Grown Ass Lady http://grownasslady.com 70's sleaze, dusty treasures, counterculture oddness Fri, 02 Mar 2018 04:02:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 Where Panties and the Paranomal Meet: The Story of the Haunted Lingerie Store http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/30/where-panties-and-the-paranomal-meet-the-story-of-the-haunted-lingerie-store/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/30/where-panties-and-the-paranomal-meet-the-story-of-the-haunted-lingerie-store/#respond Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:56:51 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2651

The Case of the Haunted Lingerie Store

In the mid-2000s, our Anonymous Friend managed a retail store, a branch of a notorious lingerie brand. The difference between this store and any other purveyor of date-night undies was a ghost. Or three. We interviewed her to find out how she made it out (mostly) unscathed.

GAL: So how did the creepy stuff start?

Anonymous Friend: The odd activity began almost immediately after I started working there, even though I didn’t associate it with paranormal activity at the time. I’d come in before the store opened to do things like schedule-writing, planning the day, stuff like that. The manager’s desk was off the sales floor in the stockroom. I’d leave the door open and I’d always hear the sound of hangers being shifted, as though someone was browsing through them. I’d go out to confirm that I was, in fact, alone in the store. After a couple weeks of this, I started getting annoyed. The air conditioner didn’t turn on until the store opened, so there wasn’t a breeze. The escalators didn’t turn on until the mall opened, so it wasn’t floor vibrations. There was no loud music playing from an adjacent store. I couldn’t find a logical explanation for it, even though I always tried.

GAL: And then it escalated, and other coworkers noticed it, right?

Anonymous Friend: It did escalate, but I wasn’t aware of anyone else having similar experiences for quite a few months.

The store had a few dozen recessed lights in the ceiling and some larger spotlights—the kind with the bulbs that should only burn out MAYBE a couple times a year. They started burning out regularly, sometimes 3-4 a day. I didn’t connect this to the hangers, and instead tried to tackle it as a maintenance issue. We had the mall maintenance people check, we had the power company out to look for surges, we had a company maintenance person come, and they all said the same thing: The lighting system was fine. There was no reason for all of the burn-outs. It was still some time before I knew my staff was having experiences—closer to fall, when we had an all-store meeting. Someone made a joke about “the ghost” and we all sort of nervously began opening up about things we’d been experiencing. As it turned out, all of us had something weird happen, although we hadn’t told one another.

GAL: Is this when you found the secret passage? (I have always wanted to say that.)

Anonymous Friend: Hahah, no, that was quite a while later. But that was really creepy. There was an emergency exit door at the end of the hallway that housed our fitting rooms. We all assumed it went out to the parking lot. I think this happened during an overnight inventory, since the alarm didn’t go off, but one night someone accidentally bumped it open, and instead of opening to an actual exit, it opened to this narrow storage room. It was filled with discarded fixtures, trash, a rotting blanket, stuff like that. It smelled so horrible that we didn’t go in there. It was like a cross between rotting meat and vinegar.

I asked the mall managers about it, since it effectively meant we didn’t really have an emergency exit. This was a rumor, but the person I spoke to told me that a homeless man used to camp out in there and died. I have no proof of that, but we did see things that would indicate someone had lived in there.

GAL: That sounds like prime haunting real estate. Now, are you feeling at this point like you don’t want to be alone in the store?

Anonymous Friend: Yeah, we all were. I felt badly for my team—they were all really smart, sensitive young women and I wanted to respect how they were feeling. I wasn’t convinced it was supernatural at this point, but I knew that there were unexplained things going on. If there were tasks that needed to be done alone in the store, I tried to take most of them. Especially since the activity was ramping up.

GAL: But that’s when you really did start to believe there was a presence or PRESENCES there?

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Anonymous Friend: On several occasions, I heard the distinct sound of someone running up and down the hallway outside the office. This would happen when I was alone in the store with the front doors locked. We were on the top floor of the mall, so it wasn’t like it was someone running laps above us. The other girls heard this too, and on a few occasions I felt the sensation of something running past me.

But I have to say—and I know how dumb this sounds—I just kept trying to find a logical explanation. But at a certain point, I think I just accepted what was going on, even if I didn’t admit it. That was probably when the voices started. I don’t remember how many times this happened, but we’d hear a voice say “HEY!” or “MA’AM” and the store would be empty. I think that was the catalyst for my assistant manager asking to perform a clearing—she was a Wicca practitioner and thought she could help.

GAL: Did your Wicca ritual work? And if not what else did you try?

