The Sonia Show

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


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More hair, wig less

Yeah, so, I’ve only got four chemo treatments left. Let’s dance!

If watching Kyle Chandler dancing is wrong, I don't want to be right.

If watching Kyle Chandler dance is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I’ve been wearing my wigs less and less. I don’t quite have a full head of hair yet, but I’ve got a decent amount of coverage. It’s all white and brown.

Front and back. #chemosucks

Front and back. #chemosucks

I think the novelty of the wigs have worn off. On a day-to-day basis, I’m kinda over it. I don’t wear a wig when picking up and dropping off Calvin at school anymore. I certainly don’t wear a wig to yoga. When I go to the store, I just wear a hat. Everybody is looking at their phones anyway. They are not looking at me. And if they do look at me, what are they going to do? Yell at me? ”

Them: “Hey lady! You’re bald.”

Me: “Yep. Thanks for noticing.”

In San Francisco, a bald lady at no thang.

I did wear a wig on Sunday when we attended Calvin’s friend Albert’s 3rd birthday party at the Peek-A-Boo Factory. I wore my red-red wig, because it’s a party and I thought maybe the kids would like it. Two little girls came up to me and said, “That’s not real,” pointing at my hair. Bitches. I knocked them down and ran off. Don’t worry. Everything is padded at the Peek-A-Boo Factory. They’re fine … I think.

peekaboo

Why should kids get to have all the fun?

By the way, have you been to the Peek-A-Boo Factory? There’s one in San Francisco. They are all over the place with names such as The Jungle, The Playhouse, etc. There’s a large, padded play structure and a slide with a million kids running around screaming. If you’d been to one, you’d remember.

smileontheslide

I thought we would walk in to this place with Calvin, and he would immediately demand we leave. Instead, he ditched us. He ran into that play area as soon as we walked in, and didn’t come out for like three hours. When we got home he took a four-hour nap. You guys, it’s only $10 for an all-day pass.

shutuptakemoney

Of course, it’s a massive germ factory. When we got home I had to take a Silkwood shower for fear that I would catch something, especially since I actually went into the play structure for a while. You know kids are just wiping their snot (or worse) all over everything in there. I was in there for maybe 10 minutes, looking for Calvin’s hat. I came out all sweaty with my wig all askew. I was a hot mess.

Calvin LOVED that place, though. If it had food and booze we’d probably never leave.


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I talk too much. I never shut up.

Yeah, so, I spend a lot of time in the infusion center at the hospital now. I’m at Kaiser at least twice a week. I’m in there for my weekly chemo treatments. I get my bloodwork done there. I get acupuncture there. The receptionists know who I am. Most of the chemo nurses know me by name. I’m a regular.

Twice a week I get on the elevator at the first floor. It’s crowded. It stops at almost every floor and slowly the elevator clears out. By the time it gets to my floor, the top floor, I’m the only one left. I always wonder, “Medically, does it get more serious the higher you go up in the elevator?”

“Oh, she’s getting off on the 8th floor. That’s a shame.”

People ask me all the time what it is like in the infusion center. Well, the infusion center is on the 8th floor. There is an open common area with a lot of lounge chairs. There are a few semi-private rooms with two or three chairs, as well as a few private rooms with one chair. There are a lot of windows. It’s very bright, and there is a lovely view of San Francisco.

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It’s pretty quiet in the infusion center. There’s the constant beeping of the IV machines, but you learn to tune it out. There is some talking, but it’s mainly the nurses. Almost every patient has a guest with them. The patient sits in the chemo chair, hooked up to their machine, and their guest sits next to them. You can hear hushed talking, but mostly the patient is reading or sleeping, and the guest is doing the same thing.

It sounds a little like a library in the infusion center … until I show up.

You see, I have this nervous talking thing. I talk a lot. My mother and my sister are taking turns going with me to chemo, and we are all talkers. From the minute I sit in the chemo chair until I leave, we are nonstop talking.

