Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heaven or Hell, Duel 1, Let's Get Married!

Its been a while since I updated my blog. To summarize, the weekend I didnt post anything, I drank in Takasaki with Ryoko, Andy, and Emmet. We crashed at Andy's place and then the next day I went ice skating with Ryoko and Andy. It was pretty fun and the first time I had ice skated in years. After that, I went back to Numata and drank with Emmet at a bar all night, but it was pretty uneventful.

Later in the week, we had a holiday on Thursday, so I threw a big ski party at my apartment. I had about 12 people over at my place, which is kind of a lot considering how small it is. Mostly ALTs from around the area, plus some of Ryoko's friends, and Kei. I made a ton of food like a bunch of curry and we had yakiniku, salad, and other stuff. Everyone got pretty smashed and we stayed up till like 5 am playing 4 player wii games like Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros, and Bomberman. Everyone was getting pretty hype about Bomberman and it was really fun. Kei was mostly dominating everyone. Also Jesse brought over her hookah so we got to smoke some tasty stuff.

The next day we went skiing and Ryoko's sister Reiko, Ayano from Current, and her friend Karl, came to join us as well. We had quite a large group go skiing at Norn. It went well for the most part except that it was snowing really bad so Ryoko was getting worried about driving home and left a bit early. Also, unfortunately Andy fell and injured his shoulder. I dont know the extent fo the injury but something is broken I think. He had to sit in the lodge and wait for us for the last hour or 2 so I felt bad for him. I hope it heals soon.

And now moving on to this past weekend...

Everyone was pretty much busy with stuff so I went out to Tokyo by myself. I decided to just skip the TRF SFIV tourny cuz I didnt wanna go alone and id rather play GG casuals anyway. I went to Mikado and it was a fun night of casuals with good players there. I beat Sadou's JO (the one who was on the 2nd place SBO team) the only match I fought it. Then he played Slayer on me 3 times and I won the first 2 and lost the last one. I also played Osaka B in a couple mirror matches and lost and then someone else got on the cab so I couldnt play him again. Also, I played a ton vs Udei's Testament. I asked him if he dropped Axl completely and he said yes, and that Testament is his main now. We were going fairly even but near the end of the night I was pulling ahead getting more wins. Sadou and a couple other guys were staying behind to watch our matches before the place closed. It was fun times. I told them good games and headed out.

From then, I went to Shinjuku, got some quick Sukiya, and then headed to Current by myself. It was a small crowd in there with only a few people I know and some random foreigners (there seriously has been TONS of random foreigners lately... I dont really want Current to turn into an all out gaijin bar). The whole staff was there bartending, and Bosch was DJing. He played AWSOME music all night long. Like just tons of awsome metal, one after another. Dream Theater, Symphony X, Helloween, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, GnR, ACDC, Bodom, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and tons tons more. It was just straight metal all night long. I talked a lot with the Current staff and some other dudes at the bar and it was one of the most fun nights I had there in a while. Masami was also telling me funny stuff about how when Japanese people hear certain English songs they think it sounds like something else in Japanese. For example, in Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue, the part where they say "Oh! Yea! Kickstart my heart, give it a start!" sounds like KINTAMA HARU HODO NEBATTA which means "somethings wrong with my balls." also the chorus of I Got The Time by Anthrax sounds like CHINCHIN CHIGIREMAHEN, which means "penis never split" or something like that, according to Masami. LOL!

Anyway it was good times and I went to PSY as always after it closed. On the way there I got a kabob and the guy totally had it already made for me when I got there which was weird. I only went there once before so I have no idea how he recognized me but I think someone else ordered it and he just gave me it first. Kinda fishy but it was still warm and tasted fine, and I didnt get sick so oh well.

I stayed at PSY till closing. The dominatrix chick was there again as well as some other regulars and Masami showed up later too, good times. Went to sleep at the manga kissa as usual.

The next day I went shopping to buy a box of chocolates for Ryoko for Valentines day. I looked around in some stores in Shinjuku and finally found some places in Lunine est by the station. It was kinda pricey but oh well.

