Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sarah Holmes & the Case of the Pinks

On Monday I was out in SoNo with my friend Greg when he said something that I’ve heard before. Quite often, actually.

“Sarah, you are such a dude.”

It’s true. I like snowboarding, rock & roll, wearing jeans and sneakers instead of mini skirts and fancy dresses, good beer, and perfecting the art of not giving a crap. Girl drama and playing games bores me. I’m blunt, straight-forward and honest 98% of the time. (Much to the dismay of many.)

However, Sarah Holmes, my sleuthing alter ego for the purpose of this blog, has discovered (and by discovered, I mean already knew) something that may blow this “being a dude” thing out of the water. With all the dark colors, comfy jeans, three pairs of Chuck Taylors, and white men’s Hanes undershirts that currently reside in my closet I do in fact have a flare of pink in my possessions. Not warm or dark pink, but bright girly pink.

Resting comfortably in my bathroom, hidden unless one is paying attention/sleuthing in my personal space, is not one, but two pink toothbrushes. I chose the color myself. My toothbrushes are about as manly as Tiffany’s pearl necklaces and Manolo Blahnick crystal studded stilettos heels. Combined.

So, dear Greg and other friends, perhaps I am not as much of a dude as previously assumed. We all have our little secrets.


The Blues: In Film & Music: Part II

This song has a bad case of the blues. Courtesy of my other indie idol, Zooey Deschanel, from her first venture into music, teaming up with M. Ward to become She & Him. This comes from the album “Volume One”. (Lauded by Paste Magazine as Album of the Year.)

The Blues: In Film & Music

Sometimes it’s just one of those days. You know those days. I can hear Elvis Presley’s ghostly twang wailing on the word “blues” on days like these. (Note: Not the Easy Mac “I go the blues.” The real blues.)

As Holly Golightly defines them in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – “The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all.” Truman Capote, I’m pretty sure he knew the blues. He just got them, as we say in the undergraduate institutes of higher education. I saw “Capote” and I got some serious blues-ing vibes there. (Although that could be my inexplicable crush on Phillip Seymour Hoffman.)

Then there’s Jenny Lewis’ definition of the blues. This comes from the song “Acid Tongue” from the album of the same name. (Side note: Jenny Lewis, one of my two indie heros, got Elvis Costello to come out of retirement for this album. I get down my knees and metaphorically prostrate myself before her for this unfathomable feat.) This album is full of the blues — full of the sounds of Southern influence. The song itself is the kind that tells a story. “I went to the cobbler to fix a hole in my shoe/ He took one look at my face and said ‘I can fix that hole in you’/ I beg your pardon I’m not looking for a cure/ Seen enough of my friends in the depths of the godsick blues.” Jenny Lewis, on solo albums or in her multiple group projects, never fails me in the lyrics department.

Also never failing in the lyrics department is Paul Simon. Most music magazines will rank Bob Dylan as the greatest living singer-songwriter of recent demonstrations but I hold the two greatest to be Paul Simon and Jackson Browne. Here’s my blues-defining lyrics from Paul Simon, from the Simon & Garfunkel song Blessed. “Oh lord, Why have you forsaken me?/ My words trickle down, Like a wound/ That I have no intention to heal.”

I think the beautiful thing about words, which Capote, Lewis and Simon knew/know, is their sheer power. Maybe that’s why I love books so much. Maybe that’s why I often gravitate to lyrically strong music. But either way, today these artists have put my feelings into words when I was incapable of doing so, and I thank them for that.

The Timeless Shatner

Oh, William Shatner. I am devoting this post to you.

Most of you my age will recognize Shatner as the guy. Or from “Boston Legal” an incredible television show, whose loss I am still mourning. But Shatner was so much more than that. He starred as Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series and then voiced his character in “Star Trek: The Animated Series” after the live action show was canceled. But enough of that brief history with twenty years missing.

The thing about William Shatner that I wish to applaud that he used to be a source of derision, a complete joke. And then, he embraced it. He welcomed that he is, in fact, a character. (And I don’t mean in the sense of a character to be played, just an interesting person.) He has embraced it. He is William Shatner. No one else could ever be William Shatner. Sure, he did a terrible cover of “Rocket Man” but he did it William Shatner-style. He’s a part of our pop culture now, undeniably. And I love that he can poke fun at himself while still being William Freaking Shatner.

Case and point – he appeared on Conan O’Brien to read Sarah Palin’s resignation speech beat poetry style. But it wasn’t beat poetry style – it was Shatner style. Yes, Shatner has a style all his own.

William “James Tiberius Kirk” “Denny Crane” “Priceline Guy” Shatner – I salute you.

A Pointless Non Sequitor Post on Mystery Bruises

About 8 seconds ago I found a quarter size bruise on the side of my forearm. (Why I felt obligated to blog about it is completely beyond me.) Nothing of any consequence, just a bruise. But bruises for me are 86.4% of the time a source of great confusion. A general “Where did you come from, little bruise? I don’t remember you happening.” I believe, for most people, bruising is a memorable experience – walking into something, dropping something, being punched in the face – that sort of thing. And while I do frequently walk into tables and chairs and small animals, which I usually remember, it is those little mystery bruises that warrant answers. When did I bruise the side of my forearm? How did I bruise the side of my forearm? Why is it a near perfect circle?

As I type this, cross-legged with my laptop on my lap, I just spotted a bruise on my leg. It’s sort of rectangular. I’d like some answers for that one. It’s not an obvious place for a bruise, and it’s a bit difficult to walk into something that is below table level but above small animal level. Where did you come from?

Sure, I enjoy life’s little mysteries just like the rest of us — why is the sky blue? Mommy, where do babies come from? How exactly did Michael Jackson moonwalk? How precisely does the internet work? — but mystery bruises are far more frequent and I’d really like to know where they come from. Seriously.

So I ask this of you, friends. If you see me walk into something, kindly inform me of it, so I may have an answer to a future potential mystery bruise. However, if I yell “OW! F**K!” you can be pretty sure I’ll be aware of the source of that future bruise, so no need to point it out.

A Fond Eulogy for Kings of Leon

Any of you who have turned on MTV, VH1, or popular radio this summer will have heard the band Kings of Leon. They played live for MTV and blast through the iPods of those over-tanned over-bleached young men and women strolling through the hallways of my particular place of higher education.

Their latest album “Only by the Night” has exploded onto the scene. I, being the good sport that I am, will offer my congratulations to the band, but along with those congratulations a very firm farewell.

Kings of Leon —

What can I say that has not been said about rock bands in the past? You defined Summer 2005 for me. I listened to “Four Kicks” from your sophomore album Aha Shake Heartbreak every day, multiple times over. I could sing “The Bucket” start to finish at the top of my lungs on command. I backtracked and listened to your first album, Youth and Young Manhood. Equally fantastic.

I loved the garage, frantic sound of your music. I loved that it wasn’t perfectly processed and not perfectly together. My dad always loves when bands sound really “tight”. Kings of Leon, you were not “tight” and that was what made me love you. You were dirty, messy rock ‘n’ roll, and I loved you for it. I was 17 and I loved you with a Cameron Crowe style “Band-aid” passion.

And then, I purchased Because of the Times. I scratched my head and thought, hmm — this is interesting. The band is pulling itself together, true, but I’m not sure how I like the sound. It was a quality album, I will credit it for that. However, it lacked that musical confusion I loved so much on the first two albums.

And then — Oh, Kings of Leon. I do not feel more needs to be said about the most recent album than “sorority girls”, “MTV”, and “Z100”.

I will remember you as you once were and always hold you close to my heart.

Harry Potter – The Book to Film Conundrum

You know those movies that you are so wicked excited for that you jump up and down and go see the first showing on opening day and then freak out about it for another week after you see it?

I felt that way for the first four Harry Potter films. I went to the midnight showing of the fifth (“Order of the Phoenix”) and the Harry Potter fangirl in me sighed in heavy disappointment at the amount of what I’m going to call “book material” left out of the film. I understand that for the sake of a bearable running time and a simpler plot ideas and concepts must be removed, but certain concepts were removed that will drastically affect the presentation of the following films.

It was for this reason that I did not jump out of my skin when the sixth film was released last week. I waited until I was in Nashville to see it, and while I will give it credit for being enjoyable, it also failed me in the same that the prior film had.

The concept of books to film has always interested me. (Maybe it’s because I used to be an English major and now I’m a Media Major. I actually plan to write a thesis on it.) I always want answers as to why — Why is the second half of “Wuthering Heights” always cut out in a film?

In some films, I can understand changes. I’ve read the graphic novel “Watchmen” multiple times, but I also knew not to expect the novel going into see the film. A piece of literature of that nature can simply not be translated into film. As much as I adore movies, there are only so many levels and layers a film can present.

So why have the directors of the Harry Potter films chosen to remove the aspects of the books that they did? Were they looking to future films? Do I have a right to be upset about Harry Potter when I was not bothered by the Watchmen changes in the slightest?

Maybe this is a direct relation to my previous post about not having enough of a backbone to stick to a decision… Politically or fangirl.