The Sonia Show

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


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Beach bums

Yeah, so, last weekend we went to Santa Cruz for some much-deserved fun.

My sister and her family go to Santa Cruz every year for three or four days. They’ve been going for years. They stay at a hotel near the boardwalk, and they just ride the rides, hit the beach and all that fun stuff. Other friends and family join them for a few days, but for years we didn’t go. We had other things going on or whatever. Last year, we went for a day trip, and we had a great time. This time, we decided to go for a few days.

But first, on our way to Santa Cruz, we visited Roaring Camp Railroad, which has a steam train. Apparently, for a few weeks out of the year, they dress up the train like Thomas the Tank Engine, and kids lose the fuckin’ shit for it, and it’s crowded as hell. We didn’t bother with that. Calvin just loves trains. It doesn’t matter if it’s Thomas or not. And when the steam train rolled up, Calvin’s mouth dropped. He was shaking he was so excited. It wasn’t a BART train. It wasn’t some little train at the zoo. It was a real train!

steamtrain

All of the really good photos are by mighty, mighty good man David

steamtrainride

We booked a room at the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz because we’re so fancy. Also, David had Hotel.com points he could use to make it affordable. I love being near the water, and I love going to sleep to the sound of the ocean. This room had an ocean view and a heated pool (Calvin’s favorite). Calvin would wake in the morning and immediately ask, “Go to the pool?” It was Calvin heaven. It had an ocean view and room service, so it was my idea of heaven, too.

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A view!

When we weren’t lounging in our fancy hotel room, swimming in the heated pool or ordering room service for breakfast (because we’re not animals, you guys), we were walking the boardwalk or hanging out on the beach with our family and friends.

She's my best friend and my sister.

She’s my best friend and my sister.

I don’t want to brag, but it was super fun. I thought Calvin might be overwhelmed by the boardwalk. It can be crowded and loud. There’s a lot going on, but he really liked looking around.

boardwalk

He had no interest in partaking of the rides, which is fine by me, because I don’t want to ride them either. I’m too old for roller coasters. They make me wanna puke. Also, I’m afraid they will cause me to die. But, Calvin loved walking up and down the boardwalk, especially at night with all the lights.

Unlike last year, in which he spent all his time sitting in a tide pool (or what I refer to as the seagull’s toilet), Calvin actually enjoyed playing in the sand this time. He loved smashing other people’s sand castles (bully!), and digging and filling up holes.

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We even had some good luck getting him to sit down in a restaurant – after we bribed him with things like chocolate milk or ice cream. Plus, he was really hungry from all the sand castle smashing.

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We had such an awesome time hanging out with everyone. And I love seeing Calvin playing with his cousins. After everything we went through last year, I know how much these moments mean to all of us. And Calvin is old enough know that he is going to start remembering these trips. He will say, “My family used to go to Santa Cruz every year. It was rad.” OK, maybe he won’t say “rad” but you get the idea.

I know Calvin had a good time, because within hours of being home Calvin said to us, “I want to go back to the beach.” And the next morning, he said, “I want to go to the pool.”

Same here, kid.


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My buddy

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good man David is traveling for work again this week, so The Boy and I are on our own. He’s my buddy. My buddy. Everywhere I go, he goes. My buddy.

morning

We have the same haircut.

On Sunday, we went for a hike through Glen Park Canyon with good buddy Kate and her dog, Foxie, who is Calvin’s favorite. I made the mistake of mentioning on Saturday that we would be seeing Foxie on Sunday. I spent the rest of Saturday explaining he was seeing Foxie on Sunday. It was pretty much this.

We had a good time on the hike. Glen Park Canyon is really great. The trail is as easy or complicated as you choose to make it. Sometimes, Calvin chooses to make it complicated.

hiker

Photo by good buddy Kate

On Monday, with my babysitter husband out of town, I had to bring Calvin with me to my hair appointment. Every six or seven weeks I get my hair cut and colored with my sister Michelle, my niece Lorelei and one of my oldest friends Amanda. After our appointment, we go out to dinner, where I usually drink too much wine, and then drunken snap selfies of my new ‘do while I ride home on BART. It’s the best.

Hanging out a hair salon with a bunch of chicks isn’t exactly Calvin’s idea of a good time, but he made the best of it.

