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Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Love Soca- Dec 21st

So yes, the soca continues in December in Jamaica with the I Love Soca fete on Wednesday December 21st. I think this event has picked up and already has a following. I am confident that the music will be very recent since this crew is always in tune with the new soca. I will not be there but I fully endorse this one...

Soca Vs Dancehall

Soca in December in Jamaica is slowly becoming popular, so I decided to check out the Soca Vs Dancehall fete at Morgan's Harbour on December 3rd. The fete is new to the Ja soca scene but attracted the usual soca crowd.

On arrival, the venue was empty and the music lame. Again, I will stress that Sparkles Disco and Omar C are weak soca DJs. So the music was pretty lame with poor track choices. When I saw DJ Smoke from Renaissance, I was really happy because he is way better than those two. The venue filled up a bit and the music picked up. Smoke had the crowd's attention with latest soca and hip hop. By the end, you could hear persons shouting "soca! soca!", which made me smile :)...there had been a clear winner.

I love the venue although it is a bit out of the way. I also appreciated that although it was a drinks inclusive affair, there was the option to purchase higher end drinks.

I can see a future for this party if the promoters step up their marketing and probably get some prime sponsors behind them....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anya's Take me to the Runway

Well Anya Ayoung Chee really took us to therunway with this design for Tribe's 2012 presentation. Boy, what a piece of nekkidness but it sexy for so. The design doesn't really stand out as original, but I like the colours. It also has a pocahontas feel with the materials and design of the headpiece. But my fave part of this costume is the cloth which really gives it the "Anya" touch. The word is that this is a VVIP section in Tribe, which is not surprising. Do not get ahead of yourselves believing that because you like the costume, you may get in the section....I don't think so. And well done to Tribe for getting creating further hierarchies in a band that is at the top of the hierarchy. So all those masqueraders who felt like they crossed a barrier to get into Tribe, you ain't reach yet; if you get into this section...let me know

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Costume 2012- Check!

This has to be the latest I've registered for a costume since 2002, but I'm glad that I'm finally with costume. I've said this many times on the blog, but I don't want to rush into purchasing a costume without thinking it through carefully. But that's not a luxury for everyone, as so many people rush into registration with a fear that they may not secure a costume. I've realized that I should not condemn anyone who registers for a costume in July because this is how the game is played. And if you don't like it, you play in a band outside of the game. But the downside is that these bands do not appeal to your friends and no one wants to be in band with people they don;t know. I mean everyone we know is in Tribe, Bliss or YUMA right?

Anywho, so I just visited the K2K Alliance's website, selected my sizes and added the costume to the shopping bag; checked out, entered my credit card info and that was it. I then received my confirmation for payment two days later through email. Did I mention that I got the costume that I wanted, Dead Sea III Frontline? No fuss no muss. The frontline cost TT$5160 or US$860 with a US$400 deposit. I must also add that any questions I had were promptly and pleasantly addressed by the designers.

However, the website only allows you to pay for one costume at a time since you could only add one item to the shopping bag, and I have not seen an option to pay the balance online. I am also awaiting the decision on Monday wear. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for something because I'm not into stressing about an outfit for Monday. Let's just be honest, costumes are no longer meant to wear on both days so I want some black cloth, a tshirt or something...

So basically I'm excited to see what the costume will look like on the road and maybe I'll meet some new friends. And don't be afraid to sell your YUMA costume if you are having second thoughts because you will have no problem finding a buyer.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little Late for the Foreplay

I know this review for Frenchmen's Foreplay is way way too late, but I'm gonna address it anyway. It could be that I haven't been to this party in years but the party sell off...
My only major complaint is that I didn't like the venue at Llandovery Farms in Ocho Rios. Let's just say that it was really a farm and smelled like one. The party had all the frills such as massages, make up, carnival costumes, coffee stations, but for me, it's all about the food, drinks, parking and toilets. I have to note that after paying JA$6500, I expected that there will be food even at 8:00pm, so I was kinda hungry. The line at the toilets wasn't funny. Promoters need to learn that that once you have plenty women in a drinks inclusive party, they are going to want to pee very often so have more toilets!

Otherwise the music was great (except at the end), the drinks were flowing with short lines at the bar and the party had nuff vibes. This is a definite recommend if you want to party with the whole of uptown Kingston and their aspirants. On a final note, I'll just just quote one of my Trini friends- "Why is there a party 2 and a half hours away from Kingston with only people from Kingston?"....

***you are supposed to see the fireworks in this pic which was really cool; you know trinis like a fireworks

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almost there with K2K....

K2K's website is finally up! Btw, I have to mention that I received 2 emails from K2K indicating that the website will be up yesterday. They had also responded to several questions I had about the costumes. I must say that the responses were timely.

Like with any new band, there is the need to please as the band has no track record so we expect the customer service to be on point. My concern is always with cover up options even with K2K's seemingly more conservative costumes. To my surprise they are willing to work with me if I need more cover up around the mid section.

Until the website launched I was convinced that I would register for Yellow Sea but after seeing Dead Sea III (featured pic) on the website, I am now confused. I love the yellow because it's the brightest colour in the collection and although Dead Sea III is black, I love the design with the ruffles and the one shoulder corset.

The difference between BL and FL is really the "wavers' or backpiece. So even if you decide to opt for the more affordable BL, the costume is still adequate and you don't seem short changed. In addition, masqueraders will find that the prices are basically in the same range as the bikini and beads bands (TT$3600-$5700), although you are getting more costume. However, the yellow sea male option basically consists of a pants, turban and scarf for the average TT$2500, but there are FL options for males which offer a lot more. I am also not hearing anything about Monday wear which would be the icing on the cake for me!

decisions ...decisions...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Frenchmen's Foreplay

Okay, so I didn't realize that the Bleu parties on Heroes Weekend will be held in Lucea. Being from a small island, if it takes more than an hour to get somewhere, it is far and it takes a whole heap of hours to get to Lucea. So seeing Kes the Band on Heroes weekend is totally out for me *sad face*. But I still love you.

Anywho, so I will be at the Frenchmen's foreplay instead. The tickets are US$85, which is a lot less than I thought it would be. Even though I will not be wining and jamming to Kees, I will make the best of the weekend. If you are going, try to book your hotel room asap because it's been difficult for me to get something within my budget. The RIU is booked out (no surprise there) as it seems the entire Kingston population will staying there so consider other options. I can't wait....

K2K Alliance....Will you Play?

K2K Alliance describes their costumes as "...sophisticated, glamorous and chic and cater to the masquerader who is looking to be part of a bigger story; a moving canvas of artistic expression..."...I Love it! The costumes for their presentation, The Waters are a great alernative to the bikini and beads costumes, and you don't get the feeling that you are playing mas with your Aunty Pauline and her friends Jean and Dorothy. However, one might believe that there is more cover up and that it may be a better option for the "not slim" masquerader, but I warn you to be careful. There may be more cover up, but the costumes are form fitting and may draw unwanted attention to your rolls, handles and bulges. For the thicker girls, you may have to consider some kind of shapewear to give that smooth "holding down" effect.

