Ugh… I’m having such a hard time processing this loss. I’m already writing in my journal but I figured I’d give some updates as my feelings change and hopefully the melancholy lifts. If you are uncomfortable with grief, I guess don’t come back to my blog for a month or two. Sorry, this is just how it is right now.
It’s been about a week since we let Bogie go. Every day at some point in the day my mind flashes back to a week earlier, thinking about what I was doing, and what I should have done instead. Wednesday was his last car ride. Fittingly, it was Wednesday when his ashes came in. I wasn’t keen on going back to the animal hospital, so Ryan spared me the pain by picking them up.
They’re here in a bag. There’s an urn, and some paw prints, and some thick locks of his hair (we got the upgrade package, highly recommend). We’ve left the bag on the living room table until we can figure out what to do with it. Bogie-2-Go. A DOGGIE BAG. Omg that’s terrible.
I’ve never cremated someone before. To be honest I’ve always been curious and envious when watching characters on tv carry their loved ones around so easily. All that person, reduced to dust (apparently a lot of dust). Scattering ashes looked so beautiful and meaningful. Now that his ashes are here, I don’t think I could let them go like that. I’ve hugged the urn tight, and my throat chokes up, but for a minute it feels better. It’s a cherry wood box. Maybe I should have asked Ryan to get a more huggable urn… Like could you put them in a stuffed animal? Is that not dignified? Ok I checked and yes, this is a thing!
Side note- Not to be morbid (lol too late) but I have already picked out Seymour’s future urn. It’s called Elite Cat. Isn’t it so sassy?
The first few days the pain was intensely physical, somewhere in my chest, throat and head. I didn’t want to eat, just wanted to stay in bed and cry instead. I let myself bawl loud and hard. Now I’m a bit more sheepish. I cry a few times a day, but don’t let it go past the point of no return. Pull it together. Crying sucks but the real problem is that I keep having intrusive thoughts of the last time I saw him, and thinking my way through the “what ifs.” Was there a universe of decisions and choices that could have kept him alive and happy? Or was he always destined to die of epilepsy and its complications? If we had won the liver battle, would we just be back at the animal hospital again for cluster seizures the next Wednesday? It’s mental torture.
Things that are helping so far: the Pet Loss Companion podcast, Facebook groups (Rainbow Bridge and PCV groups), and using my free Modern Health sessions for some grief counseling. The therapist I chose has been very sympathetic but also action focused, which fits what I need. She has me working on stopping my repetitive thoughts in their tracks, and moving my focus on the last photo of Bogie (one moment in time) to happier images (more representative of his day to day life).
Thank goodness for therapists. This is such a lonely process. Navigating our way through all the canine epilepsy stuff was hard and lonely. Now working through this loss is isolating as well. Hearing from friends keeps me going, but really it’s just me and Ryan on a little island of sadness. Such is grief.
We are opposites. I’m diving headfirst into the pain. Writing sad stuff, reading sad stuff, listening to sad stuff. If I owned more black clothes, I would be down for mourning dress. He’s been more focused on distraction, and seems to be tolerating the truth of the situation better, with less what ifs and whys. On the other hand, for him to heal emotionally it seems like he’ll need another puppy sooner than I’d like.
Since we’re opposites, you can imagine my stance on a new dog, and a puppy at that.
We’ve got a DC trip upcoming. Hoping that being away will give us at least a little break from the painful reminders of the last month. Looking forward to seeing old friends.
I was going to call this post Goodbye Bogie, but that hurt too much.
Sometimes when I thought about Bogie getting old and grey, with little white spots around his eyes and having trouble going up and down our many stairs, I’d get so upset and have to stop myself. That was years off, it was silly to think about. Maybe we would have moved to a single level house by then…
Now I’d give anything to have an old and ailing Bogie to have to haul up the stairs. My imagination couldn’t come up with an end as painful as this.
