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Where is my Mind

Where is my Mind

Where is My Mind I have been trying to decide on what topic to blog about. I was brutally honest with the vague rundown about my life in ‘The Wild Boy’ and ‘Sin City’ blogs. They were very condensed, but they were done with a vulnerability and authenticity that had me second guessing myself at times. Those events are tucked away deep within my soul, they almost feel like dreams or fictional events at times. If you have kept up with my previous blogs, I am sure that you would agree that I do not care about the opinions of others. I am obviously referring to negative opinions or people stereotyping me. I have battled some very severe mental issues over the last 14 years. I have had daily bouts with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for well over a decade. It is actually closer to 14 years.

My first anxiety/panic attack

My first anxiety/panic attack was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was a bachelor living in Clear Lake. It was on a Sunday and I was watching Football. I can not remember the teams that were playing, but I will never forget that day. This was during the prime of my former lifestyle. I just finished smoking a blunt and I put a Red Baron pizza in the oven. I returned to my couch and continued to watch the game. The timer went off and I took the pizza out of the oven. Out of nowhere I began seeing dark spots and my vision became extremely blurry. My heart began to race, I was gasping for air, it felt as if I was suffocating and I was about to faint. My heart began to beat so fast I could feel it pounding through my chest. I was having sharp pains pulsate throughout my body. The left side of my body felt like it was going numb and a sharp stinging sensation was noticeably becoming more severe by the second. I had no idea what was happening to me, but I thought I was about to die. I wanted to call 911, but like I said previously this was during my ‘Wild Boy’ days. I had huge amounts of cocaine and some firearms at my place. Some of which were an SKS assault rifle, Ruger P90, and a shotgun. I did not want any sort of EMS or HPD at my apartment for obvious reasons. So, I called my parents and they rushed over.

Panic Attack Symptoms

I told them my symptoms and they took me to the emergency room. They did all sorts of tests on me. EKG, CT Scan, Stress Test on my heart, they tested my blood for every major disease. All of my tests came back negative. In early 2000 anxiety and panic attacks were becoming more ‘mainstream’ but they were not as common as they are now. Of course they have always been there, but most people had a naive approach to these problems. There was not very much information concerning mental health issues. They are still barely tapping into the severity of the problem and are in its infancy stage in terms of understanding them. Each year more and more people are diagnosed with all sorts of mental health disorders. I feel this is due to a couple of reasons. First, I believe that the people suffering from these horrible afflictions are more comfortable speaking about them. I feel that people used to be embarrassed by having mental health disorders. I remember feeling weak or inadequate as a man the first few years. I always thought I was as tough as they come. I could get through anything that was thrown my way. I was a perfectionist and a born competitor. Later on I would find out that these are the type of personalities who are more prone to G.A.D.( General Anxiety Disorder). Another reason why more people were diagnosed with GAD is just like all the other medical conditions, which is money. This is why we have pharmaceutical companies and those ridiculous commercials we see all day long. You know the ones, ‘Do you have a headache? Well try this pill. Side effects include, heart attacks, stroke, thoughts of suicide, or in some cases death.’ In most cases the side effects are far worse than what the medication is for in the first place.

Anxiety and Panic Attack Diagnosis

It was difficult for me to accept the ‘anxiety and panic attack’ diagnosis. I thought I was misdiagnosed by the physician at the ER and by my own doctor in my follow up. I truly thought I had a life threatening disease. I was given all different sorts of anxiety medications. I did not like any of them. Paxil, Celexa, and Prozac just to name a few. I have also battled some form of depression for as long as I can remember. Anxiety and depression seem to go hand in hand. I was not a fan of any of the medications or their side effects. I look at most ‘normal people’ and I am jealous of the way the majority of you are able to live your daily lives. Anxiety and Depression is a horrible beast. Anxiety is both a normal and useful response to potentially stressful or dangerous situations. It helps by increasing our awareness of what’s going on around us and in other ways. For most people, the anxiety is short lived and normally goes away once the situation has passed. But that is not the case for an estimated 40 million adults in the United States who have some type of anxiety disorder and experience ongoing and unwarranted psychological distress. Over time I have learned to deal with my mental health disorders. It is not an ideal situation for me or anyone else who has GAD. I have always tried to place how this came about for me. I understand why people have anxiety. Anxiety disorders are associated with certain chemical imbalances in the brain involving neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid(GABA). These chemicals are associated with an individual’s sense of well-being or with the ability to relax. Anxiety medications can’t cure an anxiety disorder, but by altering the level of these chemicals, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs help control the psychological symptoms. Knowing all of this, I feel like my Anxiety was brought on by a few things. I feel I did not properly deal with the loss of my sister and I feel all those years of drug use in my teens and early to mid 20’s is a

