Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rebel 1, ACTION!

I headed right for Vegas on Friday night after arriving in Shinjuku. They now head 4 GGAC cabs instead of 5, but next to them they now also had 2 brand new BlazBlue cabs (the nice ones on the HD wide screens). The price was set at 100 yen for 3/5 rounds. Matt and Rod (Honnou) were already there. Rod was playing some AC and Matt was playing BB. Matt decided he was gonna main Noel and played the game a bit the day before (the first day it was out). There were several people playing but it wasnt like crazy packed and didnt take too long to get a turn in. I decided I was gonna go with Rachel because I liked how she played from when I tried her at SBO on the test version. My first match was vs a Jin player. Lots of people already knew some decent combos and stuff and this particular Jin player (along with many others) liked to abuse this freeze reset gimmick. You can mash out of it but when you arnt used to the game it can fuck you up. The most played characters at Vegas that night were Noel and Jin. Most of the cast wasnt even being used. Basically I played a few games at Vegas and wasnt used to the game at all yet and didnt know what linked into what etc (aside from a few basic bread and butter combos I saw online). Its a bit hard to test stuff out when you are getting rushed down mercilessly and dont know which way to block certain things yet. I got beat up pretty bad on all my matches at Vegas. I wanted to try to just mess around against the computer in arcade mode to just get a feel for shit.

I suggested to Matt that we check out some other places to see where else they have the game and if we can find a place that was less busy. We decided to go check out Mikado real quick since its a 30 second walk from Vegas. Rod opted to stay at Vegas cuz he was still playing GG (and hadnt even tried BB yet) so we told him we would be back. Mikado actually had 2 cabinets for BB as well, to my surprise! I heard rumors a while back that Mikado was going to go out of business soon but I doubt thats the case anymore if they just bought 2 BB boards. They had the game running on regular cabinets and since the game is made for wide screen, it was condensed a bit, so the sprites looked taller and thinner than they are supposed to, but its not that noticable and you get used to it fast. The cabs here were also 100 yen to play but only set for 2/3 rounds. There were people playing there as well and no real chance to play arcade mode. However, at some point, Matt won a match and I was able to play against him for a while. He allowed me to try out a few things real fast and I ended up testing out a few various characters such as Arakune, Litchi, Taokaka, and Jin. I didnt really get to try much out other than feeling how they play slightly and seeing what all their moves and normals are. I decided to just stick with Rachel and focus on learning her, at least until I get a better feel for the game.

After playing there a bit longer, we went back to Vegas. Rod tried the game out for his first time. I think he picked Litchi but didnt really know what he was doing either. I decided I had enough BB for the night and would wait till tomorrow when I could probly sit down in the morning and actually learn some things first. I played some gear and it felt a bit weird going back to it. I played a few people and won but I felt off. Then I lost to some random dude in a close match and Rod wanted to play me. I played him in a game vs his I-no and totally brain farted and lost. After that I got re adjusted to AC and did fine and won several games in a row. It was already late and we were hungry so we decided to get food. As we were leaving we didnt see Matt anywhere so we just headed out. I sent him an email on my phone telling him we were gonna go eat at Sukiya near Current. We got there and started eating and eventually Matt showed up. He said he was playing BB but I guess we missed him somehow. After eating we went to Current.

It was an average size crowd for a Friday night. Not many regulars were there (which is probably since the next day is Sushi's birthday party and everyone will come Saturday instead). Sushi, Masami, and Mogi were working, and Ayami was there. Shortly after I arrived, Sushi just out of no where, gave me a still in its original packaging, Dream Theater Chaos in Motion live DVD/CD and said I could barrow it. I have no idea why he had this still in its original factory wrapping but I had no problem barrowing it since Ive never seen the whole thing yet. Sushi is the man. There were these 2 guys from Finland there on vacation who were not at all connected to the regular group of Fins. We chatted with them a bit on and off. Also, Rod's friend Tim came. This was the first time I met him before. He's a stoner from Canada. He reminds me a lot of some of my old friends back in Chicago. We talked a lot about various things and hes a totally cool guy. He said he actually visited Chicago before and really liked it and said the people there were surprisingly friendly. Chicago ownz. Bosch was there DJing and for some reason he was just playing all kinds of really shitty fucking music all night. Like mostly pop and stuff for whatever reason. At one point he even played Hanson.... yes... Hanson. I dont know WTF he was thinking. Its kinda sad when the best song that is played all night (that wasnt requested by one of us) is The Scatman... We stayed till closing and it was a pretty typical night. After that, Rod headed home but Matt, Tim, and I went to PSY.

Typical PSY at 5 am stuff going on. A few people there with Request Man bartending. Heidi and Anna were there and they said they were returning to Norway on Sunday, so this is probably the last time I will see Anna, maybe ever. Anna was getting all cuz I guess she was drunk, and the fact that she was leaving soon was really sinking in. They also had a friend with them who I thought was this French chick we met at PSY before but it turned out to be someone else. Tim liked the place and we all had a good time just chilling out, drinking, and requesting some songs. They closed around 6 as usual and as we were leaving, Tim wanted to keep drinking, haha! We were gonna grab some food and Tim suggested we get some beers from the convenient store. So we went in there and got some beers, except Matt also bought some spaghetti. We were still planning to get McDonalds breakfast but I guess Matt misunderstood so he ended up just bringing his spaghetti inside McDonalds, while Tim and I got some food there. We were sitting and drinking our beers and eating our food. Matt finished his spaghetti really fast but then suddenly he got up all fast and headed for the bathroom. As he was entering the door, we could see him putting his hand over his mouth. It was obvious he was about to see that Spaghetti again! He came back after a bit saying he infact did throw up. He said he totally wrecked the sink in there lol! I went in there to check it out, and the entire sink was just full of spaghetti vomit. However, it almost just looked like regular spaghetti. I dont think he even chewed the stuff! I took a picture and showed Tim and he had a good laugh. Then after a while, Matt made another dash for the bathroom. This time he was in there for a long time so I went to go check on him. The bathroom stall door was closed so I figured he was in there. I asked if he was sleeping and after a brief pause, I heard him drunkenly say "uh... yea probably..." haha. He opened the door and looked like crap and was like proping himself above the toilet against the wall and looked half dead haha. He eventually collected himself and made it out of the bathroom and the 3 of us left McDonalds. Matt and Tim headed for the train station and I went to the manga kissa.

The next day I woke up and realized I set my alarm an hour later than I intended and ended up having to pay 300 yen for the extra hour of sleep, but its alright I guess cuz extra sleep never hurts. I wanted to get up a bit earlier though in hopes to find an unmanned BB cab to practice on. I headed to Vegas since its right across from the manga kissa and there were already a small group of people playing on the cabs. I played a quick match against a Jin player but got beat up kinda bad. I looked on the other side and it was Inoue.

I checked out Mikado and there were people playing over there too. I was hungry and wanted to get some food, so I walked over to Wendy's for a quick bite and then got a cigar for later at the nearby cigar shop. On the way to Wendys, I stopped by Shinjuku Sportsland since its on the way. I was surprised and pleased to see that Sportsland had 3 BB cabs on 3/5 rounds for 100 yen. Basically the same as Vegas but they have one more cab, except at Sportsland they only have 1 nice cab and 2 old cabs. They now only had 2 GGAC cabs at Sportsland down from the previous 6. It seems that Sportsland will end up being a good place to play casuals for BB regularly. Just as all the other places, Sportsland was also full of people playing. There wasnt much time left until the GGAC tournament at Vegas was to start, so I continued on my way and got some food. After eating at Wendys I used their bathroom. Since Matt doesnt live in Nakano in his apartment anymore, I cant easily take a shower. Wendys has a nice big sink in their bathroom (which is a single person use bathroom with a sink and toilet and they have 2 of them) and I brought some shampoo, so I took like a couple minutes to wash my hair since its a long weekend. After washing my hair and changing my clothes, which took about 5 minutes, I kinda had to take a dump, but I figured there were people possibly waiting to use the bathroom and I didnt wanna be an asshole. I figured I could just hold it till I got to Vegas so I left without taking a shit. As soon as I left Wendys I began to regret my decision. I suddenly had a sharp pain and could feel that shit just ready to burst! I tried to walk a bit fast and did my best to hold it in. Vegas is about 5 or 10 minutes from Wendys depending on how many intersections you have to wait for the light at and how crowded the street is. About half way to Vegas it felt like an elephant was fucking me in the ass. I just prayed that the toilet at Vegas was not in use since they only have one in the mens room (aside fromt he 2 urinals). When I finally made it to Vegas I was so happy when the toilet stall door opened and I quickly sat down and it just exploded right out! I think it was easily like one of the top 3 best shits I ever took in my life. After cleaning up the aftermath I went over to check out the GGAC cabs which were moved in the back corner for the tournament.

A good ammount of people were there for the tournament and I played some casuals in order to warm up. I did well, winning a few and lost in a close match to a Robo-Ky. I promised Rod I would team up with him (todays tourny was a 2 on 2) so I mailed him and asked him if he was on his way since it was gonna start soon. He got back to me quick and said he was on his way there. While I waited I signed up our team as "Pretty Maids" named after the band, in which they always play at Current that Rod has recently come to like. I think a total of about 18 or 20 teams or so entered the tournament. There were some pretty buff players there such as H.H, Mugen, Osaka B, Inoue, Taku, Sadouu, Basara, Lyrical Lit, and others. Baim was there as she always is for Vegas tournaments but just watched instead of entering.

