Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 093

Seedling 093A is the one the husband got to name. Wasn't sure exactly how to do this: I didn't want to make him write a whole blog post on his own, but I did want there to be some kind of explanation for how he chose the name, which I figured was probably better in his own words. After all, the whole point of doing it was to give y'all some time in someone else's head, since I figure you're probably getting bored with mine.

But. The TinEye process is long and boring, and if the husband had to go through the photos by himself, the most likely outcome was that he'd pick a bunch of names I'd already seen and rejected 700 times, which would make this whole experiment no fun for me, so . . . I did the TinEye thing for him, and presented him with a list of 32 names and said, pick one. (Not one of the terrible ones.)

This is the seedling he got to name:

And these are the TinEyed names he was given to work with:

Sisterhood Crossed Paths Heat Signature Vulcan Boiled Cranberries Saxophone Michelada1 Love Story Proposal Griffin Flamingo Burlesque Hot Bird Postmodernist Foursquare Late Afternoon Dismayed Angel2 Screw Aerodynamics Dolly Parton Seahorse Torch (or Torch and Pitchfork) Gramophone Beach House Can't Remember Jupiter Silence Bangle Rundown Barn Work in Progress End of Days Coral-Friend Warped Spicule

And here are his comments on those names:3

Sisterhood: Meh.
Crossed Paths: It works for hybrid plants.
Heat Signature: I don’t know why, but for some reason it reminds me of the practice of using cold temps to force blooms.
Vulcan: Initially the name had emotional appeal, but the nomenclature is illogical.
Boiling Cranberries: Gross.
Extreme Saxophones:4 I suppose the blossoms could resemble saxophones. The "extreme" is too exaggerated. I suppose you could jazz up the name by adding a color like, Red Saxophones.
Michelada: It makes me think of an unappealing drink.5
Love Story: The blossoms take on a "bizarre mating ritual" quality. I think I like this name.
Proposal: I would recommend a name that describes the plant in more detail.
Griffin: The mythological beast associations don’t work. If you think of the blossom as an open mouth and stamen as microphone the Kathy "Griffin" name could work. I suppose there is the more obvious hair color reference.6
Flamingo Burlesque: Flamingo Burlesque is my personal favorite. Though I suppose people think of flamingos as being pink.7
Hot Bird: it's good, makes me think it is a sexy cousin of the Bird of Paradise.8
Postmodernist: It is a little abstract, but I like it. My impression is that the color is too bright for postmodern art.
Foursquare: I can’t get past my associations with the Foursquare Evangelical Church.9
Late Afternoon: The orange colors of sunsets occur in the evening.
Dismayed Angel: Seems like the name should belong solely to the photo it is inspired from.

Screw Aerodynamics: It works for that particular car, but not for such a delicate plant and blossom.
Dolly Parton: It is too obscene.10
Seahorse: It reminds me of the ads in the back of comic books.
Torch or Torch and Pitchfork: Overly dramatic.
Gramophone: It totally works, I like the sound of it, maybe even add a color like "Coral Gramophone."
Beach House: Adding the word "sunset" to make "Beach House Sunset" could work, but then the name is too long
Can’t Remember: Too vague.
Jupiter: Jupiter is a cool name on its own, but I think of the planet Jupiter having white, yellow, orange, and brown stripes. Maybe the red planet of Mars is more applicable.
Silence: Sorry, I’m not getting anything.
Bangle: The bracelet doesn’t fit. The color of a Bengal Tiger is closer, but still not quite there.
Rundown Barn: Color palette is close.
Work in Progress: Description needs more development.
End of Days: Too radical.
Coral-Friend: This name has potential.
Warped: Well I’m not quite sure it fits.
Spicule: It does express an explosion of color.

In the end, his first, second, and third choices were: Flamingo Burlesque, Vulcan, and Gramophone, with Saxophone as an honorable mention, so 093A gets to be Flamingo Burlesque.

