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I was told that "cougars" like Victor's, 1230 N. Van Buren St.
I was told that "cougars" like Victor's, 1230 N. Van Buren St.

At what age does a woman become a "cougar?"

Last week, I celebrated a birthday and, although I am still in my 30s, I was jokingly referred to as "almost of cougar age." This, of course, led to a debate about what age a woman must be before she falls into the cougar category.

I think a woman has to be 45 or older to join the cougar club, but a friend insisted any gal over the age of 40 is eligible for membership. Another friend, however, said 50 was the gateway to cougar-dom.

For the record, I wasn't a big fan of this label, which refers to an older woman who dates younger men, but it’s an unavoidable pop culture term that many women have embraced. So, OK.

Here’s an article I wrote last year if you want more information about local cougar dens.

Think my teeth will look like this after one week of white strips?
Think my teeth will look like this after one week of white strips?

Should I whiten my teeth?

After years of contemplating, I think I’m ready to invest in Crest Whitestrips and give teeth whitening a whirl. However, I am wavering a little bit, mostly because I am wondering about the results.

My teeth are fairly white already, but two decades of coffee drinking and weekly wine indulging have robbed my chompers of their extreme pearly whiteness. However, I would hate to have my teeth get too white -- nobody wants a truly blinding smiling -- but my gut says that won't happen with a home whitening kit. Right?

I plan to document this process, so I’ll post the results in a later blog. In the mean time, I’ll take this opportunity to report that my New Year's resolution to floss daily is going very well. I know you were wondering.

LOL is o-ver-used.
LOL is o-ver-used.

Three-word acronyms (TWA)

Sure, the art of texting spawned many new three-letter initials / acronyms, but there are plenty of classics that have nothing to do with cellular communication. For absolutely no reason at all, I compiled a list of classic three-letter acronyms. Add more via the Talkback feature.

BRB (Be right back)
DND (Do not disturb)
DNR (Do not resuscitate)
ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)
FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
FYC (Fine Young Cannibals)
JFK (John F. Kennedy)
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
LOL (Laugh out loud)
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
OMC (OnMilwaukee.com)
PDF  (Public display of affection or portable document format)
PIN (Personal identification number)
RIP (Rest in peace)
SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
TMI (Too much information)
USA (United States of America)
WTF? (What the f--k?)

I don't care in what language my kids say "hello," just say it, por favor.
I don't care in what language my kids say "hello," just say it, por favor.

How do you get a kid to say "hello?"

I’m a friendly gal. I smile a lot, always greet my friends with hugs and chatter and I really try to acknowledge less-familiar people when I see them in public.

For some reason, however, my kids don’t seem to get it. When we run into people we know, they usually start showing off -- in the form of running around and / or counting loudly -- or they act ridiculous and make the most random, offbeat comments.

"Hi, Kai, how are you today?" a neighbor asked.
"I saw bird poop on the car," he said.

Perhaps this is age appropriate for a 6-year-old, but perhaps I need to better instill the importance of politely greeting people. I have tried explaining it, modeling it, demanding it ... Yet I still feel like  it’s not working. So maybe I need to just start ignoring it. Or maybe they are just acting like kids and  it’s OK.

In any case, I’m certainly not going to mimic their unpredictable, arguably rude public behavior. But if I did, it would go something like this:

"Hey, Molly, how’s it going?"
"Pickle power!" I yell out, then start running backwards and singing gross, alternate lyrics to the "Happy Birthday" song.

I don’t think this would work for me.