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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Heart of Mas

Interestng interview with Peter Minshall in today's Sunday Express, the interview is conducted by B.C. Pires and to NOT have the article here in it's entirety would be a travesty.The following is the entire article taken from the Express:
Artist and masman, Peter Minshall, on Savannah, the heart of the Carnival.

Q: How should we approach Carnival and the Savannah?

A: What can we do that all mankind will say, "How gracious, how generous, how thoughtful of Trinidad and Tobago to give the rest of us their incredible riches!" First, we have to understand in our own heads what our incredible riches are. Start with as simple and, on the face of it, as ordinary a thing as a savannah. Which other city in the world has, at its heart, not a park all pretty with roses, but flat land with, at the other end, the Northern Range rising magically? To have a savannah in the middle of your city is a richness to be treasured, to keep in touch with the divine. Forty years after Independence, in the Savannah, we have benches that look as though they were constructed for a penitentiary, so that criminals could not mash them up!


How should they be designed?

The Savannah is so totally taken for granted. There used to be a low railing all the way 'round it with two bars, you could rest one foot on. What can we do with our Savannah in the New World? Look at the lovely shape (shows hand-drawn outline stressed to reveal the shape of a heart)! Dare we make a brilliant stainless steel railing with some sort of brass or alloy couplings? So it's different, exciting and tells any passerby immediately, "This place is special to us. We decided to give it a frame." Beautifully designed, strong but light. Re-check the entire paved perimeter of the Savannah. Come on! We can do better than pitch or concrete! What sort of yellow brick road or silvery slate grey thing goes there? That's just so you look at the Savannah and understand it is a treasured place, that there is no park as beautiful in the Americas. I don't think that is beyond us, to reach within ourselves, for ourselves and the world. We could replant some of the trees taken by storms to recreate a grassland, people with trees, surrounded by a fine, burnished (heart-shaped) railing. We need to respect that beautiful word: "Savannah"!
Peter Minshall


Carnival is connected to the Savannah?

I believe my father, as head of the tourist board, was one of the first people who took the Carnival to the Savannah. We inherited a colonial grandstand for viewing horse racing - which it's kind of reasonable to have if you're going to have anything in a savannah. The parade of the bands (went there) when bands were 300-to 400-strong. The Carnival went gaily through the city without blockage at the Savannah. However, even when I was an adolescent, late Fifties, early Sixties, I remember the so-called "bourgeois" bandleaders quarreling like mad that these steelbands with their 1,000-strong throngs of sailors were "getting in the way" and not adding anything to the Carnival. The "lower-class" steelbands were edged out. Flag Wavers of Sienna. (Edmond) Hart! One of the most brilliant bands, ever, about 300 people, a bunch of flags going clockwise, a bunch going anti-clockwise, another bunch going clockwise inside, rustle and bustle and kinetic splendour. The audience went wild. The bands were small enough to move quickly, the stage (small enough) so a little imp, a little robber could come along in-between-but already the stage was being built to accommodate bands, and not the little people of the Carnival. The stage built for it encourages the growth of the band, a money-making enterprise (which) gets bigger and bigger. This vast, arid environment is not the place for the small, the delicate, the beautiful-the individual. The bands (become) commercial juggernauts. The bar truck, the toilet truck, the this truck, the that truck, the wet-me-down truck. The costume, if you want to call it that, has been reduced to a minimal formula. The calypsonian, who is supposed to see the whites of the eyes of his audience, on this vast desert, is forced to bring on ridiculous side shows, so much so that some calypsonians get more marks for the side show than the song. Sometimes when I hear, "Great is the PNM and it will prevail!" I think, "My God, it has!" Yet I have to retract that thought because, if it wasn't the PNM, it would be somebody else. A little island people, coming into its own but not thinking its own thoughts-Las Vegas has upgraded its image to the quality of Cirque du Soleil. We, who once had the quality of Cirque du Soleil in the palms of our hands, are downgrading ours to the lowest level of Las Vegas. Let nobody fool themselves to think we're going the way of Brazil. Rio Carnival is fine. Yes, there are a few naked women but they're doing the samba. They are not dancing wine-the-place-down soca.


Should there be a Carnival Centre in the Savannah?

The grandstand is being broken down but they're going to do a spectacular, contemporary, GRANDER grandstand in its place. They're going to build a mausoleum for the thing now that it's pretty well dead! A glass coffin, so we could look in at its last breath. There is a bottleneck at the Savannah. Doesn't that say something to you? Get the hell out of it! It is no longer serving your culture. The Carnival is sick and dying, you haven't even looked at why, you just say, "We want a jewel in the crown!" To say what? What a fine government we are? And you're fooling the people because you're killing the very thing the people brought into being, their Carnival? And the tragic thing is, the people believe you!

What about Panorama?

The theatre that is Panorama is muscular and visceral and tribal and community-based. Its naiveté is a large part of its beauty: all those silver fringes, that shivering tinsel, all those people pushing those carts on wheels-this happens nowhere else in the world! And you are going to take this vibrant, muscular, visceral thing-and (in pained voice) put it in a glass box? Is Panorama going to be a museum piece in Stuttgart or London? Is it that black people so want to be white they have forgotten who they are? That their potency and vitality is going to be so condomised it is left lifeless! I understand you think it may be a bow to the Carnival to give it a spectacular glass building but it's the worst thing you can do. It's like taking the thing that is dead and letting it lie in State now. Expand Panorama and impress the world with your knowledge of yourself: around the Savannah! Create a ring of steel so powerful it will reverberate throughout the Caribbean-I need a concert hall for pan! I cannot believe the universe has blessed us with this instrument and it is still in a yard. If we can throw $30m to the returning team from Berlin, we can throw $30m for an architectural prize for the best steelband concert hall in the world. I do not think it is beyond the imagination of a great architect to build a house of steel to house instruments of steel, a fine concert hall that looks as though it's clad in steel and relates to a Savannah that's ringed by a small railing of burnished steel, that, at Carnival time, rises up with steel pylons and a crop of canopies and pavilions. The slapdash evolution of the Grand Stand and the North Stand at least worked as an ad hoc common-sense extension of the street, a "pavement" on either side with people watching the mas moving down the road in the middle as it were-what I'll call avenue theatre-but to box it in architecturally as a deliberate, conscious act, is pure madness. It is the determined entrapment of the very spirit of freedom that the thing is supposed to celebrate.

So how do we save Carnival?

In 1986, 20 years ago, a crack team, Roy Boyke, Hollis Liverpool, Efebo Wilkinson, myself and I forget who else spent hundreds of hours discussing this and concluded the Carnival should be taken out of the Savannah. Minister of Culture Joan Yuille-Williams asked me, "Peter Minshall, what should we do with Dimanche Gras?" And I said to her, "Let it die!" It has no theatrical future. The world has changed. Champs in Concert is a hint as to where that Sunday night should go. It's not stealing from the steelbands,, we're thanking them: as usual, you pointed the direction we should go in but no one followed your lead. It should be the Night of Nights in the Caribbean, not ten people looking for a song-crown, ten people looking for a costume-crown. It's just not good contemporary entertainment.

So what in the Savannah, if not a glass building?

What else comes to town once a year to entertain and then leaves? Ah! The circus! How does it do it? With a tent! The design mind explodes! Something that will last for the next 20 years that is removed after the Carnival is over but is so beautiful, imaginative, so blowing and free, both to the eye and the spirit, just like the Carnival itself! The Carnival audience is not supposed to be captive! That Savannah has now trained people to go home to look at the mas on the television! That's anti-mas! What a pity you didn't have the joy of holding the hand of a complete stranger in excitement and saying, "Oh, my God! That is mas!" Enough of these horrible little porta-loos! Carnival is a building site now? Aren't we disgusted by the stench and stink? Let's design the facilities that go with our stylish new Savannah: a small city of pavilions, billowing canopies in the breeze, run the electricity underground, so that when the day comes, you just say, "Mr Prime Minister, come and turn on the switch." And between those two avenues of trees, on silver and brass pylons, recesses embedded deep in the ground all year long, waiting, those are your food areas-a pavilion for Midnight Robbers-the Robber Tent-long before Carnival, it is made known that first prize is a $150,000-I'll bet you'll see some magnificent robbers reappear in the Carnival three years hence; I bet you'll see a young Nikolai Noel or a young Mario Lewis.

