Quarantine Culture

BY ROBIN FANNON OF RSVP ROBIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA JACOBS AND ROBIN FANNON

People all over the world are being innovative, enterprising and resilient during this COVID-19 crisis. Whether they are doing their jobs remotely or running their businesses through new technology, Americans are rising to the challenge. Homeschooling their kids, doing home improvement projects and keeping the family fed and entertained are a large part of the challenge as well! A sweet silver lining is that it has given families a chance to reconnect and spend quality time together. Planet Earth is also getting a bit of a reprieve too. The American spirit is alive and well, and Ocala is no exception to this heartwarming shift. We decided to check in with a few of our favorite residents and see what they’ve been up to.

Robin Fannon
Chef, Blogger, Food and Lifestyle Editor for Ocala Magazine.

WEARING: Now and during normal times I always put on walking/workout clothes first thing, then shower up and change into something cute and comfortable, i.e. favorite jeans or linen drawstring pants and a soft t-shirt. Leggings and an oversized natural fiber blouse always feels good too. Oh, and my fluffy Ugg slippers are a must.  READING: My reading choices have remained pretty much the same for the last 35 years. Everything and anything related to food and nutrition; newspaper and magazine publications like the Star Banner, Ocala Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Atlantic, Origin, Vogue, Veranda, Vanity Fair, and Domino. I’m currently reading Ruth Reichl’s “Save me the Plums” and “Live Beautiful” by Athena Calderon.  WATCHING: I’m a huge movie buff, so Turner Classic Movies and all other movie channels. I love binging on a good series, so on HBO I am currently watching “Succession” and on Showtime, “Homeland.”  LISTENING: I listen to podcasts while I’m walking every morning: Cherry Bombe Radio, More Than One Thing, Ted Talks, Second Life and Eat, Capture Share. A lot of music that I grew up on: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Club Quarantine DJ “D’Nice” has me grooving to old Disco tunes.  EATING: Food is always at the forefront of my mind; I’m either cooking, reading a cookbook, planning the next meal, eating or doing all of these simultaneously. We are also trying to support our local restaurant scene by doing some takeout as well.

 

Priya Ghumman

President and COO of Oak Run Associates, Ltd 

WEARING: It’s business as usual—with one change.  Rather than high heels, I’m wearing flats. With all these crazy changes in this pandemic world, I need flats so I can stay nimble!   READING: “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage” or his other book, “Dan Crenshaw: An Unauthorized Biography of the Texas Congressman and Former Navy Seal.”; “Leadership Strategy and Tacticss” by Jocko Willink; and last but most importantly – Scripture because I need God’s Word more than ever!   WATCHING:  Current TV show, “Songland.” Streaming Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan” season two. Weekly I tune to my amazing church, Church at the Springs, for services on line.  LISTENING:  Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator, teaching the art of negotiation on the Masterclass app; Ben Shapiro’s daily podcast to get a brilliant, balanced and nuanced report of the day’s news; Craig Groeschel’s “Leadership” podcast, and Ed Sheeran’s album “No. 6 Collaboration Project.”  EATING: More cooking than I’ve done in a long time, and also take-out from my favorite place, La Cuisine! 

 

Jennifer Arvanitis

Full time paralegal and co-owner (along with her sister Kim) of Marley Mae Market and Paperie,

WEARING: Comfort is definitely key in this crazy time! I have been living in leggings and comfy tees for pretty much the duration of my time at home – most of which are from my store, Marley Mae Market & Paperie. On the off-chance that I need to look a little more presentable, I’ll throw on a comfy maxi dress. READING: For my job with Tucker & Welch, I have been doing my normal reading of pleadings and other legal related things. For the shop, I’ve been reading up a lot on small business assistance and creative ideas to keep our store busy while having so many necessary restrictions on our storefront. Watching: If you haven’t watched “Tiger King,” did you even quarantine?! I also introduced my husband to “Schitt’s Creek” (finally), so I’ve re-watched almost the entire series with him. It’s been super fun to watch the Reilly Arts Center’s Digital Series, too! Other than that, I’ve filled my time watching a whole lot of true crime shows and documentaries.  LISTENING: I listen to the *N Sync on Amazon Music pretty much exclusively. I’m also listening to a whole lot of our four dogs barking! eating: We’ve definitely made good use out of our Instant Pot and air fryer! We have also made it a point to support our local restaurants a few times per week for great food and drinks. Some of our favorites are Pi, Big Lee’s, Infinite Ale Works, Sayulita, and Courtyard on Broadway.

