Sunday, December 21, 2014 · 10:51 a.m.

Five things in Chattanooga that I'm ashamed I've never done

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It should be apparent from my previous columns that I have a lot strange emotional issues I’m trying to flesh out and deal with. Whether it’s skewed ideas of romance or detailed imaginary scenarios involving my shooting of people, there are obviously some things I’m working on when it comes to my mental health. I haven’t addressed guilt yet, though, and I think it’s high time. Chattanooga, as we all know is, a fairly easy city to live in. There’s so much going on and not anything going on at the same time. I’ve lived here for almost 12 years, which amounts to about 4,300 days. That’s a lot of time to do things. Here is a list of things that I should’ve done in Chattanooga that, because I’m lazy and mentally unstable, I haven’t done yet. 

Lake Winnepesaukah
Many people tell me that an evening spent at Lake Winnepesaukah is money and time well-spent. I have even been invited to participate in the fun without direct cost to myself. It was an offer I declined. Back in 2008, I attended Dollywood for what would be the last time. There were plenty of joyous moments on various rides, and Dippin’ Dots were consumed, but somehow I left completely unfulfilled. It most likely had to do with the crowds. I don’t do well in large clusters of people unless I am the focus of attention. Unfortunately, on this day, country “superstar” Joe Diffie was the one in the spotlight. Lake Winnepesaukah seems to me to be a lesser Dollywood, which is why I don’t think I would have fun. Still, this is something I need to check off my list. 

Buy a CSA box
I’m a nut for community-supported agriculture programs. A CSA is essentially an investment at the start of the season into a farm of your choice, but as an investor you get to reap the rewards of harvest by receiving a weekly box of food from that farm. It’s possibly the best idea ever conjured by humans. The girlfriend and I spend at least part of Sunday morning at the Chattanooga Market every weekend, often spending well over $30 on food alone. But there’s always that nagging feeling that we could do more to support the local food movement. When I learned about local farmers and their CSA boxes a few years back, I thought, “Yes. This is for me.” But then I never investigated any further, and now I’m kicking myself. There are so many local farms that could use our help. Find out more about local farming here.

Dinner at St. John’s
There’s a misconception attached to part of my generation and fine dining. The stigma is that unless you are wealthy enough to eat at restaurant like St. John’s every night of your life, then you shouldn’t go even once. This is incredibly stupid. Fine dining, like everything, should be a special occasion treat to celebrate love, success and true friendship. As a food nut, I’ve eaten at almost all of the local fine dining restaurants (often alone), but I’ve yet to tackle St. John’s, and I’m not sure why. Chef Daniel Lindley is renowned for his focus on local food and the freshest ingredients. The prices aren’t terrible—about $60 per person sans wine—so really I don’t have an excuse. The "dayboat Alaskan halibut" is calling my name, and the desserts sound incredible. Buttermilk lavender ice cream! Are you kidding me? 

Chattanooga Football Club game
My cheeks are burning hot right now with this confession that I’ve never attended a Chattanooga Football Club soccer game. I’ve heard nothing but good things about how professional of a team we have and how exciting the games are to watch. There is no excuse. Ticket prices are ridiculously cheap, and kids under 5 are charged nothing. As of writing this article, there are only five home games left. I WILL attend at least a game before the season is out. I can’t go on and on about how we need professional-level sports in Chattanooga while completely ignoring what we do have is the Chattanooga Football Club. Go ... umm ... what do you say? Go team?

Chattanooga Roller Girls match
I probably deserve a good ass-kicking for several reasons, but especially for not having gone to see our Chattanooga Roller Girls at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center. This sport is about 65 percent sexy, 50 percent violence and 10 percent absurdity. And even though those percentages don’t add up at all, the Chattanooga Roller Girls have established something special here in Chattanooga—a town that honestly could use as much of an ass-kicking as myself. I’m not even going to try to explain the concept of the game to you because you can read a much more lucid description here. Suffice it to say, what the Chattanooga Roller Girls participate in is a far cry from the professional wrestling antics of the late '70s. This is 100 percent real. Here’s a video of the Chattanooga Roller Girls in action in Athens, Ga. The next home game is June 30 against the Vette City Vixens.

You can contact Sean Phipps via email and Twitter with comments and questions. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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