deb gets her blog back

New year, new blog entry. The fall was a pretty busy time for me: I finally designed my business cards, and was rewarded with a contract to redesign a local photographer's website. I'm really happy with the result--and so is he, which is the most important part, right? It's probably one of the "cleanest" designs I've done in a long time (maybe since college), and definitely a successful example of "less is more."

Rugby went well--our team struggled a bit in our first season in competitive (playoff-eligible) play, but things jelled as the season wore on. I played nearly the entire season at second row (my coach referred to it as an "emergency fill-in," which is code for "undersized for the position"). It's a completely different position, one of bursts of strength as opposed to the bursts of speed I'm used to as a flanker. I also cut my teeth as the jumper in the lineouts, which I love.

In my day job, I've been promoted to project manager/designer. While it's a LOT more work than I was used to, I really enjoy the site visits (field trip from the office!) and scouring the building plans. I'm not designing as much as I used to, but I feel that will return in time, as I learn to prioritize my other new responsibilities--dealing with clients, sign takeoffs/message schedules, developing/revising sketches, following thru on the fabrication and installation process in the shop, etc.

A side effect I didn't expect was that my lack of designing at work has led me to be more creative at home. Not only am I organizing (!) my apartment room by room, but I feel more ambitious regarding freelancing. I'm getting my business cards professionally printed, and I even ordered my very own Pantone books on eBay! I feel like a full-fledged designer now :)


injuries galore


I took the opportunity to sketch out a rugger for a book documenting my team's first year in existence. My idea was based on the Operation! board game, which identifies various injured body parts. ("Minute, sir" is what you say to the ref when you need a timeout for injuries, shoelaces, etc.) I asked my teammates to send me a list of their rugby-related ailments; some people were very technical in describing their injuries, others were more candid.

Fortunately for me, there are several shutterbugs on the team, providing me with plenty of angles of body parts and uniforms. I hand-sketched everything, inked it in, scanned it and added color in Photoshop. The face doesn’t belong to anyone in particular; it’s actually modified from a young man’s facial expression on a stock-photo site.

This project consumed a total of 10 hours, 2 beers, 1 margarita and 1 Trader Joe’s Swiss milk chocolate bar.


The Great Quasimoto Incident of 2007

(Subtitle: My Husband Didn't Do It)

In the second half of a very physical game versus Norfolk, I went into a tackle at the same time as my teammate... I made contact a second before she did, and the force of all 3 bodies colliding knocked my face into her head. Amazingly, neither of us was concussed, but after hearing a god-awful squishy noise in my face I hit the ground... when I opened my eyes my face had swelled up already (hence the subsequent nicknames Quasi-face and Lava Lamp). After the sound it made I honestly thought my face was broken, so I went to the ER for a CAT scan, which revealed no broken bones--woohoo!!!

I sat out the following week's game versus Frederick (we won!), and was the last-resort sub for our slaughter of Salisbury... I played the final 7 minutes of the game as fullback, a first for me. All that sprinting I've done definitely paid off; several years ago I always got beat on somebody cutting outside, now I'm fast enough to chase 'em down.

Since I had time to kill, I decided to document the rainbow of colors on my face. Note: some of the images are not for the faint of heart!

note swelling on my right cheek

When Chombo met Lava Lamp

Poor hubby... not easy for him to see me beaten up

the swelling has almost gone away!

the Skittles phase (taste the rainbow...)

sadly, halloween is 6 months away.

looking badass before the Salisbury game.

The discoloration disappeared after 4 weeks... I have a lump the size of an almond under my skin, which is slowly diminishing. I did follow up with my doctor before playing--there is no damage to my eye or eardrum, and I was given the okay to play after 2 weeks.



the altruism of comcast

Comcast has a monopoly of sorts in our area (Verizon FiOS is slowly moving in), allowing them to price gouge like nobody's business. I scrutinize my cable bill almost as much as my credit card bill, they are that bad with the fee increases. Not to mention that we have lost cable several times when other tenants move out of the building and the Comcast contractors switch off the wrong apartment (ours, twice).

Anyhoo, the NFL is suing Comcast b/c the cable behemoth is moving the NFL Network from its digital package to a "sports tier." The NFL believes they'll get less revenue if Comcast moves it to a tier with a smaller subscriber base (they earn their cut per subscriber). Comcast is using an altruistic defense, stating that:

"We bargained explicitly for the right to place the NFL Network on a sports tier because it is the best and fairest solution for all our customers," David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp., said in a statement Thursday. "This decision means that our customers who are NFL fans will be able to watch the NFL Network without burdening those who are not NFL fans with extra costs."

Ha. I highly doubt my cost for the digital packge will decrease after losing one channel.

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poor oreo!

Oreo has bumblefoot! Poor little guy has been bleeding off and on for several days; I'd schedule a vet appointment a couple days in advance and put Neosporin on his feet daily. By the time the appointment rolled around, his foot appeared to heal, so I cancelled it. It opened up again Saturday morning (of course—so I couldn’t get him medical attention for 2 days); their cage looks like a crime scene there are so many bloody pawprints :( I need to sanitize and sand down everything in the cage.

The vet was surprised b/c most bumblefoot cases are usually overweight, have a poor diet and living conditions, etc. but otherwise he’s in perfect health. She wants him on soft bedding (Carefresh) for 6 weeks to allow his foot to heal; their current cage has a grating at the bottom. Sadly, Chewie’s old cage is perfect for this… it’s a little bittersweet since she just died. I have to keep both chins together, since Duster has short-term memory issues and attacks Oreo if they’re separated for a day.

I moved them last night, and they’ve been trying to escape ever since! Every time I walk by their faces are smushed against the bars. Duster sits on top of their wooden box and squeezes between its roof and the top of the cage… I suppose that’s the highest he can get!



second game: an uphill battle

Our second game of the season was fought in a muddy cow pasture in Middle of Nowhere, PA. (Actually, Brandywine is quite scenic, I could just never live that far away from civilization.) It had rained that morning, and the field quickly became full of tacky mudholes--a lovely consistency that sticks to your cleats just enough to slow you down, but not enough to suck them off your feet.

By halftime we were down 10-0 (that's 2 tries, but they missed both conversion kicks), and spent most of the game defending our half of the field. One of our girls pointed out that the field was in fact slanted, and the uphill running was slowing down our game. Sure enough, when we switched sides for the second half, our roles reversed and they barely crossed the 50-meter line. We won 12-10... it definitely pays to have an accurate kicker!



first game: tough loss, great defense

We lost our first game of the season to NOVA (short for Northern Virginia), 15-0. Being the first game of the season there was some rust to shake off, but our defense was pretty damn good; NOVA fought hard for their 3 tries. As much as I love our brand spankin' new uniforms, they're not bullet-proof... we had a bunch of brutal injuries. I tried to recover a loose ball and earned an elbow to the face and my first-ever black eye. At some point in the second half I ended up at the bottom of a collapsed maul, and all the falling bodies bruised my rib. That wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't come down with a sinus infection and bronchitis the very next day... coughing fits + bruised ribs = exquisite pain.

This was also my first game wearing a scrumcap. Mine is decently ventilated, but your hearing is still affected. It was quite a blustery day, and my cap doubled as a wind tunnel the entire freakin' game...