Art Opinions

The Mind of Jennifer Blowdryer – September, 2006

It was one of those foggy magical evenings in San Francisco.

My now husband and I met up with a then friend of mine for an evening of hanging out in a cool dyke bar, dinner and a sort of “show” at The Dark Room in The Mission. Now The Dark Room is located at the far reaches of The Mission area. Back in 2006, it still retained the kind of sleazy feel/vibe I love so much.

And, of course, Jennifer Blowdryer is a bit of a legend. Punk Goddess of the written word and a life lived somewhere between the edge and on a sofa floating in the possibly drug-fueled ambiance that is her life. Jennifer Blowdryer is a smart and endless cool lady. I was quite excited to see her “perform” up close and personal in the very tiny space that is The Dark Room.

To be honest, I’m not sure if The Dark Room is still standing. I wonder if it has survived The Mission gentrification that has been going down. Hmmm…

But, I digress. Back into my memory of that September night in 2006…

Jennifer Blowdryer: An Artist On The Verge…

My friend was then writing for a Bay Area website about the arts in San Francisco. I remember she was taking fast/furious notes as the Ms. Blowdryer’s show took its form. I decided to do the same. Looking back at my notes I am amused at the moments that seemed of note to me at the time. Thinking back on the night I wish I could explain the rather free-form association Jennifer Blowdryer adapted as she pulled herself and the show together in front of us. Her disorganization and self-admited laziness were all a part of her art and performance. I wish I could recall Ms. Blowdryer’s ramblings of her knowledge of Cher’s one night stands and her many drunken moments on Polk Street and at Studio 54 or her interest in people who tend to get tossed out of public places for bad conduct. But, my very limited notes from that evening will have to suffice. Here are my notes, unedited:

Please note: I shall replace my husband’s name with the letter “B” and my then friend’s name with the letter “X”

@ The Jennifer Blowdryer Show at The Dark Room

X is wearing a vintage plaid fitted jacket, a cute designer print t, cool zipper suede boots with her jeans rolled up.

B looks REALLY  HOT in my shirt he borrowed and my brown/orange jacket. His hair looks real “atomic” — like the Blondie song.

He (B) checks the time. 

I wonder how many people have had orgasms in this art/theatre space?

I suspect this place is haunted.

Cool! Some “Go Go Dancer/Surfer” rock music begins to play.

B yawns. X swallows and stares out into space. 

X’s container of milk has gone rancid. Why does X have a container of milk?!?!?

B gets up.

X’s boots have glorious platform heels. Cool.

B’s butt looks great.

I wish I could get a Diet Coke.

B goes out for a smoke and to score some Advil for X who has a bad headache. I hope B gets me a Diet Coke! 

Oh, apparently I have given X an idea for a visual blog. Well, that’s cool. 

More people are coming in now. 

Jennifer Blowdryer, the legend I’ve read and read about for years sort of ambles on to the tiny little block that is a ‘stage’.

Blowdryer is really cool. Funny. Smart. Tough.

This show is going to be strange. I don’t think there is a plan. Improvised all the way. 

“Every second is a precious moment” – Jennifer Blowdryer informs a rather confused audience member who looks like he somehow fell from a Frat Bar in The Marina.

“I wish there were as many people as there are bubbles in my bubble bath because that would mean there are as many people in the street as — Wait. No. It would just mean that the people in the street are bubbles.” – J. Blowdryer at random. 

Funny stuff and off-insights about the fringe. Is Jennifer Blowdryer calling for a different sort of Punk rock for the new century? Or, is she merely confused? 

X keeps writing a lot of stuff in her tiny notebook. 

B looks anxious. I can tell he wants another stiff drink and a cigarette. 

“I don’t work. So, I have lots of hobbies” – J. Blowdryer starts to discuss odd hobbies that amuse me, but seem to frustrate the two dudes in front of us. 

I envy people like Jennifer Blowdryer. Brave. Free. She strikes me not so much an artist but  a person who simply lives and tranlates that life into a sort of  breathing art.

I feel like a stranger at her home as she screens some of her fave movies and talks about things.

Oh, that drag queen seems out of place here. She is not enjoying the show.

One of the boys in front of us turns around and asks me a question. I can’t understand him, but B seems unpleased. B glares at the boy. He turns back around. The drag queen is getting up to leave. Jennifer Blowdryer starts to talk to her. Wow. I’ve never seen a San Francisco drag queen get intimidated. She returns to her seat. X is writing a lot about this interaction. 

Oh. I think the show is over. 

“You know what guys? I’m really hung over and tired. Um, yeah. So, thanks for coming. I need a fucking drink.” 

And, Jennifer Blowdryer leaves the little block of a stage. 

Yes! The Dark Room today – 2012! Still standing and a bit refreshed with new paint and a new sign. But, I liked the old neon sign…

Well, those are the only notes I took that night. Afterward, we went for drinks. Then I think I went home with B. And, X ran home to type up her review of the show.

As we were leaving The Dark Room I noticed that an artist had laid out some really interesting hand made tiles. She was selling them. B and X were in a hurry to leave but I was enjoying the odd people still milling about the club. I bought three tiles. They were hand baked and painted by an artist called Louise Varmilowecz.

I still treasure my three tiles by Louise.

I Love You This Much by Louise Varmilowecz, 2006

That Night At The Office by Louise Varmilowecz, 2006Tamborine With Nature by Louise Varmilowecz, 2006


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