I’m currently dogless, and it sucks.

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Time to geo-locate: since last week, I’ve been about 2000 miles away from the House of Two Bows, holed up at my parents’ home. As a most unfilial child, I have not been back to see my parents in five years.

My disorientation bleeds into my blogging; things are going to be even more random than usual for a while. And next week, I have a grand, solo road trip unfurling towards the horizon, so it’s finally time to cut back on my posts here.

It’s not that I’m running out of things to say or photos to present. Even after a full year, I’m still adding to my list of topics to address! Rather, my forced withdrawal from the heart of this blog, the Two Bows, has made me realize the necessity of maintaining perspective by distance. Both temporal and geographic.

So far away
30 July 2011. Two faraway Bows.

Luckily, the Doggy Daddy is home to take care of the Bows. I’m so grateful that I can trust him with our pets, though it means we haven’t had a decent vacation together in years.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent the better half of last week sorting through about two decades worth of accumulated possessions, which have been split for years across multiple locations. It has taken me three intensive days to prune my CD collection. Next on the chopping block are my vinyl records, and then I’m off to see if a decent used record store remains in this town, ideally one that’s willing to give cash. Then I’ll schlep a few musty but much beloved clothes with me back to California. Thankfully I still fit into several signature pieces from a decade ago.

My books, however, will have to wait until my next return. Below is one of the more interesting pieces that I dug up.

Back in the day, I was a subscriber to Might, a quirky little glossy magazine that apparently had no business jostling for shelf space with other established titles at the mainstream bookstore where I first encountered it. Well, Might was effectively spanked out of the market, but it didn’t exactly go crying home… Subscribers had their remainders rolled over to the new venture, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. This was to become Dave Eggers’ literary tour de force. But at the time of its startup, Eggers was still apologetic enough to include a two-page explanation for Might‘s failures, and personally autograph and/or illustrate every issue of the first McSweeney’s. This is what I got (slightly edited to remove personally identifying information):

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This was before I had a dog, let alone met any three-legged dogs. In retrospect, perhaps this was a harbinger of things to come, as tripod dogs eventually became so common to me in Taiwan, they barely even registered as anything unusual. Eggers’ skewed wit would be lost on Taiwanese rescuers who are all too familiar with the abuses of illegal gin traps. Indeed, Eggers’ excesses are a little lost on me now.

Some people are asking a lot of money for this first issue, but I think I’ll be holding onto mine for a while longer. I’m not exactly a slavish fan, but I am a packrat, and I do recognize that Dave Eggers is a hell of an editor, and probably truly fond of animals. I’m proclaiming a truly arbitrary relationship between “staggering” literary genius and sympathy towards animals, but ultimately, it’s got to amount to something, right?

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