What does one do on the last day of the year? Rosalie went to work at 7:00 and I had the day to do with whatever I pleased. So I opened Real Player on my computer, put it on shuffle, and listened to random choices from my 10,000+ tracks. So much good music. Most of it’s jazz, especially female jazz singers, but I have a little bit of everything, and nearly all that Sinatra ever recorded. Some classical sprinkled in, quite a few Broadway musicals, lots of Broadway divas, and a good selection of golden oldies. And while I listened, I put together all my blogs of 2011, then ran it on my Clickbook program. Clickbook transforms standard 8½ x 11 pages down to 5½ x 8½ printed both front and back. Then I cut the pages in half, punched six holes on the binding edge, bound them with upholstery thread, then used black duct tape to cover the threaded holes. Done. Now I have separate booklets for each of the years I’ve been keeping a journal, just over 6,000 pages all together. Someday, my children will find them and wonder what in the world they’re all about. What, they’ll say, drove me to compile that many pages of daily thoughts? I guess it’s the need to leave something of me behind. Better than a headstone with a one-line epitaph. Vanity, vanity, thy name is Travis. I’ve been binding books for over twenty years, and I’m getting very good at it. Before I decided to have my novels published by Xlibris, I would go to OfficeMax and run ten copies of the Clickbook format, then cut and bind them, enough to give to friends or relatives. I’d hate to add up what all those copies at OfficeMax must have cost. I think I once estimated that each bound copy cost about $10, and that didn’t include how many hours I put in. One way to stay out of mischief.
I spent the rest of my last day of the year reading my 34th Dick Francis novel, watching bowl games, and getting our New Year’s Eve dinner ready—small shrimp cocktails, baked potatoes, strip steaks, garlic toast, and two of Trader Joe’s Crème Brulèe cups for dessert. That’s a meal of about five thousand calories. Whew! Well, the diets start tomorrow.