Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - AH2 tourneys

Sup fools, I left off last week. Not much going on. Wed, I took a nap and so by the time I woke up, it was like, 8ish or so, so around 9 I decided to head out and get some dinner at the ramen place. I biked up there and had a nice karage (fried chicken) set. As I was biking home, I was almost home and as I was riding my bike, my right foot slipped off the pedal causing it to whack the back of my shin a few times (leaving some nice cuts and bruises) but the scary part was that I was seriously like, less than a foot away from my bike veering into this ditch on the side of the road (gaijin traps as they’re called). I would have been in a world of pain had I been a little bit over to the right side. Thankfully, I only had minor cuts and bruises, but yeah, bikes are out to get me in this country. At least the ramen was good tho!

Anyways, Thursday, Bill and Maria took me to the ramen place for a victory dinner. After that, we hung out and watched some random videos on youtube before I had to go home. Friday, I just relaxed all night. I tried to play SFIV, but for some reason the connection was slow, so I couldn’t have a non-laggy game. Sucked.

Saturday, I got up whenever (being able to sleep in is one of my favorite things ever), and just relaxed until I got a bit hungry. It was raining, so I brought my umbrella. However, even tho it’s been warm recently, it was really cold when I left, and I didn’t even notice until like, I was already too far away to go back. I went to the bus stop, but there was still like, 15 min before the bus, so I went to the 7-11 right there and hung out reading magazines and stuff. One of my students came in and saw me. I bet it’s weird seeing one of your teachers outside of class. It’s like “wait, they’re people, too?” Anyways, I got on the bus and went to Kobe. I stopped by Cocos and got myself some delicious cheese curry. It was soooo good. After that, I went to Game in Coo. There was some guy playing ah2, so I played against him. I put in 100 yen, and nothing happened and it ate my coin. I just put in another 100 yen and figured I would deal with it later, and that worked. I beat the guy 2x, and then played training mode. Since it was 2 credits for 100 yen, I used the other one and played training mode with Maori. While I was in the middle of that, some dude played me. I beat him 3 times in a row with Maori. That was fun. He beat me once. I put in another 100 yen to play, and it ate my credit. I went downstairs and got the guy and told him that it ate 2 of my coins. So he fixed it, both coins were stuck in a random spot, they went through, so 4 credits got put on the machine, but he gave me 100 yen back. So I just got 4 credits for 100 yen. Sweet! I used the first two playing Maori. I wanted the other two to last, so I played Lilica and got 7 wins against the guy, and then he beat her, and then I played Petra and got like, 9 or 10 wins before I training mode’d it up.

After that, I played a bit of Tekken. I got a 7 winstreak, which was cool, and then some guy beat me twice. After that, I went and played Blazblue for a while. Apparantly, there was an arcana tourney that day at 3. It was already about 2:30 by the time I lost/beat the game in blazblue. I went and signed up for the tourney. 4 people, including one guy that works there.

I played against this one kamui player, beat him pretty easily. Next, there was this Yoriko player that I knew I would have trouble with. He just turtled and did spit all day, and then did pent power up mode. It was stupid, and I should have picked a better arcana, looking back on the whole thing. I lost 3 rounds to 1. I beat the guy who worked there, and I got 2nd place. I went and played some BB, and after a while, the dude working there randomly came up to me and gave me a prize for 2nd. It was a Petra mug! I already have one, but it’s awesome to get another one. The best part is that entry fee was only 100 yen, and since getting at least 2nd place was pretty easy, I essentially got a free prize just for signing up. Awesome. I got a big streak in BB, but then people stopped playing me. I beat the game and just left the other credit and headed out to Namba. I walked around Denden town for a while, checking out stores and stuff. None of them really had anything…

I got to the morning musume store. I bought a few photos and a new single of BerryZ Koubou. After that, I stopped by SCOT. I played a game of Aquarian Age Alternative, and I owned the computer. Those are the only machines I know of, so I figured I would have fun for a bit and just play. It was cool. After that, I saw this one Fiona player playing AH2. I played against him, we went back and forth for a while, but I got 4 wins in a row eventually. After he beat me again, I headed out. I went to Athena, and played some BB and AH. A buncha people were there playing AH2, but nobody was playing AH Full obviously. I just wanted to sit down, so I tried some AH. The controls for that game feel so crappy, it’s like stuff just doesn’t work. Ugh. One of the guys who works there (obviously not working at the time) played. He used water Kamui. That was SOOO annoying to play against. I tried a few characters, Time Lilica wasn’t doing it. Mei Fang did ok, but the character I did the best with was CHOCOLATE RAIN Saki. No joke. I almost won a match, but oh well. Kouya came up to me when I was just standing around and was like “congratulations on getting the blazblue ticket!” I was like “oh thanks!” Apparantly he qualified for SBO too for AH2, but I didn’t know at the time. Me and Nelson (this yoriko player who has a huge overbite like Nelson from the simpsons, similar to this:
http://z.about.com/d/animatedtv/1/0/c/A/nelson.jpg ) were playing against Kouya. I did pretty well, but was still never able to win a match. After it hit like, 11ish, I headed out. I went to Matsuya and got a beef bowl for dinner. I went to the 10 hour manga café and just stayed there. I slept really well this time, thankfully. It would have been nice to get more sleep, but oh well.

After I got out of the manga café, I went over to Namba Hills for no real reason. They apparently had a test version of Senko no Ronde 2 that I didn’t know about. I tried it out. You pick a main character and a partner now. The game seems to be easier than Senko 1, and while I can’t see myself playing it seriously, I had fun playing SnR2. I picked Changpo and some drill hair girl as the partner. I beat the 4 stages of the CPU, and it was like “GJ”. They had 2 setups, one was vs, the other was 1 player only. I did the one player only version. After that, I left. I headed to Athena and had to kill time until the cheese curry place opened up at 11:30. I played some AH2 against Zabiel’s Saki. I did ok, but he won for the most part. It was 50 yen for 2/3 rounds because it was a tourney day, so money was being spent too quickly, so I stopped after I spent like, 800 yen.

I relaxed and killed a bit of time walking to sofmap and stuff until 11:30. It was cold tho, and I wasn’t wearing a warm enough jacket, plus it was raining. I was sad. I walked over to the cheese curry place and got some CC, and I felt better. I went back to Athena and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the day.

There was an AH2 tourney at 4. Around 2:30, I started playing, and I racked up a winstreak and didn’t end up losing for a while. I had to run from the BB machine after winning a match, sign up, and run back to the machine. Toshi showed up and gave me a cord that I forgot at his place (thankfully he had it). He stayed for like, a half hour then had to go. That kinda sucks, cause I was just playing BB the entire time, would have been nice to like, hang out more.

