Monday, June 8, 2009

Earthquakes, Wolves, and 80's Mustaches... but what about SBO?

Ryoko had the day off on Saturday so she decided to come to Tokyo to drink with us. I headed out to Tokyo alone cuz Ryoko had to work till like 7:30 or something. She would take the shinkansen out to Tokyo and meet up with me later. I started out by heading over to Takadanobaba Mikado. There was a good crowd there. Among them was Ogawa, Inoue, FAB, Hase, Udei, Seta, and Ririko. I started out by watching Ririko lose to Seta and then I tried my hand at it but lost in a mirror match. Then Ririko beat him so I tried to play her but lost again. Then for a while I fought against a few various people and got a small win streak. Then eventually I went over to fight Ogawa who had a small win streak and was using Potemkin. I played him 3 times and lost.

Then I got a mail from Ryoko saying she would be in Tokyo soon so I headed over to Shinjuku station to meet up with her. Her older sister, Naoko, who is 25, was gonna meet up with us to go drinking at Current as well. After having originally met me, Ryoko said that Naoko thinks I am very nice and is now sorta interested in meeting other foreign guys, so Ryoko sorta wanted to introduce her to Matt. While I was waiting for Ryoko I mailed Matt to ask where he was at, he said he was actually on a date with one of the girls we met at the Finnish event last weekend and went to PSY with. He refers to her as Cosplay girl because she was wearing some slutty school girl uniform. Its obvious that this is cosplay and not a real uniform due to the fact that this girl is 36. Matt really cant seem to get enough of those older women, whether he intends to or not.

Eventually Ryoko showed up and we headed over near Current to meet up with Naoko who was waiting in front of the 7-11 near there. She was already there for a little while and seemed kinda pissed at Ryoko at first over the phone for being a bit late, but then once we saw her in person she acted normally. We arrived at Current and it wasn’t so packed. There was an ok crowd for a regular Friday but most of the people there I didn’t know. The 3 of us sat and talked for a bit about various stuff and eventually Matt showed up… with Cosplay Girl! Originally he said she was gonna take the last train home but I guess she changed her mind. Upon asking how Matt’s date went (in private mind you, not in front of everyone else), he told me they had just came from a love hotel, lol! This girl didn’t waste anytime giving it up on the first date and asked Matt to be her boyfriend until he goes back to the US in a month, haha! Matt made a good call and turned her down on the girlfriend part. She just kinda shrugged it off. After the whole Akiko thing (who keeps sending guilt mails btw), its probably best for him to just play it safe on this one.

Matt sat with us at our table and the Cosplay girl made some brief conversation with Naoko and then went to sit at the bar. Eventaully Rod showed up as well and we all sat and drank and talked for a while. Unfortunately, Naoko left kinda early, she said she had a Jazz show to go to tomorrow at some bar, and Ryoko told me that Naoko doesn’t like to stay out late. She said she had fun though and would like to come drink with me at Current again sometime. She lives very close to Shinjuku actually so its not hard for her to come out. Before she left, she exchanged emails with Cosplay girl which was a bit of a surprise. I guess they plan to hang out sometime (?)

A little later on, Cosplay girl decided to leave. She said she wanted to get home to get some sleep. I asked her how shes gonna get home without a train and she said she would walk. I asked her long it would take and she said maybe like 3 hours. There was only like 3 hours left till Current closed, so I asked her why she doesn’t just stay till 5 and then take the first train. She said she wanted to get sleep. I was wondering how shes gonna get any more sleep by walking for 3 hours over staying here and taking the train since she would get home at the same time, but I didn’t feel like getting into some endless illogical loop of questioning her flawed logic so I just let it go hah.

Once Current closed at 5, Matt, Ryoko, and I headed for PSY. Heidi was working the bar at Current (as she seems to do now every Friday) and she came with us as well after she finished work. Rod decided to go home so we split up on the way there. This was Ryoko’s first time at PSY. It was more or less a pretty typical night there. We squeezed in a little Count of Tuscany action and enjoyed some drinks.

