Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | September 3, 2010

life can be understood backwards; unfortunately we must live it forwards

The man on the other side of the glass was visibly startled. Had he heard it? The sound of heartache can make a room close in on your ears. Pressure so intense it makes you deaf for years.

I cried big alligator tears all the way home. Texas sized tears that make the world feel as though it hasn’t been enough. Or it’s been to much. I get lost trying to figure out if it’s the tie that binds or the tie that keeps relationships rooted in our history.

There’s little in this world that can make my heart pound loud enough to feel in the roof of my mouth. Thud. Thud.  Days have passed and I still feel like I’m the saddest girl to carry a burden.  When I get down, it’s like carrying Andre the Giant on my shoulders.

It’s better than knowing your mouth needs a filter and worse than knowing you pushed the button to trigger the atom bomb.  I didn’t mean to say it and never even thought the words. In my rage, I dug deep quick as a flash and found the cruelest thing to say. The worst letters to type. I’m sorry isn’t enough. Apologizing is a mercy sentence; it allows me to become a martyr, which I don’t deserve. Mother Teresa said, “the cruelest war is that of the tongue.” I crossed the line and charged straight into battle, mindless as a soldier.

The act of remorse is simple. The act of pity is like watching a rabid animal in front of a firing squad.

Standing in the airport I just wanted the pounding to stop. I wanted it all to stop and just fucking go away. I wanted more than anything for this man to stop staring at me through the glass. I wanted him to walk away, and to talk to me, and walk away while talking to me.  Thud. Thud.

He remained seated, staring. I was an animal caged behind the glass to keep others safe from my spiraling emotion. I stared back, dabbed a beverage napkin at my eyes, and caught his heart like a fish to a fly. A minute or ten passed, and then my world went black.

When I came to, the stranger was next to me. Embarrassed, confused, and slammed by visions, I told the woman propping up my head, “No. I’m fine. I need to catch my flight.”

“Ma’am, we don’t think you should move. The airport EMS is on their way.”

“No, please, I’m fine. I haven’t eaten anything today and…” I trailed off, lost in my own head, and started again.

“Have you ever walked into a room filled with people you know, have known for years, yet still feel so lonely you can barely take the next step or utter a syllable?”

He was talking again, the stranger. “Holiday’s are tough.”

“I make them tougher.”

His hand grabbed my shoulder and he laughed, “We all do. That’s what makes them functional.”

I didn’t have the time or the words to explain what it’s like to look in a mirror and not recognize the face inside it.  How the past few days it’s taken every ounce of my being to find the energy required to put on the mask and walk like a character I’ve concocted in a short story.

I have to catch my flight so I can’t tell him I’ve become clumsy to a point way beyond slapstick, bruising myself on every sharp edge. If I bruise, if I scream in pain, I must be real.

“Here let me help you, ” he said, not letting go of my arm.

Alarmed, I pulled my arm in tight and retreated back into my shell. Put my game face back on and repeated, “Let me help you.”

We paused – his hand stopped moving on my shoulder. We stared again, not knowing who struck the deeper cord.  The air thickened to paste, freezing us in time.  Life is a constant continuous buzz of humility without trepidation. It’s a life that screams for solidarity of the human spirit. A stranger in need of another stranger in need, everyone just trying to hold it together. His eyes stared back at me, aqua green, the type of color that is too pure to be real, like water in the Bahamas, and makes you feel like schoolgirl lost in a romance novel.

I was lost in my own head. “Too self involved!” my sister yelled across the room hours ago.

Looking in to his eyes, my internal battle raged. I wanted to continue and lose myself, while every self-preservation nerve screamed to run. “I ruin everything,” I said, and began crying.

He began to laugh.”I do too; this isn’t confession.  What time is your flight?”

