My Review of The Wall Street Journal

I’m currently reading The Wall Street Journal Monday through Saturday. I’m reading more newspapers because of business school. This is my review of the newspaper.

The Wall Street Journal Review

Why I Picked Up The Wall Street Journal

For my Wall Street Journal review, I figured it would be best to walk you through why I tried it out in the first place. Starting business school is scary. At least it was scary for me. Most of my previous education experience was creativity related: creative writing, art, American literature, and literary theory. My job experience often fluctuates between retail and customer service. However, a few years ago I ended up working in an office in a professional setting. Now I’m in an MBA program, and we’ll just have to see what happens next. Recently, someone recommended that I try out some newspapers along with my business classes. That does make some sense. After all, I read literary journals and stuff while I was studying creative writing and literature.

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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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Coming Out Over An Evening Phone Call In 2004

Harry, the father of my mom’s boyfriend, sat on the couch smoking a cigarette. The news was on the TV by the air purifier. The phone was in the big chair by the sliding glass door. I answered it.

“Shhh,” I said. I listened for any sounds of other lines being picked up.

“Is it true?” Jay asked. I was glad to hear his voice. I imagined what he looked like now. Maybe he’d started growing some facial hair. Maybe a few chest hairs, too. Was his black hair still short, or had he grown it out a bit? After a while, I answered.

“Yes.”

Harry sighed, lifted his single crutch from the arm rest, and pulled himself up. He walked back through the kitchen and into his bedroom. He shut the door. The oxygen tank groaned.

“Are you sure, though?” Jay asked. His voice cracked a little, going down too low and coming back up too high.

Yes,” I said. I think my voice did the opposite.

“But what about Jenny and Alex? Remember? On the bus?”

“No.” I remembered the bus. “And you liked Alex.”

“Man, this is wild. Does anyone else know?” He was starting to sound anxious.

“Everyone at school.”

“Dang. You have to be careful.”

“I know.”

“Wild, wild, wild. Hold on—”

A muffled voice beside Jay came and went. Jay’s audio stayed muffled. Sounds of swirling and sucking grew from behind Harry’s bedroom door, with a few coughs in-between them. I dragged the phone and the cord over to the couch, turned on the air purifier, and watched the replay of John Kerry conceding. After a few minutes, the smoke cleared.

“Sorry,” Jay said. “Anyway, it’s good to talk to you. When are you gonna come and visit?”

“I can’t drive. My eyes.”

“Oh, shit. Right. Well, when I get my car I’m gonna come and get you. Me, you, Pete. We’ll go to Lexington or something. They have gay bars there.”

“We’re 16.”

“Pete can get us in. No limits, man. Hey, can I ask you one more thing?”

The oxygen turned off. I hurried back to the chair. Harry’s crutch pounded back through the kitchen.

“What?”

His voice stayed steady. “Did you ever, you know, like me or anything?” He breathed into the phone, then quickly breathed in. I thought about the conversation we had with Alex on the bus. I remembered Jay’s big, blue eyes, and I imagined they were sitting in front of me.

Harry stopped at the fridge and pulled out a can of beer.

“No.”

Jay breathed into the phone again.

“You sure? You can tell me.”

I turned my head and looked through the sliding glass door, then back to the hallway behind the kitchen, past Harry. My mom’s bedroom door was closed. I listened for the silence on the phone.

Harry speed-crutched his way back to the couch with his beer in his other hand. After he sat down in his spot, there was a loud pop as he opened the can.

“No.” I said.

“Because we’re like brothers.” He said.

“Right.”

“Right.”

Coming out is hard.

This is a story about coming out. It was one of the times I came out to a friend. Do people still “come out?” If you’re out, how many times have you came out? Do you still find yourself coming out to people, or do you just sort of let people figure it out as an adult? If you’re not an adult, what’s on your mind? If you’re straight, cool. Do you come out? Comment below and let’s discuss. You can also follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

And, for those of you who can’t come out right now due to, well, reasons, that’s okay.

Eric Shay Howard selfie in alleyway in sun
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