Author: Michael Kwan

Vlog #79: New York State of Mind

Ever since my daughter was born, we’ve tried to take a vacation together as a family once a year. Her first flight was over to Honolulu, followed by Montreal and Los Cabos. This year, we spent a week in New York City, soaking in some of the local culture, indulging in some of the local food, and partaking in some typical touristy things. Oh, and I went to visit Casey Neistat too. Sort of. This was actually my third time to the Big Apple, but it was a completely different experience for a number of reasons. The first time...

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Sunday Snippet: Robert McKee on Character

True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure — the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature. A few years ago, I discussed why arriving at a sense of identity can be so complicated. We have the personality that we’re born with, the one that society expects from us, and the ideal that we’d like to become. The truth is that we wear many hats and we adapt to the circumstances around us. You might meet someone who appears to be utterly gregarious and generous,...

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On My Wish List (Father’s Day 2018)

This World’s Okayest Dad mug is pretty sweet, don’t you think? Money can’t buy happiness. I know that. But you know… Nice things are still nice sometimes. Realistically, I don’t really expect to receive anything from my wish list. This is more just an exercise in daydreaming and convincing myself what I actually want to buy for myself. After all, Father’s Day is just two weeks away and I deserve to treat myself to something, right? Right. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze As a lifelong fan of Nintendo, I’ve owned almost every console the company has ever released. And...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: The Overwhelm

Can you believe it’s already been a month since the last time we’ve done this? Let’s see what some other terrific bloggers have been discussing lately. A Seafaring Magic Kingdom Have you ever considered taking a Disney cruise, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the money? Canadian Dad Chris Read offers his first-hand impressions of sailing aboard the Disney Dream, including a stop at Castaway Cay. There are Disney characters everywhere and you should definitely download the app to stay on top of daily activities. The shows are amazing too. Need a Boost? Speaking of family travel, Kevin...

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Vlog #78: Screeched In Newfoundland (I’m on a Boat)

Remember how I showed you around my hotel last week? You probably want to see what St. John’s and Newfoundland look like beyond the confines of a hotel room. Ford Canada arranged for a full day of adventuring in Canada’s easternmost province, including a bright and early wake-up call to catch the country’s first sunrise. And yes, I got a big yellow hat too. Because of the time difference (4.5 hours) and how late I got in the night before, I barely snuck in 30 to 45 minutes of sleep before I had to wake up for the sunrise...

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Sunday Snippet: Jenna Fischer

My husband asked me, he was like, “How’s it feel? How’s it feel to walk with proper posture?” And I was like, I feel braggy. I feel like I’m boastful, like I’m like, “Look at me! I am here!” And he said to me, it was amazing, he said, “You know, you shouldn’t have to apologize for the amount of space that your body naturally takes up in the world.” Most of us know Jenna Fischer best for playing the delightfully charming Pam Beesly on The Office. She was even nominated in 2007 for a Primetime Emmy Award for...

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Grammar 101: Second Hand, Second-Hand or Secondhand?

English can be a very tricky language. Even when you look at words that are spelled using the exact same letters, a hyphen can completely change the meaning. “Recreation” refers to leisure activity, whereas “re-creation” refers to creating something again. And the deal with “second hand” and “second-hand” works in much the same way. “Second hand” (with a space) refers to the hand on a clock indicating the number of seconds in the current minute. It’s a noun. The ticking sound of a clock comes from the second hand. Its corresponding partners on an analog clock are the hour...

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Seeking Balance in Travel Planning

Somehow, I suspect that my approach to travel planning mirrors how I approach life in general. I get myself stuck in an endless opportunity cost loop, because I want to have my cake and eat it too. I seek balance while unwilling to endure the necessary trade-offs. And while you’ll find that vacationers tend to fall into one of two camps, I want to be a part of both. Option 1: See All the Things! “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” It’s an anonymous quote that gets thrown around often on social...

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Vlog #77: JAG Boutique Hotel (St. John’s Nfld)

This may surprise some of you. Up until a couple of years ago when we went to Montreal, I hadn’t traveled further east in Canada than the the Alberta Badlands. Well, I had a layover in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, but that doesn’t really count. Now I can say that I’ve been to the easternmost point in Canada. For our 36-hour whirlwind tour of the area, Ford Canada set us up at the JAG Boutique Hotel in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland. From what I can gather, the JAG Boutique Hotel in St. John’s is a relatively new property. I...

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Sunday Snippet: Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex)

It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision — because it isn’t enough to simply talk about equality. One must believe it. And it isn’t enough to simply believe in it. One must work at it. Let us work at it. Together. Starting now. I’m not normally one to get caught up in celebrity gossip. And I did not wake up extra early yesterday morning to watch the royal wedding. Even so, my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to learn a little...

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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.