February is when it all went downhill, when the clusters started and I stopped recording them by number in my calendar. Our shared Google doc with all his seizures suddenly filled up with times, and less and less description because they were happening so often. Basically every two weeks there would be a terrible cluster we couldn’t shake him out of, and we’d have to rush to the animal ER for an overnight. We said to ourselves we can’t keep doing this, this wasn’t quality of life. To have a good week, then back to the hospital, and many days of recuperating after that. Rinse, repeat.
We got his pheno levels checked again, and were devastated to hear that they were super high at 40. He kept having seizures, so the pheno wasn’t going to be a wonder drug. We’d have to try something else.
Last week he had a week from hell. Saw a lot of drool on Sunday night so we were scared. Seizures started Monday morning. We treated them at home as we were taught until Wednesday when the neuro confirmed that we should take him to the ER. Rescue drugs weren’t working so they had to put him under to quiet his brain. The next day they said he had a hard time waking up, so he stayed another night.
On Friday morning our neurologist told us Bogie was still having seizures despite being on an insane number of drugs. He said Bogie was one of the most severe cases of epilepsy he’d ever seen, and prognosis was poor. If he didn’t show improvement by the afternoon then we would have to consider humane euthanasia. I asked the universe to please let him come home. If he came home, then I would be okay with letting him go when it was time. Somehow, he pulled through, and we took our boy home that afternoon. I was so relieved, but still felt a terrible pain in my gut.
He had been through a week of seizures and a ton of drugs, so we weren’t surprised when he didn’t bounce back as fast as before. He took a few days to get back to normal after every trip to the animal hospital. We were just so happy to have him home.
However this time he was still having focal ticks. And he didn’t want to eat. After talking to the doctor on Saturday we took him off one of his 2 new drugs which had a side effect of appetite suppression. All he did was sleep and get up to pee. When he was upright, he looked confused and stood in corners, or stared at nothing. We worried he was brain damaged.
I sat with him on the kitchen floor and read A Heart that Works, which seemed appropriate. We took turns sleeping downstairs again. Sunday night he peed dark orange. I googled and saw it might be related to his liver. I was so scared, and then relieved when he started peeing normally after that, and by Monday morning he was finally eating chicken and white rice. Small improvements. But he was also drinking a ton of water and throwing up.
I feel so much fucking guilt because by Wednesday morning he started peeing dark again. It wasn’t a one off. We rushed him to the hospital where they said he was jaundiced and in a terrible way. It turns out he had liver damage, most likely from the super dose of drugs that saved his life. It was also possible that liver damage from the pheno was the cause of his increasingly terrible seizures. Which came first, the seizures or the liver damage?
We were given a choice between trying to get his liver under control, and euthanasia. We chose to give him a chance.
He was transferred to an internal medicine doc, and stayed one night. They tried to support his liver and get him to eat, even putting in a nasal feeding tube… but Thursday things took a turn for the worse, and we realized there was no coming back from this one. His liver wasn’t going to magically regenerate like I’d hoped. And even if he turned it around… he was still a severely epileptic pup. We were on a schedule of having unbearable clusters that took him to the ER every 2 weeks. If he survived, in another month guaranteed we would have gone back to the ER. Or worse, he might die during a seizure. We decided that it was time, and went down to the animal hospital yet again. He looked terrible. I took a picture so I can remember that it was the right choice. I won’t share it because it’s too sad.
This was my first time witnessing a pet euthanasia, and it was so fast and peaceful it was shocking. After one syringe Bogie’s eyes got heavy and he fell asleep. One more syringe and he was gone. The doctor listened to his heart to confirm it had stopped.
Ryan and I held him and kissed him and said goodbye, then made the shitty drive back home. We got Vietnamese takeout which got delivered to a neighbor. We cried and cried and watched Abbott Elementary and Misery and we wished Bogie were on the couch sleeping next to us, pushing up against Seymour and taking up too much space.
I don’t know if the cat knows. Maybe he smelled it on us, maybe he could smell death on Bogie’s breath. Who knows.