Rod showed up and we played a few casuals against people and then the tournament started. We were one of the first teams to play. Our first match was against a team of Ky and May. Everyone knows I hate May but I told Rod ill do my best. I won RPS and let my opponents pick their character first. They put Ky first and I generally do very well against most Kys so I told Rod I would just go first. I ended up beating the Ky with not much trouble both rounds. Up next was May. I played pretty solid and just zoned her out and she really couldnt get in on me. The guy had a decent May but wasnt extremely exceptional or anything and I was able to pull off a victory! While waiting for our next match, I saw Basara and Taku play a Slayer mirror match. Taku emerged victorious and shortly after, they called our next match, which was to be against Taku and Sadouu (hes the green Johnny player I had mentioned in recent weeks that I played lots of casuals against). These guys are both really buff. Sadouu has a great Johnny but in casuals I usually go about even with him. I was a bit unsure about Taku. This time Rod went first with his I-no against Sadouu's Johnny. He put forth a good effort and the rounds were fairly close but Rod wasnt able to take him out. I went next and the first round was a bit ugly. I sucked it up and manged to win the next 2 rounds! Up next was Taku. He had a 17 win streak before the tournament that went undefeated so I knew he was on his game today. I played really solid and we both won 1 round. For the final round, I got him down to like a pixel of health but then he started to make a comeback. He got me in a combo and comboed into his air super and after it hit, I had like a pixel of health left myself. I thought it was the end since he could combo after with a jab or something, but after doing the super he landed on top of the mini Potemkin that was crawling around on the ground below and I won! After the match I shook both their hands and apolagized for the lucky mini Po, hah. We were now in the final 4 of the tournament. For our next match, I looked and saw that it was vs Dizzy and HOS. I figured thats cool cuz I know those matchups fairly well, but then I looked at the player names and it ended up being H.H and Inoue. Blah... They told us they didnt even care about playing RPS and just told us we could choose the side and Inoue got on the cab right away. I told Rod to just go first and do his best. He tried, but Inoue was just too much for him. I hung in there a bit but he took me down as well. I really wanted to beat him cuz every single time ive played Inoue in a tournament Ive lost (and he was the one who beat me in my very first tournament upon arriving in Japan as well), but unfortunately today was more of the same in that regard. After we lost, we were about to leave, but the tournament organizer told us to wait because even though we were out, we had to play one more match to decide who gets 3rd place. We had to fight a team of Dizzy and Ky. I didnt know who they were cuz I didnt check the sheet. Rod went first against Dizzy and lost. I went next and lost the first round, but managed to win the next 2. I had high hopes against the red Ky player who was next, and it was kinda close, but he proved to be much tougher than I was expecting and squeezed in some clutch shit that really caught me off guard and I lost, so we ended up getting 4th place... which I guess is not bad but still not good enough. I checked the sheet afterwords and it turned out that the Ky player was Lyrical Lit, so I guess I dont feel AS bad as I would if he was just some random Ky. (By the way, Inoue and HH won the tournament)

After that, Rod and I said bye to Baim on the way out, and decided to go to Sportsland to check out the BB action going on there. Lots of people were there playing. Shoot was there and just got off work. He told me that he will probably play as Ragna, and he told me that Ogawa is playing Carl. I played a few games there but didnt win any. There was also this blue Rachel player who was beasting really hard. I played him in a mirror match and took a round but lost. When I looked on the other side of the cab, it turned out to be Kazuki. H.H is also playing Rachel. It seems like most of the Dizzy player will become Rachel players. Before leaving Sportsland, Rod wanted to play some oldschool Alien vs Preditor (the old beat-em-up) so we played some 2 player action of that which was pretty fun. After dying on what I think was like stage 5 or something, we decided to head out and check out Club Sega Shinjuku to see what their BB situation was.

Club Sega Shinjuku also had 3 cabs, except all 3 of their cabs were the old ones, and they only had it set on 2/3 rounds for 100 yen. We also noticed that they had a tournament posted for BB in 2 weeks from now! Pretty early after the game coming out, but ill probably go hit it up anyway. They also have a TvC tournament scheduled for next month. MIU was working and asked if I already ended my GG career but I told him that wasnt the case. I asked him who he plans to use and he said he has hardly played the game yet. He didnt seem very excited about it. Rod and I played against various people for a bit and I got my first taste of a good Tager player. I was getting worked pretty bad and felt pretty lost in the matchup. Eventually there was a cab that opened up and I was actually able to go through arcade mode finally! I used this opportunity to test out various things like seeing what normals link into what, experiment with move properties, and try out some combos. I felt like I learned way more in this short time playing the computer than I had so far the entire weekend. I made it to Hakumen (the sub boss) and died.

There was some Sol player there playing AC (they had 2 AC cabs going now) and Rod lost to him, so I decided to try it out. I beat him and then he switched to Millia and I lost. Eventually I ended up playing a few more people and getting a small streak and then some Anji player who I beat earlier really bad played me again. Rod suggested I try to beat him on pogo stance only but it proved to be much harder. Pogo stance only is pretty hard to do against Anji. We were gonna leave after this match so I just played really half ass and let the guy beat me so he could keep his credit.

We stopped at Saizerya to get some food and then decided it was time to go to Current. I recieved a mail from Matt a few hours ago but didnt notice it cuz I hadnt checked my phone. I replied and told him to just meet us at Current. We got to Current kinda early, maybe at like 10 or so. There was a good amount of people there already but it wasnt crazy packed yet. We knew that for an event like Sushi's birthday party that it was gaurnteed to get crazy later on though. A good amount of the regulars ended up coming as well as a shit ton of people I never met before. Matt's girlfriend Akiko was there too and she played several battles of Pokemon on the DS against Rod. Nick was sitting with us as well. I think by about midnight it was just rediculously packed to the point where it was hard to even get from one end of the bar to the other. Tomoko was there with her friend Mai (different Mai than the regular Mai but she was there too), and they were dancing hardcore like all night non stop. Tomoko is a fucking dancing machine and was soaking wet with sweat. Rod and her spent quite a good deal of time dancing together and talking. When Antti and his Finnish crew showed up, I went to go shake the Snus Man's hand and he just put a fresh pack of snus in my hand instead, and then he shook my hand. Elisha showed up as well. At some point, Elisha convinced Matt to dance with her. Akiko saw this and got jealous so she burned matt with a cigarrette! Looks like hes got quite a possessive girlfriend on his hands haha!

For most of the night it was typical Current awsomeness with people dancing and talking and drinking. It didnt get as crazy as some of the past events like Mogi's birthday or Halloween, but it was still great times. They had several people DJ throughout the night. At some point, Sushi told me I could DJ for a little while.
My set was:
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid!
ACDC - Thunderstruck
Stratovarius - The Kiss of Judas
Muse - Time is Running Out (requested by Rod)
Pretty Maids - Savage Heart

I only DJed for about 20 minutes but it was fun. At one point I went outside in front for a minute to get some fresh air and I was talking with one of the metal event regular guys. At some point, the Snus Man comes out there too and we started having a conversation about health and drinking. The Snus Man was trying to say that drinking is bad for your liver. In Japanese, Liver is Kanzou. Instead of saying Kanzou, he said Kancho, which means enema, and is also the act of putting your hands together and shoving them into someones anal region (often done by school children as a prank, though luckily for me, I have never recieved a kancho from any of my students). We had a good laugh at his mistake and tried to correct him but he kept saying it wrong anyway lol! Later one when The Snus Man was ready to leave, I said goodbye to him and he gave me 2 more fresh packs of Snus! I was like, "dude thank you but at least let me pay for it or something" and hes like "ive got like 40 packs at home, dont worry about it". The Snus Man is legendary!

After the party died down and it was time to go to PSY again. Matt and Akiko had left earlier to go get it on at a love hotel. Nick was tired so he went home. I went to PSY with Rod and a few other people. I dont remember much there, I was pretty drunk. I think I fell asleep for a little bit before they closed. After leaving there I said goodbye to everyone and then went to the manga kissa again.

Sunday morning I woke up and headed to Vegas again. A few people were playing BB again and I decided to use my new discovered knowledge I obtained from arcade mode in some matches. I ended up actually getting 5 wins in a row which was pretty cool. I eventually lost to a Jin player but it worked out well because Rod and I had made plans to meet up in Harajuku to go eat Shakeys Pizza all you can eat Lunch Buffet since we didnt end up doing it last weekend.

I got to Harajuku and eventually I met Rod in front of the station and we headed to Shakeys. 4 other friends of Rods were there; some of them were the same people I had met last weekend when we ate together at that resturaunt above the Pachinko place near Vegas. We all enjoyed a damn good meal and ate tons of food. There were these 2 hot chicks sitting at the table next to us when we got sat down, and one of them had a skirt that on the back said "for backdoor use only" lol! I wonder if she even knows what that means.

After Shakeys, everyone else had plans to go see some Larc En Ciel cover band concert. They invited me to come, but I declined because I had plans to go to the Club Sega Akihabara GGAC tournament going on today. I said bye to them and Rod said he would meet up again with me later after the show.

I wasnt sure what time the tournament was scheduled to start but I figured I would be alright. I got to Akihabara at about 4:15 and the tournament was scheduled to start at 5. Good timing. Matt mailed me saying he was on his way. Club Sega Akihabara ended up getting 5 BB cabs! They are all in old cabs though at 2/3 rounds. Club Sega has the most cabs out of any place ive seen but the value of playing there isnt as good. its going to be a good place to play for people who are very good at the game. They only have 4 GGAC cabs now. I cant believe they used to have 11 cabs and now only have 4. Times change I guess. Tons of people were playing BB. FAB was there playing as Tager (big surprise there!) and just obliterating people already! Both Mugen and Osaka B are Carl players and Mugen was already looking pretty beastly too. I only played one match of BB the whole time we were there cuz I wanted to focus on the GGAC tournament. I practiced with some warmup games and got like a 12 win streak but then I had to go register for the tournament so I just got up and left my credit and lost my turn. There were no extra people so Matt and I entered as a 2 man team (todays tournament was a 3 on 3).

When the tournamet started, our lucky asses had to fight Mugen/Taku/someone else first match. Mugen's team all played RPS against eachother to decide who would go first on their team. Taku won the honor. Matt went first against Taku and got beat up pretty bad. Matt had been playing BB the whole time and didnt play any GGAC warmup matches and was lookin kinday rusty. I now had to face Taku again and he was thirsty for revenge from yesterday. I lost the first round but won the 2nd round. The 3rd round I made several key execution mistakes and it realy just fucked me bad and I died. Slayer isnt very forgiving when you make a mistake.

After losing, we decided to go check out Hey! and this one other arcade in the area to see how their BB situation was. Hey! had 3 cabs but they were also 2/3 100 yen a play. I think the other place had 2 with the same deal. I suggested to Matt that we head back to Shinjuku to play some more there.

