GETTING JIGGLY WITH IT
(www.myjelloamericans.blogspot.com) I don’t have a whole lot of love in my heart for Jell-O shots. In my mind, they’re nothing but ammunition for those “won’t somebody think of the children” busybodies who are trying to get Prohibition back on the books. That said, I’m always impressed by great recipes and great art, and I have to admit that My Jello Americans spotlights both these things. These are Jell-O shots made by confectioners, by mixologists, by alchemists—and many of them look terrific. I particularly like the Jell-O-and-chocolate-vodka butterflies, and the absinthe shot crafted to look like Van Gogh’s ear. Scarfing these art pieces down at a bar would be unthinkable ... but if you get somebody drunk enough, you know, they’ll suck down any damn thing.
BACK TO THE OLD HOUSE
(www.lettershome.ca) My childhood home is in Mission Viejo, Calif. (That’s not entirely true: I lived in a railcar apartment in northern New Jersey until I was 6 years old, but I have scarce memory of it.) I can look at my old house pretty much any time I want to courtesy of Google Street View, and if my feelings for the place turn particularly maudlin I can always go visit it. (Pay no attention to the teary-eyed man in a rental car parked in a nice neighborhood that just happens to be next to an elementary school.)
But here’s the thing: It’s just a house, now. Other people have invested it with their hopes and fears. It doesn’t even look the same as it did when I lived there. I can’t expect the house to recognize me, either, unless I write it a letter beforehand—and that’s where Letters Home comes in. This thoughtful blog (with unfortunate, self-loading music files) is a clearing house for letters to the places where we once lived. You can read the letters that others have written, or if you’re so inclined, you can write one yourself; it’s wonderfully cathartic doing either. I’m going to write mine soon, and hope that the new occupants of my old home don’t read it; I may let slip about the “time capsule” I hid in one of the walls. I don’t even remember what I put in there.
PEW PEW PEW
(www.erkie.github.com) This clever script allows you to destroy your favorite Web pages in the style of the classic arcade game Asteroids. All that’s missing is the sound effects, but if you read from the three-word script I’ve provided above, you should be fine.