Archive for September, 2008

quick Monday night saute

September 15, 2008 Comments off

I didn’t feel like doing the grocery shopping after choir yesterday (and I had plans to eat with friends, so I didn’t want to be late), so I shopped today after work instead. Since I was running short on time to make dinner when I got home, I threw something together on a whim. These whim recipes usually turn out pretty good. Here’s what I did:

Brown thin-cut chicken breasts (sometimes labeled as milanese) over medium-high heat in a little olive oil after seasoning liberally with salt and pepper. Turn quickly or they’ll get overcooked; if some are thicker than others and don’t cook all the way through right now, don’t worry—they’re going back in the pan in a bit.

Remove the browned chicken from the pan. Toss in a handful of sliced mushrooms (I used about three), a handful of finely sliced scallions (about 1 scallion), and sauté until soft. Deglaze pan with the juice of one lime and about 1/2 cup of sake and turn heat to high to reduce a bit. When the sake and lime juice have reduced by about half, add about half a cup of chicken broth, maybe a bit more. Let the flavors come together by simmering for a minute or so more, then add the chicken back to the pan.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes, turning the chicken once. Remove the chicken again, turn the heat back to high and reduce down just a little more. Turn heat off, swirl in about a tablespoon and a half of good-quality butter (we’re working our way through a 2 pound block of butter from the farmer’s market, yum). At this point you can toss some cooked pasta in the sauce, or you can just pour it over the pasta and chicken. If you choose to toss the pasta in the sauce, reserve a bit to pour over the chicken to finish it off.

The flavor is reminiscent of miso soup, which is really interesting. I think this would probably work better with smaller pieces of chicken rather than with the cutlets, but the cutlets were what I had on hand. I’m definitely going to play with this some. ((A lot of people will cook this kind of recipe by first dredging the chicken in flour, which aids in browning and in thickening of the sauce. I’ve done that a lot in the past but I can never manage to get a sauce that doesn’t have a raw flour taste. That’s why I generally choose to use a wine of some kind and reduce it a bit to get a little thick; the butter also gives the sauce a little more tooth. It’s not a thick sauce, though, so if you like a thicker sauce, consider dredging in flour—or make a slurry of cornstarch and warm chicken broth and add it to the sauce while it’s simmering.))

Categories: food

is this a message?

September 10, 2008 Comments off

My solitaire game has suddenly started giving me two sixes of diamonds, and no nine of diamonds. I do not understand it but the problem has persisted through a couple of reboots. I don’t play enough solitaire to make it worth any more dramatic troubleshooting measures, but I’ll admit that I’m a bit curious as to what caused the problem.

Update: Clearly I have forgotten the first rule of Mac ownership—when you experience a problem, trash the preferences. I have all my cards back. I chose to take steps when I lost another card, the eight of spades, in favor of a second jack of hearts.

Categories: Uncategorized

another question

September 9, 2008 5 comments

If anyone has insight…

How does one go about doing extensive research for an academic-style paper without unlimited and free Westlaw and Lexis access? (I’m not looking for someone to say, “Go to the books!” One, I have no time for that and two, my topic isn’t caselaw based.) Obviously Google, FindLaw, Hein (which I still have access to), and other free resources are useful, but they all have their limitations. How do future academics do this?

Update: Um, not sure why comments were off. They’re on now.

Categories: The Task

thoughts on publication

September 8, 2008 2 comments

After some helpful advice (thank you, ^k^, I don’t know why I didn’t ask The Boy first), and some close rereading of emails, I chose the offer I wanted to accept, and did. Now all I have to do is sign and send back the publication agreement.

I’ve been musing on how different it is to be on the author side of this journal thing. I’ve had many, many dealings with authors as a journal editor, and I know what sorts of authors make editors’ lives hell. I want to avoid being that kind of author. At the same time, the article in question is now my work, so I have some newfound sympathy for authors who reject student edits. I’d like to try to strike a good balance between being an author who refuses to accept any edit without a fight, and an author who lets student editors have their way with her work without question. My topic is a bit arcane and I would be shocked if the students editing it had any expertise with the issues discussed, so I want to make sure their edits don’t change the substance of my argument, but I also don’t want to reject edits that might make my arcane subject a little more accessible.

The entire process of submiting—and getting so many offers—was such a confidence booster for me. That’s why it’s surprising to me that law journals have a large gender disparity in authorship. I’ve seen some commentary recently about the dearth of female authors. Orin Kerr believes (and I tend to agree) that this is the result of fewer submissions rather than of some bias by articles editors; the question then becomes, why do fewer women submit? I think attributing the submission disparity to a fear of rejection is simplistic, but perhaps it plays a bigger role than we might hope. I hear this argument made about law students in general—students at top law schools are generally unused to rejection, having been at the top of their undergraduate classes, high scorers on the LSAT; they tend to have good relationships with professors, they tend to experience less rejection in the job search (whether from law firms or from judges). I think there may be gender differences with respect to sensitivity to rejection (I don’t have any data on this, and I don’t know that anyone has really tried to make this argument). But even if there are, I don’t think fear of rejection can fully explain the gender disparity in submissions. I knew I’d get rejected from many journals—and, indeed, I did. ((In fact, the expedite process seemed to bring on more outright and less politely worded rejections than my original submission probably would have. Note to journal editors: Don’t make the subject line of your rejection email “We cannot publish “Title.” It’s just rude.)) But I accepted rejection as a fact (as I did when I applied to law school, applied to law firms, and when I applied for clerkships. Rejection is not fun in any of those contexts).

I find more resonance in what one author calls a lack of “chutzpah“: “[P]ofessional women do less than men to draw attention to their accomplishments.” ((This latter observation is actually attributed to an international study of professional women.)) I find networking to be one of the most difficult things I am expected to do. I find it extremely difficult to toot my own horn, as it were. I hate to feel as though I am bragging. Yet what I consider bragging is exactly what I have to do—as a lawyer, an author, and a potential academic—if I want to be successful. I do think there are some women—and men, to be honest—who don’t need to advertise themselves in this way; their accomplishments and talents are so evident that success finds them despite themselves. But the rest of us? We mere mortals? We have to market ourselves. And I think women are not as good at marketing ourselves as men are. ((I’ll note that I hate these sorts of blanket statements. Obviously some women are exceptional at self-marketing and I am sure we can all think of more than a few off the tops of our heads. But I don’t think it’s unfair to say that as a whole, women generally are not good at marketing themselves.))

But I said I found the gender disparity surprising. And I do. Consider: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being least and 10 being most difficult), I think the difficulty of submitting this paper registers about a 3. It took some time, some research into which journals I wanted to submit to, a little bit of money, and I won’t deny that I experienced some angst while comparing offers, but it wasn’t hard. The hard part came first—writing and editing the damn thing. And I suspect the next few months will be hard, as I revisit my writing during the editing phases. But that several journals thought my paper was worthy of publication? There’s nothing tough about that. I was left feeling really good about myself after the whole process, full of confidence in myself and my talents, and eager to try it again. ((Indeed, I’ve already got a new idea percolating. The muse, she strikes!))

So. I’m on the road to publication. It’s exciting!

Categories: The Task

advice that I am actually a little embarrassed to ask for

September 4, 2008 5 comments

So I have a problem, which is not really a problem, and I sort of hesitate to even post about it because I hate when people do this kind of thing, but I genuinely want advice and I’m not posting this as a means of being falsely modest or getting people to shower me with praise or anything.

I submitted my big paper out for publication a few weeks ago. And my submission was successful—successful beyond my wildest dreams. Which isn’t to say that the Harvard Law Review came begging me to publish with them (they wouldn’t need to beg), but it is to say that I have received multiple offers of publication from specialty journals.

And that’s sort of where the problem lies. All of my offers are from journals with mostly similar “stats” as tabulated by the law journal rankings database. But I don’t know whether those rankings are what I should be focusing on in trying to figure out where to publish. Because, let’s be honest—at this point, what I care about is the best possible placement for my article, with the widest academic readership, and the most “wow” factor for my resume. ((Not that I’ve mentioned it in a while, but I do still think I’d eventually like to teach.)) Sure, had I only received one offer of publication, I would have accepted that offer and been thrilled—my writing, in print! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! But that’s not what happened. Instead, I have multiple offers (from journals in more than one specialty area), and now I have to choose between them.

In choosing, do I consider the school as the most important factor? Or the “stats”? Because at least one of the journals offering me publication is located at a lower-tier school, but it’s also the one with the best stats. How much of a difference does the specialty area make? (I’m looking at Communications and Law versus Law and Technology.)

I know, I know—this is not a problem. And I am not posting this as a sideways way of saying, “Hey! Look at me! I’m special!” I’m genuinely perplexed. There’s not a lot of advice out there for this particular situation, particularly when the journals involved are all, more or less, of the same general caliber and reputation—basically, middle of the road. Are there any meaningful differences I should be considering other than the stats? Or should I just resort to some sort of game of chance to help me decide (“Spin the wheel of fish!”)?

Categories: The Task