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Monday, February 22, 2010

Spice Palance on Tuesday

I woke up at 6:20am on Tuesday so you know your girl did not plan on meeting Spice for the designated 6:30am on Charlotte Street. I don't know why I didn't remember that this corset takes forever to lace up, so I was a little late. Eventually I left Chaguanas at 7:50am. I met my make up artiste, Makeda at Methuen Street, near Wrightson Rd for my appointment. As I came out of the car the long gold chain on the belt got caught in my stockings and cut my inner thigh. Imagine the stockings ripped and I didn't even have on my make up yet! Note to Spice: Do not include pieces that will rip stockings! Anyway, it was a good thing I had on 2 pairs of stockings so I removed one and used clear nail polish to fix the snag in the second one. So I got the make up done, which I loved! Another successful year with Makeda from Shades of Sugar...
I then met the band near Memorial Park on Charlotte Street at 10:00 am; I couldn't believe they had not even crossed the stage at this point. I had already made up my mind to miss the Savannah stage since I would have been late, so I was glad that I would be able to cross. Now at this point, it's really hot and not a drinks truck in sight and we clearly weren't going anywhere anytime soon. I then succumbed and bought one of the $12 (yes, $12) bottle waters. About an hour later, we crossed the stage to Palance with Thailand crossing second to last; no scene, we real Palance on that stage (although no one saw me on TV!) and went on to the lunch stop.

Sad to say the rest stop situation did not improve on Tuesday. This time, I had the spaghetti and meatballs with a heavy dose of dust. To quote the security guard from the previos day, just geh meh some pelau. I don't know what people have against pelau, once the pelau taste good, I happy; I don't need anything fancier than that. So I touched up the make up and did not use the portable toilets, since again, there was no toilet paper and soap to wash your hands. Then we were on our way to Ariapita Ave.

Ariapita was the worse part of the route; it seemed like we were standing there for hours in the heat. I made my way several times to the cool down bus and was turned away since the both buses were filled. I finally got a seat and questioned why this was called a "cool down" bus; since the bus was more like a sweat bus; no AC in the bus. But, I really needed to sit for a while and recharge. I must mention the girl who was a part of the Spice Committee who came in the bus and smoked her cigarette; did I mention the bus was hot? She's lucky that the tobacco law came into effect on Ash Wednesday...

After a brief nap on the sweat bus, I was ready for the Adam Smith stage. We Palanced some more and by this time, we had 2 frontline girls. out of about eight. I think the Thailand headpiece was too big and uncomfortable for the frontliners. I still however, suffered from Frontline envy. Last year as a frontliner, I posed for dozens of photographs and blushed at the endless compliments. So next year for sure I will be reclaiming my frontline status; frontliners have more fun...talk done!

After clearing Ariapita ave, we made our way to the downtown stage which went at a good pace. By this time, I hungry since I only took a few bites out of the lunch. I saw some people with aloo pies and quickly got excited because the aloo pies sell off last year. But wait...where did the aloo pies come from? I never saw anyone distributing the pies but people were eating pies...so I kept asking persons where they got the pies, to which I got the response, the man just pass. I couldn't understand how I kept missing these just pass aloo pies so again I succumbed and purchased a hot dog from one of the vendors by Central bank. Lo and behold, 45 minutes later, I see the man with aloo pies while waiting to cross the downtown stage...I grabbed that aloo pie so fast and crossed the stage holding on to half of the pie!

Well downtown was my last palance and I headed back up to Chaguanas about 6:45pm. I wasn't that tired but my feet hurt like a bitch....I couldn't wait to get my feet in a foot bath with hot water and epsom salts.

I did have a great time in Spice and I did not have a bad experience like so many other masqueraders. My costume registration and collection was a breeze. I did not experience any bad attitudes from any of the Spice Management team. I did not mind being in the the back of the band since music at the back was really vibesy and we had a main bar that was always stocked so that was a nice surprise. For the most part I loved my costume but the lack of gems on the corset was very disappointing. Initially I was told by Spice that frontliners did not have the corset option, which I found unfair but there were a couple frontliners with corsets so why didn't I get that option? I already addressed the negatives such as the food, rest stop and the cool down bus. These little luxuries are what keep people going back to bands like Tribe where masqueraders can see what they are paying for. These are the real missing ingredients that make the experience worth it. I think my main issue was that last year I really enjoyed myself because the band had a more intimate feeling due to the small numbers. Spice is definitely not ready to operate as a large band...keep it small or medium and give your masqueraders the best service and costume quality.

