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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, kooky porch décor that included a ragamuffin doll, got mixed reviews. For the record, she was facing the corner at her last sighting, as if she were being punished for getting too much publicity last week.

I am already mixed on my review of this snappy or crappy.
Kids with Mohawks.

Cutest kid at the Pima County Fair/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Cutest kid at the Pima County Fair/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
When his mom made him take the sunglassess off for a photo/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Mom said take off the glasses for a photo/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

This particular child would be adorable enough to be snappy with any hairstyle, sunglasses or even a shirt that said “Have a nice day, a—ole.”

He could certainly pull it off.

He also chose the Mohawk and glasses of his own free will, as he told me when I met him and his family at the demolition derby during the Pima County Fair.

But if we expand the snappy or crappy to include two other categories, we got some crappiness on our hands. These include kids forced to follow fashions that their parents impart, a la JonBenet Ramsey, or kids who are allowed to sport any fashion they want without some parental guidance, a la adolescent followers of Britney Spears who want to dress in the same revealing clothing at the age of 10. Yuck.

What do you think?
a. Snappy. That boy is adorable and I only looked at the photo without reading any of the text.
b. Crappy. Young boys should have buzz cuts or hair with little sideburns and parted down the side like the comic strip Dondi.
c. The kid is snappy but Mohawks on children remind me of Angelina Jolie and she’s a man-stealing evil woman.
d. Snappy Mohawk on the kid, crappy on the JonBenet and Britney stuff.


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Holiday recap: Sequins, hotdogs and a patriotic chicken

Phoebe went hoarse from wildly barking at all the fireworks, but the rest of the July 4 weekend was dandy, in Tucson and beyond.

Agitated Phoebe/Photo Ryn Garguilnski
Agitated Phoebe/Photo Ryn Garguilnsk

Swapping, jamming:

More than just used clothing was on hand at the July 4 clothing swap at Congress Street’s Dinnerware Artspace. Tucson performer Kathleen Williamson jammed in one of the gallery’s front windows while others began dancing in the second one.

The only drawback about dancing in storefront windows is that it tends to attract ne’er-do-wells, like one guy on a bicycle who appeared to either want to bum a cigarette or make a drug deal. He continued to lurk outside to perhaps abduct a clothing swapper to steal their new clothes or slice the person’s throat and throw them in a quarry.

Kathleen Williamson/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Kathleen Williamson/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Window dancers/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Window dancers musician Vicki Brown and Lotus Massage therapist Laura Keys/Photo Ryn Gargulinski


The coveted Mustard Belt stays in America, with Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., winning the Nathans Famous Hotdog-Eating Contest for the third time. He scarfed down 68 dogs in the allotted 12 minutes, setting a new world record.

My highlight at the contest, which I used to cover when I lived in Brooklyn, was when one contestant puked after scarfing down the dogs. He was not disqualified, however, because he was able to suck it back in before it hit the table.

Nathans 2009/AP Photo
Nathans 2009/AP Photo

Those who prefer a lighter fare also had some feasting going on.

Vegetarian rodent/Photo Marcy Gargulinski
Vegetarian rodent/Photo Marcy Gargulinski


Anyone who takes a cue from my dearly departed Grandma G knows holidays are the best time to do some work around the house. She used to clean her closet on Thanksgiving. She also used to buy cat food just to get the rebates even though she didn’t have a cat. In her honor, I often try to do a holiday home project, with this July 4 leading to the repainting of the patio and its furniture.

Jazzy patio/Photo and jazz by Ryn Gargulinski
Jazzy patio/Photo and jazz by Ryn Gargulinski
Revamped patio chair/Photo and chair decor by Ryn Gargulinski
Revamped patio chair/Photo and chair decor by Ryn Gargulinski

Decking out chickens:

Meanwhile, back in Michigan, mom’s Mother’s Day chicken and dad’s Father’s Day duck got into the patriotic spirit. Dad at first denied having anything to do with this dressing up of inanimate objects, but we later learned he was the one who went out to buy the ribbon.

Cheery chicken/Photo Marcy Gargulinski
Cheery chicken/Photo Marcy Gargulinski
Ducky duck/Photo Marcy Gargulinski
Ducky duck/Photo Marcy Gargulinski

How did your holiday weekend compare?

Did you paint your house? Swap clothing? Vomit hotdogs?


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Ryn: From Cheez Whiz to Hendrix, America rules

The Fourth of July gives us a smattering of incredible patriotic opportunities. We can dress in flag-inspired, garish garb or red, white and blue makeup we’d be loath to don the rest of the year. We can blow off our fingers with firecrackers.

But nothing can be more fun than reflecting on all things uniquely American.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Like SPAM. This all-American food is so versatile it can double as a paperweight, slimy hockey puck or be cooked into a casserole that makes your date escape through a bathroom window just so she doesn’t have to eat it.

Other foodstuff that originated in the great U.S. of A. includes Krispy Kreme, Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs and Detroit’s scrumptious Buddy’s Pizza. Don’t forget our host of fast food franchises: McDonald’s, Jack-in-the-Box and especially one that bears the name of one of our finest states: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Strange processed cheese products also seem to have a home in the heart of America. These include Cheez Whiz, which comes in a jar, tube or squirt can; and that fun, putty-like stuff called Velveeta.

And we wonder why Americans are blessed with obesity and heart disease.