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prime suspect for part of the reason. So, you may asking yourself if you know the cause or at least part if it, why do you not correct this? This is a good question. The only way to beat anxiety and depresion without the use of medication is to seek Cognitive Therapy.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is generally focused on helping people deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior. I went to a Cognitive Therapist for a few weeks many years ago. I had to go once a week and it was almost $200 per session. A small price to pay for my well being. I just stopped going for some reason. It is lots of hard work. I guess I was not ready to take on that type of responsibility at that time in my life. I may attack this again now that I am in a different place in my life. So, what has gotten me through 14 years of anxiety? One word. Xanax. This little pill(in the beginning) was wonderful. It had me relaxed and I was able to focus on my daily activities. Some people abuse Xanax and it has a different affect on them because their body does not need it. For me, it made me feel normal again. After my original diagnosis with anxiety and my inability to accept that diagnosis I had 30 days of hell. I could not eat or sleep. I stayed at my parents house for nearly a month. I lost 40 pounds in just under thirty days. So, I was prescribed Xanax. For the first time in a long time I was able to take a long slow deep breath. I felt great, but after years and years of taken this pharmaceutical delight, I became reliant upon it. Withdrawal symptoms mimic anxiety attacks. It took me many years to realize that I do in fact suffer from GAD, but my daily “Anxiety and Panic Attacks” were actually withdrawal symptoms from Xanax addiction. So, this is what I have been dealing with for years.

Xanax Withdrawals

I am battling this head on now. I put myself through physically painful days to wean myself off of Xanax. This is extremely difficult. After years of daily use it is impossible to stop ‘cold turkey’ because it can cause seizures or even death. The withdrawals are more severe than heroin. I have never done heroin, but this is a well documented fact. Exercise is a key factor in defeating or maintaining a normal life for me. I train very hard most days of the week. I am also about to begin Yoga soon. I am very excited about this. I feel this will help me tremendously with all of my mental health disorders and my Xanax intake. So, if any of you out there suffer from any of this, just remember you are not alone. Try to find somebody close to you who will be patient and understanding with your illness. You can beat it. Also, if you know somebody who suffers from GAD, please be understanding with them. I have been through so much in my lifetime. I am very fortunate to have an amazing person in my life who helps me and makes me feel safe and comfortable during my really bad attacks. If you have kept up with my previous blogs you will know the crazy experiences I have dealt with. My mental health issues is the hardest thing I have dealt with besides the death of my sister. Prison was easier to handle than my daily bouts with Anxiety and Panic Attacks. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Take care….

"And so I face the final curtain…"

