August 18, 2014

Nerdcon 2014 – Working experience, tentacles and 8-bit Super Mario!

Hi peeps!

I've returned home safely from Nerdcon in Umeå and here follows my report! Let's get started! >8D
Okay, but first one thing Nerdcon is a fairly new small convention held in Umeå in northern Sweden. This year was the second time Nerdcon was held (previous time 2013) and also the first time I visited. :) Nerdcon took place on 16th August, a Saturday.

Nerdcon entrance.
My journey to Nerdcon went without problems. I traveled by bus together with Hasakitsuki and Jäätynyt Enkeli on Thursday the 15th. Our bus left 10:00 in the morning and we met at our apartment all three of us and walked to the closest bus stop. This time we didn't go all the way to the actual bus station because we made sure that the bus we would take would be line 20 and not line 100. For your information line 20 takes approximately 1 hour more because it stops all over the place and that includes next to my apartment; line 100 is an express bus and only stops at specific bus stations along the way to Umeå.
So yeah, the bus came and we boarded it. I slept a fair amount of the journey because I was tired and thus the approximately 380 kilometers journey didn't feel all that neverending. Oh, and if you wonder it took 7,5 hours. :-DD
We jumped off at Umeå's university hospital and there my good friend Hitsu came and picked us up by car. The feeling when she played Whispered's debut CD in the car, fuck yeah samurai metal! She drove us to her apartment in the outskirts of Umeå aka our sleeping place for the weekend. There we spread our stuff everywhere not really, visited a nearby Coop food store to buy chips and had a gaming night for the remainder of the.. night. 
We played on her Nintendo 64 for the sake of nostalgy (I used to come and play N64 at her place after school 2+ years ago, when she still lived in the same town as me and attended the same school aah those were some good times) and we started by playing some Super Smash Bros., three of us against the computer on hardest level. Team battles huehuehue. Oh god I was so clumsy playing with a N64 controller. xD We played several matches and had fun!
At one point we were playing the Kirby stage and I got one of those.. things. :'D You knooow, one of those white round ones which you throw and then it gets stuck in place and anyone who touches it bounces in a random direction. So yeah, the computer was Captain Falcon and he had been thrown off the stage and tried to come back and well, when he was approaching the edge (in a way that we would be sure to come back unless someone hit him again) I went and picked the item up and said something around the lines of "oh look, it's one of these fuling's!" (in Swedish of course) and threw it in the computer's direction just for the hell of it and guess what? It landed on a perfect spot a few centimeters off the stage's left edge and Captain Falcon hit it while he was in the air and he bounced on it uncontrollably mega-speed, first against the edge's lower half and then straight down to the depths of death. IT WAS HILARIOUS BECAUSE IT HAPPENED SO FAST AND BECAUSE I THREW IT WITHOUT EVEN HAVING THE INTENTION TO FUCK THINGS UP. XDDD We all laughed our asses off for probably one minute because it was pure gold. Best KO we had that night by far, lolol. Måste älska fulingar. <3
After we had our share of fighting games we turned to play the very first Mario Party, still on Nintendo 64 of course. We played a game of 20 rounds on some sweets & cake stage and had fun, stress and rage. xD Ah, the first Mario Party has awesome mini-games. Pedal Power. </3
Oh! I must mention that we played this one mini-game on which all four players are standing on a big ball on an island and to win you have to push out everyone else. The thing is that I lost fairly quickly on this one and when my character, Wario, was in the water a Blooper (squid-like enemy) came and took him by its tentacles and dragged Wario with it out of the screen. According to my tired and laughs-at-everything brain this move seemed highly suspicious at the moment and thus the "TENTACLES!" was born.
Yeah, the next day whenever we were randomly talking and there was a pause in the chat and well, if the occasion was fitting I'd butt in and say "TENTACLES!". It was beautiful and turned into a running joke over the weekend. <3
After the round of Mario Party my meat body started getting tender and so we slowly rolled off to bed. At least I didn't dream about tentacles...

Saturday (aka the one and only con day!)

I don't remember when the alarms rung on the morning exactly, but I know that even though we had reserved plenty of time for putting on our costumes we still ended up leaving much later than planned. Ah, standard. </3
My cosplay outfit was an Original Character named William Crimshade.
When all of us four were done Hitsu drove us to the city and there we parked the red car in a parking hall and headed our geeky noses towards Nerdcon. We walked a short while through the city and people were staring, as per usual. I felt so overdressed in my formal-ish attire lol.
Luckily Hitsu knew exactly where the Nerdcon building was located; no one else of us had any clue whatsoever. Not sure have I ever even been to Umeå city before... We went inside, took the elevator up to the right floor and there we saw the con's info desk/entrance table. I dug up my con volunteer document paper and on my wrist they then proceeded to fasten a fabric con ticket and around my neck I got a volunteer badge. Booyah! Free entrance, feels good man ~

Nerdcon 2014 con ticket.
Nerdcon volunteer badge!
Having the volunteer badge hanging around my neck made me feel important, lol.
We didn't really have much time to check things out before me and Hasakitsuki had to head out on our important mission find the cafeteria!
But before we left on our cafeteria scouting we quickly checked what the con had to offer in the name of entertainment and then we speed-checked the merchandise seller room.
We had a little confusion at first can I walk through the scene? when we tried to find the cafeteria but luckily there was a lot of signs showing the way.

Some of the signs had word puns!
The two of us thought it better to sit and wait next to the cafeteria, because a performance was about to start on the scene (which meant we couldn't access the cafeteria this way during the performance) and we needed to be in place 15 minutes before our work was to begin. There was another way to get to the cafeteria but we didn't know about this one back then.
12:45 we got information from one of the Nerdcon organizers about what we had to know and do at the cafeteria and after that she left us to do our job. I was nervous at first but after a few customers it went away. It felt safe to know that in case there was something an organizer was almost always nearby to help you out. :) I must say that it was a very pleasant first working experience; the atmosphere around was comfy, it wasn't too confusing or stress-inducing and I didn't feel like I couldn't make it through for one reason or another basically everything went better than expected!

Picture proof that we were working in the cafeteria!
By the way, while working I took off my gloves because it was just easier to work without them. I didn't have them on for most of the day in the end. I ended up having them as a decoration in my chest pocket lol. Oh well. xD

Hrmm, so, what were we selling at the cafeteria then, while we worked? Mostly small sugary stuff like candies, Ramune soda, energy drinks, muffins, pan pizza, "Pocky" (named Lucky Stick), coffee and tea.

Ramune and soda selection!
(the big green melon Ramune sold out first)
Reserve (aka behind the counter) muffins and "Pockys".
One thing though customers came in waves! Sometimes there would be like 10 minutes without a single person wanting to buy something and then suddenly 5+ people come out of nowhere and you have to make sure to serve them all fast and don't screw up the orders, give back the right amount of cash etc. These "people explosion" waves were stressful. xD *does wave moves with arms*
But yeah, we worked as a pair from 13:00 to 16:00 and it was very enjoyable. I'd gladly come and work at Nerdcon again, it was a perfect first con working experience! The Nerdcon staff was super helpful and kind too, I was treated well and praised for working effectively. :) It felt super nice!

Cafeteria menu/price list.
(it's surprisingly cheap!)
While working I noticed that the thing that sold the most was Ramune, by far. The big bottles sold out first and when I noticed that the final reserves were dwindling away I remembered one thing! As a volunteer I had received a sort of "cash check" of 50 SEK's worth that I could use to buy anything to eat from the cafeteria.

My volunteer cash check. :'D
Nevermind that it says 25; it's worth 50 SEK but someone just got it wrong when they wrote it. xD
Towards the later half of my working time me and Hasakitsuki reserved one of each remaining Ramune soda flavor (the melon one had sold out by then) to ourselves one big strawberry flavor and two small ones of orange and lemon flavor each. When our working shift came to its end I went and picked the reserved Ramune sodas from the fridge and then our full company headed out to eat in the city, we were pretty dang hungry; I hadn't eaten anything except for candies since breakfast!
We mutually agreed to eat at a Chinese restaurant that Hitsu knew served good food and was nearby. Double yes!

