Monday, September 15, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #272] Hodge Podge

A few random pre-holiday things:

First, the good news - I've accepted a new position at Morgan Stanley!  Hopefully, by the middle of next month, I will have left the shackles of finance and escaped into the warm glowing warming glow of the margin team in prime brokerage.  Of course, I musn't get ahead of myself as this little, um, uncomfortableness with Lehman Brothers does have the potential to derail any headcount moves, so I ask all of you to cross your toes and send me good, job-progression positive vibes.  The one downside of the new role, though, is that it is market-oriented, which means market hours: starting at 08:00.  But it will be much more interesting work, so I am excited about it.

B, I was having a conversation about the election with a few people lately, and it turned to the religious nature of America's politics.  My friend, Matt Putnam, made a brilliant comment that sums it all up perfectly, I think:  "[American Christians] see Palin praying that the war in Iraq 'follows God's plan' as a perfectly reasonable approach to national leadership."  Spot on, no?

Three, does anyone remember from "Supersize Me" how many steps the average American takes in a day?  I am participating in a charity thing for work and they are measuring how much I walk.  I remember the movie saying the average was only 2,000 steps a day - but that seems impossible; I've walked 7,728 so far today, and I've just been rather lazy, I'd say, pretty much just sitting at work and at home.  Can people really walk that little?  Have my years in NYC and London deaccustomed me to genuine sloth?

IV - just three days till I leave for Israel!  Mary and I finalised our itinerary and booked all our hotels yesterday.  We're doing one day on the Dead Sea, three in Jerusalem (with a possible side trip to Bethlehem), one on the Sea of Galilee, one in Haifa and four in Tel Aviv.  As I've mentioned before, I am not thrilled about spending my tourist shekels supporting Israel's policies right now, but if that were my guide I wouldn't be coming to America this Xmas either.  So, I'll suck it up, be fascinated with the land, the people and the history, and I'll see what I can do about bringing peace to the Middle East between cocktails and hummus.


Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

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