August 29 – After Work Special

Lame Labour

Admittedly, the Sip Advisor isn’t content with his current career. Apparently, I’m not alone, as there is a lot of literature out there about why people hate their occupation and what they should do about it. With Labour Day rapidly approaching, here are some other folks that really hated their job:

#5: Walter White – Breaking Bad

Before moving to a life of crime and meth production, Walter was a high school chemistry teacher. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he had previously been on the cutting edge of the science world, before selling his share in an idea that would eventually become quite profitable. Walt is so underpaid as a teacher that he has to take a side job as a carwash cashier and when he’s diagnosed with cancer, he has to enter into the seedy world of drug manufacturing, in order to make enough cash to keep up his treatment.

making meth

#4: Peter Gibbons – Office Space

Out of all the entries on this list, I probably identify most with Peter, who is frustrated with his place in life and the lack of pleasure his mundane, dead end career brings him. His dealings with his boss are excruciating and he has no other option but to take all the crap. Flanked by his colleagues Michael and Samir, the trio try to take a small cut from each transaction coming through the company, only to have their program give them a much larger slice than they intended. At least they got to destroy the printer that was always breaking down.

#3: Jim Halpert – The Office

In a similar fashion to Peter from Office Space, Jim is young and talented, but stuck in a job that pays the bills, while not providing the satisfaction he’s really searching for. If it wasn’t for his attraction to receptionist Pam Beasley, he probably would have bolted years earlier. I gotta say, though, working closely with your girlfriend/wife and getting to see her at all hours is something I would love to do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s cool with the Sip Advisor. In time, Jim figures things out and begins to pursue an interest in a start-up sports marketing company.

Jim Halpert Try

#2: Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

While Homer has tackled numerous jobs (boxer, sports mascot, snow plow driver, voice actor, etc.) during the show’s long run, the one he has to attend day in, day out, is one he does not enjoy. Homer was able to break free once from the Nuclear Power Plant, but with another baby on the way, was forced to return and grovel for his job back. A sign now sits in his sector, which states: “Don’t Forget: You’re Here Forever.” Homer changed the sign with photos to read “Do It For Her” in reference to daughter Maggie, the reason he had to return.

#1: Al Bundy – Married with Children

Nearly every episode of this iconic show featured woman’s shoe salesman, Al Bundy, returning from a day of work in which he didn’t get paid very well, but was verbally and sometimes physically abused by the clientele. “So a fat woman walks into the store today,” is usually how the tale began and ended with an epic struggle to fit a woman’s foot (or hoof as Al often called it) into a shoe that was too many sizes smaller than needed. So much for a guy who once had dreams of playing pro football… all until he was married with children!

Super Saturday Shot Day: After Work Special

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

For those out there that are working in what they love to do (or at least what they went to school for), I am absolutely jelly of you. Sadly, the Sip Advisor has to save his passions for outside of work… and I don’t even get paid for my efforts. One day, my rainbow will come though. I just have to keep my head held high and reach for the sky!

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.

Australia – Stormy Weather

Criminal Crunch

Not many countries start off as another nation’s penal colony. Australia is by far the most recognized of these lands and somehow, the British castoffs sent there turned Australia into one of the most wonderful places in the world to visit, live, and love. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable convicts to be shipped down under and how they helped build the great nation of Australia:

Australia Cell Blocks

William Bland

While I believe government to be largely useless, it is a necessary evil when building a new society. Bland was a former naval surgeon who found himself in Australia because he killed a man in a duel… seems like a fair and completely reasonable way to settle an argument. Bland eventually held a seat in Australia’s legislative assembly, an early example of government criminality.

William Henry Groom

Groom followed a path similar to Bland, going from prisoner to member of the inaugural Australian Parliament. I guess you can’t fault a penal colony for having members of its government being former convicts. Sadly, Groom died shortly after his appointment and never got to fully enjoy the perks of being an elected official (money, power, drugs… the Rob Ford special!).

James Squire

Now, here’s a guy who deserves massive recognition for his contributions to early Australia society. Squire was one of the original convicts to come over to Australia and being first was a recurrent theme for him. He later became the country’s first brewer and brands like Tooheys and Victoria Bitter have him to thank their legacy. Showing the importance of alcohol in any society, Squire’s death in 1822 spawned the biggest funeral held in the colony days.

