April 2008 - 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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April 27th, 2008

Well, today I feel a little better. Last night I listened to "Harry Potter  and the Goblet of Fire" and it was pretty good. I'd have liked to see the special effects though. A friend recently asked how we were able to listen to TV through our radios, and why we had a coax antenna system. Well, I can't get into all of the technical things as to why we can listen, but I think that the whole unit was originally set up for cable and because we're out in the sticks they use some sort of system to pick up clear FM signals, because otherwise you wouldn't be able to listen to much radio out here. We pick up a Houston signal. Well, as the FM antenna is tied into the TV or UHF and VHF antenna we also can pick up TV. It's all on the same system. I don't know how this will effect us when everything goes digital. I'm assuming that so long as TDC upgrades their system, the FM will still be on the same coax and we'll still be able to get it. No one knows for sure. Just a bunch of  speculation.

In just a little bit my radio program starts up and there's rumors going around that some big changes are coming to the radio station that does our show. I hope it doesn't affect the show itself. I think other than a few things, it runs pretty well and serves an awesome purpose. Yeah, it has plenty of kinks, but it's great to hear messages. I always get a little sad when I hear parents call in and the love they have for their children - guys in prison. True, unconditional love. I've never really experienced it, but I know that it's an awesome thing. It makes me miss my parents so much. I think on Mother's Day I'm going to write something to my mom. We weren't as close as my dad and I, but she did have my same sense of humor and we liked the same movies, and to read. I used to love whenever I'd come back home from Kentucky and one of the first places we went to was the book store...She was always good to go clothes shopping with as well. I remember one time dad was trying to get me to try on these really tight pants, Wesley called them 'nut huggers' and I begged mom please let me get different ones. Dad said, no, these fit fine, but I wanted baggy pants! Mom made my case and dad caved in.  

Not much else is happening around here. It's a nice day outside. I don't have much of a view, but the sky looks nice enough.


April 26th, 2008

I'm kind of an emotional mess right now…..Well, I'm trying to keep myself from falling back into a depression… I did receive the email I was fretting about on Wednesday night, and it was from the widow of the officer killed in 2000 after our escape. It made me feel just awful inside and while I'll never truly understand the amount of pain her family has gone through over the years, I could only ask for forgiveness, even if I didn't pull a gun. I don't know what else to say other than I have always had remorse for that night, as it should've never happened and I don't say that because I've ended up on death row. Yes, being on death row has changed me, has opened my eyes to many things and had it not been for me coming here I probably would've never seen them or wouldn't have seen them for a long time to come, but still I've always been sincere in asking for forgiveness. And while I've never expected to be forgiven, I'll always ask to be forgiven.

I don't think some people realize why I have a journal and why I write as often as I can or why I write memoirs and other things. It's not for attention. I don't know anyone who bares their soul for the whole world to see, and is really screaming "look at me?" No, I've never wanted that. It's never been about ego or anything of that nature. It's simply an exercise in self discovery, and a suggestion by friend(s) to help me get through a severe depression I was going through at the time. It's now become more than that and I've had the unique chance to use my abilities to shine a light not only on what death row is like, but the people who are on death row. Some will always think we are all animals, but it's just not true. And if, by sharing these experiences, I can keep others from making the same mistakes, or encourage parents to really listen when their own children or teenagers come to be in trouble, well I feel that I've accomplished something tremendous. Some people may not "buy it", but I'm not trying to sell anything anyway, so it doesn't matter. It would be very difficult for me to carry on with some façade for several years now. Wouldn't I slip? Wouldn't I get caught in some lie? Wouldn't someone call me out and say, "prove it!" I don't know, but I do know that those who truly know me, know that I'm sincere. We all stumble from time to time and I'm far from perfect, but I do know that my heart and my intentions are in the right place. I guess that's all that matters.


