Hi! I'm paco the panda bear :D
Despite the warnings for the virus that is scaring all the world, I decided to take my fursuit, take my luggage, and complete that trip that I had planned months ago. First stop: Malmö, Sweden, for NordicFuzzCon; a short second stop was Brooklyn, USA; and last one: Dallas, USA, for Texas Furry Fiesta.
I need to thank in advance to everyone who read my journals, I usually write all these for myself, these help me to keep all the adventures I live in my memory, like studying and double checking them, so I can’t forget them, but I would lie if I say that is my only motivation, because knowing that many people read my adventures pushes me to keep doing these reports.
As feedback of my friend Yaps, I’m gonna add dates this time.
FROM MEXICO TO SWEDEN
Saturday, February 15, 2020
For getting to Malmö, Sweden, I had to spend almost 2 entire days from home to there. My first layover was Mexico City, where I was going to take a flight for my second stop: John F Kennedy airport in New York City. I want to tell you something interesting that happened during my waiting at Mexico City’s airport.
I arrived to the Aeromexico check-in, and there were a big crowd of young people together (around 18-23 yo), I got in the queue in the middle of that big group, all of them talking each other, excited for their upcoming trip, and checking around, I could notice who were the adults in charge of that group, they were using some polo shirts with the logo of my university.
I need to pause the story here and tell you that I could get the American visa thanks to a trip I made with my university in 2014, they were organizing a trip to New York City and Chicago, I was interested to join that trip because that was going to be the easiest way to get the visa (and be able to attend American fur cons), and I went for first time to USA with my college.
I realized that group was exactly that same trip, they were going to New York City, I was in the needing of telling at least one of them that I was graduated from their same University, but I was too shy to talk with any of them, besides all of them were into their own conversation.
The queue kept moving, and I could see even more people from that tour, including one of my teachers in college, I tried to remember her name, but it was very difficult, I had to check it on internet, because my memory was failing. I could swear anyway that she was not going to remember me, she has had way too many students to remember one from many years ago. But as soon as we made eye contact, she smiled and said my name “Francisco! How are you?”. Oh wow, I had to research on internet her name because I couldn’t recall it, and she could remember my name at the exact instant she saw me, that’s a really good memory (or maybe I was a good student according her, who knows).
She asked me where I was going, and if I was going for work or for vacations. My mistake was telling her I was going for work, because of course she asked me, excited, what kind of work and why to Sweden. I had to say I was going to exhibit my art (which was not a lie), and she was even more interested, and she called to another teacher, introducing me as an outstanding graduated student who was now going to exhibit his artwork to Sweden, OMG… that’s not how I wanted to carry out this conversation, because now the other teacher started asking me lots of questions, and she concluded that she was going to invite me to the college so I can tell the students, on a panel, about a graduated from the university can succeed in life. No!! Well…honestly, I really feel like I’m succeeding, even if most of people out the fandom would see the opposite. And I can’t imagine telling the students. “Hi, I’m Paco, I was working on an animation studio, like most of you want to do after graduating, but I quit because I discovered that my life is happier drawing cute animals for the furry fandom and pretending I’m a panda bear”. I’m not sure that’s what they want to hear, not the students nor the teachers.
I hope they had a lot of fun on their trip on New York City, and they forget they saw me before their trip.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Arriving to JFK airport, I was going to have 8 hours before my next flight, by Finnair from NYC to Helsinki (Yeah, my European layover was further away my destination). Crossing customs was easy and fast, so I thought I could have time to explore around NYC a little bit. Even if NYC is ugly and dirty, I enjoy a lot being there, I always have something to do and to see in that huge crowded city. But what I was not counting with, is that the Finnair desk was closed, and I couldn’t check my luggage until 3 hours before the flight, so very sadly, I had to wait at the airport, because of course I didn’t want to be moving all my luggage on the subway, and carrying with it in whatever I wanted to explore.
Nothing interesting happened on my flight from NYC to Helsinki, I tried to sleep but they were interrupting very often giving food, coffee, cookies, and more services, of course I didn’t want to miss all those services, I rather be awake to eat cookies and coffee.
Monday, February 17, 2020
When I arrived to my last flight destination, Copenhagen, it was very easy to spot where the train to Malmö was, and while I was waiting for it, I spotted some guys who evidently were furries, so I got close by, asked them if they were also going to NordicFuzzCon, they said yes, and we boarded together the train. Well, they were only speaking each other in German, so practically I was alone again in the train, now I know how it feels when a friend who only speaks English is around my other Mexican friends and we are only speaking Spanish, I’m trying to avoid that and speak in English even if I’m talking with them when we’re in the same room with a non-Spanish speaker.
I can’t complain, the train was very smooth, I loved seeing the panorama of the bridge crossing the ocean, which was faster than I thought, I think we crossed the sea in 2 minutes and we were already in Sweden.
My friend shortythedragon told me he was going to pick me up to the Malmö station, and I just left the train and I saw him, when I was hugging him, he told me “Oh, there is also Cornwall”, I looked back, and yes, Cornwall, a mutual friend of us from Canada, was also on the same train than me. And we went together to the hotel. It was Monday and we were already many furries in the hotel. Which is not strange since the convention starts on Tuesday (officially on Wednesday, but there are already many events on Tuesday).
