Cincinnati: One Year Later

You always grow familiar with a certain place after you have lived there for some time.

For over two years, the rural Oklahoma town of Woodward, a place I never thought I would venture to before the summer of 2016, was my home for work, where I learned to appreciate the small town life after living in a suburb close to Pittsburgh growing up, although I enjoyed the work trip or weekend getaway to Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Kansas City once in a while, which felt more familiar.

On November 5, 2018, I took Highway 412 east out of Woodward for the last time and made my way to Cincinnati, Ohio on the same route I took out west over two years prior. The next day, I’m following my GPS to this neighborhood called Oakley to a leasing office where after settling payment on my old apartment 1,000 miles away, I’m signing a lease and putting down a security deposit on one I haven’t seen, only going by what my dad, who was kind enough to drive in from Pittsburgh a week or so prior to look at a few places while I wrapped up my time in Oklahoma, saw during a tour. It turns out he did a great job. Then again, he sells insurance for a living, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

The summer I got the call about the job in Oklahoma was around the time I was last in Cincinnati. I was in town for one night, mainly to see a Reds before heading to Louisville, Lexington and then Indianapolis to see minor league games. So when I arrived, like any newbie, I had no idea what was around me.

BREWERIES EVERYWHERE

MadTree Brewing was recommended by a friend from college, who at the time worked in town, so on my first night, it was an introduction to the brewery culture in the Queen City, which blew me away. I mean, I was in Oklahoma where you could only purchase 3.2 beer at grocery stores and had to buy the good stuff warm at the liquor store, but that has since gone away (thanks goodness), and you didn’t find many breweries in rural Oklahoma, so to have MadTree a 5 minute walk from my apartment has made it a casual hangout on a weekend afternoon or an occasional weekday night. Also, they take care of you if you’re a regular, so pay it forward and tip well when they give you one on the house.

MadTree Brewing Beer Garden

RE-DISCOVERING A SOCIAL LIFE

This is not a stab at my old job because while I worked much longer hours, it gave me the experience to land the job in Cincinnati.

When I saw my work schedule here, which yes, is still unconventional compared to the normal 9 to 5, was a standard 5 days, 40 hours a week, that meant more free time, which was rare in the old job.

I had heard it was hard to make new friends in your late 20s and early 30s and you know what?…It’s kind of true. There are different factors that make it hard. Whether it be relationships, marriage and even those friends having children.

At my old job, I always felt like an outsider. I didn’t grow up in rural Oklahoma, so I didn’t reflect what you might find in middle America.

Obviously, when I came to Cincinnati, being more of an urban area, there were people who related more to what I am: a person with a job and down time they hope to fill by meeting new people and exploring a city, which is basically an adult playground. It took a month or so, but I started going to trivia nights and other events through a Meetup group and have met a lot of interesting people with different jobs, backgrounds and personalities which makes for great conversations. It’s been a reminder that I’m not on an island alone.

THE NEIGHBORHOODS

I live just north of downtown Cincinnati in Oakley. Once I got settled in, I drove down Madison Road to the square and much like Main Street Woodward, there were local bars, restaurants and shops you miss if you don’t take the time to slow down and look. Then there’s the coffee shops. I have a ridiculous number of them to choose from on a daily basis and they’re all great.

Soon, I wound up driving through neighboring Hyde Park and the homes and square left me amazed, as well. I also have to give a shout out to Mt. Lookout, which is the site of Ault Park, a very photogenic area.

Ault Park

CLOSER TO HOME

Cincinnati doesn’t require two flights to go home and see the family, but only a little over 4 hours in a car.

I loved growing up in Pittsburgh and I still have a connection to the area, so being able to go home once in a while to see my family or go to a sporting event is special. Our family has grown over the last year with the birth of my niece, who I was able to see just days after she arrived, which was special. I’ve seen her a few more times since and gets bigger every time and will soon be 1 years-old: a birthday I don’t want to miss out on.

OH, AND OF COURSE, THE JOB

I can’t end this without talking about the job I moved here to take.

