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June 8 2022
A perfect woman by definition is an adult female person, being without fault or defect. Realistically it’s a female with an exceptional personality, an impeccable smile and has a special spirit. She has a skin complexion that’s ideal and a body that’s flawless. She’s intelligent, loving, hard-working, has good communication skills and she’s understanding. She has superb confidence in herself and excellent self-esteem. She doesn’t let a man define nor complete her, but she also understands that there’s nothing wrong with a little help.
When she glances in a mirror, she sees someone with an unblemished image. When others see her, they see a fabulous woman of a classic nature with a superior sway. Perfect also means, lacking in no essential detail, which is complete.
So, if she has been heartbroken, has trust issues, or any type of other imperfections, that’s cool too, that’s what makes her perfect. In the eyes of every man, any woman can be perfect. In the eyes of every woman, all women are perfect. Just like beauty, perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
June 8 2022
Not a letter, which is ultimately fine. There is a key to every lock, and all unfolds just as it should.
I was tripping on what would have been a better profile entry, but ultimately, as said “Above all to one’s own self be true:” Twenty years of solidarity and being happily lost in books made me a different man. To use education as an escape is to be able to find a place of peace, growth/light in a place you must find within. Prison can be violent, darkened by suppression.
There really aren’t a lot of prisoners that can have a conversation about something of depth. To be meaningful conversation leaves one missing crucial human interaction, in its absence.
I did grow up running the streets and have walked the yards with respect and integrity, so my conversation isn’t just from the halls of academia. I wish I knew then what I know now.
Somewhere out there is this feminine perspective that will share open hearts and minds. Until then I sit quietly on the banks of the river of life and let it flow.
Did you know that the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius’ real name was Kungfu Tzu, he lived about 500 BC about the same time as Plato and Buddha/Siddhartha. Confucius said, “All people are the same, it is their habits that are different”. I just picked this stuff up studying sociology. Trivial to some, inner wealth to others.
A Guiding Hand
June 2 2022
"A Guiding Hand"
Growing up I never had a mentor, in fact, no one ever questioned why I got failing grades in second and third grade.
Of all the places I would find one was in a Security Housing Unit in a State prison. There I met an infamous old gangster. In our first meeting, I was explaining my path in a rather circumlocutory manner, and the wizened old dude cut me off with a knowing smile and said "Richie, I've been a practicing Buddhist for twenty years."
I had heard that the man could read a room (or prison yard) at a glance, but I was still seriously surprised by his insight and quick mind. You see he had cut my roundabout conversation short and got where I was going for me. What I was leading up to was that I am a Buddhist and he had simply and compassionately got us to the point.
The reason that I was rather round-about is that in their ignorance of the subject, guys in prison can have a serious misconception of what it means to be a Buddhist in prison or otherwise. They assume that it is synonymous with passivity, and to the contrary, it is active. Yes, active with compassion, but that could require that you take on suffering to not place another there, or even step into physical danger to save another from it. All things that the-old dude knew were better than I.
The old guy went on to mentor me, sharing with me truths, errors, insight, and guidance that had my father been capable of granting me, I would never have the mistakes that I did. This was a man that the prison system vilified so much that they used every trick they could come up with to keep him in the Security Housing Unit in defiance of a Federal Judge’s order, yet a man that to me and others displayed every paramitas, especially patience, generosity, discipline, and insight. He taught so much by mere example. It is just that the erudite and with leadership qualities are seen by prison authorities as a threat to their tyranny and order and throw them into the deepest hole. They simply fear the power of knowledge and the pen.
Now that I have somewhat introduced you to this man, I would like to share with you the words taken from an old tather kite he sent me years ago in response to one I sent to him about a problem that I incurred due to a lapse of patience.
Here is the excerpt that I hope you might benefit from as I have.
