blind life episode 101: pop-up episoe 1 recap


Here it is, as promised: the “pilot” of my grassroots “Blind Life” YouTube series. A while back, I mentioned on my Facebook fan page that, per the request of fans, I would be starting a YouTube series called “Blind Life” to showcase what my daily life is like as a visually impaired individual. Since the show, much interest has been brewing about the Christine beyond the MC3Christine: what do I cook at home regularly, how do I get around my house, how do I navigate Facebook/Twitter/my blog? Well, ask no further. Here is the beginning of all the answers to your questions.

I cheated a little with my first episode, only because it’s the hubster and me making up the entire whole of the crew. He directs and edits while I write and act. So while we get the hang of things, we decided to make a large act of this episode the video montage by Dave Franklin who was asked by MKT BAR and Phoenicia Specialty Foods to commemorate the whole pop-up experience. It was the first pop-up service for both myself and MKT BAR, and neither of us could have been happier with the results.

So for those of you who live far away from Houston and couldn’t fly here for the event, or who came at 4 PM only to find out we were sold out of all 240+ covers, or those of you who got to enjoy the food but are wondering what went on back of house, here you go. Don’t forget to leave a comment letting me know what you think of episode 101 and what you’d like to see in future episodes. Also, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, let me know that, too. Make sure to subscribe so you’ll know when the next video is up. Happy watching!

yahoo! japan 3d printer helps blind children surf the web

Ever on top of the tech news, the hubster sent me a link to this article about the 3D printer from Yahoo! Japan that helps the blind navigate the web. I’ve only recently learned of the 3D printer concept (thanks to the geeky hubs), and because I can’t see to watch a video demo of it online, I’m still unclear on the concept of a 3D printer. For some reason, I keep picturing paper scrolling out of a regular-looking printer but then suddenly popping into 3D shapes much like a pop-up book—you know, the kind that we used to read when we were little with the cardboard pop-ups on each page?

Regardless, it’s news like this that makes me happy to know the world is advancing in ways that help level the playing field for the visually impaired. What do you think of this concept? In what ways can you imagine this helping not just the blind world, but the world in general? The imagination is endless. I love it.

accessible app: our groceries helps the blind (and the sighted) make shopping lists easily and efficiently

Whew. Talk about a long-winded headline. But lately, I’ve had lots of energy. Not only did Pop-up Episode 1 at MKT BAR go off without a hitch (more on that soon—I’ll have a surprise for you in that regard), I’ve been [sort of] relaxing lately with some down time before the culinary adventures begin again.

I’ve been sleeping better than I have in years, trying to eat a little healthier, and working out a little more than usual (which, sadly enough, isn’t much). But I’m feeling good. I have a few weeks to shed the apron for the pen; with a personal essay and short story on my revision desk, not to mention that pesky memoir I haven’t touched since my thesis defense, I’m welcoming a change of pace in my daily routine. But what I’m looking forward to the most is being able to wear pajamas, no make-up, and bed-head every day.
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pop-up episode 1 at mkt bar houston sep. 14th 3 to 6 pm

For the past twelve months, one of the questions I get most frequently is, “Christine, when will you be opening your own restaurant?” Or, “Christine, how can we try some of your food?” But for the past eighteen months, my life has been a whirlwind, as you can imagine. First, it was filming the show. Then it was doing press for the show. Then it was speaking at this conference and cooking on that TV show and attending this benefit and that event. Oh, and let’s not forget I had to write a thesis, defend it, and graduate somewhere in there, too. Life’s been quite full, I should say.

While I’ve looked extensively into opening my dream gastropub in Houston, there have just been so many other opportunities still falling into my lap that I couldn’t bear to pass up. I’m the kind of person that, when I start a project, gives it my 110%. So I know that opening an establishment would require my full attention for at least a year or two before it can steadily run on its own. Because I don’t want how much xanax to take to miss certain opportunities, I’ve decided to put the gastropub plans on the back burner until everything falls into place.

But I was still very much aware of the fact that everyone’s still asking to try my cooking. And that’s why I’m finally doing my first ever pop-up in my hometown of Houston. I’ve finally gotten a month where I’ll be in town to plan the menu, logistics, and prep for the pop-up. I’m proud to announce in conjunction with MKT BAR (co-owned by a dear friend of mine since middle school, Haig Tcholakian), I will be hosting Pop-up Episode 1: a tribute/farewell to summer. It will be held at MKT BAR in downtown Houston this Saturday, Sep. 14th, from 3 to 6 PM. Please note that it’s on a first come, first serve basis. Alvin Schultz from ”MasterChef” season 2 will be cooking alongside me in the kitchen.

For some more information about the event, you can read the Houston Chronicle story, the interview I did with CultureMap, or visit the pop-up Facebook event. We look forward to feeding you.

web blackout in serbia raises blind awareness

I came across this article about a blind awareness campaign in Serbia that involved blacking out many popular websites to give the sighted websurfer a taste of what it’s like to be blind. Interesting concept, I thought. The organization behind the campaign is White Cane, and they help provide guide dogs for the blind.

