At first, rumor had it that there would be no Christmas Door Decorating Contest. Then five days before judging, they announce there will be a contest. Five days is not enough time. The previous year took me three weeks to handcraft a well decorated door. And I won 1st place in H6.
This year I’m in H3, and I got 3rd place. Good enough for a dozen cookies as a prize.
The guy who won 1st place cheated. He got his door decorations from his buddy who won the H3 contest in a previous year. Then he put those same decorations on his door for this contest. It took him all of 20 minutes. The second he won, he took down the decorations and boxed them up for the next year, while everyone else still had their doors decorated. What does that tell you?
While the 1st place door only took about 20 minutes, I spent about 25 hours hand crafting a 3D snowman and cutting out approximately 100 snowflakes! Among other things. I wanted to make a beautiful 3D Christmas tree, but there simply wasn’t enough time.
It was nice to enjoy the Christmas Spirit with my wife, Suzie. She is the one who always encourages me to participate in the annual Christmas Door Decorating Contest. She brings so much warmth to my days. Suzie loves Christmas music during the holidays, so as I decorated the door, I also listened to Christmas music.
Although I’m thankful for all my blessings and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude, I must admit that it sucks that a guy can break out a winning door from last year and win again this year, with no real effort.
Then, on top of that, I didn’t even get to take a real picture with my door. I don’t know what happened. Usually they post a date and time for pictures. It seems as if they didn’t even want to do the contest at all…as a result they just rushed through it.
Oh well, it’s prison. What do you expect?
Better luck next year.
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!
After 6 months I finally got another dog. And this one is awesome! His name is Willy. He is a Blue Heeler (aka: Australian Cattle Dog).
The only thing I know about Willy is that he’s a DOC drop-out. That means he was training to become a drug sniffing dog, but didn’t make the cut. As for ”why” he didn’t make the cut, I have no idea, because Willy is highly intelligent and learns super quick.
I’ve had Willy for about two weeks and he already knows more than some dogs learn in ten weeks!
My lips are shinny from lip balm. The skin on my face is glowing from mass amounts of Oil of Olay. This I know because I just caught a glimps of myself in the reflection of my 7″ touchscreen JP5. Now I feel like blogging. Let’s do it!
I feel good. Just a few hours ago I cut my hair and shaved my face, armpits, and down below. I thought about Suzie as I was manscaping. For those who don’t know what manscaping is, it’s when a man shaves and trims his pubic hairs all around his southern region. Now you know.
Why the hell would a man in prison manscape? Any ideas? You’d be surprised at how many inmates do it. Ask your inmate if he does it. If he says, ”yes” ask him ”why?”
I do it to keep the fleas and crabs off me. It seems to be working.
If your inmate doesn’t trim his bushes, I’d be willing to bet that he has bad breath most the time too. It just seems like those two go hand in hand…bad breath, and a colony of crabs & fleas co-existing in an unruly out-of-control man bush. Pay attention the next time you’re in the visiting room. You’ll see guys scratching their nuts left and right. Thats because they have crabs, fleas, and ball mites. All because they don’t manscape.
I had no idea that this post was going to be so educational for ya all. But since it is, I’ll continue to enlighten.
I’m going to teach you a technique that will enable you to save money on mouthwash. I learned this technique just the other day when I used a sink next to Mike, aka: The Mad Jacker. They call him “The Mad Jacker” because he’s always beating off in the toilet and shower stalls. Everyone knows he does it. But he doesn’t care. He still does it. Mike is crazy. He’s also a genius. Literally. (Read Jesse’s post called Surprised. He’s talking about Mike.)
So I pull up along side of him and start brushing my teeth. Above each sink is a mirror and a little stainless steel shelf. I notice on Mike’s shelf he has floss, toenail clippers, nasal spray, a salt shaker that he stole from the chow hall, and two bottles of mouthwash.
As I’m brushing my teeth, I’m also watching him through my mirror. He has no idea.
He takes a huge swig of mouthwash and starts swishing it around. Then he tilts his head back and vigorously gargles. I can see splashes of mouthwash fly out of his mouth and down his chin and neck. I take a step farther away from him and decide to watch him point blank. Like a statue I just stand and stare as I brush.
After he gargles, he spits the mouthwash into the other mouthwash container. That’s when I noticed that both his mouthwash bottles contained backwashed mouthwash. I gaged.
Then I spit my toothpaste in the sink and said, “What in the world are you doing?”
“Getting ready to brush my teeth.” he says.
“No.” I said, “Why are you spitting mouthwash back into the container?”
As he squeezes indigent toothpaste onto his indigent toothbrush, he says, “The sodium fluoride is still active. I’m not going to waste perfectly good mouthwash.”
(Indigent – An inmate who has less than $10 on his books for 30 days or longer is considered to be “indigent.” Indigent inmates can purchase indigent items as they rack up an indigent debt. NOTE: Indigent items are generic, no name brand items. In other words, they suck!) See: Glossary of Prison Terms
I hide my disgust and act intrigued. “How many times can you use it before the sodium fluoride is no longer active?”
