The Sonia Show

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

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The watch list

Yeah, so, I’m back at work this week.

See? Here’s me totally single white female-ing my coworker Paul.


Being back at work after being out of the office for almost six months has been a little strange, but good. I’m excited to get back to normal (or as normal as I get anyway) and get back to a routine. Everyone at work has been super awesome while I was out, filling in for me, and they have been very kind since I have returned. Even the Office Busybody has been respectful and welcomed me back without some crazy comments about my hair. That was a little disappointing. I was hoping to get a really good blog post out of her reaction. Oh well.

So anyway, now that I’m back at work, that means I’m not sitting around watching TV shows and movies all day. I’m back to screwing around on the internet all day. Wheeeee. I watched a lot of stuff while I was recovering, and I compiled a handy list, just in case you are interested.


There are a lot of other movies and TV shows I watched but they fall into the “regular viewing schedule,” so they didn’t make the list. TV shows such as “Game of Thrones,” “The Daily Show,” “Inside Amy Schumer” are all TV shows I would be watching even if I wasn’t recovering from chemo all day. Same goes for some movies such as “Captain America: Winter Solider,” X-Men Days of Future Past and “Song of the Sea.” I would be watching those movies in the evening with David anyway.

I also didn’t include the occasional “Law & Order” episodes, because – duh – obviously I was watching “Law & Order” during recovery. Everyone watches “Law & Order” when they are sick at home. I’m pretty sure it’s a federal law, and it might soon be a constitutional amendment. It’s one of the hotly debated issues of the presidential election. Bernie Sanders is all for it, but Trump is against it. Trump is such a dick.

So anyway, here we go – these are the TV shows and movies that I watched during the day throughout my chemotherapy recovery. In other words, TV shows and movies that I watched when I would have normally been working.

