Monday, May 11, 2009

Wild Turkey

I went drinking on Thursday night in my town with Ryoko and her sister at a bar. When I got home sometime around midnight, right before I went to sleep, I got a phone call from H.H. He asked if I was going to the SBO qual tournament this weekend at Shinjuku Sportsland. I told him yes. He said he already had a team but said he wanted to talk to me about something at the tournament. I said sure, and then went to sleep.

The next day I woke up and was pretty drunk the night before cuz the bartender at that bar kept pooring me free shots of cheap whiskey, so I wasnt sure if I had dreamt that phone call or not but according to my phone, it wasnt a dream. Anyway, I had a regular day at work and then headed for Tokyo as ussual. On the way there, I was thinking about going to the new Mikado in Takadanobaba cuz thats where all the top players were playing last Friday. I mailed Matt and Rod and told them to just meet me there. They said they were already at Vegas and according to Rod it was "hot!". So, I ended up just going to Vegas. When I got there, I was slightly disapointed to see that while there were a few people there, based on the crowd that was there, the top players were all most likely all at Takadanobaba afterall. Besides Rod and Matt, Hot Zappa and Baim and Dream Maker were there which was cool. Aside from there, there were a few other Japanese players there. I started off playing some Venom who beat me 3 times in a row. Baim told Rod that he used to be some famous Venom player but I never got his name. Then I started playing against this one red Millia player. This guy was really good and I have a suspicion he might have been R-1 but im not sure. Anyway, after May, Millia is my next hardest matchup in the game. We started off going kind of even and I was winning a few here and then. Then, I dont know what happened, but he beat me over and over... and many of them were close... but in the end he got 15 wins in a row on me before the next time I beat him. It was extremely frusterating but I figured out anytime I threw any sort of attack out, he pretty much was just gonna outright beat it with another attack. Faust almost has no priority over anything Millia sticks out. I pretty much just stopped attacking all together, just stood still and watched him dash around like a fly for a while and eventually I had him figured out and won. After that, I beat some Sol, a PO, lost to an ABA twice but then beat him, and then I got like a 10 win streak against this one Eddie player and a couple of other guys. Then Rod played me and I beat his I-no twice and lost in a really close game to SL. By this time, the place completely cleared out pretty much, so we headed out to go drinking at Current after getting some food. Except Rod had stuff to do so he just went home.

On the way to Current, we ran into some Norwegian guys who were on their way to GODZ. They said Current had people but most of them were white people and dudes, so they were gonna go to GODZ. We went in Current anyway and there were a few regulars and then as they said, a bunch of white people I didnt know. One of them though, was that one asshole Australian guy who challenged me to that arm wrestling match that one time for like no reason at all. He was supposed to buy me a beer after I beat him but he never did. This guy is always wasted and rude to everyone. Anyway, I was ordering a beer and hes like "hey mate, come talk to me for 2 seconds! Dont worry im not gonna try to kiss ya!" and im like "Well, you tried last time I talked to you" (which he did, he offered to kiss me as a reward for winning arm wrestling 0_o) and then he was like "Oh, I met you before?" ... so im like yea... and I called him out on that drink thing and he felt stupid so he bought me a shot of tequila which I happily drank, humored him by talking to him for like 5 minutes as he asked me a few dumb questions, and then he gave me this really gay look and started staring in my eyes, it was a bit creepy. Thankfully his friend came by and I used the opportunity to go move to the back tables and sit with Matt who was once again playing FFIV on his DS. I dont remember if I ever gave this guy a nickname cuz its been a while since I wrote about him but im just gonna call him Mendokusai Man from now on. Mendokusai literally means stinks of bother, or more easily translates into a huge neusance or pain in the ass. This is the most common thing I hear Japanese people say about this guy whenever they are done having a conversation with him LOL!

