Hello internet.

I hope you have come here because you've seen my pleas on social media and want to know what I'm raving about.  I will explain my concept to you simply:

I want you to send me a photo of you drinking something.

You may have some questions.  I will attempt to answer a few:

Why?

When I was working in Australia, I got a photo of my friend and co-worker, Donal, drinking a Coke Zero.  For reasons I can't remember anymore, but probably having to do with returning home to work alone all the time, I printed the photo and tacked it to the wall above my monitor.

Every day I look up at the photo and see Donal there, drinking his Coke Zero, and it gives me a sense of...  I dunno, it's just frikkin crazy.

However, one day I thought about all the people I knew online, who I was connected with one way or another, and how it would be cool to have photos of all of them, and how it would be especially neat if we could all have a drink together.

What are you planning to do with these photos?

I'm planning to print them out in as high quality wallet size as I can, then put them in a frame that I will construct specifically for that purpose.  I will hang the frame on the wall in my office.  Hopefully Donal will send me a new photo of himself, so I can replace the curling laser-printed paper.

It will look something like these, but in a much wider and taller grid of wallet-sized photos:

Will there be an electronic edition of the photos?

I currently have no plan to produce a sheet of photos of people drinking that just happen to know me, no.  But we'll see.

What is the composition of this photo?

There are two essential elements:  You.  Your drink.

Your drink does not have to be an adult beverage (and for some of you, it probably shouldn't). It would be nice if you included a note saying what your beverage was along with your photo so that I know what you're drinking if it's not otherwise identifiable.  Like, if you're drinking beer from a tumbler, you should mention what the beer is.

You can be drinking the beverage, or just holding it.  I prefer the photo not to be completely staged, if possible, but I'll take what I can get.  Ideally, the photo should "have interest" -- pose interesting questions about you, where you're drinking, what you're drinking, and why people would like to hang out with you.  If you need me to tell you why I'd like to hang out with you for inspiration, I will.

As for other criteria, it should probably be a decent photo (well lighted, in focus, etc.), and include only you as the centerpiece.  I'm not opposed to, for example, you drinking a Shirley Temple next to Mickey Mouse, or you with a beer and an arm around Lucy Lawless, just as long as it's clear that you're the person the photo is about.  Remember, it's going to be printed wallet-size, so a photo of you on a Californian cliff with the sun setting over the Pacific in the background while you drink a 50-year-old scotch is very cool, but I'll have to crop all that cool stuff out.

Beyond that, creativity is yours to command. 

Oh.  No nudes.  You're all quite lovely enough with your clothes on, thanks.  (Yes, I'm talking to you, Randy Walker.)

Can I send more than one?

Sure, but I'm only going to pick one for the frame.  Pick one or two, maybe three if you're really indecisive, and send them and that'll be fine.

If you feel like you should be doing more than just sending the one photo, you should convince/help the people that you know who know me to take a photo and send it.  Go out with them for a drink, take the photo for them, and then send it!  Easy!

Who can play?

Anyone can play, although if I get thousands of photos, I'm probably only going to make a frame to hold so many of them.  In that case, the people I actually know are going to get first placement.  See, this is about the people I could be drinking with, but can't.  Get it?

This is not to say you shouldn't send a photo.  Send a photo.

How do we do this thing?

You send me a photo.  I receive it by June 4th, 2014.  If the sheer fun of this project wasn't enough to convince you, then you should know that June 4th is when I celebrate my 40th birthday.  Didn't get me a gift?  No problem, send me your photo having a drink and we're square.  You can get me a gift, too, that's still cool.

I know it's only 17 days, but my goal is 100 photos.  If I got one photo from every person I follow on Twitter, that'd put me over, and I'd have a photo from Tatiana Maslany, which would be, like, Keanu-whoa.

Here's how you do it:  Send your photo file to drinkingbuddy@midnightcircus.com 

Easy.

I'll let you know how it goes.  I probably won't start on the frame until I know how many photos will be going in it, but I'll surely post to let you all know how it goes.  Thanks in advance for your photo!

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