About qrparker

So, I'm not sure exactly who looks at Gravatars, but I made one, SO DEAL WITH IT, DAD.

I’ll Draw Anything

UPDATE: Keep commenting. Rather than responding one at a time, I’ll compile the drawings into a post next Thursday. Also, thank you for all the very kind, very thoughtful comments. 

Hello everyone. First off, let me tell you that you’re beauty is outweighed only by your sparkling intellect and management skills.

Let me tell you, life is really wearing me down. I’m dealing with some medical shit, which leads to emotional shit and also monetary shit (money is the emotion of America).

I’m going to take a break from blogging until May, just so I can finish up school and try to get my life back on track. I’ve been humbled by all the amazing feedback and encouragement I’ve received here. After years of believing comment sections to be evil places of dangerous vitriol, I’ve been amazed by the intelligence, insight, and general good will of those who comment here. This blog has received almost 500 comments, and I haven’t had to block a single one. That’s kind of amazing.

To prove I’m not vanishing (and to prove I love you), anyone who comments here will get an original, ms paint, digital art picture. Ask me to draw anything, and I swear to Vishnu-Jesus I’ll do it.

blahblah

 

blahblah3

hellodolly

 

walkjason

bloop

 

6666

(comment below)

~Fin

Gone Goose

You can’t walk in the grass by my apartment complex, because if you do, you will step in goose poop. Goose poop, like most bird poop, is not as unpleasant to step in as say, mammal poop, because birds eat mostly grass. You don’t really notice it, and it doesn’t stick to your shoes, but if you look down, you feel like a disgusting human being.
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Due to no choice of my own, I am now relatively familiar with the behavior of geese. Here are three behaviors I have observed:
#1 Geese are braver alone than in a group.
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#2 Geese and squirrels are surprisingly cool with each other.
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#3 Geese possess the ability to hiss AND THEY HAVE TEETH.
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The particular goose I happened to step on spends a lot of time on the sidewalk. Maybe he just wants attention, because he should know by now that sitting on sidewalks highly increases the probability of getting smooshed by humans.
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How do I know it’s the same goose?
Because all the other geese have flown back to Canada.
At first I thought it was because he couldn’t fly, and his friends had to leave him behind.
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Apparently, this goose just likes to hang around my sidewalk, making my life that much more difficult.
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And thus mankind and goose grew a little bit closer.

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~Fin.

 

Two Geniuses Who Killed People

Why has genius, as of late, chosen to take the form of mustachioed men with happy faces and big noses? For reference, I present two geniuses:

genius 1

(Albert Einstein – Developed Theory of Relativity and relatively bombed Japan)

genuis 2

(Kurt Vonnegut – Brilliant anti-war writer and World War Two participant)

It’s spring break around my part of the world, so I’ve been trying to keep as unproductive as possible. That means I’ve been doing a lot of reading and bed-sulking.

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One of the books I’ve been sulk-reading is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. I avoided this book for years because the title made it sound like a miserable, depression-inducing war novel. Imagine my delight when I finally cracked open my copy and found it was actually a hilarious, depression-inducing war novel.

3

The first chapter is very different than the rest of the novel, and is really just Kurt Vonnegut reflecting on the story he’s about to tell. One reflection is about a man who told Vonnegut he’d be just as well writing an anti-glacier novel as an anti-war novel.

What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that too.

The one thing Vonnegut didn’t count on when he wrote this in the 1960s was a little thing called global warming.

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In the same way Einstein turned his bomb idea into cool science and Vonnegut turned his war participation into anti-war novels, I wonder if we can turn our melting glaciers into peaceful coexistence.

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~Fin

Why I Didn’t Post Last Week

I keep getting in trouble with my English teachers for being too mean. This has been going on for a while.

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There’s something very uncollegy about the check-plus, check, check-minus system. Like they’re afraid to tell us if something is good or bad.

Like we’re children.

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In my early-level courses, I was grateful for the sugarcoating. Writing is a vulnerable act, and early on encouragement is probably more important than honesty.

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After a while, I began to distrust this plastic layer of niceness.

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Now it’s reached the point where I completely distrust anything positive about my work.

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The problem with English majors is that they’re goddman sensitive. Everyone’s got some common problem with a simple solution, but instead of trying to solve the problem they expect the universe to change around them.

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I wrote all this last week. If it reads as a condemnation of people feeling bad for themselves then good – I fooled you. I also fooled myself. That’s what I was really trying to do.

