The Sonia Show

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


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Capitol critters

Yeah, so, my brother Eric and his girlfriend Jennifer got hitched this past weekend in Old Sac, so my mighty, mighty good man David, mighty, mighty good boy Calvin and I decided to make a weekend out of it.

Let me start by saying this: Welcome to the family, Jennifer! I hope you like randomly appearing in blog posts, because by joining our family you have waved your right to privacy. I’m sure Eric mentioned that.

So, yeah, we started the trip out right by taking Amtrak instead of driving. It’s affordable, and it takes less than 2 hours. Plus, there’s beer.

Eric and Jennifer got married on the Delta King, which is a refurbished riverboat with hotel rooms. Calvin was SO EXCITED to sleep on the boat, so when they offered as the Captain’s Quarters at a discounted rate (and the bride and groom didn’t want it), we were more than happy to take it. It’s at the front of the boat with a terrific view of the river and the bridge, which has trains riding over it practically even 15 minutes.

Calvin was in heaven.

We also went to a Rivercats game. The Rivercats are the triple-A team for the San Francisco Giants, and they just happened to be playing The Aviators, which is the triple-A team for the Oakland A’s. It’s a really fun ballpark. There was a lot of delicious food to be had and beer to be consumed. It’s so casual. The ball players were taking selfies with fans, signing balls and one of the players handed a kid a bat to keep. It was really, really fun. If there’s a triple-A team in your area, you should go.

Check out how AMAZING my niece Lucy looks. Her hair is gorgeous. It’s purple and blue, and she looks like beautiful mermaid. Oh, and Calvin looks super cute in his yellow bow tie, which strangely he was totally fine with wearing. He must’ve known that he looked gooooood.

Lucy, Eric, Lorelei and Calvin

Me and my date, vegan carrot cake cupcake

Seriously, though, the bride and groom were kind enough to order two special cupcakes: one for me (the vegan) and one for Calvin (egg allergies).

We also visited the California State Train Museum. We went there a couple of years ago, and it was fun. Calvin was even more into it now. My favorite thing that happened in the museum was Calvin talking to one of the volunteers, and the conversation went like this:

Calvin: “Where are all the people?”
Volunteer: “We’re people.”
Calvin: “Are you sure?”

 

 


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Think pink (cupcakes)

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has been really into “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” lately. He really loves an episode in which Pinkalicious and her mother bake pink cupcakes, and she eats so many of them she turns pink.

For weeks, he has been talking about pink cupcakes.

“We will make pink cupcakes sometime, Mommy?”

“I want pink cupcakes.”

“We will make pink cupcakes later?”

This weekend, we finally made it happen. I think he’s just a little bit proud of them.

And yes, before you ask, they’re vegan. I used boxed cupcake mix with egg replacer, and you’d never know the difference.

Now I have to hide the cupcakes, because he will wake up in the middle of the night and eat them.

For our Oscar party, my friends John and Chris brought over “hostless” cupcakes, and they were awesome! We had a few leftover, and we had them sitting on the counter. The next morning, Calvin came into our room.

Him: “Guess what I did?”

David: “Umm, what?”

Him: “I ate a cupcake in the dark last night.”

Me: “Umm, what?”

Him: “I got up in the night and ate a cupcake.”

He did. He got up in the middle night and ate a cupcake. Then he went to the bathroom to wash the chocolate off his face and hands. And he would’ve gotten away with it, if he hadn’t told on himself … and we didn’t notice all the chocolate crumbs on the bathroom the next morning.

 


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Alexa, write this blog post for me

Yeah, so, we have an Alexa in our house, but we don’t really use her that often.

She tells us when packages arrive, and occasionally I ask her to play music for me. I assume the rest of the time she’s monitoring our every word and reporting back to Amazon and/or the government. I don’t care because whoever is listening is bored AF.

“Ugh. They’re debating about what kind of delivery to get AGAIN. You ordered Chinese food the other day, assholes! What’s the debate about? You know you’re going to get Indian food. Just stop talking about it and order it already. … Here we go. She’s talking about her Weight Watchers Points again. For fuck’s sake! You’re going to eat the Indian food anyway, fatty! Oh good, now she’s lying to herself about how she’s going to yoga later tonight. Yeah, sure you are, honey. Go put on your eatin’ pants and slippers. You’re not going back out tonight.”

