* I went straight from work to downtown, getting cab fare from an ATM and having a quick dinner at the Virginia Cafe, before reaching the venue. I arrived about an hour before doors opened, with the line only halfway down the street from the Crystal Ballroom's entrance. (I heard that later the line reached around 3/4 of the block.) The crowd was mellow; a good recipient of stuff from the sponsors. Viso had samples of their caffeinated vitamin drinks (good stuff, though I'm more a StrawKey, Razza and Lemon guy myself, 'cause those are the noncaffeinated drinks); Everybody's Garden Center had coupons; someone gave show aasistant Ritchie Bristol a box full of little boxes of Schick shaving razors, which he threw (the boxes, not the actual razors!) at us. We did some good catching of those boxes. Other sponsor Powell's Books Cedar Hills Crossing (the newish Powell's Beaverton store) was not set up outside (the store had a table set up inside); in a move that would sadden at least one friend of mine, other other sponsor Taboo Adult Video wasn't set up outside, either. (Portland ain't so wide-open that we'd be getting porn on the street!) Taboo gave (well-wrapped) gift boxes to the roasters.
* We entered efficiently, thanks to the quick and expeditious McMenamins people. We spiraled up the staircase into the Crystal's darkness, to the Ballroom on the third floor, and spread out across the bouncing floor. (Yes, bouncing: the ballroom's floor has a special "give" to it.) I spent much of the night next to the window wall of the Crystal Ballroom, standing on a bench to get a better view.
* In my view: guest roasters Aaron "Geek in the City" Duran; singer Storm Large (yes, that's her real name) of her band Storm and the Balls and veteran of TV's Rock Star Supernova; Rick's show producer Sarah X. Dylan; Scott Dally, Duran's partner-in-crime for the podcast Film Fever Radio; Byron Beck, "the only remaining minority at the Willamette Week" and the writer of WW's "Queer Window" column, KUFO's Cort (looking very rabbi-like) and Fatboy, both of The Cort and Fatboy Show, roastmaster Carl Click of KATU...
*...and special guest Lisa Desjardins of CNN Radio! She's one of Rick's favorite people at CNN, calling in from Washington, D.C. for political news updates. She's been a hit with us in Ricks' audience: scarily well-informed, geeky, hilarious, and very pretty. A lot of us have crushes on her. Her visit had been kept under wraps, but it got partially blown during Ricks' Thursday show: her CNN colleague Bob Costantini called in for his segment and right away let slip that Lisa was in Portland. Rick hit the Dump button so the radio audience didn't hear Bob, but the on-line live-feed listeners did. The online forums went NUTS, and Rick and Sarah had to scramble to halt the spread of that tidbit. I was totally unaware that she'd be there, but I should have guessed; Rick's wanted to get Lisa to a show for a long while. And Rick introduced Lisa via an in-joke: he shot a video that I didn't realize was meant to ape a scene from The West Wing, because when Lisa begins her segments Rick introduces her with the opening credits music from that show. That didn't click for me until an American flag appeared on the screen and the band did something that kind of sounded like that theme. Then it started to dawn on us, and we ERUPTED when Lisa was introduced in all her pale redheaded glory.
* There was lots of music throughout the night. The band Emerson Starship served as house band, much like Paul Shaffer's band on David Letterman's shows, giving quick musical signatures to each roaster. There also was a special set by the other band there that night, Portland's Nickel Arcade, who last year per Rick's request wrote the joke "tribute to Britney" song "Vodka in Heaven."
* I used my dancing-in-a-very-small-space skills.
* It's good that profanity isn't solid, taking up space in air like humidity or drunken bugs that would bump into us, because we swore A LOT; nay, it was blisteringly profane. (In fact I was surprised there wasn't more. C'mon, Storm, you have a reputation to maintain!) Yes, I swore too. Usually loudly, while making my lame attempts to cheer or throw devil horns.
* No, I'm still not going to try to recreate the content of the roast; these hours and hours of entertainment don't reduce well to being written down afterwards, plus roasters should be allowed to say whatever they can make funny without worrying what people not at the show would think of their jokes. When the opening film (a Forties-style newsreel of the show staff preparing for the show) is posted on YouTube, I'll link it; it's in-joke-filled, but there are sight gags that anyone can like.
* Out-Of-Context Theater! The one thing I got to say to Rick: "Dude, where'd you get the bacon?!" "Wal-Mart, sadly," he said. "Buck-ninety-nine!"
* Portland's taxi fleet last night was A) busy and B) not too present in downtown Portland, meaning I needed to wait a while and walk several blocks before I got one. Turns out the taxis had been flocking to the Oregon Convention Center across the Willamette. Me, I started to worry I had some sort of taxi repellant!