Orange Is The New Black Season 2 Ep. 5 Recap: ‘Low Self-Esteem City’ By Kevin Clarkston

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Welcome to the Litchfield turf wars. Although the beef between Gloria and Vee originally began brewing back in “Hugs Can Be Deceiving,”–when the latter gave the former a pack of stale cigarettes in exchange for a cake—“Low Self-Esteem City” marks the point where things really jump off.

The turf in question is the bathroom shared by the black inmates, referred to as “The Ghetto,” which Gloria and her girls march into after their quarters, also known as “Spanish Harlem,” started spewing out caca (I’ll give you hint. It rhymes with twit). You can just about guess how that went: death stares are given, insults are exchanged and Cindy and Flacca almost come to blows before a C.O. breaks it up. Cindy gets a shot (think of it as write up) after mistakenly playing the “sister” card with the black officer, while Gloria and her girls get dibs on the bathroom.

Things escalate when, after getting their shoes stolen and tied together by Taystee and Cinday, Gloria laces their food with salt.

“They fuckin’ with us this way ’cause they know our people’s predisposition for hypertension,” Poussey rants. Fears about high blood pressure aside, Janae, who had no part in the fracas, is pissed, and trips Daya in retaliation. Bennett, who unlike Janae knows Daya’s with child, hems her up before taking away her commissary.

All this culminates in a meeting in the ladies’ room between Gloria and Vee. Gloria immediately goes into beast mode, but Vee already has a trick up her sleeve. She plays desperate and scared, looking like a deer in the headlights as she dupes Gloria into moving Flores and Sanchez off custodial duty and into the kitchen, with Taystee and Watson taking their place alongside Cindy. It doesn’t dawn on Gloria that she’s been conned until Red storms into the kitchen and makes it plain that moving Flores and Sanchez to the kitchen also meant ceding some of her power to the enemy.

“Low Self-Esteem City” also delves into Gloria’s backstory, showing she was once the owner of a struggling corner store, trading food stamps for cash while her tia Lourdes performs spiritual cleanses with candles and herbs in the backroom. Gloria is similar to Red in that her strong, no-nonsense self only came into being after she landed in the Litch. The flashbacks reveal a vulnerable woman in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Arturo. Like many abused women, Gloria is in denial about the lasting impacts of the abuse—he’s never hurt her boys, she tells Lourdes—and trapped in the cycle of leaving then going back.

She finally decides to leave Arturo and flee to Florida after he pushes one of her sons; unfortunately, an unsatisfied customer tipped off the police to her fraud scheme, and she’s carted off to jail. Arturo also peeps her food stamp money hiding spot and almost makes off with the stash. Almost because, in a bit of delicious irony, the self-locking door he installed traps him inside the back room after he tips over Lourdes’ candles, burning him to a crisp. Blame it on the orishas.

The episode also gave Healy his first major chunk of screen time this season, showing him at his worst while also inspiring some empathy. Let’s deal with the worst first. At the office, he shoots down Piper’s request to go see her ailing grandmother, snarkily comparing it to the Loch Ness monster (“it’s much discussed but seldom seen”) before dismissing her. He’s not much better at home. He and wife Katya are still having issues, and though he’s managed to learn some Russian, he’s still controlling and prone to angry, hurtful outbursts.

The two have a spat over Katya wanting to have a girls’ night out with Ulya (hey, it’s Tony Soprano’s old mistress Svetlana! Girl how you been!), during which he berates her for not speaking English and not having a job. He apologizes, and admirably tries to patch things up by inviting Ulya to go out with them.

“Your friends are my friends. My friends are your friends,” he tells Katya in Russian, before she coldly reminds him he has no friends.

Healy heads to the bar, where he spots Caputo playing bass in his band Side Boob (yes, Side Boob is their real name). The two sip beer while Healy drops about a thousand F-bombs praising a song he thinks is about mine workers, but according to Caputo is actually metaphor for a bandmate’s vasectomy. Side Boob’s certainly not lacking in subject matter. But I digress. The two bond over trashing penny-pincher Figueroa and her senate candidate husband, which leads to Caputo asking who, besides him, gives even half a crap about the welfare of the women at Litchfield.

