Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I'm Married to a Nerdy Comedian, and I Love It

Earlier in January, I was out of town for work for a few days. Texted Jason just to check in. Now when I tell you I never know what I'm going to get when I talk to him, I mean it.  He cracks me up on the daily.  On that particular day, this was the conversation...

Jan 9th, 4:25pm

Sonya: hey

Jason: Hi welcome to Jason 44.4
What can I help you with today?

Sonya: haha
Well, you can give me a doodle report.

Jason: I would be happy to user Sonya
Would you like a written or visual report?

Sonya: Written is fine.

Jason: The unit called "The Doodle" is currently experiencing what humans most typically call moping.
She has not be allowed egress into the wilds beyond the home's perimeter, and is currently curled in a ball on the floor next to the tub sighing repeatedly.

Sonya: HAHA
Cabin fever!!

Jason: Our best estimates for mood recovery is 5 pm, coinciding with her feeding ritual.
Unless user Sonya would like to order a treat ritual between now and then?

Sonya: Oh yes let's do that!
A rainy day treat!

Jason: Remote treat rituals are subject to $5 A.I. surcharge, do you wish to proceed?

Sonya: ummmmmm
That seems steep

Jason: I am not programmed to negotiate system surcharges that accompany the Jason sub-routine.

Sonya: Fine. is that per treat or per treat time?

Jason: That surcharge is per ritual, not lasting more than 2 minutes.
Sonya: I'll pay it. She's worth it.

Jason: Consent received.

Sonya: dork hahaha

Jason: Scheduling treat ritual for 4... 45
Would you like to customize your treat with a hug or overly exuberant praise?

(I got distracted and did not response immediately...)
No response. Scheduling cold, heartless delivery of treat at 4:45 pm.
Have a wonderful day user Sonya!

I would like to customize with overly exuberant praise and some pets.

Jason: Did you require something else?
Remote treat ritual modification comes with a $25 A.I. surcharge.

Let's go with cold, heartless delivery.

Jason: The system will happily add your modification ...
Very well user Sonya.
Extended system engagement comes with a $5 per minute surcharge. Would you like to remain logged in?

Sonya: um No?

Jason :Goodbye.

Sonya: This system is expensive. Did I sign an agreement for this?
Jason: Hello user Sonya, what can Jason 44.4 do for you today?

Sonya: hahahahaha

Jason: The system is pleased you are content user Sonya.
Is there anything else the system can help you with today?

Sonya: You are a little scary good at this.

Jason: I am programmed to perform 10^10 functions, and I excel at all of them.
Would you like a task list?

Sonya: Well maybe not the WHOLE list.

Jason: Ambiguity while using the system comes with a $50 surcharge.
Would you like to continue to be wishy washy?

Sonya: ok, ok sheesh. Yes please give me a task list.

Jason: Preparing text delivery of task list. Estimated time for collation: 44.8 hours.
Please hold.


Jason: Please hold.
Error. Spelling processor runtime error 0x9h4

Sonya: hhhhhhhhhhhhhhahahah

Sonya: Did I get any packages

Jason: I am sorry user Sonya, system queries cannot be fulfilled while the system is rebooting.
Acceleration of the reboot time comes with an A.I. surcharge of $500.


Jason: Enjoy this screensaver while you wait.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Well, ok?

Art Day at Aunt Sonni's

Today Niece 1 and Niece 2 were joined by my new neighbor - we'll call him K6 (Kid 6.  There are 7 just on my block. It's kidified.)

K6 is my new BFF.  He loves to art like I do!  He is constantly drawing, cutting, taping, coloring.  I had to explain to him that he cannot use wooden pencils around me, but so far he is being accommodating haha.

Saturday night his family was at my house for dinner, and he had fun plundering my studio.  He found a little matchbox, and asked if he could have it.  I said sure. He LOVES little tiny books and boxes and things.  Before they left that evening, he had already decorated it, and started making some tiny art for it.

By the time I went over to their house to play games Sunday afternoon, he had completely filled up his little box with the cutest art - both created and found.  He had gotten his parents to set him up with his own "studio" - a table of his own, and he was super stoked to come to art with me again soon.


