America’s Prison Obsession

Come join us at 1 the Montgomery branch on May 7th to discuss Orange is the New Black.When I was growing up I would listen to songs by singers who glamorized going to jail. As time went on they faded away, now there is the hit Netflix series, Orange is the New Black obsession that has taken America by storm. Why is going to jail become a “good” thing? The show Orange is the New Black is a comedy after all, so does that make prison funny? For me neither of these two things are correct.

When I was a senior in high school, I was taking a law class. Part of the class was going to a jail to see how they ran things. In order to go to the prison we had to sign off on a permission slip that was five pages long. Since, it was a male correctional facility, the girls were encouraged to dress down. Before we left, my classmates and I had to leave any form of metal and food behind. The amount of precaution we had to take before entering the jail was astonishing. We had to talk to the guards as they gave us a low down on what it was like and to ignore any of the prisoners who talked to us. We had to go through metal detectors and turn over anything that they deemed offensive, even small things such as a pen.

A Cell In Alcatraz Prison. By RicardMN PhotographyLet me go back a little bit to when the school bus had arrived at the jail. Once the bus turned the corner, we saw some of the prisoners standing outside playing a game of basketball. The entire bus went dead with silence. You could hear a pin drop inside the bus before we exited. When we got off, we received the instructions like I said, then we were given a tour of the prison. One of the rooms they showed us was the cell block. This was the scariest room of all. The prisoners were locked up in their rooms with tiny windows to see out of. Although, we got to go inside a room, by the time we left I felt like an animal in the zoo. Pretty much all of the prisoners had their faces pressed up against the wall. The one thing I am going to touch on is that the toilet was in the room with a sink. There was no private showering area, just a stall with a curtain and a door. That was it! There was no private changing room like they showed on Orange is the New Black. This was nothing like the singers had sung about in their songs and showed off in their music videos. It was a completely different world from what Hollywood shows us.

Michigan's most haunted prison has an insanely dark past.Onto the final stage of the prison visit, my classmates and I got to talk to some of the prisoners. Their were five of them and their offenses ranged from armed robbery to murder. Upon hearing their stories about what jail was like it opened my eyes a little more. We got to ask questions and many of the questions were asked again and again, such as do you think your sentenced was fair? With the exception of one, they all agreed that their sentence was fair. As they talked about their experience they ask the question of why Hollywood has glamorized going to prison. They tells us that real life jail is nothing like they show us on television. They told us about getting up in the morning, getting crappy food to eat, and having to be assigned boring jobs. Their was no freedom where they are. They don’t get to walk around freely like they show in music videos. The reality of jail is far from what kids are shown these days.

America has become obsessed with prison through the media. Going to jail and getting a record is not a good thing, as you will probably have an uphill battle from their. In Orange is the New Black that subject is touched upon. However, in many episodes the life in prison is shown to be somewhat enjoyable not boring. The singers and songwriters who made it big after prison are the ones who had gotten lucky. After, becoming hooked on Orange is the New Black (yes, I am) and remembering this trip brings back all the fictionalization of prison life. Prison life is something that is far from enjoyable, you don’t have any freedom. Just remember that.

The Questions I Have After An Alfred Hitchcock Movie Ends

Alfred Hitchcock: The Psycho Genius of Hollywood. The Daily Beast, cover illustration. This illustration was killed. This is a draft.Alfred Hitchcock is known as the “Master of Suspense” for a reason. He creates these movie that have people guessing and questioning every move. However, at the end of some movies he does not give an explanation as to what is going to happen next.  He leaves that up to viewers with questions that seem never ending.

The Birds Alfred Hitchcock Tippi Hedrin 1963 Movie Poster Download Restored Classic Movie Prints No 1463. $1.00, via Etsy.In the movie “The Birds” we see birds attacking people for no reason. No one had done any harm to them, they just go berserk and continue on pecking people to death. Tragedy after tragedy, the main characters decide to leave in order to find a new place where there are no vicious crows, seagulls, and blackbirds. Unfortunately, right when this is about to happen the audience discovers that there are other unusual bird attacks happening across America. The final scene, just shows the main characters driving away in a car through a sea of birds. What happens to them after they get to where they need to go? Do the birds chase after them? Do the birds stop their war on mankind? These are questions that come to my mind every time I finish watching “The Birds”. Part of me thinks that they made it safely away from the birds. Another part of me thinks the birds just continued on with their questionable killing. The birds that are attacking in the movie are not birds of prey that are uncommon to see. But, merely crows, seagulls, and blackbirds, among other small birds. They attack in flocks leading everyone with the question of why. This question is never answered in the movie, nor is there an explanation given after the movie. To me, “The Birds” is one of those movies where the questions are endless no matter how many times you watch the film.

