Monday, May 21, 2018

UNDER PRESSURE

Some can't see the forest for the trees.  Try seeing freedom through a fence.  Like the dog who ran and hit the end of his chain too many times, you learn to lay down just short of the pressure.

Pressure.  The thing that tries to break you.  Unless you become the pressure as you begin to push back.  I am the pressure.

It's a humbling experience to fall all the way to the bottom.  Bad enough when you trip in the parking lot and look around to see who saw it.  What if everyone saw?  What if everyone you know saw?

That's what happened to me.

That's the pressure.

I went a step further when I decided to put my life on Jailbird.  As if not enough people saw me fall, lets add more....such as yourself.

I didn't want people to watch me fall.  I wanted them to see me get back up.  My life isn't about a fall, its a redemption story.  Think "Mighty Ducks".  Those kids got tired of sucking and decided to win.  They became the pressure.

The worlds divorce rate is huge.  Kids traveling back and forth between homes.  Being a single parent is that pressure.  Perhaps you have full custody.  Even more pressure.  Are you pushing back?  Did YOU become the pressure?  Or are you still running and hitting the end of your chain?  Are you still on your back in the parking lot looking to see who saw?

Are you ready to be a "Mighty Duck"?

There's enough people falling down that once you get up, everyone looks somewhere else.  Besides, its a pitiful fucker who likes watching people fall.

That's why I told you this isn't a fall, its a redemption story.  Otherwise you would be a pitiful fucker.  Nobody wants to be that!

Charlie Sheen talked about winning.  He was snorting coke off a strippers butt cheek.  I suppose in the moment he felt he was winning.  Not So Much!  If I come home and start winning like that...somebody please stop me!

They are about to take the leash off.  I promise not to run away, tear up the trash or hump your leg.  Well....about humping your leg....

Jokes aside, I would ask you to look at your life.  Don't let it push you around.  Become that pressure.  Let your life be a redemption story, even if its just for your kids.  Its my kid who pushes me to be all I can be.  I can't fail, it's not an option.

Thank you Taylor.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Friend

A friend of mine was released just two years ago.  He writes and keeps me up on his life.  I hadn't heard from him for a couple months, he wrote me last night.

He moved into his mom's after release.  The ex-wife would bring his daughters to him on Friday.  She would come and pick them up on Sunday.  After a few months of this, and the girls going back with her, talking about the fun they had with their day, the ex had a talk with him.  She told him she was falling in love with him.  Could they try at their relationship again.

He agreed and soon after they got a place together.

All was well and his job was paying good, keeping him busy, so he purchased a new work-truck.  After a long day in Daytona, before heading home, he stopped to re-fuel his truck.  While at the pump, he watched a car and truck pull in and park at the front of the store.  They went in to buy beer.  They all came back out, cases of beer in hand, and jumped into their cars. The car speeds out first, full of girls.  The boys speed out after them in a truck.  But when the truck backs out, they smash into the side of my friends truck.  He hears the passenger yelling at the driver-"Take off, Just take off!!"

My friend runs over to the drivers side and reaches into the vehicle to take the keys.  He shuts off their truck but the driver tries to wrestle the keys back.  So my friend elbows him in the face, then snatches the keys back.

He walks into the gas-station and tells them to call the police.  The police arrive.  They inform the truck's driver he's looking at a charge and then inform my friend he's looking at a charge for taking the keys.  He advises them both to simply let it go.  My friend agrees, goes back to his truck and finishes pumping gas.

He sees a second cop pull in.  That cop  comes over to his truck and tells him to turn around and cuff-up.  He was  going to county jail.

Charges are:  assault and burglary.  Assault for the elbow and burglary for taking the keys.

Because of his previous record, his score sheet points turn out for a life sentence.  He notified his wife and mother that the prosecutor is going after him for a life sentence;  my friends wife took her own life.  A week later he had to sign over parental rights to the wife's parents so they can take his daughters.

After a lawyer spoke to the state, they have offered a plea deal of 10-years mandatory.  My  friend lost his wife, kids, and his will to live all in a week.  He wrote me and said, "Mike, if you still pray, please pray for me!!"  And I will my friend.