I must admit that I am excited to see the pics on their website and ofcourse, the prices. I suspect that costumes will fall within TT$4000-6000 range. But are you willing to give up "mas" for "marse"???

***There are no pics on K2K's FB page and the website has not been launched yet, so this pic of The Yellow Sea came from Trinidad Carnival Diary. I feel I could wear this...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Please Carnival Band, charge my Credit Card, Pretty Please...

I recently saw this post by Stacy Romano on Trinidad Carnival Diary's FB page:
Okay ......So for the persons who didn't get in Fantasy Band sorry to hear that, in kartel voice "Nat Nice" .......you kno what i realize if you not begging, paying a fee to get in, jumping through hoops or someone on the committee KNoWS YOU masqueraders just don't want to play in yuh band they just addicted to rejection and LOVE to beg to GIVE their money away .........Ronnie & Caro, Island Peop...le, Dream Team, De Krewe, Trini Revellers, Legacy, Genesis, just to name a few-----> let me tell you how to get in Step 1. go view your costume at the mascamp....Step 2. make your deposit ...Step 3. payoff and collect your costumes on said date AND Step 4. play with a crew that is not stuck up, sucky or party poopers and you will enjoy yourselves on the road..........

My friend brought it to my attention since she had recently told me a story about her Jamaican friend who had paid someone who knows someone on Tribe's committee for a costume (in full). When he got to Trinidad, he could not find the person he paid nor the friend of a friend. It was his first time to Trinidad for Carnival and he had heard that Tribe was "de band" to be in. Without question he paid for the costume AGAIN! I found this difficult to believe until she introduced me to the guy who confirmed the story and proudly exclaimed that he will be trying to get into Tribe again, no matter what it takes.

I do sympathize with this guy especially since I had a similar experience. My friends and I had the same desperation in 2006 and paid a guy who knew "someone on committee" full price for Tribe costumes. We were in constant communication with this person and everything seemed to be in place. He even told us he would deliver the costume to our homes on carnival Saturday. On carnival Sunday, we did not hear from him and contacting him proved to be futile. It took us a while to conclude that we were scammed and ended up with no money and no costume.

Since that experience, I've decided to go through the legit process to register with a band. If the band declares that they are sold out, I will move on to another because guess what? there are other bands. But this year after falling in love with Fantasy's costumes, I almost found myself down that that road again. After realizing that Fantasy had no intention to open registration to the public, I contacted a good friend who had been registered through someone he knew on the committee. He confirmed that the band was mostly sold out and that they will not be doing public registration. Still in disbelief, I emailed Fantasy who responded in a timely manner that they will release information regarding registration. This was one month ago. At this point, I don't think anyone in their right mind believes that they can get into Fantasy without pulling some strings. Unlike other people, I am attracted to the costumes and not the hype surrounding the band, but if I can't get my fave costume, I will have to move on....Sorry Fantasy's Ophanim, I really felt we would have made a good match...

***The pic of Ophanim came from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Costume Photos

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dear Mas....

Dear Mas,

I know that we've had a longstanding commitment but I'm afraid that I may have to bow out next year. You see it has been difficult to acquire a costume for various reasons. I am not friends with anyone who sits on a band committee so I was unable to engage in committee member registration. I don't know if it's the same as preregistration but I was also unable to do that since I don't know any very important persons who run a band.

I was really feeling Fantasy's costumes but apparently the band has sold out even though they have not opened for public registration. After people started getting anxiety attacks over Fantasy's registration, they shut down the wall on their FB page and have been silent on twitter. Even if Fantasy had costumes remaining, they only offer corsets option for 3 sections; 2 of which I've been told are sold out and the remaining section may not have an available Frontline. Now Mas, you know I love you but all mas is not equal and my belly needs to be covered and sucked in.

After Island People Mas' mess of a band launch, they did a remarkable change after consulting their masqueraders and presented something that looks really interesting. I have one die hard IP friend who suggested that I give the band another chance and at least I'll know 1 person. However, I contacted IP who to my disappointment, only has corsets for Ki and Elements, which I wouldn't wear.

I would know a lot of people if I were to play in YUMA but it's the same drama with committee member registration and past masquerader registration yada yada. I am so not into the big band drama and I know that YUMA will be packed up tight tight since everybody and their tantie will be in this band. Furthermore, these people have the audacity to charge an additional TT$650 for a corset and hear the best part- you have to bring your own corset...what de ass YUMA! So mas, do you understand my predicament?

I know there are other bands such as Spice, Explosion and Oasis but it would be nice to play with 1 or 2 people you know....Since we are on the topic of Explosion; have you seen what this band has done to you? Their costumes are all about breasts and bamsee (the pic is from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Costume Photos). I am one person who can't wait to see the death of the cage bra. I just can't stand to see all the boob fat squeezing through those wires but big up to all de girls who rock the cage bra!

So that's my dilemma and I hope to figure this out by September or you won't see me in 2012...


A Masquerader with no Costume.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

31 is just a number...

Being 31 always seemed soooo old and as a teenager I never thought I would be this old!

I know a lot of women lie about their age simply because we've been taught to fear aging and the physical changes that accompany it. I am really fine with being 31 even though I wished I had my Phd and never gained so much weight ...sigh. But I've achieved a lot academically and professionally. I also have great family support, the coolest friends and an amazing life partner. I don't rent but pay a mortgage and my car starts each morning. I also don't have any major health problems; nor do any of my family members. I could go on about all the blessings that I have been granted but the point is that not having a Phd and dealing with an embarrassing muffin top are not so bad because there are so many positive things happening that I don't have any excuse to be unhappy.

This quote from the Dalai Lama will be my motto for the year of 31- "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions". I hope you create your own happiness as well....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Heroes will Fall...

All yuh see that Island People mess??? At first I attributed the disaster to my stream and may be I had to be there in person to adequately assess these costumes. But then I saw the comments on FB. I don't think I have ever seen persons rip apart a carnival band with such passion.

Island People has always presented a more creative spin to the beads and bikini genre even though their service may not be the best. But something went very worng with their interpretation of Heroes last weekend. For the majority of costumes the colour combination was wrong, the spandex leggings were questionable and those capes were a hell no.

But all was not bad. I did like Scarlet (the red) and Oya (white) and Wildheart (brown and yellow) was okay. You could see the pics on their FB page.

What makes this even more interesting is that Island People is willing to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments. They have even asked persons to provide feedback on their FB page. I don't know if a carnival band has ever done this before but I find it pretty cool. Even though I know that most of the people who comment have never played or intend to play with Island People, the critiques are basically the same.

I don't think Island People masqueraders should be so quick to abandon ship; give the designers a chance. You already know what the road experience is like. I've never heard of committee registration, pre registration of loyalty card in IP so don't fight to be in bands that have these requirements...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't Ruffle your Feathers

So the band registration drama has begun. I've been monitoring the FB discourse and ppl are getting their feathers in a bunch when they heard that some bands are pre registering the fortunate msqueraders. Other persons fear that there will be some kind of end of the world if they don't get into certain bands. I wish them the best of luck!

