples and oranges. I was stuffed! On the unit radio station they played the movie, 'Milan'. It was okay...A live remake of the animated film, but without any of the humour, and a straight on take on the real life tale. I'm sure the battle scenes were epic.

Of course, holidays are a time to reflect...I really like this quote by the artist, Sana Takeda:

“Life can reward us with something better in the midst of a wrong choice.”

I think it means that in life, when we take a wrong turn or do the wrong thing, we can turn it into a positive. My wrong choices have lead me to self-reflect, to learn, to ask for forgiveness and to grow. Along the way I've made wonderful friends, had the chance to love and be loved, and now, be IN love with a wonderful person. I have wonderful mentors and lawyers; people who are invested in seeing me succeed. To say, “thank you” isn't enough, but I'm grateful and I'm beyond thankful.  

Thank you, the reader, as well! You all encourage me to continue to share, to fight, and to live. My life has purpose and meaning.  

Thank you to all invested in my life...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


November 29th, 2020

I went to bed fairly early last night. The last two days were a little stressful because they've hired a new crop of guards, and it's apparent they don't want to be here...I'm certain it's a 'transitional job' for them, and as soon as business is back up they'll quit and return to those jobs. It seems like they were told they don't have to do any work here because they are some of the laziest guards we've ever had. We're getting screwed out of showers and rec and everything else.

It's been pure chaos here for the last two days, and this is a very peaceful pod. Now everyone is wired up and on edge, and the atmosphere is like a disturbed bee hive...It sucks!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 2nd, 2020

It's been an extremely stressful week...I don't know what's happened, but in a very short space of time, and a handful of new guards, we've gone from being treated semi-decently to less than human. Yesterday was the worst of it.

It started with recreation...I was scheduled for first round and didn't leave my cell until 6.50am. I was told I was the only person going outside because everyone was skipping out because it was cold. The guard – a new guy – tried to talk me into skipping out of it as well, and it only irritated me so I dug my heels in.  

“It's really cold outside. I mean, really cold.” He said.  


“I don't think you know how cold it is.”

“No. That's fine. I used to live in Kentucky, so I know cold!”

“Well, if you go outside you'll be by yourself.”


“Don't knock on the glass and try to come back in.”

“Okay, that's cool.”

So...I went outside thinking I'd be there for the allowed two hours of recreation. WRONG!!! I didn't get back in until after 1pm!!! Six hours of recreation!!

Now, people are reading this and thinking,  

“Well, you should be glad you were out of your cell for six whole hours.”

On one hand, I can't complain about that, but it also meant coming back to an exposed lunch tray sitting on my toilet sink, cold and disgusting. It meant that I wouldn't be getting a shower until later than evening. It meant that other guys were screwed out of their recreation because I (and others in day rooms) were out for the equivalent of three rounds of recreation.  

So, I went about my day and just tried to ignore my growing frustration.  

The dinner cart arrived at about 3.20pm, and the guards fed F-section and then had to stop to pull out the inmates who receive insulin. That took us to almost 5pm, and then second shift came on and began to load the tray carrier before heading to D-section, and we're thinking,  

“That's odd...they should've fed us next in that order.”

Well, at around 7pm we were told that first shift had fed us!!! So, of course, we had to make a huge fuss and tell them that we didn't get dinner. It was a mess!

Oh, and it didn't stop there...When they started to do showers the guards kept skipping over me. Finally, I go to the door and say,  

“Hey, why am I not getting my shower?”

“It says on the paperwork that you turned it down.”

“What??? What time did I refuse my shower?”

The female guard looked at it and said,  

“It says 11am.”

I blew a gasket...

"11am??? I was outside at 11am. I didn't get back to my cell until after 1pm. The paperwork will confirm that.”

“Well, I don't care. Take that up with first shift.”

“First shift is gone, and you are here, so I'm letting you know.”

I was fuming...They walked off and a sergeant came around. I remained calm and asked him about my shower, respectfully, and told him everything hoping he would do something about it. You know what he told me?

“Take it up with first shift.”

