Beyond the Rhetoric


Grammar 101: Rest on Your Laurels

November 27th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

A Winged Statue of Nike by Carole Raddato (Flickr)

Every language has its share of idioms and English is certainly no exception. Surprisingly, some of these phrases actually make logical sense when you look into their origins. This is true whether you’re holding down the fort or you’ve hit the mother lode. And yes, it’s even true for when you “rest on your laurels.”

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Happy Turkey Day, America

November 26th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Happy Turkey Day

Hey there, America. I’m Canadian, so I celebrated Thanksgiving last month with my family. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your own turkey day too. I hope you get all the fixings with plenty of stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Just remember to take this day for what it is and truly express your gratitude for everything that is good in your life.

I like a great deal as much as the next guy and I completely understand the desire to stretch your dollar as far as it will go. Heck, our dollar is now worth about 30% less compared to yours. Even so, don’t let Black Friday be a distraction away from the quality time you should be spending with your family, friends, and those who are dear to you.

Gobble some turkey. Watch some football. And remember to give thanks. Sometimes, we forget just how good we have it.

What’s Up Wednesdays: Into the Kitchen

November 25th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Into the Kitchen

It’s time for our weekly speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Today, we indulge in some culinary adventures, both in the kitchen and beyond. Kicking things off, Tim from SuperFitDads wants to make it really easy for guys that can’t cook. He has a simple recipe for bolognese sauce that just about anyone can make. This has less to do with being a competent dad and more to do with knowing your way around the kitchen.

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Which 90s Sitcom Describes Your Parenting Style?

November 24th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Which 90s Sitcom Describes Your Parenting Style?

As much as you would like to think that you’ll be the perfect mom or the flawless dad, you really don’t know how things are going to turn out until you actually become a parent yourself. Suddenly, all of those perfect ideals get thrown out of the window and you resort to doing whatever works. It’s true. Despite what the 90s sitcom may have led you to believe, no family is perfect and conflicts don’t resolve themselves in 22 minutes (plus commercial breaks).

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Sunday Snippet: Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

November 22nd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

“I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Achilles; fortune hath not one place to hit me.”

A positive outlook on life, coupled with a great sense of self-efficacy, can be an incredibly powerful thing. Far too often, we take a look at our lot in life and we focus on what is missing. We get caught up in a “woe is me” mentality and shake our fists at the world over our perceived misfortune. We get caught up in a “I’ll be happy when” line of thought, thinking that happiness is something that happens to us rather than something that we create ourselves.

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Chef Chai, Asian Fusion in Honolulu

November 20th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Chef Chai, Asian Fusion In Honolulu

The Asian influence on the cuisine of the Hawaiian islands is undeniable. There’s white rice in just about everything, teriyaki chicken is a very common sight, and you can’t deny the fact that spam musubi is basically a luncheon meat-ized version of nigiri sushi. It’s one big, happy melting pot of culinary treats, garnished with pineapple and guava.

As much as we enjoyed indulging in coffee and shave ice during our stay on Oahu, we also wanted to enjoy at least one fancy dinner. For that, we decided on Chef Chai, located not far from Ala Moana Center on Kapiolani Boulevard. It’s a hip, upscale joint in a rather new building. In fact, if you look it up on Google Street View, it will still display as being under construction.

Chef Chai describes itself as an Asian fusion restaurant, though I found the Thai influence to be the most evident. By contrast, the decor is decidedly modern, which suits the more contemporary cocktail and wine list too. It’s meant to be posh and contemporary, not humble and traditional. We purchased a Groupon ahead of time for the early bird menu (before 6pm) and this consisted of four set courses.

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The Brutal Reality of the Third Shift

November 19th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

The Brutal Reality of the Third Shift

Jane wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a good night’s rest. She heads into her bathroom to get ready for her day, before sitting down to eat a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and orange juice. Jane hops in her humble hatchback and commutes to her office downtown, where she puts in her solid eight hours of work. Jane comes home, eats dinner, and unwinds for the rest of the night with Netflix, a warm blanket and a glass of Merlot.

I’m not Jane. I work the third shift.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Star Wars Edition

November 18th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Star Wars Edition

There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? For better or for worse, George Lucas and his team have grown Star Wars into an unstoppable force (see what I did there?). With Episode VII set for release next month, I am dedicating this week’s speedlink to the Star Wars universe.

While many of us have grown up among Ewoks and Jawas, some people may have never watched either the original trilogy or the prequels. For those newbies, should they watch them in release order or in episode order? Rod Hilton has argued that the best way to watch (or re-watch) the six films is the Machete order. The unconventional twist, with the noted omission of one episode, could result in the best marathon session possible.

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