Author Archives: ValentinaMonte

No, Zac, We’re The Lucky Ones.

I’ve been inspired to blog because my own inner monologue needed to make it’s way online.

I’d like to take a moment to discuss the recent trailers for “The Lucky One,” Zac Efron’s latest blockbusting hit. Aside from the movie previews which lasted upwards of 7 minutes and included so many plot twists I cannot imagine that seeing the film would bring to light any new character dilemmas, the television trailers are the things which great SNL shorts are made of. The shower intercourse, the war veteran, the beacon of hope that is any woman of a Nicholas Sparks novel, all provide great structure for a basic parody of film trailers.

Yet, the most strikingly delightful aspect of these clips is the return of the Zac Efron serious face. What is this serious voice? WHY MUST YOU PAUSE SO MUCH?  What is this “acting?” What is this aggressive flaring of your nostrils when you are making points? WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CAN COMPETE WITH THE ONLY NICHOLAS SPARKS ADAPTATION THAT WILL EVER MATTER, EVER?

Recall, if you will, the classic High School Musical moment when Coach Bolton charges in on Troy and Gabriella in the gymnasium, as they are mid-dribble, giggling and wrestling with a basketball. Gabriella is introduced to Coach Bolton, and flees the gym with the excuse of more musicALE practice to be sung. As she frolics out, Troy, played by young Efron, FLARES HIS NOSTRILS AND SAYS IN HIS NOW WONDERFUL, SERIOUS-FACED MANNER: “That girl’s NAME… is GabriELLA. …and she’s VERY NICE.”  Well, why Zac Efron hasn’t been given the Oscar yet is  beyond my comprehension. Hopefully this next Taylor Swift-lover marketed film will be his Academy attention-grabbing role. Until his nostril flaring acceptance speech, I will watch his talent beam from the likes of HSMs two and three.

End rant.

zeitgeist.

I. love. this. word.

zeitgeist. Say it aloud. zeitgeist.

tweet it.

hashtag it.

it’s an awesome word. I don’t remember where or when I first heard it, but I know that if there’s an opportunity to use it, I go for it. Not everyone is sure exactly what it means, though it isn’t too challenging of a word that no one’s ever heard of it or couldn’t decipher its meaning based on context.

Zeitgeist is a word that truly captures how awesome words with cool meanings are, since it means something awesome, and sounds awesome too. zeitgeist itself is awesome. and the word is awesome. and the concept is awesome.

At a time when technology and cultural shifts are so ubiquitous, I find myself integrating this term into casual conversation more often than could be considered normal,which inevitably leads to the conversation shift towards a discussion of the word zeitgeist.

So, say it again. zeitgeist. Now use it. zeitgeist. Now use it tomorrow. and then once more next week. and then always remember to use it always, for it is an AWESOME word.

#hailhashtags

In high school I joined indoor track and race-walked so I could have athletics on my college resume and appear well rounded. Sports? Not my thing. Hashtags? Something I can get on board with.

Mississippi State painted a #hailstate hashtag in their end zone for a big game and HOLY HASHTAG this is brilliant. The idea is so obvious and it had never been done before! I don’t really follow baseball (that was a joke that some people may not know that I know was a joke, and end zones are for soccer football, obviously, and I knew all that before coming across this story).

This is an AMAZING way for fans at the game and at home to follow along and promote the hashtag and the game.  It’s the first time I have ever felt left out coming from a football-less school.  We can be sure to see this start happening in professional sports and all over the place. With foursquare event check ins as well, the social experience at sporting events (and all events) is sure to expand in the coming months exponentially. I raise my teacup to you, Mississippi State Bulldogs. Brava. #HAILSTATE

The Hawthorne

It is hardly a secret that Eastern Standard (Kitchen & Drinks) in Kenmore Square is my happy place. The restaurant is absolutely perfect for any and every and all occasions, and I absolutely love it there.

Garrett, silver fox.

In fall of 2010, when I learned that Garrett Harker and Jackson Cannon, the brilliance behind ESKD, were opening a seafood haven on the same block as ESKD, I thought things in Kenmore Square could never possibly get better. Alas, I should know that anyone behind something as magical as a Blueberry Thrill will always have more delights up their sleeve. Island Creek Oyster Bar (ICOB) was not the only space in the east of the square, and I learned last summer that the vacant space that had been a bar/ lounge months prior, was to be the next execution of the glorious Commonwealth Avenue vision.