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | August 9, 2010

bringing it back because I hurt…

The more you can forgive, the more you free up energy to create the life you truly want

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | July 6, 2009

Next on the Horizon

Hello Internet,

I write to you from Teterboro, New Jersey a.k.a. the mecca of private aviation gateway to NYC.  I left Houston yesterday and headed for Midland/Odessa Texas.  Not much to say about good ol’ boy west texas oil and gas drilling town of Midland other than, “why the hell would anyone live here?”  I digress, I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement right now as I’m waiting for my parents (whose 41st wedding anniversary is today) and my older sister with her three little bugs.  They are just joining me for dinner but I couldn’t be happier to see them before I take off for my next big adventure.  Tomorrow we fly to Boston and Wednesday a new chapter in my travels begin.

I didn’t think I’d be able to top last summer with traveling to Geneva, Basel, London, Paris, Beiruit, Egypt, France, Germany and Italy.

Stay tuned….my obnoxiousness is coming your way.

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | March 26, 2009

new stuff coming soon

And it’s all juicy items which will be integrated into some magazine articles

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 12, 2009

Wall Street Journal Article – Private Aviation

essna Fights Back On Private-Jet Trend

Orders for business jets nose-dived after lawmakers pilloried leaders of Detroit’s Big Three auto makers for flying corporate planes to Washington to seek a government bailout. Now, one jet maker is striking back.

In a campaign to begin Wednesday, Cessna Aircraft Co. will run an ad that says, “Pity the poor executive who blinks,” and gets rid of the company jet. “One thing is certain: true visionaries will continue to fly.”

Across the industry, new orders for private jets have almost evaporated, and hundreds of existing customers have sought to defer or cancel orders that were placed in higher-flying days. In addition to layoffs, some jet makers have cut production by as much as 56%. Cessna, a unit of Textron Inc., is laying off more than 4,600 people, or roughly a third of its work force, to cope with the sudden drop in demand for private airplanes of all sizes.

Though much of the industry’s reversal of fortune is due to the dismal economy, jet makers attribute part of it to the unexpected public backlash that erupted after the chief executives ofFord Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. traveled in private jets last year to ask Congress for billions of dollars in aid.

“We think it’s time the other side of the story be told, and that support be given to those businesses with the good judgment and courage to use business aviation to not only help their businesses survive the current financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn,” said Jack Pelton, Cessna’s chairman and CEO.

Companies have long argued that it makes no sense to pay CEOs millions of dollars only to have them waste time in airport lounges while flying commercial. “Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?” said Robert Baugniet, director of corporate communications for General Dynamics Corp.’s Gulfstream Aerospace, which makes some of the higher-end jets.

The Big Three executives blinked, and disbanded their jet fleets. By the time the Super Bowl rolled around on Feb. 1, the private-jet stigma had become so intense that some companies chose to fly their jets to Orlando, Fla. and drive to Tampa, rather than face scrutiny for living large, even if they could argue that executives were entertaining clients who might be worth millions of dollars in business.

The jet makers were unprepared for the backlash from Middle America. The irony, they say, is that many of the blue-collar layoffs at Cessna, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft Corp. have been in places like Wichita, Kan., and Dallas.

In its ad, scheduled to run in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Cessna says “Timidity didn’t get you this far. Why put it in your business plan now?” Instead of retreating, the company argues, companies should adjust and make sure they are flying the right type of aircraft.

So far, Cessna is the sole jet maker to take on the negative publicity with a high-profile ad campaign. A spokesman for Cessna declined to say how much it was spending, but he said “we have redirected more than half of our promotional budget to this campaign.” The ads were developed by Dickerson-Grace in Denver, he said.

“We’re all trying to battle misperception,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, which represents corporate-jet owners. “The vast majority of the time, these jets are flying offices, where people can conduct business and have confidential discussions that could never occur on a commercial jetliner,” Mr. Bolen said.

Write to J. Lynn Lunsford at

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 6, 2009

from private to commercial

When i fly commercial it is always an event, an event in the way my sister and brother-in-law are able to leave the kids with a sitter, my parents, and go to a movie type of event. It’s rare and leaves a lasting memory.  It’s never a memory in the way it is for MY passengers who are able to sit for hours on end waiting on a connection they missed then finally decide, “heck enough with this. Let’s call our broker,’  and 90k later our company has been chartered and they are able to get to their destination,” type of event.  However, it does indeed make me feel humble and realize how fortunate I am to have the career I do, the career I chose after deciding I had enough of corporate America.