After being such a good sport at the hair salon, he was rewarded with a milkshake, or as he likes to say, “I’m drinking ice cream.” Plus, he got to hang out with Lorelei, and that’s pretty rad.

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I’m trying to braver about taking Calvin to restaurants. I get so worried about ruining people’s meals if he starts acting out. By “acting out” I mean he won’t sit down. He starts wandering the restaurant and even tries to go into the kitchen because he knows there’s something cool to watch going on back there. He’s not wrong. This time, he was pretty good. We sat outside, but there were ceiling fans inside. OMG CEILING FANS, you guys! He spent most of his time watching the fans through the window like a little creeper. I’m sure the patrons didn’t mind. “Why is that kid watching me eat?”

Peeping Calvin.

Peeping Calvin.

We have also been watching “Finding Nemo” together. It’s such a good movie – waaay better than “Finding Dory.” (I reviewed “Finding Dory” on Dorking Out – you should listen). He randomly says, “Shark bait. Oooh ha ha! He even loves the end credits song, which is “Beyond The Sea” by Robbie Williams. It has replaced the “Cars” soundtrack as his go-to music while driving to and from school. I’m not mad about it. I kinda like it. I’m just stoked he’s not into Justin Bieber or country music.

When David travels I also like to bake a treat with Calvin. He’s getting really good at stirring everything together … and licking the spoon. This time we made peanut butter cookies from a vegan cookbook. Sadly, they didn’t turn out as good as I hoped, but they were still pretty OK. Calvin didn’t have any complaints.

cookies

We are downright giddy that David comes home this afternoon. I’m not just excited because that means we can finish watching “Stranger Things.” I really miss him when he is gone, and I know Calvin does, too.

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We got dressed up and went to a wedding

Yeah, so, last week my mighty, mighty good man David and I went to Joe and Megan’s wedding in Columbia.

Joe is one of David’s oldest friends. They are practically brothers, and David has always thought of Joe’s family as, well, family. Joe was the officiant at our wedding. See?

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It was time for David to return the favor. David did an awesome job, because he’s an awesome guy. He opened the ceremony with the opening lines of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” because it’s so rad. “Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word ‘life.'”

officiant

The officiant of this wedding is hot! I mean, he’s good looking, but also, he’s hot. It was like 100 degrees that day.

It was a great weekend. We got to visit with friends that we haven’t seen in a while. Plus, we had a reason to get dressed up all fancy and shit, and we love that. There was drinking and dancing – all good things.

weddingbw

We’re so fancy.

We had a wonderful weekend in gold rush country. We didn’t pan for gold. I guess we were feeling lucky; however we did ride shotgun on a stagecoach. #humblebrag

stagecoach

We didn’t bring mighty, mighty good boy Calvin to the wedding. I asked him if he wanted to go.

Me: “Do you want to go to a wedding where you have to sit still and be quiet, or do you want to go swimming with Grandma?”

Calvin: “Go swimming with Grandma.”

calvinraft

 


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Painted love

Yeah, so, in my continuing effort to get involved in more creative activities instead of just sitting around looking at social media channels to see what creative activities other people are doing, I went to my first-ever Paint Nite.

My sister Michelle and oldest friend Amanda suggested it, and – well – I couldn’t say no, because painting = creating. Also, they told me there was going to be booze, and I like booze.

I am sure I painted when I was a kid, and I painted a room once, but I’ve never painted on a canvas. I can’t even draw. Remember that time I was drawing with Calvin to entertain him?

squirrel

Those are supposed to be squirrels … STOP LAUGHING AT ME!

My artistic ability is, ummm, questionable, so I was quite dubious of how my painting would turn out. However, I never walk into any new activity and assume I will be instantly good at it. All activities require practice and skill. Painting was no exception. I won’t be quitting my day job to become a full-time painter. However, I did have a really good time.

Bonus points for Paint Nite: It’s relaxing. You guys, painting is relaxing! For just a little while I didn’t think about anything else. I was just trying not to screw up my painting. I wanted to paint something that I wouldn’t be completely ashamed to show people.

Check it and see. We are totally artists now.

This is what we were supposed to paint.

This is what we were supposed to paint.

michelle-paintnite

Michelle added lights to her Bay Bridge and buildings.

amanda-paintnite

Amanda hella hearts Oakland.

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Kate did her own thing, because she’s a rebel and doesn’t care for your rules!

me-paintnite

I’m totally lame and tried to make mine look like the example. #goober


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Buh-bye, 2015

Yeah, so, bye 2015.

