November 21 – The Talking Cow

Story Guides

It’s funny how much narration can add to the overall effect of a TV show or movie. That’s why over the next two weeks, we will salute the voices behind our favourite entertainment. This week, we’ll start with TV land, while next week, we move to the big screen. Let’s get things rolling!

#5: How I Met Your Mother

Voiced by Danny Tanner… er, I mean Bob Saget, the audience joins Ted Mosby’s two children as we learn the nine-season long story of how Ted met their mother. I can’t help but think that most story tellers would have cut straight to the chase, especially with the rash of ADD-afflicted teens known to exist nowadays. Through Saget, we join Ted and the gang for all of their triumphs, heartbreaks, and adventures in the Big Apple.

how-I-met-your-mother

#4: The Goldbergs

Mrs. Sip and I have just recently got into this show and are really enjoying it. One of the best elements is the narration provided by my boy Patton Oswalt, as a young Adam Goldberg traverses the awesome decade that was the 1980s! As a child of the 80’s, I can appreciate many elements of this show, including Adam’s passion for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Transformers. All along, we have Oswalt guiding us with the same childlike joy and enthusiasm as the boy he’s doing an adult version of.

#3: Dexter

Through Dexter’s narrations, we learn what’s going on in his troubled mind. We also get to see the side of Dexter he rarely reveals to the outside world. While he gives the impression that he’s kind of robotic, his inside voice tells us that he’s actually got a sense of humour and can even care for the people around him. Some of the best laughs from the series come straight from the mind of our serial killer of serial killers, as he makes quips about the victims he’s hunting and the authorities he’s eluding.

dexter

#2: Arrested Development

From the mind of Ron Howard (almost literally, as he delivers a perfect narration), comes the wacky antics of the Bluth family. With a growing number of characters, as the story progresses, Howard keeps us updated with each development and even manages to add in his own comedy from time to time. Howard even factors into the series, doing double duty, playing himself at some points. The former Opie of The Andy Griffith Show did well for himself and survived the transition from being a child actor.

#1: Wonder Years

Voiced by Daniel Stern of Wet Bandits (Home Alone) fame, this voice guided us through the turbulent 1960’s and 70’s, as Kevin Arnold came of age. From teenage love to surviving high school, we saw – and heard – it all. Although I haven’t seen it in years, I can still recall many of the bombs dropped in the final narration of the series, including the fact that Kevin and Winnie didn’t have a true happily ever after and that Jack Arnold, Kevin’s dad, only lived a couple more years, before passing away.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Talking Cow

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Milk

If I could choose anyone to narrator my life’s story, it just might be the Dos Equis Man! Next week, we move to feature films, where narrators are essential to some stories. Which movies will crack the Top 5? You’ll just have to tune in to find out…

 

January 17 – Attorney Privilege

Order in the Court

With Mrs. Sip’s birthday right around the corner, I thought I’d salute her profession and take a look at the greatest fictional lawyers. I have to preface this piece by saying that I did not include serious legal dramas, such as Law & Order (and all its subsidiaries), The Practice, Boston Legal, etc. So, without further ado, here are the litigators I’d choose to have watching my interests!

#5: Barry Zuckercorn – Arrested Development

Barry Zuckercorn has looked after the legal interests of the Bluth family for decades, but is out of his league when George Sr. is arrested and charged with investment fraud and even treason against the country. After years of negligent representation, Zuckercorn is finally replaced by the smooth, fast-talking Bob Loblaw, although is hired back when Loblaw deserts the Bluth’s. Still, you gotta love a lawyer whose ads ask: “Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?”

Zuckercorn

#4: Dan Fielding & Christine Sullivan – Night Court

One of the things that made Night Court so amazing was the banter back and forth between district attorney Dan Fielding and public defender Christine Sullivan – throw in judge Harold T. Stone and you have the makings of some fine legal repartee. Ironically, it was the sleazy, womanizing Fielding who was actually the prosecutor, while truthful and naïve Sullivan was the public defender. And who couldn’t love that wicked theme song blasted at the start of each episode!

