Monday, December 12, 2005
Meet My Friends, Week Three: Jon
Week three of Meet My Friends, and amazingly enough, I have not run out of friends yet! This week's friend even lives in a different region of the country. Jon Shih is a third year Harvard Law student who, permit me to embarass him, is going to be the next Elliot Spitzer. He hails from the same Congressional District as I. Make of that what you will.
Q. What's your favorite movie?
So many to choose from. I really like Magnolia. That was one of my favorite movies. Well, you and I both really like Network, which is a classic 1970s critique of media impropriety, I guess. I really like Annie Hall; that probably should go on as my comedy representative. I always say Drunken Boxing Master 2.
Q. What is that?
It's a Hong Kong martial arts movie and it's starring Jackie Chan. It was made in the early 90s and it was re-mastered and re-released in 2000 in the U.S...I think they dubbed it, which is clearly inferior to the subtitles, not that the dialouge really matters, I guess. It's a classic martial arts movie.
Q. I guess I'm not the martial arts afficanado.
You need to get on that. I love the classic martial arts films.
Q. What's your favorite food?
I think it's the Gino's East Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza. I always have that when I get back home.
Q. So I'm glad to hear that you haven't gone all New York.
Well I don't know. There's something about Chicago pizza. There's something about eating two slices and being full. Also, Gino's crust is really good.
Q. What is your favorite spice?
I don't think my cooking is that advanced, but I used spices and stuff. I use salt and pepper. I'm actually not a big fan of salt. It seems like most things are too salty for me.
Q. So no favorite spice though?
No favorite spice.
Q. What is the coolest thing you ever cooked yourself?
Well, this summer Steph and I made this salmon, this baked salmon. It was really good, actually.
Q. Two follow-up questions? One: Where did you get the recipe?
I think we found it online somewhere, all though we added our own stuff to it. I remember there distinctly being lemon, and there was some green onions and soy sauce I think.
Q. Second question, did you pair a wine with that salmon?
We did, actually. Whatever wine at the wine shop said goes well and was under $15 dollars. I think it was a white wine.
Q. What is your favorite kind of wine, by the way?
I think I like red wine. Usually at firm events and stuff, they ask you if you want white or red, I usually go with red.
Q. Do you go with a full-bodied like a Merlot?
Well, according to Sideways, I'm not supposed to drink Merlot anymore. The white wine I like a lot is Riesling.
Q. Riesling is really good. It's kind of dry and sweet.
I kind of like Pinot Noir, although it's trendy I guess. My parents love the Trader Joe's Merlot. It's 2.99. It's Charles Shaw.
Q. What's your least favorite food?
I don't really like eggplant. I actually pretty much eat everything, but I don't like eggplant very much. Something about the consistency; it's very slippery. It's like eating a newt or something, which actually makes being a vegetarian very difficult, because a lot of the vegetarian alternatives are eggplant.
Q. Do you like seitan?
Yeah, I've had it before. Some of it is good. There's this restaurant called Grasshopper in Alston [a town in Massachusetts] that I've been to a couple of times. It's basically an alternative Chinese restaurant. The fake beef was really good. The fake chicken was bad though. The beef had a good consistency that was chewy in the way real beef is.
Q. What do you clean immediately?
Nothing really. I usually let things pile up and then do it all in a huge bunch. I try to do dishes sometimes, but then I get lazy.
Q. I'm the opposite. What do you wait to clean?
Everything. Mostly laundry, it just piles up on my floor. I have to go to a laundry mat to do my laundry which at first i thought was going to be amazing, because in the movies, there are hot women everywhere wasahing their panties, but in reality it's just the most disgruntled people in the world
Q. Do you like this interview so far?
Um, yes, I guess, because it would be inappropriate to say no.
Q. Good point, touche.
No I think it's good. I like that you have a prompt.
Q. What appliance would you buy if you could afford it?
I need a plasma TV, HD, and I need a Tivo setting--because apparently I'm going to be working a lot in the future--like one of those home entertainment surround sound systems with the DVD player and everything. And cable, with HBO.
Q. Yeah need HBO.
Q. Which female celebrity is most attractive to you?
Well, there's the old favorite Natlaie Portman of course, who's like the geek's choice, right? I think recently Jessica Alba has been very hot. Actually, Esquire or something said the sexiest woman of the year was Jessica Biel. I was like what the heck was that all about? It should have definitely been Jessica Alba, because she was in like four movies this year.