We hit up Sportsland for a bit and the comp was pretty beastly. I wanted to find a place I could practice a litte in arcade mode again before taking on the giants. We eventually made our way over to Club Sega Shinjuku to check it out since last time worked well. This time there were no open cabs and lots of people playing. We saw MIU again and said hi. We didnt stay there long and I came up with the idea of checking out Shinjuku Joybox. Since its a smaller and more low key arcade, I thought it may be a good idea. On the way there though, we passed by some other small arcades called Frontier and Spot 21 which are next to eachother. I checked out Frontier while Matt checked Spot 21. Frontier didnt have the game, so I went over to Spot 21, and it ended up having one cab for 100 a play but on 3/5 rounds. This seemed like a decent place to play for a bit since it was less expensive. The comp there wasnt all that beastly so we got some good practice in there for a while. Eventually we decided to go to Joybox to check it out.

When we arrived at Joybox, we were very pleased to find that they had one cab of the game, but it was only 50 yen to play! This is the first (and at this point, only) place ive seen that has 50 yen BB! MIU was actually there too, talking with the staff there. He often goes there after work to chill out and play since its down the street from his work. MIU played a quick game as Ragna against some random Noel player but he lost. He obviously has little to no experience with the game yet. He left a little while after that, but Matt and I stayed and played with the Noel player. After the Noel player eventually left, Matt and I were able to play some games against eachother for a while and Rod showed up after a while too. The 3 of us played there for quite some time actually. Matt was mostly dominating since he has the most experience playing. Rod discovered Iron Tager and was doing pretty well with him. I was having lots of execution problems and was starting to get sorta aggitated but it was mostly due to not being used to the timing of certain things yet. We ended up playing there till like 1:30 am! The place was supposed to close at 12 but the guy just let us keep playing. We pumped a lot of money in that machine so I guess he didnt mind staying open. At one point, the D button broke one of the sides and he even fixed it for us like instantly! Rod was planning on taking the last train home but we played for so long that it was already gone, so the 3 of us went drinking!

We went to Current again and this time it was pretty dead. Mogi, Masami, Sushi, and Chip were there, along with this hot chick with pig tails who has star tatoos on her lower back that was there the night before as well, plus a few various guys I dont know but see there on occasion. For a little while, Matt, Rod, and I just sat at a table and talked about BB stuff and then eventually the conversation ended up shifting to women and sex. Then Matt decided to show us this video he took on his cellphone of his girlfriend lighting her pubes on fire with a lighter... LOL! His girlfriend is kinda a freak haha.

We eventually all made our way up to the bar, and then I requested a song, and Sushi was like, you should just play DJ for a while. Im like, fuck yea! I spent the rest of the night DJing. While I was DJing, Sushi gave everyone in the bar a free shot of this awsome Finnish vodka just cuz hes a nice guy. I dont remember everything I played but I think it was like:
Symphony X - The Edge of Forever
Children of Bodom - Silent Night Bodom Night
ACDC - Its a Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock and Roll
Sentenced - Brief is the Light
Korpiklani - Tapporauta
Queen - Hammer To Fall
Nightwish - Elvenpath
Alice Cooper - Let It Rain
Dream Theater - Another Day
Eagles - Desperado (requested by Matt)
Led Zeppelin - Babe Im Gonna Leave You

...and with that last song, it was closing time, and Rod, Matt, and I headed for PSY once again.

PSY was the same as usual. That one French Chick we met there before was there, and it was actually her this time. I spent most of the time there just talking to her. We drank till closing and it was good times. Once again we got some food after leaving and then headed our own respective ways.

I woke up once again a the manga kissa wishing I had a bed to sleep in. I got some Wendys and then headed back over to Joybox so I could spend a good deal of the day practicing. Some random dude was there playing and I beat him and then he left. I then had hours to play by myself and went through arcade mode about 6 or 7 times. I was able to explore a lot of stuff and figure out how a lot of stuff for Rachel works. It was nice to just practice getting my execution down and getting used to the feel of the game. After I felt like I had enough training, I decided to go play some matches.

It was raining and I didnt have an umbrella so I didnt wanna walk far. I ended up going to Spot 21 again. I stayed for maybe about 2 hours and within this time, several people were in and out. This one Ragna player was there and I managed to beat him on my 2nd try. This was the first Ragna player I ever fought. There were also like 4 other Rachel players...wtf! I beat a few of them in mirror matches, but then the Ragna got back on and he ended just beasting and had like a 30 win streak against everyone. I was kinda getting pissed off cuz I managed to beat him once already but then couldnt do it again. He was just rushing me down all hard and I was getting hit but didnt understand why. He also can use that dash punch special move and it seems to beat just about everything with Rachel that I have. Once he gets that out he can just get in on me for free and pressure me hardcore. I eventually got used to how to block him and ended his win streak and then he just left. After beating a few other people, the comp died down and I finished Arcade mode again. Then I got a mail from Rod and he said he was gonna come play so I went back to Joybox. I played against Rod for about 2 hours and did generally well. I think we both learned a good ammount from playing eachother in this session. I would generally win 2 or 3 or so and then Rod would win 1. He played mostly Tager but also played a little Litchi. You can see some of the matches of me vs Rod here. They were taping but I had no idea it was going to be online.

As it got near to the time I had to leave, we stopped by Wendys where I got some food for the road, and then we walked to the station where we parted ways. Overall it was a fun weekend and it was great to be able to enjoy playing a new game. BlazBlue seems like a solid game and I cant wait to get good at it.

EPILOGUE contributed by Rod

"a few more details:
ayami passed the fuck out
akiko is going into intensive pokemon training to get revenge on me, she ended up only losing last time cos she used earthquake which hits every pokemon in a team battle but one of hers was electric (weak against ground) and didnt levitate or anything, so she one hit KO'd herself there.
that guy natsume at PSY was dir en greys friend, lol we know lots of people now who know dir en grey in "various" ways.
thats about it...good weekend!

P.S. BTW last night I met a friend at Juke 80's bar in Nakano, and Sushi was randomly there! He was with this lady Yukino, and I was like WHOAH! and at first Sushi thought it was just someone that looked at me, but he recognized me and bought me a beer, then 2 more later!!! Afterwards we all went to this place, Rock bar ASYLUM in nakano which was basically a Jackson browne shrine! They had a lot of place to sit and 2-3 acoustics and 2 electric guitars. Nice place. really random night. "

