So, between work and family life, the Battle Red Bag was (obviously) pushed back this week.
Though, having written that, I realize that you people don't actually care why it was late, assuming that you even noticed that it was. That's cool. I understand. Rather than bore you with the details of my work week --- oooh, look, a fifty-page memo that my bosses are only 54% likely to read! --- I'll share two slightly more interesting random thoughts that I had yesterday. IT'S LIKE A WINDOW INTO MY BRAIN!!!
Thought 1: Other than very long downhill stretches, preferably with a long flat stretch at the bottom in which to stop, it would literally have always been faster for Fred Flintstone to walk than drive. Even if Barney was helping move the car along, neither man would have great leverage from their sitting position, and the sheer weight of giant rock cylinders for wheels would make moving the car at all quite a feat.
Thought 2: Looking at the spare change in my desk drawer, I noticed that no coins were dated earlier than 1991. None of the bills in my wallet was dated earlier than 2004. Even digging around in the change jar at home, I found no coins earlier than 1987. Meaning, even if time travel into the past were suddenly feasible, unless you were going back only two or three decades at the most, you'd arrive penniless and without any sort of government-issued ID that anyone recognized. Plus, if you tried to spend that 2008 $20 bill and the cashier was attentive, you'd likely be arrested for being the worst counterfeiter in history.
On to the bag! This week, we discuss Hollywood douchebags, Carey Mulligan, burgers, movie pet peeves, my getting punched in the face for the greater good, Mrs. Campbell (twice!), rips in the space-time continuum, 2011's starting defense, BBQ accoutrements, movies and television shows about the law, Alison Brie, Pat Tillman, fitness, and NFL transvestites. Enjoy.
Okay, so I just got finished watching "Wall Street 2: Sequels Always Suck" and, after about 20 minutes of Shia doing his best to out-douchebag everyone in every scene, I ask:
Who is the biggest douche in Hollywood today?
Shia definitely has to be on the short list. Not only for just being all around douchey, but for insinuating that he banged Megan Fox while on the set of Transformers. Sure ya did, pal. Other candidates? I mean ... there's John Travolta and Tom Cruise, Sean Penn (huge douche), that guy who directed Magnolia, Charlie Sheen (no one likes a 50-year-old druggie; there's a time and a place for everything, and it's called "college" /Chef), George Lucas for ruining Star Wars, anyone with any connection to a Kardashian/Jenner.
Others? It's not like we are lacking options here.
On a related note, a search for "biggest douchebags in Hollywood" returns an astounding but altogether not surprising 585,000 results.
Also, Carey Mulligan is pretty. Like a delicate flower. And she was way underused in that movie.
Reading this, the first name that popped into my head was Scott Caan. But I don't think he's the biggest. After all, he was pretty decent (relatively speaking) in Boiler Room, and there's just no way that James Caan sired the biggest douchebag in Hollywood.
I'm also tempted to pick Dane Cook, for obvious reasons, but he's more of a general douche rather than a true Hollywood douche. (I'm not sure what the difference is, but there is a difference.) Ditto that for Mario Lopez and Spencer Pratt and Seth MacFarlane.
I think the short list for this award, such as it is, consists of Sean Penn, Shia LeBeouf, Mel Gibson, Tracy Morgan, Channing Tatum, and James Cameron. If you forced me to pick just one? I'm going Sean Penn, but it's closer than you'd expect.
1. You mentioned Five Guys in a previous mailbag. Smashburger is better than Five Guys. YES IT IS! There is only one other person I know among the BRB crowd who feels this way. I will allow him to stay in the shadows - or he can step into battle with me here. Five Guys is good - really good - BUT SMASHBURGER IS BETTER!
2. Movie Pet Peeves. Let me hear some of yours. Here's my latest one: in movies where they want to show a picture of one of the characters as a child, or being photographed with someone else - in almost EVERY CASE they show some obviously photoshopped bullsh*t. Assh*les, in many cases, you have a multi-million dollar budget. You are a FILMMAKER by trade. HOW HARD IS IT TO GO OUT AND ACTUALLY TAKE A REAL PHOTOGRAPH!?!?!? Of course this doesn't apply when they are specifically using a younger photo of an actor placed in a specific location/situation... but typically it's just a regular photo of families hanging out, couples smiling, etc. --- and they're almost always fake! It makes me crazy as a wannabe filmmaker.
