Posts tagged ford focus

LOL @ SXSW 2012: Driving to Austin in Batman shoes (and taking photos, too)

Saturday night at a pre-SXSW bash in Toronto

Austinnnnn, HO!

Oui, C’est Vrai — I’m off to Texas for South By Southwest tomorrow morning. If you, like most of my friends outside the tech world, are like “meh” or “Cowboyssss, cool…“, peep this.

SXSW interactive is considered by many (okay, The Miami Herald) to be the “Superbowl of the Digital World“.

Billed as “an incubator of cutting-edge technologies,” more than 20,000 attendees flock to Texas each year for this massive fest. They come for presentations, networking events, free ribs and, most notably, to preview America’s most promising new digital developments.

2009 saw the launch of Foursquare. 2007 practically launched Twitter. And the music portion of the conference (That I won’t be in town for, wahhh)? It’s even cooler… depending on what you’re into.

If all of THAT means nothing to you, here’s a list of famous people expected to be at the conferences this year. Everybody cares about famous people or something. Don’t even pretend you’re not jazzed about this.

I’m also part of the Official SXSW Photo Crew, which means that I’ll be hard at work all day erryday shooting the panels, sessions, lounges and events I’m assigned to.

In the evenings, I’ll be hitting comedy shows, concerts, networking events and what I’m told is a pretty insane party scene.

Here’s the kicker though: I’m DRIVING to Austin with Casie and Kate — and we’re going to document the road trip via – what else? – social media.

Once we arrive, Kate will continue to keep a trip diary and syndicate all of our content on the SX3B Tumblog. And there will be tons, beleedat.

I’ll try to tone down the duckface. Promise.

And now, a word about our sponsors…

This trip has been made possible by a number of wicked and generous companies we’ve known and have worked with for ages.

Billabong, Element and West 49 are ensuring that I’ve got the sweetest wardrobe ever this week.

I still can’t get over how cute their stock is. Great price points too. But you shall see more about each individual piece on #SX3B as we wear them.

In the meantime, check West 49′s Girls Spring Lookbook. Be still my wallet…

I couldn’t resist trying on a few things. You know how it is.

Converse has provided shoes for us — so many pairs of shoes! I’ll be taking madddd photos of all these, obviously.

Big ups to Micki for securing the DC x Converse Batman Chuck Taylor All Stars, but the Converse x Marimekko poppy low tops too! I was squealing when I opened the boxes!

And last but not least, Ford has been kind enough to lend us a sick whip for the week.

Behold: the Ford Focus titanium, with snow tires — just in case:

We’re picking our loaner up tomorrow afternoon and off we’ll gallop into the highway… IN THESE!!! #ChuckLove

The shoes, not the boxes.

My goal is to make one video every single day of this trip.

Between the photos, vids, BBQs and decentralized dance parties (!) I don’t think I’ll have time for much blogging, but I’ll be posting here when I can…

Follow my Tweets, the SX3B tumblog and my youtube channel if you’re… well, if you’re my mom or boyfriend and actually care about my every adventure. I miss you guys already :(

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to (many of which overlap and / or conflict with my photography schedule, but whatever. Maybe I’ll get scheduled to cover them?)

“But Is It Art?”: The Aesthetics of Social Culture
Open Web, Open News: Reporters & Developers Remix
The Future of the New York Times
Podcasting: Breeding a New Class of Comedy Nerd
Hack [ANYTHING] with Microsoft Kinect
Spacebits: Awesomeness, Balloons, Space and DIY
Technology and Fashion
Next Stage: Cinematic Storytelling and Journalism
The Business of Kevin Smith
Greek to Geek: Classical Rhetoric & the Modern Web
Detroit Future: A Media Based Economy
Snackable Content: Working in a Bite-Sized Future
DotAnything 101: Demystifying New Doman Extensions
What Journalism can learn from Science
A creators guide to transmedia storytelling

And so, so, so many more. My schedule took at least 6 hours to prepare. The options are insane!

Mashable’s got a great list of not-to-be-missed panels here, too.

As for the parties, comedy shows and other things, a lot will depend on what my homies are up to — but here are a few want-to-hits that I’ve pulled:

The SXSW Trade Show
Tumblr’s Robo Party
The GeekyBeach Party
Screenburn Arcade
Meme Meet Up
Get Excited and make things with science
Nuclear Tacos
The Nokia Lab, Evening Event
Nardwuar vs. Epic Meal Time
Stag Comedy
The Better Together Decentralized Dance Party

And then, and then, and then…

I’m off to pack now — there’s a a lot to be done and I’m feeling a bit tired. Something tells me that’s not going to be remedied anytime soon.

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Video blog with a Horse and a Cop: Vroom… Vroom… Neighhhhh!

