Posted on

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.

wb-logolil11_

Share
Posted on

Guns in bars OKed by AZ governor

While minors and drunks may not be allowed to enter a bar, folks toting concealed handguns will soon have the green light to patronize the place.

Street shot up by angry drunk?/Ryn Gargulinski
Street shot up by angry drunk?/Ryn Gargulinski

Ariz. governor signs bill allowing guns in bars, Associated Press report

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizonans with concealed weapons permits will be allowed to take a handgun into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, will require bar and restaurant owners who want to ban weapons on the premises to post a no-guns sign next to their liquor license. It becomes effective Sept. 30.

Drinking while carrying a weapon would be illegal.

Overall, this could be a very good thing.

Since drinking while carrying a weapon would be illegal, we know anyone who did end up getting drunk while carrying their gun would do the right thing and go put it away, right?

Better service might arise because of it, with fewer customers being ignored when they need their water glasses refilled for fear they may haul off and shoot the wait staff.

And you don’t know how many times I was about to sit down to my five-course meal in a restaurant that serves liquor only to have to defend my breadsticks against a hungry, adjacent customer. Now I can use my concealed weapon instead of my butter knife to keep them at bay.

Bartenders and kitchen help, too, can benefit with an extra layer of protection for the top-shelf liquors, pricey caviar stocked in the back and the stockpiles of little umbrellas that go in the drinks.

A positive scenario may even result even if folks do get drunk, stupid and “forget” to put their guns away. An angry gaggle of gun-toting drunks may be able to quiet each other down without our intervention whatsoever – provided their aim is not too far gone.

wb-logolil10
What do you think?

Do folks need to carry their guns into bars and restaurants?

When’s the last time you felt threatened while eating out or getting drunk in a bar? Would a gun have helped you?

Have you ever had to defend your drink’s little umbrella or your breadsticks?

Share
Posted on

Why we should care about Bastille Day, July 14

Tucson is nestled near Mexico, infused with the Spanish language and in the middle of the fabled Wild West. Some may wonder why we should give a hoot about Bastille Day.

Vive la France/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Vive la France/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Bastille Day, which is France’s July 14, 1789, version of our July 4, 1776, marks the day folks stormed the Bastille prison and kicked off the French Revolution.

Those who think prisons are useless, too costly or overcrowded may one day want to emulate such an event, already a reason to care about Bastille Day.

In addition to giving us a blueprint for setting a bunch of prisoners free, France’s momentous occasion should be honored because the country gave us a lot of cool things.

Wine and cheese: Gallery openings would not be possible without this French-inspired combination. Nor would we be able to enjoy soufflés, omelets, chicken cordon bleu or pate de foie gras. (Please excuse the lack of accent marks I couldn’t get that character map thing to work.)

Art and literature: Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Gaugin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec rule the art end while Charles Baudelaire and Guy de Maupassant pick up the poetry and stories. One of the best stories I’ve ever read was Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace.”

Words and phrases: We are constantly using terms borrowed from the French, both in crossword puzzles and in everyday life. Soup du jour. Bon appetit. Menage a trios. L’aissez-moi tranquille vous etes un couchon.

Besides, some of us may still rue the fateful day we chose to study French over Spanish for 602 years, and Bastille Day gives us one excuse to actually use our language skills for things other than eavesdropping on the occasional tourist from Montreal.

wb-logolil9

Do you care about Bastille Day?

Do you still find it useless, even after reading this compelling argument?

What is your favorite thing borrowed from France or your favorite French author, artist or cuisine?

What is your least favorite thing about France?

Share
Posted on

Artist’s Sketchbook: How to make art out of junk

Creating an artistic masterpiece can be as easy as playing with a hunk of junk. Since I get so much joy out of my own recycled creations, I am passing my secrets along to you.

How to Make Art out of Junk

Busted PVC pipe/Photo and art Ryn Gargulinski
Busted PVC pipe/Photo and art Ryn Gargulinski

Obtain junk. Visit your local salvage yard, such as Gerson’s Used Building Materials, or scout for random debris in washes, alleys, riverbeds and on the side of Ajo Way.

Scrape and hose.
Get a paint scraper, sand paper, metal files, scouring pads or whatever else you want to use to scrape off rust, dust and caked-on mystery substances. Hose down for good measure.

Allow to percolate. Throw the debris in random areas around your yard, making the place a virtual minefield for your pets, guests and your own bare feet. This allows the junk to dry in the blazing sun and, if it’s metal, soak up enough heat to leave searing burns if you dare touch it at high noon.

