The Gull Reef Club

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9/17/2019 · 2:03 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
sometimes waiting and watching is all you can do. The weather has been oscillating quite a bit this... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · Good Bye Blue Sky
It's summer. We don't adventure much in the summer. It's too hot & buggy. We hibernate and wait... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 2:25 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
So how goes the summer of adventure? Inquiring minds want to know.... | Read More

6/6/2018 · 12:46 am· Michael (Net2007) · My friend, my friend, (s)he’s got a knife
I've often felt this way, it's strange and divisive times in many ways. As far as this goes, I... | Read More

7/12/2017 · 4:22 pm· Trouble · Half of Us Are Wrong or in the Alternative, Half of Us Are Right
I've been following the saga and cataloging links of interest that contain more than mere rhetoric.... | Read More


Leave Her Dead

Filed under: — Jaime @ 7:56 am

Kudos to CNN for NOT succumbing to the Princess Diana 10 year death anniversary extravaganza. The other two big cable news networks, MSNBC (my normal morning viewing choice) and Fox are both playing live coverage of the memorial circus. Serious laziness. Me thinks the folks at MSNBC and Fox were attempting to extend their holiday weekends. Blech.


Stomach to Heart

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:01 pm

It’s been a killer week at ‘real life’ work and it’s only Tuesday. It’s times like these that I realize that I am so fortunate that I have Mike. He makes coming home from a hard day absolutely wonderful.

The old adage says that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. By the grace of providential timing of my birth, I can personally attest that I live in an era that the same holds true for women. It’s fabulous that I can live in a time where men are not ashamed to cook for their women. Even further – some men, real men like Mike, pride themselves on their cooking.

While at work yesterday, Mike asked what I wanted for dinner. Too flustered to think it though, I told him I wanted something ‘Chicago’ merely based on the fact that the Bears would be playing that evening in an exhibition game against the Colts. I come home later to find that he has spent the last hour and a half preparing the one food I didn’t get during our Chicago trip – White Castles. This is why Mike is amazing and I am likely the luckiest woman alive to have him. He somehow managed to recreate a White Castles dinner for us – right down to the mini holes in the mini burgers. I’d say he was 97% there. Next time we’ll make the pickles a bit smaller, the cheese a bit more generic, and steam them more. But overall – my oh my – he had it right. A perfectly complimentary dinner to a Chicago Bears game.

Then tonight. Feeling guilty for having such a gluttonous dinner on Monday, when asked again what I wanted for dinner, I told Mike we should opt for something healthy, like shrimp skewers. Fortunate as ever, Mike was kind enough to head to the seafood shop to pick up fresh Georgia shrimp. He has been experimenting with sauces as of late and tonight he may have toppped himself again. He came up with a citrus pepper simple syrup that was to die for. Hopefully, he will chime in with details, but as far as I recall, the sauce was a simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar boiled down) with a lime, lemon, jalapeno and habenero (both peppers fresh from the garden). I should also add that the sugar was turbinado infused with a vanilla bean. After simmering all these ingredients together, he strained the mix and grilled the shrimp in it. We reserved some to use as a dipping sauce. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it was. Almost like spicy wassail. The main course was complimented by garlic toast and roasted portobellos. I could eat that dinner every day for weeks and not get sick of it.

Thank you Mike for giving me something to look forward to after truly hard days at work. I am so incredibly lucky to have you and more and more madly in love with you with every day.

So on this note – we’re expecting have a seriously-extra-kick-ass Thanksgiving this year with word an old friend will be down for the event. Anyone else in? :D


Hammett, Hammett & Hammett

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:35 pm

My vacation reading consisted of a triple header of Dashiell Hammett detective novels – The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and Red Harvest. Collectively – fabulously, fluffy holiday reads. A eyeful of delightful 30′s slang.

The Maltese Falcon

Meet Sam Spade. An iconic detective; catalyst for all sleuth stereotypes for decades to come. In fact, the whole novel seems to be the catalyst for flatfoot fiction novel stereotypes. Sam Spade is everything a detective of this era is supposed to be – sexist, sarcastic, and smart. It was delightful to read this book if only because it was like witnessing the genesis of almost every old time radio detective show ever recorded.

