Walk With Me

September 29, 2014

Currently, Grand Rapids is hosting an amazing, annual event called Art Prize. Art takes over the city, and they have some insane (300+) pieces of art of all kinds, sizes, etc etc. I'm not very art literate, but even I know it's cool. So on the (potentially) last nice day of summfall, I chose to walk to class and pop into every Art Prize venue I passed.

If you had taken a walk with me, these are what I would have pointed out as my favorites.

1. #56820 
I just love all things abstract and bright. This artist did a great job of explaining (and showing) why red is such a powerful color in Chinese culture. Red represents the warmth of human relationships, pulling you together while also pulling you up in excitement.

This might be my favorite. This artist works with inner city kids in a local nonprofit. She asked them to write down what inspires them to ruse above their circumstances, reach upward. The envelopes are arranged in an arrow mosaic to represent the message of rising UPWARD, and it's interactive so visitors can pull out the stories and read them. It was really touching.

I don't have photos of this one because honestly it was so large and so emotional, I didn't really know how to capture it on my phone. The man who put this together lived in Gaza as the only Western journalist for three years. He reconstructed a war zone in the upper level of a church, so when you walk in all the light is immediately shut out. There are concrete and plywood fragments jutting out in all angles, and then mounted onto them are captivating, illuminated portraits of individuals who live in Gaza.  It also has multimedia elements in different stations showing interviews from Gaza residents and videos of daily life. His goal is to show that amidst all this war, there is immense beauty and strength in these people -- people who just dream of an ordinary day and ordinary life.

This one depicts Lady Liberty as the National Security Administration, and is created to showcase the tension between civil liberty and civil protection. The globe she is holding has an iPad which flashes tweets that are tagged by NSA keywords. 

What piece of art sounds most interesting to you? 
Does your city have a similar art festival?

Top 10 Reasons to Marry My Best Friend

September 25, 2014

Where to begin? When I first met you, you were super quiet. But you were always down for hanging out, which I loved. And you had the healthy love for over sized floor pillows as me, so that was a huge plus. It was long after we rode an elephant together and hid your first alcohol water bottle in a closet that I knew we would get along well.

 Wittle babies all moved in together!

And much to my sheer fortune, good luck and #blessed, we were randomly assigned to live together in the house sophomore year. And I don't really know when we became inseparable or best friends and that makes me happy. And thanks to those formative, blissful years I happen to know quite a few of your best traits and skills that Mike is getting. Mike, your wife is incredible at:

-Locating tiny wine
-Vodka pong
-Wednesday night rules
-Sneaking quietly
-Dancing her face off
-Completing someone's half-finished crafts
-Dressing sexy, but professionally
-Surviving bitches who think they're Sarahleeza Palin-Rice, Jr.

And then there are some other things your wife is wonderful at, that are probably her greatest assets. 

Your wife is amazing at pillow talk. She is the best person to tell the minute details of your day to, and there is no detail that needs be spared. High, low, good, bad, boring...she just really is the best person to end the day with. And I know this, because she was my pillow talk buddy for three years. So cherish that, and know that at the end of a REALLY good pillow talk, she'll need an emergency run to McDonald's. 

Your wife is good to grow with. Amanda grows in steady and quiet ways, which is both comforting and encouragement. I remember walking along the beach with her when we were weighing taking jobs at Pi Phi, and she said "There's no safer place to grow." And there is no safer person to grow with. 

Your wife never does anything halfway. Whether it's running sorority finances or quilting or biology or... anything. She takes everything to the maximum in the most surprising, unforeseen way. So. You may think that you know what a loyal, devoted best friend for life you're getting, but if her track record shows us anything it's that she is going to take that and blow your wildest expectations. 

So. That's all. I adore one of you (Amanda) and tolerate the other one of you (gross, Mike). I'm just grateful I never had to create a Pavlovian chart to curb your psychotic, possessive tendencies (but it's never too late, is it?). 

Wittle babies all weady for mawwiage!

Anyways. Off to pack (jokes for days)! 
See you soon, my lovers. And happy wedding!

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