October 17th 2004 Ferris Bueller, Mario, and a Bit of Fine Orchestra

It’s been quite a weekend. I’ve practically had a three-day weekend because I had precisely half an hour of class on Friday, and that was it. I was done by 11:30. So that totally rocked. And now Fall Break is fast approaching and I get another long weekend. I’m just too spoiled.

I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off last night. John Hughes (the man who not only wrote Ferris Bueller, but other hits such as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club) is a genius. Ferris Bueller is just one of those movies that really makes you re-evaluate your outlook on life. The only other movie that ever did that for me was Office Space. Both those films make me realize how uptight and stressed I get sometimes, and how I just need to chill out and relax a bit, and enjoy life. I, like most people probably, tend to worry entirely too much about things. Ferris Bueller and Office Space both exemplify the joys and freedom of sitting back and not worrying about anything—just taking everything in stride and enjoying life. A lot can be learned from these two films. Furthermore, they’re both very entertaining.

I’ve also started playing through the excellent Nintendo 64 videogame Paper Mario again this weekend. What a great game. I’m constantly amazed that Nintendo can churn out so many great, yet still original, Mario games. I grew up with Mario, so I feel a special affinity towards the princess-rescuing Italian plumber. Paper Mario is awesome because not only is it an excellent RPG, but it harkens back to the side-scrolling Mario games of the early 80s and 90s. Unlike many new games, it doesn’t rely on flashy graphics to hook you; the story and gameplay, while simple, are thrilling enough. Furthermore, it’s interesting to see how there’s good moral and ethical lessons to be taught in the game. Unlike games such as Grand Theft Auto, players are rewarded for saving, not killing, innocents. Even the bad guys often don’t “die”—when defeated, they repent and apologize for their actions. Most of the innocent lives they take are not really taken—somehow, all the innocents are saved in the end. What a great message to send to the kids who play this game.

Finally, I made it out to the Bucknell orchestra concert last night, and I was quite impressed. The orchestra really put on a wonderful performance, and all the soloists were quite talented. I especially enjoyed the flutist (but then again, I am biased towards the high woodwinds, I guess) and the last two pieces. A friend of mine played a violin solo on the next to last piece, and of course, she was great. The whole orchestra was great. Definitely worth it to go out and see them. If anyone else has a chance to go, I highly recommend making the effort. You won’t regret it.