Today I took Gary and Roz’s suggestion to improve my taiji practice and to challenge myself. I did the long form, mirror image, with my eyes closed. I messed up twice but got back on track and finished the form at a nice slow 28 minute pace. *smile* If I slowed down even more I would be able to focus on my stepping, balance and sequence better and probably wouldn’t mess up the choreography. Next time I’ll try and slow down but I’m not unhappy with my first attempt. No matter what Roz says, practicing blind isn’t going to make me Hundred-eyes but it is improving my balance and my stepping.

On Tuesday I called and talked to McK and I finally asked him directly how up to date the blog was. He reluctantly told me that he hasn’t posted any of the journal entries that I’ve emailed him though he did get all of the ones posted that I had sent Roz. I was a bit stunned because I was under the impression that he had gotten up to date with the posts as I had asked. I put a link to the blog in the letter to state senators on programming and the blog’s domain was mentioned in the article in the Nebraska Criminal Justice Review, an inmate newsletter. I had given McK several months notice to get thee blog up to date before I started to publicize it to anyone but he didn’t do it. This blog is a cornerstone of my attempt to become a recognized inmate advocate but now anyone who has checked it out from the senator’s letter or the newsletter has only seen a blog that is a year out of date. It not only makes me look sloppy and unprofessional but it pretty much guarantees that no one will bother to ever check it again. *sigh* I should have realized that McK doesn’t handle pressure and stress well so I shouldn’t have put extra responsibility on him. Lesson learned. The disappointing thing is that neither Roz nor Justin did any better. Ultimately, this is a classic example of one of the biggest stresses for an inmate (and everyone else too). You can’t control what others on the outside do. It’s just that when you’re incarcerated you feel especially impotent. I can’t ask any more of my parents so I’ve emailed Colin to see if he is willing to post for me. If not, I’m not sure whom else I can ask. 🙁

On Monday at the MCC class I’m taking we got to use the computer lab. Wow, it was actually pleasurable to type on a real keyboard and use a real word processor. LOL We had to retype and correct/improve a resume cover letter. I know, I know, such a mundane task but I sure enjoyed it. *smile*

I hope the warden will approve the use of the computer lab for the Toastmasters club to publish our quarterly newsletter. Being the VP of Pub. Relations the newsletter is one of my major duties…since we don’t have a web site for me to maintain. *chuckle* I look forward to working on the newsletter with the Secretary, who was a graphic artist on the outside. I’ve already got article ideas. I am also giving my 2nd speech next Thurs. the 12th. From the day after I delivered my first speech, the “ice breaker,” I’ve known what my 2nd speech would be about. You are supposed to pay particular attention to the speech structure during your 2nd speech, so mine will actually be on different possible speech structures. LOL I am having fun in Toastmasters. I had forgotten how much I enjoy speaking to a group. *smile*

2 weeks ago I had my re-classification. Initially, La Duke, the case worker, told me I had to remain at max custody in spite of my risk assessment being low. He said it was because of the length of my sentence. I tried to correct him since I had read the AR (administrative regulation) that said if your TRD was more than 20 years out then you had to remain in max for 2 years, but my TRD was only 14 when initially classified. Since La Duke didn’t actually know the rules for classification (and he’s a case worker?!?) I didn’t waive my right to go to my classification hearing. A couple days later I was taken to meet with the unit manager, Holly, for my classification hearing and when I pointed out that my sentence didn’t require me to be kept at max custody he looked it up (he also didn’t know?!?) and said I was right. Since my risk assessment was low I would then be “promoted” to minimum custody. Unfortunately, the only min custody facilities are OCC, which I can’t go to because someone is there that knows me, and the 100-man dorms in the back of NSP, which are notoriously political and violent. So I asked Holly to promote me to medium custody and put me on the waiting list for a bunk at LCC. At least then I could eventually get back to Lincoln but not have to deal with the dorms at NSP. He agreed and I even confirmed our understanding as he walked me back to F gallery. However, 2 days later when I got the documentation on my reclassification it said medium custody but to “continue PC.” *grrrr* Tomorrow I am turning in an appeal of my classification but since Holly has refused to answer any of my kites I don’t know why he changed it which will make appealing his reason hard. *sigh*

I am also working through a “grievance” over not having been screened yet by the Clinical Sex Offender Review Team (CSORT). Until they screen me I won’t know what program I must take to earn parole and 99% or more of sex offenders are not able to complete their programming requirements in time to earn parole. That is a violation of NE statutes so I’m exhausting all administrative avenues because a judge would require that before hearing a lawsuit over NDCS’s failure. If the senators don’t listen to my letter, and NDCS doesn’t address my grievance, then I’ll have plenty of grounds for a lawyer to proceed with a lawsuit. It’s a slow, methodical process but I’ve got time and I’m detail oriented. Plus NDCS will benefit if I force them to address their programming backlog because ultimately that is a major contributor to the overcrowding crisis.

Another big change recently is that my original cellie, Robert or Pelon, was transferred to work release in Lincoln. I was happy for him because he gets more time with his family now, including furloughs where he can go home for the day. Eventually he will get a job and start helping to support his family again. It’s all good for him, but it meant that I lost an excellent cellie. Rather than play Russian roulette I decided to try and move someone in that I already knew. Jeff came on the same van with me to TSCI from NSP and is a middle-aged, quiet guy who had problems with his cellie so we got him moved in. We’re working out pretty well. He sleeps most of the morning and is really quiet watching TV the rest of the time. *smile*

Roz and Gary came to visit 2 weeks ago. I told them about the benefits of m yin yoga practice and how I have adapted it to practice in here. They both suggested that I could make a prison yoga manual based on my practice. I’ve given it some thought and I think I’ll give it a try. First I’m going to suggest a running column in the Neb. Criminal Justice Review (NCJR), a quarterly inmate advocacy newsletter. If Mel, the editor, likes the idea that will motivate me to create the content. I will need illustrations though so of course I asked my fiance, McK, if he would do them but he said “hell no.” In retrospect that was probably for the best. I have asked an artist in here, Darkside, if he ould do them for me. He was hesitant but eventually agreed…for a price. I’ll have to make sure that I get full rights to use the artwork any way I want if I’m paying for them, even if it is in commissary. LOL eventually I could offer the yoga manual for download from my site. I’m working on a title. Maybe Yincarcerated Yoga, or Yin Yoga to Unlock the Mind and Body. *chuckle*