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Friday, November 30, 2007

Fast Track Confusion!!

Well seems like TRIBE's infoblast has caused some confusion among many masqueraders. As I understand it the deadline for ANY pre-payment on your costume, wether via Senvia or at the Mas Camp is December 31st. If you pay off your costume in full by this deadline it puts you in the fast track line come collection day.

However, if you do not pay in full your next opportunity will be when you collect your costume. As far as I can tell from that email payments in January will not be accepted EXCEPT on collection dates which will be revealed in a later email.

Now, I am guessing that the mas camp will be closed during the month of January for preparations since Carnival is so early and the band is sold out. The last week of January is Carnival week and the week when costumes are normally distributed anyway.

People were not paying attention when I kept saying that there is only ONE paycheck between now and Carnival!! So, scrape up your dollars in December, explain to people they will be getting no gifts for Chrisnival and pay off for your costume ONLY IF you want to be in the fast track line. If you don't care about lining up on collection day, don't sweat it, you still have the option to pay for your costume when you collect.




Sold to the highest bidder!!

I love the ebay commercial where bidders are portrayed as horses at a race and as they all charge towards the finish line one guy gets a cramp in the leg, taking him out of the running. Bidding and auction sites are very popular these days, an item goes up for sale and the seller basically says “make me an offer” to the persons desirous of obtaining said item. I am all for auction sites once you are getting a deal, I even used priceline.com to book my hotel and as their advertisements says scored a 4 star hotel for ¼ of the regular price. Little did I know that Carnivaljunction.com has now become an auction site where costumes are being sold to the highest bidder, and unlike ebay or priceline desperate masqueraders are not getting a deal but getting milked instead!

Of course it does not help when the Costume Wanted advertisements blatantly states that the buyer is willing to pay more than cost price, if someone is that distressed about getting a costume as a seller you are tempted to take advantage of that need, and that is exactly what they are doing. When costumes wanted out number costumes for sale 3 to 1 and at the mas camp the waiting list is hundreds deep, getting the costume you want is a cut throat business.

One young lady sent me an email where the seller of the costume could not guarantee the sale because they were waiting for the highest offer and invited the girl to place a bid; she wanted advice on what to do. Now, I am not taking any moral high ground on this issue, if people are quite happy paying more than a costume sells for because they want to be part of the TRIBE experience, all power to them! Personally I would NOT pay anything more than the advertised price for a costume. As much as I love playing in TRIBE, if I missed out on my chance of a costume I would either take my chances that someone will sell their costume through the mas camp or that there are still honest enough people out there who would sell the costume at the given price or even consider not playing mas at all. See, giving into this trend means that next year the situation will be worse and may well emerge into a Hannah Montana situation!

If you haven’t heard Hannah Montana concert tickets are now being sold for thousands of dollars because scalpers bought them up, capitalizing on the teen market who want to go to her concert come hell or high water. Parents were so upset that an official in Miami wants laws changed to guard against scalpers in future. Rumors have always been ripe that certain party promoters in Trinidad give scalpers tickets to sell outside fetes during that hectic Carnival week while at the same time claming that tickets were sold out at the official sales venues, therefore leading to people paying up to 3 to 4 times the regular ticket price. Sadly, costume sales are heading in the same direction!!

Hypothetically, imagine that enterprising persons seeing the extreme anxiety in acquiring costumes after they are sold out at the mas camp decide to turn costume resale into a viable business. That would mean as soon as open registration begins, an individual or individuals register for several costumes, effectively leading to the section being sold out before legitimate masqueraders get a chance to purchase a costume. Then, said individual/s advertises the costumes on Carnival Junction and sells to the highest bidder. What this does is creates a huge demand for a product which is unfairly resold at an exorbitant price.

Not everyone selling a costume, however, is selling to make a profit; quite a few advertisements have indicated that the costume is being sold at the same price as at the mas camp. Honest persons just looking to get the costume off their hands. The temptation to sell for more is surely great I can imagine, but with costume prices already so high to me, it would be unconscionable to further inflate the prices. To those looking to purchase costumes I am not here to give advice, only you can know what the entire Carnival experience is worth to you. For those selling costumes the “fair” thing is not to sell to the highest bidder but to sell the costume for what it is worth and to the person who contacted you first. If you want to sell your costume for more money by all means go ahead, hey if someone is going to pay the price who am I to say what is right or wrong.

I would also hope that if you are buying a costume, inflated price or not, that the person is also going to do the proper procedure and transfer the costume in your name therefore giving you the chance for a TLC card in the case of TRIBE or pre-registration benefits for past masqueraders with other bands the following year. The unfortunate incidents are when costumes are sold and remain in the name of the seller; imagine paying double the price of the costume down payment to a seller and still loosing out on the chance to get first dibs on the costume of your choice the following year.

My only issue is that this trend does not bode well for the future and it would be a shame when the only resort available to persons looking for a costume at the last minute is to pay these inflated prices. Remember the days when one could go to a mas camp on Carnival Saturday and purchase a costume that was not collected at a “cheap” price? When there is such a demand for costumes in certain bands, with persons paying much more than it costs bandleaders are not going to be selling costumes “cheap” after costume distribution is over, even though those costumes already have a down payment paid towards the total price! Those days are now a thing of the past. Everyone wants to be part of the “in thing” at any price.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Carnival Preparations Info Blast

Dear TRIBE Masquerader,


As we gear up for the 2008 Carnival Season, please take a minute to read the information below regarding final payment and costume distribution.


Further Payments on Costumes

Payment Location, Final Dates for Payment, Accepted forms of Payment

Senvia, 31st December, Credit Card Only

Mas Camp, 31st December,Cash & Linx Only

Cascadia Distribution, Dates, Cash & Linx Only
(Dates coming soon)

· New Senvia Users – http://www.senvia.com/Carnival/MasBandInstructions_TRIBE.pdf

· Existing Senvia Users – http://www.senvia.com/Carnival/MasBandInstructionsExisting_TRIBE.pdf

Mas Camp Opening Hours – Monday to Friday: 12:00 noon – 6:00pm

Fast Track your Costume Collection

· Masqueraders who have paid IN FULL for their costumes by Monday 31st December, 2007 will be granted 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 Monday 31st December, 2008.


Collecting Costumes for another Person
· You must present a copy of the registered costume owner’s ID (with Signature) along with a singed “Authorization to Collect” letter. This letter must be presented at the time of Costume Collection.

· Please do not email us this letter.

Costume Distribution
· The Distribution Schedule will be emailed to you and posted on the website at a later date.


Thank you and Happy Holidays!

15 seconds too long!!!

They always say be careful what you wish for, there I was complaining about being bored when the Lord sent a lil Earthquake to shake me up!!! As far as I have heard, today’s Earthquake which occurred at around 3:00pm local time, lasted for approximately 15 seconds which seemed like forever, and initial reports puts it as 7.3, this is still to be confirmed.

I tell you, my sixth sense kicked in, because as soon as the slightest tremor started and I jumped off my chair, grabbed my keys which are always nearby and headed for the doorway, where I stood and looked at the mirrors in my porch shaking. Thinking I had to be going crazy and it was my heart thumping against my chest that was causing me to imagine the mirrors were shaking, any doubt was soon put to rest as the walls started swaying, everything rattling accompanied by that low rumbling recognisable by anyone who has ever experienced an earthquake before!!

