Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980's, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money a place devoid of feeling or hope.
Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin. Clay's holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs and also into the seamy world of L.A. after dark. Commentary: I had to read this book for my American Contemporary Literature class last year so forgive me if my memory is a bit fuzzy on this one. The feeling of being forced to read something that you're not into is never a way to like a book but I'm actually quite happy to be forced into this one. Just like White Noise, Less Than Zero (LTZ) haunts you after you're done with it. Now I understand why it is considered literary because not only it haunts you upon completing it but it just changes everything you've read so far. Well provided you haven't been reading some messed up sh*it in your life.
Don't feel intimidated over the fact that I just called it literary because when LTZ first came out, it was actually categorized under Young Adult. But due to the themes discussed in the book, I would've categorized it under the forbidden section! Well I'm pretty sure book stores nowadays shelf this one at the adult section. Language wise, LTZ is pretty easy. I can assure you that it is quite an easy read. In fact I'll just put it out there that it can be a fast read as well. That's because you will find that the presentation of work is quite bare. Now that has something to do with the philosophy of nihilism that I feel I shouldn't get into because then it will get a bit too technical for this review. This element certainly contributes to why this novel can be a fast read. (FUN FACT: Nihilism is the discipline of nothingness.) << I know...pretty mindf*ck right there. Imagine studying it for a whole semester. I became nothing. One of the most memorable aspects of LTZ is how utterly disturbed you can be as you read it. You are introduced to this glitzy life that you can associate with The Hills or Gossip Girl but as you delve deeper into the plot, you will see how utterly messed up these people are. I remember while reading it that I thought, "Man...this is really the lowest pit of humanity right here." And I still stand by this thought to this day. Imagine a person who is so rich that he is totally unfazed with life. Because of LTZ, I can now understand why being rich can be a curse. I will spare you the details but there are some seriously messed up scenes in this book. I had to put it down a couple of times throughout my reading because it is simply NASTY! It makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a book for twelve year olds. Again don't let its nastiness deter you away from reading this book because essentially, LTZ is a social commentary on the lives of the rich and famous. I would totally recommend this book to you budding superstars out there. It really makes you rethink of your life aspirations. Dump that Gossip Girl crap you're reading and join the big fishes like Less Than Zero. ;) The Verdict: 4 out of 5 Obsession Rating: 3 out of 5
I just feel like doing another FoM today. Granted that I don't have much of a life aside from doing research and writing essays, I have been able to indulge in a few things as of late. This is going to be a short post but beware that it is going to be laden with pictures (.gifs)!!!!!
This is an acquired taste. It is one of those things when you wake up one day and crave for it. I had a similar experience with green tea. I was feeling particularly stressed out a couple days ago over an assignment and I went and got a bar. Needless to say, I love it! And it's supposed to be healthier right?
I've been really into OSTs. And for this month, the soundtrack from this awesome film is my favourite! Summer Wars is a trippy film that I really enjoyed. It has such a simple theme and I think it would be an amazing film to watch with your family.
I don't have one.
I watched this last night but it is so good that it is going to be my favourite of this month! It's so good that it makes ME want to direct a war movie. If somebody would sponsor me, I would totally do the remake of Bukit Kepong and make it epic. 71 Into the Fire is about 71 student soldiers who protected Pohang, a school that has been turned into a war port. It has some really powerful scenes and oh my goodness, my director senses are just itching to get my hands on another project! The acting was top notch and I loved all the characters.
LEGEND OF KORRA
I know this is getting old but I don't know how many times have I rewatched the series. I watched it again last night and I still get goosebumps!!! It is the best series ever! I love everything about it. The characters. The plot. The creators. The art. The humour. The voice actors. EVERYTHING!!!!
Best Scene EVER. I still get goosebumps.
I have too many favourite characters that it's blowing my mind. Just watch it!
In my mind, we've always been in an on/off relationship. Clearly this month it is on again baby! I spent the whole day stalking him and fangirling over how hot he looks and how *breathe* perfect he is.