We can always, however, dance off the weight with some uniquely American recording artists. Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison and a whole host of others who died from sudden and unexpected circumstances. Michael Jackson. Kurt Cobain.

Then there are the other American musicians we kind of wish would go away. Weird Al Yankovic. Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Dressing the part of an American is another way to pay tribute to this grand land. We can bedeck ourselves in Daisy Duke shorts, off-the-shoulder Flashdance tops, legwarmers, scrunchies and Member’s Only jackets.

I would also bet your bottom American dollar the U.S. is also the birthplace of the T-shirts that proclaim “My parents went to Nebraska and all I got was this dumb T-shirt” and the ones depicting a finger pointing to the left beneath the words “I’m with stupid.”

Some of the finest American landmarks sell those shirts, and our landmarks are admittedly very fine. We got Arizona’s Grand Canyon; Amarillo, Texas’s Cadillac Graveyard and half of Niagara Falls.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Other notable landmarks include New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, which comes complete with bats; Route 66, which takes you from Chicago to California; and Tucson’s own Valley of the Moon.

Only in America can you find a host of some of the most impressive records. Like Don Gorske who holds the record for eating the most Big Macs. He made the Guinness World Record in 1987 with 18,250 Big Mac attacks, according to the website The dude was up to 19,000 Big Macs in 2003.

What’s more American than that?

The world’s largest hairball and largest ball of paint also have their homes right here in America, both in Alexandria, Ind., to be exact.

The largest hairball, at a hefty 200 pounds, came from the city’s fair sewer system. And the World’s Largest Ball of Paint now resides there, as well, thanks to 26-plus years of labor from housepainter Mike Carmichael. He started with a standard baseball in 1977 and his since covered it with 17,300 coats of paint to weigh in at 1,100 pounds, according to the website

Beat that, oh Blarney Stone and Eiffel Tower.

Even our monsters are cool. Bigfoot. Cujo. Jaws. Charles Manson.

But what most sets America apart from all other nations is its penchant for its toys.

Monster Trucks. Slip-n-Slide. The hula hoop. Miss Barbie. And the world would be in even uglier straits today if it weren’t for the invention of the uniquely American Slinky.

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist and performer who adores American quirkiness and thinks Slinkys should be only made of metal. 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 Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail


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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 mysterious MoonDance Saloon which is rumored to be somewhere near Arivaca, was the snappiest of all thus far.

But this latest one may just rival it.
Kooky porch décor. I find it fully snappy.

Is kooky porch decor snappy or crappy?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Is kooky porch decor snappy or crappy?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

I see this little doll daily on our midtown dog walks. She sometimes has a chewed straw in her mouth and was once even knocked over on her side. It’s cool to wonder what she’ll be up to next. Moving beyond the doll, this snappy or crappy addresses all strange porch décor.

Snappy or crappy? Please respond:
a. It’s snappy and fun. It makes me giggle to see kooky things on people’s porches.
b. How crappy. I bet it brings down neighborhood house values worse than 10-inch weeds.
c. I like kooky décor but this doll creeps me out.
d. I have no sense of humor and nothing should be on the porch, not even a welcome mat. People could trip on the mat and break open their skulls.

Do you have a snappy or crappy sighting around town? Please e-mail


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Artist’s sketchbook: a motorcycle party

My latest art haul was inspired by cool Tucson native Gus Nitsche and his equally cool wife Stephanie, who are opening a new motorcycle repair and refurbishing shop on Grant Road.

I’ve known Stephanie since our good ole days in New York’s Alphabet City where we raised hell, kicked butt and did all kinds of things we’re never going to tell you about.

But now Stephanie and I are quite respectable, no? And she and Gus, who is also an artist, wanted art for Friday’s grand opening party for their shop, Ironwood Cycle at 329 E. Grant Road. I happily obliged.


They got cycle-inspired wacky yard art and a biker series of Lucky Voodoo Dolls.

The party, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 3, will feature free hotdogs, hamburgers, iced tea and “soda pop,” as Gus likes to call it.

I’ll be on hand taking photos, especially scouting for a cycle that rivals Nitsche’s own 1950 fully restored and glorious Harley Davidson.



Got a cycle that’s just as cool? Come on down and I’ll take photos to post on a future blog. Also come clad in your best biker gear for more fabulous photo ops.

What: Ironwood Cycle grand opening party
Where: 329 E. Grant Road (between First and Stone avenues)
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday
Why: Because Gus and Stephanie are cool people and would love to introduce you to their new venture

I’m glad to support the shop opening of a friendly, personable motorcycle man. Wish Gus also fixed cars and not just cycles. He already helped me out with massively long jumper cables when my car’s battery went dead while the car was nestled in my tiny garage.

I’ve also just poured roughly $1,000 into my car in the past two weeks to replace the battery, two tires and an electronic window motor. My mechanic of choice is a large chain that just happened to be the closest one to my house. The folks there seem to be doing OK, unlike others who have diagnosed 352 things wrong with my car when I take it in for a simple oil change.

I’ll give Gus the thumbs up as a guy you can trust. How can you not trust a dude who has a pug named Monkey Butt that follows him around all day and cries at the door when Gus merely steps outside?

Hope to see you at the party. I plan to arrive around 6:30ish for photo ops.

All photos and art herein by Ryn Gargulinski. Refurbished cycle by Gus.

Do you have a scary mechanic story?