The Hawthorne is the lounge to Eastern Standard’s restaurant, if you will, and it is far more than that. “Bar 500A” (as the Twitter handle speakeasily asserts) offers craft cocktails, fine wines, and small bites that match perfectly with the venues sleek and simultaneously homey atmosphere. Opening night was packed with swanky Bostonians who had similarly been waiting with bated breath for the doors to open.

menu snapshot

The Aviation, one of my favorite cocktails that ES prepares exquisitely, can be made “ancient or modern” and both ways are DIVINE. The coming weeks will allow the bar to settle itself and really shine as the premier hang out (and GREAT party venue) on Commonwealth Avenue. I look forward to many evenings of decadence at one of my new favorite spots!

the main bar room

5 Napkin Burger

I’m not a huge fan of burgers. But I know a damn good one when I eat one.

My friend was interning in New York over the summer and her office would send her out to pick up burgers for lunch. Finally, Katie tried it and understood why it was worth the car they sent for her, and she took me to the hell’s kitchen location of 5 Napkin Burger for dinner.

I decided to try this burger of 5 napkins, assuming that surely the namesake of the restaurant would be at least remotely satisfying. It was so much more than that. It oozed. It dripped. I felt the sensation of the taste of this burger throughout my entire body and as I chewed each bite was more rich and delectable than the first. This is the best burger I’ve ever had.

I don’t even like half the ingredients, but together they do something WILD. There’s one in the Prudential Center, and Katie and I frequent it more than the average post-freshman-fifteen college student should. Some things, like anything with a rosemary aioli, are just worth it.

Bay State, the nation’s longest-running and award-winning college soap opera.

I was a senior in high school. I had been watching General Hospital at 3pm every weekday since I was in the womb. I was a major Drama Club nerd, and loved acting. I was looking at Boston University for the first time and touring the College of Communication.

On the wall outside of Studio East on the third floor of the COM Building, I was on a student-guided tour and the film major had just pointed to a poster, explaining that this was the stage where Bay State, the nation’s longest-running, award-winning college soap opera, was filmed every Tuesday.

That was the moment.

I had to come to BU. I had to be on Bay State. Period.

Fortunately, the admissions process worked out nicely for me and by the time I arrived on campus freshman year I knew which club email list I wanted to join.

In auditions, I remember choosing to read for the role of Olivia Montgomery because she seemed the most like Blair Waldorf, my beloved character from the CW’s Gossip Girl.

I got a callback. I was ecstatic. I read again for Olivia. This role needed to be mine. A week later, I got a call from an unknown number, and was offered the role because they “really loved the bitchy Blair Waldorf quality” I brought to the role. Win. Destiny.

I haven’t looked back since. 5 seasons and many episodes of elevator fires, marijuanna scandals, sex, drugs, and murder, and Bay State has been one of the best experiences of my college career. It was a great way for me to satiate the part of my appetite that wanted to act, but try something completely different from musicals and plays. The production is entirely student-run and is a true testament to what students with an affinity for daytime TV can do when they get together on Tuesday evenings. The entire cast and crew is brilliant, creative, hilarious, and Bay State will be something I miss more than anything when my time at BU ends.

Stream episodes 24/7 at butv10.com!

HBO gets GetGlue

**THIS IS A TOTALLY BIASED POST ON ABOUT 602937469 DIFFERENT LEVELS**

That was my disclaimer. (I love HBO. I love GetGlue. I interned at HBO. This is a biased post.)

I was honored to intern this past summer in the Digital Marketing & Social Media department of HBO in New York. As a social uberfan, getting to see how the network leveraged social media and their networks to engage audiences and fuel conversations (two of the most over-used phrases #ever, but nothing else accurately describes the outcome of a great social strategy…) was remarkable.

In particular, HBO’s work with GetGlue was very cool. GetGlue is the social network that works like “foursquare for entertainment” and users can check in to the show they’re watching, for example, and share their viewing experience with their friends while gaining “stickers” and other virtual rewards.

HBO, however, took the platform further to offer more to fans of HBO shows. In anticipation for the newest season of True Blood, HBO worked with GetGlue to make stickers that would allow users to obtain the virtual reward of the sticker (bragging rights), and then every few winners would randomly win a special sticker that would win them a bottle of real-world Tru Blood. A simple promotion, that goes above and beyond the expected, and solidifies the fans’ relationship with the show, rewarding them in all sorts of ways! Their victory is shareable, and continues the fandom. What a brilliant use of the platform at a time when many brands are in the process of navigating the emerging social space. Check out what GetGlue’s blog had to say about the stickers here.