Then, it did not stop but just got gentler until eventually everything went still. That was the longest 15 seconds ever! So the aftermath is that all my cupboard doors came open, but nothing fell thank God. And everyone is safe and sound. I have heard that it was felt throughout the islands, as far as Antigua. I pray that everyone is safe and that we do not get any aftershocks or further earthquakes for the day as my heart cannot take it! I rather be BORED!

Saucy's Chrisnival List

Dear Santa,
My nice side totally outweighed the naughty side this year and you should be proud that my mouth was not as Saucy as it was last year. No caustic comments and lambasting bands for the Carnival 2008 season, in fact I had little to complain about as most of them are doing a very good job on the public relations front for Carnival 2008, even the errant bands of this year seem to be making an effort to get things right next year.

Now it wasn’t all easy for me to be good, at times I was tempted to call out some bands on talking the talk and not walking the walk. And choosing the right adjectives to describe loathsome costumes has got to be the most difficult thing ever when right on the tip of my tongue are words like hideous, dreadful and revolting. It was also a hectic band launching season and my attempt to make to as many as I possibly could left me exhausted!

Thus, I think I am in a position to call down a few requests on Chrisnival wish list and they are as follows:

1. The balance paid off on my costume of course as it is twice as expensive as my costume this year and my salary did not double. It is not an issue of hanging my hat where it can’t reach either, but just because I can afford it does not mean the gift will not be greatly appreciated.

2. Tickets to any of the all-inclusives fetes; I am not being picky here but if I had to select only one it would be Salybia… and CAREC… and Moka… you get the idea!

3. Rewards for being a TLC holder, yeah, I am yet to gain anything by having this coveted card so I am wishing that the powers that be give us extra special discounts to events. My idea is that with each event you attend you rack up points which can then be used to get a free ticket!

4. A Goody Bag with real goodies. I know, I know I have made this request time and time again but it’s a small thing to ask for, if the bandleaders do it right many people will be pleased. Hey, double the cost of the costume means double the “stuff” in the Goody Bag!!

5. I have totally given up on the idea of getting FREE Monday wear, but how about at least allowing the sale of TRIBE T shirts and Baby Tees? Please and thank you.

6. All inclusive vacation package to a destination of my choice, even though has nothing to do with Carnival I am dreaming of visiting Punta Cana or Cancun or Greece!! Hook me up nah Santa!

7. Finally Santa I ask for a wish not for me but for all the revelers putting their faith in the many new bands making their first appearance t in 2008, and that is for the band leaders to deliver all their promises and ensure that each and every masquerader has an excellent time for 2008!


XOXO
Saucy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sold Out Section Update

Island People has emblazoned on their website that sections are SOLD OUT, well that is only applicable to online registration. A few sections are still available In House for registration though I believe sizes are limited:


ISLAND PEOPLE
Female:
Lioness
Kingfisher Bird
Silver Fox
Dragon Lizard (Frontline)
Great Egret
Cheetah
Polar Bear
Black Widow Spider


Male:
Kingfisher Bird
Silver Fox
Zebra
Great Egret
Polar Bear
Cheetah
Red Tiger
Lion
Black Widow Spider

TRIBE
All sections sold out

HARTS
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Apocalypto
Jewel of the Nile
Geronimo
Sahara
Pirates of the Caribbean
300
Karma Sutra
Prince of Egypt
Queen of Sheba
Chicago
Troy
Sampson and Delilah
South Pacific

BRIAN MC FARLANE
Winds of Horror
Demise of Oceans
Fires of Rage – Female
Pestilence – Female

EVOLUTION
African Gold (frontline)

DREAM TEAM
Emperor Butterfly
Wild Orchid

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bored?

Ok, so with Carnival now 9 weeks away isn't it beginning to seem as if we are now in a lull as far as excitement and preparations go? Having to make plans much earlier this year (I know some of you bought your ticket since April for example) in anticipation of an early 2008 Carnival coupled with the fact that almost all bands have already launched has led to what I have termed a state of boredom.

I am still awaiting word on if new band Taboo is really making a debut for 2008 and for Masquerade's website to launch, just to see some new costumes. Other than that TRIBE has sold out, Harts is close behind as only a few sections left and all other bands are probably hoping to have a few sections sold out come Carnival. There is nothing else to look forward to for the rest of the year.

I have everything ticked off on my Carnival list as well:
Costume - Check
Footwear - Check
Make up appointment - Check
Eyelash appointment - Check
Hairdresser appointment - Check

Geez, the only thing I have to really do is start decorating my boots, which I cannot do too early as I am using pieces of my costume to complete the job. Oh, and I have to find a top for Monday wear as I already ordered boy shorts along with my costume. What else is there left to do?

There was so much excitement before band launching season with rumours of costume designs and possible section names, then the launches came fast and furious, all too soon petering off until now.. nothing. I think what has killed the anticipation for me as well is TRIBE selling out so early; last year I was eagerly keeping track of which sections were going off the market for all the bands, and up until Carnival week not all sections were sold out in any band!

It seems as well that there are two types of masqueraders, on one hand we have the ones who lock down their costume from the day the band opens for registration. These are the ones that create a hype and frenzy. Then we have the procrastinators, the ones who cannot make up their minds on a band or a section and take this indecisiveness with them into the New Year finally purchasing a costume on Carnival Saturday! These masqueraders kill the hype really.

So as I try to shake off this period of listlessness I am hoping something comes along to create some controversy; last year we were all so concerned about a venue for mas with the Savannah gone as well as with the high price of fetes and costumes. This year we are just so complacent, no talk of fetes being outrageously priced, bandleaders digging out or eyes with costume costs or that we should lobby for a stage. In fact there is little talk of Carnival 2008 at all! The Facebook groups have even gone silent and internet forums go for days without a new posting! The only website getting some action is Carnival Junction as desperate persons are still trying to get into TRIBE.

The only consolation that I can take comfort in is that very soon the fetes will start, bringing the live performers on stage to inject some exhilaration into the season. We also have all the j’ouvert bands to look forward to and hopefully the launch of Taboo who has promised so much and yet has delivered so little. And to all of you people dejected over TRIBE selling out completely, not thrilled with Island People’s avant garde costumes, glum over Mc Farlane’s depressing theme shake out of it and look at the other bands that are still open for registration! It surprises me that in a year when there are so many new bands, so little is publicized about them; start talking people, spread the word and breathe some life back into Carnival 2008!

Monday, November 26, 2007

La Dolce Vita

It must be the Sweet Life in truth! A "regular" (read non stoosh extra inclusive ) all-inclusive at $600.00!!!



And the word of the day is ...

Chris.nival (krsnval)
n.
1. Trinidad and Tobago fusion of the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus with the period of merrymaking known as Carnival which immediately follows the commemoration of Christmas on December 25th.

2. November/December are the months of Chrisnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago with the official Carnival festivities beginning on December 26th.

I was first introduced to the word "Chrisnival" on Friday at a mini bloggers lime where a few of us met up to hang out with blogger cb who was visiting from D.C. over the weekend. At the time I thought the word was in jest, slang made up to identify the fact that Carnival 2008 is so short that celebrations are usurping Christmas in all quarters.

It was to my surprise that I saw an event advertised in the daily news papers as a "Chrisnival Lunch"!! So the word has now become official! The lunch, which was held yesterday, featured a Christmas menu of ham, turkey, pastelle with parang and pan as the entertainment. In addition, Carnival costumes were on display! I can just imagine the Christmas purists gritting their teeth at this blurring of the already fine line of where Christmas ends and Carnival begins!