  • Phantom Menace
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • North By Northwest – An unexpectedly fun Hitchcock movie that I wrote about back in April.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – I had no idea this movie was so funny. Everyone remembers Marilyn Monroe in this movie, but I’m all about Jane Russell. She is awesome in this.
  • They Came Together – If you love Wet Hot American Summer, then you will really love They Came Together, a romantic comedy spoof with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd.
  • Badlands – Not sure why I chose to watch this one, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. It’s a good movie, but it wasn’t as great as I expected.
  • In The Heat Of The NightI wrote about this one in April, too.
  • Boyhood – Cool idea. Good performances.
  • Nightcrawler – I wrote about Nightcrawler riiight here.
  • Cabaret – I shared my thoughts about Cabaret in this blog post.
  • Roman Holiday – Audrey Hepburn is absolutely gorgeous in this movie, and Gregory Peck isn’t exactly hard to look at, either. A real charmer with an ending I did not expect.
  • Birdman – Everyone was talking about Michael Keaton in this movie, but I think Edward Norton steals the movie. He’s really great. I also think the movie went on about five minutes too long. It had a natural ending point, in my opinion, but then went on for some weird ending that is left open to interpretation.
  • Whiplash – Great performances and editing, but I wanted to love it more. I thought it was just OK. However, I understand why it won the Oscars it did.
  • The French Connection – Gene Hackman and Roy Schneider were the shit back in the day.
  • Top Five – Entertaining movie starring Chris Rock playing a comedian-turned-actor. I liked this one. It has funny moments, and I enjoyed the commentary on Hollywood and movies.
  • Laura – An oldie but a goodie. Plus, it’s got a young Vincent Price.
  • The Searchers – There’s a reason it’s a classic. If you haven’t seen it, you should see it.
  • Funny Girl – OK, so, I think Barbra Streisand is fabulous in the movie. I like the songs. But ultimately the relationship between Streisand and Omar Sharif falls flat for me. He’s kind of a jerk. Maybe that’s the point?
  • Wet Hot American Summer – I finally watched this for the first time. I know that everyone loves it, and it’s basically a cult classic now. While watching it I was amused but didn’t think it was THAT funny. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was funny. It grew on me, and I think I would laugh even more if I watched it again. Which is why I watched …
  • Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp – I laughed quite a bit watching this. Also, Paul Rudd hasn’t aged. That’s weird.
  • Show Me A Hero (six-part miniseries) – You can watch this on HBO OnDemand right now. You should. It’s so great. I know that The Wire’s David Simon is behind it, and it reminds me a little bit of that great series in that it focuses on an issue – in this case, public housing – from all angles. Plus, as someone who used to work as a reporter and sat in many planning department and city council meetings, I found it very accurate.
  • Tig (documentary) – All about comedian Tig Notaro and how her breast cancer diagnosis changed her life and her career. Obviously, I can relate.
  • I Am Chris Farley (documentary) –This documentary is like an episode of “The Chris Farley Show:” “Hey, remember how funny Farley was? That was awesome.” It never explores his demons. I enjoyed watching it, because I love watching the old Farley clips, and hearing that he was a funny, nice guy from his friends and coworkers, but I didn’t learn that much about him.
  • The Wrecking Crew (documentary) – All those songs from the 1960s that you love? This band played on it. Interesting subject matter, but the documentary isn’t as well made as I would have liked.
  • Do I Sound Gay? (documentary) – I watched this, and I don’t remember the answer to the question in the title.
  • Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger (documentary) – I thought this was going to be a documentary about how Whitey was on the run for 16 years and how they caught him. Instead it’s about Whitey and his ties to some FBI agents and FBI corruption, which I had no idea about. I guess I should try reading the news every once in a while.
  • Prime Suspect (seven seasons) – Helen Mirren is the best. However, Prime Suspect is a super bummer. Really depressing stuff. Lots of dead kids. Consider yourself warned.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (one season) – Did you like 30 Rock? Then you’ll like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, too.
  • Catastrophe (six-episode season) – Catastrophe on Amazon was probably my best discovery. SO FUNNY!
  • Orange Is The New Black (three seasons) – It’s the binge-ist show on Netflix, yes?
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (two seasons) – It’s like Murder, She Wrote but set in the 1920s. The mysteries are not challenging, but the cast has a wonderful chemistry. It was a very enjoyable, easy-to-watch show. I went through it quickly, and I wrote about it riiight here.
  • Bloodline (one season) – Anything with Kyle Chandler is worth watching in my book. Also, Ben Mendelsohn gives an amazing performance in it. His performance is so great I’m sure it will NOT win an Emmy, because Emmy voters are idiots. I binged this show in just a few days, and I wrote about it back in April.
  • Chef’s Table (documentary series) – I have only watched two episodes of this six-part series, but it’s very interesting – focusing on innovative chefs and exploring how they became chefs and why they cook the way they cook.
  • Forks Over Knives (documentary) – This is the documentary my oncologist recommended to me, because he wanted me to switch to a vegan diet. It’s very compelling. I suspect quite a few folks have watched this documentary and changed their diets.
  • Vegucated (documentary) – Another documentary about vegan diets because I need documentaries to tell me what to eat.
  • Hungry For Change (documentary) – Interesting, but not as compelling as Forks Over Knives.



Bye, Felicia and by ‘Felicia’ I mean ‘chemo’

Yeah, so, I finished my last chemo treatment. Let’s dance, you guys!

I don’t think it’s really hit me yet that I’m finished with chemo. I think it will really sink in next Friday when I don’t have to go to chemo again. Whenever I would start to feel good that’s when it was time to go for another round of chemo. I’m going to start feeling better, and instead of doing something that makes me feel crappy again, I’m going to keep feeling better and better. I’m so happy to be finished, and I’m looking forward to moving on.


The first day of chemo. Gosh, I miss that hair.

Last day of chemo.

Last day of chemo.

To thank all the nurses in the infusion center, I baked some chocolate chip cookies. Vegan, of course. I’m vegan now, and I’m the worst. I could have baked regular chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted to eat them, too (duh). Plus, Calvin is allergic to eggs, so he can’t have regular chocolate chip cookies. And, because of Calvin’s allergy, I already bake vegan treats, and I know how delicious they taste.

This was my first time baking vegan chocolate chip cookies, but I found a great recipe, and they turned out really yummy.



The cookies were a big hit in the infusion center. One of the nurses notified my oncologist that I bought in vegan chocolate chip cookies, and he ran over to get one. He came to visit me in my chemo chair and his reaction was so funny. He was proud.

Doctor: “Oh my god, Sonia! You made vegan chocolate cookies!”
Me: “Do you like them? I was worried that nobody would like them, and I told my husband to lie to me and say they were good so I would be able to sleep last night.”
Doctor: “They are so good, Sonia. I shoved the whole thing in my mouth.”
Me (in my head): “That’s what she said.”
Doctor: “They are really good. I’m going to go get another one before they are all gone.”