After that, it was off to Mikado for a full day of Guilty Gear casuals! There was a good crowd in there all day. They had some weird time reserve free play thing going on where I guess you pay a fixed amount and it was somewhat organized but it wasnt a tournament. When I got there, there was only like an hour left of it so I just played on the other cabs that were not being used by the timeshare thingy (there was 4 for the thing and 3 were just open cabs for whoever so I played on those). I did generally well throughout the day. Kei was supposed to meet me in Takadanobaba and it turns out he just went to Big Box to play SFIV and then left to meet up with other friends so I never ran into him. Andy showed up later though and chilled for a bit. His shoulder now had some sorta brace on it but you couldnt really tell with his clothes over it. He couldnt move his shoulder but was still able to play fighting games. Near the time we were ready to leave, we played one random game of TvC for the hell of it just cuz neither of us play the game at all. Then we left to meet up with Liz in front of the station.

Liz, Andy, and I headed back to Shinjuku and got some dinner at Pepper Lunch. Then we went to Current. There was supposed to be a Valentines Day party tonight but it was kinda dead for a party. It had more people than just a random night but not as many as most Current holiday themed parties. Not to mention that most of the people there were once again random foreigners and most of the old regulars didnt even come. Pretty lame, but the Snus Man was at a table in the back with a few people so Liz and I sat with him. Then Andy came over and suddenly told me he decided he was going to leave and go back home. At this point it was about 11:00 and he had only been in Tokyo for about 4 hours so I was pretty shocked he was leaving so suddenly but I guess his shoulder injury was bothering him. I hope he gets better soon.

Liz and I pretty much sat in the back with the Snus Man and some other people most of the night. Snus Man's brother was there too visiting from Finland. They all kept buying pitchers and sharing with everyone at the table so I bought one as well to share. As the night went on, more people eventually showed up and lots of them were dancing which was kinda fun. Emmet showed up at some point with his new girlfriend Hiromi. This was my first time meeting her, she seems nice. They were drinking at a nearby izakaya till about 2 am or something like that. The rest of the night was pretty much just drinking and dancing.

When the bar closed, Emmet left with Hiromi and Liz went back to the station to go home to Takadanobaba. I decided I might as well get one last beer at PSY. On the way I got another kabab and the guy was surprised to see me show up again at the exact same time. That shit smells so good and im always so hungry at 5 am after lots of beers I cant resist.

PSY was OK I guess, a few regulars were there, and Hibiki showed up. I just had one beer and then left, cuz I wanted to get back to Gunma.

Since it was now officially Valentines day, I had plans to spend it with Ryoko. However, she had to work until 5 pm so I could still go to Tokyo, and then take the last train back and get home and sleep for a bit and then go meet her later.

I ended up falling asleep on the Saikyo line and it was like 7:45 and I was near Urawa. At this point my ulcer was hurting REALLY bad! When I got that kabab, the guy put really hot sauce on it even though I asked for mild. I ate it anyway cuz I was drunk and hungry and it tasted good but I knew it was gonna fuck me up. Espesially since I forgot my ulcer medicine at home all weekend. I think I must have ridden the train back and forth the whole way at least once. In any case, I got up and got to Omiya where I transfered to the Takasaki line and slept the whole way. Then I had like a 40 minute transfer at Takasaki station and I slept there the whole time too but I set an alarm this time so I woke up and got on my final train back home. I finally arrived at home at about 12:00. This only gave me like 4 hours of real sleep in my bed till I needed to wake up at 4 to get ready to see Ryoko, but it was enough I guess. After waking up, the ulcer hurt a bit less but still didnt feel great.

I took a shower and changed and put on a suit and cologne and all that good stuff. Ryoko didnt know it but today I had a surprise for her.

