My favorite soda is Dr.Pepper because it is good. I had my first Dr.Pepper in the 18oo's in Waco,Texas. It was a sunny day and Dr.Pepper just released Dr.Pepper I was the one who had the first one and i said "yup this is good you should sell it" and them Dr.Pepper was born. Catherine then came walking by with a Sprite yet they were not invented yet. Then my and sister went off to make a fortune off our inventions which I don't know what they are.
I don't know why I like turtles I'm forced to write this when I don't want to. This is the worst topic in the world. I collect turtle dolls nick-nacks and other things I also have a turtle. I'm also forced to join a swimming team when i don't want to. I'm forced to do everything.
Today was supposed to be a great day. Friends were coming and we were going to have a good time. The kids were going to have fun. It should have been super.
I worked 16 hours yesterday. I am tired. My stomach hurts. I have a headache. Then Trisha’s dog got sick on the way here and pooped all over her car. She didn’t want to leave the dogs home because they might escape or tear up the house. We have plenty of yard and her dogs are good travelers. So it should have been no problem. But the poor dog just pooped liquid disgust all over the car and on the other dog. The stench could make a buzzard cry. Not funny. (Okay, in a few weeks it will be hilarious.)
So instead of a nice fun day of catching up and hanging out, we got a tired and sick me, a stressed Trish, two stinky dogs, and two sullen teenagers. Super. We did have egg rolls, which were awesome. Our dogs didn’t get too crazy over having Trisha’s dogs here. That was good. But Trisha forgot the warmer I bought her from Nicole’s new business. She had a tough day. She looked pretty stressed.
Now I am relaxing. David made pizza. We watched some Desperate Housewives. We watched some old Simpson’s episodes. Maybe later we will watch some Glee. Now I am watching Lock Up. Tomorrow we are going to fund raiser for Allison’s cheer-leading. It will be at Applebee’s. I didn’t know Applebee’s did breakfast.
Well, anyway, I was really glad to see Trisha and her family. Sidney and Catherine had fun. Carolynn and Morgan might have liked each other better if they had interacted rather than just stand around looking at each other. We will see each other again. It’s not that far.
(Also, be advised, there is a few swears in this one. Sorry. Inmates do not watch their language.)
I don’t know everything there is to know about my job. I am always learning new things. I have not tried every post or experienced every scenario. I probably never will. A very wise associate warden once told me that it takes five years of experience to be properly trained and even then you still won’t know everything.
Let us pretend we are in a housing unit. On the compound there are four housing units in a courtyard, two upstairs and two downstairs. I am upstairs. It is lunchtime, and if you will recall from a previous post, during lunch an officer is to monitor the doors and pat search the inmates randomly as they return.
I am watching the two officers downstairs as they do just that. Both of these officers are newer. One is just back from training in Georgia and one has literally just started this week. Both are very nice guys. They have chosen to stand by the gate and search inmates as they enter the courtyard rather than stand at their respective housing units. This is a perfectly acceptable practice. It’s always good to work in pairs. They have collected a small pile of fruit and other assorted stolen food items. Lunch is winding down and no one is allowed to leave the courtyard. Incoming traffic only.
As I am watching them I see an inmate try to walk out of the courtyard passed the two officers. One of them pulls him over to the side and I assume he asks the inmate where he is going. After a brief conversation, it is apparent that the officer intends to pat search this particular inmate before sending him on his way. I learned later that the inmate was in fact out of bounds. He didn’t live in any of the four housing units in this courtyard and therefore shouldn’t be there. However, we must choose our battles. So the officer chose to search the inmate and then send him back to where he belongs.
However, it becomes apparent that this inmate is not happy about the search. From my view upstairs I can hear him grumbling and can tell from his body language that he isn’t being very cooperative. Unsure of what might happen, I walk a few steps down, still watching the officers. As the officer pats searches the inmate he puts his hand in the left thigh of the inmate, right on his pants pocket. I can see him clearly. But at that point, the inmate bucks. He grabs the officer’s hand and shoves it away and yells loudly, “Don’t be feeling up on my dick!” The officers just stop. Neither moves. The one who was doing the search, who was the one with a bit more time in, tells the inmate to put his hands on the gate. Then they stand there. The same officer calls for the lieutenant. The inmate is now visibly angry and telling everyone about how this is all bullshit and he is being targeted for no reason.
