Author: Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone Even if you know very little of Edgar Allan Poe, you likely have the impression that he was a bit of an odd duck. There’s just something about him that feels a bit off. Maybe it’s because his poetry and short stories oftentimes dabbled in the macabre....

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On Complaining and Giving Up

Life is hard. Everyone you encounter on the street, just as much as everyone you encounter online, is going through something. The friend who’s cracking self-deprecating jokes all the time could be suffering from depression. The picture perfect family you see on Instagram could have a household of chaos when the camera is off. We all have our challenges, though certainly some challenges are more challenging than others. And complaining isn’t going get to you anywhere. Put another way, complaining is not a strategy. Complaining is not a strategy. — Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) September 27, 2018 Based on the...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Fall Wisdom

As you might already know, I do these monthly speedlinks that I call the What’s Up Wednesdays series. For the September collection, we’ve got bloggers dropping some mad wisdom. Or something. Life is hard. It’s full of struggles and challenges and hardships. How can you keep going? Borrow a page from Art Eddy and derive some inspiration from Homer Simpson. Remember that episode where he had a sign on his workstation that read “Don’t forget: You’re here forever” and he altered it to read “Do it for her” with photos of Maggie? In one of the better posts I’ve...

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Vlog #95: The Complete #5DadsGoWild Camp Experience

I’m a city boy. I’ve said this before and I’ll likely say it again. That’s why I felt I was probably one of the worst candidates for this #5DadsGoWild camping trip. With zero survival skills and even less camping gear, I was stepping well outside my comfort zone. But I’m glad I did, even if I had a myriad of concerns about what could go wrong. There be bears out there! But I’m here to tell the tale. It’s true. All of it. And here is 17+ minutes of it. Truth be told, I really had my apprehensions about...

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Sunday Snippet: Olivia Maine (This Is Us)

[You’re jealous] of him. He’s changing. And that’s scary for you because you want to change too. You’re scared that you’ll lose all the weight and that nothing will have changed, right? That you will discover that the person who you’ve always been is who you truly are. And all your dreams of the kind of life you’re gonna lead one day are nothing more than lies you’ve told yourself. I get it. It’s scary. I mean, if I were you, I’d be terrified. Trust me. You don’t know women like me. I’d heard people talking about the show...

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The #5DadsGoWild Camping Gear Roundup

As I mentioned in the vlog last week, I’ve never been properly camping. The last time I went “camping” was over 20 years ago in high school, and that was when we had cabins, beds, heat, electricity and teacher supervision. Needless to say, I was quite worried about whether or not I would be able to survive this #5DadsGoWild camping trip. I mean, we could’ve been eaten by bears and I had nowhere near the appropriate camping gear or survival skills for the occasion. But it’s not like I was alone. This was five dads go wild, after all....

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Driving the 2018 Ford Explorer to #5DadsGoWild

When I was a college student, I drove around in a little sports coupe. It was nowhere near the fastest thing on the road, but I threw some money on it nonetheless. I got some strut bars to stiffen up the chassis, a short ram intake and catback exhaust for “performance” upgrades, and some new taillights for the aesthetic. Oh, and I lowered it a couple inches too, making it one of the least practical vehicles on the road. I went over speed bumps diagonally to avoid scraping the bottom. Needless to say, such a vehicle would have been...

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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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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.