a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: 2021

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

NOTICE: Sadly, if you subscribe here by email, that Blogger feature is going away by July 2021. Until I figure out another solution, you'll need to view this in your feed ... somehow ... .  The official notice from Blogger:  "Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update announcement , that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. After July 2021, your feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. If you’d like to continue sending emails, you can download your subscriber contacts."  [I'll try to do this before july, also.]

Foxtail Tales

SUMMARY: So small, so dangerous
Started with my response to a Facebook post about dogs wearing anti-foxtail covers over their heads.

They can be beautiful, early in the morning, glistening with dew

I've experienced two unpleasant foxtails encounters, and others not so bad, with my dogs. In the early '90s, one evening while out in our big yard, my husky Sheba started sneezing and couldn't stop, and then started sneezing blood. Ran her to the nearby open-at-night emergency vet , where they sedated her and found and removed a teeny tiny foxtail way up in her sinus. Expensive. And of course the toll on the dog.

And Jake, in the late '90s, we were out of town at an agility competition--we went hiking at a nearby lake one evening and the dogs went swimming [this is where I discovered that Remington loved loved loved swimming; that's a different story]. Foxtails in prime sticking form surrounded the trail to the lake. Back at the car, I must've spent half an hour trying to get them out of Jake's long silky coat and tail.

A trail like this: Narrow; foxtails ripe and abundant.
All it takes is the dog to stick his nose into those for just a moment...


There they are, almost ripe and each
seed ready to torture a dog

The next morning, before the agility competition began, he started scratching at his ear (he had long floppy long-haired ears) and shaking his head. He was prone to ear infections, so I always carried special goop from the vet.  I figured he'd gotten water in his ear while swimming and an infection was starting.  Applied goop per the normal schedule. We went to the vet when we got home--actually the next morning when they opened. Vet said, nope not an infection, but was able to pull a foxtail out of his ear fairly easily without anesthesia--he said that's because the goop had softened it so much that it couldn't stick in anything and he could just grab it with long tweezers(?) and glide it out, no anesthesia. Disaster averted.

So, not too expensive, but of course going to the vet just costs.

Tika had extremely dense fur. Like a husky's. Fun fact: Dogs have, on average, 15,000 hairs per square inch. A husky can have up to 83,000.  (Otters have even more!) Tika had such dense hair, particularly with her winter coat, that I'd have trouble seeing even a speck of her skin.  Her hairs were not particularly long--in memory, I think 1-1.5 inches. But they were perfectly straight and, as it turned out, exactly the length and texture of a foxtail seed. When she managed to dash through a field of foxtails, you couldn't *see* whether she had any in her coat, even though she'd have dozens and dozens.  You'd have to hunt. Wrong kind of treasure hunt, but it was what it was. (Not something I encouraged, I assure you.)

Once, when petting her at home, I found a foxtail halfway embedded into her skin. Fortunately, when I tugged gingerly at it, it pulled out fairly easily with minimal blood. I cleaned the spot and added a little neosporin, and no infection. I tried not to think about what might have happened if I hadn't accidentally found it.

"Bubble head" protectors--friends have posted about their dogs wearing them for several years now. Two people today recommended OutFox brand. Expensive. But compared to some of the horror stories shared in comments to that post...

Note: I have so many photos of foxtails! They are gorgeous, actually. These photos came from different years and locations.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Forever in Blue Jeans

SUMMARY: I'm Zorro's Blue Jean Baby
From -- of course--Facebook. My post of April 24 '21 and my followup comments on April 25-26.

Downsizing/Disencumbering Continues. And body and body image and, yes, blue jeans! 

You need to know that I practically live in blue jeans.   Yes, it's true: 16/7/365.   (I don't actually sleep in them. Normally.)

Except--maybe?-- during the pandemic?

Except--maybe--after having Total Joint Replacement surgery?  OK, no, jeans would not work for the swelling, the bandages, the icing, the exercises, constantly getting into and out of bed... so I mostly wore leggings in and out of bed for a few weeks.


So: We arrive at April 24, 2021.

This morning, this section of shelf held 12 pairs of Levi’s that would undoubtedly “fit me again someday." It’s not just my weight, which is close to reasonable. No, it's other stuff. For example, there were several pairs of long -sized ones, which were barely short enough for me several years ago, and now are ridiculous.


