Friday, May 19, 2017

GRAY IN L.A. - The UN-Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue for Seniors!

Is this ME? Nope, I hate orange!

"It's almost summer, I think it's time for the Torture-Chamber!" said my friend Gracie who is in her very late sixties (like me) in her most somber tone. Of course, she meant the dressing rooms in any store or boutique that carry bathing suits. We both kind of need a new one but with the worldwide fashion conspiracy against older women and their naked skin, we've been putting it off for years and swam in some plain old leotard without insane accoutrements  - for good reasons. For one thing, modern "old-ladies" swimsuits are breathtakingly ugly and unsexy. (I have written about that sad topic of fashion-neglect for seniors many times
Maybe the Army Look? Noooo, I'm not patriotic!

They come with ruffles, trimmings, little skirts and "tummy-control", industrial underwire and D-cups. I'd rather swim in a "burkini" than donning shrill flowerprint-suits with industrial-strength enforced boob-support that look like they belong to Joan Crawford ca. 1962. There is also the issue of scaring the fish of the oceans and lakes to death - or the guests of a fancy resort pool. We all know about the merciless body-watchers and unwanted wardens of annoying beauty ideals. Which are mostly about age and weight. So we "disturb" the youthful body parade.

My Mom at 36 (1956) in a stretchy swimsuit - and at 49 in Mallorca with a home-made Bikini

My Ass doesn't look like this anymore either......

I was never into formal bathing suits because I'm a European hippie at heart and used to swim naked or just in tiny black panties for many decades (that was considered "normal" in many circles). When I needed to cover up while traveling I wore a black bra with it, or sometimes, as a fashion statement, a 40s swimsuit with palm trees on it. That was my uniform til the last 2 seasons. Simple and cheap.

I'm still pretty slim and at a 5.8 height lucky, but had decided that the small bikini-days are over. It was time for "replacement"-therapy. But what kind? A quick look at swimsuit offerings online and then actually going to "Ross" and trying on their wares, was like having an epiphany.
Dressing rooms are constructed by mean, mysogynist profiteers who toy with women's insecurity by adding ugly garments to basically beautiful souls. And here was my special spiritual awakening via the recognition: When you are older your soul outshines your body. Which means: It's time for "soul-dressing"!
Because clothes might cover our bodies but they also reveal our souls. And when you're standing alone in front of the mirror in a fitting room and study your image (men don't do it that way, I'm sure) it isn't just about a search for a fashionable outfit but also unconscious soul searching and a desire for a reflection of your true self.
And here's the truth: Body & Soul are the most important couple in the world - they can never ever be divorced or even separated. They belong together! Looking at your aging body is a good thing. It's a great body because it carries you through your life with great strength and patience and a hefty amount of humor (I hope). You should learn how to look with love in your heart and respect in your eyes at your magnificent workhorse of a body. The soul always wears what suits her (the soul is female, did you know that?) anyway, and what feels good and authentic -  looks good on her (and you!)

I for one am sticking to the past, my personal body history and shameless hippie-approach. I found tres chic leopard print waisted panties and still have a nice black fitted bra. I'm calling the outfit a "Freekini". Voila! Just created a fashion trend. I'm going swimming....

More Photos will Follow - here's an attitude post :-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How German is it? Beautiful Bread

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Loving the Silver.....

Monday, April 17, 2017


GRAY IN L.A. - It's f#cking cold in Hamburg!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

GRAY IN L.A. "Don't Take it Personally!" - BUT I DO!

Photo: Eva Napp

**** Don't you just love it when people, friend or foe, are doing or saying something - and hastily add to it a, "Don't take that personally!" ****

I think I want to start a new Blog where I really really want to be totally controversial, confrontational, blunt, direct, "aggressive", attacking, frank, fresh, feisty, free, funny (oh, it's the "F" words again) - IN SHORT: Un-American! And I want to punch a hole in all the daily pretense and charades and empty phrases, failing to address REAL issues that burn up my energy. It might be the Trump-Blues, or it's just that Life's dark shadows are following me 

around, whispering questions into my ear, but I'm losing patience with a lot of things. Here's a phrase I keep hearing a lot lately from people I know well, even very close friends. I have two who are very busy, like we all are. I haven't seen either of them in many months. I know that's supposed to be just normal life, I'm supposed to find that fine. But their attempt at making this non-issue is an issue I have. They say: "Don't take it personally!"