Inside the news booth at 700 WLW

It has been great. There have been some changes in the first year, but it remains the same welcoming, upbeat place it was when I first arrived. I mentioned in a previous post I had to leave sportscasting behind for now in the new gig, but it has only made me a better news anchor and reporter and continues to.

We all long for a job we’re happy to go to, a place that makes us feel at home, even if it’s not where we’re originally from, and we seek a sense of community from acquaintances, with some becoming friends.

Right now, I have that in Cincinnati, even if I get criticized for being a Steelers and Pirates fan at times.

Follow Sean Gallagher Has Thoughts on Twitter: @SGHasThoughts

Follow Sean Gallagher’s personal Twitter: @GallagherRadio

Bring on the Colder Weather, Baby!

First off, I am that guy who will keep his windows open when the temperature is in the 40s at night. Just me typing that makes some of you shiver, huh?

Look, after a summer where it was one of the hottest on record, my electric bill needs a break and I’m tired of sweating.

October in Cincinnati began with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Seriously? Now, having lived in Oklahoma, you get temperatures like that in the fall, but at least the humidity is low. Here, it’s sticky in October? No! No! No! I’m not the pumpkin spice type of autumn person, but I like to think I at least get to wear a hoodie by then.

I mean, just look look at the start of the month. Thankfully, it’s starting to balance out…

Now, there are pros and cons when it comes to October weather, especially as we get to the end of the month.

When I was a little kid, I trick-or-treated in several inches of snow after Pittsburgh saw a storm come through in 1993 and in 2011, I called a college football game near Lancaster, PA during a Nor’easter and had to call it outside with only a canopy to protect me, my broadcast partner and the equipment from the elements. Fun, but challenging.

This picture was taken during our short time in the press box at halftime.

October 2011: Millersville University

If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, I love fall. Next to spring, it’s my favorite season. The heat of summer is leaving, football starts back up, good television shows are back with new episodes and if you’re like some of my friends, you’re excited that we are moving closer to Christmas.

No, I am not counting down the days. We haven’t even hit Halloween yet.

Weaned off Facebook, Hooked on Instagram

Once upon a time in like, 2011, I downloaded Instagram because somebody mentioned it to me. I was in college, so I already had a Facebook page, two Twitter accounts (one personal, one for my student media stuff).

At that time, I really didn’t use Instagram much. Fast forward seven years after I moved from Oklahoma to Ohio. After going through the circus that was the 2016 election, I grew tired of Facebook, which has been infiltrated by my parent’s generation, and with the current leader of the free world making Twitter a nightmare where the far right left just constantly @ each other with stupid memes, Instagram was worth checking out more last November.

I had used it to post some photos I thought were interesting, but then I realized I could send Stories.

Really? Stories?! This could be fun.

Since then, I can’t go one day without posting at least one, or two, OK maybe three different stories.

My follows are mainly friends and some local businesses, some of which have been kind enough to follow me.

Like every other social media app, I’m guilty of getting a little high off a like or notification on something I’ve posted. We’re all tech junkies, which is better than doing drugs.

Even as I use Instagram, thinking I’ve escaped the clutches of Facebook, I was quickly reminded that Facebook owns it.

At this point, it doesn’t bother me. Disney owns like 80 percent of all media now, my cable provider overtook smaller ones not long ago, so no matter where I go, the white F with the blue background is there.

Oh, and if you want to, follow me on Instagram: @Gallagher084

There’s One Reason to Smile as a Steelers Fan This Week

It has not been a good week for the Pittsburgh Steelers and its fans.

The team saw its franchise quarterback leave last Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks with an elbow injury, requiring surgery that would keep him out the rest of the season and putting the team’s hopes of climbing out of a 0-2 hole into the hands of Mason Rudolph, who some fans want to give up on before he even takes the field as a starter this Sunday at the 49ers.

While there is a good chance 2019 might be a lost season and could mark the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh, at least this happened Friday afternoon…

Yeah, that’s right! It took two women accusing Antonio Brown of assault and him allegedly passing gas in the face of a doctor while dodging the bill (and other payments) for the New England Patriots, known for taking troubled players in and turning them around, to cut ties after just one game.

