Do you see what's in my garage? Hiding in the corner?
The title is a bit of a pun of a few levels.
Terminal = PhD (your terminal degree), and its also used to refer to incurable/for life medical issues.
Bug = sickness. It also is the common name for the car I was given for graduation.
The thing about bugs is, if you catch the 'sickness'... or the 'addiction' to them... you can't ever shake it. I owned a '73 VW bug from 1998 - 2005.
(Me, age 15. About to contract the sickness.)
I sold it for practical reasons (moved to ND for grad school, didn't have money or time, needed reliable vehicle capable of towing, etc). I went in to 'remission' for my 'bug addiction' but never got rid of my VW stuff (books, toys, pictures, etc).
Rewind to the week before my defense. I kinda wanted a new car for graduation; husband kept saying he'd like to get me one. Love my Civic, but it's so.... boring... and I like cars too much to drive a boring one. But I really didn't need a new car, and once I figured out that I was trying to fill a VW-shaped hole in my life with a new BMW or Acura, the choice was easy. I knew exactly what I wanted for graduation! Off to the classifieds I went. Not the newspaper or AutoTrader though: the special classifieds, the ones where people who know, go, when they want to buy or sell these vehicles.
I found a couple of them I liked, but almost overlooked this one because it looked a little rough. Once I learned more about it though, I knew it was THE car for me. I'm the kind of person who likes to know a car's entire history: where it's been, who owned it, its life story, basically. I want to know it was taken care of. And having been in this realm before, I knew what kinds of wear and tear were OK, and what would raise a red flag. And I'd rather have an original car that needs work, than one someone else (or several someones) have worked on and done who-knows-what to them.
I won't bore you with too many technical details, but here's what I ended up with.
(Here I am picking it up. I got it the week before graduation.)
A 1963 VW Beetle with 47,000 original miles. Been in storage in Minnesota for about 34 years; was driven in California before that. The second owner bought it to restore himself but didn't get around to it. I am the third owner. I got a ton of cool papers with it, some of them in German because that's where it was bought and driven for its first few months (the original owner was in the military). It is rust free in all of the places that matter. The paint is rough in places, but mostly original. The interior too. I had a lot of work done on it right off the bat to get it road ready. (Sitting so long, basically any rubber or plastic tube or seal was dried out or rotted.) I'll work on the "cosmetics" over time.
Still, it shined up pretty nicely with some soap, wax, polish, and elbow-grease.
The inside, too, is now much more comfortable, with a good scrubbing and a couple of "band-aids" in the form of t-shirts, Ikea seat cushions, and gorilla tape...
So in addition to the "how's it feel" question, the second most common question I get now that I'm done with my degree is "what will you do with all your free time?" Well, there's my answer.
The bug's name is Darrel.