Staff file photo by Tim Barber / Ice skaters Ellie Heinsman, left, and Kate Youmans grip hands for a spin at last year's Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

LISA DENTON: Happy Veterans Day, Barry. You and I have no military experience, but there are some heroes among us worthy of our respect and gratitude.

BARRY COURTER: Several of my favorite stories and interviews I've done have involved veterans. What those guys went through is remarkable. I've told you, and I'm sincere, that I don't think I could make it through Day One of basic training, and I don't think "chafing" would qualify as an excuse for opting out of jogging on day two.

LISA: Apparently, a lot of restaurants agree with showing respect, because lots of places are offering free meals or discounts to retired and active-duty military personnel today. I compiled a list of 25 places for Sunday's paper, and a couple more got added online after press time. There's everything from appetizers to drinks to entrees to desserts on the list of freebies. And if you happen to be at Mission BBQ at noon, you can hear a live performance of the national anthem. That's something they do every day.

BARRY: I was just talking to a buddy about that. Everybody stands and sings along. I've done that to a Beyonce song before, and it was weird for some people, apparently. How can you not sing along to "Single Ladies?"

LISA: I would dearly love to see you attempt the choreography for that song. And the leotard.

5 events to celebrate this week

* Monday is Veterans Day. At least 25 restaurants around Chattanooga will give free meals or discounts to retired and active military personnel.

* Monday is Singles Day. This unofficial holiday, celebrating being single on 11/11, started in China but has become a worldwide online sales phenomenon.

* A week full of shows at Songbirds North and South.

* Friday, grab a ticket for the second Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow at Walker Theatre before tickets sell out for it, too.

* Friday, Ice on the Landing returns to the Chattanooga Choo Choo.



Speaking of singles, there's another holiday today that I recently heard about. It's called Singles Day, and the date was chosen, according to, because "11/11 looks like four, single sticks, strung together trying to make the most out of their time."

It sounds a little sad when you put it that way, but it has become an online sales phenomenon worldwide, bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

BARRY: It's another busy weekend for music and shows. I'll be at the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow at the Walker Theatre for the sold-out first show Friday, and the Goo Goo Dolls are at the Tivoli that night, too.

LISA: Jay and Silent Bob, also known as Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, have added a second show at 11:15 p.m., which still has some tickets but is way past my bedtime. When I was looking at tickets last week, there was one lone seat still left for the 8 p.m. show, but apparently that's gone now. Maybe somebody still celebrating Singles Day snatched it up.

BARRY: Songbirds North has Matt Mayes & John Meyer of Jupiter Coyote on Friday, the same night The Weeks, The Minks and Lenox Hills are at Songbirds South.

LISA: And one of the most popular events of the season, Ice on the Landing, opens Friday in the Chattanooga Choo Choo gardens. It'll give you a chance to try out your axels and spins and arabesques. Think of that: That's two times this week it would make sense for you to put on a leotard.

Get event information every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

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