A minicalendar for all those who resolved to be a good citizen this year: Jan. 1-8
NEW YEAR'S DAY CLOSINGS As much as you want to, you simply cannot go to the following places today (but they'll reopen tomorrow): City Hall, city of Austin libraries, the Austin Nature and Science Center, and city museums. Also, no one's going to pick up your garbage today – that service resumes tomorrow, as well. Guess you'll just have to stay inside with all your empty Champagne bottles and nurse that hangover. www.cityofaustin.org.
PEOPLE UNITED Cognitive linguist George Lakoff discusses his newest book, The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics With an 18th Century Brain. 1pm. KOOP Radio 91.7FM.
YELLERDAWG/SATURDAY SAGES DEMOCRATS MEETING 11am. Tres Amigos, 1801 Capital of TX Hwy. S., 327-1776.
BULL CREEK HIKE Check out the habitat of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler; see www.cityofaustin.org/water/wildland/
onlineregistration/ecowebevents.cfm for details and registration. 1:30-5pm. Free.
ETHICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTIN hosts a burning bowl ceremony to start the new year off right. 10am. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th, 835-9008. Free. www.esoa.org.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS FORUM features special guest Sherri Greenberg of the LBJ School of Public Affairs; she'll discuss the speaker race and the upcoming Texas legislative session. 11:30am. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 452-6168. www.austinuu.org.
TRINIDAD is a new documentary by local filmmakers PJ Raval and Jay Hodges about the evolution of Trinidad, Colo., from a Wild West outpost to the "sex change capital of the world." Tonight's screenings benefit the Transgender Education Network of Texas. 5 & 7:30pm. Alamo Ritz, 320 E. Sixth. $8.50. www.originalalamo.com.
CHICAS VERDES welcomes green ladies to the first monthly meeting of the year. 11:45am. Mr. Natural South, 2414-A South Lamar.
DEMOCRATIC MEETING EXTRAVAGANZA Three local Dem organizations are meeting today: Capital Area Progressive Democrats, AFL-CIO, 1106 Lavaca, 5:30pm; Capital Area Asian American Democrats, First Chinese BBQ, 10901 N. Lamar, 6:30pm; Stonewall Democrats, Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto, 7:30pm.
ENGAGE SPEAKER SERIES Local experts discuss how to bring the discussion of poverty in Central Texas to the forefront. Isn't the truest test of a country's prosperity how well the poorest live? 7:30am. Chez Zee, 5406 Balcones. $25 ($20, members). www.leadershipaustin.org/programs/engage.
SIERRA CLUB meets tonight to discuss the local chapter's priorities for the 81st legislative session, set to begin next week. 7pm. TSTA Building, 316 W. 12th. www.texas.sierraclub.org/austin.
NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISOR PUBLIC FORUM The six candidates for the city Neighborhood Planning & Zoning Department's neighborhood adviser position will answer your questions today – but you must submit them by Jan. 4 to email@example.com. 7-8am. One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd. #325. www.cityofaustin.org/planning.
AUSTIN ROUNDUP This local nonprofit hosts an annual conference later this month for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered members of Alocoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. See www.austinroundup.com for details on how to participate. Jan. 30-Feb. 1. Omni Hotel Southpark, 4140 Governor's Row.
CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING & FREE MULCH Put your Christmas tree at the curb on recycle pickup day, and the city will turn it into mulch to be given away free to anyone who wants it. If your tree is taller than 6 feet, you should cut it in half; if you don't have curbside pickup, bring your tree to the Zilker Park Polo Fields Jan. 3-4 or Jan. 10. Free mulch pickup (also at the Zilker Polo Fields) begins soon, but the exact date depends on weather and other factors – consult www.cityofaustin.org/parks/events.htm or call 311 before you head out there. www.cityofaustin.org/sws/xmastree.htm.
CITIZEN POLICE ACADEMY Learn about the many functions and operating procedures of the Austin Police Department. The next session starts Feb. 10 and meets on Tuesdays, 6:45-9:30pm. For more info or an application, visit the APD website: www.cityofaustin.org/police, call 854-4989, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
COATS FOR CUBS is accepting real fur – be it a coat, trim, or other type of clothing – to be used as bedding for orphaned or injured wildlife. From now through April, you may drop off your furs at Buffalo Exchange (just tell them they're for Coats for Cubs). Buffalo Exchange, 2904 Guadalupe, 480-9925. www.humanesociety.org/coatsforcubs.
WINTER DONATIONS With temperatures getting lethal, it's time to remember those without protection from the elements. New or gently used blankets, jeans, and coats are needed. Go online or call for details. Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, 500 E. Seventh, 305-4174. www.frontsteps.org.