VB Kangaroo

Jørgen Jørgensen

Not many folks can claim to be the ruler of Iceland, but Jørgensen was one of those peeps. He arrested the Danish Governor (almost as bad as The Walking Dead’s Governor), with intentions of giving Iceland their freedom, but that was squashed by Denmark. The eccentric adventurer, as Jørgensen’s been described, was a spy for a spell for the UK, translating documents and working throughout France and Germany. He wound up a convict in Australia and upon his release explored Tasmania.

William Chopin

This fella kind of went full circle, as he flourished working in a prison hospital and went into chemistry after receiving his ticket of leave. Unfotunately, his skills as a chemist landed him back in jail later, as he went into the illegal abortion business. He was the ‘chemist gone bad’ centuries before Breaking Bad ever aired.

John Kelly

Sometimes it takes a generation to make your mark on society, as is the case for John Kelly, whose son Ned gained notoriety as a Robin Hood-type folk hero, battling the establishment with his band of not-so-merry men (colloquially referred to as Kelly’s gang, but that’s such a harsh term) and becoming an outlaw in the process. Ned Kelly was later executed for his crimes, but his legend has grown thanks to movies starring Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger. He’s even featured on an Irish stamp.

Ned Kelly

John Davies

As a writer, I believe information (as well as entertainment) is essential in getting a nation rolling. After his release from prison, Davies co-founded The Mercury newspaper in 1854. The daily publication, servicing Hobart, Tasmania, still exists to this day. The company remained in the Davies family until 1988 when it was taken over by what is now News Corp Australia.

James Ruse

Without food, we’re all screwed… well, except perhaps Ghandi. Anyway, Ruse was responsible for the first successful wheat harvest in New South Wales (where the first convict ships landed to settle). Today, an Agricultural High School (the Aussies really push you to choose your career path early) is named after him and students spend their days riding tractors and shucking corn.

Henry Kable

While the world is always becoming more litigious, to have dropped the first lawsuit on a nation is quite the feat. Kable’s civil suit was over a parcel of goods to be given to he and his wife upon arrival at the Australian penal colony, but it was stolen en route. Kable successfully sued the ship’s captain for £15, even more impressive given prisoners were considered dead by law at the time and had no rights. It’s no surprise then, that Kable later became a wealthy businessman, probably turning his legal windfall into a fortune.

Lawsuit

Robert Sidaway

What is a society without entertainment? Sidaway opened Australia’s first theatre (and we’re not talking about one of those talking pictures types), in Sydney, in 1796. Back then, you could pay for seats using money, flour, meat, or alcohol. If alcohol was a currency nowadays, I’d be filthy rich (instead of just filthy!). The theatre featured performances of Shakespearean and other English works, but was shut down by authorities in 1800, as it was deemed a corrupting influence.

Mary Wade

Wade was the youngest female convict shipped away, leaving the UK for Australia at only 11 years old. By the time she passed away at age 82, she had 21 children and more than 300 descendants, leaving a family tree that now adds up to tens of thousands and includes former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Now that, my little sippers, is a legacy.

Australia: Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Shiraz/Syrah Wine
  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Float Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with a Strawberry Slice and Raspberry

Coming from a lineage of scoundrels and miscreants, that explains the likes of Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe, but not Steve Irwin, Crocodile Dundee, and others of that ilk. Australia, forever mystifying outside observers with their citizen’s contrasting personality traits… I think I just came up with a new tagline for the country!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Another good Shiraz/Syrah cocktail has me really enjoying the Little Penguin Wine. The Ginger Ale was solid, as usual, and of particular pleasure was the Appleton Rum I used. You could get a hint of it with each sip and it was an absolutely delicious touch to the rest of the recipe.

November 14 – Breaking Bad

Regretful Decisions

Recently, I did a series of articles about actors that probably regretted movie roles they had turned down. Today, I embark on a similar series, but change the medium. We’re looking at TV characters that have been passed up on… usually for the better!

Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott (The Office)

The iconic role that made Steve Carell a household name and launched his movie career could have gone to someone else. Paul Giamatti turned down the U.S.-version of David Brent and focused on his movie career. A few others were reportedly considered for the role, including Hank Azaria, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and even Rainn Wilson, who ended up as the best possible Dwight Schrute imaginable.

giamatti-scott

Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully (X-Files)

The show would have been much less sci-fi and a little more parody had this poor choice actually happened. I’m not a fan, but the X-Files staff made a great move by going in another direction. You can also bet that if Anderson had taken the roll, there would have been more slow-motion running scenes and the skimpiest outfits possible for a paranormal investigator!

