The Sonia Show

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


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Grateful Eight

Yeah, so, yesterday my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin turned 8.

I am so in awe of Calvin. He is kind, smart, funny and honest. The world would be a better place if we had more Calvins in it.

Calvin has inspired me to look for the good in people; to be kinder; to try to understand other people’s challenges.

And he encourages me to apply that understanding to myself, too. My inner voice can be cruel. “You’re dumb. You’re fat. You’re failing.” But when Calvin looks at me, he doesn’t see that, and he reminds me that I’m not those things. And then I tell my inner bitch to STFU.

Calvin has also encouraged me to be more outspoken when I see something wrong. I’ve never been a very political person, but it’s because of Calvin, and my desire to make the world a better place for him, that I’m drunk dialing my representatives and donating money to organizations and candidates that fight for what’s right. I will never run for office, but I fight for what’s right in my own way.

Calvin has made me a better person.

OK, enough mushy stuff …

So, yeah, after years of ceiling fan obsession and repeated asking, Calvin finally got his very own ceiling fan!

For years, Calvin has been watching ceiling fan videos. I bet you didn’t know that was a thing. It is. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of videos about fans and ceiling fans.

I suspect Calvin could install his own ceiling fan, but instead, Calvin picked out the fan and we paid for it. Then my parents paid for the installation. He’s SO HAPPY.

I filmed the entire installation, so if you’re really into that sort of thing, you can watch it here.

We had a small birthday party at Michelle and Dale’s new house to celebrate. And even though the weather wasn’t as warm as we hoped, that didn’t stop Calvin from swimming.

I don’t know if anything can top last year’s Muni bus cake, but this Bart cake from My Favorite Bite is pretty damn close. Maybe next year we will get a Caltrain cake …

Other things that happened at the party …

Calvin opened up all of his gifts without our knowledge, and after we told him he could get into the pool, he didn’t wait for his swimsuit. He just got naked and jumped in, which is so Calvin.

Big, super thanks to my sister Michelle and her man Dale for hosting Calvin’s birthday! You’re the best aunt and uncle Calvin could ask for.


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Dinner table traffic jam

Yeah, so, most nights we eat dinner in the living room because we’re disgusting animals who hardly eat at the dinner table. Also, it’s usually the best temperature in the house: cooler when it’s hot outside, warm when it’s cold outside.

Anyway, one of the other reasons we don’t eat at the kitchen table is because my mighty, mighty good boy lines up all of his cars on the table. He’s got a very specific traffic jam on the table, and instead of removing the cars every night for dinner, we just leave them there. It’s not a big deal. He likes them there, and we like eating in the living room. It’s comfy.

However, we do remove the traffic jam for guests and parties. Last night a friend was coming over for dinner, so I asked Calvin to move the cars temporarily.

“There’s still room on the table to eat. We can leave them,” he negotiated.

“Nooooope. Let’s move the cars for just a little bit, and you can put them back after dinner.”

After a little back and forth, he reluctantly put them away but mentioned putting them back about – hmmm – every 3 minutes.

Eventually, he moved on to other things that evening, but guess what’s he was doing first thing this morning?

 


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The shoe is on the other foot

Yeah, so, this morning my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin asked if he could wear two different shoes.

“They’re the same, but different colors,” he said.

“Yeah, but you should wear matching shoes,” I replied.

“Why?”

“Ummm, errrr. Actually, I don’t know why you have to wear matching shoes. You don’t. Go for it!”

He ran around the house, excitedly: “Look how colorful my shoes are!”

I think Calvin is very fashion-forward. In a few weeks, all the kids at school will be wearing mismatched shoes. You’ll see.


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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.