Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Casuals... drinking.... more casuals.... more drinking... and... more casuals...

I went into this weekend without any solid plans since I hadn't purchased the latest arcadia yet. I figured I would just pick one up when I got there and then check the back for the tournament schedule. So Friday after work I left for Tokyo as usual and went to Akihabara first for casuals and to buy the arcadia at a shop there. When I got the magazine I was disapointed to see that there were no tournaments listed for this weekend. I headed for Club Sega and played some casuals for a while. One of my first matches was vs an Eddie player, first round I was winning and then he made a come back and we got a double KO. The next 2 rounds were very close but I lost. I tried to play against him a few more times but I couldnt beat him. At first I didnt think it was Ogawa since he ussually uses default and this guy was using the green eddie, but after analyzing his play style it seemed like Ogawa after all and sure enough when I went around to the other side of the cab it was indeed him. I played some casuals vs some other people and me and Ogawa sorta just waved to eachother. I wanted to ask him what was up with him and tournaments in the future since he couldnt go to DF2 but I never got the chance since he was busy talking to someone and then he left while I was in the middle of a match. I had emailed Matt (Hintalove) on the train telling him I was going to Akihabara, so eventually he showed up for some casuals as well. I asked him if he was gonna go drinking tonight and he said he was going clubbing later. Since clubbing isnt my thing and im probably the worst dancer ever I decided I would just go drinking in Shinjuku at my ussual spots instead. Before me and Matt left Club Sega, I asked this one Millia player who I often see around if he knew of any tournaments this weekend. He said there were none in Tokyo but there was one in Saitama (the prefecture north of Tokyo which is between my prefecture and Tokyo). The tournament was somewhere in Minami Koshigaya on Saturday. He didnt know what time it started but estimated around 3 pm. Then he asked me how many players we have in Chicago, I didnt tell him I was from Chicago so I guess by now pretty much everyone just knows who I am hah. I told him maybe about 15 or so but of course the number fluctuates. When I told him we dont have an arcade with an AC machine and we play on console he seemed rather surprised and thought it was strange. So I thanked him and said bye and me and Matt headed to the station. Matt said that he would not go to the tournament since he had plans to just go joy riding around Tokyo in his friend's car or something. We parted ways and I headed for Shinjuku.

I arrived at Current and there were a few regulars and a few new faces but the place wasnt very active. The same guy who went drinking with me, Chip, and Mayuko last weekend were there. One of the bartenders who works there was there but it was his day off, his name is Masami, hes a younger guy, 21 years old, he plays guitar in a band. Hes a cool dude. He is friends with this one chick from Norway who was there and she was also there with this one other young Norway dude that she was friends with. This guy was a character, he said he was in Japan to study Japanese and was a big Otaku and kept naming all this obscure manga ive never fucking heard of. I asked him if the girl was his girlfriend and he proceeded to say "no she looks like a man" which was not true, he was just being a dick I guess haha. The other guy was just her friend. So since Current was dead they were all planning on going to GODZ so I went with them, and the other guy from last week came with us as well. So the 5 of us walked to GODZ and got a table. The Swedish dude then started to write all these random haikus in Swedish and then he translated them for me, they were pretty random and shitty haha. This dude was also one of those guys that spits a lot when he talks, and I was the lucky one to end up sitting next to him. So after a few beers we left GODZ and went to PSY bar. It was pretty packed (which means 15 people were there since thats about all that can fit). After a while everyone was kinda getting sluggish and I was getting sick of PSY so I decided to head back to Current for about a half hour before they closed. When I got there, there were only a few people. Mogi and Sushi, the staff, wanted me to sit with them at the bar and pointed to a specific stool, so I sat there. Then I realized the person sitting next to me was this drunk chick who was like in her late 30s. She was requesting all this really bad music and wanted me to dance with her. She was persistant and I didnt want to be a jerk so I figured I was drunk enough to go shuffle my body around for a few minutes for one song. So then we sat back down and she is like trying to get me to dance with her again so I did one more song. Then she like starts resting her head on the bar and looks like shes about to pass out and is like asking me questions about myself. Eventually the bar was ready to close and everyone left at the same time. The guy who was DJing (who maybe knew her but im not sure) helped the wasted chick to get on her bycicle which she appearently rode there, she said she lived close by so hopefully she made it home OK. It was pretty random, and she didnt even like rock/metal really so I dont know why the hell she was even there, seemed very out of place haha. I said bye to everyone and went to my usual spot at the manga cafe and slept.

