Sunday, December 26, 2010

#137- Rain/Cry + Rain/Smile

I have a bad day story and a good day story. Which story you want to hear it first?

If you feel like to skip the bad day story “Cry with the Rain”, read only the good day story “smile in the rain”.

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Cry with the Rain:

I have tweeted about the rain 6 times since Dec 14th.

1) Cloudy morning in Los Angeles. It’s good for my mood in writing :) Have a wonderful day to you :)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:57 AM

2) No blue sky in Los Angeles again. Light rain makes perfect mood in work/ writing :) Have a beautiful day to you :)
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:58:35 AM

3) How are you? Rain Rain and Rain in Los Angeles. Have a wonderful weekend to you!
Saturday, December 18, 2010 9:33:25 PM

4) Rain in Los Angeles. Staying at home with rain sounds, it’s so nice!
Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:44:41 PM

5) Still rain in Los Angeles. Have a nice day to you!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:14:31 AM

6) Rain is nice,but some rains are not nice. Leaking wall in my bed room is not nice :( I live in a nice apartment,but L.A. rain made me cry :(
Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:34:58 AM

As you know or see, there is a winter storm (rainstorm) in Los Angeles for a couple of weeks this month.

I love rain when I am staying at home, because rain makes my feeling romantic and melancholic, but the rain on the 22nd…it made me cry!!!

It’s a long story (I had many leaks in my bed room window in the past)…on the 22nd, my wall leaked in my bed room.

I live in a nice apartment building (we have 263 units, nice fitness center, one large swimming pool and three spa/jacuzzi) and my place is in front of the swimming pool and I have a nice view of trees, palm trees and flowers…but…I forgot I live in Los Angeles.

In general, many houses and buildings in Los Angeles are so weak for heavy rain.

On the 22nd, I talked with apartment manager(community manager), assistant manager, maintenance manager(service manager) and maintenance staff(service technicians). I wasted 17 hours until midnight (on the 23rd).

As you know, I am a clean freak and a perfectionist. OMG…I was mad at rain and people who can’t think well…

You know what the maintenance manager told me at first?

Maintenance manager: Yoko, I can replace the wall with new wood, so the water (rain) is going to be somewhere. Don’t worry!

Me: What are you talking about??? Are you nuts??? You should find out the cause of the leaks first! Then please fix my wall.

Maintenance manager: Oh…Yoko, don’t worry, I have an experience of construction, I know what I am doing.

Me: You don’t know what you are doing!!! (I was yelled at him so hard!! ha ha ha :) ) If you just fix my wall without fix the cause, the water is coming back to my wall again. Find out the cause first!!! You should check the outside wall and find some cracks on the wall. If there are no cracks on the outside wall, it might not major leaks. You should check the rooms of 3rd floor and 4th floor window frames. It might their window frames are leaking. And have you checked downstairs? It might wet the wall like mine.

Maintenance manager: Ok…I will check upstairs and downstairs, but I have to get their permission to enter their rooms, so it takes time.

Me: No…this is in urgent!!! Emergency! You should do it NOW!!! (OMG…I was so mad at him! poor guy…ha ha ha :) )

Then past hours…nobody calls me or come to my door. Again, I talked with apartment manager, assistant manager, maintenance manager and maintenance staff on the phone.

I told apartment manager that if you don’t do anything now, I am going to call your boss, I am going to call headquarter to complain about this bad management.

Then…apartment manager, maintenance manager and two of maintenance staff came to see my wall right away.

Apartment manager: Yoko, I am so sorry. Would you like to stay at the hotel?

Me: No…I am ok. Please do something now! I am so mad at him (maintenance manager), he doesn’t know what he is doing.

Apartment manager: No…Yoko. He is nice. Please trust him.

Me: I don’t care he is nice! I just need nice service!!!

After the conversation…one guy (maintenance staff) made a hole to check the inside of my wall, he said to me that the rain is from the outside of the wall. (Of course!)

As I am a clean freak (a little bit OCD), I had to cover my bed, fax machine and book shelf with large vinyl sheets and had to move my arm chair and lamps to my living room…

After this small construction work…I cleaned everywhere…because dusts were all over in my place from this problem…

During the cleaning at night, I called my mom in Japan and told her what happened…and I cried so hard!!!

It was like…“WHY ME” mood… ha ha ha :)

After cleaning my rooms, I felt better…but there is a hole in my wall in the bed room…the rainstorms is coming back next week…maintenance staff couldn’t fix the outside wall this weekend…I hope they can fix it on Monday(tomorrow) and I hope I am not going to have a bad day again next week…


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Smile in the Rain:

Yesterday,on Christmas day, I had a wonderful Christmas dinner with my best friend (Suzie)and her family at her home.

