Tiny-Titanic Thoughts

Thoughts have consequences, either small or big

On Jovit Baldovino’s Reinforcing The Secrets Of YouTube’s Million Hits July 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 1:47 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Three reasons why I was drawn to Jovit Baldovino, the grand prize winner of the just concluded Pilipinas Got Talent: 1) Like Susan Boyle of the Britain’s Got Talent, Jovit also got million views on YouTube, 2) I never heard any of the songs Jovit chose for the contest, and as I loved them right away, it impelled me to google those songs, and 3) it seems there is an emerging concept of how one can become an instant hit to YouTube.

Ordinary people who hit million views on YouTube are rarities. So if someone does, the hype it generated is more than enough as an incentive for one to gossip on.

I was watching TV Patrol World and there the news blared that Jovit, one of the contestant on Pilipinas Got Talent got million views on YouTube. Things like this, of course, couldn’t be just left unconsumed, so I looked. “Faithfully” was the first song Jovit sang. Geez! Never heard of this song before, I was hooked. When was this song a hit? I asked myself. So I googled “Faithfully”. The song was popularized by the band “Journey” in mid 80’s. Remnants of “Journey” were looking for a lead singer to replace Steve Perry, it‘s previous lead singer. That led me to discover another Filipino talent by the name of Arnel Pineda, who, by the way was spotted, too, on YouTube, and became the new lead singer of the band. Through “faithfully” of Jovit, I discovered, “faithfully”, too, of Arnel Pineda. And just in time then, I incorporated Arnel Pineda’s MP3 version for one of my video projects

“Carrie,” Jovit’s semi final piece on Pilipinas Got Talent was another strange song to me. The tune is so yummy. I asked myself again, Where does Jovit getting his songs? “Carrie” was a “Europe Band’s” song. Like “Journey” I didn’t know who the heck “Europe Band” was, but then googling it, I found some songs of “Europe” worthy to save on my MP3.

When Jovit appeared on stage to sing “Carrie”, he was an “Improved Tide”. He was dressed up for the occasion wearing a jacket and dyed his hair brown. The white blotches on his face seen when he sang “Faithfully” were gone. Jovit projected himself as neat, likeable, and a polished performer on stage. With “Carrie” song, Crowd cheered wildly. Jovit won a standing ovation among the three judges. Kris Aquino, one of the judges made comments, though – Jovit should do away with his jacket, why he dyed his hair? Jovit should just wear shirt so his humble image stuck.

I think, Jovit heeded to Kris’s advice. When Jovit sang “Too much love will kill you”, for his entry to the finals of the competition, no more jacket for him, just a long sleeve shirt.

Darn! I didn’t know this “Too much love…” song, either. I just learn it’s a “Queen‘s” song. At least, I know “Queen”, and its lead singer Freddie Mercury who died of AIDS, and the “Queen’s” song “Bohemian Rhapsody” claimed to be one of the top ten rock songs of the century. But this “Too much love…” It was only Jovit who made me aware of it, and love it instantly.

Questions linger on my mind. Jovit seemed got hooked on European rock stars. The “Europe Band” was from Europe and so was the “Queen”. Scorpions Band, which he said on one of his interviews as one of his favorites rock band is from Germany. I saw Jovit’s earlier video recording – sort of jamming session with his older friends at the garage, he was just maybe ten or eleven years old then, and he belted this song “I don’t love you”, by “My Chemical Romance,” another rock band unknown to me. So my questions are: What are the circumstances how these Europeans rock bands get into Jovit’s orbit? Who introduced these rock bands to him and made him liking it?

With Jovit’s massive hit on YouTube, he reinforces a formula emerging of how one can be a YouTube’s sensation: You must have an exquisite talents backed up with juicy personal story. Susan Boyle, of Britain’s Got Talent, a 47 years old, unemployed, matronly looking single woman with a soaring angelic voice defied the stereotyped definition of a “Star”. Similarly, Cherisse Pempengco, abandoned by her father in an early age, a small kid with a whale like vocal range who can mimic and hit high notes with ease every famous singing diva in the U.S. The legendary search of the remnants of “Journey” to find their lead singer in the person of “Arnel Pineda” via YouTube that saw the revival of the “Journey Band”. And, finally, Jovit’s story, him, as a “Siomai Vendor” with unemployed parents and whose father had tuberculosis before, and bet on his singing talent to rise up from poverty. Exquisite talent plus juicy story equals YouTube’s million hits.

