October 31 – Hellraiser

Cursed Accounts

We wrap up our month of spooky goodness with another curious subject: curses. I mean, life can be tough enough without having a curse hanging over your head. Let’s take a look at some of the nastiest jinxes out there

#5: Men of Steel?

Who would have thought that portraying a super hero would be detrimental to your health and wellbeing? Catastrophe has followed a number of the actors who suited up as Superman over the years, from George Reeves’s suicide/murder to Christopher Reeve’s paralysation and eventual death. The story goes that the original creators of the character, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, placed the curse on Superman when they were denied the rights to the character and all the financial benefits that come with it. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Superman fan… I’ll audition for the role of Batman, thank you very much!

Superman Collateral Damage

#4: Chairman of the Board

As Thomas Busby was en route to his execution, he swore that anyone who sat in his favourite chair would die. The chair’s legend began when Busby came home one day to find his father-in-law sitting in it and demanding his daughter back. Ever the negotiator, Busby killed his father-in-law with a hammer. Since Busby’s death march threat, many are said to have died after sitting in the chair, particularly two air force members, who dared each other to sit in the chair and died later that day in a car crash. The chair now sits in the Thirsk Museum, hanging on a wall so it can’t be sat in, despite numerous requests to do so from visitors looking to tempt fate.

#3: When Painting Kills

The Sip Advisor has never been much of an art connoisseur and this tale isn’t going to change my mind. Many homes that displayed the Crying Boy painting, ended up being the site of fires or explosions. Despite the damage to the dwelling, the painting always survived intact. The Madrid-based artist who created the work, should have known something was up when he asked the boy (who was orphaned after his parents perished in a house fire) to pose for him and his studio caught fire. Apparently, each home the youngster was taken into would eventually go up in flames. There are a few museums I kind of wish this piece would end up at!

painting-funny

#2: Diamonds Aren’t Forever

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, but perhaps not in this case. The infamous Hope Diamond has caused many of those who possessed it to meet an unfortunate end. Stolen from the head of an idol in a temple in India, the 112-carat gem can be traced back to King Louis XVI of France, as well as Princess de Lamballie and Marie Antoinette. All of which were beheaded during the French Revolution. Similarly, the Kohinoor Diamond is said to bring great fortune to the women who own it, but tragedy to the men who possess it. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor isn’t really a jewellery guy and prefers to see diamonds on Mrs. Sip.

#1: Presidential Pallor

When future president William Henry Harrison broke a treaty with Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe in 1811, war broke out and many lives were lost. Tecumseh cursed Harrison as he was inaugurated in 1840 and from then on, the president elect every 20 years was doomed to die while in office: Harrison, Lincoln (1860), Garfield (1880), McKinley (1900), Harding (1920), Roosevelt (1940), and Kennedy (1960). Ronald Reagan beat the curse after his appointment in 1980 – although there was an assassination attempt on his life – as did George W. Bush in 2000. Who knows what 2020 will have in store, but that’s one year I would avoid if I were the political type.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Hellraiser

There are also a number of sports-related curses – perhaps to be examined in another article. I wish I could blame my Vancouver Canucks championship drought on a long-running curse, rather than poor drafting, trades, and play! Here’s to wishing all you little sippers a happy and safe Halloween!

Advertisements

August 15 – Time Bomb

Time Transport

I think it’s safe to say that we would all love to have access to a time machine. To be able to go back and fix our wrong turns or relive some of our finest moments would be an amazing ability. Now that we’ve decided we want to go back in time, all we have to choose is the vessel for our travels. Here are some of the greatest we’ve been introduced to:

#5: Phone Booth – Bill & Ted’s

When Bill and Ted desperately need to pass their history presentation (thus leading to the survival of the human race, of course!) a time machine is required to go back through the ages and learn from the legends themselves. The time machine was originally to be a 1969 Chevy van, rather than a phone booth, but that would be too close to Back to the Future. Today, none of this would be possible, given the phone booth is a thing of the past… plus, space would be kind of tight for multiple travellers.

Time Travel Hitler

#4: Toaster – The Simpsons

This is one of my favourite Treehouse of Horror segments, which finds Homer sent back into the time of the dinosaurs, trying not to alter anything from the past, knowing that it could have dire repercussions on his present and future. While he narrowly misses a perfect life, worrying that donuts don’t exist, he settles for an alternate reality that is close to the present he remembers, with the one difference being that the rest of his family eats with extending forked tongues, resembling a lizard.

