Saturday, July 08, 2006

Booty Floods

Let's talk about a pants situation PeaceBang has observed among her colleagues of late. It's called Booty Floods. Booty Floods is an unfortunate sartorial situation that arises when men and women with abundant posterior regions hike their pants up to mid-torso, belt them there (or just rely on large mid-sections to keep them there) and then forget that they're cheating their ankles of appropriate coverage.

Ladies and gentlemen, and particularly gentlemen, when you shop for pants, do check the fit. I don't mean pull them up and shuck them off as soon as you manage to zip the zipper. Put them on, zip the zipper and check the seat. Sit down in them. Lean forward in them. If you find yourself hiking them up mid-belly, get the salesman (or better yet, the tailor) in there pronto and make sure you've got the right size on.

Women's trousers come in such a bewildering array of lengths and styles -- capris, gauchos, flares, bootcut, palazzo, etc. -- we can wear almost any length of pants and get away with it. I'm not saying look good in them, I'm saying get away with it. Sorry fellas, but you can't. We shouldn't be able to see 2" of your socks as you walk down the hall. We especially shouldn't see your WHITE GYM socks under your nice trousers, because what are you doing wearing WHITE GYM SOCKS?

Baby, if you got back (or front), make sure your pants are long enough in the leg to compensate.

Ladies of extravagant size, please look at yourself in the mirror in your pants. Sit. Do they grab at chubby inner thighs? Do they pull at the crotch and at the lower abdomen? When you walk, do you hear strains of the "Shaft" theme song chucka-chucking in rhythm with your visibly vibrating thighs? Consider SPANX or other gently (or not so gently) slimming undergarments (control top pantyhose will do in a pinch). Go up a size and have your pants hemmed if you need to. Better yet, boycott buying slacks at all in protest of the fugly styles they inflict on us. Stick with beautifully tailored, flattering skirts. When and if you find a style of trousers that fits you well and looks good on you, get two or three pairs. I am NOT KIDDING.

I am a Fat Accepting American, and I do not wish to demonize any of us chubby folks out there. However, despite the natural beauty of our nekkid selves before God, there is something inherently unpolished about allowing all our wiggly bits to wobble about unconstrained. I'm sorry about it, too. Believe me, as one who has both inherited and eaten her way to a beautifully rotund figure full of wobbly bits, PeaceBang is VERY sorry about this, and intends to retire to a remote island in Mexico where she will never have to wear constraining undergarments ever again. Until that blessed day, however, she does not want any aspects of her physique to upstage her smile or to distract from her religious leadership. She therefore owns an entire arsenal of Helpful Underthings and is an obsessive booty and wobbly bits checker when shopping for pants.

Pants are PeaceBang's sore distress in life. She simply does the best she can and tries very hard not to hike her trousers to just under her bosom. They go around the waist, you know. If you can't find your waist, it may be time to rejoin the health club. And not just so you'll look cuter in your trousers. So that you'll be around to enjoy that retirement on a remote island in Mexico.

More On Your Tootsies

Keeping up with callouses is a big job for a summer girl in ministry. Walking around barefoot is fun and relaxing but leave big, dirty, ugly pads on our paws.

Someone asks about Beauty Shop products. I like them fine, although I avoid the store in general because it's so heavily scented it makes PeaceBang feel as though she's swimming through some kind of mango-lavender-dewberry nightmare. I like their Hemp hair products for frizzled locks (although it smells rather earthen and patchouli-ish, and I don't like that), and I love their body butters. I plug my nose, run in real fast, and snap some of those up, along with their delicious lavender bath milk.

As for your tootsies, foot scrubs alone won't do it. You've got to get yourself something like this:

foot file

and use it on damp feet. Wet the pumice a tiny bit and rub away. If you're like PeaceBang, you'll find a sick fascinating watching all that dead skin come off.

PeaceBang prefers the pumice file on white plastic, as she can manhandle it even more severely, but the one shown in the photo should do. And I believe they carry both at Body Shop.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You've Got To Scrub

It's got to be said, Beautiful People. It's got to be said because I stood in line next to a priest at the deli today and he smelled like sweaty scalp.
Smelling like sweaty scalp is adorable if you're my two-year old nephew and have just awakened from a nap. For anyone over the age of ten, it's just yeeshy.

