Artificial Death in the West


Jon: Be Michonne's pets. Chain yourselves to your daughter.
B: A princess towing an armless couple in blackface?

B: What are you doing tonight?
Jon: Wearing a "NOBAMA" shirt and distributing full-size Sharpied boxes of Good BAD and Plenty.

What?!??!!! Did you know that Wrong Turn 3 and Wrong Turn 4 exist?

Rory: I think there are also multiple Joy Ride films.
Jon: Just two. …I think. [googles "joy ride 5"]

When did Halloween lights become a thing?

Idea: A home version of those thin LED displays that encircle an arena's seating bowl. Multi-purpose, no-hassle decoration.

Eater's Digest: September/October


'Black and Tan This' Liquid Nitrogen Sorbet (The Neapolitan of Las Vegas)
bass ale, guinness stout, bailey's
topped with sea-salted caramel drizzle, chocolate shavings, pretzel bits

'W.W.E.D.?' Spirited Shake (The Neapolitan of Las Vegas)
makers mark 46, peanut butter, banana and walnut liqueur in a chocolate shake
topped with maple bacon sprinkles

Stout, chocolate, and pretzel is a tried-and-true combination.

The person who made my Elvis shake over-topped it with bacon sprinkles. The bacon was chewy too.

Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondue (Culinary Dropout)
with sea salt

Simple, but killer.

Miyagi-san's Grass-Fed Wagyu Burger (Bachi Burger)
chili mayo, fried egg, furikake, caramelized bacon, crispy onion rings, taiwanese sweet bun

Truffle Parmesan Fries (Bachi Burger)
parmesan reggiano, black truffle porcini cream, sun-dried tomato aioli

In celebrity chef Disneyland, I had my favourite meal at a nondescript off-Strip strip mall.

Bachi Burger's Taiwanese sweet bun is a paragon of burger buns.

Candy Store (Holsteins)
Pecan Pie Push Pop
Pumpkin Cheesecake Drumstick
Pear/Pomegranate Gummy
Confetti Cupcake
Mint Chocolate Marshmallow
Blue Raspberry Cotton Candy
Peanut Butter Cup
Cinnamon Nitro Meringues
Passion Fruit Macaron

WHAAAAAT?!??!!! How did I miss this? [grumbles]


Smoked Cashew Salsa (Empellón Taqueria)
smoked cashews, chipotle

It's more of a dipping sauce, like smoked cashews soaked in an ice cream base and then strained out. Served with pleasingly crisp house-made chips.

Beer and Bread Porridge (Acme)
with salted caramel ice cream

Pleasantly interesting.

Burger (The Toucan and the Lion)
applewood smoked bacon, cashew nut butter, chinese bao bun
with fried whiskey sour pickles, kaffir lime aioli

On paper, this entrée does not compute, but it is delicious.

'Barclays Gridlock' Ice Cream (Ample Hills Creamery)
coffee ice cream, chocolate flakes, salted peanuts, fudge brownies, chocolate-covered pretzels

Ample Hills may be my favourite creamery in America – both scrumptious and creative flavours.

$65 Five-Course Dessert Tasting Menu (Per Se)

"Service" (tip) is included in the price, but not tax.

On the night I visited, the menu featured fancy interpretations of: rainbow sherbet, peanut butter and jelly, coffee and doughnuts, and cookies and cream.

I had to borrow a dress shirt and dress shoes to try the menu, and the restaurant loaned me a dress jacket.

Guaco Taco (Brooklyn Taco Company)
chunky avocado, raw sweet corn, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, crema, hot sauce

I don't know why I expected something other than tortillas filled with guacamole.

Chocolate Chip Extravaganza Pudding (Sugar Sweet Sunshine)
butterscotch pudding, crumbled soft chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream

Diabetes in a cup.


Korean Slider (Green Dot Stables / Detroit)
peanut butter, kimchi

Beef, peanut butter, and kimchi combine well – who knew?

Nothing on the menu at Green Dot Stables (food or drink) costs more than $3 – inconceivable!

Dark Chocolate Gelato (Zingerman's Creamery / Ann Arbor)
scharffen berger cocoa

The best dark chocolate gelato I've ever eaten – dense and intense.

Chocolate Sourdough (Zingerman's Bakehouse / Ann Arbor)

It's just sourdough bread with chocolate chunks, but it's compulsively edible. I was fortunate enough to obtain a loaf fresh out of the oven. You can order it online, but…mail-order bread? I'm skeptical.


Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel Gelato (Black Dog Gelato)

Doesn't skimp on goat cheese.

Ode to the Candy Bar (Mindy's Hot Chocolate)

Root Beer Float (For Grown Ups)
bulleit rye, root vanilla simple syrup, orange bitters, egg white

"Almond Joy"
coconut butter cake, toasted coconut cream, smoked almond brittle

"Milky Way"
heaven hill and milk chocolate nougat, thick caramel, milk chocolate fudge

"Peanut Butter Cup"
as a pie

tcho chocolate, salted toffee ice cream

I expected a dessert tasting menu like the one I had in New York City and instead received a plate of muddled hors d'essoeuvres.

Belly Dog (Belly Shack)
topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya
with togarashi spiced fries, curry mayonnaise

Asian Pork Meatball Sandwich (Belly Shack)
stuffed with somen noodles, korean chili paste, mint

Belly Shack is described as Korean-Puerto Rican fusion. I'm not sure its food is that, but it's yummy, particularly the bread they use.

Martin Scorsese-Inspired Tasting Menu (iNG)

A gustatory experience.

"The candle that's been burning at your table is actually the sauce for this pasta."

[waiter snuffs candle, pours liquidised "candle" on pasta]

Clockwise from top left: Blowtorched "firecrackers," a chalk outline, cheese molded in the shape of a handgun, a rum cocktail with a beer ice cube in a handgun mug, a bourbon cocktail from a soap dispenser, cake in a petri dish with teardropped flavouring, cotton candy Kleenex.

The Good, the Bad, and the Happy Poutine (BadHappy Poutine Shop)
pork belly, beef cheek, truffle mayo, foie gras mousse and gravy, frites, curd, sunny egg

Didn't finish it. The ratio of curds to fries was like 17:1, and I couldn't detect truffle, foie gras, or beef cheek. It was basically a grossly imbalanced pork belly poutine. I had a far better pork belly poutine on a whim in Michigan (One Eyed Betty's / Ferndale).

Salmon Poke Taco (Big and Little's)

Soft Shell Crab Taco (Big and Little's)

Disappointing. The salmon poke is forgettable, and my soft shell crab taco was unwieldy and cloyingly sweet.

Biscuits (¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop)
with black pepper honey butter, strawberry balsamic jam, cherry chai jam, and other house-made butters and jams

Apple Crumble Pie (¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop)
topped with black pepper molasses caramel

I love ¡Bang Bang!'s biscuits so much, I want to take them behind a middle school and get them pregnant.

For me, their apple pie strikes a perfect balance of dough and filling.


Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

43. Black Americans for Romney (30 Rock, S07E04)

Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

(Dexter, S07E04)

(Boardwalk Empire, S03E06)

  • "I dreamt I was in a bath of milk with Lady Di." (Friday Night Dinner, S02E03)
  • A giant bag labeled "bread crumbs" (The Walking Dead, S03E02)
  • Carrie gets the best of Brody in episode four? Wither Stringer for Marlo? (Homeland, S02E04)
  • "An iPhone that is also a razor. Zzzzzzzzzz." (Fresh Meat, S02E03)
  • "The only time a man is allowed to think about another man is when that man is Jay Cutler." (New Girl, S02E05)
  • "Nobody buys people cookies for no reason." (New Girl, S02E05)
  • Boob slap fight (New Girl, S02E05)
  • "I'm a bad friend. I got mad at Cece for being a model."
    "It's a dumb thing to be…" (New Girl, S02E05)
  • "You can't say 'butt drinking' and then not explain what it is. It has two of my four favourite things." (New Girl, S02E05)
  • "Yo mama so fat, she died." (Happy Endings, S03E01)
  • "Indian, woman. Indian, woman." (Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23, S02E01)
  • Dillon Panthers hat (Parenthood, S04E06)
  • Matt Lauria joins the army at the end of Friday Night Lights and returns from a tour of Afghanistan on Parenthood – Katims continuity (Parenthood, S04E06)
  • Joel McHale drives past Paddy's pub (Sons of Anarchy, S05E07)
  • "Whores get nothing." (American Horror Story, S02E02)
  • "Show me your mossy bank." (American Horror Story, S02E02)
  • "I will crush the jelly from your eyes." (Last Resort, S01E05)
  • "I thought you were Adam Lambert." (The Office, S09E05)
  • Guillermo del Toro cameo (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, S08E03)
  • Timothy Olyphant as a sushi chef (The League, S04E03)
  • "Eat my dick! Gattaca!" (The League, S04E03)
  • "You know Jackie fucking Chan about me. You know fuck all about me! I am totally beyond the realms of your fucking tousle-haired, fucking dim-witted compre-fucking-hension. I don't just take this fucking job home, you know. I take this job home, it fucking ties me to the bed, and it fucking fucks me from arsehole to breakfast. Then it wakes me up in the morning with a cup full of piss slammed in my face, slaps me about the chops, to make sure I'm awake enough so it can kick me in the fucking bollocks. This job has taken me in every hole in my fucking body. Malcolm is gone! You can't know Malcolm, 'cause Malcolm is not here! Malcolm fucking left the building fucking years ago! This is a fucking husk. I am a fucking host for this fucking job. Do you want this job? Yes, you do fucking want this job. Then you're going to have to fucking swallow this whole fucking life and let it grow inside you like a parasite, getting bigger and bigger and bigger until it fucking eats your insides alive and it stares out of your eyes and tells you what to do." (The Thick of It, S04E07)