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The Birth of Rare Muzik

Rare Muzik I had so many close calls. I was gambling with my life. I was emphatic about leaving the narcotics business. We all have epiphanies. I definitely wanted to make some changes to my lifestyle. Over the course of my illegal activities, I met all sorts of people. Music was always a huge passion of mine. I grew up during the 80’s. There was so many fresh sounds that shaped my love for music. I was a huge fan of New Wave, Punk, and Industrial music. I loved Hip Hop too, it was unlike anything I had ever heard in my life. I would listen to The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Eric B & Rakim just to name a few. Music was submerged deep within my soul. Anyone who truly knows me can attest to this claim. I would always go to nightclubs and concerts as a teenager. My friend AK was a rapper who had recorded music as a group member that was signed to a respectable underground label(Jam Down, Lil Keke) based out of Houston. I knew a few of the up and coming rappers from Houston because a lot of them sold drugs. I would pick their brains when it came to the music business. No offense to any of them, but I was much more intelligent, aggressive, and had an ear for great music. I was a fan of most musical genres, which gave me an edge. How can you truly love music if you only listen to one or two genres? I was able to see the mistakes they made and utilize all of their information and implement that into my own label, that would be strategically unleashed upon the underground Hip Hop music scene. The last few years of my life was a keen example of futility. The only positive was the money it brought in. So in early 2000, I formed my own independent music label. RARE MUZIK, INC. would become the most important thing I had ever taken on. It was my baby. I was well schooled from the guys I knew in the music business. They really did not take it as seriously as they should have. Some of them did, but most of them did it as a way to wash their drug money. I was going to do it so I never had to sell drugs again. That was my motivating factor fused with my great love for music. My bond with AK and Raul was so strong, that I let them in as equal partners. It was a 33.3% split of ownership. I did about 90% of the business operations and funding. Raul was going through a rough patch. We were barely starting off so I was micro-managing the hell out of my label. I thought of the name, logo, marketing strategies, bought our studio equipment, hired a legal team, set up our publishing company, hired producers, engineers, got our U.P.C. codes, and so much more. I thought of ways to promote. Some of which included mass quantities of posters, shirts, flats, radio promos for shows, Houston Press ads, sponsored wet t-shirt contests(these were huge back in the early millennium) at night clubs before our shows. Whenever a night club would have their commercials played on the radio I would ask them to mention Rare Muzik since we were performing and sponsoring their weekly contests. They all agreed. At first I only had AK as an artist. We had recorded a few songs. Houston had a very basic, almost elementary sound to their Hip Hop back then. Only a few of the rap artists from H Town actually had the intelligence to have lyrically sound verses with amazing metaphors. Besides the legendary Scarface, they were mediocre at best. For the most part, acts like Lil Flip, Big Moe, and Paul Wall were starting to gain some national recognition. Their lyrical content was extremely basic. We were doing more and more shows. A buzz was slowly being forged from massive amounts of hard work and our fresh sound. It is Nearly impossible to describe the amount of work I put into Rare Muzik. I would have to dedicate countless entries for you all to grasp the blood, sweat, and tears I put into my company. In late 2002 I met another artist who went by “Lost Child.” He was brilliant. He had so much natural ability. He could freestyle for over 30-45 minutes of instrumental tracks without missing a step. That is very difficult. A lot of you reading this are probably not into Hip Hop, but it takes an extreme talent to be able to flow for that long without using any written material. We really starting coming into our own with the addition of Lost Child. We were headlining our own shows at local nightclubs with crowds of 800-1,000 people. We shared the stage and opened up for Scarface and UGK in front of thousands. Lost Child was slowly gaining more recognition. I challenged Paul Wall and Lil Flip to a freestyle contest against Lost Child for 5k each. They both declined. I was spending all of my free time trying to gain more fame for Rare Muzik and our two man roster of talent. I would go by myself and pass out posters and T-shirts around 2 a.m. whenever the clubs were closing. I made connections at the radio stations. It seemed like we were really about to take off. The only thing I was not happy about was the 33.3% split I voluntarily gave to Raul and AK. I should of listened to the phrase of “never mixing business with friendship.” Ak was becoming lazy and was not recording or finishing songs. Raul was still unable to help out financially, but he was not helping much with the responsibilities of running the label either.

