The “Ballsy” Edition :: Rusty’s Electric Dreams, Issue #121


::  I have a favor to ask ::

Rusty's Electric Dreams

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #121 :: The “Ballsy” Edition :: 02:01:2017


First, in the department of Artist-in-Residence:
Thank you, Angela Owre (and thank you to former A-i-R Meaghan Kennedy for recommending her)! Gorgeous work. It’s a new month which means a new A-i-R. Say hello to Alexis Finch. She’s a multi-disciplinary artist who is kicking off her first week by show-n-telling her work in ceramics.

Second, in the department of fives:
Last week, I found myself watching a TED talk by organizational psychologist Adam Grant called “Are you a Giver or a Taker?” In it, he talks about how to hire Givers (pay-it-forward types who are more likely to ask ‘What can I do for you?’) rather than Takers (self-serving folks who want to know what you can do for them).

He also spoke about pronoia, the “delusional belief that other people are plotting your well-being” (a concept I was already familiar with and LOVE), and the Five-minute Favor (FmF), a social practice by super-connected entrepreneur Adam Rifkin. Basically it’s this: regularly give five minutes of your time to anyone for any reason with no strings attached. The FmF is not totally a new concept to me but I like the way it’s packaged.

It got me to thinking though, independent creative people like us already do this…a lot. I know for myself that I listen to and give quick, free advice to friends and friends of friends almost daily. Artists, in my experience, are more giving of their time and expertise, I think in part because it’s hard to be an artist in a capitalistic society. We share a common struggle and, in general, we have more advice than cash to give. In tech, Rifkin’s community, money is more abundant. Because of that, I believe his FmF is more of a radical idea in his culture than it is in ours.

Baked right into this zine is a whole lotta “paying it forward.” Are you an artist? I set up the Artist-in-Residence space so you can showcase your work. Are you hosting an event? hmu, I’ll add your event to the listings. Do you just like getting neat things sent to your inbox? Well, here you go. I’ve been putting this missive out regularly for over two years now.

I’m curious, would you be willing to do me a (five-dollar) favor? Not a five-minute one, a five-dollar one. If you get something out my zine, meaning that you enjoy receiving it and it brings value to your life, would you kick down 5 bucks this month to Planned Parenthood? This organization has done a lot for me and my lady friends over the years and now I hear they are going to be defunded, which is total bullshit.

That’s my Five-dollar Favor for February: send $5 (or more) to Planned Parenthood, right. now.

Lastly: Thank you. You’re the best.

–Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. Watch Grant’s TED talk: “Agreeable Givers” ftw!

This space intentionally left balled

As seen on the Internets


Ostrich race in Florida

GREAT vintage photos from the State Library and Archives of Florida

:: The Mastaba, Christo’s next project

:: The Lowline, NYC park like the High Line but underground
:: Thanks, Jenny!

:: The unlikely odds of making it big

:: “The Unlikely Origins of ’60s Disposable Dresses”

:: McDonald’s museum in San Bernadino, CA

:: Forget Club 33, Disneyland’s 21 Royal is now open
:: [more]

:: What it’s like to live in a gypsy vardo Thanks, Spy!

:: No more snakes on a plane

:: How to get THE look of America that’s so hot right now (possible trigger)
:: Thanks, Joe!

:: Swing Left Thanks, atlas!

:: How to call your reps when you have social anxiety

February Artist-in-Residence: Alexis Finch

Alexis Finch of Azimuth Ceramics on why she creates:
I studied Anthropology because it meant I was allowed to study anything humans have ever done, ever thought of, ever created. I joke about being unquenchably curious, but it’s not just that. It’s being able to sample from different industries, hear stories from different paths of life, and then find the patterns that tie it all together.

Wedged clay ready for throwing, white porcelain and stoneware porcelain cylinders drying to be used for glaze tests, my wheel with tools and the last two balls of clay ready to throw.

Doing ceramics for me is a meditation. It’s part of why I’ve been focusing on throwing on the wheel. There is a process to it that is repeated every time: wedge the clay, center it, pull, refine… it’s mesmerizing and it gives my mind a space to be quiet. One sudden move and everything is thrown off center, so every step must be taken in its own time, without rushing. The name Azimuth refers to the process of finding your way guided by the stars and the horizon. It’s a reminder to me that this is a journey, and one where the destination is well beyond what the eye can see.

