# of divers

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Burlesque Circus Variety Show

It's not everyday one gets to doll up in the finest of circus threads to head out to a inviting spectacle of talented gentlewomen and men, dripping in sugary rhinestones, and spritzy adornments, for an evening of prancing amusement.


Yet my lovely and talented lassmate, Valentina, continues to provide the opportunity to do so, with her splashy theatrical productions.

Quite recently, I attended her latest creation, The Burlesque Circus, a two-night, sold out sensation, here in America's Finest City of San Diego.

I've yet to miss a snippet of her extraordinary stagecraft, as her carefully selected performers continue to captivate the likes of our citygoers, ravenous for entertainment.
The showing took place at the plushy, Claire de Lune's Sunset Temple, a perfectly-fitting venue for the shimmering sassbox of a show.

The evening was all sorts of lovely, studded with polished performers from the far corners of the earth.

Photo by Nathan Rupert

 Artists Adelaide Marcus and David Booker teamed up for a sultry feat of acroyoga, a riveting performance that left the poor audience longing for a subsequent cold shower.

Suspended from the canopy above, aerialists from The Furies danced like swinging stars above the lovely patrons, gracing us with their impassioned lyra performance.

Valentina's performance troupe, The Hoop Unit, illuminated the night with an space alien themed, LED light show. The warm glow of visual light effects was charmingly provided by their well known props, and favorite playthings of children across the globe.

Photo by Nathan Rupert

The smell of the crowd was something fierce as they were marveled with an astonishing fire-sparked, grinding act performance given by Tammy Firefly. She comes in a pocket-sized package, yet is armed with a fierce and mighty skillset that can really pack a searing punch.

Laura Dasi, trained Yogi, and spintastic jedimaster, dazzled high above, much like a lovely, oak leaf gently dancing in a breezy sky. Her stunning and highly expressive performance was set to a far more sexier version of Bricusse and Newley's piece, "Feeling Good". 

Photo by Nathan Rupert

The multitalented, Wendy T, did a smashing hoop number along with Valentina and Lady Leeloo. Watching these sultry scorchers unclothe whilst hooping was a real treat, and a palm-biting number for us fortunate spectators.

 Juliette Dragon, a dazzling and beckoning statuette of a fine lass, traveled from well across the pond, all the way from Paris, to grace us with her spellbinding, fire burlesque performance. 
I believe this pic quite sums up the course of the evening.

Photo by Nathan Rupert
What a night!
 I continue to be smitten with the abundance of talent present in the circle of my astonishing cohorts. The collaborative artistic efforts of curious capers and delicious amusement. 
Why if the Burlesque Circus was a young child, I would pinch its rosy little cheeks.
I've a sneaking suspicion that Valentina has a secret team of butler monkeys beckoning to her every whim. I honestly don't know how she does it all on her own, but somehow she manages to pull it off smashingly, every time.

Now she's gone and left us and this country again. This time, taking to Central South America where she will join the always entertaining, and wildly talented, Steve Bags, for an extraordinary hoop adventure.

Be on the lookout for this dream team to teach a circus workshop in a city near you.

Saving the planet one city at a time by doing what they know and love.

These are my kind of superheroes, or should I say Hooper Heroes?

Photo by Denny Renshaw
For further details on this extraordinary undertaking, visit Valentina on the interwebs over at:



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Puppet Slams - Beyond the Muppets

Well snap, the weekend whatnots beckoned in ways I dare not describe, yet they all glided right past, nevertheless. Rather rapidly actually, much like an untamed pack of southbound geese upon soapy heels.

Friday evening called for the exploration of the radical form of Puppetry Arts. It was part theater performance, part mixed media, and unexampled, hand crafted puppets of all shapes and sizes.

The evening was made possible through the colossal and immeasurably appreciated efforts of the lovely folks and friends over at the Animal Cracker Conspiracy Puppet Company, an independent theater organization.

Bridget Roundtree and Iain Gunn are the working brains behind this fierce operation of unabridged artistry. 

With support from various art councils including The Jim Henson Foundation, these two handicrafters hatched up another epic night of puppet exploration for a large indefinite number of adventurous San Diegans.

We were treated to a special screening of the fourth installment of Handmade Puppet Dreams, a miniature film festival, presented by Heather Henson (of Jim Henson notoriety), showcasing the beautiful, and slightly dark world of adult puppetry that truly embody the enthusiastic Muppet Man's spirit.

Picking up right where her father left off, Heather has made her own mark in the world of puppeteering by exploring its various art forms to include, shadow, raw, experimental, and live spectacle puppetry.