I knew this day was coming, but I thought I had years of struggle ahead, not months. It hurts so damn much. I’m so angry at the neurologists for pushing toxic drugs so hard. I’m upset at myself for not giving him liver protectant once we started pheno. I’m upset at all the times I was frustrated with him while he was sick. I don’t know that I will ever forgive myself that we didn’t rush him back to the hospital Sunday night. We thought we were overreacting and paranoid. We thought he was getting better.
The whole experience of the last 4 months has been swinging back and forth between “How much longer do I have with my sweet pup?” and “Please when will this nightmare end for all of us?”
This experience has definitely triggered a lot of grief about the death of my father. Having the bed out in the living room made me think of him all the time, and how sad I was about his end and how I should have done more for him and been more present.
I try to keep thinking about a conversation that I had with my dad the last time I saw him. We were sitting on the living room couch just hanging out. I asked him if he was afraid to die. He told me that he wasn’t afraid of death, he just didn’t want to be in pain anymore. That conversation brings me a lot of comfort.
Whatever did or didn’t happen it’s done. Bogie isn’t in any more pain.
I experienced Bogie’s decline twice as long as my father’s, and I was much more involved in the daily support. Ryan and I have been on edge for every little sound in the house, haven’t slept well in months, have cried every day for the past month. We’re exhausted.
Today is our anniversary actually. 13 years of being together. Really shitty anniversary but glad to have Ryan to work through this with.
We’re deep into winter and life is kind of like this lately:
Ok! First the stressful stuff, then the good.
I’m not sure why, but starting around November I found myself anxious about a nebulous “something bad” happening. Being resilient is part of my personal narrative, so I was troubled by this feeling that if/when the bad thing finally happened, I would not be able to cope as well as I have before. Like I would just be too tired to handle it…
During our trip to Scotland everywhere we went we were confronted with the country’s inescapable story of sorrow and loss. Every place has its dark moments, but something about the sad history combined with the bitter weather and stunning and harsh scenery made it even more melancholic.
As I mentioned in my last post, the very day that we got back from Scotland Bogie had another seizure that lead to an overnight in the ER and him finally getting put on meds.
Time for TMI about my dog’s health. Skip ahead if you’d rather not read about my puppy drama.
The meds worked beautifully for about 7 weeks and then the seizures came back. It couldn’t be that easy, right?
Unfortunately the time in between seizures was shortening drastically and the severity was ramping up as well. We went from 7 weeks of calm to seizures every 3 weeks, then 2 weeks, then 1 week…
Even worse he’s started having “cluster” seizures – multiple seizures in a day (7? 8? I don’t know). The first time he clustered it was scary (I couldn’t keep him from falling down the stairs and banging his head on the concrete), guilt inducing (we came back from grocery shopping to him flopping like a fish under the couch), and led to an emotional discussion about whether we would put him down if things became unbearable (but unbearable for us or for him?). I know it’s always a possibility, but the way that we jumped to euthanasia so quickly and naturally scared me. Bogie ended up spending the night at the hospital yet again, and we both cried ourselves to sleep.
We switched neurologists and have connected with a cheerful and practical doctor who has promised us that we will “become pros” at dealing with this disease. I don’t want to become a pro! I want this to happen so infrequently that I’m always shocked and disturbed by it.
The morning after the first cluster ER visit I was exhausted. So I was sad but numb when I learned during a surprise all hands meeting that we were having layoffs at my company. I’m not precious about my work, but a lot of people that I enjoyed working with lost their jobs for a “strategic realignment” that I don’t agree with. Ryan jokes that I just wish it were me so I had time to putz around and visit friends. Well maybe… but I did wish it were me because I think it would have hit me easier emotionally. Some of my coworkers had been there for more than a decade, I can’t imagine what they’re going through.
This is a reminder to keep stacking that money people! Your job doesn’t care about you!
