Literally Leah

sharing is caring, so I obviously care a lot.

Little Leah is Not Native American… March 8, 2011

Filed under: Children's Books,Identity — The Under-Analyst @ 2:44 pm
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Little Leah does School Fundraising! January 13, 2011

Filed under: Children's Books — The Under-Analyst @ 2:38 pm
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Working at a middle school I am frequently asked to give money to students for one cause or another. Most recently I was asked to buy cookies for troops over seas and I was suddenly filled with memories of my fundraising days…

 

2011, Hello to a Better Me! (fingers crossed) January 6, 2011

Filed under: Fail,Identity — The Under-Analyst @ 5:14 pm
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Happy New Year!

Wow, time flies, has it really been 11 years since our Y2K scare?  Is it already time to confront last year’s lack of follow through?  Do I have to make more resolutions?  The pressure!

This year I took a moment to silently reflect on my Ghost of Resolutions Past.  As I sat, dully looking out my apartment window, I first became aware of my annual disillusionments of somehow becoming a new and better person.  No, I would not become an early riser and no I wouldn’t stop needlessly judging people.  Had I been setting my New Year goals at an altitude far beyond my reach? I pictured myself, a lean and tan rockclimber, without a crotch-harness, stretching for the next jagged rock ledge and falling to my death. What support had I asked for or provided myself with along the way?  I kept my resolutions a secret between me and my diary and anyone who would listen. It’s quite the let down that written pages do not keep you accountable, umm besides legal documents used in court.   Discouraged I still would not subscribe to the notion that resolutions weren’t worth making.  I still had hope that maybe this year it’d be different.  I decided to do some research, an arsenal of facts to guide this year’s optimistic objectives.

I discovered;

A)      I had a history of making highly unattainable resolutions:

1996, “I will meet J.T.T. and he’ll fall in love with me!” – FAIL

1999, “I will grow boobs!” – FAIL

2001, “I will not get grounded all year!”- FAIL

2004, “I’ll study harder and get better grades!” – FAIL

2006, “I’ll drink less and stop spending so much money on going out!” – FAIL

2008, “I’ll become fluent in Spanish!” – FAIL

Last year’s resolution was “I will get published!”  Considering I didn’t really write anything I’d say that was a fail, unless you count the fact that some obscure online magazine in Belgium published one of my blogs! 

B)      Wikipedia states, “ Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. A separate study in 2007 by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that 78% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, and those who succeed have 5 traits in common.[3] Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.”[

Well clearly I knew what I had to do.  Create realistic goals and find someone to help keep me accountable.  By writing this blog I have already enlisted readers in aiding my quest to be a better person in 2011. Now it was time to come up with a resolution.  But how to choose!?  I began my list… and then it dawned on me, like cuddly kittens maybe the more goals the merrier!  I’d make a list of 15 resolutions and only have to actually fulfill 5! And every one after that would just be evidence of how amazing I truly am in 2011!  This would be the best year of resolutions ever!

This 2011 I will:

1)      Help the animals at my local shelter

2)      Read more

3)      Send my niece and nephew more cards/post cards/letters/things

4)      Meet and befriend a true Native American

5)      Take a writing class

6)      Go to yoga at least once a week (vacations excluded)

7)      See more foreign films

8)      Make more money (U.S. Currency)

9)      Travel somewhere new

10)   Do my laundry before running out of clean underwear (this should be someone else’s resolution too, you know who you are!)

11)   Get to know my neighbors

12)   Drink more water

13)   Pay parking tickets on time

14)   Complete the 30 day shred!

15)   Go to the dentist

Feel free to share your resolutions with me… I will be your harness.

 

I Can Write Children’s Books October 27, 2010

Filed under: Children's Books — The Under-Analyst @ 11:36 am
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I’ve always been interested in the art of Children’s Books.  Literally, the “art”.  Usually the storyline is lame or extremely anticlimactic.  The pictures, however, provide the visual stimulation needed to drive home that life lesson that most young fiction works strive to produce.   But this is not limited to young readers… many of you have informed me that you like my blogs with photos more than those without.  Until now I haven’t tried my hand at providing original illustrations.  But I came across a comic style blog that blew my mind and inspired me to create my first Children’s Book Blog.  All I ask is that you scroll slowly to truly appreciate the art.

*I love you mom*

The END

Also check out this blog;  http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/   I LOVE her stuff!

