FEA - Future Engineers of America

Last weekend Big E's Brownie troop attended the UT Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day event. Events that are Girls Only or Boys Only have usually rubbed me the wrong way since my gut feeling is that by making it "special" it actually just draws attention to the fact that there are more boys in engineering than girls. Why this is acceptable but we wouldn't dream of having an Introduce a [insert group here] to Engineering Day to highlight some other group's minority status in the College of Engineering, is beyond me.

ANYWAY, we went and Big E had a great time. She was a little unsure about it all but she won a prize at the first event and she was sold whole-heartedly on the glories of engineering. Asked to devise a floating watercraft made only of one square piece of aluminum foil on which to pile coins and accumulate as much money as possible, Big E spent 45 minutes creating her boat, collecting
change from all over the room and methodically dispersing her coins evenly over the structure, careful to use only quarters and dimes since it was a contest for the greatest dollar amount, not just number of coins. The engineering student who was helping her with this was thoroughly in her court and helped her shake down other students (he practically pounced on one girl who was trying to scoop up our stash of coins) for money to add to the boat until it finally sank under the tremendous weight at 2:47 pm, CST with cargo amounting to $13.26. The rest of the day was filled with gumdrop dome structures, cotton ball catapults, etc...fun, fun, fun. When asked by an engineering student at the end of the event what the girls wanted to be when they grew up (obviously going for an enthusiastic "ENGINEER!" yelled in unison), she instead got "teacher!" and "veterinarian!" as answers. Kids are so honest.

Veggin' Out

To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse? (or something like that), Cleanliness is next to Godliness, or to quote Cervantes, "All will come out with the washing". Well, let's hope so. I'm on Day 6 of a 21 day cleanse and, all things considered, not doing too badly. I think
about food A LOT and, as my friends can attest, find myself talking about it a lot. I find myself flipping over to the Food Network. Really, it's not too bad. It could be so much worse. The basic rules are stick to vegetables and fruits (2:1 ratio), no grains of any type, no dairy, no meat, seeds, beans, or nuts, no sugar, no chocolate filled croissants, no brownies, no caffiene or alcohol, no fast food. You get the idea. Drink between two-five only moderately gritty protein shakes a day and you're good to go! Eat as many low-glycemic veggies you can choke down...I mean....as you want a day, and flush the toxins out of your body and down the bowl. Oh, and take 30 foul-smelling capsules a day. Yes, it's just that easy!

I know cleansing seems to be quite the fad lately, or at least has gotten lots of press (that IS why I do things, isn't it?). I know people who've done the Master Cleanse and swear to it's efficacy. Personally, the thought of drinking lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper isn't too pleasant and the salt water flush sounds like a Barf-fest. That's one way to cleanse, I guess. So, at least I get to EAT. My Cleansing Buddy left a message for me last night in hushed tones that she thought we ought to be able to eat Terra Chips Spiced Sweet Potato chips since they're cooked in "canola and/or safflower oil". We're supposed to avoid canola but safflower is okay. The "OR" is critical on the ingredients list and we went with it. Sweet thing that she is, she bought a bag for me when she got her own. I was probably violating the Spirit of the Cleanse when I ate almost the whole bag this afternoon.

Sweet Potato chips aside, I have a feeling bordering on pride for getting this far without cheating. I've never been one for self-discipline, having been fortunate that my whims never led me too far down the path of illegal or dangerous activities. When opening a box of Girl Scout cookies my attitude tends to be to eat the whole box and get it over with as soon as possible rather than drag out the inevitable. Unfortunately, this attitude was starting to spill over into other foods, so I was getting into trouble. So, to sit at the donut shop with Little A while he gobbled down his post-vaccination donut, or watch Big E tear through her chocolate-filled croissant after our mother/daughter No-School Monday lunch is a small triumph for me. 5 down, 16 to go.


Red River, NM.

Good, fun trip.....once we got there and once we got home. Great to see family, great to see Little A ski for the first time and to see Big E ski faster than me...down some BLACK runs, no less! BUT, I'm not convinced 28 hours in the car is a balanced trade-off for 12 hours of skiing. Perhaps you've asked yourself "How many Dairy Queens are there between Austin and Red River?". I lost count by the time we got to Abilene, but let me assure you that you will never be far from a Dilly Bar. Or perhaps you've asked yourself "Just how big is West Texas?". Once again, let me assure you....it's darn big. I learned not to take gas stations for granted. Under the impression that gas stations, due to some oil and gas phenomenon, naturally occur ever 20 -30 miles we were in great jeopardy of being stranded since this isn't necessarily the case, especially at night in west Texas. The car was running on fumes and sheer will (I'm sure my intense pushing and squeezing on the steering wheel is what gave us the little extra oomph we needed to coast into the gas station after an hour of saying "Surely the NEXT town will have an open gas station"). Who knew sheer will was combustible? All in all, I'm glad we went. The view of the foothills as we drove out of the mountains just after sunset with the crescent moon rising over the hills and Venus beside it against a royal blue sky....great ending to a great weekend.

The Plunge

Well, I have finally succumbed to the self-inflicted pressure to create a blog. All my friends are doing it. It's the "in" thing to do. My family is always wondering "What would Bubble Girl do?". And I certainly don't want to turn into the equivalent of one of those people who never mastered their remote control or call their 20 year old VCR something along the lines of that New Fangled TV Recorder-thingy. Plus, anything that will help me remember happenings in my life that occurred beyond 30 minutes ago, has to be good, right?