The other officer from upstairs (who has several years experience) and I have already gone downstairs. He and I are clearing the courtyard of inmates and I can see another officer coming toward us from the compound area. The compound officer takes the inmate away. I find out later that the inmate is made to pick up trash outside all afternoon.
Hindsight is 20/20…
There were two officers downstairs. Once that inmate bucked, the second officer should have closed and locked the gate, preventing more inmates from coming in. That inmate might have bucked because he had a weapon he didn’t want found. (He didn’t but we couldn’t have known that.) That second officer should have also assisted the first in keeping that inmate contained once the upstairs officers came down and cleared the courtyard. He was walking about yelling about the bullshit and could have easily run and ditched hidden contraband or enticed other inmates to join him in his ranting. Both officers also should have been clearer via radio in communicating what the problem was so that the situation received appropriate attention. You don’t want everyone running over there like it is an emergency when it isn’t and you don’t want to find yourself in a dangerous situation and have no one else realize. Of course, it has taken me time and some unfortunate experiences to figure that out.
1. Mario and Luigi 2. Santa’s Little Helper… The Dog From The Simpson’s 3. Most Of The Power Rangers… Missing The Black Ranger 4. Darth Vader 5. The Burger King 6. Thomas The Tank Engine 7. Pillsbury Dough Boy 8. Mike Wazowski … From Monsters Inc. 9. Lightning McQueen… From Cars 10. Godzilla 11. Grimace from McDonald’s 12. Gojita from Dragonball Z 13. Scotty from Star Trek
On this day in 1933, Hitler became dictator of Germany.
I don’t know how to take that.
Today is my 33rd birthday. That sounds so old. How about we call it Twenty-Thirteen?
I have no big plans for the day. David ran and got me some tacos for lunch. I got a whole bunch of Facebook birthday messages. I got a few text message birthday greetings. In a little bit I have to go to work. I do have the next two days off after tonight.
Last year at this time I was in Georgia. My class got me a card and sang happy birthday to me on a gun range. Then we shot stuff. This year, I did my shooting last Friday. I was sick and tired and my eyes hurt. I have to go try again when I feel better. Long distances were not my friend that day.
Well, that is all the birthday excitement I have going on today. Work and tacos. Woo Hoo!
Of course, on this day in 1998 Germany's largest bank pledged $3.1 million to Jewish foundations as restitution for Nazi looting. Also, same day Titanic won 11 Oscars.
I know it’s not Friday, but here is a little story for you.
I have been working for well over a year and still there are days when I feel like I am not really getting any better. Some days I feel like I am never going to be good at this. Then yesterday I realized I must be doing something right.
At the penitentiary I work at, inmates must walk through a metal detector when entering and leaving the housing unit. It’s usually quite the battle. I swear they are trying to set it off. They carry things in their pockets that no regular person would carry just to make it beep. They carry nail clippers, batteries, foil tuna pouches, and other junk for no reason. They make all kinds of excuses.
“It’s just my watch.”
“It’s my radio.”
“The metal detector must be broken.”
Anyway, because of this battle I spend a lot of time telling people to go back. At the medium security institutions, it’s not nearly the problem. They are more compliant. But in the penitentiary it’s a constant struggle.
Yesterday I worked 16 hours. The first 8 hours in one housing unit, and then I switched to another for the second 8. Approximately 200 inmates were under my supervision throughout the day. (Around 100 in a housing unit.) And I noticed that throughout the day, the majority of the inmates went through that metal detector without a word. They even went back if they didn’t make it without having to be told.
I was impressed. Doing that is a sign of respect where I work. Apparently I am doing something right.
I always wanted a big family. I wanted a bunch of kids to play with, big family get togethers, and lots of instant friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family I have. I have one brother and one sister. My sister and I have never been that close. We are 11 years a part in age. There isn’t a lot of common ground there. Sure, I love her to death and if anybody messes with her I will kick their ass. My brother and I are closer. We are closer in age. We have families now. But still, not that close. There are months sometimes where I don’t even hear from him. But still, you mess with my brother and you mess with me. And now I also have a sister in law, a niece and a nephew to go with it. Don’t you mess with them either. I deal with murderers and drug dealers all day. You don’t mess with my family.
I have aunts and uncles. My mom has one brother and one sister and my dad has three brothers. My mom and her siblings are not close. I am not sure if my dad is real close with his brothers, I haven’t even met one of them and I barely know the others. They all live way out of state. I have a few cousins. Most on my dad’s side and most I have never met. I learned more about my cousin Brianna from Facebook than anything else.
