The Sonia Show

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

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Weekend Getaway: Portland

Yeah, so, we went to Portland.

My mighty, mighty good man David had to go to Portland for work, so I flew up on Friday to meet him for a little weekend away. I left Calvin in the car in the parking lot at the airport. Don’t worry, I left the window cracked. I’m not a monster.

I kid. He stayed with my mom and had the best time ever. Grandma is his best friend.

So, yeah, I flew up to Portland, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but it was my first-time ever flying on a plane by myself. Also, I’m 46. I know, I know. It’s pretty ridiculous.

Look, Mom! I’m going to fly on the plane like a big girl.

I downloaded the new “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on my Kindle, and it turns out it was the perfect length for the flight. It ended right as we were landing. I was completely entertained and distracted the entire time.

We had an awesome time in Portland. It’s a great city. There was a ton of tasty beer and everywhere I went there was a variety of vegan options. And not just the “I guess I’ll get the fries and the salad” variety, but full-on vegan options. Even a divey bar would have nachos with a vegan cheese option. Heaven!

Our friend Caitlin showed us around on Friday, and we went to a vegetarian restaurant Harlow, where I discovered jalapeno cashew cheese that I will absolutely be trying to make myself. We also went to Breakside Brewery, where I had a couple of really good IPAs, Rainbows & Unicorns IPA and Lunch Break ISA. I also bought this rad hat, which David is modeling in this photo.

We also had dinner at a vegan restaurant, Blossoming Lotus, because David and Caitlin are nice people. I got the chickpea chana masala curry, because curry is one of my faves, and it was delicious. We ended the night with drinks at Horse Brass Pub with David’s friends Collin and Siri.

On Saturday, we went to Blue Star Donuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is super famous, but we were told repeatedly that Blue Star Donuts is a local favorite. We were not disappointed. David got the creme brulee donut, and I got a vegan blueberry one. Yummers!

After that, we went to 10 Barrel Brewing, and I had the milk stout, which was pretty darn good.

We had evening drinks with our friend Kirk and his girlfriend Emily at the White Owl Social Club, which is such an awesome place we didn’t really want to leave for our dinner reservations. But we’re so glad we did, because we had an amazing dinner at La Moule. As you can tell by the name, mussels are kinda their thing, so I decided to be a bad, BAD vegan for a meal and get the Korean mussels, which had miso, ginger, kimchi, garlic and sesame oil. It was good stuff. Honestly, I could have just eaten a loaf of crusty bread and dripped into the broth.

I can see why so many San Franciscans have moved to Portland. It’s very San Francisco-ish, except cleaner. Maybe that’s because of the rain?

We had such a good time. Big thanks to Caitlin for giving up her Friday to show us around, Collin and Siri for meeting us at Horse Brass, and Kirk and Emily for introducing us to the White Owl. Thanks, you guys!




6 Things I Love Right Now

Yeah, so, things have been kinda depressing lately, with David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying … which reminds me: Hey cancer, fuck you! Anyway, I’m all about being positive and shit now, let’s talk about six things I’m loving right now.

Fleece Tights

I bought these awesome fleece tights from Target. It’s been super cold in San Francisco right now. I’ll pause right here to let those of you who deal with real cold – you know with snow and stuff – laugh. Let me know when you are finished.


No, but seriously you guys, it’s been so cold that I’ve had to wear socks. It’s ridiculous. I like to wear dresses all the time, so these fleece tights are my new favorite thing. I can still be super cute and warm. I bought them in gray and black, and they are the best.

Soup Weather

Speaking of cold weather, that’s the perfect time to make soup. I’ve made nothing but soup for the past week, and you know what? They’ve all turned out pretty good.

I made a vegetable noodle soup with ginger miso broth and potato leek soup (both from “Thug Kitchen” – the best cookbook ever), chestnut soup (from Will Cook For Friends) and spicy black bean soup from a recipe in VegNews magazine (yeah, I subscribe to a vegan magazine, so what!)


The vegetable noodle soup didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked, but it was still fine. I think I need to try making it again. I don’t always expect to nail a new dish the first time I make it. That said, the three other soups were de-fuckin-licious. I’m basically a gourmet chef now, you guys. Look for me on the next season of “Top Chef.” I’ll be the contestant that starts flipping through a cookbook at the start of every challenge and cuts her finger every time she uses a knife.

My Almost Pixie Cut

OK, so, I wouldn’t say I’m really loving my almost pixie cut … I mean, I really miss my old hair. BUT, I will say this for my almost pixie cut, it takes almost no time to get ready to get out, and that’s kinda rad.


All business in the front.


Party in the back. I actually need a haircut, you guys! And a dye job. Ugh, gray.


Remember when kids were obsessed with “Frozen?” Well, that’s mighty, mighty good boy Calvin now, but with “Cars.”

Is “Cars” the best Pixar movie? Absolutely not. I think “The Incredibles” (or any of the “Toy Story” movies) takes that title. But I’ve been watching it a lot lately, and it’s really cute. I know it came out in 2006, but I had never seen it. But now, as a mother of a 4-year-old boy, I’m watching it on repeat. I’m still not tired of it. Trust me, there are other things that are way more annoying for your kid to watch than a Pixar movie. For example, have you watched five minutes of “Bob The Builder?” Ugh. The voices are annoying, and there’s a scarecrow or something with a weird pumpkinhead running around causing problems … WTF is that show about?! Wait, sorry, we’re keeping it positive, right?

Back to “Cars,” I’m almost ashamed to admit how many times I’ve laughed at Mater.


