Literally Leah

sharing is caring, so I obviously care a lot.

Hajj to a slimmer waist and tight butt March 30, 2009

Filed under: Fitness — The Under-Analyst @ 4:29 am

My hajj to Mecca differs slightly from Islamic tradition. Hajj, usually referred to as “pilgrimage” is, for me, more of a lumbering, slow, pitiful ascent. And Mecca, a term for a precise location (religious holy land) is more of a state of physical perfection in my case. Why would I be so brazen and dare to compare my journey for physical perfection to a serious Islamic tradition?  Because I’m slightly insensitive and from what I hear the Hajj is long and difficult (now you see the metaphor…). 

Dear Treadmill,

It’s been a while, sorry.  We’re breaking up.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I’ve met someone else.  Who, you ask?  A big pile of sand.  Yeah, I know… not so good on paper.  You’re great, don’t get me wrong.  I like the way you can tell me exactly how many calories I’ve burned and I love the convenient water bottle holder.  But let’s face it, you’re hard on my knees and scenically speaking you don’t offer much.  I hope we can remain friends…?




Dear big pile of sand near my house (Sand Dune Park),sandhill

Hi sweetie!! I know we just saw each other this afternoon but do you miss me yet?  Oh gosh, today was fun.  I can’t believe how many people actually come and climb you! But don’t worry I’m not the jealous type.  I just think it’s so neat that I, along with most of Manhattan Beach, found such a different and almost fun way to work out.  I also really appreciate the rope in the middle to keep children to one side and exercising adults to the other (nothing worse than little sand throwing assholes when I’m getting sweaty).  It’s such a great feeling of accomplishment once I’ve made it to your peak!  My calves are a little sore right now, I’m not gonna lie.  But with your help I know this could be a really good thing (and my butt agrees).  Can’t wait to see you tomorrow! I’m gonna wear my new sport’s bra 😉



Yes, finally I can be like the girls in the SELF and FITNESS magazine pictures!! You know, they are always doing some crazy lunge or squatting eagle thing on a beach somewhere sunny.  And I don’t even have to feel dumb because there are a bunch of other people walking/lunging/crawling up this big sand pile!  While my Hajj to a slimmer waist and tight butt is still long and difficult I have now regained some sort of hope thanks to my new neighborhood sand hill.  Hoooorraaaay!


Diary of a downtown LA train ride… March 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Under-Analyst @ 8:43 pm

Am I brave?  Yes.  

Proof?  I rode the Los Angeles metro train from south bay to downtown.  

Here is my story:

Preface, I am meeting a friend who works downtown so that we can go together to her hometown (Chino) to get our hair done.  She drove to work that day and since we live in the same area it makes no sense for me to drive also… Train time!

3:15 pm, March 26th 2009.  

Uncomfortable, yes that describes this moment right now.  He is seated in front of me, paint splattered faded jeans.  Paint splattered everything.  He announces his presence with an, “oh shiitt” as he dumps his jacket onto the seats across from me.  I would try and describe his face but that’s mean I’d have to look up and I’m too scared.  Ok, perfect opportunity, we’ve stopped and a few people get on so I dare to glance up, just for a second.  My guess, late forties, no wait, definitely fifties.  User of drugs? Yes. White mustache, black sunglasses.  He mumbles a, “helooo, how are ya.”  I politely smile and adjust my copy of the onion that I am trying to read.  Oh shit, he’s staring… I can feel it, gross.  I’m glad I opted for the sports bra under my tank top, less exposure.  This isn’t a free show buddy!  Oh great, now there’s another creeper… he sits next to mustache clown across from me.  They’re both staring.  I’m not trying to sound conceited… I don’t know why the hell they’re staring! I’m gross.  I haven’t showered in two days!! Don’t get me wrong, I thought about it, but I’m going to get my hair done.  yeah, yeah,  yeah, I know I could have at least washed my body.. but whatever I’m riding the LA metro.  Oh, oh, yes! He is leaving.  He mumbles, “have a nice day.”  For being creepy he sure is polite.  Wow, just looked up towards my right and an Indian man in a vest nods and mouths hello… I look down, thinking he must not be talking to me, oh shit mother shit, he is up… walking over here, apparently waiting for the next stop?  Staring, I can feel the eyes… it’s a long time till the next stop why is he just standing there, hovering!  I’m starting to get the feeling that riding the train is like attending the circus.  A lot of strange people in one place.  Oh crap, I was wrong that guy who came over here waiting to leave wasn’t the Indian vest guy! The Indian vest guy is now wobbling towards me on his leg braces.  Concentrate on my writing, I love writing. He’s sitting down in front of me.  “You a model?”  What!?  Yeah for the landfill.  I pretend not to hear him. lalalalalalalalala. I hate this effing train.  He keeps trying to talk to me.  I don’t even know what the hell he is saying.  Why did I forget my i-pod?  If I were a model would I be riding the damn train?? Idiot.  Is it my stop yet?  This sucks. “You like writing lots, huh, model.”  Eeeewwww.  Oh Noooo I was trying so hard to ignore the vest guy I missed my stop!  Now I have to get back on the other train going the other way.  I hate the metro, train, hell ride, whatever you want to call it.  I’ve always considered myself a people person.  I am doubting that now.  In fact, I hate people.  People creep the hell outta me.  

