The Sonia Show

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


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Dorking Out Episode 24: ‘Gilmore Girls,’ ‘Westworld’ and Holiday Movies

Yeah, so, I really, really wanted to love the new “Gilmore Girls” limited series on Netflix. I was a big fan of the show. Instead, I was disappointed and frustrated by it. Smith had never since the show before, so he watched it with his wife, Laura, who has also never seen the show. We talk about it on this week’s Dorking Out. They didn’t like it, and their rant about the show is pretty fuckin’ hilarious, so you should listen.

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Master P, also known as Peter Brown, associate editor of Assginment X, joins us for an interesting chat about the “Westworld” finale. I like the show, but I don’t love it. How did a show about humanity come to have no heart?

In our third segment, Smith and I share our favorite holiday movies, which gives me yet another opportunity to talk about how much I love 1947’s “The Bishop’s Wife.”

You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube. If you listen to the show, I’d love to hear what you think. You can comment here, or on our website or Facebook page.

 


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Spirited Away

Yeah, so, this is my favorite time of the year … usually.

I’m all about the colder weather from October through December. I get to wear my tights, boots, and scarves with my cute dresses. I get to wear my hats. I love snuggling under blankets on the couch with my mighty, mighty good man David and my mighty good boy Calvin, and the pets. I love that there are holiday lights everywhere, and people are usually nicer and feeling festive. I love vegan gingerbread lattes, mulled wine, holiday beer and big bowls of homemade soup with warm, crusty bread. I love spending more time with friends and family. Really, the only thing missing for me is baseball and it would be perfect, and I’d never want it to end.

For me, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. But I’m finding it so difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year.

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Instead, I’m still sad and angry. I’m pissed that we have Rapey Dorito as our incoming president, and his list of scary clowns that he wants to appoint to important positions. including white supremacists. The list is a who’s who of who scares me.

Rapey Dorito’s pick for Attorney General fights for separate and unequal education for children with special needs. Seriously. WTF?! The countries most vulnerable citizens will suffer, because 61 million people in this country are dummies. (I know it’s not OK to stereotype, but come on – people who voted for Trump are dummies). My autistic Calvin will be lucky enough to attend school in San Francisco, which will always offer equal educational opportunities to him, but other children in this country will not be so lucky, and it fills me with rage. Don’t even get me started on the other awful people he’s picking for his cabinet. It just makes me what to never stop yelling and crying.

My outspokenness has alienated some folks on Facebook. A few “friends” have unfriended me, mainly some college and high school friends, but also my own brother. I guess seeing a pro-Rapey Dorito Facebook feed is more important than keeping tabs on what I’m doing and seeing photos of Calvin and my pets. His loss. My photos of the pets and Calvin are really cute. However, I wish he had just hid me, because I liked seeing his photos.

I am continuing my pledge to donate a little bit from each paycheck to organizations that fight for what’s right. This time, I donated to the Organization for Autism Research and Planned Parenthood. Maybe I should donate to one of these organizations in my brother’s name as a Christmas gift? That shouldn’t make Christmas awkward at all.

So anyway, I’m hoping that when we get our Christmas tree and hang up our holiday lights, and start watching all our holiday favorites, I’ll start feeling in a festive mood.

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How are you guys doing this holiday season? What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?


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Dorking Out Episode 23: ‘Moana,’ ‘Allied’ and ‘The Walking Dead’

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out we review the new Disney movie “Moana” with my mighty, mighty good man David and Juan Uriarte, host of the Instant Ramen podcast. Smith and I liked the movie more than David and Juan, so it’s a fun discussion.

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David and Juan stick around for our second segment, in which we talk about the state of Disney animation and share our favorite and least favorite Disney animated movies.

In our third segment, Smith and I review “Allied,” which I think is about half a good movie. Then Juan returns for our favorite headlines segment, which includes length chat about the ratings decline of “The Walking Dead.”

You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube. If you listen to the show, I’d love to hear what you think. You can comment here, or on our website or Facebook page.


