The Trials and Tribulations of Dating a Carnivalian

I was thinking, someone needs to write a How to Guide for Dating Caribbeans.  We are just a very special breed, the things that matter to many just don’t matter to us.  We grew up climbing coconut trees, playing in the jungle, bathing out of a bucket, going to the market in the morning for that evenings dinner. Although I spent a good portion of my life on military installations after we left Panama, I do cherish the times spent back home. But that book needs to have a chapter or three about the Carnivalians, of all the Caribbean massive, Carnivalians are the worst.  Carnivalians are those that are addicted to carnival.  I shall quote Lead Pipe - Carnival Addiction:

Carnival addiction!
Feelin so high, can't stop de feelin
I am de King ah bacchanal, I am de liquor animal
I Deh at every fete and festival, I Addicted tuh Carnival

There are so many soca songs about carnival addiction, I could go on and on forever quoting them.  Even Rick James would agree, it’s One Hell of a Drug!

A few years ago my American guy friend told me that his girlfriend wanted a pair of “Red Bottoms” for Christmas and my first thought was, “What’s that?” when he explained to me that they were really expensive high heels I said, “I could finance this, that and that for carnival with that $$$$.”  I can’t explain the infatuation with carnival. American music artists sing about going home for Christmas, Caribbean artists sing about going home for carnival.  It melts my heart when I see American flags waiving high during carnival.  I think, “That’s probably an American that dated a Caribbean many moons ago and the love of carnival stayed long after the relationship was over.”  I actually have a few American friends that are like that. 

Below is the tale of 4 Carnivalians dating Americans: 

1)      Married an American and gave up her carnival ways for a couple years.  One day she was back on the scene with a GANGSTA LEAN, I guess they had a come to Jesus moment.  He doesn’t join her for her carnival adventures, but I guess he knows his birdie will come home and his birdie was probably gonna go postal if she didn’t resume her carnival lifestyle.

2)      Also married an American, but her then fiancĂ© told her that he felt like they were living separate lives.  He realized that joining her during our Caribbean outings was the only way to bridge the gap.  I’m glad cause he is a super cool dude and we enjoy hanging out with him & helping him learn the ins/outs.


I have to quote and old blog post where I discussed my carnival lifestyle with Trini Jungle Juice. During the interview I was asked if there was ever a time that I missed a carnival that I was supposed to attend and my answer was flat out NO!  Now there are circumstances that should have had me missing carnival, but I wasn’t going to let that happen, carnival is my life. 

·         I am in school at Georgia State University and have been forever, I have had to drop classes numerous times because there were tests that conflicted with carnival and missing the tests would have caused me to fail the class.    Missing carnival was NOT an option.

·         When trying to decide on a wedding date my best friend picked the weekend of Miami carnival.  Her wedding was in Jamaica, I told her I would fly in wedding morning and fly out that very same night.  I wouldn’t dare ask her to change her wedding date, but 1 day away from carnival is all I could give her. She ended up picking another date. 

·         My brother Paco said if his job ever told him that he couldn’t take leave for carnival he would quit his job.  His resume is a lot more impressive than mine so I don’t know if I could go as far as to immediately quit.  But I surely would start looking for a new job in hopes that I found something that would allow me to still attend carnival.

Carnival dates are dates that are sacred, to ask us to miss carnival is to ask us to give up a piece of our soul.  You might as well lock us up and throw away the key because there is No Cure. 

I will close with Majah Hype, you should replace “Trinis” with "Carnivalian". 

Atlanta Carnival 2015: Band Launches

I love that more and more people are realizing the awesomeness of carnival and wanting to join us Carnival Junkies in the fun. I personally would lose my dayyym mind if I didn't play mas atleast 5-6 times a year.  I have a lot of people link me for carnival information through the year so I wanted a centralized place where I could direct everyone.  The list below contains the band launches for Atlanta Carnival.  For those not in the know, a band launch is where the various bands reveal their costumes for carnival.  Yeah they could just drop the costumes on a website and let us order, but Caribbean people love an excuse to FETE FETE FETE!!!     So these are the Don't Miss fetes that lead up to carnival.  Most of you know that I play with Madd Colors, but you should play with whatever band  your heart desires.  One Love! I have friends in all the bands.

