Tag Archives: Tucson

Spam Comments are Hilarious

So, I get a lot of spam comments on this website.  I mean pages and pages of the things.  I dread logging into my site because I always have to delete 50 or 60 of them.  I thought I’d make it fun and share one with you guys.

“Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a data!
present here at this website, thanks admin of this website.”

What a data!

Gotta love that.  I think I’ll keep doing this, ‘cuz I find it hilarious for some reason.

Don’t forget to get your copy of The Old Man of the Temple on April 22nd!

Merry Christmas

It was a dark and stormy night–and a damn rare occasion in Arizona, because it was snowing.  Nothing was laying, but it was wet and nasty, and it was coming down hard.  Yours truly was driving through this mess, with a tired four year old and a truck full of presents.

Little did I know that earlier in the day, at some point, someone had backed into my truck and fled the scene like the cowards they are.  Yes, backed into my truck on Christmas Eve and either didn’t notice it themselves–which is possible, admittedly–or scurried away, not wishing to deal with the insurance people.

So there I am, at around 10pm, snow coming down hard, having a lot of odd problems with my truck.  First, the speedometer maxed out.  This wasn’t the end of the world, you understand, but highly irritating.  I pulled over at a truck stop, kid and presents and all, and yanked the instrument cluster fuse, reset the computer, and bam–speedometer fixed.  Problem solved, another victory.

Or so I thought.

See–while I was messing around in my fusebox, I noticed something odd about my truck.  It had a dent in the hood where there had been no dent before.  I’m not one of those types that worries about every little scratch in my vehicle, so I was a little irritated, but it wasn’t the end of the world.  I drive a long-bed 4×4 after all, and that’s not a truck that’s made to be pretty.  What I should have done is investigate this further, but it was snowing, it was late, and I might have mentioned the four year old who was just as ready as I was to get home for the evening.  I slammed the hood down, saw the speedometer working correctly again, and so I set off for home–an hour and a half drive back to Tucson.

What happened, you ask?  Well, it turns out that my truck wouldn’t shift out of 3rd.  This gets me kind of angry.  I’m thinking “it’s got to be something electrical, the instrument cluster is messing up plus the tranny won’t shift out of third; maybe it’s the vehicle speed sensor” and damn near pulling my hair out at this point.  I call my brother, who comes to pick me up, and start mucking around with my truck again in the shitty weather.

As it turns out, the front grill was just sitting in place.  You could take the running lights and just push them right off of the front end to hang by the wires that hold them, and the grill itself was cracked all the way around.  That hood dent took on a new meaning for me.  So did the mechanical problems.

Son of a bitch.

At least at this point I knew what I had to do–claim it on my insurance.  Someone at some point in the day had probably backed into me, and drove away.  That’s how I spent my Christmas Eve to Christmas morning, and tomorrow will be a rental car and tow truck adventure, since the old trusty 4×4 is just sitting on the side of the highway right now.  It really sucks.  I hope they can fix my truck.  I really like that truck.  It’s simple, it’s dependable, and it’s got a nice stereo.  Ah, well.  Life goes on.

So that’s how I spent my Christmas Eve.  I hope all of you had a better holiday than me.  On the bright side, things could have been much worse.  Still–when things go wrong for me, they pick the weirdest times to do so.  Snowing in Arizona, Christmas Eve night, loaded with presents and a tuckered out four year old.  What craziness lol.

Merry Christmas people.  Merry effin’ Christmas.

Omophagia

maenadI’ve been thinking about this lately, so I figured I’d write some of it down.  Maybe you guys will find this as interesting as I do.  Maybe you’ll just think I’m morbid.

I want to talk about the Maenads.  Now, some of you are raising your fingers in the air, saying “Hey, I remember those from True Blood!”  Some of you might know more about them than that, and might be saying “Aha!  He’s talking about the crazed followers of Dionysus!”

True, and true.  More than that, though, I wanted to write down a few stray thoughts I’ve been having about their rituals, especially the culmination of their rituals.  Let’s go into more detail–bloody, gory detail.

So, Dionysian rituals were famous for being revels of complete abandon.  In fact, that was sort of the point.  There are lots of festivals dedicated to Dionysus, now, and they were varied.  Before someone decides to flay me for leaving out the City Dionysia, or dithyrambs, or the fact that they were the origins of Greek tragedy, I know–but we’re not talking about all of that today.  Though, I suppose my penchant for writing fiction has its origins in Dionysian ritual.

Give your thanks to Dionysus, you pitiful little mortals.

The Maenads were the crazed female followers of Dionysus, the priestesses of the god of the grapevine.  They were known by the animal skins they wore, the wreaths in their hair, the fact that they danced barefoot, handled snakes (they got there first, Pentecostals), and the thyrsus–a rod wreathed in vines, and topped in leaves or pinecones.

maenad

The Maenads went up into the hills to perform wild rituals by the moonlight.  In short, imagine a bunch of intoxicated, crazed women dancing until they’ve worked themselves–and everyone else–into a frenzy.  The whole point was to reach something called ecstasis, a religious fervor so great that it sent everyone into a state of abandon.  At the height of this fervor, an animal would be tossed into the center of the crowd.

