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Getting to know Calisuri

News from Bree

Oct 16 2012, 9:13pm

Post #1 of 14 (310 views)
Getting to know Calisuri Can't Post

Welcome to the latest "Getting to know" - questions that need answering. It's based on the old Getting to know you threads that I used to post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.

This month we're asking questions of one of our Four Founders, Calisuri.

Thanks Chris for agreeing to do this :)

Me: What was your favourite cartoon when you were growing up?

Oddly enough, the first one that pops into my head is Hong Kong Phooey! Though I know I really enjoyed He-Man, Thundercats and Gummy Bears! hah.

Me: You have been gifted a 30 second phone call with Tolkien, what would you say?

Calisuri: I think I would be a bit embarrassed to talk to him. Weird right? But ultimately, I don't think Tolkien totally understood hardcore fans, and well, that is what I represent via TheOneRing.net. - even more-so today where fandom has escalated to a religious fervour in modern society.

I am also not a scholar in any capacity...as you can tell by my grammar! So I'd be embarrassed to even open my mouth!

But after all of that, I'd ask him about his experience in the war and how that affected his life. I'd love to know how he lived through the horrors of modern warfare with his own life experience.

Me: How do you avoid going mad under the pressure of running the largest and most-popular Tolkien and Lord of the Rings movies fan site in the world?

How do you know I have not gone mad? :P heh

But more seriously... I can't claim to be solely running the site. I do handle most "business" decisions and manage as much as possible, but there are so many other contributors to the site who go unnoticed and unrecognised for their valuable efforts. TORn is blessed to have such an amazing group of volunteers - they are the ones that truly make TORn "run."

For the business side of the site, I guess I can say I handle the pressure by putting things in perspective. I make an active decision to not sweat the small stuff. I know that seems cliched and implies that I'm saying TheOneRing.net is the "small stuff," but...well, it is! My priorities in life are my family and my relationship with God. If I can handle those two extremely important aspects of my life, the rest just falls into place. So when something "bad" happens on TORn (Server failure, etc) it never really phases me. It is just another day in the life of a thriving fan community. I have confidence in our team of volunteers to resolve whatever issue has come up and know that it ultimately will be resolved...at some point.

The only real time I get "stressed" about TORn is when someone is attempting to abuse the community. In a nutshell, that means someone comes to us to promote their for-profit venture without appropriate reciprocation to our community. Basically looking to use the good will we've built up over many years for their own personal gain. That is the quickest way to get on my "bad side."

Why do you still do it? Why do you go to all the trouble?

Calisuri: I've often described TORn to friends and family as "my baby." Now that I have a real baby (my daughter was born in March 2011), I'm not sure its exactly the same, but close. In the early 2000's, I aggressively protected TORn as I would my daughter and possibly burnt a few bridges. I've since come to a much more "calm" place in my life and don't let things get personal. So again, as I mention above, I'm not sweating the small stuff anymore and as a result TORn is simply an overall positive force in my life.

And it is a hell of a lot of fun! Where else can you throw a 220k+ party?! (Yea, that is what The Return of the One Party cost in 2004 - and we expect our next parties to be even more!)

Me: Ever been tempted to change the site so that you can hire staff to do the work?

Calisuri: No. If you check out the first wave of fan sites from the late nineties, many of them are no longer run by their original "owners." Most folks look to cash in and move on. I'm very proud of our ownership (Tehanu, Xoanon, Corvar and myself) for realising that the TORn community is more than just a website for a lot of folks. It represents years of hard work from our volunteers, but also is an outlet for Tolkien fandom worldwide. To move to a for-profit model would destroy us...you could really compare it to The One Ring itself. Yes, money would be awesome to have from our hard work on TORn, but ultimately its corrupting powers would overwhelm and turn us into Gollum? lol When people volunteer their time and talents to something, they are doing so because they have a real passion. You can't pay for passion.

Me: What has been the BEST moment, the minute or day that has been most rewarding for all the years of effort?

