June 13 – PayDay

Extravagant Eccentricities

With great money comes great financial stupidity… or at least that’s how it seems for some celebrities and their spending habits. Here are some of the wildest purchases made by the stars, many of which later led to financial hardships:

#5: Kanye West – 10 Burger King Franchises ($7.5 million)

I think many people dream of owning their own fast food chain (unless they’re vegan or some other weird dietary thing), having the food at their disposal whenever they are in need of a quick snack. Hell, Richie Rich had a McDonald’s in his expansive mansion back in the 1994 feature film. Anyway, how have we not started calling Kanye ‘The Burger King’? Is it because he bought these joints for his wife, Kim Kardashian, as a wedding gift? At least, access to all those BK outlets, across Europe, will certainly help Kardashian keep up her ample assets.

Kanye Burger King

#4: Mike Tyson – Bathtub ($2 million)

That bathtub, given to now ex-wife Robin Givens as a Christmas present, would have to be jewel-encrusted and include technology only seen on The Jetson’s to justify the exorbitant cost. For the Sip Advisor, it would also have to be outfitted with laser beams that caused Mrs. Sip to immediately shed her clothing, whenever activated (by remote control, of course!). I mean, I guess that’s what people generally do before getting into the tub, but it would be a required feature for me. Tyson’s money troubles have been well-documented, with the former Heavyweight Champ racking up millions in debt.

#3: Celine Dion – Humidifier ($2 million)

We get it, you use your voice (unfortunately) to make your oodles of money, but $2 million seems incredibly excessive for a device you can usually find for a few hundred dollars… and that’s if you want to splurge. For the amount of money Dion was willing to shell out, there better be guarantees that you will never suffer from deadly diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and basically everything else that can be medically diagnosed. The air moisturizer was installed into her Las Vegas hotel room when she was performing nightly at the Caesar’s Palace Coliseum. Viva Las Vegas, I suppose.

Celine Dion Titanic

#2: Kim Basinger – City of Braselton, Georgia ($20 million)

Talk about getting bad advice from your entourage. In 1989, Basinger was encouraged by family members to buy the town of Braselton, Georgia, for $20 million. What association did Basinger and company have with the city of Braselton? Absolutely none. You’d think she was born there or at least had a wonderful family vacation there in her youth. Basinger tried to turn the town into a resort destination, which would host an annual film festival, along with other tourist attractions and movie studios. The whole ordeal caused Basinger to file for bankruptcy and have tension with her family.

#1: Nicholas Cage – Numerous (Millions and millions…)

No wonder the Oscar winner has had his fair share of financial difficulties, given the lavish spending habits he has exhibited, throughout his career. Cage can be credited with buying everything from a Bavarian castle, to a tropical island, to a dinosaur skull. He has also assembled one of the most impressive comic book collections, including Action Comics #1, featuring the debut of Superman. Thus, Cage has been forced to take a number of roles that he really should have avoided, simply to earn a paycheck. I gotta say, though, $3 million for an island in the Bahamas seems pretty reasonable!

Super Saturday Shot Day: PayDay

  • Rim the glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with a PayDay Ball

There are so many other bizarre, expensive purchases made by celebrities, it’s hard to cram them all into one article. Suffice to say, if you have the money, why not enjoy it. Too often, though, these stars’ lifestyles often lead to trouble, when the cash coming in and going out doesn’t even out.

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Barbados – Mango Crème Pie

Caribbean Queen

Well, this site has hit a new low (a near weekly occurrence, though!)… I never thought I’d write an article about pop star Rihanna, but here we find ourselves on the beautiful beaches of Barbados and she just happens to be one of the biggest things to ever come from the island country. Let’s take a look at her story:

Rihanna began singing at the age of seven and her career was launched when she signed with rapper Jay-Z’s Def Jam Records (to a six-record deal, no less). It wasn’t until her third album Good Girl Gone Bad, featuring the track ‘Umbrella’ that things really took off for the artist. Since then, Rihanna has worked with some of music’s biggest names, including Eminem, Kanye West, Coldplay, and, of course, Jay-Z. Her other hits include ‘Take a Bow,’ ‘Disturbia,’ ‘Only Girl (In the World),’ ‘We Found Love,’ ‘Diamonds,’ and ‘Stay.’