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That did not go over very easy with me. I was working countless hours and had spent over 30 thousand dollars. Lost Child was the only one who had the same drive as me to complete our first full length release. I bumped AK’s album back due to his unwillingness to put in the work to complete his project. So, I focused 100% of my time and resources on Lost Child’s album. This was putting a heavy burden and strain on the battle tested relationships I had with Ak and especially Raul. I had several talks with them voicing my frustration. I asked them both to step it up. I felt taken advantage of and this was something I could not allow, even from them. We were going to make lots of money. At least that was the plan. I was going to be able to have shrink wrapped, store ready CD’s pressed up for about 70 cents. After the distribution(local) percentage was taken out, that was going to leave the label with about $9 dollars per unit. This is one of the major upsides of owning a label yourself instead of going the old-fashion route of looking for a record contract. That is why you saw so many rap labels during the mid to late 90’s being formed. To this day, this entrepreneurial attitude is the norm in the music industry. If I pressed up 10 thousand CD’s at 70 pennies per unit and made $9 dollars off of each one that was a net profit of $83,000. Of course I would still have to deduct my initial investment of starting the label and getting these projects completed. It would still leave me with a $40,000 profit after only 10,000 units were moved. After that, it was going to be some serious numbers. For some reason, Raul and AK were still not carrying their load. I could not allow this because we were in contact with Universal, Interscope, and Jive records for national distribution. They are as big as it gets in the music business. Jive Records was going to fly us to New York for negotiations. I pleaded with Raul and AK to step their game up. I was furious after another attempt went almost ignored for some reason. I contacted my lawyer and had him draw up papers to have them relinquish all ownership and shares of Rare Muzik back to me. All I needed was their signatures of resignation. I remember thinking, “I should of signed a fucking alternative band!” This was a very delicate situation I was about to go through. Friendships, a million dollar offer, and the streets were on the horizon. Old habits die hard and they can be costly too…

