shattered innocence.

this evening found me sitting on my balcony desperately trying to ignore the myriad of activities that were attempting to lure me from the drudgery of studying. the mister arrived home with kisses for his darling wife and then he retreated to the inner sanctum to watch television and leave me in the swamp of scholarly essays.

suddenly i hear repeated popping noises coming from the other side of a neighboring building. my head is spinning...fireworks? ummm...gunshots? the mister immediately appeared at my side and confirmed my fears that i was indeed hearing gunshots (why was he so certain? dunno. that is to be determined another day). this claim was substantiated when we heard sirens, and then saw a black car careen down the road only to be rammed by a chasing police car. to make matters more frightening another police car came screaming the WRONG way, effectively sandwiching the suspect between their bumpers.

at this point the mister and i are gaping in dumbfounded shock at the events unfolding on the streets below, when POP POP POP POP POP the gunfire starts again! YEESH! i hightailed it into the house with the mister close on my heels. call us dweebs, but we went to peek out the window, only to hear more pops, which sent us scurrying back to the kitchen. after what seemed like an inordinately long stretch, the shooting stopped and we reemerged on the balcony, only to discover that five stories down one of the suspects was sprawled across the trunk of a police car. the yelling, shouting, and wailing, that ensued shortly after, emanated from what we presume was another suspect, this one not so "lucky," because he was apparently hit by one of the many flying bullets.

it only took a few minutes for a bevy of police cars, detectives, and ambulances, to descend on the scene. three hours later only a few police cars remain, but the mobile crime lab, detectives, the suspect's cars and the crime scene tape have not yet disappeared. i am holding out hope that when i wake up, the flashing lights, crime scene tape and suspect's cars will have been removed and all the events will linger only in my memory.

who knew that the 200 yard stretch of road visible from our balcony would provide us our own constant stream of police action. we regularly watch traffic stops, but this was a first (and hopefully last) experience with a shootout. i, for one, prefer the traffic stops.


fountains of frustration.

i woke up on saturday morning positively determined to set forth in my pursuits of academic excellence. i started off in the kitchen where i brewed up a tasty mug of coffee and then promptly sat down on the couch to watch television. problemo numero uno. should never ever have turned on the boob tube. at this point my brain does an about face and insists that it is imperative that i write a letter to my pal, before i start my studies. sure thing. why not? it will get the noggin juices flowing. right. problemo numero two. i snagged some paper and started my communication. now, it needs to be said that i am a pen snob (and yes, freakishly picky), although my tastes change depending on my mood. some days i want the basics, namely a papermate medium point blue ballpoint pen. other days i gleefully swirl ink across the paper with my pilot g-2 gel pens. then there are days when i am satisfied with the pure genius of the sharpie pen (yes, it is as delectable as its commercials imply). but, on saturday i wanted the crème de la crème. a fountain pen gracefully spewing my higgins black india ink.

easy right? ummm..not in my world. i located my stash of fountain pens only to discover that none were willing to provide a free-flowing ink experience. i gathered up some supplies - water, and paper towels - and sat on the floor prepared to do battle with the innards of the first pen. i dismantled the pen, washed it out, reassembled it, and added ink. after some wheedling, i caught a glimpse of ink emerging from the nib. i hastily started drawing loops across the paper, intent on encouraging the ink to appear. it did. and then it promptly disappeared. argh! after about twenty torturous minutes, i moved on to the next pen. same story. this time, the ink was a little more forthcoming, except the remnants of blue residing in the ink well refused to give way to the black. grrrrr. this brought me to my third (and final) fountain pen. the superlative tombow fountain pen, which i received many moons ago, as a christmas present from my brother. long story short, this pen did NOT appreciate the third disassembling of its guts, choosing instead a fate much worse - a snapped in half ink well. gasp! the horror the horror! yes. my desire to finagle this pen into demonstrating its prowess as a writing implement, resulted in its demise.

at this point i have not only reached my wits end, i have expended THREE hours cleaning pens, staining my fingers black with ink, and making a general mess. i still have nothing to show for my efforts. but wait! a glimpse into my memory reveals that perhaps there are more fountain pens to be found. ahhh..yes. i found two more. rather than bore you with the details, i shall simply say that these two pens did not revive any better than the first three. so FIVE hours after the ordeal began, i had to resort to my trusty standby, the koh-i-noor technical pen. i filled the ink well with my black india ink and began the letter anew. the pen worked as expected, but the writing experience with a technical pen is incomparable to a fountain pen. this prompted TWO hours of scouring the internet for reasonably priced fountain pens. this experience might qualify me to steal my best friend's title "queen of procrastination," but i am left wondering if i can justify to the mister why i find it imperative to spend $25 on a pen. me thinks he will not understand.