The Sonia Show

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


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I Know You Are But What Am I

Yeah, so, the other night I decided to introduce my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin to “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” because I want to raise him right.

I remember my niece Lorelei loving this movie when she was Calvin’s age. Plus, I love it, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It beats watching “Bob The Builder,” which he has been asking for more often lately.

The trick with introducing a new movie or TV show to Calvin is to start the movie or TV show when he’s not paying attention. If he asks to watch “Curious George,” and I respond with “Let’s watching something new,” well, he’s not going to go for that.

This time, he was playing with his buses in the living room, and I started the movie without any fanfare. It wasn’t long before he did a double take. The beginning of the movie is so clever and colorful with really fun music. He was instantly hooked.

By the time, Pee Wee starts dancing to “Tequila” on a table, Calvin was fully invested.

And, just like me, he thinks the pet store scene is hilarious. He asked me to rewind it a few times to he could watch it over and over.

Since he liked the movie, I think he’s ready for “Pee Wee’s Playhouse,” so we will be trying that soon.


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Dorking Out Episode 47: Our Favorite Journalism Movies

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out Smith and I talk about our favorite movies about journalism.

Why? We were inspired by the current trumpster fire that we call the White House. Great journalism is more important now than ever. And, as a pair of former reporters, we have a lot of thoughts and feelings about how reporters and the media are portrayed in film. While “All The President’s Men” and “Spotlight” are obvious examples of great, noble journalism movies, we tried to vary our picks to include comedies, too, which is how 1985’s “Just One Of The Guys” ended up on my list. How do I defend that pick? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out.

But before we get into nerdy journalism talk, Peter Brown from Assignment X stops by to talk about the 2016-17 TV season. Which TV shows got canceled? What were the surprise hits? We did some predictions at the start of the season, and we check back to see how we did.

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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Calvin’s ‘Pet’ Project

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has discovered “The Secret Lives Of Pets.”

He thinks it’s hilarious. After just a few viewings he had already memorized huge chunks of dialogue, which he’s been re-enacting with Toby.

The movie isn’t my favorite of Calvin’s movies, but it’s fine. It’s got a really cute beginning, in which all the owners leave for the day, and you see what the pets do while they’re gone – you know, their secret lives, just like the title suggests. The end is cute, too, when all the owners come home and everyone is happy to see each other, set to one of my favorite songs of all-time, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.

But the middle of the movie is a big ol’ mess. It involves rejected pets, animal control, sewers, and a lot of hitting and kicking. Luckily for us, Calvin is pretty indifferent to the violence. He’s more interested in the pratfalls. He loves it whenever the cat spills food, because – duh – that shit is funny.

He also loves the wiener dog, which he calls Homer, even though that’s not his name. I picked up a few “Secret Lives Of Pets” toys for him, and he is quite taken with the wiener dog. He has been sleeping with him in his bed. It’s awwwwwdorable.

Calvin’s language has improved so much. There’s still some gibberish, especially when he gets excited about something, but I would say that a lot of what he says can be understood. He doesn’t sit around and talk about his feelings, but he will talk to you when he has something to say.

Whenever we ride in the car, he asks for a graham cracker. We’ve been doing that since he was a toddler. The other day, because it was almost dinner time, I thought I’d be sly and give him half a graham cracker.

“I want a cracker,” he said.

“You have a cracker,” I replied.

“This is a square cracker. I want a rectangle cracker,” he said.

How do you say no to that? I didn’t. He got a full cracker from me.

Here’s another talking story. Calvin has a favorite preschool teacher. He adores her, and she adores him. It’s really sweet. She told me that the other day she was cleaning up the classroom, and Calvin came up to her and said, “I love you, Miss Leanne. Come on. Let’s play.”

GAAAHHH! The cuteness!


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Dorking Out Episode 46: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out my mighty, mighty good man David joins us to review “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.”

It’s kind of a perfect summer movie. It’s very funny. It’s got great visual effects. It’s touching when it needs to be, and it really earns those moments, because they are characters we care about. It deals with daddy issues, sibling rivalry, abusive parents, and loss and death. Pretty serious stuff for a sci-fi comedy. It’s really great. I have a lot of nice things to say about it, so you should listen.