"One of the key elements of my practice is to keep in mind what the Dharma teaches about adverse situations and people. That it's not them but how we respond to them that's important. We cannot control the actions of others and karma is karma. All we can control is our own actions and in that pay down our karmic debt by creating good karma. In the last Shambala, there was a piece by the 17th Karmapa on the paramitas. We must use them in our practice but to go too far turns them into demons. We must show compassion to the Tiger but that doesn't mean we place our head in the Tiger's mouth because he is hungry. To feed inessential insanity would be as harmful as reacting with negative energy towards it. It's finding the balance that challenges our practice because of our Western way of thinking. We tend to think in terms of the "I" or "self" where we should be concentrating on the interconnectedness of all things. The pain and suffering of others are ours, as well, and karma lies between thought and action. Their karma is theirs, ours is ours, and no one can pay down the debt of another. Remember, all of that is why it is called “practice”.
Take care Richie, and while it is not always easy being easy and no one said that there isn't a price for doing the right thing, there is no substitute for being just who we are".
That was a gift granted me by a man they kept in the Security Housing Unit for just over thirty years. Was it really wise to remove this man from the troubles without a true Elders population? Let me share one more of his missives with you that was sent to me when my hand was forced and I needed to defend myself and an angry and aggressive man got a rude awakening.
"As for your previous correspondence re: the lapse in discipline. Let me share with you a quote from the teachings of Shantideva. I have found and continue to find it helpful when Mara gets inside my defenses.
"Some do evil things because of ignorance,
Some respond with anger being ignorant.
Which of them is faultless in the act?
To whom shall error be attributed?
Rather why did I do evil in the past, that caused me to harm at other's hands?
All that happens is the fruit of karma.
Why should I be angry?
This I see and therefore, come what may,
I'll hold true to the virtuous path, and fasten in the hearts of all, an attitude of mutual love." Shantideva (8th century)
The last time I saw this man was when I walked up to his door, I was leaving the Security Housing Unit. After thanking him and saying goodbye, he gave me his last admonition saying, "Be compassionate Lad, be compassionate."
He will always be missed, but I carry him with me in such an important way. It's a shame that he wasn't allowed to mentor many more men. Most men in prison lacked a crucial mentor and could really use one.
Entombment is rehabilitation, and no one is ever taught crucial compassion, by cruelty.
Aka Tharpa Rigom
Pete Sandoval #V-32543
June 1 2022
Fun Tattooing Facts
Body art started as a visual that has been used throughout history. In 2015, scientists concluded the oldest example of the tattooed body was Otzi. This mummy had 61 tattoos and was discovered in glacial ice in the Alps, that dated back to 3250 B.C. In 2018 it was revealed the oldest figurative tattoos belonged to 2 Egyptian mummies dating back to 3351 and 3017 B.C.
Tattoos were used to express deep held beliefs, opinions, inspirations, protest, shame and belonging. They were used to brandish people and separate them to signify unity or rebellion. Tattoos created deep meaning hidden behind an image. Some implicit and very private, while others are completely open and explicitly clear.
From Japanese figurines, Egyptian mummies, European sailors, Native tribes across Africa to the Americas, from ancient Roman soldiers, warriors, veterans to the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, tattoos became an integral part of the ancient world. It communicated and express itself through drawings, markings, embellishments, then with time turned that basic action into an elaborate process, culture and attitude reaching the status of magnificent art as in today’s world.
Strange how tattoos at times were considered low class and had criminal connotations, something that polite society didn’t accept. But in ancient times tattoos were created exclusively for the elites i.e. polite society. Once again the world’s culture goes back a full circle and today polite society accepts them.
You see I not only enjoy skin art but also the significant meaning, history and culture behind the Art of tattooing.
I hope you enjoyed these fun facts and for anyone sending me electronic JPAY letters, introductions, please include your snail mail address so I can respond because I can not respond electronically via email. I can only receive them, enjoy your day.
