Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 054 (again)

Seedling 054A is "Helpful Gesture," one of the first seedlings to bloom, and one I really like. I'd figured that was all I was getting from pot 054, but it surprised me: a few orange buds started showing up in the pot ("Helpful Gesture" buds are magenta1), and it eventually became apparent that I would have a second seedling to name.

054B's color is along the same lines as 022A "Sad Tomato," a red-orange with a white tube. When compared side-by-side, 054B is a bit lighter and redder than "Sad Tomato," though it's subtle.

For this seedling, TinEye gave me 34 possible names, which I narrowed down to 10. Before I get to the name-selection, I want to take a moment to spotlight Butterfly Yoga Fertility. It's not under consideration as a possible name, but it's certainly the most extreme example of whatever it is that I've seen in a very long time.

In alphabetical order, the ten contenders:

Alberta (also)
Blood Orange
Cloud Six
Danger Shield
Fourth Amendment
Napkin Witch
Red Grapefruit (also)

So. A quick citrus-based image search reveals that this bloom is much closer in color to Red Grapefruit than to Blood Orange. So Blood Orange is out. (Though how cool would a blood-orange-colored Schlumbergera bloom be?)

Danger Shield appealed less and less the more time I spent thinking about it, so that was easy to eliminate from the list as well.

I reluctantly took a pass on Napkin Witch because, although it's certainly memorable and colorful, and I'm intrigued by the possible meanings (a witch who specializes in the manipulation of napkins and napkin-related paraphernalia? a sentient, two-dimensional witch who lives within the confines of a napkin?), the whole witch thing is just too fraught. There's no way I use that name without it eventually causing a problem.2

The Fourth Amendment3 is one of our better amendments, and certainly worth honoring, but involving politics at all is probably not a good idea either. Also I'm a little worried that in twenty years the name would read more like (In Loving Memory of the) Fourth Amendment, though I suppose that's not a reason to reject it as a possible name.

Onward has a nice optimistic, determined kind of sound to it, without being overly precious or cloying, but it's a little abstract. And it's not like "onward" is even always a good thing: sometimes you'd prefer not to move on but you don't actually get a choice. So I can lose this one too.

And Wildfire, though very color-appropriate, seems like the sort of name that's probably already been done by somebody.

After pondering Cloud Six for a while, I suspect I would find it annoying later down the road. Don't know why.

Which leaves Alberta, Red Grapefruit, and Boomerang.

Boomerang is a fine word, and concept, and more things should be named after boomerangs, but I'm discarding it because I can't come up with a reason why it fits, like I can with the other two. Like, maybe it'd be a good name for some Schlumbergera seedling sometime, but it doesn't feel right for this particular Schlumbergera seedling.

Red Grapefruit, on the other hand, fits in a totally obvious and straightforward way: the flower is exactly the same color as most of the pictures of red grapefruit that come up when you do an image search. It's basically perfect.

Then there's Alberta, which doesn't make any more sense than Boomerang did; however, I have some weird synesthetic thing happening where this bloom and the word "Alberta" are both the same color. Except I'm not actually synesthetic.

Also I've never been to Alberta, and don't personally know anyone from Alberta, and have no real connection to Alberta whatsoever, at least until k. d. lang and I become close personal friends like I assume is going to happen one of these days.4

Given the choice between a relatively straightforward description of a color, and a name that could only make sense to me (not that it does, but I'm the only person it could conceivably make sense to), I'm inclined to go with the latter. So Alberta it is.


1 All the seedlings' buds start out either pale peach or magenta. Peach buds always turn orange; magenta buds usually turn orange but are occasionally red.
2 Maybe it's an Iowa thing, I don't know, but I worked with one woman, who, upon hearing of my plans to move to the Iowa City area, expressed concern, and said she would never live there "because of all the witches," as if everybody already knew that the city was full of, I don't know, stillborn livestock and withered crops or something.
And then at a later job, I was asked, in total seriousness, whether I "believed in Harry Potter." (I have not read any of the Harry Potter series.) I was so thrown by the question that I think I managed to stammer out something like, well there's not, uh. Anything to believe in, really? I mean they're, like, books? For children? and he let the subject drop. And I don't think we ever tried to have any kind of non-work conversation ever again, though I might be misremembering that part.
3 "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
4 (I would also accept Nathan Fillion or Tricia Helfer. Possibly in a pinch Joni Mitchell, but for some reason I feel like she probably wouldn't like me, which ruins the fantasy.)

No comments: