Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Name That Tune

The kids and I have a game we play soon after finishing dinner. We don’t always play it, otherwise it would be boring and lose its beauty. Yet, occasionally, all of a sudden we’re into the game and it lasts a good long time thereafter.

Musical Staff
Musical Staff

The name of the game is Name That Tune, and for today’s Freedom Friday I thought I’d share the rules. Who knows, maybe it’ll start a new tradition in your house with those around you.

My family and I have many traditions. Some are meaningful, like the new ornaments we purchase annually for each of us to place around the house. And some are silly, like the fact we purchase new pajamas to unwrap every Christmas Eve in order to sit and look at each other in a weird and fulfilling way while the lights twinkle in the background. Okay, so maybe that’s not so weird, but you’ve got to admit, it’s fun.

I’ll add one more tradition for this time of year. We don’t get rid of the decorations until way past mid-January, including the model town we have sitting on the bay window. That doesn’t leave our sight until the snow melts.

I told you we were tradition-happy.

Jurassic World
Jurassic World

Nonetheless, another one of our traditions, mainly the kids and I have, we play at the kitchen table soon after dinner. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens enough for it to merit the moniker of tradition.

We play a round of Name That Tune. For those unfamiliar with the game, it used to be a hit TV show back a couple of decades ago when TV was less reality and more fun. In the show, the host would give contestants a clue then ask how many notes they needed to name the tune. It really was a battle of wits between participants.

In my family’s version, I play a theme song on my phone and the kids try to guess what it is. From there the song tends to spur conversation about our knowledge of the film, its actors, the production and anything else that comes to mind.

The other night we played the game and the theme to the new Godzilla movie made an appearance. The typical response was that of recognition but none of the kids could name the tune. Once they knew, though, they would soon never forget the song.

That same evening, I played the theme to Fast Fiveby the way, what a great theme—and my older child threw the guesses out there in quick succession while I refereed the game. “Is it a comic book movie? Is it an adventure? Action? Steve Jablonsky? Hans Zimmer? Michael Giacchino? Jurassic World? Transformers? The Fast and the Furious? 2 Fast 2 Furious? The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift? Fast & Furious?” By the time it was over, they went through every combination of the words fast and furious that we then realized how silly it was when filmmakers didn’t have a standard way of numbering their movies.

Overall, the whole idea of the game is to bring closeness to the family without making the game a burden. We have fun and, at the same time, we draw closer to one another while watching each other fail miserably, naming a tune we can’t recognize, but know the movie like it is one of our body parts.

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What traditions do you have in your family? Are they annual traditions or event-based?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Dominic Toretto

A Western has that moment in the story when the hero makes peace with his broken life and decides it is better to die in a blaze of gunfire than to live out the rest of his days as an ordinary gentleman.

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) of The Fast and the Furious franchise is that hero. He is also the focus for today’s Wednesday Warriors.

From an early age, Dominic took to cars, tearing them apart, putting them together. He had within him the ability to make things go faster. Eventually, his hobby turned into a money machine where he spent most of his time souping up old pieces of junk into gleaming bullets that would scream down a track and win challenges without effort. His girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriquez), who grew up with him, had a similar passion and made the perfect match for the speed demon. They had an understanding—she would be by his side and he wouldn’t tell her what to do. Then again, Dominic was the type who didn’t like anyone telling him what to do either.

But something exists within Dominic few know about—a darker side.

Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto

Apart from his thriving business in car restorations, Dominic also has a side business. It isn’t a hobby. It isn’t something he has to do. The thrill of beating an inferior vehicle on the track isn’t enough for the turbo-seeker. He needs a bigger thrill.

Jacking trucks is that thrill.

When Brian (Paul Walker) shows up as the young hotshot on Dominic’s turf, suspicions arise. Who is this guy who no one has ever heard of to become all of a sudden the pedal-pounder’s best friend? Does he too have a secret life no one knows about?

As much as anyone would want to pin a felony against the NOS burner, Dominic is the fastest man on the road. He can race against the best in the world, drifting his way to the prize without much work other than his courage and strength to carry him across the finish line.

The life of Dominic Toretto is more than cars, though. In the bursts of octane, the crowds cheering, and the smell of diesel, lives a man who will do anything to step in for a friend and take the proverbial rap, if that is what he has to do to save a buddy. He will surrender everything he has worked hard for and give it all away, if it means he would be rescuing those who need his help.

Brian may not be who he says he is, but he recognizes Dominic’s loyalty to his friends. He understands early in his friendship with the road warrior that Dominic wouldn’t betray those who had supported him.

When you’re a friend with Dominic, you’re a friend for life.

Get the Ranger Martin zombie trilogy now!

