The “Doing it right” Edition :: Issue #260, Rusty’s Electric Dreams

“If you want to cure the world, don’t emanate fear – emanate love.”

Ram Dass

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

An inbox zine for positive deviants and the people who love them
Issue #260 :: The “Doing it right” Edition :: 03:25:2020

Doing it right…
Wow. A lot has happened since last week. 

Honestly, not much has changed for me day to day, as I work from home already. Same clients, basically the same work. There’s just more of it, since all eyes are on the internet in this strange time. It had never occurred to me that working from home, communicating solely through a screen, would one day be seen as healthy. Ha, I feel so vindicated by my oddball lifestyle! 

The one new thing that I’ve found myself thinking: Will I get COVID-19 from the people around me? (Or from the grocery store? Or my bank? Or from my own steering wheel?)

I can’t remember where I read it but sometime last week I saw the term “COVID bonded” and it really stuck with me. If you’re not familiar, it’s a play on a term I learned a long time ago from friends in the poly(amory) community — “fluid bonded.” What? Ok, forgive me for getting a little graphic here, but if you’re fluid bonded with someone, you’re sharing, yup, bodily fluids with them, primarily through sexual activity. But plain ol’ spit counts too. 

Ok, so COVID bonding. It’s kind of like that but it refers to who you are in close contact with during this time of sheltering in place (your “germ pod,” as my friend Amani calls it). My germ pod is complicated. (Ok, writing that just made me chuckle. Is “my germ pod is complicated” the new way to say “my relationship is complicated”?) Ok, who am I COVID bonded with? There’s Andy, my sweetie. He doesn’t live with me but we do see each other several times of week. Then there’s SJ, my 15-year-old daughter. Now, and here’s where it gets complicated, SJ bounces from her dad’s house to mine frequently. Over there, besides her dad, SJ has three siblings and a stepmom. And, her stepmom works at a local medical facility. I’m told she doesn’t have patient contact but certainly the risk of exposure is higher for her, and possibly (probably?) SJ, and therefore me.

So, I’m essentially COVID bonded with quite a few people. You might be thinking that I should stop sending SJ back and forth, or that I should stop seeing my sweetie. Or both. But I don’t think it would help at this point. Though I have heard of divorced families around here who have sequestered their children to just one house and did it right from the beginning. 

But now I’m wondering if I’m also COVID bonded with the people at the grocery store, and the people who just left the grocery store. The grocery store is one big ol’ germ pod, if you ask me. I’ve been there twice this week. [throws hands up]

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not freaking out. It is what it is. I’m doing my best, and am hoping it’s enough. Acceptance.

Hey, I hope you’re all staying safe within your germ pod, washing your hands, and that no one you know personally has been affected by COVID-19. The reports say that in the next couple of weeks, we’ll really start seeing cases pop up here in the U.S. I hope it doesn’t hit you, or me, or anyone in our collective germ pods. We’re all in this damn thing together. Separate, yes, but not alone.

Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. I saw this Chris Ware cartoon after I wrote what’s above!


As seen on the Internets

Children's Fairyland stationery by Michael Wertz

We can do it, right?: In the past week, I’ve been watching the world shifting from consuming to creating. For example, in the spirit of WWII’s Rosie the Riveter character, several friends of mine are sewing face masks as a way to “help out the efforts.” Gotta love that. And a reader shared that one of her clients is hosting virtual sobriety (coed, alcohol) meetings. Doing her part!

I’m more of a creator than a consumer. So, one of the things I’m doing for “the efforts” is helping to keep magic alive for the Fairyland community, while the park itself is closed. Most of the social media work I do with this particular client isn’t aimed at “going viral” (which now has a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?) but this week, something did! We asked the community to have their children snail mail us drawings and notes, and in return, an “elf” would write them back on special artist-designed stationery (see above). Well, the response has been huge. We haven’t gotten any mail from the children just yet, but it’s coming real soon. And, I suspect, in droves. Oh my, the anticipation!
:: SO GOOD! A museum put its Head of Security on social media duty and he’s awesome!

:: This one is also REALLY GOOD! An out-of-work sports commentator starts reporting on things in his everyday life

:: A fun article on novelty pranks and other products

:: These Sandwich Monsters bring me so much joy Thanks, Anna!

Still Bored? Still Lonely? Still Awesome? Don’t despair…

:: You can STILL Marco Polo me. Since last week, I’ve been going back and forth with several folks, including a dear friend in Berlin. I’m at “510-xxx-xxxx” (Sorry, last week I didn’t know you needed my phone number in order to find me there)

:: And, you can STILL become my pen pal. Write me, I’ll write you back. Thank you to everyone who is already playing — your return mail art is on its way to you! 
:: Snail mail only, please: Rusty Blazenhoff, 3104 Fernside Boulevard, Alameda, CA 94501 c/o Pen Pals Program

“Pen pals” always reminds me of “Pin Pals”

Real thing that actually exists: go away!

No, really: I finally gave my mildly agoraphobic self permission to buy the doormat of my dreams. Thank you, global pandemic! ($24 on Amazon)

Emma Zeck

Featured Events

:: soon enough we’ll be able to go to events again ::

Henri Matisse painting in bed with the flu
Thanks, G!

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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