Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wine is Fine?

So, I was at work on Friday and about 15 minutes before I was going to leave, the doctor called from Minakami hospital and said that my blood test results were already done. So, after work, I headed to the hospital and talked to the doctor. I was pleasantly (and a bit skeptically) surprised to find that my uric acid level had already dropped as low as 3.9. This is a big jump from 10.7. I guess the medicine was working. The doctor said that I should reduce my dosage to 100 mg a day for the Zyloric. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of pain in my joints (mostly my legs and feet) but he says that the nerves are going to continue to be agitated by the uric acid crystals as my body continues to slowly break them down. Basically, my blood is no longer depositing new uric acid into my joints, but there is still plenty of old uric acid still stored in my joints, so I may continue to suffer gout pain for a while. I told the doctor that I had been trying to avoid drinking and he said that I could drink red wine. He said that red wine wont raise my uric acid level and I should be fine drinking it normally as I would any other alcohol. I just need to make sure I stay hydrated pretty much and I should be fine. I was quite pleased by this news. Even though I don't drink it often, I actually like red wine so im more than happy to drink that over nothing and at least I can still get drunk.

The doctor also said my iron levels were still quite low, so he gave me another injection of Fe. He said to come back in about 2 weeks for another blood test.

After seeing the doctor, I headed to the store and bought a bottle of red wine for the evening. I spent the night chilling at home drinking with Ryoko. I drank the whole bottle while Ryoko drank some whiskey.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt fine for the most part. I still had gout pain but it was no different than I felt before I drank the day before, so the wine seemed to have no real affect on my gout. Fuck yea!

Ryoko and I had some spaghetti that I cooked together and then she had other plans for the rest of the day to hang out with her lady friends for a girls night out where they will gossip and talk about girl stuff so it was no guys allowed. So as a result, I went to Tokyo alone.

After arriving in Tokyo I headed to Mikado. I was surprised to see that they were taking sign ups for a GG tournament. It was a 5 player team tournament. I signed up on the list alone to be paired with a team later. Shortly after, some guys came up to me and asked me if I had a team yet. I said no, so they asked me to join their team and I agreed.

My team was:
Me (FA)
Ojima (FA)
Tsu (ED)
Robo-Ky player (cant remember his name)
Millia player (also cant remember his name)

I have teamed with Ojima and Tsu before and they are both really good. The Robo-ky is usually kinda decent but today he was playing extremely solid. He beat me twice in casuals before the tournament.

Our first match was vs a team of
Kakishi (AB)
Gaku (RO)
HOS
MA
ED

Gaku and Kakishi are great players and the other guys were pretty good but I dont know their names.

Our MI player went first and beat HOS.
Then May beat our MI player.
Then our RO player beat May.
Kakishi beat our RO, Ojima, and myself. I did alright but fucked a combo up that sorta cost me.
Up last was Tsu and he beat Kakishi, Gaku, and the ED player for the win!

We advanced to the 2nd round.

I noticed that while we were playing our match, that on the cab next to us, none other than Shinjn the Swedish Baiken player was there! I was surprised to see him and said hi. He said that he was just in Tokyo for a few weeks and would be leaving for Kansai after that for about a week and then returning to Sweden. We had a discussion about the current state of the European GG scene. He said that there arnt really any majors anymore and people lack motivation to play very hard. He said that his local scene still plays, but that people have no inspiration to really play competitively since there are no tournaments to practice for and that people just sorta play and hang out sometimes. He said most of the European GG players arnt even playing anything else. They just don't have any GG tournaments to keep them motivated. Its a real shame but the US scene seems to be more or less the same as far as people not playing much GG. Hopefully the community can take more initiative to run their own majors to increase interest again. I also hope that The Midnight Carnival GG podcast will inspire some people to play again more. I realize that is very difficult to get the scene going again and what it really needs is AC with good online (or a new GG) but until then, hopefully people will come out and support the big GG tournaments that people actually DO throw such as Evolution GG side tournament, Chicago Heart 3, and other majors in the US and Europe that people make an effort to throw.

Anyway, our next match in the team tournament was vs the team of:
Nage (FA)
Ochiai (nice PO guy)
Hayashi (footsies KY)
Ain (KY)
JA player whose name I don't know.

