June 22 | Weekly Top Five
By Jordan Farrell
You know, it’s funny what you can learn about yourself when you sit down to reflect on what really keeps you going, week by week. Fortunately, the unpredictable weather we’re all too accustomed to in Nashville has allowed me a well-rounded variation of activities this week.
Here are the five things that kept me going this week:
1. Verticity Indoor Cycling Studio
I’ve never been the type of person who is particularly eager to work out. It’s hard, it’s tiring, and more often than not, it’s just plain boring. It’s a lot of work. Not to mention the sweat, which means you have to wash your hair. It’s just a whole big mess! Fortunately, my desire for a bangin’ bod is far greater than any of my complaints above. Thus began my search for the perfect workout regimine. I tried running, boxing, yoga - all of which were fine but didn’t quite do it for me. Then, based on a suggestion from a girlfriend of mine, I found myself at Verticity. It’s a game-changer. It’s tough, you sweat, you push yourself, but it is so fun. You ride to the beat of the music (seriously, I credit Verticity for my newfound ability to actually dance in front of people) - and the instructors have that special way of inducing confidence and motivation - thus unequivocally kicking your ass. Mega plus - it’s on the East side, which means it’s only a short drive from my house. Heed my advice, and give it a shot!
Pro-tip: check out Kenzie’s class.
2. Natalie Prass’ new album - “The Future and The Past”
Prass just released this ultra-political album after ditching her previously written songs (set for this very record) in the aftermath of the 2016 election. This album has been on repeat for me for about a month now - and it is a deep, introspective look at society in the now. Two of my favorite tracks: “Sisters” and “The Fire”. Check it out on Spotify here.
3. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
One of my favorite summertime weekend activities is to sit outside, soak in some rays and read a book. I’ve set a lofty goal for myself this summer -- to read one book every other week; two books a month at least. My most recent accomplishment: “The Female Persuasion” by Meg Wolitzer. I loved this novel. It’s empowering, charming and witty. This work of fiction takes the reader along for the ride of life through the eyes of Greer Kadetsky - the novel’s ambitious protagonist. Through her experiences in self-growth and relationships (both platonic and romantic), the story develops into an endearing and ultra-relatable journey through the benchmarks of life that are uniquely female. What is it like to find your mentor?...To find your outside voice?...To muster the courage to speak up?...To betray your friends?...To let go of love?...For everything to turn out okay in the end? You can find The Female Persuasion at your local bookstore, Parnassus Books.
Okay, I know. It’s summer. And that means we should all be outside, enjoying the outdoors, getting our tans on, and living that patio life. I get it...and I’m there...until the rain rolls through (or the sunburn sets in). Little known secret, I’m an avid video game player. And while most of my virtual-world tastes lie in the RPG (Role Playing Game) or FPS (First Person Shooter) realm, this game is unlike any other I’ve played. Cuphead is an indie run-and-gun game that can be played solo or multiplayer. Now, sorry all you Playstation loyalists, this game is an Xbox exclusive. But don’t worry about it too much, because while Cuphead is exceptionally well-made and, truly, a work of art, it is also ridiculously and aggravatingly difficult. I’m not kidding, it’s practically impossible to beat. The intricacies that were taken to make the game result in something that is so awe-inspiring and precise that it is almost worth the unavoidable frustration. The game is made with a 1930’s animation style, so gameplay is frame-by-frame and each of those frames consist of hand-drawn animation with watercolor backgrounds. For instance, in one boss bottle (a heavy focus of the game), the creators re-drew this boss 35 times within a 2.5-second span. This is consistent throughout the game.
End of the day - this game is beautiful, precise, difficult, but fair. Perfect for a rainy day.
5. Henrietta Red’s Cucumber Salad
Holy. Crap. This. Salad. This may seem biased (I have an overwhelming admiration for the folks at Henrietta Red) but you could give me this salad every damn day this summer and I’d never tire of it. The ingredients are as such: 7082 Cucumber, Avocado, Turnip, Fennel, Kimchi, Toasted Farro. It’s somewhat spicy, ever so refreshing and has the perfect variation in texture. This salad made my week.
According to the folks at Row 7 Seed Company, "the 7082 Cucumber is named for it's trial plot. It's a stubbled green slicer of modest stature but memorable flavor - which, when it comes to cucumbers, is no small feat."