Observations by Rachel Sanks

Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

[Repost] ApathyAcid – Interview with Leigh Lahav

In Geekery, Wimmenz on August 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Hey Guys – I’m sharing a really great post from one of my favorite sites Apathy Acid. This is a site dedicated to featuring cool stuff done by women. The Interview is with Leigh Lahav, an animator who has been focusing her attention on humor in geek culture – Check it out :)


Leigh Lahav

To start off, when did you really notice that you loved animation, and have you always been playing with and creating based off media that your loved?

I’ve been a huge fan of animation since before I could talk. My Mom jokes I knew how to operate the VCR to watch cartoons even before I learned the ABCs! So it’s not something I noticed as much as it was always around me. When friends at school started watching romance flicks and shows for “grown-ups”, I was still obsessing about Disney (although come on, deep down inside they liked it too!).

I always loved drawing characters from animated television and movies, but it wasn’t until my early teens, when I was fangirling about “Pokemon” (..yep) that I started to understand the concepts of fandom, fan-art and fan-fiction, and could give these things I do a name, and I completely fell in love with of world of fan-creations. I also got familiarized with how strangely hard it is to explain something like that to people who are disconnected from that world. You won’t believe the number of times I had to explain why I kept drawing doodles of Jesse and James from “Team Rocket” kissing! sheesh!

Yeah, I get that. Totally Spies changed my life. And I remember shipping Zutara years before I learned what shipping was and that there were such things as ship names. How did you first become familiar with fandom/art/fiction as a form? For those people who aren’t familiar with that world how do you describe it?

I remember it surprisingly well. I was browsing the web for information about Pokemon and anime in general (through angelfire and geocities supported sites! hehe, remember those?) when I came across a site that was dedicated for all kinds of ships from pokemon, each ship was represented by a small illustrated gif of the characters kissing, and each section had a list of recommended fanfiction, fan art and fan videos. All at once I learned about shipping, slash, fanart, fanfiction and more. It was very exciting!

Fandom- combination of the words fan and kingdom, (though some people say it’s actually freedom!) a subculture that consists of a group of fans of some phenomenon (a book, movie, tv show, certain genre etc) that talk about, meet, share and create fan related stuff inspired by that it. For example- The fandom of BBC’S Sherlock!

Fanart- Art created by fans of a certain fandom. For example- A fanart of Sherlock and Watson holding hands and sharing an Ice cream

Fancition- literature created by fans of a certain fandom. For example- A fanfiction describing Sherlock and Watson’s day at the beach WHEN SUDDENLY something wacky happens. Spoiler: they’re probably bonking at the end.

ohmygosh I hope I made a decent job explaining these! The readers are so much better off googling it!

No that’s a great starter explanation! But yeah, anyone who’s interested just type in a character into tumblr’s tag search… What was your first piece of fanart?

I was obsessed with The little Mermaid when I was younger and doodled her all the time, so probably that. I also had a huge crush on Waldo from where’s Waldo, heheh, so I used to draw him too!

When did your love of making art become what you wanted to do as a living?

I love doing many things, and have trouble focusing on one- drawing, directing, editing, and even acting a little. And the more I thought about it I understood animation holds within it all these skills. It feels amazing to do something that’s so dynamic and interesting, I never get bored!

Now! In prep for Part II of the conversation, check out a couple of the animations that Leigh’s done. First we have “Thorested Development” and then “Fangirls”


Five ways to ensure that a advance directive will be followed

In Caregiving on August 20, 2013 at 7:29 am

Eldercare Advice Blog

Dear Dr. CC,

As you know, both my parents are former clients of your law practice.  I learned from them that it is important to have advanced directives prepared ‘just in case’ I might need one.  So, I have one (made my husband get one, too).  We are concerned, though, that even though we have them they might go unrecorded or get ignored.  How do we guard against this happening?

Your estate plan fan,

Margo Hagan

Dear Margo,

You have asked a question that surprisingly seldom gets asked.  There are a number of things you can do to help ensure the likelihood that your advance directive (AD) will be followed when – and if- the time comes.  Here’s how:

  1. Be sure to share copies of your AD with all your healthcare providers and those who hold your healthcare power of attorney/ health care decision maker/ health care proxy.
  2. Communicate with…

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What is a LARP?

In Geekery on August 20, 2013 at 7:22 am

From my storytelling blog

Pretendy Fun-Time Games!

I am a storyteller.