“And then he said, and then I said, and he’s all, and I’m all, oh let’s look at her Facebook page, show me the photo, did you see the video with the goats, remember the time, yeah I remember the time, so then I says to Mabel I says …”

And it goes on like that for the entire two hours.

I stopped talking long enough to take this chemo selfie.

I stopped talking long enough to take this chemo selfie.

The vibe is slightly different depending on if Michelle or my mother is with me. My mom and I tend to feed off each other’s anxiety. If I get nervous, then my mom gets nervous. If one of us starts crying then the other one will start crying. Michelle and I tend to balance each other out. If one of us gets upset or nervous, then the other one gets really calm. No matter if it’s Michelle or my mom, we talk the entire time. I always bring magazines to read, and we never read them.

I can’t decide if the nurses like me or tolerate me. All I know is that they’ve started putting me in more private rooms instead of the common area. In fact, one day they put me and Michelle in a really private room with its own restroom.

“Ugh. It’s those girls again. They never shut up. Is the that isolated room open? Good. I’ll put them in there.”

My fellow chemo patients don’t seem to mind. A few weeks ago I was set up in a room with one other patient. It was a man and his wife. The man was going to be receiving his chemo for 8 HOURS! Ugh. I’m there for two hours at the most. Eight hours is brutal. He fell asleep shortly after we arrived, and the wife was quietly typing on her laptop.

Michelle and I were talking (duh) about how she had bought our parents a Firestick for their TV and connected it to her Amazon account. My dad wanted to watch the movie “Last Vegas,” about a bunch of old men who go to Vegas, and instead of streaming it or renting it, he bought it. So now Michelle’s Amazon thinks she likes “Last Vegas.”

  • “If you like Last Vegas, you might like Grumpy Old Men.”
  • “If you like Last Vegas, you might like The Bucket List.”
  • “If you like Last Vegas, you might like any recent Robert De Niro movie.”

We were really cracking ourselves up. Then the woman at her laptop started cracking up.

“I’m really enjoying your sister show,” she said.

Two weeks ago there was an older gentleman who was not enjoying the sister show. He was giving us the side eye, but he left after 30 minutes. I assume his treatment was finished for the day, and that he didn’t leave early because of us.

“Ugh! I’d rather die of cancer than listen to these girls and their incessant yapping.” *rips the needle of our his arm and leaves*

quietyou

I only have five more treatments to go. Maybe I’ll throw a little chemo party in my chair during my last treatment. I’m sure the rest of the infusion center will celebrate after I leave.


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How can you tell if someone is a vegan? They write a blog post about it.

Yeah, so, my oncologist wants me to try a whole-food, plant-based diet.

He thinks a whole-food, plant-based diet is healthier, and considering that I’ve had cancer twice, he thinks it’s a good idea for me. The conversation went like this:

Doctor: “After chemotherapy is finished, I think you should try a whole-food, planted-based diet.”

Me: “HAAAAAA! I’m not doing that.”

Long-time readers of The Sonia Show probably remember that I was vegetarian for a while. I wasn’t very good at it. I fell off the vegetarian wagon whenever I was in the presence of fried chicken. There was also the time I got drunk and forgot I was a vegetarian and ate a bunch of sloppy joes at 2 a.m.

My oncologist and I have discussed my diet in the past. When I got cancer the first time in 2009, he encouraged me to go vegetarian. And I did … for a while. I fell off the wagon hardcore when I went on my honeymoon to Paris and Belgium with the idea that I’d jump back on the vegetarian wagon when I got home. Then I came home pregnant and, well, fuck it, I just started eating anything I wanted because I was knocked up.

Considering that I couldn’t handle being a vegetarian for very long, I’m pretty sure my attempts to be a vegan will fail miserably. Of course, it would make for really entertaining blog posts.

  • “Yeah, so, I got drunk and ate an entire vat of processed cheese … again.”
  • “Yeah, so, there’s no real meat in hot dogs, right? I mean, they are practically vegan.”
  • “Yeah, so, you know how I always have a lot of birds at my bird feeder … well, it turns out those birds are delicious. Let me explain.”

