Tag Archives: 1950s

Sunday Serenade: Love Letter

This is the kind of letter you want to get.

My favorite song from my favorite group discovered in 2013 would have to be, hands down, “Love Letter,” by Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes.

Proving that music truly is the international language (sorry, math. Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes are a fantastically entertaining Australian band that plays a great retro American soul sound.Maybe when we go interstellar.), Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes are an Australian band that performs the hottest retro American soul this side of the Commitments. (A tremendous movie, featuring 9 white guys from Dublin forming a great soul band.)

Clairy and the Rackettes are a sultry set of sirens who enjoy strutting on stage and playing up the 1950s vibe so deeply imbedded in American soul.

Here’s just a sample. For more info, you can find the band on (ugh) Facebook.

Enjoy.

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Pajama Party

I could spend every day in my pajamas.

But I don’t.

As a stay-at-home dad, I don’t have to dress up to go to work because I’m already at work and, for most of the years I was the SAHD (not really sad with a Southern accent like it looks), wearing a tie would only give the little dudes something else to grab.

As a freelance writer and editor, I don’t have to change out of my pajamas because most of my work takes place at the computer screen.

Heck, I’ve even seen people wearing pajamas when they’re out shopping or getting the groceries. So wearing pajamas out and about is now a pretty mainstream thing.

I, however, do change out of my pajamas. I do get dressed every morning in clothing different from what I wore the day before. And, no, I’m not expecting a medal for it. I merely wanted to set the scene before I got into this.

I recently read an article on the Huffington Post by Aaron Gouveia. He’s a dad who now is able to work from home instead of going in to an office.  And he decided it would be okay to wear his pajamas while walking his kid to the bus stop. The occasion of his column, though, was sparked by having to defend this practice from his wife, who objected thoroughly.

The only ones out at the bus stop are our neighbors on the other side of our duplex. We live on a quiet street with hardly any traffic, so it’s not like I’m setting up shop in Times Square. But even if we did live in a highly trafficked area, I mean — THEY’RE PAJAMAS!!

I told her I work hard, and up until now I’ve had to get up early and get dressed in button-down shirts and slacks with dress shoes to head into the office. The beauty of working from home, I told her, is the ability to just laze around like a bum while I do my work. It doesn’t make sense to me to get dressed just to go out to the bus stop, to impress our neighbors (who don’t care what I look like) and 15 elementary school kids who are too busy talking to notice my Patriots PJs.

Sorry, dude, but you’re wrong. Very, very wrong.

The issue here, to me, is that Aaron is confusing what’s good for him with what’s good for everyone else. He might be able to laze around in his pajamas during the day and that’s great. However, no one else wants to see him in his pajamas.

He might assume that the kids on the bus are too busy talking to notice him standing around in his pajamas, but, allow me to assure you, they notice. And they’re saying they notice to Aaron’s young child.

I’m going to have to agree with Aaron’s wife here. People should take a minimal amount of pride in how they look when they go outside and face the world. Yes, I realize that to many folks who have known me for a while this comes as a shock. What can I say? I’ve managed to mature a bit over the years, despite my best efforts otherwise.

Going outside means you’re interacting with other people. I’m not advocating that women must be fully made up and in pressed clothing or men should always have a clean shave and be wearing a tie. Clearly. However, I do suggest the least you can do when you go outside is wear a shirt and some pants.

You might be perfectly comfortable walking around in pajamas, but I assure you that not everyone you meet is nearly as comfortable. This is what it means to live in a society.

We don’t always get to do what we want. We have to sometimes moderate our behavior or appearance, to think of others’ comfort.

Otherwise, I’d probably be lumbering around in a gorilla suit most days. And no one wants that.

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Where Am I?

The question isn’t is this embarrassing. No, the question is one of degree.

Just how embarrassing is it to get lost in your own “hometown?”

Even worse, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. I’m beginning to think I might have a problem.

The first time was when I was in junior high school. (For those of you unfamiliar, that was the school between elementary [k-6] and high school [10-12].)

We had some friends come in from out of town. They wanted to go to Six Flags over Texas, which was just outside of the small suburb of Dallas where I grew up.

We managed to make it there all right, with only a few minimal disruptions. The problem came when we headed home and there weren’t any more signs leading us to our destination. This was (way, way, way) before cell phones or the like, so we were on our own. The older kids from out of town didn’t know which way to go and they looked to me for answers.

I turned around to see who they were looking at behind me. I had a vague notion of the direction to go, but it wasn’t all that good of a vague notion. I was asked — repeatedly and forcefully — how I could live in a town and not know my way around it. Mostly it was because I wasn’t driving yet and spent most of my car time with my nose buried in an actual paper book.

We didn’t starve to death. We eventually found our way home (hours and hours after curfew, but the parents had been too busy partying to really worry) and all was good.

Until the last weekend when I got that horrible flashback feeling. My friend, Pitt (who I’ve known since high school and who recently moved here from Pittsburgh) and I were headed to a fundraiser put on by the P Strong Foundation to raise money to support research into rare cancers.

I was in the driving seat, a position with which I was intimately familiar considering I’d been driving for more than three decades. I thought I knew my way around Charlotte. Turns out, I was wrong.

Pitt, who’s been here less than two years, knew where the event was. It was Pitt who knew where to park and how to get from the parking garage to the Bal Masque Gala at the Marriott City Center.

The first one I can blame on youth. The second time? I’m still going to blame that one on youth. Not my own, of course, but my young dudes. See, I’ve been so busy rearing the young dudes since I came to Charlotte fifteen years ago that I never got a chance to really know my way around the city. Unless you counted the areas around the Chuck E Cheese and other young-dude attractions.

That counts, right? You dudes are buying that, yeah? Right?

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