Saturday, September 23, 2017

Anthurium no. 1634 "Helena Handbag"

So, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the average quality of the photos I post here will probably, and I stress probably, improve in the next few months. The bad news is that A) it might not, B) even if it does I'm not sure you'll actually notice, and C) it's because the camera I'd been using for the last few years abruptly died on me this week and I've been scrambling to find an affordable new one.1

I have posts scheduled, and the photos for those posts have already been taken, but it looks like I'm going to have trouble writing the text to go with the photos for a while, because the camera-replacement process has eaten up a lot of time and energy and now I'm behind on watering and everything else. And I still have to figure out how to use the new camera. So I expect the post frequency to fall off for a while, until everything's back to some approximation of normal.

But for today, we have Helena. "Helena Handbag" is one of those drag names that gets a lot of use but doesn't belong to any particular performer. The sort of name you come up with on Halloween night when you're in drag at the karaoke bar, waiting your turn to rock out to Alanis Morisette's "You Oughta Know" or whatever. So I could probably dig up a video or a web page or something having something to do with Helena Handbag, but it'd be pointless, as there isn't really a Helena Handbag:2 we are all Helena Handbag.3


Helena is another seedling from 0330 Faye Quinette (previously: 1594 Roxy-Cotten Candy), and she resembles her mother pretty strongly. The most obvious difference so far is in the foliage; Helena's is much flatter, with smaller, less visible veining.


Both Faye and Helena have green veins on the backs of the spathes, though it's less intense on Helena. (This may just be a first-bloom thing.)


The full-plant photo is substantially out of date by now; Helena's grown more and larger leaves since it was taken.


In any case. Thrips damage is pretty minimal on the leaves, and the spathes are a color that would hide thrips damage well anyway, but aside from a spot at the top in this photo,


the thrips seem to be leaving the spathe alone anyway. So that's good.

As I've mentioned before, 0330 Faye Quinette isn't doing great lately. The foliage seems to have Xanthomonas, and although it doesn't seem to have gotten to the heart of the plant yet, and it's theoretically possible that the plant will recover if I remove the affected leaves, I'm not terribly optimistic about that. So it's nice to have some similar-looking substitutes like Helena and 1727 Mercedes Sulay around, just in case.


Another seedling from the FE seedling group has bloomed (1679 Madison Adjective -- prettier, but less interesting), but we won't get to it for a while yet.

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1 Which was technically unsuccessful. I found and purchased a new one, but "affordable" is a stretch.
2 Also in this category, as far as I know, are "Ida Slapter," "Robyn Banks," "Heywood Jablome," and pretty much anything you want to pair with Ivana or Anita.
3 More than usual, lately, even.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anthurium no. 1103 "Valeria T."

I'm pretty sure this is one of my own names, and no drag queens currently perform as "Valeria T.," but I still found Twitter, Flickr, Yelp, YouTube, Facebook, and other accounts on-line under this name, so who knows. The intended reference doesn't really have anything to do with anything and isn't even the right color, so 1103's a lot more likely than most seedlings to get her name changed at some point, but she's Valeria for now. And this is what she looks like:


In person, this is a very difficult color to pin down, and it changed over time besides: immediately after opening, it seemed like a very, very pale yellow, but that turned to a pale pink or orange (depending on the lighting), then white, and then greenish. Because it was so pale, I wound up taking a lot of photos, to try to come up with an objective consensus on the actual color, which means I can show you the whole progression:

July 21 (L) and July 24 (R).


August 2 (L) and 10 (R).

August 23 (L) and 26 (R).

September 9 (L) and 17 (R).

I feel like the photos pretty much speak for themselves; I'm not sure what I can add. Obviously I'm pretty happy to have a spathe so large and blistered, and that's before the unusual color, which is maybe -- just maybe -- even yellow. Technically.

Valeria's seed parent was 'Midori;' obviously I'd been hoping for some interesting genetic contributions from 'Midori,' but this is more than I'd hoped for. Both develop a light pink blush near the center of the spathe with age, both have very large, rounded spathes with heavy blistering. The spadix is the only real clue I have to the pollen parent: on 'Midori,' the spadix starts green, becomes white, and then reverts to green, whereas Valeria's progression is yellow-white-green. That's not much of a clue, since about half the Anthuriums that have ever been in the house have had yellow spadices at one point or another, but it's all I've got.

