Sunday, February 28, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 208

208A is the first seedling to bloom from the 2014 batch of 'Caribbean Dancer' seedlings, numbers 195 to 220.1 I'd hoped that I might get something a little new from this group. Even though the seed parent is 'Caribbean Dancer' again, I thought, maybe the pollen parent was different.

And 208A is a little unusual, in that it's not another orange/white or orange/pink,

but so far none of the 2014 seedlings are doing anything unprecedented.2 I can't rule out the possibility that the 2014 batch of seedlings are also 'Caribbean Dancer' x NOID peach, in which case we'll have to wait even longer to see something interesting. I'm not going to despair just yet, though; we'll get a better idea what's going on as more blooms appear.3

Even if not a never before seen color, 208A was different enough to make me optimistic about TinEye. Maybe I'd get some different suggestions? And that hope was justified; it did in fact suggest some names I hadn't seen before. Don't know what we're going to do for names after 208A, though: I've looked ahead, and it's a very long, very orange road from here. I mean, things have been pretty orange all along, but I'm starting to burn out on the whole process and we still have at least 11 more seedlings to go so it sure would have been nice if they'd decided to show some variety about now.


You should also know that this is the second time I'm writing this post. The first time, I had a name picked out, and then after I thought about it for a couple days, I decided that I couldn't live with it after all. So I added some emergency names, because it was an emergency, and we're going again. The choices: Ciao, Cupcake, I Miss You, Padparadscha, Pink Disco Trilobite, Raspberry Possum, Rooster, Saltwater Taffy, Sweet Galaxy, Sweetie Darling, and Vintage Ribbons.

TinEye was bizarrely insistent on Cupcake, bringing it up five times: two, three, four, five. However, Cupcake is the name that I landed on in the first draft, then decided I couldn't live with, so there's no point in considering it further. It seems like it should work. I don't know why it doesn't.

Conversely, I like Sweet Galaxy a lot better than I probably ought to; I think I like each of the words separately, but don't care for them together.

Sweetie Darling is apparently another one of those names that's just going to come up over and over until I use it, though I think it might actually be more appropriate for an orange seedling, as I think of Edina Monsoon as wearing orange a lot more than I think of her as wearing pink.4 And if I've got a name that works for difficult to name orange seedlings, that I like well enough to keep considering, I suppose it should go to an orange seedling.5

I Miss You (also) seems a little melancholy. Not the worst thing ever, but it's not like I'm missing anybody in particular right now.

I was sort of interested in Vintage Ribbons, because it's true that cactus petals in general, and Schlumbergera petals specifically, have a sort of satiny quality to them. I can't point to anything about the name that makes it a bad fit, exactly, but I don't think it works for me.

If you have a crystal of aluminum oxide (corundum) that's colored blue by impurities, it's called a sapphire. If it's red, it's called a ruby. Padparadscha is what you get when the impurities tint it pink, orange, or colors in between. The search results from DuckDuckGo mostly lean pink, even light pink, whereas Google's results run a little darker and oranger, but the bloom is within the range of colors accepted as padparadscha, either way. This name made the list of finalists, in my first draft of this post, but I chose Cupcake because 1) Padparadscha is a pain to type, and 2) I'm trying to keep a lid on the number of non-English words. Which turn out to be sort of the same reason, in the long run.6

And that's maybe as good a reason as any to throw out Ciao, while we're at it, though it's common enough and short enough that I doubt it would cause the same problems.

The third finalist in the first draft was Rooster (also, also), which I find both off-putting and appealing. The color isn't actually a very good match (though the shape kind of is; the serration of the multiple petals kind of mimics the shape of a rooster's comb), but with allowances made for varying lighting conditions, sure, why not. I'm reluctantly leaving it off the list this time, more because I like all three remaining options better than because I have a specific problem with Rooster. Though I acknowledge that Rooster is silly and nonsensical and also possibly misleading as to color.