Our second segment might be the dorkiest thing we’ve ever done, and I’m including the Freddie Prinze Jr. Scale Of Charisma. In an attempt to answer the question, “Are franchise films getting better?” Smith created a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet, you guys! We have a really fun discussion about what makes a good film franchise. Here’s the chart, so you can see for yourself, and I strongly encourage you to listen to the episode.

Incredibly dorky chart created by Chris Smith

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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6 Things I’m Loving: Eshakti, Baguette Vending Machines And More

Yeah, so, I’m going to try to deal with my anger by sharing six things I’m lovin’ right now.

1. Calvin’s Bedhead

So, we usually keep Calvin’s hair on the short side, but we haven’t had time to get cut in a while. He’s got great hair, and he’s got even greater bed head. See for yourself.

2. What Kind Of Cat Is This?

We have a stray cat friend, and we put food on the porch for her, but we bring the bowl back into the house at night. Well, one night I forgot to bring the food back inside. When I went to get the food, I saw this.

I took some video footage, because my mighty, mighty good man David was out that night, and I wanted him to see it, too. And now Calvin loves watching it. He thinks it’s hilarious that we have a skunk for a neighbor.

3. This Video

There’s a baguette vending machine (seriously – this is a real thing) in our nearby mall, and David had to try it out.

4. These Websites: The Daily Skimm, Small Victories, Swing Left & Wonkette

The Daily Skimm is an easy way to feed my anger first thing in morning. Basically, it summaries all the news you need to know in a short, fun email. I’ve written about it before, but I highly recommend it. You can sign up right here, if you want to try it out.

I also suggest you sign up for Small Victories, which helps me stay positive. When you sign up, you get an email every Friday with – you guessed it – small victories. It’s filled with stories about wins for the good guys. I really needed it today.

I want more small victories, so everyone should be giving money to Swing Left, which donates money to candidates running against those fuckin’ fuckers who voted for the death panels American Health Care Act. This organization just moved into a top 5 spot on my donation list. I also donated directly to Lisa Battista, who is running against that big tool Darrell Issa in California’s District 10. He just barely won in the last election, so he is super vulnerable.

You know what’s weird? I have pretty much stopped reading celebrity gossip and now I read political gossip. Who am I? My main site for this is Wonkette, which covers political stories, but writes it with such a angry, funny voice that it makes it just a little easier to deal with.

5. This Dress

I bought this fox-tastic (see what I did there) dress from Eshakti, and I looooove it. I can’t wait to wear it.

After ModCloth was acquired by Wal-Mart, I was looking for a new place to buy clothes. I love online clothes shopping. It’s my fave. My good buddy Jess recommended Eshakti, and it’s so great. The clothes are super cute and not too expensive. AND, you can customize the clothes. For example, I love this fox dress, but I wanted it a little below the knees, and you can ask for that! You can add sleeves, or make it a tank dress – whatever. It’s so cool!

6. Smith Got An Emmy Nomination

My Dorking Out cohost Chris Smith received another Emmy nomination this week for Instructional/Information Program. Now he will be even more insufferable on the podcast. In all seriousness, I’m super proud of him. He’s super talented and a good friend. Enjoy this moment, Smith. It’s the last time I’ll be nice to you for a while.

Actual footage of me celebrating Smith’s Emmy nomination.


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Everybody Has Pre-Existing Conditions

Yeah, so, I’m so ridiculously angry about the House vote for the American Health Care Act. So angry – like really, really angry.

Fuck these assholes.

It’s so fuckin’ gross I can hardly breathe. They were actually celebrating after they voted to strip away health care from more than 20 million Americans, including children and the elderly. Of course, they were celebrating by drinking Coors Light, so that’s kinda of a punishment if you ask me. Ewww. Coors Light.

As a two-time breast cancer survivor and mother of an autistic son, our health insurance is pretty fuckin’ important. But, according to these fuckin’ jokers, Calvin and I don’t deserve to have affordable health care due to our pre-existing conditions.

EVERYBODY HAS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS!