Next morning I woke up around 11:00 and grabbed some food and checked out this one music store which is near Current. I had been meaning to go there for a while but never did cuz they are always closed at night. They had a good selection of stuff and were playing Circus Maximus - Isolate when I walked in so that was pretty sweet. So after that I decided to head to Saitama for the tournament. On the way there the damn Saikyo line got delayed for almost a half hour, I have no idea why but first we sat on the train for a long time, then we got to the next station and had to get off and wait for the next train, I dont think it was due to a "human accident" this time though, I didnt see any human remains on the tracks or the front of the train. So eventually I arrive in Minami Koshigaya station a little before 2 pm. Right away I found 2 game centers that were right next to eachother next to the station. However, much to my dismay only one of them had one single AC cab and was certainly not the place where the tournamet would be held. I asked the guy who worked there if there were other arcades in the area and he pointed in a direction and said it was about a 5 minute walk. So I walked around for a bit and eventually I found this one other game center called Solaris. It was sorta big but they didnt have many fighter, they had one Arcana cab and some KOF and thats was about it. I asked the chick who worked there if they had AC and she didnt know wtf it was hah. So I had about 45 minutes left at this point and I just kept walking around sorta circling the station and going down all the streets but I just couldnt find the damn arcade. So at this point it was like 3pm and I figured the tournament would have already started even if I did find it so I just said fuck it and left and headed back to Akihabara. It was sorta a waste of time but the area was nice and so was the weather so at least it was a nice walk. On my way to Akihabara, when I got off the train I noticed that there was a wet puddle under my backpack where I had set it on the floor. It didnt rain so I was wondering wtf was going on. I checked out my bag and noticed that my saline solution bottle for my contact lenses had somehow openened and leaked all over. On top of that, I had some TUMS in the same pouch and when the saline and TUMS mixed, it made this pasty goo that got all over everything. It was a pain in the ass to clean up but eventually I got most of it cleaned off. Unfortunately both my DF2 and SBO program guides were in the bag and suffered water damage. They are still readable but the ink ran and the pages got stuck together. Bummer since I wanted to keep them in good condition. After dealing with that BS, I played more casuals at Club Sega till late and then headed back to Shinjuku for more drinking.

When I arrived at Current it was fucking PACKED. Like, the most packed ive ever seen it, you could hardly walk. Most of the people there I didnt even recognize, most of the regulars werent present. It turns out there was some event and they had like 4 guest DJs. They were playing all sorts of great music. I talked with some people and had tons of beers and it was good times. Eventally Chip showed up and we sat at the bar and talked for a bit. He told me that when Current has these big events and all these random people show up, most of the regulars dont like to come because they think of Current as "their" bar and dont want all the randoms there. He told me Mayuko was in Hodaiko visiting family for the weekend. Eventually Chip left saying he was going to some other bar to meet up with a girl, but said he would come back next weekend and we might go to 16 shots again or something. Eventually they ended the night by playing Dream Theater - One Last Time, Finally Free, The Spirit Carries On, and everyone proceeded to head out. As I was stumbling back to the Manga Cafe I somehow ended up talking to a group of people that also left the bar that were going the same way, they went to McDonalds so I went with since I had the drunken munchies. I got a Fillet o Fish combo (which they sold on the breakfast menu, I was surprised) and harldy even remember what we talked about at all, I was pretty sauced. I eventually headed back and passed out.

I woke up Sunday finding myself with no plans. I left the Manga Cafe and decided to go check out Las Vegas game center since its right across the street. There was one guy there playing Slayer against the AI, he had 2 wins so I figured he was probly decent. I played beat him a few times but he was good, then a few other people started coming in and we had a little gear session going for maybe like an hour. Then I got hungry and left to get some food. I decided I wanted to check somewhere new out and my friend Liz had told me how she was in Harajuku the previous weekend so I decided to go check it out. I got there and walked down this street that was packed with people and shops. I looked around for a bit and found some ties at the 100 yen store which are actually pretty decent. Its good cuz ive been wearing the same 4 fucking ties to work since I got to Japan. I got some food and then walked around for a long time. I eventually found myself in an area that looked familiar and I realized that I had been there once before at night during the weekend when I walked around Shibuya by myself a long time ago. Shibuya is the next station after Harajuku so it makes sense, but I walked far appearently. I decided to head back near the station and I found this area where lots of people were gathered. There were lots of people dressed in gothic lolita clothes and a few people carying signs that said "free hugs." This one really scary older guy was dressed in this pink furry animal suit and it was rather fightening. Im not gonna waste my time describing it too much so just go ahead and take a look at the picture of him in my gallery that I will add shortly. There was also this crazy old man with a very strange outfit as well, he had like earings with live goldfish inside of them and a wacky-ass hat. There were also lots of live bands just playing on the sidewalk and stuff and a realy nice forest area that I walked around in for a bit. I really wish my good camera still worked since I could have taken way better pictures. After a while my addiction to Guilty Gear creeped up again and I started fiending so I headed back to Akihabara and played casuals for the rest of the day. Osaka B and FAB were there among some other really good players. I didnt get a chance to play Osaka B. He came and said hi to me while I was playing but he had to leave, bummer. I played FAB a bunch and kept winning 2 rounds but then losing the last round. He had like a 30 something win streak in general, blargh. Eventaully I left and headed home. Not exactly the most exciting weekend in terms of Guilty Gear due to the lack of tournaments but I guess thats to be expected since everyone is probably recovering from DF2 and stuff. According to Arcadia, theres a ranbats at Game Chariot next weekend so I will probably hit that up, should be good times.

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