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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Carnival is almost here!!

You know that it is almost Carnival when you get an email like this from TRIBE:

Dear Saucy,
Trinidad’s 2007 Carnival Celebration is fast approaching and as we gear up for another festive season, please take a minute to read the information below regarding final payment and costume distribution.

Further Payments on Costumes
* Cash & Linx payments can be made at TRIBE’s Mas Camp, 20 Rosalino Street , Woodbrook until FRI 2nd FEB. After this date, final payments will only be made upon collection of your costume at Cascadia Hotel.
* Credit card payments can be made ONLY via Senvia until FRI 2nd FEB
* For Senvia’s easy set-up guide please visit https://www.senvia.com/tribe/SenviaWalkthrough.pdf
* To make a payment please visit https://secure.senvia.com/redirect.php?id=TRIBE

Costume Distribution
· Will take place at Cascadia Hotel, St. Anns, Port-of-Spain commencing on the w/d of SAT 10th FEB
· The costume distribution schedule will be emailed to you soon and posted on TRIBE’s website
· You MUST present a valid picture ID with your signature to collect your costume.
· Accepted forms of ID include a driver’s licence, passport, or citizenship/residence card.
· Payment at Cascadia Hotel will be strictly Cash or Linx only. Credit cards will NOT be a form of payment.

Collecting Costumes for Another Person
* You must present a copy of their picture ID (with signature) along with a signed “Authorization to Collect” letter. This letter must be presented at the time of costume collection. Please do not email us this letter.

Fast Track your Costume Collection
· Masqueraders who have paid IN FULL for their costumes by FRI 2nd FEB 2007 will be assigned to TRIBE’s EXPRESS Service to minimize waiting time in the queue.
· The EXPRESS Service expedites the process of collecting your costume.

Costume Resale & Transfers
* If you have sold your costume, please contact TRIBE with the name of the new owner along with their email address and contact number.
* Our email address is info@carnivaltribe.com or you can fax us at 1-868-625-6800.
* The last day to transfer names on costumes is FRI 2nd FEBRUARY.

TRIBE Mas Camp Hours of Operation
* The Mas Camp will be closed from SAT 3rd FEB to facilitate the costume distribution process.
* If you have any enquiries please call 625-6800.

Thank you!

Seems like this is the LAST week to fix up all costume related business; if you know you are selling or have sold your costume get the information to TRIBE by Friday please or else give the person who is buying your costume the authorization letter and copy of ID so they can collect the costume. All those paying by credit card note that it can only be done at the mas camp by Friday as well. Yes, I had to translate for you because I know someone will ask me this very same information in the coming week!

Carnival is almost here people, can you feel it?!!!!

Do you like it in the Back?

A little birdie whispered to me that I would not be “happy” with where Fireman is positioned in the section lineup in TRIBE. Apparently the order of sections has already been decided and Fireman is closer to the back of the band, much closer to being last than I am comfortable with! Seeing as the hubby and I are in different sections I was mainly concerned about how far would Fireman be from Warrior Spirit. I was further informed that if I wanted to be close to Warrior Spirit I would have to be in Cow Mas, Jab Molassie or Dragon. By the way, I did not get the full line up, only hints, I know Warrior Spirit is not the first section of the band (too big for that) nor is Dragon in the top 5! Please, do not ask me if I know where your section is placed, frankly I am way too disturbed by being in the back of the band than to concern myself with where any other section is placed!

Now I know the general consensus with band leaders is that it does not matter which section is first or last, other people think that the entire band is all-inclusive with “only” 3500 people so it’s not like the section is in the back of Poison with 50,000 masqueraders and I do not even need to stay in my section. Other points where made that we will not be crossing a stage this year so being in the back and having that wait is a moot point others think being in the back is ideal because you are closer to the pee pee trucks! Well, in all my years of playing mas I have been spoilt.

I have never played in a section that is last or almost last. With Harts it was always the all female section, led by Wendy Fitzwilliams which was either the first section or the very least in the top five. One year I played in a mixed section and was somewhere in the middle and did not like it too much though after we crossed the stage we were all one big mélange of masqueraders anyway. With Poison I was in the middle of the band the first year while my other friends were with Pleasures Carnival to the front, well needless to say I never saw them that year, being in the middle of that band was like being LAST!! Poison was the first band I saw which had section 1 and section 1 A so if you were in section 5 B you were really the 11th section!!!! The second time with Poison I felt more at home being first with Sonia Mack and had a great experience.

The sad fact is one section has to be last, but to be honest with you I think the order should be done according to which sections are more popular judged by the fact of how well they sold. I mean, Fireman is a very popular section, one I am sure would be photographed a lot and I hope the powers at be in TRIBE rethink the decision to stick the section to the back of the band; that spot should be reserved for Bat which is yet to sell out!! To be fair Warrior Spirit should be first, seeing as they were the first to sell out, but since that section is way too massive, maybe Dragon should get that top spot, followed by the other sections that were sold out in record time. I know that the band leaders probably do not want “colours clashing” but Fireman is one of only two all red sections how hard would it be to move the section up a bit, a little closer to Warrior Spirit perhaps?

So I was utterly disturbed by that news, and yes I am not happy! At this moment I am praying to the Carnival Gods that by some miracle Fireman would be saved from being in the bowels of the band. I do not like it the back, never mind I have yet to try it; to me it is just not the natural order of how things should be. Give it to me to the front or even in the middle and I am quite pleased. Yes, I know some of you probably like it in the back and don’t care one way or the other, all you care about is just being in the band. On that note I was at TRIBE’s mas camp yesterday when a young Asian girl, speaking stilted English, walks into the camp and asks for a costume. She was directed to take a look at the two sections which were still open, Bat and Pierrot Grenade frontline her response was just sign her up! Yup, the girl did not give either costume so much as a minute once-over she simply said either one, did not matter. In the end she went with Pierrot Grenade but that was only because it was impressed upon her to make a choice, she later admitted that she played in green last year so Bat was out. I get the feeling though if Bat were the only section open she would have taken it! See, that is the sort of masquerader that should be in the back, one who does not spend months obsessing over a costume!!