Healy lightly mocks his earnestness at first, before confessing he liked taking his concerns to the warden because, ya know, at least he was a dude.

“I hate talking to women about women’s issues. It’s creepy.” It’s a short statement, but one that reveals so much about the character and his inability to relate to women, be it Katya or the inmates under his supervision, on any level. True to his personality it takes a man—in this case, Caputo—to lead him off the well worn path of misogynistic douchebaggery (at least for the time being) and fill out Piper’s furlough application.

The impromptu guys’ night out clearly meant more to Healy than Caputo; while he’s all glib and business-like the next day, Healy truly believes he’s made a new friend, gushing about Side Boob and calling Caputo Capu-dawg. The scene is laughable but also sad as it snaps into focus just how lonely Healy is. It also makes you wonder how long his new attitude will last once he realizes he his bromance with Caputo is one-sided.

Piper seems to have gotten some of her humanity back, as news of her grandmother’s sickness has her opening up to Red and then Larry. Larry tells her he misses her, and she talks about wanting to depend on someone, and this would all be lovely, were it not for the fact Larry’s one more play date from sleeping with Polly. Throw in the fact that if Piper does get her furlough, she’ll be shacking up at chez Larry, and things are about to get complicated.

Other Thoughts:

–Nicky and Big Boo’s Bang Off continues, with Boo scoring five while Nicky strikes out big time with Fisher. Fisher also seems to have taken Nicky’s spiel about monitoring phone calls to heart, as she informs Caputo of her muy bueno Spanish-speaking abilities.

– Big Boo: “A boob in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
–Nicky: “Well it’s only the bush that counts.”

“It’s hate speech. It’s not meant to be accurate. It’s meant to be hateful.”

“I’m like Icarus. Who’s wings melted before he could fuck the sun.”

“Segregation. Awesome. Separate but way shittier.”

Catch more recaps by Kevin Clarkston of other hit shows over at the butlerway.com

@KevinClarkston   My blog: kclarkscorner.blogspot.com 

Why The Oklahoma City Thunder Will Never Win A Championship: By Cleavie Wonder

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In 2012 The Oklahoma City Thunder had the look of a team that would be championship

contenders for years to come.  Although they lost in the finals to LeBron James and the

Miami Heat they had a young nucleus to build around.  The trio of Kevin Durant, Russell

Westbrook, and James Harden all made the Olympic team before their 24th birthday and

the future looked bright.  Then a funny thing happened.

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell victim to bad judgement and misfortune.  6th man of the

year James Harden bolted for to Houston in free agency and the team tried to replace him

with Kevin Martin.  That experiment failed miserably.  Russell Westbrook started having

knee issues and missed the 2013 playoffs with a torn meniscus.  Kevin Durant averaged

nearly 30 points a game, but quickly realized he couldn’t carry the team all by himself.

Nick Collison, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and Reggie Jackson just didn’t bring

enough to the table.

 

In 2014 the Thunder were hit by the injury bug again.  Westbrook missed several games

and Serge Ibaka missed the first two games of the Western conference finals.  That one

proved to be costly.  Although OKC played their hearts out they eventually succumbed to

the experience and skill of the San Antonio Spurs in 6 games.  The once solid foundation

has turned to sand and the window of opportunity has slammed shut.  Simply put there is

no solution to their problems.

 

For starters Scott Brooks isn’t a very good coach.  He’s not a bad coach, but pass the ball

to KD or let Westbrook take his man off the dribble is not a sophisticated offensive

philosophy.  His ability to make adjustments is sorely lacking and in close games he looks

more like a scared cheerleader than a poised leader.  He is not the guy who can take them to

the next level.

 

Secondly, Oklahoma City suffers from the small market blues.  Free agents don’t want to go

there and rebuilding the team through the draft is no longer an option.  They’re too good to

get top tier talent, but not good enough to turn the corner.  To make matters worse the Slim

Reaper is starting to figure out he’s a big fish in a little puddle.  He won’t stick around for

another contract.

