Sunday, July 6, 2008

Garrisonville Road aka 610

Am I the only one going the speed limit on Garrisonville Road. On a regular basis, I have vehicles riding my ass waiting for the next opportunity to cut me off. What is the problem?

First off, I am driving 50 mph in a 45 mph zone; thus, I'm already speeding. When you get further down 610, past North Stafford High School, the road starts to dip and curve. Stafford is notorious for accidents on roads like this. Where the hell are the cops when you need them.

I am glad they have put up a few traffic signals--one in front of the high school, and one on Shelton Shop Road. How many people have to die before you all slow the fuck down?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shoppers is the Spot

I remember when it used to be called Shoppers Food Warehouse. I love to go there for the big "colossal" donuts. If you haven't tried them yet, you've BEEN missing out. I first started eating them because they were cheaper than Dunkin Donuts. But I don't think they make them all day long; so I get them in the morning. Too bad they don't have maple. That became my favorite after spending some time on the west coast.

Now Shoppers has a food bar. I laughed at it the first time I saw it. Then, I glanced right quick to see what they offered. I was like, "Who the hell eats at Shoppers?" Well, then my mom got her some chicken wings one time we were there. Another time, I decided to get the mac n cheese. And we've been slowly eating there ever since. It is not inexpensive, but if you want real food, instead of McDs or something, then go ahead and try it.

Lastly, as much as I try to hide in Stafford, I keep running into people--my Shoppers. Whoa! It has been three times in a row that I have seen a different female that I either graduated with, or was a class under mine. I almost stopped one of them because I think she even lived in my neighborhood. Maybe next time.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Post Office Cutie

I have been to the post office 2 days in a row now. I keep missing the mail lady (because she comes BETWEEN 1:30 and 4:30) and therefore I end up stuck with the same Netflix DVD repeatedly.

There is a really cute postal worker. He must be fairly new because I haven't seen him previously and I am familiar with the other people there. I got to be attended by him both times!!! If he's your husband, congratulations! He looks great in his business shirt (and tie?).

Driving 95 and the HOV lane

Last weekend, I decided to go to Baltimore, which is my hangout-spot.  I think I got on I95 at around 5:30 p.m on Saturday.  No sooner had I gotten to either the Dumfries or Quantico exit, traffic was at a stand still.  WTF?  I thought I was escaping traffic by leaving so late.

I enviously watched the HOV drivers speed up the highway.  Damnit, oh how I wish I had got on! I always wondered what was the purpose of using HOV on the weekends.  The one time I tried, I missed my exit because I didn't know quite how to get off.  So, I vowed to never get on it again.  And at other times, it seems that HOV is as slow as the rest.  But I think I have learned my lesson now:  Ride at all times (in accordance with the open HOV rules, of course!)!

And what was stopping traffic up on I95 going northbound and southbound?...All I saw was one cop that had pulled someone over IN THE HOV LANE between the Lorton and Springfield exits!!!!  After that point, it was all clear.  What is wrong with people here and how do you all put up with this madness?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When Can I Run?

Finally, I started an exercise routine about three weeks ago. I began with speed walking because my endurance is poor and my knees tend to swell after a lifetime of inactivity. I walk from an elementary school, to a middle school, or by a pool, or around another elementary school and through a neighborhood--anything to stay out of my own area. I don't want anyone I know noticing me; but if you see me in a red Jordan cap with a pair of Saucony's, then toss me a peace sign!

I'd say the distance that I travel is at least 2 miles. I have mustered up enough strength to jog at least half of it, though not all at once. I do a combo of walk, jog, walk, or the other way around. Originally, I wasn't breaking much of a sweat--and they say if you don't, then you're not doing any good. But my heart was pumping and jumping and I didn't want to die for it, so I'm getting my body acclimated slowly.

It is very, very hard not to quit. With every footstep my mind begs me to return home to eat and sleep. My gastrocnemius muscles burn intensely and sometimes I feel like I can't catch my breath. If only I could just stop. But I won't. I try to focus on everything besides the path: my breathing, the birds, other people and their pets. Then I start thanking the Lord: "Thank you for my eyes to see this beauty." "Thank you for my legs to do this run." "Thank you for my strong heart." And I push myself because I know my body is pleased with me. It seems like I start glowing.

For the past 7 days now, I've really been struggling. Last Wednesday, it was 68° at 9 a.m. and I could feel the heaviness on my chest when I began to walk in the humidity. Oh no! I pushed through it though and really broke a sweat. On Saturday it was 71° at 8 a.m., and I knew it would be even more of a problem. It was like running in a smoky room, but I pressed through it and stopped at a garage sale or two.

Today, it was 81° at 8:45 a.m. and I was devastated. I really thought about quitting before I began. My record for the past week has already been quite spotty due to this heatwave providing me a valid excuse. But I got out there, and jogged more than I usually do, sweat, and baked in the high sun. I've really got to get out earlier.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What? No Tomatoes?

I went to Burger King on 610 because I thought they were the kings of milkshakes. The sign above the drive-thru window says, "Hold the tomatoes!" Apparently, tomatoes have been pulled off the shelf due to salmonella. Wow! I've never heard that one. And, the milkshake sucked. It was more like, melted strawberry icecream.

