Author: Michael Kwan

Vlog #40: PNE Day with the Toddler

I’ve been going to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) for as long as I can remember. The Fair at the PNE has changed a lot over the years, but there are some things that have always stayed the same. I have to see the SuperDogs every year — I think there were a few years where I saw them more than once — and I have to eat those little donuts. And now I get to do it all over again with my daughter. Now that she’s almost three years old, Addie understands a lot more and I think...

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Sunday Snippet: Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence. On some subconscious level, we all place a lot of trust in perceived authority. Think about those TV commercials where they say four out of five dentists recommend this particular toothpaste… and inevitably there’s someone in a white lab coat telling us this. We know this person is probably just an actor and not a dentist or some sort of scientist, but the white lab coat gives off the illusion of authority and they deliver this “fact”...

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Grammar 101: Eclipse, Ellipse, Ellipsis

Unless you’ve been living under a rock — and even if you have, there’s probably still some pretty decent Wi-Fi down there — you probably got bombarded by all the total solar eclipse madness last week. We didn’t make the road trip down to Oregon to experience totality nor did we get the special glasses in time, so we mostly lived vicariously through everyone else’s excitement. And then I made the mistake of randomly scrolling through my Facebook feed, as I am apt to do, only to see that some people were confusing the term “eclipse” with two other...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: It’s Chris Jericho!

I last shared a collection of blog posts from around the web four weeks ago and somehow another month has come and gone. Can you believe it? As the kids get ready to go back to school (if they haven’t already), let’s take another virtual journey of the web in search of some good reading. Getting us started is Art Eddy from Life of Dad who had the good fortune to interview Chris Jericho. Yup, that’s Y2J himself, the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rollah. Most of us know him best as the charismatic professional wrestler, but Chris Jericho is...

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Vlog #39: Perspective, Context, and the One Percent

Have you ever seen that meme where there are two people standing on either side of a number of the ground? One of them says it’s a 6 and the other says it’s a 9 and the lesson we’re supposed to take from that is that they’re both right, from their respective perspectives. But one of them is actually correct, right? Perspective isn’t enough. You need context. And this week’s vlog puts everything into context. There are many great lessons we can glean from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, like deciding whether or not we should murder our uncles. Because there is...

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Sunday Snippet: Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and...

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, West Broadway

Equating excellent Japanese ramen to instant cup noodles is like drawing a parallel between handmade Italian pasta and Chef Boyardee. There’s just no comparison. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for instant noodles and canned ravioli, but once you’ve had a taste of the good stuff, it’s really hard to go back. And great ramen doesn’t have to be expensive either. To my recollection, and it’s entirely possible I’m viewing this memory through rose-tinted glasses (and taste buds), the best bowl of ramen I have ever eaten was at a random truck stop off...

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The Following May Contain Coarse Language

I was at McDonald’s (why do so many of my stories start this way?), thinking that I’d be able to enjoy my iced coffee in relative peace. Within a couple minutes of me sitting down, I was suddenly surrounded by a group of teenagers. They were talking about Snapchat and how their moms were making them clean their rooms. So much for my peace and quiet, but that’s not the point of this story. One of the teens — I’m guessing she was maybe 15 or 16, but I’m really bad at estimating that sort of thing — had...

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Vlog #38: Fancy Cheap McDonald’s Hamburgers

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you’ll know that the best way to my heart is through my stomach. I like food. I like eating out. And it doesn’t even need to be all that fancy either, like that time I loaded up on 67-cent hamburgers at McDonald’s. I can’t be the only one who is immediately reminded of Tai Mai Shu. This Internet sensation went viral long before Star Wars Kids and Dramatic Gophers racked up millions of views on YouTube. Yut yee sam. Microphone...

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Sunday Snippet: Jim Carrey – I Needed Color

“What you do in life chooses you. You can choose not to do it. You can choose to try to do something safer. Your vocation chooses you.” As children (and even as adults), we are oftentimes offered conflicting career advice. Go to school and learn some practical and respectable. Learn to be a nurse or an accountant. Those jobs are stable and pay well. Then again, maybe you should do what we love… only to realize that the money very rarely follows. And what you love can change over time. That has been precisely the case with Jim Carrey....

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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.



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