November 22 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Reunification

Earlier this year, the online world became abuzz, when a poster was released, teasing a Friends reunion for this Thanksgiving. It turned out to all be a hoax, but that got me thinking of shows where I’d love to see a reunion episode or some other gathering of the cast/characters, injecting new life into the stories many of us grew up on. Here is the cream of the crop of those I’d love to see one more time!

#5: Recess

Perhaps in a similar vein to All Grown Up, the Rugrats re-launch, it would be great to find out whatever happened to the Recess kids – T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald – and where they lives led after their fourth grade adventures at Third Street Elementary School. Did any of the kids ever hook-up (my bet’s on Mikey and Gus!)? The new story could be set in any time period, whether it be high school, college, adulthood, old age, etc. If a more adult network took the reins of the show, instead of Disney, we might get some very interesting and scandalous (thank you The Ashley’s) stories!

Recess Grown Up

#4: That 70’s Show

When we last left Point Place, Wisconsin, the 1970’s rolled over into a new decade. Therefore, the most pressing question to be answered, is how did the gang find life in the 80’s? Hell, for that matter, how did their 90’s and 2000’s go? I guess you can’t go too far ahead or you might lose the participation of the parents, Red, Kitty, and Bob, which would be too bad. I’d love to find out if Eric and Donna finally managed to stay together. What about Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie? What became of Kelso’s child? Was he as dumb as dear ol’ dad!? These are the kinds of questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night… it’s tough being me!

#3: Full House

The Tanner clan was sent off into the television abyss with the show’s typical nice, neat wrap up. Since then, a lot has changed for the cast and would make for some crazy storylines, should there ever be a reunion episode. Would they incorporate Jodie Sweeten’s real-life meth addiction into the storyline ala the classic “On a very special episode…” trope. How would they handle Bob Saget’s departure from the squeaky clean image that made him neat freak single father Danny Tanner, as well as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And you just know there’s some juicy yarns out there, should the Olsen twins elect to participate.

Full House Reunion

#2: Cheers

There was the odd mini-reunion on the Cheers spinoff, Frasier (which would also be a decent series for a reunion), but I’d love to see everyone all together again at the classic bar set, enjoying a mug of fine brew and reconnecting. With Cheers being such an ensemble cast, many of which have gone on to thriving careers, it may be hard to get them all back onto the same page, but at least you know Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin would be present, as their butts have been stapled to those bar stools since the series finale in 1993. You’d have to imagine that at least one of the bar regulars would now be suffering from cirrhosis, but it should make for good viewing!

#1: Saved by the Bell

As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you could never say that you didn’t have at least some fondness for this show. While we got a decent finale with the wedding in Vegas movie, a whole generation thirsts for more. Did Zack and Kelly survive to rigors of getting married young? How about the kids that surely came along (I mean, who wouldn’t want to tap the former Miss Kapowski!?). If they did relaunch this series, they could do something similar to what Boy Meets World did, where they brought back Cory and Topanga as parents to a teenage girl. Jimmy Fallon (among others) tried to get the whole crew back together, but all efforts have failed thus far.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sadly, the TV reunion just isn’t done as much anymore, compared to the past where shows like Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, and even Growing Pains all got together again to update viewers on the status of their favourite characters. And that’s all too bad, as there are so many series I’d love to see a follow-up from. Honourable mentions go to basically any TGIF show and let’s throw Beavis and Butt-head in there, as well, just to irritate Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I chose this shot to go with this article because it (the cake) seemed like the kind of thing that might be served at an actual family reunion. As you can see by the measurements, there’s very little booze in this shooter, so you’re basically just getting Pineapple Juice and Grenadine. My suggestion is to up the alcohol and have some real fun!

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November 1 – Teddy Bear

Full of Stuffing

There are some great stuffed animals that have appeared in media over the years. Friends of our favourite characters who just don’t get the attention they deserve. Well, that’s going to change right now. Here are the Top 5 stuffed animals:

#5: Larry the Leopard – The Cleveland Show

Larry the Leopard is Cleveland Brown Jr.’s imaginary friend. With a relationship bordering on the creepy (ie. Larry is sometimes portrayed as Junior’s spouse), Larry is an important part of his owner’s life. Junior practically has a nervous breakdown when Larry is put through the washer and dryer, taking away his essence or as it is more filthily known, his stank. Cleveland Sr. is not a fan of the stuffed animal and its effect on Junior, who takes advice from the inanimate object.

