The Sonia Show

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


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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.

Nerd.

Nerd.

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.


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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?


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Cupcakes and Cheezburger

Yeah, so, a few random things today …

I made cupcakes . I really love to bake. I find it fun and relaxing, but I don’t do it very often because baking = fattening.

For the first time, I tried using a piping bag for the frosting. Well, not a real piping bag. I got all crafty and shit and used a Ziploc bag. I think for a first attempt at using a piping bag, the cupcakes turned out pretty OK. I definitely need more practice, which is fine by mighty, mighty good man David, because that means more cupcakes for him. I will probably buy myself a proper piping bag since I’m planning on baking more often because baking = fun + delicious. Plus, since the Spawn is allergic to eggs, I should probably learn to bake him tasty egg-free treats.

Homer really enjoyed watching me frost the cupcakes. Look at him … He’s got lust in his heart.

cupcakes

Desire.

So, we’ve been doing some testing at work of our new shopping cart on the website that will launch soon. I was one of several people asked to place a few orders to see how cart flows, report bugs, blah blah blah “high level” blah blah blah “wheelhouse” whatever.

When filling out the order fields, it asked for my title. I typed in “Jedi.” Duh. I also put my address as Electric Avenue, and my phone number as 867-5309. I’m a little disappointed that no one said anything. My true talents are obviously wasted in that place.

Oh, so, a photo from my wedding as popped up on Cheezburger.com, featuring buddies Roger and Michael in a pretty cool photobomb. I’m so proud.

Isn't it romantic?

Isn’t it romantic? (Photo by good buddy Beegs)


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Lunch dates with the office busybody

Yeah, so, there are a lot of things I don’t like about working in a cubicle.

I don’t like that everyone can hear my personal phone conversations, which means I have to finding a hiding spot in the building to make calls about all my various medical issues. I don’t think everyone should have to listen to me schedule a mammogram. “So, you’re getting your boob squished on Monday. That’s cool.”

I don’t like that everyone walking by can see into my cube, which really affects my ability to screw around on the internet and watch cute cat videos.

But my No. 1 complaint is there is no way for me to hide from the office busybody.

I have written about our office busybody before here. She is obsessed with everyone’s lunch. One time, she even bought my lunch off me. True story.

Most people in the office loathe lunchtime, because they know they are going to be quizzed about their lunch. If she hears the microwave running, she comes running. My office buddy Paul told me that one time he saw her go into the restroom and he ran to put his food in the microwave, hoping it would be finished before she came out. It was a noble effort that failed.

Think you can get away with eating your lunch in peace by not warming it up? False. Even when I’m eating vegetables and hummus for lunch, she will wander into my cube: “Is that your lunch, Sonia?”

Yesterday, I ate my lunch early. Somehow I managed to eat under the office busybody’s radar. I ate my lunch without being pestered. It was awesome. I was living the dream. Then, around lunchtime, I was filling up my water cup in the kitchen area, when the office busybody wandered in.

Office busybody: “Where’s your lunch, Sonia?”

Me: [sighs] “I already ate it.”

Office busybody: “Oh, you already ate it. Ha ha ha. I was wondering where your lunch was.”

Me: “Well, I didn’t mean to make you worry. You shouldn’t worry. I’m getting enough vitamins and nutrients.”

Office busybody: “?”

Me: “?” [goes back to my cube]


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WTF Grubhub?

Yeah, so, every Friday night is Friday Night Delivery in our house, because we totally like to party hard like that.

We order delivery food such as Chinese, Indian, pizza or Thai. We open a tasty beer to go with it, and we watch a movie. We think this makes up for the fact that we can’t really go out on Friday nights anymore because we decided to have a Spawn. Spoiler alert! It does. Friday Night Delivery is the best.

We use Grubhub.com a lot on Friday nights. I don’t usually pay too much attention to the website. I just order our food, and then I move on to other important things such as picking out a beer or starting the debate with David over what we should watch so we can delete it off the DVR because it’s taking up too much space, and I don’t want the DVR to fill up because then I can’t record other things that I’m not going to watch, and then I will just die!