Valeria's foliage also takes after 'Midori' heavily. Both have elongated leaves with large lobes,


both tend to produce a few very big leaves, instead of a lot of smaller ones, and both are very waxy, leading to a slight blue sheen to the leaves sometimes, if you look at them from the right angle. Neither plant offsets worth a damn either.


Valeria's spathe does show some thrips damage in the later photos, but seems to be fairly resistant to thrips all the same -- the damage is mostly just tiny pinpricks that wouldn't even be visible on a darker color; judging from the photos, the one large spot was present as soon as the spathe opened, and might be some other kind of damage, instead of thrips. Not sure.

'Midori' produced three groups of seedlings before dying, the CS, CZ, and DP groups. Valeria T. is the only survivor from CS; none of the CZ seedlings made it, and there are only three DP seedlings (1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess, 1357 Dayonna Hilton, and 1476 Anya), so it's maybe going to be a struggle to keep the 'Midori' genes going. I've tried to pollinate Valeria, but no luck so far. I don't think this means I can't; it probably just means I need to pay more attention. There's a new bud almost open as I write this (19 September), so it looks like I will have an opportunity to try again soon.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Anthurium no. 1419 "Maya Douglas"

The real Maya Douglas would probably not be impressed with her namesake seedling. All I knew about her when I started this post was that she is a pageant queen, and they tend not to be the ones I like the best;1 the stereotype is that they're so focused on achieving a perfect, polished appearance that they are often short on personality or other skills, so I didn't have high expectations when I started poking around on-line. But Maya Douglas is awesome, y'all. Like, I had no idea. Here she is in 2008, lip-synching to "Mercy," by Duffy:2


Adorable. And she's also been doing this forever -- YouTube has videos of her performing that go back to at least 1996, and she was an established presence on the scene before that. Her titles (Ref.): Miss Gay Rochester (New York) 1981,3 Miss Continental 1985, Miss Gay USofA 1995, Texas Entertainer of the Year, F.I. 1997, Universal Show Queen 1999, Miss Krash International 2001, Miss Continental Elite 2006 -- I don't know what most of those things actually are or what sort of prestige they carry, but it's probably safe to say she's a big deal. And she's still making appearances (about about the 6:00 point in this video of 2015 Miss Continental, for example).4

So, like: huge fan, all of a sudden, of Maya Douglas. Which is why it's a little awkward that her seedling is so weird and unpolished-looking:


Now, this is more complex and interesting than it looks, and I'm actually really pleased with it, but if you're unfamiliar with Anthuriums, you wouldn't look at this and think wow, I gotta get me one of those. So, why is it cool anyway?

Well. First of all, it's the first green seedling I've gotten. We've seen orange and green together (0330 Faye Quinette, 1727 Mercedes Sulay); red and green together (0842 Pretty Punasti, 1594 Roxy-Cotten Candy), peach and green together (1299 Sinthia D Meanor), various seedlings with green "ears" on a differently-colored center (1213 Miss Foozie, 1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess, 1224 Perry Watkins), and a lot of seedlings that start out pink or orange and become greener as the spathe ages, but as far as I can tell from the one bloom to date, Maya's aiming for a solid light green. Any seedling can be pretty; unique is much better.


Also, the spathe margins have a little bit of red to them, which is more apparent in some photos than others.


What does this mean? I have no idea. It's pretty normal for pink or red seedlings to have a darker margin, and there have been other light-colored seedlings with a faint, difficult to photograph, pink or red margin (most notably 1293 Power Infiniti), so maybe that's all that's happening here: some gene or group of genes sometimes makes a faint pink or red halo around the margins of the spathe, and Maya happens to have those genes. Though it could also be a sign that the actual color is going to be the muddy brown color you get from mixing green and red. Time will tell.

Maya bloomed while in a 3-inch pot, and was promoted to a 4-inch pot in mid-August. Haven't seen a second bud yet, which is disappointing, though obviously green buds don't jump out at you the same way a red or orange one will, so it's possible that there's one there and I just haven't noticed yet.


I'm looking forward to the second bloom so much; odds are that it will be more or less the same, but sometimes second blooms are different, and it would certainly be nice to know whether the thrips are going to tear up every bloom this seedling produces so badly. The color is also in question: from the bud, I'd been assuming a strong, yellowish, apple-green like 'Midori,' and instead I got a lighter, more delicate minty green.


And like I said, green-brown isn't out of the question. Green-brown would make more sense, actually, considering that the seed parent was 0245 Sawyer Ad.

