The Importance of Breathing

It’s 1:37AM on Tuesday, and I was sitting here working on finances and trying to figure out how to keep a stray cat in my house and keep out the fatass raccoon who keeps coming in to steal her food, and neither of these things is especially stressful–although that raccoon and I are going to have a come-to-Jesus shortly–and I realized I was tense, tense enough that I wasn’t breathing. Took a couple of lungfuls of breath and felt better. Remembered the fate of my country gets decided today. Took several more deep breaths. Returned to plotting against the raccoon.

I’d address this just to the American Argh People, but I’m fairly sure most of the rest of the world is watching in horror, too. Deep breaths. Extinction burst. Nothing but good times ahead.

Jokes, cheery news, comfort reads, and anything else you can think of to get us through this day, in the comments below, please. Argh.

109 thoughts on “The Importance of Breathing

  1. I struggle with being grateful for what I have and dispirited for what’s going on. I work in healthcare and I hate wearing an N95 but, at least I’m getting paid to wear it. It does beat being in the bed. Sometimes the situation just sucks and we are not going to save them. I accept I can’t make it good.But I can make it better.My new mantra is embrace the suck. Sugarcoating it will just make it sugarcoated suck.

    You have made a couple of years better for me. I am in awe of writers, and I am in awe of you.
    Comfort read: An Incomplete Education or Calvin and Hobbs. When my house burnt down I bought one of your books and Calvin and Hobbs.
    Joke: Ask someone to say “knock, knock”. Then say “Who’s there”. Wait a couple weeks and do it again.
    Cheery: My husband,3 kids and I already voted.

  2. I’m reading Ashley Weaver’s newest Amory Ames mystery. British couple solves murders in the early 1930s. This series has been kind of hit or miss for me, but I’m enjoying this one. It’s spring at their country estate and there was a murder at the village festival. It has a certain classic British mystery atmosphere I am finding very comforting.

    I’ve also been re-watching Lewis for a couple of weeks, so this book fits right in. That show is also comforting.

    Nervous about the election, but my state is finally a swing state and it looks like we will be ousting our (appointed) Republican senator this year. I am really rooting for that for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that she was appointed after she lost the Senate election in 2018.

  3. Not an American Argher here but oh yes we are watching the American elections and hoping that reason will prevail. I am French and 4 years ago I woke up to learn that the UK, the country I had lived in for more than half my life, had decided to reject me and all other Europeans, it was a very sad day.
    For a comfort read, well I will always recommend Georgette Heyer first but I know we all love her here so I’ll reach for someone else whom I don’t often see mentioned: Eva Ibbotson. A lot of her adult romances have been reissued as YA because they have young heroines and they are lovely frothy reads full of music, delicious food and very nice capable heroes. One of my favourites books of hers though is very unconventional: Madensky Square. I love the description of Vienna in it and the gentle humour and compassion.

    1. Yes, I second this suggestion. Eva Ibbotson is a lively distraction read for stressful times!
      Her children’s books are very funny; her YA books have mild romance and/or adventures – some are more adventure stories than romance. They are often set between the wars or at the start of WWII, so the flavor is a bit 0old-fashioned.
      One of my favorites with a bit of romance, and also a rather capable female protagonist is The secret countess.

  4. Yesterday, the temperatures were gloriously mild for November, so I cycled to work. With rather busy roads on the way back, yuck.
    Had the chance to chat leisurely with a friend who’s been far too busy lately for the walk we’d wanted to do in summer.
    Dear husband, who’s become addicted to a certain daily cook show lately and has therefore treated is to many fone meals, has overdone the soy sauce completely at dinner. Grrr. A big sign that he’s rather preoccupied. Over the big pond, we’re tense and have to remember to breathe, too. For the same reason.
    Watched “Dirty Dancing” with dear daughter. She’s happy that now she’s seen one of the classics (her words) her friends have talked about. “Footloose” is next. The one with Kevin Bacon 🙂
    Dear son, who’d never had watched this with us, is learning how to forge a knive with my dad. We’re told they came back home yesterday black and knackered. Me askong how he liked it got the usual chatty answer: “fine”.
    Today is also the first day of my short holiday and hubby and I are having breakfast while Ricky Nelson is crooning from Spotify… very nice even if the weather outside gray and drab.

