What Should I Do With My Instagram?

Yes, I have an Instagram. It has a little over 300 followers. I haven’t really been focusing on it for a while. I also have an Instagram TV account that I haven’t really been foucsing on either. Also, now Instagram has Reels, which are like TikToks. I also started a TikTok account last week. What I guess I’m trying to say is, I have too many social medias and I don’t know what to do with all of them.

But, no, no, no, here me out. What if I just focused on Instagram for a few months and tried really hard at it? What if I just totally went for it?

My Instagram Attempts

Here’s pretty much what I’ve been able to accomplish for a few weeks.

I spent a weekend at my dad’s recently. We didn’t know each other when I was growing up so we just sort of get together a few times a year and hang out and stuff. I took advantage of their Christmas tree.

This next set of photos is also at my dad’s. I love his house. He pretty much built it himself. I can’t even make a wooden box.

I have discovered that I’m not afraid of just using the default Instagram filters a lot of the time. Sometimes they really do make things pop.

My Attempts At Home

Now that going out isn’t an option all the time with the coronavirus out there, I wanted to try some Instagram stuff at home. I figure I’ll need to get better at shooting photos and stuff at home if my Instagram ever did take off, anyway.

This next set of photos didn’t really work out as well as I’d have liked. The filters I used on these made them too soft and bright, but oh well. Sometimes a traditional edit session with Lightroom is probably a necessity. Or I could just take better photos.

Rearranging My Bedroom For My Insagram

I learned pretty quickly that using the living room all the time would be weird, because I have a roommate. Using my bedroom is more ideal. However, there wasn’t enough space for decent photography sessions until I rearranged some things. After I had the space, I tried some different things. The results are bellow.

I Think I Really Shine When I’m Outside

It’ll probably help when I can go out more regularly and do things. I did a standard selfie session with my phone when I went to get coffee this morning.

Can My Brand Be “I’m Gay And In My 30s”?

I’m sure it’ll take me a while to get used to Instagram again, and probably even longer to figure out what exactly I want to do with it. For now I’ll just run with the “I’m gay and single and in my 30s” thing and see where that gets me.

Do you post on Instagram? Have any tips? I’ll see if I can try them out. I’ve watched a bunch of YouTube videos and I’ve got a big long list of things I can try.

Eric Shay Howard red hoodie selfie for my Instagram
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I Made A TikTok

That’s right, you guys! YouTube is hard, and I’m awful at Instagram, and I’ve been stuck at 1,666 followers on Twitter for months, but none of that matters because I’m on TIkTok now, like all of the cool people!

Here’s a TikTok where I talk about a weird dream I keep having where I am trying to save the world from nuclear antihalation as Joanna Dark in a level that my brain made up in the Perfect Dark N64 game from the 90s/2000s. (Update: The game was released back on May 2000.)

Anyways, maybe I’ll get a crap ton of followers on there one day and be like, hip.

And that’s all I’ve got. Nothing else has changed. Still working from home. Still single. Still eating way too much.

Eric Shay Howard Selfie
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I Want To Move Out of Kentucky

I didn’t blog much last week because I’ve been sick and quarantining with coronavirus, so I just haven’t really done a whole lot. I have been doing a lot of thinking, though.

I’m still very single and at this point, since I’m 33 years old and almost 34, I have decided that there’s a good chance I’ll probably never find another guy who is interested in anything serious that I will ever feel close enough to, so I’ve decided to just make the rest of 2020 and 2021 about finishing my master’s degree, rebuilding my finances, and finding a new place to live where I can just exist and be happy alone. I’m also very very tired of living in a state where the overwhelming majority of people in it actually don’t want me to be happy as a gay man.

So, 2021 will be about finding a new state and city to live in. I’ve lived in Kentucky all my life and I have reached my breaking point with it. This state is one of the lowest rated states in higher education. People get mad at me when I say this, but it’s really starting to show. Religion is too often used as scientific reasoning, and the people here aren’t even actually that nice. And, after spending 34 years here, I really don’t think it’s going to get any better. At least not for me. So, I’m done. I’m leaving.

