Operation Achieve Anything: Day Three-Hundred-Twenty-Six, Dateline 11-22-2018

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Don’t you wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness’ but it doesn’t work.
— Gallagher

Good morning crickets. Welcome to day number three-hundred-twenty-six of Operation Achieve Anything. I hope everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving. I’m going to try to make this one quick so that I can move over to the couch and celebrate the holiday in my own special way. I know it should be a day for family, but when I moved to Seattle twenty years ago and could only afford to travel home once a year for Christmas, it became a day where I celebrate solitude, which plays into the current theme of the Achieve Anything… book.

Right now, I have a fridge full of ingredients for a one person Thanksgiving feast that I plan to cook up when I feel hungry. Other than that, the day will be filled with food, booze, and legal recreational weed that I’ll use to get me in the proper state of mind to watch the movie Duets, which is a tradition I started a few years into my time living up north. Since all of my roommates and friends in the area were close enough to travel home for the holidays, I needed to figure out something to do while I was left all alone.

At first, I used to work through the holiday’s because the company I worked for would give us time and a half for working, on top of the holiday pay, almost tripling my income for the day. After I was laid off from that job, I accepted friends offers to celebrate with their families but I was a punk in my early twenties, so even though I didn’t mind freaking out my family with my strange ways, I felt extremely uncomfortable being the black sheep amongst a bunch of strangers in fancy clothes. It didn’t take long for me to start to politely turn down these offers.

I believe it was 2001, 2002 at the lastest when I accidentally started what became an ongoing ritual. I bought my usual solo Thanksgiving meal and some booze to have my own festive event. After eating, I got super drunk and woke up from a blackout with the title screen for my Duets DVD filling the TV screen. I saw the karaoke-themed movie at an employee screening at the movie theater I used to work at and loved it for novelty reasons. I bought the DVD because I was a movie collector but I have no idea what inspired me to watch it on that particular evening.

I thought it was so bizarre that this was the movie I chose to watch while out of my head that when the next Thanksgiving came around, I decided to make it a tradition. I haven’t missed a Thanksgiving with Duets ever since, and won’t be missing it today. To add to the fun, other than my Daily Breaker posts, I’ve banked enough work to be able to take the next couple of days off, one to participate in my personalized festive day and the other as a recovery day.

Though I just shared how today is the day that I celebrate my solitude, the assignment for the day is to explore the negative aspects of being alone with your thoughts. The example given was how Emily Dickinson loved her alone time and wrote beautiful poems from being able to explore her uninterrupted thoughts, but at the same time, this also turned her into a complete loon. I get this because it’s happening to me, the more and more time that I spend alone in my head crafting fictional stories, the more I look crazy to the outside world.

I feel I’ve grown harder to relate to, and I don’t relate to others as well because I’m used to my small world where I get to make all the rules, and, when not being observed in the wild and heavily invested in my own work, I feel like the happiest person in the world. It’s not until I have to attempt to navigate everyone else’s expectations that I start to feel flustered and crazy. Whether or not I have anywhere near the talent of these creative isolationists who drive themselves insane, I feel like I’m heading down that path. At the same time, I felt even more insane back when I was social, but since my lunacy was out on display, it seemed to make people more comfortable because it allowed people to gauge how cuckoo I’ve become, firsthand.

I feel like a depressed astronaut stuck on this planet from some other world most of the time. I think that this comes from exploring so many fictional worlds that play out in my head as I’m writing. This allows me to see most situations from many angles from having to contemplate for hours on end how each situation affects the good guys, the bad guys, and everyone in between, so I struggle the black and white stances that I now seem to have to make in order to fit into the real world.

Oh well, that’s all that I’ve got for yesterday’s task that focused on the negative side of solitude. Now it’s time for me to introduce the assignment for today so I can get on to my Thanksgiving festivities. Today, the book wants me to attempt to take a break from any distractions that keep me from being productive, like television and the internet. Of course, this task comes on the day that I busted my ass all week in order to take the time off to do nothing but what the book is telling me not to do. Oh well, screw the book, I’ll still have something to say on the topic when I check in with tomorrow’s update. Until then, it’s now that time for me to say good day and good luck to you, all of your project, and I hope you enjoy your own holiday tradition, no matter what it may be.

Talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Wicker Breaker

P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.