I’m glad the doctor got a cookie since he’s the one who talked me into this diet in the first place. “Thanks for helping me fight cancer and putting me on a vegan diet, jerk. Have a cookie.” Ha!

On a related note, I offered mighty, mighty good boy Calvin a cookie last night, and he said no and asked for peas. (#weirdo). Of course, I posted all of this and a photo on Facebook, because if you don’t post every single moment of your life on social media then it didn’t really happen. I’m including my brother Eric’s comment, because it’s hilarious.



In all seriousness, I baked the cookies and wrote a thank-you note because I wanted the nurses at the Kaiser infusion center to know how grateful I am. I do a lot of nervous talking when I’m getting chemo, and they always listen and laugh politely. They took really good care of me. I felt really lucky to have such nice folks looking out for me. My nurse for my final treatment was Luis, who was my nurse for my first chemo treatment. The infusion center is lucky I didn’t bust out singing “The Circle of Life.” He is such a cool guy. After I was finished he said, “I hope to never see you in here again. I’ll look for you at the ballpark.”

Of course, I still have a few more cancer-related medical adventures to undertake in the coming months, including my reconstruction surgery (mostly likely in October) and hormone therapy (meaning my oncologist is going to give me shots and shut down my ovaries – good times), probably starting in November. Maybe I’m being naive, but these are minor procedures compared to a mastectomy and chemotherapy, so I feel confident I can handle it. The most important thing to remember is I’m cancer free.

Current status of the Mansfield-Tracy household: There’s no stopping us.

I have the most amazing support system on the planet. And this brings me to the part of the blog post I like to call, “Sonia thanks everyone for everything.”

Mad props to my mom and sister who took turns driving me to chemo. While I’ll miss getting to hang out for two hours and chat every week uninterrupted, I won’t miss the chemo part. Thanks to my good buddy Kate, who took time off of work to hang out, including taking me to baseball games, the movies and Chili’s (because Chili’s is awesome and I’ll fight anyone who says it isn’t), and for entertaining me when I was at my lowest point.

Orange wig alert!

Good buddy Kate is a good buddy.

Thank you, Corso, for visiting all the time and bringing food. Thank you, Beegs, for going to weekly yoga with me even though she has to drive over a bridge to go, and Jess, who taught me to knit, which I still completely suck at and need constant supervision. And thank you Katie and Erika, whose texts and cards (in the mail – so old fashioned) always seemed to arrive just when I needed them. And thank you to my Aunt Jeanne, who brought over dinners and happily hung out with Calvin so David and I could go out to dinner when I felt up for it.


Green wig, Beegs and Corso!


Look at this hat that Jess knitted me. It’s so cute. She’s the best.

I have a lot of really awesome friends who emailed, texted, tweeted and Facebooked me all the time, cheering me up and cheering me on. I appreciate everyone’s positive thoughts and good vibes. I can’t list everyone, because it would be the longest blog post ever. Take my word for it: I’m so fuckin’ lucky! I’m a stupid asshole yet somehow I have managed to acquire the most wonderful, thoughtful, smart, good-hearted and hilarious friends. I have the most amazing people in my life.

And, OF COURSE, super-big thanks to my mighty, mighty good man David, who took great care of me every day. I could write a million blog posts about how awesome David is. He is the best person I know. Also, he is really handsome.


So handsome.

And thank you to my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin, who is always so quick to give me a hug when I need it. The Kid didn’t bat an eye when all my hair fell out. No matter how I looked or how crappy I felt, I was still mommy, and he was sweet to me. He’s such a good kid.

And I need to thank you guys – my tens of readers – for continuing to read this blog throughout my chemo adventure. Reading about cancer and chemo is a bummer, so thanks for sticking around. You’re good people. (If you found this post while googling stuff about chemo, you might like my blog post with all kinds of useful chemo tips that helped me get through it.)

And, as for you, chemo, well … Bye, Felicia.


Hit me baby, one more time

Yeah, so, one more chemo to go, you guys. Let’s dance!


By this time next week, I’ll be finished with chemo. I’m getting really excited.

My mom and I during my penultimate chemo appointment. Isn't my mom super cute?

My mom and I during my penultimate chemo appointment. Actually, it’s my penultimate chemo, and her last one with me. Next week my sister is taking me. Not only is my mom super cute (isn’t my mom super cute, you guys?), she’s the nicest lady on the planet.

