Monday, October 6, 2008

Um... What?!... TENNIS?! (and Invasion of the Testaments!)

I checked the tournament schedule and there were unfortunately no tournaments scheduled for the weekend. I woke up on Friday morning with a cold but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying me weekend. I made it out to Tokyo at the usual time, but this time, instead of going right to the arcade, I went to Matt’s apartment. I brought my bass guitar and amp with me since we were planning to do some jamming this weekend, but I didn’t wanna lug it around all night so I wanted to drop it off at his place before heading out. After meeting up and dropping it off at his place in Nakano, we went to Vegas for casuals. A good amount of players were there. Among them were HH and JT who were playing against eachother over and over for what seemed to have been a long time. HH was actually getting somewhat upset and would occasionally pound on the machine when he lost… a rare occurance. I played against various people and wasn’t really watching the results in total, but eventually JT left and I found myself facing HH’s Dizzy. I beat him fairly well and after going to play some SF4 and coming back to the GG cabs, HH threw his Ky at me. I beat his Ky 3 rounds straight and after that he just got up and left the arcade and never came back. I was beating most other people pretty much, but there was this one default color Testament player there and he was really good. We were going back and forth but he was certainly a huge challenge. The hot female Sol player was there with her boyfriend who is a Jam player but I didn’t get around to playing against either of em. Once it got late we left for Current.
On the way there, Matt and I met up with Kentaro and we got some food at Sukiya. Kentaro was telling us that Monty was there earlier but he had already left because he had some stuff to do in morning. However, I was informed that he once again had a bathroom quicky with the same girl (MFS), but she had already left as well. Matt and I decided that since I had a cold, it might not be fair for us to having a drinking contest tonight, so we opted to save it for another weekend and just drink at our own leisure.
When we arrived at Current, there was a good usual amount of people there for a Friday. Mogi, Masami, and Sushi were all there working. Megu and Mai showed up. Sitting at the bar was Heidi and next to her was her friend from Norway, Anna. After sitting with Kentaro and Matt at a table in the back for a bit (and Honnou randomly showing up and leaving within like a 30 minute timeframe cuz he said he had shit to do tomorrow), we eventually moved to the bar and I found myself sitting next to Anna and Heidi. I talked with her for a bit. She was showing me her tattoos and stuff and telling me how she just got to Japan the previous day. At some point later on, Masami also passed out on the bar and people put all sorts a shit like coasters, menus, and ashtrays all over his back lol! Also somewhere in there, Piko showed up and he was telling us about some sorta music show he was doing next weekend so Matt and I decided we would check it out and bought a ticket from him for 2000 yen each, which is cheap. Looks like we will be hitting that up next weekend. At some point in there, I got an email from Maiyuko on my phone. She was asking if I was in Tokyo for the weekend. I replied saying that I would be around till Sunday night. The rest of us stayed till 5, continuing to get plastered.
Once the bar closed, Matt and I headed to PSY to continue the drunkenness until 6 pm where I pretty much don’t remember anything at all, but I guess some of the girls that often go to Zin were there among some other random people. I ended up falling asleep at some point. After that I went back with Matt to Nakano to crash on his floor since sleeping somewhere for free and being able to take a shower is good.
Matt had told me that the next day, he had plans to have lunch with this girl he has known and had a crush on for a long time from his school here in Japan. However, he said it would still be ok for me to crash there and that I could just wake up and leave and lock the door behind me when I left and then we would meet up later. I woke up at around 1 pm to find that Matt had left and I was alone. When I checked my phone to see what time it was, I noticed that the mail I made to send to Maiyoko, for whatever reason, never got sent. So I sent it again and then was planning to go back to sleep for maybe another hour as I was still tired. However, minutes after I sent the mail, I received a reply from Maiyuko which woke me up again. She said she wanted to meet up today and said she had plans to go to a Tennis tournament called the AIG open. Thats right.... Tennis... Im as surprised as you are. What's more surprising is I actually agreed to go! If you remember last time I saw Maiyuko, we talked about her plans to get married soon and I never quite finished the conversation with her so I kinda wanted to talk with her anyway. I didnt really have any plans for the day other than just random casuals and stuff. I was a bit tired and wanted to sleep a little more, but she said she wanted to get there at 2. She said otherwise if I dont go, she will go alone and it would be kinda boring. I figured... alright fuck it, ill just drink some caffiene and ill be alright. I told her give me a little time to shower and get dressed and id meet her at Shinjuku station and we could go together from there.

