Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding Teammates

Friday night I headed to Mikado alone. I started off right away with a 13 win streak. I eventually lost to a May. I was still in the process of putting an SBO team together this weekend. Kunihiro said he would team with me for the upcoming tournaments but I still needed one more team mate. Theres this ABA player whos pretty good who always talks to me named Nanase. He came and sat by me and was talking with me a bit so I asked him if he could join my team. From next weekend is the start of golden week with lots of holidays. The very first SBO qual is on next Sunday in Saitama. Then there are 2 in Ibaraki and one in Tochigi the following days. Nanase said he could join me for the Saitama tournament on Sunday. He cant make the other ones though so I still needed to find one more team mate for those days. Anyway, there were a lot of players and I got tons of good matches in and stayed till closing.

After that, I went to Current. It was packed with a bunch of random foreigners I didnt know. SPG Chris was there with a few other people I know so I sat with them. We eventually decided to go to GODZ. We stayed at GODZ for a bit and we ran into a Swedish dude there named Johan.

We all left GODZ together and the people I was with didnt really wanna go to Current, so Johan said he knew about this awsome "rock club" that he was gonna show us. As we started walking there, we realized we were walking near Current. We asked him what the name of the club was and he said it was called Current! LOL. I couldnt help but laugh that he was "showing" us where Current was. Once we realized that, everyone else said they would just find some random place to go drinking in Kabukicho. I decided to just go back to Current anyway so I went with Johan.

It was still pretty much the same there. I talked with Johan a bit and he was saying how he might be able to hook me up with a job at the company he works for sometime in the future so thats pretty cool to know I might have that option.

After Current closed, I went to PSY. The other people I was with earlier were there and it turns out they just ended up going there the whole time due to not being able to find anywhere better lol. I stayed till closing and then went to sleep.

Saturday, I went to Mikado again right away. It was slow at first but a few people were there, and gradually the place got really packed and there was tons of comp there. Kunihiro showed up and we talked about our SBO plans. He said he will enter the Saitama one for sure. He said he will go to the other ones only if we find one more guy cuz its really far and going with a 2 man team is kinda risky.

Also, The I-no player who I teamed with sometimes last year named Yuki messaged me saying he wanted to meet up. He had never been to Mikado before so I met him by the station and showed him the way. I asked him if he could team with me but he says he hasnt been practicing and has mostly been playing online reload for some reason, so he said hes not really in any position to enter a tournament. I played him, and he did seem a bit rusty but not completely terrible but i figured it would be best to find someone else anyway.

After playing for a bit, I took Kunihiro and Yuki to the kebab place and we got some kebabs and it was delicious as usual. Then we went back and played more. My top streak of the day was 11 wins. Tons of top players showed up. I played Maruken's Baiken and beat him on my first try which was cool. I played him like just a couple more games after that and didnt win again but they were some good matches anyway. Eventually around 9 pm, Kunihiro and Yuki left. Towards the end of the night, I was fighting against a pretty good Ky player. I had like a 6 game win streak on him or something at one point but he kept trying. The funny thing was, every match was like down to the wire with like one hit between who won and who lost but I just kept squeezing in the last one. Right before they closed, I talked to him and said good games and told him he had a solid Ky. I asked him if he wants to team up for SBO sometime. He said he doesnt enter tournaments much but said he would be willing to try so he will team with me at some point in the future. He says he cant go to the far away tournaments but at least hes another option to team with for ones that are pretty near Tokyo. His name is Usuda. After closing, I left.

Andy, Ryan, and Sam were all supposed to come to Mikado but no one ended up showing up. Emmet went to another international party and didnt come to Tokyo last night due to an enkai.

I headed to Current alone and Emmet was there when I arrived. Chip showed up too. I asked him what he thinks about MvC3 so far and he says it looks like it might be good but its too early to tell.

Also, Terry showed up and had a rough day at work, so he was really in the mood to get smashed. He kept buying everyone shots over and over. He must have bought us like at least almost 10 rounds of shots. Emmet and I also bought a round. It was pretty insane. Eventually Terry got too wasted and could hardly stand for a bit so he went home around 3:30. At some point I got really wasted too and passed out at the bar for maybe a half hour. I woke up with marker writing all over my arms and on my neck. Masami and Emmet busted out the black marker on me. Fair enough, I fell asleep so whatever. I washed most of it off in the sink but some was still sorta visible.

We stayed till closing and I think Emmet went to a love hotel with Sachiko. At this point, my memory sorta cuts off but I went to PSY, I think with Chip or something. I dont really remember anything about PSY but I know I was there. I think maybe Masami showed up too. I was pretty wasted.

I woke up the next day in the manga kissa with one contact lens still in and my contact lens case still on the desk with the bottle opened. I must have just straight up passed out while taking my lenses out lol. I also checked in around 6:30 according to my receipt meaning I stayed at PSY till closing. I still felt slightly drunk but no hangover. I didnt have any pain in my ulcer really but I ended up taking another super black shit, which means there was some internal bleeding going on. I really shouldnt have drank all those shots but once I got drunk enough and someone keeps buyin em for me I dont really think about saying no heh. I guess ill have to be more careful next time.

I got some food and then met up with Emmet. I went to HIS travel agency to check some airfare prices. Right now tickets to the US are really expensive so Im still not sure if I will end up going to visit this summer. If I dont, I might go to another country in Asia with Ryoko since its cheaper. Im still thinking about it.

After that, we headed to Mikado. I was surprised to see that they were running a 5 on 5 tournament for GG when I got there. It had already started and I had no idea about it, but Johnny-o was cool about it and put me on one of the teams that hadnt played yet. I played a few casuals while I was waiting for us to play and won like 4 in a row and then they called our team.

My team had Tsu (ED), an Anji, Sol, Robo-ky, and me on it. I dont remember the exact order but 2 of my team mates went first and I think they beat 2 guys. Then like 2 guys lost to a pink Faust player. They sent me to go next to take him in the mirror match. It went 2-1 and I beat him. Then I had to fight a Slayer, and I lost 1-2. I think Tsu beat the Slayer and then everyone lost to JT's Millia, and that was it. Oh well. I was glad I at least got to play.

After the tournament was over I left and saw Ryoko when I got home.

I mailed a bunch of people in my phone trying to find another team mate for the Tochigi and Ibaraki SBO quals. I heard from Akira the Axl player who says he pretty much will be busy all of May but would like to team with me in the future. Also, ASA the potemkin player said he cant enter due to having work those days but also might want to team up later. Im still waiting to hear from about 6 other people and can possibly mail others if those fall through. Hopefully I will find someone else to team with. In any case, next week officially starts SBO quals so I am pretty hype for that. With that and the release of SSFIV this week, im gonna be playing a lot of fighters.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Dude Abides

Friday night I played GG casuals at Mikado. There was a good amount of players. Kunihiro was there and he was doing well as he often has been lately. I played him 3 times and we went 2-1 in his favor. He said he was down to team up with me again for the first set of quals which will begin during golden week. I played a lot of good matches and overall did well. Sam and Emmet both eventually showed up as well.

After leaving Mikado, Sam went home. Emmet and I went to Current. On the way there near Shinjuku station, there was a Turkish kebab stand so we got a kebab each but they ended up sucking. The pita was burnt, and it was only meat and cabbage. I wont buy one from that guy again.

When we got to Current, it was sorta dead and almost all random foreigners. We stayed for a few beers and then Emmet wanted to go check out Tokyo Loose to see how it would be earlier since we always go there late. It ended up being pretty much the same as always... a bunch of skanks and bad music. At one point, Emmet was like bending down to get something from his backpack and some random skanky chick just like starts rubbing up against him cuz she thought he was trying to dance lol. We only stayed there for one drink and then we left and went to Zin.

When we got to Zin, it was closed. Bummer. So then, we went to PSY, which ended up being dead with only one customer there. We had one beer, and then went back to Current.

At Current, it was still mostly foreigners but Chip was there now so I talked to him for a while. After Current closed, Chip went with us to PSY again. It was still dead as when we left but at least I got to talk to Chip. For some reason I was really tired though and ended up drifting off towards the end, so we just decided to leave after that. Emmet and I went to the manga kissa as usual.

The next day, Emmet and I went to Akihabara because they were having a special Super Street Fighter IV preview event in front of Sofmap. We got some kebabs first though and then headed to the event. Sam and his friend Nick met us there too. They had 2 setups (one xbox and one PS3) with sticks in front of the store outside. It was nice out so it was pretty cool. The line to play was pretty short so we got to play a lot of times. We were there from around 1:30 to 4:30 (except Sam and Nick who got there a little later). The characters I tried out were Blanka, Juri, Cody, Adon, Hakan, Ibuki, and T. Hawk.

I am a Blanka player in SFIV but I dont really like what they did with him in Super from what it seems (they didnt do much to him). His jab ball doesnt go as far so you cant do the same whiff to throw shinanigans. He has a slightly faster walk speed and slightly faster crouching fierce and I think his hop supposed to be faster too. His new ultra seems more useful than his old one (can punish full screen fireballs which I confirmed vs Deejay but does bad damage, and works as a decent anti air). Even with all this though, his blanka ball is still too unsafe. I might still use him but I dont think he will be my main anymore.