Playing with patterns is what connects my ceramics work and my UX practice. Ceramics is another place to recognize patterns around me, to draw lines between disparate data sets, to visualize what’s otherwise unseen. Every piece I throw and glaze is in some way a conclusion, a distillation of what I’ve been observing.

A high-fire stoneware bowl done in with green celadon and rutile with bamboo blue details. Inspired by the orbits of satellites and the shifting colors of the sky near the horizon.

Right now I’m fascinated by astrophysics. Orbital dynamics, satellites, nebula… these are what have been inspiring my glazes.

The studio just reopened this week. I’m excited to get back to the wheel and throw some more pieces, hopefully to have some fresh work to show at the end of this month. You can follow the progress and process on Instagram and Facebook. New work will be available on Etsy.

My potter’s mark created using a chop – a clay stamp – included on every piece I throw. This has both a practical and aesthetic value. Ceramics change drastically in size during firing and in color during glazing. When using shared kilns, this mark ensures we each know our own work when it comes out of a firing. It is also a visual reminder of the hand at work, and paired with the notch I make in the feet of my bowls, it restates the beauty to be found in imperfection.

Alexis Finch is an East Coast expat living in Oakland, CA. She maintains that the Atlantic Ocean trumps the Pacific for swimming, but loves the color of water crashing in the sun under West Coast cliffs.

Alexis creates works in clay as Azimuth Ceramics, currently focusing on usable objects thrown on the wheel. She also dabbles in design by creating enamel pins as Puss-Pins with her roommate Stephen Welch. Since 2011 she has run GraphiteMind, a sketchnote service translating complex concepts into memorable visuals and teaching others to do the same.

When not up to her elbows in clay, buried by Copic markers, or lost amongst layers in Photoshop, Alexis runs AgentFin Consulting, a Design Research & Brand Strategy shop where she helps companies get their minds right. She also likes to teach and runs UX workshops for clients worldwide.

About the Artist-in-Residence program: Every month a working artist is selected to showcase their work in this inbox zine and talk about their creation process. What they do with this space is left up to them. If you would like to be considered for this spot, or know someone who fits the bill, please email Rusty with your interest.

Real things you can actually buy: ballsy

Winky winky bag

Fleetmac Wood wooden balls

Events + places to visit of note



Sacramento, CA [2/3-2/25] ArtStreet, “a temporary series of arts events, which included exhibitions, salons, lectures, film premieres, book debuts, musical performances, and artist receptions,” 30K sq feet outdoors! {backstory} [Reservations]

Know about a cool happening, soiree, and/or event?  Been to someplace quirky? 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.

Bay Area
TEXT 415-NEON-RAT[4/7-4/10] Event Horizon, a “new standalone sci-fi larp for adults”

Various Cities
[2nd Sunday of every month] Solidarity Sundays

[Ongoing] Silent Book Club
[Ongoing] Escape rooms and adventures, curated by No Proscenium
[Ongoing] The Joy Experiment, “inspired by the ideas of the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu as chronicled in The Book of Joy, to “test” those ideas in the real world”
[Ongoing] Puff, Pass & Paint, BYOC painting events
[Ongoing] Joshua Raoul Brody’s Beatles Thingy

[Until 9/23] Dan Savage’s Hump! Festival

Adelaide, Australia
[3/3-3/19] Adelaide Festival Thanks, Jeff!

[3/10-3/13] WOMADelaide 2017, the World’s Festival Thanks, Jeff!

Akron, Ohio
[2/10-5/7] Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose at Akron Art Museum

Alameda, California
[Every 3rd Friday] TILT, stand-up comedy and storytelling at Pacific Pinball Museum, 6 PM

[2/12] Pinball and Pints at Pacific Pinball Museum ANNEX, 1680 Viking St, 3 PM to 8 PM [Tickets]

[2/13] Design Your Vibrant Vision – A Creative Business Intention Setting Camp at the Sewing Room, 10 AM to 2 PM

[2/18] Bubbles after Dark at Rhythmix, 8 PM [Tickets]

Ano Nuevo, California
[Through March] Public Elephant Seal Walk, see a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals as they come to shore to birth and mate [Reservations]

