Exhibit 1.1.3

New Cupboard

"Everything’s like this.”


by Andrew Borgstrom
Now Available

1 tape-bound volume
Book Design and Cover by William Todd Seabrook

$15/year subscription, $5/individual

Explanations by Andrew Borgstrom is now available from The Cupboard. It will explain all some things.

Explanations is self-explanatory—extra-explanatory, even. A collection of disembodied voices commenting only upon themselves, it is a work of explanation and justification. It is a work of self-defense against an accusatory world.

From “A Soldier Explains Enlistment (and Hope):” They paint your face into the landscape. (Before I answered their call, my hope never came from paintings that captured a sky in perfect color)…

Read more excerpts here.

Andrew Borgstrom lives a $6.90 ferry ride from Seattle as a stay-at-home dad. His recent work appears in Sonora Review, Birkensnake, and Abjective. He is the associate editor of Mud Luscious Press and can be found in the Matted Welcome Desert.

A year’s subscription to The Cupboard covers 4 volumes and costs $15. Subscribe here.

Individual volumes, including past volumes from Louis Streittmatter, Mathias Svalina, Caia Hagel, Michael Stewart, Joshua Cohen, and Amanda Goldblatt are available for $5.


Exhibit 1.1.2

Spider-Man Quotes

These are the most pretentious quotes from this Times article about the new Spider-Man musical. It's especially fun to read these while imagining the interviewer's tape recorder bursting into flames.

Julie Taymor: Peter Parker is the one who shows us how to soar above our petty selves.

Bono: Creating art that has never been done before is the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

Bono: We’re wrestling with the same stuff as Rilke

Bono: [We’re wrestling with the same stuff as] Blake

Bono: [We’re wrestling with the same stuff as] Wings of Desire

Bono: [We’re wrestling with the same stuff as] Roy Lichtenstein

Bono: [We’re wrestling with the same stuff as] the Ramones

Taymor: Mishegoss

Bono: ...the cost of feeling feelings, the desire for connections when you’re separate from others...

Bono: And trying to blend comic books — which is a very American contribution to the world of mythology — and rock music and Broadway into this thing of art that we don’t even have a word for.

Bono: The scope of this thing is just hard to grasp sometimes.

Bono 9, Taymoro 2, the Edge 0. Honestly, there were even more. And yes, apparently instead of working on the novel I took the time to read about a musical I'll never see and to call out a rockstar for his defining characteristic. I stand by this decision.


Exhibit 1.1.1

Stock Photography Review

So, in honor of this blog's arbitrary system of numbering rolling over, I thought I'd post some stock photography from the Huffington Post, a great site to find this kind of nonsense. These are two I grabbed just now from the front page.

I love this one just because this photo could be used more logically for dozens of other headlines. Among them:

1) "Local Face Goes All M.C. Escher"
2) "Sexting. Time to Talk to Your Friends about It?"
3) "Listen Closely--Yes, That Close"
4) "25 Family Secrets (PHOTOS)"
5) "Are You Getting Good Advice about Your Sideburns?"

Apparently we're supposed to think this is how insider trading happens, but I'd prefer to think this is actually how federal investigations happen. Like one long game of Telephone where the last agent just shrugs and says, "Martha Stewart? Well, okay."

Guy in photo: So I'm the struggling American office worker, right?
Photographer: O, yeah, totally.
Guy: Because my Outlook's open here and this Word document.
Photographer: Definitely, definitely.
Guy: I just don't want it to be used for anything creepy.
Photographer: Let's try one where you're licking the screen.
Guy: Right! Because I'm hungry for a living wage!


Exhibit 27.27

What I Did While My Internet Was Down

1) Watched everything Netflix could send me without updating my queue. This is how I learned that the greatest threat to America's bros is wolves. Thanks, Frozen. I don't know why I added you to my queue, I just know that if I see a guy who looks like he might play ultimate frisbee, that bro is going to get eaten by wolves.

2) Learned about foreshadowing. Earlier in the movie, one of the bros says that the worst way to die would be to be eaten by sharks. Later, this bro gets eaten by what the Sioux called "the snow shark." Wolves.

3) Wished he would have been eaten by an actual shark. Watching a shark flop up a ski slope to eat an injured bro would really have made my internet-less night.

4) Promised myself I wouldn't talk to everyone about this movie.