Between the new characters that I tried, I liked Hawk, Cody, Juri, and Hakan the best. As of now, I am leaning towards maining Hawk. I never was much of a grappler guy but Hawk's normals are seem to be very very good. He has a lot of great pokes and zoning tools and I love good zoning. A lot of his normals have very good long range which I also love. His special moves all seem pretty useful as well. The new condor spire seems pretty safe and I was able to tick into his command throw off of it pretty consistantly (though I dont know if it was just cuz my opponent wasnt good or not). The dive seems like it might not be very safe on block but is great for mobility purposes and will at least beat a lot of things if used right and also knocks down. DP seems decent but not the best, but its something and you can combo into it which is nice. Im not used to doing 360s but im sure I can learn pretty easily. I still dont know which ultra I want to use mostly. I just used the anti-air one cuz it seems like it would be more useful for the sake of variety but I only played 2 matches with him so I didnt get to test it out that much. In any case, he seems like he would work well for me so I will consider him for sure. I never really liked his character design all that much but to me, the way the character plays and how fun they are to use is much more important to me than how they look. If he has a good color I will be happy enough I guess. Too bad his alternate costume looks bad.

I also really liked Cody, and Juri, and Hakan seems fun but a little more gimicky and since I was playing Blanka before who was extremely gimmicky I might want to stray away from that, plus if im gonna use a grappler, Hawk seems like more my style. Adon seems kinda weak and I dont really think I will use him. Ibuki I wasnt really considering cuz shes too rush down oriented and low stamina but I just wanted to try her out for fun.

Emmet seems like he will use Deejay or Sim, and Sam was leaning towards playing Rose or maybe Gouken. Nick just played Sagat the whole time trying to get his new angry scar combos to work.

A lot of people at this play test seemed kinda scrubby. Not that I am a SF pro or anything but some of these guys were notably bad. There was this one guy who was trying to win SO HARD! He was like making all these exertion noises when he played and was hitting the buttons all mashy and looked so proud of himself whenever he won a round (even when people let him win to extend the play time cuz it was only one game and then both players had to go back in line, no one stays on) and so upset when he lost lol. I got stuck playing him like 2 or 3 times which sucked cuz I was just trying to test stuff out mostly. It was good that I got play with Emmet and Sam most of the other times though so we let eachother try out a lot of combos, setups, etc. I probably got to play a total of about 8 times. Each time we played, the Capcom staff gave us a Capcom notepad and Capcom pen, so I have a ton of them, especially since Sam didnt want his so I got his plus mine too.

After the event was over, we went to the new Club Sega Akihabara to just check it out and play games cuz its like right there. I played one match of GG vs some Zappa, won, and then no one else challenged me so after like 7 stages of arcade mode I got bored and just left my game. Everyone else was messing around with some other stuff. Overall there wasnt really a reason to stay there long.

We left and then got some awsome Akihabara kebabs AGAIN cuz Sam and Nick wanted them and I was down to have them again anyway cuz they are really good.

After that, we went back to Mikado. Emmet stayed for a little and then left to go drink with some girl. Sam and I stayed at Mikado till closing. I played a ton of good casuals once again, and there was plenty of comp and great players there. Got a few small win streaks too. Before we left, Sam already slammed a few beers and at first wasnt gonna go with me to go drinking but changed his mind.

We went to Current where Emmet was already there. Last night, my heartburn was sorta bothering me slightly more than usual from just drinking beer for whatever reason. The doctor told me I should try to drink a bit less because too much drinking can cause an over abundance of stomach acid build up which will damage my ulcer more. I decided I should try to see if I can find another drink that is safer for me to drink all night. I came up with the idea of trying to drink White Russians all night. For those who are unaware, White Russians are Vodka, Kahlua, and milk. They are also a good value cuz you get a little extra alcohol in them compared to a regular mixed drink with just one shot. So I drank those all night and it actually seemed to work pretty well. I got pretty drunk and didnt seem to experience any pain. I also didnt even bring any snus and will no longer use it anymore.

So anyway, we started off at Current, it was a little better than last time but still not like super packed. A little less gaijin though. Some random oafish rude gaijin dude came up to me and asked me to scoot over a stool except there was not open stool next to me. There was one like 6 people down. So I said to him there was no where to move. Then hes like "That curly haired guy over there looks like he would be easy to push over. Cmon, make it happen!" This guy was really obnoxious and a table just opened up in the back so we just moved there cuz tables are cool anyway and i didnt really wanna deal with this fool. While sitting at the table we invited Chibi Testament to sit with us cuz she looked bored. At some point, Sam and Emmet went to the conbini to drink and they met up with Sachiko. We didnt stay at Current all that long and eventually met with the others and headed to Zin.

This time it was actually open. There were 2 people at the bar who left shortly after we got there and later on a big group came and sat at the table by the door. Also this one other metal chick came who was friends with Chibi Testmament. I got more white russians. Hibiki was bartending and later on she left and Yoshi came.

The night was going fine until Emmet made a joking commet to Chibi Testament saying everything about her is child-like except her face. She at first seemed like she was just pretend pissed off and pretended to beat Emmet in the head with an empty bottle which was fine. Then she went too far and suddenly took Emmet's beer bottle which was like 1/4 full and dumped it over his head! Emmet was pretty pissed about this. He took it pretty well though. She tried to say it was Japanese style and he shouldnt get mad but thats a bunch of BS. They argued a little and eventually she was talking shit so Emmet came over to her and asked her "So if its Japanese style would you mind if I did the same thing to you?" She said she wouldnt mind, so he took her beer and dumped it over her head too. A little got on Sam's pants. We were pretty surprised. After that he left with Sachiko and went back to Current. Chibi Testament then started crying and stuff and getting all emotional like she often does. Sam and I didnt really wanna bother with all this crap so we soon after left and went to PSY.

PSY was pretty packed cuz it was some drunk chick's birthday or something. Hibiki was there a long with a lot of PSY regulars. I got another White Russian but it tasted weird. It turns out that when Chi-chan made it, she forgot to put Kahlua in it. When I ordered the next one I asked her if she put Kahlua in and she apolagized for fucking the other one up so I got the next one for free! Sweet. Later on, Masami showed up. We stayed till closing. I was really awake and wanted to drink more. We asked Masami if he wanted to go with us to Tokyo Loose. Funny thing was he already knew about that place and seemed to think the same of it as we do but decided to go anyway just for more drinking.

It was more of the same there, but I ordered a White Russian there too and they made it really fucking strong which was awsome, so that alone made it worth going. After watching a bunch of fools and skanks dance around to bad music for a bit, we called it a night and I went to sleep.

The next day, I woke up, got some food, and then met up with Emmet in Shinjuku. We then went to Mikado. It was dead at first but started to get packed over time. I played like 3 hours of casuals. Nothing really noteworthy to mention but it was fun. We left at like 6 pm and took the train back together. I played some PSP and napped and Emmet was watching some UFC matches on DS.

Thats about all for this weekend. Next weekend theres nothing really specific going on as far as I know but I will probably go to Tokyo again for more casuals and drinking anyway.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Break 2010 part 3 (the final sretch, and the truth discovered)

Here's the final chapter of my long Spring break series of updates...

Saturday, April 2nd

If memory serves me right, this is the night were at the manga kissa, I ended up having to share a double mat room with Tony. It ended up being really small and there wasnt much room but there wasnt really any other options cuz its all they had left. After showering and getting ready, we (Sam, Emmet, Tony and I) left. This time, we didnt meet up with Rob and Andy right away because they had plans to go to a Morning Musume concert today, so we would meet up with them later.

Also, the night before, Sam found some random hat on the street and decided to keep it. He was now wearing it. I thought it was a bit gross but he said he washed with soap in the sink at the manga kissa and let it dry all night and it was totally fine so thats cool I guess, lol!

In addition, upon waking up, Sam realized that he was missing his apartment key. He suspects that he might have left it at Club Pure. He had plans to call them later and get it back, but unfortunately he was never able to.

The plan today was to go to Osaka castle. We started out by grabbing a beer and walking around looking for Nanba JR station. We knew we had to get to Osaka-jo eki by JR trains so we figured it would be the easiest way. While we first started walking around before we even barely drank our first beer, we came to the realization that we were actually STILL a bit drunk from last night. We figured we might as well just let it ride, so we continued to drink all day. We walked around quite a bit trying to find it, and ended up drinking lots of beers while trying to find it as a result. Eventually we realized that there didnt seem to be a good way to get there from where we were at without going back to Umeda, and we also realized it was getting to be almost 5 pm. Emmet checked some tourist Japan guide book he had and it said in there that Osaka castle closes at 5 pm, so we figured we might as well just save it for tomorrow. As a result, we ended up spending most of the day just walking around Osaka, exploring various areas, and at all times we had a beer in hand.

At some point, we stopped in front of one of the supposedly most famous takoyaki stands in Osaka and we got some takoyaki and just ate it on the street sitting down chilling and drinking our beers watching hot chicks walk by. There were these 2 hot girls in cowboy hats working to promote some girls bar so Emmet and Sam were flirting with them for a bit.

After everyone ate we continued to walk around and drink. I kept a good buzz throughout this whole time and never really got sloppy drunk at all so it was a nice relaxing day.

Tony, on the other hand, was a different case. Tony had like maybe one chu-hi. Then, Emmet kept offering to buy him some more. So gradually, Emmet keeps buying Tony more and more Chu-hi, and sometime around the time when we walked into DenDen town, Mr. Chu-hi had come back in full force! Whenever I think of him chugging from his tallboy 8% chu-hi can, I just cant help but hear the Popeye music in my head.

