Thursday, April 30, 2020

THE BOOK PROPOSAL

Propelled to action by a 12-times published book author who reached out after my last published article in The Daily Beast, I have at long last (under his tutelage) written a quasi-professional book proposal. This is a project which normally takes a few weeks. With a burst of energy, I got it done in two hours. In the unlikely event that a literary agent, book publisher, or anybody interested is reading this blog, I now submit it for your approval (or lack of same).

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

THE PRISON ECONOMY

"Wow! Look at that," I explode to Officer Richardson. "Money! I almost forgot what it looks like." Officer Richardson was taking $5 out of his pocket as we rode the elevator to the basement kitchen where he would be buying a special meal prepared by one of the officers who runs the area. Her cuisine was known to be so superior that officers ponied up for the treat.

By now you've probably guessed that legal tender was not something an inmate saw often (or ever) in prison. And there's a good reason for that. There is no money in prison. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a robust throwback economy which operated more or less like an intricate barter system.

A LITTLE MUSIC BUSINESS FAMILY HISTORY

With the quarantine still a harsh reality, I spend my spare time doing all sorts of things I might not normally do to keep my mind occupied. Like just yesterday, I decided to Google my father's images. The old man produced and or arranged on 17 gold and platinum records and worked with not just pop stars the likes of Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Met Torme, Robert Goulet, Patti Page, Marty Robbins, Aretha Franklin et al...but pimple rockers (at least at the time) Frankie Avalon, Bobbie Rydell, Bobby Vinton, Dion, and many more. The point is there were literally hundreds of image references to peruse.

Monday, April 27, 2020

FUCKING HUSTLERS (A Movie Review)

There are only a precious few new films whose arrival on HBO or Showtime I anxiously await. "Hustlers," starring J-Lo and Nicki Minaj was one of them. I read the original article in New York Magazine - and knew the true story beforehand. The movie more or less matched the repulsiveness of the narrative appropriately.


Monday, April 20, 2020

LUCK OF THE DRAW

I'm not in the habit of re-reading my old Quora answers. In fact, I almost never do. But this morning, I clicked to answer  a question and found an answer I'd already written at the top. With nothing much else to do, I checked out my response and was somewhat amazed at how good it was. (I often don't like posts I've written after stepping away for a while and then reading them as if somebody else wrote them.) The question was "How are cells assigned in prison? How can you change cellmates?" Obviously, a good question deserving of a well thought-out answer.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

WARDENS WARDENS EVERYWHERE - AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

Being named warden of the infamous MCC federal prison in downtown Manhattan is not an appointment synonymous with job security. And probably not one that anybody would want to keep in the first place. It's a circus with way too many untamed animals and clowns who aren't funny.

To non ex-cons, it may come as a surprise to discover that we inmates actually had the privilege of meeting up and talking with our main captors, generally on mainline day when the heads of each department would briefly convene in the unit's central area for the purpose of allowing inmates to air their grievances. Presumably, that concession would effectively operate as a safety valve for prisoner tension.


Friday, April 17, 2020

EXPRESS YOURSELF

One of my wannabe book's less interesting chapters:

Orientation class for soon-to-be-surrendering defendants given by the Eastern District was a bad joke. While I’d done my research and figured I knew what I was in for, what harm could there be in attending the class? It turned out to be almost a total waste of time. Mostly, what we got was a boatload of misinformation.

The officer teaching the class was coincidentally my favorite pre trial officer. But he couldn’t answer any of my numerous questions. And worse, he claimed that there would be computers for word processing, and musical instruments to play. With the former, he was just dead wrong. And the latter? It took me fully 7 months to get near a guitar.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

FORTY DOLLARS RICHER/LEMONS FROM LEMONADE

I repost this on top of the blog today because 3 months after publishing the plaintive cry, I STILL DON'T HAVE MY COMMISSARY MONEY FROM MCC! Read on to discover the details of how a federal prison employs one of its inmates for between 6 and 40 cents an hour - and then has the temerity to not give him his money - even after 5 months of numerous phone calls, emails and visits!

Back when I was selling ads for the Village Voice, the bane of my existence centered around complaints from my clients about botched ads. The culpability rested squarely in the lap of the idiots who worked at the Voice almost every time. But that didn't mean I didn't get blamed by the self-centered and spoiled hookers who'd been wronged.

While the slaves at the Voice definitely did have their issues when it came to accuracy and quality control, they couldn't hold a candle to the staff at MCC who worked at an institution which seemingly fucked up where and whenever possible.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

MORE HARD KNOCKS

Today, I pick up a chapter from the middle of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous: My Year At MCC Federal Prison." In this segment, I talk about raid #2 - this time at the hands of the State - and then offer all the blog posts I published on my escort website about the experience spending a week at the Tombs in New York City, all written shortly after my release. One note: "Miles" is the same NYPD detective who took down Eliot Spitzer - and a guy I met along the federal way. He appears in an earlier chapter of the book and thus, goes unexplained in this one. 

If there was one thing I could say about takedown number 2, it’s that I at least knew it was coming. Once again, the curtain call came at 9 AM on a summer morning. This time I was awake, sitting naked on the throne and reading John Meacham’s biography of Andrew Jackson.