The “TL;DR” Edition [Issue #004]


The “TL;DR” Edition

Whoa…! (TL;DR)


Word’s getting out about this li’l newsletter.

I was gobsmacked by the quality (and quantity) of submissions this week. I sense that I’ll have to increase the frequency of this dispatch real soon to keep up! Heads up, this one is particularly long.

If you know of something great that should be featured in a future issue, drop me a line.

Rusty “frozen in time” Blazenhoff

p.s. I’m going to Texas. My first ever SXSW panel got accepted! High five!

Yep. I’m ready.

photo by Man-machine

Events of note

[10/24-10/26, SF] Camera Sculptura grand opening reception and open studios (more info below)[10/25, SF] I can’t say who but someone we know (not me) will be telling a story live onstage at NPR’s Snap Judgment Live. It starts at 8 PM.[10/30-11/2, SF] Our community’s own Barron Scott Levkoff presents Mr. Nobody’s Spookeasy Halloween Extravaganza and Costume Ball.[10/31, Oakland] An Extra Action Halloween with The Extra Action Marching Band, Itchy-O, Oingo Boinga (which is an all-female Oingo Boingo cover band, btw) & more

[11/2, SF] Dia de los Muertos Don’t miss San Francisco’s annual Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of the Altars in the Mission. (Thanks to my dear friend Kate Shaw for the heads up. She will be exhibiting her art there this year!)

[11/4, SF] Karen Marcelo is speaking at Long Now.

[11/5-11/25] To promote The Art of Asking, powerhouse songstress Amanda Palmer is embarking on a month-long book tour.

[11/8, Oakland] FIGMENT Oakland

[11/22, Alameda] Vintage Pinball Style: comedy, 60s dance party, vintage fashion show, and, of course, pinball at the Pacific Pinball Museum–$15

[11/26, Pasadena] La Carrera de los Payasos! (The Running of the Clowns!)

[11/28-12/24, Austin] Blue Genie Art Bazaar

[11/29, SF] The John Waters Christmas Show

[Nov/Dec dates, LA] KrampusFest 2014

[12/5-12/7, Ukiah, CA] Digital Detox Retreat at Shambhala Ranch

Look alive! Tickets ($140) have gone on sale for Camp Tipsy 2015! This wildly popular annual San Francisco Institute of Possibility event happens Monday, June 29th to Saturday, July 4th, 2015 in Stonyford, Calif.

Here, step into this cage.

Inside of a circular cage-like setup, Tara Packard and Ben De Leeuw have housed 80 cameras which fire off all at once to capture “people in a fraction of a second from all angles.” These images are then processed to create a custom 3D portrait. It’s called Camera Sculptura and it’s essentially a 360-degree photo booth.

Ben has opened a storefront in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. For $150, you can purchase a digital portrait and for $300, you can get one of these, a custom 3D printed portrait:

They’ll be showing how their cool contraption works at their grand opening reception [10/24 from 6-9 PM] and Open Studios [10/25-26 from 11 AM-6 PM].

 Thanks, Furry!

“I was given a safe word…”

Remember last week I told you about Alone: An existential haunting, that Halloween event in Los Angeles that’s less like a haunted house and more like your own personal nightmare? Well, our LA correspondent Heathervescent attended the event’s opening reception and came face to face with her own demons.


Heathervescent writes: “Yes I did have to crawl. I was bodily moved, I had light blind my eyes more than once and I also got wet. I also think my brain may never be the same again – but this is all for the best. When I checked into the Alone experience, I was given a safe word. If things got too intense, I could use this to stop the experience. Then, five of us lined up and were filed into a creepy old freight elevator.

The subsequent experience could be described as David Lynch meets Hieronymus Bosch in modern Los Angeles. It’s an immersive experience for sure. As I journeyed through the rooms, and it was a journey of psychic proportion, I find it difficult to describe what I experienced. Looking back at the fragments of my memories – what were these creatures – beautiful and terrifying, confusing and delightful.
If you’re a lucky soul, you might just find yourself locked in a closet with one of the most magical creatures. I left the experience changed – I knew these demons were terrifying (and some really were), but I left filled with the awe of a truly unique experience.

Everything is unexpected in the Alone Experience. If you’re looking for an experience beyond the mainstream haunted house, look no further. This is one “haunted” experience you won’t have anywhere else.”—

It is happening now until November 1st in a downtown Los Angeles location. [Tickets]

photo by Heathervescent


From 2005 to 2012, Suzanne Forbes, a former CBS courtroom artist and DC Comics artist, made live drawings at Bay Area alternative events. She drew live portraits (NSFW-ish) at Dickens, the Edwardian Ball, Maker Faire, SteamCon, Kinky Salon, Decompression, fetish balls, the Porn Palace (both old and new), play parties at the old Citadel, the Artumnal Ball, Folsom, and dozens of other events. Maybe she drew you, or your friend!

