Susan Duhan Felix has an automatic signature on her emails: “Stay Amazed.”
The one email she’s sent me that hasn’t had that signature (because, I think, she sent it from her iPhone) is the most recent: it came in response to an e-blast I sent out to let people know that I’m now artist in residence at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. Pretty clearly, Susan Felix had meant to send that email to someone else. Here’s the text of her email, in its entirety: “Mainly it’s interesting. I don’t think he’d be helpful. He’s very funny but unreliable and flaky.”
So, okay, she thinks I’m unreliable and flaky — but on the other hand: funny! I’d call it a wash.
Susan Felix is the person who’d recommended that the City of Berkeley have a “Josh Kornbluth Day.” That day — April 29 — things didn’t go as planned, as an aide to Mayor Tom Bates, Gregory Magofña, had spaced out on doing the proclamation; so my wife and son and I showed up at the City Council chambers, but had to go home, proclamation-less.
A week later, on May 6, I got an email from Susan saying that my delayed proclamation would be presented to me on “Tuesday.” Since it was Tuesday when I got that email, I assumed (since she mentioned no date) that she meant the following Tuesday.
Boy, was I wrong! That very day, during the City Council meeting, Mayor Bates announced that he was now going to present me with my “Josh Kornbluth Day” proclamation — and (as you already know) I wasn’t there!
Soon after, I got another email from Susan Felix, letting me know that I should come by the mayor’s office sometime and pick up my proclamation. As usual, her message was signed, “Stay Amazed, Susan.”
So I wrote to mayoral aide Gregory Magofña, asking when would be a good time for me to come and get my proclamation — and about a month later I got a reply from him, apologizing for his delay in responding and saying I could pick up the proclamation whenever I wanted to.
Which was sweet and cool and all. It’s just that there was one detail in his email that kind of jumped out at me: It was addressed to “John” — not to, you know, Josh.
And then I got that last email from Susan Felix, letting me know that I’m unreliable and flaky — but, you know, funny!
“Josh Kornbluth Day”: it’s the gift that keeps on giving.