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monkey Business

Upon arriving at Vegas, I was surprised to see Nakamura was there. I hadn’t seen him since SBO. He was playing Millia and had a nice streak going. I decided to play against him first. I lost to him twice and a few other people played him in between. On my 3rd try I took him down and ended his streak at 23 wins. Afterwards, he came over and said hi to me. We made a little small talk and I found out from him that next weekend there will be a tournament at Club Sega Akihabara on Sunday. He said he knew of no tournament this weekend though. Our conversation got cut when a Ky player got on the machine to play me and then Nakamura went back on the other side of the cabs. I beat the Ky player and then Nakamura re-matched me and I managed to beat him a 2nd time! Then he got back on the cab right away and beat me. I rematched him a few more times but I couldn’t beat him again. Millia is a really hard match for Faust so I was happy that I managed to beat him twice. There was also this really good Chipp player who was sitting next to Nakamura. I don’t know the guys name but they seem to be friends. He had 7 wins and I beat him but then he rematched me and I lost a few against him. After getting beat up enough by Chipp I went to go play against some I-no player. During my match I heard Nakamura and the Chipp behind me and they were saying I was playing good and stuff. After the match they said they had to leave so they said goodbye and good games and headed out. I beat the I-no 2 more times and then he eventually beat me. I beat some scrubby Sol and then I emailed Matt and Rod (Honnou). Matt said he was staying home tonight because he was broke. I sent him a reply email saying “pussy” with a thumbs down icon. Rod said he was bowling at a place nearby with some friends.
I decided try some SFIV and played like 2 games against some Ryu player but I lost. I hardly play this game and still havnt really gotten a good feel for it yet. I went back to playing Gear and played against another I-no. I won 1, lost 1, won 4, and then I-no gave up. Then I beat an Eddie, a Slayer, another I-no, Slayer, I-no, some scrubby Ky, and then I was getting hungry so I mailed Rod to see if he wanted to get food.
Rod said he was eating at some place already with some friends but invited me to join them. It was some restaurant above a nearby pachinko place. After a bit of searching I found the place. I ended up getting off on the wrong floor but eventually I figured it out and met up with Rod by the elevator. He was with a group of people from his University’s international club. There were 2 Japanese people and about 4 or 5 other foreigners. I noticed Rod was wearing a stuffed Monkey around his neck. I asked him what the deal was and he said he won it as a prize from when they went bowling. We ate some good food, chatted for a bit, and had some drinks. They seemed nice. After that, everyone split up and went their separate ways, while Rod and I headed for Current. On the way there, we met up with Mi Seon who just got off work. She seemed a bit reluctant to go to Current for whatever reason. Rod claims its because she doesn’t like smoke, though Ive never been to a bar in Tokyo that DIDN’T have lots of smoke so…
When we got there, Rod and I went inside, but Mi Seon said she was gonna run over to the convenient store for a second. There was a good size crowd there for a Friday. About half regulars and half people I didn’t know. Not long after, Monty and Kentaro showed up and with them was the metal band Hemlock. I don’t really know much about them and had only heard one song by them before, so I cant say I was exactly excited, but they seemed like nice enough guys I guess. I didn’t really talk to any of em much. After around the time I finished my first beer, Rod was wondering why Mi Seon hadn’t showed up yet. He went to check and she was just chilling outside in front. She wanted to get food, and I was still hungry so I said why not. We ducked out to go grab some Saizeriya (cheap Italian food). I got a pizza there and a beer and then we headed back to Current.
Kentaro was just sitting outside in front of the building, saying that he also didn’t feel like being there. He seemed a bit tired. He was working at the Hemlock concert tonight so he was probably all exhausted from that. Since Mi Seon didn’t really seem like she wanted to go inside Current, she just stayed outside and chatted with Kentaro. They said they wanted to go to another bar and we said to think of something and we will figure it out later. Rod and I went back inside and drank a bit more. Throughout the night, Rod’s Monkey was getting passed around all over the place and various people were wearing it on their head, neck, shoulder, whatever.
Eventually, this one random young white guy in a suit dude who I don’t think I’ve seen before was passed out in the back on a bench. He was out pretty cold…. and thus began possibly the most epic of all the fail moments at Rock Inn Current. Monty decided it would be fun to put some shit on the guys head. It started with something simple like a coaster. Eventually it turned into an all out game of “how much shit can we stack on this passed out dudes head?” About 90% of the people in the bar gathered around him and just started snapping all kinds of photos as people stacked all sorts of shit on this dude. They put a glass on his head and then started pouring beer into it while it was still balancing on his head. They stacked multiple glasses in a tower on top of his head. They took Rod’s Monkey and stuck it in one of the glasses, and at one point the put the monkey around his neck with the ass sticking out so it looked like he was tossing the monkey’s salad! LOL! They stuck some random shit in his ears too. People were gathering around him to take silly photos with him. The most amazing this is, the entire time, this guy was still just passed out cold. He only slightly moved a bit the entire time but never actually woke up. Then they picked the dude up, laid him across another bench, and decided to carry him and the entire bench outside in front of the bar! About 3 guys lifted the bench and brought him out while the rest all followed. People started snapping photos of him passed out in front of the bar, and then Monty opened up this like gate area next to the stairs and they were gonna put him in there, but then he started to wake up. As soon as he started getting up, everyone was laughing like crazy and bolted for the door to go back inside the bar. About 1 minute later, someone came back in saying that he passed out again and then they all went back outside. They tried one more time to move him but he woke up again and then they ran back inside again. Shortly after, someone said the guy was no where to be found. The lesson to be learned here is that you shouldn’t pass out at a bar because you WILL get owned.
It all actually reminded me of this time back in the day in Chicago when Juicy G passed out in the hallway of an anime convention on a chair. We took the liberty to draw shit all over his face and put shit on his head and take lots of hilarious pictures. Ah the nostalgia…
Anyway, eventually Mi Seon and Kentaro came in and said they were gonna go to another bar. I didn’t wanna leave yet so Rod and I told them to mail us later and we would meet up with them in a bit.
Bosch was DJing tonight and I requested he play Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein. I asked him if he remembered it being in Wayne’s World and he did. It then resulted in him busting out like half the songs on the Wayne’s World soundtrack including Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady, Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (in which the whole bar was singing along and busted out lighters), and the Wayne’s World main theme. Good times.
We continued to enjoy drinking until closing. After saying goodbye to everyone, Rod and I headed out to PSY where we agreed to meet up with Kentaro and Mi Seon. Rod realized he left his monkey at Current but its alright cuz he figured he could just get it tomorrow. They showed us that the bar they went to earlier was actually just down the street from PSY. When we got inside PSY, it was pretty packed. For whatever reason, Mi Seon didn’t feel like going inside their either, and Kentaro and her just ended up leaving instead heh. Heidi and Anna were there among various other people. Anna and I enjoyed requesting lots of Children of Bodom and I talked with Heidi for a bit. Both her and Anna are going back to Norway like in a week or so. Heidi will come back again but still doesn’t know what shes gonna do with her future. Masami showed up after finishing closing up at Current as well. Ayami was there again this time too and her and Rod spent most of the time there talking to eachother. This one older chick whos there a lot (the same girl who wanted to go home with Antti that one night but he didn’t want any of that from her… I’m just gonna refer to her as Miffy cuz I dont know else to call her. Miffy went in the bathroom and took off her under garment which was like this sorta red nighty looking thing with black hearts over the nipples. Some random guy was wearing it for a bit, and then the cool bartender guy who always plays our requests was wasted as hell and put it on as well. (I don’t know this bartenders name so from here on he will be called Request Man). Request Man was fucking wasted as hell, and looked hilarious wearing that thing. I took a picture of him in it and he pretended to lick his nipple haha! We drank till they closed a little before 7 am. Rod went home and I got some food and then passed out at the manga kissa.
I woke up and headed right for Vegas which is a 5 second walk from the manga kissa. No one was really playing Guilty Gear so I played a little SFIV. I won like 1 or 2 games but mostly got beat down. I was hungry so I went to get some Wendys and buy a cigar for later. On the way back, I decided to check out Shinjuku Sportsland to see if they had any upcoming AC tournaments posted. No tournaments were posted. I knew Vegas would still be dead. I noticed that they had a Sugoi Arcana Heart 2 cabinet. No one was playing it but I had never played Arcana in my life (not any version, not even a single match) before, so I decided to just try it out. Sugoi AH2 (the upgraded version of AH2) has 2 new characters. One of them rides on a wolf and has a pet bird and she fights with a long staff. When I saw pics of her in Arcadia magazine I wanted to try her out because not only does she look cool, but her normals are actually very Faust like in the sense that they are pokey and long range and she has great zoning potential! I liked the way she played a lot actually but I know almost nothing about the mechanics of the game. After only playing one match against the computer, some random guy gets on and challenges me. I have no idea what im doing but somehow I almost beat his Kamui. I go to the other side and it turns out hes a foreigner. He says hes from New Jersey. He doesn’t post on SRK or Dustloop and I forgot his real name. I told him I had never played Arcana before and asked him a few questions about the mechanics of the game. I played him a whole bunch of times and managed to actually win a few of them. I just kept trying out various arcanas and had no idea how they worked or which ones are good for the character I was using. I also kept getting hit by stuff I had no idea what it did but it was nice experience and I think I may eventually pick the game up on a competitive level after a research it more and get more educated on the mechanics of the game. During the time I was playing, Shoot was there working and he said hi to me. I hadn’t seen him in a while either. I told him it was my first time playing this game and that I wanted to try this character because she is sorta Faust-like. He couldn’t talk long cuz he had to work but it was cool seeing him. After I head enough Arcana I said bye to the guy I was playing against and headed out to go back to see how Vegas was doing.
There were people there now and Inoue was playing various characters again. I played against his Millia and won, and then beat a few other people but then eventually lost to Inoue’s Axl (I honestly doubt theres a character in the whole game that this guy doesn’t know how to use). His Axl wasn’t even bad, cuz Vegas Pink Axl was there and he even lost to him in a mirror match 3 straight rounds!
Vegas had signs posted that they will be getting 2 Blazblue cabs next week! I knew Rod would be on a field trip with some people all day but I decided to see what was up with Matt. He told me he was gonna be a pussy again and stay home all day. I told him he was gonna miss Saeko’s birthday party tonight at Zin and then he decided to come out after all.
I played a bunch more games. HH showed up at some point and I lost to his Ky twice and then beat him once and then he just stopped playing. After that, some random red Faust player challenged me like 9 times in a row but he couldn’t beat me. Afterwards he come over and said thank you for the games and left. Very polite guy.
Eventually Matt showed up and it was started to get kinda dead so we headed out. We went to get some food real quick at Sukiya and then Rod called me saying he wanted to meet up in front of Shinjuku station in like 20 mins. On our way walking to the station, we ran into Nick who was on his way to Current. We told him to come with us to meet up with Rod. When we met up with Rod, he said he was gonna meet some friends of his close by. We crossed the street and they were waiting there. They were these 2 Japanese guys. There names were Satoshi (not the Potemkin player hah), and this other guy who introduced himself as “DJ Jerry”. He had lots of business cards and gave them to all of us. DJ Jerry was pretty old and Matt thought that he was Satoshi’s dad hah. Both of them were very good at English but we all mostly just talked in Japanese anyway. We were planning to go to Zin but those 2 guys said they didn’t have much time and wanted to get coffee. I didn’t really wanna but it was still early so I figured why not. We went to an Excelsior café and everyone just ended up ordering beers lol! I don’t really see why we couldn’t have just done that at a bar but whatever. We talked for a bit and Rod showed us video footage of a boxing match he had attended earlier in the day that he took with his cellphone. There were hot chicks holding up the signs for what round it was and then he fast forwarded to the end of the fight where the one dude TKOd the other guy. I don’t remember the contenders names. It was starting to get really late so we sorta started hinting that we should head out and eventually the guys got the hint and finished their drinks. We went outside and then said goodbye to the 2 Japanese guys and then the 4 of us headed over to Zin.
Zin was packed and pretty much everyone were Current regulars. Nick brought a bunch of CDs and Yoshi played a bunch of his requests. SPG Chris was there and he was telling us this fucked up story about some guy he knows who passed out naked and asked Chris and a bunch of people to put out cigarette buts on his scrotum! WTF?!?! The fucked up part is Chris actually did it! LOL!
I wished Saeko a happy birthday and bought her a birthday shot. She wanted some Jack. I also got some Rum on the rocks for myself after finishing my Rum and Coke. Then Chris told me that they sold Absinthe at Zin and got a glass and I was like WTF no way! I hadn’t had absinthe since over a year ago on the first day I met Monty back at the Hobgoblin bar in Roppongi where he gave me a shot of it for free. After finishing my rum I got one for myself. That shit is really strong and tastes good too. Too bad its not like the old school absinthe they used to sell that makes people hallucinate and shit.
At some point I was very surprised to see Dana’s friend Richard walk in! I had first met him when he came to Zin a while back. With him was another girl who knew me and said hi. I didn’t recognize her at first and shes like “what you don’t recognize the girl who took you to X-Japan?” and im like “holy shit Jessie!” I wasn’t expecting to see her there at all and hadn’t seen her since the X-Japan show. She had died her hair black now (it used to be blonde) and changed her hair style and it also looked like she lost weight, which is why I didn’t recognize her right away. It was cool to see her again. They stayed for a bit but they were with some other people too that had to leave Japan tomorrow so they needed to leave with them, but they said they might join us later at Current.
After drinking for a bit more, we decided to go check out Current since they were having a metal event tonight. However, Ayami and Mai said they were gonna show up tonight and someone told us they would be here any minute. Rod kinda has a thing for Ayami and it seems she really seems to like him as well so he kinda wanted to wait for her so we decided to stay a bit longer. Nick, Matt, Rod, Chris, and I all went to Current. On the way to Current we saw these 2 random salaryman lookin dudes just passed out in front of some building on the street. Whats with all these fucking people in Japan not being able to hold their liquor!? I snagged a nice photo of that scene haha.
As we were walking inside, a bunch of the metal event regulars were outside the front door and we exchanged a bunch of high fives and shit. This was one of those cool metal events where they have a big screen set up with a projector and when we walked in, they were showing a live video of Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills. Shortly after, they just stopped using the screen pretty much for the rest of the time for whatever reason. In addition to this, while there was a decent sized crowd there, it just seemed like everyone lacked energy and were already tired. It was only like 2:00! People don’t normally get that tired so early so I was pretty shocked. I enjoyed my cigar while we were there and it was tasty as hell. Chip was there too actually, and he was sitting with this girl named Tomoko (not to be confused with the Tomoko that is often at Current) and he said she was his girlfriend! I said hi to her and made a little small talk and introduced her to Rod and Matt started talking to her too for a bit. Rod found his monkey that he left at Current last night and once again it was getting passed around and being worn by various people. Also, while we were there I mailed Richard telling him we were at Current but would probably go back to Zin soon but he never replied. Later on, at some point while I was in the bathroom, Chip left. Throughout the time we were there they played lots of good metal I never heard of before, but the atmosphere was just kinda dead and no one was getting into it. We all decided that we should just go back to Zin since everyone was there.
Upon leaving Current, as we were walking back and passing by Gravity (the other rock bar near Current that I havnt been to in forever), we randomly ran into Ai! (Ai is the metal event regular girl who is a fellow hardcore Symphony X fan). I hadn’t seen Ai since I unexpectedly ran into her at the Children of Bodom concert with her brother. She gave me a big hug and I introduced her to my friends. We stood outside Gravity talking with her for maybe about 10 or 15 minutes about various things like video games and music. She said Chip was in Gravity. At some point, this guy she knows was seen walking with 2 massage girls haha! He looked kinda embarrassed. He went one wayand then went back the same way again. She said hes a bit confused. We were talking about how he was gonna get double teamed and shit heh. She also took a liking to Rod’s monkey and wore it. She wanted to meet up with us later to go drinking more at GODZ and PSY. Chris decided he would go drink with her at Gravity for a bit. When we left, she decided to keep Rod’s monkey, promising to give it back later tonight.
We arrived back at Zin and everyone was still there. We had a few more drinks and I talked with this one guy whos name was Hide. He was a friend of Nozomi. He said he used to live in the US for 4 years and we talked about various things. After a bit I decided I would go head to GODZ to meet up with Ai and Chris. I said goodbye to everyone before leaving. As I said goodbye to Yoshi, he pointed to Nick and asked me if he was my friend. I said yea, why? He said, well hes not ordering any drinks and doesn’t look too good. I told him he was just really drunk and he said well if hes my friend its ok if he stays. I guess they don’t like people in there who don’t order drinks heh…
Anyway, after I got to GODZ they started playing some live Dream Theater from the Budokan DVD and I didn’t even need to request it. Ai and Chris weren’t there yet, just a few people I didn’t know, aside from Hide the bar tender. Shortly after, Rod, Nick, and Matt showed up. I wasn’t expecting them to come too since I said I would be back to Zin soon. We waited a bit but eventually 5 rolled around and Ai and Chris never showed up. After that we headed to PSY since we figured Zin was closed.
When we got to PSY there were only like 2 people there aside Request Man who was tending bar. I asked him if he remembers anything from last night and he didn’t. I showed him the pictures I took of him wearing the red nighty on my camera and he was just like WTF?!?! LOL! A few minutes after we got there, the girl who was tending bar at Zin showed up. She said that lots of people were still at Zin and that Mogi and Masami even showed up. Damn. But we were already at PSY with drinks and we knew Ai and Chris would be there soon so we waited. Sure enough they showed up not long after. Ai sat by me and Rod and immediately started talking to Rod a lot. She seemed to take a liking to more than just his stuffed monkey. Rod was like giving her hand massages. At some point Masami eventually rolled in as well. Matt was saying some shit about how Masami was sticking his camera down people’s pants and taking pictures (0_o) but I didn’t see it. Matt was really wasted, and at some point he just goes up to Rod, right in front of Ai, and says in English very loudly and bluntly “You better stick your dick in that girl tonight, cuz I really want to and if no one does it would be a waste!” We both just were like WTF!?! Afterwords, Matt sat back down and im like… “um dude, how do you know that she doesn’t understand enough English to know what you just said?” Hes like, “trust me dude she doesn’t!” I’m just like, “You’d be surprised by how much English the average Japanese person can understand, even if they don’t speak it very well. You should be more careful about that shit.” In any case, its probably not a good idea to say shit like that anyway. Especially since Ai is my friend, and not just some random drunken bar slut or something. In any case, its unclear if she understood or not but gave no noticeable reaction to the comment. They called last song and Ai was about ready to head out. She said goodbye and Rod said he would walk her to the station. Chris, Matt and I left and got some food. Matt offered to let me stay at his host family’s house but I just wanted to go to sleep now, so I said I would just sleep at the manga kissa, and did.
The next morning I woke up and went right to Vegas again. Pink Axl was there playing the computer so I got on and played him. We went 1 and 1 on Axl vs Faust and then he switched to Sol and I beat him again. Then he had to get ready to start working. I played a couple other people and was getting hungry. I mailed Rod and asked if he wanted to get food and hit up the all you can eat Shakey’s Pizza lunch buffet for 850 yen. He said he was down but needed time to get ready and come out. I had a small streak going in AC and played a match vs HEVEN’s venom and lost so I figured it would be a good time to go see how late Shakey’s buffet was open till. After searching a bit, I found the Shinjuku Shakey’s (I had never eaten at the Shinjuku location before). The buffet was open till 4 but it was about 3:15 and Rod wasn’t here yet. I mailed him asking whats up but didn’t get a reply so I just headed to Sportsland because it was close by. While I was there I played a little SFIV and then eventually Rod mailed me saying he was running late and wouldn’t make it in time and he would meet me at Current. I left and got some Curry and headed to Vegas.
More people were at Vegas now. Lots of girl players showed up like Tatsumi, Baim, Ririko, and the hot female Zombie sol whos name I don’t know and is always with her boyfriend who plays Jam. Rod came not too long after I got there. I played HEVEN a bunch more times but I just couldn’t beat him for whatever reason today and I was getting a bit frusterated. Eventually Natsume beat him with his Dizzy and then I in turn beat Natsume. Sucks cuz I wanted to beat HEVEN. I played a few other people and eventually Rod came and he played me a ton of times in a row with a bunch of different characters. He didn’t beat me at all but he came extremely close twice (once with Slayer and once with I-no). I respect his determination. Eventually he went to play other people and I beat some Venom a few times and eventually I lost in a close match to some Slayer player I beat earlier who likes to spam cheap command throw setups in a very close match. He ended my win streak at 32 wins. Around this time I pretty much had to leave to catch the last train. Rod said he would just leave with me so we stopped by at the conbini and got some quick food for the road (Rod bought mine for me just cuz he felt like being nice) and then we walked to the station. I asked him what was up with Ai and he said he walked her to the station and that was it. She seemed drunk but insisted she was ok so they parted ways there. He said she didn’t say anything about what Matt said, so perhaps she didn’t understand him after all which is good. Rod isn’t the type of guy who likes to sleep around with random girls, but he is very popular with many of the ladies out at the bars. Seems he may end up dating Ayami soon if things go his way, which would be cool to see. We parted ways at the station and I headed home.
Next week is going to be fucking awesome. Not only is it a 3 day weekend, but theres a GGAC tournament at Vegas on Saturday, another GGAC tournament at Club Sega Akihabara on Sunday, and this will be the first weekend with Blazblue out in arcades! In addition to all that, Saturday night at Current is Sushi’s birthday party! I don’t know if next weekend could possibly have any more potential to kick so much ass but I guess only time will tell!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Sequence of Unrelated Events