I really don't see the big deal with pre registration. I mean if you know a committee member of a band of your choice, you will find yourself taking advantage of that connection...right? I know I will! But I do believe that each committee member or section should be a allowed a set number of pre registered masqueraders. And that number should not be so large that the majority of potential masqueraders are unable to register using traditional methods. But my position on this is that we as the paying customer should not allow these bands to feel that we would give an arm, leg and a couple of vital organs to get the privelege to purchase a costume. I've said so many times that there are too many bands to choose from, and we should stop acting the fool as if Tribe is the only band for T&T Carnival.

I agree that Tribe offers a lovely product and great service. I have experienced this service when I played in Tribe in 2008. However there are other bands that do the same. I was very happy with Spice and I've heard great reviews for Ronnie and Caro and newbie Oasis. But this change has to be collective. Most of us would not play in a band if our friends are not there. The thing about Tribe is that you must see at least 15 people that you know which is always fun. We also place a social value on bands like Tribe/Bliss, Spice, Harts and IP. These bands attract a certain class/colour as well as class/colour aspirants which make them bands of choice for many people who do not recogize bands that do not offer these social benefits.

I am in no way condemning persons who make these choices; I have played in these socially privileged bands so I cannot chastise anyone for doing so. But let's stop pretending that mas is all embracing and equal....

**The pic is of Oasis' Koi whose FL starts at TT$3985 (pic from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Costume Photos)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who Wants to be an Angel?

This has been a really slow summer for me so there hasn't been much to blog about. I've been trying to finish up my MPhil thesis to submit which brought on a whole heap of UWI drama which is not worth blogging about. I'll just say that I need to get this degree so I can move on with my life.

I was also pretty bored with the band launches until I saw Fantasy Carnival's 2012 presentation, Book of Angels. Well you know I love new bands. I have absolutely no band loyalty and as an independent masquerader, I am always willing to try a new band so they had my attention.

Fantasy has always been on the Jouvert scene and the same committee does the Jamboree fetes so they may not be completely daft to band management. As usual I am interesed in their FL prices and corset options in order to make a decision. The costumes have already captured my attention- wings galore! The costumes are well designed and capture the epitomy of pretty mas. But would we expect anything less from designers, Richard and Anthony who gave Spice and YUMA an impressive entrance into the band scene.

I know I have said that I am hesitant to play mas next year since I'm tired of the drama. But Fantasy is making this decision very difficult to adhere to. IF I am playing. and that is a big IF, I would like a FL costume with wings, a small headpiece; easy registration for the costume I love (which is Power), a corset option, accessories that don't rip my stockings, a reasonable price, a small band and just a drama-free experience.

***the pic of the Power costume came from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Costume Photos

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Not Much to say About Spice...

I don't know what's up with Spice but their costume presentation for next year can just be described as "blah". It seems that 2009 will remain Spice's best year. I wish I knew what's going on with the band but something is not happening. I suspect that part of it has to do with the loss of Richard and Anthony because the costume designs have certainly done a nose dive. Don't get me wrong, they are not horrible but they're just generic. I'm most disappointed with the lack of color in next year's presentations. What's up with all the blue? Some people have described the designs as "safe" which is correct. The presentations we've seen from Bliss and YUMA this year, and from Tribe's recent launch should have been a wake up call for Spice yet we see the standard Spice costumes. I've always liked Anya and I felt that she had a fresh perspective on band leadership but my girl is not a designer.

My favorite section is Ayamara simply because I love the combination of the burgundy and white and the FL is gorg. Also worth mentioning is Siriono which was designed by Leasel Rovedas and does not have feathers. It looks okay although I'm not a fan of black costumes. Overall Spice continued their trend of blinged out costumes, but with skimpified bottom pieces so I'm sorry for the Heavy Ts. Again, the saving grace for these bands are their prices and extra options. Spice does the corset well, which is great since most women do not look like the models at the launch...so when are you going to post these prices Spice?

**This pic of Ayamara is from Trinidadcarnivaldiary

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tribers...allyuh ready?

Although I am not a big Tribe fan, I am excited to see how their 2012 costume concept comes to life for their launch on July 23, 2011. I am even more excited to see how crazy people will get to secure a Tribe costume. It's clear that Tribe has staying power; no matter how expensive or overcrowded this band gets, it just seems to attract more and more people. And even with the advent of new large bands, it has not lost its appeal. The few people that do decide to migrate to these new bands are quickly replaced by masqueraders who are willing to sell their kidneys, house and mother in a heart beat to secure a costume. Even after people complain about Tribe, they then find themselves 5 months later with a severe case of Tribenesia, fighting to get back in the band they swore never to play with again....

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Beginning...Band Launch Season is here!

Oooooh band launch season has begun and I'm soooo excited. With D Krewe's launch already getting lackluster reviews, some of these bands better come good. I'm always excited for Spice and since I did not play with them this year, I'm eager to see their ideas for 2012 (can you believe we are already talking about carnival 2012!!!!). Their theme is "The New World" which like any carnival theme is so vague and broad that any costume can be incorporated and hailed as representative of "The New World". Since the loss of Richard and Anthony designs to YUMA, Spice's costumes have not been at the same standard since their entry in 2009. So let's see what Anya and her team wows us with on July 9th. I'm hoping that there will be a live stream or I'll just be following the updates on Twitter....

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Day When a Young Professional Embarassed her Institution...

So yuh girl is a cebrelity since pics of me being wotless during Machel's performance at CFW last weekend. But never underestimate the power of fame; there will be a lot of haters and backbiters. Honestly I was very happy when I saw the pics on live stush. Besides a kind of weird expression on my face; I felt I looked good and saw some results from my zumba classes. To me, these pics are in no way different from those you would see of me at Carnival so I don't find them racy or provocative in any way. In fact, it just represents me doing what I do best- enjoying myself.

But apparently once you are a "young professional" this behaviour is "inappropriate" and will make you "ineffective" in doing your job at the university. I mean look at what happened to the American politician , Anthony Weiner! But the person who used the university's toner to print several copies of the photos and distribute them is not chastized, nor is this action considered "unprofessional".

The higher ups were appalled when my response to these supposedly pornographic photos is: "so what?". What do you expect from me? Shame for enjoying myself? Shame for looking hott in a blue mini dress? hell no!

If you knew me, I live for Carnival and anything soca related. If you read my facebook profile, my religious beliefs centre around carnival so the fete is my church and soca is my hymn so why is an image of me in my Church, praising my false god, Machel Montano and singing in the most high, offensive and shocking?

And how does this affect my job? My job is to deliver lectures on topics most of my students do not find relevant...but I do it in the most effecient and effective way. I am never late with my grades and I fulfill all course requirements. Now if my students saw me partying and they choose to let that be a distraction and not focus on learning which they have paid for then that's something they need to work out. Lecturers are people too and they do have lives outside of the university. I do not hide in my home and only emerge when I go to work...sorry. This situation reminds me of back in the day when pregnant women were not allowed to in front of the classrooms once their bump was visible. It was evidence that they were sexually active (omg, how dare they have sex!). And here I am in 2011, providing evidence that I am sexy and carefree (which some people see as immoral).