 

Insightful Journey June 12, 2010

Filed under: People_and_Travel — Jess Fernando @ 12:46 am
Tags: , ,

This is a two-hour movie, and this is Part 1 – about six minutes. “Insightful Journey” the video is long for a standard movie. The urge of putting all the shots and scenes, no matter how bad, stupid and inconsequential they are, almost tempted me. If I didn’t restrained myself, if I succumbed to the insistence of those who starred in the movie to put every little non-sense scenes, I could probably made a movie with an equal length of the “Winds of War”, a 15-hour TV Mini Series of 1983. Even then, much as I wanted to trim it down, “Insightful”, ended up two-hour still.

“Insightful’s” length posed problem. For family and friends length wouldn’t be an issue as they love their own, of course – even if they gorge on their eyes watching. But to venture out the movie to “WWW,” – to the unattached – two hours watching can be a gruelling and a wasteful experience. “Insightful” is about a bunch of unknowns – surfers couldn’t probably relate to. It is not even about celebrities surfers can gossip on. So, unless I make “Insightful” compelling, worthy of the “WWW’s” surfer’s time – that’s my challenge!

I thought of two approaches to make the movie seem interesting – at least. One, use music’s magic to harmonize “Insightful” with tunes reflecting the mood of every scene. On this, however, I’ll have to make a disclaimer. Although some of the music I had put in is already in the public domain, some are fairly new and copyrighted. I would have to hold on the “fair use” of the copyrighted materials. There’s no intention on my part to use them commercially but just to enhance my creation. Asking permission for the use of the copyrighted material can be daunting, as there are many to ask, and I have no clue as to its procedure. I think I have just to acknowledge its use through this blog as many like me are doing for their own movie project. Second, make the potential “www’s” surfers to feel and experience the excitement and enjoyment we had, virtually making them as part of our entourage – by giving them historical backgrounds, insights of things experienced and observed, and human interest commentaries: complemented, of course, by this blog.

Part 1 of this two-hour video is segmented in three parts. 1) Our departure from Winnipeg. 2) The hasty nostalgic trip to my place of origin and 3) our close encounter with road accident going back to Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in.
Our tour to London and Paris in 2007, in an answer to promotion by Globe and Mail as subscriber initiated us to the adventure of traveling. Our London-Paris tour had been a success, and that initiation paved the way for my wife on becoming a good vacation planner. She had been so itchy trying once more her new found vocation, so we planned to have a trip – this time, to the Philippines. The last time we had our trip in the Philippines was in 2005, but we just stayed in one place. We didn’t really get into exploring. To think that we have opportunities to explore ( as now, we have resources, unlike before where we had none) just staying foot would be a disgrace – not venturing on those most talked-about beautiful spots of the country. Also, exploring would expiate our unpatriotic guilt. So, here we come to the grandest vacation planned by my wife which includes our two daughters who would be their first time to set foot on the country of their birth, twenty years after they were born there.

We enplaned from Winnipeg, December 26, 2009. Thirteen hours later, we landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. As we waited for our ride at the holdover office of the Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in, that familiar humid smell of Philippine’s air filled my chest. And as my sweats soaked my undershirt and underwear, somehow I thought this is one thing I missed about in the Philippines: The easy sweats minus the gym. The cacophony of horns blaring without let up, the pulsating noise of people bustling around, the commotion of the midday traffic, the swishing of wind unable to mitigate the hot atmosphere – I was back to the rambunctious Philippines I knew!