Anyways, it was a mess of a week. I was feeling hopeful about Bogie stabilizing but within 2 weeks it happened again. We were better prepared to handle it because we had discussed a game plan with our neurologist and we had “rescue meds” to try to break the cluster. Unfortunately things quickly veered into the danger zone (endless seizures with no recovery) so we ended up taking him to the emergency room AGAIN for the fourth? fifth? time at 3 in the morning. We’d done it before, but it was still terrifying. I thought the damn dog was going to die in my arms on the way there (all the while thrashing violently, biting, frothing and peeing all over the car, god). I don’t think I’ll ever become a pro at that.
After this last overnight in the animal hospital, they realized that the phenobarbital in his blood was way low. We had gone from a starting dose of 32mg of pheno 2x per day to 64mg 2x per day, and his levels still decreased! It was hypothesized that Bogie was a freak of nature metabolizing the drugs faster than we could give them to him. So now we’re up to 128mg 2x per day to jump start things. Doesn’t that sound like a lot? In another week we’ll get his levels checked again and they may lower the dosage.
One thing that really sucked about this last episode was that we kept Bogie in bed with us so that we could quickly comfort him when he had a seizure in the middle of the night. And y’all sometimes when he has a seizure he pees/poos. So… I think I did 10 loads of laundry over that weekend. Every time I had to clean the blanket, the duvet cover, the duvet if pee soaked down, the sheets, any towels we used to wrap him… You would think we would have learned our lesson and kicked him off the bed. I don’t know why we didn’t. Maybe because every time we thought it was the last time. But we have multiple comforters and did so much laundry that we ended up cycling back around to the first one! For about a week after Ryan and I took turns sleeping in the living room to keep an eye on the dog. Worst sleepover ever.
Anyways I’m rambling. I know animal health stuff is incredibly common, but in my head I am telling myself that so begins the trials I was waiting for. And that I must rise to the occasion, for the dog of course, but also because there isn’t really any other choice. So life continues to putter along, bookended by seizures. I keep scheduling things, doing things.
Here’s some happier stuff I did:
Way before all the puppy drama happened we had scheduled a Christmas trip to Austin to see Pravi. We were stressed about leaving the dog but decided to go anyways because she was about to ship out to Lithuania. Miss her.
Catching more shows
Fixing my house
January was a great time for catching up with friends, but also I finally got off my ass and got to work on a few things that annoyed me around the house.
The Superb Owl
Some of our invites declined due to traffic (Broad street cuts through the city vertically and gets overrun during celebrations/riots). In earlier times I would snark about it, but Philly sports fans are no joke. If you get caught up in the crowd, you might be stuck for ages with no way home, the only reliable option being walking.
We still overdid it on the food and had a great time. I’m not sad about the Eagles losing, but I am sad that Ryan’s disappointed. At least he took the day off to recover.
Well, that’s it. Hopefully next time I’ll have better things to report about Bogie’s seizures. What a wild ride.
I’ve been in my head a lot lately. The last few months have been a little quiet socially and I’ve done some traveling which is always good for rumination.
I went to Chicago at the end of September to finally meet my coworkers (after 2 and a half years working here). I like to consume media related to my travels, so I read The Devil in the White City, which traces the rise of Chicago during the World’s Fair of 1893. The titular devil is HH Holmes who operated his murder mansion as a hotel catering to fair visitors. It sounds strange to say, but the behind the scenes of the creation of the fair was far more interesting than the murders.
While there were no major surprises in meeting my team, it was interesting to see people’s real personalities come out beyond the confines of a Zoom meeting.
While I was in town one of our team activities was a local park cleanup. The parks coordinator was quite a loquacious character. His version of Chicago – sports obsessed, strong working class vibes, chip on its shoulder about being compared to other cities, great wealth disparity between neighborhoods… sounded awfully similar to my idea of Philadelphia.
