Work of Art

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Once you’ve completed you stencil, you’re ready to stretch it across the frame and clamp it in place,” Gregory said. “Make sure the stencil is stretched tight, nice and taut. Otherwise, you might get a random ink droplet on your final product, which would betray your efforts to create the perfect stencil.”

Dick looked down at the frame and felt that everything was ready. “What’s next?” he asked.

“You pour the ink onto the screen, and use a floodbar to push the ink through the holes in the mesh,” Gregory said. “Then you take the fill bar at the rear of the screen and, using a slight amount of downward force, pull the fill bar to the front of the screen. This fills the mesh openings with ink. At that point you take the rubber squeegee and move the mesh down to the surface and push the squeegee to the rear of the screen. As the squeegee moves toward the rear of the screen, the tension of the mesh pulls the mesh up away from the material, leaving the ink on the material’s surface. That’s the silkscreen process, my friend.”

“Cool,” Dick said. “Now what?”

“Well, you have to give the ink time to dry on the material for a moment or two,” Gregory said. “In the meantime, you can add different colors once the first color dries. Just follow the same process for each color.”

“No more colors. I’m done!” said Dick.

“Let me see,” Gregory said.

Dick carefully lifted the frame up and off the t-shirt, exposing his handiwork to Gregory. “So, what do you think? Do we have a deal or what?”dumptrumpT“I like it,” Gregory said, a smile on his face. “Can you deliver 30 more in time for the rally on Sunday?”

“Deal!” said Dick.

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (droplet), Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt (betray), Fandango’ One-Word Challenge (silkscreen), The Daily Spur (moment), And Word of the Day (deal). Sorry Sheryl, but I couldn’t figure out how to get exacerbate into this tale.

Let It Bleed — Get Moving

EB12507C-E70E-43BB-B8E1-1D7483109378“I am so bored,” Sandy complained to her husband. “It’s a beautiful, warm, sunny day outside and all you want to do is sit around and watch TV.”

Stephen hit the pause button on the DVR. “Is there anything in particular you want to do?” he asked.

“The sunshine today is dazzling,” Sandy said. “How about we load the puppy into the car and take a ride out to some bucolic locale in the countryside?”

“Fine, whatever,” Stephen said, turning off the TV and slowly standing up.

“Fine, whatever,” Sandy said, sarcastically echoing her husband. “Try putting a little zest in your step. Pretend to be the least bit enthusiastic.”

Stephen saluted his wife. “Aye aye, Captain,” he said. “Warp speed, Captain.”

“You are the epitome of laziness,” Sandy said. “Am I going to have to contact a lawyer to represent me in our divorce case?”

“You can be so diabolic,” Stephen said, a knowing smile on his face.

“I learned how to be devilish from you,” Sandy said.4215B217-4445-447F-96FB-9868BE19C4F7“So you’d better get moving before I poke you in your good for nothing butt with my pitchfork.”

Stephen looked at his wife. “You know, you’re a very peculiar woman,” he said.

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “shine,” “puppy,” and “echo.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (bucolic), Randomness Inked Let Zit Bleed Challenge (zest), Ragtag Daily Prompt (warp), Your Daily Word Prompt (represent), Swimmers One-Word Prompt (diabolic), and Word of the Day Challenge (peculiar).

Devil image credit:

Oops. This is a revision. When I first read the Word of the Day Challenge word, my eyes saw “particular,” but when I relooked at the prompt, my brain finally saw that the word was “peculiar.”

Let It Bleed — Yet Another One of Fandango’s Political Rants

8AD4C5D7-DF97-482F-B97C-0A5D99DC3F3CPlease bear with me while I rant and vent a little about the state of partisan politics in the United States in 2019.

After the release of the full, albeit redacted, Mueller Report, there is a growing debate among Democrats about whether or not to begin the formal impeachment process. More progressive Democrats think members of the House of Representatives must take the initiative and immediately begin impeachment hearings against Donald Trump, even though there is close to a zero chance that such a move would be supported in the Republican controlled Senate.

More moderate Democrats suggest that we continue with ongoing investigations from the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Finance, and Oversight committees and hold open, public hearings so that Americans can see what a slime ball Trump is and vote him out of office in 2020.

I admit I’m on the fence. I’m not a politically astute pundit and I don’t know what would be best for our country in both the short and long terms. But I do know the ugly face of hypocrisy when I see it.

Let us harken back to 1998 when then President Bill Clinton lied to the public and to Congress about getting a blowjob from an intern, Monica Lewinsky, and was then accused of obstruction of justice by attempting to influence witness testimony.

Here’s what Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said 21 years ago:

“[Clinton] doesn’t have to say, ‘Go lie for me,’ to be a crime. You don’t have to say, ‘Let’s obstruct justice’ for it to be a crime. You judge people on their conduct, not magic phrases. The point I’m trying to make is you don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office.”