As is probably clear from footnote 10, I would have chosen Dolly Parton, had the decision been up to me personally. Had the name been a collaborative effort, we'd probably have wound up at Vulcan, because even though it wasn't either of our first choices, it was his #2 and somewhere in my top five. But I can live with Flamingo Burlesque.

Dolly Parton will of course be transferred to the list of emergency names, where it will come up over and over again until some lucky seedling actually gets it.11


1 I'm pretty sure that I had not settled on, or even thought of, 102A Michonne when I made this list. It would obviously be a little confusing to have two names that began with the same four letters.
2 The photographer titled it "little angel," and technically it is, but when I look at the photo, I mostly see "dismayed."
3 He's concerned that you'll think that he just hates everything and is mean, so I should note that he was encouraged to find things to be critical of, this being the only way that's ever worked for me to narrow down a long list of name options. (It comes more naturally to me, of course, as I actually do hate everything and actually am mean.)
4 "But Extreme Saxophones wasn't the name you were supposed to consider; where did you even get the 'extreme' part from?"
"It was on the Flickr photo. Sorry."
5 And holy cow is he right -- I don't necessarily object to the lime juice, salt, spices, and peppers, depending on the specific spices and the relative proportions of everything, but throwing a beer on top of all that just sounds dreadful. (When I drank, I was never able to develop a taste for beer. Granted that I wasn't trying very hard, but I found it pretty repulsive.)
6 It had not occurred to me that the name could have anything to do with (comedian) Kathy Griffin until I read this comment; I was going totally off the mythological-creature associations. He's right that it fits Kathy better than the creature.
7 The thing is, though, that flamingos are actually orange (or coral, or peach). Not only do they show up all the time in the TinEye results for orange seedlings, but orange flamingos outnumber pink ones in regular image search results by at least 2 to 1, and many of the pink flamingos that do appear in searches are lawn ornaments, paintings/drawings, or photographs that have obviously been processed heavily to make the flamingos pink.
8 Better than my mental image: some older, sluttier cousin of Big Bird's.
9 Which is a thing. One set of my grandparents went to a Foursquare church for a while, and I went with them at least once; my main memory of it is that I was intensely bothered by the font they used for a Bible quotation on the main stage, which had such elaborate y's that I thought they looked like p's. So God was the same "pesterdap, todap, and forever." I doubt I thought about anything else the entire time we were in there.
"Pesterdap" is a good word, though. Not sure what it means, but I feel like it should be a thing.
10 "WHAT??!?!," I asked. "HOW DARE YOU."
"The photo is pretty gross," he replied. [It's probably not technically unsafe for work, if you're curious, but he's correct to observe that it's in bad taste.]
"Well, yeah, I guess, but you're not choosing the pictures, you're choosing the words. I just can't even. How could you."
"Don't apologize to me! Apologize to Dolly, and just pray that she forgives you."
11 I realize as I end this post that I haven't actually made a case for the awesomeness of Dolly Parton, and have been talking about her as if we were all already in agreement about her awesomeness. If you're not, try reading her Wikipedia entry and see if it doesn't get you on board. Or watch 9 To 5. Or Steel Magnolias. Search the internet for memorable Dolly Parton quotes. ("I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb. And I also know that I'm not blonde.") You'll find something. Plus by all accounts, she's delightful in person, one of our few genuinely nice celebrities.


Virginia Burton said...

I'm glad that your husband got to name something, considering half of his house is devoted to plants.

Did he enjoy the process of selecting names? Would he ever like to post about what it's like living with so many plants that are not, specifically, in his care? Does he feel like a stepparent? Does he have favorites?

mr_subjunctive said...

Virginia Burton:

The idea has been floated before of him doing a post, or me asking him questions in an interview-style post. He didn't give me an emphatic no, but seemed a little puzzled by the idea that he might actually have anything to say on the subject; at least some of this, I'd guess, is because he's been living with an increasing number of plants for such a long time that living with a thousand or so plants is a perfectly normal thing that doesn't deserve comment, though I suppose I'd have to confirm that with him.

