Showing posts with the label Announcement

The Closing of the Year. Sort of.

Christmas Day is upon us once again, so it's time to wrap things up for another year. Well... sort of. See, despite some concerns about whether we'd have enough to keep up with our usual schedule this year, we're actually finishing with a handful of reviews we never got around to scheduling. While we relaxed our rules on limiting posts to media we deemed "Christmas movies" to include films of historical significance or movies that uses the holidays in interesting ways, we held off on a couple that are really movies where Christmas plays a minor role, and post-Christmas seems like a good time to run those. I also want to leave open the possibility we might start posting reviews during the off-season (hopefully shorter than most of what we've been doing) of other movies that fall more in the neighborhood of "movies with some scenes during the holidays" than bona fide "Christmas movies." As I said in my intro piece, this blog has piqued my int

Stave 896: Welcome Back to Christmas

Welcome to year 13 of Mainlining Christmas, the best Christmas media review site on the internet. No, no, that just doesn't sound arrogant enough. How about the best site on the internet? Yeah, that sets expectations right where I want them: on the precipice of infinite disappointment. Regardless, this year we brought a theme: A Christmas Carol. See, in the past we kind of breezed by the seemingly endless sea of adaptations, remakes, and re-imaginings of adaptations of Dickens's classic, reasoning if we'd seen one, we'd pretty much seen them all. But by that logic and the property of identity, we'd also have to acknowledge if we hadn't seen them all, we really haven't even watched one. So I figured I should probably sit down and watch through every adaptation that's been made. Unfortunately, that's not actually possible, as countless versions have been lost, are out of circulation, etc., and we have jobs and a child we need to raise. So I figured I&#

Let's Talk Swimming Swans and Milking Maids...

Since we started Mainlining Christmas, we've had an unofficial policy of disregarding New Year's media unless it also directly tied to Christmas Day. We've always known this was kind of silly, but then again this blog is silly, so that worked out. For the record, here's the logic. This blog was conceived as a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the massive juggernaut that the Christmas season represents in the United States. As such, the blog would primarily update between Black Friday and Christmas Day (i.e., the holiday shopping season). We've always known this runs counter to several historical versions of Christmas (e.g., the Twelve Days running between December 25th and January 5th) and our own decision to embrace a definition of Christmas much wider than the Christian holiday (which... look, we've written extensively about how this is really just Saturnalia, anyway, so let's not rehash that here). Ultimately, we mostly sided with the idea our study of Chris

Welcome Back

Welcome back for the tenth season of Mainlining Christmas! If you're a long-time fan, you might recall that we made some changes last year . We didn't push ourselves to post so often so that we could concentrate on quality. At the end of the season, we also announced the impending arrival of our assistant , who was born in due course this past summer. As you may have guessed, while we will continue to consume large amounts of seasonal fare, we have other ways to challenge our sanity this year. And this is for the best. Because we have been doing this for so long that we've begun to build up an immunity. It's no longer hard to listen to only Christmas music for a month or more; in fact, I've been turning it on in the summer when I need to relax. Few Christmas episodes and movies hold surprises for us, for we are masters of holiday tropes; we can see a last-minute Santa reveal coming before the first hint of snow clouds. In short, the mental and physical c

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Thanks so much for spending another season with Mainlining Christmas. Whether you read every word, listen to the occasional podcast, or just click Like on Facebook, we appreciate you. So far, I think this year's changes were a success. Once we backed off from the constant flood of posts, we had time to choose our content more thoughtfully and do research for more podcasts and other analysis. We also had more time to actually enjoy the season. December is a very busy time in my current job, so I personally needed the respite. In fact, it's been such a success that we're planning on bringing on an unpaid intern next summer. Rather than go through the headache of posting an ad or something, we've decided to grow them. We're expecting them to arrive in late June of next year. I expect this person to take up incredible amounts of time and energy, but provide an all-new perspective on holiday media. And life. Hopefully, we'll be back next year, although th

Year Nine

Welcome back to Mainlining Christmas. Pull up a chair. Relax. Have a cup of hot chocolate. We've been meeting up like this for a while now. Nine years and counting - that's a tradition! In that time, we've tried to do our best to keep everything running, to keep the Christmas magic churning out as it always has. Got to save the holidays and all that. And in some ways, this year will be no different. We'll keep reviewing Christmas movies and specials, we'll keep subjecting ourselves to mind-bending quantities of holiday music... you get the drill. But, here's the thing: we're not getting any younger. And, partially because of that, things need to change. That's a long-winded way of saying we're relaxing some of the rules around here. We're dropping the "post every eight hours" gimmick - that was fun at first, but it's gotten a little silly. We'll still have quite a bit to share, but we're dropping the quota, partially

