Monday, December 20, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Well, this is it. The final post of 2010. It was a good year.

Friday night, I promised the other English teachers at my main school that I would go drinking with them at an izakaya in Numata, so I did. Drank a good amount, ate some good food, and then Ryoko picked me up and we chilled at my place for a big and I drank some more.

Saturday I got up around 10:30 and headed out to Tokyo. This weekend was the final 2 Johnny-o cup 2 on 2 qualifiers. Today's Mikado tournament was scheduled to start at 3 as usual. I got there and signed up my team (once again entering with Gaku, the Robo-ky player). I got some good practice games in and the turnout was good with lots of top players showing up.

Our first match of the tournament was against a team of Faust and Slayer. I dont remember their names but I had never heard of them before. Gaku went first against the Faust player and won. Then he lost against the Slayer. I went next and I beat the Slayer player.

For our 2nd match, we had to fight Ain (Ky) and Kishya (FA). This time I went first and my opponent was Ain. I managed to beat him last time so I was feeling pretty good about it. It was a pretty good match and I would have won the 2nd round, but I got impatient when he had like almost no life left, did a sloppy pogo force break that he was waiting for, he counter hit me with crouching HS and I died from the following combo. Up next was Gaku vs Ain. Kishya and I are both Faust players and we both brought a Ky player along, except my Ky player is a Robot Ky, which means hes made of METAL! Gaku rocked that shit out and took out Ain. Unfortunately Kishya's Faust is just too good and Gaku was unable to take him out so that was the end of the road for us today.

Around the time we lost, King Low Tier showed up. He was playing some SSFIV Arcade Edition (which just came out on Thursday). I hadnt even played it yet cuz I was waiting for the GG tournament to finish but now that it was over I wanted to get some games in. Mikado got 2 SSFIV:AE cabs. KLT was rocking his Mokoto. We each played a game and then we decided to get some quick McDonalds cuz they were running the 200 yen bigmac deal all weekend.

We got some food and then came back and played some more. I got my card registered and my username is ElvnShadow (theres a 10 character limit unfortunately). Overall, I started off losing a few but in the end I did really well that day at Mikado with my biggest win streak being like 21 wins, and I didnt even lose, I just beat the game cuz people stopped playing me. We also went to Big Box for a bit and I didnt fare as well over there. I made sure to play plenty of GG in between playing SSFIV and Mikado as well. I ended up staying till about 10:00, so I got a good long day of games in.

After that, I grabbed some more big macs, knocked back a 180 ml flask fo whiskey and headed to Current. Tonight at Current was Emma's birthday party. First I sat with Kyla and a few of her friends for a bit but Kyla had to leave to go to some xmas party. Gradually lots of Current regulars showed up and it was a good turnout. Emma got a nice birthday cake. She also did some pretty sexy dancing on top of the bar (shes a professional dancer, not the stripper kind though). At some point I went outside with this one dude and we split another 180 flask of whiskey. Everyone also got free shots of jagermiester from the bar, and with all the beers I had throughout the night I got pretty smashed.

At some point I got hungry so we ducked out for a sec to walk to McDonalds and get a quick bigmac. On my way back, suddenly like out of nowhere, the bottom of my boot came loose from the rest of it from the front of the shoe to about halfway in the middle and was flopping around when I walked. It was seriously just out of nowhere and really bad, so I went to the conbini and bought some tape and wrapped it around my boot. It looks ghetto as fuck and it looks like I need to get new boots now.

I dont really remember much about the night after a certain point but from what I do remember and looking back at all the pictures I took, it was a good night and went well. I am pretty positive I went to PSY after the party with some people as well. LOL

I woke up in the manga kissa and forgot to set my alarm. Fortunately it was only like 1:30. I didnt need to be at the tournament today until 3 (thats when it starts), but it was in Kawagoe (part of Saitama) and would take a bit of time to get there so I had to leave ASAP. I got some more bigmacs for the road and headed out.

I was cutting things really close but in the end I pretty much made it to the arcade like at 3 pm exactly. They hadnt started yet so I was on time. Gaku already signed us up. The thing I was shocked to see was that this time, only 6 teams showed up. All the people there were good though such as Inoue/Nage team. Melon/Ina team, and a few other people.

Our first match was vs this one Robo-ky and a Millia player. I forget their names but they are around all the time. The Millia player I usually can beat. I went first this time vs the Millia player. It started out pretty well but then once I got put in the corner I was just blocking the mixups really badly. He kept using standing dust. I probably got hit by it like 3 fucking times! No one ever uses that shit lol, but its my fault for not blocking it. It was pretty much just a big brain fart on my part and since I didnt get any practice matches in I wasnt feeling very warmed up but oh well, I have no one to blame but myself on that one. So.... I lost. Up next, Gaku went, and he beat the Millia player. Next was a Robo-ky mirror match. Honestly Gaku is way better than the other guy IMO (based on my personal experience fighting both of them several times), but since mirror matches can sometimes be random as hell, Gaku lost....

I was pretty bummed cuz it was only a 6 team tournament and we only had to get top 2 to qualify, but somehow we still fucked it up heh. It was also the last chance so I wont be in the 2 on 2 at Johnny-o cup. The singles tournament quals will start when I get back from Chicago (actually they will have already started and I will miss the first week of it, but oh well) so im gonna try for that as well.

Since I was already out that way and had no real reason to go back to Tokyo, I just stayed at Magmax game center all day where I was already at. They got 2 SSFIV cabs and had 2 GG cabs set up and lots of people were playing both games so it was fun. I played more SSFIV but the wait to play was long cuz lots of people were there. Inoue was playing SSFIV as well. He just bought a card for it and was playing Yun. I fought him in his very first match and I beat him, too. Unfortunately, he seemed to learn fast (or he had already played before) cuz he didnt lose another single match the entire day. The only loss on his card was the one he took from me. I played him like 2 or 3 more times, and they were close games, but I lost. In general I was doing fairly well though. By the end of the day, I had about a total of 60 something matches on my card. 40 something of those matches were wins and 20 something were losses, so I guess I didnt do too bad. The game is a lot more fun to play in arcades than at home online. I guess its just the environment but thats pretty much the case with any fighting game.

Overall Rose feels exactly the same except Ultra 2 is nerfed. It still seems useful but there were lots of times it got stuffed by shit. My biggest problem with it now is that before, Rose could safely use Ultra 2 against Zangief to get him away from her and jump away after the ultra if Gief tried to SPD. NOW.... if I do ultra 2 within grab range of Gief, he can do an SPD on reaction and just straight up throw me out of it before I even can jump away after ultra. It sucks... I got ultrad by Gief a few times as a result of that scenario. I guess I just need to get used to playing with the ultra modified. I guess I could also try to use Ultra 1 more but I am just so used to Ultra 2. We will see though.

Anyway, after I left the arcade and was heading home, I suddenly noticed that my vision seemed to be a little off. Actually, i never mentioned it last week but my eyes have sorta been hurting lately. It started when I fell asleep with my contacts in after passing out as soon as I got to the manga kissa last weekend without taking them out. I woke up and it hurt pretty bad, espessially my left eye. Sometimes my left eye is like that and my left eye is pretty shitty anyway so I dont really care, but my right eye never had problems like this and its starting to worry me. I was just wearing my right lens only for the past week but even so my right eye was starting to feel agitated. Now, I suddenly feel like my vision in that eye is getting weaker. Stuff is just blurrier in general and it almost seems like its more sensitive to bright light. I really hope it ends up being ok... kinda has me worried a bit.

Anyway, tomorrow, I leave for Chicago and will be gone for 3 weeks. Ill be doing lots of chilling with my friends and family and drinking and other stuff and I cant wait to eat some good burritos again. Also, Frosty Faustings III will be going down so that should be fun. I wont bother updating my blog while im back in the US but I may type some stuff about it when I get back. I hope everyone has good holidays and good new years. Make sure to get wasted and play lots of fighting games. Peace!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Xmas Shopping in Akihabara

Not the most eventful weekend ever but I figure I might as well write a quick update.

I went to Tokyo last weekend with my main goal being to get xmas shopping done. On Friday night, on the way to Tokyo, I road down with Emmet. Our train got delayed by a bit so we got to Tokyo sorta late but whatever. We were hungry so first we went to the usual Kebab place in Takadanobaba and got some kebabs. Then, we headed to Mikado and played there for a few hours.

I started off with mixed results, getting a few wins. but mostly having trouble against a Baiken and an Axl. Also, this one HOS player, I played only one time, and he snuck in a win on me that should have been mine, and then when I got up to get more change to rematch him, he just straight up got up and ran out of the arcade! I was like.... wtf. Sorta pissed too cuz I really wanted a rematch. Other than that, I did really well and won tons of games.

After that, Emmet and I headed to Current. On the way there, I slammed an entire 180 ml hit flask of Whiskey in less than 3 minutes lol. It hit me on the way there and felt quite good, lol.

When we got to Current, there wasnt many people there, as expected for a Friday. There was a table full of people though that were celebrating a birthday. Among them was my friend Notch. The girl who's birthday it was, was her friend. So, Emmet and I sat with them. Later on, this really big dude named Ted, who is Japanese but was raised on a US military base so he speaks perfect English, showed up and sat with us too. He had fun fucking with Emmet cuz Emmet kept questioning him if he was an American or something.

We drank with them for a while and then they wanted to do karaoke and invited us along so we all went and did karaoke for a few hours. Johan joined us as well. We all snuck in whiskey bottles. I was chasing my whiskey bottle with a rum coke that I ordered at the karaoke place lol. I got pretty hammered. We sang lots of metal songs (except Emmet who sang Hit Me Baby One More Time, much to the disapproval of Ted). At some point the night became a blur but we stayed there pretty long. Emmet said I passed out towards the end for maybe a half hour.

I woke up the next morning at the Manga kissa. I went online for a bit and waited AGES for the shower and finally the douchebag who was in there for like over and hour finished so I could take a shower. After that, I left to go do some xmas shopping in Akihabara. Emmet was gonna come with but he wasnt answering his phone so I just left by myself.

I got a declious kebab and then I started off going to Super Potato (an awsome retro game store) cuz my brother Tony (Mr. Chu-hi) and some cousins wanted some stuff from there. I got Tony an old still factory sealed copy of one of his favorite Super Famicom games, and I got a bunch of Nintendo character plushies for my younger cousins. Emmet finally mailed me back while I was there saying he over slept. I told him to just meet up with me later.

After that I went to this Duty Free shop to get more presents for the rest of my family. I found lots of good stuff there but I didnt feel like carrying around stuff that wouldnt fit in my backpack all day so I decided I would just go back there the next day before heading home to Gunma on the train.