Q. Yeah what has Jessica Biel done lately?
Oh, she was in that horrible movie with Jamie Foxx and that guy from a Beautiful Mind who played the professor rival. He plays the smug white guy; I feel like he's been in a lot of academic movies where he's the smug other guy, like went to Exeter, now he's at Harvard.
Q. Do you remember a moment when you laughed so hard you cried?
Um. no. No, I don't thnk so.
I mean, do people actually cry when they laugh really hard. I don't think I do. Maybe it's a gender thing.
Q. Alright fine.
Except when Elaine told a witty joke, then I laughed so hard I cried.
Q. Flattery will get you everywhere, my friend.
That's what we learn here [at Harvard]. Why do you think we clap for professors at the end [of the course]? Even classes I hated, I ended up clapping.
Q. That's what your professor said. He said he took a class he didn't like but had to clap.
[Harvard Law Professor Laurence] Tribe got a standing ovation.
Q. What song, no matter how much you play it, will you never get sick of?
Hmm. Um, never get sick of? I probably have listened to the "Legionnaire's Song" by the Decembrists like a million times in my life. I don't think it's called the "Legionnaire's Song," actually, I think it's called "The Legionnaire's Lament." I also really like--I don't know if you ever heard "Papa was a Rodeo" by the Magnetic Fields.
Q. I've heard of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."
No it's different.
Q. And finally, who do you think the Democrats should run in 2008?
Well, you and I said Spitzer would be a great candidate, right, but not next year, not in '08, although he'd be good in '12 because he'd be governor and the governor-to-president move is a good move. That way you don't have to vote on things in the Senate. I think I like Hillary, because everyone loves Clinton, and Hillary would be the first woman, and she owns the women's vote, and that's like 51% of the population.
Q. Here's my question about Hillary though: do you think that she is trying to position herself too much as a moderate, like by sponsoring that flag-burning bill?
I mean I don't think she's going to alienate people on the left, becaue everyone's like, I love Clinton. And people on the left are going to be pretty pissed off on another four years of Bush.
Q. Obama as presidential nominee? Yes or no?
I see him more as a primary candidate who loses to Hillary and then gets the VP nominate.
Q. But me personally, I'd rather have him than Hillary as candidate, because he seems both like he has principles, but he attracts moderates even though he's relatively liberal.
You think, why?
Q. Well if you reference my interview from last week, my friend Joy, who is a Republican likes Obama.
Well people in college who are Republicans are diffferent than people from Texas. I don't know. I don't think so. He would have half a term, right? Then he would get questions like: is this person qualified, where you wouldn't get those questions from Hillary because she's been a senator for two terms now and she's the wife of a former president.
Q. You're in law. Do you think there are too many people going to law school today?
Yeah, I told you that. Yeah, I think there are too many people going to law school, because I think people see it as a default option; they're like, oh, I can't think of what to do.
Q. So how does one know if they are cut out for law school then?
You have to really want to be a lawyer. Because something like 90% of people who go to law school end up becoming lawyers. The only exception is some people go to law school and then become bankers...But most of the people who graduate from college don't really want to look for a job so they go to law school. Law school is very much a trade school though.
Q. Is that what you were?
No, I always kind of wanted to be lawyer.
Q. Alright, interesting answer. The only thing is, I feel like most graudate programs are trade programs. Like there's always going to be some dullness there.
You can get a Ph.D or Masters though, in whatever interests you. I feel like if you don't really know, business school is a better option.
Q. You know why I think people go to law school instead of business school though: because you have to have several years of experience in business before applying to business school.
I mean, I'm not trying to be an elitist or whatever, but the law profession is overcrowded right now, and it's becoming increasingly difficult for people at the bottom tiers to get jobs, and so I wonder, unless you really want to be a lawyer, why you would bother.
Q. It is weird that people have decided law school is the thing to do.
Yeah, especially because lawyers are generally looked down on. Also, there's a misconception of what lawyers do. Most of them come out of law school and go into civil practice and not criminal. Most lawyers don't go into litigation either; most are transactional attorneys.