Anonymous Friend: If by “worked,” you mean “unleashed a whole new level of activity,” then yeah. It worked perfectly. This is not to disparage her or the craft. She honestly did what she thought was best. But whatever presences were in the store, they didn’t like it. That was around the time the activity took a turn for the more malevolent. We also began to have customers notice. One day a woman and her boyfriend were shopping. She was a few feet away and he and I were talking by the register. I see her swing her arm around to swat something behind her. She shouted “Stop it!” And when she swiveled around, her face fell. She said that someone had been touching her. Customers also told us that they felt like someone was watching them in the fitting rooms. And these complaints? They were pretty frequent.

GAL: The lingerie store is the last place you want anyone, malevolent spirit or not, watching you try stuff on.

Anonymous Friend: I don’t really know how to explain this other than a feeling, but as the activity grew more intense, we began to identify three distinct presences: one was this sort of playful/mischievous one, the thing that grabbed customers and hid pens. A second was this sad, oppressive feeling that lingered in the back corner of the store. That area was fucking FREEZING, to the point where I turned off the A/C vent over it. The third one…that one was actually evil. I know how that sounds, its like some cliché movie, but it was. And that presence was the reason I contacted a paranormal investigator.

GAL: How do you even find one of those? And was this person anything like Zelda Rubinstein in Poltergeist?

Anonymous Friend: No, she wasn’t anywhere near that cool. I just Googled and found a paranormal research group in my city. I sent them an email about what was going on, and one of their investigators said she’d come out. She wasn’t helpful at all. We were all uncomfortable with her, and although she said that felt a “dark presence,” she didn’t offer us any help. And honestly, after she left, things got even worse.

GAL: Did this third-rate Zelda charge you for her expert opinion? And what happened after she left?

Anonymous Friend: She didn’t charge us, and she did seem like she was genuinely interested, but she had nothing to offer.  After she left, things got much worse. My co-workers started talking about a man they called Harry. He’d would appear in the store, wearing a suit if I remember correctly, and appear to shop. Once approached, he would disappear. I never saw him, but I believed my team. The other thing that happened after she left was that the presence in the stockroom got even more angry.

GAL: Oooh, tell more. So in the stockroom was like, boxes full of crotchless panties and Merry Widows and demi-cup bras? And was that the really scary area?

Anonymous Friend: It was for me, at least. I remember one of the scariest things that happened in my time there happened in the stockroom.

The door had a keypad entry and if someone was beeping in, it echoed through the stockroom, making it very obvious if someone was coming in. We had received 10 or so boxes of shipment that day, and I was in the backroom unpacking them while my co-worker was on the floor helping a customer. I paused to use the restroom and was in there for maybe 2-3 minutes. During that time, no one entered the stockroom—I would’ve heard it. When I was finished, I went to open the bathroom door and it wouldn’t move. I pushed and pushed until I finally got it open. When I saw what had happened, I almost cried. All of the boxes had been pushed in front of the door. When I’d gone in the bathroom, they were around 5-6 feet away.

I immediately ran out onto the floor and saw that my co-worker was still helping a customer. I asked her if she or anyone had gone in the back, but I already knew that no one had. I went back into the stockroom and said something like, “Please stop doing this. I work here and I have to be here. You can’t bully or scare me anymore.” I remember going home that night and telling my boyfriend about it, and I guess now that I say it here, that was probably the first time I truly acknowledged and believed what was going on. It just felt dangerous all of a sudden, you know?

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GAL: YOU TALKED TO THE GHOST!? You ghost whispered! Did it listen to you?

Anonymous Friend: No.

GAL: Shit.

Anonymous Friend: You know what happened after that? We started having fixtures come out of our walls. This sounds so ridiculous and dramatic, but it’s true.

GAL: Like flying out?

Anonymous Friend: On our store walls, we had these slide-in arms that we hung product on. They were very sturdy and difficult to remove from the wall. I remember a half dozen or so times where those would pop off the walls without anyone being near them. And, for those of you trying to explain this logically, like I was—no, the walls weren’t swollen. There was no thumping music next door. They weren’t even in the same location, just random spots all over the store. These things were being popped out. So now to recap: hanger noises in the mornings, light bulbs still always burning out, sounds of running, things going missing, disembodied voices trying to get our attention, a cold spot, customers feeling creeped out and now the unreliable fixtures. Believe it or not, I lasted another few months.

GAL: It must have been a sweet discount.