#3: Hot Tub – Hot Tub Time Machine

I’ve always loved chilling out (or better put, warming up) in a hot tub, with a beer by my side. Had I ever experimented with the Russian energy drink Chernobly – and spilled it all over the hot tub controls – I may have ended up back in the past, reliving a portion of my younger life. At least Chevy Chase was on the case as the mysterious repairman, trying to help the gang get back to their present. I have yet to watch the sequel to this franchise, but it’s high on my ‘to do’ list for more histrionic learning.

time travel kitty

#2: Ocarina – Legend of Zelda

How can one little instrument produce so much beautiful music… and songs that really help our hero Link! The ocarina can change day into night and vice versa, summon a horse, and make it rain (the weather, not the cash at the strip club style… although it would be entertaining to watch Link throw rubies at Princess Zelda!). Perhaps the ocarina’s most important feature is that it helps Link jump throughout time, utilizing the Song of Time. We would all love to skip those awkward puberty years!

#1: DeLorean – Back to the Future

The DeLorean can take people back into the past, as well as years into the future – so long as you can get it up to 88 miles per hour… oh, and also have access to a flux capacitor! Early drafts of the film’s script called for a laser device to induce time travel, but a vehicle was eventually incorporated into later edits, with the DeLorean selected thanks to its unique appearance. Despite the popularity the car enjoyed, following the movie’s release, production of the vehicle had already halted two years prior.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Time Bomb

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Cranberry

Honourable mentions go to the TARDIS (Doctor Who), the WABAC Machine (Mr. Peabody and Sherman), Timmy’s Wheelchair (South Park), and Binary Code (Futurama). Even Superman was able to reverse time by simply flying really fast and spinning the earth in the opposite direction of what gravity dictated. If only it was that easy!

China – China Blue

Great Walls of Fire

The Great Wall of China was erected (that word always makes me giggle) over a number of eras and decades and is one of the most impressive engineering feats in history. Since its construction, it has become a world famous monument and used for countless other achievements. Here are some of its notable uses and appearances:

Big Air

There have been a number of attempts by bikers, skateboarders, and the like to jump the Great Wall. Extreme athlete Travis Pistrana even tackled the challenge on a toy bike. Sadly, not every attempt has been successful. Two Chinese BMX riders were looking to fly over the wall to celebrate a national holiday. One landed safely in the area set up to catch the falling stuntmen, but the other flew right over it to his death. So much for home field advantage!

Great-wall-I-can-hold-it

Go Your Own Way

While jumping the Great Wall is a dream for some, that vision wasn’t held by cyclist Kevin Foster. Instead, Foster wanted to travel a fair chunk of the world heritage site. In 50 days, Foster trekked 1,174.8 miles of the wall, through sandstorms, hail, monsoons, high temperatures, and even a crash that sent him through a portion of the structure and caused three broken ribs. The journey was called “the last, greatest, cycling adventure on the face of the earth.”

Running with the Wall

Most little sippers, like the Sip Advisor, probably don’t follow the sport of free running. It’s basically akin to parkour, but involves more theatrics… wait, there can be even more acrobatics thrown in? World renowned free runner (you can be renowned in this field?), Ryan Doyle put the Great Wall in its place as part of his Red Bull World Wonders Tour. Remember, Red Bull: It gives you wings… and hopefully not because you’re dead and on your way to the afterlife.

Super Repairs

In perhaps one of the cheesiest special effects of all-time, Superman used laser vision to repair the Great Wall after it had been damaged by the equally cheesy villain, Nuclear Man (before The Simpsons Radioactive Man). This all came about in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which effectively killed the movie franchise. I’ve never been a Superman fan, but I have to give him credit for fixing a landmark I have yet to see.

Building the Wall

In 2005, a number of acts gathered for a concert using the Great Wall setting as a backdrop. Headlined by Boyz II Men, other performers included Cyndi Lauper and Alicia Keys. The show was recorded for a DVD release, The Great Wall Concert (I’m blown away they couldn’t come up with a more glitzy name than that), and also included interviews with historians, visits to other Chinese landmarks, and comedy performances on the streets of Beijing.

Abracadabra

There has been some amazing feats performed in the world of magic and David Copperfield’s act of walking through the Great Wall has to be among them. What else would you expect from the same man who has levitated above the Grand Canyon, made the Statue of Liberty disappear, and wed Claudia Schiffer!? For this illusion, Copperfield used a sheet and his faithful assistant to appear to go through the legendary wall… his secret is safe with me!

