DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Michelle At Land Park

September 12, 2011 3:00 AM

dyr sacramento11 DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Michelle At Land Park

“I try to keep it out of danger. Crazy is not a good danger avoidance tactic.”

The Ride
The Driver: Michelle
Car in Question: Blue Denim Edition 2010 Kia Soul
Spotted at: Land Park, Sacramento, CA 95822
Odometer: 26,000
Car’s Nickname: The Soul


Q: Denim Edition?

A: Yes, it’s limited edition. It’s the dark blue with the white stripe. There were only 1,200 of them made. But I’m worth it.

Q: What makes it Denim Edition?

A: It’s a limited edition denim color. Now you can get them without the stripe on it in that blue color, but at the time, the only blue car they had for the Kia Soul was the Denim Edition with the stripe.

Q: The stripe makes it better?

A: Yeah.

Q: Why did you decide to come to Land Park today?

A: Because it was closest to the zoo.

Q: How are you involved with the zoo?

A: I’m a docent volunteer, so I’m a public educator in my spare time for the zoo—educating adults, children, everybody in-between about conservation and animals and biology and ecology and the zoo in general, how they operate and what they do, the purpose of zoos, the good function of zoos.

Q: How much time do you spend there?

A: At least 100 hours a year.

Q: What neighborhood do you live in?

A: I live in South Sacramento, 95822.

Q: How old are you?

A: I’m 28.

Q: You don’t look 28.

A: I hope that’s a good thing.

Q: It is, I swear! What’s your car’s main use?

A: More just for odds and ends, fun stuff. I don’t use it for commuting at all, actually. Well, I shouldn’t say at all. I use it very rarely for commuting. I normally take public transit into work and from work, but for weekend trips, odd things that are required for work that don’t require me to be at the office, I might use my own car. But more often than not, I’ll check out a state car.

Q: How much time do you spend in your car on an average day?

A: I think more on a weekly basis. I’d probably say I spend maybe an hour.

Q: Wow, so you really do ride transit a lot.

A: Yeah. I used to spend a lot more time. I used to spend about three to four hours a day in my car, but not anymore. Thank God.

Q: What’s the worst part about riding public transportation?

A: The other riders. People can be kind of gross. You know, changing diapers on Light Rail, peeing in the corner, falling asleep with puke on them. It’s few and far between, but when they’re there, it’s disgusting. And when they’re not there, you still have that image in your mind.

Q: Tell me about the diaper changers.

A:This was just within the last few days. There was a lady and a gentleman and a small child on Light Rail. I made the mistake of just getting on Light Rail and taking the first seat available and they were in the section right next to me, right across the aisle way. And the lady, as soon as the train started going, she plopped the kid on the seat. You know, its face kind of mashed up against the back of the seat, really gross. That was gross to begin with, but then she pulled off the kid’s pants and decided to change the funky diaper right then and there. Changed it real quick, people groaning in disgust and just kind of all-around appalled. She wrapped it all up. She was very neat about it. There wasn’t any mess where the kid had been. I give her credit for that, but still gross. She put it in a shopping bag, handed it to the gentleman she was with, who held onto it for maybe 30 seconds. At the next stop, he hit the button to open the door and just chucked it onto the sidewalk and they kept going. And of course, the next stop, they got off, and he walked right past a garbage can. So, you know, keep it classy, Sacramento!

Q: What’s your favorite day trip from home?

A: Probably Berkeley, the Bay Area. I used to live there, so I have a lot of friends there. My old stomping grounds, it’s fun.There’s nice weather there. When it’s super-hot here, it’s not nearly as hot there, though the residents complain, but for us it’s nice.

Q: What do you do there?

A: Just visit friends, go out to eat, walk around, maybe skip on over to San Francisco and hit up cool places, Golden Gate Park.

Q: What is the craziest place you driven to?

A: It’s a good question. I try to keep it out of danger. Crazy is not a good danger avoidance tactic. I don’t know if there have been any crazy places.

