Nov. 21, 2017

Think Pink

by Rhonda J. Bays (author's profile)



Today was amazing!

Yesterday I was feeling a little bit under the weather so I went to bed early last night. I didn't get up until 10:30am. I had a dream during the night that my dental bridge was broken. It must have actually occurred in the morning because it's the only dream I remembered! Well, I went to my locker to get them and they were not in their container! I felt a rise of panic swelling inside of me as I knew where I had left them: on my bed wedge wrapped in a napkin! Of course, upon inspection my bed wedge was completely empty 9with the exception of my purple bible I always keep there). I began tearing up my locker in hopes that maybe they got mixed up with something but to no avail. I looked in the trash can closet to my room and they weren't in there either. (*my roommates and I opt not to have a little trash can in our room. The rooms are rather small feeling as it is). My roommate/friend Flor suggested we get gloves and go through last night's garbage in the big trash cart. We dived in and looked in about ten bags. We just plopped down in front of-but not blocking-the elevator and went to town. The peculiar thing is; usually the trash would have been taken out twice already by this time of day! Flor sat there with me through her lunch digging in smelly, ant filled trash. In the second to last bag I was close to giving up hope and there they were! Wrapped tightly in a napkin just as I had left them.

"The FBI investigated the subject twice and closed the cases. Did they miss something"? YA THINK?!?!? I'm listening to CNN Live on the atrium TV. Ugh. I was once told that there are no stupid questions. I'm thinking it must have been told to me because I was asking a stupid question and the person didn't want me to feel bad. That aside, what a horrible, horrible thing to happen to all of those people. My heart goes out to their families.

September 1, 2016

I sooo did not want to journal, blog, reflect. Whatever... but I promised my mentor that I would all this month so here I am! Hmmm, what to talk about... Okay, first of all, I want to say that my daughter Haley graduated Job Corps this past week. I am unbelievably proud of her!! She is a CMA and has a few certificates in other medical related fields. I know phlebotomy is one, but I can't remember the others. I'm very excited for her! She is currently trying to get a job with One Blood so I'll keep my fingers crossed. Also, when she went to her graduation she got to meet her boyfriend's grandmother. I can't wait to get the photos.

Next... I think that I can no longer take my Cymbalta. I switched from Zoloft and Neurontin to just the Cymbalta. I figured it would be excellent for both my neuropathy and depression. Unfortunately I didn't figure in the side effects. I usually don't have any (sano allergic reactions). With this I began feeling ill, then gained 17lbs in 14 days. Ugh, horrible. I'm so swollen, I discontinued use on my own but I plan on going to the doctor next week. When I'm feeling a bit more up to it. I have been confused lately! Here's why... a few months ago I happened to notice a sudden influx of women here that are built like linebackers. Of course, we're all built differently and I certainly am not one with a perfect build to be able to criticize anyone else. After talking to a few said linebackers, I found out what it was , they are transgender. I guess the B.O.P. has new policies pertaining to gender assignment. If one has Gender Identity Disorder and identifies as a female (but are actually "physically" male) they can come here to live and take HRT. Then there are the men who are in the transition process who come here. And then there are the completed transgenders. (Oh, and before I go any further, please forgive me in advance if I say anything politically incorrect about all of this. I'm clueless as to what is proper etiquette in this department). My confusion is- when did it become cool to switch? There are several women here who "identify" as men. I'm not sure what they (BOP) do with them. It would probably be unsafe to transfer them to a men's prison. I suppose they'll stay here. The commissary committee has already incorporated men's products for us to be able to buy. (Examples are: men's degree, after shave lotion, men's shave cream, etc). One can even receive boxers to wear. I would like to note that the commissary has been out of several women's products for a while now. (Eye shadow, perfume, mascara) it makes me wonder...

Then, there's more I don't understand . One will be transgender, come here, then date women and be gay. WTH?? There used to be an announcement that would come over the PA system a couple of times a day that said "male and female staff continually work and visit inmate housing areas". That's basically so all the inmates realize that most of the guards are men and they walk around in units all day long where our rooms are. Well now the message has changed. It now says "opposite gender staff work in the inmate housing areas during this shift". Apparently, there are now more than 2 genders to choose from! All of this is making the right side of my head hurt. When exactly did all of this come about? I realize I have been incarcerated over 7years now but still. I didn't think the world had changed THAT much! Wow, don't misinterpret my feelings to be against any one of... opposite or transgender. I am not against anyone. Whatever makes each individual happy. I will have to admit I get a wee bit creeped out when I get up in the morning to go to the restroom and brush my teeth and beside me is a person shaving. I suppose it is yet another thing I'll just have to get used to.