We found out that their first player would be Jam. They asked me if I could handle Jam. Funny thing was, I played against this guy about 3 times before the tournament in casuals and lost all of them. However, I didn't feel like he was unbeatable and just needed to step up my game. I said I would go first and would handle it. So, I payed really solid and ended up winning both rounds. If I remember correctly I even dizzied him in the final round.
Up next I fought against Hayashi. I predicted he would start the round by throwing a stun edge and he did, so I air dashed over it right away and cought him with a string of normals. I was doing alright but I sorta made a few execution mistakes and I could have won the first round but sorta screwed up and it cost me. The 2nd round I lost as well, unfortunately.
Hayashi continued his reign of terror and in turn took out our RO player, our MI player, and Ojima's FA all in a row. Finally Tsu's ED came to the rescue and took out Hayashi but unfortunately was defeated by Ain's Ky. Nage and Ochiai just chilled in the background.

Unfortunately that as the end for our team in the tournament. We all thanked each other for teaming up and then I went back to playing casuals for the rest of the night. I fought Karun's Jam and beat him on the first try but then he went and played me 3 more times and beat me. Oh well, at least I beat him. It always feels good to do so since he's a hater. I played a bunch of other matches and players as well but dont remember much noteworthy stuff. Ochiai played me once with his Ky (his 2ndary) and beat me. He has a pretty solid Ky actually.

BTW... I didn't see the finals but I am pretty sure that FAB's team won the tournament. I forgot who was on it but it was all really good top players like Mitsurugi and some other people.

I stayed till closing and then got on the train. Soon after, Ochiai, Ain, and one other guy got on the same car and sat across from me. Ochiai said hi and good game from earlier. I rode 2 stops and then said bye to Ochiai who by that time was already starting to pass out on the train.

I then went to Current. Tonight was a metal event. It was a fairly standard metal event. Not as huge as some of them have been but not the worst one either. A few regulars were in and out throughout the night. This one chick got really drunk and her boyfriend broke up with her, so she was sorta being babysat by her friend. One of the DJs was wearing an Iconoclast shirt which was awsome, but he didnt play any songs from it while I was there unfortunately. Also, some chick was wearing wings and devil horns. and had a tight leather outfit with a concealed sword in her satanic looking cane... which was pretty awsome, but I was lazy and didn't take any pictures. I talked to various people and chilled drinking wine. The staff was a little confused at first when I ordered the wine cuz they thought I couldn't drink at all but I explained that wine was OK. Other people were just surprised to see me drinking wine simply because I pretty much never order it at the bar, but it was all good. Unfortunately Current's wine is 600 yen a glass and isn't very good wine but it got me drunk so whatever.

I stayed at Current till around 3 and then I headed to GODZ cuz some people were there earlier and said it was really packed and went back there. Unfortunately when I got there, most everyone had already left and it wasnt so packed. I sat next to Indian dude and chatted with him a bit. One thing that sucks is that GODZ's wine is 800 yen a glass which is really expensive but its slightly better quality than the wine at Current. I paid for my wine with a 5000 yen bill and Kenji put it on the counter under an ash tray while he poured the drink and forgot about it (but he did give me my change). Later, Hide, the other bar tender, came by and asked if it was the 5000 yen that I paid. I said it was. He the proceeded to put it in the register and was going to hand me change (4,200 yen) but I told him that I already got change from Kenji. A few seconds later, Kenji walked by and overheard our conversation and they both thanked me for being so honest saying that a lot of people would be dishonest and try to get the free money. I told them I like their bar and didn't wanna screw them over. They thanked me and played 2 songs off of Iconoclast without me even asking lol.

Soon after, Chip showed up. He was at Current earlier. We talked for a bit. He was telling me how he was going to go to the Amorphis show last week cuz the bassist invited him (since he knows him) but he couldnt end up going but at least got to meet up with him in Osaka for drinks (as Chip was traveling at the time). He was also telling me about some sorta new rock bar in Osaka thats run by a transsexual lol. He said its not very good.

I stayed at GODZ till about 4;15 when my wine was finished (I sipped it slow). I then considered going to PSY but there was a sign outside that said it was Michael Jackson night and i could hear "Heal the world, make it a better place..." blaring from within the door. I wasnt really in the mood to listen to that so I considered going back to Current, but the problem was that on metal event nights they finish up at 4:30. I walked towards there and someone who was at Current walked by and he told me that everyone was already leaving. I sat down in the smoking area by the McDonalds and had a smoke while I thought about what to do. Then Mandi and this other chick walked by and saw me and insisted I go to PSY with them lol. So... I did. Fortunately, even though it was Michael Jackson night, I guess they got it out of their system and didnt play anymore MJ songs while we were there and took lots of requests, which is what PSY is always awsome about. I had another wine (which is unfortunately also 800 yen at PSY but also better than Current's wine) and chilled for a bit. Other than the 2 girls I came with and myself, there were about maybe 4 other customers in the bar, plus Toru and Natsu. I stayed till a little after 5 and decided to call it a night and went to the manga kissa.