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Dorking Out Episode 22: “Fantastic Beasts,” “Harry Potter” And More

Yeah, so, in this week’s Dorking Out episode Smith and I review “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” and chat about the legacy of Harry Potter, including the books, the movies and all that.

We also have a really fun discussion about the stories we’d like to see turned into movies, including a true story I heard on “This American Life” about a famous South Korean director and actress who were kidnapped and forced to make movies for Kim Jong-Il. So interesting.

Next week, we will be reviewing the new Disney movie “Moana” and the Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard movie, “Allied.”

You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunesStitcher and YouTube. If you listen to the show, I’d love to hear what you think. You can comment here, or on our website or Facebook page.

 


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Beer and Clothing in Las Vegas

Yeah, so, I went to Vegas, and I totally relaxed, you guys. See?

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Chilling at the pool at Palms Place with two other people (not shown). I guess the pool isn’t really popular in November.

I got a pedicure and a manicure. I lounged by the pool and read. I got a massage. I slept late. I ordered room service for breakfast every morning and listened to podcasts. Our room had a deep, long tub with jets. It was like a jacuzzi except it didn’t smell like chlorine, and I wasn’t forced to make small talk with some creep who’s looking for a little “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” action. I spent so much time in that tub. I entertained the idea of sending for the kid and the pets and moving into the tub. Sometimes I took a bath twice a day.

Get Up Offa That Brown from Golden Road Brewing.

Get Up Offa That Brown from Golden Road Brewing.

Every night, I put on a dress and met up with my mighty, mighty good man David for dinner. In the evening in the restaurants and casinos, all the women wore really low-cut tops or super-tight dresses with very-high heels. I did not. One night I wore a sweater dress with a collar and my saddle shoes. David loved the shoes so much that he asked me to wear them with every dress for the rest of week, which I happily did because they are cute and comfortable.

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Saddle shoes 4 eva!

We had some really great food. One night we went to “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio’s restaurant, Craftsteak, in MGM. I know what you are thinking, “Umm, what does your lame vegan ass eat in a steakhouse?” First of all, that’s a rude thing to say. Second, they made me a special vegan meal! I told the server I am a vegan, and the chef prepared me a special dish. That’s right. I’m special.

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Veggies for me and a steak for him. We’re happy.

The next night we went to Wynn’s casino and hotel, because we heard that the owner, Steve Wynn, is a vegan and has required that every restaurant in his casino and hotel have a vegan menu. We went to Lakeside, and I was not disappointed. I had the vegan “beef” wellington with asparagus, the Old Bay “crab” cake and a vegan carrot cake. It was the fuckin’ best!

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Gardein Beef Wellington with wild mushrooms, spinach, puff pastry in a vegan bordelaise.

The food was so delicious. I had a big glass of red wine. They were playing music that could have been right out of my iTunes. It was all Billy Ocean, Michael Jackson and Madonna with some Justin Timberlake in there. It was rad. I was so happy in that restaurant.

On our final night in Vegas we went to dinner with our friends Lon and Amanda at Harvest in the Bellagio, because we’re so fancy. While my vegan dish, a farro porridge with foraged wild mushrooms, black truffle, was yummy, everyone else seemed disappointed by their meals. However, there was a photographer taking photos, and we got the most amazing photo. We got a photo, and then we got a photo of us with our photo. That made the entire dinner worth it, if you ask me.

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It’s OK to be jealous of our picture within a picture.

We also saw the Cirque Du Soleil show, “O.” It’s a very entertaining show. I couldn’t help but wonder about the logistics of putting on such a crazy show. Also, what’s it like to perform in this show? Do you make a lot of money? Do you perform two shows a night for six days a week? Also, I wonder if they are all sleeping together? They’re all so flexible. I bet they only want to have sex with people who are as flexible as them.

