Friday, November 5, 2010


It has been a long time since I posted, things have been moving very fast since my last post.

Every weekday has been going to WorkSource and the Public Library looking for a job. I replied to at least 5 craigslist ads everyday with a resume and a cover letter for the past month and a half. I got more responses from fraudulent ads (tons) than real jobs (not a single one!). It was beginning to feel like I wasn't even worthy to scoop dog poo (which I did apply for...)

I went to the airport jobs office and found a promising ad for National Rental Cars. The position was as a greeter which caters to the VIP members. It was my first call back, and my first interview and I couldn't have been more excited. At the end of the interview, he asked me if I had any questions for him. The only thing that wasn't brought up was the fact that I had a felony, which I gave full disclosure on the application. So I asked him how his company felt about my felony. His reply caught me completely off guard. He said, "Oh, your the felon. Well, that I will have to speak with management about. I'll call you by Monday." Yeah right! I was under the impression he already checked out the policy, which is why I got the interview. NOPE! He completely forgot I was the felon and focused on what he liked about my resume. I felt like I was punched in the stomach.

Fortunately for me, I called a friend I hadn't seen since my incarceration. She mentioned a friend of hers works at a company that was looking for customer service reps and would put me in touch with him. After we talked, he reviewed a copy of my resume with his boss and we set up an interview. It was immediately clear to me that they wanted to hire me and that I had finally secured a job. I started on Nov. 11th with Ecommerce Positioning and it has been going quite well. My first project is to organize a spreadsheet that consists of 37,000 pieces of inventory. It is a daunting task that apparently three people have tried to conquer and failed.

Well, it's 9:00 and it's time to get to it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guess who's back?

For those of you who don't know, I am in Seattle again. I got back on September 16th but only told family I was due back at that time. I suprised many friends on the street and at their jobs. I guess I really can't do anything in a 'normal' fashion.

I must say the bus ride up from Portland was quite surreal. I kept thinking that it wasn't really happening, in fact I can still barely believe it. Everything was new again: handeling cash, interacting with the public, the feel of denim jeans and finally, the realization that the public at large has no way of knowing where you've been. You get so used to the uniform and the impression it leaves on civilians when seen in it, that it's hard to remember that you shed that scarlet letter upon exiting the prison.

Anyway, I am in a halfway house until Dec.17th at which time I had better have found a place to live or I'll really be assed out. It's not bad but it has it's negative aspects too. In many ways you have much more freedom in prison, strange as it sounds to say. Difference is, more is excpected of you in here. No one is here to tell you what to do, just to aide in your re-entry into society. Where as in prison you are told what to do, where to be, and when. Some people fail here simply because they have lost or never had the ability to think independently and responsibly and mess up on purpose just to go back to their comfort zone.

I certainly don't fall into that category. I am happy to be back among my family and friends and look forward to closing this chapter of my life. I have learned a lot about myself and who I can rely on when times are tough.

So thank you to everyone for the letters, pictures, books, and support. I can't express enough how much it means to me.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well ACE has begun once again. Unfortunately, I was working during registration so I only am signed up for two classes this round. The only reason I got into those two classes is because I was automatically enrolled when I took the prerequisite for them. So this quarter I will be taking Life (Discovery Video Series) and Modern Marketing II. It will be nice to lighten up the load for the summer quarter, so I am not too bummed.

The computer class is going great. I am one chapter from being completely finished while the rest of the class is about 25% done. I can work on other programs and more resumes for the inmates going home along with continuing to help the teacher (an inmate) with the students.

Otherwise, the weather has been great and my allergies have finally subsided along with my third cold of the year. I am now participating in an intense work out class 5 days a week, which has been tough. Soon enough, I should be getting a job change off the serving line out to the dining room to wipe tables or sweep. Many kitchen workers do this when they are 6 months from the door or less. They call this the 'retirement plan' because instead of working three times a day, you only work once a day. That way I can do more running in the morning and I don't have to leave the workout class early on the days that I work. Besides, being on the line is a tad stressful because everyone blames you for their small portions, or if they don't like the piece of cake/fruit/chicken/etc. That shit is annoying and I can do without it.

