Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: Take a Sip

August 27th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Rome, Italy

We start our weekly speedlink with Damien Riley. He shares an infographic that describes your personality based on the type of coffee you drink. The list is missing my usual Americano, but as I have been leaning more toward black coffee these last few years, I suppose I’m somewhere between the black coffee and espresso drinker, with a dash of the latte drinker. Yes, I can indeed to be neurotic.

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Tech Tuesday: ZTE Grand X 5-Inch Android Smartphone (Video)

August 26th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Tech Tuesday: ZTE Grand X 5-Inch Android Smartphone (Video)

It’s easy to get excited about the next generation of flagship devices. We’re expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Motorola X+1 and the iPhone 6 very soon. However, it’s also obvious enough that many of these more expensive devices are overkill for a lot of people. Addressing an entirely different segment of the market is the ZTE Grand X, a big phone at a little price.

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Lessons from My TV Dad Role Models

August 25th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Lessons from My TV Dad Role Models

Before the Internet really became a thing, the television was a great source of inspiration and wisdom for me. From the Price Is Right, I learned the importance of knowing how much things cost (and the importance of spaying and neutering your pets). From Saved By The Bell, I learned about high school life before actually going to high school myself. And now that I am about to become a father, I look back at the many TV dads as my role models too, as fictional as their lives may be.

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Sunday Snippet: Aubrey Plaza

August 24th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Aubrey Plaza

“I’m not very smart to begin with, so I can’t overthink anything. If I’m thinking about something, that’s a big deal for me.”

I know I have the habit of being particularly philosophical or pensive in nature. I think a lot. At least, I think I think too much and that’s partly why I selected Rodin’s Thinker as the logo for Beyond the Rhetoric. While I value convenience and efficiency with a lot of the things that I do, I can fall into the trap of overthinking too. But that’s not the case for Aubrey Plaza… or is it?

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Movie Reviews: If I Stay, The Giver, Dim Sum Funeral

August 22nd, 2014 by Michael Kwan

If I Stay (2014)

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Chloe Grace Moretz plays teenager Mia Hall. While she was born to a couple of “too cool” rocker parents, she gravitated to the cello and classical music from a very young age. And she has since blossomed into something of a prodigy, eventually landing an audition with Juilliard. Meanwhile, she also happens to have a rocker boyfriend whose band is really taking off. If we were to look at these elements in isolation, they’d easily fit into any standard teenage movie or TV sitcom. But, of course, there’s a twist.

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On the Pursuit of Enlightenment

August 21st, 2014 by Michael Kwan


We all want to feel like our actions have a purpose. I go to the grocery store with a shopping list in tow. If I exit the grocery store with every item ticked off the list, I can feel a certain sense of accomplishment, however small it may be. You might go to university with the idea that earning that degree will help launch your professional career. The purpose behind these actions goes beyond the actions themselves. We have to remember, though, that this isn’t always the case.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Late Summer Nights

August 20th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Cliffs at Helliwell Provincial Park

That’s right! It’s time for the weekly speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Kicking things off, Jennifer Mattern from All Indie Writers recently interviewed me about freelancing and my book, Beyond the Margins. In the interview, we discuss such topics as what I hope buyers of the book will gain from reading it, how I overcame a particularly nasty freelance writing scam that I experienced, and where to find a consistent source of self-motivation.

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Dinner at BT Cafe on Kingsway, Vancouver

August 19th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

BT Cafe Vancouver

There’s a stretch of Kingsway, roughly starting at Fraser and running to Nanaimo (and beyond), that has always been known for having a large concentration of Vietnamese restaurants and businesses. It wasn’t all that long ago that this was made a little more official with “Little Saigon” banners on the lamp posts. And the frontage on BT Cafe is such that you could drive past it dozens of times and not even notice that it’s there. I know that was the case with me.

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