Friday Five

1. The buzz around the office water cooler this week has been the enormous Mega Millions lottery jackpot. (Motto: Education is our top priority). As of this morning it is up to $540 million.  The conversations have revolved around two main points: strategies for choosing the best numbers and what you would do with the winnings.

By following these very clear guidelines, you can expect to be richer than Oprah:

  • The majority of winners come from quick pick numbers.
  • The majority of winners come from choosing your own numbers.
  • Review the last 5 drawings to know what numbers recently came out so you know which numbers to avoid.
  • Don’t bother reviewing the last 5 drawings to know what numbers recently came out because it’s completely random.
  • Group your numbers close together.
  • Spread your numbers further apart.
  • Buying more than 10 tickets doesn’t improve your odds of winning.
  • Buy as many tickets as you can afford to improve your odds.

Then I decided to conduct an independent, completely unbiased survey consisting of People I Know at the Office, regarding what they would do with the winnings. Overwhelmingly everyone told me that they would not quit their jobs if they won the lottery. Either these people A. are lying, B. think the water cooler is bugged, C. really, really love their jobs. I’m going with A or B.

Two last bits of advice. If you do quit your job, you should wait at least 90 minutes to do so as pointed out by The Good Greatsby or face the consequences. Also if you decide to pool your ticket purchase with your co-workers and plan to abscond with the winnings, at least do the decent thing and run off to Mexico.

What is the first thing you would you do if you won the lottery? 

2. I’ve been interviewing many bright-eyed candidates for an open entry level position in my department. I know a lot of people are out there pounding the pavement and it can be a very nerve wracking experience, so here are some useful tips should you find yourself looking for a new job:

  • Do not put the words “anal retentive” on your resume.
  • Do not regale the interviewer with an anecdote of how you were checking a child’s diaper and “got poo gunked underneath my fingernails.”
  • Do not list your career objective as “I aspire to be in your position in five years.”
  • Do not wear flip-flops. (Exception: You are interviewing for a job as a lifeguard.)
  •  Do rerecord outgoing voicemail message from the night you were at a fraternity party and thought it would be fun to record said message with people yelling, “Chug! Chug! Chug!” in the background.
  • Do not tell the interviewer that you thought you were interviewing for a position in the publicity department.
  • Do not then ask to be forwarded to the publicity department.
  • Do not tell the interviewer that you are normally a forgetful person, but you remedy that by writing all important action items on sticky notes.
  • Do not produce aforementioned sticky notes from your purse.
Do you have any “interview fail” moments? 

3. Am I the only person who gets a little panicky just before going on vacation? I have long to-do lists so I can essentially put my life on hold for a week. There are a zillion things to wrap up at the office, errands to run and plans to sort out. Then (insert dramatic music) what in the world do I pack? I get so indecisive, I procrastinate until I’m in danger of missing my flight and all I can do is toss two left shoes, a bathing suit and hair gel into a duffle bag.

In the nick of time, Leo Babauta posted this on Zen Habits last week.

We often load ourselves up when we travel, because we want to be prepared for various situations. This burden of being prepared leaves us with our arms full, unable to receive whatever is there when we arrive. What if we traveled with empty hands, ready to embrace new experiences, receive new foods, touch new people? We might feel less prepared when we leave, but the preparedness is an illusion. Stuff doesn’t make us prepared. Having empty hands but a heart that is full of love leaves us prepared for anything.

Do you overpack when going on a trip? Have you learned to pack light? 

4. Speaking of vacation, I am looking forward to trying some Dutch delicacies during my trip to the Netherlands next month. So when I stumbled across something called stroopwafel in my local specialty food store, I decided to give myself a preview of goodies to come. This version is two thin chocolate waffles with a layer of caramel in between. What’s not to love about that?

Stroopwafels: More delicious than they look.

5. This week I broke down finally did it! I got a smart phone. This phone is so smart I need a Ph.D. to operate it. This phone is so smart it would get a perfect score on its SATs. This phone is so smart…ok you get the point. Right now, I’m in app-land, trying not to spend all of my future lottery winnings on apps. Any recommendations of favorite apps?

Have a great weekend, everyone! 



  1. Did people actually say those things in interviews?? Yowza.

    You will love that smart phone. Most of my apps are for photography, but it’s nice to have airline apps for checking in. I also like the flashlight (it uses the camera flash on an iPhone). Twitter and Facebook are good to have if you use them.

    I used to overpack, then got sick of carrying all that weight. Leo has it right.


    1. I downloaded Instagram which I can see will be lots of fun. And a friend mentioned the flashlight app. (How cool is that?)
      Any other photography apps you’d recommend for the layperson? 🙂


  2. Ack! You got a smart phone?! Wow. I’m envious. Truly.
    Are you going to be writing while abroad? If not, I need to prepare myself to miss you. *sigh*
    Thank you for the interviewing advice. Good to know.
    Have a great weekend, Jackie!


    1. After interviewing many recent college graduates, I’m convinced that the best class universities could offer would be “interviewing skills.” I hate to say that these are all actual examples.
      it’s nice to be missed! I’m going to try to post a few photos if I can figure out how to get on wifi there. My brain is already on overload from the smart phone. 🙂


    1. I’ve had the phone for about a week now, and I’m still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles. Considering my last phone only made calls, it’s a real change.
      Hope you have a nice weekend!


    1. Good luck, Cynthia. There are so many options out there you could spend days just researching all of them.
      I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to get any tips from me. I had to ask the guy at the store how to turn it on. ;P


  3. Best App ever- Shazam- press the button, hold it up and it identifies the song playing that you just love but have no idea who sings. Then you can download- on to your new smart phone.

    Word with Friends. Get your Scrabble on. Addictive. Spring for the pay version so the ads don`t pop up spoiling your concentration….


    1. Wow – that sounds amazing! How many times has that happened to me. I usually end up remembering three days later in the shower or something like that.
      I’m already hooked on Words With Friends.
      Thanks for the tips!


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