Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

The REAL History of Saint Patrick and his day...

If you are a true American, than you are most likely a mongrel like everyone else. If you are a mongrel, than you probably have some Irish blood in your past. There are very few pure-blooded people in the United States of America from the "old country". Considering that most of us have a bit of the old "Erin Go Bragh" in our veins, there is no reason at all why each and every one of us shouldn't enjoy a green-tinted beer on St. Patrick's day while we smile and listen to the bag-pipes play.There are some myths and legends about St. Patrick's Day that need to be banished into the realms of Urban Myth where they belong. As a race of partial Irish decendents, I demand that we educate ourselves on the bits of history of which we are all horribly ignorant. Don't you want to know why you're getting smashed on March 17th this year? Of course you do. Get ready for your history lesson.
St. Patrick was born sometime around 385 AD, probably somewhere near Wales. That's right. St. Patrick was originally British. He was born as the son of a Roman official, and was taken prisoner by sea-faring raiders. He was sold into slavery in Ireland and began a very lonely career as a sheep-herding slave-boy that lasted for six years before he had a vision from God telling him to escape.
St. Patrick escaped to Britain where he promptly had another vision from God, where the people of Ireland begged him to return to help them. He went to France to study seminary, after which he returned to the Emerald Isles to spread the Good Word of God.
St. Patrick spent the last 30 years of his life there, involving himself with fervent activities that furthered human interests before the term was even thought of. He baptised pagans and ordained hundreds of priests into the Catholic faith. He oversaw the construction of monastaries and worked to abolish horrible, pagan practices (such as human sacrifices and slavery). Because of St. Patrick's administrations, it only took 200 years for Ireland to convert to Christianity and was the only example of non-violent conversion in all of Europe.
There are many things that St. Patrick did not do, that many people believe that he did. There was never a time when St. Patrick chased any reptile of any kind out of Ireland. There were never any snakes in Ireland. It is sometimes believed that chasing the snakes out of Ireland is an analogy for driving paganism out of the country. He also never made the comparison of the Holy Trinity to a shamrock, which was actually credited to someone in the 18th century. Of course, St. Patrick never had a personal conversation with God to bargin Ireland's freedom for all eternity. Don't be so gullible, Guiness lovers.
Since St. Patrick's exploits are very minimally recorded, he has become a symbol for anyone who can make up a believable story about his mythos. Catholics tout his acomplishments with the Catholic Church while Protestants dress him up as a Celtic monk who developed his own anti-Roman church. It is shameful that there are more untruthful stories about the history of St. Patrick than there are real facts about him.
For a millinium, Ireland has celebrated St. Patrick's Day festivities with a humble meal after Mass services. It took good 'ol America to turn St. Patrick's day into the alcohol drenched drink-fest that it is today. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place only 16 years after the Declaration of Independance was signed. Most of the Irish in America at that time were members of the Protestant Middle Class, and fit into society quite well. It wasn't until the Great Potato Famine of 1845 that Irish prejudices flared up because of the newcomers' thick accents and Catholic faith. During the St Patrick's Day celebrations during this time, people looked down on the way the Irish took to the streets and reveled with booze and partying. This was the time when St. Patrick's Day stopped being such a religious occasion and started resembling what it is today: a massive party. The media made a point to deride these activities and depicted Irish revelers as little more than drunken monkeys in the street.
The poor, lower class of Irish had trouble finding jobs and the vast majority of immigrants lived in poverty and squalor. It took time for the Irish community to come to the realization that they held value to society, because of their vast numbers. They organized themselves and showed the political arena that they had the ability to tip elections how they pleased. Politicians began taking an interest in Irish relations and the political "green machine" was born. This is when St. Patrick's Day celebrations started having wider recognition among the community because of the political interest involved in them as politicians catered to the Irish and participated in the parades and feasts. The crowning point of Irish political strength was in 1948 when President Truman attended the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade.
America, Canada, and Australia are the biggest celebrators of the holiday, with minor observerances in Japan, Russia, and Singapore. Ireland has always observed the holiday in strict religious terms, even mandating that pubs be closed on March 17th. Recently, Ireland has decided to use the holiday to spur tourism. Over a million people attended Dublin's St. Patrick's Day celebrations over a long, multi-day event that featured parades, concerts, and fireworks.

