The Sonia Show

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

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The Pop Show Podcast #20: ‘Game Of Thrones’ is back

Yeah, so, we’re all about “Game Of Thrones” in this week’s Pop Show podcast.

Peter, Smith, Ryan and I have all kinds of thoughts and feelings about the first two episodes of the season. We talk about them with big-time spoilers, so consider yourself warned.


Other things discussed in this week’s podcast:

  • Ryan visited the famous Magic Castle in LA. Does the story was going to take an “Eyes Wide Shut” turn? Listen and find out.
  • Echo Cooler is Slurm, you guys.


  • “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” made like a gazillion dollars, but Warner Bros. is still worried that all the DC Universe movies need to be retooled. The studio’s meddling is causing directors to ditch their projects like it’s their first wives.
  • We’re all downright giddy to see “Captain America: Civil War.”

You can listen to the podcast riiight here, and you can find us on iTunes riiight here.

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‘Go kick the styrofoam heads around’ and other random things I’ve said today

Yeah, so, mighty, mighty good man David travels for work about once a month. He flies down to LA, usually leaving early Monday or Tuesday morning and coming back Thursday or Friday night.

One of these things happens every time David travels:

  • The internet stops working.*
  • The Playstation, which we use as a DVD player, stops working.*
  • Mighty, mighty good boy Calvin gets sick.
  • We get a fuckin’ creeper outside the house and the police never show up.

*The internet or the Playstation stop working depending on which one is most important at the time. For example, if Calvin is obsessed with watching a movie that have on DVD that’s when the Playstation will stop working for some random reason. If it’s a show that’s streaming on Netflix, that’s when the internet will crap out just enough so that it’s constantly giving us the never-ending spinning wheel of 26% loaded.

This time around, it’s Calvin. He’s got a nasty cold. He’s still in pretty good spirits, and there’s no fever. But, I still needed to keep him home from preschool, which meant I had to work from home today, which meant we were trapped in the house together all day. Good times.

The mornings usually go pretty well. He watches TV and eats, and I’m able to work. Later, we have lunch together, and then he starts to get restless.

Here’s some random things I’ve said today:

  • “No, honey. Mommy doesn’t want to be spit on.”
  • “Please don’t sit on the dog.”
  • “Get the colander off your face.”
  • “Leave my arm fat alone.”
  • “Please stop blowing in my face.”
  • “Please stop coughing in my face.”
  • “Please stop pretending to eat my face.”
  • “Why don’t you go kick the styrofoam heads around?”
styrafoam head

You may be wondering why I have a styrofoam head? Good question. It is leftover from my massive collection of chemo wigs.

I get it. It sucks to be trapped in the house all day with boring-ass mommy, who is trying to work. It’s not my idea of a good time, either. When Calvin wasn’t trying to spit on me or asking me for more juice, more food, more TV, more everything, the dog was barking at me. The dog wants to be let outside. He wants to eat the food that Calvin is eating. He wants outside again. There’s food on the counter in the kitchen, and he would like to eat it now, please. Repeat.

Kids and dogs, amirite?

I’m lucky to have a job that lets me work from home when my kid is sick. Also, it’s probably for the best that I had to work from home anyway. Our boss from our home office in Minnesota is visiting our office this week. I don’t interact with her too much, because the less interaction I have, the less opportunity I have to say something stupid.

I was chatting with a coworker, who had complimented me on my darker red hair color. The new boss walked by, and tried to join in the conversation with a compliment.

“I love your short haircut. I wish I was brave enough to try it,” she said.

“Well, you could get cancer and do chemotherapy so you have no choice to try it” is what I could have said.

Instead, I said, “Thank you,” because I’m polite as fuck. Promotion and a raise, please!



He’s a fan of fans

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin loves to watch ceiling fans.

I mean, he really loves ceiling fans. His super power is spotting a ceiling fan from a mile away. If he had a LinkedIn profile, you would endorse him for his skill in detecting a ceiling fan in unlikely locations, such as the restroom at the zoo. Seriously, that’s a skill.

