The Post to End All Posts

It has been promised, and so it is here. If you don't care about most of this, at least please take a look at the bottom one, which is important news for me.

Phil's Contact Info 2007
E-mail: kefkataran@gmail.com (also for use on Google Talk)

As far as mailing address or phone number, if you need them, feel free to e-mail me. I check that obsessively, so I'll respond.

AIM Screenname: KefkaGehstahl
MSN Messenger address: kefka_taran@hotmail.com

Xbox Live Gamertag: KefkaTaran
Playstation Network ID: KefkaTaran
Wii Friend Number: 6874 7610 2500 7566 (please e-mail me with your number if you add me on the Wii)

World of Warcraft info -- if you ever want to find me on the biggest game in existence, I'm usually hanging out on the Hellscream server. I've got a level 60 undead mage named Lanim and a level 10-ish Blood Elf paladin named Westinia.

Also, if any of you use Netflix and want to add me to give and receive movie recommendations, add kefkataran@gmail.com to your Netflix friends list.

Big List of Places to Find Phil on the Net 2007

First off, my new Livejournal. Posts may be infrequent, but I'll update as much as I can. I'll also friend anyone who friends me, but I can't make promises on how often I'll be able to check other peoples' LJs. I'll try, though.

My podcast, Evil Avatar Radio. If you haven't checked this out yet, please do some time. It's me, my fiance Amanda, and my good friend Justin gathering together once a week to talk about video games. We also take phone calls from the Evil Avatar community. And we do interviews with a lot of game developers and such. It's a good, fun show. If you play video games, give it a listen.

Speaking of Evil Avatar, I do a weekly trade paperback review for them. These reviews are posted in the In-House Content forums every Sunday afternoon. The latest one is located right here (my review is the one of the Hack/Slash trade -- the ones before are single issue reviews by another guy at Evil Avatar).

My Myspace. I rarely ever visit this, but feel free to friend me or leave messages, and I'll check them.


My Facebook. I check this a bit more often than Myspace, but I'm not as addicted as most college students seem to be. Still, it's a sure easy way to get a hold of me if you need to.

My 1Up page/blog. This is where most of my video game-related bloggings/musings will go, although I might CC some of them onto my new LJ as well. If you've got a 1Up page, feel free to add me.

And along with 1Up comes my big news: starting (holy shit) TOMORROW I will be a news intern for 1Up.com. This means I'll be writing up some of their news stories and eventually getting paid for it. For anyone who doesn't know me well enough to know this, that's a huge, huge, huge step forward for my life. My dream career is video games journalism, and this is absolutely the most solid step down that path that I've taken since starting my podcast. In fact, of all the places I'd love to work upon moving to San Fransisco post-college, 1Up is my number one choice, and this makes that dream so much closer to a reality that it terrifies and amazes me.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me get this far. I can never possibly make it up to you, but I'll always be trying.

(no subject)

"I think that from the time you're 18 to the time you're 35, you should never get a full night's sleep... I think it should be part of who you are."

-Penn Jillette

New journals and other stuff coming. Thanks for all the kind comments to the last post to everyone who wrote them. It's more appreciated than you now.

(no subject)

I will come clean.

One thing and one thing alone has kept me away from posting frequently or even semi-frequently in the last year or so. That thing is: shame. And it is a shame that is completely undeserved, the same kind I constantly fall prey to because of my ridiculous build-up of Catholic guilt as a youth. The source of this shame, you might be surprised to discover, is you.

From the first time I started an online journal/blog way back in ninth grade of high school, every single post was saturated with the utter fear of expectations. I wrote aware that people would read and that these people would believe certain things about me based on what I wrote. I wanted to write what these people wanted to hear. What I perceived was wanted has changed throughout the years as I've grown to understand people better, but in this last year one thing has stuck out as a definite UNDESIRED element of my writing. For the sake of your understanding, I'll call it 'emo', even if I don't think that term says much of anything.