Year after year you hear complaints that not enough "respect" is paid to Christmas over the anticipation of Carnival; too many calypsoes on the airwaves and fetes start as early as Boxing night. Having band launchings commence from July set the ball rolling for Carnival 2008 and it seems as if Carnival is going to smother Christmas this year. Being someone who is not big on Christmas, this hybrid of two polarized celebrations does not irk me, however I feel somewhat emphatic to those persons who just want to celebrate Christmas without having Carnival tacked on!

When bands have yet to sell out and merchants are also vying for the Christmas shopper’s ONE pay check before Carnival “Chrisnival” translates into a poly to try and woo both the Carnival and Christmas enthusiasts to me. So, I am looking forward to Santa showing up at my house singing soca and carrying a bag full of goodies like fete tickets or a Carnival costume this year.. merry, no, happy Chrisnival ya’all!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Body Jewels

I was introduced to this website Jewel Storm that offers crystal jewelry online by another Carnival Diva who purchased from them. There are body jewels on sale in Trinidad at stores such as Wonderful World and Eye Candy, however I find the selection is somewhat limited in colour and styles. Chances are you are if purchasing locally you will see several people wearing the same thing! Jewel Storm does offer more choice in terms of colours and variety and can be an option for those looking to get all the accessories matched to their costume in advance of arriving in Trinidad.









Saturday, November 24, 2007

Section III

I was thinking recently that though we are all clamoring for prototypes of Oracle's costumes, to match the vision with the reality, bands that are more "artistic" than the regular bikini and beads might find it wise not to reveal entire costume.

See, when constructing bikini mas with beads, feathers and sequins bought wholesale which is then hot glued to a bathing suit it is easy to replicate the prototype displayed at the band launch. Many of these costumes are even produced outside of Trinidad and Tobago in countries like India and China. But when one has to create each piece of a costume by hand, there must be room for artistic license, think of it as each costume being an exclusive piece of art with the designer tweaking the final product to create an exact vision which might differ slightly from the original product.

Neither Brian Mc Farlane nor Peter Minshall is big on revealing costume prototypes either, so just some food for thought this morning.

ORACLE SECTION III



Friday, November 23, 2007

School Fetes Sqaure Off............

There will be an all-inclusive show down on January 12th 2008 when both Bishops High School and CIC College both host their annual Carnival fetes.

Right now CIC is cheaper AND they have Machel, score one for the saints:

CIC


BISHOPS
When: Saturday 12th January, 2008
Time: 4pm - 12 midnight
Where: Hilarians' Courtyard, Hasely Crawford National Stadium, Port of Spain
(This change in venue was necessary because of repairs being done at the school)
Bands: Roy Cape, Atlantik featuring Destra, Kes The Band. There will also be a popular DJ and guest performers.
Cost: General Admission - $500
Champagne Lounge - $750
There will be a large variety of food and drink (inclusive of cocktail and wine bars) available.

On another note is it just me but are the fetes starting at $500.00 next year? I could have sworn the prices were a tad cheaper for 2007....... now I am looking at $1000.00 for me and the hubby to attend ONE fete.. madness I tell you!

Roundup of Jouvert Bands

Though most of these bands have not launched as yet, I am providing a listing of the Jouvert Bands for those who would like that information.

I know there are others that have been omitted, so if anyone has links/websites please leave a comment and I will add them to the following line up:

Section 8

Yellow Devil's Jouvert

Insomniacs

Mas Jumbies

Mudder's International Crew


Chocolate City

Mudsterz Ink J'ouvert


Red Ants

Bubble Bath (The Jouvert Band)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oracle Mas Camp Visit

It was quite easy to find Oracle's Mas Camp at Morne Coco Road Maraval from the directions given. On arrival we were greeted by the young lady holding the fort who answered all my questions, and informed me that bandleader Aaron was not there at the moment as I was hoping to meet him. Basically the camp features the costume sketches and I have to agree with Afro Chic that the colours are brighter in person than they translate on the website.

It would have been nice to see some piece of the costume, like the accessories, and judging from the fact that I was told they would be bringing such items to the mas camp, other people also want to get a closer look. I think I went a bit too early!The complimentary DVD was a nice touch.





Overall the mas camp has a very homey, welcoming feel which I hope is retained when they move shop.

Here is a photo of the necklace for SECTION I which is posted on the Facebook group:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Myth of the Mas Millionaire

'I don’t know of any

bandleader who has

become a millionaire

out of it. We are all struggling like

anybody else.’

—Big Mike Antoine, Legacy bandleader/designer

I was all prepared to talk about J'ouvert this morning, but when I checked the Guardian's Wednesday feature on a local Mas Band, which is Legacy this week; I had to laugh when I read that quote from Big Mike! For the article in its entirety visit this link.

How many of us really believe that there is not ONE band leader out there who is a millionaire? Has Big Mike spoken to EVERY band leader and asked to look at their accounts? Does he even have an inclining of the cost of costumes among the popular “it” bands and the number of masqueraders who shell out thousands of dollars for a costume that is marked up by over 300% of the cost of construction? And, finally has he forgotten about the sponsors who support certain bands with assistance by the way of cash and product? I for one believe that certain bandleaders make in excess of a millions dollars after Carnival, even if they do not want to admit it for fear of scrutiny by the tax board, not to mention the backlash that comes when some masqueraders resent others success at the expense of exorbitant costume costs and Carnival capitalization.

With the proliferation of new bands making a debut for 2008, Carnival must be a lucrative business if so many players want a piece of the pie! Now, I am not saying ALL bands makes a 7 figure profit, BUT with Carnival being a seasonal occupation and most of the established bandleaders making it a full time job how does one live for the rest of the year, especially the ones who have quit their “day job?” I would expect that any yield after the Carnival season contributes to up keeping the lifestyle not to mention paying rudimentary staff for the entire year in some instances. No one goes into any type of business without an expectation of exponential profit as the business must grow and evolve in order to survive, as well as keep one step ahead of the competition.

Also, I am quite surprised that Big Mike has alluded to “struggling” when he manufacturers costumes for several international Carnivals including Crop Over and Labour Day thus Carnival is a year long industry for his company. Ok, so maybe HE is not a millionaire (one cannot argue with the man on that point) but he has to be doing this for more than the love of the mas after alllllll these years! To me, what would make sense is if a band leader openly admits that they do make a profit and that is all part of the businees. I can understand that you want to make the most money when the band is at it’s peak, you know, strike when the iron is hot, because with the exception of Harts having 40 years in this business many bands do not enjoy long term success. Therefore all the money the band leaders make NOW has to provide some sort of income/annuity in the future when the band becomes defunct. Where is Raoul Garib today? In 1983 he was a band leader who was at the top of the game with costumes ranging between $225.00 to $300.00 TT which was “expensive” in that time and for which he was severely criticized. The bands of yesteryear such as Mavericks, Stephen Lee Heung, Barbarossa and even Poison have all been replaced by a fresh crop of bands who will eventually also be usurped in the future by other bands; Carnival is dynamic, always changing with new players coming into the mix and that in itself is what keeps the mas alive.

