The “Birmingham” Edition :: Rusty’s Electric Dreams, Issue #101



:: :: For all the Burners who went to Birmingham  :: ::

Rusty's Electric Dreams

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #101 :: The “Birmingham” Edition :: 09:14:2016


Shortly after I returned from the playa, friends started asking me about my adventures at “Birmingham.” At first I didn’t know what they were talking about, because, you know, I didn’t travel to Alabama.

Of course, I figured out quickly that they meant “Burning Man,” because it a) I had just gotten back from the “dirt rave” and b) “Birmingham” sounds a lot like “Burning Man.” I put two and two together, though it did make me wonder how this particular piece of Burner* lingo started.

Well, this past weekend, I learned the origin of it (or at least I *think* I did).

My friend Epiphany shared with me that when foreign Burners are on their way to TTITD, it seems they are asked at customs where they are going. They answer, “Burning Man,” which, as I stated above, sounds a lot like the name of Alabama’s most populous city. I suppose if you’re working at customs, you’re listening for a common U.S. place name, not a major festival’s.

If you’re curious, the Org itself has created a glossary of its unique lexicon. It’s unusual for a (sub?)culture to reveal its code so plainly to “outsiders,” but remember, Burning Man’s first principle is “Radical Inclusion.”

Rusty Blazenhoff
p.s. Speaking of Burning Man, in camp, I learned the origin of “Safety Third.” Who’d like to write that story up? 🙂

*By the way, the moniker “Burner” is rejected by many old-timers, as it became a term to describe the festival’s attendees who arrived on the scene later (ie. when it got “too big”). In fact, I only started warming up to it this year. That being said, I will probably never call myself a “Burner.”

Praise: “I love your newsletters. I immediately stop what I’m doing to open them & savor the links, looking forward to what I can ‘actually buy.’ You made my day, again.”
–Julie Jackson, Subversive Cross StitchKitty Wigs and the Marie Catoinette coloring book

This space intentionally left culturally appropriated

As seen on the Internets


Polynesian Culture

:: “The Real and the Fake: Polynesian Culture and How We Perceive It”

:: Get your own GIANT NOVELTY check! Inspired by a conversation with Jared!

:: Trailer for Holy Hell Thanks, Piph!

:: Mark Day’s Burning Man 2016 Hyperlapse

:: The Poison Garden, where plants can kill you

:: “I drove the Chevy Bolt 250 miles on one charge.”

:: What People Keep Asking Me About Sex and Relationships by Isadora Alman

:: Enchanted Tiki Room, the comic book

Real things you can actually buy: yay!

Japanese moai chocolate cookies

Artist-in-Residence: Julie Casson

“The Woman”

Painted in Oils

I painted this soon after having my son. I wanted to convey how there are different, but connected roles a person can have simultaneously. All flow into each other and they are equally important part of who she is. I am also very inspired by the rich colors of my time in Colonial Mexico.


Born in San Francisco, Julie Casson is a graduate of the Sonoma State University Arts program with an emphasis in figurative drawing. Her work has been shown in galleries in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, New York, San Francisco and Maryland. Julie’s goal is to tell stories with images primarily focused on the figure. You can follow her on Twitter @toysalsa. She also runs the travel website and blog Travel Nueva.

You can view her portfolio of selected pieces here.

Events of note


Halloween Spooktacular at Bob Baker's Marionette Theater

[9/24-10/31] Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s “Halloween Spooktacular” in Los Angeles [Tickets]

SF Bay Area
[10/7-10/9] The 20th Anniversary of ArtCar Fest
[10/8] ArtCar Fest Bash at NIMBY, 6 PM to 2 AM [Tickets]

Various Cities
[Ongoing] Silent Book Club

Alameda, California
[9/16] TILT! Stand-Up, Storytelling & Pinball at Pacific Pinball Museum

[9/18] Intro to Improv workshop with Dan Ronco at Rhythmix, 7 PM to 9 PM [Tickets]

[10/1-10/2] 11th Annual Forbidden Island Parking Lot Sale, 5 PM to 7 PM

[10/8] BlackLight Art Show & Night Market at Studio 23, 7 PM to 10 PM

[11/5] The 23rd Annual Le Bal des Vampires at Alameda Elks Lodge [Tickets]

Austin, Texas
[10/22] Austin Skipathon, 10 AM [Register]

Berkeley, California
[1/6] The Lookouting: A Celebration of Lookout! Records at 924 Gilman

Eau Claire, Wisconsin
[9/30] Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club screening 6 PM [Tickets] Thanks, Heather!

Las Vegas
[Ongoing] Akhob, an immersive “Ganzfeld effect” experience by artist James Turrell at Louis Vuitton [by appt only: 702-730-3150]  HIGHLY recommended!

[10/6-10/8] “The Joy of Bees” by Bompas & Parr, an “immersive experiential art installation and gastronomic tasting of honeys”

[Until 10/30] Dinner At The Twits: “Join Mr & Mrs Twit in their windowless house and ghastly garden for an evening you will never forget.” [Tickets]

Los Angeles
[Until 10/2] The Tension Experience: Ascension, “more than immersive theatre, more than a haunted house, more than anything you could imagine.  It is a journey into darkness with the possibility of being reborn in the light” [Tickets]

[Until 10/2] White Rabbit Red Rabbit: “A playful, enigmatic and haunting solo show by the Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour.”

[Until 11/27] Guillermo del Toro exhibit at LACMA

[9/16-10/23] Creep Los Angeles

[9/17] Horton’s Hayride in San Pedro, CA, 1 PM [Tickets]

[9/18] Charles Phoenix at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 4 PM [Tickets]

[9/24-10/31] Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s “Halloween Spooktacular” [Tickets]

[9/25] Charles Phoenix: Retro Disneyland Slideshow, Palmdale, CA, 2 PM to 4 PM [Tickets]

[9/29-10/31] Queen Mary Dark Harbor at That Big Ship in Long Beach

[10/1] Dolly Parton at Hollywood Bowl [Tickets]

[10/8-10/9] David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption at Ace Hotel via

[10/15] Charles Phoenix: This is Americana, Long Beach, CA, 8 PM [Tickets]

[10/15] Let’s Do the Time Warp (Again!)A Dance-a-thon Benefiting 826LA at iam8bit [Register]

[10/29 & 10/30] “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”: Danny Elfman Halloween show at Hollywood Bowl with special guests, including Paul Reubens

[11/6] Krampus mask-masking workshop, 1 PM to 5 PM

[12/5-12/8] Henry Rollins at Largo

[Starts 10/2017] Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at The Broad

Malden, Massachusetts
[Ongoing] Boda Borg

Maxwell, California
[6/15-6/18/2017] Camp Tipsy 2017, “an annual rotten boat building contest and campout”

Mount Tam
[9/17] Sound Summit

Mountain View
[9/24] Dolly Parton at Shoreline, 8 PM [Tickets]

New York City
Quirky NYC by Oriana Leckert:
:: “From Bumper Cars to Torah Taxidermy: A Guide to 25 of Brooklyn’s Most Unusual Museums”
:: “From Elevators to Outsider Art: A Guide to 16 Under-the-Radar Museums in Queens”

[Ongoing] Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel
[Ongoing] Jungle-Ized by Sound Collective, Free
[Ongoing] The Ferry Play on the Staten Island Ferry, $1.99
[Ongoing] More NYC events
[Ongoing] Madame Tussauds New York hyper-reality Ghostbusters Experience

[9/17] Atlas Obscura: Printed Rivals

[9/22] Shep Gordon in Conversation with Anthony Bourdain at Kaufmann Concert Hall, 7 PM

[11/10]  55th Annual Gala for La MaMa experimental theatre (with a live performance by Allee Willis)

[10/26] Opening night for Wilderness, a “multimedia, documentary theatre experience that illuminates the quest for connection within the 21st century American family”

[11/10] Allee Willis is performing in New York City [More details as I get them]

[Until 9/25] Altered State: Marijuana in California at OMCA

[9/14] Heather Gold’s Yarn 3, a comedy storytelling show at Octopus Literary Salon, 7 PM to 9:30 PM

[9/23] Chronicle Movie Night at Children’s Fairyland [VOTE]

[9/30] 4th Annual Drawn Together: A Celebration of Bay Area Artists at Fairyland, 6 PM to 9 PM, 21+ [Tickets]

[10/8] ArtCar Fest Bash at NIMBY, 6 PM to 2 AM [Tickets]

[10/12-10/15] 5th Anniversary Autumn Lights Festival at the Gardens at Lake Merritt

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Thank you, Stefan Jewett!
[Until 9/30] Surveillance: An Exhibition of Work on the Observation, Recording, and Storage of Human Activity at Esther Klein Gallery
Surveillance Drone Action Figure Workshop 8/27 1 PM

[9/15] Adam Green’s Aladdin – Film and Concert at Milkboy, 8 PM

[10/5-10/31] ERASERHEAD FOREVER exhibit at Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art.  They are currently looking for all mediums submissions until 9/19

[11/9] Diane Coffee at Boot & Saddle, 8:30 PM

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
[10/22] El Vez, the Mexican Elvis at The Warhol Museum

San Francisco
:: “Best storytelling events in the Bay Area”
:: Upscale vs. Frugal SF
[Ongoing] Elsewhere Philatelic Society
[Ongoing] More SF events
[Ongoing] Prelinger Library events

[Through Sept] Midwayville, a mixed reality popup carnival at SoMa StrEat Food, 7 PM to 12 AM

[Until 10/1] The Speakeasy: illicit bar, crooked casino, immersive theatrical experience at a discreet location near you [Tickets]

[Through Oct] San Francisco Neon Survivors and Icons From the Archives, SF Library, Main Branch, 4th floor

[Until 10/30] Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (highly recommended!)

[Opening in Oct] The William Blake Gallery at 49 Geary

[Through November] Come Out and Play SF 2016

[Until 12/18] Home Land Security at Fort Winfield Scott and the Presidio, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM, Freee

[9/14] Fireside Storytelling: “Storyteller’s Choice” at Chez Poulet, 8 PM

[9/14] DorkbotSF #89 at Monument, 7 PM

[9/16] Bona Fide (7:30)  and Bawdy Storytelling (10:30) at Verdi Club

[9/17] John Doe & Exene Cervenka at Slim’s

[9/20] Odd Salon: Nemesis at DNA Lounge, 7 PM to 10 PM, 21+ [Tickets]

[9/21-9/22] Dent: Space at Innovation Hangar

[9/22] Bawdy Storytelling: Trigger Warning at Verdi Club, 8 PM to 10:30 PM [Tickets]

[9/24-10/6] Danny Says at the Roxie Theater, [Tickets]

[9/25] Sunset Piano Block Party 2016 at Starr King Open Space, 12 PM to 5 PM

[9/28] Jason Webley Tells a Tall Tale in San Francisco at Chez Poulet, 7 PM to 11 PM [Tickets]

[9/29] Bobby Bare Sr. + Bobby Bare Jr. at Doc’s Lab, 8 PM [Tickets]

[9/29-10/2] Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park, Free (but super crowded)

[10/1] Descent Into Madness, the release party for Chicken John’s The Book of the Un at 111 Minna, $20 admission (includes book price)

[10/9] Burning Man Decompression: Heat the Street Faire, 12 PM to 12 AM

[10/12] Fireside Storytelling: “Games People Play” at Chez Poulet, 8 PM

[10/13] Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary, 8 PM [Tickets]

[10/13] Mark Bittman on baking at JCCSF, 7 PM [Tickets]

[10/15-10/23] The Natives Are Restless: “From overthrow to uprising, an epic tale of Hawaiian resilience” at The Palace of Fine Arts [Info]

[10/16] UnPresenting workshop with Heather Gold: “Giving talks that are more fun, require less preparation & leave your audience feeling awesome.” [Register]

[10/22] 7th Annual SuperHero Street Fair 2016, 1 PM to 11 PM [Tickets]

[11/9] Fireside Storytelling: “Caught in the Act” at Chez Poulet, 8 PM

[11/19] The Artumnal Gathering, 5:45 PM to 2 AM

[12/14] Fireside Storytelling: “Hot!” at Chez Poulet, 8 PM

[10/2017] 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love

San Jose, California
[9/24] Art Party 2016 — An Occasional and Irrational San Jose Arts Fest, 6 PM

[9/24-10/1] Anne & Mark’s Art Party at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds [Tickets]

[10/4-10/7] Big Ideas Fest, “designing the future of education”

[10/14, 10/15 & 10/16] One-Day Taxidermy Workshop Series [Sign up]

Santa Fe, New Mexico
[Ongoing] Meow Wolf [Read this] [Tickets]

Scottsboro, Alabama
[Ongoing] Unclaimed Baggage Center Thanks, Farrah!

The Obscure, the Charming and the Odd: Mark Pahlow’s Guide to Seattle

[10/27] Bawdy Storytelling: Wicked at Re-Bar, 8 PM to 10:30 PM

SF Bay Area
[Ongoing] Best swimming holes in the SF Bay Area

[10/7-10/9] Art Car Fest [Crowdfund]

Somerville, Massachusetts
[9/24] What the Fluff? Fluff Festival

Sonoma County, California
[Until 9/25] We Players presents Romeo and Juliet, “ a site-responsive staging of the classic” in Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, “a historic old California rancho” Thanks, Albert!

Sun Valley, Idaho
[3/19/2017-3/22/2017] Dent 2017, a creative retreat for people who want to “put a dent in the universe,” as Steve Jobs once said. (Highly recommended!)

Washington, D.C.
[10/3] South by South Lawn: A White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action


Know about a cool happening, soiree, and/or event? I can’t be everywhere and know about everything, so share it with me! I’ll do my best to include it in the next issue.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
–Hunter S. Thompson

I want to be sure that future generations of weirdoes, misfits, and freaks have a voice and that we’re celebrating what’s good about alternative cultures.”
Rusty Blazenhoff, Alameda Magazine

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a weekly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff.

Rusty has worked with some of the biggest names in the quirky-cool corner of pop culture, including Pee-wee Herman, Allee Willis, Laughing Squid, and Archie McPhee. Her offbeat zine is chock full of art, unusual products, worldwide event listings of note, and other fun surprises.

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