Monday, August 18, 2014

Nerdcon 2014: Ass plant, retro gaming and selling muffins!

Hello people! :D

I came back home yesterday from Umeå (Sweden), where Nerdcon was held for the second time in history! It's a small con held in a school building in town center. This year it took place on Saturday the 16th. I'll tell you everything about it! :)

Nerdcon entrance.
My journey to Umeå started on the previous day, aka Friday. I was traveling with Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli. We took the bus on Friday morning around 10:00, with our usual amount of stuff. :'D We were especially laggy so when the bus arrived we slept for a while. Since the bus trip takes more than 7 hours, we could easily afford a nap. We played some Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite in the bus too, but I can't play for long because I start feeling sick pretty fast. Stupid body of mine. :<
We jumped off the bus at Umeå's university hospital and almost instantly met Hitsuyū, who is a good friend of Shiro Samurai's. She drove us to her place where we would stay during the week-end. She had quite the fabulous music playing in the car. :'D (read: Whispered).
At her place we chilled and played retro games on N64. :'D I had never played N64 before. I never knew anyone who had one either. My gamer's life started with GameCube, but I actually watched my bro play on dad's SEGA before this... and before the SEGA died. I didn't get to play any video games for a long time, except random PC games. 
So guess if I was happy to play N64? Hell yes! :'D We played Super Smash Bros. and I sucked major balls. I'm just not good at Smash games, lel. I always get powned. It was very fun though, especially with all the rage and Swedish flying across the room here and there. :'D We played the first Mario Party after this and it was pretty rage as well because we couldn't play in teams. At one point I unwillingly stole one of Hitsuyū's stars huehuehue. But she ended up winning the whole thing by getting all the bonus stars!
Oh and also, we were eating chips all along. :'D
But one thing bothered me. In the Mario Party game you could do this one move that was called Hip Drop. I'm sorry but this is called Ass Plant, and nothing else. Your character jumps, sits and plants their ass onto the ground; can it be anything else than Ass Plant, really? :'D
We went to bed too late and had some talk about when we would wake up. We agreed that I would wake up at seven, so one hour before Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli because I would take the longest time. *cough* Lolita make-up *cough*


I woke up in the lag. Everyone was still snoring when I dragged myself out of bed and went to shower. I put on my contacts at half past seven in the morning... it didn't even hurt all that much. <3 Around eight in the morning I had done my base make-up and I was still wearing pyjama. It looked like these ridiculous moments in movies when a random woman is waking up (or going to bed for that matter) with perfect make-up and flawless skin. Ha ha, very funny. 
Oh well, around eight Jäätynyt Enkeli woke up too. Hitsuyū woke up a bit later, but it took forever until Shiro Samurai could get out of bed. *sigh* In the end we were all waiting for him so left for the con much later than we had planned. And I was supposed to take the longest.

Obligatory car pic while driving to Nerdcon.
We landed in the middle of town, me as a lolita girl, Shiro Samurai cosplaying as his OC William Crimshade, Jäätynyt Enkeli cosplaying as suit!Levi from Attack on Titan and Hitsuyū cosplaying as Chizuru from Hakuouki. Guess if people stared at us? :'D
While we walked through town I saw this one thing that made me rage...

Political hoppborg.
Why do politics always have to be everywhere, even in a random hoppborg? :<
Oh well. We made it to Nerdcon fairly fast, thanks to Hitsuyū who knew where the building was. There were no con people outside the building because the actual con was on the third floor (I think it was third?) but when we got to the entrance desk, it actually looked and felt like a con. Big relief. Yeah I'm still butthurt from Oulun Animeseminaari. 
We showed proof that we were con volunteers, except for Hitsuyū. But Shiro Samurai, Jäätynyt Enkeli and my modest self got our volunteer badge, and our con ticket for free. Yay! <3

Nerdcon had pretty tickets!
And here's my badge. <3
I put the badge to dangle round my neck and suddenly felt more important. It was quite the feeling. XD But I was also pretty damn nervous, especially because our shift would start in about one hour! Aaaaaaaaah!!! 
We first went to explore the building a little and checked the con merchandise. 