For some reason emo music, emo subculture, and anything even remotely perceived as emo-tinged writing has become a target of increasingly vicious attacks. Maybe it's because of the saturation of emo music on the radio or the stereotype of the average, whiney, self-centered emo kid, but either way so it has been. Seeing it happen, I've become afraid to write the way I want to write, afraid to show any emotion at all lest it be perceived as "too emo" and I suddenly get knocked off the cool list. Whenever I'd be thinking of posting on an especially rough night, visions would play in my head of people clicking the "Remove from Friends" button and laughing derisively.

Tonight, after two weeks of nerve-wracking depression paramounted by my seeming inability to find an outlet, a place where I could spout off all the words I needed to, I decided that this fear, as with most fear, was bullshit.

People are able to continue bitching about 'emo' for three reasons:

1. An exagerrated and in most cases just plain wrong stereotype
2. An inability to recognize that almost all music is 'emo' on some level
3. A lack of understanding of the hypocrisy and idiocy of whining about people whining too much

As of today, I will begin writing again in several new outlets, including a new LJ, the address of which I shall publish here later for whoever wants to add me. I warn you, though, that I will no longer post with concern that those reading might not want to read what I'm posting. I simply cannot do this any longer. Take it or leave it -- I'll be fine either way.

(no subject)

Honestly? I'm tired of not posting much because of my lack of ability to really critically examine myself.

This is a letter I wrote to an old friend who very recently has become a hardcore Christian. This was a sudden and surprising change for me and a lot of other friends, and dealing with it has been interesting. I know there are a couple solid Christians on my friends list, so maybe some of you have some insight as well?:

I'm friends with a lot of Christians, and, as you surely know, my mom is the most devout and amazing Christian I know, and I have unending respect for her. I have zero tolerance, though, for those who have zero tolerance -- my mother, for example, is a complete Christian and raised us to be that way, but she also accepted and allowed the fact that all of her children need to choose and decide our own paths, even if they aren't paths she agrees with or would choose herself. I know far too many people who would call that bad parenting when in truth it's the exact opposite, the closest to perfect parenting that you can get.

I'll admit that I was relieved to read your letter, to see that you still accept ambiguities in life, that you're not quite an absolutist. That would be too great of a change in you for me to comprehend. It would be difficult to accept at face value.

Something else is bothering me though, and it's probably better for me to be straight-forward about it with you than let it fester underneath and bother me. It's your Facebook. Yes, I realize it's ludicrous to allow anything on Facebook to bother me, but humor me for a few moments. Since taking this admittedly surprising turn in your life, you have changed your Facebook profile several times, but the bottom line of all these changes is this: you've gotten rid of everything about you and replaced it with religious material. The changes in your Facebook profile (if they can be taken in any way seriously) suggest that you are no longer interested in anything except Christianity. Your previous loves -- music, movies, literature, philosophy, gaming -- are nowhere to be found. I could see how you may rightly consider your Christianity to be much more important than any of these other hobbies/interests, but if you do momentarily look at it from the perspective of your friends, I think you'd understand how this can be startling, scary even. The quotes you used to have up ("I am nothing without God") coupled with the disappearance of your interests so strongly suggested a refusal of identity, that I was honestly terrified that you'd joined a cult. Obviously that's not the case, but that doesn't stop my discomfort and worry.

I guess your current entry may explain things better, especially the last paragraph:

"So My child, I think it's time for you to let go of the past and start living the life that I have given you. Amen."

You may consider this letting go of the past to include letting go of previous things you loved -- bands and books and whatever else. I can't really criticize you for that -- it's your choice -- but then the fear I have becomes something entirely different. To what extent does letting go of your past include letting go of your friends as well? Our lack of communication in the last few months (although also VERY strongly due to myself for varying reasons) might suggest an answer I do not want to hear. And if you write back to this reassuring me that our friendship is fine, that you're still interested in hanging out and talking to me, how certain can I be that the main point of that is not just to try and be a Christian example, to try and push your new ideals on me moreso than because you actually love me or want to be my friend. If you can drop your previous self so quickly, why shouldn't I just assume that you can drop me even faster?