Will I be in Spice next year? I'm willing to give them another chance once I could get a frontline costume that's reasonable, pretty and comes with a corset.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spice Palance on Monday

This was probably the hottest carnival ever in Trinidad! But the weather never stopped the heavy palancing...for some reason I prefer being on the road Monday. I met the band at their QRC rest stop at lunch time right after they crossed the stage. Now, it is fair to say that the band has grown A LOT and we Spice veterans were not accustomed to these numbers. I waited about 15 minutes in one of the lunch lines until we were told that the lunches for that line were finished and more were coming from Long Circular Mall! I then opted for the Arabian meal; I'm not really fussy about food but this had to be driest meal ever. I'm a big fan of Arabian food and I know that it does not have gravy or sauces but this was not just dry but burnt. Because it was so hot my throat was already dry and this burnt, dry meal just made it worse; so I drank three cans of fruta and hoped that would help my hunger. According to one of the security guards, ah doh want no meat on no toothpick just geh meh some pelau!

Because there were so many people, we needed more seats at the rest stop or at least blankets for people to sit on. The seating space was obviously limited which forced people to sit on the dusty ground or stand and eat which was very uncomfortable. There were a lot of the portable toilets at the rest stop but no one bothered to replenish the toilet paper, clean them or even have soap at the sinks.

We were back on the road about half of an hour later, heading to Ariapita avenue. The music was excellent..good job Rapid Response! We got a mix of the old and new and Palance was saved for the stage.

Drinks were flowing and the bars were sufficient even though I could not reach any of them. The security personnel were out in their numbers and kept the outsiders at a distance. Kudos to Spice for providing very efficient security.

I really hope that Spice could provide Monday wear that consists of more that just hot shorts to ensure some uniformity in the band. The Spice tshirts could have been provided in colours that matched the sections so that they would have been more coordinated.
I left after the downtown stage around 6:00pm to prep for more Palancing the following day!

Big shout out the "girl" with the biggest batty in Spice..if yuh have it why cover it!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunny Side Up Breakast Party

Ă€fter a severe case of heart burn and difficulties with waking up at 3am, I was on my way to the Sunny Side Up breakfast party in Petit Valley. This fete is a definite do again next year. I like that the crowd had good vibes and was within my age group.

The parking was a bit difficult so I would have to get there earlier next year. There were actually breakfast dishes such as bagels, pancakes, eggs and toast, sada and doubles. You could also get pelau, corn soup, seafood broth, fruits and cholcolate covered strawberries and marshmellows. Most of the major dishes were finished quickly but the drinks were endless.

On the music side of the fete, it is safe to say that Dil-e-Nadan has made a successful crossover from a soca-chutney band to a soca band. Raymond Ramnaraine, the band's leader once said that band is not Indian or African but Trinidadian; which is true. They had the crowd excited while they covered a lot of the popular soca and chutney songs. The band's vocalists meshed well and were genuinely enjoying themselves on stage. I'm really glad to see that Candy Hoyte can finally showcase herself as a frontline singer instead of providing back up for Shurwayne. Roy Cape with Blaxx, Olatunji and Rita Jones followed with a similar set. Big up to man like Roy Cape who re-hired Rita Jones after she bad talk the man in all the newspapers in Trinidad! But seriously, Blaxx, I know you all performed at three fetes earlier but you don't need to sound like it. Imagine Olatunji had more vibes singing back up to Blaxx Hunting than Blaxx did as the main vocalist. Eventually, Blaxx and band concluded the fete with an okay performance.

Did the organizers of Sunny Side Up get permission from WASA for their wet zone? The wet zone had a foam section and water being hosed seeing that there's a drought and all...

Some tips for attending a breakfast party:

  • Get some sleep before the party

  • Always set an alarm

  • Don't wear too much clothes; it will get really hot once the sun comes up

  • Be prepared to get wet so ensure that you have a zip lock bag for your camera and a change of clothes in the car

  • Sunglasses are a must; trust me that sun is hell at that hour

  • Ensure that you have reliable and safe driver

  • Don't make any plans for the remainder of day; get some rest for J'ouvert!

