When going to a hockey game in Mona, Kingston

Tips on being a spectator from someone whose only prior experience involved a TV and a sofa.

Bring the biggest, warmest sweater you own. Or that someone else owns. I froze my butt off almost literally yesterday from sitting on the metal bleachers. Nor was I wearing the warmest of blouses. And jeans don’t help.

Bring a cushion for you tush-on. Like I mentioned, the dangers of butt-freeze are clear and present. Protect your gluteus maximus with a cushion, or a bag with no breakables like glasses tucked away in invisible pockets. Be especially careful of glasses.

Expect it to get very boring very quickly. The games started out whizzing by at super speeds, but by the time the last match rolled around I was counting down the seconds. Patience is a tropical virtue. Nobody likes to be waiting when they can’t feel their toes.

Bring hot food. All those movies and series I watched where spectators took Thermoses full of soup to night games obviously went over my head. I was left cold and starving for the two hours it took them to finish playing. Learn from my mistakes.

Keep your eyes on the action. Sitting in the stands is actually very distracting. You’ve got the Bajan trio in front of you discussing everything from Rihanna to the exchange rate; the irate council member at the back having a “private” conversation in stage whispers; and the pissed off and injured members of the girls’ team who keep lambasting their team mate. Keeping your eyes on the ball – or at least your favourite player – proves difficult, especially when good plays disappear in the blink of an eye.

Be enthusiastic. It’s easy to forget your frozen appendages, your empty stomach and your splitting headache when you’re on your feet cheering for your favourite player. For someone who knows absolutely nothing about hockey, I was actually kept enthralled by the game because I was enthusiastic about that one player.

.

I hope these encourage someone to come keep me company on the bleachers next time.

Pax.

Locks: tips I’ve picked up along the way

I’ve invested quite a bit of energy (and cash) into my hairstyle choice, and a good bit of that energy has gone into research. While I’m no expert, the following guide is meant to be a summary of the most useful information I’ve found on the internet as well as some of my own meandering experience.

1. If you have the option, use a professional at least to start your locks. It save your energy and time if you get it done right in the first place. But if you really want to do it on your own then make sure you know what you’re doing. Locks can look terrible if they’re not done right.

2. Keep ’em clean. So you won’t be washing your hair as often for the first couple weeks, but you don’t want bugs to start pitching camp tents inside your ‘do. And a tip: don’t use conditioner.

3. Stick to one method of locking hair. There are a variety of lock start-up regimes out there, depending on your hair length and texture. What you want to do is pick one and stick with it. It’s definitely not recommended that you start out interlocking and then switch to palm rolling a year later. (Or starting free form and then switching to interlocking. No. Just… no). It looks neater when it’s uniform.

4. Don’t be afraid to change hairdressers if you don’t think they’re doing it right. Not everyone knows the proper techniques to interlock hair, and it’s your damage if you stick with someone you know is doing a bad job.

5. You can get your locks maintained as often or as seldom as you want. Of course in certain fields, neatness is a priority and that means you’ll probably be spending a lot more money on your hair than someone who’s career is more laid back.

6. I would definitely recommend to everyone considering locks (for reasons other than just fashion) that they learn to do it themselves. It saves you time and money at the hair stylist and it keeps you from being too dependent on them, too.

But that’s just my two cents.

Pax.