Anonymous Friend: It was, and apart from the scary stuff, I loved working there. The people I worked with were, and still are, wonderful. We internalized and laughed off a lot of this stuff—I mean, what else could we do? In a weird way, I felt like I was in an unhealthy relationship. I’d go to this place every day because I didn’t want to quit, but I was scared while I was there, and I was living with that fear, and feeling crazy on top of it, because this shit isn’t supposed to be real. And some days, nothing would happen. Those were the worst, because it was like a taste of what a normal job would feel like. But then it would start up again.

GAL: So what was the final straw? Or strap?

Anonymous Friend: The final straw was, to date, the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.

I went in one morning to do my usual paperwork. I was sitting at the desk and I heard the hangers moving. Like always, I got up to check. There was no one in the store and the doors were locked. As I was heading back to the stockroom, I noticed that the light in the middle fitting room was burned out. I grabbed a bulb and went in to change it. The light fixtures had these fake vintage glass globes over them that you had to slide off to get to the bulb. So, I slid it up and I heard this sound right by my ear…this gasp. A sharp intake of breath, like, is she going to drop it? I started shaking, like actually shaking, and replaced the globe. I stepped out of the fitting room and the door slammed shut so hard that it broke the hinges. So I took off running. I grabbed my bag and hauled ass out of the store. As I exited, I noticed that the manager of the store next to me was also running out of her store. I asked her what happened, and she said her lights had just gone out. We stood there talking—I had my back to the store and she was facing it. And then she stopped talking and her mouth hung open as her gaze fixated on a point behind me. She pointed. “Look,” she said. I turned to see what she was staring at and noticed immediately. We had these X-shaped fixtures that our bras were stocked on. On top of each was a 8½ x 11 plexi sign holder. These things were magnet-attached to the fixture. They didn’t move.

On this tower, the plexi sign was flopping back and forth, like someone had lifted it up and was fanning themselves with it. But no one was touching it. I sat on the bench and waited for my co-worker to arrive. And then I quit shortly after.

GAL: Any job has to seem good after that. Except paranormal investigation. Also, did you ever look up to see if anyone had died there?

Anonymous Friend: You know how in movies where people find those records of every terrible thing that ever happened to a piece of land? Those don’t exist. I tried.

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GAL: Hahhaha! TO THE MICROFILM!

Anonymous Friend: The only thing I ever heard was from a woman that had lived in the area for a long time, but I don’t know how true this is. She said that when the mall was being built, kids would drag race on the asphalt.

GAL: That sounds very Rebel Without a Cause.

Anonymous Friend: Anyway, she said that she remembered someone dying in a car accident, but I have no idea.

GAL: An eternity roaming a mall is probably not a fate anyone deserves.

 

We’d like to thank our Anonymous Friend for sharing her story. What about you guys? Ever have a haunted workplace? Ghouls at the Pinkberry? Uneasy presences at the 5-7-9? We want to hear about it! Comment or email us with your story.

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We Go Behind the Mask With Artist Chelsea Bayouth http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/20/we-go-behind-the-mask-with-artist-chelsea-bayouth/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/20/we-go-behind-the-mask-with-artist-chelsea-bayouth/#respond Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:34:59 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2637 IMG_0081

Artist Chelsea Bayouth specializes in work that’s a bit…off. From a distance, her animal masks and sculptures have a touch of sweetness, but as you get closer, you see how disfigured they are, complete with loopy bloodshot eyes and snaggleteeth. Bayouth, who’s based in L.A., has also worked on puppets for the beloved stop-motion animated series Robot Chicken, on Adult Swim. Like most of the offerings on that channel, the show is unsettling, endearing, and super odd. Which means it’s just Bayouth’s cup of tea. We asked her to tell us what makes her tick, and she filled us in on her apocalyptic fantasies, her favorite movies, and the downmarket food she cannot stop eating.

1) Tell us how you started making puppets and masks. What drew you to that medium?

I started making puppets and masks at CalArts when I took a puppetry and mask-making course. But growing up, I loved playing dress up—I still do—and I loved dolls. Seeing the Lion King stage play was really impactful to me as a kid. That, and there were always costumes and masks floating around my home. We were just that kind of family. We had close family friends that worked in special effects, so there were always gigantic foam heads rolling around in our garage, or something being sculpted, and smelly effects kits filled with fake blood and glass eyes. We had a huge steamer trunk of costumes in the living room that I’d dig around in (and leave all over the house) after watching any movie that inspired me. My dad also knew how to do prosthetic makeup. Once, he did full ape makeup on himself just to go to the grocery store.