#3: Lionel Hutz – The Simpsons

Lionel Hutz is an ambulance chasing, injury-faking, schyster, who makes every joke about lawyers seem accurate and all contempt hurled towards that profession justifiable. Hutz represented the Simpson family in a variety of suits, including Bart being hit by Mr. Burns vehicle, Bart ingesting a jagged metal Krusty-O cereal toy, and Homer being barred from a seafood buffet. This character could have had so many more great moments had its voice actor Phil Hartman not been tragically killed.

Lionel Hutz

#2: Vincent Gambini – My Cousin Vinny

The gruff, inexperienced lawyer – who seemed to be out of his element in the courtroom – eventually earned the respect of the entire court, including the judge who jailed him for contempt. Vinny’s different style of practicing law saves his wrongly accused cousin from a murder charge and possible death penalty. A sequel to the film never took place, despite a script being written. Marisa Tomei, despite winning an Oscar for her role as Vinny’s girlfriend, was not interested in reprising the character.

#1: Saul Goodman – Breaking Bad

When you represent (among other seedy clients) a pair of meth cooks, you’re bound to get a little dirty yourself… and that’s just the way Saul likes it. Heck, Saul Goodman isn’t even the guy’s real name. If you break it down, he’s really saying “It’s all good, man!” Saul is willing to go to all lengths for his clients, so long as the compensation is there. Saul will be getting his own show soon, aired exclusively on Netflix. So, if you ever find yourself in trouble, you “Better Call Saul!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: Attorney Privilege

Attorney Privilege Shot

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Wow, was this ever a hard list to narrow down… I would also hire Fletcher Reede (Liar Liar), at least before he went all soft; Harvey Birdman (Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law), because the Sip Advisor is really a rejected Hanna-Barbera animated character; and Ben Matlock and Perry Mason, simply because they’re badass lawyers who rarely lose a case, despite having the odds stacked against them!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I decided to go with this shooter, over another recipe, because Mrs. Sip is a fan of Orgeat Syrup and this drink is dedicated to her, after all! It was pretty good and what I would call a Man’s Man shot, what with the classic Bourbon and Angostura Bitters combo. This would make for a Mad Man-esque cocktail, if the proportions were upped.

July 26 – Red Devil

Gingerbread Men

Well, apparently ‘Kick a Ginger Day’ just recently passed, but not being an observer of the holiday, I’d like to turn things in another direction and embrace our pale, freckled friends. Hell, some of them are pretty hot, as we’ll see in next week’s look at ginger females. Today, though, we breakdown the Top 5 ginger dudes… no kicking allowed!

#5: Richie Cunningham – Happy Days

While he may look like the biggest dork, Richie Cunningham is seemingly quite popular, with a group of loyal buddies, girls willing to date him, and particularly the Fonz even wanting (or willing) to be his pal. I guess the 50’s were truly a different time. Ron Howard is a Hollywood icon and is perhaps the most successful child actor of all-time. Whether he’s directing hit movies, returning to Mayberry, or narrating Arrested Development, this ginger has done it all and done it well.

Richie Cunningham

#4: Carrot Top

I urge anyone heading to Las Vegas to check out Carrot Top’s show at The Luxor. Even if you despise prop comedy (and there are certainly detractors of the art form), there’s something about Carrot Top’s energy and creativity that will leave you satisfied and exhausted from laughing. His manic delivery keeps the show running at super speeds and before you know it, the show is over and you’re wanting more redhead comedy.

#3: Ronald McDonald

While ‘Rotten Ronny’ here doesn’t do much for the ginger image – you know, looking all creepy and such – he is a global icon and one that most people identify with joyful childhood memories of Happy Meals, ball pits, and McDonalds birthday parties! While Grimace and the gang have faded into obscurity, Ronald is still a mascot and spokesperson for the brand. For better or worse, we may never bid farewell to the clown prince of hamburgers.

Ronald McDonald Joker

#2: Beaker – The Muppets

Poor Beaker has been suffering through ‘Kick a Ginger Day’ his entire life. Often the victim of Professor Bunsen Honeydew’s madcap inventions, this little lab assistant must absolutely hate going into work each day. Even though he’s a puppet, Beaker managed to appear during a professional wrestling match and help fellow ginger Sheamus pick up a victory thanks to a potion he whipped up. Now that’s some sweet redhead revenge!

#1: Philip J. Fry – Futurama

He may not be the brightest guy out there, but neither am I, so I feel Fry and I share some sort of bond… Brothers in Idiocy or something to that tune. Mrs. Sip and I have been going through all the Futurama episodes lately and it’s really made me appreciate the characters more than I did before. While we haven’t finished the series yet, I hope Fry has a happy ending (and not the naughty kind)… I know this fellow idiot got his!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Red Devil

Red Devil Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Loopy)
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Cranberries

In closing, I have to give a shout out to my little buddy Furious B, a long-haired orange tabby. Wishing you many more adventures, vermin kills, and countless hours napping the day away!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I wanted to make sure the ‘Red’ title was a part of each recipe for these articles… mission accomplished (so far)! The Loopy Vodka (gifted to the Sip Advisor from Cousin Sip) was a nice touch with the Amaretto and I actually squeezed my own Cranberry Juice, which is not as easy to do as one would think. Luckily, I didn’t need much of it for a shooter.

June 14 – Who’s Ya Daddy?

Father Knows Best

Much like we did for Mother’s Day last month, for Father’s Day, we’ll take a peek at some of the worst hombres out there, so we can truly appreciate the male role models in our life. Here are the Top 5 worst dads:

#5: George Bluth, Sr. – Arrested Development

The patriarch of the Bluth family is a prime culprit for why his children have turned out to be so rotten. Sure, mother Lucille isn’t that much better and is perhaps even worse, but George has played a significant role in ruining his kid’s lives. I mean, the series basically kicks off with his arrest for shady business practices and he spends most of the series behind bars or on the run. George’s son Gob could even make the list, although for a long time, Gob didn’t even know he was a father. The problem, is that when he learned of his son’s existence, he still didn’t do much to have a relationship with him and instead carried on in his normal selfish fashion.

George Bluth

#4: Peter Griffin – Family Guy

Forget his complete stupidity and lack of compassion, Peter Griffin is a horrible father in every way possible. The way he treats his daughter Meg, in particular, is criminal (although admittedly, occasionally funny). Peter’s own dad – or at least who he thought was his biological father – was mean-spirited and neglectful to him and it seems Francis Griffin’s childrearing techniques have been passed down a generation. While he seems to mostly get along with his sons Chris and Stewie, they have also been at odds over various issues, as well. Somehow they still find a way to love the dope and thus we have the Family Guy.

#3: Darth Vader – Star Wars

So, first this guy slices off his son’s hand and then drops the bombshell on him that he’s his father! That’s some top-notch caretaking there. It should also be noted that all Darth Vader wants to do is swing Luke Skywalker over to the dark side. That’s like fathers in this day in age bringing their children along for drive-by shootings and bank robberies. Sure, he finally redeems himself a little before his death, but your general silence towards your children pushes them into an unwittingly incestuous moment. I never knew the Star Wars empire resembled that of the backwoods, but apparently it’s not that far off… just look at the Ewoks!

Darth Vader Father

#2: Tywin Lannister – Game of Thrones

There is some good competition for worst father on this show and an entire list could be compiled based on the father figures presented. Tywin Lannister tops them all, though, thanks to his range of bad deeds and prominence in the series. He is quick to pit his children against each other and disregards their feelings if they don’t jive with his aspirations of improving the family name and place in the realm. His abuse of his imp son Tyrion is particularly disturbing as he seems constantly ashamed of Tyrion because of his appearance (as if he can control how he was born) and how it might reflect on him and the family’s standing.

