Picnic at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego

Things I did for the first time this week:

  • Travel to California
  • Present on a panel at a conference
  • Wear a two piece bathing suit

The last two items weren’t all that traumatic and San Diego—still the only city I’ve visited in California–is just lovely.


I’m here for a conference but I’ve had bits and pieces of free time and I’ve been spending that time running about.  Like a true nerd I visited the library first: this majestic structure from 2013 was designed by Rob Wellington Quigley.  Note this is the first library I’ve ever visited where customers can bring in their pet dogs.

I asked three different concierges at the hotel about public transportation.  They were all quite polite and said “Why don’t you just take Uber?”  So, I just figured it out on my own: bought a transit card at the tram station and jumped on some trams and buses and got around just fine.


Balbao Park is full of lovely Spanish-style gardens and fountains and a scrumptious amount of museums.



Old Globe Theatre is in Balboa Park—they were doing a Hamlet about the time I visited, but I couldn’t stay since I had to be up early for the conference.


I did, however, stay to eat my picnic in front of the Old Globe.  This picnic consisted entirely of foods stolen from the conference breakfast buffet.

The hotel has an aggressively phallic pool.  The first night I slept here I woke up frequently and kept peeking out the window at it—yep, the tip does really light up overnight.

This conference is full of brilliant and charming arts administrators: everyone I meet has a fascinating job at a vital cultural organization.  Not only that, but it seems everyone has noticed the phallic pool and I’ve had several conversations about it.  Clearly, these are my people.

I’m not shy but I am adverse to speaking in public.  After successfully finishing my part of the panel and answering questions from the audience without total humiliation I decided to confront a second fear: appearing in public in a bathing suit.  I just bought my first ever two piece (for $14 at Marshalls) and thought, what the hell, why not?

Picture or it didn’t happen, right?


So I here I am off to take a quick dip in the penis pool.

What have you made yourself do lately that scares you?


How I got to San Diego: flight from Chicago.
Where I slept: Grand Hyatt.  Price: my job is paying. Recommended: yes.


  1. I wonder if the designer did it on purpose or if it didn’t look quite so phallic on paper? Gave me a chuckle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Weirdly this is the hotel’s “children’s pool”—I can’t even imagine what the “adult” pool looks like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. Maybe they don’t allow the kids high enough in the hotel to get a good look down on the pool. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That pool doesn’t look like it needs a duck-crossing sign. Curious about the breakfast. That’s not a doughnut, with the syrup and the greens. What is it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a bagel with cream cheese and I put some arugula on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That should have been my second guess. The greens made me think of totally exotic stuff.


  3. I love San Diego! Used to lived there. A bit jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could stay longer to visit more neighborhoods. Where did you used to live?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the neighborhoods are great. I lived quite close to San Diego State University. I was only there for 5 months, but I definitely wanna go back someday.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What would scare me? Wearing a two-piece. But then I’m a bloke. (I think.)

    The pool’s a rocket shape, right? Check if it was pointing to North Korea — this wasn’t a Trump Hotel, was it? You neglect to say what you spoke to your public on. I guess it wasn’t fashion garments or international relations … or was it? Sorry, too many questions, just walk away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, San Diego is a military town so perhaps it was rocket after all.

      I was on a panel for accessibility in the arts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “So I here I am off to take a quick dip in the penis pool.”

    That ranks among the best lines I’ve ever read in a blog. A certain poetry to it. I’d put an emoji but I’m not sure which one to choose. But they’re all positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was in my teens I discovered the “erotica” section of a used paperback book store the next town over. There were a lot of books I read covertly called “Her Secret Garden” etc etc. “Off to Take a Quick Dip in the Penis Pool” could have been a chapter in one of those books….


  6. Lol, wonder who got the idea about the shape of the swimming pool! Btw you look amazing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope their was a focus group (and there’s a transcript). Penis Pool, Pro’s and Con’s: a Case Study.

      And thanks for the compliment.


  7. The part about the pool had me laughing – penis pool and it lights up. It was phallic looking.Good for you working on your fears. I know that’s a hard thing to do. You looked great in the 2pc! I have to visit San Diego one day I have cousins who live out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next time I stay at a hotel and they don’t have a phallic pool I’m going to be so disappointed!

      If you’ve got family to visit go for it—I waited until my job was paying!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi WOB. As I mentioned once, I grew up in Chi very close to where I think you and HOB live. I will be in Chi the week after Labor Day. Any chance you might break your veil of privacy and we could get together. I am staying in Evanston with my cousin who has been an Italian instructor at Northwestern for many years and I think she would love meeting you guys too.I have been curious about your professional work also. I’d love to hear from you. My email is bappel@swbell.net. Anyway, your post is always interesting and a “hoot.” If this does not work for you, I certainly understand. Sorry to communicate so publicly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds fun—just sent you an email!


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