Turkey with stuffing.. gravy.. carrots.. peas.. cranberry sauce.. mashed potatos.. salad.. pumpkin pie. Who in their right mind doesn’t love a good Thanksgiving dinner? I know I sure do! This Friday was the Gunma Jet program Thanksgiving dinner party in Maebashi. Kinda early, but they do it this way in order to compromise between the US and Canada. They had the same thing last year at the same place and it was good shit, so I decided to go again. The café it was at sold overpriced booze, but they arranged something so that everyone could bring one 500 ml drink. I made mine count! I got a 500 ml bottle of coke, chugged half of it, and filled the rest with tequila. I took an early train so that I wouldn’t be late, but it turns out I ended up getting there way earlier than I was planning on. I ended up just walking around Maebashi for a bit in this shopping center area I had never checked out before. I was hoping that there would be an arcade but there wasn’t much of anything interesting at all. I arrived at the café where the dinner was taking place and somehow I was the first one there. I killed some time playing a little DS (Castlevania Order of Ecclesia is fucking awesome btw), and eventually people showed up. I sat with Liz and some other ALTs and enjoyed 3 plates full of Thanksgiving awsomeness. Also, after finishing that whole nice stiff Tequila coke (which just pretty much tasted like drinking straight Tequila as I got near the bottom), I had a good buzz going too.
After the dinner was over, I was ready to head out and go to Tokyo.. but being ready to go and being able to go are 2 different things unfortunately. You may recall that last year I had to participate in a PTA ping pong tournament that took place on a Saturday morning. Well.. it was about that time again, and as a result, I had to go home and wake up at 7 am. Lucky me. So, instead of taking the train the rest of the way to Tokyo, I walked back with Liz to the station and took the train back home and went right to bed.
To keep it brief, the ping pong tournament was a doubles format with 2 round robin pools. After the first pool, the lowest ranked teams from each played off in a losers pool to determine who got 5th 6th and 7th place (out of 7 teams) and the winning teams went on to determine 1st-4th in the other pool. I havnt played ping pong since last year's tournament. I was partnered up with some old PTA guy and our biggest flaw was that our play styles were just too different. I played really careful and conservative, just trying to get the ball over and wait for my opponent to fuck up. My team mate did the opposite and just smashed the shit out of the ball. As a result, I would sometimes get the ball smashed back at me for giving them an easy setup, and he would often times just spike the ball right into the net or the side of the table, and the combined flaws of both our play styles caused us to lose. Our games were all close, but we lost both our games I the first pool and were sent to the losers pool. However, we managed to beat both of the scrub 1-nensei (first year student) teams for free and got 5th. I honestly didn't care anyway, I just wanted it to be over so I could go on my way to Tokyo.
After it ended, the next train was scheduled to come very soon, so I rushed home, grabbed my stuff and headed for the station. As I was driving there I was stuck behind some old guy who was going way too slow (the roads in my town only have one lane going each way) and the train ended up passing me by as I was still driving to the station. I had an hour to kill till the next train (fucking inaka train schedule) so I stopped by to say hi to Ryoko who was busy working.
Anyway, I eventually made it to Tokyo after 3 hours of playing DS on the train. I headed right for Vegas and spent most of the day there playing. It wasnt extremely packed but a good ammount of players were there to get constant comp and not have to really wait long for your next turn. Inoue was beasting with his Eddie and after a couple tries I ended his 19 win streak. Also, En was there rocking shit with his Slayer and I ended his 28 win streak winning all 3 rounds after a couple tries as well. Inoue played me a few times with his Millia. I won twice and lost once. Also, Pink Axl was there (the guy who works at Vegas) and he told me that they would be getting BlazBlue on the 20th of this month. I got a few good games in agianst his Axl and we went back and forth. I also noticed that in 2 weeks from now, another 2 on 2 AC tournament is scheduled at Vegas so ill be hitting that up as well. Matt showed up at some point in there too. Seta, the Faust player who was on Hase's team for SBO quals was also there, playing his Faust and his Slayer (and his Slayer is beastly). I beat his Faust a couple times and beat his Slayer once. Matt wanted get some food and meet his girlfriend so he said he was gonna go ahead and I told him id catch up since I didnt lose yet. A little after, Seta played me again with his Slayer and beat me. Since he is a Faust player, he knows the Slayer/Faust matchup from both sides, so his Slayer is always really tough to beat.
After losing, I headed out to meet up with Matt and his girlfriend, Akiko, who were waiting on the corner by the Beatles McDonalds. We ended up going to this awsome Indian resturaunt sorta near where Current is where they had all you can eat nan and curry sets for like 750 yen! This place was fucking great. Ill go there again for sure. As I mentioned before, Matt met his girlfriend through his ekaiwa teaching job he does unofficially on the side. She is one of his students. I asked her if Matt was a good teacher and she took quite a long time to answer. She kinda just stuttered a bit and was like "umm.. errr.." heh.. it was pretty amusing. She's overally pretty cool though, and has good taste in music, being a big Dream Theater fan, she asked me where I got my hat im always rocking. Ive still seen them live more times than her though :P
After eating we went took a walk to the cigar shop where I got a cigar and then headed back to Vegas and eventually Rod (Honnou) showed up. We played for a little bit more. Seta was still there playing his Faust, and this one other Faust player who's name im not sure of but is often around, were playing lots of mirror matches. Seta had 11 wins. I then got on the machine and beat Seta on my first try and ended his streak. I also ended up beating the other Faust. After playing a few more various people, eventually Seta played me again. He beat me, and then I came back at him and tried again.... and again... and again... and eventually he beat me like 5 times in a row. I was starting to get pretty pissed off actually because somehow he was just in my head. He knew exactly what move to throw out at the perfect time and it always just beat whatever I tried. Im sure me getting pissed off just made things worse and it was starting to get ugly. I was doing very well against him earlier but I think I just took losing to him so many times more personally since I lost to him in that mirror match at the Tsudanuma SBO qual (the one where En beat Ogawa). That day I was suffering from "whisky dick" so I just played like crap, but I was doing very well against him before, so I guess I was just getting pissed that I was suddenly doing so bad and it was just like a slippery slope. It was getting late anyway and we were about ready to all go drinking, so I just said fuck it and left. Matt, Akiko, Rod, and I headed out and stopped at one of the intersections on the way where we met up with Mi Seon.
When we go to Current, I was still pretty annoyed by losing to him so I ordered a shot right off the bat. It felt good and I shortly forgot about the whole thing. I then noticed that something was off. Current was relatively packed yet I knew almost no one there. I also noticed that the music was rather... well... crappy. I dont really know how to describe it, but it was kinda like ska but just really... weird. Like... at some point they played a fucking cover of the hokey pokey. It turned out that it was an event night. Mogi and Masami were working the bar and to say the least, were also not very excited about having to work at this event. Sushi tried to make the most of it saying "well theres lots of girls dancing!" which was true... but it did little to save the atmosphere for me and none of them were anyone I knew or seemed particularly interesting. The only other people I knew there were Kristey (that one random blonde chick), and SPG Chris. I also noticed that Rod and Mi Seon were no where to be seen. Appearntly, Matt told me that Sushi tried to charge Mi Seon the 1000 yen event cover when she came in, cuz I guess he didnt recognize her from before and she didnt really wanna pay it. They ussually dont charge regulars the event cover prices. When Matt and Akiko walked in, Matt told Sushi she was his girlfriend so she didnt have to pay. Matt also said something about Rod being tired so they just left together appearently. Its a shame I didnt know cuz all I had to do was tell Sushi they were with me and im sure that she wouldnt get charged but oh well. Kristey left shortly after we arrived cuz the music sucked.
I had an interesting conversation with SPG Chris. He told me that he read my blog! I was very surprised because I never even told anyone who goes to Current (who isnt a Guilty Gear player) that I have a blog in the first place. He said Matt linked him to it. He said he actually really enjoyed reading it and that it was very ammusing. Im always pretty honest about what I write in my blog and sometimes I wonder if all the people who go to Current would apreciate some of the things I write about them or not... especially since I use their real names. In retrospect it would probably had been best to use fake names for everyone right from the start but its pretty much too late for that now! While I honestly have nothing against SPG Chris, I know that I have mentioned that a few other people at Current don't really... well... care for him too much and have mentioned this in my blog, so I felt kinda bad knowing he read all that but I guess thats the way it goes. I just write what happens. This blog has always been 100% truth and nothing is made up, so if someone who read's it gets offended who is part of it then that kinda sucks but well... hmm... Generally if someone was to actually read my blog and ask me to take something out about them that they wanted to keep private, I would, but since no one from Current knows this blog exists I cant really do that. I wonder how much editing I would have to do with some of this stuff... Anyway, Chris also told me that 27yov is now 28 year old virgin instead lol! I asked why he hasnt been around and he says hes been busy with school and stuff but might come again soon.
The Snus Man also showed up and as soon as he walked in he placed a whole fresh pack of snus right in front of Matt and I just cuz hes the fucking man! We sat with him at a table for a bit and chilled but eventually we decided that Current was just sucking tonight so we decided to go somewhere else. Matt and SPG Chris realized that tonight is actually PSY's 4th anniversary party so it was easy to figure out where to go next!
We arrived at PSY and it was pretty damn full since its such a small bar. They were charging a 2000 yen cover but you got 2 drinks with it. I just ordered a Tequila redbull and a Jager Redbull since they are 900 yen each anyway and that way I didnt feel ripped off hah. First time trying both of those btw. I think the Jager goes better with it than the Tequila. I have no idea how this came up, but SPG Chris and Matt were having a conversation about if they had to give a blowjob to either the cool PSY bartender dude who always plays our requests, or Mogi, which one would they choose. I was like... why the fuck are you even having this conversation?! And SPG Chris is like, guys in Norway talk about this stuff pretty often actually. Haha WTF! Amusing to say the least. (they both chose the PSY bartender btw hah). They were also giving away these PSY bandana's with the cover charge. The Snus Man put it on and it looked pretty cool heheh. He left shortly after though cuz I guess he couldnt stay out too late and had to take it easy on the drinking tonight. Just as we were about to leave to head to GODZ, Heidi walked in and she was with Anna! We told them we were gonna go to GODZ but would be back soon.
At GODZ I busted out my cigar and enjoyed smoking it. There were a few people there but I didnt know any of them aside from the bar tenders. We requested lots of songs and they played some good stuff so it was fun times. At one point, the bald dude bartender just like grabbed the cigar from me and took a drag off it without even asking. I thought it was a bit rude actually since I know him but like... not THAT well. I have no problem sharing it but ussually its polite to at least ask first yknow? Whatever, I was drunk and in a good mood so I didnt care but still. Anyway, we left GODZ once everyone pretty much cleared out and we were the only ones left.
When we got back to PSY it was now even more packed, to the point where you could hardly move around in there. Also, Ayami was there which was a huge surprise! She was alone this time instead of with Mai and Ayano which is almost always the case. She said it was her first time at PSY. Also, Masami showed up! I guess Mogi and Sushi told him he could get off work early and spared him from the misery of working that shitty event. Eventually Matt and Akiko left at around 6 am and I stayed for only a short while after since it was getting pretty fucking late and I had stuff to do the next day, though the place was still pretty bumping. I have no idea how late they stayed open. I got some quick food by myself before heading to the manga kissa to pass out.
The next day I had an important task at hand... buy my girlfriend's birthday present! I was gonna do it last Sunday but since I had to lug my bass guitar and amp around, it would just be too trouble some to do lots of shopping in crowded stores. I honestly wasnt sure what to get her. I knew that whatever I got her she would like it anyway cuz shes just like that, but I wanted to get her something nice anyway. I went to a shit ton of stores in both Shinjuku and Harajuku. In the end, after walking around and shopping for almost 6 hours (Im sure fucking glad I had my MP3 player), I finally found some cute stuff in Harajuku that I think she will like. Shes by no means even close to an otaku and doesnt even like anime much, but she likes the studio Ghibli and Miyazaki stuff, so I got her some stuff related to that. I wanted to get her a nice warm blanket that she could use a lot because Gunma is fucking cold in the winter and houses do not have insulation or heat aside from kerosene heaters. Its not safe to leave a kerosene heater on for too long so when you sleep, you really have no heater going. I personally sleep in a hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, warm thick socks, and 3 blankets during winter. I found a cute Totoro blanket so I got that for her along with a few other things as well. Ryoko loves monkeys so I wanted to get her one with monkeys on it but I couldnt find one anywhere. Hopefully she likes it. I got an email from Rod asking if I was going to Vegas. I told him once I finished up shopping for her gifts id meet him there.
When I arrived at Vegas it felt good to just sit down. My feet were killing me. Rod was there was playing against some Zappa player and lost 11 times in a row but was determined to beat him. Eventually he did. Gin (slayer) was there too and was playing on the cab next to me. After playing for a bit, it started to die down a little. No one was playing me so Rod got on and played against me like I think 6 times with his Johnny and lost but eventually got a win on me. After that, he played a vast array of characters against me like Faust, Potemkin, I-no, and Johnny. I forgot how many wins I had but I think it was around 17 or something. I told him I had to leave cuz it was getting late, so I said goodbye and headed to the station.
This time I made sure to leave with enough time to not miss my train. I got on the train on time and got off at Akabane to transfer. I got on the train for the Takasaki line. I wasnt really paying much attention but then I noticed that it said the next stop would be Ueno. My heart sank and I realized that I was on the train going the WRONG WAY! I didnt really pay attention well when I got on cuz the train I got on was the one that leaves at the usual time I always take, but it just happened to be the one going the other way and I was just tired and not paying attention. I got off at Ueno and checked out my options and I only had one choice. Theres a regular train that would be leaving soon but it arrives at Takasaki 2 minutes before the very last train back to my town. 2 minutes isnt much time to transfer but it was worth a try.
Eventually I arrived at Takasaki and as soon as the train door opened I sprinted up the stairs and got to the next platform. It turned out that I had enough time and probably even had a whole minute to spare! It turns out that all those times I recently took the limited express train and wasted 900 yen was not necessary. I guess I can take this train in the future more often since it actully gives me almost another 45 minutes of gaming time, but if I miss it, I run the risk of being stranded.
When I got home and took off my shoes, the smell was brutal! Too much walking around in thick sweaty socks for hours. I have no idea whats going on next weekend as far as gaming. There might be a tournament but Ill have to do some checking. Current has some event called X-factor but I have no idea wtf it is. I somehow doubt it has anything to do with Marvel. Hopefully its not another shitty event.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Revenge of the Mutant Zombie Salaryman!

