My Four-Day Weekend Was Completely Wasted On Watching The West Wing

Good afternoon, everyone! What’s it been, like a week? Or did I blog twice last week? Honestly, I can’t remember, and I’m probably not going to stop writing this to go look. I did discover something interesting by not blogging every day – my unique visitors stay roughly the same, though my individual views go down. I guess you guys just get bored after a few days into the week and just start clicking crap. I’m not judging – ya’ll can do whatever. But, hey, at least I know that I don’t HAVE to blog everyday if I don’t have a lot going on.

The last few weeks I really haven’t done much except be infected with the coronavirus, procrastinate in my grad school classes, and write some. I think I’m officially over the coronavirus. It look a good long while. Not fun. Anyway, I’ve not had any symptoms for like a week and I haven’t had to take any fever reducers for about 8 days, I think.

My Four-Day Weekend

My Thanksgiving was alright. My roommate and I bought Thanksgiving dinner plates from a local dining service and ate by ourselves in our living room. How was your all’s Thanksgiving? Or your weekend? Also, can four day weekends just be standard now? That’s what I’m going to work towards – setting my life up to enjoy four-day weekends as often as possible. Unrealistic, you say? It goes against the grain that’s been perpetuated by society since the dawn of unemployment rate monitoring, sure, but I’m not convinced.

While we’re talking about unrealistic life goals, Yes, I’m still thinking about moving out of the state rather quickly. Within a year would be best. Have I mentioned how over Kentucky I am? Yes, being gay in Kentucky still very much sucks. I used to think it was getting better, but every election year I’m reminded that I’m still looked down upon by about 70% of the people here.

I think with my next paycheck, I’m going to plan some bus trips to Chicago sometime next March and April. Then maybe a trip to San Francisco in May, though I’ll have to schedule it way in advance to get a lower price on a plane ticket. (Not bussing to California, sorry.) Gosh, I really hope 2021 works out.

What I’m Reading/Watching/Doing

What am I reading this week? I suppose I could start throwing that in these things. I’m reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s um, not my usual reading, I’ll give it that. Yes, I’m just sort of trying to catch up on Pulitzers. I try to read them because, well, some people met and discussed them and determined they were worth reprinting a million times.

Also, in other random life news, I’m trying my best to avoid buying a new cell phone, because I finally paid off my Samsung Galaxy S9+, and would like to keep a lower bill for a while. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, especially if a new one comes out in March.

Also, I’m watching The West Wing. I can’t believe I haven’t watched it until now. Apparently it leaves Netflix December 24th, so I only have a few weeks to finish it.

What Are You Doing?

Anyway, how is your all’s Monday going? What did you do over the weekend? What are ya reading? What are ya watching?

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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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My COVID19 Test Came Back Positive

Do you guys keep up with your own local news? I try to. I’m not the best at it. I’m better at it when the local news directly affects me. But, I still try. Andy Beshear has made keeping up with local politics very easy because he’s been talking to us Monday through Thursday about the coronavirus.

There are RUMORS that he might shut Kentucky down again. To that I say, of course he would do that only AFTER I get the coronavirus. We needed a mandate again weeks ago. Our cases have tripled in a very short amount of time and not enough businesses are going to voluntarily allow their employees to work from home. The governor gave out new “recommendations” for red zone counties in Kentucky a few weeks ago. And, yes, I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I’m working on it.

In other local happenings, I usually make it a point to attend Writer’s Block Festival here in Louisville every year. I wasn’t sure what they were doing this year, if anything at all. I don’t think anything this year? It’s usually spread out in a few places downtown, or held on one of the local college campuses, or in an art gallery, or something like that. Usually over a weekend. Last year, it was held November 16th which was a Saturday, so it’s on my mind. But, even if they were having it this year around this time, I have to quarantine because I officially got my COVID19 test results back today and they were positive. It wasn’t surprising. My roommate tested positive and we had pretty much the same symptoms, just a few days apart. Even if my results hadn’t been positive, I still have the aches and the fatigue, so I wouldn’t feel like going anyway.

So, I’m mad I got coronavirus, mad no one is trying to get a handle on this virus here, and mad that I will probably have to miss Writer’s Block Festival, if there even is one this year. I’m also still very single and have no boyfriend to drop off surprise feel-better-soup outside my door.

How is your all’s Monday going?

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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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