If we are lucky enough to survive the next 5.5 billion years and the sun expands enough to fry the earth, and we think we will be better off living further out in the solar system, and we can hope for cutting edge technology, like what that those boards tied together was to our intrepid early ancestors who shoved off and headed for their horizon, is there something we should be doing first? What I am wondering, G.Z., is should we take our wanderlust to Estonia before launching more space exploration? Starring into space in Louisiana,

Long question! from “Staring into space in Louisiana….”

Yes. And no.

The fact is, every day is a day you should set out to explore a new world. But there are new worlds right under your nose and around the corner. Such as:

-your feelings

-Grasses. There are like thousands of varieties even just right off the road or in an abandoned lot. Did you know they even have little flowers, many of the grasses? But they are small since they pollenate with wind and don’t need bees and such, hence no need for big petals and smell.

-Mustard. You can make it yourself, and flavor it with anything!

-Sunsets and sunrises, can literally be seen from anywhere!

-Take a walk, look closely at things at your feet and in the air. Watch.

Yes indeed the sun will fry the Earth like a doughnut somewhere way off in the future- but that’s a hill of beans. It’s our beans, yes, but still. Thinking about it won’t really change anything. Just explore the world that are already here. Not frying.

As my one-eyed uncle Slippknot used to say back in Estonia, “Finish the plum brandy before you go to the liqour barn!” Wise.

 

 

 

Zamboni, should I do Tarot Cards?

Many people have wondered this, should they believe in things like Tarot, Astronomy, or Dry Cleaning.

I cannot vouch for the last two, but I can say my answer is this: Tarot can be very profound indeed and if the interpreter is good, then I can assure you it is a most very interesting use of your time..In moderation of course and with grains of salt.

But did you know that Zamboni himself  is working on resurrecting a very ancient and prophetically modern Estonian fortune telling deck of cards called The Zamboni Shuffle? Yes it’s true. In this deck (Always stacked against The Devil!) here are some of the cards that come up after you shuffle them and a Licensed Zamboni Card Reader turns them over:

-The Young Sinatra; this card signifies you are lean and hungry and may have to break a mold to succeed.

-Trisha the Goat; this card, named after my childhood playmate, signifies you to get in touch with your playful nature and eat more  vegetables.

-Maria Conchita Alonzo; this card prompts you to either to have a fling with a hot Latina or get in touch with your sassy inner hispanica or both.

Frank_Sinatra_by_Gottlieb_c1947-_2

Knowing me and my intense dedication to leisure, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this deck to be on Amazon tonight- translating from the ancient Estonian is a bitch- but I promise to work as fast as I can and when I am done, private consultations of The Zamboni Shuffle start at only 4,000 Drachmas.

Until then, I offer this advice. Wisdom can come from anywhere, a bearded Tarot reader on Telegraph Ave, a Ted talk, Bazooka wrappers- but the best comes from your own mind, when you think.

Great Zamboni’s New Year High Resolutions

1. Stop eating couch pizza for breakfast. (It’s so damn convenient!)

2. Call the Dalai Lama back.

3. Brush teeth more regularly.

4. Figure out if “one carry-on bag” means a carry-on  suitcase and  like a small satchel or backpack or just the one thing and not both.

5. Drink more yak milk.

6. Don’t wear so much aftershave the girl at the video store makes that weird face.

7. Don’t brag quite so much about never being wrong.

8. Visit Estonia.

9. Teach others to release the great Zamboni inside them.

10. Like Woody says, “keep the Hope machine running”.

 

Below are the resolutions of my old friend Woody Guthrie. We traveled the dust bowl together in your great country’s depression and he left this journal with me that has his resolutions. Enjoy and be inspired..

WoodyNYResolutions (1)

 

Stump Zamboni, attempt #2

From Anna, in Berkeley:

“Please pass this message on to the Devil:

Devil, ask Zamboni:
                            “If hell really is in hell, what does “hell on earth” mean?” 

This is from Anna’s  attempt to help the DEVIL stump me. Do not get your panties in a twist Devil becasue I can answer this quixotic query quite clearly.

“Hell on earth” is and can be many things. It is the DMV when you arrive and take the number 87, then lookup at the monitor and it says “now serving 2”.  It is waiting in line at a cafe with a 3:30 pm coffee jones and the person in front of you orders a decaf soy latte with a shot of vanilla. It is L.A..       It is Christmas music on November 28th. It is hearing the words, “it’s not you…” It is a call from the hospital  when you have children. It is the word “cancer”. It is realizing that “a la carte” means your steak is 28 dollars and comes with nothing but a plate, and the creamed spinach and fries are 8$ extra- each. It is the phrase “I’m just saying..” it is all these things and more, but most of all, hell on earth is getting everything you want. 

king of fools
king of fools

Not expecting me to get that one eh, Satan! Ha!

Dear Zamboni, who’s texting me?

Dear Great z-

I just got a text of an intimate nature. The problem is, I don’t know who the sender is- and don’t know how to find out without being rude or hurting their feelings. How do I do this slyly, without just saying “who the hell you are?”

-Awkward J

Dear Awk J-

Is funny. I myself great zamboni just received a text yesterday at midnight which said “hey, what are you doing right now?” and my old cell phone the size of beer can shows only for caller ID “Lisa F.”

Who the hell Lisa F was I did not know! But I had to find out without hurting the feelings of this alleged female. What if we had been intimate once making what we call in Estonia “a warm sushi party” together? What if it were my second cousin on my aunt Svetlanika’s side- what if both were true?

So, to be safe, I text back: “I am thinking of you”

She respond: “?y?$%#$^#@@!!!!! HEEE!!”

