Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Is a Jim Dandy

For those readers joining me in the quest to reduce food intake and reduce girth, I just found this little jim dandy of a resource that's going right on the fridge:

Love and health,
PeaceBang, who is packing a little lunch so she can go from a pastoral visit to a banjo lesson to the gym without becoming a ravenous wolverine and stopping at Dunkin Donuts for a huge latte and a bagel


Soft Lips

Good morning, lovely people!

It has been one cold week here in the Land of PeaceBang -- so cold, in fact, that it is reminding PeaceBang of her years in the Chicago area and in Minnesota, where winter was so brutal we would kiss our friends goodbye in October and say, "See you in March! Or maybe May! Depending on when the temp gets up above 40-below zero!"

PeaceBang remembers walking along the Northwestern University campus with icicles forming on her eyelashes and in her nose. She had one of those ankle-length down coats from Marshall Field that made her look like a small Abominable Snowman, but she was grateful for that thing, believe me. Her freshman year roommate Mary's parents bought it for her, tsking at the lame little woolen thing she had brought out from Connecticut. Bless their hearts. I saw them last summer and they're still darling as ever. Also, they haven't aged a bit. I wonder if they have any beauty regimen I should know about? Aside from doing good works, I mean?

ANYHOO, I digress.
I just wanted to alert you to a very fine product that came to me as a sample and that I've fallen in love with:

I love Soft Lips for two reasons: one, they have SPF 20, which is wonderful and rare in an inexpensive lip balm. Second, they remind me of back when I was in elementary school and had about ten different Bonne Bell Lip Smackers that I jealously guarded from my sister, who probably had only about six Lip Smackers. Remember Lip Smackers? They were enormous and stinky and you compulsively applied them all day long because they were yummy and they were your first real cosmetic purchase that you bought with babysitting money?

I used to slather on my raspberry or Dr. Pepper or watermelon Lip Smackers in the morning and kiss my dad goodbye, and he would say, "Honey, what in the hell did you just get all over my face?" And I'd say, "SORRY, DAD!" and he'd rub his gooey cheek and grab his briefcase and his tin-foil wrapped muffin and I'd hear him laughing ruefully as he ran out the door.

Soft Lips is like the grown-up version of Lip Smackers. They come in vanilla, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and mint, and probably an un-flavored version, too.

Because I wear CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor every day, which comes with a moisturizing lip balm top coat, I love Soft Lips. It is almost the same exact consistency as the CoverGirl top coat, and it has sunscreen. Plus, there's that Bring Me Right Back to 1976 strawberry flavor, only much less intense.

After all, I'm a grown-up lady now.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

PeaceBang Will Make You Famous!!

Darlings, PeaceBang seems poised to have fifteen minutes of fame. Or maybe just fifteen seconds. Whatever the case, she is tentatively excited by the fact that an esteemed journalist from the Boston Globe has interviewed her and is planning to do a story on her Glamorous Life of Blogging. Which, as you know, IS deeply glamorous. As subsequent photos will undoubtedly show, PeaceBang blogs in a tiara and a bugle-beaded gown and always has at least a dozen yellow roses on her Chippendale desk as she composes these posts -- all memorable, all profound.

THAT said, the Globe reporter would very much like to speak with some of you about WHY in the name of God you read this blog, and whether or not it has HELPED you in your quest for a lovelier, more polished public image, and whatever else you would care to tell him, for instance, how you plan to invite PeaceBang to your waterfront summer home because you adore her that much.

If you'd be so inclined to participate in the story, please indicate your willingness in the comments section, and I will forward your e-mail address to the appropriate place.

Ta-ta, dears. PeaceBang is rather a nervous wreck about all of this, but she is willing to be brave for The Cause.*

*The de-frumpification of the American clergy.


Walking When All Eyes Are Upon Thee

Oh, what fun!

This video from Fashion Week in NYC is a fantastic study in personality, presence and image.
Watch how some of these women manage the runway with a great sense of humor, grace and confidence, and how some of them (Rachael Ray, shame on you!) don't.

The thing is, PeaceBang is pretty sure that anyone who isn't a professional model must feel silly walking the runway. It's a silly thing to do, for heaven's sake. Strutting around like your dress is the most news-worthy item in the world is silly. But darlings, that's show biz, and it sells dresses.

To make a ministerial analogy, no one loves walking in a wedding or ordination processional, either. There's that gracious Queen Elizabeth smile one always has to wear, and then there's the triple challenge of reading the words to the hymn while walking and singing, and trying not to trip on the hem of one's robe in the meanwhile.