Ryoko and I had already talked about it and we already decided we want to get married. We have been together for 2 and a half years (I met her 2 weeks after I moved to Japan). However, I never officially proposed or gave her a ring. This summer when I visited Chicago I bought her an engagement ring. I figured Valentines day would be a decent time to give it to her. So I opened the box of chocolates I got her and put the ring inside of the center chocolate in the box and re-sealed it.

I drove to her place and picked her up and took her to a restaurant where we got our own private table. We ordered a bunch of food like Steak, cheese potatoes, spring rolls, salad, nabe, and stuff. Then she gave me a box of candy and this awsome Super Mario bros 3 frog suite Mario shirt like out of no where. Pretty awsome (in Japan, girls are supposed to give presents to guys on Valentines day, since they have White day one month later which is like the same thing but for the guys to give to girls, but im an American so I just do it western style). So then I gave her the chocolates and she opened it and was pretty shocked and I proposed and she thought it was like some sorta dream or something. At first she just kept saying "どうしよう!" over and over again which basically in this case was just like an expression of being shocked as fuck, but then I reminded her that she didnt actually even answer me yet LOL, even though I knew the answer already. She said "ぜひ” which basically means absolutely or certainly. After that her heart was beating too hard and she wasnt even hungry for the food when it came lol. I probably should have waited till after we ate but eventually she calmed down a bit and ate some of it.

I aint gonna write about what went down with the rest of the night. You can figure it out yourself lol.

We already decided that we wont actually get married for a few more years, like till im done with JET. I just thought she deserved the ring to make official what was pretty much already the case.

So yea that was a pretty good past week or so. Next weekend I might not go to Tokyo but I dont have 100% solid plans for the whole weekend yet.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snus Overload and a Trip to Yokohama

After a week of mostly playing lots of SFIV with Matt (cuz I cant find my copy of GG anywhere), doing lots of snus and drinking lots of beer, we headed out to Tokyo after work on Friday. Emmet met up with us on the way.

From the moment we got on the train to pretty much throughout the entire weekend, I was getting down on the snus pretty heavily! Just assume that while you are reading about anything I am doing, I am probably snusing (except for a bit of the time I was playing casuals, and while I was eating)...


We headed right for TRF in Nakano and met up with Sam. The weekly TRF SFIV tournament was going on and was going to start very soon after we arrived. All 4 of us signed up. We played a few casuals before it started. I came very close to beating one guy but lost.

The tournament had about maybe a bit less than 30 people. Basically we all lost first round lol. I lost to a Ryu player basically because I wasnt being patient enough. I had a life lead on him and then I tried to get a bit more damage in and the announcer was like saying in Japanese "I dont understand, why is Blanka moving forward?" lol. Yea, I should have just turtled but I had a brain fart. Matt lost with his Akuma, Sam lost with his Dictator, and Emmet lost with his Guile. None of us really were surprised or cared lol. There were some pretty high profile players there.

After we lost, we headed to Shinjuku Sportsland to play a bit more casuals. I played a bunch of GG there and was beating most people pretty well. There was this one Robo-ky who was super gimicky but he had a solid I-no and I was going about even with him. We stayed there till about midnight and then it was time for drinking! Sam went home though.

We headed to Current and it was just packed with random gaijin. There were like 2 Japanese people in the whole place aside from the staff, which is pretty unusual. At some point, there were these 2 People from France talking with us for a bit who were pretty nice. Then these 3 girls from Sweden came and were sitting in the corner. We were talking with them for a bit but then Emmet started calling the blonde chick Courtney Love, which offended her enough to the point where they moved to another table hah. Not long after that, we decided to just go to PSY.

PSY was pretty awsome and we requested tons of stuff, including The Count of Tuscany, and they played the entire 19 whatever minutes of the song and Matt and I drunkenly sang along. We were also doing TONS of snus... like... Matt was quadruple snusing the extra strong stuff, which is like the same as having 8 regular snus in your mouth at once. His mouth was just like dripping brown goo. Kinda nasty, but it must have rocked him pretty hard.

