Saturday, April 23, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 217

Assuming that there's no last-minute bloom from one of the yet-to-bloom seedlings, 217 looks to be the last of the non-orange flowers from this year. And it's a nice one: similar to 106A Jaws of Elmo or 079A Yayoi Kusama. I suppose if I see enough red-orange-white seedlings like this, I'll get bored with them eventually, but we're not there yet.

For names, nothing really leaps out at me, so let's go with the category thing again. That's been working out okay.

Color: Cosmopolitan. I've never had a cosmopolitan so I'm not sure what they look like in real life, but the photos that come up in an image search are mostly red or orange-red, with a twist of orange peel, so the colors are at least an approximate match. It's at least the best color match I'm going to get for Cosmopolitan this year.

Shape: it's kind of cheating, I suppose, but the one and only flower on seedling 217 was way out on the end of a long stem, dangling by itself, which means that I had to photograph it head-on more than usual, which led me to think of the Frilled Lizard, Chlamydosaurus kingii. Looking at photos in image searches, they're really not that similar,1 but shape-related seedling names are hard to come by so I'm going to keep it in the mix.

Previously-considered was a hard choice; the list of previously-considered names keeps getting longer. I decided to go with Retoreto, the Rapa Nui word for bright, flaming red, which was previously (sort of) considered for 102 Michonne.

Pop-cultural is also getting increasingly difficult and I may have to come up with a new category soon; the best I could come up with for this seedling was Clifford, after the Clifford the Big Red Dog series by Norman Bridwell.

And finally, the Whatever category. My family moved from Iowa to Texas after I finished fifth grade. I exchanged letters a few times with some of the friends I left in Iowa, but, you know, sixth-graders: not great on follow-through. So I lost touch with them. Roughly twenty years later, a coworker who had just finished her shift paged her boyfriend up to the front because she was about to leave, and I was like, did you page [name]? Is that the same [name] who used to go to school in [town]? And long story short, we wound up getting briefly reacquainted. He and my coworker had a band together, just the two of them, which was called Blood Frenzy, because at some point when he was young he'd thought that that would be a good band name and so had kept it in his back pocket just waiting for a chance to name a band all those years.2 And so my husband and I wound up seeing a Blood Frenzy show (neither bloody nor particularly frenzied, for the record), and we had a good time, though I quit the job shortly after that, or my coworker did, and so I didn't wind up seeing him again.3 But in any case, I'm going to consider Blood Frenzy as one of my name options.

Okay. So. First to go is Clifford, because I was never a fan of the books (Yes, the dog is big and red. So what?), because Clifford is a single flat red, not red with some orange and a hint of magenta like the flower, and because any red flower being named Clifford after the dog should also be larger than average.

And then we can lose Frilled Lizard too. Even making allowances for whimsy, the resemblance is just not that strong.

All three of the remaining options are sort of problematic. If I look at just the colors, Comsmopolitan is the best match, because I'm not 100% certain what colors any of the Rapa Nui words for "red" are actually referring to, and blood is pretty consistently, you know, blood-colored. Not exactly a match for the flower here.

On the other hand, Blood Frenzy is the most sentimentally appealing, obviously. I have mild negative associations with Cosmopolitan, as an adjective,4 beverage,5 and magazine6 and no emotional reaction to Retoreto at all.

So, since Retoreto isn't the best name of the three by either standard, we can lose it. (Maybe it'll be back next year.) And given the choice between Cosmopolitan and Blood Frenzy, I guess I'm not feeling all that sophisticated. Ergo, Blood Frenzy.


