The Sonia Show

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


Leave a comment

The ugly tooth

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boys and I were back to school shopping at Target, because TARGET!

While at the register I see Calvin bend down and pick something up off the ground.

“Mommy, look,” he said.

“Ewww, don’t pick up things off the ground,” I said, slapping whatever it was out of his hand.

“My tooth!”

“Wait, what? Was that your tooth?” I replied.

He flashed me a bloody grin.

“GAH! I’m such a crap mom,” I repeated as David and I were on all fours looking for Calvin’s missing tooth. We finally found it, and the surrounding parents gave us “the nod” and a hearty “Congrats” and “Good job.”

I felt so terrible about just knocking his tooth out of his hand without even taking a look at what it was. But, I don’t think there are any hard feelings, because I bought our fan of fans an oscillating fan while we were there.

Advertisements


1 Comment

A few sad stories and then something funny, I promise

Yeah, so, I’ve got a few things to write about, and I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s start with the past few weeks have not been my favorite.

My grandmother passed away last week. She was 93. She was really amazing, and the original Church Lady, in my opinion. She was tiny, less than 5 feet tall, and she had 8 kids. 8 KIDS, you guys!

She knew I loved her, and I know she loved me, and she might have even been proud of me, even though I don’t go to church. I did a reading during her service, and I thought about opening with a joke about how Grandma was always trying to get me to go to church, “but this is taking it too far, Grandma.”

I won’t go on and on here because my family asked that we don’t post anything on Facebook, but my blog isn’t Facebook. LOOPHOLES! I will say that I love her, and I will miss her. I wrote her obituary, and if you’re interested it’s riiight here.

Oh, and best buddy Kate moved to Colorado for a job.

I’m so proud of Kate for making a big change in her life. But selfishly, I want her here! She’s an awesome person and an amazing friend. I will never been able to thank her enough for being there for me during some of the craziest times of my life: cancer, pregnancy, cancer again, chemotherapy, anxiety attacks … Of course, she was always around during the best times of my life: meeting my mighty, mighty good man David, the wedding and Calvin. She was my go-to person. My #1 in SF. Now she’s my #1 in The ‘Rado!

Even though she’s in another state, I have no doubt we will still talk all the time. She’s one of those friends that you just know you’re always going to be friends and be in each other’s lives. I’m just bummed that she’s not here to go to Chili’s with me. I am looking forward to hanging out in Colorado, though. They have good beer, and they’ve got Kate!

Orange wig and good buddy Kate at the Giants game during my chemo-cation in 2015.

OH, and our Little Cat Friend passed away. Her bone infection was just too much for her, so some of the neighbors split the cost of having someone come and put her down. It was sad. We have her ashes now, and we’re going to bury her in a sunny spot in our yard where she loved to hang out.

OK, OK, Let’s talk about something fun …

I strongly encourage you – some might even say beg you – to check out some of our latest Dorking Out episodes. We had SO MUCH FUN talking about “The Contender” with Margo from The Best Neighbors Podcast and Book V Movie. This episode is really funny.

Also, I know the Academy Awards were forever ago, but after the show Smith and I recorded an episode, so if you want to hear Drinky Sonia talk about the Oscars, then this episode is for you.

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.


Leave a comment

Buh bye, 2017

Yeah, so, this year hasn’t been awesome.

We have a sexual predator in the White House, and – with the help of an enabling GOP – he is attacking this country’s most vulnerable citizens, including the sick, elderly, disabled and immigrants. It’s disgusting and depressing as fuck. It fills me with rage.

I have donated money to organizations and candidates who are helping people and fighting for what’s right. I’ve been calling my reps, and occasionally reps in other districts since their votes affect me. I do what I can handle, and it makes me feel a little less helpless.

BUT, I wanted to focus on some good things that happened this year in the MansTracy household.

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin started kindergarten, and he is flourishing. He’s so happy, and he’s learning so much. His language skills have improved by leaps and bounds.

I got a new job … kinda. The big corporate overload moved me from the Oakland office where I was the lone content person from the past 8 years to the San Francisco office to join the content team. And instead of just working on content for one brand, I will be working on the content with the team on all the brands. I’m really excited and nervous. Writing is in my comfort zone. Thinking big picture is outside my comfort zone. But, I’m down to expand my skillset. Plus, I super love being in the SF office. Not only has it cut my commute in half (and I’m taking BART instead of driving), but I absolutely adore my content coworkers. They are fuckin’ rad as hell.

