Beyond the Rhetoric


If I Won the Lottery, I Would…

September 28th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Won the Lottery

It’s the fertile fodder for many a daydream and it’s a subject that gets revisited time and time again, even when we all know intellectually that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning twice than hitting the big jackpot. And yet, you can’t help but to wonder what you’d do if you actually won the lottery. How would you even begin to think about spending all these untold riches?

Click to continue reading »

Sunday Snippet: Johnny Depp

September 27th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Johnny Depp

“If there’s any message to my work, it is ultimately that it’s OK to be different, that it’s good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.”

As a social species, humans have an intense desire for belonging. We want to “fit in” so that we can feel like we’re a part of the group and not some ostracized outsider. And in order to accomplish this goal, far too many of us sacrifice or compromise on who we really are, too afraid to express our true selves. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Click to continue reading »

Grammar 101: Martial, Marshal, Marshall

September 25th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

A recurring theme has popped up again and again with the Grammar 101 series on this blog. Words that sound the same but have entirely different meanings and spellings can be awfully confusing, especially if these words aren’t written down all that often. We’re coming right back to the struggle with homophones once again, this time tackling the words martial, marshal and Marshall. What’s the difference?

Click to continue reading »

What’s Up Wednesdays: What I Learned

September 23rd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: What I Learned

No, today’s post has nothing to do with children’s literature and hiding from malicious rabbits. Instead, it’s a collection of articles from around the Internet that offer insight into the lessons these bloggers have learned through personal experience. Kicking things off, we have Bob Buskirk reflecting on his first full year as a thirty-something. He talks about how he does things differently now compared to how he did things during his 20s. He doesn’t have the time or patience to put up with your nonsense anymore.

Click to continue reading »

Interview with Joseph Planta and Jackie Pierre (Two P’s in a Podcast)

September 22nd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Interview with Joseph Planta and Jackie Pierre (Two P's in a Podcast)

I’ve been good friends with Joseph Planta for twenty years now and he is a big part of the reason why I got into writing in the first place. Over the years, I’ve interviewed him, just as he has interviewed me and now he’s ready to launch a new program with fellow Tupper Secondary alum Jackie Pierre.

To be made available through alongside the existing “On the Line” interview series, the new podcast will approach a range of different subject areas. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with both Joseph and Jackie about this new venture. Here’s what we had to say:

Michael Kwan: Looking at The Commentary’s website, the archives go back to 2004, but I know it has existed longer than that, starting out as an email newsletter. Can you tell me a little bit of The Commentary’s origin and early days?

Click to continue reading »

The Self-Inflicted Guilt Is Overwhelming

September 21st, 2015 by Michael Kwan

The Self-Inflicted Guilt Is Overwhelming

Chances are that you wouldn’t worry so much about what other people thought of you if you realized just how seldom they do. You are not the center of the universe and, as much as we would like to believe that everyone is looking out for everyone else, the truth is that most of us are incredibly self-centered. The person who thinks the most about you is you. By extension, the person who places the greatest expectations on you is also you.

I understand this intuitively and intellectually. I just don’t allow myself to fully accept and embrace it.

Click to continue reading »

Sunday Snippet: Eminem

September 20th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Eminem (by Scott Kinmartin)

“The writing process, the way I go about it is I do whatever the beat feels like, whatever the beat is telling me to do. Usually when the beat comes on, I think of a hook or the subject I want to rap about almost instantly. Within four, eight bars of it playing I’m just like, ‘Oh, OK. This is what I wanna do.'”

Known best for his work with the Looney Tunes series of cartoons, American animator Chuck Jones once said that “creative work is never competitive.” Tell that to just about any hip hop artists who has ever participated in a rap battle and he’ll probably laugh in your face. Or he might spit some mad rhymes and hot fire to really put you in your place. I’ve always admired freestyle lyricists who can think on their feet like that and one of the greatest MCs the industry has ever known is Eminem.

Click to continue reading »

Edible Canada Bistro, Granville Island

September 18th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Edible Canada Bistro, Granville Island

Some people might view Granville Island as one of the main tourist attractions in Vancouver. Take a stroll around the peninsula (it’s not really an island) on just about any day and you’ll be surrounded by out-of-towners snapping photos from the cameras around their necks. At the same time, Granville Island is also a treasured destination for locals too. We like to shop here. We like to eat here.

I’ve been going to the Keg location here for almost as long as I can remember and we took the opportunity to try out Bistro 101 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts last year as part of the Dine Out Vancouver promotion. Earlier this week, we went out for lunch at another Granville Island eatery. Despite its name, Edible Canada at the Market isn’t actually attached to the famed Public Market; it’s across the street.

In addition to a small food store, Edible Canada also has a decently-sized bistro that’s open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Let’s have a look at what we had to eat.

Click to continue reading »