The First 2020 Presidential Debate

Yes, I’m watching the first presidential debate of the 2020 election right now. Unpopular opinion alert: I was very uncomfortable and I don’t feel good about it. Donald Trump was extremely confident, but was being an arrogant ass. Joe Biden wasn’t as confident as I felt he needed to be, but he was a little more professional.

First 2020 Presidential Debate TV Snapshot

I don’t know if I’ll be able to muster up the strength to watch a second debate. What if Trump suddenly refuses to do another one anyway? What if Biden refuses? It really kind of was that bad.

Chris Wallace Moderating the First 2020 Presidential Debate

Chris Wallace picked the questions that were aked. He was at least verbal about (mostly) Trump breaking the rules, but at the same he didn’t exactly shut Trump down as much as his rules warranted, either. If he really didn’t want either candidate speak out of turn, they could’ve muted the microphones. We can do it. We have the technology!



My interpretation of this debate can be summed up in the following tweets. Feel free to drop your own interpretations of the debate in the comments.

Was I trying to get #TheLordoftheDebates trending? Absolutely. Did it work? Nope. Still worth the effort.

Here’s what it was like on my couch.

Dog In Eric Shay Howard's Face

So, I’m not pleased. However, I have hope. I mean, I guess. Just to be clear, I think you should vote. Most importantly, I think you should vote however you feel is best. Mail-in voting is an option this year in a lot of states. I voted by mail for the primary and will for this presidential election, too.

My Hopes

I hope Joe Biden comes across as a little more confident in the next debate. I hope Trump shut’s the fuck up in the next debate, too. I’m also hoping Amy McGrath beats Mitch McConnell for senate in Kentucky. I complained last week about how disappointed I am that my fellow democrats are discouraging donations to Amy McGrath.

Were you as shocked as I was about the debate? In other words, what did you think of the first 2020 presidential debate? Who do you think “won?” How do you think Chris Wallace did moderating? Leave me a comment and let me know. You can comment below this post. You can also follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook.

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I’m Awful At Taking PrEP

Yup, I’m on PrEP. Well, I was on PrEP. Well, I’m off and on PrEP. I’m pretty convinced that if I was HIV positive, I’d have all kinds of problems because I’m awful at taking PrEP. I can’t take a pill on time or even at all sometimes.

Why am I on PrEP? Especially since I’ve talked before about how I don’t really like to hook up with strangers? Well, I make horrible decisions sometimes, you guys. I bought a shake-weight once. I’m super glad that PrEP exists. I definitely want to stay on it. One day, some really hot guy will be like, “hey”, and then my no-hooking-up streak will be over. (Boyfriend applicants, please see the comments.)

Taking PrEP Is Supposed To Be Easy

I get my PrEP through the mail because it’s just easier. It’s through Nurx. They send me a kit in the mail every three months and I just do everything at home, seal it up, send it in. I can’t even do that right. I’m supposed to prick my fingers with this giant fucking needle and saturate two index cards with blood. I also have to tinkle in a bottle and swab my holes.

Nurx prep test kit

The giant needle is crazy because it doesn’t really look that big. At first glance I thought it was like one of those lancets you prick your finger with to check your blood sugar. You know, just a few drops of blood come out and that’s it. Nope, wrong. So much blood, you guys! The needle goes deeper into your finger than those diabetes testing lancets. Trust me; be prepared if it’s your first time doing PrEP by mail.

As for the pill itself? It’s fine. It’s not too crazy big or anything. You just have to remember to take the thing. You also have to keep up with your labs. For those of you like me who still need to accidentally open an Excel spreadsheet and organize your life, that’s hard. Well, it’s not easy. Well, maybe it is. I just suck at it.

Taking PrEP

I’m starting to think I should just get PrEP at my doctor’s office the old fashioned way. I’d like to think I wouldn’t put that off for too long, but who knows? I’ve had my test kit for weeks and I’m on my last pill. It’s going to take at least a week to get the labs back. Then probably a week to get the refill. Do you get your labs for your PrEP done at the doctor, or do you do it through the mail? Which is better? Let me know in the comments.


Also, for those of you that don’t know what PrEP is, it’s Pre-exposure prophylaxis. The brand name of the drug is Truvada. There’s also a newer version called Descovy. They’re made by the same manufacturer, Gilead. Descovy is just newer and I think it will soon replace Truvada? Anyway, it’s super effective at preventing HIV infections in people who are HIV negative and have sex with men who are HIV positive.

I mean, I might actually meet someone one day you guys! I get out of the house! I’m cool!

How do you feel about PrEP? Let’s discuss! You can also follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

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Street Photography Is Fun Sometimes

Last year, I bought a Canon EOS Rebel 3. I didn’t know anything about photography when I bought it. I still don’t know much. Originally, I got the camera because I wanted to start making YouTube videos. I try all kinds of video stuff and none of that really works out. Sometimes I try getting really into learning photography instead. I’m probably not going to be making any money for my photography work anytime soon. However, I still really like street photography. I get out and take candid photos of people every now and then.

I usually only get a few good photos.

Once in a while I’ll get a really good photo, or at least a photo that I think is really good. I made a Photography page and put a link for it up in the menu of my website. There aren’t that many photos on there, but that’s because there are only a handful of photos that I really like.

Sometimes I really like a lot of photos after I’ve just taken then. After a few weeks or a month or so, I’ll start to get more picky about them and not like them as much. Some photos drop off of the Photography page, some get added. I don’t blog about each photo because I was taught that it’s better for creative work to be able to stand up for itself most of the time. As a result, I’m also not big on titles for photos. Some say titles are important. Maybe they are for a collection of photos. But, I don’t worry about it for my photos as stand-alone pieces. I don’t know how professional photographers feel about that.

Here’s a recent good street photography photo.