Week 1 of the season saw the Steelers go to New England and get curb-kicked by the Patriots 33-3 with the knowledge that Brown, who orchestrated a release from the Oakland Raiders, had just arrived in town earlier that day and while he wouldn’t play that night, was expected to suit up the next week with the feeling that this bad guy got everything he wanted.

When the allegations emerged days later, it didn’t stop New England from keeping Brown off the field against Miami, where he played and caught a touchdown, irritating those in black and gold even more as they watched the Steelers defense give up huge plays to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense.

But finally! There was enough new information for Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft to realize that having Antonio Brown on the roster going forward wasn’t a good idea.

Now the question is, will there be an NFL team desperate enough to take on Brown, who managed to sabotage his career in less than a calendar year?

The Steelers might lose out in Santa Clara Sunday, but at least Antonio Brown won’t be playing.

But we’ll wait and see what the future holds.

Introduce the Democratic Candidates Like the 90s Chicago Bulls

I haven’t watched any of the third presidential debate featuring the 10-highest polling Democrats, but I’m sure it’s very interesting.

I’m not here to talk about policies. I’m here to talk about how they were introduced on the stage in Houston Thursday night.

Each of the candidates, one-by-one introduced like this by ABC News to a fully-lit stage and no music.

Like this (in GIF form)…

As President Trump tweeted while hate-watching the first debates: “Boring!”

If you really want to make these people look exciting and give them a chance to beat the Tweeter-in-Chief, jazz up the introductions.

Turn down the stage lights, gets some dancing lasers, a spotlight and play “Sirius” by the Allan Parsons Project.

Start playing the YouTube video below and keep reading…

Alright Houston! Let’s meet your 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates!!!

From Texas. The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Julian “I worked for Obama” Castro!!!

Also, from Texas. Former Congressman Beto “Almost Saved Us All From Ted Cruz” O’Rourke!!!

From New York. Andrew “Crowd Surfin'” Yang!!!

From Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth “Policy-Poppin'” Warren!!!

From Delaware. Former Vice President “Uncle” Joe Biden!!!

From California. Senator Kamala “Who you calling kid?” Harris!!!

From Vermont. Senator Bernie “Not Colonel” Sanders!!!!

From South Bend, Indiana. Mayor Pete “Just call me that since you can’t say” Buttigieg!!!

From New Jersey. Senator Cory “I’m dating Rosario Dawson” Booker!!!

And from Minnesota. Amy “I Swear My Aides are Lying” Klobuchar!!!

These are your Top 10 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates!!!

Let’s just hope a few more drop out and (fingers crossed) run for Senate seats after this.

The Joy and Anguish of Being a Notre Dame Fan

Tonight, Notre Dame begins its 2019 season at Louisville against the Cardinals. On one hand, I’m excited. I would be more happy if they played this Saturday afternoon, but they’re back. But I also know, much like a tweet from the President, the season can go sideways quickly.

I was born into a family that loves Notre Dame football. I didn’t start watching Pitt one day and decide to jump ship and root for Bob Davie’s Irish teams (could you imagine?!). I was, at an early age, surrounded by relatives in Champion brand Notre Dame t-shirts and sweatshirts, some of which are still worn on gamedays and out to South Bend.

I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to many Notre Dame games, most of which were Im South Bend and a few in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Some have been good, others you’d like science to develop a pill to give you amnesia.

Tonight is only the second meeting between Notre Dame and Louisville.

Do you remember the first time they met?

I do! I do!

It was a cold November night in 2014. Louisville was ranked 24th in the nation and for Notre Dame, the first half of the season was pretty good. They were undefeated and 5th in the nation going into their game at Florida State when quarterback, Publix fan and man who dreams of eating W’s, Jameis Winston, was still there.

It appeared Notre Dame was going to win in the final minute, but an offensive pass interference call on C.J. Procise washed it out, leading to a 4th down attempt that failed, leaving me to question if life was fair.

