Lambos in the garage

Though my soccer shoes are a wreck to say the least, I still wear them around during the day to do other things not just soccer. I wear them to groups and to work when I am painting. I am not embarrassed by these shoes, they have character.

They have been through a lot.

Aside from these ragged tennis shoes I do however have a nice pair of Timberland boots that I keep put up and only pull out for visits and other things when I hope to look somewhat presentable.

One day during a horrible group, a guy said to me “Dude those shoes look like shit!”

“That’s ok. “ I responded. “I’ve got a pair of Lamborghinis in the garage.”

“AKA Timberlands in my locker.”

That’s what I call my boots…”Lamborghinis.”

My buddy Brandon had an even better analogy though.

He said, “Dude I got a visit this weekend.”

“Can I wear your lambor-feeties?”

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Prison Soccer

Its spring which in prison means guys are once again readying themselves for an intense summer out on the grid iron.

Though it may seem I have been all died out in blog land a land that I love so very much, that is not at all the case.

I have since then been overcome with the beast within me who is released on the soccer field.

Soccer is my life and it is once again in full swing here in the prison. You may come to realize that outside of my passion for art and writing I live for soccer.

It is the only sport I am any good at.

I’m like the Lebron James of prison soccer. I am not just good I am great. And with greatness comes great responsibility…

The douchebag within me just came out a little bit there.

I’m back now. Anyways, yup soccer is again here which means I am playing all the time. So that means during times when I would usually be writing blogs about my buddy jacking off to a “women of the military” maximum magazine and saying that he did so because “he felt he owes these women that much at least…they had served our country.” I am on the field.

Yup, instead of me having the time to sit and collect my thoughts so that I can write prison related debauchery for your amusement or enjoyment or hatred-I am racking myself on the field.

But fear not! Thought it may seem for the moment I am posting on Joewriteshiswrongs and “on-life-support-“great I am still here ready to bring you the war report from prison.

And here is a fun little fact too… prison soccer is chalked full of great stories.

Tons of fights and interim conditions that we play through, I’ve even seen more than a few guys pass out on the field or throw up from exhaustion.

We often like to say “you’re not playing hard enough unless you throw up.”

Then there are the shoes that we use to play this grisly game of handless football. Most of the soccer shoes you see look like casualties of a natural disaster.

A tornado maybe.

My shoes are a great example. One side of one shoe is blown out like a bomb exploded in them.

But that is nothing that our in-house seamstress can’t fix.

Weather in another factor that dictates play, especially rain, last year we played through flood like conditions on the field.

Standing water 3-4 inches deep.

You have never seen a funnier sight then a bunch of prisoners who are covered in mud, soaked to the bone, and slipping and sliding Charlie Brown style.

Yes folks, it is my favorite time of the year again.

“Soccer time.”

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Now Hiring

Just recently I was inspired to create a few cartoons because of a conversation I had with a guy who sleeps in the bunk next to mine.

We were talking about just how hard it is going to be to reestablish ourselves once released.

How hard it is going to be to find jobs… especially for us, two ex cons with no real job training and minimal job experience.

Hell, I have more cartoon experience creating cartoons and caricatures than anything else!

We also talked about jobs in the past we had…

Some that were physically demanding and demeaning beyond comprehension… and most that didn’t even provide enough to survive on solely.

Brandon, the guy who sleeps in the bunk beside mine, told me of a job he had once where he was working construction… where all he did was hold up a stop sign to direct traffic.

Doesn’t that just seem like the most fitting of jobs for guys like us?

This was an easy job to… not physically demanding at all.

But kind of demining… I mean, just a little…

Though, to the jobs defense, Brandon is sort of an idea.

He said one day while he was at work he actually fell asleep holding up the stop sign. Some old woman pulled up and saw that Brandon was asleep on his feet and decided to mess with him. She bumped the sign just a little with her car, and then laid on the horn.

Brandon said he woke up sp fast he damn near shit himself.

He thought he was about to be hit by a car.

He told me that the old woman almost fell out of her car as she got out of it and was laughing hysterically at him.

It’s not really a good example of what I am trying to convey here.

Here is a better one; before I got arrested I had a job working on a marina on very big expensive boats…

I did everything there.

