The Sonia Show

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


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Same company. Same job. New office. New people. Eeek!

Yeah, so, there have been a lot of changes my job recently. A pair of big bosses were fired laid off right after the new year, and for a while the team was working on a million projects to show the other big bosses that we were worth keeping.

It was stressful … for other people. Well, I mean, I didn’t want anyone to lose their job, but I try not to stress out about work. Work is just work. It’s not life. Losing your job isn’t as bad as say – oh I don’t know – getting cancer. I figure if I can deal with that, I can deal with it if my company decided to give me the boot.

They didn’t, of course, because I’m super awesome and amazing to work with. Instead, there was a ton of restructuring and now I report to the corporate overload’s director of content who works in — wait for it — San Francisco. You see, the corporate overload owns another company that is based in SF, and a several members of the content team work out of that office. I had no idea!

Even though the company I work for is based in Oakland, my boss said it would be a good idea if I worked at least a couple of days in the SF office. Obviously, I agree. This means I can walk down the hill from my house, get on BART, and be in the office in like 15 minutes. It was taking about an hour to get to the office every morning. It sucked.

So anyway, you guys … That means, for the first time since college, I am living and working in the same city! I am downright giddy about it.

I’ve worked at the same place for 8 years. I’m still doing the same job for the same company, but at a different location. I might even get some content support like – dare to dream – some copy editing. As good buddy Kate said, “It’s like getting a new job without getting a new job.”

I went into the office on Wednesday, and I made it very clear that I was super happy to be there. I practically did cartwheels and a happy dance. The next day I found a cube that would make a good home for me, and set up shop. I introduced myself to all the neighbors. “I’m moving in. Tell me to shut up if I get too loud.” Loud = eating all the free salt and vinegar potato chips from the kitchen, because this place provides snacks. Whaaaat?

You guys! I can even see out the window over my cubicle wall.

But wait, there’s more.

This place has a sparkling water dispenser. And, AND, there are bagels on Monday, fresh fruit on Wednesday, and there’s a full stocked refrigerator of drinks, including BEER AND WINE! I can’t comprehend that this company is owned by the same company that owns us. We don’t have a fully stocked refrigerator. In fact, last year they threatened to stop providing complimentary coffee and tea.

I will still be working in my old office once or twice a week, which is great because I’d miss my Oakland peeps. But it is really nice in the SF office. I feel at any minute the big bosses are going to say, “Send Sonia back to her old office full time.”


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Put a Bird On It

Yeah, so, a few weeks ago I won a free ticket to Rock Prom, which was a fundraising event for Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.

My good buddy Jess was on a fundraising team, and I donated because I like girls and rock. I was entered into a drawing and won, which doesn’t happen to me very often.

Anyway, Jess and her team were called “Pretty In Pink,” and they were all wearing pink dresses, she told me. I know that Jess and her friends are super into gorgeous vintage clothes, but there was no way I was going to have time to find something super rad to wear. In fact, I didn’t even own a pink dress. I went on Amazon and bought a ridiculous pink dress with flamingoes on it, because I’m a ridiculous person.

Jess and I doing our awkward prom pose.

I seriously debated wearing this hat with it.

So, I show up to the event and Jess and her teammates look AMAZING. Seriously. Beautiful, fun vintage dresses and tiaras – the works. Meanwhile, I’m wearing a $20 dress with flamingoes I bought on Amazon.

I texted David, “All of Jess’s friends look amazing and beautiful in their vintage dresses, and I’m wearing a $20 dress with flamingoes on it.”

“That’s why I love you,” he replied.

I’m such a goober.

Of course, it didn’t matter. Jess and her friends are rad people, and I had a great time. If you are interested in Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, you can check it out riiiight here.


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6 Things I’m Loving: Eshakti, Baguette Vending Machines And More

Yeah, so, I’m going to try to deal with my anger by sharing six things I’m lovin’ right now.

1. Calvin’s Bedhead

So, we usually keep Calvin’s hair on the short side, but we haven’t had time to get cut in a while. He’s got great hair, and he’s got even greater bed head. See for yourself.

2. What Kind Of Cat Is This?

We have a stray cat friend, and we put food on the porch for her, but we bring the bowl back into the house at night. Well, one night I forgot to bring the food back inside. When I went to get the food, I saw this.

I took some video footage, because my mighty, mighty good man David was out that night, and I wanted him to see it, too. And now Calvin loves watching it. He thinks it’s hilarious that we have a skunk for a neighbor.

3. This Video

There’s a baguette vending machine (seriously – this is a real thing) in our nearby mall, and David had to try it out.

