Friday, May 30, 2008


Potbelly Correspondence

SENT: 3/4/2008
I will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts, in early summer. Please open a store there!!! I don't know what I'll do without my favorite sandwich place. Have you thought about expanding?



Hi Meghan ~

Thank you for writing! We're happy to hear that we've turned you into a Potbelly fan, and we truly appreciate your suggestion for opening one in Boston. We're always looking for great locations; maybe something will suite us in Harvard Square. As we open new stores, we'll continue to announce details on our Web site at

Happy days,
Laura Berrones
Speaker of the House
Potbelly Sandwich Works


I'm moving on...

Today is the big unpacking day (why is that everything nowadays is "the big *** day" for me?). So, tonight will be the first night in my old bed in the new room in the old house. Ch-ch-changes...

The other day bub and I emptied the truck and brought it to Penske, where a possibly random guy working on a Mac truck told me that he'd "take care of it." I wanted to clarify that "take care of it" meant "return it properly and file the paperwork" and not "steal the truck and strip it of all identifying marks," but I didn't want to start my new adventure off on the wrong foot. My faith was well-placed, however, because when bub called the next day to see if everything was all set, it was.

I really feel quite competent when I drive a moving truck. This one had 16 feet of space and I handled it quite well, I think. I get such a thrill being like "I'm a girl! Driving a big truck! Look at me!" Last year's RV trip really got me used to using side mirrors and not having a rear view. I remember when I was 16 and just learning to drive, I had NO IDEA how helpful the mirrors were. Once that sunk in, everything sorta clicked into place, you know?

It's been a busy few days...unloading the truck, doing some current job stuff and laying the tracks for having future job stuff. Hopefully.

Earlier in the week I was walking around on my last day in D.C. with C-note and Laurs. I spied a Potbelly, and we decided to run over to see if I could get my LAST AMAZING oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. The manager was outside on the front patio, wrapping the tables and chairs together with a wire cord. Things didn't look promising.

I asked him if they were closed....he said that they were. I took a gamble, and asked, "do you have any cookies left? I'll pay you for's my last day in D.C. and they don't have Potbelly where I'm going."

(I know this for sure because I emailed Potbelly HQ a few weeks ago. Maybe I'll post the response here in a sec.)

He didn't look too put out, and asked how many we wanted. C-note and Laurs passed, so he went into the store and came out with....FIVE COOKIES!!! And wouldn't accept payment!!! I was so touched by his generosity and thoughtfulness. What a guy.

He asked me where I was going, and I told him that I was moving to the Boston area, and he said that they have plans to open a restaurant up in Logan Airport. I might start booking extra flights just for those cookies...

Monday, May 19, 2008


Two - no, three things

1) Miranda Lambert won best album of the year for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"! Yes!! That album is fantastic.

2) I don't know about all of you, but I'm pretty good —nay, exceptional—at noticing police officers/emergency vehicles with their sirens on and getting out of the way. That's one reason that D.C. messes with me...all of the police officers keep their lights at top going at some level and for a while I'd pull over, and they'd be all "Thanks!" because they were on their way to get food or scratch tickets or something. Well, apparently the "getting out of the way" thing is a problem in Massachusetts, because now many police vehicles are equipped with....Rumblers! A person in this article is quoted as saying, "I live on a thoroughfare and recently I'm often woken up by a noise that made me think the apartment is getting attacked by a sea monster." THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE. It's freaking noise pollution and there must be a better solution. Listen away. Please. I'm very pro-law enforcement, but please outlaw 5,000-decibel stereos or rolling up your windows all of the way or something first because forcing this Big Brotheresque ridiculousness upon us is infringing upon my right to not go insane.

3) It's my last week at work. I think the people here are ready for me to leave since I gave my notice a month ago and they keep asking when my last day is. It's May 23. This Friday.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


because you're hot

When E and I were "training" (aka running 2.5 miles, tops) for the 10k on Friday evening, I asked her if she hits that spot during a run where she doesn't even focus on the running but is lost in her thoughts. She said yeah, and said that when she runs she sometimes loses track of time, and thinks about things that are bothering her, and really just pounds it out. Others have said similar thoughts to me...that running is a great release.