April 22nd, 2008

I  don't believe it's ever on the cards to get more than four to six hours of sleep. Yeah, occasionally there's the rare day I might make it to seven or eight hours of sleep, but those times really are rare.  

So, I'm out here in the dayroom at about 6:25 AM. I went to sleep at around 1:15am, thinking I'd be able to sleep in, but really I should know better than that. It's my fault. Really, I just have a very hard time sleeping before midnight and sleeping during the day. It's something I've been doing since I was about 14 years old, but I realize that being 30 years old now, it's not quite the same. The body definitely doesn't take it the same! Growing older is a mixed bag. I don't fear age, and as I recently wrote in one of my songs, "Youth has grown old." Youth is highly overrated. I think the few things youth had going for itself was 1) innocence; 2) naivety; 3) sexual exploration; 4) living for what the future might hold. The cliché is age brings wisdom and it's true, but age also brings with it a sense of living in the present, whereas in youth you can run from life and death.  Age means you know your life is truly valuable and that death, well, she's finally catching up to you. So things you do have more weight and importance. How did I get there from sleep? I guess my point is that I'm starting to feel my age!

One thing I didn't mention in my journal yesterday, something that amused me (my mind has been on the looming email making its way) is that maintenance came to rip out this whole console in the pods control center. See, it's a very big counter with shelves, etc, and then you have the controls built into it. Mostly the console was good for some of the guards to hide behind and sleep, or engage in other dubious activities. Maintenance stripped it all out and just left the controls so now there's no place to sleep behind or hide. As I said, all very amusing.  

Well, I think I've rambled on long enough. My mind is like a freight train this morning, but my body is not catching up!


April 21st, 2008

A hot, humid day. I've been thinking compulsively about the coming email. I really don't know what to do until then.


April 20th, 2008

Man…talk about news to really wake your ass up. I'm left feeling very nervous/anxious about an upcoming email that was sent to me and I should have by the weekend. In all honesty I dread it but this could be a pivotal moment, a life changing moment. I know I'm being vague, but I will explain more when I receive this email. I need this no matter how emotional it might be. My response is everything.


April 18th, 2008

A beautifully boring and peaceful day. It's been quiet all day long. I've just been listening to the radio and doing laundry.Nothing laborious. I'm loving this weather that we've had all week long: no humidity, no rain, not even a  cloud in the sky. Currently I'm listening to air traffic control on my radio. I still think it's wild that I can actually pick this up.


April 17th, 2008

Today is a somber day. First, I wake up to the news that the U.S. is ranked number five amongst countries who execute. FIVE. That's just nuts. We're up there with China and the Middle East. USA! USA! USA! Then at rec someone yells that the Supreme Court has ruled against lethal injection being unconstitutional. One of the guards snickered and said, "Crank it up." I turned around and called him an asshole. But he's right, there are over 70 inmates on death row here who have exhausted their appeals. It's about to be a slaughterhouse in here. Hell, if the lethal injection is humane we might as well bring back the guillotine. What d'ya say?

When I went back to my cell I went to AM radio to piece together the news and what exactly the Supreme Court ruled, and I pieced it all together. It's a mixed bag: yes, executions will now resume, and they ruled against the Kentucky applicants who filed the suit on the grounds that they had no justifiable argument to challenge lethal injection. It was not a blanket ruling, so if there's a state who has a legitimate claim that during the administering of the lethal injection something has gone wrong, THEN they can sue the state and take it back to the Supreme Court. So, the fight is definitely not over. Basically, they want a better argument. It's promising, but still many more inmates will be killed before this happens. I figure Texas will have its first execution by May or June.