Dealer's hall.
Handmade supercute stuff. I wanted to buy some but I'm too out of cash. :(
Randomly exploring Nerdcon building.
Fabulous people everywhere. 8D
More geeky stuff in another room.
But then the fateful time was coming closer and closer... and I was getting nervouser and nervouser. (What you mean, that's not a word? Well now it is. I want my rime, m'kay?) So Shiro Samurai and I searched for the cafeteria, while Jäätynyt Enkeli went to take instructions for his scouting mission cleaning patrol duty. It was a bit confusing to get to the cafeteria despite the signs everywhere because we had to climb on the scene and then go behind it... At this point we didn't know that there was another way to access the cafeteria. The Nerdcon building is slightly confusing so you need to do a bit of exploring (and look at the maps here and there). 
We were in the cafeteria about half an hour before our shift started so we sat at a table and tried to relax. I went to buy a random chocolate muffin, it was pretty good. After eating my muffin I hugged my Okita plushie for comfort and courage. <3

He's so cute. ;A;
 One quarter before our shift began we went to take instructions from one of the con organizers. It was troublesome because just during this time people were performing the Lion Dance on stage so it was very noisy and it was hard to hear the instructions. Especially when Swedish ain't my mother tongue and I have to focus to understand. 

Behind the scenes: Lion Dance.
Our work began after this. I was still super nervous and constantly scared I would screw up orders. I was also scared that I wouldn't understand stuff and/or wouldn't be able to reply; in short I was afraid I'd mess up completely. In spite of this I reminded myself to smile and act all cute; one does not simply dress as lolita to be grumpy all day! And no one wants to be served by someone who is pulling a sadface or grumpface. So I paid attention to smiling at all times.

And this is what we sold:

The beginning was very stressful because I was slow and Shiro Samurai had to do more work to compensate. :( But then I did my best to avoid being a burden. Our work consisted of selling con food; namely yummy muffins, Lucky Stick (aka Pocky), tasty pan pizza that we needed to warm in the microwave, Ramune of 4 different flavors along with other lemonades, candies and the obligatory coffee and tea. It was quite the comfortable work because the atmosphere was good. Every customer was geeky so I started to relax even though I was still shy and had problems understanding orders. And it was reassuring to know that a con organizer was always close by to help if needed. We also had phone numbers of all the con organizers in case something exploded.
But it went well, Shiro Samurai and I teamed up to be more efficient. (I would handle the coffee orders because since I'm a coffee drinker and he's not, I'm more familiar with the thing. He took most pizza orders because he doesn't burn himself as easily as I do, this kind of thing.) At times other con workers and/or organizers came to ask us if everything was going well. Sometimes they'd do a bit of chit-chat or help with a few orders when there came a wave of customers.
Yeah, because people came in "waves". There would be no one in about ten minutes and then suddenly five or more persons would come to buy stuff, so these moments were pretty stressful. We had to keep in mind whom ordered what and give back the right amount of money (this was quite the task because both Shiro Samurai and I suck at maths). At times we had to run to the fridge or freeze that were at the other end of the cafeteria to pick up some more Ramune or a frozen pizza. The Ramune sold out first by the way. x)

The work also included cleaning tables and doing the dishes, but this took little time.

Remember to smile. All the time. :'3
I did mess up a few times though, like mishearing orders or making a mistake in prices or simply being slow but I guess it wasn't too bad because no one threw stones at me. At one point someone came and said that my face would hurt from smiling all the time like I did. XD 
At times, Levi would come in the cafeteria and clean around. (read: Jäätynyt Enkeli was doing his job in the cleaning patrol. :D)
All in all working in Nerdcon's cafeteria was very positive! It was comfy, fairly easy and gave me precious working experience even if it was only three hours. Now I have a good idea of what it's like to work in a cafeteria; I know some of the things to watch out for (like doing the maths FAST to give back money!) and I have an idea of the working tempo. I'm very happy and thankful I got to work in Nerdcon! <3 I want to do it again. :)

There was a cupcake workshop just after our work that I wanted to attend, but when our shift ended, both Shiro Samurai and I were happy, relieved, tired... and above all, hungry. I was definitely too hungry to decorate cupcakes so we met Jäätynyt Enkeli who had just ended his work too and then Hitsuyū showed us the way to a nearby Chinese restaurant. I shared food with Shiro Samurai because it's cheaper, and this kind of restaurant usually has pretty big portions. We had some fried chicken with BBQ sauce and it was surprisingly damn good! :'D It had too few veggies for my taste though.

Obligatory food pic.
 After the food break we walked back to the con, where we walked around and chilled. Hitsuyū went to watch anime and I stayed with the MarioKart bros. We were all pretty tired so we randomly checked the merchandise again. I bought a pair of black cat ears with bells, nyah! :'3 I wanted to put them on but my lolita bow was in the way so I kept them in my bag. 
We went to the cafeteria, mostly because I wanted coffee. I was pretty laggy... but there was no coffee. Damn. I sat and waited while the con volunteer who had his shift after ours made some more coffee; meanwhile I ate a vanilla muffin. It was really good! I'd knark these, seriously. I got the muffin for free because as a con volunteer, I had a definite amount of money I could use in the cafeteria. I used most of it to buy Ramune bottles though; I want to try all the flavors! 

