Out with the Current, In with the Old

Somehow today I got into the bizarre story of my family's many last names. Now that I stop and think about it, it's a fairly interesting one, so I'll relate it to you. The actual names will be changed for the sake of those unwilling to be stalked.

The oldest last name in our little chain comes from several generations back, when an ancestor of mine came to America from... Wales I believe in this case. Let's call it Butler.

Ellis Island has this weird habit of arbitrarily changing people's names on them, so this ancestor of mine had his name changed to something which can't help but call forth jokes. Let's call it Butt.

That name stuck around until a member of this family married my grandmother (changing her name from, let's call it Svensgaard), and they had 3 daughters, whose first names all start with the same letter, so to avoid confusion we'll just call them A-ko B-ko and C-ko.

Now then, my grandfather (Mr. Butt) died pretty soon after C-ko was born. A few years later, my grandmother remarried, taking her new husband's name (Let's go with Corleone here), and her daughters all ended up using Butt and Corleone interchangably (although why they didn't just use Butler or even Svensgaard, I have no idea). Mr. Corleone here by the way turned out to be a jerk and they got a divorce after something like a year. Never heard from him again.

B-ko went on to marry a guy with a last name of, let's call it Calamari. Changed her name to it, her kids wound up with it, they stayed married for a good long while, and as such, her kids only have the one last name to choose from.

A-ko wound up having a kid with some mysterious individual nobody ever talks about. We'll call him Mr. X because I haven't the foggiest idea what his real name was. This kid wound up with the last name Corleone, because Mr. X was out of the picture, and she'd long since gotten sick of the various Butt jokes. A few years later she had another kid, with another guy. Let's call him Souflette. This kid got her father's last name, although A-ko didn't. Quite recently, A-ko finally actually married someone, who we'll call Vladimir, changed her name and had a third kid.

We'll get to me in a second, but for now, all you need to know is that C-ko is my mother and we'll be calling my father's last name Hall.

To recap, here's how I grew up. We've got my grandmother's mother and her two sisters, who are all Svensgaards. My grandmother, and one cousin are Corleones, his sister is Souflette (although I think lately she's going with Vladimir), B-ko and her kids are all Calamaris, and my mother and I are Halls. Nobody uses Butler or Butt but many have grounds to. We all hang out together constantly, and confuse the heck out of people with our many surnames, to say nothing of the ancestry which is even more confusing, and leaves the Corleones of the family 0% Italian.

Now then, on to me. My parents didn't get married until I was a year old (yeah, I know, lots of bastards running around in this family), and got divorced when I was three. Thus I could easily go by one of my mother's maiden names if I really wanted, but generally stick to my father's. Here's the catch though. As it turns out, both of my grandmothers had a bunch of kids with similar names and genders, remarried, and switched names around (although on this side it was divorce not death), so while he goes by Hall, my father should really be called, let's say, MacLeod (Sorry, don't have a country of origin on this one so I'm guessing). Thus, I have a whopping FIVE last names I could legitimately use: Butler, Butt, Corleone, Hall, or MacLeod. So when people ask me why I always go by Googleshng instead of my real name, I could say there's just too many to chose from (although the actual reason is that by the time I was in a position to sign stuff on the internet, I'd already gained so much noteriety with a randomly chosen nickname that to change it would just confuse too many people).

Oh yes, and incidently, there was actually a Z-ko born before A-ko to a different father, who was put up for adoption. So you can throw the names of her biological father, adopted parents, and husband into the mix if you don't think there's enough already.

Wow. That took longer to explain than I thought it would. I'll have to make this next bit quick I suppose. Every so often, when I'm watching some flashy new anime series, I'll find myself pining for the thick lined style of the 80s. Now, this strikes me as rather odd, as I never used to like those thick black grainy lines and fully defined noses. With a lot of today's stuff though, character designs just seem a bit too streamlined and conformist. We've lost a bit of character I think. Here's a comparison I threw together in about five seconds:


Ideally, I should have used a picture of the original BGC incarnation of Nene, but the only one I found sucked.

I was planning to talk about this little deal too in this rant, but I think I ran long enough as is. Besides, yon 0th strip explains enough for now. I should mention though that I was considering pulling a Tailsteak. Just start with one character, and have all others come about by him splitting into good and evil halves, having a time travel mishap leaving a spare him around, etc. etc. Still might after killing these people off.

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