The tourney started, and I got paired with this Zenia player who was pretty new to the game. There were 11 teams. I was in a bracket with guy-girl/kouya, another strong team, and another team I figured I could probably beat. I go against guy-girl, I win a round, but not the match. My partner loses every match he plays. Next, I go against the heart player, but I ended up losing. Oh wellz. Next, I played against this Kamui player, beat him. His partner, a Maori, beats my partner of course, so I play the Maori. I lose the first round, but win the next two. w00t, third place in pools! However, since only the top team advances, and the 2nd place team gets thrown in a round robin, I was out. It was fun though, so I didn’t mind. I watched the rest of the tourney. The results went like this:
1) Guy-girl/Kouya (MF/Kamui)
2) Random team 2 – Zabiel (Saki) and this one Kamui player
3) KUSANAGI (Mei Fang) and SHINGO (Petra)
4) Plaid Jacket Man (Lilica) Robin (Konoha)

It was a fun tourney. I told Kouya congrats for getting the SBO ticket for AH2, and told him that I didn’t know yesterday when he told me congrats. It was cool tho, so I feel less like a douche.

The tourney itself was pretty cool tho, the announcing for my matches was great. For one of them, they mentioned how I’m going to SBO for blazblue. The other one was like “HeartNana is from America, so let’s see what the American Petra looks like!” That was pretty cool. Overall, it was fun and completely stress free, since I really had nothing to lose anyways, lol.

After that, around 6:30ish, I played some BB. That was the start of a 24 winstreak. Around 9 or 10 wins, Kouya came around and was watching me play. I think some other AH2 players were watching, too. It’s pretty cool, I think people think a lot higher of me in gaming skill now that I made it into SBO. I may be some random scrub in AH2, but they know it’s srs business in BB, which is nice. Anyways, Around 7:30ish I wanted to leave, but it was already past 8. Since I didn’t have my bike at the station (I took the bus), and it was cold, and possibly raining, delaying that trip and staying there playing didn’t feel so good. After 24, I waited for the “continue” clock to count down to 0, and I just left. After I already got up and was on the elevator, some guy put in a credit. Doesn’t really matter, he’ll just go play his friend, but I def had to go. I stopped by subway, got some dinner really quickly and headed out. I got home just before 11. It was cold on the way home, so after going on the computer for a bit, I was STILL freezing, so I just took a nice long hot shower. I ended up falling asleep around 12:45, which is way too late, but it can’t be helped.
Today, I was going to work and decided to try a new route that might be quicker. I ended up almost getting lost tho, but I managed to find my way to school. I got there 15 minutes before the meeting started, so it was all good. It’s easier to find how to get back to where I live, so I’ll just do that on the way home today, and just go back the opp way tomorrow.

Also, I had to use the bathroom here at work. Normally I use a squatter (we all know what the squatter is), but someone was in there. I really had to go, so I just went to the handicap toilet room. It’s just a normal western style toilet, but with all the perks. Warm seat, all those fancy buttons if I wanted to have water squirted up the pooper, (not just regular water, WARM water, ooh fancy). And it’s own sink WITH SOAP. Crazy, rite? I felt like a rebel using the handicap toilet, but I might make it a more common affair…

Anyways, that’s all for this week. Wed is a day off. I haven’t decided if I wanna take a day trip to kobe to play games, or if I wanna just stay at home. We’ll see. LEAVE COMMENTS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - The Dream

Ok the last place where I left off was right after the weekend.
I don’t even remember m-s that well. I think I just chilled at home for the most part, had Maria and Bill over one night, etc. Nothing too interesting.
Saturday was a special day where I had work because it was open school. This meant I had Monday off, however. So after work, I went to Osaka. I went to Namba, and took my new (but cheaper route). I fell asleep, so I ended up waking up and thinking I had to get off at the next stop, but I got off one stop too early. I had to wait for another train. Finally, I got to Namba. I went to the cheese curry place and got large size, which completely filled me up, it was awesome.

After that, I went to Athena. They had a BB 2v2 tourney that I missed (obviously because I was at work). I got there and a buncha the players were like “you just missed the tourney!” And then I explained how I had work today. The winners ended up being Tall Litchi Man and Tsukasa. Props to them. 2nd place went to Abeshi (my partner) and Yuuno, that Taokaka player that I can’t ever beat. Ribaia was there too, and got 3rd place along with Jagar, an average Rachel. The machines were on freeplay for a while, so I played against a buncha people. They took them off freeplay, and I played a few more credits worth. Soon after, I headed out and went to Toshi’s place, where we proceeded to play SFIV for a while.

After we were done in SFIV, we played some Majhong with Toshi’s wife and Purple Shirt Guy. It was pretty fun, I think we all actually won at least one hand. Fun times. I still need to get more used to what I can and can’t use as a winning hand, but whateva. It was like, 4AM after that, and having been up since 7AM, I was hella tired.

After that, me and Toshi passed out until like, 12:30. We headed out to Denden after that. We stopped by Wendy’s for breakfast/lunch. The girl working there gave me and English Menu (after I already started speaking Japanese) and I was like “oh, I don’t need this”, and after the fact, I was like “hmm, that was kind of douchey”, and Toshi ended up lecturing me. After our lovers spat, we went out to Denden to look for 360 sticks at a game store. We didn’t see any, but as we stopped by Melonbooks, we saw them doing a loctest for Million Knights Vermillion. It looked kinda fun, but I didn’t really know what was going on. I played Yuri, the crazy eyepatch girl with giant scissors voiced by Chihaya from im@s. Toshi played as this one gay looking dude who had tonfas. I won the match, meaning I won THE MARBLES. After that, we went to Athena. I played this Hakumen player, and he beat me 2 matches in a row 6 rounds straight. I was like “man, im playing like crap, I’m not going to the qualifier if I can’t even beat this one guy”. I played again and I got like, a 7 winstreak against him, and whoever else was there. Good thing I warmed up. Then I lost on purpose to the Hakumen guy because I had to go to Nara for the SBO qualifier.

I got to Nara and went to the arcade, Cannon Shot. It’s a nice arcade, and I’ve only been there once before for the kansai regional tourney. There were a buncha people there, and I didn’t feel like waiting for BB, so I just played some AH2 in the meantime. The brackets got drawn up and the tourney started. A buncha strong players were there, Tsukasa’s Nu, Ribaia’s Nu (best player in kansai prolly), Mekasue’s Carl (won various tourneys, generally always places high), Nezu’s Bang, Ke-chan’s Rachel, etc. However, most of them were all on one side of the bracket, as in, the one side I wasn’t on.

I played my first round against a Taokaka player. He generally does decent at tourneys, so I was a bit worried. The sticks were absolutely awful tho, and I couldn’t get like, any of my basic combos, but I was able to mash out 2D. I won the first round with that. Barely lost the 2nd, and some goofy stuff happened that I don’t even remember in the 3rd round. I still won tho, which is all that matters.