Turns out it wasn’t.

Notre Dame would lose four of its last five games, including that Louisville game where Kyle Brindza missed a 32-yard field goal to force a possible overtime as it happened in the south endzone, the one I was sitting in, along the the top row of the stadium.

Once he missed, I immediately made my way to the exit, about 10 steps ahead of the rest of my family.

But believe it or not, that 2014 collapse wasn’t the worst I’ve seen in that stadium.

Let’s go back to 2009.

For Notre Dame fans who know where I’m going with this, hold on tight.

Connecticut’s football program is a shell of its former self who won’t have a conference to play in when the school moves to the Big East to keep the basketball program relevant.

Notre Dame was 6-2 entering November, and then fell apart under Charlie Weis, who started wearing hooded sweatshirts like he was Bill Belichick a few season before.

The Irish lost this game in overtime. We were sitting near the section where the visiting fans are placed at Notre Dame Stadium. The UConn fans couldn’t believe what they were watching. Some guys from Hartford decide to go see their alma mater play at Notre Dame, a once in a lifetime opportunity, see the campus and stadium and hope its not a blowout. Instead, they got more bang for their buck and saw the Huskies humiliate a program who gave Weis a huge contract, only to fire him that offseason and still have to pay him for years.

An all-time low in my time watching Notre Dame.

Here’s a few other clunkers I saw in person in South Bend

2008: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (24-23)

-The Irish were 6-4 and already bowl eligible. Lake effect snow had fallen in South Bend days before and with nobody shoveling out the stands, snowballs were thrown by the student section on Senior Day throughout, with one nailing an Indiana State trooper on the field.

What started a trend for me as a fan, the Irish missed a field goal to win in the final seconds, resulting in a loss against a Syracuse team that canned their coach leading up to the game, but let him finish the season. Ugh.

2007: Notre Dame vs. Duke (28-7)

I know what you’re thinking: “Sean, they won this game!”

Yes, they did. But if you were in the crowd for that game, it didn’t feel like it.

Notre Dame was TERRIBLE in 2007. They lost the first five games and were 1-9 entering this game. They somehow beat UCLA on the road, which the Bruins should be ashamed of, and it was a season where they lost to Navy for the first time since 1944 and gave the Midshipmen the belief they could actually beat Notre Dame, which they have done three times since then. In the end, they were 3-9 (chokes back vomit).

Former player and ESPN personality Mike Golic spoke to a pep rally crowd in the Joyce Center (now Purcell Pavilion), which had the enthusiasm of everyone who attended Princess Diana’s funeral, and tried to put lipstick on a pig.

The campus had an eerie feeling that weekend. It’s one I never, ever want to experience again.

Allowing a game featuring two 1-9 teams to air on a major network should be made a federal offense punishable by watching it on replay for a year in a room locked from the outside.

2004: Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh (41-38)

This was the first loss I ever experienced while attending a game in South Bend, but this one really sucked. It’s like going to Disney World and Space Mountain was closed the whole time you were there.

Also, it’s the game where Tyler Palko dropped two f-bombs on NBC.

That win the next year in Pittsburgh, which I attended, was sweet.

You wanna hear the good times I’ve had? Yeah, me too!”

2006: Notre Dame vs. Army (41-9)

The Irish were expected to win and did, but this was a game where Notre Dame warmed up in blue and came out of the tunnel in green to everyone’s surprise for Senior Day. It’s one thing Charlie Weis did right.

2012: Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest (38-0)

Another Senior Day game Notre Dame was expected to win. What made this so memorable was that Notre Dame, ranked 3rd in the BCS, was 11-0 after that. Hours later, we watched in a Mishawaka restaurant as Oregon and Kansas State, both 1 and 2, lose, making Notre Dame the new No. 1 going into the final game against USC and then…well, you know what happened next.

I’ve seen more wins than losses going out to Notre Dame, and I always enjoy making the trip. It’s one every college football fan should make. Even if you don’t like the program. But those losses, especially those that should have been guaranteed wins, sting the most and made that Sunday drive back to Pittsburgh longer and slightly more miserable.

