The Sonia Show

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


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Giants and A’s, A’s and Giants

Yeah, so, we went to the A’s game today.

It was their Autism Awareness game, and they opened their new sensory room. It’s for autistic people, people with sensory processing disorders, Down syndrome, PTSD and dementia.

Ballparks can be loud and overwhelming. This is a nice quiet suite with noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys and bean bag chairs. It’s got a beautiful view of the ballpark.

At first, we were the only ones in the new room, but as the game progressed more and more people stopped by. Eventually, there were about 7 kids in the room. So, it was 15 people who were really happy and grateful to be there.

And after the game, we get to do one of Calvin’s favorite things: ride BART.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I’ve always been a San Francisco Giants fan with the Oakland A’s as my second, and for my mighty, mighty good man David it is the reverse. We love baseball. We root for the Bay Area teams, except for the 49ers, because football – meh. But other people love the 49ers and good for them.

Anyway, I have been so impressed with the Oakland A’s. They are doing so much to appeal to families and, well, people who just love baseball. I can’t say for sure what goes through the SF Giants leadership’s mind, but it appears that they are mainly interested in people with money. They’ve got the Gotham Club and the Cloud Club – both of them cater to folks with money. Regular ticket prices are pretty high, too, which makes them not ideal for families or people with a limited amount of disposable income. Not to mention, this happenedthis happened again – oh! – and this happened, and, well, that makes me not want to give them my hard-earned money right now.

At the A’s, we were able to afford their All Access Pass, which gives us seats to 10 games BUT we can go to every home game and sit in the Treehouse (which is rad, and Calvin loves it). Plus, we get 50 percent off beer concessions and $10 parking. I know, RIGHT?!

So, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Check out the fair weather Giants fans.” First of all, RUDE. Second, that’s not true. I still root for the Giants. But, I think the San Francisco Giants are the fair weather fans. They left me. They appear to be more interested in tech money than fans like me. What sucks for the Giants is that all the big tech money is going to move on to that shiny new Chase Center soon, and then the Giants will be all, “Take me back, baby. It will be different this time.” And honestly, I don’t know if it will work … it might, though. Once they dump their racist co-owner, I’ll consider it.

Maybe part of my issue isn’t just the Giants, but San Francisco, too. San Francisco was the city that everyone moved to when you didn’t fit in anywhere else. Freaks and outcasts welcome. It’s one of the amazing things about this city. I think it is still that, but it’s also about tech and money. San Francisco always has an ebb and flow when it comes to tech money, and right now it’s really flowing and it’s drowning out a lot of cool people and businesses. It’s frustrating, but I also know that’s part of living in a big city like San Francisco.

Let me put it another way: Right now, it feels like tech bros are the new jocks, and the rest of us are nerds getting dumped in trash cans.

I’m just ranting. I apologize, my friends … My point is … what was my point? Oh yeah! Baseball.

The A’s are doing so much to cater to families and attract younger fans. I feel like they are cultivating the next generation of fans.

We have taken Calvin to many games throughout the years, but after this most recent trip to the ballpark, he asked if we could go to another game sometime soon, and that was a first. It made me want to cry, and it made me an A’s fan.


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Six things I’m lovin’ – ‘Spotlight,’ podcasts, San Francisco and more

Yeah, so, it’s Friday. Let’s kick off the weekend with some positive shit. Here are six things I’m lovin’ lately.

“Spotlight”

Some of the Oscar-nominated movies are On Demand right now, which means I can actually see some of them before the show at the end of the month. I already shared all my thoughts and feelings about “Room.” I watched “Spotlight” the other night, and it’s really, really good. It’s an excellent example of what my good buddy Smith calls, “competency porn.” Everyone is really good at their job, and it’s so interesting to watch.

Just in case you have no idea what “Spotlight” is about let me fill you in: It’s about a little boy who goes to wizarding school … I kid. It’s a true story about the team of journalists for the Boston Globe who exposed the Catholic church sex scandal, starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.

I worked for several newspapers for a decade, so whenever I watch a movie or TV show that is set in a newspaper one of two things happen. Either I think: 1) “They got it wrong. Newspapers are not like that”; or 2) “I miss working at a newspaper.”

