So...it's now in the evening on Sunday the 23rd. Everything is well for me here in Beaumont. I had a relaxing weekend and I hope you did, too. My dad came to see me yesterday and we had a "contact" visit. This is where we were able to sit at the same table with one another and have a normal 2 hour conversation. We did NOT have to talk through a telephone with a piece of glass between us. Two hours is a long time to talk when there really isn't just one huge topic for discussion, but we BS'd the entire time, and I drank a COLD Diet Coke and ate some peanut M&M's. Damn, they were good!
Both my dad and I are very anxious and optimistic about me being released soon, but there is still no further information to relay, as the parole board has yet to meet regarding my release. If it were up to me, I would have had them meet last week, but unfortunately, I was not consulted about the schedule. My attorney has let me know that he has completed the written and visual portion of his presentation to the parole board and I should receive a copy of it next week. I'll be sure to let you know what my impressions are once I receive it.
I finally acquired a pair of shorts in here last week and have been able to do my exercising in a lot more comfort because of it. Actually, it made the working out elevate to a near "enjoyable" status. Before the shorts, I was only able to exercise in jail pants. It's starting to get hotter here, but it's still not too bad. Over the last 2 days I have simply started exercising as the day heated up here in the dorm. I guess the heat and the sweat feel justifiable when I'm doing physical activity.
I went to the commissary yesterday, and I'm all stocked up on food again. I never really ran out from last time, but I was getting somewhat low. I didn't need to buy any extra clothes (t-shirts and socks) this time, so I was able to get myself a lot more food. That may be a little deceiving, for I am still buying mostly healthful foods. I bought a mini bag of Doritos and Cheetos and two packs of cookies. I'll probably end up giving half the cookies away or sharing them. I'm continuing to eat tons of tuna as my primary "snack", and so far, it hasn't gotten old or boring.
My appetite for a variety of different foods keeps growing and I seem to crave spicy foods. A guard gave me some jalapenos last week and they were excellent. I also got a few wings from KFC and, needless to say, they were appreciated and devoured in short order!
Last Wednesday afternoon, there was a fight/mini riot at our unit between two gangs (TS and Tongo Blast). This caused the warden to place our unit on lock-down for about 48 hours. If you recall, lockdown is where all movement outside of the dorms is supposed to cease (ie. we are confined to our dorms). I think, technically, we are supposed to stay on our beds the whole time. Meals are brought to us in paper sacks and hand delivered to us inside of our dorm. I like the lockdown time. I get breakfast delivered to me in bed. It consists of some kind of dry cereal (like Frosted Flakes), a couple of hard boiled eggs, a biscuit, and some prunes. To me, this qualifies as a superb breakfast. No joke! During both days of the lockdown I went to work. The first day I slept in a little later than normal and went to work around 8:00am, when I was specifically paged to report. I ended up working until about 8:30pm which was great, because I stayed in air conditioned areas and ate my meals from the ODR (Officer Dinning Room). Food there was much better than normal! The second morning (Friday) under lockdown, I just woke up at the normal time and walked to work regularly. Everyone was supposed to have an officer escort as they left their dorm, but I didn't know this, and, for some reason, the guards just let me go . Maybe they didn't notice. I only worked for 8 or so hours, but I did get to go outside to do some work all by myself for an hour and a half. It was hot, but it was both relaxing and rejuvenating to be outside and to do some manual labor.
Anyway, about this fight/riot thing.... apparently a handful of Tongo Blast guys beat up a TS guy. I think we were put on lockdown because of a potential retaliation or continued waring between the two gangs. These gangs are a joke. I didn't see any of the fight participants, but from what I have heard and observed, the whole thing was probably not what I would consider serious, in the least!
We got off of lockdown late Friday afternoon and everything has been normal since that time. I still feel like my time is going by increasingly fast. My short term goal right now is to look forward to another contact visit in 2 weeks. If I set my sights on that, then the weeks will come and go with little effort on my part. I'm still very upset over having to miss Memorial Day weekend on Lake Travis next week, but, oh well, I'll just pout and whine a little until it passes and try to keep my mind on something else.
I plan on writing a blog letter again midweek. I'll use it as a break from my business planning, which is now occupying a couple of hours each day and even more on the weekends. I think I worked for nearly 4 hours both yesterday and today on it. Until I talk to you again, I wish everyone a great week!