The Mainlining Christmas Yet to Come

Like a tree nurtured and grown, another year has been cut down, dragged inside, strung up with bright lights, dried out, and inevitably caught fire. To put it plainly, Christmas 2017 is gone. And with it, we must also bid farewell to another "season" of Mainlining Christmas - the eighth since we started this little experiment in holiday bingeing. So, then. What now? In past years, we've vowed we'd be back in more or less the same form (or halfheartedly claimed we were shutting the whole thing down, only to pull a last-minute twist). This time... I'm not so sure. I mean, we'll be back in one form or another - we have way too much fun to walk away altogether. But we've been considering a format shift. The rapid-fire of reviews is getting a touch mechanical to write (and I suspect to read, as well). We enjoyed making the podcast this year - we're planning to put together at least a few more of those. Beyond that, we're still figuring thin

Podcast Episode 1: Back to the Yet to Come

In case you missed  the release announcement , this is a quick reminder that our gift to you this season is the pilot episode of the Mainlining Christmas Podcast. In the first episode, secular holiday nerds Erin and Lindsay get a visit from their own Christmas future, along with a lesson on the true reason for the season (spoiler: it's time travel). Listen above, or on Soundcloud , Stitcher , or iTunes . Pieces of media discussed or mentioned: Back to the Future, Part II (1989) It's a Wonderful Life  (1946) A Christmas Carol   by Charles Dickens, 1843 Quantum Leap: "A Little Miracle"  (1990) Blackadder’s Christmas Carol  (1988) Real Ghostbusters: "X-Mas Marks the Spot"  (1986) Back to the Future: "Dickens of a Christmas"  (1991) Saving Santa  (2013) Doctor Who: "A Christmas Carol"  (2010) Doctor Who: "The Unquiet Dead"   (2005) Doctor Who: "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe"  (2011) "Chr

Presenting the Mainlining Christmas Podcast

For the better part of a decade, we've been sifting our way through an endless ocean of yuletide specials and sharing the experience with those of you willing to follow along. Over the years, something odd happened: we started to learn something. This was unintentional, I assure you. We started noticing patterns and trends, and we began piecing together theories about the holidays' odd relationship with pop culture, genre, and literature. I'm not sure it's fair to call us "experts," but we certainly developed a rather unique perspective. But while the blog has been a good forum for reviews and the occasional think piece, it's a poor environment for more in-depth discussion. We wanted to try something new. And that brings us to The Mainlining Christmas Podcast. We're working on pushing this out to various podcast outlets, but for now you can listen at Soundcloud. We've got plans for several more episodes, assuming there's interest

It's Time

It starts in March, but it's quiet - so quiet you can only hear it when the wind dies down and you're perfectly still. You don't even notice it until you're trying to fall asleep. A shuffling sound, at most - you can ignore it most nights. Pretend it's not even there. Most of the time it doesn't even cost you sleep. Most of the time. By June, though, it's grown into an audible scratch. Sometimes you climb into the attic, thinking there must be some injured animal up there. But there's nothing. Nothing but the boxes. And you dare not even look at those, not in the summer. In September, it's tapping. Knocking. It wants you to notice. It wants you to let it free. But it's still fall, so you try to ignore it. But now... now it's pounding against the ceiling. Rhythmic, ceaseless. It won't be ignored. If you left it there... if you did nothing... would it grow louder? Would it continue to build until the pressure was so intense it reduc

Christmas is CANCELLED

So. Everything is awful. President Elect Meisterburger has pledged to orchestrate a complete and total shutdown of elves entering the country, and the Winter Warlock is heading up his transition team. Once again, Kris Kringle is public enemy number one. This is as dark as it gets. As cold and bleak and empty. This is the point in the special some kid's supposed to shed a tear and say Christmas is going to be cancelled. But that's backwards. Christmas isn't supposed to be bright and sunny - it never was. Christmas thrives in this shit. It was born here, in the darkest season, when it seems like the light's gone for good. For millennia, humans have celebrated in order to spite the darkness. We've come together to drive the cold winter away or, barring that, to get drunk on eggnog and exchange sweaters. And nothing's going to change that. If President Meisterburger starts a war that leaves the planet a radioactive wasteland, we'll crawl out of our sewer

Now Ends the Reign of Mainlining Christmas

Sadly, our reign as monarch of Sensible Castle has come to an expected end, so that the next subscriber can claim their three minutes of glory. You should be able to read our proclamations by visiting the Hall of Kings and searching for us.

