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bookmarks, culture, reading

bookmarks — volume 3, issue 2






Jazz Spot­light


I was scrolling through my feed on Google+ last night and spot­ted an inter­est­ing graphic on writ­ing by Grant Snider.


Ini­tially, I was sim­ply going to share the graphic and pro­vide the source. How­ever, as I looked more into Grant’s work, I felt com­pelled to share more, and give proper credit to a very tal­ented and cre­ative artist.

Grants’s Bio

Grant started out draw­ing a daily car­toon for the Uni­ver­sity of Kansas stu­dent news­pa­per, which led to a weekly strip called “Delayed Karma” for the Kansas City Star. His comics and illus­tra­tions now appear in news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, and across the inter­net. He is cur­rently study­ing ortho­don­tics at the Uni­ver­sity of Colorado-Denver and hop­ing that read­ers of Inci­den­tal Comics are eas­ier to enter­tain than teenagers with braces.

I think what struck me about Grant’s bio is that he is cur­rently study ortho­don­tics. It goes to show that you don’t need to be or do just one thing. A lot of peo­ple (read: ME) strug­gle with the desire to guar­an­teed pay­day loans do some­thing cre­ative. There are times when all we want to do is jump, feet first, into the deep end to pur­sue what­ever cre­ative endeavor is call­ing us. At the same time, though, most of us are held back by the real­ity of day-to-day “stuff.” Unfor­tu­nately, because of oblig­a­tions, there’s the strug­gle with the “all or noth­ing” men­tal­ity. If we can’t spend all of our time doing that cre­ative thing, we don’t actively pur­sue the pas­sion with the time that is avail­able. Stum­bling upon Grant’s work, and read­ing his bio is a good reminder that you will, and must, make time for what matters.

Some of Grant’s Work

Dear Diary






Genius Is



All I Need To Write



New Crayons



Cre­ative Blocks



An Alfred Hitch­cock Christmas


Be sure to check out Grant’s site, Inci­den­tal Comics. He has a lot of great mate­r­ial. Just keep click­ing “Older Posts.” You can even pur­chase a num­ber of the draw­ings as posters.


grant snider — incidental comics

health, lifestyle

my blueprint cleanse experience


I made a con­certed effort last year to take bet­ter care of myself. I decided to stop strug­gling to be, and stay, on a diet. Instead, I com­pletely over­hauled my diet (what and how much I eat) and com­mit­ted to reg­u­lar exer­cise. I lost over 60 pounds (287 lbs –> 225 lbs), and about eight inches off of my waist­line (46″ –> 38″. I had surgery on my foot in August, and I could not exer­cise for two months. In that time, I pretty much kept my weight in check. How­ever, I kind of approached the remain­der of the year with less com­mit­ment to both diet and exer­cise — admit­tedly using my foot recov­ery as an excuse to half-ass the lat­ter. As I head into the New Year, I had put about 20–25 pounds back on from my low. I decided to recom­mit to por­tion con­trol and exer­cise. I signed up with a trainer at the gym about six weeks ago, mainly I had never really focused on ton­ing and build­ing core strength. I signed up for a Biggest Loser Chal­lenge in my office, hop­ing to use the con­test as fur­ther moti­va­tion to get my act together.

Right around the same time as enter­ing the Chal­lenge at work, I posted a pic­ture of some juice, by Blue­print, on dis­play at Whole Foods, ask­ing why it was so expen­sive. A num­ber of friends replied that the juice was part of a cleanse pro­gram. A num­ber of friends com­mented that they tried the cleanse and had a good expe­ri­ence. I am usu­ally game to try things, but I didn’t want another “diet.” My friends assured me that this was not a diet, but a means to clean out our sys­tem. That appealed to me, and I decided to give juice cleans­ing a try. I read a num­ber of reviews online by blog­gers. I also came across Chef Amber Shea’s web­site, where she reviewed juice cleanses by 18 dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies. The cost for the cleanses were about the same. Since I heard so much about the Blue­print Cleanse, I chose to go with their cleanse.

It’s worth not­ing that pre­pared juice cleanses are not cheap. Most cost some­where between $175 and $250 for a three-day cleanse.

