Right Back To Normal…

Right Back To Normal…

October 2, 2000

One of my past celly’s got rolled up (this can mean many things, sent to the hole, ran off the yard by other inmates, put under investigation by administration, and others which will be the case here) today. He has to go to court on another charge. It is fairly serious-attempted murder. This happens a lot in here. Sometimes guys have no clue it’s coming either. Some DA can decide they have enough to charge you on another crime, and bam!, you’re back in the county.

Stretch knew it was going to happen, but I imagine it really turns your life upside down here (as if it’s not enough already). However, it is probably a relief to get it over with when you know it’s hanging over your head.

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I hope they offer him a good deal. Whenever you live with someone here, even for a short period of time, you get to know them pretty well. Stretch is decent dude. I talked to a girlfriend on the phone today who told me she was dated raped a while back. She is doing good and didn’t mention the whole dilemma. She says she is going to come and see me in December. That would be cool. But it is a long trip, and I am not going to count on it.


I watched a show on ABC Downtown tonight about ecstasy.


It brought back a lot of memories. That drug seems to be getting more and more popular.

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Speaking of dope, there is a lot of it here on the yard now. I’m trying to stay away from it. It’s hard for me, but the amounts that they sell wouldn’t do much to me anyway.


A Break From The Norm

A Break From The Norm

October 1, 2000

I had a nice time with my mom today. We talked about all kinds of things. We played Yahtzee for a while, which brought back some childhood memories, but otherwise we just reminisced and mulled on the future.

She has been really great to me through all of this. We even talked about my father and his family, something she doesn’t like to really do. I learned a lot of things I never knew before. Maybe some day I will be comfortable enough to share them. One thing that really sucks about visiting is the strip searching. They even strip you before you go in.

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The only reason I can think this happens is they are worried someone might try to sneak in a weapon to hurt one of the visitors? Otherwise it’s just purely a humiliation tactic. Why would you be sneaking anything into the room?images (57)

As I write this I am watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics. I heard some bad news today. A guy I know is on his way to prison. The problem is he informed on one of my friends. If anyone finds this out it could put the spotlight on me. People will wonder why I didn’t warn them. Some might even say it’s my responsibility to do something about it. And if my friend finds out I’m at the same place with him…My hope is the guy will go to PC. And that is probably what will end up happening.

Olympics, Moms, Melodies, and Shrooms…hmmmm

Olympics, Moms, Melodies, and Shrooms…hmmmm

September 30, 2000

I was wrong about the Olympics being over. They continued today with an strange episode acted out by the U.S. 4 by 100 relay team. The media pointed out they acted like asses in front of none other than Henry Kissinger. My mother is coming to visit me tomorrow. I am excited about that. Since I’ve landed so far upstate I have not been able to see her too often.

I’m looking forward to that and some different food. They have vending machines there and sell all the junk anyone could want. Even better, inmates are not allowed to handle the money so your visitors must fetch it and bring it for you. I’ve been playing a lot of cards lately, in particular, pinochle. It passes a whole lot of time and is good at sharpening up the mind. The radio is on as I write and it’s playing Nickel Back “Leader of Men”. Not one of my favorites, but someone has just informed me this song is about eating shrooms.

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I haven’t listened to it very close, but it’s never made me think that before. However, I have never been very good on picking up song lyrics. I’m the guy that gets them all wrong. Speaking of shrooms though, I would do some acid if I got my hands on some. Definitely my favorite drug. I have thought many times it would be easy to slip some in on a letter here. I’ve even propositioned my friends to do it, but no luck. What a neurotic rant. What can I say? I have a lot of time to think.images (1)

Holding Your Mud In Two Very Different Ways

Holding Your Mud In Two Very Different Ways

September 29, 2000

Today I can cite another example of the so called prison “code” or protocol. Really it is a rule on the streets anywhere. But here, if you do not “hold your mud” your own people will turn against you. Eric’s clippers were stolen.

And it’s just accepted that if he finds out who did it, he has to fight the guy if he doesn’t want to be shunned, or even worse sent to protective custody. Being sent to protective custody is like being castrated in prison. The idea is you were not  man enough to make it on the yard.