Reflection:  I made it safe to my destination.  I don’t like the train.  My hair looks like shit.  I asked to keep the blonde and just add some lowlights, not to make me a brunette.  Bad day.


The Modern Day Dowry March 26, 2009

Filed under: Identity,Uncategorized — The Under-Analyst @ 7:11 pm

Maybe a couple hundred years ago my father would have set aside a dozen sheep and rights to our summer home.  Mom would have provided me with precious embroidery tools, an ivory brush and lace nightgown.  This would all come in handy when it was time to present my suitor with a handsome dowry.  

A dowry was basically an investment into the marriage, giving recognition to the husband that he would indeed be taking care of the bride throughout their future.  It also gave the bride the right to re-inherit her dowry if her husband were to die, leaving her alone and uncared for.  While it is still common practice for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding (although that has quickly been changing and for good reason), dowries are out of the question.  In fact now a days a dowry is quite the opposite…  especially in the midst of a crisis.  The following is my dowry advertisement:


Bride Available!



SWF (de-flowered), Non Smoker, Dowry includes; 0 property, 0 inheritance, $25,000   in student   loans and $500 in credit card debt.


On the plus side, loves children and animals!! 

Call today to schedule a showing.


Not exactly the best deal, however, the part about loving kids and fuzzy creatures is totally a selling point. I had no idea that dowry giving was still a common practice in many Asian countries, but thanks to my solid source, I am privy to dowry knowledge galore. Here is one interesting dowry fact;

“In India, where a few incidents of Bride burning and dowry death acquired notoriety, the payment of a dowry has been prohibited under The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act in Indian civil lawand subsequently by Sections 304B and 498a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”

Yes, bride burning… the ancient tradition of dousing your bride in kerosene and lighting her on fire due to her family’s refusal to add more to her dowry.  Romantic to say the least.  


My dowry sucks.  In fact I really don’t have a dowry.  But on the positive side, since my husband-to-be will know this up front, I should (fingers crossed) be safe from the ‘ole bride burning.


Magic, the angry maker. March 25, 2009

Filed under: Magic,Travel — The Under-Analyst @ 6:40 pm

magiccastle1  When first informed of a place called “The Magic Castle” I was immediately wary.  This was not Disney World, this was a “castle” for “magic” in hollywood? Weeeeird.  But my curiosity peaked when a girlfriend of mine described her Friday night outing there as “easily the best date ever.”  Really? At a magic show?  Maybe she hadn’t been on many dates… But she continued to describe the place with positive adjectives and mentioned that there were numerous bars on different floors (well now that was something to be excited for).  The icing on the cake was that the week hosted, “Sorcerers of Spain.”  She said everyone had to dress very formal in cocktail attire and that it was difficult to get in without knowing a member (an elite magic gathering, impressive).  I was invited to go with her and her magic practicing “friend” yesterday evening.  I obviously said yes!

The castle:  A house, castle inspired. Hollywood, semi residential area.  The lobby has a comically small gift shop, a couple of shelves.  We are accepted in (thank you friend’s magic practicing friend).  I am told to say “open sesame” to the wall.  I do, the wall with a painted on bookshelf moves open.  We descend into a bar area with a ghost piano player on the other side.  I’m still excited and we get a glass of wine.  We immediately go into a side room to see an intimate magic show.  Before it starts I am called up to be the show’s volunteer!  I sit down and out comes the middle aged magician who then performs trick after trick (cards and coins) that baffle me and later infuriate me.  

Magic, as a rule of thumb, pisses me off.  All logic says that he did not just pull a bunny from his ass, however, I cannot figure out what he did to make it seem so real (purely an example, although the magic show would have been sooo much better if bunnies were being pulled out of someone’s ass).  Because I can’t understand magic, I get angry.  I try my best to look charmed but in fact I am hating him and his magic.  I receive praises after the show (um thanks?).  We then go to another show in which my friend is chosen as a volunteer.  This time the magician is funny.  He’s old, a fast talker and slightly witty. I like him.  He makes her ring disappear and then reappear. I’m angry but the second glass of wine is helping.  We applaud and leave to the main event.  

A creepy man is walking around the audience eating cookies.  We discover he is part of the act.  His introduction is stupid (he electrocutes himself).  A lady comes out and music starts to play.  She is dancing. Oh, I like this act, a nice change from cards.  She dances around the stage doing trickery with her scarf and then with two large metal hoops.  I am more impressed with her flexibility (she is at least fifty). Her act is done. The creepy guy returns, ugh.  He does some tricks with scissors and paper, all the while keeping that creepy grin on his face and occasionally running the scissor blades over his face.  The audience is loving it. I hate him.  Another guy enters the stage.  He does robotic dancing, I like him, but this isn’t magic.  The woman and man dance together with masks on, it’s weird, and not magic.  The end.  We meet up with my friend’s friend who has been in his magic class all this while.  We watch some impromptu magic in the corner by the upstairs’ bar but by now I am unimpressed.  He is doing knot tricks with a rope. Sailor tricks. I’m tired of magic, it’s exhausting.  We decide it is time to go.  