No matter how successful you are as a young woman, your sexuality is always at the forefront. No matter how much feminism has impacted on our society, women's bodies will always remain a source of ridicule, praise, downfall, embarassment and degredation...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CFW 2011- Runway, Fashionistas, Mogelers and Machel!

I know I've been saying that I'm not into fashion but I must admit that I like the Kingston fashion scene...I guess because I like posing and in the Kingston fashion scene everyone is a mogel (that is Jamaican for "model"). But Pulse's Caribbean Fashion Week is the real uptown Kingston must be eeen kind of scene. I've been to the event 2 years ago and enjoyed the Jamaican touch to the generic fashion show.

What's with these fashion shows and the late start? The show was scheduled to begin at 7:00pm and didn't do so until an hour and a half later...steups. I was pissed because it was really uncomfortable sitting on those non padded bleacher seats in the National Indoor Sports Arena..that's a big fail for Pulse. During the show, the long breaks to accommodate those sitting near the runway was also really annoying; I didn't understand why people had to get up EVERYTIME there was a break and then we had to wait forever for those same persons to be seated for the show to resume. I also felt that they needed to integrate the performances into the show rather than leave the performances for the end when the majority of the patrons had left.

Despite these drawbacks, I enjoyed the event and the presentations with my favourite being Meiling, Zaad and Eastman, the Cloth and Shanna Carby, the winner of Mission Catwalk (a local Project Runway). The pieces looked like something I would wear and not just some weird couture piece that belonged on Lady Gaga. Oh how I wish I could own some of those Meiling dresses!

I also like that the Jamaican fashion scene is just as much about the top models as it is about the fashion. It's amazing that Kingsley Cooper has promoted so many Jamaican models on the international market. In fact Mr Cooper has contributed to the destabalization of popular concepts of beauty which has found a space in the global fashion world.

But the real winners were the Kingston fashionistas. I mean these patrons would not let the models outdo them...bless up to all the mogelers...

And the best part of the show was Machel Montano which was the most impressive thing Mr Cooper could have done for me that night. Machel sans HD gave a great performance and drove the small crowd into a frenzy. The performance was so intimate that your girl got to wine on stage...who knew?

**you could view more pics on Stush's fb page

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thunderstorms,Trinis, Gems, Boots, Bunji & Faye Ann, a Chick with a Huge bottom, and no Kamla...

After recovering from an embarrassing hangover, I was able to get my makeup done at Face Forward which came out really well....big up to Sharon and Krystal! I still didn't feel 100% so I took a nap and met the band on their way to the lunch spot. Talk about rain....one piece of thundershower...big up to all the girls that waterproofed their feathers! The Frenchmen lunch included Chinese and grilled items...I still wasn't feeling so hot so I didn't eat. Back on the road, I stayed close to the Renaissance truck with DJ Smoke and Alicia the Duchess. Bunji and Faye Ann was also on this truck so there was a lot of vibe. The music was current and I didn't have to hear the same 10 songs. The highlight was the performances from the power couple who delivered song after song....bess. And talk about trinis; nuff trinis on the road, on the truck, performing, Mcing; DJing...I mean the only Trini that wasn't there was Kamla.

Later in the afternoon we got a couple wings with bread or crackers which was a life saver since I didn't eat the lunch. I chased the wings with lucozade which was my drink for the day so I was sober and energized. After the wildness in Half Way Tree, we had the best chip down Knutsford Blvd, again with Bunji and Faye Ann on the mike. At mas camp, I collected my dinner, jumped in a taxi and went home. After all the fuss about the costumes, closing down the wall on the Bacchanal Fb page, refunds, reselling of costumes etc.. people did have a ball. Everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves even after the rain had completely washed away make up and eyelashes. I didn't see much of the other sections since I didn't really leave the Frenchmen section but Frenchmen's 2 sections looked the best. The green in Avalon and the purple in Shangri la stood out over the other costumes. The most diappointing were Capetian and Digicel's Ming Dynasty....no surprise there right.

Can you say gems and boots. It was like a bedazzler exploded that morning! Gems, gems and more gems...small, medium, large, on the face, on the body and even on lips...my word, Samaroos would be proud. And then there were the boots in varying colours, styles and height. So it's safe to say that the Jamaican masqueraders are moving with the times and it's now left up to Bacchanal to update the costumes designs. We need back packs, tails, collars, bigger headpieces, less plume feathers, more creative color schemes and bras that fit. Now the bra issue was a big problem that I hope that somebody plans to fix next year. All Bacchanal has to do is provide sample bras from the supplier during registration so that women could select the correct size because these bras were obviously not standard sizes.

Personally, I had a great time. My corset was FAB. I bought it at Sincerely Yours in Trinidad for TT$400 and it is most comfortable corset I've ever worn. It's pretty easy to cover the corset with fabric using a glue gun and use applique and gems that match the bra. To top it off, I had a GORG collar made by Carnival Diva that complimented the costume really well. It was very light and easy to carry. My pouch from Bacchanal Divas held all of my necessities and was coincidentally made from the same fabric used on the corset. I'm glad that I ordered a size 8 boots from Carnival Kicks because they fit like a 7.5 but had enough room for the toe protectors and the insoles. My Micles stockings did not rip!!!! This miracle could be attributed to the plastic gems or the short time I spent on the road; It's so in tact that these could be worn again.

Despite all the costume problems and my hangover, this was one of my best carnivals in Jamaica. The music was bess, my costume was comfy and the crew had vibes....

Check out some photo albums here, here and here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Machel Friday and Saturday...Advantageous!

Attending the Lime All Island J'ouvert on Friday was kind of iffy since this was their first event I've attended but once Machel was going to be there...I dey! It's a good thing I got there really late because the party was LAME, the music and selector were LAME and worst of all there was the false advertsing of free drinks in VIP. Not even the bar man knew that the drinks weren't free. The explanation given was that it was a Smirnoff sponsored event so only Smirnoff and Red Bull were free...wth! But it's a good thing I'm a vodka drinker so it wasn't a big deal but why would you only have 2 bartenders especially when they were obviously on a go slow. The other fail in VIP was that there were no restrooms. You had to walk all the way to the back of the venue to access the 6 toilets provided for the entire party.

But the VIP was on a platform with good viewing access to the stage; we also had seats and tables and jerk from Scotchie's. A little after 2am, Machel came on with the band and his dancers....he reall mash up the place with all his hits from this year and earlier...The crowd got into a frenzy when he did Big Truck, Footsteps and Mad Bull. Big up to girls like Brithany Dookie and her bend over skills; but an even bigger kudos to the chick from the crowd who proved that she could match Brithany's skills. The most improved award should go to Patrice Roberts...my girl, why were you holding back all these years? And what a slamming body! Zan and Nappy did performed their usual songs giving the set variety. Overall, Machel saved this party but I wouldn't expect any less because he's the biggest soca artiste in the world!

The next night we were off to Bazodee. After last year's disappointment, I didn't expect much but I was happy that Frenchmen masqueraders got the tickets for $5500 instead of the regular $6000. We got there around 10:00pm and there was the typical crowd. By now, I could identify the usual Frenchmen suspects (I guess they could say the same about me). Alicia the Duchess from Trini delivered all the hit soca songs sharing the spotlight with DJ Smoke- the music was bess.