Now I dont know how many he had, but it was WAAYYYY more than he probably should have had. Tony is naturally kind of loud sometimes which can be a bit annoying, but now he was just like really loud, and slurring his words, and couldnt even hardly walk in a straight line. He then started just rambling on about how much he likes fat chicks. I never knew this about him before, but he said that one day he was online and saw a fat version of some regular size anime character and he was like "oooh wow yea! This is very interesting!" and he somehow stumbled on the "weight gain community" online in which people discuss how much they like fat chicks and trade pictures. Most of this is actually centered around fat drawings of anime characters, and my brother found some artist who goes by the handle Gain-over. This guy takes pictures of regular anime drawings and draws ridiculously obese versions of them. Some examples my brother spoke of were Ibuki, Jill Valentine, and Sakura. Not only does he love these pictures, but he loves them SO much that he commissions the guy to draw them for $30 a picture! LOL. This is the site that the artist Gain-over has is pictures up on. Give it a look if you are curious (Mr. Chu-hi ASKED me to link this on my blog so have at it! lol).

He also kept going on about how there is like different categories of fat chicks like BBW (big beautiful women) and SSBBW (super size big beautiful women) and so on and so fourth. He also said that any regular size woman is just a potential fat chick! LOL! You can see a video of this here. Emmet recorded it with his phone.

For like the next 2 hours or so, we walked around DenDen town with Mr. Chu-hi slurring his words, stubling around, and just straight up going on random rants and rambling about how much he loves big fat anime characters and shit. We asked him how fat he would get and I asked him if he would do 400 lbs and he was like "sure!". There were MULTIPLE times when he straight up would just stumbled and fall face first in front of him on the ground, but he would get right back up like a champ and kept talking about fat chicks. He even fell on some bikes a couple of times. One of the times he fell over, some dude looked at him like he was ready to start a fight or something but luckily the guy left Mr. Chu-hi alone.

We went into a conbini at some point to get some more beers (except for Mr. Chu-hi cuz we cut him off after he pretty much got this wasted) and while he was in there, he like fell into a shelf and knocked over like a bunch of stuff and the shelf fixture came right off! I apologized to the store staff and helped them clean it up and fix the shelf. Nothing was actually broken or damaged but I felt kinda bad (though at the same time I couldnt help but find it hilarious). The staff wasnt upset at all which was cool.

We also went into a few stores to go shopping for nerdy DenDen town stuff like anime figures and manga and all that good stuff, and while we were in there, Mr. Chu-hi kept bumping into stuff so we made him go wait outside and sit down for a bit. He didnt actually do any real damage to anything at least.

Eventually it was obvious he needed to get sobered up so Sam bought him some coffee and sandwiches but he didnt want to eat it, but we made him anyway. He plopped down against some closed garage like door on the side of the street and shoved like the whole sandwich in his mouth and kept rambling about fat chicks. You can see pictures of him engulfing his sandwich here and here. This picture is him expressing how much he loves the big beauties with a mouthful of combini sandwich! And finally, this one just speaks for itself... And finally heres another video!

He also threw up multiple times. There was a point where he was just throwing up spit, an he threw up once on a pillar and there was like this big stream of spit hanging from his mouth to the side of it. It was gross.

The shenanigans continued for a bit longer, but eventually Mr. Chu-hi began to run out of steam. We kept a good eye on him to keep him out of trouble so fortunately nothing really bad happened to anyone.

Eventually we got a mail from Rob and Andy saying their show was over and that they wanted to meet up. We met up with them at the infamous cheese curry place that Rob always raves about in his blog. I must say... this shit DOES live up to the hype! Best cheese curry I ever had in my life. That shit was broken! If they had one in Tokyo I would probably eat there all the time as well. The prices were good and the portions were generous as well!

Unfortunately while we were eating it, Mr. Chu-hi was being couldnt manage to control his voice volume and was getting a bit obnoxious so we had to keep him under control a bit. I never mentioned it before, but he doesnt really know any Japanese but his favorite fucking word in the world is mizu (water). Every time we go to any bar or restaurant he just says "mii-zuu!" really bluntly. He certainly had his share of "mii-zuu!" while we were there.

After eating we apologized to the staff on the way out for him being a bit obnoxious. From there, we headed to Athena to play some games. I played a few matches of GG against this really good Eddie player who was there with who I am pretty sure was Kadeko, the well known May player. Despite the fact that I had been drinking all day, I paced myself well and just had some food, so even though I had a good buzz, I was in a good state to still play very well and we had some great matches. He won more than I did but I still held my own against him well and most of the matches were really close anyway. He was the only one who was playing so I just played him a bunch.

At some point, Emmet points out to me that he hasnt seen Mr. Chu-hi in a while. After my match ended, I grudgingly got up from the machine and went to go find him. I searched all 6 floors of Athena multiple times and checked both bathrooms. He wasnt there. Then we walked around a bit outside to see if he was out there but we didnt see him there either. I was afraid of another repeat Disneyland experience except this time he was wasted as hell... After searching for a while, I eventually found him in the corner behind the GG cabs on the other side from where I was playing (behind the Eddie player) passed out on a chair. He was probably there the whole time. That was a big load off my chest, so I went right back to just playing more GG.

After a while, it was getting late, so I woke up Mr. Chu-hi and we all headed out. We were planning to go back to RockRock tonight to go drinking, and this time Rob and Andy were going to join us. Mr. Chu-hi, however, was too tired and wasted, so we brought him to a manga kissa and checked him in for the night. I told him to just stay there until we went to get him in the morning and that if he needed to renew his time to just do so and mess around on the internet (maybe he looked at fat chicks).

From there, we went to Rock Rock. This time they had another Punk event night except they were playing all kinds of stuff anyway which was cool. There were more people than last time and also less foreigners and more girls overall so it was much cooler. They charged 1500 to get in with one free drink. Current often has covers when they throw events but since I (and usually anyone I am with) am VIP status just cuz they know me so well, I never have to pay. I didnt mind paying really though.

The night there was a lot of fun. I made the rounds and talked to various people. I was talking with Sam and Rob near the entrance for a bit at some point but Rob didnt stay long cuz he was feeling tired and isnt much of a heavy drinker so he left early. There was a lot of dancing going on much like at Current so I did some of that too. Since I had been buzzing all day, my foot didnt really bother me that much, plus we were taking it easy sorta too, so I figured I would be fine dancing, and for pretty much the whole night, I was just fine. I talked with Yoko a bit again too. My main regret was that I totally forgot to contact Kunko (the girl who is friends with Chip who lives in Osaka and comes here a lot). I dont really remember anything else extremely worth mentioning other than it was a good night, so you can just look at the pictures.

We stayed till closing and then went outside. As we were sitting on a ledge outside the bar, Andy didnt look like he was feeling to well and threw up sorta discreetly. This was the very first time I EVER saw Andy throw up. I guess he must have had a good time drinking. He seemed to be ok though so thats good.

Pretty much from there, we walked back to the manga kissa and checked in. This time I was able to get my own booth which was good.

Sunday, April 3rd

I woke up today and instantly regretted doing all that dancing because now up to this point, this was the worst condition that my foot had been in. I dealt with it anyway and took a shower and got ready. Once we all got up and checked out, we met up with Rob outside and then went and got Tony, who was just chilling browsing the internet. He seemed fine and somehow didnt have a hangover which I dont understand cuz hes a lightweight and an inexperienced drinker and 8% chu-hi is notorious for giving hangovers.

From there, Rob suggested we go to get some burgers so he took us to Kua-aina Hawaiian burger place near Nanba station. They have one of these in Shibuya and I ate there before with Emmet. It was pretty good (but a slight bit expensive) so I didnt mind going there again. We all ordered food except for Emmet who just got a beer. Andy ended up only taking a few bites of his burger cuz he wasnt feeling too well yet, so as we left, I suggested that Emmet take the burger and eat it on the way instead of just leaving it there to get thrown away so he did, and he ate it.

From here, we picked up our plans of going to Osaka castle from yesterday. This time Rob led the way so we were able to get there easily. Turns out we did have to go back to Umeda afterall.

When we arrived at the station, there was a sort of hanami festival going on. There is also a big live music stadium in the area and I think there was a concert happening so there were tons of people and tons of small stands selling food and drinks everywhere. We were getting short on time and it was approaching 5 but we figured we might as well just try.

As we were walking towards the castle, we passed by this big group of elementary student age kids, and they all seemed to be on a baseball team in uniform. As we passed them they all started excitedly saying "Hello hello!" to us. They were acting as if we were some sorta celebrities (not so different than how the little kids act when I go visit elementary schools either). Rob and I being ALTs were pretty used to this so we were happy to greet them all and shake their hands. Tony was confused LOL. As the rest of the guys (Andy, Emmet, Sam) who were walking behind us caught up, the kids mobbed them too and asked us all to take some group photos. I didnt get any with my camera but here is one from Emmet's camera.

After that, we continued walking and passed some stuff like an old man doing puppeteering, and some other old man who had an iguana. We eventually made it up to the castle. The outside of the castle looked really cool. It turned out it was opened till 7 pm so we had no problem getting in. We started off by going to the top floor and there was a nice view of the area around the castle. As we walked down to each floor after that, it was mostly just diagrams of stuff and old pots and artifacts. It was kinda cool I guess but got a little redundant. (just like this blog, zing!)