I always kind of liked the phrase, "Lemme ask you this..." because it meant that a certain type of question was about to be asked. Even better was the, "Let me be devil's advocate here". Sure, go ahead, LOVE them both! And, of course, the most idiotic of all phrases: "Just out of curiosity..." Yes, indeed, questions are mostly 
connected to a certain curiosity, are they not? Therefore you don't have to say that, ok?
In this case I use all 3 phrases myself and ask the whole Universe: "How else do you want me to take it, if not personally?" And I would like to add: "If you don't want me to take it personally - could you please make an effort and do say something personally?"

I'm sensing a trend here and I think it's not healthy, even if it is understandable sometimes. People are incredibly stressed, they are afraid and worried, they don't want to get close anymore because that would mean opening their hearts and minds, showing emotions and doubts, pains and despair - therefore making them also vulnerable.

The point is, I LIKE to take things personally, I think it creates an interesting challenge and closeness and makes for lively, honest conversations that even lead to something - like discoveries about each other! I also not only like to take things personally, I like people to take ME and the things I do and say personally, because I'm a person who tries to be as personal as possible. Why? Because it gives me a soft, warm, emotional and personal feeling. It glosses over my insecurities and makes me feel like being "seen", recognized, something we all crave, no matter how silly that is.

Of course, there are things I definitely don't take personally or really don't care about one way or another. Like when a dog would try to bite me, or if the bus driver doesn't smile, or when a homeless let's down his pants in broad day light and starts peeing into the street - a daily sight in Hollywood. Nope, not taking any of that personally.

As for the rest. If you want to get a point across, need to throw in some criticism, have an ax to grind, have a real different opinion about explosive topics, don't say to me, "Don't take that personally!" Make it personally! It could be stimulating and wonderfully authentic. And I can take it. Really!

Huffington Post


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

GRAY IN L.A. Dreaming of Sharp Clothes in Korea!

Sitting in My California Garden

Why ME? You could always ask yourself that burning question several Times in your Life, but since I am a Woman with a high and favorable sense of Self, the answer to that question tends to be: Of course ME! Why NOT me? Yes, it's for Korea! Yes, I'm a Silver-Haired German Immigrant - tall, blue-eyed, and not in the least bit Asian in any shape or form, color or language. 

So what happened? A friend of mine was approached by a Korean TV-Station that had a thing with "SILVER SENIORS" - at least that's what I think the Story is....
REALLY Foreign languages (some might find German more than just "foreign"), which to me would be Chinese, Indian, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Farsi and KOREAN, can post a little bit of a problem when trying to get the more subtle points across to me. 
Why were they looking for "typical" American women, or more precise, typical L.A Women? Do they represent Something women in - let's say  - Oklahoma or Tennessee don't have? I don't know.

I understand that L.A. Women are a special breed, not just because Jim Morrison of the DOORS raved about them in an iconic Song, no, because I turned into one MYSELF.  A little bit against my will. You see, German or not, I once was a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, a gritty, pretty, unique, mind blowing City if there ever was one. Me & the City, we were an Item, in love, practically married, yet also having a tempestuous, passionate Affair at the same time.

Well, in any event, I'm not by Birth or upbringing an L.A Woman, just in Spirit. And that was and is enough for me - and apparently for the Koreans. So they picked me to complain to the Korean women and men from my classic age-group, which is, of course the BB (NOT Brigitte Bardot!) the BABY BOOMERS, about the Lack of cool Clothes in a Documentary. There are Millions and Millions of Boomers in the World - and they and us, and especially ME, want to really really dress smart, sharp, stylish, interesting, cutting edge, elegant, even witty - if they'd only let us!!

I'm lucky, I can sew and I DO. I'm not dependent on any old designers' misshapen Ideas about Clothes and the Old Girl. Not that we are in their prayers or Designs. Obviously NOT! So we have to do it ourselves, I guess. And being the Priestess of Old Chic (I'm totally bragging here just for FUN) and also being very talkative - to put it mildly - and a Writer, I was chosen among a few more Fabulous Females. I did a bit of a rant, among other things accusing famous Female Designers over 65 not to make Clothes for their OWN generation, which is indeed puzzling for me.

So the Korean Team came over to my fancy Art-Deco Landmark Building and shot part of that 2-hour Documentary that ran a few weeks ago on Korean Cable. I have absolutely NO Idea what they are saying in the Doc. All I know is My Opinion. And I think and hope that it rings true with you all, 

Here it is. Watch it!