The actual plot line was a bit weak and rather predictable. I think this may be the case with most detective novels of the era, however. It was the character development and discourse among the characters that made this novel worth it. And for what it’s worth, Sam Spade’s supposed to be blonde so get those images of Humphrey Bogart out of your head before reading this.

The Thin Man

Almost equally as famous to Sam Spade in the world of fiction detectives, are Nick and Nora Charles. Hammett again shows his remarkable aptitude toward character development and delightful repartee. Nick Charles is a boozy, surly ex-detective dragged back into the realm of gumshoeing reluctantly. Like all good novels of the sort, he solves the crime, but does so in a really pissed off, stubborn sort of way. Nick’s hard edge is complimented by his socialite wife, Nora Charles. She certainly isn’t any softer than Nick. In fact, for a female character in this era in this kind of novel, she is rather unique. She is strong, unyielding, and takes no-nonsense from her hard-headed husband. Nora is an absolute delight and the interplay between her and Nick kicks a typical detective story up a few notches.

As part of the character development, Hammett made the Charleses complete booze hounds. A number of mornings for Nick and Nora had them drinking their breakfast. They continued this way throughout their day. And they weren’t just drinking the low alcohol content beer and wine. Oh no, they were professionals all the way – mixed cocktails morning noon and night. All this despite – or more so in spite of – the time frame of the story being set during the Prohibition.

Nick: “…I want a drink, please…”
Nora: “Why don’t you have some breakfast first…”
Nick: “…It’s too early for breakfast.”

Red Harvest

The least famous of these three novels, Red Harvest, was probably my favorite. While I ate up the incredible characters of the first two books, this book not only had the character development, but also had a great story line. I am really surprised to learn that this was never made into a movie. It would make an awesome story, even if it were modernized. It was only part detective novel, and also part gang war with the usual companion of official corruption. Funny thing is – the reader is never told the lead detective’s name. Quite a clever little addition not thrown in by Hammett. The title is misleading – it has nothing to do with Communism.

All three books were chock full of 30′s slang, which I think is the bee’s knees. Phrases like ‘dodging a rumpus’ ‘crack the hoosegow’ and ‘this is the bunk’ made all of these novels the cat’s meow. Made me think of Cyan – she’ll know why.

I’ve had my fill of detective novels for awhile and will be moving onto something else soon enough. I just don’t know what. Any recommendations, beachcombers?


Honeysuckle Heartbreak

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:02 pm

To Whomever authorized the destruction of the fence along the Congress Street side of the parking lot between Lincoln and Habersham:

You authorized the destruction of at least 30 year old honeysuckle vines for no good reason. Honeysuckles that perfumed the air every spring and brought joy to anyone who passed there.

I defy you to explain to me why you had to kill such gorgeous plants. Whether you plan on paving over your lot, building a structure on it, or making it a camp for wayward clowns, there is no excuse for doing what you’ve done. You should be ashamed of yourself. When you die, may someone decorate your grave with asphalt and parking blocks. You deserve no flowers.


Chicago, Visually

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:54 pm

Ok, last of my Chicago/vacation posts…maybe…

I put up some pictures of the city on my Picasa Web Album. If you have a gmail account you can login and make comments. Otherwise, leave your comments here. I’d love to hear what you think. Beautiful city, ain’t it?



Daily Loan

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:01 pm

It’s Saturday night and I’m home, so I’m watching HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Tonight’s featured fight is between Rey Batista and Daniel Ponce De Leon (which was so short and lame it was over by the time I finished this post).

The winner of tonight’s fight made me think of my 8th grade social studies teacher. When he was teaching us about new world explorers, he of course covered the legendary Juan Ponce DeLeon. My teacher was an ancient man who had an unusual way of pronouncing certain words. Ponce DeLeon to him was Ponce Da Daily Loan. Would it surprise you to learn he retired a few years after my 8th grade year?


