The “Things I learned at Burning Man” Edition :: Rusty’s Electric Dreams, Issue #149

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” — Charles Addams (Thx, Gareth!)

Rusty's Electric Dreams

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine from the curious mind of Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #149 :: The “Things I learned at Burning Man” Edition :: 09:13:2017

Things I learned at Burning Man (and beyond)…

Lesson #1: Meeting new friends as an adult can be difficult. Burning Man makes it easier.

I only knew a few of my 20+ campmates going into the event but challenging physical conditions — like heat (oh lordy, the heat) — and that special blend of playa magic brought a bunch of us together in friendship. I have new pals, cool!

Lesson #2: It’s not about me, but it can still hurt like hell.

I’ve read the Four Agreements… several times. I totally grok it. But, that didn’t stop me from feeling sad and hurt when a campmate directed their anger toward me. Not to worry, I am fine. I am simply reminded that I am human and not above crying in front of near-strangers.

Lesson #3: You can fly over Black Rock City for free!

A pilot named Purple Haze flew me over Black Rock City in a tiny 1959 four-seater Cessna and I lived to tell the tale (which I will soon). Scenic flights are gifts from Burner pilots to us. The wait is worth it.

Lesson #4: Reno hotels are 100% booked starting on the Thursday before the burn.

Want to leave the desert early and shower off a week’s worth of playa dust in a swank hotel room in Reno? Better book ahead of time. I didn’t. It worked out fine for me because my traveling companion has family in the Reno area. I feel lucky.

Lesson #5: Live in the moment and get out in front of people in real life.

It’s harder to remember this as we all spend so much time on electronic devices. You’re not as enlightened as you think you are using a computer to buffer your human interactions, or at least, I’m not.

Lesson #6: A day trip to the South Yuba River will soothe your soul, especially after roughing it in dusty, over 100 degree weather for over a week.

I cannot emphasis how flipping magical this place is! Thanks to Piph for sharing her special swimming hole with me.

Lesson #7: Re-entry is hard, even when you don’t think it will be. Burning Man isn’t a vacation. it will kick you in the ass, both on playa and off.

I had a budding relationship going into the event and now, a week later, I am single again. It’s probably for the best, but still.

(Chris, if you’re reading this, I hope you find peace. I will miss what we had a lot.)

Lesson #8: Ok, I’ll stop here. I can only process so many lessons at once.

Have a great week, everyone!

–Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S.  Hey, 9/23 is the last day my Eat Fuck Kill pop-up shop is open. Earrings are available now!

This space intentionally left single

As seen on the Internets


Freelance Achievement Stickers

There was this sign in our camp. I felt compelled to stand behind it.

photo by Scott Grenier

:: “A correct and definitive ranking of It’s-It flavors”

:: “…most of us believe that the true self is the moral self”

:: Graffiti camp for girls (Bay Area)

:: OMFG: road trip to Portland!

:: Excerpts from the all-female remake of Lord of the Flies Thanks, Andie!

:: Tom Price on how to help after the storm

:: Re-creating the Harold and Maude Jaguar hearse

:: A first-hand account of Icelandair’s immersive theatrical performance

Real things you can actually buy: yay or nay?

I want to hate this but can’t: With this toilet paper cell phone holder thingie, you can put down your filthy phone while doing your dirty business. 

Available for $15.99 (other styles available too, for different prices)

Thanks, Joe Selby!

Fish flip flops

Again, want to hate but can’t: These are really well done. Bravo to our manufacturing friends in China for bringing us these largemouth bass flip flops (’tis a shame summer is on the way out). via

Available for about $20/pair (depending on vendor)

Featured events


Burning Man 2017 :: Radical Ritual

San Francisco, California
[9/30] You’ve Got My Eyes,  a “dork-punk-neo-noir future-themed show n’ tell” and a “dirty back alley science fair swap meet and dance party,” the expo is from 7 PM to 1 AM and the dance party is from 10 AM to 1 PM (I know who’s behind this and it’s going to be cool.)

Also in San Francisco
[9/20] dorkbotSF 96, Gray Area Art + Technology, 7 PM

“Tesla coils, drones, and tikitron drinkbots! Dont miss this meeting withLightning On Demand Grey Leyh, Eddie CodelSamuel M Coniglio IV,Katherine Becvar, and Kiki Jewell will pass on their amazing experience with you!”

[10/8] Polkacide at Bottom of the Hill, 8 PM

[Dates through 12/31] The Wanderers Union (a long distance walking club) has announced some new dates. All free.

[10/19] The Dracula Orchid Ball at the Conservatory of Flowers, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, $350+ (um, yike$)

Oakland, California
[10/19-10/21] Autumn Lights Festival, Gardens at Lake Merritt (I love this event! It makes for a great date night… lots of dark nooks and crannies for making out. Not that I’VE ever done that but I observe things, you know. Ahem.)

Santa Rosa, California
[9/22-9.24] The World’s Biggest Bounce House will be at the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, Tickets for grownups are $22 (just sayin’)


Burning Man 2017 :: Radical Ritual

Various cities, including San Francisco

[Now] Museum Hack, unconventional tours of some of the world’s most awesome museums (!)

These tours look really cool. There’s a “Badass Bitches” one at the de Young that sounds like a hoot. (Anyone interested in joining me on one?)

R.I.P: Ted Rheingold

Was sorry to hear that a great guy in our community, Ted Rheingold, succumbed to cancer recently. I didn’t know him well but many friends were affected by his death. I offer up my sincere condolences to each and every one of you. I’m sorry you lost him.

My heart especially goes out to his wife Molly and their little girl Mabel.

If you’d like to honor his name, Molly tweeted that donations can be made to the Northern Sierra Partnership.

Oh ya, #FuckCancer. No wait, #CureCancer. Please.

Here are some articles/posts about or by Ted:

:: Entrepreneur Ted Rheingold, Dogster and Catster co-founder, dies

:: Let’s make sure Ted Rheingold’s words about purpose ring in this industry’s ears for a very long time

:: Ted’s final post on Medium: Etiquette and the Cancer Patient

Current mood: Now, please.


Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a weekly inbox zine from the curious mind of Rusty Blazenhoff.

Described as, “One of the most inspiring, weird and off-kilter collections of curated kitschy ephemera for the big-brained.”

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