I left it that...I was fuming and just wanted to get my mail, and especially my girlfriend's Jpay to calm me down. Guess what? They never passed out Jpays for anyone on our section. I was so looking forward to hearing from her because she's busy getting ready for Christmas and decorating her tree and her house, and I wanted to know if she received the birthday gifts I sent to her. I didn't even have that small comfort. It's so frustrating...

So, today, I was out at rec for 3 hours. A bit of an improvement, but when I talked to a day time sergeant about yesterday's events, she said she'd “look into it.” I don't expect them to address any of it though, I mean, right now I'm waiting on a shower and it's looking like it'll fall on second shift and who knows what's going to happen? Will I get screwed over again? To be continued!

I'm trying to get into a better mood, but I'm just tired of this attitude towards us. I don't know what it is or why it is, but this particular batch of new guards are especially bad. They all walk around with this look like they've not even supposed to be working here because it's beneath them, but so many lost their jobs due to COVID and they have to work here. It doesn't mean they should treat us badly though.  

Well, it's a little later now and I made it to the shower at 3.08pm. The guards began to move really fast – faster than I've seen in a while. I'm relieved...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 6th, 2020

This has been an INSANE weekend...I really can't make sense of what's happening to this place. Sometimes, I want to say to myself,  

“Okay, it's the holidays...guys are feeling restless, they can't get their visits, they can't get their phone calls, mail etc...COVID has everyone in a tizzy.”

But then I think of the total lack of leadership, discipline, and integrity of some of these ranking officers and it feels more deliberate and sinister. I'm not a paranoid person and I'm loath to give credence to conspiracy theories etc, but as far as management is concerned...It's pure chaos!

Friday was nuts...We didn't have rec and the excuse was because of some PREA audit. PREA stands for Prison Rape Elimination Act. It's a nationwide standard to end prison rape, and TDCJ has incorporated it into their 'Safe Prison' program which is intended to end gang violence and retaliation.  

So, on Thursday and Friday, maintenance had gone round the place and were fixing a chest high 'shield' made of rubber, around the day room bars. It's fastened by plastic straps and it's intended to block the unnecessary gazes of officers and inmates during strip searches...Trouble is, it only blocks half of the day room/rec area, and people can still see from the other side. We asked maintenance if they were going to do the entire day rooms, and they said,  

“No. They only told us to cover half of each day room.”

We were speechless...

Another new 'policy' is that we must leave our cells fully clothed. Now, this is interesting because I've been locked up almost 25 years, and whenever we go to rec we're strip searched and told to carry our clothing until we're out at rec. and then we can get dressed. Even on death row, if we have a shake down, go to rec, or go to the shower, we are strip searched, and exit our cells in nothing but our underwear. It was a 'security issue' according to the administration. Now it's a 'security issue' to come out in our underwear, and even going to the shower we must wear a t-shirt of some sort.  

I'm 100% behind actions and policies to end extortion and violence in prison, and it's sad that it's taken Texas 200 years to do it. But, better late than never! That said, some of these new policies just make you scratch your head because they make zero sense.

So, everyone was excited on Friday to have commissary. That was the day's saving grace, but they didn't show up until after 11pm!!! We were all thinking,  

“What is going on around here???”

It's never come that late at night, and I didn't even know the store would be open that late. It was weird eating a snack at almost midnight! I'd argue it's never too late to eat ice cream, but it's still weird.  

I made it to sleep after midnight. The prison radio program I listen to on Friday nights did a live Depeche Mode concert which was pretty cool.  

Saturday was more chaos...We had 6 officers working the pod and three of them were new, and others in training. No one knew what they were doing. I was scheduled for third round of rec but the way things were going, I knew it would be very late in the day. It soured my mood because on Saturday nights my girlfriend and I have a 'date night' where we listen to a radio program at the same time, or read a book together. It seems cheesey but I love those moments. I was out at rec during that time and didn't get back to my cell until almost 7pm!