But you can’t run away forever, and it looks like things have finally caught up to me.

Oftentimes when I make fun of things, it’s because I’m trying to expel something I see in myself. That’s what I was trying to do with the first half of this post, but I just couldn’t finish it.

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I’ve been posting every Thursday for a while now, but I missed last week because I was staring at my computer, wondering what was standing in my way.

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I like to think of myself as the type of person who is in control of their emotions, but that’s only because I know I’m not. My outside behavior is a product of carefully maintained self-manipulation.

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I don’t think this is unusual, and everyone does it to some degree, but for me it’s a constant process. When I see people acting in complete disregard of their own insignificance it enrages me.

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I’m going to try to be more empathetic.

meo

~Fin

My Troubles with Education, Part II (The Long Bus Ride)

Note: This is Part Two. It’s a little more conversational than Part One. You don’t need to read it to understand this one, but you can.

troubles with ed

IF YOU LIVE in a country that isn’t America, you’re probably comfortable with public transportation.
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For most Americans, their only experience with public transportation will be the school bus. Five minutes on one of those is enough to develop a lifelong disdain for public transportation.
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When I was growing up, the young kids rode the same bus as the high schoolers. The administration thought this was good because most drove themselves, so it wasn’t worth the money to get a whole new bus for the few who didn’t.
They were right.
All self-respecting high schoolers either bought a crappy car for themselves or borrowed their parents’ car. Unfortunately, this meant the only ones who did ride the bus were those legally inhibited from driving.
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My bus had two criminals – Justin and Angel.
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Justin and Angel were seniors, and had been so for several years. Justin had less than a year before he was legally too old to attend High School.
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My stop was last on the route, and the bus was overcrowded. By the time I got on, all the seats were full except one.
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One mid-semester day, most kids skipped school, so I could sit all by myself. I decided to use this time to get ahead on my reading.
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I knew they were behind me because I smelled whiskey and cigarettes. They always drank and smoked on the bus. They weren’t allowed, of course, but they were twice the size of the driver, and my school took a military approach to education:
“If we don’t see it, it didn’t happen.”
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That day, Justin and Angel were giggling drunk and their eyes were red and their lighter was an endless source of entertainment.
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1516 17  

Hair doesn’t catch fire – it melts.
It turns into plastic and it smells like the chemicals from your shampoo.
When someone decides to melt your hair, you just sit there and let it happen, because they’re four times your size and they’re drunk and high and scary.
Just like I was taught:
“If you don’t see it happen, it didn’t happen.”
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Somehow I made it back home without crying.
I told my mom what had happened.
I begged not to have to ride the bus anymore.
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For the next few weeks, I missed the bus on purpose and, consequently, missed school.
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Sooner than later, I became a disturbance, and was physically moved to the bus stop.
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I managed to squeeze a seat in the front on the way there.
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After school, during the stampede to the buses, I saw Justin.
He was alone.
He looked right at me.

I tried to get away.
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I thought Justin wanted to fight me. I don’t know why I thought that.
I think when you’re young, and you feel you’re in danger, you feel like you have to fight, even if you’re going to lose.

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But Justin didn’t want to fight me.
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I realized I held all the cards.
On the bus, Justin was an invincible figure who could drink and smoke and melt hair.
At school he was a kid who, despite all his problems, was still trying to graduate three years later than his peers.

49

And I held control over him.
And I could get him expelled.
And I could send him to jail for assaulting a minor.

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Justin and Angel didn’t bother me again.
I saw Justin at the gas station once.
I was a few inches taller than him.
I think he recognized me, but I didn’t say hi.

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I really hope he graduated.

~Fin

My Troubles with Education, Part I

I didn’t start school until fifth grade. I homeschooled the previous four grades. It was a time when learning was a joy instead of a job, but I was lonely and so they sent me to school. I was a much better reader than anyone else in my class. It was right at that time before puberty, when that kind of thing would win you admiration from your peers. I didn’t think about it much, until people started having the opposite reaction to my reading habits.1

My school had one of those hyperbolic gifted and talented programs that a portion of the class would go to halfway through the day. It was based on a test they took at the beginning of the year when I wasn’t there. Regardless, the kids in the special program made sure to let me know how dumb I was, along with the rest of the class. It was thoughtful of them to include me.2

