Author: Michael Kwan

Marutama Ramen on Robson, Vancouver

I like ramen. I mean I really like ramen. There are few things quite as comforting as a piping hot bowl of soup noodles on a chilly day. One of the great debates is whether I derive more comfort from ramen or from pho. Put another way, if I could only eat one for the rest of my life, what would I choose? Please don’t make me pick. But you see, the spectrum of pho quality is decidedly narrower than that of ramen. Even bad pho isn’t that terrible and great pho isn’t exceptionally better than good pho. Ramen...

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Scents That Take Me Back #YESITSPINESOL

You’ve probably heard that one of the most powerful ways to elicit a memory is through our sense of smell (and science agrees). This seems to be especially true in the case of childhood memories. It might be the musty smell of old books at the library, the intoxicating scent of smelly colored markers, or the oddly alluring aroma of those little bouncy balls you get from vending machines. You smell it and you’re taken back. No Pineapple in a Pineapple Bun Because my parents worked such long hours, much of my childhood was spent with my grandparents. I...

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Vlog #46: Alien Invasion in Stanley Park

Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials? If it’s not human, what is it? When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility? The truth is out there and we were determined to find it aboard the Alien Invasion Stanley Park Ghost Train over the weekend. I want to believe.   One of the most iconic TV series ever shot in Vancouver has to be The X-Files. Fervent fans looked forward to following Agents Mulder and Scully every week, exploring the paranormal and attempting to explain the unexplainable....

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Sunday Snippet: Dr. Randy Pausch (1960-2008)

We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well. And living fully. For the Reaper will come for all of us. The question is what do we do between the time we’re born and the time he shows up. Because when he shows up, it’s too late to do all the things that you’re always gonna, kinda get around to. Ever since my dad passed away suddenly a couple of years ago, my own mortality has weighed very heavily on my mind. Of course I understand on an intellectual level that I won’t...

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When It’s More Than Just a Number

I was chubby as a kid. To my recollection, as best as I can remember, I don’t think I was ever overweight given my age and height; I was just a little soft in the middle and my brother always made fun of my double chin. When puberty struck me with a growth spurt, the weight got stretched out over a taller figure. While I was hardly skinny, I was decidedly less chubby. And even then, I never really obsessed over the number. In all honesty, I’ve never been especially concerned about my weight. This isn’t to say that...

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Why Beyond the Baby Babble Took Three Years to Write

Writing is what I do for a living. It’s what I’ve been doing professionally for more than ten years and it’s what I’ve been doing in my spare time for much longer than that. Writing comes naturally to me and it’s something that I generally enjoy doing. Why, then, did it take me so much longer to write Beyond the Baby Babble than I had originally anticipated or expected? Something that I mentioned in the vlog last week was that the original intention was to publish my book on life as a work-at-home dad by my daughter’s first birthday...

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Vlog #45: Putting It All On The Line

One of the greatest benefits to my life as a work-at-home freelancer is that I get to enjoy a relatively high level of flexibility in my schedule. If I need to bugger off for a few hours to run errands in the middle of a weekday afternoon, I can do that. And that’s exactly what I do in this week’s vlog before coming home and possibly setting the house on fire. Spoiler alert. We survived.   If you caught last week’s vlog, then you’ll already know about my new book, Beyond the Baby Babble. While I don’t exactly have...

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Sunday Snippet: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. My American friends won’t be carving up the turducken and piling their plates high with mashed potatoes until next month, but tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in Canada. I’m heading over to my brother’s place for dinner tonight to celebrate and to give thanks. And really, we shouldn’t reserve this sentiment of thankfulness for just one day each year. When I pause to think about what I’m thankful for, a lot...

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Grammar 101: Verbage Is Not a Real Word

As a professional freelance writer, I take pride in my craft. I’d like to think that I’m at least halfway decent at what I do and my writing has improved over the years. The hope is that my writing is reasonably entertaining and engaging… and grammatically correct. Truth be told, though, I’m hardly immune to making mistakes, of course, and a mistake I’ve made for years is using the word “verbage.” Because it’s not a real word. It was never a real word. I just thought it was, because I’ve heard the incorrect pronunciation so many times and it...

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Solutions That Create More Problems

If there was a problem Yo, I’ll solve it Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it Ice ice baby… Back in 1990, Robert Matthew Van Winkle — better known to most of us Vanilla Ice — stormed onto the scene with “Ice Ice Baby,” suddenly making rap far more palatable to a mainstream audience (read: largely suburban, Caucasian and young). Some people have even argued that Vanilla Ice is single–handedly responsible for ’90s gangsta rap and modern hip hop. In this way, did this “solution” to a marketing problem indirectly lead to the eventual deaths of Tupac...

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About

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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