Orange is the New Black – A Review

This is my first book review and it may not be as professional as it should or be done in the right format, but I just want to detail my perspective on the book that now has a Netflix original show based on it. ***MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS***

OITNB

(Picture Origin)

My husband and I started watching the show when it first started on Netflix. We very quickly became addicted to it. It seemed a bit dramatic, but was very intriguing. My husband has always like prison/crime shows and this seemed to be a female (and more subdued) version of Oz. We finished season 2 in a week (the only bad thing about Netflix original series episodes being released all at one time), now we have to wait almost a year for the next season.

In the interregnum, by my husband’s suggested, I started reading the book where it all originated. It took some getting used to as the names are different between the show and book, but I could pretty much guess who was who. I still don’t understand why they changed the names for the show, but it doesn’t affect the story line much. What does affect the story line is how much more is added to each little tale Piper Kerman tells. The book is simple, straight to the point, explaining real-life events without all the added pizzazz. The show, on the other hand, has the pizzazz needed to keep a show going for more than 2 seasons.

For example: If Piper Kerman said she smacked a girls hand, Piper Chapman would have punched the girl in the face.

The real Piper is much more giving and the real-life prison women far less hostile. She describes definite sects based on race and background, but how Kerman tells it, they didn’t want to kill each other every chance they got. I won’t detail all the differences because that would take too long and they aren’t really that important, but there are definitely enough that I would encourage you read the book if you find the show interesting.

The book grabbed my attention and held it. Not because it was filled with drama, women killing women, or women fucking women, but because it gave me insight into a world that I’ve never experienced. I was able to put myself in the shoes of those women and see how much they were suffering, how little help they received, and the sad way convicts can be treated. That is one of the reason I love books, I can immerse myself in a world that, otherwise, would be completely unknown to me.

The only part of this book I was disappointed with was the end***SPOILER ALERT***. The closer I got to the end the more I wondered how she was going to finish in such a short number of pages. When I finally finished it I understood. She ended pretty abruptly for my taste. The whole book was spent describing events, emotions, and people in detail and the end was so…it was just so…bland. I wanted to know how she felt after being released.

Did she keep in touch with the women she had met? How did Piper & Larry’s wedding turn out? Did she get to see Pop on the outs? What about Natalie? I know she only did a small amount of time, but why write about the experience of being inside prison if you’re not going to write how it felt to get out?

These are just some of the questions I have. All in all I’d give the book a 3 out of 5, but I’m not a real authority on good books vs. bad books. This is all just my opinion.

Desperation & Reclusion

As I step out of my car I catch sight of her vehicle pulling into the parking lot. I gather my items from the passenger side as quickly as possible and head for the door. She is more than 15 feet behind me, there’s no way I’ll need to speak to her. I couldn’t be more wrong. “Good morning!” she calls, nearly shouting. I close my eyes, wincing inwardly. “Morning.” I mumble in response. She must be walking as fast as her legs can carry her as she is gaining on me.

“Have you settled in to the house yet?” She’s right behind me now. I don’t even look back. “Yup.” I lie. I’m still organizing things. In fact, just this past weekend I cleaned out the garage. I don’t want to start a conversation so I lie.

“Well I bet you’re relieved.” Another inward grunt. She is really trying to get a full conversation out of me. “Yea.” is all I say in response. Those who know me would have noticed that my simple replies indicate I’m not in the mood to talk, but she doesn’t know me and she wouldn’t stop even if she did. She’s one of those people.

One of those people I’ve always felt a distinct need to withdraw from. She’s desperate. She needs human interaction. She needs to be liked. She needs to be your best friend. For as long as I can remember I’ve attracted them. Those with the absolute, insatiable desire to fit in, to belong, to be accepted by any and all that surround them.

I’ve been told it’s my father coming out in me. Our ability to get along with anyone we meet. The ability we have to make those around us feel comfortable and heard. It’s something in our eyes and the way they say “I’m listening” even if inwardly we’re dying to get away.