Obligatory muffin pic. :'3
Speaking of which, we saw the decorated cupcakes from the cupcake workshop. It made me regret that I didn't participated because they were so cutely decorated! :'( I'll really try to attend next time! 

It's relaxing to watch other people work. x)
After a while I got my coffee and after I drank it we lifted our butts and started walking toward the gaming room.
We stepped into the gaming room. It looked very geeky, huehuehue. There was by the way a gaming dojo as well, that had only fighting games. Great idea!

Gaming room.
But a mighty sight awaited us in the gaming room: there was a NES. A real NES! <3 And the original Super Mario Bros. was lying on a nearby table! Shiro Samurai asked someone to change the game so that we could play (he didn't dare touch the NES himself and I can totally understand. These things are rare and precious now!) and a minute later he had the controller in his hands! 

This thing. <3
I got to play a little as well. In 2P mode, when player 1 died, player 2 would play until they died too and then P1 would play again. Of course Shiro Samurai was P1, aka Mario and when he died I got to play Luigi. It was a mighty geek feeling to play NES, ohmaiglehrb!! :'D I had never even touched a NES controller before so I got the FEELS! <3 The game was surprisingly hard to play though.

Shiro Samurai playing as Rageo Mario.
It's Luigi time!
Much fun and feels. <3
After our gaming we lagged around for a while and started feeling like going back to Hitsuyū's place and chilling.
On the way we passed by the origami corner and I saw this wonderful thing...

So I sat down and decided I would make an origami Yoda. Just because. 
It was harder than expected and I wasn't familiar with the English names for the different folds...

After quite the struggling, I ragequited. :'( 

And the Yoda was Padawan level. I don't want to think about the Master Jedi level...

We had missed a lot of programs and activities during our shift so there was little left to do and we were tired. We found Hitsuyū and prepared to leave - on the way we met this interesting sight...

No, there's no horse parade going on. The horse masks are for Häst and Seek (read: Horse and Seek). It's just like hide-and-seek except that the hiders are wearing horse masks and the seekers make noise while they search. It sounded hilarious so I wanted to watch and/or participate but sadly missed both games. First game took place during the working time and when we realized that we had missed the second game about one hour after it had taken place. :( Oh well, hopefully next year. ~ I'm confident that next Nerdcon will also have Häst and Seek because it seems to be a kind of trademark of theirs... :'D
We also missed the cosplay competition, which was small but had cool participants! I had time to vote for one of them just before leaving. :'3 We missed the iaido display too (I'm sad!) but we bumped into the guy who had done it and he did a few moves for Shiro Samurai. Here's a pic! :'D

Epic! <3
Oh, and Nerdcon had small Pokémon figures pretty much everywhere, sometimes in strategic spots. (A Pikachu just above an electric plug, for example.)

Gotta love Psyduck.
Hitsuyū drove us back to her place and we walked to the nearby Coop shortly after... still wearing our con outfits, of course. People stared quite much. :) We needed to buy provisions for the long bus trip back to our place on the following day, but when we arrived in the store we saw something that drove us to madness. There was a huge make-up sale. Like, it was dirt cheap. Like, you would get one lipstick for 5 SEK (Swedish crowns), when usually it's at least five times as expensive. Mother of cosplay. I bought a lot of make-up (mostly different shades of lipstick) and it was so cheap that I wanted to laugh out loud. :'D

Much make-up. <3
Back at Hitsuyū's place we gathered our stuff and packed; afterwards we were much too tired to play. It was late, so we had tea and went to bed. I did some massaging on Shiro Samurai and let him hug my precious Okita plushie all night. Ah the pains after a con day... 
On Sunday morning we hugged Hitsuyū goodbye and had a neverending bus ride back to our place. I'm happy I met Hitsuyū; she's kind, easy to talk to and cute. I hope we'll meet again! Oh, and I also met Jordan in Nerdcon (whom I hung around with in Skecon) but we didn't talk much. 

That's about it for Nerdcon! I'm really super happy about my first con working experience; I'd do this as a full-time job if possible! Thank you Nerdcon for giving me this chance! :'D And thanks everyone for a great and comfy con! Bye-bye! <3


  1. It was really nice to see you two at the cafeteria during the times I were there cleaning. I hope that we can work as a trio there next time (myself mainly focusing on the cleaning part of it though, c'mon I'm the Levi here! xD). It's great to get working experience this way, we should keep it up! :)

    Also, that make-up sale was glorious <3

  2. Aah the Nerdcon feels! <3 It was so nice and comfy and perfect for a first con work experience! It was surprisingly funny to _work_ :'DD I'd do it again next year!

    Thanks for a fun read. x)

    Hnng now I want a NES. :'C