So after that, I went back to Mikado and played for several hours. I got a lot of good practice in. The place was swarming with Baiken players, including Maruken. I got a lot of practice vs them. My first game vs Maruken, I actually would have beet him but I fucked up. I dizzied him and it would have been the kill hit, but I was stupid and back dashed for a second to pick up a doughnut that was behind me (I dont know why I bothered), thinking I would have time, but he mashed out so fast that he blocked my attack and came back to kill me. I felt pretty robbed but it was my dumbass fault for getting the doughnut. I dont remember much else worth mentioning there that day but it wasnt really all that packed. The reason being was probably that BlazBlue CS II had just came out in arcades this very weekend, so lots of people were probably playing it, and for whatever reason, Mikado didnt get it. They might eventually but they still had regular CS running.

Eventually around 10 pm I left, got some Curry, bought another whiskey flask, and I decided to head to Current. There were more people there than last night. Tomoko and Mai were sitting at a table in the back and invited me over to sit with them. I hadnt seen them in ages. It was cool to chill and talk with them. They went home on the last train but I talked to a bunch of Swedish people, Chris, Sachiko, Rob, and eventually Emmet and this one girl he was at an izakaya with showed up later, too. So, it was a good drinking night. Afterwords, I went to PSY with some people and it was good times. Not much really special to talk about though.

The next morning, I noticed that Burger King had a brand new NY Pizza Burger on the menu. I figured I would give it a try. Im not sure if this is in the US Burger Kings too, but its basically a GIANT burger and you can buy the whole thing for like 1600 yen or by the slice for like 300 something yen. I got 2 slices. It wasnt as good as I was hoping but it was ok I guess. I guess they should have made a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Burger instead hah.

After that, I headed back to Akihabara and bought those presents I was gonna get the day before. Various cliche Japanese stuff like geisha dolls and wall scrolls and stuff that my family wanted. When I bought the doll, they didnt have a box for it so they had to get one from another store down the street and it took forever so they gave me some free purfume (which I gave to Ryoko) and some pocket binoculars (random) for waiting so long.

After that, I popped into the old Club Sega and decided to try BBCS II real quick. I was interested in trying out Platinum. I think her design is dumb but I like her play style. The machines were all full so I had no choice but to fight someone. I fought a Jin player hoping that maybe I would be able to try some stuff out since I didnt even know her move list, but this damn Jin player was rushing me down all hard and serious and shit. I hardly got to try anything out and decided I would just try her again some other time. I went to the other side to see who it was, and much to my surprise it was none other than Kyle (stunedge)! I gave him shit for trying to beast so hard on someone who obviously was just trying the character out and he just sorta shrugged and laughed lol.

After that, I played a few games of GG, got a small win streak, only lost once to some Eddie player, and after a while no one was playing me so I decided that with the last 2 hours of my day before I have to go back, I might as well go to Mikado and play.

Unfortunately at Mikado, it was dead as hell. There were only like 4 guys there playing. Among them was R1, the top Millia player. I beat him on my first try somehow, and then lost like 5 in a row. After that I was getting sick of playing Millia and needed a break so I fought some Chipp and won. Then some Anji challenged me like a zillion times and I beat him every time. Then no one was playing me so I decided to get a Kebab.

I went to the usual Kebab place. The waitress who always is working there saw my bags and asked me if I bought souvenirs. I told her they were for my family when I go home for xmas. She then suddenly told me how she collects rare keychains and gave me 1000 yen and asked me if I could buy a Chicago keychain for her and bring it the next time I go there. I agreed and will get a nice one for her. I guess I must eat at that place way too much if they would trust me to give me 1000 yen when im leaving the country knowing that I will surely return because I cant resist their top tier kebabs lol.

After eating I went back to Mikado and fought some Bridget player like 10 in a row and won every time. Then I had to go so I told the guy it would be our last game. I won and then said good games and left.

Thats about it. Next weekend is my final weekend in Japan before I go back to Chicago for 3 weeks. Next weekend will also be the 2 last Johnny-o cup GG 2on2 Team Tournament quals. I will enter both of them with Gaku once more. It will also be Emma's birthday party at Current. should be a fun weekend, and hopefully Gaku and I can qualilfy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How the JLPT N2 killed my Sunday

I didnt have time to write a blog post last week so I will quickly summarize the previous weekendbefore I get to the most recent one.

Friday I went to Mikado for some casuals and then went to Current and PSY. Big surprise! Then Saturday, I went to a thanksgiving international party with all you can eat Turkey and stuff and open bar as usual. It was in Shinjuku so after that, we went to Current for Sushi's 51st birthday party. Most of the regulars showed up and it was a good sized and fun party. After that I went to PSY for Toru's birthday for the last hour. Sunday, we played poker again in Maebashi. This time only 5 people played cuz some of the other guys were busy. Once again Emmet was the big winner, this time winning over 20,000 yen. I came in 2nd and won about 4,800 which is the best ive done so far. I had one really bad hand where I lost 3,000 in one hand so I could have won way more if I wasnt a dumbass but oh well.

Now, moving on to this past weekend. I started off by going to Shinjuku. Right outside the East Exit of Shinjuku station, there was a giant monster hunter statue. A new Monster Hunter game just came out for the PSP and for whatever reason its popular as hell right now in Japan. Ive only played one Monster Hunter game before (Sam gave me it for free cuz he lost his PSP) and while it seemed kinda fun, I dont get the big craze over it. I only played it a little so maybe I should give it more of a chance.

In any case, I needed to pick up some cigars for my dad for Christmas. Meanwhile, Emmet tried to go to this one book store that has a big English book section cuz he wanted a travel guide for when he goes to Thailand over the holidays. He couldnt find it so after I got the cigars I met back up with him and showed him how to get there. I helped him find the book and then while he was paying for it, there was this pretty hot Japanese girl who looked at me with this huge smile. I just sorta nodded and smiled back. Emmet made a comment how someone seems to like me lol. If I was a single guy maybe I would have went to go talk to her but theres no point in hitting on some girl at the bookstore. Then Emmet got the idea that he would start trying to hang out here and "shop for English books" more in hopes to meet Japanese girls who are interested in learning English or getting with foreigners lol. Im curious to see how that ends up working for him.

The store was about to close so we left after getting the book. I wanted to go to Mikado to practice a bit but it was already getting pretty late and I didnt feel like going to Takadanobaba so we went to Shinjuku Sportsland. I brought a small bottle of whiskey in there with me and already had a few beers on the train. I played against 2 guys and they both kicked my ass pretty hard. I probably shouldnt have drank so much so far lol. So, we didnt stay there for very long and decided to go check out Current.

Emmet was taking a while to finish the booze he bought so we sat down outside a bit before going into Current and I picked up another beer. While we were drinking, Jason, a guy who sometimes drinks at Current, was walking on his way there and stopped to talk with us for a bit. Jason works for an airline and gets flights so cheap to wherever he wants, they are practically free. So, even though he lives in the US, he comes to Japan quite often.

After finishing our booze, we got to Current. Unfortunately, it was quite dead tonight. We stayed for one beer and then decided we would go to Roppongi. Jason had plans to go to Shibuya so Emmet and I headed there.

We passed the crazy Roppongi girl on the street that Emmet was banging for a while. She was walking the opposite direction with 2 guys. We then went to a club I had never been to before called 911. Surprisingly, Jason (the same guy we saw earlier at Current) was there. I guess Shibuya didnt work out or something. So we chilled with him for a bit. Just like Gas Panic, its free to get in, which is one of the conditions I have for going to clubs usually cuz I hate paying expensive cover when i dont really like clubs to begin with. To offset the cost of it being free to get in, drinks were rediculously expensive... like 1000 yen and up, but I got pretty smashed before we went and drank more whiskey on the way there so I only got 2 drinks the whole time we were there and one of them was a long island iced tea so I was ok. I dont remember much about the club except that it was crowded and seemed like it was at least better than gas panic.

We stayed till after 5 until the trains started running again. Then, Jason said that we could crash on the floor in his hotel room in Shibuya for free so we took up his offer and saved a little money.

I woke up the next morning and I heard the shower running. Jason was asleep and I couldnt see Emmet. I figured it was probably him in the shower but I wasnt sure. In any case, I had to get going so that I would be on time for the GG Johnny-o cup at Mikado so I just left.

As soon as I arrived at Mikado, Emmet mailed me asking where I went and I told him to just come meet me at Mikado.

I got a few practice games in before the tournament started and did fairly decent and got a win vs Machaboo's Eddie again. This time, not as many people entered the tournament. I asked Gaku (my teammate again today) why he thought the turnout was so low and he says he blames it on the new Monster Hunter game lol.

Just like 2 weeks ago, this time we were once again in the zero taisen bracket (meaning we had to fight an extra match), so we were one of the first ones to play. Our opponent's were Machaboo (ED) and Ririko (BR). I won RPS so we got to see who their first character was. Gaku says he hates Eddie, and the first character ended up being Ririko's Bridget, so this time, Gaku went first. The videos for all our matches will be uploaded eventually and I will link them here once they are. For now ill just say, Gaku beat Ririko and then he went on to pull a close win against Machaboo as well! So, we advanced and I didnt need to play.

Our 2nd match was vs Ain (KY) and Roy (SO). We lost RPS this time so we had to declare our first character. Gaku requested to go first again so I told him to go ahead. He had to fight Ain's Ky. It was a pretty good fight but Ain beat Gaku. If you read my blog often enough, im sure you know how I feel about Ain, so I really wanted to beat him. And... I did! I won the first round, lost the 2nd, and won the 3rd! Now I just had to beat Roy, which I can usually do in casuals and consider the Sol matchup one of the ones I know better than most. Yet... for some reason, I lost. My biggest problems were just falling for command throw tick shenanigans and not FD volcanic vipers enough. I probably could have stood to play a bit more careful but oh well. Would have been nice if we advanced but tough shit I guess.

After we lost, Gaku said he would like to team with me again for the last 2 tournaments which are on the weekend of the 18th. So, hopefully we can pull out a win next time. I left Mikado after that because once again, today was another Final Roundbat tournament in Shinagawa. Today was the German player named Ken's birthday.

I brought my own booze thinking it was BYOB but Ken was awsome and brought a ton of alcohol to share with everyone so I didnt even really end up having to drink any of my own. This time, the tournament only had 7 people enter. A few other people showed up to play casuals and hang out.

