1. Last week I was preparing for the Björk show in Chicago. I was in my neighborhood library doing some emailing. A woman sat down next to me. When I glanced at the book she had, I saw it was one I had previously read: Silence of the Grave by the Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indridason. So, I said: "I read that. It's a good book. It takes place in Iceland." It turns out this woman had been to Iceland before and written about it previously. So, we started talking about Iceland. She, of course, encouraged me to go. A few moments ago I was checking job listings at University of Wisconsin. I could not prevent myself from clicking on the listing for Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies out of curiosity. Oh, ha ha, I thought, perhaps they are looking for a teacher of Icelandic. (It's well known that virtually the only place in the US to learn Icelandic is the University of Minnesota.) Scandinavian Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking for a teacher of Icelandic, Finnish, or Scandinavian Literature. The coincidences were too great to be ignored.
2. Actually, just as I was writing this (here in the same library), the same lady I saw last week sat down by me.