Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Quotes from MTV's Jersey Shore - Episode 4

Episode 1 quotes
Episode 2 quotes
Episode 3 quotes
Episode 4 quotes
Episode 5 quotes
Episode 6 quotes
Episode 7 quotes
Episode 8 quotes
Episode 9 quotes

Episode 4 is easily the most delightful yet, despite respectable competition from the first three installments. This week, Ronnie and Sammi prove they are soul mates, having found in each other their rival for Shore's Biggest Drama Queen (apparently even guys on steroids have a tender side). Ronnie and the Situation trade a few light jabs while sitting in their respective barber’s chairs. Vinny, likable and charismatic generally, continues to be an unsavory source of sanity in this Dionysian dreamworld, and thus remains banished from the Jersey Shore spotlight.

The Situation and Pauly D run a double ditch-and-switch, followed by an historically unprecedented reverse double ditch-and-switch, but ultimately fail to close the deal.

And of course, the plush and occasionally adorable Snookie tragically discovers the one man on earth who is willing to earn his 15 seconds of fame by sucker-punching a little girl on a nationally televised reality show.  The country is later encouraged to learn her attacker is a public school teacher.

Given the range of epic performances there are a plethora of Special Awards this week, some old, some new -- so many, in fact, it renders my customary countdown almost arbitrary. But enough preface and apology. Let’s get started, shall we?

Best Quotes

7. “You gotta stay fresh to death.  That’s what I call it.  Fresh outfit, fresh haircut, fresh tan. Just stay fresh.” – Pauly D

6. “Mike would bang a Gatorade bottle at this point.” – Ronnie (referring to the Situation)

5. “Oh my god.  I’m going outside.” – Vinny (in the barbershop, after listening to Ronnie and The Situation debate The Situation’s prowess for several minutes)

4. “He’s a really good guy.  Like that’s the guy I need in my life.  I think his name is Ron.” – Nicole, aka "Snookie"

3. “I’m sucking up my pride right now, and apologizing.” – Jenni, aka "JWoww"

2. “Yes, I had sex.  Like, hello.” – Sammi "Sweetheart"

1. “If you’re not hitting the gym for like an hour or so then, you know, you may have a problem.  Okay?  Because I’m at the gym for like an hour AND A HALF.  You know?  I’m working on my fitness.” – Mike, "The Situation"

Lord Byron Award for Romantic Verse

No surprise this goes to the defending champion.

“You really have to like catch my eye and be like really, you know what I mean, something special for me to be like, like I’m feeling you.” – Ronnie

“Yeah, we smooshed.” – Ronnie (referring to first act of lovemaking with Sammi)

“I was ready to put you in the equation.  Like, YOU... in the equation.” – Ronnie (loses something without the tears)

Pythagoras Award in Profundity

The next three awards go to Snookie, beginning with this newly established (perhaps long overdue) prize for the following revelation.

“I’m like, growing.” – Snookie

Jersey Pride Award

Though none of the cast members are Jersey natives, this prize recognizes cultural observations that make those of us who are natives of the Garden State swell with pride.

“It’s the Jersey Shore.”  - Snookie (responding to her mother after she comments that the water looks dirty)

Famous Last Words Award

Another first, and probably not the last.

“Get your ugly ass out of our faces.” – Snookie (before getting punched)

Best Exchange Award

Short but sweet, for the understanding reached between the two lovebirds at the end of their first major argument.

Ronni: “You’re fucking disgusting.”

Sammi: “YOU'RE fucking disgusting.”

*Lifetime Achievement Award*

It was inevitable that The Situation would take this one home solo eventually (he shared the honor with Snookie last week).  It might be said that withholding the honor this long was comparable to the Academy reserving Peter Jackson's Oscar for his last installment of Lord of the Rings.