Here is one good photo I got over the weekend. Good for me, at least. I like it when there’s a subject, when there’s a face, and when it’s showing emotion. Have I mentioned that I’m a beginner, still? Lots of people say things like “get closer,” but I really like for there to be some context sometimes. I’m a writer and details and scenery are important to me.

When I was first learning photography, my aspirations were to get really good at it super quickly and start a photography business, because that’s what I do. I get really into things. Too into things, sometimes. I’ve come to my senses a little and calmed down on the photography business stuff, but I still like practicing street photography. It’s also fun when people ask me if I’m a photographer. I say yes. Then, I get to tell them all about my website. If they actually come here, they’re probably super surprised when they see that I’m more of a writer and blogger than a photographer, but it still helps me spread my own personal brand. It’s 2020 and I’ve got to be thinking about this kind of stuff.

Also, here’s the camera that I use. I found this bundle on Amazon. Just so you know, I’m a member of the Amazon Associates Program and may earn money from qualifying purchases with the ad below.

Anyways, do you like photography? How long have you been into it? Do you watch any photography YouTubers? I have a YouTube channel, but I’m working on taking it into a different direction to help with my blogging. Do you have a YouTube channel? Leave me a comment below and share your photos and photo blogs with me!

Eric Shay Howard with coffee taken with Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Also, just for comparison purposes, here’s a selfie I took today with my Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. The phone is a few years old. Even with a newer phone, a dedicated DSLR camera is going to take slightly better looking photos. I did an auto-edit with the photo app, too. I try to tell people that ask me about photography that you don’t HAVE to get an expensive DSLR camera. You can use your smart phone. Some people don’t believe me, but it’s true. I’ll try to remember to go out with just my cell phone while I’m doing street photography one day soon and prove it.

You can leave me a comment on this post, follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook.

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My Attempts At Gay Thirst-Trap Photos

Sometimes I fall victim to gay thirst-trap Twitter. I’m not sorry. Some of ya’ll are just hot. Every now and then, I also like to write a blog post that reminds everyone that I’m gay. I wish I was hot enough to do a gay thirst-trap photo.

I’ve decided to try to do my own gay thirst-trap photo anyway. I make weird decisions sometimes.

I’ve tried this a few times in the past. I’m generally left pretty disappointed in how my photos turn out. But, I’m looking into starting Krav Maga classes and working on getting more fit. Even if these photos are super awful, at least I’ll have something to look at when judging my body progress.

Anyway, here are all of my attempts at my own thirst-trap photo on Twitter. This probably won’t go well.

My Thirst-Trap Photos on Twitter

This was after taking a bunch of selfies that just, well, didn’t work. However, I settled on this one just being okay.

This was attempt number two. Looking at my chest in the last one, I decided to hide it this time. Better, but not great. It got the job done, though, I guess?

I was braver by now. Above all, you have to be brave enough first. I think that’s the secret? Well, probably not because I still don’t know what I’m doing.

After that, I gave up on selfies and just wanted to look pretty once. I realized that I have a cute face. For instance, I haven’t trimmed my beard and it’s in the perfect sexy face shape. I’m still not crazy about my lazy eye, but that’s not completely in my control.

So, after many days of trial and error, inner epiphanies, and soul searching, I gave it one last try. And this, friends, is where the money is.

I’m very pleased with this photo that I took last night before bed. I’ve found my angle and this is now my default thirst-trap photo look. I’m very proud of myself.

Are you comfortable enough with your body to take thirst-trap photos?

eric shay Howard's shirtless gay thirst-trap photo

In conclusion, I’m still not 100% in love with my body or anything, but this is a step in the right direction. Do you take weird shirtless selfies? Are you ashamed of your nips? Do you shy away from the thirst-trap photos?

Leave me a comment and share your struggles! Also, post the thirst-traps! You can contact me via my contact page, follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook.

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I Want To Cut Down On Eating Meat

For a few months, my roommate and I have been exploring ways to cut down on eating meat. Mainly we’ve been eating too much red meat, but we do eat way too much meat in general. He gets these vegan burger patties from Whole Foods and it’s my job to cook them. It turns out, vegan burgers are pretty good.

Also, did you know that you can get groceries from Amazon now if you live near a Whole Foods? Here are the burgers we get. They’re “Beyond Burgers”. I’m not a strict vegan so I haven’t done that much research into the brand or anything. Just so you know, I’m a member of the Amazon Associate program and I earn from qualifying purchases with the ad below.

No, they don’t taste like a beef patty, but they taste good anyway. I try not to over-season them, but I do season them a little bit. I usually just throw some simple sea salt and black pepper.

I like hot sauce on mine. My roommate hates hot sauce. I put cheese on mine mine. My roommate doesn’t like that, either. One day he’ll just have to deal with it probably, because I’m not a professional chef and will forget one of these days.

I’m going to try to cut down on eating meat a few times a week.

Anyway, I could see myself eating vegan food a few times a week. I guess it’s not actually vegan food if I put cheese on it, and a lot of other stuff, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m also starting some Krav Maga classes so I can get more physically active. Exercise is important, but so is eating right. I still like meat, but I think the trick is moderation. It seems that we’re finding we all just eat way too much meat. Of course, everything about food changes all the time because there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.

Vegan food is also very expensive. Some of the prices are starting to come down a little bit, but it’s still not at the price it needs to be. I suppose there’s other ways to not eat as much meat besides getting expensive vegan food? I think pasta dishes cut down on it a lot. There are also some really interesting things you can do with Cauliflower and peppers that I want to try.

Leave me a comment and let me know what are some of your preferred meat-cutting meals? I could always do pasta every day of the weak. I also don’t require meat in my spaghetti. My roommate does, though. You can contact me via my contact page, follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook.

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