Summer air is gross. It is humid and makes us all look a little slick and dirty, like we've just had a hard work-out even if we've exerted no more effort that day than editing a few sermons (I just edited my Ash Wednesday sermon and have to say, it was a Jim Dandy!).

If your idea of bathing is to do a 30-second lather, you may need to bring out the bigger guns for the summer.

It just doesn't do to be greasy and filmy, people of God. Shampoo. Lather, rinse and repeat if you have oily hair. Get out that washcloth and really scrub. Better yet, take a bath first to soak off all the dead skin (you must soak for at least ten minutes before you scrub if you really want to loosen the dead skin) followed by a tepid shower. Scrub your feet with a brush! Get rid of callouses if you're a sandal-wearer. Moisturize at night with cotton socks over a nice foot balm. Aquaphor is absolutely marvelous, even if it is mostly just petrolatum. Burt's Bees makes a wonderful, natural coconut foot balm, too, and then there's the very swanky, lovely foot balm given me as a gift by Perigrinato -- what was it, James? Something scented with cardamom that makes the cat all romantic and foot-licky. Nicest stuff I ever used.

Back to summer:
Keep that clean hankie in your pocket to mop delicatly at a perspiring face, and keep up with your skin care! Exfoliate! Moisturize (yes, even in the summer -- try a serum if regular moisturizers feel too heavy)! Keep drinking water!

Be a cool glass of water on a hot day. Be the living waters to your parched people. Be nice to be near.
(But don't use baby powder near your delicate parts, ladies. Stick with corn starch, not talc, products).

Lapses in personal hygiene that may be overlooked in the winter are not as easily forgiven in the summer. And that goes for your crusty elbows, too. Remember, you're in short-sleeved shirts now.

PeaceBang recommends:

Sunshine Spa Herbal Salt Rub in Lavender or Rosemary/Mint for your feet and elbows:
Available at, Target and Trader Joe's.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub (not for the face!! Body only!)

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme, available at

Davies Gate Cardamom Foot Butter (absolutely hedonistic and scrumptious!):

Johnson & Johnson Pure Cornstarch Baby Powder.

A good, old-fashioned wash cloth and soap. PeaceBang's favorite is Luxo Banho Creme:

What Is Sephora?

What is Sephora?

What is Sephora, you ask?

Oh, my turtledoves, what pleasures await you:

It is an emporium of cosmetics and fragrances. It is Mecca for product addicts. You can easily spend hours there, and it is usually PeaceBang's very first stop in Times Square when she hits the Big Apple.

Don't go alone the first time or you might be so overwhelmed you'll faint dead away.


PeaceBang has heard rumors that she is being PAID to promote certain products on this blog.

Darling readers, PeaceBang earns not one penny for this labor of love. She only recommends products or beauty sites that she or her loved ones have personally tried and enjoyed. Until she is discovered by talent scouts for Allure magazine or the Estee Lauder empire, she will continue to spend her own hard-earned paycheck on products that she can recommend or spurn to you, because she loves you that much.

She may, at some point, make it possible for you to contribute to a PeaceBang Beauty Bank via PayPal to help fund her product habit, but until then, rest assured that every Official PeaceBang Recommendation comes untainted by any exchange of filthy lucre.

PeaceBang's last Sephora bill was $92, so this could happen sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You Can Smell So Spaishul

SisterBang, also known as The Vanilla Bomb, is all in a girlie tither about this site:

Seems she ordered some delish perfume from them -- by the description alone she knew she wanted it, which I wouldn't recommend for everyone, because you've got to let a scent mingle with your own body chemistry to really know if it's going to work -- but Monyette Paris worked sight-unseen (or unsmelled) for SisterBang. She is known for smelling heavenly and for having men follow her down the street, so you might want to pick up a bottle.

She's all delirious over the fact that she got FIVE free samples with her order that she was able to select herself (as opposed to having five loser scents dumped on her) and that her package arrived all done up in chiffon and lace and butterflies and pretty ponies and god-only-knows-what-all-else.

She says, "It's like getting a little present for yourself!"

And who doesn't deserve a little present!?
Have fun. There's some perfumer named Fifi on the site, so how could you go wrong, really?

Even Cooler Than Hello Kitty

PeaceBang is rather a fan of Poketo items:

Hip and edgy, no?

I have one or Luke Chueh's Series 4 wallets, now out of print:

It's really super cute and fits in the back pocket.


PeaceBang Productions is thrilled to present a new magazine for male clergy.....