Leave the junk there for days, weeks or months until you are so sick of tripping over and looking at it that you either transform it into something or throw it in the ever-growing slush pile. Caution: pack rats love the slush pile.

Slush pile/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Slush pile/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Coddle and paint. Coddling is a highly technical artist term that refers to kicking, denting, snipping, wiring, welding and otherwise getting the item into some type of shape that works to the piece you envisioned during the percolation stage. You know what painting is.

Mark at some ridiculous price.
The final step in your piece’s transformation is to mark it way up. Folks are not going to pay $5 for a lump of twisted metal. If you mark that same lump to $500, however, they will realize it is art and willingly shell out the cash to own such a masterpiece.

While I generally keep my prices reasonable, I will mark up items for this example. Busted PVC pipe: $379.50; Snazzy Totem Pole: $999.99; Dark Theater Shrine: $8,056. I’ll also let the slush pile go for $1.2 million.

BEFORE: Junky wine rack/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
BEFORE: Junky wine rack/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
AFTER: Snazzy totem pole/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
AFTER: Snazzy Totem Pole/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
BEFORE: Decaying fire place grate/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
BEFORE: Decaying fireplace grate/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
AFTER: Dark theater shrine/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
AFTER: Dark Theater Shrine/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski

wb-logolil8

Dark theater shrine/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
Dark theater shrine/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski

Have you ever transformed junk into art?

Have you ever transformed art into junk?

Share
Posted on

Ryn: Junk mail horror

A simple trek to the mailbox is often not so simple. Some days it seems you need a wheelbarrow to keep up with all the junk mail.

One of my frivolous fantasies is to collect all my junk mail for a month, shove it in a big package filled with dog doo and then mail it back to the folks who sent it to me in the first place.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

I’ve yet to follow through.

Instead I do what I normally do, and sort out the 8 percent valid mail from the 92 percent junk. I then heap the junk mail into the makeshift recycling pile on the side of my fridge until it falls over and scares my dogs.

You’d think with all the hoopla about saving the environment some type of regulation, law or ban on junk mail would have already been passed.

Four of the biggest offenders are:

• Tucson Shopper. This little newspaper-like item gets merrily stuffed in my mailbox about once a week or so. It contains ads for businesses I’ll never need and coupons for items I’ll never want.

At least it’s printed on newsprint, an ideal medium to wash the mirrors and windows.

• Those coupons that come stuffed in an envelope. Unless you were chomping at the bit for personalized Mickey Mouse checks, a five-room steam carpet cleaning or a set of cheesy dishcloths, the coupons are rarely worth saving.

• Catalogs. Catalogs. And more catalogs. These especially stink because they are printed on slick paper that doesn’t even work to wash the mirrors and windows. I will also receive doubles, triples or even quadruples of identical catalogs, just in case I missed the first one.

Some catalogs are from stores from which I’ve ordered online, while others are for old matronly clothes and orthopedic shoes. Maybe they think I live with my grandmother.

And I still don’t know how I got on Frederick’s of Hollywood’s mailing list.

• Bradford Exchange. This joint specializes in limited edition commemorative plates, girly-girl, dressed-up dolls and, as I ordered, items like a “hand-carved” tomahawk made out of plastic even though it looked like wood in the photo.

“Actual size of item larger than pictured” is one of the company’s key phrases. But the folks don’t tell you the item is much more hideous, as well.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Once you order even a single ugly item and they have your address, you will receive junk mail from them every other day encouraging you to order more ugly items. I don’t even open it any more.

The only junk mail with some redeeming qualities comes from animal organizations.

Not only is it a beneficial cause, but it usually comes with polar bear or toucan return address stickers, which you can keep even if you don’t send them money.

Half the time the stickers say “Mr. Ryn Gargulinski,” but we can always blot out the “Mr.” part with a Sharpie marker.

While I pride myself in often finding uses for even the most seemingly useless stuff, I’ve yet to find a use for junk mail.

It’s not durable enough for yard art, not fetching enough for wallpaper and not absorbent enough to line the rat cage.

The only option is to keep piling it up into that ever-growing recycling pile. Or perhaps finally following through on my fantasy and marking it “Return to Sender.”

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who wishes she had a nickel for every piece of junk mail she has ever received so she could retire and move to France. Listen to a preview of her column at 8:10 a.m. Thursdays on KLPX 96.1 FM. Listen to her webcast at 4 p.m. Fridays at www.Party934.com. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

wb-logolil7

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Have you found a creative use for junk mail?

Which junk mail irks you the most?

Share