There are a still few things I need to do after chemo, including removing my port and my reconstruction surgery, but those seem so minor compared to chemo. I’m never really looking forward to going under the knife; however, I am looking forward to getting my implants and having a nice rack again. I have some great dresses and tops that I haven’t been able to while during this transitional phase. I’m looking forward to being able to wear my clothes without worrying if my boobs like even – stuff like that. It’s going to be awesome.

In other news, my hair is really starting to come in. It started growing it after AC was finished, so this is about 12 weeks of growth.

hair1 hair2

Not too shabby, right? Once it fills in a little more on top I’ll feel more confident about ditching the wigs entirely. AND, once it really fills in, I will dye it red, because duh, of course I’m doing to dye it red.

So anyway, let’s talk about something else.

Hey, remember earlier this week when I almost burned down my house while making rice? Well, I made something else this week, and I managed not to start a small fire. Of course, this recipe involve frozen bananas and a blender, so it would have been difficult to start a fire, but if there was a way, I would have figured it out, I’m sure.

The Kid is really into “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” right now. It’s a nice show for kids. It has positive messages about listening, sharing and shit like that. One of the episodes that Calvin is into right now is about trying new food because it might taste good. We watch it on Netflix, and you can also find the episode on YouTube. The episode has inspired Calvin to try new food. He asked me for vegetables to try. He even tried some Thai food the other night, and he seemed to like it. It’s awesome.

Also, in the episode, Daniel Tiger’s mother makes something called “Banana Swirl.” It’s simple. You put bananas in the freezer, then put the frozen bananas in a blender and you’ve basically got banana ice cream. Calvin asked for me it, and I figured, “Sure, let’s try a recipe you saw in a cartoon. What could go wrong?”


Actually, nothing went wrong. It’s super easy, and it does taste like banana ice cream. You could mix it was walnuts or chocolate, but I just served it to him as is, and he really enjoyed it.

Of course, now he calls it “Banana Squirrel,” which I think is a solid name for it.


Burning down the house

Yeah, so, I almost burned the house down making rice. True story.

I started a pot of rice and then forgot about it. I was screwing around on my computer and completely forgot about it. I could even smell the smoke, and it still didn’t register in my brain that I was almost burning down my house.

“Someone is burning something,” I thought. “It’s really strong … One of the neighbors must be burning something. … Maybe there’s a fire nearby. … Wow! It’s starting to get smoky in here. I wonder who is burning something. … OH FUCK! IT’S ME.”

It took me an embarrassingly long time to remember that I put something on the stove and it was burning. I would love to blame it on “chemo brain,” in which you become absent-minded and easily distracted. However, I was doing crap like this before chemo. I’ve been known to start making hamburgers or put on a pot of water to boil and then wander off. Oh, and of course, there’s the time I lost the car.

Mighty, mighty good man David is usually around to help me. Whether he drives around looking for my car or quietly walks over to the stove and flips the burgers or turns down the heat on the boiling water, he saves me from doing something stupid. He’s in LA this week for work. Hopefully, there will still be a house for him to come home to.

So anyway, let’s talk about something else. Check out my awesome new shoes.


They are Keds, and I bought them on Zappos.


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Let him eat cake

Yeah, so, good buddy Kate came over last night, and she brought some really tasty vegan Mexican food from Gracias Madre. With our meals, she also brought a slice of vegan chocolate cake and vegan strawberry ice cream. We divided it up into two bowls, and Calvin started doing a happy dance.

“It’s cake! It’s cake!”

That’s when it occurred to me that Calvin really hasn’t eaten a lot of cake. Maybe even no cake. He’s allergic to eggs. I’ve made him eggless cupcakes before. But every birthday party we’ve been at there’s been cake that he can’t have, and I offer him a substitute – an eggless cupcake, a cookie, etc.

“Good news, buddy. You can have some of this cake,” I told him.

I guess by “some” he thought I meant “all.” He was very insistent that the bowl be placed in front of him, and I had to sneak bites when he wasn’t looking. He was so happy.

“It’s delicious,” he repeated.

I want to be the boy with the most cake.

Interesting side note: I was letting him eat this cake at 10 p.m. Great mom or greatest mom?

And the greatest mom hits keep on coming … It was about 10:30 when Kate left, and in the interest of getting to bed without issue, I let Calvin sleep with me. I know, I know. Probably not my smartest move, but mighty, mighty good man David is traveling, and – well – there’s room in the bed, and it makes Calvin so happy.