Berkeley, California
[2/5] Experimental Drawing Workshop with Sonja Hinrichsen at Berkeley Art Center, 1 PM to 4 PM

[2/7] Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, public preview at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, 7 PM to 10 PM

[2/11] Hippie Modernism Forum: Counterculture / Cyberculture at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, 1 PM

[2/12] Eric McFadden Acoustic Featuring Queen delphine & Gabby La La at Revival, 9 PM to 11 PM , no cover

[2/17] Analog Light Show Workshop at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, 6 PM to 8 PM [Tickets]

[2/18] Hippie Modernism Home Movie & Family Album Day at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, 1 PM to 6 PM

[2/28] Gil Stancourt’s Dipped: The Tasting Party at the Homemade Cafe, 7 PM to 9 PM [Tickets]

Black Rock City, Nevada
[8/27-9/4] Burning Man 2017: Theme is Radical Ritual

Brockton, Massachusetts
[2/11-6/4] Playa Made: The Jewelry of Burning Man at Fuller Craft Museum
— [2/11] At 2 PM, Reception, then a panel talk with Karen Christians, Christine Kristen, George Post, and Sumner Silverman

Chattanooga, Tennessee
[Until 10/31] Wayne White‘s Wayne-o-Rama at 1800 Rossville Avenue, open Weds-Sun, 11 AM to 6 PM and by special appointment

Denver, Colorado
[4/8-4/9] DINK: Independent Comic Expo, “Urban art with literature, zines, small press publishers, underground comix and cocktails!” Thanks, Mike McDaniel!

[4/2017] Allee Willis’ The “D” premieres at the Fisher Building, party to follow

Hermosa Beach, California
[3/11] Corey Feldman & The Angels at Saint Rocke, 9 PM [Tickets]

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

Los Angeles
[Ongoing] Iconic diners of L.A.
[Ongoing] Mojo Maps: Venice Land Walking Tour, former Disney Imagineer and team “combine live performance, original music and interactive activities sending you on a journey to another time and place” via

[Every Wednesday] Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap, a “live variety show that features big names in cirque, variety, comedy, magic and music” at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do, 8 PM [TicketsThanks, Kyle!

[Until 4/2] Pop Art Design at OCMA

[Until 5/17] David Bowie: Among the Mexican Masters at Forest Lawn Museum

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

[2/18] Fleetmac Wood Presents Rumours Rave at Los Globos, 10 PM to 2 AM [Tickets]

[3/5] Charles Phoenix’s “Disneyland” Tour of Downtown Los Angeles, a “6-hour Walking And Bus Experience Of DTLA As A Big Theme Park!” 11 AM to 5 PM

[3/25] Immersive Performance Skills Workshop with Marissa Nielsen Pincus at Basic Flowers, 10 AM to 1 PM & 2 PM to 5 PM, $100

[11/10-11/11] National Beard and Mustache Championship

Malden, Massachusetts
[Ongoing] Boda Borg

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

Nashville, Tennessee
[5/20] Charles Phoenix Retro Wild West Slideshow at Nashville Boogie, a “Live Comedy Performance Celebrating Classic And Kitschy Country & Western Life & Style” 3:30 PM

New Orleans
[Now until Fat Tuesday 2/28] Mardi Gras parades

[7/18-7/23] Tales of the Cocktail

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 [Tickets]
[Ongoing] The Ferry Play on the Staten Island Ferry, $1.99
[Ongoing] More NYC events

[Through 2/2017] Refuge, an “immersive performance and gameplay experience set in a mirrored 2016 reality where coastal cities are going underwater, temperature increases have caused nearly all vegetation to disappear, and natural disasters are wreaking havoc across every continent,” Needs a team of 4 to play [Tickets]

[Until 2/17] All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 at OMCA <<–Great exhibit!

