Thursday, September 15, 2011

#158- Trouble is in the air…

The other day, I had a great time in Santa Monica with Mr. & Mrs. I from Japan. I felt “ Love is in the air ”. Mr. & Mrs. I are a very nice marriage couple. They are my favorite people from Japan.

Mr. & Mrs. I said, “ We love Santa Monica! The sky is so blue and air is so fresh. Santa Monica makes us so happy. We are so happy that we are able to stay in Santa Monica for a few weeks every year. ”

I said to them, “ Oh…I am so happy to see you both. I am so happy to see an amazing happy couple! Mr. & Mrs. I make me happy!!! ”

*******

After “ Love is in the air ” moment, my air had changed into “ Trouble is in the air ” in my apartment.

Oh…again…my comedy story had got started.

I’ve got in trouble with my laptop computer’s wireless network…I’ve worked on my computer (trying to fix this trouble by myself) for 5 hours until 4:00am yesterday. Then, I gave up…I went to bed around 5:00am.

Trouble was in the air…

*******

Next morning (yesterday), I woke up around 10:00am and I called AT&T and asked for help. I usually eat a lot (well) and I never skip breakfast, but I didn’t eat breakfast (because, I really wanted to fix my problem right away!).

The first technical support agent of AT&T (I usually talk with a couple of agents, you know what I mean!) was in Philippine. I had a bad feeling at the beginning (as I am a writer / journalist, I can tell from people’s voice & how they talk, what’s going to happen next)…YES, this agent couldn’t help me (couldn’t fix my wireless network problem). I knew it…

He said to me, “ I think your computer has some problems, you should take your computer to the shop and fix it. ”

I said to him, “ I don’t think so. I am not expert of computer, but I think this problem is simple, I just can feel it. I hate to say this…but…could you transfer me to the U.S. agent or the high level technical agent? ”

At that time, I already wasted three hours (no breakfast & no lunch…and I had a headache)…I needed a second opinion from the other agent.

*******

The other agent in U.S. (I asked where is his location, but I forgot…my brain wasn’t working well without food energy) also wasn’t good. He sounded he doesn’t enjoy his work (I could tell from his voice).

He said to me, “ It seems like, your computer has a hard drive problem. You need to replace the wireless card in your computer. ”

I said to him, “ NO WAY! Really??? I have a feeling that this trouble is not complicated…Oh…I have other old laptop computer as my second computer, could you check the wireless network on this by remote control? Then we can tell, my computer's problem or wireless network's problem, right? ”

He said to me, “Oh…ok…”

I said to him, “ You know what, if you don’t want to help me, you can transfer me to the other agent. I really need to use computer for my work today, so I don’t want to waste of your time and I also don’t want to waste of my time. ”

He said to me, “ Oh…no…I can help you. ”

Nooooooo, he couldn’t help me…my instinct was right…

I wasted my another two hours.

*******

I almost gave up and wanted to go to the computer store…I called my friend T and asked her opinion, she told me that I need to buy a computer…

Mean while, I went to the apartment manager’s office and I’ve got a free Wi-Fi’s password (we have free Wi-Fi at the pool side and my room is in front of the pool side, so I can use this free Wi-Fi as my temporary wireless network).

Really, I almost gave up on this trouble. But, I thought ” Never give up! Anything is possible!!! ”

*******

YES, I called one more time at AT&T.

The automatic voice said to me, “ Today, you have already called us… ”, the voice sounded like AT&T gave up on me…NO WAY! I dialed 0000000000000000000 (When I don’t want to talk to the automatic voice on the phone, I usually press number 0 for many times, in this way, I can speak to the agent right away. It works well!), then I finally found the right person at AT&T!

The right person…her name is Crystal in Little Rock, Arkansas. Oh…at the beginning, I thought she will fix my wireless network problem! I knew it!

Crystal sounded so calm, friendly, professional, kind, sweet and positive. I could see her smile face through the phone. “ This is not a major problem! ”, she said to me.

It was funny that my home phone (cordless phone)’s battery was dead…(Of course, I was on the phone with two agents all morning & all afternoon), so I had to use my old fashioned phone (my emergency phone / not cordless phone) in my bedroom (I have only two phone jacks in my apartment).

The other phone jack (which for my AT&T wireless router / modem and my laptop computer with DSL cable for trouble shooting) is in my kitchen.

Can you imagine? I was in my bedroom for five to ten minutes and ran to the kitchen and stayed for one minute, then the bedroom again and the kitchen again…over and over… (I didn’t want to use my cell phone…wanted to save minutes and money…ha ha ha…!)

It was like a comedy.

When Crystal was working on my computer by remote control, I was in my bedroom and sat on the bed with phone (talk to Crystal)…When she wanted me to take a look at the computer screen or wanted to explain something to me, I’ve run to the kitchen. I lost two pounds. No food, and I was running in my apartment (between the kitchen and the bedroom).

YES, one hour later…Crystal fixed my computer’s wireless network trouble! What an amazing job!!!

She even told me what was the cause of this problem, and she told me what I can do if I have a same problem again. How nice of her!

I said to her, “ You are the best AT&T agent! You are so kind and professional. You have great knowledge and nice heart! I am so glad that I called you! May I speak to your boss? I would like to tell her how great you are! ”

*******

Wow, her boss, Janeth is a wonderful person as well!!! She told me that she is very happy to work at AT&T. She loves what she does.