As we were falling asleep, he rolled toward me and whispered, “The cake was delicious.”

One more story: When Kate came over, she brought her dog, Foxie. Calvin loves Foxie. She is very sweet, and she has a lot more energy than Homer. Homer is an elder statesman now. He moves slow, and he is constantly looking for a comfortable stop to take a nap. Foxie sprints around the house, and Calvin thinks she is hilarious.

At one point Foxie hopped up on the couch and kinda rolled around, then hopped down and ran off. There was a little bit of fur on the couch where she was rolling.

Calvin saw it and pointed at it: “Oh no! She’s broken.”

Strangely, I don’t have a photo of Foxie, so you’ll just have to look at this drawing Kate did for Calvin of Foxie and Homer last time she babysat.




Revisiting Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Yeah, so, it’s time to finish this.

Throughout my chemotherapy recovery I’ve been revisiting all the “Star Wars” movies. You can read my random thoughts about “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” Now, with chemo almost finished (yay!), it’s time to wrap up my little project with “Return of the Jedi.”

I first saw “Return of the Jedi” when I was 12. I loved it, because I was 12. I thought the ewoks were adorable. Years later, I watched “Return of the Jedi” again, and my feelings changed a bit. I thought the ewoks were kinda annoying, and I didn’t like the lame way they killed off Boba Fett. It’s definitely a flawed movie, but it’s still very entertaining. It is my least favorite of the original three movies, but my esteem for it grew after being so disappointed by the prequels.

I haven’t watched the “Return of the Jedi” Special Edition since I saw it in the theater, but I remember really not liking the added effects and scenes. They were distracting and unnecessary. And, like everyone else, I really hate that George Lucas added Hayden Christensen’s ghost at the end, but more on that later.

Let’s get started. Here’s my random thoughts while watching “Return of the Jedi.”

  • Here’s my impression of me walking into Jabba’s Palace: “Oh, there’s live music tonight.” *leaves Jabba’s Palace*
  • The added musical number in Jabba’s Palace is complete garbage. I think we can all agree on that. It’s really terrible. I would say I hate it as much as “Han shot first” from “Star Wars,” but at least this additional scene doesn’t alter anyone’s character arc. However, it’s just awful.
  • The gang’s plan to rescue Han has a lot of holes in it. What if Jabba just dropped Chewbacca down into that hole to fight the creature instead of putting him in a cage? What if R2D2 wasn’t placed on the barge? What if they just scrapped him? I guess Luke’s light saber would have been scrapped, too? What if Leia was able to walk right out of Jabba’s Palace after freeing Han from the carbonite? Would they then have to come up with a new plan to save Chewbacca and the droids?
  • Yes, I own a Slave Leia costume. It’s none of your business if I have worn it for my husband.
  • The added effects to the Sarlacc Pit are ridiculous. Is that Audrey 2 from “Little Shop of Horrors”?

sarlaccpit Audrey2

  • I was so sad when Yoda died. I’m not made of stone, people.
  • Yoda and Obi Wan really could have helped Luke out by telling him the truth from the beginning. “Hey, Darth Vader is your father, and Leia is your sister, so stop making out with her.”
  • “Keep your distance, but don’t look like you’re keeping your distance. [Chewbacca roars] I don’t know. Fly casual.” LOL.
  • The speeder bike race is still awesome and exciting.
  • Why does Leia change clothes in the Ewok village? Was she just planning on living there? “Oh well. I got separated from my team. I guess this is my new life now.”
  • “Great, Chewy. Always thinking with your stomach.” Umm, that’s the first time I’ve seen Chewbacca think with his stomach, so I think “always” is overstating it just a bit.
  • “Hey! Point that thing someplace else.” That’s what she said.
  • Ain’t no party like an ewok party, because at an ewok party, we will maybe eat your friends.
  • I kinda love the scene in which C3PO recounts their adventures to the ewoks.
  • When Leia is sharing her memories of her mother with Luke, who is she remembering? We know that her mother died in childbirth (thank you, not-good prequels). Her adopted mother, perhaps?
  • The first meeting between the Emperor and Luke: The Emperor is so confident. I guess going to the Dark Side makes you a real asshole, huh?
  • It’s a trap!


