Monday, July 19, 2010

Arcana Heart 3

This weekend, I went to monte 50 sunday night and played arcana heart 3 for a few hours. None of the other games really had people playing them, but there were many people playing AH3. I got a 12 game winstreak, a 14 game winstreak, and a 26 game winstreak with my Petra. I felt kinda bad for the other guys so I decided to try my side characters. I messed around with Maori and Lilica. At first, I had no idea what to do with Lilica, because she's so changed, however, after a few games, I started getting the hang of it. She's more fun than I originally thought, and it's nice to now have another character I can use. Plus I use the love arcana with her, and that's what I started Arcana Heart 1 with (Love Lilica). It's nice to go back to my roots a bit and see how the same thing is so changed, but not necessarily for the worst.

I also played Blazblue at A-cho for a while. That went pretty well for the most part too. I'm getting more used to Noel, despite her flaws. I'm looking forward to Makoto DLC for the 360, but even if I don't use her, I still have Noel no matter what.

Also, I found out that I probably won't be able to attend SBO this year due to work related issues. :(

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Celebrity status?

Sunday, right outside of outback steakhouse, Myself, Dan, Toshi, Alex, and a friend of Alex's, CJ, just got done eating lunch. Alex and CJ came to Osaka to go to a Hanshin Tigers baseball game, and CJ (tall white guy) was wearing a hanshin tigers jersey.

So while we're standing there waiting outside, a bus of people sitting at the stoplight start pointing at us standing there and looking at us. Then, instead of just looking for a bit and turning away, they continued to stare the ENTIRE time until the bus drove away. We waved to them and some of them waved back, but it was extremely bizarre that a bus of people would all be staring at us nonstop.

Our theory is that they probably thought CJ was one of the white guys who plays for the Hanshin Tigers and since all white people look the same to the Japanese eye, they probably thought they spotted a celebrity. No other explanation makes sense as far as I'm concerned, and if you tell me I'm wrong, you're stupid.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The insanity that is Project Diva Arcade

So for those who don't know, Project Diva is a PSP music game involving the popular vocaloid Hatsune Miku. It was pretty popular, and had pretty good sales. It was so popular, in fact, that they decided to make an arcade version. It just came out a couple weeks ago, June 25th to be precise.

Anyways, I figured "oh, it's out, I guess I'll try the game!" So I went to Sega Avion in denden town, and I walked in the arcade. Near the door, they had a big LCD tv set up showing a direct feed from one of the arcade machines. I walked toward where the setup was, and there were two machines. In between the two machines was another huge LCD screen showing the same thing as the other one. There was also a long line of people waiting to play. There were at least 10 people in line to play the game. Granted, it was release day, but it was way more popular than I thought!

The next day, Dan and I went to a Kyoto arcade and I saw it again. There, there was only one machine, and about 6-7 people waiting in line to play. It's crazy. It's such a long wait for only a couple of songs.

Skip to the following weekend and yet again, there's a long line of people waiting to play no matter where I go. Even at the two arcades in Sannomiya (Kobe) that have it, there were 3-4 people in line both times. I really want to play, but I don't want to have to wait in a line to play.

Then, this past sunday, something amazing happened. I was at Magical Space in Sannomiya, and there was a guy playing, but there was nobody in line behind him. Just as I started watching, he finishes his 2nd song and gets the game over screen. Without even trying, I have a chance to play!

I went and tried it out. It was pretty fun, a little difficult to get used to at first, but the graphics are amazing, and overall, it's just a lot of fun. I dunno how often I'll be able to play thanks to my dislike for waiting in line to play a game, but I'll definitely play it again if I get the chance! Who thought that a music game would be so popular? I look forward to seeing how well the game does ranking-wise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

TGIF

At TGIF, the American restaurant in Kyoto, I went with Dan and we had an awesome meal. Afterwards, our server, "Purin" (Japanese for pudding), came up and gave us a reciept. I was like "oh it's ok, we don't need one" but apparantly, it was some sort of 10% off coupon that I have to go online and fill out or something. So she was like "wait...this is Lucky...lucky...lucky...lucky..." and she just kinda said "lucky" a few times cause she couldn't quite explain it. I was like "ok then I guess I'll take it, thanks!" Overall it was really cute cause she just didn't really know what to say, so she just repeated herself a bunch with the word "Lucky!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Change in Style

Hey guys, so as you can see, I haven't written in a while. Writing the way I was writing takes a while, and lately, I've been kind of busy at work (where I normally write them).

I decided that if I'm gonna keep writing, that I'm going to have to change how I write. Writing a long entry where nothing really happens is just a waste of time, and not all that interesting. I think that I'll instead, just use this place to post little interesting things that happen here. Hopefully it means I'll post more often, but I won't make any promises.

Anyways, here's the start:
This past weekend, in Kyoto at a karaoke place, these two girls walk in as me and Dan are sitting there waiting. The taller of the two looks at Dan and while she's walking, says something along the lines of "Hello sexy!" Dan didn't notice, but I did and then she looked at me, and I just tried not to laugh. She continued along her way and that was about it. Can't tell if she was drunk or not, but it was pretty funny, at least to me.

So this is a start. If i remember any other interesting moments, I'll try to post them, because that's more interesting than "I went to the arcade, I hung out with friends, I ate cheese curry" etc.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Heartful Adventures of Rob! Blog writing takes a while sometimes, but not today.

Hey all, the more I put off writing, the harder it becomes to write.

Anyways, I hung out with Alex and Dan over golden week. We played Mahjong and SSFIV. Then I went to another SBO qual in Shiga. Me and my partner lost first round to the same team we lost to at Athena. Oh well. A Cathy/Heart team went onto win the qualifier, and then the area qualifier the following week.

One of the weekends, I went to Kohatsu for this big soul calibur event. They had SC1, SC2, and SC3:AE there. I went there for SC2. I ended up getting 2nd in the tourney, losing miserably to Dekka Cho. So sad. I got a buncha winstreaks and def impressed people there because they didn't think I would be THAT good at SC2. Mich, a singapore Taki player was there too and we hung out. After that, we walked around Denden town, and just hung out, ate Cheese curry, all that jazz. Then we went back home, and I just stayed home on sunday hanging out.

The weekend after, I hung out with Dan, we did our denden town thing, and just had a good time keeping it real.

This weekend, I've got another SBO qual coming up, and then Imma go to Shiga to hang out with Alex and company. That's all! Take care, and check out teamspooky.com for articles that I actually HAVE been writing. Peace!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Heartful Adventures of Rob! Golden week part 1

Hey all, I'm back! Golden week is over and everyone is back to work in Japan!

Anyways, last week Monday, I checked out the local game store to see if they got Super Street Fighter IV early. No dice. Tuesday, I had to run to the post office, so I left work early to go do that before they closed. The hours for the post office are M-F9-4, and I work M-F8-4. So without leaving early, it's impossible to go there. Oh well. After I was done at the post office, I checked out the local game store, Wing. This time, they had SSFIV! Since I pre-ordered my copy of the game for the 360 with Andrew, I picked up the PS3 version.

I went back home and played it for a couple hours before I headed out to Sannomiya for the evening. In Sannomiya, I met up with Andrew and his fiancee. We went to eat at this Jamaican restaurant. I got this pork thing, and it was pretty good, but mad dry, as expected. After a bit, the guy who owns the place came out and started singing some songs in Karaoke. He did a Jamaican song, a couple classic rock songs, and the song “Banana Boat”, which I believe was made popular thanks mostly to the Beetlejuice movie starring Michael Keaton. After that, his wife (Japanese) came out and was all “stop singing, if you keep singing, the customers won't come back!” It was pretty funny. After that, we went Karaoke, even though Andrew didn't really want to. I told him to cry moar. We had fun anyways. I had to head back to Ono after that sadly, cause of work the next day.

However, after I got home (which was around 11:30), I decided “well, what's the harm in just playing a few games of SSFIV” I ended up staying up till about 2AM playing. Oops. Oh well. I only had a couple classes the next day and I ended up being able to save my energy for doing those classes, so I was able to get through the day just fine. After work, I went home and played some more SSFIV online. It's pretty addicting. I left at abou 6:30 to get to Andrew's place in Nishinomiya. We planned on spending the night playing Super Street Fighter IV against each other, since the next day was a holiday. We met up, and went back to his place and played for a while. We took a break and played online as well against random people.

The next day, we met up with Jeff, who brought his wife, and the three of us went to play Softball with guys from Andrew's company. We played against a college team for 2 games first. We got owned pretty hard. Then we played against another team that had a bunch of teenagers and a buncha old taxi drivers. We got owned by those guys too. We were doing good at first, and then it just went downhill. Oh well. Maybe next time. It was fun though. I got used to hitting the ball way more by the end, and I made some decent catches. I think I'll end up playing again the next time they have a game.

After that, we were all really hungry so we went to Outback Steakhouse. We got there, and with it being a holiday, it was pretty crowded so we ended up waiting for like, 40 minutes or so before we got seated. Once we got our seats tho, we were good. I had a 1000 yen coupon for outback, so that was good for the bloomin onion for everyone. We got our food, and it was delicious as expected. We stayed there until like, 9:30 PM, and then once we left, I had to head back to Ono. Once I got home, I just went to bed pretty much.

Friday was the last day at work before golden week. After I was done at work, I went to Osaka to meet up with Dan. I showed up and Toshi ended up being with Dan, too! It's been a while since we hung out, so it was good seeing him again. We were in the mood for pizza and there was a new Shakey's pizza that just opened up. We went to check it out but we waited for like, 40 minutes, and we still weren't seated. It was really dumb, because they only had 2 person seats opening up, so the fact that there was 3 of us meant that just about everyone who showed up after us got seated before us. We decided it wasn't worth it, so we left and walked the 10 minutes to the OTHER Shakey's pizza and ate there. It wasn't that crowded, and we got a nice booth with no waiting. We'll just keep that in mind for next time. Anyways, we ate our fill of pizza, and chilled and had fun. After we were done eating, we walked back to Namba and went to the Taito station. We played some Taiko no Tatsujin. After it got to be about 10:30, we headed to the 12 hour manga cafe.

We hoped that the 12 hour place had 2 mat booths, but they were already sold out. It makes sense because it's golden week, but still kind of disappointing. We just walked to the 10 hour place, and it was about 11 by the time we got there. I pretty much gave up drinking soda, but for the first time in a few months, I drank some when I had some CC lemon and 7-up at the manga cafe. I don't think it'll kill me, but I was in the mood for it. Me and Dan got good seats that were away from just about everyone, so I wasn't bothered by other people's snoring and we were able to whisper to each other without people complaining about us whispering this time around. We played some Saki Mahjong, and watched some videos. I went to sleep around 1AM and ended up waking up to my alarm close to 8:30. We headed out of there around 9, and then headed to McDonalds. We got breakfast there and then headed out toward Athena.

On the way, we noticed that the Mr Donuts store was shut down. In it's place, they made a cafe where you can eat donuts and drink coffee. So that place went from being a place where you can eat donuts and drink coffee to a place where you can eat dontus and drink coffee WITH A NEW NAME. Anyways, there was a huge line to get in, at least 50 people waiting before it opened to be the first group of the day to eat at this totally new and innovative place. I seriously think people have mental problems, or they just really really like waiting in line. I personally find waiting in line extremely boring, so I don't understand why people wait in such a long line for like, a donut and a coffee. This did get me thinking that if people will wait in line to eat the same food at the same place, but with a new name, that I could open up a resturant and just change the name every few months if I want to get a huge crowd. I'll purposely make my sign cheap, and when it breaks and I make a new one, I'll just put a new name on it and advertise something like “FREE TOOTHPICKS” and I'll have a ton of crazy people waiting in line to get the same exact food I was selling before. It's the perfect legal crime.

