Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Adventure with The Onion

I'd like to interrupt your regular reading of Hobbit Heartache to tell you a tale.  It is a tale of a journey I am currently taking, a journey that most likely will not have a happy ending.  After embarking on this journey, well, I can certainly understand how the hobbits feel in their quest to Gondor or wherever the hell they're going.   Or how Jessica and Elizabeth felt when they went to Malibu to be au pairs for the summer.   Or how Bilbo felt when he went to the sexy Land of the Elves.  Or how the twins felt when they went to Paradise Spa and there was a murderous spa director and she...

Sorry.  I'll stop.

(You'll have to forgive me; my mind is kind of stuck in those two worlds as of late and will continue to be so probably until 2013.)  

Seriously, this is what the inside of my head looks like these days, but with less hobbit beer and more cat puke (Money is sick).

AHEM.  Back to my journey.   Well, it all began when I learned that the satirical newspaper The Onion was heading to Canada.  Writing for a paper like The Onion comes pretty close to my dream job, which involves starting up cereal-based letter writing campaigns, wearing costumes in public and petting dogs (I feel like craigslist is my best bet there).  I knew I couldn't waste this opportunity like I did with the Harry Potter job.   Or like when I sent my audition tape for America's Next Top Model: All Stars Season to the wrong Tyra Banks.  Or when Squash Ontario refused to sponsor me in the World's Largest Squash Casserole competition.   No, I really had to nail this.

You thinking what I'm thinking?

Time for a barrage of letters displaying my multifaceted personality and unwavering-to-the-point-of-fear-provoking persistence!

Note: It's a fine, fine line  between "you're hired" and "our legal counsel has issued a cease and desist." 

Like any hopeful applicant, I began by doing a little research.  I closely examined The Onion's policy on receiving resumes.  It is as follows:  "Please do not send/e-mail resumes concerning listed positions unless specifically told to do so in the listing. Any unsolicited resumes will be immediately discarded."

Well. That seems open to interpretation.

They did not discuss their policy for sending resumes for unlisted positions.  Nor did it discuss their policy on receiving acceptance letters.

And thus, the adventure begins:

A month goes by.  I hear nothing from The Onion, not even from Matt at the office.  I start to fret a little bit, because, you know, I'd asked some important questions that needed answers. Time was of the essence, which is why I had marked the envelope as "URGENT" two  (2) times.  I wanted to shop for my new uniform clothes while the summer dickey sales were still going strong. I also wanted to print a few mock business cards to distribute before the official ones were made because you know I'm all about networking.

The zebra one is perfect for "Casual Friday," right?  That's what I was thinking, too. Now, if only The Onion would write me back so I could figure out how many I'd need for my new job.   I took a guess and bought six (6).

I kept my head up and continued to maintain my extensive exercise regime. In the midst of a squat series which involved the use of both wooden planks and steel buckets of boiling water, the answer hit me: of COURSE they hadn't replied!  I forgot to send them my references! A rookie mistake, one that I really should have known better.   But one that can be easily fixed.

The adventure continues.  And since all of my previous references have politely asked me not to contact them again, I had to go a different route.

I also remembered to include my resume and "Books Read in 2009" list this time.  I wanted to make sure that they knew I could write articles about all kinds of things, like senior cats and kids that live in boxcars and also monsters (both in mythology and real life).

I also of course included my headshot.  It's a bit outdated but I think it still accurately conveys my intensity for The Onion.

(I have new headshots that feature both my roommates and my cat Money but getting rid of the red eye has taken longer than expected.  Fingers crossed for January 2012!)

Possibly 2013.

I sit and I wait for another month, checking my mailbox daily with growing frustration.  I try to stay positive but I can't deny that my exercise regime is slipping.  I'm down to lifting five (5) gallon buckets of water instead of ten (10).  My dickeys are gathering dust in my closet, my fanfiction work is taking a turn for the morbid, and yeah, my hygiene is suffering as well.  I've been down this road before with previous letter writing campaigns (Francine Pascal, I'm looking at you right now), and it's neither healthy nor good for me.

My deepening depression luckily did not affect our evening spinning classes. 3x a week will do wonders!

To make matters even worse, The Onion prints their first Toronto edition, and sure enough, my articles have not made the front page.  In fact, they're not printed at all.  I am filled with shame.

shame [mitchell] Pictures, Images and Photos

(Is two (2) gifs per post pushing the limits?  I'm still testing the waters here.)

I reach out my vulnerable and increasingly untoned arms once again.

... And still, nothing.  NOTHING.  Not even from Joan after I included the first six (6) chapters of Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction especially for her. I'd like to blame it on the postal system, but as I just received a new SVH shipment from Amazon, (Wakefield Legacy: The Untold Story, I warmly welcome you into my life), I know it just can't be.

For when you're in the mood for an epic.

