The “Safety Third” Edition :: Rusty’s Electric Dreams, Issue #102


:: ::  The real story of “Safety Third” has emerged :: ::

Rusty's Electric Dreams

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #102 :: The “Safety Third” Edition :: 09:21:2016

Safety Third…

Ok! Last week I told you about “Birmingham” sounds like “Burning Man” to Customs. I then asked if anyone wanted to write up the story of “Safety Third” (in regards to Burning Man culture). My dear friend and RED reader Bridget took the time to share its origin:

“As told to me by Dennis E-bud. ‘Safety third’ is from Mike Rubel’s rules of the Castle. See DO watch the Huell Howser video.

Dennis used to live in the Castle and when he came to Burning Man for the first time in 1997, Mike let him bring an antique civil war cannon. He brought a ton of stuffed animals and shot them out of the cannon. That’s when we met Dennis.

The Rules of the Castle are:
1.       Get the job done
2.       Have fun doing it
3.       Safety third (except on Mike’s sign it was spelled ‘Safty’)

Burning Man’s DPW appropriated this term as their own around 1998-1999.”

Well, there you have it, the origin story of “Safety Third.” DO watch that video. Amazing place, amazing story! Love that Burning Man has ties to Michael Rubel’s amazing castle.

If you’d like to travel to Glendora (it’s past Pasadena and Azusa in LA County) and see the Rubel Castle for yourself, schedule a tour through the Glendora Historical Society online, or call (626) 963-0419. PIck me up on your way there, I want to see it too!

Thanks, Bridget!

Rusty Blazenhoff

p.s. If you haven’t already, watch “The Get Down” on Netflix! I binge-watched it this week and I’m so sad I have to wait until next year for more episodes!p.s.s. My birthday is this Friday. Birthday wishes and job offers can be sent here.

Correction: Last week, I said that it was Epiphany who told me about “Birmingham,” but it was Kathleen. Sorry for the mix up, ladies!

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 somewhat safe

As seen on the Internets


Polynesian Culture

:: An 18-carat, solid gold art toilet (that you can now use!)
:: Thanks, Veek!:: My blogger pal-a-rooni Brittany High (Incredible Things) has made a SUPER LEGIT voice-over reel
:: “I died in the first Blair Witch film. I can’t wait for the new one”
:: The hidden lever to raise AISLE armrests on planes (!)

:: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, the latest by Mark Manson
:: Thanks, Benjy!

:: “The Links Between Creativity and Depression”

:: Gorgeous drone footage of Burning Man 2016 from 1st-timer Philippe Meicler
:: Thanks, PIph!

:: “Inside ‘The Get Down’: How Baz Luhrmann Recreated the Birth of Hip-Hop”

:: “Donald Bell’s New Maker News Show Is Short, Sweet, and Super Nerdy”

:: Space Ghost Coast to Coast episodes, available for free

A shoutout to my Texas-based blogger friend, John Farrier. After 7 years at Neatorama, he’s retired from blogging to spend more time with his family.

In his time at Neatorama, he penned 17,099 blog posts. Truly a feat, especially considering that he was only blogging part time. He wrote his posts after finishing his full-time job as a librarian.

I had the rare opportunity to meet John in person a couple of years ago. After SXSW, I traveled from Austin to Houston to meet him for breakfast. As he is an anonymous figure online, it was truly a pleasure getting to know the man behind the quirky cool content. We hit it off immediately!

John and I have similar pop culture interests. On top of losing a valuable resource for perfectly-curated content, I will definitely miss his overall contribution to the blogosphere. Want to follow him? You can find him on Twitter.

John, good luck with this next stage of your life! 

Artist-in-Residence: Julie Casson

“The Look”

Painted in Oils

I painted this piece after seeing a photo that was similar and I felt there was such a story there. Everyone I speak to that sees this piece, has a different interpretation of what is going on in it. I love when there is a mystery in a painting. What do you think is going on in this piece?

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


What the Fluff? Festival

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

SF Bay Area
[9/24-9/25] Treasure Island Flea Market, Treasure Island, SF

[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
[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

Burbank, California
[10/2] Serial Killer Speed Dating at the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum, 8 PM [Tickets]

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!

[Until 9/25] Bioresponsive Garden, a “walk-through experience where vines, palms and trees physically move in response to your very presence and body movements” [Tickets]

[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]

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

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: â€œA playful, enigmatic and haunting solo show by the Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour.”

[Until 10/23] Creep Los Angeles

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

[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]

[10/28, 10/29 & 10/30] “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”: Danny Elfman Halloween show at Hollywood Bowl with special guests, including Paul Reubens (second two shows are sold out!)

[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”

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

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

[10/7-10/9] Future of Storytelling Fest

[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

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

[9/26] Figment Oakland Meet n’ Greet at Temescal Brewing, 7 PM to 10 PM

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

[10/7] ArtCars at Oakland First Fridays at Telegraph Ave at 23rd, 5 PM to 9:30 PM

[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

[11/13] An Afternoon with David Sedaris, 4 PM to 7 PM [Tickets]

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

[10/5-10/31] ERASERHEAD FOREVER exhibit at Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art

[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

[9/22-10/2] Grace and Delia are Gone by Flyaway Productions, an apparatus-based dance company, held at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Weds. and Sundays, 7:30 PM [Tickets]

[9/25-9/28] Banned Movie Week at the Roxie [Tickets]

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

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

[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!)

[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, Free

[9/21]  Dogtown Redemption, “an intimate story of recyclers in West Oakland—a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty” at GLIDE, 5:30 PM [FREE]

[9/21] Phonographic Memory: Two Year Anniversary at SF Public Library, Bernal Heights branch, 7 PM to 9 PM

[9/21] Nerd Nite SF #76: “Building Tissues, 20K Leagues, and TBA!” at Rickshaw Stop, 7 PM to 10 PM [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]

[9/23] SF Fringe: Raktor VR Comedy Show, 7 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

[9/25] Folsom Street Fair, 11 AM to 6 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)

10/8] Gonzo: 50 Years of Hunter S. Thompson at Swedish American Hall, 8 PM to 10 PM [Tickets]

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

[10/9] Bikes to Books Three-year Anniversary Bicycle Ride, a literary cycling tour, 1 PM to 4 PM, 16+

[10/9] HIGHtoberfest, 2 PM [Code: FRAULEINCHEF420]

[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]

[10/14] Drunken Dino Happy Hour OMG Sketchnotes! at General Assembly, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

[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

[12/7 & 12/8) “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Parts 1 & 2” at the Alamo Drafthouse

[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.

“If you want to really hurt your parents… go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
–Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

“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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