Happy New Year!

I called McK at the last minute I could last night (8:30 PM) to wish him a happy new year and I watched the ball drop on a rainy Times Square but I couldn’t stay up till midnight here. I guess I’m getting old…well, it’s not really a guess. Hahaha. Actually, I think it’s just that I have a rather set schedule in here and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM every night. I am hopeful that 2019 will be at least as good at 2018 was, maybe better. *smile*

We had a decent Christmas here. At least no one was stabbed this Christmas like happened the year before I got to TSCI. We had a nice roast beef meal for the holiday. It was one of the 3 decent meals a year we get. One for Christmas, one for Thanksgiving, and one for the 4th of July. Only 6 months to go before another good meal. *chuckle* We did have special items on canteen for the holidays so I have actually put on about 5 pounds so I’m eating pretty well.

I sent out 45 holiday letters this year. Instead of the origami Santa, Christmas tree and star that I put in the letters last year I included an origami-like wreath that transformed into a star when you slid all the parts together. I say origami-like because traditional origami uses only one sheet of square paper. Although the wreath used square paper it takes 8 sheets to make one wreath so it’s not “traditional” but I think it was a hit. *smile* They took a while to make so I started folding them between Halloween and Thanksgiving and then I spent the two weeks after Thanksgiving hand-writing everyone’s letter. It’s a good thing I had plenty of time to finish them all in time. *chuckle* I also taught guys to make Christmas origami again this year and we made extra to send to the City Mission again. One guy who sent out some Christmas origami in a letter to his son had them sent back by the mail room all unfolded. I guess they thought he might be sneaking secret messages out in them. LOL!

I did receive one Christmas disappointment. On Christmas eve when I got my laundry back my personal sweatpants were gone. Some laundry worker decided he wanted a Christmas gift so he took my sweatpants. You’d think everyone in here was a thief…actually, only most are. Haha! That has prompted me to come up with a creative way to put my personal clothing through the laundry. I took one of the Khaki state shirts and sewed the sleeves, neck and waist closed so you can only open it with the buttons. Now when I want to send personal clothes through laundry I’ll just put them inside the shirt so they won’t see them. *grin* I had used a pillow case before but I guess they could see the sweats through it when it was wet but that won’t be a problem with a khaki shirt.

I have been leading a yin yoga class twice a week for a while now. The guys come and go then come back as they like but there’s always at least a couple so the class keeps running. Yay! It’s giving me good practice at explaining the postures and at knowing what limits some people will have. It is helping me figure out how write the manual I want to make. When I get to LCC I will try and establish a yin yoga class too, maybe even get it supported by the admin so we can use the gym, yoga mats, etc.

I was happy to hear that Legion was listed as one of the NPR TV critique’s top ten of 2018. Several of the others were Netflix series so it’s going to be a while before I can watch those. I was excited to watch the SyFy series Nightfliers by George R.R. Martin but I have to say I was very disappointed. It’s like Martin took every SciFi theme ever and tried to roll them all into one series. Not only did it make for a very unfocused plot, it made for some contradictory elements. As an example, in one scene in the medical bay the captain survives a decontamination process that destroys all organic material and only his eyes are damages because he’s an android. But in a later episoce, after he’s been broken, he’s being regenerated in a vat and we’re told he is a clone of his “mother.” Martin had to rewrite his being an android in order to make him the “brother” of his love interest who turns out to also be his “mother’s” clone so she’s his “sister.” How Luke and Leiha, right? *chuckle* Martin ruined his plot continuity just to work in a Star Wars motif. Lame!

Oh, there was an absolutely hilarious original skit on one of the episode of Live From Here. Comedian Dave Hill wrote a song/story about the story of Jesus at Galilee. I have become quite a fan of Live From Here and that particular skit made me literally Laugh Out Loud. LOL!

Roz has left the country. She came to visit one last time with Gary and McK before she left. I’m glad I got to see her and it was an upbeat visit but I wish we could have let our deeper emotions out. Unfortunately, visits are pretty public and not the most condusive environment to exposing raw emotions. She sent me several last minute letters that she wrote during breaks while she was packing up. I can’t call her anymore now so I hope that she can still access JPay to keep in touch through email. She is now supposed to be in Shanghai for the next year. She doesn’t want to go back to Malaysia so she’s delaying her return by helping one of her former students by helping to take care of the former student’s kids. Leave it to Roz to know someone in Shanghai and to come up with a creative way to avoid return too Malaysia. *chuckle* I asked her to take some time to slow down and just be with her feelings when she gets there. She is naturally a workaholic and she packed her schedule even more than usual before her departure so she wouldn’t have to face her emotions. Productive but not all that healthy. I asked her to take a long walk in nature for me as I can’t. A peaceful walk in the calm of nature should be good for her. *smile*

I talked to Jeri tonight. She and I are working on an exhibit of art from incarcerated people. I’ve talked to a couple people in here who are interested in participating but they haven’t started any work. I decided that we needed to set the date of the show to motivate people’s creativity. Jeri said that the busiest First Fridays were in spring and fall so we chose the first Friday in May for the show. It will take at least a month for me to release the artwork to someone to get it to Jeri and for her to set up the exhibit so everyone will have to to get me their art by April 1st. Jeri said she could display up to 20 pieces and I’ve only talked to 3 artist so I can recruit several more people. Especially as some may flake out at the last minute. I may even try and make a bracelet that simulates a pair of handcuffs and doubles as a necklace/choker. It’s an idea but I’ll have to see if it will actually work. I hope it can increase Jeri’s studio’s profile in the Lincoln art community as well as increasing public awareness of the need for prison reform.

I am writing some articles on issues in the system and having them posted to the community forum in order to jumpstart the content and to spread the word about the issues. One was an article on NDCS miscalculating overcrowding for the Nebraska Criminal Justice Review. The first issue put out by Creighton was supposed to come out last month and it didn’t so I’m not sure it’s going to restart publication. I will update the article with the data from the last quarterly datasheet of 2018 and send it to state senators and several news outlets. We’ll see if it gets any traction. I want to send that article and the second, on how NDCS has no plan for how to handle an overcrowding emergency, to the Inspector General so he can try and hold NDCS to account. It’s tough to get people to pay attention, even to valid points, when you’re incarcerated. Thanks to my dad and Colin at least my arguments are out there. *smile*

Here are links to the 2 articles

Is NDCS being transparent about the true overcrowding its systems?

NDCS and the Parole board have no real plan for how to handle an overcrowding emergency.