Randy Halprin

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May 2017

Randys Journals

May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms out there...I was sitting here thinking about my own mom. Well, I should make a distinction. I'm adopted. I have a biological mother with whom I have met and maybe in another life could have possibly developed a bond with, but have little emotional connection to. My adopted mother, however, even after going over 20 years without seeing or talking to, still have a HUGE connection to. She'll always be my mother and I look back on our memories with fondness and love. Sometimes giggles and even a yikes, I really pissed her off that day !

I've written before how I think my mom's taste in humor really formed mine. I grew up on Saturday Night Live, the comedy channel and 80's movies. My love of books came from my mom. One thing we always did together was either go to the library or the book store and come back home with a huge stack of books. For a kid that didn't even learn his ABC's until I was 5 and a half years old, I latched onto reading and absorbed every word like a sponge. I was reading above a highschool level in elementary school and reading much of my mom and dad's old books on our living room book shelf. If I wanted a book my mom never told me no.

She rarely lost her temper with me, but when she did...There are two specific moments I remember the most. I was about 12 years old and I was in my room playing my stereo. My room wasn't too far from the living room where my mom was watching T.V. and she walked in and said "Turn it down". I protested saying that it wasn't even that loud. She said she could hear it in the living room. I went over to the shelf it was on and lowered the volume. She walked out, went back to the living room and I turned it right back up.
Here she comes again. "Turn. It. Down" she demanded. "But mom ! It's not even that loud !" I cried. "I don't care. It stays down or I'll take it." "Mom !" I walked over and turned it down though. She left and for about 10 minutes I left it down. Then, thinking I'd tricked her, slowly turned it back up. She stormed back in, "That's it Randy ! It's mine now". "You can't take it ! It's mine !" I yelled. "Really ? I'll break the damn thing if I want. I bought it !" "Well, break it then ! I dare you !"
Lesson as a kid: never dare your mom to do something thinking she won't.
She walked over to the shelf, snatched up. I remember seeing my little speakers tumble over and she literally smashed it on the ground. The arm to the record player broke off. I just stood there stunned. She left it right on the ground and stormed off.  I picked it and fortunately it wasn't seriously damaged, but believe me, I never turned it up again.

Another time was when I was 13, actually wasn't too far from my Bar Mitzvah. I can't remember what caused our argument, but she was mad and I was mad and it lead a stand off. I was never an aggressive or violent kid but I made a threat of kicking a hole in the wall. She said "Do it then and see what happens next." In my defense, I never intented to really kick the wall but I pulled my leg back, swung my foot towards the wall, fully intending to stop my foot just short of the mark. But that isn't what happened. I felt my foot go right through the sheetrock. My mom's eyes go wide and all I could say was "Oh...shit." No need to go into details about what happened next.

Years later and after all that has transpired with me and my family and the decades long silence, I love my mom just as much as I loved her then. She's my mom. That will never change.

Happy Mothers Day.


May 8, 2017

At what point does hope become delusion ? That is a question I've been thinking about a lot over the past few weeks. I consider myself an optimistic person.
I'm realistic and cautious, but to keep my own sanity I have to hold onto a certain level of optimism. What good is it to carry around the weight and misery of pessimism ?
But I can't help but wonder if sometimes the majority of us back here aren't delusional when it comes to our ultimate fates. Imagine this scenario: there's a crack in the Hoover dam. At some point it is going to give, but if you can just hold it long enough to get fix you might have a chance to keep the dam from breaking and sweeping you away in a flash flood. The rational part of your brain is telling you "Dude...you're just a single person. Your hand is not going to hold that water back.
Better grab a canoe and get ready !" But then another part of your brain is like "Don't listen to him ! People have done supernatural shit before. There's always a chance !"
So here's the situation at hand...We're on death row and the Hoover dam is about to burst. What do we do ? I've been thinking about it because several of people I consider friends back here are close to or are about to receive executions dates. One of them says he's very much at peace with the situation and "whatever is going to happen will happen".
The zen approach, I guess. Another is absolutely delusional in what he thinks he will accomplish in 90 days to prevent his demise.
There's hope and then there's looney tune level hope and that is what he has. I tend to say to myself "Man, better face reality real soon cause shit is real around here".
I've even half rolled my eyes when people believe that God is personally going to intervene in their execution.