We spent a bit of time in there looking around. Eventually we all met up by the gift shop on the first floor. I had to use the bathroom. When I got out, everyone was gone, so I figured they went outside. They were waiting a bit of a ways from the castle entrance. As I was walking towards them, I noticed that Tony was not there. They said to me that they thought he was with me, which immediately caused me to physically face-palm at the fact that I now had to go do a repeat of Disneyland again for real. My foot was still hurting really bad but I walked back up the steps to go find him anyway. I eventually found him talking with a police officer trying to call me on a pay phone! I bitched him out for not paying attention and getting lost somehow again. He seemed to think it wasnt his fault but if everyone else managed to stay together and he didnt, obviously he needs to pay more attention.

Anyway, after that we chilled out there a bit and had some beers and relaxed while Andy took some pictures. It was getting late and Andy had to catch his Shinkansen back to Tokyo soon so we walked to the station together. We rode the train back to Osaka station and from there Andy parted ways with us.

After that, the rest of us went to Yodobashi cemera cuz Tony wanted to buy some more souvenirs and Rob wanted to buy an ipod touch. Rob and I helped Tony find the stuff he wanted and then he bought like some Gundam figure, a plushie WaLuigi, and a Hokuto no Ken figure. I bought a PuyoPuyo plushie for Ryoko cuz she loves that game. Rob got his ipod touch so everything went well.

After that, Rob had to get going so we said bye to him. From there, we had time to kill so the 4 of us had some beers by the 7-11. Tony had some more Chu-hi because he wanted to get drunk enough to fall asleep on our bus back to Tokyo but he was worried about a repeat of yesterday so he didnt really get drunk and held back.

After that, we went to get Ramen and it was really good. We didnt have much time after that till our bus came, so we had to head to Osaka station and get ready to leave. I was gonna buy some omiyage for my co-workers (as its customary to do so when you travel far) but we ran out of time so we just got on the bus.

This time we didnt have quite as good of seats. I was buzzed but wanted to get more buzzed so I resorted to double snusing extra strong Snus. Sam did the same. Tony had trouble falling asleep at first but eventually did manage to pass out, and he did so in a forward leaning position because there was no seat in front of him, just the guard rail for the stairs. Once that happened, Sam and Emmet started dropping 1 yen coins down the back of his pants and I took pictures of it LOL! He didnt wake up at least, and he didnt even know they were there till I told him later the next day, hah! Sam, Emmet, and I most played 3 player Mario Kart on DS. Emmet was owning us at the regular racing because he knows all the broken snaking tricks. Then we played the vs mode with the balloon battle thing and I came out slightly ahead in the end but it was sorta even. Then Emmet went to sleep so I played Sam in PuyoPuyo till we got to the first rest stop. At the rest stop, I was able buy my omiyage but unfortunately they didnt sell alcohol. Once we got back on the bus, I pretty much fell right to sleep.

Monday, April 4th

We arrived at Shinjuku station early in the morning. Emmet pretty much just went right home cuz he actually only took a half day off work and had to be there by 12. Sam, Tony, and I went to McDonalds to get breakfast. I also had to kill time cuz I needed money from the ATM and my bank sucks so I have to wail till past 8 am. Sam also needed to kill time cuz he had to take care of some business regarding his apartment key. While at the McDonalds, Sam saw some crazy old man in the smoking section rocking back and forth rambling to himself. Also, when we were ordering our food, some senile old man with bad hearing was trying to order in front of us in line, and you could tell the cashier was doing her best not to like slap him cuz he kept like making her repeat stuff like a zillion times and kept like changing his answer from what he wanted to where he wanted to eat and stuff. It was sorta funny and annoying at the same time.

After we killed enough time there, Sam got on the train and left, I got my money from the ATM and Tony and I got on the train too. We originally were thinking about going to Studio Ghibli museum but it was raining kinda bad, we were both exhausted, and my foot still hurt.

We slept most of the way back to my town. For the rest of the day we kinda just hung around and did a lot of nothing. Ryoko came over and hung out too. Nothing much else to say about this day.

Tuesday, April 5th

This was my last vacation day before going back to work. I decided to actually use this day wisely so I made an appointment at a different hospital in my area to finally get my ulcer checked out thoroughly since as of now it was mostly just a diagnosis from symptoms. I had an 8:30 am appointment and Ryoko came along too cuz she didnt have work till like noon.

First they did an ultra sound scan of my stomach. After that they used a camera. This processes sucked! They first made me drink this like Novocaine-like substance. Then they put it up my nose and let it sit for a bit. Then they jammed a rubber tube all the way through my nose to where it connects to my throat. They then did this again with a WIDER tube. I guess this was to get me ready for the grand finale, in which the doctor came in with a small camera that was on the end of a long black tube. They then proceeded to shove the camera all the way through my nostril, through my throat, all the way into my stomach! By this point, the Novocaine was staring to wear off so I could feel it in my throat, which caused me to throw up. Luckily I didnt eat breakfast since they said not to eat before the checkup, so I just vomited a lot of spit. They then pulled the whole thing out till I calmed down, and then put it back in AGAIN! This time I tried my best not to throw up but couldnt help it so I just kept throwing up spit WHILE this tube was shoved all the way down my throat. They managed to get the pictures they needed with the camera and eventually took it out. I must say that this was one of the most uncomfortable medical procedures ive ever had to go through, but in the end im glad I got it done.

After waiting a bit, the doctor called me in and went over the results. So it turns out I dont have a stomach ulcer at all. I have an ulcer in my esophagus. Some ulcers are a result of a bacteria called H. Pylori. Mine, however, is just a result of stomach acid burning my esophagus. I have pretty much suffered from acid reflux (aka GERD) my whole life, so I have always had really bad heart burn problems. I guess its just gotten to the point where it has burned it enough to cause serious damage. The doctor said this probably will never fully heal, and he says that the damage level is between a B and a C on an ABCD scale with D being the worst. So for the rest of my life, I pretty much have to take a pill every morning (proton pump inhibitor) which will suppress the level of stomach acid my body produces. Ive taken these before but they always gave me bad diarrhea side affects so I stopped and just used tums. Hopefully the stuff he gives me wont really do that. Its supposed to be stronger than what I have been previously been taking so I hope it works well. He did say, however, that I can still eat any food that I want but to simply avoid eating foods that cause too much stomach acid like an abundance of meat, and that I should not over eat and try to eat a bunch of smaller meals more often. He also said its ok to drink alcohol but to just not go too crazy with it. That was a big relief to hear cuz if I had to quit drinking for the rest of my life... well it would suck ball. I also asked him about snus and he told me to quit using it. So from here on I am pretty much done using snus. It sucks cuz I have a bunch in my freezer still, I guess I can just give it away. He said theres no signs of cancer so thats good, but sometimes these ulcers can increase the risk of getting esophagus cancer so im going to have to be careful to take care of myself. If anything, at least now I am more informed about my condition so I feel better overall even if it is probably never going to fully heal.

After that I had lunch with Ryoko at a restaurant, she went to work, I went home and took a nap, and we spent the rest of the day much like the day before just relaxing.

The next day I drove Tony to the train station before work and he made it back just fine. I offered him some chu-hi but he didnt want to have one more for the road!

So thats the end of my long spring break. If you read the whole thing then thanks for taking the time to do so and hopefully it was somewhat entertaining.

I'm gonna miss having Mr. Chu-hi around because his antics are extremely amusing. Sometimes hes a little overly loud, says some pretty stupid things, and is a bit immature, but hes a good guy at heart. I give him a lot of shit but its for his own good. Hopefully he will grow up more soon.

Today is already Friday as I am typing this so I will be heading back to Tokyo for more games and drinking as always. Ill update again next week. Feel free to leave comments!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Break 2010 part 2 ("one more for the road!")

Wednesday, March 31st

We arrived in Osaka at Osaka station really early in the morning... something like 6 am. First thing we did was find a McDonalds and got a mega muffin set. I wanted to charge my camera but there were no outlets there to use unfortunately.

After eating, we took the train and headed for Kyoto. The plan today was to do some sightseeing. When we exited Kyoto station, for some reason suddenly everyone had to take dumps so we got that out of the way. Emmet rushed for the toilet first, and when we followed him to the bathroom there was a long line. Suddenly we heard him say "wtf theres no toilet paper in here" LOL! So the rest of us went to check out the toilet on the lower level. Turns out none of the toilets here had toilet paper either. Instead, you had to buy some tissue from some stupid vending machine. Luckily I already had tons of tissue thanks to the girl whos always passing them out at the pachinko place near Mikado.

After taking care of business, we headed out and got our all day bus pass for 500 yen. From there, we first rode to the area with Kyomizu temple. We made sure to get some beers first before heading towards the temple. This was now my 3rd time going to Kyomizu. I recommended we check it out since it was always one of my favorites. We got to the temple after some walking and seeing a giant statue on the way. It was pretty much the same as the other times we went but still cool to see again. I didnt bother taking any pictures of it cuz my camera was dead and I have enough pics of it anyway.

After leaving the temple, we went to look for the huge cemetery that I went to my first time to Kyoto. By now, my foot was hurting really bad again but I endured and we walked around a bit. Unfortunately we didnt find it, but instead we found another cemetery that wasnt nearly as cool but it was still interesting. We had to climb a ton of stairs to get up it. There was a grave of someone at the top who was probably very famous, perhaps a former emperor or some high ranking government guy from the past. I didnt get pictures but everyone else did so I will mooch them.