Suzie emailed me this morning:
“Yoko,GOOD MORNING!!!!!! Thank you so much for everything yesterday : ) I love my lifetime sister : ) and best friend : ) Have a Glorious DAY : ) Love, Suzie”

Oh…everything was perfect! I had a great time with Suzie and her family.

Christmas dinner was the best:
Turkey
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes with maple syrup and orange juice
Salad
Maple/Sage Stuffing
Rolls
Apple cider
Tiramisu Raspberry Trifle
Coffee

Suzie is an amazing cook! Dinner was soooooooo delicious!

Her Turkey was so soft with moisture (her gravy and cranberry sauce were original! Soooooooo gooooooood!), Mashed Potatoes was great taste with butter and garlic, Sweet Potatoes was delicious with orange flavor and marshmallow melted in my mouth, Salad was fresh, Maple/Sage Stuffing was soooooooo delicious(I usually don’t like it, but her stuffing was so good, so I ate a lot of them!) ,Rolls were so good, Tiramisu Raspberry Trifle was the 5 star!

Suzie’s kids are cutest:
They (two girls) are so adorable! They got each DSI (by Nintendo) for their Christmas present from grand mom & dad (Suzie’s parents) and they were playing with DSI. It was fun to see they became a journalist or were being in the Harry Potter in DSI.

They said to me, “spend the night! please stay!” …oh…they are so sweet and cute!!! I love them!!!

Suzie and I are lifetime friends:
We had great conversation as always. We shared so many secrets :) When I came home, we talked on the phone another one hour until 1:00am! I am so glad that she is in my life.

Rain returned to Los Angeles at night and I was driving in the rain. Yes, rain is back…but I was in great mood in my car.

Smile in the rain…

Life is beautiful.
I hope you had a great Christmas time :)

P.S. We will have another rain next week…rain/cry or rain/smile??? I hope I will have a big smile :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
Dec 26, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Yoko Fujimoto

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#136- No more paper cards = smart :)

This morning:

Suzie: I am baking more than 200 of biscotti right now.

Me: Wow!!! Sounds so goooooood!

Suzie: These are Christmas gifts for my kids’ school teachers and friends. I have many people to thanks for this year.

Me: Oh…Nice!!!

Suzie: I am baking and putting chocolate with love. Each one, I am thinking of people who I give these biscottis.

Me: That’s so sweet!!! Oh…so I will let you go(we were on the phone.)

Suzie: Oh…no problem. I can talk to you right now and at the same time I am doing it (working on biscotti). I am going to give these to you this Saturday when we see each other.

Me: So…I will let you go.

Suzie: It’s all right. I can talk.

Me: No…I meant, you shouldn’t talk over the biscotti. I don’t want you to put your spit in biscotti…

Suzie: OMG…you are so OCD, but good kind of OCD. ha ha ha! Don’t worry, I am not talking over the biscotti right now.

********

This afternoon(11:30am-6:00pm):

I wrote 285 emails to friends as my holiday greeting cards.

Recently, I stop writing holiday cards to friends, instead of that I am sending emails with holiday greetings to friends.

In my email, I wrote a message, “I am doing eco-thing, so no more paper card :) …xoxo”

And I have already received so many replies and greetings from friends by email(of course!).

And some nice /funny / cute replies are:

"Thank you so much!! I think you're Great!!"

"all for the eco-thing, Thank you so much!!!!"

"it's good to be green!"

"You are such a good girl!"

"non paper is so much better!"

"Great idea, Thank you Yoko."

"No more paper cards = smart!!!"

"Happy merry to you too! (like paperless, high-tech approach)"

" 'I am doing eco-thing, so no more paper card :) …xoxo' Sound like you are being very responsible!"

********

I think, paperless thing is such a great / sophisticate excuse for saving money on holiday cards…(who is going to say, “you are so cheap” ??? right?)

One time, when I was in college, I skipped some classes for two days and wrote many New Year’s cards to friends. It was fun, but my mother said to me at the time, “You are working hard like a real job!” ha ha ha!

So many years, during the time/ writing holiday cards by hand, I always had hot chocolate and listening Christmas songs. There were many fun memories…

But…you know what, today I wrote each email with love (like Suzie did for biscotti), so I am sure that my people (285 people) received many love, luck and happiness from me.

********
And, to you too.

Happy Holidays!

