The first post of 2013

Welcome to the first post of the New Year! Things certainly have changed in the past year, particularly in the last month of 2012.

2012 was supposed to be my year to shine. January 23, 2012 marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year with the Year of the Dragon, the same year of my Chinese Zodiac year, hence the dragon background of my blog.

Instead, I spent most of the year in a depression and a never-ending job hunt going nowhere. There were no real jobs for journalists or receptionists in sight while my father nagged and nagged at me to start working at places like Bob Evans and McDonald’s to at least get some money.

And every time my dad pointed out something about some store or heart attack food joint having a job opening, I started thinking of him as Stella in that awesome episode of the original Star Trek series, “I, Mudd”.

“Daddy, dear…”

“RACHEL! RACHEL ELIZABETH AHRENS, you’ve been unemployed for a year and a HALF! You should get a job anywhere and forget your dreams of writing, you GOOD for NOTHING…”

“Shut up!”

(Powering down) “Thing… thing… thing… thing…”

If you don’t know the reference, you should look up the episode “I, Mudd” from the original Star Trek starring William Shatner online. It is very funny.

Fast forward to 2:11 and see what I mean by Mudd and Stella.  

With my father’s constant nagging, as Mudd would say, I would travel further into space. Meaning: I would venture further into Career Builder and other job hunting services. Plus, it makes me want to get my hands on a $100 passport that I can’t afford so I could travel anywhere in the world.

Man, Hawaii and Ireland are looking really good right now. And St. Lucia in the Virgin Islands. And Florence, Italy. Kerensa wants to go to England again to order dessert at the original Hard Rock Café and I’d love to see the London Eye there if I get the chance.

Thankfully, last month I took a trip to Parkville and talked to the staff at Shockwave Magazine. I had plenty of ideas for them and I even told them about the blogs I was working on, particularly this one and The Joy in Joy-nalism. They loved me. They loved my ideas.

And that’s why I’m more inclined to write more about the local scene here in Baltimore. There are more shows out there and I’m hoping to catch as many as I can before time runs out on my college loan deferments. And hopefully, I’ll get a hold of someone in advertising to put this magazine on the map.

That, and publish some stories and interviews on bands in the Baltimore area and help the editors get acquainted with WordPress. Their web site needs a makeover.

I also realized something meaningful about this time of year. On New Years Eve, I felt pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to celebrate New Years at all. Then a funny thing happened. My parents and I took a short trip to The Charred Rib for the annual New Years Eve party, where I met an old friend from karaoke.

We had a little fun sipping some champagne and dancing around, but we had to leave shortly after midnight because we were both tired, especially her because she had a bit of a cold. But at least I got to see the deejay and his wife from karaoke and a good girl friend.

The best part of the holiday this year, however, was New Year’s Day. My boyfriend and I spent most of the evening with his family over a ham dinner (since you bring home the ham and bacon on New Year’s) and watching Firefly and my favorite episode of Sherlock, “A Scandal in Belgravia”. We were all being very silly, quoting Mystery Men and putting the pun in punishment.

It was like coming home to my friends at TowsonUniversity, or better yet, my friends at Farpoint and Shore Leave conventions. Not just my dad’s friends, who are cool by the way. My friends Katie Greenberger, Rose, Abby, Ethan and Christian Wilson, Andy World and the rest of the gang. I feel like I can be myself around them and that’s how I felt when I came over to be with my boyfriend and his family.

It’s not just because I’m a social butterfly; it’s because I feel comfortable around these kinds of people.

That’s why I posted this on my personal Facebook page: It’s not about when you celebrate New Years. It’s all about whom you spend it with.

This is the reason why I also treat my birthday like New Years. Both holidays give you the chance to start your next year right. That’s my new philosophy.

May it still for Auld Lang Syne. Happy birthday, Earth.

Love, Rachel

In loving memory of Chris and Howie from The Charred Rib, two of my biggest karaoke fans.


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