There, it would be torn limb from limb by hand, and eaten raw by the frenzied mob.

This practice is called omophagia.  Now, the weird thing about this practice is that it’s not exclusive to the worship of Dionysus–or his Roman counterpart, Bacchus–it actually turns up in different places all over the planet.  In places where primitive tribes have been met with more advanced chroniclers, there have been rituals described that bear striking resemblance to those of the Maenads.   Dancing crowds, intoxication, abandon, and at the height of the rituals, no matter the details–omophagia.  In Divine Madness, there was a scene described in Africa where a ritual took place that bears such a startling resemblance to those of the Maenads that I had to read it twice.  One horror story even mentioned a woman who, at the height of her religious fervor, tossed her baby into the crowd, where it was subsequently torn apart and devoured.

Frightening.

Most people regard the practice as having arisen from Dionysus’s birth myth–that he was ripped apart, but born again.  But others believe that Dionysus was the representation of something older, something more ingrained into the human psyche.  Dionysian rituals represented a return to the primitive, a regression to something more brutal.  What strikes me as odd is how often the practice pops up in history, and throughout cultures who haven’t heard of one another.  Does it serve some purpose in society–perhaps an evolutionary release valve of our more brutal instincts, like an ancient version of the Purge?

K12.12Dionysos

I’ve become really intrigued with Dionysus.  His worship was so varied in scope, and so wild in its extremes.  On one hand, you’ve got the origin of Greek tragedy, and a god who relishes in the heights of human creativity.  On the other hand, frenzied mobs ripping apart animals with their bare hands and eating them raw–the depths of human depravity.

Another interesting aspect was how afraid the Romans were of the worship of Bacchus.  They outlawed his cult, and sought out those who practiced the rituals.  There are all sorts of wild stories about the worship of Dionysus/Bacchus.  Alexander’s mother was apparently a follower of Dionysus, and there’s even a story that the wife of Spartacus was a priestess of Bacchus, though I’m not sure of the second’s credibility.

So, yeah.  I just wanted to take some time to share these weird little thoughts with you.  I really don’t know why.

~D.W.

Let’s Move Again…Again

Hello all, it’s been awhile, yet again.  You all know I’m a sporadic blogger at best, but I’m trying to get better at that.  We’ll see how this all pans out.

It’s been crazy on my end.  Some of you know that I’ve moved around like a vagabond the past few years.  From Georgia to Virginia, then back to Georgia.  After that we moved to southern Arizona, and now…Tucson.  That’s right, yours truly just moved one more time to a new place.

Tucson has really impressed me so far.  I’ve been coming here to attend school, but living here is different.  Tucson is an odd sort of place.  It’s got a strange brew of cultures and people that I’m not sure you’d find anywhere else.  Hispanic culture inundates everything here, and if the food wasn’t good enough, then the architecture will surprise you if you’re not ready for it.  My apartment building is made to look like stucco, and is painted in hues of red, yellow, and tan.  Everywhere I go there are these little villa-type houses with enclosed courtyards, and cool little tile arrangements.

Mixed in with the Mexican folks, you’ve got the hippies.  I was surprised at the community of artsy types here in Tucson.  There are artists of all sorts here, whether you’re into folky country art, or the finer stuff down the street at the University’s Fine Arts Center.  Everywhere I look there’s another girl with purple hair and tattoos inviting me to this art show or that music festival.

Now that the pot is seasoned, you toss in the Old White Folks of Arizona–OWFAs.  The OWFAs are a myriad conglomeration of people who all seem to have one defining quality:  they don’t need nothing from nobody, and they don’t need you to tell ’em jackshit, either.  It’s not uncommon to see guns on hips here in Tucson, but nobody bats an eyelash.  The OWFAs value their freedom and independence–after all, that’s probably how they found themselves here in the first place.  OWFAs come in all shapes and flavors–from hiking enthusiasts to crusty bikers and cowboys.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed about Tucson, though, is how friendly everyone is.  People talk to you here, and I don’t mean in the empty way you’d see on the east coast.  If you ask a Tucsonan how their day is going, they’ll tell you.  Don’t expect a “fine” and a walk-away-quickly-without-making-eye-contact.  People from Tucson will immediately jump into conversation with you.  Every time I go out to buy something here, I find myself hanging around with my bags in hand, chatting it up with some friendly stranger.  Yesterday I went to Home Goods to buy a tray, of all things, and ended up talking about Star Wars with the girl at the cash register for a few minutes.  Today it was a guitar stand, and a conversation about how the blues scene here in town is starting to get really good.

It took me about two weeks to get everything done–or done enough to calm the madness, anyway.  Yes, that means I lost about two weeks of good writing time, but don’t fret.  Child of the Flames is still coming along, and now that this move is out of the way, things can finally settle into some semblance of normalcy.  No major timeline changes for the upcoming releases just yet, and I’ll let you guys know.

Just a quick update to say “hi” and let all you wonderful guys and gals (and anyone else on the spectrum) know what’s going on.  If any of you guys are in or near Tucson, then shoot me an email.  I’m still exploring, and having a local guide is always great for any adventure story.  Stay frosty.

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