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I've had a website since 1999. In that time, I've had maybe 10 web hosts, choosing them by internet search and guesswork, or occasionally through someone's recommendation. At first I thought I was just choosing badly. Then I realized that part of my issues with support have come from sexism and disrespect of women. Then I realized, not only do they disrespect women, I know *vastly* more than first level support. Sometimes immediately asking to be transferred to second level support works better.

Most recently, I realized that a previously great web host can go rapidly downhill after being purchased by EIG, as Site5 recently was. I tried moving to HawkHost as recommended in comments to one article, but I'm having too much trouble with mail from their servers being labeled as spam, so I'm back to my Site5 account for now.

This article recommends InMotion hosting. Anyone have experience with them? Or a recommendation for a non-EIG cpanel-enabled web host?
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Want to find an old LJ friend? Linking DW and LJ identities by [personal profile] nanila. A useful list!

The Corporation Does Not Always Have to Win by Albert Burneko. Re: Dr. Dao being dragged out of his paid seat on a United plane by Chicago police. It is okay for the corporation to lose a small portion of what it has in terrifying overabundance (money, time, efficiency) in order to preserve what a human has that cannot ever be replaced (dignity, humanity, conscience, life).

SuperBabies Don't Cry by Heather Kirn Lanier. Countering the ableist narrative of New Agey positive thinking. Content Notes for quotes of New Agey positive thinking and description of some infant medical procedures.

Losing Friends to Ableism by Erin, aka GeekyGimp.
Losing friends to ableism exposes what people think of you as a human being, and that truth is painful. It’s another scar you get from living as a disabled person in a society that devalues you at every point.

Conscious Consumerism is a Lie: Here's a Better Way to Help Save the World by Alden Wicker. I thought about this one a lot, because I vote with my dollars whenever I can. The message of this post is that switching from one corporate purchase to another is less effective than donating money to organizations fighting for the environment, etc. I still believe that buying from local small businesses directly supports people I want to support, and I will continue that practice.

Sometimes, it actually IS hormones: a story of feminism and medicine by Chance&Lily Spy Cats. "We really need to work on research funding for some of these conditions."

Whites Only: SURJ and the Caucasian Invasion of Racial Justice Spaces by DiDi Delgado. SURJ and other all-white anti-racist groups should be accountable to people of color.
If history has taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more disappointing or dangerous than a room full of white people. With that in mind, I’d like you to consider why anyone would expect white-led anti-racism organizations to be any different. [...] Imagine a vast network of men meeting up on weekends to discuss dismantling patriarchy, and every once in awhile they check in with a woman to see if they’re doing it right.

Can you explain why straight passing privilege isn't a thing?
Regardless of your sexual orientation, the vast majority of people are going to assume you’re straight all the time unless you are doing something specifically coded as being romantic or sexual with someone of the same gender (or someone who is assumed to be the same gender) at that exact moment. highlights immigrant-run businesses in Portland. This StreetRoots article about founder Tim Cowley says, "Cowley’s career has centered mainly on assisting Christian-based nonprofits through digital media." Which definitely gives me pause.

The AP Stylebook’s New Rules On Gender-Neutral Pronouns Are A Small But Positive Step In The Right Direction by Natasha Guzmán. Go forth and use singular "they"!

The Trauma of Facing Deportation by Rachel Aviv. "In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country." Faced with inexorable threat to life, our bodies simply shut down.

Seeing My Body With Fresh Eyes by Ashley Ford. Original title was "My Boyfriend Weighs Less than I Do." Content Note for struggling with body hatred.

On Divorce and Ambiguous Loss by Rachel Barenblat.
The relationship through which I once self-defined no longer exists, but it will always have existed, and I will always be shaped by it, even as I work on learning to define myself in other ways.

At UCC Portland I saw an intense exhibit on Cambodian Resiliency. It included some vivid paintings by Vann Nath, one of a handful of survivors of Tuol Sleng Prison during the Khmer Rouge subjugation of Cambodia. He documents what he saw and experienced there. Content Note for depiction of torture and abject misery.

One more: To body positive friends who don’t wear plus sizes by Your Fat Friend via Shakesville.
Do not reject your fat friend’s experiences out of hand because of a lack of context. Instead, find the context. Look harder. Sharpen your vision. Listen closely.

Noted for my future reference:

Wire a privacy communication app. I have been using Signal for secure texting, which doesn't have a dedicated desktop app, so I'm thinking about trying this one when I have a little time to experiment.

ZEMS: The Best Hearing Protectors in the World by Kelly Dillon. Lightweight, inexpensive, effective ear protection. What's not to like? I will likely try these.

