John B tagged me with this meme.
I now propose a new tag: Things which one has read and has been influenced by which are not confined to those paper-bound vessels of the printed word we refer to as books. Let's call these Non-Books. Or maybe Impossible Books. Or Limen Books? It's up to you. List five.
The 92/280 Interchange
The thing that I found tricky is that the object must be read, but can't be a book. I am going to translate "read" rather loosely. The "influenced" bit is harder to prove. There are lots of things I think are nifty (like this aerial photo of my favorite freeway interchange ever), but it would be hard to nail down its exact influence, besides making me feel alive for a moment. When I was little, the Pater would fly up the connector between 280 N and 92 W (the one casting the big shadow), for a moment, it would feel like the car was taking off, the road curved and peaked in such a way that for an instant, you couldn't see the ground at all, only the sky and the tops of the mountains. You can't tell from this photo just how high it goes (at least 100 feet in the air). The engineer really didn't have to make it so high, I think he (or she) did it just because he could. Its magic when a little death-defying thrill gets injected into otherwise staid civil architecture.
I have blogged about this park before. The trees talk. It would be creepy if they were bad trees, but they are good trees. Its bounded on all four sides by a ravine, ocean bluffs, Highway 1, and an impassable bamboo forest. Its not a very big park, but its cathedral hush is so complete that standing in the middle of it is like being in the eye of a storm. Legend has it that it used to be the site of a mansion, and in my memory of it, I always see the house as I imagined it, stately, with white columns and a wide porch, surrounded by lush gardens. Sometimes I trip on bits of iron sticking out of the ground and I imagine those used to be anchors for the wrought iron fence.
Lone Mountain Library, USF
photo by CDW386
I didn't take this photo, and it doesn't really capture the richness of my memory. The whole Lone Mountain campus is a fantastic neo-gothic/mission aberration, built in the 30s, fully appointed with parquet floors and brass fixtures. The library is particularly stunning, with paneled ceilings, the leaded glass and heavily piled carpets. I never checked out any books here, they are all in Chinese, and protected by glass (as if they were too dangerous to be let out by themselves). The entrance is protected by two ancient Jesuits, painted in the 1600s by royal Chinese painters. Adding to its air of ancient mystery were a couple of oak display cases carved in bas-relief, sporting masonic symbols, which is bizarre for a Catholic university. They were probably just hand-me-downs from the local temple, but still, the mind prefers more exotic (conspiracy) theories.
It is a submarine. I have written 11 comics set in one. The interior makes me weep, and its also fun to draw. Be sure to go head-first through the doors, because it is almost like being born.
I am going to have to do number five another time, since I am about to fall asleep.