#TBT Jamaica Carnival 2018 🇯🇲💃🏽

I love carnival. I love Soca. I am Jamaican 🇯🇲. It writes itself. In my lifelong carnival chase, it only makes sense that I went home one time for the one time. Aight, so boom! 💥

Pickups

Caesar’s Army A.M.Bush

Length. I’ll admit I didn’t get there RIGHT as the band house opened, and that may have been my undoing, but we waited for a while. The band house and distribution system were pretty organized. Far better than most of my experiences with pickups in Miami. I put my wristband on ASAP because I don’t want no problems. That’s like, my general mantra.

Xaymaca Costume

This went quite a bit faster. We waited in two groups, and were quickly processed before heading inside the mas camp to collect. I had some challenges with my costume’s fit, but fortunately, my section’s designer, Keisha Als was present and accommodating for my friend and I. Within an hour after voicing my complaint, a seamstress was at work on my costume.

FYI: Regardless of whether or not a thong is the only option pictured, please specify (and express to customer service representatives if need be) that you want a particular bottom. Also, the prototype will NEVER be the same as what you receive. NEVAH!

Fetes:

Afloat

Dope. DJs were good. Bartenders and drink selection were good. Vibes were perfect for the first fete of our trip. UNTIL… the party went on forever. There were unidentified liquids all over the floor, the bathrooms ran out of toilet paper, and the bar was devoid of napkins. After a while, it felt like the two boats from the Dark Knight, and we were meant to choose. The Joker nearly had us dancing to death. But, I lived!

Tribe Ignite

Semi-stush vibes. It was a good time, but so soon after Afloat we hardly had the energy to give a second performance. Kes was amazing, and so was Allison Hinds. DJ Puffy had a great set, and I LITERALLy ran into Shall Marshall. Star-studded, but we still left early because we were tired and hungry; the meat-free and pescatarian options were non-existent.

Medz

HOT AF! Lordt! It’s like we were being punished for the previous night’s wotlessness! We got there late, but no matter, the boat never left. It was a dock party. A boat-adjacent party. Medz were readily available, but shade certainly was not. Vibes where you could catch a breeze… then they ran out of water. Fin.

A.M. Bush

As always it delivered. A series of connecting busses to the bush, and a slightly bewildering walk in the dark to the trucks. Just enough time to get your mind right, and sip just enough social lubricant before the paint started to fling. I love it every time. Picked all the best food lines and got tastes of my favorites. Corn soup, doubles (well not really as they ran out of everything except chickpeas), and jerk. Then a long nap in the return bus. A.M. Bush is the best! Period.

Before

P.M. Fete

Logistical failings aside, it was a good time. (If you register online, that means it automatically dumps into a cache. Then how TF are you unable to find my name!?)  If you wanted, you could scope the ones you wanted to find on the road; see your pre-mas boo in costume. Very chill, multiple bars. Again, we left early; road in the morning.

Xaymaca Cool Down Fete

Sand, when carried by the wind, feels a lot like little knives. But thankfully, that was the worst part. Had the forethought to bring a bag and snacks, and we set up a little camp. As the sun set, and our drinks set in, it really was the best party of the entire trip. The DJs played a mix of music, and and the evening breeze was perfect. Perhaps because it was the last, we appreciated it more. Bittersweet.

ROAD

The whole point. The reason I bought my flight and secured my AirBnb. If I’m being honest, I didn’t give it my all. Heart wasn’t in it. The heat was intense, the route felt forever-long, and the streets were so narrow that with stormers there nearly wasn’t room to breathe! I felt a little meh about my costume, and I knew drinking would only make me whiny. The pointy and obtrusive costumes were so painfully large, that at times we could hardly see. The lunch stop was efficient and just what I needed. The dinner stop, not so much. Vegan options were virtually nonexistent, so we left a bit early. Although, the end seemed somewhat ambiguous. Were we headed back out onto the road? We’ll never know.

Overall. Quite good. I will certainly be running it back. It owes me some money and I am going to get every one of my coins!