April 16th, 2008

Good riddance Natalie! Yes! She's just been kicked off of Big Brother. Man, Sheila is  good. She totally made that happen. Here's what happened...yesterday Adam (who was on the block with Shannon) won power of veto meaning he could take himself off of the chopping block. Sheila had been gunning for Natalie all along but was being two-faced and says, "I have to do this, Natalie, and put you on the block, but you're safe. Don't worry." Meanwhile, she wants her gone. She was even apologizing to Natalie with  fake tears. Classic! Then Adam and Ryan ask Natalie who her loyalty is with - with them or the other women. Natalie says them (the guys). Natalie starts begging the guys not to kick her out and Adam promises her he won't vote against her. Ryan is non-committal, but I'm thinking, "You morons. If you let her stay she will kick one of you out next week. She's too powerful, you're giving her a free ride!" Well, I wasn't thinking this, I was yelling it! Sheila is freaking out, thinking her plan is going to blow up in her face, but she's being cool about it, keeping her head and the whole thing. Shannon thinks she's a goner.

So the vote comes up and only Adam and Ryan can vote, unless it comes to a tie, then Sheila can break the tie. Ryan votes to kick Natalie out and Adam votes to keep her in. Sheila has to break the tie and votes Natalie out. I yell in victory!!! Now, the game is about to really get interesting. I'm going to call Adam and Sheila as final two. Adam wins it all. I think Shannon will be kicked out next week because she's now a serious contender for the $500,000. Sheila is conniving enough to make it work for her. The only way Ryan would be able to pull it off is to blindside Adam and stab him in his back, which I don't think he'd be willing to do because it would leave Sheila or Shannon against him and he has no chance with either of them.

Geeze…I just realized how pathetic I really am! Does this even count as a journal entry? I don't think Anne Frank or any other profound journalist would've written about this if they were alive today. Sheesh.


April 15th, 2008

I woke up this morning and my bald head was sore. My dome was thoroughly cooked yesterday. Ouch!

Today has been kind of boring. Just reading and waiting on some more wire from someone. I'm determined to get at least one TV station, preferably CBS so I don't miss Big Brother. God, what has that show done to me? I've NEVER been this addicted to a TV show. I'm not a fan of reality TV even if it's a guilty pleasure, but Big Brother is like the…Okay, I can't stop laughing. My weird sense of humor was going to allow me to write, "like the teat I can't quit suckling," but then I realized that while funny, it makes no sense. Still funny, though…All right, wire has arrived. Let's see what I can do…Yes! It worked! I feel like a mad scientist. I have what is basically a spider web of wire running everywhere and then all into my signal booster I can get a staticky CBS and ABC. I am not complaining! But…In the process I was able to pick up the nearby airport's communications. I'm not kidding! I just heard, "Continental flight 356, flying flight  path…" Actually, it's kind of cool.

Ooh mail is early! Gotta go read my mail and get ready for Big Brother. I hope Natalie is on the chopping block. Please if there's any real justice in the universe she'll be on the block!


April 14th, 2008

Right now I've got a splitting headache from lack of caffeine. I have an ongoing battle with that crap and I'll want to stop and then I'll think, hey, one cup of coffee can't hurt and then it's right off the wagon I go again. So, right now I'm trying to stop drinking the crap again and it's not looking like I'm going to make it.

Well, other than a crappy ass letter I got from my ex-wife just a short while ago, today was okay. I went outside and while it wasn't too hot, the sun was out and I did get a nice little burn. I'm a lovely shade of red right now and my face feels hot. I finished reading "What's So Great About Christianity" and it was so-so. To me it was the same tired arguments, but what do I know. I always think it's odd that these kinds of books make stronger cases for G-d than Jesus. Or they're the same right? Eh, I'm a Jew what do I know? That was not meant to be offensive.