  • I don’t like it when ewoks die. It bums me out. I realize that countless pilots and soldiers have been killed throughout these movies, and entire planet destroyed, but ewoks are so cute and fuzzy. I’m not a monster, you guys.
  • Chewbacca doing the Tarzan jungle call while swinging with ewoks on to an Imperial walker is stupid as hell. Is Tarzan a thing a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?
  • The added “NOOOOOOO” as Darth Vader destroys the Emperor is laughably unnecessary. This is another one of those added things that George Lucas thinks we need to tie all the movies together. We don’t.


  • Throughout the movie, Han Solo has no idea that Darth Vader is his girlfriend’s father. Just saying.
  • I’m fine with the added scenes of everyone celebrating the end of the Empire throughout the galaxy. However, I don’t dig the weird spa-like, new agey music over the “yub yub” song from the original “Return of the Jedi.”
  • And, why is Anakin’s ghost the young Anakin again? Obi Wan is old. Yoda is old. Shouldn’t Anakin be old? I mean, he was old when he died, so that makes sense. Does Lucas think we’re idiots and we don’t get the connection unless he adds the young star of his prequels? We get it, asshole. We got it the first time back in 1983.

jedi3 tupac And that’s the end. Thanks, you guys, for revisiting all the “Star Wars” movies with me. I hope you have as much fun reading all my random crap as I did writing it. May The Force be with you. R2D2-ears


To Grandmother’s house we go

Yeah, so, two more chemo treatments to go, you guys. Let’s dance!


I do chemo on Friday mornings, which means I spend most of my Friday afternoon eating (because the steroid they give me with the taxol makes me super hungry) and sleeping it off. On Saturdays, I tend to feel pretty rundown. Mighty, mighty good man David usually takes Calvin out on a little adventure to the zoo or the playground, so I can rest uninterrupted.

Well, this past weekend David had to travel to LA for work, so instead of keeping the kid cooped up in the house all day and trying to entertain him and rest at the same time, Calvin and I spent the weekend at my parents’ house with my mom (since my dad was out of town for the weekend). She’s a really nice lady. She took Calvin swimming at my sister’s place, and I fell asleep on the couch while watching the Giants game.

Saturday night, my mom started reading all her food labels, trying to figure out what she could make for dinner now that I’m trying a vegan diet. Like I said, she’s a nice lady. She could have told me to fend for myself or handed me a bowl of salad, she wanted to cook something (we had spaghetti with vegetables).

I still haven’t told my dad about my new diet. He doesn’t read this blog, have a Facebook account, or ask his children about their thoughts, feelings or lives, so he doesn’t know that his eldest daughter and turned into a vegan. (Can I call myself a vegan if I’ve only been doing the vegan diet for two weeks? Seems like I haven’t really officially earned the title yet.)

So, yeah, I wonder how my dad will take it?


The Ego Room: The room in my parents’ house that is filled with all the animals my dad has killed. FYI: That’s just one wall.

Actually, I know how my dad will respond. He will think I’m being a stupid asshole, and he will tell me so, even though I’m doing this diet for health reasons. That’s OK. Trust me. It won’t be the first time I’ve done something that disappoints him. I’ve been voting for democrats my entire adult life. He’s used to being disappointed in me.

So anyway, when Calvin stays at Grandma’s house, he gets to sleep with Grandma in her bed. That’s assuming Grandpa isn’t home. If Grandpa is home, then my mom and Calvin sleep in the guest room. True story. She’s a really good grandma. I was really curious to see who Calvin would choose to sleep with since I was sleeping there, too.

At bedtime, I asked him, “Do you want to sleep with Mommy or Grandma?” And he immediately ran into my mom’s room, “I want Grandma’s bed.”

Fine. I see how it is. I put a Calvin-shaped cookie on my back and went into the guest room.


The dog slept with me, so no hard feelings. Also, my mom and Calvin woke up at like 6:30 a.m., while I slept in until almost 9 a.m., so – really – no complaints here.

We had a great time at my parents’ place. We don’t have much in the way of a backyard at our place in SF, and – man oh man – does Calvin love playing in the backyard. He plays in the dirt and kicks balls around. And, finally, after watching his cousin Lucy ride it around on Saturday night, Calvin got on his tricycle and rode it around a little bit.


David doesn’t get home until Friday afternoon. By then I will have had my penultimate chemo, and I’ll have only ONE MORE TO GO. Can you tell I’m excited? I’m almost finished, you guys!



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San Francisco County always sends me jury summons, but I would prefer flowers

Yeah, so, in February, right after my mastectomy but before I started chemotherapy, I got a summons for jury duty.