My first match was against Scott Popular's Dudley. I won. Up next, I had to fight Bull410's T.Hawk and I won again. With that, I had made it to the grand finals and as expected, my opponent was Tokido's Akuma. You can see the match vs Tokido here. While I was sorta expecting to get fucked up really bad, somehow I actually did really well. The grand finals were 3/5 rounds 2/3 matches. The first match, I won 2 of the rounds and took it down to the wire and Tokido only had like 10 percent life left when I lost. The 2nd set I didnt do as well but I still put up a reasonable fight. After the match, Tokido said my Rose gets better every time we play, which is odd cuz I havnt even been practicing SSFIV at all lately. I hadnt even played since the last Final Roundbat tournament. I guess I just played smart.

After the tournament, I won a free One Piece calendar that I will give to Ryoko cuz she really likes the One Piece manga. I also drank a shit ton of alcohol. They had all you can eat Domino's Pizza again this time and they got a TON of pizzas. There were probably like over 15 people there and they wound up having 3 whole pizza's leftover. I straight up pigged out. In fact... I ate way too much pizza. I was pretty drunk so I didnt really know when to stop and I felt bloated as hell afterwords. The doctor told me not to over eat cuz of my stomach problems and I probably should have listened.

After the party ended, Ken invited a bunch of us to go to an izakaya near Shinagawa station to have a few more drinks for his birthday. He also will be moving back to Germany in a few days so this would be the last time we would see him for a while (or ever?). So, I went with to the izakaya for a few drinks. I was still feeling extremely bloated so I went into the bathroom and made myself throw up a bit cuz it seriously was in my best interest and pouring more beer over it wasnt gonna help much lol. I just threw up a little bit and I felt much better after that. I had 2 beers and Ken ended up paying for the cuz he was being really cool. Some of the guys stayed longer but I went ahead and left cuz I needed to get to Current before the trains stopped. Jude, the Claw player who came with me to Current last time, came with me again.

I pretty much couldn't stay out at Current very late, because Sunday, I would be taking the JLPT (Japanese Langauge Proficiency Test) in Maebashi. I was going to take the N2 level (which is the 2nd hardest one). Since I had to take the test in Maebashi and it started at 12:30 (meaning if you werent in the room at that time you CANT take the test) I pretty much would have to wake up at like 9 am. So, I told myself I would stay at Current no later than 2 and that way I could get 7 hours of sleep which is enough for me.

Well... things didnt work out that way. Current ended up being pretty awsome that night and lots of friends were there. I spent a good amount of time drinking with SPG Chris and Sachiko, and talking with Joanna and several other people. Emmet also showed up with a girl he met at the international party last week (the Thanksgiving one) but she was already shit faced when they got there so he said he would probably have to send her home in a taxi lol. So yea... I told myself "OK fine, Ill stay till 3, one hour wont kill me." And... I stayed true to my words and left at 3. Unfortunately, when I got to the manga kissa, it was full. I went to a few more and they were all full too. So, I figured if im gonna wait around I might as well just go back to Current and hang out some more. I ended up staying till pretty much 5 when they closed. So... I didnt get to sleep until around 5, which meant I only got 4 hours of sleep, cuz I did end up waking up at 9.

I got a whopper for the road, ate it, and passed out hard on the train the whole way to Maebashi pretty much. I still felt drained and tired as fuck but there was nothing I could do about it except drink some Redbull. I met up with May (another ALT) at the station, who was also taking the JLPT (but she was taking the N4) and we agreed to split a cab cuz it was being held at Gunma University which is quite far from Maebashi station. So, I got a Redbull and another quick cheeseburger, we hopped in the cab, and I made it on time to the test.

So, this was my very first time to try taking the JLPT. I wasnt really sure if I was ready for the N2 cuz its pretty advanced, but I didnt wanna bother starting with the N3 cuz pretty much anything below N2 is worthless. You can actually use N2 and N1 to get a job in Japan but no one gives a fuck if you have N3 or lower. I also hadnt really been studying very hardcore. I pretty much would just study some vocabulary and kanji readings at work when I could find a little time, but somehow ive actually been fairly busy at work lately so I would often be lucky if I got an hour a day to study and some days I didnt even get that much.

The test is broken up into 2 parts. The first part is like 2 hours long, around 75 questions, and its all reading comprehension and vocabulary and kanji. It started off... not good and pretty much ended up getting hopeless once I got to the big long paragraphs at the end. There would be just page long blocks of kanji and I had to read it and answer like 1 or 2 questions and then go to the next page long block of kanji and there were tons of these. I didnt bring a watch and there was no clock in the room (WTF) so I had no idea how much time was left, but I sorta glanced over at the chick sitting in front of me to the left (not to copy her... which I didnt, but to see how far she was along) and she was like 10 questions ahead of me. So I started to panic and just skimmed the paragraphs really fast and half ass. At the time, I didnt take into account the fact that she was Chinese and probably knew the kanji pretty damn well as a result, so I shouldnt have panicked so much. Next time I need to bring a watch. I managed to answer all the questions but honestly guessed on a lot of them. There was actually a ton of vocab and kanji on there that I never even studied at all, which is strange cuz I followed the official kanji list on the JLPT site and made sure I at least learned the meanings of ALL of them but they busted out kanji that wasnt even on there. It was pretty annoying.

After the reading part of the test, there was an intermission. I went outside and chilled and talked with some other ALTs like Phil and Bloodbath about the test. I found that I wasnt the only one who felt like the test was ridiculously difficult. I felt bad for Bloodbath and Phil cuz they were cramming a ton recently but still said it was extremely hard and they felt lost. It just makes me feel even more hopeless about it.

Anyway, the listening part of the test still remained so it was time to go get that shit done. The listening part was something like 30 questions and it was just straight up listening and choosing the best choice. Im pretty sure I fucking rocked this part of the test. The listening part was SOOOOO much easier for me than the reading part. I guess it makes sense because I consider my spoken Japanese and listening comprehension to be fairly good, but my reading skills are kinda bad. Probably because I talk to Ryoko all the time and all my other Japanese friends and constantly hear the language, which you can learn a lot that way from not actually doing much active studying, but I dont try to read nearly as much stuff as I probably should. I would say I at least got 90% on the listening. After the test, the other guys also agreed that the listening part was much easier.

The results wont be released until February but im pretty sure I wont pass. Even if I aced the listening, it wont matter, cuz if you get less than 60% on the reading part, you auto fail regardless of how well you did on listening.

After it was over, a bunch more ALTs all sorta just stood around talking about the test and stuff. Andy was there too and he took the N3 level but said he wasnt sure how he did. Eventually we all decided we would go out to eat. Everyone had a car except Bloodbath, Phil, and me, so we said we would walk and meet them there. It turned out that the place they were going was farther than we thought so we just gave up and went somewhere else but it was good anyway.

After eating, we took a cab back to the station. Bloodbath went his own way and Phil and I rode the train back together cuz we live in the same town. We got on the wrong train and didnt realize it split off onto a different line at Shibukawa (ive never even ridden that line before) and we wound up at like the most middle of nowhere ghetto station I have ever been to. Luckily another train came sorta soon.

When we got back to Shibukawa (we only passed it by 2 stops before we realized the train changed lines), we waited for the next train for a bit. While we were there, there was this drunk old man who was straight up POUNDING LOUD on the glass window of the gate entrance counter trying to get the staff's attention. The guy didnt come out for a while and this old guy was just making a fucking racket over nothing. Phil and I were having a good laugh over it. I dont even think this guy knew why he was angry. He just kept babbling and eventually the station staff guy came out and the old man just called him a bastard and stuff a bunch. The staff tried to quiet him down but he acted up again. Eventually some young woman entered the station and just straight up told the guy to STFU. The old man went from being all pissed and crazy and apologized normally but then just went right back to shouting a bunch of crap. The woman came back and just went off on him LOL! Our train came soon after that, but it was certainly entertaining while it lasted. Im just glad he was some stupid drunk old man and wasnt getting violent.

When we got back to my town it was already like 9:30 and I was tired as hell. I dropped Phil off and then went home and just went right to bed and slept for like 9 hours, but I still felt really tired this morning and my stomach feels really bad. Probably from over eating that pizza. Hopefully it will start to heal soon but it doesnt feel so good.

Anyway, I will try to take the JLPT N2 again in the summer (its offered twice a year) and hopefully will be able to study more this time, but that shit fucking kicked my ass. It's pretty discouraging.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Super Turkey Fighter IV

On Friday night, I originally had no plans in particular. Another ALT who lives near me named Phil invited a bunch of people over to his place for a small party and street fighter night so Emmet and I decided to go. I brought over some sticks and Super and we played on PS3. Most of the guys there were pretty much just casual SF players but it was still fun. I was mostly dominating all night and Emmet was probably doing the next best after me. As I got drunker I wasnt playing as well but it was fun. I knocked back lots of beers. Also Phil and his friend from back in NY were showed us some old demos and stuff they recorded in their bands back in the day. They were good. I also showed them an old demo I recorded way back in Junior High School with my old band. We all stayed up drinking till about 5 or something like that.

I was expecting to wake up at around maybe 10:15 to catch the train for Tokyo but everyone got up at around 8 cuz they were all planning to go to a wine festival in Tochigi. I have no idea how everyone got up so easily but I manned up and got up too cuz I pretty much had to heh. Emmet originally had to go apple picking with some of the teachers at his school but didnt really want to so he decided to make up some BS excuse and not show up so that he could go to the wine festival with those guys. I would have gone with them but today I was planning on entering the Johnny-o cup GG tournament at Mikado.

So, we got on the train together and then split up around ShinMaebashi and I rode the rest of the way to Tokyo myself.

I got there sorta early so there werent that many people there yet but there were enough to start playing casuals. Gradually more and more came and it got really packed. I was actually playing pretty well for most of the casuals. I took a couple games from Machaboo's Eddie and stuff. This time I entered the tournament with Gaku, the Robo-Ky player again. I didnt check how many teams entered exactly but I think it might have been 33, cuz there was a full 32 man bracket on the wall and only one extra team which had to do the zero-taisen match. Unfortunately for us, my team WAS that team, so we had to play an extra match.

So we played the first match of the tournament. Our opponents were a team of Jam and May. The JA player's name was Takeda and the May player's name was Yamamoto. I despise May and Gaku said he hates Jam so I said I would go first if it was Jam and he could go if it was May. I own RPS so we decided to see who they would put first. It was Jam, so I went first. I cant really put my finger on exactly why, but it didnt go so well. The guy just beat me as far as patience and footsies for the most part. I was playing really well all morning but didnt quite do so well vs the Jam player and lost. The 2nd round was pretty close and i could have had it but oh well. It was my first time playing against Jam all day. I actually probably would have done better vs May cuz I fought a crap load of Mays all morning and was actually doing fairly well. Anyway, Gaku went next and put up a good fight but he also lost to the Jam player, and with that, we were already out of today's tournament. You can see the video here.

