love for mother earth

Commit to being green.

Earth Day is today. I never forget this day, because — and don’t laugh at me even though this was 14 years ago — it’s the anniversary of my breakup with my first-ever boyfriend. Bahaha.

Anyway, luckily, caring for our planet is far more important to me than that teenage tryst is today. I’m sure that you’ve already got a stance for or against environmentalism, and I’m not here to lecture you.

But I’d like to throw this suggestion into the wind: No doubt, we’ve all noticed the change in weather patterns of late (warmest Chicago winter ever, anyone?), and whether we’d like to take responsibility for such obvious global trends or not, ask yourself what harm can it do for us to just be a bit more conscious of our decisions?

A lot of times being more environmentally aware asks us to make the slightly more inconvenient choice — to surrender our time to the bus or train schedules, for instance, or to throw our refuse away in a different bin that’s not in an obvious place.

But whether you believe in our carbon footprints affecting everyone on Earth or not in the long run, think about the legacy we are leaving as the current generation of man on this planet — if it’s true, if we’re running a planetary “credit card” and maxing it out to the expenditures of 1.5 Earths, and we’re destroying our home, is that really what we want to take part in?

Granted, changing our lifestyles isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes all my energy just to convince my own parents to use a cloth napkin or towel instead — but if we want to make sure we have a healthy and sustainable environment for the future inhabitants of Earth, be it our children and grandchildren or our friends’ children and grandchildren or our fellow creatures of the forest, it starts with a little consciousness.

I encourage you to join the 4YG movement, something I committed myself to last year at a personal development seminar — watch this short and inspiring video on Youtube and join me. It’s also part of this blog linked up in the pages (Get Moving).

Seriousness aside, take a look at this very innovative solution to a rainy day — a very “reuse and recycle” one, at that! It made me smile.

Have you seen the film? It's good! ...Image taken from http://bit.ly/9EGrz0

I’ve been trying to convince the ’rents to invest in more sustainable packaging for the restaurant — rather than plastic and Styrofoam — but, in the words of the Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” So if you guys think this would be an important way to shape our restaurant — speak up!

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customer loyalty programs

So, just a heads up, our Foursquare promotion went officially live today. For every eight check-ins from dining in at the restaurant, you earn a free entrée of your choice. (The only catch is, it has to be $12 and under.)

On that note, I also challenge you to steal my mayorship from me! (Remember, I only come in very occasionally.) Mayors earn a free plate of onion cakes (my favorite appetizer)!

What is Foursquare? It’s simple: download the app to your smartphone and “check in” whenever you visit us — and it’ll keep a tally on how often you’ve checked in. Certain venues, like ours, run specials you can unlock at certain points (e.g., when you’ve dined with us eight times, or even when you’ve checked in for the very first time).

We also offer “social media coupons,” which reward you for checking in on Foursquare or Facebook (which doesn’t track cumulative visits, but will work for this purpose). You’ll get a coupon to use next time you come eat with us (but not every single time, of course! The coupons are one-time only).

Bummed about not having a smartphone? You can still get 5% by ordering food from our website 😉 . . . I suppose it’s pretty safe to assume you’ve got access to a computer!

eyewitness reports from the children of fobby parents

the book cover

I’m a huge advocate of sharing the love for the entertaining or informative via social media — so, get ready for some cross-promotion (and no, I’m not paid for this): One of the funniest blogs addressing the awkward and often hilarious cultural divide between Asian parents and their American children is mymomisafob.com, and its partner mydadisafob.com (it’s loving, not judgmental). I just found out that My Mom is a Fob has been published as a book (!! So envious), with a foreword by Margaret Cho(!!!) so of course I had to claim a copy for the restaurant.

Some cute entries so far include:

Me: So Nini has a new boyfriend.

Mom: Ooooh? What is he?

Me: Um, Vietnamese . . .

Mom: Oh! That good, very good.

Me: And Mexican.

Mom: So he a tamale eggroll.

~

Mom: Keep play basketball. You will grow taller!

Me: I’m 29 years old. I think I’ve stopped growing by now.

Mom: No, you can growing! Everyone growing all the time!
Me: . . .

Mom: Also, keep jumping!

. . . and my personal favorite, from mydadisafob.com:

I sent my dad a video of me skydiving. He emailed me back the following . . .

oh my god,

rona, it is really danger game, pls stop it !

think about ur mom, when she 85 years old, who will cook for her, and who will wash her diapers ?

i am too old at that time . pls stop any danger game now .

peace / safe / health .

b.rgds

After I finish chuckling at (and relating to) the book, it’ll find a permanent home at the restaurant at the checkout counter, alongside $#*! My Dad Says, for you to flip through in case you’re waiting for takeout . . . or even not. [Update: I finished the book the same day I got it. So both books are now there for you to enjoy.]