 

She’s a Career Woman October 5, 2010

Filed under: Jobs — The Under-Analyst @ 5:25 pm
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It was the spring of 2000.  I had barely survived my sophomore year of high school.  In less than a month I’d be free to sleep in, watch afternoon soaps and enjoy long days on the lake’s shore with friends.  There was one element missing.  I needed a way to support my ice cream truck indulgences, matinee viewings and frequent trips to Claire’s at Rosedale Mall.  My friend Carrie was bragging at lunch about her new job.  She was working at A&W for her second summer in a row.  Apparently the owners were old friends or maybe her grandparents, I’ve always been bad with details. 

Erin got her license that next week.  She had failed the first two times.  Her parents let her drive their old gray mini-van to school.  Five of us girls jumped in after school to go see Carrie at A&W.  We pulled up along side of the orange retro intercoms.  The place had a 10 vehicle capacity.  We were one of 3 cars. We ordered fries and water because all we could come up with was $5.  Carrie came out in an adorable orange and white trucker hat, black shorts, an A&W t-shirt, high socks and an apron.  She had Melissa roll the front passenger side window down so she could hook the tray over the edge.  “Carhop” she proudly said.  I’m a “carhop!”  And just then I knew that the one thing I wanted more than anything in life was to be an A&W carhop.  I closed my hands and asked the Baby Jesus to please, please, pretty please let me get a job there.  I promised him I’d study harder, gossip less and leave poor Scott Mitchell alone (even though he NEEDED to fall in love with me, sigh).  I casually asked Carrie how she had obtained her prestigious career.  She jumped up and down and told me she’d grab me an application and “wouldn’t it be soooo cool if we worked together!  Besties at work!”  To be honest, I had zero interest in nurturing our infantile friendship and if I had to end our social relationship to climb the carhop ladder I’d do it.   That evening I neglected my math and Spanish homework and instead spent two hours carefully completing my application; 

Leah Marie Josephson,  Experience: Provided exceptional childcare for neighboring toddlers including the preparation and delivery of nutritious food.  Also have experience in balancing trays from years of cafeteria lunch dining.  Interests: Carhopping, following directions and taking on responsibility.  References: Carrie (your present Carhop) who can undoubtedly vouch for my superior character, Christine (my mom). 

I received a call three days later.  I had an interview!  I went after school.  I wore shorts, tall socks and a button down shirt to try and add some professionalism.  The old lady who may or may not have been Carrie’s grandma asked me a few questions, which I easily answered, and then told me I could start Monday.  I hid my excitement with a polite smile and violent twitching of my right leg.  She handed me my apron, a t-shirt and a hat. 

That night, in my room (walls covered with N’Sync posters and Abercrombie advertisements), I put on my new uniform and asked my mirror, “would you like our signature Rootbeer float with that?”  I was a natural. God, I looked good!  I’d found my dream job, I was so fortunate.  A lot of people had to spend years finding their calling.  I wouldn’t even have to go to college!  I barely slept that night.  I was going to be rich.  $4.15 an hour PLUS tips! 

I spent my first shift training with Sarah, a small brunette with an annoying mousey voice.  She showed me how to re-fill the straws, put napkins on the tray next to all orders and wipe down the tables in the dining area. She finally let me carry out my first tray to a new blue Camry.  I balanced the orange platter perfectly on the open window sill and flashed them my practiced, “Don’t be cheap” smile.  All was going well until the boss told me that all workers pool their tips.  Pool?  What does that mean?  No, no, no, no!  I’m fine with sharing in general, but not when it comes to my hard earned money.  Surely mousey voiced Sarah wasn’t going to contribute as much tips into our pool!  I reasoned in my head that after Carrie’s Grandma died I’d obviously take over and change that rule immediately. 

Throughout the following weeks I became better and better at my job.  The other carhops proved to be lazy idiots.  I’d assign them straw duty and make sure I was the only one conversing with paying patrons.  I let the overweight carhop bring out a couple of shakes to car-slot #3 on a busy Saturday only for her to dump the entire tray into the car and all over the woman inside.  My diet consisted of fries, hotdogs and Rootbeer floats.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what stunted my breasts from fully developing.

I was happy as a carhop, but the hours were sometimes long and my feet would inevitably tire from running to and from vehicles.  Three months after my life-long commitment to A&W I visited my friend Bri at our local tanning salon.  I needed a good, deep, convincing orange tan before school started in a month.  She had started working there a few weeks before and told me she could let me tan cheaper than normal.  I saw her sitting behind that desk, golden under the florescent lighting.  The intoxicating aroma of burnt skin and tanning lotion filled my nostrils.  How lucky that Bri got to sit all day at work AND tan for free! This was surely the best job in the whole world.  This was supposed to be my career! 