I tried to ease myself into the evening but I was exhausted and restless. I did, however, devise a plan in the day room to try and straighten out the mess of the past few weeks. I don't know if it'll work, but we'll see. I'm hoping if enough guys complain to the psych department that we're suffering from emotional distress – which is very true – it'll raise some alarms. The psych department is a joke, but they're supposed to write reports on the state of our mental health on death row...if they write a ton of them, I'm thinking they might complain to Huntsville that things are a mess. I know myself and others have been super-stressed lately.  

Sunday, thank G-d, has been quiet and peaceful. I'm going to spend the day listening to a Star Wars marathon that will end with The Last Jedi and then I'm going to bed to be fully rested...Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 7th, 2020

CHAOS!!!!! Unbridled chaos!! Thank goodness I'm well rested for this madness...I woke up at 5.45am and waited to see if the guards were going to do recreation. When they began I was scheduled for third round. I'm surprised I slept so well and didn't even wake up for breakfast.  

The PREA auditors are supposed to tour today and there are clean up crews running around like headless chickens! Guards and ranking officers were barking orders and through it all, nothing is getting done. I wish they played the video footage of this pace – like, have it on a live feed to the public. You'd see we're not making this stuff up.  

I'm trying to keep my mind occupied though. I don't know when I'll make it to rec, and more than likely, if I do make it it'll be under second shift, but I'm going. I've made a vow to myself to go no matter what...no matter what the stress....no matter how late. I don't like going out late, but I'm going to get what I'm supposed to have!

It's insanely loud as I write this. I feel like I'm in some kind of bizarre world. A-pod is the 'show pod' and is usually run in an orderly fashion. They keep guys on this pod who are quiet and peaceful, but everyone is riled up and out of their minds with stress right now. I can't explain it...It's like nothing I've seen here before.  

I'll get through it though...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 11th, 2020

It's the first official day of Chanukah and I'm in relatively good spirits, all things considered. Last night I brought in the first night by pulling out a beautiful cardstock Menorah my girlfriend made for me last year. Some guys on my section wanted to participate in bringing the first night in and so I recited the prayers for lighting the Menorah and they repeated them. It was funny because the guys couldn't get their tongues around some of the Hebrew, but it was also touching, and I got a bit choked up that they wanted to do it with me. That's the first time it's ever happened like that since I've been here.  

I woke up at 5.55am this morning and tuned my radio to the prison radio station because it was time for my favourite music program which they do twice a day – 'The Lizard Lounge'. It was named because the program plays the same kind of music you'd hear in the club of the same name. When I was a teenager growing up in Arlington, Texas, the alternative radio station would do 'Live from the Lizard Lounge' on Saturday nights. It's a cool little throw back.

Hearing a Cure song I've never heard before right out of the gate, put some pep in my step and got me motivated...I got up, worked out, and began a letter to my girlfriend.  

My section is 'off' today, so we don't have rec, but now they've shut everything all the way down without explanation. I had a thought last night because I tend to get upset at second shift when they complain about first shift's lack of work. I sort of began to understand whey they always say,  

“Take it up with first shift.”

Before I was kind of thinking,  

“Geeze...you still have a job to do. You don't get a pass out of work just because you work at night.”

But then I thought, you know...first shift is BARELY getting anything done – only doing, on average, two rounds of rec, and almost zero showers, and leaving all of the brunt of the work to second shift. It's really unfair to them and yet, the ranking officers continuously let it happen. Second shift has to come to work, sometimes feed dinner, do the remaining rec rounds, do a ton of showers, pass out mail and Jpays, do late night insulin, pass out breakfast...It dawned on me how unfair it was to them, and then on top of that they have to listen to us bark at them because first shift screwed us over. That's a lot of stress all round. All of that being said, I still think there's a way to talk to us with bit of decency and to not treat us like sub-humans.  

So, it's Friday and I'm bumbling through the day, trying to keep busy and keep my mind in a positive head space. I'm tired of feeling stressed and tired of complaining about this place...I really am.  

