SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2008

A Productive Weekend in Federal Prison

Today was a great day and so far has been one of my better weekends. For starters, all inmates received 100 extra phone minutes per month for November and December. We refer to it as “a little gift from the Feds”. I’ve struggled to properly manage my phone minutes so the extra 100 for two months will help a great deal, especially during the holiday season.

The weather has also begun to change. Prison is very much like the movie Ground Hog Day whereby the same events happen day after day after day. This is especially true for the weather. Since June the daily temperature has hovered around 100 degrees all day, every day. Exercising and even walking to the chow hall and library is much nicer with the temperature change. Looking back, I wonder how I made it through the summer heat since all exercise activity takes place outdoors. I’m thankful I’ve already spent my one and only summer in the Taft heat. It was perfect today; 75 with a slight wind.

I also received my halfway house (i.e., residential center) paperwork. Although I don’t know my exact release date from Taft Camp, I know that I’ll be in a residential center in Hollywood, California. Simply receiving the paperwork has made me feel closer to home. The next step is for the probation department to visit my residence upon my release from the halfway house. I have a tenant in my home until September 2009 so I will stay at my mother and her fiance’s home after leaving the residential center until I return to my own home in Studio City.

I managed to write several letters today (starting about 2 P.M. and ending a couple of hours later) and finished reading Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes. I’ve read many books but this was my favorite.

Finally, I was able to squeeze in a long run and then watch some political coverage. I’m a CNN junkie and a big fan of Campbell Brown. It’s too bad the warden will be taking away CNN after the election and our regular TV Land will return Nov. 5th.

A week-end such as this one makes my ordeal worthwhile. I didn’t waste one minute. Unlike some of my fellow campers, I will not simply wish the time away because I have too much to accomplish. Life is too short and wonderful to want to speed up the process.

Justin Paperny

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