Saturday, December 02, 2006

Happiness Is a Good Massage

How are we today, my little candy canes? Are our shoulders hunched up around our ears yet, as we step into the first Sunday in Advent?

PeaceBang's certainly were, as she has a 20-page paper due on Tuesday and a 7-page paper due later in the same blessed week. She is just a wee bit twitchy just about now, so today she decided to get out in the sunshine to take a walk, and she called a local spa and begged for a massage appointment (they were very nice about it and got me right in).

PeaceBang is a big fan of massage and was so relaxed she fell asleep on the table under the ministrations of one Jennifer With Very Strong Hands.

It was kind of like this, except in a much smaller, darker room. I also did not have my raven tresses splayed glamorously out on a pillow -- mostly because I don't have raven tresses -- and for some reason there wasn't a hot guy hanging out in the pool. Probably because there wasn't a pool.

PeaceBang instructed Jennifer to hurt her -- using a meat tenderizer, if necessary -- and as a result, PeaceBang is looking forward to that pleasant soreness tomorrow morning. She's drinking a lot of water now to FLUSH THE TOXINS from her body. That's what they always say to do, so I'm doing it.

PeaceBang is so fine and dandy just about now that she's not even mad about being kept on hold for ten minutes by Bank of America Platinum Plus Visa card, whose web site is so terribly disorganized and whose customer service is so lousy that she's cancelling her account.

For a healthy glow and a happy body, let someone rub you the right way this Advent! If you can't get to a spa for financial or geographic reasons, hand your honey a meat tenderizer and tell him or her where to bang on ya!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why Wayne Koestenbaum Dyed His Hair Red

I just found a wonderful article on dressing for academics!!

Check it out, ya'll -- it's from the 1998 archives of The Chronicle of Higher Education,

PeaceBang feels far less frivolous now.


P.S. If anyone really in true life knows Wayne, please tell him that his book about opera and queer desire is one of my FAVORITES and convinced me that maybe grad school would be FUN and that I want to write the same kind of book someday about BROADWAY MUSICALS and archetypal psychology!! Love you, Wayne! Kiss, kiss!


Gorgeous Clergy Shout-Out

PeaceBang swoons with admiration!!

Props to the Cathedral Church of the Advent of Birmingham for having totally beautiful photos of their clergy, all of whom are absolutely impeccably turned out and have lovely, warm, inviting smiles. Soak in the beauty at:

Those Episcopalians. They always look so smart, and they make the best g & t's.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Worshiping the Golden Caftan

Worshiping the Golden Caftan
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Remember when Amy Irving was a beautiful, famous actress and married to Steven Spielberg? And then he went and had an affair with the totally untalented KATE CAPSHAW who remains Mrs. Spielberg to this day, leaving Amy to star in films like "Yentl" and to show up at Tom Stoppard's plays wearing gold muu-muus with gold sandals, looking like a kind of blinged-out Hare Krishna?

Of course you do!

And you're looking at that muu-muu* thinking, "Why, that is a very attractive muu-muu. Or caftan. I wonder if I could wear that, and if I did, what would PeaceBang say?"

First of all, I would say that if you must wear a caftan/muu-muu-related garment, make sure it doesn't match your skin like this one does. Why, if I hadn't blinked and looked twice at this photograph, I might have mistaken Miss Irving for a tasteful little object d'art.

Second, if you insist on wearing a caftan/muu-muu, be sure that you have the charisma of an Agnes Moorhead or a Shirley McLaine, or at least Miss Cleo the Psychic. A muu-muu is a look. You must have confidence and verve to rock this look. This is not a professional look. This is a "I-don't-care-that-I-look-to-most-people-like-a-wacky-New-Age-type-bliss-ninny" look."
This is a look that someone can get away with after they are an established spiritual leader.

Third, have fabulous hair and face when you wear this type of garment, or you'll just look like a big column of fabric.

Finally, long, flowy garbs are not necesarily flattering to large and lumpy figures. As PeaceBang can tell you from personal experience, a large lumpy figure under loose fabric looks terrific while you're standing still, but the moment you move, the gig is up. If it's camoflauging a plump physique that you're after, structured garments like blazers and more fitted skirts (with appropriately constraining undergarments underneath) will work much better.

* I know we've talked about these garments before and that sometimes they're saris and sometimes they're kirtas (is that a word? Did I remember that correctly?), but the truth is, most Americans don't know the difference and will "read" this as a caftan/muu-muuish garment. Which they will associate with a sense of vague ethnicity and/or spirituality. And with the 60's,70's and 80's, I'm afraid.