4. These Websites: The Daily Skimm, Small Victories, Swing Left & Wonkette

The Daily Skimm is an easy way to feed my anger first thing in morning. Basically, it summaries all the news you need to know in a short, fun email. I’ve written about it before, but I highly recommend it. You can sign up right here, if you want to try it out.

I also suggest you sign up for Small Victories, which helps me stay positive. When you sign up, you get an email every Friday with – you guessed it – small victories. It’s filled with stories about wins for the good guys. I really needed it today.

I want more small victories, so everyone should be giving money to Swing Left, which donates money to candidates running against those fuckin’ fuckers who voted for the death panels American Health Care Act. This organization just moved into a top 5 spot on my donation list. I also donated directly to Lisa Battista, who is running against that big tool Darrell Issa in California’s District 10. He just barely won in the last election, so he is super vulnerable.

You know what’s weird? I have pretty much stopped reading celebrity gossip and now I read political gossip. Who am I? My main site for this is Wonkette, which covers political stories, but writes it with such a angry, funny voice that it makes it just a little easier to deal with.

5. This Dress

I bought this fox-tastic (see what I did there) dress from Eshakti, and I looooove it. I can’t wait to wear it.

After ModCloth was acquired by Wal-Mart, I was looking for a new place to buy clothes. I love online clothes shopping. It’s my fave. My good buddy Jess recommended Eshakti, and it’s so great. The clothes are super cute and not too expensive. AND, you can customize the clothes. For example, I love this fox dress, but I wanted it a little below the knees, and you can ask for that! You can add sleeves, or make it a tank dress – whatever. It’s so cool!

6. Smith Got An Emmy Nomination

My Dorking Out cohost Chris Smith received another Emmy nomination this week for Instructional/Information Program. Now he will be even more insufferable on the podcast. In all seriousness, I’m super proud of him. He’s super talented and a good friend. Enjoy this moment, Smith. It’s the last time I’ll be nice to you for a while.

Actual footage of me celebrating Smith’s Emmy nomination.


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Everybody Has Pre-Existing Conditions

Yeah, so, I’m so ridiculously angry about the House vote for the American Health Care Act. So angry – like really, really angry.

Fuck these assholes.

It’s so fuckin’ gross I can hardly breathe. They were actually celebrating after they voted to strip away health care from more than 20 million Americans, including children and the elderly. Of course, they were celebrating by drinking Coors Light, so that’s kinda of a punishment if you ask me. Ewww. Coors Light.

As a two-time breast cancer survivor and mother of an autistic son, our health insurance is pretty fuckin’ important. But, according to these fuckin’ jokers, Calvin and I don’t deserve to have affordable health care due to our pre-existing conditions.

EVERYBODY HAS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS!

It’s not just big stuff like cancer and autism. Depression and anxiety are pre-existing conditions. Did you have a baby? Well, that’s a pre-existing condition. Victims of sexual assault or domestic violence? Sorry, that’s a pre-existing condition.

Are you planning on having a baby? Well, that will run you about $17,000, because insurance companies won’t have to offer that coverage in their insurance. Oh, and that price doesn’t include diapers, so good luck with that.

If you ever saw a doctor for anything, then you will most likely fall into the pre-existing condition group, so I hope you never got pink eye or broke a bone or got a STD or had to get stitches, but you’ll be fucked. Unless you’re rich, then you’re good to go.

Basically, any reason to charge you more, health insurance companies will get to do it under this bill, which will make health insurance too expensive for a lot of people.

Of course, no one wants to pay more for health insurance, so I’d like to think these dum-dums just voted themselves out of a job when the midterm elections come. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens. Here’s a way to donate to the campaigns of people running against the stupid jackasses who voted for this bullshit bill. Let’s get rid of these “people.” They have got to go.

I seriously hope the Senate rips this bill up. I’m going to try to be optimistic and hope that this bill won’t pass the Senate, but a lot of these politicians also couldn’t get reasonable gun regulations passed after someone went into a school and murdered 20 children, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in their abilities to do the right thing.

Do these morons actually think we will forget that they voted to take away health care from millions of our most vulnerable citizens? Guess what? We won’t. We won’t forget.

Me and my pre-existing condition.


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Random Thoughts: ‘Mother,’ The Skimm And More

Yeah, so, I’m feeling random today, so here I go again on my own …

I finally introduced my mighty, mighty good man David to one of my favorite comedies, “Mother,” written and directed by Albert Brooks. Have you seen “Mother?” You should see “Mother.” This movie makes me laugh so hard. Seriously, I giggle throughout this movie. And I don’t mean, I’m watching the movie and I think, “Oh that’s funny.” I mean, I literally laugh out loud over and over. It’s the best. And now, David finally gets it when I say, “It’s fancy jam time.”

