Thursday, September 6, 2018

Schlumbergera seedlings: assorted

Seedling 227A was the second 'Exotic Dancer' seedling to bloom; the first was 226A Be Not Afraid. I'm not sure how I feel about 227A. The coloration is very similar to the magenta / red / orange / white group of seedlings, like 106A Jaws Of Elmo or 079A Yayoi Kusama, but the "red" is a softer, pinker red. It's possible that this is a fluke; I only got two flowers, both kind of . . . rustic,1 so the color may not be typical. But it's all we have to go on for the moment.

Name finalists: Fruit Filling, Maraschino, On A Galloping Horse, Realsome.

Fruit Filling and Maraschino are both references to the color, and probably don't need further explanation. On A Galloping Horse is something I encountered at MetaFilter. The quote (from MeFite agatha_magatha) is:
I quote a friend who works in visual merchandising, "Done is beautiful," whenever I get too caught up in crossing every t and dotting every i—I often pair it with my grandma Jesse’s saying, "it will never be noticed on a galloping horse," which applies specifically to less than perfect housekeeping.

Not sure why being on horseback is such a go-to metaphor for being sort of hasty, slapdash, and unconsidered (see Horseback Opinion), but it is.

And then Realsome is a good substitute for my hated usage of "rustic." Found it in the dialect dictionary (previous explanation of the dialect dictionary). It was heard in 1896, in Parker County, Texas, as an antonym for "ideal."

Really, without the thrips damage, this would be fine. Just bad timing on the plant's part, I think, to bloom in the middle of thrips season.

So Maraschino obviously wants a seedling that's a more vivid red, like 241A Pat Benatar, perhaps. And Fruit Filling is fine, but it just doesn't do it for me at the moment, I don't know why. Perhaps because nothing's getting filled here.

This was the second bloom; I don't know why the stamens are stuck together.

Between On A Galloping Horse and Realsome, I guess the latter is more abstract, and the former would apply better if the seedling wound up blooming more attractively in the future. When I started writing this post, I was pretty sure that it was going to be On A Galloping Horse. But that was before I got distracted by "rustic," and so I feel kind of like I should try to make Realsome a thing.2 So, I guess, 226A Realsome, but with the option to change the name within the next few days, if I decide I don't like it after all.

Seedling 248A is, um, also a bit realsome. Only got one flower, and then only one photo of that one flower,

so it's not like we're working with a ton of information about what it's like. I still don't understand why sometimes the petals lower down on the flower fail to open. But it's clearly orange, and maybe that's all we need to know.

The names: I Can But Choose Not To, Stage Whisper, Underfunded, and Wee Bairn.

I Can But Choose Not To is a perhaps overly snotty reference to the bloom failing to open fully. Wee Bairn3 alludes to the flower's size, which indeed was unusually small. Stage Whisper is kind of a nice metaphor for a flower that is simultaneously trying to show itself (bright orange) and hide itself (only partly open, tiny), as stage whispers are meant to be heard while also giving the impression of quiet. Underfunded posits that maybe the flower meant to open, but just ran out of money to complete construction.

Not going to go into the full thought process, but: I think I'm most satisfied with the metaphor of Stage Whisper, so let's go with 248A Stage Whisper.

143A is a seedling from the NOID peach, which I don't even need to tell you, because the color is so clearly pale orange.

Names are: An Error Occurred, Big Mama Thornton, Short-Sheeted, and Sweet-Grape.

It's probably not true that An Error Occurred, though between the unexpected color and the incomplete development, it sure is tempting to think one could have. Short-Sheeted is also a reference to the inadequate development, though this is nowhere near the color I think of when I think of bedsheets, so I'm going to drop it just based on that.

Big Mama Thornton is the rhythm-and-blues singer, most famous for having recorded "Hound Dog" before Elvis did it, but she also wrote "Ball And Chain," which Janis Joplin made a hit in 1967-68. This video of Thornton performing "Hound Dog" live is kind of amazing. Turns out that the original lyrics make a lot more sense than Elvis's rabbit-catching foolishness.

