Posted by: Serena | 5th Sep, 2008

Risky Mermaid

Back to my old habits of trading sleep for video editing. Mashup of “Risky Business” and “The Little Mermaid” for Anand Rao‘s visual rhetoric class.


Posted by: Serena | 27th Aug, 2008

Listen, you!

[Written for Creative Nonfiction class this week.]

There are many awe-inspiring things in this world. The icy slopes of Mount Everest, sunset over the Grand Canyon, a whole school of humpback whales leaping out of the water, the Great Wall of China, Quentin Tarantino’s ego. The sight of Jim Groom reclining in his office chair, feet on desk and glasses askew, eclipses these by far. The leaning tower of Pisa doesn’t hold a candle to Jim’s one-armed leaning glasses, the kind of glasses that only come into being after one too many violent encounters with an overzealous two-year-old.

Despite the throngs of women who throw themselves at his feet during his arduous three-minute walk from the parking lot to work, Jim’s only passion is for WordPress. Yes, Jim’s lover, his grail, his Achilles’ heel is an online blogging platform. The man is a whirlwind of typing fingers and crazed mutterings, breathing in the Internet and exhaling words on a web page.

Someone in the office mentions their morning, and Jim starts singing about it in a loud New York accent, fingers never leaving the keyboard. Clearly a master composer, he invents dozens of new songs, with lyrics like “WordPress, oh WordPress” and “Why haven’t you read my blog yet”. Jim Groom is also a wonder of multitasking. He can blog, smoke his favorite cigarettes, argue with passers-by, and eat a meatball sub, all at the same time. In fact, Jim can blog during almost any activity, and does.

Jim’s website is bavatuesdays, a treasure trove of 1950’s horror film discussions, web tutorials, and humble self-reflection. On most days, he writes around five blog posts, but has been known to break fifteen. He has the endurance of twenty marathon runners and the daring of the world’s greatest explorers, the focus of a surgeon and the smile of an angel. To keep up his energy, Jim Groom subsists on a hearty diet of New York pizza and Dr. Pepper.

Man or god? Maybe we’ll never know. Jim Groom is a cautionary tale, a joke, a trend. Jim Groom is an insult. Jim Groom is an incentive. Jim Groom is a role model, a bad influence, an ideology. Jim is pizza snobbery and alarming enthusiasm. Jim is the eighth wonder of the world.

Maybe one day you decide to see this champion, this legendary creature for yourself. You’ll sit in my office chair, with only a large Macintosh computer between Jim and yourself. You notice his beat-up UCLA Bruins cap, his yellow plaid shirt, his scruffy beard, and you can hardly breathe. And then he stares at you through those crooked, thick black glasses rims, and you think “Oh, God. Have I blogged yet today?”

“Listen you,” he’ll say. “Have you been reading the Bava?” You realize with horror that you have not, in fact, kept up with Jim’s blog as faithfully as you should have. Maybe you duck down behind the iMac, hoping that he’ll be distracted by the newest Internet phenomenon. Always persistent in the face of adversity, he asks you again,
“Did you read my blog today?”
“Um… no, sorry,” you whisper.
“Why not?”
“I didn’t have time!” You almost burst into tears, but Jim Groom does not accept excuses.
“Go read it now.” You nod obediently, and sink back behind the computer screen.
“Hippie.” Jim mutters, and eats another slice of pizza.

Photograph by D’Arcy Norman via Flickr.

Posted by: Serena | 2nd Aug, 2008

Paris, Final Week

Posted by: Serena | 27th Jul, 2008

Paris, Week Four

And many more on Flickr.

Posted by: Serena | 20th Jul, 2008

Paris, Week Three

As always, more on my Flickr page.

Posted by: Serena | 13th Jul, 2008

Paris, Week Two

(P.S. All of my Paris Flickr photos are now public and can be found here.)

Posted by: Serena | 6th Jul, 2008

Paris, Week One

Posted by: Serena | 7th Jun, 2008

music box

I went downtown today in search of wooden things to paint, and returned with three kitchen implements, a music box, and a typewriter.

The music box didn’t play, so I dug out my screwdriver and pliers.

After an hour and a half, it was playing again. The melody is a little haunting:

Music Box

And after some fiddling in GarageBand:

Take Two

Can anyone identify this tune?

Next step: finding a ribbon for my new (old) typewriter.

Posted by: Serena | 4th Jun, 2008

Spindle, the sequel!

Spindle, a new online journal of the arts, is now accepting submissions for its Fall 2008 issue. Go to for more details and to explore the current (Spring 2008) issue.

Send in your work! Tell your creative friends!


Posted by: Serena | 3rd Jun, 2008


Every so often, I refresh the EDUPUNK Wikipedia page to see what’s been changed, and this time something really caught my eye. The article’s first sentence is “Edupunk is an ideology referring to educators and education strategies with a do it yourself (DIY) spirit.”

Ideology? I didn’t remember it saying that before. And sure enough, according to the history, it used to say: “Edupunk is a term…” So yesterday, someone changed it from “term” to “ideology”. Hmmm.

If you follow the link to Wikipedia’s article on “ideology”, you’ll see that they have it defined as “an organized collection of ideas”. Haha. Whatever else EDUPUNK is, it’s not organized. But seriously, why do you think this change was made? What does it say about the way people (or possibly just one person) are viewing EDUPUNK? How would you categorize EDUPUNK? (Or do you think labeling is sooo not EDUPUNK?)

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