That’s A Wrap! 2014 Now Behind Us, Onward With 2015, By Bernie Shine, Highlight Hollywood News

As the curtain closes on 2014, and as the band plays Auld Lang Syne, family and friends will gather together to say goodbye to the old year and lift a glass to toast in the new one. The crystal ball will descend, there will be fireworks, and we will all optimistically cheer the arrival of 2015. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
The prior year is symbolized by Old Man Time, worn out, carrying a scythe and hour glass, an image I am beginning to resemble and resent as I too grow older and wearier. The New Year is depicted by a baby in a top hat. Little does that kid know that he will age faster than dog years, and 365 days from now he will be that old man— worst case of Progeria Syndrome ever seen.
It has been reported that as many as one million people gather in Times Square to ring in the New Year. Oh, the humanity of all of these revelers counting down, cheering, screaming, tossing confetti, hugging and kissing at the stroke of midnight. Some will be drunk, but they all seem to be able to do the backwards countdown to midnight. In case you are unfamiliar with this ritual, it goes like this: “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.”   You must be careful to start this sequence exactly10 seconds before midnight, or you will yell “Happy New Year” too soon or too late, ruining the entire experience for everyone else.
I prefer a smaller, quieter gathering. Here’s Maggie and me in our top hats, gleefully celebrating the New Year, our version of Old Man Time and the New Year’s baby. If you leave a comment, please don’t say how much people look like their dogs. It hurts Maggie’s feelings. (And she’s not my dog. We are just friends.)
Countless news media outlets will print or broadcast their obligatory “Year in Review”—  just in case you weren’t paying attention in the first place. I like to call this “2014 for Dummies.”
Then comes January 1st, the “not-so-quiet” after the storm. This assault to the senses starts with “Torment” of Roses Parade, something people camp out for days in the cold to see. Apparently these individuals are unaware of the advent of television. The pageantry includes countless marching bands (everyone’s favorite type of music, especially when hung-over), over 40 floral floats, and one newly crowned queen. (I must admit, I don’t recall the name of last year’s Rose Queen, or which floats won trophies.)  There is also a Grand Marshall. Someday it should be Peter Marshall or Gary Marshall. I don’t know Gary, but I can attest that Peter is a great guy (in fact, grand) and I like the idea of a “Grand Marshall Peter Marshall.” Although, “Grand Marshall Gary Marshall” does have a nice alliteration to it.
This year’s Grand Marshall is the heroic Louis Zamperini, whose remarkable life story inspired the newly released film Unbroken. Sadly, he recently died at 97 years of age. The Rose Parade is nevertheless retaining him as Grand Marshall. I have immense admiration and respect for the late Mr. Zamperini, but under the circumstances, I’m not sure how he will be able to perform his Rose Parade duties. However, if anyone could pull this off posthumously, it would be him.
The Rose Parade is followed  by a parallel parade of football games—The Rose Bowl, The Cotton Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, The Peach Bowl, and The Citrus Bowl (not to be confused with The Orange Bowl that will be played New Year’s Eve). There is also The Popcorn Bowl, The Fruit Bowl, The Chili Bowl, The Hollywood Bowl, The Toilet Bowl, and The Ty-D-Bol.  I am deficient in the sports gene, and I have no interest in any game where they keep score. Life is competitive enough as it is. And we are all winners, aren’t we? At any rate, this frees my New Year’s Day to do what I do best—nothing.
Finally, there’s those pesky New Year’s resolutions we all make, then fail to fulfill. Well, not me—not this time. I have three resolutions of which I am relatively confident I will keep: I intend to 1) exercise less, 2) put on weight, and 3) spend more money. This really will be a Happy New Year!
Written By: Bernie Shine
Photographs are Courtesy: Bernie and Maggie’s Collection
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