Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Enemy

In this note, I have changed the names of persons and locations in order to protect their privacy and their safety. The people who I spoke to are fearless and brave individuals who deserve more recognition for the extremely dangerous job they do in protecting the public from the most evil people in the State. Most of you know where I went so I'm not even going to mention the name of the Prison.

The Lieutenant I spoke with called this particular prison the "railway." Most inmates are only suppose to be housed for 3 months and then are transferred to permanent prisons all across California. In reality, inmates stay from 6 months to almost 2 years because of paper work, hearings, etc. When I walked into the reception center, I knew this was going to be a good "tour." Our I.Ds were checked and double checked. We were told not to wear jeans so I went in black slacks and a black button up shirt. For us females, we were told not even to wear an underwire bra because the metal detectors were extremely sensitive. Well, I thought I didn't have wire in mine but found out there that I did. A female officer let me through after checking I wasn't sneaking anything in. The receiving officer, A, was a very talkative person. Our professor encouraged us to ask them anything so we struck up conversations on random things to break the ice. The conversation eventually steered toward the law suits against the prison by inmates, and here is where light shown through the veil.

"I have to wait three weeks to see a dentist. These guys get two days."

The bitterness and resentment was kept to a minimum, but his view was shared universally by all employees. The State of California is under a federal mandate to update its system to the federal minimum requirements especially in their medical care. The legislature has failed to pass a budget because democrats and republicans are being petty and cannot agree on a single issue, most especially the prison system.

A. gave us his opinion very openly and honestly I thought. I was appalled in learning certain details of the system that not even my professors have spoken of (and if they knew these details, it is a serious ethical violation, in my opinion). Also, and here is where my feelings interfere with being only an observer, what liars politicians, namely liberals are. I consider it lying when a politician doesn't disclose all that he knows but sways the public to a "popular opinion."

A. told us of a call he received from a distraught mother of an inmate. She was worried that he had not gotten released. Or so it seemed. He checked the file for her and let her know he had received another year in the prison for assaulting another inmate. She was relieved because now he could get the medication he needed even faster inside the prison. The silence of our group confirmed my suspicions that most of these students had never spoken with prison officers.

Everyone was checked in at that point so our professor escorted us into the minimum to medium security building. Men in blue shirts stared at us while they mowed the lawns or swept the sidewalks. The building was a dingy gray with birds' nests and leaves settled along the ledges of windows or sticking out of the vents. The prison was built in the early 20th century and showed its age. The Professor told us that inmates wearing blue were low-risk inmates who worked for the prison. Our group was made mostly of females so it was plainly obvious why they leered.

Once inside the building we were greeted by an Officer X. Again, our I.Ds and now our gate passes were checked. Hearing the bars close behind you is a pretty scary sound. Once you are inside, you are there at your own risk. The State of California does not recognize the use of hostages in negotiations.

"If an inmate has a shank to your throat, we ask him nicely to let you go, but for no reason is he going to make one step out the prison. If he wants a pizza, we'll order him and you one, too. [Other than that you are S.o.L. Public safety comes first.]"

We were escorted into the chapel and told the rules and procedures during the tour and in case of an emergency. Officer X then told us about the inmates, which sections of the prison we'll be going through and how to act.

"Don't talk to anyone. They're all liars and manipulators. GP's (general population) are trash. PC's (protective custody) are the trash of the trash. These people are murders, rapists, pedophiles, the scum of the earth. You'll come into contact with every one so be vigilant and careful. They don't care about you. They have no regard for human life. They'll spit on you. They'll "gas" you."

Gassing is when an inmate collects urine and feces into a cup or storage container, lets it ferment for a couple days, and then tries to engage you in conversation in order to throw the mixture into your face and mainly in your mouth.

To add in here for those who are not familiar with the prison system. PCs must be separated from the GPs because the GPs will kill them. GPs have their own "honor among thieves-like ethics." Any person who commits a crime against children will be killed by the GPs. Any crime against a women is up for debate. The MA, Mexican mafia, will sometimes kill rapists depending on the situation and who was raped.

X then led a very quiet group into the processing center. "Blocks" or large cages lined the walls. Here they would strip the inmates and check them for contraband. Two inmate workers were seated behind a desk and were busy throwing/sorting out clothes.

"Be careful," one warned with a smile on his face. "They arrested me for walking across the street. I didn't do nothing wrong."

"Yeah, you never do anything wrong, do you?" our officer joked back. A hint of disgust showed on his face.