After climbing back down, we decided to just give up on the other cemetery. If people are interested in seeing pics of the one we were looking for, check the pictures from my 2008 trip to Kyoto.

After that, we decided to take a lunch break, so we headed to Teramachi shopping arcade. We got some awsome okonomiyaki at Mr. Young Men, the same place I always go to near a-cho. Most of us got the bacon, cheese, potato, squid one. Everyone pretty much loved it, and while we were there, I got to charge my phone. We got another beer there too.

From there, we headed to a-cho just to check it out really quick. Everyone was pretty impressed by it. There werent many people playing, but you cant expect much at like noon on a Wednesday. There were these 2 guys playing SFIV and one of them lost like 9 in a row and wouldnt get up after he lost, but then someone showed up and started playing GG so I went and beat him a few times, then he gave up and left. Later, another guy showed up, I played him several games, and I cant remember but he might have beat me like once with his Slayer out of like 5 or 6 games. While we were there, we also checked the tournament schedule they had posted on the wall. Unfortunately for me, it seems that a-cho runs GG tournaments on a bi-weekly basis, and it just so happens that the week I was there, there was no GG tournament. Luckily for Sam though, there was a Melty tournament scheduled for tomorrow, so he planned to go to that. I also played Sam in a random game of CvS2 after he beat to Japanese guys. It went down to the last character on both sides with his Dictator vs my Blanka and he won. Im so ass at that game lol.

After leaving a-cho, we decided to check out Ginkakuji temple, since I had never been there and neither had anyone else. We stopped at the conbini and got some beers for the road and then got on the bus. When we got on the bus, there were 2 empty seats, so Sam and I sat down in them. Suddenly, like right away, some crazy old man sitting behind us in a funny hat (looked like a gardening hat an old lady would wer with Hawaiian designs on it or something), starts yelling in broken English "Don't drink! Handicap seat! Stand up!" Over and over, and like grabbed our arms. First of all, I didnt notice those were priority seats. I NEVER ride the bus in Japan except when I come to Kyoto, so I didnt realize it at first. And even when I do sit in them on occasion on the train, I always stand up when someone who needs them gets on. 2nd of all, I figured drinking on the bus was ok since everyone does it on the train all the time (espessially old salary men coming home from work drinking bad happoshu). So we stood up, we said to him in Japanese that we were sorry and didnt know. Suddenly, the guy goes from being a pissed crazy old man, to a friendly crazy old man. He starts talking to Sam and asking him all these questions about where he lives and school and stuff and was all smiling and chipper. It was like a complete 180 and I think its just cuz he found out we speak Japanese. I understand why he got upset but he could have been a little calmer about it.

Anyway, we got to the temple eventually and looked around and took some pics. There was a rock with lots of coins in a pond and we tied to see who could get a coin on the top part, the winner would get a beer... but no one could do it. The temple itself was cool but not that amazing, but the area around it was beautiful.

After leaving there, it was already getting around the time when most temples closed, so we decided to head back to Osaka. We went to the Umeda area. We knocked back a ton more beers on the train, and once we arrived, Sam and I, (and maybe Emmet) were already pretty drunk. I mailed Rob (Heartnana) and he reminded me how to get to Monte game center. We found it and went inside. There were a decent amount of people playing GG, so I played some matches. I only won one match. I was pretty wasted so it was really hard for me to play well at all. Sometimes I can play with a buzz fairly well but this was way beyond just a buzz. I was starting to get frustrated cuz I actually wanted to play matches and didnt really intend to get that drunk but it was too late, so after a few matches I cut my losses and we went to go drinking.

From there, we went to go looking for a bar that was recommended to me by Ken from GODZ called Midian. Anyway, this place was small and sorta gothy looking but not decorated nearly as cool or elaborate as GODZ. They had a big projector screen and I asked the guy to play some Opeth, so he threw on the live DVD which was cool. It was pretty dead about aside from one customer and the bartender though. We had maybe like one or 2 beers and before we were about to leave, some dude was talking to us in Japanese for a bit. Then Tony starting saying some crap in English and the dude just stopped him in mid sentence and said he didnt want to talk to him LOL! He did it in like a funny, non-douche way cuz Tony was being an idiot anyway so we had a good laugh at it.

After leaving there, we were already really tired from being up so early and mostly everyone didnt get much good sleep on the bus, so we looked for a manga kissa. I dont know the Umeda area well at all. We eventually found 2 places that were ridiculously expensive. My feet were really hurting at this point, and Emmet was starting to get pissed cuz he ended up bumming a cigarette off Sam and Emmet doesnt smoke like ever. We decided to take a cab back to the Shin Saibashi area cuz I am more familiar with it. Without much trouble, I took us to the manga kissa that I always used to stay at the other times I came, but unfortunately it was no longer there! We found another place down the street, and while it was a bit expensive, it was better than the other ones we found, and we were tired so we dealt with it. It was one of those crappy ones where they make you sign up for a membership card and fill out all your information even though we were never gonna go back there again anyway. After dealing with all the BS we finally got some sleep.

Thursday, April 1st

Today, the plan was to head to Nara. We walked back to Shin Saibashi station and took the train to Nara. We ended up taking a funky way cuz I didnt check the train map carefully but we made it there eventually. When we got there, we walked a bit and on the way, we saw another awsome okonomiyaki restaurant we planned to try out later on the way back. We sat by a pond and eventually, Emmet's friend Miki who lives in Nara came and met up with us. I guess they knew eachother back in New Zealand when she was studying abroad there. Shes only 20 but shes pretty hot. Since she lives in Nara, she was able to be a good tour guide and took us around. When Emmet introduced Tony to Miki, he just said his name was Mr. Chu-hi. This stuck the entire trip and she kept actively calling him Mr. Chu-hi, even when we werent around and was refering to him according to Emmet. To this day she still doesnt even know his real name lol.

First we hit up Nara park. It was more or less the same as the first time I went there 2 years ago. We fed some deer and took some pictures with them, including one of Emmet pretending to take one from behind. Dirty sheep fucker decided to expand his bestiality horizons lol.

Sam actually had been to Nara park before with his dad a few months ago. He spoke of a great legend that he witnessed himself. The mighty Sagat deer. This deer supposedly is missing one of his eyes, most likely as a result of fighting Ryu and eating a shin-shoryuken. Throughout our time in Nara, we would be heavily searching for this mighty warrior. Unfortunately, we never found him.

We went to another temple, walked around Nara park some more, I got some awsome caramel ice cream, and then we got to the the Kotokuin Temple, home of the biggest Buddha statue in the world known as the Daibutsu. I went to this temple last time I came but I was stupid and didnt pay to go inside so this was actually my first time to see the great statue. This thing truly was massive. There were a bunch of other cool statues too. You can see them in the pictures so theres not much reason for me to get into detail. There was also this pillar in there and people were trying to crawl through the small hole in it. I guess it grants good fortune or something. At the gift shop in there, I bought Ryoko a cute plushy deer as a souvenir. As we exited, there was another statue in front. The statue is said to grant healing powers. If you touch the statue on the part of its body where you want to heal yourself, its supposed to make you feel better. Since my foot hurt, I touched its foot, but it didnt do anything lol.

After that, Tony bought a Hanya mask from the gift shop for 1000 yen. It was made of ceramic and looked pretty cool. From there, we walked back and went to the okonomiyaki restaurant. It was really good, but a little more traditional, where as Mr. Young Men has more varied styles of okonomiyaki. We got another beer with it too.

After finishing there, we needed to head back to Kyoto so Sam could make his Melty tourny at a-cho. Emmet opted to stay behind cuz Miki said she would let him crash at her parents house where she lives. We were extended the offer as well but decided there wasnt much else to do in Nara and would rather just go somewhere else.

Sam, Tony, and I took the train back to Kyoto. As we were getting close to Kyoto station, we realized that there was no way we would make it to a-cho on time. The tournament was already about to start, so Sam gave up on the idea and was a little bummed out. Instead of getting off there, we just transfered to Osaka which was a big waste of time cuz we could have just gone directly but oh well. We knocked back more beers and headed to Nanba, where we eventually met up with Rob (Heartnana) and Andy (who had just arrived on the Shinkansen like an hour or 2 earlier) at Athena game center near DenDen town. Athena is a good place for anime style fighters but they dont have any SF games. They had 2 GG cabs but no one was really playing so I played a match of Melty vs Sam, even though I hadnt played Melty in years and never touched the new version before. It was still fun to just mess around on and of course I got schooled. Then Rob played Sam for a bit and went undefeated against him but Sam enjoyed the comp. Eventually some guy did get on the GG cabs, and I played him in something like 10 games in a row and won each one. The thing was though, was that the stick I was using... the housing wasnt bolted down to the cab, so the entire stick housing shifted left and right in addition to the stick moving normally. The stick actually worked, but since the housing was not bolted in, it made doing motions extremely hard and was laughable. I dont know how I managed to go undefeated against the guy given the situation but it was still pretty fun lol.

Eventually we left and headed over to try to go to the famous cheese curry place that Rob always raves about in his blog. For whatever reason, it was closed, so we just settled for some CoCo curry which was good too.

After that we played some more at Nanba hills. Its a nice arcade but was pretty dead. There was one guy there playing GG and I beat him like over 10 in a row without losing. He wasnt bad though so it was fun and I glad he kept playing me and he picked lots of different characters.