There once was a salaryman who worked very hard every day. He would come in on weekends, and be forced to work extremely long and unreasonable work hours. This man would sometimes even miss the last train home, working well into the night. He hardly ever saw his family, was suffering from lack of sleep, and his mental and physical health was beginning to take a turn for the worse. Section Chief Tanaka would always force this man to push himself even harder; doing anything less would be lazy, pathetic, and a disgrace to the company! The salaryman would sometimes ask Section Chief Tanaka for a break or some time off, but the section chief didnt take very kindly to such a lazy attitude. The salaryman should not expect overtime for doing his duties, he should just "ganbaru" his way through every long work day. He did his best to try and get through this, but he couldnt help but hate Section Chief Tanaka. Well, eventually one day, the salaryman was stuck pulling another all nighter at his desk, but the mental and physical stress, combined with too much medication, health problems, and lack of sleep got the best of him. His corpse was found the next morning, spread out over his desk, his face smashed against the keyboard, his computer screen displaying a long string of the same character. The salaryman's body was sent to be creamated in preparations for the funeral, but it never quite reached its destination... While his body was dead, his extreme hatred for Section Chief Tanaka had manifested into a seperate living entity that had once again entered his cold, lifeless, body... causing it to become reanimated once more! His skin turned green, and the neckties he was forced to wear everyday had began to literally grow out of his body! He was now no longer a salaryman... he was a MUTANT ZOMBIE SALARYMAN!!!.... and he hungered for the brains of the section chief! Section Chief Tanaka was ambushed and caught off guard as he was at home, firing one out to some good ol censored Japanese fetish porn. Upon having fulfilled his quest and quenching his unstopptable hunger for Tanaka's brains, the Mutant Zombie Salary man decided to go to Rock Inn Current to party down, get drunk, and listen to heavy metal!!!

