Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New post

Two years ago, I started this blog. I have since gotten married and moved across country and back. My name is now Sara Patterson Shirley.

Time is a funny thing.

I just wanted to post something because it had been a while. I read Orange is the New Black fairly recently and really enjoyed it. I haven't seen the show on Netflix, by the way, so my reading was unaffected by that. If you've seen the show, I have no idea if you'd still enjoy the book.

However, if you're looking for a holiday gift book, I'd recommend this one. It was an easy read and offered insight into minimum-security federal prison life that I hopefully will never know personally.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Memphis stories

Having recently moved to New York from Memphis, I couldn't help but obsess over the Klan rally last week. I really like Andria Brown's take in Memphisotan: Not In My Wheelhouse

And- I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but I know it's going to be incredible and become one of those stories students pour over in journalism classes. From Marc Perrusquia, the last 32 hours of MLK's life. So excited to read: http://media.commercialappeal.com/mlk/index.html

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recent reads

I got online specifically to write a blog entry, and two hours later, here I am. It's so easy to get lost on the Internet.

I'm trying to compile a Christmas book wish list, and I could use suggestions. Right now I'm 9 percent of the way (kindle terms) into Gone Girl, and I have high hopes. Thrillers/Mysteries aren't the genre I usually turn to, but my mom suggested I pick this up and I'm excited to read more.

I just finished The Language of Flowers, and it hit me so hard I wasn't sure I would be able to make it all the way through. I recommend choosing this one only if you have enough time to yourself to have a serious, gut-wrenching cry while you flip through the pages. It was hard to follow the book's main character, Victoria, through a series of tragedies to a very deep, dark and seemingly hopeless place, but thankfully, author Vanessa Diffenbaugh finds a way to bring her out of the ashes and dust us all off by the end.

Let's see, I also recently read the Nora Roberts Three Sisters Island trilogy for fun, and it was fun. I kind of had  the feeling when I was reading that I had read the stories before, like, when I was ten. Who knows.

Oh, and in the spirit of variety and pursuit of literary edification  I read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck and tried to be "a filter, not a sponge." (I've got to see the Perks of Being a Wallflower on screen -- a quick re-read when I heard it was coming out reminded me how much I loooove that book). But back to Steinbeck, I thought Cannery Row was actually a really timely piece to pick up now, with the economy still in the pits and the story staged in a small, working-class community during the Great Depression. I also bought Sweet Thursday on my kindle as a follow up but couldn't get into it.

I might try again after Gone Girl.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Want to type race?

I've been smoking everyone in type racing competitions and bragging about it like a brat this week. But I'm nowhere near the leaders on the boards of the free site I was using to play. I want to meet and watch someone who can type 300 words per minute. Seriously.

My highest score so far is 96 wpm. Anyway, it's Friday and if you want to play for 10 seconds, here's the site I was using.


Let me know how you do!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Last year, Cindy Wolff and I interviewed local firefighters who made the scene at the Pentagon on 9/11 with Tennessee Task Force One.  About a week before the ten year anniversary of Sept. 11, these heroes bravely worked with us to bring buried memories to the surface.

You can click on their pictures with this interactive feature and read our vignettes. This was a project with lasting power, and I'm happy to share it again today.

In August 2001, members of Tennessee Task Force One completed training to work in collapsed buildings, information they planned to retain along with other skills they learned.
Then came September.
Four hours after the attacks, 62 men and two women raced home, grabbed their gear - backpacks, steel-toed boots, knee pads, elbow pads, breathing masks helmets, leather gloves - then boarded buses headed to the nation’s capital while other teams from around the U.S. flooded into New York.
When they arrived at the Pentagon less than 24 hours after the attack, the Memphis area team - doctors, nurses, firefighters - joined federal agencies and others already there. They worked 12 hour shifts, slept three or four hours, searching for human remains, shoring up walls, removing debris - fueled by purpose and anger.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh, the Horror!

After I watched The Descent, probably in 2006 or 2007, I stopped watching horror movies.
Until lately....
But I still get nightmares.
Here's some of what I've watched, and a rating on the nightmare scale.*

Paranormal Activity 3.
Nightmare scale:  7

Nightmare scale: 8

The Mist.
Nightmare scale: 5

The Woman in Black.
Nightmare scale: 8

The Devil Inside.
Nightmare scale: 7

Silent House.
Nightmare scale:1

*The Nightmare Scale
0: Slept like a babe
1-2: Woke up in the night, but probably not out of fear
3-5: Can't remember dreams, but they could have been scary
6-7: Scary dreams unrelated to film
8-9: Terrifying dreams, directly related to the movie
10: Descent status, will abandon horror films for at least five years after viewing
**Note: My nightmare scale has not been tested, proven, or backed in any way by evidence or science.