I got to speak briefly with Rick Emerson after he’d started the party. I told him a photo of him from 2000 (when he had very long hair), a photo he’d made fun of, made him look like Meat Loaf. “We’re talking Bat Out Of Hell-era Meat Loaf, right?” he asked. I confirmed. “It’s a good look for you,” I added. He appreciated that.
Among the guests were players from the Rose City Rollers, the women’s roller derby team in town. And they were in skates – old-school skates, nothing “in-line” about ’em – maneuvering around the club’s crowded and slightly uneven floor with nary a spill…of themselves or their drinks. Nicely done.
For a time, I waited in line to buy a beer. Before I changed my mind (telling myself “I don’t need to drink,” which was a liberating thought), I waited…and waited…in a line that barely moved. Two guys next to me noted how slow our line was. “They’re inventing drinks in our line,” I ventured. “‘I’ll have a Two-Headed Nixon!’ ‘I’ll have a Velvet Cronkite!’” Hey, at least I amused me. (The only liquid I had while out that evening, other than water from Portland’s bubblers, was one of the Viso energy drinks that are made in Portland and that Emerson pimps. Truly I am becoming a member of the Emerson Army…)
Emerson’s newsman Tim Riley looks so much like an Irish Harlan Ellison, complete with that hair and that grin and that well-dressed sense of style, that it’s almost disconcerting to this longtime Harlan fan. (Not so much a Harlan doppelganger in the photo in the Tim Riley link, but take my word for it.)
Lots of people wore custom shirts with in-jokes from the show. Best one I saw that evening: BRAINS (in honor of Rick) | BEAUTY (in honor of producer Sarah X. Dylan) | WIT (in honor of Riley) | DONKEY (in honor of that fake news story that the show declared “best story ever”). (And note: Dylan’s site skirts the edge of Not Work-Safe.)
Speaking of in-jokes, the slogan on the official Rick Emerson bumper sticker is “Tina Yothers Thinks He’s Autistic!” I’m not even gonna try explaining that one.
It was an evening of hugs and gushing. People really like the crew of this show. And the partygoers were very good-natured. A good vibe was in the air…both before and after the drinking began.
Finally, a nice nightcap: After leaving the venue, I got TWO filled doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut: a “Portland” (cream-filled and chocolate-topped) and a Mango Tango (filling and topping both deliciously mango-tastic!) while gentle Nick Cave music (not quite “Into My Arms”-gentle, but gentle) played on the sound system. And when I walked out, I had a strangely gratifying view of Venus and the crescent moon above the West Hills. Again, I say: nice.