(BC interrupting) At those rates, you'll see a middle-aged BC Pires?


(Continuing unfazed)-a pavilion for bands larger than 15 and less than 30 in number. Mas judged as art! We Caribbean people can't be top-class innovators, too? Your big bands that have been blocking that tiny little entrance, you clear a space, the entire Savannah is a parkland, where the audience can wander. The perimeter is the stage for all the big stuff. Somewhere along the line, you make a few rules: please, the gallery is only so big, the pictures can only be of such a size. Bands here need to be bands, not armies. You've made enough money. A stage is for enactment, for playing of the mas, from George Bailey to Minshall even through to Legends. Please, the mas is dying. Find a way to encourage young artists to do wonderful things. As the Carnival visits and revives our spirit, let it be a beautiful, fluttering, temporary, imaginative field of dancing cloths to give shade. Free the audience, free the Carnival! Do not destroy the best part of yourselves! Do not strive to be other than who you are. Acknowledge your own strength and beauty.

Carnival Year End Review

As the curtain comes down on the year 2006 what a year it has been for Carnival! This year saw the very last time masqueraders would ever cross the Savannah stage as it was; in future the ultra modern Carnival Centre will replace the old, wooden Savannah stage.



2006 was the year Peter Minshall graced masqueraders with a long awaited reprisal against “bikini” mas, his band “The Sacred Heart” eventually winning Medium Band of the Year, though not without some controversy surrounding money he allegedly received from Government agencies to fund the band.

Island People set tongues wagging with their debut presentation “Enchanted Forest”, setting the stage for “band wars” with supporters of their band and supporters of TRIBE clashing over Internet forums.

Oasis


Yet another band exited the Carnival scene this year; stalwart Poison bowed out of the game forever after Carnival 2006 while Skandulus is reportedly on hiatus, not bringing a presentation for Carnival 2007. In the wake of Poison’s departure two new bands have emerged, Pulse 8 and Dream Team hoping to lure the now “homeless” Poison masqueraders. Trini Revellers scored a hat trick with their third consecutive win of the title "Band of the Year" in 2006 making them a force to be reckoned with in 2007.

Fireman


Debutante Patrice Roberts and soca veteran Machel Monatno won the Road March this year, beating out favorite Sherwin Winchester. Another soca couple united in love, Ian “Bunji” Alvarez and Faye Ann Lyons closed the year with their “wedding of the year”. 2006 also saw the crowning of a new Calypso Monarch, and very good family friend, Morel "Luta" Peters.

Sacred Sand


As the year wound down the Savannah battle was waged with the N.C.C.. N.C.B.A., UdeCOTT and Minister of Culture Joan Yuille Williams keeping masqueraders, calypsonians and pan men in suspense as to where key Carnival events would be stage in the face of no Savannah stage.There were threats by Pan Tribago to boycott panorama if the finals were held anywhere but the Savannah but in the end, the decision was made to have mas on the streets, Dimanche Gras at the Jean Pierre Complex and Panorama finals at Skinner Park.

Dragon


And against trends set for 2005, as we witness the final day of the year not one band is sold out at this time despite band launches having started in August! Factors of the increasing costs surrounding Carnival, with costumes in the popular bands this year being the most expensive ever, started a backlash against high prices with letters against bandleaders being ciruclated via the internet as well as being published in local print media. However, registration for both TRIBE and Island People still saw masqueraders waiting for hours to secure a costume.

TRIBE Registration




Island People Registration




Goodbye 2006,a year filled with both change and new beginings!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bliss



If you missed it the first time,

Then don't make the same mistake twice.

Indulge yourself & make your Dreams become a Reality

BLISS

Sat 13th Jan

Moka


The Ultra-clusive Carnival Event

BLISS ...Dare to Indulge


Tickets available from TRIBE mas camp:

625-6800 or 353-7983


also from TRIBE Committee:


POS & Environs

Janna-Lise Chung 746-4339

Jamilla Jeffrey 753-6968

Dominic Khan 740-3539

Cherrise Alexander 756-9766

James Phillips 683-0822

Rachel Hart 681-3676

Don Martin 789-5768

Kevin Homer 687-0501

Leasel Rovedas 681-6800

Kwesi Hopkinson 681-8863

Jules Sobian 755-6592

Gisel Laughlin 762-1377

Roberto Marquez 749-7645

West:

Danielle Boucaud 682-9766

Jeanne M-Gittens 684-8483



Diego Martin:

Gillian De Freitas 758-7477

Kendall Sharpe 680-9456

Charlene Lum Wai 687-2427


East:

Arief Rafeeq 620-3229

Brendon Clement 687-6871

Melissa James 685-3222

Dave Ramroop 375-0926

Lana Nobrega 755-5969

South:

Joel Lynch 678-6172

Amnesia...


Imagine everything moving.

For the first time in the history of the modern world

an event based

on the

magic of movement


Amnesia…. Lose your mind with Movement


Sunday, January 14 th

4:00pm at Pier 1.5



$450 Ltd. Adv. Til January 5 th



Gourmet Chefs – Ultra Premium Bar – Cocktails

and

Unlimited Movement



Tickets available exclusively from committee members and the If House

628-4948 or 628-9474

Friday, December 29, 2006

Official Fete List

After the revelation that the inital fete list that was circulated via the internet was incorrect, I took the liberty of copying Peter Ray Blood's "offical" fete list which was published in the Guardian on Christmas Day. The following is an encapsulation of the fetes included on that list:

NEW YEAR"S DAY
*Annual Yorke inc Start De Carnival Bak-a-yard Dutch Party - Ann Avenue Diego Martin

Saturday January 6th, 2007
* St. Francois All inclusive - St. John's Ambulance Hall
* Trini Limers all-inclusive - Sevilla Sports Club, Couva
* NACC Top 20 Calypsoes of 2006 Awards- Cascadia Hotel St. Ann's

Sunday January 7th, 2007
* Trinity College's Soka In Moka - Trinity College (Maraval)

Friday January 12th, 2007
* Citibank All-inclusive - Citibank Queen's Park East, Port of Spain

Saturday January 13th, 2007
* Hugh Wooding Law School All-inclusive
* QRC Outta de Blue VII All-Inclusive - QRC Grounds (St. Clair)
*Tribe presents BLISS All-inclusive Moka, Maraval
*Annual Fire Fete
*2007 Chutney Soca Monarch Preliminary - Samar Entertainment Centre, Penal

Sunday January 14th, 2007
* UWI 17th Annual All-Inclusive Carnival Fete - UWI Grounds (St Augustine)
*Island People Amnesia - Pier 1

Friday January 19th, 2007
BpTT Calypso Competition - Queen's Park Oval, Woodbrook
Holy Name Convent Vinatge Fuh So - 2 Queen's Park East, Port of Spain

Saturday January 20th, 2007
* Bishop Anstey All-Inclusive - Bishop Anstey Grounds (POS)
* Wicked In White
*Licencing Fete - Licencing Compound, Port of Spain
*Chuntey Soca Monarch Semi Final - Reinzi Complex,Couva

Sunday January 21st, 2007
*T&T Assocation of Retired Persons (TTARP) C2K& Soiree- Mas Camp Pub
*WITCO ONE Fete - Queen's Park Oval

Friday January 26th, 2007
* Ladies Night Out - Jean Pierre Complex
*FCB Fete


Saturday January 27th, 2007
*RBTT Kaiso Royale
* D'Pholis All-Inclusive
* St Mary's All-Inclusive Fete - St. Mary's College (Pembroke St, POS)
* Republic Bank Sports Club All-inclusive - Pier 1 (Chaguaramas)
* Martin's All Inclusive Fete
* Pearl Gardens Fete - Pearl Gardens
*Red Ants in Blue Range All-inclusive
*Chutney Glow '07
*Sting fete - Sting La Romain

Sunday January 28th, 2007
* Soca Monarch Semi Final
* Nikki Crosby Hosts Nikkiland
* Hilton Extreme - Hilton Trinidad
* Randy Glasgow Hosts The Annual Children fest Arima Velodrome
* Yorke All-Inclusive - YWCA St. Clair
* Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars fete

Wednesday January 31st, 2007
* Diva's '07 - Jean Pierre Complex

Friday February 2nd, 2007
* Barbarossa Cooler Fete - Pier 1
*Randy Glasgow Ladies Night Out - Jean Pierre Complex

Saturday February 3rd, 2007
* Xhateau Promotions Colouragous Party -The Garden Sanctuary Centre of Excellence
* Belmont Boy's Intermediate All-Inclusive
* Socarama - Hasley Crawford Stadium
*Republic Bank Sports Club Fete - Sports Club Barataria

Sunday February 4th, 2007
* National Panorama semi finals
* Annual Blood Bank Fete - Country Club (Maraval)
*Mc Leod All-inclusive - Pier 1

Monday February 5th, 2007
* Young Kings Calypso Monarch Finals - Pier 1

Tuesday February 6th, 2007
*Traditional Mas competition St. James Amphitheatre

Wednesday February 7th, 2007
*Pan Gone Mad II - Under the Trees,Normandie.