I guess I'm in a little bit of a foul mood. I swear, I don't understand women at all. I mentioned that my ex-wife was pregnant, so I sent her a congratulatory letter and SHE gave her new address and wanted me to write her! So, there was nothing inflammatory about what I wrote her. Just being the friend I thought I was...Then, I get this note today that says, "I have to close that chapter in my life, so please don't write me again because I want to respect my fiancée". Fiancée!?! After knowing the dude for like four months now??? Reading it I'm like, huh? Where did that come from? But whatever…Apparently I'm just a chapter in someone's life, and now I see my worth. Seem to be getting a lot of that lately. Oh, well…

I guess I'm going to start reading book two of a trilogy called His Dark  Materials. The first book was The Golden Compass (also a movie) and it really surprised me at how good it was. Book two is called The Subtle Knife, hopefully it is as good. As I said before, this puts Harry Potter  to shame. Off to bookland I go…


April 13th, 2008

I was sleeping really well until I was knocked out of dreamland by the sound of someone yelling, "No peace! No justice!" I was a little confused, so I rolled out of bed and climbed on my toilet to look out a small crack in my door...I saw an inmate sitting on the ground. Apparently, he refused to go to his cell after his shower because of the reason he was on level 3 discipline in the first place. What had happened is a week ago his family came to visit him. Well, there was another inmate who had the same last name and they confused him with this person. That person was turned away and when the guy expecting his visit found out about this he was rightfully angry. He tried to talk to rank and the problems escalated because rank didn't give a damn and so he jacked the day room, and was gassed and placed on level 3. Well, all this past week he had been trying to get this problem addressed and no one really cared, so he jacked the walkway run this morning. The little riot squad came down and forced him back into his cell and then the lieutenant said, "This is the last time we deal with you. If we have to do it again I'm going to hurt you." Of course he said this after the cameras were gone.

Not 50 minutes after that the riot team was dragging another guy into a cell down here because he jacked the shower on another pod. He was banged up pretty bad so I'm guessing they beat the crap out of him. You can't really move around in those showers as they are only about 4' X 5 ½'. Imagine five or six hefty men running in on you like a freight train. Ouch. Every time I'm on F-Pod this happens. I've never been on this pod and not seen someone get beat up by the guards, or gassed. Crazy stuff. Well, things have calmed down for now.  It's really a nice cool spring day. I stood on my bed and watched out the window as cars passed by. It's a peaceful thing to do. I wish I was in a cell where I could watch the horses. I can't really see them on this side.


April 11th, 2008

It hasn't been that  bad over here. I'm looking for wire in the hopes that I can string up my cell and pull in some decent music. Right now all I'm getting is "Country Legends," an 80s cheese station, KDOL and some Tejano. Better than nothing, but still…I received another one of those fun little questionnaires and so I thought I'd do it in today's journal. Something to do and laugh at, I guess. Here it is. Enjoy!

What color best represents you? Really earth tones in general, but you can't go wrong with black.
Who would you cast to play you in a movie? Uhh, probably Billy Zane 'cause we're both bald.
What celebrity best represents your vision of fashion? George Clooney seems to dress well, but then again while I like to dress cool, I like down to earth fashion and even alternative fashion, so too tough to say.
If you could star in any TV show, which one would it be? Heroes!
If you were on MTV's "Made" what would you ask to be? What the hell, "Made"? I thought that was a Mafia term…
Who are you voting for? If I could vote, it'd be Obama.
Have you ever cried while watching a movie? Too many times to count. I like sappy movies.
Do you wear makeup because you think you're ugly? Uh, not even make-up could help this mug!
Name your closest five friends from 12 years ago. Can I say 13 years ago? It'd be Jason, Chad, Theresa, Jim and Wayne.
Do you think childhood trauma justified current life? Justifies? That makes no sense...Influences, yes, definitely.
You see a falling star, what do you wish? An end to the death penalty…true love/soul mate…maybe freedom one day after I serve my debt to society.

How  fun was that? Well, I guess I'll get to some reading. I'm reading a book called Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille and then I'm going to start reading a book I just received this morning called "What's So Great About Christianity?", a counter argument to what atheists think about religion. Should be interesting.