Have you seen The Fast and the Furious? What do you think of the character Dominic Toretto?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Brian O’Conner

Turbo-charged, Nitro-boosted Brian O’Conner—the cop with the metal—exceeds all limits this week on Wednesday Warriors.

Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner

The Fast and the Furious movie franchise may not win awards, but what it lacks in praises by the academy it more than makes up in heart-pounding, adrenalin-soaked, action-packed racing sequences. The photography is a blur, the editing is jarring, and the shear thrill of its biting score burns tread marks around the competition of wannabe imposters.

Inspired by article focusing on street racing in the 2000s, The Fast and the Furious torched the box office, raking in $207 Million on a production budget of $38 Million. It shot to #1 throughout North America in 2,628 theaters on opening weekend. Even then, the film had the markings of a juggernaut series few would reminisce in disputing.

Among the players stands Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a bulk of a man tearing like thunder on four wheels. A hijacker. A family man. He’s the guy who the cops have been wanting to jail for a long time. Next, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriquez), the strong one. She’s Dominic’s girl. She has earned a god-like status among her admiring peers as a crazed driver that no one ought to mess with.

Brian O’Conner
Brian O’Conner

Then, there’s Brian (Paul Walker), the cop. The guy sent in to bring Dominic to justice.

How can one describe Brian without spoiling the story? He loves the thrill of the chase. He loves speed. Give him a choice between sitting in a sandwich shop ordering tuna and cranking the juice on his NOS (Nitrous Oxcide Systems) tank—he’ll choose street racing any day of the week. He is not a cop who goes by the book.

Torn by his allegiance to the police force and his newfound friendship with Dominic, Brian searches for a way to breach the boundary between duty and honor. Falling for Dominic’s beautiful sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) was not in the plan. Yet, neither was burning dust in one high-speed contest after another.

Eventually, Brian questions his abilities and weighs the consequences against losing the one thing that drives him. Respect.

[Author’s note: The first time watching The Fast and the Furious I remember how actor Paul Walker seemed like the everyman. His boyish grin and stellar gaze certainly captured the attention. When I heard of his passing on November 30, 2013, I didn’t know what to think. I was still recovering from the shock. I eventually learned Walker was the passenger that fateful day of the accident that had taken his life. Reports stated he died instantly. I still can’t believe he’s no longer with us.]

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Have you seen any of The Fast and the Furious movies? What did you think of Brian?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Letty

Super charged, super fast, amped up on speed—Letty Ortiz—the babe with the attitude runs wild this week on Women Who Wow Wednesday.

Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz

Let’s face it, The Fast and the Furious movie franchise does not win awards, but what it lacks in praises by the academy it more than makes up in heart-pounding, adrenalin-soaked, action-packed racing sequences. The photography is a blur, the editing is jarring, and the shear thrill of its biting score burns tread marks around the competition of wannabe imposters.

Inspired by an article focusing on street racing in the 2000s, The Fast and the Furious torched the box office, raking in $207 Million on a production budget of $38 Million. It shot to #1 throughout North America in 2,628 theaters on opening weekend. Even then, the film had the markings of a juggernaut series few would reminisce in disputing.

Among the players stands Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a bulk of a man tearing like thunder on four wheels. A highjacker. A family man. He’s the guy who the cops have been looking for a long time. Next, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), the cop. He’s the guy sent in to bring Dominic to justice. Then, there’s Letty (Michelle Rodriquez), the strong one.

Michelle Rodriguez is Letty Ortiz
Michelle Rodriguez is Letty Ortiz

How can I describe Letty without giving up the whole story? She loves speed. And she loves the thrill of the chase. Give her a choice between staying at home watching the kids and cranking the juice on her NOS (Nitrous Oxcide Systems) tank—she has no trouble playing with the big boys and their cars. Homemaker status is so not her.

Playing Dominic’s love interest, she compliments his brazen risk taking with her own brand of gambling. Her street racing status flourished in her teens, carrying her to a god-like status with her admiring peers. Nothing Dominic can do that Letty can’t match. They are equals on every level. The perfect pair of crazed drivers no one should mess with on the road.

Is she tough? Yeah, you can say that. Let her tell you in her own words:

Letty: You want a piece of ass? go to Hollywood Boulevard. You want an adrenaline rush? that’ll be two large.

Is she lighthearted? You can say that too:

Letty: [to Dom] You look a bit tired. I think you should go upstairs and give me a massage.

What does Dominic’s sister think of her?

Mia: Letty grew up just down the street. She was into cars since she was like ten years old. Dom always had her attention. Then she turned sixteen…
Brian: And she had Dom’s attention.
Mia: Yeah, it’s funny how that works out.

A guru mechanic. A bona fide tough girl who takes no flack from anyone. Letty would make an excellent warrior, fighting alongside in a zombie apocalypse.

Nice to dream, isn’t it?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you seen any of The Fast and the Furious movies? What did you think of Letty?