Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Loud Park and Rushed Down by Spam

Throughout the entire week, my cell phone has been bombarded with spam. I don't know why it has been getting so bad as of late. Perhaps its because I typed my email address for my phone to J1n when I gave it to him over regular email and those bastards (whoever they are) were able to pull it from there. In any case, I have been getting about an average of 30-40 spam emails a day. Most of it is like websites sending fake emails by girls who wanna meet up for dates and stuff but sometimes I just get empty emails with no subject! Why even bother sending that at all!?! BLarrgh... Every time I receive an email my phone vibrates. That shit gets annoying as hell.
Also, this weekend is Loud Park weekend. Loud Park is a huge rock/metal festival with multiple stages and bands playing all weekend. I missed out on it last year cuz I didn’t know about it at the time. I was considering going this year but tickets are kinda pricey and to be honest, there weren't really many bands I wanted to see. Most of them on there I either didn’t care for much wasn't familiar with. The only one I wanted to see bad was Sonata Arctica but since they probably wouldn’t be playing a very long set, 14500 yen seemed a bit too steep for my wallet. By sometime during the middle of the week, tickets were sold out anyway so I didn’t have much of a choice regardless.
Anyway, I had to work late this weekend to monitor the students who were taking an English proficiency test. I didn’t end up getting to Tokyo until 10 pm. On the way there, Matt sent me a mail saying he would be there when I arrived, but he was no where to be found and wasn’t replying to emails. There was a good amount of people still there playing, among them was Natsume who was playing HOS this time. I started off by playing against an ABA player and winning and then Mekemeke showed up. I played 2 games against him and lost. All of a sudden, Shouji showed up! He said hi to me and we started talking. I asked him if he has been playing lately and he says hes been kinda busy with work and that actually hes been mostly playing Guilty Gear 2 Overture on Xbox live! I didn’t really know many people got into this game but he says hes been pretty hardcore into it and that his interest in AC has been dwindling as of late. Hes excited about BlazBlue though. He sat down and started playing, starting off with Eddie and Po and losing. Once he switched to Testament he was winning a lot. During the time he was playing people, Rod (Honnou) and Nick arrived. Rod and I proceeded to take turns trying to take down Mekemeke’s Testament. We both tried 4 times each and lost. Then I decided to go have a shot at Shouji. I came within a pixel of beating him but lost. Then I decided to try again against Mekemeke and this time I took him down! Shouji gave me a thumbs up from the cabinet next to me. After that, Rod played against me and I won again, then Mekemeke came at me again with his Testament and I managed to beat him a 2nd time! I then beat Rod 2 more times and then Mekemeke finally came back for some more but took me down. I then decided to take another crack at Shouji and this time I beat him 3 rounds straight without losing. He played me again and I beat him a 2nd time. After that, it was already starting to get late. I beat some random Jam and some random Ky and then Rod and Nick wanted to head out to Current so I just left without losing. I asked Mekemeke if he wanted to come, but he said he had to go home early tonight since he had stuff to do tomorrow.
Upon arriving at Current, they had a brand new glass window on the front door. I entered and right away, Monty was standing near the door with these 2 dudes. He introduced me to them and told them I was a game tester (I guess he got confused with the fact that I play in tournaments). After introducing me he told me they were 2 of the members of the death metal band Obituary. I used to listen to some Obituary back in the day when I was much younger but lately they arnt exactly a band I listen to often, but I guess it was still cool to meet them. In addition to the guys from Obituary, there were a ton of other foreigners at Current, and among them were 3 of the members of the band Carcass. I know one was the singer, and one was also the drummer, and he also drums for Arch Enemy. Carcass is another band I don’t really listen to but I like Arch Enemy and ive even seen them live once back in Chicago. However, just like any other time a bunch of bands show up at Current, I don’t go out of my way to talk to them unless I have a reason to. I went up to the bar to get a drink and Mogi was pouring a round of vodka shots on the house for the drummer of Carcass and some of the people he was with. The drummer was like, get this guy a shot too, and so they poured me one as well. Sweet. I chased it with some beer and made the rounds saying hi to a few people. Most of the other people there were roadies traveling with the bands and a few regulars were there. Rod and Nick actually left pretty shortly after we got there since they couldn’t stay out all night and had to catch the train before the stopped running. There was still no sign of Matt. Kentaro had mailed me on the train while I was on my way to Tokyo asking if I would be coming tonight to drink. I told him id show up around 11 but due to playing Gear a bit longer I think I got there around 11:30. I sat with him and a friend of his for a bit and we drank a lot. Kentaro was telling me that he was working staff on Loud Park and would be starting at 7 am and would be working up until about 9 pm! In addition to that, he had been at Current since 7 pm tonight and was already pretty wasted. He said he had no plans to sleep tonight, and would stay at Current until 5 am and then head to Loud Park and start working at 7! Fuckin nuts! Dude is hardcore! He kept complaining about how Matt wasnt there cuz he wanted some snus and thought Matt had some (but he didnt). Eventually Monty and some of the band dudes left and I spent most of the rest of the night talking with Kentaro and Megu. I went to sleep at the manga kissa after Current closed.
