January 18 – Crouching Tiger

Counter Culture

I fell asleep during the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, despite the fact I thought I’d enjoy the fantastical martial arts film with a name that sounds like a wicked sex position. This is far from the first popular film (at least according to most of the world) that I have walked away from disliking. Here are the top five movies I refuse to watch, despite their large fan base:

#5: The Hunger Games

Okay, so I only saw the first entry of this series, but it will be hard for Mrs. Sip to get me to return for more. Sorry to drop a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the film, but I absolutely hated how they built up this entire competition for what seemed like forever, only to kill off half the competitors immediately. Then, the fact producers wanted the film to be PG-13 eliminated any chance of serious themes from the book being examined. And so, we slowly wound our way to the inevitable and predictable finish. The Japanese flick Battle Royal is a far better offering in the realm of kids being challenged to kill one another in the name of survival.

#4: Moulin Rouge

Good lord, Mrs. Sip loves her musicals. The Sip Advisor, however, despises any media that is largely based around singing. Tragically, I’ve been dragged to a number of films or forced to watch movies where even the simplest dialogue is crooned. I’m not talking about Disney or other animated offerings, but live action movies where song and dance drives the entire production. Back to Moulin Rouge, I’ve actually been outside of the cabaret club in Paris, France and even without entering, cold chills were running through my system and I suffered flu-like symptoms just being in its presence.

#3: Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

Middle Earth is simply a place I don’t want to visit… and I definitely don’t want to get stuck there for six movies and 525 hours (running time is purely an estimate of Peter Jackson’s need to have super extended versions of his films). For most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mrs. Sip and I watched the DVD’s and I made sure a clause was put in our contract that we’d halt the movie half way through to take a break playing pool or throwing darts or something else to get me through the second half of the film. The tactic was not very successful with regards to my overall enjoyment.

#2: The Matrix

I just don’t understand these films and the truth of the matter is, I don’t really want to. When I saw the first installment many moons ago, all I could think about was how hungry I was. Thankfully, my McDonald’s feast afterwards wasn’t as disappointing as my cinema choice. Sadly, Mrs. Sip loved that first movie, so when the sequels arrived and we were now dating, I was dragged to midnight openings like I was some nerd who enjoys standing in lines for his entertainment. I only do that at Disneyland, thank you very much!

#1: Star Wars

Mrs. Sip was absolutely shocked when we started dating and I told her I had never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. She had grown up on the films and in short order, made me watch all three of the original releases. I’ve never really been a huge fan of science fiction. I think some of the concepts are neat, but in general, the whole space setting isn’t my cup of tea and too much fantasy and made up stuff irritates me. I must say, this was one of the few new experiences we shared that summer that I didn’t enjoy!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Crouching Tiger

Crouching Tiger Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Lychee Vodka/Liqueur
  • Splash of Lychee Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

Looking back at my list, not only are most of my selections popular movies, they’re god damn franchises, meaning I’m usually forced to sit through multiple movies I’d rather not see. Movies like Twilight and Titanic should have made the list, but I’ve actually been able to avoid watching any of these, so I’ll just leave them off and pretend they don’t exist!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty strong, thanks to the Tequila and my choice to go with Lychee Vodka rather than Lychee Liqueur. I added the splash of Lychee Juice to try and lighten the recipe and that helped in getting the flavour across. A decent shooter, but nothing to go out of your way for.

October 17 – Wicked Witch of the East

Musical Mayhem

Today we look at my favourite musicals I’ve been dragged along, kicking and screaming, to see. What do musicals have to do with alcohol, you might be asking? Well, whenever Mrs. Sip wants to go to one, she usually plies me with booze to get me in the mood. It’s a similar process to serving chocolate fondue to your better half when you want them to play video games with you. What’s that? Us dudes are supposed to use this tactic for other benefits… oh my, how very wrong I’ve been!