Once PSY closed, we were hungry so we got some ramen at some random ramen place I had never been to. After eating, it was time for Ryoko and I to find a hotel to stay at. It was already almost 7 am so at this point its pretty much a love hotel or nothing. Love hotels vary greatly in price so sometimes you have to search a bit to find a good deal, but fortunately they are all pretty clumped together a lot of the time so its not that bad. It was raining a bit though which kinda sucked. After searching for a little bit, we eventually found a place with a good deal and checked in.

Im not going to go into detail about the events which occurred within our hotel room, but some stuff happened and then we went to sleep. Before we woke up for good, I was woken by the room shaking. No, Ryoko wasn’t trying to straddle me in my sleep… I had just experienced my first earthquake. In Chicago, earthquakes are pretty much unheard of, and since the prefecture of Japan that I live in is surrounded by mountains, we never get them there either. It was pretty mild but kinda cool to experience. It lasted maybe about 30 seconds. I went back to sleep and we eventually woke up and checked out of the hotel sometime around 4 pm Saturday.

We originally were planning on checking out Ueno Zoo cuz it sounded like a fun idea and I havnt been to a zoo in like over 10 years or something. Unfortunately we checked the time on Ryoko’s phone and the zoo closes at 4 lol. We were pretty hungry so we just kind walked around in Okubo for a bit and checked out some resturaunts. Also, I found this awesome liquor store that had some really rare beers I never seen before, so I bought a few to bring back home later. Also, they had root beer there. Root beer is not normally sold in Japan. Most Japanese people don’t even know what it is. Im honestly not even a big fan of it, but I sorta felt like having some so I bought a can of A&W and split it with Ryoko. It was her first time tasting it and she couldn’t quite tell if she liked it or not but she said it was certainly a taste she had never experienced before.

Eventually we decided on going to an izakaya to have some food and start drinking at like 5 pm, one hour after we woke up, cuz we are just that hardcore. The place just opened at 5 so we were the only ones there for a bit until more customers came, but it was nice and we talked a lot about various stuff and enjoyed some good food and some drinks. Also, I used their bathroom and found some guy’s wallet on top of the toilet paper dispenser. I think it was one of the guys who worked there. I gave it back to him and he seemed kinda embarrassed heh. Hes lucky im an honest guy. There was only 1000 yen cash (about 10 bucks) in there though.

I got a call from Rod saying that he was gonna meet up with Nick and this one girl named Lisa to go to have some more food and drinks so we decided to tag along as well. They were gonna meet in front of Seibu-Shinjuku station at around 7, so after Ryoko and I finished up at the izakaya, we took a walk over to there to meet up with them. On the way, Matt messaged me saying he was gonna come too but was kinda lost saying he didn’t know the area around Heidi’s apartment. I was like “you stayed at Heidi’s?! Did you sleep with her?” and he was like “no I just crashed there.” Which I believe given they are just friends and Heidi isn’t that kinda girl at all.

Anyway, we met up with Nick, Rod, and Lisa (shes a Japanese American from California that goes to the same school as Rod and Nick). We got on the train and headed to this one Italian restaurant. I don’t remember what it was called or what the station it was at was, but this place rocked pretty hard. We ordered a bunch of pizza’s (which were damn tasty compared to most pizza in Japan and reasonably priced) and a lot of wine. They sold big jugs of wine, enough for like 4 glasses, for 600 yen! That’s pretty dirt cheap. Eventually Matt showed up and the 6 of us feasted on pizza and wine, except Ryoko got beer cuz she hates wine, and Lisa cant really drink for some reason.

After the pizza, we headed back to the train. Rod and Matt wanted to go play some GG. I was down for it. It was already getting late so Ryoko decided to just go back home now. She had to work early in the morning the next day, and since we were gonna go play GG, it was a good time for her to head out anyway. I said bye to her when we got to Takadanobaba station and then she got on her next train to head back home. Nick also split up with us here cuz he lives in Takadanobaba and doesn’t play Gear. Lisa also went home.

