Friday, July 30, 2010

Charlemagne abhors a vacuum


*knock on wood*

Traditionally, unexplained periods of non-posting are accompanied by a follow-up explanation of the latest casualty in the family, but thankfully, this time I just didn't have electricity for a week!

My house has been overrun with a bunch of sweaty dudes, who swarmed over every possible area -- the attic, under the house, and everything in between. I've basically been sitting in a corner all week, reading This is Where I Leave You and Dead Man's Walk. I recommend both.

Anyway, now we have a new electrical panel and a new furnace and air conditioner, which we won't be able to use unless it actually gets hot this summer. Not that I'm complaining -- the more clothing I am wearing, the happier I am, generally.

(Sometimes I think of the chain-smoking, chain-Diet-Dr. Pepper-drinking English professor I had in college who would probably kick my ass if she ever read this blog, but that has nothing to do with anything. Sorry.)

So, before my electricity was shut off, and in between shut-offs and power-ups, what I've actually been doing is unhealthily obsessing over my family tree. Aaaaand this is where you stop reading.

Because apparently genealogy is interesting to exactly 14 people across the United States. We are all on, sharing information and dorking out about our relatives who fought in the Civil War.

But you guys? I came across what -- to me -- is astounding information about my ancestors, which I shall now list for you, in case you are still reading.

1. I am a descendant of Charlemagne, aka Charles the Great, who lived during the 8th century. He was King of the Franks, Emperor of the Romans -- in other words, he was a big effing deal. I emailed a number of Charlemagne's other descendants to alert them to this astounding information, and the resounding lack of responses is deafening. None of them care. So, moving on!

2. Some of my ancestors owned slaves. This discovery was a real bummer, because at some point I had convinced myself that all of my relatives arrived in America after slavery was abolished. Not so, not by a long shot. One relative even named their son after the guy who killed Abraham Lincoln -- Wilkes Booth.

3. One of my ancestors was a founding colonist at Jamestown.

4. One of my husband's ancestors was the founding governor of Plymouth.

5. My husband shares ancestors with Barack Obama and George H. Bush.

6. Another of my relatives was a sergeant in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

And that's about it, for now. But you have three guesses what I'll be doing for pretty much the rest of the day, now that my electricity is on and I'm sitting at my beloved computer.


  1. All of my great grandparents were recent immigrants, so I don't have any American ties, really.

    I do have some ties with IRA members and a 'famous' french prostitute who murdered a client in Brussels.

    I got nothing on Charlemagne though.

  2. I can't stop thinking about a chain-Diet-Dr.Pepper-Drinking professor... Is she pouring the last of each drink into the next one as she opens it? Or using the last can to open the new can? I just can't imagine it, but I love the idea!

  3. I actually am one of the 14 people who are interested in the family tree stuff. Love your family history!

  4. Yay, you're back and everyone is OK! I also am totally into the genealogy - can you tell me how to use because I don't seem to get much info. Maybe because I'm not giving $$.

    FabuLeslie is cracking me up too! :)

  5. Don't worry on the what your ancestors did if it was bad. People did all sorts of farked-up crap in the past, and some of those actions were perceived as normal or justified for those times.

    Allegedly, the Mexican side of my family hails from a soldier in Cortes' army that conquered the Aztecs. Not a popular thing in modern Mexico though.

    I remember telling a professor that and he replied he was of Native American ancestry and didn't think anyone would (or should) brag about being descended from the conquistadors, then he relented.

    Being in an army of 2,000 taking on 350,000 Aztecs and surviving that ... does sound pretty badass. But then again, coming across the prairie in a covered wagon or whatever took more than what we normally go through in our lives.

    Oh, and now I want a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper.

  6. Charlemagne??! thats nutty. When I get back lets look me up. I'm probably related to Cher or something...