If Carnival did not make millionaires out of men, why do some bands stick with it year after year when all indications show that it IS indeed a struggle? Would it not be easier to pack up shop and invest your time and money in some other venture? The love of the mas can only take bandleaders so far, when they have to put food on the table and pay bills. Eventually, as a bandleader not making money, it should be so easy to throw in the towel, unless you KNOW that there is a potential to make a considerable sum after all the sacrifice. Maybe I am being too myopic on the reasons why some bandleaders do continue the struggle in the face of many financial obstacles, but I am thinking that the ones who do it as a labour of love or for the accolades are in a minority!



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mas Camp Tour ....

One activity that should be on everyone’s list when they arrive in Trinidad for Carnival is to visit all the mas camps located within the three blocks between Rosalino and Gallus Streets Woodbrook. The mas camps are so close to each other that the trip can be facilitated easily by walking from one location to the next. Yesterday I undertook the task of visiting as many as these mas camps as possible during the time I had and before they closed.

First stop was TRIBE’s mas camp on Rosalino Street where I was greeted by a SOLD OUT sign on the door. Costumes are up for viewing, so I took the opportunity to inspect my costume some more trying to get ideas for the design of the boots I am customizing myself. It was very quiet at TRIBE, which is to be expected since no more costumes are on sale, and we were informed that there is still some activity with persons stopping by to put their name down on an ever increasing waiting list! I am sure I spied costumes in some stage of production stockpiled at the mas camp and they looked as if it might be pieces of Almathea.

Around the corner from TRIBE was Evolution’s mas camp where the atmosphere was remarkably different, truth be told of all the mas camps I visited this was the one with the most activity. On arrival there were several potential masqueraders being sized for the costume of their choice and before I left after a few minutes another male masquerader came to register. Speaking of the males, the male costumes are indeed on display at the mas camp and if asked to recollect what they looked liked I honestly will have to say your basic board short, with the usual waist/chest pieces and something on your head. Hence the reason I took several photos:

EVOLUTION:










On hand at Evolution’s camp was band leader Curtis Eustace, who was quite pleasant and forthcoming with information on the sections. Only one frontline costume is sold out, African Gold, and Curtis did state that the frontline for Tantalize in Teal is also close to being sold out; that one is priced at $4000.00. I have to say that on my second viewing of the costumes, and compared to others that I saw, Evolution’s product is poised very competitively. I do like the frontline for Tantalize in Teal; in fact the backline is lovely as well. I think the problem with getting the full effect with some of the costumes is being displayed on black mannequins, so I was pleased to see the frontlines make more of an impact.

After Evolution it was a hop, skip and jump (more like a short drive) to Gallus street where both Pulse 8 and Trini Revellers are located. Pulse 8 was first, and the mas camp still looks nicely laid out as last year but there were no potential masqueraders on hand. Seeing the costumes on closer inspection I have to say that I do like Berber Tribe though it is all wooden beads so no sparkle and shine and I also like Gypsy Caravan which is the only section that is all but sold out, with only a few sizes remaining in the female regular costume option.

PULSE 8:





Next stop was Trini Revellers which is further up the street, where the mas camp is housed in, well what appears to be the downstairs of a home. Anyway, I have to say that only a few costumes impressed me at Trini Revellers, and that in photos on the website the costumes look much better than on the mannequins. My gut instinct was that the costumes looked a bit miserly when it came to the beads and material used, but then compared to the prices I guess one has to cut costs somewhere, as the majority of costumes were the most economically priced of all the mas camps. In addition there were several discounts and specials advertised if registering before December 1st, so if you are thinking of playing with Trini Revellers, call the mas camp for more details.

TRINI REVELLERS:





Mas camp hopping is quite a nice way to compare the various styles of each bands reflected in the location, atmosphere and costumes by my impressions. One cannot help but get a laid back vibe from Trini Revellers for instance or a sense of commotion at Evolution or even the impression that TRIBE is getting down to the business of production now that the band is sold out. One mas camp that I did not get a chance to visit yesterday was Brian Mc Farlane who is also on Rosalino Street (North) and should be added to your list if you plan on adding a Woodbrook mas camp tour to your itinerary.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oracle Sneak Peek

So, I had all intentions of visiting Oracle's mas camp on Saturday, but the practical side of me decided to call first since I had more than one place to be at that time. Well I was informed that the costume prototypes were not on show and made the decision NOT to visit since I really wanted to see the actual costumes.

In retrospect I should have gone regardless since Afro Chic did make the visit and gave a glowing report of having met Aaron who was very nice to her, she also liked the vibe and layout of the "temporary" mas camp and she got to view pieces of the costumes which she says is very detailed! So after I kicked myself for not making the trip, I felt a little better to know that the mas camp is scheduled to move to it's permanent home on Ariapita Avenue by this Friday and it is expected that costumes will be on show! In the interim, before my actual trip to the mas camp as I promised, here are some photos of the accessories for section IX and section I compliment's Oracle's Mas Camp:

SECTION IX Necklace




SECTION I Bracelets


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Joyeux Anniversaire Moi!

Today is quite a special day for me so Carnival talk is on pause as I celebrate; I would like to thank my blogging "famlee" for the absolutely beautiful flowers I was surprised with yesterday as an early birthday gift.

Allison Ann ,cb, ArubanHaitianGyul, D Trini in Me, Darkie-Ann, Dougla_1, JJ, Lovechild, Meg, Prima Donna, Saundra Q, Squeezle, Tacariguagyal,TOG and Triniwifey you guys are awesome, beautiful inside and out. It has been a pleasure being part of our little network, and meeting all of you!




Saturday, November 17, 2007

Band Launching Roundup

Masquerade held a media launch last month and to date the website is still under construction. Though I have seen photos of the costumes in several of the local newspapers I cannot find a gallery of other photos on any of the popular photo websites...hmm. Interestingly the costumes that I saw did look like a different mold from the usual Masquerader (dated) fare, and I was looking forward to seeing more. Alas, all I have is one photo that was sent to me by bacchanalmas:



On another note, while looking for Masquerade photos I found a gallery from Ivan Kalicharan's band launching on triniscene.com. Ivan Kalicaharan's band is based in San Fernando and I have never seen a website for them so I was pretty glad that there is coverage of the costumes online. My cousin, who lives in San Fernando, is playing with this band. Playing mas in San Fernando is a totally different experience from Port of Spain, yes I have played mas "down south" and one day I will compare and contrast the differences.



Finally "Stampede" also had a bandlaunching recently and you can see photos at trinisoca.com, I do not know what the theme is but you can check out the costumes and judge for yourself!

Oh and if anyone finds a gallery of Masquerade photos available online please, leave me a comment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

We feteing all night!

Have you been hearing all the new soca on the airwaves,especially the Machel and Patrice Wining Rhythm? The new soca just puts you in the mood for Carnival so bad, I am sorry but no parang on my radio this season! So since I am in the feteing mood and again trying to decide which fetes I will be going to, I realise that many fetes are falling on a Saturday night as opposed to a Sunday evening.

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

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

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

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

In addition, the later it is at night the less inclined I am to eat at a party. Reality is I am not going to starve myself all day just to be able to eat something at an all-inclusive just because I spent so much money on the tickets. Most likely I will have lunch, a small dinner and just have some snacks when I get there if I feel hungry. Anyway, I would be enjoying the drinks and music more than the food at that hour. Thing is, with the Sunday all-inclusive fete you tend to eat more, usually the last meal you had was lunch and if you get there by 6 pm, which is dinner time for me, you would be looking for something to eat!I guess it is good that the Saturday night all-inclusive encourages you to eat less, but the whole reason people looking forward to an all inclusive is because of the selection on the menu.