Larry the Leopard

#4: Teddy – Mr. Bean

It seems at times as if Teddy is the only person Mr. Bean cares for… although Bean’s use of Teddy in his palns often results in punishment to the bear. The two exchange Christmas gifts, Mr. Bean makes sure Teddy is safely buckled in while driving, and the bear is given its own bed. Teddy became such a popular character in the series, that Ty (makers of Beanie Babies) produced a replica, so fans of the series could have their own adventures with the stuffed bear.

#3: Clyde Frog, Rumper Tumpskin, etc. – South Park

Cartman has a whole collection of stuffed toys that become his imaginary friends (also including Polly Prissypants, Peter Panda, and Muscle Man Marc), joining him for tea parties and otherwise filling in for Cartman’s lack of a father. When Cartman is finally ready to grow up and leave behind his plush friends, they are all murdered in a twisted, schizophrenic fashion with Cartman as the culprit and his childhood toys as the victims.

Cartman Stuffed Animals

#2: Rupert – Family Guy

While Rupert seems like an innocent enough stuffed bear, when Stewie imagines the two of them cavorting together in his fantasy world, Rupert becomes a muscled man (save for his teddy bear head) is skimpy speedo shorts. There are many other insinuations that Rupert is gay, likely playing off of Stewie’s own ambiguous sexuality. Stewie losing Rupert or moving on from the toy has been used in a couple of episodes, but the bear always winds up back in the crib.

#1: Hobbes – Calvin and Hobbes

Like the other stuffed animals on this list, Hobbes becomes an imaginary friend to his owner, in this case Calvin. The two get up to all sorts of trouble together with Hobbes trying to be the voice of reason, but often being ignored. Artist Bill Watterson blurs the lines of how real Hobbes may be with events like Hobbes being regularly tossed in the washing machine, which are baths that the tiger is forced to deal with.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear Shot

  • Rim glass with Chocolate Syrup
  • 0.25 oz Kahlua
  • 0.25 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Cola
  • 0.25 oz Milk

Honourable mentions go to Winnie the Pooh, Ted, Pookie (Garfield), Smacky (Get Fuzzy), Mr. Bear (Full House), and Bobo (The Simpsons). What’s your favourite stuffed animal from the entertainment world? It’s time to get cuddly!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty good, reminding me of a Cola float… and how could you go wrong with that! The Chocolate Syrup rim took me back to the days of stuffed animals with early morning cartoons and chocolate milk. You know, the good ol’ days!

September 27 – Spinal Tap

I’m With the Band

For those about to rock… we salute you! And we also salute these fictional bands, some of which turned into real-life touring acts. Those which didn’t, should have. Hell, if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a music tour at the height of their popularity in the early 90s, why can’t we see Faith+1 or Fingerbang around the world!?

#5: The Blues Brothers – The Blues Brothers/Blues Brothers 2000

When Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd took to the Saturday Night Live stage to perform as Jake and Elwood Blues, nobody knew how musically-gifted the two actually were. The sketches were turned into a feature film and the SNL alum even toured together, performing live on stage. With the unfortunate death of Jim Belushi, his brother John has filled in at times (as Zee Blues), as well as John Goodman, who joined Aykroyd as ‘Mighty’ Mack McTeer for the sequel Blues Brothers 2000. Aykroyd’s love of blues music has even resulted in his owning a percentage of the House of Blues restaurant and live performance chain.

Blues Brothers

#4: The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience – King of the Hill

The Experience consisted of the back alley crew (Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer) with young Connie Psupnesphone on her violin – or as it’s referred to in blue grass, a fiddle. Boomhauer’s unintelligible southern drawl speech is perfect for bluegrass and the troupe made it all the way to performing at the Bluegrass Festival in Branson, Missouri, before Connie’s overbearing father Con interfered. Their cover of ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ sounded pretty good and they even talked country legend Charlie Daniels into filling in on the fiddle when Connie disappeared. Despite all their efforts, though, they did not win the festival competition.

#3: Spinal Tap – This is Spinal Tap

The greatest fake rock band to become a real rock band EVER! Made up of David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and filmed mockumentary style, this film covered Spinal Tap’s journey to the top of the music world. Spinal Tap later appeared on The Simpsons, thanks to Shearer’s voice work on the series, forever cementing their status as a great fictional band, although the group actually tours and performs. This is one act you wouldn’t want to be a drummer for, though, as each prospective percussionist has died from bizarre accidents and under mysterious circumstances.

