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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Carnivalscene updated...........

Galleries for Fancy Sailor, Cow Mas and Dragon have been added to Carnival Scene (see Ms. Jumbie you and your section got some love!).

Hopefully the other galleries will be added soon; from the selection already posted I have four pics to order. Some masqueraders posed for LOTS of photos boy, no wonder photos in the magazine get repeated (lol)





Theme 2008....

In yesterday's newspaper I read that Legacy's theme for 2008 is Africa, hopefully the presentation would be as spectacular as the theme lends itself to so much potential. As for Island People I heard that they gave their masquerader's a claw which hints at the theme for 2008 but I not too sure how valid this information is I heard the theme is Fire, if anyone knows for sure what Island People has in store for the next year please let me know.

I know I have to wait for the next five months for TRIBE's presentation without even a hint at what the theme will be. Now, some bands give a theme and the costumes, albeit beautiful, do not represent the theme at all; major perpetrators in this is Harts and in my opinion Pulse 8 and Dream Team's costumes for 2007 did not reflect their theme either. Trini Revellers and Mc Farlane are fastidious in portraying the theme, and to their credit Island People and TRIBE have tried to at least capture the essence of their theme in their portrayals. I am not going to debate how well the themes were interpreted, the yellow Jab Molassie was a hotly debated topic on some forums last year! But some costumes did a very good job in representation; Angel Fish, Fan Coral and Sunken Treasure were some of my favourites in 2006, I thought the Fan Coral headpiece looked like real coral and for Island People Song Birds, Trees and Pride reflected what they were supposed to in my opinion.

Now I am left to speculate on what could possibly be TRIBE's theme for 2008; I am hoping it is something magical of course, with really beautiful costumes. Which lead me to think of what my "dream" costume would be and I would have to say for that the theme might as well be "Rio" because I always wanted to play in some over the top extravagant Samba Girl costume! So let me hear what great ideas you guys have for a theme for 2008... I am thinking I will compile them all and email TRIBE just in case they might be a little lost at what direction to take from the Tribal Fantasy to What Lies Beneath to Ole Time something to something extra fabulous for 2008!

TRIBE Unleashed

You guys asked to see highlights from TRIBE's 2007 Souvenir magazine and here they are, there are much, much, much more photos than these so you can still get your own copy!

Please click on all the photos for a larger view.


A few bloggers made the magazine including partyc, I spotted;

Trinibyinjection:


Caisoqueen & Carnival Jumbie:


Tiffany:


Prettidolli & Kevianne:


GTWarrior:


And even after last year's faux pas where an Island People masquerader ended up in the magazine, the same thing occured this year! This time two masqueraders from Trini Reveller's "Paris is Burning" made it into TRIBE's magazine. Who says fire the editor?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shanghai

Jaded Teardrops issued a challenge to find this "old" costume from Pleasures Carnival when they were with Poison. The costume is called Shanghai.



For more back in times costume photos you can check out this post I did last year:

Costumes and Prices over the years


If you read that post you will find the website that will let you explore ALL archived websites. Have fun!

Wendy the two band H.O.

This year I challenged my inner F.H.O. (Frontline Highmaintence Overachiver) and did away with my barely frontline Fireman costume to play Traditional Fancy Sailor with my own special costume designed exclusively for me! Having tasted the H.O.ness I am already anticipating playing frontline again for 2008! I have to say it is quite intoxicating getting so much attention and photographs and I can see why legends such as prettidolli seek to be a F.H.O. year after year.

As I wrote about in my Enigma of the Two Band H.O. article last September there are those special ladies who take the H.O.ism one step further and play in two entirely different bands! This year Honourable mention goes to none other than Wendy Fitzwilliam who played frontline with Harts on Tuesday Morning in the section Zeal:



Then went on to play in Jean and Dinah on Tribe on Tuesday afternoon!



Wendy not only embodies the true spirit of H.O.ism but she has set a pinnacle that all Carnival Divas can only hope to achieve someday!

Photos: toronto-lime.com and truetrini.com

Carnival 2008

Yes, you read right! Carnival 2007 is over and if you though this blog would roll over and die think again!! We officially have 11 months before Carnival 2008, which falls on the 4th and 5th of February however band launchings start in August, leaving us with only 5 months to start the first rounds of preparations. For all those who missed out on cheap flights, a place to stay or even vacation time off now is the time to start planning!

Firstly, organize your finances. Every one has an idea of what prices for flights, costumes, fetes and accommodation were this year so give or take a 10% increase for 2008 and start working on that budget. List everything you need at an estimated cost and work out a financial plan so you will not be broke this time next year! If you have plans on joining a sou sou, putting aside a fixed amount monthly or using a bonus to pay for your costume do the necessary.

For those coming from overseas note the ridiculous prices for airfare that was quoted a month or two before Carnival; prices rose to over $1000.00 US and that includes those inter Caribbean flights as well!! When it comes to travel I always look for deals, bargains and sales. Keep on the look out for cheap airfare by registering for the “fare watcher” service at Travelocity.com or the “buzz alert” at kayak.com which will send you an email when airfare prices to a specific destination drops. I know of persons who purchase their air fare from as early as April for the following year! Of course this will only work if you know the specific time you will be in Trinidad, no use buying a ticket and you do not have approved vacation time off.

This brings me to my next topic; apply for your vacation leave in advance! My company has a roster that they send out each year for employees to indicate when they want time off and I know other companies do the same. Even if your company does not have this policy in place it does not hurt to inform the Human Resource department or your supervisor that you will be applying for vacation late January/ early February 2008. Mark it big and bold on a calendar and stick it on your desk so that when the time comes he or she cannot pretend that they were unaware of your plans, looking for excuses to deny you leave.

You can safely book accommodation in advance as most hotels allow you a window for cancellation, so it does not hurt to make a tentative reservation when you have your dates confirmed. Some of the more popular places are booked way in advance and especially those guest houses and apartments which see repeat customers every year. In 2008 the new Holiday Inn express close to Trinicty Mall and the air port will be opened. A good idea as well, if you are planning on visiting Tobago after Carnival is to book early, remember many Trinidadians escape Carnival and head to Tobago! If you look at some vacation villas, like Villa De Lena, it is already booked for 2008!

You know how we all like to wait LAST MINUTE to try and get into shape, myself included, how about starting the eating right and exercise program from now. That will give us all enough time to not only meet our target weight loss goals but also the extra time to try and maintain it. Then when we succumb to the occasional temptations like at Thanksgiving or Christmas our waistlines will be much more forgiving seeing as we would have already lost weight. One blogger and I already have a challenge on, the goal being which one of us could loose more pounds by Easter. All the hard work, diet and exercise for Carnival is not going to be thrown by the wayside for me, my goal is to continue eating sensibly and working out.

All of you suffering through winter time at the moment can barely think about spring far less summer, but keep in mind how difficult it was for some of you to get boy shorts in January. Therefore, when summer rolls around this year start shopping for Carnival. You don’t have to get all the trendy stuff but at least get items that are seasonal like sandals, flip flops, shorts, tanks and swim wear.

Though it may seem like 2008 is so far away, soon enough we will all be obsessing over costumes, waiting to register and going through the drama we love so much!

Monday, February 26, 2007

TRIBE pics



Well I cannot believe Warrior Spirit has their OWN gallery on Carnivalscene.com who I believe were the offical TRIBE photographers. Anyway, finally we have exclusive TRIBE pics (yes I am biased I got tired of sifting through too many photos to see TRIBE) so go check out the galleries at Carnival Scene.

Feedback

Now that Carnival has come and gone and I am left with too much time on my hands to think of all the events that unfolded I have some comments, suggestions and observations to make to the bandleaders, specifically for TRIBE since it’s the band I played with, but others can feel free to take my recommendations to heart or not.

I first want to address the costume issue as it is the most important element of the Carnival experience for women. I appreciate the fact that TRIBE caters to all and sundry regardless of size, but personally I think the past two Carnival presentations the costumes were “nice” but not spectacular with the exceptions of one or two sections. Now, I am a different type of masquerader, some would be quite happy with a simple costume and small headpiece, but I love glamour! To me you are regular Jane Doe 363 days a year and Carnival is that one time where you can channel that inner Diva, therefore I am partial to costumes that are lavishly decorated and plumed.