Private Internet Access VPN. I appear to have closed the tab where this was recommended. I will probably sign up, since Congress gave ISPs the green light to sell our browsing history.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
"Should" makes us look over our shoulder to see if we are good enough yet. "Could" invites us to look inside instead.
Relieve Pressure: Replace Should with Could

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

Touch for Complex Trauma
I recently took a three-day training on Complex Trauma: Touch-Based Methods for Early Trauma, Syndromes, and Trauma Structures with Kathy Kain. I learned several gentle techniques to help a traumatized nervous system learn to regulate, rest, and safely connect with others.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.

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A series of FAQs on how to discuss race with Black people, by @absurdistwords, whose byline is 5'7 Black Male.
How to Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 1 — Beginner "So. You’re a white person looking to hop into a discussion about race with black people."
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 2 — Intermediate "Now you’ve got a good grasp of the basics. [...] Q: No offense, but what about black-on-black crime?"
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 3 — Advanced "At this point, you’ve realized that acknowledging your privilege doesn’t mean that you are evil, nor does it mean that you have not struggled, worked hard or experienced hardship."

Why Lemonade Is For Black Women by Dominique Matti. "There is a specific betrayal in a Black man failing his daughter. [...] Even if she transcends them, even if she rises above the smoke, makes a phoenix of herself, a small girl inside of her will overcompensate for the parts of herself she believes to be intolerable — unlovable, disrespectable."

The Writing Life of A Disorganized, Antisocial, Black Single Mom with ADD by Ijeoma Oluo. "I sit and “listen” online, in person, on tv, in articles — to what isn’t being said, and I ask myself why."
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Older Queer Voices, a collection of writings.
As [personal profile] alatefeline says, put together specifically to highlight the voices of the LGBTQIA+ elders who are still with us and teach us how they have done survival activism and superb art in a time and place that hated them.

Essays, art and opinion exploring the lives of people living with disabilities at the New York Times, via [personal profile] jesse_the_k.
This is a weekly column, so there are a lot of articles to browse through. Here's one that spoke to me: Love, Eventually by Ona Gritz.

Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed by Ijeoma Oluo. A primer for folks just starting out with anti-racism, and a good reminder for the rest of us white & privileged folks. "Racial privilege is like a gun that will auto-focus on POC until you learn to aim it."

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America by Chris Ladd. "Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe." (Of course, those good jobs are meant for white men.)

The Problem With Facts by Tim Hartford, via [personal profile] supergee. How the tobacco industry intentionally sowed doubt to continue profiting from a cancer-causing product, and how their tactics are being used by the current US administration. This one makes me sick to my stomach.

Always Go To The Funeral by Deirdre Sullivan, via a friend on the occasion of a former coworker's unexpected death. I was surprised how many of our former coworkers planned to go to the funeral, and she pointed me to this. I have felt extremely awkward at funerals where I felt I didn't belong, so I think it can go both ways. But the larger message stands.
In going to funerals, I've come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life's inevitable, occasional calamity.
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This Is A Letter To My Son by K. J. Kabza. Science fiction about a trans kid, and people finding their way. The writing is full of light, and full of deep emotions handled just right.

via [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, who edited the story.
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Paying attention to our limits helps us compassionately care for ourselves.
Cherish Your Limits

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Waiting list
My schedule has been full and I have continued to receive calls from new clients, so I started a waiting list. I'm both delighted to be in demand and chagrined to turn down people reaching out for help. Based on past ebbs and flows, I expect to have more room in a month or two.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
We are entitled to complete autonomy over the insides and surfaces of our bodies.
Healthy Entitlement: Discern Your Domain

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update complete
You can now order the updated Wellspring of Compassion ebook, with current weblinks and better formatting, for $4.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). If you already own the Kindle version, you can update it via the Amazon "Manage Content and Devices" page.

French translation
My article The Betrayal of Not Being Heard has been translated into French by Armelle Pernet for Association Internationale des Victimes de l'Inceste. If you understand French, take a look! Ne pas être entendu, un sentiment de trahison.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Apparently I haven't been posting these! Perhaps I've been a bit distracted by current events. Here, have several in a row.

Emotions are meant to move. Giving them more space allows them to flow and change, peak and ebb.
Counter the Feelings Police

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Presence After Trauma available as ebook!
You can now order Presence After Trauma as an ebook for $7.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). The ebook includes all the illustrations.

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update
The next task is to update the Wellspring of Compassion ebook with what I learned making the new one. If you already own Wellspring of Compassion as an ebook and you want an updated copy, email me and I'll send you a new one when it's ready. I'll update broken web links and remove repeated images, so it will be a somewhat smaller file.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
This month I made a donation to Outside In because of the assault on trans rights going on everywhere. Their mission statement is, "We help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency." Their website also says, "The point of return." They have a low-cost medical clinic, and I associate them with being very trans positive and helping trans kids who end up on the streets (which is a lot of them).

I'm finding that I want to keep my donations local, or at least make them to smaller local orgs that won't be the first organizations people donate to nationwide.

I also put up a yard sign from nwgsdpdx, which I had guessed was NorthWest something something Portland, but turns out, fabulously, to stand for Nasty Women Get Shit Done (in Portland). Their yard sign sales have raised over $10,000 to subsidize rent for incoming refugees as well as making the neighborhood look firmly welcoming. I was more than happy to fork over $10 and carry my sign home.

Free downloads of their great graphics available in 8 languages so far. Graphic based on a design by Jason Maxfield.

Check out this awesome sign! )
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Why Does Dating Men Make Me Feel Like Shit? by Emma Lindsay
Usually instead of saying “I am turned on by that woman,” a man will say “that woman is hot.” The first phrasing places the locus of control within his own body (aka, in a way, making it “his fault” if he gets turned on), the second phrasing places the locus of control within the woman’s body (making it “her fault” if he gets turned on.)

This article explains rape culture. Men locate control of their sexual feelings in women instead of themselves because they feel ashamed. Wow. I've noticed the shame, but never understood it this clearly.
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On Belonging by Kate Leth

"I don't count because I'm in a relationship." "I don't count because I've only ever kissed one girl." "I don't feel like I count in the queer community because I have a boyfriend." "I want to go to pride but people always scoff at me and my partner." "I'm not gay enough." "I'm not straight enough."

It's not something any of us bring up at the dinner table unprovoked, but I have heard it over and over again.
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As it was introduced on twitter: Content warning for PoC. White folks, this video can be a first step for talking to our “colorblind”/ignorant/racist family members.
Blakc parents explain how to deal with police by Jason Kottke.

Made me cry. Made me think. Made me want to spread it far and wide so people understand the weight of our already existing police state.
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How to Talk About Race by Natalie Kim. A quick, clear comic.

Malkia Cyril: Net Neutrality Is the Civil Rights Act for the Internet by Mike Ludwig.
In 1965, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, it was passed to ensure, to prevent discrimination in housing and transportation. It was basically the act the ended legal Jim Crow. And net neutrality prevents legal Jim Crow online. It prevents people without means, who are disproportionately people of color, people without wealth, small businesses, independent artists, regular people, it prevents them from having to be tracked into a subpar and inferior internet experience and internet life.

Rebel Girls: 33 Badass Women Leading the Resistance (On Twitter) by Carmen Rios. I take issue with some of the descriptions and selected tweets, but still, putting this here for reference.

I feel like one thing the “queer is a slur” crowd overlooks... by Alexandra Erin, via [personal profile] tim.
If “gay” is trying to appeal to a bigoted admissions board by being smooth and shiny enough to slip in, “queer” is challenging the admissions board to accept or reject you on your own merits as you exist, and challenging the bigoted assumptions that underline the power structure as revealed by this. It’s bypassing the admissions board by creating your own infrastructure for sharing resources and information.

About Southerners On New Ground via [personal profile] elainegrey. A cool organization that came up in the same conversation as the previous link.
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah by Kieryn Darkwater. Somewhat off-theme, but explains a horrifying piece of what happened?!
Homeschoolers may make up a small portion of students as a whole, but they are loud, have time and can be activated with one email blast.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
I went to Unite Oregon's No Ban No Wall rally in downtown Portland yesterday with a couple of friends.

I'm glad I went! )

We stood for an hour. My back hurt by the end! Rallies require able bodies (or assistive devices). I have mixed feelings about going to more rallies myself. I'm glad they're happening. I like adding to the count of people there, connecting with other folks resisting, and feeling the support of the speeches. At the same time, I'm not convinced it's the best way for me personally to resist. Still thinking about that.

I guess my objection is that I'm not sure this deserves the Tikun Olam tag. It's definitely resistance, but did I make the world a better place, even incrementally, by attending?

Erik Loomis says Keep Protesting!
As I and many others have stated, if you ever wondered what you have done when Adolf Hitler took power in Germany or Francisco Franco in Spain or Augusto Pinochet in Chile, well now you know. You would do exactly what you are doing now. If that’s going into the streets, then great. If that’s complaining about protestors or whining about liberals or whining about the left, then that’s what you would have done in 1933, 1937, and 1973. Only you can stop Trump. So do it.
I suppose in that context, yes, attending rallies does incrementally make the world a better place, or at least tries to keep it from getting worse quite so fast.
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You’re not just imagining it: the Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump vote totals do look rigged by Bill Palmer. This post supports my immediate post-election intuition that the results were rigged.

