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I thought I had a handle on life, but recently it broke... I've been repairing it for the past few months.

Also, I haven't really got the hang of the whole blogging thing.

Am I supposed to talk about every little thing that happens during my day? Or should I just post creative thoughts as they come to me?
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Available NOW on Smashwords!!! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144281

Rebecca Graves tries to make sense of her harsh work environment and embrace the role of counselor to some of the most troubled teenage girls in the country. Rebecca isn’t the type of person who can settle into position as a mediocre cog in a machine. She knows she can do more with her life, and she sets out to prove it. During this journey of self-discovery she learns a great deal, including the dark secret that has shadowed her relationship with her mother for most of her life. She refuses to let this powerful secret shatter her world, but can she handle all of the challenges that soon come her way?

Norman Gregory’s beautiful but vicious ex-wife almost shattered his faith in women. He spends his days serving as a Major in the Army and his nights as a lonely single parent, until he comes across Rebecca. On one of his isolated early morning runs, their paths cross and their destinies entwine in a story of love, friendship, courage, strength, and forgiveness.

Twilight

Mar. 27th, 2012 08:30 pm
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Twilight

Twilight now upon me
Dusk is in my eyes
Sunset now behind me
I see the fireflies

They flicker and retreat
They light the lonely hillside
They buzz all around me
Their light is in my eyes

Croaking frogs, chirping crickets
Their music in my ears
Fireflies illuminate the thicket
A symphony worthy of my years

Twilight now upon me
I lie down in the grass
Night falls softly all around me
The day now fully passed

The night sky hovers above me
The symphony softens afar
I close my eyes to sleep
To live among the stars

~Adrienne Ruvalcaba
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My heart is heavy again today. As I think about all the ways the powerful oppress others in this world, in this country, I wonder how any of it will ever change.

When the Jerry Sandusky case hit the mainstream media, I followed it with a focus that bordered on obsession. I witnessed my sister go through sexual abuse as a child. I saw the changes the abuse she suffered at the hands of our father brought in her life. She went from being the straight A spelling bee champ to being a promiscuous stereotypical African American teenage mother. I had personal ties to the Sandusky case because I grew up in the midst of some Sanduskyesque monsters who had power over me.

Despite numerous victims coming forward, years of abuse that had been documented by a few officials who failed to act, and a report from a Penn State psychologist who identified Jerry as pedophile in 1998 after a shower incident with a boy; despite all this, the man is not behind bars. He is on house arrest as he awaits his May trial.

Had this man not been the defensive coordinator for "the most storied" college football program ever, he would have been stopped years ago. Why is it that those in power in these situations are always more concerned what's going to happen to them if they stop the perpetrator? Where is the concern for the powerless victims? How many of these upper echelon men thought about the already socioeconomically disadvantaged boys being abused by this monster? Their reaction was to ban him from bringing boys to Penn State, but they had to know that this reaction didn't solve the problem for anyone other than themselves. This "don't do it around me because I don't want to lose my reputation" attitude they took is complete idiocy. Idiots should not be in charge of anything!

I read all the articles from the major news outlets, and I also read all of the comments, including the ones defending Sandusky. Some people wonder how he can have a fair trial after already being found guilty in the court of public opinion. While I do believe that everyone deserves a fair trial, I'm also aware of the fact that the wheels of justice usually only crush those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. I do not think media coverage of this case will

result in an unfair trial for Sandusky. He can afford a good lawyer.

Those officials who knew what was happening should admit that they knew enough to stop him, yet did nothing because they were more worried about their own reputations than the physical and emotional well being of a bunch of charity case kids. Those people in power, the 1% that look down their noses at the rest of us, realize that they can basically do whatever they want and get away with it. Their cronies will protect them, or their lawyers will get them acquitted. They don't care about the suffering they allowed to continue just to spare their stupid football program. These people should be in jail, right along with Sandusky... yes even McQueary and Joe Paterno (figuratively speaking since he is no longer living).

I read the entire 23 page grand jury report. The only thing more disturbing than the abuse chronicled by the victims was the absolute mockery of "reporting" these crimes. Everyone who witnessed it either called their boss or talked to a close friend or family member about what to do... Not one of them separated Sandusky from the victim and took a clear stand in the situation, and not one of them called the police.

Sandusky had all the power, and the boys he abused had none. Now that there are so many Americans speaking out against Sandusky and Penn State's actions, the balance of power has shifted. I hope the massive outrage sends a message to those who perpetrate and cover up crimes against others.
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Why am I not surprised that Zimmerman has supporters? I grew up in the south, that’s why. I’m glad the Trayvon Martin case is getting national attention. At least it means that the deep south can’t continue to be the region whose actions just get overlooked and swept under the rug by the rest of the country.

A day I’ll never forget…
When I was in high school, a classmate named Wendie hit and killed a junior high school kid with her truck. She left the scene of the accident, and the boy was left alone to die, but Wendie didn’t suffer any consequences for her actions. She may have lost her license for a period of time, but that is a small price to pay for a fatal hit and run accident.

The victim’s name was Adrian, and he lived next door to me. He was in the chess club, like me. He was my little brother’s best friend. He was a good kid. His only downfall? He came from the wrong side of the tracks, and his parents were assumed to be illegal immigrants. Wendie lived in one of the “rich” neighborhoods. One of her aunts was the principal of the local junior high school. She was also a good kid, but she was white and Adrian was not, so that made her better than he was. In that truck vs. bicycle accident Adrian lost his life, and Wendie lost nothing, despite the fact that she’d left the scene of the accident. If she hadn’t abandoned that injured little boy on the side of the road, perhaps he’d be alive today.

The day after Wendie killed Adrian, I sat in pre-calculus class and listened as some of the other kids in the class joked about it. Arnulfo ______ and Rush “Rusty” _____ were two of the most popular boys in high school. Rusty was on the varsity football team that won the state championship that year, and Arnulfo had been voted most handsome in the yearbook. They were alpha males, and they were part of the dominant culture. If they wanted to make jokes about a poor dead Mexican kid, they felt they had every right to do so.

I sat there seething in silence as Rusty and Arnulfo snickered and whispered about Adrian’s death behind me. My fuse was already short for the day, because I’d been kept up all night by the people next door. The walls in the projects were pathetically thin, so it was easy to hear the neighbors even when they weren’t being loud. In this case, the neighbors were justified in being loud. I listened as Adrian’s mother sobbed all night, and it was impossible for me not to feel affected by the woman’s grief. Anybody with even a smidgeon of compassion would have been affected by such profound, tangible, overwhelming and justified grief. I spent the night crying right along with her, but my tears had been silent.

As I sat there in class, one of only a couple of black kids, I thought of the way Adrian’s mother had looked when the police told her that her son had been killed on his way home from the fair. She took the news as any mother would. At first she didn’t want to believe it was true, and then when she did believe it she screamed out as if a piece of her soul had been forcibly ripped from her. I wished I’d had the courage to turn in my seat and tell Rusty and Arnulfo how despicable it was for them to be laughing about it. I wanted to scream at them that Adrian had been my neighbor, my brother’s friend, a fellow chess player, and a good person. How could they make fun of his tragic death?

Adrian’s story didn’t make the national news as Trayvon’s did. It happened in Southeast Texas in the 1990’s, a time when racial relations were supposed to have been much better. Things are not “better.” There is still so much work to be done, despite the fact that so many people think things are now fine. If you’ve never felt the power that the color of your skin can have against you, then I wouldn’t expect you to understand what I mean when I say that racial relations are still far from “fine.”

Racism is still alive and well in this country. It just doesn’t come out in overt ways as much as it used to. That day in class I was appalled that the well-to-do white kids could joke about Adrian’s death in such a callous manner. People keep turning a blind eye to racially motivated insensitivity and violence, and pretending that racism is merely some ghost from the past that only African Americans fear. We, as Americans, should all fear racism, and we should talk about it openly. Ignoring the problem and pretending it’s all in our minds is not an effective solution.

Feelings of racial inferiority are so internalized for me I feel guilty even now as I write this. Am I just being overly dramatic? Am I wrong for being so saddened by it?
And then there is the other side of the argument… the comeback that minorities are racists too. My response to that is as follows: When you live in a culture that has done so much to oppress and classify others, a culture that created a socioeconomic system in which only the members of the dominant culture can get ahead without serious intervention, a culture that promotes a negative view of those who are different; it is impossible not to feel a festering dislike for those who want to keep the current culture as it is. If you want to call this festering dislike for the problems created and largely maintained by the dominant culture “racism,” then I guess that makes me a racist.

Sunset

Mar. 8th, 2012 09:38 pm
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Sunset

Have you ever really seen
The setting of the sun
Taking in the scene
As you meet its glare head on
Feeling the comforting warmth
As you enjoy the last few rays
Knowing that the darkness
Is only a moment away
Appreciating the splendor
Of its fiery golden glow
Watching as it brings
Another day to its close

~Adrienne Ruvalcaba
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Possibilities

It’s possible, not probable
That’s why it’s called a dream
It can happen
But it probably won’t
Unless you truly believe…
And work hard…
And get lucky…
And a lot of other things too

Adrienne D'nelle Ruvalcaba
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I browsed the internet today, looking for statistics on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. This map shows mortality rates for lupus patients by region. The orange areas have the highest number of SLE deaths, and the blue areas have the lowest. Perhaps I will move to one of these little blue oases of longevity.
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Falling Through a Cloud

Let me wake up falling
Falling through a cloud
Not afraid of where I’m going
Not ashamed of where I’ve been
Let me wake up falling
Falling through a cloud

Let me see majestic white
Rushing toward my face
Not revealing any darkness
Not hiding any light
Let me see majestic white
Rushing toward my face

Let me feel the vapors
Caressing all my skin
Not heating me too harshly
Not chilling me within
Let me feel the vapors
Caressing all my skin

Let me hear the roaring
Roaring of the wind
Not too soft to listen
Not too loud to stand
Let me hear the roaring
Roaring of the wind

Let me fall through all the silver linings
Feeling the sunlight as it fades
Not dreading the moment the clouds run out
Not afraid to see the ground
Let me wake up falling
Falling through a cloud

Adrienne D’nelle Ruvalcaba.
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Shooting Star, you've come so far
To show your glorious light.
Shooting Star, you've come too far
To fade into the night.
Allow me now to lift my face,
And seek your illumination.
Not caring for this shadowed place,
From which there's no vacation.
Allow me now to speculate,
Not heeding limitation,
That you are part of a magical race,
Exceeding all expectations.
Allow me now to watch you soar,
As I begin to dream once more
That my hasty wish has opened a door.
Shooting Star, you've come so far
To light up this dark night.
Shooting Star, you've come too far
To become a fading wisp of light.
Once a source of ebullience and endless fascination
Not just another fixture like some ancient constellation.
You punctuated the moment with glittering trails of light,
But now you are a mere memory fading into the night.

~Adrienne D'nelle Ruvalcaba
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The is my first ever post on dreamwidth! This is also my first post as an author/independent publisher. I started my little publishing company the same week I graduated from the Civil Engineering program at Southern Illinois University. For as long as I can remember I've thought of myself as an avid writer. No matter what other jobs I've had, or studies I've pursued I've always been a writer on the inside. Perhaps I am just another silly dreamer with my head in the clouds chasing the impossible, but I like to believe persistence is the key to success.

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