1 Because of the colors, obviously. But also the frilled lizard's frills tend to be more horizontal than vertical, and the seedling photos are more vertical than horizontal. For some reason I was imagining it more vertical.
2 The internet tells me it is also related to a lot of games, though most of them were created well after the story was supposed to take place. A better bet for the origin of the name is a horror movie from 1987, though I didn't ask.
3 Though, hey, if you're him and you've run across this blog post somehow, get in touch; it'd be fun to hang out sometime. My e-mail's near the top of the sidebar.
4 Because it's often contrasted with "rural," "unsophisticated," "country," and the like. I get defensive.
5 Because isn't Sex in the City responsible for making cosmopolitans popular? I don't hate the show exactly, but I never really understood why it was a big deal. Surely it wasn't news that sometimes single women had sex, sometimes felt feelings about the sex, and then discussed those feelings with other single women?
6 Though I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to mention this series of posts (link probably not safe for work) critiquing the largely-terrible sex and relationship advice to be found in Cosmopolitan. The Pervocracy (link definitely not safe for work) appears to be defunct as of late 2014, so the series is no longer being updated, but some of the cosmocking posts are fun.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pretty picture: Dendrobium cucullatum

This was tagged as Dendrobium pierardii, and we've seen it as D. pierardii in 2013, but it's an orchid so of course the name's changed.

Don't really have anything new to say about it; I found it less appealing in 2016 than in 2013 but that probably says more about me than about the plant. If you find it interesting, the 2013 post is still relevant (except for the name).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Anthurium no. 0423 "Georgeanne D'Dragon"

All things considered, I'm not too upset with Georgeanne. I mean, considering that she's from one of the "bad" sibling groups,1 this is pretty good:

Some thrips scarring, sure, but we've seen worse. Similarly, the foliage has a few blemishes, but it's basically okay:

And I'm genuinely pleased with the overall form of the plant, which is pretty compact and seems to be suckering well:

Two and a half weeks after first opening, the bloom looked like this:

And that's still pretty much what it looks like after seven weeks, so at least the bloom is long-lived. Georgeanne isn't the most amazing seedling ever, but there's no compelling reason to throw her out. So she's a keeper for now; I'll revisit the decision later and see how I feel then.

In other Anthurium-seedling news, I finally have a first bud from one of 'Peppermint Gemini's seedlings, 0610 Nina Levin. No sign of speckling so far.

So oh well. I suppose there is technically hope until her spathe opens, but it seems like the bud is large enough now that speckling would be obvious. So oh well. Things are not looking great for the other seedlings of 'Peppermint Gemini' either. [depressing footnote redacted]


1 Defined as groups BF ('Gemini' / 23 October 2013) and BH ('White Gemini' / 23 October 2013); not every BF/BH seedling has been awful, but taken as a group they're pretty sucky.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 212

212A is more special than it looks; it's the second of three seedlings so far that weren't sown in 2012.1 I mean, it's still orange / white and everything, and it's the least interesting of the 2014 batch. But it's okay. Photographs pretty well.

I originally intended to follow standard procedure for naming it -- generate a short list of options and then nitpick them down to one -- but then on Wednesday I ran into a video involving Molly Ivins, and pretty much decided after watching it that this seedling had to be named after her.2

The video is definitely not safe for (most) work. It includes, from the very first second of the video, uncensored shots of anatomically explicit sex toys educational models, adult language, and footage taken from the Texas State Legislature as it deliberated on bills related to the criminalization of sodomy. I mean, that last thing's not especially explicit, but it's awfully embarrassing, and you don't want your co-workers to hear you cringe.

The point is, definitely do watch the video, because the punch line is good,3 but maybe wait until you're home.

Here it is (the main story begins at 3:00; I recommend stopping at 8:17):


1 The first being 208A Raspberry Possum. The last was 217A, which will be in the next Schlumbergera post.
2 (The name Molly Ivins had previously been considered and rejected for 056A Demons Begone and 089A Halloween Moon. In the first case, I rejected it on the grounds that Ivins' hair was never that orange, and I was holding out for a more color-appropriate seedling; I have decided that I'm not going to let that bother me this time.)
3 Having read the story as written by Ivins long ago, I knew the punchline already, but I was spellbound by the footage from the Texas Lege anyway so I still considered the video worth the time.