I think after that, it was getting really late, so Andy and Rob decided to go to sleep at the manga kissa. Rob also showed us where a bunch of good manga kissas are so we wouldnt have the same problem as last night again. The funny thing is a few of them were extremely close to where we stayed last night, I just dont know the area that well.

Sam, Tony, and I went to go drinking so I took them to Rock Rock. On the way there, Tony decided he wanted to save some money, so he slammed another 8% 500 ml lemon chu-hi! After a few more beers at Rock Rock, Mr. Chu-hi was back! Shortly after we got inside the bar, Yoko, one of the bartenders, was surprised to see me show up so she said hi and we talked a little. There was a punk rock event going on tonight, and the place was fairly packed, especially for a Thursday, but unfortunately almost everyone there was a foreigner and most of them were guys. Not that us being there helped that at all but thats besides the point heh.

We drank for a while and Sam and I sat at the bar eventually. Then at some point, Mr. Chu-hi comes up to us and starts bragging about how he just felt some chick up in the bathroom! I was shocked to hear this, especially since he's a virgin. Our initial thoughts were pretty much just, good for him. However, not long after this we decided to check out another bar. As we were leaving, the girl who he said he felt up in the bathroom was near the exit. She was a slightly chubby white sorta punky lookin chick from England. As we were leaving, Mr. Chu-hi goes up to her, grabs one of her tits and says "one more for the road!" .... and the girl had this look of disgust on her face. Then he left and for whatever reason she starts like sorta hitting on Sam and running her fingers through his hair but he wasnt about getting with her so we just left.

Outside the bar, I explained to Mr. Chu-hi that feeling up a chick in the bathroom who doesn't wanna be felt up by you is not something to be proud of and probably something you should learn not to do. He was like "well we were just talking after I got out of the bathroom for a few minutes and then I just went for it and grabbed her boobs" LOL! (Rock Rock has a duel sex bathroom with 2 separate toilets that share one common sink area) In any case, we werent going to let him live this one down and squeezed in as many "one more for the road!" jokes as we could for the rest of this trip. He felt kinda dumb but maybe he will learn something next time and not act like a creepy drunken pervert. Hes not a bad guy, he just has no game.

After that, we headed to a brand new bar not far from where Rock Rock is located, called Diamond Rocks. It was recently opened by one of the ex-staff members of Rock Rock named Nobu (aka Novv). This place turned out to be cool as hell. It reminded me of PSY a lot as far as size and atmosphere. The music was kinda low volume but the stuff they were playing was awsome (big variety of metal and rock) and it was a great place for talking. Novv remembered me from last time and was really cool. Mr, Chu-hi passed out on the bar shortly after we arrived, but Sam and I stayed and drank and talked till about 4:30. There were some other people there too which was cool. This one really hot chick was there with her boyfriend and Sam talked to her a bit until her boyfriend came back from outside. The bar was decorated really nice and they even had a Jo-Jos poster on the wall which I took a picture of. If I go back to Osaka again I will certainly hit this place up.

After drinking there, we woke up Mr. Chu-hi and went to another manga kissa that Rob showed us which had way better deals and got nice mat booths to sleep in. I slept pretty good.

Friday, April 2nd

After waking up, I was able to take a nice shower, eat some awsome free ice cream from the manga kissa, and then we eventually all got ready and headed out. We met up with Andy and Rob in DenDen town, and then from there, we decided to go get some lunch at Outback Steakhouse. This was Rob's suggestion and he said they had BBQ ribs, which are like imposable to find in most places in Japan, so I was totally down for it.

After a sorta long journey with a lot of walking, we eventually made it to Outback, but unfortunately it wasnt opened for like 3 more hours. So with that, since we were in Umeda, we headed to Monte game center to kill some time playing fighting games! The comp was pretty good today and there was a good selection of GG players. I started off with a 7 win streak and then started getting a few smaller streaks here and there until someone would beat me once and it would start again. I played about maybe 5 or 6 different players. Everyone else played other stuff mostly.

After about 3 hours of playing, we made it back to Outback and this time we were able to get in no problem. The 5 of us got a table and we ordered 2 bloomin onions and I think like everyone got ribs except for Tony. We had a good chat about Tony's "one more for the road" shenanigans last night and everyone got a good laugh/face palm combo out of it, except maybe Tony lol. The ribs werent the best I ever had... maybe slightly on the dry side, but they were no where near bad, and still tasted really great. I probably will never find better ribs in Japan, but I guess I am a bit spoiled since ive been to some great rib places back in the US (if you are ever in Chicago try Gale Street Inn... place is dope).

Anyway, we killed both bloomin onions. I ate my full slab, pretty much all my fries, and I ate my cole slaw and like most of Sam's too cuz he aint down with the slaw. I also got a nice Kirin stout with my meal. It came out to be slightly expensive but was well worth the money and I didnt mind paying it one bit. Going there was definitely a good call. Rob even hooked us all up with a 15% discount so that was awsome.

After this we went back to Monte for a few more hours and played more games. The comp started to get a bit better and I was still mostly beating everyone. There was this one guy there who was playing Sol, and he was pretty good, but after I beat him like twice, he switched to HOS. I think I might have fought this guy last time I came last year. We were going pretty even at first, maybe even with me having a slight lead in games, but then he started to get some mini streaks on me and I would beat him and he would win a few more... etc. I dont know who he is, but he plays EXTREMELY careful and the matches were really fun and challenging so I enjoyed fighting him. Andy was playing GG for a bit too, and almost beat him and ended up getting a small win streak of his own on a different cab with his May.

Eventually I got a message from Emmet saying that he was coming back to the area of Osaka we were in soon. It was about 9 or 10 pm at this point. He spent the day at Universal Studios Japan with Miki. He wanted to meet up in Nanba and then go drinking. I still wanted to play for a bit so I told him one more half hour. Once we finished up, we all headed back out together back to Nanba and met up with Emmet by the bridge area where we stayed at the manga kissa the first night.

At this point, it was already getting pretty late. Andy and Rob didnt want to go drinking and had plans to stay at Spa World so they left our party for the night and we would meet up again tomorrow. The rest of us (Sam, Tony, Emmet, and me) went to Club Pure in Osaka. Emmet really loved the one in Shibuya, but it closed down. He wanted to go really bad so we all agreed to check it out.

Just like the one in Shibuya, this one was 3500 yen for all you can drink all night, so I was down with it. The security here was surprisingly tight. They IDed all of us (which almost NEVER happens at bars in Japan) and even patted us down for guns and shit LOL! I felt like I was back in the US again.

When we got inside it was still sorta early so not that many people were there yet. We were able to grab a table inside of like a little cave area that was right outside the dance floor so you could easily see out. It was a pretty cool setup. We managed to pretty much keep this spot on lock all night, which was good for me cuz my foot was still killing me.

Emmet started off strong by getting a drink with a shot to accompany it every time. He eventually started to get drunk really fast so he switched to beer. Sam and I started off slow by just getting regular mixed drinks, and my plan was to eventually switch to beer cuz its better on my ulcer, but we ended up doing the opposite and switched to long island ice teas with shots of tequila on the side! Tony on the other hand, was probably ashamed to turn into Mr. Chu-hi again and didnt wanna get another "one more for the road" so he drank beer very slowly and didnt even get drunk. The rest of us surely got our moneys worth.

Throughout the night, lots of people came to our table to sit with us cuz we had the VIP spot basically. There were only like 3 tables in the whole bar and people kept peaking in cuz they wanted to sit there, so they either had to stand or sit with us, which was a cool way to meet people at the very least. We always had someone keep the seats on lock when other people went to get a drink (and it was usually Tony, but he didnt mind).

At some point in the night, I dont really remember anything anymore. But unlike just about every other bar ive been to in Japan, Club Pure has a no sleeping policy, and I guess after enough long islands and shots, I eventually passed out, cuz I woke up standing in the ally with Tony. He said 2 security guards dragged me out of there. Pretty lame. Eventually after a little bit, they let me back in. I remember it being packed as hell when I re-entered.

Pretty much from there, I dont remember the rest of the night at all. I just know I was smashed as hell. Luckily I managed to get my backpack from the storage locker cuz I had no recollection of getting it. I do remember going back in to try to get Emmet cuz it was almost closing time and Emmet being wasted as hell saying how they were gonna be open for several more hours and that he wanted to stay.

So Sam, Tony, and I left. Tony claims that Sam and I had no idea where we were going and was leading the way. He could be right that we made a wrong turn but we would have figured it out. Wouldnt be the first time I drank myself silly and found my way back just fine. At some point, Emmet messaged me or something or someone, and we found him laying down in the middle of the street ready to sleep. I guess we got him up and took him to the manga kissa. I dont even remember checking in but sure enough we made it there. At least we all got our moneys worth from Club Pure, thats for sure!

I'm going to cut it off here and save the final epic chapter for tomorrow.

SPOILER ALERT: Mr. Chu-hi ain't done yet!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break 2010 part 1 (G3 Johnny-o cup at Mikado)

This Spring Break trip was very long, and very epic. Instead of doing the futile task of trying to type all this up in one sitting, and expecting anyone to actually read it in one sitting, I will be breaking it up into parts, and will try to post one part each day (I will probably make it into 3 parts).

Here we go...

Friday, March 26th

We had our end of the school year enkai at a ryokan and I spent the night there, so Ryoko took Tony to Takasaki and then dropped him off at my place where he spent the night alone. Enkai was fun, nothing really too noteworthy to mention.

Saturday, March 27th

I woke up at the ryokan, had breakfast, and headed out back to my place. I didn't have a hangover which is good (and rare after an enkai). I got Tony and we headed to Tokyo on the train.

Today was the start of the G3 Johnny-o cup finals at Mikado, so we headed there right away. When we arrived, they had 9 cabs set up for casuals, and like 4 or 5 other cabs for tournament play. TONS of top players (pretty much everyone from the Kanto area) were there.

I they started the singles tournament shortly after I arrived, which consisted of a small select group of players who had ranked the best at the previous G3 ranbats. The brackets for all tournaments can be seen on the G3 website here. They don't seem to have results up yet and I forgot who won the singles tournament since I wasnt really watching it. I will update with results later if I find them. I was too busy playing casuals against all that good comp to to really watch, plus it was super crowded.

The 5 on5 (with pre selected teams from ranbats results, not an open tournament) started after that ended. The brackets for this are online as well. Once again, I dont remember who won.

Finally the 23 on 23 happened. There were 4 teams (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Tokyo). 2 teams fought eachother while the other 2 teams fought eachother. Then the winners of each fought eachother in the last fight. I think the winner of the whole tournament ended up being Saitama team. I did end up watching a bit of this one here and there, and it was pretty sweet, but I dont remember too many specifics.

The reason I didnt really bother watching too much and writing down results was that they seemed to be recording EVERYTHING! Like, in addition to having a direct recording going on, they also had someone with a video camera taping crowd and player reactions and were toggling between the match from the cabinet feed and the camera showing the crowd. Hopefully the vids will have both once they finally release them. I have no idea if they are planning on making a DVD but it wouldnt be out of the question as things were run pretty professionally. So once vids are up and results are released, everyone can enjoy seeing them and I will update with results. I pretty much was having too much fun playing casuals so I didnt bother watching much.

Another note, the Sol player Roy from Kansai now lives in the Kanto area. I was confused at first why he was there since this is pretty much just a Kanto only event, but someone told me he moved here now. I played him a bunch and was going pretty much even with him.

I got to play a bunch of other top players and did pretty well, getting some wins here and there. The comp there was fierce and everyone was good, but I was doing surprisingly well, espesially compared to my win ratio if I think back to how well I was doing in casuals at last year's G3.

So basically, I ended up leaving in the middle of the final 23 on 23 match. I left for 2 reasons. My brother Tony was passed out on a bench and was getting pretty bored. Also, tonight at Current was going to be the final farewell party for Antti, who would be soon transfered to live in Dubai for his job.

I met up with Liz in front of Takadanobaba station who was gonna join us for drinking at least until the last train.

We headed to Current and had a few beers. Emmet was there already. Antti showed up a bit later with a ton of other Finnish people and Masami. They had gone to another party earlier that I was invited to but didnt go because of G3 and the fact that I had my brother with me and there was limited space. The Snus man went to the first party but unfortunately couldnt make it to Current afterwords.

In honor of Antti, Masami played a solo live performance at Current. He sang and played guitar along with a few songs such as Megadeth - Holy Wars, ACDC - Highway to Hell, and a few other Finnish songs (and he sang in Finnish cuz hes actually pretty good at speaking it). He did a really good job too. Antti also got on the mic with him and sang Highway to Hell. After the performance they left the mic on for a bit and I basically did karaoke of Megadeth - Symphony of Destruction cuz it came on randomly and the mic was there and I like singing that song at Karaoke anyway so that was fun.

The rest of the night was lots of drinking and some emotional goodbyes. Antti and Masami were really good friends and Antti was actually pretty much the very first guy I ever met at Current. I remember the first night I went there and found the place on accident, they were having a metal event and I sat down at the bar and he was at the stool next to me and we had a good chat. It really will feel like a part of the bar is missing without him, but hopefully he will be back someday. He will be moving to Dubai with his girlfriend so he will be alright.

As Antti was saying his final goodbyes, we took a few group photos and then as he was leaving the bar, Lordi - Rock and Roll Hallelujah and Nightwish - Nemo played as he walked out the door. A fitting exit for the coolest Finnish dude I know.

There was a little more time and we drank some more, and then when the bar closed, I think we just went right to the manga kissa cuz my brother was really tired.

Sunday, March 28th

Today would be the 2nd half of the G3 tournament at Mikado. Upon waking up, we pretty much headed right there. There were a few people there at first, not too packed, but enough to start playing. The ladies tournament would be the first one to start today. I saw Baim who I hadnt seen in forever and she was excited to see me again so we talked a little. Only 6 girls ended up entering the tournament, and the only really well known was was Ririko, who ended up winning.

Sam and Emmet showed up after a while to hang out and watch. The next tournament was the random team 5 on 5. Fortunately, I was actually able to participate in this one. I played a ton of casuals and got some good games in, and eventually they finished making the teams. Several of the teams ended up having 6 players on them because there were a few extra players. I was the first player listed on my team, and my team ended up being one of the 6 player teams. My team was pretty buff. Aside from me, it was 012 (SO), Batako (ZA), おたし 血(PO), みむ(OR), and Rsei (AN). Funny cuz this is the 2nd time I got randomly paired with 012 (the first time being when we won that random Akihabara 3 on 3 like 2 years ago when Masutani was also on our team lol). For some reason though, 012 signed up under the name レッド, so when he actually showed up to play on our team, I was really surprised it ended up being him LOL. Everyone on my team already knows who I am so they all just called me Eleven-sensei by default LOL.

You can see the entire brackets here (I took a picture and put it on my flickr account).
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 1
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 2
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 3
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 4

I cant remember the exact order that went down every time, but the first team we fought consisted of Kakyun (OR), En (SL), AGF (AN), Tsu (ED), and another ED whos name I cant read the writing well (I think its something like Kikuimaishi). It was a pretty stacked team. Our HOS player actually beat Kakyun in a mirror to start it off. I dont remember the rest, but eventually it was my turn to play and I had to fight one of the ED players. I beat him, and then I lost to En-Slayer. We ended up winning though. Hopefully there will be vids.

Up next we fought a team of BA, SO, SL, PO, and ZA. For this one, I didnt even end up having to play. I was gonna be anchor but 012 just beat everyone before I had a chance to play. You can see the players names on the bracket pictures by clicking the links above.

For our 3rd match, we fought a pretty beastly 6 player team containing Masutani (VE), XTC (VE), Kishitaka (SO), OsakaB (FA), Machaboo (TE), and 力石(DI). Yes, Machaboo the Ky player was playing Testament and he was a beast with him. So this time around, since I didnt play last time, and since they put DI first and I said I would go if they put their DI player first, I went right away. Not only did I beat the DI player (like really badly), I went on to beat Kishitaka, XTC, Masutani, and finally I played against OsakaB and took a round but he beat me. He still knows the mirror match better than I do. My team mates were cheering me on pretty good and I was quite happy to take out 4 of their members from the start. From there, our AN went next and beat OsakaB, and then Machaboo like beasted with his Testament and took out like 3 of our guys, until finally someone beat him but I forgot who (I think it was our HOS player). So we ended up winning.

Our next match was the grand finals of the tournament. Our opponents would be the team you can see that made it to the center of the bracket if you click the 4th link above. Some of the names are different cuz Taku was on the team, so I think he might have signed up as ちゃか or something. Anyway they had 3 slayers, one was Taku, one was Tanabata, and another guy named Hokahoka, plus a Dizzy who I think his name says Sousui, and finally あっつん(IN). Once again, I dont remember the order, but this time around it came down to 012 and me left, with their team having Tanabata and あっつん(IN) left. Tanabata was next and 012 said I should anchor since Faust is good vs I-no so he went next but he lost to Tanabata and then I went. I took the 2nd round but in the 3rd round I got a burst blocked in mid combo (foolish of me to try) and then as a result got perfected. Oh well.

So we got 2nd place which isnt bad, and I had a pretty good run and won some good matches vs some really good players, so I hope they go up online. They seemed to be taping everything again today too with crowd reaction and stuff too so who knows.

Sometime during the random 5 on 5, Kunihiro showed up cuz I invited him to come but he couldnt make it in time for the 5 on 5. There was a bit more time for casuals while they took signups for the next tournament; the 3 on 3 Accident Core tournament. No that isnt a typo, the Accident Core tournament is where they set everything to do double damage LOL!

My team ended up being Kunihiro and we got paired with some other guy randomly who used Anji. I wasnt really taking this tournament too seriously from the start given the nature of it. My first match was against a Potemkin player, and double damage Potemkin is no joke. Suffice to say, I lost, and the rest of my team mates lost as well, so we were out first round on that one. I didnt really care anyway cuz I sorta would rather play regular casuals. I didnt even stick around for the end of this one so I dont know who won.

So eventually, given that this was a Sunday, Emmet left to go back to work (he didnt take days off like I did for the whole duration of Spring Break), and Sam went home too cuz he wanted to save his money. Tomorrow, Tony and I had plans to go to Disneyland so we just went to Current for like one beer, and then we went to GODZ cuz Current was dead and Tony wanted to see it. GODZ was also dead but we talked to the bartenders and they were being helpful about Disneyland information and stuff. We ended up going to bed pretty early cuz we were planning to wake up early, so we headed to the manga kissa.