I also think that some of the frustration comes from just wanting to get on with my life...I have dreams and goals, but I'm in this strange limbo. Whilst a part of me believes that one day I will be able to fulfil these things, there's that small little part of me that gets anxious and worries, even doubts at times. I try to chase it away but it often nags and nags and nags at me...The joys of a neurotic mind!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 13th, 2020

I didn't get any sleep at all last night. I had every intention of going to bed at a decent time, but the prison radio station played the entire double album of Smashing Pumpkins' 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness'...Talk about memory overload and a ton of emotions flooding over me!!! Anyone who has read my Memoir knows that that particular album was a huge part of my life at the end of 1995 and going into 1996...So, I listened to that and then they played another Pumpkins' album after that!

I had intended sleeping in until about 8 in the morning but they surprisingly began recreation to make up for the screw over on Friday. It was noisy, so I woke up and decided to start the day and plough through it.  

It dawned on me a short while ago that today marks 20 years since I escaped. When guards find out that I'm one of those guys they say,  

“Are you one of them?”  

I always, always respond with,  


When they question me about it I try to brush everything off because it's not something I like talking about, and definitely isn't anything to brag about. It's a regretful and shameful part of my life, and I'm fighting to stay alive because of that fateful decision.

I wish I had a time machine...I'd keep myself from ever leaving home in 1995, and if I couldn't convince my 17 year old version of myself, I'd go straight to 2000 and I think it would be bit easier to convince that version of myself because I was always on the fence about everything at that time. I mean, it's a horrible thing to feel when you think,  

“Had it not been for that...I'd be free right now. I might be on parole, but I'd be free.”

It sucks to have those feelings, but I made my bed...

It's been really chaotic today but I'm getting through it. I want to listen to that movie, 'Wonder' again. I listened to it yesterday and it was so good. I'd read the book about two years ago, but the movie really had an extra emotional punch. The acting was really good and several parts had me choked up and teary-eyed. I like a feel-good story and one of triumph over adversity...I highly recommend it.  

Everything is okay today...I'm looking forward to a Jpay from my girlfriend tomorrow – Monday's are always good because I can read about her weekend, and she's always super busy with creating and making her art and her crafts. As we approach the New Year we will have been together for 3 years! To have her to connect to in friendship, laughs, and love...To have her in my corner...To have her believe in me and push me on the hardest days to overcome, and keep on fighting...Someone like that can't be measured against anything. I'm blessed...

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 14th, 2020

I woke up this morning and got ready for rec. I was scheduled first round and I like going out first because I can get it all out of the way and get on with my day and my work afterwards.  

Things ran smoothly until second round, and then the chaos bomb went off! Fortunately, for me, my rec and shower were all done before things went sour, so I could coast through without stressing. That being said, I'm mindful of how stressful it was for the other guys who weren't so lucky.  

It's been cold and grey – the best kind of winter weather, but I heard that for the holidays next week, we are looking at warming up into the '70s. Only in Texas! Don't like the weather today? Stick around and it'll be very different tomorrow.

We've been told that the Major over Death Row is being replaced, so we're bracing ourselves for changes again. Who know how it'll be but we'll soon find out, I suppose.  

Today, I heard a 'best of' collection by the The Cranberries. I'd heard it before but those songs are timeless and all have memories attached to them. The song, 'Free to Decide' punches me in the gut every single time. The inmate DJ on the station said he got a bunch of new music in and will start to update the play lists. I heard some newer Cure songs I've never heard and really liked them. I'd never have heard them if it weren't for this station.  

The guys around me compiled a list of holiday movies we requested, and the DJ said he'd try to get some of those on. We're looking forward to it!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 15th, 2020

Something told me last night that I should get to bed early because I'd be first round for outside recreation. I woke up around 5.45am, and when the guard asked me if I was going to rec I said, “yes” and was told I was first round. Being up so early I tuned into the prison radio station and heard the Cure's, 'From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea' – I love that song!! It's 7 minutes of pure brilliance. Then they played 'Wrong Number' and 'Lullaby', and that got my day off to a good start.  

I went outside and it was so cold! I warmed up as I worked out, and it felt good to be out in the fresh air. When it was time to come in the male officer starts to strip me out and threw my clothes on the ground. Keep in mind we're outside and there's bird poop everywhere...It was filthy. I'm standing there, freezing, and said,  

“Dude, you're just threw my clothes down on the filthy ground”

He looks at me and says,  

“I have nowhere to put them.”