Seeing that TRIBE has to cater to everyone’s taste which is a difficult job to do in itself, I would suggest having more Frontline costumes available as a choice. This year we basically only had a few frontlines in Bat, Pierrot Grenade, Imp, Jab Molassie, Dragon and Jab Jab none of which appealed to me. Not wanting to make band versus band comparisons, I have to say I liked how Island People offered frontlines for almost all their sections, therefore giving the choice to those who want simple or more elaborate costumes. And what would make the frontlines even more attractive to masqueraders wanting more than a “basic” costume would be not to price them exorbitantly, not all of us are willing to pay $1000.00US for a frontline costume! Island People’s frontline costumes last year ranged from $3295.00 (Sahara Sunset) to $4595.00 (Goddess and Defenders). I would also like to make a plea for the male costumes to be more than just board shorts, an arm band and foot pieces. I saw many guys, hubby included, in Warrior Spirit who went the extra mile and added more to their costume so the men are paying attention to what they wear.

The next thing I have issue with is the wait between band launching and actual registration. Last year we waited over a month to register following the band launching, which was a bit too long if you asked me! Ideally after the band launching the website should be launched the following week, putting in place all the necessary tools for overseas masqueraders to register online. Thus, even though registration is delayed slightly I can obsess over costume choices, and prices, on the website. Harts tried to follow this formula but kept those overseas masqueraders waiting for quite a while, one section selling out in the interim, which really is not fair to those who are physically unable to be in the country to register at the mas camp.

I have no complaints about the registration process at TRIBE, last year things went quite smoothly for me and even though there were some glitches with those registering online those were sorted out as well. Unfortunately I also had to make the trip to Island People to register someone and what really caused the long lines and wait was the fact that they allowed people to view costumes at the same time as registration, so those people took their cool time looking at costumes before anyone could be let inside the mas camp to register. To circumvent that issue this year I would offer a suggestion that either registration be moved to another venue seeing as the mas camp is too small for the number of people that descend upon it for registration or they allow costume viewing prior to registration allowing ONLY registration on the days specified.

As for costume pick up, I would really like to see costumes distributed two weeks in advance of Carnival instead of one and give overseas masqueraders more than ONE day for pick up! The difference between picking up hubby’s costume on the Wednesday and my costume on the Saturday (designated day for overseas masqueraders) was like night and day. His costume pick was painless with a minimal wait while I had to wait for a long time, moving from room to room. Also, if costumes are distributed within enough time masqueraders in need of adjustments can get them done either at the costume adjustment centre (without a rush) or on their own if they so choose. In addition it is much easier to match accessories when you get your costume early!

Although the advertised “goody bag” does not make or break my total Carnival experience the bag we got this year was pretty useless and to take TRIBE to task, it did not provide me with any Carnival essential well except for the cup! Masqueraders are pretty easy to please; offer what is advertised and we are all happy. Therefore a real goody bag, to me, would provide the one thing that I was left lacking on the road; a mini purse to match my costume! A simple request, I know but I had no where to put my cell phone, vex money, blotting sheets, mirror and lip gloss! Hubby became the official man purse on both days, much to his chagrin! A cute mini purse that could be either looped around your belt or across the body would be very nice to have in the goody bag next year, in addition to a bandana and mini bottle of sun block.

A big issue with lots of TRIBE masqueraders this year is the fact that no type of Monday wear was provided. Now I know there are the die hard “I wear my costume on both days” masqueraders but honestly I don’t know how they do it as the costume is so sweaty and grimy at the end of the day I cannot fathom how it gets cleaned for Tuesday. Most ladies really have no problem purchasing the extra pair of boy shorts from TRIBE and I think what most of us would have liked was a simple vest or tank top , t shirt for the guys, with a TRIBE logo on it to wear on Monday. I know the excuse is that persons use the Monday wear to “storm” the band on Tuesday, but really there are ways to get around that, we all have to wear wrist bands now don’t we? If it would help stamp a big “MONDAY ONLY” sign on the back of the garment so security could easily identify the alleged stormers on Tuesday.

One problem I had with my costume on Tuesday was that the decorations on either leg kept hooking on each other as I walked resulting in some of them being ripped off the leg of the costume. What I needed was a “costume repair” truck, but alas there was none! So, my idea is to offer this service at the lunch stop. A tent where any masquerader with “costume issues” whether from someone pulling too hard on the back pack or a wardrobe malfunction, could go and get a quick repair of the costume. All that would be needed is a few hot glue guns, some able bodied workers and maybe some extra beads and sequins on hand. In addition, to take an idea from Carnival Jumbie, mas tights can also be on sale at the lunch stop for all those rips, runs and tears that befall some masqueraders on the road. I have to say it happened to me on Monday but I was wearing TWO pairs of tights (I was prepared) and simply took one off at the lunch stop and voila, perfect looking tights for the rest of the day!

There are no complaints about the drinks or bar service from me, when I met the band on Monday and a drinks truck stopped in front of me the bartender politely asked “what are you drinking miss?” Talk about nice service! Lunch on both days tasted good, I was hungry and went with the herbed pasta and parmesan chicken on Monday and Bar B Que on Tuesday, so I cannot comment on anything else that was served. I do think the snacks could be improved, even if that means offering less options for lunch. Really, I would not have been starving if there was more “nibbles” to snack on while we were waiting to cross the stage; you know something to help absorb all the alcohol! The tortilla chips (way too salty), Crix minis, cookies and Dixie biscuits were really poor choices in my opinion. Next year I hope the snack choices are improved greatly. I had only one complaint about the afternoon snack and that was the Bake and Shark needed some condiments!

Finally, to be totally frivolous and off the wall what I really, really needed on Tuesday was a masseuse! I think it would be quite decadent for the “bourgeoisie” band to provide a masseuse service for its masqueraders! Think about it, we can have a roving massage bus, with an on hand masseuse as well as masseurs at the lunch stop giving aromatherapy massage during lunch!

And to all those with suggestions, comments and even complaints of your own as per TRIBE’s website and Member’s Guide feel free to send them feedback either through the website www.carnivaltribe.com or email: feedback@carnivaltribe.com

Sunday, February 25, 2007

More Pics!

Both triniscene.com and carnivalscene.com are slow on the draw with Carnival pics, but you can visit Trini Jungle Juice and Toronto Lime for lots of Carnival pics! Enjoy!

Island People


Harts


Island People


Harts


Tribe




Mc Farlane




Tribe

Coming Soon ...................



I have been to Hi Lo over the weekend and did not see the TRIBE 2007 Carnival magazine on sale,the information given is that it was to be available from Thursday the 22nd. Tomorrow I have intentions of calling the mas camp for information on when official photographs will be available for viewing and purchase. Of course I want to see if they have any spectacular shots of me in my costume! According to the Members Guide the photos will cost $10.00 each, and since Prince Namor did not get one full bodied shot of me in my costume alone I will be forced to purchase a few.

p.s. If anyone spots the magazine anywhere please let me know, thanks!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The End of a Saga .......

In the midst of all the Carnival drama I never gave a report on what happened with my friends playing in Fireman, the same ones who were driving me up a wall treating me as their “go to girl”. They were part of the reason I wanted to switch from Fireman, the last incident I wrote about was the call I got when doing my lashes on Carnival Saturday from them saying they were at Cascadia and I did not inform them that credit cards were not accepted. In addition they wanted to know if I could “loan” them the balance on both their costumes, of course I said no and recommended they use the ATM and withdraw cash from the credit card but they were opposed to that idea.

So, I did not hear from them for the rest of the day, I even looked out for them when I went to Cascadia a few hours later to collect my costume. On Sunday I had a function to attend to celebrate the Chinese New Year and then the bloggers lime in the evening. Since my friend was insisting that I had to purchase her mas tights from the minute I told her I got mine, I sent her a text message to say I was not going to Samaroos that day but they were open until 10:00PM. Now, the whole mas tights issue was bugging me if only because she was so adamant that I HAD to purchase two pairs for her! Which annoyed me as I did not know which shade would look best on her and she had ample time to get to Micles weeks before or even Samaroos on the previous day when she came to collect her costume, yet still she made it seem that the fact she had no tights up to Carnival Sunday was my fault!