So anyway, last week we ordered Indian food delivery (my favorite) when I noticed this graphic on the Grubhub website.

grubhub

Umm, is that a naked man waiting for his delivery food? WTF Grubhub?

“We are shooting your order to the restaurant, where they will prepare your food and deliver it to you, while you sit happy and naked on your couch.”

I thought Grubhub only delivered food, but now I’m being to wonder if there are some off-menu items that I don’t know about.


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Breaking eggs

Yeah, so, remember when I fed the Spawn quiche and he threw up? Funny story. It turns out he is allergic to eggs. Oh wait, that’s not a funny story.

Following the advice of my friend Sara, who commented on my blog that maybe my baby throwing up quiche was more than an entertaining blog post and most likely a food allergy, I took The Boy to the allergy clinic. I described what happened when I fed him the quiche, and the doctor narrowed it down to eggs.

On the phone in the waiting room.

On the phone in the waiting room.

They tested for egg allergy by poking him in the back with three different needles, one of which was egg, the others were control shots or something. The egg test immediately made a red welt on his back. It was obvious that he was allergic to eggs. Still, he had to wait 20 minutes after the poke, so they could measure the welt. Unfortunately, The Boy isn’t interested in sitting in an exam room patiently. He’s all about walking. He walked up and down the hallway and all over the waiting room with no shirt on (you can’t cover up where the injections were made), showing off his pony keg abs and red welts on his back.

image

Even before the allergy test, Calvin walked the halls and waved to everyone in their offices.

Unsurprisingly, he flirted with every nurse. Everyone in that waiting room was a good sport, because instead of being annoyed with my walking, giggling kid, most people waved at him, smiled at him, and asked what he was allergic to. I know that The Boy was really itchy, so I appreciated that everyone was being so nice and helping us distract him.

I still can’t believe he’s allergic to eggs. I fed him scrambled eggs before. I would never have let him eat quiche if I hadn’t given him egg before. It’s possible he didn’t eat enough of the scrambled egg to matter. He was pretty young.

We’re so lucky that his allergic reaction to that quiche wasn’t worse. I’m not sure how severe this allergy is. I mean, he eats things such as waffles all the time, and they are made with at least one egg. I just won’t be making him an omelet anytime soon.

Before we left the allergy clinic, the nurse demonstrated to us how to use an EpiPen if Calvin’s allergic reaction is severe, which is a really scary thought. I used to have an EpiPen because I’m allergic to bees, but I stopped eating bees so I never renewed my prescription.

So, yeah, The Boy is allergic to eggs. The doctor said some kids outgrow this kind of allergy, and she plans to retest him when he is 3 years old. In the meantime, no Egg McMuffins for Calvin.


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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.

quiche

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?

vacationday

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.


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The recipe is on the side of a can, so it must be good, right?

Yeah, so, my coworker Paul and I make very different food for Thanksgiving.

We were hanging out in my cube, discussing our Thanksgiving menus. Paul’s menu was filled with gingered-this and saffron-that, and making cranberry sauce with an entire bottle of port.

Paul: “What did you make, Sonia?”
Me: “I made green bean casserole — you know, the kind with the canned cream of mushroom soup.”

He was horrified.

After he was done judging me, he said they served a kumquat cheesecake or something for dessert.

I was horrified.

Me: “No pumpkin pie?”
Paul: “Ew, no.”

Go ahead and judge the Mansfield’s “traditional” Thanksgiving feast, but it was all delicious. And no, I didn’t screw up the green bean casserole. I followed the recipe that was on the side of the can. It was a hit. So there.


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The faux vegetarian

Yeah, so, I’m not a vegetarian anymore.

I was for a little while, but even then, I wasn’t very hardcore. I still ate seafood, and I couldn’t resist fried chicken. But still, I tried.

Then we went to Paris. I didn’t want to eat vegetarian in Paris. I felt like I’d be missing out. That’s a lie. I just didn’t want to learn to say “Is there meat in this?” in French, because I’m a lazy American asshole. I figured I’d get back to being a vegetarian when we got home. But then I came home pregnant.

When I was knocked up and so many different kinds of food made me nauseous, but meat wasn’t one of them. I jumped off the vegetarian bandwagon, and I haven’t bothered to get back on.

