Happy New Year’s Eve, folks, and if you are going to tie one on tonight (as you bloody well should) this clip from 1942’s classic musical comedy Holiday Inn shows you how to do it with style and elán as only the great Fred Astaire can.
From France this morning comes the shocking news that Formula One legend and 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher has sustained serious brain injuries in a skiing accident in the Alpine resort of Méribel. The 44-year old retired racer was skiing off-trail with his family and struck his head on a rock. Despite wearing a helmet, Schumacher was airlifted first to a local medical facility and then to a larger hospital in Grenoble, where his injuries were severe enough to require surgeons to place the German in an induced coma to protect his brain from further damage.
Along with his family, former Ferrari team manager and current FIA president Jean Todt and Ross Brawn, Schumacher’s technical director for his record-setting 5 consecutive championships with Ferrari, were said to be at the hospital holding vigil.
We here at MFL would like to extend our hopes and prayers that Michael makes a full recovery from this ghastly incident. With his superior athletic conditioning, he has as good a chance as anyone to survive such an accident. It really does sound very severe but like racing fans around the world, we are hoping for the best for the great Schumacher and his friends and family.
*Update: You can follow Michael’s progress via the excellent Former F1 Doc blog where Gary Hartstein, an assistant of the late, great Sid Watkins and F1’s medical delegate from 2005-12, is discussing this sort of traumatic brain injury in detail. The Daily Mail in the UK also has excellent straight-up news coverage.
If the above image is what pops into your head when you hear “Boxing Day”, then Frazier wasn’t the only one who missed! Of course if you happen to be American, you’ve got a pretty good excuse. In spirit, Boxing Day is one of the nicer and more charitable days of the year, but it’s sadly disregarded here in the US. The exact origin of the term is unclear, but there are several related versions. The one I grew up with is that Boxing Day was named for the day when people in service would receive their Christmas boxes as well as the day off from their employers (having been working for those employers on Christmas Day, no doubt.) A related definition is that Boxing Day is the time to give out Christmas boxes to tradespeople, having spent Christmas day with your family. There are other versions related to charity boxes set out to collect for the poor on St. Stephen’s Day (also Dec. 26th.) Today a vast number of countries celebrate Boxing Day, or a close variation, such as St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland, or Second Christmas Day in The Netherlands.
Whatever its origins, Boxing Day has become a time to relax with family for one extra day after Christmas, prolonging the good cheer and encouraging an extra bit of relaxation before we all jump back into the fire. It’s a really nice sentiment that we all to often don’t see, giving a bit of extra time for family and friends to help us remember what counts most in life. So here’s to hoping that wherever you happen to be right now, you’re feeling warm and cozy whilst taking it easy with loved ones, courtesy of Boxing Day.
This song has been going through my head for days if not weeks. And now I’m inflicting it upon you. So Merry Christmas, I guess.
From Keane’s 2006 emo epic, Under the Iron Sea, “Nothing in My Way” showcases the glam-tinged, piano-driven grandiosity of this English band perfectly, not to mention lead vocalist Tom Chaplin’s stunning tenor range. Is it a little soft overall? Yes, a little. Is it a little “pretty”? Yes. But listen to it once and I have a feeling you’re going to play it again, and probably the whole album too, which is pretty much impeccable in an Elton John-meets-Queen-with-a-dash-of-U2 kind of way. Just one word of warning: unless you are a near-pro singer with a massive head voice range, it might be best not to choose “Nothing in My Way” for your next karaoke excursion lest you crash & burn. It’s a sweetly melodic song that sounds easy enough to sing along with… until you realize you can’t hit half the notes Chaplin can. Love or hate the music, the guy’s voice is certifiably amazing.
Red Wings are a long established American shoe company, probably best known for their tough work boots. Started in 1905 in Red Wing, MN by a local shoe store owner named Charles Beckman, the company has gone on to thrive ever since, and has really become a very iconic American brand. My memories of seeing them growing up are mostly associated with guys who made their livings buildings houses, or working in the forests, or something similar. To me, Red Wings have always been the ultimate no-nonsense boots. But beyond their utilitarian roots, Red Wings have always had a very cool sense of style about them, going back decades. The coolest of the cool from throughout their long history have been collected together in their Heritage line, and that’s what we’re wearing.