But I expect Notre Dame to be ready tonight. Red might be a very visible color to the human eye (Georgia in 2017), but I expect a good amount of blue and green in Cardinal Stadium tonight.

As for this season’s schedule, if they go 12-0, they’re getting a playoff spot again.

How many teams go to Athens and Ann Arbor in the same season? Not many.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of FBS-FCS Week 1 Matchups

For those of you new to any blog I’ve had, this is a series that started on my other blog “Gallagher’s Word“.

Week 1 of the college football season doesn’t have a lot of great matchups. Some Power 5 schools tend to schedule weaker FBS opponents and some are still paying FCS schools to get beat by 70.

Here’s how it works…

The Good: FCS schools that flipped the script and won while laughing all the way to the bank.

The Bad: The FCS team lost, but it could have been worse.

The Ugly: You’re usually turning off the game in the 2nd quarter.

THE GOOD

Screenshot: ESPN

This upset wasn’t a sexy “Appalachian State beating Michigan in 2007” game and wasn’t seen by many, but Central Arkansas of the Southern Conference beat Western Kentucky, who plays in Conference USA 35-28.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN:

No. 21 Iowa State 29, Northern Iowa 26

We ALMOST had a bigger upset in Ames, as Northern Iowa of the Missouri Valley Conference used defense and miscues by No. 21 Iowa State and almost beat them for the second time since 2016.

Sadly (pending on your rooting interest), the Cyclones held on and won in triple overtime.

Other than Oregon-Auburn, and if you subtract Iowa State’s awful play and Northern Iowa’s lack of offense in regulation, it was one of the best games of the week.

West Virginia 20, James Madison 13

You think the Mountaineers miss Will Grier (and maybe Dana Holgorsen) yet? Luckily for them, the game aired regionally, so many didn’t see it.

It doesn’t get any easier for WVU. They visit Missouri this upcoming Saturday and it will be aired nationally on ESPN 2.

Fun Fact: Will Grier’s brothers are “social media influencers”, which I guess is a nice way of describing people who can’t get jobs and convince stupid people to give them money for posting their product on Instagram.

Minnesota 28, South Dakota State 21

In Minnesota, the Gophers survived South Dakota State, a Missouri Valley Conference team with a pretty good FCS playoff record Thursday night.

Connecticut 24, Wagner 21

Connecticut, who is about to be a football program without a conference when the school moves to the Big East for the sake of basketball, escaped Wagner, out of the Northeast Conference.

I saw this now shell of a program embarrass Notre Dame in South Bend in 2009. I’ve seen some awful performances by the Irish live in my life, but that was the worst!

Look at Charlie Weis in his stupid hoodie trying to be Bill Belichick. I’ve never seen a coach make so much money from schools while not coaching there.

THE BAD

Washington 47, Eastern Washington 14

The Huskies will make a push for the Pac 12 title and the Eagles, out of the Big Sky, are often contenders for the FCS title. In 2016, they upset Washington State to make my list that year.

Fun Fact: Eastern Washington has that “blood red” turf because blue wasn’t hard enough to watch on television.

THE UGLY

No. 17 UCF 62, Florida A&M 0

I have all the love in the world for Brandon Wimbush. As a Notre Dame fan, I loved watching him play for the Irish and he should be commended for helping them get to the College Football Playoff last season but saw Ian Book become QB 1 by season’s end.

In his first start with Central Florida, it went perfect because the Knights unleashed him against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team that didn’t have a prayer.

Wimbush will see tougher competition this season but if he leads UCF to another American conference title and undefeated year, the playoff committee will be left to again consider them for a spot. Next week, they get Florida Atlantic, who got tattooed by No. 5 Ohio State.

No. 15 Penn State 79, Idaho 7

Idaho gets a participation trophy in 79-7 loss to No. 15 Penn State

Idaho, another Big Sky team playing the big schools, flew 2,400 miles to collect a check and get throttled by Penn State, who will play Buffalo, who finished as the runner-up in the MAC last season and Pittsburgh, who lacks an accurate quarterback right now to round out their non-conference schedule. Those two games will also be in Happy Valley.