In the end I am going to end up at the fete with the better performers anyway, maybe even on a Saturday to prove all these pre conceived ideas about a Saturday all-inclusive wrong. Reality is I am just set in the tradition of going to an all-inclusive fete on a Sunday evening, so Saturday night seems kind of weird to me. I have gone to one all-inclusive on a Saturday night, which was Blue Range and I didn’t like it that much. Reason being parking was a bitch, it rained and the live entertainment was poor. That being said I have made up my mind to have a good time no matter what day the fete falls on, once Machel is there with his Wining Rhythm that (and some Johnny Walker and Coconut Water) is all I need to make my fete whether it falls on a Saturday or Sunday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Oracle is Here!

Online registration for The Oracle is now available. I know some of you have been waiting for feedback of the costumes from the mas camp (and possibly a few photos) before making up your mind on a section and I do hope to visit the mas camp myself soon to get as much information as I can. In the meantime you can check out the updated website for more information.

I am pleased to announce that online registration is officially up and running.
at the website

http://www.oraclett.com/

All prices are all inclusive of food and drinks both days and snacks, we are limiting the band as we want to make sure that we can guarantee the service that is so important to us, thanks to those of you that made your ways to the mas camp and registered, section II is obviously the favorite amongst the younger crowd. thank you again for your interest and i hope to repay you with an amazing carnival experience it will certainly be different!

gnothi seauton,

aaron

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hyatt Opens in Trinidad Next Month

I have been reliably informed that the Hyatt Hotel will open the doors to it's 4 star property in Trinidad on December 20th. Those who were eagerly awaiting it's opening in time for Carnival should know that bookings are now open on the website. However, a stay at the Hyatt will not come cheap as rates start at $345.00US to $405.00US per night for Carnival weekend! Of course the convenience of being on the doorsteps of Port of Spain cannot be beat as Hyatt's location is walking distance to downtown!

Artist's impression of the Hyatt Hotel, Trinidad, on the left:



PHOTO SOURCE: http://trinidad.hyatt.com

Bringing Sand to the Beach

Carnival 2008 will be a first for me and the hubby, he is playing in one band and I in a next! Yes, we played in different sections this year but that was in the same band and since he was quite adamant about choosing his OWN costume, something he likes, instead of falling in behind me in a hideous costume he ended up choosing a costume in a band that was not TRIBE; he is playing in Harts.

Now I do not mind that he wanted the choice of picking a costume, after all he is paying for it not me, but I am quite curious to see how the two band thing will work out for both of us especially the logistics of getting into/out of Port of Spain on Carnival Tuesday and the fact that we have to find each other after a long day of imbibing the alcoholic spirits. We received a lot of confused queries from friends this year when we kept explaining that we were not playing in the same section, so you can imagine now when we tell everyone that we are in different bands; most people are curious to know if I don’t mind “setting him loose” among all those Harts women. My retort is he should be more worried setting me loose amongst all the TRIBE men! Ha!

Anyway, I fully intend to enjoy this opportunity to play mas with my girlfriends and the hubby and I have an understanding when it comes to playing mas and giving each other space. He fully invaded Island People this year and took photos with all kinds of women to prove it, while I was enjoying myself in TRIBE.

However not all couples can handle the stress of Carnival such as the ability to overlook a “tief wine” with that sexy specimen in a skimpy costume. If you know you cannot handle seeing your significant other grinding up on another woman or man I suggest you make that clear from BEFOREHAND as Carnival is a time when most people let rationale out the window. Of course it is the culture to dance with strangers on the road while playing mas, but those visiting for the first time may not be fully aware that this means strangers who are intoxicated and wearing nothing more than a bikini.

Last year I gave you all some issues that arise when guide "Bringing Sand to the Beach” and for those who missed it or are just too lazy to go back in the archives, please note the salient points if you intend to have a relationship after the last lap on Carnival Tuesday:


The thing is though that many relationships and friendships do not weather Carnival, because the thinking is why bring sand to the beach?! With a plethora of beautiful men and women invading our shores for Carnival, some people are greedy, wanting to eat their cake and have it too. What do I mean you say? Well, let me explain it this way, many couples break up for Carnival only to reconcile on Ash Wednesday and long standing friendships sometimes come to an end after Carnival for the following reasons:

* Either male or female wants to party without their significant other, which leads to accusations of ulterior motives for not wanting significant other at said party. This can also extend itself to J'ouvert and even playing mas. Big arguments occur over someone wanting to go on a boys lime or girls lime for Carnival. Worse yet you telling your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife you DO NOT want them to play mas with you, that is serious thing!

* Hostility and pressure from friends who don't want the significant other in tow for any Carnival related activity. See, when one person out of the crew brings along their boyfriend or girlfriend that cramps the style of the rest of the crew. They don't want that significant other to see them in their slackness i.e. wining on anyone willing and able or liming with the "outside friend" because significant other will report on their behaviour to THEIR significant others. Get the picture. So sometimes the choice comes down to friends or significant other. If you choose friends, well you in the dog house for sure! And if you choose significant other friends does be just as vex! Before I got married hubby jumped up on the road with me on Carnival Tuesday and my girl friend was quite annoyed, asking me if he was staying with us "all day". The next year she made sure she had her cousin play mas with us, so that when me and hubby chipping down the road she would not feel like the third wheel.

* You are forbidden to play mas. Yes, it happens, imagine in this day and age when you are paying for your costume yourself, your partner is telling you they don't like the idea of you playing mas! Well, I don't have to tell you how many relationships are ended on that level of jealousy and insecurity. Some of them even want an input on exactly what costume you can and cannot wear and even how much it should cost! And you know these raging lunatics sometimes go so far as to hunt you down on Carnival Tuesday, if you decide to go ahead and play against their wishes, looking to embarrass you by dragging you out of the band! I have never witnessed this personally, but my mother told me stories of this happening back in the day.

* Caught on camera! This happened to a friend of mine, her boyfriend was happy to "send her off" to play mas, while he sat at home and watched the parade on T.V. Well, Ms. Lady pick up a fella in the band and forget that there are cameras ON STAGE and there is her boyfriend sitting at home and seeing her crossing stage with a man putting waist on her from behind! Enough sparks flew in that house when she got home later that night, which is the worse time to try and defend yourself being drunk and tired. That was the end of THAT relationship. With all those party photographers like IslandEvents, Triniscene and Carnivalscene you have to be careful not to be caught doing something you should not be doing with someone you are not supposed to be with! If you horning, stay far from the cameras.

* The outside man/woman gets jealous. One of the hardships of being the "other man or woman" is that you don't get to be with the person you love when you want to, seeing as they are already involved with someone else! So chances are you end up spending Christmas and New Year's Eve alone, and in Trinidad that can also mean you are alone for Carnival too. You know some couples only go out together for Carnival. They hit the tents, all-inclusive parties, even play mas together, leaving the outside woman/man on the outside! If you all think Saucy don't know what she talking about, think again!Me and hubby gone Blue Range all-inclusive where we bounce up a friend and his wife. Now, I don't ever see that friend with his wife and was quite surprised to see them together for that party knowing full well he was always with his outside woman. Anyways, we gone to get a bake and shark only to bounce up that same friend's outside woman looking blue in the face and asking us if we saw the individual with his wife! Imagine the girl vex, SO vex that she decided to make the guy jealous by liming with another fella all night. Well that drama went on for the rest of the night with me and hubby staying out of every body's way.

