Sunday, February 8, 2009

Peds Gala Dinner = nostalgic fun

On Saturday night Andrew and I attended the U of A, Pediatrics Annual Gala Dinner. For some reason my department is provided with free admission and it's hard to pass up complementary $60 tickets that include a full, four course dinner and dancing. Granted last year's gala was not so...awesome. It was the first time I went and I purchased an absolutely gorgeous dress from BCBG Max Azaria (it was 50%). The food was okay, but the entertainment was not so entertaining. A Star Wars/Star Trek theme had been selected (it was primarily Star Trek with a little Darth Vader thrown in for fun). The skit dragged on and on and was not funny at all . The dance didn't start until late, probably 10:00 p.m. or so, by which time many people were tired and went home.

This year's gala was a drastic improvement. The theme was "Sweetheart Swirl" and was meant to be reminiscent of a high school Valentine's Day dance. When we arrived we were offered 80's paraphernalia, such as funky sunglasses, a single sequenced glove for the men, neon-coloured fingerless fishnet gloves for the ladies, etc. Since I'd taken the trouble to gussied myself up, I wasn't really interested, but Andrew grabbed a hair-thingy with feathers--it duplicates nicely as a cat toy. The ballroom was decorated with red and pink (including balloon arches), I was actually quite impressed.

Dinner was good, the highlights being at the beginning and the end of the meal. It started with a phyillo-wrapped bree/onion confit thing and ended with a delicious raspberry mousse served in a chocolate bowl. The comedienne was actually funny (imagine that!). She'd clearly done her research so her jokes were full of doctor/medical references, which pleased the crowd. The best part of the evening was definitely the dance, lead by a live band. The band included a keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, bass guitar and three singers who took turns on lead vocals. They performed covers from the 1970's and 1980's. I think Andrew and I got onto the dance floor for the first dance and stayed out there the whole night.

I used to dance a fair bit in undergrad. I probably went out either in Kitchener or Toronto a couple of times a month and generally my goal was to stay on the dance floor all night. I haven't done that in years. In fact, I haven't done that since the Canada Day weekend of 2004. I went out with my friend Josh in Waterloo and it was the first and only time I wound up sick from drinking too much. At any rate, during the past five years I've had the occasional chance to dance here and there, either at the U of A social dance club, or at a couple of work-related events, but never to dance from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., taking breaks only when the band did. As a result my legs and butt are sore, still (this is Monday)! But it was fun and it was worth it. It makes me miss going out, but now that I'm almost thirty going out to bars would probably make me feel really old.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures, but I think the event organizers had a professional photographer there, so if I find any online, I'll post them (Because Andrew and I have a basic competency in swing dancing we tend to get our picture taken at these types of things).



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