I could say that it’s been fun, but then I’d be a liar. This year hasn’t been my favorite for obvious reasons. Sure, there’s been some good times. I got to feed the giraffes. My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin is doing so great with all his behavioral and speech therapy. My mighty, mighty good man David is doing awesome at work. I saw “The Force Awakens.” In fact, I saw a ton of movies and TV shows. I went vegan and loved it. I sang a Michael Jackson song with some random dude on Bart. I’m cancer free. I got to wear a lot of wigs.

wigs2015

I’m just so over 2015, and so ready for 2016. I’m feeling happy, excited and optimistic for the new year. I know that making New Year’s resolutions is lame, but I’m making some anyway, because I’m like Janice in Accounting, I don’t give a fuck.

In 2016, my #1 New Year’s resolution is to be nice to myself. I’m pretty nice to everyone else. Fuck you, if you think I’m not. Seriously, ask anyone and they will tell you that I’m a nice lady. Anyone who says different is an asshole. I say things to myself that I would never say to anyone else. In the New Year, I am planning to stop and take a deep breath before I start beating myself up.

My other big resolution is to consume a little less and create a little more. Whether that means writing more blog posts, cooking and baking more dishes, working on a healthier body and mind with yoga, or just creating new memories with my favorite people, I’m hoping I’ll spend less time on social media reading what other people are doing and actually do some things myself.

I spent a lot of my time this year on the couch: recovering from a surgery, chemotherapy and another surgery. I spent a lot of time on social media, specifically Facebook. And with the election coming up, I think social media is about to get really ugly. It’s a good time to limit my social media time. It will just make me angry, and you won’t like me when I’m angry, because then I start crying, and you can’t understand anything I’m saying and then I say, “Forget it. I’m fine,” but it’s really not fine, and I ball up all my anger and push it down and release it the next time we get drunk together or I get passive aggressive with you by not liking your Instagram photos and Facebook statuses. “I’m not going to like that status! That’ll learn him! Jerk!”

I’ll still be on social media, because I’m not an animal. Plus, there is a lot of great stuff out there. But I want to make an effort to use social media more wisely and thoughtfully. I don’t want to waste an hour sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook when I could be writing, cooking, baking, reading, podcasting, watching a great movie or TV show or – oh, I don’t know – talking to someone.

What I’m trying to say is this …. During the past year, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to spend my time. I’m pretty sure when I’m old and gray, I won’t be thinking, “I’m sure glad I spent all that time on Facebook reading articles that pissed me off and liking people’s statuses about how [insert minor annoyance/popular singer/movie/TV show] sucks.”

Are you guys making any New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear ’em!

I hope you all have a rad New Year’s Eve. We’re doing our usual thing, in which David recreates one of our meals that we had on our honeymoon and then we watch “The Thin Man.” And seriously, I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2016.


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The Podcast Awakens: The Sonia Show vs. The Pop Show

Yeah, so, I saw the new “Star Wars” movie “The Force Awakens” on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday night I sat down and recorded a podcast with some fellow nerds to discuss our thoughts and feelings about it.

I’m sure my tens of readers are dying to know what I thought about it. Well, now you can hear what I thought instead of reading about it like a bunch of suckers. One of my oldest friends, Anthony C. Ferrente, director of the “Sharknado” movies, invited me to on his podcast, The Pop Show. This is my first podcast that I didn’t record drunk with my husband.

We immediately dive into spoilers so if you don’t want the movie ruined for you, then maybe hold off listening until after you’ve seen it. Then after you’ve seen, don’t talk to anyone else and immediately listen to us talk about it.

You can listen to it riiiight here, or click the image below to listen in iTunes. I am pretty excited to listen to it myself. I’m sure I say all kinds of assy shit, and sadly I won’t be able to blame it on alcohol. Dang.

popshow

 

 


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Orange is the new red

Yeah, so, the day before my next round of chemo is usually a pretty anxious day for me. I start to fret about how it will go, how bad the nausea will be, etc.

Luckily for me, good buddy Kate decided to distract me. Since my white blood counts are up the day before chemo, there is no reason why I can’t go out and about. She took the day off from work and got us tickets to the San Francisco Giants vs. Dodgers game. It was a day game, so I didn’t have to worry about getting cold, or staying out late. In fact, the weather was absolutely perfect. The sun was out, but it wasn’t too hot. Good thing, because I was wearing my fabulous orange wig.