Rihanna Umbrella

Ironically, Rihanna had to ban people from bringing umbrellas to her concerts, afraid that fans would try to impersonate her dance moves with the rain deflectors and wind up injuring fellow concert-goers. It is for these same reasons that I banned people from bringing cocktail shakers into my performances. Nobody knows how to make love to a shaker like the Sip Advisor!

In an industry run amuck with nicknames, Rihanna is no different. Her monikers include RiRi, the Barbados Babe, Caribbean Queen, and even Rihanna… that’s because the singer’s real name is Robyn Fenty and her middle name has become her stage name. I wonder if the same goes for Madonna, Bono, Sting, and the list goes on and on. Speaking of Madonna, Rihanna has referenced the ‘Material Girl’ as her idol, going so far as to say that she wants to be the “Black Madonna”. Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and the late Aaliyah, among others, have also influenced the Barbadian.

Rihanna has taken home seven Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards (these must be easier to get), and two BRIT Awards. Her worldwide sales total 30 million albums and 120 million singles. She has enjoyed 13 chart-topping songs and has seen her name on lists like Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebrities and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

This year, Rihanna will receive a Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The girl is only 26 and she’s already being handed lifetime achievements. Damn, the fashion world is so ridiculous. Chew’em up and spit’em out before they’re 30… that’s a lifetime in fashion.

rihanna no hugs

I won’t go into details about the elephant in the room; Rihanna’s assault at the hands of Chris Brown, as that loser doesn’t deserve any attention from this site. All I’ll write, is that this wasn’t the first time her life was tumultuous. Growing up, her father was addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol and her parents rocky relationship ended in divorce when she was 14. Rihanna was an army cadet growing up, with fellow performer Shontelle as her drill sergeant, but dropped out of school before graduating to pursue her musical career.

Not solely devoted to the music world, Rihanna has appeared in four movies, including Bring it On: All or Nothing; Battleship; This is the End; and Home (an animated film to be released later this year). For her role as Petty Officer Cora Raikes in Battleship, Rihanna was bestowed both a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress and a Teen Choice Award, proving that adolescents today are idiots.

The sex symbol has also appeared on the cover of a number of publications, most notably, Maxim, FHM, Rolling Stone, and GQ has been romantically linked to baseball player Matt Kemp, as well as rapper Drake. Despite the magazine appearances, she has turned down offers to pose for Playboy on several occasions.

Following in the footsteps of other bombshells, Rihanna has unleashed a few fragrances upon the world. Her scents include ‘Reb’l Fleur’ (2011), ‘Rebelle’ (2012), ‘Nude’ (2012), and ‘Rogue’ (2013). MAC Cosmetics also released a Rihanna line of makeup dubbed ‘RiRi hearts MAC’ (begging the question: who comes up with all these shitty names!?).

rihanna-sideshow-bob

And somehow she still became a fashion icon!

 

Rihanna’s Believe Foundation was created to help terminally ill children. The charity also provides medical supplies, school supplies, and toys to kids in need.

For the fans of inked girls out there, Rihanna offers a number of tattoo options. The list actually seems almost endless, but working our way from head to foot: Pisces sign behind right ear; star in left ear; a trail of stars down her neck, as well as a rebelle fleur; the date 4/11/1986 in roman numerals on her left shoulder; “Never a Failure, Always a Lesson” on her right shoulder; a cross on her collar bone; “Freedom in Messiah” and a handgun on her ribs; a Sanskrit prayer on her hip; a goddess Isis on her stomach; a henna-style dragon claw on her hand; “Love” on her left middle finger; “Shhh…” on her right index finger; “Thug Life” on her knuckles; a skull with a pink hair bow on the back of her foot; a gun-shaped Egyptian falcon on her right foot; and music note on her ankle. I think I covered them all, but now I’m out of breath!

Rihanna’s 777 Tour featured the artist performing seven shows, in seven countries, over seven days.

rihanna-xmas-card

After winning Gillette’s Venus Breeze ‘Celebrity Legs of a Goddess’ Award in 2007, Rihanna promptly insured her gams for $1 million. That same year, she was named the official face of Barbados tourism and holds the title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth. The home country accolades continued to roll in for Rihanna in 2008 when a national holiday was created in her honour. She responded with a free concert for her country folk.