Calvin is autistic, and I’m sure this love of ceiling fans is not unusual for autistic people or people with sensory processing disorders.

Wherever we go, if there is a ceiling fan, Calvin has thoughts and feelings about it. This fan needs to be on, and that one needs to be off. This one needs the light on, and that one needs the light off. That fan needs to go fast, and this fan needs to be slow.

This is priority #1 when visiting his grandparents. The first thing he does when walking into their house is run from room to room, turning fans and lights on and off, so they are just the way he wants. It’s so common that it’s not even a thing anymore. Everyone just lets him get all the fans set up the way he likes it.

In public places with ceiling fans, he might let it slide, but he will talk to the employees of the establishment to let them know that this fan is on, and that one is off. “It’s broken. The fan is broken,” he says.

Every Monday, Calvin has a speech appointment, and after speech we absolutely have to go into a little sandwich/cheese shop near the speech therapist’s office, because there are ceiling fans. All the employees know who Calvin is now. “Hi,” and they wave. “Do you want me to turn this fan on for you?” He points out every fan in the store and comments about whether they are on or off, fast or slow. Then it’s time to leave. “Bye bye, fans.” And the employees wave, “Bye! See you next Monday.”

When he’s in the mood for a ceiling fan, but can’t get to one he move his fingers in front of his eyes. He calls this his “fan.” “That’s my fan,” he says.

Here’s a video of him reciting a recipe for juice that he learned from “Curious George.” One red apple, one red strawberry, one red watermelon, and “whatever this was” – which, on the cartoon – is a cabbage. Around the 30-second mark, Calvin brings out his “fan.”

Mighty, mighty good man David also got a good photo of Calvin bringing out his fan at the zoo


A few months ago I wondered, “Are there ceiling fan videos on YouTube?” It turns out that was a completely stupid question. Of course there are ceiling fan videos on YouTube. There are a lot.

You might think that’s strange, but guess what? Some of the videos have close to 1 million views. There are a ton of folks out there who like to watch ceiling fans. Maybe a lot of those people are autistic or have sensory processing disorders, or maybe it’s some weird sex thing that I don’t want to know about.

So, every night Calvin climbs into bed, and he asks to watch fans on his iPad for a bit. There are videos that are just spinning ceiling fans. There are videos in which people walk from room to room in their house and talk about their different ceiling fans. There are videos of people turning fans on and turning fans off. There are videos in which people tie a string around one of the ceiling fan blades and their cats chase it. Calvin’s current favorite are videos in which people walk you through how to install a ceiling fan, step by step. I have no doubt that Calvin could install a ceiling fan. He’s watched the how-to videos countless times.

Just in case you are wondering, we have a YouTube for Kids app on the iPad … now. There’s a story behind that.

So, one night I went to give Calvin his two-minute warning. Soon it would be time to say goodnight to the iPad and go to sleep. I walked in, and Calvin had fallen asleep. But the iPad was still on, and it was still streaming videos on YouTube. The video was a grown man taking a bath in a tub of ramen noodles. Seriously. Gaaaahhh.


You know how when you watch videos on YouTube and it just autoplays another video? It was playing ceiling fans videos, Calvin fell asleep, and for some reason it just moved on to this ramen man video. I have no idea why the YouTube algorithm thinks that someone watching ceiling fans wants to watch a grown man in a tub of ramen noodles. That seems wrong to me.

I grabbed the iPad, showed David, and we laughed really hard about it. Then we forgot about it.

The next night, Calvin was in bed watching fans and then I hear him say, “He’s washing.”

Nooooooooooo! I ran into the room and snatched the iPad away. It popped up again in the “previously watched” area, which Calvin relies on to find his favorite ceiling fan videos.

It’s not really a naughty video. I think it’s supposed to be funny, a parody of beauty regime videos or something. Either way, no. After that, we installed the YouTube for Kids app.