Orange wig alert!

Orange wig alert!

Let me tell you something, if you want attention at a Giants game, wear an orange wig. I was very surprised by the amount of attention I got in this wig. And one point Kate said, “It’s like walking around with someone famous.” Everyone looks at you. Most of the attention was good attention. I got a lot of “I love your wig.” I got a few “Is that your real hair?” To which I replied, “You know it is.” A security guard said my orange wig went up to 11, and I heard more than a few older men whisper to their wives, “You should get a wig like that.”

It was a lot of attention. More than I’m used to, that’s for sure. If I was a single lady, I would buy tickets to the Giants’ Single Night and rock this wig. Of course, I think the gentleman suitors would be disappointed to discover what’s under the wig, but oh well.

Of course with all the good attention came some questionable attention. We were sitting in the bleachers, and around the 9th inning, the man behind me decided that his beer-courage had kicked in and he could talk to me. “I wish I could meet a girl with orange hair,” he shouted behind me.

I turned around a politely smiled. “I’m sure there are plenty of women here with orange hair today. Good luck,” I said.

The guy took this as some sort of hint that I wanted a back rub. Umm, no.

“No, thank you. No touching,” I said.

Then he reached out and stroked my wig.

“No touching, please,” I said.

“Don’t worry. I won’t snatch your wig off your head,” he replied.

“You better not. You should not,” I replied.

Kate asked me if I wanted to move, but I felt like he was done. If he is embarrassed that he got rejected by the girl in the orange wig, he could move. I can’t imagine how awful that man would have felt if he had pulled that wig off my head. I’m not some cute little blonde under this orange wig. I’m a chemo patient. You definitely don’t get into heaven snatching a wig off of a chemo patients head.

So anyway, we stayed in our seats for the entire game that went extra innings, and it was a big win! The Giants swept the Dodgers, and all was right with the world.

Big thanks to Kate for the tickets to the game, the delicious Ghirardelli sundae (because I can’t have beer right now – sigh) and the Lyft home (to save me from a crowded Bart train). I’m so lucky to have such awesome friends.

 


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The Empire Drinks Cabernet Sauvignon

Yeah, so, good buddy Kate invited me as her 1+ to a fancy Halloween party at a winery. Why did Kate invite me and not someone who is awesome and super fun? Because it was a “Star Wars”-themed Halloween party, and everyone knows that I love “Star Wars.” On our first date I out geeked mighty, mighty good man David by telling him I went to the “One Man Star Wars Trilogy” … twice.

As you can see from this blog’s masthead, I already own a Princess Leia costume, but I realized that a lot of the women at the party would be dressed as Princess Leia. Sadly, when it comes to “Star Wars” there’s slim pickins in the universe for the ladies. Kate and I bought some really cute “Star Wars” dresses on ThinkGeek.com. (There were a lot of Princess Leias at the party, but also a lot of female stormtroopers, jedis and fighter pilots. Nicely done, ladies.)

R2D2-ears

darthkate

stormtroopers

jabba

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It was such an amazing party. It’s a lovely winery. We met some really cool people. There were “Star Wars”-themed cocktails. They had a room for dancing that was decorated to look like outerspace with a huge X-Wing fighter overhead. There was Jabba the Hutt and a Han Solo frozen in carbonite. The wine was delicious, and the food was so tasty. We had caviar and sipped soup from a teeny tiny bowl. We felt so fancy. We had a really great time.

So, it really bummed me out that there was a man in blackface at the party.

Blackface isn’t OK. It’s never OK. I couldn’t comprehend that someone who was at the same party I was at thought blackface was a great idea.

He was dressed as Lando. Dude, just be Lando. You don’t need the blackface. I saw an Asian Lando. It’s all good. I saw a black woman dressed as Princess Leia. You don’t need to blackface to dress up in a Halloween costume.

I told Kate that the answer to the question “Should I wear blackface?” is always no, and she made a really great flow chart for this blog post.

flowchart

Not only was there a man at the party in blackface, but everyone seemed fine with it. They thought it was hilarious. Everyone posed for photos with him. I assume none of them are planning a run for public office, because that shit will come back to haunt them. Now, all the photos from the party are up on the company’s Facebook page, and people are commenting, “LOL!”

