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Saturday, March 12, 2011

YUMA Trinidad Carnival 2011 - Review #5

Registration: I had some sizing issues and YUMA did make an effort with numerous emails back and forth to correct it even though I still ended up with the wrong sizes at distribution. Seeing that I was contributorily negligent, I didn’t kick up too much of a fuss.

Distribution process is fairly quick and simple and the CSR makes a valiant effort to rectify my size problems.
When I try on the costume the next day, the headpiece is perfection although I know I’m not wearing it because it doesn’t go with my hairstyle. The diamante on the bra strap is falling off and the strings that are the back piece of the belt is "unsticking" as are the gems on the belt. Bring out the crazy glue. Now in all my years of wassiness and playing mas, I have never had to restick anything, even if I played in costume both Monday and Tuesday… and I haven’t left the house yet.

One of YUMA’S reps telephoned to tell me to exchange my bra at the mas camp on Friday at 3PM. I get to the camp and the security guard barks that you have to put your name on a list and they will call you in for alterations. I explain that they called and told me to come and collect the bra at a certain time. He continues to bark that all exchanges have been sent to Movietown. I asked him to check please because they told me to come here…. Big whooping NO.

“So the chupidee imprint on my head now starts to raise”

Having tickets to Break Biche, I decided not to head anywhere near the stadium on carnival Friday and go to my party. Instead I go Movietown on Saturday where this guard says…. “wait dey”… and BRAP, door closes. At this point, I am laughing because it is ridiculous.

Eventually, I get inside and Danielle goes to look for my bra to then tell me that it is at headquarters. Well you can pretty much figure out how the rest of the conversation went. Options are wait for an hour and a half at Movietown or go collect it myself. I go get it and run into the same guard who gives me the “you again” look.

“Chupidee imprint clear now”

Taking the high road, I quite simply ask for the young lady who has my bra and he says that they are closed. Apparently my expression went into dragon mode because he says hold on. Two minutes later, I have my bra. By the way, the mas camp now has the bra that I fixed and I still have to restick the same diamante on the bra strap on the new bra.You all owe me a tube of crazy glue… that should be in the goody bag based on the kind of fixing peoplel had to do.

YUMA – customer service must also be emphasized for those agencies that are contracted to work alongside you, this reflects poorly on you, not the firm.

By this time, I thinking of selling because it seems like a bit too much trouble.

Monday on the road, I had a good time, I must admit. The route issues and not going into the savannah, I assume we will get an explanation for and I’m not even going to stress that because Tuesday is a whole other scene.

When I get to my car opposite St. Mary’s grounds, car battery is dead. Mommy, bf and Mr. Scorpio to the rescue.

By the way, the gentlemen distributing fruit cups opposite CIC grounds from a white cooler. Was this the YUMA sanctioned desert because he should have been in the park with a YUMA food distributor t-shirt or something on. Quite suspect!!!

In attempting to get dressed, two pairs of stockings are shred by the waistband and again... I haven’t left the house yet. Get to Mr. Scorpio’s house and folks getting dressed. Ms. Aquarius back line stocking shredding every time she moves and Ms. Scorpio backline has to cut the stones because they are digging into her waist and stomach by the bra line. No to mention the resticking that went on with Ms. Scorpio immediately after she collected her costume and Mr. Scorpio had to cut those pants cause they just look jokey.

Anywho, walked to the shuttle point and waiting for a while… ahmmm where are the shuttles???

Maybe I should point out at this time that I left my house at 11:30 on Monday morning and the shuttles were now leaving Barataria and the band is leaving at 11.

We decide to walk to the band and meet them on Frederick Street where we grab a bite and get a drink and mill around for a bit. This is the first lil jump and wine I got on Tuesday.

When we go back to the bar, the bartenders on truck 10 decide to give some scraggly looking bystanders ice, water of whatever it was before they serve masqueraders. I went straight to security because I wasn’t having it.

By this time, Ms. Aquarius frontline has her dress in her hand and it is in pieces and she had to go and buy a vest. I stood there in shock cause over $4500 or how much ever it costs and it lasts for about 3 hours. Ah couldn’t…….Additionally, word has it that the designer of this section was nowhere to be seen in YUMA, furthermore for her own section. I’m just saying……

We didn’t move for about an hour and I got a flashback of the 7 hrs on Charlotte Street last year with Tribe and ah say nah. I told my crew I’m heading to the Savannah by daddy till the band comes up the road and text me when they ready to cross.

BIG UP to the sailing horsemen who provided a shaded area, comfy lounging chair (where I fell asleep for two hours) some stew horse, curry pigtail and drinks.

