Pause

April 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

I realize it has been just over 2 months since I have posted on here. School has taken over my focus and I am only 2 weeks away from graduation, so it is understandable that I would be away fro so long,

Anywho, I wanted to talk about life as usual. I feel like we tend to live life in a hurried, get as many things done in as little time possible, sort of way. I found out that trying to take on the whole world is insane. I was paying more attention to what I needed to get done and less time on how well am I doing. Both mentally and physically I was drained and past the point of sanity. I was doing too many things and should have realized when to call it quits when it came to agreeing to things. 

Funny thing is, the universe know just when to make you pause. What isn’t always so funny, is the way it tells you. 

Just yesterday the universe made me come to a pause (which was more like an abrupt stop) by having someone back her car into mine as I was driving a route I have made hundreds of times. I was paying attention to pedestrians on the left side when I was hit on the right. I never knew how much could happen in such a short amount of time. The airbags deployed like a firework, my glasses flew off, and the next thing I knew was I was in a car with some haze and that there was another car attached to mine. 

So much happened afterwards that I had zero time to really stop and take in what had happened. Not only had I been in a car wreck, it was my girlfriend’s car which had been a graduation gift a few years before.

After I was able to be alone for awhile I decided to just stop, think, and really examine what I was doing with my life and final semester.

I had to drop a show I was in, but it was necessary to keep my sanity and my time.

This accident taught me to just stop and pause for awhile, instead of assuming responsibility for everything and thinking it is feasible to do so many things at once, when you don’t really have the time. 

I just need to remember that once everything is taken care of by insurance etc, the day continues.

-Benjamin

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Good Friends, Good Food, Good Wine

February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

As the week comes to a close, and the long days are over, I want to reflect on the things I am so grateful for.

Good Friends:

I can honestly say that I could not have gotten through these last couple of weeks without my friends. In particular my lovely and extremely supportive girlfriend. She has been a such a steady rock for me as I have wavered with my emotions, bouncing from grief to elation and back again. My roomies are a constant source of laughter and joy, and after a week like this week, I certainly needed ample amounts of joy. Old friends, it is always nice to know that whether or not we are in constant contact, we still have each-other’s backs, and still care when things get rough. New friends, it is sobering to know how many good people there are in the world, who are there to ask if you are okay, and will take up some slack when you just need to let go a little.

To all of these folks, thank you! You have been such a great help to me this week, and every week I have known you all!

Good Food:

here is the literal meat of the post, not just the “life meat” but the actual meat portion.

I love cooking, and anyone who has read my previous recipe, I love improv cooking! I started this week with 4 chicken tenderloins (I would cook 5 now that I think about it) 2 lemons and 2 friends who I wanted to cook dinner for. Girlfriends and room-mates are great, because they are a “captive” audience.

 

Benjamin’s Lemon Chicken (feeds 2-3)

This meal is gluten free, dairy free, soy free and nut free. (Vegan if you replace the chicken with whatever substitute you enjoy, and if you replace the honey with some brown sugar or agave nectar)

Lemon Chicken

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of Brown Rice

4-5 chicken tenderloin pieces

juice from 1 cara cara orange (a blood orange would also be fantastic with this recipe)

juice from 1 lemon

1.5 lemons sliced thinly

1 cup of white wine (I used a cheap chardonnay called Glory Days)

2-3 Tbsp of honey

a sprinkling of chili powder

 

First, start cooking your brown rice since it takes 45-50 minutes to cook properly

defrost your chicken, cut into small pieces

cut and juice your lemons and juice your oranges (make sure you have slices)

add your wine and honey to the juice mixture

sear your chicken on both sides by placing the pieces in a hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil.

once the chicken is seared, place lemon slices on the chicken, put a lid on the skillet for approximately 2 minutes

pour the liquid mixture into the pan, making sure the chicken is covered fully.

Sprinkle some chili powder over the pan to taste

cook with a lid for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked, but still tender.

serve in a bowl over the rice and enjoy!

 

Good Wine:

I paired the meal with a chardonnay called “Menage a Trois” it has a tangy bite that goes perfectly with the acidity of the lemons and the sweetness of the orange and honey.

 

Remember, the Day Continues, but with friends, the night also continues!

In Memoriam: Rhonda Krudwig

February 13, 2012 § 4 Comments

This weekend was perhaps one of the hardest weekends to get through since high school. It has made me realize just how short life can be and how important it is to live truly and fully.

We lost my Aunt this Saturday. After a very quick succession of organ failures, she let go and passed. When we first met her 9-10 years ago, the energy that surrounded her was unmistakable. She was full of life and a zest for anything positive. She was a massage therapist and really knew how to heal people with her touch. She just seemed to know what you needed and when.

Sitting in the ICU waiting room, it was both sad and comforting to see just how many people were there to pay a visit and to hear the stories from each of them on how she touched their lives. Most importantly she made my uncle extremely happy.

It is always hard to see my family hurt, and I think that is what is the hardest when we lose someone. I know that she is in comfort now, and she can be with her sister, father and uncle. I keep going between extreme sadness, and happiness when I remember her laugh and her smile, or when she used to call me “Benny Boy” (the only person who was allowed to call me Benny).

I love you Aunt Rhonda. You will be missed, you were the brightest candle in our family.

 

And the Day Continues

February 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

Why am I posting with a title that is also the title of my blog? Because I need to remind myself that the day does indeed continue.

