The “Monte Cristo” Edition :: Issue #233, Rusty’s Electric Dreams

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

― Roald Dahl, The Minpins (1991)

Rusty's Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff

An inbox zine for positive deviants and the people who love them
Issue #233 :: The “Monte Cristo” Edition :: 08:28:2019

Monte Cristo

First, thank you to everyone who wrote to comfort me about SJ’s rough entry into ninth grade. I’m happy to report that by the end of the week things were going much better for her… and me.

(ICYMI: Check out this five-year-old’s funny before-and-after first day of school photo. Been there!)

I also want to thank Gail, a reader from Tennessee, who warned me about the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. You might remember that I had written that thrifting at it on my “bucket list”:

“…unless you have more reason to be in Alabama, maybe you’ll want to reconsider. The best part is the interesting things they’ve found which are on display around the store as museum pieces would be. Most all the other stuff is a little over-priced, and not at all interesting…

We are big fans of thrift/goodwill stores and this was sort of a glorified goodwill. Not intending to burst your bubble, and if you just happen to be in that area, of course you should check it out.  Just sayin’ that it’s not much of a destination hotspot.”

Bubble burst… but in a good way. Thanks, Gail — you’ve saved me a trip to Alabama!

Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. I’m going on a short Labor Day weekend trip (nope, not to Burning Man), so no zine next week. I made this a long issue though. See ya in September!

As seen on the Internets

This is a great story, even if you’re not a sportsball fan: Former minor/major league pitcher Keith Comstock shares, over at ESPN, how he got this goofy ball-in-the-crotch shot on his baseball card: “Sure enough, there I was, taking one to the nuts. The guys thought it was hilarious…”
:: A McSweeney’s list: “Attending Burning Man or Parenting a Toddler?

:: Did you know there’s a tiny, unincorporated village in the Oakland Hills? It’s called Canyon and I just learned about it myself.

:: “After nearly dying while filming ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ Margaret Hamilton spent the rest of her career trying to escape her evil character’s long shadow.” Thanks, Greg!

:: All about mid-century modern breeze blocks: decorative and functional

:: There was a time when you could send children as MAIL 

:: The Hauntington Hotel, the Ghostbusters ride that never was

: Fun piece: “The weird power of the ice cream van tune” 

:: Now, listen to the music of different ice cream trucks


:: Not playa bound? Watch the Black Rock City live webcast from the comfort of your own home instead! Bon bons not included.

:: AND/OR sign up for the BMIR Experiment

:: Who would you bring to Burning Man who’s never been? If you could.
:: Email me your answer.

Real things that actually exist: yay!

Chicken and Egg Loving Friends Kitty Cuddle Costumes

Insta-ready: Is this the first-ever couples costume made specifically for a human and a cat? I think maybe so. This one is called “Chicken & Egg” and has you as the chicken (naturally) and your kitty as the egg (note the yolk on its head). There are other of these “Loving Friends Kitty Costumes” too: “Squirrel & Acorn,” “Pumpkin Pals,” and, my favorite, the “Role Reversal” (the set where you dress up as each other — aw!). By Archie McPhee, of course. $12.95/set.

Honorable mentions:
— SHAG designed Enchanted Tiki Room mouse ears for Disneyland ($58 at the Disney Store).

I thrifted string art for $6.99. Turns out it was created in the late sixties/early seventies by the guy who kicked off the string art fad: John Eichinger of String Mandalas!

Real things that actually exist: way!

Cannablis, scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that smells like weed

It’s the end of the world as we know it: Cannabliss is a weird scratch-and-sniff wallpaper from Flavorpaper that smells like weed! No joke!

Featured Events


[Oakland :: 9/27] Tickets are now on sale for Drawn Together, the after-hours live-art event for grownups at Children’s Fairyland that I’ve been telling you about. I’ve already got my tickets! Starts at 6 PM and goes to 9 PM. Art is sold for a fixed price of $40 at the end of the evening… which is a STEAL as far as I can tell.

Alameda, CA
[9/28] Where Craft Meets Innovation: A Market & Showcase hosted by Bay Area Made, 11 AM to 45 PM, 2033 Everett Street

Berkeley, CA
[Until 1/5/2020] “Strange features diverse works from BAMPFA’s collection that invoke strangeness and resonate with the spirit of Surrealism”
[11/26] Exquisite Corpse Workshop at BAMPFA, 1 PM

Los Angeles, CA
[8/31] Lindsay Benner’s Women in Vaudeville, monthly showcase of lady-led talent at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, doors 8:30, show 9, Tickets $20

[Now through 9/15] Bob Baker’s Sketchbook Revue, a mid-century marionette musical variety hour, for kids of all ages

New York City

See what RED pal Oriana Leckert has picked as the must-go-to events in the Big Apple!

[5/2 to 11/1/2020] Yayoi Kusama will exhibit a “multisensory presentation” at the New York Botanical Garden in the new year!

Oakland, CA
[9/27] Tickets are now on sale for Drawn Together, the after-hours live-art event for grownups at Children’s Fairyland, 6 PM to 9 PM

[10/12-2/16] The Smithsonian’s No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibit is coming to Oakland Museum of California. Volunteer opportunities are available. 

[10/17-10/19] Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt Gardens

[11/8] No Spectators opening party at the Oakland Museum, 5 PM to 9 PM

Portland, OR
[Until 10/30] Portland’s “Duchess of Felt” LeBrie Rich has a new show called Sugar Spin at COLAB Architecture + Urban Design. It features 15 of her new (needle-felted and stitched) candy package sculptures (the Whitman’s Sampler looks good enough to eat!). 

[9/17] LeBrie’s Artist’s Talk

San Francisco, CA
[9/20] The 24 Carrot Show is a new and totally outrageous, audience-interactive “cartoon cabaret” from the sexy, gender-bending clowns of Fou Fou Ha! at Oasis, Tickets are $30 to $70 and worth every penny (according to friends who are in the know). 

[9/5-9/14] The 28th annual San Francisco Fringe Festival is full of surprises! It all happens at the EXIT Theatre.

[9/17] The EPS (“Erstwhile Philatelic Society”) will be giving a talk at the Adventure Design Group, 7 PM to 9 PM, Free

[Dates between now and 9/21] Artist Kasey Smith keeps a map of all the ghost signs in San Francisco. You know, the old handprinted advertising signs on the side of buildings that were just never painted over. And now she’s hosting Tenderloin Ghost Sign Walking Tours until September 21. Not to be missed! Tickets are $15.

[Until 10/31] Christian Cagigal’s legendary San Francisco Ghost Hunt is back. I went on this walking tour last year and learned all kinds of weird San Francisco history. Do recommend!

San Rafael, CA
[9/22] San Rafael Porchfest, RED reader Alex G. writes, “Porchfests are occurring around the country. They are small neighborhood music festivals where houses in a given neighborhood will host bands/artists on their porches. The streets are closed, there are food trucks and you can wander from house to house and hear all sorts of music… Rock bands, folk bands, solo artists, local favorites, and even The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. I believe it is going to have 60 acts…all free. A neighborhood throwdown.” 12 PM to 5 PM 

Walnut Creek, CA
[Until 9/15] Blow Up II: Inflatable Contemporary Art at Bedford Gallery

Various U.S. cities
[various dates] That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody

USA and Canada

[various dates] Immersive listings

Know about a cool happening? Send me the info and I’ll share it with the class!

Calvin peeing is never not funny

:: It’s a joke. ::

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a (mostly) weekly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff for positive deviants and the people who love them.

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

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