The Mabuhay Manor Hotel is nestled on an area in Pasay City, South side of Metro Manila, where one would think the City Planner abandoned the use of Zoning Variance. Our ride steered us to Ortigas Street, a narrow street which is more of a back lane. On the left side, are rows of motels for quick carnal excursion and on the right are garment factories. Along this “back lane,” the lobby of the Mabuhay Manor Hotel is situated. Further up the street after the Mabuhay, is the FB Harrison Street, a main road bigger than Ortigas, but then it gets smaller because of the flea market crowded with stalls of merchandise. Walk further down of FB Harrison lead you through EDSA, a stretch of highway coming from the North. This part of EDSA is filled with rows upon rows of bars and other “night” establishments. The Mabuhay Manor is on a block surrounded by disrepute establishments and hodgepodge of out of synch business entities. The smorgasbord is a sign that the block escaped the notice of City Planner. The Mabuhay Manor is clearly out of place on this location. The image the hotel emits through the internet – middle range, in a nice environs, family oriented kind of hotel, is different from the actual. But the hotel, on the time we arrived was bustling with activities; people come and go – Filipinos and other nationalities. The lobby has been so busy, and it gave you sense that staffs got their hands full.

Whatever misgivings I have of the “Mabuhay” had been swiped by the splendid array of their free breakfast buffet. It was a complete local breakfast. The kind you always dreamed off when you’re away from your country. The tuyu, tinapa, itlog na maalat, the pancit, the sopas, fruits for the season, the dips – everything you could ask for. On this alone, I said to myself, it worth my stay. Also, they have this restaurant which offer “Sutukil” they called it. A combination of ways you wanted the fresh sea foods in display to be cooked – with soup, like “sinigang”, charcoal broiled, “ihaw” or just dipped in vinegar with other spices, “kilawin” – I ordered two live “talakitok,” sinigang sa miso with some veggies. I’ve never ever tasted “sinigang sa miso” for as long as I can remember. Then it came. Wow! Then, “inihaw na pusit.” And we ate beside the swimming pool. This is life: “feeling rich” I said to myself.

The next day I arranged transport for us to be taken to Baliwag. We had some baggage to drop off to my cousins’ house, and we have to withdraw money from the bank – the proceeds of the rent of our house, which we will use for the rest of our adventure.
“Rilis” the name of the barrio where I was born which was changed to Bagong Nayon, which means “new barrio” – as then, the barrio has this ghetto kind of reputation, rose up, disrobed the image it had before. “Rilis” then were just a mere adjunct of Sto Cristo, one of the bigger barrio of Baliwag. Now “Rilis” grew as a newly built city within Baliwag, which housed SM Supermart, JolliBee, Pure Gold, and different chic business establishments found in Metro Manila.

Faye and Farrah were so anxious to see where they spent their kindergarten and grade school days, so we visited St. Paul School at San Rafael, the nearby town of Baliwag. Under the Mayorship of Ricardo Silverio – at the time of our visits, an inauguration of San Rafael’s new municipal building at the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway is about to take place. Before, the San Rafael Municipal building was buried deep in a remote barrio, where St. Paul School is located. With the relocation of its new municipal building along the highway, this once sleepy town, would become the bustle of commercial activities, like what happened with Pulilan, Bulacan when some enterprising politician, lobbied the government to reroute Dona Remedios Highway to pass by their vicinity.

Having our business done in Baliwag, on our way back to Mabuhay Manor, at the North Luzon Expressway, as our rented van cruised along the inner lane of the highway at a speed of 80 km/ hour, the van’s rear right tire run out of air. The van chugged and wiggled. Our driver with good instinct and presence of mind steered the van in a calculated reduced speed to the right shoulder. At the hotel, earlier, when I saw the van that we’re going to use, I already noticed that the van’s rear tires are bald, as I seemed seeing outline of its fly, and the front tires are as nearly bald. It struck me then, the usual aversion of Filipinos to preventive maintenance. We are a kind of people who, if ever a thing is still possible to use up to its last breath, we squeezed dry the juice out of it, rather than spending for its maintenance. We see so many examples of these in the sea and road transport industry.

