Log in

No account? Create an account

Speaking with the dreams of thousands, the judgement of a bloodline

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I fucked this up months ago and am finally fixing it.

My new LJ is located here:


Please add me and I will add back as possible.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

2:39AM - 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.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


"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.

Friday, January 12, 2007


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.

Monday, December 11, 2006


It feels like we could escape. I don't mind throwing away the filthy silver song.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


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.


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.

Monday, November 13, 2006


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).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


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.


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.

Monday, August 28, 2006


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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I know I don't get to update much lately, but I wanted to share a bit of brilliance with you all.

First: "Rule: Confession is a sacred right enhanced by allegory, exaggeration, and lies."

And then: "Tibo was unaware of his royal blood because two hundred years previously his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Musinga had been captured and thrown into slavery during a raid by Portugese brigands on his village. Musinga's ancestors had been related to the Pharoah and had drifted south after the decline of Egypt. This was not the kind of information that would have shown up if Tibo had ever tried to research his family tree on the internet. Musinga had fought the Portugese fiercely, but the Watusi were heavily outnumbered, and their spears were no match against muskets and steel. Of ninety-five people captured that day, he was the only one to reach America alive. His two wives, whom he adored, and his three children, who he loved beyond all reason, died in the unbelievable squalor and misery of the slave ship.

The experience of the slave ship was so intense, so brutal, so unjustified, so heart-breaking and agonizing that it was stored in Musinga's DNA as rage. Science has not yet identified that DNA can store rage or any other memory because the scientists, the grown-up geeks from the astronomy club, are too busy proving that genetics store really important stuff, like the propensity to be overweight or lactose intolerant. But in Musinga's DNA, the rage was strong. It was there when he saw his American children, born from his new slave wife, taken and sold off to God-knows-where. It was there the day he grabbed a fat white man's riding crop and pulled him from the horse and beat him to death with his bare hands. It was there the day he was hung, which was, of course, the same day he killed the boss.

Musinga's rage spread out through the slave population, mixing with the rage of other captured warriors, both male and female. The rage fueled war, crime, and brilliance. In some descendants it produced a nobility and drive. In some descendants it produced a desire for justice and equality, for reparation and forgiveness. For other descendants it produced despair and self-hatred, alcoholism, addiction, and depression. The rage turned inward, killing the host body, as rage is wont to do. It seems that alcoholism and addiction are highly present among present-day African Americans, Native Americans, Aboriginese, and Celts -- people who are not without a certain amount of justified rage."

-Both quotes from Craig Ferguson's Between the Bridge and the River

I do hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Tonight I am feeling amazingly melancholy. I shall let Motion City Soundtrack explain why:

"You're the leaky sink of sentiment. You're the failed attempts I never could forget. You're the metaphors I can't create to comprehend this curse that I call love."

That's the other thing. Along with this strange sadness, I also feel terribly clumsy with my own words tonight. Or maybe inadequate. It's just one of those nights where words don't seem to mean as much or exactly what I want them to.

I should try to sleep though. I am guest-starring on the Team Fremont Live podcast tomorrow. This should be fun. I also have this coming week off work, so I'll probably stuff in a bunch of comics/book reading and hopefully write a few reviews.

I finished Kingdom Hearts II tonight. Final review: Eh... not so bad. Could use some work though. Better than the first, significantly.

Nerves, calm down. Good night, everyone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


--For once, it's my life. I might as well live it. Along with the bad times. Just happy to be living. It's my time. I know that sounds selfish. I'm really not like that. We live and we die for this.--

A few big updates on Phil-life. If any of you have been wondering where the fuck I've been, this is the entry to look towards. I'm actually not even totally sure where to start, so I guess I'll start with my shill stuff:


I implore you, if you at all like video games and have not checked out the podcast yet, do so. We just recorded episode 20 (should be up there in a day or two) and it was fantastic. Easily our best so far. We've gotten very good very fast, and we've been getting a lot of amazing interviews and guests, including Jimmy Palmiotti, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Major Nelson, 1Up's Garnett Lee, CGW's editor-in-chief Jeff Green, etc., etc. We're nearing around 2000 subscribers now, I think, and going up. You guys should really get in on this now if you can. In fact, the things almost become like a second job now (albeit a job I love). But we'll ge to that momentarily.

I'm not really sleeping tonight. I haven't been sleeping much at all lately. This is mostly due to some problem I've had with sleeping. I don't really get it. It's bad for several reasons, specifically that I need to be up at 8:00 AM for my job and my job is pretty physically intense, so being tired is pretty detrimental.

Big fucking announcements time, I suppose.

Firstly, after a ton of thinking and debating and mulling over, etc., I have decided that I'm going to be vacating the position of station manager immediately. This is not an easy thing for me to do. I really love the radio station and the job still very much appeals to me. But this summer more than ever I've realized how much I can get done towards what I need to get done if I don't spread myself so fucking thin. Were I to take the position, I know that either I would be forced to drop a lot of the stuff I love or I would just end up doing a half-assed job as station manager, neither of which I can accept. I'm doing my best to stick with the station and make sure stuff still gets off to a smooth start, though. I'm also dead scared and semi-certain that I've pissed off a number of people. Rightfully so, I suppose -- I do not blame them. But you know how I am about people disliking me. Whatever.

