Amanda's View: Renaissance Faire

By Amanda Knox

On a +95° cloudless day, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire was a bustling strip stretched across a vast, dry, grassy, farming plot. Devotion won over reasonableness. A court of Lords and Ladies in full outfit—petticoats and collars—paraded to-and-fro between the royal tent and the half-timber towers of the front gate. Knights in full leather, chain mail, and plate armor grappled in the jousting field. Even the paying visitors braved the heat in wool cloaks and furr wraps.
 

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Amanda's View: And for my next tattoo…

By Amanda Knox
 
In a parallel, not-so-distant universe, I might have been a tattoo artist. In this one, I’m merely a tattoo person. I don’t have spider webs on my elbows or a big Chinese dragon coiled across my back. I don’t style my life or identity around being inked. That’s cool; just not for me. What I am is an enthusiast of the body as a canvas. I’m an admirer of the artistry. And I encourage everyone who’s on the fence about getting a tattoo to go for it. Just, be smart.
 

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Amanda's View: Winning back Sylvia

By Amanda Knox
 
“You should grab…that thing…that you know for sure…and put an exclamation mark…around it…and that’s the end…of that. Put the secret…around it…and whatever was…a secret…make it…for sure.”
 
This was the response my grandmother, Sylvia, murmured to me from her hospital bed when I asked her for a piece of winning advice. If it sounds cryptic, it’s because she was recovering from chemotherapy and a stroke. Each word came slowly, painstakingly, and there were drawn-out pauses that made me worry she had lost her train of thought.
 
This was very unlike the Sylvia I knew. The Sylvia I knew was gregarious, chatty, people-oriented, especially if those people were family. She knew the names of all the beauticians at the nail salon in the local strip mall. Her neighbors were intimate friends. To me, she was like all that’s good about a Hallmark card—sweet, sentimental, sincere, reliable, communicative, though lacking subtlety. Because she lives a seven-and-a-half-hour drive away in Montana, I even associate her with the holidays.
 

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