Well she never responded to my text message or call which was the pattern all along, I was the one doing all the communicating. On Monday morning I sent her another text message to ask what time they were leaving home, same thing, no response. Thing with me is that I have a conscience so I said to my self, I will give her a quick call before leaving home even though she might be mad that I did not get her tights or because they had to go home for cash on Saturday.

Lo and behold when I call my friend she tells me they NEVER picked up their costume and will not be playing mas! I could have fallen off the couch when she told me that! Seems that after leaving Cascadia on Saturday they went home for the cash and were too “tired” to return so they sent her niece to make the payment and collect the costume. BUT, they sent the girl with only $4000.00. The cost of the costume was $2935.00 plus there was an additional $100.00 for a whole suit which was ordered. Therefore the balance was $4,170.00; normal people would have asked the balance of the costume not so? But these were “lazy” people who could not even be bothered to pick up the phone to call me or even TRIBE they simply assumed the balance was $4000.00. If they were there in person as well, the issues would have been sorted out, because the cousin eventually remebered that she had ordered the whole suit and it cost extra, but the poor child they sent had exact money so she called them in a panic and their brilliant suggestion was to pay the cashier the $4000.00, let the person know that she was short the $170.00 and TELL them to give her the costumes and they would drop off the balance of money “later”.

Now you see the sort of ignorant, bold face behavior I had to deal with all these months? I was appalled that they even made that suggestion, so I had to stop her when she told me that and asked her if she was at Hi Lo and was short $100.00 if she thought they would give her the groceries and a credit to drop off the balance of money when she felt like? Because she was most upset that TRIBE did not accept her suggestion!!! She did say the guy at TRIBE told them he would hold the costume until Sunday for them to collect, even though Sunday was the day they would be selling costumes. For whatever reason Sunday morning came and my friend and her cousin decide they are not going to collect the costume, it was too much hassle! So they just let $1800.00 go down the drain because they did not have the “go to girl” to do everything for them. Then, at the end of the phone call she was trying to convince me that she was quite happy missing mas this year and it was “no big deal” “things always happen for the best” and so forth. By that time I was ready to leave and had to wrap up the phone call. I had to admit I was still in shock after she gave me the run down of what happened, I just could not believe the careless attitude that they had towards loosing their money!

Anyway, after a pattern of communication between us not being initiated by my friend I was most surprised to get a text message from her on Ash Wednesday asking “how was it?” And she said she was not missing playing mas, yeah right! So the moral of this story people is when coming to friends, or even family, who are solely dependent on you when it comes to everything mas related (picking out costume, registration, payment, pick up) give the responsibility over to them, only taking charge for your self! It was a lesson learned the hard way for me this year, in the process I may have even lost a friend as I am sure I am being blamed for everything that went wrong leading to her not playing mas, but be sure for 2008 when time comes to register in a band/section the only person I will be worrying about is myself! This “go to girl” has retired!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I have got a Troll!!

Well maybe it is more than one troll that visits this blog but Carnival Jumbie touched on this subject in her post about Blog Nazis last October and I finally decided to do some more research on this phenomena seeing as I seem to have trolls of my own!

Here are some interesting tidbits I found online about Blog Trolls:

URBAN DICTIONARY:

1. Blog Troll

(n) -A depraved individual who sits in front of a computer all day and posts flames of an idiotic or pseudo-intellectual nature on public forums and private websites. Many of these people actually become emotional about what is said on the afore-said mediums and feel it is their duty to punish those who disagree with them. They too may pursue this object in an obsessive-compulsive manner.

SANE STORM
What is it?

A blog troll is an obnoxious, hurtful and incredibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessed by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog. And while you can ban him/her from commenting on your site -- they’ll come back as alts and you can ban them, too -- you can’t ban them from commenting on other sites and pointing back to your blog, and you can’t ban them from posting things on their own blog that point back to your site.

And you really, really wouldn’t want to.

Because a blog troll will provide you with more traffic to your blog than an interview with William Shatner, a brief affair with Amanda Congdon, or even a pointer from BoingBoing.

Why? Because being hated is interesting, and tons of people will want to know why this freak has it in for you. That makes you special. That makes you interesting. Nobody targets a nobody.

BLOGGERS BLOG
Who Let the Trolls Out?

Blog Commenter Troll - One who floats in and out of many different blogs and leaves anonymous or non-anonymous comments that fit the "troll" trademark code of, well, shame?

Blog comment trolls are nothing new and have been around since comments on blogs existed. Webopedia offers the following definition of trolls which works well for blog comment trolls.

(v.) (1) To deliberately post derogatory or inflammatory comments to a community forum, chat room, newsgroup and/or a blog in order to bait other users into responding.

Blog comment trolls are a continual pest just like they continue to be on message boards. Google shows over 11,000 results for blog trolls. Trolls and spam are one reason some bloggers started moderating their comments.

And I absolutely love this "how to guide" of dealing with your troll by the author of the blog Mommy Needs Coffee; you can read it here!

The best thing I read about this entire Blog Troll issue is the fact that the troll may actually be suffering from a personality disorder, and reading the list of symptoms it all makes sense!

*Narcissism is the ego unbound. The DSM-IV describes the narcissistic personality disorder as, "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts...." Some indicative behavior are these:

* Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
* Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
* Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
* Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
* Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
So what I have learnt so far is not to feed the troll, ignore the troll, take it as a compliment that I being trolled and that all trolls are quite possibly mentally unstable, beware!

Island People Review

Now before all the anonymous posters come out of the woodworks attacking me, please note that the request for this review came from "jamette" and cb who played with Island People gladly obliged by emailing me the review to post here. I would love to get a review from masqueraders who played with Island People as well, I think it is nice to give others an idea of what we might be missing from other bands. And I have to say cb I loved Sacred Sand and you looked great in your costume! I made you out because of the comment you left on Carnival Jumbie's blog



As requested by Jamette, here's my recount of my Carnival in IP. I'd already told of my walk-thrus with TRIBE in the comments of a previous post, so didn't include that here. But, here's my take on IP:

Registration:
Really bumpy. As I didn’t register myself, I didn’t have to go through the stress, but apparently, it was really tiresome for most. Online registration system really needs to be redesigned. Not even going to touch on the bias against potential masqueraders who didn’t fit into the ideal mould for IP.

Collection:
Madness. Now, I know that it’s always a mad rush doing last-minute adjustments making sure the costumes are all ready. There will be the inevitable hiccup where some part of the costume is late, or not in the right colour and has to be redone, or the glue was defective and all your decorations ending up on the floor… Every potential mishap seems to happen a few days before they post those collection dates. But, for the goody bags to be messed up to the degree that people had to go back another day (the last day for collection and the day allllll the international masqueraders were scheduled for pick-up) was really inexcusable.

Again, I asked someone to collect on my behalf, so I can’t comment on Hooters and the layout of the place, but from all the reports of lines curving around corners and getting longer by the minute, obviously, the place was way too small and in terrible need of some feng shui, or something.

BUT, I must say that my costume (Sacred Sand) was so, so, so sweeeeeeet!!!!! I was telling somebody that it even made ME look good (and I’m 34 and really shouldn’t be running around half-nekked—already apologised for that on Carnival Jumbie’s blog). I saw plenty, plenty people losing pieces, but mine held up with no extra attention or adjustments. Oh, and the hot shorts for Monday were a godsend! I got so grimy on Monday, I couldn't imagine ANYBODY putting on the same clothes again for Tuesday pretty mas. I know people did it, but I have to give them their respec'. Not me at allllll!

On De Road:
Now, all the drama and commess that does be taking place leading up to the actual mas is completely swept to the back of my mind once the music trucks start up and the speakers start jammin’ de soca. For me, IP does win hands down for their road experience. So caught up was I, I had no clue there was all this drama with the big bands being at “war” with each other. In fact, all the favours I received from the TRIBE security, was apparently reciprocal with the IP security. I saw two TRIBE-ers waiting to cross the stage downtown with, I think, Sahara Jumbie section. I thought it was cool that they were being tolerant of masqueraders from other bands coming to get a likkle wine here and there. I didn’t realise that the spirit of co-operation only extended to the security team and not the road management personnel. That cutting-off thing real petty, boy, not to mention unnecessary.