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I wonder if Eric really wants to find out who did it. If he did it could turn his life upside down, where as now all he’s lost is some cheap grooming tool. On to the real world we all so sorely miss. Today was the last day of the Olympics. I was really rooting for Marion Jones. But even more so I was mesmerized by all the butts of the girls on the volleyball team. I miss food, but like I said, it’s a close second place.

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There are some serious behinds on that team. As you can imagine, this was must see TV in here. I haven’t been able to get a hold of anyone on the phone lately. It’s hard to let go but I need to. My friends still have lives to lead…while I’m here.         images (53)

My best friends are now mostly books.  “It rips my life away, but it’s a great escape.” Right now I’m reading “The First World War, by John Keegan. Captivating subject matter to me. Can’t get enough reading on either of the great wars.

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They’re Coming To Take Him Away

They’re Coming To Take Him Away

September 28, 2000

The white shot caller was taken away to administrative segregation today, otherwise known as the hole. Big news because the word is he was ratted on.

Even worse the suspected culprit is black.  That is not good news at all. How this thing is supposed to go is the blacks are supposed to take care of the guy themselves. If they don’t however, which is very possible, there could be some heavy racial tension, maybe even violence. But I will say that I’m starting to realize that threats in here really hold no more punch behind them than on the street. A lot of talk gets talked, not a lot of what they are talking about ever happens.

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Either way I try to stay as far away from this nonsense as I can. I’m confident in a being savvy enough to weasel out of these “duties” in here.

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I am a bit pissed about Chuck leaving though. He was in the middle of doing some tattoo work on my arm. Hopefully he’ll be back. On a lighter note, the guy making the noise in the gym has suddenly stopped. I guess he can work out without screaming. It seems as though he got a talking to.

It’s Not A Wonderful Life

It’s Not A Wonderful Life

September 27, 2000

I received a letter from Mrs. Marrazzo last night. She is a family friend of mine who helped me graduate high school. She is a teacher at an adult education school where they also place students trying to graduate high school in time in classes at night. Her criminal justice class had some questions for me. They of course want to know what prison is like, not the TV or movie versions.

They want to know about the gangs, education, the weight room, and how a typical day in prison goes. Sadly many of these kids will go to prison, the school Mrs. Marrazzo teaches at is in the hood and is also a sort of last chance for many kids. I answered the questions all to the best of my ability. I almost did not want to tell the truth. The reason being is that it is generally so easy going here that my words would have no deterring factor at all.

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But in the end I was honest because it seems ridiculous to lie to people asking for the straight dope. Especially teens.        images (43)

Obviously, the worst part of prison is the loss of freedom of movement. But until I experienced it I never really understood all the words I’d heard on the subject.  Sometimes I feel hopeless facing so long of a stretch in this life, but where would that get me. I will not be here forever. At times it is really hard to get motivated to improve knowing I’ll be here for at least another 8 years. All I can do is plug away.

In Search Of Better Bread And Water

In Search Of Better Bread And Water

September 26, 2000

I started going to what they call “Alternative Meals”. When you get on this diet you eat first. They call all of the Alternatives from every unit and then they start the rotation of the other units which revolves. The Alternative diet is a vegetarian one. But what I do is cheat. I go to the Alternative one when we are having something nasty like fish or liver.

I love fish, but not here. Liver not so much . One of the first sayings I ever heard in prison was, “fuck em and feed em fish”. This is how many inmates feel the administration running the prison feels about us. Sometimes the meal is the same like lasagna in which case I go with the Alternatives to go first.

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The “Kosher” guys eat with us too. And they get even better stuff, but you must take a religious test to get on that gravy train. One thing I miss most about the world is good food. It’s a very close second place to women. I used to eat out almost everyday. When I didn’t it was because I ate cocaine instead. But I didn’t just eat at fast food joints. I usually ate at sit down places with good food. I don’t know how good it was for me, but it tasted good. So I’m used to good tasting food. However, at the moment I would kill for a McDonald’s hamburger. When I see food commercials on TV they literally make my stomach churn. The food looks so good and I want it so bad my gut aches horribly. The first thing I am eating when I get out is steak with shrimp and lobster.