We had plans to ride motorcycles together.  This is a good friend of mine.  I came to prison and overcame my addiction to drugs.  I'm bigger than that now.  However, when I heard this story, it hit me hard.  This here is something I could have done.  This is a reaction that I could have.

In prison you don't call the cops.  You react.  The faster the better.  Somedays that quick reaction saves your life.  Consequently, long term side effects aren't considered.  The longer you do in prison, the more you're schooled on reflex-reactions-rather than well-thought-out reactions.

This was a wake-up to consider things that can quickly spin outside our control.  And when the cops are called, I'm the one with a record who will be taken into custody.  I'm guilty until  proven innocent.  I won't get your same rights.  Just something I need to think about.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

240-SHORTY

We meet people everyday.  Most you move past without a second thought.  From time-to-time you meet someone special who leaves a mark on your life.

In my ten years behind bars, I can count  those men on one hand.  The men I gave my moms number to and exchanged personal information.  The men I want to meet on the flip-side of this thing.  Dudes who were so fuckin' cool in here that I want to keep them in my life once free.  I feel we owe it to each other to grill some steaks, have a beer and stand in free grass in someone's back year.

These men are not simply friends, they are my brothers, they are family.

They say dynamite comes in small packages.  I don't know how they packed so much spunk into a 4-foot Mexican, but meet Shorty.  I call him that, you probably shouldn't.  We earn the right to talk to each other this way.

As you read this, Shorty is a free man.  I had planned to go home from my last prison.  Then they up and moved me here a year and a half ago.  I believe my steps are ordained for me.  And I came here to meet this man.

Shorty, be the man I met here and you will go far out there.  My two Jewish brothers, Mike and Ben--the Jew Mafia lives on!!

You three men had to go so my turn would come.  Finally I am next on the list.

You guys are my brothers, you each have a place at my table.  You are also the proof that people can change.  Show the world what we're made of.

Respect, my brothers, I'll see you soon.

-HOOLIGAN-

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Breathe In--Breathe Out

Breathe in, breathe out...works well on either side of the fence.  Something we all need to do.  Remember to breathe.

"Freedom is priceless" is a well known phrase.  How free are you today?  I remember when I first moved to Florida, I loved seeing palm trees, sunny days and warm weather.  Then, I got a job, got hooked on some drugs and my life began to revolve aroud my job and my addiction.  I forgot the palm trees.

I now realize that freedom is a place in your mind.  You can be free at your desk buried under files.  You simply need to find that center in your life.  You can lose your freedom...its not all that hard.  Just remember you can get it back.  Try to simply breathe in, then breathe out.

I've been free for some years now.  I'm about to come home and exercise my freedom.  I get to come home and live my life with this new-found-freedom.  I won't take the palm trees for granted anymore.  Where I'm going there aren't palm trees.  There are snow banks and ice-sickles five months of the year.  But that's my freedom!  Stacking wood in the wood box for the stove.  Knocking snow off my boots.  Watching my breathe as I exhale.  Breathe in, breathe out.

You have seen me find my freedom here on Jail Bird.  You have encouraged me with your thoughts and comments.  Some of you have wrote me and shared your life with me.  I feel privileged to have walked some of my journey with you at my side.  In some way you helped bring freedom to me.

In return I will come home and help bring freedom to you.  We can feed off the positive energy of others.

Or....

We can feed off their negative energy.  That's how this thing works.  So many have given so much to me. I will forever be grateful.

I used to take from people.  I have hurt people.  My life left victims.  I can't change that, but I can attempt to give back.  Whether you like me or not, I'm about to come home.  You don't have to greet me when we meet.  Instead, you can watch.  I'm ready to prove myself.  I will encounter plenty of negative energy along with the positive.  I'll know you when I see you.

May I remember to just breathe.
















Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tattoo'd Hooligan @ Facebook

Here I am, down to my final few months.  Trying to stay low, under the radar and out of the way.  A Sergeant came to my dorm and began to ask around, "Who is the white guy who wears glasses and has all the tattoos?"  "The one who draws?"

Well, I take off my glasses and go sit in the TV room where there's a crowd.  Inmates know better than to volunteer information like that.  However, my dorm officer goes..."Oh yeah--that's Smith--he's in the back..."

