St. Patrick

It’s March 17th, St. Patrick is upon us, and both spring flowers and holiday underwear sales are in blossom. I’ll start with this suggestive ad for Undergear:

Yes, a play on pot of gold.

(Other holidays have recently been celebrated by purveyors of gay porn films; X-rated coverage here. And now a late X-rated entry for St.Patrick’s Day, here)

Thursday was the Ides of March, which in my household used to be the day when Jacques and I would start our drive from Palo Alto CA to Columbus OH (back when I was commuting between Stanford and Ohio State). So today we would be driving across northern Arizona, listening to Irish music on radio station KNAU (from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff).

Yesterday was a very local celebration, the Stanford Semantics Festival. I’ll soon post the handout for my paper.

Meanwhile, the calla lilies are in bloom, just a few houses from mine. I allude, of course, to Katharine Hepburn as Terry Randall in Stage Door (1937), delivering these memorable lines on stage:

The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower — suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.

In a photo:

The calla lily isn’t a lily; calla lily is a resembloid composite. The Wikipedia entry begins:

Zantedeschia aethiopica (common names Lily of the Nile, Calla lily, Easter lily, Arum lily, Varkoor, an Afrikaans name meaning pig’s ear) … is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.

And a flower information site explains the connection to weddings (at least in Stage Door days):

Georgia O’Keefe painted at least eight pieces depicting callas, and an exhibition at the Brooks Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico featured over 50 depictions of this famous flower, and around 1934 the calla lily became very popular in weddings when a photo of a South African bride displaying a bouquet of callas surfaced.

Elsewhere on the flowering plant front, the neighborhood Victorian box (just across the street from my house) went into bloom this week. Victorian box isn’t a box tree (Buxus), though it’s box-like in several ways; Victorian box is another resembloid composite. It’s amazingly fragrant, much like orange blossoms — hence another of its common names:

Pittosporum undulatum is a tree growing to 15m tall with wavy (undulating) leaf edges. It is sometimes also known known as Sweet Pittosporum, Native Daphne, Australian Cheesewood, Victorian Box or Mock Orange. (Wikipedia link)

A photo:

The local Victorian box usually starts blooming in the middle of February, but this year it’s late. Also late are the cymbidium orchids on my front patio, which usually start blooming in December. At the moment, only one (a pink one) is fully in bloom, another (yellow) is opening up, and a third (dark red, a descendant of the plant I gave to Jacques as a birthday present 25 years ago) is gearing up.

Maybe the long winter drought — now being relieved by days of unseasonal rain –is responsible for the delay. The weather has been strange indeed.

I am wearing green for St.Patrick’s Day: a green LINGUISTICS t-shirt.

7 Responses to “St. Patrick”

  1. cicatricella Says:

    I am *very* fond of mock orange, and pleased to learn some of its aliases. Odd that two of them seem to be referring to what it *isn’t*.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Jacques’s cymbidium here.

  3. Jens Fiederer Says:

    “Pot of gold”?

    Unless the model is judged to have a pot belly, I really don’t get it.

  4. For Dad « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] This is remarkable in its depiction of some classic Dad presents — ties and pens — despite the fact that these things are not in fact sold by Undergear (which, as I have often posted about, specializes in remarkable underwear with a special appeal to gay men; most recent posting, on AZBlogX, here, most recent posting on this blog here). […]

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