PeaceBang remembers one particularly awful processional at West Point, when she had just finished officiating at her beloved Uncle Marvin's funeral and it came time to walk out to the cemetery to inter his ashes. The grief of the assembled loved ones was intense, and you had better believe that PeaceBang felt supernaturally self-conscious walking behind that cadet as he marched solemnly ahead with my dear uncle's human remains in a mahogany box. I was trying not to sob and trying not to burst into hysterical laughter. But honey, when all eyes are upon you, grimacing and clutching at one's gut and rolling one's modest little eyes a la Rachael Ray is not the way to do it. We straighten the spine, compose the face, focus the eyes straight ahead, relax the mouth muscles to manage any trembling, and think, "Elegance, darling, and we'll have a martini when it's all over."*

Rachael Ray, PeaceBang extends to you the Pursed Lips of Disapproval.

As to the rest of you, do not for a second think it's silly to rehearse your processional walk. No one's looking, and you may thank yourself for it some Sunday afternoon when you're gliding along singing "Forward Through the Ages," looking fantabulous, and not tripping on your robes.

* I cannot lie. The moment I stepped away from the grave and the trumpeter began to play "Taps," I sobbed quietly into my hankie. But I was quiet. And I had a lovely white hankie.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fashion Emergency!

I got this breathless inquiry from a reader north of the border:

Dear PeaceBang,

I'm precandidating with a search committee this weekend (pray for me please). But I'm having an urgent fashion question. I am going to be wearing a blazer or sportscoat while I'm socializing and dining with the committee, as well as during the interview. Do I keep the jacket on while eating at the table? Do I remove it?(In the past, with congregants, I've kept it on but want to make sure I do the right thing with this search committee! Will I look stuffy? Too casual if I cast it off and sling it on the back of my chair?)Help!
Yours, PPTC"

My dear and lovely PPTC,

First of all, mazel tov on precandidating!! What a wonderful opportunity, and may you and the search committee fall in that special kind of love that every minister wants to feel with a search committee (so different from the kind of love that a flamenco dancer feels for a good-looking matador, but still very special).

As I seriously ponder your question, this comes to mind: You must not get soup on your cuffs.

You only have this one jacket and you only have this once chance to make an impression. So why not wear a V-necked sweater over the shirt for dinner, tuck the tie into the sweater, and if it's a casual-enough restaurant, take off your jacket with an air of confident boldness and say, "It's nice and warm in here. How lovely to get in out of the cold. May I take anyone's coat?" There. You've just gotten rid of your own jacket, and you've modeled good manners and servant leadership. Hanging up some of the search committee's coats will give you a moment to yourself, and best of all, no soup on your jacket or tie.

Let us know how it goes. And gentlemen readers, if I've made a gaffe here, I do hope you'll write in immediately and remedy the situation.

Much love and many blessings,

P.S. You weren't going to go with Valentine's Day colors or anything, were you? DON'T!!
happy valentines day
::::cackle, cackle:::


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said

Oh, my puff pastries. PeaceBang has just viewed some photographs from her recent trip to Guatemala, and the evidence is IN: she has gone decidedly beyond the bounds of zaftig into the territory of Just Plain Fat.

PeaceBang knew this was coming. She gleefully ate her way through Spain last January and spent last winter and spring frequenting the new barbecue joint in town and cooking up all manner of delicious delights. She ate with impunity all summer, chowing up a storm in Canada and at home, feasting and frolicking with abandon. She worked out very little this fall, and went on the Entirely Cheese and Bread Diet around Christmastime, a difficult regime immediately following the gustatory excesses of Thanksgiving. She ate fondue, she ate salmon and cream cheese bagels, and then she ate so much cheese in Guatemala that she actually swore off the stuff, all until a beautiful Vermont cheddar called her name just last week.

But all good things come to an end. PeaceBang is going to join Weight Watchers and endure the peppy cheerleadery motivational talks of the leader so that she can get weighed in (like a truck, as an old friend used to say) and pay for the privilege of being reminded that one serving of protein is the size of her hand, not her head.

Goodbye, SmartFood! Goodbye, whole containers of Pad Thai! You always were my favorite comfort food! Goodbye, 11 pm sandwiches, and buffalo wings! Hello, portion control, elliptical crosstrainer, and herbal tea. I will try to embrace you with mature forbearance and not have temper tantrums when my Wiser Self tells me that 4 sushi rolls is too much for one meal.


I don't suppose any of you out there are trying to reduce? Let's e-mail each other with inspiring bits!