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The Sundance Diaries, Part 1: The Golden Ticket

We interrupt our regularily scheduled coverage of virginity to bring you this special dispatch: I've been going to, and writing about, my experiences at the Sundance Film Festival many of the last 11 years. This is part 1 of 3 of this year's Sundance Diaries. Read Part 2 here. Read Part 3 here. If you want some background entertainment, you can read Sundance Diaries archived from 2001 to 2008  here. The 2010 Diaries are here, here, here and here.

Hello from Sundance!

Celebrities seen: 5 Carb units consumed per day: 439 Number of stamps on my hands: 6

I'm back in sunny snowy Park City after a hiatus. I stopped volunteering in 2008, and this year I'm at Sundance as Press doing very fun video interviews with female directors for Women & Hollywood (my first one is here). This is really different from volunteering, and not just because I didn't get an ill-fitting staff jacket, this year in fluorescent orange, to add to my six other ill-fitting staff jackets. For example:

I have no idea who I'm sleeping with!

I'm sharing a typical multi-room ski condo type place with a group of total strangers I met on Craig's list. I'm out of the house long before anyone else wakes up and come home straight to my room to work. Two nights ago I shared my room with another woman, who may or may not be the person who was there the night before. Last night I had the the room to myself.The living room is populated by at least three guys who sleep sprawled out on the couches and floor. I think. There is also a hot tub, but I'm not feeling inspired.

I don't wait in line!

Remember how I used to whine endlessly about standing in the wait list line for two hours for some obscure Swiss coming-of-age film, and then not even getting in? Well, my lovely Golden Ticket of a press badge has gifted me with lots of hard tickets in addition to the daily free Press and Industry screenings. I just show up 5 minutes before the show and there's always a seat. Don't worry - I haven't turned into a positive person. The Sundance shuttle buses really seriously suck this year.

There is food I can eat!

Sundance has discovered that vegetarian food needs to contain protein, and they now have peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches!! This is a profound improvement on doughy cheese pizza and soggy grilled veggie sandwiches I usually encounter. As for vodka, it flows as freely as ever, bless its heart.

I'm going to parties I like!

The best party so far, which was thrown by our past and future fundraising site Kickstarter. There was a mad crush at the front door to get in past a very disorganized list-wielding gate keeper. But this was totally alleviated by spectacular cups of hot whiskey lemonade they were serving to us at the outdoor bar while we waited. Yes, there are outdoor bars in the dead of Utah mountain winter. The fire pit was kind of cozy too, not to mention being entertained by the comedy stylings of a very home-sick New York gal pal, who was doing her best 'don't you know who I am' to anyone within earshot.

I'm noticing celebrities!

My first sighting was Parker Posey at baggage claim when she was getting a luggage cart from one of those machines. I literally ran into Julie Delpy and Chris Rock at the 'Two Days in New York' premiere party, which I only went to because, frankly, I could. There were too many people who looked like extras from Entourage there, so I had a cocktail and got out of there.

My biggest moment of star-struckedness came while I was waiting to do an interview with the directors of the fine documentary 'Finding North' about hunger in America. There I was, at this multi roomed press area, minding my own business, drinking coffee and eating tiny apple danishes from the hospitality buffet, when I realized I was standing right next to Martin Starr. OMG OMG OMG. (Freaks & Geeks! Party Down! Rent immediately!)

I was thinking that if his "Save The Date" co-star Alison Brie walked by I would probably faint. She did, but happily for my professional credibility (all but lost, now) I didn't. But I did note, as the two were being interviewed by a bearded fanboy who wouldn't shut up about Freaks and Geeks, that her voice is like 2 octaves lower than on TV.

And with that I sign off because it's 2:07am and I have a 10am screening of Rory Kennedy's documentary about her mother 'Ethel' in the morning. Lots of info about the films I've seen in the next dispatch.

Good night!