September 2006 - 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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September 26th, 2006

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul"

Well, today was a whole lot of nothing. I spent the day reading a book adaptation of the "X-Men III" movie. It sucked. My neighbor just sent me the most recent Stephen King book "Cell". It's started out pretty weird, but it's not bad.  

The weather is still fantastic. I wish I could've gone outside today, but I had my recreation inside. I'm 100% sure that I'm doing 90 days on level 2. It kind of had me a little bummed today. I guess I'm shocked that the officials can get away with this and they know it's unfair and wrong. But like I said, I guess I'll just have to make the best of a bad thing - just 59 days left. Oh boy. I think I'm going to put up a counter on my MySpace page. Haha.

Much more to write tomorrow.

Peace and good night.  

September 25th, 2006

"Where there is love there is life"

Well, it's 7:55pm, and I should be depressed as hell, but oddly enough I'm not. Today was a beautiful autumn tinged day. I mean, it was perfect in a weather sense. The sky was blue, the sun was shining brightly…when I went outside a little before noon it was so cool. I'd guess high 70's. I felt so…energized… the cool fresh air filled my lungs. My caffeine withdrawal, lethargic feeling was gone. I was like a bolt of lightning with the amount of energy I had. The guy I played ball with ended up smashing me 29 to 1...I played horribly but I couldn't care less. It felt so good to play and run. To feel the first tell tale signs of autumn reaching her arms around me. I love autumn.

When I came in I did some laundry and read a little as I waited on my shower. I was anticipating the decision of whether mine and the others' punishment would be 30 or 90 days and as the day passed I realized it was going to be 90 days. It's messed up, and unfair that we should be punished for so long, but they have all of the control. It's sad that they (prison officials) can mess with someone's life in this way, but I know karma will catch up with them...

To add to what I should've been depressed about even more…It's been almost 2 weeks now that I've not heard from my ex-wife. About 3 weeks ago we agreed to try to work equally to salvage our friendship and it seems I'm doing all of the work. I don't know how much patience I will have with this. Why try if the other side doesn't seem to want to try also? But…I'm not depressed...I still feel good, and I'm happy. I'm truly going to try to make the best of the next 60 days. I calculated when my punishment will end and I should be back on level 1 the day before Thanksgiving. Woohoo!! So maybe, just maybe I won't miss my yearly tradition of listening to the Maly's Thanksgiving Day parade on NBC. I know it sounds silly, but it's something I do. And hey, I may be Jewish, but I love the Christmas season. All the music, the commercials, the movies, the cookies!!! Oh yeah...

So, while some bad things happened today, I'm still going to remain focused and positive and try to plow on through the crap.

Guess I'll close here and say...Peace

September 24th, 2006

It's a cool rainy Sunday. My window view stinks to high heaven, so I can't really see what it looks like outside. My view consists of the concrete back side of another pod, and a slash of gray and white hanging above that. Kind of depressing, to be honest.

I'm anticipating tomorrow and the big "review date" of whether I'm going to be unfairly punished for another 60 days or not. I'm trying to not dwell on the possible/half expected outcome, but who knows? Maybe a miracle will happen - that would be nice, but at this point, a pipe dream. In the meanwhile, I'm running out of books to read and occupy my time with. I just finished a thriller called "The Sinner" and a short story collection of folk tales called "The Man Who Swam With Beavers." That was pretty good. It gave a modern twist to old native American legends.