I saw Tribe, Island People’s, Legacy’s and Ronnie and Caro’s trucks parked in front of CHAUD to tell you how far down YUMA was.

At about 4 ish so I decide to take a walk and stretch the legs to see where YUMA is. Amazingly, even though my crew is having real costume issues, the costumes that have stood up, look pretty.

In front of the museum, I am attempting to get into the band when security tells me I can’t come in the band here. I know Max in Tribe so I said “say that again cause ah not hearing right”
In the words from Jack on Will and Grace, “CONFUSE ME”?????
So I asked where you want me to go, “you have to go down the road to get into the band”.

Where Machel, cause the chupidee sign on my forehead is now in HD.

I’m not about to push my way through those security men who are linked arm in arm and I’m not walking through the throngs of people alongside the band. So I turn around and go back by daddy and his friends and I’m telling them what happened and they looking at me like I mad and I’m prepared to call it a day.

My cell phone rings with Mr. Scorpio says that they cut Ms. Aquarius backline camera clean off the strap on her hand (apparently they moving with scissors in the band) and some big chick oppose him.Again, confuse me??? The lone man with 5 chicks gets opposed by some girl who is not a masquerader pushing people in the band. Apparently she seemed to be upset because he was winning on all the girls and she couldn't. Well Ms. Aquarius frontline jump in front of Mr. Scorpio cause she was ready to tear into that chick.

What ah hearing…. And where is Security????

So the crew meets back up with me and everyone pissed, adrenaline flowing. The YUMA drinks trucks are in front of Bishops and they are not serving because they are restocking. I asked about food, if they brought snacks to them… no.

We decided to go to the end of the stage and walk where the trucks usually pass to meet the band. Another set of drama with the savannah security who seem quite willing to let spectators pass and not masqueraders... which didn’t make any kind of sense!!!

We finally meet YUMA and wait while they set up to cross the stage. This is probably the most vocal they djs have been for the two days because you barely even heard announcements.

I crossed the stage with my section, in a very somber way compared to how I normally palance (yes ppl, you would be shocked, but the mood was off) and waited for the crew at the end of the stage.

We left the band and went straight to the grounds to collect what we could of lunch… off course by this time it’s getting dark. We ate, drank and chilled in the car and about 45 mins later, the trucks are pulling up in front CIC grounds.By this time I’m contemplating if to go on the Avenue because you the know the elements that come out and we don’t exactly have on much clothes.

The bar pulls up in front of me and I asked the chick for scotch and coconut water. “We doh have no scotch”, Mind you I’m seeing two bottles of JW being passed behind her. I tell her to turn around and look, “but we aint’t have no scotch”. Sigh… I say “if you so and so turn around, you will see the scotch”. At this point I could care less about who is looking.After the truck passes, I see the first YUMA trucks heading back to the mas camp, so any thought of getting a third wine on Tuesday went down the drain. MAS DONE

I haven’t felt the need to write about a mas experience nor is this intended to bash anybody but I couldn’t have made this up if I tried. I left Tribe because it was too big and the wait on Charlotte St was unbearable last year. This year, I had almost the same wait and I felt like I took two steps back. Maybe I’m the sour one.

Big shout out to Mr. and Ms. Scorpio, Ms. Scorpio frontline, Ms. Aquarius, Ms. Aquarius frontline and most to Ms Captivity, (I still don’t know what section that is) Thanks a mill…..

 Ms. Taurus… out.

Island People 2011 Review #2

Island People Mas Review: This dictates my personal experience and does not incorporate the problems of any other masquerader!

I registered in the first week of registration and so I got into my first choice of Vega. It was relatively simple. The CSR helped me try on panty and bra and she took my waist measurements. It was then onto paying. The whole process took around 15 minutes. Thank God I got to try on the stuff beforehand.

I collected on Carnival Friday and so I got both my costume and Monday wear at the same time. I therefore avoided the Monday wear fiasco. My costume was gorgeous and fit perfectly. The headpiece was a bit different from prototype but I liked it all the same. Monday wear was a drab, HUGE, black dress but I modified that ugly baby into a cute top and skirt! Lol.

Monday Mas:
We reached late but took a shuttle from the stadium to Ariapita Avenue. The black could not compete to last year’s bright yellow but at least the band looked uniform. I must say that some women got really creative...from mini dresses to tank tops to even mini jumpers outa de dress! Everyone looked happy; drinks were flowing, music pumping and band moving. The vibes were truly awesome. We made our way to the savannah where we waited for about an hour to cross the stage as we were directly behind Tribe. All I had to hear was “Island People, the stage is front of us, time to get advantageous!” and my head was gone ! We rushed onto that stage and stamped, tramped, wine, everything! It was great..truly a wonderful feeling. In retrospect, I enjoyed crossing on Monday wayyyyy more than Tuesday. After the stage, it was straight to the drinks truck parked right outside the savannah and then to food. I was disappointed in the food situation. When the thousands converged on the Oval, a meagre few were now trying to serve the masses the chicken lunches. Did they not know we were coming? I finally got food about 45 minutes later and it was just ok. We received an email of apology that night about the food from the founder of IP. Good touch. I thoroughly enjoyed my Monday (barring the food incident).