In 2013, Rihanna joined some prestigious company when she had a UK Singles Chart number one for the seventh consecutive year. The others to achieve the feat were Elvis Presley and The Beatles. She is also tied for third most number one singles (13) on the Billboard Hot 100 with Michael Jackson.

Barbados: Mango Crème Pie

Mango Creme Pie Martini

  • 1.5 oz Mango Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Whip Creamed Lime Wedge

This wraps up the TMZ edition of The Sip Advisor. Before this article, I could probably only name a couple songs by Rihanna or featuring Rihanna… and I’m thankful to say that fact remains true! Nothing against the pop princess, but it’s just not my type of music.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a tasty, light martini that provided a rare occasion to appreciate Pineapple Juice. It wasn’t too sweet, which I was worried about going into the drink. The Whip Cream dollop on top of the Lime Wedge was fun and unique. The recipe I read says you should float the Lime Wedge, but when I tried that, it just sank into the cocktail. Perhaps a thin lime wheel would have been more suitable.

December 29 – Fireside Choco-Chat

Something to Talk About

I sometimes like to watch those year-in-review retrospectives you find on news and sports channels. It gives you a real picture of what happened the previous 365 days and an idea of what to expect when the calendar turns over. So, as we try to stay warm by the fire, here are the people and topics we most discussed in 2013:

Miley Cyrus

People have been shaking their groove things for many years, but it took a raunchy twerking performance by former child star Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Video Awards to really help the pop singer burst on the scene. She followed that up with a string of other wild antics and her music video for Wrecking Ball, which features the artist (and all of her tan lines – you figure she would have got some colour before this production) swinging nude from the construction device and licking a filthy sledgehammer.

miley-cyrus

Prince George

Perhaps it’s the anti-parent in me or perhaps it’s the fact I couldn’t care less about celebrity offspring in general, but I don’t get the interest in the whole royal baby thing. Sadly, this kid is more famous that any of us will ever be and he still needs someone to wipe his own ass. I’d praise his genetic luck, but years of royal inbreeding have to catch up to reality eventually. At least he can claim things of Kate Middleton that most men would kill to also have rights to.

Concussion Awareness

This is the hottest topic in the sports world (even surpassing steroids) and it only seems to be getting more serious with each passing year. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with its former players for concussion treatment and earlier this month, news came out that a similar class action lawsuit was being filed against the NHL. While the players involved should be compensated, I feel we’re travelling down a slippery slope towards the elimination of contact sports entirely.

Rob Ford

The every-man mayor proved he was much more than your typical person and provided late night shows with copious amounts of material. Sure he continues to leave a black eye on the city of Toronto by refusing to step down and out of the public spotlight, but it’s no worse than their professional hockey team has been doing for years! Perhaps once he’s experienced close to 50 years of futility he’ll finally call it a day.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Kim and Kanye, or Kim-ye as they have been unitedly known, are perhaps Hollywood’s hottest power couple right now. This is what you get when you combine the amazingly egotistical Kanye West (he is the voice of our generation, after all) and the talentless yet uber famous Kim Kardashian (sorry, what exactly has she done again?). Don’t forget about baby North West, who has the perfect name for a fragrance already lined up: North by North West!

Fifty Shades of Grey

The franchise should really be called Fifty Shades of Who Cares, although I know I’m waging a winless battle. I’m just so outnumbered by women in their middle ages who love their mommy porn. How powerful is this group, you ask? Well, they’ve already forced Charlie Hunnam to give up on his role as Christian Grey in the film just because many thought he didn’t fit the part and backlashed against the performer on social media. What’s next? Will they get me booted off my own site because I’m far too talented? They may have a case there!

Drink #363: Fireside Choco-Chat

Fireside Choco-Chat Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with Whip Cream and a Chocolate Spoon

Before we retire for the evening, we should pay tribute to those who passed on in 2013. May there be drinks waiting for you all wherever you may be!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I went with Candy Cane Vodka instead of Peppermint Schnapps and that might have changed the taste. While I had looked forward to mixing Fluffed and Candy Cane Vodka with Hot Chocolate, I wasn’t overly impressed with the final product. Mrs. Sip liked it better than I did, however.