Now she’s moving to Berlin, and this is your last chance to get a piece of original artwork documenting Bay Area history. She’s having a HUGE art sale featuring hundreds of drawings, dozens of paintings plus her creepy dolls and handmade Halloween accessories at her Uptown Oakland home, Saturday October 25th from 2 to 9 PM and Sunday October 26th from 12  to 7 PM.

Can you spot the Monistat?

San Francisco mosaic trash artist Jason Mecier has created a “star studded trashy tribute” to the late Joan Rivers.

“Believe it or not, many of the items were donated to the artist from other celebrities and female comedians! Highlights include Phyllis Diller’s anti-itch creams, a bandaid and two Disney coloring books from Rosie O’Donnell, Margaret Cho’s rolling papers, Amy Schumer’s tea bags, Sarah Silverman’s Gelfite Fish, and Kathy Griffin’s Monistat 7… (Allegedly!) Other funny ladies’ contributions include Amy Sedaris’ pompon’s and a pipe cleaner, Parker Posey’s purple yarn, Ricki Lake’s Dr Scholl’s blister treatment, Kathy Najimy’s antacid, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’s make-up remover and hair spray! Drag superstar Jackie Beat’s “Susan Lucci” pump insole can be spotted alongside Botox pamphlets, Fixodent, Metamucil, and Justin Bieber trading cards. And don’t even ask how much it is… the fabulous Margaret Cho already owns it!”

Check out more of his art at Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery in San Francisco until November 9th, 2014.

Real things you can actually buy: nay!

Cuddles My giggly monkey

Cinnabon Air Wick

photos by Rusty Blazenhoff

It’s a small world

Selfishly, I don’t want to tell you about dorkbotSF.


Why? Because it will get even bigger and more popular and too crowded. I will lose my patience waiting in line for a grilled cheese sandwich and getting a chance to talk to people behind the cool projects that are being featured.

Screw it. I’ve learned over the years you can’t keep really awesome events small, and that’s 100% how it has to be.

dorkbotSF is a “somewhat monthly salon” showcasing bleeding edge Bay Area makers “doing strange things with electricity.” It is Karen Marcelo’s baby. Karen is in no uncertain terms, badass. According to her Linkedin profile, she specializes in “generative visuals, info viz, data analysis, game programming, Linux admin, interactive 3D, teleobliteration engineering, internet telerobotics, ubiquitous computing” and a bunch of other things I know almost nothing about. She has worked with Survival Research Labs for the past 19+ years and has served as dorkbotSF’s curator since she started it in 2002.

Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that, this geektastic soiree of hers has been going strong for over 12 years.

The latest one was held in Berkeley at an amazing old house which has been repurposed as a space for budding tech-artists by Stochastic Labs. Seriously, it was gorgeous. To our delight, attendees were allowed to explore the Widow’s Walk which was accessible by climbing a permanently attached wall ladder.

Go ahead, join the dorkbotSF mailing list to hear about future events. If I have to, I’ll pull in some favors to get ahead in the sammie line. [P.S. Not in the Bay Area? There are dorkbots all over the darn place!]

Also, don’t miss Karen speak about the last decade of renegade technology in San Francisco at Long Now on November 4th.

pictured: The Cinema Snowglobe by JD Beltran and Scott Minneman, featured at the last dorkbotSF.

Real things you can actually buy: yay!

Eagle Talons by Archie McPhee

The complete series Pee-wee's Playhouse on blu-ray

Borg Like Me by Gareth Branwyn

Negativland’s new album, It’s All in Your Head, is available now. The 2-CD set focuses on “why humans believe in God” and is packaged inside a real Holy Bible which has been repurposed into a “found art object.” A-men.

Hey! Is this you?

The kickass team behind Digital Detox and Camp Grounded is looking for a Director of Sales & Sponsorships. Apply within.

Got a job? Looking for work? Let me know what you’ve got or what you’re looking for and I’ll include the info in a future edition.


Gareth Branwyn was on Leo Laporte’s TWiT show, Triangulation, talking about his book, zines, and lots more. Yay!

What I need from YOU!

Your support –even for the one-time amount of $10– will help me sleep at night.If you are unable to make a cash donation, would you consider asking your friends to subscribe to this newsletter? We need more eyeballs on this thing.

Most of all, I am in need of a Lifestyle Delivery System* (LDS for short). Hire me.

*This is how my friend E. describes her job. 

The Newsletter Thingamabob is a weekly curated missive by pop culture activist Rusty Blazenhoff focused on the quirky, offbeat, and awesome. Find fun and unusual things to do in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond by subscribing now.

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