Jul 212014

She’s back!

That lady whose face was eaten off by her best friend’s powerful chimpanzee Travis returned to the spotlight last week, when she traveled to Washington to advocate for legislation that would restrict the sale of primates as pets.

Nice! But what sealed it as the johnbaileyowen.com PR Win of the Week? How about the fact that the announcement was timed to coincide with the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the last film James Franco starred in before his death? Insiders say that this tactic was was more enough to sway the pols on Capitol Hill, who approved the new laws in record time.

But we wonder if the lady’s success might also have had something to do with her newly reconstructed face:


That face, we hear, has the power to change colors rapidly, and the lady was really blazing through those colors when she spoke before Congress. A number of the legislators seemed to fall under the influence of the color sequences, which may be part of the reason they tacked on a rider that immediately made the lady the legal caretaker of all the pet primates in the United States.

So, what does she plan to use them for? One word: revenge!

Revenge on us all.

 Posted by at 4:07 pm No Responses »
Jul 172014


I’ll never forget the day that Mikey and I raced to the little island in the middle of the river. As we stood on the bank, Mikey said the water was moving too fast, but I told him he was chicken. That was that. We jumped in and I swam as hard as I could. I knew I had reached the island first, but when I turned around to celebrate, I couldn’t see Mikey anywhere. He had disappeared beneath the water. I just sat there, waiting for him to come up. But he never did.

For years, I felt a crushing sense of guilt. It was only much later that I learned to forgive myself. Because eventually it turned out that Mikey hadn’t drowned at all: he had been taken away by some drifters with scuba gear.

They had gotten the gear almost accidentally, when they decided to murder the owner of a diveshop a few towns over. They started going on all kinds of aquatic raids then, and I guess eventually they decided they had enough loot to start a drifter-family. That’s when they took Mikey. He was with them for seventeen years.

So that was bad, obviously. But it wasn’t a fate worse than death, was it? Well, that’s what Mikey kept saying when we reconnected after he escaped.

“It was a fate worse than death,” he said after he had cornered me. “And you left me to it.”

That was another thing he kept saying: that I had seen what was happening and hadn’t done anything.

“It took a long time for them to subdue me, and hook me up to the extra tank, and my head kept bobbing up from under the water. And I could see you watching from the island! They tried to get you but you swung a big branch at them and that made it too hard for them to climb onto land, so they focused on me instead.”

So I just thought that was pretty annoying, the way Mikey kept harping on this stuff even though it was in the past. I guess even best friends can naturally grow apart over the years.

 Posted by at 7:59 pm 1 Response »
Jun 182014

That’s what a naked guy on a bicycle said to me when I was driving home the other day, and got stuck beside an endless procession of naked people on bikes. The purpose of the ride seemed to be nudity awareness of one sort or another.

I drove slowly alongside them for about 20 minutes. A cry I heard at several points: “Injury! Injury!”

I needed to turn right and even put on my blinker for a tiny second, but turned it off because I was too scared. Yes, it seems that being confronted by the reality of the human body can be a frightening experience!

No! Not really. Their wobbly ranks just kept a-comin’, and I didn’t want to disturb them on “their day.” After all the wrongs inflicted by society. (But now I’m wondering, wouldn’t it have been more respectful to attempt a right turn? It would have given them a chance to confront some of the problems they will encounter if they wish to make this a permanent feature of our roads).

They were also really quite wobbly. Once, in high school, I was driving along and suddenly the entire opposite lane was being taken up by a bike race. I looked at one guy who was a little wobbly and thought, “I wonder if he would fall into this lane if he crashed,” and one second later he fell down, slid into my lane, and I drove over the rear wheel of his bike. Everyone else started crashing, too, and I saw one guy bike over another guy’s head.

I pulled over and the police arrived immediately and when I got the chance to talk to them, I said, “I think I ran one guy’s bike over.”

“Was your vehicle damaged?” they asked. It wasn’t so I went on my way. But I always remembered how long it had taken to finally get to talk to them, and I also always remembered that I hadn’t gotten any trouble. I resolved that if I ever found myself in a similar situation again, I would just do a hit and run.

Not that I necessarily wanted it to get to that point. And as wobbly as that one racer had been, these nakeds were far wobblier, so I decided to do an illegal u-turn instead. But as soon as I did, I heard sirens and saw policemen on motorcycles in my rear view mirror. I was scared – and mad at myself! I should have done that damn hit and run while I had the chance.

But they sped past me and then they started zooming in and out and around the naked riders, whipping them with their sharpened police whips.

That’s all I have to say for now. I guess I’m still trying to sort through what this experience meant to me.

 Posted by at 11:28 pm No Responses »
May 272014

david foster wallace biopic

Finally got my hands on a screener of the forthcoming David Foster Wallace biopic, “The End of the Tour.” It’s an adaptation of an unpublished Rolling Stone interview/Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, and stars Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. On first viewing, it’s pretty good. Segel speaks in a what sounds like a British accent (??), but he gets Wallace’s mannerisms down, and the effects they used to make him look really sweaty are convincing (though, come to think of it, he may actually just be wearing some mechanized geysers under his clothes).

The biggest issue for me is related to the film’s subtitle: Beneath the Bandana. Going in, I thought it was a sort of meaningless flourish, or whatever. But, from the beginning, it’s clear that it’s actually a question the film wants to ANSWER. And so when the Wallace character is speaking, the camera will constantly be zooming in on the bandana. Then it cuts back to Eisenberg’s interviewer, and he’ll be all squinting and rubbing his chin and craning his neck around – trying to catch a glimpse of whatever the Wallace character has in there!

Or, more accurately, what he’s hiding in there. The Wallace character is presented as singularly devoted to concealing that secret. He’s always clumsily placing his hands and arms in front of it, and whenever he seems to sense that the camera is zooming in, he’ll start trying to move his head out of the frame.

To be clear, the film doesn’t end up showing what’s beneath it, so don’t go if that’s the number one reason you want to see this. But without revealing too much, there IS a brief teaser at the end that features Jonathan Franzen and that “deskeletonizing amulet” that’s always popping up in his books…so perhaps we’ll find out more in future installments?

Fingers crossed.

 Posted by at 6:14 pm No Responses »
May 242014

Maisie and John were playing tennis in Glendale. That’s when John saw it: a hummingbird hovering over the court, about eight feet above the net.

“Look!” said John. “There’s a hummingbird over the net!” He was excited because he liked hummingbirds a lot. They were one of his favorite kinds of animals!

“Oh my god!” said Maisie. Then she said: “Hit it.”

But John wasn’t listening. The ball had just bounced onto his side of the court, and he was too busy automatically aiming his return shot right at the hummingbird.

It was the glory of nature!

 Posted by at 10:31 pm No Responses »
May 182014


Ah! Hiking! It’s good for the spirit! See? Flowers! Growing in nature!


Say, what’s that purple thing? A balloon from a child’s birthday party, no doubt. It has  been known to happen, a balloon flying off and landing in nature, where it may very well do harm. If only we humans were more thoughtful about the environment!


Yes, some sort of birthday balloon, it would seem.


And that sign confirms it: birthday-related detritus. How regrettable! Yet it also seems that I’ve stumbled upon a domicile, of sorts?


Sensible! Normal. And that’s a Christmas sock with a monkey on it.


I can’t say that I care for such implements. Yet I readily accept that they might be a necessarily evil when living in one’s own domicile.

Okay, it’s time to go inside this place, and live there forever.



Update: I did eventually escape from the Witchman of the Woods’ hole. I found out that he’s not even a real Witchman, just a crazy man. I also found out what the contents of that cooler were, that cooler you can see in the fourth photo: urine!



 Posted by at 6:06 pm No Responses »
May 122014

the buddha

This part of the story:

One afternoon, when he was 29, Siddhartha fell into a rage. He went into the other room, where his children sat quietly. The first he smothered, the second he stuck through with a knife.

Seeing the carnage, his wife was afraid. She ran to the village to seek help, but fell down the hillside and injured herself. Unable to move, she died after a time.

When Siddhartha returned to his senses, he was appalled at the actions he had taken, and determined to live as an ascetic.

Pretty interesting - the Buddha lived a princely life for 29 entire years before decided to give it up. Not many would have the strength to do that. Namaste!

 Posted by at 4:05 pm No Responses »
May 022014

Update from the Facebook account of Ross Ulbricht, the constantly shirtless murder-hippie who ran that bitcoin marketplace for drugs and guns:

ross rose

“Dear mom, I had to make you this rose out of prison toilet paper because the inmates here are not allowed to see or touch nature, or have connections to things that make us feel like humans. Happy birthday.”

Meanwhile, the movement to Free Ross grows. As Roger Ver (“bitcoin evangelist and angel investor”) puts it in a comment on Ross’s page:

I don’t believe the government accusations that he was trying to hire a hit man; especially that he was offering to pay the hit man by wire transfer rather than bitcoin.

That should be the rallying cry for the Free Ross Movement:


PLEASE get it trending, folks.

 Posted by at 6:26 pm No Responses »
Apr 242014

While browsing through the super high res and awesome National Archive photos online I found this one from Reagan’s 1981 Inaugural Ball:


I thought it was weird because who are any of these people, and how are there so many of them? Also is that Girl-Reagan wearing the Beetlejuice dress in the corner one of Reagan’s daughters? Who the heck is that Girl-Reagan?


It turns out it’s Dora Palmieri, Ron Reagan’s wife. But back then she was just his “live-in girlfriend,” according to a People magazine profile on “The Reagan Kids.” She and Ron met at ballet school. Unbelievably, the article included this, about him going to ballet school:

He underwrote Ron’s living expenses while he studied ballet on scholarship, first in Los Angeles, currently in New York. “He’s all man—we made sure of that,” his father told a reporter who raised the predictable question two years ago.

I was she had been Girl-Reagan, though. It would have been cool. The writers of 1980s comic books back then would have liked having her, too. They could have done some series in the near future and had her be President Girl-Reagan, outlawing those damned dangerous mutants! “I have only one thing to say to Professor Xavier: Go ahead, make my day.”

But I couldn’t find anything about almost any of the other people in that Inaugural Ball photo, so I went with Maisie to the Reagan Library. Somehow I had been under the impression that Presidential Libraries were huge public archives and places of study. This one was really just a museum plus a restaurant called Ronny’s Country Cafe. One cool thing was in the Nancy Reagan wing, where you got to watch her playing basketball with the Globetrotters for some part of “Just Say No!” She jumps on a little trampoline and dunks the ball and one of the Globetrotters catches her in his arms as she falls. Reagan himself was only 5’7″, so Nancy was almost not even 5 feet and had a long way to fall.

There are also some chunks of the Berlin Wall (real, I think?). On the bottom of one section there’s a hole, and it led to some crawly-aroundy area for kids. I don’t know what was in it but somehow kids instinctively knew to go inside it. They’d be walking towards it fullspeed and then duck down into a crawl at the last second. I saw this happen many times.  Some would even showboat, like this kid doing a kid dip, backwards:


Caught ya dippin, you darned kid!

 Posted by at 5:55 pm No Responses »
Apr 082014

I was browsing through a list of them to see what kinds of names are popping off for old folks’ homes these days. I must say that I feel a little sad for the people who have to live in Rich Witzmann’s Premium Siding & Windows:

old folks homes in connecticut

Then again, maybe the residents enjoy watching the workers assembling siding and windows (I assume the seniors are not forced to work themselves). And it’s nice to see small businesses coming up with creative solutions to increase revenue.

 Posted by at 8:35 pm 1 Response »