And then there’s this 21-year-old quote from the mouth of an even bigger hypocritical snake, Senator Mitch McConnell:

“Our nation is indeed at a crossroads. Will we pursue the search for truth or will we dodge, weave, and evade the truth? I am, of course, referring to the investigation into serious allegations of illegal conduct by the president of the United States — that the president has engaged in a persistent pattern and practice of obstruction of justice. The allegations are grave, the investigation is legitimate, and ascertaining the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the unqualified, unevasive truth is absolutely critical.”

And now, 21 years later, we have a president who coordinated with Russia to help him win the presidency, who has continually lied about it, and who has done everything possible to obstruct justice. And yet these same scumbags say, with respect to Trump, there’s nothing there.

Where is the outrage Graham and McConnell expressed 21 years ago? How can they equate lying about a blowjob with being a traitor to his country and systematically destroying our American democracy?

Okay, I’m done ranting and venting. Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and for those “non-believers” like me, Happy Sunday.

Written for the Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge from Saumya Agrawal’s Randomness Inked blog. The prompt for this week is the word “vent.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (partisan), Your Daily Word Prompt (initiative), Word of the Day Challenge (ugly), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (snake).

Let It Bleed — The Hearing

AB7347E2-9D41-47AF-8FDE-9D96D43610F7“Are you denying, Mr. Secretary, that you have ever had any contact with Elana Kamisorov, the Russian Intelligence agent?” the senator asked.

“Sir,” responded the Secretary of Homeland Security, “I don’t recall any such contact with Miss Kamisorov.”

“I have a photograph I’d like to share with you, Mr. Secretary,” the Senator said. He then directed one of his aids to mount a blowup of the photograph on an easel next to the senator’s chair. “Is this you in this picture, Mr. Secretary, in a warm embrace with Elana Kamisorov?”

After a short pause before answering, the Secretary said, “I belief someone must have mocked up or doctored that photo and I stand by my earlier statement.”

Losing patience with the witness, the senator picked up a piece of paper and waved it in the air. “Do you have any idea what this is, Mr. Secretary?”

“I do not, sir.”

“This is a signed and notarized deposition of an interrogation of Miss Kamisorov conducted by the FBI,” the senator said. “You’ve been a very naughty boy, Mr. Secretary. Miss Kamisorov testified that she offered to have sex with you in exchange for your providing her with state secrets. Would you like to modify your statement at this point?”

“At this time,” the Secretary said, “I will exercise my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and refuse to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination.”

Written for the Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge from Saumya Agrawal’s Randomness Inked blog. The prompt for this week is the word “pause.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (recall), Ragtag Daily Prompt (picture), Word of the Day Challenge (naughty), and Your Daily Word Prompt (modify).

Let It Bleed — If These Walls Could Talk

D5DA1170-D1E5-4270-A143-DEBBD5088234“Sarah, what the hell are you doing?” Jim shouted when he came home from work and found his wife smashing holes in their bedroom wall with a hammer.

I can hear them in the walls!” Sarah screamed.

“Them? Who can you hear in the walls? What are you talking about?” Jim grabbed the hammer away from Sarah and she collapsed on the bed, crying hysterically.

Jim walked over to the bed, put his arms around his wife, and said, “Shh, baby. It’s going to be okay. Now tell me what you are hearing in the walls.”

Still sobbing, Sarah said, “I don’t know, Jim. It’s a constant scratching sound, like there are mice or rats or maybe squirrels in the walls.”

Jim stood up and walked to the wall that Sarah had been pounding holes into just a few minutes before. He put his ear next to the wall and listened, but heard nothing. “Honey, I don’t hear anything. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t hear it anymore, either,” Sarah admitted, “but I wasn’t imagining it, I swear.”

“I’m going to get you a sleeping pill and I want you to take it so you can relax and get a good night’s sleep, since I know you haven’t been sleeping well lately,” Jim said. “Tomorrow I’ll stay home from work to look after you and I’ll patch up the holes in the wall.”

Once Sarah was asleep, Jim called her mother and told her about Sarah’s having pounded holes in the bedroom wall with a hammer and expressed how worried he was about her mental health. Years before, Sarah been institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital for delusional behavior, and Sarah’s mother became concerned that her daughter might be having another mental breakdown.

“I’ll drive down tomorrow and take her back with me to see Dr. Steiner,” Sarah’s mother told Jim. “If she’s having a relapse, he might want to admit her again.”

When Jim hung up from speaking with Sarah’s mother, he called someone else. A woman answered the call. “Hello, darling,” Jim said. “My plan is working. The audio recordings of the scratching sounds that I hid inside the bedroom’s heating duct have pushed her over the edge and her mother is coming to pick her up to take her to see her shrink tomorrow. When her mother sees the damage Sarah did to the bedroom wall, she’ll probably ask the doctor to re-admit her to the asylum. Once there, you and I, my darling, can be together at last.”

Written for the Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge prompt from Saumya Agrawal’s Randomness Inked blog. The prompt for this week is to write a post containing this sentence: “I can hear them in the walls.”