When the oncologist encouraged me to go vegetarian the first time, I didn’t eat that much meat anyway. It wasn’t a huge sacrifice. I followed his advice. I wanted to be healthy. I didn’t want cancer again. I had the mastectomy of my left breast. I took the tamoxifen. I was doing the things I needed to do to discourage a re-occurrence of cancer. But as time went by I started to take the diet less seriously. And then the cancer came back in December 2014. I had a mastectomy of my right breast. I’m doing chemotherapy. And now the doctor is telling me to try a vegan diet.

I am not suggesting that I got cancer because of what I ate. I don’t believe that at all. The doctor is not suggesting that I got cancer again because I stopped being a vegetarian. He just wants me to do everything I can to stop it from happening again.

I feel lucky that both times my cancer was caught early and hadn’t spread, but I also feel unlucky that I got cancer twice. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to prevent getting cancer a third time. Maybe it’s just some random shit. But you know what’s not random? My diet. I can control that. And, if changing my diet will improve the odds that it won’t happen again then I need to at least try it, right?

I’ve been tested twice for the cancer gene, and I don’t have the gene. But I have had cancer TWICE, so I feel like I need to act like I’m genetically predisposed to cancer even though I may not be. I don’t want to make it easy for cancer to come back. If eliminating meat and dairy from my diet will make it more difficult cancer to return, then OK fine, let’s try that. Why not? It can’t hurt to at least try this diet, and if it doesn’t work out, well, that’s OK – at least I tried.

I can already predict that I won’t be super hardcore. I am not on board with never eating another It’s-It or never having another fancy steak dinner. Plus, I think cheese is delicious. But I think, generally, I can stop eating meat (I’ve done it before), and I can – at least – cut down on dairy.

I was talking to my acupuncturist about the diet, because I like to talk to the guy who is sticking me with needles. He is vegan. I told him that I’m not comfortable with the word “never” – like I’m NEVER going to eat cheese again. And he said that it’s about moderation. If his family is having dinner at a friend’s house and that meal has dairy or meat, they are going to eat it anyway. If he eats some meat or dairy he doesn’t use it as an excuse to bail on the diet. I found that comforting. It makes the diet sound more doable to me. I could treat meat or cheese as, well, a treat. I’m down with that. I don’t want to be the person that always asking, “Is there butter in this?” I don’t want to be high maintenance. It’s my nightmare to be considered high maintenance. Of course, it’s also my nightmare that I might get cancer again.

Apparently, there is a difference between the vegan diet and the whole-food, plant-based diet (You can check out “Forks Over Knives” to learn more about the whole-food, plant-based diet). The diets are very similar, but the plant-based diet also eliminates oil, refined sugar and processed foods. Honestly, it would probably be easier to go vegan. I could eat fries all day and claim to be a vegan. Maybe I could start there and transition to the more hardcore whole-food, plant-based diet if I so desire.

I’m not going to start the diet right away. I’m still doing chemotherapy, and I think I should be able to eat whatever I want while having poison injected in my body. That’s only fair. In the meantime, I will prepare myself by watching documentaries about how everything we eat is killing us.

I will try not to go on and on here about my diet, because this isn’t a food blog, and I don’t want to bore you.

veganclub

You know, I started writing this blog back in 2003. This blog used to be about a single lady who liked to booze it up and rant about pop culture. Now it’s a boring-ass mommy blog about a lady with cancer. I’m surprised you’ve stayed with me this far, you guys. But I think if you can handle parenting and cancer blog posts, you can handle the occasional blog post about how I suck at diets.

What do you guys think? Have you tried a vegan diet or whole-food, plant-based diet?


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Revisiting Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Yeah, so, “The Empire Strikes Back” is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Why? Because Han Solo that’s why.

Also, it’s exciting, fun, dramatic and romantic. It’s the best “Star Wars” movie. I’m not sure I can even write about it in a thoughtful way. I just love it. I don’t need to explain it. GAWD!