5) Talked to everyone about this movie, at great length, without [SPOILER ALERT]s, including offering theories as to what I would do if stuck on a ski lift with no hope of rescue.

6) Determined the first thing I would do if stuck on a ski lift: not foreshadow any possible deaths, no matter how unlikely, certainly not any involving the North American snow shark.

7) Texted random people about the movie while always misspelling the word skiers.

8) Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back. Waited for people to text me back.

9) Gave up on people texting me back due to my misspellings. Started a screenplay for my own sequel to Frozen but never got beyond the title. Clearly though the title of the sequel should be Frost/Bite.

10) Checked my email 987 times hoping a little one would appear in the spinny circle.


Exhibit 27.26

Things That Entertained Me While My Internet Was Down

Apparently my Netflix queue is making its way through last year's big movies. Please forgive me when I try to engage you in a conversation about Inception in March 2013.

The White Ribbon
Maybe not quite as good as its reputation--or as good as Caché--but still really fantastic. It is not, despite what the trailers suggest, Children of the Corn: Wilhelmine Edition. Well, not exactly anyway. A strangely constructed movie and, like Caché, one purposefully demanding a conversation about what exactly happened.

Brief aside: Is it okay in film to have a narrator then show scenes that narrator could not have possibly witnessed nor known about? I don't care, really, I'm just curious since this is the sort of thing that gets railed about in fiction workshops. I guess the opening where the narrator admits he's not sure he remembers everything correctly is supposed to address this occasional omniscience, but it's still a little weird when other things--like, you know, answers--are only speculated about.

The Secret in Their Eyes
Sort of an Argentine Memories of a Murder. Definitely more conventional than The White Ribbon, but at its best it's smart and stylish and not nearly as crappy as the trailer suggests. At its worst, it's sort of a really good episode of Law and Order and exactly what its trailer suggests.

Took me awhile but I finally remembered where I'd see the lead actor. He's in Nine Queens, which is a nice Mamet-y con drama from a few years back. Wikipedia tells me he's one of the biggest stars in Latin America. Makes sense. He's sort of Tom Hanks-y.

Flight to Canada
I think I said this on Twitter, but I'm pretty sure I like this better than Mumbo Jumbo, and I love Mumbo Jumbo. Since today I can apparently only compare, I might as well say it reminded me quite a bit of Robert Coover's The Public Burning in its conflation/exaggeration/reinvention of American history. It was written about the same time, too. Something in the air after Watergate? In any case, you should read it.


Exhibit 27.25

Fantasy Football Postmortem

I know, I know, no one cares. I don't even care. I only update the roster each week to fantasy honor the fantasy spirit of the fantasy game. But now I'm starting to care again because I think my team might be historically bad. Here are my first five picks in the draft and their ranking on the season.

Round 1, 11th overall - Ryan Matthews. Rank on the season: 152.
In other words, my assessment was only off by 140 players. Seriously, I don't even know why I ever thought a guy named Ryan Matthews would be good. It's a name that sounds best when said while sadly shaking your head. I know because this is the only way this name is ever said.

Round 2, 14th overall - Shonn Greene. Rank on the season: 144.
I should have known when I saw how he spelled his name. Like an idiot, that's how. I should have learned my lesson after the whole Chone Figgins fiasco in fantasy baseball. Okay, that never happened. And now it never will.

Round 3, 35th overall - Tony Romo. Rank on the season: 75th.
This is misleading for two reasons. One, Tony Romo was actually doing fine for me until he got injured for the season after week six. Two, he got injured for the season after week 6.

Round 4, 38th overall - Beanie Wells. Rank on the season: 218th.
The worst part about him is I still expect him to turn it around despite the insistence of statistics, observation, God, and his own coach. I have no idea why I hate Ryan Matthews but love Beanie Wells. The fantasy heart is a cruel mistress. Fantasy-speaking.

Round 5, 59th overall - Wes Welker. Rank on the season: 123rd.
Yes, that's right, my first receiver was someone who has to wear a knee brace bigger than his torso. On the plus side, he was good two years ago so between him, Barack Obama, and Fergie, my Fantasy 2008 team is looking great.

The problems here:

1. With my first five picks, all under the 60th pick overall, I managed to pick none of the top 100 players in football (Romo will fall out soon).

2. All of these players, Romo excluded, are still on my team.

3. The best player on my team--and this is not a joke--is Mike Wallace the wide receiver who ranks 38th.

4. Mike Wallace the news journalist ranks 19th and he might be dead.

5. I named my fantasy team after the real coach of my least favorite real team and somehow never thought karma would play into this.

