September 6 – ABC

A Good Read

With school coming back into session for many little sippers out there (although not here in B.C., where it looks like we might have the makings of a long teacher’s strike), it might be time to snatch some good reading material. While I would never classify myself as an avid reader, there have been some books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Mrs. Sip would love to see me sit down more often with a book, but TV’s warm loving embrace is just too much to break. Here are my favourite books/series throughout life:

#5: Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stein

One of the only things I enjoyed about elementary school (save for gym, recess, and spelling tests… what can I say, I was born to write) was the monthly Scholastic book catalogue that came out, providing me an opportunity to grow my Goosebumps collection, which sits to this day in a drawer at Ma and Pa Sip’s home. I still fondly remember some of these stories, such as Attack of the Mutants, A Night in Terror Tower, and The Phantom of the Auditorium. The covers on these novels alone were enough to chill your blood and get you pumped for your next classroom quiet time. There were 62 releases in the original series and a TV show followed, but when it came to screen screams, I was more of an Are You Afraid of the Dark fan.

goosebumps report

#4: The Rebel League: World Hockey Association by Ed Willes

The World Hockey Association had a brief life, but it changed the landscape of professional hockey and in some circumstances, the entire sports world. Journalist Ed Willes takes the reader through the league’s tumultuous existence from conception to absorption by the NHL, right through a mess of teams going out of business or being relocated. The dichotomy of the league, with its highly-skilled players meshing with fight-filled contests, is just one aspect of a mesmerizing story. Willes captures all the sordid tales and behind-the-scenes dealings that made the WHA such a fascinating flash in the pan. Largely based on this book, I was able to rank the WHA #1 on my list of top defunct sports leagues. I only wish I had been able to experience some of the action in-person.

#3: Get Fuzzy Treasuries by Darby Conley

I never really got into comic books as a youngster, fancying my superheroes on the screen, as opposed to in my hands (save for some of the sexy female heroines). That said, I do prefer to look at brightly coloured pictures, rather than printed words, and that can come in the form of some lighter entertainment. My hands down favourite daily funny is Get Fuzzy, which focuses on the interactions of human Rob Wilco with his pets/roommates Bucky Katt and Satchel Pooch. Bucky is a little terror, who is constantly trying to run (scratch that, ruin) the household, while Satchel is a sweet and gentle pup, happy to have a chew toy and a quiet place to nap. Rob just gets stuck in the middle, just like your typical real world pet owner.

GF

#2: Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

I really enjoy learning unknown tidbits about subjects I’m interested in and this series is perfect for exactly that. Thanks to these books, I’m an integral member of any trivia team I’m invited to join (aside from my wonderful personality!) and the lesser known facts my brain is able to absorb have garnered me a fair bit of free booze! The best thing about Bathroom Readers is that you can read one piece or a selection of articles… I guess it depends on how long you’ll be in the bathroom. I personally prefer to not have a book in my hands while I’m on the pot, but admittedly, that is what these releases were meant for. My favourites from the Uncle John library include TV, Movies, and Hockey.

#1: Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley

While my favourite books are sports-related, Mick Foley’s wrestling autobiography is a no-brainer to top this list. And I’m not alone in my fondness for this story. Books released by wrestlers exploded after the success of Mick Foley’s first attempt and the string of publications is going strong to this day. In Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley guides us through the earliest days of his life and career with a wit and warmth that makes it extremely hard to put the book down… even for a non-reader such as myself. I have yet to check out Foley’s other two non-fiction releases, but have heard good things about both and should really take the time to pick them up.

Super Saturday Shot Day: ABC

ABC Shot

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Cognac
  • Garnish with Orange Wedge

Given my penchant for wrestling reads, I would also recommend autobiographies by Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho, as well as the book WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. There are a number of others I would endorse, but it’s time to get back to the library and go silent!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
You layer the ingredients in A-B-C order and that allowed me to finally use the layering tool I received a few months back. It worked out really well and looks great, am I right!? The shot tasted fantastic, especially when the Irish Crème kicked in following the two liquors, which move a little quicker. Too bad I couldn’t think of a D-garnish to continue the ABC theme.

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March 29 – Mad Dog

Dog’s Breakfast

They are often called man’s best friend, but I’ll be the judge of that. While I’m not the most comfortable around dogs, especially bigger breeds, I do have a fondness for Golden Retrievers and a few other varieties. Well, this one’s for the dogs as here are the top five puppies in history:

#5: Wilfred – Wilfred

Wilfred is a marijuana-smoking, beer-drinking, potty-mouthed pup. To Ryan, his owner’s neighbour, Wilfred is a human in a dog costume. To everyone else he’s just a canine. Either way, Wilfred is as misbehaving as they come and often pushes Ryan to do things he normally never would. Wilfred’s best moments come when he’s trying to be like a true dog, like making friends with the popular pooches, destroying a house when kept inside, or sneaking treats from Ryan’s co-workers.