Mashy Noel played against another Noel and ended up winning (barely). It was hilarious. He’s got decent basics, but he doesn’t really know combos, so he misses a lot of free damage. So 2nd round, I played Mashy Noel. You can guess how that went. Because of the way the bracket worked out, my 3rd round match was against a guy who got a bye 2nd round. He was an average tager who beat a scrub ragna. He was a cool guy, but I played him the night before at Athena and he always fell for 2D, so I did that a bunch and won pretty easily.

4th round, I’m already in top 4. I played against a Nu player, Masato. He got 2nd at the last Athena Ranbat, yikes. I barely win the first round. He wins the 2nd one because I bursted too early. I beat him in the last round tho by playing solid and baiting his burst at the end. It’s good because I normally lose to Nu players, so the fact that I beat a solid Nu felt good. And then I was already in the finals! O snap!

I pretty much stood up, played rock paper scissors with Nezu, the other finalist and began the finals. Nezu has a HARD bracket. First round, he had to beat Tsukasa’s Nu, 2nd round he beat Tata-san’s Noel, third round he beat Eesuke’s Carl, 4th round, he beat Ribaia’s Nu (who beat Mekasue’s Carl), and then he got to finals.

We started to play. I won the first round, don’t really remember it. I bursted too early again in the 2nd round and lost. Right before the third round started, I was thinking “ok, one more round and you can get in,” and then I was like “No, don’t think about that, think about something else, umm…MORNING MUSUME! Ok, mind cleared”. I just played safe and did a lot of high priority j.A’s and j.B’s and literally chipped down at his life 1800-2500 damage at a time. I think I got a clutch airthrow in that round, too, and after I got him to burst, I just did one more quick j.A that got him and I won! That’s my ticket to SBO right there!

Nezu was mad disappointed afterwards (I don’t blame him), and I’m well aware that my bracket was easier than his, but in the end, I still won regardless of bracket. I would have been disappointed if I lost, too, but this is Nezu’s second 2nd place finish, and he got a 4th place finish at the other qual. He does so well, but he just wasn’t able to get it. I hope he still makes it in though, as he’s a really nice guy, and his Bang is awesome. I almost feel like he played so well against everyone else, and then got too nervous when it was so close to finishing at the end. I dunno how to explain it, but I wasn’t nervous at all for this tournament. Sometimes I get nervous before tournaments (cause I start to think too much about it) but I was too busy playing AH2 before the tournament (to keep my mind off of the tourney), and my last matches came so quickly after the previous one that I didn’t have time to really think about it.

Either way, it’s always been a dream of mine to get into SBO. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to do it AT ALL, much less do it on my third try! I’m lucky that I won this one because normally, for the SBO tournies, after you win one, you play someone else who won a different tourney, so even winning a tourney means you don’t go to SBO, it means you play another match against someone else, and if you win that, THEN you go to SBO. But for some reason, with this qualifier, the winner of the tourney just goes to SBO without playing anyone else. Maybe there wasn’t another arcade in Nara worth having a BB qualifier at? I dunno, but either way, I got lucky with the whole situation, and I’m overjoyed that it worked out. I now have 4 months to get my Noel to the best I can possibly get it to. It’s just nice not having to worry about qualifiers anymore, and not having to go to remote places I’ve never been to before just for a CHANCE to qualify. I’m also the first Noel in SBO, so that’s an honor to me, and I might be the first American to ever qualify in Japan NOT at the last chance qualifiers. This is a huge deal for me, so I’m just extremely glad I’m able to play in the SBO tourney. I mentioned before that if I was to make it to SBO, that this would be the year for it, because things might change next year, so I’m really glad that ended up being the case.

After that, I played some AH2 and casual BB for a while until it started to die out (around 10ish). Rebaia and Mekasue left just before me. I headed to the station, went to the toilet to take a pee, and I ended up seeing them there. It was kinda weird, lol. We were all going the same way, so we got on the same train and stuff. It’s good that they were there, because I wasn’t sure which train to take, and I got on the right one because they knew the way instead of having to figure it out myself. We talked about whatever. Apparantly Mekasue is a college student who’s 21, in his 3rd year of a 6 year program. He said he’s been to America a few times and likes traveling.

Ok you guys all remember Dan, right? (hi dan!) Well, me and him were having a conversation a while ago, and it went like, “Hey Rob, so…when we go to Arcades, they all know you’re HeartNana, right?” I was like “yeah…” and then he was like “Well, do you think they ever wonder who I am? Like, “Who the hell IS that guy?”” It was pretty funny cause nobody even like, KNOWS Dan. They know he hung out with me, but they didn’t like, know who he was. So on that train ride, Mekasue and Ribaia were like “so…who’s that really tall foreigner that was with you at those kohatsu tournies?” I was like “lolololol” and explained that Dan was from Sweden. They were like “do they speak English in Sweden?” I explained that Dan speaks perfect English, but the country’s language is Swedish, which is quite useless on a global basis (as in, outside of Sweden for the most part). I said that he got a job here and he might be back, but yeah, I just found it funny that Dan knew that nobody knew who he was, and that they were prolly curious, and to remember 3 months after he left about him was pretty funny. After talking about a buncha various other things, they got off a couple stops before me.

I got off at Namba and it was about 10:50, so I stopped by the Subway 10 min before it closed and got a Tuna sub. I ate that, and then headed to Athena. Nobody was playing BB or AH, so I just left. I walked around a few other arcades, but they were kinda dead for the most part. A Sunday night is NOT primetime for gaming. I went to the Axe tower, where they’re open till 1AM. I saw ScatroVageena there, the Tekken guy I used to see a bunch at the Namco Arcade. They changed their T6 to 3/5 rounds for 50 yen finally! I hung out there and played Tekken with him and this other guy until about 1AM. I headed to the manga café right nearby and got a 10 hour pack. I slept so-so and only got like, 6 hours. Around 11 I got out of there.

