A Long Fuckin' Time Ago...
...there were the first humans. Since that time, there has been an unbroken chain of humans living long enough to reproduce all the way down to you.
Congratulations! You you wouldn't exist if just one of those people in that unbroken chain had kicked the bucket too soon! Don't you feel special?
Well I find it interesting.
I do find it mind-boggling to think about. If one person had lived and another died, sure we'd still have upwards of seven-billion people on the planet, but the exact permutations of who those people are would be completely different.
I have always been fascinated by ancestry; not enough to shell out for one of those "ancestry.com" thingamajiggers, but fascinating nonetheless.
While it can be interesting to understand where one comes from, I also don't think it has that much bearing in who one is now, putting genetics aside. For instance, just because your family came from one of the Scotland highlands doesn't automatically mean that YOU, the schlub sitting at your computer reading this and drooling (I presume) in 2016 has any affinity for the place whatsoever. Yeah, it may be cool to visit there, but does your Scottish wartribe heritage rise up from within you to help conquer your taxes? No. Unless you are the worlds most interesting accountant.
Ancestry, to me, is a cool fact, little more. It helps me appreciate the struggles of all the people who came before me and when my problems seem so large and unbeatable, remembering what my elders had to go through can make things just a little bit more bearable.
And now me whittling away at my family history because sssssssh :)
Petriello is an Italian Name? I had no idea...
Yes, the big secret is out - I am half Italian on my dad's side. I know, you all are having your socks blown clean off your feet so hard that they have embedded themselves in the floor.
I do find this pretty cool - my dad immigrated to New Jersey from this little place in Italy called Cassano Irpino, which is a tiny village near Naples. First my grandfather moved to the states to make enough money to send the rest of the family over, and then the rest came. I have a whole slew of Italian relatives still living on the East Coast that I don't know super well; I mostly am in touch with my first cousins who have all escaped to the West Coast.
Italians call all cousins (second, third, twice-removed etc.) "cousins." Frankly, keeping those large Catholic families straight is just too much of a pain to sort out, so - "cousins" for all!
Now, my grandfather was an interesting man before his passing some years ago. He worked as a tailor, but before that he had some fascinating stories to tell about what it was like to live in Mussolini's Italy, which I don't quite feel comfortable enough to repeat here - rest assured, my Grandpa was an awesome dude.
I've done a quick check of the name "Petriello," and as far as I can tell, there haven't been any of note (I mean, except for me. Obviously). Doing some hardcore fairly uninformed speculation, that probably means stretching back several centuries ago, my ancestors were peasants and led tough lives. I feel like a lot of people want to have some sort of royal background in their blood, but frankly, the royals were all deformed incest babies so I am perfectly swell with my peasant heritage thank you very much.
On my Mother's biological side, we've got the McCorvey family.
Now, the reason I've blathered on and on about my Petriello side is because that's the one I know much more about. I know I've been told stuff about this side, but it was a long time ago and my memory is craptastic.
Suffice to say - Scottich and a couple of other things thrown in. I call it British Isles Mutt.
The thing that's cool about this side, however, is that my biological grandmother was an actor, my mother was an actor, and I'm an actor. Theatre runs in the family I guess, and I am taking up the +3 Ancestral Helm of Acting Good.
I noticed you said "Biological"
Yep. Me mum was adopted. The Bounds family! Even though I'm not related by blood, the Bounds clan has played a huge role in my life and I am very close with a handful of my cousins on that side.
This side is filled with a lot of "secret wackos," (my new band name) i.e. people who seem perfectly normal but pry under just a little bit and you will find that they are complete kooks. And they are lovely for it. I could talk about my uncles or grandparents or one of the many great aunts and uncles, but really all I have to say right now is this about my great grandfather -
He was an honest to goodness cowboy. Actually. Seriously. Dude, he was a cowboy. Not a wannabe, AN ACTUAL STINKIN' COWBOY.
So what you're trying to tell me is...
If I seem a little crazy sometimes, don't worry.
It runs in the family. Every tangled branch of my family is tainted with the crazy bug.