#1: Vince McMahon – World Wrestling Entertainment

While he could very well be the best father in the world off-camera, on screen, Vince McMahon (or Mr. McMahon as he prefers to be known) has been awful towards both his children, as well as his wife, feuding with each of them at one point or another. It’s no wonder that both of his kin have turned on him and even worked together to try and drive him out of business. Shane and Stephanie certainly have their own faults, but the lengths Vince has gone to in order to antagonize his enemies, at the expense of his children, has been psychopathic. He even had daughter Stephanie put up as a blood sacrifice to The Undertaker and fought Shane in a Street Fight.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Who’s Ya Daddy?

Who's Ya Daddy? Shot

  • Rim glass with Caramel Syrup
  • 0.75 oz Cognac
  • 0.75 oz Kahlua

I just want to wish Pa Sip a very happy Father’s Day and thank him for not using any of the men listed above as inspiration! To all the other prod papas out there, enjoy your day and make sure the next generation doesn’t drop the ball!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot was everything you would expect from mixing Cognac and Kahlua together. It was smooth and a little sweet. I used a simple Caramel Syrup rim because dad’s aren’t flashy and this classy shooter deserved an equally refined presentation.

May 10 – Blushing Lady

Motherly Love

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and every single little sipper out there in Sip Nation better be doing something special for their mom. I, personally know the way to Ma Sip’s heart is paved with wine… know your audience, am I right!? To show each and every one of you just how awesome your mom probably is, here are the top five worst mothers:

#5: Lois Wilkerson – Malcolm in the Middle

She’s driven one child to reform school and the three others that still live at home (with a fifth child eventually joining the fray) are wilder than a pack of hyenas. It’s a miracle that Malcolm emerged as a gifted student, although a couple of his other brothers are also intelligent, but use their smarts in other realms. It was rare to see Lois not shouting at the kids or disciplining them. An interesting tidbit about Malcolm in the Middle is that the writers worked very hard to conceal the family’s surname throughout the series, going so far as to have Francis drop his nametag at one point and for the audience to see it say “Nolastname.”

Lois Fate

#4: Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones

Parents are often punished for the crimes of their children and anyone who can produce such an awful, sadomasochistic spawn, such as Joffrey Baratheon, has to have their own issues… like, I don’t know, being in an incestuous relationship with your brother. Oddly, her other son Tommen is the complete opposite to Joffrey, so perhaps he was just a bad apple (there’s one in every bunch). Cersei is certainly a wicked woman, not entirely surprising given her father’s actions and child rearing skills, which include demoralizing his brood every chance he gets and running their lives through power and intimidation.

#3: Peggy Bundy – Married with Children

Peggy’s greatest crime as a mother is that she just doesn’t care about her offspring and is too pre-occupied with spending all of the family’s money on treats for herself, rather than groceries, clothes, and the other needs of her husband and children. Her lack of a job throughout a vast majority of the show’s long run and preference for staying at home and watching Oprah while chowing down on bonbons shows just how lazy she is. Add in her disdain for cooking and cleaning and you have a mom who isn’t really paying her dues for the family.

Peg Bundy

#2: Malory Archer – Archer

Sterling Archer spent most of his life being raised by Woodhouse, his live-in caretaker, and being sent to boarding school, while his mother’s career as an international operative flourished. Malory even left Sterling stranded in a train station one Christmas Eve, as he was trying to make his way home from school for the holidays. In a case fit for the Maury Show, Malory is unsure of who Sterling’s father is and with a couple of options, made up a fictionalized dad, complete with backstory and naval honours. Despite her lack of affection for her son, Malory has made sure that Sterling has been dependent on her for most of his adult life.

