Zoom the Quarantine Lizard

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my living room here in the suburbs of Charlotte, N.C. when I saw something move quickly out of the corner of my eye as I reached for my glass of water on my coffee table. My boyfriend, who was sitting next to me, didn’t notice whatever blur I saw. I asked him if he saw something and he said I probably have already been quarantined too long at a couple weeks in.

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A couple days later I found myself working from the very same couch and coffee table combo. This time, just a foot or so beyond the coffee table, I saw a brown lizard move scurry quickly from our rug to under our couch.

I screamed.

Not because I’m afraid of lizards (because I love them) but because I had no idea how to get the lizard back outside. Being from the suburbs of Chicago, lizard break-ins were not something I grew up knowing how to handle. So I screamed to my boyfriend. But, he did not hear me from his office upstairs.

I spent the next 20 minutes or so looking under our large sectional couch with the light from the back of my iPhone trying to locate our reptilian, unwanted houseguest. My boyfriend appeared behind me in the kitchen laughing asking what was I doing. After telling him:

  1. There’s a lizard in the house.
  2. I have no idea how to get it out.
  3. I told you so.

He took a few minutes to help me hunt the lizard taking up residence under our couch before having to go back upstairs since his work break was done.

I tried to go back to working as normal but I could not shake the idea of sitting innocently on the couch and a lizard just popping up on my shoulder like some strange quarantine comedy movie. Also, again, I love lizards so I was curious how it go in and if it was poisonous or not – with the latter being my MUCH larger concern.

I wondered to myself if poisonous lizards were a thing out here? I know snakes certainly are but lizards?

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I started to do research to identify what I saw. I identified my friend as a possibly five-lined skink but wasn’t entirely sure since I saw him zoom by so fast.

It was in that moment I decided to name it. Zoom. Appropriate because he moves fast and Zoom being such a hot new tool for quarantine for video conferences. What could possibly be more fitting?

Later that night we began our quest to capture and release our tiny intruder. As we ate dinner and watched TV, I noticed a suspicious little head poke out of the vents of the fireplace. We now knew where he was calling home. Every so often, this brave little reptile would put more and more of his body outside the vents to begin his escape. However, whenever one of us got up, he squeezed himself back in but still enough to give him a good view of the room.

This went on for hours. But he kept hiding faster than we could catch him. We went to bed and decided we would look for him again in the morning.

The next day, we found him still lurking just outside the fireplace in full view but he scurried back in. At one point, I scooted our large plotted plant near the fireplace to see if he would try and jump on it to get out. It almost worked as he would occasionally get out and inch himself ever closer to the plant but again. Every time we got up, he scurried back in.

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We eventually gave up thinking we would never catch him and settled with the idea that he would just live here.

About 20 minutes later, I got up to grab water from the kitchen and alas, that little sucker was hiding by the counter. We grabbed a box that we had placed nearby to catch him, scooped him up and let him outside to his freedom.

We thought we would never see him again. We grew attached to that obviously a little-too-smart lizard so his freedom was bittersweet.

But there is a happy ending for everyone for this story.

In the past week, we have discovered he has taken up residence under our sunroom. We often see him basking in the sun on the top step, just feet from where he broke in like Santa.

Now we hope for the day he just splits the difference and calls our sunroom home.

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Spotify = Love

I have to admit. I was a little late to board the Spotify train but now I can’t live without it.

For those who are unfamiliar, Spotify is a music sharing service. What’s especially interesting is you can link it to your Facebook page to see what your friends are listening to.

As a creative professional in the social media marketing industry, I strive to be inspired to come up with the most interesting copy to engage my clients’ customers. For me, I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music. If I tailor a playlist to music that my target demo. would probably listen to, the words just seem to come to me.

I’m a huge fan of just about every genre of music. It’s not odd for me to go from listening to a song by Barbra Streisand to Usher and then to Carly Rae Jepsen. I’m a little all over the place.

