1. A woman I know reminds me, in some ways, of what would have happened if Anne of Green Gables had grown up in totally different times and places – she was never forced to be moderate in her joys and sorrow, and never had to accept that love and writing (at more than a mediocre level) were mutually exclusive. It makes me wonder whether her environment actually nurtured or stunted L.M. Montgomery herself.

2. Someone I knoew here has a baby who can quite honestly be described as funny-looking – he has a hilarious perpetual expression of astonishment at everything he is seeing. It turned out that when you’re that young, “funny-looking” and “adorable” are synonymous. (I don’t worry about what will happen when he gets older; he also looks a lot like his father, who is not particularly funny-looking.)

3. Halfway through Reflections: On the Magic of Writing, Diana Wynne Jones has just shocked me by getting a Biblical allusion dead wrong. Writing about heroes, how star tennis players perfectly fit the heroic model and how they remind her of the ants in H.G. Wells’s First Men on the Moon, who are literally physically molded for their roles from birth. THen she says, “I suppose the most obvious version of this origin is the dedication of Samuel to the temple.”

Only it isn’t – Samuel’s dedication isn’t extraordinary at all. Not only is he given to the Temple in thanks for his mother’s prayers being answered, but in fact dedication of oldest sons to the Temple was the default. I’m not sure how often it was actually carried through, but observant Jews still have a ceremony called a Pidyon ha’Ben in which the oldest son is ceremonially released from service in the Temple, for a payment of two silver pieces – this despite their having been no Temple for a couple of milennia now. We Jews have long memories. Samuel (Samu-El, “God Heard”) can be seen as having a heroic origin, because his birth is the granting of an explicit prayer by a woman past normal childbearing age, but not because he’s given to the Temple.

4. It hardly seems worth sharing any political stuff now, because I can’t believe there are many undecided US voters at this point. Still, two things recently struck me as notalbe. One is the letter in which U.S. Senator Carl Levin states (assuming this letter is valid, but it matches other things Levin has said) that Obama has been a staunch friend of Israel despite Republican claims otherwise and a general belief that Republicans are more pro-Israel than Democrats. The other is that apparently Romney has been pissing off Chrysler and General Motors by making false claims that they’re offshoring jobs (I’m trying not to believe political claims without substantiating facts; here are direct quotes from GM and Chrysler.) Is it just me, or does having a conservative Republican Presidential candidate attacking big business, a week before the election, seem exceedingly odd?

5. I didn’t really mean to, but in the 7 days ending yesterday, I did 60 kilometers on the rowing machine. (I said this already in far more detail, but it’s still surprising me.) And speaking of accomplishments requiring patience, I’m nearly done the blanket for my mom’s birthday present.

6. Which in turn reminds me: am I the only person who is careful to lowercase “mom” and “dad” when used as nouns and uppercase them as titles? That is, I tend to distinguish between the two uses in “I was talking with my mom, and Mom told me that …”

7. Apparently I’m only creative when bored. Things have been slow around here lately; I’ve revised a poem from several months back, come up with an idea for a children’s fantasy (I don’t plan to write it, but I feel accomplished for conceiving a plot with an actual ending; I suspect this would be a Susan Cooper-ish idea with (if I wrote it) an Edward Eager level of depth, which sounds like it might be disappointing), and had the idea for a pattern for elephant mittens with the trunk as the thumb (sparked by a pair drawn in a cartoon, but I’ve figured out most of the actual mechanics that would make it work).

8. Once again, I am so grateful for the internet and for easy international communications; I wouldn’t like it at all if I could hear from my family only by letter, but any intermediate state of communications (like, say, 1950 or 1970s-era news and phone systems) would have let me know about Hurricane Sandy yesterday with no further information for most of the day or a couple of days about how my family’s area was weathering the storm. That would have been pretty unpleasant.

Yes, my brain really is that scattered, and no, I can’t think of two more right now. So what do eight random things make, 1.6 entries?

On the main nonrandom topic consuming my life right now, there will be no news on what we’re doing next for at least another week. I honestly can’t decide what I want to happen.