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Love,
Yoko

P.S. I am doing eco-thing, so no more paper card :) My eco concept is perfect on this blog page…xoxo

********

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
Dec 14, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Yoko Fujimoto

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#135- About my perfect dentist

******** Around 3:00pm today

"Suzie! I finally got new teeth! Oh…I am so happy!!!" "Congratulations! I am so happy for you!!! Did you call your mom?" "Not yet. Right now, I am on the freeway on my way home, so when I get home, I will call her. Oh, Suzie, you don’t know how much I am happy with my new teeth! I was waiting for this moment for such a long time!"

This is our (Me and Suzie) telephone conversation in this afternoon.


******** In my mind

I don’t know how many times I smile in the mirror in my car and in my home… :) I am still doing it right now (I have a mirror next to my laptop computer right now. ha ha ha!)

YES, FINALLY, I got perfect front teeth back!!! (It’s a long story…Newport Beach dentist did terrible job on my front teeth four years ago. But, my family and friends didn’t think, my front teeth are bad. They think, “Yoko is such a perfectionist!”)

******** Around 4:00pm today

When I came home from my dentist, I went to pick up my mails at the apartment lobby and received a package at the apartment manager’s office.

Manager: How is everything, Yoko!

Me: Look!!! I got new teeth!!! These are $4,400!

Manager: Which ones? Upper teeth or lower teeth?

(Oh…good! She can’t tell my front teeth are fake!)

Me: These four front teeth!

Assistant manager: Wow, looks great!

Me: Wow, you have nice teeth too! Of course, you guys are Americans!

Manager: How much, did you say?

Me: $4,400! I spent so much money this month…please help me, please discount my rent.

Assistant manager: Aha ha ha!!!

(But, Manager is just small smiling, didn’t say anything…oh…I am afraid of negotiation time with her for my new lease agreement…)

Anyway, I told them about my perfect dentist and his new technology treatment which I had (please see below).

Me: If you want to go to see a dentist, you should go to see my dentist!


******** Dr. Seichiro Kita

In 2008, I paid around $10,000 for two tooth (lower) implants and Today, I paid $4,400 for
four tooth(front) crowns to my perfect dentist.

My perfect dentist is Dr. Seichiro Kita (http://www.kitadds.com/ Office: 3222 Sepulveda Blvd. Torrance, CA 90505 Phone: 310-326-3600).

During I wrote feature articles for Lighthouse (the Japanese local magazine) in 2004 and 2005, I did interview more than 20 dentists in L.A. and O.C. includes Dr.Kita for a dentist feature article. At the time, I thought Dr. Kita is the best, even though I just met and talked with him for one hour.

Dr. Kita grew up in U.S. since he was 6 years old and he has dentist credentials in U.S. and in Japan. So he does everything! (general and specialist)

He has such a wonderful energy and passion! He is not only a dentist, he is an artist! He designed his office and he loves car and mechanics & computer. He has skillful hands! I love his office as well. It’s very stylish and clean with nice music (music is very important! I always feel like being in the spa or hair salon at his office). It’s perfect office for me as a perfectionist and clean freak :)

I don’t have many Japanese friends in U.S., but I heard many times, “Dr. Kita is great” from some Japanese friends.

By the way (I hope I can explain it well…), he has a special machine / 3M LAVA C.O.S.( Chairside Oral Scanner). It’s a digital impression system for tooth.

If you want, take a look at 3M LAVA C.O.S. website at http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/LavaCOS/3MESPE-LavaCOS/ , and then you know what I am talking about.

He told me, there are only 500 these machines in the world, so his machine is one of 500. (He showed me his machine and explained how it works, he is so sweet!)

OMG…he is the only one Japanese dentist who has this machine in the world! Wow!!!

Could you imagine that this machine scanned my teeth by him and he sent the image to 3M, then 3M sent back the teeth model within two days by FedEx to his office.

Dr.Kita already made crowns for 300 patients (includes me) with his machine (he bought it in this March, it was $30,000. I am good at interview, right? ha ha ha!).

He told me that it takes two days to learn how to use this machine, but he learned how to use it within a half day. Yes, I know, he is really smart!

Compare to old fashion teeth model (impression) by dental impression material, the teeth model (impression) by digital impression (3M LAVA C.O.S.) could make great quality crowns. Fit well to gum and prevent gum trouble.

Oh…my front teeth are like jewelry! I can’t stop smiling and I can’t wait to take a picture of me with these beautiful teeth!

Dr.Kita made my life!