I remember seeing it in the theater in 1980 and thinking Han Solo was the dreamiest man ever. I was 9 years old, and he was my first real celebrity crush. I liked him in “Star Wars,” but I LOVED him in “The Empire Strikes Back.” I wanted a scruffy-looking nerf herder of my own, even if I didn’t really know what that meant.

Like all kids my age, I was obsessed with “Star Wars” at the time. We had HBO (or maybe Showtime, I can’t remember exactly), and it aired “Star Wars” every day, multiple times a day. I had the movie memorized. I had the toys. I couldn’t wait to see “The Empire Strikes Back,” and it didn’t disappoint. I thought it was amazing.

So anyway, here’s my random thoughts while watching “The Empire Strikes Back” this time around.

  • Han: “Afraid I was going to leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?” Leia: “I’d just as soon kiss a wookie.” Han: “I can arrange that. You could use a good kiss.” I think we can all agree that kiss = fuck, right?
  • Random guy: “Sir, your tauntaun will freeze before you hit the first marker.” Han: “Then I’ll see you in hell.” RUDE! That’s not a nice way to respond to some rando that’s just trying to help you find Luke.
  • “Why, you , stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.” OH SNAP! Sick burn, Leia.

leia-kisses-luke

  • Leia kisses Luke. Eww. I’ve made some bad romantic decisions in my day, but at least I never made out with my brother to make another guy jealous. George Lucas knew that Luke and Leia were brother and sister all along, right? I’m a little surprised that the movie would have them kiss or have any romantic tension between them at all considering where it was headed.
  • The battle on the ice planet (the sixth planet in the Hoth system) is still awesome. The introduction of the AT-ATs is so cool.
  • “I feel like I could take on the entire Empire by myself.” Oh, Dak. You might as well have talked about how you only had two days to retirement and you were going to sail around on your boat “Live-4-Eva.”
  • Yoda the puppet > Yoda the digital effect
  • “You like me because I’m a scoundrel.” He is not wrong. Am I right, ladies?
  • Yoda sends Luke into the spooky cave that is strong with the dark side. I think we all have a cave that is strong with the dark side, and in it we can explore and work out our daddy issues. Wow. That sounded dirtier than I intended. I don’t want you guys thinking about my cave. Stop thinking about my cave, you guys!
  • Working for Darth Vader would be the worst. If you make a mistake he uses The Force to choke you out. I would settle for a bad performance review, but I assume the Empire doesn’t have a HR department.
  • Han Solo is always translating for Chewbacca. Doesn’t anyone a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away want to learn a new language? If a wookie is going to be hanging out with you all the time maybe you try to learn a few key phrases. Or better yet, maybe Chewbacca needs to try Rosetta Stone or something.
  • Yoda: “Size matters not.” Luke: “That’s what she said.”

yoda

  • Damn, Lando is smooth. They should have known that they couldn’t trust him, though. The guy wears a cape. I wouldn’t trust a man who wears a cape (other than a superhero, of course).
  • Boba Fett is so cool in this movie that they rewarded him with an unfortunate origin story in the prequels.
  • When Lando opens the door and Darth Vader is sitting at the table, I was absolutely terrified the first time I saw this movie. I was so scared of Darth Vader. Now I imagine the awkward meal they shared.
  • Once again, Darth Vader is standing right next to Leia and he doesn’t seem to realize that she is his daughter. WTF! He knows that Luke is his son, and he knows that Padme had twins. Does Darth Vader’s Force not acknowledge women? Sexist!
  • “I know.” [swoons]
  • I cried in the theater when they froze Han. I cried really hard.
  • Funny story: When I first saw “The Empire Strikes Back” and Darth Vader tells Luke that he is his father, I thought he was lying. I totally didn’t believe it. People would say, “I can’t believe Darth Vader is Luke’s father,” and I would say, “That’s because he isn’t Luke’s father. He’s lying. He’s a bad guy, and bad guys lie. He is trying to trick Luke.” I truly believed this, even though Luke searched his feelings and knew it to be true. It wasn’t until my repeated viewings of “Empire” on cable that I searched my feelings and knew it to be true, so I was on board by the time “Return of the Jedi” came out in theaters.