Thursday 8th, 2007
*PSA Calypso Competition - PSA Hdq, Abercromby Street.
*King and Queen of Carnival prelimanaries
*House Party - Under the Trees, Normandie

Friday February 9th, 2007
* Army Fete
* Rudder Night Under the Trees - Normandie

Saturday February 10th, 2007
*Red Cross Kiddies - Jean Pierre Complex
*Kaiso Fiesta - Skinner Park
*Brass Festival
*Chutney Brass - Guaracara Park Pointe a Pierre
*Fatima College All-inclusive
*Machel's Alternative Concept - Queens Park Savannah
*The Fete - Mendez Drive Petit Valley

Sunday February 11th, 2007
*St. James Kiddies Carnival
* Jamboree Park All inclusive - Jamboree Park Valsayn
* CAREC All-Inclusive - Federation Park (St. Clair)
* UNC All-Inclusive Fete
* Lions Club of St. Augustine All-Inclusive
* Hearts on Fire All inclusive - Under the Trees Normandie
* St.George's All-Inclusive - St. George's College
*T&TEC All inclusive - Garden Sanctuary Centre of Excellence
*Kari People All inclusive - Stanmore Ave. Queens Park West
*Riddem Rama - St. John's Abmulance Hall
*Rotary Club All inclusive - UTT Campus
*Soka Shocka All Inclusive - St. John Complex Wrightson Road
*Viey La Cou - Queen's Hall
*Annual Friends to the Mas All inclusive - Chaguaramas Golf Course

Monday February 12th, 2007
*National Junior Calypso Monarch Final
*Veterans Calypso Monarch Final - St. James Amphitheatre
*A Reason to Smile again, round de Savannah Port of Spain
* PNM All inclusive Fete - Balisier House
*Nauti Crew Party, Queen's Park Oval
*Ice Picks annual Carnival fete - Harvard Ckub, St. James
*Battle of the Sexes - Jean Pierre Complex

Tuesday February 13th, 2007
* Eyes Wide Shut CARNIVALE - Queens Park Oval
*Anyhowers annual Carnival fete
* Island Style Glow '07 - Mobs 2 - Chaguaramas
* King of Carnival semi final - Jean Pierre Complex

Wednesday February 14th, 2007
*The Ranch All inclusive fete
* Customs Boys Fete - Hasely Crawford Stadium (Port of Spain)
*Island Style Mad Hatters Ball

Thursday February 15th, 2007
* Michael Headley's All Inclusive Fete - Salybia
* Beach House Carnival - Ortinola Estate (Maracas)
* Machcel in Concert - Under the Trees Normandie
* TRIBE Carnival Thursday - Queen's Park Oval
* Beach House All-Inclusive
* UWI Splash - Chaguaramas

Friday February 16th, 2007
* IslandPeople Girl Power - Queen's Hall (Port of Spain)
* Blue Range Cooler Fete - Diego Martin
*International Soca Monarch
*Queen of Carnival semi finals

Saturday February 17th, 2007
*Sunshine Snacks Kiddies Carnival
* Island Style Insomnia Fete - Mobs 2 (Chaguaramas)
* Dawn - Sunrise In The City - Jenny's Car Park
* Trini Posse All-Inclusive Fete
* Diamond Vale Breakfast Party
* The Cotton Tree Foundation Saturnalia All Inclusive Fete
*Bunji Garlin in Concert
*Tri Star Short Pants Party San Fernando

Sunday February 18th, 2007 (Carnival Sunday)
* South Junior Parade of the Bands
* MANIA - Country Club All-Inclusive
* Hilton Poolside - Hilton Hotel (Lady Young Rd, Port of Spain)
* Moka All-Inclusive Fete - Maraval
* Brian Lara All-Inclusive Fete - Chancellor Hill
* Sanctuary All-Inclusive - Valsayn
*Dimanche Gras

Monday February 19th, 2007
* Parade of the Bands

Tuesday February 20th, 2007
* Parade of the Bands

Wednesday February 21st, 2007
* Beach Lime - Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas, Blanchisseuse Bay
* Wild Meat Cool Down - Balandra Bay

Thursday February 22nd, 2007
* Premiere of Talk Tent - Queen's Hall, Port of Spain

Friday February 23rd, 2007
* Talk Tent 2007 - Queen's Hall, Port of Spain

Saturday February 24th, 2007
* Talk Tent 2007 - Queen's Hall, Port of Spain

Please note that an events calender is also available at VisitTnt.com.

All-inclusive Fete …Saturday vs. Sunday

I am pretty sure I will be going to Bliss on January 13th, once I am alive and healthy that is. The alternative would be Amnesia the following day, but seeing as I am not going to pay close to $1000.00 to attend each all-inclusive over the weekend it is an either/ or situation. The decision was made long ago to give Bliss a try if only to experience something new as I found Amnesia was left wanting in the dining options this year, plus Bliss is cheaper than Amnesia. It may not seem like such a big difference looking at $399.00 to $450.00 however that $51.00 I will save going to Bliss can go towards stockings for my costume.

From reviews this year Bliss seemed to be great, with a wide variety of food, good performances as well as a nice vibe. I am nonplussed by the change of venue, thinking the organizers needed more space since the one criticism was lack of seating for dining. The only issue I have with Bliss is going to an all-inclusive on a Saturday night as opposed to Sunday night.

At first I was all for Saturday night, the positive being that there is no work on Sunday so I can sleep in late; Sunday fetes leave me either lacking for sleep getting at maximum only five hours before heading to work, or I end up taking Monday as a sick day. The other benefit of a Saturday night, from my experience, is that people tend NOT to go all out in their attire compared to a Sunday fete, especially an all-inclusive. Reason being Sunday fetes start earlier, usually from 5:00PM to midnight, and most people tend to arrive early to maximize feteing and drinking time seeing that the fete shuts down promptly as the clock strikes 12.

That means everyone sees you when you arrive (if it is still sun up) scrutinizing every piece of what you are wearing. There is no chance of you getting away with wearing anything looking less than “pristine”; those faded black pants you failed to examine before putting on, not noticing the little white balls of lint littering the fabric, just would not cut it! A fete held at night however, allows you to get away with a few fashion “sins” such as wearing dirty jeans, two different shades of black or a recycled outfit.

But then I started counting hours, trying to surmise how much actual feteing time I would have on a Saturday night as opposed to a Sunday evening and I have to say, Sunday seems like the better deal! I am one of those people who shows up “early” to an all-inclusive held on a Sunday. If the fete starts at 5pm I will be there by 6pm for the latest, therefore getting six hours, at least, to enjoy the party since I stay until it ends. Thing is, I never get to a fete on a Saturday night early!

How lame would it be to show up at Bliss at 9 pm! The earliest I can possibly see myself getting to Moka would be 10 o’clock, and the latest I would leave is at 3 am, therefore only getting FIVE hours of partying! I am not leaving Moka later than 3 am; possibilities exist that I would have to drop a friend home as well and leaving later means a longer time for me to get home after the party. And I have to think of my safety getting out opening the gate at my house in the wee hours of the morning.