I ran all sorts of equipment, and pretty much busted my ass for this company for about 7 months.

I was hired at $8.50 an hour and got a raise, once, to $10.00 an hour.

But then the recession hit and only 2 people were laid off… a guy who made $20+ an hour and the lowest paid employee at the company…me.

I specifically remember saying to myself, how I hope the $600.00 I made every 2 weeks (5 and some change after taxes) really helped keep the company from going under during the economic slump.

It must have, too.

There still around today.

So, I got laid off. But, I didn’t give up!

I refused to give up!

I went and busted my ass some more. Now, to find work again.

I found a new job in 3 days. But this was no normal job.

It was a horrible job.

I got hired working for a moving company making $9.00 an hour which would have been fine except I was only working about 20 hours a week.

I remember cashing a check one time for about $125.00 and asking if I could have it in all 5’s so it actually LOOKED like I had some money.

It was then that I realized it was time to look for a second job. And look I did.

Everywhere!

I must have put in 20 applications in a short period of time, everything from restaurants to fast food. Hell, Hardees wouldn’t event hire me!

I even went and talked to an Army recruiter. I said “I want to join the Army…You can even send me to war, I will go.”

They told me because of my record I would need X amount of college credits…

The Army told me I would need COLLEGE to go to war!

I even tried to start my own business… Jobs done right. No job too big or too small, We’ll (figure out a way) to do it right!”

 I received 0 business.

By this point, I was beaten.

The moving company now only had a use for me seldom to none… and it seemed only when it was some intense rigorous shit.

Like “Oh, we got three pianos that need to be carried by hand up four flights of spiral staircases and you can’t wear your shoes in the home either.

Can you image moving a 500 pound piano with 5 other guys up multiple flights of stairs with no traction on your feet?

I did that…

Like twice!

Before long, I gave up.

I quit.

I went back to what I knew best…

And that in turn eventually sent me back to prison.

Success in the free world for an ex-prisoner-felon can be a real shot in the dark…

Just hoping to hit the mark.

It “must” take an immense amount of determination to succeed after prison.

Notice I used the word must in quotations.  I do so because I have never experienced this first hand myself.

I only offer what I assume to be correct.

If the DOC would spend more time and energy focusing on job training instead of the senseless bullshit that they do maybe that would in turn give guys like myself and Brandon a real opportunity to succeed.

Maybe then prison wouldn’t be so much of a revolving door type of operation for guys like us who have spent many years getting let out only to come right back.  

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Turning Trash Into Treasure

In prison everyone does time different. Some do nothing while others do as much as they can to keep their minds occupied. Most don’t want to think of the fact they are losing years of their life for one reason or another.

Some just lay around miserable watching TV, doing as little as possible while others do as much as they can like play sports, workout,  draw, paint, tattoo… whatever they can do to pass the time.

Recently, I ran across a guy who was doing something pretty unique and interesting with his time. Something I had never seen before. He was making these elaborate picture frames out of potato chip bags and saltine cracker boxes.

Sounds crazy, right? But you have to see these things to really get a good understanding of just how cool they are.

I mean, first this guy goes around and collects empty potato chip bags from anyone he can. Then he rips them apart, washes them, and then cuts them into weavable strips. From there, your guess is as good as mine from how he constructs them.

What I do know is that it takes this guy tons of chip bags, and patience to put these awesome picture frames together.

How much patience?

About 3 day’s worth. That’s how long it takes him to make each completed frame set.

When I first saw these picture frames I first thought to myself “What a cool way to not only recycle, but to also LETERALLY turn trash into treasure and help pass the time as well.”

Then I thought “Wouldn’t these things be kind of a great conversation piece and what if these things could be marketed?”

That would be AWESOME and that would also HELP me and “chip bag weaver guy”.

So without further ado… feast your eyes on these double framed very unique cross combination picture frames… made with time and care…from potato chip bags and saltine cracker boxes…

This product is made from 100% recycled material and would surely be a story to tell for anyone who is asked where they got these awesome picture frames from.

Of course I have to try and market them now…lol

So if you are interested in possibly purchasing one of these awesome picture frames or learning more about them as well as others that I have to offer, please visit here and see what I have to offer.

If nothing else, it is a great story to share with everyone on here and show you what the end result looks like.