So as a fan of so many genres, Spotify allows me to create as many playlists as I choose, and even subscribe to playlists created by other users. For example, I subscribed to a playlist of songs about Chicago, my hometown.

Basically, if you’re a professional who finds work easier when you’re listening to the right tunes, or a person who loves being able to listen to all the music they love for free via their computer – Spotify is absolutely for you.

The Big Payoff: A New Job!

After months of pushing and working my butt off, I finally found a new position. Not just a new position but a dream job!

I started a position three weeks ago with a small marketing firm in Charlotte, where I am now a Social Media Manager/Social Media Siren. Yes, we have fun titles.

In addition to that, my first week was at the beach. No joke. My now boss called me the Monday after I interviewed and asked if I would be interested in joining the team during a team building week at North Myrtle Beach. So, I packed up my bag and drove to the beach. I guess you can say I really dove into it.

I’m debating how to continue this blog but once I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.

Sometimes, dreams do come true.

Waiting for My Turn

About a year or so ago, I was watching “Piers Morgan Tonight” when the guest was the legendary star, Carol Burnett. She spoke about her career and her life but what stood out to me was the following quote,

“When I was young and auditioning at cattle calls in New York, I got close to getting a few jobs but didn’t. Then I realized it wasn’t my turn. It was that girl’s turn. My time would come so I never got discouraged. You never should. Just wait for your turn.”

Immediately after hearing this, I posted it as one of my favorite quotes on my Facebook page; a sign of my status as a proud millennial. But I just had to. Why? The quote just resonated with me.

It made me think of every time I didn’t get a job I applied for, or every time I didn’t get the part I wanted in a school play. It’s a great philosophy on why some things work out and some things don’t.

Last night, I went with my mom to a show at the Rialto Theater in Joliet, Ill. It was a Q & A session with Carol Burnett. It was basically the live version of that interview I saw a year ago.

A person from the audience asked for advice about how to succeed in comedy. Ms. Burnett once again told the story of the cattle call, and once again, I could relate.

There’s been a number of jobs in the past several months I felt I would be perfect for. I was not only confident that I was everything they needed but I had stellar interviews. I followed up how one should. I did everything I possibly could to get that perfect job. And then I didn’t get it.

Again and again this has happened.

Hearing Carol’s cattle call story again made me realize one simple fact: it was not my turn.

Each of these jobs I thought I would be perfect for were not meant for me. As a big believer of everything happens for a reason, I realized, these did not work out because they were not supposed to.

Wherever I get my next job, I know one thing; it will happen because it’s my turn.

Working On My Fitness…Sort Of

I have a confession to make; I hate working out.

Thus far in my life, I have been blessed with good genes and don’t really need to work out. However, at some point I won’t be in my 20’s and my metabolism will fail me so I figure I should get cracking.

The problem is staying motivated. I’ll go to the gym and push myself to work out for an hour here and there. Not the smartest thing to do in the world but it seems like that’s a good amount of time. I feel if I force myself to commit and go for an hour, I’ll get into it. I honestly don’t see the point to go for 30-minutes which is normally recommended.

I went to the gym the other day and felt great after working out. I felt like I could take on the world. Best of all, I feel like my ideas start flowing better when I’m working out. I feel that I should make a personal note of that for my next job.

They say every journey begins with a single step. I figure for my workout regime, my “steps” might be a little spread out but they’re all on the same path. I just need to keep moving and pick up the pace.

Christmas and the Nook – My New Job-Seeking/Marketing Research Device

Maybe it was my parents’ way of saying I need more to do, but this year for Christmas, they bought me a Barnes and Noble Nook Color.

At my last job, many of my co-workers used their iPads for meetings, reading books, note-taking and more. I dreamed of buying my own after saving up for a few months while working there. Then things changed.

While I was home during my Thanksgiving break, I found myself on the L after leaving a friend’s apartment. While on the train, I saw a woman who inspired me. She was professionally dressed but in the cutest way possible. She had a great briefcase/purse, a warm but light white-and-black tweed coat, and her Chanel sunglasses tucked in her brunette mane. While standing on the train as it twisted and turned its way toward downtown, she effortlessly read a novel while on her commute to work on a Nook.