(0245 Sawyer Ad.)

Unexpected colors appear all the time in seedlings, sure, but I would never have thought that a seedling with so much red could give me offspring with so little red.5 The world would make more sense if Maya's future spathes had a mix of red and green pigments. But I guess we'll see. Personally my fingers are crossed for a green green. I'll accept any shade between mint chocolate chip ice cream and pea soup.

As chewed-up as the inflorescences are, the leaves are weirdly undamaged:



I don't know what to make of that, but the hope is, again, that the first bloom was just atypical, and later ones won't sustain quite as much damage.

Upshot: the story of 1419 Maya Douglas is not yet finished, but the seedling will likely get to stay regardless of what the next bloom looks like, as long as it refrains from getting a severe infestation of scale or ghost mites or something. If the second bloom is pretty, so much the better, but special will be more than adequate.

Very occasionally, I'm lucky enough to get a seedling that's both pretty and special, like 1103 Valeria T., which will be the next post.

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1 There is probably a post or two to be done someday where I explain why I like or care about drag at all, considering that it's something I've never actually done or wanted to do, and I don't go out of my way to find shows to watch. (It's entirely possible that I haven't seen a drag show in person since the late 1990s. I mean, it seems like that couldn't possibly be right, and yet I can't think of anything more recent. The husband and I were planning to see Jujubee in Iowa City several years ago, but we didn't wind up going for reasons I no longer remember. Sorry, Juju.)
2 When I went looking for the song (uncredited on YouTube, so I had to search by lyrics), I discovered that I had completely missed Duffy in 2008 when she was at her hottest. "Mercy" was a top-40 hit in the U.S., and yet I'm pretty sure I'd never heard it before this week.
3 Yes, another Rochesterite. What is it about Rochester?
4 I also enjoyed this video from 2010, where Douglas lip synchs to "Happiness," by Alexis Jordan, though a good chunk of that is because it turns out I like the song. The lip-synching is weird in places; it seems pretty clear that the original audio was replaced for the video (which makes videos much, much more pleasant to watch: other queens please take note, I beg you), and maybe the performed version of the song isn't the one the video uses or something, I don't know. (Also sometimes she's pretty clearly talking to an audience member instead of trying to lip-synch.) In any case, sometimes the lip synch is very tight, and sometimes it's not. But if you can get past that, it's an interesting video too.


And then there's a medley, including "The Way We Were" and Gladys Knight's "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me," which is a little long for my taste but is still well-performed. The word that kept coming to mind is "classy." (It's not quite the word I want, but it's the only one I could come up with.)


And I know sometimes people look at drag and think well what's so impressive about that, it's just somebody wearing a costume and pretending to sing something, what kind of talent do you need to pretend to sing, but something that impresses me about Douglas in these three videos is the way she nails all the details: the outfits go with the songs, the songs go with the wigs, the wigs go with the makeup -- it's all a unified character. She's even adjusting her body language, mannerisms, and facial expressions for each song: it wouldn't have been that difficult to convince me that these were videos of three different (but similar-looking) queens.
And just to be clear, my emphasis on how long Maya's been performing is not in any way intended as shade about how old she must be; I think it's wonderful that she's been so good at this for so long.
5 And, indeed, the only sibling of Maya's to bloom so far is 1493 Kalypso Bang. Kalypso doesn't look like Sawyer either, but at least she makes sense.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Anthurium no. 0886 "Zaria Baudit"

Zaria Baudit, obviously, is best co-planted with Schlumbergera 096A I'm Really Sorry.1


I like Zaria's color, though it feels kind of unlucky. I suppose a lot of the seedlings of any given color wind up getting thrown out, but it feels like the purple-reds and purple-pinks do so more often. Maybe it just feels worse because it's an interesting color.

The leaves are unusually big, which I like,


but thrips are kind of a problem on leaves and spathes both,


so it's probably not a good idea to get too attached to this one.


Zaria's a late first-generation seedling; the seed parent was 'White Gemini.' She's one of the better seedlings from the CB seedling group, though that's not saying a whole lot.2 At this point, it looks like Zaria's the only CB seedling that could live long enough to reproduce, and I wouldn't bet money on that happening. We'll see.

The next post will be about 1419 Maya Douglas. I don't promise beauty, but she's at least something we haven't seen before.