Anyways, we went to Athena because it was still early and nothing was open. I went to see if anyone was playing anything, but of course nobody was. Me and Dan just sat at one of the tables on the gundam pod floor and played Saki Mahjong against each other for a bit. I went and played one credit of blazblue, and when I lost, we headed out to Denden. We looked around Denden town for a bit at some of the game stores. I didn't really have anything I was looking to pick up in particular. After we were done we headed to Andrew's place because we were gonna have an SSFIV gathering there.

We were the first ones to get there. I took a shower at Andrew's place because it's way cheaper than using the manga cafe showers. We played some games and then Jeff and Eddy showed up. We played SSFIV for a few hours, with Jeff pretty much dominating most of the time. After a while, we went out to eat at Coco's, and then walked to this sports place. We did some batting practice there with a softball machine. Then we played some 4 player table tennis with one person sitting out each time. That was a lot of fun. I def want to play Ping Pong again sometime soon.

After we were done there, we went back. Jeff had to head out, and so the rest of us went back and just chilled and took turns playing online. Before the last train, me and Dan went back to Osaka and checked into a capsule hotel. Because I stayed at that particular capsule hotel 10 times, I got a free night there thanks to my point card! We stayed up talking for a bit, but we were both exhausted so we passed out shortly afterwards. I slept really well. Once we were done there, we headed out. Dan wanted to pick up a mahjong mat and set, so we walked to Tokyu Hands, which is a big “has-everything” type store. On the way, we saw yet another gigantic line. It was wrapped around the block, and then some. We were wondering what it was for, and then we saw the guy holding the sign that said “Krispy Kreme”. People are in lines around the block for Krispy Kreme donuts. I mean, I like them and all, but not THAT much. Oh well, that, and people seem to just love waiting in line here, so I unno, that might have something to do with it too. I seriously think that some people wait in line just cause other people are waiting in lines. Like “Well, if there's a gigantic line, it MUST be good” is their mindset. For me, if there's a gigantic line, I usually go “well, it's probably not good enough to warrant such a line”. It's like amusement parks. They're fun, but honestly, a 60 second ride isn't long enough to warrant a 2 hour wait for me. Yeah, hanging out with friends can be fun, but there's a buncha places I would rather hang out with friends than in a line.

So we get to Tokyu Hands a bit early, so we wait for about 10 minutes for the store to open up. We get in, and Dan gets a mahjong mat that comes with a Mahjong kit. The Mahjong tiles are nicer than what I expected considering how much the whole thing cost. After that, I bought a nicer ipod case than the one I had. I got one that actually looks cool and matches one of my bags, as opposed to a cheap cell phone case I bought at the dollar store. After that, we headed to Umeda and met up with Alex. We met at Outback Steakhouse, and got there right when it opened. We got a lunch set, which is always a great deal because it comes with your entree, and a free refill drink for like, 1300 yen. Normally a meal is like, 2000+ yen, plus another 500 yen for the drink. As usual, we got a bloomin onion too. I know I was just there, but Outback Steakhouse is really one of those places I don't mind going back to all the time. After we ate, we headed to Namba, where I had an AH3 tournament, and Alex had some Pokemon card stuff to deal with. I got to the tourney and right when I got there, I saw Guy-girl, who was behind the announcer desk with the mic. Once guy-girl saw me, he went “OH YES!”And like, 3 or 4 people immediately were like “oh, your partner is over here!” I guess people knew. He was playing on the AH1 machine that they had set up. He won his match, and so I played against him using my Time Lilica. It's been a long time since I played AH1, and I couldn't do any time combos at first, but after a couple tries (and some practice mode), I was at least able to get it against the CPU dummy.

After I was done playing AH1, I figured I should play some AH3. I lost some matches, and then I ended up getting a 5 game winstreak. Not too bad. My partner, Archer, introduced me to a godlike dorothy player who he calls “Okayama doushi” or something like that. The stuff he did with that character was insane. Anyways, they started the tournament. There were 4 machines, ABC and D. the A machine was hooked up to the big LCD monitor for most of the people to watch. We were in bracket D. They asked the crowd what bracket they wanted to see on the big screen, and people wanted to see the D bracket. Since we were in a round 0 match, I was the first one playing on the big screen!

Our first match was against a Mei Fang/Catherine team that plays at Athena. I played against the Mei Fang first, and won. Archer played against Catherine, got a round, but didn't take the match. I played against the Catherine and won after that. Sweet. Our next match was against a Liese/Lilica team. Archer beat the Liese, and I handled the Lilica. Next, was the hard matchup. A really good Shar/Maori team. Archer almost got double perfected by the Shar, and I barely lost to the Maori. The dude was really good, and I feel like I played well, so no regrets.

After I lost, me and Dan headed out and met up with Alex. He was still busy, so we went to the 3rd floor of the Cospa store, where they have an area where you can just chill and play card games or psp or whatever for free. So me and Dan played some Saki Mahjong for a bit while waiting for Alex. Once he finished, we did an hour and a half of Karaoke, then played some Taiko drum master. After that, we all headed back home.

Monday, I spent the day doing all my household chores, including laundry, cleaning the apt, dishes etc. I spent a good portion of the day playing Super Street Fighter IV as well.

Rest to be continued in the next entry.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Heartful Adventures of Rob! A busy, yet relaxing April

Hey all, I'm at work on a Saturday thanks to this week being a 6 day work week, so what better way to spend it than by writing my blog! (Note, it started on a sat, but didn't get finished until much later)

Last I left off was my crazy weekend in Kansai with the Gunma guys. The following week was pretty uneventful as usual. Friday I was so tired that I just went home and took some medicine and felll asleep for 12 hours. I woke up around 7AMish, which is ironically the time I wake up when I DON'T have a day off. I hung around home for a bit, then, as usual went to Sannomiya. I checked out the few stores while I was there, and bought a screen for my ipod touch while at the Sannomiya “Labi” store (big electronics store, similar to circuit city I guess?) My ipod touch works great, but obviously the screen gets dirty really quickly (I never knew my fingers were THAT greasy). I bought the cover hoping it would make it look better, but after I put it on, it ended up looking worse, and of course there's little tiny pieces of hair stuck under the screen that will forever remain there. I guess it helps protect it better, but it looks way older than just a week old.

After I was done there, I took the train to Osaka. I got to Denden town, and ate cheese curry for lunch. As usual, it's my favorite thing to eat here, and one of the few times I'm glad I'm in Japan when it comes to food (as opposed to hating it). At that point it was about 12:45, and after checking on the Capcom website, they were advertising Super Street Fighter IV available to the public to play from 1PM until 5PM. I was the 16th or 17th person in line. They started at 1PM on the nose. They had two setups, a big screen hooked up to a PS3, and a smaller screen hooked up to a 360. The PS3 station had two HRAP3s, and the 360 stations had TE sticks. They said “1 person 3 matches”, so what that meant was that two people play each other for 3 matches! That's fine and dandy until they realized how many people were in line and that 3 matches takes a LONG time. They changed it to 2 matches after the first 2 pairs went on each station. I waited maybe 20 minutes total before it was my turn. Since I've been eying Juri, I picked her. My opponent obviously didn't know how to play, so it made it really easy to try what I wanted to. He didn't even play new characters, he used El Fuerte for the first match, and Chun-Li for the 2nd match. Fine by me. I tried EX divekick into Ultra 2 with Juri, missed the first time. Focused and got more meter, and then tried it again and hit it. It felt really cool to hit it and to be like, one of the few people there who actually had an idea of how to do anything. I played one match with Ultra 2, and the other with Ultra 1. I didn't really like Ultra 1, but I had to try it anyways.

After that, I went to Athena and played some AH3 for a while. I was doing decent, getting wins against good players, losing to some others. It was a decent session.

After a while, I met up with Dan in Umeda. We were at a Tullys coffee shop, and apparantly they have chili dogs now! I had dinner already, so I wasn't too hungry, but Dan got two of them and said they were good. He was sick recently, so it was good to see him better. After that, we went to The Hub and had a drink and some fries before heading to Osaka to go to the capsule hotel for the night. I tried to mess around with the wi-fi at the capsule hotel, but none of my programs that needed wi-fi worked. I was a bit disappointed because I know there's not a lot of places with wi-fi in Japan, but I figured that when I did run into them that I could at least use them, so not being able to was pretty disappointing, but oh well. Anyways, we chilled for a while, after going in the baths, but we were both pretty exhausted, so we went to sleep not too long after (around 12:30 or 1?). I woke up around 8ish, and couldn't fall back asleep for whatever reason. I went down to the lounge and watched TV there for a while. There was this ping pong tournament between Ai Fukuhara and this Chinese girl. I'm not really a fan of ping pong or anything but I like watching tournaments, so that kept me entertained while I played SFIV on my ipod touch.

Eventually Dan came down and we got washed up and headed out. The weather was really nice, and Dan had to take off his jacket cause it was too warm. We stopped by McDonalds first and got some breakfast. We saw these group of people playing monster hunter, but it wasnt like, a few nerdy dudes, it was like, a host looking guy, a somewhat gothy looking girl, and another host guy who was passed out on the table. Interesting. We ate and got out of there and headed to the Den. The first place we stopped by was A-too because Dan wanted to trade in his games AND pick up some new games. I saw that they had dream club FINALLY lowered to 2000 yen, so I was like “cool, ill pick that up” and Ar Tonelico 3 was still at 3000 yen, so I said I would pick that up, too. Dan got like, 16000 yen for his 5 games, and then buys FFXIII as well as one other game. We went looking around at a few more stores and me and Dan both picked up copies of Saki Mahjong for the PSP. It was kind of expensive (5300 yen) but I mean...it's Saki mahjong, haha. I went back to A-too and picked up Dream Club and AT3, both of which cost less than my one psp game, haha. We went to the free gaming area where you can just go in for free (its at the 3rd floor of a store in denden town) and play psp against other people or card games or whatever. It's pretty sweet, and really nice of that store considering they really don't make any money off of it. After that, we stopped by Athena for a bit to use the bathroom and ended up playing games for a bit. I played some melty cause nobody was playing arcana. We played a game of Taiko, did Hello! and Kiramekirari (both im@s songs) at the Taito station.

We headed out after that and went to Kua Aina for lunch. It's that burger place in Namba parks that I occasionally mention. We got burgers, and they were super good. I think it was around 4ish at this point? We decided to just head out. Dan said he was gonna go hang out with Alex, and I was gonna see if Andrew was up to anything. I called Andrew and no response. I got a text a minute or so later saying he was in Sannomiya. I was headed there anyways, so I was like “yo lets meet up”. So we met up, got dinner and hung out at the arcades for a bit. I played a buncha MvC2 and ended up getting owned pretty hard by this Storm/Cable/Cyclops player. I have such a hard time against Cable in that game, but after 9 tries I finally beat him. I played a bit of SFIV using my Chun Li against this Ryu player. I think I won 3 and he won 2? It was fun either way, considering Chun isn't even my main character. I'm trying to get better at that game in general because Super Street Fighter IV is coming out soon, and I want to try to get better just in general at that game.

