The salt-and-pepper-haired gentleman in a casual fleece zip-up sitting next to me on the impossibly tiny plane was scribbling notes on a script for the entire 45-minute flight—Notes like "Trite, silly, blah!" and "Not funny. Beyond easy!" Such a judgemental older man on such a short flight could only mean one thing: It's Aspen Comedy Festival time! Each year, HBO throws itself a big comedy party in the mountains full of new talent showcases, old talent salutes (this year Goldie Hawn and Swingers are being put on pedastals), and tributes to now-defunct HBO comedies (like this year's Tribute To The Larry Sanders Show. It's all very exciting (for the performers), schmoozy (for the fleece-wearing industry types), and suffocating (for the oxygen-starved press, and everyone else). Here are a few things I'll be keeping track of while I'm here: 1. Comedians in Puffy Jackets: So far, I've seen Dave Chappelle decked out in winter white heading for Africa, uh, I mean, the St. Regis Hotel check-in desk. Ba-dum-pum! 2. Buzz: I've been here 15 minutes and so far everyone is raving about NYC sketch/video group The Whitest Kids U Know. Of course, the pre-Aspen buzz was all about comic actress, and likely future SNL player, Eliza Coupe. But the pre-pre-Aspen buzz was about NYC stand-up Aziz Ansari. What does all of this mean? Nothing yet, except maybe scalped tickets to their shows, and conversation after conversation that start "Have you seen Whitest Kids yet?" 3. Freebies: Last year, I got a silver flask in the shape of a cell phone from TBS. I'm still not sure why, but I treasure it everytime I feel like sneaking booze into places in a really obvious way. I'm convinced no swag can top it. Hopefully, Aspen will prove me wrong. 4.Public (Or Semi-Public) Drunkenness: The altitude makes this incredibly easy to find. 5.Anything Else I Can Think Of: More on this later. Obviously. I have to go to a party for Damon Wayans now. (I'm not bragging. Really.) A journalist's work is never done.