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I think about it every single day.



September 25, 2000

On a lighter but still ridiculous note, there has been some really terrible yelling and moaning happening in the weight room lately. This one dude just makes some nasty noises while he works out.

People are starting to get tired of it. Some are clowning about it as it happens. It is just a matter of time before something happens over it I think. Not sure if the guy himself will get mad or has the balls to do something over it, but eventually someone else will.   This however reminds me of when I first moved to Vegas. Me and my first friend in Vegas (and a close friend to this day) heard a guy doing this same shit at the apartment complex gym. Every time he did a rep he spouted a “rahhhhhhhhhh”. Of course we started imitating him. He would get mad and chase us around the whole complex.


Then we started calling him “Rah Man”. Every time we saw him we would scream “Rah Man” and follow it with “rahhhhhhhhhhh”. He was an Austrian guy who had a Bradley GT kit car. The pieces of the glue that held his car together could be found all over the ground near  his parking space. His idol was Arnold Schwartzenegger. Good times any time I am reminded of instances like this in here.

Petty Politics and Respect

Petty Politics and Respect

September 24, 2000

More excitement today. It was between the whites and one of the Hispanic factions called the Surenos. The Surenos are the gang-banging more Americanized version as opposed to the other more foreign element the “Paisas”. One of these Surenos claimed that a white guy owed him some tattoo work. I heard the story from the tat artist who happens to be the main decision maker, or so called “shot caller” for the whites. Or even “decider” if you’re George Bush (that may be a bit apocryphal, not sure if he’d said that yet, but I had to do it). According to this fellow this all happened about a year ago. He has no idea why the guy is now upset. Probably there is more to the story than that. I am not a person that is on the needs to know list. But I can see. And this was a big enough deal for everyone to be out on the yard, many packing knives.

Thankfully it was all settled peacefully after a lengthy talk. I think that some of this stuff is really about testing limits. They refer to these relations as politics here I think because they do really resemble what we call politics-basically a big joke. I don’t think that many of the hard cases here feel right if something is not going right. The old self-fulfilling  prophecy. They always find something. They’re experts at it.

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I’ll Have My Cake And Punch You Too

I’ll Have My Cake And Punch You Too

September 23, 2000

Some major excitement went on today. I was in the chow line for dinner when a fight broke out in front of the line. One of the participants just happened to be my celly. The guard on the line was a new one, a woman named Bell. She was scared to death screaming “shoot em, shoot em” to the guard in the gun post above us. At this we all dove to the ground without even being told so. The gun post officer fired a couple of warning shots and and the fight finally stopped. And here we have a little bridge into the mind of what inmates view as the typical prison guard. She wants these guys to be shot over a simple fist fight. Possibly she was just scared, maybe I should give her that.

But if you’re that frightened, is this really the best line of work for you. Then again people are working jobs that don’t suit them the best everywhere. Why should prison be any different? I found out the fight was over a piece of cake. The guy in front of my celly didn’t like the size of his dessert, so he slid the piece from my celly’s tray onto his. Now they would have put another on slice on there Steve asked, but I guess the real issue was the guy touched his tray. There was no changing that.

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I don’t think they liked each other too much either. Later I had to spend over an hour inventorying  Steve’s belongings to be sent over with him to the hole. And now I will have to find a new celly which is a pain in the ass. Steve had been around the system and was respected here. He taught me quite a bit. He was a bit too much on the racist side for me, but, again, what do you expect in here. The biggest plus was I knew he was not a sex-offender. No one wants to live with one of those. That was why he asked me to move in. He used to like to wrestle a lot too(a fight I always lost), I also chalked this up to the world I live in. The thing I will remember most was he said I looked like the wrestler “The Rock”-on crack.

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I don’t see the resemblance but my friends used to call me Crack on the street. Finally, no one ever let Miss Bell hear the end of her performance during the scuffle. People imitated her for weeks in their best female voice, “shoot em, shoot em”.