Tuesday Mas:
The big day was finally here! Your girl had butterflies in her stomach. I looked good in my costume and my crew looked falling beads or ill-fitting costumes. We met the band and the people looked beautiful; crowd wasn’t too big. For breakfast I had bake and shark but bake and buljol, sandwiches and rotis were available. Again, drinks were flowing, vibes were nice. We moved at a nice pace until about Frederick Street where the movement slowed considerable and even stopped at points. However, the crowd never took it on...just wined and jammed! Onto the entrance of the savannah...this was the worst part for me. The band became trapped among spectators, so imagine big trucks, band members and spectators jostling for room in that narrow area. I couldn’t breathe! I just had to get outa there. You can’t stop the spectators but lawd! Thanks to the two old people who allowed me to sit in their chair and gave me water. You two revived me well! I waited until I saw my section in front of me and then began the slow walk to the stage I got the shivers was finally time for Vega and to make it even better Machel was on the truck...lawwwdddddd, de excitement. I almost burst. We rushed onto the stage and advantaged it again! It was great but Monday was better for me just because it was the first time on that stage. I then made me happy way off the stage, straight to the trucks for my water and a snack (pholourie, geera chicken, sandwich, mini gyro) and then onto the Oval. This time the food was ready and waiting. I enjoyed my barbeque chicken, corn and fries even though it was a little spicy. After 45 minutes, the big trucks sounded their horns and we were on the road again. We made our way down Ariapita Avenue nicely with security doing a pretty good job among the throngs. I witnessed an actual altercation with our spotters and a group of vagabonds (that’s all you can call them). It was scary but I was thankful. After crossing the stage by Adam Smith Square, we began our last lap. Security was a bit lax here but I think that the throngs of spectators just overpowered us. I returned home as a satisfied reveller with almost all of my costume intact...I lost the beads on the back of my belt due to my winery! Lol. But all in all, IP Mas, I had a wonderful time!
Grade: A-

Pros: excellent vibes, nice mixed crowd, drinks flowed, music nice, breakfast and snacks cool, good eye candy.

Cons: late lunch on Monday, long-ish waiting time to cross the stage (not sure if to blame IP for that), lax security in last lap.

Diamond Vale Breakfast Party Review

This year was my first year going to Diamond Vale. From the time we had to get tickets it was PRESSURE. An acquaintance of mine had the correct link and we got our tickets early. This wasn't a party I wanted to go to due to all the cloak and dagger but because I was offered a ticket I said what the hell.

Skip ahead to the party. So my plan was to get there very early almost as soon as it started to get my money’s worth. I mean I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We got in and the party had lots of room. First stop was a stand with coffee, I though that was cute and is was 5am so I had a glass. From there it was off to the Moet tent. I alone drank about 6 glasses of champagne and then started taking orange juice and making mimosas for my crew and I. We were able to full our belly’s up with champagne way before they ran out. The food was a wide variety. Again getting there early was key because the food was plentiful and fresh without lines, roti, doubles, curry crab and dumpling, jerk chicken, bake and shark to name a few. Everyone serving also had a nice attitude.

I did notice the early crowd was on the older side earlier but it’s ok as I was focusing on my crew and our vibes. As the sun came up the party took on a life of its own. More people coming in and some familiar faces I have seen at all the hottest fetes. People were dressed more fashionable as well. Wendy got her ticket because she was there with Peter Elias. Also I saw Allison Hines. Iwer was there and he performed Come to Meh. The spot to be was on the street right in front of the house with the DJ. All the Wotless folks made camp right there. Rapid Response, DJ Private Ryan, Duchess, Hyper Hopper all killed it. That was were the party was in my opinion. I jumped up in water and mud and even went to the folks yard and jumped with some of them. I can see why this party is so popular. It is good clean fun, great DJ’s, intimate artist performance, good food, and it had an upscale block party feel. Most important I felt SAFE all night. Some of the original founders talked to me about the history and so forth.

This is a party that I would definitely do again IF I can get a ticket easily. If not then there are probably other breakfast fetes to go to. My personal grade is an A. I think if I had to jump through hoops to get tickets the grade would have been lower.