I had the entire day free, so I just took my time. I did a small search for some games a friend asked for. I looked around a few stores and stopped by Athena. This one guy who I regularly see there was actually playing AH2 on a Monday afternoon! I played against him for a while and then Douchebag (nao) showed up. He played against me for a while and was using his Zenia. At about 1:30, I was getting really hungry, so after I lost, I headed to the cheese curry place, and got the usual. After that, I walked to Shinsaibashi and found the “OFFICIAL Hello Project!” store! It was way diff from what I expected. It was a small store with a buncha small cards on the wall, and you write down on a sheet of paper what you want. They also barely had any “goods” and for the most part, didn’t have anything I was looking for. Kinda sucks, but not a big deal, I’ll just pick up some stuff at the concert in a couple weeks and itll be fine. After that, I walked to Umeda and stopped by Monte. I played AH2 for like, 2 and a half hours there. During the time there, Plaid Jacket Man, and his freaky girlfriend or whatever showed up. He said congratulations for getting the SBO ticket, and told me that I should come to the AH2 tourney at Athena on Sunday. Since I don’t have to go to anymore qualifiers, I told him I would show up for the fun of it. I played him one game, barely won, and then he left or something. I started to get a 10+ winstreak, but I was falling asleep due to lack of sleep so I lost on purpose and walked downstairs. Tall Litchi Man was playing, so I played a couple games against him. I was so tired that I was messing up stuff and not really able to think all that well, so I just played a couple games, waved bye and headed on home.

At home, not much going on. Some of the 1st year girls on the basketball team thought that I was like, 17 or 18 and were surprised when I said that I’m 23. I was also told that I have a “cool face” (more like ku-ru fe-su). Anyways, this is a 4 day week and then the weekend again.

So while the journey to qualifying is over, the bigger journey of training myself for SBO begins. I’ll be doing my best from here on out, and I hope I have a strong showing at SBO.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - Chillin

Hey guys, bored at home, so I’m gonna write in my blog.

Last I left off was last Friday. We had an enkai. I had some drinks, and my crazy Japanese coworkers wanted me to drink a lot, but I of course paced myself so I managed to have a few glasses of beer, but spread it out so I didn’t even get tipsy. I ended up talking to one of the Japanese teachers (the language), and she was really nice and talked to me a lot. I usually go through these things mostly quiet, but I was talking more than usual. She said that she wanted to learn English at one point, got CDs and stuff, but I told her that it’s too hard because there’s like, nobody to even really speak to here unless you’ve got an English speaking bf/gf or relative or friend or whatever. Even so, it’s not always easy, and as a teacher, she’s got like, no time anyways, so that factors into it also.

I talked to one of the new teachers who ended up being younger than me. I found out he likes Karaoke too, and he asked me what I sing, and I was like “Jpop” and he was like “I like Jpop too!” And asked what artists I sung. I told him Morning Musume, and then we got to talking about idols. He had a picture of Ueto Aya on his phone, and was like “she’s SUPER cute,” and then he asked me who the leader of current MM is now, and asked if Konno Asami is still in it. I told him that she graduated 3 years ago, but that she’s my favorite too! It was cool. The Japanese teacher that I team teach with that overheard all of this had a great reaction when we were talking about all of this stuff. I think I’m gonna get along with that guy. Maybe I’ll take him Karaoke one of these days. After the enkai, I went back home and just chilled at the hotel till I fell asleep.

Overall, the hotel was great, but the pillow was rock hard, thus making my sleeping really uncomfortable. I would think that a hotel should have a comfortable soft pillow, not a log (which is what it felt like…ugh).

Saturday morning I woke up and headed out to Kobe. My ipod was still uncharged since the last time I used it, so it had like, no juice left on it. I listened to it for like, a half hour or so before I decided to save the remaining time. I got to Sannomiya and I checked the stores that were around there. Nothing good of course. Not that it would be a good time to buy stuff, but like, for future reference. I went to Coco’s again and had some Cheese Curry. After that, I headed out to find GAME IN COO, the location of the next SBO qualifier.

I kinda forgot to check the map, so I kinda had only a rough general direction of where it was. I ended up walking for about 20 minutes in this one direction where there was literally almost nothing, just to walk back. I went back to roughly my starting point, and maybe 2 minutes walking from Magical Space, on a corner of a different area was the GAME IN COO. I’m glad I found it, and that I was able to confirm that there was absolutely nothing in the other direction.

Anyways, GAME IN COO is a nice little place. Not much I had any interest in on the first floor, but the 2nd floor had almost all the major fighters, and they were all 100 yen for 2 credits. They had 2 blazblue cabinets thankfully, so it didn’t have to go slow on one machine like Magical Space.
So I get there and I started playing Blazblue against this nu player. He was beating me but I was able to get wins in every once in a while. It was a pain tho, that character is stupid. After a buncha casuals, I ended up talking to Rebaia a bunch (He’s the really good Nu player that keeps winning tourneys and stuff, nice guy, too). We talked about whatever, he asked about popularity of anime in the states, and stuff. Turns out he’s a NEET (No Employment or Education or Training) meaning that he pretty much has no job and doesn’t go to school. He’s been a NEET for like, 2 years apparently. Ouch. Hopefully he does something soon. I looked around for the registration stuff, and I didn’t see them, so I figured the dude would come back soon enough. He came back and I was like “oh, can I register?” and he was like “registration is closed…” I was like “lol wut?” he was then like “uhh…just hold on a sec” and then he set up everyone in the bracket. Since it was a 28 person bracket, he just added me (and this one other guy who JUST got there in) at the end. Nice guy, he didn’t HAVE to do that, but he did anyways.

First round, I got put against Naaga, the same guy who double perfected me last week. This week, he won the first round, I won the second, and then I managed to get some clutch combos and win the third round! Alright! Second round, I played a Taokaka player, and I beat him pretty badly. He was doing super gimped out low damage combos with a ton of A’s, so scaling was high. Next round, I played ANOTHER Nu, which happened to be the guy who I played a ton before the tourney. I barely lost the first round, won the 2nd, and barely lost the third due to missing a 6C post-juggle. Oh well. I got top 8 tho. Finals ended up being Nezu’s Bang and this one Arakune player. The arakune player ended up winning (and people were pretty “meh” about it). I talked to Naaga and he was like “It’s a shame that Arakune won”. Ribaia said the same thing pretty much, that it sucks that Arakune won. Nobody likes him here. He kinda has that stigma of being super scrubby and stupid overall. Everyone wanted Nezu’s Bang to win except the Arakune player. Oh well. The Carl player who was supposed to play him for the SBO spot never showed up, so it was a free win for the Arakune player to go to SBO. Oh well.

I played a bit more, and went home after that because of the hotel curfew.

Sunday, I went to Nishinomiya and headed out to Reno’s dorm. I played there against Azrael (Jeff), Reno (Andrew), AdverseSolutions (John), and a few of Reno’s dorm-mates. It was fun times overall, we got some pizza, had some snacks and just played a buncha SFIV. After a while, I headed back home.

The only big news from last week is that I ended up moving from the hotel to another ALT’s apartment for 2 days, and then on the wed, I moved into my new place that I’m gonna be at for 4 months. It’s brand new, never been lived in before, and it’s REALLY nice. I’m really happy with it. The best part is that I don’t have to pay for anything. I’m walking distance from the 24 hour grocery store, and I was able to get internet from day 1. w00t.