 

Lastly, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don’t play well together.  If this were a Spike

Lee movie Westbrook would be playing the role of Shadow Henderson, a talented cat tired

of playing 2nd fiddle.  In his heart he desperately wants his own team and thinks he’s good

enough to make it without the marquee guy.  He will only defer to KD for so long.  Hard to

believe he won’t defer to a player that’s the MVP of the league, a unanimous selection for all

NBA 1st team (2014), and a 4 time scoring champion, but athletes don’t always see things the

same way everybody else does.  The duo may have a great friendship off the court, but their

on the court relationship is dysfunctional and volatile at best.

 

The Oklahoma City franchise is on borrowed time.  In the next few years you will see frustrations

boil over and the team will be dismantled.  Egos will get in the way, leadership will crumble,

financial obligations will become unbearable, and the fans will begin to turn on them.  They

already call the 2nd best player on the planet Mr. Unreliable.  In the blink of an eye the Thunder

went from the next big thing to yesterday’s news.  Such a pity.

Cleavie claims to know all things sports and Hip-hop. You can find him over at the butlerway.com, just click on the tab Cleavie Confidential. @cleaviewonder 

“Your Ultimate Winter Skincare Guide” By: Shannon Boyce

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It’s hard to believe, but winter is on the way…and fast. Temperatures are dropping at a rapid pace and Christmas decorations are starting to pop up around the neighbourhood. While it’s easy to get excited about the holiday season, there is one major drawback: cold weather and indoor heating can wreak havoc on your skin.

 Before you stress yourself out, take a deep breath and relax. It’s time to change up your skincare routine! This year, you won’t have to deal with dryness, flaky patches, or tightness anymore. Here is your ultimate winter skincare guide…it’ll keep you looking beautiful from head to toe.

 Start With the Scalp

 The winter is typically filled with fun parties, formal events, and family get-togethers. Which is why the last thing you want to deal with is an itchy, flaky scalp. Unfortunately when the weather starts to get cold, every part of your skin is affected. This season, trade in your regular shampoo for something that gives your scalp some much needed attention. You’ll want to choose a moisturizing shampoo that focuses on reducing flakes. It will give your scalp the moisture it needs and get rid of that uncomfortable itchy feeling.

 Change Up Your Moisturizer

 During the winter months, nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than a good moisturizer. It is the best way to deal with dryness. Before you reach for your every day moisturizer, stop and take a look at the ingredients. Not all moisturizers are made equally – and they shouldn’t be used all year round. Certain moisturizers work better in certain temperatures. For instance, during the wintertime, your moisturizer should be thicker and oil-based.

 When selecting your winter moisturizer, make sure that your products are oil-based rather than water-based. The oil will protect your skin better and give you even more moisture. Keep a look out for products with vitamin E or shea butter – they are ideal for extreme climates. Be careful what moisturizer you use on your face, though! Something too heavy can clog your pores. Look for oils like almond oil, avocado oil, or mineral oil when choosing your ideal facial moisturizer.

 Don’t Forget to Exfoliate

 Have you ever noticed how dull and lifeless your skin looks in the winter? There is one easy solution…exfoliate! Using a body scrub or exfoliating mitt, exfoliate your skin twice a week to remove any dead skin cells. Not only will this make your skin look brighter and healthier, it will also allow your moisturizer to skin in deeper. This means your skin will stay hydrated for even longer.

 Get the Perfect Pout

 No one likes having dry, chapped lips. They irritating and they hurt, too! This year, avoid this common problem by staying hydrated. To do that, you’ll need to drink tons of water (which is great for all of your skin throughout the year), use a lip balm with an SPF in it, avoid licking your lips, and staying away from lip products that contain petroleum. Why? Petroleum can actually make it harder for moisture to get to your lips.

Use a Hand and Foot Cream

It’s important to take care of every part of your skin. This includes your hands. Even though the skin on your hands is thinner, they are often exposed to the cold during the winter. This can make your hands dry and cracked. Use a hand lotion when you get up and before you go to bed…and don’t forget to wear gloves when you leave the house!

