Sunday, March 25, 2007

Criminal Minded

I have a strange hobby, and its probably not nearly as strange as I think. I like googling old boyfriends just to see what the hell I come up with. I never had a hit until recently which shocked me to shit of course. I dated quite a few guys in my life who just swore that with time and opportunity they were going to become "Big Shit" but so far I havent seen any of that happen. Guess we cant all be famous, but for those of you still waiting to make it big I wager you'll never do it like this. I ladies and gents can officially say that I dated a Federal Inmate. Something about that just cracks me up.

I dated inmate number 7779311 [1] back before I figured out that not everyone in life was on the up and up. I was 15 and he was 23 and I met him on my way back from the grocery store. It was summer, I was irritated with my little high school boyfriend and I was walking, he was driving and frankly that should have told me something right there. Silly me, I was in my rebellious stage and the idea of a 23 year old boyfriend sounded like the perfect bad girl thing to do.

Of course that decision was all sorts of wrong. I never bothered to ask what the hell a grown ass man would want with a 15 year old, or why he seemed to always have other peoples car titles. I didnt ask questions about the several different vehicles he would show up in, or how none of his stories seemed to make any sense. Partly because I liked bad boys and mean men, partly because I really didnt care all that much and I was still in school. It totally wasnt a serious relationship, it was just me, classic Avin, acting out.

Shortly before summer ended I got back with my high school boyfriend, and just stopped calling him. He went back to whatever rock he crawled out from under and that was pretty much that. I always wondered about him though, he had a very unique name and an even more unique story. His bayou upbringing and his funky bullshit stories always made me wonder what the hell was really going on with him. It was another life ago, and honestly I knew he was some type of criminal, but whether he was a petty dealer or an actual felon I never figured out...till today.

I had just got off the phone with a friend from his home state, and she was telling a story about another criminal she knew when she was a young girl. Come on ladies we all have the "I once dated a bad boy" story so lets not pretend that we didnt m'kay? Her story totally reminded me that I had my own convict story. So I got to picking around online and googled his name and there he was in all his glory.

The charges? Identity theft of 3 seperates professional atheletes and credit card fraud. Apparantly he has been at this since at least 1995, and to make matters worse, the cops knew who he was and had been after him for years. I'll hip you to a passage from one of the news reports:

The Feds think "Jailbird" found out they were on to him. Police staked him out and spent a day casing "Jailbird's" assumed hideout, but they think he got the heads up and bounced. Police indicated that "Jailbird" had a set of brass ones, and called 5.0 talkin about "You aint fresh as I'm I'z, ya'll got 2 months to get your shit together...good luck". Repeated attempts to catch his triflin ass went awry.[2]

It was by luck that they apprehended his ass in the first place. I think there was some sort of registration problem with the car, and the girl who was driving took off and led them on a police chase. When they finally pulled them over, she had no clue what his name was other than the the middle name he had given, and he had all three ID's on him with his face in place of the celebrities.

Funny stuff if you ask me, cause my first thought was that he looks nothing like those guys. AT ALL, and not only that the guys dont look alike. I wonder who was falling for this con? Anyway, it looks like he is doing a 9 year bid in the Federal Pen and frankly I find it funny. No I dont find identity theft funny, but I do find stupid criminals to be hillarious. Remember I have to get my dose of ignorance from somewhere and "I Love NY" is just about over so sue me. [3]

[1] My favorite song from "The Time" and I love a good music reference.
[2] Sorry, yall know I cant type what was really said, even though I pretty much translated the article verbatim , my version was a shitload more entertaining anyway.
[3] I know what you are thinking, that chick is really crazy well you would be right but dont judge me the bible says not to.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Amy, Amy, Amy

I have officially declared March Amy Winehouse Month here at Avin’s Day. Its been a tumultuous two weeks full of ups, downs, and liquor so its fitting that I would choose her to represent this month. For anyone who has ever had a broken heart, or some shit to say or just made one two many mistakes this CD isn’t just pretty music, its an anthem.

For those who don’t know, Amy Winehouse is only the most fabulous soul singer to cross the pond (sorry Corinne, you’ll always be my homegirl) in quite some time. Her songs drip with emotion and sorrow, yet you find yourself singing with your heart full and light. It’s the most bizarre thing. Think Sarah Vaughn crammed into the teeny tiny little body of a big haired, makeup laden Jewish Brit.

