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Confusion
By Judith Viorst


I can't figure out if it's gas or a coronary.
I can't figure out if it's hostile or benign.
I can't figure out if I'm turning into a hypochondriac, or just being sensible.
I can't figure out when we stop supporting our children.
(At twenty-one? At thirty? Forty-nine?)
I can't figure out if not bothering to change the sheets in the guest room in between houseguests is ever an option, or always reprehensible.

I can't figure out why men won't ask for directions.
(Is this genetic or could they be retrained?)
I can't figure out, when dressed in the height of fashion, if I'm looking incredibly chic or slightly ridiculous.
I can't figure out if my tale is enthralling or boring.
(What are those facial expressions? Spellbound? Or pained?)
I can't figure out if wanting all the hangers in my closet to face the same way means I'm obsessive-compulsive, or merely meticulous.

I can't figure out if I've gone from stable to stodgy.
(Is "reliable" what I want as my epitaph?)
I can't figure out if helping yourself to a shrimp from your spouse's plate ought to be viewed as intimacy or intrusion.
I can't figure out if I've lost my sense of humor
Or if, after fifty, it just gets harder to laugh.
And I can't figure out if everyone else has figured everything out, or whether we are all in a state of confusion.

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I was stuck in the house with no minivan for most of the day, so [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan took pity on me and came to visit so I wouldn't get jealous that my cats have seen more of her this summer than I have! Rosie promptly took over her lap and Daisy showed off her tail-chasing skills, though as soon as [livejournal.com profile] apaulled came home, they snuck off feigning indifference. We watched 3:10 To Yuma which I think remains an extremely underrated film -- despite all the shooting, it's not really an action western but a philosophical one, and having recently watched American Gangster together, it was fun watching Russell Crowe on the other side of the law in a film which, like the newer one, assumes that corrupt people with legitimate power are much more villainous than outlaws. The IMDb says that 3:10 To Yuma was filmed entirely in New Mexico and Arizona, but I'd swear that bits of it were filmed in Utah, because I was sure I saw this formation:


We jokingly referred to this formation in Utah's Grand Staircase as Edoras because of the resemblance it bears to Edoras in The Two Towers. Well, minus the trees.


This formation in Capitol Reef National Park is known as The Castle. I imagine it's obvious why.


This is Capitol Gorge. The waterpocket fold that created the park's geology is clearly visible in the rock layers.


Eph Hanks Tower -- named for a pioneering Mormon explorer related to Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks -- reaches 6,565 feet above sea level.


A side view of the Egyptian Temple, as this formation is known.


This area was once an inland sea, evidenced by the different layers of sandstone left after erosion of the uplifted Colorado Plateau.


Petroglyphs created by the Fremont Indians, who often lived in natural rock shelters as well as constructed pit houses and log huts.


This is Capitol Reef National Park's visitor center, in a valley beneath more magnificent stone structures.


Cool meme snicked from [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose:
Go over to Wikipedia and enter your birth date and then pick 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday that occurred on the day of your birthday.
Mine's December 11th.

Three Events:
1792 - King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention.
1917 - British troops take Jerusalem from the troops of the Ottoman Empire.
1972 - Apollo 17 becomes the sixth mission to land on the Moon.
Two Births:
1725 - George Mason, American statesman
1803 - Hector Berlioz, French composer
One Holiday:
Argentina - Tango Day, Buenos Aires

I had a really hard time narrowing events to three. The only thing I knew happened on my birth date was that Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. in 1941; I did not know that Llywelyn, the last native Prince of Wales, was killed on the date in 1282, that Indiana became the 19th U.S. state on the date in 1816, that the British Parliament enacted the Statute of Westminster on the date in 1931, that Edward VIII's abdication became effective on the date in 1936, nor that UNICEF was established on the date in 1946. And though I knew I shared a birthday with Rita Moreno, I did not know that I also shared it with Alfred de Musset, Fiorello La Guardia, Naguib Mahfouz, Grace Paley, John Kerry, Teri Garr, Mos Def, Ben Browder, and Gary Dourdan who was born on precisely the same day that I was.

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