The Giving…

Since this was your first Thanksgiving, I thought I would give you a little snapshot of what it was like.  First of all, you slept through most of it, which your Mom and I are thankful that you sleep so much, but we do, at times, feel a little spoiled because you always seem to cry for a reason.  Throughout most of the event, you were sound asleep and when you were awake, you were bouncing from arm to arm and behaving quite nicely.  I hope it’s a sign for things to come.

Grandpa and Grandma Hogg are in England, so we had Thanksgiving here at the Hoggcienda.  Megan, Fargo and Nico were here for the day and Sarah and Captain Ron rolled over for desert and drinks.  We had quite the feast– the first course were Bacon Wrapped Scallops and a Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with a Cheese Plate.  The main course was a Pre-Brined Turkey with the Smith family recipe Stuffing.  The sides were Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Almonds, Sweet Potato Casserole and three different types of cranberry sauce, including the old must-have– jellied cranberry sauce from the can.  Mmmmmm Delicious!  Desert was freshly made Pumpkin Pie and Cherry Pie with homemade Whipped Cream– again, Delicious!

Papa was so full that I actually got sick later in the evening– it was really too much sugar for one day for me, so i got quite ill, but I felt much better.  Sometimes you just have to make the call and puke and rally.  I see you do that every couple of days– and believe me, I get it! 😉

It was really one of the best Thanksgivings I have had from about as long as I can remember– good food, taking it easy and having a couple of drinks.  No family drama and good times for all– and the turkey was one of the best I have made ever.  17lbs of pure goodness–I think from now on I will always go for a 20lb bird– there is never enough leftovers!  I would love to live off of the famous Smith family Turkey sandwiches… You take a 2 pieces of White Trash Bread (read:Wonder Bread), lather them liberally with mayo, heat up some turkey pieces (to take the edge off) with a generous amount of stuffing, stack it liberally on the bread– add salt and a couple of cranberry slices— wholla– delightful.

The other awesome leftover is to take the some turkey pieces and fry in butter, margarine until hot, add leftover Mashed Potatoes and form into pancake like shapes, scrape the taters every couple of minutes, the potatoes will brown beautifully, keep stirring until its a lite brown crispy goodness, add some left over dinner roles and wholla– the Hogg take on bubble and squeak.

Fargo did an amazing job with the old fashioned’s– we knocked back a 1/5 of Fremont Whiskey and half of a fifth of Crown Royal, which no doubt was the chief reason for my total sickness.  That much sugar would be enough to kill a small donkey– but I charged on.  Cooking was intense, but it was such a pleasure to make such a nice meal– small groups are what it is all about these days.  I think anymore people for dinner would have made it that much more complex, so I am glad that we had a small group– I spent the majority of time in the kitchen.

I thought about you several times yesterday– how fast all of this is going by since you were born– it will be 8 weeks tomorrow!  Hard to believe that you have been outside of Momma for 8 weeks now– the first couple months are supposed to be the hardest– but I think we have been really lucky.  You just let out the biggest burp I think I have heard from you — possibly ever.  It’s stuff like that that simply makes you so freaking adorable.  Hard to believe I waited this long to have kids– and maybe some of that is because maybe I didn’t meet the right person until i met your mother– but whatever the reason, here you are and you are the best damn thing ever.

Next year, I think Thanksgiving will be a lot more complicated.  You will be almost 14 months old at that point, which means you will not be sleeping through most of the giving– instead, you will be running around, reeking havok everywhere and than you will be eating Thanksgiving– and probably making Mashed Potato castles with Turkey Gravy moat… Oh the joy!


The Rum Diary













The Rum Diary has been on my radar for the last couple of years. Johnny Depp had talked about wanting to do the film a few years after the great gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson took his own life. The Rum Diary was the first work by Thompson, fiction, and it was rejected numerous time and ended up in a bin in the attic.  When Depp and Thompson were working on filming “Fear and Loathing”, Depp found the old manuscript, which Thompson has completely forgotten about.  He read it, loved it and wanted to make a film of it– but the filming didn’t actually start until well after Thompson blew his brains out.

The story is a simple one, the down and out yet honest versus greed.  Fear and Loathing Volume 1, if you will.  The most memorable line of the film was something along the lines of “In America, there is no more dream, just greed.”  The book has many more deep quotes than the film– see here:

The was that film is shot makes it an instant classic– something we don’t seem to see or care about in this age of remakes and blockbusters.  The film, like the story itself is simple on it’s face, yet deals with a complexity in it’s background that we could be mistaken.  The characters of the film are so perfectly crafted that it is easy enough to simply sit back and watch their performance without really paying any attention whatsoever to what is happening around them– Puerto Rico is an angry place in this story– the natives are restless because the greed and gringo capitlaism that is coming into their lives is not welcome.  The press outlet that Depp’s character, Kemp, is assigned to is under constant protest, for what, exactly, it is never declared in the film– but it is the underlying tone, greed and corruption, that is the primary cause for the native unrest.

Kemp is almost immediately corralled into the corruption as he is lobbied by group to write up some brochures/propaganda for the sole use of selling property that will soon be relinquishment by the United States government on Vieques Island.   More information about Vieques is here:,_Puerto_Rico.  Basically, it was used as a bombing range by the United States for many years– and two thirds of the island is still owned by the government– but even in the late 60’s when this book was penned,  companies were hot to get their hands on some of that property and expand– even with the bombing still occurring– the film does show this, but only for one scene– after all, Hollywood doesn’t like to get too political these days.

Although the film grossed less than 5million in it’s opening, will become a cult classic, I believe.  It is a modern take on the classic style of film making, think Bogart and Bacall.  I will anxiously await the Blu-Ray and keep it in my minimal collection– it is just that pleasurable of a film.