Eddie Van Halen Guitar Pattern Rug

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Eddie Van Halen Guitar Pattern Rug

As a novelist and freelance writer, I save receipts like it was my job. This means that around this time each year, with the April 15 tax-filing deadline in mind, I go on an archaeological dig, searching for receipts to calculate deductible expenses. I have a toddler’s sense of organization and jam all of my receipts into envelopes without sorting them, the same way my kids used to clean their rooms by pushing everything under the bed. I know it’s tax time when the lid of the antique secretary desk in the hall keeps falling open because it’s stuffed to overflowing. Eddie Van Halen Guitar Pattern Rug

My approach is to pull receipts out of the envelopes one by one, smoothing them out and sorting them into piles. The receipts from the post office are particularly satisfying, since each one is longer than a kite tail.

But the most thrilling part of this excavation is my paper calendar — usually something to do with Impressionist art — on which I track my travel. I look up the trips I’ve taken to meet clients or editors, and then go back to add up business miles and make sure I’ve found the corresponding restaurant and hotel receipts.

What I love about this are the memories that spring up like mushroom clusters around a single event. Some of these memories are awful, like the time, decades ago, when I met with the snarky fiction editor at a certain magazine, my newborn baby in tow, and he said, “Well, I’d say you’re too old to be called promising anymore.” (I was 32.)

Other memories are more fun. Last January, for instance, I met regularly with a ghostwriting client at a coffee shop we started calling “The Crumb Cafe” because of all the previous diners’ crumbs that lined the huge cracks in the wooden farmhouse tables. Can you imagine going to such a place now?

Other tax-provoked memories from this past year are dear to me, too, like the receipts from the last Broadway show and dinner I went to in New York City with one of my book editors. This was in the Before Times: before Broadway went dark, back when you could blissfully cram into a noisy, crowded New York City restaurant and shout your conversation over a meal. Eddie Van Halen Guitar Pattern Rug

Just as dear are the receipts from the writing retreat a friend and I took in San Francisco. She and I do annual retreats when we’re launching new book projects and need to escape the distractions of home. We found a cheap motel near the beach and wrote all day and most of every night, stopping our intensive work only for occasional walks and meals. This last retreat took place in February 2020. We’d heard news reports about a deadly virus in China but shrugged them off as too far away to worry about.

At a restaurant on our last night, the guy next to us got all squirrelly when my friend coughed. He pulled hand sanitizer out of his bag to squirt himself and the table.

 © Provided by CNET Singles are finding each other on TikTok. James Martin/CNET

Since joining TikTok , I’ve learned some things. No one likes inverted images of their face. Skinny jeans are deeply uncool. Drawing a ferret is easier than you’d think.

One of the biggest lessons? You can get a date on TikTok. Eddie Van Halen Guitar Pattern Rug

Forget swiping around The Apps: There’s an ever-widening pool of singles searching for love by looking into their ring lights and saying, “Hey, I need a date for a wedding in June.”

 © Provided by CNET Read more Love Syncs.

I discovered this in the early days of my For You Page (the algorithmically driven feed of videos you see when you open the app), before TikTok knew what to show me. There were videos of people volunteering facts about themselves, decrying their poor flirting skills and offering up their comfiest hoodies that potential future partners could borrow. I scrolled, a little slack-jawed.

Here’s the thing: Online dating is difficult at the best of times. Dating during a pandemic is worse. For many singles, 2020 (and increasingly 2021) felt like being on the bench. Yet people persist. Dating apps like OkCupid are reporting that more people are expanding their geographic filters, apparently more open than ever to whatever might be out there. Maybe it’s not the wildest idea that folks would look at the internet’s latest watering hole and say, why not?

Scrolling singles

Stephen Oswald turned to TikTok in October 2020 when he needed to find a date to his friend’s December wedding. On a lark, the 24-year-old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, made a highlight reel of sorts of himself — skydiving, skateboarding, jumping into a pool — with a voiceover about how he was looking for a date to have fun with at his buddy’s nuptials. It got more than 12,000 likes and more than a thousand comments.

“So where can I send my resume?”

“ME. I got killer moves & terrible signing skills.”

“I wanna go!!! This sounds amazing, and I’m great at breaking it down on the dance floor!”

Oswald wasn’t betting on his plan working. “I would have taken it down because at that time most of the people following me were just buddies and I didn’t want my buddies making fun of me,” he says.

Meanwhile, in Orange County, California, 24-year-old Joy Ellis, fresh off a breakup, saw Oswald’s video and commented, never thinking she’d hear back. They ended up FaceTime-ing and bonding over their shared religious beliefs. He picked her as his date for the wedding, and after a bit more than a month’s worth of chatting, she flew out to Sioux Falls.

“I’m really excited to one day tell my grandkids that I met some random person on the internet and was able to go to their best friend’s wedding and have the time in my life,” Ellis says. They’re not dating, but have plans to hang out when Oswald makes a road trip over the summer and stops in California.

 

 

 

 

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