simonbillenness: (Default)
This year Ann and I hosted our first Oscars party.

Even though I only sent out an evite on Friday morning, fifteen people turned up on Sunday night. Turnout is good when you invite nearly 400 of your very closest friends.

Some people even dressed up. That earned them between one to three points depending on the level of their elegance and bling. They won additional points for each Oscar winner they correctly predicted.

My strategy for guessing the Oscar winners was to bet heavily on gay cowboys, paraplegics, penguins, and a certain claymation dog.

I also bet against King Kong in the view that, after Lord of the Rings, the Academy would not favor Peter Jackson so heavily again.

Sadly for me, "Crash" upstaged "Brokeback Mountain" and King Kong took away a couple of technical prizes. At least Grommit came through for me.

I remain verklempt that "Crash" won, of all things, "Best Screenplay" for its awfully contrived script. There is no God.

Nevertheless John Stewart was fun and our friends were excellent company. I'm sure we'll host another party next year.
simonbillenness: (Default)
I'm always happy to have an opportunity to quote Margaret Mead.

Check out the transcript from my on-line talk about Amnesty International USA's SHARE POWER campaign and Business and Human Rights program:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/askamnesty/live/display.php?topic=53

If you didn't submit anything for the talk, post a question to my Amnesty blog:
http://simon4amnesty.blogspot.com

I only had one totally wacko question this time. Someone posted a long statement about how he was being persecuted by PepsiCo. Amnesty certainly attracts the schizos sometimes.
simonbillenness: (Simon and Ann Kiss)
Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love
simonbillenness: (Default)
You still have a chance to post a final question on the Amnesty International USA on-line Q&A on shareholder activism for human rights.

You can read the transcript here and post a question if you do it within the next hour or so:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/askamnesty/live/display.php?topic=53

I did the morning shift answering questions. There were only a few questions from clear wackos or people pimping their websites. I just deleted those although I did cheekily put in two links for my own Amnesty blog:
http://simon4amnesty.blogspot.com

We had several questions this time from people in India and Cambodia. It was good to have a global audience.

My good friend and fellow Amnesty and Burma activist, Larry Dohrs, is finishing the session as Mr. Amnesty Ask Me.

Too bad for Larry that I cherry-picked almost all the best questions. To make up for that, I just posted him a softball question on the down-low to make it up to him.

Enough Amnesty work and LJ chat. I have a few family chores to complete, including shopping, cooking and last night's dishes.
simonbillenness: (Default)
I'm taking my last personal day from Oxfam today.

I leave Oxfam's full-time employment on Friday, March 10 at 5pm. Of course, there will be drinks at Foley's starting at 6pm that night. Please come and join the fun!

But today I'm practicising working at home.

This morning, I made sure I climbed out of bed early at 6.30am. I made tea, went on-line, picked up the New York Times and Boston Globe from the doorstep, paid the rent, and ate a nutritious breakfast of cereal and bananas.

Of course, I have not yet showered or changed out of my sweats.

Later this morning, I will be on-line answering questions about the Amnesty International USA "SHARE POWER" program. This afternoon, I will set up more meetings for Ko Bo Kyi, the Burmese former political prisoner who will be in Boston from March 11-18. I will also do last night's dishes and the food shopping. My goal is to have dinner on the table when Ann comes home around 7.30pm. Aren't I a good stay-at-home consultant husband?

Then comes my second volunteer work shift. I have a Sierra Club conference call at 7.30pm followed by an Amnesty conference call at 9pm that I'm chairing.

I can relax after 10pm. Daily Show and Colbert Report repeats at 11pm. Bed just before midnight.

I will not:

1. Watch any Angel or Buffy episodes on DVD
2. Spend an inordinate amount of time on LJ or blogs

Let's see if I can keep to my plan.
simonbillenness: (Default)
Ask Amnesty: SHARE POWER: Using Grassroots Shareholder Activism to Hold Corporations Accountable for Human Rights

All companies have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations, but all too often they are contributing to human rights abuses – either directly or indirectly. You can hold corporations accountable - morally and legally - for violations within and connected to their operations. SHARE POWER is a new Amnesty campaign based on the idea that no matter who you are, where you work, where you study, or where you live, you can find your connection to multinational corporations, and use that connection to influence them to change.

Join Simon Billenness and Larry Dohrs, two longtime Amnesty volunteers and experts in shareholder activism, on Wednesday, March 1st to discuss SHARE POWER and learn how you can get involved in this campaign.

Submit a question in advance:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/askamnesty/live/display.php?topic=53

Amused...

