Day 30: Arf, arf, woof, woof, guau, guau #SOLSC #SOL2021

After yesterday’s hacked slice by Clyde, I have at home a very sad blind dachshund. Not even one person visited his post, zero comments or likes. Not even Steven, so nobody is even (probably understandable since Clyde left a mix review of him). Still, I thought that this is not fair.

For this reason the title of this slice is just Clyde whining, barking and crying in all the languages he knows. What upsets him the most is that Buck received raving comments on his slices.

Clyde is thinking, thinking, like Winnie the Pooh. He might hire somebody that can alter the algorithms of my blog. He thinks Poncho could be a great choice.

Poncho can charm y’all to go back one day and read slice #29.

Day 29: About time #SOL2021 #SOLSC

Today, I am hacking Pia’s computer. She hasn’t invite me to be a guest blogger but I think it’s about time that I write. She has been participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge since 2019, and she has NEVER written about me or given me the chance to show my storytelling skills in this platform. However, she has given Buck the opportunity, TWICE. There are only three days left of this year challenge. I have to say it again, it’s about time.

Let me introduce myself. I am Clyde. On April 2nd I will be turning 15 years old. I am originally from Oregon, but when I was 3 years old we moved to Spain, where I spent ten years. I got accustom to the leisurely pace of the Sevilla countryside, sunbathe almost 9 months per year, and take plenty of naps. Two years ago, my life changed again and I had to get adjusted back. Kind of a return home culture shock. I have to confess though, that I really do like the heating system here. Much better than in Spain where we were relegated to the kitchen which was very windy in the winter, since it didn’t have any insulation. I am not the young stud anymore. Or Queen, since Spaniards always thought that I was a girl, due to my petite size compared to my two buddies. I am a genuine miniature, they weren’t.

I used to be more athletic but lately my bones hurt a lot, and sounds more appealing to sleep the entire day than go outside. Don’t take me wrong. I would love to be able to go outside, but when Pia and Steve are not at home, I can’t. I am scared of the front stairs that are after passing the doggie door. It took me a while to get accustom to feel that heavy plastic rubbing on my neck, every time I cross it. I can only imagine the size of that door. Probably for mastodons.

Anyway, the stairs in question don’t meet the ADA requirements. If Steve weren’t such a good person, I would report him. I know I am not the only one that struggle with the stairs. Buck told me that Pia, when she leaves the house to go to work at 6 am, she goes very slow down the steps, not only because it’s really dark outside (unless it’s full moon) but because those stairs are steep. She is afraid that when she grows older, she will fall and break a hip, and probably Steve will get rid of her.

I am not saying this lightly. For last Steve’s birthday, we went for a 3 miles hike in the Cascades Mountains. It was a lot of uphill, and I did maybe half of it walking and the other half in a little bag they bought especially for me. The thing is that after all that effort, especially the one going up, and stumbles on rocks, and unexpected bushes, I got a kink in my neck. It was very painful. Every time Steve picked me up, I started crying in despair. I couldn’t help it. Buck and Poncho were not of any help either since every time I complained, they started to make a racket like if I were in real danger. Steve thought that my last days were coming, and when his children called for Pia’s birthday four days after his birthday, he told them that probably they were going to put me to sleep. I thank the Virgin Mary and all the angels that Pia was born that day since she set her foot very firm down, looked at Steve in the eyes and exclaimed: No! I refused to put Clyde to sleep on my birthday!

Not everything is about you, Pia. Clyde is suffering. When I heard that, I realized that if I didn’t change my attitude, my destiny was doomed. So I decided to put my best puppy face, wag my tail happily, and emit some barks of joy. It did work. I was healed.

Pia said that I am like Lazarus. When I was 6 months old, a rattle snake bit me. I laid in bed for three days, without eating and only drinking water by a spoon. At the third day, I got up, and walked. With a limp in my rear end left leg that I still have, but walked. It was a miracle. After that, I acknowledge, I started to behave like a prima donna, a very optimistic prima donna, always happy, always wagging my tale, but always with thirst of attention. I have the middle child complex, I guess. Always seeking attention.

Today though, I am more like Bartimaeus from Jericho, since I can’t see a thing, and I can barely hear. For this reason, every time they put me outside, I bark my way in. It’s my system to scare all the rattle snakes in the summer, and the coyotes on the cold winter nights.

My smell and taste senses haven’t disappeared yet, and probably won’t disappear until I die. Food is my passion these days. I have to be very careful though. Buck, even though is respectful of my food and space, sometimes get carried away when I lose track of a morsel thrown while Steve cook. My strategy? Stay at Steve’s feet waiting for a mishap, or just compassion of my human buddy. After supper, he always picks me up, and put me between his legs while stretched in the sofa watching a Netflix series. He covers me with a warm poncho bought in La Ligua, falling asleep in unison. I really love Steve. Despite his extreme attitude towards my aging and the approximation of my end. I know he does it because he loves me, and he can’t stand seeing me suffering. As far as I know, I still have some time left. My renaissance was from prima donna to survivor. About time.

Day 28: Less is more, really? Well, sometimes

Less talk, more action
Less sugar, more sweetness
Less homework, more painting

Less barking, more listening

Less multitasking, more things done
Less toxic, more healing

Less macho attitude, more women safe
Less gun controls, more shootings

Less worksheets to fill, more free reading in class

Less glue, more nails
Less couching, more biking
Less biking, more depression
Less Spanish, more cries
Less poetry, more gray in the skies

Less libraries, more books on your lonely shelves
Less librarians, more fake news
Less driving, more hiking
Less drinking, more thinking
Less pot, more thoughts

Less plastic, more oceans 🌊

Less travel, more reading

Less salt, more GringoCool extra virgin olive oil 😜

Less dogs, more cats
Less cats, more mice
Less construction, more nature
Less wind, more warmth

Less coffee, more taste. Really? Not, really.

Day 23: Dialoguing with my phone #SOL2021 #SOLSC

I always wanted to write what my phone is ordering me to write. It turned out my phone is full of my own texting BS. A soup of words taken out of context.

I didn’t change any of the words given. Only put some punctuation and separated them in paragraphs to make it more palatable, or less painful to read. Here we go:

—The devil has been with me and I told him my number is the same as last year. The fact that I can see that could have been a little late but I’ll have to check that dad is going to ask him to do the best.

—Do we need anything else from the post office? You look at least a week or two of us and the arrival of the following statements is not working properly.

—Probably because you cook a steak on the grill and the mail with flags for the heads even if it’s not too much longer than expected.

—I have to go to Walmart for the last two weeks to get a new year on Earth. 

—Exercise triggered by the numbers on the right side of my face and the other one is the same as last time.

—I sweat so much for a wonderful birthday.

— Amy is the same as a gramma in Instagram or Facebook and the arrival of ppl in the middle of the night but now I’m sitting here waiting at least a week or more like a huracan.

—The last time you were born in the middle of the day off at the house refinanced my way home from work to get done with my friend Julieta who died of cancer.

—Did you get the picture?

—I’m glad you made me laugh from Yahoo email to the abyssopelagic zone.

—Myself and I told her please call the sheriff department and the other one, the boss of the following: it is not a characteristic of a groomed off the beaten track of my life is the best gadget and most beautiful part of the world while we wait for the results of the test.

—I can see your shadow when you get the chance to look at least a little reluctant to be there for a few minutes,  then we will go to the bank to get the picture of the bridge that goes to your buddies and then we can do anything for the last time.

—Just let us know what you mean about it because I wanted to ride with my Valentine.

—The same time as the other side of the road where you are at the beginning of my life is good too.

—For the last time I didn’t realize that you were born in the middle of my chest.

—Thanks again but I don’t know what you mean by the numbers for the last one with a deadline.

—Are you feeling lonely?

—And then you can see the best answer from the choices provided the same thing has been with me.

—I have heard from him since he was so tempted to stop by yesterday and got caught in my car where I was going to ask him to do it all over again for writing it up.

—And then you are awesome and red and white bird with black head of something that I could use it for a bit traumatic experience with the winter wind and fire

—The last two of them applied for the smiley faces of my favorites ppl in reddit.

—Do you have a preference for a walk with Buck?

—First session with the kids can find a safe place for the last time.

—I’m glad that I was just curious.

— If I wanted to go for the last one without somebody else from the store…

—And then I will be more efficient to be a better person.

The end

Thank you for your patience and have the stomach to keep reading it until the end! 😂

I wrote the dialogue from my phone in a WhatsApp message to myself. Proof that I didn’t make it up. My phone did 😉

I wrote the dialogue from my phone in a WhatsApp message to myself. Proof that I didn’t make it up. My phone did 😉

Day 20: I got up on the wrong side of my bed #SOL2021 #SOLSC

Do you pee with the toilet lid up? Could you, please, put it down after you are done? Here are the things I particularly don’t appreciate. No particular order. Just a stream of consciousness or stupefaction.

As you already figured out, the toilet lid up when I wake up at three o’clock in the morning and I need to go to the bathroom. Particularly dislike the touch feeling of the porcelain in my rear end on a cold winter night.

Cleaning my house, especially when it means using all my Saturday or Sunday, or both doing it, and it has been assigned to me as a default. Particularly, I can’t appreciate cleaning the stove or the already up toilet lid and its surroundings. I have to confess though, that when I am done, I feel very proud and good.

When I meet somebody and after I speak, they ask me Where is that beautiful accent of yours from? Really? Why not being straight forward? I know I have an accent, and I know is thick, and I know it’s not beautiful unless my husband or children said so. Only they can find it cute, weird, funny. You can ask only if you have a genuine interest in getting to know me or spend some time talking to me. If you are just curious because I don’t sound American, even when I am American, just bite your tongue, and move on with your own life.

Bonus point. When I answer politely that I am from Chile and people answer: Really? You don’t look Chilean! and I know that they can’t even place Chile on a map or later in the conversation when I tell them that my first language is Spanish, they say, ooh, I didn’t know that in Chile they spoke Spanish..

When I feel guilty because I haven’t done anything productive during the day. Or feeling guilty all the time with no real cause. Even feeling guilty of writing this slice.

When I discover Buck sitting on top of the sheets that I just took out of the dryer and I was going to fold after writing this slice.

The entire 2017-2021 presidency of the United States. Do I have to elaborate?

Picking up the poop of the living creature that is sleeping on top of my clean laundry, and his fellas from the same specie.

Having supper with the TV on, unless we are watching it purposely.

Arriving late to work or a meeting. On the same vein, having to clock in and clock out and lie about the amount of hours I work when I stay over time.

The state of the health system in the United States that have us all sick and broken.

Gun owners that don’t respect the rights of living and breathing differently, and are forgiven as having “a bad day.”

Making our queen size bed alone (ask my husband, I trained him good on sharing this pet peeve).

Ironing. Fortunately, I don’t iron, period. I don’t think we own an iron, or an ironing board. If we do, I don’t know where they are at.

Lost socks. Or losing things. Where do they go?

Losing money because I paid a bill late. I don’t have a credit card for that very reason.

My husband telling me that I need to get out, or that I should be more positive, or that I should do this and that. Basically telling ME what it’s good for me. He will read this, so probably I shouldn’t even write it because he will tell me that’s not true. hahaha.

Having migraines or the fear of having one or the fear of running out of the medicine that lesser their pain, or the fear of going to the doctor fearing the bill that will lay behind. I am not kidding. I am still paying in installments $1,000 for going to the doctor and asking a prescription for my migraines since I run out of the one I brought from Spain. And I do have a health insurance. I am not cussing because my parents told me that it was unpolite.

The color pink, or wearing red. I like it on other people though.

The flag as a human being or ownership of something that I am not.

The misuse, excess of video games, drugs, or alcohol. I guess I am a control freak and don’t appreciate when things manage my life.

Leaving the house with the feeling I left the stove or the coffee on, and when I return my house will be on fire. Leaving school with the feeling I left the laminator on and the next morning I will be found guilty of arson.

Looking myself in the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth, and being unable to see my reflection since it’s covered all over with droplets of toothpaste.

Start watching a movie with expectation and realizing that we already watched it.

Picking the wrong checkout aisle at the supermarket when I am late. Opening the bag of oranges I bought in the supermarket and finding two or three of them soft.

Being ungrateful or feeling sad for no reason.

Too late realizing that I chose the wrong outfit for the day. A white blouse when I have to carry dusty books, or a raggedy T-shirt when it’s picture day. The horrendous amount of ugly photos they print of me and leave as a package in my mailbox after picture day.

Enduring the entire work day with pants that are too tight.

The regret that follows after eating an entire bag of nacho chips, or a whole batch of cookies.

Thinking about all my pet peeves. It makes me feel like I am a bad person. Tomorrow, hopefully I wake up on the right side of the bed. I will write about the things I appreciate of life. I promise.

Clean sheets and Buck

Day 5: There is a zombie in the library #SOL2021 #SOLSC

Today I saw a zombie in the library. Distressed, she was walking all over the place, moaning while grabbing her head with the two palms of her hands. I say she, because it looked like a woman but masks can be deceiving. Yes, she was wearing a mask which was odd. I never thought that a zombie could comply with Covid regulations. She was slim, with a long, braided hair. Her voice was low and masculine though.

She wandered the entire 8 hours I was in the library. When students approached her, she walked by ignoring them, or at least not paying too much attention to them. I have to apologized on her behalf.

It seems that other adults didn’t see her. Oddly, once in a while someone on the staff checked on me and asked me if I was ok. Apparently I looked like I have seen a ghost or some of the students went to the office to complain about our visitor.

Afraid that she was going to scare students, I put her to work. She processed all the remaining books I have left to be labeled and protected them with book tape. She ordered all the Newbery award books by year, and we even listened together to some of the presentations of the Northern Texas Teen Book Festival.

While I was on the phone and answering emails, I saw her walking again in her zombie ghostly style. Just watching her made me sick.

When was time to leave (for the first time I was leaving on time), I went to the bathroom before heading outside. While washing my hands for 20 seconds, out of boredom, I looked at myself in the mirror, something I don’t do very often. Little I knew, it was a zombie staring at me. Quickly, I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo of her.

Day 3. Honoring Women in the Family #SOL2021 #SOLSC

Last week I started a Latinx Club at the library. We meet every Wednesday. Today we made tie-dye masks and played soccer.

I like to start the sessions always reading something (even when they look at me weirdly while I am holding a picture book). Today I read the book Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds. We did our check-in and introductions by telling to each other the way we felt at that moment if we were an animal. We were sloths, dogs, lions, hungry eagles, hummingbirds, and a couple of animals that students state of mind couldn’t put in words.

Before entering into the tie dyeing session, that I knew it was going to take some time, and probably steal some part of our reflection time, I explained that March was Women History Month. I have left a strip of paper on each desk, and asked students to think about a woman in their family, and write something fun about her or why they like her. At the end of the session I was going to pass them out randomly and do an activity in which they needed to guess from which student’s family was the woman honored. We were caught up in the tie dying and playing soccer. I didn’t want to rush the activity, so probably I will revisit it next week.

What the students wrote is the heart of my slice and the reason why I love what I do.

I admire my tía – dad´s sister because she loves shopping and she inspires me to love the beauty of the world

My aunt Yasman is really nice. She always keeps me and my sister happy.

My mom has two jobs to take care of me and my brother

Lo que me gusta de mi hermana es que es buena conmigo / What I like of my sister is that she is good to me

Mi mamá porque ella trabaja y yo quiero ayudarla / My mom since she works and I want to help her.

Mi abuela Lupe taught me how to speak Spanish.

My great grandma makes good banana bread and I have her hair.

Me gusta mi tía Karin porque me cuida muy bien / I like my aunt Karin because she takes care of me very well.

My younger sister and her ability to be kind after face planting and still being comedic

Day 2: Dear Staff… #SOL2021 Challenge #SOLSC

This is an email I sent to the staff of my school today. Being English my second language, always takes me a long time to craft an email, and at the end, there are very long. Since I can’t help with the length part, I learned to use bullet points or numbers and highlight the important parts. The feeling of culpability is pervasive, though. Every time I click the send button, I blessed myself.

Here is the email:

Dear staff,

Several people have asked me about the library usage. I guess, I have been so trapped in my rearrangement of  the library collection that I never touched based with you about how you and your students can use the library until I finish the project (if you are interested in knowing what I am doing, just read the bottom of this email ;). 

Here are a couple of things you could do with your students and the library.

  1. I love people in the library at any time. Due to Covid restrictions it can only be one or two people at a time. When sending your students, please, ask them to touch base with me whether they get a book or not. As a proof that they have been in the library and talked to me, I will give them a piece of paper with a fun fact that they need to bring you back to the classroom. 
  2. I can visit your classrooms and show students how to search the catalog and place holds. After they learn, I can deliver the books requested to your classroom.
  3. I can go to your classroom to give booktalks, research and/or information fluency lessons (ex. Understanding Fake News). Check with me in advance so I can find somebody who can supervise staff students in the library.
  4. I can curate information needed for a project, or a long term unit.

Here are a couple of things you should know:

  1. Students can borrow as many books as they can carry and return responsibly.
  2. I don’t believe in late fees and respect students’ privacy, so I won’t post lists of students who have late books. However, they will be accountable. Hopefully, with your help, I will get the chance to teach them why and how to be responsible. 
  3. In the meantime, you can help me by telling students that if they have any book from this library (or any school or public library. I can return them to their base home) they should bring them here. A returned book is a happy book. The only thing they will get it’s a squeal of delight from me. If they can’t handle that, they should give the book away.

If you are interested…or still have time
Here is what I have been doing:

  1. I have been weeding and rearranging the library collection for easier and friendlier access. It’s still a work in progress. 
  2. So you know the collection had around 14,000 copies with an average of publication year of 1996. Of those 14,000 copies, 267 were published after 2015. None in 2020.
  3. I have weeded around 4,000 copies after developing a collection development and weeding policy. I hope to launch in the late Spring or maybe early Fall a Used Book Fair with all the Fiction books weeded plus all used books donated by students and staff. With the money we will buy books published in 2021-2022.
  4. I applied to two grants and got them. I have $1,300 to spend in books and $200 for one book of their liking by each member of the Latinx Club we started last Wednesday during LIPI time with 10 students. They will help me choose books for the library.

Phew. I am done. I didn’t grow up in the US and I will never comply with the adage “the shorter, the better”.My sincere apologies. I always feel guilty, but I can’t help it. Still, I am soooo happy to be your librarian!!!!
Have a nice day!

Pia

I received several kind replies. Here are two of my favorites:

I love it. Good humor included from my principal and

Thank you for your email. It’s my favorite email of the day! It’s the only one that made me smile! from the Speech Therapist.