* Your partner does not understand our culture. It's one thing to want to bring your non-Trinidadian significant other to Carnival, but before you do please explain to them what they should expect. People who are not used to "our ting" do not expect people to be so overly friendly come Carnival, and next thing you know you are being accused of flirting! Worse yet if you "tief" a wine at a party or on the road for Carnival, are too friendly smearing paint on other bodies during jouvert or you want to lime with friends you have not seen in a while on the road; significant other might feel oh so left out. Think carefully before inviting them home to Carnival with you, especially if it is a jealous, possessive type!

I hope all the relationships out there are strong enough to survive Carnival, do not say you have not been warned on the possibilities that can occur. Trust, understanding and respecting your partner will see you through every temptation that Carnival throws at you. When Carnival is over, you still want to be with that person, so don't do anything that you will regret. For those who are coming from overseas and leaving a significant other behind, make sure you have a very understanding partner and don't do anything when you get to Trinidad that you would be ashamed of them finding out.

And for all those couples playing mas together, wheter in the same section or band, remember Carnival is a time of freedom, don't shadow him/her all day. Give them some space and don't get vex if they take a lil small wine here and there (make sure you impress upon them the limits of that "small" wine though!) and know that at the end of the day they are going home with YOU.

No need for break ups and heart aches during this festive time, if your man/woman leaves you because they "not taking sand to the beach" don't sit at home and mope. Find yourself to the nearest mas camp, buy a costume, hit all the fetes leading up to the big day with your friends and forget that worries, after all it's Carnival!






New Blog on the Block!

With all the other Carnival Bloggers lapsing these days (school, work and even pregnancy taking up their time) it was quite refreshing to see a new blog make it unto the Carnival Roster. Someone sent me the link to "Wining Kriminals" when they first started blogging in October, however though the content is hilarious (a man's take on mas) I was keeping an eye on the consistency as you know many blogs start off hot and sweaty then they fall off the radar!

Well, I am happy to see that one month later Wining Kriminals is still going strong and have managed to keep me interested with some very clever and observant articles, like one called "Picking a Band or Section to Play Mas" where they described me to a T:

D Carnival Whore started off playing Kiddies Carnival and hasn’t stopped yet. She mudder, grandmudder and greatgrand-mudder passed the standard to her. She is faithful to one band and will planasse yuh if yuh dare badtalk she band. She have playing mas down to a science and you can learn a lot from this woman. There is also a very high probability that this masquerader will fall into the “2 band hoe” category discussed earlier. Nothing will stop this particular woman from making mas year after year. 9 months pregnant? no scene, House burn down and all belongings lost? no problem.. Husband threaten to leave if she go one more carnival??? Fukk him… A real Carnival Whore is relentless and tenacious. I would rather hand feed a rabid pit bull than get in the way of this womans mas.


These men have really been paying attention! Check out the rest of that article and the others at http://carnivalmanlaws.wordpress.com/. And let me just add that I hope they keep it up, I am looking forward to their anti-capitalist, male, skylaker, "bless us" with their view on Carnival and how Carnival should be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Registration Starts for Oracle

In house registration for new band Oracle began yesterday at their temporary 14BMorne Coco Road location (a map will be posted on the website). Online registration will commence at midnight tomorrow, Wednesday, and the mas camp will be moving to it's permanent headquaters on Ariapita Avenue shortly!

Tobago Launch for DKrewe Section

Chris Humphrey and Associates "Moods", a section in Dkrewe will be having a section launch on Saturday 17th November in Tobago.

Venue: - Tino's (Wilson Rd. Scarborough, opp. Royal Castle)
Entertainment: Guest Appearance by Blackie,Djs: George Gonzales and Chris Boynes of 105FM
Music: Crosby Sounds and K.C. Sounds
Time: 8p.m. - Till
Tickets $40 advance..........more at the door

Tickets available @ Tino's (Tobago), Kern Penco 680-3103 (Tobago), Crosby’s North and South (Trinidad), Chris Humphrey Mas Camp 622-6816

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Carnival... The Aftermath

Last night Island People mas showcased their costumes to masqueraders in New York City, along with other invited guests, though I was not there in person I feel as if I was there in spirit because of the fabulous bloggers who DID go and gave me a blow by blow review which is posted below:

OK so Island People told everyone to be at the venue before 8PM, people I met there said they were standing out there from 6:30pm and the doors did not open until 8:30pm or maybe later. Women really dressed to impress, with open toe shoes and thing; I wanted to dead because it was COLD! So then some people affiliated with the event came out and said that everybody for table bottle service on the right then regular guest list on the left, then went back inside for another 20 minutes, you know Trinis started to get vex and fuss up. Then someone came out and said Antilla people one side, Island People guests on the other side and start letting Antilla people in before Island People guests, and you know the Trinis them were not having that so they start to fuss again. There were two lines one for Antilla and the other for IP, only because some people didn’t read the instruction on the confirmation for IP'ers to stand on the right. Then it was announced that whomever is doing bottle service come to the front......me and my crew go to the front and get inside.... This club not small...IT SMALL NO ASS.

After we got in, I went to sit by the tables for which our "bottle service" was and we got a BIG bottle of Belvedere and the waiters/waitresses was nice...they made drinks for you right there and were always supplying you with plenty glasses and ting. Ok, I forget to add that before we got in it was said that table/bottle service is 300 but you must have a 2 bottle minimum, so after hubby cuss the chupid man we went inside. Tables weren’t even VIP because they were located in the back against the wall of the venue while all the action occurred in the center of the venue so people came and stood in front of the Tables.The only “celebs” I saw was Yaya from America's Next Top Model.



The models maneuvered the runway in a true animalistic way there was a huge rock at the head of the venue which was the beginning of the runway for the models. It started off with Lion and Lioness posed off on the rock climbing down and onto the stage, real jungle like. So I am totally vex because Kingfisher is BAD, I want that costume BAD BAD BAD.I am telling you, if you see Kingfisher you will die...the club so small this fashion show happened right before my eyes where if I hold out my hands, I was touching the models. Cheetah was nice, but the model was prowling across the stage like a dam alley cat and I couldn’t see the whole thing. Zebra is real, real pretty too but the colors of Kingfisher were a sight to see...at least for me. Oh and LION bad too, in fact ALL the looked costumes pretty with those colours, whoo! But I still loved my section, Egret and my friend who is also in the same section is hyped!



Overall, I thought the vibes was nice, I was plenty drunk so I was having a time....everyone wining and having a time, BUT here is the BIG STEUPS part; The BIG STEUPS part is that they only showed these costumes......Lion, Cheetah, Portuguese Man on War, Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Egret Frontline, Lizard and Kingfisher. Missing was Black Widow, Dragon Lizard FL, Red Tiger, and Crocodile; from what I was told the section leaders for those sections didn’t want to send the costumes because they were afraid they might get damaged, setups. The most slept on section is Portuguese Man o War!!



DJ spice had the crowd going with his mixing melody; we were also enticed with a rhythm and iron section. I must add that there were plenty Tribers and Mc Farlanes in the house, plenty curious folks! Oh yeah and Wyatt was busy running around and doing what he do. The presentation was great, it provided foreign masqueraders a chance to view their costumes up-close and in person, giving them a chance to mingle with their future fellow masqueraders. Thus Far Island People was successful in delivering their uber sexy costumes for their Ideal pulchtrudinous masqueraders, lets hope what was depicted here will also be portrayed on the road.