She was astonished when I said that when I run I'm thinking about each and every step and how much it pretty much blows. I never "lose track of time" and I certainly don't find a zen-like answer to any problems that I'm chewing on.

As we laboriously made our way to RFK, I made a really strong attempt to "get in the zone." I dwelled on things that I was worried about, really narrowed in on them. But my zone-blocker matter how big any of my problems are, the biggest one at that moment is that I'M RUNNING. AND IT'S UNCOMFORTABLE.

I thought more about it. And it comes down to the simple fact that I'm not the type of girl who tries to solve things in a masochistic manner. One of my favorite problem-solving techniques involves an oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie from Potbelly. Or a shower. I always feel better after I take a hot shower. Or, when things are really rough, I settle in for a nice little marathon. A TV-watching marathon.

Thinking about cookies, showers, TV, it gave me a little glow when on the training run. A little energy boost. A ray of sunshine in an otherwise uncomfortable (for the moment) world.

And that's when I realized that My Fuel for running is thinking about awesome things in my life. That's the closest to a zone that I'll ever get. And today during the race I think I actually approached (and possibly occupied) zone-land. I wasn't counting the minutes, or whining to myself about every step. It was like "I'm running. Margaritas. Seamus. I'm running. Oooh Cookies! Car trip with my dad. I'm running. Seeing Cam in Houston! 2-HOUR DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES TONIGHT!!" All that positive thinking really made the time go by much faster.

In terms of the actual race (because I'm sure the masses are dying to know), the beginning was a bit rough. I shadowed two guys who were running my pace...and by "shadowed" I mean, I was actually in their stupid shadows. I stuck to those suckers like glue. It probably annoyed the hell out of them, actually. After we circled the gigantic stadium that I swear has quadrupled in circumference in the past year, I nearly collapsed when I saw the Mile 2 guy holding his sign. I couldn't believe that it was only Mile 2. And where was the freaking water?! Was there a drought on Capitol Hill of which I wasn't aware?!

I walked for about 30 feet to get my breath, recover mentally, and join people who were going a bit slower. I grabbed a water from a cup person who finally materialized, drank it, then soldiered on. Things were, you know, so-so, then I caught a glimpse of the Capitol. And I was like, "I can do this." It really helped me to have a huge monument to look toward. I knew we were going to be running past it and doubling back, but I've done that part before. It was doable. I was going to finish the 10k! Eventually!

During the majority of the race I was pretty convinced that I was at the back of the pack—old ladies kept crossing the street in front of me, and kids on bikes would cross the street behind me...I was in front of or behind the "big opening" they needed to cross. It was a bit demoralizing to have an old lady look me in the eyes and decide that she had the time to go, though I found it amusing at the time. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't running alone, but I wasn't in the thick of it or anything. Around Mile 4 I had visions of my ass stuck to the ambulance grill as it drove along the course, opening it up to the driving public, but when I finally hit the turnaround at the bottom of the Hill of Death (a little past Mile 5), I saw that there were at least...200 people after me? And then there were more people behind the ambulance. So that was a cheerful thought. I wasn't going to be last! Victory!

I approached the Hill of Death thinking "You Are Mine—I've done you before. Last week, remember?!" but I had to walk for a bit up it. No sense killing myself...I wanted to have energy at the top of the hill for the last leg. No need staggering across the finish line and drooling and looking all out of sorts, you know? At the top of the hill I heard a strangled cough coming from about 8 feet behind me and then a loud liquidy splash on the pavement. I didn't turn around. Does that make me a bad person?

When I saw the man holding the Mile 6 sign, I fell in love. How glorious. How beautiful. How poetic.