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  • Why is Lando dressed like Han Solo at the end of the movie? Does flying the Millennium Falcon require a uniform?

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  • The Empire Strikes Back” is the first movie I saw as a kid in which the good guys didn’t win at the end. With Han Solo still frozen in carbonite and on his way to Jabba the Hutt, I couldn’t believe it when the movie was over. “BUT WHAT ABOUT HAN?” The fact that the movie was over with unresolved stories seemed unfathomable to me, but it’s part of what made me love it even more than “Star Wars.”

I’ve got one more “Star Wars” movie to go! You can read my random thoughts about “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars.” I will get to “Return of the Jedi” very soon.


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Texting about baseball

Yeah, so, welcome to the first installment of “Eric & Sonia Text About Baseball.”

My brother Eric and I like to text each other during San Francisco Giants games. It’s usually just random comments about the game or how about shitty the commercials are. I would say that the thing we text about the most is Joaquin Arias, one of the Giants players.

He’s not a terrible player. He’s a perfectly passable player. He’s had his moments. He’s certainly better at baseball than us. The comments are along the lines of “Oh good, they put Arias in. We’re sure to win now” and “Arias, wheee.”

The following is a text conversation between me and Eric that started with Arias and the laughably disappointing Casey McGehee and turned into a discussion about about the all-star game. It demonstrates how very intelligent our baseball conversations get. I’m the green chat bubble, and Eric is gray.

text1 text2


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Dude, where’s my hair?

Yeah, so, the taxol is leaving me with low energy, which – combined with the fact that I’m essentially a lazy person – means I’ve been sitting around on the couch watching “Orange Is The New Black” for two weeks instead of writing on my blog. Sorry about that.

Along with the depleted energy level, the other current taxol side effects are sleeplessness with hot flashes and a sensitive stomach. I’m trying all kinds of different things to make sleep happen for me. I told my acupuncturist that I was having trouble sleeping, and he put a needle in my head.

acupunture

It didn’t hurt. Weird.

I only have seven more taxol treatments to go and then I will be finished with chemo. I am so over chemo. I’m ready to be done with it. My hair is over it, too. It’s growing back. On July 4th, we went to Concord to hang out with family and take The Boy swimming, and it was so hot that I decided to go wigless in public for the first time. Good buddy Kate called it my Independence (from wigs) Day.

wigless

So anyway, we were planning on staying in SF on July 4th, but Calvin took out his swim suit, handed it to David and said, “Pool?” So we packed up our stuff and spent the afternoon swimming at my sister’s place in Concord. Calvin spent four hours in the pool; mainly running and jumping into the pool to Grandma.

JUMP

JUMP!

I watched from the sidelines, because public pools are swimming with bacteria, and it’s not wise for a chemo patient to swim in bacteria with our compromised immune systems. I was content to sip my Diet Pepsi in the shade and watch my boy throw himself into the pool.

My sister manages the tallest office building in Concord (#humblebrag). We went to the top of the building to watch the fireworks. You can see the fireworks for Concord, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and more from up there. We thought Calvin would be scared of the fireworks, but he thought they were hilarious. He laughed really hard every time they went off. Not the reaction we were expecting, but we’ll take it.

fireworks

 

Yesterday, good buddy Corso’s work got a luxury suite at AT&T Park, and she invited me to be her guest. Oh la la. We’re so fancy. I have been in a luxury suite at an Oakland A’s game and a Warriors game – that’s when I worked at the San Francisco Examiner. I had never been in a luxury suite at a San Francisco Giants game. The suites are, well, pretty sweet. They are stocked up with food and drinks, and they have a great view. We had an awesome time – even though the Giants lost to the Mets. It sure is fun to see how the other half lives.

Corso recently hurt her knee and is wearing a knee brace and using a cane. I’m a chemo patient. Together: We’re Giant. Ha ha! We made quite a pair.

luxurysuite

Sweet suite view.