So the Sergeant comes up to me and she asks why I didn't step forward.  I simply state, "I'm a convict and I didn't know why you needed me."  She looks at me and says, "I already know you're the tattoo guy---but can you paint?"

Well that's how I gave back to the community at my last camp.  Painted shit for them.  Signs, labels, murals; whatever they needed.  Now, at a new camp, I had just decided to lay low and chill for my last few months.  But, I went on in there and showed some skills and I'm now painting the officer's canteen and break lounge.  Lettering, murals...oh my!

The officer who has assigned me to this position pointed out to me that summer is already here.  Our dorms are hot and sweaty all day.  And I'm being given a job in the A.C. to paint.

I get to leave my dorm and go somewhere cool.  Put in my music and chill out.  Plus it frees my mind.  Like totally.  So I have another way to help me get through these last few months.  Here I was trying to duck out on them.  Now that I'm in this spot, I'm realizing I'm glad they came to me.  We can benefit each other.

I've had plans for many years now.  To come home, open my tattoo shop and make art.  I picked the name Tattoo'd Hooligan because I have been called Hooligan my entire time in prison.  I trademarked that logo so it couldn't be taken.  The Facebook page is now open and I would encourage you to check it out please.  I have a very small portfolio started just to get it going.  I will book my appointments and show my work on that page.

I am everything art.  It makes me happy and brings peace to my life.  It has helped me do my ten year sentence in the prison system.

Thank you for following my life on Jail Bird.  Continue to follow my art and the tattoo business on Facebook at Tattoo'd Hooligan.












Thursday, February 22, 2018

Young Love

Yesterday I spoke with my daughter.  It was the first time we spoke since October.  It's because of a boy, and it took me way back in time.  I was once that boy and her mom was that girl.  I remember the way her Dad looked at me.  Like I stole his princess and he wanted to kill me.  Still, we couldn't be stopped.

My daughter is 20, nearly 21.  This is the first time she's dated.  I pointed out to her that I respect that.  I asked her to be careful and guard her heart.  I had to do that, just as I know she will go and do what she has to do.

She's moved out, has a job, her own car and I suppose a broken heart comes next.  I shouldn't say that.  That's just me being jaded.  I should hope for the best, and I do.  Still, even now, you can sit there and look back over the times your heart was broken.  Unfortunately it's part of our journey to become adult.

I'm free in 9 months.  I'll meet this boy.  I'll size his shit.  He'll see my daughter has a gangster for a Dad.  I'll do this because I have to.  Just like a Dad sized me up once.  I understand why he did now.  I even know it won't work.  You can't stand in front of a train and "will" it to stop, anymore than you can control young love.  Still, I must do this.  I want to be the best Dad I can and I don't feel I would be doing that if I don't harass this young man.

I'm sure there are some Dad's who enjoy watching the nest empty out.  Less mouth's to feed.  I've seen that man do his thing as well and I'm not that Dad.  I missed half my daughter's life and was locked up for the other half.  There are things I want to do with her.  Right now I'll do this for her.  Love her from the sidelines.  Ready to rush in when she needs me.

It's  been this young lady who has taught me the greatest lessons in life.  I can tell most people to fuck-off when I don't like their point of view.  Except when it comes to my daughter.  I still stop in my tracks for her.  Perhaps that's because of all the times I missed the mark.  Falling short.  I try extra hard these days and will for the rest of my life.

Much respect to the Dad's out there who are going through this same thing.  To the Dad who tried to stop me, I understand why you did what you did.  Now I  attempt to do the same thing.

For what it's worth, you did scare the shit out of me a few times.  I fully intend to do the same to this dude.

Cheers to all the Dad's out there doing their thing and trying to be a great Dads.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Personal Hygiene

This is because we all need to laugh sometimes....and I lack a filter in my thoughts.  Don't read if real shit bothers you. 


I encountered a small dilemma a bit ago.  Its become hard to masturbate due to the length of pubic hair.  I considered braiding it in pig tails to each side.  Something had to be done.  The pleasure is lost when your pulling on a hair attached to your ball sack.  It's quite painful.