April 10th, 2008

Today I went to the lake. Well, if you want to call a flooded outside recreation yard a lake. It was fun! Nobody wanted to go outside because it was raining but since it was warm I decided to go out and experience the peacefulness. I grabbed a towel and slid on my flip flops, grabbed my water bottle and headed out. A guy in the dayroom said, "Randy, where are you going?" as the guards led me away, and I said, "To the lake!"

Really it was only sprinkling a little bit. A nice spring sprinkle and I was lost in my head when suddenly one of those giant mutant cockroaches crawled out from one of the storm drains. Next thing I knew we were in a battle to the death with each other. He tried to kick me with one of his giant lizard-like legs and I blocked it Chuck Norris style and went for the sweep. We wrestled on the ground for a minute and I tried with all my might to keep his mandibles from tearing at my throat…Uh, actually what really happened is the thing crawled from out of the drain and I screamed like a little girl. It scuttled around in the water, looked at me like, "What's the freakin' problem?" and darted back down the drain.  

All in all, I enjoyed my time in the rain. Last night, to ease the tensions of the drama during the last few days, me, a guy named 'Country', and another guy named 'Hood' listened to TV shows and goofed around. There was a National Geographic program on about killer whales and Country couldn't believe that orcas can run on a beach, grab a sea lion and toss it back to the sea and flip it around. For the longest time I'd been trying to do a perfect Cartman from the cartoon "South Park" and I said, "Yeah, imagine Country swimming out in the sea (Kicking in my Cartman voice), "Ohh, what a lovely swim! Ohhh, look at all the sea lions, they sure are big." (Back to normal voice) "So, Country is swimming around when all of a sudden one of those orcas pops up" (back to Cartman's voice), "Look, it's Shamu. C'mere, you cute thing, you. I want to pet you and keep you as my pet! Want a Twinkie?" (Back to normal voice) "Then the orca tries to bite him" (back to Cartman's voice) "Hey! You're not supposed to do that! Eh eh eh eh, gotta swim to shore eh eh eh eh gotta swim to shore. Mom! Shamu's trying to eat me!" Man everyone was laughing so hard. Even I couldn't stop laughing. Hood said, "Damn, Randy, you did that voice dead on."

I told Hood that at one time I could do many different cartoon voices and accents. I started working through them. My list of them is as follows: Yoda, Kermit the Frog, Grover, Pinky from Pinky the Brain, Marvin, Bobby from Bobby's World, Gizmo and Stripe from Gremlins, several different southern dialects, a bad British accent, Indian, Russian. I'm pretty bad at doing people; cartoons are much easier because they are more exaggerated. I'm a dork, but it brings laughs so it's all good.

Crap. They just told me I'm moving to F-pod, 76 Cell. That's the Level 3 death row discipline section. Wonderful. No, I'm not in trouble. They just like putting me in these sections for some reason. Gotta pack.

9:30pm...Man, that sucks! Not only did they put me on a bad section, but they put me in what's called a "management" cell. It's got a big box over what should be the food slot. The box has two slots. One to slide the food in and close it and then the other slot opens and you pull your food out and it closes. This keeps you from ever having direct contact with anyone. It's mainly used for those who attack guards and/or throw feces and urine on them. Over the mesh windows is a plate of Plexiglas and the door is sealed up completely on the side. To top that off there's nothing to hook my radio up to so I can't get crap for reception…Oh, well, I'd normally be upset and it'd ruin my whole two weeks, but it's only two weeks and I can still get a few radio stations, so it's not all that bad. I'll deal with it. No reason to complain over something that is beyond my control. Really, I did it to myself anyway. I should've never freakin' escaped eight years ago. The mistakes that follow us for the rest of our lives, I guess. Two weeks isn't anything. I can get caught up on reading and writing.


April 9th, 2008

Woke up and went to recreation at six this morning. I did some working out and then wrote a letter in the day room. It's usually the most quiet and peaceful time of the day. The drama continues and it's escalated a bit, though. I hope one of these idiots doesn't end up trying to hurt the other. It's sad that our lives are reduced to this pettiness. Read a book; write a letter to mom or something. If you don't want to save your life, at least make it meaningful in some way. I hope I get moved tonight. See, that's one of  the advantages!

