Zamboni travelling to the heartland

Tomorrow, I , great Zamboni and little Zamboni Jr. will start our driving journey to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana USA. Will arrive there on July 4th, your American Independence Day- (and I thought it was only a movie! totes lol!)

I look forward to seeing what this day looks like on Indian land and in their minds and hearts.

I encourage me and all of us to ponder this question on that day

“what does it mean to be ‘independent’ and is that even a good thing?

(England just gained some, but maybe will get more than they bargained for, #brexitremorse…)

father day


What do I do now, Zamboni, to make it impossible for crazy angry people to get guns?

This serious and timely question comes from Susan K,  a very longtime and almost dangerously devoted fan of myself who is the one called called Great Zamboni. She even carves little Zamboni figurines out of gulf shrimp. Sooo totes cute!

How I wish someone in that Parisian club had had a side arm on and killed those shooters before they did what they did. Does that make Zamboni part of the problem? Impossible!


How can we keep crazy angry violent people from having guns, indeed! Such an important question my goodness. Because even people like myself, on the No Fly list, can get guns! (Don’t worry I am not on this list due to profiling against Estonians, or immigrants or because of ties to terrorists. Zamboni is on No Fly list because the depth of my brain alters the gravitional pull of the plane making it VERY dangerous for me to fly. So I drive everywhere.)

The answer goes to the heart of what is wrong with America. And what is right. but first, a story. My grandmother used to tall me this story about the old days in Estonia: There was shepherd named Goorin who could never keep his goats alive. One by one, they’d be picked off by a group of especially rabid coyotes. This saddened him to no end and made his financial woes substantial as he was not diversified like the other peasants who had a few beehives and made bricks from cow shit. One day he went to the town elders to ask, “why do my goats keep dying, oh old sages?’ The eldest one looked at him and said, “because, you asshole, your land borders Rabid Coyote Gulch- it isn’t rocket science! Move the goats to a different place!”

Goorin moved his goats far from Rabid Coyote Gulch and all was well. Still an occasional goat was killed, but better.

My point is this, we live in a country filled with guns, and there always be some guns. Our whole country is Rabid Coyote Gulch. In fact now, almost the whole world is. We can’t change that. But we can make some small changes. Over time. Susan you have answered your own question; ” I am calling senators and representatives and I am writing letters and still nothing appears to change”,  but change happens much too slow to see it changing. The people who fought and died for civil rights, for the right to vote, for freedom- often in their lifetimes they see nothing of change. It takes time.

The question is, how many of us will fight, will dedicate our lives to this fight? And will that amount to a great movement? To a million-person march on Washington to curb gun violence? How much will we really risk to fight this?

The NRA is winning not because the world is a bad place or there’s no justice. They are winning because they are organized and funded and tireless and devoted to this one cause, and only this cause. They say that you can’t protect freedom by taking some freedoms away. I see their point.

Another obstacle is guns are fun and often useful. I’m glad George Washington had muskets. I’m glad Zamboni can blow off steam at the gun range.

get some

But it isn’t rocket science. Now that google knows everything about everyone, it shouldn’t be hard to bar those with mental illness or ties to terrorism from having guns. And no hunters I know use Machine Guns or Ar-15s to hunt (except some crazy Shiek I met once who hunts Swans)

So: lengthy background checks and renew the license every year. And about the assault rifles: Military only!

So the answer to your question is, keep making noise. Keep writing letters, but until people on your side have a similarly focused NRA type of organization, it aint gonna happen. (but there is some good news below, from today’s news!-

Against the wishes of conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a Chicago area ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for ammunition, dealing a major blow to the NRA.”

And in truth, there is no us or  them. We all want the same thing: safety and security. We just disagree of the path. 

Best Christmas Blog Post Ever

Christmas Eve, 2014

Your stockings are pretty much empty. The tree is small. There are no presents under it, wrapped in stripey or any other kind of paper. Your nuclear family detonated long ago. Your relatives live in the city or travel from here to there, or have other families to be with. One brother is somewhere in France, you’re not sure. The other lives across the pond. Maybe you have a few memories of ham dinners and stockings bursting with oranges and pistachios and a hundred chotchkes you can’t recall now. That’s cool.

Your daughter is far away. Complicated.  Your girl is skiing, probably taking a lesson from someone named Chad, who won a Bronze medal in Freestyle something, but he’s like, “not a big deal, I was just stoked to be there.”

None of this really matters. It’s raining. You are loved and in love. Your son’s coming over to eat steak and watch Diner. (and he’s getting so handsome!) It’ your movie. Christmas, Baltimore, 1959.

The older I get the more it seems there are two ways to look at life, and pretty much only two:

a) Why does everything go wrong and suck?

b) This isn’t perfect, but  it’s pretty fuckin’ awesome.

Every day you choose to be sad or happy or nervous or whatever. You wake up and wonder, “where does all this anxiety come from?”. It’s pretty silly really, life is good if you’re living it. And any Christmas you’re around to experience is the best one ever. There’s an old saying, “angst is lame.”

Happy One to You. -jw

Am I on the right path?

This was asked to me by someone who name I forget, about seven months ago and I have been thinking about it ever since. I think I finally understand how to say in response.



(is pretty simple answer i know, but if you think it’s too pat, consider the story my grandfather told me about his grandfather Shluckman the Lost. Shluckman was quite honestly the village idiot is his small Estonian burg by the name of PRusszelbatxh. Shluckman had no job but to lie around and bask in the sun all day in the village square because that was as far as Shluckman’s skills could take him in this world. One day however, a new mayor of the town proclaimed, “Shluckman, you have to earn your keep, instead of just laying around in the sun and people feeding and clothing you out of pity, do some work! Take the turnips grown by the monks of the Abbey of St. Tweethle and sell them in the large towm of Klamask down the road.”

Now to all but the mayor, it was quite obvious that Shluckman the Lost would indeed find himself very lost trying to deliver these turnips to another location other that the town square. And sure enough, as he was leaving the familiar town, venturing into the woods, he was never seen again.

Until 33 years later. One crisp morning, a bearded, bedraggled man stumbled into town, who most obviously had been living on locusts and leaves for many a day. He was naked and very sunburned. The children ran screaming, but some of the older folk recognized, “Shluckman, you idiot! You have been lost for 33 years in the forests only because you could not find a town that is down the road! What do you have to say for yourself?”

To this this Shluckman merely replied. “What am I?”)

Though I have now confused myself, perhaps you see my point. Even if we go astray, get lost, get sidetracked, sooner or later when we do make it home, the longer we were away,

the newer and more wonderful our old place seems.

But if you really don’t like the path you’re on, don’t wast time talking to a great Zamboni who takes five month between blog posts- step off.





“Great Zamboni, what is your first name?”

You know, this is the first time anyone has ever asked me that!

I think most people have assumed that, like Madonna, Prince, and Sonny and Cher, I have just the one  name- but in fact Zamboni is a last name I garnered from my adoptive parents. My first name I have never spoken of out loud in public before this minute.

It is Chocoflan. Pronounced “chocko-flahn”. Yes it is the same as the Mexican desert that is a hybrid of custardy flan and delicious chocolate cake. Call me Chocoflan Zamboni. It wasn’t always this way. I added it in my youth.

Are two wonderful things better when added to each other? Yes. Like a Biscuit and butter.
Are two wonderful things better when added to each other? Yes. Like a Biscuit and butter.

Funny story. Spring break, 1984 I was taking a year off from Estonian University to study abroad, here in US. I am student at Georgia Southern University for one year, doing field studies on Biscuits and Potlikker, when there was epic fraternal party at my Theta Chi house. As social chairman, I had once again pushed the limits. A mechanical bull  in a swimming pool of green jello.  Whole Elks roasting slowly underground. Entertainment by Big daddy Kane and John Mellencamp (then Cougar.)

After this soiree, I woke up south of the Border, down Mexico Way. Specifically, Panama.  I awoke in an alleyway naked except for a donut-shaped ring of Chocoflan on top of my head- like a succulent halo. I also was wearing a Ruby on my little little finger as big as tangerine. Needless to exhort, I sold the ruby for clothes and plane fare back home, and I ate the Chocoflan as it was a delicious combination of two wonderful deserts and I was insanely hungry .

What wonderful grandmother took pity on a sleeping Zamboni and left me the Chocoflan? Why? And why on my head? And the Ruby, does it have magical powers as the old ladies sometimes whisper about? Should I have kept it? So I added legally the name in front of Zamboni.

Even weirder is this: Recently two PHd candidates in Zamboni Studies were going through some ancient geneologies of myself and my bloodline. They found that I was descended from a  Portugese grand duchess by the name of Consuelita de Archtango Langoustine d’Choxokoflanito. Silent X.

There are some things we just can’t explain. And some things are not meant to be explained.


“Should I see the movie, August Osage County?”

This question comes from Saul in Cloverdale.