[Until 4/2] Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture at OMCA

[2/1] Haus of Kulture Salon :: v.1 at Starline Social Club, 2 PM to 5 PM

[2/9] Yarn, comedy storytelling esp. for women over 29 at Octopus Literary Salon, 7 PM

[2/16-2/19] Hot Couture 2017 at the Crucible [Tickets]

[2/22-2/23] Mental Illness Happy Hour LIVE at New Parkway, 7 PM

[2/24] Puff, Pass & Paint, BYOC, 7 PM to 9 PM [Tickets]

[3/4-3/5] Oakland Museum’s White Elephant Sale

[3/12] Sugar Rush: A Cupcake Tasting Event at East Bay Community Center, 5447 Telegraph, 2 PM to 5 PM [Tickets]

[3/25] 2017 Oakland Onesie Pub Crawl, 6 PM on

[4/7] Opening for Nasty Women Exhibition Oakland at Omi Gallery, 6:30 PM to 9 PM [Tickets] show runs through 4/30

[4/13] The New Pornographers at Fox Theater, 8 PM [Tickets] (2/2 presale code: kuhl)

[4/19-4/24] Psychedelic Science 2017 at Oakland Marriott Center [Tickets]

[6/2] East Bay Open Studios at the Abandoned Train Station, hosted by Salle des Artistes. 9 PM to 12 AM.
Current CALL FOR ARTISTS: Looking for traditional artists, as well as short films, installations, projection mapping, and short dance performances. Cutting edge projects welcome. Also: Volunteers, help opportunities.

[8/17-8/23] Oregon Eclipse 2017, a “total solar eclipse gathering”

Palm Springs, California
[2/18] Charles Phoenix: Fins, Flair & Futurism a “Live Comedy Slide Show Performance Celebrating Space Age Automotive Styling,” at Palm Springs Art Museum, 10 AM to 2 PM

[7/7-7/10] Yes and Yes Yes at the Ace Hotel

Pasadena, California
[Every Friday in February] Serial Killer Speed Dating: Escape Room Edition at The Bunker Experience, Old Town

Plains, Georgia
[Sundays] (Former President) Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School Class

Portland, Oregon
[3/25] 2017 Portland Onesie Pub Crawl

Sacramento, California
[2/3-2/25] ArtStreet, “a temporary series of arts events, which included exhibitions, salons, lectures, film premieres, book debuts, musical performances, and artist receptions” {backstory} Thanks, David!

[2/18] A Vision Board Camp For Creative Entrepreneurs at Focus & Flow, 1 PM to 5 PM

[6/11-9/17] Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose at Crocker Art Gallery

San Diego
[3/4-3/11] JoCo Cruise 2017, “a whole cruise ship full of music, comedy, and general nerdery”

San Francisco
:: “Best storytelling events in the Bay Area”
:: Upscale vs. Frugal SF
[Ongoing] Elsewhere Philatelic Societyhighly recommended!
[Ongoing] More SF events
[Ongoing] Prelinger Library events
{Gallery] Keane Eyes Gallery featuring the art of Margaret Keane, 3040 Larkin Street

[Until 3/19] LogJam Cafe, part of Tom Sachs’ Space Program: Europa exhibition, a must see!

[Until 4/16] Vintage: Wine, Beer, and Spirits Labels from the Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing at California Historical Society

[Until 4/18] Spirituality X: The San Francisco Documentary Film Series

[Now] The Cakeland Fete Noir: Scott Hove Returns to SF at Heron Arts, 7 Heron Street, 12 PM to 4 PM (and by appointment)

[2/2-2/16] 19th Annual SF Indie Film Fest

[2/2] Conjuring Wonder: Magician Dennis Kyriakos at the Musto Bar, the Battery, 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM

[2/3-3/30] Real Housewives of Macaroni, new portraits by Jason Mecier at Dolores Park Cafe
[2/9] Opening reception, 6 PM to 8 PM

[2/3] Fleetmac Wood Presents Rumours Rave at Public Works, 9:30 PM to 2:30 AM [Tickets]

[2/4] Opening party for An Art Show Tribute to the Films of Hayao Miyazaki at Spoke Art, 6 PM to 9 PM

[2/4] Cardboard Animal Parade, meet at 7 PM at Precita Park, parade starts at 8 PM, goes from Precita Park to Dolores Park to Castro to ??, FREE, Friendly dogs and kids welcome

[2/5] Cuddle Party, 6 PM to 10 PM [Tickets]

[2/5] Conspiracy of Beards, an all-male choir who cover Leonard Cohen songs, playing at Rickshaw Stop with Society of Rockets, 8 PM [Tickets] Thanks, Joshua!

