Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Soccer Time with Luke

This autumn, my four-year-old nephew Luke began his first season of playing recreational soccer. Earlier tonight, I finally made it over to Woods Cross to see one of his games.

One thing I discovered is that few things are more entertaining than watching eight four- and five-year-olds running around on a soccer field, kicking a soccer ball. The sight may be something comparable to a swarm of bees going from one piece of food to another at a picnic; nobody plays a position, and there are no goalies, but it's not really crucial to this level of play, anyway. The kids have fun, and, again, they're four and five years old.

Luke (#4, in green) played as hard as he could and ran himself ragged all over the field throughout the game.

Here, Luke takes a well-earned breather during halftime:

Much like Brian Regan's comedy routine about playing Little League Baseball mainly for the snowcone that comes after the game, the kids on Luke's team also look forward to their post-game treats:

Random Fact That I Swear I Am Not Making Up: One of the kids on the other team was named Anakin. (Congrats, universe. You beat me to it.)

All told, I enjoyed watching the game very much, and I look forward to attending more of them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Epistle Turns Two

This week - on Wednesday, actually - The Epistle of Jon hit another milestone: two years of taking cyberspace by storm.

When I began writing this blog in September 2008, I honestly wasn't sure how long I could or would keep it up or what it would be about. Much like that Improv hobby of mine, I've kind of made it up as I've gone along.

It's been quite a therapeutic thing for me to have this outlet for my innate desire to want to write and create - something which, I believe, began in my childhood (I've been keeping a journal since I was nine years old) and took me to a degree in journalism, and beyond.

Just where will Year 3 take us?

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ahoy, Mateys!

Avast, ye scallawags!

Yesterday, 'twas International Talk like a Pirate Day. (Of course ye know this - 'tis so popular with the land lubbers an' all by now.) 'Tis true that at me writin' desk I be a bit too late to post on th' actual holiday, but, by thunder, I tried to celebrate this day in me own way.

On Saturday, the pirate classic Treasure Island arrived by postal carrier from the good mateys at Netflix. 'Twas me first time watchin' this pirate classic, featurin' Talk like a Pirate patron saint Robert Newton in the stereotypical pirate role o' Long John Silver.

It bein' Sunday on th' actual holiday, I nearly convinced meself to wear an eye patch or a parrot on me shoulder t' church, but as I was headin' out th' door, better sense prevailed. Still, I fell into pirate talk with family an' friends throughout the day and also threatened to make random strangers walk the plank if they acted like scurvy lads an' lasses. (Ye got a better idea?)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Battlin' with the Improvs

Last night, the Improvables faced off against eight other troupes from across the state in the Second Annual Utah Battle of the Improvs, held at the Grand Theater on the SLCC campus in Salt Lake City.

The nine troupes, which included Absoludicrous, And . . . Go!, The Antics, HiJinks, The Jesters Royale, Off the Wall, Quick Wits, ToySoup, and our humble gang, first performed a game each, in alphabetical order. Following each game, the two judges gave their rankings of the performance, and the audience also showed its opinion by way of a laugh-and-clap-o-meter. My ComedySportz colleague Richie Steadman was M.C. for this event.

The Improvables were represented by four very talented players, as chosen by the members of the troupe: Biz, Ian, Parker, and Steve, who chose "Lie Detector" as their game.

Following that first round, all of the votes were tallied up, and the four troupes with the highest count moved on to a semifinal round. Sadly, the Improvables did not make it this far. Quick Wits, which consisted of three very funny performers, walked away with the night's first prize.

However, the evening wasn't a total washout. There were many entertaining and hilarious moments, and we got a good look at the other talented people in the Beehive State. Additionally, the Improvables were announced as winners of the Audience Favorite Award.

Here, Biz, Parker, and Steve pose with our prize, which was a car door spray painted a few different colors and bedazzled with the word Winner on the side:

That's right; see for yourself. I can't make this up.

Many of the other troupe members who were present also came up on stage afterward to pose with our prize:

I may be a bit biased, but we definitely deserved to go home with the Audience Favorite Award. Many thanks go out to our many fans who showed up to vote us as winners of it. All told, it was a fun and a successful evening. Way to go, team!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Utah Battle of the Improvs Strikes Back

Tommorow night, my troupe, the Improvables, will be taking part in the Second Annual Utah Battle of the Improvs, held at the Grand Theater in Salt Lake City.

My Improvables colleague Bryan Dayley appears in the following promotional video clip for this event. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

When It Rains . . .

Do you ever have one of those days, or weeks, or months during which everything that could possibly goes wrong does go wrong, and then some?

Granted, we all do, I suppose. Lately, it's been one of those . . . oh, I'd say months.

The bills really began to pile up when the Aluminum Falcon (my car, for those not "in the know") decided one day in July that it didn't want to run anymore; you already know about my adventures with the chiropractor and oral surgeon; and a third, large set of payments suddenly became due because of something that I was not aware of (it would take me forever to go into the details; call it a "sin of omission") but ended up having to pay the government a large sum of money.