Wild Boy-Part 3

image Freedom was an amazing feeling. I was extremely happy. I was able to be around my loved ones. Eat good food, have sex, and do so many things that we all take for granted. I had to do the final year of my three year sentence on Parole. This meant I had to parole to an address that was checked out by The State of Texas or I could not be released. I had not lived with my parents for years. I moved out on my own when I was 18. It was a little strange living back home, but it was welcomed after my incarceration. Besides, I missed my family tremendously. I looked for a job when I first got out. I am pretty sure I could of searched for employment with more intensity. After about 15 applications I was becoming discouraged. I had 3 semesters of Community College and 2 felonies. I was not going to work a minimum wage job. That was one of the first times I realized how my mistakes in life would haunt me. Academics were always easy for me. My intelligence quotient was 137. I had a phenomenal memory with excellent reasoning and verbal skills. All of this meant nothing without a clean record and a college degree. A friend of mine brought me to a Gentleman’s Club that was located near Clear Lake named Chesapeake Bay to celebrate my release. I had a great time. I remember a high percentage of the waitresses and dancers wanting cocaine. They all wanted quarter grams. A very small amount that sold for $20. I saw an opportunity to make some money which I desperately needed. Back then, prices were much cheaper than they are today. Ounces were only $550. I bought an eightball(3.5 grams) of cocaine for $80. I returned to the club the very next night with the entire thing bagged up into 20’s. I weighed them slightly shorter than a quarter gram. cialis and stroke I made 16 bags total. That would turn into $320 with a profit of $240. I told my waitress from the night before that I had some blow. They sold out within 90 minutes. I did that over and over again. I became very friendly with the Club’s manager. It got to the point where he would allow me to use his office for the transactions. I also started buying a quarter ounce, then a half, and before I knew it, I was buying and ounce at a time. I would mostly sell quarter grams, 16ths, and 8ths. I was meeting more and more people from the club. I was selling to waitresses, dancers, the DJ, the valet guy, and the patrons of the club. I was making well over $1,000 a week after expenses. It got to the point where I had the waitress selling for me. I would just drop off the bags and pick up my money. I was having sex with some of the strippers. Life was great. I met a Dominican guy while cialis vs viagra forum I was in jail, named Danny. We became very close friends. Upon his release he jumped right back into his former lifestyle, which was selling cocaine. He would break down a kilo and sell ounces, trazodone is like viagra 62’s( 62 grams), 125’s(4.5 ounces), 9 packs(quarter kilo), and half kilos. He gave me the cheapest possible prices. The club was still making me really good money. I had been out for about 6 months already and had bumped into old friends and met new ones. I was always meeting people who needed coke. I only dealt with people I knew for a long time or if I was introduced to them from my friends. I started making more and more money. I started buying larger quantities because a few of my associates wanted ounces to sell. I saved as much money as possible. I came home(parents house) one day and my father said, “come with me.” He started walking towards my bedroom. He grabbed a gallon size bag that had 18 ounces(half kilo) in it and threw it on the ground. He asked, “what the hell is this?” I told him what it was and his was reply was, “get your shit and get the fuck out of my house.” It was time for me to move on anyway. I had entirely too much going on and it was best. I obviously had no ill will towards my father for kicking me out. I only had a few more months of parole left, which was going great. I only had to report once over the 13 months I was out. My parole officer was not an attractive woman. I began having sex with her(her idea) on my very first home visit. I never had to report, pay my monthly fees, or take a single urine analysis. She actually provided negative U.A.’s and put them in my folder. I tried to find an apartment. There is not an apartment complex around that will rent to you if you have a criminal background. I remember being extremely angry. This is one of the many things that made me dislike the government and the way the system is set up. You can only rent apartments in really bad areas. They will not rent to you in the suburbs if you have a felony on your record. It is all set up for you to live in a shitty area, which is a higher risk accutane online canadian pharmacy of you getting into trouble. So, I got a female friend to put an apartment in her name for me. I had a really nice apartment, a decent car, and I had about 20 grand saved up. I went out a lot. I spent lots of money. Things were going really good for several years. I made more and more connections, which translates into more money. I was moving about 2 kilos per week. I was also starting to dabble a little bit in the ecstasy business. Nothing major, I was moving about 200 pills per week. Just before the new millennium, I met a younger guy named Raul. I was about 6 years older. We only worked on a business level. We would eventually develop a bond and closeness that still surprises me to this day. It is almost impossible to trust anyone whenever you are selling large amounts of cocaine. You have to worry about so many things. The police, people wanting to rob you, snitching, and you must be prepared to handle it accordingly. I always carried a gun. I was raised by wonderful parents. I was always a good kid for the most part. Somehow, I had become somebody else. It was like I had a split personality. I was spending more time with Raul on a social level outside of our business relationship. We had recently went out and bought a Rolex each and had custom diamond bezels put on them. I chose a 4.5 carat princess cut for mine. On New Years Eve(2000) we rented a Navigator Limo and stocked it with 8 bottles of Dom Perignon. Raul brought his longtime girlfriend with him and we had a few friends join us. I was single at the time, but had a few girls I could call at any time that would be more than willing to see me. I remember thinking how great my life was that night. I bought a new Cadillac, Another Rolex, and I had a very respectable sum of money stashed in various places. On December 2nd the night of the Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas fight. Raul, myself, and our close friend who went by A.K. decided to watch the pay-per-view event at The Ritz Gentleman’s Club. We had a few bottles of champagne and plenty of girls around us. We decided to hit up Club Roxy after the fight. The three of us, a stupid guy named Johnny was going to tag along too. He was brother to one of Raul’s very close friends who was in prison. He asked Raul to look after Johnny while he was away. I found that to be kind of funny because this guy was nearly 10 years older. 5 or 6 strippers left work and joined us. Johnny and the girls rode in his Tahoe, Ak was in his Accord, and Raul and I hit I-45 driving North in his new Lexus. Our newly developed bond was about to be tested beyond belief.

