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If you’ve been wondering why there haven’t been any recent posts, it’s because ms. rasberry’s world has moved. It’s now located at http://msrasberrysworld.com.

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Be who you want to be today.

…ms. rasberry…

I recently changed my birth control method from pills to an IUD. Over the course of many years, I’ve used every method except Norplant (which always scared me) and sterilization. My favorite has been NuvaRing, but because I suffer from migraines and have a family history of high blood pressure, it was determined that I shouldn’t use it.

My doctor told me that the IUD is a good option for me as long as I am in a monogamous relationship. Well, my theory on monogamy is that the only person that I can guarantee is being monogamous is me (that’s another post.) Nevertheless, I decided to step out on (faith?) and believe that I am being honored with the same level of fidelity that I am bestowing upon the person that I have been dating for a year. (If you read my ‘Unhappy Valentine’s Day’ post, you’ll realize the irony in the timing of this.) To that end, I opted to go with the IUD because 1) I’m horrible at remembering to take pills and 2) due to my insurance company’s arbitrary rules I could only get a certain number of pill packs at a time – no matter how the prescription was written. Highly annoying.

For those who don’t know, an IUD (intrauterine device) is is a small t-shaped device that is inserted through the cervix and placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The kind that I chose prevents pregnancy for five years. One shot deal – five years of protection..sounded like a good deal to me. Well, without being overly graphic, suffice it to say the past week has been trying. I’ve been feeling none too well. I figure my body just needs to get used to this newly placed object. I told a friend today that I wasn’t feeling well due to the IUD and her immediate response was “Why are you using birth control? You’re over 35!” Ok, well, damn. I know I have fewer eggs now, but I still have some and I’ll be damned if I’m trying to let them get fertilized. You see, the older I get, the more I develop a very (irrational?) fear of getting pregnant. I want absolutely NO parts of it. I love babies and if I like you enough, I’ll even babysit yours, but I certainly don’t want any of my own. At all. EVER. I explained to my friend that condoms slip, come off, break, etc. and for my own peace of mind, I need to use another method because I absolutely do not want to get pregnant.

Well, lo and behold, I get home and read this article on The Washington Post.com which basically states that I have nothing to worry about because I’ve already lost at least 90% of my eggs anyway. Well, my remaining 10% may be fighters, so I’m not taking any chances. I have two children already (a teen and a pre-teen) and I’m looking forward to an empty nest. Syndrome,schmindrome. “Fly away little birdies. Mama loves you!”

So, ok, maybe I don’t have anything to worry about. Maybe the few thousand eggs that I have left are happy to be left alone. Maybe I am being completely and totally irrational. But as long as the only four packs I’m buying are from Cinnabon and not Gerber, I’m ok with that.

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood! I am sitting here with 12 new magazines on my bed. Seven of them I purchased over the weekend and I received five of them in the mail. I am a self-proclaimed magazine fiend, so I am in – as they say – hog heaven! Oink, oink!

My mags of choice – InStyle, Essence, Body & Soul, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Clean Eating, Self and Vogue. The mail-ins – Elle, Food & Wine, Allure, GQ, Architectural Digest (even though I do adore interior design, I only get this b/c they sent it to replace my Domino subscription. I miss Domino!) Oh yeah, I also get HR Magazine. I’ll read that one last – LOL!

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

I’m loving this wall bracket/shelf combination from IKEA. I currently have seven of these shelves in my bedroom. I even use one of them as a desk! They’re quite sturdy and the black/brown color is gorgeous.

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

Well, it’s President’s Day. This “holiday,” like Columbus Day, means nothing to me other than a day off from work. I can get behind honoring the sacrifices of veterans and Martin Luther King, Jr., but Presidents? Not so much. Plus I grew up associating President’s Day with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and they were way, WAY, before my time. I do appreciate the day off though.

This President’s Day I’m deciding to focus on the current President instead of the Presidents of yesteryear.

Barack Obama has been the President of the United States of America for just over a year. I had, and to a degree still have, high hopes for what he will accomplish during his term. Well, as high as they can be considering that even a good politician is still a politician. I take everything that a politician says with a grain of salt. For some, it’s a whole shaker full. For the most part, Obama seems to be pretty much on the up & up. The Presidency is a challenging position to say the least, one for which I certainly wouldn’t volunteer. So, good luck, Mr. President. I wish you all the best. Happy President’s Day!

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

The latest issue of Playboy magazine includes an interview with John Mayer that has caused a lot of controversy among some African-Americans. In the interview he responded to interview questions about dating Black women and having a “hood pass.” In his responses he utilized terminology that was deemed offensive, including the n-word and a reference to white supremacy. Out of context, the immediate response is He said what??? Who does he think he is?” But what about within context?

Musically, I can take or leave Mayer. I have only one of his cds on my iPod, and generally don’t think about him much. I certainly don’t care about who he’s dating or any of the other tabloid nonsense. I became more interested in him after following him on Twitter. His tweets tend to be funny, unusual and, yes, sometimes a little off color. I like it when people aren’t afraid to say things that may not be PC or that people may not “get.” Apparently this tendency to say whatever comes to mind has now gotten Mayer in some trouble.

When asked about being given a “hood pass” (a term which in itself can be offensive IMO,) he said that if he really had a “hood pass” he could call it a “n***** pass.” Now we ALL know that use of that word by white folks is inflammatory to say the least. Should he have said it? Probably not. Did I get his point? Yes. Was I mad? No. Am I Black? Yes. I happen to believe that saying the word “n*****” is different than calling someone a “n*****.” The word itself doesn’t offend me, but if you call me (or anyone else) one, we have a problem. Of course I realize that it’s like two sides of the same coin, but that’s just how I feel about it. He also said that he doesn’t date Black women in a statement that compared his man parts to a white supremacist. Do I care? No. Am I offended? No.

To give you a little background, I see racism and racist undertones in most things, because, well, let’s face it, it exists in most things when it comes to how things are done in this country. That being said, I was surprised by the reactions by other Black folks to Mayer’s statements. Especially women. I completely understand the anger at his use of the n-word. Even though I get the point he was making, I can think of very few, if any, circumstances in which use of this word by a White person is acceptable. Michael Richards learned that the hard way. Do I think John Mayer is a racist? No. Of course his statement was racially charged and provocative, but in reading it, I did not get a sense of a racist undertone. Same thing with the statement about not dating Black women. I read an article (or was it a blog post? I forget) in which a woman said something to the effect of “millions of Black women’s legs are now closed to John Mayer.” Um, were they all open to him in the first place? If so, why? Now, of course, he didn’t have to and probably should not have referenced white supremacy and David Duke when discussing his preference in selecting females with whom to have sex. His response was over the top and not clearly thought out. But what is there to be mad about unless you were trying to have sex with him? Guess what – I don’t care if someone that I don’t want doesn’t want me. So, if any Black woman reading this cares that John Mayer is not sexually attracted to you, please enlighten me as to why.

John Mayer made some bad judgment calls in this interview, for sure. He has apologized for using the n-word (and btw, I’m not printing it because I know that some people find it offensive no matter the context and I’m not here to offend anyone) but I’m not sure if he has apologized for the other comments. Either way, it’s whatever. I’d much rather people say what they really think/feel than to censor themselves for public acceptance. I don’t believe in apologies brought on by backlash from the public. If you are truly sorry, then by all means apologize, but please apologize because, for whatever reason, you no longer believe in what you said/did, not just because people are upset. Perfect example: the Kanye West/Taylor Swift debacle. I hated that he launched Apologalooza after the VMAs because we all know that he genuinely meant what he said. So why are you sorry? Because people were in an uproar over it? Ok, he didn’t have to jump up on stage with her, but it’s just an awards show, man. They aren’t saving lives. (I think there were racial motivations behind the Kanye backlash as well. Yeah, he’s a bit arrogant, etc. but he always has been. He wasn’t even talking about himself. People went way over the top with Kanye hate after that event. If it had been Justin Bieber or a Jonas brother, people would have just laughed.) Mayer is known for talking out the side of his neck. His words don’t bother me, nor do his thoughts. Now if we get into racist actions, again we have an issue. John Mayer is not a politician, he’s just a musician. Meaning 1) I have no expectation of political correctness and 2) he has no impact on my life – he doesn’t shape laws, he can’t deny me housing or a job, etc. Since his apology, Mayer’s been quiet on Twitter which is too bad because his tweets were primarily witty or at least good for a giggle. By the way, if I’m completely off base and John Mayer IS a racist, at least now the cat’s out of the bag.

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

I’ve always been fascinated with how people make the most out of small living spaces. Probably because I’ve always lived in relatively small spaces myself. I live in a house now and I’m not even sure of the square footage – I guess it’s enough. Still, I find myself intrigued by small space design.

I recently purchased and read, Living Large in Small Spaces. I read it while I was home from work during the Mid-Atlantic region’s recent Snowpocalypse 2010. What I like the most about this book are the images – very colorful. Most of the people profiled in the book were interior designers or architects or had friends who were, so they had knowledge of spatial relativity in design and access to resources that the average joe or jane may find more difficult to obtain. That withstanding, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to look at pretty pictures of interior spaces ranging from 100 to 1000 square feet.

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

I’m loving the latest issue of ELLE Decor! I bought it just because of the cover photo and the photos and articles inside turned out to be pleasantly fabulous. Check it out!

In this Issue:

Things Thelma Golden Can’t Live Without

Design Tips for Small Spaces

Luxe Accessories for the Home

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

Well….it’s Valentine’s Day. I WISH I had a sweetheart to share the day…and the night…with; however, I don’t. Until very recently I was dating a man whom I adored. Too bad he didn’t adore me; so I had to let it go. It’s still fresh and it still hurts like hell. I was tempted to text him a “Happy Valentine’s Day” message earlier today, but I thought better of it. A friend told me about a party that’s going on later tonight. I’m thinking about going, but honestly, I’m not sure that I feel up to it. I’m not really the social butterfly and when I’m feeling down, I really don’t feel like being bothered with a bunch of strangers. Truth be told, even when I’m not feeling down, I usually don’t feel like being bothered with a bunch of strangers. On the other hand, I feel like I might as well get out of the house and mix & mingle. Not with the intention of trying to meet someone, but just so I don’t sit in the house and dwell on my recently lost love.

Ending a relationship at any time is painful, but ending one right before a “romantic holiday” is especially difficult. I already purchased personalized presents that I thoughtfully selected and was excited about giving to him. I drafted and re-drafted the message that I wrote inside of the card that it took me several trips to the store to select. (I have a thing about only giving cards that reflect how I truly feel, so in the end, I selected a blank card and wrote my own message.) I had a plan of how we would spend the evening (not the day because he gets his daughter on Sundays.) All of this, only to have everything fall apart, including my heart.

So what becomes of the broken-hearted on Valentine’s Day? Well, I woke up this morning wearing my “Love Bites” pajamas, so what does that tell you? I’m wondering if I should call or text him. Of course not. I’m wondering if he’s thinking about me. Of course not. I’m wondering if I should force myself to go to this dang party knowing that I don’t really want to go. Hmm, maybe. I’m thinking I’ll just stay home. After all, I went out last night to celebrate completing my 30 day challenge, that’s enough for one weekend. Right? I don’t know. I just don’t feel up to all of the pomp & circumstance that goes along with going out – picking out an outfit, doing makeup, etc. I just wanna relax. Oh – and in the words of Jill Scott, “I just wanna be loved. Like everybody else does. I just wanna be loved. I just wanna be loved.”

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

In early January, I decided to purchase a one month unlimited yoga package from a local bikram yoga studio. At the time, I figured I’d go a few times a week. After going everyday for a week, I decided to participate in a 30 day challenge. In order to successfully complete the challenge you must attend 30 classes within a period of 30 days. If you’ve ever taken a Bikram class you know how intense it is. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I wanted to try.

This wasn’t my first time trying Bikram. I did it in 2008 and had fabulous results. I became more toned, more flexible, had more balance and lost so much weight that I was the smallest that I’ve EVER been! At that time, I didn’t do a 30 day challenge – or any challenge. I went to class about 3-4 times/week.

I knew that this time around probably wouldn’t yield the exact same type of results, but I anticipated at least similar results. Well, color me shocked when at the end of my challenge, I had lost a whopping five (5) pounds and still couldn’t do certain poses or balance worth a damn. I know I’m a little bit older than I was in 2008 and I’m sure that my body has changed some, but this lack of any significant results was a MAJOR disappointment. I was pleased because I had accomplished my goal of completing the challenge; but other than that I didn’t feel any better off for it.

I know there must be a lesson to be learned in this. Not quite sure what it is yet.

I purposely told myself going in that I couldn’t expect the same results as I had the first time, but I think – no, I KNOW – that in the back of my mind I hoped that I would have the same results. Especially since I gained about 20 pounds over the course of 2009. (Don’t ask.) The thing is, it’s not just the lack of weight loss that upset me. It was also the fact that I couldn’t get into the poses (asanas) as well as I could before. Some of them, like Dandayamana – JanuShirasana (standing head to knee pose,) which I could do in 2008, I couldn’t do AT ALL this time around. Actually, I pretty much couldn’t do anything that involved balancing on one foot. My body just would NOT cooperate. I felt betrayed. I kept focusing on my standing knee, willing it to be “solid like a lamppost – you have no knee.” It just wouldn’t do it. Then when I could finally get my knee to stay solid, my foot started to quiver. It was a no-win situation for sure. Still, I hung in there and and for that, I am proud of myself. I’ve thrown in enough towels to build a mountain to rival Kilamanjaro. So even without achieving any results that can be noticed by sight, I know that I set out to do something and I did it. Yay me!

Bikram truly is addictive so I’m definitely going back. It’s also expensive so I won’t be going back too often. Going to a 6:15 a.m. class in the dead of winter is not super fun so I plan to do another challenge when the weather gets warmer. Wish me luck!

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…