Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How many people can say they built a trebuchet and won a wine review contest in the same day?

Probably one.  At least today.

And in case you hadn't guessed, that person is ME!

Let me explain.

My Dad has a dark sense of humor, which is no doubt where I got my dark sense of humor.  He has told us many times that when he dies instead of a traditional funeral and burial or cremation he would like us to trebuchet his dead body over South Mountain (the mountain his front porch overlooks).  He is the reason why I know the difference between a catapult and a trebuchet because he is very adamant that it must be a true trebuchet.  He is undeterred by our pleas that he consider what might happen to some poor hiker on the Appalachian Trail if he is suddenly smashed by a dead body falling from the sky.  And strangely enough, The Oatmeal's plans for his own funeral are almost identical, but my Dad came up with this idea YEARS ago.

This background is all to explain why I am building my dad a trebuchet for Christmas.  Because he already has everything else, and I enjoy the idea of him using it to fling little wooden balls down the hallways of NIST.  Plus I am a big fan of giving people homemade things for Christmas, and since I made this he is required to like it since he is my parent.

The kit arrived a couple days ago, and I eyeballed it dubiously.  I do not really enjoy building things but I decided to look at it as more of a craft and I dove in.  I managed to get about 3 minutes into it when I realized I didn't have any wood glue, and also that you're supposed to fill the counterweight with 78 pennies.  Since I had just dumped all my pennies into a Coinstar machine, the trebuchet would have to wait.

So last night and today I put it together, and it was surprisingly kind of fun!  Plus I now know how to tie a hangman's knot and a double figure-of-eight knot, skills that I'm sure will serve me well in the future.  It actually works, and it actually looks just like it's supposed to:
Check out all those knots
And even better, while I was building the trebuchet, I got a call from The Wine Kitchen in Frederick, informing me that Will and I won their contest to write a review for Alysian Chardonnay when we were on a date there a couple weeks ago.  We get a $30 gift card, and our review will appear on the cards they hand out when you order it in the restaurant!  I am extremely excited because #1 we LOVED the restaurant, but it's a bit pricey.  The gift card will help with that next time!  And #2 we were a bit (actually a lot) buzzed when we wrote the review and we felt the need to use the term "f*ck-ton" in the last sentence, then we left the card on the table and hurried out before anyone read it.  They seemed to enjoy it though, because the manager who called me said "Everyone who voted was unanimous that your review should win" and "We all appreciated your liberal-ness".  I am assuming they will be taking the last sentence off before they print it on the cards though.

So I am feeling pretty good about my varied talents right about now.  Possibly even good enough to consider keeping these shoes that arrived today that I ordered to wear in my sister's wedding:

I guess "4" heels" didn't register until I actually saw them in person.  At least I'll look super-cute for the 10 minutes I'll be able to wear them before my feet fall off.

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