There’s something about becoming something else—about portraying a character’s movements and life that I was, and continue to be, endlessly fascinated by. The things we can become while performing blows my mind. Parts of our psyche we didn’t even know were there become unlocked; we can be anyone when we aren’t ourselves. Seeing puppetry and masks can be so awe-inspiring for both the performer and audience. We all become children in moments like that. What I love most is that it puts me back into a frame of mind where I can play. It’s freeing. Mostly what I like to do is scare people. There are few things that give me a rush quite like being masked and freaking people the fuck out.IMG_25182) I love that your work has a sweet/homemade feeling, but also a dark and creepy vibe. How do those two elements come together for you?

That’s an interesting question. I feel like that sums up a lot of who I am. I feel like a paradox: I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Catwoman from Batman Returns. I love wholesome family comedies and most rom-coms, but Antichrist is my favorite movie. I love going to Glen Ivy Spa, but I also fantasize about a meteor hitting it and all the pampered ladies running around, screaming in towels.

Looking at that closer, I love folk art and other femmy art practices, but I also want to scramble that all up. Women have been making sweet crafty things forever, so what happens when those same techniques are applied and the outcome isn’t pretty, or sweet, or prim? I think that creeps people out even more, because women still have this idea to live up to: that they’re good, and clean. Whenever I take off my mask at a party or event, especially if my body has been heavily disguised, people are always shocked that I’m a lady. I like to jostle people’s expectations. I guess I feel like all of us have a shadow side, but most people are more adept at concealing it. I embrace the duality, and in that you have the brand of art I create. I think it calls to that darkness we all carry.

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3) Who are some of your fave female creep heroines?

I love this question! Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo inspire me a great deal. They’re both creepy surrealist painters who use humor, occult, sexuality, beasts, and alchemy in their work and it strikes a chord in me very, very loudly. I know the world that exists in their work—I’m certain I visit it when I sleep. I absolutely love Gillian Flynn, too. The women she portrays in her novels are dirty, unlikeable, and detrimentally flawed, and they challenge female stereotypes in a way that makes people extremely uncomfortable. Some people find her characters unsettling, but they make me giddy. She did an interview on The View about her book Gone Girl, and the ladies were so creeped out by her. It’s hilarious. And Camille Bachand is an artist who I just completely love. Her work is unlike anything I have ever seen…it’s this hilarious, uncanny, hills-have-eyes amalgam of down and out characters in a moment of their everyday lives. It highlights individuals who exist at the fringe of normalcy, but who are found all around us, should we look close enough.

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4) Beyond puppets and masks, you write poetry and draw as well. (What a Renaissance woman!) Are your drawings and poetry heavily tied into your sculptural work, or do they all exist separately?

I think all of my work is absolutely tied together. It’s all being channeled from the same place, but sometimes it just needs a different skin. My daemon is a fickle one.

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5) If you could travel in time, what would be your top 3 destinations/periods?

That’s a hard one. There are so many reasons not to pick any other time than now, because of the lack of medicine, inequality, and political and social unrest. BUT the 1850s in America was a time of so much growth and expansion, both physically and scientifically. I would love to have been part of that energy: the Gold Rush was happening, land was for sale everywhere, slavery was almost abolished, and germ theory had just taken the world by storm. It was the Wild West in so many ways! Another would be 1920s Paris. It would be so cool to live in a flat during the Surrealist movement, drink cognac from tiny glasses, rub elbows with Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, take lovers, and talk about seriously our dreams and nightmares over dinner. But probably first on my list would be living in a Native American tribe circa North America before British colonization. Or as a medicine woman in Europe sometime before the rise of Christianity. How amazing would it be to navigate the Earth and her cycles as well as we can navigate our phones?

 

6) What are your other obsessions right now? (Could be food, pop-culture, art…)

I’ve been eating instant mashed potatoes almost everyday for about two years. I just love them. I crave them all the time. I’m also in a green-tea phase and a seltzer-water phase. And Russ Meyers movies—I want to be a big busty ’60s babe in winged liner with a bad attitude. (Minus all the raping.) I’m also having a Big Daddy Roth moment in my wardrobe; I have a favorites list on my Etsy called Das Supervixen, complete with red denim pencil skirts. What else? Baby Lips lip balm from CVS, Stila eyeliner, oh, and green plums from the farmers’ market that only come into season in early September. They’re called Emerald Beauties.

 

7) What does it mean to you to be a grown ass lady?