After some thought I remembered seeing a comb in a buddies locker...I know, but he doesn't even have any hair.  At most he's doing the same thing with it.  So I ask to borrow the comb.  I then remove a blade and attach it to the bristles about half-way down.  Used carefully it will trim the hedges down to a comfortable length.  Taking my time and being extra careful, I completed the task of manscaping.

Then, the friend came by to chat.  He saw the comb in my locker and asked if I was done with it.  My plan had been to bleach it before returning, but I didn't find the bleach yet.  So I figure sure, you don't have any hair, what's the harm?  So I hand him the comb.  He takes the comb and begins to comb his beard!  Oh my!  Now I see why he has the comb.  It's all I can do to refrain from laughing out loud.  At this point what do I do?

After a few brushes through his beard, he then leaves the comb stuck on his cheek in a thick spot and continues to chat with me.  I'm watching the comb, affixed to his cheek, moving up and down while he talks.  All these thoughts in my head.  Almost 40 years old, and the shit I still manage to  get myself into.




Friday, January 26, 2018

BELOW ZERO

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?  Perhaps not.

Have you stepped into the frigid cold and inhaled a breath so sharp it made your skin tingle?  Your senses screaming and fully awake, so much that you can feel your hair follicles on your scalp?  That's my level of awareness.  That's a fresh breath of freedom.  That's 2018.

I watched Neil Diamond's hand shake as he sang "Sweet Caroline"  in Times Square.  I saw the steam from Nick Jonas's vocals and I realized I'm freezing my ass off this next November in Michigan. ....I can't wait.

All my life I've set goals and met them.  I tried to set goals I could meet, but when I came up against this 10 years here, I wondered how it would go.  Well, it went.  One foot in front of the other and it's over now.  Makes me realize I shouldn't hold back in the future when I set a good goal.  I'm much bigger than I thought.  I'm stronger than I realized.  I didn't give myself the credit I deserved.  So watch out world.  Watch out Houghton Lake.  Watch out to anything that stands in my way.

Don't tell me about statistics.  Don't tell me about failure.  Don't tell me the decks are stacked against me and that I will fail.  Don't tell me people can't change, and don't ever tell me I didn't pay my debt for my sins.

If you don't have nothing nice to say-just keep your mouth shut.  I did my time, paid my debt and I owe exactly nothing.  All accounts cleared.  Time served.

I've been out-of-sight, out of mind for 10 years.  I've got nieces and nephews I've never met.   I have family who didn't write me once.  Friends who talked shit about me.  Friends who tried to bang my old lady.  I know how the knife feels in my back.  You talk real big when I'm not around.  You stand real tall when I'm behind a fence.  Remember this ships about to sail.  They don't call me the Tattoo'd Hooligan for nothing.  I earned my name.  I stood up in the valley.  On the battlefield where it really goes down.  I don't facebook bully or text all tough.  We don't have voice messages and talk behind your back.  We put our work boots on our feet and we come and crash your shit.  We make you walk around for two weeks with a black eye so you can be humbled.

I'm just playing man.  Told you the fresh air is energizing.  So is freedom.

Get you some!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

L.O.L

Just out of confinement...

I have a new bunk, new neighbors, and a new job assignment.  I'll be a house-man and clean my dorm.  This will enable me to clean in the mornings, then head to the reck-field.  This will carry me through the next 10 months and to freedom.  I work out with the suicide squad at reck and take yoga on Tuesday mornings.  Mind, body and soul.

Prison freezes your life on the street and your mindset pertaining to the outside world.  I came to prison at 28, and in many ways am still that guy.  More confident, wiser with a bit more gray.  Crows feet extend when I laugh real hard.

Which I can still do.

I laugh a lot.  I can laugh at myself and I can make you laugh.  It's indeed the best medicine...hands down.I like fast cars and beautiful women.  It used to be beautiful cars and fast women, but that will kill you.   I don't want to be dead.

I love food, but I love to look good more.  Opting to skip dessert so I don't need to run 4 miles tomorrow to burn the calories.  Fat and happy is definitely not me.

I intend to drink less.  Although I think we should get plowed from time to time.  Just not on a regular basis.  I don't want the next day wasted on a hangover.