I got on an airplane all by myself for the first time ever. True story. I met up with my mighty, mighty good man David in Portland after his work trip. We had a great time exploring the city, which is swimming in vegan options for me and beer for both of us. Plus, we got to see our friends Caitlin and Kirk, which made the trip even more awesome.

I got to go to Washington, DC to see my good buddy Katie and her husband Nathan. I finally got to see their house, and we spent some awesome time together walking around the Newseum, going to a Nationals game and sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos, because that’s how we roll.

We went to Santa Cruz again this year for our little family vacation, and we had an amazing time. Calvin has been asking to go back pretty much every day since we got back.

I started baking bread this year. I have always wanted to bake my own bread, but I thought it was too difficult and too time consuming. I found a perfect bread baking book: “Bread Illustrated” from America’s Test Kitchen.

My sister Michelle and my sister from another mister, Amanda, did a spa day at the Sonoma Mission Inn. We got massages and lounged by the pool with drinks. It was heaven.

I went to Bourbon & Branch for David’s birthday, and I discovered that I like gin. That’s a good thing.

 

 

My 15-year-old (!) niece Lorelei came out for the weekend, and we saw “IT” at the Alamo Drafthouse. Lorelei is a Tiny Sonia, so I knew she would love the Alamo Drafthouse. We had so much fun hanging out together. I was scared to see “IT.” I thought it was really fuck me up, but it turns out that I loved being scared about something other than the news.

After our weekend together, I went on a scary movie watching spree. It turns out I love horror movies! Funny enough, I’ve been listening to F This Movie for years, and the host Patrick Bromley is always taking about horror movies. Now I have the courage to actually watch all those movies he’s talking about.

Speaking of podcasts, Dorking Out with Chris & Sonia is still going strong. We recorded a podcast every week, except for one week. Even dorks need a week off once in a while. Super-big, mad props to my co-host Smith for keeping us on schedule, and all the work he does recording the podcast. Oh, and we got this amazing new logo by Jeff Heerman.

I’ll end this post with what everyone wants to see: Dog and cat cuddling action!

Happy New Year, you guys! Let’s hope that 2018 is chrome and shiny.


1 Comment

Beach Talk

Yeah, so, we are back from our annual family trip to Santa Cruz.

In the past there was a big group of us, but this year it was just the three of us – just us MansTracys. The truth is we always end up doing our own thing anyway. My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin usually has his own autistic agenda, and it involves finding all the ceiling fans in the area. It definitely doesn’t involve going on roller coasters at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which is fine by me. I don’t want to ride that stuff, either.

We started our trip with a stop at the Roaring Camp Railroads to ride the steam train. If you have a kid who loves trains, this is a must-do. The steam train winds its way through a redwood forest and stops by Bear Mountain, where everyone can get out and do some exploring.

Come on, ride the train.

Two bumps on a log.

When in Santa Cruz we like to stay at the Dream Inn, because we’re so fuckin’ fancy. Actually, I’m pretty sure we’re the opposite of fancy, but we do love staying there. It’s right on the beach, and it’s got a heated swimming pool. Every morning we order room service for breakfast and eat on the balcony.

Meh.

After breakfast, we usually walk the wharf, stopping into every shop and restaurant that has a ceiling fan. We usually tell the hostess, cashier, etc., what we’re doing and why. “He’s autistic, and he loves ceiling fans.” I realize that we don’t have to tell them, but I think it’s a good idea. This way, if another autistic person comes in, they will recognize it. Maybe it’s a silly thing to do, but I think it helps raise awareness.

We walked the wharf a few times a day, so all the employees in the shops and restaurants started to recognize us, and they always had a smile for Calvin. He’s really into naming shapes right now, so we walked the wharf and listed shapes: “square, circle, oval, rectangle, parallelogram, rhombus, star, arrow, heart.”

After we walked the wharf, we would go to the beach. We had a great time just playing in the waves and walking along the beach. During one trip to the beach, Calvin and I held hands and walked along the water until we ran out of beach. I got a little teary. The two of us have faced a lot of challenges in the past few years. Calvin received his autism diagnosis about the same time I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. But here we were, walking on the beach together – healthy and happy.

Beach boy.

After the beach, we would head to the pool. Calvin loves to be in the water, and he’s getting braver and braver. He’s been working on his dog paddle, which he calls “dog piddle.” The Dream Inn has a nice pool. It’s packed with families, and there’s a bar (beer!) and a taco stand.

Pool boys.

One afternoon, we were in the pool, and employees came around and told us that we needed to get out because they had to clean the pool. It turned out someone dropped a turd off at the pool.