Also, single ladies, let me tell you once again, if you want male attention at a Giants game, wear an orange wig. Apparently, the orange wig makes me approachable. To be honest, I’m not quite comfortable with that much male attention. I certainly didn’t get that attention when I was single. Some of the attention is the gross “does the carpet match the drapes” variety, but some of it is just nice guys looking to chat up a lady. One balding gentleman asked me what my hair looks like under the wig, and I said, “Pretty much like yours.” He thought I was kidding.

wigless2

I’m not comfortable going wigless all the time yet. I’m still wearing my wigs when I’m out with friends or running errands and what not. Maybe I’m working up to being that brave. Honestly, I imagined that I would be wearing wigs until my hair was closer to its original length, because I’m vain. Now, I’m feeling like I will be confident enough to go wigless when my hair is about pixie cut length. I consider that progress.

 


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Giraffe Day

Yeah, so, I fed a giraffe yesterday.

I don’t like to use the term “bucket list” because I’m not dying, so let’s just say that feeding a giraffe was on my list of things I’d really want to do (along with feeding penguins). Feeding penguins seems damn-near impossible to make happen – unless a plan a trip to Antarctic or the Galapagos Islandsand until they open a plush hotel near the penguins I’m not doing that. Feeding giraffes, it turns out, was pretty easy to make happen.

Everyone knows that Sunday was Father’s Day, but it was also World Giraffe Day. And, to celebrate World Giraffe Day, the Oakland Zoo was selling tickets to feed the giraffes. The tickets were $10. I bought them online. It was that easy. (FYI: In order to feed the giraffes at the San Francisco Zoo, you have to rent of one of their party spaces and invite like 80 of your closest friends and spend thousands of dollars.)

Mighty, mighty good man David is such a good sport. It was Father’s Day, and the day really should have been all about him and doing whatever he wanted to do, but he was willing to spend it doing something that was on my list of things to do. He’s a nice man. My brother-in-law Tony is a good sport, too, because he spent his Father’s Day at the zoo, too, with my sister and the girls. (Big thanks to the Mansfield-Hicks family and my mom for spending the afternoon with us at the zoo. Feeding the giraffes means something special to me, and I was so happy they were there.)

So, yeah, the giraffes were beautiful. They were so sweet and very gentle. They are amazing animals.

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giraffe2

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I was worried that Calvin wouldn’t be into it, or worse, be afraid of the giraffes. It was opposite. He was so excited. He ran up to them and immediately started feeding them. He wasn’t afraid of them at all. The Boy really loves animals.

giraffe-calvin

You can’t see it, but Calvin has the biggest smile on his face.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t cry in front of the giraffes this time. Instead, I cried after where they couldn’t see me, so I wouldn’t be embarrassed.

 


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Random thoughts about Miss Fisher, Daniel Tiger and more

Yeah, so, the countdown to finishing chemo continues … 10 more taxol treatments to go.

The side effects of taxol have been pretty minimal so far. My face and chest get flushed the day after. I feel a little rundown. I get really exhausted by the end of the day, but I’m having trouble sleeping. Go figure. Also, I’m getting hot flashes in the middle of the night. Wheee!  Still, taxol has been way more manageable then the AC treatment.

Oh, my hair is growing back! I’ve got some white peach fuzz on my head. Not gray. White. I have no idea if it’s going to stay that color, or if this white peach fuzz will fall out, too, but I’m happy it’s growing back. The color doesn’t matter. As soon as my hair is long enough I will dye it red anyway. In the meantime, my friend Sass has recommended I go for this look:

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Maybe I could pull off the Bridgette Nielsen in “Beverly Hills Cop 2″ look.

So anyway, I finished the first two seasons of “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” that are on Netflix. Let me sum it up for you: It’s about a lady detective in 1920s Australia, and she solves murders. It’s kinda like “Murder She Wrote,” but the clothes are way cooler. The mysteries are not that difficult to figure out. The villains are always leaving pieces of paper with clues written on them. But I love the show. I love the cast, and I love the lead character’s clothes. They are gorgeous. I want her closet.

missfisher

Season 3 is airing right now in Australia, and I will need to wait patiently for it to make its way to Netflix. I could buy the episodes on iTunes, but I’d rather spend my money on other shit I don’t really need like lipstick that just sits in my bathroom drawer after one use because the color isn’t what I thought it was going to be.