And yet I felt generally positive about Chicago, but speak about Philadelphia with qualifiers. Why? What’s the difference? Living somewhere vs visiting it? Small city vs large? East coast vs midwest? After some thought I hate to admit that it probably just comes down to money. Chicago felt wealthier, grander, and more cosmopolitan. Philadelphia feels provincial. I mean we still don’t even have a real tiki bar (I will not let this go…), and Chicago has multiple tiki bars including the very excellent Three Dots and a Dash.
My mom visited again in late October. I think we might make it an annual thing. This time around we spent a little time out of the city. We spent a few nights in New York, and walked all over Manhattan (my mother’s endurance had me beat, I couldn’t keep up). During our stay we caught a broadway show*, visited a few colleges, saw Central Park, and went to the Met.
The third day we popped up to New Haven to hit the old stomping grounds. I felt uneasy about going back because I don’t have great memories of the end of college. It was all just a crazy blur. But my mom has always expressed this deep regret about not taking me to college since her family never encouraged her studies. It’s too bad that she carried that pain, because not being dropped off was not on my radar at all. I wanted to go alone.
I wasn’t sure what we’d do in New Haven, but we filled the day pretty easily.
I saw my old apartment.
And other old apartment.
Stopped by my old job. Same chill vibe among the workers, which made me happy.
We took a campus tour, ate some New Haven style pizza, bought some merch… New Haven was way nicer now and less grubby than I remember. On the train home I felt like I’d made some peace with the past. Everything that happened back then is gone and over now, truly.
Also my mom was really really psyched to be there again. So it was cathartic for us both.
When I decided to get tickets to a broadway show, I didn’t know what to book but since Phantom was closing after 35 years, that was the obvious choice. I had started the novel earlier in the summer but hadn’t finished it (because Raoul is a lame stalker).
I didn’t think much it, besides scouring aviewfrommyseat.com for decent views, but after seeing the live Broadway musical, I was hooked – I was a “Phan”. I promptly became obsessed and sought out as many iterations of the story as possible. And there are a ton – dozens or more maybe. And then the fanfic… wow what a rabbit hole. Ladies love Erik. On the Phantom subreddit I came across a fic where the Phantom berates Christine for eating a grilled cheese sandwich. LOL
It’s kind of a surprise that I never got into Phantom earlier. I love gothic horror, silent films, mysteries, monsters, and opera of course. The musical is just a way more romantic take compared to the book or silent film. It was sensual as hell, which I was not prepared for at all. Also it explores controlling vs healthy relationships, which is always interesting to me.
As I researched, I learned that many of the spectacular parts of the story had some kernel of truth to them. Like the chandelier in the Palais Garnier did really fall and kill someone. There really are 5 levels of cellars that lead to a subterranean lake beneath the building. There were rumors of a ghost haunting the opera, and various legends of men with deformed faces (whether from accident or birth) living within the opera. Wild!
The musical production itself is interesting because the version on broadway hasn’t changed much from its original incarnation 35 years ago. Watching the show is like… time travel in a way. And some of the show’s staff have been there since the very beginning! This American Life has an interesting story that’s about Phantom’s orchestra, and what its like to play the same music every night for decades. TLDR: it drives you insane, but you do what you gotta do for money.
Phantom lead to me seeking out more musicals, which I guess is something of a new hobby (which continues to baffle Ryan). From lurking the broadway subreddit I’ve learned a lot of new terms and history, which is fun. Les Mis happened to come through Philly a few weeks after I saw Phantom, so I caught that. After listening to a few cast albums, I got into Hadestown, so now I’ve got tickets to see that in NY at the end of December. And I’ve got to see Phantom again before it closes for good, so we’ll be daytripping into the city to see that in January.
All of my fall was spent knitting baby things and I’m so glad that’s done!
This blanket was 30,000 stitches.
The leafy pattern up close
And this one was 40,000 stitches but I was able to memorize the pattern so it was actually much faster.
And just for funsies I made a baby Yoda robe.