But we can't award the Situation without also simultaneously recognizing Pauly D for his essential supporting role.  The Dynamic Duo raised the bar in so many ways -- reaching new heights of effortless egoism, sexism, childlike lust, grammatic license, etc -- that there was a temptation at first to create a bunch of sub-Lifetime awards... that is, before adequately capturing the essence of these two-dozen-or-so snippets proved impossible.  For instance:

Best Tangent Award

Awarded for rehashing the best "story before the story."

“We have both the chicks in the bed.  Me and Mike.  Mike has a chick.  I have a chick.  We’re in bed.  We’re just fooling around, whatever.  I couldn’t have sex my girl—she had her period.  I go to take her pants off, she wouldn’t let me.  No big deal.  And then…” – Pauly D

Rapid Fire Award

Created to recognize The Situation for producing three gems in a span of just under 10 seconds (yes I timed it). The moment occurs during one instance (of what has already become frequently recurring scenario) of Pauly D and The Situation coaxing a pair of coy women into the upstairs hot tub.

“Do you guys need like any, any, like we’re gonna get towels you need anyth—we’re good, we’re good.” – The Situation (attempting to be accommodating then abandoning attempt mid-sentence)

“I feel you on that.  But really, fuck it." – The Situation (responding to girl’s complaint that she has no bathing suit)

"We’re going in our underwear.  That’s what’s going on right now.”  – The Situation (afterthought to “I feel you… fuck it.”)

Then things just got away from me:

“We were the fucking MAN at Karma.” – Pauly D (referring to himself and The Situation, or possibly to whole house)

“We’re beating up the beat.” – Pauly D

“I was hooking up with my girl.  Pauly’s hooking up with his girl.  And uh, we’re gonna have sex.  So, you know, it’s a situation.” – The Situation

“They were acting kinda stupid.  But we were making the best of the situation.  Like we always do.” – Pauly D (referring to girls' ambivalence about hot tub)

“Chill out, Freckles McGee.” – The Situation (referring to girls' ambivalence about hot tub)

“When I go into the club I have a game plan.  I don’t want to waste my time and take home a girl that just wants to hang out.  I just want to get to the business.  So you line it up, and then you move on.  And then at the end of the night, you see what you end up with.” – Pauly D

"So, the girls are coming with us.  We’re walking with them.  But then we notice these two girls in a convertible.  So we immediately run over to the car.  It’s like a reflex… The other two chicks were pissed.  They turned around and walked back.  We didn’t even care.” – Pauly D

“Well it’s kinda the way I say it.  You know what I’m saying?  Not to give you too much credit, but at the same time I’m attracted to you.” – The Situation (to girl after she questions his choice of modifier when he tells her “You’re kinda cute.”)

“Holy shit.  What the fuck are we gonna do?”  – Pauly D (to Situation, when original girls they ditched suddenly show up at house while they are entertaining the convertible girls upstairs) 

“Tell ‘em to come back in twenty minutes.” – The Situation (responding to Pauly D's question) 

“Shhhhh.  Be quiet little Italian girl.” – The Situation

“You girls are cuter.  I am feeling you right now, and I’m about to kick out the girls upstairs.” – The Situation (to original girls they abandoned, referring to convertible girls they were abandoned for)

“I might have to give her a little attention in the future, but, I don’t know.  Maybe not.” – The Situation

“Basically, one of these girls was, uh, definitely more cuter than the other, and it happened to be, uh, my girl. And Pauly D was with the grenade.” – The Situation

“My girl was fucking busted, so I’m like just trying to go with the flow.” – Pauly D

“I was taking heavy fire.” – The Situation (after Pauly D abandons him)

“That girl was a bomb.  And Pauly didn’t know the code to decipher the bomb.  That’s pretty much what happened right there.” – The Situation

“Calm down sweetheart.  Stop hating." – The Situation (to Grenade, from bed where he lays naked with Friend of Grenade)

“You wanna walk this girl downstairs?” – The Situation (to Friend of Grenade, referring to Grenade, who stands a few feet away)

How could an award possibly do all that justice?

