The Sonia Show

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

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We’re going to Cabo. BRB.

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

OMG! We’re going to Cabo next week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT WAIT, there’s more.

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

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


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The nod squad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mind Your Business

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

Mind: “‘Sup?”

Me: “I’m sleeping. Fuck off.”

Mind: “You need to pee.”

Me: “Ugh. Fine.”

uses bathroom

Me: “Happy now?”

Mind: “Not really. I’m worried.”

Me: “Go to sleep.”

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

Me: “I’m trying to sleep.”

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

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

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

Me: “Quiet, please.”

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


10 minutes later.

Mind: Hey, you up?

And scene.

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Dorking out about Mister Rogers and summer movies

Yeah, so, there’s a couple of really good Dorking Out episodes you should listen to … if I don’t say so myself.

My mighty, mighty good man David and I dork out about the new documentary about Mister Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” We have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it. Spoiler alert! I sobbed repeatedly throughout the movie. It really is good for the soul. You should see it and then listen to us talk about it.

Another recent episode features the return of listener favorite Margo D. from Book vs. MovieThe Best Neighbors PodcastNot Fade Away and Fit Bottom Girls.

We talk about summer movies. I don’t mean movies coming out this summer. I mean, movies that remind us of summer. It was a really fun conversation because we got to explore what summer means to us. Plus, it’s always super fun talking to Margo.

If you’re expecting a movie list filled with obvious picks of “Jaws” and “Star Wars,” think again! We acknowledge those movies, but we made a rule that those movies could not be on our lists.

So many of my picks were because of my time working at the movie theater. Shout out to my people from Regency Cinemas in Pleasant Hill, Festival Cinemas in Walnut Creek and Chico Movies 10.

So anyway, they’re really good episodes, and you should listen. You can listen to us on our website, or you can find us on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotify and Stitcher.

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Dorking Out with The Man

Yeah, so, The Man and I don’t have much in common. He’s really into hunting and camping, and I’m a vegan whose idea of roughing it is staying in a hotel that doesn’t include a hairdryer. And to say that we don’t agree politically would be an understatement.

But, we do have a few things in common. We’ve both got a wicked sense of humor. We love baseball. And, we love movies.

The Man and I touring AT&T Park on Father’s Day 2011. I was about six months pregnant with Calvin at the time.

I sat down with my dad and recorded a podcast about movies. We planned to talk about “Rio Bravo,” starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, but it turned into a conversation about a variety of different movies, including “Footloose,” “Grease,” “Beastmaster” and more. We talked about the movie he loves, and why he doesn’t go to the movie theater anymore.

When I first asked about recording a podcast together, he was a little hesitant about doing it and kinda dismissed the idea. But, then a few minutes he had his phone out and was trying to pick a date. And I think he was kinda nervous when we started recording, but by the end of it, he was enjoying himself. He even suggested we do another one!

You can listen to the episode called “Who’s Your Daddy” riiiight here.

You can listen to Dorking Out 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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Random stuff: The Fonz, The Man and more

Yeah, so, a few random things …

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin is really into “Peppa Pig” and watching fan videos on YouTube featuring this little British boy. He learns a lot from what he’s watching, so he’s been saying “fonz” instead of “fans.” People think he’s really into The Fonz now.

Calvin is staying with my parents this week, so my mighty, mighty good man David and I are going to be childless. Check out my Instagram to see how much beer, baseball and restaurants we can cram into the week.

The other day David and I watched 1951’s “His Kind Of Woman,” starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russel and (my favorite) Vincent Price. It’s super good, you guys, and you should check it out. I got the recommendation from the Pure Cinema Podcast, and once again it didn’t steer me wrong.

And, just a heads up … I’m REALLY excited about this week’s Dorking Out podcast. The Man – that’s right MY DAD – came on the show to talk about movies. We talk about John Wayne movies and more. It’s going live later this week, and it’s a good one.

Here’s a few episodes of Dorking Out that you might like:

One of my favorite podcasters and people, Margo D. from Book vs. Movie and The Best Neighbors Podcast, came on the show to talk about our favorite true crime movies, TV movies and documentaries. This one is SUPER FUN. You should listen.

BFF of the show Peter Brown and I talk about the second season of HBO’s “Westworld” and the 1973 movie starring Yul Brenner.

And I know you’re dying to know what I think of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” so you should listen to that episode, which features the return of Smith.

When is Smith coming back, you ask? Maybe not until August or September. I know, right? DAAAAMMMNNNN!

So anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll leave you with the video of Calvin train surfing on BART.

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Content strategy is so hot right now

Yeah, so, I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I mean, other than retire.

I recently discovered that I like content strategy.