Vertigo // Directed by	Alfred Hitchcock  Produced by	Alfred Hitchcock  Written by	Alec Coppel  Samuel A. Taylor  Story by	Pierre Boileau  Thomas Narcejac  Starring	James Stewart  Kim Novak  Barbara Bel Geddes  Music by	Bernard Herrmann  Cinematography	Robert Burks  Editing by	George Tomasini  Distributed by	Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures (1983-present)  Release date(s)	May 9, 1958Another movie of his with questions that never end is Vertigo. This movie is one that you really have to follow along in order to understand the plot line. It is also, tough to write about the questions I have without giving out the ending to a great movie. Anyway, the main character is a detective played by James Stewart. We learn early on that he has a fear of heights due to watching his partner fall to death with him almost falling as well. So, much as going up on a stool just makes him dizzy. However, throughout the movie we witness this detective conquer his fear of heights in emergency situations. The biggest one being the climax of the film where he follows his girlfriend up a bell tower, only to watch her fall to her death. That part is not the ending of the movie, however, as the movie goes on we learn that their is more to why he was chosen to be the detective on this case. We learn that there is a sinister plot that he had been set up to be in the middle of all along. But, the questions about how this brave detective was able to deal with his fear of heights after the movie is questionable.This is where giving away the ending is a tough part. There is no rhyme or reason as to what happened to this detective after the movie ended. I know that many assumed he did the right thing and did what he could to see justice done. But, what did he really do after the movie ended. Did he go back to work? Was he set up to go to jail after the movie ended, only for him to fight back for justice? The truth is, we don’t know what really does happen to him. After watching Vertigo many times, I found myself asking these questions. When I first saw Vertigo, I did not think to much about what happened to him after the film. As I watched the movie more and more the questions started coming. We learn about why he was chosen for the job. We know that he has a fear of heights that leads to him having issues during the film. But, what we don’t know is what really happened to him after the movie ended. I can’t give away the ending, but after you watch Vertigo a couple of times you will find that the questions just flow after this film has ended.

Rope - Alfred Hitchcock - brilliant film where the entire film is acted on one set with only perhaps 6 or 7 cuts in the filming.  It is also vaguely based on the Leopold and Leob caseDoes the bad guy ever get justice once the movie is over? This is a question that seems to be answered with a yes. But, in the movie Rope, the two killers are of a higher class. They are able to afford the money in order to hire a good lawyer. There is now a question as to what happens to these killers once the police arrest them for murder. They only killed because they felt like it. These two men just wanted to prove that there is a way to pull off the perfect crime. But, once again James Stewart is there to show them the error of their ways right before he calls the police. He tells them that society is going to destroy them once it is discovered what they had done and why they had don it. As everyone expects these two young men will be persecuted to the full extent of the law. But, do they really get what people want them to get? Does the family of the victim ever find some sort of comfort in there being justice for their son, even if their might not be any? The whole point of the movie Rope is two men kill a man they think is weaker than them. They put his body in a box and serve dinner at a party with e the question of where he is going around. The question of these two young men going to jail is one that just came to my mind recently when I re-watched this movie. These two men are in shock and upset that they are going to be entering jail and public persecution. But, do they really get why this is happening to them? Do they really think that they can pull off the crime and get away with it? What does happen to these two men, is the ultimate question. We know that there is going to be evidence involving the place where the body was found. But, do they try to pull a stunt in court to make them look innocent? After all, who wants to spend the rest of their life in jail due to a stupid idea.

Classic Alfred Hitchcock Mystery ThrillerEspionage is one of the great things that Alfred Hitchcock is known for. In The 39 Steps, the espionage is full blown as a spy tries to stop a foreign agency from destroying England. When a man falls upon a plot that could destroy everything he holds dear he goes through the lengths to make sure that it is protected. Even though the plot of this movie is far fetched and it drags on a little bit, the ending is a cliff hanger. Once again, not one to give away the ending, the questions pile up one by one. In order to get the questions you have to pay attention to what happens throughout the film. At the very ending, there is a recitation for an aircraft that is given by a man. As the explanation goes on, the question of what really happened with this information is questionable. Did the bad guys get some of the information? If they did, then they probably used it for mass destruction. What was he really saying in the end? What form of code was this in? What does he really mean when he is handing on this information so close to death? We don’t ever hear the answers that we seek. Hitchcock, never gave us the ultimate answer as to what happens. The 39 Steps is one of those movies where the ending is the climax of the film and then it ends. There is no sequel and the questions are endless.

Alfred Hitchcock films, for me at least, come with many questions at the end. The questions are almost endless as we go on throughout the film, and many of them are never answered. The Master of Suspense is a name that Alfred Hitchcock earned early on in his career because many people wanted answers to an endless amount of questions that not even Hitchcock himself answers.

Why Wile E. Coyote is Inspirational

Roadrunner the coyotes after you, Roadrunner if he catches you, you're through....We all know about Wile E. Coyote’s mission, to eat the Road Runner. In every episode that he is in there is some comical situation which ends up with him being injured. Whether it be explosives, attempting to fly, or some contraption that he made, he has a way of entertaining people with his hair brained schemes only for them to backfire. But, the one thing that Wile E. Coyote does not do is give up.

Wile E. Coyote & RoadrunnerHe has made it his mission to catch and one day eat the road runner. Through his comical, yet harmful, schemes he never stops trying. We see him constantly going after his prey on foot. There is nothing that stands in his way of catching and eating the road runner. Don’t forget there have been times when he has gotten close to catching the road runner, yet the road runner manages to escape due to some miscalculation. Wile E. Coyote tends to look like a nitwit from time to time, but he does not give up and that is a message that all people should take to heart.

