The “So, I got my first tattoo” Edition :: Issue #073


Rusty’s Electric Dreams :: Issue #073 :: The “So, I got my first tattoo” Edition :: 02:24:2016

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by professional free spirit Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #073 :: The “So, I got my first tattoo” Edition :: 02:24:2016

So, I got my first tattoo…

I really did (!)

“Why now, Rusty? Why?”

Well, when David Bowie died, a bunch of folks started getting black star tattoos in his honor (his last album is titled Blackstar). As I’ve mentioned previously, he was a great influence to me. For weeks, I contemplated putting a black star on my body somewhere. For some inexplicable reason, it just never seemed quite “right.” I trusted my instinct (which I’m getting better at doing, by the way).

Now, you have to understand, I have never been inked before. I somehow made it this far with zero tattoos, no “mom in a heart,” no “tramp stamp,” nothing. It’s been a small, if not odd, point of pride for me. Not that I am judging anyone with tats, no no… I’ve just enjoyed being “alternative” and “counterculture” on the inside but not showing that outwardly to the world. (Are tattoos even considered counterculture anymore?)

But, the black star tattoo movement really got me thinking. I suddenly didn’t feel opposed to getting one. In fact, I felt ready. But, if not a black star, then what?

It came to me almost immediately. I needed a unicorn horn, a “unihorn.” It needed to go on the inside of my finger so I could instantly become a rainbow-horned unicorn.

“Wait. Wuht. Why a rainbow unihorn?!”

I wanted to honor someone who has directly impacted my life for the better. I wanted this person to know exactly how much they mean to me, in a “language” they would understand and appreciate. This special someone is Elliotte.

Like me, Elliotte is a woman with a guy’s name. She rocks. She runs The Unicorn Estate (TUE), which is her amazing home. She describes it as a “hub in the International Inspiration Engine” and as a “place to make magic and a celebratory space for the creative tribe.” She lives life in a big way and her home reflects that in a somewhat-shocking amount of glitter and rainbows.

Most importantly, to this story anyway, she carried me like a sister —and without judgement— when I was going through some really hard times in the past year. She hung out with me when I was at my lowest and seemed grateful for the opportunity to do so. She said really beautiful things about me and to me when I felt rotten on the inside and didn’t believe I had anything left to contribute to the world. She told everyone how cool my new project, this inbox zine, was… when I was barely able to sit behind my computer and create it. I would show up to her parties, and only to her parties, when my social anxiety was crippling.

There are some people that come into your life and make a deep and undeniable positive impact. If you believe in soulmates (I do, I believe we have many), then you probably understand my bond is with this lovely lady. I’m certainly lucky to have meet Elliotte oh-so-long ago and to have had her pop back into my life after a long absence…just when I needed her most.

:: Ok, I’m crying now. Gah. Last year was really terrible, and she was really supportive. ::

Long story longer, she started Project Unihorn a while back. It’s a sticker sheet of rainbowed unihorns. To “unihorn” something, you just peel one off and attach it to whatever needs to be bettered by a unicorn horn.

In this case, it was me. And, it wasn’t a sticker, but a tattoo. And, it was her birthday.

“You literally branded yourself with someone else’s brand.” Yep, I did.

It should be noted that I have other VIPs in my life (you know who you are! I love you all!) It’s unlikely I’ll honor each one with a permanent marking on my body, though maybe I will. The future is unwritten, er, uninked.

So, now I’ve got a tattoo to go with my occasional sailor’s mouth. And, I’m already planning my second –much larger and not on my finger thank-you-very-much– inked art. [Word of warning: Finger tattoos hurt like HELL. I didn’t know that going in, but I’ve been assured that all future non-finger tattoos will feel easy-breezy in comparison.]

Thank you, Elliotte. Thank you, dear readers, for actually getting this far. 😉

Special thanks to the charming and delightful Lexie, who accompanied me to the tattoo parlor and was able to sit through my momentary anguish and nervous laughter.

May I recommend my new “Tattooer Extraordinaire” (that’s what it says on her biz card) wholeheartedly? Great! Her name is Gaytha and she is wonderful. She listened to my anxious chatter and made me feel at ease. You can find her at Sacred Rose Tattoo. They have two locations in the East Bay (California).

Rusty Blazenhoff

p.s. Wait! There’s more! My UNIHORN, bitches:

“Love this word [ed. “Flawsome“] I learned in Rusty @Blazenhoff‘s zine today (which you should be reading. It’s just plain awesome.)”
Alex Shebar, Yelp’s Community Director

SJ in a big pink wig
This space intentionally left wigged out

As seen on the Internets


Living jewelry

:: “Living Jewelry That Grows On Your Body While You Wear It”

:: “How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Steps!”

:: This looks AMAZING: Ellen Page’s “Gaycation”

:: “NASA invites public to send artwork to an asteroid”

:: “What being a real woman means” by Amy Miranda

:: “Be A Fucking Weirdo.” Thanks, Epiphany!

:: The “They Live” Donald Trump mask

:: Olek is looking for women in India to crochet on March 8th

:: “Happiness by design,” a TEDx talk by Ellen Petry Leanse

:: Pagan Idol, San Francisco’s new tiki bar

:: Gold-leaf Weirdo badges by Josh Ellingson

:: James Turrell’s “Roden Crater”

:: “Less work, more play”

Real things you can actually buy, I think

customizable CV impression Sandals set for Walking accomplishment and view (Historical Lens) Lean In To Walking

Yarn-bombed electric fence

crusty COUCH

Aquarium backpack

Artist-in-Residence: Benjamin Wachs


Lamenting Avalon: and other Fairy Tales for adults

It’s Benjamin’s last week as Artist-in-Residence (where DOES the time go?!), so I asked him a few questions…

RB: What are you working on now?

BW: Funny you should ask! This Thursday (Feb. 25) I’ll be launching a Kickstarter for a book of Fairy Tales for Adults!  They’re amazing stories, and the art — oh man, I’ve got some amazing artists on tap to create a book that you might never read because you’re too busy looking at it.
Get a copy!  Help me out!  Go here!

RB: Oddest compliment you’ve ever gotten about your writing:

BW: It’s a tie between:

“This is the most devious thing anyone has ever done to me,” and “You write as though you were part of a tradition.”

RB. Best dive bar in the Bay Area, and why:

BW: The great thing about dive bars is that the more dive-y they become, the more unique they get : a great dive bar is truly sui generis, to the point where it eventually transcends the form. Is the Uptown really a dive, or is it too chill? Is the Alley a dive, or is it disqualified by the fact that it has a piano?

To my mind, a dive bar is epitomized by the idea that the bar naturally chases away the kind of people who would”improve” it –and both these bars (Uptown and the Alley) do that. They’re amazing. Drink there.

Either way, you should be drinking there. They’re both great neighborhood bars that chase away the kind of people who would gentrify them.

[RB: YEARS ago, the Alley was my neighborhood watering hole, and, no lie… Rod Dibble was my across-the-street neighbor! Love that place.]

RB: How old is your inner child?

BW: So once I was dating this girl, and she had a heart condition, and the doctors said she would die if she didn’t get a transplant right now. The only donor match was my inner child. And … look, I’m not proud of this, but we do things for love … so I killed my inner child in his bed, smothered him with a pillow, cut his chest open, and sent his heart to the doctor so that the woman I loved could live with my inner child’s heart beating inside her.

But of course you cannot date your own inner child, and the heart I had given her drove us apart.  She is now a librarian in a distant land, collecting rare handwritten books by medieval heretics and illuminated prophecies of the end of the world.

RB:  Rock, paper, or scissors?

BW: Paper. Everything I do begins with a blank piece of paper. If I write something beautiful enough, the scissors will weep and rust and never threaten me again.

RB: Ever been stuck in a Turkish airport?

BW: Too soon, Rusty.  Too soon.

Hold up there, pardner… Go check out Benjamin’s Lamenting Avalon: and other Fairy Tales for adults on Kickstarter.

Thank you, Benjamin! 

Events of note


Light Yards

[Until 3/6] Light Yards: Two-Week-Long Installation Melding Light, Sculpture and Music to Create Wonder, Washington, D.C.
[3/18] Pee-wee’s Big Holiday premieres on Netflix

Online and IRL
[3/21] Patience, a new graphic novel by Daniel Clowes

Various cities in the USA
[Opens 2/18] Rolling Papers, a documentary film about the Denver Post’s pot editor

[Until 3/5] Neko Case is on tour

[Until 4/23] Lily Tomlin

Austin, Texas
[3/18] Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion

[3/11-3/15] SXSW Interactive

Berkeley, California
[3/2] Lost Landscapes of Oakland, California with Rick Prelinger, 3:10 PM

[3/15] Daniel Clowes presents “Patience” at Pegasus Books, 7:30 PM – 9 PM

[3/26] Heather Gold’s “Everything Is Subject to Change” – One Night Only

East Park Reservoir in Colusa County, California
[5/20-5/26] Camp Tipsy

Houston, Texas
[4/9] The 29th Annual Houston Art Car Parade

Lake Iseo, Italy
[6/18 to 7/3] Christo’s Floating Piers

Las Vegas
[Ongoing] Akhob, an immersive “Ganzfeld effect” experience by artist James Turrell at Louis Vuitton [by appt only: 702-730-3150]  HIGHLY recommended!

Desert beyond Las Vegas
[4/29 to 5/1] Further Future Festival: Music Technology Speakers Wellness Art Gastronomy & Community [Tickets]

Lisbon, Portugal
[11/7-11/10] Web Summit 2016

[July 2016] EVA London 2016

Los Angeles

Cool Places to Buy Weird Shit in Los Angeles

[Dates in Feb.] Year of the Monkey at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

[Until 3/4] BeinArt Surreal Art Show 2016

[2/27] The Edwardian Ball

[2/29] Bob Baker Day [Tickets]

[2/29-3/1] A L O N E i n c . A C H E L A N D, undisclosed location in LA [Tickets]

[Until 3/13] Break Bread, a 30 day art installation by Scott Hove and Baker’s Son at Think Tank Gallery (with a 7,500 sq. ft. Cake Maze!) [Free Tickets]

[3/18-3/19] Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show, Parts 1 & 2 at the Egyptian Theatre

[3/19] Crispin Glover Live! 10th anniversary Part 1 and Part 2 of IT trilogy

[3/24] Cat Art Show LA 2: The Sequel at Think Tank Gallery

[4/1-4/3] Roaring Twenties Weekend 2016 [Tickets]

Marble Falls, Texas
[10/7-10/10] Camp Grounded

Melbourne, Australia
beinArt Gallery opens in early 2016

New Orleans
[2/28/2017] Mardi Gras
[2/13/2018] Mardi Gras
[3/5/2019] Mardi Gras
[2/25/20] Mardi Gras

New York City
Quirky NYC by Oriana Leckert:
“From Bumper Cars to Torah Taxidermy: A Guide to 25 of Brooklyn’s Most Unusual Museums”
“From Elevators to Outsider Art: A Guide to 16 Under-the-Radar Museums in Queens”

[Ongoing] Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel

[Ongoing] The Ferry Play on the Staten Island Ferry, $1.99

[Dates through March] 8Players, an immersive roleplaying experience, Secret locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, 21+ [Tickets]

[Until 3/27] Then She Fell, An immersive theater experience combining a hospital ward, the writings of Lewis Carroll, and only 15 audience members per show [Tickets]

[Ongoing] More NYC events


[2/28] Prince playing two last-minute solo shows at the Paramount Theatre [Tickets: 7 PM and 10 PM]

[2/27] Snap Judgment LIVE at the Paramount, 7 PM to 10 PM

[3/5 and 3/6] Oakland Museum’s White Elephant Sale, Free

[3/9] Hook Line and Sinker: Musicians Telling Stories presents “CRUSHED”

[3/12] Mortified, a night of adults telling stories about their lives by sharing their most mortifying childhood artifacts… in front of total strangers, 7:30 PM, 21+ [Info]

[3/26] ResurrEGGtion! This Easter, EGGS BAR Returns at DeathTRAP, 8 PM – 2 AM [Tickets]

[4/17] MAPS 30th Anniversary Banquet & Celebration at Scottish Rite Center

[6/25-6/26] Burger Boogaloo, Mosswood Park [Tickets]

Palm Springs, California
[7/8-7/11] Yes and Yes Yes (YxYY) at the Ace Hotel, a “summer retreat for anyone who considers themselves a thinker, maker, creator, nerd, or weirdo.”

