Sunday, September 07, 2008

"Mardi Gras in Hawaii"?

Now that the semester has begun, it's grad student party season--that is, before everyone gets too bogged down to think of such things. Our first large-scale event (there have already been new-student-welcomes, comps-completion-celebrations, and such) was a celebration of Travis's 29th birthday. Since Travis has a very fine grasp of the truly campy, he chose to go with the theme of "Mardi Gras in Hawaii" and never mind that Lent is not in September or anywhere near. Shalmit offered her apartment as a staging ground, and it was an ideal space for swarms of us, some of whom practiced hula dancing in a circle. Travis and Shalmit can be seen in full costume to the left.
Travis made sure that there were a great many fine accoutrements associated with New Orleans or Hawaii, including beads and leis. I chose a string of glittery purple beads (these were nothing compared to the amazing giant mirror-ball beads that Brianne brought from New Orleans), and Aaron, one of the new grads, chose to be decked out in a couple of leis. Since these photos were taken at the start of the evening, before anyone had consumed any of the punch (note bizarre blue liquid in my glass), perhaps it should be pointed out that Aaron and I have already been to enough events together to pose in a friendly fashion. I like to think that I am partly responsible for his choice of Pittsburgh, as I happened to talk to one of his undergrad professors during CAA (she is another surrealist specialist) and she asked whether I thought he should accept our offer. I said his prospective advisor would work him hard but ensure that he did well. Or something like that. I recommended our program, anyhow.
It might be noted that my lime-green shirt (one of the more tropical items I have in Pittsburgh considering that I left my pseudo-Hawaiian shirt in California after wearing it to another recent Hawaiian-themed party) does seem to make me look much larger than is in fact the case. Had the weather not turned just a tiny bit chilly, I would have stuck to my fine sleeveless bug-print gown. It's not every party that you can wear a dress with pictures of insects all over it to.
And I might also note that Travis received a set of Archelaus cards for his birthday and has already used three of them!

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