  5. How could I forget – there is a very funny book called MEN TO AVOID IN ART AND LIFE by Nicole Tersigni. She gives captions classic paintings. It is in four parts: The Mainsplainer, The Concern Troll, The Sexpert, and The Patronizer. It thoroughly lifted my mood when it arrived in the mail.

    Also forgot podcasts: You’re Wrong About, Noble Blood, and Welcome to Night Vale. All of which have been a welcome escape over the past few months. I only started Welcome to Night Vale about a month ago, and it was perfect for October with all its enjoyable weirdness. You’re Wrong About started doing book club episodes during the pandemic in addition to their usual examination of misremembered events/subjects. They did Jessica Simpson’s autobiography, and I became unexpectedly and deeply invested in her happiness and well-being.

  6. We could team-write the words to My Favourite Things.

    I’ll start?
    Strawberries on ice-cream and new books from Jenny…

    (yes, I know that only works if it’s a lazy kiwi-accent strawb’ries)
    (it’s strawberry season! Asparagus is nearly done. #seasonaleating).

    Also, the podcast ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Fish’ – a panel discussion by the researchers of QI. Always quite interesting. Often funny.

    1. No Such Thing is my very favourite podcast. British panel shows tend to be my go-to anxiety reducers. Or show alike Miranda and Vicar of Dibley.

      1. The episode of Miranda where her and her mother go to the therapist is just the best. I’m off to go watch it now, thanks for the reminder

  7. Forgot to mention “Artist of the year” on Sky tv (for those in the UK). I found it on youtube. Fascinating competition!!! During the first lockdown they did “Artist of zhe week”, too, which they seem to reprise now, too.
    Great to relax and indulge in colours and fine art.
    Wgat I love, love, love about all those British shows no matter if about baking, cooking, wood work, pottery or painting: the gentle, civilized and kind atmosphere no matter how ambitious and competitive they are. Fabulous!!!

  8. I have listened to the audiobook of The Goblin Emperor approximately eleventy billion times this year. TJ Klune’s The House on The Cerulean Sea is kind fantasy. Bujold, Pratchett, McKinley. Anne Gracie. Eloisa James. Kelly Hunter. Kylie Scott. The Martian, for some reason (probably competence porn plus humour plus it all works out), British panel shows and silly comedies.

  9. The eyes of the world are indeed watching. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love our standardised compulsory voting system. It’s just easier.

    My cheerful news is that I get to go back to work next Wednesday after a month of involuntary stand down! We have been rotating through the staff list and it’s my turn again. This is extremely cheerful news because although I will get paid exactly the same regardless (the Oz government is subsiding my base wage until March because the travel industry has been so badly affected), I really love and miss my job when I’m not allowed to work.

    It’s been a week of good news so far, actually – my friend who ended up in the hospital after her marriage breakdown is now sober (45 days!) and on the appropriate medication and is speaking and acting like herself again. And in two more weeks her state will lift their hard border and I will be allowed to go visit her again. Lots of good news since Sunday!

    Keep breathing, Arghers. Nothing but good times ahead.

  10. Cheerful news: Sunday we found a Ziploc bag with homemade cookies that a friend had given us 2 weeks ago and they were still good! While we were watching It part 1 last night Fred the dog crawled up and slept on my lap so I had a 110 lbs blankie keeping me warm.

    The woman who won our grocery store’s annual 50-second shopping spree got the maximum dollar value of food so that was awesome for her family. The store manager makes sure the meat case is full which is nice. I won 2-3 years ago and when I went in to arrange a time to do it, she asked me what meat I was going to get so she could have it out.

    Comfort tv: if you can find it, The Repair Shop, a British show about a group of restoration experts who fix things for people. They fix everything: fine antique furniture, stained glass, clocks, musical instruments, garden gnomes, teddy bears, everything. The teddy bear ladies are great.

    I watch that and The Great British Sewing Bee on Makeful here in Canada.

    On HGTV Home Town is very comforting. Ben and Erin are so cute and they seem to really love their town. Also, they remind me of Paul and I. I really like how they and their team seem to understand that old houses are supposed to have rooms with interior walls dividing them. I like walls. I also like how they work with people who don’t have ginormous over-the-top budgets.

    1. Repair Shop is on Netflix, and now I have something new to watch!

      I just started watching Restoration Man on Amazon, though I accidentally started in the second or third season, so now I have to go back and start properly. It’s sort of a scruffier version of Grand Designs, but all restorations of completely random old/listed buildings.

      Another fun diversion is the various quasi-reality “live in the olden times” shows on Amazon. (Probably elsewhere too, but I was looking for Victorian Farm and found a treasure trove of similar shows.)

      Going back to my real job, which apparently I am supposed to pay attention to even on this momentous day for democracy.

    2. OMG I love The Repair Shop. I cry during every episode! I’ll have to go back for repeats, though, because I’ve watched them all.

    3. Yes! I’m addicted to Home Town! I have had a lot of prejudice against many of the deep Southern states in the US because of politics, history, and current events, but watching that show has totally sold me on the possibility that good people can live in places you previously thought of as uniformly awful.

      And the hosting couple is so genuine, and so quirky in their own ways — I love the secondary characters too — the sweet accommodating floor guy Mike, who is never stumped by any floor crisis; the best friend Mallory, loving and supportive; Ben’s best friends from college and their gentle ribbing of one another; Erin’s delight at microwaving flowers and Ben’s at buying chickens for a client who vaguely mentioned wanting some. It’s like an antidote to my sense that I’m surrounded by Lindsey Grahams and Mitch McConnells.

  11. Some TV – It’s been on for a while, but just won an Emmy – Schitt’s Creek. The first episode explains how this fabulously wealthy couple and their two kids have made some bad decisions (I wasn’t clear on this) and the government has seized all of their assets. They are evicted from their house, and none of their friends will help them. But it turns out that they do have one property free and clear – mostly because it was bought as a joke present, so no one thought it was real – they own the town of Schitt’s Creek. They decamp to the town and settle into two rooms in a motel, with adjoining rooms.

    A lot of it is fish out of water comedy, but underneath that, I find that these people truly care for each other. It’s lovely when Johnny wants to give Moira a surprise birthday party, because she’s had a rotten year, for example. The townspeople are so much more knowledgeable than the family, and yet they are good hearted too, trying to help them make the best of the situation.

    Eugene Levy is Johnny, and Catherine O’Hara is Moira. They are gems.

    1. I love Schitt’s Creek! Netflix recommended it to me for months and I kept thinking – do you not know me at all? Turns out that they do! It is sophisticated, funny, extremely sarcastic, sweet, and not full of potty humor (which is what I expected because of the name). I watched the last episodes of the final season last night and then an info session and they said they spent a long time developing the characters before even starting to write the scripts.

      Catherine O-Hara is just amazing in it. Her accent and vocabulary are insanely funny.

        1. It’s fabulous. I watched the first episode and thought, hmmmm…but the more you watch, the more you get addicted. Sad it ended…

        2. A friend recommended Schitt’s Creek a couple of years ago, but I barely made it through the first episode. Then I read an article in the NYT that suggested watching the first episode and skip to about halfway through Season 2. Excellent advice that worked for me. It’s such a heart-expanding show.

  12. Today is the day. Well, no, today is a day. The election has been going on for months – all today is, is the in-person deadline. Tonight, we might find out who won’t occupy the oval office.

    Today I finally remembered to turn the calendar page to November. With two time/date/alarm/temperature clocks (and the lower corner of the laptop screen) it isn’t a high priority.

    Speaking of clocks, the dotter updated the car clock while we were out on Sunday. The cordless phones updated themselves Sunday afternoon. The Kindles and my cell updated automatically. The clock on the west wall was officially dead, regardless of batteries, so I disassembled it and threw away everything but six teeny-tiny screws and a round piece of glass. Oh, and the microwave now displays the time. Yay!

