Power Love

Your definitive resource. That's all, just your definitive resource.

30 April 2008


I wish this dude was my dispatcher when I was a messenger:

Also, you have to actually learn the city...you might think you know it but you don't.


You might say, in fact, that a certain low-grade lying basically defines the genre…

23 April 2008

This is Magda. She can see into your soul. She won’t judge you for what she sees there—she’s been seeing into souls all her life, so, at 55, she’s learned how to be a passive viewer.

She can also see into the future. She could tell you how your skin will get brown spots, how your back teeth are atrophying, how you’re going to lose bone density. But you already know that. You didn’t, after all, wear suntan lotion in your 20s, floss every day, or drink enough milk. Magda doesn’t tell people the answers to their questions about the future anyway. She’s learned from experience that people don’t want to know what she actually sees; they want to know that what they hope for will come true.

Like last month, a tall boy with black hair sat down next to her on the park bench. It was a rare mild March day, so there were kids running around in the grass, yelping, and a red kite bobbing in the air. Before he said anything, she said, “It’ll be fine.” He sighed and leaned back. “OK,” he said. His eyes followed the red kite.

What the tall boy wanted to know was how things would turn out for him. He saw himself as a swashbuckler, a traveler, a restless heart falling into one high-octane life experience after another.

What Magda knew was that the tall boy’s imagination was huge, but that his courage was not. He could see where he wanted to go, but he didn’t have the heart to get there. She wondered for a moment, as she often did, where she was supposed to draw the line between providing comfort and lying.

In the case of the tall boy, she didn’t feel like she was lying—the way he leaned against the bench, slightly stiff and very uncomfortable in his skin, told her that he needed reassurance more than predictions. Besides, she thought, he ought to get used to sitting, watching others.

21 April 2008


“I’m putting the kibosh on face planting,” Nick was standing in the lobby of the Riv, looking at his phone, texting the rest of the group—we got split up at the door, bags searched, security guards questioning—and so had to find a place to meet. I believe Nick’s phone may serve as both a text message interface and as a porthole to another dimension, and I have to say, I was impressed with his multitasking—texting and kiboshing all at once.

Now, I’m not a big fan of face planting—it’s painful and usually there’s blood and embarrassment and lame excuses like, “Well, who the hell would put a stair there?” However, despite the fact that I am not a fan of face planting, I am actually quite good at it. And while I had a moment after Nick’s comment when I considered saying, “But, Nick, is it not my obligation as an artist to pursue that which is my destiny?” I didn’t say that. Mostly because I suspected doing so would’ve caused The Nick Phone to zap me with a blinding light and transport me to another dimension, possibly some place without beer or bicycles, which would be hell.

Moreover and however, the main dish being served by the Riv’s stellar bar system was beer—both the imported and the piss-water kind. You can only get a proper face plant with gin and/or vodka, so my quest to become an Olympic-caliber face planter was not to be exercised this night. This worked in my favor as I am An Extremely Funny Human when beer is around and also, I can stay upright in its presence.

So we stood, upright, in the ballroom of the Riv, the posse of us, about eight of us, in our group, but about hundreds of us, as an audience, surrounded by high arched walls and crumbling paint. On stage: Okkervil River. They have two k’s in their name, which is not something you see everyday unless you’re a bookkeeper or you eat Krispy Kreme. Okkervil River wore ties. And jackets. And they were all hipstered out, except engaging and not pretentious and I decided I liked seeing them live, especially when Lead Singer Dude sang a line about the disturbing amount of feedback, but worked it so as not to smoosh in any extra syllables to an already packed song line and that was talentful of him.

And then they sang that stone song—“A Stone”? “The Stone”?—the one with the line, “You love a stone,” and no shit, with just his voice and a guitar Lead Singer Dude captivated the entire audience and he also marched right into my heart and smashed it around a bit, but in a good way, like reminding it that is was alive and if he had said after the last note of that song, “I’m going off to war now and you should come with me,” I would’ve. But Lead Singer Dude did not say this, he just let the song stay out there for a second and the whole place was quiet, for just that one second, and then I turned to Nick and said, “Holy shit.” Or maybe I said, “Holy fuck.” But what I meant was, “My heart is on fire.”

And then the New Pornographers played and they were fine.

17 April 2008


15 April 2008


What has been going on in the world of Team Power Love? Glad you asked, alert Power Love reader. As you may know, this past weekend was all about the umbrella. It was National Take Your Umbrella to the Garbage Weekend. To wit:

1. Friday, April 11—Victory Gardens presents: Literally Sexy
Anonymous sources throughout the city reported a slippery substance falling from the sky. Later, this was confirmed to be rain. No matter, though, because if you have been stalking the Power Love events like you should be, you would’ve gone to the Literally Sexy show at the Biograph and you would’ve gotten all hot and bothered and then you would’ve needed to get some rained splashed on you.