Instead see Anchorman 2 or Nebraska. Nebraska is very good. It  is also partially filmed in Plainview, Nebraska, which happens to be a stop on great zamboni’s next American Tour called “Great Zamboni’s American Tour: Just a Little Off– The Grid”

I'll be right on this corner- dates TBA!
I’ll be right on this corner- dates TBA!

Goodnight yesterday- hello future! (PS- today I will live on 4th street in Berkeley, 4:30 Pacific Time)

Zamboni takes Digital Sabbath- phew!

The Jews have given the world many great things: Manishevitz sweet wine, Sandy Koufax, Paul Newman, circumcision (that one’s iffy) and Jokes, and even great zamboni himself (though being an orphan I cannot substantiate this, the rumor began when when I was dropped, at the delicate age of 11, at the doorstep of the Baron Von Rothschild- the basket in which i was wrapped was padded with the Estonian Yiddish newspaper, “Der Shpiel”.

Anyhoo, another donation to us from them is the “Sabbath”, a great break of time from sundown friday to sundown saturday. Thank you Yahweh! These days some people not just Jews are taking a “digital sabbath” in which during that time they use no cell phone or computer- I am going to try this myself. So. if you have any emergency missives for me, Zamboni, please use carrier pigeon or messenger fox for those 24 hours.

My Uncle Moishe!
Everyone needs a breather (:

Wish me luck.

Zamboni’s name explained!

Thank you to Shoshana- who explained my why i am like the machine Zamboni- clearing and smoothing away the ice, for the many to make their own path....
(4th street LIVE, 12/26/13) Thank you to one of my visitors today, who i’ll call T- who explained to me why i am like the machine Zamboni- clearing and smoothing away the ice, for the many to make their own carving paths….before this I never knew why the universe named me as  such! To my many visitors today- thanks for talking with Zamboni. One of my favorite questions today, a little boy who asked “how long do little people have to be small?” and later a young woman, “when will my boyfriend ask me to marry him?” -for some reason that last one appears a lot on Fourth St ?*!!^%

“Zamboni what can you do about Syria?”

Wow- this is a big question. I Have been thinking about this. My friend Alex Jones, extreme talk radio personality says, “how can you embrace one liberty and not embrace them all?” How can we say we objected to Hitler gassing people and we don’t want to live in that world, but maybe a thousand or so people in Syria we can live with? We didn’t know them.

We believe in the freedom to marry  who you choose, live where you choose, be who you choose, but we don’t think everyone deserves that. Just us. Others may breathe poison gas, but that’s just rough luck. I don’t even know where Syria is, etc.

I know many will say, “Zamboni, get off your cereal box,  after all, what do you know since you were named after ice-grooming contraption?” But remember, when your head is as empty as mine in between the ears, I can feel very clearly which way the breeze is blowing.

What can Zamboni do? This is the answer: We need to make military action to defend people and restore order. I say this. Line up all Navy Seals and Army Rangers and say “who volunteers for this dangerous mission to get these bad guys who gas people? Raise your hand”. Trust me, many hands will be raised.

People ask, “but why does America always have to be the one?” etc..

Because leaders aren’t always choosing to be leaders. Like my friend Bill says, “some have greatness thrust upon them.”  China and Russia are not about leading spear of freedom. Ask my Uncle Smirnoff who lives in USSR before Glasnost. Peoples heads are looking at ground. I live here in America because here,  you look out into horizon, you look up into the sky.

Look, into Iraq we went to big war for shadows of weapons that were not there. Can we not take action when evidence is so clear?

Why did the chicken cross the road? -and why do we never tire of those chicken jokes?

This question, and its rejoinder, come from “Moon Unit” in Albany, Ca.

The first one is very easy. Chickens are very simple and have an inner monologue that consists of only these thoughts: “worms….worms…..seeds…..grubs……huh?… huh?…worms…..worms…..seeds-” you get the picture. So the chicken crossed the road not even knowing what a road is, but just aimlessly wandering looking for food.

The second question is the interesting one. Why do we keep caring about the pointless chicken? The jokes are never funny!

Zamboni has thought this over and arrived at this thought. We all wish we could be the chicken. We wish we could turn off our brains to such mindless thoughtless instinct as the chicken and not think about what we’re doing for even a second. Not many of us can achieve such rash thoughtlessness- save me, Zamboni, Dalai Llama and Tom Cruise. We tell the joke because we  think the chicken must have some reason, because we always do.

We envy the chicken, and make fun of him for that reason.