#1: Lucille Bluth – Arrested Development

Lucille is really only loved by one of her children and even Buster has his moments where he can’t stand the nasty, alcoholic matriarch of the Bluth family. She is quick to criticize all of her kin (also including Gob, Lindsay, and Michael) and also has a habit of turning them against each other. Most of the messes the Bluth family wind up in is caused by Lucille, particularly her pilfering of the family company’s funds to support her lavish lifestyle. Played by Jessica Walters, who also provides the voice for Malory Archer, it would seem this lady has the market cornered on awful mother characters… bet she’s nice in real life, though.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Blushing Lady

Blushing Lady Shot

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with a Strawberry Slice

Perhaps next year, we’ll take a look at the flip side of this coin, the warm and loving mothers (your Marge Simpson’s, Kitty Forman’s, etc. of the world) to further provide examples of how to be a great mom. Either that, or we’ll examine the reality TV “real life” moms out there that are cringe worthy with every act they commit. Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely ladies out there that deserve the title!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Yet another cocktail I’ve had to convert into a shot… clearly there are some noticeable voids in the mixology world that the Sip Advisor will have to fill! This shot was pretty good with a bitter aftertaste from the Grapefruit Juice. That’s what kind of takes the rating down a little.

June 7 – Blue Angel

Blue Me Away

If I was forced to choose, I’d have to say that blue is one of my favourite colours. And why not? It’s the colour of my eyes, I look good in clothes of that hue, and some of my preferred things in existence match that shade. Speaking of which, here are some awesome matter that come in blue.

Cookie Monster

Readers should be quite familiar with my affinity for cookies and their patron saint, the Cookie Monster. I wish the Cookie Monster was a real being, who would hang out with me as we debated the facts of life over a plate of cookies and side glass of milk. We’d be the best of buds: me baling him out of jail after a cookie bender; he driving me to the hospital after a bout of alcohol poisoning. Ah, the memories.

Cookie-monster-bedtime

Bluegrass Music

I love this music, but I can’t put a finger on exactly why. Perhaps it gets to the core of the southern boy in me, happy to sip moonshine out of a jug, while Earl and Emmitt twang the strings on their banjos. Then we go swimming in the ol’ cement pond, farmer tans proudly exposed to the world as we swing from tires hung from trees. A simple existence, but an amazing one!

Blueberries

While they aren’t my favourite berry, they’re my favourite blue berry! *rimshot* Seriously, though, blueberries are pretty good and they’re full of healthy crap. They are said to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, aiding in combating the symptoms of heart disease and even depression. For this, we salute the little blueberry, especially the vodkas and other liqueurs that have been created from its flavouring.

Josh Blue

This comedian burst onto the scene, winning the 2006 edition of reality show Last Comic Standing, and later made recurring appearances on Mind of Mencia, hosted by fellow comic Carlos Mencia. Not only is Blue a top joker, making light of his cerebral palsy, but Blue was also a member of the 2004 US Paralympic Soccer Team.

The Sky

We’ve all been mesmerized by the sky at one point or another in our lives. Looking up and watching white, fluffy clouds float across the blue atmosphere. If not for blue sky, we wouldn’t have picturesque beautiful days to truly appreciate. When we’ve angered that blue sky, it turns grey and drops venomous precipitation upon us. The sky cries and we cry with it.

Blue Man Group

While I’ve never seen their show yet, I wish to one day catch it. With the frequency that Mrs. Sip and I are in Las Vegas, we’re bound to catch a performance eventually. One of the best ongoing gags in Arrested Development was Tobias working as an understudy of the Blue Man Group and constantly getting his blue paint all over the family home.

"I'm afraid I just blue myself!"

“I’m afraid I just blue myself!” – Tobias Funke

Blue Jeans

Perhaps my favourite article of clothing ever, jeans, is awesome because everyone can look good in a pair of them. Just find the right size and style and you’ll have more swagger than a college football quarterback. It’s always a sad day when a pair of blue jeans has run its course in the Sip wardrobe. On the plus side, that means a new pair is on the horizon, set for an unfathomable volume of adventures.

Blue Curacao

Of course something from the world of alcohol had to make this list. I like Blue Curacao, perhaps even more so, knowing that Mrs. Sip doesn’t like the spirit. Sometimes I try to slip it into her drinks just to later throw it in her face that she just drank the substance! I could have also mentioned Blue Agave, crucial to the production of tequila, but Blue Curacao factors into today’s drink!

