published Monday, December 30th, 2013

Get Off The Couch: Resolving to find more art, music

LISA DENTON: Barry, can you believe we've almost reached the end of another year? The other day, I started thinking that maybe I should come up with a few resolutions to better myself in 2014.

I had this revelation on my way to work one morning when I drove by Warehouse Row, where Petunia's Silver Jalapeno restaurant is located, and thought, in relation to barbecue, "Petunia's serves butts." (Apparently, I have a 12-year-old boy, or maybe Beavis and Butt-Head, trapped in my head.) So my first resolution is to not snicker over the use of the word "butt," at least as it relates to barbecue pork.

Nah, I can't even write that with a straight face. I don't think this resolution is going to last.

How about you? Anything you need to improve on?

BARRY COURTER: You said "butt." Some things are just funny, no matter how old or otherwise mature you are. If that wasn't true, the entire "Hangover" movie franchise would never have gotten made.

Let's see ... anything I need to improve on? Nope. Can't think of a single thing and, considering I am the most humble person ever, you know it must be true.

LISA: Yes, modesty is one of your most endearing qualities, as you've told me over and over.

BARRY: Anyway, one thing I do hope to do better, or to do more of, in the coming year, is to see more live entertainment and to spend a little more money on local art. I've written several stories about the idea that while we -- myself included -- fancy ourselves an arts town, we don't put our wallets

where our hearts and mouths are.

LISA: That's a fine idea. There were several shows I should've seen this year that I didn't get around to. But I did see both Elton John and Don Williams. As you know, my taste in music is all over the map.

And I'm amazed by some of the works created by local artists -- and not just the stuff I can hang on the wall. Plus, we have great museums and theaters and music venues. Offering them more support is a worthy resolution indeed.

We could start New Year's Eve. There are a bunch of events around town: a Roaring '20s Party at the Sheraton Read House, the Party on the Bluff at the Hunter Museum, a Knock the Blocks Off Party at Flying Squirrel and That '90s New Year's Eve Bash at Rhythm & Brews, among them.

BARRY: Wellllll, I don't know if I want to start my resolution just yet, and New Year's Eve has never been a big party night in my house, mostly because the big moment happens so late. Maybe if they could do the whole midnight thing a little earlier, I'd be up for it. I'm kidding.

I was thinking the other day about how organized NYE parties have become. A lot of them offer dinner, dancing, the big moment with champagne and hats, hotel rooms within walking distance and brunch in the morning. That's a good start to a new year.

LISA: I'm with you on the staying up late. Normally, the only time I'm up late is if I wake up to go to bed after I've fallen asleep on the couch. I think we're probably better suited for the New Year's at Noon countdown they'll be doing at Creative Discovery Museum on Tuesday.

BARRY: That's a fine idea. Like going to Sunday church on Saturday.

LISA: Here's another resolution before I forget. Never again in this space will I call myself a "heifer" who loves to eat. My Uncle Marty just won't let that go.

BARRY: Oh, and here's a totally random, unsolicited consumer tip: Don't waste your money on shampoos that claim to "restore color." I've tried them all, and they don't work. Still monochrome as ever.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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