While we were walking out of that section, the emergency sirens and lights went off. We rushed to stand against the walls and watched as officers ran up the hallways to the source. The blaring siren only lasted a minute. It was a false alarm. X was in full officer mode. He had one hand on his pepper spray (that looked like "pepper spray on crack") and the other on his baton. The adrenaline was almost palatable. They signaled the false alarm over their radios and our tour continued on to the kitchen.

A couple things piss me off. First a nutritionist comes in and plans the meals for the inmates a week in advance for them. They know exactly what they are getting. A meal consists of main course and dessert. These guys eat better and healthier than I do.

"And God forbid we forget to give them their fucking cookies or they'll lodge a complaint."

X led us into the medium security dorms. One cell was emptied for the group to walk in. The cells in these rooms were all made up of steel doors with small glass windows. As we filed in, most of the inmates peered out at us through the small windows. The ones in the highest cells cat-called and screamed, but I couldn't make out anything. The doors were pretty solid. We then went into a dorm where they kept the PCs.

Tension filled the faces of some of my classmates. Here we were standing next to pedophiles and rapists, rats and extremely mentally deranged people. One of the inmates had raped his grandmother. Others had sexually assaulted women as their boyfriends or husbands watched, helpless. This dorm they were all walking around freely. Bunks lined the walls and the middle of the room. They stared at us. Some stood up on their beds to see us better or to intimidate us.

"Are those high school students?" one older guy asked.

"No," replied X. And to us, "You can always find the pedophiles by them asking how young a person is, the sick son of a bitch."

X couldn't stand to be in there as much as we couldn't. They were men who were beyond sick and instinctively we knew. My flesh crawled and I desperately wanted to shower after I walked out of there.

We were suppose to tour the administrative segregation section, better known as Ad Seg, but due to some trouble, we weren't permitted to go in there. We headed to the mental hospital instead.

The hospital was the only building with air conditioning. Naturally, all the inmates wanted to go there. I was surprised the main prison wasn't that hot. Fans lined the end of the halls so it didn't even smell in there. Our professor told us that 1/3 if not more of the people in there shouldn't be. They're faking to get the better accommodations. The staff cannot turn away fakers though because of the fear of being sued. They have to see each and every one inmate who complains.

No wonder the system is going to hell. All the money is being wasted.

The psyche ward was interesting. Some inmates were babbling to themselves. Others sat staring at the pristine white walls. One man was yelling for his dog. He had been having sex with a Rottweiler for three months before he was arrested (wearing a dress, I might add).

Our tour ended after walking through the minimum security area. Men in blue shirts just walked around, ambling aimlessly. We went back to the main reception center and turned in our badges. The Professor was really pleased with the tour and its impact on most of us. I have to say I was, too.

My opinion of Prison stays the same. These guys do not suffer at all. Boredom, maybe, but that certainly doesn't count. I am constantly hearing the "deplorable" conditions of prisons. Did you know inmates only get the best medication? They refuse taking generics which are really the same and the only difference is the price. We're paying top of the line hospital care for these scum. My own Mum has two diseases she takes medications for. She takes generics since they are what we can afford. If it wasn't for that, she'd be crippled. 30% of the men's population is HIV positive, also. Did you know they take drugs that rival Magic Johnson's cabinet? And that when they are paroled they leave with a three month supply plus cash to get them on their feet? Most of the meds are sold and that money is used for more illegal drugs even before the bastards get home from the prison!

Rehabilitation is a joke, folks. There's no rehabilitating going on whatsoever. How can you rehabilitate a person who does not want it? Inmates told us, face to face, crime is their career. They love it. They're animals. They stomp on the bleeding hearts who listen to them and cater to their every whim. If a liberal for the rights of inmates were to go there, they'd be laughed at and ridiculed. "What a sucker," most are thinking. When are politicians going to stop being chickenshit and treat these guys like inmates? If they reallocate the money they have right now, they'd have a better budget. The 7 billion dollars the State of CA is being sued for is a joke. If the inmates win, the State is going to the dogs and criminality will worsen. They are manipulating the system so in the end, we, as taxpayers and good people, are suffering in their stead.

To them, since I'll be wearing green and tan soon, I'm fair game. If they see me on the street, they will have no problem taking me out. X told me to be ready. I'm already their enemy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Because I'm a Creep.