I got my Trini food first- doubles, bake and saltfish and roti and later on I had the barbeque pigtail (it sell off). This year the Johnnie was flowing which didn't end up being a good thing for me. However the dessert station had been significantly cut down and Haagen Daz was absent...no scene because the Johnnie was flowing.

We eventually moved to dance floor which had mucho vibes. I was surprised that Machel came on for an impromtu performance but then bradap! no Machel! Apparently he fell off the stage allegedly being shocked by one of the generators....???

The only downside of the night was the power cut and Machel's short performance. We eventually left the fete around 2:30am although I had planned to leave at 1/1:30am. The only thing I would regret was not counting my drinks cause did I feel it a couple hours later....

Monday, May 2, 2011

And the Prep Begins...

My Jamaica Carnival week was supposed to start on Wednesday with the I Love Soca fete at Devon house but after an almost 3hr wait for my costume at mas camp, I did not feel up to it. I had a headache and was extremely upset. I did not get the belt that I ordered; Bacchanal claimed to have ran out of Frenchmen armbands and I would get my band on the day of the road march...which did not make any sense to me because we know that on Sunday no one will be doing so. To top it off, miss thing CSR needed a serious attitude check. Bacchanal, please hire CSRs who are informed, efficient and can work well under pressure and don't tell me crap like"I'm just helping out" because guess what? the costume is not free...well you know that I had to tell her that I don't care about her working for her free costume...

By Thursday I got my belt adjusted by a seamstress for JA$1000 (wth!) and got the items to decorate my corset. By this time, I'm feeling better and thinking about going to Frenchmen Blocko but I also want to wake up to watch the Royal Wedding (yes, I'm a sucker for weddings). But my fete friend also had to wake up early so we decided to just settle for William and Catherine (my girl drop the "Kate" yes).

I took a nap after the wedding and decided to try mas camp for the armband because the guidelines clearly stated that persons without bands will not be allowed in the band even in the costume. So I got my band and even collected my boots from Carnival Kicks. The size 8 boots fit my size 7 feet really well with enough room for my insoles and toe protectors. They gained mucho points by bringing the boots to Jamaica to reduce the ridiculously high shipping fees....

At this point, I had my boots, my belt, armband and my corset was being decorated. I also had my VIP tics for the Machel show later that night so I was really pumped cuz nothing could be better than getting a good dose of Machel....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's in my Carnival bag?

On a regular day, my handbag can also be referred to as a survival bag so why would Carnival day be any different? I got my fab green bag by Bacchanal Divas to match my Avalon costume. Kudos to Ms. Diva for a bess bag and professional service. My fave aspect of the bag is the plastic lining! Next year ensure you get your bag from her!

So I packed my necessities and they all fit!

  • MAC blotting powder

  • Clean and Clear blotting sheets

  • Blistex lip balm

  • MAC lipglass

  • Mini toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Antibacterial wipes

  • Mini sunblock

  • Band aid

  • Safety pins

  • Clear nail polish

  • Lomotil

  • Excedrin

  • Gravol

  • Ibuprofen

  • Zantac

  • JA$1000

  • My extra pair of tights!

Carnival Tights....

As I get prepare to go on the road, my one never-go-without for mas is my tights. I'm sorry but my legs are jiggly and flawed and I don't feel as naked with tights so I rather stay home that go without. But tights have also been one of my biggest frustration particularly trying to keep them in pristine condition during the day. There are two major contributors to runs in tights: snags while putting it on and snags caused by the costume. Here are some tips for wearing and maintaining:

  • Stretch tights before wearing.

  • Spray a light mist of hairspray to strengthen the fibres.

  • Place your two thumbs inside one of the while sitting or standing.

  • Place your index, middle and ring fingers along the outside of the tights.

  • Roll the tights leg up to the toe of the hose, using the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers of both hands, while allowing the tights to bunch loosely in the palms of your hands.

  • Widen the opening of the tights for your foot by stretching the tights outward by securing the tights with the tips of your thumbs and pulling outward.

  • Place your big toe inside the rolled tights by bending your knee and pointing your big toe.

  • Slowly glide the tights over your foot, heel, up your leg and over your knee and up to your crotch using your hands, while unrolling the tights as needed.

  • Repeat the same process for your other leg.

  • Pull the panty of the tights over your buttocks and rest the waistband of the tights on your waist.

  • Remember this is a slow process so don't rush it.

  • Trim nails prior to putting on the tights.

  • Remove jewelry as well.

  • If in doubt, wear surgical gloves especially if you are wearing acrylic nails.

  • If you really particular like me, walk with an extra pair.

  • If not, walk with clear nail polish to stop any runs.

Luckily my Avalon costume has plastic gems so they won't damage the tights. If your costume has metal gems, you can coat them with clear nail polish. If there are any sharp hanging decorations and you want to keep your tights run-free, remove them...trust me I've learnt this the hard way...

Mess-tra at Beach J'ouvert

A lot of things were happening at Beach J'ouvert last weekend except Destra. As the headline act, Destra failed to deliver. Since Trinidad Carnival, Destra seemed to have lost her zeal. Can you say boring? And not only was she boring but chatty; she sang for a total of 15 minutes and spoke for 50 minutes. Between the endless wining competitions, her constant reaffirmations and senseless banter, I was near sleep...*yawn*.

In no way are my comments coming from a malicious place. In fact, I may be one of Destra's biggest fans coming from her days in Roy Cape. I mean I even have sections of my thesis dedicated to her; I've done presentations on Destra at 2 academic conferences and written a journal article about her development as an artiste. I've rated Destra as one of the of soca artiste of my generation; not just as a female artiste but a legit soca artiste. So when I crtitique her performance style, it's more of concern that insults. Destra has the complete package- a great voice, an amazing look and quality songs so in my opinion there's no excuse for her to pass off this mess as a show.

Apparently, she didn't get the love in T&T so she came to Jamaica to feed her ego- "I know you guys love me"; "Jamaica has the biggest Destra fans"; "Do you like my body; let me give you a better view"; "I'm gonna have an orgasm tonight"; "Do you wanna have sex with me?"...Just sing yuh damn songs!

Surpringly TC saved this show for me. Although the crowd didn't know the songs, he was clear with a good voice and no ole talk. Probably Destra needs to add some other performers to her set because I could only conclude that she's tired.

Overall Beach J'ouvert did not live up my expectations...I found Private Ryan to be on point with the selections but DJ Bambino with his constant talking just killed the music. What's up with Bambino? Yuh chat too damn much! Again, Bacchanal needs to go back to the drawing board with this one....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Costume for Me

It's just my luck that when I got to mas camp to collect my costume, I had to leave empty handed. Although everyone else got their costume, my costume "was not ready". In true Bacchanal Jamaica style, no e-mail was sent and no phone call was made to give any warning that I should not waste my time and gas in order to get through the Holy Thursday traffic to get to mas camp. So "they will call me" when the costume is ready. Well we know how that usually goes; nobody will call me. However, I must say that I am impressed with the costume (not the headpiece); it looks very much like the prototype although persons are complaining about the size being much smaller than standard sizes. Bacchanal, this is why you need sample sizes during the registration process. Also, the bottom piece is a darker shade of green than the bra.