What are YOUR travel plans for 2018? If Roze Goes, so should you ‘

Love yourself,

How To: Comic-con vs Carnival

Sometimes we have a hard time putting ourselves in the fancifully-decorated boots of others. That’ll make sense later.

We side-eye the traditions of other cultures and forget that essentially, we are all the same. We don our respective apparel, and forget that somewhere else, someone is preparing for a yearly shindig of their own. Mine is carnival. Caribbean carnival, and particularly the one that takes place here in sunny South Florida. My friends and I partake, and only now am I starting to see that niche events like these can be vastly different, yet surprisingly similar to the ones we know.

Whether its a comic-con, a music festival, or yearly cultural parade, the world’s cultures offer us a deep and wide variety of events that strike up the same euphoria, and take you away from your everyday mundane.

Tell me if the following sounds familiar:

  1. You wait for this event all year.
  2. Your circle of friends scrimp and save; eagerly squirrelling away your vacation days.
  3. You pledge, fail, and pledge again to build a body worthy of display.
  4. After much debate and deliberation you choose the perfect costume and accessories.
  5. Your plane lands, and after hours of revelry punctuated by minutes of sleep in your respective hotel rooms, the big day finally arrives.
  6. Thousands converge on Miami to hit the stage in celebration of a rich and long-standing culture

I’m talking about the one C-word that brings masqueraders from around the world. Comic-con! July 1 marked the beginning of a four-day convention taking place on South Beach.

See, that could have been spun either way! I think I want to give cosplay a try as well. It’s not just for Caribbeans, or for nerds. They can be experienced by anyone who wants to be taken away for a weekend. Whether its vibes or merch you want. If soca or anime gives you powers, give the other a try!

Allow me to provide you a bridge the divide for you. Caribs, here is a wonderful Trinidadian cosplayer that has been taking the scene by STORM!

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Panterona Cosplay

She makes her own costumes, and is shattering stereotypes left and right. Check her out!

And cosplayers, you can celebrate our rich combined heritages with us, while showing off your Marvel side with  Jamborii Mas Band that is featuring a superhero theme this year!

Check out globalcarnivalist.com for tips, guides, and calendars to playing mas the world over from an experienced feteran!

Whatever you do, try to see the oneness you share with everyone else because before you know it, the tabanca sets in and it’s time to start all over again!

Roze Goes…. to a happy place! I love carnival!

26 days till Miami Carnival 2018!

Music Monday Vol. 5: Ultimate Rejects

Electric Soca, Electrik Karnival, TrapSo, whatever you call it, it’s Bess. This soca + EDM fusion sub-genre takes inspiration from traditional calypso, house, and dancehall, and modern pop and hip-hop.

On the cusp of this genre, solidifying it’s fan base with each new hit, are the Ultimate Rejects. Their hit “Full Extreme”, and the tens of subsequent road-mixes, won over the 2017 Carnival season.

Behold…

If I love you. I gotta put you onto that new new!

And I do love ya.

Roze Goes

Music Monday Vol. 3

I love Soca. End of story! I want to share with you some of my favorite shower/commute/cooking/gym music. It moves me. AND you can play (some of) it for children!

MM3 soca 1MM3 soca 2

This time I want to be a little more deliberate about sharing with you the origins and history of Soca music. It’s more than whinin’ and jumping up. It’s more than costumes and glitter (Although I LOVE costumes and glitter!). It’s a growing and changing art form that bridges the Atlantic and houses an array of influences and influencers. Do more than listen, learn.

Soca

“Criminal Wine” x Lyrikal & Patrice Roberts

“Rough Wine” x Machel Montano

“Like It Like This” x Patrice Roberts & Kes

Non- Soca

“Fantasy” x Alina Baraz & Galimatias

Tank & The Bangas on NPR’s Tiny Desk!

If I love you. I gotta put you onto that new new!

new new

And I do love ya.

Roze Goes

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After Irma. What Now?

Hurricanes are as Floridian as oranges. As trucks and rims. As mosquito spray, a spare shirt, and extra deodorant in the car. But what we faced wasn’t just a hurricane.