“Hmm, maybe setting up a taco stand next to the swimming pool wasn’t the Dream Inn’s smartest decision,” I told David.

“Mr. Hanky decided to go for a swim, too,” David replied. “Howdy ho!

Some folks nearby overheard David, and they started cracking up and talking about Mr. Hanky. It wasn’t long until we could hear the Mr. Hanky impressions going around the pool.

So, yeah, that was pretty gross. And I was so, so, SO thankful our kid wasn’t responsible.

We did walk through the Beach Boardwalk one day, but Calvin didn’t like it. He thought it was too loud, which was a change from last year. He loved walking through the boardwalk last summer, looking at the lights and watching (but never riding) the rides.

This year, he was more interested in watching the boardwalk from the comfort of our room. He referred to the boardwalk as “hockey island.” “Hockey Island is too loud.” “Oh, Hockey Island is closed.” Pretty impressive “Inside Out” reference.

We also hit a few Santa Cruz breweries, including Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Humble Sea Brewing Company.  We got the Easy Money IPA and Blur IPA from Seabright. Very drinkable and perfect for the beach. I had the Devout Stout, because I’ve been drinking a lot of IPA lately, and I was ready for something dark. It was delicious, but the real winner was David’s Dread Brown Ale. We got a couple of growler-cans to go. On our way out of Santa Cruz, we stopped at Humble Sea. I got a stout based on Girl Scout thin mint cookies, and David got a northeast-style IPA, and both were pretty good. I was really impressed with all three places. They were terrific, comfortable spaces that were all dog and kid friendly. I’m always surprised by how kid-friendly other restaurants and breweries are outside of San Francisco. Other cities recognize that human beings have children, and that’s a part of life. San Francisco would prefer you get a sitter. Personally, I think some of the breweries in San Francisco could learn something from the ones in the East Bay and beyond. Children are a part of life. Get with the program.

So anyway, we had an awesome time on our trip, but it was nice to come home. We missed our animals. Toby spent the week with my mom. She told me that he really missed me, and he spent a lot of time staring longingly out the window. Our neighbor took care of Kubo for us. She said she’s not really a cat person, but Kubo has won her over. Kubo did the same thing with David. I think it’s her super power.

One of the smart things we planned with this vacation is we got back on Thursday, so we have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to recover. Most of the time, after a vacation, we feel like we need another vacation to recover from our vacation.

I’m so glad my double chin decided to photobomb our nice family pic.


9 Comments

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Yeah, so, our cat friend isn’t doing so well, and we’re worried.

We have a stray cat that has been coming around our house for a few months. We think she’s feral. She never lets us get close enough to pet her, but she will sniff our hands and meow at us. She’s been feeling pretty comfortable at our house. We keep bowls of food and water on our porch for her, and she will eat and then lounge on our porch in the sun. Also, we don’t know if our cat friend is a male or female, but we talk about her like she’s a girl.

If the bowls are empty, she will just sit on the porch and wait for us to notice. Usually, Toby or Kubo let us know she’s out there by hanging around the front door and sniffing.

Earlier this week, I heard a cat fight. It was dark, and I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear it. I was worried it was our cat friend. Then she didn’t come around for a few days. It’s not that unusual for her to not visit for a few days, but still, I was worried.

She finally showed up on Wednesday night. One of her front paws is swollen, and she is limping. I immediately ran back into the house to tell my mighty, mighty good man David, and he came out with food and water. We tried to get her to come close, and David tried to grab her. But, even though she’s injured, she’s still fast, and we couldn’t get her.

David called Animal Control, and by the time they came out, she was nowhere to be seen. That night, as we were getting ready to fall asleep, David said, “I shouldn’t have tried to grab her. I betrayed her trust.”

I love this man so much. I don’t know if I can adequately express how much it touches my heart, and how much it means to me, that he cares about animals. I grew up in a house of hunters. My parents have a room filled with mounted animals, which we call The Ego Room. My dad is like Gaston in “Beauty & The Beast,” and he uses antlers in all of his decorating.

I was always the odd girl out. I didn’t hunt. I felt protective of animals, and I was never comfortable with my family killing them. I still ate meat for most of my life, but I was never OK with it. I felt a lot of guilt when I ate, and not just because I was worried about gaining weight. This is probably why I took to veganism so easily.