It was now time to get some practice in for tomorrow’s SBO qual. The tournament tomorrow is the block final that goes along with the one I went to last weekend. Its another Kanagawa tournament. Unfortuantely, this one is another one of those stupid strict ones that only allows 16 teams to enter and registration starts at 10 am. I really hate getting up that early to head out there and register for these kinds of tournaments, and Ive done it for my team every single time, so I asked Honyo and Kunhiro if either of them could register for us this time. Honyo said he couldn’t but then Kunihiro said he would, so that meant I could go out drinking again tonight! Sweet. There was a decent sized crowd again at Mikado this time. I don’t know who most of the people were that I was playing, but I got some games in with Johnnyo and that one Ky player who has the really good footsies and zoning who used to go to Vegas all the time. Matt took a game on Johnnyo which was pretty good on his part. I had pretty much been drinking all day but since it was pretty gradually over a long period of time, and I was full of food, I didn’t really feel that drunk so I was able to play decent anyway. We ended up staying until midnight which is when this arcade closes. Rod, Matt, and I were the last 3 people there playing GG and Rod and Matt, as usual, had to squeeze in as many last minute games against each other possible. Eventually they finished up and we headed out to go drinking.

We were walking on our way to Current and we ran into Shuji. We stopped in a Sunkus to get some redbulls and stuff and he told us he was heading to Zin. We were gonna go to Current but he said he would come meet up with us later. Current ended up being pretty fuckin dead. A few random people were there and like the usual staff plus Yonei and that was about it. We sat at the bar and had a few beers and played some Puyo Puyo against eachother on DS. Then we started drawing ridiculous shit and picto chatting the pictures to eachother on the DS. I drew a really half ass picture of all of Faust’s random items. Also, I don’t remember how it came up, but I was telling Matt about this one customer review of a 3 Wolves Howling At The Moon T-shirt I saw on amazon.com that Nives from SRK posted in the Chicago thread a while back. It was like the funniest shit ever and I couldn’t stop laughing when I originally read it at work.

You can find the link here, go read it!: 3 Wolves Howling At The Moon Shirt!

Anyway, we decided since Current was kinda sucking, we would go head to Nakano and drink at Rod’s bar Juke 80’s and also check out this one video game bar. On our way out, we ran into Shuji again as we were going down the stairs. He said Zin was dead too and decided to come with us to Nakano. We split a cab there and then headed to Juke 80’s.

We got some food and ordered some beers and chilled there for maybe an hour. Juke 80’s has a big TV screen and does music video requests which is kinda cool. Rod and Matt wanted to show me the music video for Journey’s Separate Ways cuz they once saw it there before and they said it was extremely hilarious. Let me tell you… that video has got to be one of THE GREATEST (yes, THE FUCKING GREATEST) music videos I have ever seen in my life! Theres no possible way anyone could watch that video and not laugh their fucking ass off. GO WATCH IT NOW!

Journey – Separate Ways: VIDEO!

The only thing that could make this video any more awsome is if all the band members had 3 Wolves Howling At The Moon shirts.

Also while we were eating, Shuji asked me another one of his random English questions. He always asks us random questions about some of the strangest English and sometimes I wonder where he hears this stuff from hah. He asked what the difference between “shit!” and “hole shit!” means. I was like… “hole shit? Wtf?” and we eventually figured out he meant “holy shit!”. So basically I just told him that you can use “shit!” when something surprising or bad happens and “holy shit!” is the same thing but just more extreme. Like if someone spilled a beer you would say shit, but if someone spilled the whole fucking keg you might say “holy shit!”