    Every time I look to the left, I see the DVD Box for The American President. A favorite movie, and its position on the shelf causes it to be illuminated by a low-wattage lamp I never turn off (just brighter than a night light, which is why.) I might watch it after work.

    I read a few jokes, but nothing I want to share, and that’s sad. I need a better class of joke sites. For example:

    Immature: a word humorless people use to describe fun people.

    Be safe and well, Arghers.

  13. I’ve been de-stressing by the Great British Baking Show and the The Great Canadian Baking Show. I fond them oddly soothing, probably because I know I’ll never attempt anything they bake. And if you haven’t watched it yet, The Good Life on Netflix has some slightly Terry Pratchett-y vibes and is wonderfully ridiculous.

    1. Argh. “The Good Place”. And I watch the baking shows. Which I found to be oddly soothing. I’m going to have a bunch of caffeine now.

      1. The old British comedy show “The good life” is fun too, about a suburban couple who decides to try for a self-sufficient lifestyle in their suburban home. To the dismay of their closest neighbors…

      2. If you want to combine the Great British Baking Show with Terry Pratchett ridiculousness, might I suggest Pushing Daisies, if you didn’t catch it when it aired originally?

  14. As someone who fits both categories “American” and “living elsewhere” I can verify that the world is indeed watching. It’ll be tomorrow dog-walkies my time before the first meaningful information comes through (exit polls are going to mean virtually nothing this time around) and I am seriously wondering how I will even get to sleep tonight, I am so on edge.

    Sigh. I hope by this time tomorrow I will be sucking down that bottle of champagne we have in the fridge for a Biden-Harris win!

  15. I’ve been living in Caerphilly, Virginia, with Meg Langslow and her tribe. Dip in to Murderbot now and then, the occasional Heyer, and Barbara Michaels.

    Trying to plan for Christmas Fair, preparing cookie dough ahead of time.
    New York Times Best Chocolate Cookie Ever, with is actually true. Then some amazing tahini-based (instead of peanut butter) cookies. Like I said, amazing.

    Today for my Song of the Day I sent out Ray Charles’ version of America the Beautiful. If Biden wins, I’ll send out “At Last.” If not, I have no idea. Twilight of the Gods? Except, despair is not allowed.

  16. I started re-watching Jane The Virgin. All the seasons are on Netflix, and it’s basically a telenovela. If I remember right, season 3 sags a little. But season one is AMAZING. It’s so tightly written, and her relationship with her mom and grandma feels so real and true in a world full of crazy plot twists. I also love the depiction of her as a writer. Like there are ups and downs and she fails sometimes. But there are also little victories along the way.

  17. Any of the British baking, restoration, painting, sewing bee shows are comfort watching. Deep breathing for the election today. Made up joke for youngest granddaughter:

    Knock, knock
    Who’s there
    Woo who

    Her laughter is so delightful it will melt even the hardest heart.

  18. I have my fingers and toes crossed that Joe Biden will be your next president. The numbers coming out of America for Covid Deaths should, but won’t, haunt Donald Trump for the rest of his life.

    I have given up trying to read. I downloaded audio books for when I go walking. The two I would recommend are: All Adults Here by Emma Straub and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

    Jane B and Jenny, do you know what app developer you went with for the jigsaw puzzles? I did a Jigsaw on Sunday and had to keep moving it off the kitchen table, so I would prefer to download an app, but don’t know which one to choose.

      1. I ditto Jenny’s comment – although as we said the other day, it’s getting worse and worse for trying to sell you extras. I did pay for different backgrounds and (most important) for the ability to make your own puzzles, which is what I do most of the time.

  19. It’s my 55th birthday today. The husband got me a delicious ham & cheese bun for breakfast (from the local Brazilian restaurant) and also a Yoga Cats Together calendar because, he says, I need something silly.

    My plan for today is to write the first-date scene for my new novel. Best wishes to all Arghers.

  20. I’ve been desperately avoiding the news in any form for the last couple weeks and my stomach is much happier. Also watching The Voice, my favorite music videos, and amusing animal videos when I can find them. Try this one about young mischievous pandas:

    And reading, or more accurately, re-reading. The Goblin Emperor has become a favorite comfort read.

    And today my daughter is coming over and we are going to take the dogs for a walk, enjoying the last mild weather before winter hits this weekend.

    1. Also, thank you to Jinx, who posted a link to the panda baby, which led me to the mischievous panda video. I need all the laughs I can get.

  21. The news stresses me out, but right now some of it is very important and I don’t want to be left not knowing. I’m expecting riots, no matter who wins.

    Other than that, I think I’m going to have ice cream for dinner.

    Fingers crossed for sanity and rationality. Oy.

  22. I woke at 2 AM this morning and grabbed my kindle to see who was the winner voted from Dixville-Notch NH. Their poll(s) open at 12 AM.

    Because the TV season is in a flux I’ve been haunting the DVD stacks online at the library. One show that I’ve seen consistently and never tried is A Place To Call Home until now. It’s an early fifties soap opera-ish drama from Australia with Marta Dusselldorf in the lead. She a returning nurse who has spent the last fifteen years or so in Europe during WWII. When she finally makes it to her mother’s door she is turned away because she changed her religion. With no place to go she contacts a gentleman she met on board the ship they were traveling on and he finds her a job as a community nurse in his town. So far so good except for the persnickity characters, the matriarch who wants to get rid of her because she knows a family secret. Then there’s the busybody landlady listening at doors and blabbing all. Actually those two are kind of funny because they are played so well. What I even liked about the first few episodes was the way a song was played at the beginning of the show and ended with it, like versions of tunes from that time period of Your Hit Parade. And there are six seasons.

    Now to find some physical activity to keep me away from the news until later. Raking leaves aught to do it.

    1. The actor that plays Dr Henry Fox is a family friend. A dear boy, does a lot for the arts kids in our small town.

  23. Stress-eating product recommendation: Soom’s Chocolate Sweet Tahini spread, which is SO GOOD. If you kind of like Nutella, but think it’s just not chocolatey enough and a bit too sweet, this will be your new favorite. I get mine at Mom’s Organic Market.

  24. So now in addition to Emily the three-pawed stray I’m trying to lure in, I have a fat assed raccoon who stops in to rip open the food bag and another cat who looks a lot like Emily but with a white chest and who just threw down with her on the steps outside my window. I have also just found out that 50% of cats are not affected by catnip, and Emily is evidently one of them.

    I am thinking obsessively about this because worrying about Emily, FatAss, and the Cat To Be Named Later is a step up from the election.

        1. Can raccoons jump? Can you get the food high enough that the cat can jump up to it but the raccoon can’t?

          1. Raccons climb. Not sure about jumping. This one is so fat, I can’t believe he’s aerodynamic.

  25. I wander in and out of this blog every time I do a re-read binge and came here immediately after deciding that my only hope for productivity this afternoon was to close out social media and turn on a comfort audio book. The choice came down to two of yours. Since I have been leaning rather heavily on Maybe This Time over the past year, I am going with Faking It.

    All of which to say, the comfort read I recommend is you. Thank you for all the peace and laughter your stories have brought me over the years, and for today in particular.

  26. Maybe a little OT…although I guess the point of the post is to give us Other Things to think about anyways?… but I was wondering: would anyone here be able to give me their thoughts on Gideon the Ninth?

    I was on the library waiting list forever to get it, but I feel like I’m forcing myself to read it just because I did wait so long…and my mind keeps wandering off when I try to read it…so I’m trying to decide if I should just give it back because maybe it’s just not my jam, or if everyone experiences it as a bit of a slow start, or if it’s just an external timing thing and after the current HUUUGE distraction is past, I’m going to totally get into it.

    I’m leaning towards, its just not my kind of thing…and my general reading philosophy is that life is too short and there are too many good books to stick with one that still hasn’t clicked in for me by like 33% in… but it was so lauded, that I want to make sure it’s not just me in this moment – so I figure if enough Arghers endorse it, I might need to just wait and try it when I’m a little less stressed and distract-able….

    1. I think it starts out a little confusingly but mostly makes sense by the end. The end is also somewhat unexpected. I liked it and I liked Harrow. But I can see where others might have difficulty with both books. As they say, YMMV. Sorry, not very helpful for you. 🙂 good luck!

    2. I liked the beginning of Gideon the Ninth, and had expected to like it based on what I heard, but after the first few chapters it just crashed for me. I totally lost interest, even though I skimmed through it tasting later parts hoping to rekindle my interest.

  27. I was up around 4AM today, which is very unusual for me. Just too stressed/excited to stay asleep, I guess. I worked at the polls this morning handing out sample ballots for the local Dems. Well, pointing people to ballots sitting on a table 6 feet away from me. 🙂

    I’ll go back this afternoon and stay until the polls close and then I will do a zoom watch party with some friends.

    I’ve been trying to do the things I truly love. Reading, obviously, but also beading, and binge watching tv shows.

  28. For some reason I don’t understand, watching the various Zoo programs fascinates me (and distracts me!) Currently watching Mega Zoo, seeing humongous hippos waddling around. Also, the Aussie accents are fun for me. (I’m Pacific NW in USA.) I admit I have subtitles on, because otherwise I wouldn’t understand.

    I’ll wait until this evening to turn on the news, but I plan to leave the sound off and subtitles on, and read while glancing occasionally at the TV. I can read the graphs and headlines, while also reading Anne Bishop (her Others series is a comfort read for me.)

    This day too shall pass! Nothing but good times ahead!

  29. For those enjoying the Baking Show and the Sewing Bee, try the British Pottery Throwdown, it’s lovely. There’s also Next in Fashion. I think the appeal of these shows is the kindness the competitors show each other. Yes, they’d like to win, it’s what they came for, but there’s not that backstab-y win-at-all-cost element.

    I’ve been on a mission to find a book I only vaguely recall, fruitless google searches and a post on reddit later, I’ve finally found it. Now I’m not game to open and read it, because what if it doesn’t live up to the effort it took? It’s a romance/mystery from 1973, Appointment in Andalusia by May Mackintosh.

    Two cows walking down the lane, one asks “What do you think of this mad cow disease?” the response comes “I don’t care, I’m a helicopter”. (Middle daughter’s favourite joke)

    The more I learn, the less I understand. I wish the American arghers safety, calm and widespread acceptance of results.

  30. Where does the Polar Bear go to vote?

    The Noth Pole!

    I am on a daily trivia/jokes page, and that was their joke of the day.

    Here’s another:

    What does the judge say when the skunk walks into the courtroom?

    Odor in the court!

    XD Dad jokes all the way!

  31. The fact that after today I will not be bombarded by political ads is making me Very Happy. I know that the regular ads will start to annoy me soon enough, but they are not as strident and blatantly untrue as the political ads are. The thing that has been bothering me is how the opposition has been framing the proposed switch from a flat state income tax as a tax hike. I read the proposed amendment and it says nothing about the individual rates being subject to public approval (they aren’t now and that won’t change) but the ads all about how the state lawmakers are untrustworthy and how this will remove all restraints. Many of the state lawmakers are untrustworthy, but the only way to change that is to vote them out. The change to a graduated tax will just mean that the working class will no longer have to underwrite the deductions available to the moneyed few. Almost every other state in the union has this type of income tax and yet if my state switches to it, everything will come unraveled. The fifty million the opposition spent on advertising has gone a long way, but even that will now run out.
    Having worked at food pantries and the local food bank for years, I just can’t stop thinking about how many people that money could have fed.

    As for comfort reading, I often return to the big Cs: Crusie, Chase (Loretta) and Calvin (Trillin). And perhaps after the election I will be able to return to my TBR pile. I am hopeful.

  32. Courtney Milan is giving away some freebie codes for her audiobooks today — look for her on Twitter. And it reminded me that I’ve got some codes for several of my audiobooks, so if anyone here would like one, send me an email today at Gin at, first come, first serve, and let me know if you’d like: garlic farm #1 or #2 or the first Helen Binney or the first Danger Cove quilting mystery.

    And for comforting tv, last night I watched some episodes of Vicar of Dibley and then the less-well-known Waiting For God (two people in a retirement community with hijinks that aren’t twee, on BritBox).