As soon as we lost, Kyle (Stunedge) showed up. He was gonna originally enter but showed up late. It sucks that we lost but it did have one benefit. I had other plans today to go to the Final Roundbats Thanksgiving party/tournament. You may remember when I went to Final Roundbats the first time about 2 months ago. It was in a big lounge in an apartment building in Shinagawa. This time they were doing it again but would have an all you can eat Thanksgiving feast along with tons of alcohol. The tournament was scheduled to start at 5:30. I asked Kyle if he wanted to go and he said he was interested but then I told him it was like 4,000 yen and he lost interest and decided to just stay at Mikado and play one more game of BB. I saw him play 2 matches against the guy who won TvC at tougeki this year (he uses Litchi, and his name escapes me at the moment). Kyle did fairly well against him but lost both games.

I left Mikado at around 4 and made it to the lounge where the event would be taking place a little before 5 pm. There were already a good amount of people there and gradually more rolled in. In total, I think about nearly 30 people were there but only 9 of them entered the SSFIV tournament. Most of the guys who were there last time were there again, including Tokido.

So for the SSFIV tournament, my first match was against an Adon player. I dont remember his name unfortunately but he was a cool guy. He told me how hes actually a real amature Muay Thai fighter in real life and he was actually at Differ the same day as the fight I was at last weekend, except his fight took place later on at night so I wasnt around for it. Pretty funny. In any case, I won all 3 rounds straight and beat him to advance in the tournament with my Rose. My 2nd match was against Abelity's Abel. The rounds were fairly close and it was a good fight but I lost. In the 3rd round, we both had like zero health and I threw a slow soul spark from full screen and for whatever reason he did a whiffed anti air command grab and just took the fireball in the face lol. Everyone was laughing. In the final around, I had about 5% life left and he had maybe 20%. I activated ultra 2 and was blocking, waiting for his EX flip kick move cuz Abel players always use that when I have orbs out, and I forgot it was an overhead and was blocking low and got killed like a dumbass lol. Oh well. So the finals were going to be Abelity vs Tokido. However, since this was single elim (3/5 rounds, 1 match), they had me fight a battle for 3rd place against Scott Popular. He also uses Rose but instead of going for a mirror match he picked Cody on me. I won all 3 rounds so I ended up getting 3rd place which pretty much means nothing lol. The finals were 2/3 instead of one match. In the end, Abelity lost but he actually put up a really good fight taking a few rounds off of Tokido and even getting a perfect. He was playing really well tonight. So, Tokido continues to lead in points for the ranbats and will most likely be getting a free trip to final round. There will be probably like 3 more tournaments since Final Round is in March.

After the tournament ended they started prepping a lot for the food. The games got shut off for a while and the table got covered in all kinds of traditional thanksgiving food. They had a 22 kg Turkey and this thing was a fucking monster. A lot of people showed up so at first I was sorta worrying they would run out of food, but in the end there were actually way more leftovers than I was expecting and I even ate 4 plates of food! I also drank a ton of beers, a mojito, and a bunch of rum cokes so I got good and buzzed. It was expensive but I got my money's worth for sure and it was good times. After dinner was over they hooked up the xbox back up and put on Tekken 6. Ive never even played Tekken 6 before so I wasnt really too excited about that and just kept drinking a lot. I played one match of it and lost for the hell of it. Then they hooked SSFIV back up towards the end but I only got one more match in before it was time to start packing up.

The party finished at around 10 and everyone went down and waited in the lounge. One of the dudes who I just met for the first time there had no other plans so I offered to let him come with me to Current to drink cuz he seemed like a cool enough guy. So, we headed to Current.

When we got there, it wasnt very packed but a few regulars were there. I went and sat at a table in the back with some people I knew like SPG Chris and Yuta. There was this other girl there sitting with them who I never met before named Kyla. She said it was only her 2nd time at Current. We talked a lot and shes actually really cool. Shes from Michigan and has lived in Japan for like 2 years or something. We have a ton of things in common from similar music tastes and also similar taste in movies and games and stuff like that. I can see us becoming good drinking friends for sure if she starts showing up at Current more.

Eventually Emmet showed up with this one girl who he met a long time ago at an international party. They were drinking at an izakaya earlier. Then, me, Kyla, and the dude who came with me went to the conbini and knocked back a bottle of whiskey and then went back into Current. We drank there for a while until near closing. Then I heard that tonight was Nozomi's birthday party at Zin and tons of people were going so a bunch of us headed there.

Zin was fucking packed. Even Sushi, Masami and (of course) Mami showed up after Current closed. Lots of other people I know went, too like Chip and Rob. Zin stayed open for quite a while, I think maybe till 7. We stayed until the party was over and then Kyla and I went to Tokyo loose for drink some more. I think we were drinking till at least 8. I dont really remember much from there heh.

The next morning I was supposed to get up and go to another Johnny-o cup tournament in Saitama but my dumbass set my alarm for 1 am instead of 1 pm on accident and I overslept. I was woken up to Gaku mailing me at 2:30 (and the tournament starts at 3) asking when I would get there. I felt really bad cuz I just totally fucked up. Theres no way I could make it on time now so I just told him the truth and apologized and he understood and found another dude there to team with us its ok. He said despite me fucking up he still wanted to team again for the next time so at least thats cool. I later mailed him and asked him how it went and he lost to Hayashi (footsies Ky). He told me the winning team was Karun and Chonari and 2nd place was Basara and Tourio. BTW, I didnt stick around to see the results of the Mikado one from Saturday but according to the Johnny-o cup website the winning team was Consome (PO) and Hotaru (KY) and 2nd place was Mitsurugi (ZA) and FAB (PO).

So, the next quals will be in 2 weeks from now and I will be going to those for sure, and this time ill make sure to not be a complete fuckup and sleep through the damn tournament.

Next weekend is Sushi's birthday party at Current, which always tends to draw in a big crowd so that should be quite fun. We will also be playing poker again in Maebashi next Sunday so next weekend should be good times as well.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Drained

Friday night was Ryoko's birthday. Instead of going out somewhere, she wanted to just chill with me at my apartment this year and wanted me to cook her a nice dinner. She said she wanted me to make her a special salad. I made her a salmon avocado pasta salad. I found some recipes online and this one looked pretty good so I made it based off that. It was my first time to make it and it turned out pretty well. I also got her an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. We drank lots of whiskey and did other stuff.

The next day, Ryoko went to work and I headed out for Tokyo. I left at around 2. Emmet got on the train and rode up there with me. I enjoyed a whiskey coke and a beer on the way. I promised Emmet I would go with him to an international party this time. Originally I said I would go cuz I wanted to go to a Thanksgiving one. Unfortunately it turned out that there were none this weekend. I already told Emmet I would go, and had nothing else in particular planned, so I went anyway.

We had a little time to kill before it started so we grabbed another beer and drank it at Shinjuku Sportsland. I played a bunch of GG matches against an Axl player. I dont know who he was but he was very patient and good. I lost 3, then won 2, then lost 2. Then we pretty much had to get going. I sorta wouldnt have minded playing more but I was pretty buzzed and wasnt really playing my best so whatever.

We got to the international party and it ended up being at the exact same place the last one I went to was at, but this time it was the good group that always has good food with the handle bar mustache chef dude. About a half hour after the party started, Pachi came too and drank with us for the rest of the night.

Nothing really special worth mentioning there. I drank about 8 drinks and pigged out. They had a 12 year whiskey there which was pretty nice. I drank a stout and some tequila, too.

We talked with a few regulars that go there and some girls. We left the party at like 9 and 2 girls went with us to Current. As we were walking back to the station to go to Shinjuku, Andy met up with us and we all went back together.

Today at Current, my main reason for going was to see my good old friend Antti! He moved to Dubai for work a while ago but was back in Japan again for a visit. Tons of his Finnish friends came to drink too, but unfortunately The Snus Man wasnt around. Megu came too and I hadnt seen her in a while. Also, Kunko was visiting from Osaka so I drank with her and Megu as well.
I dont remember when, but at some point I passed out for a little bit and got shit drawn all over me with a black marker. I didnt even realize it at first. Going to international parties seems to generally be a bad idea. I just try to get my moneys worth, drink too much too fast, and then pass out too early. I wasnt out all that long though and woke up again and was fine after that.

Im not sure what time it was when we left Current, but it was earlier than usual. The reason for this was that tonight at PSY was their anniversary party. It was pretty full but not as full as it has been at past PSY anniversary parties. It was 2000 yen to get in with 2 drinks so I got 2 tequila red bulls. They also gave out PSY wristbands which were pretty cool. Lots of regulars were at PSY as well.

It was honestly pretty fun and all, but in retrospect, I think I should have stayed at Current and hung out with Antti more. It might be quite a while till I see the guy again. Everyone I came with wanted to go to PSY so I just sorta went too (that was my plan anyway), but in retrospect it would have been good to do just a bit more drinking with Antti.

PSY stayed open really late. At some point I passed out a little again there and so did Emmet. Fortunately this time I didnt get drawn on again. They actually woke us up for once, probably cuz it was a party. Once they woke me up I ordered another drink and was fine. We left there after 7 pm. From there, Pachi and I got some Ramen at this one place I had never been to, but it ended up being good as hell.

After Ramen, Pachi left and went home. Normally at this time, I would be heading to the manga kissa. However, in only a few hours, I had to be at Ariake Differ for our friend Bloodbath's next kickboxing match. The last time I went it was good fun, but it was much later in the day. 10:30 is really early and I knew that I was gonna be drinking late due to Antti being in town and PSY's party, so I made the decision already that I was going to stay out all night and just show up there drunk! Emmet had already left PSY way before we did and decided to try to get a little sleep. I decided to check out Tokyo Loose. It was dead as hell so I just used their bathroom to pee and left. I went to McDonalds and bought a mcgriddle and listened to music for a bit but I ended up falling asleep. Luckily I set an alarm on my phone. I was probably only asleep for about 45 minutes. The alarm woke me up but I wanted a little more sleep so I slept again without setting the alarm. Luckily, a waitress woke me up and it was just about when I needed to get going. I met up with Emmet who had been sleeping at the Burger King until he got kicked out and then went to sleep on the street lol.