“I think we’re supposed to get storms today.” She says, again trying to make conversation where there is none.

I turn around to face her. “Shut the fuck up!” I yell sharply, then turn and walk into the building, leaving her bewildered on the sidewalk.

I wish I had the bravado to actually do it, but I don’t. Instead I just say “Oh.” as I continue walking into the building.

I wasn’t always this cold…I don’t think. I don’t remember always feeling this surge of anger and annoyance when someone tries to pull me into a conversation I am not interested in. At one time I would smile politely and continue the conversation even if, inwardly, I wanted to rip my hair out. Now I have no smile for these people. I have no use for developing relationships with the desperate. They have turned me into a recluse. I withdraw deeper into myself the more they try to pull me out.

I cannot tolerate their necessity for confirmation. Maybe it is because I have never felt the sting of outright rejection that I cannot understand or sympathize with them. Perhaps they grew up in an abusive relationship or without many friends, something has caused them to yearn for approval, for acceptance.

To an extent I have the desire to be accepted and generally liked; however, I have never pushed for it. If I receive even the slightest hint that someone does not want to be close to me I take a step back. I give them their space. I do not push the limits of how much they will tolerate before they loath me. This is more true in a work environment.

This may sound cold, but I view my co-workers as those I require to get my job done or those who require me to get their job done. There is no other purpose than for us to complete a task for the company we are employed by. I do not want to be my co-worker’s best friend. I do not want to go out for drinks at the end of a long day with them. I do not want them to talk to me for twenty minutes in the break room.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. In my current location, there are a total of three out of about one-hundred co-workers that I sincerely enjoy being around. Those three are the few that understand my personality, that have learned what I like, what I don’t like. They understand when I am not in the mood to hold conversations. They leave me to work when they know that’s what I want. We have an understanding, we know when to talk and when to be quiet.

I speed-walk purposefully toward my office, hoping with every step she doesn’t continue to drag me into her needy world. Once I am in my office, I shut the door behind me, thankful for the peace and quiet it gives me.

Gus Gus

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I came home from work the other day slightly exhausted and somewhat dreading the busy weekend we had ahead of us. Not only have I been working like mad during the week, but our weekends seem to be filling rather quickly this summer.
My husband has been teasing me everyday about getting a cat. He’ll ask me “What kind of cat do want?” Before I leave for work in the morning and tell me not to step on the new cat when I get home at night. To be perfectly honest it was getting tiring.
I wanted a pet because my husband will be staying a new shift at work and we won’t see each other as much, so I figured it would be nice to have a pet as a companion on the nights he’s working.
His endless teasing was starting to become bothersome and I didn’t think he would really get a cat. We’ve been talking about it for awhile, but usually just in passing and, in my mind, wasn’t going to happen for another few years.
So when I walked in the door that night and he told me not to step on the new kitten, I scoffed and walked back to the kitchen. After a minute or two I walked back into the living room and he said it again right before this little gray shape popped out from behind the couch, scaring me enough to make me jump.
This gray eyed, gray coated fur ball was real. My husband had surprised me with an 8 week old kitten.
It took me all night and into the morning to decide on a name, but I decided on Gus. He is nervous about everything. At the slightest noise he’d run under the couch to hide. When exploring, he stares at a room, checking the area out completely, from the safety of the hallway before being willing to go inside. His nervousness reminds me of Gus Gus from Cinderella

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(Image used from this site)

I know it’s a bit ironic to name a cat after a mouse, but it fits him so Gus it is!
We thought about naming him Bandit because of this scene from the office:

Save Bandit!

But Gus just seems to fit him better.
At first I want sure how much I could get him to cuddle because cats are so independent, but he seems to be a snuggly little guy.

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So needless to say I’m excited to have a new little guy around to keep me company when my husband is working.

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Fish & Pictures

At 8 years old, she’s really something special. She isn’t my blood, but she’s definitely my family. I didn’t give birth to her, but you can’t tell me she isn’t my daughter. She’s sweet and creative and this weekend we spent some time feeding fish and completing a Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Here are some highlights:

Walking Along the Pier

Oodles of Fish

Oodles of Fish

Preparing the Food

Preparing the Food

Stones & Fish

Stones & Fish

Fish & Stones

Fish & Stones

Concrete

Concrete

Making a bread ball.