It’s not just big stuff like cancer and autism. Depression and anxiety are pre-existing conditions. Did you have a baby? Well, that’s a pre-existing condition. Victims of sexual assault or domestic violence? Sorry, that’s a pre-existing condition.

Are you planning on having a baby? Well, that will run you about $17,000, because insurance companies won’t have to offer that coverage in their insurance. Oh, and that price doesn’t include diapers, so good luck with that.

If you ever saw a doctor for anything, then you will most likely fall into the pre-existing condition group, so I hope you never got pink eye or broke a bone or got a STD or had to get stitches, but you’ll be fucked. Unless you’re rich, then you’re good to go.

Basically, any reason to charge you more, health insurance companies will get to do it under this bill, which will make health insurance too expensive for a lot of people.

Of course, no one wants to pay more for health insurance, so I’d like to think these dum-dums just voted themselves out of a job when the midterm elections come. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens. Here’s a way to donate to the campaigns of people running against the stupid jackasses who voted for this bullshit bill. Let’s get rid of these “people.” They have got to go.

I seriously hope the Senate rips this bill up. I’m going to try to be optimistic and hope that this bill won’t pass the Senate, but a lot of these politicians also couldn’t get reasonable gun regulations passed after someone went into a school and murdered 20 children, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in their abilities to do the right thing.

Do these morons actually think we will forget that they voted to take away health care from millions of our most vulnerable citizens? Guess what? We won’t. We won’t forget.

Me and my pre-existing condition.


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I Do What I Want

Yeah, so, on Sunday Calvin’s soon-to-be new elementary school had a little welcome picnic.

We didn’t dress up as a polyamorous furry family as originally planned. Instead, we went as ourselves – a cool, social-able father, a vegan pain in the ass mother who can’t eat any of the food, and an awesome autistic boy who would rather explore the park than join in the other kids’ games.

I need to get this shirt for Calvin.

Calvin was running up and down a hill, and I was standing in a shady spot making sure that he didn’t make a run for the picnic table and steal an egg-filled treat since he’s allergic. Hives and vomiting don’t make for a great first impression. All of the kids were playing some organized activities, but Calvin — unsurprisingly — was not interested.

Me: “Calvin, do you want to play with the other kids?”

Calvin: “No, thank you. I want to play here.”

Me: “Cool. Enjoy!”

Calvin couldn’t have gotten any farther away from where the kids where playing.

We weren’t stressing about it, though. He was so happy running around that hill. Occasionally, he would join up with another group of kids on the hill, and then head off on his own adventure. He had an awesome time.

Meanwhile, my mighty, mighty good man David really shines in social situations like these. He can talk to anyone, and he had an informative conversation with the principal, and got all the flyers we need. Good thing he’s good at that stuff. I didn’t even know where to start at this event. I was thisclose to running up and down the hill with Calvin. I got a little excited at one point because I thought I saw wine bottles on the picnic table, but alas, it was some weird ginger drink.

There are two communities with this school: a Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program and something called Second Community, which is everything but the Japanese program, I guess. Most kids are in one or the other, but kids like Calvin in the Special Day Class get to kinda pick and choose what they want from the two communities. There is a lot of fundraising that goes on, and the principal let us know that we can do fundraising for the school, but we can also do specific fundraising for Calvin’s classroom. We’re not expected to do fundraising for programs that Calvin can’t or won’t participate in.

It’s going to be really sad to leave the preschool in August, but I’m feeling confident that this school is going to be a good fit for Calvin, and once he gets used to it, he’s going to be really happy there.


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Dorking Out Episode 45: Summer Movies and The Handmaid’s Tale

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out Will Wilkins from the NetHeads podcast on the Smodcast Network joins us to share our three most anticipated movies of the summer. Of course, I totally cheat and pick like five movies, because I’m the worst.

And if you think “Wonder Woman” is one of my picks, well, you’re right. It is. I also picked “Cars 3,” because my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin super loves the first “Cars” movie so I know I’m seeing it. Then I lumped in “Rough Night” and “Girls Trip” together, because they are both comedies about girls nights out gone wrong, and I’m into that shit, because just in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a girl. Plus, “Rough Night” has Kate McKinnon, and she’s the best.