As I approached my seat on my last commercial fight less than two weeks ago, I was flown to a meeting in San Bernardino with Millionair (F.B.O. aka private airport) I spyed a finicky looking character dressed much like the men I work with, “Captain, I believe I am next to you in the middle seat,” I stated as he stood up to let me in to my seat.  Twenty minutes after calling him “Captain” and him understanding I knew who he was and was riding “jump” I regretted opening my mouth. The next few hours were spent talking about working for private aviation companies vs. commercial aviation. My job is different, i get it, but I must work on my filter for quality of mental health

I ran into a similar incident the day prior after realizing our flight was oversold. An announcement was made pertaining words such as, “over sold, voucher, good for a year,” when it was finally my time to board I approached the gate once again to inquire about my seat assignment and was informed one of the pax (aviation term for passenger) who offered to give up his seat boarded the plane. The gate agent asked ME as an average pax dressed in civilian clothes to ask Mister xyz if he could deboard and the gate agent would give him a voucher. As a flight attendant and civilian I understand this type of information should not come from pax to pax so as I board two attractive f/a’s are in the galley.  I explain to them what was just asked of me.  The woman look at me in equal amazement that I was asked to do such by a gate agent.  It’s then I turn to them, let the elephant out and realized I need to work on my filter, “I’m a flight attendant so I understand,” they stare looking for my uniform, “I’m private.” 

“Oh,” one of them stammers then takes into action and returns moments later as pax deboarded and informed me my seat was available. An hour later the gals had asked me into the galley to pick my brain about making the transition from commercial to private aviation.  Whoever you are reading this, when you are away from work and have a few hours to decompress the last thing you wish to do is talk about more work. I found myself talking about work and writing down websites they should look in to while hearing fingernails scale a chalkboard.

So, when I sit down tomorrow, in the exit row, wearing jeans and a t-shirt  I will never not reveal that if all the f/a’s on board have simutaneous heart attacks you will be safe “in case of emergency” but I may order a glass of merlot and internally note how loud it is to fly at 30k feet.

*We fly in military air zone 40-42K feet. 

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 3, 2009

NY Times, “Business Jets are a good force. Really.”


The Mile-High Office

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: January 31, 2009

BUSINESS jets are a force for good. Really.

Brian Rea

This may seem like an outrageous statement, especially right after the public hubbub that caused Citigroup — the beneficiary of billions in government bailout money — to cancel the delivery of a new $42 million jet.

But consider this: The General Aviation Manufacturers Association estimates that more than one million people are employed manufacturing, maintaining, flying and managing business aircraft. In addition to keeping legions at work in top-paying jobs, business aircraft facilitate and expand commerce for their users and contribute $150 billion to the American economy annually.

With that in mind, it’s astounding to see members of Congress, the very people doling out hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to failed companies, disparaging and even actively trying to curtail this industry, which is already reeling from the economic and credit crises. The business jet is merely a tool — one that, employed correctly, could help those same struggling institutions soar again and start paying back the money owed, with interest.

Perhaps a reality check would help: Envision a rectangle 11 feet long by 4 feet 9 inches wide. Now, stand in the center, scrunching down so the top of your head is no more than 57 ½ inches from the bottom of your heels. That’s the cabin area of those riding in a Cessna Citation CJ1, which together with its predecessors, comprise the most populous model — by far — of business jet in the world.

The oval cabin has seats for five passengers. Up front is a mini-pantry with a coffee dispenser; in back, a compact lavatory. The space is roughly equivalent to a large family van, and while quite comfortable, the jet is short on glamour and luxury.

Rather, the Cessna’s popularity, along with that of its close competitors, centers on another data point: 3,250. That’s the number of feet of runway required for the aircraft to accelerate to flying speed and take off or, should something catastrophic occur, slam on the brakes and still have pavement remaining.

That figure — 3,250 feet — means business aircraft can alight on any of the 5,000 or so public-use airports scattered throughout the nation’s suburbs, small towns and back country, as well as land at small city airports abandoned by airlines decades ago. By contrast, the airlines fly to only about 500 airports, and of those, fewer than 70 get about three-quarters of all traffic.