Also, Penn State wasn’t just happy keeping the foot on the throat. They shattered the windpipe with a touchdown with less than 3 minutes to go.

Screenshot: B1G Newtork

Maryland 79, Howard 0

Maryland will be an average team this year looking to qualify for a bowl game.

Howard, who went 4-6 last season, is out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

At least Maryland pumped the brakes after going up 79 early in the 4th quarter. They could have hung 100 on this team.

Screenshot: B1G Network

Fun Fact: Former high school teammate of mine and former Terrapins quarterback C.J. Brown is now a color commentator for the Maryland radio broadcasts. Congrats, C.J.!

————————————————————————————-

There are still a good number of FBS-FCS games coming up in week 2.

William and Mary could be in for a tough Friday night against Virginia, Kent State could stumble against Kennesaw State and it doesn’t count, but Old Dominion could upset Virginia Tech again.

Taking a Step Back From Sports

I’ve always loved sports.

I played several of them as a kid, watch them on a regular basis and at times growing up, they were my biggest concern.

For the first five-plus years out of college, they surrounded my job titles in radio.

When I took my job in Oklahoma, on top of doing news, I was doing a lot of high school sports.

I co-hosted a one hour show on the weekdays, called football, basketball, baseball and softball games, hosted a coaches show and of course, did a lot of interviews with people from Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley to coaches from small towns like Shattuck and Laverne that boasted 8-man football powerhouses.

I worked 12-hour days. Days with basketball and football games meant 16-18 hour days and half of them required me to drive at least an hour and as far as four hours for games in which I’d turn right back around and nearly fall asleep at the wheel on some state road in a remote area.

To be honest, the hours never got to me. I liked following the local schools, getting out of the studio and getting a few hours of peace while driving to the events.

My current job in Cincinnati has me invested more in news with sports sprinkled in, but it did require a big step back from being court-side or in the booth calling events, which I love and still want to do in the future. It also brings a more standard 8-hour shift, 40 hours a week schedule while making a little more money.

For me, it meant less time in the newsroom and more time for other things. Time I really didn’t have before. I could be more than just a “sports guy”.

When I lived out west, I took advantage of downtime and escaped to Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City, Denver and other places on certain weekends, especially in the summer, but being in your late 20s in a rural town puts you at a disadvantage. It’s a “it’s not them, it’s me” thing. My works hours and being from Pennsylvania meant I never got the chance to really develop friendships. I met some great people, but never really connected on a deeper level.

Living five minutes from downtown Cincinnati, a more urban setting and more free time has given me an opportunity to meet others like me: Single, late 20s/early 30s and focused on career while also maintaining a social life and developing relationships, which is tougher the older you get.

Since getting here in November, my time watching sports has gone down, but I’m still a college football junkie on Saturdays, a Steelers and NFL Redzone viewer on Sundays and watched as many Stanley Cup games as humanely possible this spring.

But I find myself getting out more than I did while living in rural Oklahoma, going to different festivals, concerts, and more events you’d find in a city setting. I initially missed the brewery boom but now live a five minute walk away from one. Most bars where I used to live would close before midnight on Saturdays.

It’s also given me a chance to work on myself.

When you’re working long hours, you sometimes forget to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

After settling in, I decided to change my workout routine. I’m lifting regularly (something I haven’t done since high school), I ran a 4-mile race in late June and want to do more races in the future.

Being around more people who can relate to the ups and downs of being a young adult and even those who are older that provide a positive attitude and guidance has done well for me socially and mentally. I’ve always considered myself an introvert with anxiety at times that some close to me can sense. I have found a more extroverted side lately, but I still have those insecurities that have followed me since I was a kid.

The step away from sports has also given me time to explore different hobbies and ideas. Starting this blog is a great example of that. My coworkers have shown me you can follow a passion outside of work or even within a current role.