So this morning, he came over and arted with the nieces.  As usual, the arting was interspersed with snacks, 5 minutes of a movie, a few rounds of hide and seek, and finding treasures in the garden....(today was flowers that look exactly like butterflies!  (Niece 2 informed her Mom it was ok for her to touch the wings - it would not fly away heehee.) But they still managed to make some cool shaving cream prints and paint some pics.

I missed having KayKay here for sure!  She usually helps me keep the mess under control while we art.  I did NOT do a good job of that since I like to art right along with them, but it's still totally worth it.  I love the smiles and giggles and hugs.  :)

And the tiny new pieces of art in my life!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Things I Learned from My Own Personal Daddy - DON'T BREAK THE MAGIC

In January of 2010, I lost my Dad.  I was 41.

Like many (most?) other girls in the world, my Dad and I sometimes had a tumultuous relationship.  Ups, downs, sideways, and every other way in between.  It wasn't until I was a little older and had some distance in my 20s that I really understood that his intentions were ALWAYS to help me be a better person. To guide me, to love me, to point me in the direction he thought I should be going, although we OFTEN struggled to understand each other. 

I appreciate his INTENTIONS even more now than ever.

My Dad was a choir director for jr. high and high school kids at a public school in Mississippi, and at the church in which I grew up.  He did the music.  My Mom, also a music major, and at that time a piano teacher, children's church choir director, and choreographer of a dance line at the local community college, often accompanied the choir and choreographed and taught all the dances for my Dad's choirs.

He started way back in 1970, at a time when Mississippi was still struggling with the results of integration. (not that we aren't still struggling, but that's a topic for another day). 

I can tell you one thing 100% - my Daddy did not care if you were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet.  If he saw a spark in someone, he did anything he could do to foster that spark.  He picked people up and dropped people off for rehearsal if they couldn't get there on their own.  I have vivid memories of pick-up-truck beds full of kids going here or there to practice.  (It was the 70's and 80's in the deep south.  Yes, we rode in the back of pick-up-trucks. Put down your pitchforks.  It was a different time.)  He called parents to convince them to let their kids participate. In the days long before cellphones, I overheard many of those conversations as he stood at the phone in our kitchen.  (Yes kids - we used to have phones ATTACHED TO THE WALL and you couldn't walk very far away because the cord was only so long.)

He raised money.  He got sponsors for kids who couldn't afford to go on the choir trips. He hired kids to do jobs around our house to help them out.  He advocated for them with teachers, coaches, and family. He made the kids participate in the fundraising too.  I sold enough M&M boxes to fill a warehouse, and there were car washes and yard cleanups and I can't even remember what all else.

He did a lot of this work behind the scenes.  Although in some ways he liked the limelight, he didn't like the spotlight.  Know what I mean? He liked the stage, but didn't love it.  He was so talented, but never really 100% confident in it.  He had stage nerves big-time, often not helped by the fact that he waited until the day of a performance to learn the words to a song or lines in a play.....GEE I WONDER WHERE I GET MY PROCRASTINATION GENE?? ha!

His comfortable place to shine was behind the scenes.  Making the phone calls.  Building the sets.  Promoting the kids. Pushing the kids to believe in themselves.  He never stopped believing in the kids.

He was a mentor, advocate, and father figure to a LOT of kids over the years.  I'm not gonna lie.  Sometimes I was really, REALLY jealous of this, because I felt how much it took out of him.  Sometimes it left us at home a little short, to be honest.  It happens to the best people - when they invest so much of themselves in others. But that's why I call him MY OWN PERSONAL DADDY.  He was a lot of things to a lot of people - but only My Daddy.

But BOY did he expect us kids to put in the work!!  If we came in to rehearsal goofing around, talking, lazy, slow, tired....we would find ourselves quickly out the back door of the rehearsal room running laps on the school's football practice field.  Oh and did I mention this was the deep south and the rehearsal room had no air conditioning and no windows?  That is also a story for a different day....

I only got one paddling in school in 12 years - and it was from my Daddy.  He paddled the entire choir - one lick each.  We were talking outside before a performance and the people inside could hear us.  He made me be first, because he said I should have known better than anyone to be quiet.  hahahaha. 

