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SAMSUNG CSCT-Meche is a King Cake Baby, he appeared last year on the Facebook page of James Hebert and has been back this Mardi Gras season, entertaining many of us. Recently T-Meche made his own BE YOU poster and answered some of the questions, so I thought it was about time he did a real one before he leaves again on Fat Tuesday.
T-Meche answered these questions himself with the help of James, who is the Operational Manager at KRVS and a Yoga teacher at Camellia House, and his answers may not represent all King Cake Babies (they are all different you know). You can follow the adventures of T-Meche and his friend, Chee-wee on Facebook (search for T-Meche & Chee-wee).

What was your first job?

Passing the cane knife on the sidewalk for my Paw-paw.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Eat boudin. Watch cartoons. Go to daycare. Play with Chee-wee. Probably do the diable to somebody. Get in trouble. Go home. Get punished from my BB gun and all.

What advice would you give the younger you?

Try not to always eat all the time and get in trouble for biting.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

When they make you out of plastic, and they put you in the cake. Then the people take you out when they eat it.

What values do you live by?

Be nice to the teacher and all the lil girls.  Don’t get fussed.

What do you most appreciate?

When I’m good, and I’m not punished.

What is your favorite journey?

Go to Grand Isle with my Paw-paw, and he lets me pass the net for the crabs.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

By my Maw-maw’s, eatin’ whatever I want, and watchin’ Swamp People on the DVR.

What living figure most inspires you?

When my Parrain’s not offshore, and he can bring me someplace.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Stop hitting the lil children in the face and all, cause you get punished.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

I like if they could read me the one about the lil redfish that grows big, big because he eats too much. And talk about the pictures to me.

What is the best thing about where you live?

Go to the camp with my Parrain, and Kart Ranch and all.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?

When we went to the Walmarts and they bought me a toy monster truck, but it broke.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

If I could ride the four-wheeler by myself, and go sit in the deer stand by myself, and not be scared of some sounds.

What is your motto?

A motto, like a hammer in my Paw-paw’s shed? But I don’t have that, cause they don’t let after I smashed a water melon with it.

How would you like to be remembered?

Sometimes I remember how to sing the Yeti and Silver Bullet song all the way.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

Why you so bad and all? Why you gotta always get in trouble? You always in trouble, you.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Go to the camp. Play Swamp People with Chee-wee. Ride the four-wheeler.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Shut up.” Plus two more bad words that I get punished for sayin’ every time.

What is your favorite word?

I like when Paw-paw calls me “pistache.”

What do you collect?

I got 26 dead minnows in a ziplock in my lunch box, from when my Parrain took me and Chee-wee fishin’ at Pointe Aux Chenes. They dry, dry.  I like to make Chee-wee smell ‘em.

What food could you live on for a month?

Um, regular boudin, I guess. The kind that you can chew all of it. Or Chinese buffet when I’m not punished.

What would you change about yourself?

Wear some pants, at least.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

Popeye can punch hard, hard, but I don’t like spinach at all, me.

Describe yourself in five words.

(counting on his fingers) Try. Not. To. Get. Punished.

What is your idea of happiness?

When I’m fallin’ asleep, I close my eyes, and see my cork go under fast, fast.  One time, me and my Parrain, I caught a whole limit of redfish.

What is your favorite movie?

The Christmas tape about the lil boy with the BB gun that beats up the bully with the yellow teeth.

What music defines who you are?

When my Maw-maw plays that Wayne Toups tape with Tupelo Honey, and makes me stand on her feet to dance with her.

What do you most regret?

I got in trouble for pushin’ a lil girl down to catch a plastic sword at the Mard-Gras parade one time. She started cryin’, and I got punished with no Popeye’s on the way home.  Me and Chee-wee got caught in the jello shots too.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
If I have a lil girlfriend.

What would the answer be?

No, her Daddy said I’m too bad, me.

SAMSUNG CSCHannah Mouton is a Moving Image Major at UL, she graduated from high school in May as Salutatorian when she was only 15. She’s smart, passionate and cool and knows exactly who she is. At 16 Hannah has had a tougher life than many people (read her answers) but is a straight ‘A’ student with drive and a personality that draws people in immediately. She has a wisdom way beyond her years that I think will take her wherever she wants to go. She wants to help make the world more compassionate, both to people and the environment we live in. I’m sure this is just one of many interviews that will feature Hannah in her life, I can’t wait to see what she achieves. I’m completely in awe.

What was your first job?

I’ve yet to have one.

Describe a typical day in your life.

On a typical school day, I wake up at 7:18 (Why not 7:15 or 7:20 you ask? Because I’m weird and I feel responsible when I only allow myself two minutes to lie in bed and do nothing), then I do my usual morning routine; get dressed, throw my hair up into something decent or tug on a beanie, ask myself, “To eat or not to eat? That is the question,” and if I decide my tummy isn’t feeling that French Toast Crunch in the cabinet, I’ll stuff my schoolbag with food for later. Then I get the unpleasant morning taste out of my mouth and wait for my aunt to finish whatever she’s doing. Once my aunt’s son is dropped off at daycare and I get to UL, I attend my classes and hang out with my three awesome guy friends during whatever break I can get. The rest of the day is usually unplanned, but before bed, I always try to squeeze in an episode of whatever show I’m currently watching.

On weekends, I get any schoolwork out of the way as soon as I can, take a few photos for my aunt’s company, watch her son if needed, and play some Legend of Zelda. Or I go back to Parks to visit my family and take Copper, my lively thirteen-year-old Brittany Spaniel who thinks he’s still a puppy, on a nice long walk.

What advice would you give the younger you?

It’s okay to be different; embrace who you are and never let anyone change it. Also, a “B” is just a letter. I promise it isn’t going to kill you.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

When I was nine, my mother passed away of stage four breast cancer and my father took up alcoholism. I was also put in public school for the first time at the age of ten (my mother home-schooled my three siblings and me), and I was bullied quite a lot by my fellow 6th grade classmates, especially people who I considered to be my friends. Since my siblings were my only friends for the longest time, I didn’t really know any better and thought that’s just what friends were supposed to do to you.