We drank for a while and talked to a few other people here and there, and then at one point this one guy came and said hi to us. He was another Australian guy (has no connection the asshole guy) of asian decent (Vietnamese and Chinese) and was there sitting at the table next to us with 2 girls who were also asian Australians. We made friendly conversation for a while and he seemed like an alright guy, and then he asked where I was from and I was like "Chicago" and he thought it was cool cuz he said he was into Kanye and Lupe Fiasco and stuff or whatever. He was asking me some stuff about Chicago like if I ever got a gun pointed at me. I said no, but ive heard gun shots and I have friends who have had stray bullets wizz by them. I told him I lived in a not so always safe Mexican neighborood south of downtown while I was in College. Then he was like "what is the nickname for Mexican people, is like Spic or something?" and im like, yea if you wanna get your ass kicked. I explained to him that its not like calling an Australian and Aussie and is more like calling a black person the N word. He got the point after that. Pretty hilariously ignorant. Then he started like bragging about how he was from Sydney and that Sydney would drink Chicago under the table in a drinking contest. Well, this guy pretty much just called me out, so I had no choice to challenge him. I proposed that we go right away to the bar, and get a round of Wild Turkey shots. I bought 2 shots, Mogi gave them to me at a discounted price (500 yen each and they are normally 800 yen each). For those of you who dont know, Wild Turkey is a Burbon Whiskey and is stronger than most regular Whiskeys at 100 proof (normal is 80 proof). I bought the first round and told the Asian Australian Guy (I forgot his real name so ill just call him AAG) to get the next round. He bought it, and we downed those too. So that was 2 shots each in like 2 minutes. Then we went to sit down again by Matt and the girls and the whole time he was just talking mad shit and saying over and over again "I Sydney wont fucking lose to Chicago, I wont lose to you, never!" like over and over. His tone was like semi serious and agressive but not in like a violent way, but he certainly didnt want to lose to me. I explained to him how it doesnt matter where you come from that determines how much you can drink, and that I have friends from all sorts of different backgrounds even within Chicago. Logic didnt seem to matter and he continued his ranting. I could already tell he wasnt doing so well. Up until this point, I had maybe 5 beers and that tequila shot before hand. This guy said he had been at Current since like 6 and he was also some skinny short dude. I have no idea how much he had to drink before and he honestly didnt seem that wasted or anything when he was talking to us before, but I knew I was gonna drink this guy out of commision. His 2 friends knew it too. Yet, he wouldnt give up, he just kept talking mad shit, so like 10 minutes later I proposed we go do another round. He bought the next one, and then I got another round for us too. So that was 4 shots of Wild Turkey in like 15 minutes or something. The guy continued to talk mad shit. I offered him a snus and he took it and just continued to talk shit saying the same thing over and over. His head began to droop down and all of a sudden, he gets up and walks quickly to the bathroom. I knew I had won. He didnt come out of the bathroom for about a half hour. Eventually one of the girls went to check on him, and I could see through the opened bathroom door, AAG was sitting on the floor, literally hugging the toilet with his face buried in it. I on the other hand couldnt have felt better and was completely fine, though of course was getting pretty drunk. Eventually his 2 female friends dragged him outside. He was too wasted to even say a word. I told his girls that I was sorry if I messed up the rest of their night and they told me they knew it was gonna happen that way and that he brought it upon himself so it was all cool. Mogi and Sushi gave me a round of high fives and then we pretty much just went on with the rest of the night as always. Matt and I left Current at around 4 to go drinking at PSY since Current wasnt so bangin, so we just drank there till 6. I went to sleep at the manga kissa after that.

I woke up and headed right to Vegas. There were already tons of people there playing since people always practice at Vegas before Sporstland tournaments since its so close by and cheaper. Honyo, my team mate, was there playing as well. Our problem was, he was my ONLY team mate. I was hoping Yuki would be able to team with me but it turned out he had other business to attend to. I told Honyo the bad news but suggested we could just find someone at Sportsland. He was ok with it. I also saw that RF was there playing casuals! I always love the opportunity to play him since its a rare occurance. I got on the cab and fought againts that one really good black IN player and won. Then a Faust challenged me. I beat him in a close game. Then he rematched me and I lost. I went over to check, and it was RF! Kishya was also there so I wasnt sure if it was him the first game, but later I asked Kishya if I played him earlier and he said no, so im pretty sure it was RF both times. I challenged RF eventually one more time and lost. He seriously is the Faust of all Fausts. I said hi to him briefly as he was going to get more change. I asked him if he was going to go to EVO this year but he said he wasnt sure. It doesnt seem like many Japanese GG players are too interested in EVO this year for whatever reason. I also asked him if his team won the Nakano TRF tournament and he said yes, so it means that the winner of today's tournament has to fight RF/Mike/Ogawa. I honestly wasnt too optomistic about it heh.

It was already passed the time when signups started, so I suggested to Honyo (who was beasting with a 10 win streak) that we go to Sportsland to signup and find a team mate. He agreed so we went. Sportsland was fucking PACKED and you could hardly walk. They had 6 GG cabs set up and they were running a special on 100 for 2 credits so tons of people were practicing there too. Clay Gundam Man was also there up to his usual shananagins of not talking to anyone and contructing tiny gundams from clay. I went and signed up our team and Shoot was there to run the tournament and take signtups. I signed us up as a 2 man team and asked if he knew any single people who needed a team but he said no. I walked around a bit and checked with a few people and things were looking pretty bad. I tried calling Matt to see if he could fill in for us but he was too tired to come. I also called Rod and he had stuff to do until about 5 so it was no good. I even mailed Gin since he was not there and he said he was at work. Eventually I went back and checked with Shoot and it turned out there was a lone Potemkin player there named Mon. Hes from Chiba. I had no idea how good he was but at this point it didnt really matter. I only played mybe like 2 games of casuals the whole time there cuz the wait to play was pretty nuts. I think I fought some Chipp and lost and then I also fought against Zero's HOS who was just in beast mode. I won a round but he pretty much stomped me.