Secondly, more importantly and one of the big things that has pushed me away from the station manager position: as of a little over a month ago, I am engaged. Amanda and I decided shortly after she returned from her Morocco trip that this was the right thing to do. So it is. We're going to have a long engagement -- no wedding until we graduate, which is about two years. Still, we think this is the right step. Thanks to all the friends who have supported us thus far and in advance to those who will continue to.

Finally, everyone, courtesy of Ed Brubaker, I bring you,

a.) a little piece of hate: "The world changes every time one person changes."
b.) a little piece of hope: "The world changes every time one person changes."

I hope you all can rest easy while I am not. We have long days ahead of us.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


"Hi, my name is Dean. I grew up in a small suburb town about 40 miles from the city. It's a quiet place, but people have the biggest mouths. It's the kind of place where people care more about your stories than who you really are. I guess that kind of makes sense when I look at myself."

The Early November has crafted something seriously amazing and unexpected with The Plan, the third of their new three-disc set. I am glad to have heard it, glad it exists, and proud to say that I think it will end up being my new favorite. Also, for those who are disgusted by the emo thing, keep in mind that it has a very playful, punk-rock musical (dare I say Say Anything-esque) feel to much of it and actually ends up being one of the least emo CDs ever at the end.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 22, 2006



My voice is an echo of places I don't know and stories I've been told.


We are all connected.

For history's sake won't you please take notice?

Big announcements coming soon. More then. Sorry.

Sunday, June 4, 2006


In less than 24 hours I will be with Amanda again. I am smiley.

Monday, May 29, 2006


The more, as it turns out, is only this:

I learned tonight that sometimes when you least expect someone will say something to you and something will click into place. And gears will grind inside your heart. And everything will move, blocks falling, wheels turning, etc. And then, suddenly, it will make sense. You will understand them completely in a way you never had before. And you will be connected. A straight line, a ray of light from one soul to another. A smile. If life is about anything, it's about these moments. It's about real, honest human connection. And all of the bad times, and all of the shit, and all of the terrible stuff going on in our world -- all of that is so fucking shadowed by these REAL moments that they barely exist. I you we are transcendent tonight. And connected: always.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


"You have to realize that it wasn't always like this, that this is the portrait of a dead horse being kicked... But there was a time not too long before when it was like magic, a time of running in the rain, and making love everywhere and endless postcards filled with passion and tears... That must be remembered."

-from A Complete Lowlife by Ed Brubaker

I might right more tonight if I can get used to the extreme warmth of my new place long enough to.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I'm happy to admit that maybe I am a little depressed, because I'm missing you to death.

I just realized something terrifying: I move in like a couple days, tops. If not earlier. And I'll be by myself. Completely. Like, my interactions with Ashia and Jared the last month haven't been terribly complex or deeply satisfying by any means, but it's been something at least. From this weekend until Amanda gets back, I'll have more or less no real human interaction besides work, I guess. Jesus. I'm going to go nuts. I really am. I mean holy shit. I might not make it out of this sane. My mind is already wrapping in on itself. I can't begin to imagine being completely alone for a week and a half. (A week and a half? That's not even a long time. But shit. You know? Shit.)


One good thing: I did an interview with Scott Kurtz for the podcast. Scott Kurtz writes PvP, an insanely popular webcomic located at www.pvponline.com. He also has a print version of the comic through Image, as well as a new Image mini-series titled Truth, Justin, and the American Way, which is very good. The interview was utterly awesome. By far the biggest and best interview I've done so far. And it's going to bring a ton of new listeners for the 'cast. I hope I can keep the 'cast strong in my stupid fragile state.

I also have a smaller interview hooked up for next week, but one that I'm still really excited about. More game-focused. Will be really interesting, I think.

Did you take them for every penny that you could?

I've barely done a thing for my summer directed study in film theory. Though I did re-read about half of Benjamin's "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" last night. I'm understanding it a lot better this time (which I suppose makes sense). I have this idea about doing an article for Toybane that connects the ideas in that essay with indie games. Not sure if it'll work yet. We'll see.

Good lord, though. I'm pathetic. Yeesh. I shouldn't be breaking down even half as much as I am. Amanda's only gone for three weeks. Silly.

E-mails time. Almost forgot. Check 'em, folks. Yes, you.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006


Where did you all go? Can't you see I'm still screaming, struggling, scrambling for you? I'm still here, oh god, and my voice is getting hoarse because I can't shut up for you. (I realized in time that it didn't mean anything.)

I'm not.



This is completely original. This is completely original. This is completely original. Etc.

The first time I ever got rid of a friend was, I think, in grade school.

The second was, I think, in high school.

The third.

Each time, as is expected, is harder than the last. It's not something that should happen with someone like me, but sometimes I'm just not stubborn enough to not be stubborn.

Five across: another word for desperate-ly seeking your attention and approval.

I am committing the act of forgetting. I am committing to memory the acts of a false history play invented by my ego. I committing myself to the act of intellectual charity (not recognizing that my coffers, indeed, are empty).

Kafka: Starved.
Hemingway: Shotgun.
Crane: Born on the same day as Hemingway. Leaped from a goddamn ship.

Enfolding, isn't it? Unhealthy, though.

Navigate: (Previous 20 entries)