To go through that all at once at such a young age, to have your mother die, your father drunk on a daily basis, and people constantly verbally abusing you and telling you you’re unwanted because you’re different is really damaging. And you especially feel lost without a stable parental figure to guide you. I went through that same cycle for nearly four years of my life, just letting people walk all over me as I tried to make myself more like them. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I had enough, and I truly broke free of caring about insignificant things and trying to conform into something I wasn’t. I began to unapologetically be myself, and I didn’t care about who didn’t like it. I embraced my weirdness and creativity and intelligence and determination, and I focused less on the thoughts and opinions of the people around me and more on my goal: graduating top of my class. And I graduated as salutatorian at the age of fifteen. Today, I’ve totally, 100% Pokémon evolved into the real Hannah. I’m more me than I ever was, and I’m freaking proud of it.

What values do you live by?

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Learn to find the humor in things. Honesty is the best policy. Drama is pointless.

What do you most appreciate?

The little things. It could be a simple handwritten “Good morning!” note left on my door, my three-year-old cousin bringing me a flower, exchanging looks with a friend and immediately cracking up, someone joining in on my random dancing, late-night talks about the most random things with someone I love, a high-five from a stranger, anything. It all just makes my day.

What is your favorite journey?

Though I’ve only had a few months’ worth of experience so far, college has really been a marvelous adventure for me. I’ve met so many incredible people, learned so many extraordinary things, I seriously cannot get enough of it. I’m getting excited just talking about it.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

On the roof looking up at the night sky, or on a trek through the cane fields with music playing from my phone in my pocket.

What living figure most inspires you?

My aunt. She manages to incredulously stay positive as she balance multiple jobs, her marriage, and a rowdy toddler, all while dealing with sleep deprivation and unknown health issues that cause her to be unable to eat. How doesn’t rip her hair out is beyond me.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

My dad once told me, “There’s a possibility of everything.” I find myself repeating that a lot.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

Harry Potter. Harry Potter. Harry Potter. Read any one of them. Or, better yet, all of them. You get so attached to nearly every character, and it’s just such a great and imaginative story that keeps you on your toes, making you want to find out what happens on the next page.

What is the best thing about where you live?

(I’m sure the majority of your other interviewees have said this, but) The food, most definitely. I have yet to find a food in Louisiana that I dislike. Now, if we’re talking neighborhood-wise, Copper Meadows’ holiday game is on point. During Halloween, I swear the entire neighborhood dresses up and goes trick-or-treating, and Christmastime is just a wonderland of lights and weird Christmassy things thrown in the front yard. It’s pretty darn amazing.

How do you “let the good times roll”?

I love playing video games with people. Whether it’s a simple Mario Kart race, a LittleBigPlanet level, or an entire Super Smash Bros. tournament, you can count me in. If video games aren’t involved, I usually find a way to make the most of the moment by being my usual weird and entertaining self. So if you’re around me and you don’t see a video game going on, you’d better expect the unexpected.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
For years I wanted to be a veterinarian, but when my brothers started getting into comic books, I really wanted to do the artwork for them. Being in a rock band was always a fantasy of mine, as well.

What is your motto?

If you don’t do it, you’re just going to wonder what might’ve happened if you did.

How would you like to be remembered?

As the woman who made a difference in peoples’ lives.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

“Just go for it. Failure is nothing but a learning experience.”

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Triforce necklace, a pen for spontaneous doodling, and witty, sarcastic comments.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I ask, “Why?” way too much. I can’t help it, though, I always want to satisfy my curiosity and know the reasoning behind things.

What is your favorite word?

Flow. The word even flows out of your mouth.

What do you collect?

I don’t collect one specific thing. It’s more of an enormous cluster of things that I like. So I guess you could say I collect Star Wars, Nintendo, and superhero stuff. My room is full of movies, plushes, bobbleheads, masks and capes, piggybanks, soundtracks, apparel, blankets, video games, and not to mention the myriad of posters and drawings I have stored away until I can put them on the walls.

What food could you live on for a month?

Pasta. If I can live on it for a week (which I have done that before), I can live on it for a month. It’s just so darn delicious.

What would you change about yourself?

I tend to over-think. I need to learn to just shut the noggin off sometimes and save myself the nonsense and worry.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

I find I identify with Hermione Granger. She’s a very brave, independent, and intelligent girl who doesn’t give in to peer pressure, cherishes her guy friends, is undeniably loyal, stands up for others, isn’t afraid to be girly once in a while, has an answer for everything, and is prepared to take on whatever the world throws at her.

Describe yourself in five words.

Humorous. Creative. Adventurous. Dorky. Determined.

What is your idea of happiness?

Hiking up a mountain on a crisp, rainy day without a care in the world, and just taking in the beauty of nature that surrounds me.

What is your favorite movie?

Being a film major, I have many, many movies that I adore. However, a few that make the top of my list would have to be Fight Club, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Star Wars series, the Harry Potter series, Pulp Fiction, classic Forrest Gump, Big Fish, Airplane!, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Weekend at Bernie’s, and pretty much any superhero movie.

What music defines who you are?

Sheesh, my music taste delves into literally every genre, so it’s quite difficult to pick one. But, now that I just said that, I guess that’s what defines who I am; not settling for just one genre, and being open to whatever artist I come across because I feel like every genre is its own form of art. And I think that that expresses my open-mindedness and sense of discovery, which are both huge parts of my personality.

What do you most regret?

Not being there the day my mom died. Though I’m always told there was nothing I could have done, it still haunts me that I don’t even remember telling her “good-bye” or “I love you” before I left the house that day.

What question do you wish I’d asked?

“Surely, you can’t be serious?

What would the answer be?

“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”

SAMSUNG CSCPaul Kieu is a Freelance photographer, recovering newspaper photojournalist. You may know his name (and his stunning photography) from The Advertiser where he worked until recently going freelance. Paul is funnier than he knows, as talented as he suspects, and has a future brighter and stranger than he dreams. His parents strength is reflected in his attitude to work and life. He is now available for all kinds of work (you can find him at PaulKieu.com). I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.

