Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Year, New Yule

Dear My Family,

This year marked an important milestone for us, our last Christmas in Yosemite. For those out there that don’t know this FunFact, I was raised within the confines of America’s first preserved natural space, Yosemite National Park (yes, inside the park boundaries, my parents worked there). Every Christmas in my memory has been the same. My family always gathered at my parents’ house to eat too much, drink too much, and then go on long, guilty walks to work off that post-holiday fat feeling. This year we lucked out with a ton of snow, which always contributes to a Merrier Christmas. Because I grew up in the snow, I’ve never been comfortable with the snowless Christmases we have down here in LA. There’s something off-putting about decorating your tree when it’s 80 degrees outside (which I have done multiple times).

Next year, my parents will be leaving the house I grew up in. In all honesty, I’m not super excited about their move, I’m going to miss our house and Yosemite. But next year will bring new opportunities and experiences to our family. Also, they’re moving to Sonoma County so at least I’ll still have a pretty place to visit. Below are some images of Yosemite as I saw it over the many winters I spent there. It’s truly a magical place and I high suggest you spend a winter holiday there sometime.

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This is our street, covered in snow.

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My car, which didn’t like the snow as much as I did.

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Our house (if you look hard you can see Yosemite Falls in the background).

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The street where I grew up.

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Our neighbor’s adorable house.

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The Merced River.

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Yosemite Falls. How much do you love those pine trees? Their foliage looks like pom-poms.

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Our little walking path, complete with split-rail fencing.

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The old apple orchard near my house. When Yosemite was first founded, the settlers had livestock and farmed. Clearly, the agriculture went against the natural preservation of the park so it was later removed, but back then it was a long horse ride (or hike) into the valley so it made sense to grow food up there.

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Big chunky flakes of snow falling from the sky.

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What I feel like on the inside when big chunky flakes of snow fall from the sky.

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Creeping clouds mingle with Yosemite Falls.

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The small grammar school I attended.

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Our neighbor’s back yard.

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The bay laurel tree is native to Yosemite, you can see one from our dining room. Its leaves are great for soup. Or tea if you like gross tea that tastes like bay leaves (my boyfriend does, I don’t get it).

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Even in Yosemite, you can wear gay jeans and homosexual sunglasses (In my defense, this picture is five years old. Just kidding there is no defense for that outfit. I hate myself).

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My sister and me at the Ahwahnee Hotel, which always has glorious holiday decorations (see below).

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The chapel where my brother got married. In related news, my sister can’t get married to her (female) fiance there because only unions sanctioned by the US government are allowed at the park’s only chapel. Rude.

A few more Merced River shots:

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And finally, this Ansel Adams image (entitled “El Capitan in Winter).

This image captures perfectly what winter in Yosemite means to me. Beauty. Wonder. Tradition. I’ll miss all of these things when my parents move away. But at least I’ll have these photographs to remember them by. Here’s to a New Year of making new memories in new places. New places like Sonoma County, where they have lots of delicious wine. And to a new year of being thankful for the memories I’ve spent my life creating.

2013 or bust!

Love,
Orlando

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Tears for Spheres: Pillow Balls from the House of Yes

Dear Everyone,

Are you looking for something sculptural, unique, and beautiful for your home? Are you tired of boring normalpillows, with their boring normalpillow shape? If so, let me introduce you to Andrew Yes. He looks like this:

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Andrew is a friend of mine who lives in New York, where he works as an interior designer and a visual artist. You can see some of his wonderful work on his website. Recently, he started producing a line of beautiful products, including the fantastic spherical pillows shown below. They are a great accent for the sofa, the bed, or the floor and will keep people wondering “is that, like, a toy or a pillow?” Here is a selection of my favorites from his online store (you can view the entire collection here):

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Rose Tapestry Pillow Ball, $375

This is one of my favorites, and the floral pattern is abstracted that it could totally work in a man-apartment. Also, I’m dying for this ottoman:

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Rose Tapestry Ottoman, $1990

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Space Rock Pillow Ball, $375

This is perfect for a modern space, or a little kid’s bedroom.