Five minutes after, as our driver began dislodging spare tire to change the flat tire, A Highway Patrol truck pulled up, and came down to our rescue two uniformed personnel of the NLEX. Good they came, because, our driver didn’t have the necessary tools to change the tire. They helped our driver to change the tire. “You’re fortunate guys, your driver is good. If he’s a mediocre, things can get ugly,” One of the guys said. I was surprised of their quick response, so I asked them, how they saw us having problem. They said the highway is being monitored by a satellite. Hmmm … so they are techie, too, in here, huh! But I said to myself, this is where probably, NLEX spend some of the proceeds of the toll fees … makes sense. As we’re about to go, one of the rescuers handed me a company’s card with their names on it, saying if we could email a commendation of the services they did to us. I planned to do that. Maybe, I would email this blog.

Lesson learned: Aversion to preventive maintenance can kill.

 

Granatsa May 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 3:56 pm

This is a two-hour movie, and this is Part 1 – about nine minutes. “Granatsa,” the video is long for a standard movie. The urge of putting all the shots and scenes, no matter how bad, stupid and inconsequential they are, almost tempted me.  If I didn’t restrained myself, if I succumbed to the insistence of those who starred in the movie to put every little non-sense scenes, I could probably made a movie with an equal length of the “Winds of War”, a 15-hour TV Mini Series of 1983. Even then, much as I wanted to trim it down, “Granatsa”, ended up two-hour still.

“Granatsa’s” length posed problem. For family and friends length wouldn’t be an issue as they love their own, of course – even if they gorge on their eyes watching. But to venture out the movie to “WWW,” – to the unattached – two hours watching can be a gruelling and a wasteful experience. “Granatsa” is about a bunch of unknowns – surfers couldn’t probably relate to. It is not even about celebrities surfers can gossip on. So, unless I make “Granatsa” compelling, worthy of the “WWW’s” surfer’s time – that’s my challenge!

I thought of two approaches to make the movie seem interesting – at least. One, use music’s magic to harmonize “Granatsa” with tunes reflecting the mood of every scene. On this, however, I’ll have to make a disclaimer. Although some of the music I had put in is already in the public domain, some are fairly new and copyrighted. I would have to hold on the “fair use” of the copyrighted materials. There’s no intention on my part to use them commercially but just to enhance my creation. Asking permission for the use of the copyrighted material can be daunting, as there are many to ask, and I have no clue as to its procedure. I think I have just to acknowledge its use through this blog as many like me are doing for their own movie project.

Second, make the potential “www’s” surfers to feel and experience the excitement and enjoyment we had, virtually making them as part of our entourage – by giving them historical backgrounds, insights of things experienced and observed, and human interest commentaries: complemented, of course, by this blog.

Part 1 of this two-hour video is segmented in three parts. 1) Our departure from Winnipeg. 2) The hasty nostalgic trip to my place of origin and 3) our close encounter with road accident going back to Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in.

Our tour to London and Paris in 2007, in an answer to promotion by Globe and Mail as subscriber initiated us to the adventure of traveling. Our London-Paris tour had been a success, and that initiation paved the way for my wife on becoming a good vacation planner. She had been so itchy trying once more her new found vocation, so we planned to have a trip – this time, to the Philippines. The last time we had our trip in the Philippines was in 2005, but we just stayed in one place. We didn’t really get into exploring. To think that we have opportunities to explore ( as now, we have resources, unlike before where we had none) just staying foot would be a disgrace – not venturing on those most talked-about beautiful spots of the country. Also, exploring would expiate our unpatriotic guilt. So, here we come to the grandest vacation planned by my wife which includes our two daughters who would be their first time to set foot on the country of their birth, twenty years after they were born there.

We enplaned from Winnipeg, December 26, 2009. Thirteen hours later, we landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. As we waited for our ride at the holdover office of the Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in, that familiar humid smell of Philippine’s air filled my chest. And as my sweats soaked my undershirt and underwear, somehow I thought this is one thing I missed about in the Philippines: The easy sweats minus the gym. The cacophony of horns blaring without let up, the pulsating noise of people bustling around, the commotion of the midday traffic, the swishing of wind unable to mitigate the hot atmosphere – I was back to the rambunctious Philippines I knew!