» Idea: Avoid long queues for morning coffee at an airport. Pre-order coffee online for pick-up at a specified time. (John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, NY)

» JFK to Manhattan – didn't think any drive could feel longer than Sea-Tac to Seattle. (I-495, Queens, NY)

» Enters Trader Joe's to purchase brownie bites. The line to check out wraps around the store and ends at the entrance.

(East Village, Manhattan Island, NY)

What's with all the homeless people on this street? And why are they all Chinese? Is this a demonstration?

Oh. They're camped out for iPhone 5s. But the iPhone 5 was released a fortnight ago…

(Chelsea, Manhattan Island, NY)

» This Home Depot should be a wonder of the world. (Flatiron, Manhattan Island, NY)

» Thanksgiving sandwiches at an airport food market?! $9.75, though… (LaGuardia Airport, Queens, NY)

(8626 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI)

Erin: There is also an Al Pacino Fish and Chicken with a shark mascot.

I can't find any photos of it on the Internet, but I can confirm that Al Pacino Fish and Chicken exists (8226 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI) and that its mascot is indeed a shark – in a white suit, I think.

» Half of the Zingerman's empire is oddly located in a nondescript industrial park. (Ann Arbor, MI)

» That Spy King shop has somehow weathered the recession. …As has the Spy-Ops shop 500 feet away. (Lathrup Village, MI)

» Meters for parking spaces in a lot too? Normally city parking is metered and suburb parking is free. Bizarro Detroit. (Ferndale, MI)

» This boutique seemingly only sells merchandise that reads "Detroit Hustles Harder." (Eastern Market, Detroit, MI)

» Whoa. An unshuttered Blockbuster store. (Dearborn Heights, MI)

» Wait, doesn't Jord have asthma? (Rochester Hills, MI)

» Regina is pronounced like "vagina," but Saginaw is not. Regina, vagina. Saginaw, vagabond.

(Dearborn, MI).

» This dude just used "Dupree" as a verb, as in Owen Wilson's character in You, Me and Dupree. Is this real life? (Corktown, Detroit, MI)

» Idea: Toilet Pass – a pass you can purchase when you visit a city that grants you access to public restrooms [with no purchase necessary] and participating less-public restrooms. When you gotta go, go. (The Loop, Chicago, IL)

» Poor White Sox. (Bucktown, Chicago, IL)

» Idea: A sightseeing tour of various McDonald's restaurants in Chicagoland. (Navy Pier, Chicago, IL)

» Seen: Two males in different cities wearing Twilight hoodies – a white lad (Pier 54, Manhattan Island, NY) and a Mexican adult (Ukranian Village, Chicago, IL). The Mexican adult is on Team Edward.

(Museum of Science and Industry, Jackson Park, Chicago, IL)

"Energy vampires" is a super lame way to Halloween up the Smart Home.

I admire this docent's commitment to pretending that this zephyr is haunted.

What is that thing beside the Space Needle in this model of Seattle? Oh. The Experience Music Project.

» Rip'n Chick'n, Dip'n Chick'n – Idea: Popeyes Sip'n Chick'n. Hands-free poultry. Available in honey barbecue and buttermilk ranch flavours. (Logan Square, Chicago, IL)

Building sign: "Got Attorneys?"

