After six days at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, I’m back to normal life on Hooker Street in Denver – where the upstairs neighbors are loud, cars get stolen from right in front of the house, and Greebs got sprayed by a skunk on Monday.

In some ways, I would very much like to go back to the glamorous.

But in more ways, I am so happy to be home.

Having never experienced such a saturation of famous people all in one place, I have to say that it was bizarre. For all its intrigue, celebrity culture is… unnatural. And from what I observed, often it’s not the celebrity who is strange (in fact, most of them struck me as lovely and normal people), but their handlers; the entourage and staff can make things awkward for everyone else. There’s a lot of “protection” of the “talent” that goes on – and yes, I’m sure it’s for good reason, but when you’re a very average girl from Colorado who drives a Subaru worth less than the painting on the wall and are dutifully abiding by the strict order not to freak out, is it really necessary for someone’s publicist to treat you like trash?

That said, I had such a blast. It was a very cool opportunity – something I would never have otherwise had access to, as it was heavy on the wrist bands and badges and credentials. My team was offering our product as part of a gifting suite (you know, where the already-privileged get more stuff for free), and it was a treat to see so many faces that I recognized from television, movies, and music.

And on that note, here are my Thoughts and Opinions on People I Don’t Know At All.

Helen Hunt is stunning. I’ve always thought of her as “average-to-pretty,” but in real life, she is positively luminescent.

I hope to age like Blythe Danner more than I hope to age like Neil Young.

Kirsten Dunst is cute, but not as cute as Greta.

William H. Macy is a 60-year old hipster – and he somehow makes it look cool.

Emily Blunt has flawless (no, really – flawless) skin.

Michael Cera has a mustache. Oh dear. Even without a mustache, I kind of can’t do the Michael Cera thing.

I thought that Lake Bell was Amanda Peet. Good thing I didn’t say that out loud. She was very sweet, and generous with her smile.

The All State guy is a presence. I mean, we’re talking about President David Palmer, people. I wanted him to record my voicemail message, but couldn’t get up the guts to ask him.

The most beautiful person I saw all weekend was Melanie Lynskey. Yes, the friend from “Coyote Ugly.” Yes, the friend from “Sweet Home Alabama.” Yes, the eternal friend-in-the-background who I wish all the spotlight she could ever want. Given her company at Sundance, she might seem a strange pick for “most beautiful person,” but I stand by it. She was absolutely lovely, in a very accessible way.

The nicest person I talked to all weekend was Kevin Sorbo. You know him as Hercules. I know him as tall and strapping and – by comparison to everyone else around – supremely normal.

Elijah Wood is as Frodo-ish as you would expect Frodo to be.

Kate Bosworth is sharp around the edges – all knees and elbows and shoulder bones. I hope she eats a hamburger soon.

The two people that I really, really wanted to lay eyes on but never did were Liv Tyler and John Krasinski. Actually, I DID see Liv Tyler – but it was only from behind, and the only thing I thought was, “She has skinny calves.” So.

I came home with some awesome free swag of my own, a love for Park City, and solidified friendships with my co-workers. All in all, I say SUCCESS.

And now, back to real life: emails, working out, and eating things other than “blackberry braised venison” and “lime-butter scallops” and “lamb three ways.” So – that’s a bummer.



  1. kateanon on January 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Damn, you were so close and I missed you. Glad you had a great time.

  2. Maria on January 25, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Have you seen Melanie Lynskey in “Away We Go”? She is absolutely haunting. Plus John Krasinski’s in it too. Win-win.

    Glad you had fun. :) And I hope you genuflected when you saw President Palmer. It’s only appropriate – he saved the world (or at least greater Los Angeles) MORE THAN ONCE.

  3. rachel on January 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I have to admit that I am so jealous. As much as I fight it,and won’t let myself indulge, I love the celebrity world.

  4. Greta on January 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I can’t wait to talk about it and hear more. So glad the friendships with your co-workers solidified. I can’t believe how many famous people you saw!

    Thanks for saying I’m cuter than Kirsten Dunst. :)

  5. Andrea on January 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    omg,omg, you met Elijah Wood, I have loved him since I was eight. Yes, I have loved him for 20 years and he is a huge reason why I started dating my husband. I have so much jealousy in my heart right now. But in a good way. omg.

  6. hootenannie on January 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Andrea, OMG, right? I mean, “The War”? “North”? “Huck Finn”? “Forever Young”? He was my elementary-into-middle-school crush, for sure. Then, around 8th grade, I surpassed him in height and weight, and moved on to Christian Bale, who – hopefully – I will never surpass in height and weight.

  7. Andrea on January 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I remember around the time he did “Flipper,” my sister made an off-handed comment that he was going through a “homely stage” and I completely flipped out at her. “ELIJAH WOOD IS NOT HOMELY AND HE WILL NEVER BE HOMELY.”

    Sounds like Sundance was amazing & fun. You are amazing & fun, too.

  8. [not the] Best Blog Ever on January 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    YES. I have been WAITING for this update. THANK YOU! And – amazing.

  9. Beth on January 25, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I’ve been waiting for this post too. Thanks for letting me live through you. Such excitement for you…way to make it sound all normal and everything.

  10. Shelby Tate on January 25, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    You, Miss Annie are so wonderful and bring so much joy to my life with your words.
    I’m so glad you got to go to Sundance! Thanks for sharing your wonderful observations.

  11. ali ashmead on January 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    love this post! your honesty whether about the mundane or the insane is so refreshing.

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