My grandpa, my mom’s dad, lives with my mom. My dad’s mom lives in the San Diego area. I love them all. I never want anything to happen to any of them. But we aren’t like the family in that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
So I have compensated. I was married, and even though I am now divorced, I haven’t cut contact with his family. I still spend time with his aunts and cousin. Pretty frequently. Actually, yesterday I went to see Taylor swim. He is good. We have pizza on Friday’s when we can. They are my family.
I compensated with friends. I have a few friends. Trisha and her family are the same as family to me. We have been friends for nearly a decade. I have David and he has a nice family. I have only met a couple of them, but they were nice.
I have a nice full life, no big fat family, but a nice one. Now I even have two kids of my own. I even kind of like them most of the time.
I always knew there was another side of my family…
The other day, I got this Facebook friend request from some guy asking me about my brother. He said he tried to find him on Facebook (my brother is not a Facebook user) and couldn’t find him, but found an older guy with the same name. So what did I do? I looked it up. Well, this other Joe, is in fact my uncle.
In case you didn’t know, my dad is my mom’s second husband. She and he got together when I was almost ten. As you can tell, there must have been a previous dad. There was. I don’t know him. It’s a long story. He made some choices. You can’t change the past and there is no use dwelling. But that guy, he has a large family. I don’t know them either.
Anyways, I decided to friend up this uncle and some cousins on the Facebook. No big deal. Just say hi. See how they are doing. I remember a few of them. Somehow, this turned into a big thing. There are A LOT of cousins. There are aunts and uncles. (Is everyone on Facebook?) It is nice to hear from them. Turns out, they are a Big Fat Italian Family.
I don’t know where they live. I don’t know what they do. But what I do know is that despite everything that has happened to me, despite the fact that I already have a pretty great family, these people, they, for no other reason other than the fact that we are related, love and accept me anyway. They don’t know me. It doesn’t matter. We are family.
In three short days, I will be 33 years old. 33. Seriously. These people didn't do anything to me and as long as none of them are federal inmates, I have no reason to not include them. They did not make the choices that my mom's first husband made. I spent enough of my 33 years with regrets and a lot of lost time being alone or what have you. That was dumb. I am too old for that.
Every day I have conversations with inmates. Some are more pleasant than others.
How are you today C.O.? What do you have for lunch today? Did you see the Super Bowl? Read any good books? Did you see any good movies? You catch that episode of (Insert TV Show Here)?
Some of them try and be nosy…
Inmate- Are you married? Me- Are you?
Inmate- Do you have kids? Me- Do you?
Inmate- Do you live around here? Me- Close enough to drive here every day, but far enough away not to have to see it.
Inmate- What kind of car do you drive? Me- The kind that goes forward. Goes reverse too.
One inmate always wants to tell me about his Islamic religion… Al-Salamu Alaykum.
There is another inmate who asks me every time I see him if I have muffins today. I often have muffins in my lunch. Little Debbie muffins are yummy.
Another inmate asks me every day if I am straight… not like if I am gay or straight, but like if I am good I guess… Whatever.
Sometimes inmates tell me about themselves. They tell me about the crimes they committed. They tell me about their families, places they have been, jobs they have held, and things they would like to do when they get out.
In reality not every inmate is unpleasant. They are real people after all.
I am tired of this word. It’s a good thing, no doubt, but when 10 different people say it 100 times a day, you can really get tired of hearing about it.
This week I am doing annual training at work. This is my first time in this training and it lasts all week. Yesterday was sort of boring (no offense to the presenters, also see yesterday’s post). Today I actually learned some things I didn’t know before. I also learned a lot about my retirement savings. I have been sick the last couple of days too. I feel much better today though.
I have Saturday off and on Sunday I start the evening shift.
We made beer battered chicken for dinner. It’s one of Carolynn’s favorites. Tomorrow we are having corned beef.
I have more to say but I just can’t think of anything right now.
How many of you just looked up the word recidivism?
Every time I have a day off, David cooks me breakfast. Today was no exception. He got up and made eggs, pancakes and sausage.
It was so yummy. We all gathered around the table for a nice breakfast. He made a huge stack of pancakes.
Of course, the whole time we were eating, we saw this.
Dogs like pancakes too.
Today we did some serious cleaning and we are making some burritos for dinner. Not a bad way to spend a day. Tomorrow, it's back to work for me. One last week on the day shift before I switch to evenings.
When The Local Law Enforcement Finds Out That Their Jurisdiction Ends In The Parking Lot.