There was also this girl there who was pretty cute, and she was telling me how she works at an S&M place. I was just talked to her casually for a bit cuz she was nice. I asked her how much she charges out of curiosity and she said its nice and cheap and I should come sometime LOL. I told her I have a girlfriend and dont need to and she told me theres no harm in a little playing hah. I didnt bother getting any of her info but it was an amusing conversation.

After we left there we got some McDonalds breakfast and then it was time for the manga kissa.

After sleeping for 6 hours, we woke up and headed right for Mikado. There werent all that many people playing there at first. We played a little bit and then decided to get food.

We figured we would give Children of Baba another try (the ramen place that has the Children of Bodom ripoff logo) and it was actually open this time! We went inside and the place wasnt as crazy as I would expect but they were playing some rock and they had a bunch of pictures on the wall and some band posters and stuff. The place was run by some old man and I just happened to be wearing my Children of Bodom shirt that day, so I showed him it and asked him if he was a fan and he said he was. Then he played a CD from this Japanese power metal band that they had a poster for on the wall. I cant remember what their name was but he says the come there a lot. They were pretty good actually. The ramen itself was also pretty tasty and the prices were pretty standard for decent ramen (about 700-800 yen a bowl). The owner was nice and we chatted a bit and he gave us a free Children of Baba sticker. I told him I would probably come back again sometime.

After that we headed back to Mikado for more games. Lots of big names were there today. I played like a zillion matches in a row against Taku's Slayer. The funny thing was, at first I was fighting some other Slayer guy who I beat a few times. Then all of a sudden the guy just got like SUPER AMAZING and it turns out that Taku like picked up the guys game or something lol. I was so confused how that one guy just leveled up instantly like that but it all made sense when we realized Taku was now playing. Tanabata (aka Seta) was playing Slayer on the cab next to him and raping people too. I never beat Taku this time but I was like a pixel away from doing it and he came back, it sucked...

I played Udei a bit and he seems to be maining Testament now and was playing a bit of Slayer as well which is basically just a slightly worse version of Hase's Slayer cuz those guys play together a lot. I got some wins on him but his Testament seems like its coming along pretty good.

Mike was playing his Jam a lot too vs En-Slayer. Matt was pointing out that Mike was looking a little rusty and was dropping lots of stuff but he still seems pretty solid. I guess GG players are gonna get serious again now that GG is in SBO once more.

I also played a bunch of mirror match games vs Osaka B and lost like 10 in a row till I finally beat him. Like so many of them were super close too but he just wouldnt let me get that last hit in lots of the time. Hes always known the mirror match better than me anyway but it was still fun and he told me he enjoyed our set of games after I beat him.

Emmet went off to another international party at some point, and later on Andy showed up. Aside from that, I guess theres not much else to mention but it was a solid day of casuals.

Now that GG has been announced again for SBO I am extra hype about playing it a lot again! I still pretty much dont have much interest in learning BB and if anything my 2ndary game right now is SFIV but I dont think I will bother trying to get into it for SBO. I will probably play more of those TRF tournaments though for fun.

Anyway, after games, we got some Suikiya and then met Emmet at Takadanobaba station. From there we left and headed back to Shinjuku. We stopped in at Current first, which once again turned out to be pretty packed with Gaijin. Sushi was cooking takoyaki for practice cuz there was going to be some food event going on on Sunday.

We sat at a table and drank a bit, and SPG Chris joined us. We decided after a few beers to check out GODZ since Matt didnt go there yet since he has been back in Japan.

GODZ was pretty packed and they played tons of great music. It had been a while since I was there too so I enjoyed it. Nothing extremely noteworthy to mention there but they played my request of Symphony X - The Walls of Babylon and it was epic as hell. Chris left at some point saying he was going home.

Then we left GODZ at around 3 am, got some awsome kababs at the little stand parked outside in Kabuki-cho, and when we got back to Current, Chris was there LOL. He said it was on his way home so he stopped there for another beer hah. I dont remember anything extremely worth mentioned during the rest of the time there other than lots of people dancing a whole lot and me getting really drunk and dancing too. A few more people we knew were there at this point which was cool too.

