The power of the invite

Yesterday I received my invite to volunteer again at the Sundance Film Festival. As most of you know, it was the SFF and the pumpkin that kicked off this whole blog. As you also may remember, the SFF was a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side: Robert Redford, movies, neat new city, some distraction from the pumpkin, Sarayu. On the flip side: the sofabed, the living room, freezing temps that did not distract from the pumpkin, too many instances of seeing Adrian Grenier, and being too tired to fully appreciate Sarayu. I knew this day would come, though, when I couldn’t really remember the downsides to it. Or, rather, I can remember them, but they don’t seem so bad compared to having another adventure that wouldn’t be as adventurous since I’d already done it. But I shouldn’t even say I “knew” the day would come because I more hoped that it would. See, upon arrival at my Park City residence, I was met with four very kind, veteran ‘dancers who were to be my roommates for the two-week period. In the course of their chatting, it became clear that not everyone who volunteers gets to do it again. They knew several people who were not asked back, some folks who’d even been at the festival for years. I soon learned, too, that our supervisors evaluate us at the end of the festival and having once told one of the Canadians not to yell at me (particularly about something I had nothing to do with), I wasn’t sure how I’d fare. Though throwing me that surprise mini-birthday bash made me think maybe we were all on good terms.  Anyway…

When I got the email that says,

“Based on your service in the past, we would like to invite you back as a volunteer for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be held January 15-25, with additional days or evenings for training as required by position,”

my heart beat a little faster. Especially when I clicked on the application link and it requires I type in the secret log-in name and password. And the site it takes me to is captioned, “Alumni Volunteers.” Is it so wrong to feel excited about that? Who doesn’t want to be asked back? Maybe it’s not so much wrong as just super lame. Nonetheless, while it may be pathetic, it’s pathetic validation. It’s like when someone asks you to be their friend on facebook — whether it’s your best friend or someone you barely remember, it makes you light up a little: someone remembers me! Someone knows me! Me!! There are a TON of people in this world and someone knows me!!! Sad? Maybe. But that’s how it is. For me anyway.

So I know I said I’d talk Edwards — and I will, but I need to do more research and compose myself since when I first heard the news, I was quite hurt — but first I need to air this: Sundance ’09. Is it for me?

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17 Responses to “The power of the invite”


  1. 1 G August 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

    It was a lot of vacation time but think how wonderful it was to be out o Wisconsin in January! Esp. now that there is no winter spet.

  2. 2 kateandgracie August 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

    It was 20 degrees and bad wind chill and my job was standing outside in a wet windtunnel for 7 hours a day. Even my worst Wisconsin days haven’t entailed that. Usually when the weather goes sub-freezing in these parts, I head inside. For at least the bulk of the day.

  3. 3 G August 13, 2008 at 11:14 am

    well at least you wouldn’t have to be at this job… and maybe “alumni” get indoor jobs.

  4. 4 kateandgracie August 13, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Yeah, that’s the other thing, though. I don’t know about another job. I really liked being at the Egyptian because you get to be on the main drag (the only job where that’s the case) and see tons of peeps. And it’s the coolest of the theaters. Anyway.

    And the thing is, too — now that I’m remembering the bad — is that I came back EXHAUSTED. Not exactly relazing. Hmm.

    Also, I want to go to Europa next year. Not that I can afford it, but I want to. And SFF is lots of vacation time. Hmm. Lots to consider.

  5. 5 Sarayu August 13, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    There is a lot to consider. A lot of bad things. Although, I think you would have much better accommodations. I’m sure you would have your own room but it’s still risky. Who knows what kind of crazies you’d be living with. You not only came back exhausted (when you finally got home after that horrendous flight fiasco), you got very sick, and then you had to take more time off of work just to recuperate.

    I think it’s wise to move on. I know it’s difficult to do as I’m sure there’s a pull to meet the “challenge” again, but let’s not forget just how ready you were to get back home, where you had a baby puppy, a cozy, clean home, and people who know how to appreciate you. I mean the lack of organization and basic human rights over there were appalling! Can I just say 8 hour shifts in a wind tunnel? Food? Water?

    And remember how expensive all the bad food was? Oh dear, need I go on?

    I say if you want to take a vacation, take one the helps you feel rested and relaxed, rather than one that exhausts you like extreme sports. I’ll meet you ANYWHERE in europe. And once I book that SR, the whole thing is on me.

  6. 6 Kristin August 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I gotta say, the thought of that tunnel makes me want to puke. You are definitely more seasoned at handling the cold than me and I am just a big baby when it comes to being cold in general, but that just sounded absolutely batty.

    But…then I read Sarayu’s comment and now I definitely think you should do it again! Hee hee.

    Seriously, the only positive thing I can say (except RR and movies) is you never, never know what can happen when you do something the second time around. You could have the best room, meet the bestest people right off the bat, not have to stand in the tunnel AS much. You know what I mean? It could just all come together.

    But, when it comes down to it, if it’s between using your vacation on SD or going to Europe…go to Europe.

    P.S. You can also come to New York for two weeks and I can arrange for you to stand in a tunnel if you feel nostalgic. And you can sleep on my pull-out sofa. 🙂

  7. 7 kateandgracie August 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Ha. Ok. Kristin & Sarayu, you make some excellent, very convincing points. And S, you are right — I did forget how expensive it was to eat there. There were lots of things that were not so good. What I do think was good in way — and maybe in a way I don’t need so much this time around — was some serious alone time and being around folks who I had no attachment to. I kind of liked NOT bonding, actually. My roommates were all very nice and one in particular would always call me and tell me where she was going, what movie she was seeing and where she was going to dinner. But I never really wanted to tag along because I really wanted to be alone. So, I guess I’d have to sort of decide whether I want alone time again or whether I want to try to be social with strangers. And if I don’t really want either, well, then maybe it’s time for something new.