Grass is Greener Where?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:40 pm

A little more on our Illinois excursion…

While it was a pleasure being able to see friends and family, every time I go back up there, I am more and more convinced that I couldn’t live there any more. Well, maybe in Chicago, but never ever ever ever in the suburbs again. The suburbs are crowded, treeless, expensive, and all alike. Is having an all white neighborhood in a ‘good’ school district worth sacrificing your soul? Apparently to many it is. I’ll keep my soul, thankyouverymuch.

Traffic is a beast up there. Every highway is crowded and under construction. The roads that aren’t under construction are ridden with pot holes and tar snakes. The concept of tollroads have become foreign to me. What a sham that whole I-Pass thing is. I’ll concede that the abilities of Illinois drivers far exceed those of Georgia drivers. Georgia drivers are slow, rarely pay attention, and are under insured.

The terrain up there has changed so much from when I was a kid. The far south suburbs used to be Tinley Park and Orland. Now it extends well south of I-80. Corn and bean fields used to ring the burbs. Now it’s just rows and rows of cookie-cutter houses. Another concession I’ll make to Illinois is the quality of the lawns. My god, are the lawns beautiful. Lush, green, soft, fire ant free. Sure beats the hell out of the sandy, insect-ridden sawgrass that passes for lawns down here. Of course, the rest of our vegetation is enough to put Illinois to shame. Trees with out moss or fronds are just funny looking.

One thing I didn’t miss while I was up there were the southern accents. I love hearing the raw blue collar Chicago accents. It’s not just the accents, either. It’s the whole way of speaking. There is this no nonsense, straight up way of talking that Chicagoans and suburbanites have that I really miss. Southerners can really beat around the bush and be rather phony in their niceness sometimes. Sometimes I just don’t care how you’re doing and I hate to have to ask.

Moving away from the suburbs and into the city, Chicago is hands-down, one of the finest big cities in the nation. Not that I have a lot of experience with big cities, but do I need any? Chicago’s awesomeness speaks for itself. The architecture is stunning. The lakefront is exquisite. The public transport is to be envied. Grant Park feels like home. I made my first excursion ever into Millennium Park and was none too impressed, however. It was a mish-mash of corporate sponsorships masked as bridges and walkways. The Bean was unimpressive and the water-park/fountain seemed like a disease outbreak waiting to happen. Still, a great city overall. Too bad winter happens there the way it does.

I’ve covered about all I can cover for tonight. I’ll try to post a few pics later and then stop dragging you through my vacation memories. Thanks for riding along, beachcombers.


Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:43 pm

Just got home from Illinois…Chicago and the Chicagoland area. A fabulous, fattening trip to be sure. The vacation was nearly perfect. There’s so much to share, but the food is worth mentioning first. Obviously, Illinois can’t beat Savannah in the ways of seafood, fried chicken, fresh citrus, and peanuts. It does, however, kick serious ass when it comes to beef, dairy, and corn.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating fresh, northern Illinois sweet corn, I do pity you. It literally bursts with flavor in your mouth – juicy, crisp, and sweet as melon. There’s never any chewy kernel or flatness like the corn we get here in Georgia. It nearly brings tears to your eyes it’s so good.

I managed to get most of my favorite Illinois foods while there – AJ’s gyros and a pizza puff; Dunkin Donuts coffee and donuts; a Chicago style hot dog via Trader Dogs; Aurelio’s pizza; Beggar’s pizza*; Pop’s Italian beef; BBQ ribs, steak, brats, Polish sausage, Italian sausage, and chicken; and Garrett’s popcorn. And yes, I’m probably about 15 pounds heavier than when I left. Nice thing about Savannah in the summer is that I will sweat it all off by the end of the week.

My only complaint is that all the restaurants up there serve Pepsi. I’m deeply entrenched in Coke country and Pepsi is second to swill as far as I’m concerned. I tried to stick to iced tea and lemonade. Funny thing is – I couldn’t break the habit of specifically asking for ‘unsweet’ iced tea when I was up there, despite the fact that most iced tea up north comes that way. If I fail to make that specification down here, I’d be served tea that would make your teeth fall out.

Gastronomically, it was one of the nicest trips I’ve ever made. I’ll try to post more about it later this week.

*I also had Lou Malnati’s which was an embarrassment to the word pizza, and not worth discussing.

The Gull Reef Club