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This frame is made from the inside of the potato chip bags (Chrome), which you can see hangs on the wall nicely.

 

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This one is constructed with the outsides of the potato chip bags.

 

The Busy Business Prisoner

Hello everyone. First let me begin by apologizing for not posting that much lately… Mural work here at the prison has kept me really busy, plus spring and summer time sports are starting to crank back up, and I LIVE for soccer!!!

Soccer is sort of a big thing here, too.

Also, I have been doing a lot of cartoons and caricatures for a variety of different things…

There is a newsletter here at the prison I do cartoons for… plus a few magazines I am trying to submit my work to in hopes of being featured in something.

But the biggest thing yet that I am currently working on is that I just recently began revamping an old crowd funding page of mine trying now to utilize it not as a way of raising funds through DONATIONS, but, to actually use this gofundme page solely for its wepay application, AND as a platform to sell my work as well as other things.

I think I have definitely tapped into something pretty unique with this and I hope all of you will take the time to visit the link provided to see exactly what I am doing…and maybe even provide me a little business where you could get something pretty cool in return.  To visit my site just click here.

As for stories to come…I got a bunch! You won’t be disappointed…also more characters caricatured are on the way too.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and support.

More to come soon!

A Bad Guy Turned Good, Then Turned To The Devil

Throughout my time spent in jail and prison I’ve met a lot of people. Some I have forgotten. Some I have remembered for whatever reason…

During my time at the jail there was this young kid who got locked up for a pretty crazy charge.

He had a knife in his luggage at the airport.

I seem to remember he said it was some sort of antique heirloom type of thing he had gotten because his grandfather had passed away.

I’m pretty sure his intentions were NOT to do something crazy with it once on the airplane…

But, you never know.

Anyways he was charged with some sort of federal offence for trying to sneak a weapon on a plane.

When he told me this, I told him he was a complete fucking moron for having the knife in his bag in the first place…

But that was after I told him he would probably get like 20 YEARS for that kind of charge.

Some of you who read this might think I am an asshole for telling this young somewhat troubled kid these types of things. But imagine this. I was already going away for the long haul… if somehow this kid could get out from underneath this terrible type of charge, well maybe my scare tactics might cause him to think a little the next time he wanted to do some dumb shit and end up in the same boat that I was in.

And guess what? My scare tactics worked I’ll have you know.

This kid became a devoted Christian while at the jail. I mean, he prayed all the time, read the bible, held bible studies, and even held prayer circles.

This kid was like the second coming of Jesus!

When he finally went to court, the damndest thing happen.

He was granted bond and only required a signature to be released. To me this seemed to mean that the courts didn’t think his charge was that big of a deal… like they probably realized he didn’t have any motive to use the knife for any sort of ill will.

Good, I thought.  I didn’t think he had any malice in his intentions either.

As he waited for his grandmother to come and sign his release paper, he packed up what little he acquired in the month he had been at the jail.

A bible…

Some study lessons…

A letter or two…

But the waiting system turned into hours

His patience and faith began to lose altitude with each hour that passed.

Sensing his rising frustration, I tried to talk him through the landing.

“Just pray about it.” I said. “Do what you have been doing…talk to God.”

Then… at that point he experienced catastrophic engine failure. His face turned as red as the devil. “GOD…! GOD…!?! He seethed. “GOD CAN’T HELP ME NOW! GOD CAN’T SIGN THESE RELEASE PAPERS…I NEED A SIGNATURE!!”

The crash was hard to fathom.  An enormous fireball.

No survivors.

Shortly, thereafter, his name was called for release.

God or grandma had come through…

Or maybe both.

As he grabbed his shit to leave, he simply uttered one thing that was a little ironic…

“Thank God.”

Anger Management

My Bunkie Kenny told me that if I ever had to take an anger management class here at the prison, I should go in there, pull a chair up to the wall, and just go to sleep. 

Why, I asked.

Because. Kenny said. The guy who holds the class is a complete narcissist; he spends the whole class talking about his self. When asked “well what about this? Because this is what happen to me.”  

The teacher’s response is always the same…

“Well, I don’t know about THAT.”

Then he goes right back to talking about himself.

As much as I can probably benefit from an anger management class, I doubt I will be signing up for the one Kenny used.