In addition, the later it is at night the less inclined I am to eat at a party. Reality is I am not going to starve myself all day just to be able to eat something at Bliss, most likely I will have lunch, a small dinner and just have some snacks when I get there if I feel hungry. Most likely I would be enjoying the drinks and music more than the food at that hour. Thing is, with the Sunday all-inclusive fete you tend to eat more, usually the last meal you had was lunch and if you get there by 6 pm, which is dinner time for me, you would be looking for something to eat!

I guess it is good that the Saturday night all-inclusive encourages you to eat less, but the whole reason I was looking forward to Bliss is because I was disappointed with Amnesia’s food selection! I want to try the fruit tent and soup station I heard so much about at Bliss but I am thinking at 10pm or 11pm at night soup might be the last thing I want to be having!

So in the end I am going to end up at Bliss, looking at is as an experiment seeing if I can prove all these pre conceived ideas about a Saturday all-inclusive wrong. Reality is I am just set in the tradition of going to an all-inclusive fete on a Sunday evening, so Saturday night seems kind of weird to me. I have gone to one all-inclusive on a Saturday night, which was Blue Range and I didn’t like it that much. Reason being parking was a bitch, it rained and the live entertainment was poor. That being said I have made up my mind to have a good time no matter what come Saturday the 13th, after all Machel Montano would be performing live and that is all I need to make my fete whether it falls on a Saturday or Sunday!

Strike a Pose!



Okay, now I have to commend Ian Wiltshire of Island Style for coming up with some novel party ideas over the years. He has marketed his fete “Glow” globally from Miami to Germany and I can still remember the first time I was given and invitation to Amnesia outside of Anchorage the year it all began. Amnesia the inaugural year was amazing, and for those who do not know it’s a fete held in collaboration with Island Style and Island People. Ian Wiltshire is also responsible for the Mad Hatter’s Ball and subsequent boat cruises that have been preceding the event recently and he is also the producer of some great songs such as “Trini to the Bone”. However I think we have reached the pinnacle of superficial partying when I see a new fete called “Pose” advertised for February 13th, same night as Glow by the way. The tag line on the flyer states “When Soca & Fashion Collide”.

In my mind I am thinking “great, another party where people literally stand up and pose all night looking pretty!” For those of you who only come to Trinidad for Carnival you may not be aware that there is an epidemic of “poser parties”. Those are the parties or fetes where everyone looks like they stepped out of the pages of Vogue or G.Q. with the women outfitted in the latest trends while the guys are uber meterosexual in their man blouses. During these parties there is little inclination for the posers to actually party and break a sweat dancing; they are only there to be seen, socialize with all the “right” people and have their photo taken for one of the numerous party websites which highlight this trend.

So to see a party actually called “Pose” to me means that someone not only caught on to this trend, but they intend to milk it for Carnival! Trinidad and Tobago has arrived! The Encarta dictionary definition of the word “Pose” is as follows:

1.adopt a posture
transitive and intransitive verb to adopt a particular physical posture for a photograph or painting, or position somebody or something for this purpose

2.impersonate
intransitive verb to pretend to be somebody or something else

3.be pretentious
intransitive verb to behave, dress, or assume a mental attitude intended to impress others

It would be interesting to see if anymore details are released about the concept behind this fete. Maybe I am being too quick to judge the word “Pose”; maybe the idea is to have a fashion show during the fete, sort of like MTV’s Fashionably Loud. Or, maybe they are going to hire photographers to go throughout the party snapping shots at patrons as they, well, pose. From past Island Style productions I know this one will be a hit for sure since Ian Wiltshire is pretty good at what he does.

And since I am not a “poser” by any definition of the word seeing as I don't go to fetes to have my photo taken, am to busy dancing and having a good time to try and impress anyone and could care less about pretending to be anyone else but Saucy, this fete is not for me. Whatever the conception is behind this fete, I think I will be passing on this one for sure!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Amnesia and Bliss info....

Island Peopele's All-inclusive fete "Amnesia" will he held on Sunday January 14th 2007. Tickets go on sale from next week at the IF house on Tragarete road and are priced at $450.00TT.

Contact number for the IF house is 628- WISH/9474.


TRIBE's "Bliss" all inclusive will be held on Saturday January 13th 2007 and tickets also go on sale next week at TRIBE's mas camp. Masquerader price is $399.00 while non masqueraders/ general public tickets are priced at $450.00.

Contact number for TRIBE is 625-6800.


From the prices seems like it is the same as what I paid this year (for Amnesia) and TRIBE's member's price went up by $49.00!

Chocolate City

Well this looks like a yummy j'ouvert band!



MUSIC:
* 91.9fm Dj's: John Boy, Eezel 'd' Vibe Machine, Shaolin, 40 foot music truck

PRICE: $250

INCLUDES:
* Premium Drinks All Inclusive
* Breakfast
* Liquid Chocolate
* Giveaways

CONTACTS:
* Kwacceyce - 766.6614
* Smalls - 633.3782
* John Boy - 759.0329
* Zarin - 685.0738
* Richard - 684.4528
* Marie 497.9710
* Osie - 495.8049
* Houston - 678.3995

REGISTRATION:
* Corner of Robert and Murray St., Woodbrook


For more information on this j'ouvert band check out D Krewe's website.

Mas Jumbies New Website

Diable has gotten a new look with an updated website catering for online registration. I am liking the updated website, there are more options displayed for the costume choices as well as more detail on what the costume entails.

Check out the new website if you are looking for a j'ouvert band for 2007!

NCBA Website Updated

One of my earlier articles was about the smaller, lesser known bands that flew under the radar, most without individual websites depending on the NCBA (National Carnival Bands Association) to advertise their presentations.

Well I am happy to see that the NCBA website has been updated with 2007 presentations; so far only a few bands are listed, and among those are stalwarts like Trini Revellers and Rosalind Gabriel, but there are also a five Children's Bands listed, complete with photos/drawings, contact information and prices.

Those bands are Bois Canot "A Tribute to St. James", Auntie Suzie and Friends "Dancers Around the World", Traditions Mas Camp "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow", Head Start "The Splendor of Nature's Season" and Children of Peace "If We Were Dinosaurs".

For more information on these bands, visit the NCBA website; it is listed under the section Trinidad Carnival, Member Sites.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Look Pulse 8

It has been awhile since I have ventured over to Pulse 8's website, I must admit waiting for the page to load with all the flash html and fancy bar scene took away the appeal of frequent vists. Therefore I was quite surprised to see that the website has been amended to cater for those of us with dial up; all the sections are now visable on the right of the page, without having to wait for the page to load. In addition, there are new navigational shortcuts to the top of the website where you can access the gallery or information on what their package entails.

It is also interesting to note that two frontline costumes have sold out; both Sex on the Beach and Anti Freeze FRONTLINE costumes are sold out. Good going Pulse 8!


Sex on the Beach Frontline


Anti Freeze Frontline

Post Christmas Damage

Well, it is back to work for us here in Trinidad today, I hope everyone had a very safe and enjoyable Christmas long weekend. Now that the holiday has come and gone I have to assess the “damage” done to my diet over the past few days. Honestly, I did not have any ham, black cake, ponche a crème or rum over the weekend BUT I did have pastelles, scalloped potatoes and a divine chicken that my mom made which was rolled and wrapped with ham. Oh, I also had chocolate cake! As I enjoyed many, many delicious carbohydrate dishes over the weekend my subconscious made a “promise” to myself to cut out carbohydrates completely from January 1st, but I also came to another realization; I would never have the ideal Carnival body even if I starve myself between now and February 19th.

See, I think as humans, worse yet females, when it comes to our bodies we are own worse critics and judges. My husband tells me all the time that I, as a woman, have no idea what men find attractive in female bodies. He for one does not mind stretch marks, though I can’t think of one woman who likes to see those lines on her body. Similarly, many guys I know are baffled that I even want to loose weight for Carnival; to them “thick” is sexy. I believe “Karabana” said it once when I was talking about loosing weight in an earlier post; we can never expect to look like those girls modeling the costumes for TRIBE and Island People (among other bands).

