score: Deb 1, Duster 0

Chinchillas, like most pets, love to escape. Mine are no exception. They're also fast as hell and near impossible to catch (Jamey once chased Duster around the apartment for two hours before he caught him).

On Sunday, I was "hand-training" Duster--basically, trying to get him more comfortable sitting in my hands (chinchillas are not huggable, they dislike sitting still and squirm if you hold them too long). Suddenly, he bounded up my arm and perched on my shoulder--where he stood for two full minutes. Duster has this "king of the hill" mentality where he'll sit on the highest thing he can and just gaze around at his little empire; either that or he was trying to watch the playoff game down the hallway. Since he was out of my line of sight, I was hesitant to move around much, b/c he'll startle, race down my back and into another adventure.

Eventually, after watching a Colts touchdown (glad one of us could see it), he hopped over to my right shoulder. I decided to crane my right hand up behind me to see if he would hop on. I hunched my back enough to slide him into my hand, and very sloooowly curled my arm back around my side... and back into the cage! He seemed stunned by the sudden shift of advantage, b/c he turned to face me and started squeaking. After I did a little victory dance, he still got a treat, to soothe his bruised ego ;)



woohoo retrievers

Looks like UMBC, my alma mater, finally got a sports team in the news:
Maryland-Baltimore County's men's basketball team has been indefinitely banished from its locker room, punishment by coach Randy Monroe for a subpar effort in a 75-58 home loss to New Hampshire on Wednesday.

UMBC spokesman Steve Levy confirmed Sunday that Monroe has not permitted the Retrievers to use their usual locker room since Thursday. Instead, team members are dressing in the courtside media workroom, which was also to be used as a meeting room during halftime of Sunday's home game against Hartford. Additionally, players have been forbidden to wear apparel bearing the school's name.

They weren't great when I attended either, save for one year where they won the regular season title and lost in the conference tournament. Looks like we'll be known for our championship chess team for awhile longer!



happy 2006

My resolutions for the new year:

1. Lose 5 lbs by March 1, and 10 by the summer.
My weight crept up a bit in the fall, and I got a bit of a shock when I stepped on the scale for the first time in 3 months! I'm a healthy weight anyway, so it's really gonna come down to eating better (less sweets) and exercising more. Motivation is my biggest problem, however, which leads me to:

2. Gym time: 2x a week by March 1, 3x a week after that.
I am not kidding when I say that I spend more time debating whether I feel like going to the gym than I actually do in
a gym. We have a "fitness room" in our complex, and we live in a pretty fitness-oriented community (bike trails, nature walks, a bigger gym/indoor pool for the homeowners that we tenants get passes to), so I really have no excuse whatsoever to get off my duff and be active!

Except when I get home, it's dark... ;)

3. Keep in touch with my friends!
I go thru antisocial periods like anyone else does, but I can see why once people get married they drop out of sight: now that I have a captive audience, it's far easier to bore my husband to death as I chatter away than taking the initiative to email or call someone. And most of my close friends do not live close by, so I don't just run into them anymore.

4. Blog more.

That way when I'm lax on number 3, y'all can still get your fill of all things Deb here :)

5. Create at least 1 "fridge-worthy" artwork each month.

On the HOW forum there is a frequent thread called the HOWie Fridge... basically a place to post your recent work free of critique. I'm prohibited somewhat from posting work-work b/c of contract issues (clients have requested mock-ups, then paid but taken them elsewhere to be fabricated), and I don't do nearly enough sketching, especially indepth sketching or painting, to post. That's going to change!