So, yeah, last week, I was riding in the car with my sister Michelle and listening to the radio. I don’t listen to the radio that much anymore. I mainly listen to podcasts now, because I’m a super-rad podcaster now. The radio station was playing an ad for itself, “We have the greatest variety from the Backstreet Boys to Phil Collins.”

Umm, that’s not really a variety.

They might as well have said, “We have the great variety of music from Genesis to Phil Collins.”

It made me really glad that I pay the $9.99 for Apple Music.

I think I’ve recommended The Skimm before, but I’m going to do it again, because it’s rad. It delivers an email every morning summarizing all the news I need to know so I don’t sounds like an ignorant asshole. You should sign up, too – not that I think you’re an ignorant asshole. Everyone knows that The Sonia Show readers are the smartest readers in all the land.

OK, so, there’s a banner hanging on a restaurant in Concord, and every time I drive by it makes me want to smash my car into their restaurant.

Not only does it feature a typo, which is awful, it also features random capitalization! It’s a twofer. UGH! I see stuff like this, and I think I’ll always be able to find a job, but then I remember that these folks didn’t hire anyone. The banner has been up for weeks. Has no one told them? Maybe I need to stop by and let them know. Maybe they will give me free Sushi-Thai … whatever that is.

By the way, thank you to everyone who offered advice about our cat friend. She still hasn’t come back, and I’m still worried.

Let’s end this blog post on a cuter note, here’s a video of the cutest, happiest dog in the dog park.


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Dorking Out Episode 42: Our Favorite Sports Movies And Why I Hate Promposals

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out we share our top 3 favorite sports movies. I tried to make it so all of mine weren’t baseball movies, but I failed, because baseball is THE BEST. I also explain why “The Naked Gun” is one of my favorite sports movies.

In our second segment, we talk about pop culture homework. Do you watch the original movie before seeing a new remake? Do you read the book before seeing the movie?

Oh, and the podcast starts with me going off about how promposals are stupid. Seriously, fuck promposals. You’re not asking someone to marry you. It’s the goddamn prom. And all the boys who keep making promposal videos asking famous actresses to the prom: Just stop it. Stop it! For most of our lives, women compare themselves to celebrities. We’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, etc. It’s so tough to be a teenage girl, and now they have to keep with Emma Stone for a date to the prom. Come on!

So, yeah, promposals are lame. Do the kids still say “lame?”

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.


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Too Cool For School

Yeah, so, the San Francisco public school system is notoriously difficult to navigate.

In San Francisco, your kid doesn’t just go to your neighborhood school, even though that’s what most parents in San Francisco seem to want. There is a very involved school assignment process, which ratchets up parental anxiety. You are required to rank your school choices and submit them by the deadline, and you may or may not get any of your choices. A lot of families leave San Francisco when their children are getting ready to start school rather than deal with the enrollment process.

We have been touring schools and researching schools since November, and by “we” I mean my mighty, mighty good man David. He did most of the leg work on this, and I did stuff like drop off the forms at the school district and get laughed by a school district employee, which is a real thing that happened.

We submitted a list of about 35 schools, but it turned out none of those schools were going to work out for Calvin.

Photo by my mighty, mighty good man David.

Since Calvin is autistic, he needs an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) with the school district. He already had one, but it was a little out of date, so we had to get him reassessed by the district. However, we couldn’t make it happen until after the enrollment deadline. So, we just did our best guess what would be right for Calvin. We assumed that Calvin would be in a “regular” classroom, and then pulled out for special services, such as speech or occupational therapy.

The school district team visited Calvin at his preschool, and we brought him into their offices for more observation. Their recommendations were unexpected. They recommended Calvin attend a mild/moderate special day class. He would receive a lot of support and services with the hope of transitioning him to the “regular” class. We were kinda surprised, but the truth is, this is the best option for Calvin. It’s better to start with a lot of services and scale back then to start with less and ask for more services.

So, there are 11 elementary schools out of 85 elementary schools in the SF Unified School District that offer mild/moderate special day classes, and — of course — none of those schools were on our original list. We had to submit another list, and it was just a few weeks before the school assignment letters were going out.

Sigh.

The school district employees were so kind to us. They handed us a list of the schools, and David did some quick research. One of the schools on the list was Clarendon Elementary, which is really difficult to get into. We’ve read the stories about how it’s more difficult to get into than Harvard blah blah blah. David spoke with a school district employee on the phone, and she suggested we put it as our first choice, so we did, but with no expectation that Calvin would be assigned to that school.

