The Sonia Show

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

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Think pink (cupcakes)

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has been really into “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” lately. He really loves an episode in which Pinkalicious and her mother bake pink cupcakes, and she eats so many of them she turns pink.

For weeks, he has been talking about pink cupcakes.

“We will make pink cupcakes sometime, Mommy?”

“I want pink cupcakes.”

“We will make pink cupcakes later?”

This weekend, we finally made it happen. I think he’s just a little bit proud of them.

And yes, before you ask, they’re vegan. I used boxed cupcake mix with egg replacer, and you’d never know the difference.

Now I have to hide the cupcakes, because he will wake up in the middle of the night and eat them.

For our Oscar party, my friends John and Chris brought over “hostless” cupcakes, and they were awesome! We had a few leftover, and we had them sitting on the counter. The next morning, Calvin came into our room.

Him: “Guess what I did?”

David: “Umm, what?”

Him: “I ate a cupcake in the dark last night.”

Me: “Umm, what?”

Him: “I got up in the night and ate a cupcake.”

He did. He got up in the middle night and ate a cupcake. Then he went to the bathroom to wash the chocolate off his face and hands. And he would’ve gotten away with it, if he hadn’t told on himself … and we didn’t notice all the chocolate crumbs on the bathroom the next morning.



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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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.”





6 Things I Love Right Now

Yeah, so, things have been kinda depressing lately, with David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying … which reminds me: Hey cancer, fuck you! Anyway, I’m all about being positive and shit now, let’s talk about six things I’m loving right now.

Fleece Tights

I bought these awesome fleece tights from Target. It’s been super cold in San Francisco right now. I’ll pause right here to let those of you who deal with real cold – you know with snow and stuff – laugh. Let me know when you are finished.


No, but seriously you guys, it’s been so cold that I’ve had to wear socks. It’s ridiculous. I like to wear dresses all the time, so these fleece tights are my new favorite thing. I can still be super cute and warm. I bought them in gray and black, and they are the best.

Soup Weather

Speaking of cold weather, that’s the perfect time to make soup. I’ve made nothing but soup for the past week, and you know what? They’ve all turned out pretty good.

I made a vegetable noodle soup with ginger miso broth and potato leek soup (both from “Thug Kitchen” – the best cookbook ever), chestnut soup (from Will Cook For Friends) and spicy black bean soup from a recipe in VegNews magazine (yeah, I subscribe to a vegan magazine, so what!)


The vegetable noodle soup didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked, but it was still fine. I think I need to try making it again. I don’t always expect to nail a new dish the first time I make it. That said, the three other soups were de-fuckin-licious. I’m basically a gourmet chef now, you guys. Look for me on the next season of “Top Chef.” I’ll be the contestant that starts flipping through a cookbook at the start of every challenge and cuts her finger every time she uses a knife.

My Almost Pixie Cut

OK, so, I wouldn’t say I’m really loving my almost pixie cut … I mean, I really miss my old hair. BUT, I will say this for my almost pixie cut, it takes almost no time to get ready to get out, and that’s kinda rad.


All business in the front.


Party in the back. I actually need a haircut, you guys! And a dye job. Ugh, gray.


Remember when kids were obsessed with “Frozen?” Well, that’s mighty, mighty good boy Calvin now, but with “Cars.”

Is “Cars” the best Pixar movie? Absolutely not. I think “The Incredibles” (or any of the “Toy Story” movies) takes that title. But I’ve been watching it a lot lately, and it’s really cute. I know it came out in 2006, but I had never seen it. But now, as a mother of a 4-year-old boy, I’m watching it on repeat. I’m still not tired of it. Trust me, there are other things that are way more annoying for your kid to watch than a Pixar movie. For example, have you watched five minutes of “Bob The Builder?” Ugh. The voices are annoying, and there’s a scarecrow or something with a weird pumpkinhead running around causing problems … WTF is that show about?! Wait, sorry, we’re keeping it positive, right?

Back to “Cars,” I’m almost ashamed to admit how many times I’ve laughed at Mater.


I know. I’m the worst. I think Larry the Cable Guy, who does the voice, is really unfunny, but for some reason, I think Mater is really funny. I kinda hate myself right now. Don’t worry, though. I will be punished. I hear that “Cars 2” is not very good, and I’m sure Calvin will be all about watching it soon.

Firestone Walker Agrestic

I will never get tired of drinking Agrestic by Firestone Walker. It’s just a little sour, not too sour. Even mighty, mighty good man David will drink it.


This Guy


Live long and prosper

Yeah, so, we did our first family costume this year for Halloween.

Yep. We’re those people now. Go ahead and judge. I can take it.

andthis livelong

Sadly, we didn’t get a photo of all three of us together yet. We are wearing these costumes a few more times before Halloween time is over, so I’m sure we will get at least one. Plus, I think you get the whole picture with these two pictures. The Spawn is Captain Kirk. David was supposed to be Spock, but the ears didn’t fit, so I guess now he is Bones. You can’t tell in that photo above, but I’m wearing Vulcan ears. I’m just some random red shirt (well, technically it’s a dress), which means I’m most likely the one to die if we beam down to a new planet.



I think we have a lot of family costumes in our future. We’re into it. We’re dorks, and it’s fun.

Originally, I wanted to dress The Boy up as Batman, and mighty, mighty good man David would be the Penguin and I could be Poison Ivy or something. But, we decided that most likely The Boy will want to dress up as Batman someday. Now is our chance to dress him up in costumes we pick, hence the Star Trek outfits. It could be as soon as next year that Calvin will want to pick out his own Halloween costume. I’m hoping we have one more year that we get to pick, because I think Calvin would make a great hobbit.