So anyway, I didn’t really gamble that much. I played a little video poker. I lost about $20, but I got a free drink or two out of it, so that’s fine. The slot machines don’t pay out in coins in anymore. You don’t hear that clang, clang, clang of coins, and people don’t carry around big plastic cups. And, a lot of the slot machines are those video slot machines now, and there were a ton based on TV shows, including “Game Of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead” and “Orange Is The New Black.” All of them seem like strange choices for slot machines. If I started playing “The Walking Dead” slot machine I’d just remember that time that Carol’s daughter turned into a zombie and start crying.

We arrived Monday afternoon, and by Wednesday I was missing Calvin something fierce. I was watching videos of him on my phone. By Friday I was so over Vegas. I was tired of everything smelling like smoke, and I really wanted to see my boy. We had a really wonderful time, though. I think it’s just what I need to recharge a little bit, and it was long overdue.

It doesn’t appear that I missed much while I was away. Our president-elect is still a white supremacist man child. Oh well.

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#NotMyPresident


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Viva Las Vegas

Yeah, so, last year when I was doing chemo, I kept dreaming about a vacation. Not a big vacation. Just a little getaway. I could lounge by a pool, read magazines and sip a cool drink. Maybe I could get a massage, doing a little shopping. Fun stuff. It was my happy place that I would go to when things felt shitty.

Well, it’s finally happening! We’re leaving for Vegas on today.

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My mighty, mighty good man David is traveling to Las Vegas for a work event, and I’m tagging along. He will have to work during the day, but our evenings will be open for some fun. During the day, I can relax. I’m so excited. We’re going to leave Calvin at home. He’s 5 now. I’m sure he can handle it. We will fill up the water bowls and leave out a couple of dishes with a lot of food – enough for five days. I kid. We’re going to drop Calvin and Toby off with my mom on Sunday, and we got a neighbor to watch the cat.

I haven’t been to Vegas in a really long time. The last time I went I think it was 2002. I won a “free cruise” at The Examiner holiday party. The “free cruise” was actually a $500 travel voucher, which I used to buy a two-night stay at Caesar’s Palace, which included two tickets to Elton John. It’s OK to be jealous. I was working at The Examiner, so I was super poor. I’m looking forward to going back as an adult with some spending cash (not that much, but more than the like $40 I gave myself to gamble with in 2002).

I also went to Vegas in 2000 or 2001 as part of a bachelorette party. I have two stories about that trip.

Story #1: We went to the Ghost Bar in the then-very cool Palms Hotel. We got in because we had a friend who worked for the hotel. The bar was filled with the beautiful people. I hated it there. I went up to the bar to order a drink, and the most gorgeous man tried to chat me up. I looked around the hidden cameras, because I was sure it was a joke. I even told him that before I practically ran away with my drink. Confidence: I didn’t have it.

Which leads to Story #2: We all felt uncomfortable at that bar. So we went to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (which I believe no longer exists and that’s just fuckin’ wrong!). There was a Star Trek-themed bar, and it was THE BEST. We had the best time. We were with our people.

I went to Vegas another time before that in maybe 1998 or 1999 with a bunch of dudes. There were two other girls on that trip: A girlfriend of one of my guy friends, and her friend. They graciously shared a room with me, because I was a lowly reporter for the Martinez News-Gazette and made (no joke) $213 a week. One night, the ladies said they were going to see the Cirque du Soleil show, O.

Me: “How much are the tickets?”
Them: “$100.”
Me: “What are you doing, guys?”
Them: “We’re going to a strip club. You can probably get in for free and drink for free.”
Me: “Looks like I’m going to the strip club.”

It was awkward. All the strippers wanted to dance for me. Probably because I’m not some gross dude that wants to grab them by the pussy. At one point I went to the restroom, but the restroom was also the strippers’ dressing room. They were in there getting dressed (or undressed) and doing cocaine. I said howdy to them and used the toilet. After I washed my hands, and one of them offer me a line.

“No, thank you,” I replied.

Stripper: “Would you like to use our lotion?”
Me: “Sure. Thank you very much.”

It was the sweetest smelling body lotion, and I think it had glitter in it. I went back to the guys and let them know that I smelled like a stripper.

