My Top 5 Inktober Paintings

Inktober is the annual tradition of spending a month trying to bend liquid pigment to your will.

Imagine: the days are long; the nights are dark; and you are covered in ink. Your fountain pen is clogged and so is the space under your fingernails. You aren’t sure you’re going to survive to Halloween, but you do. Even though the challenge is over, you still have a hundred-yard-stare. Ink is hard. And you’re not sure you’ve improved much at all.

I do this to myself every year.

This year was particularly intense because my husband wanted me to make a wall of them and use it for part of our haunted house. I couldn’t back out. I had to come through for the sake of our Halloween party.

Let’s all look at my favorite piece:

This is Hadwin. He’s a vampire learning to fly. His entire life, Hadwin listened to stories of great flying raids. He drew pictures of himself flying. He bounced on trampolines, waiting for his moment. Now that he’s finally able to transform, he’s realized: he’s afraid of heights.

Sometimes the things you want most in life turn out to be things you don’t like at all. For example, I’d always dreamed of being a successful New York City designer. Then I tried to move to New York. I realized that I didn’t like New York.

Ah well. I did Inktober from a cornfield. Nobody’s perfect.

Here are my 4 runners-up: 

We gave away these paintings (and the other 20+ of them) at a party, and all four of the these were taken.

Yes, that includes the screaming, shirtless, chest-hair-saturated bunny-man. That piece is hanging on someone’s wall right now. One of my friends apparently thought, “oh yes, this angst goes perfectly with my décor.”

Ah, the malaise that a Leah Lucci Original™ can bring into your home. Accept no substitutes.

5 Movies I’m Looking Forward To This Year, Chronologically

I almost never miss $5 Movie Night.

Because this special runs at my theater every Tuesday, I watch a lot of filler movies. Action flicks like Tarzan and Underworld: Blood Wars. Horror flicks like Don’t Breathe and Lights Out. And basically every cartoon about animals.

In between total rubbish, I enjoy plenty of good films. Here’s what’s on my docket for Tuesdays in 2017.

^ Lego Batman movie (February 10th). When you think about it, what Bruce Wayne really needs is some therapy. If he can’t have that, we’ll just have to settle for giggling at him in Lego form.

^ A Cure for Wellness (February 17th). Is there an evil secret lurking in this fancy spa? Probably, otherwise they wouldn’t make a movie about it. Oooh, I hope the secret is something really heinous.

^ The Circle (April 28th). Imagine if Google and Facebook merged into one super-company with a fondness for complete surveillance of everyone, all the time. Emma Watson is playing the protagonist, if that helps stoke your enthusiasm. Read the book or hit up the trailer.

Jewish Wizards & Inclusiveness in Jo Rowling & Tim Burton’s worlds

The new Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, has a character named Porpentina Goldstein with brown eyes, thick brows, and curly hair hair.

We never see Goldstein go to synagogue, or eat challah, or drop Yiddish. But we have a pretty good idea of what demographic this girl probably represents.

And you know what it felt like to see her on screen? For lack of a better word: magical. She has my hair and my eyebrows. She acts like me. For once, I get to be part of the wizarding world.

racebendinghp

This, I hope/imagine, is what it felt like to people of color when they cast a black woman as Hermione in The Cursed Child. A feeling of finally getting to join the wizards.

Of course, anyone can identify with anyone on screen. I identify with male characters, people of color, cartoons, etc, on-screen all the time.

But it’s not the same as seeing someone who looks like you. Especially if you never see people who look like you up there. It can be lonely.

The recent casting choices are a huge leap forward.

jo-hermionecomment

I just wish Rowling didn’t try to take credit for them as something she’d meant all along. “Well, I never said she was white,” is a bit silly, seeing as she had a huge hand in the creation & casting of the movies.

If she wanted a black Hermione from the beginning, she should have led her illustrator and casting director in that direction back in 2000 when they were making the first movie (released in 2001). The movies are, at this point, just as much “canon” as the books.

Which is why I’m a little miffed about the “Dumbledore is gay!” revelation. He’s not gay in the books or the movies. If she meant for him to be gay, maybe it should have been in the work itself.

She has an opportunity, in the prequels, to actually depict him as a well-rounded gay man, and I hope she does so. Because then it’s canon, and not just empty words about gayness.

burton

Tim Burton, in contrast to Jo Rowling’s half-hearted ret-con, doesn’t even try at inclusivity in the slightest. His most recent film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, has one black character — who’s the villain.

Burton could have said something like “well, I prefer to cast Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter exclusively in literally everything, and they happen to be white,” and left it.

It could have even maybe been his excuse for casting Johnny Depp as a Native American character. (Ugh.)

tonto

Nope. Burton didn’t take that approach. He said he prefers not to get “all politically correct“:

“I remember back when I was a child watching ‘The Brady Bunch’ and they started to get all politically correct,” he said. “Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that than just… I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

He doesn’t seem to see the difference between a family looking alike and an orphanage of people from various backgrounds looking alike.

peregrins-gallery9-gallery-image

That magic of seeing someone on-screen who looks like you will never happen in a Tim Burton movie. Unless you’re white. Very, very white. And Johnny Depp and/or Helena Bonham Carter.

I’m casting my lot with the wizards. At least they’re trying.

Final request: as I lay dying, feed me salt water, then slow-roast me & put me in a walnut shell coffin.

Final request: as I lay dying, feed me salt water, then slow-roast me & put me in a walnut shell coffin.

“What a strange thing to say,” the Internet whispers.

the-ibaloi-mummies-on-january-8th-1999-in-philippines-musi-malsino-picture-id113414866

But I just described precisely what some people in the Kabayan Phillipines were doing to their dead until around 1500.

the-ibaloi-mummies-on-january-8th-1999-in-philippines-carina-owner-of-picture-id113415019
(The lady on the left is alive, probably.)

What makes the Fire Mummies particularly cool is the fact that the process began before the person died. People who were on their way out would drink very salty fluids before they bounced. Then they’d cook them in the fetal position, with herbs, no less.

“Grandma’s gonna kick it,” the townsfolk said. “Someone get Guy Fieri.”

1231232012_guy_fieri_times_square1-thumb-0
(“Fieri is my name, and fire is, coincidentally, my game.”)

The Kabayan Mummy Caves were rediscovered in the 1900s, and since then, there’s been a problem of mummy theft.

My Internet travels haven’t revealed whether this is Cultural Theft For Museums or General Pickpocket Behavior.

fire-mummies
(“What a conversation piece for my living room!”)

So now it’s on a watch list. Because we, as humans, cannot have cool things.

Nearby, however, is the visit-able Opdas Mass Burial Cave, which does welcome tourists.

4541905-sophie-in-the-opdas-mass-burial-cave-0
(Spooky and fun! This girl knows how to party!)

Onto the Bucket List the Philippines goes! I need to see these things in person!

Thanks, Internet, for all the gruesome and lovely things you have to offer.