New Year's Eve is normally one of my favorite holidays, but this year it felt more like an opening act than a celebration unto itself. After all, in 20 days, the entire country would be wiping its slate clean of the Worst Administration Ever--a monumental new beginning that makes replacing a desk calendar and resolving to start jogging again seem absurdly trivial in comparison. One option for inauguration celebration is with two of Dallas' highest-profile jazz bands, Don Diego and his Las Vegas Style Revue and Paul Rogers' Natural Change. The admission is steep ($55 to $100), but you can't put a price on sharing a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Watching Election Day returns in the Bishop Arts District was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My family and I stayed way past the kids' bedtime, finally joining the line for the shuttle buses at about 11:30 p.m. A gay couple in front of us noticed our children and let us cut in line. "Little girl," one of them said to my daughter, "I know you're tired right now, but you will never forget this night." It was that kind of night, a night to exchange high fives, hugs and heartfelt conversations with perfect strangers. Even... More >>>