By Pete Vonder Haar | January 28, 2006

Me and planes.

To start with, the schedule at this year’s festival was pretty grueling. I saw 21 movies and a shorts festival over the course of six days, most of the reviews are currently up (I haven’t been able to will myself to sit down in front of a computer to bang out the last two yet). Combine that with having to actually try and come up with something remotely interesting and unique to say about all of them in a timely manner, and you come up with little time to blog or do much of anything else.

This applies to everyone, by the way. Don and Mike shared equivalent burdens, while Eric and Mark not only saw movies but conducted interviews and edited the site to keep the coverage lively. We would’ve loved to have partied more, believe me, but we just plain ran out of time.

Which brings me to Friday. My flight left SLC at 10:30, taking me to Phoenix to pick up my eventual connection back to Houston. A good idea in theory, except for some reason my Houston flight was cancelled, apparently while I was in the air. Not that anyone at America West bothered to tell me, of course, I had to hear it from The Wife after landing. Sure enough, the 1:15 to IAH was scuttled, leaving me to scramble to get on the next available flight, which left at 7:15. This was, of course, delayed until 8 PM.

Sky Harbor isn’t a bad place to spend 7 or so hours. There are several bars, and ample places to plug in a laptop with a DVD player to watch movies (Return of the Living Dead and several Season 5 Simpsons episodes). You also get to meet interesting people, like the guy going to Portland with his girlfriend to take a state trooper exam, or the German gentleman who timed his layover so he could watch the semifinals of the Australian Open. When you want to get home as badly as I did, however, it sucks a*s.
Still, this was my best Sundance. Out of three, this is the first one in which I returned relatively healthy and hangover-free. Saw lots of celebrities, including the aforementioned Roger Ebert, Liz Phair (Don almost fainted when she brushed against him at the Sundance Lounge), Josh Rouse, Michael Rappaport (twice), and Jake Busey. Quite the A-list, I know, and I missed Corey f*****g Feldman by a matter of minutes. Even so, I came home like I always do…drained as if Stormbringer had been inserted into my thorax and about two years older. Good times.

Less than two months until South by Southwest, which – compared to Sundance – is like three days in an opium den. Actually, it’s like that anyway. Plus I can drive and stay with a friend who lives near downtown.

Oh, and the title of this heading is hilarious if you know anything about Arizona’s MLB team. Honest.

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