She said to me, “ I always put myself in customer’s shoes. When customer is happy, I am happy. ”

I can see her, beautiful inside and out through the phone. I really felt positive energy from her over the phone. She sounded kind, sweet, funny, a cool independent career woman…

We talked for a while. She told me some positive & happy episodes (sorry folks, these are private…) and made me so happy!

I got a message from her, “ Never give up! Anything is possible! ” Yes, I think so!!!

She gave me her direct office phone number and her email address. She told me that if I have any problems again, I can call her or write her (sorry folks, I can’t share this info with you).

What a day. Trouble was in the air…but…end of the day… Love is in the air…!

If we enjoy “ Troubles ”, “ Love ” is on the way…I really think so.

Blue sky and fresh air bring Love and Happiness. (Also, trouble brings Love.)

I hope you are enjoying your day, today and tomorrow…Life is beautiful.

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
September 15, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto

Thursday, September 8, 2011

#157- Eat and Read in fall

In Japan, Japanese people usually say and do in fall, “dokusho no aki” (autumn is the best season for reading) and “shokuyoku no aki” (autumn is a season for good appetites), because the fall (autumn) nights are long in Japan, so Japanese people have many hours to Eat and Read in fall.

Eat and Read…yes, my favorite activities at home (for me, all seasons).

By the way, my friend, K (who is an American, a very intelligent editor & writer) wrote me a perfect message before my reading. Please see below.


******** My Friend, K wrote me a kind reply to my email regarding my question about English grammar

I read your blog with the question about English grammar. It's a very good question! First, English language is well known for having inconsistencies in its rules for spelling and grammar. This is mostly because the current English language has evolved from several different languages, including German, French, and Latin. The inconsistency of spelling and grammar rules in English is something that frustrates both native speakers and English learners alike.

With regard to your question about why native English speakers will say "I got a cold" but not "I got cancer," the reason has more to do with something called "idiom" than it does with correct grammar. All languages have "idioms," which are ways of speaking that cannot be explained by grammar rules but are well known within the culture using the language. (For example, even if I learned correct Japanese grammar, I would not understand certain cultural elements of the language -- like certain phrases or figures of speech -- unless I lived in Japan for a long time.)

So within English idiom, I believe that people say "I got a cold" because you can get a cold from someone else or from touching germs. It is like saying "I caught a cold." If you look up the word "get," you will see "catch" listed as one of the meanings (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/get - See definition "2b"). But you cannot get or catch cancer from someone else like a cold. So people usually say "I have cancer" because it didn't come from anywhere else -- it's something that developed within the body itself. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, this is not an official answer but just my opinion as someone who works with English language!

********

What book are you reading now?

I prefer to eat than reading, by the way :)

And, I prefer to use “autumn” than “fall” (I know, American people use more “fall” and English people use more “autumn”)...because I don’t want to fall! ha ha ha…

Oh…but, I like to “fall” in love… :) Autumn is a great season for “fall in love” (in my mind).

Enjoy your autumn (fall) !

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
September 8, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto

Monday, September 5, 2011

#156- My last summer day

After a couple of studies of “present perfect”, I finally got an answer from my friend’s friend.

My question was: Why “I got cancer” is incorrect English? I would like to know the reason. (If you want to know the details about this question, please read my blog on August 30, 2011).

Next Dr. Phil, George gave me an answer to my question.

George: Cancer is not like a cold, cancer is unable to get in an instant, so we can’t say that “I got cancer” like “I got a cold.”

Me: I knew it! A cold is easy to know when we got it, but cancer is not easy to know when we got it. I am so glad that I don’t have to think of this question anymore.

********

Yesterday, I had a fabulous day at the BBQ party at my friends (Shinako-san & Bob) ’s house.

I’ve finished my summer day perfectly! My “present perfect” was on the 4th, Sunday. My last summer day was perfect!!!

Shinako-san & Bob have a beautiful house in Ladera Ranch. Shinako-san is a great cook and they have wonderful friends. I had a wonderful time with them.

Highlights 1: Shinako-san’s home cooking / Rice-flour cake (flavored with mugwort), Spring rolls, Sushi rolls, Potato salad, Quiche, Fried calamari…and Masami-san (Shinako-san’s friend)’s home made curry & spinach pies and Baklava. I was in heaven to eat a lot of these delicious foods.

Highlights 2: Shinako-san’s husband, Bob was taking care of Korean BBQ, Chicken, Shrimps and Corn. They were also sooooooo good!!!

Highlights 3: One of a kind sake from Bruce Shinya Takano (production manager) at YAEGAKI Corporation of USA (www.yaegakiusa.com). He made the special sake for us, the sake had not pasteurized yet, and it was so fresh, mellow and sweet. The best sake I've ever tasted!

Result from these three highlights is I gain 4 pounds.

Highlights 4: Girls talk with Shinako-san, Jessica, Masami-san, Akiko-san and Emi-san. Talk, talk and talk. It was fun.

Highlights 5: Talk and laugh so much with guys, Bob, George, Michael, Hiroki-san, Hiroki-san (there are two same name guys), Bruce. Especially, George was a comedian. His daily life is so funny! I laughed so hard and I enjoyed with his many funny episodes. He should write a book for sure.

Highlight 6: George answered to my grammar question. (See above)

Result from these three highlights is I gain happiness.

From 12:45pm to 10:45pm, I had opened my mouth (eat, talk and laugh) for 10 hours and I really had a great last summer day.

I hope you had a great last summer day too. Have a nice fall :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
September 5, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto