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Art purges rage, awards contest winner

It’s tough to be angry when you’re hooking up art as a prize for this week’s photo contest winner, someone who has always been supportive and kind.

Congrats, AZMouse for the most creative scenarios on the tourist photo. Since AZMouse is an avid animal lover with two dogs and two cats, the prize is a polka-dot dog-cat, created with kindness and joy.

AZMouse's new RynArt polka-dot dog-cat/Ryn Gargulinski
AZMouse's new RynArt polka-dot dog-cat/Ryn Gargulinski

Now the photo contest post is going to quietly disappear lest it wreak havoc when we least expect it, like during my next vacation.

Thanks to all who participated in the contest – every entry made me chuckle.

Gratitude also goes out to readers and fellow bloggers, such as Renee Schafer Horton, who came to my defense. I’m still unsure what to think of other bloggers who initiated hateful, personal attacks or jumped on the mega-hit bandwagon with false accusations and less-than-positive posts. Oh well. Like a wise man once told me: “F it.”

Creating art is one of the best ways to deal with emotions. You can use it to enhance joy or rid yourself of hatred, despair, disgust and rage. Just don’t work with sharp metal during the rage.

Reviewing my portfolio, it becomes clear when I used art to help me through a difficult situation or to celebrate something beautiful.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

A bad hair day

artpurgegetlost
Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Recovering from solicitors

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

That bumblebee sting

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Enduring screaming kids at a theater

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

That vegetable attack

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Celebrating bats in early morning or while walking the dogs at dusk

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What do you think?

Have you used art to purge? What did you come up with?

How do you get rid of emotions or celebrate something grand?

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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

The last snappy or crappy, fake and real bilingual signs, caused quite a stir.

The latest snappy or crappy promises to be much more appetizing: playing with food.

No one can resist happy bread/submitted photo
No one can resist happy bread/submitted photo

The very happy bread photo was submitted by reader Tami.

“It’s my quirky thing I do for my kids when I make them a sandwich,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Mustard smiley faces on bread are wholly snappy, adding a fun touch to what may normally be a mundane sandwich, especially if the sandwich is packed something boring like iceberg lettuce.

Other snappy ways to play with food include drawing on the disposable rinds of oranges and grapefruit, arranging waffles and sausage into an imitation Dali and creating apple head old people dolls out of rotten and dried-out apples.

Other folks, however, go into overkill when playing with food – like using a military issue combat K-Bar knife to cut a sandwich. While this weapon is specifically designed for marines, a person who shall remain anonymous used it to slice bread and pickles.

Need any pickles sliced?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Need any pickles sliced?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Even though using a colossal knife to slice a sandwich may be akin to using a chain saw to carve a turkey, it’s still snappy because the food is still edible.

Folks who play with food and end up wasting the food are engaging in crappiness.

What’s your take on playing with food? Please respond:
a. Snappy as long as the food is still edible.
b. Crappy. How dare someone mess with my meal.
c. I remember how mom used to draw syrup faces on my pancakes – snappy!
d. Where can I buy one of those knives?

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Thanks, Tami, for the fun bread pic. You’re other Snappy or crappy submission will be up soon.

Got a Snappy or crappy spotting around town? E-mail photo and comments to rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

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Woodstock tribute ’09: No naked hippies, but plenty of music

Woodstock is just one more example of why some of us were born too late.

But even if we missed the amazing three-day fest in 1969, we can pay tribute to it 40 years later with the KXCI Woodstock Tribute Concert at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Couple on the scene/AP file photo
Couple on the scene/AP file photo

Sure, the Tucson tribute may not include thousands of naked hippies rollicking in mud, but we can also bet there will be no births, deaths, or shots fired in the air by an irate farmer upset by all the noise.

Can’t say if there will be any drug arrests or bad acid trips, however.

Tickets are on sale now at Rialto Theatre. All proceeds go to support our favorite local station – “real people, real music” – 91.3 FM KXCI Community Radio.

What: KXCI Woodstock Tribute Concert
When: Aug. 15, doors open 4 p.m., show starts at 5 p.m.
Where: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St; 740-1000
Tickets: $11 gen. admission, $16 reserved balcony
Free for 12 and under with paying adult. Fees may apply.
Rialto box office open noon to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday

We already have a slate of confirmed performers, although KXCI Director Randy Peterson said, “We are not saying who is covering who – or even who is covering The Who.”

Confirmed artists:
Al Perry; Andrew Collberg; Lovemound; The Wayback Machine; Cathy Rivers; Loveland; Leila Lopez & Courtney Robbins; The Tryst; Michael P.; Jo Wilkinson and Top Dead Center.

Were these people there?/Photo of photo in Arivaca coffee shop by Ryn Gargulinski
Were these people there?/Photo of photo in Arivaca coffee shop by Ryn Gargulinski

To get you in the mood, here are some fun facts on Woodstock by the numbers:

The groovy:

2 – Babies born at the festival
31 – Musical acts scheduled for main stage
51 – Caldrons of rice-carrot-raisin combo made for Sunday morning breakfast at Hog Farm Free Kitchen
60,000 – People expected to attend
315,000 – People who never made it there but tried
400,000 – People who attended

The grungy:

10 – Shots fired in air by farmer disgruntled by all the ruckus
80 – Lawsuits filed following the festival
90 – Percent of attendees who smoked weed
133 – Arrests on narcotic and other drug charges
400 – Bad acid trips
600 – Portable toilets

800+ – Cops – includes 150 volunteer cops; 346 off-duty NYC police hired at $50/each per day, 100 local sheriffs and hundreds of state troopers and deputies from 12 counties

10 million – number of yards of denim and striped T-shirt material in the audience (it did not specify if this was on their bodies or off)

The ugly:

1 – Case of pneumonia
1 – Diabetic coma
3 – Tracheotomies performed on site
3 – Deaths: one heroin overdose, one ruptured appendix and one person run over by a tractor. Ouch.
4 – Miscarriages

Woodstock price list:

$1 – hotdog
$4 – hit of acid or mescaline
$6.50 – advance price of single day ticket ($8 at gate)
$15 – ounce of marijuana
$18 – advance price of three-day ticket ($24 at gate)

Source: Woodstock69.com

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Were you at the original Woodstock?

Did you give birth, get arrested?

Even if you weren’t there, what performer is your favorite?

When folks even mention Woodstock,does Country Joe and the Fish run through your head?

Have you been to any Woodstock tributes in the past, like the version in Rome, N.Y., in 1999 that ended up full of fire, smoke and feces?

Read a Tucsonan’s version of hippiedom on Retroflections blog.

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From dismal drunk to Daddy Rocker

Many of us are suckers for a success story, and we can find one in a flash with Tom Moran.

This Brooklyn boy went from suicidal drunk to Daddy Rocker who just released his second album “Ain’t Gonna Give Up.”

Tom in front of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel/Daddy Rocker photo
Tom in front of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel/Daddy Rocker photo

Success didn’t come easy. The 44-year-old first had to ride the express train to hell and hit a bottom so low he needed to be scraped off it. And he’s not ashamed to admit some of the tough stuff he’s been through.

“I am so proud of my life and my past, ” he said. “I can now help others through my music and by being an example to them.”

Although booze badgered him, bludgeoned him and eventually ruled his life, Moran didn’t even dig the taste of his first drink.

That drink came as a teen and he slowly slid into a life of beer and pining after girls who didn’t pine back. It got worse right after high school.

“That’s when I really got hooked on the juice,” he said.

Other than smashing a beer bottle outside his frequent hole-in-the-wall hangout called the Truck Stop, Moran didn’t get into much trouble drinking – at least on the outside.

Inside, he was dying.

Still in his early 20s, the Canarsie chap moved to upstate New York to live with his sister. But his “good buddy Weiser” came with him.

“I was lost for some time upstate and in my mind,” he said. Thoughts of suicide constantly trampled through his head. “My life was really nowhere. I really did not want to go on anymore with my useless life.”

Waking up was turmoil, pulling himself out of bed a major chore.

