The life of an airline pilot or flight attendant is a nomadic one filled with the greatest adventures in the furthest places. In a way it’s like the life of a Gypsy, traveling the world in search of what we need.
Sometimes I think that we could just be friends.
‘Cause I’m a wandering man, he said to me.
And what about our future plans?
Does this thing we have even make sense?
When I got the whole world in front of me.
So I said,
I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I can be tonight.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I love gypsy life.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, maybe we could see the world together.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I can be
So, I just packed my baggage and
Said goodbye to family and friends.
And took a road to nowhere, on my own.
Like Dorothy on the yellow brick,
Hope my ruby shoes get us there quick.
‘Cause I left everyone I love at home.
And I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I can be tonight.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I love gypsy life.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, maybe we could see the world together.
I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I can be
‘Cause I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy,
I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m A Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy, I’m
I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m A Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy, I’m
I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m A Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy, I’m
And then he asked me, he said, ‘Baby, why do we love each other?’
I said, ‘Honey, it’s simple – it’s the way that you love and treat your mother.’
Thought that I would be alone forever, but I won’t be tonight.
I’m a man without a home, but I think with you I could spend my life
And you’ll be my little gypsy princess,
Pack your bags and we can chase the sunset,
Bust the rear view and fire up the jets cause it’s you and me
Baby for life! (Would you go with me?)
For life! (See the world with me)
Cause I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy,
I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m A Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy,
Russia, UK, Paris, I’m Italian, Asian combined,
African, India, I’m a Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy, I’m
Latin-American, I don’t speak German but I try.
Someday in Jakarta, I’m American, I’m Gypsy, I
Bangkok, Australia, Malaysia, Sweden, Finland, Norway.
Be my home, just for the day.
I’m a Gypsy,Gypsy,Gypsy, hey. “
Yoga is a generic term for the physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines, which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.
I think everyone needs a quiet and peaceful escape once in awhile. Usually biking alone to music or surfing alone on a vast ocean are my two choices. This time alone gives me a chance to clear everything around me and to just focus on me. How am I really feeling, am I stressed, am I excited, am I confused, and am I really allowing myself a chance to process those feelings and thoughts? We get caught up so often in our lives around us that we forget to look inwards sometimes, perhaps out of fear what we will find. I find there are many real worlds these days, the Facebook world, the instagram world, the friendship world, the family world, the partner world and then the world where you stand-alone just by yourself. I think the last one is probably the most important one because as we go through life the longest and most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves.
Like all relationships they can take you to some exciting and passionate places, to the highest peaks and sometimes to the lowest valleys. The relationship you form with yourself is truly the most powerful one. I think most people get so consumed with everything around them that there is no time to focus inwards. If you feel insecure, then play it off as nothing then you are just covering up a feeling you really have. The purpose would be to acknowledge all of your own feelings and accept them and eliminate them. I understand why people turn to religion, to find meaning over some things in their lives. To seek guidance, to plot a path forward or recover one from the past is why people always look outwards for guidance. When looking outwards for guidance it leaves yourself open to the chance that you will gain guidance from someone who would do something completely differently than you would do. I think the key is to really look inwards as we have all of the answers ourselves whether we perceive to know it or not.
I find yoga to be a very terrific tool to reach your deepest inner core and find the answers you need. Science is starting to reveal a lot of things about how our muscles can store energy be that a good energy or bad. How our body can act out in a negative way when we are not in a good place. Pimples and sore muscles with stress, tossing and turning in bed with a bad sleep when we are angry or sad. There is all ways be a face wash, a hot n icy pack and some pill to “remedy” the illness but using an outside remedy for an internal problem will just not work.
Yoga not only is very physically beneficial for toning muscle and increasing your longevity. Yoga can improve your mental state of mind and generally improve your overall being. I attended a Yoga class outside in the Christie Pits Park in Toronto for the first time on Monday and it was terrific. My friend Kyle, who just recently came back from a Yoga Instructors retreat north of Toronto, taught the class. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze as we had our class under slowly swaying tree branches. It started off with my eye’s wondering through each movement, from chatarunga to our sunshine and warrior poses. I couldn’t help but watch the people, the street car, the dogs running around, my mind just couldn’t focus. We continued through the class and as I reached a deeper physical place with lower and deeper moves I found my mind slowing to focus. Through each move deeper my mind slowly started to tune out the noise and I actually noticed how much I was just focusing on the poses and myself. I found my perfect Drishti (viewpoint) after each move with no problem and did not let my mind or eyes wonder. It is not the noise disappeared, it was just that it oddly disappeared as a focus point.