Many thanks to my blogging famlee, bloggers "triniwifey" and "prima donna" for their review as well as FAB pics from blogger "CB".




Hair is the topic today

So I have been avoiding the whole hair issue since I chopped off ALL my hair four months ago and was quite content sporting my teeny weeny “fro” for Carnival, despite the fact that many people seem to think long hair is synonymous with beauty. However my hair started growing back faster than I anticipated and in an attempt not to succumb to the temptation during the growing out stage and just cut it all off again, I have put in extensions. That decision has made it pretty easy for me, since I plan on leaving in extensions for the next few months; hence I am definitely doing micro braids for Carnival.

When it comes to Carnival hair there are so many issues to consider; should you wear the hair long or short? What type of hairstyle fits best with your costume? Will the heat and humidity affect your hair? Do you want to spend precious time with tools to style your hair? Then there are things you never consider that become a factor later on, for instance getting mud or paint in your hair during jouvert or getting your hair wet at a Carnival fete where the practice is to soak patrons. Ideally Carnival hair should be very easy to take care of and not be a hassle with your headpiece yet Carnival is a time where you can go as wild or glamorous with your hair as you might like.



Braids are probably the number one choice since they are low maintenance and with the hectic feteing season who has time to fuss over hair? Plus you can wash them easier than a weave and they can be worn in various styles depending on the type of braids you choose. The only headache with doing braids is that they take hours to put, they can be heavy and hot! Personally I like the smaller braids, like the micro braids, since they are more versatile and you can easily pull them up in a ponytail if the heat becomes unbearable, but they are the ones that take the most hours to do! Another alternative is the Senegalese twist which blogger Jamette sported this year and they looked beautiful or even cornrows which look great with all headpieces.




Ladies with natural hair have it pretty easy though I have heard complaints that the weather in Trinidad is not particularly conducive to the fros. If you are visiting for Carnival, have natural hair and plan on rocking that style you might need to moisturize your hair more than you do at home. Other than that you can find many hairstylists who can tend to the fros, locks and twists if you need to maintain your hair while in Trinidad. The one concern I had when thinking of wearing my hair natural was how the headpiece would look, I mean you do not notice many “bald” ladies in headpieces coming to think of it, though I do see more and more women with natural hairstyles finding all sorts of creative ways to style their hair! Afro Chic, for instance, wore her fro in a “faux hawk” this year which matched her headpiece to a T.





One of the most overlooked styles, when it comes to being low maintenance is the pony tail! Sure it is simple, but it is pretty easy to work at a fete or with your headpiece. The pony tail can be worn as a chignon, a low ponytail worn to the side or even a long high ponytail with the aid of hair pieces. I have a particular fondness for a ponytail when playing mas since it always looks neat, never gets frizzy with the humidity, keeps you cool and is no hassle whatsoever! Even if you choose to wear your hair loose, curly, wavy or straight it is easy to pull it up in a ponytail and still look cute.





Whatever hairstyle you choose, whether you put thought into it or not, remember to protect your hair from the abuse of the sun and damage from your headpieces! I leave you with an excerpt from the Carnival Virgin Survival guide:




Hair Care:
The decorations on the (any) backpacks and the position of them may cause some snags and breakage. A stylish chignon or a simple, elegant plaĆ®t is an easy way to protect your hair. Most of the costumes' headpieces have some sort of headband as its foundation, which means that your hair is going to be subject to the same constant sun that your skin is—perhaps even more, since you're in a crowd, and assuming you don't tower over everyone else, your body would be shaded at least a portion of the time, whereas your exposed area of hair stays exposed, unless you're sure to constantly stand in the shade one must make sure their hair is as protected as your skin.

I can't endorse any particular product, but lots and lots of anti-frizz (silicone based) works wonders against all the moisture in the air (sweat, cool zones, wildness of people just flinging water in the air in sheer excitement and drunkenness. Anti-frizz may not provide sufficient hold or control for all, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure your products are alcohol-free. You're probably putting enough alcohol into your system on the road; you might as well not have your hair dehydrated before you even leave your house. Can you imagine the brittle mess you'd have to deal with come Ash Wednesday morning?

Also, have your ends trimmed after Carnival, apart from it being logical, it's almost always necessary if you are going to the beach and/or pool because the sun/salt/chlorine combination strips hair of moisture. In addition to the post Carnival deep conditioning, get rid of abused ends (kind of like pruning a tree of the yellowed leaves—it makes the nutrients be better distributed to the more "deserving" parts). And, it goes without saying that pre-Carnival hair should always be well-tended and the picture of health, because there is NO WAY that it makes sense to invest that much in the rest of the package and forgetting the tresses. So, have your hair trimmed a few weeks before the trip.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Getting Ready for Rio

Although Rio Carnival is arguably much larger than Trinidad's while we start preparations as early as July, costumes for their Carnival go on sale from DECEMBER! Earlier this year I reported on the fact that their Carnival 2008 site was already up and running and subscribed for more news. Well, I was informed via email yesterday that costume sales will begin next month:


Dear Saucy Diva

Thank you for already using Rio Carnival Services and for your interest to take part in the main event of the Rio Carnival - the Samba Parade.

Costumes go on sale soon

As requested by you, we will send you an e-mail to advise you when all costumes are available.

We are pleased to inform you that preparations for the 2008 Carnival are on schedule, and that all 2008 Samba Parade costumes will be available for purchase by the beginning of December.

A few of them (the simpler ones) are already available. We are only waiting for the more sophisticated ones to be completed to put them all at your disposal at the same time. This way you will have the whole range of costume styles, schools and parading times to choose from.

All Rio Carnival costumes are produced in S, M, L and XL. Thus we will need only a few vital measurements after your selection, to give you the fitting one.

In the mean-time, you can already see our costume services on our dedicated page:
www.rio-carnival.net/rio_carnival/rio_carnival_costumes.php

So, sit back while Rio completes its preparations, and be ready for action in December.

Should you have any queries, our full e-mail and telephone customer service is at your disposal.

Thank you again for your custom. Go with us for the experience of a life-time! We very much appreciate your business.

Rio Carnival Services

www.rio-carnival.net

Isn't it interesting that they size the costumes in S,M,L and XL? I always thought that Rio Carnival was more a spectator sport but for those who might visit one day or just want to compare how their Carnival matches up to Trinidad, keep an eye out for the costumes and check out the Carnival page for some interesting information, like the fact that even though you are participating in the Carnival you still need a ticket to view the parade!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

BET Special on Trinidad Carnival airs today

Trinidad and Tobago's 2007 Carnival can be seen on BET and BET Jazz in a special that was commissioned by The Ministry of Tourism. The Carnival show, which is hosted by comedian Chris Spencer first aired on October 27th and will re run on the following dates and times:

November 10th - 2:30pn and 8:30pm
December 15th - 2:30pm and 8:30pm
December 29th - 2:30pm and 8:30pm

Sneakers versus Boots

While it may seem that I am pro-boots for Carnival, being the choice of footwear for me, do not overlook sneakers as a good choice if you cannot wear boots. Sneakers have been a very comfortable alternative for many masqueraders over the years, the only thing I would ask is to try and match your sneakers to your costume. Even if it means just spray painting your gym shoes silver or gold, it looks better to me than a gorgeous costume say like Cheetah of Island People or Mystique of Tribe worn with glaring white sneakers.

