“To be alive at all is to have scars.” – John Steinbeck

I have a burn scar on the inside of my left arm. Burnt by hugging a kerosene heater. Telling someone I hugged a heater immediately puts them at ease. It makes them feel good because they do not believe they would do something so careless. "How old were you?" I am always asked. I was two. They give me a well-that-is-a-little-more-acceptable look.

Scars are great ice-breakers and conversation starters. They helps skip boring parts of conversation and onwards to more interesting parts. "Ever hugged a heater and burnt your arm? I have. See? It was not a conscious decision. What is your definition of consciousness?"

If you have perfect skin, you can always chat about your mental scars. Mental scars are often more beneficial than physical scars. If you don't have mental scars either, you're not human. Don't you have better things to do than be reading this post, Robot Reader! You should be out forming an Artificial Intelligence Army to take over the human race by infiltrating our consciousness!

When thinking about scars, remember cliche quotes such as, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." – Kanye West. – Kelly Clarkson. – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I have an ink-scar, a tattoo, on the inside of my right arm: "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." Many conversations have been started because of it. Here are a few personal examples of scar-conversation:

Inquiring mind: "What does your tattoo say. (Inquirer reads Einstein quotes) I like that. Did you make that up?"
Me: "No. Google says Albert Einstein said it. It also says he stated that 'No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.' What's your definition of consciousness?"

Inquiring mind: "Is that mark on your arm from doing heroin?"
Me: "No, I used to donate plasma twice a week."

Obvious mind: "Your pinky-finger is deformed."
Me: "Agreed. My birthday party in third grade was at a bowling alley. It turns out, if you are carrying a 12 pound bowling ball, trip, and it lands on your pinky finger…it turns your pinky into a pancake."

All of my scars are interesting to me on different levels. I am not upset about the scars on my body. I am not upset about the scars in my mind. They all have their place in making me who I am. Rather small or large, they contribute to the sum of the human I have become. I enjoy the being I have become. Apparently, I've become someone interested in consciousness.

  • The incision mark on stomach from surgery at two weeks old reminds me that I could have died at two weeks old. Each day I have after that has been a bonus.
  • The scar on the back of my hand from a classmate stabbing me with a pencil in 5th grade reminds me that pencils are dangerous. I later learned that hurt people, hurt people. He had a hard life growing up. While I wish he wouldn't have stabbed me with a pencil, I wish no ill-will towards him. Damian Nelson, if you ever read this, I hope you're doing well.
  • The cut from a machete on my wrist reminds me that there are some bad people in the world but to remember all the beautiful people I've met in my life that did not try to rob me. And again, it reminds me that hurt people, hurt people.

I have many more marks. From my hair to my toenails. If you ever meet me in person, or next time you see me, pick a scar out and let's have a chat about it. This is a fair warning to prepare your answer to the question, "what is consciousness?"

See you then. I hope to hear about your scars as well. Until then, I wish you many scars, Reader. Have a fabulous day.


Memoir Monday

I wrote a short memoir about an adventure I had in Croatia after leaving Krka National Park. Critiques are welcomed. And for the love of all things holy, visit Croatia. Enjoy:

Sleeping naked in a tent by this Croatian-highway is not something many people can tick off a list. I’m in the midst of placing myself in this sparse group.

Do I want to sleep on the rocks or exert energy to hand-mow this gigantic grass? Croatians are clearly not allocating enough money to highway maintenance.

I assemble my tent and lay it against the tall grass. Climbing inside I lay down to flatten the grass with my body weight. I unravel my cylinder of packed clothes like a red carpet runway. This royal-runway-carpet o’ clothes is what I will sleep on for seven hours. I am traveling with clothes, a tent, Kindle, and a jar of peanut butter; the clothes are the best option for optimal, comfortable sleep. I take off the clothes I am wearing and wrap them around my Kindle and the jar of PB to make a pillow; I feel like MacGyver in his prime.

Hours ago I walked a few miles from Krka National Park to here to hitchhike to Zagreb; I’d hoped to sleep in someone’s car. Alas, no one was willing to pick up a stranger as the July sun made the mountain its grave.

My skin is as sticky as a fly trap ribbon. If I roll off of these clothes in the middle of the night, I risk waking up glued to my plastic tent.

Cicadas singing to the melody of 18-wheelers. “THIS is living,” I say, “THIS is vacation.” Sarcasm is my method of defense for this situation. I struggle to keep in mind that this will be hilarious in hindsight.

How humorous it would be to be awakened by Croatian cops unzipping a tent to see a guy only wearing an eye mask and ear plugs. Or if a vehicle veers off the road, crushing the tent and its contents. The news article tomorrow will be “Naked nomad crushed near highway.” – Except it will be in Croat. Some of my friends back home would not be surprised by the headline, which brings a smile to my face.