I'm tired and am about to go to bed but I did want to mention something with that I'm more than a little miffed about. The BOP (i.e.-government) will Fully Pay for an inmate to undergo sexual reassignment and all of their hormone replacement therapy etc... But my dad can't afford his medicine each month and has to choose which ones he'll be able to take. Unbelievable, I don't know, maybe it's me. Maybe my priorities are off but I think the elderly in our country should be taken care of before an inmate who wants to change sexes. I try to have empathy and all but when I know my 81 year old father does without so often, it sparks so many different emotions. What do you think? I've babbled Long enough. Good night!

September 8, 2016

It's 10:12pm and there was Just Now a fight in the unit. It was upstairs but everyone just about ran to get a look. There were people running that I didn't even know could walk! It was in the room directly above me so I could definitely hear it. I'm not sure exactly what occurred but someone is going to have a headache tomorrow! There was a lot of pounding. The guard ran up there and broke it up. It was a little amusing because at first watching the crowd they were "ewwing and ouching" and making faces. Then they were rooting for the guard. Okay, they all came down the stairs now (The guard & two girls). One is my sorta-friend Vero. The other I think is her roommate. Neither one looks to worse for the wear. They will now go to the SHU (special housing unit)to stay for the next 30-40 days. 30mins later... i just received the 411 from my roommate. Earlier today a woman had a seizure in the restroom. Apparently, the roommate accused Vero of causing it, Vero got angry and hit her and thy began to fight. Umm... How does one cause someone else to have a seizure? Wow, I realize I am not at a MENSA summit but the mentality of some of these people is unbelievable. Such is prison. I'm going to rest now. Not sleep since I slept until 1pm this afternoon. I'm going to read my book, "The Face" by Dean Koontz, it's pretty good actually. Good night!

September 9, 2016

I had a wonderful day today. Sorta okay-"wonderful" may be a bit of an exaggeration but it was still good. What happened was during the weekend of Passover my cap came off of my front tooth. It was terrible. It didn't hurt but I looked eerily like one of the locals! So right after that it got fixed and all was well again in Rhondaville. Then about a month went by and I already had a crack (not actually visible) going up the middle of my tooth. I grind my teeth something fierce and it happened while I was sleeping. I returned to the dentist and finally received a set of night mouth guards. Where they molded perfectly to my teeth, they are cozy and i don't spit them out much while I'm sleeping. At this point though the damage was already done. Last week I felt that it had become loose and sent an email to my dentist. I had an appointment for today at 7:45. (Due to heart issues, I have to be pre-medicated) By nine she was fixing it. I am now the proud owner of a new tooth. She went a wee bit overboard on making it look completely realistic. It's a little shorter than the other one and slightly crooked. Yup! Realistic! Albeit I am missing the original 'gap' I had between my two front teeth-but not everything must be fully restored. Aside from that i just went to (church) service. It was a good one. We discussed confessions. Good night!

September 10, 2016

I got to see my visitor today! Yeaaa. She is completely the highlight of my month. She comes down from the Prisoner Visitation Services. We'll call her Ms. S, I think the reason i enjoy her visits is not so much our commonalities (which are plentiful) but where she has me reflect on the things. She has this idea to where we come up with monthly goals and then when we meet the next month we see if we met them or not. This past month my goal was to talk with someone (a trusted friend, counselor, psychologist, etc) about some issues I have been having. Nothing serious mind you, just personal and in need of discussion. Things I'd normally discuss with my dad but A) We only get 15mins a call and B) I'm on a serious budget right now. So, I kept my agreement and wound up speaking with my cousin. (More about her at a later date). Ms. S's goal was to spend quality time with the cat she was cat sitting for. She told me a very funny and animated story on how much the kitty loved it! The only thing I fear is that she has now spoiled him for all future cat sittings! :-) That's ok though kitties need lots of love! I also got to see a couple of friends' family members, I even met Denise's daughter; she is so beautiful! and kind too. I'll meet her husband and step-family on prior visits. She is a very fortunate woman. She has a husband who is head-over-heels in love with her and a wonderful family! Many women here don't have any of that so she is one of the few. She deserves it truly because Denise is great. Good night!

September 11, 2016

Today is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. It feels like it was just yesterday that it happened. i remember hearing about it on the way to work at Pizza Hut 9to which I was late) I had just left Denny's being their mystery shopper that month. That was such a scary feeling. I had an illusion that by living in the U.S., i was Completely safe. Boy was I wrong. Now 15 years has passed and I still don't feel any safer. Not sure I ever will.

I am doing a basket weaving over in recreation. It is kind of fun. But I used a neon variegated yarn so it's really cool looking. I'm not sure if I'm sending it to Laura or Haley. Of course they'll both get one, it's just a matter of who gets this and who gets the next.

September 12, 2016

It's been super boring today, one can always tell the boredom level when the highlight of the day is to go to a diabetes seminar! Albeit I did learn a few things. Aside from that, just another dull day.