It’s gonna be a long while before the recipient can wear it.
And yet another pair of socks of course.
Our first international travel in 3 years! I’ve got a ton of photos so I’ll do a separate post on my trip. I left inspired by the harsh beauty of winter in Scotland.
Since the start of November Bogie has been having seizures. The first two were scary but manageable, but once we returned from our trip to Scotland Bogie immediately had his 3rd and worst seizure in 3 weeks, and at the emergency vet he was put on meds to stop his ongoing attack (which we had been avoiding since once you start the drugs, it’s for life, every 12 hours… forever….).
At first he was so zonked out from the medicine that he turned into a little dog zombie who had forgotten all his potty training. He’d just look you in the eye and pee right there. But then the drugs made him restless, and he paced endlessly. For the first day or two back home from the hospital he barely slept, just walked around for hours, clicking his nails on the wooden floors. We put up baby gates just in case he fell down the stairs since he didn’t have great motor control.
To limit the pacing, we tried crating him in our bedroom at night. Since he still didn’t have control of himself he peed and pooped in the crate on his cushion. Then when we let him out, he walked through the poop and dragged it all over our bedroom at 2 in the morning. I thought I was going to cry and throw up at the same time, it was so sad. After that we decided to take turns sleeping in the living room so that we could let him out quicker. We dragged the mattress for my daybed down to the living room, and things were weird for a little while.
It’s been about three weeks on the meds, and Bogie is mostly back to normal. He takes his pills 2x a day and we’ve taken him to a doggie neurologist. I’m glad he’s feeling better, but who knows if the drugs will actually help manage his seizures. So far the longest we’ve gone without a seizure is a week? 10 days maybe? I try not to count the days between seizures because I don’t want to be disappointed.
This has been going on for a month now but I don’t think the enormity of what this could mean has hit me yet. We’ve joined canine epilepsy groups on Facebook, which has mostly been a helpful resource, but there are frightening stories from people who have had their entire lives upended. They don’t travel, they don’t go out, they’re taking care of the dog all the time and then in some cases it dies from too many seizures or too long of a seizure. Sigh.
We’re nowhere near that level of life upheaval, but things are still up in the air. I just hope the meds can contain his seizures to a manageable level. Scary stuff!
After my third Philadelphia winter, I was really looking forward to doing all the stereotypical summer things (mostly just being outside). It’s been a bit of a blur, but here’s what I’ve been up to:
Broad Street Run
May started with the Broad Street run. It’s a local 10-mile race that I’ve wanted to do since I moved here. It’s all on one street (Broad St, duh), and encompasses a large chunk of Philadelphia, hitting a ton of neighborhoods. You basically start at the top of the city and make your way to the bottom. I thought that it was a competitive race to get into, but I won the lottery on my first try. When race day came, I was one of 28,000 runners (normally it’s 40k)!! It was nuts. The whole race was downhill, and the turnout from locals was encouraging. It was super festive, but a bit of a cluster. I had a great time and would definitely do it again next year, but I totally got sick from this event. I was miserable for a week or two afterwards.
The Philly 10K
The end of summer is marked by the Philly 10k. It felt like a super unique race last year, so I signed up for the 10k again. I didn’t really train and it was way hotter, so I turned in a pretty disappointing performance. I still celebrated by having Ryan come down and meet me for brunch at a local deli.
This summer set heat records for Philadelphia, so running has been a total slog. The only thing I can say is that at least I’ll be faster in the fall. 🙂
We joined a local kickball rec league for a season. Games were at the local park a few blocks from our house, so it was beyond convenient. If it were further away than that, I don’t think I would have done it. The season flew by super fast and while we didn’t make any lifelong friends, it was way more social compared to our bowling league, lol.
We got a shed
One of the worst things about living in a rowhome is that you have to drag your garbage through the house once a week for trash day. With the year-round thunderstorms, it gets nasty fast. Well no more! We now have a shed to store our trash cans out front. I was concerned about breaking zoning rules, but Ryan reassured me that we needed to embrace the inherent lawlessness of this city and just go for it. So far, so good!