Do you have any endearing parental fob stories to share? Post ’em to Facebook or comment on this post (do I smell a new contest opportunity . . . ?).

And rest assured, our own parents-are-fobs stories from Stephanie’s and my end will definitely be broadcast as they come. [Update: Of course, the moment my mom sees the book cover on this post, she warns: “Careful, if they see this, they could sue you.” . . . Who needs a book, after all, when you’ve got the living thing right in front of you? :P]

[Update no. 2: After I placed the books at the counter, ten minutes later I found them back in front of me at the table. “Yours?” my dad asked, and when I put them back, he called me crazy.]

blissfully unaware

my sister, always to the point

Remember Justin Halpern’s famous tweets & resulting memoirs, $#*! My Dad Says? I read the book a while back, and the whole reason why I picked it up during that trip to Barnes & Noble was because I could relate. My dad is full of the random, and I knew when I started this blog that he would be a tremendous source of laughs. I started our “dad stories” series back in December with tales about his boots and his inability to accept Christmas presents (or gifts of any sort, really), but I think my sister’s one Facebook status from yesterday trumped any long-winded story I have ever written you, so look out for brief “tweet”-like posts in the future, borrowed from either of us for your entertainment. Without further ado, here is what she said:

“My dad wore a ‘Happy Halloween’ sweater on Easter.”

The morning after she posted this, she had 20 likes.

friendly competition

I’ve recently decided that a way to amp up the fun factor is not only through me telling stories about my wacky family — but also to get you involved, too.

So we’re introducing new Mei Shung contests. I have to admit, I did get the idea from my other boss, who runs tons of random contests on a very regular basis, and it does keep things really fresh and interesting, not to mention entertaining.

So, here’s our first and most permanent contest — the Facebook Likes Mei Shung Contest. This will go on indefinitely, as it’s part of my job here to get our web presence far more established.

For every 50 “likes” we get for the Facebook page, we will do a random drawing for a lucky “liker” to win a free $15 gift certificate to our restaurant. I monitor the page very regularly, so the more you share, the more quickly you will get the chance to win!

(On that note, we’re also introducing social media coupons to thank you for sharing the love on FB and Foursquare, by checking in, so make sure you do that when you come by!)

Fine print for all contests: Family and employees/affiliates of Mei Shung are not eligible, nor are previous winners of the same contest. Please also read following contest rules.

We’ve already had our first drawing just yesterday. I think it might be kind of cool to create a page for our hall of winners . . . what do you think? I just created a contests page (look up!).

A second contest, inspired by my best friend who had a particularly amusing fortune from a cookie, is the Funniest Fortunes Contest. Next time you open up a fortune cookie and you find something entertaining, upload it to our Facebook page! Winners will be determined by fan votes . . . I’ll upload them to the contest page on this blog too where you can also vote.

IMPORTANT! Contest rules (don’t say I didn’t warn ya): Obviously, to vote on the FB page, you have to “like” us. To vote on the blog, you must follow the blog, like us on FB, and/or follow us on Twitter (@MeiShung). Just to make it more interesting, the more of those things you do, the more weight your vote carries — for instance, if “Joe” likes us on Facebook, follows us on Twitter, and officially follows the blog (scroll to the bottom of the page to do so), his one vote counts for three. But if “Sam” votes and only follows us on Twitter, that vote only counts as one. Got it?! Also, in order to check that you’ve done all that, I need your name attached to your comment(s), so anonymous votes are automatically disqualified.

The Funniest Fortunes Contest will run for six months, with a winner announced per month. Which means you are eligible to win between April 2012 and October 2012. We’ll announce the winner on the last day of each month, and the winner will get a free dine-in lunch special of their choosing on a weekday.

Good luck! Any questions? Leave a comment below, or ask me on Facebook.

gonna party like it’s duanwu festival . . . just kidding

Here’s a fun story.

The Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, is coming up. . . . My mom suggested I research the holiday last week to tell you about, but apart from telling me it involved boat races in long boats that looked like dragons, I was once again left with the instructions to look it up myself and report to you guys.

She told me it was on 4 April, but as it turns out that is just her crude way of saying “fourth day of the fourth month,” which apparently isn’t even the case. HAHAHA. Apparently also known as the Double Fifth, the Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month on, naturally, the lunar calendar. (Incidentally, the fourth of the fourth is a different holiday — a Taiwanese one — celebrating children. I’m sure you’ll hear about it next year.)

Anyway, after I clarified just now that the Duanwu Festival (as it’s known in Mandarin) is actually the Double Fifth, we realized it’s a bit premature to start yapping about it now, since it isn’t until 25 MAY. (“Oh, I can’t keep my Chinese holidays straight,” she says. “I’ve lived here too long.”)

Thanks, Mom. Now I can go get ready to go to my other job. 😉

Rest assured, though, that I’ll be back with timely Duanwu Festival information in May.