Anyways, Friday night, Bill/Maria came over and we played some Happy Dance collection and tried some SFIV trial mode. After that, we went back to their place, got some drinks, and watched some sealab, and then played KOF XI trial mode. There were a buncha hard ones and I managed to do a lot of them. Some of them were pretty crazy and mad fun. After that, I went on home.

Saturday, I woke up late, and just relaxed for a while until I headed out. I went to Umeda first and played at Monte for a while. I played against Tall Litchi Man. We played like, 8 games, and I won 7-1. I normally go even with him, but I was playing really well today. I then played this one Noel player who’s a beginner who was watching my matches while playing arcade mode. He played like, 10 matches against me and won maybe a few rounds. He obviously just started but like, he wasn’t doing too bad for his level in the game. Afterwards he came over and was like “You’re so good at this game!” and we talked for a bit. I asked him if he just recently started, and he was like “yeah, I’ve been coming to Monte a lot recently.” I told him that I come only on the weekends cause I live so far, and he was like “wow”, and then told me my Japanese was really good. Afterwards, we kinda did the whole “well, see you again!” and then I continued to play. Den, the Bang player, came and started playing me. He usually goes even with me. He played Ragna for a few matches and won maybe a round or two. Then he switched to Bang and got owned pretty bad again. I got like, 8-9 wins on him total before he went to a different cabinet. After that, I just purposely lost to the computer, and headed out. I went to Denden area, and got some Cheese Curry. I haven’t really eaten all day, so it was EXTRA delicious. I walked around the Den a bit, and went to the Morning Musume store and bought some stuff to support the owner (yeah, that’s my excuse). I went to Athena and played some AH2 there. I played against Guy girl, got 2 rounds with petra, but lost the match. Played Lilica, and pretty much got triple perfected. I went to the other machine and played this one Saki player, beat him, but then lost to that random time saki’s gimmicks. I went to the 6th floor and played BB. Rebaia was there beasting with Nu, Abeshi was there, too, as well as Jagar, a Rachel player. I played against them for a while, won all but like, 1 match against Jagar out of like, 6 or 7, and beat Abeshi twice in a row. I lost to Rebaia once, but it was due to my own impatience against him. He gave me a few tips on what I should do, so I’ll keep those in mind for the next time I play him/Nu.

I left after that, and headed over to Toshi’s place. I grabbed Subway on the way and got to Toshi’s. We hung out chilling while he played Halo 3 online. After a while, I took a nap, and then around 2AM, his wife and Purple Shirt Guy came back and we played Majhong for a couple hours. I won 2 hands, Akiko won a couple, and Purple Shirt Guy won the rest. He’s hardcore. I went to bed after that and slept until like, 11:30.

Sunday was spent relaxing at the Den. Me and Toshi went around to a buncha stores. Eventually, I picked up that Musamura Demon Blade game for the wii, or whatever it’s called. I haven’t played it yet, but I found it for 5500, which is a good deal. After that, I went to Athena and played some BB there. There was this one really really scrubby Rachel, that was only able to get damage because of dumb broke shit (like Noel’s move randomly missing because of rachel’s hitbox, or pumpkin flying over the screen) and he was just turtling and being really annoying to play against in general. I beat him like, 5 times and then he won a couple rounds, and it was just so annoying to play against, that I bursted and just let him win the match and went over to the other machine cause it wasn’t any fun to play against such a stupid playstyle. On the other machine, a Hakumen player was playing. He was pretty good, he got a couple games off of me at first, but then I won like, a buncha in a row against him. I had like, a 16 winstreak by the end. Him and this one bang player were playing me, and eventually, the bang player got the win. We left after that, and went around to a buncha nearby arcades.

At Taito station, it was packed. They had this one castlevania arcade game where you pretty much use a wii-mote like thing as a whip/sword and “slash” the things on the screen, and you can shoot them too. Me and Toshi played a credit’s worth. It was fun for the one credit, but not something I’ll play again. Every other floor (except the fg floor) was pretty packed tho, it was crazy. We headed over to the Sega Avion, but we didn’t play anything. We went to the Amusement Palace afterwards. The basement with the medal games was PACKED. It was crazy how many people were there. People were even playing some of the fgs there, which boggles my mind (cause its 100 yen a credit, when you can play at like, namba hills or Athena for half the price). We went to Namba Hills after that, I played one game of 3S, but lost. Execution wasn’t on. Oh well. They took out AAA. I predict Namba Hills dying really soon. It’s a pretty dead arcade compared to how alive the other arcades in the area are. It’s quite a shame, but nobody goes there anyways, so it wouldn’t be a huge loss I guess…

After that, we went and got some food at this Chinese Resturant, and it was time to head home. I took the Hanshin Line, because it’s cheaper than my normal route. However, the last express train from Namba to Sannomiya already left. I took a local train to this one stop I’ve never been to before. I ended up transferring there to a limited express and ended up at the station I needed to be at somehow, and it was just as fast as my normal route. It’s 140 yen cheaper to go the way I went, which isn’t a huge amount, but added up over time, it can get to be a huge amount. I got home and went on the computer for a while and just chilled. I went to sleep way too late and now I’m tired, but whatever.

Anyways, this is a short entry, kinda boring, but I didn’t really do a lot of “exciting” things this weekend. No SBO quals this weekend, so I didn’t have to worry about it. Next week, there’s one in Nara, so I’m gonna do my best there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - Many days off in a row

Hey guys, I’m writing my blog because I’m sitting at home in an empty room with just me and a computer and the internet.

I’ve gotten many complaints about how long this blog is, but I don’t intend for it to be long, I just like to write what happened, and occasionally how I felt about it.

Anyways, last week…I found out that I’m moving to a nicer place for a few months before I move to a more permanent nicer place.

Long story short, I have to move out of my apartment to a temporary place for a few months because of some lease stuff. We're going from 9 ALTs to 7 ALTs, and since only me and one other girl are in this building, they're not renewing the contract (which expires on 3/31 and lasts for 1 year intervals) and the landlord wouldn't let us stay until august, so we're gonna be in another place for a bit, which is apparantly newer and nicer than my current place, just smaller. Then we move to the building where everyone else is after 2 of the ALTs that live there are leaving.

Anyways, I had Wed/Thurs/Fri off from work to “prepare” for the move. Tuesday was the end of the school year ceremony at school. I went to that and played basketball with the club on Tuesday after that. Tuesday night, I kinda hung out and played SFIV and just relaxed for a while.
Wed I took it easy in the afternoon and then started cleaining. It was a buncha work and I was pretty busy, but it was nice to be able to sleep late, do things at my own pace, and just listen to music. The new Morning Musume album came out, so I was listening to that while working. They’re way past their prime now, but I surprisingly really like the album (more than I thought I would). I got a buncha stuff put in boxes and buncha trash to take away. I had like, 20 bags of garbage of just junk that was left over, and a giant box of more appliances and other old crap.

