Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Come with me to Berlin!

This May and June I’ll be leading a trip to Berlin, a city I know well and love dearly. This is an opportunity for anyone in America to escape for a few weeks and engage a cultural tour while spending time in one place which we will get to know intimately.

When I planned the trip, some people criticized it as offering “too little”. What those people had in mind was the typical two week trip that tours multiple cities and whisks people from one end of Italy to the next. Honestly, I feel those kinds of trips offer “too little”. You hardly get to know a place, and before you’ve gathered your bearings you’re in some other town you’ll only recognize from photos.

I’ve always preferred travel to tourism. The difference between these concepts? Travel allows you to immerse yourself in an alternative point of view, to see yourself as others see you, and to shift from just visiting a place to feeling like you’re a part of it, even if that part is foreign or strange. It’s surprising how little it takes us, actually, to shift from feeling foreign to sensing the intimacy of a city, and few cities are as welcoming as Berlin.

This trip was originally tailored as a college class, and the website still features from of that language. I’ve decided to extend it to the general population for a variety of reasons. Participants will get to go to Berlin with a writer, a speaker of German and a person who knows European art, literature and culture intimately. It’s a great way to spend two weeks in May and June.

Check out the details here. The vendor is Walking Tree Travel. The price includes airfare, accommodations, daily breakfast, a transit pass, a museum pass, several tours, a concert and an unforgettable experience. Come with a friend.

brandenburg


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Wicker Park Fest, Day 2

So…today Chicago faces isolated thunderstorms and another +90 degree day. Yesterday a crowd of a few hundred stood before the main stage at Wicker Park Fest and sang Que Sera Sera along with a band, this while battleship-gray thunderheads approached. The sky opened. Lightning struck. Adults and children danced. It was beautiful.

Also, some came around Volumes Book Cafe to cool down, grab a drink, then purchase and have their copies of The Fugue signed. I spoke to readers from as far away as Germany and Puerto Rico (and Madison, Wisconsin…and Laredo, Texas…and Aurora, Illinois…and a town in Maine whose name I will never remember).

I’ll be at Volumes again today (er…at an indoor table). Come check out Chicago’s newest bookstore between points of festival frolic. 1474 N Milwaukee Avenue. There’s a chance I might sell out before 4:00, as we have a limited amount of copies left.

 

Come grab one of these copies before they’re gone

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What are people saying about The Fugue?

“Magisterial…like Dostoevsky…” (Chicago Tribune)

“A welcome addition to the bookshelf of Chicago authors…” (WGN Radio)

“A masterpiece of literary fiction…” (Centered on Books)


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Russia at the UN: matter of a faecal nature

A Lithuanian Facebook friend sent me this chain letter—its author unknown—that had made its way through Lithuanian e-mail and Facebook messages. My friend felt I might translate it. After reading, I realized that, as a global citizen, it was my civic duty to translate and share this important document.

I only wish I knew the original author so that I might buy them a drink.

___

Stenographic records of a recent United Nations Security Council meeting:

Chairman: Are there any proposals?

Churkin (Russia): Do you mind if I shit on the table?

All: Nooooo!

Churkin: (Shits on the table before Klimkin, Ukraine) Thank you.

Ukrainian representative: Everyone saw it, right? Russia just shat on our table!

Churkin: You have no evidence.

Ukraine: It was your ass. The shit left your anus.

Churkin: Please present us with facts.

USA representative: Our experts have completed an analysis of the contents of this material. We have assembled coordinates to estimate its point of release. We conclude, without a doubt, that this is shit shat by Russia.

Churkin: Please provide us with proof

UK representative: This is appalling. Russia undoubtedly shat the shit. This cannot continue.

German representative: I suggest we consider the possibility of expressing our common concerns regarding Russia’s current behavior.

Churkin: Veto! (Shits again on Ukraine’s table.)

Ukraine: You saw, yes!? Here, again! Russia just shat on our table. Here’s the shit! Here’s the ass. Here, he’s pulling up his trousers!

UN chairman: If these facts are confirmed, we’ll have at our disposal a variety of possible responses.

Churkin: I’ll repeat. Provide us with a single bit of evidence!

Germany: We believed that sanctions would be effective. However, the stench here is only intensifying. We suspect that Russia is potentially shitting on Ukraine’s table.

Churkin: Provide us with the proof.

UN chairman: I move that we accept the resolution that we are all deeply shocked.

Churkin: Veto. (Shits on UN chairman’s table.)

Ukraine: You saw it, yes?! Here and now! Russia just shat all over the chairman’s table. Russia is dangerous and can at any moment shit on any European table.

Churkin: You’ve failed to provide a single bit of evidence we find acceptable.

US representative: The Pentagon has recorded the risking levels of stench wafting from the direction of Russia. We’ll have to consider the option of revoking Russia’s rights to shit during UN meetings.

Churkin: Veto. (Shits on Ukraine’s table.) You don’t have any proof. In fact, most of the evidence points to Ukraine shitting itself.

Ukraine: You saw that Russia just shat on our table once again.

German representative: It’s becoming increasingly complex to remain here. We invite both sides to a dialogue.

Churkin: Russia elects to exercise its right to a supplementary announcement. (Takes a plastic folder, employs it to scatter shit onto all UN member states.) Russia is a magnificent country and will not allow anyone to pressure us. Without providing us with any evidence, you have no right to dictate conditions. It’s best you now have a look at yourselves. You’re all shitheads. You’re sitting in shit, and the stench is wafting from you. Given this, how can you prescribe any behavior? Thank you for your attention. (Leaves the chamber, throwing the stained folder to the UN chairman and spitting on the US representative’s shoes)

UN chairman: Thank you all for expressing your positions. The next meeting scheduled to consider our concerns over Ukraine will begin after we have ventilated the room.

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And now for something that only appears completely different. Here are some dashcam videos: