Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Joplin memory…

  JanisJoplin+Porsche

The trails around Marin County California's Mount Tam take you on wonderous journeys through vast groves of redwood trees, climbing higher and higher until panoramic views of San Francisco, its bay, and the turbulent Pacific Ocean beyond the Marin Headlands come into view.

One of these trails starts in Larkspur's Baltimore Canyon, on the estate where, in 1970, legendary rocker Janis Joplin lived before dying of a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven, in some nondescript Los Angeles hotel room.

The wood nymphs cried that day.

Had she been at home instead, maybe they could have saved her.

A couple of years, ago, the subsequent owner of Joplin's creekside home sold off the half-acre portion that included an already-established trail head. Now hikers enjoy the trek up to Blithedale Ridge without tresspassing.

It is appreciated by all. Once again, Janis gives joy to the world.

Mike Lessin was just ten when he moved into the house after Joplin passed away. He remembers the walls at deep purple, and "trippy."

But of course.

He'd lived elsewhere on the street before his dad purchased the home, so he also remembers the parties that were held there, attended by  and Joplin's infamous psychdelically painted Porche.

Lessin remembers hearing about sightings of Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison, and rocker Kris Kristofferson, who wrote Joplin's posthumus hit "Me and Bobby McGee".

Kristofferson  has a home on the Hawaiian island of Maui, near Hana.

Some of Joplin's decor still exists in the house. Who would have the nerve to lose the redwood burl bar, or its custom woodwork? If you've visited Horizons Restaurant (formerly the Trident, back in that era) on the Sausalito waterfront, you'll recognize the style, since it was the same carpenter worked on both.

The later owners also held onto Joplin's pool table, and kept the sunken bath and shower, below a skylight that allows one to look up at the redwood trees doing a lazy wave overhead.

Good to see that her legacy lives on in yet another way.

*Photo: Janis and her psychedelic Porsche,
at one of my fave hangs: San Franciso's Palace of Fine Arts.

 

— Josie

   

HAH Hanging Man V2

The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

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 "This is a super sex and fun read that you shouldn't miss! How do I love this book, let me count the ways: (1) a kick ass woman who can literally kick ass as well as cook and clean. Donna gives a whole new meaning to "taking out the trash". (2) The book is set around Los Angeles, mostly in a gated community suspiciously like Coto de Caza, full of housewives that could be "real" and for the setting along, a big giant WIN! (3) Super sarcasm, snarky dialogue and making fun of all that is wrong in the OC, politics, as well as current world affairs." — Mary Jacobs, Book Hounds Reviews

I’m not going to let 2012 be my “bad hair day” of years, and you shouldn’t either.

AvedonMartin and I used to think that our best years ended in odd numbers.

In hindsight, I think we'd flip that analogy to fit any year in which we weren't having a great year.

For us — and I guess a lot of you, too — 2011 was a mixed blessing. I'm not an avid baseball fan, but there is something to say about "times up to bat": the more you put it out there, the better chance you'll have of scoring a hit, as opposed to an error.

And every now and then, you also hit it out of the park.

Granted, for Team Brown, there were enough errors for 2011 to turn us around on the assumption that odd years are our best. But we also had our fair share of hits, including the launch of four books. My two were The Baby Planner and The Housewife Assassin's Handbook. Martin's books were Fit in 50 Days, and on the last day of the year, The Ultimate New Year's Resolution Diet.

Not only that, but I saw one of my titles, True Hollywood Lies, achieve the ranking of 411 in Amazon Bestsellers, as well as #9 in Amazon's category of Books/Literature & Fiction/Comic.

On the first day of every new year, Martin starts off by saying,  "It's a new year, and we're still here."

He means this, literally as well as figuratively.

It's an inside joke:

One new year's day, just after we moved to Marin County, we were walking our children into Mill Valley's Old Mill Park when the skies opened up. As the rain poured down, an elderly gentleman, standing in his garage called out, "You can stand here with me, if you want, until it blows over."

We were happy to take him up on his offer.

Standing there, we made small talk. I don't know how the subject of the man's wife came up. I guess it had to do with the fact that we'd just started another new year. With the openess  that only comes with fresh emotional wounds, he said, "Yep, just this past new year's day, as we sat down to breakfast, she said, 'Well, it's a new year, and we're still here.' Then she dropped dead of a heart attack."

What a way to start the year: losing the person you love the most, whom you've spent a lifetime.

Any other issues are miniscule. They are a run in the pantyhose of your life.

To put things in perspective: he hadn't had a bad hair day. He had a bad hair year.

Whenever we're coming off a bad year, or we're trepidacious as to what the new year will bring, we remember that man and the wife he mourned.

And we count our blessings. Here are the ones I cherish most:

– We have great health, as do our children.

– We are still as madly in love today as we were on the day we married.

– We saw many of our far-flung family this year, making new memories even as we remembered the old ones.

– Our friends are loving, appreciative and a joy to be around. If only we could see more of them, more often!

– We love what we do, which is write.

You've got to love the fact that life is just one big tease,

— Josie

*Photo: Uber-model Jean Shrimpton, by Richard Avedon. Talk about helmet hair!

 

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THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 
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Sperm Banking on the Future

Sperm The world is low on sperm. 

And I had to hear it from my
stockbroker.

He was recommending sperm bank
stocks.  He even suggested, however
delicately, that Martin make several deposits.

Too late, I informed him. That
branch was closed years ago, after the birth of our second child.

Most single women I know lament
their difficulties in finding a few good men. Now, beside such coveted traits
as wit, intellect and cute buns, the Significant Other Rating System of a 21st
Century woman will also include a high sperm count.

Needless to say, in-vitro will be
en vogue.

I expect the Republican Party
will take credit for this occurrence: without babies, there is no need for a
welfare system, he’ll crow, and at last, the budget will be balanced.

What the politicos don’t realize
is that the true crisis right now is not propagation, but in the wellbeing of
the children already walking on this planet. The majority of our elementary,
high school and college facilities have lowered their standards, so our
children are learning less than we did. While we’re busy making ends meet, MTV Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of Atlanta are giving our latchkey kids their version of our world.  We get home too late to make real
meals, so our kids chow down on candy bars, sodas, hormone-injected milk and
meat, and pre-packaged, microwavable preservative-laden foods. 

Let's not forget the PCBs and
DDTs in our oceans, streams and lakes. There's now an island of trash in the Pacific Ocean that is bigger than Texas. It's subprime real estate now, but when the ice caps melt, it may be the only game in town.

Talk about an ocean view.

And we wonder why sperm counts
are dropping.

Keep one thing in perspective:
Compared to childrearing, baby making has always been overrated. A 20-hour
labor is manna compared to the first time your surly, hormonal-driven teenager
comes home at three in the morning when his curfew was at 10 o’clock.

Those bemoaning the drop in sperm
count are welcomed to spend a weekend with our kids.  It may change your mind on the whole picture.

Okay, seriously though, before we all start investing in
sperm bank stock, let’s give humankind one more chance to renew itself: our new
credo should be “One Egg, One Sperm."  Why does the average male need to produce 300 million sperm
in the first place?

That’s so typical of a man: use
one sperm cell, and throw out 299 million others.


—Josie


SLHW fauxsmall  Josie' s Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores June 1, 2010

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