Even docile strangers can’t land a ride with Liz Swanson.
  • Even docile strangers can’t land a ride with Liz Swanson.
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Car: 2006 Toyota Corolla S

Previous Cars: 1998 Toyota Corolla

How’s your commute? Not bad. I only have graduate school at SDSU in the evenings, and I drive from Santee down Mission Gorge, about eight miles, to work.

Cheapest Gas? Costco apparently has good deals but the line is so ludicrously long, I just hit Arco. Plus, Arco has Slush Puppies sometimes, which are excellent.

What’s wrong with your car? There’s this little coin tray thing on the dash that is removable, leaving just a hole in the dash for some reason. So, my boyfriend is always removing it and hiding it elsewhere. He also filled it with compasses (like, dozens of compasses) because I’m always getting lost. Really, the problem lies with my boyfriend.

Tickets? Not a single one!

What do you listen to while you drive? I’ve been listening to KPRi more recently since 91X has taken such a spiral toward terrible. I mean, really, how many times can you listen to the same Red Hot Chili Peppers song before you give up?

Do you use your cell phone and drive? Only with hands-free. I’m pretty scared of most drives, so I try to concentrate the best I can.

Any good hitchhiking stories? No, never! Even the most docile stranger frightens me. I would never let one into my car for no reason.

Accidents? Frequently. Well, not recently, but I have a handful under my driving belt. One time I just pulled out too soon and got T-boned, wrecking my last Corolla. People fail to mention the loud and scary noises that happen during an accident. I had just started driving and I got so scared I cried, but the people who hit me were really nice about it. Another time, I was driving my friend’s Lancer in L.A. traffic and I was able to rear-end someone pretty disastrously. Luckily, her parents replaced it with an even newer Corolla than mine. Not an “S,” though, so mine’s still better somehow.

Where do you experience the worst traffic in San Diego? The Golden Triangle. I hate that place on the 805 south where La Jolla Village Drive enters. I worked in the UTC area one summer and probably spent a good 15 percent of my life sitting in that traffic.

What is your favorite drive? Up the coast or the 5. It just gets more and more beautiful and you can stop to see the sights, like Torrey Pines, and various deltas that feed into the ocean.

Your best ShortCut? Does everybody know about the cell phone lot at the airport? In case you’ve never been near the airport, you can just park in that free lot temporarily until the person you’re picking up calls you on your cell phone. Thus, eliminating doing laps until you see them.

What is your dream car? Really, I wouldn’t want anything German or exotic. I hate waiting for my cars in the shop, so just something reliable, cheap to run, small, and sporting a good turning radius would do me just fine. Maybe a Honda Fit or the new Ford Focus?

Do you use any shortcuts in real life? Yes! I get almost all my music from the library. I just borrow then rip CDs to my computer so I can put them on my iPhone for free! I’m not 100 percent sure it’s legal, but it’s so obvious and easy it probably shouldn’t be.

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