To me, being a grown ass lady means rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Making your dreams come true. Putting the hours in. Working on your self spiritually and psychologically. Admitting when you’re wrong, or in over your head, but never giving up. Remaining playful and having fun, but not at the expense of others. Being kind but headstrong. Knowing when to walk away and knowing when to stay. Allowing yourself indulgences for hard work and allowing your self to love and be loved, wholly. Why else are we here?

To check out more of Chelsea’s work head to her site!

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The Beauty of Gap-Toothed Ladies http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/09/gap-tooth-beauty/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/09/gap-tooth-beauty/#respond Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:37:21 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2619 Given how widespread airbrushing is these days, it’s important to take a minute to praise unique female beauty. As far as we’re concerned, that is the good shit—it’s such a snooze when everyone looks the same. Since we have a soft spot for ladies who embrace their “other-ness,” we had to share this 1987 short film by Les Blank. It’s charming, sweet, and celebrates the amazing “imperfection” of gap teeth. Enjoy!

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50 Shades of Grey Gardens http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/01/50-shades-of-grey-gardens/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/10/01/50-shades-of-grey-gardens/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:16:58 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2612 When two eccentric millionaires meet up, the sparks—and fleas—fly

The distinctive whump-whump of his magical sentient helicopter’s motor echoed the staccato rhythm of a good, emotionally distant fuck. The noise brought Christian Grey out of a reverie, and he looked out over the landscape unfolding beneath him like a grassy, green blindfold from an easily manipulated lover’s top drawer. His aircraft hovered like a state-of-the-art fly over the crumbling, squalid East Hampton estate of his next conquest. He gently squeezed his cock through the weave of his pinstriped flying pants as he anticipated the dark pleasures awaiting him amongst the rusting cat-food cans and broken statuary below. He’s tired of tight, pliant limbs. He’s tired of dewy-eyed, dachshund-like Anastasia’s acceptance of his every whim. He’s tired of fucking on elevators—lazy people fuck on elevators. He’s ready to fuck on stairs, or possibly in a dumbwaiter. “Are you sure you want to do this, Christian?” his helicopter beamed into his mind. “Yes. Yes I do, Safe Word,” he replied.

He’s ready for his next conquest. Namely, the breaking of one Ms. Edith Bouvier Beale, reclusive mistress of Grey Gardens. Christian practices a few unforgiving mewls and a final mean face in his helicopter’s rearview mirror as they alight. And at last, his first glance at his next vagina-triumph.

“Look at the color rising to her cheeks,” thought Christian. “She’s as bright as all the things that would show up if I Googled ‘things that are red’.” With this self-satisified thought wafting in the air like the scent of well-used non-phthalate sex toys being tossed about on the “pots and pans” setting of a dishwasher, Christian de-helicoptered, landing lightly on his Italian patent leather dom loafers. “Hello, Ms. Beale. We mewled on the telephone.” She opens her mouth, this slightly stale sylph, and speaks.

gg kimono

Yes. A fighter. Oh, how to master this passionate kimono-free woman? Is this a rejection of all things Eastern and subservient? His insides contort painfully with hot, melty brown fudge desire treats as he hands her his first gift—a silken blindfold. He can almost hear her Sphinxlike confusion as she dons it.

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“You will wear it, Edie,” Christian keens into the gloaming. “I didn’t take the weekend off from transforming what is possible, communications technologies, and lurking near white leather furniture for nothing. Now let’s go inside, where we can complete the paperwork.” Anticipation hung over his head like a dusty chandelier on a frayed rope. Would he be smashed to bits, or bask in the warm glow of control? He whimpered like a young hairless rat doing somersaults on a George Foreman grill as he followed Edie into the dark manse. “I will break you like a defective toothpick on the wheel of time. Are you the kind of woman I can master? Who are you, Edie?”

Sunrise found Christian less than thrilled. His anger radiated from him like cigarettes thrown from an Escort full of teenagers—focused. Toxic. And likely to start small fires. He’d spent the night before on an old horsehair sofa in the servants’ quarters, only a three-week-dead raccoon for a pillow. It had done little for his disposition; less for his hair. The evening before had been spent in torture, watching Edie perform a scarlet dance, a flameless Zippo lighter always just out of reach, refusing to set him ablaze.

As Edy wandered out into the sunlight, Christian followed her, idly scratching at the new rash of flea bites beneath the band of his seventy-bajillion dollar watch. His skin usually sparkled in the sunlight—but today it was as dull as a virgin’s dirty talk, or mixing a margarita without roofies. Christian found Edy aimlessly wandering the remains of a squash court, perhaps reminiscing about her days as a debutante. “Edy. I’ve decided we’ll fly into town for strawberries dipped in free-trade poor-person blood and champagne that costs roughly the same amount as six months of student-loan payments. Doesn’t that sound like a fantasy come true?”

