Saturday, June 4, 2011

Staycation Day 2: 2 Fast and 2 Furious in the Love Garage

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to the mall to take in a matinee-priced showing of "X-Men: First Class". That third X-Men movie was abominable, but the Wolverine one was sort of tolerable, so I went in with low expectations which were handsomely rewarded. The only real problem I had with the whole experience, other than sitting through the credits for a bonus scene that never came after drinking a "medium" Diet Coke the size of a newborn baby and having to pee so bad that I thought I might rupture, was in finding a decent parking space.

There were lots of spaces outside, given that no one but the elderly and the unemployed are at the mall on a Friday afternoon (or, I guess, people on vacation), but after yesterday's experience with the sun I didn't know if I really wanted to leave my car outside to melt in the heat. Given the choice between parking outside and parking in the Love Garage, though, I decided to just risk the sun rather than risk getting run over or accidentally catching an STD just by walking through the aisles.

I don't know for sure if the Love Garage really has a name, but I refer to it as that after the bizarre experience that Kristin and I had leaving "Thor" a few weeks ago. We were running a little late to see the movie, although you have to realize that my concept of "a little late" and Kristin's are two wildly different things, and Kristin came to pick me up maybe seven minutes later than agreed on, which she thought was practically on time. I was already having a bad day, so the seven minutes threw me into high-maintenance meltdown ("We had a schedule! What if I don't have time to buy candy now? What if we get bad seats because we're not twenty minutes early?") and Kristin tried to manage it by suggesting that we park in the garage, where we could walk right into the theater.

"I've never parked in the garage before," I blurted, momentarily short-circuited. I didn't know how I should feel about this. Do I like the garage? Would it give us more time to buy candy? Or would it take us even longer now and make us have to sit in the very front and tilt our heads way way up toward the screen until our necks hurt?

"Neither have I, but, you know, we'll be fine," Kristin said, and it seemed like we were fine, until the movie was over and we tried to leave.

The first indication of trouble was the loud revving of several engines and the squealing of tires on the level above us. Kristin and I both looked at the ceiling several times as we made our way back to the car, sticking to the sides of the aisle in case one of the cars came whipping around the corner and tried to run us over.

"I think they're drag racing on the roof."

"Jesus. It sounds like 'Tokyo Drift' up there. What the hell?"

Vroooooom! Squeal!

"They really are! Oh my God!"

"Let's just get out of here."

Easier said than done. When we got to the car, Kristin was digging in her huge purse for the car keys, and I noticed some... "action"... on the trunk of the car across from us.

And by "action" I mean a high school girl with her legs wrapped around the waist of a high school boy in the throes of heavy duty fully clothed grinding.

"Look. Over. There," I Cameron Fry-ed to Kristin.

"I'll find the keys in a second! Stop ye-- Holy shit."

"Don't stare! Are they, like, actually doing it?"

"They're damn close." Vroooom! Screeeeeeeeeeech! "Let's get out of here before that girl ends up pregnant."

"Seriously. It's like ten different movies at one time."

And then on the way out, we accidentally drove into Cougartown. Somewhere on the third level we spun around the corner and the headlights washed over another couple making out against the walls and they pulled apart in surprise and she was over 40 and he didn't look old enough to drive after dark and VROOOOM! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAL!

I'm convinced that we barely escaped with our lives, so yesterday I parked outside in the sunbaked parking lot.

Then I went home and made Ten Minute Pea Soup for dinner. According to the recipe, it was light and summery, and it looked super-easy. I needed:

2 tablespoons of butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
8 cups of frozen peas
5 cups of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

The recipe said to gently melt the butter in the pot:

gently melting butter

I assumed this meant to use really low heat, so that the butter melts but doesn't burn or brown. It would have happened faster if I cut up the butter a little first, but that never occurs to me until after I've dumped butter into a hot pan and it's too late.

After melting the butter, I was advised to gently fry the garlic in it until translucent:

gently fried garlic

and then to add the frozen peas for two minutes:

frozen peas

I guess this was to partially defrost them?

Let me add that you do not want to spill frozen peas across your counter while measuring out eight cups of them. It's like a bag of tiny frozen marbles, and much cursing will follow.

After two minutes of stirring the peas, I added five cups of chicken stock and brought it to a boil:

with chicken stock

then reduced the heat to a simmer, covered it, and ignored it for six minutes. After that I was supposed to put it in the blender, but didn't feel motivated to slowly spoon eight cups of peas into the blender, so I used the immersion blender instead after salting and peppering:

immersion blended soup

Then I topped it with a sprinkle of parmesan, since I had no croutons and didn't want to make any:

pea soup with parmesan

It didn't really taste like garlic, just like a lot of peas, but it only took a couple minutes longer than opening a can of soup and heating it, and isn't homemade always better?

I saw that in a movie, but not any of the movies that I saw in the garage.


amy said...

You and Kristin somehow manage to hit all the action in this town. I will tell my daughter to never let a friend or a date park in the "love garage"-I'll just tell her a murder happened there, though!

JMBower said...

well, decency was murdered there, so it's not wholly false in that regard.

That soup recipe sounds awesome and easy. I am looking froward to it, as long as I'm allowed to tinker by adding bacon and cream. Summery, yes, light, not any more.

Glad you liked the movie I may have to give it a begrudging shot. I don't mind when comic movies stray a little (sometimes, like The Crow, etc. it makes a horrific source material into something almost worth watching). But the X-Men are sacred ground for me. It has such a fantastically written backstory..all the Claremont years, etc..50 years of stories to choose from. To just completely throw that aside for the first three movies, was blasphemy. The little touches were great. The broad strokes were terrible. Wolverine was ok, but again, why mess with an already good and action-packed story? So I'll see the new one on your recommendation alone:)

Ilona said...

I had my own "love garage" experience this past weekend. Drove by a couple that was making out so vigorously on the trunk of their car, I was worried I was going to get pregnant just by being in the vicinity.