I am also happy that Frenchmen is trying to revamp the exclusive nature of their section. It seemed that over the years Frenchmen got lost among the other sections with no special services except at the lunch stop. Today Frenchmen masqueraders were warned that they should pay special attention to the section rules and stay in their section.

Btw, these pics are of my friend's costume; not mine :(

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ready to Advantage it???

There have been so many requests for Machel Montano by soca lovers here in Ja but Bacchanal responded that he was booked and could not accommodate Jamaica in his schedule....Yeah right because All Island Carnival has successfully booked Mr HD for their J'ouvert on April 29th. Who say Machel? So April 29th is going to be crazy with 3 J'ouvert events being advertised- Bacchanal's J'ouvert with Bunji, Faye Ann and the Asylum band; Joker's Wild and Island Mas' J'ouvert with no performers; and All Island with Machel.

It's obvious that Machel being a Bmobile spokesperson may not be able to perform with Bacchanal, a Digicel sponsored entity although 2 years ago, Machel did perform at Beach J'ouvert so probably at that time there was some break in the contract. But I don't think that Bacchanal is going to lose patrons to All Island. The Lime sponsored event has a non uptown following particularly the Byron Lee following who always come out in large numbers. But I'm impressed with the reasonably priced tickets. And I love the promo video; click here to see it....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kees (Kay ees)....

You all know how much I LOVE Kees Dieffenthaller; yes I am a Kees groupie. And I am not a recent groupie; I achieved groupie status since he was in Gregory's dream. I bet all the newbie groupies never knew that! I only have 2 celebrity crushes- Kees and Damian Marley (so you are probably concluding that I have a thing for red rasta man- yuh damn right!). So it's no surprise that I am so excited about his performace at mas camp this Friday. I've seen him perform so many times this year but I don't care cuz right now I just wotless...any way back on track. Kes the band along with Nadia Batson will mash up mas camp on Friday so look for me up front and center waiting exactly 12 minutes for him to take off his shirt...

Check out my post from last year on his performance at mas camp. You can also view his video for Wotless or his winning soca monarch performance. Ensure that you legally download the album, Wotless Carnival Album. I'm listening to it right now and my fave tracks are Come Gyal, Where yuh from, Heaven and Melee.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Cusomized Carnival Gear

Another Carnival service is offering customized boots, mugs, bags...I endorse any young person with talent who offers a legit and impressive service for reasonable prices. I really like Bacchanal Divas' blinged out accessories which are not very common for carnival in Jamaica so yay for you for jumping on an opportunity to carry the look to another level. If you really want to stand out as a masquerader you need to go BIG and that means paying attention to ALL details which is what separates a Mas Diva from a masquerader. Check out her FB page and pics and good luck to you Ms. Diva.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make up or Not?

Ooooh I love the new take on Carnival in Jamaica...can you say GLAM! The bacchanal Jamaica FB group is ablaze with so many persons advertising services for Carnival. You can get your boots and bags customized, Isis wings, hot shorts and accessories. But make up services are the most popular. I've never done professional make up here so I'm not sure how it can compare to Trinidad. A good make up artist can apply make up easily and make you look good but Carnival make up is a whole different technique. Let me first clear up that I'm no make up expert but I know Carnival. The most sigificant concern is that the make up should be long lasting, sweatproof and waterproof. I mean if you are going to be sweating and in the sun for almost an entire day, the make up must hold up. The eye make up must be bright and shimmery...so the brand and colors should follow suit. The regular pharmacy palettes won't work. So if you're going to get professional makeup done, always consult with the artist before; even look at some photos of their work or gather your own photos to help articulate what type of loook you're goin for... You should also consider the following:

  • Use some kind of base to help reduce sweat like an antishine, milk of magnesia or even monistat chafing relief works as a great primer.

  • Ask about the brand of foundation and powder; a foundation with SPF is always is a plus.

  • If in doubt, carry your own but note that your everyday brand may not be the best for the road.

  • Indicate the colors of your costume to the artist to provide an easy match.

  • If you can see a sample of the eye shadow, take advantage of it.

  • The make up should also compliment the headpiece.

  • If you are wearing face gems, ensure the artist can apply them well and that the size and colours match your costume.

  • Ensure that the artist uses a good glue such as spirit gum to apply the gems even if they are self adhesive.

  • If you are doing false eyelashes; do a dry run to ensure you are using the right brand and that they are comfortable or just get them professionally done beforehand.

  • A fix it spray is always good. I like the MAC fix it spray.

  • On average,application can take up to 30 minutes so plan your appointment early enough to get to the shuttle in time.

  • Also the location of the artist should be considered when making your appointment.

  • On the road walk with your blotting sheets or blotting powder (don't wipe sweat! BLOT!), lip balm and lip gloss.

What am I not impressed with is the cost of the make up application. The average cost is between JA$4500 and $5000...which is a lot. But I guess if people are willing to pay it, it's not a problem for everyone. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet because I don't want to experiment and be disappointed with the results. Gabriella's is the only one that has impressed me because they did the make up for the Bacchanal launch and photoshoot, but Atlantis has offered their FLiners makeup so who knows how long you'll have to wait. Even if you call them now, they can't confirm an appointment for you. The last I heard, they had about 40 appointments...so stay far from there. Some of the persons you can check out :

Jada Thomas- 454-3207

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shurwayne at Mas Camp and Where were the Bajans???

I know that I said I wouldn't go but I was somewhat bored on Friday night and linked up with some friends at mas camp. We got there in time to get drinks at the bar and position ourselves for the show. I must say that Pure Country did a great job as the sponsor that night. They had so many sample drinks that you didn't need to purchase any and if you did, you got a complimentary juice...niceness.

So this is how Simone Morgan from the Jamaica Observer felt about Shurwayne Winchester's performance at mas camp on Friday night: "Camp trembled with excitement on Friday night as the soca prince T&T's Shurwayne Winchester and his band Y.O.U. ignited a bacchanal flame that blazed for the duration of his hour and a half-long performance. Filled with energy, sparks and melodious lyrics the Trinidad and Tobago artiste had the revellers at Mas Camp easily under his command as he delivered a string of hits including Murda, Dont Stop, Tempo, Cant Wait, Party Hard, Wutlis, Wine to the Side, Wine on a Town Ting and Paparazzi...."

Again, I'm not sure about Ms. Morgan's review but this performance was boring at its best. This is the first time that I've seen Shurwayne perform with his band, Y.O.U. after he left Traffik. I always say that not all persons are well equipped to leave their band and Shurwayne is one of them. It was difficult for him to carry some of the songs on his own such as Wine to the side, Town ting, Wotless and Palance....the vibe just wasn't there and his voice didn't hold up to complete the verses. But he did do well with his own compositions- Don't stop, De Band Coming and Dead or Alive which went well with the crowd. He also got the crowd to respond to his water throwing demands which I think is just dumb. I hate to see people waste good water especially since this time last year, we were experiencing a severe shortage of water, and it's just plain inconsiderate to throw a drink on other patrons. But the people love this so give them what they want. And of course the crowd loved the island identification session- "Anybody from..."; let's just say that the Bajans were either pretty quiet that night or just stayed at home....

After the show, Kurt Riley attempted to play some tunes to end the night. What's wrong with Kurt Riley? It was such an amateur session...1 song-stop-talk-play same song-stop-talk some more-play same song- stop- talk louder- talk-same song. So he played 2 songs within half of an hour. And people argue with me that he's the best soca DJ in Jamaica...whatever....

So this Friday, Iwer George will be there so I'm definitely sitting that one out..and preparing for my boy Kees <3

*** the pic came from the Observer since my photographer fire the wuk...so I'm looking for a new photographer :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feteing this week and Gully Matters

This weekend things are gearing up for Carnival in Jamaica. It all begins tonight at mas camp with Shurwayne Winchester as their live act...I'm not a big Shurwayne fan especially after that mess at this year's groovy soca finals. Shurwayne has a great voice and I only like a few of his songs- Doh Stop, Carnival Please Stay, Make it Yours (with Maxi Priest) and Murder. Dead or Alive and De Band Coming are my least favourites but these tunes are big here in Jamaica 6 years later. If I get a lime, I'll go but no rush for this performance, I'm saving my excitement for Kees!!!

Tomorrow, Island Mas has moved its weekly fete to Village Blues Bar which is a tiny venue but I'm assuming that they have not been getting the turn out they want at Cuddyz...But they promise all the latest songs from DJ Billy and this week's guest selector, The Firestarter. But kudos to Island Mas for bringing a fresh vibe to Carnival in Jamaica. And finally, you can check out SOS on Sunday afternoon. I've been hearing that it's a more mature crowd but the music is good and the drinks are cheap.

On a costume note, final payments for costumes are due this upcoming week. The Sona section still has costumes and tshirts are also available for Frenchmen and Digicel.

On a Caricom note, just a warning to my Trinis, keep a low profile; you know we could easily be labelled as Bajan in Jamaica; and fake ignorance with any questions about the KMC-Movado feud...KMC who? Gully mi seh!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Imij at Mas Camp

Imij and Company has been a staple at Bacchanal Jamaica's mas camp friday sessions as long as I could remember. 2 Fridays ago, I opted to pay JA$2000 to see one my fave bands, up front and centre in the VIP section. First, let me address this folly called the VIP in mas camp. Just because I have a great view of the stage, does not mean that you have to rob me of the rest of the VIP experience. The drinks were so limited...I asked the bartender what were the chasers available for the Smirnoff green apple vodka...she indicated that I had a choice between ting and tonic water...eewwww. Eventually they located some orange juice so it was vodka and orange juice for me which still wasn't a VIP kind of drink.

Imij gave a great performance as usual but I really enjoyed that they did many of the 2011 songs as well as their own. So yes, Imij has their own songs! Michelle's Feteing for Days (which I Love!) and Ricardo Drue's No Boring Gyal are great compositions with catchy tunes. Ghetto Flex's salute to Buju was the best part of their performance...so yes, Trinis could sing reggae too! But I'm not feeling the band's back up dancers; their choreography is weak and does not flow with the rest of the show. The performance lasted for over an hour and was well received by the audience.

The mas camp crowd was not as large but I was told by many that this has been the case for the past couple weeks. Even a report on the local entertainment show ER, highlighted some of the shortcomings- the selector, the same themes and the early end. Last year, I decided that I would only attend on the band nights because it's just BORING without a band with the same 10 songs in repetition. But a lot more people are not feeling the mas camp vibe so the mas camp authorities need to look into revamping their formula....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Soca 2011 at the Deck

If you don't have to wake up too early on Monday morning, then you can check out SOS at the Deck every Sunday until JA Carnival. I like that there are using the opportunity for persons to get familar with the 2011 soca and just have a nice Sunday lime. Judging from the SOS fete last Sunday, their music is really good- very little repetition and all of the 2011 hits. I may check it out one Sunday if I can convince a group of friends to go....

Back to JA Carnival

So the focus shifts to JA Carnival for the next month...I'm gonna try and do as much posts to keep my fave 23 ppl updated and some cool people who've sent me positive messages about the blog...If you have any questions or suggestions about JA Carnival just send me a msg either on FB or an email...

I get the feeling that this year is going to be a BIG year for Bacchanal Jamaica...There are many first time masqueraders...There are more sections than ever...And it's also going to be a GLAM Carnival. There have been a lot of ads for boots, make up sevices, accessories, customized bags, body painting etc. It seems that people are expecting the Carnival to move with the times. And of course there must be some bacchanal brewing among all of this excitement...

There's been an additional Frenchmen section which I have addressed in a previous post, Catalona which is different from the pic that was posted on their fb page. It's a cute gold costume; with the old school- Samaroos mardi gras beads which is going for JA$19500 so I guess you have to be extremely desperate or rich to play in that section.

The most disturbing section is the all female section is Capetian, what the hell is that- a pink mess with strips of fugly fabric. I understand this was not the original design that was advertised and persons who registered with the first design are very upset.

SOS seems to be catering for a mature crowd with a sailor inspired costume. The male costume is okay but the female costume is a mess. I mean who still wears a cycle shorts???? However at their fete last Sunday, I saw they had another sexy sailor option on display which is way better than the original female option. I suggest that they scrap the first female option and offer a longer top for the more conservative ladies. This section is JA$12000.

2 plus 1 is a private section whose costume Sona I like. The detailing on the bra and belt is really nice but I find the colours to be a bit bland but sometimes these colours look different on the road. Check out their fb page for pics of the costume and registration information.

On the bacchanal side of things, some frontline masqueraders have been complaining about problems with the "complimentary" services that were offered at the time of registration. Apparently, if you can't fit into the "complimentary" boots which come in mostly hobbit sizes then you have to find your own...if you know more about this, hit me up....

I took these pics with my phone so the quality is not the best...Blackberry curve needs a camera with flash eh...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carnival Next Year?????

After a severe case of Carnival tabanca, I've had time to reflect on my 2011 Trinidad carnival experience to see what I can do better for May in Ja or next year in T&T...

Probably I should lose weight; people with flat tummies and no love handles, don't have to worry about corsets, or costumes that cover up their front area which limit my choices. But I really did love my costume, whether the wholepiece option , bikini or monokini. I would have selected the costume even if I were 50lbs lighter.

But the problem with the wholepiece is that it's really hard to maneuver when you have to pee...so if I don't lose weight (most likely I won't), then a corset is a better option.

Again, what's with me and these damn belts? I thought I learned my lesson about these hanging gems but even without them, the belt still ripped my tights....Probably the width of the belt was the problem so what do I do....forget the belt? sigh

Talking about tights; Micles tights are always reliable and reasonably priced. I tried the toeless which is a better option than the footless. Because of the wholepiece, I selected the regular waist instead of the low waist which comes in the "Silky" brand. Although Micles claims that the "Silky" and "Micles" brand are the same, I saw a difference in the salmon shade because I wore "Micles" toeless and Monday and "Silky" regular on Tuesday and saw a clear difference with the "Silky" having a "white" tinge that I hate. I will NEVER go stockings free so Micles please get these shades right next year! I am considering trying the Peavy brand that are worn by the Hooters girls but there's too much trial and error with a brand I've never worn and will have to purchase online. Check out the Hotlegsusa website for pics.

The Shoekeepers boots were so uncomfortable this year! My Picadilly boots I bought in 2009 were so nice with a nice cushy sole that I did not even consider another brand this year. The boots were cute and I loved the bronze colour but after a couple hours, even with the insoles couldn't save them, so you just lost a customer Shoekeepers. I'm now going to experiment with Carnival Kicks for Ja carnival. I'll let you know how those go.

The Monday wear situation still sucks for me. It is now an indisputable fact that costumes cannot hold up for 2 days, so bandleaders don't even try and convince me to wear a part of my costume on Monday with shorts. I don't understand why other bands that cost the same or less than Bliss offered some kind of Monday wear. Even when I played with Spice, I didn't get why we had to pay an additional cost for the Spice tshirt. However, I saw persons in really creative outfits on Monday. Maybe I'll get something customized for my Monday wear next year.

I LOVED my makeup on both days! It was a great decision to have make up done on Monday and Tuesday. I kept asking myself, why hadn't I done this in the past???? I would never go without professional makeup on both days...EVER...I mean my Monday pics are so fab because of the make up so big up to Makeda from Shades of Sugar!

Weave, weave, weave!....A lot of people kept asking me why I wanted hair extensions/weave; even the sales rep at Hair it Is, was reluctant to sell me hair. Yes, my hair is medium length but I wanted it LONGER! I also wanted a different look. I had to eventually settle for a 14 inch because it was hard to get human hair in a longer length. The hairdresser who put it in suggested that I try the actual ponytail extension in the future which will be easier to do myself and I will get it in longer lengths. I think I'm going to look for a 20 inch ponytail for Ja. Ponytails can be chic, require little maintanance, and are practical for Carnival. There is no worry about sweating out your hairstyle or water damage (assuming you got bought that good hair).

I've already mentioned that I'm not sure who I'll be playing mas with next year. I do get caught up in the hype over the big bands during the launch season and love the bougie nature of the all inclusive bands, but I need to remember that my love has always been for the MAS, to parade in a lovely costume, and have a great time with my friends. Lunch stops, premium drinks, toilets and monday wear were never priorities. I'm now looking for a small band with a great FL or individual costume where I'll be treated as a masquerader and not just a customer....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feteing for Days in Trini

After planning out the fete schedule for Trinidad, it did not go as planned. I was able to go to Beach House but didn't get the tickets for Soca Monarch or Sunnyside. I wasn't disappointed that I did not go to Soca Monarch since everybody and their tantie went and there was a much better view from my living room. With Sunny Side Up, I plan to follow their directives next year and reserve the tickets in adavnce. So I eventually attended Beach House, Girl Power and Trini Posse.

Every year, I swear I will never go to Girl Power again, but after failing to get tickets for Soca Monarch and Blue Range, I gave in and went to Girl Power (VIP) on Carnival Friday. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad at all. I got there in time to see Kes the Band who gave a great performance. Strangely, I found that he performed better at Girl Power than at the Soca Monarch. Big up to the lady in the crutches who got a sweet wine from the groovy monarch. I didn't see any other performers even though I left the fete at 5:30am which is my problem with Girl Power- everyone is at Soca Monarch. Besides the performance, the food was tasty but there were limited options. For TT$700, I expect more than bake and shark, doubles, corn soup, desserts and baked chicken with wedges. Also, the wait at the bar was way too long for a VIP. Probably they needed to have another bar in the VIP area or more bartenders. Overall, I had a great time but should have paid for a regular ticket and not VIP.

Trini Posse fete on Saturday was also a last minute decision and like UWI Splash, I am skeptical of going to any fete in Chaguarmas because of the traffic. But I know that most people were going to Insomnia, so the traffic would be much later. We got there about midnight and for the second time, I just missed Imij and Co. I love to see Imij perform so that was a disappointment for me. I chose VIP again, but since this was my first time at this fete, I didn't know that Trini Posse's VIP did not include any food or drinks but just a space that was close to the stage; not even a better view of the stage. Fine, there was no food or drinks but the drinks were damn expensive! And the only options for food were lamb gyro or sushi...fail....sushi is not something I would buy from anyone especially at a fete and they could have had more options for the gyros than just lamb (This is what matters when you don't eat before you leave the home). I did eventually secure a good viewing spot on the elevated area next to Darren Ganga! So this was a real VIP...lol

I saw Kes the Band again, with Nadia who got her 5 minutes of performance time but I guess it's all about Kees this year. Kees gave a great perforamce but Machel was the highlight of my night. Lip synching, cocky, buy votes, brown nosing the PM or just being $2 million richer, say what you want but I doh care wha all yuh say... Machel could mash up a fete! It was hit after hit with Zan, Patrice, Nappy and Lil Rick putting in their 2 cents. And the dancers boy...Kees' dancers are girls who just like to dance but the HD dancers are beasts! Big up girls like Brithany Dookie...who make reall girls feel like dem is gogo too. Machel made this fete for me but the lack of food options in the VIP, and the overpriced drinks were major downfalls.

Now on to Beach House which was actually the first fete that I attended on the Thursday. I'm not sure what kind of exclusive fete is Beach House because they failed to exclude anyone..I mean how many tickets were sold? I heard people complain that they couldn't get tickets but it didn't seem to me as if they ever stopped selling tickets? I'm going to skip through the 2 hrs it took me to get from my home to the fete which is usually a 20 minute drive to the parking area which was probably the source of the traffic. With such a big fete, you'll think there will be security guards managing the parking to ensure that there's a good use of the available space. So you know it's put on your club lock, keep your fingers crossed and hope that your car will be there at the end of the fete kind of situation because I didn't see any guards in sight until I was near the venue . Make note that it took us 20 minutes from the parking areas to the entrance and another 15 minutes to actually get in.

Again, when you don't eat before a fete, the food at the fete becomes your first priority. At first I thought they contracted Subway because it's only at Subway I've seen these kinds of lines. Imagine a 30 minute wait for doubles or appetizers! So I reall glad when I got to the top of the line and then to my surprise I was told, to "wait eh" so that the attendant could share some of the shrimp for herself...wth! thus the 5 shrimp in my plate. After the food fiasco, the fete was still a good lime, especially since I met up with a lot of people I had not seen in ages. The drinks were flowing easily without any long wait. I expected this fete to be a smaller more intimate fete with food and drinks galore but for what it is sold to be, Beach House 2011 did not live up to its reputation and wasn't worth the US$125 nor all the drama to get the tickets. It seemed to me that the organizers had no problem taking people's money and knowing fully well that they had not catered for such a crowd because they know that while some like me may grumble...the same fight down for tickets will take place next year...but not me again...fool me once....