Update! No tomatoes on my beef gordita supreme at Taco Bell.
But I did end up buying cherry grape tomatoes at Bloom tonight. Are the grocery stores exempt?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where's the Good Pizza?

I usually order pizza every Friday. Where I come from, Domino's is the pizza of choice. It is good, but more than that, it is good and inexpensive. But every time I come to Stafford, my family reminds me that Domino's doesn't make the grade. Stubbornly, I have ordered it multiple time since I've been back here. And I have finally learned my lesson.

Half of the time, Domino's is fine. The other half of the time, it just plain sucks. When it sucks, it is because they decide to put only enough cheese on the pizza, to say that it has cheese on it. Mostly, there is red sauce visible. Often times, it is over baked (as is the cheesybread), looks a little stale (even though it has recently come out of the oven), and the bubbles in the crust take up half of the slices. I have had to return the pizza on multiple occasions. For some reason, I forget to check it before I leave the store. No, its because I expect my pizza to be the way it should be. But their coupons have enticed me to return again and again.

I think I am officially Papa John's now, which means I have to save my money. I don't, haven't, and can't frequently order Papa John's because it is expensive. Two pizzas for $21, wtf? I remember when they first came to Stafford, it was as affordable as the next pizza. Now, their coupons aren't discounts at all. But it tastes so damn good. I also noticed that it gets me full rather quickly. And not everyone can stand that sweet taste, which will also keep me from ordering it frequently because it gets kinda old.

Growing up, Pizza Hut used to be the expensive pizza. It was like the "I have money to throw away and this is the best on the market" type of pizza. We always ordered deep dish because the crust had that right amount of bread and crisp. Nowadays, Pizza Hut is a good price, too (they finally caught on) . Their pizza also gets me full rather quickly. It has always been greasy as hell. But I don't order it too often because of the distinctive taste that gets old to my taste buds.

Little Caesar's Pizza was once located in Aquia Towncenter, on a corner, by what used to be Dairy Queen. I thought it was the greatest flavor and it was the poor man's pizza because it was a buy one get one free deal. We ate there like we had stock in it, but we must've been the only ones because they went out of business. I never understood that because it was always crowded. And there are still Little Caesar's in other states. Its not the same though, but it is definitely the cheapest pizza on the market, quality and monetarily.

Still thinking "back in the day," Sam's used to be the cheap pizza of choice also--but more for large functions. Every time we had something at school, they ordered Sam's. It was not very flavorful. It was just pizza....cheese, sauce, and dough. I haven't been there in the last decade so perhaps they have changed.

Today's school functions are held at Cici's Pizza. I don't love their pizza, it'll just do. Besides, everyone loves a buffet.

When I worked in D.C. several years ago, I became a lover of California Pizza Kitchen. I call it "the working class" pizza. It is expensive--$10 for a pizza the size of something you'd find in the grocery freezer section, for one person. I suppose they can get away with it because it is "gourmet" and you can order it any way you like it. Their veggie pizzas are even tasty. A few years ago, they began selling the small pizzas at the grocery store ($5). They were hard to find at first. Now you can get a larger size, thin crust, and for the same price.

My father introduced me to what I think is the best pizza in town. I am a big fan of New York style pizza--fairly thin, wide slices, foldable and greasy. Vinny's Italian Grill puts a giant smile on my face and heaven in my belly. It costs a pretty penny, but it is always exactly what I am looking for. However, it is best to eat it on the day you buy it only. The warmed-up pizza quality is sub par in comparison.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wealthy Men in Stafford

I just logged out of MySpace and came across this ad:

Is this for real? (I'll tell you later after I go to the site and check it out.) I know Stafford is full of fairly wealthy people, but if I had to guess, 98% of them are married. Maybe I should put my phone number on this blog so they can call me! Income is certainly attractive during this economic "slow down." :D

The State of Stafford

For 10 years now, Stafford County has been trying to become the former Prince William County (The new Prince William County is, well...we'll get to that later.).  They have been building and building.  We have shopping centers with real stores, real name brand restaurants, multiple commuter parking lots.  There is  a hospital in construction.  They are revamping the movie theater.  It just doesn't stop.

We also have traffic 6 days a week.  And now that they are expanding our 2 lane main drag, Garrisonville Road, we have the most fucked up streets I've ever seen, short of a natural disaster. I can't understand why this middle-to-upper-middle class town would allow for this mess.  Every time I drive down the street, I'm dodging drains, holes, pot holes, gravel, cement, and people, all while trying to stay between the yellow and white lines--which change every week.  Don't y'all know that this causes damage to your vehicles, especially with regard to the alignment?  

I suppose we can't avoid it if we want change.  And it is desperately needed because of the continuous growth.  Stafford, the country, as we used to call it, was once filled with miles and miles of untouched land.  Now, they are squeezing in housing developments on every corner they can occupy.  The result is people everywhere--always going in the same direction, to the same place that you are.  You can't get anywhere fast here.  Patience is a virtue.

If you are from Stafford, or in Stafford, I'm hoping you'll find my stories engaging enough that you'll return to this website and share it with your friends.  

If you're not from Stafford, I'm hoping that you'll still follow along and learn about it, and my travails.  It is probably no different from your own city--the same struggles, same concerns.