Celebrity photo, as always, courtesy of Jessica and Heather at


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


My sweet and dear light-filled beings,

PeaceBang was just now listening to "On Point" on NPR, and while she tries to avoid worldly concerns in these posts in favor of transcendent subjects such as lipgloss, she must say that she was thinking of you as she heard experts on civil war inform us that yes, what's happening in Iraq right now is a civil war.

PeaceBang thought of all of you lighting the first Advent candles this coming Sunday and stepping up to preach on hope, and on peace, and on joy, and saying the hard words about what is required of us to welcome the Christ in a broken land of empire. She hoped that when you prepared to preach this truth, you would remember that part of what gives our worldly leaders authority is that they're not afraid to look as though they have authority.

Would President Bush or Condi Rice or the (currently unemployed)Donald Rumsfeld show up at a briefing unshaven, uncoiffed, askew, looking as though they just tumbled out of bed? No. Every button is in place, every garment is spotless, their posture is upright, their gaze steady with no crumbs in the corners. Don't let worldly leaders win the image war. People believe what they see. People trust what the body tells, and they should be able to.

May your body and your being radiate the authority of the Holy Spirit and the glory of God this Advent season. And don't forget to shine your shoes.


Nazarene Pastor and Glamorous Gowns

I made the acquaintance of a very nice, very pretty young Nazarene pastor last night who happens to work at a Body Shop in Boston, where I went to return my terrible lip gloss and exchange it for a little bottle of vanilla perfume.*

She said that it is not uncommon for women in her denomination to shun make-up because God made us beautiful on the inside. But, she added, "I reserve the right to be girlie."

Wasn't that a lovely moment of true ecumenical understanding? I certainly thought so.

On the way home on the train, I looked through the latest edition of The Improper Bostonian and had to shake my head sadly. The society pages were full of women in beautiful evening gowns and updo's, who had not a stitch of make-up on! Right there on the subway, PeaceBang keened and wailed and gnashed her teeth (quietly), wondering why any woman would go out and buy a gorgeous dress, get her hair done, and then show up at an important social event with dark circles under her eyes, bloodless lips, sallow skin or serious blotchiness?? Ladies, don't let this be you this holiday season. If an event is important enough to warrant a gown or very dressed up suit, make sure your face lives up to the outfit. Even out the skin, add some blush, put a neutral shimmer all over the eyelid and apply mascara, use some lipstick or gloss, and be prepared for those camera flashes!

Barbara Brown Taylor tells a story in her latest book about feeling awkward and terrible in a glamorous blue dress one New Year's Eve. She was apparently incredibly self-conscious because she thought the guests could barely recognize her without her collar, and she left the party early. I don't think the problem was with what other people thought. I think BBT couldn't recognize herself without that collar. And that's a serious problem.

My clergy sisters and brothers, that clerical collar identifies you, it doesn't define you, and it shouldn't own your soul to the extent that you can't have fun in party duds. Don't be afraid to shine at holiday social events. But as I said, go easy on the spiked eggnog.

*Not my favorite, but hey, it's cheap and small enough to fit in my bag and some boys apparently like it.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Garments of Praise

From the archives of PeaceBang's other blog:

Oh heavens. What was I thinking? Was I kidding, or was I serious when I posted that?

At any rate, being the responsible fashion blogger that I am today and considering the beauty and appropriateness of my religious superstars out there, I don't think pink silk jackets with above-the knee-skirts and t-strap pumps makes for appropriate vestments. Cute as can be for a holiday party, maybe, but not for church.


Chantecaille Vital Essence

A reader has just extolled the virtues of this product, so you might want to read about it, especially if you have sensitive, redness-prone, oily-T-zone skin.

For that price ($80), it should be a little miracle-worker!!

I will try to procure some samples of Chantecaille products soon so I can report back!


The Powder, She Works!

Quelle horror!
PeaceBang had no hot water this morning and while she endured a quick cold shower, she could not bring herself to wash her hair in the chilly eau for fear that she might catch a chill. So she did a quick douse -- shivering all the while, blow-dried her hair by way of styling it, and decided after all that that her greasy flat hair would scare the children at church and that just wouldn't do.

So your faithful PeaceBang took a big, fluffy cosmetics brush (a big one, mama !--- like 3" across) and dipped it in Johnson's baby powder. She powdered her part, her bangs, and just generally the roots of her hair. The powder soaked up the oiliness, her hair was rendered semi-presentable, and off PeaceBang went to church, chastened by her cold shower and absolutely unaware that the basement was flooding at that very moment.

[Sound of angels singing...]

PeaceBang Recommends:

Johnson & Johnson Cornstarch Baby Powder gingerly applied to the roots of the hair when a shampoo is impossible

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