Bye Bye Beetle . . . Again

Yes, this is a toy car. When I saw it in a store several years ago in Las Vegas, I knew that I had to have it. For any longtime readers of this blog and it’s previous iteration, you may know my long history with the VW Bug.

When I was a little kid in the early to mid-70s, I loved Beetles. With every fiber of my being, I wanted to have one when I grew up. Then they stopped making them and I was crushed. Like a bug.

I grew up and bought my first car, a Nissan Sentra. Then VW started making the New Beetle. I was elated! After a good solid 12 years, my old car started dying and the only car I wanted was a Beetle. In late summer 1999, I bought a 2000 New Beetle. I was overjoyed and loved that car!

Me and my Bug had many adventures together over the years. The longest drive was to Montreal. One of the funniest stories, except for the blatant sexism, was when I had to get a Bug Jump. Here’s an excerpt from that blog post.

In all the scenarios for my battery deciding to die, this was one of the best. I went back inside and made some phone calls while waiting. I was told that someone would be there within forty-five minutes. They arrived after forty minutes. Shocking!

So I walk outside and the guy takes my keys, opens the hood and starts looking for the battery. He starts making comments about Beetles and says he doesn’t see the battery. He says it must be in the trunk, I said, “No, it’s a new Beetle.” He ignores me and calls me “sweetheart” whenever he refers to me. He’s not condescending about it, just matter of fact and kind of cute, so I let him keep looking and of course he doesn’t find it.

He calls in to headquarters and says he has a Beetle and can’t find the battery. I tell him again, “It’s a new Beetle.” He ignores me and keeps talking to the guy. He seems to be on a two-way radio, because I can hear the other guy saying, “We have a Bug jump!”

He could have saved himself the time by listening to me, but at least I got a good story out of it. But I digress. So all was well and good for the most part with my beloved Beetle until around 2013, when things started to go very wrong. I stopped making long drives, because I was too nervous driving it. It started stalling. I noticed similar stories from other people with Bugs purchased around the same time as mine. People were giving them up. I was so emotionally attached to the idea of it and I didn’t want to give it up.

Then things got real. Real dangerous. The car gave up the ghost at the end of 2013. I started 2014 by getting a Toyota RAV4. My 20th century self would be shocked. I realized that I loved the car way more than the car loved me. I needed to get over my attachment to things. Although truth be told, if I ever came into a lot of money, I would get one of the old Bugs and get it souped up.

So what prompted this post today? I just learned that VW is stopping production of the Beetle again. But I’ve seen this story play out before. That saying “the more things change the more they stay the same” is a saying for a reason. It’s true. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Beetle comes back again in another 20 years or so. We’ll see.

Another Boston Romance


My love for Boston has returned. Not that I ever stopped loving it. But the winter makes it hard to remember that loving feeling. That special love for Boston feeling.

Like when I’ve been away on a trip. I’m on a plane and we start circling Logan and descend back into the city. No matter where I’m coming from or how much I enjoyed my trip, I am thrilled to be home. I see Boston with fresh eyes and get that loving feeling.

Each year when the warm weather returns, the city wakes up and blooms. When I was walking outside yesterday, I looked down an alley that would be very easy to miss. I saw this outdoor seating area. Empty, but waiting for people to arrive.

Imagine all the future people in this space over the next few months. Mixing and mingling. Talking. Eating. Laughing. Remembering. Maybe even falling in love.

It made me think about all the restaurants and cafes around the Boston area that have set up their outdoor seating for the season.

Then this morning, I found a listing on Eater Boston with 120+ patios officially open for 2016. They made the list, so I don’t  have to. It’s a great resource for the season. Whether you’re an area local or a tourist visiting. I’m looking forward to going to a few of these places. Hopefully you will too!

Prince Gave Me Religion


When I heard that Prince died, I was in shock and in transit. Between home and work. When I got on the train, my hands were shaking as I texted my friend the unbelievable and sad news.  So many thoughts swirled in my head all at once. I thought he was alright. He was supposed to be recovering from the flu. Not dead.