Not just someone who tells good stories, or likes to tell stories, but I literally have the role  “storyteller” in an organization built around collaborative group storytelling.  Formally its called a LARP organization, but most people (read: non-geeks) don’t know what LARPs are.  It feels like I spend a lot of time explaining what a LARP is to my non-geeky friends.

So here it is, a whole entry dedicated to defining LARP!

I imagine to my non-LARP friends it [LARPing] is a hobby that has slowly cannibalized my life. I used to make plans to go out and see a movie – instead most of my weekends are already committed. My friends that don’t LARP have seen me less and less over the past six years.  Which doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it  just means that I’ve become obsessively engrossed in a time consuming complicated…

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In Caregiving, Geekery on March 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

I am re-blogging this from the blog about my “other” life as a storyteller – I think it functions as a great metaphor for how you can make something wonderful with the basic tools around you.

Sometimes as a caregiver you feel trapped. You wish that you had more experience, or special knowledge, that will help qualify you for the task at hand. But nothing qualifies you more than wanting  to find the answer to the problem of the day — many times that desire alone will push you into spaces where new solutions are developed. In fact, frequently new solutions are developed by those kinds of situations.

Obviously, innovation through need or desire is the best case scenario — but it happens more than you might think. So, for those of you sitting at the bottom of well maybe a lovely video will brighten your day.


Rachel Sanks

Pretendy Fun-Time Games!

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NYS Article 81 | The Road to Guardianship

In Caregiving on February 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm
Seal of New York.

Seal of New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obligatory Disclaimer:

Let’s start here, I’m not a lawyer. What I’m going to be talking about in this blog post involves legal concepts of Guardianship that I’ve begun to familiarize myself with as a lay person. The information that I’ve found is specific to New York State Law. If you have questions, I encourage you to do some research and consult an actual lawyer for advice.

Okay, now that that bit of business is out of the way – let’s talk. Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on the person being cared for there is a range of needs that a person who requires care might have. Some of these are very basic things like reminders, and some can be very complex.

Because of the particular situation in my household, it seems like filing an Article 81 – Petition for Guardianship of my mother seems to be the best long term choice for my family. To be completely honest, I have stressed about filing this thing for over a year, it means being legally and financially responsible for my mother – including filing an annual accounting of her income. It also means officially declaring that my mother is not capable of caring for herself – which carries with it its own boatload of emotional meaning.

Filing for guardianship is a Big Deal – note the capital ‘b’ and ‘d’. There are a lot of other steps a caregiver can take which are both easier and less permanent:

  • Health Care Proxy – This form is available online and at most hospitals, basically it designates another person to be responsible for making health care decisions.
  • Power of Attorney – While you can go to lawyer to get one of these made for you, there are a lot of  pre-made Power of Attorney forms you can purchase online from places like Bloomberg which will also work.
  • Representative Payee  – If you are caring for someone who cannot manage for themselves and they are receiving some kind of Social Security Pension, you can have yourself declared a “Representative Payee” and have the money sent to you in order to manage their care.

In New York, there are these laws called the “Mental Health Hygiene Laws” and the basic idea seems to be allowing the incapacitated person as much freedom as their capability can allow. So before you start filing for Guardianship, make sure you try these easier steps first and see if you can manage the situation using these tools before taking the plunge.

Should you find that guardianship is something that would ultimately need,  there are certain factors that make the process a lot easier. For instance, can the person you are caring for can attend court and agree to designate you their guardian? – If so, than your petition is likely to go a lot smoother. Can you afford to go to an Elder care attorney? – If so, it is likely to save you a great deal of time and research.

However, if you don’t have a barrel of cash hidden away for a rainy day — you can still call your local courthouse and ask for help and assistance. In New York County, they have a special phone number set up specifically for people who are filing for guardianship that have questions. More and More courts are trying to make it easier for non-lawyers to avail themselves of the right forms and paperwork to complete these kinds of needed steps. Use the internet and find out what resources are available to you — you might be surprised at what you find.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck.

– RachelSanks


Nancy Roman

Go Jules Go

Writer. Blogger. Chipmunk enthusiast.

On the Luce travel blog

Part-time travel, full-time travel obsession

Maximum Z

The ongoing saga of a screenwriter who also works in radio and really, really likes pie

Pretendy Fun-Time Games!

Adventures of a Storyteller in the Modern World.

The Neighborhood

The Story within the Story

Apathy Acid

Awesome stories of cool people doing interesting stuff now. Each eroding apathy one post at a time.

Shoshana Kessock

Writer, Game Designer And Unreality Expert Since 1982