Best Guest Quote

I am, however, delighted to award the first Best Guest Quote to the Grenade, who closes out this week's collection.

“I would so do your dishes but I’m not even trying to do that now.” – The Grenade (pondering dishes in sink while The Situation hits on Friend of Grenade)

*All photos courtesy of

Saturday, December 19, 2009

MFA Applications Done

What has 2 thumbs, and finally sent in the last of his 9 applications, and is pissed he had to type out his basic information seventy times, and vows for this reason that if even one of these 9 schools rejects him he will exact icy revenge (yes, on the whole school, or schools), but for now is going to reward himself by gorging on Mexican food and ice cream?

No seriously, this is a funny joke. Can you guess?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Quotes from MTV's Jersey Shore - Episode 3

Episode 1 quotes
Episode 2 quotes
Episode 3 quotes
Episode 4 quotes
Episode 5 quotes
Episode 6 quotes
Episode 7 quotes
Episode 8 quotes
Episode 9 quotes

Lose the dead wood!

In Episode 3 the two cast members in relationships break up with their boyfriends, one of whom completely self-destructs.

Visiting friends Alana and Elena are no help to Angelina (yes you are pronouncing those three names correctly) as she feigns illness, skips work, tells off her boss (who she’s only met twice) from behind a bathroom door, and leaves the show entirely.

Meanwhile Sammi and Ronnie continue to flaunt their romance in front of The very wounded Situation -- who doesn’t care, at all, but also does -- only to suffer a communication breakdown at a nightclub. And the boys learn a thing or two about operating a propane grill.

Mining for quotes has become far more challenging. While many stand alone, an increasing number require some context. It’s hard to determine how big a piece I can extract before it loses its potency. It’s a fine line to walk, but I feel I am honing my craft.

The countdown is short this week, due to Vinny’s limited role in the episode plus the multiple Achievement Awards going out.

Top quotes

5. “I’ll break it down dancing. I love the beats. I got my creepy patent move.” Ronnie

4. “Tommy said that if I did cheat on him he’d leave me. So I just have to figure out…” [pause] “how to approach this.”Jenni, “JWOWW”

3. “Honestly, like, I’m sick. When you’re sick, like, honestly, like.” – Angelina, “Jolie” (when asked why she didn’t get someone to cover her shift at work)

2. “Snookers is funny. She likes her pickles.” – Pauly D

And the Best Single Quote Award goes to:

1. “Next thing you know, the grill is legit burnt. Smoke. Like, flames.” – Sammi “Sweetheart”

Honorable Mentions

“She just doesn’t want to feel like a trash bag because she has a boyfriend and she kissed me with her tongue.” – Pauly D (referring to JWOWW, after she denies any memory of making out with him)

“I’m gonna fucking knock a bitch up.” – Sammi 

“I’ll make everyone hate each other by the end of the night.” – JWOWW

“The fact that JWOWW broke up with her boyfriend, it just means she’ll feel less guilty now when she hooks up with me.” – Pauly D

“I guess I’m single. I don’t know. If I am, we got a problem on our hands.” – JWOWW

“Angelina wanted us to like beg her to stay. But I don’t think anybody’s gonna do that.” – Pauly D

“I met JWOWW’s boyfriend. Seems like a cool guy. But if JWOWW was my girl, I would break up with her in a second. Your girl shouldn’t be out there dancing like that, lifting up her skirt. And I already made out with her so…” [pause] “I think he’s kind of a sucker if you ask me.” – Pauly D

Lifetime Achievement Award

As you can see from his strong showing in the Honorable Mentions, Pauly D nearly scooped up the Lifetime Achievement Award again.  Alas, he was edged out by Mike, “The Situation,” and Nicole, aka “Snookie,” who share the honor this week.