A lot of peo­ple view, or call, cleanses “juice diets.” That my be how some peo­ple approach a juice cleanse, but my goal was not to do the cleanse to lose weight. I decided to try the cleanse because I wanted a reset, of sorts. I wanted to clear my body of a bunch of sugar-laden foods (damn you Ben & Jerry Phish Food!). I also felt like I has expe­ri­enc­ing some mild aller­gic reac­tions to var­i­ous foods, but I couldn’t put my fin­ger on what the culprit(s). I fig­ured that elim­i­nat­ing prac­ti­cally every­thing from my daily intake, I could bet­ter iden­tify prob­lem­atic foods as I rein­tro­duced them after the cleanse.

The Cleanse


The Blue­print Cleanse has three dif­fer­ent lev­els, or offer­ings — Ren­o­va­tion, Foun­da­tion, and Exca­va­tion. Though I have never juiced before, I opted for the Exca­va­tion Cleanse, which is the “green­est” of all of the cleanses. I decided on the Exca­va­tion Cleanse because I wanted the cleanse with least amount of fruit in the juices.

I decided to start the cleanse on a Thurs­day. Most peo­ple I know did their cleanses over the week­end. I decided to start on Thurs­day because I work with a trainer on Mon­days and Wednes­days, and I didn’t want to do strength train­ing while on the cleanse. Sev­eral peo­ple men­tioned hav­ing to use the bath­room fre­quently, but I drink so much water, as it is, that mak­ing fre­quent treks to the bath­room wasn’t that unusual or net­tle­some. Blue­print rec­om­mends adjust­ing your diet three days prior to start­ing the cleanse. Basi­cally, you need to elim­i­nate most foods, par­tic­u­larly meet, grains, and dairy. I tend to be a pretty strict tex­tu­al­ist, so I fol­lowed the instruc­tions almost the let­ter, if not a bit more. Here is an exam­ple of what I ate for three days prior to start­ing the cleanse.


  • Water — 1 liter
  • Lemon Juice — 1/2, squeezed
  • Break­fast

  • Water­melon — 2–3 cups, cubed
  • Lunch

  • Eng­lish Cucum­ber — 1/2, large dice
  • Grape Toma­toes — 10–12, large dice
  • Avo­cado — 1/2, sliced
  • Extra Vir­gin Olive Oil — 1 Tbsp
  • Din­ner

  • Kale — Chopped
  • Cel­ery — 1 stalk, diced
  • Extra Vir­gin Olive Oil — 1 — 1 1/2 Tbsp(s)
  • Lemon Juice — 1/2, squeezed

I felt good after three days of prep, and was excited to get thing started. I was a tad ambiva­lent about the green juices. I love sal­ads and green veg­gies, but the thought of them pressed into juice wasn’t mak­ing my mouth water. You’re sup­posed to put at least an hour between fin­ish­ing one juice and start­ing the next, and at least two-three hours before going to be. Accord­ingly, I timed out my juices for 9am, 11am, 1:30 pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.

The Juices

    Green Juice #1 — This made from the juice of romaine let­tuce, cel­ery, cucum­ber, apple, spinach, kale, pars­ley, lemon. Sur­pris­ingly, it wasn’t that bad. The apple adds just enough sweet­ness to counter any bit­ter­ness from the greens. The lemon also adds a nice amount of acid­ity. Thank good­ness that I like pars­ley, because the taste is quite pronounced.

    Green Juice #2 — This juice is pretty the same as num­ber one, but with the addi­tion of ginger.

    Green Juice #3 — This is the same juice as #1.

    Spicy Lemon­ade #4 — This juice is made with water, lemon, agave nec­tar, and cayenne. The drink is pretty sweet, almost cloy­ingly sweet, but it is a wel­come, and refresh­ing, change of pace from the green juice.

    Green Juice #4 — This is the same juice as #1.

