June 27 – True Canadian

Canadian Content

Recently, we looked at some of the most notable Canadian patriots and icons, in RL (that means real life!). Today, we enter the fictional world and examine some of the greatest contributions to this country’s (and outside its borders) culture, from persons who have never actually existed:

#5: Northstar

While many have probably not heard of Northstar, he is an important figure in comic history and LGBT culture. A member of the Canadian Alpha Flight team (also featuring his sister Aurora and other members, such as Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird), Northstar gained notoriety for being the first openly gay major character created by Marvel Comics. Despite debuting in April 1979, Northstar didn’t officially come out until 1992. The superhero was finally allowed to marry his partner 20 years later, in 2012.

Northstar Marriage

#4: Bob and Doug McKenzie

These two hosers got their beginning on the SCTV sketch comedy show, leading to a feature film, Strange Brew, in which they are thrust into becoming unlikely heroes, trying to save their favourite brewery. If that’s not a definitive Canadian story, I don’t know what is! These roles launched the careers of both Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. In a great casting choice, Disney reunited the McKenzie brothers to play a pair of comical moose, Rutt and Tuke, in the movie Brother Bear, also set in the Canadian wilderness.

#3: Ike Broflovski –South Park

Ike is the adopted brother of Kyle, born in Canada as Peter Gints. As the main characters have aged, so has Ike, who is now in kindergarten, despite being only three years old.  Any episode that revolves around Ike is usually pretty good, whether he’s entered into a relationship with his adult teacher, is going through early puberty, caused by steroid, or is saving the Canadian Princess (wait, we have one of those?).  Crude TV stars Terrence and Phillip are also Canadian, which is why the folks of South Park, Colorado aren’t too happy with their neighbours from the north!

ike broflovski

#2: Trailer Park Boys

Julian, Ricky, Bubbles, and the rest of the gang seem to always be getting themselves into trouble, as they move from one get-rich-quick scheme to another, trying to avoid the capture of police and Sunnyvale Trailer Park disciplinarian Mr. Lahey and his partner in crime (and other things) Randy. Set in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, this mockumentary shows the love that can develop between folks stuck in hard times, as they scratch and claw their way towards better lives, sometimes taking shortcuts, rather than conventional means.

#1: Wolverine

One of the most rugged, bad ass superheroes has Canadian blood running through his veins… well, that and adamantium bones! Wolverine debuted all the way back in 1974 and over the rest of the decade, grew in popularity, leading to his own four-part series in 1982. The character has proven to be so prevalent, that he has been the focal point of numerous movies for the franchise. Wolverine’s on-again, off-again enemy Sabretooth also hails from Canada, as does Deadpool, who has been previously played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, and will be again in the 2016 eponymous feature film.

Super Saturday Shot Day: True Canadian

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Maple Syrup

In closing, I have to include an honourable mention for Anne Shirley (better known as Anne of Green Gables), or else Mrs. Sip might strip me (wait for it) of my Canadian citizenship! Next week, we get to look at the fictional patriots from south of the border… and there are a lot of them!

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.

January 6 – The Cosmopolitan

Cosmo’s Aren’t Just for the Ladies

Don't be so shocked, Skeletor, dudes be drinknig Cosmos, too!

Don’t be so shocked, Skeletor, dudes be drinking Cosmos too!

When I was 12 I had one of my kidneys removed, leaving me with a wicked scar that surprisingly worked well with the ladies. I like to think I know how studs like Ryan Reynolds and Matthew McConaughey feel with people everywhere ogling their midsection… only problem, I don’t have a ripped abdominal core… I’m on the freak side of the awe and attention. But that’s not the point of this story.

Prior to the operation I met with a dietary physician or something like that – basically someone who tells you what to eat and drink and what not to indulge in. I was told to reduce my salt intake (never really happened… seasoning salt, I put that shit on everything), drink alcohol in small doses when I became of legal age (you think I listened to that advice… I’m doing this blog, aren’t I) and to drink cranberry juice (lame… gross… hated the vile substance). That is, until recently, when I tried a Cosmo on my honeymoon cruise – hell, it was handed out to me for free – and found that cranberry juice wasn’t so bad after all… providing vodka, triple sec and lime juice are large portions of the mix.

Now, the Cosmo is likely one of the most ordered “Girls Night Out” drinks, but I’m going to team up with the drink and bring equality to the cocktail world. Together, we will change this perception that the Cosmo is only for the ladies. Like the You Can Play campaign in the hockey/sport universe, I vow that You Can Drink a Cosmo, or any other martini, and not feel ashamed to be doing so.

There’s nothing wrong with a man holding a pink drink. A few months back, I even had a Cotton Candy Collins at Society in Vancouver. The restaurant being empty that particular afternoon might have helped, but it was worth the risk to enjoy this creative cocktail, which, of course, came with a healthy dose of pink cotton candy on the top of the drink and has inspired me to do a future Candy Drink Week.

Back to the Cosmo… I began to make them more regularly and before I knew it, a bottle of juice that I thought would sit in my fridge untouched for years was nearly empty. As you’ve seen in previous entries, I often don’t play by the rules in my cocktail construction, and for the Cosmo, this is no different. I personally prefer to drink a Cosmo on ice and in a rocks glass (as I first enjoyed it on the cruise), but for the purposes of this entry, I’ve presented the drink in a martini glass, as that is the traditional method. Just put all the ingredients into a shaker and strain.

Drink #6: The Cosmo

Cosmopolitan Martini

  • 1.5 oz vodka (I used raspberry vodka just to girl it up a little more!)
  • 1 oz Cointreau or other triple sec
  • Top with cranberry juice
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Garnish with lime wedge

All that’s left is to get cozy in a fuzzy robe and slippers (picture coming soon), throw on your favourite chick flick (mine’s Debbie Does Dallas – that counts right?!) and sip the night away!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
It may be a girly drink, but it’s a good one. The Cosmo was one of the first drinks that allowed me to enjoy Cranberry Juice and for that, I have to thank it. I have to admit though, my favourite ingredient is the splash of Lime Juice.