And A Curse
May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fun Monday

I'm a joiner...

Alison: "Our wonderful hostess this week is Nikki. Her assignment is the following:
1.) I don't know about you, but my family is great at creating strange words that only we know the meaning. Some were created when the kids were first learning to talk, others came about when our tongues were twisted and the word came out funny. Either way, the words stuck and we still use them in our daily conversations. What created words does your family use?! Please share the story behind the word if you remember. If you don't have a made up word then tell us about the unspoken way you communicate with someone. Do you and your significant other have a look that means "This party is boring, lets split" or do you have a look that your kids know means their butt is in serious trouble? Please share!! And a picture of the look would be very entertaining!OR/AND2.) In honor of St. Paddy's Day, please share your worst green beer story!"

My fiance, Mike, has a tendency to put the word "air" behind many words that he uses, randomly throughout the day. Words like: "whatup" and "later" become "Whatup-air" and "latair". He is so hooked on his new phonics, that all of his friends call him, Mike-aire. You don't have to be crazy to love me, but apparently it helps!


Now, for the not-so-PG13. When I get very, VERY angry, I tend to get an interesting version of terrets. I make up terrible words like "fucktard" and "skeezebag". However, the worst word I ever compiled was made up in jest. In high school, my friends and I would call each other mean words to practice saying them for when we really needed to hit some evil girl hard. We didn't know it at the time, but it's the best explanation I can come up with for why we would call each other such names. So, one daym hit with a good one, I came back with, "cum sucking gutter slut". No pause. Just ... blat. And that became our new official insult. The one time I did get the opportunity to use it for real, I saw tears. So, what kind of person does this make me?

Hmm, I wonder.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Can't Sleep

Once again, it's after 1 in the morning and I have no interest in lying down. My brain just won't stop. I take my nicotine patch off every night as I leave work, otherwise I can go 24 hours. Right now, I'm stuck. I am sitting in the dark, waiting for my eyes to start hurting so that they won't keep opening once I lay down. Though I'm looking forward to it, I know that moment will only be the beginning of the fight toward sleep. My brain, though currently foggy, doesn't like to turn off. Why? I have no idea. But right now, I'm watching TV, typing a blog, chatting with 2 friends and tapping my fingers in between. Why does my brain need to constantly be on over drive? It's now 2 o'clock in the morning!!! I'm going to go insane!!
I've tried everything from lavendar pillows and warm milk to over the counter sleep aids. Valume is beginning to look pretty appetizing. If only I wouldn't get hooked. Which, if you know me, you know will happen. If you have anymore ideas, please, PLEASE, let me know.
Wishing for zzzZZZZs...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How I Met the Love of My Life