But those who know me know that I do not relent easily.  I'm in the midst of a 5,600 word article debating the merits of gray cats over orange ones so I can prove to The Onion that I can be topical as well as informative.   And after that, I'm mailing them a collage comprised of both dried and moist onion skins (mostly red, but also yellow and white onion skins for accent) to show my versatility. 

It will be five (5) feet tall and bring tears to the eyes of all who gaze upon it.

(If you have any extra onion skins you'd like to contribute, feel free to drop them off at my house anytime, night or day (preferably dawn).  My roommate Heather is in charge of the collection, so you can just slide them right under her door or throw them at her window. I will need at least 300.)

Are my letters/handmade projects/half-finished novels most likely being thrown immediately into the garbage, you ask? Oh, almost certainly.  Is that going to stop me?  Well, probably, yeah.  Eventually. I got erotic fanfictions to write! But there is a part of me that really hopes something comes of this, even if it's just a standard rejection letter from a truly awesome newspaper.  I really don't want to have to toss my five hundred (500) new Onion business cards. I'm still getting through my Samantha Clark: ANTM All Star ones.  

It's sad because I was fairly certain we would hit it off.

You can bet your bippy I'll be keeping you updated of any progress with this adventure, and I gladly welcome any advice or encouragement.   But for now, it's back to Middle-earth with me, where I shall emerge only briefly to create my Halloween costumes.  Does anyone have thirty (30) cats I can borrow?  (Feral preferred.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hobbit Heartache: Chapter 3

(Guess who's learning Photoshop?!)

Imma stop you before you dive right into Chapter Three (3) of Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction.  And I'm going to warn you:  this chapter gets real.

You're right to feel like this.

Yeah, I know that in Chapter One, things were all fine and dandy and the Sweet Valley gang was flying to Middle-earth, and maybe even some people were getting a little frisky in the plane bathroom and Winston was all gangly and awkward because he has big feet and the twins had a shared dream and those are always fun and we were all excited to start Sweet Valley High's 427th's Spring Break. 

These two had fun in Chapter One.

And I also know that in Chapter Two, the hobbits were all feasting and dancing in the Shire and sure, maybe Frodo was a little sad but then Bilbo came home and he had crazy news and they're about to go on a huge adventure and also sure, maybe Samwise drank a bit too much brandywine and passed out, but who hasn't been there? 

Frodo had a bit of fun in Chapter Two.

Here's the thing: NO ONE HAS FUN IN CHAPTER THREE.  And that's because things take a turn for the terrifying.  If I've learned anything from my years of reading SVH, it's that when you leave Sweet Valley, bad things happenVery bad things.  And also that I should just give up on life because my hair is not a sun-streaked gilded blonde, but alas, a mousy brunette.  But persist I shall, if only to bring you the third chapter of Hobbit Heartache. So I really hope you enjoy it.

Enough talk; let's land this plane in Middle-earth!

Artwork by the explosive Zak Tatham

Chapter Three

Elizabeth gazed out the bus window, taking in Middle-earth’s lush green scenery. How beautiful, she thought, almost like Sweet Valley’s country club. The club was the most breathtaking place she knew, and the site of many Wakefield family celebrations. Elizabeth sighed, feeling the first pangs of homesickness for her family back home and their elegantly decorated split-level Spanish-style house. The group had only been in Middle-earth for a few hours, but already it had been a rough trip.

Upon landing in the JFK Middle-earth Airport, the students had been led by Mr. Jaworski to the luggage area to collect their bags. But instead of seeing a colorful merry-go-round of luggage, they had been greeted by an empty terminal, with cobwebs and dust covering the luggage carousel. When they tried to find an airport employee to help them, the students only found a short child sitting behind the customer service counter. When the worker caught sight of the group, he scurried off as fast as he could without saying so much as a word. And Winston swore up and down that the worker wasn’t even wearing shoes!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Part I

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends!

Since I don't have any family here in Canada, I usually celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving by watching TV marathons and then eating the leftovers my roommates bring home.   This year there was a 3rd Rock from the Sun marathon.   Doesn't get much better than that...

...except maybe having a real Thanksgiving and being with family and bringing on the YAMS and all that stuff, maybe.  But not by much.

This year I mixed it up a bit and made Velvet take a walk and admire the fall leaves with me. 

Did I mention that it's my favorite time of year?

Oh yeah, Velvet says happy Thanksgiving, too.

The only way this holiday could have been better is if our cats would just finally learn to walk on leashes already.  It's been three (3) years now; COME ON!

I hope you all had Thanksgiving feasts aplenty and that your cats have the ability to walk on leashes.

This cat ain't walking nowhere.

PS--I'd like to congratulate my dear friend Wes and his lovely bride, Rachel, on their beautiful Tennessee wedding this past Saturday.  I'm so glad I could be there with you two, and enjoy the Canadian chocolate bars.  They shall count as my wedding present.

PPS--Thank you Heather for the leftovers.