After we met up we headed down to Ariake Differ. In case you didnt realize it, Ariake Differ is the exact same place that SBO used to be held at (for 2007 and 2008, possibly earlier years too but 2007 was my first SBO). This place is actually intended for fighting like boxing and wrestling and not fighting games, so for once I was going there for the kind of event that is usually held there.

We got there a little late. Bloodbath's friend had our tickets and was waiting out in front. A bunch of other ALTs went to watch but were already inside. Fortunately it didnt start yet. I grabbed another beer and then we got our seats.

This time there were 11 matches. They were all kickboxing, no MMA. Bloodbath was the 3rd match to take place. It was looking a little bit even at first but as the fight went on, Bloodbath began to dominate. He knocked the guy down about 3 or 4 times and they finally called it and declared Bloodbath the winner! We were all shouting and cheering him on. I was still pretty drunk so it was extra fun doing so too.

Some of the other fights were pretty good too. I had a few more beers throughout the other fights as well to keep my buzz going. Emmet wasnt gonna drink cuz he always gets bad hangovers but gave in and got some beer. During one of the matches, one of the fighters was wearing red bull shorts so I yelled really loud to cheer him on "Red bull gives you wings!" and im sure he had no idea wtf I was talking about lol.

The 3rd and 2nd to last fights were a bit of a surprise. They were female fights! This was my first time seeing a ladies kickboxing match but it was pretty cool! Emmet and I put 100 yen side bets on the last 3 fights. It started cuz before the first female match started, a bunch of confetti got shot into the ring. One of the girls got more confetti so Emmet said he thought she was gonna win just cuz of that lol. So I bet him 100 yen the other girl wins. As we were watching the match, we both thought the girl I bet one was going to be declared with winner but somehow his girl won anyway. The girl I bet on the 2nd time won. Then we bet on the last match which was 2 dudes and Emmet's guy won so he came out 100 yen ahead.

After the fight was over we said bye to everyone and were about ready to go home. I grabbed another beer for the road. We stopped off in Shinjuku and went to Burger king. I got another beer. Then finally after that we headed back.

When we were at Shinjuku station, I had to pee, Emmet said he would go ahead to the platform and wait there. I mailed him asking him what platform he was on. He told me and I headed there. As I was going up the steps he told me to hurry cuz the train was about to leave. I was tired as hell and trusted Emmet knew what he was talking about, so I got on the train without paying attention to where it was scheduled to go. As soon as we got on the train I fell asleep cuz Emmet said it would go all the way to Takasaki. A little over an hour later, I wake up and was quite confused as to why we were in the middle of Tochigi just past Oyama! Emmet said "Well, I could have sworn it said it was going to Takasaki!" I gave a bit of a face palm and was too tired to even care. I really wanted to get home but at this point there was nothing else I could do about it but wait. We finally got on a train heading back and eventually transfered to the correct train after wasting over 2 hours. I slept a good amount of the way back. I finally made it home around 10:30 pm.

I slept about 8 hours at home but since I skipped an entire night of sleep I am still feeling pretty exhausted right now as I type this.

So I ended up drinking almost non stop (aside from small passing out intermissions) for over 24 hours. Probably the longest drinking session I have ever had. It was fun for the most part but I sure am tired and will probably try avoid doing that again. I also am gonna lay off the international parties. Its just not really worth it honestly. Im definitely gonna try to play some more fighting games next weekend and will enter both Johnny-o cup tournaments.

At least the fight was cool and it was good to see Antti and Kunko again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Distant Worlds

So I wasn't really originally gonna do a blog post this week but the weekend turned out way more epic that I ever could have imagined. Lots of surprises came my way so here it is.

Earlier in the week on like Tuesday or something, I got an email from Kyle (Stunedge) who informed me that the GG Johnny-o cup would be beginning next weekend! I didnt even know about it. This year it will be even more epic than ever. There will be a 2 on 2 tournament with qualifiers. There will be, I think, a total of 12 qualifying tournaments held over 8 days, every other weekend. 2 stores will have tournaments at the same time on the Saturdays and one on each of the Sundays, and from each tournament, top 2 advances to the final tournament. So I think there will be a total of 24 teams if I am not mistaken. So every 2 weeks, with 2 days of tournaments (Sat and Sun) meaning 3 tournaments per weekend, there will be 6 teams that qualify total in a weekend. This weekend is the first set of tournaments, the following will be in another 2 weeks and so on until the final week.

Then, starting in January the singles tournament quals will begin and these will work like that have in the past with a points system that determines who makes it in. The grand finals and main events will take place over a 3 day weekend in March. There will be the final 2 on 2 tournament, the singles tournament, special team tournaments, and other events! It should be truley epic, and it totally revived my will to play more again since my motivation has been a little low since SBO ended. The great thing is, right around the time this all ends, it will be about time again for the next year of Tougeki quals, so its year round GG tournaments for me starting now!

Skipping ahead to Wednesday, it was a national holiday so there was no work. Emmet and Ryoko came over to my place and we drank and watched The Social Network (the Facebook movie which actually ended up being pretty decent), and the Tom Green goes to Japan special. They both crashed at my place.

The next day our plans were to go to Nikko, a place in Tochigi prefecture (which is right next to Gunma), that is considered one of the best places in the world to view autumn leaves. It was quite a drive out there and lots of people were expected to go, so we got up early and headed out.

I drove on the way up. Dont remember how long it took but it was at least over 2 hours. We saw this really big waterfall that was like 100 meters high. Emmet and I brought a 700 ml bottle of whiskey along to split while we were sightseeing since Ryoko promised to drive home so I could drink.

From there we saw some temples and stuff and it was pretty cool. I took a bunch of pictures on Ryoko's iPhone cuz my camera battery was dead. The leaves were also pretty epic on the drive there and around the temple area. This temple is actually where the see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil monkeys originally came from and they can be seen on one of the temples. Unfortunately we got there pretty late and we didnt know that the stuff closed at like 4:30 so we only had like an hour to see stuff so we missed a lot, but it was still a good trip.

Going back was a nightmare because everyone left at the same time so we were stuck in traffic for hours. Good thing Emmet and I were drunk, but I felt bad for Ryoko but she had a good time so it was alright. On the way back in the car, I emailed Kunihiro and asked if he wanted to team with me for Johnny-o cup. He said he couldnt do it but then I mailed Gaku (the awsome Robo-ky player I teamed with before) and he said he was happy to team up. I already had made plans to play poker again this Sunday so I would just enter the Saturday tournament but I will try to enter all the rest of them after this weekend.

Moving on to Friday. I had to work on Saturday morning from about 8 to 12. It would be the day of the annual PTA ping pong/volleyball tournament at my school where I work, so I just stayed home on Friday night. Ryoko was busy out drinking with some friends for a birthday party but I couldnt really go cuz I had to get up early. I just stayed home. They have this new limited time only Pepsi in Japan right now called Monte Blanc. It has like a sorta sweet nutty chestnut hint of taste and mixed with whiskey fucking really good! So I was enjoying those all night. I ended up watching for the first time, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and some really bad British horror/comedy called Lesbian Vampire Killers. Lets just say I am glad I was drunk while watching both of them lol!

The next day at work, we had the tournaments. I entered the ping pong one, as I have done every year. I was on the adult team (with teachers and parents). I wont bore you with details but we ended up winning the whole thing. yay. It ended at around 11:45 and the next train wasnt for another hour. Unfortunately, the only way I was going to be able to make it to Mikado on time for the tournament (which would start at 3 pm) would be to take the shinkansen, so I did. This was only my 3rd time riding the shinkansen since its expensive and I try to avoid it.

After a smooth ride, I made it to Mikado at about 2pm. Signups just started and I was the first to sign up but the place was already packed with people playing casuals. I got some good practice matches in. Woody (Udei, however you wanna spell it) the TE player was there and asked me if I wanted to team up cuz he had no partner but I told him I already was teaming with Gaku.

The tournament started at 3. I checked the bracket and luckily, my team got a bye first round! Unfortunately our first match after that was going to be against En (SL) and Maruken (BA). A beastly team indeed.

After some more practicing, eventually they called our match. We played RPS and I won. Unlike the 3 on 3 tournaments where you only get to choose your side if you win, this time they let you find out who will go first on the opponents team, so I opted for that. They decided to put En first. I hate Baiken more than Slayer and Gaku is the other way around, so I went first. I lost the first round after getting hit by like one single counter hit into super which lead into a corner combo that did like 80 life lol... I played well the 2nd round and managed to take him down with a clutch comeback. The 3rd round actually ended up being really really close and I got him down to about 10% health but in the end I got hit in the corner and died. It was one of those rounds where I sorta felt like it slipped through my fingers but at least it was a good showing. Up next, Gaku went. He lost won the first round. Then he won the next round too, with a good comeback! Fucking epic! Against Maruken, however, he didnt quite fare so well and lost both rounds. Maruken was just fucking on point. You can see the match on niconico here.

So we lost our first match, but to a team like that I dont feel to ashamed. Especially since that very team went on to win the entire tournament. 29 teams entered and pretty much all of them were pretty beastly. I took pictures of the whole brackets so I will put them up on my pictures page. Feel free to check it out if you want to know how people did. The 2nd place team was Shyo (FA) and Sho (MA) (LOL at the names), so I guess they qualified too if I am not mistaken.

I stuck around after we lost and played casuals for quite a bit. I was doing well for the most part, but I couldnt beat Hayashi (footsies Ky). He was beasting and got a huge win streak and every time I played him I lost. Oh well. Other than that I did pretty well.

Later on Kyle (Stunedge) showed up and he wanted to grab food after he played BB for a bit. I wanted to get kebabs but he wanted to go to a beef bowl place so we played RPS for it and I lost, so we went to his place. The funny part was, it was the place right next to the kebab place but I had never gone there before. They portions ended up being fucking huge and the food was really good, but I over ate and my stomach hurt after eating there cuz I finished it all. Also, while we were there, Woody showed up and sat next to me at the counter. He was with this one MI player whos name I dont remember/know. I asked him if he ever found a partner but he didnt unfortunately. Kyle was telling me stuff about his job working at Sony. I cant really say much about it. He did tell me he works pretty long hours though. I dont really look forward to becoming a salary man in the future and would rather avoid it if possible but we will see how things turn out.

From the restaurant, Kyle left cuz he had plans and then I headed back to Mikado to play a bit more. I played for a few more hours. I felt like drinking a bit so I was sipping on a hit flask of whiskey a bit but I didnt really get drunk or anything, just a little buzz, so I was able to play just fine. I talked with Gaku before I left and he said he pretty much is down to team with me the entire rest of the time so I may just stay teamed with him. Hes a great player and a nice guy so I see no reason not to.

I mailed Pachi and he said he was down to drink tonight. Tonight at Current was a metal event! I left Mikado a little after 9:30 and got to Current at about 10. It was already fairly packed when I got there. Lots of good regulars showed up and also all the usual metal event heads. Pachi rolled in later on and was already drunk from drinking somewhere else and fell asleep on the benches in the back.

I was talking with my friends Sachiko and Johan, and Sachiko was telling us that her mother plays violin in a symphony orchestra and that tomorrow, she would be playing in the Final Fantasy live concert called Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY Returning home. I didnt even know this show was going on, but she had 2 extra free tickets that she got cuz her mom is playing there and she invited Johan and I to come along! In case you didnt know, I have been a pretty hardcore Final Fantasy fan ever since I was 5 years old and played FF1 on the NES, so for me, this was a big treat! I even saw the show when it was called Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy back when they came to Chicago in 2005 at the Rosemont Theater. That show was amazing so I knew I was in store for a treat! Johan and I decided we would leave Current at around 3 am since we had to meet Sachiko in Yurakucho (near Tokyo station) at 11:45 to get the tickets and go in. I didnt wanna miss out over a couple extra hours of drinking. I drank a good amount before that anyway due to lots of whiskey, strong drinks, and Terry buying a round of tequila shots cuz hes the man.

So I headed to the manga kissa at around 3. The one I like was full so I went to the old cheap one and just dealt with the less comfortable seats. I was drunk enough so I passed out just fine.

I woke up and grabbed some quick McDonalds for the road as I headed for the station. While I was on the train, it seemed like I would probably arrive like 10 minutes late. Luckily Sachiko was running even more late and wouldnt get there till 12:05 so it worked out ok. Unfortunately for Johan, he mailed me saying he was too hungover and decided not to go, so it was just gonna be me and Sachiko.

I waited in front of Yurakucho station for a few mins and then she showed up. The place the show was at was right next to the station. It was at the Tokyo International Forum Hall A. The show already started at 12, so we were just a few minutes late. When we got inside they had already started playing. We werent able to go to our seats yet because we had to wait for the song to end, so we stood by the door for the first song. They had a big screen above the stage that was showing footage from FF games and artwork and stuff. It was really classy.

Here's the setlist as best as I can remember.

Final Fantasy Crystal theme
FFI FFII FFIII medly
Final Fantasy series Main Theme
FFVIII - Love Grows
FFXI - Ronfaure
FFVII - JENOVA
FFV - Dear Friends
FFIX - Vamo' Alla FlamencoFFVII - Aeris theme
Chocobo Medly

intermission

FFVII - Bombing mission opening
FFVII - regular battle theme (piano solo)
FFX - Zanarkand
FFVI - DANCING MAD!!!!!!
4 different songs from FFXIV (I am not at all familiar with FFXIV)
FFVIII - Man with the Machine Gun
FFVI - Terra's theme

FFV - Clash on the Big Bridge (Gilgamesh battle music) (this was the encore and the first time the song was ever played in concert!)

hopefully I didnt forget anything but I might have forgotten a song.

The show was done by the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, the KEIO University Choir, and various special guest musicians. Nobuo Uematsu (main composer/writer of Final Fantasy series music) was also in attendance in the crowd in the special seating area. We had really good seats front and center and Nobuo Uematsu was only about 10 seats away from us to my right. They had a special pianist come in for the FFVII battle theme and a special acoustic guitar player for Dear Friends and Vamo Alla Flamenco. They also had a really talented (and beautiful) singer named Susan Calloway who sang on one of the FFXIV songs.

The highlights of the show for me were easily Dancing Mad and Clash on the Big Bridge. I literally shed a few manly tears because Dancing Mad was just that fucking epic. I never could have imagined how awsome that song would sound with a full orchestra, choir, and beastly organ. FFVI is my favorite Final Fantasy game (and probably my favorite game of all time actually, except for maybe Guilty Gear, but they are totally different and theres room for both :P), and that being one of my favorite songs from the game was just an awsome surprise. I didnt even know about the Distant Worlds music CDs that were already out, so this was the first time I heard this version of it and it just blew me away. And Clash on the Big Bridge is another all time favorite and being among the first people ever to hear this new orchestral version of it live was just amazing!

If I had to have one complaint about the setlist, its that they didnt play anything from FFIV, which is another one of my all time favorites and has a great soundtrack, but its ok, they played tons of other great stuff. They also didnt play anything from FFXII or FFXIII but I dont really care so much about either of those games... they were both so-so and the soundtracks were not so memorable IMO.

Anyway, you can see some more information about the show here.
http://www.ffdistantworlds.com/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=details&id=30:tokyo&Itemid=62

And now... for the biggest surprise of all! After the show was over, I of course had plans to go play poker. The game was scheduled to start at 5 and the show ended at 3, which would give me about just enough time to make it there on time. Then.... Sachiko asked if I could stay just a bit longer. I said sure... but why? She said... because because of her mom being part of the orchestra, we were now able to go back stage and meet the legend himself, Mr. Nobou Uematsu! One of the greatest (if not THE) greatest game music composer of all fucking time! I felt like it was a fucking dream honestly. Her bother was there also with some friends, so all of us got escorted back stage into Nobuo Uematsu's dressing room and we got to talk with him a little bit and we all got to take pictures with him! You can see the pictures on my pictures page. He was a totally nice guy. At first, someone asked him if we could take pictures together and he was like "Zettai dame!" which means like "absolutely not!" but then he was just like "just kidding!" lol! When I told him I was from Chicago he told me how Arnie Roth, the conductor is also from there and stuff. He was a totally nice guy and I was so honored to have a chance to meet him. I also met Sachiko's mother and thanked her many times cuz I was honestly so grateful to have this random chance just come out of nowhere for me!

On our way out we also passed by the singer, Susan Calloway. I talked to her a little and she was nice enough to also take photos with us. She's from Detroit so she's been to Chicago several times.

After that, we all headed outside. I had to get going so I said bye and thank you again to Sachiko and left.

So I got on the Yamanote line and it was packed as hell so I was standing really close to the door. When we got to Tokyo station, some woman was getting off the train. I was listening to my iPod and when she got out, the cable for my headphones got snagged on the button of her coat and she ended up pulling my ipod out of my pocket, and it fell out and land on the tracks beneath the train and the platform.... As soon as I realized what happend I said "FUCK!" really loud a few times and the finally someone tried to help me saying that I could get a station attendant to get it back. Once I realized it was in a place where the train wouldnt actually run it over, I felt fine. I went to get staff and some dude said go wait for like 10 mins. So I am waiting for this guy to show up and suddenly another train pulls off and strangely enough, Sachiko and her mom get out lol! They asked me wtf I was doing standing around there and I explained the situation and showed them my ipod down there on the tracks. They waited with me and chatted a bit until the station staff came with this long claw arm thing and got my ipod back. Luckily it still works fine.

So that situation was a little annoying and it delayed my trip a bit, so I ended up getting to the poker game at 6 pm. They were already playing. We had a new guy this time and one of the guys from last time wasnt there. Andy wasnt there yet but he showed up later. I won my very first hand (and it was a pretty big hand) and got off to a good start. When Andy showed up I beat him on a big hand on the river and he was a little dissapointed about it but I understand his frustration. I was up a lot for a while but made a few bad decisions and lost a few semi large hands within like 15 minutes of eachother. Later on I got a sorta big hand off Emmet. At the end of the night, I was up 2600 yen which is better than last week but I could have won much more if I didnt get sloppy at that one point. Emmet was the big winner of the night again making a profit of 11,000 yen. It was good times once again and I wanted to play longer but unfortunately we had to get home on the last train. We will play again in a few weeks.

So yea, thats the end of the weekend. It certainly was full of surprises and was an amazing weekend I will never forget!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010: Welcome To My Nightmare

The previous weekend, I was too busy/lazy to write a blog post. I went to the GODZ/PSY escape from the bar which was the staff and regulars of those 2 bars doing all kinds of special gigs and playing various cover songs. The first one was 2 years ago and was at the same place, Shinjuku Marz. Lots of friends came and I chilled with Andy and Ledbloodrun most of the time there. I got REALLY drunk cuz I brought 2 whiskey bottles in a was spiking my whiskey redbulls I ordered there. After it was over there was an after party nomihodai all night. Andy and letbloodrun went home but Emmet showed up. Most of the night is just a big blur and I hardly remember anything.

Anyway, moving on to the weekend that just ended (Halloween weekend)...

I headed to Tokyo after work. I went to Takadanobaba and got a kebab right away. After I finished, I only had a 10,000 bill to pay with and they didnt have change so they said I could just pay next time cuz they know me pretty well at that place. I figured I should just pay them now so I went to Family Mart and bought a beer to make change and went back and paid them the 500 yen.

After that, I went to Mikado. I already had a few beers in me from the train ride but was still sober enough to play ok. I played for like a couple hours and then Emmet contacted me saying he was just arriving on the train now. I left and met up with him at Shinjuku station. From there, we got a few beers to pregame before heading to the bar and were drinking them outside. This this one Swedish dude I know named Yohan showed up with a bunch of friends and they knocked back a beer with us outside, too. Then we headed to Current.

Since tomorrow would be Halloween, as expected, it was pretty dead in there. We stayed for like a beer or 2 and then Emmet and I decided to just go to Roppongi cuz I didnt really care either way.

We got there and went to that bar called Heartland. It was kinda crappy. Then we went to Gas Panic and that was pretty crappy too, but at least I saved money cuz I did most of my drinking for the night on conbini beers.

We left Gas Panic once the trains started running again, and headed back to Shinjuku to crash at the manga kissa.

The next morning I woke up around 2 or something. I figured I might as well just start getting my costume ready. This year, I dressed as Alice Cooper, one of my heroes and one of the best damn vocalists and song writers, ever. period!

I sorta designed my costume to be like his Welcome To My Nightmare costume. I originally was going to go with what he has on on the album cover, but I couldnt find a white vest, so I sorta improvised and designed it off of what he was wearing in the actual music video for the song. So I had a black top hat, a long black wig, painted my face like Alice, wore a red collared shirt, had a white bow tie, and black suit coat and pants. I think it turned out pretty well.

When I finished getting ready, Emmet showed me something online. Currently there are some legal disputes involving the filming of The Hobbit movie in New Zealand. I dont remember all the details honestly but it has something to do with Warner Brothers having permission to film there or something. You can read the information here and here. So anyway, just for the hell of it, Emmet made some flag in MS paint that has the New Zealand flag combined with the WB logo. He sent it to some people and somehow it wound up being on TV at some political debate and and the guy was so dramatic about it! Here is a link to the actual video. Pretty funny shit.
Other related links are here and here.