But that is the ideal the bands themselves set for us to achieve, not that they are deliberately telling us we have to look a certain way, but with the girls they hand pick to display their costumes you cannot help but look at the photographs and hear that voice saying “that is how I should look in my costume!”. Fact is though, how many eighteen year olds can afford a $3000.00 costume? The majority of women playing mas are several years older than a teenager, with bodies that have seen children or have passed the age where loosing weight came easily or are simply blessed with curves. This is not Brazil or Venezuela where a surgeon’s knife can fix all our body ails, making those women “perfect” as they show off their sexy costumes; the women who play mas on the streets of Trinidad and Tobago are “real”!

So for all of the women who are now facing the realization that Carnival is less than 60 days away, counting how many calories were consumed on Christmas day, translating into extra pounds that have to be shed before Carnival, get real. There is no way you are going to look like the model in the costume photograph that you have stuck to your refrigerator. Now that we have gotten that clear, don’t give up on your goals, continue to eat healthy, get some exercise and set a goal to look the best that YOU can look come Carnival. No miracles are going to happen between now and Carnival, but with sensible eating habits, exercise and a realistic expectation I think we can all don our costume come Carnival Tuesday and be proud in our efforts.

And though we might think a huge spotlight will be on our love handles or little round belly or even our “fat thighs, just remember that among the thousands of masqueraders on the streets you are just one, and if anyone has time to be looking for flaws on others during Carnival, they have got to be a sour puss not having a good time! In the end, that is all that matters, really, playing your mas and enjoying yourself to the fullest. So take a drink, wine your waist and look around at every other woman, just like you and know that no body is or ever will be “perfect”.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wedding Review

I finally got a few photos from my friend who was a bridesmaid at Bunji and Faye Ann's wedding along with a report on the events.


My friend Christine, one of the bridesmaids.


The couple's first dance.


From her I learned that one particular female soca artiste known for her rather interesting dress code showed up at the wedding in what she termed an "inappropriate outfit"; I guess some people don't know how to relinquish the spotlight to others for a moment.

Other than the ceremony and reception reportedly went smooth with lots of drinks and a menu which consisted of everything yo u could think of; from doubles and corn soup to Chinese, roti, wild meat and Italian cuisine.

For lots of photos from the event please check out this album at Pointalive.com, and they also have a nice review of the wedding as well as a video!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Closer Look at India...

Adjustments are being made to Brian Mc Farlane's website it seems, and I was quite pleased to be able to view an enlarged photo of the costumes. Hover your mouse over the drawings and an option will appear to "click to enlarge" highlighted in red.

All of the following drawings are courtesy Brian Mc Farlane's website, and these are the sections I really, really like. For the rest of the costumes please visit the website if you have not already done so. Click on the following photos for a larger view.

Hopefully these sections will be named and priced on the website in the near future, it would be nice to know the names of the costumes. Anyways, I am in love with this white costume! I love the skirt, headpiece and the top. It just goes to show how covered can look utterly sexy.



Although this green costume looks a bit cumbersome with the leg pieces, I LOVE the headpiece as well as the ornate collar worn around the neck/shoulders. I also like that the bottom piece is just a sliver of fabric, showing off the legs and belly; another costume for the ones that like showing some skin.


Another white costume, somewhat similar to the first one that I like with the sleeves and flowing paneled skirt, but I love the headpiece and hand held standard.


I love this totally divaesque costume! It looks like the wearer will be clothed in a jeweled body suit with "fire" shooting from head, shoulders and hip. This might be a challenge to navigate around Port of Spain but it will look spectacular I am sure! Beautiful costume!


Finally I really like the colours of these two costumes, but prefer the male. I love that the male costume includes a sitar and of course, I love the female headpiece though the rest of the costume is a bit too much clothing for my taste. In my opinion this is one of the nicest male costumes in the band.


Well, there you have it, my two cents added about Boyie's journey. I do like the other sections as well, in fact there is not one section that I do not like. It's just that these costumes appeal to me much more over the others.

Here is wishing Carnival was three days instead of two so that I can play with Mc Farlane on the third day. I am so loving these costumes!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

As we welcome Christmas day in the Western Hemisphere I would like to wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas!

I hope the meaning for the season is not lost as we open all our presents; remember it' s a time to celebrate with our family and friends and the gifts do not matter as much as the thought behind them.

And for all those watching their waistlines in preparation for Carnival, take a day off and eat some carbs! I am definitely having a pastelle today, lovingly made by my mom, and enjoying some sorrel and a turkey ham sandwich!

Enjoy your day where ever you may be!


Love,

Saucy !

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Early Christmas gift for Chatam residents!

Stop the presses and protests; Prime Minister Patrick Manning in an address to the nation has stated that plans for the two proposed aluminium smelters will be discontinued.

Instead an industrial estate will be established offshore at Otahite where aluminium as well as other industrial activities will take place.

The decision was made coming out of the symposium about the proposed smelter plants, though he did reiterate that the aluminum smelter plants were safe once overseen by guidelines of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with Carnival but the issue has been weighing quite heavy on possibly every Trinidadians mind and now we can breathe a sigh of relief as we welcome the new year. Oh, and this address to the nation sounds as if elections might be called sooner than we think! Our Prime Minister has addressed every issue from the smelter plants to health care to traffic congestion to tertiary education to housing for all.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Wedding pics!

Today's Newsday has a report of the Soca wedding which took place yesterday as well as a few photos from the Ceremony.The following photographs are courtesy Newsday and please check this link to read the full story. Both Bride and Groom looked beautiful!



It’s Christmas Eve!!!

Well the spirit of Christmas has finally taken a hold of me, though yesterday I swore of having kids after a trip to the mall with my girlfriend, her 6 month old baby and two nephews; one is two and the other twelve. What a nightmare having to drag a kicking and screaming two year old out of every toy store while we hunt for his Christmas present, a Kawasaki Bike!

Today I am taking my mom to the port to get the ferry to Tobago, she is spending Christmas in the sister isle and ever so often sends me into pangs of jealousy that come tomorrow she will be lying on Pigeon Point soaking up sand and that gorgeous blue water!In addition I will miss my mom on Christmas Day; though she did make me pastelles and black cake (did I not say I was on a DIET????) and ham!!

So far I have given everyone their gifts for Christmas; I like people having their present to open on Christmas Day instead of me delivering it when I show up. Yet, strangely enough I have only collected one gift from my mom, and that’s because she is leaving for Tobago today. And despite all my efforts to keep my gift giving list short, I managed to buy gifts for all the kids I know, friends and immediate family!! See, I told you I got the Spirit!

For everyone caught up in the last minute rush of preparations, cleaning, cooking, baking and shopping stop awhile, take it easy and enjoy the season! Have a great day everyone, no matter what you are doing today and for all those who will be out and about on the roads; BE SAFE!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bunji and Faye Ann to wed today

I just want to offer my congratulations to the happy couple on their nuptials today. I hope the weather holds up well and everything goes perfectly, though somethings always happens on the wedding day that throws you for an unexpected turn. I know my friend, who is one of the 13 bridesmaid's, will looking beautiful in her blue dress and hopefully she will furnish me with a report on the day's events as they unfold.

In the meantime, the Newsday spoke with the couple recently and published the interview in their features section.


Bunji and Fay-Ann tie the knot

By Joan Rampersad Friday, December 22 2006

"Young soca couple Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez and Fay-Ann Lyons will tie the knot this weekend after two years of happy partnership. Newsday spoke to the couple about the upcoming nuptials.

“I feel pretty comfortable about it,” 26-year-old Fay-Ann told Newsday. “A lot of people have been asking me how I feel but it is not a cliff that I am jumping off so there is no reason to be nervous or to get nervous about it. There is really nothing to be scared of.”

The more laid back Bunji, 27, said, “I feel cool, just good, excited inside and no nervousness. I am looking forward to enjoying the day and getting over it eventually. Because that day is going to be hectic so it can’t last forever."
For the rest of the article please click here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Boyie has arrived

SO, I came home from lunch with my friend “Hot Boy” who is visiting from London for Christmas and another sojourn to the mall (where I ran into “no longer anon”) only to be greeted by the fact that Mc Farlane’s website is up!

If at first you can’t see anything new, click “tools” to the top of your browser window, then “options”, then “clear cache” and refresh the page; you should be able to see the new website then.

Now the website has not fully launched but from the drawings available for viewing the costumes look absolutely stunning! If I were playing in this band it would be a hard decision choosing a section for sure.

