Author: Michael Kwan

6 Weird Things I Enjoy Doing

It’s one of those standard “ice breaker” type questions you might get in a job interview, a kitchen party, or some sort of networking event. What do you do for fun? And while it’s easy enough to dish out a generic answer like saying you like to travel (I do) or try new foods (I also do), it got me thinking about the weird things that I enjoy doing. And it’s not so much that the things are themselves weird; it’s more like it’s weird that I enjoy doing them. Finding Music for the Vlog As you likely already...

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What Does a Good Night’s Sleep Even Look Like?

I’m tired. Exhausted even. Like all the time. Some people will say this is par for the course when you’re a working parent with a young child. Especially when the newborn is around, you can kiss your sleep goodbye. Most moms and dads can attest to that. But what if you’re clocking in a good seven or eight hours and you’re still not rested? Are you really getting a good night’s sleep? Polling the Sleep-Deprived Parent To get some sense of where I fit into the pack, I turned to my dad bloggers friends on Facebook for insight into...

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Vlog #76: Travel Camera Gear (and an Ocarina)

As you might recall in last week’s vlog, I said I wished I had learned how to play a musical instrument when I was younger. I also said that it’s not too late for me to learn now. In rekindling some of that melodious spirit, I decided to play a little music in this week’s vlog. And then there’s a bunch of camera gear and travel stuff too. Even though I’ve never been much of an RPG kind of guy, The Legend of Zelda is, well, kind of legendary. That’s why I couldn’t help but to pick up an...

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Sunday Snippet: Simone Giertz

Since then, I’ve carved out this little niche for myself on the internet as an inventor of useless machines, because as we all know, the easiest way to be at the top of your field is to choose a very small field. I thought I was unconventional for starting my own freelance writing business. As it turns out, the world is filled with all sorts of freelancers. Competition can be fierce and it can oftentimes feel like a race to the bottom. But you know what you won’t encounter very often? A self-taught inventor making machines she fully expects...

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Grammar 101: Let’s and Lets

Punctuation matters. It’s the difference between “let’s eat, grandma!” (inviting granny to dinner) and “let’s eat grandma!” (granny is dinner). And so just as we need to be mindful about whether to use its or it’s, we should also be mindful about the little apostrophe that separates lets from let’s. Lets (no apostrophe) is a conjugated form of the verb “to let.” This means to allow or permit, the opposite of to prevent or forbid. John lets his dog wander the yard freely. I wonder if the teacher will let the kids out early. The airline only lets you...

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I’m Sick and Tired of the Self Sabotage

Me: I wish I had more time to get stuff done. Life: Okay fine. Here are a couple of hours. Me: I really just want to take a nap. Life: Okay fine. Go nap. Me: But Animal Crossing though. Life: I give up. Me: Yeah, me too. This was a conversation I had with Life a few months ago. I mean, I obviously didn’t really speak to the personification of life itself, but this was what was rattling around in my subconscious at the time. I complain often about how I don’t have enough time to do all the...

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Vlog #75: Advice for a Younger Me

Look at that little guy. So innocent. So full of potential. He could have been anything, really, but he thought it best to head out onto the balcony in his slippers and jam away on a plastic guitar. Honestly, I can’t blame him. Maybe he could have made something of himself if he traded that plastic guitar for a real one. Maybe. But what other advice would I bestow upon a younger Michael if I had the chance? The inspiration for this week’s vlog comes from fellow dad blogger and culinary enthusiast Stacey Robinsmith. He calls himself “A Dad...

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Sunday Snippet: Joelle Brooks (Dear White People V2)

Do you know there’s a scientific debate raging over the color blue? Does it exist, or is it the brain’s best guess, identifying wave particles beyond its observational scope? Consciousness evolved with questions natural selection never designed it to answer, making truth just beyond man’s Darwinian limits. I’m inexplicably enamored with TV shows and moves that feature decidedly witty dialogue. That’s why, even though I hear he can be rather difficult in real life, Aaron Sorkin is one of the best in the business. He writes dialogue the way we wished we spoke and not the way that people...

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Mindful Parenting for Dummies Like Me

When we first enrolled my daughter in preschool, I had very little in terms of expectations. The main objective, at least in my mind, wasn’t about learning her ABCs and 123s. Instead, it was much more about learning structure, routine and basic social skills. Little did I recognize how much I would learn as a parent to a preschooler, including this notion of mindful parenting. Every couple of months, the preschool holds a general meeting for the parents. We get brought up to speed about what’s going on in the classroom, what the children are learning and experiencing, and...

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Asian and Pacific Islander Representation in Disney/Pixar Animation

I stumbled across a YouTube video the other day that posed a rather puzzling request. Name a major Hollywood movie where a lead actor or actress is Asian American (or Asian Canadian), does not speak with an “ethnic” accent, and does not utilize martial arts (or some other cultural trope). It’s harder than you might think. The first character I can think of is Harold Lee from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, played by John Cho. Upon further reflection, we might consider films like Okja and Better Luck Tomorrow. The point is that Asian Americans, in general,...

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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.


Beyond the Baby Babble: Surviving Life as a Work-at-Home Dad