Ugh. Really? It’s depressing and so disappointing.

Kate and I were not fine with it. We found it really disturbing, and we tried to stay as far away from that jackass as we could. Later in the evening, Kate and I went outside to get some air. We were sitting on some steps outside, and I’m not going to lie, we were talking some shit about that guy, because – come on – blackface. Seriously. WTF?! Then he walked by us and he said, “Ohhh, I’m going to bale some cotton.” He really did say that. I’m not making that up. We just sat there with our mouths wide open in utter disbelief. He clearly heard us, and he wanted us to know he heard us. I guess he thinks he’s not racist, but was acting racist for us, because he thinks we’re the assholes. Yes. We’re the assholes. The dude in blackface is a swell guy, and the two ladies who are offended are the assholes. Riiight.

There was also a creepy “last call” vibe at the end of the party with some desperate dudes making some Hail Mary passes, including a man who tried to follow me into a bathroom, but I closed the door in his face. We had a five-minute conversation earlier in the evening, and there was nothing in that conversation remotely suggesting that following me into the bathroom was something I was interested in. Umm, no.

So, when you remove the blackface and the bathroom creeper, it was still a really great party. We drank a lot of really great wine at the party. How much wine did we drink? Enough wine that when we got back to our hotel we were disappointed that the nearby Applebee’s was closed. That’s right. We were so drunk that we wanted to eat at Applebee’s. Ewwwww.

Big super thanks to Kate for inviting someone who usually goes to bed by 10:30 p.m. even on Saturday nights to be her +1.

 

 


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Baked Nebraska, Dallas Fryers Club and other Oscar-related things

Yeah, so, after the Great Cupcake Incident of 2014, I decided to use our Oscar party as an excuse to bake vegan cupcakes for the Spawn.

I used a vegan cupcake recipe I got off Food.com, and a regular ol’ butter cream frosting recipe. I don’t want to brag, but … I’m totally going to brag. The cupcakes turned out awesome! I think they are the best I’ve ever made.

Beater? I hardly know her. Wah wah.

Beater? I hardly know her. Wah wah.

It made me really happy to make a baked good that The Boy could finally eat. I’m not going to lie, I got a little misty when after mixing up cupcakes, I let Calvin lick the beater. It’s something that just screams “mom” to me. It’s so mommy. I loved having that little moment.

So anyway, our Oscar party requires Oscar nominee-themed food, so the cupcakes were called “Baked Nebraska.”

Baked Nebraska

Baked Nebraska

Here are some of the other dishes from the party.

fryersclub

Dallas Fryers Club

cheese

The Cheese of Ball Street

Overall, the party was a success. I mean, I think everyone had a good time.We watched the Red Carpet and played our annual game of “What’s wrong with her face?” Good buddy Kate and I played a little drinking game, in which we drank every time someone used the word “journey.”

As for the Oscar pool, I predicted 19 out of 24 categories, which isn’t as good as I usually do (#humblebrag), but still a decent showing. Not good enough to beat good buddy Roger, who won the grand prize — a cube of wine. I know. We so fancy. Roger tried to give an acceptance speech, but he was interrupted by Homer.

kanyehomer

“Imma let you finish, but I’m the great Oscar wiener of all time.”

In other news, my computer is busted, so a new computer is in the works. Until then there may be an interruption in your The Sonia Show service.


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I suggest you read my blog in the can

Yeah, so, I had a wonderful, laugh-filled lunch with Corso in Emeryville. When I went to use the restroom I discovered this:

magazines

It’s a magazine rack next to the restrooms. Seems wrong, right?

It’s not a waiting room. It’s a restroom. I think it sends the wrong message. Actually, it sends several wrong messages.

1) Use our restrooms, and take your time. (Not appropriate for a public restroom, in my opinion.)
2) We know you like to read while you take a dump, gentlemen, so here’s some reading material.
3) Our food is probably going to give you diarrhea, so here are some magazines.

None of these are appealing options to me.

Also, at this restaurant, we ordered a glass of sangria. Instead, what we received was a glass of what can only be described as a cinnamon apple-tini. The waitress explained that it was a “seasonal” sangria. It was nasty, but the waitress was cool enough to exchanged our gross drinks for red wine. So, the restaurant remains in my cool book, despite the restroom magazine rack.