How I survived my selfie-a-day project

I like to imagine — usually when I’m in the shower, accepting my Nobel Prize for literature — that I was the inspiration behind Oxford’s word of the year.

After all, I’m just a few days away from (successfully!) wrapping up my first-ever 365 project, which involved taking a self-portrait a day, every day this year.  And because I’m more likely to win a Nobel Prize for narcissism, I ended up using these self-portraits to switch up my Facebook profile pic every day, too.

In the last week, a few different people have asked if I’m going to continue the project (answer: TBD) and some have asked for advice on doing a similar challenge of their own.

I don’t really have a lot of advice to give.  I mean, you take a picture of yourself every day for a year: BOOM, you’re done.  But in case any of this might actually be useful, here are a few tips:

1. You’re more than just a pretty face
When taking the photos, I tried to include my face as much as possible.  If any governmental authority was snooping, all I can say is HA HA HA HA HA (also: sorry I melted your server).  That said, there were some days when other body parts — or even shadows — served instead:


2. The mirror is your friend
Nah, I don’t mean making sure that you don’t have kale stuck between your teeth, although there’s an easy fix for that: quit eating like a hipster pony.  When you have to take this many photos, you’re going to need to mix it up occasionally and reflective surfaces (not just mirrors) can be a big help:


3. Best supporting actors
Got cute kids?  Conscript them.  Got cute pets?  Well, they’re probably not as cute as you think they are, but sure, add them in, too.  Spouses, friends, friendly mail carriers … all good.  Just be sure that you properly calibrate the required level of cute before committing to a photo (ie: if you’re looking wretch, you’ll want attractive distractions; if you’re looking great, try fugly friends for contrast).  Some ideas to get you started:


4. Hats help
I’m not really a hat person.  I am however, a person who sufferers from random bouts of hat hair (even when I don’t wear a hat, in which case I do wear a hat).


5. Be your damn self
I’m pretty funny in real life.  I’ve never won an award for it or anything, so it’s entirely possibly I’m funnier online (I did win an award for that).  Not surprisingly, except for a few really genuinely pretty photos, the funny ones were the ones that people liked best.  Here are a few of my favourites:


You may have noticed some crossover between categories: shadows that are also reflections, hats that are also funny.  Congratulations, you have unlocked Level 10 of Observant Pedantry.  This project is perfect for you … trust me.

Happy Father’s Day! (Sorry you’re such an idiot.)

So there’s Target in Canada now, which means I finally understand what my American friends have been going on about for years:

“I swear, I only went there to buy Band-Aids and sunscreen … why did I just drop $134 on a new mirror, a Lego set, a pair of flip-flops, frozen cheesecake, a 16GB memory card, four sets of pyjamas and a mini wrench set?”

We finally went to the one nearest my house on an urgent late-afternoon caffeine quest (because the one near my parents’ place has a Starbucks in it, as does our local one, though I didn’t find it on that first visit). I got distracted, and instead of two tall dirty chais I walked out with a tiny pink watering can and a beach pail. For less than the cost of one of those drinks, so suck on that, Corporate (North) America.

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I’m giving up emoticons for Lent

“I’m giving up emoticons for Lent. So if you have any difficulties picking up on sarcasm, you might want to give me up for Lent.”

Source: Me, yesterday, on Twitter.

I did it last year — without an announcement — and it was hard enough, and I’m sufficiently annoyed with myself for my chronic reliance on those little yellow moodmen, that I think it merits a repeat. So from now through the end of March, no emoticons for me.

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