Sometimes I think I will get back to being a vegetarian, but then David tells me about some restaurant that he heard serves amazing fried chicken, and I put on my jacket and run out the front door.

I’m not proud of being a meat eater. I feel like a little ashamed that I failed at being a vegetarian, and my shame was on full display at work today.

I’ve been at my job for more than three years, and every once in a while my office will have a free lunch for its employees. Every dish has meat in it. No joke. Every dish. I’m pretty sure there was meat in a birthday cake once. At the annual holiday party, we have a carving station. Sorry, vegetarians. I hope you like appetizers.

I would always complain, “Can you please order something vegetarian? Some people don’t eat meat.” I like to think I wasn’t a bitch about it, but it’s kinda ridiculous that every single dish has meat in it. I wasn’t alone. There were a few people in the office who were vegetarians, and we’d get a bag of chips and soda or something. Lame.

So anyway, for years, vegetarians were denied. Then something amazing happened. My coworker who was in charge of ordering food for a company-wide meeting came to me and said, “I’m ordering sandwiches. What veggie sandwiches would you like?”

I couldn’t believe it! After more than three years of me bitching, they were finally admitting that some people don’t eat meat. They were going to order vegetarian sandwiches.

This is a huge step forward for vegetarian civil rights in this office, so — of course — I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I eat meat now. I pretended to be a vegetarian. I happily ordered an egg salad sandwich for myself, and the other vegetarians in the office got their sandwiches, too.

I like to think this is a baby step toward getting back on the vegetarian bandwagon.


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It’s the sunset, stupid

Yeah, so, one of our favorite places we visited in Hawaii was the Lava Lava Beach Club.

It’s a really cool restaurant that is right on the beach. And when I say “right on the beach,” I mean right on the beach. There are tables that are set back a little bit from the beach, and then there are tables on the beach. It has tasty food and drinks, and it wasn’t too pricey. Also, they are kid friendly. Beach views, food, booze and kid friendly = we went there three nights.

We went to Lava Lava Beach Club our first night in Hawaii. We got there about 5:30 p.m. We ordered some drinks. I loved the hibiscus mai tai. I ordered those a lot.

There was a lot of hustle and bustle, but at around 6:30 p.m. everything got super quiet. Everything just stopped, and people were staring out toward the ocean.

I started looking around, confused: “Why is it so quiet? What’s wrong? Oh my god, is someone drowning in the ocean?”

Then the waiter walked by me, “It’s the sunset.”

Everyone had stopped everything they were doing to watch the sunset, and I’m such a jackass I almost missed it. This happened every night we were in Hawaii. Everything stopped around 6:30, and everyone watched the sunset.

Sunset views from Lava Lava.

Another sunset at Lava Lava.

Lava Lava is a little touristy, but we loved it there. We did check out a few places, however, that were a little more authentic.

We loved, loved, LOVED Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona. Super fresh fish, meaning we saw them carry the fish in right off the boat. I will be always craving this place. I couldn’t get over the price, either. It was $9.50 for a lot of fish, served with rice and spicy crab salad. I imagine if they put that portion on a nice white plate they could charge $20 for it, especially in San Francisco.

This only cost $9.50! Seriously. Amazing.

We also loved a little hole in the wall place called Super Jay’s, which serves lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves and steamed). So good! Mighty, mighty good man David ordered a second plate when we stopped there for lunch.

And, this should surprise no one, but we visited a couple of breweries on the Big Island. The first one we visited was Kona Brewing Company, which is basically the Pyramid Brewing of Hawaii. The beer was perfectly fine, but we weren’t dying to drink more of it. Also, you can get Kona beer here. Oh, and I had a pulled pork sandwich at their restaurant that sat in my stomach like a brick for a day.

Sadly, you cannot get Big Island Brewhaus beer here, which is a damn, damn, DAMN shame. They make a delicious porter, the White Mountain Porter. Love. Oh, and their food is delicious. I had the fish burrito. Tasty stuff! We were super bummed that we only got to go to Big Island Brewhaus one time. If you go to Hawaii, I highly recommend it.

Mmmm, Big Island Brewhaus beer.