He says, “I’ve been using this stuff for 7 months and it’s still good.”
This guy is totally oblivious to how crazy and gross all this is. In his mind we are having an average everyday conversation.
I ask him, “How do you know when the sodium fluoride is no longer active?”
He simply says, “When it stops burning.”
I then asked him, “Why do you turn off the water when you brush your teeth?”
I asked him that because I do then same thing. It’s obviously to conserve water. But not many guys do that in here. As a matter of fact, some guys deliberately turn on all the faucets and then walk away.
Mike answers, “To save water. By doing so, I save up to 4 gallons of water every time I brush my teeth.”
I ask, “How many times a day do you brush?”
He says, “Three.”
I say, “That’s 12 gallons of water you save per day.”
He says, “Yep. And 4,380 gallons per year.”
I ask, “What do you do with all the water you save?”
He finally looks at me for the first time, cocks his head sideways, and says, “Ha Ha, very funny.”
Then he gathers all his things and speed walks out of the bathroom and to his cell. Mike is always in a hurry no matter where he goes.
Yes, Mike is an odd ball. He does some strange things. But Mike is alright with me. Together we save approximately 8,760 gallons of water per year! Who knew?
Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!
Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.
It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.
For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.
By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.
For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.
I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.
If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?
Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.
Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.
The following poem was written back in June of 1996. Back then I was a drug using, drug selling, violent little badass. I was at Walla Walla, living with Mikey and Jeff. When we were using drugs and smoking joints people use to walk by our cell, look in, and fiend. A lot of guys would stop at our bars and try to make small talk in hopes it would lead to a free hit, or a joint.
(To read more about this crazy time in my life, please check out my ebook called, STONE CITY: LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY. Specifically, Chapter: 7.)
TAKING THE EDGE OFF PRISON LIFE
Waking up slow to the practical jokes,
where coffee is a must and everyone smokes.
Take a deep breath you can smell the green,
as the broke walk by they look in and fiend.
People say I’m gone how I wish that was true,
the fact is that I’m here so let me tell you what I do.
I kick em in the face sometimes I choke em out,
But then I get away with it and that’s what its about.
So please don’t mess because I gotta confess,
when it comes to fighting dirty I’m one of the best.
So what if I’m small so what if you’re tall,
within ten seconds guarantee you will fall.
The hell with taking the edge off prison life,
its more like taking your head off with my prison knife!
That poem illustrates just how sick my thoughts were. As a result, my actions were extremely destructive. I was oblivious to the fact that I induced my own suffering and hardships.
Now, it is with a joyous heart that I share a more recent poem that was written on 10-25-13, in the midst of enlightenment and spiritual awakening. I am so blessed to have this gentle love in my life. THIS is what takes the edge off of prison life for me these days.
THE MAGIC OF HER LOVE
Love is like magic, at least it is for me.
I pulled a rabbit out the hat, and her name is Suzie.
She transformed my world, a cold hard place.
By showing me a warm soft glow, within the beauty of her face.
Our situation is unique, and to some very strange.
But there’s nothing in this world that love can’t change.
Her love is so pure, understanding and kind.
She loves with all her heart, body, soul and mind.
Her love is so powerful, it reaches my core.
Her love is a love I’ve never felt before.
Her love is a love in which I’ve been seeking.
Her love is a language in which I’m now speaking.
Her love is the love that inspires my life.
Her love is the love that I’ve found in my wife.
Wow! What a book! I just finished it. In the back I found Paulo Coelho’s blog site: paulocoelhoblog.com. I’ve decided to reach out to Mr. Coelho. I’ll share what I wrote to him. But first, I’d like to share a few more quotes from “The Alchemist.” These quotes really touched me and I found significant meaning in them. I hope you can too.
“When you are loved, you can do anything in creation.”
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
“Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World.”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”
“The boy reached through to the Soul of the World, and saw that it was part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles.”
“I only invoked what you already knew.”
“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surly happen a third time.”
“His heart whispered, ‘Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am, and that’s where your treasure is.’ “
“Its true; life really is generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend.”
And now, my letter to Mr. Coelho:
Hello Mr. Coelho.
My name is Steven.
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
The ALCHEMIST has taught me to listen to my heart. And to pay close attention to omens. I am in prison. Just like you once were. I published my first ebook at the age of 38. You were 38 when you first got published. Omens? We’ll see.
I am in pursue of my Personal Legend. I am embarking upon a journey that will lead me to my treasure. You have inspired me beyond words and into action. I am the nations leading blogger from behind bars, with over 22K followers. I’d like to invite you to check out my blog and to read my 3 part series. This series is in response to THE ALCHEMIST, and has several quotes straight from your book. And now I will ask something of you: Will you please help me reach my goal of 100K blog followers? My journey is still young and I need some of that beginners luck that you talk about.
I eagerly await your reply.
Steven D. Jennings
After reading an email from my sweet wife about what she is thankful for, I realized that my previous Thanksgiving post was incomplete. I failed to mention the things that I am thankful for.