This was a most excellent event, mostly because there were many most excellent people who were doing it, the most important of whom were these peeps here in this picture and CP, who is strangely absent from my photos and one does not get away with that for very long. The 2nd Story-ers did a little song and dance, complete with a kick line, about how nouns and verbs that agree with each other are the very definition of sexy and everyone in the audience had a great time listening to a song about grammar, as we knew they would. The grand finale was me doing cartwheels across the stage, which was a bit difficult given the fact I was wearing a fake lion’s head and juggling torches, but I am nothing if not a conquerer of logistics, and by the end of our skit, the audience was begging us, literally begging us, for more. Next year this show is going to be called “Literally Begging for Grammar” and I am going to come dressed as a semicolon and read my treatise about that much-maligned punctuation mark.

In addition, I can tell you that reading a story to 300 people about how you passed up a potentially really cool dating experience with a super hot guy makes your brain split in two and the one half is calm and articulate and nailing the jokes that are in your piece that maybe only you think are funny; and the other half is floating outside your own head, blinded by the spotlight, chastising you for slouching, trying to stop your hands from fluttering like bird’s wings, and wondering if 300 people can see that spit that keeps flying from your lips.

2. Umbrella Killer
Sometime during the festivities, this umbrella was tossed in the garbage. Possibly it was tossed in the garbage before the weekend’s festivities. Anyway, it deserved it and I think you will agree given the following exchange, which is herein reported dutifully and verbatim:

Me: Umbrella, it’s raining. The point of your existence is to cover my head while it rains.
Umbrella: Is it? Is that really my point of existence? What is your point of existence? Huh?
Me: OK, this is really no time to get existential. We are clearly in the midst of a typhoon, which is odd given that we’re in Chicago and odder still that I’m trying to combat a typhoon with a $3 umbrella from Target, but still, the point here is that flipping inside out and falling apart and sticking me in the eye with those pointy things is ungraceful and, frankly, rude.
Umbrella: Oh yeah? Well, who are you? You’ve had your finger up my ass for the last four blocks and by the way, I am not a shield so stop poking me into passersby.
Me: I don’t like you.
Umbrella: I don’t like you either. I want to break up.
Me: You can’t break up with me, I’m breaking up with you.
Umbrella: I just did.
Me: Yeah? Well I have an opposable thumb, so I trump your evolution, shitfuckhead.

And that was how my umbrella and I broke up. I highly recommend pulling out the opposable thumb argument whenever breaking up with an inanimate object.

3. Sunday, April 14—2nd Story Press Night #1, Ladies’ Night
Similarly, if you were sitting around your living room on Sunday watching the Sox suck the life out of the Tigers and wondering why the Tigers sent their high school children to play pro baseball instead of showing up to the game themselves, you probably would’ve naturally thought, “2nd Story! Ladies’ Night!” And you would’ve been right. Ladies’ Night was on Sunday and this was perfect because it was all about theme nights this weekend. And juggling torches, which is another post.

Ladies’ Night was a raucous affair completed by a visit from James Bond, who has a really cool car. For my story, I drove James Bond’s cool car around the venue, while quoting T.S. Eliot and everyone had a great ole time. Nothing says fun like “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

In addition, I noticed during sound tech/check/practice the evening of Ladies’ Night that the crotch seam in my pants had ripped. This was awesome because there is nothing better than getting up in front of a room full of people with a ripped seam in your pants and even awesomer was the fact that I had a glaring zit on my top lip. So as you can see, I am clearly The Person To Hang With, obviously, and yes, I will be signing autographs at my next venture out, when I will be wearing pants that are not ripped, but probably experiencing something equally embarrassing, like being chased by a pack of wild rabbits or having a really bad acid trip without having the pleasure of dropping acid. This next time will be April 26, and I will give you details later, and you should be there.
In additioner, there are no pictures from Ladies' Night because when you drink Delirium beer, which is a beer made by pink elephants who live in the Swiss Alps, your camera will leave you and will drunk-text your stupiddumb umbrella and they will hook up for a tawdry one-night stand and your ears will ring all night long because they are talking shit about you, but guess what? I REALLY DON'T CARE WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT ME BEHIND MY BACK--I HAVE THUMBS!

09 April 2008

OK, peeps—lots going on this weekend. It’s a top-notch writerly weekend and I strongly encourage all of you to attend the following events. All of you = the voices in my head, which have to be at these events since they’re in my head and my head has to come with me to storytellings. True story—I take my head with me wherever I go. Helps with the equilibrium. Also, with a head, people don’t look at you like they’re about to run screaming from the room. It’s, like, what did the headless horseman do at parties? That dude must’ve cleared the place out, right? Although, after a few party-clearing instances, he probably didn’t receive many invitations to subsequent parties, which may or may not have sucked, depending on the parties. Plus, without a head, you can’t eat or drink, and what’s a party without eating or drinking? Detention, that’s what.

But that’s just me. Maybe you like the non-eating, non-drinking parties with headless people and if so, hooray. I am not here to judge. I am here to cordially invite you to the following events:

1. Literally Sexy
Friday, April 11, 2008
10:30 pm
Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
2nd Story storytellers (among others) will be telling titillating tales
More info here.
2nd Story line-up here (scroll down a bit).

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Doors: 6:30pm
Stories: 7:30pm
More info here.