Tried them all on this morning, found one that fit today. (Proving my hypothesis that at some point in the future any of them might fit!) But I overcame my don’t - get - rid - of - it Mentality and easily took them off to Plato’s Closet to see whether they would buy any. They did! I’m now $24 richer! And have 5 fewer pairs to dispose of in other ways.

—————

April 25: Follow up to the original: within an hour after I had posted six pairs for free on NextDoor, I had not only promised them off to people, but I had also promised three pairs that were in my rag/ recycling bag because the woman uses them to make rugs from all the denim! Score! So, really, 15 pairs to better homes!

—————

April 26: Oh, for.... !!!

Remembered that I had another place for storing jeans, and now I have 5 more pairs to try on and then [probably] dispose of. 

—————
Discussion on April 26.

The thing that gets to me is that the big stack mostly contained the "I *will* get back to my goal weight and keep it off." So, periodically, I'd get back to my goal weight and keep it off for a while. And many of the jeans would fit. But, then, gained some pounds, took a while to get back down-- But, suddenly, those jeans no longer fit!

Side note: I have never again been anywhere near my top weight from way back. Thank goodness for that! But, you know, 10 lbs or sometimes even 5 makes a difference...

So it's not the weight, per se. I am also (as of a couple of weeks ago at Kaiser), 4.5 inches shorter than I know I was when I moved to this house, and probably was for a long time thereafter. (I *know* that I had started to shrink 5-6 years ago when 2 friends who didn't know each other and in different contexts said, "are you shorter than me now?!" So I had a nurse measure my height--at the time, in a different department, so it didn't make it into my record, but it was something like 2 inches off. I was horrified. I had no idea.

(Becauuuuuuussse decreasing constantly now.)

But my old goal weight at the new height means that there's now too much weight in the wrong areas and I need a new goal weight. And, even then, not certain that most of those would fit any more. Because: Less muscle mass, and fat takes up more space for the same body weight. 🙁

Friend replied:  ah bummer. I had wondered if the BMI is based on shrinking size and then decreasing weight goals over time. Sigh...that is soooo wrong. Now I know.

Well--it mostly works. But it also depends on where one's body stores the--er--extra. Back in the couple of years in the '80s when I weighed over 180 (it was awful--by comparison, my goal weight has been 142 for around 30 years), it seemed to be distributed everywhere, and more in my arms and butt. Now most of it seems to be around my middle while the rest of me is ... kinda ok. BMI supposedly takes that into account ("fat around your belly is bad") as people age because that's a common thing even if you're not overweight. But it never *asks* for things like that.

Anyway, so, add that to DOWNSIZING, and I've decided to stop storing them. Yay me.



How Much Help Will I Need After My Joint Replacement Surgery?

SUMMARY: Some additional comments
Posted on Facebook 4/24/21 for a friend who asked how much additional help she'd need post-surgery if  she already had a resident spouse/companion who's willing and able.

...an addendum to this previous post...

Short answer: 

Unless you need a lot of physical help to sit up, stand up, sit down, lie down, if you spouse is in the building and on-call 24/7, I can't see that you'd need any other assistance. I didn't need anyone during the night, ever, because I was able to get myself to the bathroom and back, set my own alarms for meds, made sure I had enough to drink and some snacks and reading and whatnot within reach from my bed at all times, etc.


I cleverly lifted my walker up over me while in bed to try to keep the dogs from jumping on me. Actually worked pretty well.
When not using this, I also built a pillow barrier (mostly with couch cushions),
which worked... sorta kinda..


Long answer:

I lined up people to stay here full time for the first 2 weeks (friends and relatives) because that's what they require by default. I believe that I got the OK to send them home after about 11 or 12 days because my progress was good. And the *main* reason I needed them was because I wanted to be in my own bedroom upstairs until the PT helped & approved me going up & down on my own; hence, I needed food, drink, ice shuttled up & down for me. Occasionally something else, such as a couple of times when I wanted to change items of clothing and for some reason it was awkward for me to do so. Or fetch another blanket. Or feed the dog. However, even on the same floor, it would've been difficult to get things & carry them around, even with the bag for the walker.

There were a few exercises that I used my assistant (whoever was there) for a few times (with PT's suggestion). I did invite whoever was here when the PT came to sit through the PT session with me to better understand my needs and why we did what we did and to get all of my questions (and my assistant's questions) answered. And so they could help *me* remember! (Although I did take notes during each session. And asked lots of questions.

Tip, keep a notebook and pen by your bed to jot down Qs for the PT, because you'll have a lot between sessions.

The 2nd main reason they were here was in case of medical issues or emergencies in the days after surgery

Note that, until surgery, I was fully capable of walking w/out an aid (cane, etc.), just not for long distances and not painlessly. AND after surgery, when they first asked me to sit up (and, later, stand up, and, later, walk), I could do so easily on my own, although they were right there making sure I didn't collapse. IF you find that you have difficulty going from lying to sitting or sitting to standing--or walking--, THEN you might need physical assistance to be readily available, and you'd need to decide who could best be there to tag-team Mike.

MOSTLY I slept a lot, and they were off entertaining themselves elsewhere in the house.

I suggested that I use my aa-ooo-ga horn to call for assistance, but my assistants pointed out that we all had cell phones, so if the person was out of easy [gentle] yelling distance, I'd just call or text.

I guess my 3rd main reason for having people around was to prevent me from being bored. 😉 We spent a loooootttt of time talking, but then, I didn't live with them full-time already.

Did I mention that you'll likely want an easy place to get to for sitting up to take meals? If you're on the same floor as your kitchen & living room, probably no biggie.

I hope that they do send an in-person PT; would've been much more challenging if it had all had to be done by zoom-equivalence.

You're lucky to have a husband dearest already in residence, so you don't have to explain where everything is to everyone different.




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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Still Missing Her

SUMMARY: Wrong kind of anniversary, but it's in my heart.
Backfill: Copied from my Facebook post this morning

April 21, 2005: The most gorgeous blue merle pup in the known universe came home with me.


We had joy, we had fun, we had agility in the sun! And hiking! And All The Things!


The utterly reliable off-leash dog sometimes helped with the mostly reliable off-leash dog. 


April 24, 2015: Ten years and 3 days later, she was suddenly gone. She overflowed with life and that spills over into my life now, every time I think about her.

Good girlie, Boostie, Booster, BOOST.



Tip: Follow the "Boost goodbye" tag for more photos and then more anniversaries...

If this were Tumblr or Archive Of Our Own, which I have started using in the last year, I might tag this "#I'll probably do this every year."  Oh, what the heck, I'll tag it like that anyway.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Musicals

Part of the theater's art--featuring the musical Audrey Hepburn! -- Eastridge Mall, San Jose


SUMMARY: A meme thing from Facebook
I responded to a friend April 23, 2021. In my usual overly verbose way. How about you?

Original request:

  • Musical I hate:
  • Musical I think is overrated: 
  • Musical I think is underrated: 
  • Musicals I love: 
  • Musical I cherish: 
  • Musicals I could listen to on repeat: 
  • Musical I still want to do: 
  • Musicals that made me fall in love with musicals: 
  • Musical that changed my life: 
  • Guilty pleasure:
  • Musical I am surprised I like: 
  • Musical I should have seen (live and in person) by now but haven’t: 

Set for Hamilton, Orpheum Theater, San Francisco


Taj MuttHall's answer:

Most of my musical experience comes from the movies (or official videos of the live performances). FWIW.

Musical I hate:      I like musicals with some semblance of a story. Hence, not keen on Cats (singing about being cats, I guess) or Chicago (singing about the crimes they committed and who is more popular because of them, I guess--although at least it has more plot than cats. Not that that is hard to do). I haven't seen them enough to hate them, and I didn't see them live, so can't say I wasted money on them. They probably fall better into:

Musical I think is overrated:      Cats, Chicago, Mama Mia (it's ABBA songs. Period. Oh--wait--it also has more plot than Cats. I love ABBA music on its own.)

underrated.     .. no idea.      Maybe South Pacific? This site rated it #88! WOS100: The top 100 Musicals of all time!

I love: 

  • My Fair Lady, 
  • The King and I, 
  • The Sound of Music, 
  • JC Superstar, 
  • Carousel, 
  • A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum

I cherish:         pretty much the same. Maybe    Mary Poppins (the real one*)

I could listen to on repeat [and have!]:    JC Superstar

I still want to do:                                 As in, act in?

Made me fall in love with musicals:    See above

Changed my life:           Hm. A musical. Changing my life. Nope, don't think so.

Guilty Pleasure:               Pinball wizard [do "rock operas" count as musicals?]

Surprised I like:            drawing a blank

Should have seen (live and in person) but haven't:    There is no should, only do.

Musicals I *have* seen live pro (not community theater): 

  • Les Miz. 
  • The Wiz. 
  • JC Superstar. 
  • Wicked. 
  • Book of Mormon. 
  • Hamilton. 
  • ... oh, surely I've seen more than that... (yeah, quite a bunch more in community/college/whatever theater)

Musicals I've seen the movie version of: at least 30 of the 100 on the aforementioned list. And, I realize, more that aren't on that list.

(Really what I like are Gilbert and Sullivan. But they're comic operas, not musicals.)

------------

* The recent travesty was, well, OK, but really why bother with the remake?



Book of Mormon backdrop, same theater, Angel Moroni at the apex

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Contemplating Changes...and Climates

SUMMARY: Wordless Wednesday. 

At least, no words of my own beyond this: Compare and contrast, say, precipitation (bright blue bars) or low and high temperature curves (lines).

California selected cities

Fremont


Half Moon Bay


San Jose 


Washington selected cities

Bellingham

Olympia

Port Angeles

Port Townsend

Sequim


Whidbey Island



All screen captures from https://www.usclimatedata.com/

>>  Visit the Wordless Wednesday site; lots of blogs. <<

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Downsizing: Agility Equipment

SUMMARY: A-frame and Chute are free to good homes, maybe triple jump, maybe more, hard decisions 
(scroll down to "What am I not planning on taking with me when I move?")

Ooops, thought I posted this on Friday (the 16th). Guess I'm posting it now, and just backdating it.)

When I bought my current home, nearly 2 decades ago, my Agility Gung-ho-ness expressed itself dramatically by taking my money. And I don't mean classes or competitions or travel (although those were also true). I mean: Equipment! Full set! Here in my yard! To train fabulous world-class agility champions!

... we didn't get to world-class because I'm honestly too lazy to be that dedicated to training and improving our skills.  But it did help in achieving speed, accuracy, and championships of various sorts and quantities for Remington, Jake, Tika, and Boost.

What I had before moving here

  • A teeter, gift of my then-husband less than a year before we split up.  It's not that he wasn't usually a kind and thoughtful guy, because he was. But--life happens. (1998, $400)
  • A tunnel, a short 10-foot yellow one for which my agility instructor arranged group pricing, for her students and other agility folks. (1996, $100)
  • Cheap weave poles, as in, I bought white stick-in-the-ground fence posts and tried using them (the little tabs all the way up them, however, were not an ideal surface).
  • Cheap weave poles #2, as in, I bought a long metal strip from Home Depot and drilled holes in it and used very long bolts over which I dropped PVC piping of the correct size for agility. BUT turns out that that solid-seeming metal strip became astonishingly flexible when dogs raced through the poles.
  • Cheap PVC jumps that I made using PVC for the bases and uprights, drilled holes through them, put a longish bolt through the holes, forming places on which to balance the crossbars.  This didn't work well for several reasons (e.g., in one direction, if the dog crashed the bar, the whole jump came down).
  • Tire jump, made with an actual motorcycle tire and heavy-duty huge PVC frame and base.

What I splurged on in 2001/2002

  • Table: Wood top with PVC base--to change heights, had to change out the PVC legs, which wasn't speedy, but it was lightweight. (2001, $100)
  • Weaves: purple powder-coat w/adjustable offsets (screw in pole supports), 20" spacing, 2 folding 6-foot sections for easy transport (2001, $197)
  • A-Frame:  From Duncan at Action K-9, one of the earlier makers of high-quality sturdy competition equipment. (2002, $865)
  • Broad jump: 5-pc metal and wood, (2 short, 2 medium, one tall), flat tops --all of which made this obsolete for at least USDAA and CPE several years later, if it wasn't already that way because I think it was designed for AKC purposes. (2002, $174)
  • Dogwalk: See Aframe. (2002, $752)
  • Jumps!: Finally. Four official metal-frame with screw-on metal jump cups (2002, $170 total)
  • Teeter base, adjustable height, heavy-duty metal base: Also Action K-9 (2002, $2.75)
  • Tunnel: 20' heavy-duty double-walled teal & gray with 4" pitch--totally competition level. (2002, $360)
  • Chute (aka closed tunnel): Competition quality plastic barrel with metal stand, 8' blue/purple/white sexy chute fabric! (2002, $251)
  • Triple jump, whooo, big time! Purple powder-coated metal, 2 pieces (2002, $127.50)
  • PVC for jump bars -- as needed, bought fancy tape and shelf paper to decorate them all with, ditto for the weaves. (Ongoing--minor costs)
Over time, added more jumps, more tunnels; retired jumps and tunnels as they rusted or wore out in the sun, replaced the table top once. The screw threads in my weaves rusted away, so that was useless, so replaced once with someone's no-longer-using 20" spaced official weaves, also eventually had issues, so replaced with someone's no-longer-using 22" spaced official weaves (of course at that time, USDAA had moved to 24" spaced weaves, so really they were no longer official). Resurfaced the teeter. A friend borrowed and resurfaced some of the Aframe.

