Sunday Comics: National Humor Month

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I find it rather ironic (aka lazy of me) to not have posted any Sunday Comics in April, aka National Humor Month.

Oops.

Being the last day of April and, conveniently falling on a Sunday, I have decided it’s better late than never.  Plus for full disclosure, I must confess that I only learned it was National Humor Month this morning when I came across this article from the Huffington Post.  I would like to point out–for the record–that their article was originally published on April 26th, so I don’t feel like too much of a slacker for waiting a few more days (also, we’re going to TOTALLY ignore that it was published in 2012…like I said: I only found it today)!

The article highlights a few reasons laughter is the best medicine–which to me ranks higher than apples and slightly lower than wine or coffee (although having both wine and/or coffee does help the laughter flow, so really they are all interrelated).

  • Laughter Reduces Stress: When stressed, we produce a hormone called cortisol. Laughter can significantly reduce cortisol levels.
  • Laughter Can Reduce Pain: Laughter causes us to produce endorphins, which are natural, pain-killing hormones.
  • Laughter Strengthens the Immune System: A hearty laugh decreases stress hormones and increases production of T-cells, immune proteins and infection-fighting antibodies.
  • Laughter Helps the Heart: When we laugh we increase blood flow and the function of blood vessels, which can help prevent cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter Relaxes the Whole Body: One good belly laugh can relieve physical tension and relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.
  • Laughter Helps You Recharge: By reducing stress levels and increasing your energy, laughter can help you focus and achieve more.

You can read the full article here.  And if you click on the link of Sunday Comics (here or above), you can see all my noble attempts to help keep you healthy!

Without further ado, here’s a video that makes me laugh every. single. time.  Probably because this is soooooo Addy–not the German Shepard, who haughtily does it perfect, but the Golden Retriever…because well, I think everyone with a Golden or a Labrador can relate.

Consider this your medicine for today–and bonus points if you’re drinking red wine and/or eating dark chocolate while laughing 😉

 

 

PS–In case you’re wondering about the Featured Image of Addy in the snow: it is completely not related, except that it is what I imagine Addy’s version of laughter looks like! 🙂 (for those of you who follow me on email, the picture is below)

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Like Peas and Carrots, Just Not With Merlot…

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I’ve never fully understood the phrase “like peas and carrots”–I mean sure, it was a popular side dish back in the day, but having an immense dislike for both when I was younger always made me want to argue that they did not compliment each other unless it was in providing a companion while they were both thrown out.  I’m sure you’re probably wondering why I’m even mentioning it.  Well, this month’s wine writing challenge (#MWWC21)–as selected by last month’s winner Jim of JVB Uncorked–is pairing.  And whenever I think of pairing the first thing that pops into my head is Forrest Gump’s thick ‘Bama accent saying “Jenny and I go together like peas and carrots.” But as an adult I find wine pairing is much, much tastier than peas and carrots.  Okay for full disclosure, as a kid I probably would have found wine pairing much tastier too….because….a) it’s wine and b) IT IS NOT PEAS OR CARROTS.

wine stain

 

Wine pairing is my favorite thing about wine.  Now before you argue, let me remind you pairing wine combines wine and food. wine and foodWINE and FOOD!  The only that I could think of as better would be visiting wineries because that pairs WINE with TRAVEL and if you’re lucky, meeting the WINEMAKER and quite possibly getting FOOD as well.  But unless you are fortunate enough to live in or very close a wine region, you’re probably not visiting wineries very often. As such, pairing wins this debate based solely on more opportunities–like every time you open a bottle.

wine pairing

The amazing thing about pairing is that it brings out the flavors in both the wine and the food, with results that can be truly magical.  Tragically, it can also enhance the negative flavors, like too much anise in your Amarone or overoaking in your Chardonnay.   In light of that, along came basic pairing rules like “red with steak” or “white with fish” or “riesling with spicy foods.” Obviously these are not unbreakable rules, but more like guidelines because the whole point of pairing wine and food is to bring out the best flavors in each one.  As our tastes are all slightly different, so too will be what we consider an amazing pairing.

If this is all new to you and you want to ask Google for help, you will be offered 413,000 article suggestions on the rules of wine pairing in 0.36 seconds.  After visiting a handful of sites, I found that in terms of general guidelines FoodAndWinePairing have a really understandable set of rules.  These start off with what should be everyone’s the first and foremost rule of wine drinking: drinking what you like takes precedent over “rules” of wine.  Their list goes on from there for pairing wine to balance and compliment the flavor of your meal and suggestions if you are stuck.  If you were looking for articles and recommendations with a bit more flair and pizzazz, then Food & Wine has a couple of articles here and here.

Of course, you have to give props to those who like to think way outside the wine pairing box and offer suggestions like pairing wine with Girl Scout cookies (sorry, I know the infographic is a bit small–click on it and you can read all about the proper GS cookie & wine pairings).

girlscout

Don’t look at me like that, you’re only mad because you are still on a quest for that perfect white wine pairing for your stockpile of Thin Mints.  TRY THE MERLOT!

Yes, you read that correctly: I yelled “TRY THE MERLOT!” Now, if you know me in real life or have had the pleasure–in one form or another–of listening to me rant about how I hate strongly dislike most merlots, you’re probably thinking that I’ve suffered blunt force trauma to the head or am WWD (writing while drunk)…but no, I said it.  With gusto, in caps, and an exclamation point!

For those of you who are new here or haven’t had the pleasure, I heartily dislike drinking merlots (with a very short list of exceptions) because they tend to leave a very bitter and astringent aftertaste in my mouth, much like eating cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol.  I would now like to interject a clarification that I have NEVER actually eaten cotton balls soaked in alcohol, but I would imagine it tastes a lot like drinking merlot.

But then…then you add chocolate, like, let’s say a Thin Mint, and suddenly even merlot is palatable.  The chocolate (real chocolate, that is–not the nasty fake white chocolate shi stuff) really brings out the cocoa undertones that are inherent to merlots and suddenly the cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol aftertaste is magically transformed into velvety smoothness.  It’s like a Christmas miracle, but any day of the year!

At this point I know you are no longer paying attention and are wondering if you still have that dusty bottle of merlot at the bottom of the wine rack and that bar of chocolate safely hidden from kidlets and spouses in a box of Grape Nuts in the pantry (you laugh, but I know someone who does that with his cookies), but before I let you go out into the adventurous world of wine pairing, The Huffington Post kindly gathered some great wine pairing suggestions from comedian Jeff Wysaski and they were just too good not to share!

Happy wining!

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