Damn it! Of all the songs, I wanted to hear, "Creep" was the main one. It's ok though. Radiohead was thoroughly forgiven with the mind blowing show they gave. I sat enthralled for two wonderful hours. The choreography of the music with the light show was excellent. I haven't seen too many bands at their concerts put as much effort into making it a "show" instead of just a "performance."

I'll write more later. I can't do it justice on just a couple hours of sleep and several cups of coffee. I'm already falling asleep right here at my desk.

Till next time, folks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why NBC Bites. And the death of Baseball and Softball.

So who got the medal for wrestling? Huh? They had an event? Or how about for Shot Put and Disc Throw? I didn't see anybody throw...

NBC's coverage of the Olympics, to say it bluntly, blew. Who really wants to watch the 1600m rowing? Or people bouncing on a trampoline? And did you know the IOC is not having softball and baseball as an Olympic sport anymore, but table tennis, aka ping pong, is staying in?

I didn't watch much of the Olympics because of the place and because NBC is the worst network out there. FOX beats NBC and they're not even top-notch. Not even close. If NBC wins the bid in 2012, sorry, London. I wouldn't be able to stand it.

One more thing...

As a jock I am in serious doubt of the Olympics. Why you ask? Because of baseball and softball being discontinued. I'm not too fond of these sports, but they are sports. Ping pong is not a sport. Bouncing on a trampoline is not a sport. I have no clue how Ping pong made it past the IOC. As for the trampoline, don't we have gymnastics? Now that is elegant and a test of strength. I would have loved to see more sports on the damn telly. I'm a track enthusiast and was sorely disappointed I couldn't even tivo pole valuting, high and long jump, or my beloved throwing.

NBC can bite me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


These are all the good memories that keep replaying in my mind at the moment after looking at all the photos people are putting up. Read and see if I'm talking about you! Enjoy!

Remember the time I spelled your name wrong and hence began calling you by that name? And later I found out it was a nickname of yours since elementary but I still like to take credit from time to time.

Remember the time we were all having an honest talk and you told me you never talked to me till senior year (when we found out our mutual love of Harry Potter) because you thought I was scary looking and might beat you up? Now we beat each other up lovingly. Hee hee.

Remember the time we always had at least one class together since freshman year but didn't become best friends until senior year when we both ditched our other groups and finally got our heads straight?

Remember the time I went to a frat party with you, but wore my own school shirt? I'm not doing that again. AND I'm going looking hot instead of the hobo I looked then, too.

Remember the time you walked up to me and asked if I was the Lucy girl? I didn't know at that moment I'd made an awesome friend and had plenty of parties ahead of me.

Remember the time I was dancing next to you and you offered me your gin and tonic? I didn't know anyone, but I had an awesome time at your Myspace party and I felt loved. Like Mikey and I like to say, you corrupted me at that point. I still love you for that!

Remember the time we met the Phelps twins? I think that started off our celebrity photo taking/ stalking. We saw James Marsters, Stan Lee, Edgar Wright, Matt Stone, and others after that.

Remember the time you fell out of an SUV's front seat on the 91? Marisa and I looked at each and laughed until we choked. I'm still laughing about it.

Remember the time we all stood in the sun for hours waiting for Harry Potter actors? Yes, we are hardcore.

Remember the time you crawled around my apartment? And then you crawled to the bathroom and came out with no pants and drooled on my floor. It still brings a huge smile to my face. Those photos are priceless (and no one would believe me if I didn't have them).

Remember the time we were all sitting around a table, playing Kings, laughing, and your chair broke? And then a pound of rice tried to attack you and we blamed you for it. Darn gryffindor heartthrob.

Remember the time I made a U-Turn when I should not have? And you were almost in my lap. And I another person scream in the backseat. That was scary at the time, but it's hilarious now. We all know to have GA take a day of rest in order to function and drive home.

Remember when we were on a plane and the attendant announced kissing a soldier and we bothe teased each other? And then we found out they were sitting behind us. Fun times!

I'm out of time now, but I just want to say I love you guys. Life would be boring and cold without you. Haha! I left out a lot of stuff so don't feel left out! I'll post more later!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Disclaimer: I'm happy that the US has won so many medals, especially gold medals in swimming. I don't care for Michael Phelps as a person for several reasons, but I am happy we have him. This note is going to sound annoyed with him, but I know it is not his fault people follow.

Yesterday I was feeling really restless so instead of doing my usual "jailhouse" workout I decided to go to UCI's gym, the ARC. The sun was shinning and the sky was perfectly blue and clear. What a good time to put in some mileage in the pool and work on my semi-tan.