So anyway, I know a lot of folks think Vegas is gross, but I think it’s going to be just what I need. I’ve been so depressed and angry about the election results. I think it will be really nice to unplug for five days and just relax. I’ll be sharing some photos, but I’m really going to try to stay off the social media channels. Don’t worry, though. I’ll come back relaxed and ready to fight the power or rage against the machine, or whatever.

In the meantime, I suggest you listen to the latest episode of “Dorking Out.” We share our top movie picks for the rest of the year in our Winter Movie Preview. We review “Arrival,” which I SUPER LOVE. And we even answer some listeners’ questions. Then we end the podcast with a really good discussion about the election. We talk about why it’s difficult to talk about politics and how we are all struggling with listening to each other. The discussion really helped me, and I think it might help other people, too. You should liste.


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Angry

Yeah, so, I have gone from depressed to angry.

I saw some “Stop whining about our new president and accept it” Facebook statuses, and it really pissed me off.

A majority of this country did not vote for Trump, and if they think that we are all going to shrug and say “Oh well” while this fuckin’ clown deports 11 million people, strips LGBT rights, takes away a woman’s right to choose, bans people from entering this country based on religion and eliminates affordable health care for millions of Americans, then they don’t know what America is truly about. All of those actions are un-American.

I’m a 46-year-old straight white lady who lives in San Francisco. I will not be deported or have my rights to marry the person I love taken away. But I am a human being with a heart and soul, and I know that shit is wrong. These decisions affect my family, my friends and millions of people in this country – millions of Americans!

I’ve already donated money to the ACLU, and I plan to donate money to a lot of different organizations that fight for what’s right.

Regulators! Mount up! We need to rally and take back the congress in the midterm elections, and shut this shit down.

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But, if I want to make it personal I can. Trump plans to repeal Obamacare, a law that currently bars insurers from excluding those with preexisting conditions. You know, people like ME and CALVIN, who depend on our health benefits. I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor. I have all kinds of meds and treatments. My son is autistic. He receives all kinds of services, too. We need our health benefits.

Not to mention, Trump has claimed that autism is linked to vaccines, which is NOT TRUE. Oh, and he makes fun of people with disabilities and special needs.

So yeah, this shit is personal.

Apparently, I’m an angry feminist killjoy. Well, they ain’t seen nothing yet.

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Not My President

Yeah, so, I just don’t know what to say. I’m shocked. I truly believed that people in this country would do the right thing, and vote for Hillary Clinton. Instead, they elected a monster.

They elected a lying, sexist, racist, homophobic, hypercritical, serial sexual-assaulting asshole.

So, let’s all say good-bye to affordable health care. It was nice while it lasted, gay marriage. So long, a woman’s right to choose.

Say hello to women being second-class citizens again, deporting people based on their religion, breaking up families, a shitty economy, sky-rocketing gas prices, and easy access to guns for felons and mentally ill.

This fuckin’ waste of space was endorsed by the KKK. We will now have a president who thinks it’s OK to mock people with disabilities and special needs, and to sexually assault women. I don’ t know how I’m going to tell my autistic son that this country elected a president that thinks it’s OK to make fun of him. Good job, America.

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I’m so ashamed and embarrassed. I’m so worried for my gay friends and family. I’m so worried for my Muslim, African-American and Latino friends. I’m so worried for the millions of people who are going to be stripped of their health care.

I was going to write a blog post along the lines of “Well, we had a good run, America,” but I can’t bring myself to be flippant today. This election result wasn’t based the economy, jobs or Hillary’s emails. This election was based on hate and fear. It was based on racism, sexism and homophobia. People who say any different are lying to you and possibly to themselves.

What I always do when I feel helpless is I donate money. I can’t always donate my time, but I can donate money to organizations that fight for what’s right. I will be donating to Planned Parenthood, ACLU and a to-be-determined climate change organization. Also, I fully intend to give Donald Trump all the respect that Republicans gave President Obama throughout the past 8 years.