Spinal Tap

#2: The Be-Sharps – The Simpsons

Homer, Principal Skinner, Apu, Chief Wiggum and later Barney Gumble (replacing Wiggum) made up this little quartet. With a Grammy Award winning and number one hit ‘Baby On Board,’ the group seemed destined for superstardom, but in a case eerily similar to The Beatles, creative differences and an Asian woman forced the band to split and remain a one-hit wonder. The Simpsons has also featured other fictional groups and musicians, including Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lurleen Lumpkin, the Party Posse, Captain Bart and the Tequila Mockingbirds, Sadgasm, and even Kirk Van Houten.

#1: Fingerbang & Faith+1 – South Park

Both of these bands are driven by the genius mind of Eric Cartman. First, he created Fingerbang, an attempt at capitalizing on the boy band craze. The death of Kenny – crushed by an elevator during a concert at the local mall – thwarted them in the end. They did gain one fan, but promptly split up, realizing that such fame doesn’t allow for a normal life. Years later, Cartman splits from the boys garage band Moop, to form the Christian Rock-based Faith+1 with Butters and Token. Faith+1 goes on to be a hit, receiving a Mir album distinction. Cartman, expecting a gold record to win a bet with Kyle, goes on a profanity-laced tirade, ruining the band’s innocent image.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Finlandia)
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Garnish with a Guitar Pick

As usual, this list was extremely difficult to pare down. I would have loved to include groups like Jesse and the Rippers (Full House), the Zack Attack (Saved by the Bell), and The Electric Mayhem (The Muppets), among others. I did manage to sneak a sixth band into the post by doubling up the South Park entry, so consider yourself extra special today!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m unsure of if this shooter has anything to do with the mockumentary band or if it’s more to do with the medical procedure… either way, I’m using it! And it is delicious. You get varying notes of Peach Schnapps and Crème de Cacao and both taste so good. Had I used a flavoured Vodka, I wonder if things would have got better or worse. Would a whole new flavour emerge, or would there be too many competing notes? The questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night!

June 7 – Theme Songs

Musical Interlude

On one episode of Big Bang Theory, Sheldon reveals his favourite TV theme songs to be Inspector Gadget, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Spider-Man. While these are all fine selections in their own right, it got me thinking about which TV title tracks are really the greatest. That list is as follows!

#5: Disney Afternoon

Like Sheldon, I have a great fondness for my childhood. When I discussed this article with Mrs. Sip, she was quick to point out some absolutely spectacular music I had neglected, particularly entries from the Disney block of afternoon cartoons, including DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and Goof Troop. Songwriter Mark Mueller was responsible for both DuckTales and Rescue Rangers and the others hold their own as memorable bits of my youth.

#4: Good Times

This theme song really speaks to anyone out there who tries to keep a bright outlook and smile on their face despite any hardships they may be wading through. “Temporary layoffs… Good Times. Easy credit rip offs… Good Times. Scratchin’ and surviving… Good Times.” There’s an episode of Chappelle Show which sees Dave Chappelle quiz various participants about the lyrics of this song, showing its true meaning to pop culture. “Ain’t we lucky we got ’em… Good Times!”

#3: Golden Girls

Thank you for being a friend, indeed. Such an awesome show deserves an equally epic theme. You really have to admire the work of everyone who touched this project, as they made elderly women an entertaining subject. The one lyric I disagree with is the one about the biggest gift being from that friend because there’s nothing wrong with presents that come in small packages: rings, earrings, necklaces… aren’t these really the presents women want!?

#2: TGIF Shows

We’re talking about the ditties from Full House (Everywhere You Look), Family Matters (As Days Go By), and Step by Step (Second Time Around), all written and performed by Jesse Frederick. The songs can sometimes be interchangeable, as I will often be humming one and it will transition right into another family sitcom classic. If you play them for a TGIF rookie, they will often confuse them for being the start to another show and I only give that person crap for the rest of our existence knowing one another, as a result of their tragic blunder.