The first thing to catch my attention is that the ARC had half of their parking lot closed for construction. I have no clue what they are doing, however UCI (Under Construction Indefinitely) is living up to their name. I parked and walked into an almost empty building. They were renovating the inside. Again. I went and put my stuff in the locker room and then decided to do a quick warm up on the track upstairs. That was pretty nice even though you had to run 16 laps in order to do a mile. I perfer to do the 4 laps on a standard track. Makes me feel like I'm going somewhere.

I went back down to the locker to change into my suit and stretched out a bit. Stretching is extremely important to me especially since my left hemstring was pulled and still gives me trouble from time to time. I grabbed my SD Chargers towel and walked out into the sun... to see a ton of people in the pool. I usually swim in the deep end but I only found room in the 3'6" end. Zip Turns were out of the question. I tried one and literally had my stomach on the floor. If I wouldn't have pushed off with my hands, I would have smacked into the fiberglass or whatever that pool is made of. At Chaffey I had done that once and knocked myself silly.

To continue... The guys next to me were comical. I was greatful that they shared their lane, but they were the kids inspired by the Great Michael Phelps. They were no swimmers. Since Phelps has been very sucessful at the Butterfly, they were working on that. The Butterfly is the hardest stroke out there. It consists of "pulling" with both arms while dolphin kicking with your feet. Imagine someone doing the Worm and that's how it's suppose to look in the water. Did I mention for every pull you're suppose to kick twice, too? Most people who don't practice can only kick once. It's a mental thing. The Butterfly feels very weird if you do it right. Watching these guys do alternating kicks while pulling had me shaking my head. They weren't even extending their pulls in their freestyle. For every one they did, I did two. And it's all because of a longer reach instead of "muscling" it.

It's wonderful that more people are coming into the water and watching more water events. Once the fever cools down though the pool will be lightly populated again until Phelps shows up in London in 2012. Hopefully by then I have my own pool to do with as I please.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Voltron; BottleShock and Theater; and Remakes that should never see the light of Day.

Someone is releasing a Voltron movie in 2010?! As a child of this kind of cartoons, or rather early anime, I'm freaking out. Voltron is actually the earliest cartoon I can remember. Originally aired in 1984, it ran on television for almost a decade. Hell, I'd even say that Power Rangers wouldn't have been made if it wasn't for Voltron (they are from the same producers). I just hope they don't make it too cheesey or it'll bomb.

"BottleShock" is another movie I've been dying to see. I've read mixed reviews, but all of them have one thing in common: Alan Rickman just dominates the screen whenever he's in view. Again, I'm biased towards this gentleman. I'll probably go see this tonight since I've been trying to see it for two weeks because people keep telling me to wait for them. No more! It'll be another month until I see this if I wait. I haven't even seen "Gonzo" since a couple people have told me to wait for them. I'll wait for the DVD now for this one. Anyway, Rickman always impresses me by his demeanor and his love of theater. In a recent article, he says its a shame Americans don't value theater highly if at all. I agree. Ask any regular Joe on the street and they probably can't tell you what's showing at the Pantages ("Wicked") or the Mark Taper Forum (nothing until it's opening gala for the new season [trick question, sorry]) It's much harder to be a theater actor than a screen one. If I get the chance for a quick trip next year, it'll be London for sure because of two plays: "A Doll's House" starring Gillian Anderson in the lead and "Hamlet" by the Royal Shakespearan Company starring David Tennant. I adore the West End. I wish LA would advertise and endorse more theater.

In other recent horror news, the new Jason movie, a remake of "Friday the 13th" is going to blow. The production photos look horrible. Camp Crystal Lake looks too fake. Ugh, when will Hollywood stop with the remakes?! Another remake I just found out about is "Nightmare on Elm Street." Why remake these classic horror franchises at all? The originals are perfect! To top it all off, Billy Bob Thorton is rumored to play Robert Englund's prized role. I'm hoping the whole remake of "Nightmare" is false since IMDB doesn't even have a page for it yet. They might just be delaying it, but I can still hope for a miracle.

"Parasomnia," as I've mentioned already, has released their trailer for its upcoming, but still unknown debut later this year. There's a couple words to describe what I saw: frightening and beautiful. Horror movies usually go straight for the vein (literally), but this one feels like it has more depth to it. I can't wait for this one to come out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chicago and other random stuff.

