Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Apple Berry Crisp

Filed under: Anne,food,how to,recipes — alison @ 06:49

Anne wrote:
>I do read your blog posts

Then you should comment on them!

>though I
>don’t really feel an urge to respond on your


> Liked the one about toenail clippings ;-)

Then you should comment on it!

>I have a request for you. Recently I made
>something like apple crumble, but the topping
>didn’t turn out great. I remember you making a
>very nice dessert out of fruit with some kind of
>crisp topping consisting of oat flakes and other
>stuff. Could you email me the recipe?

I will go one better: I will post it on my website!

*** *** ***
2 boxes of frozen mixed berries
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t salt
2 T cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter

Put the berries in a deep round baking dish and layer the apples over them. Put all the topping ingredients in the food processor and whizz. Sprinkle as much topping as you want over the apples and freeze the rest for another time. Bake half an hour at 375°F.

*** *** ***
Mark would like me to make this with about twice as much butter and sugar, so that it’s more candy-like. I say tough beans, it’s plenty yummy the way it is.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

FW: One more reason in favor of Internet ‘dating’–a true story

Filed under: Anne,dogs,internet dating — alison @ 22:49

Outremont: well-to-do professionals live there. Rich people too. the personals site where I met Adam, and Mark, and Anne (in that order).
100 pounds: about 45 kilos.

>on 4/15/03 3:51 PM, Cummins, Alison at wrote:
>Um, may I forward this? It’s funny and lovely. (Just like you.)

—–Original Message—–
From: Anne McKnight []
Subject: Re: One more reason in favor of Internet ‘dating’–a true story

A funny story about Internet dating, with the moral being, you never know what will happen.
Remember last fall when I met that cool musician guy with the heady imagination, had a nice coffee with him, after which he asked to meet up again, and then he up-and-said his trials (“”) with Internet dating were over, when we actually hadn’t even been on a ‘date’?  

Well, the scene at that time was kind of bleak.  I was dog-sitting. In outremont.  In a house with no good food to raid, except for dog food, very expensive dog food.  The dog had allergies and had to be given pills often.  The dog’s allergies made its anus itch.  The dog would sit & spin on its poor itchy anus for hours on end.  I didn’t know this was an allergic symptom.  I thought she had to go out.  I took her out alllll the time.  She has no discipline and weighs over 100 pounds, and would drag me down the street, towards other dogs, towards piles of dogshit, towards sodden donuts in gutters, all of which I would pry out of her mouth.  If she put anything in her mouth, it would activate more allergies, more sitting & spinning.  Is it any wonder I turned to alternate-virtual–worlds?  Also, I was writing grants, which in academia means inventing parallel lives you will probably never get to live.  Which I have already not gotten to live about 7 times since I moved here, all those parallel lives recycled back to the drawing board…

So, anyway, I answered the cursory, wildly funny ad on nerve, and started a conversation with this guy, the musician.  Even though I was stuck with the itchy-anus dog, in outremont, with no food but dog food, it made me happy.  I met him, and that made me happy too, since more than ‘dating trials’ I thought, oh at last, someone I can talk to about the freaky things I like, music & etc.  well, that didn’t work out, obviously.  I was dissed-electronically, ick.  

The synchronicity of the conversation was good though, as it got my imagination deceived, productively, into thinking it had an interlocutor.  I wrote a grant proposal to pay for all those things I invented in the parallel worlds that crossed between that conversation & the parallel universe sponsored by the government of quebec.  

So synchronicity point 1, is that K**** says, Sunday, he is working with the guy who is the ***** man at *****, who is this guy.  Oh really, say hi for me.  So, yesterday, Monday, synchronicity 2–I find out that I got the grant.  45K + 10K for equipment, sound & image editing stuff.  I guess I owe that guy a beer some time.  Even though he has a girlfriend, and protocol dictates we will probably never be in a together-drinking situation anytime soon, due to the blowback such an encounter in his single days would oh-so-predictably provoke. Moral of the story:  you never really know, do you?

Chalk up another felicity for parallel, virtual lives, and the unpredictable directions they go…


[originally transmitted by e-mail April 15, 2003]

Monday, February 3rd, 2003

Re: Wow, this is fascinating.

Filed under: Anne,death penalty,US politics — alison @ 06:28

Not everyone snickered. This is Anne McKnight <____>‘s impassioned response. I thought it was worth sharing.


I read the mail about the death penalty, and got kind of worked up responding…

   This is my point of view as registered voter in a state (Illinois) in which the death penalty has been abolished, and where critiques of systematic racism and injustice in the prison system have been launched.  As you can imagine, this article pressed a lot of buttons, as it relies on the old, uninformed stereotypes of the US as a coherent ideological force.