Well, besides the fact that he's allowed to hand them back to me, on the gate there's a huge handle made of a steel rod, and there's a big gap in it to hang clothes on. I said,  

“Use the handle”.

He looks at it and says,  

“Oh...Didn't see that there.”

Really? He just literally had his hand on it!

After strip searching me he handed my clothes back and I was shaking my head like, “Life shouldn't be this difficult for people.” The guy I was outside with said,

“Now I can see why our country is in the dumps..”

I kind of laughed, and went back to my cell.  

When I returned my neighbour said they were going to shut the water off, so I had to scramble and get a quick bird bath out of my sink, and fill up some cups and my hotpot with some water. It turned out they never did shut the water off, and now they're saying it'll be tomorrow.  

That's pretty much been my day.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 17th, 2020

Yesterday was a so-so day. I went to recreation first round at 6.30am, did my exercises and talked to some guys on D-Section. Things were running smoothly until this one psycho guard came on the floor and everything blew up. Because certain things like the kitchen and other departments were closed for pest control, the craziness wasn't as bad as it could have been. We had lunch and dinner in sacks so the guards didn't have to pass out trays, which for some weird reason takes certain officers hours to do.

Now, last night things could have gone down the drain really fast when they began showers. I was already a little miffed because I was first for rec, and now I'd be last for the shower – which is not how things are supposed to go. The policy is those who went to rec go to the shower in order of their recreation, and those who skip rec go last. It's done that way to be fair, because guys exercise in the day rooms and come back sweaty and dirty.  

Well, when it should've been my turn the female officer said,  

“Hey...it shows you gave up your shower.”

And just as I was about to protest, she said,

“But I know you didn't. The times don't add up...You were at rec when they marked you as refusing your shower. Do you want to go?”

I let out a sigh of relief and said,  

“Thank you for not jacking my shower.”

When she was taking me back to my cell, she said,  

“I know you guys are being screwed a lot with rec and showers. I don't operate that way.”

I said,  

“Thanks. You know, you'll be amazed at how far a smidgen of understanding can makes things easier for all of us here.”

Anyways...I waited for mail and when we were told that the Jpay letters were coming late, I went to sleep. I woke up when the Jpays arrived, and I was happy to receive a bunch, with two from my girlfriend. I slept pretty well after that.  

Yesterday on the prison radio station I heard the Counting Crows album, 'August and Everything After'. It's a personal favourite that I listened to repeatedly in the '90s. Not a single dud track on that album and listening to it for the first time in 25 years, I was whisked back to 1994 and awash with memories...So good! I'm so grateful for this station and the music I never thought I'd hear in my life again.  

I woke up this morning thinking I'd overslept, but my clock was wrong. I jumped out of bed, exercised, said my prayers, and skipped out on going outside – it was much too cold! I wasn't feeling like subjecting myself to being trapped outside when it's that cold. I like it a little on the cold side, but not that cold!

The day has been relatively chaos free and peaceful. In my morning prayers I told myself I was going to try and do a better job of not letting this place infect me, my mood, and how I react to things. It can be a struggle at times, especially because things have deteriorated so badly. But I'm not a negative person and I hate feeling like a wet blanket has been dropped on top of me when things go topsy turvy.  

Some sad news on my section...An old Latino man downstairs (who is already half blind and has diabetes) was just diagnosed with liver cancer. We're trying to support him the best we can. My friend, Big Foot, lives next to him and he's helping with trying to reach his family and get him a call home. Both of his neighbours have told him to hit the water or call out if he needs help, and they're making sure the guards check on him regularly. It's heartbreaking...Another guy upstairs was just diagnosed with Hepatitis C which is a bit scary as well, but at least he's receiving treatment for that now.  