The Mabuhay Manor Hotel is nestled on an area in Pasay City, South side of Metro Manila, where one would think the City Planner abandoned the use of Zoning Variance. Our ride steered us to Ortigas Street, a narrow street which is more of a back lane. On the left side, are rows of motels for quick carnal excursion and on the right are garment factories. Along this “back lane,” the lobby of the Mabuhay Manor Hotel is situated. Further up the street after the Mabuhay, is the FB Harrison Street, a main road bigger than Ortigas, but then it gets smaller because of the flea market crowded with stalls of merchandise. Walk further down of FB Harrison lead you through EDSA, a stretch of highway coming from the North. This part of EDSA is filled with rows upon rows of bars and other “night” establishments. The Mabuhay Manor is on a block surrounded by disrepute establishments and hodgepodge of out of synch business entities. The smorgasbord is a sign that the block escaped the notice of City Planner. The Mabuhay Manor is clearly out of place on this location. The image the hotel emits through the internet – which is a middle range, in a nice environs, family oriented kind of hotel, is different from the actual. But the hotel, on the time we arrived was bustling with activities; people come and go – Filipinos and other nationalities. The lobby has been so busy, and it gave you sense that staffs got their hands full.

Whatever misgivings I have of the “Mabuhay” had been swiped by the splendid array of their free breakfast buffet. It was a complete local breakfast. The kind you always dreamed off when you’re away from your country. The tuyu, tinapa, itlog na maalat, the pancit, the sopas, fruits for the season, the dips – everything you could ask for. On this alone, I said to myself, it worth my stay. Also, they have this restaurant which offer “Sutukil” they called it. A combination of ways you wanted the fresh sea foods in display to be cooked – whether with soup, like “sinigang”, or charcoal broiled, or with just dip with vinegar with other spices. I ordered two live “talakitok” sinigang sa miso with some veggies. I’ve never ever tasted “sinigang sa miso” for as long as I can remember. Then it came. Wow! Then, “inihaw na pusit.” And we ate beside the swimming pool. This is life: “feeling rich” I said to myself.    

The next day I arranged transport for us to be taken to Baliwag. We had some baggage to drop off to my cousins’ house, and we have to withdraw money from the bank – the proceeds of the rent of our house, which we will use for the rest of our adventure.

“Rilis” the name of the barrio where I was born which was changed to Bagong Nayon, meaning “new barrio” – as then, the barrio has this ghetto kind of reputation, rose up to the new image it emits.  “Rilis” then were just a mere adjunct of Sto Cristo, one of the bigger barrio of Baliwag, before it was named Bagong Nayon. Now, “Rilis” is a newly built city within Baliwag.     

               I put this caption in the movie when we shopped in Pure Gold, one of the supermarket in Bagong  Nayon.

Faye and Farrah were so anxious to see where they spent their kindergarten and grade school days, so we visited St. Paul School at San Rafael, the nearby town of Baliwag.  Under the Mayorship of Ricardo Silverio – at the time of our visits, an inauguration of their new municipal building at Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway is about to take place. Before, the San Rafael Municipal building was buried deep in a remote barrio, where St. Paul School is located.  Now, this once sleepy town, would become the bustle of commercial activities, like what happened with Pulilan Bulacan  when the politician there had that inkling when that highway was allowed to pass their town.

 

Subok lang April 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 3:38 pm

This is just a trial.

 

Only Kindness Matters October 26, 2009

Filed under: Politics — Jess Fernando @ 3:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,
T

he Filipino Baby Boomer, those born between 1946 and 1964, have too much to reckon when two hostile typhoons;  Ondoy,  and Pepeng, visited the country and left behind great havoc and destructions. 

            The Filipino Baby Boomer played a role in the exacerbation of the worst calamity ever endured by the Filipinos in recent history.

            Everyone feel the pangs of this tragedy mirrored on these kids faces.

            Kids whose peaceful innocence kept secured by their worried mothers seeking refuge amid chaos.   

            Kids doing kid’s thing – playing, eating, sleeping, and learning, in the most adverse situation.

Kids, whose curiosities only get more “why”.

            Kids, whose eyes meander, and wonder and loaded with questions.   

