Martin Itzkow, life coach
1. If your house were on fire, heaven forbid, what's the one item contained within that you would try to take with you? (People, pets and computers not included.)
A CD with my parents and grandparents speaking. They are now deceased. This is where I get a little emotional and human, I guess. These CDs have my parents and other relatives speaking and it helps me remember those times when they were alive and ensures my memories of them remain strong and vivid.
2. What's the one clothing/fashion item you can't live without?
My numerous hoodies. I guess it is the lazy part of me and I go for the simple. I have a number of hoodies with different colours and some with various logos of the leadership development and coaching programs I have created or co-created with others -- almost a walking honour hoodie process -- including new ones that my nephew Jake now designs for others under the name of Low Light.
3. What's your favourite knick-knack and why?
A bone statue called the Chinese Philosopher, which I recently inherited from an aunt in Seattle. I took this and another piece of pottery from my aunt's estate and presented these at the U.S.- Canada border crossing in January. When I drove up to the border kiosk, the officer asked me the purpose of my trip and I started my story. He laughed and stated that these items could be either of great value to declare or junk. We both agreed that they were the latter. We laughed and he told me to go on my way and he continued to smile as I drove off.
4. What's the oldest thing you own?
My house, which is almost 100 years old. It is an old River Heights house and as it goes, it is not only old in structure but in the history of the neighbourhood.
5. Describe your most beloved piece of furniture.
An ornate samovar from the Ukraine, which my dad's parents brought on a slow boat from Europe in the '20s. They cherished it and now I am carrying on the same for my family.
6. Is there an edible item we'll always find in your pantry or fridge?
A piece of "stinky" cheese. I love cheese and sometimes the stinkier the better as it represents the model of my world: The external environment may be difficult, smelly, and messy, but my internal world is creamy and able to satisfy my meaning of my life.