Instantly I recognize this is that Lisa F. -a snake charmer I met at a Taxonomy convention in Chappaquidick and this was our code word for “watching TV”

Now if this had been my grandmother, she merely would have said something like, ” how sweet you are my little zamboniman (: ”

My point is this: In this situation say something bold yet vague, that way you will get a reaction. And positive or negative, a real reaction is better than no reaction.

The same is true for life. Speak up, even if you say something offensive or taboo- at least it will keep other people- and you- awake.

Remember what the Buddha say: “there are three things that cannot be hidden:the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

What Does Zamboni think about While Peeing?

This nosy yet intriguing question comes from Fortuitous Kronkite, a sheepherder from Duluth whose name is somewhat far to fetch.

Here is an exact inner monologue I experienced during a pee last night in a quiet alley outside of an eating establishment in Minsk:

It’s colder than a tit of a witch out here. Ack.. I wish the line for inside had not been so long..  Did I get my 1040 from Langley?

I can live without that Jeep, that ICW watch, those Gucci loafers with the little bamboo clasp, without ever visiting Japan or that little  quaint town somewhere in Michigan with the  sunsets and the cute little independent bookstore. I can live without ever knowing what  a Kardashian may be, or where Wall Drug is or what the hell the Winchester Mystery house is.

What is that crawling over my shoe? And what is a Chai Tea- is it tea or Chai? What’s a Channing Tatum?

And what about love- can I live without that?

Ahck! I’ve dribbled on my pants again… 

This can help you with stage fright...

I hope this was elucidating to you my friend. They say the Roman orator Esplennius would create whole orations in his mind while he drained his lizard. Anytime we let anything go, it can be good.

Moonshine Revelations

 While navigating Hopper Creek in the   backwoods of Yountville, grappling over mosses, rocks and entwining  ivies and vines, I came upon something shiny buried in the mud. Thinking it was a bit of brown glass from an old Shlitz bottle, I almost passed it by, but something made me bend down to it, as it caught a small ray of sunlight in a comely golden fashion. Trying to pull it up, I soon unearthed the placid face of a straining Indian- then a rusted out and mildewed Pontiac sedan that had obviously been used to run moonshine from the hills to the city during prohibition. I knew this because inside the decaying chassis, still clutched by the skeletal hand of the speeding hooch runner was a large glass jug crudely marked with the name “Hattie’s Old Crow Hooch”. After several minutes of detatching the jug from the bony hand and from a clutser of shimmering purple mushrooms that were growing both around and inside the lip of the jug, I immediately drank half its contents without any thought. From here my memory gets very cloudy, but of one thing I am clear. The Indian spoke to me, revealing exactly 29 and a half aphorisms, in a creaky voice somewhere between Tommy lee Jones and and the old heater that was in my college dorm room. I can also say that these seem all true, though some are strangely syntaxed. Thanks to the Great Spirits, and I will be sharing them with you soon.
The hooch tasted of liquified Ben-Gay and old Gefilte Fish. Fernet basically. Perhaps you will doubt that the Indian spoke to me, but truth is truth, no? (As for the last half of the Hooch, I gave to Thomas Keller who who put on digestif menu of French Laundry, 500.00$ for a thimblefull)- Zamboni

“What is the purpose of Grades?” #2

I Zamboni have received my first ever in history complaint.

!!!

As stunning as it was to me, I did receive a voiciferous complaint from Jannush Warrenski. A few weeks ago, this bedruggled teacher sent me as he says it, “a cry from the mud” and because I myself did not answer but left his query to my human vessel, the quotidian Jordan Winer- the answer as he somewhat cryptically said, “did not HELP ME AT ALL!” (https://greatzamboni.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/what-is-the-purpose-of-grades/)

So now I greatzamboni will answer this question for him, “what is the purpose of Grades”

Grades are for meat. Special trained people in white coats look at all the meat in the world and they have special stamps with very pretty blue ink. With these stamps they stamp the meat. About 2% of all meat is stamped “prime”. This meat very good and marbled with nice fat. This meat is like Lawrence Summers and Henry Paulson.

The next grade down, like a “B” is “Choice”.

“Select” is like getting the gentleman’s “C” grade. It is chewy stuff you get in first class of Estonian Airways if you are lucky.

Mr. Warrenski, the purpose of all grades in to make people feel and be like Meat– and as we know from the sage Morissey who is so cool he needs one name only, “meat is Murder”- and so Grades are meant to murder the soul in a tiny way, day after day year after year, so the the student/piece of meat will begin to see life as just she is a piece of meat moving through a maze of twists in turns in a big factory heading for the final destination.

No school system will ever be truly revolutionary until like BF Skinner’s Walden II they get rid of Meatthink.

The tiny strip of mushrooms represent fringe freethinkers like Ben Franklin and Zamboni!!

God, that’s depressing even Zamboni- but since it come to me, it must be true. Remember, if its very sad or very funny- it is always true.

Complain on that!

Amy Poehler Graduation Speech

Probably the best graduation/commencement speech I’ve ever heard.

It is worth your leisurely 18 minutes, (and very stangely, an unsuspecting audience parent is caught wiping goop from eye and eating it! You will see this about 7 minutes in).  Otherwise, very enjoyable, funny, thoughtful piece. I graduated in ’94 and my commencement speaker was Al Gore. Yes, much sleepiness on that hot afternoon as he didn’t go until the bitter end and then he kept going until the bitter end.

To the actors/improvisers in my readership, you will appreciate the lessons she takes from her Chicago improv education.

By the way, for the 100th post on this blog, Zamboni needs a question- have one for him?

-Jordan