This year, IP implemented a chit system for food. I didn’t hear anybody complain about this new organisation, so I’m guessing it was a better plan than just showing up at the back of a truck and bellowing out the number of meals you desired. It was meals on the go, which suits me fine because I cyah be sitting down to eat no big set of food when I have to be spending the rest of the day on my feet. In fact, I gave away my meal chits and just ate their snacks on both days—burgers, wings, corn soup, oranges, etc. They were supposed to have sno cones and lollies, but didn’t see any.

I think the bars fared much, much better this rounds. I know one truck ran out of ice for a while, but soon after I saw the fellas climbing on the truck with more. The drinks were generally replenished on a regular basis, and up til late they were still serving drinks.

There was the traditional wee-wee truck at the back of the band, but I feel they should have been like TRIBE and had two. There was always a line, and at a pre-judging point, when you’d expect people to be getting in their sections and not only now looking to pee, the line was long. I really wasn’t going to stick around to properly monitor the pee lines, but I could imagine that after crossing the “stage” and after lunch, those lines must have been nasty.

The DJs were good, but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe from the first truck (steups, the one that was assigned to my section, too!). Not a problem, because I was moving through the entire band. Now, I know that IP tends to attract real stormers and wil’ness, but I really liked the vibez this year, boy. I think it was the security team that had a lot to do with that. They didn’t rough up nobody (that I saw), but rather did their job without having to prove to nobody that they were bigger, louder, stronger and had the authority.

Now, after the Savannah on Tuesday, I have no idea what the IP road plan was. We don’t normally have a rest stop, and for the life of me I can’t understand exactly what happened where I found myself in Jenny’s car park listening to a rhythm section while the trucks went ahead (silent, yet at a healthy pace), but there it was. Now that really killed the vibe. It was just sheer confusion as to what was going on. And now, in hindsight, that I’m hearing of all the madness that move created for TRIBE and I’m sure other bands, it makes even less sense, but I realise that logic does be scarce come Carnival time. Left the rest stop, and met the band again on Tragarete Road and it became evident that we were heading to the Foreshore.

Mucurapo Road was sheer madness as we bounced up Harts coming in the opposite direction. How fun was that, hearing the music from about 4 trucks at the same time, and trying to squeeze two whole bands on that small stretch of road? Special! It was not all bad because we ended up losing most of the stormers as they had to be manoeuvring dem huge drains and rusty iron at the side of the road. Sorry for TRIBE who picked up our disgruntleds. Now, the Foreshore run was supposed to be the lead-up to the Las’ Lap at the Stadium where, if the theme were similar to last year’s, IP would have launched next year’s presentation. Well, there was traffic, traffic and then some more traffic. I walked ahead to the Stadium, and leaned up on a car for about 45 mins watching the same music truck in the same position on the Foreshore and showing almost zero sign of moving anytime soon. Well, that was the end of my wait and my Carnival.

Had a marvellous time, but really missed the stage. I knew the whole Savannah thing was going to be a waste of time, since even my 4-year old was dissatisfied with his Kiddies Carnival crossing. He kept asking me where the judges were, so he could know when he had to jump up and show off, poor heart. After only 3 years of having a stage, he really got programmed to expect that euphoric feel when you finally get to the open space and have the wood under your feet that almost propels you higher as you jump. My mother, whom I’m sure never played mas, was commenting that we only missed posing for the cameras, but we bloggers know better.

Well, that was my IP experience. Don’t know what 2008 will hold for me, but I’m already excited and planning my next Carnival adventure.

Cheers,
-:¦:-·:*''''*:·.-:¦:-·* cb *·-:¦:-·:*''''*:·-:¦:-

Earthquake AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah yes, another day for another earthquake! Thankfully it was short and I was at home so I did not have to go running out the people building screaming like a banshee!

I was just sitting at my computer desk when I felt my chair jolt very hard like someone pushed it then I heard all my dishes rattling. That was time for me to grab my keys which are AlWAYS close to me (talk about paranoid) and make my way to the door. By that time it had stop... I am waiting for the aftershocks and news updates to hear how strong it was.

Make a Stage!

If there was any hope of the spanking new, ultra modern Carnival Centre being completed within the next year or two it was all dashed to pieces by the Minister of Culture’s revelation that “Mas on the Move” will continue for a number of years as the Centre will not be completed in the foreseeable feature. Seeing as absolutely no work has yet begun in the Savannah I expected this news, however I think it is quite smug of the Government to boast that Carnival 2007 “Mas on the Move” was a success when we were at a standstill for three hours on Carnival Tuesday. In addition several Ministers including Hazel Manning, Jerry Narace, Howard Chin Lee and not to mention the President and his wife all played with Tribe so I am bewildered as to if THEY were not affected by our long wait to cross the downtown judging area. Maybe they met the band on South Quay or spent some time lounging in their private resting bus, because there is no way they could have met the band at Stanmore Avenue and inched forward to South Quay and call that a “success” in Mas on the Move!

In retrospect to circumvent that wait if I were the organizers of TRIBE I would have taken a move like HARTS once I knew Island People was ahead of us and after the band came down Tragarete Road, turn across Park Street (or one of the streets that could be navigated) and head up Charlotte Street to the Savannah, putting the band ahead of Island People. It made absolutely no sense to put TRIBE immediately following Island People when both bands take over an hour to cross the judging point! This is something the NCC and NCBA have to look into if they want to have a success at Mas on the Move in 2008 and 2009! Send the big bands to different judging points to avoid the congestion.

Another issue I have had for a long time is that the cameras and television coverage focuses only on the Savannah. Why not set up live coverage at each of the judging points? That way viewers at home can get to see all the bands, if there is a lull at the Savannah (which happened this year) switch to downtown coverage. Even without the “lull” viewers at home could be treated to what is taking place at Adam Smith Square, Downtown or Piccadilly because as we know several bands, including TRIBE did not make it to the Savannah on Tuesday.

I have no idea why the Government is so opposed to giving masqueraders a stage. I mean am I the only one who can look at the Savannah and see a wide expanse of land where a stage can be constructed in some other area? Surely if Machel could hold his Alternative Concert on the Western End of the Savannah and Panorama facilities this year were constructed ground up in another vicinity other than where the “old” Grand Stand is, given the time we have before Carnival 2008 it is quite feasible to simply move the stage and stands to another part of the Savannah. The issue is not with wanting to hold on to the past and not welcoming change, sure, we all welcome the new Carnival Centre that is proposed but in the interim and especially after seeing the results of Mas on the Move, why not give masqueraders that one element that was missing this year; a stage. I guess that would mean some official having to admit that Carnival 2007 was NOT the “best ever” as is being touted by the propaganda and bull shit regime!

Finally, if I were a Bandleader I would really lobby to get my OWN stage for my masqueraders to cross. Yes it seems like a “farfetched” idea and one that the NCC or NCBA might frown upon, but think about it; Harts and Island People both used the Oval for their masqueraders to have a “party” why then not use a venue as such and build a stage making your own route and taking your masqueraders across that stage? I mean friends, family, tourists and other persons could be charged a nominal fee to enter the area, be it in the Oval or some private park/grounds where bleachers are set up, and masqueraders have a stage to cross. Then we could go on the streets, enjoy Mas on the Move and return to that stage to cross as many times as we like! What would be even better is if a few bands could come together to put this plan in action so that spectators would have the chance to see more than one band crossing their own “private” stage.

Of course to make it appealing to the spectators the venue could be transformed into a big lime with drinks and food on sale, entertainment and even large screens set up so that footage of bands crossing from official judging areas could be broadcasted while they wait. I know for sure my mom and all her friends would pay to see me cross the stage because as soon as TRIBE crossed downtown she went home! And I know lots of people who waited only to see their friends and family cross the stage and then left. So I am copyrighting my brilliant idea since I think it could work beautifully! When I played with Harts we made out own route every year, with the focus being on the masqueraders having a good time instead of competition. My first taste of “waiting” to cross the stage was with Poison and to me that was a waste of time, having to spend hours at a standstill, literally playing mas all day stuck on Charlotte Street. Thankfully the wait, for me, on Tuesday was not as bad as Poison days, and after we crossed downtown TRIBE took the initiative to veto the Savannah and keep moving (until they blocked once again by Island People), the best part of the day being the jump up in St. James!

So I hope all the powers that be stop patting themselves on the back trying to fool the general public that this Carnival was not without problems, go back to the drawing board with Mas on the Move and revamp the concept for Carnival 2008!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Monday Pics are up!