Weird, right? It only took me about 10 years to figure it out. Around this time last year, I was transferred from the Oakland office to the San Francisco office to join the content team. Instead of just writing content for one of our companies, I’d be working on content for all of our companies.

Shortly after I got there, I was asked by my new boss if I’d like to really do the Content Marketing Manager job. I have the title, but I didn’t work much with the metrics and the funnel, and shit like that. I said, “Sure. Why not?”

Well, it turns out that I don’t like metrics. Numbers are not my jam.

At the same time, I started working on this big, new project. The corporate overlords are launching an entirely new section of their website, and I started working with a Content Strategist named Nina on all the copy. From blog articles to transactional learning content to the micro-content in the shopping cart, I worked with Nina on all of it.

I like it. I like it a lot.

I love writing. I mean, duh. But it turns out I like thinking about the customer journey. I like thinking about creating the content to help them through the shopping process. AND, it turns out that one of the things that’s kinda in fashion when it comes to website content is making it less stuffy. You know, write like people actually talk. Well, I fuckin’ love that shit. That’s all this blog is. Writing like how people talk is so hot right now.

So, I’ve been listening to everything Nina says and picking her brain because she’s all smart and shit. I started listening to a really great podcast by Kristina Halvorson from Brain Traffic. And at Nina’s recommendation, I started reading Halvorson’s book, too.

I’m feeling like a real goober right now talking about work and content strategy, but the truth is … I’m kinda excited, you guys. It’s been a long time since I really cared about work. I mean, I always kinda care. I have a work ethic, and I’m not a completely lazy asshole. SHUT UP. I’m not! You’re the lazy asshole!

So anyway, now I have an idea of what I want to do. I’m not just feeling around in the dark, writing whatever is asked of me without any rhyme or reason.

Does this mean I’m going to go back to school and get another degree in content strategy? Hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahah! *deep breath* Hahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahah!

Seriously, going back to school is my nightmare. It’s my recurring anxiety nightmare, so that isn’t happening. I can’t imagine anything worse than homework and tests. BUT, I think I can learn a lot at my job and apply what I learn. Plus, it keeps me away from numbers.

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Too cool for school

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin finished kindergarten today.

The first day of kindergarten.

The last day of kindergarten.

I’m so crazy proud of him. He has absolutely blossomed this year. He is talking so much and really improving his social and emotional interactions. He’s quite popular at school. When we’re walking around the school with him every kid says “Hi Calvin,” and every teacher or aide stops us to tell us how much they adore him. (#humblebrag)

Since he’s obsessed with fans, he stopped by the office every day and asked the receptionist to turn on her fan. He made such an impression on a fifth-grade teacher that she gave him a fan to bring home.

Fan boy.

I can’t believe that this August he will be a first grader! Gaaaaaahhh!

He’s got big plans this summer. He’s spending a week every month with my parents in Concord. While he’s there, he going to take swim lessons! I wouldn’t be surprised if swimming turned into a thing for him. I foresee a future of swim meets followed by Olympic gold medals and big, fat endorsement deals, which lead to us finally being able to buy a house in San Francisco.

He’s also doing a week of summer camp at the San Francisco Zoo. AND, he’s doing two weeks of summer camp through the city’s Park Department in which children with autism ride public transportation all day. I know, right?!? He’s gonna to freak out.

Actual footage of Calvin when he learns about the public transportation camp.

So anyway, I’m so proud of my mighty, mighty good boy. He is such a funny, sweet and handsome little guy.


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Dorking Out About Baseball Movies

Yeah, so, just in case you missed it we had a pretty big announcement on Dorking Out with Chris and Sonia last week. It’s going to be Dorking Out with Sonia for the summer, while Smith takes a sabbatical and works on some projects he needs time to finish.

But, the show must go on … so I’ve reached out to some of my favorite podcasters, who have graciously agreed to come on the show this summer. PLUS, my mighty, mighty good man David will be on some episodes, including today’s episode about baseball movies, specifically “Major League” and “Field Of Dreams.” Somehow David had never seen these movies until last week. You can listen to it riiiight here.

Smith will be missed, but I’ll definitely try to keep things going in his absence. We’ve had some entertaining episodes recently, so you haven’t listened you should check them out.

We reviewed new movies such as “Avengers Infinity War” with David, the horror movie “The Quiet Place” and “Ready Player One.”

We had a fascinating discussion with Chris Taylor from Mashable and author of the book, “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe” about the current state of fandom.

Our discussion of “The Contender” with Margo D. from Book vs. Movie and The Best Neighbors Podcast is one of my favorite episodes ever! Margo is hilarious and awesome.