Obligatory eating/restaurant pic.
I shared a portion with Hasakitsuki to split the cost we're cheap and after I had a short "I DON'T WANT CHICKEN WITH FRIGGIN' VEGGIES WHEN I CAN HAVE CHICKEN WITH BBQ SAUCE DANGNABBIT! 8C" we eventually agreed on ordering the fried chicken in barbeque sauce. And good lord may I say this was a good choice! The barbeque sauce didn't taste like your usual sauce, it had a hint of lemon taste and it was better. Mmmmh sooooo good, yum. <3

After eating we strolled back to the con and lagged around for a short while. I think Hitsu went to watch some anime in the anime room and the rest of us just checked the merchandise sellers and the acitivity rooms. I took some generic con photos while I walked around!
Oh, and for your information Nerdcon was held in what seemed to be a school building.

Entrance table, aka information desk.
One of the "main" corridors.
Board games selection.
People playing said board games.
Scene area.
Con merchandise...
... and more merchandise.
Video gaming room!
The Dojo you go to for mastering your skills fighting skills in video games. *badamtssh*
(it happened to be empty when I took the pic)
Because I was working I missed several con displays, performances and activities. I missed the cosplay competition, the lion dance performance, the iaido display as well as the Häst and Seek both times.
I would have wanted to see the iaido display as well as participate in the Häst and Seek. If you wonder it translates to "horse-and-seek" and its' basically hide-and-seek but with a twist aka the hiders have to wear horse head masks and the seeker has to make sounds when they move. xD Too bad that by the time I realized there would be a second round of Häst and Seek that I could have attended it had ended already. Blargh, I need to keep track of time better. :C

Häst and Seek was here.
But even though I missed all these activities I still got some "behind the scenes" photos, hehehe...

Lion dance perfomance.
Cosplay competition participants waiting for their turn to go on scene.
I also spotted one of the iaido guys while I was still working at the cafeteria and he did some moves for me. Cool!

Iaido guy.
Actually, just when our working time had ended the Cupcake workshop started at the cafeteria. So yeah, when we came back to the cafeteria after the Chinese food to use up the remaining 10 SEK we had on the cash checks we saw some decorated cupcakes.

20% cooler cupcakes!
I didn't buy a decorated cupcake (not sure if they were even for sale..?) but I bought a Vulkanmuffins and it was pretty cool.

Volcano muffin.
At some point I went to the gaming room and I saw that OHMAIGAWD THEY HAVE THE ORIGINAL NES!! No one was playing on it but it was on and on the screen was some game I didn't recognize. I stood there for a few seconds and then I saw that on the table next to the NES was a few other games, including the original Super Mario Bros., oh mai. <3

NOSTALGYYYYY!!!!
You see, when I was very very young we had a NES console... but mom was stupid and sold it to our cousins in southern Sweden. 8C Ever since I guess it has been collecting dust at their place and mom regrets selling it because it was one of the few gaming systems she could actually play – not many buttons to press lol. I grew up with the Super Nintendo though (we had one back then and still have it <3) so it's my childhood gaming system, along with the GameBoy Color.

But yeah, I went to ask a guy in the gaming room if he happened to be one of the room staff guys and indeed he was. He changed the game for me (I wasn't sure if I was allowed to do it myself because who knows, a NES could very well be someone's "my precioussssssss") and GAMING TIME, GAMING TIME! ~

Let's go, NES controller!
I swear that feeling when you get to hold a NES controller and the nostalgy flows in your veins, hnng! ;A; <3 Sure that I didn't play much on a NES as a kid but I still played on one a few times when visiting friends etc (one of my old childhood friends had one) and ah, nostalgic. What made it even better was that the controllers were in good condition no worn buttons, aww yeah!

3.. 2... 1..
Start gaming!
Super Mario Bros. game screenshots!

Good ol' coin blocks and Lakitu stage.
TENTACLES!
Ah, the castles... :')
I remember dying on these platforms so many times. lol
You... I remember you, you tricky bastard! :C
FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU--
And well, much gaming later...