Kids, whose existence is shortened.

Had these scenes sunk in?

Of course, it did. Empathy is universal. But not all Baby Boomer probably captured their guilt on these kid’s eyes. Could it be that they don’t know? Or they know, but they just ignored it?  

The Deluge, the Exodus, and the Anguish

Flood had been a constant phenomenon in the Philippines. This fact is undisputed. Yet the Baby Boomer Bureaucrats, the Baby Boomer politicians, the layman Baby Boomer, the Baby Boomer squatters – they seemed quietly conspiring ignoring this flood as constant phenomenon – when the truth is, they are in a position to mitigate the impact of this act of nature!
 

Here’s the nature’s retribution to Baby Boomers.

Rooftops turn into family room.   

Car learns to swim and fails.  

People with salvaged belonging rush for higher ground – repeats of Exodus times, and the days of Noah.

Then, the anguish. The bitterness. The mourning.

The Philippine’s Baby Boomer Generation – million of them – scatters in every sectors of Philippine’s society. They are offspring of the World War II generation whose lives were marred by the atrocities of war, who lived in squalor and most of them miserable. In order to get better than their predecessors, these baby boomers are hellish bent on quest of good life and leisure. This Baby Boom Generation becomes busy and greedy accumulating wealth. And as they developed this acute individualistic gluttony, they have forgotten things outside of themselves: their next generation, the earth they lived in. 

The Baby Boomer Bureaucrats could remain faithful, vigilant, forceful, doing their duties. Their determination could have been strong not to be swayed by pecuniary gain or political consideration to compromise their sworn obligation – those in the Forestry, for example, guarding the forests, or those bureaucrats in charge of the zoning regulation, or those bureaucrats in charge of guarding government’s lands, to prevent squatters from encroaching in.  

The Baby Boomer politicians by just be conscientious to allot funds to procure state of the art weather forecasting tools and equipment.  

The layman Baby Boomer for just being conscious of the way they disposed their garbage, for example, or anything that might hurt the environment.

The Baby Boomer squatters not to build their shanties along river banks or embankments that clog waterways.

It’s not too late for the Philippine’s Baby Boomer to amend their ways.
They just have a second look on their grandchildren’s eyes. They just have to capture their guilt from those eyes. In the end, only kindness matters.

 

Me V. The Dirt Devil February 24, 2009

Filed under: Humor — Jess Fernando @ 1:28 am

When we moved in to our new house three years ago, a Kenmore central vacuum was already in place. It conked out just after two months using it. We tried not to miss vacuuming and see if we could live with it. So, for the next two months our carpet has not been at all hostile to dirt and dust – till I could not handle the guilt anymore… I phoned Sears. To have a new central vacuum get install, Sears told me, I am looking at around 500 bucks. My wife told me just to get a handy cheaper vacuum under hundred dollars. To save us a few dollars more, I brought in the vacuum motor to Allen Motor shop at Agnes to get it repair.

The motor shop was dark, although lights were open. The whole place was stacked by piles of greasy motors and armatures from floor to ceiling gathering dust and cobwebs. The shop smelled like stale sweat doused with the odor of rusted iron and used oil. I was not impressed of the shop being open for business, had it not been for an old man came out from nowhere wearing an overall coated with soot. Surprised of my presence, I told the old man my problem. He exited to the other dingy room and when he appeared again, he said, he could do it for seventy five. Two days after, I got my repaired motor back.

Our central vacuum worked. My wife was happy. I was leery. I had feelings of doom coming. Two weeks after, our vacuum conked out again. I brought it in again to Allen’s to claim its job’s warranty. The shop was closed for business! The doom started to emerge. My wife warned: further escalation cost of the vacuum could get my bi-monthly allowance chopped off. In our household my wife took care of our finances.

