Friday, January 29, 2010

Best Quotes from MTV's Jersey Shore - Episode 7

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

No Lord Byron Award this week, but there's love in the air.  Pauly D meets a girl from Israel who may turn out to be more than he bargained for.  Snooki falls for a an Irish guido Cowboy (picture left), whose southern droll in Seaside Heights sticks out like dueling banjos in the projects.  And The Situation's sister (we'll call her Minor Situation) sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night, like a junior high-schooler in love, to snuggle up next to Vinny.

Snooki makes a noble but misguided effort to draw the aloof Ronnie and Sammi back into the group by urging a "family meeting" after returning from the club.  She is subsequently thrown under the bus by the others, who deny any problem with this disgusting and aggravating relationship, thus exposing Snooki to verbal lashing by Sammi (she lashes sweetly though).  Ronnie follows suit.

The Situation possibly has sex in the hot tub.  Vinny and his date observe from the hammock.

Ronnie, Sammi, off.  On.

Finally, the gang takes an overnight trip to Atlantic City, skipping the casinos and going straight for the club, which is subtly but undoubtedly different from the clubs in Seaside. The Situation, revealing just how deep his insecurity runs, loses big points this week for letting his inner-jerk fly, first delivering a low blow to Snooki over dinner and then later stealing Vinny's potential hookup at the club. But instant karma knocked him right in the head, taking the form of a spinning backhand slap-punch from JWoww, so miffed was she that the Situation would not abandon his potential hookup (previously Vinny's) to guide her back to the hotel room, as she was too drunk to find it herself.

Best Quotes

5. "Delvecchio. That's gonna be your last name." - Pauly D (when Israeli girl attempts to pronounce his last name, reading it off his DJ business card)

4. "Come on Snick, before I yank the duck out the fucking wall." - Ronnie (eager to start the ill-advised "family meeting")

3. "Jenni and Snooki hate on us. Like shut your fucking face, you're jealous." - Sammi (astutely observing as usual that most world events stem from her intense love affair)

2. "That's not what your sister thinks." - Vinny (when Situation tells him he has no game)

1. "It's only a matter of time before she (Sammi) is gonna pull the Eject button." - The Situation (he says while pulling the imaginary Eject button)

Honorable Mentions

"I kinda noticed that Ronnie was talking to a girl. I don't think it would be a bad thing if Sammi saw that but, ah, I guess we'll find out. Heh heh." - The Situation

"I don't have a passport. Plus they don't like me, I have a cross on my arm." - Pauly D (when Israeli girl suggests he visits her homeland)

"She said she was a model, so I'm like all right. Cool." - Vinny

Diss-honorable Mentions

"Don't worry, you got a couple." - The Situation (on the defensive, to Snooki, when she asks for a roll)

"I pulled the robbery move on him." - The Situation (when he seduces Vinny's girl while he's in bathroom)

Lifetime Achievement Award

This week Snooki secures the Lifetimer independently, proving that she can hold her own spotlight even when competing with outrageous personalities like The Situation. Bonus point for dissing Darth Sammi. Several bonus points for sharing the second-best Exchange with Keith the Irish Cowboy. Triple word score for her quick recovery from some harsh and unwarranted ridicule, swiftly returning to her ditzy, adorable and self-deprecating baseline

In the past I've ridiculed the cast for their absence of self-awareness, but it occurs to me that of all the characters on the show she is the most in touch with her insecurity and vulnerability, and consequently she breathes just a little humanness to this small bubble of hedonism. Call me a softee, but this girl is a gem. The Situation is also a gem, but a different kind of gem. Anyway:

"I was kinda like getting annoyed with Sammi because like, the way like she like talks sometimes like, she can be a real bitch." - Snooki

"But he's Irish. He talks like a cowboy. I normally go for Italians, so it's like weird for me to like him." - Snooki

"I fucking, like, save animals." - Snooki

"I've been with goats, sheep, cows, horses... that's all." - Snooki

"But if I had to have sex with one person here, it would probably be him, because I know he's a nice guy. He's gotta be clean." - Snooki

"I do want to have sex with him. I'm saving myself for Cowboy." - Snooki

"I'm going to pop my A.C. cherry." - Snooki

"Cheers everyone." - Snooki (toasting champagne to an empty hot tub in AC hotel)

Best Exchange

Second place goes to Snooki and her new love interest.

Snooki: "I delivered a friggin calf from a cow"

Keith, the Irish Cowboy: "I praise you for that, I mean how many guidos can do that?"