IT'S A ME, RAGEO MARIO.
The old Mario games are just as hard as I remember them nowadays games are easier to beat. :s But it was so much fun to play retro stuff, ah the memories. <3 It's funny because while playing I remembered most stages and where the hidden item boxes and bonus pipes etc were. :'D

After playing we lagged around for a while and then we slowly decided to leave and calm down for the remainder of the night.

By the way, here's randomly a pic of the Nerdcon program schedule!
Oh, speaking of random Nerdcon had these small Pokémon figurines placed randomly everywhere. Some were cleverly placed near something of the Pokémon's type. Nice small geeky addition. :'D

Water Pokémon (sort of, Dragonair is not Water type xD) near the sink of the cafeteria!
Pikachu! Bzzzzt!
But yeah, we left Nerdcon when we got laggy and wanted to go back to Hitsu's place and drink some green tea. On Sunday morning we took the bus back home and arrived safely. Nothing to say about the trip really so eh, have a photo of my Ramune soda haul instead! >8D

Here's our Ramune haul! Ou yeah!
Nerdcon was a comfy little con that I'd happily visit again next year if it doesn't collide with another con that I want to attend, that is. Thumbs up for the Nerdcon staff and thanks for a pleasant con experience!

Shiro Samurai says bye! and goes to sleep...
I started writing this the same day I returned (17th August) and wrote it until 05:20 in the morning (Swedish time), oops.

6 comments:

  1. *animelasien nosto* nuo tuolla ylhäällä ovat muffinsseja, eivät cupcakeja, koska niissä ei ole kuorrutusta *mussunmussun*

    Mut kiva et oli kivaa! Mäki halusin joskus kokeilla vänkäröintiä conissa, hain tyylii viime Frostbitee mut en päässy (no mut Desucon on Desucon..). Toisaalta kävijänäki on kivaa ni pääsee kaikkialle mihi haluu, mut ois kiva ainaki kerran kokeilla :D

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    1. Mä olinki epävarma että kumpi se on. xD Yritin googlata cupcake vs. muffin selitystä mutta vissin netissäki on mukava taistelu siitä että mikä ihmisten mielestä on se oikee ero cupcaken ja muffinsit välillä ja mistä tietää kumpi on kumpi.. niin että jooh, en jaksanut vaivautua lukemaan hirveitä mielipidetekstimuureja moisesta. xD Mutta korjasin nyt silti ne sitten muffinsiksi tekstissä lol.

      Kannattaa kokeilla! Tosiaan mä nyt aloitin tämmöisestä pikkuconista ettei tulis hirveitä paineita ja stressiä heti eka try-outissa. XD Täst varmaan pikkuhiljaa kokeilen vänkäröintiä isoimmissa coneissa myös!
      Muistanki joskus hakeneen vänkäriks Animeconiin (jos oikein muistan) mutta enhän mä päässyt. :'C

      Niin totta, kävijänä on kans kivaa ja varsinki ku on se vapaus että pääsee mihin vaan itse haluaa milloin vaan!

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    2. Cupcaket on kuorrutettu, muffinssit on vaa muffinsseja :'D siitäkin voi väitellä onko ne tosin oikeesti muffinSeja vai muffineja xD Me selvitettii parin luokkalaisen kaa näiden ero keväällä mut en enää muista sitä

      Joo, pikkuconit on varmaa parempia alottaa :D ei tuu nii katastrofaaliset seuraukset jos mokaa eiku-
      Isommat conit ehkä nii otakkaa heti ensikertalaisia (ainakaa desu, näin oon kuullu).

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  2. Nerdcon was surprisingly fabulous! I definitely want to attend and work with you again. :') You look so good as William, btw. ;) The red wig was the right choice.
    That Rageo pic killed me. XD It was comfy to watch you play and rage. ;p Such nostalgy too.
    Oh, and the TENTACLES. ;p

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  3. If we go to Nerdcon next year I want to work there again! Oh and the Mario pic was fab <3

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  4. Btw if you have a PSP, you can download a custom firmware to it and download all kinds of emulators, including NES one :D I used to have Famicom (Japanes version of NES) but it broke, so it's fun to play old games on the go :3

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