Speaking of TV shows, Calvin is really into “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” right now. It’s fine. It’s not annoying like “Caillou.” It’s an animated show that is a spin-off of “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” set in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The show has great messages for young kids: grownups come back, counting to four when you’re angry, stuff like that. When Calvin discovers a new show, he gets really into it and watches it over and over. That means I’ve watched it over and over, and I’ve noticed a two things.

  • Daniel Tiger wears a hoodie and shoes, but no pants. However, when he goes to bed he wears a full set of pajamas. Why does he need pants to go to bed? Shouldn’t he be wearing pants when he’s in public?
  • In Daniel Tiger’s home, they have tiger-striped curtains. WTF?! That would be like me having curtains made out of human skin.

The silence of the tigers: It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the curtains again.

The silence of the tigers: It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the curtains again.

So, one of the positives about chemotherapy is I’m off work until the end of August. And while chemo sucks, I am enjoying watching TV shows and movies that I normally wouldn’t have time to watch. I’m really glad I get to watch Jon Stewart’s victory lap on “The Daily Show.” If you didn’t see the episode with Stewart’s take on Donald Trump’s presidential run announcement and Pizza Hut’s gross new pizza, then I highly suggest you watch it. I laughed so hard I cried. I’m really going to miss Jon Stewart.

Last week I watched “Nightcrawler,” starring a super creepy Jake Gylenhaal. It’s a really good movie, but dark so consider yourself warned. This week I watched “Cabaret,” which surprisingly I have never seen. I enjoyed it. Liza Minnelli is pretty great in it, and I can see why she won the Best Actress Oscar. Her character is thisclose to being a manic pixie dream girl, but Minnelli’s performance makes her more than that. Joel Grey won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the MC, beating out James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino (!) for “The Godfather,” and that is absolutely ridiculous.

I am still working my way through all the “Star Wars” movies. You can read my random thoughts about “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars.” I will get to “The Empire Strikes Back” very soon.

I’m getting to end this post with a cute photo of The Boy eating ice cream because I can.

icecream


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Revisiting Star Wars: A New Hope

Yeah, so, I made it through the “Star Wars” prequels. This means I now get to watch the original trilogy, which makes me really happy, because I love the original trilogy. Obviously.

princessleia

Sadly, I don’t own the ORIGINAL original trilogy. I own the “special edition” trilogy with all the extra shit that George Lucas added. The movies didn’t need all the extra digital creatures and added scenes. The movies were great just the way they were. Like a lot of folks, I would prefer to watch the non-special editions, the versions I grew up watching, because I don’t like things messing with my memories, but I don’t have those, so special edition it is.

I haven’t sat down and watched “Star Wars: A New Hope” in a while. It’s been several years, for sure. I know that Spike TV airs the “Star Wars” movies on a loop, and occasionally I’ll leave it on for a few minutes and watch a little of whatever movie from the original trilogy they’re showing. but not often. I’m not one of those “Star Wars” nerds that watches the “Star Wars” movies all the time, or reads the books, or watches “The Clone Wars.” My “Star Wars” nerdom is at a well-adjusted level … I think.

R2D2-ears

I love the movies. I have watched them countless times. I quote them. (“No reward is worth this” – something I say at work quite often.) I have a “Star Wars” ringtone.  I have a framed “Star Wars” poster and random “Star Wars” statues and action figures throughout my house. I’m definitely a “Star Wars” goober.

My old hair with Darth Vader, because why not?

So anyway, it’s time to watch “A New Hope,” which is the movie that spawned my first real movie star crush on Han Solo.