It will be strange not having a game to prepare for in a couple weeks and that first Friday I’m not at the field will make me miss it. I played football. The first fall I wasn’t playing was surreal but eventually faded.

I haven’t said goodbye to sports in my work. I’m just working on another aspect of my radio career…and myself.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Air Conditioning

Here’s something you already know: It’s hot in the summer. Especially this one it seems.

I spent two summers in Oklahoma, and it gets really hot out there. We’re talking 100-plus degree temperatures for consecutive days, but it wasn’t as bad with the lower humidity.

When I moved to Cincinnati last November, I went from having central A/C in my apartment to a unit built into the wall of my new apartment building that was built before air conditioning became the norm.

I thought to myself “I survived the Oklahoma summer, so it can be as bad here.”

Then came my old arch-nemesis: Humidity.

For the last few weeks, especially since we’ve entered July, it’s been uncomfortably humid. My co-worker said they woke up angry knowing it was going to be hot and humid.

One day last week was so bad, two seconds after walking outside and I said “Nope. Not feeling this”. I couldn’t walk from place-to-place without developing back sweat. I know, that’s gross.

But back to the A/C.

You really don’t know how much energy that unit uses until you get the first bill of the summer. Living in a one-bedroom apartment, my electric bill is actually lower compared to my old place, but I know I’m paying more for rent and other expenses compared to when I lived out west.

I first tried opening windows and letting the outside air do its thing, but that failed once the mercury exceeded 80 degrees. I don’t have my box fans anymore, so that would’ve helped. I left those behind with a paper sign that said “Free” next to the dumpsters.

After running “fan mode” on the unit with little to no success, I caved and turned to the “cool” setting and no more back sweat. Again, I know it’s gross, but that’s what I was dealing with.

So this month’s bill is higher and next month will be more, but I’ve given in to the reality that the cool air blowing in is money coming out of my wallet. I just wished the air moved better into my bedroom. Haven’t used the comforter for two weeks now.

But I’m looking forward to September through May (might be a stretch) where I don’t have to run it and see my bill go down.

#BackSweat.

30 Thoughts Before 30: The Final Countdown

Well, this is it. The final day of my 20s, and I still haven’t finished this list.

#9. I Regret Making Fun of People Who Drank Muscle Milk

I finally got back on a lifting regiment I actually like over a month ago and knew I probably wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet. Now I’m drinking one Muscle Milk shake a day and it’s really helping. Sorry again to anyone I made fun of in the past for drinking it.

#8. Should I be putting money in a 401K By Now?

This and perhaps investing money in stocks might be a step I take in my 30s.

#7. The 12th is the Worst Day of the Month for Me

That is the day I make my credit card payment and am forced to see just how much money is in my checking account. To be fair, it’s always lower because of rent, car and bill payments happening at the start of the month. I have to mentally prepare myself for it sometimes.

#6. Why Can’t the Weather Always Be Nice on My Day Off?

Anyone else have that happen? You’re stuck at work on a beautiful day and when you’re off, it’s cloudy or just raining all day.

#5. I Don’t Think I’m Doing Instagram Right

Like most social media apps, I made an Instagram account in college when someone mentioned it. That’s how I also got sucked into Snapchat.

I didn’t know how stories worked until about 6 months ago.

#4 There Are Too Many People Running for President

Seriously. There’s a whole lot of people running who are not going to be around come February. I get why they’re running. If it can get me a book deal, or even better, a possible cabinet position, I’d test the waters and then bow out.

#3 .Writing This Series Was Harder Than I Thought

I started the “30 Thoughts Before 30” in the winter and thought I’d be well-ahead before the day came. Between work and other things, it became harder to keep up with it.

#2. Has Anyone Been Reading This Series?

I don’t think so, but whatever.

#1. It’s Actually Happening!

My 20s definitely had its ups and downs, but for the most part, it followed the normal track. I thought I knew everything at 20. I learned at 29 that I don’t, but it will help me as I start my 30s. Hopefully I’m smarter in ten years than I am now.