So yeah, I’ve gotten off topic from ceiling fans, but I wanted to warn you that apparently watching ceiling fan videos can be a gateway to watching ramen fetish videos.

Do you let your kids watch videos on YouTube? If so, what do they watch? Also, I’d love to hear other stories about kids’ random obsessions, whether it’s ceiling fans or grown men taking baths in ramen noodles. Let me know in the comments.




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Yeah, so, Prince. Ugh, 2016, why you wanna treat me so bad?

I don’t know if I can fully articulate what Prince’s music means to me. Like most people my age, “1999” and “Purple Rain” were some of the first albums I owned. I listened to them on a loop. My sister Michelle and I used to dance Prince songs all the time in our bedroom, where a Prince poster hung on the wall.

This poster.

This poster.

My mom took me to see “Purple Rain,” even though I was way too young to be seeing it.  The story was a little over my head at the time, but the music … oh the music. The music was so amazing that it convinced me that “Purple Rain” was a really good movie. Listening to his music, I felt like I was getting away with something. It was so funky, but it was naughty, too. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Prince and his music have been in my life since I was 8 years old. One of my all-time favorite songs is “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and it came out in 1979. I know, right? Damn. I’m old. And now I’m living in a world with no Prince, and it feels wrong.

I just love Prince, and I’m so sad that he is gone.

Last year, while I was recovering from my mastectomy, my good buddy Katie came to visit me from Washington, DC. During her visit, she introduced me to a little game she likes to play. Every once in a while she would ask her, “I wonder what Prince is doing right now?” And the answer would always be something normal, but he’s doing it in a totally Prince way — so he’s watching a basketball game but he’s soaking in a tub filled with diamonds and pearls. I’ve played this mind game with myself I don’t know how many times in the past year.

I know that Prince was a human being, but he seemed so unreal, like he was a magical creature; a unicorn. The beautiful ones, they hurt you every time. I’m sure that a million people are writing stories about Prince that are way more eloquent and thoughtful, but I felt like I needed write something, because Prince and his music meant something to me.

Thank you, Prince. RIP, you sexy mother fucker.


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The Pop Show Podcast #19: Wait, why are we talking about Chuck Norris?

Yeah, so, I don’t even know where to start about this week’s Pop Show podcast. We had a bunch of topics lined up, but then we started talking about curiously strong mints, and it just went off the rails for there, ending with us talking about Chuck Norris.


There are quite a few awkward silences in this podcast, which we don’t bother edit out, because we’re keepin’ it real, you guys.

Other things discussed in this week’s podcast:

  • Anthony has thoughts and feelings about Suzy Q’s.
  • AMC announces that’s going to allow texting during movies, and then quickly backs off that statement after the Internet explodes all over it.
  • Ryan discovers the fun of toilet flushing sound effects.
  • Peter tries to start a new segment, The Pop Culture Speed Round, in which we weigh in on a solo Ben Affleck-starring “Batman” movie, the new “Dr. Strange” trailer and more.
  • And, for some reason, Anthony lists all Chuck Norris’ characters names and we discuss whether they are worthy of Chuck Norris.

You can listen to the podcast riiight here, and you can find us on iTunes riiight here.


What an incredible smell you’ve discovered

Yeah, so, when I was getting ready to start chemo last year, one of my friends from college, Jesse, gave me some great chemotherapy advice. Eat whatever you want whenever you want it, because you may not always have an appetite. But, he warned me, be wary of eating things you really enjoy, because after chemo you may not enjoy it anymore.

Jesse knew what he was talking about. Jesse had been doing chemo for more than a year, which is as awful as it sounds. Sadly, he passed away last year. Seriously, fuck you, cancer.

The food I ate the most throughout chemo — Chef Boyardee Beefaroni and fettuccine alfredo — I wouldn’t eat now anyway, because I’m an awesome, totally not a pain the ass, vegan now. A few weeks ago, though, I opened a bottle of Vitamin Water Lemonade, took a sip and said, “Ewww. This tastes like chemo.” I dumped it all out. I can’t drink it anymore. I also can’t drink water flavored with those Dasani flavor drops. It also tastes like chemo to me. I drank SO MUCH Vitamin Water and Dasani-flavored water during chemo. Now, that shit is just nasty to me.