At some time around 4 am, we decided to go check out the near by video game bar. On our way out, some cute girl that Rod knows who he hadn’t seen in a while showed up. He told us to go on ahead and said he would stay and talk with the girl for a bit and meet up with us later. The 3 of us headed over to the video game bar. The place was called “B’”. I don’t know what it stands for but I’ll just assume it stands for Bozac cuz that would rock. Among all the video game bars I have been to, this place is probably the best. They had 3 TV areas with consoles hooked up. The place had tons of customers and not only that, but there was a good amount of cute girls there, playing video games! Pretty hot stuff haha. When we got there, the only open TV was the one with the Famicom and the PS2. We got some beers and started off playing Kung-Fu! I forgot what the name of the game was in Japanese but I used to have this game on NES and it brought back some memories. We also played some Rockman 5 which is pretty hard when you are drunk. At some point I went over to the bar to ask the guy working there if they had any Castlevania games for Famicom but they didn’t unfortunately. As I was passing by, a cute girls who was playing Wii Tennis accidently wacked me with her wiimote lol! We played a few more random wtf games I never have seen before and then eventually the table next to us opened up. It had a Super Famicom and they had Street Fighter Zero 2… for Super Famicom. I don’t know how this game was able to run on the Super Famicom but somehow it did. It was pretty slow and there was like a 5 second pause before each match started. We were playing on crappy pads so it was hard to get most stuff out right but it was still fun. I was pretty much undefeated all night but then I declared the next match vs me and Matt was for the title of “Drunken Gaijin Living in the Kanto Area Pad Super Famicom Street Fighter Zero II World Champion!”. It was going kinda even and then Shuji like turned the game off or something on accident. We fired it back up and then replayed the match and Matt beat me by like a hair. So I guess for now he is the “Drunken Gaijin Living in the Kanto Area Pad Super Famicom Street Fighter Zero II World Champion!” but im just gonna own him next time and regain my honor!

Eventually it was time for the place to close and Rod hadn’t showed up yet so we left to check if he was still at Juke 80’s, and he was. He was talking with that girl the whole time. As soon as we got back in there, Shuji started hitting on her lol! Shameless. After that, we all went to get some McDonalds breakfast. From there I went to go try to find a manga kissa around Nakano to stay at cuz I was lazy and didn’t wanna go back to Shinjuku. There were 2. One was too expensive and the other one only offered 3 hour packages at that time so it wasn’t enough. I reluctantly headed back to the station and got on the train. While I was on the train I was really sleepy so I just said screw it and decided I would just sleep on the Yamanote line again like I did that one time for like an hour or so… except this time it was for like 5 hours haha. Its fine for the first few hours because I was so drunk I just passed the fuck out, but once you start to sober up and you can feel how uncomfortable it is, you start periodically waking up a lot.

At around 10:30 I got a message from Honyo asking if I was able to register for the tournament. I told him Kunihiro was gonna do it but that I didn’t hear from him yet so to wait and then I would mail him back. I mailed Kunihiro and went back to sleep waiting for his reply. I woke up again to Honyo asking again with no reply from Kunihiro. It was about noon now so I figured I might as well just suck it up and go check out the place myself since I wasn’t hearing from Kunihiro. I was already on the train anyway. I got to Shibuya and changed trains and then it took about 30 to 40 mins to get there. After a little walking I found the place, it was a nice arcade and inside a huge shopping mall. I went to the front desk and asked the guy if I could see the signup sheet. He told me that entry was already over and that I couldn’t sign up. I explained to him that my team mate already came and signed us up and that I just wanted to check. He like flashed the sheet in front of me for like 5 seconds and didn’t even give me time to look well. Then he was like, go find your friend. I was like, well I don’t know where he is, can I just see one more time? So he let me look again and I didn’t see our names on there anywhere. I walked around and found where the 2 GG cabs were with all the players crowded around, but Kunihiro wasn’t there. I then went to go call him. He told me that when he got there that it was already full. I was also talking to Ojima and he said people were out there lined up since 9 am, so even if I went myself I doubt I would have been able to sign up either. I hate these ridiculous entry requirements. On one hand it technically makes the tournament easier if theres less teams you have to beat but with the quals being so limited this year compared to last year, it sucks when some arcades decide to be so restrictive. Plenty of other places have unlimited teams or the limit is very high so everyone who comes out can play. I would feel really bad for people who travel really far to come to some of these and get turned down entry (I technically came 4 hours from where I live but my situation is different I guess since I live in Tokyo on the weekends basically, but it still sucks). Anyway, Kunihiro asked me about next weekend and I told him that there would be 2 tournaments in Ibaraki prefecture. He said he could go to the Sunday one but not the Saturday one. Also, I told him about how I was planning on maybe going to Okinawa for the very final tournament and he actually seemed interested. If we can find one more solid player I think it’s a feasible option.