It's a bit overcast right now. I think we're going to get some storms. Weird how our weather here in Livingston always coincides with the moods of everyone. I swear I live in the twilight zone.


April 8th, 2008

Today has been an interesting day. Nothing like a little drama to keep you on your toes. It all started after a guy heard another guy talking behind his back. He confronted the dude and told him that, "If that's how you feel about me and can't be man enough to say anything to my face, then just don't mess with me…" Well, the other guy felt disrespected and told some of his buddies and then it just turned into a big cat fight. Yeah, cat fight, because they were all acting like little girls. So, then I got dragged into it when I went to the dayroom. Because I talk to both parties, another guy basically asked whose side I was on. I said that I wasn't on anyone's side and that I didn't want to be on any side and to leave me out of it. "I talk to who I want to talk to and expect to be treated the same way I treat people. If you can't do that then act like I don't exist."

It's frustrating that some of us on death row cannot just stick together and make a change for the better and fight for the same cause. It's frustrating when some would rather squabble and waste their precious time here on earth rather than try to save their own life. But what can you do? I try to encourage and live by example, but there's always someone who wants to drag you down with them. Well, I'm staying out of their little mess.  

Other than that the day has been really warm. It's a bit humid but an otherwise beautiful spring day.


April 7th, 2008

I ran across this quote from Nietzsche today, whilst reading a book called Man's Search for Meaning. "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." I think I do have something to live for; my life is definitely not over, so surely I can overcome any hardships thrown in my way. After all, it's only transitional, right?  

Today was a really nice day. I thought it was going to start with a bump in the road…Today is our outside day and the section I'm currently living on hardly anyone goes outside. So, when the guard asked me at six on the morning if I was going outside, I said, "Yes." He said I was going first round so I asked if I could go with a guy just down the run. He said, "I'll  only allow you to go outside with him if you both give up your shower." I looked at him crazy. "Both showers? He's just two cells away. It's not like you're going out of your way."  He wouldn't budge so I said, "I don't mind. I have a water hose. I doubt he'll give up his shower." The guard walked down to his cell and asked him and the other guy agreed to give up his shower. "You'll be going second round then," the guard said. I was a little irritated, but I just went back to sleep until eight or so.

When we went outside it was a little overcast, but about 30 minutes in the sun came out in all of its glory. I played a few games of basketball barefoot, because I currently have no tennis shoes, and then after my feet started to hurt we just did push-ups and I boxed the basketball. Well, an incident cropped up on another pod so we were able to stay outside for almost four hours, and I got my first good sunburn of the season. When I came back in a female guard said, "What's up, Pinky? Looks like you got burned." I laughed. So, really giving up my shower was worth it, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten that extra time outside. I feel like I got the upper hand. When I came back in I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, bathed with my hose and cleaned my cell. The rest of the time I've just been reading away. I'm reading two books. Next up as I listen to KDOL is to do some crosswords until mail comes.

I'll close with this: "Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess, except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control what you will feel and do about what happens to you" Viktor E. Frankl.


April 5th, 2008

Man! What a beautiful day it is outside. The sun is pouring through my window and it's just lovely. Too bad I'm stuck in the damn cell for the next two days. I miss the days when we could go to recreation every day for one hour a day. Now, we have to stay in our cells for two days out of the week because we get two hour recs. Some guys like this, but I thought the old program was much better. Oh, well.

Not much happening. Just listening to movies and reading. A friend down the run is supposed to make bean burritos, so we'll see what his cookin' skills are all about. Actually I think he's making beef burritos for him and his neighbor and just beans for me, but he said he'd fatten them up. I hope so 'cause I'm hungry.