  8. 8 kateandgracie August 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    And maybe a trip to LA or NYC is in the cards instead…

  9. 9 Kristin August 13, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I hear that, about the alone time, no bonding. I totally hear that. Makes total sense.

    Oh Kateness, ultimately I think you need to look inside yourself and decide what’s best. So hard.

    But if you do come to New York…I mean when you come to New York, I will leave you alone whenever you want.
    Forget it, I can’t promise that silly! I haven’t seen you in forever, I wouldn’t be able to do that. 🙂

  10. 10 Heather August 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Didn’t you charge all of us with reminding you NOT to do it again? That being said, I know that flattery is hard to resist, and there were some good parts (I would put adrian grenier stalking you on the good list). If you don’t do it next year can you still be an alumni volunteer in a few years? How much time do you have to apply?

    I would think that a more relaxing vacation might be in the cards for you next year.

  11. 11 Sarayu August 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Well, if there’s one thing I know I about you Sweets, it’s that you will do what you want, no matter what I or anyone else advises. You are so independent and courageous and capable. All the things I admire most about you.

    If you want my honest opinion, I still say don’t do it. If you want to go, I can say that it will likely be a much better experience. I mean it certainly can’t be worse now that you know what you’re in for.

    I think the best thing you can do is live your life exactly the way you want. It’s just too short to do anything otherwise.

  12. 12 kateandgracie August 13, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I’m so lucky to have such good friends.

    And I did charge you with remembering the bad and to remind me of it. It’s so tempting! I don’t think I need to apply until October (although I hate putting things like this off) and the email also said that if I don’t do it next year, don’t worry — they’ll keep me on the list.

    I remain: hmm.

    And my contacts are just BUGGING this week.

  13. 13 kateandgracie August 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I know we’re all in Olympic fever mode, but any thoughts on last night’s PR? Mine are few: I didn’t really dig any of the final products. I think, though, that may have had more to do with Brooke’s choices. I must say, though, that I found that Ms. Shields rather charming.

  14. 14 Sarayu August 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I have much to say. This groups is just ridiculous. I mean, I really think they are a high maintenance mess. It’s disappointing to me how catty they are.

    I liked Kelley up until last night’s episode. Although I don’t think Daniel is brilliant (he really always looks a bit like a six year old at the SAT’s) I didn’t think she was all that great to work with. And I know the judges always get mad at the partner for letting the leader make bad decisions, but some leaders are just too dictatorial and she was certainly one of them. Also, I didn’t think it showed good sportsmanship when she started defending why she should be the one the stay and he should go. That was bad form in my book.

    I was impressed by Keith, who started out competitive and arrogant, as per usual, but then really seemed to listen to Kenley and work well with her. The same goes for Jerell who was a team player from the start with Stella. I have to say, although I wasn’t in love with any either, I definitely liked those two. The collaborative efforts always show on the team projects. I would’ve picked Jerell’s over Keith’s, though.

    Once again this group disappoints me, not so much as designers, as people.

  15. 15 Keyes August 15, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    “Based on your exceptional service in the past, we would like to invite you back as a volunteer advisor for 2009+. Advising will be held January 15-25 and then possibly throughout the year, with additional days or evenings for training as required by position.”

    Secret website, PW, name, identity, location etc. to follow and fyi, not everyone who volunteers for this position is asked back (actually no one but you has ever been asked back for this position).

    Come to NYC!

  16. 16 Gretchen August 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I can’t give any advice on Sundance, as we were not in close enough touch last year for me to appreciate all that the trip entailed, but I do trust your judgment and I must say, it sounds like you’re leaning towards not going again.

    As for me, I am completely against freezing weather any time of year and any place, so I would not go anywhere where I was required to stand outdoors, esp. in a wind tunnel. (My dislike of the cold is the reason why I haven’t stepped foot in my home state of Wisconsin for 9 years now . . .) I vote that you come to Richmond for a pre-Europe trip — we have a guest room in the new house with your name on it.

    As for PR (yes, I’m still watching!), I actually loved Jerell’s design and thought he was adorable with Stella. If we can go back to the week before, however, I really think the designers forgot that ALL athletic body types were going to wear their outfits — not just the little trim ones. I mean, can you see the female weightlifters in some of those outfits?

    And John Edwards, when we get to him . . . I am just grateful that he doesn’t have the nomination. THAT would be disasterous . . . Elizabeth is treated for breast cancer at UNC where my mom was treated last year, and honestly, I struggled with his decision to go ahead and run in the face of her relapse. But I figured that they decided as a couple that this is what they wanted to do . . . her legacy as well as his . . . Am SO disappointed in him . . . don’t these guys know that these little secrets always have a way of coming out??!!

  17. 17 kateandgracie August 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I think I AM leaning towards no on Sundance…eeks! Did that just come out? And leaning towards yes in accepting Ms. Keyes’ invite to become her adviser again. That seems like a v easy gig. Do not get involved in any of her decision-making and then applaud her for great decisions and take all the credit.

    And as for Gretchen, can I just say how great it is to hear from you?!?!?! Thank you: it is great to hear from yuo. Really great. I have to go back and watch the Olympic episode as I was up north and missed it but, I must say, it seems that you have made a most excellent point.

    And as for Edwards. Indeed. He should have known. They all should have known. Maybe I am too biased, but I did like that in his explanation for his huge error, he said that he did it because he had begun to think of himself as special and above the rules for average folks. I think that’s maybe commendable. I don’t hear many folks at his level acknowledging their hubris.


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