I’ve been meaning for a while to set up my own domain name, and to eventually revamp my website. While it’s an idea I’ve been throwing around for quite a while — a friend had helped me with a production website back in 2000 — but I’ve never learned to be as programming savvy as I’d like to be. This fall I’ve been learning the basics of WordPress, which I’ve been using the last year or so to host my blog. I’ve got the domain set up, and I’ve moved this blog — comments and all — over to it. Yay! The plan is to expand the blog, now that I’m hosting it myself, and combine it with my first site, so that everything eventually shares the same domain.

So if you’re good enough to subscribe to my blog, either by email, RSS, or via a reader, please replace it with http://melissaleilanilarson.com. (Doesn’t that look all shiny and grown up?) Right now the blog is the home page, so that’s all you need to subscribe.



Warning: I’m going to muse about football for a bit here. But it’s not just gushing, I promise. GO IOWA!! (Just had to get that out of the way.) I love college football. Not just following my teams, but the drama throughout the season and post-season. Football is theatrical. Football is theatre. That’s its whole own post, and for another day.

Gossip is a fascinating phenomenon in any context, but at the moment I’m examining it in relation to NCAA football. There is a lot of talk swirling right now around a really great quarterback, Cam Newton, who is the star at Auburn right now. He had initially signed to play for Florida and started school there; but he was playing second string to Tim Tebow. Which means he wasn’t playing. So he left Florida for Auburn, where he’s been starting. This year has been pretty golden for Newton. He’s fun to watch: he can pass, he can run, he can hustle. For a quarterback, he’s a big guy. He’s legit. He’s hot (and hawt). He makes plays and raises numbers. So it makes sense that, for a significant chunk of the season, a lot of people have been talking about him being a shoe-in to win the Heisman Trophy in December. (That’s another strange incarnation of gossip — people talking about you like you’re the winner before the contest is close to being over.) If he continues to play as he has been, he probably will not only win the Heisman voting, but will lead his (thus far) undefeated team to play in the national championship game in January. Auburn is solid. Cam Newton is Auburn.

But the gold is starting to tarnish a bit. Over the past couple of weeks, allegations and stories and claims have been circling around Newton. At first, there were rumors that he and his father, when first being courted by major NCAA football schools, asked for money. Not scholarship money, but money money. Nearly $200,000. If that were true of Auburn, if they’re paying him to play, that’s all kinds of illegal. His eligibility would be void and he would be suspended from play, perhaps indefinitely. The school would be sanctioned. Now, it’s not Auburn that is mentioned in the allegations; however, if he did ask for or take money from another school as part of the scouting process… Well, that’s just bad. Dirty and crass and bad.

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A lot has been going on lately. My head is spinning from the force of it.

Last week I was very angry. That doesn’t happen very often. Things are better, though. Cooled down considerably. But it’s NOVEMBER now—When did this happen? Egad—And it’s looking to be a very busy month. Exciting stuff coming up and going by and everything in between.

I need to play some serious catch-up, and I feel like I’m cheating a bit by counting this as a post, but it helps me to be public about things—stating goals and intentions—something about being less likely to back out on them. Ha!

I do have several more essay-like posts brewing, but those do take time… My first drafts always come out ranty. Maybe because I’ve been so very angry? Who knows? But this is potentially a new leaf, so I’m gonna turn it, so help me.

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People take what they see on Facebook as gospel. You can blame Facebook for doing whatever to your privacy settings, but unfortunately people will still misinterpret what they see.

I like hummus!

I type fast. Really, really fast.

Sometimes you just have to give the meanie review. Sigh.

I don’t like the musical version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s an example of a musical that is just too much of a musical.

Someone needs to write a hot, good-looking, soul-meltingly scary Dracula. I am not talking about Edward Cullen, so leave your Twilight jokes at the door. Someone needs to revisit the old bat and think about what would make him scary to us today.

Sometimes the TiVo gets it wrong. Grr, argh.

Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantastic Sherlock Holmes. I heart the BBC.

TEMPLE GRANDIN IS MY HERO! Also, Claire Danes is a pretty kick-ass actress. Wow.

Even when it’s cold outside, ice cream still tastes good. And I want lots of ice in my Coke.

Don’t put too much stock in the six-point lead when there’s still time on the clock. That missed PAT from the first half is going to come back and bite you.

Anger sucks. It sits in your belly and gnaws on your insides and reeks and rots. And yet you can’t help it, because it’s someone else’s fault. Don’t worry, I’m working on the whole cheek-turning thing. It’s just going to take a while.

I am sitting here thinking too many things.

Too many things.

I make things up for a living. Create worlds and the characters to people them.

I give them drama and pain and fear to overcome. Personal flaws and external forces. Natural disasters. Dead car batteries in the midst of gale-force winds. Babies born early and parents arriving late. Sibling rivalries. Allergies. Large feet. Hairy arms. Fear of dolls (I have that myself, anyway). A taste for blood. Deft fingers when flowers are involved. Perfect pitch.

The possibilities are endless.

The world is endless. It’s that way on purpose, created by a genius builder who wants us to explore. To embrace and enhance knowledge, to pass on what we learn through spoken word and movement and music and image.

I’m upset. The number of people in the world who are ending their lives prematurely is growing far too quickly. I’m at a loss right now. Struck more than a little dumb. I have work to do, deadlines to meet. I’m supposed to be going to a show tonight. Eating a bowl of noodles before they get cold.

But I’m sitting here. I’m sitting here and wondering why. Why?

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Tonight I had the chance to see an incredible piece of theatre. Master puppeteer Joseph Cashore came to BYU and did a show with his marionettes. He built every piece of the show himself, from the actual figures to the mechanics that work them to their clothes and props. It was an amazing thing to behold. Usually animated representations of people terrify me—dolls and wax figures and puppets—I have an over-active imagination, and think too much about them coming to kill me in the middle of the night. When I was little, I had nightmares where I thought Pinocchio was chasing me. Granted, it was the scary, long-legged Pinocchio from the original book and not the Disney version (I’m pretty sure I could kick him over). But he was supposed to be a good guy, right? Mischievous puppet with a heart of gold? Whatever. I just sit and wait for them to kill me.

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I’m ridiculously excited for the upcoming film The King’s Speech. There’s a full trailer up now, i’ve embedded it here:

Looks all kinds of fantastic, and Colin Firth may just get another completely deserved Oscar nod. Woot!

Thanks to Enchanted Serenity of Period Films for the link.

In other news… Just bought my own domain name today. Working on getting my website transferred over. Not quite overhauling it yet, but it’s a project I’m putting in motion over the next little while.

Speaking of projects, I have a ton of things to work on! TV possibilities, screenplays, stage plays, and reviews. Am I actually a writer now? I mean, for a job? I’ve been seriously considering the possibility of going freelance lately. I’m going to give it a shot, anyway, because for some strange reason I can’t seem to get an interview for any sort of writing job. Weird.

Charlee is snoring. How easy would it be to be a dog? I’d like to lie down and nap right about now. They should call this time of day the 2:00 shadow. My eyes are all droopy. Boo.

Tomorrow night I’m going to the Cashore Marionettes, as they are touring and doing a show at BYU. I’m totally excited. I saw a performance in Iowa City and thought it was all kinds of phenomenal. Usually puppets and marionettes freak me out, but these—and the show in which they are used—are quite lovely. It’d be funny if in the middle of the show the marionettes snapped into an actual consciousness and started attacking the audience.

Then again…

It’s going to be a lovely show, I’m sure.