Re: Smashburger. I'll trust you on this. To be honest, I'd never even heard of Smashburger prior to some of the comments last week. There are none in Missouri, where I spent the first 26 years of my life (though there is one coming soon in St. Louis), and the closest one to my current place of incarceration appears to be Tulsa. It might as well be in Eritrea, because there's no way I'm voluntarily driving to Oklahoma for anything, other than possibly the delivery of a small nuclear device. [Fun tangent about Oklahoma: it costs you more on the turnpike to go from Tulsa to another state than it does to go from that state to Tulsa. They know damn well you'll pay whatever the cost is to get out. "$500 and a kidney? Ok, that's fine. Say, how long 'til I'm not in this godforsaken, sulfur-smelling wasteland, anyway?"] There does appear to be one not too far from Highway 59, however, so I might try to hit it next time I trek to the Space City.
As far as pet peeves in movies, go, my biggest is and will likely always be the fact that they use a British accent in any movie that is supposed to be set in ancient Rome or ancient Sparta or ancient Greece or whatever. Seriously, why would Maximus sound British? (Related: Why would you hire an Australian actor and tell him to sound British for a role in a movie set around the 1st century CE? It would have made as much sense to have Maximus sound like an extra from Cool Runnings).
My second-biggest pet peeve is terrible physics in movies. Yeah, yeah, I know ... you have to suspend disbelief for movies to work. Fine. Whatever. But, to use Armageddon as an example, there's a difference between having to buy the idea that Bruce Willis could be an astronaut and having to ignore everything you know about mass, velocity, and the solar system. In the opening of the film, the narrator tells us that the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was six miles across and it "hit with the force of 10,000 nuclear weapons." Six miles is 9.6km. Assuming that the asteroid was hurtling toward Earth at a relatively slow, if my math is correct, it would have hit with a little over 87,000,000 megatons of energy. Divide that by the megatons in the largest nuclear weapon ever built, and you get the force of 870,000 nuclear weapons. Or how about how some dillweed tells us that an asteroid "the size of Texas" (which does not exist in the asteroid belt, fyi) and made of iron was knocked toward us by a comet. Think of the mass of an asteroid as large as they claimed. Now think of the mass you'd need to knock it wildly off course, even with a direct hit. Exactly.
It occurs to me that, if Dorin Dickerson ever reaches his full potential (as a 6'2" 220 lb. werewolf with 4.4 speed), the Texans' wide receiving corps could be good enough to tear open a rift in space-time and open a passage to another reality where: Chris Johnson speaks English, Sage Rosenfels can fly, and Bud Adams is chained to his dark mountain and ravaged by starving wolves for all eternity. What would you call such a place?
Wait ... if Bud Adams is getting what he rightfully deserves in this alternate universe, then Chris Johnson should be unemployed after never getting into college because he could not read. I'd like living in this Opposite World. I've got dibs on Fort Kick Ass.
Because I'm such a nice guy, I'm going to give you a reprieve from personal, soul-wrenching questions. For a week. Enjoy the break.
This week's query...
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Accurately list who you truly believe (not hope) will comprise your Houston Texans' starting defense on September 11, 2011.
Yes, this question invites you to speculate as to who the Texans will acquire via free agency.
By bumping your question back a week, I managed to get a two-week reprieve. Score one for Matty!
As for the question, here's my prediction for the base 3-4 defense on opening day:
LDE -- Antonio Smith
NT -- Amobi Okoye
RDE -- J.J. Watt
LOLB -- Connor Barwin
LILB -- Brian Cushing
RILB -- DeMeco Ryans
ROLB -- Mario Williams
CB -- Johnathan Joseph
CB -- Kareem Jackson
S -- Glover Quin
S -- Shiloh Keo
In the nickel set, I've got Brandon Harris as the third CB and a line, left to right, of Mario Williams, Earl Mitchell, Antonio Smith, and J.J. Watt/Brooks Reed.
Did I put Amobi Okoye among the starters because I really believe that or just because I know how Tim feels about Okoye? Both?
What has Kingsford done to their special ingredients? I know, I know, I should be using lump charcoal, but briquets are way more consistent, plus I can use chunks of cherry wood without worrying too much about flare-ups. Anyhoo, with these new briquettes, I'm getting maybe 2/3 burn time than before on my WSM, and definitely not burning as hot. I guess this isn't a question, more of a gripe. So, here's a question: Provided you've run out of brisket and have no other alternatives, are you a put-the-coleslaw-on-top-of-the-pulled-pork-sandwich kind of person? And if so, would there be a drop-off in offensive efficiency should Thor take over for Leach?