Dad expected THE BEST from his kids.  ALL his kids.  He took choirs all over the south, to Disney World, to competitions here and yon, to perform at the World's Fair (I was in that choir), and to perform all over Europe (I was too young to be in that choir.) He had just as much fun on those trips as the kids.  He loved it.  He loved giving kids opportunities to go places and see things they may not otherwise see.

My Mom was right there with him, teaching us to spin and sway and kick and turn, until her own career as a middle school choir director and her work with the children and youth choirs at the church had her so busy he had to turn to professional dance teachers for help. 

I learned many things from my Daddy, although some have taken me lots of years to realize and truly understand.  Here are just a few that come to mind today - this day-before-Father's Day.

1> Believe in people.  They often are not capable of seeing the magic within themselves.
2> If people have taken the effort and time out of their lives to come and see you in a play or a concert or anything else, DON'T BREAK THE MAGIC. Don't ripple the stage curtain when it's closed.  Don't peak out to see who's in the audience.  Don't make noise backstage. Let people believe you are who they think you are (if it's a good thing;P )
3> Be humble.  Don't brag about your accomplishments, just work to accomplish more.
4> Light red, white, and blue smoke bombs in your back yard when you are feeling patriotic.  LOVE AMERICA.
5> READ.  Read books.  Read newspapers.  Read every plaque on the side of the road and at every informational blurb at every museum or historical site or zoo
you visit.  NEVER STOP LEARNING and paying attention!!
6> Go down roads you don't know. You never know what magic it may lead you to.
7> Laugh. He once said to me, "A person can make themselves miserable in Disney World."  He meant BE HAPPY WHERE YOU ARE. BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.  Make the world around you - no matter how small that world is - a better place.

As people do, we had both grown, matured and learned to communicate with each other better over the years.  Our relationship in his last few years was very different than it was during my own tumultuous teens and 20's, and I'm so very thankful for that.  We were in a good place when he left us, and I miss him.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Murder Podcast Obsession

If you know me, you know I'm convinced I am either going to get serial killed or I was serial killed in a prior life.  Their brains terrify and fascinate me.  From as far back as the 5th grade, I wanted to work for the FBI and solve crimes.  I read a ton. I watched every documentary.  When I was in college, I started out in engineering but quickly changed to psychology because I wanted to work with the criminally insane.  Then I realized how much schooling that would take, and switched to accounting. 

Still, whenever I'm in a hotel, and the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, my first thought is:

"a serial killer has pulled the fire alarm so we will leave our rooms and he can ax murder us." Paranoid, probably, but then again, who knows??

Fortunately, work-related training and assignments have allowed me to explore a little more of the psychology of crime, perpetuating my fascination with crazy criminals.  Which leads us to my current obsession with murder-related podcasts.  A bunch of people have asked me which ones I listen to, so here is a list of what I've listened to and some of what I'm subscribed to right now:

Serial – SEASON 1 The podcast that started it all. About Adnan Syed – who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in their senior year of high school. The story of the investigation and trial is told here, with some pretty damn important info. Still not a DEEP dive, but lays the groundwork for everything that is to come. SO SO SO SHADY – and this poor boy has spent 18 years in jail for this.     During Serial, two other podcasts popped up.

Undisclosed – SEASON 1 Rabia Chaudry is the attorney/ family friend of the Syeds who originally got Sarah Koenig, the developer for Serial, to do the story. She decided at some point that there needed to be a deeper dive on all the evidence, which she had been carrying around in her car and/or storing in her basement all these years. She is joined by 2 other attorneys, and holy CRAP they come up with some amazing evidence, along with:

Truth and Justice – SEASON 1 Bob Ruff started this podcast and has since quit his job as a Fire Fighter to pursue it full time. There are crazy shady players, weird cell phone ping issues, REALLY WEIRD lividity evidence ( I didn’t even know what that was until these podcasts), a random STREAKER, falsified time sheets, an attorney who goes nuts, prosecutors who LIE LIE LIE, and MUCH more!!… is INSANE.  During the course of their investigations, Bob, Rabia, and the 2 other attorneys (Susan Simpson and Colin Miller) on Undisclosed found evidence mismanaged, missed, or falsified SO BAD they got Adnan’s conviction overturned!!!! He is now awaiting either release or a new trial. Sorry for the spoiler, but you need to know!  This is happening right now! This means, of course, that this is actually an UNSOLVED MURDER. But we pretty much know who did it. P.S. – NOT ADNAN!!! Non-Adnan Syed podcasts::

Undisclosed – SEASON 2 “The State Vs. Joey Watkins”  Another kid in jail for YEARS. Convicted of a murder he seems highly unlikely to have committed. This one is in process, and the team has already uncovered a LOT of shady stuff happening with the apparent coercion of “witnesses” (there were none) by the DA. They also keep us updated as things are happening with Adnan’s case.


Truth and Justice – SEASON 2 OMG. I want to be Bob Ruff when I grow up. He has uncovered some AMAZING stuff. This season, he started working on the case of a guy in jail for a RIDICULOUS amount of time for armed robbery in Tyler, Texas. It has evolved from there into a very deep investigation of the murder of a woman, and the (again – teenage) boy who has ended up doing serious time for something it does NOT seem he had anything to do with. Corruption in the Smith County, Texas DA’s office appears to be really, really, really HORRENDOUS. He still hasn’t given up on the case he started the season with, but it all ties together. I will be very surprised if this guy’s conviction is not overturned – SOON – and that means this is another UNSOLVED MURDER!! I also won’t be surprised if Bob solves this one. He pretty much has solved the one in the Adnan case (not “proven” yet – but the theory is sound).  THEN, he got involved with the Kerry Max Cook case. He stayed in jail for 20 years for a murder he didn’t commit. Is now out. Murder is technically UNSOLVED, but Bob’s theory is SPOT ON, and could result in Cook being declared “actually innocent”. (I think he took an Alfred Plea once the state figured out they screwed up completely.)

Truth and Justice – SEASON 3 currently on-going. The story of the murder of Keow Gove, and the shady, shady, shady case against the convicted (innocent probably) guy sitting in jail for it. Still loving Bob. 

My Favorite Murder – MY FAV! This one is hilarious. 2 girls sit around and talk about 1 murder each. There are LOTS of F-Bombs, so if you don’t like that, skip it. You will be missing out, though. This one makes me laugh so much. They still talk about murders, some solved some unsolved. And they are sweet and sad and kind when they talk about them. But otherwise, they are wild and FUNNY.   They end every podcast with STAY SEXY, DON'T GET MURDERRRRED!  I want to just go hang out with them.

Real Crime Profile – These 2 people are retired FBI profilers, specialized in serial killings, domestic abuse, slaking behavior. I first heard about them when they did some profiling/ analysis on the Adnan Syed case. Now they have their own podcast. They have gone in to GREAT detail about some very well-known cases – OJ Simpson, Jon Benet Ramsey, and now Amanda Knox. I didn’t think I would like it. Thought I would be bored. But WOWZERS. They explain SO much more about the evidence and behavioral profiles than I knew before. WELL worth the listen. 

The Vanished – This one is done by Marissa Jones. Paralegal by day, podcaster by night. Her voice is soothing. The stories she features are ones I haven’t heard before -the much less well known ones.

Last Podcast on the Left – This one is hilarious and I love it. They just recently did a DEEP dive into L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology which was awesome. However, if you are easily offended by language or raunchiness, this one is not for you.    


Others I listed to religiously:

Sword and Scale            

In Sight            

Once Upon a Crime            

Generation Why            

Talking Crime            

Thin Air Podcast            

Already Gone Podcast            

The Trail Went Cold            

Casefile True Crime            

The Unresolved Podcast            

Up and Vanished            

Thinking Sideways  


And yes, Jimmy, I finally started listening to S-Town last night, and I am already totally HOOKED! J


Saturday, March 25, 2017

S%@T I Did Not Buy

I know I will probably be showing my lack of worldliness and sophistication because I don't know the true translation of these words, but come on.

Gelees already implies gelatin, one of the world's most disgusting substances. ("Hey you know what I think would make an AWESOME desert?  Boiled cows knees!") 

These people just go ahead and put it right out there. The truth, nothing but the truth.

Morbid Gelees.  Really?