That night I woke up to my cellphone getting spam mails about 10 times. There was nothing I could do about it since when I sleep at the manga kissa I rely on my cellphone alarm to wake me up. I didnt feel all that well rested but, there wasnt much else I could do about it. Tough shit for me.
After waking up I just headed right to Vegas. There was really no one playing Gear but a few people were playing SFIV. I had a dream during the night that I was playing SFIV and that I was getting a ton of wins for whatever reason. I havnt played the game much as of late but last time I played it was kinda ugly. I decided not to use my card because my record was already shitty and I wanted to wait until I learned the game more. Well it turns out I SHOULD have used the card because somehow I got a 9 win streak with my Blanka, and then people stopped playing for a bit and I lost to boss Seth LOL. Then I played again and got 3 more wins (and this time I used my card). After that, I was talking for a little while with the Pink Axl Player (PAP) who works at Vegas. He was still working at the time. We talked about various things. He said they will be getting one BlazBlue cap at Vegas at first and then will shortly after get more, just like they did with SFIV. I also asked him if he was going to go to the Akihabara 2 on 2 tournament tomorrow. He said he wasnt sure but that if he did show up he wanted to team up with me.
I got a mail from Matt saying he had the worst night ever and wanted to meet up for some food. I was hungry so we met up at Wendys near Shinjuku station. Matt basically told me that he went to an Izakaya with some people from his school and remembers drinking tons of sake bombs (sake mixed with beer.... WTF!) from like 9 to 11 pm, and after that all he remembers for the rest of the entire night was possibly throwing up in the Izakaya and eventually hailing a cab around 4 am. He woke up with some vomit on his clothes and almost no recollection of the night before. LOL!
After eating Wendys we stopped at the nearby cigar shop and I got myself another Cuban to bust out later at Current. After that, we pretty much just went back to Vegas to play there for almost the entire day. There was a tournament listed in the back of Arcadia somewhere in Saitama near Kumagaya station (which is about halfway between Shinjuku and where I live in Gunma, so about 1.5 hour trip). We investigated and eventually Mekemeke (who was at Vegas again) told us that he never goes to that arcade unless he drives because its extremely far from the station. He also said it probly wouldnt be very big and there were a lot of big names at Vegas so we opted to just forget about it and focus on going to the Akihabara 2 on 2 that would be taking place the next day on Sunday. It was more or less justa regular day of casuals at Vegas. I got a 17 win streak at one point. Mekemeke and Inoue (using Eddie) were battling it out back and forth for a while. At some point after that, Mekemeke also got a 17 win streak and I ended it. I also went to go play some SFIV and I got matched up against HH's Blanka (HH mains Blanka in SFIV). We played a Blanka mirror match and somehow... I won! HH has been playing this game way more than me so I have no idea how the hell I won but I did hah. After that he just went back to playing GG.
After a few more casuals, Matt and I decided to get some food. Theres actually a Mexican resturaunt right across the hall from Current. Ive always known it was there, but for whatever reason I never bothered to try eating there, it just never crossed my mind, since every time I go to Current im already usually full, and all thats on my mind is getting drunk! For once, we remembered it exists and decided to check it out. The place was sorta cool but at the same time it was really messy. They had a bar and there was just like random shit all over the place. It felt like eating in someones messy ass basement with all their old crap laying around but with tables and music. We were the only customers but eventually other people came in. The prices were a bit steep but the food ended up being good. They had a hot sauce called "Spontaneous Combustion" which I found ammusing.
After eating there we went back to Vegas for a little bit and a few more good players were there like Mugen and En-Slayer. I played against En a few times and came super fucking close to beating him like twice but somehow fucked it up last minute. Also, Inoue was beasting with his Slayer as well and got another huge streak. After a little while, Matt and I decided to go play at Alpha station in Okubo for once just to mix it up since we were at Vegas all day.
After walking for maybe 15 minutes, we arrived at Alpha station. I dont usually ever come here unless theres a tournament, so I wasnt sure what to expect. They still had 4 cabs going and there were a lot of players. None of the comp was all the exceptional. I ended up effortlessly getting 9 wins and then eventually lost to some random Sol who kept spamming stupid shit like grand viper recklessly. I could have easily beat him but we just decided to leave since it was a waste of time to stick around any longer and it was already like 11 pm and we wanted to go to Current.
When we got to Current, there were a fair ammount of people there. Antti and a Finish crew were sitting in the back and motioned for me to come over. They told me they went to Loud Park and that Sonata Arctica was great, but only played for like 45 minutes or something, which is way too short. Im glad I didnt go since the tickets were so much. He said Dragonforce had really bad sound quality and their set wasnt so good. The KISS shirt guy told me that Apocalyptica was pretty amazing though. As usual, when drinking with the Finnish, many pitchers of beer were consumed. Rod showed up wth Nick and some people from his school but Rod and most of them left early because he had plans to climb Mt. Takao the next day. Nick stayed all night.
Within like a half hour to an hour, the place just got rediculously packed. This was probably one of the most packed nights at Current ever. While a lot of regulars were there, tons of people who were at Loud Park whom Ive never seen before were there too. Mostly bands, roadies, and a bunch of random Japanese band fangirls. There was also this girl there who had quite a huge resemblance to my girlfriend Ryoko. Matt pointed it out and I said I was actually thinking the same thing. Their hair was like almost identicle and their faces were pretty similar. Its not so easy to tell from the pictures but you can see for yourself. She spent the night hitting on like every Finnish guy there and eventually left with one of them saying they were gonna get food and they never came back haha. Before that though, The Snus Guy was sitting with us all and made a comment to her that Matt and the Finish guy she was hiting on were virgins (which was a joke). The Snus Guy thought Matt was mad at him (which he wasnt) and ended up buying Matt a bunch of beer. LOL! The Snus Guy is fuckin awsome, hes always hilarious.
While sitting with the Fins I noticed that at the table on the other end, there was a dude who looked very familiar. If you recall from one of my previous entrees, Maiyuko (who wasnt at Current this night) had told me that a guy who works at Geronimo shot bar in Roppongi whom she knows, was the guy they used as the model for Dream Theater's Forsaken video, which is completely animated. I wasnt sure if this was true or not at the time, but this guy looked EXACTLY like the guy in the video. I decided to find out. I went over to him and started talking and it turns out he IS the guy. He says he does know Maiyuko and Chip and that in addition to working at Geronimo, he works for a production studio. They just ended up using him for the model but he actually has never met Dream Theater personally (though he is a fan of the band). He had a friend there with him to and it turns out that I actually met his friend before. He was one of the random foreigners that went to Current after the Dream Theater concert I was at who I was talking to for a bit, so it was cool to see him again.
Among the bands, there, once again Obituary and Carcass guys came. Also, some of the band members from Slipknot showed up, and with them was Monty, and a big huge bouncer guy. They sorta just outright jacked the table that the Forsaken dude and his party was sitting at. The guys girlfriend didnt seem very pleased. I dont know much at all about Slipknot since I never cared for their music all that much, but this one dude, I think his nickname is Seven or something, was taking arm wrestling challenges. A few people, including Monty, arm wrestled him and he just destroyed everyone, slamming their arms all hard down on the table. Then he like stood up and started yelling all alpha male-ish like "whatsup now mothafucka" kinda thing. I think he was just joking mostly but it was still pretty fucking hilarious! I suggested to him to arm wrestle the bouncer but he didnt seem to want to haha. I took a few pictures and the bouncer dude was signaling me like, thats a no-no. I went up to him and was like, "sorry dude, im not trying to be a dick, I just always take pictures here cuz this place is like my home and shit." He was like, thats cool, no problem dude. The dude Seven also had this Japanese chick sitting next to him. She had an eye patch but was pretty hot. According to Monty, this chick just follows him around everywhere around the world and hes hit that shit so many times hes bored of it. She has SEVEN tatooed across her back lol.
Eventually after Current started to clear out a bit towards the end and eventually closed, Matt, Chris (SPG) and me went to PSY. I felt absoloutly fine on the way there, but for whatever reason, as soon as we got there I ordered a beer, took 2 sips, and woke up about an hour later. Matt told me I just passed out on the bar with the beer in my hand and I spilled it and the glass broke or something LOL! I had no memory of this at all. We were the only ones in the bar, except for the bartender, who didnt seem the least bit upset. I dont know what it is, but something about the environment in PSY just makes me sleepy I guess. I think I threw up in the toilet at some point too... which is an EXTREMELY rare occurance (I think ive thrown up all of maybe 3 times total the entire time ive been in Japan). After that, I just headed back to Matts to sleep.
We woke up to the sound of some political election vehicle passing by with a megaphone, shouting a bunch of election shit. Not as annoying as my cellphone though. This time I was able to turn it off and surprisingly I only got 2 spam mails during the night. I still got a shit load throughout the rest of the day though. After showering and getting some Indian food, we headed right to Akihabara for today's big 2 on 2 tournament! It was semi packed at first but filled up quick! This tournament was one of the larger ones ive been to in a while and tons of big names were there. Among the players in attendance were.... FAB, Bleed (playing SOL!), Mugen, Masutani, Natsume, Hase, Kishya, Karun, Keba, Taku, KO1, MK, En-Slayer, Minami-Chipp, and Ogawa was there too but he just watched. PAP never showed up so I just teamed up with Matt. Before the tournament started, I beat a few people in casuals and had a small streak and then eventually lost to some pink May player. After that, Matt signed us up under the team name "No May Please" LOL! Perfect name. Luckily the tournament organizers took our name into account because we were not matched up to fight any Mays. As they were calling off the names of the entrants to take attendance and pay the 100 yen entree fee, they called my name and were like "Elvenshadow-san, hisashiburi desu" which basically means long time no see. Another thing I found hilarious is they called off Osaka B, but for some reason he wasnt there.
Our first match was against a team of Slayer and Axl. I dont know who they are but the Slayer had the handle Pekekiyau and the Axl was called Pekaru. We did RPS and lost so they chose their side. We put Matt first and he went against their Slayer. He won the first round and was kicking ass and then lost the next 2 in close games. After that I had to fight the Axl (the format of this tournament was each player on each team fights a different person and then the remaining person fights the other guy rather than the traditional format, this way everyone is ensured a chance to play which is kinda cool). In any case, I beat Axl up pretty good and I could hear Ogawa and some people making lots of noise from the other side of the cab. I then proceeded to fight Slayer. I won the first round well. 2nd round he got an early lead on me as I jumped back and got caught by a combo right off and just got fucked in the corner. 3rd round I was doing really well and then he hit me with a gold burst. However, I just played very careful and kept him at bay and killed him with a sneaky air HS ftw. After that, we had to fight team "Osaka B" which was Johnny and Chipp (so obviously Osaka B was not on the team which I found puzzling). I won RPS and chose our side. Matt went first against the Johnny player (who turned out to be MK). Just like against Slayer, Matt had a great showing and beasted on round 1, but then lost in 2 close ones for rounds 2 and 3. I went next against the Chipp player. I didnt realize it until after the tournament but the Chipp was actually Minami-Chipp! The first round I dominated him with jumping HS, I was zoning the hell out of all the space in the air and he kept getting hit by it. The 2nd round he was like one hit away from beating him but he came back on me and pulled a win out of his ass. The 3rd round wasnt so bad but I lost, he mostly just stayed on me really hard. It really sucks because I was so close and I was confident I could have beaten MK. I have no idea why they would name their team "Osaka B" but I found it pretty hilarious regardless.
After that I just played casuals until the tournament ended. The winners ended up being Mugen (Bridget) and Taku (Slayer). After that, I spent the entire rest of the time fighting against (who I am pretty sure was) Kishya in a long set of Faust mirror matches. We went back and forth but in the end I am pretty sure we were dead even! I was up by one and he won the last game and then I had to leave because the last train was coming soon. He has a really good Faust and knows the mirror match well. I went over to him and told him good games but I had to go and we shook hands.
After that, Matt and I headed out to McDonalds so I could get some food to eat on the way home real fast. I didnt wanna go there but theres not much else in Akihabara. They have that new potato bacon pie thing on the menu. I ordered 2 of those and a burger but then the guy said it would be like a 6 minute wait on the pies and I was cutting it real short before my last train was gonna leave, so I just changed the order to 4 burgers (which I wasnt very excited about eating). Matt stayed and got a pie and I headed out. When I got on the train I got an email from him on my phone saying "the pie sucks". I guess I didnt miss much. Too bad the burgers sucked too. Wendys for life. I slept mostly the entire way home and thats about it.
As of now, the cellphone spam has been still hitting me hard but it seems to be slowing down a bit. I could just change my email but thats such a fuckin pain in the ass. Next weekend theres some sorta GG tournament going on somewhere. I forgot where but I most likely will be going to it. Theres also a party hard event at Current. Should be good times as always.

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