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1 This might actually work, kinda: I treat Anthurium and Schlumbergera similarly. More or less the same soil mix, same watering schedule, same lighting. In the long run, I suspect one plant would crowd out the other, but I bet it would be possible for them to share a pot for a while. If you were into that sort of thing.
Not sure whether the colors go together, though. I mean, I think they look fine --


-- but then a lot of the consensus understanding of what colors go together and which ones clash strikes me as weird and wrong, too, so I'm probably not the best person to evaluate.
2 So far, the other blooming CB seedlings are:
0835 Brenda Dharling (dead because crappy bloom, small bloom, bloom never fully opened, scale)
0892 Eddie Izzard (soon to be dead because the color is boring, spathes are small, there's lots of thrips damage, and I'm not positive but I think Xanthomonas is present too)
0897 Sylvia Womansune (probably going to be discarded soon; the most recent bloom's spathe caught on the spadix and tore, ripping top of the spathe off, and then what was left of the spathe cracked and tattered -- it looks like someone beat it with a golf club)
1095 Carolina Pineforest (dead due to accidental decapitation, spathe never fully opened)
1249 Celeda (fate to be determined, but I don't like her odds: not only was the first bloom small, and the spathe reflexed badly almost as soon as it opened, but the inflorescence was pretty short-lived too, and the leaves have pretty bad thrips damage)
There's only one surviving CB seedling that hasn't tried to bloom yet: 1233 Aquadisiac. It doesn't look like it's ever going to do so. The leaves have substantial thrips damage, and its root system is poor -- at this moment, it's hanging on to the soil by a single root. When I picked it up to look at it, the whole plant flopped and spun around the root, and usually when that happens, the plant winds up decapitating itself sooner or later. (I've tried replanting them to give them a chance to re-root, and I'm not sure that's ever actually worked.) So the CB group looks like it's mostly or totally a bust, depending on what happens with Zaria.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Anthurium no. 1594 "Roxy-Cotten Candy"

Before you ask: yes, that's how it's spelled. I checked. (This is actually pretty smart, because although search engines will try to correct the spelling, if you say no, you stupid search engine, I typed it that way on purpose how dare you question me, almost all the results delivered are actually for the drag queen. Imagine coming up with a way to get a search engine to deliver relevant results! In 2017, no less!)

It took me a while to explain the name. I mean, I had a guess just from reading it, but confirming took more time.

First I came up with a Yahoo! Answers (that is, Yahoo! "Answers;" it's pretty clear Yahoo!'s never attempted any kind of quality control1) page in which I learned that there are some people out there who believe the drug is called "oxy cotton" and/or "roxy cotton."2, 3 The source of "oxy cotton" specifically might be a song by Lil Wyte, called "Oxy Cotton," which from the lyrics seems to be basically just "Hello, my name is Lil Wyte, and I enjoy abusing and selling drugs; here is an exhaustive list of the drugs I specifically enjoy consuming, and the forms and quantities in which I prefer to consume them."

Not really fair to blame rappers for the opiate crisis, but . . . I feel like some of them could probably be more involved in finding a solution for it.

So. Yeah. That's kinda depressing. When I posted about Kandy Ho the other day,4 I wasn't thinking about this post being up next, or the likely meanings of "Roxy-Cotten," so I feel like I should reassure you that the next few names in the lineup are way less tragic and depressing.5

What does Roxy do, personally? Drag queen shit, it looks like. Basically what you'd expect. There's a Twitter account,6 Instagram, Facebook,7 YouTube channel, blah blah blah. (The weary sighing here is not because any of these things are particularly bad, or because Roxy does them especially poorly; I'm just tired of doing a search for a queen and having everything that comes up being social media accounts. "I'm so happy to be at @place doing #thing with @othertwitteraccount #loveya #sohappy." It looks like connection with other people, and very rarely it might actually be connection with other people, but mostly social media is like when you go into an animal shelter and all the dogs start barking at you, and all the barks reverberate off the walls and floor to the point where there's just this cacophony of barks blending into one another to the point where you can't tell one dog's bark from another. What I always hope to find is an interview where the queen talks about what they do and why they do it and what other things they like and what they think drag is and other things they're thinking about and so forth, but four out of five times, it's "@place is the best! Come meet me at @otherplace tomorrow between 2-5 PM! #iwouldliterallysurrendereverythingthatmakesmeagenuineanduniquehumanbeingtohavemyexistencevalidatedbytheenvyofalargenumberofotherhumans.")