What was your first job?

My first job in high school was working for the Thomas family in Abbeville at their Cajun Power Sauce plant. I helped them bottle sauce on weekends. One of my favorite things to do there was to operate the dry seasoning machine on days we prepared their Sweet Treat product – a cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar dust. It smelled great, and they gave me independence.

Describe a typical day in your life.

On normal days now that I don’t work a staff job, I try to wake up early to be productive. I answer email, check social media, and try to get something productive done each day whether that’s tidying or improving things around my home, spending time with my parents in Abbeville (who are both disabled), or working jobs that I get hired for.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Just keep being yourself. Keep being nice to people, work hard, and it will pay off eventually. It took me a while to realize that, but thankfully young adult me never got jaded.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

My dad had a stroke my first semester of film school at the University of New Orleans in October 2008. I ended up moving home at the end of the school year to help out with the family and while the family stuff hasn’t been easy, being back in Acadiana has led to some of the greatest opportunities and growth that I don’t believe would have been possible had I stayed in New Orleans at that point in my life.

What values do you live by?

Be good to people. Expect nothing in return.
Work hard every single day.

What do you most appreciate?

As much as I make fun of it, I really do enjoy small talk.

What is your favorite journey?

Where life has taken me to this point. I’m much more confident and capable as a person and member of the community now, and I feel that I’m in a good position to help out the people around me.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

In my car, late at night whenever I get home from work or hanging out with friends. That black Jetta is my fortress of solitude.

What living figure most inspires you?

My mom. She’s a 55-year old Vietnam War refugee who came here with her family in the 70’s with no money and no prospects, learned English while working as a diner cook, and together with my blue collar father put four kids through private school and college. Seeing her push through a stroke she suffered in late 2014 has been an amazing process. It’s amazing what my parents have done for us.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Be good to people. It’s very broad but it works.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. And do so during a semester with Dr. Bryan-Paul Frost in UL Political Science

What is the best thing about where you live?

The sense of community. Walking into a coffee shop and knowing five people on any given day. People not letting me leave their homes without a plate of food.

How do you “let the good times roll”?

I like to be surrounded by friends on a good night with good music and good beer.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

First an astronaut then a film director.

What is your motto?

Do a good turn daily. (I’m an Eagle Scout)

How would you like to be remembered?

Someone who contributed to the betterment of his community. Still trying to figure out how to do that every single day.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

Everything is temporary. If you screw this one up, just try and be better next time. The only thing we can do is try.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Family, Friends, Caring a little bit too much about everything.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Dude”, “Awesome”, or any assortment of four letter words.

What is your favorite word?

“Fantastic”

What do you collect?

Press credentials from every event that I’ve ever been issued one. I have dozens in a drawer at my house.

What food could you live on for a month?

Probably boudin if we lived in a perfect world.

What would you change about yourself?

Better discipline. Maybe I’d follow through with that healthy lifestyle I’ve been trying to get on track with for years now.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

Probably Brad Pitt’s character “Rusty” in Ocean’s Eleven. Dude’s eating every time you see him.

Describe yourself in five words.

Confident, observant, sleep-deprived, energetic, hungry (all definitions).

What is your idea of happiness?

Whenever I get home from a long day of work realizing that what I did that day might have some meaning to someone out there.
That, or a My Morning Jacket concert, or an afternoon with my Schnauzer, Chloe.

What is your favorite movie?

Probably Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I can quote that movie like no one’s business.

What music defines who you are?

Whatever’s on at the moment in my car, but honestly it’s no secret to my friends that I’m a huge Kanye West fan. His music is constantly evolving, and it’s written from the perspective of someone who has just been trying to prove himself his whole life. Can be pretty abrasive or weird, and not everyone’s going to like it, and that’s absolutely OK.

What do you most regret?

Anybody I may have mistreated in the past. I’ve changed a lot in the past four or five years, but wasn’t always the best person to be with whether romantically or platonically. I’d like to think I’m getting better about it these days.

What question do you wish I’d asked?

“What’s something that you’ve been putting off?”

What would the answer be?

I’ve been planning to go to Vietnam for years now. It’ll hopefully happen before I hit 30-35 (I’m 26), but it’s a goal to have. I’ve wanted to connect with my roots. Understand the place that my parents left. Get enveloped in something that I don’t actually understand but would probably be decently familiar in another sense.

SAMSUNG CSCSean Trcalek is the General Sales Manager – KADN/KLAF/MyNetwork Acadiana and a very talented Musician and singer. You may have heard his beautiful voice around Acadiana, if you haven’t, believe me – it’s worth it!
Sean (pronounced Seen) is one of the nicest, kindest guys around. He’s the best kind of sales professional, one who cares about people, builds genuine relationships and is a pleasure to be around. He’s one of my favorite people.

What was your first job?

The summer before I started high school – way back in 1979 – my brother-in-law got me a job as a Helper at Bovaird Supply in Intracoastal City, spraying pipes with diesel, cleaning the bathrooms, and operating a forklift. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to have a 13-year-old operate heavy equipment is beyond me – that’s the last job where I was allowed to get near heavy machinery.

Describe a typical day in your life.

I’m usually up around 6:30 and head right to the coffee pot, spend some time with my 3-year-old son before work, then spend my days working with a great group of people at KADN/KLAF. Work days in the television business are rarely typical, and they’re even more unpredictable and exciting these days with the major and exciting changes our new company, Nexstar Broadcasting, has underway. After work, I always make some more time for Eli, maybe catch an episode or 2 of Seinfeld. Sometimes a music gig throws off the schedule, but I’m usually in bed for 11.

What advice would you give the younger you?

Experiment with new hairstyles while you can!

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

Losing my father to cancer when I was 19 changed everything – while devastating, it forced me to be independent, to make my own way and to make my own decisions without relying on my Dad to approve or have input. When my kids came along, it helped me to cherish the time we have together.

What values do you live by?

Treat others the way you would like to be treated, don’t take myself or life too seriously, smile and laugh every day, and let those you love know it as often as possible…

What do you most appreciate?

