Wednesday, February 21, 2018

MakingTracks From MakeWorks

On most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays since June, I have found myself sitting across the table from an entrepreneur named Kiran who runs a food-related business out of MakeWorks, the shared work space I go to in the west part of downtown Toronto. I don't understand a lot about Kiran's business, but I do know two things.
PRESENTING: A clumping cat letter.

A: She works a lot.

And B: She thinks the message I just sent her via the inter-office Slack board was pretty funny. We hadn't been talking much today but she just gave up one of those unfake-able spontaneous out-loud laughs, the kind that sneaks up on you, and she ended it with my favourite expletive: "Peter!"

And the message that I sent her?

"That Olympic thing is really fun. It's saving our marriage."

I was referring to a project that Kiran got me and my wife Helena involved in.

Kiran's life partner, Irfan, who also works out of MakeWorks sometimes, is in the media-research business, and when I found out that he was looking for people willing to make a few Olympic-related blog entries a day, I was like, "I'm in!"

I also enlisted Helena.

So since the opening ceremonies, we've been using our smartphones and logging Olympic observations on Irfan's software, noting things like if we get Olympic info via Twitter or if we've posted anything about the Olympics on Facebook.

The survey also asks what time we go to bed and wake up and if there's anything else we'd like to talk about.

Like, say, the delicious veggie barley soup that Helena produced last week or the fact that I in lieu of a Valentines card this year presented Helena with an electric marquee that lets us send messages to the neigbours, some of which are Olympic-oriented.

One afternoon, the only observation I found myself sharing was the often-mis-quoted quote: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Another? "Maybe marriage should be an Olympic competition."

I also mentioned my own, private wardrobe malfunction. I had misplaced the lovely Roots scarf that Helena gave me for Christmas but, as I was happy to report to the surveyors via video, I found it again.

If we manage to continue blogging right to the end of the Olympics, there's an honorarium in it for us.

But we're not doing it for the money. We're doing it for love. This survey has forced us to engage in the kind of discussion we had when we were whatchamacallit--oh yeah--dating.

And then there's this:

One of the other things that I shared with the survey people but not with Kiran and the rest of my MakeWorks colleagues until now is the fact that I'm really going to  miss them.

Come Monday, I'll be out of MakeWorks and starting a new journalistic adventure as something called an Analysis Editor on the Lawyer's Daily, a highly specialized legal news service tailored to--you guessed it--lawyers.

I'm pretty excited and kinda intimidated at the same time. Stay tuned for more.

But I'm also genuinely sad to be leaving this workspace, which for the moment I'm calling  MakeLonesome.

Since last May, I've had the privilege of sharing air with the most eclectic and marvelous collection of bright stars anywhere on the planet.

To whit: Wednesday last week, I found myself in the MakeWorks kitchen laughing about the weirdness of the English language with--get this--Patrick from France, Madelen from Sweden, Tammy from Brazil, Amy, who is MakeWorks' wonderful concierge/manager from England, and Glyn, from Scotland.

And this: At the MakeWorks holiday party, another married couple whose combined IQs probably hit seven digits--Valkyrie and Evan Savage--charmed me to heavens with the following Secret Santa present: A custom-bound collection of accordion music titled "@PetesBlogAndGrille."

Another of my favourite people and not just at MakeWorks but period is AlexN, who coincidentally attended the same university as my daughters in Halifax but remains conspiratorially quiet about those four years. She also gave me some killer advice on another tutoring project I'm involved in.

Hamza, who sits near AlexN, is not only an IT entrepreneur and a stand-up guy, he's a stand-up comic. Check this out!

Wouldn't you like to work with these folks every day?

These people make you feel great about the future, which--because MakeWorks-style-personnel will be running things--promises to be a way better place than the past ever was.


  1. Another enjoyable read, Peter! Enjoy your new editorial adventure!

  2. Thanks Kate. Means a lot coming from you. Speaking of you, I've had to reschedule my workshop meetings to Saturdays at 4:00. I have my last Friday gig today. Hope you can still make it in.