She has used various venues including stage, film, and gallery to display these works through her entertainment company, IBEX Puppetry.

Her underground Puppet Slams have become quite the run after event starring the works of Puppeteers across the globe creating works such as the short, animated film, "Inner City"

"In a city hung between two endless walls, a boy with only pigeons for company, tries to seduce his remote neighbor with wacky inventions."

These modern-day, string engineers made for a thoroughly entertaining evening of refined, grownup puppetry.   

Although, I don't really believe that anyone ever grows out of it.

Thank you Mr. Henson, and to all you talented lads and lasses who continue to honor his legacy to heighten the magical world of puppeteering.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

To This Day Project by Shane Koyczan

Pork chops, karate chops...

An extraordinary film by Shane Koyczan, Spoken Word Poet, Writer, Music Man, and an astonishingly gifted artist.

In an effort to bring some much needed awareness to the delicate and timely subject of bullying, he wrote the beautifully-worded poem, "To This Day", highlighting the long term effects of bullying.  

Shane then further collaborated with a group of artistic dynamos to create this piece, and it's now wildly circulating about the infobahn of the webs.

Just seven little life-changing and astonishingly-honest minutes.

Take a break and feel like a human again.

"If you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there's something inside you that made you keep trying"

A colossal congratulations to you for having made it this far.

For a closer look at this 24 karat gem of talent, a living word book, and a regular rhymin' Simon, pay a visit over at:



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

School Does Not Suck

Recently, I've harked back to the hallowed halls of academia. 

While this has left me with less time to blogabout, it has lent me more time to study. 

I say this with much enthusiasm as studying requires tasting wine. Yes, the only way to truly learn and absorb the scholarly world of wine, is to drink wine. And I'm happily swimming in a grape escape these days in the interest of higher education.

I believe it was the lovely Natalie Portman, the clever lass, who once stated...

"I don't love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful."

...and learning about wine via classroom consumption makes it all the more beautiful in my mind.

Having completed my Business of Wine Program at San Diego State University last Fall, I'm now set to move forward with a new label. A handful of new labels. 

First, the WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) Intermediate title come March, then the esteemed Advanced Certification this dandelion-scattered, July.

Then finally, the coveted title of Certified Specialist of Wine. 

I could stand to add a few new letters to my namesake, and my vinophilia street cred.

Ringo Firefly, CSW

...or what I like to call a "Certified Snob of Wine".  

I believe it's a fine replacement for my existing CCSI (Certified Crime Scene Investigator) title set to expire in August of 2016, and it sure beats fingerprinting the deceased!

Yes, I fully intend to become a complete "winocerous", and I shall do this in an untimely manner by first blogging about this, then taking to my tasting notes.

I must say that any classroom that kindly greets you with a champagne sword is a-ok in my schoolbooks.

To be saved for a "sabre and sober" day. Think festive celebration via champagne beheading during the era of Napoleonic wars. 

Then bringing in the big guns, Barolos and Barbarescos from the Northwest region of the illustrious Italian boot, Piedmont.

I selected this program as the WSET is the world's leading provider of wine education.

Because it is a British programme,  I've had to relearn my conversions. Us Yanks seem to enjoy making things far more complicated around these parts, henceforth, America's aversion to the metric system and measures of temperature.

Of course studying is never complete without a proper lesson in food pairing. From sweetstuff to savory, salty to bitter, to spicy. This is critical subject matter worthy of mention.

It was after all, the one thing I knew I would never grow tired of.

Reading labels has become less troublesome, making my wine shopping experiences all the more pleasant, albeit lengthier, as I tend to be far more selective in my wine choices these days. 

In fact, my newfound "power" allows me smooth finesse and maneuverability about my way in the former, foreign Bermuda triangle of a wine aisle.

 I feel like a champ nosing around the shelves and knowing exactly what to purchase. It's also saved me quite a bit of cash, which is always a win. 

I'd say I'm well on my winetastic way, and I for one, couldn't be more delighted.

...and I've never been more elated to "study".

Wine school does not suck indeed.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart happy sweetstuff

A wee handful of sweets for my sweets:

a splash of iced-coffeed pleasantries...

a smattering of heart-candied flutterbys...

a fleeting rush from a loud, sour-puckered grin...

a kindhearted, bitsy-bit, of rice-krispied sugar...

a sprinkling of heartsies atop absolute kindness...

Heart-tickering happies and meeps to all you sweetfishes today, and everyday.

I heartchoo all to smithereens, 
and would run to the top of the highest incline of any treadmill for you.

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