February 18 – Candy Rider

Ride Wit Me

In a recent post, I mentioned rock band Van Halen’s odd tour rider request to have all the brown M&M’s removed from candy dishes backstage at their appearances. Today I look at some other celebrity demands; some humourous, some reasonable and some downright bizarre.

Taylor Swift – Kraft Mac N’ Cheese, chocolate milk, ice cream, Twizzlers

I know Taylor is young – only 23 – but her rider makes it seem like she should still be eating at the kiddy table. Granted it looks like an ideal meal for Mrs. Sip as well. If this is a consistent part of Swift’s diet however, I wouldn’t be surprised if she often hits the stage with an upset tummy.

Kid Table

Eminem – peanut butter, strawberry jelly, Lunchables… oh, and a koi pond

Again, Slim Shady’s rider reminds me of something a young child going on a field trip would ask for. PB&Js and Lunchables sounds like a nice simple meal if you’re a picky kid. However, not really what I envisioned for someone rapping about drugs and sex, but then again I do love me a good PB&J. Both are favourites of Mrs. Sip (the PB&J and Lunchables that is, not the drugs and sex unfortunately)… she’s starting to look like a bit of a diva. The koi pond is completely out of left field, but given his other easy-to-achieve asks, we’ll give him a pass on the pond.

Adele – Marlboro lights, fans who get free tickets must make a donation to charity

Ever wonder how Adele gets that smoky voice of hers. The Marlboro lights she requests on her rider may play a role. I’m not sure how she keeps tabs on who gets free tickets to her concerts though… perhaps she has ESP (enhanced suspicions of people).

Kanye West – shampoo, lip balm, soft-bristle toothbrush

Wouldn’t want to hurt those voice-of-a-generation gums, hey Kanye? These are all items any normal person would travel with and supply themselves with, but hey, why not make someone else buy them for you and save $10 from your millions?

John Kerry – no tomato-based products or sandwiches

This is a very ironic request given his wife’s fortune – which likely helped fund Kerry’s bid for the American presidency – comes from her first marriage to the heir of the Heinz ketchup legacy. Perhaps that fact still bothers him. After all, what guy likes being constantly reminded of the other people who have seen his wife’s naughty bits?

Foo Fighters – colouring and activity books

Sounds like Dave Grohl and the guys have found a sure-fire way to kick-start their creativity prior to a performance. I can totally see Grohl lying on the floor and doing his best to keep within the lines. Then again, he is a drummer and maybe the exercise is all about breaking the rules. The group also provides this great drawing as an example of acceptable catering.

Foo Fighters Entree

Michael Buble – local hockey team puck, bottle of scotch, wine, veggies and dip

A good Canadian kid, all Buble wants is a bottle of scotch, some reasonably-priced wine, veggies and dip, and a hockey puck from the local team. It’s a well-known fact that Buble is a massive hockey fan and perhaps he’s just trying to build a one-of-a-kind collection. Fans of Bubbles have even posted in forums, trying to send him pucks from their area teams.

Mariah Carey – 20 white kittens, 100 doves

I only hope the 20 kittens are allowed to feast on the 100 doves and that is the only reason the two are ordered in unison (reminder: The Sip Advisor does not like birds in any form… except tuxedoed and flightless). Man, what a glorious massacre that would be. I know The Sip Advisor’s little sidekick, Furious B, would have an absolute feast if allowed to join this party.

Marilyn Manson – bald-headed, toothless hooker

We hope that this is a joke request, but with Mr. Manson (who sometimes prefers to go by Mrs.), you can never be too sure. Maybe he’s just using the woman as an example of how to do his own make-up!

Drink #49: Candy Rider

Candy Rider Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Cherry Fun Dip
  • 2 oz Gin (I used Beefeater)
  • Top with Cherry Dr. Pepper
  • Garnish with Twizzler Straw

My demands for today’s drink included a cherry Fun Dip rim and a Twizzler straw. If you were a touring celebrity, what would be on your rider? Write me your own requests and I’ll decide whether or not you’re worth booking. The best replies may be posted in a future Sip Advisor blog!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I would have never thought that Gin and Dr. Pepper went together very well… boy, was I wrong. I’m particularly proud of the Twizzler stir stick/straw I added to go along with the post above.