COLLAR AKIMBO : Beautifying God's Church
One Minister At a Time
A quarterly for the gentleman cleric


A million thanks to Philocrites for the photo and the title.
Our model is Hank, who doesn't even drink in real life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More On Toenails

In the most imperious Endora manner I can muster, I stand firmly against bright toenails under vestments at High Church events. I believe they are an inappropriate distraction, and that they look downright tacky in that setting, unless you're the preacher and are willing to make that statement and to risk the judgment of parishioners who find your statement excessive and disrespectful (as women of my grandmother's ilk would, and they're often the most loyal supporters and attenders of our churches).

Shimmery neutral purples (NOT Goth dark shades) and nudes are much prettier and don't cause everyone watching the procession to the altar to immediately zero in on your Bandolinos, to wonder how much they cost, to wonder how many inches high they are and whether or not you'll trip, to muse about whether or not you've shaved your legs, and what bistro you'll be dining at after the service.


Someone CLIPPED THEIR NAILS At Worship!!!

We've just been chatting a bit here

And I left a lengthy comment about signature scents, clipping nails in public, and Day-Glo White Old Lady Legs.

Whoever it was who CLIPPED YOUR NAILS IN PUBLIC, just know that when PeaceBang read of your vile behavior -- inexcusably rude to both the spirit of worship and to the standards of basic human dignity -- she had to close her eyes and breathe through her nose so as to keep from being overcome by dreadfully unkind thoughts.

Shame on you.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Peter Pan Collar

What does this blouse say to you?


It says to me, "You're right, I haven't had sex in years. I've been too busy serving the Lord. Now, may we start our meeting? I see by my watch that it's 7:01."

Avoid Peter Pan collars. They're neat and feminine in the worst possible way, as in, "Honey, could you get me some coffee?"

The male equivalent might be the polo shirt all buttoned up to the neck, which clearly communicates to me, "Yes, I'd be happy if you verbally abused me at tonight's board meeting."

Shirts Speak, Part II

And you know what this shirt says, especially if paired with a big religious symbol bolo tie or pendant?


"I'm way more spiritual than you."


"I just went on sabbatical to a mystical Asian location and now I'm even more spiritual than you than I was before" or possibly,

"I am so extremely spiritual that I'm never going to wear a coat and tie like you poor, sin-sick corporate slaves again. Let's sing 'Kumbya.'"

P.S. If you're Chinese, this shirt says, "Hi, I'm wearing a nice shirt."

The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas

Now bear with me.

I'm not suggesting that you go around dressed like a vaudeville star of the early 1900's and wear feather boas and things. Although could you DIE for that cloche hat?

sophie tucker

I'm just saying that this is the one and only Miss Sophie Tucker, and it couldn't hurt for all of us to take a wee bit of this kind of confidence and sass into our ministerial personas. If it fits you, I mean. You Red Hot Mamas know who you are, boys and girls.

As some of you may recall, I played Miss Hannigan in a production of "Annie" a couple of winters ago, and I had a bunch of beautiful stockings with seams up the back left over from the show. I wore them to church one Sunday with a very sedate skirt and a pair of black ankle-strap pumps. Also a very tailored blazer.

I wasn't sure anyone even noticed when one of our very eldest ladies pulled me over at coffee hour. She almost had tears in her eyes. "Bless your heart, I haven't seen those since the war. Aren't they the most marvelously feminine things?"

And then we got to talk about the challenge of keeping the seams straight, and it was a grand old time. I learned about the WWII years, when silk stockings were an absolute luxury, and I got to hear a great story about someone's Aunt Helen's red underwear.

Be fabulous. Fabulous can be a bonding experience. But you've got to preach a hell of a sermon or else you'll just upstage yourself, and you can't have that.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

For Our Pasty-Legged Southern Friend With the Weak Ankles

This appeared in the comments a few days ago, responding to the flagrant displaying of one's pasty legs and bare feet in a public denominational gathering:

Let me speak directly to Anonymous by way of a cautionary tale:

Several years ago, I attended a district gathering of lay and ordained religious leaders. One woman who stayed in my dorm room along with several others seemed very invested in letting us all know that she was diabetic. We appreciated having the information in the event that she had a reaction or diabetic shock.
However, the subject of this woman's diabetes had a strange way of making it into conversations where much contortion was required to fit it in there.