#1: Growing Pains

I love to get under Mrs. Sip’s skin by blasting this tune at the highest of volumes and belting out the lyrics as shrilly as my voice can get. I even tried to get it added to our wedding playlist, arguing that it was “my jam,” but apparently that doesn’t hold the weight I wish it did. The only difficulty with the song is trying to cover both the male and female portions of the duet. It’s tricky, but if done properly, you can bet your previously intimate night will be no more… trust me!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Theme Songs

Theme Songs Shot

  • 1 oz Tattoo Rum
  • Dash of Ice Cream
  • Garnish with Sprinkles

Some of my proudest geek moments have been playing TV theme song trivia quizzes on cruise ships. Nothing says nerd of the highest variety than scoring 39 out of 40 and walking away with a little trophy for your years of sitting in front of the tube effort! Honourable mentions to Night Court, the 1960’s Batman, Benny Hill, Odd Couple, Saved by the Bell, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… great songs I just couldn’t wedge into this post.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I used Drinkify.org to find this recipe. The site suggests which drink to pair with whatever music you’re listening to. I searched for “TV Themes” and this came up. It specified 8 oz of Rum and 8 oz of Ice Cream, which is a little insane, so I condensed the recipe down to shot form. In fact, all of the site’s measurements seem a little out of whack and in many cases, it’s suggested to just drink straight liquor, but it’s still a neat idea in principle. As for the shooter itself, it was good. I’d been saving some Captain Morgan Tattoo Rum for a while and this was the perfect recipe for it.

December 28 – Broken Down Golf Cart

Surviving the Season

There are a number of things you just can’t do during the winter. Golf, for example, is pretty hard to play and enjoy if you live anywhere that experiences snow storms or other inclement weather. I’ve searched around for advice on how to beat the winter blues (not that I’m necessarily down myself) and while I agree with some suggestions, others have me perplexed and even angry. Here are some of those recommendations:

Relax/Catch up on Sleep

Mrs. Sip tends to burn the candle at both ends year round, but I feel run down the most at Christmas. With all the social gatherings on top of the usual pattern of work and activities, it can all be quite exhausting. Add to that the whole Christmas shopping mess and you’re in for a rough holiday ride. It’s also a time to be thoroughly enjoyed, so hibernating through the cold stretch isn’t desirable either. Find a perfect balance between rest and play and you’ll do fine.

Hibernation

Don’t Binge Drink

You little sippers know even before I launch into an obscenity-laced tirade that I’m not going to agree with this notion. I think the best part of trying to cope with winter is getting blitzed in your wonderfully warm abode while watching ancient episodes of Family Matters and Full House and longing for a simpler time in life. If you want to binge drink, by all means, go for it… and have a grand ol’ time while doing so.

Embrace the Season

I largely believe in celebrating whichever time of year you’re currently living through. Winter is no different. The season provides ample opportunity to do things you can’t most of the rest of the year, like ski, snowboard, ice skate, have snowball fights, build a snowman and so on. You should also treasure the time provided to be with family and friends over the holidays because you never really know how much of it you’ll have.

Treat Yourself

I love on Parks and Recreation how Tom and Donna celebrate ‘Treat Yo Self Day’ and apparently I’m not alone. The official day of this amazing holiday, as per its own Facebook page is Oct. 13. How you decide to Treat Yo Self is entirely up to you. It’s also a good idea to treat someone else really well and your efforts may come back as rewards in the future, doubling your positive results.

Exercise/Healthy Diet

I’m totally down with the exercise part, but the healthy diet doesn’t jive. Christmas is all about the cookies, chocolate, and other treats. I subscribe to the theory of the ‘Guy-et’ where as I work out for the sole purpose of balancing out all the bad habits I have. If you do it well enough, you’ll even begin seeing gains, but the point of the program is to at least hold off any losses.

Find Some Sun

Whether this is achieved through travel or something as simple as hitting the tanning salon, you have to find a way that works for you to warm up and get some vitamin-D coursing through your veins. Most years, Mrs. Sip and I seem to be able to get away to a warmer climate during the winter and I wholeheartedly advise others to do the same. It’s good to bring the swimsuit and sunglasses out in December and January.

Improve Yourself

Remember those resolutions you laid out at the start of the year? With only days or weeks left on the calendar, it might be time to finally cross off some of your tasks. While Mrs. Sip and I sit down each January 1st and discuss our goals for the year, the only one I maintain is the one Samuel L. Jackson once outlined as guest host of Saturday Night Live: “Continue to kick ass!”

Drink #362: Broken Down Golf Cart

Broken Down Golf Cart Shooter

  • 0.25 oz Vodka (I used Lychee)
  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Amaretto
  • 0.25 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Candies

Do you have any other suggestions for surviving winter? Please share for all the little sippers out there that might be struggling through the season!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Lychee Vodka made this shooter a little more interesting than it might have been normally. It worked well with all the other ingredients and I still can’t really describe the liquors complex taste. You can’t really go wrong with Melon Liqueur, Amaretto, and Cranberry Juice, so the Vodka was simply the icing on the cake!