Forget the Digicel cell phone in the goody bag and my call for Monday wear TRIBE, I am resubmitting my Christmas/Birthday wish list and all I really want is for Fireman to be moved a little further to the front, please. That is not too much to ask seeing as TRIBE is all about making their masqueraders happy now is it?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

HD on the road!!

Leave it to Machel Montano to add something novel to the Carnival season. Sure, a tour bus is nothing new in the foreign market but for Trinidad and Tobago this is the first time a local artiste has his own tour bus! I am looking forward to seeing it on the road and the following article from today's Trinidad Express gives more information on the Machel Montano HD Bus.



Look for the spanking-new Machel Montano HD bus coming soon to a venue near you.

In keeping with the 2007 HD concept, Montano and company have refurbished a 20-year-old PTSC bus and customised it with all the latest gadgets and gizmos.

There will be no mistaking this bus with its big chrome rims, HD-themed exterior paint job and lighting system, complete with reflective tape and neon signage .

Inside holds an entertainment centre, walk-through closet and of course, a bedroom.

In the entertainment centre you will find: a 42-inch plasma screen on an actuator; with ports for an Ipod, PlayStation 3 and Wireless Internet. The middle of the bus houses a walk-through closet space and toilet facility. Aside from a large comfy bed, there's also a 32-inch LCD monitor hidden behind a mirror in the bedroom.

The sound system is out of this world with MTX Subwoofers, JVC DVD Head units, 8' speakers, tweeters, crossovers and transformers galore.

Betweeen the inside and the outside, the bus will use roughly 12,000 watts of power and therefore has its own generator. The driver will have the benefit of reverse cameras, motion sensors all the way around and night vision cameras, as well as a fully-refurbished engine and fuel tank.

Of course, everything inside is HD personalised: from the microwave, to the lights, to the windows.

The main sponsors of the project are Republic Bank, bmobile, Courts, Lewis Appliances, Signwave, Blue Waters and PTSC, who will all benefit when the bus hits the road for extensive promotions, CD tours and merchandising.

Put together in just over three weeks, the entire process of making of the bus will be shown as a special feature programme on Synergy TV.


Photo: www.trinidadexpress.com

Majorette gone... One more section left in TRIBE

Well finally, Majorette is sold out, only Bat backline remains as both the frontline and male section is sold out. That's right folks, three weeks before Carnival and we are now on the cusp of TRIBE being completely sold out. Seems like the new headpiece for Majorette worked, pity they did not do the same for Bat backline because that is a cute costume though the headpiece killed it for me.



On the other hand there seems to be a "costume exodus" on Carnival Junction! If you are still looking for costumes in both Island People or TRIBE there are more and more listings popping up every day. My girl friend sold her Soleil Brule costume and is now in her "dream" section of Sacred Sand (bought the costume through Carnival Junction) lots of costume bartering, switching and selling going on through Carnival Junction. So there is still hope that you can get a costume in that special section even though it might be sold out!

Monday, January 29, 2007

South Mas

We People International presents "Dante's Inferno" for San Fernando Carnival 2007. The entire band is all-inclusive and prices run from $985.00 to $1375.00 which is quite reasonable with this year's high mas prices.

Here are some of the sections available, for the rest of the costumes please visit the website.

Lust


Malebranche,Plutus,Flatterers


Rebellion of Angels

From the website:
ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTIONS
All sections are all-inclusive. We will provide Masqueraders with a full range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food on Carnival Tuesday. Breakfast, Lunch and a Light evening snack will be provided.

AMENITIES
MOBILE RESTROOMS would be provided to Masqueraders.
BAND LOCATOR - You will be provided with the Band route and a telephone contact to establish the location of the Band at any time on Carnival days.
COURTESY VEHICLE will be provided for those masqueraders who become weary

Band Leaders
Dawad Philip & Clyde Flanders

Committee Members
Joan 485-0699
Clunis 684-8929
Paula 652-7373
Dawad 758-7090
Gregory 678-8962
Terrance 620-4307
Anastasia 685-1719

Website:http://www.invaziontt.com/index.cfm

Email:
dawad6@mac.com

Music
Naya George and Invazion
DJ Sean
Fun Lovers Tassa Group
Trinidad Valley Harps

Pan Semis.......to go or not to go?

This coming Sunday is Panorama Semifinals at the Savannah and what used to be one of the most anticipated events of the season for me, is now questionable as to whether I will attend or not. I have not missed Pan Semis/Prelims (the latter being the name of the competition in the earlier years) since about eight years ago! Every year for the past eight years I have been a religious devotee of Pan Semis making the annual pilgrimage to the North Stand. My crew for pan is very “old school” in that we do not participate in the trend of paying money to be part of a “lime” with sections such as Club Coconuts, Jamboree or Island People; that “inclusiveness” is just not for us. Instead we buy our own drinks, stock our cooler, have one of our friends cook a pot of pelau while another makes geera pork and paratha and make our way to “our” special spot in the North Stand to spend a day liming, drinking, listen to pan and just having a rolling time with everyone who drops by to join the lime throughout the day.

What has me apprehensive about this year’s Panorama Semi-finals is the layout for the event. Now, I had known for a few weeks now that plans were to create a picnic type area for what used to be the North Stand called North Ground. At the time I heard the plans I was somewhat apprehensive as to how this concept would actually work, seeing as there was no mention of it being a COVERED picnic area. Well, when I saw the map of the facilities in yesterday’s newspaper my worst fears were confirmed. This type of open air concert feel is just not going over well with me:


It might work for Jazz Festival, but unfortunately I think the whole essence of being in the North Stand will be lost! I do not like being on one level, exposed to the elements while the toilets are on one end. The “VIP” area across the way has the covered stands mind you, but that area is already being reserved for special guests and the number of paying patrons that can be accommodated there is much less than what the old Grand Stand could hold.

