TBM 1609.11 – Sunday Brunch: Hope Springs Trek-ternal

Live Long & Prosper

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid talks about Star Trek‘s enduring message of hope.

Excerpt:

And now it’s 2016, and every social, every cultural step we’ve moved forward seems, at times, to be counter-balanced by a step back. Darkness encroaches upon our lives through politics, through economics, and through civil unrest. Our media – especially our fiction – is filled with heroes and villains who seem to be locked in never-ending battles or filled with zombies, vampires and demons.

Don’t get me wrong; I love fictional horror as much as anyone, but when the darkness, both real and fictional, gets too intense, Star Trek is my safe space (and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this). Sure, I’ve seen every episode at least twice at this point, but every time, I find some new nuance in a performance, some new detail in the script, that adds depth.

If macaroni and cheese is comfort food, Star Trek is comfort-viewing, as much because of the familiarity I have with it as because of that message of hope.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.
  • Image credit unknown.

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DDOP-24 Diagnostics (Gold)

datakiss2

 

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid presents a reader’s theatre version of a piece of TNG fanfic.  (Star Trek: The Next Generation  & the character Data belong to CBS/Paramount.  The rest is mine. This is a work of fan-fiction, and no money is being made.)

If you’re an android, there’s room for a LOT of thinking in the space of a single kiss.

Transcript:

No transcript. To read the original story follow the link under Links and References.

Voice Credits:

Berkley Rose Pearl, as Zoe

Clay Robeson, as Data

Nutty Nuchtchas, as Tasha

Selena Taylor, as Jenna

and me, MissMelysse, the Bathtub Mermaid, as the Narrator.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.
  • Image credit unknown.

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DDOP-23 Indigo

BlueButterfly

 

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid talks about blue jeans and butterfly wings.

Transcript:

No transcript, but topics include denim, 4-H camp, campfire songs, singing with people, and the wings of butterflies.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

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DDOP-22 Oxblood

Found on the internet.

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid riffs about the color Oxblood as a fall shade.

Transcript:

No transcript, but topics include Oxblood as a fall color, my favorite ankle boots, and a visit to the doctor.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me:

Audio Player

DDOP-21 Fiction: Simmering

Simmering

 

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid reads a short-short story, Simmering, which is a sequel to Steeping, which she read on this podcast in 2013.

Excerpt:

“The original recipe calls for a cup of blood.” He saw the face she made and smiled sympathetically. “Yeah… not my thing either. But anyway, the secret’s in the simmering.” He said the last word softly, with a hint of innuendo.

“Simmering, huh?” She matched his tone, reaching for the glass that had long since supplanted her mug of tea, and swirled the red wine that remained in it for a moment. Red wine with chicken had been a new concept for her, but the Beaujolais David had served complimented the dish nicely. “Simmering,” she repeated thoughtfully. “Interesting word. Sometimes I feel like that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me:

DDOP-20 Silver is the Color of Laughter

Gene Wilder

Description:

Silver is the color of laughter… RIP Gene Wilder.

Transcript:

My husband asked me to talk about the color silver. Silver is source of humor for us, because I tease him about his strawberry-blond beard going gray, and he insists it’s going silver. Alternately, when my roots are growing out, he’ll point out that there are streaks of silver in my hair, and I’ll glower at him because what woman wants to be reminded that she no longer has her childhood hair color, or that no amount of will will make hair grow in pink.

But the glowering isn’t really meant, and silver is something we laugh about.

Silver for me is the color of rain. From my earliest memories I’ve loved rain. I love the kind of rain that comes in thick, heavy drops, and the kind that is so fine you can’t even tell it’s raining unless you catch a glimpse of it from the corner of your eye.

I even like the needle-sting rain that precedes sleet in what passes for winter in Texas, which isn’t really, all that different from what passed for winter when I lived in northern California. I like the staticky hiss of rain when it falls into the pool, and the way when it rains on end – as it often does here – and then suddenly stops, the world sounds brighter because the background sound of rainfall has sharpened all the sounds.

There are times when rain isn’t quite so welcome, and times when it is. Today, on the way home from a routine visit to my doctor, the skies opened in a sudden silvery downpour. Once inside, I turned on my computer and learned Gene Wilder had died, and the summer storm felt appropriate, somehow, as if Mother Nature herself was acknowledging that this wise, funny, surprisingly gentle, actor, director, and writer was transitioning, or had transitioned, to a different state of being.

