The Gull Reef Club

5/23/2018

The Gull Reef AV Club

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:24 pm

Here are some updates on what I’ve been reading, viewing and listening to here at the Gull Reef Club.

Viewing
The Terror. Monday night was the last episode of the 10 episode mini-series on AMC. To say this show has been amazing, would be insufficient. This series was a fictionalized history of the doomed Franklin Expedition, with a twist of horror thrown in. It just so happened that this series premiered around the same time as my budding maritime history fascination, so watching this has been a perfect match. It is a testament to how wonderful this show was, knowing everyone dies in the end (no that is not a spoiler, that is history), and I was still compelled to watch every minute of it. I feel that emptiness that I always feel after a really compelling series has ended. I want more, but I also really liked how it ended and will eventually be satisfied with it. Word is AMC is considering doing another history-based mini-series next year or possibly a prequel to the Franklin Expedition (maybe covering the Ross expedition?). If they can make one of the caliber of The Terror, I’m in.

I’ve also watched every episode so far, but the last one from last night, of the revived Roseanne sitcom. I grew up watching this show, and it is delightful to see everyone assembled again in the current phases of their lives. The show always did a good job of making working class lives feel normal. So many other family sitcoms seem to lecture on how they think you should live or are cartoonishly unreal, Roseanne never did that. They more mirrored everyday life, and are not afraid to touch the normal third rails of TV. The honesty is refreshing, even if it is slightly uncomfortable. Remember the lyrical lesson from Jimmy Buffett – if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

I think I have mentioned before that I also am a regular viewer of LivePD. I think I will refrain from discussing this one in depth because it is worthy of its own post someday. I like the show, but I hate it too. Remind me to tell you why.

Listening
Nive and the Deerchildren. I love the connectivity of our modern world, and Nive Nielsen is a perfect example of this. While watching the Terror, I noted one of the stars of the show is named Nive Nielsen. Nive is an unusual name, and the only person I’ve ever met who had it is a cousin of mine. I went down the rabbit hole to learn a little more about this uniquely monikered actress. I learned that she is far more than an actress, and in fact, considers herself a musician first. After hearing some of her music, I was an instant fan. Nive & the Deerchildren defy some of the arbitrary rules I have made for myself regarding music I will listen to. I normally dislike modern female singers (sorry, just the way it is) and I also really dislike whispering over microphones. In fact, I really hate the sound of any voice whispering. It makes me nauseous for the most part. Yet, with Nive & the Deerchildren, I could listen all day. If I were to describe it, I would call their sound Space Folk. Give them a listen. You won’t regret it.

Oscar Alemán. I first learned of Oscar Alemán about six months or so ago when I was looking into different artists’ covers of the Irving Berlin song, Russian Lullaby. Alemán’s version is one of the best I’ve ever heard, and his mastery of the guitar prompted me to look into him further. Like Nive, but for entirely different reasons, I became a very fast fan of Alemán’s as well. Check this guy out too. You also won’t regret it.

Reading
Okefenokee Books. These next two entries are a bit old, from earlier this year. I read two children’s books, both with the Okefenokee Swamp as the theme/setting.
The first was Into the Okefenokee: A Story of War Time and the Great Georgia Swamp, Louis Pendleton. This was a “I didn’t mean to get sucked in” book. It was one of those miserable, cold, winter days we had earlier this year and I was looking to kill some time. I was searching Archive.org for something Okefenokee related to read since our trip was coming up. I came across Pendleton’s book and gave the first chapter a read. Probably because it was a children’s book, it was really easy and I found it a good enough story that I kept on. A short time later, and I was done with it. That’s the nice thing about children’s books, they are so easy to read.

This was an endearing tale of two young brothers lost in the swamp during the end of the Civil War. There they meet some confederate deserters and their family’s slave Asa (since freed), who was taken captive by the deserters. The tale is of the boys and Asa’s escape from the swamp and back to civilization. This was very much a feel-good story, with the boys and Asa as heroes. I should warn you, if you have a soft spot for animals and hunting bothers you, don’t read this. Some of the hunting side-stories in this book are brutal by today’s standards. I would have been perfectly happy if I died not knowing what a gander pull was. Know I know. Don’t look it up. It will sicken you. Regardless, nice book, easy read.

Swampy and Babs in Okefenokee, Zan Heyward. Mike found me this little gem as a hardcover, original print. I later learned it was one of twelve children’s books that were available by subscription only. It’s a little hard to track down information about this, but it appears it was part of some promotional writings commissioned by or for the Okefenokee Swamp. I would love to get my hands on the other 11 books eventually.

This was also an easy read, with charming children characters. The focus is Swampy, a boy raised by his grandfather and mother near the swamp. In this book, a little girl, the daughter of a family friend, named Babs comes to stay with Swampy’s family for the summer. Babs is a city girl, but takes to the swamp immediately. Their adventures involve scouting out and helping set up a camp for some researchers who want to come into the swamp. While doing so, they encounter gator poachers and have to deal with that before they can get camp set up. Since it’s a children’s book, there is a happy ending and everyone gets what they wanted, except the evil poachers, of course. I doubt you’ll ever run across this book, or any in the series, but if you do, grab it.

I guess that is all for now. Stay tuned, I know there will be another update eventually.

The Gull Reef Club