A Lesson from Scooby-Doo and Shaggy

25 Of The Best Catchphrases In Television HistoryEveryone knows of the cowardly canine Scooby-Doo made famous in 1969 on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? In each episode Scooby and his best friend Shaggy became well known of being afraid of monsters, who were mainly men and women in masks and their appetites. But, after watching a couple episodes there is a lesson to be learned from both Scooby and Shaggy, facing your fears.

Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Rogers ("Scooby-Doo")Going after the “monster” in order to save/assist their friends is something that Scooby and Shaggy dread. Both of them are known for running in the opposite direction of the bad guy. Probably, the same thing that most people would do in this case. But, for Shaggy and Scooby, if their friends are in danger they will go out of their way to help. In several episodes we see Scooby and Shaggy face off against the bad guy in order to help them.

Google Image Result for, there is always the option of calling the police. But, this is a time before cellphones, so multiple times they would be in situations where there was no sign of a payphone or telephone. Scooby and Shaggy are cowardly, yet they are trustworthy. Even though they are known for being the comic relief out of the whole series, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are there for those who they care about in need.

Sending Prayer to Charleston

I woke up this morning to hear of the horrifying church shooting that happened in Charleston, South Carolina. The perpetrators motive behind such a vicious attack is because of their race. That is what he had told some of the victims that he had spared. Dylan Roof, the perpetrator, went inside a church to kill people just because of their race, I am disgusted and in shock by his reasoning. The shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Church. The minister, Rev. Clementa Pinckney was among the victims. i read up on Pinckney and discovered that he was a senator and a man of God who heard his call to preach at age thirteen. My prayers are with the victims and their families in the time of this senseless tragedy.

Vote for Mohegan Sun

The place of my employment Mohegan Sun, is currently in the running for the Top Ten Best Casinos in by US Weekly! For a while we were at number one, but were pushed to #2. Please vote for Mohegan Sun, one of the best casinos in the USA. There are many people who can attest to the Mohegan Sun experience! Here is the link:

GOOD WRITING by Mark Goldblatt

Nerdy Book Club

During my author tours, and my classroom lessons, I’m often asked about good writing. What makes writing good? In a certain sense, it’s easier to say what isn’t good writing than what is good writing. For example, writing that calls attention to itself as writing isn’t good writing. If you’re reading a story and catch yourself thinking, “Wow, that’s a great passage!” then you’re no longer focused on the content of the story; you’re focused on the form of the sentences. The writer is showing off—which means the writing isn’t as good as you think it is. That wow experience, if it occurs, should come only after you’ve finished the story and begun to reflect on what you’ve read. (The same principle, by the way, holds true for acting. If you’re watching a movie and thinking, “Wow, that’s some mighty fine acting!” then the actor is overdoing it. He’s calling…

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Celebrate the Small Things – SPEECH THERAPY

My Miracle Life

Hey everyone! It’s Friday again and time for another posting of Celebrate the Small Things brought to us byLEXA CAINPost anything in life that you’re celebrating, no matter how small or big, on your blog.

Sign up by clicking on the image, hop around and celebrate with others.

Make Celebrate the Small Thingssure your blog post has a link to the sign-up as well, so other bloggers will be able to sign-up and hop around too. 

This is such a simple and easy blog-hop, and it also happens to be one of my favorites.  After posting the things you have to celebrate, please don’t forget to visit and thank Lexa and her awesome and amazing co-hosts for the wonderful job they do:

LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom

This has been a great week for me. Most of my followers know the past few weeks have…

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Resources for Autism

When the children first came to us, four years ago, our boy showed possible markers for Autism.

His records show he was mostly non-verbal and knew about 10 words at age 3. He couldn’t tolerate certain lights, noises, too many people, some textures (food and clothing). He couldn’t hold eye contact. We couldn’t touch him unless he initiated; he was very good at moving quickly out from under our hands. No hugs, no holding, no gentle pats. And he screamed. Oh, the screaming.

I’ve just finished Temple Grandin‘s book, Thinking in Pictures. She answers a question I’ve had for four years. “If kids are so sensitive to noise, why can they be so loud?” The key is the range of tones and frequencies; some just aren’t tolerable, while others are no problem. The child isn’t screaming in the intolerable frequency. Also (which I’d suspected), some of the hypersensitivity…

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Encouraging Thunder Award

Yes, I have been nominated for the Encourage Thunder Award. This award originates from the sky. A power that came from the Gods in sky in Greek Mythology that lead to a crack. In Greek Mythology, the god Zeus is the one who had commanded the thunder in the sky and what happened. The significance of this award is to remind us that only God can judge us a humans.

Thunder creates a wonderful addition to blogs. There is no one who can take, he or she’s thunder when they are writing. Even though there may be people who disagree with what we say, but they are our words, our thunder that comes from our hands onto the screen.

I would like to thank for nominating me for this award. I am very grateful for the nomination.

Here are the people who I have nominated: