The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.


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I gave at the office

Yeah, so, my boss “asked” me to volunteer to lead the office’s giving campaign this year. I think she regrets that decision because I’ve covered the office in signs. No location is safe from my pestering, as you can see.

Also, I’m spamming the office email with memes.

Annoying coworkers is now one of my skills on LinkedIn. Please endorse me.

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Let’s catch up

Yeah, so, we have some catching up to do, huh?

I’ve been neglectful. Don’t be mad at me, baby. Take me back.

I’ll do a relatively short wrap up for you and then we will go back to our usual blog posting schedule … I hope.

We had a very successful 7th birthday party for my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin. This was the first year ever that he asked for a birthday party. He asked for a birthday cake, and he asked to invite his friends.

We rented out the clubhouse at Jackson Playground, because it was the homebase for his a few of his summer camps, so we know he loves it there. We invited friends, family and all the kids in his class and about half of them came, which is rad.

We had a Muni bus birthday cake made from My Favorite Bite, and it was AMAZING! Sometimes you see a cool-looking cake but it tastes kinda yucky – it’s dry, it’s overly sweet, it’s both. But this cake not only looked great, it tasted great.

Calvin was over-the-moon happy! “There’s cake inside the bus!” I mean, look at that smile.

The party was such a success that Calvin asked if we could have another birthday party the following weekend. He’s also asking for a BART-themed cake for Christmas.

Just a few days after Calvin’s birthday it’s my birthday. Dear readers, I do not lie about my age. I’m 48. I earned it, and I own it.

I celebrated by doing things that I love like eating vegan food and drinking beer with some of my favorite people. I finally checked out Standard Deviant Brewing. They have some tasty brews, and I really loved their saison and they had a really good oatmeal stout on tap.

After a few beers, I had dinner at Shizen, which serves vegan sushi. That’s right, VEGAN SUSHI. That shit is delicious. I also got to go to SF Brew and Vegan Eats. Finally, a beer festival in which I’m not forced to only eat the fries. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

This country is a dumpster fire right now, but I’m trying to stay positive.

I really love this time of year, and not just because it’s my birthday season. Fall is my jam. Pumpkin everything. Orange is everywhere. The weather is nice. Scary movies are easy to find on Filmstruck, TCM, Netflix and Hulu.

I was chatting with a coworker today, and I told her that we should buy fall homes, instead of summer homes, and we could hop from house to house and just live in the fall all year long.


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The Magnificent 7

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin is 7 today.

Geez, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years.

I’m so proud of Calvin. He is so smart and funny. He’s got a big heart. I know that he’s going to grow up to be a mighty, mighty good man just like his father. I just hope he doesn’t grow up too fast.

Then

Now

And now it’s time for everybody’s favorite parenting photos …

This is probably David’s favorite photo ever. He titled it “priorities,” and it clearly demonstrates how much I love my stupid phone.

And this is my favorite photo of David and Calvin (and Homer – RIP).


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Random thoughts: Pretty In Pink, Castle Rock and more

Yeah, so, it’s Friday, so here’s some random stuff for you, my dear readers.

Margo D. from Book vs. Movie, The Best Neighbors Podcast, Not Fade Away and Fit Bottom Girls came on Dorking Out for another installment of “Sonia and Margo Destroy Your Childhood.” This time we talk about “Pretty In Pink.” It’s a super fun one, and you should listen.

I don’t want to repeat everything I said in this podcast, but I do want to mention that my initial “She picks the wrong guy at the end” feeling has changed. Also, the really sad part of this movie is Annie Potts’ character changing her amazing style to “normal” for a guy, and we’re supposed to be happy about it. As someone who has embraced her Toddler-Grandma Style in her 40s, I find this offensive.

Oh, and I rewatched “Some Kind Of Wonderful” in preparation for this episode, and I think it’s the smarter “Pretty In Pink.”

But wait, there’s more: There’s also a really good episode with Smith about Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.” I think this movie is great, and you should definitely see it.

Over at Old Movies, New Beer, my mighty, mighty good man David and I talk about “Yellow Submarine” and “Fantastic Planet,” while drinking Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues Brewery. I truly think it’s one of our best episodes.

I still haven’t watched the second season of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” With everything that’s going on in this country, I just can’t bring myself to watch it. I’m starting to feel like it’s a documentary. However, I have started watching “Castle Rock,” and I’m into it. It’s just the right amount of creepy. I’m not a Stephen King super fan. I’ve seen the movies, but I’ve never read the books, and I still enjoy the show and understand what’s going on. I suspect that King fans are enjoying the show on an entirely different level.

On another note, I discovered that Dole Whip is vegan! I’m ridiculously happy about this.


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Another steak out

Yeah, so, a meat eater, a vegan and a 6-year-old autistic boy walk into a steakhouse …

For about a year now, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has been obsessed with the ceiling fans at Harris’ Restaurant. The steakhouse is nearby his speech appointment, and we always stop by after his session so he can say hello to the ceiling fans in the bar. And he would always ask me, “Can we eat here?”

“Not today,” I tell him.

“They don’t have burger? Next time?”

“Yes, some other time.”

The truth is it would be an expensive experiment, but to celebrate his first day of first grade we decided to be brave and actually eat there.

He was really excited. Unfortunately, they don’t have a burger (which seems weird for a steakhouse, right?), but they offered a plain chicken breast. Calvin said he didn’t want that and opted for a bowl of rice. Cheap date!

David ordered a Manhattan and massive filet with peppercorn sauce. He was in heaven.


The kitchen made me a plate of vegetables with garlic, balsamic and various other seasonings. Veggies that are prepared well with a big glass of red wine … I was happy.

After dinner, Calvin got some chocolate ice cream.

“It’s not a cone,” he correctly pointed out.

“No, I’m sorry. They don’t have cones.”

“OK.”

Don’t worry. He made it work.

 


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First day, first grade

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin started first grade today. *sobs*

This summer was Calvin’s first real taste of what summer is. He’s always been in his nanny share or preschool, and that was year-round, so summer didn’t mean much. It didn’t even mean the weather got warmer, because we live in San Francisco. Our summer weather comes in September and October.

This summer has been filled with summer camps and swimming. Every week was a new adventure, and for a boy who loves routine, Calvin really adapted to it quickly. For weeks he’s been saying that he wants the school to stay closed, but we’ve been preparing him for going back.

He was in good spirits this morning. He was excited waiting for the school bus. And when he got on the bus, his classmate Ethan was there. Ethan is predominantly nonverbal, but he got a huge smile on his face when he saw Calvin.

“Ethan!” Calvin was so happy to see his friend.

Ethan reached out and grabbed Calvin’s hand and kissed it.

It might be the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I almost started crying right there on the bus.

I helped Calvin with his seatbelt and kissed him on the head.

Then David and I got off the bus and waved at Calvin through the window. That’s when we could tell he was putting on his brave face through his tears.

He’s so brave.

We spoke with his teacher when we picked him up for his speech appointment, and she said he was so happy all day. “He was an angel.” #humblebrag

Thank god he’s not like me. I lost my shit every first day of school until 7th grade. I mean, really lost my shit. Holding on to the car door handle, screaming and crying. My mom had to pry my hands off the car and drag me into the class.

I wish I was joking.

For some reason, I associated the first day of school with getting older, and when you get old, you die. Pretty fucked up, right? I know what you’re thinking, “Ummm, that’s what birthdays are.” I didn’t associate my birthday with getting older. I was probably distracted by gifts and cake. Every new school year meant I was just one step closer to dying. I have no explanation for why I thought this, even though, really, I wasn’t wrong.

When my niece Lorelei was younger, she started doing the same thing to my sister, even offering the same explanation to Michelle about why she was so upset. Lorelei really is Tiny Sonia.

And this wasn’t just a first day of school thing: It was a first week of school thing. What a goddamn nightmare for my mother. When I ask her about it now, she tells me how it was THE WORST. I can only imagine how awful it must have been for her.

Thankfully, Calvin isn’t like me in that way. However, he is sweet, funny and a snazzy dresser, just like me. Just kidding. He got all of that from David.


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The ugly tooth

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boys and I were back to school shopping at Target, because TARGET!

While at the register I see Calvin bend down and pick something up off the ground.

“Mommy, look,” he said.

“Ewww, don’t pick up things off the ground,” I said, slapping whatever it was out of his hand.

“My tooth!”

“Wait, what? Was that your tooth?” I replied.

He flashed me a bloody grin.

“GAH! I’m such a crap mom,” I repeated as David and I were on all fours looking for Calvin’s missing tooth. We finally found it, and the surrounding parents gave us “the nod” and a hearty “Congrats” and “Good job.”

I felt so terrible about just knocking his tooth out of his hand without even taking a look at what it was. But, I don’t think there are any hard feelings, because I bought our fan of fans an oscillating fan while we were there.


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We’re going to Cabo. BRB.

Yeah, so, the MansTracy family is going to Cabo next week. NBD.

OMG! We’re going to Cabo next week!

My mighty, mighty good man David bid on a timeshare at Calvin’s school auction and won, so we’re going to resort in Cabo with Calvin, my sister, and her girls. None of us have ever been to Mexico before, so this is really exciting. It’s going to be the best time ever.

I’m going to turn off the news alerts on my phone, and … well, I’ll just assume that America will still be a democracy when we return. If not, they may not let us back in, which may not be a bad thing. I’ll send for our pets.

I don’t want you guys to forget about me while I’m gone, so here’s some podcasts you can listen to.

My good buddy Margo returned to Dorking Out to talk about 1994’s “Reality Bites,” and – boy howdy – we did not like it. We don’t bash movies often on the show, but when we do it’s super fun, so you should listen.

Also, Smith took a sabbatical from his sabbatical to talk about all the movies he’s seen this summer, and he didn’t like any of them. I, on the other hand, finally got the sing the praises of “Hereditary,” which I think is amazing. It’s interesting and scary with really terrific performances. I haven’t stopped thinking about this movie since I saw it. I feel like most of the movies I see fade from my mind before I even leave the theater. This one is haunting me.

You can listen to us on our website, or you can find us on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotify and Stitcher.

BUT WAIT, there’s more.

David and I finally got around to recording our Vincent Price episode of Old Movies, New Beer. We talk about 14 Vincent Price movies!

So, yeah, I’ll be back later, you guys. Until then, try not to miss me so much.


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The nod squad

Yeah, so, one of the things I love about being a parent (besides the fact that my kid is super amazing and undoubtedly the best person in the entire world) is the bond you have with other like-minded parents.

Obviously, there are parents who are huge assholes. They let their kids kick your seat in the movie theater or raise them to be racist, MAGA hat-wearing little shits. But there are some other cool parents out there, too. I like to think that mighty, mighty good man David and I are cool parents.

We’ve got each other’s back. We’re quick to offer wipes, sunblock and goldfish crackers when needed. We will help you in a public restroom when your kid has an accident.

A few weeks ago, we were at a restaurant sitting outside, and Calvin was pissed. We had been at Ocean Beach before heading to the restaurant, and he wanted to stay at the beach forever. I get it. The beach is fun.

He ran off from the table into a nearby open area and started crying. I walked up to him and hugged him while he cried.

“I want to go back to the beach,” he sobbed.

“We will. First lunch, then beach,” I told him.

He cried and cried, and another mother walked by with her two kids, and one of them was crying, too. Then she gave me the nod.

I have given this nod countless times, too. It’s the nod parents give each other to acknowledge that the struggle is real. We’ve been there. We get it.

Most parents are doing the best they can. So, whether you’re a parent or not, when you see a parent trying to comfort a screaming, tantrum-throwing kid, instead of judging them, give ’em a nod or one of those “I see you” hand gestures. It means a lot.


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Mind Your Business

Yeah, so, here’s a scene from my upcoming play, “Let Me Sleep FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

Mind: “‘Sup?”

Me: “I’m sleeping. Fuck off.”

Mind: “You need to pee.”

Me: “Ugh. Fine.”

uses bathroom

Me: “Happy now?”

Mind: “Not really. I’m worried.”

Me: “Go to sleep.”

Mind: “Cancer. I’m worried about cancer. Also, this country is fucked up, and I’m worried that we’re going to die of cancer, and we won’t be around to protect our son.”

Me: “I’m trying to sleep.”

Mind: “Also, what’s the weather going to be? What should we wear?”

Me: “Please, for the love of god, I’m trying to sleep.”

Mind: “We have meetings most of the day. Someone is probably going to ask us a question, and we’re not going to know the answer. That’s going to suck.”

Me: “Quiet, please.”

Mind: “Of course, work stuff doesn’t really matter. We’ve probably got cancer again.”

Me: “SLEEPING NOW!”

10 minutes later.

Mind: Hey, you up?

And scene.