I apologize for all of this. A lot of it, I'm sure, you'll read as overly dramatic. I hope you'll treat it fairly though. My worries, my fears, my critiques, all of it could be very off. All of it could be very much due to a lack of understanding. But that's why I need to send this, as stupid as it will all probably read to you. Because I want to understand, and I don't want to be afraid of losing my friendship with one of the people I was closest to, respected the most. I can't stand the idea of losing someone I love.

Do me one favor, though. If you read this, and you think about it, and in all honesty, deep down, you really aren't interested in keeping me as a friend, you really don't think we have enough in common any more or whatever the case may be. If you reach that conclusion, don't lead me on just to be nice, just to be a good person. Drop me and, honestly, don't even reply to this. It will just be easier that way.

(no subject)

I used to be such a burning example. I used to be so original. I used to care I was being cared for. Made sure I showed it to those that I love. I used to sleep without a single stir, because I was about my father's work. I used to to pray that God was listening. I used to make my parents proud. I was the glue that kept my friends together. Now they don't talk, and we don't go out. I used to know the name of every person I kissed. Now I made this bed, and I can't fall asleep in it.

Yes, it seems Brand New's latest CD (The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me) was made with me expressly in mind.

Los Angeles was good. Minnesota is not so much, but whatever, I deal.

I've got a ton of writing to do about LA. I'll try to remember to link some of it from here for those who are interested.

Evil Avatar Radio (www.evilavatarradio.com) looks like it's finally got some advertising now too. It will be niced to finally start getting some money for that. Please check it out if you haven't yet, also. We're good, really. Promise.

I know you'll come in the night like a thief, but I've had some time alone to hold my lies inside me. I know you think that I'm someone you can trust, but I'm scared I'll get scared, and I swear I'll try to nail you back up. So do you think that we could work out a sign, so I know it's you and that it's over, so I won't even try? I know you're coming for the people like me, but we've all got wood and nails and tongues tied to a hating factory.

(no subject)

Well, everyone, I'm off to Los Angeles tomorrow. I'll be back next week (with a Nintendo Wii at the house and, hopefully, a PS3 on Ebay).

(no subject)

A minor update:

Fall break went fine. I did nothing but everything at the same time.

I'm in talks about a new podcast deal. We'll see how that works.

And I don't want to go to my Political Participation/Voting Behavior class tomorrow because that class makes me want to shoot myself for all the wrong reasons.

Still.

I can't promise I'll be posting more, but I'll be trying.

If any of you fools haven't checked out my podcast yet, go over to www.evilavatarradio.com and do so, please. It's pretty good these days, really.

(no subject)

Apparantly a number of people are now bitching behind my back about my decision to step down from the station manager position. Of course I expected this -- I would have been an idiot not to. It's still upsetting though. One person who was a staff member last year was overheard calling the choice "irresponsible". Sarah can correct me if I'm wrong, and I very well might be, but lookng back at the time I spent thinking about the decision and forcing myself to make it a firm one as early as possible and running around talking to everyone and sending e-mails and studying the KUMM constitution to make sure that the transition would be as smooth as possible, and I do not know how I could have gone about doing this any more responsibly. I guess the decision itself could be classified as irresponsible, but I've been under the impression that the more irresponsible route would be sticking with the station without worrying about it until I burn out in the middle of the year and drop out when the station really needs me or do a half-assed job.

I hate whining like this, but it just pissed me off (and depressed the hell out of me at the same time) to hear about that. I've worked so fucking hard to make sure I wasn't just abandoning the station and leaving the staff to pick up my slack, and I plan to keep doing a lot of work for the station all year. But people with their fucking sniping bullshit makes me want to just drop all of it altogether. Fucking hell. My real problem is just that I often forget that most people wave by habit alone.

Seriously, though, I just need to relax and do some writing and reading. I apologize for going into rant mode. I hope all those starting the new school year with me are doing so under favorable conditions.

At some point in the next month or so I'll start posting links to the various reviews and junk I've been spending my summer writing. Watch out for that if you're interested in my writing at all.