It was really one of the most beautiful and balanced classes I have ever taken. The patches of sun through the tree, the warm breeze, the raw earth between our feet and deep poses were just a great experience. I finished the class feeling like very relaxed and very at peace from within. My body felt like it just had a day at the spa, my muscles relaxed and my mind feeling very happy. I remember I could t stop smiling for about 5-10 minutes afterwards; the feeling was very euphoric. I just can’t wait until Thursday when Kyle is teaching another class in the park.
If you haven’t tried yoga you really should and if you are like me who have done it in the past but let it go you should really try it again. I started yoga about 1.5 years ago and have been feeling physically and mentally improved after each class. My back was twisted up with muscles’ being stretched in a bad ski accident in college where I broke my skis. Sitting in the cockpit of a plane hour after hour my back used to hurt tremendously after about 3 hours and I would end up taking a few Advil every single day. I knew I had to change something as if this was how I was at 26 years old, 55 seemed like it would be a nightmare. Steadily working out, biking and yoga has truly made a great change in my overall well being. I haven’t had to take any Advil for pain relief while flying in over a year now.
I made the mistake of letting yoga go for about 5 months and this class reminded me how great it made me feel and how much my entire body missed it. I guess I wasn’t listening like I should have been. Buy an affordable mat, grab some friends and find a yoga class. The goal of yoga is to increase your physical, mental and spiritual well being and while I am learning about the spiritual aspect is for now I can say It just feels great!
Namaste Kyle Murray
What does this word mean to you?
When someone mentions the word politics are you filled with feelings of optimism or a dreary feeling of despair? Do you have a feeling of cluelessness or one of passionate conviction? Does politics seem divisive or uniting, something to criticize or something to celebrate, perhaps maybe just a feeling of ignorant bliss?
Politics means many different things to many people across our country of Canada. Are you a Liberal, a conservative, a NDP, perhaps a forward thinker, perhaps a backwards thinker, what about those sideways thinkers?
Politics is the art form of bringing forth a set of rules or goals for which society should live by. I have been attracted to and worked in the left of center politics for a number of years now and have been loving it. I believe the left of center or Liberal party best represents this ideal, which is blending a healthy fiscally responsible economy with a moderate level of social services. It’s not just the leader or the MP’s as they come and go. It is about the people its policy affects. The policy to help the single mother who perhaps needs an element of support in a publicly funded daycare so she can work to provide for her family. It’s about the senior who is living on a barely above poverty line income who needs to pay for medication in order to survive. It’s about the people who require public transit to function for work as driving a car is simply not an affordable option. Its about my fellow young Canadians who are graduating with debt into a tough labor market, how can we make this all work. How can we blend an effective tax system of both personal and business that can encourage investment in our future on a personal and professional level?
The first time I ever was involved with politics was when Mike Harris, past premiere of Ontario placed large cuts to education and I attended a rally with my stepmother in protest. My stepmother is a teacher and was passionately opposed as were thousands of other teachers, parents and students. She wore a shriveled up piece of foam colored in black, which resembled a prune that has been left to rot in the sun. I noticed all of the protesters were wearing the same thing so I asked what it was. My stepmother said, “ It is mike Harris’s heart” practically dead and rotting away.
Years passed and I still really remember how personally this fiscal decision was to the people who it affected. The passion that can be exhumed from every day Canadians over a decision at a small table in a small room is admirable. The government is here to serve its people and a step in the wrong directions wakes up rather sleepy Canadians into action packed protests of the strongest conviction.
Lets change topic…
Camp Wanna be Free this year had it’s 25th anniversary retreat in Kelowna this past weekend. Camp Wanna be Free is a retreat for Young Liberals from the western provinces. It rotates from BC to Alberta to Saskatchewan every summer with a powerful history. Previous attendees such as Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin are just a few of the heavy hitters who have attended the event. It was my pleasure to be invited by Braeden Caley and Justin Kaiser to attend and speak at the event on behalf of the Queer Liberals, as I am a sitting board member with them. I spoke about our push on reversing the Gay blood ban, amending our refugee policy for LGBT members and a LGBT youth shelter to name just a few of our initiatives. I spoke alongside other speakers who spoke about various topics from effective campaigning to YLC’s future plans and a few others.
The camp was on the Okanagan Lake with fresh air, wineries and wilderness all at our doorstep. It was terrific because I had the chance to meet many new young liberals from the west coast and here their point of view on where we think this country should go. To hear the direction we should push the Liberal party to go, to discuss policy such as safe injections sites to conquer addiction. These were truly just a few of the topics that we discussed, some while in a canoe with a bottle of Pinot noir between my legs. What can I say we are liberal after all?
It was a really inspiring weekend because the mood about 2015 and our next federal election is starting to heat up. Like a pilot feels that hint of excitement on the back of his neck as takeoff power is set and the wheels start to move, our Liberal party is starting to role down the runway. Justin Trudeau is moving our party forward after an arse kicking in the last two elections. Failure is good, it shakes you up, wakes you up and lets you rebuild for the better, for the long-term. People are ready for a change, a change of policy and politics. From a cynical to a optimistic and a exclusive to an inclusive future for our country.
The reason I am excited about politics and our countries future, is because I really do believe our best if yet to come both as a country and a political party. The average Canadian doesn’t care about which political party does the job, they just want effective results from whoever steps up to the plate. This is quite a sobering thought as people just want a cost effective social structure for our country, which moves us forward together. The Liberal party is the only party with a strong youth wing, the young liberals of Canada. The young liberals years ago adopted a policy to legalize marijuana for which the Liberal party of Canada did not agree. After a few years and constant rallying by passionate young people ( like the young liberals I met at camp wanna be free) the Liberal Party of Canada adopted this as their official policy. If the liberals are elected in 2015 one bill that will come forward is the legalization and taxation of Marijuana in Canada. Thousands of farmers could gain income by growing it, provincial and federal governments could use the extra income to spend on healthcare, education and other great programs and the gang related trafficking would cease. The savings on police forces no longer facing marihuana investigations all translate into a more effective system. Its funny to think that a few young liberals a few years ago could potentially change our country forever.
This is what politics means to me. No, not marijuana championing, but allowing any Canadians be they young or old, gay or straight, majority or minority to change our country. To move us forward for a more effective future where budgets are balanced and social obligations are met in a beautiful harmony.
This brings me back to what politics means to you.
The ability to help out our fellow citizen by creating the best country we can. It starts with people, who create policy, who work hard to implement policy, who legalize policy, which in turn help out our fellow citizen.
I often have many pictures with mayors, ministers, leaders while wining and dining because I am invited to attend such events. If you want to attend Camp Wanna be Free, meet Justin Trudeau, meet ministers, meet mayors all you have to do is get involved. The best part of getting involed is you will make some truly life long friends from coast to coast to coast. The so-called “Fancy Parties” are really just 2% of what politics really is about but it is kind of the glamorous side, which is Facebook and instagram worthy. Just wait until you are up till 3am working on draft policy, or perhaps canvasing 12 hours door to door however also wait until you meet a gay married couple who say thank you. Wait until you meet an elderly lady who thanks you for your work for a political party that aims to have affordable medication for all, wait until you meet a parent who appreciates your push for Daycare, these are powerful moments for me and others.
After the tittles and vino filled parties boil down, its about the people.
We the people can change the system for the people.
With hope and hard work we really can change the world.
Will Stephen Harper step down as Prime Minister of Canada this summer or early fall?
This may sound like an unbelievable story or perhaps even just a subconscious or in my case conscious wish, but it may be possible. Stephen Harper has been Prime Minister since 2006 and since then has changed the political landscape in Canada. Stephen harper has stood for and against many things while serving as Prime Minister. Some Canadians view him as a great Prime Minister the problem is, those numbers are starting to fall. The support and likeable factor of our Prime Minster is below Mr. Trudeau’s and a recent poll by the national post placed the Liberals in a Majority government if an election were held tomorrow. This is a problem for Stephen Harper.
We could bring up the anti gay marriage speech, the gutting of Environment Canada, the silencing of scientist who’s data and research didn’t mesh with the conservative ideology. We could dabble in the amount of debt our country is in which is the largest ever. We could also certainly point out the do one thing, say another in regards to senate appointee’s, raising taxes etc. This is not about a rant on our Prime Minster, you either love him or hate him for whatever reasons you wish. I am simply raising the point that perhaps it’s time to go. Remember the criminal code amendments, yikes, that will take a decade to clean up. In general it’s a problem that not all of the Stephen Harper ideology aligns with science and facts and when he is called out on it his position only solidifies. This is a conflict for canadians as over time Canadians have come to see that while they supported a change and a new way to governing they didn’t think such a narrow minded approach would follow.
There are two driving forces behind Stephen Harper.
1. He would like to take Canada and Canadians to a right of centre country.
2. Destroy the liberal party.
I can not stress to you enough how passionate he is about those two points. I’m sure my order may even be incorrect but these are two very ideal objectives for him. Mr. Harper is a very passionate politician who at all cost will not bend by any means for what he believes in. It is respectable to have such convictions from a politician but to not have the ability to look at the facts and say ” you know what, this needs to be adjusted or changed” is a fault in itself. The liberal party is the essence of everything M. Harper loathes. The compulsive hatred of the liberals by Mr. Harper goes way back, but even in current third place he just cant stand them. I am sure if there could have been one thing he wanted to do most of all it would have been to wipe the liberals off the political map. If he accomplished that I think he would have gladly retired with a smile on his face knowing he accomplished something dear to his heart.
The problem is the Liberal party has their new star leader, Justin Trudeau. Mr. Harper knows his support is slowing across the country and that even before the Liberals had their new leader elected, their past leaderless party still would have won in an election according to polling. This is a bold fact and one that most likely keeps Mr. Harper up at night. To know that for years you have fought to move the country to the right and destroy the liberal party, only to see the liberals most likely to win the next election must be a tough pill to swallow.
So Ego or Fight to the end?
Unlike Jean Chretien or Stephen harper, there is nothing wrong with stepping down while at a high in your political career as Prime Minister. Jean Chretien waited until there was a political coup within the liberal party until he was pushed out rather then leaving on his own terms. The point I raise is perhaps in the next few months it could be that same time for Stephen Harper. The conservative back benchers are frustrated they can’t speak their mind and raise issue’s passionate to them all because they are muzzled by the PMO. The old reform and progressive conservatives which merged to form the Conservative party of Canada are starting to show cracks and divides. Like an iceberg breaking away from the main sheet, it starts with rumblings and shifts, which turn into small cracks until in one mighty roar it splits off to float in the sea alone. The conservative party’s cracks are just starting to show but once the process has started, its hard to reverse. One side of me see’s the Harper who is caring about his mark he left on the country and his image. This would allow me to believe that he would see the storm brewing from within his own party and across the floor with the Liberals. However, there is also the tried tested and true side of Mr. Harper, the ideological side for which fact nor common sense would effect his decision making process.
We can remember when Dalton McGuinty stepped down as premier of Ontario which led the path to party rejuvenation and new leadership. This is the only way a political party has a chance at staying in power as the opposition gains support and starts to eclipse the party in power. Mr. McGuinty clearly placed his own ego aside and stepped down for his party and province leaving on a high note.
I would like to believe for Harper’s backbenchers that he is a smart enough man to step down before his party cracks begin to widen and one of the opposition parties defeats them in the next election. The longer Mr. Harper stays, the larger the cracks become, the stronger the opposition and the less chance at a successful reelection.
I guess in the end, no one knows but Mr. Harper. The real question is will he leave office and allow the conservative party to renew itself for a fair chance at reelection or will he fight till then end?
I suspect an internal and quiet revolt will leave Harper little choice and he will resign this year. Or perhaps not. One thing is for sure, the next election will not favour Mr. Harper.
Just my two cents…
There are those who create, those that destroy and those that simply watch from a safe distance. Last night I attended the Lady Gaga concert in Toronto and it was nothing but pure artistic creation. Lady Gaga is not simply a musician or a singer or an artist, she is a movement unto herself.
To describe Lady Gaga to those who are not familiar with her passion is simply impossible, you just have to feel for yourself who she is. Lady Gaga writes, plays, produces, choreographs and sings her own creations. The concert was not simply a chance to attend a loud dance party of screaming fans chanting to Lady Gaga, it was far more. You see, Lady Gaga is a movement of a truly unique kind. The movement is of the downbeat, the outsider, the ugly kid, the fat kid, the gays, the losers and did I mentions the gays? Her music and passion is to bring those groups of people who have felt left out, or kicked aside, or felt like they didn’t belong or didn’t believe in themselves and makes them think otherwise. Her music is about learning to accept yourself as you are and to be proud as hell doing so. Lady Gaga can bring tears to her fans eyes because she provides certain strength and comfort to those who need it most.
Lady Gaga has provided me a beacon of strength to help guide me to who I have become today and who I will become in the future.
Lady Gaga does not preach rules or a way of life; she simply finds the good part inside of you and makes it shine. This powerful form of art is truly uplifting and can bring an entire concert to its knees. To finally have the opportunity to attend her concert and see her perform live was a dream come true. I went with my cousin Anna and my friend Spenser to the Air Canada Center Saturday night.