If you know me, you would know that I have a thing for stylish rappers with a deep voice. Especially all of that in a suit!! MEN.IN.SUITS!!!! GAHHHHHHHH!! *nosebleeds*
Alia and I decided to open a stall on our Uni's monthly market day! I had about three weeks left of official classes and it was high time for me to start getting rid of the stuff I've accumulated over the years here. I invited Alia because it is a lot more fun to do it with a friend! And she had stuff to get rid off too so win-win!
We both got so excited over the thought of selling stuff to people that profit was not the main priority!! Especially because we feel bad for selling used things to people. And my priority is to GET RID OF EVERYTHING!
Dunedin has been having awesome weather lately but honestly, of all days to be crappy is on market day. It was sooooo cold!! And we stayed out there from 8AM till 4PM!
Our policy is not to have anything over $10!!!
As I was setting up the stall, some artists decided to do an art performance. While they are amusing at times, these kind of performances tend to piss people off. My stall neighbour was pretty peeved with it. I understand why because it really disrupts the flow of things. These ladies basically laid there for a couple minutes and then started jumping around in circles.
Two familiar faces who ended hanging out with us throughout the day!
Our super-friendly neighbour! She lent us her paints and brush to make our own signs!
One of the reasons I love my University. You can bet random things to happen on a normal day like this. These two guys ran around campus and danced to LMFAO while handing out free Coca Cola.
At the end of the day, we ended up selling everything for $1!! We just really need to get rid of all the stuff!
I don't speak of it often on this blog because I believe it is obvious. It is unquestionable. But time has come when external forces try to ridicule our prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) once again. That is unforgivable. Over the past few days my social media have been flooded with videos and articles defending Islam and Muhammad (pbuh). I am proud of my fellow Muslims. I admire the integrity that we all have in order to stand for what is right, to defend our prophet and faith. Rather than violently retaliate, we have taken an approach to educate instead. We have lived up to our faith's namesake, ISLAM which means peace.
This quote by Karen Armstrong on Compassion in Islam:
"It's a time of fitnah and trial.But Muslims in the past have always used these period of difficulty as a spiritual opportunity.They rack their brains of thought creatively how to bring the compassionate and the deep lessons of the Quran to a violent and trouble world.And that's our duty in this world,to make the compassionate voice of Islam speak loudly ..If every single one of us did that,we could drown the voice of extremism and do our best to work for a peaceful,just and sustainable world."
As the title suggests, I'm down to my last month as an undergraduate. It feels very surreal actually. I'm swamped with assignments but oddly enough it's not really stressing me out. Like most people I'm really familiar with that feeling where you're so close to the end and you're so busy with finishing up all your projects and in your head you're like, "I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS TO BE OVER!" I know I was like that back in high school but not so much right now.
So what did I do today?
I went to class. I had a two hour lecture of which I totally spaced out. Advanced TESOL man. It's one of those classes that you don't have to think much. At least not in the nearest FUTURE!!! But I was really concerned about my project that's due in a week. After the lecture I went straight to my Greek Mythology lecture which is just opposite my Advanced TESOL lecture. That was just an hour and it was chill. I was trying not to think about the Greek test in a week as well. Right after that, I went to grab lunch and went to see my lecturer to talk about my project. Then I went to grab coffee to take for Digital Lit's lecture. The lecture was awesome as usual. The class debated about a virtual rape case, quite heatedly.
At this point, my room is half packed away in boxes. I'm quite excited to go home but at the same time, I'm going to miss my life here. The freedom to do anything whenever I want. No worry in the world except things concerning myself. For the past three years, I was fortunate to be as selfish as possible. I worked on myself without a concern in the world. But I really do feel it's time to go home because for how long can you live alone? I feel like my time is slowly running out to spend time with my family especially with my parents so...home is where I need to be.
I'm savouring everything right now. I'm going to miss New Zealand badly. Besides people have kept asking me when I'm coming back. And all I can say now is "Not in the near future."
Maybe I could be like this lady my mother met on a plane on the way back to Malaysia where she visited NZ after 30 years. I could visit NZ again and possibly show my future children how I lived as an undergraduate. That would be amazing.