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The next four appeal to my love of 90z color and pattern:

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Botanic Pillow Ball, $325

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Full Spectrum Pillow Ball, $375

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Fire Ball Pillow Ball, $375

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Stitch Pillow Ball, $375

Oh pretty Stitch pillow, made of soft ivory fabric with gentle stitch detail. If I were to be smothered by any pillow, I hope it would be you. Did I just take that too far?

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Dots Pillow Ball, $275

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Blue Star Stripe Pillow Ball, $275

Blue + stripes + sphere = my three favorite things together. Thus, I want to put it on my face.

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Aqua Batik Pillow Ball, $275

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Gold Pillow Ball, $325

It’s a sphere. A gold sphere. You need this. I need this. I’m serious.

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French Sangria Pillow Ball, $385

These are playful and Tim Burton-esque, which is probably why I love them. I’d put these in a kid’s room or a super pop loft space.

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There you have it. The most exciting pillows on the market. I plan on getting a few for my apartment.  One for the living room and one for the bed. It’s good to have some round shapes (aside from my post-holiday body) to counterbalance all the rectangles everywhere.

Love,

Orlando

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Dressers For Dudes!

Dear Readers,

I have a pile of vintage crates in my room where I store my sweaters and jeans. It looks kind of like this except not at all because my pile of crates is totally ugly and lame and this one is, like, totally cool:

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Anyway, this morning I awoke and stared at my stupid pile of crates. And then I turned to those crates and said “Hey, Crates. You suck and you’re ugly.” To which The Crates responded “Hey, you’re ugly too! If you hate us so much then why don’t you grow up and buy a dresser like a real man!” And I was like “FINE! Maybe I will. And then you’ll be sorry. When you’re in the TRASH. You stupid Crates.” Like Victoria Beckham is in need of a sandwich, I am in desperate need of a dresser. But what to buy? With all the frilly antiques out there, it’s not always easy to find a dresser fit for a dude. I’ve been searching the flea markets to no avail, but I did find some nice ones on the good ol’ internetz. Wanna see what I found? Keep reading! Except you, Crates. You can go straight to hell.

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Modcrib LA Mid Century High Boy, $400
This one might be my favorite. I love that it’s a square (like me!) and that it has little brass  shoes on.

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Organic Modernism Siena Dresser, $1145
This one is very simple and wide. Like your mom.

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West Elm Boerum Dresser, $699
This one is nearly as handsome, masculine, and woodsy as I am. However, I’d add some hardware to it. Perhaps some brass knobs or something to give it a little spice.

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Ikea Sveio, $249
I’d also want to add knobs to this one, but it’s a great design for such a good price. I’ve caressed it many-a-time in Ikea, but never bought it home with me because I’m holding out for something vintage.

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Room & Board Grove Dresser, $2499
A friend of mine bought this for her Upper West Side apartment and I thought it was classic without feeling retro. And the wood is a very pretty color that’s not too orange, not too blue.

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Empiric Mid-Century Dresser, $2525
The white on this piece gives a little update to an otherwise classic piece.

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Cisco Home Genet Dresser, Price Upon Request
This one is a little ladylike, but sometimes it’s good to have some feminine to balance the masculine in a bedroom. And by “sometimes” I mean “always.”

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Ikea Nyvoll, $299
This is another bargain from IkeaEmily used it in the Lake House and I loved it there. A pretty good go-to for a brand new dresser that wont bust your budget.

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Blueprint Logan Double Dresser, $999
Great for a modern space. Also super pretty wood color. Gimme.

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ABC Home Fresco Double Dresser, $995
A lot of the time people think white is just for girls. But I disagree. I like this for a man’s bedroom because of its strong shape and great scale.

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Dwell Studio Pierre Dresser, $3750
This is by far the kookiest dresser, but that makes me want it the most.

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Empiric 2243 Dresser, $2585
And finally, how could you say no to that hardware? If this were mind I’d be opening and closing my drawers all day, just so that I could touch that brass glamour.

While many people will be making New Years Resolutions about reconnecting with their families and losing the 85 lbs they gained during the holidays (or was that just me?), I plan on making a more important and meaningful resolution. I will be resolving to finally get another dresser. I will rid my room of those cursed Crates. If it’s the last thing I do.

Love,
Orlando

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