Pomo Picks

How to Chill Out While You Wait for Election Results

We know. We know. Here's how we're regulating our breath.

By Portland Monthly Staff November 5, 2020

The 2020 presidential election was yesterday, and as we've known for months, it's taking a while to count the votes. We still do not know who the next president of the United States will be. Does the fact that we've known this would happen for months make us feel any less insane right now? It does not.

These next couple days are going to be a game of mitigation. Can we keep ourselves distracted for a few minutes? Can we get lost in a pleasant YouTube hole? Might we even access the part of our brains responsible for joy? It might be an uphill battle. But here are a few places to start.

Blooper Reels

Look I know it’s not the most sophisticated thing, but when I’m really in an anxiety hole, one thing typically works: blooper reels. Specifically blooper reels from shows I know and love. Watching Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones dissolve into giggles between takes, or basically anyone become a human cry-laugh emoji does me in. So was I watching YouTube blooper videos of The Office around 3 a.m. this morn? You bet I was. Give it a go. —Eden Dawn, style editor

The Ed Sullivan Show

What better way to get through this time than living in the past? Being in the present and looking to the future are far too dangerous this week, so I’ve been flipping through the thousands of performances available on the Ed Sullivan Show YouTube channel. I grew up on The Lawrence Welk Show, which is a G-rated, bring-out-your-bibles version of Sullivan, so being able to look back at all this iconic history has me wishing I had access to the diner storage closet from Stephen King's 11/22/63. Not only are there videos of a beautiful, charismatic Elvis, or the strange dynamic of the Beach Boys, but the Ed Sullivan Show hosted talent and comedy as well—if you really want an escape from our current doomsday, watch some juggling or tight-roping from the ’50s. —Ainslee Dicken, editorial intern


On election day eve, a friend recommended this sweet documentary about the street cats of Istanbul. And it was a potent salve to four years of built-up anxiety and anger. Istanbul, already in my top 10 bucket list places, shot up to the top three just because of its beloved cats. Meow! —Marty Patail, editor in chief

Looking at the Fall Leaves All Over Town

I’ve never enjoyed walking the dog as much as I do now. But being in a new town can be isolating, covering a very consequential election can be stressful, and living through a pandemic can be downright scary. So these walks have been nice, and lately, they’ve been filled with red and yellow orange leaves strewn about the city, and quivering trees in the fall wind. It’s also a great reminder that the world exists beyond the red and blue graphs and figures and shapes plaguing our brains right now. So put on your mask and step outside at least once today. —Gabriel Granillo, digital editor


Early rumblings on Twitter were not kind to Positions, Ariana Grande’s sex-heavy latest set, but here's the thing: it’s fantastic. Fourteen smooth, horny/anxious R&B jams that go off mostly without a hitch, buoyed by swirling strings and Grande’s ever-reliable voice, which can turn from feather-light to speaker-breaking on a dime. (On Positions, it does. Often.) Listening to her brag about all the sex she is having would sting if the set wasn’t underscored by the raw terror that accompanies new love: fears that its highs are temporary and its scars are permanent. Positions is less monumental than Sweetener and less lacerating than thank u, next, but it’s still some of Grande’s best work, and every time I slip into its bouncy, hermetic universe, I feel insulated from the mind-melting chaos of this week. Maybe abstain from the White House-heavy music video for the title track for now, though. —Conner Reed, arts and culture editor

This Video of Brian's Puppy

This is a video of the puppy I'm picking up in a few weeks. She's on the left, sneaking in under her mom's leg. —Brian Breneman, deputy art director

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