Trinijunglejuice has two galleries up of TRIBE on Monday; they also have a small review on the day's events.

Check out the photos here and here.

Mc Farlane and Machel take it all!

It was no surprise to any masquerader on the road Monday and Tuesday that "Jumbie" would win Road March, however it was played 334 times compared to 34 times of it's nearest competitor "Open de Gate" by Sherwayne Winchester! Congratulations to Mr. Montano for his second consecutive Road March victory.

Brian Mc Farlane, quite deservedly, won Band of the Year with his presentation Indian competing in the large band category for the first time. Despite challenges with relocating his mas camp and late launch Mc Farlane was able to surmount those difficulties and present a beautiful showing on both days.

You can read about the Road March and Band of the Year victories online at the Trinidad Guardian,

Costume Review............

When you are in one band for Carnival the disadvantage is that you do not get to see others. From my vantage point I saw several Island People masqueraders as well as a few from Brian Mc Farlane (saw the entire band on Monday doing their phagwa portrayal), Legacy, Pulse 8, Trini Revellers and Genesis.

Of the costumes I saw from Island People Sacred Sand looked beautiful! I really liked that costume at the mas camp and it looked the same on the road. Sahara Jumbie also looked great, the actual costume was of an iridescent material and only the headpiece had the black feathers. Jewel of the Nile, Oasis, Goddess and Nubians failed to live up to the hype for me. Jewel looked cheap; there some girls from that section in Tribe so I inspected the costume up close. My hubby even got some girl’s arm band from Jewel of the Nile and half the stones were missing already! Nubians looked okay, the frontline headpiece was a slightly smaller one than the prototype, now that is another thing I take issues with, and not only with Island People. Why do they advertise one costume and when you eventually get it they cheat you out of feathers or beads making the costume with fewer materials than what were displayed? Anyway, Nubians needed to be a more vibrant red and many masqueraders got rid of the fabric.

Island People


Oasis which was another one of my favourites looked quite “normal” on the road, nothing outstanding, and that headpiece looked like chicken wire! Goddess was one of those costumes that looked better on some people and not all. You simply had to be of the right complexion to pull off the costume, but overall it looked okay. Being the “hot” section I expected much more. As for Sirrocco Winds I finally saw what was reported before and I have to say the fabric used was not what was on the original costume at the launch! The new fabric was more of a hand painted print with shades of orange and brown while the costume displayed at the mas camp was gold/bronze, russet brown, orange and tan; I thought the gold added some much needed sparkle to the costume and without it the fabric looked dead. Raiders of the Desert looked cute, the girls I saw had more of a camouflage print going on than just plain kahki. I also saw Arabian Nights, which looked just like on the website, Cacti which was not so bad in the sunlight, Taureg looking good and Sahara Sunset which to me looked cute, except for the headpiece. The section that I thought looked really good was Le Soleil Brule, one thing about the majority of Sonia’s masqueraders is that they have the body to pull off the costume and the ladies I saw in the bronze costume looked really good.

For 2008 it would be nice if Mc Farlane could use real costumes instead of drawings , reason being that I had a somewhat difficult time identifying the sections except for Kaal (looked great) and Royalty (lovely decorations). Being the theme “India” my expectations were that all of the sections would have used fabrics that were light or silky, yet some of the ones I saw were cotton. The ladies dressed like villagers with the water pot, looked nice though the colours varied from the website and the jewelry they wore did not look very “Indian” to me. I guess I had one picture in my head of how the sections would look, and in reality they looked a bit different. All in all, Mc Farlane looked great from the little I saw and he took the Band of the Year title to kudos to him!

Mc Farlane



Harts as usual looked very pretty. They always use the most vibrant shades for their plumes and beads and the costumes are always well decorated. I saw many of the costumes and Atlantis looked gorgeous as well as Aztlan, Oceana and Shangri-la.

Legacy’s costumes looked really nice, I saw Kiowa which has been a favourite from the beginning with me and a few masqueraders in other sections. Of Trini Revellers I saw D Krewe’s entire section, and they looked really good as well as House of Hapsburg which looked great! I only saw a few girls from the section Mai Tai in Pulse 8, costumes looked ok and I saw one guy in Mojito and I liked how that looked. Genesis costumes, well the ones I saw, looked good. I saw Helen of Troy and Briseis which both looked quite good on the ladies I saw wearing them. The one band I did not see at all was Dream Team, though I saw a few photos of one section on trinisoca.com.

Hopefully I can get to see more bands through photos; I know trinisoca.com is first on the ball with Carnival photos and triniscene.com, carnivalscene.com, islandevents.com as well as other online photo websites were all on hand taking lots of photos!


All photos from www.trinisoca.com

TRIBE pics!

TRIBE pics are now up on Trinisoca.com! Check out the full gallery for more pics, as well as photos from Mc Farlane and Harts!




Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday Pics

The first set of photos are up. Trinisoca has beaten everyone to the punch! No photos of TRIBE or Mc Farlane but you can broswe Legacy and Island People pics.

Mas on de Move!!!!!!

Tuesday morning saw me waking up quite early as I could not sleep; came online and was kept company by another excited masquerader until we both decided we needed to get back in bed and take a nap in order to make the distance for the day. I set my alarm and about an hour later I was up; there would be no arriving late on Carnival Tuesday!Both the hubby and I were dressed and out of the house by 6:30, since the band was scheduled to leave an hour later. Of course I missed the makeup artist’s appointment and did my makeup myself which looked good enough for me!

As usual the traffic around the Savannah was chaos; we had clear roads from St. Augustine and over the Lady Young until before the Hilton. That was where the traffic started and hubby started to panic that we would be late. Thankfully we were able to navigate that two way traffic around the Savannah, park the car and make the trek to Stanmore Avenue. I swear I did lots of walking pre and post the actual parade this year!

It was while rushing to get to Stanmore Avenue that I realized my costume was giving me some problems! As I mentioned before my original costume, Fireman, just started looking less and less appealing so I changed my section. The new costume was Fancy Sailor Traditional (female version) which I have to say I loved! It was covered up by TRIBE’s standards and even hubby was concerned that it was too covered in the beginning but then he liked how it looked when he saw the final dressing. I found it was still sexy, long pants and all. Let me just say those pants weighed about 5lbs! They were made from drill which is a heavy material in itself, then the pants was decorated with beads, tassels, trim, and huge gold anchor cut outs. Added to that when I walked, which I discovered on Tuesday, the beads were hooking on each other making it difficult to move quickly. I had to learn to move in the pants, because they had the flare to the bottom and the beads that were giving me trouble, so that’s why my thighs are killing me today! I had a workout yesterday; see why the gym is a necessity!

Anyway, we eventually get to Stanmore Avenue and saw some TRIBE Bar Staff to the top of the Savannah, asked them where the band was and they informed us that they had not left as yet. Indeed as we discovered, the band was still on Stanmore, so we had breakfast seeing as we were not late! Breakfast was sandwiches, bake, sada and vegetables, doubles (from an onsite doubles vendor), peeled oranges and a yogurt drink.After we had breakfast I saw one of the TRIBE’s sector managers and joked with him that they told us we would leave at 7:30 just to get us there early. It was then he informed me that we had to wait on Island People which were ahead of us. Rumor has it that Island People left at 7:00 and changed their meeting place from the Stadium to by Jenny’s car park on Cipriani Boulevard, one street away from Stanmore Avenue.

So, we had a wait, which would be the theme for the rest of the morning, mas on the move it was not! After leaving Stanmore Avenue eventually (we waited for about 45 minutes) we chipped down Tragarete Road to St. Vincent Street, heading for Downtown Judging when we were again forced to wait for Island People who were ahead of us to cross the stage. I cannot tell you how long it took for us to inch forward on St. Vincent Street, I estimate about three hours as the first section (my section) eventually crossed the stage at approximately 11:30. The wait for me was not too bad, we were moving ever so slowly but the music and drinks kept spirits up, everyone I saw looked like they were having a great time! Too many other masqueraders passed TRIBE looking sour, what is up with that really? You are looking nice in your costume yet the face does not even show a smile!

