April 29, 2008


Okay, who's the smartass who signed me up for an AARP card? I just got a membership card in the mail Saturday. I'm only 34 for pete's sake!

I'm tempted to keep the card though, and try to see if anyone would question it. "One Senior Citizen Ticket to IRON MAN. Yes, I have an AARP Card. Yes, I'm Chris Kern, here's a photo ID..."

April 18, 2008

JuJuBes: Evil or just Dangerous?

Yesterday, my Mom-In-Law just delivered a trio of easter candy that she forgot to give me. A box of Dots, Good & Plenty and JuJuBes. Dots were fine, G&P are always good, but I had to throw away the JuJuBes after one handful. These are just as awful as I remember.

If I had to explain JuJuBes to a foreigner, this would be it: "Imagine a sweet, colorful gummy candy that looks like a mini-marshmallow. Now your first inclination would be to pop a whole handful of these things in your mouth, like you do M&Ms or any other small candies, but that would be the last thing you ever do with your original Jaw intact.

Once they enter your mouth, your first thought will probably be "Wow, these candies aren't soft and gummy at ALL. They're more like chewing the little yellow rubber BB pellets that I used to shoot with my plastic Baretta when I was a kid." The "Gummy" part is actually encased in a semi-plastic satin-finish shell of cornstarch and shellac. You can eventually penetrate the shell and find the malleable center by sucking on them for about 2 hours. So good luck eating a box of these things if you bought them in the movie theater (unless you're settling in for a marathon showing of the Lord of the Rings Extended-Edition Trilogy)

Here lies the danger hidden in the Jujubes: If you just spit-marinated a handful of these little epoxy pills and attempt to chew them, you will be delightfully amazed to find that you cannot open your jaw after one or two strokes. Because a softened handful of Jujubes has roughly the consistency of SEA-BOND denture adhesive. Dentists tell you to steer clear of sweets because the sugars will slowly rot your teeth, but every DDS office should have a whole PAMPHLET on the dangers of Jujubes. Because once softened and attached to teeth, these little bastards can pull your teeth clean out. And while you might prefer the Jujubees Method of tooth removal to a dentist yanking with a pair of pliers, I can assure you that a SURPRISE tooth removal by means of candy could not be more unwelcome.

If, after twenty minutes of furious use of a Water-Pik and careful application of force with a pocket knife, you manage to reopen the jaw and dislodge the amalgam of fruity goodness from your dental work, you may be tempted to swallow the lot of it, just to be rid of the foul stuff. "I've done all the work to make it soft now, and there's nothing for it to stick to once I swallow it, so it should be safe," you may think to yourself. And that's where you'd be wrong. Because once compressed in the smaller space of your throat, the gooey mass effectively becomes a cork and seals up most of your airway. I say "most" because, much like the man-feared Candiru fish of the Amazon, it needs to keep you alive in order to drink your essence.

For the next hour, no amount of drinking, hard swallowing, or manipulation will dislodge this clot of rainbow-colored sweetness. You simply have to wait for your saliva and the natural ebb and flow of your esophagus to slowly commute the mass into your stomach, where it develops a half-life similar to that of Polonium-209.

The curious thing about this is that after this ordeal, the snacker will attempt to eat MORE of them. Perhaps it's that American Stubbornness, but people will regroup and make another attempt at eating the box of Jujubes, since they paid good money for it. Strategies usually include eating only two to four at a time and (for taste reasons), only eating like-colors. I've even head of people who soak them in a glass of water before attempting to eat the little bastards. But after one or more strategic retries, people usually realize that eating candy shouldn't be more work than tiling a medium-sized bathroom, and give up. I know I did.

I hope this refreshes your memories, and saves one more healthy Jaw out there before it's too late. How does the company stay in business if most mortals can't even get through an entire box of these things? Probably rebound-buying: After paying $3 for a box of Jujubes and hating them, I'll bet a lot of people go back to the snack stand and buy a box of another candy like DOTS. That must be it... those tricky bastards.

April 17, 2008

"Wet Christmas"

A little late, but some SMALL things have kept me from doing my usual editing projects in the evenings. can't imagine what!

So here it is. My first choral arrangement, and my first music arrangement since about 1996, and that was a failed attempt at "Buddy Holly" by Weezer for my UGA A Cappella group The Accidentals.

I wanted to make a song with a real message for Christmas in Atlanta. So here is my message. I give you "Wet Christmas"-- Tune by Irving Berlin, Lyrics by Chris Kern

Thanks to my church choir for singing it, and CarLaLa, our fearless director for arranging the piano part.

April 07, 2008

Birthday #34

Thanks everyone, for the great birthday wishes. I had a very busy day, it happens.

Getting Melissa and Matthew ready for church on Sundays is busy in itself. We arrived late for the pre-show choir practice and they told me I had a solo in a song we've done before, so I thought I was set. Only they didn't give me the solo in the same spot as last time. Heh. So I ended up leaving an empty space in one verse (where I should have sung) and singing over another guy's solo. By the time I realized this, I figured it would draw less attention if I just kept going and make like a duet. *facepalm*

As soon as service was over we high-tailed it over to Decatur for a brunch meeting with a couple of reps from the Decatur Book Festival, which runs Labor Day Weekend (Same as DragonCon). Melissa was helping represent the DCon Young Adult Lit Track. After that, we went straight to Marietta for the second Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) Staff meeting. Melissa has worked Security and I've worked the Video Track for the past two years. They're being very supportive of Melissa, and we're working out a schedule that we can both work. Many people there hadn't seen Mel since September, so there were a lot of hugs and lots of kind sentiments.

After that, back home, picked up Matthew and the In-Laws for dinner at Ippolito's, a very good Italian Joint. They have a great linguini dish with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes that is just TO DIE FOR. Don't know why, but I just can't get enough of it. And for my birthday cake, Brenda made a reeeeeealy good Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing (my favorite!).

And on Saturday, our friends Kris and Jim took us out to see Ron White at the Fox Theater. (A combination Christmas/birthday gift). Hilarious show, but we could tell he was really drinking scotch on stage, because the second half of his show was a bit more... error prone and rambly. And we're no prudes, but we could have done without SUCH a long exposition on the topic of giving a hummer to a grizly bear. And the phrase Mel and I can not stop repeating? "Flick the Frenulum"

And to answer Bonnie, I do have an older brother.

(He's the one on the left). He's a Lawyer living in Las Vegas, Dating a Cosplayer presently. He'll be coming to DragonCon this year, so he might be able to meet some of my friends.

Since Justin's Birthday is Tuesday, We'll be getting together later in the week for a joint family B-Day dinner.