If you want to have a beautiful smile, call Dr. Kita. I guarantee you, he will make you smile :)

P.S. Dr.Kita gave me my teeth model (by 3M LAVA C.O.S.) as a souvenir, it will available at the Sotheby's or eBay in the future… :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
Dec 9, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Yoko Fujimoto

Monday, December 6, 2010

#134- Rumi Neely is in JELLY, Japanese fashion magazine

Today, I got a nice email from the chief editor, Mr.Hirotada Kase of JELLY, Japanese fashion magazine (popular for young Japanese girls, this magazine has 300,000 circulation in Japan. if you want, you can take a look at http://www.bunkasha.co.jp/magazine/g2036.html).

Mr.Hirotada Kase said in his email, “The fashion bloggers in the world feature story was the best 5 popular story by readers’ survey. Thank you for your work.” Oh…this kind of message makes me very happy as a writer.

In the middle of October(two months ago), I interviewed Ms.Rumi Neely (as you know, she is a popular fashion blogger in the world) and did fashion shoot (she showed us wonderful four looks). Her L.A. apartment is near by me, so it was so easy to get there and fun to work with her. Now I know why she is really popular for many people. She is very original. I think “original” is the key word for every thing.

I also made contact with other fashion bloggers (Ms.Gala Gonzalez, Ms.Ricarda Schernus, Ms. Louise Ebel, Ms.Tavi Gevinson, Ms.Carolina Engman and Ms. Kristin Knox). They are in these pages as well.

This JELLY magazine’s issue (which I wrote) is January, 2011 issue (came out on November 17, 2010). If you read Japanese, please take a look at this magazine at the Japanese book store.

These days, people connect to each other and work together through Blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace etc…amazing!

You know what? I got some projects (magazine jobs) from Japan through my old Japanese blog (http://fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/ I wrote Japanese blog from October, 2005 until October, 2008).

I also met two Japanese new friends through my old Japanese blog (they made contact me!).

I reunion with two of my old friends through Facebook (they also made contact me!).

And I got a free HP Officejet 6500 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer from HP through my tweet in my Twitter… this was amazing!

Play, Work/Business, Meet, Shop (or gift from the company!), Watch, Listen and Talk in the internet.

It’s the wonderful era of the internet!

What did you get through the net?

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
Dec 6, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Yoko Fujimoto

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#133- Sick and the Home

Feel winter air…its December. It’s the most wonderful time of the Year! I want to say Yay!…but…I got sick on last Friday…I have been sick for five days…after three days of sore throat, I got sneeze, sneeze, sneeze and running nose…yes, I got a cold.

Today, I called Mama (my mom) in Tokyo, Japan and said “Happy Birthday Mama!” then, she was worry about my cold. She told me on the phone, “Have some miso soup and tea with umeboshi (literally “dried ume” are pickled ume fruits common in Japan. Ume/Prunus mume is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot).”

Ok…I have two of umeboshi (Mama sent them to me long time ago from Japan, I have never purchased them by myself. I don’t eat them much) but, I don’t have miso in my home(I am Japanese, but I don’t care about miso soup)…so my tonight’s dinner was, pork spareribs, bread, corn cream soup(this soup is my favorite from Mama’s recipe), hot milk with a lot of sugar and Japanese cold medicine.

So funny that Suzie (she is a Caucasian and American / she also has a cold) wrote me an email today, “Please take good care of yourself and drink lots of tea and soup and get lot's of rest. I know I must sound like a mother : ) I had miso soup for 3 meals ... I put fresh ginger in it. I really think it helped my cold.”

Ok…miso soup again…I don’t have it at home and I don’t want it…I guess, Mama made Suzie Japanese and I became more an American than Suzie… ha ha ha…but, you know what, Mama and Suzie are right. Japanese food is good for sick & healthy diet. It’s very healthy food for everyone. I wish I could be more Japanese... :)

So…I have three cans of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in my kitchen cabinet. Yes, I am going to have them instead of miso soup tomorrow… even though I eat American soup with made in China spoon, I like American comfort food for my cold in here, Los Angels.

By the way, sometimes I love being sick with pink pajamas and cute nightgown (both made in Japan, Mama bought them for me in Tokyo, Japan), because I could feel winter season at home and I feel cute :)

Right now, I am in my home at 78 degrees (automatic air conditioner) and have a cold, and I enjoy being sick… :) Am I crazy? no…Am I sugar high? yes…Am I cold medicine high? maybe…

Sick and the Home…sounds like fun, right?

P.S. Please don’t catch a cold from me. Take care and enjoy December!

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
Dec 1, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Yoko Fujimoto