What I like about the costumes is that you can immediately identify the theme, some of the costumes looking more like elaborately decorated clothing, and that they are unique since I can not readily recall seeing any costume looking like these in years gone by.

Hopefully this presentation will finally lay to rest the Minshall/ Mc Farlane comparison and I cannot wait to see the website when it is fully launched.

Fete List

This is a preliminary fete list in lieu of Peter Ray Blood's "official" Carnival schedule which will be released on Christmas day. According to an Express report promoters are not easily finding a venue to host their fetes hence the reason so many venues are listed as TBA:


December:

26th
SOCA-Reggae Fest
Point Fortin Civic Centre
628-3460/4531

30th
Iwer Property
Annual fete Salazar Trace, Point Fortin
628-3460/4531

January
1st
Launch of Chutney/Calypso Touring Tent
Various venues across the island
624-1024

5th
First Taste of Carnival
Sting Nightclub San Fernando
622-6316

6th
St. Francois Girls College All-inclusive
St. John Ambulance and Brigade Headquarters
624-3468

Break 2007
Pier1 Chaguaramas
755-7020

BG's Energy All-inclusive
Chaguaramas Golf Course
628-0888 ext 2130

Comess Trinilimers
Charity All-inclusive
Sevilla Sports Club Couva
352-1452/687-5959/792-2351

7th
Soca in Moka
Trinity College, Moka
Maraval
629-0973,629-2078

12th
Kaiso House Grand Opening
Venue TBA
623-9660

13th
Preliminary of Chutney Soca Monarch
Samar Entertainment Centre Penal
653-8923/653-2908

Fire Fete
National Stadium Car Park
622-6316

BLISS All inclusive
Moka
625-6800

Outta De Blue VIII
Queen's Royal College
Port of Spain
622-2544

14th
Amnesia Ultra All-inclusive
628-9474

UWI Development and Endowment Fund All-inclusive
UWI St. Augustine Campus
653-8923/653-2908

19th
Vintage Fuh So
All -inclusive Calypso Show
Holy Name Convent Port of Spain
681-7013

Klassic Russo launches at Kavemar Pub
Henry Street Port of Spain

Festival Centre for the Creative Arts
Carnival fete

20th
Licensing Fete
Licensing Compound
Wrightson Road Port of Spain

Chutney Soca Monarch Semi Finals
Rienzi Complex Couva
653-8923/653-2908

Bishops Anstey All-inclusive fete
Bishops Anstey High School
786-6655

Soca Broadway
South Opening
Skinner Park San Fernando
628-3460/4531

UNC Carnival Fete
Rienzi Complex Couva

26th
Unite
UWI, St. Augustine
622-3157

Police and CCC Fete
TBA
628-3460/4531

27th
Republic Bank All-inclusive

FCB All-inclusive


Chuntey Glow Paria Suites Car Park
South Trunk Road, La Romain
653-8923/653-2908

Fete with the Saints
St. Mary's College
Pembroke Street
624-8468/684-0557

WASA Fete
WASA Sports Ground, St. Joseph
622-6316

COCA COLA Youth Fest
Venue TBA

28th
Hilton Annual All-inclusive
Hilton. Lady Young Road, Port of Spain
624-3211

Yorke Incorporated All-inclusive
Windsor Road, Valsayn North
684-0557

Children's Fest
Arima Velodrome

February
2nd
Barbarossa Cooler Fete
622-3157

Flour Mills Fete
Compound Wrightson Road Port of Spain
622-6316

3rd
Tobago Fest
622-3157

RBTT Carnival fete
Pier 1, Chaguaramas
622-6316

15th
Beach House All-inclusive
Venue TBA

Red Ants for J'ouvert

For those interested in playing with Red Ants for j'ouvert 2007, the prices are $280.00 for early Ants and $300.00 for late Ants; so I suggest for those wanting to be one of the "early" Ants, contacting TRIBE for more information on registration.

The email address is info@carnivaltribe.com

Other upcoming events are:

BLISS - Sat 13th Jan - Moka

WITCO ONE Fete - Sun 21st Jan - Oval

Red Ants in Blue Range All Inc - Sat 27th Jan

Pan Semis - Sun 4th Feb - QP Savannah

TRIBE Thursday - Carnival Thur (15th Feb) - Oval

Blue Range Cooler Fete - Carnival Fri (16th Feb)

The venue for BLISS is at Moka, glad to see that information has been revealed and I await prices now.

Apart from BLISS I will be going to pan-semis in it's "new" venue at the Savannah (providing of course there is no boycott) and I have been making preparations for that lime already!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Still waiting for Boyie

Well the 20th has come and gone and Mc Farlane’s new website has yet to be launched. I find myself clicking the link to the website ever so often hoping for something new, only to be greeted by the same old “preview” site.

All attempts to contact the mas camp for further information on when we can expect the new site to be up and running has proved futile thus far.

I guess I have to keep clicking away until something new appears!

More Changes for Carnival 2007

Apart from having a new home for Carnival 2007, the Dimanche Gras finals will also see a new feature; calypsonians will be required to perform only one song. Now, for those who are not familiar, the calypsonians usually perform two songs, inter spaced by the showing of costumes for King and Queen of the band.

The reason for this new development has been cited as time control, hence shortening the Dimanche Gras show. Now, I agree that sometimes the show does tend to run a bit long, but for me it was the perfect timing. After Dimanche Gras is over that’s the time to leave home for j’ouvert.

Apparently not all calypsonians are in favour of this change as reported in today’s Express:

One song? Not now, say calypsonians
Michael Mondezie mmondezie@trinidadexpress.com

TUCO's one song seems to lack harmony.

That was the consensus from several top calypsonians when the national Calypso Organisation hosted a Christmas gathering on Tuesday at its Jermingham Avenue office at Belmont.

While most of the genre's practitioners seemed to agree with the move they were unanimous that there should not be a rush to implement the measure and cited Carnival 2008 as the ideal time to make the change.

Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams said on Monday the National Calypso Monarch Finals would be moved to the Jean Pierre Complex and competitors would be required to perform one song instead of the customary two renditions.

To keep reading the rest of the article click here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Express Opinions on Mas on the Streets

Interesting views on mas on the streets from the Express editorials today; as someone said to me recenelty, we cannot have progress without change and I sense the same sentiments in these excerpts:

Keith Smith:


Full circle wine for Carnival
Keith Smith

Wednesday, December 20th 2006



"I hear tell that Mr Hart has said that mas is for the road but I don't know if, like Archimedes or whoever, this is to be taken as a "eureka!" moment, meaning that next year's mas will now go not into but around the Savannah as the old John Humphrey has long suggested, the 'world's biggest roundabout' (Humphrey again) ringed with bleachers, the crowds (hopefully) cheering, steupsing or maybe just sleeping as MacFarlane, Trini Revellers and the rest make their way unimpeded (again hopefully) around the Savannah circle"...November 22

Well now we'll see, won't we? All those who have been arguing that the Savannah and, more particularly, the Savannah stage, was the biggest constraint to the free flow of the bands will be proven either right or wrong now that, as I sensed weeks ago, the mas is going to go 'round rather that through the Savannah. Let me say - up front - that while I am neither for nor against this new, well, design, I can hardly wait to see if it will make a sequin of a difference..........

but for me, and many (although not most, I suppose) like me, the real taste of this pulsating pudding of a thing is the free-spiritedness let loose in the Carnival air, some of my more enjoyable Carnival moments memorised in front of Doonie's Lucky Jordan recreation club not, mind you, that that was not a minor competition centre itself, only that the competition was not the major component, who win win, leh midnight meet we singing and dancing just like Trotman's drunken sailors, the Carnival now let loose from the Savannah providing a breather for the grass but only that since the plan is for us to wine back in due course to the old vintage, albeit in a new state-of-the-art bottle. So why worry, sister, eat, drink with this, the merriest of monarchs we have managed to conjure up, all ah we already knowing what they done say 'bout tomorrow meeting us done done.


Opinion:

Carnival changes and challenges
Wednesday, December 20th 2006

Carnival is an institution and, as with all institutions, it is resistant to any change not least because people like things to remain as they are, particularly those things that work to a greater or lesser degree. Whatever the criticisms in the past - and there have been some - the Savannah has long been the successful centre of the world-famous Trinbago Carnival....................

But challenge is also opportunity and one would expect, in the tradition of the Carnival experience, that the problems that arise will be met with the creative skill that has lit up Carnival for close to 170 years. In any case the move away from the centrality of the Savannah is temporary, so any ensuing hue and cry will be completely misplaced given that, in a year or two, all will be as it was before.

Indeed, the country may even grab the chance, as it confronts the shifts in the overall programme, to examine Carnival as a whole to see whether we are doing enough to ensure that it will retain the vitality that has made it the "Mother Carnival" for another 170 years what with the stunningly dramatic shows that today's generation has become accustomed to both here and abroad.

The most negative thing we could do is to become enslaved by the past. The very freeing of the spirit that Carnival epitomises should encourage us to venture into new arrangements while being self-confident enough to affirm those Carnival elements that have given it its distinctive character. Next year will not bring all that much of a change - just enough, perhaps, to give the country a refreshing taste for more change.


For the full articles, please click the highlighted links.

Brown skin gal stay home and mind baby!

I was reading Kevian’s “Theory of the Carnival Baby” over at her blog and it got me thinking of the supposedly higher birth rate in November. Seeing as I am born in November and consider myself a Carnival baby that gives credence to the argument of more sexual activity during Carnival not so? The thing is though, for someone who is passionate about playing mas this is actually NOT a bad thing. I mean, I am not talking about having indiscriminate, un-protected sex during Carnival, but planning your baby around the event.

When my girlfriend unexpectedly got pregnant in October last year, forcing her to eventually sell her costume, my first words were “so what happen to mas?” . Yes, I know it should not have been the first thing to come out my mouth, but I was actually concerned about what that would mean for Carnival before anything else. She held out hope for playing mas until January, sold her costume and spent Carnival in Tobago. After which she called me and said she was totally vexed when looking at mas on T.V. and seeing a pregnant Wendy enjoying herself in two bands. See, that is one of my greatest Carnival fears, especially when registering so early, an unexpected pregnancy coming out of the blue and disrupting my Carnival plans.

My co-workers have heard me make the statement that right after Carnival I am going to try and get pregnant so the baby can be born in November, giving me enough time to play mas in February the following year. When I say this I am not joking, though it always elicits a laugh from them. Thinking of it logically it does make perfect sense and truth be told I do know of one person who did plan her baby exactly like that; she had her baby in early December and played mas the following year with Harts.

I think it is an ideal plan so as not to interrupt my joy of playing mas. The biggest hurdle might be loosing the baby fat post pregnancy to be able to fit into the skimpy costume I would have to register for in August. But it can be done; if Heidi Klum can strut down Victoria’s Secrets runway in skimpy lingerie a month after giving birth, a mere mortal like me can hope to look decent enough in two months right? I think the key would be not to put on too much weight during pregnancy, you know some women go all out eating everything in sight, well that just cannot be done if the goal is regain your figure after the baby. All the “experts” have advised that it is not too hard to loose the baby weight if you eat healthy, exercise and breast feed.

So while it might seem like there are much more babies born in November, maybe those mothers are all part of this master plan to keep the mas going the following year. Or, it could mean they did have wanton sex during the drinking and revelry of Carnival and showed the result of their actions nine months later. The fact is, the more I think of having a “Carnival baby” the more it makes perfect sense to me; ironically the baby will be a Carnival baby in every sense of the word. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that I am not crazy and it is actually a well thought out plan. And even though conception may not occur on Carnival Tuesday night at least we can have fun trying for the rest of the month!

For the Bunji Fans

Get ready for a Global Musical Experience; on Carnival Saturday, February 17th, Bunji Garlin will be in concert.

This event adds to the roster of parties normally held on Carnival Saturday such as Amnesia, Dawn, Break and the Breakfast Fete. So for those looking for an alternative to the "norm" this one might be for you!

Click on the photo for a larger view

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Missed the Boat!

Sorry folks just got word that Mc Farlane held a private media launch THIS MORNING!!
Needless to say I missed that one!

The website is scheduled to launch tomorrow, and I am anxiously awaiting the revelation of Boyie's journey depicted by Mc Farlane in mas.

Carnival Anxiety

Less than two months to go and I woke up this morning feeling worried about my Carnival preparations!

So far the change of diet has been working great, I have lost weight but not enough to, in my opinion, do “Fireman” justice; I still need to loose a few more pounds and Christmas is almost on the door step with lots of temptations! The main problem for me though is finding time to exercise and now that Christmas is here it is even worse! My main form of exercise has been walking the malls instead of walking the treadmill and the only benefit of this is that I have been doing a lot of walking finding no parking spaces close to any of the malls.

I have already made a firm decision to avoid many of the sinfully delicious foods this Christmas; there will be no pastelles, ham, butter cookies, black cake or ponch de crème in my house; sorry for anyone who plans on dropping by. Included on the menu for Christmas are lots of veggies, sea food and salads. I know it is difficult to not have pastelle for Christmas but I cannot afford a set back on the road to Carnival, I have come too far to ruin all my sensible eating choices by gorging this Christmas. I am breaking my “no alcohol” rule stocking the house with Lite Beer (half the carbs. and calories of regular beer), but there will be no other alcohol…no vodka, rum, scotch…nothing at all except Lite Beer! See why for Carnival Monday and Tuesday I will be breaking loose, stage or no stage? All I am seeing with these sacrifices is the goal at the end!

The other thing I have yet to start on is my Monday wear. My plan is to wear a “costume” on Monday and I have already gotten the design, but I have not made any attempts to get to Samaroos to look for the materials I will need for this project. I feel stumped on this whole Monday wear idea and I am seriously thinking of a plan B, just in case I do not have time to get the original costume. It would be really nice if I did not have to think of Monday wear at all, having it provided by TRIBE , like the other band does for their masqueraders.

Also, shopping for clothes is sort of driving me up a wall. I have found some really cute shoes and pants that are perfect for Carnival but I am coming up empty on finding tops. Is it just me or is every store carrying the exact same items of clothing? From Jebelle in West Mall to the cheaper stores on Frederick Street, all I am seeing are tops with that huge belt attached! With my first fete of the season in less than a month I was hoping to find something to wear during all my shopping trips, but I have been coming up empty! I think I need to visit Eva’s in Maraval. Thing is I really don’t like showing up at a party/event and looking like a clone of every other female in the party; it might be in style but that does that mean I am wearing it. Clothing that “speaks” to me are the ones that are different, unique and looks like a one of a kind item. How I miss Elements of Style!

Other items I still have to get, but can possibly wait until late January/February are:

2 pairs of mas stockings (one for Monday, one for Thursday)
Make up (eye shadow, gems, spirit gum/eyelash glue, lipstick, liner)
Tape (for boobs and toes)
Body Jewelry /Decorations

The only thing I have secured so far is my costume and footwear!As I look at the numbers drop daily on my count down clock to Carnival I am getting nervous, is it just me?

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Minister of Culture Speaks!

All speculation can now be laid to rest. The Minister of Culture Joan Yuille Williams in her address to parliament has stated that UDeCott has delayed construction long enough and while there was a delay the Grand Stand was allowed to be used for activities, however the widow of use kept getting smaller and if there is any more delay it will drive project costs up. In effect, the demolition of the Grand Stand will go ahead as planned with the raw materials being re-used in other projects.

Mrs. Williams stated that it is economical to reuse these materials and that nothing will be lost but the "physical structure" which will be replaced by the Carnival Centre and at that time our Carnival would have come of age. The following plans for Carnival 2007 were revealed:

  • The Jean Pierre Complex will be used for Dimanche Gras, including judging of King and Queen and other Calypso competitions previously held at the Savannah.
  • Mas will be on the streets; judging points are Down Town, Piccadilly on the Greens, Queens Park Savannah South (in the vicinity of Princess Building Grounds) and Adam Smith Square. Victoria Square will not be used but bleachers will be constructed for spectators.
  • Panorama prelims will be judged in the panyard, semi-finals at the South Western end of the Savannah entering by the Paddock and exiting on Dundonald Street. Finals will be held at Skinner Park in San Fernando.
So, there you have it folks. I am sure all the daily Newspapers will be filled with all the details that I have missed so be sure to check the Express, Guardian and Newsday tomorrow.

These revelations have been such an anti-climax; just for one minute I had a ray of hope that they would use the Savannah one more time, even when I should have known better. Now, it is just to move on and make the best of what will surely be a new experience, "mas on the streets!"

Oh, and by the way I am sending an email to TRIBE that I am NOT in favour of Piccadilly Greens as a judging point and I hope they will skip that one!

Same old tune...

The Newsday is reporting that Culture Minister Joan Yuille Williams is expected to make an announcement on the proposed venues for Carnival 2007, today:

"Joan to end silence on Carnival venue

By SUZANNE SHEPPARD Sunday, December 17 2006


CULTURE MINISTER Joan Yuille-Williams is expected to break her lengthy silence on the contentious issue of the main venue for Carnival 2007 tomorrow. Well placed political sources told Sunday Newsday the Minister, who has been under fire from various quarters over a decision not to stage the festival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, will make a statement on the matter at a special sitting of the House of Represen-tatives tomorrow at 1.30 pm.

According to sources, Yuille-Williams will be delivering a “comprehensive statement” on the venues for next year’s Carnival celebration, including whether the Government will stick to a plan to demolish the Grand Stand and seek other locations for major competitions."
For the full article, please check the link to Newsday here.

To be honest, I have heard this before only to be disappointed when no announcement was made. I am not getting my hopes up today that anything would be different than the last few times the Minister was supposed to make some sort of announcement. I will be keeping my ears wide open, however, just in case the "well placed political sources" are correct.

Feteing now start....

Remember the days when the only schools throwing an all-inclusive fete for Carnival were Trinity, Bishops and QRC? Well, seems like all schools are now getting in on the action,with nearly every "prestige" school having an all-inclusive fete to aid "school repairs". While I see nothing wrong with this, can someone please tell me if St. Francois finally got their hall after 4 years of throwing a Carnival fete?

And what was once one of the cheaper all-inclusives, St. Francois is now $300.00. Guess that should have been expected with the double digit inflation rate. Trini Limers's fete at $250.00 is "cheap" all things considered, but who are Trini Limers and sorry to say but Couva is too far to go and party! That's a good fete for those South and Central residents though. Presentation College Chaguanas is another fete this "town" girl will pass on, but I am glad to see some all-inclusives being held in other areas of the country.

With Christmas on the near horizon and Old Year's parties stilll to be decided upon, these are the first all-inclusives to be advertised for Carnival 2007,the race is on people!

For more information check out my friends at Triniscene.com (yup got their permission to use their photos). If these are the indication of prices to come, it has just cemented the fact that I will be feteing less for 2007.

I shudder to think of the price of BLISS! Maybe I should put that down as a Christmas gift....yooo hoo, friends/family all yuh hearing?





Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mall Madness

Now I know this has nothing to do with Carnival really, but how could I resist a post about the mall at Christmas time!? I have been living at the mall this weekend, visiting both West Mall and Trincity Mall numerous times between today and yesterday. In between shopping for gifts for others (only managed to get a few) I was busy shopping for me with my Carnival wardrobe at the back of mind (guess that's where Carnival comes in!).

My quest scored me some excellent finds at Westport Body (accessories on the cheap!), Suite 16 (you do have to hunt for the good stuff) AND I just discovered Suite 16 has opened a accessory and shoe shop at Trincity.... imagine,cute sandals for $65.00!

Here are some photos of my shopping expedition at Trincity mall; for those in Trinidad check out Suite 16's new store and for those of you overseas I hope these scenes at least remind you a bit of the madness that grips Trinis, sending them into a shopping frenzy, come Christmas time:


New Suite 16 store










Entertainment by Marcia Miranda.

Boots ! Boots! Boots!

Amid all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, I made my way to Vamp yesterday as I knew someone had already collected their boots for Carnival, and when I called Natalie she was working on boots for Fireman so I went to take a look at their progress.

I met Natalie in the middle of decorating one of the "Fireman" boots, and I do like the fact that she is trying to make each one unique, but that means she has to come up with different ideas every time! On display was a pair of boots she made for "Jamette" that I found looked really good, I especially loved the tulle on the sides of the boots. Those were wedge boots and I thought they looked hot! Seeing as I did not try any wedge boots when I first placed my order, I decided to try a pair of undecorated wedge boots that just happened to be my size, and they were pretty comfortable so I changed my request to the wedge instead of flats! Luckily my boots were not in production as yet.

So in four weeks time I should be collecting my Carnival footwear, one headache out of the way, and I cannot wait to see what the final product looks like!

Here are some photos of other boots that Natalie has either finished or is working on at her shop (sorry they are so blurry, I did not realise the pics were not in focus until AFTER I downloaded them. Click on the photo for a larger view):


Two versions of boots for "Fireman", I met Natalie working on the one to the left.






Two versions of "Warrior Spirit"



"Jamette", note the Tulle on the sides, cute!


Side view of Jamette where you can see the wedge heel.


"Mirage"


"Goddess"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Masquerade's Website is up!

First I have to apologize for being missing in action yesterday; it was unplanned as I always have Internet access or some facility where I can be online during the day. Yesterday however, TSTT made an error with our wireless system at work and the problem persisted all day, leaving us with no internet connection, and up until the time I left work the IT Manager was still trying to fix the problem with TSTT. Thankfully the hubby was able to come to the rescue and help me out by moderating comments (I so dislike this feature now but it has become a necessity for the time being).

What that also meant was that I was unable to keep abreast of all the Carnival happenings and only just realized Masquerade's website is up and running. Their portrayal for 2007 is "Golden Heritage, a Tribute to Mas" and the official band launching took place last month at the Anchorage.

From the website, prices range from $1450.00 to $1695.00 with the option of paying an additional $400.00 for all-inclusive. Music is to be provided by Dil-E-Nadan and Crosby Sounds.

To be honest, some of the costumes look a bit” dated" in design, but I do like The Gathering and the male Viva Zapata! Check out the website for photos!

Minister Hart vs Minister Williams

For those who are not aware, there are four Ministers for the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs. They are, Joan Yuille Williams (Senator), Eulalie James, Edward Hart and Eudine Job-Davis. All Minister's are based at Head Office with Edward Hart housed at Culture Division, technically making him "in charge" of Culture ;but as everyone has come to realise there is only ONE Minister with any real power which is Joan Yuille Williams.

Amid the controversy surrounding the staging of Panorama, Minister Edward Harts has now found a voice and is in favour of the Grand Stand being demolished after Carnival as reported in today's Express newspapers:


..Hart: Demolish after Carnival
Anna-Lisa Paul alpaul@trinidadexpress.com

Saturday, December 16th 2006



The Panorama competition should remain in the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, says Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Eddie Hart.

Speaking with reporters at a function at the Arima Town Hall yesterday, however, Hart said this was his view as a participant in the cultural event.

"As a panman, I am supporting the views of the panmen who feel that we could return to the savannah for this event, and next year when demolition starts, well, we'll look for other venues."

In his capacity as a Government minister though, Hart said, "It is the senior minister (Joan Yuille-Williams) who has been meeting with all the interest groups. I was never privy to those meetings and I just have to say what I hear."

Revealing that he was not present when Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold met with panmen on Thursday to discuss the matter, Hart said he had heard "there were a lot of views" and "a lot of bitterness" between factions from the north and south.

He explained that the southern bands argued they have been journeying to Port of Spain for over 40 years, and questioned why bands from the north could not now do the same.

Claiming that Port of Spain bands were considering the cost of such a move, Hart reminded persons that Pan Trinbago had begun judging at panyards across the nation for the preliminary stages in an attempt to "cut costs".

Hart said while the demolition at the savannah had not started, the panmen could see no reason "why the event cannot take place in the savannah, and after Carnival, well then, demolition could begin".

Hart said he has yet to meet with Yuille-Williams to discuss the matter, but that he was "anxious to meet with her, since questions are always coming to me".


This is a prime example of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing; I would love to see if he has the testicular fortitude to challenge the "senior" on this matter as indicated in the last line of that article. Again, we will just have to wait for further developments in this Panorama/Savannah soap opera.
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