Please pray for all of the old, sick and infirm people back here...They have it much tougher than the rest of us.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 27th, 2020

It's early Sunday morning as I type this...about 7.35am to be exact. I haven't written anything in a few days because I've been in a bit of a funk...Frustrated and irritated by the way things are back here, and feeling stuck in limbo. I thought, a few days ago, that something needs to change. I feel like I've gotten into a routine of complaining all of the time, even though I'm truly grateful for so many things in my life. My complaints about this place and way things have deteriorated, are still small potatoes in comparison to how bad some people in the free world are having it. People who work hard and do the best they can deserve a good life...People that had to go to a food bank for a holiday  meal whilst I'm feasting on baked chicken and brisket...

Of course, Christmas Eve is the hardest day for me and I always pray and ask forgiveness for that night 20 years ago, and the escape. My regret and remorse cannot be measured in words or deeds. I'm just truly sorry for everything that happened.  

On Christmas Day, the guys around me were in good spirits. Everyone wished each other a 'Merry Christmas' and we waited on the food which showed up around 9am. There was a ton of food – almost too much to eat, and my neighbour gave me his onions and black olives. The cold tray had cobbler, pineapple upside down cake, celery with peanut butter, onions, black olives, pickles, and potato salad. The hot tray had baked chicken, a slice of brisket, cheese rolls, beans, corn and some other veggies. Dinner was a sack meal of PB&J and salami sandwiches.  

Anyways...after much reflection over the weekend, I've decided to kick myself in the butt and make a strong effort to be more productive in 2021...To be more positive and focused...2020 turned into such a crazy year, but still, my life was spared the year before and I've been given a chance to fight another day. I'm still alive and I can help to uplift and inspire where I can. I'm sure I'll still have a complaint or two – it's natural to vent – but I'm not going to let it to bring me down in the way I've allowed it to!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 29th, 2020

Today has been a sad day as we received word of someone's death back here. We don't have the full story, but he did have health complications and some are saying he died of a heart attack. In recent weeks I decided to start eating healthier (as much as I can in this place) and to get back to my regular exercises that are typically cardio heavy, after seeing so many guys diagnosed with diabetes and other health issues. It does little to fight to save your life from the executioner if you're not willing to also take care of yourself in the process.

Part of taking care of yourself is good mental health. I've been feeling so down over the holidays; I had one of the worst bouts of depression I've had in a long time, and I kept thinking,  

“Something needs to change...I've got to change something.”

It had me all out of whack, and I have to try harder to not allow this environment to affect me as much as it has been. Everything, and I mean everything was starting to irritate me. I was becoming more sarcastic and my patience was running thin. I woke up yesterday and thought,  

“Well, here we go...I'm going to go with the ebb and flow of the tide, and ride the day...Let's see if I can keep it positive.”

I went out to rec, and honestly, I didn't expect to be trapped in the day room for so long. I expected a chaos bomb to go off at some point, but even on the first round of recreation, one wouldn't expect to be more than a couple of hours out of one's cell...It's typically after that first round of rec that things go pear shaped. Two hours turned into three...Three turned into four...And four turned into seven!! I kept pacing around saying,  

“Ebb and flow...Ebb and flow...”

Guys were coming to their doors saying,  

“Geeze, you're still in the day room?!?”

I replied,  

“Right now I'm riding the current. If this was the Iron Man of recreation, I'd be the champion right now.  This is the triathlon of rec!!”

It wiped all of the energy out of me, but I remained calm and kept a smile on my face, and I'm going to keep on doing it.  

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


December 30th, 2020

I woke up at 5.30am for recreation. I knew I'd be going out first round as that is just the way it is on my section, but I was ready. I almost aborted the mission though, because I saw that we had the same crew as Monday, and who left me out at rec for 7 hours...But I thought,  

“You know what? I'll ride it out. Whatever happens, happens.”

I don't like giving up my recreation and I know I'd regret it after the fact, so I just went with it.  

I worked out, had a little conversation with some guys who were awake, and then they began to change out rec at a reasonable time. It's gone a little pear shaped since then, but at least I made it back to my cell.  

It hasn't been a bad day, but it hasn't been great either, which is due to a certain male officer who keeps starting problems with other guys back here. But I'm in a bubble of relative positivity right now...I'm ebbing and flowing...I'm cool...I'm zen.

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


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