By the by, that rib glaze has made me the belle of the ball here in my neighborhood. I actually like to slather it on about a half hour before pulling the ribs to get a little crisp and then douse them again when I pull them. And I like to use it as a salad dressing and occasionally as a moisturizer for those rare dry days in Houston.
You really should be using natural lump charcoal. I haven't used briquettes in so long that I don't really have an answer here. Anyone else have insight?
I am a coleslaw-on-top guy, though I never was before I moved to Arkansas. I grew up on brisket and pork ribs, and you didn't used to be able to find pulled pork that far north. (KC does a sliced pork, which is both lazy and irritating.) Once I moved here, though, and tried the pulled pork with slaw on top, I was immediately sold. I've even come up with a terrific slaw that complements my rub and BBQ sauce.
Whether my slaw-related proclivities would cause a drop-off in offense should James Casey replace Vonta Leach is hard to say. On the one hand, Casey would be a much better weapon for those FB swing passes that Kubiak touches himself while thinking of. On the other, I have trouble imagining Casey really blowing people up the way Leach Ks them the FO. I think you'd only see a noticeable drop-off in short yardage situations, most likely.
As for the glaze Buck mentioned, it's 1/3 c. mustard, 1/3 c. cider vinegar, 1 c. brown sugar, and (optional) a splash of whiskey and/or 2 tbsp. butter. Mix the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved. You can either go Buck's route, and brush the glaze on 30 minutes before the ribs are done, then re-apply when they are done, or you can just brush it on as soon as the ribs come off the smoker. Either way, the people eating your ribs are likely to propose marriage to you. (The glaze is also great drizzled over pulled pork, though you'll want to thin it out a little more.)
You seem to be a very happily married man. You've mentioned as much several times in the mail bag. Do you have any negotiated infidelity in your marriage? For example...let's say you actually meet Alison Brie one day. And for some strange reason (let's say she has a concussion) she wants to have a one-time-only uglies-bumping session with you, and nobody would ever find out.
A) Do it, knowing that this is a previously negotiated element of your marriage?
B) Do it, understanding that you're breaking your vows, inform Mrs. Campbell, and suffer the consequences?
C) Do it, and never speak of it with Mrs. Campbell?
D) Turn down Ms. Brie?
Don't worry...I'm sure your wife will never read this, so you can answer completely truthfully.
Rather than speculate, I asked Mrs. Campbell this question. Well, more accurately, I asked her, "So, if Alison Brie wanted to have sweaty, nasty, monkey-sex with me, would you get mad if I took her up on that, even if we agreed that she was the only exception that I was allowed?" After she glared at me for a moment, she suggested that the only acceptable answers were (D), that I turn Alison down, or (E), that Alison "better plan on joining BOTH of us, or you and she can both forget it!"
Good news is, I think Ms. Brie would theoretically be game. Now, just to arrange this concussion...
4. As a SGT in the Army (Drummer, if you must know. Seriously, that's my job), I am very interested in Cris Collinsworth's campaign to get Pat Tillman into the Hall of Fame, and, while his stats are not conducive to an entry in and of themselves (again, like Priest, it's impossible to project what they COULD have been), there was a suggestion of a memorial award that could be placed in Pat Tillman's honor, also honoring the 1,200 professional football players who left the field and entered the military service and paid the ultimate sacrifice, but acknowledging Tillman's specific sacrifice in that he not only gave up the NFL to serve, but, in this modern age, he threw away tens of millions of potential earnings to do so.
What is your opinion on a fitting tribute to Tillman? A bust in Canton? A Special "Pat Tillman Award" honoring the same kind of courage and selflessness (not necessarily based on military; lots of people do courageous things out of a uniform)? Or is simply acknowledging him every so often good enough for a man who obviously did not do what he did for the prestige?
5. Finally, I am starting to get into weightlifting, but, as a soldier, I HAVE to include running because cardiovascular endurance is part of my job requirement. Is a 3-day-a-week interval training regimen going to completely sabotage a 3-day-a-week upper-body strength-training regimen? If so, how can I get those "my wife is actually willing to admit in public that I'm her husband" muscles in a way that still allows me to perform the 2-mile run of which my job demands?
