Tag Archives: Sundance

PIB’s and Gwyneth Paltrow

Oh, I can imagine Park City UT all a-twitter these days, what with a movie star and a rich doctor in court over a Deer Valley ski incident. It’s “mud season” there now, what normal people call Spring. Post-ski, pre-summer activities. Luckily when I lived there, mud season was when the Greater Sandhill Cranes came to the Preserve to mate, guard their eggs and raise their colts before flying back to New Mexico in the Fall. Now THAT was fun to watch!

Sundance Film Festival came every year. We called the famous visitors PIB’s, People In Black. Most often, at the grocery store, we’d run into SPIB’s, the Slaves of People In Black. They were easy to spot, with a shopping cart blocking the aisle so no locals could do their regular grocery shopping, going through every jar of jam until they hopefully came upon the esoteric fruit their boss craved. Their hauteur knew no bounds. How dare we mere mortals even get near them while they were accommodating their masters’ wishes.

One year I thought it’d be nice to volunteer for Sundance so I put in my application, having worked my way through college at Chautauqua Institution (where Salman Rushdie was nearly fatally attacked last year), a lecture and performing arts venue. A month later, I got a job. I would be standing out in the freezing, snowy weather keeping film-goers in lines until 2 a.m. Nope. Not I. I explained that I was older and have arthritis so can’t be standing out in the cold all night throughout the Festival.

So they gave me a better job. Indoors. Yea! Verifiying credentials. I was to be the person to tell fake press that their credentials were invalid and to go to the end of the line for tickets like everyone else. A volunteer job to deny entry to the big ticket event! Wow. Alas, I couldn’t take it as my husband’s company laid off a third of its tech force and we moved away.

Sundance is a big deal there, but it’s brief, as is this crazy ski injury of the century trial, but life goes on. It’s usually pretty normal, and I even learned to love mud season! Cheers! Dee


Living in a Small Town

How would you like it if you only had to pick up a pair of pants that had been hemmed and were charged $20 to park! I let my husband hop out of the car at the curb and drove around and picked him up ten minutes later. We’re locals and as of two days ago we couldn’t drive down our own street because of the Sundance Film Festival.

It’s a powerful festival and I’m glad it exists, as I’m glad Hot Docs exists in Canada (that’s my cousin). But we live here and don’t live the party life, or line up to see stars on the red carpet. We live on a small drive and there are 14′ snowbanks flanking it so one cannot see cars coming. Often there’s a lot of snow and there are no sidewalks so we walk our dog on the street occasionally, otherwise it’s a snow-covered path that we love but need boots. Weekend/week-long ski guests and especially Sundance people who stay here during the Festival drive very fast while talking on their cell phones and don’t care if they frighten locals or their dogs.

So Zoe now has, as of yesterday, an LED collar that lights up or even flashes and we have buttons on our coats that we can turn on as well to make us visible to traffic. Still no visibility from behind but we’ll see what one button does at the back of the leash.

Today, one of our favorite restaurants (I tried a new dish, Steve the owner will be pleased!) was packed at lunch. The crowds will be leaving today but enough people will be around for the next few months skiing to stay busy.

Who are we? We are the locals that allow these enterprises to get through the five months they have to depend on us to carry them through. This year, they know we’re there for them just as they’re here for us. We appreciate all our local farms and businesses. Cheers, Dee

Thanks, Top Chef

Tonight we had 1/3 Buitoni meal, fresh pasta that was prominently displayed at one local market. I wasn’t sure where to look for it but found it quickly. After shoveling snow to grill the past few evenings it was nice to have pasta with pesto and extra parm.

I added grape tomatoes as a side, my husband’s raw and mine sauteed because I can’t eat the skins. It was a quick, very tasty dinner that didn’t use every dish and utensil.

We’ll be glad when the Sundance people leave as they leave trash everywhere, don’t know how to drive and are quite rude to the locals. We are very happy that the businesses we keep in business in the off-months are making money. Thanks for reading, Dee

Famous People and and Selves

As I become wiser I know to look to someone who lives their art. Sundance opened today and it is a huge extravaganza of parties, are there movies? I don’t know. We’re recent “locals” who didn’t get our tix three months ago.

When it comes to movies, books I look for a basic truth in the story (even if it’s an animated fable). The storyteller lived something or got to know someone to tell the tale. I may have to wait for the Oscars to be awarded to a film I did not see, but as an outsider I see Sundance as something its founder may not have wanted it to be. A bunch of rich Hollywood folks competing for titles. There are other indie gatherings but this is star-studded and the place to be this winter.

While us locals will not be able to go to restaurants for the next couple of weeks these folks are propping up the sad economy and should be commended.

It is a gift for a writer of non-fiction, poetry, song or prose to sound like themselves in the final product. I have the privilege to know a few who can transcend everything and write or play or sing and create a unique profile. I wish I could, instead I study or am lax in my studies, and marvel at all the wonderful people I’ve met in my life that has made that life richer for meeting and knowing them.


The PIB’s are back. This is our first year living up here on the mountain during Sundance. PIB, in localese, means Person In Black. We couldn’t find a parking space downtown Park City and the festival hasn’t even started yet, so ended up coming home to a local fish restaurant with a neighbor who flew in to get ready for Sundance people to come in. As I believe I’ve mentioned, the window for “locals” to get tix was first week of November. Who knew?

Apparently roads and restaurants will be packed until end of the month and the only way to see a film is to camp out in the cold and hope that someone sells you a ticket on the street before the film begins. Not for me. I’d rather be invited.

Our neighbor is a musician and documentary film maker. Very interesting folks we meet up here. Sometimes because we have dogs, sometimes a burst pipe. Anyway, he took me to see another property and while it doesn’t work for us (doesn’t give me an office or the ability to get our “stuff” out of storage) it’s fascinating to see other neighborhoods and homes as we may have to look sooner rather than later. We love this place and it’s ideal except we need a two-car garage and more storage space. And our stuff!

I have to have a working kitchen, whenever we’re anywhere longer than a week. At my age the nomadic lifestyle should be packed in a bag in the attic, but instead we have high ceilings! I don’t mind it usually, but for five years we’ve had a dog, so it’s going to be more difficult as time goes on. Going out to eat 3X per day is more than I can take. If my father complained about our talking about food at family gatherings, having to get everyone together and go to a restaurant B, L, and D is insurmountable. Give me a flat where I can make eggs or a bowl of cereal with fruit and a glass of juice. Let my husband go to lunch with the guys from work while I have a grilled cheese sandwich I made at home. And in Scotland I’ll make my own burgers, not the hockey pucks they serve in restaurants, but I will go out for mussels and fresh salmon!

We are very lucky to have our place overlooking the nature preserve as we’ve seen elk and coyotes and watched the Greater Sandhill cranes rear a young colt. They’ll be back in March and it would be a joy to see them again. No, I don’t have a high-tech camera with huge telephoto lens but I’ll try my best to get you some wildlife shots this year.

It’s time for pot roast and stew. I’m going to make chicken fajitas tonight (was last night until we neighbors decided to go out) then Mom’s simple pot roast if I can find the right meat. It’s also a good time for my Beef Carbonnade, with beef, onions, bacon and beer. Can I find egg noodles up here? Nothing says warmth and coziness than hot beef stew in front of a fireplace. Cheers! Dee