  • That entrance by Darth Vader: It’s like a rock star entrance. “Hello people of Alderran! Are you ready to rock?” I remember being so frightened by Darth Vader as a kid. Little did I know that he’s just a burn victim with a broken heart.
  • When Princess Leia is first brought before Darth Vader, doesn’t he know that she is his daughter? Wouldn’t the Force tell him that or something?
  • Oh, sorry. Spoiler alert! Princess Leia and Luke are Darth Vaders’ kids.
  • One of the things that works so well in “Star Wars” is, unlike the prequels, we can relate to Luke. He is as close as we get to an everyman in this movie, so other characters explain things such as the Force or hyperspace to him, but they are really describing it to us. It’s helpful. We could have used a character like that in the prequels.
  • Han Solo is such a dreamy scoundrel.
  • I wrote about my feelings on Han Solo shooting first riiight here. Short version: It’s bullshit, and it makes me angry. George Lucas had it right the first time, and he shouldn’t have changed it.

han

  • I don’t like the added scene with Jabba the Hutt either. I always thought it was cool that we didn’t see Jabba until “Return of the Jedi.” He had been mentioned in the earlier films, and I remember thinking it was exciting that we finally got to see him in “Return of the Jedi.” Plus, in the added scene Han steps on him. WTF? Wouldn’t Jabba have him killed on the spot for such a thing?
  • Carrie Fisher is so beautiful, and she’s a kickass Princess Leia.
  • “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.” – Han Solo with one of the best lines of dialogue ever, in my opinion.
  • There is already an emotional weight behind the lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but there is a lot more when you’ve seen the prequels. What’s great about that scene is it’s just a sword fight. The prequel lightsaber fights are all crazy choreography but none of the emotion – at least not until the final battle in “Revenge of the Sith.”
  • Why doesn’t Chewbacca get a medal at the end of the movie? Racism!

no-medal

  • If I was in galaxy far, far away, I’d like to think that I’d be brave and awesome like Luke, Leia or Han Solo, but the truth is I’m C-3PO. I’m such a C-3PO.
  • “Star Wars” is so fun and so well done that it’s difficult to believe that George Lucas wrote and directed it.

Want more “Star Wars?” You can read my thoughts about “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” Up next: One of my all-time favorite movies, “The Empire Strikes Back.”


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I probably should stop buying wigs now

Yeah, so, one down, 11 more to go.

I had my first weekly taxol infusion on Friday. I was really anxious about starting taxol, even though all the doctors kept telling me that taxol is much easier to deal with than the AC I’ve been doing since March. The thing with taxol is some people have an allergic reaction to it. You get all red, your chest feels heavy, and your throat closes up. Sounds super scary, right? I knew the nurses would watch me closely for my first injection, and they would step right in if I had a reaction, but the idea of having the reaction at all gave me incredible anxiety.

I had more anxiety sitting in the chemo chair on Friday then I had the first time I did chemo. I was able to keep my anxiety under control … a little. I started crying, and I got a slight rash on my arms and legs, which I am now convinced are anxiety related. I got the same thing in the hospital when I had a fever and freaked out, and it went away after I calmed down. The nurse gave me Benadryl before the taxol, just in case there was a reaction, but there was no reaction.

In fact, not much happened at all. I was just loopy from Benadryl. After my infusion, I went home, had a piece of toast, took some Zofran (just in case), and slept for four hours. On Saturday, my face and chest were flushed. I was red, like I’d been in the sun, but by Sunday it was gone. And now, other than feeling a little rundown, I feel pretty OK. Other side effects might be coming, including losing my sense of taste and bone pain, but so far, so good. Of course, I’ve only had one dose. I suspect those side effects will come after a few doses, but I’m trying not to think about that right now.

So, that’s the chemo update. What else should we talk about?

Oh, I got a new wig. I know, I know. I have too many wigs now. Including the green, orange and red wig I bought, I have a total of seven wigs. Maybe I have a wig-buying problem. The first step is admitting you have a problem … But I wanted a cool summer look, so I decided to get just one more wig.

Red with blond streaks: What do you think?

Red with blond streaks: What do you think?

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