Making a bread ball.

Throwing Bread

Throwing Bread

Pine Needle

Pine Needle

Fallen Pinecone

Fallen Pinecone

Clover

Clover

Bark

Bark

Photographing a white flower.

Photographing purple flowers.

The Flowers

The Flowers

Silly with Grass.

Silly with Grass.

Walking the Beach...Isn't she beautiful?!

Walking the Beach…Isn’t she beautiful?!

Sand & Shoes

Sand & Shoes

Writing Challenge

Well I may not have finished it on time, but I’ve finally finished the writing challenge. I even managed to knock off a couple items on my “25 Things In My 25th Year” list:
5. Successfully complete this 30 day writing challenge.
9. Clean out our garage.

I’m almost done with a couple others and it hasn’t even been a month!

29. Mi Familia

His hands are rough from years of hard labor. His tanned skin scarred, telling the story of tools slipping, branches snapping, and equipment falling. At night his cheeks are prickly, but during the day they are smooth. Although he stands on short legs at only 5’7″, he can intimidate someone twice his size.
He’s stern with his employees, but also caring when they are going through troubling times. That’s how he’s always been. Stern when he needs to be, but deep down always caring for the well-being of others.
His hazel eyes are sweet and express many things. Devotion to his wife of 34 years. Love for his four children, the spouses they’ve brought in, and the grandchildren they’ve given him. Interest in those around him, even those he only met five seconds earlier.
I may be twenty-five years old, but he will always be my daddy. The man who taught me without saying a word how a man should treat me. The man who led the example, without realizing it, of what ambition and drive look like. He’s many things to many people, but he’ll always be a husband and father first.

She’s a spitfire. A redhead with determination. Her hair is red, with flecks of copper appearing in the summer and traces of brown in the winter. Her skin is soft from lotions and creams she has used for many years. She has a beautiful smile, the kind that makes you want to smile too even if you’re upset. Her hands are soft, but show the wear of 50 years spent cleaning and doing yard work. Barely visible scars leave traces of thorn bushes, pearing knives, and fallen branches. Her legs are rarely free of bruises. Her thin pale skin bruising at smallest bump.
She has a big heart and avoids confrontation where possible. She has advice for every situation and knows how to console you when times are tough. Mom can be a little silly and we have a running joke about her being gullible, but when it really counts, she’s as sharp as a tack and the best mom on the planet.

Thickheaded and stubborn through and through. With firey red hair and a goatie to match, he isn’t pushed around by anyone. Tatted arms and chest displayed his passions, the Steelers and his two children. Pete is the poster boy for doing things your own way and finally the brother I’ve always wanted.

The only brown-eyed child my parents had, she’s more than family oriented. Maria is fiercely dedicated to God and raising her son to be as well. She loves to laugh and makes a habit of getting those around her to do the same. She’s my oldest sister and one I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Taking hard times in stride and being my role model of what an amazing wife and mother looks like, Julia is probably the most adventurous of us kids. Always willing to try new things, she grabs life by the horns. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and shares the spitfire gene Mom passed down. She’s become a close friend and deeply loved sister despite our chaotic history.

Grandma is quiet and collected, unless you say or do something she disapproves of. She’s sweet and always wearing a smile. With smooth skin and few wrinkles she doesn’t look her age of 85. She accepts those around her, saving judgment for the few that deserve it. She’s wise and always has a story to tell. She raised the man I love and became more of a grandma to me than my own flesh and blood. I couldn’t ask for a better “mother”-in-law.

I would touch on my husband and daughter but I have a feeling you’ll be hearing about them throughout the life of my blog and to avoid taking any longer in posting this I am going to leave out my in-laws, niece, and nephews. Maybe later I’ll do a post on them. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my family whom I love more dearly than anyone else.