My sister Maureen has been given last rites, or as the catholics say, Extreme Unction, the theology of which Google will be happy to elucidate for you, and maybe even lm will chime in. She is 54 years old and has been wracked with bodily torment (brain cancer being but one of her many afflictions) for at least 20 years. The way the universe (or God, if you will) chose to shit upon her and torture her unceasingly kind of inspired my asymptotically finished novella The Pains. A very smart woman; a subtle and acerbic observer of human frailty, with an extremely kind heart deeply hidden under a very prickly personality. Her children are ages 28, 26, and 21, and the middle one had a liver transplant last year. Her husband, my brother-in-law Bob, is a sweetheart. Bob and Maureen are your basic LM-style liberal intellectual Catholics. Their faith has been a great comfort to them. I don't share it but sometimes wish I did.
In Switzerland, my sister-in-law Mary, wife of my older brother Mike, is dealing with a sudden and rather extreme recurrence of breast cancer, in remission these last 7 years or so. Not looking too good. But my sister-in-law Jennifer beat back leukemia last year, so what the heck. Maybe there is reason to hope. I am really very fond of Mary, who we see every year at the big-ole family reunion at the Jersey Shore.
I don't know how much more my parents can take. Two of their seven children gone within six months of each other, and a daughter-in-law and a grandson with virtual guns to their heads. My parents are about 83 or so.
Over on Daily Kos, I put up a fascinatingly intimate and quite moving and dramatic (and brilliantly insightful and exquisitely written) diary about stuff I do. In particular, my wife and I run a food pantry and do other goody-two-shoes community bullshit because we're idealistic bleeding-heart pansies/dupes/suckers.
On my dreary site Wetmachine I've been putting up a series of demented rants about this bailout. I haven't been this disgusted, angry and scared since Nixon times. Also, technically speaking I may be out of my mind. (Still waiting for a consult with Dr. MNS, Ph.D, Clinical Social Worker, for a definitive diagnosis.)
The only good thing to come up in recent political news is that according to this report of Washington DC blogs and "insider politics" TV shows and rumor mills, Sarah Palin is an unmitigated disaster and the McCain campaign is terrified to let her out in public, much less a debate. "What are we going to do?" one McCain camp crybaby is quoted as whining. Well, I have an answer. If she is as bad as you say she is, then she is clearly not qualified for the office of Vice President. McCain must either replace her on the ticket (or withdraw his candidacy and endorse Obama), or you, Mr. McCain camp insider, must resign and endorse Obama, because McCain's having created and failed to correct this problem shows that *he* is not qualified to be president. There is no other decent option for you. So just do it, or shut up.
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