That's harsh. I probably don't mean that. It's been a long week, what with the prostitution and drug use and Ric Ocasek and what have you. Let's move on to the seedling.


So Roxy's first bud had me kind of excited, because it was an odd color. The seed parent, 0330 Faye Quinette, was notable for having flower buds that were sort of a rich, woody brown, which I hadn't seen before. When the spathe actually opened and turned out to be orange inside instead of brown, I was disappointed. I mean, I eventually got used to Faye, and I like her now, but at the time it was a lot more ordinary than I hoped for. Roxy's first bud was an even darker brown than Faye's had been, and unlike Faye also had fairly pronounced blackish veining:


And I was thinking, okay, well, it's probably still orange on the inside, but a dark orange with black veins would still be pretty cool, right? So I was kind of cautiously excited, because I learned nothing from Faye. So then the spathe opened and it was just . . . red.


A dark red, sure. Maybe a little orangey-brown in the red somewhere. Not boring. But nowhere near as cool as the inflorescence I'd imagined, so I was disappointed. The second bloom had less thrips damage and was a little bit more together just in general, with more interesting coloration on the spadix.


And it's worth noting that the foliage is also pretty interesting; I don't know if it's actually genetically inclined to make long, narrow, asymmetrical foliage, but it's done it at least once:


So that's kind of interesting too. And even with red spathe "fronts," the "backs" remain brownish, and retain the contrasting veining, so I'm pleased about that.


And it's now bloomed twice while in a 3-inch pot, so it has enthusiasm in its favor.


The upshot: Roxy gets to stay and be promoted the next time I have a chance to move some plants up to 4-inch pots, 'cause it's weird, and weird is good. We could probably use more weird.


Two other seedlings from the same seedling group have bloomed so far (1589 Anita Waistline and 1592 Maliena B Itchcock), and a couple other seedlings of 0330 Faye Quinette have bloomed too (1634 Helena Handbag and 1679 Madison Adjective); Roxy's probably the most unusual and interesting of the five.

The next seedling's not that big of a deal, but you haven't seen anything like 1419 Maya Douglas and 1103 Valeria T. before. (At least not here.) Valeria's even actually pretty. So hang in there. I'll try not to remind you of social ills, shame you for using social media, or ruin your enjoyment of any 1980s comedians for, like, at least a week.

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1 Just to underline the point, one of the responses on the linked page, a question about whether there are any dangers of snorting pills, which was apparently posted by a parent who recently discovered that their son had been snorting "pills" (presumably prescription medication?) for two years, was basically he could get a sinus infection; sounds like he wants some attention.
Which, I mean, no shit he wants attention -- it took his parent two years to notice that he had a drug problem. But sinus infections aren't really the headline here: crushing and snorting opiates is a really good way to overdose on them, because they're absorbed faster. Something that none of the answers at Yahoo! even mentions as a possible danger of snorting oxy. Don't get your health care advice from Yahoo! Answers. (As if the name "Yahoo! Answers" wasn't enough of a tip-off.)
2 Also homophones continue to be the bane of my existence, or at least one of the banes. I have a lot of banes. Should probably dial back on the banes.
Oxycontin -- notice, oxycoNtin -- is not even remotely the same as "heroine." A heroine is a female hero or protagonist; for the drug you want heroin, no "e" at the end.
It's possible that we can hold Lorde partly responsible for this, though I'm sure people were confused about whether or not to add the "e" before 2013 so it's not all her fault.
Oxycontin (generic name oxycodone) is in fact quite a bit like the no-"e" heroin. Unfortunately.
3 There is a brand name for an oxycodone/paracetamol combination, "Roxicet," which is probably where the "roxy" part comes from.
4 Did you watch the video in the Kandy Ho post? Go watch the video in the Kandy Ho post.
5 0886 Zaria Baudit, 1419 Maya Douglas, 1103 Valeria T., 1634 Helena Handbag, 0645 Mabel Syrup, 1721 Leonid the Magnificent. See? Not sad and horrible at all.
6 The description for which brags, "Once called the Gallagher of Drag."
Oof. Honey, that was not a compliment. You don't want to be the Gallagher of anything.
7 Left unlinked on purpose because fuck Facebook.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

More re: Anthurium 1707 "Kandy Ho"

The husband has observed that The Cars released an album (and song) in 1979 named "Candy-O," which is possibly the intended reference, not prostitution. He didn't understand the word "ho" to necessarily indicate prostitution in the first place, even, which surprises me but people use words differently sometimes. So maybe I got all uncomfortable over nothing? Or sort of nothing? Maybe Kandy Ho just really likes late-70s Cars albums?

