omnom: ok, but i still think you need another story one with swords and maybe a dwarf
me: so like magic beans?
omnom: yeah yeah i think that's the right track
me: so we had this garden right and when I was really young, like three or something, I helped my mom plant the green pea seeds
omnom: where's the dwarf
me: but when they grew into plants, I called them beans because I hated peas
omnom: you're losing me
me: one day when I went out to check on the plants, there was this like garden gnome thing there digging out my plants and putting in other plants that looked the same I had my dad's conan the barbarian sword with me at the time btw
me: and um, I said, hey shorty. what are you doing
omnom: AWESOME. i like where this is going
me: and he said, I'm a dwarf dammit! and I said, you said a bad word and I beaned (?) him on the head
omnom: no no, change the beaned part
me: i just meant I hit him on the head with the sword no pun intended
omnom: i think those puns are beneath you
omnom: that was much better if anyone asks, tell them that story. plus, it's believable that you would have a conan sword
me: is it? i don't even know when conan was made
omnom: how old are you? you're my age aren't you
me: I was going to go with she-ra sword but I would have been like 8 or something 34... 35 in 28 days
omnom: it came out in the eraly 80's i think. very early
me: so I would have been 5 or 6 maybe it was a pie server and I just called it a sword, because I kicked ass as a 3 year old
omnom: i don't think i'd use pie server and kicked ass again in the same sentence well,i wouldn't, but i guess you can pull it off
me: I was 3
me: ok, so the shorty dwarf says OW! That was unnecessary! So I said, you are a poopy-head. why are you taking my beans?
omnom: i think you can do better than that
me: I WAS 3!!
omnom: don't shoot the messenger
me: and he says, my people need green vegetables and we can't grow them, so I'm taking yours because your family is redneck and we don't like rednecks so I ask what are you replacing them with?
omnom: oh shit, this is getting good
me: and he says, golden beans. and I said, shit, that's even better than beans. I don't even like beans! green ones I mean and I ask why is he giving up gold beans to rednecks if he doesn't like rednecks and he says, they are only 12 carat and I said, what? the carrots are on the other side of the garden, retard
omnom: ha hahha ha
me: so I go back inside and tell my mom that there are shorties in the garden that don't like carrots, so they are taking our beans and giving us gold beans because we are redneck! and my mom says, Shelly, beans?? they are peas, honey! Shelly bean, Shelly bean the end
omnom: that was weak
me: I WAS 3 ok, you give the ending
omnom: ok, your mom cracked open a pbr, chugged it, crumpled it on her forehead, and went outside in her motley crue shirt with the sleeves cut off
me: that is SO my mom
omnom: and she yelled 'where's the f*ing dwarf" i thought so so, the dwarf bowed up and was like 'are you looking for me?' and your mom picked the dwarf up by it's funny pointed hat and drop kicked it to the trailer next door then she let out a rebel yell and went back inside to make some grits and then she said to you 'your name is now bean. because it is awesome'
me: that is awesome
me: this is going to be even funnier if you ever meet my mom
Some reviews... "There are so many quote-of-the-day worthy passages in this book. It's the best novel I've read this year." - Me
"This book is witty and intellectual, a physical comedy and literary rant all at once. The year is two months old. But this is the book of a two-month-old year. It may well carry the whole thing." - Tom Chiarella for Esquire
"Steve Toltz's startling debut novel, is a nonstop, politically incorrect diatribe about — for and against — religion, politics, relationships, sex, marriage, work, play, children, sleep, friends, art, labyrinths, schemes and dreams... The real pleasure in reading this book is the pace and the language. While there is a narrative thread, what Toltz has done masterfully is have his way with every aspect of modern life. He racks 'em up and knocks 'em down with a laser wit, a fine turn of phrase and a devastatingly funny outlook on everything human." - Valerie Ryan for The Seattle Times "There are more than 500 pages in Steve Toltz' first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, and yet one can turn to nearly any of them and find something worth reading aloud. It has the weight and complexity of a life's masterpiece, but reads as if it was written in a stream of consciousness style. But what consciousness!" - Phillip Winn for BlogCritics Magazine
Robert F. Kennedy City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio April 5, 1968
This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.
It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.
Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.
No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.
Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."
Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.
Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.
Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.
I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.
Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
Up Next: Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever
Dante's Purgatorio by Birk, Sanders One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney East of Eden by John Steibeck
Recently completed: A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz -- 07.07 The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides -- 06.09 The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta -- 05.30 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls -- 05.26 Bonk by Mary Roach -- 05.07 Playing by Melanie Abrams -- 04.28 Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card -- 04.13 In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan -- 03.02 A Charmed Life by Liza Campbell -- 02.10 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie -- 12.19 I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith -- 12.12 Touching the Void by Joe Simpson -- 1.6.2008 Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompsonn -- 11.11 Brief Encounters with Che Guevara by Ben Fountain -- 10.18 Blindness by Jose Saramago -- 10.11 Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk -- 9.10 The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe -- 9.02 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova -- 8.21 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling -- 7.21 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling -- 7.8 Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.K. Rowling -- 6.19 Big Sur by Jack Kerouac -- 6.12 Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse -- 5.14
Dante's Inferno by Birk, Sanders -- 5.7 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson -- 4.19 Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis -- 4.9 The Secret History by Donna Tartt -- 4.8 Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson -- 3.30 The Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig -- 3.3 Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -- 2.24 The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore -- 1.6.07 Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk -- 12.23 Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs -- 12.3 Sastun by Rosita Arvigo -- 11.18 Little Children by Tom Perrotta -- 11.4 a spot of a bother by Mark Haddon -- 11.1 Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart -- 10.22 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley -- 10.5 Night by Elie Wiesel -- 9.14 The God File by Frank Turner Hollon -- 9.11 Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi -- 9.8 Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi -- 9.7 Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut -- 9.6.06 The Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski Women In Love by D.H. Lawrence Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke Lamb by Christopher Moore The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold See No Evil by Robert Baer Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Still remaining... The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood Cider House Rules by John Irving A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess The Commanders by Bob Woodward A Concise History of the Catholic Church by Thomas Bokenkotten The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen Crazy Cock by Henry Miller Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II East of Eden by John Steinbeck Enemy at the Gates by William Craig The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad An Hour Before Daylight by Jimmy Carter Jefferson Himself: The Personal Narrative of a Many Sided American Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy Watership Down by Richard Adams