Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary Joel & Sabrina!

Here's a blog from 6 years ago!  WHAT?  That can't possibilty be right. 

Happy Anniversary Joel & Sabrina!

Jun. 30th, 2005

So Joel and Sabrina got married…again.

These fine people were married in Berlin last Christmas in front of many German speaking folk. And Sunday they were married in front of many English speaking folk. I can only imagine next year it will be done in pig Latin.

“I oh dey.”

I could attempt to recount the entire day, but when there is an open bar…well that ain’t going to happen. The wedding reception was at the Columbia Station in Phoenixville and took on a train theme. The bar had a luge cut like a train. A tube from the top dumped the alcohol out of the bottom, icing it along the way. It was supposed to be part of the Appletini station, but my winning smile and $20 turned it into a rather unsanitary shot glass. I have many, many pictures, but my favorite one is of the bride. If you can find something better then a foxy lady in a wedding dress doing a shot from a block of ice that has been transformed by a chainsaw in to a locomotive…well then buster, you’re a better man then I.

After the evening Julie and I headed home because she had to work the next day. I went back to casa de Rickenbach to help keep the festivities going. The night ended with some drunken Americans and some drunken Germans sitting around a table having a good time even if communication was a bit fuzzy.

When I was in high school I was extremely shy. My voice immediately started to change my first day during role.

Teacher: “Regan, Kevin?”

Me: “h ER e.”

I decided not to talk again until I was a sophomore. My father was even called into a teacher conference because of my lack of communication. He realized what this educator of pubescent teens couldn’t…I felt like a dick.

When I was a sophomore I auditioned for the musical Guys and Dolls. I was petrified at the idea of being on stage, but I wanted to be an actor so bad I overcame it. I had an okay singing voice (which has long since said, “See ya.”) but I hated hearing my speaking voice. I sat in a room where every fella read the part of Nathan Detroit against a gal reading Adelaide. The director, Terry Dillon, would keep ushering everyone along. 1 guy reads 1 doll reads. “Next.” So finally it got to me. I was nervous as hell and figured I’d botch it, but what the hell right? I was here what was the worst that could happen?

So I read against my Adelaide. When I finished I expected Terry to say, “Next.” And move on through life never talking again…but that’s not what happened.

“Thank you Jane. Kevin I’d like you to read again.”

I don’t really think her name was Jane. But I wasn’t sure what had happened. Did I not read loud enough? Maybe my mumbling voice had somehow gone unheard. Or maybe Terry couldn’t believe a male could sound so goofy. Whatever the case I read a second time.

“Thank you Jill. Kevin, stay a second longer.”

This was weird. Was this guy fucking with my delicate psyche? I started to think, “What if they actually like me. What if they want me to be Nathan Detroit. Hell I like Sky Masterson, but Nathan freakin’ rocks…it’s the closest thing in High School one can get to being Sinatra without killing someone.”

I thought I might be on the right track. That was my first problem. I thought.

On my third reading I completely blew it. I tried to do it without looking at the script and got flustered and lost. I had hoped to here “Thank you Tina, Kevin hang around a bit...want a drink or something?” but instead what I heard was a bubble popping, “Next.”

I was cast, but only as the proprietor of the “Hot Box.” Adelaide’s dancers worked for me, but her psychosomatic sneeze was caused by someone else.

At about this same time I had applied for a job at Suncoast. Yep, about 12 years ago. I went on the interview and waited to hear whether I got the job or not. The call came in one night and I found I in fact had acquired a job in retail…and I turned it down. I told the manager that I had been cast in my school play and wouldn’t have much free time to work.

“We’ll work around your schedule,” was his response.

Had someone told me this on the phone, that they wouldn’t have much free time I would have wished them well in life and hung up the phone. But instead I was going to work a part time job that would turn into a full time hell (mostly because of Kristen and Belinda).

So this shy kid who wouldn’t say peep to anyone was cast in a play and working retail. This would work out.

My brother Brain will tell you I was loud and obnoxious all of my life. And he’s partially right. I was completely at ease with my family and friends in the neighborhood, but the idea of talking to people in the real world scared me. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about making friends. Jim McCabe was my friend because he got sent to the back of the room in first grade and I happened to be sitting there.

But somehow a combination of theater and retail opened me up. I can talk to anybody with little or no reservations. I cold call when we shoot our shorts. I cast Aimee Kerrigan in Anniversary after having her come off the street and read for the part. Sounds like more work on her behalf, but I just had an open audition in Jim’s living room.

I haven’t been at a loss for words in about 11 years…until Sunday.

At the wedding reception, Joel’s pop Jack introduced everyone into the room, “Now entering the room, Joel and Sabrina’s good friends Kevin and Julie Regan.” That sort of thing. He did a great job. But before announcing the wedding party and then of course the Bride and Groom, he said something that I would witness sitting around the table in his kitchen about 8 hours from then.

“As you’ll notice many people here speak German,” he started. “And I suspect many of you do not.” Hell Jack, as I proved in my toast, I barely speak English. “But a handshake, a friendly smile and a bit of sign language work wonders.”

As Joel and Sabrina were getting ready that morning I felt like a stranger. I nodded to people, but didn’t say much because I thought I’d embarrass them, or myself. I felt like I was a freshman in High School all over again. Sabrina’s parents are the sweetest people and all I could manage was a toothy grin like I was getting a yearbook picture taken.

Later that evening as Joel and I sat at the kitchen table I watched Jack communicate with his new in-laws (new as of last Christmas mind you) using English and charm. Sure the alcohol helped. It was a sight to see. Hell this guy was Nathan Detroit.

I find language amazing. To watch Sabrina go from English to German and back is mind blowing. She’ll also help her brothers and other family members with their English, but she won’t translate. Like a true teacher, she’ll point them in the right direction, but leave it up to them to actually get their message across…

…I leave you all with a picture that I hope the lovely bride doesn’t mind me sharing. It’s a picture of a charming, charismatic woman doing a shot of an appletini from a loge while wearing a wedding dress… Joel you got a great Doll.

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08:07 pm - Fireball

So after Joel and Sabrina tied the knot…again…we headed back to their abode in Hersey Mills…not the Old People’s part.

As I pulled up, the Nicks were lighting off bottle rockets. The Nicks are the couple Nick and Nickie. I pulled the Saturn up to see Nick running from a bottle which had a sparkling glare coming from it, then a rocket shot into the air and exploded. Awesome! And I almost didn’t come.

So we lit off every firework that was left and then stood around looking at each other.

I have never been there, but I know this group is big on bond fires. And Joel’s buddy Matt is notorious for using a flaming arrow to light the fire. He shoots it from across the yard and it lands in a pit filled with wood and kerosene. WHOOSH! You got fire.

On Sunday night we weren’t up for a bond fire…but we are stupid, so fire itself is always fun. So I picked up a baseball bat and turned to Matt.

“Hey, wanna play Fireball?”

Now Nick is not much of a sports enthusiast, but he was game. Joel, always up for a pick up game of baseball whether the ball is on fire or not, was in. And Matt, well he was bound to light something on fire so…

Matt took a glove, tennis ball and kerosene and went out to the mound. I picked up the bat. Matt lit the ball and threw it. I had problems hitting the ball because I’d step away to make sure I hit the ball straight up the middle instead of on to the roof of one of Joel’s neighbors…also I didn’t want to lose my eyebrows. In essence, Matt struck me out. So Nick came up next. This is when I started taking pictures.

Happily Nick too struck out. Had he hit a homerun I’d have felt like a dick. But then Joel came to the plate.

Julie, Joel and I used to go to the batting cages out on Rt. 202. One day when we were there, Joel stepped into the fast baseball cage. I’d do it once in a while when absolutely no one was around. If I hit a ball foul I’d consider it an accomplishment. Joel was tagging these fuckers. It looked like he was a major leaguer making millions of dollars, the exception was he was actually hitting the ball (get it? The Phillies suck - editors note, they did indeed suck at this time in of course they FUCKING ROCK!). As Joel is hitting the shit out of the ball I am standing behind him watching after I had been winded in the slow pitch little girl cage. Just then two big dudes walked up with their own bats. This is never good. The one was sporting a Union Jack tee shirt and they looked at Joel is awe. So I immediately started giving Joel some pointers. I figured these guys would think I too am a stud of a man. Not that I cared what other guys thought of my manhood, being into chicks and all. But I couldn’t help myself.

So Joel is a good hitter when it comes to baseball, but what happens when you light the fucker? Well not much difference. This is probably the greatest picture I’ve taken to this point in my life. Here’s what happens when you hit a tennis ball completely saturated in kerosene:

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