Wilfred Sandwich

#4: Snoopy – Peanuts

Whether as Charlie Brown’s not-so-faithful dog or battling the legendary Red Baron in the skies, Snoopy is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Lucy knows this first hand, as she has been victim to Snoopy’s wet dog kisses on a frequent basis. Let’s not forget Snoopy’s symbiotic relationship with Woodstock the bird, as well as the critically-acclaimed Snoopy Dance, which has swept the nation for many years.

#3: Satchel – Get Fuzzy

Poor Satchel Pooch, always having to deal with the megalomaniac stylings of Bucky Katt. Somehow, Satchel’s kind, gentle nature always shines through even in the face of cats being cats. Satchel has a bunch of friends, including other neighbourhood dogs who are part of his playgroup and ferret neighbour Fungo Squiggly. Best of all, Satchel is Canadian (all the good ones are!), his roots being traced back to Cheticamp, Nova Scotia.

Satchel

#2: Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons

This mutt has more lives than a cat. Many episodes have centered on SLH’s bad behaviour and he keeps being invited back into the Simpsons home with open arms. Through various misdeeds, SLH has been sent to obedience school, found himself in the possession of Mr. Burns as an attack dog, been sent to live with Officer Lou, and abandoned at an ostrich farm. Every time, though, the dog returns to his family and they are happy to have him back.

#1: Scooby Doo – Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

While few can stand his nephew Scrappy Doo, Scooby Doo is one of the most beloved hounds in history. The scaredy dog doesn’t want to deal with the mysteries his human friends stumble upon and would rather be in hot pursuit of Scooby Snacks. With his best pal Shaggy by his side, these two do everything they can to avoid being chased by a fiendish specter, but always seem to end up on the wrong end of that equation, leading to the capture of various spooks.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Mad Dog

Mad Dog Shot

  • Rim glass with Whip Cream
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • Drops of Hot Sauce

So, which dogs should have made this list? There were certainly many I had to cut from my preliminary research, so I’m sure to have missed something. Perhaps we’ll put Scooby Doo on the case of the upset reader!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I used the Whip Cream rim to give an impression of a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth. It also helped cool down some of the heat from the Hot Sauce in the shooter. Physically and visually pleasant… reminds me of myself. All in all, this was a pretty good shot and I’d suggest not going crazy with the Hot Sauce and using a Vodka that goes well with the Raspberry Liqueur.

March 22 – Fat Cat

Cat Scratch Fever

They don’t need our love, but we shower them with adoration anyway. I’ve always been a cat guy and find them to be a great pet for someone as lazy as myself. They’re pretty self-sufficient (don’t need to be walked or washed) and will be entirely happy with a dish full of food, warm laundry to nap on, and the odd catnip toy for a little buzz and exercise. Here are the top five greatest felines in history:

#5: Puss in Boots – Shrek

The little kitty is clever and cunning. He lures his foes in with his deep, dark, sad eyes and once they are mesmerized, out comes the sword and the fight is on. Puss is a furry version of Zorro and not coincidentally is voiced by Antonio Banderas, who played the iconic swordsman in recent times. Whether he’s teaming with Shrek, Donkey and the rest of the gang or enjoying his own adventure, Puss is sure to leave his mark (hopefully not literally) on history.

puss-in-boots

#4: Tom – Tom & Jerry

Poor, poor Tom. No matter how hard he tries, Jerry always manages to elude him and Tom usually winds up with a boo-boo. Therefore, I always liked it best when Tom and Jerry teamed up. After all, the two have been around since the 1940’s, which is a long time to be continually chasing one another. The duo’s long standing rivalry has had an influence on other media. Even Jackass star Johnny Knoxville credits the tandem for inspiring some of the stunts the troupe attempt.

#3: Bucky – Get Fuzzy

Bucky isn’t as well-known as some of the other felines on this list, but he’s above and beyond, one of the funniest. Bucky is a terror to his owner Rob and roommate Satchel (a Sharpie-Labrador cross). A lot of the humour in Get Fuzzy comes from the pets’ misunderstanding of human words and actions and Bucky is a master of the misinterpretation. He’s also constantly scheming for money, food or domination over the apartment, which often results in his being grounded in his closet.

Bucky Katt

#2: Garfield – Garfield & Friends, etc.

What’s great about Garfield is that he just doesn’t care. He only has room for a few loves in his world and that void is quickly filled by food (particularly lasagna), his blankie, and stuffed bear. Sure, he’s occasionally nice to John and Odie, but that’s only for holiday specials like Christmas and Halloween. For this cat, it’s all about the luxuries in life. Garfield is so lazy, he can’t even be bothered to form meaningful relationship with other cats.