And I loved talking about  “Sixteen Candles” with Peter Brown. It’s a movie that meant a lot to me growing up, and we had a really interesting discussion about how we process our feelings about the movies we loved as kids that don’t age well.

We followed that episode talking about the sexism and racism in movies and TV shows in The Random Dorking Out Edition, including our thoughts about Molly Ringwald’s piece in the New Yorker, “The Simpsons vs. Apu” and more.

Oh, and we talked about which movies we’re most excited to see this summer, but we started the episode talking about “Wild Wild Country” because I HAD to talk about it. You should listen.

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Feeling Minnesota

Yeah, so, I had to travel for work a few weeks ago.

I’ve never had to travel for work before, other than some particularly shitty commutes I’ve had in the past. I mean, driving from Concord to Burlingame can certainly feel like traveling for work.

Seven years I’ve been working for this company, and they finally noticed that I’ve never visited their headquarters in Shoreview, Minnesota. Actually, some of the bosses did try to get me to come out twice before, but I was busy evicting a baby from my uterus and kicking breast cancer’s ass, so, ummm, no.

This time last year, I was moved into a new position, a new office with new coworkers and a new boss. And my new boss doesn’t really dig my whole “Oh, I’m just going to hide in my cube” career path. “No more hiding, Sonia,” she says. “You’re going to go to Shoreview and take your bow for your hard work.”

Well, when she puts it like that, how can I say no? Plus, I really like my new team. We’re divided: half in San Francisco, half in Shoreview. I really wanted to meet the Shoreview team in person. I think it’s important that they see what I goober I am in person. You have to see it to believe it.

So, I packed my bags and got up at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight. That’s right, 4 a.m.! Did you guys know that there is a 4 in the morning? It’s like 4 in the afternoon but in the morning! When the fuck did that start? Ugh. It’s really early.

Shortly, after I arrived in Shoreview, it started snowing. We don’t get snow in the Bay Area, so this was pretty exciting to me. I practically had my face smashed against the window.

Me: “Ohhhh, you guys! LOOK! IT’S SNOWING!”


It’s April. They were so over it. I thought it was neat, but I could certainly see how the novelty would wear off. Also, driving in snow sucks ass.

So, yeah, it was really awesome to meet my coworkers in person. We had a team dinner at The Lowbrow in Minneapolis, and it was so good. It had vegan options AND an excellent beer list of local brews. It would definitely be my regular spot if I lived out there.

Oh, speaking of vegan options, there wasn’t a ton to be had in Shoreview, Minnesota. BUT, pretty much every restaurant I walked into had gluten-free options. FYI: About 1 percent of Americans have Celiac disease, while 6 percent of Americans say they’re vegan. It’s more likely that a vegan will walk into their restaurant than someone with Celiac disease, but it’s OK. I made it work. I just think it’s funny that they’ve embraced the whole gluten-free thing, but veganism, not so much.

The other thing about the trip that cracked me up: So many of my coworkers said, “Oh, you look just like your photo.” We have photos in our email, Skype, etc. I kept wondering, “Who doesn’t look like their photo?” Maybe I’ll swap my photo out with the worst wedding photo ever taken.

A week before my work trip, I fell and sprained my ankle, but I didn’t know, because I’m practically a genius. I was hobbling around the office, but no one even noticed. I looked like Catherine O’Hara in “Best In Show.”

It probably didn’t help that there was a huge Super Target nearby our hotel, and one night I spent two hours walking around. My ankle really hurt, but SUPER TARGET.

Every night after dinner I went back to my hotel room, put my foot up and watched the second season “The Good Place.” (So good, you guys! You should watch it.) One night I watched a documentary about Jane Goodall called, appropriately, “Jane.”

On the plane, I watched “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Bad Moms Christmas,” which are perfect airplane movies in that they don’t make you laugh or cry and draw attention to yourself. They were not good. “Pitch Perfect 3” actually had explosions, and I think Fat Amy full-on murders some people. I thought this was a movie about an acapella singing group. WTF?

Anyway, I was in Minnesota for five days – FIVE DAYS! That’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin.

My mighty, mighty good man David travels for work all the time. I never do. In fact, when I told Calvin that I was going on a trip for work, and I’d be gone, he said, “Not Mommy. Daddy is going to work.”

David said that Calvin asked about me every morning and every night. Of course, when I would FaceTime, he would give me the cold shoulder, but at least the pets were happy to see me.

Actually, when I got home late Friday night, Calvin will still awake, and he insisted I get into bed with him. He really missed me, and I missed him terribly. For about a week after I got back, Calvin was watching me like a hawk, never letting me out of his sight. It was nice to be missed.