When I gave my notice at A&W, I thanked Grandma for helping me discover my true passion in life,  sitting while helping people… not running.  

I was very tan my junior year of high school.

 

A Chance Meeting… some time ago. September 14, 2010

Filed under: Identity,Thailand — The Under-Analyst @ 11:29 am
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The Starbucks barista smiles at me with dark green eyes.  His nametag reads Luke.  There is something about our morning exchange that leaves me feeling unsettled.  These moments, fleeting, provide momentary glimpses of past events.  And then I remember.

A Chance Meeting:

I arrive at the airport.  I am nearly drunk.  I was on my third glass of wine when he called to tell me to book a flight to Bangkok.  I packed so fast I couldn’t remember what I even had in my suitcase next to me.  I was excited.  Excited to see Thailand.  Excited to see him?  At that point I can’t be certain, things were strained.  It’s a sad moment when you realize things aren’t meant to be.  I can remember it vividly in our case;

I was walking on the beach, alone.  It was cold that morning but I still put my feet in the ocean’s small tide.  I looked below me as the water and sand buried my toes.  There it was.  The most beautiful seashell.  I knelt down to grab it and my first thought was to give it to him.  I’d tell him that I had been thinking of him and of our love when I chanced upon this.  And that’s when I realized he would never spot a beautiful seashell.  Nor would he ever think to gift it to me.  I wept as I walked back, careful to avoid strangers’ glances.  When I came home I wrote to him;

I found love in the sand today, small, beautiful, perfect.  I immediately wanted to give it to you.  But after some time I decided that it’s mine. 

Because I give everything to you.

My everything. 

So just this one time I’m keeping something for myself.

And so I am in line for Thai Airlines, tipsily smiling at the clerk in the blue blazer.  I hand him my passport and he retrieves my itinerary.  I find myself amidst Asians in a boarding gate.  I have always loved Asians, their language, their food, their smiles.  I’m wearing a tight dress with brown boots and I see a man staring at me.  I avoid his gaze and call my mom to tell her I’m flying to Thailand tonight.  She isn’t surprised but sighs and asks me to be careful and to say hi to him.  He’s flying from Tokyo to meet me.  I haven’t seen him in a month, not since we spent that week together in Madrid.

A man, the only white man, is wearing a striped button down shirt and jeans.  He’s cute, early 30’s.  I smile at him and walk over.  I sit beside him but do not talk.  He finally clears his throat and asks why I am going to Thailand.  I say, “why not?”  This pleases him and he asks if I am a model.  I laugh and shake my head no.  I can’t tell if he is trying to flatter me or just wondering why I am traveling alone without a backpack or Lonely Planet guidebook.  He reaches across the plastic stationary chairs and introduces himself with a firm handshake.  “I’m Luke.”  I tell him my name.  The plane is boarding and I am happy because I do not feel like answering any more questions.  I pass him in first class as I walk back to the commoner’s section.  He grasps my arm and tells me to come visit if I’m bored.  I politely remove my wrist from his grasp and tell him likewise.

The flight isn’t even close to being full and I find myself in an empty row.  It’s 9:30 at night and I order a glass of red to keep my buzz going.  I’m thinking about him and what it will be like when we see each other.  Will we run into open arms, kisses and hugs?  Will I look at him and wish I hadn’t come?  Maybe everything will be normal again… except it never was normal, how could it be. How has a year gone by?  He tells me I am naïve, maybe.  I tell him I’m an optimist.  I think he’s waiting for me to give up on him.  I think I am waiting for that too.  I’m still thinking these things when I feel someone standing over me.  It’s Luke.  He slides into the seat next to me and tells the stewardess to grab two more glasses of wine.  I look at the time, it’s 11:30.