My wife Tonya – I make a point of thanking God every day for her and try my best to let her know how much I love her at every opportunity. I’m also appreciative of the gifts given to me, namely the gift of music.
What is your favorite journey? I went to Jackson, Wyoming and Yellowstone in 1989 and the incredible beauty has stayed with me – going back is on the Bucket List. Seeing mountains just does something to me!

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

With the busy life I lead, it’s probably in my 4-Runner, either listening to classic rock or sports talk radio. Every now and then, I even steal away and sneak in a noon nap.

What living figure most inspires you?

On a global level, it’s Pope Francis – who I’ve come to really admire for his humility and apparent love of man and God. In the world of music, it’s Bruce Springsteen – or rather, his music. Closer to home, it’s my wife, whose support and love keeps me going no matter what.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Way back in 1982, the summer before my senior year, I was playing baseball and dreading the upcoming football season – I had the misfortune of being in Coach Tad Tatman’s “doghouse” -  so I was going to quit. I went to Nederland, TX to play in the Senior Babe Ruth Regionals and met Mr. Ambrose Richard, who hosted me in his home. He was am old Coach, and I told him what I had been going through. He told me the old saying “winners never quit and quitters never win,” and it’s stayed with me for all these years.

What book would you tell everyone to read? 

The  Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

What is the best thing about where you live?

Boudin, and being called “Baby” by random people all day…

How do you “let the good times roll” ?

Either by taking the family to enjoy one of our great local festivals or music events or by playing my guitar and singing.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian, until I showed up at LSU and realized that I’d have to take tons of science classes – and I’m pretty much the anti-scientist type…

What is your motto?

Of those that are given more, more is expected.

How would you like to be remembered?

With a smile

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

I try hard to ignore the negative voices in my head, but when I get weak I just say “keep on moving forward!”

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Laughter, Music, and Family

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 

Considering how much I talk, it’s hard to single out anything – but probably superlative adjectives like “incredible” or “awesome.”

What is your favorite word?

Shamalamadingdong…it’s not really a word (it’s the title of an Otis Day song), but it makes my son laugh everytime!

What do you collect?

Guitars – one can never have enough guitars…

What food could you live on for a month?

Shrimp stew.

What would you change about yourself?

I wish I were a few inches taller – so I could buy jeans and slacks straight off the rack…

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? 

Huck Finn – I’ve always wanted to float down the Mississippi.

Describe yourself in five words. Short, stocky, bald, happy, outgoing

What is your idea of happiness?

Put a microphone in front of me, and I’ll find a way to be happy!

What is your favorite movie?

Goodfellas

What music defines who you are?

Bruce Springsteen’s music has it all for me – energy, hope, optimism, the recognition of the harsh realities of life, taking stances on key issues, and self-determination.

What do you most regret?

Not exercising enough…

What question do you wish I’d asked?

“What’s your pet peeve?”

What would the answer be?

People who mispronounce one of our state’s signature symbols, the fleur de lis…it’s fleur duh LEASE!

SAMSUNG CSCMarshall Blevins is a Photographer, Artist and Dog Washer – and is perfectly suited to all three jobs. She is the Track Photographer at Evangeline Downs Racecourse, her love of horses and photography combining and creating some spectacular results. Marshall is sweet, adorable, cute, creative and delightful in many ways. She tells me she wants to be a cropduster, so if anyone has any contacts please let her know.
I have three of her mule paintings in my office and they make me smile every time I look at them, she is quite a talent. See her work for yourself at churchgoinmule.com.

What was your first job?

My first job where I made real money was walking hots for Mike Pino one summer at Colonial Downs. The first job where I was paid only in really valuable experiences was as a working student at a barn called Southern Oaks near Tallahassee, Florida.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Most days, I wake up for 6:35 and head to work at Bespoke Dogs on Johnston Street, and wash happy dogs until noon. Then I head home and cuddle with my own dog and human, grab something to eat, draw or read, and then head to Evangeline Downs around 4:30. The last race finishes up usually around ten, and I go home. We make dinner, walk the dog, and curl up on the couch and watch an episode of M*A*S*H.

What advice would you give the younger you?

Be more brave, less serious, and less opinionated. Stay away from the race track.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

In 2006, I found this thoroughbred farm not far from where we lived in Tallahassee. It was called Rosewood Plantation – surrounded by pine trees, with a training track, beautiful barns, and rolling pastures. I spent every second I could there, and that’s where I started really doing photography and probably where I got most of my encouragement to move forward. It was like a dream – happy, beautiful, horses in each paddock and they could run, too.

What values do you live by?

They are all things I’m still trying to figure out. Be kind & work hard. There’s a lot of naivety in my approach to life because I always believe folks are being honest and good.

What do you most appreciate?

Taking my dog on long walks – in the woods, in the city, all over. He doesn’t have much time left and walking is his favorite thing. My boyfriend’s unending patience and kindness is also something I couldn’t live without.

What is your favorite journey?

We went to Clarksdale this summer and I think about it all the time. Mississippi is still this land of reality-meets-myth to me, especially the Delta. The roads around and through Richmond, Virginia, also make my heart warm and fuzzy.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

I really like being alone. So anywhere I am alone, I am pretty happy. Inside, outside, driving.

What living figure most inspires you?

Not to be that girl, but my family, friends, and my boyfriend. They are all unbelievably and  incredibly encouraging, supportive, and kind. I look at myself, then I look at them, and don’t understand how they got to be so wonderful. My parents grew up in tougher times, and as hard as I work sometimes, I still know I’ve got it pretty good. They gave me a really amazing childhood and that’s all most people could ever ask for.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

My dad talks a lot about how money ruins people, and families, and it’s a more important thing to find happiness. I try not to focus on how different projects could bring me income, but instead on getting satisfaction and joy from the process and the finished product. I don’t worry about who owes me money or ‘who bought last time.’

What book would you tell everyone to read?

Kurt Vonnegut changed my outlook on life when I started reading him in high school. I honestly think his books should be mandatory in high school, for life, and before you have children. There are a lot of wonderful Louisiana fiction books in the library, and they always make me so happy. So if Vonnegut’s style isn’t your thing…try John Dufrense or George Singleton.

