Beyond the Rhetoric


Sunday Snippet: Poet Kathleen Norris

February 22nd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Kathleen Norris

“If we are lucky, we can give in and rest without feeling guilty. We can stop doing and concentrate on being.”

We all have our dreams and ambitions for what we want to achieve and what we want to get out of life. At the same time, we are burdened with the responsibilities of keeping roofs over our heads, food on the table and Internet access on our connected devices. The modern life is a stressful life, largely because we allow it to get so complex. What if we could just let it go?

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Grammar 101: Using “Per Se”

February 20th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Having a spell checker integrated into your operating system, word processor or web browser seems like such a great idea. You can easily pick up on your errors and typos as you go along, ensuring that you have the right spelling for everything you write… except when you come across a term like “per se” and you are tempted to over-correct it to “per say.” And that would be wrong.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year with Red Pockets Music Video

February 19th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Red Pockets

As a kid, three of my favorite days of the year were my birthday (naturally), Christmas and Chinese New Year. The one thing all three of these days had in common was that I would get red pockets from my elders. Sure, the more “Western” relatives could give me actual gifts on my birthday and Christmas, but come Chinese New Year, it’d be raining “lai see” or “hong bao.”

And these beautiful little red pockets would contain cash that I could then spend at the arcade… if my parents didn’t swipe them out from under me to put in my “college fund.”

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Hard Questions

February 18th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Best Sandwich? (By Vancouver Dan)

With this week’s speedlink, we tackle the hard questions. In the case of Dan Vancouver, he has taken it upon himself to discover the best sandwich in the Lower Mainland. This is indeed serious business and he believes he has found the answer in the suburban oasis of Port Moody. Pictured above is some delicious goodness from Mulino Italian Deli. Buon appetito!

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The Most Important Lessons from the Basic First Aid and CPR for Babies Class

February 17th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

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A couple of weeks ago, we made our way over to the local community center for a class on first aid and CPR for babies and children. The workshop was only three hours long–we opted against the more comprehensive eight-hour session–and it was meant to provide us with the basic skills needed to address an emergency situation involving infants, toddlers and children.

The assumption was that the biggest lessons we’d take home from a first aid and CPR class would be the actual mechanics of applying first aid and CPR to babies. And while those steps are certainly important, they weren’t the most profound or the most important lessons.

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Brunch at Trattoria Italian Kitchen, Kitsilano

February 16th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Trattoria Italian Kitchen, Kitsilano (Vancouver)

There has always been something special about weekend brunch. Some spots around town, like Jethro’s Fine Grub or Red Wagon Cafe, are best known for serving greasy-spoon breakfast and lunch items. Other places are better known for their dinner, but they can serve up a mean brunch too. A good example of this is Cafe Medina, an off-shoot of Chambar.

In the case of the Glowbal Group of restaurants in Vancouver, which also runs Coast and Black and Blue, among others, we’ve got Trattoria Italian Kitchen on West Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano.

The brunch menu offers a good balance between “br” and “unch” with a few antipasti choices, some panini, traditional breakfast items, salads, pasta and pizza. Most of the mains range in price from about $12 to $22. Trattoria says the goal here is to provide “fuss-free, home-style Italian” that is “simple and fresh.”

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Sunday Snippet: Lisa Kudrow

February 15th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Lisa Kudrow

“You have to surrender to the fact that you are of too many in a highly competitive field where it is difficult to stand out. Over time, through your work, you will demonstrate who you are and what you bring to the field. Just stay with it and keep working.”

Especially in the age of the Internet, rising above the “noise” can be challenging. Even if you consistently put out quality content–in whatever format that content may be–it can feel nearly impossible to get noticed. Even if you’re particularly talented, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Despite your very best efforts, the end result can be disappointing, disheartening and deflating. Even so, you mustn’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

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Are You Coming to GottaCon 2015 in Victoria?

February 13th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

GottaCon 2014

One of the best things about an event like GottaCon is that it is very inclusive in celebrating so many aspects of geek and gaming culture. Some gaming events can feel very intimidating as you hear about those touting the supremacy of the PC gaming master race, for instance, but that’s not what GottaCon is about. It’s about everyone coming together and having a good time. And that’s a big part of why I’m happy to be returning this year.

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