I know. I’m the worst. I think Larry the Cable Guy, who does the voice, is really unfunny, but for some reason, I think Mater is really funny. I kinda hate myself right now. Don’t worry, though. I will be punished. I hear that “Cars 2” is not very good, and I’m sure Calvin will be all about watching it soon.

Firestone Walker Agrestic

I will never get tired of drinking Agrestic by Firestone Walker. It’s just a little sour, not too sour. Even mighty, mighty good man David will drink it.


This Guy

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Non-dairy creamer has dairy in it. WTF?!

Yeah, so, I was getting a cup of tea at work, because I like to have a cup of tea with me in meetings.  I also like to wear a monocle and talk in a British accent. It’s my new thing. I’m super proper and respectable and shit when I’m at work.

So anyway, as I was getting my tea I noticed that we have powdered non-dairy creamer in the cabinet, and I decided to read the label because apparently I don’t have enough work to do at work.


Hey Powdered Non-Dairy Creamer! Stop fuckin’ lying to yourself and everyone else. You’ve got milk listed right in your ingredients. Why does something called “non-dairy creamer” have milk in it? Isn’t that like a garden burger having meat in it?

So, I looked it up. Apparently, “non-dairy creamer” means the lactose has been removed, but it still may contain the milk protein casein.


I don’t think non-dairy creamer is a very accurate name. They should call it lactose-free creamer, or maybe “nasty fuckin’ powdered shit for your coffee.” Seriously, that stuff is gross. I don’t know. Maybe this non-dairy creamer fact is common knowledge, and you’re thinking, “Hey dumbass, everyone knows that.”

Well, you don’t need to be so rude about it. Good day! I said, GOOD DAY!

Oh, I can’t stay mad at you. Here’s a video of my kid dancing to the song from the new “Peanuts” movie.



It’s Another Blog Post About Being Vegan, Charlie Brown

Yeah, so, it turns out the hardest part of going vegan isn’t the not eating meat or dairy part. For me, the hardest part of going vegan has been dealing with my fear of the shit I’m going to get from people when I tell them I’m vegan.

This, of course, is ridiculous. Who cares what I eat, right? But, it’s my nightmare to be high maintenance, and I don’t want to come across to people as a high maintenance pain in the ass about food. It’s also my nightmare that I will get cancer again … or that a big, hairy spider will even look at me. Seriously. Eww.

In the past I’ve cringed when I’ve told people, almost like I’m embarrassed that I’m vegan. But now, I’m feeling more confident about my decision, and I’m totally over feeling like I need to apologize for it. And, just in time for the holidays, too. Wheeee!

So, since starting the vegan diet back in July I’ve encountered three different types of responses when I tell people.

#1: They get it.

Most friends and family are fine with it. They get it. I’ve had cancer twice, and the doctor is recommending a vegan diet, so I should go on a vegan diet. It’s the smart thing to do.

#2: They want me to confess that being a vegan sucks.

Every once in a while someone wants me to admit that the diet is difficult, and they want me to admit to that I secretly eat meat or dairy on occasion. I don’t know if it’s because they want to feel better about what they are eating or what. The truth is I feel great. I’m really enjoying it, and it’s helping me eat healthier than I ever have before. I have even discovered the joy of vegan. Check out my Instagram to see for yourself.

The vegan diet hasn’t been as difficult as I thought, and I don’t secretly eat meat or dairy. I might accidentally eat meat or dairy, because sometimes food has secret meat or dairy, and I’m still learning what I can and can’t eat. I’m doing the best I can. And yeah, if I really just had to have something like ice cream I would, or if I was at a fancy dinner such as a work holiday party and they had no vegan options for me, I’d go vegetarian and do the very best I could, because I don’t want to be a dick about it.

And speaking of being a dick, that brings me to the third type of response I encounter …

#3: They think vegans are idiots, and therefore I’m an idiot.

This person thinks vegans are morons; this person is also known as my dad.

This is pretty much the reaction I expected from The Man, though. I’m not surprised. I mean, look at his room filled with dead animals.


Are you shocked that the person who killed all these animals isn’t cool with the idea of his daughter being a vegan? Other things my dad isn’t cool with: 1) Obama; 2) Gun control; 3) Animated TV shows.

Even though I’ve been vegan for about five months, my dad didn’t know or didn’t care to know. I’m not sure which. Last week, I was having dinner with my parents, my sister and my nieces Lorelei and Lucy. After dinner, Lorelei asked me something about how my vegan diet was going, and before I could respond my dad chimed in.

Dad: “Vegans are weirdos.”
Me: “OK then.”
Dad: “It’s just stupid. We’re humans. We’re carnivores.”

[Lorelei pushes her glasses up her nose]

Lorelei: “Actually, we’re omnivores, Grandpa.”



Me: “Haaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahhaha!”
Lorelei: “I don’t think vegans are stupid. Asa [she has always referred to me Asa – a combination of Aunt Sonia] is a vegan, and she’s not stupid.”

I know, right? Lorelei is fuckin’ rad.

Me: “It’s fine, Lorelei. Grandpa can think whatever he wants. The truth is I feel great. Dad, I don’t care what you eat. I care what I eat. My vegan diet has no effect on you at all. If anything, now there’s more meat and dairy for you. You’re welcome.”

Of course, his reaction is ridiculous. It’s not like I sit at the family dinner table with an empty plate in front of me and bitch that there’s nothing being served that I can eat. I also don’t cry at the table about how they are eating an adorable animal or how I think eating meat is unhealthy or whatever. I make myself a plate of what I can eat, and I eat it without drawing attention to myself, because I don’t want people to watch me eat anyway. That’s weird. There’s no judgement from me whatsoever, but unfortunately, my dad doesn’t want to extend me the same courtesy.

Thanksgiving is going to be fun.