Over here, anytime you leave your cell for recreation or a shower or even to receive a food tray, a sergeant or ranking official has to be present. It kind of sucks. It's not as loud as I figured it might be so I deal with it. I'm still writing a grievance though. I thought I'd share this crazy thing I have with certain foods. I think I've shared my abhorrence of broccoli and cauliflower…the smell alone makes me want to gag, but even stranger is this weird thing I do with certain foods, even foods that I like…If a vegetable or food resembles anything that once was a slimy creature, lets say a slug or maybe an insect, I cannot eat it. And when I used to eat meat; if I could imagine what the animal once was in its lively state, I couldn't eat it…I'll give an example. Now, mushrooms are pretty tasty, right? They're good in certain soups and foods like pizza, but you know how when you sauté a mushroom it starts looking slimy and kind of resembles an earth worm being fried alive? Nope, can no longer eat it. Haha. Same with sautéed onions, etc. So long as I don't actually see it being cooked, it's all good. It's delicious, yum yum yummy for my tummy, but if I can imagine it being a slug, worm, etc. no way! It was the same way with things like lobsters and crabs. I found it very macabre to be cracking open a  tail or snacking away on a pair of limbs, and if I saw a whole hen or turkey before me headless and plump… I'd have to block the image of it being a live breathing animal running around, content in it's little bird life until it's suddenly beheaded and plucked so that we can snack away on it in front of our televisions. Okay, so I exaggerated a little bit, but still when you think about it, it is kind of gross. Maybe I always had a budding vegetarian in me all this time and never recognized it? Hmmm. Still, I can be a little strange with my foods and having a crazy imagination never helped much at all.

I've got a couple of books left. I'm trying to figure out what I want to read next, and to be quite honest, I'm getting burnt out. I'm well over 20 something books in a 20 days period. Craziness. That's what a boring radio-less life will do to you. I NEED MY MUSIC BACK!!! AHHHHHHHH!

Alright, well, think I'll close here...


September 20th, 2006

Hmmm…writer's block really sucks. I swear, I need to get motivated here. I think my middle name has become "Sloth" 'cause all I want to do is read, eat crap, and sleep. I know…pathetic.

Well, things have still been pretty uneventful. I'm reading a sci-fi/medical thriller called "Gravity", and it's pretty good. I went outside and it was kind of chilly this morning. I was so happy! You have to understand this time last year it was still 80 degrees in the morning, so to step out into 63 degree weather is invigorating. Hopefully we will have some semblance of Autumn this year. I love fall weather. I love winter, also. I just wish I was back in Kentucky to experience it. *SIGH*

Okay. Okay. Okay… I promise to get back into normal writing more. Tell some stories, reflect on something. Stop whining. Stop being a complete bore! I will. I promise. Tomorrow I'll write about something. Hahaha.  I'm losing it - I really am...Level 2 is so much fun! Well, it's time for me to get back to being slothful so… I will close here.

Peace and Love

September 18th, 2006

I've been running a lot today. It's a little humid, but not all too uncomfortable.

My attorney stopped by, well he had to see someone else, but he pulled me out to buy me lunch, which was really kind of him. I had a salad, a bag of Funyuns, and a soda. He basically told me my appeals are still on hold and will be until after the first of January…I'm not complaining.  

I got up about 6am this morning, went to recreation and jogged for a little bit, then came back in to read. I really haven't done a whole lot else. I was thinking about a comment someone sent to me in response to something I wrote, about how I said those who talk about being anti-death penalty should get out and do more…they basically said they were limited in what they could do because of health problems…I think everyone does their part in their own way. Whether it's rallies, or sending out newsletters. That's great and awesome and most of us back here on Death Row are always grateful for the support. My point was that I just can't believe people would argue over being more "anti" than another. I think it's a waste of time and effort - and usually  those who roar the loudest, tend to be the ones who actually don't do much at all. As we say in prison; "don't talk about it, be about it". There's no point in fighting amongst yourselves. Find some middle ground and work on a plausible solution together.

A friend recently told me that our society is more reaction than proaction. I completely agree. It's why our whole political system is so whacked today. Anyways, my point is every little bit counts, so do what you can.  


September 17th, 2006

A boring weekend has finally come to a finish. I'm sitting here with a damp sheet hanging above my head. I did laundry today - hand washed everything and now I’m winding down for the day. After I finish this entry I’ll read a bit. I just started another horror novel called "A House Divided". I’m kind of getting hooked on these hack books. They’re good for a quick read.

I wish I had something to write about, but I’m having writer's block again and I’ll just ramble on and on about nothing - so I’ll spare this journal that waste of paper and time.

I know, I suck. Don’t remind me.


September 15th, 2006

Ah...Another day in purgatory. Gotta love it! Can you tell I’m being sarcastic?? No, seriously…today was extremely boring. I had planned on doing some reading, but instead just stared at the wall and out my window. I’ve got the biggest caffeine withdrawal headache I’ve ever had! I was doing okay, but then…Wham! You would think I had been on a 20 day crack binge or something. No, I’ve never smoked crack! My coffee stash (I had to hide it from the authorities ‘cause on level 2 you’re not supposed to have any food or drinks) wasn’t going to last forever, I just didn’t expect it to run out so fast. Anyways, I’ve got a headache and I’m feeling very lethargic.

It’s 7:34 p.m. right now and the sun is setting. Not a very spectacular sunset, either. Most of the sky is a navy blue, except for a small slash of neon orange across the horizon.  

I was moved to 38 cell last night. I’m still on E-pod, as I’ve been for the past 3 ½ weeks now. The cell is alright, good view, but with the desk on the right side of the cell, so it’s messing up my feng shui. I don’t know, it’s kind of got me all off. That’s weird, isn’t it? Oh, and this is the section that all of the ‘trouble’ started on.  Wouldn’t it be my wonderful luck if I was to be here and they got into trouble again? Haha?

I was talking to someone over here who said they talked to a lieutenant and the lieutenant promised we were only going to be punished for 30 days. I’m cautiously optimistic. It would be wonderful if it was the truth, though. If so, it would mean I’d be back on level 1 on the 25th or 26th. I can handle that. Lets hope its true.

Oh! I got my ‘happy birthday’ comments and such and I wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday. You don't really ‘know’ me, yet still, you have the kind hearts to wish a stranger a happy birthday. Thank you.

Hmmm…not much else going on around here. Just waiting on the mail now. I really don’t expect much, but who knows?

Peace and bless you all.

September 13th, 2006

"Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to meeeee. Happy birth-day to me." Had to sing it to myself ‘cause nobody else would. I told a female guard, "Hey, it’s my birthday can I get a "happy birthday"?" She kind of glared at me and snorted, "huh". Man...

Geeze, Im 29. At the door step of 30. I'm practically bald, got hair everywhere else on my body…yet, somehow I still feel trapped in 1996. Crazy. I thought I'd be depressed, but really I'm not. I've kept pretty busy today. Did some cross word puzzles, wrote a little, straightened out my cell, gave away some books that I read and were taking up space. And it's a beautiful day outside. It doesn’t even feel like we hit 90 degrees. Come on autumn. Please…let us have a normal autumn this year.

Things have been relatively calm today. I'm happy for that. It seems the past few weeks have been filled with so much chaos and unrest. I haven't been on a normal pod now in over a month so I don't know what the morale is like there. Most people on the discipline pod feed off of the madness. I wish I could study guys down here; talk to them, figure out what kind of backgrounds they come from. The thing that bothers me the most is seeing the severely mentally troubled people back here and how they are treated. I've never understood why the authorities even bother writing them discipline cases. They don't have the ability to comprehend that they are being punished. I doubt they even fully comprehend the fact that they are just cattle waiting to be slaughtered. For example, there's a black man they just moved to this section a few nights ago. Truly troubled. He's not aggressive, not violent. He has a mental disorder and is incapable of taking care of his own hygiene. He can’t clean up after himself and never cleaned his cell. So, what do they do? Write him a case for being dirty. And then, the "psych  department" allows for the case to go through instead of explaining to the guards, "uh hey…he's kind of out there and can't take care of himself." I mean shit, the guy is so doped up he can barely talk as it is. To me this is just barbaric treatment. I’ll take my unfair punishment, but let this guy go back to level 1.

Dinner was alright. We basically had breakfast; pancakes, oatmeal, applesauce and cereal. Better than eating beans, that's for sure. Right now I'm waiting to see if I’ll be moved to another cell. I kind of hope I am. Well, guess I’ll stop here for the day. I just started a political book by P. J. O’Rourke called Parliament Of Whores. It’s about the U.S. government. Should be interesting.

As ever…Peace, and oh yeah, happy birthday to me.