I recently returned from a cruise on the Adriatic, and I met two Serbians who were part of the crew, and their jovial personalities completely disarmed me. Those Serbians are cool people. I know it’s a random stretch, but I hadn’t thought of or met any Serbians for the past 5 years, and suddenly, they’re popping here and there into my life. Maybe that’s next on my destination list.

Read more about the blackout campaign on the Serbian web. Thoughts?

first ever guest blogger: meet jon m

This week, I have a guest blogger (my first one ever, so be kind). Meet Jon. He reached out to me after learning about me on “MasterChef.”. Jon is a photographer. Read on to find out what makes Jon’s story so intriguing.

Hi, I’m Jon. Like many, I have been inspired by Christine to achieve my Dreams.

I have 2 things in common with Christine. First, I am a creative person; I couldn’t cook to save my life, but I can paint, draw, and take great photos. Second, I have temporary blindness—I’m currently legally blind in my left eye from a secondary Cataract, and am fighting permanent blindness from Glaucoma.

My story began when I was just 19 months old and was Diagnosed as one of the youngest cases of Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). This was well treated during my youth and went into remission. Meanwhile, I was showing a lot of promise as an artist; my grandmother and father both taught me how to paint and draw. Growing up, I was always known as the artist.

In junior High, the JRA struck hard and fast, almost crippling me. I was quickly treated before it could cause permanent damage. With medicine like Celebrex, and Enbrel, I was able to suppress it and live a normal life.

At 16, I noticed some blurriness in my right eye. It turned out to be Uveitis (arthritis/inflammation in the eye caused by my JRA). the treatment of this disease is what ended up causing my Cataracts and Glaucoma a few years later. During this time, I had honed my craft and was able to draw pictures with such detail that people often mistook them for photos. I won competitions and was accepted as a Sophomore in High School to a prestigious Art School in Brooklyn.

But I decided to go to college in Idaho for business. After just a semester, I was pulled out because I had full-blown Glaucoma in my right eye and had lost 75% of my optic nerves life. I spent the next few years in surgery and recovery. That was when I reevaluated my life and realized there are no guarantees for tomorrow. I then spent my early 20s soaking up life: traveling, skiing, hiking, spending time with my friends at their colleges—getting the most out of life that I possibly could. This was hands down one of the 2 best decisions I have made. I still live my life with this mindset and love it.

Three years ago, I made the other best decision of my life: I started my photography business. I jumped in head first, bought a professional camera and lens setup, and immediately started building my portfolio. It was a few years before I learned how to be a professional in the industry, all the while losing vision in my right eye to the point where I couldn’t see any definition through my viewfinder. I would use my left eye to see the shot and try to frame the composition with my right eye. Amazingly I did some great work during that time. I was able to get the blurriness cleared up, thanks to my great doctors and new technologies.

I am now becoming one of the best photographers in the area, and I’m working towards national recognition. God gave me challenges and shortcomings, but two things He gave me in abundance are Aspiration and Drive. I spend every day studying and teaching myself how to become better. I want to be recognized as one of the best photographers in the world, and won’t settle until that happens. Watching Christine take on a challenge that seemed insurmountable, and not only do well, but excel and ultimately win was all the affirmation and inspiration I could ever ask for. It just goes to show that your limits only reside in your mind. Knowing this has amplified my determination and growth. I have seen a great deal of personal and professional success since being inspired by her on “MasterChef.” Knowing that I am capable of becoming the best has torn down the walls that were once limiting me. I just turned 30 a few weeks ago and am looking forward to my future.

Thanks, Jon, for sharing your story. And you all thought I was nuts for being a Blind Cook, huh? Check out Jon’s work at Jon M Photography, and show him some blind love.

baseball for the blind

We’re deep in the season of baseball. Who said blindness has to stop you from playing America’s most beloved sport? Check out this video clip about the Long Island Bombers, a baseball team for the blind. And I thought I was brave, being on ”MasterChef” and snowboarding. But I would still be scared out of my mind to hear balls flying at my face. ;)

i am a cook who lost her eyesight 5 years ago, but still cooks every day

Nope, this IAmA doesn’t belong to me, though I did one recently. (You can still check out my IAmA on reddit.) This is a fellow blind cook’s IAmA that preceded mine. By the sound of her recipes, she’s spectacular and adept in her own home kitchen. Kudos to her for sharing the stage with me and showing the world that blind people can do just about everything a sighted person can—only differently. Read this blind cook’s IAmA and catch another glimpse into our culinary world.

india creates world’s first braille phone

Yeah, yeah…so this is old news. But I’ve only recently begun clearing out my inbox, and the hubster had sent this article about the world’s first Braille phone, but I’d only read it recently. The functionality is very similar to how a Braille display works. I’m not sure fedex generic viagra how competitive this device will be against such innovative Apple iPhones, but it’s nice to see advancement in technology for the visually impaired. Now if only they could make a plane where the cockpit controls are all in Braille so we could become pilots. Just kidding. Or am I?

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