I can be much happier somewhere else. Somewhere where the attorney general doesn’t want me to die and the overwhelming majority of people don’t actually consider a governor closing indoor dining to stop the spread of the deadly disease a dictator. Also, if gay marriage becomes an issue again due to the supreme court, I do not trust Kentucky. I know politics are not set in stone anywhere, and many states flip flop, which Kentucky does on occasion. But, it never sticks. And you know what? I’m single, I’m in my thirties, and I don’t have to be stuck in this state anymore.

Things I Need To Take Care Of First

To successfully move to a place where I can fully enjoy existing by myself, a few things need to happen. I have some credit cards I need to finish paying off (I’m horrible with money – yes, as apparently are all democrats, or so I hear from family.) I also need to build up my savings some.

For me to exist happily somewhere alone, the area I live in needs to have certain things:

  • It needs to be a metropolitan area.
  • I require public transportation.
  • There have to be bike lanes.
  • SIDEWALKS. You wouldn’t believe how bad some cities are at sidewalks. It is mind-baffling to me.

The reason the area needs to be a metropolitan area is because I will be stuck in it a lot unless I want to travel by bus or plane, so it needs to be an area that is well equipped to meet a person’s needs. While most people can live in a smaller town and just drive to a bigger city when they need to, I can’t. I can’t legally drive due to a peripheral vision issue.

So, I have some searching to do. There are some cities I have in mind, but I have to do some research and spend some time in them. That is what 2021 is mostly going to be about. My current top choices are San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago. There are other places to consider as well. I’ll blog about them as I go. There are also a slew of other areas where I might end up going to get a doctorate or another masters degree anyway.

So, yeah, I’m moving. I know most here in this state will probably say good riddance. And that’s okay, because I will find a place with people that don’t say that.

Why am I sharing this? Because I paid good money for my web hosting and my domain name, and I felt like it. How was your weekend? If you’re in the San Francisco or New York City or Chicago area, any apartment hunting tips? Know of any cities or neighborhoods with good transportation options?

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The Gym For 30 Days

I finally went out and got a new gym membership yesterday. I had a gym membership at this great gym in Downtown Louisville, but it’s still closed due to the pandemic. My membership was only for a short time before the shutdown in March and I’d barely figured out any sort of routine before. I maybe went a total of four times so I still don’t know that much about the gym. Now that I have a new membership, I’m going to go to the gym every day for 30 days.

I tried Krav Maga a few weeks back, but it doesn’t seem like something I’d be too interested in continuing if I had other options, like a gym. This downtown gym isn’t charging me anymore until they reopen, though I still have the membership. They have not indicated when they’re going to reopen. I have a sneaky suspicion that they won’t reopen. I know the coronavirus is a real thing and I’m not criticizing them. If they can’t open safely, they shouldn’t.

Anyway, I need a new gym. Yesterday I did some googling and found another gym that has 24/7 access and is within walking distance, sorta. It’s a 20 minute walk according to Google, maybe a 10 minute bike ride. So now, for whatever reason, I’m ready to try the gym for real.

Why I’m Going To The Gym For 30 Days Straight

Is starting my gym experience out by going to the gym every day for 30 days extreme? Probably. However, it’s the only way I know of to get myself into the habit of going to the gym on a regular basis. 30 days is a good habit-forming period of time for me. I got a month-to-month membership so that if my preferred gym does reopen, I can go back to it, maybe. Who knows, I might like this gym more. It’s not as big, but it’s accessible 24/7. My previous gym wasn’t. With all the stuff I’m doing, having a gym that is 24/7 seems like a great idea to me.

There is the issue of me not knowing much about the gym at all, even though I had a gym membership for a few months before everything shutdown because of the coronavirus. I can’t bring a guest to the gym with me, so I’ll have to either go it alone, or make a friend, or hire a personal trainer. For 30 days, I’m going to try going it alone to see what I can accomplish.