Got Attorneys and Carry On.


I wonder if anyone under age 16 knows the origin of the "got _____?" meme.

"Aaron Burr!" [chuckles]

(Logan Square, Chicago, IL)

» A pink concrete mixer truck. [pause] I wonder if AIDS and cancer walk/runs have contingency afflictions if AIDS or cancer are ever cured. (River West, Chicago, IL)

» Banner proclaims that wi-fi is available, doesn't note that it isn't free. (O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL)

Idea: An Olympics-type event uniting sister cities.

Team Chicago:
Chicago, Warsaw, Milan, Casablanca, Shenyang, Gothenburg, Accra, Prague, Mexico City, Toronto, Petah Tikva, Athens, Durban, Galway, Moscow, Lucerne, Delhi, São Paulo, Belgrade, Lahore, Busan, Bogotá

Team San Francisco:
San Francisco, Abidjan, Amman, Assisi, Bangalore, Barcelona, Caracas, Cork, Haifa, Ho Chi Minh City, Krakow, Manila, Osaka, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei, Thessaloniki, Valparaíso, Zurich, Ulaanbaatar

(O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL)

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

42. Young Bugsy Siegel's failed assassination / Taxi Driver homage (Boardwalk Empire, S03E05)

Honourable Mention

  • Cantor performs his act for Chalky and Dunn (Boardwalk Empire, S03E05)
  • Death by snow globe (Sons of Anarchy, S05E06)
  • Pandora (Saturday Night Live, S38E05)

Stray Observations

  • Supercut Idea: Awkward masturbation – Bobby Cannavale on Boardwalk Empire, Damian Lewis on Homeland, Dylan McDermott on American Horror Story
  • "You expect me to start a war in New York? Where things actually matter?" (Boardwalk Empire, S03E05)
  • "I'll hold his legs." Ride or die… (Boardwalk Empire, S03E05)
  • "I'm much too old to party. I watch Castle, and my purse is filled with Sweet'N Lows." (30 Rock, S07E03)
  • "Erma Bombeck, Tig Notaro…is my impression of a Chinese person." (30 Rock, S07E03)
  • "I have the Stephen Tobolowsky of dicks." (The League, S04E02)
  • "Belichick is losing the hoodie." (The League, S04E02)


The Wedding

1. "The Uni Flatmate"

UF: I looooove to smoke. Do you know where I can acquire some weed? I've been craving it since I landed. Hey, Danielle. Did anyone get you a vaporizer for a wedding gift?

2. "The Ex-Girlfriend"
(or: "Awkward conversation with Tony's half-Asian ex whom I hung out with once six years ago")

EG: I just visited San Gabriel. Everything I ate there was delicious.
Jon: Heh.

EG: Remember we left a moon cake on your bed?
Jon: Yup.
EG: I wanted to buy some when I was in San Gabriel, but they were sold out everywhere because of the Moon Festival.
Jon: Heh.

EG: Ching chong ching chong.
Jon: [winks]

3. "The Gourmand"

I spy lamb chops. Where are they emanating from? Ah. That corridor.

G: This is a good place to stand. Dibs on all the hors d'oeuvres.
Jon: Yup. [downs grilled cheese shooter]

4. "The Table"

Jon: How do you all know each other?
T: We attended high school together.

Jon: Oh you're a fashion designer too?

Gay, gay, fashion designer, fashion designer – hmm…

T: While in Detroit, I want to try this barbecue restaurant.
Jon: Slows, yes. Seems like it's the only restaurant in Detroit.

T: Dance with us, Jon Yu.
Jon: Naw, I…
T: C'mon! The best you can is good enough.
Jon: [sigh] Okay.

Joining a pretty girl and her gay mate on a dancefloor – is this a reception or The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

Who's feeling the music more: Gay Mate® or (LULZ) Danielle's father?

5. "The Gourmand (Reprise)"

Lord Sweet Pappy Johnson with an erection. A dessert spread too?

G: Hey, are you…?
Jon: In the corridor, yes.
G: We should be eating partners. We sniff out food alike.

Their wedding cake is cheesecake?! Explains the dessert spread…


Mike: You willing to wait 42 minutes?
Jon: Those people at the bar are leaving. Let's grab their seats, eat at the bar.

T: Hey! We're just leaving.

We? Oh. Gay Mate®.