Maid in China

Rope Tricks

Chinese acrobat Adili Wuxor (dubbed the ‘Prince of Tightrope Walking’) and his apprentice Yakup Jang performed a tightrope walk of 1,100 feet from one point of the Great Wall to another in 2013. It’s estimated that the duo was 328-feet above the ground at the highest point. If that wasn’t enough, the stuntmen performed some theatrics during the 40-minute crossing, including sitting on the rope, balancing on one foot, dancing, and even going blindfolded.

The Wall is Not Enough

While it has yet to happen in a Bond film, it has long been rumoured and researched to film a motorcycle chase scene at the Great Wall for the long running franchise. First dreamt up for the 1989 License to Kill, negotiations with the Chinese government hit a snag when the politicians asked for power over the script. The most recent 007 saga, Skyfall, was to include the fabled act, but plans changed and although Bond travels to China, the Great Wall was not used.

China: China Blue

Mar 31

  • 2 oz Chu Yeh Ching Chiew
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lychee Juice and Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wheels

I’m proud of all you little sippers for traversing the Great Wall with me and not needing to be carried by bodyguards like that twerp (nee douche bag) Justin Bieber. Now that was an amazing feat… of stupidity!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Some say Chu Yeh Ching Chiew is similar to wine, others to gin, and some classify it as closer to vodka. One site calls it Chinese Bamboo Leaf Vodka and that’s good enough for me! What really matters is that it’s believed to cure hangovers… well, at least for you hangover prone little sippers out there. As for this cocktail, it’s not bad. The flavour is indescribable thanks to the mix of Chu Yeh Ching Chiew and Lychee Juice; two flavours I don’t know very well. It could use some fizz, however.

November 30 – Re-Run

Crossover Calamity

Last week (Nov. 21) was World Television Day and I passed over it in favour of dedicating myself to Whiskey Week. That transgression has bugged me since and must be remedied. I love TV. It is by far my favourite entertainment option, far surpassing movies, music, and reading, with food, sex, and sports receiving brief shout outs. In belated honour of that special day, here are some of the oddest crossover partnerships, most of which have occurred on the small screen!

Baywatch – World Championship Wrestling

It would be so bizarre if you were hanging out at the beach, enjoying some sand and surf, when all of a sudden a 400-pound professional wrestler – fully decked out in his ring gear – storms the coastline to confront his enemy. You see, at the time, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were hanging out with Mitch Buchannon and the chest-tacular babes of Baywatch. Of course, challenges were made and a ring constructed, with the good guys triumphing over evil and sending them packing with sand in their tights.

WCW Baywatch

Come on Hulkster… nobody wants to see you run along the beach!

Scooby Doo – Harlem Globetrotters, Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy, The Addams Family, The Three Stooges

The Scooby Gang can be credited with having the most bizarre partnerships in the history of sleuthing. They’ve crossed numerous mediums to ruin the schemes of creepy, old men, who just want their share of a town’s or family’s riches. I think the most bizarre of these associations would have to be The Addams Family, as Scooby and Shaggy wouldn’t be able to be around the spooky clan… unless there was just enough Scooby Snacks to keep them occupied.

X-Files – The Simpsons

While this was a very well done crossover, the fact that dry FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully even ventured into the chaotic town of Springfield seems like an odd choice at first glance. Investigating Homer Simpson’s claims of seeing an alien-like figure that has a sweet and heavenly voice and appears every Friday night like Steve Urkel, the X-Files tandem discovers that the extraterrestrial is in fact only Mr. Burns, who is let loose following his weekly longevity treatment.

Springfield Files

Superman and Wonder Woman – The Brady Bunch

Why Superman and Wonder Woman would bother to waste their time helping the snot-nosed kids of the Brady Bunch will forever remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a slow day for the Justice League or they were fumigating the Fortress of Solitude or something. I just feel that Superman and Wonder Woman could have spent the day doing anything else – from bumping uglies to running errands – and it would have turned out better.

Archie – The Punisher

Why these two entities would ever need to cross paths is something I can’t fathom. Was Archie searching for vigilante justice after Jughead ate him out of house and home? Did he finally have enough of that prick Reggie? Perhaps Betty and Veronica were tired of clashing in their pursuit of a fair-skinned ginger and decided to rid the world of the guy, via a murder-for-hire plot. In actuality, The Punisher is searching for a notorious drug deal named Red, who (get ready for the hilarious misunderstandings) just happens to look like Archie. As if junkies would ever buy product off a guy that looked like Archie!

archie punisher

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Power Rangers

I guess if you suspend your disbelief enough (or take some hallucinogenic drugs), anything is possible. And that was the theory that went behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaming with the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The two sides actually have more in common than you’d think: they’re teenagers, have martial arts training, use weaponry, enjoy pizza… you know, all the important stuff.