 

August 3 – Roasted Mellow

Friends Forever

Today is Friendship Day and it gives up the perfect opportunity to huddle around the campfire with this awesome and creative shot and our best buds. With that in mind, we’re looking at BFF’s in media. Duos and groups that stand by each other through thick and thin, sharing triumphs and defeats together. Here are some of the best:

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble – The Flintstones

Always up to something, Fred and Barney are total bros. When either of them is in need of help, whether it be dealing with thugs, their wives, or even dressing in drag together to win a pastry competition, the other is quick to step up and lend a helping hand. The two even work together at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company.

Fred and Barney

Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir – Community

While seemingly having opposite personalities at first – Troy a popular jock and Abed a media-obsessed geek – the two Greendale Community College students quickly formed a tight bond, hosting a campus morning show together and inventing their own handshake. Eventually, Troy and Abed moved in together so they could continue their fun together at all hours.

The Boys – Entourage

Vince, E, Drama, and Turtle are virtually inseparable as they traverse the Hollywood scene together. When actor Vince hit it big in the movie industry, he took his best friends (and brother Johnny Drama) along with him for the ride. Drama is also an actor, while Eric becomes a talent manager, and Turtle dabbles in a few side businesses, trying to find success on his own.

Bart Simpson and Milhouse Van Houten / Homer Simpson and Barney Gumble – The Simpsons

The Simpson men each have a friend who’ve they’ve known practically their entire life. The apple obviously didn’t fall too far from the tree, as while Bart is the impetus for Milhouse getting into sticky situations, Homer is the one who introduced Barney to beer, pushing him into years of alcoholism and failed opportunities.

Homer and Barney

Danny Tanner and Joey Gladstone – Full House

When Danny suffered the death of his wife and had to figure out how to raise three young girls on his own, his buddy Joey was quick to step in (and move in) to the Tanner family home. Joey becomes a second father to DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle and an integral member of their family unit. The jokester and impressionist knew just how to keep the mood light around the house.

Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas – Dumb & Dumber

Upon further inspection, Harry and Lloyd have only each other. No one else could possibly tolerate these two idiots for long enough to form a bond. While not the brightest guys in the world (in fact, far from it), they are decent human beings who are only held back by their complete lack of intelligence.

Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfeiffer – The Wonder Years

These two grew up together, through all the awkward adolescent years (especially for Paul… I’m mean, have a look at him) and despite the odd falling out, the boys were always there for each other. Paul was there all along as Kevin fell in and out of love with neighbor Winnie Cooper. I wonder who would have done Paul’s adult voiceovers, if it was ever needed…

wonder years

Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz – I Love Lucy

Poor Ethel was put into so many awkward situations and got into so much trouble because of Lucy… but she probably wouldn’t have had it any other way! Lucy definitely made life interesting for the housewives through her various schemes. Actresses Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance were friends offstage, as well, which likely helped with their chemistry.

Beavis and Butt-head – Beavis and Butt-head

Beavis and Butthead were partners in crime (sometimes literally) as they wasted great chunks of their life together, watching music videos, idolizing all the wrong people, and chasing after women outside of their league. In flashbacks throughout the show’s run, you get a sense that the two only had each other and that’s all they ever needed.

beavis-and-butthead

Bert and Ernie – Sesame Street

They may simply be roommates (or are they?), but Bert and Ernie come as a package deal. The only thing that could possibly come between the chums is Ernie’s rubber ducky, but that’s only for tub time. Bert sometimes grows frustrated with Ernie’s antics, but in the end, the two learn a lesson together, which is also imparted on youngster’s watching at home.

Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter – Boy Meets World

Before Topanga entered Cory’s life and took over the “best friend” role, Shawn was his preeminent pal, as the two tried to survive growing up together. From grade school all the way through college, there was rarely a time when the two were apart, with Shawn even living with Cory and his family for long stretches of time.

Drink #215: Roasted Mellow

Aug 3

  • 0.5 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 0.5 oz Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • Pour shot in Giant Marshmallow

How are you spending Friendship Day? Make sure to share some time with the folks that make you who you are and you couldn’t live without!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
You know, this shot didn’t taste that bad. Did it taste like a roasted marshmallow? Perhaps a little, thanks obviously to the Marshmallow Vodka and even to the Scotch and its smoky aftertaste. The addition of Chocolate Liqueur should change the recipe to being call The S’more or something of that ilk. Massive credit to my wasteland of a brain for coming up with putting the shot directly into a Giant Marshmallow!