The Year in Review

Dear friends,

It has been such an exciting year! If you remember, one of my new years’ resolutions was to utilize technology more effectively. To that end, I started off the year purchasing my first smartphone, an HTC Kaiser, or AT&T Tilt. Let me tell you, that $400 was wasted, but, looking back on the year, I wasted more money on bank fees. I’m looking forward to buying an unlocked Google phone in the new year.

One technology purchase that I was happy with was the tiny 9″ ASUS laptop. It’s so cute! And wonderful for looking up recipes (from your mom in your gmail) in the kitchen without lugging in your 17″ inch Dell Vostro (5 stars).

Another one of my new years’ resolutions was to utilize the vodka martini. I performed remarkably well.

For the second year, Sue and Phoebe joined my family at Mother’s Day Brunch. The crab tasted fresher than usual. I was pleased. I am glad that Sue and Phoebe have chosen Mother’s Day Brunch with the Hellers for a holiday tradition!

Will and I got back together in March. We have been strong ever since. In May, he and I joined Sue and Phoebe for a weekend camping trip. We floated a cooler of Tecate to a secret location and Phoebe found Will’s sunglesses in the bottom of the creek

I started planning Jenfest in June this year. Planning Jenfest is always a challenge. This year was no exception. When I think of heaven, I know it will be Jenfest 07. I was sad to have to plan a party that could never compete with heaven. Jenfest wound up as a picnic in Dolores Park this year. How wonderful was it to see everyone! This year was the first year that I did not ask Alex to design the invite. She is married to Patrick now, you know, and we hardly see her. I did get to see her at Jenfest, and it was delightful! Despite it not being Jenfest 07, Jenfest 08 was truly wonderful.

The night before Jenfest, I managed to mess up my back again. The week following Jenfest I was bedridden. Finally, I had an MRI in August. The results showed that I had a disc bulging 7cm into my spinal cord! This explains my severe discomfort. I went to see a new chiropractor. He spent some time with a rubber skeleton and explained my condition. Everytime I bend or twist, the disc bulges into my spinal cord. Well, my previous chiropractor had been recommending that I do bends and twists twice a day over the course of the past two years. That was upsetting. I am happy to be getting some relief.

I am satisfied with my professional success this year. I took on the Co-op’s 75th Anniversary Gala and a new supervisory role in January. It was a challenge taking on such a large event with nine months to plan. My Virgo moon kicked right in, though, and the details were (for the most part) nailed. One detail was regretfully neglected; we did not collect the donation envelopes from the table and the servers threw them away! In general, I was unhappy with H’s Lordship’s food and service. Narsai David had graciously donated ample wine, but it was simply not served fast enough!

During my year in charge, I also revamped the Co-ops website ( The new website offers much greater information to the students. It is also easier to update. I debuted the website on August 15th. Then, in the early hours of Labor Day weekend, I received a phone call from Jordan. “Are you ready?” he asked. “TELL ME,” I ordered. “The website has been hacked.” It was true! Turkish death metal blared from my computer. However, our work was not lost, and with the help of Dave in Argentina, we had the website back up in a matter of days.

In the early part of the year, I was hired to create a website for a martial arts school in Portland. As part of the trade, I was able to attend a very cool self-defense course. If you are ever in Portland, and are female, you should definitely take this course. It is worth every penny. As part of the curriculum, you physically attack the “padded attacker” which gives you great confidence later. I was even attacking people in my dreams! The website,, turned out well in spite of some design sacrifices. I am looking forward to including it in my portfolio at (currently under construction).

In November I decided to host a Holiday Gift Bizarre at the Cottage Table Company on Pearl Harbor Day. I called it a Gift Bizarre in hopes of suggesting that you never know what you might find there. I am pretty sure that people just thought that I didn’t know how to spell bazaar. I invited all the artists I know locally, and advertised for artists on various websites like I was very pleased with the selection of artists. The crowd was certainly lacking, however. I will plan further ahead next year. One problem that I ran into was an issue with the original design of the flier–I hadn’t meant to, but I had included imagery that was offensive! I am still using the offensive version of the flier as one-sided paper, and suspect that I will for the majority of 2009. Check out the inoffensive version of the flier at

The Guster has been well this year. As you know, I started feeding him twice a day instead of just once. We think that he has lost some weight as a result. I am thinking that his metabolism is such that he needs multiple small meals in the day, just like me. An unfortunate consequence of feeding him in the morning as well as the evening, is that he very persistently tries to wake me up in the morning. He even goes so far as to pull books out of the night stand to make noise! It is very irritating, but it is nice to wake up to the cold nose of someone you love every morning.

I do hope this letter finds you, my friends, happy and well. I am in the process of constructing a self-video-taping-camera-holding hat. My new years resolution for 2009 is to produce a video a week!

Much love,

Susie J.

Questions? Comment? Cigars? Cigarettes?

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