“Look at these PANCAKES, what’s UP! –The Situation

“Pickles is my thing, like, and the boys always stare at me, like, if I’m eating pickles." – Snookie

“Me and Mike have hooked up before. That’s why when I saw him at Headliners I was like, oh shit, I’m gonna bring him home and I’m gonna get my fix.” – Snookie (referring to surprise encounter with an old friend)

“I wouldn’t be a dick if you weren’t a little bitch.” – The Situation (to Angelina)

“Bless all the roomies that are still here.” – Snookie (saying grace)

“Angelina was like a half-assed firecracker.” – The Situation

“That’s what I’m talking about. People get shocked when they see something like that.” – The Situation (after showing abs to Snookie’s friend Ryder)

“Snookie’s friend Ryder I thought was kinda cute. You know, she wasn’t ugly, she was thin and petite, and I kinda like that.” – The Situation

“Mike can be a nice guy, like, he shows he good side, then he shows off his jerkoff side. And that’s what I like, a good guy and a jerkoff. It’s all in the same.” – Snookie (referring to The Situation)

“Making out was fun. If one thing leads to another, I’m not gonna tell him to get off.” – Snookie (referring to The Situation)

“Ah heh. Ah heh heh. WOW The hot tub with Snookie and Ryder was very very entertaining. Um… it actually got pretty wild at certain points throughout that, uh, the, the…" [losing composure] "Heh heh heh – The Situation

“Fuck my fucking asshole right now.” – Snookie (to The Situation, after he tells her to start doing dishes)

Congratulations to Snookie and The Situation.

Special Awards

We also have some special accolades this week, first of which is The Lord Byron Award for Romantic Verse, which goes to Ronnie, for his honey-drip lyrics of affection regarding fellow cast member Sammi.

“Honestly I thought the shore house was the best thing to happen to me. But YOU are. You are.” – Ronnie (to Sammi)

“You’re mad cool. I like you. I don’t like most girls that I meet.” – Ronnie (to Sammi)

“At first I was like I’m not gonna shit where I sleep. But for her, I’ll roll around in my shit all day, to be honest with you.” – Ronnie (referring to Sammi)

We must also recognize a brilliant tag-team performance by creating the Best Dialogue Exchange Award, which goes to The Situation and Pauly D for their joint reaction to the gas grill going up in flames (as a result of charcoal they placed inside).

Situation: Yeah, this is a problem right now. We could possibly, blow up right now? It’s… it’s burning the… it’s burning the whole thing! Pauly take care of it before we blow the fuck up!

Pauly D: I’m gonna use this thing. (referring to fire extinguisher)

After dousing the grill with the fire extinguisher, Pauly D and The Situation ponder the retreating flames, approaching the grill cautiously.

Pauly D: You want me to shoot that? Wait, wait, wait it’s working the way it’s supposed to work.

The Situation: Yeah, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. I think we might be able to still cook on that.

Pauly D: For real?

The Situation: For real.

*All photos courtesy of

After All These Years, the Jersey Shore is Still Good to Me

Would you believe that my compilation of quotes from the premiere of Jersey Shore has increased my blog traffic five-fold? Go figure. Though I suspect this will be a flash in the pan, and that the people finding my blog are among the least likely to ever come back, this response easily trumps my other popular posts, like Blue Ink vs. Black Ink or my endorsement of the Michener Center.

Since I seem to have cornered the market on Jersey Shore wisdom, I kinda feel obliged to continue my archiving efforts if only to see how much I can leverage it. With the one post up, I come in as the 8th hit when you google “Best Quotes from Jersey Shore” (27 if it’s just “Jersey Shore Quotes”). This positioning has brought about 1,300 people in nine days.

Let’s see if a second post pushes me up that list. Stay tuned for Episode 3, (I’ll get to Episode 2 at some point).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Application Update

Seven applications down, two to go.  S'all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best Quotes from Premiere of MTV's "Jersey Shore"

Episode 1 quotes
Episode 2 quotes
Episode 3 quotes
Episode 4 quotes
Episode 5 quotes
Episode 6 quotes
Episode 7 quotes
Episode 8 quotes
Episode 9 quotes
On Thursday night MTV debuted its new reality show Jersey Shore (watch episode 1), and I'm a happy, happy boy . Hailing from New Jersey, and having spent many of my younger summer days in Seaside Heights (the Mecca of the Jersey Shore if you didn't know), I happen to have a little experience with the unique slice of culture featured in this brilliant -- I repeat, brilliant -- piece of television-making.