I left about 10:45am and surprisingly I wasn't that tired even though I slept the entire day...but I will be watching the Dimanche Gras later...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Island People's Girl Power Fete

So many questions after Island People's Girl Power fete:

  1. Why it had so much man?

  2. Why the VIP was significantly larger than the General?

  3. Why couldn't you buy less than $40 in chits in the General section?

  4. How come the bartenders didn't know the prices of the drinks?

  5. Who are the Girl Power dancers? And why were they necessary?

  6. Did Island People limit their orders of rags and balloons?

  7. Why don't they assign each island or country a designated space so that each performer will not have to ask "anybody from Barbados; anybody from Brooklyn; where my UK crew: anybody from Trinidad (not Tobago)?"
    Who taught the new guy in Imij to wine? He needs several follow up sessions.

  8. Does Kees need a shirt-take-offer? (I'm available!)

  9. Where was KARMA????

  10. Most importantly where was the doubles man?

If you have answers to any of these questions, PLEASE leave a comment

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thailand: I am ready!

I got to Hilton around 2:45pm and was pleasantly surprised by the very spacious ballroom for the costume collection...a big improvement from last year. I must say that Spice stepped up big time in that area. There were a lot of Spice personnel collecting payment and distributing costumes. I guess i missed the rush because I didn't have to wait as only four other persons were collecting. Even some of the cashiers looked bored...but I'm not complaining. Our payments were finalized very quicky, although they gave us a 6:1 exchange rate on our US; so next time I will be paying in TT dollars.

I then got all my pieces which I fitted and had the belt adjusted and the corset strap shortened. While waiting on the adjustments, I helped myself to a complimentary Monster drink and a cup of water while skimming through an Ezone magazine (my boy Kees on the cover yes!). I love my costume for the most part but not very impressed with the corset. I feel very short changed with the beading on the corset....the bikini bra has so much gold beading that covers the entire cup whereas the corset only has 2 rows of beading...so much for my extra $500. The corset is also not yellow like the bikini top and is really beige which brings down the entire costume. This difference really shows that the costumes are designed with a bikini in mind and not the corset which is just an alternative but the truth is that I'm just glad that I have this option. Otherwise, the headpiece, belt, and accessories are all great and very much resemble the prototype. I just love this headpiece which is light and the yellow and gold are very vibrant.

Spice also had "souvenir" tshirts aka monday tshirts on sale for $100. Well everybody knows I love Spice and I want the world to know that I played in Spice so yes I bought one!

Now on to the recession goodie bag....where's my condom????? No condom in the female bags but the men got four...hello spice...women need condoms too!!! let's not leave it up to the men to guarantee protection, but we need to ensure that we are also always prepared.. no wonder women feel guilty to purchase condoms! Anyway, I already ate half the contents of the goodie bag and it's a really nice bag too so much that my mum already claimed ownership of the bag...

  • Lays potato chips

  • Honey Bunches of oats

  • Club social biscuit

  • Dove body wash

  • 1 pack of Advil

  • Monster rag

  • Monster bracelet

  • Thong panty liners

  • Spice cup

  • No Condoms...no sunblock!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Road March Faves

I don't have a crystal ball but I'm really rooting for Faye Ann Lyons again for the Road March winner...I love True Lies and I'm really getting this vibes for the road. It's clearly a follow up to Meet Superblue and there's a catcy hook, if everything they say about me is true ...hear what to do.....That line is wicked. In my book Baby Blue can do no wrong and I will go a step further and name her winner for the Power Monarch! Here is a list of favourite songs this year:
Faye Ann Lyons - True Lies
Faye Ann Lyons- Start Wining
Zombie- Blaxx*
Hunting- Blaxx*
Road Show- Patrice Roberts
Palance- JW and Blaze

* Blaxx, I really hope that you hitting the gym and getting ready for the Soca Monarch; you don't want a repeat of 2008...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why Am I in the Back Again!!!!

The line up for Spice was posted on facebook today:

Rubies of Mumbai
Imperium Romanum
Wings of Isis
Moroccan Heat
Merchants of Venice
Caspian Sea
Gate of Petra

It's just my luck that Thailand gets the same position as Scotch Bonnet last year! These bands need to let us know the section line up during registration....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thailand...ah soon come!

I'm so excited that I will be collecting my costume on Wednesday the 10th at the Hilton...I will have enough time to try it on and make any adjustments, and if all does well, my weekend will be free. This distribution schedule was sent by Spice today...watch me palancing!!!