      1. Oops. Sorry. I just came here to that I just realized I messed up and misread (gee, wonder why I can’t concentrate today) the email and only have codes for the ebook of Garlic #2. When I get the audio codes for Garlic #2, I’ll give a few away here, so keep an eye out! Or send me an email now to Gin at, and I’ll try to remember. Although, see above on not having much ability to concentrate and doubt it will recover quickly, so it might be better to wait and watch.

  33. The Smithsonian has curated a care package for everyone:

    For laughter, I’ve enjoyed the total silliness (and occasional, rare, moments of genius) of Taskmaster over the past few months:

    I went for a long solo hike this morning, which did wonderful things for my brain. It’s been so long since our sky was this blue, and I guess I needed some time to myself (plus a chance get sweaty and think about nothing at all). As the rest of the day unfolds, I can also predict two thumbs up for anxiety meds, cookies, being off-line, dumb movies, and doggy tummy rubs.

  34. Why are pirates called pirates?

    Because they arrrrrrre (arrrrgh?!)

    This is one of the few jokes I can actually remember. I used to know several “An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman” jokes, but they have disappeared from my brain with time. And would possibly not hold up well… (don’t know as can’t remember, lol!!)

    And Waiting for God is fabulous.

    1. Ah, another fan for Waiting For God. It doesn’t seem to be well-known in the U.S. I saw some of it years ago on PBS, but not the whole series. I’m remedying that now!

      1. I loved it when I saw it years ago. I wonder if my opinion will change now that I am closer to that age?

  35. Stress is rising, here’s another joke!

    What do you call a cross between a centipede and a parrot?

    A walkie talkie!


  36. I think I’m going to give up on the cat and adopt the raccoon. He shows up a lot more often. Right now he’s in my workroom searching for where I hid the bag of food. And he just knocked the camera to the floor. Okay, FA, you’re goin’ down.


    My realtor left me a note in my mailbox that said somebody wanted to buy my house. If Trump wins, I’m moving somewhere else. Anywhere else. Denmark. That sounds good.

    1. Jenny, have you seen Over The Hedge? Your racoon sounds a lot like that Bruce Willis’s raccoon. “Humans have food out the wazoo!”

    2. Here in Germany we have a pretty sane Chancellor. Hubby and I don’t always agree with her politics, but we sure appreciate her in this pandemic.

      Today is clear and sunny. From the front of the house I look across the Rhine to the ruins of an 11th century castle. From the back of the house I look into our garden filled with my roses, two palm trees, 3 banana trees (yes, we are in Germany!), and a pergola at the back of the garden with two wine grapevines, one red, one white, from which I filled 9 bottles of fresh juice (“Federweißer” and “Federroter”) and made a pile of wine jelly for Christmas and other gifts.

      Come on over, we always have room for nice guests…

  37. On my local board of electins; all I can do is mke sure every vote is counted. (And eat cold pizza.)

  38. I’ve been watching The Try Channel on Youtube. Irish people with great personalities (many are apparently comedians or actors, although not all) and accents trying different things. Often alcoholic things, which is surprisingly amusing. And Randy Rainbow, who does fabulous musical spoofs, usually poking fun at a certain orange person. He’s incredibly talented and funny. For instance, Kamala! set to the music from Camelot. Rewatching Leverage from the beginning, which I find strangely comforting.

    Just got to read Donna Andrews’ latest WIP, and it was lovely.

    Otherwise it has been a long and stressful day and I can’t think of any fun jokes that aren’t too long to type out. I don’t know how to live with a tomorrow that isn’t better than today. But I know we’ll manage somehow, if we have to.

  39. Author pal Stephen Blackmoore just posted some jokes on Twitter.

    here’s one:
    Two guys drunk in a penthouse bar. First guy says “Wind up here’s so strong, you step out the window you float.” “Bullshit.” Guy steps out, floats. Other guy’s all, “I gotta try that.” Steps out, plummets to his death. Bartender says, “You’re a mean drunk, Superman.”

  40. Dear Jenny and American Arghers we’re all thinking of you and sending hugs. You could always watch Good Omens – they did an excellent job of turning the book into a 6 episode series on Amazon Prime. I watched it for the third time last night and was struck by how comforting it is which is a little strange but hey that’s Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman! Then you could watch Staged (6 episodes) which is David Tennant and Michael Sheen playing exaggerated versions of themselves in lockdown rehearsing a play via Zoom the last episode where they both get told off by Judi Dench is hilarious. Each episode is only about 15 mins. If you are sensitive to swearing then skip the episode with Samuel L Jackson – I think 3rd episode but I could be wrong – it’s nothing but swearing. I think it’s probably generally available, I’ve seen it both on BBC and Australia’s equivalent the ABC. If not there are snippets wandering around the internet that are pretty funny… and then … have a look at Jack Black as Tenacious D singing Timewarp from Rocky Horror!

      1. Staged is a scream, especially if you are a big fan of those two — which I am!

    1. I know. I’m not coping well.
      How can ANYBODY support this idiot? I mean, idiot is one thing, but cruel, selfish, possibly insane idiot . . .

      1. The only explanation is emotional tribalism. He would continue to do stuff that will make the lives of most of his supporters even worse, but since they have been indoctrinated (like Goering said, just keep lying until the people believe you) there’s a wall that cannot be broken through. Driven by emotion and fear fueled by lies (see: healthcare). I can’t decide if it’s Stockholm Syndrome or Battered Wife Syndrome. I just know it’s appalling.

        Sigh. At the moment I am very glad to be here where I am. Not perfect, but saner.

        1. I think it’s fear. The coasts are used to diversity, the middle states aren’t. I remember when I was in college bringing Chinese take-out home, and my father wouldn’t eat it. It was foreign. P. F. Chang has invaded the middle states now, so Crab Rangoon is no longer a threat, but that attitude still prevails. My mother once told me seriously that Mexicans were invading Texas and on their way North, and I said, “Mama, the Mexicans don’t want this country, nobody does, and anyway, you’re in Ohio; if they’re on foot, it’s gonna take them a while.” She was a big fan of Fox TV and their narrative fit her preconceptions and reinforced them. OTOH, my brother and sister-in-law, both Republicans, have been wearing masks and social distancing, so not all midwest Republicans are nuts. Her sister, though, kept saying the virus was a hoax and there was nothing to worry about while Ruth begged her to at least wear a mask. Her sister died from the virus on Monday. It’s just so awful, what that man has done to people.

          Sorry, it’s been a bad couple of days.

          1. Oh Goddess, Jenny. My deepest sympathies. Because it’s not just the grief for your SIL, but the anger at the needless loss.

      2. Especially after the last four years. Weren’t they paying attention? How is this our country AGAIN? STILL? And you forgot racist, misogynistic, and probably senile. Who doesn’t believe in science.

  41. Congratulations US Arghers, you can breathe again. (Although not too deeply, because covid.) Now on to the cleanup…

      1. Yes, but it also refers to a specific dessert. Like calling tissues Kleenex. Imagine something like a steamed pound cake, with sauce instead of icing.

    1. Thank you. I personally have been cooking too much, having an extra glass of wine with dinner and fixating about the vote count. If we didn’t have the new kitten in the house, one or both of us would have had to be institutionalized for stress by now. The kitten has been a life saver. And now I can enjoy him without being distracted by all the Sturm und Drang. I am a little superstitious about celebrating before the vote is certified but I am breathing easier.

      Although Trump will not be willing to go away. He will start on political rallies for 2024 in January. Our only hope to get rid of him is that New York puts him in jail for campaign violations and/or tax violations. I can’t even begin to imagine how he is going to handle having to stand on the dais and watch Biden sworn in or meet with Biden prior to the inauguration. I figure he will suddenly be a proponent of social distancing and not do any of those traditional welcome to the White House activities at all. Or resign and get Pence to pardon him then try to get the Supreme Court to say a federal pardon is a pardon for illegal activity in states too. But as long as Trump isn’t in the WH anymore, what do I care.

      Sorry guys. I know I should keep politics away from Argh but I have been going out of my mind with the last few weeks.

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