My bus was coming soon, so I headed back home. I played Saki mahjong on the way home. It's really fun, and better than the crappy not very fun 13 dollar mahjong game for the DS that I had. I got home, hung out on the internet and then went to bed after a while. My 6 day work week began, and after it was finally over, it was time for the weekend.

Saturday night after I was done, I just hung out at home and played games. Sunday, I had plans to meet up with Alex in Osaka. I left my house to catch my bus, but I realized halfway to the bus stop that I forgot my headphones at home. So I had to go the bus ride without them. I just played Saki PSP on the bus, but I got a little carsick after a bit so that kinda sucked. I kinda half slept for the rest of the bus ride. I got to Sannomiya and decided to pick up more headphones, since having an extra pair never hurts. I got the same type as the last $10 pair of headphones I bought cause they work well. I opened them, and they were only 50 cm long! I was like “WHAT? Why are they so short?!” They weren't even long enough for me to put in my pocket, attached to my ipod without my ipod dangling. I went back to the store and looked around and they put the 50cm headphones right next to the 1.3meter headphones at the exact same price. It makes no sense. If they were even 10cm longer, I would have been fine with them, but less than 2 feet? Really? Oh well...

I went and found a 1 meter headphone extension for 500 yen, so I just picked that up and used that for the remainder of my trip. I headed over to Umeda after that to meet up with Alex. We planned to meet at outback steakhouse, and Alex and Tyler (friend of ours also lives in Shiga) just got there a little before me. Because it was lunchtime, they had lunchtime specials making it pretty cheap. Of course, we got a bloomin onion which is still the best thing on the menu there, imo. I got a steak that came with buttered rice, cole slaw, and a free drink. I got pink lemonade with tons of refills. The steak was awesome because it was decent size and it was already pre-cut. That way, I didn't have to sit there and cut my steak, I could just dig in. It was the best steak (maybe the only steak?) I've had here. The buttered rice was really good as well. After a 15% discount thanks to a coupon from Alex, it came out to only like, 1500 yen for each of us. For such a good meal, that's a more than reasonable price. But then, as we were leaving, the manager who I guess recognized/knows Alex, gave each of us a 1000 yen off coupon. So if we come and get a similar meal, it'll be extremely cheap! It was really nice of him, and I can't wait till the next time I can go back.

Next, we went to the Pokemon center to check out the stuff there. They had a “charizard promotion” or something where they had a ton of charizard goods and stuff. My favorite pokemon is Pochama (piplup in English, the little penguin), and they had a pochama promotion last time I went. Anyways, Alex and Tyler picked up a few things. I picked up some pokemon stickers for class for prizes, and I bought a teacher stamp that has pochama and pikachu on it, and on the top it says pretty much “Great Job!” in Japanese. So now I can just stamp good papers with that when I grade them.

After that, we were about to go to denden, when Alex wanted to pick up something else that he forgot. Tyler had to use the bathroom anyways, so we headed over to the nearby Namcoland arcade. Tyler used the bathroom, and I was watching Taiko. This little girl, probably around 3 years old, goes to the taiko machine and takes the sticks (which are more than half her height). Her mom puts in 100 yen to play, and she puts on the easiest mode, and does the anpan -man song. While it looked like she was kinda swinging randomly at first, I realized she somewhat knew what she was doing. She was drumming to the beat and on the blue notes, she would try to hit the side of the drum, and actually got it a couple times. She ended up actually passing the song! A little 3 year old girl playing Taiko drum master passed the song. It was the cutest thing ever.

Afterwards, we met up with Alex again and headed to Denden town. In Umeda, right in front of this big shopping mall called “HEP5”, there were 3 cute girls cosplaying as Hatsune Miku. It was super random, and I only got a crappy pic from across the street, but yeah, thats the sort of thing that I wouldn't bat an eye to in Denden town, but in Umeda, the cool people area? Really? Afterwards we went to the bookstore to pick up an application for the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam. I haven't taken it before, but I figured I would take it this year to see where I stand. While we were walking, we saw a store called “The womb”. I dunno what to think, but me and alex wanted to go in just so we can say “We were in the womb together”.

Afterwards, we headed to Denden town. Alex went to look at pokemon cards and stuff while me and Tyler looked around the den. I wasn't really looking for anything, just the usual Ritsu plush that I'm never able to find (since I have the other 4 girls already). Tyler was looking for kamen rider stuff since he cosplays. We just looked around at the stores, taking our time doing whatever. It was cool, we just got to hang out and talk and look around the Den.

After a bit of looking at stuff for Tyler, we went to the Lashabang store. And when I walked in, right at the showcase, I FINALLY found the Ritsu plush I was looking for. It was only 1500 yen, which is a steal as far as I'm concerned. I was looking for that plush for so long and was unable to find it ANYWHERE, so being able to find it made me SUPER happy. I now had the complete set of 5. Anyways, I went around and took more pics of R4 stuff for an article I'm doing, and then we went to the cheese curry place for dinner. After we ate, we were all full from cheese curry. We walked around a little bit more, but we were all tired, so we all just headed back home.

Monday was a free day for me. I used it to do a ton of laundry, get a haircut, throw out my garbage, take my recyclables to the recycling place, do grocery shopping, organize my closet, and clean my apartment. Usually I'm out both days of the weekend and after work I'm too tired/lazy to do stuff, so it was nice to have a day to do all that stuff. I just relaxed and played SFIV and some Ar Tonelico 3. It was fun overall and relaxing.

Next, I had a 4 day work week. Friday night I just chilled at home. Saturday, I went to Kyoto and met up with Andrew (reno), Jeff (azrael), and Aurich. They had a big 5v5 kansai tournament for SFIV at a-cho, so I checked it out. Jeff and Aurich's team got top 8, which is really good. There were over 100 people, so they placed above quite a few teams. The winning team consisted of pretty much the best kansai players. Good times.

After that, we went to TGIF, as one just opened in Kyoto. It was really really good. We had a waitress named “Purin” which is Japanese for “Pudding”. Jeff ordered “boneless buffalo wings” but like, they don't have boneless wings, they have “boneless buffalo bites” and “buffalo wings” so when we got the order, we got buffalo wings when we wanted the bites. Jeff was like “wait, I ordered the boneless” and had them send it back. After that, Purin suddenly wasn't our waitress anymore, so we figured that Jeff scared her off. I ordered a dessert and I guess they didn't write it down cause I didn't get it, so I asked them if it was coming, and they didn't have it written. I didn't really feel like eating it anyways, I just wanted to get back to a-cho, so I just said don't worry about it, but the waitress apologized a ton and I think she thought I was mad. I wasn't mad, but everyone else was done eating and we were all ready to go anyways, so I didn't want to waste time by being the only one eating. It worked out for the best.

Anyways, we went back to A-cho, I watched some games, played some more games, and just relaxed. At around 9:45 or so, Andrew was like “I'm going to Monte 50 to play VF there because nobody is playing here” I decided to go with him and figured I would play at Monte too. I then realized that I would totally be able to make the last train home if I left, so I did that instead and said bye to Andrew at Umeda. I headed home and slept in my own bed.

Sunday, Bill and Maria planned a fajita party with a couple teachers that we both knew. One of the teachers drove us to the costco, and we went there. It was mad crowded. We got our food first, I got a big delicious slice of pizza for only 300 yen. I could eat that pizza everyday if I had the option. Then we went around shopping for stuff. However, Costco was just WAY too crowded. It was obnoxiously crowded, and actually kind of stressful. However, I got some stuff. I bought some granola bars, some dehumidier boxes, some mini frozen pizzas, and an “ihome”. I have 2 ipods now, so I can put one in there to charge it, and play music from it, and I don't have to deal with my computer and the crappy speakers on that.

After that, we hung out, ate well and had fun. After we were done and the Japanese teachers left, me and Bill played TvC for a bit and then I headed back home for the night.

This week, super street fighter IV comes out! I'm looking forward to it. My plans are to go to Andrew's place on wed and get my copy, play there for a while, thursday is a holiday, so relax, play outside, and then friday is a work day, and then golden week! It should be a lot of fun, and I just have a few more days of work to get through!

So yeah, sorry this one took so long to write, but take care all!

Team Spooky

For those who don't know, www.teamspooky.com (for a link, please just look at the top link at the bar on the right) is a website started by many players on the east coast who are into "poverty" games, such as Melty Blood, Arcana Heart, Akatsuki Blitzkampf, and many other doujinshi games, and so on. The reason why they're called poverty games is because they're generally games that one would consider to be "poor", and poor = poverty, so instead of saying "we play poor games", saying "we play poverty games" have more of a meaning of the type of game we're talking about. Poverty games can range from arcade releases that don't make it big, such as spectral vs generation, Sengoku Basara X, fate unlimited codes, etc. Many of the "anime games" are part of this genre, as well. Anyways, Team Spooky has been around for a while (named after Spooky, an east coast player, who is pretty much liked by just about everyone). The website grew in popularity for a number of reasons, and now there seem to be a decent amount of subscribers.

In any case, I've been writing a lot of Japan and game related articles for the website, so if you're interested in games in general, and especially games with a somewhat niche following, then check out teamspooky.com. My next few blog posts are going to be centered around some arcades. With pictures, and sometimes a video walkthrough. I might even cover a tournament or two.

Either way, if you like that sort of thing, feel free to bookmark it. Normally I write my blog posts at work, but I've been really busy recently, so I haven't had too much time to write, hence the long 3 week break. Hopefully I'll get back to writing soon, and put up a new blog post. Take care everyone!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Sadventures of Rob - Gunmans come to Kansai.

Ok last I left off I was sick. I relaxed and got better.

This is the weekend when Andy (Capps), Mike (Elvenshadow), Sam (Raviloli), Mike's brother Tony, and their friend Emmet were coming to Kansai. They all live in Gunma prefecture, hence the title of the blog. I took friday off of work because Andy said he was coming Thursday night, so I could just go to Osaka after work and hang out with them for the weekend. Right after work on Thursday, I biked AGAINST the wind, got home, showered, grabbed my stuff, bike against the wind some more to the station and ended up actually making good time. I made such good time that I got there way before Andy showed up! I looked around Bic Camera for a bit, and then met up with him. It was really easy, and he was on time and was able to get to the meeting place without any issues. We went to Athena and played AH3 there while waiting for Mike and the others.

Mike, Sam, and Tony show up after a bit, and we hang out at athena for a while playing. I played Sam in MB, which he just recently picked up, and we had a lot of fun F-Miyako vs F-Akiha/ F-V.Akiha matches. After a bit, we went to go to the cheese curry place that I always talk about, but they close at 9 on weekdays, when they're usually open till 10 on weekends, so they ended up being closed when we got there. We walked to Cocos and ate there instead, though. We went to a store where they have a 2nd floor, and we got the 2nd floor all to ourselves, which was really nice. Felt like we could talk and not bother other people.

After we ate, we went to namba hills for a bit. There was a dude playing GG, so Mike played against him, and me and Sam played a bunch of melty against each other. After it closed, it was about 11:45, so me and Andy went to the manga cafe while everyone else went drinking.