All of this added up, as you might imagine, to a great deal of stress during a very short period of time.

Figuring out exactly what's wrong with my car, let alone paying for it, has been a huge hassle. Two of my good friends, each well versed in auto mechanics, have now been over to look under the hood and have attempted to ascertain the problem. We first thought that my battery, which I replaced only two short years ago, needed to be replaced again. We took it out, cleaned off the gunk, put it back in, and tried to jump the Falcon, with no success. Then Richard began to look at the wiring and such.

It appears that I have some sort of electrical issue going on, so it seems I will need to have the thing towed to a car shop just to have that assessed and then repaired.

Fortunately, time and experience are great teachers and provide perspective. I'm finding myself able to take care of those aforementioned problems, even if it is one at a time. Next up is that car "thing." Though it's been collecting dust in my garage for the past two months, I've actually been able to get around through the use of a pretty decent loaner - my parents' old Dodge Stratus, which they hardly ever use - as long as I don't break anything (else!) and continue to put gas into it regularly.

A wise person once said that adversity not only teaches you a few things about yourself but about the kind of family and friends you have, too. I've learned, as I've watched people show their concern and lend helping hands, that I am, indeed, surrounded by loving and care family members and by the best kind of people I could possibly hope to call friends.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Know Famous People

Last night, I made another journey down to Provo to voice for both shows at ComedySportz.

Just in case you're keeping track at home, I still belong to two Improv troupes. Of course, if they were paying you the Big Bucks that they're paying me to do this, wouldn't you want to shout it from the rooftops, too?

Okay, so, the "Big Bucks" thing is a slight exaggeration. At any rate, while I was at the club last night, I finally got to meet and perform with local celebrity and original ComedySportz cast member Kirby Heyborne - star of The Singles Ward, The R.M., Saints and Soldiers, and several other movies - who was a special guest player for the evening’s second show. He is now a Los Angeles resident but is currently in town, I learned, filming yet another LDS-themed movie, due out in early 2011.

Also invited to perform on this night were two other original ComedySportz players, the very funny Maclain Nelson (star of the "Dew You?" Mountain Dew commercial that I posted here on the Epistle not too long ago) and Daryn Tufts (Kirby’s co-star in The Singles Ward and a few other local projects).

Given that it was also Patriot Day, September 11, we took some rare serious time out of both shows to honor the troops and the fallen by collectively singing our national anthem, which is something that is not done as regularly in Provo as it was done at the Sugar House club, back in the day.

Curt, Gavin, Joseph, Matt, Mike, and Will rounded out the rest of the night's cast and crew, and it was, additionally, my first time working alongside talented new accompanist Casey.

Is this post mainly to state that I know at least a few famous people?

Yes, essentially that.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fire Hazard

Just doing my part to help out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eden's an Elder

It seems like it was just 18+ short years ago that my cousin Eden was born. Earlier today, he was ordained to the office of elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood.

There sure do grow up fast, don't they?

At Scott and Clauida's invitation, most of the Plowmans headed down to Lehi after church to take part in this event, as did Jamie (Scott's brother) and Julie's clan.

Eden, former Utah state high school filmmaking champ, is now in his first semester at BYU. He was his typical “aww, shucks” self and seemed humbled and grateful to have so many family members and friends show up to support him.

There was plenty of good food, including hot dogs cooked by Scott, to go around.

I was content mainly to hang out and get caught up with Jamie's and Scott's families and their many comings and goings, as well as with Claudia's parents, Tony and Margarita, who are always more than happy to help me practice my Spanish.

A brief, tense moment occurred when my two-year-old nephew Jackson, while exploring Scott and Claudia's large backyard, climbed up onto the swimming pool covering and immediately sank down into the pool. Several people rushed over to help, and fortunately Madison was standing right there and quickly fetched him out and back onto dry land again.

As a consolation prize, he got to wear a much-too-large for him t-shirt, pictured above, while his clothes cycled through the dryer.

Good times were had by all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Earlier tonight, my good friends Adria and Julia hosted yet another entertaining outdoor movie for a cool summer's evening in their backyard. It had also, coincidentally, become time for a third annual UHF viewing and party, so two great ideas were combined.

The result was this evening's Third Annual UHF Party and Outdoor Movie Night, which changed the lives of everyone who attended for the better.

Okay, so, that wasn't really what happened. But it is always fun to get together with good friends to watch a good flick.

This time around, we didn't go quite to the lengths we did in the past to celebrate watching this cult comedy classic, namely, preparing Twinkie-wiener sandwiches for guests to eat. (For those not "in the know" about this rare delicacy, a Twinkie-wiener sandwich consists of a hot dog on a Twinkie bun, covered in Cheese Whiz.) More than one person complained about the taste after trying it out last year - it's their loss, is all I can say - so I dared not try that again.

At any rate, as we snacked on cookies and other, less-complicated refreshments, a handful of friends and I enjoyed the comic stylings of "Weird Al" Yankovic and "Wheel of Fish," "Raul's Wild Kingdom," "Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse," and the rest of the programs on U62.

As you might have guessed, good times were had by all.