Monday, March 29th

Tony and I woke up early, like at 8 am or something. The plan was to meet Ryoko and her younger sister Reiko at Tokyo Disneyland. I dont give 2 shits about Disney but they hooked us up with some free tickets that their father got as a gift, so it sounded like fun, and I was hoping the rides would be cool at least.

Tony and I got some quick food and then we found out that Reiko and Ryoko were running late on the way there. I was honestly really tired, so we found another manga kissa nearby Disneyland like one stop away, and I took like a 2 hour nap while Tony watched some crap on the internet.

Eventually we met up with the girls at the park. The place was crowded as hell. We went in line for Thunder Mountain first and it ended up being like a 3 hours late, but somehow we stood in line at the wrong spot and ninjad like a whole our off the waiting time... oops! I was knocking back some whiskey while in line which I mixed into a coke bottle, since Disneyland has no alcohol. By the time we were like about 15 minutes from getting on the ride, I had to pee like hell, so I jumped over into the fast pass lane, walked all the way back, told the attendant at the front of the line that I just had to use the toilet and would be back. When I returned, she totally just let me back in and I got back in line with everyone else like 5 mins before they were about to get on the ride. Perfect timing! The ride ended up being pretty tame but oh well.

After that, we got some pizza, and it was surprisingly decent for what I was expecting. After that, we walked into an area with a parade and when the crowd finally cleared to less us pass, Tony was nowhere to be found. So now, the 3 of us had to spend like the next hour walking around the park trying to find my stupid brother. He has no phone so theres no way to contact him. He also speaks like zero Japanese. We eventually went to some office area where lost people are directed to go and he showed up. I was pretty annoyed since he should have been paying more attention and wasted a bunch of time, but oh well.

From there, we got in line for the log ride. By now it was starting to rain, and got really cold. We ended up waiting in line for like 3 hours and finally got on the ride. The animatronics for the characters as you pass through the log ride tunnel were actually really cool and well done, and at least the log ride had a few drops so you felt some Gs. Overall it wasnt the greatest ride but way better than the Thunder Mountain one.

...and with that, it was already time for us to go! We only had about a half hour left because the girls took a bus there from Gunma and had to return home soon so we ended up only having time to ride 2 whole rides the entire time we were there (and we got there at like 10:30 or 11:00 am or something). It was like around 8:30 pm at this point. Kinda sucks but at least we got discounted tickets.

So we said bye to the girls and Tony and I got on the train back to Tokyo (since Tokyo Disneyland is actually in Chiba). By now, my feet were hurting like hell from standing all day in line and walking around. Particularly, my left foot felt as if it was almost was developing a minor sprain (and its not even the same foot I injured and sprained like a year and a half ago at that Current Anniversary party). This foot would continue to plague me throughout the rest of the trip, but ill get into that later.

After getting back from Disneyland it was still sorta early and I wanted to play games, so we went to Shinjuku Sportsland. There were a few players playing there. I started off by playing Pumpkin Ky and beat him. I proceeded to beat everyone else that challenged me and got like 13 wins. Then suddenly, next to me, Roy shows up and sits down to fight Pumpkin Ky who moved to a different cab. I actually wanted to talk to Roy cuz I wanted to ask him when the a-cho GG tournaments usually are so I could try to enter when I was there. However, I didnt get the chance to. I was shocked to see Roy was getting owned by Pumpkin Ky, but to top that off, in the middle of a match he was losing, he just straight up gets up from his stool, pushes it in all hard and looks really pissed. Then, he gets up and goes around to the other side and fights ME. So then I beat him 2 in a row, and he just storms out of the arcade before I could say a word to him. I really hardly ever see top players behave that way so it was shocking to say the least, espessially since Pumpkin Ky isnt even that good lol! So anyway, no one really challenged me for a while so I just left with my 15 win streak or whatever and went undefeated there.

So, with a full night ahead of us, I took Tony to Current again. It was pretty dead but a few people were at the bar. Mami and Nozomi were there too. There was also this girl their on vacation from Australia. She said she wanted to go to a concert tomorrow in Nagoya and asked me how to buy concert tickets. I told her you can buy them at Lawson or Family Mart from a ticket machine. She doesnt know how to use it or read Japanese, so I offered to quickly go help her buy it from the Lawson down the street cuz it would only take like 5 mins. I went there with her, we found the show that matched the band name of venue, and date that she wanted and she said that was it, so we printed the ticket and she paid for it. After paying for it, upon further inspection, the ticket that printed did not match the information that originally displayed on the screen. These ticket machines offer a no refund policy once you print it out. I investigated and it turns out that this band was playing multiple shows within the week. The listing that displayed initially was corrent, but after pressing the button again, it changed the date to a different show. It turns out the show she wanted was already sold out, and the show she ended up buying was like over a week later in Osaka, but by then she would already be gone. I tried to help her get her money back and showed the Lawson attendant that their machine sucks and he even called the service office but they couldnt do anything about it. She said she could probly just sell the ticket to her friend who would go, and it was only 4000 yen so its not a big deal. She thanked me for helping, and it sucks that the machine was a POS, but I never had a problem before and ive bought tons of tickets at those machines so I guess it was just shit luck.

Ayway, I went back to Current where Tony was waiting, by now everyone else left. I talked with Mogi and bit and then we decided to go to Zin cuz I hadnt been there in a while. There were 3 people there but they left shortly after we got there, so I just ended up talking to the owner, Yoshi for like a good hour while Tony passed out on the bar LOL. It was a nice chat though and cool to see Yoshi again. By now it was only about 3 am but Tony was wasted and tired so we just went to the manga kissa to sleep.

Tuesday, March 30th

Today, we woke up and didnt really have any specific plans so I ended up taking Tony to see Tokyo Tower, since I had never been there before even, it sounded like a good idea.

There was a cool temple around the Tower so we enjoyed seeing that for a bit. While we were walking around, this is when I really started to notice that my foot wasnt doing so well and was sorta limping but could still walk with a little bit of pain.

We got to the tower and he wanted to go up there and see the view from the skydeck so we got in line and pretty much just played PuyoPuyo on DS vs eachother while we stood in line. It took like about an hour of waiting to get up there but we made it. The view was cool and stuff. I didnt take any pictures cuz my camera battery was dead, but my brother took some and I will steal his pictures and put them up once he gets back home and uploads them.

After leaving the Tower, we were originally going to go to an Izakaya to meet up with Sam, Emmet, and Liz. Then I suddenly realized that today was Tuesday, which is the day that Mikado runs its regular weekly GG tournaments. So, I changed the plans and we met up with Sam and Emmet at Mikado to check it out. Turns out that we made it in time and I signed up for the tournament.

At first, it was supposed to be a random 2 on 2 and it was supposed to start at like 7. Then they changed it to a 2 on 2 where you choose your team and they pushed the start time back cuz they were running a Fate Unlimited Codes tournament too. Mike (the Jam player) is on staff there and hes the one who told me that we needed to find our own team mates. I didnt have anyone particular in mind so I just threw it out there and asked him if he wanted to team up. He was down for it, so I entered the tournament as the double Mike team.

I played casuals for a really long time, and the tournament didnt end up starting till like 8:30. The problem with this was, we had to board our overnight bus from Shinjuku station to go to Osaka at 9:50, which only gave me less than one hour to finish a whole tournament. I figured we might as well try. At first things were looking ok. We got a bi first round, then we won our 2nd match thanks to Mike after I lost to a good Slayer. Then I noticed they started writing up a losers bracket... WTF! The ONE time they finally decide to actually do a double elim tourny and I cant even stick around to finish it! Pretty lame... We ended up playing like one more match and I had to fight Tanabata's Slayer again. I was feeling really rushed since time was a factor and I didnt wanna miss our bus. I was about to beat him the first round. He had a burst and meter for a super. I got a knockdown and did and empty FDC in the air to bait the super or burst. He did the super, which I should have blocked, but somehow my FDC came out as a down kick or something and I got hit and then he killed me. Pretty lame cuz I would have won that round for sure as he had literally no life bar left. He beat me the 2nd round... then he also beat Mike.

So with that, I told Mike how I had to catch my bus and that I was expecting things to start sooner, so that I was sorry but I wouldnt be able to finish the losers bracket with him. He understood and was totally fine with it, so with that, we got some quick beers and food from the conbini and headed to Shinjuku station.

We made it there with about 15 minutes to spare. As we were waiting to board the bus, everyones plan was to pretty much get drunk so that they could easily sleep on the bus, cuz those buses arnt too comfortable. Well, in an attempt to save money, my brother bought like 2 8% 500ml cans of chu-hi. For those of you who dont know, chu-hi is like comparable to something like Mike's hard lemonade or something. So he slams both of those, and suddenly hes just acting WASTED as hell. He was saying some pretty silly shit and Sam, Emmet, and I instantly realized how amusing this could be. From this point on, he was officially dubbed Mr. Chu-hi. Mr. Chu-hi would prove to play quite an amusing role during the future of our trip, but at this point we had no idea what we were in store for.

We got on the bus and I ended up getting an awsome seat with no one next to me. I drank a few beers, ate my sandwiches, and passed out. Most everyone else had problems sleeping. Tony and Emmet both tried sleeping on the floor but it was too cold, and Sam kept waking up with different people sleeping next to him LOL.

In the early morning on Wednesday, we would arrive in Osaka, with our entire Kansai trip ahead of us.