What we in Florida, and across the Caribbean faced, and continue to stare down, are not just natural disasters. They are increasingly volatile weather patterns worsened by our incessant Manifest Destiny-esque interventions into our Earth’s atmosphere, water, and soil. We have antiquated emergency-response systems, and even older infrastructure. For a region that is consistently shifting in culture and cost, we are behind the times AF. Willful ignorance driven by profit margins and party lines. We dodged a bullet, but won’t be so lucky every time.

I live in South Florida. The proof is already at hand. King tides. Climate gentrification. Sustained development despite warnings. Atlantis is real, just give us a few years.

I can’t change those things. I work to educate and influence others. My call to action is a bit more personal. All I can do is prepare. In political, socio-economic, and literal climates such as ours, we have to stay strapped in ways that aren’t always tangible.

After Irma I wondered what I’d be coming home to. If there’d be a home at all. How would life be different for me? If I returned, and found my apartment had been turned into a pile of rubble, what then? Would I cash in my 401k and start anew? Forge a new destiny out of the smoldering ashes of the old one?

What would I be prepared to change?         To give up? To shed? How would I be changed? It’s clearer than ever that we may be gone in an instant from a wealth of reasons, so what time we do have is precious. How we spend it is crucial.

After spending a week with my family free of phones, television, and distractions I put together a list.

after irma 3.png

1. Travel – Not just dusting off my passport and stunting for the ‘gram. Traveling to make the world small, to understand others, and scope out cultural epicenters that might be my future home(s). With the way things are looking, the U.S. is a lot less attractive for raising a family as global citizens.

2. Work In/On my Passions –  Deliberately cultivating my craft. Becoming knowledgable not just about MY job, but the industry and region in which I work. Earnestly putting together a topographical map of the influences that shape the area I work in, so that I can be more than just a cog. A number. A cubicle-slave. Also, giving real thought to leaving the 9-5 schedule, and its accompanying #workwoes, behind.

3. Meet More People. This one is a little more complex. Actually leaving my house, sure. Also, shedding my expectations and prejudices in social settings so I can give people a chance. But, mostly for me. Removing expectations, and being present in the moment so that I can TRULY enjoy people. Meeting them where they’re at. I can worry about their character and the implications of their speech and actions later. Or never, if we don’t meet again. It also means networking actively. And NOT just for the job I’m in at the moment. It’s not cheating to accept a business card, or have a NON-work-related lunch. Ultimately I am my greatest asset.

4. Learn. Self explanatory. As much as possible; by any means possible. Woke AF!

5. Simplify my Life! When I came home, my room had flooded. My carpet was soaked and everything that touched the floor was stained, soggy, or stank. But I didn’t die. It forced me to take a long hard look at all the crap I had accrued. Literally. I had to take everything out of my room while my carpet dried. Blessing in disguise. I realized just how much stuff I had gathered and wasn’t using. I threw out expired face creams, abandoned DIY projects, and donated bags and bags to relief efforts. Traveling lighter.

Blessing in the Lesson = Blesson

a. I hoard. I believe it’s a symptom of poverty. It makes me feel in control; prepared by owning things in multiples. Even if I don’t use them. STUFF isn’t wealth.

b. Memories don’t occupy space. Also, some things don’t need to be remembered. For example, old body shapes and sizes. This body and this life are the only ones I have, and the ones I should dress for. If I want either to change, I have to take action.

c.  BE light. Live light and simple. If things hold you to a place, then a storm is completely devastating; even if you escape with your life.

6. Family Time. I am putting effort into the connections with my family and culture that can’t be ripped apart by any force of wind or surge.

I want you all to live and BE light. Don’t wait for a hurricane to assess your lives, and determine value. Stay ready. Stay engaged. Invest in the intangibles.

Keep your carry-on small, and your bank account bigger.

Roze Goes, I love you.

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#notmyprince 

Mine will be the only wedding I consider royal! The only Prince we acknowledge was from Minnesota! Colonists! Why is this still a thing? Symbolic decadence in the face of abject poverty. Countries that have irreconcilable histories. Potential that was stamped out before it could sprout from the seed. We will never know what could have been. Xamayca lost.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/cricket-and-colonialism-prince-harrys-tour-of-caribbean-sparks-notmyprince-campaign/

 

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