Author: Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Colin Mochrie

I think the challenge is going out in front of a paying audience with absolutely nothing and trying to entertain them for two hours. Thankfully, I only think about that right before we go on, and then once we’re out there, everything’s fine. The rules and circumstances of improv comedy serve as a great allegory or parallel to the real world. Some people may seem more naturally talented, though they still need years of practice to further hone their craft. Other people get good through sheer will and determination. And then an audience member throws out a nonsense suggestion...

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Grammar 101: Pier, Peer, Pear and Pare

Many people might tell you that “affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun, except that’s not always true. English is complicated like that and for all the convenience that it provides, automatic spellcheck isn’t really helping the situation. When you’ve got words that sound similar (or the same) like “pier” and “peer,” it’s easy to get them confused. And this can lead to many a spelling mistake. So, let’s gain a little clarity by defining the terms. On Piers and Peers A pier most commonly refers to a structure wherein you have a platform supported by pillars,...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: The Perfect Parent

Can you believe that the end of June is just a couple of days away? That means we’re already halfway through the year and it also means that it’s time for another speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Kicking things off, we have Ava to Zoe’s Janette Shearer with her special feature on Yummy Mummy Club explaining that you are not a bad mama. Despite what you might see on social media, the perfect parent doesn’t actually exist in the real world. We all have our struggles, because we’re all doing it wrong, and that’s alright. One thing that...

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Vlog #30: On Raising a Wild Child

One of my daughter’s favorite shows on Netflix is Dinosaur Train. The young dinos hop aboard a time-traveling locomotive to explore different areas and eras where different dinosaurs once lived. They’re making their own discoveries, out in nature. And that’s the exact same thing that Dr. Scott Sampson encourages in this week’s vlog. He may be a little biased. If you are a regular viewer of Dinosaur Train, then you likely recognize Dr. Sampson as Dr. Scott the Paleontologist. Already a verifiable celebrity in his own right, he is also the current CEO and President of Science World. He’s...

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Sunday Snippet: Detective Lt. William Somerset (SE7EN)

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part. “What’s in the box? You lie! Shut up! No! No!” I edited out some of Brad Pitt’s cussing, because this is a family-friendly environment… even if I’m talking about the decapitated head of a police officer’s wife, delivered to the middle of nowhere in a nondescript box by some random courier company. Because that’s still family-friendly and PG-13, right? Right. Oh, and spoiler alert. Directed by the incomparable David Fincher, Seven (officially stylized as SE7EN) is easily one of...

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On Sleep Quality and a Persistent Sense of Fatigue

It doesn’t matter if you catch me first thing in the morning or some time in the middle of the afternoon. Chances are that I’m going to be pretty tired (and look the part too). Maybe it’s a little cliche to say that all parents, particularly of babies and young children, suffer from chronic fatigue. Maybe this is further exacerbated by my life as a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad. I don’t feel like I ever get enough sleep. But here’s the thing. Even if I am so lucky as to go to bed early or to sleep in...

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The Puzzling Paradox of Day Off Self Sabotage

I’ve stated so many times before that the flexibility afforded by the freelance lifestyle is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve said that because I can work at any time, I feel like I should be working all the time. That’s not fair, of course, and I understand that perfectly on an intellectual level. It also means that almost anything can be put off until later in the day, later in the week, or even beyond. This slippery slope presents a very dangerous situation, one rife with temptation and opportunities for procrastination. I justify these decisions to myself...

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Vlog #29: Switch Up for Father’s Day

I’ve been a “gamer” pretty well my whole life, starting out with Defender and Missile Command on the Atari 2600 some time in the 1980s. I grew up in the arcades, putting my quarters on the display ledge to call “next” with the best of them. While I did (and do) play on PC and I did eventually get an Xbox 360, Nintendo will always hold a very special place in my gaming heart. So you can only begin to imagine how elated I was to get a Nintendo Switch for Father’s Day. And then I thought it was...

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Sunday Snippet: Ryan Reynolds on Father’s Day

Nothing better than spending an entire morning staring into my baby daughter’s eyes, whispering, “I can’t do this.” He was once named the sexiest man alive by People Magazine. And he played the merc with the sewn up mouth and friggin’ laser beams shooting out of his eyes too. Oh, are we not supposed to ever talk about that ever again? My bad. How about the time he held the emerald-hued beacon of infinite light? No, not that either? Well, at least Ryan Reynolds is the picture of perfect fatherhood… or rather he plays one on Twitter. For Father’s...

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The Emergence of a Kid’s Personality

They may have their individual quirks and “every baby is different,” but if we’re going to be perfectly honest, newborns don’t have much of a developed personality. Instead, while there are glimmers and glimpses leading up to it, I’d venture to say that a kid’s personality doesn’t really start to emerge until right around his or her first birthday. It’s right around this time, on average, that the child will likely achieve a number of major milestones. She’ll take her first steps. She’ll learn to utter more than a small handful of words, possibly even combining them into rudimentary...

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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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