The Air Canada Center was filled with a huge diversity of concertgoers. It is hard to even pinpoint an exact typical fan as they vary in diversity as large as humanity in general. One section of her huge fan base is the gay community. Lady Gaga has stood up for LGBT rights in the USA for awhile now and has been an instrumental tool in furthering the equality rights movement. Most all members of the LGBT community have felt that feeling of exclusion, of judgment, of feeling like they do not belong. Lady Gaga has shown many young members of the community that they do belong and that they are beautiful little monsters.
At the concert I met a very nice guy named Micah who like me had a story to share on why this concert was so important to us. Micah was in his 20’s, gay and had not only conquered cancer once, but twice. His story of his challenges fighting cancer and coming out was truly awe-inspiring. He said that he derived his strength from a multitude of sources, but one of the most important was Lady Gaga. His stories were nothing like mine however we all have our own crosses to bear. I explained, while small in comparison the challenges I faced coming out professionally as an airline pilot. While mostly positive experiences some very odd situations and hurtful people made it not the easiest. It is one thing to be a gay flight attendant as it is more common, but when you are a pilot and join ‘the old boys club” per say it can be difficult. This just goes to show you the stereotypes out there, which quite frankly are not even relevant anymore. We just understood where we each were coming from and how we have come to where we are today.
Micah and I held hands as we cheered and sang alongside of the performance and it was just magical. Having my friend Spenser by my side and my new friend Micah on the other allowed us to connect in a very powerful way. The music, the costume, the set and most importantly the message Lady Gaga gave to her audience was truly an inspiring night.
I normally write about politics, or the environment relating to politics, or politics, politics and more politics. To show my personal feelings on paper is a rarity as I prefer more factual based writing and not simply emotional, however this can be an exception.
Lady Gaga inspired me when I was feeling low in the past and pulled me even higher last night. I like to laugh now that all of my past roommates know all to well my love of Gaga. I would play her music quite often and very loud to the point that they would tell me to turn it down.
The music is just the icing on the cake.
I don’t think there is anyone else who can sing as well as she can.
She will always be my lady,
My final day the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha Qatar. Mr. Peter Kent spoke on behalf of Canada and delivered a disappointing commitment both domestically and internationally. I also spoke about how Canada has compared to other members of the OECD which is quite frankly disappointing.
Solutions are out there and options are available if we choose to act on them. I hope my fellow Canadians continue to place pressure on our elected officials to encoorprtate a more progressive environmental policy for Canada.
From Doha Qatar
Normally the words Air Travel and Environment aren’t used in the same sentence except to criticize aviation’s impact on the environment. I think you ay be surprised to know that Air Travel accounts for only around 2% of the world’s GHG emissions. This is surprisingly low considering that aviation carries roughly 35% of the world’s trade by value, which is roughly 5.3 Trillion dollars. The Aviation industry supports roughly 56.6 million jobs worldwide with an economic impact of over 2 trillion dollars (including direct, indirect, induced and tourism catalytic). The aviation industry is a big player in the world’s economy and transport industry.
The Aviation industry is not just a crucial part of the global economy, but is also an important environmental leader. The aviation industry is one of the most rapidly improving industries in regards to its environmental targets. The international aviation industry governing body is the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and they have set the following targets:
-Global aspirational goal of 2% annual fuel efficiency improvement by 2050
-A medium-term global aspirational goal from 2020 that would ensure that while the international aviation sector continues to grow, its global CO2 emissions would be stabilized at 2020 levels
-Development of a global CO2 standard for aircraft aiming for 2013
-By 2050 have global aviation industry emissions at half of 2005 levels
-Find ways to optimize air traffic control
-Find ways to increase the use of biofuel as a partial percentage or whole substitute for traditional fossil fuels.
-Many major airlines offer carbon offset credits you can purchase; this plan would also like to be expanded
The aviation industry is a without a doubt a producer of CO2 emissions but when we look at its emission levels and improvement targets compared to other modes of transportation it is impressive.
In the future perhaps we will perhaps be flying on an airliner fuelled completely from renewable biofuel, or maybe even solar-powered. As technology improves so does fuel efficiency due to aerodynamic design improvements, increased engine efficiency and new lighter building materials like carbon fiber. These actions combined with improved routing and more efficient ATC the fuel savings really add up.
With continued hard work from many different professionals within the aviation industry a longterm sustainable version of air travel is more than possible!