September 12th, 2006

It rained last night. It felt good to hear the pitter patter sound of the drops smack against the window. Too bad there was no thunder. I woke up this morning and began to write. Right now it's 1:50 p.m. and I was waiting to go outside, but that fell through and I'm going to go to B-section to talk to a friend. I'm probably going to do a 30 minute work out real quick to get it out of the way.

I wish I had something to say, but I'm kind of drawing a blank. I just wanted to say that I'm okay and trying to hold my head up. It gets hard at times, more difficult than you could ever realize. You get tired, feel drained, but…it is my life and I have to deal with it, I suppose. I didn't intend on this being depressing so I will close this up. Maybe my writing will get better. I never expected that being on level 2 would have me feeling like this. I thought maybe my writing would be a little more inspiring. Guess I was wrong …  


September 11th, 2006

I'm sorry I have not written an entry in about a week or so… Last week was kind of hard on me and I got really depressed. I couldn't really write anything at all. This whole situation is ridiculous. I mean, I feel like a possible 3 months of my life were just stolen right from me. I can't explain it. But being on death row; facing death each and every day… you value every little second of any sort of semi-enjoyment. Whether it's listening to the radio or eating a bag of chips. It's not about any material want of something, more of a simple joy in simple pleasures.

My day started to the smell of riot gas; a guy over on level 3 refused to come in from outside. So, they gassed him and dragged him in. Once that happened, they did not allow the level 3 guys recreation and so they started some fires and flooded the walk ways by stopping up their toilets and sinks. It was so foggy with smoke throughout the pod. Madness ensued…I then went outside in hopes of playing some basketball. Well, when we  got outside the rec yard was still covered in a white film of riot gas. We couldn't play 'cause every time you would bounce the ball, the gas would fly up in our faces causing us to sneeze a lot. Our skin had a mild burning sensation to it also.   

I spent most of the day reading and now I'm just waiting on mail. I'm reading a really good book right now called "Ghost Road Blues" by Jonathan Maberry. It's a thriller/harder book and it's some of the best writing in this genre I've read in a long time. A very tightly woven story with plenty of suspense.  Right now it's like a run away frieght train. I had trouble putting it down. It's supposed to be the first book in a trilogy - I can't wait for the next  ones! So let's see, so far I've read…"The Taking" by Dean Koontz (crappy hog wash ending) "Pandora's Drive", various history books, a book of facts and knowledge, a medical thriller, "Off Season" a book about crazed cannibals...all sorts of good stuff! Anything to pass the time…

Got my mail and was really touched to receive a post card from the author/artist Jeffrey Brown; I wrote him a while back (on a whim) to say how much I enjoyed his book. I never expected to receive a reply, but it was so cool that he replied. If anyone wants to read some very touching, personal stuff, you must get his work. I'm debating on whether I should write him again...I feel I want to say, "thank you", but then I don't want to come off as some stalker fan/death row guy. So, if by chance he's reading this, thanks, Jeffrey. Thank you for saying my life is worthwhile. I do try to be the best person I can be these days, and I do hope that people can learn from my own bad choices and mistakes in life. [Note from Webmaster: You can see a scanned copy of Jeffrey Brown's card to Randy, under the **News** tab, sub-tab "Randy's Achievements"].

I suppose on that note I will get ready for bed and close this up.

Peace and love.

September 1st, 2006

We were finally served real cases - they scaled back the language, no longer using "inciting offender to assault staff". I waived my 24 hour pre-hearing so I (should) go to court tonight on this mess. I know we will all be found guilty but hopefully the punishment will be minimal (it's now a minor infraction) and we will receive our level 1s back as it's no longer a level 2 offense. Still, I don't have much faith in that. I will write more on that when it happens.

Today was BORING. I didn't feel like doing squat. I was so depressed I just laid in bed and wished for the world to end (maybe it has and I'm just in purgatory). It's a holiday weekend so it's going to be super boring. I'm going to force myself to read/stay as busy as possible, but when you're as depressed as I am right now, it becomes very difficult. I almost didn't write a journal entry today. Not that what I'm writing right now is very spectacular or interesting. And so I scream to the heavens, WHY GOD WHY?!?!?! I wish I could join those horses across the field from this prison.


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