Anyway, Emmet got his costume ready there, too. This year he went as a skeleton. He painted his face and had a skeleton outfit to wear. It looked pretty good.

So, after getting ready, we grabbed some BK and then had some more time to kill before the international party so we headed to Sportsland where we had a couple beers while I played GG. I did well and was mostly beating people up. It was fun playing there drinking while dressed as Alice Cooper lol.

After that, we headed to the international party in Harajuku. Unfortunately this one wasnt being run by the good group so there was no food. It also had crappy drinks but I made due drinking canned high balls while we were there. It wasnt as good as last year's pregame Halloween international party but there were still some good costumes there and decent people to talk to, and I guess I drank my money's worth. One of the best costumes there was some dude dressed as Thriller Michael Jackson. I got a good photo with him (and took good photos of some of the other good costumes there).

The party ended at 8:30 and then we headed to Current. We got there pretty early, and when we arrived, it was pretty fucking dead... I honestly consider Current's Halloween parties to be one of the best parties of the year, so my expectations were rather high. I was pretty disapionted to see it so dead, espessially since I remember that last year when we got there around the same time it was much more packed. I think most of this could be blamed on the typhoon that was going on outside. Halloween pretty much got owned by the typhoon. Andy was gonna meet us there but at the time when he mailed me, I was pretty gutted about how bad the party was going so I told him not even to bother coming and to just go to the ALT party in Takasaki.

I dont remember when exactly, but at some point the party picked up and more people showed up. Probably around midnight. I was already sorta bummed and in not the greatest mood but gradually over time, lots of regulars showed up, and while it probably was the least packed Current Halloween party among the 4 that I have gone to, it ended up being pretty fun anyway and there were lots of good costumes and good people there. A few notable regulars who I would have expected to come were not there, but it was still good times. I took a ton of pictures so its probably best to just let them do the talking for me since they capture the night pretty well.

So yea, overall it was still a really fun party, I just let my expectations get too high and the typhoon certainly weeded out a lot of the people that im sure would have gone otherwise.

After Current closed at 5, a large group of us headed to PSY. Emmet ducked out around this time to go shack up with some girl.

PSY was good and some of the people there had good costumes, too. This one girl, Eli, was dressed like a clown so I took a picture with her of me looking afraid, cuz Alice Cooper has a song called "Can't Sleep, The Clowns Will Eat Me". Good times.

After PSY closed at 6, about 10 of us went to Tokyo Loose for more drinking. I passed out there for a bit unfortunately. Thats what I get for starting to drink at 2 pm. I woke up eventually and we all left at around 8 or something. After that, I headed to the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day and got some curry, and then I headed to Akihabara. Ryoko's birthday is coming up soon and she wanted some sorta facial cleansing Panasonic Nanokia (nanocare?) steamer thingy. Its appearently some new beauty fad going on in Japan right now (I saw them advertising the exact same one she wanted while I was riding on the train on my way to Akihabara lol). Honestly the thing probably doesnt even work (and its not like Ryoko needs it anyway IMO), but its what she wanted to thats fine. She always gets me awsome presents so its all good. I shopped around at a few stores and got the best deal at Yodobashi Camera. It was expensive but oh well.

After that, I headed to Club Sega and played there for a while. Got some good games in and only lost a few times the whole time I was there.

Around 8 I got hungry and went to get a kebab and it rocked. Then I headed back go Club Sega to kill the last hour before I had to leave. I was surprised to see suddenly that Kyle (Stunedge) was there playing BB. I said hi to him and we talked for a bit. He played me in a game of GG with his Testament and I won. I played a few more after that and then I had to get going so I said bye and headed out.

On the way back, they checked my ticket on the train so I was kinda salty about that but oh well.

So yea, it wasn't the greatest Halloween ever but I still had a good time.

Next weekend I have to work on Saturday and were gonna play poker again on Sunday in Maebashi so I probably wont even head to Tokyo. Not sure if I will bother writing in the blog next week but if it turns out interesting enough maybe I will.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ace of Spades

Well, this past weekend was Loud Park weekend. Originally I was planning on going because there were some bands I would have liked to see. The bands I mostly wanted to see were Edguy, Motorhead, Chthonic, Accept, and Ozzy. I also wouldnt mind seeing Ratt, Halford, and Angra as a bonus. However, after giving it much thought, I decided not to go this year. Its 25,000 yen for the 2 days and I honestly am kinda broke right now. I have enough to get by and stuff but I couldnt really afford to drop that much money on Loud Park this year, and basically out of the bands I really wanted to see, Edguy, Chthonic, and Accept would be playing sorta small sets. Also, I would totally miss Ozzy cuz hes last on Sunday and I would need before then to get home. The other major headliner for Saturday is Korn and I dont really like them so it didnt seem worth the price IMO. Ill just wait for another good band I really like to play their own headlining show and drop the 7000 yen or whatever and it will be better worth my money. I still had plans to go to the Loud Park after party at Current though.

So Friday night, since I was trying to save money and there wasnt anything in particular going on, I just stayed home and drank cheap beer.

On Saturday I headed to Tokyo and got out there at around 5 pm. Emmet was already out there and wanted to go to an international party. I had nothing else to do in particular and if I drank enough (since its all you can drink... and eat) it would justify the cost. I told him I would meet him at Mikado and then we would head out to the party at around 6. He called me up later saying he was with that crazy Roppongi girl from before now and that he changed plans and suggested we just go to the Mexican place, Sol Amingo, that has the 1575 yen nomihodai for 2 hours. I was down for this.

So I stayed at Mikado and played for about an hour or so. It wasnt really packed but there were enough people there to get games in and it was also still sorta early. I started off fighting some pretty good Eddie. Inoue, Ain, and Nage were there watching me play. I lost to the Eddie. Then I rematched him and beat him twice. Then I lost again. Then Ain got on to fight him so I went to another cab. From here, I ended up getting a 17 win streak and then just left at around 6-ish cuz thats around when I told Emmet I would meet up with him by Shinjuku station. I actually really enjoyed just that little hour or so session of GG and wish there were more tournaments going on right now.

So I found him and Roppongi girl at the station and we went to Sol Amingo. We totally got our money's worth and kept them busy getting us drinks. I think I had a little more than everyone else cuz I was drinking my regular drinks a bit faster. So we all did like 5 double shots of good tequila and then on top of that I think I had like 2 tequila cokes and 2 beers and this was within 2 hours. Emmet and the girl had the same but maybe 2 less drinks than me. I also ordered a burrito and when I got it, I looked inside and aside from like a small chunk of meat it was literally a fucking empty tortilla! WTF?! I wasnt sure if they made a mistake so I called the waitress over and asked what was up. Then some guy came who I think was the manager and told me thats how they make it here. I dunno about you... but where I come from, a good burrito AT LEAST has lettuce, tomato, onion, beans, and meat... and it SHOULD have cheese and sour cream and some salsa or cilantro. It was probably the shittiest looking burrito I ever ordered at a restaurant anywhere in my life. period. I didnt even taste it but luckily the guy was nice and said I could just order something else and he wouldnt charge me extra, so I just got 2 soft tacos like last time I went which were fine.

Anyway, otherwise it was pretty good there, but Roppingi girl was getting too drunk and emotional about stuff and it was kinda a hassle but whatever.

After we left there, we walked near a combini and sat down to have a few more pre game beers before going in to Current since it was still early. Around this time, Andy met up with us cuz he had just came from a nearby festival anyway. He hung out a bit but decided to go back home. At some point, I guess drinking all that stuff in such a short time got to me and I fell asleep sitting down when we were drinking. I dont think I was out for that long, maybe 15 minutes. Eventually Emmet woke me. There was now some other random dude with us. Appearently he was just some guy walking down the street and wanted to drink with us so Emmet invited him along lol. We then headed to Current.

When we got inside it was already fairly packed for being early. I said hi to Michi and Nozomi and they asked wtf was all over my arms and shit. I looked down and didnt even notice that Emmet and Roppongi girl drew a bunch of crap all over my arms with her black eye liner. They also taped a piece of paper to my hat and wrote some crap on it. I quickly went to the bathroom and washed it off real fast and came back acting like nothing ever happened lol. From then on I was fine for the rest of the night and didnt feel sleepy at all either while at Current. As the night went on, it got super packed but as far as I know or remember, unlike other years, no famous musicians showed up this time which was kind of a bummer. There could have been some but none I recognized. I was pretty drunk anyway so maybe I dont remember.

After Current closed, I went to PSY and that random dude from earlier went with me. Emmet and Roppongi girl were already gone by now. I dont remember anything at PSY, but Im pretty sure I fell asleep for a bit. After they closed, I left, grabbed some McDonalds real fast and went to sleep at the manga kissa.

I woke up on Sunday afternoon and esophagus hurt pretty bad. I could tell it was from the McDonalds cuz I was fun until then. I gotta resist those early morning munchies.

Today, the plan was to play poker! Emmet knows this guy named Grant from back in New Zealand who has been living in Japan for 16 years. He lives in Maebashi (the capital of Gunma), Last month they organized a poker game but I was too hungover and didnt go. This time I was only slightly hungover so I was all for it!

I met up with Emmet and we headed back to Maebashi on the train. When we got to the station, Grant met us there and we took a cab to the bar. It was a small old-school style bar called Propeller. It was pretty cool and had really nice lighting and stuff. Very yellow tinted to make it look more old-school.

The owner of the bar is also a player in the poker games so it was totally cool that we played there. No one knows his name so they all just call him "masta" since hes the master of the establishment. Hes like an older guy in his 50s. Andy also came to play poker. We used to play poker together back home in Chicago with lots of our other friends (many of whom were fellow fighting game players). In addition to Andy, there were these 2 Italian guys and their Japanese girlfriends but only the 2 Italian guys played. So with that we had a 7 man table which is pretty good.

We played a cash game with chips which worked out well since not everyone showed up at the same time. Im used to playing tournament style but this worked out fine. We started at about 5 and played till about 10:30. For almost the ENTIRE game I was straight up dominating. Im far from a pro hold'em player. I know what I am doing and consider myself decent at best but aside from Grant, Emmet, and Andy, everyone else at the table were pretty much beginners. I was also getting ALOT of good hands. I cashed in with 3,000 yen and at one point I probably had around 14,000 yen or something in my chip stack.

That was... until one hand...

