The Jackpot Question, Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

By now you are expected to have a good response. So what is it? What are you doing? Certainly your friends have been asking and you must have something interesting to say. Unless you are under 18 or over 80, you do not get a pass on this one. So, what’s it going to be? Party? Dinner and dancing? Will you be outside watching fireworks or in where it is warm? If you are in Florida or Arizona, I guess you could be outside watching fireworks where it is warm.

Happy New Year!

Since there seems to be so many different things to do, the question might actually be somewhat logical. Restaurants, bars, hotel ballrooms all seem to have some sort of package deal. There are shows and concerts of every type. Whether you are in a big city or a small town, plans for the celebration abound. For some strange reason, everyone is expected to have a plan.

One year, when downtown Chicago still had a glut of movie theaters, I was on a double date at a late showing of a movie that finished up just before midnight. I do remember which movie, but not the date. We had just enough time to empty out into the intersection of State Street (that great street) and Randolph where Chicago used to conduct a poor man’s version of the final countdown. Since it was quite cold and we were not loaded with anti-freeze, we stayed for the countdown and ran off for warmer places. It was an experience I do not need again. If I watch the ball drop in Times Square, it will be on television from another locale.

Since then I have ventured to house parties, bar parties, restaurants and shows, but I am not sure any of these supposed grand events were particularly memorable. They certainly did not ring out like many of the grand events we see in the movies. If you missed all of them, then I will suggest that you put “movies with new year’s eve scenes” in your internet search so you can find a lot of them. Maybe you will get some cool ideas.

Since the death of one year and the dawn of another seem to evoke feelings of nostalgia, then you may know that “When Harry Met Sally” contains one of the most memorable and nostalgic New Year’s scenes of all. Indeed it is the climax of the “will he or won’t he?” scenario. It has all led up to one fateful New Year’s Eve moment.  The typical New Year’s Eve hoopla only adds to the drama of the moment.  (SPOILER ALERT). I love making dramatic “spoiler” pronouncements, and here is that great scene from one of our favorite movies.

The director of the movie needed no special music as “Auld Lang Syne” made the perfect background song. And what does this sentimental tune actually mean? We don’t know, something about  good-bye and hello. It doesn’t matter, our sentimental feeling just associates with it and that is all that counts. So will you have a sentimental moment?

For some gentlemen, the coming of New Year’s is met with all the anxiety of asking someone to the high school prom. You know you are supposed to do something. You know it is supposed to be really good. You know it is going to cost you money, which you are not supposed to care about. You also know, just like the high school prom, you might get shot down when you ask the “jackpot question.” Unless you want to get teased by family and friends, you may just have to ask the question anyway.

Ooh, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance:
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Did you ask yet? What was the answer? If you haven’t asked, what are you waiting for?

Seth MacFarlane is the creator of Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show.


Author: Rich Paschall

When the Windows Live Spaces were closed and our sites were sent to Word Press, I thought I might actually write a regular column. A couple years ago I finally decided to try out a weekly entry for a year and published something every Sunday as well as a few other dates. I reached that goal and continued on. I hope you find them interesting. They are my Sunday Night Blog. Thanks to the support of Marilyn Armstrong you may find me from time to time on her blog space, SERENDIPITY. Rich Paschall Education: DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University Employment: Air freight professional


  1. We don’t do anything on New Year’s Eve and haven’t for a long time. We do what we do every night: watch movies and television and talk to each other, play with the dogs, eat a few snacks. We watch the ball drop in Times Square and take a look at First Night festivities in Boston on TV, but that’s it. When we lived in Boston — we were younger and working and had some money — we went to dinner. Once, we gave a big party — 1989 — to which the mayor came and we announced our planned nuptials. But out here in Uxbridge, there’s no restaurant worth going to. We don’t have friends with whom to party … and it’s not worth risking your life on icy roads full of drunk drivers.

    I know. How boring can we be, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not boring to me because I long for the days of Fred Astaire movies all night long. We used to have those here. One year we were at a house party watching Fred and Ginger do “The Continental” for 20 minutes, longest movie number ever. We subsequently named our band the Chicago Continentals.
      Now we must rock in the New Year. We likely will be at home, although one of my guests coming from out of town thinks that fireworks on Navy Pier might be interesting! Yes, temperatures in the teens and a pier in Lake Michigan. Sounds like something for teenagers or college students.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Rich. What a great idea! Maybe we’ll watch a Fred & Ginger DVD (wish our bodies would permit dancing but mebbe we could try). Perhaps catch the last two or three minutes of the festivities on the tube and then turn ’em off.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It was a tradition here on the local ABC station for years. Now it is concerts from various places around town. Since the talent is on the coasts, it is usually local acts and nothing too exciting to me.


    2. Well, Marilyn’s already told you about our really big ’89 “shew” as Ed Sullivan used to say. THAT was memorable, ladies and germs. A four star event. I recall another New Year’s Eve back in the late 60’s, I think. It’s hazy because a lot of those nights were hazy. I did the Times Square gala. Once in a lifetime, a guy has to do the Times Square thing. I went alone but did not end up alone. It was just like in the movies. Music, streamers, strangers kissing as Auld Lang Syne (The Guy Lombardo version) blared from myriad giant speakers on the street. We danced as the last strains of Auld Lang Syne faded into cheers, laughter and the sounds of people puking, fortunately those souls were not close.
      It was all a blur hours later, on the first day of the new year.
      This New year’s Eve, as Marilyn has already mentioned, will be quiet, comfy and cozy. The two of us watching others do the big city thing on television. Not boring. Just very, very nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My band has NYE off this year so we’re tryin to decide on where to go or what to do. Last NYE was a gig at the local country club. I can’t kiss and play and there was no lip syncing. We gigged at a local brewery year before last NYE. At one point I noticed my wife and some other girls dancing on the bar. I’m sure there were lots of kisses shared. There will probably be lots shared this NYE too, somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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