Narrator’s voice: They were wrong. He was assigned to that school.

We couldn’t believe our dumb luck. Calvin was assigned to what many people believe is one of the best schools in the district, and it’s less than 3 miles from our house. Finally! The MansTracy Family catches a break.

When I got the school assignment from the school district, I seriously couldn’t believe it. I called David immediately, and when I told him he replied, “Holy shit!” David never swears. It’s always “Jiminy Christmas” this and “Good grief” that.

So yeah, now that the school search is over we can focus on the important shit like the fact that our little boy is starting kindergarten in the fall.


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You Get An Update! You Get An Update! Everybody Gets An Update!

Yeah, so, I’ve got a few quick updates for you guys.

Kitty Update

Our cat friend didn’t come around for about four days. He/she returned on Tuesday, looking much skinnier. I was really worried. I even checked all the animal adoption sites, thinking she/he would turn up.

daniel

Our house is a pussy magnet.

Back in the day, I had indoor/outdoor cats. I was raised that way, so it wasn’t a big deal to me to just open the door and let my cat go outside. Cats go outside. That’s just the way it was. Now, older, wiser, more anxiety-prone Sonia can’t handle it. I would never let Kubo go outside and let her run around the neighborhood.

What I am saying is, I’m getting too attached to this stray cat. I worry about her when she’s not around.

love

Health Update

Everything is going pretty good, you guys!

I go to Kaiser every few months for checkups. I see the oncologist once a year for a thorough exam. I have an OB/GYN that specializes in breast cancer patients, who I’m seeing once a year, too. BUT, we schedule the appointments six months apart, so either the oncologist or the OB/GYN is seeing me every six months. Plus, I’m getting routine skin checks at the dermatologist every three months.

I still go to my oncologist’s office every three months for my Lupron injection, but I just see a nurse for that. And I’m still taking tamoxifen. Good times.

The hot flashes have become more manageable. They usually show up when I’m drinking … so I have them all the time. I kid … sort of.

My anxiety has been much, MUCH better. I haven’t had any panic attacks since Homer died, and even then I kinda headed that one off at the pass by taking Ativan before it actually happened. I’m still taking a very low dose (5 mg) of Lexapro. I really feel like my awesome myself again. It’s rad.

My New Year’s resolution of doing Weight Watchers is working. I’ve lost 9 pounds so far. It really should be more than that after two months. BUT, to be fair, I had a really nasty cold last week, and I couldn’t stop myself from eating excessively to comfort myself. AND, it was SF Beer Week. Also, I have no will power.

America Update

I didn’t even bother watching Predator Trump’s speech, because he makes me sick and fills me with rage. The media was falling all over itself Tuesday night to say he sounded “presidential,” but seriously – fuck that guy. He stuck to the script and didn’t grab any pussy during his speech. Yes, how presidential, media outlets. Goddamn, the bar is so fuckin’ low now. He is a liar and a sexual predator. I don’t even want to get into specifics about his stupid fuckin’ speech, but he talked about “clean water” on the same day he started the process to repeal the Clean Water Act. He’s a garbage human being. I don’t care what he reads off a teleprompter.

So, yeah, I’ve still been making calls and writing letters to my reps. I am also making donations to organizations that fight for what’s right when I get paid, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood and International Rescue Committee. I also set up monthly donations for the ACLU and the Humane Society, because animals are good people.

Since I already have a full-time job, plus a kid and a weekly podcast, I don’t have all the time in the world to be outraged, so I try to keep my outrage fueled with two things.

We subscribed to the New York Times now! It’s time to pay for good journalism. Also, Predator Trump hates the New York Times, so we had to support them. We got a digital subscription, which comes with the Sunday edition. The paper arrived on Sunday it was like Christmas morning. I was SO HAPPY. I got to drink coffee and read the newspaper like my ancestors. It was heaven.

Hello, lover.

Hello, lover.

I also signed up for The Skimm, which delivers an email every morning summarizing all the news I need to know so I don’t look like a clueless dope. You should sign up, too.

I think that’s it for the updates today. I’ll give you a little taste of next week’s Dorking Out. I saw “Get Out” on Tuesday night, and my mighty, mighty good man David and I are planning on seeing “Logan” on Friday night. No doubt Smith and I will be talking about them on the show.


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Dorking Out Episode 36: Oscar Party

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out we try to figure out what the hell happened at the Oscars. What a cluster!

My co-host Smith actually came to my Oscar party, so I got to beat him in the Oscar pool in person, which is pretty fuckin’ rad. Oh, and we got to record the podcast while actually being in the same room together for the first time ever. That’s pretty fuckin’ rad, too.