My time was something around 65 minutes. It's not impressive or anything, but I'm pretty pleased. As a cop said to the dude struggling along way behind the ambulance, "Hey, you got out of bed and came out! So you're already a winner!"

Friday, May 16, 2008


lots of leaving left to do...

Sunday morning at 8:30 marks the start of my first 10k. I'm not prepared; so I'm anticipating a rough ride. That's not to say that I'm nervous, but I'm not, you know, expecting a breezy time full of smiles and picture-perfect moments. E and I signed up for it a couple of weeks ago... J.C. and his bro are running, and we were inspired to chase them around for 6 miles. Kinda like an adult's version of the playground at recess. I hope.

It's kind of cool, since we signed up around the same time E and I have numbers that are very close to another: 1575 and 1577. Is it lame that seeing that almost brought tears to my eyes?

I've been finding it easier to focus on things around the move than on the actual move itself. For example, this 10k. How can I worry about the future when I have to run the longest race of my life thus far?

And my last weekend: such decisions. The Times? Ocean City? Museums? A lot easier to decide WHAT to do than to dwell on the people I'll be leaving. A lot easier than to spend time wondering who I'll sing along to "Open Arms" with in the car. Or country music. Or any music at all. Crap. No one.

And God forbid I actually pack a bit beforehand. I'm focused on the father-daughter bonding time that will happen when driving a 12-foot truck chock full of my stuff along half the length of the eastern seaboard. It will be like when my dad used to drive me to high school...only it will be a month and a half of those trips squeezed into one. And we won't have a CD player on the dash, so he won't have to hear the same NSYNC song 5 times in a row (which was particularly grating for him, I'm sure, because it was a remake of a song from "his" generation. But he never complained!). I can't wait.

And then there's my Houston trip in early June. I'm so first time in Texas! And we might visit NASA! And the beach! I told Cam that thinking about the trip was really helping me with the move. Who needs to hardcore job search when I'll be out of the state for 5 days? Might as well really focus when I get back, right?

I'm picturing coming back from Texas and just feeling like a deflated balloon when I land. The reality of the situation will finally hit (at least, I hope it hits then and not at the staff meeting this upcoming Thursday). I'll be going on a run and see someone in the neighborhood. They'll ask how long I'm home for, and I'll respond, "Oh, um...forever."

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad that I'm moving back to Massachusetts. As I said today to C-note and E, all preachy-like, "We all make our own decisions." I've made the decision, and it's the right one. I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and friends, actually seeing my parents more than once every three months, eating dinner as a family, smelling the smells of home—the coffee brewing in the morning, cooking at night, my mom's perfume. Playing with the puppy; going to my cousins' baseball, soccer, and basketball games; getting to really know my sister in law; just being in the place that I've always thought of as Home with a capital H.

The big picture is great. It's just the day-to-day reality would freak the shit out of me, if I'd let it.

Girls...come with me? Please?

Monday, May 12, 2008


the scent of a man (sorta)

Senior year of high school I went on a school-sponsored trip to Italy...Tans and I were travel buddies and spent the whole time checking out museums, checking out stores, and checking out boys. Our group of 20 girls or so stayed in hotels that were rated 3 and 4 stars, which pretty much translated to "crap" in American standards.

One of our hotels (possibly the last one on the trip? I can't remember) was called The Albatross. Being a school full of clever girls, we all laughed at the ominous name, and accompanied it by screeching caws. The rooms were awful: the three twin beds were 2 centimeters apart, the bathroom converted into a shower, and the operator didn't know how to patch through a call from my older brother.

Anyhow, as is the custom in Italy (at least in crappy hotels), breakfast consisted of a roll, butter (possibly some jam, if we were lucky!), and water. The dinner was only marginally better. However...the highlight of every meal was our waiter. I can't remember his name, though I do remember his cute little face quite clearly, since we captured it on film one morning as he served us our meals. He made us look forward to our meals, flirting with all of us. He redeemed The Albatross.