What is the best thing about where you live?

We live in the most colorful neighborhood with the best neighbors in Fightinville. There are house shows and victory gardens, backyard sittin’, and we’re only blocks from the library, Reve, and Lagniappe. Lafayette is like no other place I’ve ever been. All of the people I’ve met here are  completely unique – in themselves, and in their attitude. They are all so talented, passionate, and giving. It’s never been easier to make friends than in Lafayette. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been this happy and at home, and it’s because of the people here.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?

Crank up some Louis Jordan and take the ferry to the quarter with my folks! Tony can tell you I am basically always ridiculous and always lassiez dem bon temps. If I’m out, I’m out to have a good time.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A thoroughbred farm manager and/or stallion groom. I was really driven about working in the horse racing industry right up until I started working in it.

What is your motto?

From a Rock Plaza Central song, ‘bless all the things that we can’t un-do, because you know they have brought me here, to you.’ Things happen for a reason, usually a good one. ‘Optimistic without expectation’ has also been an important mantra.

How would you like to be remembered?

For championing other people and where I come from. For goodness & creativity.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

That’s something I am working really hard on because I doubt myself all of the time. Something along the lines of keep pushing forward.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

-Ridiculous dancing accompanied by really loud and completely awful singing.

-Walking, traveling, being outside, moving.

-My art practice takes up an awful lot of headspace, so that’s probably some of it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Probably and y’all. I called a place to see if they’d rotate my tires and used “y’all” about twenty times in a thirty second conversation. When I got there, they knew exactly who I was when I walked in and said, “Well, hey, y’all…”

What is your favorite word?

Potato! It perfectly describes our lumpy dog and I love calling him that. It’s so happy.

What do you collect?

I have a lot of old photographs and sketchbooks and horse shoes that I really don’t like keeping around, but they’re there, and they follow me every move.

What food could you live on for a month?

Peanut butter and coffee.

What would you change about yourself?

I take a lot for granted, I have very little confidence or bravery, and I am a mean red-head entirely too often.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I had some moments with Edna Pontellier in The Awakening this fall but I don’t like to talk about it.

Describe yourself in five words.

Southern. Creative. Shy. Sleepy. Goof.

What is your idea of happiness?

Well, I’m answering these questions on the couch with the windows open. We went for a walk in the woods this morning, so my dog is now passed out a few feet away. I’ve got a mimosa in hand, Tony picked out a record by a Delta artist that’s playing on my great aunt’s record player. That’s about all I’ve ever wanted.

What is your favorite movie?

Duck Soup with the Marx Brothers. I did a dress-up project on Harpo Marx in the third grade and they are my cinematic heroes.

What music defines who you are?

Blues, most of the time. It’s about where I’m from and things that I know. It’s about religion, crazy love, it’s loss, heat, and home. Hank Williams heals all wounds. I grew up on The Beatles. Indie, the rest of the time.

What do you most regret?

I wish I had pursued art instead of horses in college. I sure wish I hadn’t gone to the frozen north for university! It killed part of my soul!

What question do you wish I’d asked?

Did someone do this already? Is that a thing? “What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?”

What would the answer be?

42.

SAMSUNG CSCAndrew “Smiley” Thibodeaux is a talented Graphic Designer and Photographer who is one of the most genuinely happy guys I know. He’s not called Smiley for no reason. Smiley finds a reason to be happy in everything he does, and not because his life has been easy, but because of all the obstacles he is overcome. He smiles the most though, when he talks about his family and the life lessons he both learns and teaches every day – he’s a wise man, a good friend, and a role model to many (including me). Andrew is happy purely because he can feel the sun kiss his skin, we all have a lot to learn from him.

What was your first job?
Cutting grass. (My first actual paycheck came from being a stockboy at Winn Dixie)

Describe a typical day in your life.
There are no typical days. Being that my client base is varied I encounter so many different things in a day. Add kids to the mix and it’s a party!

What advice would you give the younger you?

It’s ok to be anything you want to be, even yourself.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?

Becoming a father. Kids don’t really change you, they make you more of who you already are.

What values do you live by?

Work hard. Do good work. Make smart choices.

What do you most appreciate?

Friends and great conversation.

What is your favorite journey?

Recently I’ve been trying to see more of Louisiana and it’s been amazing to see all the small towns I pass over but never stop in.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

My office.

What living figure most inspires you?

Von Glitschka

What was the best advice you were ever given?

It’s not enough to be good when there’s room to be better.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

Castle In The Attic (Yes, it’s a children’s book! Soooooo?)

What is the best thing about where you live?

FOOD! (and the people)

How do you “let the good times roll” ?

Good food, darl liquor and lots of laughs.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Comic book artist

What is your motto?

Sometime the only sense you can make out of life is a sense of humor.

How would you like to be remembered?

Fully Clothed! (By most people)

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

You got to handle ya business (In an old cajun accent)

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

The smile, family, and fun.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Nice. Indeed, indeed. A myriad of swear words.

What is your favorite word?

Mesothelioma

What do you collect?

Movie ticket stubs

What food could you live on for a month?

Authentic tacos

What would you change about yourself?

I’d be more productive than busy.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

Andre Johnson from ABC’s Blackish.

Describe yourself in five words.

I am so frickin’ awesome!

What is your idea of happiness?

I find happiness in all the little things that I once overlooked. Time with friends, a great meal, doing yard work, being harassed by my family! I love every moment of it.

What is your favorite movie?

The Count of Monte Cristo (The remake)

What music defines who you are?

It varies from season to season. From Jack Johnson, Dwele, and J. Cole to DMX. (Yeah, yeah…I know)

What do you most regret?

Not taking more risk.

What question do you wish I’d asked?

If you could do anything else besides the profession you are doing currently, what would it be?

What would the answer be?

The owner of a highly eclectic candy shop.

elves be youThis week I got to grab a moment with some of the busiest people in the world. Santa’s Elves – most of them were too busy to even stop for a photo, after all Christmas is very soon and they have to make toys for all the good boys and girls in the world. Santa’s Elves answered the questions all together, they work as a team all of the time.

What was your first job?
We’ve always been Elves, the first job we get is testing new toys and then as we learn we get to make the toys. We know that whatever job we are doing we are all helping making Christmas special.

Describe a typical day in your life.
Elves don’t need much sleep, we are always full of energy. We jump out of bed and put on our favorite red and green outfit and then go to work, we make toys and smile and sing Christmas songs, we have a candy-cane break and then we make toys and smile and sing Christmas songs.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Be yoursELF. You are special just the way you are.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
When we realized that even the smallest thing has an impact and can make someone smile. Every Elf comes to this realization one day, and it’s a very special moment in their lives.

What values do you live by?
Treat everyday like Christmas.

What do you most appreciate?
Santa, and Mrs Claus and the other Elves the chance to make people smile and Candy Canes, and the reindeer and Tuesdays and every day, and everything.

What is your favorite journey?
On Christmas Eve some of us get to fly around the world helping Santa deliver toys to all the children, that’s the best journey ever.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Sometimes we go and sit on the shelf and watch to make sure kids are being good.

What living figure most inspires you?
Santa and Mrs Claus.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

The list of who is naughty and nice – but remember, There is room for everyone on the nice list!

What is the best thing about where you live?
The snow, the candy canes that grow on trees, the workshop, and we get to play reindeer games.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
First we make snow angels, then ice skating, then we eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then snuggle.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Is this a trick question? An Elf of course (and we don’t grow up very much).

What is your motto?
Treat everyday like Christmas
There’s room for everyone on the nice list
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who works hard all year to bring happiness, you may only notice us at Christmas but even in July we are making toys as fast as we can.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
We sing louder when we need to boost our self-esteem, we sometimes take Elfies on our phones to make us all smile.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Making toys, singing songs and helping Santa.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
We never get tired of Elf-puns, some people think it’s Self-ish, but we love them. Can you think of any?

What is your favorite word?
distelfinks – it’s a great word to say – it’s the name of a bird that represents happiness and good fortune but we really love it because it has the word elf in it, and it makes us laugh.

What do you collect?
Letters to santa, so that we can get the correct toys to the good children.

What food could you live on for a month?
We try to stick to the four main food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn and Syrup but we really like the Juicy Lucy from Bread and Circus too.

What would you change about yourself?
We would like to be half an inch taller.

Describe yourself in five words.
We are elfish and unselfish.

What is your idea of happiness?
We like to smile, smiling’s our favorite.

What is your favorite movie?

There is this one about an elf called Buddy – we can’t remember what it’s called.

What music defines who you are?
Elfis Presley and of course Wrap music.

What do you most regret?
We sometimes eat too many Candy Canes.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What do Elves make sandwiches with?

What would the answer be?
Shortbread!

SAMSUNG CSCMegan Brown describes her job as an Administrative assistant/I do anything they need me to do at KRVS, Radio Acadie. She is being her typical sweet and humble self so let me add a few things, Megan has her own radio show, Encore on KRVS where she plays music from the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore, she also plays and sings in the band T’Monde who have just spent a week sharing Cajun music with schoolchildren in Savannah as part of a program from the Carnegie Hall Music Institute. Megan is delightful in so many ways, she is a funny, talented, self effacing homebody who likes to travel and we are lucky to have her around.

What was your first job?
I worked at a natural gas transmission plant. It was a summer job for students looking
to save money for college. I worked 40 hour weeks wearing steel toe boots, jeans and
a hard hat…..cutting acres and acres of grass, painting giant engines and sometimes
they even let me drive a tractor!

Describe a typical day in your life.
Coffee. Dog walk. KRVS. Music. And…I eat at least three times.

What advice would you give the younger you?
It’s a small, small world.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Being a Brown and living amongst the rest of them, but also traveling alone.

What values do you live by?
“If you do it right the first time you won’t have to do it again.” – My momma, Michelle
Brown

What do you most appreciate?
From people? Compassion

What is your favorite journey?
I really like driving through Acadia and St. Landry Parish on Saturdays. Rice fields,
boudin and Zydeco.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Maybe my room. I bought this beautiful fabric and made some curtains that turn
everything gold when the light hits them. I’m surrounded by pictures of my siblings,
parents, g-parents, nieces and friends. And…my sister graciously let me have my
grandmother’s vanity. It’s a pretty comforting place.

What living figure most inspires you?
I’m not sure that I can pick one person in particular. I really just admire people who are
doing what they love regardless of what anyone else thinks. I wanna be more like
them.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
This wasn’t given directly to me, but I look at it as advice. It begins a chapter in Dick
Van Dyke’s autobiography. “I’ve made peace with insecurity…because there is no
security of any kind.” It may make some people a little uncomfortable or sad even, but
I really cling to security and I’m trying to loosen up a lil…

What book would you tell everyone to read?
I love to laugh when I read. Do you? Bossypants by Tina Fey.

What is the best thing about where you live?
Big families. Good food. Good music.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
I really like having small groups of friends over and cooking with them. I like talking
about our future plans/goals and whatnot. I love my time with my friends and family.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An equestrian, gymnast and figure skater hahahaha….

What is your motto?
I didn’t make it up or anything, but it goes something like this….
Find someone to love,
something to do,
and something to hope for.

How would you like to be remembered?
A kind person

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Quit it! (quit doubting)

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Singing. My friends. My family.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Quit it.

What is your favorite word?
Ummm….right now it’s probably obvsies. I don’t even know how to spell it. It’s not a
real word.

What do you collect?
Glass jars. Vases. Anything old and cool that I find at an estate sale. Small things too.

What food could you live on for a month?
Soups. All soups.

What would you change about yourself?
The procrastination….

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Idk…prolly something small. A mouse. But not Mickey.
Describe yourself in five words.
Sincere, direct, sassy, short (in stature) and gullible.

What is your idea of happiness?
That’s a hard one….so many things to consider.

What is your favorite movie?
Idk…..I’m also really indecisive.

What music defines who you are?
Umm….lil story ballads. No instruments. This is a weird question.

What do you most regret?
Passing on creative opportunities that I feared could result in failure, on my part.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
Favorite podcast? Everybody love a podcast.

What would the answer be?
Right now I’m really digging the Dead Authors Podcast. Start with the Lewis Carrol episode. You won’t regret it.

SAMSUNG CSCChere Breaux would like you to buy her house. I know that’s an unusual way to start one of these articles but Chere would really like you to buy her house. You see Chere is on a mission, to create a place for young adults who age out of the foster care system. Many of these youths are just left to cope alone, and Chere wants to provide life skills and a safe place to call home while guiding them to adulthood. (see her last answer). I don’t need to tell you that Chere is kind, motivated and doing something that will change the world – her actions show that!
You can contact Chere, and find out more about her organization on Facebook/seedstosuccessfarms – and if you need a 4 bed, 3 bath house in Crosscreek subdivision you know what to do.

Job Title: Executive Director, Seeds to Success

What was your first job?

My first job was an assistant to Pat Muller when she owned a tutoring service.  I think I was 14.  Every day after school, I’d put on my roller blades and skate the 7 blocks to her place to help tutor.  It was pretty awesome.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Wake up at 6, get the princess (5) ready for school.  6:30, wake up my 2 big boys (13 & 8) if they aren’t up yet. 6:50, princess goes out to wait for the bus.  One of her brothers waits with her while I cook their breakfast. 7:15, the boys go to their bus and I wake up the babies (19 mo. And 11 mo.)  I bring them to daycare around 8.  Head home to work on Seeds to Success or Real Estate.  Then if there are birth parent/social worker/Early Steps/doctor visits, I squeeze those in too.
At 3:05, I pick up Dustin, my 8 year old, rush home to meet the princess getting off the bus at 3:30.  We do homework.  Then at 4:15, we go meet the 13-year-old at his bus stop.  We do his homework and I figure out supper.  Then a little after five, I go get the babies.  We get home, eat supper, do baths, get school clothes ready for tomorrow, read or watch tv for a little while, say prayers, and put the kids to bed around 7:30.  I usually try to do a little more work after they’re in bed, then a hot bath, and bed for me as early as I can manage.

What advice would you give the younger you? 

It all works out.  Don’t stress so much.  Do what you can, then pray and allow God to do his part.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now? 

My first foster baby stayed for over a year.  He was adorable, and always happy, and very sickly. We loved him and really wanted to adopt him.  When he was returned to his birth parents, I was truly scared he’d die without proper care. I was so broken.  I couldn’t talk about him for 18 months without crying.
Thank God I could see that Dustin needed his Momma sane.  I had to shake myself off and be there for him.  This experience made me trust God—all the way.  I HAD to trust that He loved this baby as much (even more) than I do, and that the Lord would look after him in my absence.  It’s forced me to trust Him in everything.  If you can trust with your child, you can trust with everything.

What values do you live by? 

I am a Christian, and though I fail (a lot), I try to live by loving God first, loving others next.

What do you most appreciate? 

I appreciate being pampered.  My husband often runs me a bath or brings me coffee in bed.  It makes my responsibilities a little lighter when someone else cares for me.  Also, my kid’s babysitter.  She comes over 3 nights a week at supper time to help with baths and supper. I really appreciate her!

What is your favorite journey?

In college I studied abroad.  I spent 2 months in Europe.  At the end of the trip, we were allowed some free travel.  I went to a Grecian island, Ios, with some friends.  When I got bored with that, I left on my own.  I wanted to see Venice! I took a bus to the ferry landing, 23-hour ferry ride to Athens, taxi to town, walked to the bus station, bus to train station, train to Italy.  I took a lot of pride in realizing I could get myself home from anywhere in the world.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?

As a mom, the only place is the bathroom…although my littles still try to follow me in!  My bath time is usually after they’ve gone to bed, so I truly get some quiet, relaxing time.

What living figure most inspires you?

My Momma.  She’s my best friend.  She went back to college when I was 9.  My sisters were 8 and 3.  I remember waking up at night to get a glass of water and she was outside with a study group under the streetlight—so they didn’t wake us up.  She always put us first, and did whatever needed to be done.
She often tells me what a great mother I am.  I learned it all from watching her.

What was the best advice you were ever given? 

My Grandmother told me not to let “others rent space in my head for free.”  In other words, don’t worry about what other people say or do.  It’s not my concern.

What book would you tell everyone to read?

The Bible.  There’s some good stuff in there! ☺

What is the best thing about where you live?

I love our culture, food, festivals, and most of my family is local.  I’m comfortable here.  I love going somewhere and running into people I know, who know my name, and really care about what I’m up to.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?

I struggle with this.  I tend to stay busy, busy, busy.  But I like family outings.  We like to take out the boat, or go bowling, eat out, or to the park.  We love vacations and have made really great memories by getting away with our kids.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I remember wanting to be the President of the United States.  Then I wanted to be a lawyer.  I decided against both of these because I didn’t want to be stressed out all the time.  So I raise five kids and run a nonprofit instead.

What is your motto?

Make it happen.

How would you like to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as a good Mom.  I envision dozens of (grown-up) kids and countless grandkids at my funeral.  I want them to know that they were loved, and chosen (none of mine are bios).

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?

If I’m doubting myself, I call a friend.  I have some really amazing women in my life, especially my Mom, my biggest supporter.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Following Jesus, raising kids, staying busy

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

To my kids: “Yes ma’am, is the correct answer.”

What is your favorite word?

Serendipity, I love the way it sounds, and I love happy accidents.

What do you collect?

Kids!  I have 3 step-kids, I’ve adopted 2, took legal guardianship of 1, I’m currently fostering 4; about 2 dozen have passed through my home in the last 5 years.  I really feel lost when we are between foster placements.

What food could you live on for a month?

Mumm, My grandmother’s chicken fricassee.  That was some good stuff.  No one makes it like she did.

What would you change about yourself?