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Maddening. Impossible. Not hungry? Not acceptable. Moist, delicious anguish flowed through his inflamed soul like a summer house’s sewer line on June 1. Christian found himself feeling all … foreskin/medical waste bin, booger/cheap hotel room wall, tampon/floor of gas station bathroom—and she knew exactly what she was doing to him. Discarded! Rejected! She certainly wasn’t riding the horse he’d given her. He would certainly have noticed that. His steely blue eyes would’ve noticed that. There it was, in the background, biting warily at the weeds around a sundial. Perhaps it knew about the horsehair sofa.

A garbage can made from a single, giant hollowed-out diamond, full of flaming Hermes bags. A young, hopeful metaphor, lured into a back alley and strangled with a strand of freshwater pearls. A BDSM contract written over an x’ed out Magna Carta. We can subject this ill-fated desire to only so many troubling, troubled analogies before we are left scraping the bottom of the Dom Perignon barrel, our futures as empty as our nutsacks.

Christian is rich and dumb, but he is not stupid. “You are so confusing, Edie. Your bedroom eyes are as full of ruin as your actual bedroom. You refuse to be tamed! You refuse to speak sense! You won’t stop wearing tan-colored pantyhose!” Running toward his helicopter, arm outstretched, he is raised into the sky on a high-threadcount silken rope—not the use he’d had in mind for it.

“Are you all right, Christian?” asked Safe Word, probing the folds of his mind like a dirty old man thumbing a Tiger Beat behind a Montessori school.

“No, Safe Word, I’m not,” Christian beamed back. He settled back into the heated seat. “I don’t know if I ever will be again. I feel as though a half-neglected cat has gone to the bathroom behind my heart. Set course for Anastasia’s tracking device.”

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A single tear pinballed down Christian’s chiseled features as he rose into the whipped-cream clouds. Only his helicopter heard him as he whispered “Laters, baby.”

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Women and Watermelons http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/24/women-and-watermelons/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/24/women-and-watermelons/#respond Thu, 24 Sep 2015 14:07:03 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2621 So I’ll admit it, I’ve been holding out on you guys. I am such a selfish dick. About a year ago, I was traveling in Thailand and I came across some stacks of Thai fashion mags from the 80s in an outdoor market. Of course, my brain exploded about how amazing they were. But found myself in a bit of a dilemma: Whatever I purchased, I’d have to lug around in the sweltering Southeast Asian sun all day. So I had to be selective. (The things I go through in the name of visual hoarding!) So I flipped through a few, and took about five with me. They’re chockfull of weird and delightful images that I’m finally starting to scan. And now I’m sharing them with YOU. Here’s a delicious series of women and watermelon that’s the perfect post-summer-hangover cure for your eyeballs.

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Here’s the Beef: Easy Rider Magazine’s Tribute to Butts http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/17/heres-the-beef-easy-rider-magazines-tribute-to-butts/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/17/heres-the-beef-easy-rider-magazines-tribute-to-butts/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:26:06 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2603 Continuing in my theme of sharing my complicated love affair with biker culture from the 70s and 80s, here’s another classic editorial from Easy Rider magazine. As always with this rag, they chose the tasteful and subtle route to express their love of the female form.

But even considering their raging misogyny, I’m still drawn to biker mags’ in-your-face, raunchy, and often-hammy way of talking about sex. I know it’s my third-wave privilege that allows me to look back on these images and see them for the near-hilarious absurdity that they are. But these butts are just too damn cute! And PLEASE do not miss the the thoughtful writing in the center—there’s some truly eloquent poetry not to be missed. Here's the Beef_1 Here's the Beef_2

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GAL’s Summer Roundup http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/08/gals-summer-roundup/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/09/08/gals-summer-roundup/#respond Tue, 08 Sep 2015 15:18:17 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2594 You guys, it’s been too long! I know, we are the worst. Are you mad at us? Are we still friends? We still love you, we’ve just been on vacation for a hot minute getting our affairs in order. And by “affairs,” I mean doing things like searching for the best dollar-store sun visors, consuming mind-altering edibles at the beach, and conducting groundbreaking studies about fried clams, our psychic abilities, and spooky amusement-park rides. Really just gathering statistics, doing the good Lord’s work. Nonetheless, I’m so sorry we’ve been absentee parents—we promise to never leave you like that again. So here’s a little highlight reel of what we’ve been up to.

