Things have finally calmed down just enough for me to begin working on the 8 billion things that I haven’t been able to do for many, many months now. Things like beginning the long and arduous process of cleaning and organizing my office (the one at home). Once all the junk is sorted and/or removed I can start figuring out how I want to reorganize it, especially given that my computer arrangement will be changing soon (see below). I really need to find a new and better desk.

Melissa and I have finally managed to pay off essentially all our debts (which were mostly wedding-related). This excludes the car payment (to be paid-off early next year) and student loans (to be paid-off . . . someday). What this means is that we are on-track for the long-planned replacement of my two primary computers—Nadia & Kitka—with a single high-end 15″ PowerBook. And isn’t it a wonderful coincidence; Apple is probably updating them with better specs next week.

Speaking of the new machine, it will need a name. ‘Katrina’ had been my favorite before a hurricane hijacked it and caused wanton death and destruction. I also like ‘Natalya.’ I’m open to submissions.

I spent some time a week or two ago trying out that ‘new’ recording equipment I bought nine months ago and didn’t ever have time to really use. I was able to get some good-quality recordings, although it may still be a while before I’ve produced something that I’m happy enough with to share. I do know that I now have the ability to record a passable demo, I just need to work on getting my songs (and vocals, for that matter) up to my new, higher standards. I am also nearly-eliminating the use of loops, so almost all of the parts will be performed (or, at minimum, composed) directly by me.

I need to find a place for the M-Audio Keystation 49e MIDI keyboard that, for lack of a better home, sits on the floor. But that’s more related to the ‘clean and organize the office’ task than the music task ;-). A nifty new desk would have a good place for the Keystation somewhere between the laptop itself and its external keyboard (for desktop-style use at home).

I’m also planning to start doing a little writing again. Excluding my 2005 endorsements, I’ve hardly written anything of substance for a while. It will probably be some opinion stuff here and there starting in the next few weeks with some fiction stuff following later on (my last short story was posted in December 2004—eesh!).

Amid all these other things, we’ve also started researching cars now that most of the 2006 models are out. We’re looking to get a new vehicle around the time we finish paying off the Chrysler (spring ’06, possibly earlier). We’re basically looking at (in order of current preference) the Honda Civic EX Sedan, Honda Accord Sedan (LX Special Edition or EX), Nissan Altima (S Special Edition or SE), and Dodge Charger SE. Other cars that will probably be test-driven but are not likely contenders are the Honda Civic Hybrid (a bit too much of a premium for a car that’s basically a $16,500 Civic LX with a fancy engine) and the Mitsubishi Galant.

If you have one of these models from previous years and have either praise or horror stories, let us know! ;-).