When I thought I had fought the jetlag, I passed out just touching my bed, it was only a nap, but when I woke up, it was already dark outside, and the things of my second roomie yamavu were already in the room. I explored the hotel and the convention center, noticing the place was like a labyrinth: too many stairs with no logic repetition, and many balconies, it is a very interesting place, and I found a little corner that looked like a grandma’s living room in the convention center, it was a very weird place, and I thought it could be a nice spot for taking some fursuit pictures. When I was exploring the place, I found Yamavu, who I think he was doing the same, or… I was not sure what he was looking for, but he was trying to figure out where was a specific room, then, I lost him because, that place was a real maze, but I found my friend Skippy, who I’ve been meeting him at almost every convention I attend, no matter if it is in Mexico, United States, or even Sweden, we will meet each other. He was also tired and I was still very jet lagged, and he came with a very great idea “What if we go in fursuit now?” And we did! How a good way to start a long and tiring trip than being in fursuit? We found that Sparky was also fursuiting, and we took a picture together, were we were representing the North-American furs arriving early to NordicFuzzCon: Mexico, United States and Canada.
As fursuiters, we tried to cheer the staff who was working on registration, who seemed very stressed because things were not going how they wanted, we failed in that task, they were too stressed to give a smile to some silly fuzzes.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Oh yeah, I already wrote more than an average person would be able to read on internet, and until this point of this report, the convention is just starting. And how a convention always starts? With a long reg-line! Registration was crazy, a very long queue that was not moving, but I saw Iris, one of the lovely mascots of NordicFuzzCon, wandering around the people, as same as Brainfreeze, cheering the attendees who were waiting to pick up their badge. I wanted my badge that soon because I had booked the tour of Malmö, and it was going to start at noon that day. But I couldn’t pick up my badge at that moment, someone from the staff announced that if we had booked the tour of Malmö, we had to go at that moment to the buses outside the hotel.
Waiting to board the buses, someone greeted me in Spanish, something I didn’t expect, he was Richard, a guy from Colombia who had made the last minute decision to attend NordicFuzzCon, it was awesome to meet someone from South America. Sadly, we couldn’t be in the same buses.
The tour of Malmö was the perfect excuse to know the city I was, and not only going to Sweden for the convention, plus the tour was going to be among furries, which was great. Our tour guide had a funny accent, sometimes I couldn’t get what he was saying, but also I could notice English was not his best. Most of Swedish people I’ve met, have a really good level of English, and it is very easy to talk with them, even when I go to stores or to restaurants, it is like everyone speaks very good English, except our tour guide. There were times he was not completing his sentences, or he got lost on whatever he was telling us. “This street on your right, I like it, because… is beautiful… (finish of the sentence)”. And it was so funny how he tried to tell us about a very famous Swedish person that he was sure all of us were going to know about, of course I don’t remember the name of this character but when he mentioned his name, nobody knew about him…. “No? Nobody know him? He has played on the Manchester, Barcelona…(insert more soccer teams here)… Now do you remember him? No? Oh! Does anyone here like football soccer? No? Well, I will tell you some facts about him anyway”. It seems he had no idea the kind of interest or disinterests of furries.
And probably one of the most incredible coincidences ever have happened, he was telling us about the neighborhood we were which was very friendly and safe, at the moment he said that, the bus turned right and we could see how some cops were arresting a person. “Oh, I promise you this is the first time I’m seeing this in Malmö”, the tour guide said.
The tour made several stops, one of them was to a buffet of meatballs which were supreme, very delicious, and the best is that was already included. Another stop was in a very interesting museum about disgusting food. A place where they keep together many gastronomic delights from around the world, that for the difference of cultures, we can consider gross. Of course many of the items shown looked very gross, a collection of stinky cheeses, urine of cow, the infamous surströming, frog juice, bat soup (on the display of this soup, a bat furry left his card with a drawing of his fursona where it could be read “Let’s be friends”). Displayed were also food from USA and Mexico. It’s funny that most of the disgusting food they had from USA, I consider it indeed gross, like root beer, jelly salad, and twinkys, they also had PopTarts but I personally like them. The food from Mexico was food that for me was not disgusting and, indeed, I like them. They had Menudo, Escamoles and Huitlacoche. I like menudo, I can’t say it is my favorite but I like it. In my family, when we know there is a special occasion, we eat Escamoles, that is ant eggs, it may sound gross but it is delicious, it tastes like butter and corn. My personal favorite quesadillas are with Huitlacoche, that is the mushroom of the corn.
At the end of the museum, they gave you some tries, of course I tried almost everything, I tried beetles, warms, crickets, many insects, all of them delicious (nothing new for me, I already like crickets a lot), but the problem was on the drinks, they gave me a fermented drink that tasted like cabbage tea, and of course I didn’t want to try again the surströming or the caviar in tube, last year in my trip to Stockholm I had that experience and I didn’t want to have that taste in my mouth for the rest of the day again.
Next stop was in the castle of Malmö, something I was looking forward, but it seems like in the castle, there are all kind of museums, there is an aquarium, a natural history museum, and… I’m not sure what was the other one about, I think it was about the castle itself, but that section was only in Swedish, so I could understand very few, the environment was more like a haunted house, there were all kind of noises and ghosts projected on the windows, I was not completely sure what I was seeing. Also in the Natural History one, there were some sections that were completely dark, so I could imagine that was like part of a horror movie, where you were in a museum when it was already closed, and dissected animals came alive.