It ended up taking me a while to get ready and finally get there since I ran into a few delays but in the end I met her at the station. Turns out that the tennis tournament would be taking place in an arena which is in the Ariake/Odaiba area and the building is actually right across the street from Differ (the SBO venue). When we got there, there was a different tennis match going on and they wouldnt let us in until the next one started so we decided to get some food. They had various little stands with overpriced food. In the end we decided to get some tacos and nachos (yes they actually had these!). However, the tacos and nachos ended up being really crappy Japanese version of them. Like... who the FUCK puts MAYONAISE on a TACO?! NO TOMATOES? NO ONIONS?! NO SOUR FUCKIN CREAM? fuckin blasphemy I tell you... and at 500 yen each? At least they didnt manage to fuck up the Coronas that we ordered with it. Anyway, Maiyuko noticed that some people were leaving the stadium early since they probably didnt intend to watch the other matches that would be taking place (this event was scheduled to last till 8pm and would span all weekend). So Maiyuko decided to go rush random people down who were leaving and ask them if she could have their tickets so we could get in for free. Unfortunately no one wanted to be cool and give her their tickets even though they didnt need em. However, on the bright side, since we arrived sorta late in the day, the tickets we did eventually end up buying were discounted and were only 2000 yen each which isnt a big deal.

After buying the tickets, on our way into the venue, we took pictures with this random guy in a giant chicken suit and bought some more beers. I dont really know much about tennis but the match we watched was an American guy named Roddick vs some European guy (I think he was Czech) named Berdych. The set lasted maybe a few hours and we proceeded to keep drinking lots of beer the whole time. I got a nice buzz and we were talking and stuff so it wasnt all that bad. Had I been sober, I cant quite say if I would have enjoyed watching tennis but in the end I had fun. In the end, Roddick was kicking ass and had a lead, but then at some point he started getting pissed and throwing his racket and shit, and he started choking and gave up a 5-0 game lead and Berdych came back and stole that shit. Maiyuko was rooting for Roddick so she was dissapointed. After it was over, a bunch of people were crowded in the hallway waiting for the players to come out so they could get shit autographed. We waited around for like 5 minutes and the dudes werent coming. Maiyuko said she didnt really wanna watch the next game and I didnt particularly care to see it either so we just left.
From there we decided to get some food. After walking around in this shopping mall we eventually found this nice all you can eat buffet place that had various good food. They had a seating area outside next to the water and you could see a great view of parts of the Tokyo skyline, ships, and all kinds of other nice stuff. We had a good talk about her wedding plans.
In any case, after we both had 2 big plates of food, we went for dessert and this place had one of those awsome chocolate fountains and various things to cover in chocolate so I hit up some of that. After eating, we headed out. She had only gotten 1 hour of sleep the previous night, so she didnt really feel like going out to Current tonight. We rode the train back together and she was practically falling asleep. When it got to Shinjuku I said goodbye and got off the train.
I met up with Matt and Honnou at Vegas for some casuals. I played various people and mostly won and then Honnou played me a few times and managed to beat me once for the very first time, so props to him. There was this one Testament player there who uses the default color and Honnou told me that he once played against this guy like 50 times in a row until he finally managed to beat him once! At first I thought it was the same guy that was there yesterday but it was a different guy. I tried playing against the guy and we had some close games, but he beat me 7 times in a row until I finally beat him! He was very smart and good at forcing situations to make you trade counter hits with an EXE beast, which of course always means a free badlands loop for Testament. He had good zoning and spacing too. After I finally beat him we were getting ready to head out and we went over to say bye to the Testament player. Just for the hell of it, I asked him if he wanted to come drinking with us. I was expecting him to say no, but surprisingly, he was totally up for coming with! He goes by the name MekeMeke. He told me that he knows who I am, and that I played against him before. I dont remember where or when but im not surprised given how many various people I have played casuals with. He also just randomly out of the blue, congratulated me on winning the EVO tournament! I was surprised since I didnt even know most Japanese people payed attention to EVO and its already been a while since its been over.
Also, while we were walking to Current I asked MekeMeke if he knew anything about the status of this year's DF2 tournament. He said that as far as he knows, there will be no DF2 this year unfortunately. However, he mentioned that G3 is coming up and the qualifiers will be starting in November and it will take place in December. This year I believe it will be a 23 vs 23 with either 4 or 5 teams participating. You choose a prefecture you want to try for and you have to keep playing at that specific arcade. Every qual you go to you earn points, and whichever player for each character at each location has the most points, will be put on the team. This is mostly just a Kanto region thing but the prefectures that have teams for sure are Tokyo (duh), Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama... and there might be one more but I dont remember. In any case I'm looking forward to that.