So basically I get dealt Q spades and 9 of spades. Emmet has position to act before me so Emmet bets pre flop about triple the big blind (blinds were 25, 50... so 150 yen). Having a decent hand and being big stack I figured why not. A few other people were in as well. I forgot exactly what the flop was but basically I think there were 2 spades and something else. I was a card away from a flush. Emmet bets a sorta high amount but it was nothing too crazy. Something like 300 yen. I matched it. Then the turn comes up and its another spade. I now had a flash. This time Emmet bets like 500 or something. I raised him to 1000 and he re raised me to like 1500 and I accpet. Emmet had been bluffing his ass off for like the last couple hands so I figured he was doing it again. I had the 3rd best flush in the game so I was fairly confident. Last card comes up, I forgot what it was but it didnt matter. Emmet bets again like some sorta high amount, then I raised him again for like 4000. He accepts and wants to go all in. I instantly accepted. I flip my cards to show my Queen high flush. Then... Emmet flips his to reveal his King AND Ace of spades! WTF!!?! Oh... man... I was so upset with that outcome. I know I didnt have the nuts and I probably shouldnt have gone all in. I just cant believe he had BOTH the Ace and King. Not that it matters but it just adds insult to injury.

In any case, after that hand, I was still up 800 yen. We finished up soon after that and I still came out with more than I started with but I could have had WAY more if it wasnt for one bad mistake.

We will play again on Sunday, November 7th. Either way, it was fun. All the people there were cool, Masta gave us some free whiskey and it was overall a good time. This was the first time I played poker in like a year or something so if felt good. (Since moving to Japan the only time I ever play is maybe one game while I am visiting Chicago for holidays and stuff).

After it was over, I headed home and thats about it.

Next weekend there is PSY/GODZ escape from the bar on the same day as the next Final Roundbat. I am thinking I will probably go to Final Roundbat cuz I havnt played in any tournaments in a while and I had a lot of fun last time. It will also end up being the cheaper option.

Anyway... fun weekend, despite my bad poker decision. What would you have done?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Sober"? WTF does that mean...?

I didnt bother writing anything for my blog about 2 weeks ago. Basically to sum it up quickly, the information that I leaked shouldnt have been posted online. The person who gave me that information said he could get in deep shit for it, so I took it down out of respect for him. Im sure you all know what that is by now so I wont get into detail about it, and if you dont know what I am talking about, dont worry about it. Its not important. In any case, 2 weeks ago pretty much just involved a ton of drinking and a Metal Event so I didnt really feel it was worth doing a whole update for.

And now moving on to this past weekend. It was a 3 day weekend. On Friday, I drank in Numata (the town next to where I live, where Emmet lives). I started off drinking with Emmet at his place to pregame. Then, we went to an Izakaya where we met up with Ryoko and 2 of her friends joined us as well. It was fun times. We drank there till about midnight and then Ryoko had to go home cuz she had work tomorrow. Her friends went home too. Emmet and I stayed out all night and went to a bar called Haveryon.

There was only 1 customer plus the bartender when we got there but theres not much else open aside from snack bars at that hour so we made the most of it. Shortly after we got there, another ALT who we know who lives in the area showed up. Let's just call him Mr. L. This guy is just a casual acquaintance and I dont really ever hang out with him. He seemed pretty drunk already and even fell off his bar stool by himself shortly after arriving. He sat with us at the bar and asked me what the last CD I bought was and wanted me to put a song on to show him for whatever reason. This bar has a computer out that the customers can use freely to put on whatever music they want with youtube or whatever. So I put on a song, and like 2 minutes in, he turns it off saying he doesnt like it. It was kind of a dick move and he could have waited another like 4 minutes for the song to end but whatever. I let it go. Mr. L also made some smart ass condescending comment applying I have no game because I have been with the same girl since I came to Japan. Considering im engaged to her it would make sense. Emmet was even defending me on this one and hes one of the biggest players I know lol.

Then, he like wants to play some stupid telling jokes game. He said how he had this awsome funny joke and he will tell us but we all have to tell a joke first. I had no good jokes off the top of my head and I think its kinda lame to like try to force someone to tell a joke like that but anyway, I told a joke, it was pretty lame but whatever. Then Emmet tells one, it was also kinda lame but who cares. Then the guy tells his joke and it sucked too. Then he tells us to go another round, so I tell another lame one. Then Emmet says "What's black and white and tells really bad jokes? .... Mr. L with a newspaper!" This joke in itself isnt even that funny but just given the fact that Mr. L was so serious about his jokes and we didnt give a fuck at all and we were wasted, both of us just busted out laughing really hard for like a good 2 minutes. I couldnt breath I was laughing so hard cuz it took me off guard. Mr. L didnt seem amused but we were just messing around and it was all in good fun. So eventually I dont remember how it progressed this way but Mr. L says "Watch your fucking mouth" to Emmet. First Emmet was just like alright man... lets just drink, cuz he didnt wanna start anything and was just fucking around. Then Mr. L said it like 4 more times and Emmet was just like... "Yo dude, seriously if you say that to me again I will fucking roll you. Lets just chill and drink" So, Mr. L says it again and Emmet gives him a little shove and Mr. L falls off his barstool again. Then he gets up, talks to the bartender for like a minute, and leaves.

Honestly the dude was being a dick, and the bartender after that told us that Mr. L is a pretty thick headed guy and to just forget about it. The bartender also said he was probably jealous of my Japanese cuz the guy lived here for 7 years or something and has worse Japanese than I do or something. Then the bartender just drank with us for a few more hours and gave us like 4 free shots each and only charged us 1500 yen each for a whole night of drinking which is insanely cheap!

After that, we went back to Emmets and slept.

On Saturday, I woke up at around 1 pm. Emmet was already awake drinking. I took a shower, got some food at the market across the street, and came back. Today our plan was to go to Maebashi Matsuri (a festival). Andy was going to join us. We realized that the weather was pretty shitty and it seemed as it if it would rain all day. We decided to change our plans and just go right to Tokyo because there was going to be an Oktoberfest international party with German food and German beer, so we figured we might as well just do that. We realized if we were gonna make it we had to run to get the next train which left in 10 minutes, so we ran to the station quickly and got on the train just in time.

We met up with Andy at Takasaki station and he rode the rest of the way with us. We were drinkin beers the whole way down there. The party was in Harajuku. We got there just when it started. The food was good and they had high quaility German sausages with 4 kinds of gourmet mustard, sour kroute, and other good stuff. They also had 2 kinds of German beer, a weizen and a lager. Both ive never had before but they were pretty good. We talked with a few various people and got our money's worth on drinks. This is the same international party with the black dude with the curly mustache for a chef and he always makes good food. I havnt been to one of those in a long ass time but they dude remembered me.

After the party ended at around 9, we left and some girls came with us. We all went to Current for Masami and Mame's birthday party. It wasnt as packed a some parties have been in the past, but it was still fun and lots of regulars showed up. Pachi came too. I dont remember much noteworthy stuff to say about it but we drank a lot.

After that, we went to PSY and I dont remember much from there except I passed out for a bit. Thats what I get for drinking heavily since 2 pm. I eventually woke up though and after PSY closed I headed with a few people to Tokyo Loose. I dont know what time I stayed there till but I left there with Pachi. He told me I could crash at his place tonight to save money. We got some yakisoba and then I dont remember what happened. But.... the next thing I knew, I woke up on the Tozai subway line and it was like 12:30 pm... lol! I guess somewhere along the way I lost Pachi and I honestly have no idea why I was even on the Tozai line since its not even the line I would take to get to where he lives. In any case, I could tell I had already been sleeping for a few hours. I headed back to Shinjuku and stayed at the manga kissa for another few hours and then when I felt refreshed enough I left at around 4:30 pm.

Emmet mailed me and wanted to meet up but I guess I took too long to check out of there so he went to go eat/drink with one of the girls from last night. I decided it was about time I at least play a little GG for the weekend so I got some quick BK and then I headed to Mikado.

At Mikado, I was surprised that today they only had 5 GG cabs set up. They were running a huge Vampire Savior tournament so I guess they needed the extra cabs for VS setups. There were still people there playing GG though. I got a small win streak of like 10 wins or something and most of the people I was fighting werent so good but then eventually Kunihiro showed up. I beat his Sol twice, beat his Ky once, lost to his Anji twice, beat his Anji once, and then lost to his Robo-Ky 3 times. I dont know why but I was just having trouble with Robo-ky today. Then, Ryan (Letbloodrun) showed up. He said he just swung by to see if I was here cuz he wanted to chill. There was only 1 3S setup going today because of the VS tournament so we figured lets just go drink now. I said bye to Kunihiro and we left.

So by now, Emmet was at Current with the girl. We got there pretty early, it was only like 8 pm or something. We sat at a table with Emmet and the girl and drank for a while. It wasnt too packed but there were some other people in the bar.

Ryan wanted to go to GODZ so I went there with him for a beer. It was kinda dead but we had fun listening to metal.

We then went back to Current but instead of going inside, we sat outside 7-11 and knocked back some whiskey and beers for cheap. Both of us were kinda trying to save money. Emmet and the girl joined us for a bit and we were probably out there drinking for like almost 2 hours. At some delicious Indian curry nikuman too.

After that, we went back to Current and drank more till closing and eventually we went to PSY. It was pretty packed and we had fun. Emmet and the girl didnt go with us though but PSY was full of cool people. I didnt pass out at all this time thankefully.

After PSY closed, we got went to Tokyo Loose with like 4 other people. We drank there till at least passed 8 or 9. Originally, Ryan wasnt gonna stay out all night cuz his girl was getting upset but he decided to test the waters and see what would happen if he stayed out all night. Hopefully it works out for him.

I slept at the manga kissa and woke up around 3. I still felt drunk. I didnt have to drive today cuz Ryoko was gonna pick me up from the station when I arrived so I figured I might as well drink more. I got a few beers for the road and a Bacon Cheese Whopper and headed back. I spent the rest of the evening with Ryoko and she made me Okonmiyaki and awsome potato salad. It was good times.

I think I drank WAY too much this weekend. Surprisingly my esophagus didnt really end up hurting at all, so I think I am actually for the most part cured, but I pretty much wasnt sober at all for the past 3 days aside from the small window in which I played GG and the very end of Monday night after sobering up from the train ride back. With GG tournament season being pretty dead right now after Tougeki just ended, I just dont have much motivation to play and just wanna get fucked up. Sometimes a little break can be ok though.

Next weekend is Loud Park. I wont be going to the concert cuz its too expensive and not enough bands I wanna see will be there (or at least the ones I wanna see arnt going to play long sets), but I will go to Current for the after party. It will be interesting to see what famous musicians show up this time.

Fuck... I sure am an alcoholic.