Snooki: "I'm not a guido I'm a guidette"

First place goes to the dynamic duo, triggered when somebody questions whether the Situation might be overpacking for their overnight in A.C.

Situation: "I like my clothes like I like my women. Options."

Pauly D: "You like your clothes like you like your underwear. Dirty."

Cultural Awareness Award (new)

"I don't even understand that religion, or what it is. I just wanna get to the bidness." - Pauly D (referring to Judaism)

Best Guest Quote

Goes to Tanya, the older woman Vinny inadvertently stole from his boss in Episode 5.

"I gotta stop watching that shit because it's turning me on." - Tanya (from hammock, with Vinny, referring to Situation and girl having sex in hot tub)

Famous Last Words Award

Goes to the Danielle the Israeli Girl but with a huge assist from Pauly D's bug-eyed facial reaction (photo forthcoming).

"We're not supposed to have sex until we get married." - Danielle

*All photos courtesy of

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Best Quotes from MTV's Jersey Shore - Episode 6

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

Look out!  Two more fights this week -- or four, if you count two more love-spats between Ronnie and Sammi.  And one cast member makes a stellar comeback (no, not Angelina).

Vinny avoids being fired over an ill-advised hookup, and Danny his boss demonstrates an admirable sense of humor. Vinny continues to hold the on to the spotlight a while, first by hitting on The Situation's sister, and then later by inviting an army of relatives over to the house for a home-cooked lunch.

Some feisty old guests make an explosive encore appearance at the house.  The Situation makes it known to Snooki he's only interested in one out of the three, and she graciously agrees to kick the other two out.  A scuffle ensues and Snooki gets hit in the face (again) for her trouble, proving that no kind favor goes unpunished.

But the big brawl this week belongs to Ronnie, and I confess it went down differently than I'd have expected.  Possibly inspired by the surrounding cameras, a drunken idiot begins taunting Pauly D, Ronnie, and the other Seaside "outsiders" at the Beachcomber Bar, but is largely ignored.  Later, Ronnie and Sammi leave the bar only to find that the drunken idiot and his girlfriend are now following them and continuing to egg them on.

Anyone bearing witness can see that unless this drunk dude is secretly a judo master, he's about to get his ass kicked on national television by someone thoroughly more musclebound and sober than he is.  But to my surprise, Ronnie takes the high road, repeatedly batting the taunts away as he continues to escort his girlfriend home.

Enter Sammi, who for me (and I imagine for many men) calls to mind the most nightmarish of ex-girlfriends: intoxicatingly hot, but equal parts melodrama, manipulation, and neurosis. Despite Ronnie's efforts she decides to retaliate and taunt the drunk's girlfriend.  It's not like she's going to be the one trading blows over it, after all.  Ronnie tells her to stop.  She persists.  And with barely enough force to move a cat off a bed, he lightly shoves her.

As automatic as the clamping of a Venus flytrap, Sammi enters angry-wounded mode, and storms off, leaving Ronnie to deal with the drunk dude and his girlfriend by himself.  The rest unfolds as one might guess.  Ronnie gives in, invites the dude to fight.  Dude approaches, but not without letting his own girlfriend act as his human shield.  Ronnie manages evade the girlfriend's interference without hurting her, and proceeds to kick the dude's ass.

Oh yeah, and once the fight's over and Ronnie simmers down, he apologizes profusely to his girlfriend.

You know, when I first started watching this show I swore to myself that if I ever started taking anything about it seriously -- I'm talking on an emotional level -- then it was time to stop watching.  But the irony is just so ponderous, that on a show epitomizing human shallowness there is only one person I don't find endearing, one person who does not tickle me but instead makes me downright nauseous if only because, and especially because, I feel like I know her.

You know who I'm talking about -- the type of girl who, via the power of her tight body, sweet baby face, deceptively small, innocent voice, and a crate full of crazy, can get even a tough bodybuilder from the Bronx by the balls.

Anyhoo, as Pauly D would say, let's "get down to da bidness."