 

Kristina Sasser Donohue

Regional Director, American Heart Association for Marion County
and her children Liam and Sophie

WEARING: Like many of us who are working from home, I have been enjoying being more relaxed in my style.  However, because the American Heart Association hosts most of our meetings via Zoom, it’s still important for me to look presentable virtually. Having a few minutes to put myself together each day has really been helpful for my mindset, while being home-based.  READING: This has been such a unique time for each of us. Like so many other businesses and organizations, the American Heart Association has had to pivot how we serve our communities, partner companies and sponsors, and donors. The organization is working to make sure heart and stroke patients understand how COVID-19 could uniquely affect them, and arm them with the research and knowledge on how best to protect themselves.  That said, most of my time these last few weeks have been leaning into learning more about this disease and the long-term implications it will have. However, non-work related, I am reading Chelsea Handler’s “Life Will Be the Death of Me.”  Watching: Shows, movies, Netflix. Kids have been discovering Disney Classics, Disney+ and I have started “Unorthodox” on Netflix and catching up on PBS’s “Frontline.”  LISTENING: Music, podcasts, talk radio. More time at home has provided more time to binge on music. I am a huge fan of NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series and have had more time to share and discover new music on Spotify through friends. The kids and I have also been enjoying our time staying connected to our growing local, music scene, through the Reilly Arts Digital Series. “On Purpose” with Jay Shetty is a staple podcast for me.  eating: We have added home economics to our homeschooling curriculum! The kids have been amazing at helping out in the kitchen. Liam has mastered fried eggs and omelettes while Sophie has been preparing delicious pasta dishes her grandmother has taught her.

 

Kaitlyn and Kendrick Butler

Kaitlyn: Administrative Assistant at Ocala Regional | Kendrick: Regional Program Director at Zone Health & Fitness. They also own Brick City Food Tours.

Kaitlyn answers:

WEARING: I’m still working at Ocala Regional, but on the weekends I’m typically lounging in light cotton rompers or shorts and a t-shirt. Kendrick is working from home and spending a lot of time on our patio, so his go-to outfit is Columbia PFG shorts, a tank top, his dog dad hat and house shoes.  READING: I just finished “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah and Kendrick is reading “Leader Shift” by John. C. Maxwell.  Watching: I like to think of myself as a television connoisseur. My favorites right now are “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu and “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix. Kendrick is binging “Comics Explained” on YouTube.  LISTENING: I absolutely love podcasts, and my current favorites are “Throughline” by NPR and “The Dating Game Killer” on Wondery. When it comes to music, I’m loving “Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga and “The Blessing” by Kari Jobe. Kendrick’s music choice is “Sunday Best” by Surfaces and his favorite podcast is “First Draft” on ESPN.  EATING: We’re the proud owners of Brick City Food Tours, and we’re doing our best to support local restaurants during this pandemic. Some of our favorites include Mahi tacos and the Greasy Goat at Pi, fajitas from La Hacienda and the 101 beef taco from Sayulita Taqueria.

 

Algenard Simmons

Owner of The Courtyard on Broadway

WEARING: I’m mostly wearing a lot of nothing. A good portion of my time is spent home alone, so I’m just in my underwear quite a bit. My dog, Lola, doesn’t seem to mind. Of course, when I go to work at The Courtyard on Broadway, I want to retain customers so I reluctantly put on clothes.  READING: It would seem like I have more time to catch up on some books I’ve been wanting to read but life is funny. It feels like I’m busier now than before. I still try to keep my daily routine of an hour or two each morning reading about current events in the nation and throughout the world.  WATCHING: I’m a huge fan of going to the theater to watch movies but since I can’t do that anymore, TV is my new escape. I’m keeping it light with comedies and shows that are easy to watch like “Scrubs.” I think I’ve watched that series in its entirety about six times. I also really love documentaries. I have a whole list of really interesting ones if you want it. LISTENING: My playlist is what you would get if you threw all the all the genres in a bucket, kicked it down a hill and it landed in a cement mixer. I listen to everything! I’m jamming out to P!nk, DaBaby, Korn, Josh Turner, Sir Mix-a-lot, *NSYNC, Leona Lewis, Jay-Z, Sam Smith, Prince, Harry Styles, Tupac and of course, Eminem, just to name a few. EATING: Oh, I’m eating so healthy! All the vegetables, oats and grains. I’ve never felt healthier in my life! (This next part will be off the record right?!) Ok, that was a lie, I’m totally eating way more Popeyes chicken than I should. Also, The Courtyard on Broadway has these Lobster Rolls, so I’ve definitely been eating a lot of my profits. Don’t get me started on the Seafood Boils and Beef Wellington Tacos The Courtyard serves! Just print the part about me being healthy so my mom won’t get mad at me when she reads this.

 

Justin Turner

Partner, Turner & Turner, PA with his wife Lindsey and their 4 children Collin, Dawson, Lawton and Truman.

WEARING: Gym clothing so I’m always ready to run after the kids!  READING: SBA payroll loan application guidelines that are being issued even after many have already applied. Wild ride for folks right now!   WATCHING: Watching?? No time for movies, but I have enjoyed watching my wife and kids!!  I don’t normally get to see them very much this time of year.  LISTENING: We’ve found ourselves listening to throwbacks from our dating years. It’s been fun! My Linz and boys have some awesome moves!  EATING: We are cooking simple, yet a feast, daily! We have a household of six, so it’s constant. A gallon and a half of milk everyday to put it into perspective!

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