Eduardo Rodriguez #BF9801
June 1 2022
What’s up everyone, as weird as it sounds, life in prison seems to be getting better…How? Well, I just got transferred from a level 3 prison that had only one vocational course and used every excuse to deny us yard time, so I was stuck in the cell hella much. Now I’m at this level 2 which has hella vocational courses, self-help groups and college, all three of these come with time off my sentence if I get passing grades and best believe that if it knocks off even just 1 day, I’m a pass! This spot also has programs all day, every day :). That means sunshine on my face and fresh air. Who doesn’t love that? One of the best things about this prison is that I got a G.T.L. tablet, that means if you download the “Getting Out” app and add me, you will pop up on my tablet and we can text message…
This place is off the hook! When I was at level 3, I gained a few pounds cuz I was stuck in the cell, my recent picture is from level 3, since I got here I already lost 10 pounds and working out hard, I’ll post more pictures soon. Hopefully you’ll download the app and you pop up on my tablet. Can’t wait to meet you.
Trea Ouellette #116136
June 1 2022
I do not believe in wasting time nor do I believe in bad luck. I do however believe in the Power of Manifestation through energy (aura) and will power.
A few of my accomplishments since my incarceration include: My G.E.D. through Barton Community College, learning to weld also through Barton, I’ve become a certified dog trainer through C.A.R.E.S. Inc. where I’ve helped to train several service/aid dogs. This was at my previous facility.
Now at a new facility I’ve been studying and educating myself in Business as well as Entrepreneurship. I have signed up and am currently waiting to take Business courses through a college affiliated with this facility, where I know I will successfully gain my Business Degree.
Knowledge is power and I am working on my “Master Plan for Success”. I am Manifesting my future, my fate.
All advice, comments or conversation are welcome through email at (GTL) or through snail mail.
June 1 2022
Word up son! Check it out. I feel you, but I need to keep it one hundred percent with you. You aren’t a leader. For real son, you are cool and all, but you don’t have what it takes. Look around. You see who the crowd is following and feeling. Everybody wants to follow somebody that can make sense of situations and fix problems. You aren’t it! I’m telling you what it is. Some guys are born with special genes and gifted, straight-up God! We’re talking about natural born leaders and geniuses. See? You need to sit back and learn, son! Some can be molded and turned into it, but you have a long way to go. It takes courage and a lot of will and you’re always ducking fights. You’re always talking like you’re the one, but I’ve never seen you fight. You’re always lip-boxing. What’s up with that? Plus, you’re always broke, out there acting like you’re checking paper, rocking fake jewelry! Come on, are you for real? This life isn’t for you. You’re faking. You hear whose name is ringing all around the joints in Illinois. You see who’s checking real paper. Who has all the find mamas visiting prison. Feel me? No doubt you need to learn more. For real.
“Outta Line” By: N.O.R.E.
“Wolves” By: PR Dean
“Snakes & ladders” By: Belly
May 31 2022
Hello again everyone,
This will be my last blog for the time being and in between time, I tried to diversify this particular list since I tend to lean more towards Hard Rock and Metal. This one has a little more work put into it, so I hope you enjoy!