Best Quotes

6. "Through the scuffle Snooks gets hit in the face again. Poor girl. She needs to take some karate classes or something. She needs self-defense. Somebody gotta teach her how to fight, or duck." - Pauly D

5. "I was pretty excited for Alex to come back, you know? But she rolls up with two giant bodyguards, and one of them was the same grenade that was here last time." - The Situation

4. "He fucking said your feets are like fucking Fred Flinstone. Fuck you, you fucking bastard." - Sammi

3. "This one girl starts like charging me like a fucking hippo." - Snooki (referring to Grenade Launcher -- not to be confused with Grenade; see below)

2. "He's ready to motorboat!" - Vinny (referring to Ronnie, temporarily done with Sammi)

1. "Come at me bro." - Ronnie (to belligerent drunk taunting him)

Honorable Mentions

"Just wanted to let you know, it was nice knowing you, because I think I'm getting evicted." - Vinny

"You gonna be able to get your stuff out by tonight?" - Danny the Boss (to Vinny)

"When we're out on the battlefield, I'm like the first strike. You know, it's like they send me out first. Like the Navy SEALS." - The Situation

"I don't mind hooking Vinny up with my sister because, you know what? The kid's harmless. And Vinny knows that I'm pretty much the man of the house, and not to push it too far, or I'm gonna, you know, ah, throw him in my trunk." - The Situation

"Stay in your own room tonight." - The Situation (to Vinny)

"She looked like Mike with a wig on. I was a little bit freaked out." - Vinny (referring to The Situation's sister)

"I hate guys. I'm turning lesbian." - Snooki

"Unbelievable, huh Snooks? So hard to find a good man these days. That's why I date women." - Pauly D

"Ronnie's in pure creep mode. I'm like, hell yeah, so now we can go have some fucking fun!" - Pauly D (as they set out to go to the club)

"He's back, but he's not really back." - Pauly D (when they make it to the club, and Ronnie decides to go back to Sammi)

"There's fucking three crazy girls in the front right now. Three crazy girls. There's one, like, huge grenade launcher. There's one grenade. And there's one cute one." - The Situation

"The fat one's gotta go." - The Situation (to Snooki, when she asks him which girls he'd like her to kick out)

"Pick 'em up!" - Ronnie (referring to Grenade, Grenade's hot friend, and Grenade Launcher when garbage truck rolls up)

"Yo, your ride's here!" - Vinny (to Grenade, Grenade's hot friend, and Grenade Launcher when garbage truck rolls up)

"I felt bad about Snickers getting hit by a couple of linebackers. I didn't... necessarily want to bring home, any, sort of, zoo creatures, whatsoever. I mean, these broads probably just smelled the food at the house." - The Situation
"I don't want my mom to see my messy room. She'll kill me." - Vinny

"Vinny's family walks through the door. There's one, there comes the mom, there comes a sister, comes an aunt, a cousin, another cousin, then a little cousin, then another little cousin..." - Pauly D

"Vinny, here's your undershirts." - Vinny's Mom

"Apparently I caused this which is bullshit, because I didn't." - Sammi (after she helped cause the fight)

Lifetime Achievement Award

An indulgence perhaps, but what the hell, I'm going to award it this week to Vinny. He wins not so much for his moderately impressive collection of quoteables (which are dispersed here throughout), but for zealously seizing his relevance back by hooking up with his boss's date, macking on The Situation's sister, and inviting his Mom over to cook and do his laundry.

Pythagoras Award in Profundity
"How do you get the best results? GTL baby. Gym, tan, laundry." - The Situation

Possibly the obvious choice for best quote overall, as it is sure to be the line that ends up on a bumper sticker.  But I'm giving the Situation a rest this week. I'm not sure I can convey the weight of this maxim adequately via my own humble commentary -- it is best appreciated in context. Suffice it to say, Vinny agrees with my decision.

"This kids are robots. Gym, tanning, laundry. Every day since I got here. That's what they do every morning. Gym tanning laundry." - Vinny

Amnesty International Award for Compassion

"I'm like wait, he pushed you? And she's like, yeah, like I'm done with this shit, like you don't push a girl. And I understand where she's coming from, because I just got hit in the face by a guy." - Snooki

Meryl Streep Award for Best Performance in a Dramatic Series (this week's new award)

"You traumatized me!" - Sammi (to Ronnie, with moving tears, as he holds ice over his eye due the fight she helped instigate)

Best Exchange Award

A couple of great ones:

Best Exchange, Third place

Vinny: "Melissa called."

Situation: "My sister?"

Vinny: "Yeah. I was talking to her for 45 minutes."

Situation: "Really."

Vinny: "She called, and, she's gonna try to come to Headliners, but, call her back -- you have to call her back now and see what she says."

[long pause]

Situation: "Look at this little canny smile he's got. He's gonna meet my sister... he realizes how pretty I am and he wants to see my sister."

Best Exchange, Second place

Pauly D: "You guys look alike though."
Sit's Sister: "Really?"

Vinny: "Yeah, a little bit." (trailing off)

Situation: "I told you she was pretty."

Ronnie: "She's Mike without a six-pack!"