(It's possible that this well-executed and sad Cincinnati Enquirer article about the heroin epidemic, posted to MetaFilter on Monday, primed me to be more upset about implied prostitution than I would normally be, as I'd read it not long before I started working on the blog post. I mean, we should probably be upset about prostitution to some degree or another all the time anyway, but.)

(Going strictly by the cover art, I'm not, like, 100% certain that "Candy-O" isn't itself a prostitution reference of some kind. The song lyrics aren't, like, crystal clear.)


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anthurium nos. 1707 "Kandy Ho" and 1493 "Kalypso Bang"

Neither of these are very exciting seedlings, so I'm not going to stay on-topic. Not even going to begin on-topic. Brace yourself.1

I'm not comfortable with Kandy Ho's name. Some of it, no doubt, is that I just don't like to be reminded that there are sex workers out there, period, because it makes me sad that I live in a society where that's a thing some people, particularly transgendered women, wind up having to do because they are prevented from doing anything else.2

I don't know if that's Kandy Ho's intention,3 and whether or not it is, it would hardly be unique, a drag performer making light of an awful thing for a joke. (See: Sharon Needles, Detox, Amber Alert, Meth, etc. One of the drag queen names I came up with is actually a pretty dark joke about abortion which is hopefully too obscure for most people to get.4 Roller derby names are this way too: violence, suicide, prostitution, drug abuse, and the occasional Holocaust reference. Making a joke out of horrible things is one way people manage living in a world that contains horrible things.5)

The problem is more that over the last year or so, I've gotten a lot more brittle around these sorts of jokes, because all the hypothetical, abstract, distant, or historical bad things I've heard people talk about all my life are suddenly a lot more real and immediate. I feel it all differently. So, once, I would have been like, oh, a 'ho' joke, cute, and now my knee-jerk response is but . . . isn't prostitution actually kinda, you know, sad, and tragic, and something people wind up doing because they don't have better options?

Which doesn't affect my enjoyment of what Kandy does very much. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that RuPaul's Drag Race did a terrible job of showcasing her as a performer: she's actually pretty awesome. The audio on this is terrible because the audience won't stop fucking screaming, but check it out anyway:


I mean, the lip synching is for shit, but the costuming! The choreography! That flip at 2:18! That's impressive dancing. You wouldn't know she was capable of that from watching Drag Race. So I don't have a problem with her. I think Kandy's great; it's just . . . the name.6

As for our seedlings, well, Kandy doesn't have the most interesting color.


The foliage is interesting, though: both very shiny and very elongated, with one of the leaves also being oddly saddle-shaped. Might be interesting if subsequent leaves look the same.



1707 Kandy Ho is another one of the seedlings from 0234 Ross Koz that don't resemble Ross at all.

1493 Kalypso Bang has only produced one bloom so far, which may or may not wind up being representative.


The bloom was small, and didn't age very well.


Thrips damage also turns out to be a problem, both on the spathe and the foliage,



so it's probably not worth keeping around, but I will probably still give it a chance to try a second bloom before I make the final decision.

Kalypso's the second of four seedlings from 0245 Sawyer Ad to bloom so far (the first being 0946 Mysti Oldhaze). The third one looks nothing like any of the other seedlings, and I'm pretty excited about it; you'll get to meet it in about a week.

About all I could come up with on Kalypso Bang the queen is that she's in the UK, and her makeup skills are fantastic.7 I think based in London, but I can't find the page that would confirm that, so don't take it as gospel.