Also, at some point, I dont remember exactly when, but Emmet told us this fucked up story about how back in New Zealand, this one time, he was fingering some chick and pulled a used condom from several days ago out of her, and the condom was not from Emmet either. He said it smelled foul as hell and is easily one of the grossest stories I have ever heard LOL!!!

Once Current closed at 5, I was already plastered as hell. I didnt even need to go to PSY but we went anyway.

When we got there, I ordered a beer and passed out after like 15 minutes. I woke up at like 6:30 and my beer was gone cuz Matt said he asked me if he could drink it but I have no recollection of it at all. I didnt need it anyway I guess.

After that, we just headed right to sleep. We got the 6 hour package again. This time Andy went with us to the manga kissa instead of going home.

We woke up the next day and the plan was go to go Yokohama to meet up with some of Matt's friends. First, we headed over to Takadanobaba to meet up with Matt's friend, Kei, who is a SFIV player. Kei is also good friends with the well known Sagat player Oji-san Boy, who won the SFIV tournament at Big Box we saw 2 weekends ago.

Kei was at Big Box playing casuals. We first went and got some McDonalds and then went into Big Box. Kei was there playing casuals. I played a few matches of SFIV casuals and was doing pretty well, probably winning slightly over half the games I played. I fought against Kei twice (he uses Boxer) and lost both times but I still did ok I guess. I also beat up some Ryu, a Gief, and won in a close match vs a Dictator.

Eventually we left to head to Yokohama. We got there and met up with a girl named Marie. Marie, Kei, and Matt all studied together for a while in Oregon at the same university. Kei and Marie were there studying abroad so they both speak very good English. The 6 of us went to an Italian resturant and got some food and bunch of beers and had fun talking about various stuff. Marie is actually pretty interested in video games which is cool, in addition to being quite attractive. Kei is also a really chill guy too so it was fun hanging with them.

The whole time while we were in Yokohama I did some snus again too and since Matt has been over the last 2 weeks I have been using snus like a ton every day. I usually only use snus on weekends but since he was over and we were drinking I used a lot, and quite frankly my tolerance is going way too high up on this shit. I used the regular stuff and dont even get a buzz, and the extra strong stuff hardly effects me either. I think its time to take a break for a bit to get my tolerance back low, cuz if I dont get a buzz from it, theres not much other point in using it hah.

After eating, we walked around a bit, got more beers at the conbini and eventually we watched this one street performer who was juggling rods that were set on fire and was also doing fire eating tricks. After his performance was over, tons of people were dropping big bills into his hat. Dude got paid for sure!

After that we walked around a bit more and just kinda looked at some of the rides by the harbor area there. They had like ferris wheels and a rollercoaster and stuff. We didnt really have time to ride them though.

Eventually it was getting really late. Matt decided he was going to stay with Marie and do more drinking while the rest of us had to go back to Gunma. We said goodbye at the station and then got on the train. It turns out that we JUST MISSED the train that would get us to Takasaki in time to catch the 2nd to last train back to Minakami. This meant we had to go back home on the last train (which arrives in Minakami at midnight) AND we had to wait to transfer like 45 minutes at the station. This only effected Emmet and I though since Kei lives in Maebashi and Andy lives in Takasaki. We pretty much just all slept on the train on the way home and then we parted ways with Kei and Andy at Takasaki.

Emmet and I got on the last train from Takasaki and ran into John, another ALT. I was really tired so I just slept the rest of the time. Emmet and John got off near Numata at Iwamoto station and then I rode the rest of the way and made it home and went to bed after a nice shower.

This was Matt's last weekend in Tokyo. He will be coming back to my house Tuesday after work to stay till Thursday, at which time he will go back to the US. It was cool having him around again though and im sure he enjoyed his visit back to Japan.

Next weekends plans are undecided but I may stay in Minakami to do some skiing, but if I do end up doing something worth writing about, I will update my blog again.

Until next time...