Caption This!

I captured this from a Japanese monster movie because the phone cracked me up.  Add a funny capture for me and make my weekend!

This Needs a Caption

Some pictures really need a caption.  This one from Awkward Family Photos is just begging for one.  Please leave one in the comments section.  Thanks!

Nostril Waxin’

My friend Kat Schaefer (@KatSchaefer13) opened her own salon recently.  She’s been cutting my hair for a couple years now and I’m really excited that she’s stepping out to create her own space to use her talents and support her family.  While my son and I were in for a haircut, I thought I’d have some fun and try something new, so I let Kat wax my ridiculously hairy nostrils.  The olfactory has never been cleaner.  Enjoy…


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Happy Festivus!

Well today is Festivus!  Since it’s a time for the airing of grievances, I thought I’d share this with you.  I wrote this one a while back on one of my “Christians ruin everything” days.  I hope you like it…

Well, Christmas is almost here.  Kinda…

Recently, some close relatives of mine decided they weren’t going to be celebrating Christmas any more.  Many of the traditions we observe around this holiday were actually borrowed from pagan celebration rituals, such as the tree, the garland, yule log, and so forth.  The Mesopotamians worshiped their god Marduk.  The Persians had Sacaea.  And the Romans celebrated Saturnalia.  A few hundred years after the time of Christ, Christians hijacked this time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Quite a strategic move, in my opinion.  Everyone’s whooping it up and having a great time.  Why not make a major, worldwide cultural shift?  Not an easy task and definitely one for the win column if you ask me.  Just think, if we didn’t have Christmas, human sacrifices might still be made to Marduk!

It’s unfortunate that, out of something I can only describe as theological exclusivism, so many believers seek to destroy excellent things by trying to dig up what was before.  “Celebrating the birth of our Savior and the hope of mankind?  PAGAN!  Don’t you know that the Romans worshiped Saturn?!!”  In the 1600s, the Puritans actually had Christmas banned for a few years.  Apparently people were partying too hard and it was time to put the kibosh on all that tomfoolery.  One person I spoke to actually used the Puritan ban as a reason for not celebrating this year.  What I want to know is, what does this constant probing and criticizing do for a person? Does it make them feel like they’ve one-upped the rest of the Body of Christ?  Does it make them feel closer to God?  I was listening to one woman rant about how she can’t stand to listen to modern worship music because the words “I” and “me” were used too often and it wasn’t “God-centered” enough.  I thought to myself, “Hmmmm…Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I’m found.  Was blind, but now I see.”  You’re right lady.  The older songs don’t use “I and me” at all…  Let’s just say, I find it hard to see the life abundantly Jesus spoke about in a brand of Christianity that spends so much energy on “exposing the wrong” in everyone elses faith practices.

Maybe I just tend to cling too tightly to Philippians 4:8, “…Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right.  Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Aren’t those things true of Christmas?  Families come together, we bless each other with gifts, we feast together, we reflect on the birth of Christ and how he’s changed our lives.  Those sound like some pretty lovely and excellent things to me!  After all, it was God who invented holidays.  He even made it mandatory for the children of Israel to take time out to feast and celebrate to help them always remember what He had done for them.  Isn’t that what Christmas is about?  Always remembering the awesome gift that is Jesus?

I wasn’t there in the 300’s when the Pope established December 25th as the day to remember Christ’s birth.  I’ve never been to a Winter Solstice, and I’ve never yelled “Jo, Saturnalia”.  All that I’ve ever known is the Jesus’ birthday Christmas.  It doesn’t matter to me whether he was born in December, March, or February for that matter.  All that I know is that a great appreciation swells up in me, this time of year, for the one who shed his deity, laid down his rights, and came to earth as a baby.  Luke chapter 2 still moves me to tears, and I love to see the look in my sons eyes as I read it to them on Christmas morning.

As for me, I choose to celebrate.  If your special insight and elevated ability to decode the history of this holiday keeps you from being with family members, exchanging gifts, and singing songs of celebration, then…happy Festivus.  Enjoy the airing of grievances.

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

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Living with Forrest Lee Bezotte

My writing teacher gave me this assignment and I had a ton of fun putting it together.  I figured I’d share it with you here since I got a laugh out of it (the self-effacing tone is meant to be humorous, not glum).  Please ignore the citations since I didn’t include the bib with this post.  Enjoy!

Living With Forrest Lee Bezotte

My name is Forrest.  It’s not a very common name.  In fact, my parents gave it to me with no intention of ever calling me by it.  They wanted to call me Lee and liked the name Forrest as a middle name.  Ultimately, they decided that “Forrest Lee” rolled off the tongue a little easier so they went with that (Hackbarth).  My name has always been a blessing and a curse, but I live with it because it could be much worse.

I’m OK with having a somewhat uncommon name, even though research shows that people with uncommon names are perceived to have “undesirable characteristics” (Kalist and Yee 39).  I’m sure if research was done specifically on the name Forrest, they would find that it is associated with extreme blandness, an admittedly “undesirable characteristic” but not entirely unacceptable.

Other research points to names having a predictive power for a person’s lifetime outcomes (Aura and Hess 226).  I’m going to predict this person’s lifetime outcome as, again, bland.  Blandness is not such a bad thing in my opinion.  After all, there has never been a major crime figure named Forrest.  I can’t recall anyone universally disliked with that name either.  However, there are celebrities, such as Forrest Tucker from F Troop and Forrest Sawyer the news caster, who are equally as bland yet very well liked.

The downside to being an amicable, yet bland, chap name Forrest is that you tend to get left off the list when guests are being considered for a wild party.  I imagine those party planners making their list and having a conversation somewhat like this;
“Who should we invite?”
“How about Bobby?  He’s crazy!”
“Great idea!  What about Stacy?  She cracks me up!”
“And don’t forget Jim.  He brings the best food.
“Absolutely!  What about that one guy, uh… Forrest?”
“Who’s that?”
As liked as I’ve been over my lifetime, I’ve never been thought of as a must-have at anyone’s party.

As you could imagine, I have been given different nicknames over the years that were inspired by the name Forrest.  One of my uncles calls me Jungle.  He finds it clever to refer to me as a wooded area since my name rhymes with Forest.  Another of my uncles uses the moniker Trees for me.  These nicknames really aren’t so inappropriate considering the meaning of my name.

The name Forrest means “from the woods”.  I remember when I discovered that.  I was looking through a big book of names hoping to find some profound insight or a discovery that my name meant something powerful and compelling.  While other names had meanings like “noble”, “strong”, and “prosperous”, mine insinuated that I was birthed beneath some foliage.  Dorothy Astoria writes in “The Name Book” that my name means “Guardian of the Forrest” (113).  That meaning conjures thoughts of strength, purpose, and nobility in my imagination.  I like it much better than simply “from the woods”.

When my oldest son was born, we decided to pass the name Forrest on to him.  We even committed to calling him by that name.  Little did we know that there was a movie in theaters, that was growing in enormous popularity, called “Forrest Gump”.  I didn’t think much about it until the fiftieth person asked, “Did you name him after the movie character?”  Who names their children after movie characters?  I’ve never known anyone to name their son Luke Skywalker.  Often, when I give my first name, the listener asks,
“Like Forrest Gump?”
and I want to respond with, “No, like Forrest Gregg, offensive right tackle for the Green Bay Packers from 1958 to 1970.” (
My absolute least favorite Forrest Gump reference is when someone shouts to me or my son, “Run Forrest!  Run!”  I look forward to the day when that film is all but forgotten.  Dale Carnegie once wrote, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” (117).  When it comes to the name Forrest, I’m not so sure.

My parents always called me by my middle name, Lee.  In fact, almost everyone called me Lee from the time I was born.  It was an easy name to be a kid with.  It was easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and still not terribly common.  I was always the only one with my name in all my classes and no one thought it was strange.  There was a popular actor, named Lee Majors, that was considered rugged and handsome so I had the added advantage of having a little star power behind my name.

The downside to the name Lee was that it rhymes with pee.  Other children gave me nicknames like Lee Pee and Lee Pee the Bumblebee.  When they really wanted to tease me, they’d yell, “Lee Pee the Bumblebee sitting in a Potty Tree.”  I have no idea what a Potty Tree is or why a person would want to sit in one, but the neighborhood bullies seemed to be authorities on them.

When I was in college, I worked at a radio station delivering the news, weather, and occasional song dedication.  There I used Forrest as my first name and Lee as my last name, being known on the air as “Forrest Lee”.  I felt like it sounded distinguished and I carried that alias with me into some film work.  To this day, when my agent calls, she asks to speak to Forrest Lee.

I’m glad my parents decided to call me Lee.  I feel like a Lee.  I see myself as a Lee, though the name’s meaning isn’t much better than that of Forrest.  It means “from the meadow”, which again insinuates that I was birthed beneath some foliage.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 33,074 other Forrests in this country ( and I wonder if they’ve had similar experiences as my son and myself.  I wonder if they go by their middle names or proudly announce “Forrest” when asked to identify themselves.  I wonder if it’s been a blessing and a curse for them and I wonder if they’ve come to accept all that comes along with such a strong, unique name.

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The Spinach Eaters

The other day, my two youngest boys decided to eat a can of spinach.  They really believed that eating it would make them stronger, just like Popeye.  Check it out…

Hudson’s reaction to the soggy canned spinach was priceless!

I love the fact that children believe the impossible and, at times, I wish it was easier for me to believe the impossible too (I AM working on it!)

When I was a kid I believed that, if I tied a towel around my neck for a cape and concentrated hard enough, I’d be able to fly.

What’s something crazy you believed when you were a kid?