This is just a montage of our second day of the roadtrip (when my friends visited NZ). Earlier the day we went to climb Baldwin Street. So this video is basically the continuation from that and what happened throughout the day. I think I've explained this a couple of posts before; I lost the day 1 footage of my trip!! It's really frustrating for me and spare me from going into details. I gotta do what I gotta do from here on.
Note: I know there's something wrong with the audio at the end of the video. I tried fixing it but to no avail. Many sorrys!
If you're in Dunedin and looking for a place to shop cheap, I have great news! On September 20th (Thursday), my friend and I are opening a booth at the lawn in front of The Link! This is in conjunction with the monthly OUSA Market Day so come all! We promise you our goods will be dirt cheap! On behalf of my pile, no goods are worth more than $10!
Even if you don't feel like shopping, just pop by and say hi!
Marbecks is one of my favourite shops ever in Dunedin! I can never not pop in if I'm going to town. The store combines two of my favourite things, cafes and bookshops! I don't know whether Marbecks is just a Dunedin thing or it's actually a franchise. I've never seen it in other NZ cities though. So it could be just a Dunedin thing.
There are two entrances, one to the cafe and the other to the book store section. Nothing too complex, they're literally next to each other. :P
I'll be honest, I don't usually hang out at Marbecks' cafe but I just like the option of having a cafe inside the bookshop. I've only been there like three times. And boy...I was not happy. But more on that later. Let's just savour the awesome interior first!
These colourful ukeleles fascinates me!
I've never tried any of the food here. There's not a lot of options for me and besides, they don't interest me much? Usually when I go to a cafe, I just go for the sake of the coffee.
You can listen to music, read and eat at the same time. Multi-tasking right thurr!
Okay! Ramble time. I don't understand why it is so hard to BEND.THE.MENU.TO.FIT.THE.CUSTOMER'S.TASTE!
On two occasions, I asked for Iced Coffee. Now, I know how iced coffees are usually served in Dunedin. It's like super sweet with ice-cream and all that fattening jazz. It was a hot day and I just wanted my usual coffee but just with ice. And they freaking won't do it for me! It was really frustrating. When it first happened it was quite busy so I let it go. But on my recent trip it was not busy at all and they refused! I was like, "What the hell!! I'm the customer and I'm actually saving you a lot of work!" Well I didn't exactly say it out load but I glared. Yeah, some glaring action went down on my part.
Anyways the coffee is not the best. I think largely due to their beans of choice. They use this brand called "SUPREME" and let me just tell you, I'm a big fan of "ALLPRESS" so yeah...biasness or preference whatever you call it, the bottom line is...not the best coffee.
But you know what, thank goodness the ambiance makes up for it.
So if you just turn to the left side of the store, you'll see the actual bookstore. I LOOOOOOOOVE books at Marbecks. I always get this feeling that they have a lot of uncommon books and they carry cool book versions that you can't find in normal bookstores. I don't really buy books here because I don't get student discount but as you can see from the pictures, there was a clearance sale going on so this would be the time to get some books! (I didn't get any by the way =_=) Usually I just browse around and get ideas on what's out there.
Marbecks also carry a lot of fandom items like offical band tees and movie figurines. So you can see why I love this shop. It's almost like my nerd heaven.
After awhile the staff got pretty suspicious why I was taking pictures (I don't blame them). I was slightly offended why they would even question me (I don't blame them but I just don't expect from Marbecks' staff to act like this is all) but then I saw a sign in between the shelves that they recently had somebody stole a bunch of their books. Sooo...after finding that out, I pretty much brushed it away. Overall they're really helpful and friendly.
See what I mean? You can't find cool books like this in commercial bookstores!
My favourite shelf, the Young Adult section!
See what I mean? How beautiful is the cover?!
SO yeah...I burst out laughing when I saw this on the shelf. As if reading it wasn't bad enough, I guess people would want to listen to it too. Everyone may I present to you...Fifty Shades of Grey Audiobook. Unabridged. Enjoy~ By the way I'm doing a review on this book soon!
PS: I'm sorry this blog has been all about reviews lately. It's just I need to catch up with all the reviews I'm doing and I haven't been socializing enough to actually have any interesting stuff to report in. Hope this would suffice for now. Ta!