1. First off, I MUST inform you of a very important family history discovery I’ve made this summer. Are you sitting down?  My grandmother’s first cousin (which makes him my third cousin, I guess?) was CHER’S FUCKING HAIRSTYLIST in the early days. WHAT?! I have to say, I always suspected Cher and I had a deep spiritual- and/or hair-related connection, and now I know that it’s the TRUTH. Check out this photo of my cousin Frank Mustakes and Cher kickin it. Also THAT FUCKING SHIRT. This is almost too much for me to handle. It’s also nice to know that my strong-eyebrow lineage runs ruul deep. 554995_232494743516442_982518545_n

2. I’ve finally answered the burning question that’s been lurking inside your heart for years: Which of the Coney Island horror rides is better, Spook-a-Rama or Ghost Hole? My fellow spookiness-loving pal Samantha and I did some investigative work to see which came out on top. I’ll break it down for you real quick, cause I know you’re a hardworking gal who doesn’t have time to beat around the bush. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing, then by all means, please make time for that.)

The exterior of Ghost Hole (my go-to DJ name if the time every arises) is very intimidating, and I was preparing myself for the worst. However, it really all comes down to the darkness factor, and Spook-a-Rama really beats Ghost Hole in that department. It’s dark AF in there and I was fully prepared to emerge from the ride to meet the zombie apocalypse I’ve been preparing for in my dreams for years.  These photos really capture our feelings about each one:

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Spook-a-Rama

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Ghost Hole

3. I also conducted research this summer into whether or not my friends and I are psychic. I found this book in a thrift shop (where I find all my life’s most important reference materials), and it promised to tell me if what I’ve always suspected is true, that I can see into people’s souls and predict the future! So what did I learn, you ask? Umm, I have no idea, ’cause we got drunk on wine, smoked a lot of weed, ate an entire “all butter” loaf cake and proceeded to pass out. Well at least we have our priorities straight, that’s for sure.

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photo by my pal Sam

4. Other summer notables include: seeing a couple have sex on the Wonder Wheel, having a bat land on my shoulder in Prospect Park, eating my weight in fried clams, seeing a woman openly jerking off her husband at the beach, and starting to re-watch Moonlighting. And, MOST importantly, I had this shirt made on the Rockaway boardwalk…..

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How did you spend your summer vacation?

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Gone Tannin’ http://grownasslady.com/2015/08/01/gone-tannin/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/08/01/gone-tannin/#respond Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:43:33 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2617 gal summer photo

GAL will be on a brief summer hiatus until September, when we’ll be back with a vengeance. So hold onto your dicks and get ready for fall, babies.

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Meet Our Latest Crush: Tranna Wintour http://grownasslady.com/2015/06/02/meet-our-latest-crush-tranna-wintour-2/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/06/02/meet-our-latest-crush-tranna-wintour-2/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:50:55 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2589 tranna7

Tranna Wintour is a Montreal-based comedienne/performer who has a sense of humor as impressive as her long-as-hell legs. After falling in love with her via the Interwebs, we got in touch, in an attempt to understand what makes Tranna so goddamn fabulous. And though she’s busy prepping for her upcoming one-woman show, “Trantasy,” at the Montreal Fringe Fest, she graciously sent some answers over.

So let’s begin with your name: it’s amazing. How did you land on that?
Back in 2009, I went to see The September Issue in theaters and fell madly in love with Anna Wintour. Naturally I decided to dress up as her for Halloween. That same year a friend of mine dressed up as a transgender version of Justin Bieber—I know that sounds redundant—and she called herself ‘Trans Bieber.’ So I said, well I guess that makes me ‘Tranna Wintour’ and I’ve kept the name ever since. I adore Mama Wintour as a character—I love the way people fear her (even though I’m sure in reality she’s actually quite a boring woman) and I love her power. My name/her name gives me the extra little bit of confidence and power I need to take things to the next level when I’m on stage.

Tell us a bit about how you got started in comedy.
Growing up I never could have dreamed in a million years I would be a comedian—it was never even a thought. I’ve always been a performer, that energy has always been the truest part of my nature, but I had a hard time figuring out how to express my creativity in a way that was fulfilling. I always enjoyed acting and singing and writing, but none of those things on their own truly fulfilled me. It was actually my discovery of Sandra Bernhard’s work a few years ago that changed everything for me. Seeing the way she mixes comedy, monologue, poetry, fashion and music all together just blew me away. Her work changed my life. It turns out comedy was what I had been searching for all along and since I’ve started doing comedy, nothing has ever felt more right or more natural.