Shortly before the tournament started, HH found me and came up to me. I had no idea what he wanted to talk about. It turned out he said he was pretty serious about traveling to far away places as my team mate but said he was keeping his same local team for any local tournaments. I asked him what he considers far, and he said places like Gunma and Tochigi are still close. His idea of far is like outside the Kanto area. I was reviewing the other far away tournaments coming up on the schedule and seeing how they fit in and what would be good to go to. It pretty much seemed that the only one worth going to isnt until the very last weekend of quals... and its all the way in Okinawa, the Hawaii of Japan. I had no idea how much it would cost to go there, but its the same day as the qualifier at Vegas which just about EVERYONE will be at. Its also a one shot deal so if you win that one, you automatically are in SBO instead of having to deal with other tournaments in the block. I honestly have no idea if there are any good players in Okinawa, but HH seemed to be interested in the idea of going. We decided we would think it over and plan on going to it. I didnt address anything about the money issue so I dont know if he expects me to pay for his airfare or not, but I figured I might as well at least check the price before I worry about any of that.

Anyway, the tournament started and our first match was against Goro (JA)/Fumo (AB)/Kakeru (SL)... the same team that was in the finals last time against En's team and Inoue's team for the Chiba block. We let our Potemkin player go first and he went against Fumo's AB and lost. He kinda got beat pretty bad. Up next, Honyo wanted to go. He lost the first round. Then 2nd round he won and then 3rd round he fought his ass off and won again! Up next was Goro. This time, things happend the same way, he lost the first round but came back to take the next 2 in a really close game. Honyo was playing WELL! He was really playing his ass off. Up next was Kakeru and he put up a good fight this time too but just fell short. It was now up to me to take out Slayer. It started off pretty well until I got drove into the corner and just pretty much failed to block every single mixup (which basically means I got hit by 2 mixups cuz thats all it takes for Slayer to kill you). The 2nd round wasnt much different, I just wasnt blocking well against him. I was hesitant and tried to do stuff at the last second that just didnt work out and I lost. I honestly wasnt expecting to win the tournament today anyway given what we were up against and going into it with the 2 man team, I guess part of me had given up before we even started. Given how hard Honyo was playing though, I felt really bad about it.

Anyway, Mon thanked us for having him on our team and left shortly after. I was hungry and wanted to get some food and Honyo agreed to come with me. We got some fast Matsuya and then went to Vegas to play casuals... all the other people who already lost were there too. I really wanted to watch the finals for this but it was too crowded in there at the moment and watching the entire tournament would be a pain. We got some good casuals in with people for a while and then I got a mail from Rod who said he was at Sportsland and asked where I was at. I told him to just go to Vegas and eventually he showed up too. Some more time passed and eventually we decided it was about time to head back to Sportsland cuz we didnt wanna miss the finals.

When we got back to Sportsland, nothing was really going on. I asked if we already missed it and they said the prelim ended and now it was an intermission before the finals started, so we made good time. I asked who won and they said the winning team was Zero(OR)/Yosaan(IN)/Minami(CH). After a little waiting, they finally got started. Shoot was announcing matches all day extremely enthusiasticly and he wasnt letting up for the finals. Im surprised the guys voice still worked, hes a great announcer. Up first was Mike's Jam vs Zero's HOS. It went down to the very last round but Zero came out again against Mike! Up next was RF's Faust. Pretty much the same here, in the last round Zero took it! I certainly wanst expecting it to go down to Ogawa so soon. Ogawa wasnt ready to go out like that though. The pressure was on, but he pulled through and defeated Zero but it wasnt an easy fight. Up next was Yosaan and his I-no. Yosaan came out strong and won the first round! Shit was getting mighty hype. Ogawa came back in round 2. It was now down to the final round and Yosaan played hard! Every time he landed a hit on his combos, the entire room was just yelling "eh! eh! eh! eh!" and that shit was probably echoeing through Ogawa's skull. Yosaan's beasting took down Ogawa and carried his team to victory! In an unexpected upset, Ogawa's team is still not qualifed for SBO. Zero/Yosaan/Minami is a beast team though so im glad they are out of the way.