I’m thankful for having such a wonderful family. Starting with my wife. She is so incredibly kind and loving. Her dedication & loyalty is absolutely impeccable. I am so blessed to have her. Thank you, Suzie!
I’m thankful for my amazing mother and all of her love & support. Thanks, mom! I love you.
I’m thankful for my sisters, and my nieces & nephew. I’m especially thankful for my brother-in-laws and how they treat my sisters and their kids.
Wow! There’s so much to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my Friends.
I’m thankful for my readers and followers.
I’m thankful for being in The Dog Program.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to blog.
I’m thankful to be alive and to have a release date.
I’m thankful for my Marriage.
I’m thankful for clothes to wear and food to eat.
I’m thankful for JPay.
I’m thankful for football season.
I’m thankful for Influential Books to read.
I’m thankful for my health.
I’m thankful for Stone City Blog.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to take NA classes to earn back good time.
I’m thankful for all my blessings and for all the people who love & support me.
As you may recall, when I first started to read this book I wanted to throw it against the wall and then roll over and go to sleep. But I refrained and gave it a chance. And boy am I glad I did. This book is giving me things that I’ll keep for the rest of my life. No wonder it spent over 300 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. And after 25 years, the book is still alive and well.
The rest of this post will be quotes straight out of this book. If you stop and give them serious thought, you’ll be able to apply them to specific aspects of your life. My hope is that you may be inspired. Enjoy.
“I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could’ve started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.”
“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve upon the present, what comes later will also be better.”
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.”
“Sell your camel and buy a horse. Camels are traitorous: they walk thousands of paces and never seem to tire. Then suddenly, they kneel and die. But horses tire bit by bit. You always know how much you can ask of them, and when it is that they are about to die.”
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“Men dream more about coming home than about leaving.”
“There is only one way to learn. Its through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”
“Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.”
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So its better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow.”
“When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would’ve seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepard to achieve.”
“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him. We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them – the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”
“Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. Its the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’ ”
“The boy and his heart became friends, and neither was capable now of betraying the other.”
“When something evolves, everything around that thing evolves as well.”
Let me interject here and point something out. When I first stared to read this book, I didn’t like it. The characters were too underdeveloped and the delivery of the story was weak. That was my perception.
Now I’m 142 pages into it. And because the characters and narrative are so underdeveloped, I’m able to easily plug my personal journey directly into this book. Every quote you just read, strongly relates to my personal journey.
What initially made this book so unappealing to me, is the exact same thing that has now made this book extremely powerful and influential to me. And all I had to do is be patient, proceed with an open mind, and seek out the positive.
Have a nice day.
Football started at 9:30am and continued throughout the day. I loved that!
At 10am, they served brunch. We had:
Cold Cereal (Reece Puff)
Turkey Sausage Links
White and Chocolate Milk
After brunch I came back to my cell and slipped into a bran new sweat suit. Then I crawled up on my bunk, got under the covers, and watched my fantasy football players do work! I pretty much layed in bed all day and watched football.
At 5pm, they called dinner. For being in prison the food was excellent! We had:
Corn on the Cobb
Homemade Dinner Roll
Chocolate Crème Pie
At 7pm there was a Bingo Tournament in the gym. The prizes consisted of: deodorants, toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, and body washes. I’ve played my fair share of bingo, and I gotta admit, I don’t like it. So I didn’t go play this year.
This book has me conflicted. The message is great. But the delivery of the message sucks. So I’ll focus on what I’m getting out of this book as it relates to my journey of becoming a successful, happy, multi-millionaire.
The first is HOPE. When ”The Alchemist” was first published, it only sold two copies in 6 months. And the same person bought both copies. After a year went by, the book was dropped by the publisher along with the author’s contract.
The author didn’t give up hope. He kept his journey alive. He kept pushing forward because HE believed. As of today, ”The Alchemist” has been translated into more than 80 different languages, and has spent over 300 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Even after 25 years, the book is still very much alive.
One day, I aspire to write a book like that. Or shall I say ”books” like that. “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary” is just the beginning of my story. So much more is yet to come. Please share my ebook and my story with your friends and family. It’ll help me reach my goal of becoming a multi-millionaire before I get out of prison.
So not only does “The Alchemist” offer HOPE, but I’m also feeling INSPIRED. Inspired to enjoy the journey and all I encounter along the way. This book talks about omens, universal language, the principal of favorability, beginners luck, personal legend, and how the universe will come together to help one achieve their goals.
”The Alchemist” is teaching me patience. Because at first, I felt like tossing the book and not finishing it. But now I’m on page 61, and I’m actually enjoying it. I’m understanding it on a deeper, spiritual level. Read it for yourself and see how it touches you. Oh, it will touch you!
Here are just a few quotes that I can strongly relate to:
“Never stop dreaming. Follow the omens.”
“The language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”
“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
“The mysterious chain that links one thing to another.”
“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there.”
“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history or the world were written by the same hand.”
I encourage anyone to read this book. As you do, you’ll be able to identify and apply several principles and philosophies to your life. If you’re ready for some type of change in your life, this could be the book that catapults you into a new dimension.