Personally, I would be more in favor of creating a Pat Tillman Memorial Award, given each year. I understand the desire to put him in the HOF --- because, let's be honest, it's a special human being who says, "No, no thanks, keep the millions of dollars; I'm going to go help fight a war." The problem I have with it is that, other than tackles, his career stats over four seasons don't just blow you away, and putting him in as a player doesn't really honor what he did as a person, ya know?
The running shouldn't sabotage the weight lifting. At worst, you might have a harder time putting on muscle due to the extra calories you're burning, but that's easy enough to overcome. My question is why a drummer has to run.
Take your pick: Would you rather get punched full force in the face once a day, everyday, for a year by Mike Tyson in his prime or watch the Titans and Cowboys alternate back and forth to win each Super Bowl for the next 6 years?
You'd think most people would take the BESF/Cokeboys tag-team, just for self-preservation reasons. Except that line of thinking overlooks the exponential growth, with each passing year, of the likelihood that I stab one of those teams' fans to death in a blinding rage, thus winding up in PMITA prison. I'll take the punches. It's a small price to pay to prevent the alternative.
Indubitably, when talking with a combat vet I'll always ask, "What's the most accurate war movie?" a)As an attorney, what's the most accurate legal/courtroom program you've seen? Movies and TV. b)What are the ones that you've found the most intriguing or highly entertaining for whatever reason?
If I had continued my list of movie pet peeves above, "legal movies that are terribly incorrect or unrealistic" would have been in the top five easily. I previously ranted about the stupidity of Miracle on 34th St. Even worse was Primal Fear, wherein they sexually abuse the concept of criminal procedure after (a) Ed Norton flips out in court, (b) the judge calls the attorneys to chambers where, (c) Richard Gere (gerbil joke) assures the judge that his client really is nuttier than squirrel turds, so she (d) changes the proceeding from a jury trial to a bench trial, and (e) finds Norton not guilty by reason of insanity and sends him to a mental hospital. Or how about Double Jeopardy, in which Bruce Beresford establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that he has no idea what the Fifth Amendment says or likely even where it is located.
Hmm...the most accurate movie, though? Well, it's not the most entertaining, but A Civil Action is pretty solid from a procedural angle if I recall. The Rainmaker was also pretty good, especially if you're the type who likes evidentiary arguments. (What's that? I'm the only one who is that type of movie fan? Eat me.) Oddly enough, My Cousin Vinny was actually pretty good from a legal perspective as well. Oh, and so was To Kill A Mockingbird.
On television, "Boston Legal" was fairly solid, especially early on, as was the show that it spun-off from, "The Practice." I haven't watched "Damages," but I heard recently that it was pretty realistic as well.
Now, most entertaining? Well, a lot like with the movie-physics rant, above, I'm not much for suspension of disbelief when it flies in the face of reason, so I'm (shockingly!) hyper-critical about legal movies and television shows. I love My Cousin Vinny and A Time To Kill, even though the latter was terribly ridiculous. (No, go ahead, kill the rapists and wound the deputy, Samuel L. If we can make the jury cry, you'll totally be acquitted.) On the tube, I was a huge fan of "Boston Legal," and I liked "JAG" and "The Practice" quite a bit. There was also a short-lived show in the '90s called "Murder One" that was really good.
After reading James Harrison's comments in a magazine article the other day, I have come to the conclusion that he wears women's clothing in his spare time. If you had to make a list of players you suspected of cross-dressing, which players would you choose? And for bonus points, what odds would you set for each player?
Troy Polamalu: 20/1. Just to see how his hair looked flowing down the back of a ballgown.
Philip Rivers: 15/1. Seems like he would wear a lace thong under his uniform.
Bob Sanders: 10/1. Odds would be better, but I'm not sure he could put on garters without hurting himself.
Patrick Willis: 8/1. Totally compensating for something.
David Carr: 2/1. But only when Melody tells him to.
Vince Young: 1/3. When he goes clubbing.
I truly enjoy reading the weekly mailbag. Lots of humor combined with information on a wide range of subjects make it a fun fusion of laughing and learning. I enjoyed your primer for getting the wife to enter into a 3-way. My question is, "Did your wife read your guide to 3-ways, and, if so, did it make her more or less receptive to the idea?"
Ha. Well ... um ...
Suffice it to say that the instruction guide did not change her stance on the issue. Take that however you will.