Well, that's all. Things are moving along spectacularly. Soon enough, I will be out of here and on to the next phase of this process.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Well, my ace classes are finished. These last 10 weeks have gone by at a decent pace. I guess we get a slightly longer break until the next round starts on the 17th of July. I am not sure what all will be available yet, but I will definitely be signing up for a few things. My computer class really makes time go by. I am further along on finishing the required material than anybody else, I am constructing resumes for inmates leaving soon, as well as other misc. projects, and I am helping the inmate teacher with the other inmates who are struggling. When my required work is done, I should be able to mess around with a 3-D modeling program called Google Sketch-Up, which is the class I wanted to take originally in lieu of this current MS Word class. In any case, I will be enrolled in that until Sept 25th when it unfortunately ends.

In piccle ball league news, my partner and I just dropped from first place to second in points. Today was a frustrating set of three games that we lost two of. We beat ourselves, but since it's for cumulative points and not wins, we are still in it. This league will go until August at which time the top 8 point leaders will do a double elimination tourney to determine this years top team. It has been a lot of fun so far, and should be another great distraction in which to keep the time rollin bye.

The 12th of this month will officially be my 6th full month in this place. All things considered, that's not too shabby. I have found enough things to keep myself occupied to not let extreme boredom set in and wear me down.

Happy 4th of July everybody!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Okay, so last Monday was my birthday, something I was hoping to keep quiet around here. However, when my neighbor saw me open two cards on the same day, he said "Hey Dodd, that's your second card today... somethin tells me there's somethin your not tellin me" I replied as I left in a hurry, "Oh, these are just, 'hang in there cards'." Well, in my rush to leave, I forgot my ID was sitting out and it says the birth date right on it. Needless to say, shenanigans ensued for the rest of the day. Birthday in prison, makes for a good story sometime - but not anytime soon!

Anyway, classes are great and I finally got into the computer class. However, the course I wanted was full and I had to settle for a 100 hour course on Word 2007. While I don't feel that it will benefit me as much as the 100 hour 3D design class, I am sure I will learn a thing or two I didn't know. So far, I have spent most my time helping the teacher with the students because he is just one inmate to help all the other 25 inmates. He is the piccle ball league organizer and helped a lot with squeezing me into the computer classes this round; otherwise I would still be waiting until Sept. to get in.

Something funny about this place is all the wild life. There is a stock fish pond behind us that attracts hawks and a bald eagle diving in for the fish, so that is cool. Last year, the bald eagle got a goose and a duck. This year, only a duck - as far as anyone has seen anyway. I am surprised they don't try and get these cats running around here. There is about six skunks running amock, spraying all the cats. Every night we get inundated with the stench of skunk... that part sucks. We have a male and female duck that just had chicks, they are pretty cool; they have been running around here for a month or so. Then there is the raccoon gang. Those fuckers are relentless garbage diggers, so we have had to adjust our garbage dump routines. There are a couple of deer around along with a fox or two. Finally, the cats. One of them just had kittens, but we rarely see them out and about. The funny thing is, whenever the cats fight, EVERYONE runs to the windows to watch the fur fly. Some of the cats have earned nicknames like: Battle Cat (the fiercest fighter on the compound), Stretch (has a super elongated body), and CoonFucker (almost all white except its tail is a brownish grey color and has rings, just like a raccoon). Almost forgot, one of the raccoons is appropriately named tripod as he has only three legs. Oh, the things that entertain the mind of the detained.

Otherwise, I am still waiting on the official release date to the halfway house. That is the next most important mile stone to reach. Barring something news worthy, I probably won't write again for a week or so.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The last week has been crazy with all the new changes coming through. We got a new Camp Admin. and he is flexing on us to show off for the big wigs. Of course, that means disrupting the natural flow of things here just to suit his needs. First, he took away all of the benches with padding on them from the rec. yard that we used to do dips on. He said people were lifting the benches and that was deemed illegal. A couple days later, he took away the incline ab benches because people were doing bench presses with them. Again, the actions of few are costing everyone that uses them properly. They bolted down other pieces of equipment in the past, why can't they just do that again. When asked, he said they shouldn't have to and we should be disciplined enough to know better. FUCK THAT. Rule number one: do your own time. No one is going to stop someone for lifting the equipment, to each their own. Bolt the shit down and be done with it. Finally, he is saying no fruit can leave the chow hall what so ever. That sucks as many of us liked to enjoy a piece at night in lue of the normal shit they sell on commissary.