The next day I got up and headed to Shinjuku Sportsland because the new fighting game Aquapazza just came out in arcades and I wanted to try it out. I would have tried it at Mikado but they didnt get it. Upon arriving at Sportsland, there was some kind of Gundam game event going on and they had like 20 cabs set up near the entrance of the 3rd floor, and it was really hard to get passed the sea of people in the way.

So, Sportsland had 2 cabs of Aquapazza. There were 2 guys playing against the computer, one on each cab, and neither looked like they knew what they were doing yet, so I decided to play against one of them to try the game out. I tried out 3 different characters (I dont remember the names... one was the archer girl, one was the samurai girl, and one was the barbarian looking chick with the sorta heavy lookin sword). The game feels kinda stiff and generic but to be fair, I didn't really know what was going on to well. I havnt really read up at all about the game before playing it. The thing I guess that I liked about the game most were the assist system. It reminds me of MvC1 where you choose your assist before the battle starts (except its not random like in MvC1... but I know there were codes to get passed that in that game). The game only has 10 characters and 4 of them are generic looking school girls. I may have more appreciation for the characters if I was actually familiar at all with the separate series in which they all came from (as they are all from other games/manga) but I am not, and find most of the cast to be sorta boring and generic looking. The guy I fought was using the big sword girl. I managed to beat him in that mirror match and then lost. I lost with the other characters I used. The game could end up being good but I really dont know if I feel like investing time and money into learning it. None of the characters seemed to appeal to me and the engine feels kinda generic.

I figured I would check out Club Sega Shinjuku since I hadn't been there in a while. They had 4 Aquapazza machines and they were all being played, once again by people who sorta seemed like they knew what they were doing. I watched a bit but didnt play. I was sad to see that Club Sega Shinjuku now only has 1 GG cab. Also, MIU was there working. I wanted to say hi to him but he was busy announcing a match for a tournament he was running for work so I didn't want to bother him (I dont remember what game it was).

After that, I went to Takadanobaba and I got an awsome cheese pizza and salad at Saizerya (which is actually a great meal for my gout) and then headed to Mikado. Mikado was dead as hell as far as GG. Only 2 guys playing. I beat them once each and they left. I didnt wanna wait around since there were no GG players in sight. Actually, Kyle (Stunedge) mailed me earlier saying he was now living in Ikebukuro for about 3 months and invited me to come hang out. He said he would be playing at Ikebukuro GIGO today. I asked him if there were any people playing GG and he said there were, so I headed over there.

They had 3 GG cabs and they were all full when I got there. Also, that one Jam player dude who has the hot girlfriend who plays Sol pretty well were there. I gave them a nod hello. They were playing on another cab though so I didnt get to play them.

I beat some other Jam and then Kyle challenged me with his Ky and I won. Then some May player beat me twice. At his point Kyle wanted to go check out another arcade cuz he wanted to try Aquapazza. They had 2 cabs at Gigo but they were all full and the people seemed like the knew how to play pretty well already. So Kyle, myself, and his friend who was another BB player that was with him, went to the other arcade, Game Safari. They didnt end up having Aquapazza so we just gave up and went back to GIGO. Shortly after, Kyle said his girlfriend wanted to spend time with him so he left. I continued to play GG. I got a 14 win streak, mostly against some HOS who was very persistant and not bad but he couldnt beat me, and a Baiken, and a Ky. Then, no one was playing me, so I beat the game. I decided I would give SSFIVAE a try. I played some Master Ibuki who beat me up.

I went back to play more GG against some Eddie player. I beat him 4 times and then he quit. He was the only one left playing and no there was no one else to challenge me. I beat 4 stages vs the computer and then just gave up on waiting and got off the cab. I watched more Aquapazza and some dude was using the mage chick character and tearing it up. He had 17 wins and was already doing stuff that look broke. She seems like a great zoning character. Maybe I should have tried her out. I didn't really feel like paying 100 yen a game though vs that guy. I played a little more SSFIV and lost to the Ibuki like twice more. Then I fought this one Ryu who was really good and he beat me and he also was beating the Ibuki over and over. I think the Ibuki was starting to get pissed. I fought a Zangief and won and then I had to fight the master Ibuki again and I beat him this time. I think he was getting angry and started to play sloppier. He played me again and I lost. I fought the Gief a few more times and won and then finally lost to him. At some point I went and got more Saizeriya which was right next GIGO, too. Kyle never came back. Once it was time to leave I just headed out and took the train home.

Overall it was a pretty fun weekend. Got some good GG games in, and I am very glad that I can drink again (even if its just mostly red wine). I'm unsure about my plans for next weekend since there's nothing going on yet as far as I know but I will post again if something cool happens.

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