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1 This presumes that staying on-topic is desirable, which I'm not actually sure is the case. Personally, I wind up enjoying the posts more when I suddenly find myself talking about Watkins v. United States Army, the "Flower Power" photo or whether faux queens are culturally appropriating gay culture, but I can only do that sort of thing when I have enough time to do all the searches and follow all the links and think about what I found long enough to come up with something to say. Which doesn't actually happen all that often. And sometimes even when I have the time, I don't serendipitously encounter something interesting enough to write about.
2 And I don't think every sex worker is in that position. I've read stuff here and there by people who are like, no, actually, I really love being an escort, the money's great and I have flexible hours and I feel safe, I know my situation's not typical but I do actually wake up every morning and choose to do this because I kinda love doing it.
I have no reason to think those people are lying about their experience, so great for them. *shrug* But that small percentage of happy sex workers doesn't make it okay to make light of all the rest of them, is I guess my point.
3 Maybe Kandy picked that name 'cause she's a big Santa Claus fan. Maybe she had a Korean friend. Maybe she's big into model trains, or first lip synched to "Tiny Bubbles" and inspiration struck.
4 (Hasn't appeared on the blog yet, according to the site search. The seedling died, so you may never actually see the name: I haven't decided whether to reassign it. I was really proud of it at the time, because it's actually kinda clever, but for reasons coming in the next paragraph I'm thinking maybe the world doesn't need to be exposed to every kinda-clever thought I ever have.)
5 We could debate whether joking actually makes the world any less horrible, but I think most of us have at least felt the impulse to make an inappropriate joke rather than feel terrified or despairing or whatever.
6 And I'm being careful not to condemn the performer here because I don't know the intent (having good intentions isn't a pass for bad behavior, but we've all, surely, done well-intentioned things that ended up upsetting people, and it's a shitty feeling to realize that's happened) or context (it's hard for me to imagine a context in which this isn't a reference to prostitution somehow, but, you know, I'm a married middle-aged Iowan Anthurium breeder who hasn't been inside any bar for any reason in like a decade; how much do I know about what it's like to be a famous-ish 30-year-old Puerto Rican drag queen who earns a living performing in clubs, or how she talks to the people around her?).
I also don't know what sort of consequences performing under a different name would have -- her ability to draw crowds to a bar is based partly on people recognizing her from Drag Race, after all. Even if she did decide to change the name, club owners would still advertise her shows as "Kandy Ho." At best, "Euphemia Montenegro (formerly 'Kandy Ho')" or something like that. And I'm not going to tell someone that they're a terrible person if they don't do something that might trash their career. I don't even think it makes her a terrible person even if she already knows all this (which she probably does, since, you know, she's spent way more time than I have thinking about it and living with it) and is totally fine with making prostitution a joke.
The point being that I'm trying to go out of my way to not judge or condemn. I am bothered by it, some. The degree to which that should bother Kandy herself is basically zero.
7 Maybe not to everyone's taste, granted. But stunning.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Anthurium no. 1727 "Mercedes Sulay"

Mercedes is the first seedling of 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha (or any of its clones1) to bloom so far. Surprisingly, although Marsha et al. are all a nice bright orange, Mercedes is slightly greenish, or bronze.


There's actually a weird situation set up where this one of Marsha's seedlings looks like 0330 Faye Quinette,

0330 Faye Quinette (left) and 1727 Mercedes Sulay (right)

and one of Faye's seedlings (1679 Madison Adjective) looks a lot like Marsha.

0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha (left) and 1679 Madison Adjective (right)

Because apparently there are only just so many different directions one can go with orange. This is excellent news as far as I'm concerned, because Faye's had a lot of trouble with Xanthomonas, and I've been worried that it might get bad enough eventually that I'd have to throw her out; knowing that she has an understudy makes that less scary.2

The foliage isn't very abundant, because Mercedes was an early bloomer,3 but it's looking good so far,



and she photographs nicely as well.


I also thought the first bud was interesting; it didn't show up as clearly in the pictures as it did in person, but there was a sort of barber-pole stripe around it before it fully colored-up.


So the seedling's almost certainly a keeper, and Mercedes is almost certain to move to a 4-inch pot in the next round of promotions.

Mercedes Sulay the drag queen is from Rochester (New York); as usual, I couldn't find a decent video. I can tell you she won Miss Gay Rochester in 2014, and that's about it. I mean, she's on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but the Twitter account seems to be dead for the last couple years and I don't do Facebook. So that's pretty much all I know.

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1 Pretty sure 0115 Erlene Adopter, 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha, 0581 Adam All, and 0586 Vera Special are all the same plant, just in different pots, for reasons discussed in the post for Erlene.
2 And as far as it goes, it's probably good for the Erlenes to have some backups also; the ghost mites are more of a problem on them than I like, and the thing where some of their minor veins go yellow overnight for reasons I don't understand, which may or may not be a problem but still makes me uneasy, continues to happen to all of them, and only to all of them.
3 First bud at 16 months. (The median for all seedlings is 26 months; record earliest is 12; record latest is 54.)