So anyway, my point is … we’re worried about our cat friend. I feel confident she will come back. Toby and Calvin have chased her off before, and she’s always come back. But she wasn’t injured before. She wasn’t walking around with a catcher’s mitt for a paw. I know that if it goes untreated it will just get worse and worse. It will definitely get infected. And since she’s feral she hasn’t received any shots. If that swollen paw is the result of a bite from another cat, it could be she’s been infected with any number of awful, possibly fatal cat diseases.

We didn’t want to capture her. We were always fine just giving her food and water, and she was welcome to hang out at our place. But now that she is hurt, I think we need to get her some help. Poor thing.


Leave a comment

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Yeah, so, it’s getting really crowded in our bed.

No, my mighty, mighty good man David and I haven’t become swingers … yet. Our kid and dog keeping getting in bed with us, and it’s starting to result in less-than-stellar sleep.

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin usually gets out of his bed between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., and crawls into our bed. He goes right back to sleep. We realize that we should probably kick him out, but …. He’s so cute and snuggly. Also, he’s our only kid, and before we know it he will not want to snuggle with us anymore. That’s going to be so sad. We need to take our snuggles while we can get it.

The dog, Toby, starts the night in his bed on the floor in our room. But after we fall asleep in gets on our bed and slowly works his way to the head of the bed. He will get under the covers and rest his head on my pillow and spoon with me. Seriously. He thinks he’s people. We realize that we should probably kick him out, but …. He’s so cute and snuggly, too!

So now, most mornings we wake up and all four of us are in our queen-size bed: David, Calvin, Toby and me. It’s starting to get a little crammed, but we think we’ve come up with a solution.

We need to get a bigger bed.

Oh sure, we could set boundaries, but that shit is hard. We’re just going to get a bigger bed. Problem solved!

bed

 


2 Comments

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.

scrooged-murray

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.

scrooged

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


1 Comment

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.

sleeping

snuggles

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.


3 Comments

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.

batmanfamily

batgirl-robin

batgirl-batman

robin-catwoman

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.

dcfamily

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

whoworeitbetter

Happy Halloween, you guys!


9 Comments

The Worst Wedding Photo Ever Taken

Yeah, so, this might be the worst wedding photo ever taken. It’s certainly the worst photo of me ever taken.

Let me set the scene … A three years ago in August, one of my longest friends (we don’t say oldest) Amanda got married. My sister Michelle and I were bridesmaids. It was a Gatsby-themed wedding, so we had flapper-style dresses and headbands. It was so hot that day – like 100 degrees. I was so damn hot. I was sweating through my Spanx. After the lovely ceremony, the photographer herded us together for photos. She took a lot of photos.

“Stand here.”

“Put your hand there.”

“Sit on his lap.”

“Give him a kiss on the cheek.”

It just went on and on. I was so over it. We were all over it. We were all ready for a cool drink … a cool drink with booze.

“OK, everybody jump in the air.”

So we jumped, and this is what happened.

thatphoto2

Everything about this photo is wrong.

First of all, why did the wedding photographer even send this photo to Amanda? This photo should have been deleted. You only send the good ones to the bride and groom – not this grotesque outtake.

Second, Michelle’s dress flew up and her underwear is showing. I’ve modified the photo to protect Michelle’s private parts from the internet. The groom, Brock, looks like he is hanging in mid-air. The bride is making a crazy face. The groomsmen look goofy. And then there’s me …

I don’t even know what to say about me in this photo. For some reason, I opted to not jump and instead decided to try to make it look like I’m jumping. Apparently, this is what I think someone jumping looks like.

thatphoto3

It’s not even close. I don’t know why I didn’t just jump. It makes absolutely no sense that I would pose myself to make it look like I was jumping, and then stand like this, which does not look like I’m jumping. I think I’m standing on my tippy-toes so I look taller. WTF? “Sonia is obviously jumping. She looks an inch taller.”

Also, I wonder if Amanda and Brock noticed that I brought two guests to their wedding. I brought my husband David and my double chin.

thatphoto6

And what the hell am I doing with my hand? My hand is deformed into some sort of hook hand. Is my hook hand supposed to make it look like I’m jumping? Did I think that’s what people do to their hands when they jump in the air? I have no logical explanation. “Sonia is obviously jumping. She’s an inch taller, and she’s got the hook hand.”

thatphoto5

I have been holding on to this photo for three years. I have no idea why I waited so long to write about it. I think I was kinda intimidated by the idea of writing about it – like I wouldn’t do it justice. But the truth is I don’t need to say anything about this photo. It’s an epic wedding photo fail, and the photo is worth more than a thousand words.

Save

Save