April 4th, 2008

A friend sent me this questionnaire and I thought, why not just use it as a journal entry. Okay, so I admit it's 'filler' because today was BORING, but it's  something! Anyway, here it is....

1. If I could rename myself, I would pick: I like my middle name so it would be 'Ethan.'
2. I am like my mom because I: Because we both had the same kind of sense of humor and liked the same movies. I miss her so much.
3. I am like my dad because I: Because we are Jewish and both love to tell stories. Plus, I find myself giving others the same wisdom and advice he shared with me. I miss him so much.
4. When I get really nervous, I tend to: Shut down or pace back and forth and chew my fingernails…
5. Most people can tell when I get mad/angry because I: shut down and bottle it in.
6. My most irrational fear would be: Being afraid of insects and reptiles.
7. My completely rational fear is: Dying alone.
8.  Within ten minutes of meeting me, it is impossible not to notice that: I'm a very self deprecating, funny and shy person. Well, shy, but charismatic, if that makes sense.
9. Nothing makes me happier than: Being in love, having friends who care.
10. Nothing makes me angrier than: People who do not care about other people or life.
11. The physical feature I get the most compliments on is/are: My eyes and lips.
12.  If I could change one physical thing it would be: My freakin' love handles, fat around my waist, and have a hair transplant. Being bald sucks.
13. I cannot stand the smell of: Broccoli or cauliflower, body odor.
14. I live for the smell of: Too many things to smell, but oddly fabric softener used to bring me to near orgasmic experience!
15. I could never marry someone who: Isn't loving, funny, or doesn't love life.
16. If I had any political clout in this country, I would: End the death penalty, reform prisons.
17. If high school taught me anything, it would be: That kids can be some mean sons of bitches.
18. I get extremely embarrassed when: I'm complimented.
19. The trait that most of my friends have in common is: We love humanity, loyalty.
20. In a relationship, romantic or friend wise, my biggest flaw is: I'm too dependent.
21. In a relationship, romantic or friend wise, my best quality is: I'm dedicated, loyal, giving and loving.
22. I really wish that I knew how to: Compose the music I constantly hear in my head, to paper.
23. My favorite word(s) is: Retard (simple, I know, but I use it a lot!). Maybe 'freakin' too.
24. My least favorite word is: Bitch.
25. I am ashamed to admit that I really enjoy: reading chick magazines/Big Brother.
26. I wish that I could MAKE myself enjoy: Chess.
27. If I am losing an argument, I have a tendency to: Stop talking about it.
28. Myspace is: Kind of retarded, but addictive.
29. I'm pretty sure my credit rating is: Huh? Credit rating on death row? HAHAHAHAHA-HA!


April 3rd, 2008

It's raining pretty hard right now. But it's one of those peaceful storms, the kind that if I had a window that opened it would be pulled up a little to let in the soft breeze created by the rain. The kind of rain that brings in the various smells of nature, grass, trees, roads and even the hint  of cars somewhere in the distance. Isn't it awesome that creatures such as we are, can experience life in such a way? If only we took the time to enjoy it I think we'd appreciate life a lot more. Being in the kind of situation that I am on death row, it's really the small things that matter. I might cry and complain every now and then about how I'm sick of rain or sick of this and that, but really, as I hear the rain tap up against my window it makes me grateful that I can still have these small experiences, something the state or the guards can't take away from me. You could remove every little item from my cell and I'd still be able to listen to rain. I guess today I'm in a tranquil mood.

I sent a message over to Ving not too long ago and asked if he was okay. He sent me a note back saying that he was going to try to pull himself out of his depression. He said that he didn't want material things (snacks, books, etc) sent to him, but just wanted real friends. I feel bad for him because outside of a girlfriend who writes, he really has no kind of moral support and I can't be there for him because I get moved around so damn much. It may be months before I'm able to talk to him again. He's a guy I've really connected with back here and it hurts me that he's hurting this way. Empathy is a mother f---er. I just don't want him to give up. I don't want any guy back here to give up. But what can I do? Just thinking about how useless I really am in a situation such as this is really depressing!