It’s not just food and drinks that remind me of chemo. Certain smells are a trigger. Last week, mighty, mighty good man David put out some hand soap by the kitchen sink. I used it and I almost gagged. It smelled like chemo to me. Since chemo lowers your white blood cell count, making it difficult to fight off germs, we were all crazy about washing our hands last year. Apparently, we used that hand soap a lot, because now the smell of it makes me want to puke. We have a huge jug of it at my house, so, ummm: Free hand soap to a good home. Actually, it doesn’t have to be a good home. Come and get it.

It’s interesting what triggers my chemo flashbacks and makes me feel nauseous. The “On This Day” feature on Facebook triggers bad memories by design. I roll by last year’s updates pretty quick and head directly to the years with baby Calvin photos. Speaking of mighty, mighty good boy Calvin, for a while after chemo every time he watched “Daniel Tiger” it made me feel a little queasy, because we watched it a lot while sitting on the couch together during my chemo recovery.

Speaking of cancer, I don’t have it anymore, which is awesome. As part of my ongoing treatment, however, I have been receiving Lupron injections, which shut down estrogen production. It’s about as fun as it sounds.

Seriously, it hasn’t been that bad. The main side effect is not getting a period anymore, which I like. Oh, also hot flashes, which I don’t like. But now we’re going to knock it up another notch, and I’ll be taking a daily pill called Exemestane, which will suppress estrogen production even more.

It’s OK to be jealous.

One of the big side effects of this drug, besides more intense hot flashes, is joint and muscle aches. The oncologist said, “It will make you feel old and creaky. The best way to prevent that is more exercise.”

I haven’t started the drug yet, but I’m preparing myself. I’ve been going to yoga twice a week, and I’m going to try to get more exercise into my life. Maybe I should get a Fitbit. Maybe I need to spend $100-plus on something that tells me that I’m being a lazy fat ass every day. The Fitbit would just be repeating what’s in the back of my mind most of the time anyway.

And on that note, it’s Friday, you guys! Let’s dance!


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The Pop Show Podcast #18: ‘Rogue One,’ ‘Game Of Thrones’ and more

Yeah, so, the trailer for a little move called “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was released last week, and The Pop Show crew has a lot of thoughts and feelings about it.

When it came to “The Force Awakens,” I always tried to remain cautiously optimistic. Now that I’ve seen “The Force Awakens” and loved it, I’m trying to manage my expectations for “Rogue One.” I won’t lie. I’m ridiculously excited to see it.

In the podcast, we talk about the sexist trolls, who are complaining that “Rogue One” features another female lead and therefore everything about “Star Wars” is ruined. The more these jerks tighten their grips, the more awesome “Star Wars” movies will slip through their fingers. I go off on a bit of a rant about it in the podcast that kinda turns into this:


Other things discussed in this week’s podcast:

  • Smith and I tried to convince Peter to break up with “The Walking Dead,” because it’s turned into a frustrating shit show.
  • We talk about the latest “Game Of Thrones” trailer, and we’re downright giddy about its return later this month.
  • We try to encourage Ryan to stop living his life, and instead watch TV shows and movies, because life is too short to spend time with loved ones.
  • The “Suicide Squad” trailer is super fun, because it doesn’t want the stink of “Batman V Superman” on it.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes riiight here or on

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The Pop Show Podcast #17: Batman V Superman

Yeah, so, Anthony is back for our discussion about “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which all the guys dutifully saw opening weekend so we could talk about it. However, I did not watch it because I’m an asshole. Also, it’s hard to work up the energy to line up a sitter and go a see movie that looks kinda shitty.

I’ll get my fix of superheroes fighting with “Captain America: Civil War” comes out in May.