Two county sheriffs walk into the lobby of a prison to pick up an inmate…
Me- Good afternoon officers. What can I do for you today?
Sheriffs- We are here to pick up Inmate (Insert Inmate Name Here).
I then call and let the right person know that the sheriffs are there to pick up the inmate. I am told they will be there shortly to escort the sheriffs in to get the inmate.
Me- Okay, they are on their way. But you cannot take weapons inside.
Sheriffs- We know. We want to secure them here.
Me- Great. I will be right back.
I go get a key for a box to secure them. I walk back and open the box. Both officers remove their guns and bullets and place them in the box.
Me- Gentlemen, you will have to secure the batons, pepper spray and cell phones as well.
Sheriffs- You expect us to go in unarmed?
Me- I do it every day.
Sheriffs- You’re just a receptionist.
Me- No, I am an officer and you cannot enter this institution with those weapons.
Sheriffs- Fine. (They put the batons and pepper spray in the box.) But we aren’t carrying cell phones. Just radios and we won’t give those up.
Me- That is fine.
I secure the box.
Me- Okay, go ahead and put your belts and anything metal you have on you in the bin and place it here (I indicated the conveyor belt to the x-ray machine) and go ahead through the metal detector.
Sheriffs- You are kidding right?
Sheriffs- We don’t have to. Our boss spoke with your boss and he said we could just come in.
Me- Who did he speak to?
Sheriffs- I don’t know. It’s always someone different. You have too much turnover here.
(Just FYI… The Captain and the Warden have been the same the entire time I have worked there.)
I pick up the phone and call the lieutenants office. To my surprise, the Captain answered the phone. I explain the situation. He tells me that if they will not even make a reasonable attempt to clear the metal detector, they cannot come in. I relay this information to the sheriffs.
One sheriff then pulls his cell phone from his pocket (I thought they didn’t have cell phones???) and calls someone, presumably his supervisor. He proceeds to tell his supervisor that we won’t let them in.
Sheriff (on phone)- No, the receptionist is being a jerk. I don’t know why she won’t let us in.
He speaks some more, walking away so I can’t hear him. He comes back.
Sheriffs- Our boss says we don’t have to be subjected to your strip search. You have to let us in or you will have to explain to a judge why the inmate didn’t appear in court.
Me- I am not letting you in until you make a reasonable effort to pass the metal detector.
Sheriffs- It’s against our protocol.
Me- Sorry. It’s against ours to let anyone in without going through the metal detector.
Sheriffs- Fine. We’ll leave. But it’s your fault when that inmate doesn’t appear in court.
I retrieve their weapons.
Me- Okay. Have a nice afternoon.
In the end the inmate did not leave that day. I wrote a memo explaining my actions to the captain and I even ran the situation by the warden. Both say I did the right thing. What is the point of storing the weapons if you aren’t going to clear the metal detector? How do I know you don’t have a gun in your pants? What was the big deal? Everyone who works there from the newest officer to the warden has to clear the metal detector.
This just goes to show that not only inmates can be jerks.
Something happened today that never happened before. I went to work at 6am and I worked until 7am, then they sent me home. I wasn’t feeling well. I have been stressed out a bit lately trying to take care of some stuff… the broken car, Carolynn and her home school, work, bills… It’s been a lot to handle. I haven’t been sleeping well and I have had a sinus thing bugging me. I have had a stomach ache and I have this terrible toothache. I guess it all kind of just hit me at once. I was working, but I was spaced out and I just started crying for no reason when asked a question by a coworker. No one was mad, they just thought I was sick and they sent me home. I came back home and went back to bed. I slept all day off and on. I feel a little better.
Tomorrow I am going to the dentist. Hopefully that helps. I am going to spend some time going through the bills and getting things all taken care of. It’s not as bad as it seems. I know it. Carolynn is doing great at school and she is a much nicer person. The car is fixed. I just need to have it smogged and registered. Work is going good. One of my supervisors said I was doing a great job and that he would like to be able to pull me from my regular post to do some other stuff if I don’t mind. He said people have been saying good things about me. Another one said I was turning out to be an outstanding officer. My evaluations are always all positive. I just have to take care of some more paper work stuff and then I can try some more new stuff. I have just been avoiding the issue and scared I won’t be able to do it. I need to stop that.
I switched banks. Chase was charging me practically for everything and then making it difficult to use my own money. I went to a couple of local banks, checked some stuff online, and called and asked a bunch of questions. I finally decided on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. So far, I like them. Their online banking is easy to use and they are friendly.