In a really basic way, it's like this guy is only taking things away that we use to stay healthy. I'm not sure if I said this before, but this guy claims this camp is outta control. Go to any other facility on the west coast and you will see cell phones, drugs, guys gettin laid, McDonalds being snuck in, booze, tobacco, etc. No joke. In the last year, there has been no failed UA's, breathalizers, no cell phones found, and on the rare occasion some tobacco has been reported. Otherwise, this is prolly the most tame camp on the west coast, maybe in the entire country. FYI, the DOJ (department of justice) passed a new law that makes posession of a cell phone in prison a crime and you can get another 12 months sentence. I highly doubt that someone is going to risk that here. So how he can come up with a statement like that is absolutely ridiculous. Again, flexing for the boss. Problem is, he is just taking people to the hole for the most minor of infractions, which goes against the regulations. He will be filed on for doing it, but that process is overseen by the BOP, so I wonder who they will side with... Nothing will get done from within, it has to come from a lawsuit.

Anyway, I just need to focus on making it through as I don't have that long to go.

BTW, I am outta good books to read so if you can, please send me a book off that list from a week ago!!! I would really appreciate it!!!

I'll write again soon.


So I had a Team Meeting today. This is my second meeting. Normally you have the meetings with your case manager and your councilor. Of course, "normal" does not apply to this backwoods ran facility. My first Team was with only my case manager, as the councilor didn't feel the need to be there. Luckily, your first Team is just to prep you for your later Teams. The job description for case managers and councilor alike are to outline a plan for success on the outside by helping you obtain things like your Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, State Identification, and a resume. Also, they help you plan financially if you have court ordered reprimandations, get into drug education classes, and to guide you through the six RPP (release preparation programming) classes. Again, that is all under "normal" circumstances or at a "normal" facility. Here, they just slough you off as another headache, collect their pay checks and go home; 20-25 years to retire and they are set for life with a modest budget to live on.

Sorry for the little tangent, lets get back to the Team Meeting. As I walk in, the first thing I notice is that this isn't my councilor nor is it my case manager. I ask what happened to my case manager and I got a very casual response of, "Oh, he got another job a couple of weeks ago." Umm, wow, that's nice to know, a few weeks later. "So where is my councilor," I asked. "She is busy," was the only response. Really? That's quite the effort she is putting into being a councilor, especially since she hasn't seen me once since my arrival! After all that, the next thing out of the councilor's mouth was a jab at me about three stamps. Remember, she was the one who fucked me out of my orderly job because her precious snitch decided to hit me. I couldn't believe her gall to sit there and belittle me over something that I had no part in causing. So I said, "You are so funny you should quit your day job and become a comedian. Seriously, do us a favor and just quit." Needless to say, it was a little awkward for the first few minutes in there, until the case manger, who had a look of total disbelief, steered the conversation back on track. I should note that this councilor is a stand up guy who makes my old councilor look like a total tool in terms of accountability and credibility. He is the only councilor or case manager here who doesn't treat us like we are sub-human. Anyway, he praised me for my ability to have everything in early (resume, birth cert., ssc, drivers license) and to be on top of my RPP classes. My points are zero (0-11 can be at camp, 12-21 are designated to lows, 22+ goes to mediums), I have no incident reports (shots), and I haven't been assigned extra duty (most minor of punishments for small infractions). It was a good to know that I am doing so well and that is transcribed on paper as it will only benefit me when I go on probation.

So aside from the snide comments from that councilor, it went well. My classes are entering the 4th week, so only 6 more weeks to go. In order to keep on track with ACE schedule, we will only get a week off in between this and the next round of classes instead of the normal 3 weeks. I guess somewhere along the way over the past year and a half, the BOP staff here let them fall behind schedule. I am okay with that as the two hour classes certainly help time pass, especially when taking four of them a week.

I am getting increasingly excited as summer approaches. I am co-hosting a piccle ball tournament, providing we get enough teams together. I opted out of softball league and volleyball league as the injuries are plentiful every year, especially to the ankles and knees. Prison is not the place to get injured as the medical staff here are completely inept in dealing with anything more than a headache. If you can't hack it in a real hospital environment, you sign up for a position with the BOP. After all, once your union, you can totally fuck up a patient with no consequences (well, anything short of causing death that is) and not get fired. Rumor has it that the local hospital has logged so many complaints against the mistreatment of patients prior to them being received, that the head medical guy is going into early retirement.

Well, I feel better now that I got those couple of complaints off my chest. While it's not a perfect place, it could always be worse - believe that. So again, I am bitching over relatively minor shit, so pay no mind. I just need to vent in order to move on from it!