You Gotta Fight - Beastie Boys
Dirty Little Secret - All American Rejects
Somebody Told Me; Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Through the Glass - Stone sour
Diary of Jane - Breaking Benjamin
Say Goodnight - Bullet for My Valentine
Infrared; Never too Late - Three Days Grace
Blurry - Puddle of Mudd or Stained (I can’t remember)
Chasing After You - Ryan Heard Ft. Marin Morris
One Call Away – Luke Combs
Wishful Drinking - Ingrid Andrew Ft. Sam Hunt
Discovering the Waterfront; Smile in Your Sleep - Silverstein
Ohio is for Lovers; This is Who We Are - Hawthorne Heights
Fare Thee Well - Stone Temple Pilots
If I Didn’t Love You - Jason Aldean Ft. Carrie Underwood
A Few things a Man Should Know - Lani Wilson
So Sick; Made Miss Independent; Closer - Ne-Yo
What Ifs - Kane Brown
Boots Need Knockin - Luke Bryan
Check Yes Juliet; We’ll Be a Dream - We The Kings
Thank You Child - Edward Shammer
Come Little Children to the Hanging Tree - Peter Hollins
Twisted Transistor - Korn
Dragula; Meet the Creeper, Spookshow Baby - Rob Zombie
I F*cking Hate you - Sevendust
Engel - Ramstein
Falling In The Dark; Comtose; Last Night; Monster - Skillet
Bloody Angel - Avatar
Dead Body Man - Insane Clown Posse
Dark Horse - Katy Perry
No Heart, No Love - Juicy J
Blast Myself - Z-Ro
Dracula; DARE; Clint Eastwood (Remic) - Gorillaz
Under the Influence, Don’t Give a F*ck; Toy Soldiers - Eminem
Filthy Rich; Latin Throne - SPM
My N*gga - OG Ron C and DJ E – Murda
Feel free to send your own playlists and comments
May 31 2022
Hello again World,
I'm wide awake at 2:00 a.m. at old club LeBlanc, so I figured I'd write out another blog before heading to the sweat shop AKA a slave labor camp AKA the dungeon or commonly known as….work. I'm probably going to be dead tired in the middle of my shift. Why do you elude me, oh sleep? I'm going to throw together some music again and add some of my favorite quotes to the end.
Popular Monster – Falling In Reverse
Lips Like Morphine – Kill Hannah
Two Weeks – All That Remains
The Crimson; Coffin Nails; Gallows; Ex and Ohs – Atreyu
A Little Piece of Heaven; Dear God; Lost; I won’t see you tonight, Pt. 2 – Avenged Sevenfold
When Angels Fall; Unknown Soldier; Far Away – Breaking Benjamin
Maybe It’s Time – 6 a.m.
Another Life – Motionless in White
Sex Metal Barbie – Unknown
I’m Not Alright – Tetrit
History of Violence – Theory of a Dead Man
Halo – Machine Head
Throes of Perdition – Charbydis and Sayillia – trivium
Dead Skin Mass – Slayer
Sayerbeast; you Only Live Once – Suicide Silence
Mein Herz Brennt – Rammstein
Happy? – Mudrayne
Forever and Always – Bullet For My Valentine
Collosus – Avatar
I Am Machine – Three Days Grace
“If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell” – Virgil
“Rape burns hottest against a punishment deserved” – Andross Guile
“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” – Erasmus of Rotterdam
“I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am” – Arthur Rimbaud
“Sometimes the only way to win is to burn it all down” – Unknown
“Braking up day cards – for when you just don’t give a damn anymore!”
May 31 2022
This is my first blog I've written in my entire life, so please forgive my horrid blogging skills! I've decided I would create a playlist of sorts for any curious individuals out there. I will start off with a song/artist play list then list some artists for you to explore. I go through multiple genres, so sorry if some music doesn't satisfy your palate! most music will be found on Spotify or YouTube!
Teardrops; Parasites Eve – Bring Me the horizon
Scars That I’m Hiding – Asher to Now
Circle The Drain – Machine Head
I Hate It – Underneath
King of Misery – Saul
Doubt – Through Fire and Flames
Recurring Dream (John Hopkins Remix Ft. Lorde)
Limits – Bad Omens
Hero of War; Audience of One – Rise Against
Midnight City – M80
My Garden; F*ck the Police – Kotten Mouth Kings
Hotbox Anthem – Potluck
Getting High – Trae The Truth
Loyal Customers; Real Gangster; The System – SPM
Sound of Silence – Disturbed
Artemis – Lindsey Sterling
Carnival – Nataly
The Jester – Bad Flower
I Miss You – Blink 182
Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz
Lips of An Angel – Hinder
Tech Love – Her Spare Holiday
Sunday – Sia
Human – Sredelia, Sol Eden – Wardruden, Don’t Call My Name – Skinshape
The Glitch Mob
Abandon All Ships
Enter The Chrome
I apologize that none of these songs that a particular vibe. I was doing this off the top of my head! Enjoy!