Quiet Determination in Action

Pageants, Jade Ribbons, and Final Fantasy

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Personal Actions by missamyyu on July 20, 2009

Hello Everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  I had a pretty event-packed weekend, and I’m just getting to sit down now to write about it!  Here’s a recap of my weekend:

The day started off with heading to the Miss Asian America press conference at Ana Mandara restaurant in Ghirardelli Square in SF.  I wasn’t keen on fighting traffic and searching for parking, so I decided to take public transportation via Caltrain and the Muni.  I have always found working on the Caltrain particularly fruitful, and I worked on catching up on work email (I love the Gmail offline feature where you can sync things and have things work very similar to Thunderbird / Outlook).  Big apologies to all those who I have not responded to – I’ll get back soon!  While I was riding along, there was a group of obnoxious high school boys who were incredibly disruptive with their talks about how big their cars were (“Hey, I can fit my drum set, my two guitars, and three chicks in my car – how about you?”) and how intelligent they were.  The wonders of what goes on within the mind of a high school male.   Makes me very glad that I’m now out of college and my male friends have more interesting things to discuss (well, at least when I’m within hearing distance).   The Muni was fine, but man, when it crosses the Chinatown area – yeesh! – so many Asian people crowd onto the bus.  I became well aquainted with two older Asian ladies with five bags of groceries in each hand (now wouldn’t it have been more convenient for them to have a nice huge Jade Ribbon Campaign reusable bag? :p haha).  When I got to Ghirardelli Square, I was rather famished and decided to try Kara’s cupcakes.  It wasn’t bad – the frosting was whipped so it wasn’t sweet – definitely a plus over Sprinkles’ cupcake frosting – however, the cupcake itself was a bit on the sweet side.  I got the mocha cupcake (paid $3.25!), and decided that I liked baking my own $.89 box of Betty Crocker cupcakes.  But I AM in the Bay Area where these speciality stores are abundant, so might as well as take in the culture while I’m here.

The MAA press conference was pretty fun.  Had the chance to chat with Rose more, and continue to build a relationship with her.  It’s pretty amazing what she’s been able to build with this pageant and all the work she’s done in building the San Francisco Asian American community.  I had a ball meeting the contestants and the escorts.  Notable escorts were Jeff and Steven who took the time to chat with me, so big shout out to them! I also had the opportunity to meet and greet with reporters and other notables in the Asian community, so I was pretty excited about the event.  The contestants appeared interested in the cause, and our jade ribbon pins looked very nice on their red dresses.  It was very kind of Rose to say that they’ll be wearing the pins at all future events.  I finally got a contact at Sing Tao Daily, so hopefully that will prove fruitful for the 99 Ranch Market press conference on Friday.  Oh! And I got to use my business card holder I got from Daiso!  It’s not the classiest thing in the world, but it is sufficient and helps me look more professional than me digging around my purse.   After the MAA press conference, I beelined for Chinatown to get some delicious dim sum and devoured a mantou as I walked down the Stockton tunnel.  The 30 and 45 bus lines were overcrowded so I decided to walk to my destination: Davies Symphony Hall.  It was quite a walk considering I was lugging my JRC resuable bag filled with outreach swag, dim sum food, and a huge bag of cherries (only $.99 / pound!) and my laptop.  But I suppose it was good advertising for the bag. :p  Decided to stop by Ross, and I purchased a tan purse so I could have something that matched my outfits that weren’t black (and of course, the bag is good sized so I can fit everything in there).  Then I went down Market street, which is scary even at 4 PM in broad daylight.  I’m glad I didn’t decide to hang out at a Starbucks and walk down that street at a later time.  I ended up at the San Francisco public library which was pretty impressive, and a place that I’d like to go and explore in more detail on a future visit to SF.

And now, to the main event of my Saturday evening: the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds symphony concert (http://www.ffdistantworlds.com/) by the world-renowned SF symphony orchestra.  Met up with a good portion of my old archery teammates for the concert along with C and his crew.  Thanks much to S for planning and organizing the event!  It was an interesting experience because the music was accompanied by clips from the FF games.  Definitely brought back memories and makes me want to go back and play the games again (read: huge time sink).  The composer of the all the Final Fantasy game music was there, which was pretty cool – he had a very individual sense of fashion that made him stand out against the crowd.  I really enjoyed hearing Terra’s theme (Final Fantasy 3 (the one with Terra) was definitely my favorite game!) and the encore piece Sephiroth!

Today was another jam packed ALC day.  We had two events go on simultaneously: T’s Korean education and screening event and U’s Vietnamese Parishoners Festival.  I really wish I was able to go to both, but alas, I headed out to the Korean event because there was a lot more logistical work involved with it.  Overall, it was a pretty successful event in the sense that the parishoners really learned about the importance of hepatitis B and liver cancer in their community.  In fact, after the education piece, people were getting their friends in the church who were unable to attend the education seminar to get tested.  It was really neat to see people educate their friends about hepatitis B and why it was important that they all get screened.  Education is so key to altering behaviour change.  One thing that T and I need to do is hammer out logistics to help the education / research piece run more smoothly, and we had a good brainstorming session later in the afternoon.  Hopefully the next screening (which will be much bigger) will run more smoothly on the registration end.  The issue with working in an education AND screening event into a regular church Sunday is that people have other commitments (e.g. choir practice, etc) that prevent them from attending the seminar (which is really the point for us going out there) or the screening (which is secondary).  We have only a finite period of time and we have to move things efficiently and quickly in light of lots of forms.  N will be doing a similar venture with the Filipino community, and one suggesiton I had for her was considering the possibility of dividing the education and screening into two weekends so as to cut time down and give people the option of scheduling a specific time for their blood draw.  But we will need to think about this more and consider it’s cost-effectiveness, too.  In the past, when we did ethnic community education / screening events, we did them on Saturdays and the events were open to the public, so we didn’t have busy parishioners needing to stick to their regularly scheduled events – we WERE the event.  But you learn something new each time, and it’s nice to be able to work with one church community at a time because they all get involved and that way, the message is promoted via friends, which inherently goes a lot farther than having someone like me stand on a soapbox.   Hopefully we’ll be able to get T enough n for his research project!

On another note, U’s event seemd to have gone well, but I’ll update with more details tomorrow after I speak with her.

Another highlight today was going to the Milpitas Ranch 99 (yes, again) and seeing our posters up!  I wasn’t expecting to see the posters hanging in the store, so it was definitely a delightful surprise!

Customer reading Know HBV and big in-store poster

Customer reading Know HBV and big in-store poster

I think one of my suggestions to T will be to ask if the cashiers can actively promote the bag (E.g. “Would you like to donate $2 to fight liver cancer and get a reusable bag?”) or at least put up an example so people can see useful the bag will be.  But overall, I’m so impressed with how GENEROUS Ranch 99 has been.  I was also very very excited to see an individual go up and grab a brochure (Know HBV) and read through it while he was walking out of the store (he’s pictured in the photograph I sneaked of him).  One more person educated about hepatitis B!  Tomorrow will be confirming press to come to the press conference on Friday at Cupertino.  I’m also trying to sit down and work on YLC material since we need to get the handbook in NOW.  C has been working hard and coming into the office on the weekends to get things done for the conference.  I’m super excited, but there remains QUITE a bit of work to do.

On another note, GH is in town, and I’m going to catch lunch with her on Tuesday.  And DS will be coming soon to film the second chatper of DCK, so that should definitely be fun.  Can’t wait.

Alright, I need to sign off and get some eventual shut eye.  Thanks for reading through this post, and take care.