When we arrived at Current, it was a Metal Event night and as you might expect the place was packed with the usual metal event crowd! Antti and a huge table of various Finnish people were there too. Among them was one of the usual finish crew guys. Hes this big huge friendly dude who always goes nuts when they played Lordi songs LOL! He ALWAYS brings snus, so from here on out he will be refered to as The Snus Guy! In addion, a friend of Honnou's was there. Hes another American who just recently arrived in Japan to study here named Nick. He doesnt play games really, but hes a big metal head and we had lots of good talks about metal, he has really good taste in music. I also talked with MekeMeke a bit and he was having a great time drinking with us. Hes not really into metal, he actually is into Jazz. I told him thats cool since I can dig some Jazz. I asked him what he does and he said he does research work for video games. He said, for example, that he does stuff like test out games like pacman on various speed settings and has to find out which speed is the most enjoyable for players. He said he loves it so thats cool. He also said he has been playing Guilty Gear for 8 fucking years! On top of that, he says that for the entire 8 years, he has ALWAYS been a Testament player! This dude gets tons of respect from me. Sure, he plays a top tier character, but he stuck with his character the entire 8 years despite that in some version of the game, Testament wasnt exactly that great, and hes a really good player.
At one point when I was waiting in line for the bathroom, this super hot chick who was dressed kinda ....provocative... said hi to me and asked if I remembered her. I said I did but I didnt remember her name. Turns out it was Benni, a girl whos been there from time to time before who works at an S&M bar or something like that. She totally changed her hair which is why she looked familiar but I didnt put my finger on who it was. She was with this other Japanese chick and these 2 European guys. One looked like a host, and one looked like some crazy chick with his clothes all hanging off. I swear I thought it was a chick when he walked in haha! She introduced me to the girly lookin dude breifly since he was like standing right there but he didnt seem very friendly lol.
Throughout the night, the Finnish group just kept buying pitcher after pitcher and giving out snus after snus and we all got super fucked up. Matt and I bought a pitcher too. Theres this 35 year old chick who always rolls with the Metal Event crew. I forgot her name, but she was super wasted and Matt was trying to get her to go home with him. I was talking with her for a bit and she was saying how I should start DJing at the metal events too! I said that would be awsome. She brought me outside to where one of the main DJs was chillin and talked to him about it. He said he would be cool with it but that I would have to ask Sushi. So I guess maybe I will do that sometime in the future since Sushi wasnt there that night. As I was sitting outside, the weird girly European dude walked passed us towards the stairs to leave. I asked him if he was leaving but either he didnt hear me or he ignored me cuz he didnt say anything. Shortly after, Benni and the rest of her crew exited and she said goodbye to me.
Matt and I planned to go to PSY again for more late night (early morning) drinking, and Nick, Antti, Elisha, and a few of the Finnish people wanted to come as well. MekeMeke had to get up early so he left and Honnou went home too. I told Masami on our way out that we were going and he said he would meet us there after he was done closing up the bar.
When we all got to PSY it was completely empty, but since we had a pretty big group of people it worked out great since its a really small bar anyway. The dude bar tending is awsome and pretty much just played every single request we had so we just chose the entire setlist of music they played there the entire time we were there pretty much. Masami showed up eventually. One of the very last songs of the night was chosen by the bar tender and it was Megadeth - A Toute Le Monde (original version). Pretty much everyone in the bar was singing along drunkenly (except Matt cuz hes a metal newbie :P) and it was pretty awsome. After it was over it was time to go.
After leaving, we went to McDonalds for some drunken McDonalds breakfast food. When I ordered my food they said it would be a few minutes on my McGriddle so they said to just go upstairs and they would bring it to me. After I ate my hashbrown and Matt long finished his whole meal, I went down there to check out what was up. The guy was like, oh were bringing it to you now, please go upstairs. I go upstairs, Matt and I keep talking... and its like now maybe 15 fucking minutes later and the guy still hasnt come yet. Matt went down to check what was going on and the fuckers completely forgot about me! WTF!? Im never going to that shitty McDonalds again. Thats the same one I felt sick from eating at once. They didnt even apolagize on my way out. Anyway, I stayed at Matt's again.
We woke up and got some Indian food and then decided to go hit up TRF for some Gear. They had 2 AC cabs going and a fair amount of comp was there. I guess this is like the weekend of Testament beastings cuz ANOTHER default color Testament player was there streaking it up. For a while no one could beat him though I kept losing by like a pixel every round. Eventually ANOTHER Testament player showed up and picked the red color. He beat this guy in a close mirror match and then I, in turn, beat him. I was mostly beating everyone else there, losing here and there but getting small win streak every time. When 6:00 rolled around we decided to go back to Matt's to have a little jam session. We pretty much just messed around playing Black Dog by Led Zeppelin and fucked around with a couple other various tunes. Matt seems to be pretty decent at guitar but he was having trouble figuring out how to play this one part for a while. He eventually got it down. We didnt actually have the song with us since Matt has no internet so it was kinda hard for him to hear exactly how it goes. In any case, we will jam again sometime. I left my bass there.
At around a little after 8:00 I headed out to go home. When I got to Akabane to change trains, I missed the train I always take like by 5 seconds as it just started pulling away as it got up the stairs. This meant I had to take a limited express train which costs an extra 900 yen. Kinda sucks but not the end of the world. I eventually made it home just fine.
Next weekend is not only a 3 days weekend, but its TOKYO GAMESHOW weekend! You bet your asses I will be hitting that shit up to try out more BlazBlue among other various awsome shit they will have there. In addition to that, long time US Guilty Gear player Jason Kim (aka kr, J1n, dotq, whateverthefuckelseheusedtocallhimself) will be visiting Japan for a week starting next weekend! We will certainly be having some drunken adventures and epic games!

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