Oh, so anyway, remember last week when I asked, “What’s your dish?” I was planning on baking cupcakes for my sister and brother in law’s Halloween party. Well, this is how they turned out.

The pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes are watching you; judging you.

The pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes are watching you; judging you.

The cream cheese frosting was a little runny at first, but I tried to thicken it up the best I could. The cupcakes were a little messy to eat, but they tasted pretty good. I thought they were delicious, if I don’t say so myself. I got a few compliments on them. Maybe cream cheese frosting was a little too ambitious for me since I’m not an experienced baker.

I’m not sure what kind of cupcakes I want to try next. I might try an eggless cupcake recipe since The Boy is allergic to eggs. It would be nice to bake something that I could actually let my son eat.


What’s your dish?

Yeah, so, I bought a gun.

Well, a frosting gun.

Not a real gun. I mean, have we met? That’s ridiculous.  However, my frosting gun is just as deadly as a real gun. It could definitely kill someone … slowly … by giving them Type 2 Diabetes, which can lend to serious, life-threatening illness. Take that, NRA!

So anyway, I bought a frosting gun, because we’re going to my sister and brother-in-law’s Halloween party on Saturday, and I’m making cupcakes: pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese frosting. I’ve decided that I maybe — just maybe — I can be the person who makes really good cupcakes.

Homer likes my cupcakes.

Homer likes my cupcakes.

My mom makes the most amazing potato salad. It’s her thing. Every time she’s invited to a party, the host asks, “Will you make your potato salad?” Seriously, if you had some of my mom’s potato salad, you would invite her to every party just to get more of it.

I want a dish like that. I need to find my dish.

I make pretty good deviled eggs. I thought that would be my dish. People don’t ask me to bring deviled eggs for parties, though. I tried making quiches for a while, but then I basically poisoned the Spawn and became less interested in that. For previous Halloween parties, I’ve made mini-pumpkin pies. I put them all on a plate next to a whipped cream container and tell people to go nuts. People seem to like those, and I probably could have made them again this year for the Halloween party, but I wanted to try something different.

I have no idea if cupcakes will be my dish. But I will keep trying different dishes until one of them sticks. What about you, dear readers? What’s your dish?


Real babies don’t eat quiche

Yeah, so, like everyone else I’ve made a New Year’s resolution that I’m sure to break by February.

I’ve decided to cook more.

I’ve been inspired by my friends, who have a great ability to just whip up tasty dishes. I do not have that ability, but I’m hoping to change that in 2013.

Sure, I cook a little now. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner for the Spawn. He eats way better than we do. I like to make mini-pumpkin pies for holiday parties, and I’ve made some pretty good deviled eggs in my day. But I don’t really cook dinner for us. I just warm things up. David does most of the cooking. I just open a bag of salad. At 42, I should be able to cook. It’s kinda sad.

So, I got a jump start on my resolution. Last week I made enchiladas for the first time. Mighty, mighty good man David and good buddies Beegs and Sass were my guinea pigs. And while the enchiladas didn’t look pretty, they did taste pretty good, so I consider it mild success.

The next day I made a quiche for the first time. I used leftover ham from the Christmas dinner at my parents’ place. I threw in some spinach and some cheese. It was so easy! I had no idea.


My first quiche was such a delicious success that I made a second quiche sans the ham on New Year’s Day. I had a slice, and I chopped up a slice for the Spawn, too.

Here’s when this whole Sonia-is-cooking thing went wrong …

The Spawn eats the quiche and rubs it all over his face. He immediately starts getting red and itchy. Ugh. This has happened before. On his birthday, we gave him a chocolate cupcake that he rubbed on his face and immediately became red and itchy. So, we whisked him off to a bath to wash all the quiche off. Of course, I start fretting and worrying: “He’s had spinach before. He’s had eggs before. He’s had cheese before.” The truth is, Calvin is just an itchy kid — pretty much anything he rubs on his face is going to make him red and itchy.

After the bath, he looked a lot better. David and The Boy sat in kid’s bedroom and read books. And then it happened … The Boy threw up. He threw up all over himself, the book and David. He didn’t get upset. He looked confused: “Why is all this food coming out of my mouth?” He’s never thrown up before. It was scary (for us), and sad and gross.

I’m confused but happy to report that I didn’t throw up as well. When my niece Lorelei was a baby she threw up on me. I started dry heaving, and I almost threw up on her. They say it’s different when it’s your kid. I guess that’s true, because I didn’t throw up this time.

So anyway, we rushed The Boy back to the bath.

I start fretting again: “This is my fault. I’m so stupid. He’s had spinach before. He’s had eggs before. He’s had cheese before. What did I do wrong? [the tears are starting to come] This is my fault. I poisoned him. I shouldn’t be cooking.”

Calvin made a complete recovery within minutes. He was in a great mood, all smiles and playing. See?


I, on the other hand, was a wreck. Later, after The Boy and David are cleaned up and playing, I threw the quiche in the trash. Even though I had a slice and didn’t get sick, I worried that there was something wrong with it. Also, after cleaning up vomited quiche, David wasn’t planning on having any quiche for a while.

I called my mom, and she talked me down: “Kids get sick. Maybe he just doesn’t like quiche. Now you know.” Then David talked me down: “A quiche is kinda rich and dense. Maybe it’s just not good for babies. He’s not ready for quiche. We didn’t know. Now we know.”

The whole experience isn’t exactly building up my confidence for the “I’m going to cook more in 2013” resolution.