Having found myself on the fence about moving back to Chicago or trying to stay in Charlotte, this woman represented not only who I could be but who I wanted to be. Why couldn’t I find myself reading a cheesy romance novel on my way to my fabulous new PR or marketing job and looking cute while doing it? In that moment, I decided I wanted to get a Nook or some sort of e-reader.

I told my mom what I saw and a few weeks later, I found myself lucky enough to be holding a Nook in my hands. My mother later said she hoped it would bring luck so I could be the girl on the train.

From first glance, it looked like a giant Android phone. Same OS. Same user-friendly design. Then, I found myself clicking the “Shop” button. I was a goner.

Book after book, I found myself clicking “Purchase” or “Free Sample” a few too many times. I decided to purchase one book for fun (Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster – about a woman who was laid off and looks for work in Chicago based on the author’s life), a book about job-seeking (Killing the Cover Letter by Gene Kincaid – a book for PR/advertising majors) and a book about fun PR stunts (Can We Do That! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work – And Why Your Company Needs Them by Peter Shankman). And that does not include all of the free issues of magazines I received since they offer a free trial of any magazine.

These books not only will help me pass the time but will also help with my job search – and best of all – all of these books are one size physically and all fit into my cute little e-reader.

Then, I started exploring the free trial issues I downloaded of various magazines. I downloaded issues from Vanity Fair, Glamour, and Wired. As a marketing professional, I was fascinated by how each magazine’s articles were optimized to connect readers with the websites where they could purchase various items.

As the daughter of a journalist as well as the owner of a PR degree, I’ve heard for years how print is dying. I think with the optimization of magazines like this, print is not dead – it’s just wearing a new coat. With so much of a magazine or newspaper depending on ad revenue, this is the way publishers can garner more ad dollars as new ideas for optimization begin to roll out.

I don’t think I have realized just yet all of the capabilities of my new favorite device but one thing is for sure – I can’t thank my parents enough for it.

While looking for a quote for this entry, I admittedly searched for a good quote. I’m not afraid to admit it but I felt this quote is the best explanation of what the experience of reading a book is like:

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” – Edward P. Morgan

Strumming Along…

Last Christmas, after receiving my first bonus ever, I decided to buy myself something I always wanted – an acoustic guitar.

Ever since I was about 13-years-old, I wanted to learn to play and somehow never gotaround to it. So of course, I bought the guitar last year and it spent the better half of this year collecting dust.

Now that I find myself with almost unlimited free time, I’ve finally decided it’s time to pick up the guitar.

With a couple of friends in Charlotte who have also learned to play, I’ve begun to reach out to them and see what they’ve learned. One of my friends actually purchased his first guitar just days after I bought my first. Of course, he stuck to it and has learned to play very well.

I found myself determined to start getting serious about this so I did what many do now when trying to learn a new skill, I turned to YouTube.

Having a okay ear for music, I’ve realized certain songs could be fairly easy since there’s all of maybe three chords and not much else. I started by looking up Paramore’s “Only Exception.”

It’s a beautifully simple, heartfelt song. I’ve been a big fan of the song since the first time I heard it. Within an hour or so, I not only learned to play the song but began to start picking up various chords.

I decided to keep going. Next up: Miranda Lambert’s “Famous In A Small Town.” It didn’t take long to figure out this one either. With the help of a friend, I also learned Old Crowe Medicine Show’s, “Wagon Wheel.”

It’s funny how some things can just come to you with practice and determination. I’ve spent the better part of the past three weeks teaching myself. By no means am I ready to jump on tour with a band, but I feel as if I’ve accomplished a lot since this was a goal of mine.

I think any situation can be better with music to carry you through it – good or bad, so when I was looking for a quote to close this post, I found one I just could not say better myself:

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” -Friedrich Nietzsche