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good luck getting a refund

since we're approaching the arbitrary point at which we choose to divide one orbit of the sun from another, it has reached that time when people are encouraged to reflect and to solidify plans for the year ahead. i don't buy into the second part of that- i believe in making resolutions when i'm ready, not at an appointed time. i do, however like taking a few moments when the western world is slowing down, to think about what i've learned in the preceeding months, because only by thinking about life's lessons can you hope to apply the knowledge they impart.

i'd like to say up front that 2010 blew like an old fuse: spectacularly and infuriatingly. seriously. i hated this year. i'm looking forward to kicking its arse out the door on the 31st and saying good riddance to bad rubbish. i'm not implying that there weren't good moments, but the bad so overwhelmingly squashed those moments that they are like isolated violas in the orchestra of the year's events, their lovely harmonies drowned out by the symphony of suck.

i think that what annoys me the most is that, for all the drudgery and unpleasantness, i feel like there are relatively few lessons i can take away and apply to my life at a later date. i'd like to think that, having gone through all this crap, there are at least some valuable nuggets of insight that will aid me in the future. instead, i'm really having to think of what i've learned and even then, i find myself hoping i won't have to face the opportunity to put my new-found knowledge to use.

but, in the interests of putting a positive spin on things... i postively hated this year. ahem, here are some realisations i've had:

- wikipedia is a perfectly valid place to look for medical advice and is often a lot more reliable than doctors. use it to factcheck any information you get and if there's a discrepancy, insist that you get a rational answer before letting them move on.

- long-term medical professionals frequently have no clue how the real world works, which makes their advice on dealing with it pretty much useless.

- gut feelings should always trump rationality. deep down, you know things you don't know.

- whoever said that you'll appreciate something more when you've had to do all the work yourself never had to do anything very complicated.

- looking for work is a remarkably capricious and illogical process.

- it can be a relief to know there's something wrong with you.

- karma almost never doles out punishment in the explosive, thetrical way you want it to. (ok, i knew that going into this year, i've just had more chances than usual to ponder it)

- there are very few role models who can teach the value of responsibility and it shows more and more as time goes on

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

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