All posts by Melissa Kunz

Cattleyas in bloom

Spring means orchid shows and more additions to the collection. I’ve been branching out into new varieties over the last few months, including cattleyas, the original “corsage orchids” that were wildly popular in the 20th century before phalaenopsis orchids became more common.


I got this hybrid (Lc. Mari’s Magic x L. briegeri ‘Star of Brasil’ HCC/AOS) at the Tulsa show from Bird’s Orchids, already in bud. The spike is very long and flexible, and tends to droop if I don’t stake it back. The blossoms are small and star shaped with ruffling on the inside, and are more cream than yellow, which I like. When I went to the TOS show, I was really hoping to get a red cattleya with huge blooms, but took a chance on this one. It has very little fragrance, and I like the color combinations.


Obviously the lower flower wound up blooming upside down. It opened only a few days after I bought it, so I think maybe changes in its lighting caused that.

Then I had the opportunity to go to the OKC orchid show, which was a bit bigger, being more of a regional thing. Vendors from Ecuador and Texas, the works. I wasn’t going to be able to leave a plant in a hot car all day, so I asked the Timbuktu Orchids table to hold onto this budding Iwanagara Apple Blossom for me.


I know, onnnne orchid from a show, that’s just wrong. Orchid people don’t do that, orchid people go HAM on that shit.

It opened after about 4 days, and the woman who sold it to me commented on the fact that the flower was coming from between two leaves, which must be a bit unusual. I’m still learning the ins and outs. There’s only one bloom so far, but it’s this gorgeous, perfect magenta and light pink, in a perfect shape and size.


And it smells fantastic, almost like a rose. It’s strong, especially sitting in a south window, too—you can smell it just walking into the room.

Alright, those are the flowering updates of late—I’ve certainly bought and acquired a few more past these two.

Weekly rundown 2/12

I taught a library instruction course this week on scholarly vs. popular article sources and it went well. Also, I got to text Mallory Ortberg and she was kind; the experience left me with a lot of residual adrenaline.

What I’ve been reading

  • Who killed the Sheridans? on NYT. The ending to this is poignant because they’re right—it’s interesting to read about all the clues in a conveniently summarized, dramatic little digest, but having it happen in real life and be something you can’t just shut off, that I can’t even comprehend.
  • This 155-year-old mouse trap in a museum collection that’s still doing its job is an excellent story. I do love when libraries and special collections go viral, but mostly it’s just tempting to accession one of these bad boys into one’s own collection for… reasons.
  • I neglected to mention that I spent last Friday utterly enthralled by this Buzzfeed article about a suburban mom who blogs as a low-key prepper. Like, sociological obsession. I was so consumed with reading about this whole subculture that I checked out her book from the library. It’s like Hints from Heloise got mashed together with The Road. There’s a section on how to invest in gold, complete with slick cartoon illustrations of a savvy mom happily stocking up on food and water. It is good to be prepared, yes; it is weird to believe that society is going to collapse from an EMP attack. By the way, the one tip I have managed to glean from all this research is that airplane-size bottles of liquor are good for bartering.
  • Did you know that the Parents Television Council still exists? Or that they have thousands of VHS tapes taking up space on this planet so that they can catalog every bad thing that has happened on TV? Or that one of the analysts, a grown man, stuttered over having to say the word “shit” in front of a reporter?
  • I am making progress with The Raven Boys for book club. Maggie Stiefvater’s obsession with cars has never been more apparent, and I am including The Scorpio Races, because that takes place in the past and doesn’t seem quite as much like a very subtle series of car product placements.
  • I have neither written nor edited a single damn thing lately, for hilarious and yet mysterious and yet tragic reasons I will detail below.

Continue reading Weekly rundown 2/12

Weekly Rundown 2/6

The weather here is beautiful and fitting my mood and need for calm and not-snow these days, so I am pretty pleased with that right now.

What I’ve been reading

  • Why a top food poisoning expert won’t eat these foods over at WashPo. I can swear to you I’m not obsessed with food safety, but I do get a big kick out of Bill Marler and his extra-specific brand of legal work, so I am always up for another article featuring him. There is a great story about the army deciding that Odwalla apple juice wasn’t fit for human consumption at the end. AUUUUGGGHHH
  • I’m starting a writing-focused, self-paced tarot course in an effort to learn card meanings once and for all. Your beliefs about the tarot may be different; I see them as an option in psychological reflection.
  • I spent the week bound tightly with tension and anger that I was being forced to wait to get a new cell phone, so I pretty much did no reading apart from 6-month-old articles about said phone, and I will not force you to read them here.

Have this video of cats in a library wearing glasses:

Continue reading Weekly Rundown 2/6

Sheaffer Dolphin Touchdown

The Sheaffer Dolphin Touchdown is a perfect example of the cheap pen sale gone gloriously, triumphantly right.

Mon âme soeur.

I bought this from someone on Fountain Pen Network a couple of years ago for $25, and it instantly became my favorite pen, not the least for being an absolute steal.

Continue reading Sheaffer Dolphin Touchdown

Weekly rundown 1/23

Inspired by friend Lindsay’s new posting style, I’m shooting for a weekly update schedule to account for what I’ve been doing lately.

What I’ve been reading:

  • A Bug in the System, from last year’s New Yorker. Food safety is so gross and fascinating, and this actually grabbed the part of me that’s interested in legal nuances, which is touuuugh to do. Bill Marler is one of those rare stories of someone who’s seized a legal specialty and has wound up doing sincere and needed heavy lifting in regulation reform.
  • The Last Days of Target Canada, amazing for its epic slow collapse as well as the multitude of things that went wrong, one right after another. How did they not know? It boggles the mind.
  • Again, on Lindsay’s advice in another post, I picked up the ebook Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Better, Faster Writing by Rachel Aaron.  I am slowly preparing myself to tackle edits and (most definitely) rewrites on the Nanowrimo 2015 project, and I have realized that I need a tight set of strictures going into this. Good advice, and my thoughts on outlining (namely that it leads to books feeling like original 1960s episodes of Scooby-Doo) started to feel ready for a change.

  • This led me to find a copy of John Truby’s book The Anatomy of Story (it’s turtles all the way down when it comes to me and books, and do you see what I did there with the WorldCat record? LIBRARIANING!), which is like the Aaron book, but far more in-depth and with a greater variety of examples and things to consider.
    Continue reading Weekly rundown 1/23