Cures have been important to me lately – with fresh batches of poison ivy, ennui, and lethargy, I have been seeking out cures. Here are some that I have been experimenting with lately.

(list 56) Cures For What Ails Me

  1. Ailment: Poison Ivy Cure: Fels Naptha Soap and a hairdryer. Yesterday I was seeking frequently on the internet for cures to poison ivy itch. I could go to the doctor and get Prednisone, but when I did that two years ago, I became VERY crazy, and would like to avoid 2 weeks of what amounts to ‘roid rage. I came across a reccomendation of Fel’s Naptha soap. I jumped on this one, because DH, in his tendency to buy olde-fashioned and quirky things, had picked some up recently. It freakin’ works. I scrubbed with it and it is really drying out the poison ivy. I follow that with blasting the itchy parts with a hair dryer for a few seconds, and the itchiness is gone for several hours – which is excellent. I still look like something that should be locked away in a bell tower, but I don’t itch. Here is a list of other things you can do with Fels Naptha soap.
  2. Ailment: Extreme Boredom and Lethargy Cure: MUSIC!
    I still have so much to do at work – and some of it is really tedious and boring and it is hard for me to stay motivated. I have been reverting of late to an old standby – music in my ears. I have a sattelite radio subscription, so I can listen online to Left of Center on SIRIUS. The music is varied and rocking, and it makes the drudgery of some of the tasks less drudgerific. One of my goals this weekend is to get from iTunes some of the songs that I have been loving lately so that I can create a new playlist for working out. Some of my recent favorites are Business Time by Flight of the Conchords, Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket, and Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend. A source I use for new, listenable alternative rock is the The List by Jake Fogelnest on SIRIUS radio – it lists the most popular modern rock albums. I am trying to get into Fleet Foxes, but I haven’t yet. I am going to stick with it though because the lead singer is a vegan. Woot.
  3. Ailment: Ennui Cure: Blogs and Big Hills and Movies and Breaking the Rules and Gilmore Girls. I was talking to a friend at work recently and she said, “I am just blah. I don’t know what it is – maybe it is the summer or something. I just don’t want to be here.” I think there is something to it being summer and us being inside at work. Most of us equate summer with freedom – days and weeks stretching out in front of us without real commitments. I only had that a handful of summers of my life – when I was too old for daycare, but too young to get a summer job, but I still associate summer with freedom from obligation. And as an adult I am muy obligated. When I wake up to beautiful, clear, warm mornings, I am bummed that I can’t hang out for the whole day – swim, read, watch bad tv. So, that’s the ailment. The cure? Well, for me, there are three I am experimenting with:
    1. Blogs. Reading about others’ lives, for whatever reason, makes me feel connected, which is probably the best cure for ennui. My friend Kate now has a blog (yay!) and I have been relishing a blog a stumbled upon called the Happiness Project. Here are just some of the goodies on the blog: tips for giving good praise, tips for acting like a true friend, why to keep a one-sentence journal, and the secrets of adulthood, with gems like, “Most decisions don’t require extensive research” and “People don’t notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think”. I adore the blogger because she is funny and totally a type A – only a type A would make happiness a “project”.
    2. Big Hills. I am hoping DH and I can attack some tonight. I love the feeling of striding to the peak of a big hill. A little accomplishment in the midst of the complication of life – where accomplishments can feel hard to come by.
    3. Movies. I associated summer with movies – and I have been going to more recently. It is a mixed bag because of the cost, but there is nothing (at least for me) that replaces settling into a movie seat and giving myself over to a movie. (We tried this one last night, taking the kids to see Kit Kittredge. We only saw 45 minutes until the electricity went out at the theater – but what we saw was really good – but then I always am a sucker for a movie with a precocious, plucky little girl who has a dog – I’m looking forward to seeing the rest!)
    4. Breaking the Rules. A friend and I had scheduled to go to lunch this week and we had agreed that we would stay in and eat our packed lunches to save money (and in my case, calories). When we met, we decided to go out – that work was too rough and life is too short to not break the rule. I am not advocating breaking the rules a lot – but every now again, it is a good thing. So we threw away our packed lunches (metaphorically, of course) and went to Blue Koi – and I had delicious Chinese curry tofu, the ultimate vegan comfort food and we laughed and pretended work didn’t exist for a few minutes.
    5. Gilmore Girls. When I am really blah, I pop in one of their DVDs. It seriously is like meditation for me – it has the same effect of lowering my blood pressure and getting me to like life again. Something about the stories, and the characters, and the setting calms me down. I truly wish my cure-all were something more esoteric or cool, but there it is. Give me 30 minutes of Lorelai and Rory (or 10 minutes of Sookie), and I am good to go. And speaking of ennui and Gilmore Girls – here is the transcript from one of my favorite scenes – Michele has ennui and Sookie gets off-ui – brilliant. And, yes, I apologize for posting scenes from Gilmore Girls, I know you expect more from my blog, but it has been a rough week – so thank you for the indulgence.

(The phone is ringing. Michel is leaning on the front desk. Lorelai places a large stack of folders on the desk and starts separating them into piles.)

LORELAI: Michel, get that please.

MICHEL: I cannot.

LORELAI: Michel, we’ve been over this, we all cover the phone, that includes you.

MICHEL: Don’t misunderstand. I want to answer it, I truly did, but today, today I am suffering from ennui.


MICHEL: Severe ennui. You know what ennui is, yes?

LORELAI: Yes. Um, Webster’s defines ennui as a lazy soon to be out of work French concierge who won’t answer the phone.

MICHEL: Look, I’ve had my peace with the fact that everyone who calls here is a notch above brain dead, and that the pennies I am thrown each week are in exchange for me dealing with these people in a nonviolent manner. And usually that is fine, but today, sorry lady, I have ennui.

LORELAI: So, you’re sleepy?

MICHEL: It’s a metaphysical angst.

LORELAI: So, you wanna go beddy bye?

MICHEL: You make light, it increases my ennui.

LORELAI: Okay, that’s it. Come on you need coffee.


(Lorelai walks in with Michel. Sookie is at the counter looking sad.)

LORELAI: I need coffee. Extra strong. Double cafe. Triple cafe. No, forget the cafe. Throw in the whole cow and serve it to this man right here! (pause) What’s wrong with you?

SOOKIE: I don’t know. It might sound a little weird, but I think I’ve got . .


SOOKIE: Ennui.

LORELAI: You explained ennui to her.

MICHEL: She asked me what was wrong with me earlier, so I told her.

LORELAI: Michel, you know that Sookie ends up thinking she’s coming down with whatever illness other people else have.

SOOKIE: Nuh uh!

(Lorelai hands Michel a cup of coffee and he leaves.)

LORELAI: Oh no? What was that whole conversation last week when I had to convince you you didn’t have a prostate.

SOOKIE: You look happy.

LORELAI: Oh, well, what’s the opposite of ennui?

SOOKIE: Off-ui. Oh, hey, I’m cured!


2 thoughts on “Cures!

  1. I personally love to watch Gilmore Girls. My daughter and I find them a great cure for whatever ails you. Thank you for sharing this scene and your thoughts of ways to cure ennui. One of the things I enjoy doing is reading your blog. It always gives me something to think about and you have a great sense of humor. Thank you.

  2. Ginger you are amazing! More specifically, I’m always learning from you and your blog-you are so smart. Thank you for offering new ideas and perspectives to life and being so real-I love that as it’s so easy to connect. Love the happiness blog link too!

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