Things discussed in this week’s podcast:

  • Anthony, who just wrapped filming on “Sharknado 4,” gives us some inside dirt, and reveals that he has named yet another character played by a Republican after me, because he is trolling me SO HARD.
  • Smith and Peter actually like “Batman v Superman,” so there’s that.
  • And even though I didn’t bother to see the movie, I still weigh in like my opinion means something.

You can listen to the podcast riiight here, and you can find us on iTunes riiight here.

Mighty, mighty good man David and I discuss the real “Batman” vs. “Superman” on our podcast at Old Movies, New Beer.


Oh, and one more thing: You can also this week’s Trailer Park column riiight here. I’m reviewing the trailer for “The LEGO Batman Movie” for obvious reasons.

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Gleaming the cube

Yeah, so, see you on the other side.

I’ve been at my current job for more than seven years. I’ve spent about six of those years in the same cubicle. So, imagine my surprise when the powers that be decided that I need to move into another cube … the one of the other side of my current cubicle wall.


Huh? Apparently, it needed to happen. So, I cleaned out my desk and tossed out a lot of old junk. It’s a good thing. It will be less work for me when this company lays me off, which I’m sure will happen any minute now.

I threw away a ton of stuff. I didn’t get too crazy. I mean, I haven’t read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” or anything. But I did have a lot of crap in my desk, including expired vitamins and aspirin, ultrasound photos of the spawn, a pair of tennis shoes I thought I lost, and tons and tons of stolen Splenda packets. I don’t even use Splenda anymore, because I’m pretty sure that shit causes cancer.

I’m getting situated in my new cube. It took me an entire morning to get the computer monitors set up the way I like it. And I’ve arranged and rearranged my nerd corner countless times, but I think I’m relatively situated now … just in time for them to lay me off.

Squad goals.

Squad goals.

Now, a whole-new side of the office gets to listen to me sigh loudly, make assy comments and ignore my ringing desk phone. They’re so lucky, right?


Say what?

Yeah, so, it’s been more than a year since my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin was diagnosed with autism. Since then, he has been going to weekly speech therapy appointments and working with specialists from Easter Seals, and he is starting to talk a lot.

He’s got a lot to say. After years of not being understood, he is finally getting his point across. “I want to watch ‘Cars.’” “I want to eat chicken.” “I want more juice.” “I want goldfish crackers, please.” “I want to watch George with the boat.” He’s really great at answering yes/no questions. And we get a lot of pleases and thank yous. He’s a polite little guy.

I handed him a piece of cake last week, and he was so excited. His face was so bright, and he had the biggest smile: “Thank you, mommy!” I started crying. “You’re welcome, my sweet boy.”

This sounds simple for a typical 4½ year old boy, but it’s a big deal for a 4½ year old autistic boy. And Calvin being able to tell us what he wants has made his life, and our life, a lot less stressful. Looking back, considering how long he wasn’t being understood, it’s amazing how happy and good natured he was. He’s still very happy and good natured. He’s a really good kid.

So, yeah, mighty, mighty good man David and I are constantly cracking up at the random stuff Calvin says now. One of the most common Calvin sayings is, “Calvin can’t [insert statement here].” I don’t know if he feels like he’s hearing the word “no” a lot, or if he is just thinking out loud, but the stuff he says is completely unrelated to whatever the situation is.

  • “Calvin can’t go up in the sky.”
  • “Calvin can’t eat a spider.”
  • “Calvin can’t go to the moon.”
  • “Calvin can’t stand on Homer.”
  • “Calvin can’t go up in the air.”
  • “Calvin can’t touch a rainbow.”

And this is David’s favorite …

  • “Calvin can’t eat fire.”

Then there are the other random things that kids just say, because kids say the darndest things.

  • “Spiders can’t eat the apple.”
  • “Cars can’t eat crackers.”
  • “I want to go in there.” [points to a washcloth]

Lookin’ so dapper on Easter.

I’m super proud of him. He’s working so hard to understand and to be understood.



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