Anyway, after talking with him on the phone I went back in the arcade and stood in line to play some casuals. After watching this beastly Chip player beat both Kawin and Kazuki, I tried my luck at him. I won the first round and lost the next 3 but they were all pretty damn close. After that I just gave up trying again cuz there were waaaayyyy to many people waiting to play and the tournament was going to start very soon anyway so I knew I wouldn’t have time to get another game in. I saw some lone guy playing SFII AE so I went to go play him. I picked Blanka and beat him 5 times in a row. He used several characters like Fei Long, T Hawk, Guile, Ken, and finally Gief. I beat his Gief and then he tried again against Gief and I lost and then just decided that was enough and left.

I got back on the train and got some food for the trip and the Sunkus near the station. I took a nice nap too, I was still tired as hell actually. I didn’t sleep long or very well. I figured I might as well just play some casuals so I headed for Mikado again. A few people were there but it was kinda dead. Among them was Mitsurugi and also Honyo was there too! I said hi to Honyo and then went to play Mitsurugi’s Zappa and lost like something like 6 times in a row. He was just beasting as always. I came pretty close to winning a few times though. Then I went to play some other people and was doing much better and got a few small win streaks. Honyo said he played Mitsurugi earlier too and got beasted on. Later on, Rod showed up out of no where and sat next to me on the other cab and then we played eachother for a bit until he had to leave to go to work. A little later, Maruken played against me with his BA and I actually managed to win 2 games against him out of maybe like 6. I even perfected him one round. At some point, Kazuki came so I guess the tournament was over. I asked him who won and he said Mugen’s team won. It was Mugen(BR)/Chonari(ZA)/Satou(JO). They won the tournament last weekend so they were already in the finals today and they now will be playing in SBO. Runner up was Inoue/Kazuki/Kawin.

Towards the end, I was getting really really sleepy and hungry. I got a redbull which helped a bit. At some point I went to get some food near the end. I went to McDonalds cuz it was close by. I tried to order a McPork and 2 Shakashaka chickens (basically a big chicken patty), and I asked for some ketchup. They told me they can only give me ketchup if I order fries. I was like… “but every other McDonalds always gives me ketchup”. Then the manager comes and starts arguing with me about it and hes like “we don’t give ketchup at this mcdonalds” and im like “well then im gonna go eat at a different mcdonalds, bye” and I left. A fast food restaurant (espessially McDonalds) not giving customers ketchup is just ridiculous. Ill never give that shitty McDonalds my business. Theres another one right down the street too LOL, but as I was passing it I saw a Mastuya and decided id rather just have curry and rice instead. I ate it and it was way better than McDonalds and then I went back to Mikado for like a half hour. The really good Ky who plays that crazy footsies and zoning game was there and I played him 4 times. I lost once, then I replayed him and beat him, perfecting him the last round. Then he played me twice more and I lost. I really was just so tired at this point I didn’t care anymore and I had to leave so I headed out.

On the way back I stopped at a bookstore at Akabane station while waiting for the next train and found that they are now releasing the X-files DVD by DVD once every week starting this week for less than 500 yen a disc! It comes with like a guide book and a full case and everything. Each disc has 4 episodes which is pretty good for that price. I honestly already have the entire series on DVD but I just copied my friend’s Chinese bootleg collection. I wouldn’t mind owning the entire series on legit DVDs but the best part of all is that it has Japanese language and subtitles, which means I can watch it with Ryoko. The X-files is my favorite show ever, hands down, so for me this is pretty sweet. Its also a good way to study Japanese if I watch it with the Japanese subtitles on. Win win situation as far as im concerned so I bought disc 1.

It sucks that I couldn’t enter the tournament this weekend but I had a good time anyway; it was actually a really fun weekend. Anyway, next weekend is the Ibaraki block. So far Kunihiro will be on my team for Sunday. Honyo said he cant make it cuz its too far away. I still need to find one more guy and also need to consider what im gonna do about the Saturday tournament. Theres 4 more weekends of quals left (not counting the last chance qual the day of SBO), and there are still so many top players and SBO veterans that havnt qualified yet. Im gonna do my best and if I make it that’s great, if not, then ill figure something out for the last chance qual.

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