One part of me wants to experience this “new” Pan Semis for myself and the other is quite unwilling to fork out the $150.00 (or more) just to stand up in the hot sun all day!
Yes, I know I can walk with my beach chairs and umbrella, but Panorama was never that type of social sit down vibe for me, I mean this is not finals! The North Stand experience just cannot be replicated without the North Stand!! The crush of people in the centre, hearing the rhythm section reverberating within the confines of the stand, being able to stand at the top and spot your crew or just stand in awe of the mass of people all gathered in one area is just special.

So, as I pass by the Savannah today, looking on dejectedly at the white fence already in place surrounding what is now North Ground I am going to be monitoring the evolution of this space. If come Sunday there is an effort to improve the area with some sort of covering from the sun or rain, then I just might attend. Meetings have already taken place between me and the rest of my crew and I don't think the whole idea of what is proposed for Panorama semi finals has sunk in to the brains of some of my friends at this point it is still a battle of to go or not go. Sadly, I am leaning in favour of not going and most likely will end up missing out on Panorama semi finals after so many years!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Boots in Toronto

For those masqueraders based in Toronto you can get your mas boots at Bootsman MB.I was informed that he already has 30 pairs of boots made in various sizes and colours of either leather or vinyl material with leather soles. Vinyl boots are priced at approximately $75.00 CND/ $300.00TT while the leather is $150.00CDN/$600.00TT.



There are also a few pairs available in Trinidad all leather uppers and soles sizes 10,9,8,6.5 in silver & size 8 in white with fringe. Contact Mervyn Skeete at 640 5807 for their availability.



Bootsman MB can be contacted at:
62 Trudeau drive Bowmanville Ontario Canada L1C 4K3
416 524 1782 cell
905 623 4396 home
905 428 5847 daytime
Email - anton.gabriel@sympatico.ca

Kevian also featured these boots on her blog and you can view more photos and read her commentary here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Free Carnival Concerts on for 2007

Last year B Mobile sponsored a daily "free" lunchtime concert in Woodford Square much to the delight of employees in the area, tourist and unsuspecting persons in Port of Spain at the time.

This year the concerts are scheduled to run again for the period February 5th to 9th and for those of you who will be in Trinidad at this time the following is the scheduled performances:

Monday February 5th Machel Montano

Tuesday February 6th Roy Cape All Stars

Wednesday February 7th KMC &Red White and Black.

Thursday February 8th Bunji Garlin

Friday February 9th Sherwayne Winchester and Traffic.

My Boots!

Yesterday I finally picked up my boots from Natalie at Vamp and they look awesome!Now, my boots have been ready since earlier this month when I first went to collect them, and pay off the balance, upon trying them one of the beads fell off. Being the perfectionist that she is, Natalie asked me to leave the boots so that she could change the beads since she did not want them falling off on me on the road. Apparently the supplier of the beads assured her they would hold up but with my trial they did not. These are what my new, re-vamped boots look like!




I tried the boots on at the office, leaving glitter all over the place, and they felt comfortable even without the insoles. It is such a pity that all the cute feathers will be covered with my Fireman leggings, maybe by the end of the day the leggings will be gone and by boots can be displayed on all their glory. I have not decided if I am wearing them on Monday as well. But just in case I do Natalie also gave me some glitter for touch ups. Did I express how happy I am with the final result? One of the guys at my office told me he was happy to see I got footwear to match my costume as one of his pet peeves were women beautifully dressed in costume with a sneaker, not even sprayed to match, of some odd colour on their feet.

When I left Natalie was hard at work trying to finish the rest of her orders; some of you internet orders gave her some trouble, not measuring your foot as instructed, choosing instead to measure the sneaker insole or leave an extra inch for comfort, resulting in a boot that is too big!!! The measurements have to be done precisely as they are custom made boots. I suspect that she may have one or two boots for sale next month if those boots do not fit, so if anyone is still looking for boots by the time they get to Trinidad it won’t hurt to call Natalie and ask if she has any for sale.

Here are some of the boots she has at the store at the moment:

Jean and Dinah


Sahara Jumbie

Friday, January 26, 2007

Poll Results are in

It is time for me to retire the “Which band are you playing with?” poll and here are the results to date:

TRIBE 404
Island People 388
Trini Revellers 114
Brian Mc Farlane 47
Pulse 8 40
Legacy 37
Harts 34
Dream Team 27
Genesis 9
Masquerade 9
Another band not listed 13
1,122 votes total

It was a neck and neck race between TRIBE and Island People with either one of those bands being on top at any given time.

Now it is time for a new poll, please vote for your Road March pick for 2007

Best Dressed at the Fete - ONE fete

ONE fete:
So I am pretty biased concerning the Best Dressed at ONE fete since I did see some fabulously dressed ladies, and gents, who were at the fete but did not make it onto the gallery of triniscene.com. So from among the photos that are posted in the gallery the lady to the front in the white shorts and kimono styled top is my pick for Best Dressed of the Fete ONLY on triniscene.com gallery; all the other divas were having too much of a good time partying rather than pose for the camera it seems:



Honourable mention also goes to the chicken bone staring behind the well accessorised young lady on the left in this photo which has to be one of the funniest photos I have seen to date:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Still looking for footwear?

Ok so all those who missed out on boots by Natalie since she closed orders in early January, I really have no sympathy for you guys. I mean I told you since last year where to go and get your footwear organised. However, I know that desperation would be setting in by now and in reality I do care about your footwear looking up to mark and on point hence the reason I found myself "behind the bridge" at Piccadilly, East Dry River in Port of Spain hunting down mas boots one Sunday evening.



It was there I found "Jomo's Leather Shop", a tiny establishment run my Lorna and her husband Jomo. This is the place to go if you need boots cheap and you need boots fast! Surprisingly, given the location, they have lots of orders for boots which come in a variety of colours such as white, red, silver, bronze and gold. The basic 12 inch boots are $130.00TT while the 16 inch boots are $200.00TT. These boots are flat with a small heel.





Special orders such as wedges, high stack heels, platforms and even fabric covering can be accommodated but these orders MUST be placed early. Regular boots can be ordered and collected within a few days. If you wish they can even decorate the boots for you, but the choice is also yours to decorate yourself.

The booth number is 26 and Lorna or Jomo can be contacted at 797-7594.

Please note that the area where the booth is located is notorious for crime even though a police station is a stone's throw away; if you are interested in getting boots there go early and go with a friend. One of my friends told me a co-worker of hers got her boots from there and had no problems at all, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Lastly, this little booth is nothing like Natalie's shop; there is no air-conditioning, black tiled floor or linx machine; this is just a very,very humble leather shop with mas boots for sale. If you are accustomed to the aforementioned creature comforts it is best you seek some other alternative footwear.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Best Dressed at the Fete - Bishops All-inclusive

Bishops:
These two former beauty queens definitely have an unfair advantage over the average party goer in that they have been schooled by Peter Elias in fashion styling, however they look great nonetheless.


My pick for Best Dressed at Bishops among the photos on triniscene are these two ladies; I especially like the top of the lady on the left !


photos: www.triniscene.com

2 Ha'quai

Small band 2 Ha'quai finally updated their website. The band launched last year and photos from that launch can be seen on trinicrew.com. The band comprises 5 sections and is all-inclusive. From the photos of the launch I see one section has been upgraded, and frankly speaking some of the other sections needed a little tweaking as well. I firmly believe even though your band may be small the quality of costumes should not be compromised. That being said I do like Fancy Fancy Sailor and Overnight Tahiti.

The sections and prices are as follow:

Fancy Fancy Sailor:

Price $ 1300.00 (F)
$1500.00 (m)

The Queen's Sailors:

Price $1700.00 (F)
$1200.00 (M)

Voyage from San Luca



Price $1800.00 option A (F)
$1750.00 option B (F)
$1200.00 (M)


Overnight Tahiti

Price $1900.00

Pirates and Wenches

Price $1800.00 (F)
$1200.00 (M)

The mas camp is located on 1 Nepaul Street, St. James

Contact: 766-8261
790-9859
NY - 718-398-3498
Washington - 202-320-3695

Costumes are also on display at West Port at West Mall and Trincity Mall.

Eye Candy



So I went to West Mall yesterday to pick up my tights at Micles and popped into Eye Candy to see what Carnival accessories they have in stock. Well, the bad news is that they will not be carrying the sequined hot shorts that they sold last year, the good news is that they do have in stock the hot shorts pictured on the mannequin in gold, silver, pink and white for $89.00TT. You can also find the same shorts online for $9.99US as well as sequined shorts for $18.00Us at My Diva's Closet .

click for larger view


Personally I did not find a wide variety of accessories as compared to Wonderful World which has the same stuff and more. In addition to body jewels, on sale are a variety of false eye lashes, glitter, coloured hair spray, makeup, sequined caps and feathered masks. Eye Candy also has the silky, matte, low waist tights at $45.00TT. If you are playing with Harts I was informed that Eye Candy got a sample of all their costumes and have accessories to match. The owner of Eye Candy, Tricia, plays with Harts as an individual religiously every year so she is the one stop shop for Harts' masqueraders.

click for larger view


The one accessory Eye Candy carries and Wonderful World does not is shoes! They have these really cute sequined sneakers that come in silver, bronze and gold and are perfect for those not wanting boots but looking for something fancier than plain sneakers. The sneakers are priced at $250.00 TT.

click for larger view


The only thing is that they are not leather, made in China from a synthetic material and felt somewhat stiff to me. I did not try them on so I have no clue how they feel on your feet, but if you are still looking for shoes they are worth checking out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Time for J'ouvert Bands!

INSOMNIACS:
Trinipulse.com has all the information on the jouvert band Insomniacs and you can even register online at their website.

The Insomniacs package includes :
» Drinks
» Secure Parking
» Private Security Team
» Rhythm Section
» 40ft Music Truck
» T-Shirt/Tank-Tops
» Goodie Bag
» Souvenir Cup
» Whistle
» Premium Drinks
» Bake & Shark
» Doubles
» Corn Soup

PRICE: $300.00TT

For more information/registration:
Office: Trinipulse Ltd. | #5 Bengal St, St James | Phone: 868.622.6017
East: Krystal Woo 473.8982 | Moses 786.8550
West: Garvin Leacock 683.1959 | Mikee 778.4217 | Darcel Kajim 778.0810 | Leigh Rudder 720.8441 | James Caesar 765.1010 | Archie 797.8969 | Omari 761.9926
South: Tamica Downes 786.4444
Central: Jay (WI Crew) 682.4147 | Sean Samlal 687.1980
website:trinipulse.com

PLAYTIME:
For 2007 Playtime's j'ouvert band is called Savage Island and you can also check out their website for more information.

The Playtime package includes:
* Costume
* Goodie bag with savage stuff,
* Arm band w/ access to a fully stocked bar (free drinks:)
* Lots of Food - Irie Bites jerk pork and jerk chicken, doubles & corn soup
Special Attractions:
* Surprise Guest Acts, Tricks and Treats, Paint (duh!) and Mud

PRICE: $375.00TT until Feburary 12th,$425.00 after. The price also includes a pre-jourvert party from 11:59PM until 5:00AM.

For more information/registration:
Kristen 868-624-2844
email:gmeltd@tstt.net.tt
Website: playjouvert.com

COLOUR ME ORANGE:
You can get more details on this j'ouvert band on the city94fm's website.

The Colour Me Orange package includes:
Full service premium moving bars
All inclusive “Trini Style” breakfast
Full security details including paramedics
The maximum Boom music trucks powered by: The Boom Squad
Secret route away from the hassle of downtown jouvert jam

PRICE:$300.00 – Drinks and breakfast Inclusive
$275.00 – Group Discount: “10 and more Posse”

For more information/registration:
868-625-3194
Website:city94fm.com

CHOCOLATE CITY:
You can check out my earlier post about this band here.

The Chocolate City Package Includes:
*91.9fm Dj's: John Boy, Eezel 'd' Vibe Machine, Shaolin, 40 foot music truck
*Premium Drinks All Inclusive
* Breakfast
* Liquid Chocolate
* Giveaways

PRICE: $250


For more information/registration:
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
Website: D Krewe

Carnival Baby !

When I say to people I am a Carnival Baby they naturally assume the reason for christening myself as such is because I was born in November, therefore coming to the conclusion that I was conceived during Carnival. Checking the dates for Carnival the year that I was born I saw that Carnival did take place in early March so who knows if that reasoning is true! I prefer to think of myself as a Carnival Baby because I was borne from a woman who loved playing her mas and instilled the same sense of reverence for Carnival to me from a very young age. These days my mother no longer dons a costume and parades the streets on Carnival Tuesday, though she does play Monday night mas, in spite of that she still makes the pilgrimage into Port of Spain every Carnival Tuesday and enjoys taking a jump in my band when she sees me on the streets.

Looking at old photos of my mother playing mas over 25 years ago it became clear to me that being overly obsessed with putting together the "perfect" Carnival look with matching boots, stockings and makeup is not something new. In the photos of my mother her boots coordinate with the costume, face is adorned with glitter and sheer stockings matched the costume to a tee! This is what playing mas always meant to me, a chance to transform yourself into this larger than life, beautiful character with a stunning costume and parading through the streets dancing to the music

my mom in costume on the left


me and my mom Carnival Tuesday

From an early age I loved seeing my mother dressed up in what to me were the most spectacular costumes and I always wanted to do the same, playing with bits and pieces of her costume long after Carnival had come and gone. Some of the fondest memories I have of Carnival Tuesday are of seeing my mother all decked off in costume and waiting at the Savannah to see her cross the stage. I was also in awe of the feathers and beads, running around collecting the stray ones that littered the Savannah after a band had crossed the stage and feeling utterly stunned when a stranger gave me their headpiece or part of their costume.

The first time I played mas myself I was five years old. Here I am as a tiny clown, complete with makeup and red nose (which I am not sporting in either of these photos because it hurt when worn) and I was pretty happy being a clown until I saw some girls dressed as Wonder Woman! That was the birth of the Diva, from the minute I saw the Wonder Woman costume I told my mom I no longer wanted to be a clown I wanted to be Wonder Woman!! She even reminded me of that when we looked at these photos together. There are many more photos of me over the years one as a white cat, the other a pirate even dressed up as the blazing sun; I have played Kiddies Carnival with school and private bands since I was five years old, both in Port of Spain and San Fernando!

the first time I played mas




As a teenager I migrated to playing j’ouvert, Victor Rique was the band my parents and I played with seeing as I was too old for kiddies’ mas but felt too young for adult mas this bridged the period until I started playing “big mas”. The first time I played “real” mas it was with the band Barbarossa and after that there was no looking back! I have played mas every year since then with the exceptions of the one year I went to St. Lucia, another year I simply did not play mas because I was in love and the year my friend got into an accident and we both sold our costumes. I have played with Barbarossa, Harts, Poison and now TRIBE. When I say I am a Carnival Baby that statement speaks volumes; I was born into Carnival grew up in Carnival and live Carnival even today. This is the history behind the birth of a Carnival Baby!!


Monday, January 22, 2007

Warrior Spirit

I was just looking through today's Express and saw this Digicel ad. featuring Destra in Warrior Spirit costume!

She looks very nice don't you think? While doing the roll call last night for which band people are playing with she mentioned that she might be playing with TRIBE but has not made up her mind as yet. I wonder if she plays if it will be in Warrior Spirit and as a spokeswoman for Digicel if it is a conflict of interest with her playing in Island People (which she did last year) seeing as that band is sponsored by B Mobile and Machel is their spokesperson.

Click on the photo for a larger view;
The makeup looks good for those needing some inspiration for Warrior Spirit
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ONE fete

What can I say about ONE fete? It was great!! Though tickets were selling outside the Oval last night for $400.00 the $250.00 I paid was well worth it. For the price I was not expecting such an array of food; there were tented food stations offering West Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and East Indian cuisine in addition to a meat station, bake and shark, ribs, deserts and Haggen Daz ice cream. The hubby went wild, if it’s one thing he loves to do is eat and there were more than enough choices last night to satisfy him. The only criticism I had where the food was concerned was that there was no where to sit and eat. I guess space was an issue so they scattered round podium style tables near the food court, where you still had to stand and eat, but at least had a place to rest your drinks, of course those tables were always occupied. Drinks were as expected, Johnny walker, 1919 rum, Malibu, Absolut among other brands, I was quite satisfied but there was no Baileys to the disappointment of my liming blogger “no longer anon”.

On that note I have to say I met “socaholic” last night while she was waiting for friends outside the Oval. The hair gave her away, that and the fact that she told me what colour she would be wearing. After seeing her then I never saw her again for the rest of the night! Where were you girl? Upon entering the Oval I met up with “no longer anon” and both she and her boyfriend limed with the hubby and me for most of the evening. I have to say Kudos to “Jamette” the girl came looking for me and found me to the front of the stage, never saw her again after that either. I did not meet “trinigee” though he told me he was going to be there. Maybe next time ‘gee!

I also did not expect the L’oreal tent offering makeup and hair styling! You could not miss it as it was on the way to the ladies toilets and they had additional full length mirrors which came in handy to supplement the ones by the toilet. Next to the makeup tent was a photo booth with triniscene.com photographers providing printed digital photos of yourself; this is a trend I first saw at Amnesia last year, and seems like it’s a staple of the all-inclusive fete now.

L'oreal makeup tent



When we arrived Kes the Band was on stage, though he is not one if my favourite performers I did enjoy his performance last night, though he was on while hubby was making his rounds of the food tents. Eventually we moved forward for Rikki Jai, Iwer, Dawg E Slaughter and Maximus Dan who all made a guest appearance with Kes. Dwag E LSaughter was great, I really love "Soca in Meh Blood" ! I totally missed Sherwayne Winchester’s on stage, I cannot recall if that was when I took a trip to the ladies but somehow I remembered him coming on stage and within what felt like minutes he was gone!

Kes the Band


Surprisingly the performance I enjoyed the most was Destra! Since I saw her last week at UWI there has been some change to her demeanor. Last night she was full of energy and I was to the front of the stage to witness the change. Judging from the crowd close to where I was everyone had a really good time when she was on stage. I make no apologies for my behaviour last night, if sorry to say I misbehaved for Destra to the fullest!

Destra



I intended to secure that same position for Machel’s performance, but I was mobbed by an influx of Machel fans who bum rushed the front of the stage and eventually I had to filter out to the side when he came on. Madness is the ONLY way to describe it! Every flag and rag was in the air for “Higher than High”. As much as I love Machel the performer there was something missing, for me, last night. I was expecting so much and he only delivered half of that. Still, it was an enjoyable performance but not 100% there yet for me as yet.

Machel HD


So, that is my recap of ONE fête; overall I had an excellent time and it just goes to show, a “cheaper” all-inclusive can be just as good as or even better than the “ultra-inclusives”. Even though UWI was free I still had a better time at ONE ! And I did end up wearing the original outfit I had planned last night!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

If It Is Not New It Is Not In Style!

So I am in sort of a fashion dilemma for ONE fete today. My outfit was already planned and I thought I had found the “perfect” thing to wear, just needed to pick up some accessories which I did yesterday. My biggest headache was matching shoes to the outfit so I tried on each of the two options with matching accessories and asked the hubby to take a photo of me in them. Now, I always try on my outfit and photograph myself in them before going out since I don’t trust mirrors; cameras give you a better perspective and all I need to do afterwards is download the photo from the digital camera to my P.C. and I am able to scrutinize every detail.

Well who told me to ask hubby to take the photos, it seemed I opened the door for his unsolicited advice which he proceeded to give me while I posed for the shots. All I asked was “do you like the outfit?” only for him to respond “it looks good but since it is kinda fitted I am seeing a little bulge in your tummy from certain angles.” Well that was my “wtf” moment. I have been hitting the gym and dieting all week and thought I was looking good in my outfit only to have him squash that thought!! Needless to say I took more photos from the side to see what he was talking about then sat down and analyzed the photo to death. Yeah, I could see a small rise in my lower stomach, but doesn’t every woman have that little bump? I mean, I am not a body builder or Ms. Fitness I am average Jane and thus although my stomach is “flat” I don’t have washboard abs!

That comment sent me into a tailspin. On one hand I was annoyed to be criticized about my body especially when I am my own worst critic and on the other I appreciated his honesty, though I did tell him he ruined my plans on wearing that outfit! He quickly backtracked stating that he never said I looked “fat” (of course that is what I heard) and maybe I was just bloated!!!

Okay then, so that was the end of all my fashion plans and I was left rummaging through my cupboard to find something to wear today. Thing is this conversation took place last night at 8’o clock so there was no hope of dashing to the mall and finding a top to throw on with some pants. My philosophy is “if it isn’t new, it isn’t in style”, hence the reason for my dilemma. Now, I am not saying you need to be up-to-date on all the fashion trends to look good, but chances are if you want to look “hip” you need one or two pieces to add to something you may already own to look fashionable. Unfortunately I am not a simple girl who can just be satisfied wearing jeans and a top to a party I knew from beforehand I was going to; I love to dress up, I love clothes and I love fashion so I tend to put a lot of thought into my outfits.

I have found a few things in my cupboard that I can throw together and look decent since I did do some shopping over Christmas but that was last month when I could barely find anything that did not look like every other thing in every other store to buy! And I shudder to think of wearing something that I have worn before; yes I am THAT anal and superficial about clothes; my other rule about going out clothing is to not wear anything twice within 4 months! I am the type of person who really likes to have a new outfit each time I go to some party or event.

The only salvation I can see in this entire thing is to go to my mom and beg her to make me something to wear later. Thankfully I was blessed with THE most talented mom in the World, she is like “super mom” who can do everything including sew! The only setback is she has not willingly sewn in ages and I will have to do some begging and pleading but you know my other rule, desperate times calls for desperate measures!! Having nothing to wear on the day of the fete qualifies as “desperate” to me! So let that be a lessoned learned, always, always have a back up plan; in case one option does not work out at least you have a fall back outfit!

Wonderful World for Carnival Accessories

Yesterday I went to Trincity Mall and a few stores are already getting into the Carnival spirit with costumes in their display widows or decorating inside the store. Walking into Wonderful World Accessories was like walking into a Carnival Mecca!

If you need to plan your Monday wear they have a variety of hats, including Silver and Gold Cowboy Hats, as well as belts and hot shorts. They also have on sale the silicone gel inserts, stick on bras and invisible straps for those strapless costume bra tops that may need some additional support.

But, the bounty of Carnival “stuff” is makeup related! They have every imaginable colour of glitter mascara, glitter eye shadow, glitter body sprays, glitter dust, coloured hairsprays as well as regular eye shadow, lipstick and a variety of false eye lashes! From wild and crazy foil lashes to feathered lashes, they have many to choose from.

Finally, they have all types of body jewels and crystals. There are face crystals for eyelids, eyebrows, forehead and bindis. You will also find navel jewels, back jewels and even NIPPLE jewels! I also saw some fake tattoos as well as a variety of navel rings.

The only thing I did not see on display was mas tights, but possibility exists that they might even be selling those because I did not think to ask. On that note, I visited Micles to get a look at their mas tights and the cost is $40.00TT. They are low waist tights, matte, and come in four shades. I tried one of the samples on my hand and found it to be a match to my complexion; however I am not too sure that brand is what I bought last year. The package is labeled simply “Micles” so I am going to visit the Port of Spain Branch to see if they have a wider variety.

So if you are looking for Carnival Accessories to match your costume or to enhance your makeup you do not need to shop online, look no further than Wonderful World which has lots to choose from. What makes it great is that there are branches all over; you can find Wonderful World stores at Gulf City, Long Circular, Trincity and West Malls as well as downtown Port of Spain. The other store which also sells a host of Carnival items is Eye Candy in West Mall (next to the Hallmark store).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Golden Era - Trini Revellers

Now there are many costumes that do not appeal to my tastes, I look at them and just move on knowing that someone else will find it extremely attractive and afterall a designer did put their own work and effort into the creation . Then there are others which are not my style, but I can appreciate that it is lovely costume wheter it is fully clothed or some abstract piece. However, I cannot help but comment on this costume "Golden Era" from the band Trini Revellers.

Honestly I don't know what to make of the African looking head wrap, gold fan attached, coupled with a wire hooped skirt. And the black lace contraption complete with netted collar and festooned with gold roses; it leaves me at a lost for words. The only consolation I can take is that it certainly is different from anything else out there !!I would love to see this section on the road to see who and how many signed up to play in something looking so uncomfortable!





Friday, January 19, 2007

Red Ants Early Ants Special ends tomorrow

So there really is an "early ants" special where registration is at $280.00 but it ends tomorrow. After that the price goes to $300.00!

Tobago Accomodation for Carnival (before or after)

Rovanels Resort on Tobago is advertising a special rate for Carnival:


$570.00 TT (single) and $640.00TT (double) inclusive of a Complimentary Breakfast.


This rate is for locals, however, Trinidadians who reside abroad and are able to produce a Trinidad and Tobago Driver's permit are also eligible for these rates.



For further information you can contact (868) 639-0652/9666
Email:rovanels@tstt.net.tt
Website: http://www2.trinidad.net/rovanels/

Photos: www.tripadvisor.com

Best Dressed of the Fete - UWI Champagne All inclusive

UWI Champagne All inclusive :

You know any fete where the president shows up with his entourage in tow has to be one of the "exclusive all-inclusive" which is a reputation U.W.I's fete has had for ages. Attendees included Government Ministers, CEOs as well as other distinguished persons hence the more mature crowd. From my experience there was a healthy sprinkling of younger patrons . I actually enjoyed UWI fete to the fullest, even though some think of it as a fete to socialise with the big wigs from the photos on triniscene.com you can clearly see everyone was having a rocking time, maybe it was the champagne!

I saw many well dressed ladies at UWI Fete but I think this lady looked most outstanding in her all white attire. I am loving the bustier and linen skirt, I think she looks quite classy yet in the second photo you see her clearly having a good time and not relegated to standing in a corner posing!



To Stockings or Not to Stockings?

The title of this post might be somewhat misleading seeing as the “stockings” women wear for Carnival are really dance tights. Stockings are much lighter in denier, prone to run very easily and are not sheer to the waist. Dance tights are made from Lycra, are sheer to the waist and the come in shiny or matte/natural finish. Now that we have gotten that difference cleared up, the questions remains; should you wear stockings for Carnival or not?

To me I have never known anything but wearing mas stockings, it has never been a question of not wearing any as from my very first foray into playing adult mas it was part of the attire. Nowadays I see many women on the road going bare legged, and from my point of view it is mostly the overseas masqueraders who shirk the idea of wearing stockings.

I have heard reasons like they are too hot, they itch or they are too cumbersome (especially when you have to use the toilet) as to why women go stocking less. Personally I think regular stockings fit that criteria and I never wear them in real life, however mas stockings I wear religiously, in fact I have two pairs, one to wear on Monday and the other on Tuesday.

Unless you have stellar legs like Naomi Campell mas stockings cover a multitude of sins, from cellulite to pock marked legs and the question should not even be asked whether they are to be worn if you have “sins” to hide. Some ladies really do need to wear stockings! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen dimpled and spotty legs on display in all their nude glory and while I admire these women’s self confidence it is a sight I would rather not see, especially those wearing a thong!! Stockings, to me, do complete the look of the costume; it just looks much more put together and “finished”.

Apart from the fact that the mas stockings gives everyone the appearance of “perfect” legs, it also helps keep a barrier between you and the elements. Many times for Carnival you will find yourself planting your butt on the grassy area of a park, a pavement at the side of the road or even on the wooden planks of one of the makeshift stands. Could you imagine sitting at all these places with your bare ass only in underwear? Then there are those men, the sweaty ones who look to thief a wine on you and the only protection you have from possibly contracting hepatitis B through sweat is that pair of mas stockings.

Other women I know who wear mas stockings simply feel more comfortable and covered wearing them. Without them they feel more exposed and naked. The flip side is women who do not wear stockings that feel much more comfortable NOT wearing them. There are those annoying runs to contend with for sure, though the stockings usually hold up to the rigors of wining throughout the day, they can snag on a piece of your or another’s costume. Runs in stockings do not look cute! And worse yet when it turns into an actual hole; at that stage it might be best to either cut the stockings short or take them off altogether.

So, the decision to wear stockings or not is totally dependent on the individual; I have highlighted my reasons for choosing to wear stockings but it is not the last word on the issue. If you are quite comfortable going bare legged continue to do so, and if you would like to try stockings make sure you get the dance tights and a colour that closely matches your skin tone. I prefer the matte look, super shiny does not look “natural” to me; however some people actually like the shiny tights. And don’t forget, look for the correct shade unless you are purposely going with a hue like red or blue, forget the stockings that are more orange than “tan”!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Message Board

Owing to all the different people saying they have fete tickets and costumes for sale/wanted in the comments of my "Fete Prices" post I have included a Message Board to the right of the page where you can feel free to leave messages for others about services you might need or items (such as costume or tickets) that are for sale/wanted.

Fete Prices

Many people have been asking me about tickets to Diamond Vale Breakfast Party, well the news I have received in respect to those tickets is that they went on sale in December and tickets were reserved even before that, therefore tickets are rumored to be sold out. Unless you know someone who lives in the area or is on the committee finding tickets at this stage is near to impossible.

Tickets for Eyes Wide Shut go on sale from next week, Beach House at the end of this week, Dawn by weekend and I will be giving updates as to when other tickets go on sale as well. The following are prices I received for some fetes, if I have not listed a fete/price it’s because I do not have any information on prices as yet.

Friday 9th February:
Misty Ridge All-inclusive The Ranch Santa Cruz - $425.00
Contact: 683 6938, 682 9071,768 4100,497 4044,497 1573

Sunday 11th Feburary:
Harts on Fire "Machel 25 yrs in the Making" All-inclusive
Under the Trees Normandie - $450.00
Contact: 625-8732, 680-0825, 620-4905

Monday 12th February:
Mardi Gras Menage et Trois All Inclusive - $350.00
Contact: 678 8850, 685-8433, 703 5818, 681 7374, 645 9525
Miami Ticket Office 305 469 6996
NY Ticket Office 347 398 4506

Tuesday 13th February:
Eyes Wide Shut Queens Park Oval- $150.00 ltd advance
Contact: 689-9667, 620-2296, 799-9419, 689-5561, 320-9229

Wednesday 14th February:
Soca on Soul Beach All-inclusive Bay View Maracas - $299.00/ $560.00 per couple
Contact: 685-1068, 740-6738, 685-6571, 788-0945, 740-5055

Thursday 15th February:
Beach House All- inclusive Ortinola Estate- $550.00 ltd. advance
Contact:Curtis Popplewell-868-7409153 Walt Lovelace-868-6841288
Tickets go on sale at 2B Alexander Street St. Clair

Friday 16th February:
Imagine (drinks inclusive) Under the Trees Normandie - $180.00
Contact: 620-2677, 681-2780, 734-7677
blackvelvetconcepts@gmail.com

Wave Cooler Fete – Pier 1 - $100.00/ $200.00 VIP
Contact: 684-3556, 728-4412, 782-3502, 731-4653, 684-5087

Saturday 17th February:
Atlantis All inclusive Pier 1 - $650.00
Contact: 678 8850, 685-8433, 703 5818, 681 7374, 645 9525
Miami Ticket Office 305 469 6996
NY Ticket Office 347 398 4506

Diamond Vale Breakfast Party - $300.00

Dawn - Jenny's Car Park - $100.00 general/$200.00VIP
Contact: 684-3556,728-4412,782-3502,731-4653
Tickets also on sale at Bazos and Cache.

Sunday 18th February:
Rebirth All-inclusive UWI Common Room- $450.00
Contact:689-6694,684-9147
Tickets on sale at Ate Logo Outles and Crobar

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Harts Sold Out!!!

In spite of the fact that there is one remaining section on Harts' website this notice appeared in today's Guardian (yes I finally saw it!):


My guess is that in house sections are completely sold out hence the reason for the notice. Well, the theory is that with no Skandalus this year many of the ex- Harts members who migrated to that band have now found themselves back in the fold. The other possible reason for the band being sold out is the fact that the prices are very reasonable compared to other big bands plus the costumes for the most part are gorgeous though a bit dated and formulatic. Whatever the reason for this latest development Harts launched first and have finished first proving that their 40 something years in the business makes them a force still to be reckoned with.

I hope all those masqueraders who shied away from Harts in the past because of preconceived notions might look at the band as a viable option in 2008. To be honest with you if costume prices keep going up Harts is my "fall back" band, since I played with them many years running and would not mind going back if I am priced out of TRIBE and Island People in the future.

Well, Harts was not the only band appearing in today's paper. Pulse 8 took my advice and not only did a full page advertisement this time they are also doing some sort of promotion it seems. Further details are still forthcoming, however they did not listen when I said a FULL COLOUR advertisement. Two out of three isn't that bad I guess!

Work out week 3.. …panic setting in!

Just because I have not written about the gym for this week don’t think I have not been going! I am now an official, card carrying member of the new gym and my abs and legs are not making me forget it. My husband is no longer is my drill sergeant; one of the ladies at the gym is training me. This works out much better actually since I no longer have to hear anything about being “lame”. Though I do find female gym instructors are much tougher than the males!

The thing is that I keep looking in the mirror every day looking for changes and honestly I am seeing nothing! Maybe I am getting paranoid or maybe I was hoping for miracles but to me I am not seeing a difference. Forget about the scale, I think I only saw two pounds LESS when I weighed at the gym than when I weighed after Christmas.

I am going by past experiences and hoping that come Carnival week when I collect and try on my costume that I would see some change. Yes, I know I have no one to blame for procrastinating with my work outs but myself, but I am only human! If all else fails I have a back up plan (which I already shared with Jamette) . And please, don’t say “but girl you looking good, why are you worrying?” since I have been told this by several people who I don’t think paid close attention to my costume!! I am very, very critical of how I look in my Carnival costume; I am not the type to just say “frig that” and let it all hang out.

So, I am trying to not panic and go by my motto that slow and steady wins the race but don’t be surprised if I start the Cabbage soup diet and take a “purge” to get rid of the extra pounds coming closer to Carnival! Yeah, drastic times calls for drastic measures!

Best Dressed of the Fete - Amnesia & Outta d Blue

These photos are not from triniscene.com, I decided to take a look at another website, this time Islandevents.com which has galleries of photos from Amnesia and QRC up for viewing.

Amnesia:



Yes, I know these are the two sisters from 2 N Trigue but among all the other well dressed ladies at Amnesia I like how they both look. One sister is simple and conservative and the other is super sexy. For once I have seen the open blouse/bra look done right, I also like the hounds tooth pattern of the top as well as the pearl accessories. The other sister is doing the belt-under-bra look very well, the belt is skinny as opposed to be super wide and I just like the top which is a 360 degree from some of the skimpy, cut to the navel tops I saw at the fete. In addition the hair and makeup on both girls looks very well done;liking the fire engine red lipstick on sister to the right.

QRC:

There were a few ladies looking very nice at QRC,however I picked this group since they are all in the latest trends without looking overdone, I even like the guy's shirt. The lady in all black on the left is wearing a strapless mini dress with tights, gold belt and gold accessories, girl friend in the middle is in plaid (coming back in style FYI) and the lady on the left is wearing a black and white leopard look belt. Did you count the trends represented? Anyway they all wear it well.

Bliss:

I had given up hope on Bliss but the lady on the far left, black and white polka dot dress trimmed in red gets my vote!
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