At like, 11:30 I got really hungry, so I biked on over to the ramen store. It was dark and I was like “man, I wish my bike had a bike light” then I was like “wait a minute, I never checked to see if it even does or not!” So I looked down and I saw a bike light and I was like “wow…for 8 months I didn’t know I had one” That’s the product of a college graduate right there. My mom must be so proud. So I turned it on and all was well. I got to the ramen place, and since I was moving and stuff all day, I was starving, so I got the karage (fried chicken) set. A big bowl of ramen, bowl of rice, and fried chicken w/a small salad. So good. I ate it all and headed back out. I was now super full, and biked uphill back to my place. After I got back, I was tired from taking care of stuff all day, from biking uphill (without changing the bike speed, as a physical challenge to myself), and from a full meal, so I went home and just passed out pretty much. It was great.

Thursday I was able to sleep late again. I finished up the last of what I had to do, and played SFIV for like, 4 hours straight. It was me vs this one Cammy player for like, 3 hours. We played like, 80 matches or something like that. It was ridiculous. After that, I headed back to the ramen place and ate another good meal. I went back and stayed up a bit late and then went to sleep whenever.

Friday, the board of education people came to throw out all the trash I had (thankfully). After that, they came back a few more times for some random stuff, so I only got like, 6 and a half hours of sleep, and wasn’t able to fall back asleep. I decided to just go to Osaka, so I headed out. I stopped by Monte for a while, played a bit of BB but I told myself once I notice one of the buttons messing up, to just leave. That’s exactly what happened. I went and played some AH2. 2 of my past partners from random AH2 team tourneys were there. It was fun playing, and I was doing pretty good. I was getting hungry so I headed to Denden. On the way, I saw it was “Subway day” meaning that any sub is 290 yen for a 6 inch, which is a really good deal. However, the line was going from the ordering line to the door outside, and then like, 10 people in line OUTSIDE on top of that. Waiting like, a half hour to save like, 200 yen? Not worth it to me. I went to that curry place across from Athena. I got a cheese curry like usual and it was sooooo good. It was one of those times when it’s so good that you have to close your eyes and just go like MMM because it was so good. The thing is, since it was in public, I had to not act like an idiot so I played it cool. There’s rarely any food that actually gets me excited, but I loooooooove Cheese Curry like you wouldn’t believe.

After that I went to Athena and played BB for a while. I was just playing and suddenly Abeshi shows up. We played for a while and hung out. After we played against this one Nu, he went downstairs. I lost to the Nu after a few times. I went down to the 2nd floor where Abeshi was. He was playing the new Quiz Magical Academy VI, which is this game where you play online against other people answering random quiz questions. Obv if you win, you get more points and stuff. If you lose, you lose points. The questions were going way too fast for me to see, but Abeshi ended up losing hardcore and lost some points. Looks fun, but yeah, it would have to be an English equivilant for me. After that, we headed out. I went to the 10 hour manga café place and surprisingly, there were a buncha free mat rooms. Usually they’re always taken up. I opened up my bag of “Man” Doritos (it says Man in Japanese on the bag), which are spicy chili flavor that I bought earlier. Since we have free drinks at the manga café, I figured it would be fine. They were pretty good, way better than any other Doritos I’ve had in this country. I got a buncha free drinks since the Doritos were actually a bit spicy.

I put in my earplugs and went to sleep. I slept pretty well. I got up and pretty much headed straight to ko-hatsu for the all day Soul Calibur tournament thing.

I got there around 10:30 and only the workers were there. I did a bit of practice with SCIV. Eventually Wat0son, another Gaijin who lives in Tokyo showed up, we played a bit. More players started showing up after that. TalimJP showed up, Mich from Singapore showed up, and after a while Reno showed up. I didn’t notice it was him at first, so I called him a random scrub because of how he was playing Asta in SCIV. Lolz. I’m not gonna claim to be not scrubby in SCIV but yeah, good times. He said that he doesn’t play the game either, so it was pretty funny. I played a bit of SC3:AE to practice for the tourney. The tourney went well, I beat 666’s X first round, Chamo’s Kilik 2nd, and Oosaka’s Maxi 3rd round (all SBO qualifiers IIRC) before losing to Kyuushoku’s Sophie. I beat him at the last 2 tourneys, but he took me out this time by playing SUPER solid. He played Kita-senrei (2nd place SBO) in the finals and ended up winning! Props to him.

Next was SCIV. I beat a lizardman first round. He would have won if he stayed in crawl the entire time cause I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. I played a Hilde second round, and he played it right because he just did a buncha stuff I’ve never seen before and beat me. It was lolz. TalimJP also lost to a hilde. Wat0son lost to a female X player first round, and Mich lost to a vader player. I was rooting for the vader player to win the whole thing, and he ended up actually doing it, which was pretty funny. After that, was the blazblue tourney. 3 tournies in one day, heh.

I played a Tager player first round, beat him. Played Mekasue 2nd round, he won the last Athena tourney, and I ended up beating him! Phew. Next I played against a Bang player and he owned me. I did a lot of random 2D in hopes he would fall for it, but he kept throwing out A’s and B’s out of nowhere. I should have done more 3C. He also did a lot of random super armor moves that got me. Oh well. The vids will be up soon. Ribaia was the winner of the tourney with his Nu. That character is becoming REALLY strong REALLY fast. Scary. After that, I played some casual BB and some casual SCIV. I was getting hungry so I had a beef bowl at Matsuya. After that, I went out to Toshi’s place and we hung out.

Toshi was in the states for about a month or two so he just got back. He managed to find slim jims and brought some for me! He also got me a little JIF to go peanut butter thing and a toblerone bar. J

We didn’t really do much at his place, we hung out, watched some South Park, watched some old evo dvds, watched some match vids on youtube, etc. Around 10PM, we went to the public bath because I didn’t shower the night before at the manga café. It was nice, as usual. The one near his place is a lot nicer than the one that’s near my place, and I truthfully haven’t been back since that one loud angry drunk old guy came in. The one near his place has a really hot bath, a jaccuzi bath, an “electric” bath (one that sends electric shocks through the water, giving a massage of sorts.) and a cold bath, as well as much nicer shower heads. After that, we went back, and I managed to find a wallet at the 100 yen store that’s the exact same as my blue 100 yen wallet. I got a black one. It lasted me like, 2 years, but it was getting holes and the Velcro (my Microsoft word automatically capitalized Velcro…and Microsoft…) part for the change was getting old and not sticking that well, so it was nice to switch. The best part about the wallet is that it says on it “We would like to hand our goods to you. You must be satisfied with them!” My wallet is telling me what I must and must not be satisfied with. I always listen to wallets, so good thing it didn’t say like, “You must be satisfied with sleeping on rocks” because that would kinda suck.