[2/8] Fireside Storytelling: Surprise at Chez Poulet, 7:30 PM doors, 8 PM show

[2/10] The Bay Area Pun-Off at The Go Game, 7 PM to 10:30 PM [Tickets]

[2/12] Lost Landscapes Marathon, 8 years, 8 shows, 10 hours at Shaping San Francisco, Noon to 10 PM

[2/12] Phenomenauts ~ Mustard Plug ~ Aloha Screwdriver at Bottom of the Hill

[2/14] PillowFight SF at Justin Herman Plaza, 5:50 PM

[2/14] Decentralized Dance Party SF – Valentine’s Day 2017, Bring a boombox, 7 PM [Tickets]

[2/14] Anti-Valentine’s Day Power Ballad Sing-a-Long at Roxie Theater, 9:30 PM

[2/15] Chinatown Neon Walking Tour, 4 PM to 6:30 PM [Tickets]

[2/16] ARTandVR: A Futurist Festival at Hackt, 7 PM to 11 PM [Tickets]

[2/16] Microdosing: A Psychedelic Approach to Mood Disorders at Nourse Theater, 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM [Tickets]

[2/16] Speechless, “Armed only with a laser pointer and a deck of random slides, presenters put their talents to the test,” at Public Works, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM [Tickets]

[2/18] The Power of Mindful Self Compassion at CISS Public Programs, 9:30 M to 4:30 PM [Tickets]

[2/18] 7th Annual Hard French Winter Ball at Gray Area’s Grand Theater, 8 PM to 2 AM [Tickets]

[2/20] Opening reception for Meredith Dittmar: New Works at Mirus Gallery, 7 PM to 10 PM

[2/20] The Edwardian Ball World’s Faire 2017 at the Regency Ballroom, 8 PM [Tickets]

[2/23] BUFFY Musical Sing-Along at The Lone Star Saloon, 7 PM to 11:30 PM

[3/2] Studies Have Shown, a live concert film event, featuring original music, dance, aerials, video projections, and more presented by Rachel Lark and the Damaged Goods at DNA Lounge [Tickets]

[3/4] Market-Mission-Castro Neon Walking Tour, 5 PM to 7 PM [Tickets]

[3/4] 2017 San Francisco Onesie Pub Crawl, 6 PM to 1 AM

[3/12] Breasts. An Art Exhibit of Form and Function at The Public Works SF, 6 PM

[3/18] Beware the Brides of March 2017 at Bar Fluxus, 2:30 PM to 8:30 PM [More Info]

[3/18] Luminary: Art, Tech, Music – Feat: Shigeto at The Midway, 6 PM to 2 AM [Tickets]

[3/19] Market-Mission-Castro Neon Walking Tour, 5 PM to 7 PM [Tickets]

[4/1] Cow Hollow Neon Walking Tour, 7 PM to 8:30 PM [Tickets]

[4/1] The Obfuscia Hotel at the Battery, 8 PM to 11 PM

[4/21] Erika Chong Shuch’s For You at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [Application]

[4/23] Guinness World Record – Longest Chain of Roller Skaters, Kennedy Drive at Golden Gate Park, 2 PM to 5 PM

[5/6] Tender-Nob Neon Walking Tour, 7:30 PM to 9 PM [Tickets]

[5/7] How Weird Street Faire: The Summer of Weird, 12 PM to 8 PM [Tickets]

[6/25] NerdGASM!, Burlesque, gaming, comedy at STUDSF, 8 PM to 11 PM

[7/21-7/23] San Francisco Art Book Fair [accepting submissions in January 2017]

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

San Jose, California
[1/28] Mac Sabbath at The Ritz, 8 PM to 11 PM [Tickets]

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

Santa Rosa, California
[3/31] An Evening with Neil Gaiman at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 8 PM to 9:30 PM [Tickets]

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

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

Stockbridge, Massachusetts
[Until 5/29/2017] Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning at Norman Rockwell Museum via

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

Torrance, California
[2/11] Charles Phoenix: This is Americana, a “Live Comedy Slide Show Performance Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style!”

Vancouver, B.C.
[2/18] Pinata Workshop with Meaghan Kennedy at Blim, 2 PM to 5 PM

Venice, Italy
[5/13-11/26] We are from the Dust is participating in VIVA ARTE VIVA, The Venice Art Biennale: 57th International Art Exhibition

Mr. E. T

“I pity the fool who don’t phone home!”

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

Rusty has collaborated 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.

She’s on the search to find the Others.

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