Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sundancin': Fin

[Witty opening line; I'm all out].

Today we had no movies scheduled (this is very unorthodox at Sundance, but I convinced Dad to embrace a day of slacking), so we took a scenic drive. I drove from Park City out to Kamas, Utah, my first time on an interstate highway (for those of you who don't know, I just got my license last January at age 25). I got to zoom around twisty mountain roads, and only made my Dad cringe once! Also, the scenery was beautiful. We saw farms framed by snowy mountains, and people ice-fishing on a frozen lake. There were many cow alerts (for the uninitiated, a cow alert is when you see a cow and yell "Cow Alert!") We stopped at a local diner in Kamas that turned out to be quite good, and convinced me once and for all that small town folk are mostly not flannel-clad yokels who own shotguns (an un-PC suspicion that I've harbored since an unfortunate trip to a store in West Texas in 1993, when I witnessed a man purchase a loaf of white bread and a box of bullets. True story.)

When we got back to the house, Dad retired to read his Julia Child book and I started nursing a nasty candy craving. I've been re-reading Steve Almond's book Candyfreak -- a must-read for anyone who has an unhealthy fixation on chocolate -- and the sensual descriptions of all of the confections got me kind of ... well, if there is a way that a mouth can be classified as horny, mine was. I went to the 7-Eleven to get my fix, and was overjoyed to find, among the Snickers and Twix bars, some of the nostalgic, old-school candy Almond writes about, namely, the Big Hunk and the Cherry Mash. I also spotted a box of -- be still my heart! -- chocolate-covered Tootsie Rolls. Tootsies are my favorite candy, bar none, but as far as I'm concerned there isn't much room for improvement (do not even say that there are fruit-flavored Tootsies. They are dead to me.) I bought an obscene amount of candy and returned home, where I dumped it all out on Dad's bed and we had a gluttonous picnic. The Cherry Mash -- an odd sort of giant truffle filled with sickly-sweet cherry filling and covered in crushed peanuts and milk chocolate -- was pretty gross, but, a true freak, I ate the whole thing. Ditto for the Big Hunk (which wasn't gross but also wouldn't qualify as good), a stiff bar of vanilla taffy filled with roasted peanuts. I also had half a Snickers and, though I found them severely disappointing (Tootsies, it turns out, are best in their natural state; chocolate overwhelms the delicate Tootsie flavor), half the box of my big find.

I took a bath in a sugar-induced coma, then prepared for the day's big event: the Sundance Closing Ceremonies. I wasn't sure what to expect, as Sundance is famous for shunning Hollywood glitz, but if there's one thing I love it's an awards ceremony, so I was pumped. We hopped the theater shuttle to the Park City Racquet Club, where the ceremony was being held. Upon entrance we got a ticket check, a bracelet, and a stamp, all of which were checked meticulously to make sure we belonged. We sat ourselved in the Donors section and waited for the magic to happen.


Here are some things about the Sundance Awards Ceremony that are better than the Oscars:
1. There is an open bar and snacks throughout
2. People wear jeans to present
3. People (okay, one) say 'fuck' in their acceptance speech

Here are some things that could use some tweaking:
1. People who get drunk at the open bar feel compelled to share their opinions with me while I am trying hard to be anti-social
2. There is no orchestra to tell the winner 'Okay, wrap it up', which results in (justifiably thrilled) first-time winners going on for ten to fifteen minutes, with no notes, about how awesome their craft service guy was
3. You can't make fun of anyone's clothes because the playing field has been leveled; it's all jeans, all the time.

All in all, it was really fun, mostly because my favorite (okay, the only one I saw, but still) documentary, Hear and Now, won the audience award. You have to see this movie. The old couple in the film, the Taylors, are the most adorable people on the planet and I need them to adopt me. I know how to sign "I love you", "bullshit", and the chorus of "Joy to the World" (the Jeremiah was a bullfrog song, not the Christmas Carol), so you know, I'm pretty ready.

The party after the ceremony was kind of crowded and full of people we didn't know. Dad and I both are very social when we're with friends, but when we're faced with a crowd of strangers, our instinct is to hit the bar and then go home and read, which is exactly what we did. So here I am, tired, happy, looking forward to going home to Jeff and my New York life.

It's been a great trip.

Thanks for reading.

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