After these last couple of weeks I have found myself in a limbo of indecision and apathy. I have no motivation to do anything, and my creative juices are all but dried up. I’ve been going through the motions of school, going to class and participating because it is my duty, not because I truly want to. My emotions have felt stifled as I try to put on a game-face in the midst of family issues and art critiques.

I need to remember that what one person says about my work is not the general opinion even if the others remain silent, and if they can’t see the content, they aren’t looking, or they have different glasses on. It is difficult to find the balance between being attached to work enough to be proud of it but keeping a distance that means you won’t feel personally attacked when someone critiques your work.

I feel like I am rambling, but I needed to post this in the general world because for some reason it makes it all more real and I can cope and continue on with my life.

I leave you with this:

Creation for pleasure is a need, but it is selfish if you don’t use your art for social awareness as well. It can be a meditation as well as therapy. If you can create work that makes someone stop and think and perhaps transform their mind, that is where the power of art lies.

Create for yourself, but also create for the commons.

Even when the day seems to stand still, it does indeed continue…

-Benjamin

Being Aware

January 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Living in a 21st century world, it is easy to be blindsided by the beautiful cacophony of daily life. The endless forms of electronic devices and the entertainment designed to distract the minds of both young and old. 

I am not a hater of technology, nor am I technophile. I don’t need the latest apple product, and you will not hear me berate someone who upgrades to the newest iPhone the day it comes out. 

I am not writing this to blast technology, only what it has done to us as a society. It has created introverted people who have nearly no idea of what is going on in the community around them. Rather than go out to the farmer’s market, they are inside watching a documentary on organic food producers and then tweeting about it. I think networking is great, and it has opened up endless worlds of possibility, and for crying out loud, hear I am blogging this to my readers. Some who hail from as far away as India and Australia and others who very well live in my city. 

I digress.

Through the use of a technological device (My camera) I plan on bringing it with me everyday, everywhere I go. I want to engage in my community and truly be aware of what is going on in my environment everyday. Experiencing the little things. In the past I have also noticed that a camera can facilitate discussion and conversation, and I plan to embrace that. 

I hope you will join me in taking your head out of “The Cloud” every now and again, and meet your neighbor, or strike up a conversation on the bus or train. 

As I step off of my soapbox, I want to remind you, if life isn’t going the way you expected, hold on, the Day Continues.

-Benjamin Krudwig

Pomegranate Chicken – Tasty Gluten Free meal

November 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Why hello everybody! It has certainly been awhile ( a few months) since I posted here, but 20 credit hours, a part time job, a volunteer position and a social life all came first.
Anywho, I thought I would share something I don’t usually post on here, food!
No I am not about to hone in on my sister’s territory (she has her own food blog), but I thought I would share this great recipe I made up tonight!
This summer my girlfriend, a lovely opera singer in training, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and a dairy allergy. She had major issues with acid reflux which was a potential game changer. Chronic reflux wears down the esophageal lining, and can ruin the vocal chords. This condition had to be kicked in the butt. By changing her diet (And in turn mine) her reflux subsided and her dependency on anti-acid meds went down. This has been one heck of journey, trying to find gluten free places to eat, and meals that were both gluten and dairy free were new to us. I have been trying new things in the kitchen to really spice up our diet and keep it healthy for both us.

Tonight, I went way out of the box, using a fresh pomegranate (they’re in season!) and some ingredients I had laying around I was able to pull together a delectable meal. The following meal is Gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts: cubed
1/5 of a pomegranate (seeds)
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of red wine (I used red wine)
1-2 teaspoons of red chili pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon of dried valencia orange peel
a dash of salt

First I cubed my defrosted chicken breasts and put them in a skillet on a burner set to medium high heat, with a hint of extra virigin olive oil. By droppng the chicken into a hot pan, you sear the chicken and retain more of the moisture.

In a glass measuring cup, I put the wine, honey, spices, and pomegranate seeds in, using a fork I muddled the ingredients together to let the flavors meld.

After a couple of minutes I poured a few tablespoons of wine into the pan to add more moisture to the chicken and infuse more flavor into it.

I let the chicken cook most of the way through, and then added the pomegranate mixture. I brought this to a boil, and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Check to make sure your chicken is cooked through. The liquid should have reduced about halfway at this point.

Serve over steamed vegetables, or any other dish you like!

Next time I make this, I plan on using pork chops since they really marry well with acidic flavors.
If you try this meal, please let me know what you think!

What Happens in the Dark…

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a photography student I have the complete opportunity to work in a dark room. In my opinion, every photographer of any sort should first work in a darkroom. There is a sense of mystery with this type of photography, your film (kept in a dark place) exposed to tiny bits of reflected light and then wound (in the dark) onto reels to then develop (again in the dark) when finally you can see the tiny inverted images on your film. The first magic moment to happen. Then you hide away in the darkness of the enlarging room. The master of light, harnessing and controlling it so your print is perfect. The dim yellow safe lights guide your way to the developer as you slide your blank paper into the liquid. Your hungry eyes wait for that moment when you see the hint of form and shape and volume. Your image appears as if it had always been there. You transfer the print from developer to stop bath, and then the fixer where you wait even longer until your print can come out of the darkness and into the light.

The beautiful idea here is that both light and shadow creates the images, 100% of either one does not make an image. It is only when you hold both in your hands that you become a photographer. It’s not about the color or information in the photo, because it all boils down to light.

Light and shadow are intangible things; we cannot touch them. We do capture them in tiny silver particles or bytes of data, but over time, light reclaims the pieces we steal away.

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