Anyways, we got back and killed more time until I went to sleep while Toshi finished working on some project (cause he’s always working). I woke up around 10:20 and me and toshi headed out soon after. We went to Tennoji first and checked out a few arcades there, but because it was so early, nobody was playing. We just decided to go to Denden, since I could go straight to Sannomiya from Namba thanks to the new Hanshin train line installed like, a week ago.

We went to Mr Donuts first, had some donuts and relaxed. While we were talking, Toshi brought up the word “Concert” and I remembered that it was the first day that they were selling the morning musume concert tickets for the Osaka show! Toshi called his wife, and she told him that we can get them at Lawson using the machine there. We went to the Lawson next door right after that, and successfully did it with absolutely no problems. I actually did something in Japan that was NO hassle for once! It’s rare to have that sort of thing happen, but I’m glad that I was able to get the concert ticket, and I think I have a decent seat too. The concert is mostly stuff from their new album, and while that normally wouldn’t be that appealing to me, I picked up their latest album and I quite like it. I don’t like just every random album that I hear, but I do like this one. So I’m really looking forward to it.

We walked around some stores. I saw the new idolm@ster nenroid petit figures that they just released. I only wanted the 2 Chihaya figs and the 3 Miki figs, but individually, they were expensive. I saw a figure store that would buy all the ones in the set EXCEPT for Chihaya/Miki for 2700 yen. I found a place that had a box for 4800. I bought the box, opened it, got one of each fig (12 in all) and then went to the figure store and sold the 2700 worth. That means for the 5 figures (all expensive ones because Chihaya/Miki are popular), I spent 2100 yen, which is dirt cheap for how awesome they are.

After that, I had to go to the SBO qualifier at the Magical Space in Kobe. I got there about a half hour before it started. I was #30 to register. 36 people registered for the tourney in total. Before the tourney started, I played some MvC2 and got a 6 winstreak against this MSP player after losing 2x in a row. After that, I beat the game and the bracket making started. I got placed against Eki-chan’s Arakune first round. He’s the arakune that DESTROYED me last time I played at the Nara regional. This time, I kinda had a plan for Arakune.

Our match took a while to get to because there was only one cab, so I played some AH2 in the meantime (I thought they got rid of their cab or something, but they moved it to a weird spot)

Finally my match was up. I got owned first round. Curse to death. I was about to die 2nd round, but I caught up little by little, and got a clutch air dash j.BC j.236C against him summoning another cloud for the 2nd round win, phew. 3rd round, I played smart and safe, and got him to burst a bit early. I was then able to take him down to a little bit of life, where I managed to stick out a 5AB and hit him for the match win. It was intense. Huge difference in how I handled arakune now from how I used to handle him before. Glad I was able to win tho, I really didn’t want to lose first round.

Next, I played against a guy called Naaga. I can’t make this paragraph intense at all because he pretty much double perfected me as Nu. I have no excuses. He was super solid and played far better in the tourney than I expected. I’ll have to step my game up for the next Nu.

The winner of the tourney ended up being the carl player who got an 11 winstreak against me at Monte that one time, and who beat me first round in the last Athena tourney. He’s really good and deserved it. I always forget his name, but he always wears a winter hat like Mike Nesmith of the Monkees, so He’s gonna be known as Mike Nesmith Carl. Finals was him vs Tsukasa’s Nu. Tsukasa was playing pretty bad, his hands were shaking, and tourney nerves were really getting to him, he was dropping a lot of easy combos, but he still managed to make it to finals. O_O

Nezu was the star of the show IMO. He beat Kechan Rachel and Kouji Tager first and 2nd round pretty convincingly with his crazy Bang. He lost to Tsukasa’s Nu in the semi’s, but I think that had more to do with the matchup.

Anyways, afterwards, I headed out and went back home. Before I left Kobe, I stopped at the rashabang. They didn’t have anything I wanted, but I saw an Otomedius figure that Bill said he wanted and was looking for, so I picked that up for him. I stopped by and dropped that off at his place. We went for some late night shopping for a bit, and I got a crème Taiyaki from the Taiyaki stand. The Taiyaki stand girl that I think is REALLY cute was working there, and she gave me a nice smile. It was awesome. After that, I went back home and I finished up my packing and went to bed whenever.
Monday was moving. People came at like, 9 and started moving stuff for a bit (big stuff) but then left really quickly leaving me with like, nothing to do for a while. Eventually, everything got moved except for the stuff I was taking with me to the hotel. I was sitting in an empty living room with just my computer for quite a while, haha. Finally around 4 I got checked into my hotel. Once we finally went over all that stuff, it was about time for me to get picked up by one of my teachers to go to an enkai that night. I didn’t have time to change, so I was in jeans and stuff still, at a party where everyone is wearing suits and a tie. Ack.

He picked me up and we got to school. Just then, I remembered I had a change of clothes there, so I changed into my work clothes (black pants, white button up shirt, looked good enough for this occasion). We took a bus to this hotel like, 45 minutes away. We got there, had a buncha random food. It was all like “super fancy” stuff, but it was all like, very very small portions. A buncha speeches were had about the teachers leaving. I had to give a 30 second one about one of the teachers leaving. The best part about the night was when I was talking to the cute office lady after everyone else sitting at our table just up and left. She’s really nice, too.

At one point, I went to the bathroom, and after taking a dump, the toilet wouldn’t flush. It wasn’t like, the dump’s fault, it was just a bad toilet. I feel bad for whoever had to clean that up, but oh well, not my problem. If they had a working toilet everything would have been ok, and for how much I had to spend to go to this party, that Hotel is NOT a cheap place. I would expect broken toilets from like, a gas station, and maybe feel bad about destroying that, but an expensive hotel? They’ll fix it soon enough, and if they don’t, then I don’t care.

After that, it was about 9:20PM and I got a ride with a teacher who lives in Sanda (closer to Osaka than our current location), and she dropped me off at the Sanda train station. I got there around 10, and took a train to Umeda. I got there at about 10:55, and got to Namba around 11:10. I called Mike (Elvenshadow) and crew, and finally met up with them at like, 11:30 at the Sega Avion. Matt (HintaLove) and Rod (Honnou?) were there too, I used to hang out with Matt a lot back in the gaidai days, but it was my first time meeting Rod.

We headed to Athena and played a bit of Blazblue. We had to leave around midnite of course. After that, we had some dinner at the Matsuya nearby, and at about 1AM, we walked to their hotel. They had problems finding it, but they finally did, and they put their stuff there. We headed to this one rock bar after that because Mike knew the owner.