Also, during this segment, I agree to watch “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” and “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes,” if Smith watches “Pitch Perfect” and “Bring It On.” I’m pretty sure he’s getting the better end of this deal, because those movies are rad.

In our second segment, we review “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu. This miniseries is crazy good, you guys. It’s some serious next-level TV. It’s scary as hell. Smith came up with a pretty good game to play while watching it so he doesn’t get too bummed out. I won’t spoil it here. You should listen. I resorted to drinking, because duh.

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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Weekend Getaway: Portland

Yeah, so, we went to Portland.

My mighty, mighty good man David had to go to Portland for work, so I flew up on Friday to meet him for a little weekend away. I left Calvin in the car in the parking lot at the airport. Don’t worry, I left the window cracked. I’m not a monster.

I kid. He stayed with my mom and had the best time ever. Grandma is his best friend.

So, yeah, I flew up to Portland, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but it was my first-time ever flying on a plane by myself. Also, I’m 46. I know, I know. It’s pretty ridiculous.

Look, Mom! I’m going to fly on the plane like a big girl.

I downloaded the new “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on my Kindle, and it turns out it was the perfect length for the flight. It ended right as we were landing. I was completely entertained and distracted the entire time.

We had an awesome time in Portland. It’s a great city. There was a ton of tasty beer and everywhere I went there was a variety of vegan options. And not just the “I guess I’ll get the fries and the salad” variety, but full-on vegan options. Even a divey bar would have nachos with a vegan cheese option. Heaven!

Our friend Caitlin showed us around on Friday, and we went to a vegetarian restaurant Harlow, where I discovered jalapeno cashew cheese that I will absolutely be trying to make myself. We also went to Breakside Brewery, where I had a couple of really good IPAs, Rainbows & Unicorns IPA and Lunch Break ISA. I also bought this rad hat, which David is modeling in this photo.

We also had dinner at a vegan restaurant, Blossoming Lotus, because David and Caitlin are nice people. I got the chickpea chana masala curry, because curry is one of my faves, and it was delicious. We ended the night with drinks at Horse Brass Pub with David’s friends Collin and Siri.

On Saturday, we went to Blue Star Donuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is super famous, but we were told repeatedly that Blue Star Donuts is a local favorite. We were not disappointed. David got the creme brulee donut, and I got a vegan blueberry one. Yummers!

After that, we went to 10 Barrel Brewing, and I had the milk stout, which was pretty darn good.

We had evening drinks with our friend Kirk and his girlfriend Emily at the White Owl Social Club, which is such an awesome place we didn’t really want to leave for our dinner reservations. But we’re so glad we did, because we had an amazing dinner at La Moule. As you can tell by the name, mussels are kinda their thing, so I decided to be a bad, BAD vegan for a meal and get the Korean mussels, which had miso, ginger, kimchi, garlic and sesame oil. It was good stuff. Honestly, I could have just eaten a loaf of crusty bread and dripped into the broth.

I can see why so many San Franciscans have moved to Portland. It’s very San Francisco-ish, except cleaner. Maybe that’s because of the rain?

We had such a good time. Big thanks to Caitlin for giving up her Friday to show us around, Collin and Siri for meeting us at Horse Brass, and Kirk and Emily for introducing us to the White Owl. Thanks, you guys!

 

 


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Dorking Out Episode 44: Fargo, Toy Box and Avatar

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out we review the third season of “Fargo,” which started last week.

The movie “Fargo” is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the TV series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I adore the first two seasons. I just watched the first episode of season three last night, and I really liked what I saw.

In our second segment, Smith interviews the owners of award-winning board game creators of Blue Matter Games. It’s a really great interview about how to live a creative life.

And finally, we end our show with what we’re dorking out about this week, including the saddest book ever — “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” — and the announcement of the release dates for four more “Avatar” movies, which kicks off a lengthy argument between us about whether or not “Avatar” is a good movie. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t.) I realize that the movie made a lot of money, but I don’t think it’s as beloved as people think. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t ever hear anyone talking about it. I hear people talk about “Titanic” more often than “Avatar.” So, yeah, “Avatar” is not my jam.

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.