From my perspective, the only services the gifted and talented program provided was taking a bunch of impassionate, obedient nerds and turning them into a bunch of impassionate, obedient bullies.3

But me oh my, it did give them a certain glow. Their buck-toothed, braceface smiles seemed to let everyone know we’d be working for them someday. Also, they said that – a lot.4

As an English major in college, I have to deal with these people every day. They bring it up in casual conversation, while we’re discussing what books we read growing up, or while handing out their essay to be peer-critiqued. It’s as if the fact they understood fractions half a year sooner than their peers will work like a special sauce, masking the bland flavor of that “life-changing” mission trip that everyone apparently had.5

A favorite move of these kids is the “oh, you don’t even want to know what I’m thinking.” This is a technique employed by people of all IQs, but one I’ve found to be most common among low-talent, high-confidence individuals. It allows you to retain the feeling of intellectual superiority despite your inability to come up with a satisfying retort.6

The gifted and talented program was full of people who employed this “you don’t even want to know what I’m thinking” technique. It was like their motto. It made sense, of course. These people were used to getting a free pass. Forgetting a reading assignment was an honest mistake for them, and an act of malicious laziness for the rest of us. They were so used to feeling smart, they almost never had to be.7

Meanwhile, we in the regular class had to scrap away to gain the most trivial of recognition. Their assignments were all about exploring the text through their own special ego:

“How did this story make you feel?”

“Why do you think the author chose to write about this topic?”

“If the main character were a color, what color do you think he would be?”

The questions, though massed produced, were framed in a way that made the answer-er feel special. The question were asking for what they thought, what they felt.

Our questions tended to look more like this:

            “On pg.66, why does Joe Hardy pick up the stick?”

            “In chapter 12, why does Frank Hardy say they should enter the cave?”

            “What color is the cover of the book?”

Definitive question, definitive answer. Search and find. Strange it seems, that we reward technical intelligence by giving them questions that only a human can answer, while all other forms of intelligence are given questions fit for a machine.

8

~Fin

Education, pt II

Writing Cult

Yesterday, I met with my writing cult. Me and my writer friends My writer friends and I started it last semester. It was spearheaded by the oldest member of our group because – like all great cult leaders – he had a beard

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When you first let people read your writing, it’s kind of terrifying. You watch every little movement in the face of the person, hoping they grasp a glimmer of your brilliance.

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It’s kind of funny, because when you’re the one doing the reading, you want nothing else but to make sure the person feels comfortable so they don’t hate you afterward.

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My writing cult is filled with nothing but nice people, but for some reason, I can never shake the feeling that secretly they’re all planning to get rid of me. I have no reason to believe this. There is no evidence. In fact, we let so many people into the group that now we have to push two tables together and it’s kind of hard to hear everyone.

yellin

It’s probably a natural for humans to fear rejection from a social group. No matter how independent anyone thinks they are, humans are social animals, and we don’t last very long on our own.

indurpenis indurpenis2

I think it’s nice to be a part of a group, especially if the group is connected by some broad ideal. The ideal could be becoming better writers or promoting firearm legality or cleansing impurities from the German race – working as team feels good.

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I guess you never really know what goes on in other peoples’ minds.

1Qjp8qJcnT-Nn19KagHY8_bAtpJgiOiY1P79CVKPumg

~Fin

How to Lament Advertisements

I lament advertisements.

Trust me, I understand why they exist. I understand the need for people to sell their product, and I understand the best way to garner positive feedback for something is to subconsciously relate it to something people already like. I get that, and I lament it.

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Notice something?

That’s right! I bought the energy drink! Thinking I was immune to advertisements is what made me so vulnerable to them.

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The conscious mind is what gets all the attention – it looks all glamorous because it’s what makes us better than ants or rockpiles, but we can learn a lot more from focusing on the subconscious mind — the things we do when we don’t have a real reason to do them.

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When you start to try and pinpoint the reasons behind your action, you’ll find you often can’t come up with anything satisfactory.  Instinct is a warm-bellied master, but he feeds you gruel. The void chills the heart, but the meals are sweet.

void

I’ve noticed WordPress has started to post ads on the bottom of my posts. This isn’t my doing. If you want to remove the ads you have to pay WordPress 30 dollars a year. I’m not going to do this. I failed Financial Mathematics, but I know making negative money on something is a bad thing.

double fail

I don’t like ads, especially when I don’t get any off the top. Please bear with me.

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~Fin