I loved the Windy City. There was just some old 30s charm that appealed to me. I can image speakeasies and men in fedoras and long trench coats, strolling down to their favorite haunt or back alley. Dinners and pizza became a staple in our diet that week. Since I do love cheese and lots of tomato sauce, I declare Chicago to have the best pizza. Ever. The slice I was served in Giadano's was literally an inch high and thick. I only finished that slice and was beyond full. I wish they had pizza out here in Southern California like that. Oh well. I sight-saw with different friends everyday. I made new friends. We stayed up at all hours of the night (to the dismay of the hotel and our neighbors sometimes). I watched the sun rise over Lake Michigan. If you've never seen the sun rise over a body of water, you're missing out. The colors were so vibrant. The water simply beautiful and clear. I tend to stay away from the big tourists places and just like to wander around a city to see what its really like. Tourists here in California really don't see what Los Angeles is really like. They see Hollywood and Universal Studios, Venice beach if they're adventerous. There's so much more though! Anyway, that's a rant for another day. Back to Chicago. I talked to a couple locals. One was hilarious and I wish he would have appeared more often. It helped that he was very complimentary towards myself and all of my friends.

I felt like Daisy except I didn't have any of her and Gatsby's problems. The Hilton was all gold and crystal. Chandeliers hung everywhere. A tall clock sat in the middle of the lobby dividing two staircases. A baby grand piano was on the north side of the lobby. Random people played. The funny thing was if you were good, security left you alone. If you couldn't play or messed up quite a bit, they'd ask you to get off. My friend David from across the pond graced us on the second to the last day to some beautiful pieces. He's way too modest with his playing. I wish I had kept up my practices, but at least I still have my "ear" and can read notes. Every night of that week, someone somewhere was having a party. Wizard Rockers would play periodically and charm their fans. I went to an acoustic session and was incredibly impressed. The Wrock has come a long way and has definitely improved. I'm a new fan of the Mudbloods. That guy, Adam, has a voice that brought tears to my eyes. He sang a song from Snape's perspective about Lily... I kept thinking, "Don't cry. You're wearing mascara." My heart ached for the dear professor.

The whole trip just re-energized my love of the Potter fandom. Everyone is extremely friendly. I can't pick a single highlight. I'd have to say some of the best memories I have are getting into the Cubs v. Cardinals baseball game, hearing security rush into a concert because the chandeliers below us were swaying and crystal was falling from all the people jumping to the music (the floor was moving, too), watching X Files with Potter people (yes! combining obsessions), and being up at all times of the day with people. I love my friends, old and new.

I would go to Chicago again in the future.

Other random stuff...

Warner Bros.'s has post-poned the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!" Yeah, yeah, it's old news, but my anguish is still pulsing through me. Hearing that Summit moved the release of "Twilight" to that slot is good news, but still doesn't fill the void Potter left completely.

"Parasomnia" has released their trailer and it looks wonderful. Both dark and fairy tale like, it's something fresh to my senses. Kathryn Leigh Scott makes a couple appearances so I'm definitely going to see this.

I have more movies (such as Rickman's "BottleShock") that I want to mention, but that's going to be it for now, folks.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I'm sitting here at work now, wishing the time to pass quickly. My mind keeps traveling back to two days ago.

I was in the car, smiling and laughing with my Mum. We were discussing movies and actors. We were stopped at a light. I looked away from her just in time to see him pass by. What suprised me most was that I felt nothing. I didn't care. He could have been a stranger even though I spent more than two years around him. If I would have seen him closer to January, I would have raged. I would have exhausted every ounce of self-control not to hit him. It would have taken every thought of my future not to do anything rash and uncontrolled. I was that angry.

I owe my closest friends (especially Mitch and Neda) everything for listening to me during that time. I vented for hours it seemed and cursed everything that had to do with him. The knife was still in my back and twisted. Hell, even a professor of mine lent me an ear, after he asked why I looked like shit in his class. Haha! He was and still is a great guy.

After a couple days, I decided I couldn't poison myself with hate and anger. It was taking too much energy to endure. I put everything in my journal, my own personal pensieve, and forgot about it willingly.

That was last year. My eyes followed him as he drove by. I remembered everything, but it didn't bother me at all. No disgust rose from throat and my muscles did not tense. I laughed again as Mum started to hum, "David Duchovny, why won't you love me?" Mum isn't very observant (well, I'd have to say most people aren't, too) so she never knew who had just passed or didn't notice my eyes drift along with a certain car. Maybe next time, if there is one, I'd be able to be in the same place and still feel that calm, even if he's standing next to me.