Am glad that I experienced the Magic Castle?  Yes.  

Could my life have been complete without a visit? Probably not.

Have I created a new found tolerance maybe even interest in magic? definitely not.  


Magicians are still better than clowns, and that’s something.


The case of the armless man… open the door please! March 24, 2009

Filed under: Men — The Under-Analyst @ 5:49 am



Itch my johnson or open the door? hhhmmm

Itch my johnson or open the door? hhhmmm



A girlfriend of mine recently asked me why men no longer open doors for women.


Her question was a valid one seeing as I had been a victim of the rude door in your face  (the only evidence left behind, the scent of his poorly chosen cologne). Or my personal favorite: the man who rushes past you to the door only to enter and not to open and hold it for you.

 As an observant woman I have long been aware that men only have one arm.  Where is their other arm you ask?  Where it has been since the age of Adam, on their dick.  We accept this and do not dare to bat an eyelash at the mass population of males constantly adjusting, scratching and holding their johnsons, both in public and in private. But even with an arm occupied with one’s member there is another to open doors, right? So what has happened to the free arm? 

This was answered quite simply one morning in a hotel room as I was lying next to my boyfriend.  He was busy chatting away to some business colleague of his and I was pondering the day’s events when suddenly the answer was right in front of me.  The blackberry!  There he was, the perfect male specimen… one hand down his underwear and the other cradling his precious blackberry.  I watched in utter amusement at my armless boyfriend and knew that I had solved my girlfriend’s mystery.  A society of armless men, desperately clinging to their two most prized possessions: genitals and gigabytes.

 A few days later, after my Nancy Drew epiphany, I journeyed to the Mall’s Macy’s entrance and a most peculiar thing happened.  A man rushed past me towards the door. I was no spring chicken and began speed walking in an attempt to beat the SOB.  His longer legs secured his win.  But, wait.  He was stopping.  Could it be? Yes, the man opened the door, held it open! When I turned and gave him a heartfelt thank you he simply replied, “no need to thank, it’s what a man ought to do.” And just like that his fast long legs whisked him away to the Men’s department. In a moment of elation I wondered if in fact men did still have arms. 

 Nope, his blackberry must be broken. 


Are you an Ameripean? March 22, 2009

Filed under: Identity,Travel — The Under-Analyst @ 11:22 pm

Ameripean    I want to be European.  

It’s not that I wish to denounce my American citizenship (in fact I am both grateful and happy holding a U.S. passport) but rather it’s a desperate desire to belong to a historical and culturally superior (yes I said superior, ish) legion of countries.  Sometimes I have fantasies in which the USA is ceremoniously inducted into the European Union (fantasies, keyword). There are people (lucky bastards) who have claim to this title, Ameripean, through the miracle of dual citizenship.  I am not one of them.  They can cross both American and European borders with ease, finding legal employment and even permanent residency! While living in Spain my fellow illegal alien American girlfriends and I jokingly launched “project EU,” and although marrying a somewhat stranger for purely legal purposes loses all romantic credibility… the idea wasn’t half bad (no pressure novio). But maintaining an American identity is important and that is why the “Ameri” takes precedence over the “pean” in this title.

The term Ameripean is not always good.  We are all familiar with the travelers who become “worldly” and thus superior. Eeewww.  

Are you questioning your Ameripeaness?  Of course you are and you’re in luck because I have created the perfect quiz in order to rate your level of Ameripeaness.


Are you an Ameripean?

1. Do you have both an American passport and E.U. passport? dual citizenship…

2. Do you unabashedly feel superior to fellow U.S. citizens that have yet to cross the ocean?

3. In any given conversation do you find a way to mention your experiences abroad? “well when I was in Paris… unlike Prague…”

4. Are your dinner parties in Euro themes? Tapas & Sangria or Bangers & Mash…

5. Do you pride yourself with the fact that various items in your home and/or wardrobe originate from your travels?

6. When asked for your I.D. do you produce a tattered, stamped passport?

7. Is your significant other and/or best friend either from Europe or first acquainted with while in Europe? 

8. Does the travel channel turn you on?


If you have answered yes to more than three of these questions, you are in fact an Ameripean.


Blogging, rhymes with jogging. March 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Under-Analyst @ 10:30 pm

Blogging, rhymes with jogging… both of which I plan on doing more of.  

Why blog?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Call it narcissism, boredom or the honest desire to share what goes on inside my larger than normal brain.  

Why jog?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To ward off the inevitable weight that results from my second favorite activity, eating. 

Besides, in the hopes of someday being published I felt it was time to transfer my dear diary entries into something a little more tangible and available.  I do all of this with zero intentions of offending readers, however honest usually offends and the best writer is an honest writer. 

Current projects include:

My book- Post College, Now What? One “adult’s” story 

Various Freelance Articles just waiting to be published