John Cusack/Matthew Broderick as Walter White (Breaking Bad)

I’m a huge Bryan Cranston fan, long before he became a meth-making, cancer-surviving maniac. I even heard one joke that Walter White is Cranston’s character on Malcolm in the Middle after he goes into hiding! Getting back on track, apparently both Cusack and Broderick turned down the role, leaving the door wide open for Cranston. I can kind of see Cusack doing an okay job, but Broderick would have been a long shot to make this work.

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Good lord I hate this show with a vehement passion. The story goes that Holmes passed on Buffy in order to finish high school (a commendable action), before she joined the cast of Dawson’s Creek the next year (an uncommendable action). Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally auditioned for the role on Cordelia, but thankfully the domino effect introduced the world to Charisma Carpenter, who later posed for Playboy and that’s all that really matters!

holmes-buffy

Ryan Reynolds and Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Speaking of that which shall not be named, my alma mater homey (The Green Lantern and I attended the same college) saw the writing on the wall and passed on this nerd-captivating show. He has since gone on to become a Hollywood heartthrob, while Nicholas Brendon has gone on to do a variety of work, but nothing near the level of his Xander Harris (the one character I didn’t mind on the show) fame.

John Hawkes as The Governor (The Walking Dead)

I’m not familiar with who John Hawkes actually is (he actually played a few roles you know, you jackass), but I find his reasoning to be sound. He refused the role of The Governor, as he thought someone else could do the character better. Enter David Morrissey, who has provided the character a hauntingly authoritative aura in his battles with Rick Grimes and the other survivors.

Paul Shaffer as George Costanza (Seinfeld)

I can’t imagine anyone other than Jason Alexander portraying Costanza: Lord of the Idiots. Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s band leader, was left a message from Jerry Seinfled, offering him the role if he wanted it, but due to his other commitments, Shaffer never even returned the call. I just don’t think the show would have been very good without Alexander in the role of Jerry’s best friend.

Drink #318: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Blue Salt/Rock Candy
  • 2 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

What will tomorrow’s sequel list hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? And for a small fee, I’ll tell you. Hey, gotta support this project somehow!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t have any major complaints about this cocktail, but it didn’t measure up to many of the drinks I’ve been making recently. I’m glad the Blue Candy Powder rim worked out as it helped with the Breaking Bad crystal meth theme. Tequila and Lemonade are a good combo, so give it a chance sometime.

October 30 – Corpse Reviver

Clever Costumes

There are some really funny costumes out there. Somehow, I’ve narrowed a limitless number of hilarious coverings down to a few favourites. There folks should be so proud of the honour I’m about to bestow upon them!

Facebook Post Costume

Just think about all the action this guy would get in a night, as every girl at the party would want to be the one featured in the Facebook post. Of course, he’d have to hold that sign up most of the time, but the benefits totally outweigh the effort. This is the kind of selfie I can get behind.

Lobster Kids Costume

Mrs. Sip loves lobster… but maybe not this much! When this kid is old enough to realize what happened to them at such a young age, do you think they’ll want justice. Perhaps they’ll be in therapy thanks to flashbacks of being stuffed in a pot and nightmares of being cooked. Good parenting!

breaking bad costumes

You would have to imagine that these two boys don’t even know what Breaking Bad is, but kudos to them for going along with a costume that is clearly the brainchild of their parents. Both boys nail the look of Jesse and Walter and you hope people handing out candy would appreciate the effort.

dog-poop factory-costume

Poor puppy doesn’t know that its owners and everyone it walks by is having a laugh at its expense. The payback will come when the dog chews up its owner stuff, slobbers throughout the house and perhaps even leaves a few ‘presents’ for its people to have to clean up. Sweet revenge!

rollercoaster-costumes

The problem with this costume is that it doesn’t work so well when any member separates from the group. Therefore, you have to choose the group members wisely because you’ll probably be spending the entire night with them or in a nearby proximity to them.

Drink #303: Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Cognac (I used Courvoisier)
  • 0.5 oz Apple Rum
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Garnish with Body Part Gummies

If you think there are better costumes out there, let me know. I’m always looking for my next Halloween outfit and have no qualms about ripping someone else off!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
There is also the more popular Corpse Reviver #2 recipe, but I wanted to give the original some air time. Today’s recipe calls for Apple Brandy, but not having any on hand, I resorted to an Apple Rum, which provided some of the required flavour, but lacked the sweetness the Brandy might have offered. That was left for the Sweet Vermouth to provide and it did so to a reasonable degree.