I would relax more.  I don’t really know how.  If I have a 10-minute break, I put a load of laundry washing, or try to get something else done.  I also have trouble cutting loose and allowing myself to look silly.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  I’m just traveling on this journey of life, picking up fellow travelers on the way.  And I love being home with my family as much as I can enjoy an adventure.

Describe yourself in five words.

Brave, strong, loving, faithful, positive

What is your idea of happiness?

Hanging out with my family when my kids aren’t arguing.

What is your favorite movie?

Under the Tuscan Sun.  The scenery was so beautiful.  It just takes me away.  Plus, I love the resilience of Diane Lane’s character and that she still believes in love after her divorce.

What music defines who you are?

Contemporary Christian.  I often forget to spend enough time praying or reading the Bible, but I spend a lot of time in my minivan, and can focus on the Lord through song. And I love love Love when my kids are singing about God, instead of Bees in the Trap or Whip and nay nay, or some other such nonsense.

What do you most regret?

All of us have done stupid things we look back on with shame.  But as for a huge regret, I don’t have one.  I’ve had a pretty good life.  I earned my degrees before having kids, I’ve traveled much of the US and Europe, I’ve held really cool jobs, started a few businesses. I’m part of an amazing family, raising kids I just adore.  I wouldn’t change any of it.

What question do you wish I’d asked?

What is Seeds to Success?

What would the answer be? 

Seeds to Success is a non-profit my husband and I are starting to house foster kids when they age out at age 18.  They are not prepared to be independent, but are expected to be.  We’d like to provide them a transitional place, where they can take about 2 years to learn some life skills, get an education, or a great job, and be ready to fly when they leave the nest.  So many now end up in trouble when left to their own devices.
We want to purchase a farm.  We’ll build them cottages on the property and teach them to grow their own food, and other life lessons like money management, job searching, organization and more.
We need to sell our house in a restricted subdivision and buy a farm to make all this happen. It’s so frustrating to wait, but we are trusting in God’s timing.

SAMSUNG CSCDallas Begnaud is a Spiritual Guide and Storyteller with The Inner Kingdom, he works with men to develop internal strengths in a world that can demand so much. (Find out more at TheInnerKingdom.com). He is also working as a barista at The Lab while his wife is in Nursing School. Dallas is a kind, quick witted, deep thinking, sarcastic family man- and he makes a great cup of coffee.

What was your first job?
I was a cashier at Phar-More

Describe a typical day in your life.
Wake up early and either meditate or stare at my cup of coffee while telling myself that activity is close enough to meditation to count. Get the kids ready for school, drop them off, make coffee and/or bagels at The Lab, pick up the kids, work on a blog post, meet with men to talk about their journey towards inner strength, watch TV with my family, go to bed early.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Don’t wait. Get counseling for your anxiety and depression. It won’t go away on its own.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Getting depressed and dropping out of college. I learned that my family, friends, and future wife really loved me when I bottomed out and they stuck with me.

What values do you live by?
I just finished a class on non-negotiable values. I have four that I try to live by: Work that is oriented around my personality and giftedness, Spiritual and Emotional Health, making time for Family, and Personal/Professional Development

What do you most appreciate?
Having my three boys hug me while I pray for them at bedtime.

What is your favorite journey?
Going for runs around the farm I live on with my middle son. He’s nine years old and just ran his second 5k with a pace of 10:50/mile.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
On the porch of the cabin that I use as my office.

What living figure most inspires you?
Terry Wardle. He is a teacher with the organization that trains me in Spiritual Guidance. The transformation of his pain has brought more health and hope to the world than his strength ever could.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
“You should take a class in this stuff. You seem like you’ve got the personality and gifting for it.” That advice came from Missy Manuel, my former counselor, who nudged me into the work I do with men now.

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Simpler Living, Compassionate Life. It’s a compilation of essays on Holistic, Christian Spirituality by brilliant writers.

What is the best thing about where you live?
I had to move away to fully appreciate that there is nowhere in the world like Acadiana. It makes my day when someone says chose, asks me to come see, or disagrees with me on the best way to make a gumbo.

How do you “let the good times roll”?
Every Friday night I make homemade pizzas for my family and we watch a movie. The dough takes 24 hours to mature so the process starts on Thursday afternoons and culminates with the first hot pie coming out of the oven at about 5:30 on Friday. We make the sauce from scratch and there’s usually at least three cheeses. It’s a production but we all love it!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t really have a dream career. I probably had the most easy to reach childhood ambitions ever: I wanted to live in a trailer and eat pizza for dinner.

What is your motto?

Esse quam videri which is Latin for “to be rather than to appear”.

How would you like to be remembered?
For accepting people with the same scandalous acceptance that Jesus modeled.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Don’t quit. You always regret quitting.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Relationships, stories, and food.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Behold.

What is your favorite word?
Chose. It’s Cajun French for “thing” but you can use it as a noun, verb, or anything else.

What do you collect?
Experiences and stories. No one can steal them from you.

What food could you live on for a month?
Pizza

What would you change about yourself?
My anxiety. I project calmness but there is usually a tiny, hyperventilating person behind the wheel in my head.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Theo Faron, the main character in the movie Children of Men. He isn’t a great hero and makes tons of mistakes but he rises to the occasion and gives himself away for the good of others.

Describe yourself in five words.
Passionate. Relational. Vocal. Spiritual. Hungry.

What is your idea of happiness?
Sitting down across from someone and hearing a meaningful story from their life.

What is your favorite movie?
The Motorcycle Diaries. It’s based on the true story of two men who rode a motorcycle up the spine of the Andes Mountains in the 1950s. Watch it in Spanish with the subtitles on.

What music defines who you are?
I wish I had something that made me look cool but cheesy Meditation music full of synthesizers and flutes is the only music on my phone and computer.

What do you most regret?
The emotional pain I’ve caused people around me because of the dysfunction in my life. (I’m working on it!)

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What advice would you give men based on your work with them over the last five years?

What would the answer be?
You don’t have to be so lonely. We all want better friendships than we have. Find another man that you can share your fears, failures, and dreams with that will treat them like the treasures that they are.

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