Drink #158: Blue Angel

Blue Angel Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with Orange Wedge and Raspberry

While there is much to like about the colour blue, there are also some things to hate, that try to sneak into this awesome classification. Bleu cheese, for instance, is downright disgusting. Similarly, the Toronto Blue Jays are among my least favourite sports franchises thanks to the club being crammed down my throat as ‘Canada’s baseball team’. These true blues can burn in red hell, as far as I’m concerned!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
The Blue Curacao does what it can, but I’m still not a fan of champagne-based drinks. If anyone out there has a never fail champagne cocktail recipe, please pass it along, so that I can finally enjoy the bubbly as it was meant to be appreciated.

April 12 – Black Magic

Magically Delicious

Love them or hate them, illusionists exist… unless their existence is, in fact, an illusion itself. Whoa… mind blown… better get on with the post before they make what’s left of my mind disappear, too! So tip your glass to some of the best real and fictional tricksters!

Harry Houdini

Any list about magicians realistically starts and ends with Harry Houdini. I remember as a kid being fascinated by Houdini, who I read about in a library book. For those that know the ol’ Sip Advisor well, the fact I was reading at all is a modern day miracle. Greatest illusion: The Milk Can Escape – where Houdini would be handcuffed and sealed inside a milk can filled with water. Failure, surely meant death.

houdinimilkcan

His assistants look uber evil!

David Copperfield

The Las Vegas legend is one of the most famous and successful illusionists of all time. His greatest illusion should really be his engagement to Claudia Schiffer (lucky bastard), but I digress! Greatest illusion: Vanishing Statue of Liberty – Thankfully, Copperfield wasn’t considered a terrorist for making this national landmark disappear.

Burt Wonderstone & Anton Marvelton

After years of going through the motions of their act, Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton reunite in a bid to outdo endurance artist and street magician Steve Gray. With the help of the legendary Rance Holloway, they show that Gray’s style of pain “magic” will never overtake their efforts in the classical trickery department. Greatest illusion: Disappearing Audience – in unusual Sip Advisor form, I won’t spoil the details of this illusion.

Penn & Teller

Turning to a real life amazing duo, Penn and Teller’s mix of magic, mayhem and comedy is perfect for all fans of the art. After seeing them live in Las Vegas, where Mrs. Sip became a part of the act, I can totally vouch for them as top rate performers. They’re always changing up and perfecting their show, so you never know what you might see. Greatest illusion: Bullet Catch – I wonder if Teller ever gets to shoot at Penn!?

G.O.B. Bluth

The hapless magician from Arrested Development is searching for his father’s love and respect… and thinks a career as an illusionist will help him accomplish it. G.O.B.’s act (or lack thereof, since he was kicked out of the Magician’s Alliance for divulging the secret to one of his tricks… oh sorry “illusion”) is a lot of smoke and mirrors, but he can be credited with bringing back the Europe hit “Final Countdown”! Greatest Illusion: Disappearing Yacht – okay, so he actually just blew the thing up for insurance money, but the crowd still roared its approval!

gob-bluth

David Blaine

An illusionist of the street magician and endurance stunt variety, I’ve always found David Blaine creepy. He just seems too “power of zen” for my liking. Still, the guy has done some crazy stuff. Greatest illusion: Vertigo – the guy stood atop a massive pillar in high winds and cold temperatures for 35 hours straight… I couldn’t even be lazy that long and Mrs. Sip would tell you I’m pretty good at that.

Criss Angel

Ever been mind freaked!? I can’t say that it’s a position I’ve ever tried, but apparently it made this dude popular. Greatest illusion: Walking on Water – for a guy who often purports to be Jesus-like, he might as well give this a shot. Quite frankly I would be more impressed if he could turn that water into wine!

Drink #102: Black Magic

Black Magic Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberry)
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist

This drink is a member of the Black Russian family and was quite enjoyable. Its greatest illusion was giving me a sense of inebriation… that, and super powers.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I love the Lemon Twist garnish I used for this cocktail. This drink reminded me of the Brave Bull recipe I did earlier this year and both tasted good. The Raspberry Vodka added a nice twist to the concoction and worked well with the Kahlua.