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What can audiences expect from your new one-woman show “Trantasy”?
People can expect glamour, pop ballads, emotion, laughter, sexual confusion, spirituality, Mariah Carey worship—basically, this show is some of the best entertainment you’ll ever get for $10. I’ve been working my ass off on this show and I will be giving audiences everything I possibly have to give as a performer. “Trantasy” is the culmination of everything I’ve been working on over the past two years. I’m putting together all of my best material, throwing in some new stuff and centering it all around the idea of fantasy. I think our truest, most authentic selves are the selves that live in our fantasies—the selves we dream of being out loud. The greatest thing a person can do is live their fantasies and make them reality. If my show gives even a single person the push they need to make their fantasies come true, and to be their most authentic selves out loud, I will be one very happy showgirl.

You and GAL seem to share a love of offbeat vintage glamour. Are there any vintage style icons who helped shape your look?
There are so many style icons I’ve been influenced by and I always try to honor them in my sartorial choices—Amanda Lear, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Dalida, Faye Dunaway, Dottie West, Julie Newmar as Catwoman, the Wicked Witch of the West, Joan Collins, ’70s Cher, Miss Piggy, and anyone who’s ever worn a sequined cape.

What is your beauty routine?
I wash and moisturize my face with the most basic moisturizer: Ponds. I put on music (99% of the time it’s a Kylie Minogue album). Music is essential to my beauty routine. I take out all the makeup I need and lay it out. I start by doing my eyes—everyone knows the most indispensable eye product is Urban Decay’s eye primer. I always tend to go for a smoky eye. Then I do my foundation and blush, followed by my brows. The brows are the most important part. We’ve always been told our eyes are the windows to our soul, but I disagree—our brows are the windows to our soul. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than the one you get when you get your brows just right. And there is no greater horror than when they come out a bit wonky, but luckily that doesn’t happen too often. After my brows I do my lips (my current favorite lipstick is MAC’s “Captive”) and the very last thing I do is apply my mascara (“Smoky Extravagant” by Makeup Forever). Before I get dressed I put on lots of perfume. I have a dozen perfumes I alternate depending on my mood. Nothing smells better than “Fleurs d’Oranger” by Serge Lutens but it’s so fucking expensive, so I only wear it on very special occasions. I’ll be wearing it for the entire run of “Trantasy.” Smelling good is the key to success.

Who are a few of your favorite Grown Ass Ladies who inspire you to live your best life?
I love this question because in everything I do, I always try to honor the amazing women who inspire me, and there are so many: Kylie, Liza, Cher, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, Eartha Kitt, Tina Turner… But the women who have inspired me the most profoundly are my mom, my grandmother, Mrs. Martella (my 9th grade English teacher), RuPaul, and Sandra Bernhard.

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If you could time-travel to anywhere/time, where would it be, and what would you do when you got there?
Without any hesitation, I would travel back to 1978 and I would head straight to Studio 54. Actually, first I would go to Halston’s place for some pre-party action and try to become best friends with Liza. I’m very well aware that there were actually much better clubs around at the time, like Paradise Garage, but no place represents the decadence and glamour of disco better than 54. It was the most opulent, hedonistic time ever. No wonder disco died out so quickly: there’s no way a party that good could last forever. I am a total disco glamour girl at heart and I really wish I had been a part of that time, for the clothes alone! Disco is the only kind of music that truly brings people together—how could you listen to a disco beat and not want to dance?

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Murder She Wrote: Bitchface Edition http://grownasslady.com/2015/05/21/murder-she-wrote-bitchface-edition/ http://grownasslady.com/2015/05/21/murder-she-wrote-bitchface-edition/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 15:05:44 +0000 http://grownasslady.com/?p=2533 Murder She Wrote ran for 12 years, had consistently high ratings, won and was nominated for a slew of awards, and had virtually everyone in Hollywood—including George Clooney, Cynthia Nixon, Joaquin Phoenix, Neil Patrick Harris, and Megan Mullally—appear on it as guest stars. (Seriously, it was the Law & Order of its day, check it out.) So why do the people in these stills look so PISSED?

Jaykay. We know that nobody who ever appeared on MSW had a bad day—they were just experts at portraying furious murderers, spoiled millionaires, and cranky art thieves. In order to demonstrate the soulful, incredible acting on MSW, we collected the top-quality bitchfaces that made this stellar program what it was. Take it away, Wrote-rs!

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