I would prefer not to spend my time grumping about things like bills, but I have to put in a word here. We just got our power bill for mid Dec - Jan. Anyone in the Seattle area knows that our Hannukah storm started right then - people on the Eastside were without power for anywhere from 2 to 8 (or even longer!) days. We were lucky enough to lose power twice - once for three days and then again for another two days later in the week. Despite this, our power bill just came in at $376! Now we have a big house, I'll grant you. But in past years, our highest winter bill has come in at around $200. According to political commentators when people pay more for gas (in this case for heating) they usually blame the party in power so I think I'll probably blame our president.
Speaking of whom, the only part of the entire State of the Union speech, which I heard on NPR of course, that didn't make me grimace was the beginning, where I found myself suprisingly moved by his statement along the lines of, "It is my distinguished honor to be the first president to begin the State of the Union with the statement, 'Thank you, Madame Speaker'". I don't normally go for the idea that because I'm a woman I should be proud of all other women, but this was a pretty momentous thing and a surprisingly classy gesture on his part. Of course the speech went downhill quickly from there with a bunch of useless statements about how we had to fix social security (really?) with no ideas about how to do it, as well as discussion of the 4000 marines we'll be sending in to hunt down and conquer the terrorists, since obviously the ones who had been there until now have just been sitting around making ice cream sundaes.
Okay, grouching over.