If two companies are competing for business, the one using a business aircraft can fly directly to one of those smaller airports and get to lunch with the client before the other guys taking the commercial airlines show up.

And the business people with the corporate jet won’t just arrive faster; they’ll also show up better prepared. After all, most companies send teams of people, and in their own airplane they’re free to discuss confidential information or polish up that PowerPoint presentation. What’s more, they can use the phones, their BlackBerrys and the Internet en route. In other words, these jets are offices that move.

Just look at Wal-Mart. That company’s success is due, in part, to its fleet of hard-working, bare-bones Learjets that shuttle managers, executives and sales staff from their headquarters in Arkansas to towns throughout the country. The reliance on business aircraft began with its founder, Sam Walton, flying a small single-engine plane (still the most common type of business aircraft) to scout out store locations.

Here’s another thing: The aircraft and their systems are, for the most part, made here in the United States, by union and non-union workers, in places like Indianapolis and Cincinnati; Wichita, Kan.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

And with their impressive performance and construction, they’re prized throughout the world. In 2007, about half the business jets delivered by American manufacturers went to foreign buyers that paid more than $3 billion for them. Manufacturers elsewhere, including in Japan and Germany, once tried to compete, but they were so utterly trounced by American ingenuity and craftsmanship that they simply gave up.

There are foreign-made business aircraft, to be sure; for example, Citigroup had planned to buy a Falcon, made by the highly regarded French company Dassault. But even those are stuffed with American-made avionics, engines, subsystems and interiors. Indeed, Dassault’s largest plant is in Little Rock, Ark., where some 2,000 workers complete Falcon interiors and ready them for delivery.

Finally, the members of Congress who are so irate about Citigroup’s almost-purchase would do well to remember this: business jets are also widely employed by our government for search and rescue missions, surveillance, medical evacuations and crew training.

Of course, their value as speedy, secure executive transports is also much appreciated and used by high-ranking military and civilian officials, including, yes, many congressmen. A business jet has even served, when the president needs something less than a jumbo, as a diminutive Air Force One.

If you truly need to be there and there and there and back by seven, business aircraft may provide the only way. This is an industry that helps further the country’s commerce and interests — and it deserves a bright future, not a public drubbing.

William Garvey is the editor in chief of the magazine Business and Commercial Aviation.

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 2, 2009

US Airways Hudson river jet takes a trip through Jersey City

I’ll get back to more of my personal stories soon but have to acknowledge the NFL for bringing the crew out before the superbowl.  And man, oh man – loved seeing, “James Harrison run like James Brown.” Steelers!

US Airways Hudson river jet takes a trip through Jersey City

Poor jet. First it takes a dip in the Hudson river, then it has to be hoisted out of the water, and now its next trip involves passing through Jersey City on a flatbed truck.

A CNN iReporter was able to grab a couple of video clips of the wingless jet making an extremely tight turn through the city, without knocking over any traffic lights or other obstacles.

The plane is on its way to an NTSB location in New Jersey, where it will be examined for the possible cause of the January 15th crash.

Don’t forget to check out our other coverage of the US Airways flight 1549 crash.

(Via: CNN iReport)

Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | January 31, 2009

The industry is down

Super Bowl attracts fewer private jets

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:rich people feel pain, too. Super Bowlweekend is usually a big one for private jet rental, but a fierce recession is forcing more to take airlines or … dare I say it … watch the game at home.  

Around 750 private jets are expected to touch down in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII, down 25 percent from last year’s 1,000. The last time the Super Bowl was played in Tampa – eight years ago – 1,250 of these chariots of privilege came to town. 

The sting is quite real for, a Quincy, MA company in the chartering business. Last year, the company sold 55 Super Bowl charters. This year, only 18 have been booked. And, let’s be realistic. With only a day left, I just don’t believe another 37 will be nailed down at the last minute. 

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of stupidity at the destination. Ed Cooley, a senior director at Tampa International who oversees aviation planning for the Super Bowl, says, “We just don’t know” the reason for the private jet drop-off. 


Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | January 30, 2009

i miss….

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