Eventually we get to South Quay and after being pent up for so long waiting, I crossed the stage twice! Fancy Sailor was first, and I was ahead of the section just behind the individual character, but the rest of the section was close on my heels. The section was a big one, so when we first crossed the stage and I jumped up to my hearts content and reached the end, looking back I saw another group of Fancy Sailors still parading, man I went back and jumped up with them until the section was off the stage totally. My mom was at the end of the stage taking pics and while I went to take some more photos with her the rains started! Knowing that I had feathers to protect I took shelter in a makeshift bar on Broadway and saw a whole slew of soaking wet Warrior Spirit masqueraders as they came around the bend looking most concerned that their headpieces were ruined! That also included hubby who joined me in the shelter, he was most upset that his headpiece could possibly be ruined!Thankfully with some sunshine the feathers dried nicely and the headpiece was saved.

The rains eventually stopped, and I have to admit it put a bit of a damper on things. The drinks and music trucks went down the Promenade by Royal Bank then made the turn and came up the Promenade before turning unto Frederick Street. Being in the first sections we had no problem following the band. I even got drinks and water (to wash my pants hem lol) and chipped following the band across park and unto Tragarete Road; we were going in reverse direction from the morning heading back to Stanmore to make it to the Park in time for lunch. Clearly it looked like we might be missing the Savannah! Well, when we realized every single truck was lined up behind each other on Stanmore at a standstill we decided to cut across to Cipriani and just head to the lunch stop.

That was when we met Island People coming DOWN Cipriani, it was a parade of truck after truck after truck but in the distance we saw the Heineken Club Zero trailer and then I was confused as that trailer was in TRIBE! Eventually we got to the top of Cipriani Boulevard, Savannah side, only to realize the front of TRIBE was standing there motionless as Island People had cut through the band and was moving on like normal! Now, I am not trying to entice any band versus band bacchanal but I saw it with my own two eyes, no one told me this. We made our way to the lunch stop but the rest of the band took a while to catch up, obviously since they had to wait for Island People to pass through.

Starving by that time I am happy to report that we found the Bar b Que tent this time and at that point everything tasted good! Took a much needed cool rest in our car which was parked close to the lunch stop; got some air conditioned comfort, touched up the makeup, aired out the toes (got soaked in the rain) and hubby took a small nap. We had a long wait at the lunch stop seeing as the band got there long after us, then after ice cream we were told to meet the trucks by Harvards. By that time I was rejuvenated, only slightly disappointed we were not going to the Savannah then realized the crossing of the stage was no longer an appeal seeing as we had no stage, had some drinks and chipped down to St. James, we reached by Courts building when the rains came again! That did not last long; I think the Jumbie sent it away as the music truck started blasting it!

We made our way down St. James, got snacks of bake and shark (note to TRIBE please provide condiments for the Bake and Shark) and pizza. Then my feet started killing me, no joke! I now have a water bladder under my little toe on my left foot so imagine the pain I was in yesterday. I decided to seek refuge in the mobile bus to get off my feet for a while, knowing I had a long walk back to where we were parked later on. Found the resting bus, filled with some drunk masqueraders, a few sleeping soundly, and was treated to snacks and ice cream in the bus! Talk about a nice service. Anyway they kicked us out at 6:00 on the dot, the buses stopped working then. We jumped up for a little bit more until the darkness came; that was time for me to go home! Imagine I am chipping cool, cool and strange men just reaching out and grabbing me, calling “family, family” and I was not even wearing anything skimpy. That kind of roughing up from men who feel they could pull and tug at you during Carnival pisses me off; see if you look to answer them or retaliate in anyway they might be looking to injure you so that was my signal to go home! Too many gremlins like to come out when it is night looking for mischief!

Of all the sections I found Fancy Sailor, Dame Lorraine,Pierrot Grenade, Fancy Indian and Warrior Spirit looked great! Cow Mas was a mix and match section, some of the girls got tan suits like in the photographs on the website while others got a chocolate brown which looked awful! The backpack for Majorette was tiny, much, much smaller than the original! The Jamette girls looked good, but only those who got their corsets adjusted to fit properly, the others had to improvise which ruined the look. Fireman looked okay; too much orange in my opinion but the slender girls looked hot in the costume! For larger ladies the belt was too short! Jab Jab looked cute but I hardly saw the ladies wearing their headpieces! Dragon was a toss up for me; on some ladies it looked awesome and then others did not wear it well. Another section that did not look great (to me) was Bat. Something about it just did not stand out, maybe the colour did not work well with too many people, can’t say what, but it was disappointing. The costume that looked absolutely gorgeous was Imp! Wow that shade of blue just popped and with the whole ensemble of the wings, headpiece and feathered bra I thought it looked amazing; it is even featured on the front page of today’s Express.

Again I saw ladies wearing heels and even wedge sandals to play mas! My feet, in sneakers, were killing me so I only shudder to think what their feet are feeling like this morning.




I know there were issues with masqueraders to the back of the band and their experience might be totally different from mine (see why I do not like it in the back) but I had a great time, the hubby said he wished today was another day of Carnival!That is my Carnival round up, it was great and we doing it again in 2008!!!!! The countdown begins!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pics............

Now the hubby was taking the pics and like he forgot that he is not the star!The man infiltrate Island People and taking pics (not to mention wining) with all kinda women! Here is a few of the few pics he took:

Legacy


Island People


TRIBE


Island People




TRIBE

Monday Mas…

After getting up so early yesterday believe it or not we were late, by about 10 minutes, in meeting the band. Funny enough we misplaced the car keys and spent a considerable amount of time looking for them. Well, I was not too worried that the band had already left, waspwidfirecracker and no longernaon kept me abreast of the band’s movements while we walked from out car park to Stanmore Avenue for the shuttle service.

The shuttle service was mysteriously a no show; we had no clue if they had just left when we got there or if they were just not available at the time. After a wait of about half an hour and subsequent band location updates from persons in the band we decided to walk it and catch up with them as they were moving quickly!

We walked across to and then up Edward Street, turning off at Oxford as we heard the band was already to the bottom of Frederick Street! Luckily we then walked down to the corner of Park and Frederick and hubby went ahead to scout out the situation and reported back that the band was indeed coming up Frederick Street. While waiting we met Karabana, her hubby and Trinigee. I cannot tell you I happy I was to see the TRIBE banner, and then I was literally in awe as the MASSIVE Heineken trailer painted with “club zero” turned across Park heading to Charlotte Street. After that it was a parade of one truck after the other; bars, snack truck, Pall Mall truck until we realized that was only the FRONT of the band!

Falling into the band on Charlotte Street the first person I saw as I stood up by Rosary Boys School was Carnival Jumbie. Ms Diva (don’t know why she dropped it) was decked out in one of the swankiest Monday wear on the road that day! I will not go into a description knowing for sure she got lots of pics, but her plan was very well executed.

As usual many masqueraders chose to wear part of their costume; some even wore the whole thing. By the end of the day I was left wondering if some of them had access to a dry cleaner as the costumes were one sweaty, grimy mess! Even my Monday wear got dirty by the end of the day with drinks being spilled, sweat, paint and even from my own hands touching my face that was made up, differnece is I do not have to wear it again today.

The band moved pretty swiftly yesterday on our way to the Savannah, it seems they were taking mas on the move literally as at some points we were racing ahead, leaving a gap between the front sections and the rest of the band. Later on in the day as we headed up Mucurparo road the gym paid off as we were RUNNING with the music trucks! Did I mention my abs are now hurting this morning? Apparently I got one hell of a work out yesterday!

Anyway, a tip for all masqueraders today is that the drinks/service trucks all have to exit on Keate Street at Memorial Park so the trek from there to the Savannah will be without any beverages, Use your TRIBE cup and fill it up with liquid nourishment so that you will be able to survive until crossing the judging point. Having been accustomed to the build up for the stage let me just tell you the whole crossing off the” judging area” was very anticlimactic.

The organizers as usual did not take into account that the music trucks will be blocking all the spectators on the right as they accompany the band. My idea was to let the music trucks exit on Keate Street as well and have music piped through the speakers around the judging area and we meet up with the music trucks after crossing the “stage”. As it was only the spectators on the left really saw the band, it was just on mob of people and the truck a bit too close as we crossed the “stage”. Untop of that our music truck started playing Destra’s Las Lap as we were crossing, believe it I found the DJ and shouted at him “JUMBIE!” and he made the switch before I could even shout it again. That was the best part of crossing the “stage”.

By that time I was starving since I just had one sausage for breakfast and was chugging Gatorade with the occasional Scotch and Coconut water. So I was pretty happy to get to the lunch stop and eat! Well, hubby and I decided we were having Bar b Que only to look in vain for the Bar b Que tent and never finding it! Eventually I succumbed to the International Food Tent and had herbed pasta, veggie rice, lentils and parmesan chicken. But not before heading towards the ladies area which was nicely done with lots of full length mirrors, they even provided panty liners, tampons, body sprays, mints, pins, band aids, lotion/medication for sore feet, a cool down spray in a tin and hand sanitizers. Missing was tootthpaste, dental floss or toothpicks. My only complaint was that the portable toilets were steaming hot!! I swear I was in sauna when I was in there.

The snacks we got after lunch, though needed, were pretty lame. We got lollies but where was my ice cream desert? In fact all the “Snacks” yesterday were not worthy of the “ultimate experience”! They were offering Dixie biscuits, CRIX minis, tortilla chips (way too salty) and a packaged cookie! After checking out Island People’s menu I thought TRIBE could have provided a bit more, especially for the money we paid. Bar service however was quite good, from the minute we met the band it was easy to get drinks. I am taller than the average female and had no problems reaching the bar but I could see the shorter girls having some issues.

I am yet to see the wee wee truck, but I did see the Pall Mall truck with masqueraders inside having a grand time in air conditioned comfort. Of course I had to investigate and found out that you needed to purchase a pack of Pall Mall from one of the trucks which would give you a blue band and access to the facilities. Can I hear a big steups from all those who do not smoke! And the girls who were at the door when I made my enquiries were acting as if they were part of some exclusive club, hope they know smoking kills.

Let me just say I met lots of bloggers yesterday; some made me out like Tiffany having a time in Fireman (must be because I was one of the few wearing a green string), ‘rah, RL, deredting and Soca Diva. The ones I recognized were Caisoqueen in her smoking Monday outfit, Triniqueen and Pretti Dolli (the diva boots gave her away) and partyc. The others I had met before like no longer anon, warriorlikeme, Karabana and her hubby, Kevianne, Icahwait, Jamette and waspwiddfirecracker who limed with me all day. Then there were the blog readers, the ones who do not make comments, who also made me out! Apparently my attempts to go “incognito” failed; the hubby sold me out as people made HIM out! It was really nice meeting everyone, if I met you and forgot to mention your name here, sorry blame it on the Johnny!

So, I am ending my rather long post with some tips:

  • Walk with pins and sunblock (pins came in handy as my shorts were so low my ass was showing and I had to not only wear a longer top than I planned but also pin them unto the shorts).
  • Do not forget your Tribe cup at home like I did; it keeps the drinks cool and you do get a larger than average cup.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! Man the number of female masqueraders I saw in stiletto boots, tall wedge heeled sandals and even one in gold stripper heels made my feet ache! I wonder if they are able to walk this morning.
  • When measuring for boots measure the larger foot! Ok, I learned that lesson the hard way! My right foot was fine in the boots but my left foot (the larger one) was feeling the pain as my second toe kept jamming on the front of the boot. Thing is I also had a wedge which forced my feet forward naturally, I do not think flat boots will have this problem. Believe you me I had to take out the insoles to give my left foot the extra room and that killed my feet! By the end of the day I am not ashamed to say my feet were in pain and today I will be in sneakers!
  • Drink lots of water! We were blessed with light showers yesterday so the sun was not as intense as it usually is. However it is still important to keep hydrated so have lots of water in between drinks. I saw one guy passed out drunk at the lunch stop!
  • Don’t forget to fill up with drinks before Keate Street where the service trucks exit.
  • Walk with a cellphone !
  • The cool zone will soak you and your hair, if you want to cool down for a five the air conditioned resting stations are a better option to save both your hair and costume!
  • To make your makeup last all day, apply sunscreen on your face first, let in soak in before applying foundation. I use Revlon colorstay which does not rub off, trust me on that one. Set foundation with powder. Apply makeup and sprtiz face with a "fix it spray". That kept my makeup on all day! Do NOT use powder during the day, this will make your face look too "cakey". Instead to keep your face oil free use blotting sheets instead. For eye jewels I tested eyelash glue and mine stayed on the entire day, so you do not need spirit gum.

Monday, February 19, 2007

GOOD MORNIN NEIGHBOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO ready for mas this morning! Do you all see the time? It is past 5:00AM and I am wide awake, butterflies in my stomach and I cannot sleep. Right now I am looking at j’ouvert on TV and I am going to try on my Monday outfit one last time, I am thinking of making a small change so we will see how it goes. I think my original idea for Monday wear might be too much, so I am taming it down a bit. I really don’t want to have anyone trying to tell me that I am wearing a “costume” from another band and looking to try and put me out! We all know one person in particular was giving out instructions on Monday Wear at Cascadia costume collection, and though I will not be wearing any part of my costume I still don’t want any issues today! I am all about having a GREAT time, you know Monday is the day to break away and really enjoy yourself. Tomorrow will be a different story altogether!

Oh, I did not tell you guys that my fabulous Diva lashes are out! After taking the time and spending the money to have them done I simply could not keep them in! When I woke up yesterday one eyelid was missing lashes so I had to go back to get them repaired, and then throughout the day I kept feeling as if my lashes were too heavy! When I got home I could not wash my face properly because they were too long and I wear eye glasses at home so they kept hitting the lenses! After washing my face they felt even heavier and that was it, I had enough! So, I googled how to remove them, slathered Vaseline over my lids and gently removed the Diva lashes along with a few of my own.

I am kind of mad that they gave me so much trouble, they did look fabulous, but I feel much better now. If I can find strip lashes today I just might attempt that tomorrow as I know now I am not making it to the makeup artist! I got up this morning at 4:30AM and that was only after our small lime yesterday. Imagine after mas today what time I would have to get up tomorrow to do my makeup, plus that would entail me and the hubby getting dressed at the makeup artist’s place and I am so paranoid that I might forget something at home!I am doing a makeup practice run today, so tomorrow I should be quite prepared.

At the moment I putting some final touches to hubby's Monday wear "costume", it seems he is somewhat upset at not playing j'ouvert this morning so the man is wearing a cross between j'ouvert and Monday mas! Look out for him on the road, you will not miss this one! Let me just say again I AM READY FOR MAS!!!!!!!!!

Blog Lime.........


For all those who showed up at the small bloggers lime yesterday it was nice meeting everyone, though the turn out was not as enthusiastic as the request for the lime I was ironically quite happy that there were less people and the ones who were there contributed to a cool lime. We left dougla_1 at Crobar to continue what was shaping up to be a big Sunday evening jam!

This will be the only photo that I am publishing, of course there were a few cameras and much better pics taken, but if you would like to know who is whom, well you should have been there!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Carnival Jewels

Now I have my make up appointment for 5AM on Tuesday, but between you and me I don't know how I am making that! Monday is a long day and to get to St. James for 5AM would mean getting up at 3:3o AM for the latest. That is plan A but plan B is if I don't make it for my make up session, doing it myself. So I was quite happy to read the following mini Carnival makeup tutorial in the Woman Express today! Yesterday I bought face gems and picked up eyelash glue just in case, and today I have to make a pit stop at a cosmetics store for lipstick, gloss and some glittery eyeshadow. Hopefully I can find a store open! I think I can do a decent job if needs be, but it is nice to have a step by step guide as outlined below:




Be-Jewelled:
Complete your Carnival look with face jewels & glitter
Saturday, February 17th 2007


Carnival is the perfect time of year to go beyond with your make-up. Compliment your gorgeous costume with face jewels, glitter and metallic eye shadows to have every photographers' camera on you as you cross the stage or the judging points.

Here are some tips on how to apply face jewels and glitter. Don't be afraid to experiment with different patterns and themes - after all this is what Carnival is all about!

Prepare the Face:

- Prepare your skin with a moisturizer with at least an SPF 15. Blend your foundation into the skin followed by your concealer, if needed. If you can get a foundation with an SPF, you will get double the sun protection. Make sure you set with a light dusting of powder and a mist of make-up setting spray. This is essential since you want the make-up to last under these extreme conditions of heat and perspiration.

- Fill in the brows with a dark brown or black eyebrow pencil.

- Line the eyes with a black eye pencil or whatever shade takes your fancy - this is the time to go wild with your silver or gold liners and so on.

- If you want to add smoky definition to the eye do this with your darkest shade of shadow such as black, brown or dark blue.

Applying Your Glitter:

Choose the shades of glitter that best compliment your complexion and the hues of your costume. Glitter comes in three forms: powders, gels and lotions. Choose the one you feel most comfortable using.

The Eyes: You can use different shades of glitter on the eye to add depth and dimension. Light colored glitter such as gold, silver or iridescent can be used under the eye brows with a medium hue on the eyelids. The smoky effect you put in during your face preparation stage will add that depth on the eye without too much mess or fuss.

The Body: You can choose to put glitter all over your body or select focal points such as chest, d├ęcolletage, arm, back and lower legs. Use baby oil or baby oil gel as a base and then your glitter dust will adhere easily.

Key Tip: A cotton bud dipped in baby oil makes a great application tool, helping the glitter to move easily from your container to the face and giving you more control in the application. There is also glitter glue that you can use for more long lasting results.

Mess Control: Glitter is a very messy substance to work with, so if you want to maintain glitter primarily on the eye area, ask a friend to hold a folded page just under your eye while you are applying the glitter.

Applying Face Jewels:

- It is a good idea to figure out the pattern of design you would like to achieve with your face jewels before actually applying the glue and sticking them on. Remember you have already applied your foundation and powder so you want to do minimal damage to this surface.

- You can place the jewels on the face without the glue (they will hold on for a few minutes!) while you conceptualize your design.

- Once you have your masterpiece defined, apply a dot of eyelash glue or spirit glue to the back of the rhinestone. Remember, just a dot! Do not apply too much glue otherwise when you press it onto the skin it will spread out around the rhinestone, creating an unsightly mess.

- Allow to gel for about 15 seconds before applying to the face. Try to gauge exactly where you will be putting the rhinestone before sticking on the face so you won't have to drag it.

Continue until you have completed your design and voila you are ready for Carnival day!


source: www.trinidadexpress.com

Fast Track is the word for 2008!

Sorry to report folks but Dawn did not see me this morning! Free tickets or not I was simply too exhausted to get up and leave the house! Firstly yesterday was absolute madness with all the errands I had to do plus pick up my costume at Cascadia and secondly I was bone tired from Girl Power, age is catching up with me!

After all the emails TRIBE sent me about using the Fast Track service by paying off for my costume early, I simply ignored it much to my detriment, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. My day started off super early, I had to make a mall stop for sunglasses so since I had my lash appointment in St. James I went to West Mall. Now coming from St. Augustine it was absolute madness with the two way traffic around the Savannah, but I knew well enough to avoid Port of Spain as it was a mess!

The Mall was comparatively quiet, I picked up my sun glasses at Wonderful World and also did a Henna Tattoo at Eye Candy. After getting my Tattoo I went up to the food court to meet hubby who was eating (as usual) and while showing him the Tattoo a girl comes up to me and says "I love your blog!" Flabbergasted I could not even deny that I was "Saucy" (you all know I trying to stay incognito but it not working), even after totally changing my hair on Friday Ms. Thang was still able to make me out, thanks to hubby who she recognized! It was nice meeting someone who reads my Blog daily. Even though I am not seeking the popularity in any way, she was truly very pleasant and although that reader does not make any comments, apart from the message board, it's still cool to know that she is part of this little community.

After the mall I went to my Eyelash appointment, and had to wait as all previous customers were late, of course I was on time. My eyelashes are super long and even though hubby does not like them I think they have all the drama needed for the road! So, after that it was off to Cascadia to collect my costume. Before that trip I had to deal with a phone call from my friend who has abused this "got to girl" one too many times, yesterday was the last straw!

Imagine, I am getting my lashes done when the said friend calls to say that I did not tell them credit card could not be used at Cascadia and after all the waiting at costume collection they were now forced to return home for cash. on top of that they wanted to know if I had the cash to "lend"; now tell me, what am I doing walking around with so much cash and who "lends" anyone $4000.00 just like that at the drop of a hat in this day and age? My suggestion was that they try to get the cash from the ATM using the credit card, however the cousin did not want to use her card for cash,whatever! Thing is, the communication for this entire costume thing with my friend was only going one way. I was always giving them information yet they never sought it out until yesterday! Now they did ask me about what information they needed to collect the costume and I said ID but it did not occur to them to ask nor to me to tell them that cash or LINX only was accepted at Cascadia. I mean common sense would dictate that collection not being at the mas camp, credit card use might be limited thus all they had to do was ask a question or read an email! As I said before, next time I am playing mas I am only accepting responsibility for myself! They actually did not have to be at Cascadia yesterday as I told them before to collect the costume on Wednesday or Friday, knowing it would be madness on Saturday.

Anyway, I get up to Cascadia eventually and it is all craziness! People sitting under a tent, some sitting all over the car park, just a totally different scene to when I went with hubby to collect his costume. So, like I said before, I did not opt for fast track so I had to pull a number, and go upstairs where we were accommodated for registration, take a seat and wait. Man oh man, what a wait it was ! They had us playing musical chairs, moving from one room to the next and still showing that TRIBE dvd which I have grown tired of seeing as it was all they showed during registration! Some time later, after water and Crix minis, my number eventually got called and I was off to make my payment. That part was quick! I had no idea why so many people had to wait when the cashiers were moving very quickly. It was only AFTER I waited and paid that I was told I did not have to wait seeing as my costume was "special" Talk about wasted time, anyway it was my fault for not being a Diva and demanding some special treatment (just joking).

Customer service was excellent here on after! I did not even have to carry my own box people, I was escorted to the Costume Fix it area to try on my costume and make alterations. My only critique is that they did not have a sewing machine on hand at the adjustment center so those needing more than basic repairs had to seek it out on their own. Luckily my adjustments were done by my mom, but they did alter my headpiece so now it fits perfectly!

And, to once again clear up the whole wrist band issue I spoke to two persons who gave somewhat differing answers.;the guy who everyone supposedly got instructions from saying that we MUST wear part of our costume on Monday or else wrist bands will be snipped off and you will be thrown out of the band and one of the parents of the De Nobregias. Now the guy who is giving that insane rule I tackled first, asking him if he was the guy saying that we would get our bands snipped for not wearing part of our costume, he simply shrugged saying that we had to wear part of our costume but when I further explained that it would be impossible to expect me to wear any of my costume on Monday he did not give a response with any directive. Then, the very nice lady who was standing security told me to speak to someone else and when I spoke to that person, I was told you must wear WRISTBANDS. Other than that you can wear anything you want, full costume or not. If you wear full costume and no wrist bands you will be asked to leave the band as they knew persons were copying costumes and making their own. Once again the most important items to wear is your official TRIBE wrist band and drinks band, you must wear both.

Did I tell you guys how in love I am with my costume?! I am totally happy, with how it turned out. Although I am no longer in Fireman and I am doing a 360 degree in what I normally wear to play mas I am very, very excited by what was designed for me! I am not saying which section I am in now, in fact I was not going to say anything at all, but seeing as you bloggers have been with me from August reading my every obsession, rant and rave I thought it was only fair to share this little tid bit of information!

Costume collection was not the end of the line, we had to make a stop in Samaroos to pick up some essentials for hubby's costume. If you think I am the only one who likes dressing up for mas, hubby wanted to make some changes to his costume as well. He has this vision of how he wants his Indian to look, and I have to say everything came together quite well as he ended up chucking that silly small headpiece and buying a large one, thank God for Carnival Junction!!! After getting everything needed at Samaroos we went home for a short while and then came by my mom, the seam in distress, for her to make the additions to hubby's costume and do my alterations.

Last thing I remembered was looking at Panorama on television with the new stage set up and then I woke up this morning at 3:30 am sleeping on the couch! I was so tired I was out like a light, but I am up early once again with lots to do again today! I cannot believe after all these months of planning I am still running around getting things I need.

So, lessoned learned from yesterday's events is to do the Fast Track for 2008! Those who did not have to wait in line for payment had smooth sailing, and avoid the day for overseas masqueraders if you can!
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