Wild Boy- Part 1

image NOTE: THIS POST IS EXTREMELY VAGUE. I AM TRYING TO ACCELERATE TO THE YEAR 2000. ALL POSTS AFTER PART 2 OF THIS BLOG WILL BE VIVID AND VERY DESCRIPTIVE. I did not come from a broken home. My father was not an alcoholic. He did not beat us or my mother. I had a normal childhood filled with great birthday parties and nice family outings. My father was a very strict man, but he did not do anything to make me turn out the way that I did. I did not grow up in a bad neighborhood. For some reason, I was always a little wild during my early teens. I use to sneak out a lot. I was just a normal thirteen or fourteen year old boy chasing after girls. At that point, I had experimented with LSD and ecstasy. I was wild, but by no means did I partake in any sort of criminal activity. I would sneak my parents car out a few times a month and hit up the night life in Houston’s amazing club scene. They were not very strict when it came to fake I.D.’s back in those days. Sex, drugs, skateboarding, and going to concerts was how I spent the majority of my mid-teen years. My sister was killed in an automobile accident a month before my eighteenth birthday. That is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. It destroyed my family. We have never fully recovered and we never will. Unless you have experienced the loss of an immediate family member at such a young age and it being totally unexpected, it will be impossible for you to understand the ramifications it creates. I did not

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handle it well at all and I guess you could say I was weak. I started doing more drugs. I did not care about my future anymore. I went from being a great athlete who made excellent grades to a person

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with no drive or expectations concerning my life. I started hanging out with less than desirable people. I was breaking into houses, selling drugs at a low level, and fighting a lot. Before I knew it, I was arrested for burglary and illegally buying a firearm. I went to boot camp not once, but twice. Looking back I was just a little punk doing stupid shit because I truly did not care about my well being. I would definitely graduate into the big time a few years later. For now, we will stick with my current path at that time. I must go in order for you to truly get a sense of me as a person and how many transformations I have made.After I got out of boot camp for the second time. Not a whole lot really changed. I kept doing drugs, hanging out with my friends, going to clubs, and having tons of sex. I did that for a few years. It was early 1995 by this time. I was about to turn 21. I spent the majority of my time taking ecstasy and having threesomes with my girlfriend and her friends. I guess that was one of the perks from selling the pills and dating a stripper. These crazy nights often took place after we would get back home from Club Some around 7 or 8 in the morning. I was also about to become a father. My previous girlfriend was pregnant. I was nervous, happy, and very sacred. Fatherhood was a role I would have to grow into as I became older. I will discuss this exclusively in a future post. On one particular night I decided to go visit some friends in southwest Houston. I was pulled over by a police officer and the aroma of weed billowed out of my car. He put me in handcuffs and commenced to search my vehicle. It did not take long until he found a beretta 9 mm. I was back in the Harris County Jail. I was unable to get a bond because I was on probation. After going to court for several months. I was sentenced to three years in the Texas Department of Corrections. The day they called my name to “catch the chain” to T.D.C. I remember being nervous and I did not know what to expect. In Harris County we fought all the time. Fighting was no big deal, believe it or not, I even enjoyed it during that time of my life. All I knew of prison was what I had seen in the movies. I guess I thought rape was an everyday occurrence and I kept thinking I will probably die because there was no way I would allow that to occur. I would rather face death than experience something as brutally vicious and degrading as rape. The entire bus ride was extremely quiet and all of the inmates were pretty much in silence with the occasional sound of chains from being shackled and some very light conversation. As we pulled into Huntsville’s Holiday Unit which was a classification unit. Inmates would stay here for a short time until you were assigned to your “real unit.” I remember seeing all the guard towers and chain linked fences with barb wire surrounding the unit. This place was very clean and nothing like I expected. The food was much better than Harris County and there was not very much violence, or fighting for that matter. I remember thinking prison is not that bad with the exception of not seeing my family, friends, and no sex. Prison is segregated. You stick to your own kind. I was cool with a few of the black and white guys, but it made no difference in there. You stuck to your own race and that was that. To go even further, especially with the large Hispanic population, you are talking about huge ethnic groups serving as politicians, peacekeepers, and governing bodies with violent soldiers. Throughout the entire prison system things were broken down into cities and regions of Texas. Mexicans from Houston only fucked with other Mexicans from Houston. Some cities were cool with others. Some were brutal enemies. San Antonio also know as “San Anto” were always getting into fights and riots with Houston also known as Houstone(pronounced as Hou-STONE). I know all of this sounds ridiculous, but I did not make the rules. I was however, ready to play the game. The first two months at Holiday unit not a whole lot happened. That was all about to change once I left for the Gist Unit in Beaumont and then Robinson unit.