But am I any different ? When I first got to death row I remember my first day in the day room at recreation. I was still trying to process everything that happened in my trial, and just the very idea of being on death row when I didn't even kill anyone. It was a total mind fuck and I thought "they're not going to kill me...they can't !" So, here I am a stranger in a strange land walking around the day room when a guy comes to his door and strikes up a conversation. He says "you're that Texas seven guy they just sent here yesterday, right ?" I said yeah, my name is Randy. "You think you can win your appeals ?" Yeah. I do. They really fucked me over.
"Dude, somebody has to be the voice of fuckin' reason here so I guess I have that duty. You're gonna die. They are gonna kill your ass dead.
" I really didn't know what to say after that. He didn't say it with malice, just matter of factly.
I shrugged my shoulders and said "Yeah. Maybe. I hope not, though".

May 2, 2017

Have you ever had a full nights sleep, I mean really slept hard...and wake up still exhausted and cranky ?
Maybe it is too much exercise as I've been working out like a mad man to relieve stress and take out my frustrations...I don't know. I just felt so blah this morning.
I'm actually starting to feel a bit better as the day goes on, but a little upset that I seem to be getting screwed out of getting outside.
I'm trying to put it into perspective and be grateful that last week I was fortunate enough to get outside five days in a row, but still...I'm looking outside of my window and at this beautiful sunny day, magpies picking around in the grass, butterflies everywhere and all these little black love bugs literally making love mid flight and thinking damn...
I NEED to be outside ! Sigh...

So...I want to get something off my chest for any new readers to my journals...It seems like one of the first things people seem to read about me when they research me is this cursed article from D-Magazine that was written like six freakin years ago. For the record: one, that article is full of half truths, conversations taken waaaaaaaaay out of context and was purely a smeer piece to try to derail my appeals process and hearings at the time. The prosecutors leaked many of my phone calls between me and my EX wife to a reporter for pure sensational reasons. It was a hack piece pure and simple. I broke no rules back in county jail and did nothing wrong.
Maybe I was a little naive and talked much too freely to someone I loved back then, but geeze, who doesn't ?
So take it with a grain of salt and read the many years of these journals to get a clearer picture of who I am, not what they say I am or try to frame me to be.

That being said, I also find it a constant frustration that people still think I'm married. To be fair, how would they know, right ? But...for the record:
I've been divorced and have had NOTHING to do with my ex for almost six years. get the word out ! I'm just saying.
It is very frustrating. I wish that damn article would just disappear.
It has been the bane of my existence.

May 1, 2017

May 1st...wow...time really does fly. I woke up at about 5:15 a.m. and got ready for recreation when it dawned on me that we're five freakin' months into the new year.
Moving much too fast.

Last week I was able to get outside five days in a row which is a rarity. Most weeks you're lucky to get out twice but for whatever reason I had the good fortune of getting lots of sun. Only on one of those days did we get a bit of rain and that was actually a pretty amazing experience because it had been bright and sunny.
Suddenly clouds appeared out of nowhere and they were really dark. The wind picked up shortly after.
It began to feel very apocalyptic.
Thunder, lightning, wind...
When it rained it came down hard but while it was cold rain it smelled delightful and about ten minutes later a few clouds cleared out and the sun broke through as it rained.
The drops looked like diamonds falling from the sky. Really remarkable. Then it went back to being sunny and warm.
On Friday I went out and it was hot and humid. I ended up on playing 60 games of basketball with one of the best guys to play the game and got my butt handed to me soundly with a 58-2 game count. What can you do ? I had to do the walk of shame back to my cell when it was all said and done.
On the weekend I just listened to my radio all day long and read. Not much excitement there.
Lately I've had little to say...I'm hoping to find some inspiration again soon...


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