I’ve been reading all the different reports of his death, all the mentions of his iconic roles. For many, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was their first Wilder. I love that film, and his performance in it, but my first introduction to him was in Blazing Saddles.

However, the story I keep coming back to is one from the book Gilda Radnor wrote while she was battling ovarian cancer. She talked about filming The Woman in Red, and how, after the film had come out, someone told Gene he should have married the beautiful girl from that film. He responded by telling the person, “I did.”

I don’t believe in a literal Heaven, but if there was one, I think today would find Gilda welcoming Gene inside, and then I think there would be some kind of cosmic Old Comedians home, where Gene and Gilda would trade stories with Robin Williams. Belushi would show up too… and David Bowie would be there just because Bowie would fit in with every crowd.

Obviously other people would eventually be part of the gathering, but the one constant would be that there would be laughter… quiet laughter, raucous laughter, soft titters, loud guffaws, and big, bold belly laughs – as many kinds of laughter as there are kinds of rain.

Alternatively, the energy that was once Gene Wilder’s life force is now sprinkled throughout the universe, touching all of us with humor and kindness and grace, the way his performances always did.

Either way, he will be missed.

And silver may be the color of rain, but it’s also the color of laughter. Shiny, delicate, magical laughter.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

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DDOP-19 Sunday Brunch: Kite & String

kiteandstring

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid compares her marriage to the relationship between a kite and string.

Excerpt:

If there are times when his somewhat introverted, often pedantic, stoic, engineer self makes me feel like I’m actually married to the android Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’m certain that my tendency to bounce from topic to topic, change my accent on a whim, and wander around the house talking to myself as I work out lines of dialogue for an audio drama I’m in, or a story I’m writing, makes him feel like he’s married to Sibyl.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me:

DDOP-18 Taste of Mexico

Mexican Vanilla

 

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid talks about smuggling salt and vanilla home from Mexico.

Transcript:

Every year at about this time, I start counting, not just the days, but the minutes – the seconds – until my next visit to see my parents in Mexico. Partly this is because my mother and I are close, and we only get to see each other about once a year. But partly, this is also because I’m getting low on some of the things I typically buy when I visit.

My Mexican shopping trips began with vanilla. Mexican vanilla tends to be pure vanilla without extra chemicals, and more importantly without sugar, and it tastes amazing, but we were visiting Todos Santos one year when I found this store that sells pottery and ceramics in front, but sells artisan tequila and vainilla tecul – vanilla tequila – as well.

Now, vainilla tecul is technically drinking vanilla. You can drink it by the shot or you can pour it over ice cream or into coffee, and it’s delicious. I buy a liter bottle for myself and a few smaller bottles for friends, wrap them in plastic and pareos, and stash them in my suitcase every trip. The price varies, but last October a liter was about five hundred pesos or about thirty dollars – the exchange rate has been really good for us (and really sucky for Mexico) the last couple years – I think right now it’s actually like eighteen and a half pesos to the dollar. If it’s still that good in December – presents for everybody!

After vanilla, I started bringing home damiana crema. Damiana is a local plant, and when it’s fermented it’s used a muscle relaxant, and when it’s mixed with cream it becomes a lovely liqueur, but very potent. Legend has it that damiana is also an aphrodisiac, but I haven’t really catalogued any data about that.

More recently, my parents have begun frequenting their local farmer’s market which takes place along one of the streets in the center of La Paz, and is a really interesting mix of touristy stuff and local stuff. The pesto and yogurt that my parents get from the market are to die for, but I go for the salt.

There’s one vendor there who sells seasoned sea salt, and I always buy a bunch of it, and take it home, and eke it out over the next year so that it lasts. Except this year, I’ve run out of all my “magic salt,” and I haven’t been able to reproduce my favorite kinds.

Even the salt bar at Central Market has been less than helpful.

There are three varieties of salt that I buy there – one is garlic and onion, one is onion, bell pepper, and black pepper, and basil, and the third is a smoky-sweet salt with guajillo peppers in it. Guajillos are my favorite hot peppers. They’re stronger than poblanos, but more savory than spicy, and they have this berry undertone that does wonders for things like chili and empanadas.

When we’re IN Mexico, my favorite food experience is actually tacos. There’s a restaurant that has their grill out on the street, and the meat is Sonoran beef, and for four of us, we usually get about a kilo, because it’s less expensive than buying individual taco platters and the food goes farther. It’s so good, served the way most Americans think of as fajitas – with lime and salsa fresca and avocado and grilled onion.

