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  • Writer's pictureBarrett Preston Busschau

13. July - December 2022

Hello lovely people,

How are you?

I really hope you’re doing well. My guess is you’re doing OK - sometimes excellent, sometimes blah. If so, we are soul sisters, brothers, sons, friends. Yea ha! Let’s do this.

A friend and I have been doing a routine called “8 Minutes in the Morning to a Flat Belly.” Each day we do five one-minute exercises, twice. Last year I did Pilates. I still do some yoga (I’ve been lazy), and I sweat buckets over the ping-pong table, so, in my mind I should be pretty ripped but yea, no. I wouldn’t say I have a belly but the force is strong with my dad bod. Anyway, the routine started out really easy - all the exercises were seated - now we’re doing planks and I’m starting to feel my core. Sometimes when I’m changing in the morning I squint my eyes, flex my stomach, and imagine a six-pack. #Heck yea.

OK wait. Hold the press! Right after I wrote that paragraph I went to the Activities Floor to look at photos. On Sunday, all of us in the Education Department went to the Healing Garden to get some group pics taken. The Healing Garden was built three years ago by the Asian Pacific Family Club - It’s beautiful. There’s a Koi pond, waterfall, manicured trees, and a Zen garden raked with patterns. In the pictures there’s a guy who looks just like me, except he has the biggest stomach there!!! Haha #ohdear #suckitin. I’ll post one next time because they’re 6 - 8 weeks for delivery.

Moving on. Summer was nice. It started late but was consistent and I went to yard every night. You can go after dinner (around five-thirty) and they let you back in at sunset. In July that was around nine, now we’re in by seven. I played ping-pong, made phone calls, chatted to friends, searched for shade, and showered under the cold-water nozzle, which reminded me of swimming. Love.

Covid: Yup, I got it again, in July. That makes four times. #survivor

I watched Wimbledon and the US Open.

They had a fundraiser selling yogurt. I got strawberry. SO good.

Oh, I moved cells. Just down the way but a great part of the neighborhood (except for the guy below me who plays his TV out loud all hours of the day and night - it’s hell). But it’s still a blessing. It’s at the end of the tier and has a….. wait for it…..view. I know. I’ve been trying to get to one for a long time and then it happened. Now when I’m on the toilet I can see some pine trees, and if I look through all the bars and fencing just right I can see a little section of Mill Creek (that’s a creek). #roomwithaview #penthouse Also, I worked it out and because it’s further down the walkway, over the course of one year that extra distance works out to one-and-a-half marathons, #athlete

I’ve been saying crazy a lot lately. Like, “Man, that’s crazy… ”It’s the local slang. Also “That’s what’s up,” which means Yes I agree / that’s cool. #totes

Today they’re hosting weddings here. They’ve been closed since Covid but normally run twice a year. I saw some of the brides walking in earlier - wedding gowns and all. Maybe I’ll try catch the bouquet.

I took Post-Conflict Reconciliation for college this term. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was highlighted and was really interesting. I remember them airing it on TV but I never really understood its importance. #humbled #vivamandela

One assignment was to create an art piece that expressed a course theme. I’ve never been a poetry fan but the rhymes kept flying at me so that’s what I did. My mom and sister said I should blog it, so I’ll do that soon. #rapdaddy

Inmate Highlight: The Bird Man. He’s got a long-white beard and has been here for a very long time. He lies on his back in the corner of the yard, sprinkles crumbs on his stomach, and lets birds walk on him - like a lot of them. We’ve sat at the same table a few times during lunch and he’s very nice. #twitter

Last week the Music Club showed the movie “Pink Floyd: The Wall.” They had a big TV and surround sound setup. It was awesome. I listened to that album a lot when I was young so it was quite nostalgic. The movie itself is kind of disturbing but is was a nice little escape. Last month they hosted a talent show too, which was also fun. #nightout #AGT

And that’s about it. I’d love to hear from you… hint hint nudge nudge. Why so quiet? What have you been up to? Please send pics! Printed onto paper is great. I love you. I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again. Yes, you.


Well hello again :)

OK, so that as my update for June to September. I was about to sent it when my mom - she is my Webmaster extraordinaire - fell and broke her arm at the wrist. That was one of the hardest days I’ve spent in here. I just wanted to be with her, bring her flowers, do all the chores, rub her feet, etc. Deep breaths - acceptance - gratitude that I speak to her at all - love. She narrowly avoided surgery and got a very cute pink sparkly cast. Three casts, 12 weeks and multiple x-rays later, she says she’s ready to type so you’ll be reading this by New Year. Thanks Mom!

A bit of bad news - for me. Two bags, containing my most precious and valuable things, got stolen from storage in South Africa. My laptop, tablet, cell-phone, Bose Bluetooth speaker (best thing ever!), and Leatherman are all gone. But that’s not the worst. They got all my keepsakes too: my life’s collection of special cards and letters, journals, and all the printed photos of my life. All my digital photos are gone too. I’m sad when I think about it. I really wanted to show that stuff to my family. On the other hand, I’m like, whatever, time for new photos and memories. Good thing I’ve got you.

So, what else? I’ve had some nice visits over the last few months, from mom and siblings! I’m still doing my morning workout routine and my abs are still hiding. I took another two college courses: Introduction to Fiction and Geography of the Anthropocene (humankind’s influence on the planet). It also taught about the global economy and a lot of international stuff I didn’t know. I enjoyed both courses. Next term I’m doing Math and Introduction to Anthropology.

What else, oh ya, I got sick again, twice. Neither was terrible but my (physical) energy has been low. With so many people in here it’s hard not to catch things - I’ve never been sick, so often, in my life. It’s made my immune system amazing for the long run.

Speaking of amazing, let’s talk about my cover picture. Yup, that’s me in my Christmas cabin. Haha - not. But what a great backdrop! It’s printed vinyl hanging in the corner of an industrial-style building we socialize in. And that’s Felix the dog with me. He’s been here for thirteen years. Apparently he used to walk around regularly, helping to raise spirits, but he’s older now and I’ve only seen him a handful of times in three-and-a- half years. He’s a good boy.

For Christmas I’m getting lots of treats from clubs I’m part of. I’ve got a Hawaiian meal called Moco Loco lined up through the Asian Pacific Club. I’m getting pancakes and ice cream through the Self-Development Club. And I’m getting pork tamales from the Latino Club. I’ve also bought marshmallow cream (best food in the world?), chocolate dipped peanuts, bridge mix, Cheez-Its, and Sour-Patch Gummies. Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you’re living your best Santa life ever. If life’s not that simple for you right now, my heart is with you. Either way, here is a holiday hug from me. Hug…

Please remember to write. I really don’t want to have to remind you again, it’s getting embarrassing now. Right? Haha #totallyserious Oh, and like I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, I’ll post that poem I wrote for class soon. I’ll post those pics too.

I love you,


Check out my next blog: My Poem


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