Now I am even more grateful that I saw Prince perform live in 2004, when he was here in Boston. The chance to see him came out of the blue. In the middle of the workday, a friend and co-worker told me that she had just gotten tickets and asked if I wanted to go that night.

Did I want to go?! Of course I wanted to go! It was probably the best show of my life. He played for three hours non-stop. His band took a break and he kept going. Playing the guitar alone and talking to all of us in the audience. He gave that show his all. It was amazing.

When I heard that Prince died, I flashed back to college. It was around 1986 and I had tried in vain to win tickets to his concert. I used to be quite good at winning radio station contests and had hoped that my luck would continue. I didn’t have the money to buy tickets, so winning was the only way that I could possibly attend the concert. I didn’t win. I will never forget that moment of realization that I wasn’t going to the concert — sitting at a table in Usdan cafeteria practically in tears and inconsolable. Thinking I will never see Prince and my life is horrible.

When I heard that Prince died, I flashed back to high school and had to laugh. I remembered being at home with a new Prince poster on the wall in my room. He was dripping wet in the shower, wearing a black bikini and a very provocative look on his face. My father walked in to the room. Looked at the picture. Shook his head and walked out.

I was not raised in the church, so I did not learn most of the things that most church-going kids know. Like the Lord’s Prayer. Yup. Prince taught me the Lord’s Prayer. The only reason I can even pretend to recite it today is because I played Controversy so many times. I even feel guilty knowing it, because of how I learned it. While I was playing that song, Dirty Mind, D.M.S.R., Let’s Pretend We’re Married and so many other songs from his many albums that I had back then, my thoughts were anything but pious.


Since Prince died, I’ve read so many articles about him and how he was so much more than his music. Especially for those that knew him well. Prince truly cared about people and the world and wanted to make it a better place. He was a philanthropist in secret and now so many of his good works are coming to light. He was a fan of the Black Lives Matter movement and supported them without any public acknowledgement.

Prince quietly was a force behind #Yes We Code, an organization founded to help young people of color learn to code, so they have the skills to be part of the tech industry. The more I learn about Prince, the more I like and admire him.

Seeing all the fans in Minnesota talking about Prince as one of their own reminds us all of the regional nature of the United States. It says something about his character that he stayed in Minnesota. He didn’t forget where he came from and stayed centered no matter how famous he became.

There’s a great article on Yahoo! where entertainment industry insiders reflect on their encounters with Prince. Singer-songwriter Louise Goffin wrote about the time she got to dance with Prince at a party.

I was on the stairs near the ladies room, and out of nowhere I see Prince standing around, and shy as can be. All of a sudden Sex Machine by James Brown comes on and I look over at him and he looks at me and says “you know this?” I say “of course I know this, I wasn’t born yesterday!” And he looks up devilishly and says… “wanna dance?” and reaches out to grab my hand. I’m losing my mind, not believing what’s happening and he leads me down the stairs to the dance floor (disco lights, the whole bit), and we’re bumping into people who at first act annoyed and then turn around and see its him. I’m hearing some people I know say “look it’s Prince! and then a second later, saying oh my God, it’s Louise!” Its the truth. I danced with Prince to James Brown’s Sex Machine.


As a food blogger, one of my favorite stories is about food and from an article on Vulture from Prince’s former butler.

I have a lot of great memories but the one that made me laugh was there was one night where I got a call at about 3 am in the morning and he wanted breakfast for 14 people. I was the only butler on duty during that graveyard shift. He asked for 14 omelets and 14 orders of pancakes. I called everyone in the casino and had all the cooks running to make this order while I made the table. I had to serve the whole breakfast at now 4am in the morning by myself. I came up with the two carts full of food trying to plate it as fast as I can when Prince stood up from his chair and walked over to my cart. He grabbed a plate of pancakes and started helping me serve.

With all these new stories coming out, we are all being flooded with many feelings, memories and emotions. Based on what those closest to Prince have to say, he would want his death to inspire us to do better and “level-up” by pushing ourselves to the next level. Figuring out what is next for each of us and then actually doing it. Because he certainly always did.

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Flickr Photo Credits: Top photo by Derek Wolfgram. Middle photo by Jason Lei.