To all the good people in this country: You have one day to lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself, and then tomorrow we go back to work and fight for what’s right.


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Friday Cuteness

Yeah, so, would you like some super cuteness for Friday? I think our pets are in love.

Occasionally, Toby will chase Kubo around, and then Kubo will chase Toby. It’s playful. When Kubo has had enough (Toby has never had enough) she lets him know. But most of the time, they are snuggling together.

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Come on, how fuckin’ cute is that? We got lucky with two rescue pets that really get along.

We’ve been working really hard on getting Toby house broken. He is such a smart dog, but he just wasn’t getting it. It was so frustrating. Toby doesn’t really bark at all, so we had no idea when he needed to go outside. We’ve stuck to a consistent schedule, and I think it’s finally starting to click. We will go a few days without an accident. They are getting fewer and far between.

Toby starts obedience training on Sunday. Correction, Toby and I start obedience training on Sunday. We’re taking a six-week course at the SFSPCA. It’s a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon, don’t you think? I’d like to think that Toby wouldn’t try to run away again, but I can’t be sure. Dog training is necessary. He needs to come when he is called.

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin loves to play with the pets, too, but they don’t always play well together. Calvin and Toby love to chase each other through the house, but at some time Toby gets overly excited and tries to nip at Calvin. A few times, he’s actually got Calvin, which sucks. Calvin cries because it hurts, but he’s also confused. They were just playing and then Toby bit him. But it’s not a bite-bite, it’s a playful bite. But playful bites hurt, too. So, we’re having to keep a close eye when they play together right now. We went through the same thing with Homer. We know that eventually they will figure it out, but in the meantime, we have to stay alert to make sure they don’t hurt each other.

So anyway, happy Friday, you guys! And now, your moment of cuteness.


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Holy Halloween, Batman!

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin isn’t really into Halloween.

If we ask him what he would like to dress up as for Halloween, we usually get the answer of “No, thank you.” We pitch him ideas and he just says no. That’s fine. People might say, “Well, autistic kids are just not into Halloween.” I don’t think that’s the case at all. I’m sure there are plenty of autistic kids and adults who love Halloween. The truth is, everyone is different; autistic or not. Some people are just not into Halloween.

Calvin isn’t anti-Halloween. If we pick out a costume, a simple one with no masks or crazy hats, he will wear it. He loves seeing other people in their costumes. And, he loves trick or treating. He’s not really interested in eating the candy, which is awesome. He just likes going from door to door and saying, “Trick or treat,” and then looking into people’s houses. Hey, I get it. I like being nosy and peeking into people’s houses, too.

Calvin will say, “Trick or treat,” and then he will comment on something in the house. “You’ve got a fan.” “Your TV is on.” “There’s a cat.” And he always says, “Thank you.” He’s very polite.

So, the good thing about Calvin not being into Halloween is we can pick whatever costume we want. A lot of people probably don’t know this about me, but I super love group costumes. Until Calvin becomes interested  in Halloween or starts actively protesting Halloween, I’ve got someone to do group costumes with. Win!

In the past, we’ve been Curious George, The Man in the Yellow Hat and a banana. We’ve also gone full-Star Trek. This year, we’re representing the DC Universe: Batman, Robin and Batgirl.

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Robin & Catwoman

We will try to trick or treat tonight, weather permitting. After that, Calvin will go to bed, and my mighty, mighty good man David and I will open a few pumpkin beers (we’re big fans of Flying Dog’s Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale), and we will watch 1963’s “The Haunting” or maybe 1959’s “The Tingler,” starring Vincent Price. We’ve been on a Vincent Price trip lately. We’ve watched “House of Usher,” “Theater of Blood” and “Masque Of The Red Death.”

This weekend, we went to two Halloween parties. My sister and her family held their annual Halloween party. Michelle and her husband, Tony, dressed up as the Joker and Harley Quinn, without realizing that we were dressing up as Batman, Batgirl and Robin.

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Before I wrap this post up, I’ve got a serious question for you: Who wore it better?

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Happy Halloween, you guys!