The idea of sneakers being guaranteed comfortable is not necessarily true, just as you need to find boots that fit properly and get adequate arch support by adding insoles, so too do you need to find sneakers that offer the same. Many people have complained that narrow Pumas, for instance, look cute but are murder on the feet. Thus, you need to try as many styles of sneakers as you can until you find a very comfortable pair and I do suggest breaking them in like any shoe.

Butterfly Bliss



Ideally I would love to see ladies in fabulously decorated boots for Carnival, I just love the look of the boots that match the costume, however as individuals each masquerader will have the type of footwear that suits them best. For more sneaker and footwear ideas visit my archive "Fancy Feet", as well as "Walk on the Wild Side".

SHOE SOURCE:
www.zappos.com
SHOE STYLE:
PUMA
Complete Cortlandt XC Road SKU #7297477
COLOR
Lime Punch/Crystal Blue
PRICE
$58.95

Friday, November 09, 2007

"The Carnival" Guestlist is Closed

For all of you who are planning on attending this Sunday's event "The Carnival" where Island People's costumes will be on show, please note that the guest list is now CLOSED and no more requests for RSVPs will be accommodated. Apparently many persons are still requesting to attend the event which has seen an overwhelming response; this is the email I received on Wednesday:

Thank you for the enormous response to the exclusive event THE CARNIVAL, featuring IP Mas’ 2008 - Animal Instincts. Due to our huge masquerader population here in New York City, we have already surpassed the capacity for RSVP’s on our guest list and it is now officially closed.

Island People Mas will be showcasing Trinidad’s Carnival in NYC in collaboration with Antilia Inc and the TDC, who also have guest lists for their select invitees, making this a limited accommodation event.

We hope to facilitate all RSVPs at the event, but please be advised that entry is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis with current Masqueraders having priority over past masqueraders who have also RSVP’d. You must provide ID at the door and cannot use another person’s RSVP. CAIN has the right to refuse admission.

You can guarantee your admission by reserving a table. To do so, please email simon@antilia.com or wg@wyattgallery.com. There is a 1 bottle minimum for table service, which starts at $300 per bottle and allows for 4-5 people maximum per bottle (subject to change by the management of CAIN).

Please note that you cannot pay for a costume at the event.

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Island People Mas

The following is the "official" press release regarding "The Carnival" , and for those who cannot be there you can read about what is in store for the lucky ones who will have the chance to hob nob with celebs and view supermodels strut their stuff in Island People's costumes:

Antilia, Inc., the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Island People Mas Give New York a Taste of Carnival 2008
Thursday November 8, 1:36 pm ET

'The Carnival' Promises to Deliver Authentic Cultural Experience At
Cain Nightclub

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Antilia, Inc. special
events production company in conjunction with the Tourism Development
Company (TDC) of Trinidad and Tobago and Ocean Style Magazine today
announced they will deliver an exclusive, invitation-only cultural
experience unlike any other entitled ``The Carnival,'' hosted by
Island People Mas, on Sunday, November 11, 2007, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
at the elite Cain nightclub (544 W. 27th St.) in Manhattan's Chelsea
district. Trinidad and Tobago's premier Carnival band, Island People
Mas (http://www.islandpeoplemas.com) will transport their exotic
costumes to New York for an intimate viewing among specially invited
guests and celebrities at ``The Carnival''. This highly anticipated
presentation will feature some of the Caribbean's best known models,
along with select models from top U.S. agencies. The band's
provocative theme for its 2008 costume collection is ``Animal
Instincts'' and the exclusive venue portrays just that with its
upscale, African Safari decor.

With its massive masquerade bands, astounding costumes, pulsating
music and unparalleled energy, Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival is often
described as the world's greatest street festival. The annual Carnival
season reaches its climax on Monday, February 4 and Tuesday, February
5, 2008, when thousands of costumed revelers take to the streets in
sensational costumes to ``play mas.'' The explosion of color, music,
revelry, and creativity known as Trinidad & Tobago Carnival has
spawned similar celebrations around the world; but nothing on earth
can rival the abandon, euphoria and stunning spectacle of this
festival. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend Trinidad and
Tobago's Carnival in 2008.

Island People Mas, represented in New York by internationally renowned
photographer Wyatt Gallery, has long been the premier Carnival band of
choice, known for having the sexiest and most creative costumes -- the
likes of which have been featured in music videos by artists Sean Paul
and Rupee. Winner of the coveted 'Carnival King' award in 2006, the
band is also one of the largest in the country with over 4000
masqueraders each year.

Entertainment, music and tourism industry professionals, as well as
Caribbean and American celebrities alike, are expected to be in
attendance at ``The Carnival.'' Many of these specially invited guests
along with representatives from presenting and sponsoring
organizations will be available for interview on the event date.

Antilia, Inc. and the TDC, together with Island People Mas and Cain
nightclub, promise a thrilling experience and authentic representation
of Trinidad & Tobago's most prized cultural festival at ``The
Carnival''. It is certainly not the event to miss for the discerning
traveler in search of Island Paradise.


About Antilia, Inc.

Founded in January 2007 by Trinidadian entrepreneur Simon Khan,
Antilia, Inc. is the only special-events production firm in New York
specialized in pairing first-rate Caribbean talent entertainment, and
cultural elements with the very best of mainstream American nightlife.
Boasting strong relationships with media, entertainment industry
executives and celebrities, the company produced such high-profile
events as Caribbean Soca legend Machel Montano's 2007 album release
party at Jay-Z's 40/40 club in March, 2007 -- the official album
launch event following his massively successful Madison Square Garden
concert series. The website, http://www.antilia.com, is scheduled for
launch in December, 2007.


Contact:
Antilia, Inc.
Gian Wilson
gianfranco@antilia.com

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oracle Section 2 Pics and Latest Update

As I paitently wait for the full unveiling of Oracle's costumes it was a pleasure to receive the following update from bandleader Aaron; exciting days ahead as we finally get to see the months of hardwork it took to get this debutante band off the ground. I know all of you waiting for Oracle must be pleased with the progress thus far:

ORACLE SECTION II Wings





hey guys, I just want to let you know of the registration information, I have received everything necessary for registration online to be activated, i am meeting with the webmaster tonight, I would like to say tomorrow or the day after, as well,on site registration and the viewing of some costume pieces will be happening as of Monday coming, at 14 morne coco road maraval, i will post a map tonight, now please be aware that this space is merely a workshop space but it will be facilitating registration till we get the keys to our mas camp which will open its doors to the general public later next week, at first i did not want to start registration until we moved into our official administrative site, but with time passing, i have decided that it will begin as such, thanks to rommel and crew for your interest in section II, from the looks of it, that section is already sold out, but i won't say that just yet, please bear in mind that this is our first year, and so we took a little longer than the rest, but i was not willing to go ahead unless i was sure beyond a doubt that my masqueraders could be quaranteed the servise that they deserve, i am now sure of that, we are limiting the number to one thousand for this first year and after all the pressure of getting off the ground I am now extremely excited, because i know this is going to be amazing, full page full colour ads will appear in the papers as early as monday and you can pick up your free copy of our promotional dvd with all the design sketches at movie towne St. James as of sunday, I thank you all for your interest and cannot wait to be amongst you on the streets, i promise you trinidad is going to stop and pay full attention to us because our costumes, are sexy, colorful and they mean somethin, they mean something to me as this band is the culmination of my own process of 'gnothi seauton'.
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