Pretty much as soon as it ended, Rod, Honyo, and I headed back for Vegas where we played casuals for the rest of the night. I played against tons of people and was doing pretty well winnin g and losing here and there vs some really good players. MIU showed up and I told him the results and he seemed pretty shocked. I also mentioned to him about how me and HH might go to Okinawa. He actually seemed like he wanted to come too. Im still not sure if were even gonna go so I told him ill get back to him once we do some more planning. Im not sure or not who HH has in mind either, but having MIU on the team would be cool (assuming he could get off work). Matt showed up later on piss drunk. With him was the girl he has had a crush on forever that we met in Kyoto, Eriko. They were drinking at an Izakaya for the past 3 hours or something. She came by real fast cuz she wanted to see what GG was like before Matt walked her back to the station. After he walked her there eventually came back and played some drunk GG. He fought Rod a lot and I guess was doing pretty well and winning a lot for being drunk and kept talking shit about it to Rod lol. At around midnight, pretty much everyone just got up and left and we were like the very last ones there. Rod fought Matt once more and beat him and then we headed out. Got some quick food and then headed to Current again.

Current was pretty full of regulars this time. In addition, Sawa was there. We hadnt seen her for a while but it was nice to see her again. She mailed me earlier when we were at Vegas saying that she would come. Mendokusai Man was there again and was trying to hit on Sawa for a bit but Matt butted in and saved her. She was thuroughly annoyed by him after only a few minutes. Another odd thing was that Sawa is fluent in English and has that sexy British accent but she was speaking Japanese all night. I have no problem with that but it felt strange hah. The rest of the night at Current was pretty much just good times. After they closed, we rallied up a group to go do Karaoke consisting of Me, Matt, Rod, Sawa, Shuji, and this one Norwegian guy whos name I dont remember. We did Karaoke for like 2 hours and it was pretty awsome. It was certainly one of the most strange karaoke sessions I had ever been to featuring such "favorites" as The Scatman, Baby Got Back, and Sawa did this one rediculous line dancing country techno song called "5,6,7,8" which was hilariously bad but somehow somewhat hot with the little dance she was doing on the chair lol. If you wanna see how bad this song is check it out here . At around 8 am or 8:30 I finally got to the manga kissa and went to sleep after some quick food.

I had pretty much nothing to do today cuz there were no SBO tournaments. I decided to go to that travel agency where Matt and I booked our Hokkaido trip to get an estimate on prices for the Okinawa trip if it happens. The best price I could get was 33,000 yen round trip, which is affordable. The main issue is dependant on how much of HH's trip I would need to pay for if I had to pay for some of it or all of it... thats a huge factor involved here. Anyway, this whole plan is still up in the air and I have lots of time to think it over but its a possability.

After that, since Vegas was dead, I headed over to Takadanobaba Mikado. There werent many people here either but I really had no other good ideas so I just figured I would wait to see if people showed up. I started off beating some not so stellar players who eventually gave up on trying to beat me, then I beat the game and moved to where they were playing again and ended up racking about a total of 30 wins without any loses between that time. I ducked out for a bit to get lunch and enjoyed some tasty ramen. When I went back, I noticed that the Faust player Takuya was there. I saw him at Vegas earlier (he was like the only one there) so it was safe to assume it was still dead. I played him in a mirror match and won and then he stopped playing for whatever reason. Then this one pink hair millia player challenged me. This guy was really good and we went back and forth a couple of games. Eventually I beat him, and then the grand daddy of all Millias just came out of nowhere: Nakamura. Come to think of it, I havnt seen him enter a single SBO tournament yet this year. He played against me... and proceeded to beat me... 10 times in a row. I had a lot of close games and was winning rounds and stuff, but I just couldnt finish him. Eventually I did beat him though. I apolagized to him for playing so crappy but he said he didnt feel like I played crappy at all. There was also some black PO there who I went back and forth with for a while but was mostly beating. I also beat some decent Testament and then later on that one pink haired Millia played me a bunch again. I was having a lot of trouble against him again too. I would win sometimes but he was winning a lot more. The last match I played against him, I totally had him in the last round. Every single time I had meter and he was mixing me up in the corner, he would do a disc and then just walk up and throw. I totally called him out on it and tried to throw but my input didnt come out and it killed me. This pissed me off thuroughly. Towards the end, this one blue and black Sol player came (I think he was friends with Inoue who also showed up but I didnt get a chance to play him) and he beat the Millia. Then I fought the Sol and would have won but fucked up an input that lead to me getting sidwinder looped into death. At this point I was tired and just kinda in a really pissed off mood and it was about time to leave so I just got up and left. Got some food, and headed to the train.

Throughout the time I was at Mikado playing, I mailed Junya, the female Dizzy I will team up with next weekend in Yamagata. It turns out that the Eddie player she wanted to team with us cant. I decided to email EVE and ask him if he could join us. He said that he doesnt know his schedule yet but will know by Wednesday. If he can team with us, we are set, but if not, I dont really know what were gonna do. Honyo said he has no money to travel that far and Yuki is busy. Everyone I pretty much asked cant go. The only one left is Kunihiro. I didnt ask him but theres a SLIM chance he could go if EVE cant. If everything goes right, I will be heading off for my first time to the northern prefecture of Yamagata. All I can do now is wait and see...

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