    Cashew Milk #6 — As the name sug­ges­tions, this “juice” is made with water, unstrained cashew agave nec­tar, vanilla, and cin­na­mon. The drink is a lit­tle gritty, but it didn’t bother me. I appre­ci­ated the fatty feel of the cashew milk. It was kind of like hav­ing dessert. Unlike the spicy lemon­ade, the agave nec­tar didn’t make this drink too sweet. My only com­plaint about the cashew milk was that there were clumps of cashew meal in the bot­tom of the bot­tle. No mat­ter how vig­or­ously I shook the bot­tle, you would get a clump of cashew paste in your mouth. I sup­pose that if you had a prob­lem with the grit­ti­ness, or the cashew meal clumps, you could empty the bot­tle into a mixer to smooth it further.

My Expe­ri­ence

As I men­tioned, the juices were not that bad. In fact, other than #2 with the gin­ger, they were pretty good. I nor­mally love gin­ger, but I didn’t care for it in this mix­ture. By the third day, I just gulped #2 to get through it.

Through­out the cleanse, even pre and post, I never felt hun­gry. I drank plenty of water between each bot­tle of juice. I had a mild headache on the first day, but I don’t know if it had to do with some effects of sugar with­drawals. I can’t imag­ine that I was dehy­drated. [shrug] Most peo­ple told me that day two was the tough­est, but I felt fine. I con­tin­ued to do an hour of car­dio each day dur­ing the cleanse, though I inten­tion­ally dialed back the inten­sity of my work­outs. Dur­ing the post-cleanse period, five days, I repeated the menu of food that I listed for the prep. The only dif­fer­ence was that I only ate water­melon on the first day of the post-cleanse.

After the cleanse, I kept think­ing about, and was fre­quently asked, how I felt. I couldn’t, and can’t, say that I felt notice­ably dif­fer­ent or bet­ter. I felt good, but couldn’t nec­es­sar­ily attribute it to the cleanse. I think the how I felt about the cleanse became clearer after I started to intro­duce var­i­ous foods back into my diet. I had a big salad with some wal­nuts. Not long after eat­ing the salad, I felt itchy and hot. I chalked it up to the wal­nuts, which I don’t recall hav­ing a prob­lem with before. I think that the biggest ben­e­fit of the cleanse is that I am pay­ing much closer atten­tion to what I eat and how I feel after eat­ing. I may not repeat the Blue­print Cleanse, but I can see myself doing some sort of juice cleanse every so often; par­tic­u­larly when I feel like my eat­ing habits have turned down the wrong road, and I need a reset.

My Blue­print Gallery

jazz, music

who i’m groovin’ to

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Track List
01 — Exactly like you 00:00:00
02 — Moody’s mood for love 00:05:13
03 — I’ve got my love to keep me warm 00:08:38
04 — I got it bad (And that ain’t good jeux de casino en ligne gra­tuit) 00:11:56
05 — Social call 00:16:31
06 — Detour ahead 00:19:56
07 — No regrets 00:22:23
08 — Frosty morn­ing blues 00:26:30
09 — Easy to love 00:31:13
10 — I won­der where our love has gone 00:34:40
11 — Any­thing goes 00:39:16
12 — After you’ve gone 00:44:04



Fol­low Cécile on Social Media

facebook twitter soundcloud (1) Instagram

bookmarks, culture, reading

bookmarks — volume. 3, issue 1


After a year, or so, of run­ning book­marks on Tum­blr, I decided to bring the series back to my blog. It is a lit­tle more labor inten­sive to run the series here, but I like the look and feel more. I think that I will keep my Tum­blr, and use it for shar­ing more ran­dom or spur-of-the-moment things. If you like this series com­ing back to my blog, I’d appre­ci­ate hear­ing from you.

This post will be longer than usual, because I have a lot of book­marked arti­cles and videos.





Jazz Spot­light


A cou­ple of years ago, I posted a piece about on shoes. I used to a bit of a clothes and shoe per­son when I worked on Capi­tol Hill and down­town as a lob­by­ist. Today, I dress much more Elec­tronic Cig­a­rette casu­ally at work, but I still like a good suit and shoes. Here is pretty cool info­graphic on pairing/matching shoes with suits of vary­ing col­ors that I spot­ted on Busi­ness Insider.

Click on the info­graphic to enlarge


clothing, culture, shoes

a visual guide to suits & shoes