We got there, and it was a nice small dark bar, as expected. They were playing “Living on a Prayer” when we got there. I didn’t really recognize much else that night except for like, Nickelback and Cindy Lauper’s “Girls just want to have fun” and a couple others.

Right off the bat, the other 3 got huge glasses of beer. I just got a small glass (took my time drinking it, and it lasted me for 2 hours). Mike and Matt had a bunch, prolly like, 7 mugs each. I spent most of the time chilling and talking to Mike/Matt/Rod. The more the night went on, the more Matt got drunk, obviously, and the more drunk he got, the more he would enjoy starting small arguments. It was funny cause most of them had nothing to do with what we said, and if it did, it was unrelated and we weren’t disagreeing with it. There were some cute girls there, this one short hair girl was especially hot, and we talked for a bit, and she asked for my music recommendations, and I was like “you prolly wouldn’t like my taste in music” and she was like “what type of music do you listen to?” I was like “Jpop” and she was like “like who?” I was like “Morning Musume” and she started laughing and stuff. I dunno if it was in a good way or a bad way, but I’m not about to lie to try to be cool, I just keep it real. Besides, it’s not like I’m gonna go picking up a girl in a bar anyways.

Finally around 5AM, we were the last ones there and we left. I was exhausted. I don’t really like drinking for the sake of getting drunk all that much, so it wasn’t as enriching of an experience for me as it was for the other guys, but whatever. We went back to the hotel and I slept on the floor for a bit. But it was freezing and I had no blanket or pillow or anything, so I got maybe 2.5 hours of sleep. We all got up because of hotel issues, and had to walk around and find a new hotel. We went to the new place and it was a lot nicer and warmer. I was gonna sleep, but I had some internet stuff to take care of, as in, make a phone call to cancel my internet, and end up waiting for 20 minutes before I could even talk to anyone. I finally got that taken care of. Turns out that if I cancel, I’ll be hit with a 27000 yen fee, so it’s best to just transfer my internet over from my last place to my new building. Whatever. Once I find my address out, I can go do that. When I got back, it was too late to really sleep, so Rod just showed me some stuff in GG with Ino. He made it look interesting and fun to play, just way too hard, and I still feel like I’d be getting into GG way too late. Besides, it’s too close to SBO and I’ve got other games I would rather focus on instead of GG. It was cool to see some of that stuff tho. We got up, and it took everyone a while to get ready and we finally headed out to Sandoru.

Sandoru is a place that I used to eat at everyday when I was a student at Gaidai. It was a huge plate of delicious food for very cheap, essentially. We finally got there and we all finished just about everything, cause we were all starving and it was so delicious. Everyone but me got the donburi, but I got the Yakiniku set. Yakiniku meat with this amazing sauce, noodles, mound of rice, miso soup, a small salad with the dressing that I like, etc.

After that, we took the Keihan line back to Yodoyabashi and walked to Umeda from there. We went to Monte 50 for a while. Nobody was playing Arcana, and a few guys were playing BB. I played BB for a bit and beat this Jin a buncha times, and went even with this one Ragna. I hate playing Ragna, but the guy was pretty good. Outyomi’d me without even doing anything a few times.

Everyone else was playing Guilty. I don’t really remember how everyone else did, but I hope they were having fun? I played marvel against this one guy, and when I put the credit in, instead of playing it, the dude just got up and left the machine. WTF. Oh well. I beat some poor sap who tried to use a goofy team, and then beat the game.

After that, it was like, 8:15 and I headed out.

I was walking to the station, and I stopped at Yodobashi camera along the way (because I forgot that I was in Umeda already, and had about 30 more minutes than I thought I did). Now on IRC, I used to talk about how dangerous riding a bike is here, especially when raining, or dark, and how I’ve almost crashed on multiple occasions due to one small thing etc. So a buncha people in #arcana told me to just buy a helmet, and I was like ‘yeah, but it’s a pain to bring it from Osaka, and I always forget anyways.” I was in the bicycle section in Yodobashi Umeda, and they had some adult bicycle helmets there. I found one that I liked, and picked it up. A nice silver one for like, 5500 yen. Now, normally adults don’t really wear helmets here. Normally it’s just middle school students. But regardless of that, I made the personal decision to wear one (I would have a while back, just never got around to it). Especially considering how much I ride my bike. If it was every once in a while, I wouldn’t bother, but I ride my bike at LEAST 5 days a week for prolly a good 4 miles a day on average for each of those days. I’ve already almost fallen and stuff, so I don’t want to chance it. I’ll be a good role model for my students, too, I guess. Teachers are always yelling at them if they don’t wear their helmets or if they wear it improperly, but like, if the teachers were to ride a bike, they wouldn’t wear one. Obviously it’s a bit different, but there’s not a really big logical reason why it’s JUST middle schoolers who have to wear them. It’s a new school year, time for a change. I already started wearing it, and one of my students told me I looked cool, and I've kinda just gotten a combination of "surprised/giggling", which isn't too different from their normal reactions to me anyways. They're prolly just surprised that I just started wearing one out of nowhere. Either way, I already bought it, so I better use it because it's not gonna help if I just leave it at home. And again, part of the whole "setting an example" thing, if my students have to wear it anytime they're on their bikes, then I don't see a reason why I wouldn't need to either. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I no longer feel like a bike-related accident will be my reason of death here, and that peace of mind alone is worth the cost of buying and wearing the helmet.

Anyways, I got back to the hotel and stayed up till like, midnite and then went to sleep. I was surprised I didn’t fall asleep earlier. I napped a bit on the train, but I can’t stay asleep for long on there. 7AM came around, and I woke up, took a nice hot shower in the hotel (my old shower never got water that stayed that hot for more than like, 15 seconds), and went to school.
The past couple days were pretty much the same. Come to school, go to basketball practice, get paid to play/watch them play basketball. Then when I was bored, I would just go on the computer. The new teachers all showed up, gave a brief self-intro, I headed out, took care of some stuff at the Board of Education building, then just relaxed in the hotel.

Next was Thursday, long boring meetings at work, then basketball. I went home after school and just hung out at the hotel for a while. Took a nice hot bath because, as I said, my old bath wouldn’t get water that hot.

Today, I just went to basketball, and I finally got my laptop to connect to the network, so I don’t have to spend a ton of time on the public computers and now can be a bit more discreet about surfing the internet for many hours. There’s ANOTHER enkai tonight to meet the new teachers. I’m not doing anything, and maybe I’ll be able to chat more with the cute office lady some more. Tomorrow, I have an SBO qualifier in Kobe, and then a day of SFIV in Nishonomiya at Andrew (Reno)’s place.

I know it was long, I apologize. Hope you enjoyed reading it tho. LEAVE COMMENTS!!