“Spotlight” falls under #2.

There were an entire generation of journalists who saw “All The President’s Men” and were inspired to be journalists. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Spotlight” has a similar influence.

It’s really great. You should watch it.

This Denim Skirt

I’ve had this idea in my head for a while about this perfect denim skirt. A denim skirt that hits me at the knees. It doesn’t have a slit in the back that gives everyone a free show every time I bend over. A skirt that I could wear on weekends with sandals, but I also could wear it with boots or a cute pair of flats to work.

I finally found it at LL Bean. I don’t know jack about LL Bean. It might be an old lady store, but I kinda don’t give a shit, because this skirt is fuckin’ rad.

skirt

You will probably see a million photos of me this year in this skirt. Get used to it.

Lime Cilantro Slaw from “Thug Kitchen”

I made these really delicious roasted beer and lime cauliflower tacos with lime cilantro slaw from “Thug Kitchen” a week or so ago, and now I’m totally addicted to the coleslaw I made for it.

tacos

Seriously, you guys. It’s so fuckin’ good. The slaw takes five seconds to make, and I just want to eat it with everything.

Podcasting

Apparently, I’m one of those assholes that really likes the sound of her own voice, because I’m really enjoying podcasting.

I don’t think I’m particularly good at it, but I don’t walk into a new thing that think that I will be instantly good at it. It takes practice. I think I’m getting better. I’m working on my nervous laughter after everything I say. I’m trying to cut down on the “likes” and “ummms.”

Back when I was a TV critic in the early 2000s, I used to do the Ronn Owens show on KGO 810AM. It was super fun. Other than that, I don’t have any experience with this sort of thing.

Mighty, mighty good man David used to do a podcast at his old job. He really loved it. He came up with the idea that we should do our own podcast about old movies and beer, and – ta-dah – Old Movies, New Beer was born.

Then, last December, my long-time friend Anthony – director of the “Sharknado” movies #humblebrag – asked me to appear on his podcast, The Pop Show. And we’ve been recording almost once a week since then.

It’s been so fun to think and talk about pop culture and entertainment again. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to talk to two of my oldest friends, Anthony and Smith – not to mention Peter (also known as Master P or P Biddy), who served at The Examiner with me. That’s right “served” – I talk about my time at The Examiner like I was in war or something.

If you guys are listening to either of the podcasts, I would love to hear what you think. Feedback is fun!

Baseball

You guys! Baseball is starting. I mean, spring training is starting, and that’s good enough for me. I am ridiculously excited for baseball to start. You know why? Because it’s an even year. That means it’s the San Francisco Giants turn to win the World Series again.

linus

San Francisco

I love living in one of the best cities in the world. The City is changing, and not always in a good way. I get super bummed about the direction San Francisco is headed. The tech bro mentality is frustrating, but the nonstop whiny and complaining about the tech bro mentality is also frustrating.

But then this happens, and I’m like, “Oh San Francisco! I can’t stay mad at you.”

bridge-boy

bridge-boy2

 


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Texting about baseball, part two

Yeah, so, my brother Eric and I are so bummed that the San Francisco Giants designated Joaquin Arias for assignment. Who are we going to make fun of now?

Welcome part two in the new series, Eric & Sonia Text About Baseball. Eric texted me so we could talk about our feelings about the Arias news. [Eric is the gray bubble, and I’m green.]

text

Santiago Casilla is the San Francisco Giants closer, and, well, batting is not really his thing.

Here’s Casilla standing a mile from the plate.

Here he is almost running away from a pitch.

Dear Bruce Bochy,

Can you have more of the bullpen bat for our amusement? Please and thank you.

Love,

Eric & Sonia

In other Giants related news, I was eating at Ike’s Place in Daly City on Monday, and Giants commentator Mike Krukow was there eating with his wife. I KNOW, RIGHT?! There’s an Ike’s in Daly City now.