The concept is simple and familiar:  Stick eight empty shells resembling human beings inside a chic-looking house and tape the melodrama that unfolds.  Correct, there's nothing new about that. The show's subjects are as sculpted, self-important and soulless as your typical Real World cast, and as collectively dense as the contestants in The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

The new twist, besides the unique setting, is that the show overtly embraces the unflattering stereotype it depicts -- in this case, the young, urban, east coast Italian-American or "Guido" -- as do its characters, who (with the possible exception of Vinny) are no more self-aware for it, and possibly less so. Traditionally, the satire of similar reality shows has depended at least in part on the ironic disparity between the way the cast members think the world views them and the unflattering way the show depicts them -- The Real Housewives of... franchise arguably delivers the starkest examples of this disparity and brand of satire.

But in Jersey Shore there is no attempt, however arbitrary, to fly anything under anyone's radar, not even in the interest of political correctness.  Stigmas are props to be used over and over again, and from start to finish are volleyed back and forth like bunch of airborne beachballs.

I can personally attest that the utterly magical things coming out of the cast members' mouths are absolutely authentic. As an ardent student of language, I have taken it upon myself to archive these linguistic masterstrokes, or at least to initiate this worthwhile endeavor. Here are the best quotes from the premiere of "Jersey Shore."

7.  "I'm bringing New York to Jersey because A, they don’t even know how to drive and B 'cause they don’t know how to party."  [long pause...]  "Get the fuck out of my lane." - Jenni, aka "JWOWW"

6.  "Dude you can’t bring a girl into this house when you’re vibin' with a chick. That's just going to cause, like, massive amounts of problems." - Ronnie

5.  "My name around town is Sammi 'Sweetheart.' I'm the sweetest bitch you'll ever meet. But don’t fuck with me." [Later, in same interview] "If you're not a guido you can get the fuck out of my face." - Sammi, aka "Sweetheart"

4.  "I’m the smallest guy here. Fuck." - Vinny

3.  "What is she doing, this girl? How do you go in a fucking Jacuzzi with a thong? And a bra? Wear a thong bikini—that's a little bit more classier if you're going to wear anything at all, you know what I mean?" - Angelina, aka "Jolie"

2.  "Where the fuck did everyone go? Why the fuck is that thing quacking? That’s really weird." [later, during interview] "Quack! Quack! Quack! Like, shut the fuck up." - Nicole, aka "Snookie"

And at number one, the Best Single Quote Award goes to...

1.  "I’m very anxious to get down there with my hot clothes, and my tan. Just arrive. 'Cause once I arrive it's like, what's up, I'm here." - Mike, aka "The Situation"

Congratulations to The Situation.

But the highest accolades belong to the cast member who seems incapable of saying anything that isn't poetry. The Lifetime Acheivement Award goes to Pauly D, the sleeper from Rhode Island, of all places.  Here are some of the gems that mark his historic acheivement (and mind you these are from a single episode):

"It takes me about twenty-five minutes to do my hair. It comes out perfect every single time." - Pauly D

"I don't try to take a lot of guys' girlfriends, but it just happens." - Pauly D

"And in walks this girl with like garbage bags. I thought that was kinda like ghetto, and like weird. Like you can't find a suitcase? No one in your family's got a suitcase you can borrow?" - Pauly D

"I can never go out without my hair gel." - Pauly D

"I was born and raised a Guido. It's just a lifestyle. It's about being Italian. It's representing family, friends, tanning, gel, everything. Dude I got a fucking tanning bed in my place, that's how serious I am about being a Guido and living up to that lifestyle. My tagline is 'I'm Your Girl's Favorite DJ.' I want the Guidettes to c** in their pants when they hear my music." - Pauly D