[all laugh except Vinny, who smiles weakly]

Best Exchange, First place

First place goes to Snooki and her less-than-reliable friend with benefits, Mike.

Mike: "You fucking told me to go!"
Snooki: "That was a test you jerkoff."

Best Guest Quote Award
We knew this was coming. Reclaiming her title:

"I'll rock your world!" - The Grenade (to Snooki)

The WTF Award

I have entertained creating this award so many times and passed because it seemed like too much of a catch-all. I mean, what isn't said on this show that makes a sane person say, "What the FUCK???" But sometimes, when there are no other words, it is what it is, and what it is is W...T...F???

"I have the best girl in Seaside, and I don't want to mess this up." - Ronnie

*All photos courtesy of

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Best Quotes from MTV's Jersey Shore - Episode 5

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

The show is definitely getting scrappy lately, and in Episode 5 it's JWoww entering the fray. After Snooki sleeps off "The Punch" from the night before, JWoww takes her out for some tanning, day-drinking, and healing chit-chat. The bond of friendship is solidified the following night when JWoww defends Snooki's honor, first drenching and then popping a girl who makes the mistake of calling Snooki fat.

The crew charters a boat and anchors at F Cove among a bunch of other boats and bodies bobbing around on inflatable rafts and tubes. This may mark the first time the gang exposes themselves to real sunlight. Sammi "Sweetheart," accelerating further toward "despicable" with each show, decides she's ready to leave and has Ronnie round everyone up to go.

Chef Sit-yar-dee takes the lead in the kitchen again, coordinating a surf and turf feast for the house that becomes a convenient excuse to fight with Sammi. Pauly takes the lead behind the turntables at Karma nightclub. And Vinny takes the lead with his boss's hot date (oops).

This week we have some new special awards of course, but also a strong countdown, and a particularly noteworthy "Best Exchange."

Best Quotes

6. "Holy shit. I took the boss's girl." - Vinny

5. "I would send her a picture of my dick and pack of bubble gum and say 'Chew on this.'" - Ronnie (when JWoww gets flowers from boyfriend she cheated on)

4. "It never happens to me." Sammi (after Situation gets stood up and remarks "It happens")

3. "My hair didn't even move an inch and I was in and out of the water. My hair is wind proof, water proof, soccor proof, motorcycle proof. I'm not sure if my hair is bulletproof." - Pauly D

2. "I tried to eat. But I couldn't get it in my frickin mouth cause I'm disabled." - Snooki

1. "I'm going back to New York, where I take fucking shots with the owners after I beat bitches up." - JWoww

Honorable Mentions

"He wishes." - Ronnie (when Sammi says his little brother looks just like him) 

"Girls love a DJ, so once they see me behind the wheels of steel over there doing my thing, watch out." - Pauly D

"F Cove is pretty much just, like, this awesome summer boat place." - Sammi

"Our boat is called Furgetabowdit. And right when I saw that I was like, yo, this is our boat." - Snooki

"They'll probably scrape something off the boardwalk." - Ronnie (referring to Pauly and The Situation girl hunting) 

"This kid's a sucka." - Pauly D (after the boyfriend JWoww cheated on (with Pauly D) sends her flowers)

"Everybody's been talking about it. It's my turn to prove, to Jersey Shore, how I get down, like, on the ones and twos." - Pauly D

"She had like a sick body, and I don't mind it up against me. At all." - Vinny 

"I would have tried to uppercut her but, at that point, I had too many bouncers wrapped around me. I just wished for three more seconds I would have... would have done justice." - JWoww

Lifetime Achievement Award

Not as strong as last week's win, but Lifetime must once again go to The Situation.

"There is definitely a numbers game when it comes to girls. Let's say ten girls have slipped you their number within that particular week, there's the possibility that five or six may not answer. Somebody may pick up but they're busy. But probably on three and four they're probably coming over and I'm going to have to make a decision on which group of girls I want to come over for me and my boy Pauly. As long as you keep calling there will be success in your numbers game." - The Situation 

"Holy shit." - The Situation (after using cooking spray over small pan on open flame, creating an impressive fireball)

"You know what? Everybody gets stood up. Everybody gets hung up on, and rejected. I'm not saying I'm not. I'm just saying that nine out of ten times I'm good with it." - The Situation

"You know what? I actually thought there was going to be more going into cooking all this -- it's going to be a feast on the dinner table -- but, ah, the Situation's got it under control." - The Situation 

"Everybody should take each side of my plate and walk it to the garbage." - The Situation (when Sammi complains about him leaving his dirty dish on the counter)

"I'm not touching one dish, because I cooked a crazy meal, and she's got the nerve to tell me to clean my plate. You know what? You are excluded from dinner then. From now on you are EXCLUDED from Surf and Turf Night. You are EXCLUDED from Ravioli Night. You are EXCLUDED from, from... Chicken Cutlet Night." - The Situation

"We were coordinating a feast while you were getting your nail and your hair did today." - The Situation

Famous Last Words Award

"I'm on a boat! Yo Sam, ju-" - Vinny (before falling off boat)

Amnesty International Award for Compassion

A new award. Self-explanatory, and shared this week.