Avenue Q

The way I always describe this show is “Sesame Street gone badass”. The musical features scenes of gratuitous puppet sex, while also including songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet Is For Porn”. I actually introduced Mrs. Sip to Avenue Q, suggesting we see it in London’s West End after I saw an ad. She wasn’t onboard until learning that it had actually won a number of Tony awards, including Best Musical (2004), beating out Wicked, the show Mrs. Sip wanted to see. The show didn’t disappoint in it’s larger London venue or when I recently saw it again in a smaller venue at Vancouver’s Granville Island Theatre.

Avenue Q

Book of Morman

Mrs. Sip and I were lucky to see this amazing show during another trip to London recently. It’s the hottest show right now and tickets are hard to come by. We ordered months in advance… and then blanked on the date of our performance and missed it. They hold a lottery before every show to sell 21 tickets in the front row. Mrs. Sip and I entered and were fortunate to have our entry drawn! The show was produced by the creators of South Park, who have absolutely no problem lampooning everything under the sun from religion to race and Book of Mormon is no exception.

Rock of Ages

If you love 80’s rock from all the best hair bands, then this show is for you. The energy is fantastic, the music is rocking and there are a lot of laughs to be had, as the era is spoofed. Of course, the plot centers around a small town girl and a city boy coming together in Los Angeles, as they both reach for the heights of stardom. This is the first musical I’ve been to where they actually sell drinks routinely throughout the performance.

Jersey Boys

When you leave this musical, all you want to do is download some Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tunes and go back in time to another era. I surprised Mrs. Sip with tickets to this show as a wedding shower gift… well, after Ma Sip forgot to pass the present along to her, on my behalf. The production, which we saw at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, received an immediate standing ovation as it ended, not one of those “well, most people are standing, so I guess I’ll stand too” types of deals. Oh, what a night!

jersey-boys

Lion King

Hakuna Matata… what a wonderful phrase! Mrs. Sip and I saw the Lion King in Las Vegas and it was an enjoyable show. While I personally found that the movie is better, the musical tried to separate itself a little from its source material with a few songs that aren’t in the film and the costumes were out of this world. Perhaps best of all, is it was combined with a free buffet dinner at the Mandalay Bay resort.

Singin’ in the Rain

This is the first musical I ever took Mrs. Sip to as part of a dating anniversary gift. I suppose I set myself up for future trips to the theatre with that gesture, but I guess it’s all worth it. The best part of this show was when they flooded the stage during the titular number. Then, throughout intermission, as they worked diligently to dry the stage, I worked just as hard to make sure my stage was getting wet at the bar!

Singin' in the Rain

Aladdin

In its 10th year at the Hyperion Theatre at Disneyland’s California Adventure park, Mrs. Sip and I have watched the production a handful of times throughout our visits and have always enjoyed ourselves. The Genie sometimes updates his jokes, so it’s never the same show. Full of acrobats, big theatrical numbers, and even an elephant and a flying carpet, this mini musical never disappointing! Plus, since you’re already inside the park, the musical is free and you can bring a Churro in with you for snacking!

Wicked

Perhaps my favoruite element of going to a musical is the use of staging and how it is quickly changed in the course of a performance. This show had perhaps the best stage work I’ve ever seen and I can totally understand why it’s a hit production. The story of how the Wicked Witch became her wicket self is an interesting twist on the Wizard of Oz franchise, which is full of other possible origin tales.

Drink #290: Wicked Witch of the East

Wicked Witch of the East Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Broomstick

Have any suggestions of shows I should check out in the future? I’m willing to try anything once, but if you send me down the wrong path, I’ll take away your little sipper membership and secret decoder.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Okay, so I’ve pushed this cocktail back a number of times and Halloween seemed like the perfect time to finally get it done. It’s supposed to be layered, with the Melon Liqueur and Vodka mixed together and poured on top of the combined Blue Curacao and Grenadine, but although that didn’t work out, the blend of black with hints of green around the edges I felt looked neat enough. And the Broomstick garnish… I made that myself. I know, who would have thunk the Sip Advisor had some arts and crafts talent!