Well, its been a while since I updated my blog. As I mentioned before, I went back to the USA for about 3 weeks. I really don't feel like writing a detailed account of everything that happened when I went to the US but I mostly spent time just visiting various family and friends. Ryoko came with me for the first week and then went back on her own ahead of me. Some highlights include, my friends Nate and Sarah's wedding. It was at a brewery and they had a Super Mario Bros cake. Easily the coolest wedding I've been to. I saw a Chinese traveling Circus at Navy Pier which was pretty interesting. I played Warhammer and Warhammer 40k for the first time in like 4 years LOL. It was pretty fun and nostalgic. I got a few poker games in as well. Ryoko played with us and I taught her how to play since it was her very first time to play poker. She actually did quite well and came out with a little money. Ryoko and I also did some planning for our wedding which will most likely be in 2013 Spring. I know it seems far off but we have a lot of planning to do and its no big rush to be honest.
I also went to EVO which was good times. I mainly went just to hang out with people I hadn't seen in a while. I got to do a lot of chillin and got some casuals. I entered Marvel 3 and SSFIVAE. For Marvel I got DQed into losers cuz I was too busy playing Steve H in a money match and lost track of time. Then I went 1-1 in losers. As for SSFIVAE I went 2-2. I also entered the GG side tournaments. I got 3rd place in singles (losing to RF and AKA) and I got 2nd in teams. I teamed with my friends Jesse Gomez and Rod "Honnou" Delareza. I originally was supposed to enter with Latif and Pozer Wolf but they were both off busy playing other games when teams was starting so I just ended up entering with another team. Overall, EVO was good times.
After EVO, I was a guest on the Midnight Carnival Guilty Gear podcast. The episode can be found in the archives if you are interested in listening. Despite having some mic trouble it was fun to have the chance to be on the show. Check the link on my links side bar.
In addition, we had the Chicago Heart 3 tournament event created by Heartnana. I ran the GG singles and teams tournaments. They were both kinda small but a few out of state players came and it was just good times anyway. I got first place in both singles and teams. I entered some other games and didnt do amazing, placing somewhere in the middle for Marvel, and SSFIV and getting peaced out in Soul Calibur II cuz I just randomly entered it for fun, LOL.
I pigged out on lots of awsome food and drank tons of awsome beer while I was away as well. Despite being told not to by doctors due to having gout, I took my meds the whole time and pretty much felt just fine so I think I have the problem under control. I will take another blood test soon to see how the uric acid level is going.
So that about sums up the gist of how I spent my summer vacation. Good times for sure.
Now... getting back to Japan.
The first weekend after I got back, I just relaxed around home. I had dinner with Ryoko's family at her house.
The most recent weekend that just happened was a pretty epic drink-a-thon. I havn't touched any fighting games yet since I left America.
On Friday, we the Gunma ALT welcome beer garden party. It was pretty much the same as previous years. All you can eat and drink for like 3000 yen from 5-9. I talked to a few new people and some old friends and it was good stuff. After it was over, there was a 2nd party at Yamato izakaya. I ended up crashing at my friend Leo's place with a few other friends after that.
The next day after everyone woke up, we sorta all just took it easy lounging around having a few more drinks and watching random stuff on the internet. We also got some good lunch at Saizerya.
Eventually, Emmet and I took the train and headed to Tokyo. This weekend was both Current's 10th anniversary party and also Koenji Matsuri. We got to Tokyo a little after 6 pm and got off at Koenji in hopes to hang out at the Matsuri for a bit to pre-game before going to Current. Unfortunately it ended at 6 and we didnt know. There were still lots of people around though so we just had some drinks on the street in front of a small bar.
Eventually at around 9 or so, we headed to Current. Just like every previous year I have gone, the Current anniversary party didn't fail to deliver the hype. The place was packed and mostly all of the regulars came out to party. I did a lot of drinking, dancing, talking, and drunkenly sang more metal songs with people than I probably should have, because by the time I left Current with a bunch of people to go hit up PSY after the party ended, my voice we pretty shot.
As soon as we got to PSY, Emmet and I both ordered a beer. Unfortunately for Emmet, Sachiko was playfully hitting him calling him "baka" over and over as she often does, but this time she sorta got a bit carried away and spilled his beer all over. Emmet looked pretty pissed and just straight up left the bar. That was the last I saw of him for the night. I talked briefly to Sachiko after that and she didn't seem very remorseful about it.