"Girls are supposed to cook, and guys are supposed to eat, you know what I mean? That's how it is." - Pauly D

"I hope it's not like hard work. I don't even wanna work. I'm a DJ." - Pauly D

"Guidos... when we stop, our chrome keeps spinnin'!" - Pauly D

Honorable Mentions

"This is 'The Situation,' right here. My abs are so ripped up it's… we call it The Situation." - Mike, the Situation

"I mean this situation is going to be indescribable. You can’t even describe the situation you're about to get into the situation." - Mike, the Situation

"Just take your shirt off and let them come to you. Like a fly comes to shit." - Ronnie

"I am like a praying mantis. After I have sex with a guy I will rip their heads off." - JWOWW

"I have real boobs.  I have a nice, fat ass." - Angelina

At a large dinner table seating over a dozen members of Vinny's extended family, one family member asks of Vinny:  "So where are you going in New Jersey?"

Vinny's answer:  "The Jersey Shore."

*All photos courtesy of

Thursday, December 3, 2009

World's Fastest Rejection

Since I was giving my short-story/adapted-epilogue yet another overhaul -- I'm using it as my writing sample for grad school applications -- I figured I might as well submit the latest version to more journals too.

Literary journals are not generally known for their quick turnaround time.  I've waited as long as 8 months to get a response.  But among the latest batch was Sonora Review, which stood out to me because it used a manuscript submission service I hadn't seen before (  Unlike other online submission tools, this one charged $2 a pop, not that it was such a big deal to me.  I uploaded my story at 5:17 p.m.

At 8:15 p.m. I got a response:

"Thank you for submitting your work to Sonora Review. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept it for publication at this time."

Whoa!  Are you sure?  Maybe you want to take a second look at it?  Perhaps you should step away from it for a while... just take a break, then return to it in a couple of weeks with a "fresh pair of eyes?"

I have to admit, the speed is quite refreshing -- well worth the two dollars, if you ask me.  Imagine if every journal were that quick?  But still, ouch.

The worst part is that they are clearly not sifting through piles and piles of stories if mine went straight to the top of the queue.  Yet even with this limited pool of stories my baby did not make the cut.  I feel like the little league coach chose to field eight players instead of filling the empty slot with my clumsy-and-inept-though-well-intentioned child.  Aw, come on, Coach!  Give the kid a chance!

The Best Literary Journals for Short Story Submissions

Just finished sending my epilogue/short-story to another round of journals, and updated my submission guide accordingly.  In addition to the O. Henry and Best American Short Story awards, I've now factored in the Pushcart Prize.

Since the Pushcart website doesn't do its own tally, my plan was to go through each collection for the last ten years and see which journals the stories came from that were not already on my list.  I was dreading it because the award-winning fiction pieces are interspersed with poems and essays, so tallying up appearances by each journal promised to be a long, mind-numbing task.

How happy was I to discover that a fellow fiction writer had already done just that!  Cliff Garstang, at the blog Perpetual Folly, compiled his own Pushcart Prize Rankings -- a list of every journal that has had a story featured in Pushcart ordered by number of appearances.  He even went back a full ten years, as I was planning to.

What a great resource for writers trying to determine what journals they should submit to.  Thank you for your service Cliff!

I have updated my own guide to includes my latest group of submissions, this time to journals that have won 2-5 Pushcart Prizes in the last ten years (and, again, not already on my list).  They are divided as before into those which allow simultaneous submissions, those that don't, and those to which I (personally) cannot submit my story for miscellaneous reasons.

For the hell of it I'll re-post my standard cover letter too.  I hope these prove useful to some of you.

Oh, and for those keeping track the score is now 30, as in my story has been rejected by 30 journals.  Maybe more.  Never say die.