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« George Bush falls into a manhole, proves his leadership | Main | Corner of Winter, Washington, and Summer Streets, Boston, by Winslow Homer »


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"sometimes seems to me that Homer and I could have been contemporaries"

If I recall, in an earlier post, you said you were an ageless vampire... perhaps you were a contemporary of Homer's.

What would I be doing??? Hmmm. In one parallel universe I am a coroner. In another, I believe I am probably an actor and in yet another, I am a history professor and that is where I meet my husband yet again, because he is this time as well. In the parallel universe where he has better vision, he is flying planes and in another, he has his farm. I think we know you in all of them Lance since you are timeless, ageless, and *parallelless*. I suppose that makes you perpendicular...


I forgot!! Right after I posted my dog reminded me about that parallel universe where I was not allergic to cats and was indeed a vet. Oh.. and my dog can talk in that universe as well.

blue girl

The rules were that these couldn't be outrageous fantasy lives. They had to be plausible in that we might very well have had those lives if we'd only made one or two different but minor choices.

This is a hard rule for me when playing this sort of game. Because if it's just a difference in one or two minor choices, I always think that means you can still do it if you really want to. I can never stop thinking that way.

My husband says all the time he should have been a vet. And I always say...Well, do it now!

You, too Jennifer! Just go to a people doctor first and get some allergy pills. :)

I've read too many stories like...She didn't learn to read until she was 58 and then she became an English teacher and all her students loved her. Her dream finally came true and it was all because of her hard work, commitment and dedication.

If I really have to follow your (strict) rules, Lance, I guess I'd have to say I'd be a nightclub singer. In cool nightclubs, not tacky bars. In New York City. To rave reviews, of course.

And then they'd do a feature segment of me on the CBS Sunday Morning program, where a Charles Kuralt type journalist would do a story about me. And then...

Oops. I'm getting into outrageous fantasy. I've broken the rules!



I think I feel the same way about houses and 'period room' displays that you do about pictures, Lance. I am endlessly fascinated with how people lived in the past.

I'm also a 19th century literature fan, btw. I especially love Trollope, for the same reason I like looking at restored houses. To me, he is the most 'social' of the 19th century novelists. He seems to throw in more details of how people actually behaved in social situations. Minor details, what they wore, what the furniture was like, the sort of work they did, how they amused themselves, etc. The sort of details that fascinate me.

I love Dickens and Eliot, they are far superior as novelists, but they don't give me the level of detail I enjoy in Trollope. Eliot is better at the details than Dickens, but she doesn't approach Trollope, IMO. Where Dickens threw in the fervid descriptions to pad out his serialistions, Trollope threw in little, 'unimportant' social clues. James is good on this, too, but his details always seem to 'mean' something, which I find tedious.

And in my parallel universe, I would be a garden designer. Or an interior designer. Because it's all about the details of everyday life for me. ;-)

Kevin Wolf

I actually can draw, and in my parallel life I'm making my living at it.

I'm trying to move in that direction again, fantasy be damned!


There was so much that I enjoyed in this post-- the links to the art (I loved the one with the people climbing over the stiles!)-- this quote: It's why I prefer to read 19th Century novels. They're filled with crowds.. No wonder you love Dickens.

God, I can't figure out what I want to be doing in this life, let alone a parallel one! But if my taste in literature says anything about me, I think I'd be in England. At any time.


Right now, in my parallel life, I'd like to be looking at a painting you painted and laughing at myself in that affectionate, forgiving, glad to be alive way you mention.


Back when I was a regular reader of Rolling Stone, when they published Hunter Thompson and Tim Cahill and Greil Marcus, I wanted to be Jann Wenner.

Now I want to publish The Economist.


My first Major was audio/radio production. I could see myself spinning for some college station--I always wanted to work at 92WICB in Ithaca--and giving the occasional well timed political rant.


"I like paintings and stories and movies that do that, show people being typical.

We don't have enough of that kind of art now to suit me. There aren't very many paintings or stories or movies that show us to us."

Actually, that's exatly what I've been attempting on my photoblog about my San Francisco neighborhood. My drafting skills are probably about as good as yours, so learning how to take a decent photo along with the advent of digital photography has been a godsend.

And blue girl's "you can still do it if you really want to" is a fairly profound statement. My fantasy profession is being an amusement park ride designer of the future who incorporates theater and technology. As bg says, I can still do it unless I croak too soon.

Exiled in New Jersey

In my parallel life I have the courage to get up on the steeply sloped roof of our Cape Cod and find out why the rain comes into our downstairs bedroom. I suspect if I put a ton of roofing cement around the flashing on the gables our leak would stop, but the parallel who is typing this doesn't have the guts to get on the roof.


Of course Homer is practicing there, seeing what looks this way and what looks that, seeing what each of his creative muscles can do. Its youthfulness is fun and interesting.


A parallel universe? I have always wondered what my life would be like if I were still very much myself, except male. We're all thinking hypothetically, right? My wish to experience my life as a man if far from an overwhelming desire where I might consider blue girl's advice and take advantage of what modern medicine can do. Of course, I would still want to be a writer and I'd want to make money doing it. My responsibilities would change. I would be surprised, though, if I discovered that being a man was more difficult than being a woman, and just as surprised if it were somehow easier. I'd enjoy flowing from one to the other, though. Oh, and one more thing: it would turn everything around if most of the time, most people understood me, and at least some of them actually agreed with me.

Gray Lensman

Digital photography is so easy and the cameras so capable one can become a street photographer very quickly. Just get a camera that takes the picture instantly, without any delay. You can take hundreds of images almost free. Everybody's got a digital so you blend in. Then you can look at them on the computer, edit and discard instantly. If you need to see some great pictures to study and emulate until you figure it out, check out the daily selection on Slate from Magnum, the great photo agency. They tell stories, show themes, and it's all in the school of Cartier-Bresson, Capa, etc. You,too, can be an artist, with a small investment. Your everyday life, just like Lance wrote about.

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