 Your feet also take a hit in the wintertime. Wearing wet socks and boots can make the skin on your feet extra sensitive and dry. The solution? At night, use a foot cream or lotion that has either petroleum jelly or glycerine in it. To add even more moisture to your feet, don’t forget to exfoliate every as necessary.

 Other Winter Skincare Tips:  

-          Stay away from hot showers. Even though a toasty shower sounds perfect after coming in from the cold – don’t do it! The hot water can lead to a loss of moisture in your skin. Opt for warm showers instead.

-          Use a humidifier in your home. Your indoor heating can seriously dry out your skin. By using a humidifier, you’re putting more moisture back into the air.

-          Apply sunscreen. Even though the sun isn’t as hot in the winter, that doesn’t mean it can’t affect your skin! Be sure to use sunscreen before you go out to avoid doing any damage.

 Winter may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be awfully hard on your skin. Take care of your body from head to toe by following this simple winter skincare guide. It won’t be long before you see (and feel) the difference!

Shannon Boyce is a Fashion & Beauty writer over at the http://butlerway.com/  Find her there and

Serious Relationships Work!

Paul wrote this earlier this week and I have been thinking about it since. He is absolutely right when he said that fighting over the small stuff is silly. It is. We have always been the couple that will argue about something silly and 5 minutes later be fine and talking about something else. In 23 years together, I have yet to be able to stay mad at that man for longer than a few hours. That can be annoying when you want to be mad but ultimately I think it means that we have a strong connection. A deep foundation.

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Don’t get me wrong, we can say some crappy things to each other but again, after all these years, we are family and with that comes unconditional love and forgiveness.

The other main point he made is being attracted to other people. We are open about discussing this. Paul is not shy about pointing out a lovely lady to me or asking me if I find someone attractive. I suppose I could get upset about him looking at other women but he is a man and last time I checked, not blind. It’s ridiculous to even bat an eye at that (rolling your eyes is totally acceptable). Looking and talking about it is completely respectful and normal.

We bicker, we argue but never do either of us think we are getting a divorce.  We are in this forever and more people should have that same mentality.

Written by Kerry Ann Butler, Co-founder of the Butlerway.com

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey

Now, I am not a fan of any of these shows. But after reading a few pieces from Mandi Nowitz, I found her to be so hilarious. So I started looking at some of the featured reality show stars of the whole Real Housewives franchise. I came to the conclusion most of them are a plastic surgery chain wreck. The one who stood out to me was Melissa Gorga, from the New Jersey show

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You have to read Mandi’s review of the recent reunion show HERE

By Kerry Ann Butler @kerryabutler

Working Out Should Be Hard

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Watching a segment on The Today show this morning I came to the conclusions that we as Americans may becoming to gullible and over exposed to weight loss and exercise scams. This morning they had a female showing over weight ladies how to lose weight with their dogs. The exercises they were engaged in didn’t look as if it took much effort.

We all have our struggles with body image but we have to get serious about exercise if you are going to lose a significant amount of weight. Many search out the easiest form of exercise only to fail after only a few weeks or even days…year after year, time after time. If you want to lose weight with your dog take the traditional methods. Running or speed walking with your dog on a leash. You can even stop at the park and do some push ups, sit ups and pull ups. We are also bombarded with DVD and  infomercials. Yes I believe P90X, Insanity and fitness moms like Jillian Michaels are the way to go if you can stay committed to working out at home as you watch the TV and follow the instructions of the video. I would argue that many of us fail in that kind of environment. Going to the gym you are more than likely will get something accomplished because you’re there. Running and a fast walk is a way for you to spend time with a friend or your significant other and of course, your dog. Ultimately if you’re not dripping in sweat, it’s probably time to evaluate your chosen form of exercise.

Working out is never simple in many ways especially women exercising with a friends or that nice group of people from the book club might just be a crutch. Find what works for you and challenge your body to the point of breaking a good sweat. For those of us that are challenged for time, you can accomplish that in as little as 20 minutes.

By Paul E. Butler