I know this will disappoint Michael Butler, but none of us is a fan of Tecate. Instead we pair our street tacos with either negra modelo or indio (Indio is a Mexican beer -it’s a Martzen – an amber – with a hint of spice, but it can be difficult to find in the US, even in Texas.)

My friend Clay keeps teasing me that I should start an import company, just for vanilla, salt, and Indio beer, and there are moments when I fantasize about it, but mostly I just like to stash what I can in my suitcase, and blow my last pesos from every trip at the duty free store, where I buy tequila, yes, but usually also this Irish coffee bourbon liquor called Sheridan’s.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me:

Audio Player

DDOP-17 Of Ochre and Ogres

Cook Dinner Tonight

Description:

In which the Bathtub Mermaid riffs about ochre and ogres and spices.

Transcript:

My aunt Patricia in Connecticut suggested that I talk about ochre. Specifically, she asked me to riff on yellow ochre, and I’ll confess, it’s one of those words that I’ve seen printed all my life and never heard spoken aloud, so I actually checked the pronunciation.

When I mentioned this at dinner, our friend Ben mentioned that he’d once been part of an RPG campaign where ochre had come up, and I asked if it had been an ochre ogre.

“No,” he said. “It was ochre slime.”

“My idea is funnier…” I continued riffing, “Oooh! It was an ochre ogre who likes okra!”

Fuzzy, my husband, added, “And watches Oprah!”

And now you have an idea of the lofty dinner conversation we have at my house.

And you also know that it’s possible to get to your mid-forties without having heard common words spoken aloud.

I usually write and record these Dog Days episodes in the late afternoon, over a mug of coffee, but I woke up today with an itchy/scratchy throat and the beginning of a migraine, so I didn’t even begin until after ten pm, which is why this is coming at you at 11:59 pm. I am the queen of getting things in under the wire.

So I went looking for pictures inspired by ochre, and what I found was a picture I took after a trip to Penzeys Spices. (I went in for one thing and came out with a bag… it is impossible to spend less than fifty dollars at Penzeys.)

Ochre – all the different versions of it – red and yellow obviously, but also, sienna and umber – reminds me of spices. The yellow ones – saffron, curry powder – moving toward orange with turmeric – different chili powders – and then the sweetening spices like cinnamon and nutmeg that bring us into the browns. I love the colors as much as I love the flavors.

I want to keep this brief tonight, so, as per Nutty’s suggestion, and the fact that so many Dog Days participants are talking about food, I’ll do something foodie tomorrow.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me:

DDOP-16 Ocean Water Blue Water

blue bath

 

Description:

The ocean comes in many shades of blue, but one of my favorite kinds of blue water comes in a box.

Transcript:

Becca Rowan, who isn’t only a friend, but also has a great book of essays out, called Life in General mentioned that I hadn’t talked about the colors of water, and specifically the ocean.

The thing is, the ocean has many colors, ranging from cold, metallic gray to deep midnight blue, from pale aqua to kelpy green to the brilliant blue that you get in Mexico where you can see the bottom with no trouble.

I mean, there are as many colors of ocean water as there are grains of sand, you know?

But the truth is, there’s another kind of blue water I’ve loved with childhood, and – don’t laugh – it comes in a box.

Specifically, it’s Vaseline Intensive Care bath beads, and I have no idea if they still make it, but my mother used to use it when I was a kid, and while I’m sure she chose it because it soothes dry skin, my favorite thing about it was that it turned my bath water blue.

What bathtub mermaid can resist blue water in her very own tub, I ask you? Or what child at all, really? Having bath toys floating on top of or diving through blue water is just so much more fun than regular bath time. Not being able to see your own toes makes a bath into an adventure.

Okay, the water never really got that blue, but it had a lovely floral-aquatic scent, and it did make your skin feel smoother, and really, the only flaw with it is that you can’t combine it with bubbles because something in the oil makes bubbles deflate.

These days, I’m more likely to be found in my swimming pool than soaking in a tub (at least in summer) and when my bath water is tinted it’s usually purple or red with epic amounts of glitter courtesy of Lush bath bombs, but I still have fond memories of begging my mother to let me have “blue water” for my bath.

Links & References:

Credits:

  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

Contact Me: