Saturday, February 28, 2009

IP Mas 2009 - The Aftermath...from costume collection to Carnival Tuesday...

One week ago today…

Carnival Saturday

After collecting only my basic costume the day before (bra, belt, accessories) I ventured to the mas camp today to collect my headpiece and backpack for my section Natural Mystic.

Reaching down to the Island People Distribution Centre (IPDC) the scene before was similar to what greeted me on Friday…chaos.

But like the day before I didn’t go to the main entrance, and I went around to the side and told the girl I came to collect my backpack and headpiece.

What she brought out for me had me in shock. A headpiece with WHITE and not cream feathers was handed to me. I asked her if this was the correct headpiece and she assured me that it was.

I was then told that my backpack was not ready but that they would be delivering backpacks to SOME people ( I was not one of them). The young lady took my number to call me when the backpacks were delivered later that night.

At this point I wasn’t angry or worried, just upset that I would have to again make my way to the IPDC the next day, Carnival Sunday!

On my way to the car I try on the headpiece only to notice that it is the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE headpiece I have ever had in my 18 or so years of playing mas. Grrr…

I got back home and continued my boots.

At about 7 o’clock that night my phone rang and it was the same young lady from the mas camp telling me that up to that point no backpacks had been delivered and I would get my backpack delivered to me the next day.

Again at 8 o’clock my phone rings and it’s the same young lady telling me that she heard that there were NO backpacks…like NONE AT ALL…NO backpacks were made and we would get a refund! At that point I didn’t want any refund, I wanted my damn backpack that I paid my so and so money for! Or I want to be in a next section!

It was at this point the panic started.

I made some calls and then I heard the talk was that Island People forgot to order the material for the backpacks, then they tried to source it locally and it was the wrong colour and after trying to source it externally, the material wasn’t standing p to the hot glue!

After hearing this piece of information, I forgot all about my boots (sorry to my customers who I had waiting) and headed down to the IPDC. Doh ask me what I had plan to do eh, but I wasn’t going to be violent, just to get some answers.

I got to the IPDC and asked to speak with Mr. Marlon Grant aka Hot Dog, cause that’s the only person I know in IP and I had seen him earlier in the day. Hot Dog came out and I spoke with him telling him what I heard. Hot Dog told me to have a seat and he would look into it for me. After waiting for about 40 minutes, and saw neither hide nor hair of Hot Dog, I left.

At this point in time, I was ready to cry. I could not imagine playing mas without my FULL costume, and I was ready to get my money back and go find some other band to play with.

Carnival Sunday

WHOO!HOO! 99% of my boots are done (just have to finish yours Megs) and it’s time for me to go collect my Natural Mystic backpack.

I head down AGAIN to the IPDC at Jean Pierre with my brother. While walking into Jean Pierre I notice a young lady walking out with what looks like a knockoff Natural Mystic backpack. I asked her if that for Natural Mystic, and she confirmed that it was, but they were also giving out some backpacks with wings. (huh?)

I get to the entrance and is more chaos with endless fresh warder Yankees trying to buy costumes at the last minute.

The gates were closed but I told the security that I was told to come back today and he directed me to the mess inside. I stood in the err…’line’ for about 2 minutes before realising that made no sense as there seemed to be no kinda order happening at that point.

My brother then pointed out the self same Marlon Grant/Hot Dog from the night before. I approached Hot Dog and he recognized me and apologised for the night before and promptly went in the back and brought out the knockoff Natural Mystic backpack for me.

My brother watched me, I watched him and we said “Samaroo’s!” I ended up on Carnival Sunday in Tulip and Samaroo’s spending over $500.00 to make my backpack presentable. Forget that I spent $500 extra for my headpiece and $900 for my backpack.

Carnival Monday

How horrible is it that I have to go back to Barataria to find a pair of sneakers cause the boots that I bought to play mas Monday are the wrong size? Tres horrible.

I got home and back to St. James in about an hour though, gave my boots a silver spray and called that lame…I mean George.

How terrible it is to be known as the Boots Woman and have to wear some sneakers that dry rot on you and falling apart on the road while you chipping? Tres terrible.

The band’s designated meeting time was 10:00am and we left home just about 11:00am and caught up with them just in front of Adam Smith Square.

The band was big. I haven’t played with a big band since the one time I ever played with Poison. The band headed to Victoria Square and on approaching that judging point, we were greeted by “Antz! Island People like Antz!” That was the IP tune to cross the stage.

Even though “Wild Antz” was not my song of choice (I preferred “Bachannal”), by the end of the day, that was my theme song, complete with the Wild Antz dance. (watch the video that shows on Synergy every other minute).

After Victoria Square we headed down to Independence Square and then up to the Savannah. We crossed the Savannah stage and by 3:00pm we were more or less done.

One quick look at the time had us hustling to get lunch, as our booklet said that the food trucks would be closed off at 4:00pm. Lunch was a mess. My brother had to hang on to the truck with our chits to get the soggiest, most unimpressive pelau ever. I ate because I was hungry and after a brief stop, we went to catch up to the band (who had not stopped).

I took the opportunity to leave the band at this point because I still had to do my Tuesday boots, cover and decorate my corset, and fix my headpiece and backpack.

Headpiece - After

Backpack - After

I got home and from 4:30pm to just after midnight, I spent the time doing my boots, ketching my royal to cut the headpiece (my dad had to use a hacksaw blade to cut the damn thing!), fixing my backpack, decorating my corset, making a bag to match my costume and doing my nails. I got to bed at about 1:00am.

Carnival Tuesday

My mother woke me up at 5:30am and I had my bath, uploaded some Monday pics to Facebook and got ready for my makeup appointment (my aunt does my makeup for me every year).

We got dressed, and left the house at about 8:00am and met the band just in front of Grillers on the Avenue. The band looking pretty…everybody looking nice!! Yours truly looking special…like an Individual! :D

The band on Tuesday was huge-erer than on Monday and with the 16 trucks definitely reminded me of the days of Poison. The band crossed in sections at Adam Smith (again to Antz), made their way to Victoria Square where there were no sections OR judges, then we made our way down to Independence Square.

After having some beautiful sun all day, we were rained upon while downtown. And as the rains came down all hell broke loose, and this thing called sections were forgotten. The first part of the band was kinda in sections but in the back where my section was, we had no music to cross the stage and had to sing “Tusty” to cross. Yes SING, cause by that time the trucks done long gone.

But wait! How I could forget the IP Security/Rope Handlers? What rhymes with hoggish? IP Security.

Being Frontline and walking around with a backpack I tried to keep out of most persons way by standing as close to the perimeter of the band and not in the middle for my backpack to be getting all up in people’s face.

I was shoved and pushed by Security while we were downtown and had to tell a couple of them a few choice words cause a little more again they mighta mashup my backpack that I did done spend my money on.

So after crossing the stage downtown, I attempted to get a box of food. Tuesday was dry Spanish Rice, with Chinese Noodles and Salty Fish.

I paused to eat at Woodford Sqaure, (Stop for your masqueraders to eat? What is that?) and took the time afterwards to use a porta potty and make some fixes to my costume. Chipped to meet the band which was still on Frederick Street and after being stuck their for a while, the hubby and I left the band to go meet our boys who were waiting up at the Savannah to see us. Met my boys and then went back to meet the band.

We reach to the Savannah and again…no sections. It wasn’t until we were nearly up on the stage that any attempt was made to put the band into sections, but there were of course people in between and not in the right section. Frontlines in the band were no different to backline, neither were Individuals. I saw the Dream Section Leader having to fight up with the same hoggish security for them to let her through to lead the section. IP needs to fix that.

At the Savannah stage my aunts and I spread the ashes of my late aunt Margaret, as this was one of her wishes.

After the Savannah it was chaos again with part of the band (first 2 trucks) by QRC roundabout, while the balance of the trucks were spread between TGI and SAGICOR with masqueraders all over the route. When the rest of the trucks caught up with the first two, the masqueraders had to run to catch up with the band like we were Richard Thompson trying to catch Usain Bolt.

The band then made its way around the Savannah, up and around Wildflower Park and down Elizabeth Street.

*yawn* Story nearly done doh worry...I tired too...

At this point the day almost down and the sun is setting. I walk ahead to St. James to drop my backpack and meet the band to chip down to the Savannah for the After Party.

Got back, met the band, chipped down to the Stadium and…no After Party. We tiredly chipped back to St. James while seeing scores of people still heading to the Stadium.

Overall my Carnival with Island People was real jamishness and I had a time despite the Security, lack of special Frontline treatment and the running down of food.

Would I play with them next year? Let me see what Kuchela brings nah, and then we go talk.


mimi said...

ha! i was right!!! i knew it was natural mystic frontline!!
girl doh frighten nah at least you get yuh back pack and ting,and the work you did on it was beautiful! and oh gado ah love d bag!!!!!!

Penze said...

Oh gosh I sorry you had to do all that work. Some parts of you story sounds like my friends story from Tribe though... sigh. Glad you still had a time...

Anonymous said...

it sounds like ip lived up to its reputation as a disorganized mess, and we like it so!

Wuzdescene said...

... and this is why I no longer play mas .... too much dramas!

ennekaycee said...

AC, you ain't lie yet!!! We FLiners got NO love on Tuesday. I know people were hating on my costume, but I feel when they saw the boots you did for me the hate became overwhelming LOL....I'm still staring at those boots in admiration btw :D

You need to talk about the person who cooked PEPPER and put some pelau in it tho because that food Monday could not have been pelau. One of my friends couldn't even eat all because the pepper was so overwhelming.

I must say that this was my worst IP road experience. The vibe and hype were unbeatable as usual, but I don't feel like I got my money's worth AT ALL. As for the scene with your backpack and headpiece? Welcome to my world. This was the FIRST time (in 3 years of playing with IP) that I got my full costume with no issues, and it will probably be the last because I am not one to keep giving away my hard-earned money.

Trini-in-Toronto said...

You REAL forgiving yes

Anonymous said...

IP was waaaaaaaaaaay worse than this story! Never me again with this horrid, disorganised lump of mess

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the mess you went though. You should've stayed with your first choice: Afrodisiac. I loved that section: the costumes were exaclty as the prototype and ALL the pieces were delivered at once. I had the tankini and it was GORGEOUS.
If it's any consolation, I know someone who played in Tribe's Spangled Cotinga frontline and she did not get her headpiece until Carnival Tuesday 11am. Now that's foolishness. So much for the "gloriously organized" Tribe. That's not even the first time frontliners had issues with Tribe. Crap happens everywhere -- especially with large bands.

afro chic said...

Yes you right Mimi, and I was SO proud of my bag! :)

Penze, I always do a lil work on my costumes to make them standout just a bit, but this year was a complete overhaul!

Who like it so Anonymous 10:43? and me hadda play a mas yuh know girl! Next year nah!

ennekaycee I do your boots girl? What section you was in? Yuh see dat lack of FL/Individual respect? Shame on IP man.

But Trini-in Toronto, I eh forgive anybody. I just wasn't feeling to be hostile cause I doh like NUTTIN to spoil my mas.

Anonymous 5:46 it have some people who had a ball! Like my aunts and they in Paradisus and were totally clueless as to what was happening in others parts of the band.

Anonymous 4:03 I should have stayed with my first choice, but I did SO love that Natural Mystic costume after seeing it up close.

Springmoon said...

That was a hilariously stated account of Carnival weekend. I subscribing to this, yes!


XDR3X said...

What aree carnival backpacks made up of ? Likee what materials do youu use to make it. Becausee i have an art project and our theme is designing carnival backpacks. I need to know the materials succh as the names of the wire and glues and stuff, some mas camps said it made up of fibreglass rods, and steel but i think the fibreglass rods would work for backpacks but i think the steel is for floats. Please let me know youu can email me at.
Thankss ; have a happy new year.