Monday, October 31, 2011

these days

It's true that I have been persistently depressed and anxious of late.  It's partly due to the realities of life in the 1%, and probably partly due to inadequate medication.  My long-time primary care doctor is not in my new insurance plan, so I have to pick a new doctor, see him or her ($30 copay) and get a referral to a psychiatrist ($50 copay).  I couldn't figure out how to make that work financially except to wait until mid-December to see the psychiatrist (and had no idea how I'd get any psychiatric meds until then), but I actually got offered a babysitting gig:  five hours at $20 per hour.  Yes, thank you.  It's probably 40 years since I've babysat, but that's actually a higher hourly rate than I make at work.  Yes, thank you very much.  The mom is someone I know casually, but well enough that she knows things are tight for me, and it was a real kindness and offered in a very sensitive way.

Work does keep me busy and that keeps away the worst of the moods for the most part, although I have some days where I feel very sad and cry easily.  But the weekends are terrible.  Way too much unstructured time on my hands.  I rarely make jewelry because I'm so conscious of how expensive the materials are, and how impossible it would be to replace anything I use up.  (Truthfully, I have an insanely huge amount of beads, but the silver findings -- clasps, wire, earring hooks -- do get used up and silver is now wildly expensive.)

So mostly what I end up doing on the weekends is distracting myself.  Occasionally I just do something useless like sleep all day, but mostly it's Media Time.  Barry and I do love our TV and music and movies, but he gravitates to the TV set and I gravitate toward the computer.  The TV set is old and not HD and our DVD player died; even with all the on-demand stuff we get with FIOS, there's way more content and variety online.  Barry doesn't really like watching much online except for relatively short videos, but I love it:  HD screen, headphones with nice sound.  And I like to let him have the TV on weekends because he lets me hog it during the week because I work and he doesn't.  We like a lot of the same things but we do have different preferences.  So on the weekends I'll leave him to martial arts and vampires and the things he likes best.  And I can jump around, stop and start, and be as obsessed as I like.

I watched, I think, five Bollywood movies this past weekend.  And another great thing about the computer is that I can pause a movie and look something up:  how are Sikhs different from Hindus?  do the actors do their own singing?  are all Indian movies like this?

I was not only thoroughly distracted, but very entertained and very educated.  Bollywood movies totally rule.

I watched:  Ra.One.  This movie just opened, around $34 million internationally on its first weekend.  Kind of an Indian Tron.  I watched:  Swades.  Incredibly beautiful.  I watched:  Veer-Zaara.  Also very beautiful; this was the one where Sikhs and Muslims, Indians and Pakistanis were all involved.  I watched:  Deewar.  Wow.  That one was from the 70s, with a very young, brooding Amitabh Bachchan.  Old-school plot about two brothers, one a gangster, one a cop.  Shashi Kapoor was the "good" brother, and incredibly wussy next to Amitabh.  Kind of like Leslie Howard next to Clark Gable: no contest.  Love the bad boys.

These are some long movies, too, generally around three hours, and I started to realize that it wasn't just comedy and drama and music, but also family issues, justice, prejudice, women's rights, government corruption, class, caste...these movies are just plain loaded.  And then everyone sings and dances.  This is definitely my new favorite thing.  I'm also thinking I like Amitabh Bachchan better than I like Shah Rukh Khan, although SRK is certainly handsome and talented.  But Amitabh is like Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood, Fred Astaire, George Clooney...great at drama, great at comedy, great at dancing, handsome young and handsome old.  Visual aids:

I rest my case.  There are a lot of Bollywood actors and actresses I haven't seen yet, and I have yet to say anything about the female stars, but I do love those men.

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