Monday, February 2, 2015

Pretty pictures: Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Dark Waters'

Looks remarkably like it did the last time we saw it. (in 2011, as Sophrolaeliocattleya)

I have the feeling this might come off better in person than it does in photos.

Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Dark Waters' = Guarianthe aurantiaca x Cattleya Anzac (Ref.)

In other news:

I had set today as my deadline to announce a name for Schlumbergera seedling #083A.

I managed, with some difficulty, to eliminate four of my nine options ("Casino," "Gaga," "Uh Hey Baby," "You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That") as unsatisfactory to some degree or another.1

I eliminated one more ("Tamika Flynn") on the grounds that there's nothing especially Tamika-Flynnish about #083A. She's not specifically associated with any particular colors in Welcome to Night Vale (unless you count the blood of librarians as a color, though I don't think we're ever told what color librarian blood is), and in theory any seedling could be named "Tamika Flynn" just as appropriately as this one.2

This left "AbFab Darling," "Delirium," "Psychedelic Bunny," and "She's So Unusual," all of which I liked, and all of which were specific enough to unusual colors that they could really only be used for a seedling like #083A. So how to whittle the list down to four? Well, I had to reach pretty hard for things to object to, that's how.

Hence, I dropped "AbFab Darling" on the grounds that the "Darling," even if insincere and cynical in context, was just not the kind of word I would feel comfortable using around people who didn't know the reference. Too precious.

Then I thought that maybe "Delirium" had connotations I didn't necessarily want. I mean, sometimes it's fun to be delirious, and there's "deliriously happy," which sounds good, but we also have delirium tremens, which it's harder to put a positive spin on. Certainly no kind of delirium (basically "excited confusion," according to the dictionary) is desirable from a medical standpoint.

So out goes "Delirium," and now we're down to two. Was "She's So Unusual" (a Cyndi Lauper album title) a concern in the same way "Gaga" was? I decided no, that Cyndi Lauper had had plenty of time to embarrass herself if she was going to, and as far as I knew, she hasn't yet. If anything, she's gotten more respectable over time.3

And I was slightly bothered by the "bunny" part of "Psychedelic Bunny," since it's not a bunny, it's a plant. But "Psychedelic Bunny" is vastly catchier than "Psychedelic" on its own, and people generally think bunnies are appealing and cute,4 so I couldn't justify eliminating it on those grounds either.

Was it, perhaps, a problem to be using an album title? Are the three words "She's So Unusual" legally claimed by someone in a way that might be a problem for me? Not as far as I could determine.

Well is the bloom more psychedelic, or more unusual? And that was the question that finally decided me: it's certainly unusual, but "unusual" could refer to a lot of things. Image searches for the two words confirmed it for me: "psychedelic" has more in common with the flower than "unusual" does. So "Psychedelic Bunny" it was. Hooray!5

Thanks to everyone for playing, hopefully no hard feelings if I didn't take your suggestions, remember I said I had to be absurdly nitpicky just to get the list down to one, really it's an honor just to be nominated, there'll probably be more seedlings to name in the future, etc.


1 "Casino:" too generic.
"Gaga:" concerns about Lady Gaga's future behavior tainting the word. (Imagine naming a plant variety after Milli Vanilli, your favorite R&B pop group, in 1989. Then imagine trying to sell that cultivar under that same name in 1991. This is the sort of thing I worry about.)
"Uh Hey Baby:" sounded kinda dumb. Which was the point, but still. Dumb is dumb.
"You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That:" way too long. Also maybe a little bit sexist.
2 And in fact I've been having a terrible time coming up with a name for one particular seedling, which you'll see on February 6. Allowing myself to name it after Tamika could solve two problems at once.
3 Unless we're counting her participation in The Celebrity Apprentice. I still have to raise an eyebrow at anybody voluntarily choosing to associate themselves with Donald Trump, but I accept that it's Hollywood and sometimes these things will happen. Also it was for charity. Plus Trump probably told her it would be fun, and we all know Ms. Lauper's position on having fun. So she's excused, but with an admonishment not to do it again.
4 Though I suppose your more serious outdoor gardeners would have less positive leporine associations, which might be relevant here. Not sure.
5 Which lasted until I told the husband about the decision, and then he was like, okay, but what about Cyndi Lauper doing "True Colors," and naming her charity the True Colors Foundation, and all that? If the colors are the interesting thing about the seedling, then isn't a Cyndi Lauper reference actually more appropriate? And don't we like Cyndi Lauper regardless, well enough to name something after her? (Especially given that I've recently named a seedling after the guitarist for a band I don't even like and will sometimes even go slightly out of my way to avoid?)
And we do like Cyndi Lauper well enough to name a seedling after her. Really we do. But, after spending some time meditating on the pictures of #083A again, I concluded that it really just is more of a "Psychedelic Bunny" than it is a "She's So Unusual." And that's how that particular crisis was averted: by doubling down on a decision that had already been made, and then ignoring the conflict until it went away.


Lyrajayne said...

This entire post has been the best part of my day, and it's already a clear favorite for best part of the week.

Paul said...

"I have the feeling this might come off better in person than it does in photos."

It does indeed ... far better, in fact. Not your fault though. As many of us have discovered, digital cameras often have difficultly in accurately capturing many of the reds and purples in flowers.