The Sonia Show

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


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I gave at the office

Yeah, so, my boss “asked” me to volunteer to lead the office’s giving campaign this year. I think she regrets that decision because I’ve covered the office in signs. No location is safe from my pestering, as you can see.

Also, I’m spamming the office email with memes.

Annoying coworkers is now one of my skills on LinkedIn. Please endorse me.

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Let’s catch up

Yeah, so, we have some catching up to do, huh?

I’ve been neglectful. Don’t be mad at me, baby. Take me back.

I’ll do a relatively short wrap up for you and then we will go back to our usual blog posting schedule … I hope.

We had a very successful 7th birthday party for my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin. This was the first year ever that he asked for a birthday party. He asked for a birthday cake, and he asked to invite his friends.

We rented out the clubhouse at Jackson Playground, because it was the homebase for his a few of his summer camps, so we know he loves it there. We invited friends, family and all the kids in his class and about half of them came, which is rad.

We had a Muni bus birthday cake made from My Favorite Bite, and it was AMAZING! Sometimes you see a cool-looking cake but it tastes kinda yucky – it’s dry, it’s overly sweet, it’s both. But this cake not only looked great, it tasted great.

Calvin was over-the-moon happy! “There’s cake inside the bus!” I mean, look at that smile.

The party was such a success that Calvin asked if we could have another birthday party the following weekend. He’s also asking for a BART-themed cake for Christmas.

Just a few days after Calvin’s birthday it’s my birthday. Dear readers, I do not lie about my age. I’m 48. I earned it, and I own it.

I celebrated by doing things that I love like eating vegan food and drinking beer with some of my favorite people. I finally checked out Standard Deviant Brewing. They have some tasty brews, and I really loved their saison and they had a really good oatmeal stout on tap.

After a few beers, I had dinner at Shizen, which serves vegan sushi. That’s right, VEGAN SUSHI. That shit is delicious. I also got to go to SF Brew and Vegan Eats. Finally, a beer festival in which I’m not forced to only eat the fries. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

This country is a dumpster fire right now, but I’m trying to stay positive.

I really love this time of year, and not just because it’s my birthday season. Fall is my jam. Pumpkin everything. Orange is everywhere. The weather is nice. Scary movies are easy to find on Filmstruck, TCM, Netflix and Hulu.

I was chatting with a coworker today, and I told her that we should buy fall homes, instead of summer homes, and we could hop from house to house and just live in the fall all year long.


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Another steak out

Yeah, so, a meat eater, a vegan and a 6-year-old autistic boy walk into a steakhouse …

For about a year now, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has been obsessed with the ceiling fans at Harris’ Restaurant. The steakhouse is nearby his speech appointment, and we always stop by after his session so he can say hello to the ceiling fans in the bar. And he would always ask me, “Can we eat here?”

“Not today,” I tell him.

“They don’t have burger? Next time?”

“Yes, some other time.”

The truth is it would be an expensive experiment, but to celebrate his first day of first grade we decided to be brave and actually eat there.

He was really excited. Unfortunately, they don’t have a burger (which seems weird for a steakhouse, right?), but they offered a plain chicken breast. Calvin said he didn’t want that and opted for a bowl of rice. Cheap date!

David ordered a Manhattan and massive filet with peppercorn sauce. He was in heaven.


The kitchen made me a plate of vegetables with garlic, balsamic and various other seasonings. Veggies that are prepared well with a big glass of red wine … I was happy.

After dinner, Calvin got some chocolate ice cream.

“It’s not a cone,” he correctly pointed out.

“No, I’m sorry. They don’t have cones.”

“OK.”

Don’t worry. He made it work.

 


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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.


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The nod squad

Yeah, so, one of the things I love about being a parent (besides the fact that my kid is super amazing and undoubtedly the best person in the entire world) is the bond you have with other like-minded parents.

Obviously, there are parents who are huge assholes. They let their kids kick your seat in the movie theater or raise them to be racist, MAGA hat-wearing little shits. But there are some other cool parents out there, too. I like to think that mighty, mighty good man David and I are cool parents.

We’ve got each other’s back. We’re quick to offer wipes, sunblock and goldfish crackers when needed. We will help you in a public restroom when your kid has an accident.

A few weeks ago, we were at a restaurant sitting outside, and Calvin was pissed. We had been at Ocean Beach before heading to the restaurant, and he wanted to stay at the beach forever. I get it. The beach is fun.

He ran off from the table into a nearby open area and started crying. I walked up to him and hugged him while he cried.

“I want to go back to the beach,” he sobbed.

“We will. First lunch, then beach,” I told him.

He cried and cried, and another mother walked by with her two kids, and one of them was crying, too. Then she gave me the nod.

I have given this nod countless times, too. It’s the nod parents give each other to acknowledge that the struggle is real. We’ve been there. We get it.

Most parents are doing the best they can. So, whether you’re a parent or not, when you see a parent trying to comfort a screaming, tantrum-throwing kid, instead of judging them, give ’em a nod or one of those “I see you” hand gestures. It means a lot.


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Mind Your Business

Yeah, so, here’s a scene from my upcoming play, “Let Me Sleep FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

Mind: “‘Sup?”

Me: “I’m sleeping. Fuck off.”

Mind: “You need to pee.”

Me: “Ugh. Fine.”

uses bathroom

Me: “Happy now?”

Mind: “Not really. I’m worried.”

Me: “Go to sleep.”

Mind: “Cancer. I’m worried about cancer. Also, this country is fucked up, and I’m worried that we’re going to die of cancer, and we won’t be around to protect our son.”

Me: “I’m trying to sleep.”

Mind: “Also, what’s the weather going to be? What should we wear?”

Me: “Please, for the love of god, I’m trying to sleep.”

Mind: “We have meetings most of the day. Someone is probably going to ask us a question, and we’re not going to know the answer. That’s going to suck.”

Me: “Quiet, please.”

Mind: “Of course, work stuff doesn’t really matter. We’ve probably got cancer again.”

Me: “SLEEPING NOW!”

10 minutes later.

Mind: Hey, you up?

And scene.


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Content strategy is so hot right now

Yeah, so, I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I mean, other than retire.

I recently discovered that I like content strategy.

Weird, right? It only took me about 10 years to figure it out. Around this time last year, I was transferred from the Oakland office to the San Francisco office to join the content team. Instead of just writing content for one of our companies, I’d be working on content for all of our companies.

Shortly after I got there, I was asked by my new boss if I’d like to really do the Content Marketing Manager job. I have the title, but I didn’t work much with the metrics and the funnel, and shit like that. I said, “Sure. Why not?”

Well, it turns out that I don’t like metrics. Numbers are not my jam.

At the same time, I started working on this big, new project. The corporate overlords are launching an entirely new section of their website, and I started working with a Content Strategist named Nina on all the copy. From blog articles to transactional learning content to the micro-content in the shopping cart, I worked with Nina on all of it.

I like it. I like it a lot.

I love writing. I mean, duh. But it turns out I like thinking about the customer journey. I like thinking about creating the content to help them through the shopping process. AND, it turns out that one of the things that’s kinda in fashion when it comes to website content is making it less stuffy. You know, write like people actually talk. Well, I fuckin’ love that shit. That’s all this blog is. Writing like how people talk is so hot right now.

So, I’ve been listening to everything Nina says and picking her brain because she’s all smart and shit. I started listening to a really great podcast by Kristina Halvorson from Brain Traffic. And at Nina’s recommendation, I started reading Halvorson’s book, too.

I’m feeling like a real goober right now talking about work and content strategy, but the truth is … I’m kinda excited, you guys. It’s been a long time since I really cared about work. I mean, I always kinda care. I have a work ethic, and I’m not a completely lazy asshole. SHUT UP. I’m not! You’re the lazy asshole!

So anyway, now I have an idea of what I want to do. I’m not just feeling around in the dark, writing whatever is asked of me without any rhyme or reason.

Does this mean I’m going to go back to school and get another degree in content strategy? Hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahah! *deep breath* Hahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahah!

Seriously, going back to school is my nightmare. It’s my recurring anxiety nightmare, so that isn’t happening. I can’t imagine anything worse than homework and tests. BUT, I think I can learn a lot at my job and apply what I learn. Plus, it keeps me away from numbers.


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Too cool for school

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin finished kindergarten today.

The first day of kindergarten.

The last day of kindergarten.

I’m so crazy proud of him. He has absolutely blossomed this year. He is talking so much and really improving his social and emotional interactions. He’s quite popular at school. When we’re walking around the school with him every kid says “Hi Calvin,” and every teacher or aide stops us to tell us how much they adore him. (#humblebrag)

Since he’s obsessed with fans, he stopped by the office every day and asked the receptionist to turn on her fan. He made such an impression on a fifth-grade teacher that she gave him a fan to bring home.

Fan boy.

I can’t believe that this August he will be a first grader! Gaaaaaahhh!

He’s got big plans this summer. He’s spending a week every month with my parents in Concord. While he’s there, he going to take swim lessons! I wouldn’t be surprised if swimming turned into a thing for him. I foresee a future of swim meets followed by Olympic gold medals and big, fat endorsement deals, which lead to us finally being able to buy a house in San Francisco.

He’s also doing a week of summer camp at the San Francisco Zoo. AND, he’s doing two weeks of summer camp through the city’s Park Department in which children with autism ride public transportation all day. I know, right?!? He’s gonna to freak out.

Actual footage of Calvin when he learns about the public transportation camp.

So anyway, I’m so proud of my mighty, mighty good boy. He is such a funny, sweet and handsome little guy.

 


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Feeling Minnesota

Yeah, so, I had to travel for work a few weeks ago.

I’ve never had to travel for work before, other than some particularly shitty commutes I’ve had in the past. I mean, driving from Concord to Burlingame can certainly feel like traveling for work.

Seven years I’ve been working for this company, and they finally noticed that I’ve never visited their headquarters in Shoreview, Minnesota. Actually, some of the bosses did try to get me to come out twice before, but I was busy evicting a baby from my uterus and kicking breast cancer’s ass, so, ummm, no.

This time last year, I was moved into a new position, a new office with new coworkers and a new boss. And my new boss doesn’t really dig my whole “Oh, I’m just going to hide in my cube” career path. “No more hiding, Sonia,” she says. “You’re going to go to Shoreview and take your bow for your hard work.”

Well, when she puts it like that, how can I say no? Plus, I really like my new team. We’re divided: half in San Francisco, half in Shoreview. I really wanted to meet the Shoreview team in person. I think it’s important that they see what I goober I am in person. You have to see it to believe it.

So, I packed my bags and got up at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight. That’s right, 4 a.m.! Did you guys know that there is a 4 in the morning? It’s like 4 in the afternoon but in the morning! When the fuck did that start? Ugh. It’s really early.

Shortly, after I arrived in Shoreview, it started snowing. We don’t get snow in the Bay Area, so this was pretty exciting to me. I practically had my face smashed against the window.

Me: “Ohhhh, you guys! LOOK! IT’S SNOWING!”

Co-workers:

It’s April. They were so over it. I thought it was neat, but I could certainly see how the novelty would wear off. Also, driving in snow sucks ass.

So, yeah, it was really awesome to meet my coworkers in person. We had a team dinner at The Lowbrow in Minneapolis, and it was so good. It had vegan options AND an excellent beer list of local brews. It would definitely be my regular spot if I lived out there.

Oh, speaking of vegan options, there wasn’t a ton to be had in Shoreview, Minnesota. BUT, pretty much every restaurant I walked into had gluten-free options. FYI: About 1 percent of Americans have Celiac disease, while 6 percent of Americans say they’re vegan. It’s more likely that a vegan will walk into their restaurant than someone with Celiac disease, but it’s OK. I made it work. I just think it’s funny that they’ve embraced the whole gluten-free thing, but veganism, not so much.

The other thing about the trip that cracked me up: So many of my coworkers said, “Oh, you look just like your photo.” We have photos in our email, Skype, etc. I kept wondering, “Who doesn’t look like their photo?” Maybe I’ll swap my photo out with the worst wedding photo ever taken.

A week before my work trip, I fell and sprained my ankle, but I didn’t know, because I’m practically a genius. I was hobbling around the office, but no one even noticed. I looked like Catherine O’Hara in “Best In Show.”

It probably didn’t help that there was a huge Super Target nearby our hotel, and one night I spent two hours walking around. My ankle really hurt, but SUPER TARGET.

Every night after dinner I went back to my hotel room, put my foot up and watched the second season “The Good Place.” (So good, you guys! You should watch it.) One night I watched a documentary about Jane Goodall called, appropriately, “Jane.”

On the plane, I watched “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Bad Moms Christmas,” which are perfect airplane movies in that they don’t make you laugh or cry and draw attention to yourself. They were not good. “Pitch Perfect 3” actually had explosions, and I think Fat Amy full-on murders some people. I thought this was a movie about an acapella singing group. WTF?

Anyway, I was in Minnesota for five days – FIVE DAYS! That’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin.

My mighty, mighty good man David travels for work all the time. I never do. In fact, when I told Calvin that I was going on a trip for work, and I’d be gone, he said, “Not Mommy. Daddy is going to work.”

David said that Calvin asked about me every morning and every night. Of course, when I would FaceTime, he would give me the cold shoulder, but at least the pets were happy to see me.

Actually, when I got home late Friday night, Calvin will still awake, and he insisted I get into bed with him. He really missed me, and I missed him terribly. For about a week after I got back, Calvin was watching me like a hawk, never letting me out of his sight. It was nice to be missed.