The above story is fiction (probably), but is based on some fact unfortunately. It is often the case that salarymen (office/company employees paid on salary) in Japan are forced to work extremely long hours and dont often get compensated for this extra work. Not all companies are like this, but many of them are, and sometimes these employees do suffer from physical and mental illness as a result of the stress of their jobs. It is also sometimes the case that they do die as a result these conditions. Every weekend when I ride the train to Tokyo, I see all these poor guys in suits and ties looking exhausted as hell. I often think that some of these guys look miserable as hell and must hate their jobs and their bosses. I was thinking of what to be for Halloween and I decided that some sort of costume that had lots of ties would be kinda... unique. Earlier in the week, I went to the 100 yen store and picked up 17 neckties, ripped up an old collared shirt and pants, and decided to just try to make a costume that people would look at and be like "...wtf!?". I know it sounds rediculous, and quite frankly it is... and thats why I did it! Plenty of pictures will be posted on my pictures page.

On Friday, I had an enkai for school so I went to that and just slept at my apartment (this enkai was more or less just like all the others, but the food was top tier as hell and they had Kirin instead of Asahi which was pretty awsome). I also did lots of classic rock karaoke as I often do.

Saturday I went to have lunch with my girlfriend in Takasaki and then from there, I took the train to Tokyo. She was gonna come with me but she had to work the next day so she just went back home. After I arrived in Shinjuku, I headed to Donkyhote (a big store in Japan that sells all kindsa randome shit) where they had lots of stuff for Halloween costumes. Earlier, I tried looking for some face paint to make myself look undead in my town, but it was no where to be found. Donkyhote was packed as hell today since everyone was there scrambling to find a Halloween costume. After searching Donkyhote for like what was probly over a half hour, I finally was able to find a small rack of face paint. Unfortunately for me, they only had green and yellow, and there was only one green one left. I wanted some fake blood too but they didnt have any. I mailed Matt and he said he still had access to his apartment in Nakano since he didnt finish moving out yet. He said I could go there to put the costume on. He met me in front of the Donkyhote and was with a girl. He said she was his new girlfriend and is actually one of his private ekaiwa students. Shes like, in her early 30s and participates in Pokemon tournaments or something like that haha. She had to go so we said goodbye to her as we headed to the train station.

When we got to Matt's I began try to put my costume on. It ended up being a lot more trouble that I thought. I wrapped the ties around my head, arms, torso, and leg, and we had to try to pin them down so they wouldnt fall off. Some of them kept falling off, but we eventually got them to stay well enough. I also painted my skin green but that paint crayon thingy I bought didnt nearly last as long as I had hoped it would, so I had to use some water to make the paint thin out and stretch a bit farther. I was able to cover most of my skin showing but parts of my arm were unfortunately still pretty white. There wasnt really anything else I could do about it, so I figured it was as good as it was gonna get and we headed out. Matt was originally thinking of going to the party dressed as Mogi but ultimately decided against the idea, figuring Mogi's reaction was too dangerously unpredictable and opted to just wear a sorta suit outfit with a white tie and was supposed to be like an 80's gangster.

As we walked from Matt's apartment to the train station, I was already getting a ton of crazy looks and reactions... and I was loving it! People tried their hardest to not stare at me, but as soon as I passed by, they all turned around to gawk at how rediculous I looked lol! Some people who didnt notice me at first literally would leap out of the way as I came near them! When we got on the train, a group of young girls literally were like cowering back as I entered the train! LOLOL Once they realized it was Halloween weekend they were like.. ooh Halloween, Haloween! Ok!

Upon arriving back in Shinjuku, we stopped at the cigar shop near Wendys to get a cigar each for the party. The lady working in the back was like "you like necktie!" After that, we went to get some Wendys. The crazy stares certainly didnt stop here, and from there we decided to play some Guilty Gear at Vegas before heading to the Current Halloween party. Going to Vegas and playing Guilty Gear dressed as a Mutant Zombie Salaryman was a pretty unique experience. Mekemeke and Inoue had a good laugh at my costume after I explained it to them. Also, MIU was there and when he first saw me, he thought some homeless crazy guy was playing Accent Core! When he realized it was me, he had a good laugh too. He also told us that the next day he would be running a 5 on 5 tournament at Shinjuku Club Sega which is pretty sweet. After playing for a bit, we decided it was time to hit up that party!

When we arrived, most people didnt even recognize me at first haha! Most people seemed to think my costume was pretty awsome though and had a good laugh. Current was pretty fucking packed and there were a ton of people wearing some really nice costumes! I took plenty of pictures, so you can check the costumes out for yourself, but a few examples were, a witch, cops, nurse, Alice in wonderland, the dude from Detroit Metal City, Admiral Ackbar, a 70's rock star, sexy Chinese dresses, little red riding hood, cat girl, anime waitress, and other stuff. Yago was dressed up in full drag lol! Also, Rod (Honnou) showed up dressed as Jack Skelington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. He had the whole suit and mask and everything and it looked cool, but he didnt wear the mask most of the night due to it being difficult to drink beer (which is why I would never dress as Faust for something like that).

Everyone was pretty much there that goes regularly. Antti hooked us up with some new snus packages. It was pretty much what is to be expected at any huge event at Current with tons of wastedness, dancing, and good times. Ayano got way too drunk again and was constantly falling over. I found out she has some sorta medical thing going on and her doctor tells her not to drink but she does it anyway. Her sister was gonna help her get home but she told her she was fine on her own and there was some drama over that but I wasnt really involved in it so I dont know all the exact details. I was hoping Chip would have showed up as some game character but he was just plain old Chip. I didnt get to do any DJing cuz they already had lots of DJs lined up. Some of them played some good stuff and some of them were playing some crap but it was still a good night anyway. All in all it was more fun than last year's Halloween party even.

After it closed and after saying goodbye to everyone, I headed to PSY with Rod, Mi Seon and Matt. Most people changed out of their costumes before leaving Current but since I was already paintd green and it took a while to put on, I just kept mine on. People were telling me to watch out for the cops LOL, but cops are hardly ever around Kabukicho, and I wasnt technically doing anything wrong so whatever. A couple of people were there at PSY including this one French chick who was talking with me and Matt for a while. We stayed till about 6, got some food, and Matt and I headed back to his old apartment to sleep since he still had access to it. I went to sleep still wearing green paint all over my body.

I woke up the next day and took a nice long shower. It was kinda a bitch getting all the paint off my skin and I missed a few spots here and there, but it was good enough. We headed right over to Club Sega Shinjuku to sign up for the tournament since it was schedule to start in about a half hour. The place was fucking packed as hell when we got there. They had 6 AC cabs and a #reload cab there for fun set up. You could hardly even walk around the GG cab area because of all the people. In the end, 120 people signed up for this tournament! I signed myself, Matt, and Rod (who said he would be coming) up on the same team. As it got closer to the tournament starting, Rod wasnt there yet so I tried to call him like twice but his phone was off. I told MIU to take him off since he probly wasnt gonna show up. They formed teams with the left overs through RPS and we were paired with Gin (Slayer), this one Axl player who I know but forgot his name (he uses red and black Axl, and hes also the same Axl player I teamed up with along with Masutani at the Alpha Station SBO qual), and this really scrubby Millia player who did random shit like throw into that ride the hair slide move LOL! Most of all the big name top players were there. Eventually Rod showed up all late but the tournament was running late anyway so he was still able to enter, but since they already formed most of the teams, he was put on a seperate team than ours. He was originally gonna use Johnny but one of his team mates was already using Johnny, and while multiples of the same character are allowed, he opted to go with I-no for the sake of team variety.