San Francisco County doesn’t mess around. They summon me once a year. Obviously, I got a doctor’s note excusing me from jury duty. I had a ton of doctor appointments, and there was no way I could sit on a jury right after my surgery. I got a six-month extension.

Well, guess what came in the mail yesterday? A jury summons – almost six months to THE DAY I got an extension. Also, I’m supposed to report in on August 31, which is – wait for it – my first day back at work after being out for almost six months.


At least this time I get to call in first before reporting for jury duty, so there is a chance they would dismiss me. Last time, San Francisco County was really pissed at me for blowing off an earlier jury summons so I had to report to the courthouse every day for a week. I had no excuse other than, “I totally forgot. You mad, bro?” I really  hope they dismiss me. I am happy to serve my jury duty some other time. My first day of work after a six-month leave is bad timing. Plus, haven’t I suffered enough this year? Just to be safe, I have my Princess Leia costume all clean and ready to wear.



Everything you always wanted to know about chemo but were afraid to ask

Yeah, so, before I started chemotherapy in March I did a lot of googling. I was trying to learn all I could about what I should expect and what I would need. I was able to gather a pretty hefty list of tips from those blog posts and – of course – figure out some things for myself along the way.

I have a few friends who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer, which is upsetting, because – seriously – fuck cancer. I’ve been thinking a lot about them and the other random chemotherapy googlers out there, and I wanted to put together a blog post of things I found helpful throughout my chemotherapy to ease the side effects.

As of this writing, I am three Taxol treatments away from finishing my chemotherapy. I did four rounds of AC and I’m about to finish 12 rounds of Taxol. Chemotherapy affects people differently, so what worked for me may not work for you. You may get some side effects that I never did. And there are a lot of different chemotherapy regimes out there with different side effects. I can only speak to my chemotherapy, so here we go …

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Life’s a beach or whatever

Yeah, so, every year my sister and her family go to Santa Cruz for a week.

I think they’ve been making the trip for nine years. Every year they ask me to join them, and every year I say no for various reasons (I don’t have the PTO at work; it’s too much work with a baby; I have cancer; I don’t want to). This year, even though I am undergoing chemotherapy, and that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to say no, I decided I was down for a day trip. Tuesday was Michelle’s birthday, and I really wanted to spend the day with her and her family, and I am tired of saying no to things. I’m ready to start saying yes again. Plus, I knew Calvin would have a really good time in the water.

So, we all slathered on so much sunblock we looked like a family of juggalos and drove to Santa Cruz. Unsurprisingly, Calvin found the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to be a little overwhelming and headed right toward the beach. Before we even got near the ocean, there was this large, well, puddle, I guess. It’s a really big puddle, long and wide – probably leftover from high tide. There were a lot of little kids playing it. It was almost like a kiddie ocean. Calvin ran right into it and plopped down with a great view of the roller coaster. He sat there for almost two hours. No joke. Two hours.


He played with the wet sand, splashed any seagulls that came near him and talked about how cool the roller coaster was. He was having a great time, so we put out a blanket nearby and hung out. Mighty, mighty good man David grabbed us some food and drinks, and we just chilled on the blanket for the afternoon. Michelle, Tony and the girls would leave to hit the rides and get food, and they would come back and see that Calvin was still just hanging out in the puddle.

Me and the birthday girl.

Me and the birthday girl.

Here’s the thing about that ginormous puddle. It was kinda gross. There were seagulls hanging out in it, and every once in a while the seagulls would take flight and take a dump in the water. I couldn’t stop thinking about this The Onion headline and laughing about it.



Ha ha! It’s funny because it’s true.

Calvin was just sitting the water and playing with the sand. But, there were other kids who was face down in that water and probably drinking it. So gross. Every once in a while I would go into the water and talk to Calvin, and I realized that – thanks to my lower while blood cell count – I was probably risking some nasty bacterial infection that I would have to explain to Kaiser.

“So, I was walking through this giant puddle of water and bird shit, and I got this nasty infection …”

Eventually, Lucy was able to lure Calvin out of the puddle to chase some birds.

Get those birds!

Get those birds! Tell them to stop shitting in the water.

So anyway, we had a really great time in Santa Cruz. We didn’t go into the ocean or spend a lot of time on the boardwalk, but maybe next year.

Oh, by the way, three more chemo treatments to go. Let’s dance!



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