He was cute and all...but what made me and Tans obsessed was how he smelled. He wore this cologne that just SMELLED SO GOOD. It was intoxicating. I don't know if it was a special formula, or the fact that we were on the back-end of the all-girls' high school experience, but we thought it was amazing. On the last day we managed to vault both the language and awkwardness barriers and asked him what he was wearing. He named something that we had never heard of and we wrote the name down diligently.

Tans and I discussed it, and we decided that we'd spend $40 on this cologne, if necessary. We had to have it. We went around to as many parfumeries as possible, asking if they carried it. At a few of them we got wrinkled noses and snooty looks, and were told to check out the Italian equivalent of CVS. We were very surprised. How could something that spelled so good cost so little?

Fast forward to a year later. I was watching TV and a commercial came on for the same cologne/body spray that the waiter wore. The brand had finally, finally made it to the United States. The name? Axe.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that we were so obsessed by Axe. You might laugh, but those commercials are no joke, people. It had an effect.

Someone I used to know wore some body wash/cologne that I loved, and when I asked, he wouldn't tell me what it was, calling it his "natural odor." Not really caring what it was, I didn't press, but of course I wondered. Not telling me something makes me want to know it more, you know? So I filed it away.

Today on the Metro I sat next to this older guy who's in town for National Police Week, I think. He was with a few similarly muscular tough-looking old dudes. As I settled in the seat next to him, I smelled a familiar odor. I resisted the strong and almost overwhelming urge to tell him that he smelled like an ex, knowing that I only had one stop before he got off. I only needed to hold off embarrassing myself for one stop. I inwardly debated the merits of keeping my dignity vs. getting down to the bottom of a mystery.

At his stop he stood up and walked closer to his friends. As he passed one who was still sitting down, waiting for the door to open, the guy shouted out, "Hey man, you went a little heavy on the Axe today, huh!" Then all of his friends left.

I guess the shitty stuff still sorta does it for's to the waiter who started it all!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


musings on country...

It's so disappointing when I'm obsessed with a new song and have visions of the guy singing it as...cute...masculine...perfect, basically. A tall, dark-haired, lanterned-jawed smoothie in a cowboy hat. But yesterday I googled the singer of one of my currently favorite songs, and it was a big fat letdown. It sort of changes the song for me (but not so much that I haven't already listened to it twice and it's only 7:36).

Yesterday I also found out that Dierks Bentley is married. What a day. Good thing his wife is damn cute and totally adorable, because her joyous smile took the wind out of my and C-note's angry sails. I wish them the best.

It's pathetic that something like that actually changes something for me, even if it is an infinitesimally small change. It's not like I ever actually thought that Dierks (or Josh Turner, or Brad Paisley...) and I had a chance. But apparently the part of me that was in fantasy land thought that it was a possibility? Otherwise I wouldn't have requested a moment of silence for the news.

It's time wasted if I get up early to get to work early but then just lounge around on my here goes.

Oh. BTW. I'm still obsessed with Enchanted and right now "That's How You Know" is filling my bedroom with its musical cheer. Here are some of my favorite lyrics...

Well does he leave a little note to tell you you are on his mind?
Send you yellow flowers when the sky is gray? Heyy!
He'll find a new way to show you, a little bit everyday
That's how you know, that's how you know!
He's your love...

Because he'll wear your favorite color
Just so he can match your eyes
Rent a private picnic
By the fires glow-oohh!

Oh crap, Kanye just came on. That reminds me of this video...Have you guys (you guys being TC, Cam, JC, C-note, E, occasionally Pat, Rob, i-66, someone in the Netherlands, and various family members who read my blog. I get the stats, people. And I know whose blog you go to after mine!) seen this? So neat. It really picks up toward the end and is super impressive.

Daft Punk Girls - Stronger

Okay. Time to go to work. For reals.

Friday, May 02, 2008


the job hunt

In my dream last night I got a call from The Bob Barker Institute. The call cut out before they could ask me to come in for an interview.

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