What am I not planning on taking with me when I move?

  • Aframe: Just too heavy for me these days. I haven't used it in several years, plus there is an important bit of damage that I can't fix myself. AND it's the old style textured surface, where now everyone uses rubberized. And it needs one critical bit of work.
  • Chute: No one will want this, probably: All agility organizations canned them a couple of years back. Such a crowd pleaser (and I loved watching it), but they added too much time on the course (adjusting the fabric before each dog), and posed a risk to dogs who got tangled which BTW I also thought was unfair because that often added time to the dog's run and, really, there's only so much you can control with a fast dog through a floppy piece of fabric.  I ended up never using it except with each new/young dog or as a refresher once a year or so. So it's in excellent condition.
  • Triple Jump: Sigh. Lovely purple thang. I think no organizations do this any more, either.
  • Dogwalk: Erk. At the moment, I *am* planning on taking it, but it needs some rehab and repainting and it's the sort of equipment that (because of its weight) I'd likely just set up in one place and leave it there, which reduces a bit its usefulness for anything beyond the contacts themselves (complex sequencing with the walk in the same place always is a little predictable for the dogs...)  Still pondering. (And ditto on the rubberizing like the A-frame.)  

And... really... how much agility training will I ever want or be able to do in the future?  It is just a FUN thing, though!

What I AM planning on taking

  • Jumps that are in reasonably good condition. This is maybe only half a dozen...
  • Tunnels that are in reasonably good condition.  This might be only one or two... [frowny face]
  • Table (... oh, and the tabletop needs cleaning and repainting)
  • Teeter with both bases
  • Tire jump--TBD?   Dunno--that motorcycle tire is heavy and needs to be retaped and is definitely not competition legal, and the big-old-PVC frame is broken in 2 places (works Oooookayyyyy just in the yard for basic use) that would require sawing and buying more pieces and measuring fit and gluing...  ugh. But the PVC is lighter than metal frames...   

    ... oh, also much cheaper, so I could build myself another one for not much other than time and effort. But how much would a real one cost me? Checking online--from inexpensive PVC-framed (but looks better made than mine) or used ones (quality TBD) to top-quality competition: $150 to $625 [really, J&J?!?!? REALLY?! -- I mean, Clean Run has one for $350-$525...]
  • OK, tire jump NOT TBD, just talked myself out of taking it.
  • Weaves. Even if they are only 22" span.
  • Broad jump. I guess. It's not standard by far any more... but it's what I have and would probably work for basic training.
  • PVC jump bumps for training (look up Susan Salo jump bumps).
  • Tunnel bags - I have only 2 good pairs right now, and they fold flat once the sand/gravel is removed. ;-)
  • Misc small other random stuff

Gallery of equipment fame and shame


Dogwalk when only a few years old. Glory days.


Dogwalk is about 30' long. 


Dogwalk needs... um... TLC?


A-frame in its younger age.


A-frame in my back yard. (Go straight across to the right from the green arrow.)
Takes up a lot of visual space and all in one large chunk. 


Aframe now. Mostly usable condition.


But this is a problem (bent pipe).

My teeter gets a lot of unauthorized use.


Why teeter needed resurfacing 10 years back. Replaced with fiberglass.
Currently, the metal parts are rusting and some of those surfaces are peeling away.
But I think it'll be OK.

Old tire parts I dragged out from behind the compost bins. Needs work.
But OK for occasional gentle use at the moment.


When expensive metal jump bases rust away... out they go.

Same model chute as mine. Beautiful colors! Mine has no duct tape.

When tunnels (purple) and tunnel bags (teal) are new and beautiful.


When Good Tunnels Go Bad...
and should really have been disposed of much earlier.

