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?



About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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15 Responses to Holiday recap: Sequins, hotdogs and a patriotic chicken

  1. RADC MAXIMUS says:

    Mornin’ Rynski. Other than road closures, Arizonas’ idiotic drivers, cops everywhere, a little too much sun, racist five year olds-very nice weekend. Looks like your parents had quite a wing-ding!

  2. Rynski says:

    Mornin RadMax,
    Hahhahaha – love your weekend description. My parents always have wingdings. Too bad Michigan isn’t a tad closer. Their best was a tacky party where they even went as far as to remove the toilet seats.

  3. azmouse says:

    This was my first 4th spent away from Tucson, and it kinda sucked. When you’re the family hairstylist, every time you visit family, well, I worked my butt off!
    The food was good….

  4. azmouse says:

    I love, love, LOVE that patio, but especially your chair.
    How’d you do the patio?
    When I got my house about 5 years ago, my back patio was a large, concrete slab. I used a skill saw and made squares on the patio (16 by 16) so it looked like large tile, then stained it ‘red rock’ with concrete stain. I love it!

  5. Rynski says:

    Wow, AZMouse, your patio sounds very cool, too. Mine is nowhere near as intricately made. I used black concrete paint and painters tape. First marked off all the white/grey with tape then painted over it with a little bitty roller than I like using better than those huge sloppy things.
    Where’d you go visit family? Michigan? You could have stopped by to see the chicken and duck.

  6. azmouse says:

    I love the painter’s tape idea…why didn’t I think of that!?!? I did that with a bathroom mirror. It was just a big, plain mirror, but I used tape and spray paint to create a boder.

    I wish my trip was as glamorous as Michigan.
    Okay…..I went to Eloy. Could it get any more excititng?!? lol
    Let the teasing begin, lol.

  7. leftfield says:

    Love the patio and your sense of style.  Even without other clues (the chicken is a dead give-away), your fabric choices on the patio chair say a lot about you (all of it good).   Eating contests also say a lot about this country (none of it good).  They are the perfect metaphor for modern America.  It’s all there – bad food, over-consumption just for the sake of over-consumption; the notion of more, more, more; the fifteen-minute celebrity of no real import, giant spectacle.

    We enjoyed a very nice evening at the Marana celebration; right up until we had to drive home.  It seems we attend 4th of July fireworks displays about every two years.  We say, “never again” after fighting the traffic and crowds and then two years later we’ve forgotten the pain.

  8. azmouse says:

    Hi leftfield-
    How was it in Marana? Did the turnout seem as good as I was hearing? What did the evening entail, besides the fireworks?

  9. Rynski says:

    Thanks for the patio and style compliments, Leftfield. Also for your astute (yet scary) observations on the American way. Eek.
    I heard leaving the Marana fireworks was a madhouse so it’s good you got home by the same evening.

  10. leftfield says:

    Hi azmouse,

    It was a good way to spend an evening.  We arrived early enough to find a good parking spot and get something to eat.  Then the band started up (on time, no less).  There was a beautiful sunset that evening and not too many drunken idiots in the crowd.  The band, Giant Blue, played two nice sets of classic R and B and then we had about thirty minutes of nice fireworks.  I got some nice pictures of the fireworks. 

    Even though we went to WalMart to use the bathroom and witness first hand the exploitation of the international proletariat that WalMart represents, the traffic was horrendous trying to get home.  It took us over an hour to get from the Cortaro Farms exit to the Ina Road exit on the frontage road.

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