Oh wow. Well, my memory is horrible - as many of our staff can tell you - so i can't give you the minute and day. But I can say with certainty it was being invited to the Cannes Films Festival in 2001 before the release of The Fellowship of the Ring and spending time seeing exclusive footage of the film as well as partying with the cast/crew before the whole thing blew up.

Ha - look, the old page still exists explaining the experience: http://archives.theonering.net/movie/cannes2001.html

I know you asked for only one - but I'd have to put up there the "Charwen" experience and the last Oscar Party.

Me: What's your favourite thing about the TORn community?

Calisuri: Loaded question! I call foul!

My favourite "thing" about TORn is the diversity of our community and the giving, generous and pleasant nature of Tolkien fans. We truly are the best fan base out there - sorry everyone else :P

Me: What is the meaning of your TORn nick and why did you choose it? ("I've always wondered about it, but when you google "calisuri", stuff about Chris Pirrotta is what you get." Alassea Eruvande)

Calisuri: It is rather unique - and I have to give the credit to my brother Steve. You see, his email password was "Calusari" - in reference to the X-Files episode "The Calusari." I just didn't know how to spell it...and ultimately it served as a good nickname for use on the Nightmare LPMud I used to play. So there you have it...Calisuri.

Oddly enough...most people think it is a female name. I'm not sure why.

Me: Invent a word that might be heard in M-e and tell us what it means.

Calisuri: Wow - awesome question! How about Eve

Me: Do you have any irrational fears or phobias?

Calisuri: I have quite a few - I'm thinking the worst of which is I'm a hypochondriac. Just ask my poor wife! The slightest sniffle and I must have the flu or something much more horrible than the common cold.

I lived my whole life with another fear that I only recently overcame. Since I'm on a semi-soap box here, I would like to encourage anyone with an issue or fear that affects them daily to get some help. I only wish I would have addressed this particular topic 20 years ago - my life would have been so much different. I feel so liberated every day thanks to just a few sessions of therapy.

How did you decide on what design to use for TORn? ...in fact, how did you (and the other Founders) decide on the very name? (And do you have any comments regarding, ah, Charwen? )

Calisuri: The original concept for TORn was simply a collage of the great Tolkien artists - taking pieces from Naismith, Lee, Howe and others to compose an interesting backdrop. Nothing really that impressive - and ultimately today it is very out-dated. We should have a "reskin" coming soon!

The name was directly inspired by TheForce.net - a Star Wars site that I often mention was my personal inspiration for TheOneRing.net. We thought by keeping a few parts of our name similar to TheForce.net, we could capture a bit of their success. So that is why we have a "the" in our name and used ".net."

Ah Charwen...that will live with me forever. The one thing I took away from that was I'm a HORRIBLY UGLY woman. My daughter takes after my wife fortunately :P

Thank you, again, Chris for taking the time to talk to us this month.

And as always thanks to all our message board regulars, Ataahua, DanielLB, Alassea Eruvande, SirDennisC, Xanaseb, grammaboodawg and dernwyn, and a special thank you to Senior Staffers MrCere and Demosthenes for this month's questions.

If you want to ask any questions yourself, head over to our Message Boards, the sign up process is pretty painless. A lead post for questions is made at the beginning of each month. Or you can just check the boards for this month's interviewee and email me your questions at kelvarhin@theonering.net.

Till next time from TORn's resident Tiger.


(This post was edited by Silverlode on Oct 17 2012, 5:22am)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 17 2012, 6:31am

Post #2 of 14 (166 views)
Charwen B-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't miss her 'tude Laugh

Thanks for doing this Kel. It's always a pleasure to hear Chris talk about keeping TORn a volunteer organization. It's true what he says... passion is beyond price!


Oct 17 2012, 6:48am

Post #3 of 14 (186 views)
*chuckles* Ya just can't miss her ;D [In reply to] Can't Post

You're welcome Earl. Always enjoy seeing the questions everyone comes up with and then seeing the replies.

Yep, we all love what we do CoolHeart


Bag ENZ Home of the Hobbit *with thanks to cameragod ;D*

One by one they faded, and fell into shadow...