6. My move/robbery/re-move right before the draft excuse is wearing a little thin.

7. I've started to just pick up random Dolphins because that way I can at least care a little. Hence, I'll probably start Tyler Thigpen this week, something done only by me and someone named Tyler Thigpen.

8. It's killing me because I consider myself to be kind of good at fantasy football. Then the fact that I consider myself to be kind of good at fantasy football makes it even worse. I'm caught in a shame spiral. Fantasy-speaking. In real life I'm doing great.

9. Even after a surprising offensive explosion, I am only averaging 83 points per week. For comparison purposes, the top team is averaging 125. Basically, that means they could drop 3-4 players and still beat me easily.

10. And, of course, I would not pick up those players because I'm still waiting for Beanie Wells to turn it around.


Exhibit 27.24

Reconstructed Timeline of Last Night

12:30 a.m. - After grading all night, went to sleep after watching an old episode of Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes. Dreamed briefly of outsmarting Victorians.

1:00 a.m. - Woken up by dogs barking outside. Confused, felt around for my pipe and panicked over how I could outsmart them without it. Decided I would just give the dogs C-minuses.

1:05 a.m. - As dogs barking outside is what happens in the morning, I thought it was morning. Also, I wasn't really awake. I made coffee.

1:10 a.m. - Deduced that the sun wasn't rising properly. Wanted to tell someone about the mystery I solved. Thought about tweeting it. Thought about reconsidering some recent life choices involving social networks.

1:11 a.m. - Really got worried about the health of the sun.

1:20 a.m. - Finally opened computer and realized what was going on. Became less concerned for the sun and more concerned about being out Sherlock-ed by neighborhood dogs.

1:21-2:45 a.m - Debated whether or not I should actually drink the coffee I'd made and tried to determine what this would mean for the rest of my Friday.

3:00 a.m. - Began another episode of Sherlock Holmes.

? - Woke up and the power was off for the entire block. Drank cold coffee while sleuthing, sleuthing which involved questioning the dogs.

? - "Did you do it? Yes, you did, yes, you did. Who'sa good criminal? You are, yes you are."

9:30 a.m. - Power came back on. Thought about reconsidering some recent life choices involving social networks.


Exhibit 27.23

A Canonical Poem Adapted into a Control Scheme
for a Sega Game Gear

Up: The rising world of waters dark and deep
Down: The void and formless infinite
Left: Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
Right: Re-visit now with bolder wing
1: Purge and disperse
2: Shine inward
Start: Seasons return, but not to me


Exhibit 27.22


* Enjoyed this Zadie Smith piece from the NY Review of Books on Facebook and "Generation Why?"

* Unfortunately, "Generation Why?" was the title of everyone born after 1980's coming-of-age novel so now we're just going to have to skip a generation. I look forward to everyone born after 1990's coming-of-age novel, "September 11th Birthday."

* Dave writes about publishing (both getting yourself published and publishing others) right here.

* For a more complete The Cupboard origin story, I suggest reading the old interview we did with Chris Higgs on HTML Giant here. Maybe it's because The Cupboard is about to change again, but I'm getting all wistful.

* I'm also wistful for when this blog used to be all cute dog photos and cupcake recipes. To make it up to you, here's Brett hunting the most dangerous game: baby.

* O, Charlie, don't you know the camera is simply a distraction? Behind you! Behind you!

* I hope this once and for all answers the question of what would happen if a bunch of plane babies washed up on an island. They'd be photographed with cute dogs then blogged about.


Exhibit 27.21


If you witnessed my student conferences, you would hear me say the following things approximately exactly 52 times:

1. The papers will be graded by Friday.

2. Remember when we talked about triangles?

3. Z.Z. Packer's essay was not the one about shooting an elephant.

4. This might be Mr. Ruder's office, at least if he's that guy who eats soup here all the time. Does he sometimes smell like soup?

5. [incomprehensibly hand gestures meant to demonstrate structure]

6. Literacy narratives can totally be about middle school basketball.

7. O, this is her office, too. Don't worry, she's not silently judging you.

8. I don't know, what do you think teaching assistant means?

9. The papers will be graded by Friday. Um, no, not this Friday.

10. Interesting, interesting, I like this idea, no, not that, stop talking, go back to what you said before, not that far back, look, just make something up.