The tournament worked just like regular 3 on 3 SBO style team tournaments but it was teams of 5 instead. Our first match, we had to fight a team of Haken(PO)/Basara(SL)/Zero(HOS)/En(SL)/Kishitaka(SO)... lucky us. Haken went first for their team and Matt went first on ours. Matt actually almost won both rounds but ended up losing. Matt didnt know it was Haken and afterwords said to me, "This guys not that good!" LOL! I went next and won the first round. The next 2 rounds were fairly close but I ended up getting cheesed by buster mixup crap and lost. Up next was Axl, who I figured would probably do well, but he lost both rounds and got perfected round 2. The Millia player was next and got beat down pretty hard, and Gin went last but also lost both rounds. I was the only one on the team who even took a single round. It was pretty devistating... getting OCVed in a 5 man team tournament... ouch. Haken is like a top 3 Potemkin player in the world though so I guess its not anything to be extremely ashamed of. Fortunately for Rod's team, they had better luck than us. They ended up winning 2 of their matches, one of which was against a team of 5 Anjis! LOL! The team included Limekey and Domi. Rod managed to beat one of the unknown Anjis, but then lost to another one. It was looking grim for them, but their was this red Ky player on their team who ended up beating all of the rest of the Anji's single handedly as their last player on the team. Eventually Rod's team lost to the same team we lost to. I saw Rod fight Kishitaka and almost beat him actually. I think in the end, Rod's team got 4th place which is pretty good. The winning team ended up being Haken's team, which isnt too surprising. During the tournament I played various casuals and I even played a game of #reload for the first time in years.... and my opponent was Ogawa's Eddie LOL! I was reminded of the true meaning of pain. Ogawa just showed up to watch and didnt enter the tournament. Though if he could somehow use #reload Eddie im sure he would OCV the entire 5 on5 alone haha.

When it was over, Rod, Matt, and I went to get some food, and then we headed over to Vegas to play casuals. Most of the people who were at the tournament had made their way over to Vegas as well, so it was pretty fuckin packed. I honestly dont remember too many specific noteworthy details. Just lots of really good games and we played for several hours.

After playing, we stopped by Mi Seon's resturaunt to eat but it was already near closing time. We made plans to have her meet us at PSY later. We got some food at this awsome izakaya where everything was like 300 yen, and they had these GIANT beers for like 400 yen which were totally worth it. I got some okonomiyaki and some takoyaki too.

Since this was a Sunday night (Monday being a national holiday, none of us had work/school) we figured Current might not be too packed, and we decided to just go bar hopping tonight. We started off at PSY so that we could meet up with Mi Seon, and had a few beers there. It was a bit early and pretty dead. Only ones there were some random dude, this wasted guy who was passed out on the bar, and a chick who was bar tending.

After PSY we decided to check out Mother. Mother is right accross the street from PSY and is the bar that Yoshi worked at before he opened Zin. I had never been there before so this was my first time. The place was extremely small! Probably the smallest bar I have ever been to. I would say it had a max capacity of maybe like 9 people LOL. There were like these 4 random foreigners sitting at the bar, and then there was like this little sitting booth area in the back where the 4 of us were just able to squeeze into. All the lights in the place were red, and the walls were covered in various band posters and mirrors. In addition to being one of the smallest bars ive ever been to, it was also maybe the loudest (which very well could be related). They had a sub woofer right next to where we were sitting and it was falling apart. We could barely hear eachother talk and they were playing this really ear peircing screetchy guitar sound music that im not familar with. I decided to mix it up and got some red wine. They had a list of the bands they had in the menu, and (I think it was Rod's idea) we requested Rock Lobster by the B-52s which I found hilarious because I never had heard the song before aside from the parody they did on Family Guy. We were surprised how long the song seemed to go for. We enjoyed dancing like idiots in our small cubicle-like corner of the bar for a bit. When the song was over and our drinks were finished, we were in unanimous decision to go to the next bar. On the way out, Matt realized that the chick who was bar tending has been to Zin before and said something to her, but it was so loud I couldnt hear a word they were saying.

Up next was GODZ! It had been a while since I went to GODZ so I wanted to check it out. There was actually a good size crowd there tonight, though aside from the guys that work there I didnt know any of them. We got a table towards the back. We had several drinks while we were there. We also requested like 4 different songs and they played all of em for us. They were on a roll playing good shit all night so it was good times there. There was also this one dude there for some reason, just sitting by himself and he was listening to his i-pod! Who the fuck goes to a heavy metal bar where the music is blasting loud as hell and listens to their i-pod?! ...and its not like maybe they played a song he didnt like so he just put it on for a bit (which would still be odd)... this guy was listening to his i-pod for like the entire almost 2 hours that we were there! Fucking strange.

After GODZ, we headed over to Zin. When we walked in, there were only 2 people there aside from Yoshi, but they left right as we got there. Yoshi was also cool about requests and I asked him to play some of the songs off the new Alice Cooper album called Along Came a Spider (which is fucking awsome, btw. You should check it out, its a concept album about a serial killer who saws off his victims legs and eats them and wraps them in silk... until one day he falls in love LOL). We had a few drinks and talked with Yoshi for a bit, but it was completely dead so we didnt stay for all that long. It was already almost 4 am so we figured we should head to Current.

When we got to Current it was already almost 4:30. The only one there working was Mogi, and Saeko, Miki, and Yago were at the bar but that was it. The 3 of them were about to leave cuz Mogi was already planning on closing up a bit early cuz he wanted to go drinking somewhere else I guess. The rest of them were just gonna go home. So we just sat at a table for about 10 minutes and didnt order anything and then we just left. Rod and Mi Seon were tired so they just ended up going home, but Matt and I figured we could go back to PSY again for a little more drinking.

As is usually the case with PSY in the later hours, the place was now actually alive. I think maybe about 5 or 6 people were there besides us. The chick who was bartending earlier was now drinking at the bar and was completely wasted. The owner was bartending this time. The French chick was there again and she bought everyone a round of Jager shots. Matt was gonna give me his shot but I told him to stop being a pussy and man up and he took the shot and held it down. Good shit. Eventually the female bartender stumbled out of the bar and left but she came back shortly after, sat back down at the bar, and threw up on herself... yummy. Good thing she didnt do that shit when she was working earlier. We stayed till about 6 am and then headed back to Matts old apartment in Nakano one more time. Im pretty sure this is the last time ill stay there ever since by next weekend he should have all his shit moved out.

I woke up and Matt was gone. He had a date with his new girlfriend so he just let me sleep there as long as I wanted and left the key and said he would meet me later at the arcade and pick it up. My bass guitar and amp were still at his place and since he was moving out, I had to take them home. I was originally planning on doing some shopping for my girlfriends birthday on this day (her birthday is coming up on the 12th of this month) but since I had to lug all that shit with me I didnt really wanna go into any crammed stores. I took a shower and headed out to Vegas.

It was dead as hell for Guilty Gear. There was one random scrub fighting the computer and then these 2 other guys who obviously were fighting eachother for a while cuz one of them had 21 wins. I was watching them play and they were pretty crappy but I decided to try to fight the 21 win guy who was using Testament anyway and I slaughtered him for free twice and then they just left. After fighting the computer for about 5 minutes, I realized no one was gonna play me so I played a little SFIV since a few people were playing it. This one Sagat player beat me like 4 times in a row and I just said fuck it and decided to go play at Akihabara.

Club Sega Akiba actually had a good ammount of people playing there. I started off playing against a green Zappa who I assumed was Mitsurugi (and it was), and lost in a close game, but then played him again and won. He moved to another cab and I got a small win streak until finally a May player showed up and beat me. I went to the other side of the cabs and played some more which lead to a 19 win streak that eventually ended by a Millia player who I already beat like a ton of times but managed to squeeze in a lucky win. Ogawa was sitting next to me for most of the time. After I lost he was trying to give me all sorts of advice but Ogawa is always hard to understand when he talks cuz he uses lots of vocabulary and slang I dont know. Eventually Matt showed up with his girl and I gave him his key. He only stuck around for one game and then left. I played a bit longer and eventually I got a call from Rod who was asking if I wanted to meet him in Shinjuku. I told him that Vegas was dead earlier but if he wants to check it out and let me know how it is ill go. He eventually told me there were people there now, and Akiba was actually starting to clear out a bit, so I said goodbye to Ogawa and headed back to Shinjuku.

When I got there though, it was already getting pretty close to the time when I have to catch my train to go home. I told Rod I was just gonna get some Wendys instead. After eating, I had about another 25 minutes to kill so I decided to just walk over to Vegas afterall and see what was up. Rod was fighting against Inoue who was using Faust for some reason and Inoue had 11 wins. Rod said they were all against him and he was clearly getting pretty frusterated losing to Inoue so many times. I know the feeling. Inoue can be really annoying to fight against because sometimes he doesnt do things that are extremely spectacular but he just ends up winning anyway. Hes a really smart player and can use so many characters. When you watch him play its not always so impressive but he is just solid. I only had time for a few games. I played against some a few players like a Ky and a Zappa and won all 4 games and then I told the dude who was about to put another credit in that I had to go. I said bye to Rod and headed out.

I was gonna leave at 8:25 but the Zappa played me and I ended up leaving at about 8:28. When I got to the station, I ran up to the train platform and the train began to pull away JUST as I got up there. Had I not fought Zappa, I would have made the train. As a result of missing it, I had to take a limited express train which costs 900 yen extra, which kinda sucks, but its better than sleeping on a bench at Takasaki station all night and being late for work.

Overall it was a fun weekend. I was pretty hungry to play some more gear and didnt really want to leave heh. Next weekend I have a PTA sports tournament event that I have to go to. They had the same thing last year and I have to play in a ping pong tournament. I like ping pong but would much rather be able to go to Tokyo on Friday night than play ping pong in a freezing cold gym on Saturday morning. After the tournament ends at about 12 ill be heading to Tokyo as usual, though I dont know whats going on as far as tournaments since I havnt picked up the latest Arcadia yet.