Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: An Important Announcement

October 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Disneyland with Oscar Gonzalez

Today is an extra special edition of What’s Up Wednesdays, as I have an important announcement to make, but let’s make our way through this week’s speedlink first. Kicking things off, we have Oscar Gonzalez sharing his adventures in Disneyland with a couple of kids in tow. It seems challenging enough trying to wrangle one child through the Happiest Place on Earth, so I tip my hat to “Papi Daddy” for his courage under fire. He lives in Orange County, so Disneyland is practically in his backyard.

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This Blog Needs a Makeover

October 25th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Beyond the Rhetoric, circa 2016

You ever have an idea or project sit on the back burner for so long that it just turns into a mushy slop of nothing in particular? I’ll get to it eventually, right after I take care of this other thing that’s clearly a higher priority. And then this other thing. And this other thing. I’m sure you have. We all have. And for me, one of those things is giving a fresh new look to this blog. It needs a makeover. It has needed a makeover for a while now.

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5 Instagram Webcomics You Need to Follow

October 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

5 Instagram Webcomics You Need to Follow

For better or for worse, social media has become an integral part of both my personal and professional life. I use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends and keep up with the pulse of the web. But I’m also constantly in search of entertainment, if only for a few seconds at a time. Blame my goldfish-caliber attention span. Hey look! A castle! And webcomics can deliver that quick dose of levity with just a couple taps of the screen.

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Sunday Snippet: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

October 23rd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Ludwig van Beethoven

“You will ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly — I could seize them with my hands — out in the open air, in the woods while walking…”

Even though my musical expertise is limited only to my undeniable prowess in Rock Band, I’d like to think that all artists regardless of discipline share some of the same characteristic traits. Whether you paint with watercolor or you conduct an orchestra, you need to be creative and expressive. And, if you have any ambitions to be successful, you need ideas. You need ideas that no one else could have possibly imagined. But where can you find these ideas?

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Weekend Brunch at Jules Cafe, South Burnaby

October 21st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Jules Cafe, South Burnaby

Every city is filled with all sorts of hidden gems that even many of the locals don’t know about unless they live in the neighborhood. For a time, that may have been Helen’s Grill on Main Street. Every knows about the cheap breakfasts at Bon’s, but where else can you go for some bacon and eggs on a budget? Drive a short distance southeast from Metrotown and you’ll find Jules Cafe. That’s assuming you don’t drive right past it.

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Grammar 101: Hunger Pangs or Hunger Pains

October 20th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Here is another one of those situations involving words that don’t normally come up every day. And even when they do, they are much more commonly spoken than they are written, leading to a very common misinterpretation and spelling mistake. This is the case if you want to talk about a man’s grisly (not grizzly) beard, for instance.

And if it’s been far too long since you had lunch and your stomach is starting to rumble and squeeze in anticipation of dinner, you may be suffering from hunger pangs. Or are they hunger pains?

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What’s Up Wednesdays: A Spooky Smurf

October 19th, 2016 by Michael Kwan


With (Canadian) Thanksgiving now behind us, it’s time to look forward to the spookiest time of the year. Kicking off this week’s collection of blog posts, Kristyl Clark has organized a great list of Halloween events in the Fraser Valley. If you’re in search of a good scare on the other side of the Fraser River, there’s no shortage of haunted houses to enjoy. There’s even a “scream train” in the forest of Bear Creek Park, populated by the walking dead “who roam the platform.”

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I’m a Terrible Father (But That’s Okay)

October 17th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

I'm a Terrible Father

It’s been said that the ideals of work-life balance are a myth. As much as we try to excel at everything we do, that simply is not possible. The very act of diverting our time and resources in one direction necessitates that the same time and resources cannot be utilized in a different direction. In trying simultaneously to be the perfect business owner, the perfect writer, the perfect husband and the perfect dad, I inevitably come up short everywhere.

Fully comprehending this fundamental truth delivers no comfort. Instead, all I feel is this constant sense of inadequacy. I feel like I’m not good enough. I feel like a terrible father and I can’t help but to dwell on the evidence that supports this claim.

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