Superman – Muhammad Ali

While most would side with Muhammad Ali in regards to any battle he entered, it’s hard to do so when he’s up against a completely invincible being like Superman. This was such a mismatched fight that I hope Ali immediately fired all his representation. Even Don King would have been able to see the writing on the wall and he’s a selfish loser with only his own best interest in mind. I just hope the prize money was worth the walloping Ali was in for.

Drink #334: Re-Run

Re-Run Shooter

  • 0.75 oz Hpnotiq Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Pineapple Candy

Which befuddling crossovers have I missed? Please send them my way, as I’m always looking for inebriated viewing ideas!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty decent on the taste scale. The citrus-flavoured Hpnotiq went well with the other ingredients and on the plus side, the combination didn’t come across as too sweet. I’ve been trying, when Grenadine is an ingredient, to not overwhelm anything recipes with the substance and that worked to perfection here.

October 31 – Rigor Mortis

Costume Craziness

Halloween can be a fun time of year. It’s the one day where you can be something you’re not. Good girls can go bad and the living can pretend they’re dead. Even animals can get in on the act! Here are the various costumes I’ve worn over the years:

halloween-costumes-boys-girls

Little Bear

While I don’t recollect this Halloween experience at age 3, I’ve consulted Ma Sip for details of my first Trick or Treat outing. Dressed as a bear (a nice little image for you furry fans out there), the Sip Advisor cried at the first house he was taken to. Then, upon realizing that a simple knock on the door resulted in candy to be giveth, Ma and Pa Sip couldn’t stop this cuddly, maniac bear from hitting every house in the neighbourhood!

Transformer

When I was a wee little sipper, I was a massive fan of the original Transformers cartoon. Pa Sip created a costume for me, so I could be Optimus Prime. Using a large cardboard box painted red and blue, I looked like the leader of the Autobots. One problem: as I showed off my awesome look at pre-school, the box was too big to allow me to sit down and I had to stand most of the day. Even worse, when I first went to hop out of our old 1984 Suburban, I ended up falling, resulting in a turtle-like stranded situation!

Optimus PINT... it could have been so easy for Pa Sip. Hindsight is 20/20!

Optimus PINT… it could have been so easy for Pa Sip. Hindsight is 20/20!

Batman

Cue the Christian Bale voice… “I’m Batman!” Along with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and soon-to-be Ben Affleck, I too played the role of Batman. But my Batman was more of the awesome Adam West variety. Broski Sip was my sidekick as Robin and together, we saved Gotham City from injustice, were rewarded with candy, and broke the hearts of those handing out treats at every door.

Dracula/Frankenstein

In following years, I experimented with the classic monster costumes. It was fun being all painted up to look undead. I’m not sure I ever looked very intimidating… probably more cute than anything else (no surprise there!). I think these are perfect costumes for kids, as it lets them dip their toe into the world of scary looks, without getting too spooky. I suppose nowadays zombies would be a huge hit for little ones and that just continues the legacy.

Zombie-Costume

Road Dogg

When professional wrestling was one of the biggest phenomena’s in the late 90’s, most of my friends went as one of the grapplers. I went as ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James, with Grandma Sip even knitting me a hair piece, attached to a D-Generation X hat, to capture Road Dogg’s dreadlock look. It was a pretty simple costume because other than that, all I needed was to wear track pants and my D-X t-shirt. Some didn’t get it, but those who did absolutely loved the effort.

Clark Kent/Superman

After a number of years off from Halloween, I was dragged back into the costume hunting experience by Mrs. Sip. We were thinking of doing something related to one another and when Mrs. Sip decided upon going as Supergirl, I had no other choice, but to go as Superman, despite my abhorrence of the character. Trying to steer slightly away from being ‘The Man of Steel’ I grabbed a costume that was more Clark Kent, but you could pull open the shirt and jacket to reveal the iconic Superman logo.

couple-costumes

Couple’s costumes… what a bunch of boobs!

Dr. Howie Feltersnatch

Now going to adult Halloween parties, I was on the prowl for the perfect costume to stir up a little controversy. I settled on a gynecologist outfit and became Dr. Howie Feltersnatch. Go ahead; take a moment to appreciate the finely crafted moniker. With Sookie Stackhouse (aka Mrs. Sip) by my side – with vicious vampire bite and bottle of True Blood – we made a grand entrance… just like the focus of my medical career!

Lady Febreeze

My most recent Halloween misadventure was at Cousin Sip’s party, where guests were challenged to create their own superhero. Mrs. Sip and I came up with the characters The Boozelar (like the Hamburglar, but taking people’s drinks) and Lady Febreeze. Originally, we planned to take our normal gender roles, but decided to swap for effect. Therefore, I showed up wearing a blonde wig, glittered mask, pink bra, hula skirt, glow sticks, and chased people around all night (especially the sneaky Boozelar), squirting them with a water-filled atomizer!

Drink #304: Rigor Mortis

Rigor Mortis Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Cherry Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherry

What are some of your memorable costumes? Happy Halloween everyone and stay safe out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was good, but not as great as I hoped it would be. I didn’t get a taste of the Grey Goose Cherry Noir like I usually do in other cocktails, as it was unfortunately buried under all the other ingredients. Still, it was a relatively tasty mix.

May 9 – Kryptonite

Kryptonite Crunch

The definition of kryptonite (aside from being a very potent strain of marijuana) is something or someone that makes you weak, powerless, and can even kill you. The concept, of course, comes from the Superman franchise, as the Man of Steel is practically invincible, unless he comes into contact with kryptonite from his home planet of Krypton. Wow, I really nerded out there… and I don’t even like Superman in any way, shape, or form. Here is a shortlist of my kryptonites:

Non-Alcoholic Beer/Mocktails

This would probably kill me. I just don’t get the concept, especially in the case of beer. While some mocktails might still be palatable because of the drink’s ingredients, beer is an acquired taste, so why would you waste your time with the non-alcoholic variety? None of the really good tasting beer flavours are made in the 0.5% form, only plain, ordinary and non-delicious beer types.

mocktail

Safety Drills

I’m pretty sure these will inevitably kill me. While I understand the logic behind these instructional processes, all they do for me is to encourage me to misbehave and to engage in risky actions. I’m a curious person (also naughty by nature) and when I’m told what will happen in the case of an emergency, I want to test these theories and hypotheses. It doesn’t matter whether it’s aboard an airplane or cruise ship, the term “this is not a drill” will likely be heard.

Streamers and Confetti

One of my biggest weaknesses. When streamers and confetti are shot through the air, I’m like a cat chasing a string. I’m completely mesmerized and fixated on the falling debris. I want to catch it all with my paws… er, hands… and put them in my mouth. Seriously, if I had my very own confetti gun, I’d be the happiest and laziest person in the known world. Either that, or like Eddie Murphy, I just want to party all the time!

Fresh-Baked Cookies

There’s just something about the scent of fresh-baked cookies that make me powerless. I don’t even need milk to become a ravenous zombie. I’m not picky, either. They can be chocolate chip, peanut butter, even oatmeal raisins… they all drive me crazy. Until I can get a couple dozen into my stomach I will not be able to think about anything else… not that there’s anything important going on upstairs, anyway.

cookie kitty

Forced Reading

Another thing that would surely kill me. In my opinion, all reading is forced, but what I’m really talking about is when you have no other choice but to do some hardcore reviewing: contracts, textbooks, etc. When you’re the type of person who doesn’t read by choice, it’s even harder when the task arises and you’re rushed to do so. This is why I’m letting Mrs. Sip head up the education of any of our future little sippers.

Hyphenated Surnames

I’m pretty sure hyphenated surnames will eventually lead to the downfall of mankind (kryptonite of the masses). Before our wedding, Mrs. Sip and I had to discuss whether she was going to take my name or not. That’s when I discovered how much I don’t like hyphenated names, never giving it much thought before. Just imagine how long people’s last names will grow to be if two folks with hyphenated last names end up marrying and hyphenate their already hyphenated monikers. You’ll have a four-name long last name and it could snowball from there with later generations jumping to eight and 16 last names.

Drink #129: Kryptonite

Kryptonite Drink

  • Rim glass with Lime Powder
  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Goldschlager
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid

What is your kryptonite? What takes a member of Sip Nation and drives them to acts of stupidity, which they can’t even control. I’m very curious about this subject, partly because I don’t want to be the only person who has no willpower and partly because if I know everyone’s weakness, I can rule the world!

Sip Advisor’s Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
It was a bit of a flashback for me to be using Kool-Aid. One of the very first drinks I ever invented when I was younger and not boozing it up was mixing Kool-Aid and Cola, which I dubbed Kontaminated Kool-Aid. See, I always had mad mixology skills! I like today’s drink quite a bit. It’s probably my favourite Goldschlager cocktail to date and you get varying tastes of it and the Jagermeister. The green Kool-Aid is an interesting touch compared to other mixers with similar effects.