   In my opinion, the anti-death penalty movement is a successful movement of social change in the US.  It represents an internal critique of social justice which has been successful-and under the Bush administration, no less.  This success story is not something people typically like to hear.  It does not fit the historical narrative of the US as racist homeland, as failed fatcat, as some place activism died in the 60s–an interpretation that allows us to see the US as a force already, irrevocably well on its way to whatever mode of blind destruction is supposed, as if all possibilities of intervention were already over. The effect of this narrative is to concede the momentum of a set of events which may not actually be decided.  (Of course, sorting out the contradictions is difficult whenever the US as an international force is conflated with what is going on domestically.)

   In the US, capital punishment is decided by the states, not the feds.  It thus doesn’t really make sense to talk of a coherent “US” position on capital punishment if referring to the domestic death penalty.

   I think obscuring this difference creates a false impression of unity in the US.  Of course, seeing the issue in national terms allows us to think of the US as moral low ground, categorically ‘barbaric,’ and to indulge our stereotypes about what a backwards, contradictory place the world’s most advanced country is. But seeing the issue in a national frame completely bypasses the fact that there is a vibrant and effective movement against the death penalty in the US–on a state by state basis.  It has been successful, and is still spreading!  As this is one social issue on which there is actual progress in the US, I think it is damaging (by which I mean shutting down critique where it actually does exist-these people need your support!) to paint the US in terms of an imagined ideological coherence-for instance, the ‘prison industrial complex’ in California, and the failure of the ‘3 strikes you’re out’ law, is hugely controversial.*

   And then, there’s governor George Ryan.  The growing anti-capital punishment movement in the US has been greatly spurred in the last 2 years by state governors, most notably by Gov George Ryan of Illinois.  In the last 2 years, he has signed many prisoners off death row, and has set a precedent for other governors to do the same.

   You can read Ryan’s speech, that he gave as he left the office of governor in January, 2003 at   You can search for ‘George Ryan death penalty” and get a number of advocacy briefs to track the issues on line.

   In his speech, Ryan explains how he came to regard the death penalty as wrong, and makes the connection between economic growth and the prison system–the death penalty is simply more cost effective.  This cost-effectiveness is a great motivation of Bush’s policies abroad, of course, whether such policies consist of extending loans that weigh like anchors on developing countries, or insisting on ‘free markets’ at any cost. Bush is pissed off at China for its ‘anti-religious’ tolerance because it sees it as a mark of barbarity–failure to obe ‘universal’ human rights standards.  This is simply one more reason to assert the universal–of which Bush is presumably the representative–as the authorized law to go in and set things right, restore order, so that markets will function.  This is an old story in China. And Japan. And postwar Europe. And Iraq.  And so on.

   It is important to realize that the jurisdiction over which G Bush speaks in terms of foreign policy is symptomatic of his stance as a former GOVERNOR.  G Bush is on the side of the state (whether state government or feds) possessing the only authorized law–within this he includes the right to adjudicate life & death. This policy, for him, is consistent in the state-government arena of Texas, and in the international arena.  This extension of practices of Texas-style governance is one part of the extension of his Texas-style governance into national & international frames.

   The reason I think this article, and your reading, alarmed me, is that it is precisely Bush’s strategy to refuse to listen to any form of resistance:  he just won’t make any appointment with citizens’ groups, clergy, military people, students, whoever-anyone whose voice is not already incorporated into his.  So I think it is really important to publicize those who don’t agree with him, at this time, to show that in fact, he is NOT necessarily representing the people, even in his own country!

   I think it is true that the anti-war movement, so driven by the imperial position of the US & the tacit assent of its allies, is in a funny state.  No one knows what activism means anymore, they just know somehow that it is dysfunctional.  But I think in my generation (born mid 60s) the backlash against the failure of the older, sixties generation to sustain its utopian policies is so strong, that we often triumph by pouncing on the certainty of failure.  It’s confusing:  on the one hand, 25,000 people will march through downtown Montreal writing peace signs on car windows (i.e. not smashing them).  On the other, this movement is unsure where to go after the ‘symbolic demonstration’ of getting out the people, singing out the songs (wearing them out :)  !) In the general atmosphere, I do think it is important to recognize that the US is by no means a done deal on all issues.  These people need your help!  


*       Of course, public opinion polls will go on about ‘US opinion’ as their point of reference, but the fact is, the decision to rule the death penalty legal or not is made on a state-by-state basis.

[originally transmitted by e-mail February 3, 2003]

Powered by WordPress