This is what USDAA broad jumps should look like.
Mine are flat across the top and form an upside down arc
instead of an ascending format.

My current weaves (except I've removed all the colored tape).
Weaves also take up a lot of space: 12 poles with 22" between.
(And modern poles have 24" between. So, yep, 22 feet long.)

Previous weaves. The pegs had screw bases so they could be put in line as usual
or you could move them out onto the tab to one side or the other for training.
Those little screw bases' threads rusted away, sometimes the entire screw base.

Tika demonstrates an unauthorized use of weave poles. 
Rules prohibit dogs from lying on their sides and
pulling themselves along the weaves by hooking paws over the poles. 
Such a rebel.


T-Shirt Tuesday Tales: My Guilty Reading Pleasure...

SUMMARY: ... pronounced "obsession".
Posted on Tumblr April 19, 2021. Written primarily for others in the world of fan fiction and particularly fans of these specific books...

Ack! I missed my Captive Prince anniversary date (3/16/20). 

Title: My Captive Prince   (and AO3 and Tumblr and reading and writing and fanfic and......)  History  (roughly reconstructed): The long version

  • [Read about the t-shirt somewhere below...]

Reading background before CP:

  • My whole life: Reading reading reading. Owning thousands of books, a large part sci fi/fantasy. Two bookcases full of books yet unread. Subscription to Asimov’s magazine, my favorite. And more.
  • fiction with “real” sex: had read a few gratuitous not well-written paperbacks, when bored back in the ‘70s. Never wanted to read more.
  • fan fiction: had read only a few amateur things, not well-written, I think Star Trek, in the mid-’80s [yes, on paper]. Never wanted to read more.
  • Encountered OTP and “slash” terms maybe 2010, read a couple--shrug. “Just more fan fiction.” Never wanted to read more.
  • Romance fiction: Might have read 3 or 4 dozen over the years. Most I didn’t like or even gave up in the  middle because of not good writing or plotting.

Writing background:

Started pursuing fiction writing in mid-’80s, attended conferences and lectures and a year in a weekly critiquing class at a local JC, and started a writers’ group [in person, yes] and participated for years with my own things. Sent out story after story to markets--lots of rejections, but then started getting higher and higher awards in the Writers of the Future competition and some *nice personalized* rejections from editors. 

Drove to Idaho from CA for a week-long writing workshop in1995.  In 1998, spent 6 weeks in Seattle at Clarion West.  I sold a couple of short stories and a poem to paying markets (pro and semipro). Then I discovered dog agility in 1996 and somehow that led to the end of  my writing pursuits, to which I had devoted most of my attention for 15 years. Doh. But, still: Books. Fiction. Writing.

Footnote: Also started this blog to be about my dogs in dog agility. Pffft.

(Now I've done no agility since 2014. Nor writing since 1998...  but wait for it...)

Early March, 2020: Finding images. Pandemic!  While using Google image search for something like “captive prince chains”--Don’t ask--amazed and surprised how many images came up.  Kept searching and searching for days--so many cool images! Including the Japanese cover for this book. Which hit all the right buttons for me


March 16, 2020: Ordered the book Eventually it became clear, aha! the book is titled Captive Prince. Jackpot! Because I...was searching for captive princes... don’t ask. I read the synopsis, looked possible, and ordered only the first and only as an e-book. Because--what if it’s as badly written as 50 Shades of Gray? Or worse?

March 16/17, 2020: Reading reading reading can't stop! OMG it matched so so so many things in my own internal fictional world!  and a bonus: amazing UST from the beginning, too. That I never knew that I even needed to have in fiction. OK, then.

Footnote: My internal fictional world: Hrm. might or might not ever discuss.

March 18, 2020: Ordered the next 2 ebooks as fast as my fingers could fly.

March 19, 2020: Fourth book! Desperate for more Captive Prince or other works by the author. ...Desperate barely begins to describe it. And then I found The Summer Palace and Other Stories. fourth book in the group. Ordered as an ebook. Read that, too.

March 20, 2020: Images like crazy. OMG searching again. Started collecting links to many many many of the online fan art, now that I knew what was going on. And so much of it excellent ... (but this was just fan stuff; how could it be excellent? do artists do this sort of thing just for fun?)...

And started reading the series again. And again. And again. And again and again and....  [link, brief mention at the beginning] then, reading things I started finding on Tumblr, and then...

