There’s the ritual I do for finding cool stuff at the thrift store.
“Find money on the ground” spells. I once found $20 and a multi-tool in the parking lot.
“Rube-Goldberg device of obtain the thing” where I basically do one little spell to trip the switch of a bunch of other chain reactions that should, eventually, end in getting what I really want out of it. (For example- I was looking to get a raise at work but instead of doing a spell for that directly, I did a spell to get more email sign-ups, which would bring attention to my name, which would put me in good standing for a raise.)
“Light a candle for my executive dysfunction” for my bad days.
I once put a barrier across half the room at work so no one could cross it while I mop….
I mean… we have to define what ‘silly’ is here because I personally think these are all very important in the course of my life, but I’m also not like… looking for enlightenment of anything.
It was 8:30 AM. The alarm had gone off, then immediately the snooze button had been hit. At 8:45, the alarm had gone off again. The snooze button was once again pressed. When the alarm rang for the third time at 9:00, instead of hitting the snooze button, the entire alarm clock had been yanked out of the wall and thrown across the room. Now it was 9:30, and the occupant of the bed was still asleep. This caught Mari’s attention.
“Hmm… What to do, what to do…” Hovering over the bed, she considered her options. There was the tried and true method of whisking the covers off, exposing Yoshiko to the morning chill. She could always get more creative, though. There was no telling how much time she had left before Yoshiko woke up, though, so perhaps a Rube Goldberg type of device would be overkill. She had another idea, though.
I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then.
It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much.
I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two.
I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment.
It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.
One time I lost an apartment because my roommate got a horrible flu that we suspected was maybe something worse because it stayed forever—she missed work, and I couldn’t cover her rent. Once it was because my car broke down and I missed work. Once it was because I got a week’s unpaid leave when the company wanted to cut payroll for the rest of the month. Once my fridge broke and I couldn’t get the landlord to fix it, so I just left. Same goes for the time that the gas bill wasn’t paid in a utilities-included apartment for a week, resulting in frigid showers and no stove. That’s why we move so much. Stuff like that happens.
Because our lives seem so unstable, poor people are often seen as being basically incompetent at managing their lives. That is, it’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable. So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place.
I once read a book for people in poverty, written by someone in the middle class, containing real-life tips for saving pennies and such. It’s all fantastic advice: buy in bulk, buy a lot when there’s a sale on, hand-wash everything you can, make sure you keep up on vehicle and indoor filter maintenance.
Of course, very little of it was actually practicable. Bulk buying in general is cheaper, but you have to have a lot of money to spend on stuff you don’t actually need yet. Hand-washing saves on the utilities, but nobody actually has time for that. If I could afford to replace stuff before it was worn out, vehicle maintenance wouldn’t be much of an issue, but you really can’t rinse the cheap filters and again—quality costs money up front. In the long term, it makes way more sense to buy a good toaster. But if the good toaster is 30 bucks right now, and the crappiest toaster of them all is 10, it doesn’t matter how many times I have to replace it. Ten bucks it is, because I don’t have any extra tens.
It actually costs money to save money.
It is impossible to be good with money when you don’t have any. Full stop. If I’m saving my spare five bucks a week, in the best-case scenario I will have saved $260 a year. For those of you that think in quarters: $65 per quarter in savings. If you deny yourself even small luxuries, that’s the fortune you’ll amass. Of course you will never manage to actually save it; you’ll get sick at least one day and miss work and dip into it for rent. Gas will spike and you’ll need it to get to work. You’ll get a tear in your work pants that you can’t patch. Something, I guarantee you, will happen in three months.
Walter’s present to Ralph: the latest model telescope
Walter’s present to Paige: after extensively researching holiday traditions, he builds a Rube Goldberg device inside his apartment and designs it to lower down a mistletoe at the end of its course, wanting Paige to know he’s willing to fight against his nature and try this new them.
Perhaps Gillian’s reaction to the wig she had to wear in this scene.
- Paul Rabwin remembered that the episode had to be reedited “so that it would move like we wanted it to. Unfortunately,” Rabwin said ruefully, “when we finally came up with a cut of the episode we liked, we discovered that it came up four minutes short of the running time of a one-hour episode.” Fortunately, the schedule allowed time to bring the episode up to the demanding standards of The X-Files. Additional insert shots of the Rube Goldberg devices were filmed. An additional scene was also written and shot for Act 2 in which Mulder and Scully are sitting in a car discussing Henry’s back story.
- By the time the additional scene of Mulder and Scully sitting in the car was shot, it was months later and Gillian Anderson had changed her hairstyle. For the reshoot, she covered her now shorter hair with an unfortunate ill-fitting wig; and that’s why her hair looks extraordinarily different in that scene.