The power of suggestion
One week ago today, we were en route to Pittsburgh, or actually had already arrived by this time. The trip was a surprise for me, or at least the destination was: I knew we were going somewhere, but not where. Carrie had planned this trip for a few months for the occasion of our 10th wedding anniversary and kept our itinerary secret. Neither of us had ever been to Pittsburgh, but wanted to go for a few reasons, not the least of which was to make a trip to Fallingwater, which is about an hour and a half outside of town.
Well, the trip was great, we went to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, caught a Pirates game, and generally had a wonderful time. We missed a couple of things, such as the Andy Warhol Museum and a few other things, but overall, mission accomplished. One of the other things we were really interested in, though, was having a sandwich from Primanti Brothers. This was one of the few real "Pittsburgh-y" food items I was able to find when I was researching possible menu items for Super Bowl parties where the Steelers were playing (best Super Bowl food match-up ever was Philadelphia vs. New England, which was Philly cheesesteaks and Boston baked beans).
On our way out of town, we spun by one of the Primanti Brothers stores, grabbed a couple of sandwiches, and took them with us. The verdict is, pretty damned good. I'm not generally a cole slaw guy, but that's because I don't like the standard sweet goopy mayonnaise mess that passes for cole slaw in a lot of places. This was really good though, more of a pepper and vinegar concoction that complimented the fries, meat, and cheese really well. I think they'd have been even better if we'd eaten them right there at the restaurant, as the fries lose their heat and crispness, but still, tasty.
So what does this have to do with the power of suggestion? This morning I told Carrie that I'd gotten a response to my post on Twitter announcing that our mystery destination was Pittsburgh. My friend Josh said that he was leaving town right as we arrived, but wished us a good trip (he had lived in Pittsburgh previously, but was back for a bit for work). Interesting, she said, and continued with the morning's ablutions and preparations. As is standard in our household, she started singing and humming a song while doing her hair. The song was My Kind of Lover by Billy Squier. What the hell?
Here's the chain: we talked about Pittsburgh and in Pittsburgh we went to Primanti Brothers, and while waiting for our sandwiches in Primanti Brothers that song came on, prompting me to make some comment about how I hadn't thought about Billy Squier since he was big in the '80s and I didn't really think about him then either (Billy Squier never really required much thought one way or the other). Just mentioning Pittsburgh in a completely different context triggered the process that resulted in Carrie singing a Billy Squier song in the bathroom.
Brains are weird. I like 'em. This is all of more than personal interest to me now, since I'm working tangentially on the Human Connectome Project, which endeavors to find and map the connections throughout the brain that leads to precisely these sorts of triggers and activities.