Oi Friends!

Remember last week when I Tweeted my head off all day long about how much fun I was having in the Ford Focus Challenge? Of course you don’t. You’ve got a life outside of Lauren O’Neil (unlike SOME PEOPLE).

I’m going to show you this video anyway because it’s hecka blogworthy – as is anything involving horses and/or tractors intersecting with my life. If you were me, you’d blog about this too.

Allow me to give you some context here: On Tuesday, June 7th, Ford Canada wrangled together a bunch of local bloggers, paired us up into superteams and sent us off to complete a series of fun challenges in a not-even-released-yet 2012 Ford Focus.

We ate, we drank, we TWEETERED THE HECK OUT. And we drove.

Oh, how we drove…

We also took photos of ourselves in the cool blindspot mirrors while our partners drove. Or was that just me?

Keri was there and Corey was there and a whole bunch of cool bloggers that I’d never met IRL were there too. I really like it when that happens. When I meet new people outside of my bubble, I learn and I grow.

My partner in crime was the ridiculously cool Jerry R. Lem (left). Not only is he a bomb driver, he’s got a fascinating career story – particularly inspiring to a girl like myself who’s just starting down that road. Homeboy kicked it off as a teenager, shelling shrimp in restaurants and by 18 bought his own restaurant… and then another. Years later, he was running the show at some of the country’s ritziest hotels. Now he’s a succesful professional photographer. Talk about a life fully lived! Jerry is definitely next level and I’m glad we were paired up.

Over the course of the day, we got to learn about our trusty yellow steed. The Ford reps taught us all about TORQUE-VECTORING (makes the car more fun to drive) and BORON (makes a car body dead strong).

I couldn’t stop saying either of those words. BORON. TORQUE. TORQUE BORONING BWAHHHHHH!!! *insert flaming skull*

There’s Jerry and I burning some rubber (Thanks to Ammar!). This car handles well. Really well. Is my old Mazda that jerky or is this car just that smooth? I’ll hope for the latter… Either way, Vroom!

I enjoyed that exclusive torque vectoring feature almost as much as I liked the capless fuel port, the rear mounted camera (for backing up) and the fact that this car can sync with (and charge) my smartphone. The future. She’s a here.

Horsey time and tractor time were obvious highlights of my day, but parallel parking with no hands (see video) was pretty cool too… in theory.

You see, one of my most bragworthy random skills as a driver – nay, as a human being! – is that I’m a great parallel parker. I love to roll up next to a tight spot in front of a big group of men and watch their jaws drop as the stupid blonde zooms it on back like like NYYYYYYEEEEEE.

Active Park Assist threatens to make obsolete this already flailing lost art, and that worries me… but not enough to stop me from enjoying the horsies and tractors when Ford brought us to a farm.

If you’d like to learn more about the Ford Focus, visit or drop me a comment. We can talk cars and stuff.

In other news, NxNE has officially popped off and you’ll be hearing lots and lots about it over the next couple of days.

I decided to take ‘er easy tonight because I’m flat exhausted and need to be on my A-game tomorrow. If you’re at the NXNEi conference around noon, feel free to stop by and hear me speak on a panel about The Black Hole of Facebook with Lee Dale, Sean Howard and Aikta Chugh.

Must fingers paint nails and eat Lucky Charms now. Night night :)

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A Ping Pong Party and the Ford Focus Challenge


Yesterday was a doozy. Yes. That’s the only word I can think of with so little sleep in my head to describe Tuesday, June the 7th. Maybe “dooze”. I like that. Doozy without the EEE.

Yesterday was a vroom vroom vrooming, “OMG TRACTOR”ing, ping pop powitting DOOZE and a half.

I met a horse, Got fake-arrested, and played ping pong with a bunch of hot hipsters. Literally, sweltering overheated PYTS all getting their drank on, pongin’ it out.

You know I love this.

Somehow, the other party-goers all managed to look pretty damn fly – like their hair was frizzy on purpose and their shirts drenched in the name of fashion. I guess when you’re used to rocking the unclean look, you know how to rock it well…

Except for in my case. I’m never clean and I looked like a freaking ragamuffin last night after driving through the country all day. I like those “check yourself before you wreck yourself mirrors. Check yourself, girl. Check yourself before you wreck yourself with SWEAT.

You can read more about the party and the dopeness that IS SPiN Toronto (The entertainment district’s new antidote to all of those douchey superclubs and one reputedly douchey bowling alley) on my CosmoTV blog this week:

As for the Ford Focus Challenge, it was AMAZING x 160 horses.

Here’s a little photo gallery – but the full blog post (with video!) will be coming along shortly. I am but one woman, people! A happily and fully employed one at that. They keep me busy stamping license plates in the slammer…

Love always :)

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