His eyes are dark green.  He tells me he lives in Bangkok.  He was in LA visiting family.  I tell him I’ve just moved to LA only a few months ago.  He asks me where I’ve moved from and I tell him.  He loves Barcelona and wants to visit again.  I miss Spain and so I listen to him sing her praises.  I am always in awe of what words people use to describe things I feel strongly about.  I repeat these words and wonder if I’d ever use them.  Sometimes I quietly remember to borrow them for future descriptions, inevitably failing when the next opportunity arises. We drink our wine and discuss the difficulties of living so far from home, wherever that is.  He smells good, like Old Spice, and I find myself leaning closer as we exchange favorite authors.  He tells me that he’s been living in Thailand for seven years.  That’s a long time and I think back to who I was seven years ago, someone different, someone unchanged.  And then I ask him if he has a girlfriend there.  My head is on his shoulder now and I can feel it tense as he says that he does.  She is Thai and has an eleven-year old son.  I politely remove my head from his shoulder and he looks sad.  He asks me if I have a boyfriend.  I hesitate.  Why?  I tell him yes and then I look at him and tell him no.  He stares, puzzled.  And I tell him about the seashell.  He nods as if he knows, but how can anyone possibly understand unless they are me!?  He guesses that he is a business man.  I give him affirmation with lowered brows.  And suddenly I feel more intimacy, more realness, in this one conversation with a stranger than I have in my relationship for the past four months. We talk until 3am.  It’s a seventeen hour flight and so far the time is going by quickly, easy.  The cabin lights are dim, creating an almost dreamlike effect as our wine and conversation take hold.  Finally I sense we are dangerously approaching a moment when a line will be crossed.  I want him to hold me, but I am still another’s and will not be without integrity.  I tell him I’m tired, and I am. He understands and excuses himself to walk back to his seat.  I sleep.

When I awake we still have many hours before landing.  I sip a coffee and try to distract myself with a movie.  I journal.  I wonder if he’ll come back.  But I don’t want to think about Luke now, I want to think about him. 

We land and I walk through customs alone.  How many times will I go through customs alone?  I’m not bothered, simply amused. I decide I prefer to travel alone, it allows me to take things in without distraction. I get to the baggage area and I see Luke up to the left.  I stay put.  His shirt is now crumpled, un-tucked and his dark brown hair is matted in the back.  His luggage comes and I see him pulling it towards me.  I pretend not to notice as I search for my suitcase.  He hands me a card with his handwritten number on it.  He tells me to please be safe and to call him if I need anything.  I thank him, take the card and say goodbye.  We do not hug but I sense he wants to.  I turn around.  And he walks back to me.  He awkwardly holds me, just for a moment, and tells me “good luck.” As he walks away I wonder if he’ll remember this.  And later when he holds me I think of Luke and the seashell…and I know

 

Letter of Complaint August 2, 2010

Filed under: Fail,Jobs — The Under-Analyst @ 1:38 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Dear Craig,

I pride myself in being a woman of the community thus my deep affection for your website, Craigslist.org.  As evidence of my good character, please note that I can provide 828 personal references (see facebook profile).  I was extremely excited to contribute an opportunity of a lifetime on your website last week.  You can imagine my horror when not once but twice my posting was flagged and consequently removed only minutes after publishing.  One would assume I had posted pornographic material or something equally as offensive but I assure you my ad was indeed tasteful if not charitable. It is not often that people, in this faltering society, offer up free professional guidance and experience.  I was doing this.  In return I was met with hostility and dismissal.  By removing my post you are only hurting those seeking a better life and better resume.  I will not give up, Craig.  I owe it to my community.  Please stop flagging and removing the following ad:

Personal Assistant Opportunity of a Lifetime!!! (Westside, Brentwood, Santa Monica)


Date: 2010-07-30, 8:49AM PDT
Reply to: gigs-r5ssk-1871558390@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]


 

Looking for someone who has ZERO experience as a personal assistant. I am a non-professional who is here to help mold you and give you purpose in life. This will be EXCELLENT work experience on your resume for future employment. Must have car to run errands for me because I don’t trust you with mine, obviously. Also, must have phone so I can text you and call you at ALL hours of the day (you’re kind of like a doctor). You don’t have to speak English or even be a legal citizen (hablo espanol). Creative types wanted, especially if you can draw caricatures of me and my friends.  

Duties include (but are not limited to):

-Trips to Mc. Donald’s to get me a mid-day work snack or maybe a mid-night post bar snack (I will provide you with an item from the dollar menu).
-Frequent visits to the grocery/liquor store.
-Bar/Restaurant drop off and pick-ups, including my friends.
-Searching alleys for free furniture and fine art.
-Brushing the tangles from my hair.
-Following me with a clipboard in front of my friends so I look important.

This could be considered an internship, so if you’re a student I can give you credit.

You don’t need a resume. Just a picture and your horoscope sign.

*will consider providing gas money

Sincerely,

Leah