“Getting up the next morning was hard to do. After a night out, I remember getting up the next day and wishing I would die and the hangover had my head spinning.”

Moran finally sought help when his sister decided to quit her own drinking.

“I went where she went and got some help,” he said. “That was the best decision I ever made: getting help for my drinking.”

Falteringly at first, Moran finally embraced a life without alcohol – even when that life continued to fall apart.

Married and living in Gerritsen Beach, Moran was working as a teacher, which he still does, with 90 percent of his cash going to fixing up the couple’s refinanced house.

He decided to use the meager 10 percent to record his first album, “Starting Over.”

That may not be the main reason behind the divorce that followed – “She did complain a lot!” – but the result still left him as a single parent raising his son Jonathan.

Tom with son John/Daddy Rocker photo
Tom with son John/Daddy Rocker photo

Move over Budweiser, as his son, now 10, took over as the most important thing in his life.

“When he first called me dad, I lit up,” Daddy Rocker said. “When your kid calls you dad for the first time, it’s amazing and wonderful.”

Working with former drug and alcohol addicts in recovery programs, teaching physical education to special needs children and, of course, spreading his message through his music are near the top of his list, too.

Moran’s first album sold 12,000 copies – not bad for “an unusual bad boy turned good,” as he jokes.

His second album has just hit the market, and I’ve already picked out my three favorite tracks:

1. Kisses & Hugs – An oozy, bluesy tune that soothes, grooves and mentions Santa Claus a la Leonard Cohen.

2. No Big Deal – Rocking number that devotes a whole stanza to the joy of Jonathan, especially watching the Yankees-loving boy play baseball.

3. This Poor Boy – Sweet, soulful song asking for help being put back together.

Even with through the turmoil of depression, alcohol addiction, divorce and working as a teacher in NYC public schools, Moran’s music is uplifting and filled with hope.

It is also infused with a simple innocence that makes you smile, not to mention tap the steering wheel while driving.

Even though Moran no longer longs for death, he easily answered the question I asked about what he would want on his headstone as his final words:

To my son Jonathan: I love you.
Go Out and Enjoy Your Life
Love, Daddy
P.S. Daddy will always be with you.

Full disclosure: I’ve known Tom for about 10 years and he’s one of those sweet, supportive friends that can’t make you mad even if they try. (Tom – that doesn’t mean you should try.)

Check out his album, video and more on his website DaddyRocker.com

Tom gives special thanks to his publicist, DeAlan Wilson.

I’ll be playing some Daddy Rocker songs on my weekly webcast Friday at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. EST) at Party934.com.

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My favorite promo shot - love the vest!/Daddy Rocker photo
My favorite promo shot - love the vest!/Daddy Rocker photo

Do you know someone who is a success story?

Maybe you are success story yourself?

Who inspires you?

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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy? The last snappy or crappy, the cutest kid with a Mohawk, was voted one of the snappiest yet.

The jury is mixed on the latest snappy or crappy: multicolored architecture.

It could easily go either way, depending on how it’s executed.

Multi-colored stone wall/Ryn Gargulinski
Multi-colored stone wall/Ryn Gargulinski

The first example is snappy.

This midtown stone border is sweetly kitschy and hopefully was painted using masonry primer or the paint will flake off and make it incredibly crappy. It’s an older home that deserves some funky touches.

The second example is crappy.

Multi-colored squares/Ryn Gargulinski
Multi-colored squares/Ryn Gargulinski

This newer building, on North Alvernon Way just north of Fort Lowell Road, should have at least left out the purple. The effect is a multicolored mismatching mishmash.

It’s a prime example of art trying too hard to be cool when it really isn’t, not unlike those paintings of a single dot in the middle of the canvas at which you are supposed to oooh and aaah even though all you are looking at is a dot.

What do you think?
Please respond:
a. I agree the stone wall is snappy and the newer building looks like a pile of poop.
b. I think the stone wall is crappy and the newer building is gorgeously sleek and attractive.
c. All multicolored architecture is crappy. The whole world should be one big beige blob.
d. I don’t care because I’m stuck in a red brick house and all other architecture makes me angry.

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