From the category archives:

Philosophy

Rock Band, Only For Real

by Alan Rider

Some songs are timeless. Like, oh, say the entire Beatles catalog, for example.  Which makes next Wednesday a big day, for reasons that go beyond the numerology implications of its unique 09/09/09 date.
First, it’s the day the folks at Capitol/EMI release the first digitally-remastered versions of all 12 of the Beatles studio albums in 22 years.  A team of engineers at London’s Abbey Road Studios spent four years reworking the albums using a combination of the latest technology and vintage equipment to create what promises to be unparalleled sound quality that faithfully reproduces the original analog recordings.
Not coincidentally, next Wednesday also marks the long anticipated release of The Beatles: Rock [...]

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Mysterious Attraction

by Alan Rider

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why certain places hold special meaning for us.  Places we think of fondly and long to return to, even if it’s only in our daydreams.

Sometimes our attachment to a place makes complete sense, like the tropical island where we spent our honeymoon or the quaint lakeside cottage we remember from family vacations.  And then there are those places we find ourselves drawn to over and over again in a way that defies rational explanation.
For me, that place is New Orleans.  Granted, the fact that I lived there in the mid-1980s probably figures into my fondness for the Crescent City.  But I’m also convinced [...]

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Funny People…Like YOU?

by Alan Rider

Despite the so-so reviews, I can’t help but like the idea behind Judd Apatow’s new movie Funny People. In the film Adam Sandler plays successful comedian George Simmons who gets one of those rare opportunities to figure out what’s really important in life after being diagnosed with an incurable blood disorder.
Besides the fact that I can identify with the whole near-death experience thing, the movie resonated with me on another level.  Namely the fact that I’ve always wanted to see if I had what it takes to be funny on stage.
Now if you’ve ever spent any time in the spotlight—whether it was in a school play or in a ragtag [...]

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Do It NOW!

by Alan Rider

While I normally have zero interest in the world of celebrities, I have to admit I was touched by the recent death of John Travolta’s 16-year-old son Jett (love that name) on a family vacation in the Bahamas.
As the father of a bright, energetic, funny 10-year-old boy, I feel for this man’s loss on a very visceral level.  My son Schuyler (Sky, for short) is hands-down the most consistent source of joy in my daily life, and watching him grow up honestly gives new meaning to the phrase “extraordinary experience.”  All of which makes the mere thought of losing him utterly devastating.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life can [...]

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Living Versus Existing

by Alan Rider

I don’t generally make a habit of passing along  every online video someone sends my way.  But I think this video speaks to what XTRORD.com is really all about.  Watch it and then ask yourself: “Am I making the most out of this one  life I’ve been given by living it to the fullest, or am I merely existing?”  
Either way, I encourage you to start off this new year by making plans to do something you’ve always wanted to do.  If you need ideas or inspiration, check out the long list of extraordinary experiences here.     

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What's On Your List?

by Alan Rider

If you could do anything you wanted—anything in the world—what would it be?
It’s a question I’ve asked myself periodically over the years.  One that has repeatedly led to some truly extraordinary experiences and altogether positive new directions in my life.  Like XTRORD.com, for instance.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered SuperViva.com, a website that lets you create your own “life list” of things you’ve always wanted to do.  If you need inspiration, the site allows you to check out  other folks’ lists, which is how I discovered SuperViva founder Susie Wyshak and I have both always wanted to attend Spain’s La Tomatina festival.  If there are “must-do” items on your [...]

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Possession Obsession

by Alan Rider

When it comes to our compulsive urge to find fulfillment by buying a bunch of expensive crap we really don’t need, I think my man Hank said it best:
 

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” 
 —Henry David Thoreau

 
In other words, I’m convinced we’d all be a lot better off if we could just lose this idea that having the “right” possessions will make us happy once-and-for-all.  Personally, I feel fortunate to be in a place in my life where there just aren’t that many things out there that I really need or even want  (a quality which, I’ll admit, drives my wife [...]

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