At dinner time, the diabetic woman took out some syringes, and with great theatrical enthusiasm, administered her insulin shot right there at the dinner table. And I mean she threw her arm practically in the middle of the table and put the needle right on in there so no one could miss it. PeaceBang, who has a thing about needles, almost fainted. Several people turned ghostly and stopped eating. Certainly no one could think of anything to say.

PeaceBang has never forgotten this woman and her apparent commitment to be remembered as The Woman Who Has Diabetes.

PeaceBang, who was raised with a strong sense of personal boundaries, believes that things such as adjustments to one's crotch, bosom or pantyhose, energetic nose-blowing, and taking of medication in any form but by pill should be done somewhere else but at the dinner table. She is of the firm opinion that the focus of dinner should be food and conversation, and that the egregious and entirely avoidable sharing of bodily functions are not conducive to the enjoyment of either food or conversation.

There is no shame in being diabetic. There is shame in inflicting an injection on everyone at the dinner table. I count this breach in etiquette right up there with climbing into a crowded car for a long ride heavily dosed with Clinique Aromatics Elixir, a fragrance so pungent that PeaceBang's watering eyes and itching nose can spot it across a crowded Bloomingdale's (Aromatics used to be PeaceBang's signature scent, so she does have an appreciation for it, in extreme moderation).

So, Anonymous, when it comes to you and your ankles and feet and legs, I trust that elevation and comfort can be obtained in a less ostentatious way than our friend in the photograph, and without such a big sense of production as our diabetic friend with the syringes had at the dinner table.

As for your day-glo white legs, have you tried any of the shimmery lotions with a touch of self-tanner? PeaceBang recommends the Dove line, or better yet, the Du-Wop Revolution self-tanner. You use it sparingly, rub it in real well, and let it set for a few minutes before getting dressed.
Your legs will be such a delicious golden color you'll want to elevate them all over the place. But you shouldn't.

A long peasant skirt would also be a nice way to keep yourself modestly clad while elevating your ankle, if need be, which I trust you would do in a thoughtful location of any public gathering, and not throw your leg way up in the air so that all the boys and girls have reason to say "I see London, I see France, I see Anonymous' underpants."

PeaceBang recommends:

DuWop Revolution Self-Tanner

PeaceBang does not recommend:

Clinique Aromatics Elixir

PeaceBang Is Watching You, Flip-Floppers!

PeaceBang is gasping! One of you li'l scalliwags has skipped over to another blogger's site and rebelled against my NO FLIP-FLOPS decree!!

I am just MOMENTS from throwing a "Mommie Dearest" fit! "ELIZABEEEEEETHHHHHHHHH!!!! NO MORE FLIP-FLOPS!!! EVER!!"

My analogy about jeans, which wasn't well-made on Froggie's Blog, was that for an entire generation of church-goers, jeans are DUNGAREES. They are for working in the garden, not for wearing to church.

Flip-flops are flip-flops. You can put them on a 3" wedge, dress them up with glitter and leather straps and add bells and golden monkey charms to them, but they're flip-flops. They display the foot in an immodest way. They are beachy. If they are flat, they are most unflattering to the ankle and the calf, and NO ONE CAN WALK ELEGANTLY IN THEM. That in itself is the worst of the worst, and reason enough for you to avoid them in church.

I have a lot of damn hip, creative, progressive nonagenarians in my congregation. They are with it, funny, and very supportive of change and innovation. One of the women ran a shipyard back in the 1940's, during the war. She is one tough, tiny bird. Until she and her descendants are gone to the Eternal, I shan't disgrace her memory by wearing DUNGAREES or FLIP-FLOPS to church. That's just how I feel about it.

For the record, I own five pairs of thong sandals and wear them constantly. Just not to church. To the MALL. Or to the BEACH. Or to the BACKYARD. Or out for ICE CREAM. See how many fun places you can wear your flip-flops? And your DUNGAREES?

I'm not a fan of the mule-style sandals either. You know why? Very few of us have the daintiness factor to walk well in them, either. Who wants to walk around with a cartoon bubble next to you going, *flap, flap, flap* or *clop, clop, clop* or *thwack, thwack, thwack* ??

We are not circus ponies. Nor are we members of a harem, with bejeweled little slippers that display the delicacy of our tiny toes and which inhibit us from running too fast. If I see you in those bling-encrusted flip-flops I'm going to pour ketchup on them and then run real fast away. And you won't be able to catch me, because nyah, nyah, I'm the Gingerbread Man.