So that leaves us just the finalists, all from the emergency list. Pink Disco Trilobite was considered and rejected for 074A Vroom; Raspberry Possum was considered for 078A Art Party; Saltwater Taffy is a brand-new option.

I like all three, but since I have to drop two of them, Pink Disco Trilobite is longest (and maybe also a little inaccurate: I wouldn't say the flower is primarily pink), and while I love Saltwater Taffy the food, the name isn't actually specific about the color at all. I mean, I've seen green saltwater taffy before. So I guess this one is Raspberry Possum, which kind of surprises me, but the alternative is to write this post a third time. And I do not want to write this post a third time, so I will live with Raspberry Possum.


1 It made me happy to realize that, a year ago, I predicted this.
2 208A resembles the red/pinks 054A Helpful Gesture and 078A Art Party, and maybe also 074A Vroom; 217A resembles the orange-red/whites like 079A Yayoi Kusama and 099B Karma Cobra. 212A is yet another orange. I mean, it's a nice orange, but it's still just an orange.
3 And if nothing else, I should also have seedlings from the NOID white (numbers 118-142) and NOID magenta (169-194) coming up this year or next. I'm a little surprised that none of them have tried to bloom already.
4 (Image search mostly backs me up on this.)
5 Though this might be a good moment to mention that there's going to be another Absolutely Fabulous movie, to be released in July. Whether it will be any good or not is still an open question: the trailer spends like 45 seconds setting up a punchline that never actually arrives and I have no idea what they're trying to accomplish with it.
Also people are upset about a Caucasian actor being hired to play an Asian character, in the AbFab movie. There are a number of ways that could be executed, not all of them necessarily bad (though I am admittedly hard-pressed to think of a way in which an Asian character named "Huki Muki," portrayed by a Scottish actress, might wind up striking a blow against racism), but it sure looks like they're doing that thing people do nowadays where you put something in your movie that you know will upset someone, so they protest, and then you get free publicity when the press covers the protest. I mean, even if you think political correctness is all a bunch of crap and everybody's getting offended over nothing all the time, it's a little irksome that this works well enough to have become an actual marketing strategy. (It's not my actual position that political correctness is bullshit, though I feel like lately I'm seeing both the cynical insertion of offensive material in order to get free publicity for one's product, and, less often, the reverse, where advocacy groups get free publicity for their cause by objecting loudly to a perfectly innocent element of some popular cultural product. Both wind up perpetuating prejudice and discrimination, for the sake of a cynical grab at more money. It's gross.)
If I hear in July that this is actually a brilliant subversion of yellowface or something, then fine, maybe I'll watch anyway. But I'm not optimistic. (Rumor even has it that the character is intended to resemble Yayoi Kusama, and if they're mocking Kusama then I'm even more offended, because Kusama is awesome. Like, I pretty much want to grow up to be Yayoi Kusama.)
Which is another reason to hold off on Sweetie Darling; by July, I may not even still like Jennifer Saunders.
6 As I've explained before, I actually tend to like non-English words better than English ones, everything else being equal. I mean what are the odds that English just happens to have the most appealing word for every concept? Pretty damn slim.
There are two main problems with using a lot of non-English seedling names: one, because I haven't seen the words as often, it takes me a little longer to skim past them in a list, because there's that brief moment of what the fuck? for each unfamiliar word. (I do eventually get used to them. I barely trip on 035A Patito at all anymore.) The second reason is that I'm not sure but what having a non-English name might be a sales liability. Like, has no one ever requested 019A Belevenissen because it photographs poorly, or is it because nobody wants to try to type "belevenissen?" And Padparadscha is also a four-syllable, twelve-letter non-English word.
(To an English speaker, "belevenissen" looks like it should be the five-syllable bell-uh-ven-ISS-un, but I looked into it last year and it seems to actually be pronounced something like buh-lay-von-SUN; it more or less rhymes with "delay Johnson," though it's stressed differently.)

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