So, yeah, the other thing I’m using Alexa for is parenting.

It’s been raining like a lot in San Francisco, and every morning I get into this debate with my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin about wearing his raincoat.

Him: “It’s not going to rain.”
Me: “It is!”
Him: “No, it’s not. It’s not going to rain. I don’t need to wear that coat. I want my sweatshirt.”

Repeat five days a week for the entire winter season.

So, last week I got the brilliant idea to get Alexa to back me up.

Me: “It is going to rain. Ask Alexa! She will tell you.”
Him: “Alexa, is it going to rain today?”
Alexa: “The temperature is 45 degrees with showers expected today.”
Me: “See!”
Him: “I need my raincoat.”

Ta-dah! Calvin will listen to Alexa, but not me.

Now I’m going to get Alexa to start suggesting that he eat vegetables and pick up his dirty clothes. Pretty soon I won’t have to parent at all! Then I’ll spend even more time debating our delivery food options with David.


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Traffic is Calvin’s jam

Yeah, so, one of the things that my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin loves to do it line up his cars, trains and buses. He finds it fun and relaxing.

The other night, my mighty, mighty good man David and I went out to dinner and left Calvin with a babysitter. When we got home, we got stuck in the most incredible traffic jam in our living room.

In this video, our sweet, one-eyed cat Kubo to give you a tour.


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Happy New Year, you guys!

Yeah, so, a lot of folks have been asking me what our mighty, mighty good boy Calvin asked for Christmas. As you might recall, last year Calvin asked for a birthday cake.

This year, Calvin said he would not sit on Santa’s lap, but he would like to stand near him and talk to him. And since we’re not about to force our kid to sit on a stranger’s lap, we were fine with that.

Santa asked him what he would like for Christmas.

“Presents,” Calvin told him.

“Anything specific?” Santa asked. “I could bring you a bag of chicken feathers. Maybe some auto parts?”

“Chicken feathers! OK! And a star on the Christmas tree. And binoculars.”

Santa didn’t bring the chicken feathers. #blessed


Of course, Calvin was a really good boy this year, so he got a ton of presents. I was particularly stoked that he actually acknowledged the book I bought him about San Francisco trains and buses.

There was a lot to hate about 2018, and I kinda think it can eat a bag of dicks. BUT, a lot of good stuff happened this year, too.

We went to Cabo with my sister and her family. That was rad. I saw Weird Al in concert. Mark Hamill liked one of my tweets (#humblebrag). We saw “Book Of Mormon.” We got tickets to the Oakland A’s Treehouse and went to a bunch of baseball games. I went to my job’s headquarters in Minnesota and finally got to meet in person some of my coworkers, who are the coolest. My mighty, mighty good man David bought me new mics and various other technical things for podcasting, and it all makes me sound great, but unfortunately they don’t make me sound smart. Smith left Dorking Out, which was a huge bummer, but I got Margo as a co-host and that is so fuckin’ awesome. Check out this week’s episode about “A League Of Their Own.” it’s super fun. My dad bought a 1935 Chevy Coupe, and I love to ride in it with him. I saw “Grease 2” in the theater, and it might be the most fun I had at the movies this year. I bought Calvin a birthday cake shaped like a Muni bus, which resulted in a look of pure happiness from him.

So anyway, 2018 can fuck off now. Happy New Year, you guys!


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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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The Magnificent 7

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin is 7 today.

Geez, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years.

I’m so proud of Calvin. He is so smart and funny. He’s got a big heart. I know that he’s going to grow up to be a mighty, mighty good man just like his father. I just hope he doesn’t grow up too fast.

Then

Now

And now it’s time for everybody’s favorite parenting photos …

This is probably David’s favorite photo ever. He titled it “priorities,” and it clearly demonstrates how much I love my stupid phone.

And this is my favorite photo of David and Calvin (and Homer – RIP).


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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.