One book to rule them all
One book to find them
One book to bring them all
And in TORn bind them
In the land of TORnadoes...where the brilliant play


Oct 17 2012, 9:08am

Post #4 of 14 (169 views)
Another wonderful interview :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

And I couldn't agree more with this:

My favourite "thing" about TORn is the diversity of our community and the giving, generous and pleasant nature of Tolkien fans. We truly are the best fan base out there - sorry everyone else

That's what attracted me to this forum, and why I'm still here today.


Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!


Oct 17 2012, 1:03pm

Post #5 of 14 (154 views)
Awesome [In reply to] Can't Post

Very nice job! Chris is fantastic and is one of my favorite people. His replies are honest, very well thought out, and he usually has a couple that make me laugh in a good way. :)

Superuser / Moderator

Oct 17 2012, 6:13pm

Post #6 of 14 (152 views)
Another Hong Kong Phooey fan here. :D [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for being so open with your answers, Calisuri! That was a really interesting interview.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Oct 17 2012, 8:36pm

Post #7 of 14 (163 views)
Thanks Kitty and Calisuri [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorta glad he left a lot to the imagination when answering my question, which apparently was "great."


Seriously though, this is one of the more interesting interviews (they've all be interesting btw). It's always the mild mannered ones who turn out to be the ballsiest. (Wait can we say that on TORn?)

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 17 2012, 8:44pm)


Oct 17 2012, 11:38pm

Post #8 of 14 (158 views)
What a great visit!! :) [In reply to] Can't Post

This community is only as fabulous as it is because of the guidance and nurturing of Calisuri, and fellow Founders Xoanon, Corvar and Tehanu. We just follow their lead. But it's also because of those incredibly devoted "volunteers". I've noticed that a huge number of those invaluable people have been here, if not from the beginning, then for many, many years! Where else can you find such dedication? This place is home.

Thank you, Kel, for this wonderful visit with a great guy... and Thank you, Calisuri, for sticking with TORn and with us :D

ps... I'm a March baby, too! It's a great month to get born'd ;)


I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 18 2012, 3:28pm

Post #9 of 14 (157 views)
"You can't pay for passion." [In reply to] Can't Post

How true! Cool

Great interview, it shows what can happen when a perfectly normal geek gets a wonderful idea with his friends, and is able to make his dream come true, and how it affects his life! Thank you for letting us all get to "meet" Calisuri, Kel! Smile


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

Sr. Staff

Oct 18 2012, 11:04pm

Post #10 of 14 (122 views)
Thanks for that [In reply to] Can't Post

Calisuri is way under-appreciated and recognized. Also, I did very little or nothing to help. GREAT interview.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

My blog


Oct 19 2012, 1:04am

Post #11 of 14 (121 views)
I don't know Calisuri personally [In reply to] Can't Post

But as someone who has been around Tolkien fandom online since the late 90s, I can say that my impression of him was always excellent. He is a man with a great sense of humor that takes his work seriously, but not himself. A quality person to have in this space, to be sure.


Oct 19 2012, 1:40am

Post #12 of 14 (114 views)
that was great! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice to get a few insights into one of the Founders who keep things running so well around here! Very enjoyable read, thanks!



Oct 19 2012, 2:07am

Post #13 of 14 (115 views)
Hey [In reply to] Can't Post

you helped give me the cheek idea to ask Calisuri to take part, that's priceless Cool It's fun getting people to see a little bit of the people behind the names.

Thanks MrC BlushSmileBlush

Bag ENZ Home of the Hobbit *with thanks to cameragod ;D*

One by one they faded, and fell into shadow...

One book to rule them all
One book to find them
One book to bring them all
And in TORn bind them
In the land of TORnadoes...where the brilliant play

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 19 2012, 1:01pm

Post #14 of 14 (199 views)
Gummy bears [In reply to] Can't Post

loved them when I was a kid (still can sing the opening tune (in Dutch that is)).

Thanks for the answers Chris!
And thanks Kel for putting it all together!


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