The rest of the time at PSY I just talked with various people. Towards the end of the night as the bar was clearing out, I was talking to this one girl named Yukina. I wanted to keep drinking and her and 2 of her friends were going to an izakaya to keep going, and Natsu and Toru (the bartenders) said they would catch up to us. I thought Toru had my number but I was mistaken so he never made it but Natsu joined us for a little while.
I talked a lot with Yukina and shes a really interesting person. She's a professional majong player and she told me that she taught Daigo Umehara how to play majong. She said hes like her little brother. I never even brought Daigo up in the conversation and she just brought him up out of nowhere so I know she must be telling the truth. At that point in the conversation, she didn't even know I played fighting games. Though after she brought up Daigo I asked her if she plays any fighters and she said she used to play Super Street Fighter II Turbo with Daigo back in the day. She said she was a Chun player but shes retired now. In addition to that, she regularly plays poker and helps run regular poker events. Shes been to Vegas like a zillion times and has participated in some pretty big high stakes tournaments. She invited me to come to one of her games sometime and since I never can seem to get enough poker action in Japan, I certainly plan to take her up on that offer one of these days. She said they have some games that are like 100/200 blinds which is perfectly fine with me. They run some higher stakes ones too but I'd probably prefer the 100/200 yen blinds one... at least for my first time playing with them.
We all ended up drinking at that izakaya until like 10 am which was pretty ridiculous but it was fun. I went to the manga kissa to sleep after we left there.
3 hours later... I get woken up by a call from Emmet. We had plans to go to Koenji Matsuri again today and I still really wanted to go. It was a REALLY hard decision to make because I was exhausted as hell but I knew this matsuri only comes once a year and it was awsome last time so I just manned up and got out of bed and met up with Emmet outside.
We showed up when the matsuri was already about half way over but we still got to catch tons of the action. At first we just sorta walked around but eventually I was able to find the spot where I stood last year, right in front of the bar where Pachi's friend works. It was a great spot because all the parade traffic goes right through there and there was room to stand comfortably. Just like last year, endless troupes of musicians and dancers paraded through the streets with tons of energy and awsome outfits. I took plenty of photos.
I unfortunately wasn't able to find Pachi until the festival was just about to end. He was nearby but was standing in an area that I couldn't get to due to it being to crowded. He was there with a girl who was perhaps his girlfriend, though I'm not sure. I only had time to say high to him briefly due to the parade traffic. He said he had plans to go to Akihabara with the girl he was with so I just told him I would catch him next time.
Emmet and I got some more drinks and food at a little restaurant nearby after the parade had officially ended at 6. Once again, even though the parade was over, the streets were still flooded with people. After eating at the restaurant, we sorta just kept drinking on the street. We were both drunk and were sorta just hitting on random girls as they walked by LOL. More like Emmet was actually the one hitting on him and I was just playing along as the wingman for fun. Just harmless jack-assery. We chatted with a few random girls but nothing ever came of any of it other than some slight amusement.
Once 8:30 rolled around, we pretty much had to get going, so we got on the train and headed back. I was exhausted as hell since I was running on 3 hours of sleep and had drank a lot all weekend so I passed out pretty quick. Emmet passed out, too. I did, however, set 2 alarms on my phone so that I could wake up when we got to Takasaki to make sure we didn't miss our transfer. I guess I was just too drunk to notice my phone vibrate... twice, and as a result, we were woken up by the train conductor telling us it was the last stop and to get off the train. There is only a 2 minute interval to transfer to catch the last train to my town, and by the time we were woken up, it had already departed. Fortunately for us, there was still one shinkansen left. It sucks cuz its much more expensive but we could still make it back and I sure didn't feel like sleeping at the station on a bench. So, we got on the shinkansen and then just took a cab from there. Emmet crashed at my place and left early in the morning to go to work cuz getting home for him would be too hard from where we ended up.
Overall it was a great weekend but I am still feeling tired as hell after that one even now (and its already Tuesday as I type this). The worst part is, my voice is still all horsed and fucked up from so much hype at Current and I had to start teaching classes again on Monday which certainly made things a bit more difficult but I'm managing to get by, and hopefully my voice should be back to normal by tomorrow.
Next weekend I will just be drinking around my town since there is a lot going on here and nothing in particular going on in Tokyo... so I probly won't write a blog post again next week, but I'll be back eventually.