#1: Sylvester – Looney Tunes

Sure, Sylvester’s not the smartest animal on the block, but he gets an ‘A’ for effort, every time out. If he ever caught that infernal Tweety Bird, the world would rejoice in a congregation more massive than the Olympic opening ceremony parade. Sylvester’s son and wife also appear in some animated shorts, with his son often declaring “Mother, get the bandages,” after his father gets roughed up by any number of adversaries.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Fat Cat

Fat Cat Shooter

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.25 oz Amaretto
  • 0.25 oz Crème de Banane

I’m sure I’ve made some choices with this ranking that has upset some of you. Send your best cat claws my way and make me regret my decisions. If I don’t hear any criticism, I will assume that my picks are good as gold and all free thinking will henceforth be left up to the Sip Advisor… you’re welcome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Okay, this one is going to take some explaining. Sure it doesn’t look like your typical shooter, but this is how a cat would drink it. I wanted to present the shot in a saucer type dish to go along with the name and theme of the recipe. It’s a pretty good shot, but the Crème de Banane gets buried and you taste the Amaretto the most. Drink up, my little kitties!

May 6 – Spiritual Enlightenment

Spiritually Speaking

Once you read through my list of spirit guides – those that I dub the Sinister Seven – you may notice some themes and common threads. This is what makes the Sip Advisor the man he is today: a Canadian icon and treasure!

Master Shake – Aqua Teen Hunger Force

The only thing Master Shake cares about is having fun. Sadly, the anthropomorphised drink container doesn’t have the necessary funds to accomplish most of his desires and thus has to settle for pleasures within his means, like swimming in neighbor Carl’s filthy pool. His lack of riches doesn’t stop him from arrogantly boasting about various skills he thinks he possesses, so you gotta give him props for believing in himself.
When to summon: When it’s party time, obviously!

Master Shake

Jeff Winger – Community

Mr. Winger was able to fake an entire law career for years, until he was busted by a competing colleague. As the husband of a lawyer, I know that this surely was no easy task and full credit has to be given to someone who exuded so much confidence and intelligence to pull the rouse off.
When to summon: In situations when massive amounts of swagger will put you over the edge.

Roger Smith – American Dad

Roger is a self-described “advanced drinker” and as all you little sippers have learned over our past few months together, no moniker has ever fit this Sip Advisor better than that. While I’ll leave the disguises and alter egos to my alien friend, I do like Roger’s penchant for stirring the pot and getting into (and out of) sticky situations. Might as well have some fun while we’re here on earth!
When to summon: Anytime liquor is being cracked open for mass consumption.

Sterling Archer – Archer

Your Sip Advisor may not be a secret agent, but he does share many traits with one of the best in the business. First and foremost, our complete and utter misunderstanding of “core concepts” has bonded us for eternity. Next comes our love, appreciation, and total devotion to sweet lady liquor. Archer is afraid to quit drinking cold turkey because of the massive hangover he feels has accumulated and is now pending should he ever quit. I’ve never been able to put those same thoughts into words before.
When to summon: When the skills and touch of a secret agent are necessary, like bedding numerous females in a single mission.

Archer

Zack Morris – Saved by the Bell

Zack had all the right moves to accomplish everything from ditching detention to winning the heart of Kelly Kapowski. Usually with the help of friend and resident nerd Screech, Zack got up to so much mischief during his formative years that the principal’s office was a second home to him.
When to summon: In any situation that harkens back to your days as a teenager and high school student… or at least any time your cell phone is as big as your forearm.

Daniel Tosh – Tosh.0

No topic is off limits for Daniel Tosh and he isn’t concerned whether or not he’s crossing a line and offending anyone. People nowadays can be way too cautious, afraid anything they say or do may set off a cluster bomb of hysteria and backlash against them. The safe and easier road more travelled is not for this comedian.
When to summon: In moments where freedom of speech is the only right you really have left anymore.

Bucky Katt – Get Fuzzy

Bucky is always scheming and thinking up his next big idea and opportunity to grift his roommates – human Rob Wilco and dog Satchel Pooch – out of some cash. He has tried everything from a line of clothing, to merging two popular products together into one, to even writing his own poetry. That’s a pretty good resume for someone that sleeps 20 hours each day.
When to summon: When the entrepreneurial spirit hits you and you feel like hitting back… or when you feel that you just need a good nap.

Drink #126: Spiritual Enlightenment

Spiritual Enlightenment Cockttail

  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • Garnish with Spearmint Life-Saver

Who do you, my little sippers, summon when you are in need of a spirit check? If anyone takes the time to summon me, just please know that I am not available between the hours of 12:01am-11:59pm… that’s my time. I am available on a per crisis basis right around midnight each night, so please feel free to hit me up if you are in need!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail restored my faith in Crème de Menthe, as this drink wasn’t half bad… it wasn’t half good either, so I settled at a 2.5. Mrs. Sip thought it tasted like an After Eight chocolate and would have rated it a bit higher but I felt that the Grand Marnier is completely wasted in this drink. Plus, if the cocktail’s creator had been a clever, it would have been called Spiritual EnlightenMINT instead!