I'm thinking less drunk-sex.  I want to remember it.  If it's sex I don't want to remember, I shouldn't be having it.  I don't feel sex should be sacred to marriage.  Sex can be as casual as a day at the beach or dinner and a movie.  Between consenting adults it creates a wonderful memory that you can enjoy.  Just save the memory, not the pictures.

This is the final countdown.  Jail-bird has always been (me) looking (out).  That's about to change.  You may not agree with my philosophy on life.  I don't feel we should rush things, but I'll actively  pursue happiness and a good time.

I have a lot of life to catch up on.  You won't find me stuck on my phone or glued to a TV.  And you can call me if you wish to reach me.  Save all the texts. I'll make time for you, and if I don't..take the clue.  That goes both ways.

Friday, December 22, 2017

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR

A long time ago....
While riding my bike down the street, I observed a large box set at the curb.  What caught my attention was the wheels setting beside that box.  After a closer look I saw it was a small riding mower in pieces.  What they call a basket-case.  I used a wagon and carried the box home.  Over the next few days I re-assembled the riding mower.  I left the mower-deck off and it became a little tractor.  But to me, it was a 4-wheeler.  I took parts off my dad's snowblower to fix the engine and had it running soon after.  I would have been about 10.

It didn't go that fast being a lawnmower so someone gifted me a small mini-bike.  It didn't run, but I managed to work on it and somehow got it working.  I had to pour gas into the carburetor to start it and it basically exploded between my legs.  The heat from the muffler ignited the gas fumes.  I tried to save it, but I couldn't.

I liked the bike so much that I kept it laying around.  At that time my dad had a jail-ministry thing.  the inmates would be released and come work for my dad.  One of the guys saw the bike and wanted it.  He traded me 2-dozen rusty traps. 

About 2 miles from our house was a small airport with a swamp beside it.  The swamp was full of raccoons and muscrats.  So I began to trap that swamp.  I wasn't even a teen yet.  I would ride my bike to that swamp during the summer and after school to check my traps.  My Dad and Uncle would help me skin and clean the pelts so I could sell them at the fur market.  This was the 90's back when people still wore furs.

I saved my money from fur sales and bought a lawnmower.  A simple walk-behind.  I could tie it's handle to my bike seat, then drag it around the neighborhood cutting lawns.  Before long I cut a dozen lawns and a business's grass.  I would have been about 12 by then.

My parents never had extra money to buy us toys.  It caused me to work hard to get it myself.  I never had resentment, I just figured out a way.  This thinking created a survivor.

Shortly after that I began to wash dishes in a restaurant.  My parents' friend was the chef and he got me the position.  From there I took a seasonal job at a cross-country ski shop, grooming trails.   I was just 15 then.  I couldn't drive, so had to be taken to work.

When I came to prison I couldn't bear the idea of letting my family support me.  So I learned how to transform a $16.00 battery powered razor into a tattoo machine.  I've not only supported myself, but bought Christmas presents, paid to trademark 2 businesses and recently purchased a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Manufacturers place governors on cars so they can only go so fast, farmers place blinders on horses so they don't get sidetracked, they chain their dog so it won't run away, and they clip birds wings so they can't fly.....

And they put me in prison......

I didn't come here to die.  Nor did I come here to lay down.  I've worked out for my entire bid and have transformed my body.  I knew with diligence I could reshape my torn down self into somebody different.  And I did.  My body doesn't look the same anymore.  Likewise I graduated from lawnmowers and rusty traps.

I learn lessons the old way.  These 60 days in confinement has me thinking I'm too old for this shit.  This is a hard way to do time.  Which is fine, because this thing is over now.  I only have 10 months left and the two months I just did here  flew by.

I know the world has changed.  I've been gone a a minute.  But this was a foreign land when I came here.  I set back, figured it out, and took off.  Just like I'll come home and do the same.

I'm not simply lucky.  Nor will I accidentally accomplish what I do.  I'm blessed.  What I do will be because I planned it out over all these years behind this fence.  My tattoo shop has already been open for 7 years.  I'm just bringing it to the free-side of the fence.  This is my year to shine....

HELLO 2018!!!!