My head is spinning round, my heart is in my shoes

Previously on Adam Riff™:
Jon: My current driver's license expires on my birthday, and my new one may not arrive before I depart.


Bouncer: Your license is expired. You can't stay.
Jon: [pause]

Jon: But you can extrapolate from this license that I'm 30. And I'm just stopping by a pre-wedding soirée. I'm not drinking.
Bouncer: Sorry. You can't stay. Policy.

Danielle: But the manager said…
Bouncer: I need to hear the manager say it.

Manager: Sorry. You can't stay. We can't accept an expired license, particularly an out-of-state one.


Manager: Okay. You can stay, but only in this area. And if I see you with a drink, I'll ban you.

This "10-year reunion" trip to Michigan was kind of a pain logistically, but totally worth it. Now for an overdue mulligan in Chicago.

Bouncer: Leaving already?
Jon: [pause]

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

41. Gay Stepfamily Blackmail with Transgender Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy, S05E05)

Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

  • "It's Helen Hunt!" (Bob's Burgers, S03E02)
  • "Pay for his funeral." (Boardwalk Empire, S03E04)
  • Deb: "I am the worst fucking detective in the world." (Dexter, S07E02)
  • "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." (Modern Family, S04E02)
  • "Is that red wine with tonic water and olives in it?"
    "Yep. It's an Old Spanish. …Is that not a thing?" (30 Rock, S07E02)
  • Charlie with braces (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, S08E01)


I went and set the Thames on fire, now I must come back down

It's been real, New York City. I'm bummed that I'll miss Rachael Ray's dog food truck tour.

Meanwhile: "Jon, I should also mention that the server that your site is on is basically on the last legs and that it may go down at any time."


While in New York City, I finished reading The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill. First and last time I listen to Alton Brown for book recommendations…


Earthquake in a Fishbowl
Heaven/hell cake, cheesecake, key lime pie, Brooklyn blackout cake, butterscotch pudding, vanilla, chocolate, and salted caramel ice cream, fresh whipped cream.

No one will try this with me.

So far this trip to New York City, I've tried chocolate babka bread pudding and pecan pie bread pudding. Tomorrow: Doughnut bread pudding.

I love New York City, but I would never settle here.

Chris thinks Eastern Time is an absurd deal-breaker, but life is more efficient on Pacific Time.

When you wake up, daily web reads are already updated, and sporting events already in progress.

If you have satellite television, prime time begins three hours early, freeing up nights.

If you don't have satellite television, you can download and watch television programmes before they air on television.

You never have to stay up to catch the end of a sporting event.

Pacific Time suits my lifestyle.

Face or Kneecaps

Previously on Adam Riff™: "Your iPhone 5 order has shipped!" Of course it ships the day I leave home for 19 days. Of course.

Where am I?

Stop disappearing, wi-fi network!

I need to find a Starbucks.

How are there no Starbuckses around here?

[pause] Numbered streets with names defeat the purpose of a grid plan.

A New York Red Bulls youth soccer coach was killed Sunday, when a man slashed his throat and cut his ear off. Michael Jones died of stab wounds to his head, neck, and chest. He was found in a pool of blood.

One witness told CBS: "We thought it was a Halloween joke or something because his phone was there, so maybe if we tried to get his phone that he'll pop up or something."

The crime scene quickly became a tourist attraction with visitors snapping pictures of the puddle of blood, a gore-splattered iPhone, and the severed ear under a cup.

"It's kind of weird, but then again it's just kind of another day in New York," said Drew Fountain, 22. [source]

So this happened across the street from where I'm staying.

Oh this is the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos Instagram ad song. "Passion Pit – 'Take a Walk.'"

IIII took a dump
Take a dump, taco dump, take a dump
Take a dump, lo-co-ohhhhhhhh

Times Square is too bright. My head aches.

Imagine being able to program every LED display in Times Square for one night. The music video you could create…

"Yummy Taco." Looks like a Chinese take-out joint.

Is that logo for real?

A: Yup.

Is its website for real?

Oh man…

When it rains in Manhattan, you see people on the streets selling umbrellas. What do they do when it's not raining? When it's hot, you can switch to selling bottled water. But when it's just cloudy?

Idea (via Mike): A hotel with the rooms set up and decorated like memorable apartments from different television shows. It would probably have to be a suite-type hotel because of the space.

In the Dexter suite, complimentary blood slides are hidden behind the air conditioner.

I would book the Man's Bedroom.