My wife and I went to Canadian Tire, to check on those cheaper vacuums. We settled for the Dirt Devil. The Devil worked fine, although it took longer than usual to clean up the whole house. One day, the Devil stopped running. I consulted its manual. Oh, I have to check the dirt bag. I laid down the vacuum – seriously looking and studying which part I should open. Common sense told me it was the flap. I heard a click sound when I opened it up. And there, the dirt bag looked bulky. I didn’t have a new replacement bag, so I went to the Canadian Tire. The guy there asked what model is my vacuum. Oh, do I need that, I asked. Yes. The guy said. So I called my wife. Where’s that model number located in the vacuum? My wife asked. Just look in there, or look for the manual it must be lying there somewhere. My wife found the manual.

When I put the bag in, the flap didn’t want to snap. It wouldn’t want to close. Oh…Shoot…What happened. I checked it out. The two hooks to close it were chipped off. So, that was the clicking sound I heard when I opened it up. I used an inordinate force. I thought of two solutions. One was to use the duct tape winding up the flap, but duct tape is tightly sticky, unwinding it to change the dirt bag would be stupid and tedious. Second, this analogy of dressing up a kid popped out in my head. I would have an elastic band as the dress and the vacuum as the kid. So, I’ll get this elastic band run through the kid’s neck which is the vacuum’s handle till it reached the kid’s torso which is the flap. That was it. The elastic band would snap the flap securing the dirt bag.

The Devil’s handle cracked at another time. The handle was brittle, that with constant lifts and bumps, it gave in. So, when I vacuumed now, I hugged the Devil in squatting position pushing it against the carpet. It was hard. I was beginning to hate this Devil. How can I get rid of it? My wife couldn’t be convince to just buy a new one or throw it – not until I exhausted all the remedy, or it became totally incapacitated. Not wanting to get my allowance chopped off, I rummaged through the phone book. I checked every vacuum repair shops in Winnipeg and asked if they have a spare of this kind of Devil’s handle. One East Indian shop at Ness Avenue, said they have. I bought it for twenty five bucks.

The Devil’s motor continued running, but the outer parts disentangled one by one. I was just doing band aid solutions to make it work. But really, I had to get rid of it. An opportunity came when our basement got flooded because our sump pump got busted. I drained out all the water on the floor but the water in the tank remained. Only upon emptying the tank, I could get the sump pump replaced. But to get the water out, I need a bucket to scoop it, transport and throw it to the toilet sink. That would take long. Thought occurred to me that instant. It came in blinding speed, the same as that of what hit St. Paul at Damascus … yeah, maybe my Devil, could drain the water quick. So I sat the Devil up… with the Devil’s nozzle dipped into the water, I switched on the vacuum. The Devil whirred. It got me electrocuted. I survived, my Devil didn’t. That was good.

We went to Regent Casino one time, and my wife saw this sign from a parked SUV truck. She pointed it out to me. The sign read: “We repair what you’re husband fixed” I knew what she meant. Trying to replace our sump pump, I left it undone in midstream, and double the cost my wife paid to the licensed plumber.

 

Making sense of what’s written on the notebook January 4, 2009

Filed under: Writing — Jess Fernando @ 4:40 pm
Tags: ,

There is this idea that pops up in my mind:  As much as possible I would like to write good prose. That is, even if it is short, it should be a piece that is complete and make sense.

It should be my reflection on things, events, people I met, news that I heard or read, then at the end of the write up, there should be the punchline that summarize or encapsulate the idea of the piece.

Sometimes, I am on this situation that I don’t know what to write. When that happens, I pre-write on my notebook just what comes to my mind. Most of those are just rambling or blabbering. They have no sense. They couldn’t stand out as anything good. In other words, not publishable. And it wasted, I believed, the pages of my notebook. I think I passed that stage. What I wanted now is: Anything that is recorded in my notebook – at least, the primary ingredient of a good prose is already there, and it only need polishing. I don’t need to be ambitious. 200 to 250 words would be enough, just as long as it is complete and potentially publishable.

So here’s my plan: Before I commit anything to my notebook, I should have at least an outline of what to write. Of course, I should not expect the first draft to be good. But at least it should have already the beginning, middle, end and the theme. The bone of structure is already there, so to speak,  and that what only remains is the bone’s chiseling on the revision. As I used to write in Gregg shorthand in my notebook, the revision, I could do while transcribing.