Paris, France
Editor’s note:
Last January I had the good fortune to spend the night in an artist’s yurt. My photos from that visit will be included in this show…in PARIS!
[4/13-8/29] Habiter le Campement, Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine au Palais de Chaillot

Portland, Oregon
[Until 4/3] Kenny Scharf: Cosmic Cavern Thanks, Michael! Great one!

[8/11-8/15] World Domination Summit [Tickets]

Provincetown, Massachusetts
[8/13-8/19] Carnival 2016: Back to the 80’s

Riverside, California
[5/20-5/22] Beyond Brookledge at the Galleria at the Mission Inn

San Francisco
“Best storytelling events in the Bay Area”

[Ongoing] Elsewhere Philatelic Society

[Until 2/26] Ellingson & Wertz at Mule Gallery

[Until 2/25] SF Indie Fest, various events around the city

[2/24] A Tribute to Aunt Charlie’s “Beautiful by Night”, 6:30 PM

[2/24] Phonographic Memory: February Session, 7 PM – 8 PM

[2/25] Hanaa Zeid paintings at Chez Poulet, opening night 6 PM – 9 PM (paintings up all of March)

[2/26] DeepDream: The art of neural networks at Gray Area, 6 PM – 11 PM [Tickets]

[3/4] Dead Kennedys at the Fillmore [Tickets]

[3/5] Mark Growden Quintet at The Red Poppy

[Until 3/5] Miss Behave’s Game Show at Greek Star Theatre [Tickets]

[3/11] Mortified, a night of adults telling stories about their lives by sharing their most mortifying childhood artifacts… in front of total strangers, 7:30 PM, 21+

[Until 3/12] Hair, Victoria Theatre [Tickets] Thanks, Sari!

[3/19 and 3/20] San Francisco Pop-up Ball pit Bar at the Romper Room

[3/23] Daniel Clowes presents “Patience” at Green Apple Books on the Park, 7:30 PM

[3/24] Comedian Maria Bamford at Nourse Theater

[4/14-4/15] The Chocolate and Art Show at SOMarts

[4/16] SFMOMA to reopen

[4/21-4/24] The Gray Area Festival, a conference, performances, workshops, and an exhibition surveying culture through the lens of art and technology

[6/11-10/2] Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life at The Broad [pdf]

[6/12-6/13] Season finale of Calling All Choir at Mission Dolores Basilica

[6/24-6/26] New Games with John Law

[7/10] Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge at DNA Lounge [Tickets]

[7/23] The Murray Invitational. A Bill Murray Art Exhibition and Golf Party at Public Works

[8/5-8/7] Outside Lands, Golden Gate Park

[10/13] Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary, 8 PM [Tickets]

[10/2017] 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love

[Ongoing] More SF events

San Mateo, California
[5/20-5/22] The 11th Annual Maker Faire Bay Area [Tickets]

The Obscure, the Charming and the Odd: Mark Pahlow’s Guide to Seattle

Sun Valley, Idaho
[3/20-3/23/2016] DENT

[7/4-7/10] Nowhere

Washington, D.C.
[Until 3/6] Light Yards: Two-Week-Long Installation Melding Light, Sculpture and Music to Create Wonder
If YOU would like to co-curate an issue of Rusty’s Electric Dreams, I’d love to hear your idea! Please email me:

Know about a cool event? Share it. I’ll do my best to include it in the next issue.



Pee-wee's Big Holiday premieres March 18th on Netflix

Foma Labs, Immersive Experiences

“When I’m not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.”
Snoop Dogg

“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.”
Paul McCartney

“I cannot express to younger people how great it is to be this age. I, like them, would never have believed it. It’s like describing the taste of a peach. They’ll find out when they get here.”
David Bowie, on approaching 50 (1995)

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a weekly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff. These personally-curated missives are beacons to signal and celebrate the global tribe of weird, wonderful, and “different” people (“the Others“).

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