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?


“Suckin’ the Hind Tit”

Recently, I Zamboni learned of this expression from an American named Ralf Bart. Having not knowing this, I consulted the Interweb and found this definition:

“Not getting a fair share. Many female mammals have multiple rows of breasts, for example dogs. Typically the rear most pair of breasts is smaller and less developed than the rest. Hence a pup nursing from the rear most breast is likely to receive less milk than other nursing pups. Hind means rear most. Tit is slang for breast.”

Ah, I see. Growing up in Estonia, sharing the bed with many animals and relatives passing through town with the circus, I am quite familiar with this feeling. Getting the short edge of the sword and the fewer birds in the bush, etc. It might surprise you to know that the Zambonesman often feels like he is on this  tit.

You all know of my fathomless wisdom, but being alone on this mountaintop is also very lonely. Never make the mistake of thinking that just because Zamboni can sometimes help everybody in a witless way, that he is without difficulty. Problems, you see, are instantly recognizable in others, but often impossible to see in ourselves.

Sometimes I wake up, prepare my elixir of Daikon radish, mustard greens, Wasabi and mint chip ice cream, and feel hollow, empty. In these moments I ask myself “what am I? where am I going? What am I doing with my life?” No one but the silence answers back.

Live in these moments. They are like houseguests that show up uninvited, people we don’t like but find ourselves stuck with as they blather annoying things on our sofa and fail to put their water glasses on the coasters you provided. There they are nonetheless. Eventually they leave, if you just let them say what they came to say.

Do you feel like you get the hind tit in your life? Let it make you thirstier and tougher.

Never give up, never surrender.

just try to do the next, right thing

Zambonesman has spoken.

How is it that the bush burned but was not consumed?

Today’s somewhat biblical question is coming to I, Zambonesman, from the faithful reader “Sk Dance” from New Orleans. At first it might seem to you peoples that this question would be difficult and somewhat schismatic and controversial to answer authoritatively- this is not so. Since I have spoken directly to God about this you need not worry that I  am interpreting blindly in this liturgical matter or just advocating some religious stance.

Recently I had a beer summit with Yaweh himself  in which we drank a few suds (he prefers Bud Light and will not answer my quandries about why) and I asked him many questions (“Why Hurricane Katrina?”- “I was on the crapper”) and among these asked him to explain some of these miraculous happenings in the Bible. The burning bush being one. These are the words I heard from God though my notes are messy as I was drinking some home brewed Heffeweizen he’d made which was maybe 67% proof:

“Zamboni don’t be so thick. I am God, I make Rainbows, Elizabeth Taylor, Baseball, and the B.L.T., why do you think I have trouble making a bush keep burning. For me to do this is like Joe Dimaggio hitting safely in 56 games, or Julia Child making chicken, or Michaelangelo making sculpture.”

I pressed him further, though by this time I was on cold marble floor of his bathroom and he was hanging in inversion boots doing crunches.

“Okay you want to know the real meaning of this behind the burning fire?” he says. I assure him I do with drooling and mumblings.

“Look Zamboni, the bush keeps burning because it is a source of learning for Moses, and learning or study, this is the one fire that must never be put out in a man. The minute the fire to know more, the curiousity to learn, the minute this is put out, your whole house will go dark. This bush is lit up with Moses’s hunger, not my miracles.”

Learning never endeth.

So my dear SK, I hope you enjoy this answer as I enjoyed reading it in my notes after my 48 hour hangover subsided. I think it is good knowing, and if some sparks for this fire can be had from the blog of Zambonesman, well, this would be good news to me…

You know, we get older, and we think we know all we need to know. We think, “oh I don’t need to read that book or hear this sage, I’m no longer searching in my twenties.”

Well then why are we here?

I wish you happiness.

Knowledge Dropping #3

I don't see anyone up there, you?

Once at a drama festival, I heard a woman giving criticism to student actors after a performance, for about twenty minutes. Maybe thirty. About everything: pace, gestures, motivation, blocking, breathing.  Finally, after they had absorbed all the blows, (which somehow fell lightly, due to a certain spark in her eyes) she said this to them and I have never forgotten it: “keep going, keep going, it’s not true what they say, there is actually plenty of room at the top. It’s the bottom that’s crowded.”

It wasn’t said like Gordon Gekko either. It was said the way the wisest things are always said, like simple and cool secrets you’re suddenly being let in on. -jw

(Zambonesman back tomorrow, leave questions for him by hitting “comment”)

Knowledge Dropping #2

I have been all over the world, from Rangoon to Lake Texoma, and each place I talk to people. The thing I find funny is that the sad and frustrated people seem to be working just as hard , if not more, than the tranquil ones. Why is this? So is the choice ours to make? I must believe so.

This food for thought, no? Think of this, and please, ask The Zamboni, which is me, a question, and I shall answer.

Knowledge Dropping #1, Do What You Fear

Yes. Zamboni fears the sea, since I almost drown after crashing Estonian Air Force plane in 1921 and only a deal with the Devil saves me from death in icy deep.  But now I laugh at Devil. Do what you really wish,  the thing fear keeping you back from– then you may know a certain kind of peace.  And if not today, then when? A wise man once said, “someday” is just another word for never.

(South End Rowing Club, thank you for open fridays)