YUMA Trinidad Carnival 2011 - Review #4

My Yuma Aries Experience

Well costume collection was a breeze and I had no complaints with my costume!

Carnival Monday
The meeting place for Monday was Gray Street, the said time to leave Gray Street 11am. I got there on time but the band didn't leave until about 12noon. In the mean time the drinks truck were open and you could gotten anything! The bars had Johnny Walker, Sky Vodka, Courvoisier, Chivas, Malibu and some others I can't remember. There were also trucks giving out tea plates of all sorts. That was a great idea and it tasted good. When we left Gray Street the band headed up Tragerete Road onto Elizabeth Street to St. Clair Ave to around Roxy back to Tragerete Road. By this time I'm like what the hell is this band doing? Then to my surprise they decided to make another block and head straight to the lunch stop at CIC Grounds. I was very confused by that move but was happy we ate early! They served: Hakka/ Creole/ Jamaican Jerk. There was also a non-alcoholic bar at the stop. The food tasted good but the stop was packed. There weren't enough shaded areas for people to sit. Also there were one exit and entry so it was a jam.

When we were back on the road we headed straight to the avenue where we were for quite a few hours. Once passed Adam Smith Square and Victoria Square judging points it was smooth sailing to the Savannah. Bear in mind though we didn't reach Charlotte Street until 7pm, which in my opinion was not a safe and smart idea. By that time Yuma security could not be found and people were just trampling in and out the band. Finally around the Savannah and Yuma passed the entrance to enter the stage straight. Hello???? Can you tell me what was the point of going there if we did not cross the stage? I was pissed and I am sure quite a few other people too, f not all the masqueraders. Then I really needed a drink after realizing that so I went to drinks truck to get a Johnny and Coke, but I was told it is all out and the only thing I can get is Vodka and maybe a Sprite. Seriously, Yuma??? At that point I was ready to call it a day and headed home.

Carnival Tuesday
I was running late and met the band at 8.45am on Tragerete Road by Neal and Massy! The vibe was great breakfast was still being served and the drinks were flowing. The band then headed to South Quay via St. Vincent Street and that was smooth sailing. After that we got to Frederick Street when I practically spent my entire Carnival Tuesday experience. I swear the band stood there for 5 hours slowly moving into the Savannah. At around 2pm I was totally starving, so I left my section around Duke Street corner and made it to the top of the band at Keate street. Got a corn soup (thank god for vex money) and waited for the band to move up a bit. When I got back into the band around 2:45pm there weren't any drinks truck or tea plates trucks insight. I felt I could die not even a sip of water unless you brought it on the street side.

I would say the back of the band were without drinks trucks for 3 hours which we met after we crossed the stage. But it gets better!!! Now the entire band was in the Savannah grounds and all gearing up to cross the stage, A FIGHT broke out with some spectators and one guy ran into the band. He passed the Yuma security that was actually standing holding the banner blocking people from getting in. The man ran into my damn section as well as into Cancer's section.So here now comes the gang that the guy fell out with and they walked straight into the band with bottles in their hands and had masqueraders scampering for safety. The gang didn't see the man and then calmly turned around and walked bravely like nobody business out of the band. Where is the tough security??? Where is the police presence in the Savannah???Huh!

We eventually crossed the stage at 5pm and headed straight to the lunch oops I mean dinner stop. It was so late the food was evidently cold as hell and the place was getting dark. By the time we I got my food we were in total darkness. Yes I ate in total darkness like I was in the wilderness. No lights except for 2 vehicles on the grounds that put on their head lights. Really what can that do for a said 2500 masqueraders?? So there I am eating thinking OK last lap would make up. NO a truck passed by saying something like thank you for having a Yuma Carnival 2011. It was all over for Yuma.
After eating I left and headed to the exit, that process to come out of the grounds took me 10minutes as there were folks trying to get both in and out at the same time. Our car was parked at French street so we started to walk to there. When I reached Tragerete Road I saw TRIBE real getting down still and that could not have pissed me off anymore. Next year I will definitely be going back to the band I took a break from (I hope they could still squeeze me in) LOL.

Yuma you tried but you need to get your shit together! Get a route and stick to it. Cross the stage on both days because face it that’s what nearly everyone wants to do. Make some sort of provisions for when the drinks truck leave while waiting to cross the stage. And if your lunch stop remains at CIC ground get some lighting because who knows what time you may ever get to lunch and also some tents for shade! I will not fully blame you for having me spend my entire Tuesday experience on Frederick Street because I know Island People presentation took 3 hours BUT you still need to have a backup plan/ re-route.

Sexy Eyes.

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