I’m a shy person. SHUT UP. I am a shy person. I wouldn’t dare approach a celebrity, especially when they are eating. I’d feel like such a dick for interrupting their meal. “Hey, can you stop enjoying your meal so a stranger can say how much they like you?” So, even though I’m a huge fan, I couldn’t work up the courage to walk over and say hi. However, mighty, mighty good man David isn’t shy. He walked over and said hi, and introduced me. Krukow couldn’t have been more gracious. He was having lunch with his lovely wife, and they were both so friendly and nice. I didn’t ask for a photo because they were eating, and it took all my courage to talk to them. I had no courage left to ask for a photo. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it happened.

 


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Texting about baseball

Yeah, so, welcome to the first installment of “Eric & Sonia Text About Baseball.”

My brother Eric and I like to text each other during San Francisco Giants games. It’s usually just random comments about the game or how about shitty the commercials are. I would say that the thing we text about the most is Joaquin Arias, one of the Giants players.

He’s not a terrible player. He’s a perfectly passable player. He’s had his moments. He’s certainly better at baseball than us. The comments are along the lines of “Oh good, they put Arias in. We’re sure to win now” and “Arias, wheee.”

The following is a text conversation between me and Eric that started with Arias and the laughably disappointing Casey McGehee and turned into a discussion about about the all-star game. It demonstrates how very intelligent our baseball conversations get. I’m the green chat bubble, and Eric is gray.

text1 text2


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Vote for me for Honorary Bat Girl for the San Francisco Giants

Yeah, so, I really want to be an honorary bat girl at the San Francisco Giants’ Mother Day game, and you can help me make it happen.

MLB.com is holding a contest, in which people share their stories about “going to bat against breast cancer.” The winner gets two tickets to the Mother’s Day game, and they get a special shout out on the field. I’m not going to lie, I want this.

I’ve gone to bat against breast cancer twice. The San Francisco Giants have unknowingly really helped me throughout my fights. They give me something else to think about, something else to talk about. They are the very best distraction. I am going to be doing chemo throughout the regular season this year, and I’m glad that I will have baseball to watch while I’m recovering. On top of the whole breast cancer thing, it’s a Mother’s Day game, and we’ve had a big year on the parenthood front as well with Calvin’s autism diagnosis coming just two weeks before my breast cancer diagnosis. As a team, the MansTracys have really had to step up to the plate. I think winning something like this would mean a lot to me, and my family and friends who have helped me along the way.

So anyway, voting goes like this:

You click this link: http://mlb.mlb.com/honorarybatgirl/2015/gallery.jsp

You select the Giants as the team, and then you will see this. “Sonia” – that’s me and Calvin in the photo.

voteAnd then you click VOTE. It’s pretty easy, and you can vote as many times as you want. If you so desire, you can read my little essay by clicking on the photo of me and Calvin. It will open up and look like this:

vote-for-sonia

I’ll post the essay here for you, too.

Breast cancer is a real jerk with bad timing.

I had just met the man who would become my husband when I was first diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in 2009. He proposed just a few days before my left breast mastectomy. Five years later, even though I was taking Tamoxifen, a cancer-fighting drug, I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive breast cancer in my right breast. This was just two weeks after our 3-year-old son, Calvin, was diagnosed with autism. I had a mastectomy of my right breast in January.

I started chemotherapy in early March, the same week my son started work with behavioral and speech therapists. My chemotherapy will run through almost all of this year’s baseball season, ending in August. This means I will be rooting for the San Francisco Giants from my chemo level seat, instead of club level seat. And I think it goes without saying that I bought an orange wig for game days.

Going through chemotherapy is a bit like having a bad baseball season; you learn who your true fans are. And I have amazing fans. My friends and family are constantly waving their rally towels for me. I blog about all my experiences at my blog TheSoniaShow.com, so people I don’t really know from all over the country are cheering me on. Whenever I step up to the plate for my next round of chemo, I think of my fans. We have a lot going on in our household, but – just like the San Francisco Giants – we take it all on as a team. Together. And just like the San Francisco Giants, I never stop believing that I can do this; that we can do this.

As a breast cancer survivor and a mother, I would be honored to serve as an honorary bat girl during the Mother’s Day game for the San Francisco Giants.

Thank you in advance for voting. I really, truly appreciate it. Also, go Giants!


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Random stuff: Mascot racing, sour beer and more

Yeah, so, I accidentally took more than two weeks off from my blog. That’s not like me. I apologize. Let me make it up to you by writing a blog post filled with random crap. Cool? Cool!

