model-less sql

I feel stupid... but here goes:

How do I write and execute SQL without a model? I just want to insert
(or select) some various information but don't want to bother with a
model class and save() method, etc....

i want:

sql = "insert into table values (stuff)"
execute(sql)

or

sql = "select * from modelless table"
result_array = execute(sql)

ActiveRecord::Base.connection.execute(sql)

thank you