Doing the COVID Clench; Tenet

Yeah, I know; I haven’t updated much. Sorry. There hasn’t been a lot of news that I can really talk about yet, although if you want to be up to date on Tidepool happenings and any other writing news I might have, please sign up for my mailing list. 

In the last month, I finally left the house and interfaced with actual humans who were not Bill for the first time since mid-March. These people were doctors and dentists, so I wasn’t excessively concerned about being unsafe in their presence. 

I learned at the dentist that I’ve been clenching and grinding my teeth to the point that it’s starting to damage a back molar, and so I’m now the owner of a spiffy new night guard. It takes about two weeks to get used to sleeping with one, so they say. I am almost through week one. I look forward to being used to it, because trying to sleep with a plastic thing covering your top teeth is hard and I am very tired.

My dentist asked me why I was grinding my teeth and we both laughed, because do you really need an answer other than “2020”?  Turns out this is something a lot of dentists have been noticing lately. My dentist dubbed this the COVID Clench. That’s me, always on-trend. 

In addition to the night guard, I got the casting of my teeth used to create it. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been given, even if some of the teeth broke before I got it.

But! Not all my outings involved jabby dentist instruments and trays of nasty gunk in my mouth. Bill and I are lucky enough to live near an Alamo Drafthouse that set up a pop-up Alamo Drive-In, and a week ago, we drove out to Ashburn and caught Tenet. 

Robert Pattinson and John David Washington in a rare calm moment from the movie.

I have not been to a drive-in movie since my 80s college days, when a bunch of friends and I piled into a car to go see Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3. While I think NoES3 was probably more suited to a drive-in situation than Tenet because “Spooky knife-finger guy kills kids in dreams” is not a complex plot to follow, I enjoyed the latter movie anyhow. I miss going to movies, but not enough to go sit in a theater. A drive-in seemed like a brilliant solution.

The whole setup couldn’t have been much smoother. We found a spot where our view wasn’t blocked by a giant SUV. The food we’d pre-ordered was delivered to our car without a hitch. And the weather was absolutely gorgeous after a long, LONG spell of scorching heat, humidity, and rain. 

Bill and I sometimes joke about the “Drafthouse Curve,” which holds that we tend to like movies more if we’ve had a couple of drinks with them. Alcohol was not an option at the drive-in because of the “drive” part, duh. But I think I graded Tenet on a “Jesus, it’s so nice to get out of the house and see an actual movie again” curve. I definitely want to see it again; there were enough distractions around that I didn’t catch some of the more complicated aspects, and this being a Christopher Nolan film, there were complications aplenty. But it was so great to do a fun thing. 

Finally, holy shit, y’all: Lovecraft Country. I have not read the book. I am very glad I haven’t yet because I want to be surprised by the show, and this show surprises and shocks and horrifies and devastates me every week. If you’re a horror fan and you haven’t checked it out yet, I just don’t know what to tell you.  I love the kind of horror where real-life evils like racism run parallel to the supernatural monsters, and that’s Lovecraft Country‘s sweet spot. Highly, highly recommended.

I am still not OK about Uncle George.


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