Author: Michael Kwan

Word of the Week: Reactance

As I make my living as a writer and editor, it is in my professional best interest to expand my vocabulary. Instead of saying someone was very sad, I might say that she was devastated. Instead of referring to the water as blue, I might talk about its azure hue. Through my journeys, I come across innumerable made up words like bigly and supposably. I thought that was also the case with reactance. And I thought wrong. My initial reaction was similar to when I discovered the word “quean”. It’s probably just a mistaken take on the word “reaction”...

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Vlog #11: BC Family Day Dim Sum

Today is Family Day in British Columbia, a statutory holiday that was put in place in 2013 to fill the massive void between New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Some stores and offices are closed, while others may have reduced hours. As a freelancer, of course, I don’t get any days off, so that’s why we “celebrated” Family Day yesterday, capturing some highlights in this week’s vlog. What a difference a week can make. As you may have seen in last week’s vlog, Vancouver got slammed with another wave of the snowpocalypse, but this was followed by a couple...

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Sunday Snippet: Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof. The older I get, the more I think about what my legacy will be. How will I be remembered? What will I have done to make the world better in some way? And that’s the thing. The meaning of life, if you want to call it that, is to transcend life. It’s to have created or supported something that is greater than yourself. On some level, I’d like to believe that my writing will be my legacy. My...

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I Envy My Wife Every Day

As much as I would like to think that I am reasonably progressive with my perspective on things and that this is a marriage between equals, it is not. Ever since I made that life-changing decision nearly two decades ago, I’ve always wondered why she would settle for a poor sap like me. I see all these positive qualities in her and I yearn for the day that I can internalize them for myself. It’s true. I envy my wife every day. Let me count the ways. She can fall asleep the moment her head hits the pillow. Over...

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Idiomatica: What Is a Nest Egg?

English is filled with all sorts of odd expressions, many of which inexplicably involve animals. You can be sick as a dog, sweating like a pig, and so hungry you could eat a horse. Given our history first as hunters and then as agriculturalists, perhaps it makes sense that our experience is colored by our relationship with the fauna of the world. So, what’s the deal with having a nest egg? Let’s start with a basic definition. A “nest egg” refers to a sum of money that has been saved up, usually set aside for a particular purpose. Mr....

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Vlog #10: Snowpocalypse and the Little Mermaid

Can you believe it? This little weekly vlogging challenge of mine has officially hit double digits. In this 10th edition, Vancouver gets slammed once again with another snowmageddon. This is definitely out of the ordinary for the area, especially considering that it is already February. Even so, we braved these crazy winter conditions for some family fun time at the mall followed by The Little Mermaid musical put on by Align Entertainment.   I’ve talked about snowmageddon in Vancouver at least a couple of times before. The city seemed much more prepared this time around with the plows and...

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Sunday Snippet: Michael Tucker (Lessons from the Screenplay)

Black Swan tells the story of a young woman who sacrifices everything to achieve one fleeting moment of absolute perfection, suggesting absolute perfection requires absolute sacrifice. Whiplash tells the story of a young man who endures intense physical and emotional abuse from a mentor, but manages to grow from the experience and in the end becomes the next Charlie Parker — Fletcher’s only Charlie Parker. Which raises the question, do the ends justify the means? Is it true that there are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”? Even though I may not have...

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Netflix Programming for the Dinosaur-Obsessed Toddler

I thought the Pachycephalosaurus was fascinating with its domed skull that could grow to be up to 10 inches thick. I thought the Ankylosaurus was awesome with its tank-like body and the club at the end of its tail. While I’m not entirely certain I was a dinosaur-obsessed toddler, I was definitely a dinosaur-obsessed child. And I seem to have passed this prehistoric passion onto my two-year-old daughter. When she was still learning how to speak — and as a two-year-old, she’s learning new words all the time — she couldn’t quite pronounce “dinosaur” correctly and understandably so. For...

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7 Underrated Benefits of the Third Shift

It may have once been the case that after you clock out for the day at 5, you can relax for the rest of the night. Maybe you play some video games, watch some television, or read a book. But the reality for today’s working parents is quite different. After you finish a full day at work (the first shift), you come home to all sorts of home and parental duties (the second shift). And then after you put the little one(s) to bed, work is just a couple of keystrokes away. And so begins the third shift. Now,...

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Vlog #9: Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

For most of my childhood, I had assumed that all hot chocolate came only in powdered form. You scoop some into your mug, add some hot water, and give it a stir. If I was feeling extra fancy, I might have added in a splash of milk or maybe some mini marshmallows. But just as instant noodles can’t hold a candle to a “real” bowl of ramen, that powdered stuff doesn’t come close to a “real” hot chocolate.   After highlighting some Lunar New Year celebrations in last week’s vlog, this week we turn to the Vancouver Hot Chocolate...

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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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