Feb. 27th, 2006 11:55 pm
simonbillenness: (Default)
Tikvah posted my schmutz story to the LJ community metaquotes.

I'm psyched to learn that several people found it amusing:
http://community.livejournal.com/metaquotes/4770964.html?view=70819476#t70819476
simonbillenness: (Default)
I couldn't help but share that Ash Wednesday posting.

I emailed it to a few friends. After some very positive feedback, I spruced it up some more and put it on my blog:
http://simonbillenness.blogspot.com/2006/02/ash-wednesday-etiquette.html

Here's how it now reads. (I'm going to roast in hell for this.)

=====================
Ash Wednesday Etiquette

When I moved to the United States in 1985, I spent my first few years in Albany, New York. Like many American cities, Albany is heavily Catholic.

1986 was my first experience of Ash Wednesday in a predominantly Catholic town. At the time, I was working as a teller at the headquarters of Albany Savings Bank. I remember serving a woman with a conspicuous dark grey stain on her forehead. I distinctly recall thinking that it was probably a stain that she accidently smudged on her face after reading a loose-inked newspaper.

To this day I am so glad that I did not remark on the stain.

With this in mind, I thought it important to try my hand at a little parody entitled:

Ash Wednesday Etiquette ... in Massachusetts

Here's the appropriate etiquette for this Wednesday when you meet total strangers in Southie or the North End of Boston with ash on their forehead.

Adopt a pleasant Jewish grandmotherly kind of voice. You know, like the character played by Mike Myers on "Coffee Tawk" on Saturday Night Live.

Smile at person with smudged forehead. Lick your thumb. Say in pleasant Jewish grandmotherly kind of voice: "Wait. There's some schmutz on your lovely face. Let me wipe that off you."

Use your spit-wetted thumb to try to erase the ash from stranger's forehead.

As you wipe your saliva on the person's forehead, say this: "You know you shouldn't be reading those messy free newspapers. That Metro newsprint gets all over your hands. Why don't you read a nice glossy magazine instead like Cosmo, The Advocate, or Vanity Fair? Or even a free paper, such as Bay Windows, that won't end up messing your clothes and face."

If the stranger has not run away, called the police, or assaulted you before you finish, finish by saying: "There! That's better! You have such a lovely face. You should meet my son/daughter/intersexed offspring (use whichever is appropriate). He/she is an accountant/doctor/dentist/fetish model/same-sex marriage activist."

Repeat with every forehead-smudged stranger as needed or until you are exorcised or have your arm broken.
simonbillenness: (Simon and Ann Kiss)
From a former Christian, here's appropriate etiquette for this Wednesday when you meet a total stranger with ash on their forehead.

Adopt a pleasant Jewish grandmotherly kind of voice. You know, like Mike Myers on "Coffee Tawk" on Saturday Night Live.

Smile at person with smudged forehead. Lick your thumb. Say in pleasant Jewish grandmother kind of voice: "Wait. There's some schmutz on your lovely face. Let me wipe that off you."

Use your spit-wetted thumb to try to erase ash from stranger's forehead.

As you wipe your saliva on the stranger's forehead, say this: "You know you should reading those messy newspapers. That newsprint gets all over your hands and everywhere. Why don't you read a nice glossy magazine instead like Cosmo, The Advocate, or Vanity Fair."

If the stranger has not run away, called the police or assaulted you before you finish, say: "There! That's better! You have such a lovely face. You should meet my son/daughter (use whichever is appropriate). He/she is an accountant/doctor/dentist/gay marriage activist."

Repeat with every forehead-smudged stranger as needed or until you are exorcised or have your arm broken.
simonbillenness: (Default)
Thanks to kimberkit, I now have cool userpics.
simonbillenness: (Default)


create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide
simonbillenness: (Default)
http://kevan.org/johari?name=SimonB

Please click and tell me what you think of me...
simonbillenness: (Default)
I'm proud to work for an agency that does so much in response to major humanitarian disasters.

In the wake of yesterday's major earthquake, Oxfam is rushing emergency water supplies to the Indonesian island of Nias. The earthquake off the western coast of Sumatra on March 28 left hundreds of people dead and its major town in rubble.

Press release: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/newsandpublications/press_releases/press_release.2005-03-29.6353099232

Oxfam is accepting donations through its Global Emergencies Fund: https://secure.ga3.org/02/oxfamamerica?extra1=gl_emerg
simonbillenness: (Default)
I just maintain this account so I can access and comment on my friends' livejournals.

My real blog, Pot of George, is at http://simonbillenness.blogspot.com
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