We have had discussions of the plants as a Problem before; in particular, there's a slowly-increasing issue with mold on and around the windows, from condensation during the winter, and it's not clear what can or should be done about that exactly. So neither of us see the plants as 100% positive.

I don't know that he has favorites exactly, but once in a while, he'll comment on a specific plant as being especially vivid or striking or whatever. (The last such instance was a couple months ago, about Anthurium 0329 "Gladys Panzarov.")

It's easier to think of a specific plant he doesn't like, the big Ficus benjamina that I got a long time ago from a neighbor because it had outgrown her place. (It's not that he has anything against the plant specifically, but it's so big that there's only one place in the house where it can live, and he doesn't like it being there. It's not my favorite either, but attempts to sell it on Craigslist have failed so far, and I would feel especially bad about just killing it outright, considering how it got here, so I keep watering it, and keep hoping that someday it can move along to some other household with more space for it.)

Anyway. I'll run the idea past him and see what he says, but I'm guessing, based on the other occasions when the idea has arisen, that it probably won't happen.

Virginia Burton said...

What about donating the Ficus to an old folks home? Or the library? Or a hospital lobby?

I'm not one to talk--I have two 40+ year old Philodendron selloums that I raised from tiny babies and don't even like any more and that take up too much space, but I can't make myself get rid of them.

mr_subjunctive said...

Virginia Burton:

There are two main issues with donating it somewhere. One is that we no longer have a vehicle capable of transporting it; two is that the plant is, in theory, worth a lot, if only we could find someone who wanted it.[1] As long as it stays where it is and isn't causing an actual crisis, there's no reason not to hold out hope of selling it at some point down the line.


[1] The husband actually has put it on Craigslist a few times, with funny results. Priced it at $55 for a while, got a response, lady wanted to know if we could come down on the price to $35. He asked me if I was willing to do that, and I was like Jesus Christ, I paid $20 for the pot alone, tell her no deal.

So he did. Time passed. Then she wrote again, asking once if we would come down to $35 for it. And again, no deal.

This happened another time or two, and then I was like, maybe the problem is that we're asking too little for it, and people think there must be something wrong with it or something. So we changed it to $82 and reposted.

And the same woman e-mailed him to ask if he'd be willing to come down to $55.

When we stopped laughing, I told him to tell her sure, that would be great. And we were both very excited about the prospect of sending it off to another house.

Then she wanted to know if we could deliver it to her house. The husband said no, we don't have a big enough car, you'll have to come here. Several days of silence, then he got a message from her asking if we could deliver it to her house.

At which point I was like, ugh, just stop replying to her, she is clearly not actually reading anything you say. And he did, contrary to traditional humorous story rhythms.

Pattock said...

Can I suggest that a pesterdap could be one of those little bits of cotton wool or tissue that one uses to spot poisons on scale insect?

Vulcan might be logical if you knew that clone had great longevity and grew abundantly.

Dolly is a true star. I would have written that quote here if you hadn't already. I don't know why she helps so many British children to get books but there a lot of people grateful she does.

Chingachgook said...

Yes. Whatever a PesterdaP turns out to be, I'm totally in favor. At least you could read the word. Sorta. I always failed when I tried to decode the writing on the old-time Scripture Cars, which made me feel somehow Scurvied and Godless. Sigh.

Oh. An anthurium stopped me dead in my tracks at my local Raleys supermarket last Monday. It's the one from your post of Friday, March 6, 2015, complete with the saddle-spathes. But no Costa Farms or Exotic Angel label. The takeaway? Reno NV is horticulturally only 11 months behind Iowa. Who'da thunk?

For real: thanks. I've enjoyed your blog ever since I was lured in by your post on Leuchtenbergia principis, which has been hanging out at my apt almost a year, but not sharing much.

I appreciate you and what you put in to this.