I’ve only been waiting for this album for a year. It was released in the U.K. to serious critical acclaim and has only picked up steam since. This week is her long awaited US debut, and I just cant get enough. The girl is phenomenal, but of course as with anyone who is able to completely display their emotions in artistic release, the lady has a few issues. The largest of which being her love for the sauce, which makes her unpredictable and dangerous to both herself and a few unlucky others.

You get the feeling that she has this small window where her star will burn white hot and bright but will fade quickly if she isn’t able to get a handle on the drink. It’s the soundtrack of her life and its messy and complicated, but that’s what makes it beautiful. Its layered, its heavy and its thought provoking and downright as blunt as it gets. Its as smoky as any blues bar and so personal it reads like a diary. Its just Amy, and its worth the money, so pick it up.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Now You Know...

Today I asked old dude who sits in the office next to mine if he had some sort of single mother issue. This is twice I count that he has said something extra stereotypical in that regard and frankly I figured that if I didn’t say something soon the ignorance would continue. Not one to really hold my tongue, but certainly not one to stir the pot, I made up my mind after being angry about his comment on Friday to point blank ask him if it was his belief that black women with children were all unwed.

Now I know what your thinking, “There goes Avin again jumping to conclusions”. Quite the opposite actually. When it occurred Friday I had sort of made up my mind to just chalk it up to life in field, however after I finished telling the story to my mother, “the boyfriend” and a few of my homegirls, they all said the same thing: “I would have cussed him out”. I didn’t think cussing anyone out was appropriate, but I did think that it warranted a discussion. So I approached him and asked if that’s where his head was at. I wasn’t nasty, I wasn’t rude I was just direct.

I think he was stunned, and not so much because it wasn’t true, but probably because he assumed that I just wouldn’t ask him something like that. Too bad. There are things you say in a work environment and there are things you don’t. Asking me if “my baby’s father is still in the picture” is one of them. The other? Asking if the pregnant girl I just mentioned is married. Neither have a damn thing to do with the industry I am in, and neither pass for polite get-to-know-you conversation. I am not altogether sure which question reeks more of sheltered socio-economic snobbery and borderline racism but make no mistake they are wholly inappropriate.

So basically his response was “I’m not that way”, and though I wanted to enquire exactly what way he meant, I think the pale shaken and stuttering way that he responded was enough. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t enquire about my ex-husband or the sex of the child or its due date instead of going directly to the questions he asked however it wasn’t important. I also wanted to bring up the fact that he always says “Now you have two kids right?” but that would just be splitting hairs. The fact of the matter is I already know why he asked what he asked there is no need for him to deny or qualify it. For some people its simple math Black woman + Child = No Daddy. Which to some may mean all sorts of other things like welfare, uneducated, societal drain, crime and poverty but lets just stick to what I asked about.

I am still sort of waiting for him to dust off the two stock responses I am used to hearing which are “I don’t see color” and “Some of my best friends are black”. Sure neither have anything to do with thinking that all black women get knocked by random MIA dudes, but it doesn’t seem to matter really when reaching for the “I’m Not A Racist” defense. I don’t even know that he is racist, he most likely isn’t, but I do know that he hasn’t had much experience with black people in his life, which may be the reason for the funky inappropriate questions. I’ll never be quite sure whether he is completely oblivious to the obvious pitfalls of asking such questions, but I do know that if given the opportunity to ask a similar one in the near future, he may mull it over a moment or two.

Ehhh it is what it is but I am under no obligation to let such things slide or fester. If I need to know something I will just flat out ask, especially if I feel like you’ve made some sort of uninformed judgment about me or those deem to be like me. I would hate to walk around here thinking that folks judge me based on my professionalism and hard work when it may really be about whether or not I was married when I gave birth. That’s something you just cant assume you gotta ask and part of being Avin is being okay with who I am every day. Its asking the tough questions, or maybe being the unpopular kid and certainly its about not being afraid to stand up for myself. So if I make folks tummy’s feel funny along the way then so be it, but like G.I. Joe said, “Knowing is half the battle”.