Now Begins the Reign of Mainlining Christmas

Well, this is it. The moment we've all been waiting for, when Mainlining Christmas is unambiguously crowned king of Sensible Castle in Ireland. This honor is being bestowed on us by Cards Against Humanity as part of their  Eight Sensible Gifts for Hanukkah promotion. You can celebrate our rule by visiting this site , which features video of our castle. You should be able to see our proclamations here , once they're officially proclamated. What are those proclamations? Hell if I know - we submitted them last winter.

Christmas Presents in July!

What's Christmas without presents? A bunch of micro-humanoids singing around a tree while floating on a mote of dust through an unforgiving jungle? Screw that! I'm here to make sure your July is merry and bright. And to do that, I'm offering you the chance to download any or all of my books FREE this weekend. That's right: FREE. Just click on the links below to be whisked off to the magical world of Amazon, where you'll be able to buy my novels for the extremely generous price of $0.00. I'm practically giving them away! And by practically, I mean literally. And by literally, I mean the official definition of literally prior to 2015, when dictionaries were forced to acknowledge lingual drift meant the term had become synonymous with its antonym, figuratively. You know, I'm concerned I may be wandering off topic. Here are the damn links: A Count of Five  (The Citadel of the Last Gathering, Book 1) Tide of Ice  (The Citadel of the Last Gathering, Bo

A Seasonal Announcement from Mainlining Christmas

YOU WON! Yes you, you lucky people. What did you win? MORE CHRISTMAS. It’s July, and this year we’ve decided that 32 days of holidays in the winter just aren’t enough, so we’re bringing you some special Christmas in July content. According to Wikipedia , “Christmas in July” has a few different contexts: First, starting in the 1930s, some American summer camps would hold a special Christmas in July celebration, including decorations, presents, and Santa. Second, places in the Southern Hemisphere where July is the middle of winter sometimes hold bonus Christmas in July parties to make up for the fact that it’s boiling hot on December 25th. Third, and perhaps most familiar to us, it’s a lovely excuse for a sale at a time when marketers are stuck in a lull between the Fourth of July and the Back to School season. We may touch on all these areas, or not. It’s summer, we’re not making too many promises. Maybe we’ll go to the beach and send you pictures of starfish photoshop

What's This Under the Tree?

This is unexpected. There's an extra gift here, and it's addressed to  you . I know we usually wait until Christmas, but it says to open now. We probably shouldn't argue. But what in the world could it be? It looks like a book. Only... I think there's more here. I was right! It's a whole bunch of books. In fact, it's ALL MY BOOKS! And you're getting them absolutely free. Well, the Kindle copies, anyway. Hey, what do you expect - paperbacks don't grow on trees. But, from now through December 26th, you can download free copies of  For Love of Children ,  Facsimile ,  A Count of Five ,  Tide of Ice , and  Tending the Fire . Get them now; read them later. And the best part of digital copies is you can keep them and still re-gift them. Just send your friends the links in lieu of a real gift and remind them it's the thought that counts.

Year Six and All’s Well

It’s that time once more. I can’t believe this will be the sixth year we’ve held our Christmas here online with all of you. (Please don’t send up six geese a-laying, there’s a no pets clause in our lease.) We hope you’re looking forward to this as much as we are. We’ve been collecting more music, more movies, specials and episodes, and more randomly holiday-branded baubles and doodads to share with you. As a refresher for any newcomers, here is our pledge to you: Between now and Christmas, this blog will update at least three times every day (approximately every eight hours). Erin and I will listen only to Christmas music whenever we are in control of our aural environments We promise to watch at least one Christmas-themed special, episode or movie every day As time allows we will experience other holiday activities, such as decorations or events, and report back In past years, we have also reported the slow and steady fracturing that our psyches take under the onsla

All Aboard

The sixth year of Mainlining Christmas is just hours away. Make sure you have your tickets ready.

Self-Promotion: A Count of Five Now Available

Let me just get this out of the way up front: this doesn't have a damned thing to do with Christmas. The wreath was just a cheap attempt to obfuscate that fact: sorry for the deception. A Count of Five is my new novel, which is now available on Amazon. You can pick up the Kindle version here for just $2.99 , or you can buy a paperback version for $9.99 . This is the first book in The Citadel of the Last Gathering, a new series blending fantasy-adventure, science fiction, and quite a few other surprises. We're planning on releasing the second novel in the series this November. This represents a lot of work from both me and Lindsay, who edited and laid out the novel. We're extremely proud of the finished product, and hope you'll pick up a copy and give it a read.

Happy Thanksgiving from Mainlining Christmas

We here at Mainlining Christmas would like to wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.