Lottery: The other day I was in BJs, which I hear is the first place in West Asheville to get a lottery license (NC has never had a lottery before; we're supposed to be getting one any day now.) There was an older woman in there, at least I hope she was in her 60s and not my age with decades of crack behind her. She was thin, thin like crack makes people, smoking and jittering. She said "I cain't hardly wait til y'all get the lottery in here!" and the guys behind the counter made noises of assent and she said, "Course, I'll probably lose my house and all I got left, but I jest cain't wait!" and jittered back over to the poker machines in the back corner.
Ganesh: A few days before that at BJs I had run in late to get cigarettes and while I fumbled for change in my coat pocket I dropped my keys on the counter. I have a little Ganesh charm on my keys and one of the BJs guys, with an exclamation, picked them up and showed them to the other guy. "Ganesh!" they said happily, and the first guy, whose English is good, showed me the Ganesh medal he was wearing around his neck. Then the second guy rolled up his sleeve and showed me his Ganesh tattoo. His English is not so good, but he slowly explained that he was born on Ganesh's birthday, and so Ganesh was special to him. I smiled and said, "Well, you must be very lucky then" and they smiled back at me. I felt a little awkward, because, after all, I wasn't born with an exciting god like Ganesh in my heritage: the exciting gods in my heritage, Bride and Herne and so on, were exorcised thousands of years ago by St. Patrick. But I like gods who come in plural; I prefer a populated pantheon; I don't want just one monotheistic deity. I like specialist gods: I want a lot around.
Neighborhood: I just heard a strange buzzing noise outside and went to the window to see if it was a late snowplow. It was a big man with a long red beard, smoking a cigarette and riding up and down the street on a lawn tractor. Then I went out back to smoke a cigarette myself and heard a dog crying and crying. It's snowing, and I felt bad for the dog. I heard a door slam open and a woman's voice yelled, in tones of pure exasperation, "Broooownie! Quuuuiiiiiiiieeeeeaaaaaatttt" and she made the word quit have at least six syllables.
Blood of Jesus: There are two churches within 4 blocks of my house, the Vineyard Fellowship, which is a strange building down at the end of my street, and the Fruit of Labor Worship Center, which is obviously somewhat better funded and is on the corner of Haywood and Swannanoa. The current sign on the Vineyard Fellowship has been there for months now; I wish they'd change it, because I am bored with it and also that hyphen in the word Away "A-Way" gives me the serious creeps. It's better, though, than the sign they had up for a while a year or so ago, which said "Vineyard Fellowship: Time for the Pruning!" and conjured up Stephen King images every time I passed it.
Art History: A friend of mine has a photo up on Flickr that immediately made me think of a painting. I couldn't remember the artists name or anything about it but it's been bothering me since yesterday. I googled as best I could but no luck, until this morning, when I started googling again, and found it. It's Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, and so I commented about that on her flickr post, which made me think, you know, you can take the woman out of art history, but you can't take the art history out of the woman.