The Heritage boots differ pretty greatly from Red Wings modern collection, in looks and construction. First of all, the Heritage boots are really just the timeless classics that Red Wings has made for decades. So while one half of the company tries out new materials and looks, the Heritage line sticks with what they know works. In an age where it seems every company is constantly throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and fixing things that weren’t broken to begin with, this is a really refreshing and welcome approach. In keeping with this ethos, Red Wings does it all themselves, from providing the leather form their own tannery, to building everything in the same town the company started in over a century ago. More than that, these boots and shoes are actually still manually made on machines that go back a hundred years in some cases. The company boasts that even today they have third and fourth generation shoe-makers working in their factory, working on the same machines their parents and grandparents did. Again, in an age where people often change jobs as frequently as they change their socks, this is pretty cool.
With her girl next door good looks, peaches and cream complexion and megawatt smile, Amy Adams is a born ingenue and the stuff that Holywood dreams are made of. But she’s more than just a wholesome all-American girl with a decidedly pretty face. Ms. Adams can flat out act.
After struggling in Holywood in the early 2000s for several years without much to show for it, Amy Adams broke through to widespread critical recognition in 2005’s indie hit, Junebug. Her irrepressible Ashley Johnsten in that film earned the then-30-year-old a Best Supporting Actress nomination. And she has’t looked back since.
In 2007 she was Princess Giselle in Disney’s megahit Enchanted and quickly followed that up with starring roles in the underrated Sunshine Cleaning and another critical success alongside Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia, which hinted at something more in her than just sweetness and light. She explored her tougher side further in David O. Russell’s excellent The Fighter as boxer Mickey Ward’s tough-as-nails and fiercely protective working class girlfriend, Charlene Fleming. After a return to perky form with The Muppets, Ms. Adams continued to mine a darker vein as the manipulative power behind a cult leader in P.T. Anderson’s grim The Master.
With major roles in this past year’s Man of Steel as a fair haired but pitch perfect Lois Lane and another David O. Russell success, the recently released Oscar contender American Hustle, Amy Adams is now securely on Hollywood’s A-list for leading ladies and it would seem that the hard working 39-year-old’s best work is yet to come. With a smile that can melt the most cynical heart and an inner toughness that can tame the most unruly leading men, it’s certain that Ms. Adams is determined not to let her wholesome looks typecast her as just another good girl. Which suits us just fine — there’s nothing we like more than a little spice with our sugar.
MFL is proud to present links to tomvox1’s ads for vintage watches. These are sales posts you might otherwise have to search the web for or miss entirely before they are sold. These watches are eclectic, cover a wide range of price points and offer the discerning gentleman the opportunity to acquire quality vintage timepieces that are guaranteed to be authentic and add penache & elan to a man’s wrist & wardrobe. Most of all, they are backed by one of the world’s foremost collectors and always certain to be accurately and lovingly described down to the last detail. Simply put, you can buy a watch from some other random seller on the Internet with a lot of vague claims and small pictures or you can buy a tomvox1 watch and know exactly what you’re getting before you make the leap.
There might not be another guitar in the world that has had such a scrappy rise to fame and fortune as the Fender Jaguar. From a debut full of big hopes, to a slow decline into the cheap seats, to a meteoric resurgence that ended in a permanent place in guitar history, the Jag has had quite a ride so far. Equally loved and hated by guitar players and collectors, the Jaguar is a one of a kind guitar, and my personal all-time favourite.
Amazing condition 1965 Jaguar in very rare Charcoal Frost finish (Image from Jay Rosen)…
A Quick HIstory-
Introduced by Fender in 1962, the Jaguar came loaded with all sorts of bells and whistles, and was meant to be Fender’s new top-of-the-line model (priced accordingly higher than a Stratocaster!) For better or worse, this plan didn’t succeed. Most customers felt the Jag was a bit too flashy or weird looking, and the Stratocaster remained the king of the Fender line-up. Fender then began marketing the Jaguar largely as a “Surf Guitar”, as Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys were known for playing them at the time. They also tried to lure customers in by offering custom nitrocellulose lacquer finishes for a 5% add-on to the sticker price. But alas, even the cool finishes couldn’t do much to boost the popularity of the Jaguar. By the late 60’s the Jaguar had been relegated to the backseat of Fender’s line-up, and production of the original guitar finally ceased entirely in 1975.