"I think what happened to Snookers brought us a lot closer to Snookers definitely cause now we like kinda feel bad and, she's a real person." - Pauly D 

"I'm a vet tech. Like, I save animals, I don't kill them." - Snooki (when she sees live lobsters getting dropped into boiling water)

Staggering Ambition Award

Another new one. Also self-explanatory.

"Definitely want to look good for Ronnie's parents because this is the first time they're meeting me, like, I want them to think like, wow that's her? She's like really pretty and, whatever." - Sammi

Best Guest Quote

"I coulda been getting my tan on right now." - Ronnie's Mom (annoyed at waiting so long for Sammi to get ready)

Lord Byron Award for Romantic Verse

This week the honor is shared. It takes a special kind of woman to tug on these heart strings hard enough to merit more than the usual one night stand.

"They're cool girls. They're smart and everything but they want to hook up, just as well. But I think it will take a couple of times seeing them to hook up. They're not, like, whores." - Pauly D

"She's actually a pretty girl that I'm attracted to to the point where I'd rather do sweet things for you instead of, you know, just come home and hook up and, it's like a different situation." - The Situation

Best Exchange

Goes to JWoww and Snooki, for their drunken debriefing interview after a bar fight.

JWoww: "She called us fat. What the fuck?"

Snooki: "I'm fat."

JWoww: "No you're not."

Snooki: "I'm about to eat a sausage right now."

JWoww [walking off set]: "Italian... sah-seege?"

Snooki [to camera]: "Fuck you all!"

*All photos courtesy of

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scroll Appeal

The literary obssession with obsolete, crude or bizarre methods of transcribing one's masterwork.

I joined a conversation on one of Slate's Facebook pages that seemed appropriate to reprint here. The discussion is spawned by a short video interview with author Jonathan Letham where, among other things, he shares his experience as a creative writing teacher and how, for purposes of revision, he encourages them print out their work, delete the file, and re-type the piece in its entirety.

I identify strongly with Letham's writing and enjoy it even though I never finished either of his novels that I started.  And I do see where he's going with this re-type-the-whole-thing thing. But there are many, many methods to facilitate "revision" (to see again, to see anew). Retyping the full work from start to finish strikes me as a potentially effective but grossly inefficient one.

One of the easiest and oft-neglected things a writer can do to "see" their work anew is to simply read it aloud. The experiences of seeing your work on the page and hearing yourself render it vocally are vastly different!

I also like to break up a chapter arbitrarily into pieces, be they pages, paragraphs, or even portions of paragraphs. Just shuffle them around, then read what I wrote in a new order. I often discover a sequence that more powerful than the original; more than that, busting up my own work dispels some of the self-defeating anxiety that I might destroy something good and not get it back (never happens). And, reading my work out of sequence helps me see those individual slices in a new light.

But Lethem's method certainly sounds sexy, doesn't it? Sexier than the examples I mention here, anyway.  As two of the other Facebook commenters pointed out, however, scribbling your work on a roll of toilet paper, or writing it in feces on the wall of an asylum, does not a more brilliant piece of literature make.

Is there a phrase for this, I wonder? For now I'll call it "scroll appeal," after Jack Kerouac and his famous first draft of On the Road. This attraction, this need for a creative process that is somehow unorthodox (even if only superficially so) is undoubtedly the same kind of romantic notion that produced the myth about J.K. Rowling writing the first bits of Harry Potter on napkins.  Scroll appeal presents a false hope of sorts, a promise that by simply abandoning traditional modes and replacing them with something old, unsophisticated or just plain weird, we can make inspiration appear as if by magic.

Just as every individual believes, often to a delusional degree, that a legendary vocalist resides deep inside of them (if you don't believe me just watch the American Idol tryouts next week), I believe there's an aspiring novelist inside us all.  And to a world of would-be novelists -- admittedly, yes, even to some of us who have already written one -- ANYTHING is better than the prospect grinding out hundreds of frustrating, often uninspired hours in front of a screen or sheet of paper.

But that's what it takes.