The whole tour was longer than I expected it was going to be, which was good, honestly, because I felt like what I paid for it was the fair, of course I arrived so tired, but I could finally get my badge without waiting in line. And I went with Skippy to do one of the most traditional things to do in Sweden, we went to Max Burger for dinner. We were talking about our adventures, our thoughts, our feelings, and suddenly, I hear Spanish behind us, it was this guy from Colombia, Richard, with another guy from Spain, Mike. They joined us.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
First official day of NordicFuzzCon, and I found at breakfast many of my friends I had made last year in Stockholm, including henrieke and karpour, who I had seen them a month before at Further Confusion. It was so nice to meet again all those guys, who personally I had missed so much, like ekorren, Mag, procyon, yotie, Tabbie… and some new guys I met at this edition like chiropica and reneebadger. Uff, sometimes is hard for me to mention names because I know I will forget someone and I will feel so bad later.
After breakfast, it was the time to go to watch Sonic the movie, as part of the program of NordicFuzzCon, we had to follow a caravan of furries who were heading to the movie theater, that it was about 10 blocks away.
We filled the lobby of the theater, people with ears, tails, or even some in full fursuits. Something that people who decided to go to the movies on a quiet morning of Wednesday didn’t expect to find, who seemed very concerned where they have arrived to.
In the theater room, it was projected in big screen the drawing I did for the projection, of course my egometer increased and made me feel good. Before the featured film, they shown a silly shortfilm about Trax and Mausie who were hanging out in their living room to watch a movie, and getting some troubles with snacks. And then, the movie, without trailers or cinema advertisings, just directly to the film. The movie was in English but it had Swedish subtitles.
I had very low expectations of the movie, but I really liked it, it was so much better than I expected, which was really good. Also Sonic was cute, the story gave us too many fan services, and.... no spoilers (surely all of you already watched it, and if not, is because you were not interested to watch it, but I won’t spoil anything, anyways) …the post credit scene made me fanboy scream.
In the way back to the hotel, I remembered that I have something I hate about myself, being so shy, quiet, and insecure of myself, there were many people who wanted to talk with me while we were walking back, but it is one of those times I never know what to say back, and I just stay quiet. Wish I could be more talkative and interesting.
Coming back to the convention, opening ceremonies started. Probably it is the opening ceremony at a convention that most of people is interested to attend, most of attendees know very well that it is a really good one. And of course, it was not disappointing, it was so good as expected. A spectacular show where they presented 4 fake countries representing a song contest battle, as parody of the European show Eurovision. I highly recommend you to check them out because they are terribly funny. My favorite was, of course, the song by Mausie (not biased, well, yeah, what the heck, I was very biased, Mausie is so cute!) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXpUwCIi-M9dK2GTkHwJeUdUeN6astNkv
It was one of those moments that I was thinking “I’m so glad to be here”. I know it doesn’t mean anything for most of people, or even for most of furries, but personally it was one of those moments that I will never forget and I’m so glad to have presence that with my own eyes.
One of the first fursuiters I saw after the ceremonies was picodragon the red dragon, a new fursuit who his premiere was NordicFuzzCon, and I can tell he’s one of my new crushes (not really a crush, that’s how I always call my most favorite fursuiters). He’s so cute, and he acts so good, I love the little tic he has that constantly he’s saying “Beep” while he makes a little hop. I could spend some time with him, I was also in fursuit, so it was so perfect.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
My first day vending at NordicFuzzCon, I was sitting in a table outside the main dealers den room, I thought it was going to be very bad, like, we were not integrated to the rest of vendors, so maybe people will have no clue we were also selling stuff, or maybe we could have been very hidden from the eyes of most of attendees, but it was not that way, actually the entrance for the dealers den room was exactly on the same hall that we were, so people stopped first on our tables before going in the big room. I had a very cool neighbor of sales, she was Dexi, who I admire a lot, her style is so unique. And of course I wanted to be one of the first ones who took a commission slot by her, I wanted to see how my panda looked in her style, I was shy at first because she mentioned she wanted to advance some works she had to do, but after some hours, I was decided to ask her, she did a sketch extremely beautiful of my panda. I love it so much.
At the time of the Artist Alley, it was the candy exchange in somewhere else at the convention, I wanted to attend it because last year that was so interesting, to try many candies and snacks from all over the world. But I need to thank Yamavu a lot because he got me a cup filled with many of the candies, so I could try them. My most favorite one was the chocolate filled with strawberry yogurt cream, and of course, my least favorite was that chocolate that looks delicious, but inside it has black liquorice candy, such monsters!
That night, I should have asked to my friends what was the plan, because I did my plans wrong. I went out in fursuit, and nobody was in fursuit, everyone was doing something else, and I could see my friends art-jamming in the artist lounge, good thing of that moment was when I found Brainfreeze and I played with him in the ball pit, I went to the dances and they were playing very strange and undanceable music, but I played a little bit on the bouncy castle that was in the end of the room, it was the same bouncy castle than last year, the giant furry head that closes its maw. I got very tired so I went back to my room to de-suit, picking up my art materials and go where all the artists were drawing, but oh surprise! Nobody was there anymore, now all my friends were in fursuit, and they were dancing and playing on the bouncy castle, ah and they had really good music now. I should have asked them what was their plan.
A parenthesis for talking about a thought about that. I don’t know if you have read my previous journals. In the one about BLFC, I had said that I’m a very solitary person during conventions, and I don’t feel like that is something bad, of course I have many friends (something I’m so grateful with this community), but I’m never attached to any specific group of people, most of times you see me wandering around the convention by my own, I can play as fursuiter with other fursuiters, or I can have a nice conversation with someone who stops me and want to chat with me, but I never keep following them, or expecting what my group of friends want to do so I can follow them, I’m kind of independent with my own plans and allow that other friends attach to my plans. But only at NordicFuzzCon, since last year, that was a little different, I could feel very integrated to this group of people, most of them artists, all of them toon lovers, but it was because I enjoyed a lot their company, extremely much, and I still feel very independent with my own plans among them, they don’t take personal or pay too much importance if I want to do something else, if I don’t show up to their plans because I wanted to be somewhere else, if I don’t get lunch or breakfast specifically with them, those kind of things make me feel free, and those kind of allowances make me want to be more time with them, and there is something in them that make me feel like if I knew them from really long time ago, even if this was just the second (some of them only the third) time I was seeing them. It was kind of shocking for me when they mentioned “we just met Paco last year”, because, they were right, for me, a year ago they were not more like entities who existed only in internet and I was wishing I could meet someday, it was only in my dreams that one day I was going to be really good friends with them. But after I befriend them, I feel like we have lived too many things together. So yeah, that was one of the few times I felt in the needing of follow their plans and being in fursuit as the same time as them. Something rare in my usual convention plans.
Friday, February 21, 2020
It was my free day, I decided to not work, because that day there were many things to do at the convention that I didn’t want to miss. Missing cool things is what make me have PCD (I had PCD after NordicFuzzCon anyway, even if I was attending another one just after).
It was the only moment I could check Dealers Den, I went with Karpour, Henrieke and Skippy, there we found Keke Flipnote, and even if we had talked with him last year, when he was Guest of Honor, I saw that I was not the only one who was very nervous to talk with him, also Henrieke didn’t know how to start a conversation with him, but we did in the end.
It was also the only time I could check the Art Show, it was very funny that in one of the walls, they made a parody of the expensive piece of a banana stick with a piece of duct tape, and they set a price for it. I offered for three pieces, one of them was the cassette of the new album of Baxxter & Burrs, signed and offered for charity, and I also offered for two pieces that I liked a lot, one of a raccoon and other of a wolf in a desk, I wanted so bad the one of the raccoon, and I regret so much to not have written who was the artist, because now I forgot, I couldn’t get any of the pieces but the cassette of Baxxter & Burrs, that, btw, the cover is a picture by me, so it was kind of funny for the guy who charged me for my winning item, he said “Are you buying a piece by you?”, haha, it seemed like I was doing that, but we shouldn’t judge the content for its cover.
Getting ready for the fursuit parade, I was waiting for the elevator, when it opened, I got a surprise Mausie pounce who was inside that evelator, he carried me, making me live a very nice moment. I could see how many people were taking photos and even video about that moment (footages that I haven’t seen yet, even if I offered a reward for getting them).
I arrived to the parade at the same moment than Mausie, it seemed that they were waiting for him to take the group picture, so I was lucky to be following him. As soon as they took the picture, the parade started, it was an outdoor parade around the streets of Malmö, there was a weird path we had to cross, next to a river, the floor was wet and muddy, nobody was seeing the parade from there, so we were just a long line of fursuiters walking it just because, I think they have to plan better where is gonna be the path of the parade for next year. Later, I knew some fursuiters preferred to not cross it, just skipping that part and joining the parade at some other further point, I should have done that.
After the parade, we were hundreds of fursuiters playing outside the hotel, many families with kids were taking pictures with us, or even playing with us, there was a moment I was walking, and suddenly Mausie and Iris made me “sandwich”, I finally got pictures of that moment, yay!
An event that I didn’t want to miss at all was the Baxxter & Burr concert, it was their very first time performing in live, how I could miss that moment? I think I’m one of the very few fans of that band in this world. I could have fangirl scream when they started the concert with “Go NFC Go”, the first song I was so obsessed with by them, but nobody was even singing, I’m not sure if I was really the only one who was singing all their songs (except the new ones, of course, because I don’t know them yet, I listened them for first time there in live). The closed with their classic “Cheese Party”, the only song I could hear the audience was singing.
If you don’t know this band and want to listen them, check them out on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6gGu4hZZScVqQq5l8yCLeK?si=DaiX-IMmQdi9Qw_G9IRKMw or support them on Bandcamp: https://infoxication.bandcamp.com/
I wanted to attend the event Cats in Boxes, I remember watching that event on Youtube before I attenden NFC, when that convention was only a dream for me, but… for second consecutive year, I couldn’t attend it, not in fursuit, but I was there, they moved it forward, I was contemplating to be in fursuit again at 8pm, but they moved it at 6pm, and I knew only because I was walking through and I saw they were about to start. Imagine a big shenanigans of cats playing (and then destroying) a bunch of boxes. I’m not 100% a cat, but I always have my justification that why I could fit among felines, panda in Chinese is Xiong Mao, that means Bear Cat.
Taco Friday!! Something that I haven’t mentioned about NordicFuzzCon is that they had a special restaurant on the second floor of the hotel, where they served a daily buffet specialized in a specific cuisine, and more nights you attended it, more discount you received on your next visit. And for being a buffet, it was very affordable. Well, that Friday was going to be a Taco buffet. That was something I didn’t want to miss. Even if I’m Mexican, it is always interesting for me how other countries interprets Mexican food.
It was not 100% authentic (and honestly, I was not looking for something completely authentic, that’s always the interesting part), but it was very tasty. Big flour tortillas, chicken fajitas, guacamole, red salsa, pico de gallo, onion, nachos, everything was very delicious. But the funny part was looking how people were trying to prepare their tacos. For me, it is more than obvious how a taco is and that you can fill your tortilla with anything you want, but it was not that logic for all the people, I could see how people were serving the fajitas as a dish, putting their tortillas in pieces, so they were creating like a salad; or some people who filled their tortilla with chicken, wrap it, but over the wrapped tortilla they were adding the guacamole, cream, and salsa; or even I saw they were using the tortilla like a casserole, or even creating a lasagna with tortillas. It was funny and interesting seeing all that, of course I didn’t want to correct anyone, that is completely cultural, but there was a guy who decided to ask me “Paco, what am I supposed to do with the bread?” I have no idea what he was referring with bread, I tried to look around and spotted there was bread in one of the tables, and told him “No, well, the bread is for something else, I guess”, and he said “No, I mean, with the flat bread”. It is the first time in my life I hear someone call bread to tortillas, I would have never even related that a tortilla is something similar than a bread.
I met another artist at the restaurant, Dakka, and I invited him to join our art jams, he showed up and I could make an art trade with him. Something very cool I tried with Karpour during that art jam, was sketching something, and the other was was going to ink it. The result was very interesting, because both drawings were like a perfect fusion between both styles of Karpour and mine: https://twitter.com/karpour/status/1230953439557029888?s=20
I could make several art trades before going back to my room to convert myself in a panda again.
While I was fursuiting I met Steel, a red panda with lot of energy, who seems to enjoy performing a lot, he was with all his gang and I joined them for a congo line. Then I went to the inflatable meet & greet, where the owners were extremely strict of how to care their toys, I don’t blame them, I also own some of those toys and I know they are very expensive, I also take care a lot of them, but as soon as Baseball, Yotie and Tabbie shown up, the owners were watching us like if we were going to pop their toys at any moment, it stopped being fun when they yelled at us for not being serious among the toys, and we decided to leave the place, it was a shame because I really love playing with inflatable toys, I know very well how to take care of them, one of those panels is not precisely an exhibition of toys, if that were the case, I’d prefer to see them in pictures on internet. I don’t know how the owners of those toys would react if their toys were in the inflatable panel at TFF, when lots of kids show up and play with those toys like if they were in a playground, throwing them, jumping on them, using them as weapons… I remember watching horrified how bad all those kids were playing with the inflatable toys at TFF 2019, and how the owners were doing nothing.
A very nice moment of that evening was when we found Brok the badger, mascot of Confuzzled, wandering around the convention. We were with Tabbie, and I had no idea he was the creator of that mascot, and that he had never seen Brok in person until that moment.
Another highlight of that evening was joining Brainfreeze and Eddie for a Mausie hunt, it was Brainfreeze with a GoPro camera filming his quest. We didn’t find Mausie that evening, sadly, and I tried to show Brainfreeze that Grandma’s living room I had found that first day in the convention center, surprisingly I couldn’t find it again, even when I was very sure it was in that spot I was looking for. Funny thing is that I found it back when the convention was over, so my theory is that is a place you can’t find if you are looking for it, if you are not looking for it, it will show up.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Second day of Artist Alley, and Pico, that cute dragon, visits me, we took some pictures of him in front of my table, wearing the team badges, each one on their respective place. Maws Team on his mouth, Tails team on his tail, Paws team on his paw, Tummies team on his tummy.
That day I received too many gifts, especially candies and chocolates (Thank you!).
When I was unpacking, Steel, that mischievous red panda from the other day, visited me and took my suitcase away, there’s a video about it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/anbqn9cgzwkglas/IMG_6904.MP4?dl=0
After the artist alley, I wanted to go outside to eat something, oh yes, that is always my problem when I’m at the artist alley, when I’m done of the day, all my friends already had dinner, it is very difficult to search for someone to eat with when the day on the alley is over, so I always end up eating alone, haha I sound very dramatic, nah, it is okay. But the funny part of that day is that I wanted to go outside, and people have warned that we shouldn’t go outside that day because it was windy. They needed to exaggerate with an even greater adjective about how windy was that day, it was like a hurricane was happening outside, it was impossible to even walk the streets. So I ended up eating, again, at the buffet restaurant, when I found Paco Wolf, my namesake from Germany, who I have been saying hi many times during the con, but it was the first time I could talk with him.
That night, refusing to go to sleep, even if it was late and I was getting sleepy, I found my group of friends playing the game Fake Artist Goes to New York, which I found terribly fun, and when I was in a Target, back to USA, I found it and bought it, because I want to play it with the group of artists in Guadalajara, I know they will find it fun as well.
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Why NordicFuzzCon is getting over, noooooo!!!!
Why can’t it be like the rest of conventions that Sunday is still a complete day that it doesn’t get over until very late? Oh wait, because the rest of conventions doesn’t start on Tuesday.
Closing ceremonies were at 1pm, I didn’t mention this but main stage was huge, a double decker auditorium and the illumination was just amazing, for closing I got to be in the second floor. Of course I didn’t want to miss the closing ceremonies, Trax had told me that I was going to love the theme for next year. It was revealed, and yeah, indeed I love it, it is Toy Town. It will be like getting back those ages of Toys R Us, with that big and incredible toy store in Time Square that sadly doesn’t exist anymore.
I could see how Brainfreeze had his dose of Mausie, when he noticed him and he even recorded him during the ceremonies.
After ceremonies, I got to have some lasts art trades, with Yamavu and the adorable ArtWah. And it was time to get ready for Doodle for Charity, participating there for second time at NFC, and my 6th time participating in general. Before getting in my table for the doodles, I could see Baseball doodling, so I requested him a picture. He had already drawn my panda like 5 times, so this time I wanted to have a Mausie drawn by him, I gave 100 Swedish kronas and he drew me a very lovely Mausie in a cheese. Behind me was Brainfreeze, he was complaining that he wanted some doodles but he was in fursuit and with no money, so I gave him 100 kronas so he could spend in any artist, he chose Baseball, and he drew a Brainfreeze with a Mausie in his mouth. Too many Mausie requests and suddenly, we had a real Mausie just behind us, we showed him the pieces we had just gotten by Baseball. I was not sure if he was okay with giving him the drawing so he could keep it, as I’ve done with the Disney characters at Disney World, because he has very big and clumsy hands, and I’m sure he was going to keep wandering around his convention and playing with other fursuiters to be taking care of a piece of paper with him, so I just took a picture of him with it, and also took many pictures of him with Brainfreeze, I could notice how that colorful shepherd was very happy for that experience with him, he also loves Mausie a lot. Thanks, Mausie, for making us very happy, there’s a lot of magic on you.
I transformed myself in a panda, took my big pencil, and went down back to the charity booth to start doodling and saving kitties!!
It was so much fun, I had a line of people waiting for their turn for me to drawing them, but next to me was Pointed Fox, guest of honor of this year. He was very concentrated doing his doodles, but I was joking with the people I was drawing, talking with them, commenting my drawings, and even joking with Pointed Fox, he seemed to ignore me but I could see it was because he was very concentrated, he was really putting a lot of effort on each one of his doodles. The time of Pointed Fox was over, he stands up, so I did the same to hug him and say bye, and when I did that, he noticed me “Oh, Paco, you were here!”. So he was not even paying attention of all the stupid things I was saying, hehe. When he’s focused, he’s really focused! Also, I had no idea he knew about me blushes. Senpai noticed me.
Next one to sit next to me was Keke Flipnote, so both of NFC Guest of honor were sitting next to me while I was doing stupid doodles for 100 kronas (helping kitties), at least he was paying more attention to all the silly things I was saying, but he was also kind of nervous for doing doodles.
My time on the charity booth was over, I was also very tired, being drawing with a big pencil is exhausting, especially on the wrist, but I remained in fursuit, playing with some fursuiters. There was one whom I was saying many stupid things and playing with him, but he just wanted a hug, so I hugged him, and while I was hugging him, I kept talking with him, don’t remember what I was telling him, but surely were not wise things, he was acting very happily because he got a hug by me, and I kept saying things, I read his badge “Werefox” and behind his name he was wearing another badge which said “Deaf”. Oh! So he was not even noticing I was talking with him, I was wearing my fursuit head so not even a chance he could read my lips. I found him again in the fursuit lounge, both of use were headless (animal headless, of course), and he wrote me a note that said “I’m deaf, thank you for the hug” he kept writing were he wrote me “I wanted a drawing by you”, well, don’t remember how exactly it was his phrase, but he was telling me he missed the chance to get a drawing by me, so I took his pen and made a quick doodle of me hugging him. I could notice a smile in his face when he saw the drawing. It was not a good drawing, honestly, wish I could do better doodles, I see artists who can make really cool drawings in just few lines, I’m not one of them, but I’m glad I could paint a smile, at least that’s something that my very only silly talent can do.
Oh yes, I remained in fursuit, I went out, after that moment in the fursuit lounge with Werefox, and I found Vin Fox, both of us were playing with the sad red panda Shade. The personality of that panda is being sad and slow, so Vin and I wanted to cheer him up, we wanted to dance with him, and Vin found that he could move the Shade’s arms like if he were a puppet, we danced La Macarena, Baby Shark, and the Chicken song with him.
If I could turn back in time, or at least talk with the Me from the past, I would come back to that time and tell myself “Hey, Paco, you’re forgetting your big pencil in the fursuit lounge!”. It was the very last day, so the Lost and Found of the con didn’t exist anymore. I realized I had forgotten it when I was with Werefox in the fursuit lounge, because that was the last time I remember having it, and when I was playing with Vin and Shade, I didn’t have it anymore. Boo, I liked that pencil so much, I will buy another one, but I had very good memories with that specific one.
It was like I had done too many things that day, but that was not the end of the day, when I was out of suit, we went to Karpour and Henrieke’s room to play Jackbox Party, it was so much fun, even if I’m not very creative in those games, I always have a good time playing them. At many games, Henrieke was not playing, she was preferring to draw, and when she revealed what she was drawing, it was a really awesome surprise, she was drawing the fursonas of each one in the room by memory, every single one was so beautiful, and it was so funny that we wanted to take a picture of her sketchbook, but we thought that at the same time, and suddenly we were like paparazzis taking pictures to her sketchbook.
Then we went downstairs to the lobby once again, we were supposed to play more board games but we ended up doing more art trades, I think we are kind of addicted to it, I can’t complain, and even less if it is Karpour who wants to make one more art trade with me. He did something so beautiful that I almost cried, and even more because after the drawing he was telling me many nice compliments, something that I never know how to respond, but plus…imagine that someone who you have admired for many years, that you thought was unreachable, suddenly becomes your friend and he’s telling you nice things, things that are exactly what you’ve always thought about him. Oh shush Paco, you know that he’s gonna read this journal, he always does >///<
Monday, February 24, 2020
That morning, before going to sleep, I had to organize all my luggage. When I woke up, I tried to do it as earliest as possible, because I didn’t want to miss the free breakfast of the hotel, so I barely slept few hours. And the premium breakfast went back, because I remember only the morning of Tuesday we had a table with premium cheeses and salmon, something that disappeared every breakfast during the convention. Something that I love and I always miss from European hotels is that they include breakfast, and not any shitty breakfast, they are extremely good.
It was the time to say goodbye to my friends, of course I cried a little bit, I couldn’t help it. When I was completely alone in the hotel, I went out to make some shopping, I love those cheeses in tubes that Swedish markets sell, and I also bought some of those disgusting candies (salt liquorice candies, chocolate filled with black liquorice, and gummy bears with liquorice), all of them are for pranks, more because I like them. Actually it was Shorty who asked me that why I had bought those candies if he knew I don’t like them, hehe, those are not for me, are for my local friends. It is always nice when somebody who traveled to a specific part of the world if you want to try their candies and chocolates, anyone say yes, but almost anyone knows how crazy taste Nordic people have.
I also explored the city by my own, walking around streets I hadn’t walked yet. Malmö is very beautiful, every corner I was walking it was amazing, people is very friendly, and I’m glad everyone speaks English and are very helpful if there’s something you don’t understand.
That night, I was completely torn in two of where I was going to sleep. Originally I had booked my room of that last night with Boltee, who was very excited to see me and he had even prepared my bed with balloons. But Shorty had managed the rooms so I could remain in the same one, so I didn’t have to move all my stuff. So I visited Boltee at night, I was with him while it was time to sleep, I slept in that room for plenty of hours, and 2 hours before departing, I went to my original room where all my luggage was storage, and I slept 1 more hour.
This was getting over. I’m feeling sad again writing this. What I can tell you is that NordicFuzzCon is the best furry convention in the world.
If you want to see the pictures I took during NordicFuzzCon:
BACK TO AMERICA
Tuesday, February 25,2020
Waking up, I picked my stuff up, and heading very early morning to the train station, which is a very short walking from the hotel. And some minutes later, I was back to Copenhagen’s airport, going to New York City, traveling back in time.
During the flight, I was having a terrible PCD, and I was checking all my pictures on my phone, realizing that I had taken way so many, as much as during my first furry convention. So I wanted to draw the guys I was hanging out at this last NordicFuzzCon. Usually I don’t like doing that, because I know I will miss drawing people and they may feel bad, but I had already started, and I wanted to draw as many as possible during the entire flight, pausing when they served food and coffee, because of course, I never say no to food.
Arriving to United States, crossing customs was even easier than the last time, they just asked me where I was coming from, I said Sweden, and the officer immediately stamped my passport and let me in. But now I had to wait, again, at the JFK airport because my friend whom I was staying in his department in Brooklyn, noirex, was not at home yet, so I waited there until it was time to order an Uber. But I failed horribly, setting the address of his old house, currently his parents’ house, good thing is the driver allowed me to remain in the same ride, before he ended the service, and he could take me to his current address. It was so stupid from me, because even I had told Yoshi a comment about his street, that reminded it me a song by Yellowcard, and not even with that comment I could notice that the first address had something wrong. I can’t imagine going to that other house, knocking the door, and telling them “Hey, I’m Paco, I’m a furry friend of your son”.
Yoshi was an excellent host, he took me to the laundry, prepared me dinner and breakfast, set me a very comfortable inflatable bed, and gave me some gifts from my birthday that happened a month before. Thanks, Yoshi!
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Yoshi and I took an Uber from his place to La Guardia Airport, it was my first time traveling with Southwest Airline, so I was very confused about how we were supposed to board the plane or where our sit was, so it seems to be first come first serve, and it depends on the group you were selected.
We arrived to Dallas, going directly to the Hyatt, where Texas Furry Fiesta was going to be held. That first day there were few furries around, something weird comparing to NordicFuzzCon when on Wednesday it was already the convention and all the furries were already there. But I could hang out with some furs who I knew, including Suka, who was very nice to give me a very nice badge, which had a NFC chip, so whoever touches my badge with their phone, could access to my Twitter profile, technology is arriving to furry badges.
TEXAS FURRY FIESTA
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Our breakfast plan was simple, we were going to Cindi’s (a breakfast restaurant that is 2 blocks away the hotel), and then going to the supermarket to buy supplies for the convention. But in our way to the exit of the hotel, we found many people we knew, who were wanting to go out for breakfast, and they joined us, we ended up being a long table with lot of people.
Of course we went to the supermarket after it, and in our way back, we could see a leaning tower, and a big crane trying to demolish it, for us, that was weird, we were discussing that if those big buildings were not supposed to be demolished with explosives, and how weird that it was leaned, that could be dangerous. And then, we read on the news: “Failed building demolition creates the 'leaning tower of Dallas'”, and pictures of the exact building we were seeing, haha.
Thursday was not the official day for the convention to be started, yet, but we could pick our badges if we had pre-registered. I was missing a lot to make an art jam, but I know very few artists in America, of course I have artist friends, but most of people I know from USA is engineer, and I had very few friends who are artists that were attending TFF. Fortunately, I found lonewolfpro9, a friend from Alaska, and I could make an art trade with him, his part of the trade was beautiful.
I also found that day my new fursuit crush: Pique, the bunny. I had drawn him some years ago but he finally got his fursuit, and it was incredibly cute, every time I saw him I had to hug him, fortunately he was out very often, and I could take many pictures of him and with him.
Friday, February 28. 2020
We had to wake up very early for signing up for the Artist Alley lottery, this year the place was very packed, so we had to be lucky to get a spot for the day. Yes, Texas Furry Fiesta’s artist alley is by lottery, so we need to be lucky. I was lucky, and I was happy about it because I was planning only to be in the Artist Alley during Friday, and no other day, so I was really wishing to have a spot that day. Sadly, my friend KOIDELCOYOTE didn’t get one, and he was planning to be the three days of the con. Fortunately, he had better luck the day after.
I received some cute visits during my time on the Artist Alley, including Ringo Raccoon, an old friend who always make me very happy to see, and it was funny that this convention, I never saw him a single moment out of suit, he always was a raccoon. At this TFF, he was a sith, wearing a black tunic and a red lightsaber. Oh no! He joined the dark side, they gave him cookies.
TFF have gotten permission of the Reunion Tower to allow fursuits up the tower for 3 years now, and I haven’t gotten the chance to go there, reasons always happened that prevented me to be there, but this time I finally could. I went up in fursuit, I met many other fursuiters up there, like Scuffles, keliff, Ventron, Nesheph, KP… and sorry if I forget someone.
Saturday, February 29. 2020
Yay, February has 29 days this year! So one more day for this year.
It was the Fursuit Parade day, something I always look forward to, I’m not sure if I’m a minority of those who really enjoy fursuit parades, probably not because otherwise not many fursuiters would attend it. This one at TFF was very funny because there was a line for entering to the room for the photo group and lining up, so it was a line for the line, and it was looking like an actual pre-fursuit parade, people were even already taking us pictures.
It happened that I decided to go to the Dance Competition, something that, honestly, I almost never attend, it is always crowded, but I had a little time to waste around the convention so I entered the room, and just when I was taking seat, it was finishing a performance of a dancer, when suddenly, in the microphone someone was saying, repeatedly, the word “Testicles”, I was not getting what exactly was happening, if I was listening wrong, if it was an inside joke on the event that I had missed for getting there late, or if it was part of the performance. But then I noticed that everyone was very confused: the dancer, the judges, JD Pup who was the host, and everyone in the audience. I knew later it was a very weird mistake with the microphones and someone trying to test a microphone somewhere else, and then, that moment turned in a meme of this edition of TFF.
Another fun thing of that Saturday was going to the Inflatable panel, this time we were more than permitted to play with the inflatable toys, as the opposite than the one at NFC.
I don’t remember when exactly happened this, but I remember something very funny with Taebyn, that he was trying to tell about when I was in his panel at Further Confusion, and I gave him a drawing, but he’s so distracted that he was rambling a lot before getting to the point of his story. Uhm, this anecdote doesn’t sound really funny when I write it, but I want to include it on my report so I don’t forget about this.
Sunday, March 1. 2020
Before closing ceremonies, I went with Targus, Koidel, Flurrabell and Dahan to eat on the food trucks.
I was in fursuit for doodles for charity, but before arriving to the tables to start drawing, I found Sunny Dingo, Taebyn, Tiger the Meerkat and Cosmic, such lovely guys.
Also I found Tealeaf, Riff and asyx, as Keto. I just mention this because I’m always happy to see all of them, just their existence makes me happy and I feel so lucky they’re also glad to see me, or at least that’s my impression, hehe.
Closing ceremonies was a blast, I could have the chance to enter on the first batch of people, because Sponsor (I almost never take advantage of the Sponsor benefits, this time I didn’t even took one of the Sponsor ribbons to stick it on my badge). But instead taking a preferential seat, I started playing with the audience, I love this because it reminds me of my very old ages of being a mascot back in high school, also I loved that Taebyn and other fursuiter joined me on that task, and we were kind of dancing (if we can call “dance” to whatever we were doing) and playing together, it was more like a show for the audience for their waiting for closing ceremonies, I was having so much fun that this time I considered it was a very short time of waiting for the ceremonies to start. Awroo, I always save a clean balaclava with me in a pocket in the fursuit, so I can change it if I take so long in fursuit, and I don’t want to keep using a gross wet one, and during closing ceremonies I lost it at some point with my keycard. Fortunately, the hotel helped me with the keycard without ruining the magic, and they even gave me one of the TFF cards again, instead a regular boring one, but I didn’t recover my balaclava, and it was a new one, I had just bought it at that con.
That evening, I didn’t want to sleep early, and I was wanting to do some art jams again, I found Hoodie Fox (or I always knew him as kitsunezero) drawing in a table, and I did an art trade with him. I slept that night around 5 am, and not even going to a party or anything, just drawing, because I’m such a nerd.
Monday, March 2. 2020
The very last day of the trip, I don’t know what to report on this last day, we went to have breakfast again at Cindi’s, and again many guys joined us, I could say goodbye to some folks, and then we took an Uber to the airport. I was not alone this time, Targus was going to be in my same flight and we could have seats together. I arrived to Guadalajara, Roni picked me up at the airport, and just arriving home, I slept for hours, I think I slept for 13 hours, my body was claiming me to recover those non-sleeping hours of the trip.
If you want to see the pictures from Texas Furry Fiesta I took:
Now that I’m back to my regular life, I’ve gotten very obsessed with the new EP album of Baxxter & Burrs and all the new songs of NordicFuzzCon, I can’t stop listening to them, and some of them make me have really good memories of this unforgettable trip.
It’s so surprising for me that every trip I do, I come back with new friends, learning new things, and with many new fresh things in my head. This fandom changed my life for good and I’m so grateful with this big family. Thanks for reading my journal, I know this time was really long, and probably most of people who started reading it, didn’t get to this point (comment mew mew if you did), or didn’t read it complete, but I don’t blame you, it’s not as fun as some other novels. This took 15 pages of Word, it was really like a short novel. Hope you enjoyed reading it as I did writing it.
See you next con!
Joined 28 December 2012