April 22, 2020: Joined AO3. Because a link to this came up in Tumblr and it caught me; I wanted to read more. Fanfiction?! Writing quite good--storytelling, too [not the same thing]. How could that be? Do good writers do this sort of thing just for fun? This one, a modern AU (alternative universe) playing out the same three novels, yet keeping true to the original characters and story arc.

Footnote: Not sure whether readers would enjoy these fictions 
nearly as much if they haven't already read the CP originals. However, whatever.

April 23, 2020: Tumblr and Twitter. I’ve had accounts for years, but have barely done anything in either--mostly just following links. On this day, I sent an online junkie friend a request for help in how to find people and things in both places because I was struggling and craving more art and more fiction and it had become clear that the world veritably teems with Captive Prince artifacts.

Footnote: Friend is not a drug junkie. She's an online junkie of sorts.

Most of Spring and Summer 2020: Reading more and more fanfic AND learning SO much about fanfic and about the vocabulary for that and for M/M fiction and for sex-related things and how to use and navigate AO3...so much to learn.

Footnote: The m/m fiction essay was written by a friend who is also quite a successful author. No self-publishing here that I'm aware of. A smart woman; always has been. I found it, as a writer, to be interesting on its own subject (who's qualified to write what).

May 4, 2020: My first Tumblr comment.  Have been reading CaPri fanfic voraciously for a few weeks, and finding more in Tumblr. No interest in commenting; I just wanted to read and stay anonymous. Might have clicked Kudos. Or not. But on this date, I posted my first comment to someone's post. Somewhat reluctantly, because I wasn’t interested in discourse. But the fiction was so good. My 2nd comment on something wasn’t until July 2. After that, commented regularly.

May 7, 2020: Clothing! Found Forest Elf Fancies artist! And asked for this custom t-shirt from his existing Vere and Akielos designs.  (Never have I had t-shirts for characters from specific fiction among the 250-ish that I remember ever having in my greedy little hands.)

 May 18: Arrived!  Yowza! I am all in now.  ...As if full immersion, week after week, of nothing but Damen of Akielos and Laurent of Vere didn't already have me all in.

Yes, it's a selfie of me in a mirror,
reflected in a mirror again.

July 16, 2020: AO3 bookmarking. On this date, I created my first AO3 bookmark--a bunch, actually, probably of things I’d read. Erk, I'm falling unwillingly/willingly into another universe and community. Resented it a bit, but still--wanted to be able to re-find the stories.

On Tumblr, unknown 2020 date: "Follow"ed my first person. Wasn’t ever going to do more than a few, because: I already have FaceBook, thank you very much. 

Footnote: As of April 19, 2021, I’m following 37 people, almost all of whom post frequently related to CaPri.

Unknown 2020 date: started reblogging tumblr posts from others. Fiction, images, links, comments, quotes, observations, all about Captive Prince. Partially to share, partially to keep my favorites in my Tumblr feed for easier retrieval.
Footnote: As of April 20 '21, I have reblogged over 200 items-- so, not quite as quick-retrieval as I had envisioned way back then.
The rest of 2020: Reading reading reading AO3 and Tumblr related to CapRi. My other reading life slammed to a halt back in March. How is there such good writing so many times in fan fiction? How is there so much good sex? Forget about all those hundreds of unread books I already own--
Around January 1, 2021: Tumbler participation. Gulp. First added a comment to a discussion on Tumblr. Don't want the discourse! Leave me alone!
Around January 14, 2021: First posted an original thing (a short observation) on Tumblr. Started posting like this more often. Maybe weekly on average? OMG started plotting Captive Prince stories in my head! I’m too busy for this sort of thing! Don’t give in! Feb 12, 2021: Apparently I gave in. Posted my first original short fiction on Tumblr. Although it's written as a prequel to another writer's short fic. Have done two more since.  Plus, observations (like this one), discourse...  
Am I ...  writing? ... fiction? What could possibly be next?

The Akielon Lion. Banner of the ancient-Greek-like Akielos, home of the Okton (sport of kings)
 and of Damianos (Damen), crown prince.
(Should be gold on red, but since t-shirts are only one color...) 

The gold starburst on blue of the Crown Prince of 14th-century-France-ish Vere, Laurent,
who makes an ally at castle Chastillon,
home of the finest hunting for "sanglier,
a northern breed that was larger, with longer tusks on the male."