The “Tommy Tourist” Edition :: Issue #299, Rusty’s Electric Dreams

“Be strange if it is necessary, be quiet, kindly as you can without feeling the heal marks on your head.

Ann Darr, “Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me”

An inbox zine for positive deviants and the people who love them
Issue #299 :: The “Tommy Tourist” Edition :: 3:31:2021
Tommy Tourist…
Spring has sprung here in NorCal and I’ve been playing tourist in my own town.
On Saturday, I finally got over to see that store in Berkeley that David Sedaris raves about, Tail of the Yak. I can see why he likes it, it’s full of wonderful things. Pricey, but wonderful. Then I went over to the columbarium at Chapel of the Chimes in Piedmont. It’s one of my all-time favorite places in the world, redesigned and expanded by architect Julia Morgan in 1928. Every detail is breathtaking. After that, I went back over to TEPCO Beach, that place in Richmond I told you about before. There was a guy fishing who pulled in a leopard shark! He said it was too small and threw it back in the water, but not before I took a few photos.Then, on Sunday, I took the boat over to Alcatraz. It’s open again, and freezing as usual. I met a new friend there:

Rusty Blazenhoff

P.S. Thanks to everyone who had kind words and information for me in regards to the COVID vaccine I got. I learned that it truly WAS a leftover, an extra, and that it was ok for me to have it. One reader got one from the same place and said they made a donation to a different local clinic that gives out the vaccine. So that’s what I did too. End of story.

As seen on the Internets

I first learned of counterculture crochet artist Birgitta Bjerke (100% Birgitta) in 2017 at the de Young’s Summer of Love exhibit. There were a few of her pieces on display but it was “Pioneer,” the massive afghan she made in the early seventies (above) that really caught my eye. I see it like a stream of consciousness captured in colorful yarn. Just this month, Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly went deep into her story in Meet the Swedish Artist Who Hooked British Rock Royalty on Her Revolutionary Crochet. It’s a great read and you’ll see a lot more examples of her work.
photo by Rusty Blazenhoff
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:: DALL-E: AI can now create images from text descriptions
:: Don’t try to run and hide. Jesus is your friend.
:: Thanks, Pants!

:: “Wacky old people catalog finds”
:: Part 1:
:: Part 2:

:: Supercalafajalistickespeealadojusby The Arabian Knights

:: Wait, it’s not?!

:: Bird’s-eye view of A LOT of vintage pinball machines

:: Four BART stations now have touchless storytelling dispensers

:: Music to make pasta by (no, really)

:: “When you’re good, there’s always a job for you” and other solid advice

:: Struggling SF artists: apply for the guaranteed income pilot program by 4/15

:: The Artists’ Grief Deck via

:: This is what the REAL Archie McPhee looks like

:: A reader sent this video in response to that creepy Benny Mardones’ video I posted in the last issue
:: Thanks, K!

Real things you can actually buy: yes way!

These gardening gloves! Speaking of gardening, I’ve found plants that are hard for me to kill: succulents! So, I’ve gone crazy planting them around my place.
Real thing you can actually buy: yay!

Chris Rummell's model of punk club 924 Gilman
Ah, memories: 924 Gilman Street is/was an all-ages (mostly) punk club in Berkeley, California. It’s an unusual place. No alcohol is served, no drugs are allowed, and to go to a show you have to buy a $2 membership card which is good for a year. The club, a collective run by volunteers, opened in 1986. The band Green Day formed in 1987 as teens and played there for several years before hitting commercial success in 1994. When I moved to California that year, they had just been banned from playing at Gilman because they had signed to a major label (meaning, they had “sold out”). The ban was later lifted.

Coming from a sheltered Cape Cod existence, Gilman wasn’t really my scene. But I did go to a few shows there because it was my boyfriend’s. Before we moved to the East Bay, Pol had been in his own punk band, playing shows at AS220, an indie venue in Providence, Rhode Island. He and I moved here together in our early twenties and ended up getting our first apartment less than a mile from Gilman (for those who know the area, we literally lived behind the Ivy Room.) So, he was there a lot. One of my first jobs was right around the corner from Gilman at an imports warehouse. At that time, the club was becoming increasingly more popular. The internet was changing how information was shared and once “underground” events and places were being seen by more and more on people. For context, I first heard about Burning Man in 1994 and attended a year later.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, earlier this month, Chris Rummell, a local miniature model artist, announced his new solo show at Nielsen Arts in Berkeley. The standout piece? An incredible true-to-life model of Gilman. It sure brought back some memories!

If you want to learn more about the 924 Gilman scene, there’s a 2017 documentary on it called, Turn It Around: The Story Of East Bay Punk.

Related: The Instagram feed, @PunkHouseOakland. Its story.

Real thing you can’t actually buy: yay!

Mid-century modern mini model house mancave
Speaking of miniatures: You have to see this mid-century modern mini model house that Kansas couple, Annie Kampfe and her husband Cliff Donnelly, made during COVID. It even has electricity! You’re looking at its man cave, complete with a little Farrah Fawcett poster.

screengrab via The Kansas City Star

Also, in all things small and wonderful: Tacoma’s Laurie Cinotto is recreating her vinyl collection in miniature: Teeny Tiny Vinyl. Thanks, Julie!
Featured Events

[Bay Area, California: 5/1 – 5/23/21] Virtual White Elephant Sale, local pickups only

[Coachella Valley, California: Now – 5/16/21] Desert X 2021, FREE (download app and get reservations as needed)

[Lake Ladoga, California: 6/21-6/27/21Camp Tipsy is on, with COVID restrictions. Scholarships are available.

This guy is NUTS
Now THIS is how you sell peanuts.
photo by Henry H. Buehman of Tucson, Arizona (1890)

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a fortnightly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff for positive deviants and the people who love them. If this was forwarded to you, please consider subscribing yourself.

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