After a serious mishap that involved my friend J.Z., a black gel pen, and our clothes in the dryer, I was given a super cool book on quotes. In a nutshell- I loved the book- the book belonged to Nakita- as did the afore mentioned pen. She felt bad about her pen ruining my good V-neck shirt so she gave me the book. I told her it was totally Not necessary but she insisted. Besides, the book is huge and she didn't have room for it in her locker. So below I will include a few quotes I happened upon, and liked. This is an 1100 page book so expect many! Although I'm sure there are much funnier ones on Facebook, here goes a few:

*Idle people have the least leisure (late 17th century)
*Love is blind (late 14th century)
*The hero of my tale- whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been,is, and will be beautiful-is truth (Leo Toistoy 1828-1910 Sevastopal in May 1855)
*The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody (Mother Theresa)

September 14, 2016

In some Chinese dialects, the same word used to mean "danger" also means "opportunity". I bet that you thought I was going to say something really profound involving the above statement, didn't you??? Fooled ya. Although it is a good fact to know. :-)

Today I got up around 8am and decided to clean my room. Then I decided I wanted a leisurely day. I spent some time -okay- a lot of time reading my book. It's called "The Girl From Junchow". It's second in a set and is about Russia circa 1930. (The first book was called "The Russian Concubine" and it was centered in China 1918). I am really enjoying the book and am sad that I have almost finished it! I have No Clue what the name of book #3 is.

October 19, 2016

I am able to work again as medical put me back to "unassigned" from "medically unassigned". I never saw my doctor, so I'm not sure as to how this occurred. I'm just going to go with the flow. I have a "filler" job now, (something to fill my time). It's an "Elevator Button Pusher". I'm not kidding. From 7:30-10:30am I sit in a chair or on my walker and push the button to the floor the people are going to. I reckon it's not the bad, the pay is a mind-blowing $5.25 per month! Where shall I spend it all?? More than likely on the phone :-) talking to my family makes the days go by so much quicker. I miss them terribly.

Today is day three of Sukkot (Jewish holiday week for harvests). I won't be able to go out to the hut this morning and this afternoon. I have to wash clothes after lunch. I'm down to my last pair of shorts and last pair of socks (footie socks). So I'll miss lunch too. I'll still be able to make it tonight though. I have really enjoyed the last two days. Even though i had bees chasing me around all last night during prayer! I did learn a valuable lesson- don't wear perfume to an outdoor religious event in Texas, yep, I'll remember that one! At least I didn't need an epipen.

Enough of my boring life... My dad is doing well, I'm glad. i worry about his health a lot but he seems to get by ok. I'm very happy that both of my daughters are in the medical field and lives with him. He gets around great for his age. Maybe i just worry more because i feel guilty for not being there with him? IDK.

Jewish Wisdom for Daily Life.-Sayings of Rabbi Menahem Mendl of Kotzk

* It is too one-sided, this reliance on God's love, Know that God is also severe.
* If you don't know your true self, you will never fully understand anything.
* Love is a hammer that can shatter a stone heart into pieces.
* Freedom is a shaky business. And people are unreliable, know where to put your trust.
* A person can perform endless good deeds and still be a sinner.

I received the above book yesterday and absolutely Love It! Thank you David!! I think I'm going back to my unit and my room. It's stuffy on this elevator and it's making me light headed. Bye!

October 21, 2016

I show up to work a little while ago and the inmate clerk tells me that she hasn't heard anything from Education (somewhere that I applied) and that I'd have to start working. Really?? I've been coming in and working all week, I even waved at her one day! Unbelievable, what it is, is that someone else is assigned to the elevator that I running but that person never shows up to work. I'll talk to the clerk later about putting me on for this and taking the other lady off.

I sure miss my friend J.Z. today. Well, I miss her everyday of course but it's been almost a month since she's been gone. [Elevator just made a loud popping noise and moved itself to the 5th floor, can't be good]. We did just about everything together so it's hard adjusting. I try not to get very close to anyone here for that EXACT reason! My other best friend who went home a couple of years ago is named Sherry. i don't hear from her as often as I'd like but of course she has her life going on out there. Being in here is kinda like being in a time vacuum. It's hard to relate this setting to everyone else's. There are days that I am unbelievably busy just like everyone else, but usually it's because I sign myself up for it. I think I'm babbling. Oh yeah J.Z.

The following pages are little picture-grams that my b.f.f. J.Z. and I used to send back and fourth to each other when we were neighbors. Of course it would have been just as easy to poke our heads out the door and SAY what we needed to, but what's the fun in that?? J.Z. and I relate to each other on many different levels. The main one being that we have the same exact sense of humor. (God help us all)! I really miss her but know that resuming her life on the outside is something she deeply needed. I put under some of them the meanings so the interpretation wouldn't be so hard. ENJOY!!


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