What did your life revolve around when you were twenty years old? Mine? I pretty much only cared about getting drunk and having fun. So, it would only make sense that Mike and I met at a friend's party.
It was the middle of July 2003. My best friend, Tianna, invited me to her boyfriend, Tommy's, house for a small party after their weekly softball game. I had just gotten back from my very first trip to Hawaii with my mom & brother, and had the corn rows to prove it. So, I was tan & excited to meet a new boy. I didn't particularly care which boy, just so long as he was cute & sweet and a great kisser. That's who I was at 20, completely shallow.
Anyway, I walk up to Tommy's apartment and there is a group of my friends smoking on the front patio. We all say high in the usual just-out-of-teenage way. There's hugging, laughing and of course, flirting. Someone asked me how Hawaii was, and that started me on one of my infamous rants about how much I loved it.
That's when this guy in a hat, who I hadn't noticed until that moment, turned to me and said, "You just got back from Hawaii?" All of the sarcastic remarks that came to my mouth, fell at the sight of his eyes. Man, he's got great eyes.
So, instead of saying something like, "Are you new?" I just kind of stuttered, "Uh, yeah?".
"Cool!" He said, all non-challant, "I'm from Oahu." At which point he grinned. Oh man! I was gone. I honestly had no idea what I was in for. I just thought he'd be great to make out with. So, in the time it took us to have a cigarette and casually discuss the island of Mauai with the rest of our friends, I decided that this guy was off limts to the rest of the party.
When I finally went inside, I imediately told Tianna that I wanted him. Yes, that's how we viewed guys back then, like they were Christmas presents. And I knew Tianna would always help me get the perfect present.
For the rest of the night, I simply focused on showing him my best flirting skills. But, man, he's a thick one. At one point, Tianna even sent the two of us on a beer run together just to give us some alone time. Did I mention that she was a master at getting me whatever I wanted? Well, it finally took me pretending not to know how to play Texas Holdem' for him to get the hint. Don't get me wrong, he was flirting the whole night, but he was holding back. I finally put it on full force. I was leaning in close and whispering in his ear to help me play my hand. And suddenly, it clicked. By the time we finished the hand, I was practically sitting on his lap and he had invited Tianna and me to a party as his house in San Jose the following weekend.
Since twenty year olds can't afford to live in the nicest places, Mike walked Tiana and me to my car. I still get a kick out of how he tried to kiss me as I got in. I had stood there for almost a full minute waiting and as I turned to get in, he leaned in and kissed my neck. Tianna and I giggled about it the whole way back to my house.

Of course we went to his party the following weekend, but that's a whole different story...

The Wedding

I constanlty get asked: "So, how's the planning coming?" And WOW the answer is just too long. So, for all of you who are wondering: Here's is how the wedding planning is going.

Coordinator: Lynette Corona

Photographer: Ed & Monica Pingol


Baker: Cake Creations


Stylist: Wendy

My Autobiography - a diary of sorts

First Memories:

I don't pretend to remember that far back, but according to my parents, I was two the first time I found myself lost. That's not to say it hasn't happened inumerable times since, but as the story goes... We were in the Los Gatos hills, at a birthday party my mother's friend was having for her daughter. My parents were enjoying themselves in the usual parental way. My mother gabbing away with the moms in the kitchen. My dad participating in some debate with the other dads. I was crawling on the floor with the kids, probably fighting over toys or discovering my toes, again. At some point, we all got comfortable. My father was the first to notice I was missing. He looked around, but it didn't take long for him to panic. He alerted my mother and ran outside to search. Another father was putting his own child into her car seat and had apparently seen me. My father, now on the verge of either a heart attack at the age of 35, or punching a man in front of his daughter, ran down the long driveway toward the other houses on the hill. He heard barking and just knew his little girl had heard it too. He came upon a wrott iron gate too high to jump over and too secure to break through. So he yelled. "Daddy?" He breathed a sigh of relief until he saw the size of the two Dobermans his 2 year old was playing with. As his little girl toddled her way back toward the gate, these two massive canines charged at him with full force. As they showed him how bad their bark was, he could only imagine their bite. He was half greatful for the protection of the large gate and half hateful of it holding his little girl from him. She had stopped dead in her tracks, now terrified of the ferociousness of these two dogs, who had been so gentle with her. "Daddy!" She cried. My father's heart was ripping apart his chest. What if the dogs turned on her in their wrath? Oh God, he could only imagine. His only choice was to walk away and hope that the dogs calmed down with him gone. As he moved around a corner out of sight, he heard the barking calm. The few minutes it took for his daughter to emerge from the gate were the longest he could bare. But the second she was safe from harm, he scooped her up and held her tight.

More memories to come...

If you have any early memories of me that you'd like to share, please do.