Almost dinner time, I suppose I will end this here. Me and a couple of guys are going to listen to "Stake Out" the movie at seven. I vaguely remember it, but I think I was about ten when that movie came out. Where I'm currently housed is great because we make silly commentary as the movie is on. Kind of like on that show that used to come on "Mystery Science Theater" where the two robots and that guy would make fun of voices as they played. Hey, it's something to pass the time. Plus, my improv skills are rusty. It's what we call "fun" around here.


April, 2nd, 2008

Okay…So, today my worry has been focused on my friend Ving, who was just re-sentenced to death. The other day I had sent him some reading material and some food because he mentioned he didn't have anything and this morning it was all sent back to me with no explanation. I know that he's really depressed and hurting. I just hope he's not thinking about hurting himself. I don't really know what to do about it. I think if I get any more negative signs like that I may have to alert the guards or some rank, because I just don't want him to hurt himself. He's really in a bad way…It's almost four in the afternoon and I'm waiting to go to recreation right now. Things are moving really slow today for some reason…Oh, well.


April 1st, 2008

A new month, a new day and the sun is shining after a really hard storm…I woke up this morning determined to get out of my funk. I've felt like a train hit me over the past few weeks. Things just seemed to keep stacking up and the loss of sleep didn't help. It was funny in a way, too, because they had moved all of the AD-SEG disciplinaries to F-pod about four days before I was moved, and I thought, "Whew! Finally I'll be able to sleep." I was so happy…Not thirty minutes later they moved a crazy guy next to me. I felt sorry for him in a way and was as nice as possible to him, giving him some cookies and coffee when he asked for it, but all he would do is sing and clap and laugh all night long and half the day. Have you ever chased sleep? You look for those quiet moments when you can lie down and take advantage of it…And then bang-bang-bang on your cell wall and a "Hey, Randy! Randy, homeboy, can I have a shot of coffee and cookies?!!?" in rapid fire speech at decibels loud enough to rattle your brain. Sleep runs away laughing at you. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Finally, last Thursday I was moved and shocked at how quiet it was on the section I was moved to, but by then I was already in a deep depression. I was upset that I should've been in Dallas, my friend Ving was sent back to death row after a retrial, I was upset over my recent break up and then I got news that my ex-wife is pregnant. That was like kicking me when I was already down, because all I could do was think about the fact that I will never have the chance to have children of my own. That's a very painful realization. No little Randys running around. Well, actually I'm not sure if I want little Randys running around, but a kid or two would be nice. But the sun is out again and I feel okay.

So, right now our section has been battling these giant mutant cockroaches that are coming out of the drains on the run. I'm not kidding. These suckers look like something out of a Godzilla movie. I was sitting here writing a letter when I saw something shoot across my floor. I panicked, grabbed my flip-flop and threw it on top of him. I could see the back legs squirming and then that thing bench-pressed my sandal like it was nothing, pushed himself out and looked around dazed. I let out a scream like a little girl and grabbed a piece of paper and picked it up and threw him in the toilet.  Before I flushed the poor fella, I stared at him for a minute or two and this thing is truly freakish. It's hind legs are like gecko legs and it was about an inch and a half long. This one guy who had one run into his cell commented that it was the Livingston water that mutated them, "You know, like on that movie, "Ticks"? Them mother fuckers were huge and would crawl into your body and eat themselves out of you. This one scene it came busting out of this guy's skull!" Great, just what we need - giant mutant cockroaches crawling into our ears while we sleep, eating themselves out of our brains. Well, I'm ready for the next one that tries to come into my cell. I've got my sandal on stand-by.

Not much else to report around here. I'm going to stand on my bed and look outside for a while. Birds are coming back and pecking grass looking for something to eat. Spring is finally here.


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