Friday, August 27, 2010

An author offered to become a parrot and perch on my shoulder

His name is Etgar Keret. If you want to know about the parrot, read here. More importantly below I have a link to his short stories that are translated and online. You can buy his anthologies online translated into English. (Except for the most recent one, it's only in Hebrew). 

If you are still reading, something awesome happened besides the parrot thing. This year when I was teaching high schoolers about Israel on Sundays, I brought some of his short stories to class and we read them during one of our last sessions. None of the students had ever heard of them.

Last night I saw one of the students at the reading. She was first in line to buy a copy of his book and get it signed. I was so happy, but too shy to say hello to her. That kind of happiness lives in the fourth dimension that Keret talked about last night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Man by the Lake

On a balmy Saturday night, August 7, 2010 the city of Chicago was a flurry of activity. With at least three street festivals, Lollapalooza. and a major league baseball game, the glory of summer in Chicago was palpable. And of course what has become sadly norm, there were murders in the City on Saturday as well, which will be followed by wailing mourners at funerals this week proving the Great Gatsby is alive and well in the Midwest.

But something spectacular happened on Saturday night that has nothing to do Green Day’s epic concert, a woman making potato pancakes at Retro on Roscoe, or even a boater saved from drowning.

Cindy Friedman, a Lakeview resident, met up with her friend Betsy at Fullerton and the lake to watch the Navy Pier fireworks. Several other people were there, too, taking in the bright flashes in the dark summer sky above Lake Michigan. Cindy and Betsy were chatting when they noticed a man and woman walking South on the lake front path. Both women noticed that the man was wearing an air cast, but seemed very uncomfortable and was walking with a heavy limp and his foot was going off to the right.

Shortly after he passed them, one of the fireworks spectators started running to the man with the air cast. He yelled, “Sir, hold on, wait, your boot is on backwards, let me help you.”

The man with the air cast said that he had been shot, and this is how the cast was put on.

The fireworks spectator “took off the man’s sock and boot, completely redid it for the man, twisted the boot the right way, spent time with the guy, explaining what was wrong,” Cindy said.

When the man and his friend continued walking south, it was evident that his foot was straight and he was limping much less and looked much more comfortable.

Cindy and Betsy lauded their fellow fireworks spectator. He shrugged and said, “This is what I do when I see a boot not fitting the way it should.”

The good citizen fits children for leg braces for a living.

“It is a beautiful thing to be able to see a good Samaritan at work,” Cindy said. “There should only be more people like the man by the lake.”

written after seeing Cindy's posting on Facebook!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Children's Literary Journal

My friends have kids who are very creative and amazing. After talking to a friend today, I decided to start an online children's literary journal for 7-17 year olds.

If you know of a kid, tween or teen who likes to write or create art and would like to publish their work, check out the guidelines for publication.

Why am I doing this? I remember being a kid who liked to write, and it would have been nice to have something like this.