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  1. Monica, Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. Funny, your family sounds much like mine (I'm Chinese) as far as attitudes toward "proper" careers are concerned. My parents have also come around (slowly) regarding my food writing, probably because I still have my full-time day job. If you would like to chat further, drop me a line. Best of luck to you! You are a wonderful writer! Anna
  2. I received a bookstore gift card and decided to buy an Indian cookbook (to fill in a noticeable gap in my cookbook collection). If you could own only one Indian cookbook, what would it be?
  3. I loved this poem! At first I didn't quite get it, and then I read it aloud. I thought it was really clever.
  4. I like to cook and bake from scratch. BF can't cook. His attitude is that since technology allows him to save time by reheating stuff in the microwave instead of cooking, he'll take advantage of it. That attitude extends to eating food with bones -- he will not eat anything that reminds him of the animal it came from because it's "gross." (*sigh* so roast chicken is out). Again, it's because he feels we should take advantage of anything that technology gives us. He also doesn't like to eat the same thing two days in a row, so he feels it's easier to buy two frozen dinners rather than try to make several different dishes. He's told me that taste, to him, doesn't matter that much. Food is just fuel to him. I like cooking, but since I don't have a dishwasher the difference in clean-up for scratch cooking vs. heating pre-made food is often significant. That may be another factor.
  5. Reasons why someone would register for copyright: the ability to sue and statutory damages. In the U.S., if I recall correctly, you can't sue someone for copyright infringement unless you've registered your work with the Copyright Office. You can't get statutory damages either. Statutory damages (i.e., damages defined in the Copyright Act) may be higher than the damages you've actually suffered from the infringement. For example, if someone copied an article I wrote and I didn't register it, the actual damages are likely to be quite tiny (lost profits, for example). If I registered it before the copying occurred, however, the Copyright Act allows me to get statutory damages (I think it's up to $100,000 or something like that) plus attorney fees and costs, depending on the circumstances of the copying. Lots more money, in any case, than my actual damages. Given that registration only requires $30 and a form, it's often worth it to register a cookbook. I'm not sure if it's worth it to register individual recipes unless the language used the recipes is particularly creative -- protection for recipes is still pretty thin, but if the writer believes that the recipe as written is worth protecting, then why not register it? I'd treat the $30 fee like insurance.
  6. David, you mentioned the importance of having a writing partner to help keep you moving forward. How do you go about finding a compatible one? Also, I second the question re: whether formal culinary training is needed. Should a food writer attend culinary school? Or would systematic self-study (a la "The Julie/Julia Project") be sufficient? Side note: thanks again for your helpful advice here! So, when is Toni Allegra going to bring you in as a speaker?
  7. Michael, thank you for coming to eGullet and sharing your knowledge. I've enjoyed all of your books so far and look forward to more! In your books with Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert, you were able to capture the chef's voice and make it sound like the chef did all the actual writing. What techniques do you use to keep your own voice from intruding? Do you analyze the chef's speech patterns and go from there? Or does it just come naturally from working so closely with the chef?
  8. ChocoKitty

    DQ Blizzards

    Oreo mint or chocolate malted milk ball Blizzard for me, please. Do Blizzard flavors differ from region to region? I've seen combinations offered at one DQ but not another. All of you are making me hungry. I suppose I'll have to hit a DQ tonight... I love those chocolate-chip cookie ice cream sandwiches too. Can't remember what they're called right now, but I used to eat them often when I was younger and had a higher metabolism.
  9. You've described my Dad to a T. A few weeks ago Mom and I wanted to try out a neighborhood place that's been a fixture in their hometown. They've never been to that place. Well, Dad threw a fit and said that "he'd heard" the place isn't that good (despite what I've heard about it) and he browbeat us to go to Red Robin instead. *sigh* Another problem I have with chain restaurants is the portion sizes! WTF is up with that? My SO and my Dad are now so hung up on portion sizes and "value" that if we go to a fancier place where the portions are more normal, they gripe about it. So now I'm stuck trying to eat with people who go into convulsions if the entrees are over $15. Last night SO and I went to the Sign of the Beefcarver. What a depressing place. He doesn't know how to cook, so if I'm too tired to cook or go grocery shopping we go out to eat, usually at a chain. Sorry for the rant. I've been to chain restaurants far too many times for my taste in the past month, and I get incredibly depressed each time I get dragged into one. I need to find new dining companions.
  10. I work 2 blocks away from a CSC. I have no problem with corporate-type ice cream places (after all, Ben & Jerry's would fall in that category these days, and I love their ice cream!), but the ice cream at CSC is just....bad. The only way I can describe it is "gluey." It has this bizarre sticky texture, certainly not creamy. And the few flavors I've tried all seem to taste the same. I like the concept of mix-ins, though. There's a franchise called "Marble Slab Creamery" that I visited in Texas, and their ice cream was much better. I believe Marble Slab stores make their ice cream on-site (edit: I found that CSC does too). Maybe CSC just has lousy ice cream recipes?
  11. Oh lovely, lawyers assigning their own legal definitions to common words to confuse things even further. Ah well, it's a common occurrence. Thanks for the heads-up on that *cough* "purely legal concept of plagiarism" definition. It's weird, because I've seen other sources saying that plagiarism and copyright infringement are often confused with each other, using the correct definition you've given.
  12. I get your point but you are wrong. Plagiarism is a definition of a copyright violation. You can plagiarize part of a work and it is still a violation of several laws. The ABA has some useful information on their web site. Not in a great deal of depth but enough to give you a better understanding. I agree that you can both plagiarize something and violate copyright laws with the same act, but I still think that copyright infringement and plagiarism are two separate issues, as FG had also noted, and not a type of copyright infringement or other violation of the law. I could be wrong, but I'd have to do some more research to find out for sure. I did a quick search on the ABA website and was only able to find this "Copyright Basics" primer, if anyone is interested: ABA website I'd be happy to do a little more digging (I specialize in intellectual property, so this is actually quite interesting to me!).
  13. You are correct. The recipe formula itself is not copyrightable. That's why any discussion regarding copyrighting recipes tends to get garbled -- some people interpret the word "recipe" to mean the food creation itself, while in a copyright sense the word "recipe" only covers the recipe text, NOT the food made from the text instructions. Two meanings to the same word = people talking past each other.
  14. Interesting rule of thumb, but I'm not so sure about this. If I'm making up a recipe and expect other people to use it, I would definitely measure out stuff and write it like a "textbook" recipe, if only to prevent angry phone calls from friends saying that my recipe didn't work for them. It's cumbersome, but I think it's necessary.
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