Author: Michael Kwan

Vlog #94: Am I a Good Canadian?

Two months ago, inspired by the “Yappie” series by Wong Fu Productions on YouTube, I questioned whether I was a good Asian. A lot of that had to do with stereotypes, like whether I went to Kumon or if I drove a Toyota. But now, that got me thinking, how does the Canadian part of my cultural identity stack up against the stereotypical expectations that the maple leaf represents? It’s not like this topic is completely to new to me. A few years ago, I listed off some key (tongue partly in cheek) criteria for what it meant to...

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Sunday Snippet: Sean Evans (Hot Ones)

Super entertaining to see some sort of big meltdown and I laugh at the reactions just like you laugh at the reactions. But we’re an interview show first and it really is about the interview. And you know what? If we don’t approach these interviews with a certain degree of thoughtfulness, then maybe a guest doesn’t want to eat a chicken wing with Da Bomb on it. Or hit the last dab as they go through the Hot Ones gauntlet. YouTube is one of these platforms that encourages creativity. It’s the great democratizer, because anyone with a camera and...

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Green Leaf Cafe Japanese Restaurant, Burnaby

One of my longtime friends was telling me that her favorite sushi restaurant in Vancouver is Green Leaf Sushi. The challenge, at least for me, is that it is located on West Broadway and almost Alma Street, a hop and a skip away from the UBC Point Grey campus. And I’m practically never out in that part of town. So, imagine my excitement when I heard a second location had opened by Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby. That’s Green Leaf Cafe. On some level, the opening of Green Leaf Cafe at 9604 Cameron Street — in the same complex...

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The Journey of Life

Between preparing for #5DadsGoWild, going back to preschool, and keeping up with my regular professional duties, as well as everything going on with this blog (and the weekly vlog), I’ve been pretty busy. Many things I’ve been wanting to do have fallen to the wayside. But I’ve got to embrace the journey, right? I had considered skipping today’s blog post entirely. That way, I can focus more of my time and energy on addressing everything else in this game of Whac-a-Mole. It’s a delicate balance, to be sure, because this blog and its readers (that’s you!) are very important...

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Vlog #93: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Apparently, being invited to speak at Freelance Camp isn’t exactly the same thing. Or so I’ve been told. As you might have heard, I’m about to embark on a little camping trip with some other local dads. This wouldn’t normally be a very big deal, except most of us are hardly experienced campers. Is “campers” the correct term here? I have no idea.   I’ve mentioned on this blog a few times before that I am fueled by caffeine and Wi-Fi. That line also pops up in my social media. It’s tongue-in-cheek, to be sure, but there’s also some...

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Sunday Snippet: William Blake, The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? It almost feels like a lifetime ago at this point, but did you know that I minored in English literature during my university days? Perhaps this contributed to my career choice as a freelance writer, though everything I read for that part of my degree was fiction and practically everything I write today is non-fiction. And while we explored some older works like Paradise Lost by John Milton and more contemporary books like The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison,...

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Grammar 101: Pour Over and Pore Over

The English language is filled with words and phrases that sound similar (or the same) but have different meanings. “Complement” is not the same as “compliment,” just as authoritative and authoritarian cannot be used interchangeably. And the same can be said about “pour over” and “pore over,” even though they’re pronounced exactly the same way. Pour over is a phrase that you’ll encounter most often in the context of a fancy coffee shop. As you know, there are many methods for brewing up a cup of coffee. If you’re like me, you might brew up a cup using an...

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Why a Parent Participation Preschool Is Worth It

A parent participation preschool (PPP), sometimes called a parent involved preschool (PIP), requires parents to take active roles in their children’s education. Each parent is assigned a job, like maintaining the yard, getting books from the library, or acting as the school’s registar. There are some other responsibilities, like attending regular meetings too. This keeps tuition costs low, since everyone pitches in. Addie will be going back to school next week (the schedule staggers with regular schools) for her second year of preschool. We recently met with the parents of an inbound 3-year-old. Their friends said they were crazy...

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Vlog #92: Top 5 Travel Destinations

The late Anthony Bourdain once said, “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” I’d say that outlook on life extends far beyond the age of 22. Experience the world through your own five senses. The question is, what travel destinations should top your list?   I most certainly have a lot more of the world that I’d love...

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Sunday Snippet: The Breakfast Club

We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all. I was a mere toddler when The Breakfast Club first came out in 1985. While I’ve known about the cult classic reputation of John Hughes 1980s teenage comedies, I’ve never really thought to explore them. Based on my experience with this iconic film, maybe I should. After all, I indulged in a bunch of equally cheesy films in the 90s, like She’s All That and Can’t Hardly Wait. I’m hardly “above” this genre in any way. Perhaps the most striking thing about The Breakfast...

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.