Atlanta Carnival will be relocating to Decatur this year, I don't mind because I have been attending / participating in Atlanta Carnival for many years and at many different locations throughout Atlanta.  I just want to drink & be merry!  Be sure to follow for the latest carnival info.  I'll post another blog with the carnival fetes later down di road. 

Island Fuzzion Carnival Band Launch Day Party
Sesame has already launched but you can register here
FYI: Stay Tuned for Kiddies Carnival
Kiddies carnival always melts my heart, takes me back to my youth

DIY Monday Wear - Kuna Molas

This year my Carnival Monday wear is a tribute to my homeland of Panama.  If you have never been to Panama, this blog includes a quick history lesson:
A mola frabric sewn on a white lace bra (the same white lace bra worn Carnival Monday 2014, I’m on a budget).  Molas are part of the traditional dress of Kuna Indians of Panama. With approximately 60,000 members the Kuna represent the largest indigenous group in Panama.  Kuna women, who, by selling their Molas, are responsible for the main part of the family income.
Recycled carnival belt where I added Molas to the front and back and also a tiny bit of a tribal fabric on the sides. 

For the hair I happened across this set of napkin holders on clearance for $16 and as soon as I saw them I thought, OMG they look just like tembleques.
Used by women at folk festivals, tembleques are part of the handmade pollera, Panama’s national costume.  The highly decorated costume is complemented by los tembleques, a spectacular artistic show piece of hair ornaments.  Tembleques are created from an underlying supportive framework of hairpins and wires, covered by hundreds of tiny colorful glass beads, miniature pearls, and shimmering fish scales. 
A complete set of tembleques that covers the entire head could cost several hundred $$$. The green tembleque below is $35 alone and I got 4 big ones for the low low.

And there you have it folks , an unconventional yet traditional’ish & very personal Monday wear. 

DIY Carnival Boots #6

Tribe : Envy
After a serious Procrastinators Anonymous meeting I finally got around to making my boots for carnival Tuesday.  Band: Tribe, section: Envy. Here is the step by step… Started with a pair of brown boots, as always I primed em, thenspray painted em gold. 
Below are some of the tools for this project.  Black feathers and some feathers spray painted gold . Black gems, black bling on a string, black rope, and cheetah trim. 
Glued the feathers to the side of the boots, layered the black rope around it, then added bling on a string to the heel.  
I managed to run out of bling on a string on the very last row of the 2nd boots so I had to get a lil bootleg and paint another  color bling on a string black.  I was seriously not about to buy an entire new roll when I just needed a tiny amount.  
  Mid-project time out for a selfie
Felt like the boots were still missing something so I added some black trim to the top and drew some lil swirly thingyz with black acrylic paint. 


DIY Carnival Boots #5

Fantasy Carnival - Avatar
Someone asked me to design their Trinidad carnival boots and I agreed because she gave me complete creative freedom.  Usually when someone asks me to design something for them it goes like this:

Them:  I want it to be like this, and look like that, and yada yada yada
Me: NO!  That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works

Basically I want you to pay me to create whatever my heart desires.  Makes no sense right?  Lololol  Anywho, these boots shoulda took me 2 – 3 days to finish, but my procrastinating azz left em in the corner for 2 weeks & party’d my life away, so now I only have 1 week before Trinidad carnival to design my boots and  Monday wear.  Good thing I work well under pressure. 

I can’t really say I had a vision for the boots, I just wanted to use lots of different shades of blue and lots of different textures.  I know I kinda over did it on the textures, but Hey Its Carnival… go big or go home!!! 

2 rows of bling on a string, 1 row of trim, 1 row of fringe, some feathers, some cirlces, and some stars, and gems

I know I was really doing THE MOST with this small strip of jewels, strip of silver trim, and THEN topped off with a blue feather.  I was feeling extra sparkly at the time. 
I really hope she likes it! She is in remote Africa right now, so I can even get a thumbs or down from her. *don't panic*