Okay, break over.

Aside from the fact that I can’t be quiet (like, ever), I found some interesting articles for your consideration while doing my hour of Sunday Internet time. Guess that thought about maybe abandoning the blog was foolish talk. My Internet limit, though, means you’re in for a wild ride this post…

Fascinating article on Trader Joe’s, the highly secretive and mum company that supplies 75% of my family’s food. The LA Magazine piece is quite interesting and revelatory, though the last two paragraphs are almost the lamest conclusion I’ve ever read. And given that I taught freshman level English at a community college, “lamest” is saying a lot.

The controversy swirling about LEGO’s horrific decision to create pink and purple LEGOs for girls in which the characters lounge poolside and drink frothy beverages has me so angry I can barely speak. I’ve already ranted about Melissa and Doug‘s disgusting choice to have career dress up dolls for boys and fashion dress up dolls for girls, the hatefulness and ignorance of which made me stop buying their toys (a decision on which I doubled down when I realized how much of their stuff has PVC in it.)

And, in the interest of public service, a good read on how to affect public policy</a. I found Information Diet searching for a list of which companies support PIPA and SOPA, the terrifying congressional attempts to regulate the Internet that will make American access to information a lot more like so-called access in countries with overt government-sponsored censorship like China and Iran.

So. Learn about Trader Joe’s, debate toy pinkification, and wrangle with your legislative representative about the Internet. These are my contributions to your first day of 2012. What do you think?

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Blue, cloudless sky

You wanna know how lucky I am? (Since I mostly post snark about loathing parenthood despite loving my kid, i figure today is the perfect reason to tell you why I totally lucked out, in spite of the whole “not  cut out for this job and seriously considering running away from home” technicality.)

In Trader Joe’s, which, in addition to tasty, affordable loveliness, offers kids stickers and balloons, and P was in fine form. “May I have a bar?” Nope. Already had one today. “Okay……May I have some juice?” Nope. Yesterday was juice day and you had lemonade at the party. “Yeah. That was good lemonade.”

He helps the checker by handing over groceries. She gives him stickers. “May I have one balloon?” Sure. We ask. They’re out of helium.

“Oh, bug, I’m sorry. They’re out of helium, the special air that makes the balloons.” Breath held, calm distractions planned, explanations of world and its unfairness and yet relative goodness calculated.

“Well. Stickers are nice.” Proceeds to decorate his shirt and mine with stickers.

Seriously, does it get any better than a three year old who can shake off balloonlessness?

It’s too easy to screw up contemporary English, so now you’re butchering Shakespearean English, too?

Sign painted on outdoor shopping mall of upscale shops: Feel not shame for thou (sic) love of shoes.

Thou love? No, you dunderheaded idiots. (I know, I know. I taught critical thinking. If you insult the party to whom you’re talking, you generally have no point. But this is a collection of stores who would sell me (if I had that kind of money or cared what I looked like) a $150 sweater and $200 pair of shoes while befouling my sensibilities and dainty editor’s eyes. Shit like that makes our retinas BLEED, y’all.)

Who is hiring these writers, and who is hiring these advertisers?

Thou is a pronoun. It’s Elizabethan “you.”  Thy is a possessive pronoun. Sixteenth century “your.”

So your big marketing push this holiday season reads: “Do not be ashamed of you (sic)  love of shoes.” Take it from me: you meant “thy” love of shoes.

And you painted it on the wall. Like your nudge-nudge-wink-wink lame attempt at a joke is supposed to get me to swerve off the road and into your dank, dimly lit parking garage in the unholiest of all consumerist greed-fests: December. You think classing up being elbow-deep in polyester and perfume-reeking humanity makes shopping somehow more appealing? Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. But you’re not entitled to your own version of Elizabethan English. Use a dictionary when you’re writing. Or an editor. Or stop letting the boneheads in the strategy department write your advertising.

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On an upbeat note, I’m pleased as always to congratulate Trader Joe’s for being one of the few stores in the nation to have a sign reading, “12 items or fewer.” Kudos. Your “unique grocery store” image remains credible to the educated but underpaid masses who traipse into your store for an affordable selection of organic, sugary, and obscure. Thank you for having hatch green chili bread, organic egg nog, and Jack Daniel’s all ready for me, btw, so that my trip down the twelve-or-fewer aisle is particularly sparkly this holiday season.