Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

Announcements for my standup comedy gigs are here at gregtito.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Lord of Regret

I got the extended edition of The Return of the King a couple of months ago. Is there any other version? As Peter Jackson says in the commentary, these extended editions will be known as the definitive version of the film. It's uncanny how much an extra half hour can enhance the story and authenticity of the movies. It's a shame that Jackson was so compelled by Hollywood to cut these films down in the theatrical cuts but I think he did so knowing that the DVD editions were coming so soon after. A lot of time was spent on the DVD, continuing work on the movies after the movie was released. Jackson states that one shot was actually completed after the film won the Oscar for best picture, probably the only time such a thing has occurred.

Enough about him, let's get back to me. The other day, I decided to go back and start watching the Fellowship of the Ring. From the opening prelude sequence, I was surprised at how consistent the look and feel of the first movie compares with the third. These were truly one very long film, split into 3 dramatic parts. It's a fantastic achievement. God, I really can't stop blathering about it. In short, I think the films are fucking amazing.

I grew up reading the LOTR. One of my very first memories is watching the Rankin/Bass animated Hobbit and my brother telling me how different it was from the book. So I read it. I've reread the Hobbit and LOTR countless times, they are a part of me. They shaped so much of who I am, my dreams to be a writer, my fascination with fantasy roleplaying games.

Watching the FOTR two days ago, I was struck with the beauty of it all. The sequence in the Shire was so right, so in line with Tolkien both thematically and visually. Sitting on the couch watching it, I broke down in tears. I don't know what happened. I was overwhelmed with admiration and joy. I was also high but I don't think that had that much to do with it. I'd gotten teary-eyed before watching these movies but this time I just wept. I wept that something so perfect was in the world.

Back to the title of the blog. I was in my senior year of college when principal photography began on LOTR in 1999. I was 21. I remember being really excited that a live-action movie was being made and I followed the news of the shoot fairly regularly. College was going well, I was dating a wonderful girl named Mephistopheles. I was writing plays and producing my first full-length one called Online. But I have this mountain of regret.

I should have gone to New Zealand. I had next to no experience in film, but this was a dream project. I should have dropped everything, gotten on a plane and walked up to the office and told them I wanted to help make a movie. Do anything that was needed. Make coffee, drive cars or trucks, fucking shine Peter Jackson's shoes, anything. LOTR was a perfect meld of so many of my aspirations, I always wanted to make something, to write, to make a movie, to be creative, and the number one thing that inspired all of that was Tolkien. Why didn't I drop everything and go to make the definitive film version of a story that I had loved for so long?

I can tell you why. I was in school, with less than a year left. I had a car. A family. An awesome girlfriend who would eventually be my wife. I tell myself, if there was none of that, I would have gone. Or would I have? Would I have made that leap into the unknown?

I don't know. All I do know is that as I sit on my couch in the year 2005 and watch the work of Peter Jackson, I am so full of regret that I had nothing to do with the LOTR. It is arguably the greatest film in the history of cinema based on my favorite story of all time...

and my only contribution to it is that I cry because it is so beautiful.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Tetris 1D

I think this is perhaps the funniest/nerdiest joke ever found on the internet.

Go Here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hidely, Hodely, Neighbor

I live in a very loud neighborhood. Or as my wife, Mephistopheles, would say, "All this place has is rich little brats who never go to sleep." To be honest, there is often loud music playing in one of the adjacent apartments. And because we live on a block of houses built right next to each other, there are four adjacent apartments, one up, one down, one on either side. These buildings are old, there is not very much sound-proofing. So anytime any of our neighbors is playing music, we can hear the bass-a-pumping, sometimes to the point of vibrating floors and walls.

Now this bothers me, especially when I'm tired and just want to rest my eyes for a couple of minutes. But it doesn't consume my ever-waking thought. That is how it affects Mephistopheles. She will bitch and complain and stomp her feet for hours at a time if there is any hint of bass in our apartment. We will be in the midst of a conversation and she will stop talking to, turn off the TV, and say, "SHHHH!" Just so she can hear the bass which I am trying to ignore. Then she will scream, "I hate living here!" and go off on another tirade about how she works and is tired and she just wants to go to sleep. Even though she's watching TV and talking to me. It gets to the point where if I come home and I hear music, I am not bothered. I am dreading my wife's reaction more than the bass pumping.

Last night, there was a party at our next door neighbors. Their window was open so as I walked up my stoop I could see the twenty-somethings all gathered around some turn-table thing and mock rapping. It was really loud. I didn't want to walk into my apartment, for I knew Mephistopheles would be inside, cleaning the gun.

Before I was even inside the door, I hear, "Just so you know, the neighbors are having a party and Jeremy (our downstairs neighbor) is playing music too." As if I wouldn't notice. No "Hello, honey, how was work?" No "good to see my loving husband." And as predicted, the loudness of the music and the insensitivity of everyone around us dominated the conversation, no matter how many times I asked what the secret ingredient was on Iron Chef.

What's the point of all this? I don't know. I just know that people playing music doesn't bother me that much. I can ignore it. Mephistopheles does not have that ability, or if she does, she chooses not to use it. I for one believe it is the latter because even though we did call 311 and the cops did come to tell the partiers to be little quieter, you could still hear music when she went to bed. And she went right to sleep.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Wow, that's a long time between posts, Bob

You know, you're right. Truth be told, I was a little discouraged to post creative ideas by my friend, Ian. He recently started his own blog, you should check it out here.

He and I have been playing WOW since it came out this November. Hell, we were even playing in both stress tests and the open beta. I would have been playing for over a year if I had made it into the Closed Beta. The game is extremely fun. I play a dwarf paladin named Brantley on the Sargeras US server. If you play, and for some weird reason you're actually on my server, send me a tell and tell me how great you think this blog is. :)

Interesting thing about MMORPGs is that people from every stratum of society seem to play them. The numbers of women vs. men, while not equal, is still closer to 50-50 than in any other type of game. Older video game players also tend to play MMORPGs more than your typical FPS. How do I know this?

There is a website called the Daedalus Project. Basically, it's run by a a guy who was studying to be a research pyschologist in college and was introduced to Everquest by a study he was assigned to write. He got hooked on playing the game as well as interested in what kinds of people were the elves and dwarves around him. He decided to take qualitative and quantitative surveys of MMORPGamers and track his results online. He writes papers and brief articles on the subject, often using testimonials from actual gamers to illustrate a trend that the data shows. It's all really exhaustive and quite professional looking after a graphical redesign of his website. For a quick look at the data he's collected check out the Daedalus Gateway or, if you play MMORPGs, take the newest survey.