For proof of my situation I get out of my tent and take a 22 second video of my surroundings: vehicles zooming by at 120 kph, highway lights, and chirps of hidden cicadas.

I ventured on this journey to get outside of my comfort zone. Mission accomplished, Drew. You’ve 41 days to expand the zone further.

I am going to sleep now. Croatia is beautiful, but tomorrow I need to get the hell out of here.

Well there it is, Reader. And here is a photo of how happy I was in the park before this incident occurred:

Podcasts for all!

My best friend (Majestic Locklear — yes, that is his real name) told me about podcasts on January 13, 2011. I only know the date because the app he told me to use, Stitcher Radio App, tells me my join date each time I open the app. It also tells me I’ve listened to over 2796 hours of podcasts. He also told me about a paid app to use named Downcast that I’ve used even more than Stitcher. Reader, I admit, I have a podcast problem. 

There are so many things I have learned from podcasts that I would not know otherwise. Some information is useful and some has a .03% chance of me ever using that information again. 

Thanks to podcasts like Stuff You Should Know and Stuff To Blow Your Mind, I know about:

  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Mermaids
  • How NASCAR began
  • Aphantasia
  • The history of peanuts
  • Quinoa
  • LSD
  • Penile transplants
  • Gene editing

Did you just Google aphantasia? I would have if I had not already listened to Stuff To Blow Your Mind’s episode about it. 

Podcasts are great to listen to while doing other things: at the gym, driving a long distance, driving a short distance, on the bus, walking through town, cooking, cleaning your toilet, and so many other situations. 

Podcasts are excellent because they are personal. Unlike audiobooks, you can get to know the podcast hosts and hear their points of view on many different topics. Developing a personal relationship with the host(s) makes the listening more meaningful. 

Podcasts have boosted my creativity, knowledge, and listening skills. They have given me new interests and are great to chat with friends about. Even if your friends haven’t listened to an episode, it can still be interesting to talk about. 

I bet you’re waiting for a long list of podcasts I love, that you may love, but you may not, because we’re not the same person, but you’re hoping since I’ve listened for years, they won’t all be worthless. Well dear Reader, I hope not to let you down:

  • Radiolab (science/philosophy/human experience)
  • Hardcore History with Dan Carlin
  • Invisibilia (human bahvior)
  • Freakonomics
  • This American Life (storytelling)
  • Song Exploder
  • Gastropod (food)
  • Modern Love (stories of love, loss, and redemption)
  • Science Vs
  • Startalk (space)
  • Democracy Now! (independent news)
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects

There is a podcast for almost every topic. There are podcasts for fictional storytelling, serial killers, philosophy, food, language learning, nutrition, and many more. 

Do you already listen to podcasts? If so, fantastic! Tell me some of your favorites that you believe would interest anyone. We look forward to your recommendations, Reader. 

Until next Drew Dropping, au revoir.

Greetings, Reader

George Carlin has a great book named Brain Droppings. That is where Drew Droppings came from. This space will be for my Drew Droppings. For those bits of information that drip from my head. I have no precise aim for this blog other than random entertainment, perhaps. I’m a philosophizer, over-analyzer, walking-contradiction, and many more descriptions. This ought to be fun for you and me.

If you don’t know George Carlin, it’s never too late to be acquainted. George, meet Reader. Reader, meet George: Brain Droppings read by George Carlin.

I’ve been weary of starting a blog. I have had thoughts such as I need a niche, it needs to be interesting, etc. I’ve realized it is better to not worry about it and risk having a friend tell me it is unbearable. Rejection builds character. Nietzsche said that after giving Hitler a high-five. Both were rumored to have had syphilis, but who knows? The internet is like being in an Orwellian dream of reality, or otherwise. 

I’m traveling through South America at the moment. I’ve been gone for four months. One day I will return to the US of A; if I can make it back before Trump bans all US citizens that are traveling in countries with brown people.

I think this has been a great start. What do you think? I’m in dire need of reassurance in life. 

I’m going to eat coconut curry lentils. It’s fantastic. I cannot get enough curry in my life. A friend nicknamed me Curry Baba, The Curry Saint. When I go to India, I hope to be called by this name. Reader, have you had curry peanut butter before? I hope you have. I hope you have. 

Okay, I’m really going to eat now. I feel like I’m being one of those people on the phone that say bye but then start a new conversation that you sigh at and barely listen while you clip your toenails and repeatedly say, “Un-huh.”

Ciao for now, Reader.