I have the next few days off. It will give me a chance to take care of all this stuff and catch up on some sleep. Plus visit the dentist and possibly the doctor. Things will get better.
Last night my sister in law Nicole had her first party for her new business. I think she did pretty well. I purchased one of her warmers for me and one for my friend Trisha to put in her new house when she gets here. Maybe I should have a party here to help her get started. The warmers are cute and not too expensive. There are a bunch of scents too. Check it out www.scentsy.net.
Okay, things are looking up. I know it. Think positive.
It’s been a busy week, and mostly we have been enjoying.
Last week on Sunday, we went over to my brother’s house and his wife Nicole made tacos. They were soooo good and her rice was awesome. Then on Monday, they came over here and we had chicken. David spent the whole day baby proofing and I got Nathan a toy to keep him occupied. After dinner we played Apple to Apples. That is so fun. We learned that Oprah is frightening and General Patton was dreamy. I love that game.
Friday was again pizza night. It is becoming a bit of a tradition, until I go to the night shift in two weeks. Nicks has good pizza. Then on Saturday we went to my brother’s house again. Nicole was going to help Carolynn with her hair dye. She wanted to put pink and blue streaks in it. I am no good at that stuff and Nicole is. Plus, Nicole is starting a new business selling these melters at Scentsy. They are cool and have a lot of great scents. And since she was doing that for us, we decided to bring dinner to her. We got dinner at a great Chinese place near their house. We met at her house at 6:30ish. That is kind of when it went downhill.
Just as we get in the house, (we all arrived at the same time), the doorbell started ringing. Nicole went outside to talk to the neighbor. Allison and I were letting the dogs in and only one came in. Nicole figured that he got into the neighbor’s yard and that is why the neighbor was there. Then I heard Nicole crying so I went outside. The neighbor told me that Oakley, Joe and Nicole’s dog, did get into his yard. Unfortunately, this neighbor had a new pit bull puppy and Oakley and the puppy were playing…
The neighbor didn’t even realize Oakley was in the yard until it was too late. He rushed him to the animal hospital but... It wasn’t too viscous. The pit-bull broke his neck, didn’t really bite him a lot. I felt so awful. Nicole was so upset and then she had to tell Allison. Poor thing. She was so upset too. She felt better after I told her about doggy heaven and how now we can love Oakley forever. Their other dog was not harmed. The neighbor felt so bad. He got rid of the pit-bull. (Not put it down, just took it somewhere else. It was an accident.) He offered to buy them a new dog. He took Oakley to the vet and did what he could. It was so sad. Rest In Peace Oakley. (AKA Humper… that dog humped everything… Lol)
Anyway, David and Carolynn were over there today and he says Nicole was doing better. Nicole is so sweet. She really loved that dog. Nicole did dye Carolynn’s hair with pink, blue, and purple stripes. David played with Nathan while she did it.
Tomorrow, she is having a get together for her new Scentsy business. I am going. It’s at 6:00 if anyone feels like joining me for some excellent scented flameless melters. It should be awesome.
I am sorry to bring you another week of news articles, but I happened to have found a bunch recently that I would like to share. That doesn't happen very often. I have plenty more stories by me coming next week and for weeks to come.
Thirteen great books 1.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone By J.K. Rowling 2.Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets By J.K. Rowling 3.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K. Rowling 4.Beezus and Ramona By Beverly Cleary 5.Ramona the Pest By Beverly Cleary 6.Ramona the Brave By Beverly Cleary 7.Cricket in Times Square By George Selden 8.Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder 9.Charlotte's Web By E.B. White 9.Nancy Drew and the Babysitter Burglaries By Carolyn Keene 10.Fromm the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg 11.Are You There God It,s Me Margaret by Judy Blume 12.Diary of a Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney 13.Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
1. Apple to Apples 2. Scene It!- We have 2 Xbox versions, Disney Scene It!, 80’s Scene It!, The Simpson’s Scene it! and a regular Scene It! 3. Trivial Pursuit 4. Wii Games- Wii Sports, Mario Party, Mario Kart, Wii Play… Just to name a few. 5. Outburst- My version is old, but it is a fun game. 6. Scattergories 7. All Card Games 8. Uno 9. Monopoly 10. Cranium-This is one of my favorites. We have a Family Fun version too. 11. Taboo 12. Guestures 13. Pictionary