Smith and I recorded a gaggle of Facebook Live videos throughout the broadcast, so if want to see what we really look like I suggest you check them out on Dorking Out’s Facebook page.

We have a crazy story about how my TV decided to crap out during the most important moment on the show. You should definitely listen to the podcast, so you can listen to me freak out about it. Also, I had been drinking, and that’s always entertaining.

oops

So, I predicted 16 out of 24 correctly, which is not super good, but it was enough to beat Smith, who guessed 15 correct. However, my friend Roger beat both of us, guessing 17 out of 24 correctly. That means he won the big ol’ bucket of movie theater candy.

We had a ton of Oscar-themed food this year, including enchi-La Las, Hacksaw Rice, Moonwine, Manchester By The Caesar, Hell Or High Water Farmhouse Dip, Guac-topia, Suicide Salsa, Kubo And The Two String Cheeses and Ale, Caesar (beer, duh). And, Roger and Katherine bought some “Jackie”-themed ice cream, which my high maintenance vegan ass couldn’t even eat. I heard it was good, though.

icecream

So, yeah, I wore my “Oscar wiener” dress and Toby dressed up, too, in honor of my Homer, who was very, very missed. He always wore a bow tie on Oscar Sunday.

oscarwiener

toby-bowtie

wienerdress

So anyway, 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.


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Six Things I’m Loving: Chef’s Table, SF Beer Week And More

Yeah, so, I’ve been stupid-busy at work. Don’t you hate it when you have to work at work?

On top of being swamped at work, where I just celebrated my EIGHTH year of working there (WTF?!?), both my mighty, mighty good man David and I caught a nasty cold from my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin. If you listen to this week’s Dorking Out, you can hear how congested I was earlier this week. It’s so sexy.

So, yeah, I’ve been swamped at work; our president is a raving lunatic who is going to get us all killed; and I had a cold. Good times.

Let’s talk about something else. It’s time for another installment of six things I’m loving right now.

Daily Skimm

Being outraged about everything that is going on is a full-time, but I already have a full-time job. Good buddy Kate recommended Daily Skimm to me, which sends an email newsletter every morning that summarizes the most important news stories of the day. It’s super helpful, and makes reading a lot of bad news a little easier … a little. I highly recommend it. You can sign up for it riiight here.

SF Beer Week

sfbeerweek-2017

On Friday, David and I used Urban Sitter for the first-time ever (which worked out great – Calvin had a great time and was instantly comfortable with her) and went to the SF Beer Week Opening Night Gala, like we always do. Just in case you don’t know what that is it goes like this: You pay $80; you get a glass; you get to drink unlimited beer from more than 80 breweries. It’s awesome. We tried some really great beer. Favorites included a milk stout from Seven Stills, Shadow Of Their Eyes from The Rare Barrel and The Vastness Of Space from Cellarmaker Brewing Company.

Chef’s Table

You guys! Season three of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” drops on Friday! Man oh man, we love “Chef’s Table” in this house. As “Top Chef” fans, we have found this show to be the part of “Top Chef” we loved the most with all the manufactured drama and stupid challenges. Each episode of “Chef’s Table” features a different chef. The second season was set entirely in France, but the first and this upcoming third season feature chefs from all over the world. We learn why the chefs make the kind of food they make. We learn about the process. And then you get to watch them cook. It’s rad! The cinematography is beautiful. We find the show incredibly soothing, and it is a nice break from all the news about how our country is basically a raging dumpster fire right now.

Abstract

So, well we wait for new episodes of “Chef’s Table,” we started watching this other documentary series on Netflix titled “Abstract.” It’s basically “Chef’s Table,” but with artists. We’ve watched the first two episodes: one was about an illustrator, and the second episode was about the man who designed Air Jordans for Nike. This is totally a David series, and I wasn’t sure I’d be into it. But, it’s surprisingly interesting. You learn a lot about their creative process, and as someone who fancies herself somewhat creative that interests me.

Gin

We went to Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy in San Francisco, with a group of friends for David’s birthday. It’s a real speakeasy. You have to make a reservation, and you get a password and all that. I’m not really a cocktail drinker. I’m a beer and wine drinker. But I figured a nice place like Bourbon & Branch would be a great place to try some delicious cocktails and figure out what I like. “I’m not a cocktail person. What should I get?” She has obviously heard this question before and immediately suggested a cucumber gimlet, which is made with gin. You guys! It turns out I like gin! I also had another gin-based drink, which I think was called Gypsy. I honestly can’t remember, because gin.

gindrink

San Francisco Giants

Baseball season starts April 3. I cannot wait. Baseball, save me!