Wednesday, July 29, 2009

trash reading

having not had a completely free weekend in weeks and with the husband out of town, last weekend i had a million and one things i wanted to do. rake and weed the yard, clean the house, go to the farmers market, make and can tomato sauce...

but i nixed all that and sat like a lump while i plowed through twilight. i had received this book as a birthday gift more than 3 months ago and had almost forgotten i'd had it. until our visit with friends last weekend when sara was completely absorbed in finishing the second book and moving on to the third. so i thought, you know, i just need to read it.

and read it i did. all weekend long! i loved just sitting and being engrossed in a book. i've not done that in a really long time. and i have to say, i really enjoyed it! the first 1/2 of the book was a whole lot better than the second half. the dangerous romance, attraction vs. repulsion. all that stuff was great. really well written. once the book got on there were a lot of things that i was like, well now that doesn't quite make sense. but even still i found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next.

now i'm more than 1/2 way through the second book, new moon. and even though i'm not liking this one as much as i liked the first, i'm still really compelled to keep reading. but i find the main character, bella, to be awfully whiny and annoying. and it's totally predictable. but i still want to know what happens. so i'm off to read some more...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a hawaiian party, box stores, and africans

i'm just catching up a bit on posts. there's either been too much going on all at one time or not enough going on to really talk about. on the one hand it seems like our life is always full of stuff and we're always on the go. but on the other hand, it also always seems like i don't have much to say on my blog anymore. go figure.

but here are some fun things we've done lately.

this past weekend we went to charlotte to visit some friends. that was a good time and visiting them always reminds us that we don't get up there to see them often enough. we went to a hawaiian-themed party and watched a bunch of people get really drunk. can you tell your age when you enjoy watching other people get drunk more than you yourself enjoy getting drunk? perhaps. we picked up some styrofoam bras, lais and this cool hat as attire for the party. sadly, most people didn't notice the irony of my husband wearing a shark on his head.*

umm, do you know you have a shark on your head?

while in charlotte we also got to visit some of our favorite box stores that are not in our city. we spent like 2 hours walking around ikea (and we could've spent more!). and did a quick run-through at trader joes--enough to at least pick up some hummus and some other tasty treats. humm, good eatin' week!

this week we also went to a goodbye party for some of our international friends who have/will be leaving columbia soon. we've only known these folks for the summer, but they sure were great people. the party was a blast too. we ate some good food, listened to great music, danced, and played "big booty." you know it!

baldman dancing african!
which one is the white boy and which is the african? their moves are so smooth, you can't even tell!

vieux and malik dancing
vieux and malik dancing

amina cracking up playing "big booty"
amina literally rolling on the floor in laughter while we played big booty

the crew
best of luck amina, jean mark, malik, vieux (sp?), and aigul!

*for those who don't know, my husband has a phobia of sharks. you read that right, not just a fear. a phobia. yet, at the same time, he is so often drawn to them as well...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

one tomato

you may have noticed that i've not talked a lot about my garden this year. last year i took a bunch of pictures and talked a lot about it. but that's because we had a relatively successful garden last year. but this year's a whole different story.

this year i decided to do as much from seed as i possibly could do. so i used saved seed from fruits and veggies i'd gotten last year from the farmer's market and our farm share. and so far the only things that we've actually gotten fruit out of are the 2 things i bought as seedlings (banana peppers and green peppers). the rest (2 types of cucumbers, 3 types of tomato, watermelon and cantaloupe) have grown very well and given flowers, but they've not actually produced anything. this could be the seed, or it could be a lack of something in the soil. or because it's too hot. or because we've given it too much water. or too little water. you get the idea. the things i've read have basically said it could be anything. it's just so disappointing.

that is, until today. this evening baldman pointed out our very first tomato on the plant. so maybe things are changing? let's hope.

by the way, we've decided to move the garden next year to the side of the house where it will get a bit more sunlight. and we're also going to do it right this time by testing the soil. if we take a few bits of our dirt and bring it to the local extension agent they will tell us if our soil needs to have nutrients added to it to help the growing. so that should definitely help, i'd think.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

weekend in nj/ny

baldman and i were fortunate to have been able to spend an extended weekend in new york/new jersey this weekend. the official reason we were in the area was to attend an international social work conference. but the bonus was that we got to see some friends and family.

the conference actually turned out to be a bit different from what we were originally anticipating. turns out it was mostly for faculty and staff associated with social work schools to network and see what each other is doing in terms of international research, international field placements, and other things like that. like the troopers that we are, baldman and i made the most of it, distributing our cards and talking to as many people as we could. i think we came out of with some good information and a little more guidance on what we want to do. if nothing else, it gave us a little "fire under our butts" to continue to pursue the international goals that we have.

the conference was held here in jersey city. the view from the hotel was spectacular!

the city view from the hyatt in jersey city

the conference was also only a few blocks from where my sister lives, so we got to stay at her pad. too bad she was out of town the entire weekend. we enjoyed her facilities, though. thanks, rach! and her dog, oscar, was even manageable!

rachel and oscar

we had one evening in glorious teaneck, nj and had a nice visit with some good friends. plus we ate awesome crispy tofu at a scrumptious restaurant! sorry i didn't take any pictures of that. :( we also got to see melissa and tim and meet their new daughter, ann. oh my! is she cute! it was amazing for me to see someone i know so well all of a sudden take on an entirely new role, parent! they're doing a great job of it so far. here are some cute shots i took during the 2 brief visits we had with them.

ann barely awake

baldman and ann

the proud daddy

melissa and fussy ann

the mcaree family

and here's a shot of baldman knocking ghost skulls in the ms. packman arcade at the vince lombardi service area off the jersey turnpike. we were killing time before we had to pick my sister up at the newark airport.

baldman killing time by playing ms. packman

Monday, July 13, 2009

vote for erica and parker

i'll write about our extended weekend in nyc soon. but for tonight i need to urge you, friends, to vote for erica and parker as the best roommate of the year!

i'll just quote her to explain it.

Team Gerdes entered a contest at for Roommate of the Year in the "Purr-fect Pet" category. We dressed Parker up in some (though, not all) of her amazing costumes, and made a cheesy fun video of the two of us being dorks. The grand prize for the contest is what they are calling the "ultimate bailout package"--$22,000 (a year's rent, plus $10,000). If we won that, we would be completely out of debt--HECK YEAH! See our super special video here.


So I need your help.
The next phase of the competition is voting-- the final say is 60% vote and 40% judges opinion. To vote, you have to create an account, but then you can vote once a day every day til August 2nd. Even if I don't win the grand prize, the second prize is $500, and they are awarding 4 second prizes-one for each category remaining after the winner is chosen. There are only 2 finalists for my category, so chances are good!!

So please help us out and vote! I appreciate it so much!
Thank you!

Special thanks to Ken Barnard, who told me about the contest. You rule, Ken!

so please, friends! help my sister-in-law get out of debt by opening an account and voting for her every day between now and august 2!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

welcome baby ann

ann lopata mcaree
june 3 at 2:00 AM
7 lb 1 oz
21" long

congratulations melissa and tim!

*update: i forgot to mention that this picture is courtesy of bella baby.

the transformation to yuppy-hood...

is almost complete.

first we bought a subaru. now we just biked to our local farmers market*. getting closer. closer.

*which was awesome by the way. it just moved to our neighborhood and it was bumping in there!