Sweet-Grape is another name from the dialect dictionary, reported from the Tennessee mountains in 1938. It means a friend; the antonym "sour-grape" for an enemy is in the dictionary as well. And I should probably show you the second bloom, because Sweet-Grape will make a lot more sense then:

Since the second bloom was a lot more normal-looking than the first,4 I'm inclined to drop An Error Occurred and Short-Sheeted. And although I love Big Mama Thornton, I'm also surprisingly fond of Sweet-Grape, specifically for this seedling, because there's so little white at the base of the petals. That may or may not be genetic; I won't know until it's bloomed quite a few more times. In any case, I'm surprised by how conflicted I am about this: I was expecting Big Mama Thornton to be the only obvious choice.

In the end, I suppose 143A Big Mama Thornton still is the best choice. But I do want there to be a nice, well-behaved magenta/white soon so I can name it Sweet-Grape.

Finally, we have seedling 406A. White/white, but in a good way:

Not a lot to be said about it, really: it's obviously a seedling from the NOID white, and it may be one of the better white seedlings, but I'm not awarding it any points for originality. The names: Carrie Fisher, Deliver Us From Evil, Flock Of Wolves, Unmarked Vehicle.

Carrie Fisher was previously considered for 095B Pele's Lipstick; I think a white seedling suits her better, considering that she's best known for Princess Leia, and Leia usually wore white.5

Deliver Us From Evil is an always-timely bit from the Lord's Prayer.

Flock Of Wolves is a TV Tropes category,6 referring to multiple groups infiltrating one group without being aware of one another's presence. It's sort of like, there are so many wolves in sheep's clothing that it becomes difficult to find any actual sheep. This is also always timely, but in a different way.

Unmarked Vehicles don't have to be white vans -- and in reality, apparently they are almost never white nor vans -- but on TV, they often are. Which makes the name seem appropriate for a white seedling.7

So. Not all that interested in Unmarked Vehicle; it's fine but seems a little bland. And Deliver Us From Evil is maybe a little . . . earnest? I don't feel especially earnest at the moment.

Which leaves Carrie Fisher or Flock Of Wolves, both of which are probably best-suited to a white seedling, but only Flock Of Wolves actually has to be white. Plus it's a bit newer to me, so I'm still amused by it. Therefore 406A Flock Of Wolves.


1 I'd like to take the moment to complain about "rustic." It's always, I guess, meant something like "unrefined and amateurish" in addition to the primary, original meaning of "from the country; rural." Rural tastes are not any less sophisticated or exacting than those of urbanites (it's just that the urbanites are the ones deciding what sophisticated is, because they make all the TV and print all the magazines and etc.), so it's a little offensive to those of us who live in the country. But I'm even more irritated when people use it as a euphemism for "that looks like crap," as I hear occasionally on television now. Most recently this was on The Great British Baking Show (originally "Bake Off," but you can't use "bake-off" for baking competitions in the U.S. because Pillsbury owns the trademark), but that's not the only place.
How much do I actually care about this? Not very much, obviously, since I'm willing to use it myself in this post. But I do notice when other people say it, and it rubs me the wrong way.
2 (It is obviously not going to become a thing.)
3 (mainly-Scottish dialect for "small child;" see Wikipedia for "bairn")
4 The bud in the background of that photo dropped without opening, so there is no third bloom to consider.
5 Though she may be more famous for the gold bikini. Which is a conversation I do not wish to have right now.
6 Oh yeah -- I've started looking to TV Tropes lately: their category titles are frequently about the right length and level of familiarity to work well as seedling names.
7 'Cause you can only consider just so many names about snow, ice, fog, and clouds. White names are both easy (lots of different water-related things that are white, and each water-related thing has a bunch of names and idioms that go along with it) and hard (just not that many white things that aren't about water on one level or another).

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