Author: Michael Kwan

But How Do You Find the Time?

Life isn’t fair. The world is filled with all sorts of inequalities. Some people win the genetic lottery, exuding an unparalleled level of natural beauty that aligns with the prevailing standards of the day. Some people are born into tremendously wealthy families and they never have to worry about money. Math or science or music or language might come very easily to some individuals, but those same subjects can be overwhelmingly frustrating for others. Life isn’t fair. But there is one thing that we all have in common, regardless of sex, ethnicity, wealth or social status. It’s time. We...

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On Starting Preschool and Afternoon Naps

It feels like only yesterday that I was welcoming her into my arms and yet I will suddenly have a preschooler on my hands in just a few short weeks. How did this happen? Every time that we thought we finally got things figured out, everything changed and it’s happening all over again with my daughter starting preschool next month. Her “typical” daily schedule has gone through several changes and phases these last three years, but at least for the last several months, we’ve reached a certain level of predictability. She’s been down to just the one nap in...

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Vlog #37: Choosing the Best Hotel for Your Trip

I love to travel, despite all the challenges and frustrations that accompany it, and one of the bigger decisions that you need to make when planning a trip is figuring out where you are going to stay. In the most recent episode of Clay’s Corner over the weekend, my friend Clayton Imoo discussed the first things that people check or look for when they enter their hotel room. And that got me thinking about how I decide what is the best hotel for me. And so, here we are with this week’s vlog. The circumstances of each individual trip,...

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Sunday Snippet: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Do not believe those who try to persuade you that composition is only a cold exercise of the intellect. The only music capable of moving and touching us is that which flows from the depths of a composer’s soul when he is stirred by inspiration. There is no doubt that even the greatest musical geniuses have sometimes worked without inspiration. This guest does not always respond to the first invitation. We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood,...

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Foodie Friday: MYST Asian Fusion (Burnaby)

The Metro Vancouver of today is decidedly different from the Greater Vancouver of my childhood. We had BC Transit, not Translink. We went to Chinatown and spoke Toi San; we didn’t go to Richmond and speak Mandarin. One isn’t necessarily any better or worse than the other. It’s just different. And that’s why it felt a little strange visiting the new Myst Asian Fusion restaurant in South Burnaby. To me, that building at 6400 Kingsway was Lester’s “family amusement centre.” While I certainly spent more time (and deposited far more quarters) at Circuit Circus and Johnny Zee’s in Metrotown...

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Grammar 101: Restauranteur vs. Restaurateur

It seems reasonable to think that language should be relatively logical. The problem, especially with English, is that it totally isn’t. You have one mouse and many mice, so why don’t you have one house and many hice? You have one goose and many geese, but you don’t have one moose and many meese. And how is that flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? English is weird. You can attribute a big part of this to the fact that English is effectively a mish-mash of several different languages. In particular, many English terms borrow from the French and...

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Vlog #36: Am I Going Through a Midlife Crisis?

I remember when I was little, there was a teacher at my school who drove a red Mazda Miata. I’m guessing he was in his 50s at the time and I don’t recall him ever talking about having a wife or children of his own. He was balding, what hair he had was mostly white, and his beer belly was decidedly pronounced. Does it mean that I’m going through a midlife crisis if I now want that red Miata? And I don’t have a beer belly; it’s called a dad bod. This point of this week’s vlog was meant...

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Sunday Snippet: Anthony C. Taylor

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. And plans don’t always go according to plan either. I’ve read variations of this line attributed to everyone from Winston Churchill and Benjamin Franklin to Jillian Michaels and Alan Lakein: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” And it’s true. You should absolutely have a plan in place, no matter what it is you’re trying to achieve, because otherwise you’re just going in blind and flying by the seat of your pants. But you also have to understand that a plan on its own is not going to be...

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Foodie Friday: Cafe Tealips Shaved Ice Dessert

It’s gotta be good. Just look at Addie’s expression of anxious anticipation. After a very reasonably priced dinner at the nearby Hi Genki Japanese Restaurant, we wanted to go somewhere for some dessert. That’s how we ended up at Cafe Tealips. Located at 7139 Arcola Way behind Highgate Village in Burnaby, Tealips is your typical Vancouver area bubble tea joint. Except it totally isn’t. There’s free street parking out front (30 minutes maximum) or you could probably get away with parking in the Highgate Village lot across the street and walking over. The menu at Cafe Tealips feels like...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Belated July Edition

After doing these speedlinks on a weekly basis for the longest time, I reconsidered the editorial calendar here on Beyond the Rhetoric and switched over to monthly speedlinks instead. The idea was that I’d share some of my favorite posts on the last Wednesday of every month, except I totally missed last Wednesday. So, here we are on the first Wednesday of August going over some excellent July content. Let’s get back on track. I’ve always felt like a fish out of water and this feeling has only been amplified since becoming a dad. Jake Rossen highlights several stories...

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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.

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