Another summer of tomatoes
I was better prepared for tomato season this year and had a ton of recipes at the ready: salsa, shakshuka, tomato salad, tomato sandwiches, pasta sauce, ratatouille…
We tried to teach Bogie to talk
Ryan got some recordable talking buttons so that we could teach Bogie to communicate with us. He started out SCARED of these buttons and would run away! This dog!!! It’s been a month but I think he’s starting to get it.
I knit a lot of socks
I made a resolution earlier this year to knit down my sock yarn stash. So I’ve just been cranking through all my hand dyed sock yarn like a sock zombie. Here’s some I’ve finished, and I’ve got 3 more pairs in the works.
Generic toe up socks in a mystery green yarn. No pattern.
Gentleman’s Fancy Sock for Ryan in more mystery yarn. I think it’s German sock yarn? This pattern is a refresh of a British pattern originally from 1901.
Sunday Swing socks in yet another green mystery yarn (This project has been sitting unfinished in a bag for at least 5 years…). I fucked up the toes but I just wanted to be done, so oh well.
Lots of good events for wandering around:
2nd St Festival
Cocktails at the Bark Park
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
I was freaked out by all the summer air travel horror stories, so I didn’t go anywhere really. Visited my mom for 4th of July and in August made it out to Westport to hang with Ryan’s friends for a chill week at a beach house.
Saw some live music
Circumstances may change in my life, but Jonathan Richman is a constant. I’ve seen him I don’t know how many times in San Francisco, but I was still excited to see him here at Union Transfer. He’s in his 70s!!
Sleigh Bells were objectively fantastic, but this was the night before the Philly 10k, so I was so out of it and super grumpy.
Pravi was in town when another friend scored some free tickets to The Weeknd show. I’d never been to a stadium show before, but I totally get the appeal now. Everything is just… bigger. The music, the stage, the pyrotechnics. The Weeknd had to cancel his tour opener show in Toronto due to some AV issues, so this was effectively the start of his tour. The energy was great, and I’m ashamed to say now that DawnFM is an amazing album. Don’t sleep on it!
We had to wait forever for the lights to go out and the show to start. This is a football stadium.
Looks totally different at night
Cut the Act
Saw Ryan’s brother’s punk band for the first time. They happened to be playing at a bar down the street from us. A week later we saw them again in a barbershop punk show complete with a mosh pit. Really took me back to high school.
Saw a friend’s 90s cover band a few times.
Made in America
I started May obsessed with Un Verano Sin Ti (I was convinced it was the album of the summer, but my friends didn’t seem interested), so when Ryan told me that Bad Bunny was headlining the Labor Day music festival here I knew we were going. Because our neighbors are obsessed with Burna Boy, we were able to wrangle them into joining.
I’m not going to lie, I had some reservations about going to Made in America. It started as Jay Z’s big festival that included relatively mainstream acts (Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Skrillex), but in the past few years it’s become mostly hip hop. Philly had a shooting in the same spot just a month earlier during July 4, so security was super strict. Clear backpacks only and they went through my stuff, fully unwrapping my picnic blanket, the whole shebang. Anyways, once I got there and settled, it was all good. While I didn’t know some of the acts I saw, I’m glad I went.
I had no idea what Burna Boy’s stage presence would be like, but he’s pretty game and fun. He seems like a good dude.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but Bad Bunny earned his headliner status, no question. He played a massive set, and it was just a total dance party for like 2 hours. The best part was being able to give Ryan brief synopses of each song, since it was all in Spanish. “This song is about him creeping on a chick at the beach… This song is about him creeping on a chick at the VIP… This song is about an auntie wanting to know when he’s going to get married…”. It’s really not that deep LOL.
It was a pretty great end to the summer <3. Feeling excited about fall and spooky season of course.