At the end of June, the company I work for laid off my office buddy Jennifer, who was not only my office buddy, but she was the only other person on the content team. So, yeah, I’ve been swamped at work, and when I get home I’m not exactly aching to turn on the computer, which is most likely the reason for the lack of blogging. Ugh. I hate working at work. That shit is so lame. Let’s talk about something else …

Speaking of talking, The Kid is starting to talk a lot. There’s still some babbling, but we are hearing a lot of sentences, too. The other day he handed me my phone and said, “Take a picture of me.” So I did.

bunnyears

Bunny ears.

I posted this photo on Facebook, explaining that Calvin asked me to, and good buddy Katie commented, “See? He knows what a phone is for.” Suck on that, speech therapist.

On Sunday, mighty, mighty good man David and I finally got to go to our first game of the baseball season. I know, right? That’s so sad. We went to the A’s game with good buddies Corso and Kate, and once again the baseball gods were smiling on me at the Oakland Coliseum because David was able to snap this photo.

bigheads

Big heads!

For those of you who don’t give a shit about baseball because you care about other cooler stuff, that’s Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Rickey Henderson. They race on the field during the 7th inning. I think all ballparks need to do mascot racing. Where’s the Kickstarter to make that happen? I’ll contribute. Hey, San Francisco Giants: You have a organic garden in centerfield (seriously), but you don’t have mascot racing. Priorities! We’re going to the game on August 31 (it’s the Star Wars game), and I want to see some goddamn mascots racing. Make it happen.

I’ve had really good luck at the Coliseum lately. Last season, I got my photo taken with the A’s mascot Stomper and some “Star Wars” folks.

stomper

Yes, I’m more of a Giants fan, but still … Take this, haters!

starswarsAsgame

You: “I’m jealous of your Han Solo shirt.” Me: “I know.”

Speaking of awesome things that happened, Almanac released a Dark Pumpkin Sour beer. I repeat, Dark Pumpkin Sour beer. Those are my four favorite words: Dark Pumpkin Sour BEER!

pumpkinsour

Dark. Pumpkin. SOUR!

I read about this beer a few weeks ago, and I tweeted to my local bottle shop. “Do you have the Almanac Dark Pumpkin Sour?” And they replied they would have it later the following week. Last Thursday, I walked in, and the owner said, “It’s back there.” This was cool for two reasons:

1) Dark Pumpkin Sour beer.

2) The bottle shop owner knows who I am.

Actually, that second one might be a sign of a problem.

So anyway, the Dark Pumpkin Sour was everything I dreamed it would be. If you like sour beer, I recommend it. If you don’t like sour beer, well … more for me.

Speaking of things I’m addicted to, David served me a bowl of Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl ice cream from Bi-Rite tonight. After one bite …

requiem

 

Oh man. That ice cream is going to be a problem. Now I understand why people are lining up around the block for it all the time. I get it now, you guys. I get it.


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Giants baseball and beer

Yeah, so, I’ve been all about San Francisco Giants baseball this week.

I have been wearing my Giants gear all week at work.

I have been superstitiously drinking my Anchor Porter and Sierra Nevada Tumbler during every game, and it’s totally working, because the Giants are up two games. You’re welcome, everybody!

So, I watched Game 1 with the Spawn. Mighty, mighty good man David went out, so The Boy and I snuggled up on the couch to watch Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs. Amazing!

Apparently, Game 1 was dedicated to Stand Up 2 Cancer. Everyone in the ballpark was given a sign to hold up. They wrote the name of someone in their life who has/had cancer.

I cannot tell a lie on this blog: I cried during this moment. More than 45,000 people holding up signs with names of people who had/have cancer. Some of the signs said, “My Mom,” and some of the signs said, “Me.” I’m not made of stone. It was a special moment, and as a breast cancer survivor I was very touched.

While a little part of me was bummed to not be at the game, because I love baseball and because I would have loved to participated in that moment, I was so happy to be sitting on the couch, cancer free, with my little guy. I gave him a little hug with tears streaming down my face, and then he reached out for Homer and said, “Dog.”

Figures.