My Gym Fears

I do have a few fears. Well, it’s a lot of fears, but they mostly stem from two categories. The first set of fears are based on me being gay and being in the gym. The gym is in The Highlands in Louisville, which is a very gay-friendly area of Louisville. However, I still worry about homophobia in the gym. What if it’s the one business in the area that is super homophobic or something? Then there’s the shower room fears. Different from straight guy shower room fears only in the sense that, once or twice, something might actually pop up awkwardly. There may be a distracting cute guy every so often. I don’t plan to use the gym for dating or anything, and would never act on anything. At least not at the gym.

Then, there are the high-school-like fears. Friend-clicks, acceptance, the possibility of making a friend or two, or the possibility of no one liking me at all. All of that stuff. None of it is the end of the world or anything. But, I’m human and those fears are there. Another big one is the fear that maybe the gym just won’t work for me at all. Like, what if, you know, it just doesn’t work? My body doesn’t change? I don’t get any healthier? Stupid fear, but it’s there.

How Will I Measure My Progress?

I suppose it would make a lot of sense to take a photo of my body so that I can look back on it. Of course, I’m not going to show that on here. Subjective physical attractiveness isn’t the ultimate way to track gym progress, but maybe it’s a place to start.

I suppose I’m not the worst looking guy I’ve ever met or anything. However, there is a lot of room for improvement. My belly is a little bigger that it should be. I don’t have abs. My arms are small. My chest is, um, not right. I don’t think it’s realistic to tackle everything all at once, so I’m starting small. For now, I’ll settle for a bigger chest and arms. Chest mostly, for now. I’d like it to be more proportional to my gut. Again, I don’t have abs, but if I can make my chest a little bigger, I’ll feel better about my belly.

So, for 30 days, I’m going to focus on building a habit of going to the gym. My target area is my chest, though I know I need to do other things besides chest stuff. I’d also like to do some cardio to help lose a little weight, but I’m not stressing about that right now. Honestly, if I actually make the trip to the gym every day for 30 days, I’ll put it in the win column.

Let Me Know If You Have Any Gym Tips

Hopefully, after 30 days, I’ll keep going frequently. 30 days worked well for my blog. I blogged for 30 days and I’m still blogging every day. While I may stop blogging on the weekends at some point, 30 days helped me form a habit that I’m super into now.

I’ll tweet some about the gym and probably blog about it, too. Comment below and let me know if you have any gym tips for newbies.

You can follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

Eric Shay Howard 30 Days Gym
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I Was Busy But I Still Took Selfies

For whatever reason, this week was insanely busy for me. I don’t even really know why looking back at it. It’s just that I feel drained. I mean I guess I got further in my reading of The Goldfinch, I am almost done with editing the paperback of my fiction collection Crushes, and I read through some submissions over at the lit mag. Also, grad school stuff. Okay, I guess I was kind of busy. I still managed to get my lunchtime latte selfies this week, though. I think I started recapping my Twitter stuff on weekends here on my blog, right?

My Selfies On My Twitter This Week

Of course, I took my selfies every day. Here they are. Gosh, why no one has married me yet is beyond me. (<– Sarcasm!)

Other Things From My Twitter This Week

You know, when you tweet a lot, Twitter becomes sort of a good mini diary to look back on and figure out what happened to you. Sure, it’s mostly mundane stuff, but that’s life I suppose.

I got these business cards so that when people see me walking around with my book proofs or my manuscripts or my Canon Rebel SL3 and ask me what my deal is, I can hand them a card and say, “Don’t worry, I’m just creative.”

This was a spontaneous tweet during my reading of The Goldfinch. The narrator is not the author, of course, but the narrator definitely has his share of sexuality issues.

It’s probably boring, but I’m very excited about it. Boxes and boxes of books and old manuscripts have me ALL hoarded out. I’ve needed a storage unit for a while. Maybe now I can make my room more interesting and get my YouTube channel going with a nice modern I’ve-got-myself-together look.

And, you know, that’s that. It’s been a week. How was your week? Do you feel good about it? Were you lazy? It’s cool. Comment below and let me know how your week was, or what you’re doing this weekend, or whatever.

You can follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

eric shay howard selfie

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