For a few hours, Badlands National Park was bad to the bone in defiance of Trump by Darryl Fears. The strain of the constant official gaslighting shows more clearly in contrast with the joy of seeing plain truth spoken from an official source. Trump told National Parks, NASA, USDA, EPA, etc. to shut up, and someone at Badlands National Park - didn't.

List of "unofficial" national park and other government agencies by Alice Stollmeyer. Resistance! Shifted over to unofficial accounts where they cannot be silenced.

White House insider: Donald Trump thinks his own staff is committing “mutiny” against him by Bill Palmer. I'm learning a lot from following @RoguePOTUSStaff.

Wikipedia article on De-nazi-fication. I hadn't known this happened, and it's encouraging to read about how it already happened (at least) once, because we desperately need it in the US too.

How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101 by saroful. Lots of great advice in this post. There's pushback about the title in comments.

How To Help The Cause When You Need Help Yourself by Carrie Cutforth. Active compassion for your mental illness is a form of resistance.

The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies. Thinking about what I might want to have on hand.

What You Learn Doing Abortions After 20 Weeks by Dr. Jen Gunter.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
In my weekly folk dance email, which goes out to 140 people even though only four or five come to my groups, I sent out a few videos of songs and dances with Muslim backgrounds, in acknowledgement of the heart-breaking Muslim Ban enacted in the US yesterday.

Bulgarian dance Staro Pomaško is named after the Pomaks, Bulgarian Muslims. Here it is danced by Dunav in Israel, led by Yves Moreau, who originally taught the dance. He sings along a bit, too. We have sheet music for this, so we'll sing it at the next singing group meeting.

Nardanina is a Muslim Georgian song. Here is Aragvi Project singing it for a bit, then video abruptly cuts to other beautiful Georgian songs.

Jazzy version of Nardanina, complete with trumpet solo!

Seems like the threatened white supremacist march in Montana didn't happen (yet), so I directly contributed $100 to the Montana Human Rights Network for my January financial action. I figure they'll help Jews and Muslims.


Jan. 24th, 2017 11:55 am
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I'm feeling dread and despair as I watch the Republican fascist agenda unfold. Muzzling the USDA and other government agencies from talking to the public. Dismantling the ACA by every sideways tactic possible. Immediate international gag rule from even mentioning abortion as a healthcare alternative. Introducing federal anti-abortion legislation. Leaving the UN? (Haven't heard if that actually passed.)

Here and there we hear sparkles of abusive legislation blocked. In Arizona, Ethnic Studies have not been defunded. Rah. But each fight is so hard-won, and there are so many of them.

How are we going to survive? How is this happening so fast? People keep saying trash fire, dumpster fire. It feels like the world is on fire. Something will survive, something will grow back, but not necessarily us or anything resembling our world as it is now.

Right after the election I was deciding whether I needed to flee immediately. It doesn't feel like that would even help, although it's good to remember it's still an option. Even if I decide to rebuild somewhere else, this is my world and it is being destroyed with vicious speed.
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One dark December evening, I was biking through a small commercial district, using a high-powered light and reflective gear as always.

As I approached the 4-way stop intersection, a white lady in an SUV-van type vehicle ran her stop sign to turn right in front of me. Then she stopped to parallel park. I stopped behind her to wait for opposing traffic to clear so I could go around her.

She backed her big SUV-van type vehicle straight toward me! I jumped up and down and yelled. She stopped and opened the window and gestured me around her. I said, "Watch the hell out!" She said defensively, "I didn't see you!" As I biked past her, I said, "That's the problem!"

I hope she learned something. I suspect she didn't.

As icing on the cake, someone yelled from a house across the street, "... fuck ..." It might have been, "Shut the fuck up," directed at me, but since I couldn't hear it clearly, I'm going to keep hoping it was directed at the lady's poor driving and judgment. Let's pretend it was, "Wake the fuck up!"

We white lady feminists need to make sure we see the more vulnerable and less powerful women of color, disabled women, lesbian women, trans women, immigrant women around us, rather than focusing only on the oppression of Christmas shopping we experience.
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Preserve, Protect, and Defend by David Remnick, who tells it like it is.
Where is the slightest evidence of this magical transformation? Where are all the sober counsellors, the newfound ethics? Where is the competence, the decency, and the humanity? The reality is that the Donald Trump of birtherism, of Mexican “rapists,” of Muslim registries, of “grab them by the pussy,” of bankruptcies and lawsuits and colossal conflicts of interest—this is the same Donald Trump who, with his hand on Lincoln’s Bible, is taking the oath of office, vowing to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

via Onyx Lynx
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