Q: Has it been on any long road trips?

A: Oh yeah, it’s been to San Diego multiple times with the dogs in the back. It’s actually very spacious on the inside. It can hold a lot of stuff and people and dogs.

Q: It doesn’t look like it’d be very spacious.

A: Yeah, from the outside, it looks like a compact car. But one of the drawing features for me was…I had a Jeep previously that had a hatchback and had lots of storage room in the back and lots of space for the dogs and that was a kind of a concern when I was looking for a new car. I needed to make sure I had lots of room for the dogs and for long trips where there was stuff for dogs, suitcases, anything else. And also just generally being able to buy big things and not have to worry about having it delivered. But not too large—like a washer and dryer probably will not fit in there.

Q: You can try!

A: Yeah, I can try, but it probably won’t end well.

Q: Do you have any rules in your car?

A: No smoking and no feet on the dashboard.

Q: I hate that! People just assume they could put their feet on the dashboard.

A: Yeah! Shoes on, shoes off, I don’t care—no feet on the dashboard. Never mind all the dog slobber on the windows and the dog fur flying around, stuck to the seat. I’m sorry, the dogs can’t help it. We have feet that are meant to be on the ground.

Q: It’s a good philosophy for your car.

A: Yeah, it’s a dashboard. You can’t put your feet up there. It’s not safe anyway. You’d break your shins if there was an accident!

Q: What do you listen to in your car?

A: I don’t know, CDs, MP3s. Are you talking about type of music or just format?

Q: Both.

A: I like commercial-free stuff. I have my MP3 player. I plug that in. I have CDs and every once in a while, I do just turn on the regular radio just so I can kind of stay up on what other people in the area are doing.

Q: And what kind of music do you listen to?

A: A little bit of everything. Except for rap and acid rock.

Q: You don’t like acid rock?!

A: Not so much when I’m driving. It’d be more of a hazard for me to be driving and listening to that and rap would probably cause me to go into some fit of road rage. It wouldn’t be good for me or my car or anyone around.

Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?

A: A theme song? I keep thinking of the hamsters in the Soul commercials. Every time I get in there, I think of that and the little hamsters dancing.

Q: What are your favorite features?

A: The stock stereo system is pretty cool. It’s got lots of speakers. It had the MP3 player hookup, the CD player. That is pretty cool, but the Bluetooth I think, that is probably the most beneficial to me because I am kind of a jabber jaws. When I’m driving, I get bored, so I’ll call my mom, call my friends, call whoever.

Q: What about your cool speakers?

A: Oh yeah, the speakers light up. One of the many features that made me laugh at the lot. But it came with the Denim Edition, the blue car. The only reason I got that particular limited edition was because it was blue.

Q: No, I think it was because the speakers lit up.

A: No.

Q: Do the speakers have different settings?

A: Oh, you can have it to where the speakers go to the beat of the music, you can have it on the mood setting, so it’s just kind of this ambient change of level of light, or you can just have it on where it’s just…on.

Q: That’s so weird.

A: Yeah. I think the only time I use it is to show people. Hey, look at this ridiculous feature!

Q: What do you think your next car will realistically be?

A: It’ll probably be a small pickup truck. For utility purposes, being able to move stuff around because where I’m moving will have lots of room for plants and animals and I’ll need something to pick up barnyard-type things, like lumber and hay and feed and chickens.

Q: What’s your absolute dream car?

A: A ‘56 Chevy hardtop Bel Air. In my mind, it would’ve been bright pink. I’ve wanted that car ever since I was a little kid.

Q: I can totally see you cruising around in that.

A: Really? The size of the boat and I’d probably run things over, but I’d be very happy in the process.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about your car?

A: No, I think that’s probably it. It’s got a sunroof.

Q: That’s cool. Do you ever use it?

A: I do. I have to be careful, though, because I sunburn really easily, so I have to wear hats or put on sunscreen.

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Photos and interview by Lisa Palmer