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Was your yard flower bombed this weekend?
Was your yard flower bombed this weekend?

Attack of the guerrilla gardeners

In February, a friend and I went to see "Handmade Nation," a documentary by Milwaukee’s Faythe Levine about the indie craft movement, and I was deeply inspired in many ways. At one point, the film chronicles a group of knitters who "tag" lampposts and streets signs with knit cuffs as a form of public art. I love this idea, and it reminded of something I had always wanted to do: guerrilla gardening.

After the film, my friend and I went out for drinks at Paddy’s Pub, where I told her about my idea: to covertly plant sunflowers in ugly and barren spaces in our neighborhood to create beauty. I thought sunflowers were ideal because they are hardy flowers that could grow with little maintenance.

My friend was enthusiastic about the idea, and we decided to do it. We sent out e-mails, scouted out areas where we would plant and discussed at great length whether or not we could get in trouble for planting flowers on public and private property. We decided that we were at peace with whatever happened.

Last weekend, a bunch of friends and their kids got together with wagons, watering cans, shovels and seeds and "flower bombed" numerous ugly spaces in our neighborhood that, in our opinion, were screaming for sunflowers.

I really love to garden -- it’s a hobby and environmental responsibility that I hope my kids will value for their entire lives -- however, it turns out, the real "message" of our guerrilla gardening expedition had little to do with flowers.

My son, who is way more structured than I, kept asking me why we were doing this. "Is it a special day?" he asked, needing a reason for our gardening, like perhaps we were participating in a nationally recognized holiday.

"No," I told him. "We’re dong this just for fun. We’re doing this to make our neighborhood prettier."

Later, he asked me about the public greenspace where we were planting. "Whose yard is this?" he asked, slightly suspiciously.

I explained to him that the "yard" belonged…

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)
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?)