Friday, April 22, 2011


In Paris in May 2009, MSP gave me a Tiffany channel-set band ring with 36 diamonds to let me know that I'm
the one.

I won't go into the details of his very awkward and very lovable speech, because I want it to remain intimate, just between us. But let me say this: It was hilarious and endearing. I will remember it on my deathbed and it will make me smile.

Perfect little thing

The ring - like MSP - was exactly what I wanted. Years before, I half-jokingly asked for it, saying I don't want the usual solitaire diamond ring that gets caught in bags / clothes and looks too heavy for my thin, bony fingers. I am a clumsy person with an active lifestyle, after all. And I hate big jewelry. I prefer understated, functional, top quality diamonds, even if they're smaller. I'd rather have certified diamonds than dodgy BIG bling from unknown jewelers.

Thankfully, he remembered the ring when I had already forgotten about it.

He secretly purchased it from Tiffany in Makati, hid it in the inner pocket of the jacket he wore on the plane, and gave it to me 20 hours later, the minute we got to Berne Opera Hotel - the charming Haussmann-style building we stayed in near Moulin Rouge.

View from our place in Paris

A few hours later, we went to La Maison de la Truffe in Place de la Madeleine. I was already wearing it when I wolfed down my first Parisian lunch of carpaccio, truffles brumale, ravioli, veal mignon, etc.

Cropped picture showing the ring, taken before the meal. My hair is on the plate!

I initially couldn't bring myself to wear it all the time because it was: (a) too expensive, (b) I was paranoid it would slip out of my hand, and (c) that I would get robbed.

I also had self-esteem issues. Do I really deserve it? Why should I go about my often unglamorous days wearing such a decadent 36-diamond piece of jewelry?

Two years into owning it, though, I am starting to wear it more often, even when I'm just lounging at home in my ratty sleeping shirts. I no longer need a reason or a special occasion. It IS mine, and is IS beautiful. Why not?

It's also clearer what this ring celebrates - our devotion to our two-person team:

The "team" that will build a solar cabin in the woods, run marathons, continue to travel the world, and keep eating.

* * * *


In a few months, we'll be celebrating our 10th anniversary.

We're well on our way to being one of those cool, semi-hippie, independently wealthy,
exceptionally athletic, well traveled old couples. Yey!




Thursday, April 07, 2011

shiny new thing

Raincoats fascinate me. I always expect rain.

This what happens when you've had the life I've had. You end up in Cannes, carrying a raincoat in the middle of spring. True enough, it drizzles.

Some say it's paranoia, but I call it preparedness. Hey, at least I'm not soaking wet.

Anyway, so this was me in the South of France, in an orange kid-size raincoat that was still a little too loose. I got it from a bookstore, of all places.

And this was me up in a mountain almost 3,000 meters above sea level, looking like I was dealing with radioactive chemicals. I got this ugly pair of plastic coat + pants from the store where the motorcycle people get their gear. It worked, but by the time I got down from the summit, both the pants and coat already had big rips. What did I expect for P200?

Naturally, I needed a more fashionable and sturdier alternative.

I might as well be
stylishly prepared.

I found this coat on sale from the local Italian warehouse where I get all my goodies. This is from LiuJo, and was about $150 but marked down to $30. I had to have it. (I never pay retail).

It's shiny and made with "crystalized Swarovsky elements."

And it's structured like a regular trench coat down to the details (belt, buttons) except that it's completely waterproof. It's not just "repellent," but "proof." It also folds down to fit into the small body bag where I put all my travel documents, but it's not quite as compact as my previous cheaper raincoats.

I got it one size bigger, in anticipation of layering it over a thick coat should I travel in the fall.

My next trip is in 6 months. I wonder if it will rain.

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