We went to the 12 hour for 1900 yen place. We get a free shower with it, so it's really convenient. They were out of single mat booths, so they said “oh, we have pair seats”. I was like “can you show us what they look like?” and they showed us one that was really small. I gave Andy this look and said “They're pretty small, let's go somewhere else” and right when I was about to tell that to the guy, he was like “Wait, we have another one that's bigger, but the same price!” I was like “oh?” He showed us the bigger one, and not only was it a little bigger, it was like, twice the size. Plenty of space for both of us to sleep with plenty of space for our bags. It was great in general. I'm glad we went to take a look because if we said “Oh, yeah we'll take the pair seat” I guarantee they would have given us the small one. But because I went and looked first, we were able to get a big one for the same price, which was awesome.

After we got our seats, we went and got some free drinks. I also got some vanilla ice cream because it's free at that manga cafe too. We looked at some magazines, walked around chillin and just having drinks and stuff. Then we went back to our booth and used the computer, watched vids, and just relaxed until we went to sleep. I woke up around 8AMish. Andy was still sleeping so I just used the computer and reserved the shower for me and Andy. Around 8:45, we got 40 minutes for the two of us to shower, so I went first, and then Andy went. The shower is pretty nice, a little room you get to yourself, you have a space to put a bag/dry clothes, and a sink/mirror. It's great considering it came free with the 12 hour pack. We stayed in the manga cafe having more drinks and relaxing until 1045ish. We got out of there and headed to Denden.

We stopped by an arcade near the manga cafe and played Taiko. It was Andy's first time playing Taiko! I took his taiko virginity. We started off with GReeeeN's “Haruka”, and then did an idolm@ster song (Hello!) and ended with Shuuchishin. It was fun for me. Andy passed Haruka, but not the other two. It's a shame you have to use the same difficulty, cause he would have been better on normal but he played it on hard with me instead. After that, we went to Taito station, looked around for a bit but didn't play anything. Same with Avion, looked around but didn't play any games. Then after that, we went around Denden town for a bit. We looked at figure stores and whatnot. We got some chicken for breakfast at the convenience store. Can't go wrong with family mart spicy chicken IMO. We went to gamers next. They had a buncha small gashapon set up, and Andy got this mame-shiba one. He got a little mame-shiba driving a boat or something. It's hilarious. We looked around a bit more, and then I got a text from Mike saying that they were ready. We met up and went to Outback Steakhouse. We got there around 2:30ish, and there was a big sign that said “Open from 5PM on weekdays”. I didn't know that they weren't open until 5PM. So we walked like, 20 minutes to Monte 50.

At monte, I played a bit of BB. I got a 5 game winstreak. I was doing pretty well. This one Noel player who I met a long time ago at monte was there, too. I don't play much BB, nor do I go to monte that often, so I haven't seen him in a while. We were talking a bit and I lost to a Hakumen. He played and he owned that same Hakumen for free with Noel doing all these crazy combos that I didn't know she could do. Maybe I should at least learn the better combos for the next time I play, haha. I said bye and told him I was gonna go play AH3. I went upstairs and played that for a while. I played this one Zenia player a ton, and got like, a 10 winstreak. Then Capps said he would record, and recorded the one match I ended up losing to that guy. Ugh. Then this Elsa/Saki player played me a bunch. We had good matches, but Elsa is soooooooo cheap, haha. Because of her air combo finisher, she gets a 4 way mixup that's too fast for me to react to. I still generally beat him, but yeah, that character is very strong, prolly #1 in the game. After playing a few more credits, I moved over to MB and played Sam some more. He was leveling up really well with his V.Akiha, so I was having trouble near the end of our sessions. It was good times, but we were all really hungry, so we went to outback.

Outback was amazing, we got 2 bloomin onions for the 5 of us, and Me, Mike, and Sam got ribs. I got full like, halfway through, but I finished eating the ribs cause they were so good. I had a coupon for 15% off, and it turns out that it isn't just for one person, it's for the entire bill, so the 16,500 yen order got like, 2475 off. So almost 2500 yen saved for one small coupon. The dinner itself was awesome though. We were just chillin and talking about whatever. Tony speaks no Japanese, and is quite loud volume-wise, and seemed to constantly be making a fool of himself, but it was fun to watch, I guess. Normally, when you ask for water, you say “mizu onegaishimasu”. (Water = mizu, onegaishimasu is kind of like, “please”), but he would just point to his cup and say really loudly “MEE-ZOO!” So imagine someone looking at a waitress and pointing to their cup and shouting “WAH TURR”. I think they're used to that kinda thing at outback cause they were like “whatevs”. Andy ordered a coke with no ice, and the waitress was like “no ice?” and andy was like “yes, no ice”. And they brought him a coke with ice. Owned. Sam took the leftovers from the bloomin onion, took some extra sauce, and put it between some bread and made a bloomin onion sandwich. I'm hungry as I type this so it sounds good, but at the time, I was like “uhh...no thanks” He said it was good, tho, and I believe him.

After we were done at outback, we headed back to monte. I played more arcana and melty. After we were all done at Monte, we headed out. Mike, Tony, and Sam were going to a club where they can drink all night, and me and Andy headed to Spa World.

We got there, and we figured we were gonna go to the pool for a bit, but when we got there, they told us “Oh, the pool isn't open.” I was completely surprised because I thought it was open all night like everything else. It's only open till like, 7PM on weekdays, and 10PM on weekends. We got there around 10:30, so even if was a sat night, we wouldn't have got there in time anyways. Oh well. We went to the bath area, got washed up first, and then hung out in baths for a while. After we were done, we got dressed and walked around a bit. We got some drinks and just sat on a couch talking about whatever. Right when we were in the middle of a conversation, some random Japanese guy in his 30s came up and was like “Hello, are you sightseeing Osaka?” I just said yes, and hoped he would go away, but he sat down and like, asked us random questions and told us “Please teach me English.” The thing is, I was in a conversation with a friend of mine that I don't see very often, and we were at spa world to relax, not to “teach English”. He just wanted to practice his high school English and didn't even ask “Is it ok if I sit down”, didn't introduce himself. He just asked random questions and tried to like, help us I guess? He was trying to be friendly, but it didn't occur to him that I know the area quite well, and I don't need his help sightseeing anyways. His intentions were nice enough, I guess, and for a Japanese person to come up to foreigners, it takes courage, but he was very “KY” as we call it here (It stands for something that literally translates to “Cannot read the atmosphere”.) He couldn't read the fact that we didn't want to talk to him and that he was completely bothering us. I was still nice and talked to him for a couple minutes. He told me I looked like David Beckham at one point. (http://img707.yfrog.com/img707/5250/davidbeckhama.jpg = Rob) After a couple minutes, I did a fake yawn and went “Well, I'm really tired, so I'm going to go now, bye.” And we left and went to the room where everyone is sleeping and passed out.

I woke up around 6:30 or so and went to the bathroom and stumbled back to my chair. I figured I would wake up around 8AM when the lights go on. Check out time is 9AM, so that would give me time to go take baths, and get ready. I woke up, and looked at the time. 8:55. I was like “umm......” and then I just got ready without shaving, messed up hair etc, everything. Andy was waiting for me right outside, and we went and checked out. Then, since we have a 30 minute time on our card (which doesn't really seem to matter because the gate machines are broken, and it's just some guy standing at the gate taking the “ok to leave” tickets) I went back upstairs and fixed my hair (sorta), shaved, brushed my teeth etc. It sucks that I almost overslept, but I didn't have to pay any extra, so that's nice at least. We got outta there and headed to Mr Donuts for breakfast.

We got to Mr Donuts and chilled there for a bit. At about 9:45, we headed over to SCOT. Instead of playing regular fighters, we went up to the 3rd floor where all the goofy games are. I played this one fighter called “Angel Eyes”, which I played for a little in Chicago against Webster. It was crazy seeing a cab for it, haha. I played Karnov's Revenge for a little, but there was no sound, so not hearing BALLOON BALLOON made it not as fun. However, I still got to balloon quite a bit. After that, me and Andy played some shmup called “Trouble witches”. It was cute and it was a lot of fun. Maybe I'll play it more again some other time. After that, it was about 10:30. The Morning Musume store opens up around then, and so we went there since it was only a few stores down. We spent about 45 minutes in there or so before we headed to Dotonbori. I picked up a DVD that has all each of the BerryZ girl's version of Dschinghis Khan. Andy got some small pics and stuff. After 15 or 20 minutes of walking, we made it. We waited in line at the really good Takoyaki place. Andy got some takoyaki and after that, I headed out to meet another friend for a bit.

In Umeda station, I ended up running into my 1st year in college dorm roommate, who I stayed friends with throughout college, who is also an ALT in Osaka now, and a friend of ours from the Japanese university I studied abroad at, who studied abroad in Chicago at Depaul. It was a huge coincidence, and it was great seeing people I haven't seen in a while.

After I was done, I met up with Andy in Umeda, we bought some cheap JR tickets to Otsu, where the concert we were going to tonite was. Since Andy got me into Hello!Project stuff by showing me a bunch of random youtube vids, we wanted to see a Morning Musume concert. We were like “man, it would be so convenient if there was a concert the weekend you were in Kansai” and sure enough, only an hour or so from where we were, they were doing a concert. Since Andy goes to Tokyo often, there's a specific store where you can get tickets in Harajuku, so he went there and got 2 tickets for 5000 yen each, when they're normally 7000 yen retail, and we got to pick the seats. Not too bad. Anyways, to get to Otsu, normally its 920 yen or so each way to get to Otsu from Umeda, but because we went to the cheap ticket place when we met in Umeda, we got round trip tickets for 1020 yen. So we saved more than 800 yen by making a quick 5 minute detour. We got seats on the train, which were really comfortable, and we got to Otsu no problem. The concert venue was about 20 minutes walking from the station, but we looked at a map and it was a really easy path, straight for a while, and then one turn. The one turn was at the lake, so it's not like we could pass it up unless we somehow didn't notice we were walking in water.

After we got to the venue, we noticed a bunch of people wearing purple and giving purple glowsticks. Apparantly, one of the band members, Mitsui Aika, is from Otsu, Shiga. So this is her hometown concert place. Everyone wanted to support her, so they were giving out free purple glowsticks, since purple is “her color” (each band member has a different color that's assigned to them). We took one each. We looked at the concert goods, too. I wanted a sports towel (because it's the only concert goods that I would actually USE,) but they were like, 2000 yen, which is way too much for a towel, so I didn't get anything. Andy got a picture set, which looked pretty good. Afte that, we got to our seats. We got 2nd row seats, kind of on the side of the theatre, but there was nobody behind us, and we were only 3 rows back. We had a bar in front of us too, so it was like we were in a little VIP section. And even tho it was the 2nd floor, it wasn't that much above the 1st floor. They were pretty close to the stage compared to other concerts I've been to. Maybe 50 feet? I could see each girl pretty clearly from where I was.

The concert got started and it was actually better than I expected. I didn't know as many songs as I would have liked to (since most were from their recent album, which I didn't purchase), but they all sang realy well, and the girls that usually get ignored actually got a lot of lines, and I didn't feel like they got ignored. Their outfits were cute, but not over the top, and the dances all looked good. Even tho it was their 2nd concert of the day, they still had a lot of energy. After the concert was almost over, the lights went off, and everyone took their purple glowsticks (Aika's color) and was waving it and chanting “A-I-KA! A-I-KA!” over and over. It was crazy. They came back out, did another 2 songs, everyone did their little speech, and it was cool. Then at the end, Aika came back out and said like, “Thank you” again. Overall it was fun. However, most of the fans were kind of umm...hardcore? I guess that's a nice way of putting it, but yeah...they're very dedicated to what they do, they knew all the dances and were totally wearing the concert “gear” and stuff. I personally just kinda waved the glowstick however I felt like, usually just in beat with the music, but some of these people are really into it, haha...Either way, Aika seemed really touched, and it was a nice gesture for them to get a buncha purple glowsticks to hand out to people.

After the concert, we went back to Umeda and met up with Mike, Sam and company. We went to the good cheese curry place, and Mike, Sam, and the others showed up with 5 minutes before the place closed. Tony was quite intoxicated, so he was a bit of a pain because he gets extremely loud, but everyone else ate and enjoyed the best cheese curry ever. I apologized to the guy who works at the cheese curry place, and we headed out of there. We played at Athena until closing and then went to this bar in Amerika-mura. It had a cover charge of 1500 yen with a free drink. I got a beer, but it was really loud and really crowded, so me and Sam stood off to the side talking. Around 2ish, I was dead tired, so I got out of there and went to the capsule hotel nearby. I went to sleep right away and woke up around 9ish. I took a bath, got ready and got out of there. I went to Athena and Denden for a while. I picked up some xbox s-video cables so I don't have to switch the cables from my CRT to my HDTV, I can just unplug one in the back of the 360 and plug the other in.

After a bit, I went back to Athena and played for a bit until Mike was ready and came up and got me. We all went to Kua Aina for food after that. Andy wasn't feeling like eating, so Emmet ate his food, but everyone else ate well enough. Everyone wanted to go to Osaka castle, so I figured “eh, I'll go with, why not?” because I wanted to hang out more. We got to Osakajo-koen station and it was packed. Apparantly there was a johnnys concert or something going on. Johnnys is pretty much the male version of hello project, but unlike hello project, where it's lots of 30's to middle aged men, it's a lot of younger girls, so it seems less creepy. We walked to the castle, and on the way, a buncha kids in baseball uniforms (maybe 2nd graders?) went HELLO!! to us. Me and Mike, being on the ball (and als having experience with this, haha) yelled “HELLO!!” back, while Tony stood there like “huh???” They came up and started shaking our hands, and stuff. Then they wanted to take a picture with us, so we did. It was awesome, they were cute kids.

We walked up to the castle, which is already on a hill, and then we got to the castle and because we didnt want to waste time waiting for the elevator, we walked up 8 flights of stairs up. The view was AWESOME, we got to see a lot of Osaka. It was really cool. The inside was ok. I like pots, but I don't need to see an entire floor of pottery, haha. After we finished looking around, taking pics, etc, we got out of there. Emmet was with Sam, and they went out first. I was with Andy, and we went out after that. We see Mike come out and see him walking our direction. However, his little brother wasn't with us (and lacks a cell phone, too). So we were like “oh man, I wonder if he thinks his brother is with us, let's see his reaction when we ask him where his brother is.” So he comes, and we're like “Sup, so where's your brother?” and he was like “WAIT, YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE HE IS?” It was suuuuper funny (at least to us). Apparantly, when we went to the 1st floor, he didn't notice so he was on the 2nd floor. Mike got him back so it was ok, but it was pretty funny. We relaxed around the castle while Andy was taking pics. We just chilled there, and when we were done, we headed to Umeda. Andy had to head back on the bullet train, so we said bye and parted ways.

I was planning on buying an Ipod touch, and Tony wanted to check out Yodobashi camera anyways for the figures and stuff. We went there and Tony picked up some stuff and used my point card. I got like, 5 bucks in points for free, woot. I saw that they had dream club plushies, but they were marked down from 3500 yen to 1000 yen. I picked up the Setsu plush for 1000 yen, because it was def worth it for that price. After that, I bought an ipod touch 32G. Got 15 bucks in points for that, so total right now, I have about 30 bucks in points! Not too bad. After that, I had to head back, so I parted ways with those guys and said I would try to come to Kanto sometime.

I got back, and set up my ipod touch, and named it “Eri” after my favorite idolm@ster character, and my favorite girl in Morning Musume. Looking forward to playing around with it this week!

Next week, I should be meeting up with Dan, who has been sick lately, so hopefully he'll be totally better by this weekend. Until next time!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Sadventures of Rob - Sicksicksicksicksick

Hey all. Last I left off was the really short blog post. I have a bit more time today to write, so I figure I can go into far more detail than I did in the last post. Hopefully itll at least be more interesting to read (or MORE boring depending on how you look at it).

Anyways, so I've been “sick” since the 8th. I've had various things from cough, to sore throat, cold etc. While I didn't know at the time, I THINK I know why I got the cough at least (which I actually still have, and it's March 30th today). Since it's been so cold out, not only has the weather affected my immune system, but I wasn't opening my windows enough and airing out my apartment properly, so I think the stuffiness, along with the cold weather, and this stale air probably caused me to get the cough while I'm sleeping, so instead of sleeping making me better, it was probably what caused me to get the cough in the first place. Nevertheless, I also think having the cough weakened my immune system. On Mar 11th, I went to the doctors because I was feeling worst than normal. He prescribed me some medicine. Apparantly, I got a sinus infection. Lucky me. So I had a cough and was constantly congested.

However, something good did happen that day! I got a package in the mail. It was an order I made at the “Foreign Buyers Club” website a month and a half ago. In it, I received:
6 cans of Tostido's brand Salsa con Queso, 12 bags of tortilla chips, a 3 lb box of cheez-its, and a box of 30 handy-snacks. Some of you may be going “EEEEW”, but feel free to laugh it up when I get fat. Hey, I might even hit a record high of 110 pounds! gasp

Anywho, the upcoming weekend was a 3 day weekend, so I already made plans a while ago for how to spend it. Sadly, after being sick and not really being in the right state of health to go out and do stuff, I went out anyways, cause I hate cancelling on people. Friday after work I left, and headed for Osaka. I met up with a friend there at Athena named “Archer”. He's a Japanese guy who works as an English translator. So I think he likes talking to me because he can practice his English. Anyways, we both play AH3. He uses Time Kamui, so he does a couple ground this into her 41236 move, then into time ball super, uses extend, combos for a bit, and then sets it up so he forces you to reset, but to be too far away to do anything about the arcana blaze super. So he gets like, a 35% damage combo, and then another one. Not too bad. I generally beat him when we play because he both lacks Petra experience, and lacks the patience to deal with bullets flying everywhere. We still have good sessions either way.

So I played a bunch that night, and ended up beating Kamei aka Guy-girl 5 times in a row at one point. He was pulling out a buncha different characters. After all was said and done, I won about 10 to his 3. The characters he used were Akane (his main), Catherine, Weiss, Liese, Sharl. He won one match with Cathy, Weiss, and Sharl each. A reason why I was winning was because he likes to do charge moves (charge [e]), so I just dodge it on reaction. He's also not quite used to Petra's new range and stuff either, it seems. I'm sure he'll beat me down hard the next time we play, but for now, it's nice to know I have the potential to be able to beat top players.

After that, I played on a different cab, and got 15 wins in a row vs various players. I got 4 in a row vs Tall Heart Man, which is really good because we usually go 1 for 1, so me taking 4 in a row felt nice. Archer almost beat me and ended my winstreak, but I got one lucky dodge A against him, into an air combo ending in j.236C, and ended up having enough homing to cancel down and do j.B 5A 623A+B. Had he bursted, he would have still been alive, but I dont think he was expecting to die from that. I had literally a pixel of health left. Then Guy-girl ended my streak with his Catherine after that. It was about 11PM, so I had to head out.

Because I was feeling kinda so-so, I went to Spa World (which may have been a mistake considering all the walking I had to do). It was nice to soak in the warm baths, and it felt good to sit in the steam sauna, but ultimately, I don't think it really did anything to help speed up the healing process, and overexerting myself by walking a bunch prolly cancelled it out. The real reason why I wanted to be in Osaka early was because I was meeting up with Alex and Dan in Denden town. So after my baths at spa world, I went to sleep. I woke up and just felt awful. My throat was dry, and I had a bottle of water, and even if I drank from it, my throat would get dry again within minutes. I was aching all over and moving was the last thing I wanted to do. But, I had to get out of there. I washed up and sat in some baths for a bit. I walked out of there feeling miserable and aching all over. I managed to stumble my way to Mr Donuts, got a few donuts for breakfast, and took mah meds. I walked over to Athena and hoped that playing games could make me feel less like death. It worked a bit. I practiced some combos in Melty Blood, but I definitely wasn't all there. I played a bit of Arcana, and while I was playing, Dan and Alex show up. I dunno if it was the meds, or maybe euphoria, but I started to feel better once they showed up and I started talking to them and stuff. Dan played a credit of Ah3 as Weiss (since we were still waiting for the denden stores to open up, while me and Alex watched some AH3 tourney vids and talked about pokemon cards and stuff.

After that, Alex wanted to go around to a few stores that had poke cards. Me and Dan walked around a few other stores. I picked up an Azusa plush for a friend to send him, and just walked around the other stores for a bit. Dan went back to Athena to play some BB:CS while Alex and I looked at cards and stuff. We were all done relatively quick. After that, we took the train to Umeda and went to Outback Steakhouse. Since it's Alex's birthday the next weekend, they sent him a coupon. He can either get a 2200 yen steak for free, or get 2200 yen off an entree of his choice. Pretty good deal for free. We got there, and as expected, it was delicious. The bloomin onion was the pinnacle of perfection. It was soooooooooooo good, and probably the most delicious thing I've eaten in a long time. My entree was Grilled Chicken with BBQ sauce on it, fresh veggies, and french fries. It was all amazingly good, and just as good as if I ordered it in a US outback. While I wasn't feeling the best, it was still really good, and I definitely plan on going back. At the end of our meal, they brought out this ice cream sundae which was one scoop of ice cream, and prolly 6 inches of whipped cream on top of it. They sang Happy Birthday to Alex, took a photo of the three of us, and after we finished the ice cream, they put his photo in a little paper frame and wrote “To Alex, Happy Birthday~” It was pretty cool.

After that, we took the JR back to Sannomiya. The weather was amazing, and because the JR train is mad quick, we made it to Sannomiya really quickly, with enough time to catch the bus back to Ono. Me and Alex talked the whole time and Dan was asleep for 90% of it. We got back to Ono, and got to my place, and I was extremely relieved to be home. Better to be sick at home than to be sick 4 hours away.

After we got back, we watched a bit of K-on, and then started playing Mahjong while watching K-on, and while eating tortilla chips and salso con queso. We played a game, and after that, went to the Ramen place. Alex and Dan wanted to get “bari-bari” ramen, which is extremely spicy ramen. I got Bari 2, which is like, mid level. Normally I like Bari 1, but I wanted to burn this infection out of my system. We were all in pain after eating our spicy ramen, but it was quite awesome. Alex said that he has to part ways with the Bari-bari though, and that he's never doing that again. We went back to the apartment, tried out ths Naruto game for the PS3 that I borrowed from Andrew. Laughed at how bad it was. I showed them FFXIII, and then since I was feeling not too good, and Alex was tired, we just went to bed.

We woke up, got ready, and played one last game of mahjong. We played until we had to leave to catch the bus. We took the bus to Sannomiya. Dan had work on the monday, while me and Alex had it off, so Dan headed back right away to Tsuruga, which is like, 5+ hours from Ono. Ugh. I wanted to take Alex to the Panda store that I saw when I went to Chinatown, so we started walking toward there. We stopped at the kobe rashabang, and a few stores that were selling poke cards just so alex could check them out. He ended up finding a couple he wanted, so that's cool. After that, we walked to the Panda store. We found a couple stores that looked like it, but since I forgot exactly where it was, we had to ask around. We did eventually find the place, and I got Alex's birthday present, which was a sports bag that looked like a Puma logo, but it said “Panda” on it instead. I had to head out to go to Andrews place to eat dinner and play some Street Fighter, so I let Alex hang out at the Panda store and take his time browsing, while I headed to Nishinomiya.

I decided to take JR since it's closer to where I was, and Andrew said he can direct me. I get to the station, and I end up walking kinda in the direction he said to, and follow a few things he says, but then I don't really see other stuff that matches what he told me, so I just kinda picked a direction that I felt was right and started walking. I didn't really know where I was going, but I knew I HAD to be close, and the Andrew called, asked where I was, and I was like “don't worry I'll find my way, there's just buildings and stuff I guess”. And then in middle of the phone call, I was like “oh, im somehow right in front of your building” and he was like “yo what?” So yeah, just picking a direction and walking and “feeling” the way to go ended me exactly where I needed to be.

I got there, Jeff (Azrael), John (Fireballtrap), and Eddy (Kunai) were there. I played a couple matches of SFIV, but I was sucking it up bad and only managed to play well against Eddy. We went to Nishinomiya gardens to this one buffet place that had a buncha various kinds of Japanese food and ate as much as we could. Many good times were had, and overall, even the fish wasn't too bad. Not my preferred choice of food, but not bad at all either.

We headed back to Andrews place after that, played more SF for a little and then we put on the “Earth” series movies on blue ray. It was about Caves, Deserts, and Ice Worlds. It was pretty neat, penguins are my favorite animal, so I liked the section that had them. There were some other interesting things in the vid too, but yeah. Andrew also got Tomodachi Collection for the DS, so we also spent a buncha time making avatars of each other. It was a lotta fun overall.

Me and Eddy spent the night, and since I wasn't 100%, I just wanted to head back home and relax. I was feeling fine until I got home, then I felt like I had a fever coming. I took a nap and hoped it would go away, and of course it didn't. Tuesday/Wed I went to school with a fever. Tuesday wasn't too bad, but Wed was killer. My head was killing me, etc. I was fine and acted like I was fine through the ending ceremony but after that, I just felt like crap. I ended up napping in the nurses office for a bit. Of course, evne tho its late march, it was still freezing outside, but not only was it cold, it was raining. I went too the doctors after work, and yeah, all my side effects were from the fever. I got meds, went home, and knocked myself out. I called in sick on Thursday and Friday, and just took it easy and relaxed. I slept a lot, and spent a lot of time just watching TV and going on the computer. I started to feel better around Saturday, but I still decided to take it easy and stay indoors. I stayed inside and only left once to get some food/oj.

Over that weekend, I beat Tales of Graces for the wii, thankfully. I didn't really feel like finishing FFXIII, and I have other games I would kinda rather be playing. Aside from that, I just played a lot of SFIV online. However, I was doing pretty poorly, it felt like my stuff wasn't coming out when I wanted it, and I couldn't break throws, etc. Then I tried a match of Blazblue, and instantly realized that the TV was lagging like crazy. I dragged my old CRT into the main room, and hooked up my 360 to that. Instantly, I was able to tell the difference. I went and started playing more, and I was able to actually play correctly, without the lag handicap. Kind of a dumb mistake, but oh well. My setup now is pretty neat, because I can play SFIV on the small TV, and watch TV on the big TV, or put on a movie, or whatever. There's a lot I can do, and because I use floor chairs, it's easy to move them and I don't have to rearrange any furniture.

Last night the school had a party for the teachers who are leaving in a nice hotel in Sannomiya (90 min away by bus). It was nice to see them off, but it was kind of expensive, a lot of commute time, and still mad cold. Oh well.

This weekend, Andy (Capps), Mike (Elvenshadow) and a few other guys who live in kanto are coming to Kansai for spring break, so I'm gonna take Friday off of work and meet up with them. It should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Sadventures of Rob - Shortest post covering 3 weekends ever

Wow, it's been a while since I updated. I keep forgetting to write and the less often I write, the more of a task it becomes.

Anyways, no major life changes these past few weeks. Friday Night the 26th, I went to Bills place, and then played some TvC. We played for a while, recorded some matches which are up on youtube, and then since we were getting bored of games and wanted to do something else, we went Karaoke at the place in Ono. After we were done there, we went back, and I went to sleep.

The next day, I planned to meet up with Alex kinda early, but we were both mad tired, so we decided to meet up a bit later. I got to Namba around 4ish or so? Met up with Alex and CJ, and we went around some stores in denden, and I got vol 1 of k-on on blue ray for 1800 yen! We went to Kua Aina, this burger place and got giganto burgers. It was an awesome meal. Alex and CJ headed out soon after, and I just killed some time playing at Athena until I went to the capsule hotel for the night.

Sunday night, I went to Sannomiya and met up with Andrew. There was a location test for the new JuBeat. It's a lot less lenient in letting you pass “expert”. Now you can't even pass it unless you have like, at least an S on the previous game. There was supposed to be this other game on loctest, but we didn't see it. After that, we just killed some time at Magical Space. They had a special for Ah3 where it was 2 credits for 100 yen. Normally it's 1 credit, and only 2/3 rounds, so it's totally not worth it. But at 2 credits, it became worth it. I played a bunch and generally won my matches. I caught the last bus back and headed to bed after I got back.

The next week was extremely long for some reason. Longer than normal. There wasn't anything special about it either, it just felt like it took forever to finish.

After the long week ended, it was time for the weekend. I hung out with Maria, Bill, and Sarah (ALT who lives next door) and we went to the Ramen place, and watched Usavich, and various TV channels on my giganto TV.

Saturday, I went to Kobe/Osaka, and went around a buncha stores. Sat night, I headed out to Alex's place, met up with Dan, and hung out for a bit in Maibara until Alex got there. CJ was there too and we just kinda hung out doing whatever. We went to Cocos for lunch and we ate some curry. Me and Dan headed to Osaka after that, and Dan bought a buncha new games. We walked around the Den and went to Athena for a bit.

The next week went by fast. Wed was graduation here, so there was a party afterwards with the teachers, so that was my wed night. Aside from that, since I had a cough/cold, I didn't really feel like doing anything cause being sick sucks. Saturday night, I ended up in Umeda, Osaka, so I just went to Monte 50 and played AH3/MBAA/BBCS there until 11ish, and then I headed to my usual manga kissa. I also went to the pokemon center in Osaka while I was there, and got some stickers for school, and a small Piplup/Pocchamaa plush for my counter.

Sunday I went around the Den by myself, and found the Azusa/Yui new k-on plush set for pretty cheap. I went to Athena after that and played a ton of AH3, and a bit of MB/BB.

So I've kinda been busy, but kinda not. My very monotonous lifestyle leaves little to the imagination, but I guess you guys know I'm alive so it's cool.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Can you handle this?

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/9140/awesomerb.jpg

Can you?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sadventures of Rob - Upgrading

Hey all, I have some free time, so I decided to write a bit. I last left off before the thursday holiday (National Foundation Day). Some people prefer to have a day off of Monday or Friday for the 3 day weekend, but for me, since I don't really go on that many trips, when I get days off in the middle of the week, its really cool because it allows me to go to Kobe or Osaka on a weeknight, and then stay over for a night, like a mini-weekend. It divides my week into two smaller weeks. So I had 3 days of work, which went by quickly. After work on Wed, I headed out to Osaka to meet with Andrew, his GF Ibuki, and a friend of hers.

We met up, and hung out, waiting for Ibuki's friend to show up, but she didn't show up when she said she would, and she was unreachable on her cell phone. We went to dinner anyways, and had a good meal at this indonesian resturant or something. It was funny because when we walked in, there were like, a buncha staff members all showing the way to a seat, like, every 2-3 feet, there's a staff member smiling and being all “THIS WAY!” Same thing when we left, everyone lined up and was like “THANK YOU”. Quite interesting. After that, Ibuki's friend showed up, and we met up with her and then went Karaoke for like, an hour. It went by pretty quickly and it was fun. After that, everyone had to leave, so I went to Namba and went to the 12 hour manga cafe. They were out of mat booths, but they had reclining chairs, so I just opted for that. Usually, when I get a reclining chair room, I just sleep on the floor, but this time, there wasn't nearly enough space, so I ended up having to sleep on the chair itself. I usually have problems because its not completely flat, but rather more like a 45 degree angle reclined. However, I managed to position myself comfortably ENOUGH to be able to fall asleep for a good portion of the night. After getting better sleep than I thought, I got up, and reserved the shower room (free shower with the 12 hour pack). About an hour later, they came by, I took a shower, and then went on the internet a little more before I headed out.

I left the manga cafe, and of course, where do I go? Athena. I got there, and there were a few people there already. There was a gdlk Liese player going up against guy-girl. I went around to see who it was, and I recognized him as the Tokyo player Furiita. I also saw Pincho, and a Tokyo Petra player. They only played on cabs that were 2/3 rounds (I guess because Arcana is a way diff game when played 3/5 rounds), so they actually changed one of the machines from 3/5 to 2/3 rounds. I played against Pincho for a bit, and he destroyed me 8-2. It was really fun because he straight up exploited my weaknesses, so I learned a lot from playing, but it felt too short. Oh well. After everyone left, I was getting hungry, so I left too and went to get my usual cheese curry. It was delicious as ever, and since I was already up and about, I decided to walk around the den. Being on the hunt for K-on plushies as usual, I spotted a DX Mugi plush for 1500 yen, and since I was missing her, I picked it up. Now I just need the DX Ritsu plush to have the set. I didn't buy anything else, if I remember correctly.

I went back to Athena, played more Arcana/Melty/Blaz whatever. It was good times overall. They're pretty hardcore there, so I feel like I have to play my best just to hang, but that makes me better in the long run. I was kinda getting bored though, so I headed back a bit early and just hung out at home.

Back in Ono, after having it feel like my weekend is over, it's Friday, and I go to work, and finish it up, and before I know it, it's another weekend! Alex just got back from a trip to Hokkaido, so I haven't seen him or talked to him for like, a week. I wanted to see Dan, too, and since Dan was going to Alex's place in Shiga, I definitely had to go. I set out Friday, but I barely missed the bus (that comes once an hour) by two minutes. So I went to the train station instead, and just missed the train (leaves every 15 minutes) by 1 minute. I got to Sannomiya, and ate a beef bowl with cheese at the Sukiya there before transferring to the 2 and a half hour train to Alex's place. I got to the station, and I walked in, and it turns out, I missed the train by one minute, and now I have to wait a half hour for the next one. Worst train day EVER. Then, I was writing a long email on my cell phone to Alex, when I hit the wrong button, and it all got cleared. So I'm kind of annoyed at this point. However, once I got on the train, and got going, everything was fine. I got to Alex's place, and we just chilled there. While there, FINALLY, after a long time, I beat idolm@ster for the DS. For those who read my blog and pay careful attention to little details that they probably don't care about, you'll remember I bought the Eri character CD a while back. The first song is probably my favorite track on the CD, so I've been listening to it a bunch. This one communication in the game came up, where your producer gives you a piece of paper left by her old boss, and Eri starts reading it, and reads the lyrics to the song. Then, one of those things where they give you 3 options and you have to get it correct came up, and since I knew it was the lyrics, I hit “lyrics” and I was like “hah, for the first time since playing, I'm not just guessing and hoping I hit the right option!” (Because even if I know what they mean, it's sometimes hard to tell which one will be the best answer). It's something dumb, and I was really happy. But, there's always been a song that you can't unlock with Eri. Turns out, the song on the character CD ended up being that song! Awesome! So now that I beat the game, I have the song unlocked in stage mode, so I can just play it whenever I want with Eri. Sweet.

After that, I crawled under Alex's kotatsu and went to sleep there.

We woke up, I got showered and ready, and we headed out to Minami Hikone, which is this area where there's a buncha cool stuff and stores and whatnot. We headed out and went to the train station. We missed the train, so we had to wait for a bit. While we were waiting, this little kid comes up, and apparantly is a student of Alex's. He's like, 1st grade in elementary school. He runs to Alex and does this little kid like GRR ATTACK!!! play thing with him. He then looks at me, and asks me who I am, and asks if I'm a friend of Alex's. I'm like “yeah, I'm another English teacher like him”. He's like “OK!” and then he starts attacking me, too, haha. He sees my bag, and sees this little cross thing stuck on there and tries taking it. Then, he sees my jacket, and I'm like, “isn't it cool?” and he's like “meh”. After that, he uses the fur on my jacket and was making a mustache out of it. It was pretty funny. His older brother (5th grade?) was there, too, and was talking to us for a bit, too, asking where we were going and stuff. His grandmother or whoever looked really apologetic to us like “I'm sorry he's bothering you” and all that stuff, but it was funny, and it killed time spent waiting.

Anyways, we get there and the first place we go is Coco's for Lunch. I got my cheese curry, plus a piece of Nan bread, and it was suuuuuuuuper good. Near the end tho, it pretty much killed me, and I had to struggle to finish the last few bites, but I did it. After that, we went to the big shopping center Vivre. We stopped by the arcade because we wanted to play Taiko, but there were these 6 or 7 high school students. They brought their own sticks, and pretty much set up camp. When one was finished, the next would go, and there was no room for others in this equation. We figured that we would go and come back in a few hours and they would be gone, so we left. We went to these game stores, and checked out prices. At the GEO store, I saw some k-on blue rays for fairly cheap, so I kept note of that, but didn't really see anything else. We went to the book-off/arcade. While looking around for books there, I noticed they had volumes 3-7 of Shikigami no Shiro (originally a shmup) for only 100 yen each! I got vol 1 and 2 a while back, but I couldn't find 3-7 anywhere, much less for cheap. So I got the 5 comics, and they were only 5 bucks for the whole of them! The problem was more carrying these things since it's a pain to carry anything, haha.

After that, we went upstairs to the arcade. I don't know how it stays in business cause it's like, ALWAYS dead, but whatever. Maybe they know something I don't. I saw some guy playing Street Fighter IV, so I played against him. I lost the first match, but then won the next one. He left, and so I started playing the computer. Another guy came up to play me and I ended up winning like, 3 times in a row! He left after that, I beat the game, and then we headed out of there. We went back to the namco arcade (it's been a couple hours at this point, I think?) and they're still there, but they reverted from doing 2 players at the same time, to 1 person playing, and a second person playing on the 2nd drum, but without a score and stuff. So cheap. I didn't feel like waiting around, or getting in there, so we just headed back.
We get back to Alex's place and I just head under the kotatsu and relax there until it's about time to go meet dan. We meet up with him at the Ramen place, have dinner there, and then head to the Red Velvet Lounge. There's a buncha old people there singing Enka like usual. We decided not to bother and went back to Alex's place and play Mahjong. We end up doing a game, and at the end, I get a really good hand and win. We decide to try out the Red Velvet Lounge one more time, in hopes that the old people (who have probably been there all day) would finally have left, but nope, they're STILL there. We hope that if we go there, they'll leave after a bit, but of course, that doesn't work. They've already set up camp. Alex brings this beer and so we drink some and we get a turn every once in a while. We're singing mostly stuff that isn't too “embarassing?” Just normal J-stuff, or popular English songs or whatever. We're then sick of hearing Enka at this point because every song sounds exactly the same, and these people aren't leaving, so me and Alex duet Fuwafuwa time and troll the old people, and then we leave. We play another game of Mahjong and Alex ends up getting a bomb hand and wins the match. It was mad fun, but I had to get up early the next day, so I didn't want to stay up too late.

After I go to bed, I get up, and leave. I do some stuff somewhere, I don't remember. Anyways, after that, Andrew calls me, and says he's meeting up with his friends in Sannomiya and going to eat. I say I'm down, and I go with him. So me, Andrew, and 5 girls (including Ibuki) end up going out to this Indian Resturant. We eat there, it was really good. Afterwards, I have to head back and catch the last bus.

The next week was pretty easy at work, not much going on, just a lotta tales of graces. I caught a cold sometime tuesday, so that was pretty annoying, so I just went home and relaxed and slept more than usual. I felt really bad Thursday night, but I was at about 95% by Saturday. Saturday I didn't do much, but I went to Andrews place and slept over there. We played some SFIV but I suck at it now, so I either have to grin and bear it, and get better, or just straight up stop playing. I can't decide atm which I want to do. Oh well. We went to bed after that.

Sunday, we got up and went to Coco's for some curry. Andrew had some stuff to do in Osaka, and I wanted to go to Sannomiya and play games. I head to Sannomiya, play some games and stuff. I remember that there's a Blazblue CS tourney at the Sannomiya Sanx. I decide to give the game another shot in tourney. I get in a pool with a Litchi, a carl, and a bang. The litchi pretty much owns me. He was good and his character is S+ tier. I beat the carl player. Last is the bang player. He's just this random scrub that I would see around. I beat him first round, but 2nd and 3rd round, because he's bang, he gets high damage off of dumb hits and I end up losing. So yeah, I lost to a Bang and a Litchi in my pool. I leave after that and play some Melty at Magical Space. I see this H-Miyako there, and I'm like “oh man, I can beat this guy” and he owns me 2 games in a row before I beat him. He switches to his main, F-Sion, and we go about 2 wins for him before I win one. Then we go even for a bit, and at the end, he gets two wins, and I call it quits.

After that, I walk around the anime store area of sannomiya, just killing time and whatnot. I meet up with Andrew and stuff. We play at arcades for a bit, then go get some food. We have some time to kill, so I stop in the Sannomiya Labi/Yamada Denki store. I check the TV floor just for kicks. I saw a cheap 90,000 yen TV marked down to 60,000. I decide I'm gonna invest and just get it. We get some food first and I think it over anyways. I go back and ask the guy about it. He says that while the TVs are cheap, they're not exactly high quality. I say I'll think it over and I talk to my friend. We look at more TVs. I see a 37 inch Toshiba TV. Normally 180,000 yen, it's marked down to 134,000 or so for the day. The thing is, you get a bonus 20% points. So you get like, 27,500 worth of points for getting the TV. I decide on it, and after looking at how nice the quality is and everything, I'm like “man, this is awesome,” I gotta do it. So I call the guy over and we get it done. I just bought a big TV to be delivered to my place out in the boonies for free.

Now that I had like, 28,000 yen in points (I had points from before), I used those and just bought a ps3 and paid 1,780 for it. I just carried that home tho, no need to like, have that delivered.

So yeah, interesting turn of events that night went to.

Monday, I got home from work and played a buncha tales of graces. Tuesday, I had errands to run. I went to the dept store and checked out TV stands, but didn't see one I liked. I got some McDonalds for dinner and stuffed it in my bag and left. I biked over to the home improvement store. I saw a TV stand there that I liked and it was reasonably priced. I picked it up and after I bought it, I realized “How the hell am I gonna carry this home?” So I put it on my bike and kinda balanced my bike while pushing it. I did that for about a block before I was like “man, something is gonna fall SOMETIME.” I decided to quit while I was ahead and just park my bike in this empty parking lot, and just carry the darn thing home. I walked maybe a half a block before stopping each time. By the time I got home, I was drenched in sweat, and my arms were numb. But I got it home! I ate my burger, and then got to work. I moved the TV from the main room into my bedroom, and moved the desk from my bedroom into the spare room I don't use. I then built the new TV stand. It was kind of a pain, but I did it, despite instructions being in Japanese. The only thing is, I put one part that was supposed to be facing forward on backwards. It's on the botttom shelf, so it's hard to see, but I was just like “whatever, I'm not taking it apart again. It's fine.” I set up the 360, the ps3, and put my joysticks/controllers etc in their spots. Awesome. I just chilled for the rest of the night.

Wed comes around, and my TV finally shows up. The guys come and they build it and everything. They show me how to use it, and I ask about the games, and they plug the systems in, and talk to me about games. One of the dudes says he has a ps3 too, and was telling me a few games he likes and stuff. It was pretty sweet. I don't have any ps3 games yet, so I can't play it, but I booted up my 360. I fixed the settings, and tried some idolm@ster live for you. It was ok, but I wanted to play some Street Fighter or something. I played online, but did poorly, so I shut it off, and decided to go to the Ono city pool. I'm really out of shape so I want to kinda start getting back into shape, but I don't really want to lift weights, so I figure swimming might be the way to go (at least thats what my friends are saying). I went there, it's really easy, 500 yen to get in, and that's it. I got in, changed, threw my stuff in a locker, and did a few laps back and forth. It was a ton of kids in a swimming class, and then nobody using the “free” lanes. So I pretty much had it all to myself. I guess there are perks to living in a somewhat rural town. Anyways, after maybe 20 minutes or so, I was drained, so I left (don't want to overdo it at first). I biked home and by that time, I was so tired, all I could do was lay in bed motionless. After 20-30 minutes, I felt better tho, and went up to Bill's place and played some TvC.

Yesterday (thursday), I had laundry, so I did that, and since it was too late to go to the pool, I decided to take a bike ride around Ono, since the weather is so nice (It was around 50-60 degrees most of yesterday). There's this one ramen place that I go to sometimes, and while it's really good, I was wondering if there's anything PAST that. I biked past there for maybe a mile or so, but there really wasn't much of anything. Oh well, it was still good exercise. Maybe one of these days I'll try to go to the next city over, which might be like, 40 minutes or so.

Anyways, it's friday! This weekend seems like it'll be pretty epic. I'll hit the pool again tonite, and then just relax with my new giganto TV and some games. Peace!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Sadventures of Rob - New blog name

Hey guys, it's been a couple weeks since I updated but here's what happened since:

So after my last entry, I had a 6 day work week, because of a marathon at my school on Saturday where I had mandatory attendance. So after spending half the day standing in a rice field pretty much freezing, I was able to go home. I got ready and headed out to Osaka. Dan and Toshi went to see Avatar, and I was gonna meet up with them afterwards at Athena. I got some Cheese Curry, and went to Athena and played some AH3. I was doing pretty good, and then Dan and Toshi showed up. We continued to play some more, and Dan played Toshi a bunch. I originally met Toshi because of Arcana 1, so he was interested in AH3, but Lilica, being DRASTICALLY different from how she was in ah1, proved to be very difficult to Toshi, and Dan ended up winning vs Toshi most of the time simply by doing 2BC 236A+B with heart. Good work, Swede.

After that, we headed to that pizza place that I went to the week before. Not going alone makes it a LOT less awkward. We got a pepperoni pizza and some nachos. It was pretty good. A bit expensive of course, but the pizza was good and the nachos were decent. We juts hung around and chatted and we had some drinks, too. After that, Toshi had to head out, but me and Dan stayed at Athena and played around there for a bit. Around 11:40ish, we headed out and went to the 10 hour manga cafe.

We got there and we started to talk about whatever. About 20 minutes after being there, we got a knock on the door from the staff guy. Even though we were whispering, apparantly we were talking too loudly. So instead of just asking us to be quiet, the person got up, went upstairs, found a staff guy, and told him instead. Way to avoid confrontations, Japan. Oh well. Me and Dan ended up talking via IRC even tho we were right next to each other in the booths. Pretty dumb, and I don't think we were even that loud, but whatever, not worth getting annoyed over. Anyways, I went to bed early (1am ish...well...that's early for a sat night). I woke up around 8:30 and wanted to shower. I went to the front desk and asked them if I can reserve a shower. They said nobody is in it right now. I was surprised cause usually there's a long line. I then noticed the price changed from 200 yen to 500 yen for a shower, but includes a few more things. Oh well, I really wanted to take a shower cause if I don't, then my hair looks kinda greasy, and I needed to get it cut anyways, and if it's too long and greasy, it just looks REALLY bad. Man, I'm so metro.

Anyways, I showered and stuff. I don't like how I can't get a hot shower, but rather a lukewarm shower. I mean, I'm paying 5 bucks for a shower, at least give me WARM water. I'll settle for warm, but that lukewarm temperature reminds me of my old apt where I would be shivering, and getting out of the shower was even colder than getting in the shower. I'm glad I don't live there anymore, but back to the real point, I got showered and stuff. Dan woke up a bit later and we hung out at the manga cafe until it was time to go around 10.

We got some cheese curry for breakfast and then walked around Denden town. I traded in Oboromuramasa at A-too and got 4000 yen for it! Considering I paid 5000 yen for it, getting 4/5 back what I paid for it (since that was around June/July) is awesome. We looked around at game prices and at denden in general. Around 4:30ish, after we ate McDonalds at the Bic Camera, we headed out to Andrew's place in Nishinomiya like, 30-40 min away. We got there and he let us in, and we hung out and played games until like, 10PM. We played some DOA4. Dan tried Demon's Souls on Andrew's ps3, and was using Eddys character. He was doing ok, but he got owned by this one boss and killed Eddy's character. It was pretty funny. We watched the pixar movie “Up” on blue ray first, then we played some mario wii for a while, but I forgot my wii-mote, so we ended up doing only 2 player Mario and just taking turns for each level.
After we were done with our fun there, me and Dan took the train back to Osaka and went to Spa World. We spent the night there and went in the baths and the saunas and whatnot. It was really nice. There was this one dude who brought his (what looked like) 7 or 8 year old daughter there. Now I know Spa World is a nice place and it's really cheap and all, but I wouldn't bring my naked daughter in a place where a bunch of older guys hang out. Like, real talk, safe or not, it's just not something that I would want to do if I ever had a daughter. I went to sleep around midnite and slept pretty well. I got up around 8ish and I was just so tired that I didn't even want to MOVE for the first 15 minutes, so I just layed there until Dan woke up. We got up and went through the baths again. We finished and got out of there.

It was 9AMish by the time we got out there, so we just walked to McDonalds and had breakfast there. We didn't have anything else to do for the time being so we just walked on over to Athena. We played some AH2. Dan played some Heart, and I played as some Maori. We then played some BB, and once 11ish hit, we went to Denden Town. Surprisingly, for a monday morning, there were a lot of people playing BB. Dan was gonna buy a PS3 so we hit up a couple stores and he decided to pick it up at A-too. While I was there, I saw Tales of Graces for the wii for 4000 yen. I've been really wanting to play it, but I wasn't sure. I then saw a strategy guide for 100 yen, so I decided to just pick it up, unsure of whether spending 4000 yen on a game that I hear has a lot of bugs is worth it. Dan picked up his PS3 and he was pretty happy it seems. After that, Dan wanted to head back to Tsuruga (for good reason). I already told Andrew that I would have dinner with him in Osaka around 7ish, and it was only about noon at the time. I was feeling really tired but I don't like cancelling plans at the last minute just because I'm tired, so I decided to just go to Athena while Dan went home and then see how I felt after playing some more arcana.

At athena, I started off playing my Maori against some Kira player. I beat him 2 out of 3 times or so, and we had some good matches. There was this Time Lilica player who was doing some crazy combos that had some sick 50/50 resets, but I was still able to beat him by mashing j.A with Maori, so that's pretty cool. I got like, 13 wins total before I ended up beating the game. The new character was unlocked earlier that morning, and so a bunch of people came on like, their lunch break or whatever to try her out. I don't care about her, I like Maori better anyways as a secondary. After a while of that, I ended up seeing this Yoriko player who I call “Nelson” because he has a giganto overbite that looks like Nelson's from the Simpsons. Normally, in AH2, Nelson would beat me, but in AH3, now that Petra is way cheaper...er...more solid, I was able to not only beat him, but get streaks on him. We played for a pretty long time. It died out a bit, so I went and played some Blaz or something. I confirmed my dislike of the game, and then went back to Arcana. This time, there was this one guy there who played as Weiss. I was beating him pretty bad for the most part. There was this one match where he got 2 rounds in a row on me, and then not only did I come back and win the match after being down 0-2, but I did it by getting 3 perfects in a row. I felt like I just trolled him super hard. This Fiona player whose pretty good showed up and played. I played him, but after a match or two, my button broke. I had to get the guy to fix it, and I got a credit free. But like, I was supposed to leave to meet Andrew really soon, so I had to pick Maori predicting I would lose. I won one then lost to his Dorothy, and I headed out after that to meet Andrew.

I met Andrew at Umeda, and we met up with his girlfriend at Juso (really close to Umeda, kind of a shady area apparantly). We went to this Indian resturant that was really good. It was a lot of fun, but it got to be about 8:30-9ish, so I had to head back.

The next week, I was way too tired on Tuesday, so I just napped, but Wed I played a bunch of Tales of Graces. Thursday, I played the new TvC with Bill, and just like that, I was back out on Friday. I went to Sannomiya first, ate some cheese curry and ended up beating this guy in AH3 with multiple double digit winstreaks. The thing is, unlike Athena, where it's 3/5 rounds for 50 yen, this was 2/3 rounds for 100 yen. And those rounds go by FAST. Dude spent like 3000 yen playing against me while I only spent like, 400. Good times. I headed out after that and went to Athena. There was a ranking battle going on that I just missed (didn't know there WAS one going on, oh well). But everyone was there, so I just played a buncha casuals. Around 10:45ish, I headed to the GOOD internet cafe, the 12 hour one for 1900 yen that comes with a free shower. I slept really well and I had a shower and everything. I spent a buncha time just browsing the net and doing whatever. It was around 11ish by the time I got out of there, so Denden was already open. I headed to Sofmap and picked up the Yui/Mio k-on plushies that I was looking at before. It was lunchtime already so I went and ate some cheese curry at the good place across from Athena. I went to Athena after that and just chillaxed and played AH3 until Alex showed up and met me there around 2ish or so. We walked around Denden looking at stuff, and Alex sold a bunch of games that he doesn't play and got a decent amount for them.

Alex actually came planning to meet up with some friends of his from Shiga. We were supposed to go to this Ramen place in Umeda that's supposedly GDLK, but not 30 seconds after we bought our tickets for the train, did they call and go “oh btw, it's closed right now”. We ended up going there anyways and going to Yodobashi Camera. Before we got in, we saw an advertisement for FFXIII with the black guy on this pretty big poster, so Alex went and took a picture next to it. Alex saw a Dedede plush and got a couple waddle dees to go with it too. He had a point card with a ton of points on it so he pretty much got the Dedede plush for free. Pretty awesome, and he was super happy. We went to this place in Umeda, HIPS or something, and ate at a resturant there. After that, me and Alex headed to Monte Carlo to wait for Dan. Alex said he was content watching me play AH3, but then I remembered that they had the Usagi mahjong game there on vs mode. Since it's a team game, both players pick their partner and their character. We played against each other for at least an hour on like, maybe 2-3 bucks each. It was rediculously fun, and I got a buncha crazy hands, and Alex did too, but wasn't used to playing in the arcades, so he wasn't able to finish many of them. Anyways, Dan showed up and then we played a couple more rounds and then went to the nearby Hub in Umeda.

At the Hub, it was mad crowded, typical for a Sat night I guess. I got a Zima and a mojito, and Alex and Dan got some long island iced teas, and a beer or something, as well as food. We just chilled and ate some fries and stuff. Alex had to go around 9 something though, so he could catch his train. Me and Dan then went to Athena after that. We went and tried to play Arcana but I wasn't feeling it. I almost beat guy-girl, but I lost at the last second because the wrong move came out when I had the winning combo. It's cool though, prolly my own fault anyways. I decided that playing BB would prolly be more suited to my current mindset and I was right. I ended up with like, a 13 winstreak before losing to (surprise!) a mashy Tager. Its all good cause it was about time to head out.

We grabbed some food from McDonalds before going to the capsule hotel. We stayed in the one that's a bit cheaper, but has the bath on the 7th floor, with big glass windows of a view that overlooks osaka buildings. So we get to stand there naked and show our nakes selves to the world...from 7 floors up. It's a pretty crazy feeling but yeah, me and Dan just hung out, took a nice bath and stuff. We even submerged ourselves in the cold water bath and then went back to the hot water. That's intense. It sounds easy, but it's extremely hard to do and really takes a whole seperate mindset to be able to do it. Thankfully, we were able to just jump in the hot water bath after that, but it's pretty crazy cause like, after you get in the hot water, its hard to tell whether its actually hot or cold and kinda just gives this weird feeling at first before you get used to it.

After we were done there, we headed to our capsules. The TV was already on and playing some extremely low quality adult entertainment. Everything was mosaic'd out so badly that it was impossible to see like, ANYTHING, much less get entertainment out of it. However, it was the only TV channel that was completely clear. Every other channel had static, which is actually pretty funny. I was mad tired anyways so I just went to bed not soon after. It was really hot in the capsule so I ended up just sleeping naked with no blanket. I slept decent enough I guess.

After we both got up, we went back and took our morning bath. We got out of there around 945ish. We got breakfast at the same McDonalds we stopped at the night before and relaxed for a bit. Naturally, since nothing else was really open, we just went to a couple arcades. We played some of the new Taiko game. They got the new im@s song from the DS version in at Taiko, so me and Dan played that. We eventually went to Athena again. Dan tried out Weiss (sword girl) in AH3. He likes sword characters, and she's fairly simple so he might use her now. After that, we headed out to Denden since it was opened by that time. We walked around all the usual stores. I had some manga I wanted to buy, as well as looking around at just games and stuff in general. We made the rounds, hit up A-too, because Dan wanted to trade in a game he just beat for the ps3. We then went back to Athena to kill time and wait for Toshi because he said he was gonna come down at 4PM. 4PM rolls around and toshi then sends a message saying he can't come. Grrr. Oh well. We go to Mandarake because I haven't been there in forever, and we look around there. It was interesting, but as usual, nothing to really buy except a manga that I wanted.

We headed out and went to Subway after that. We had some food and then we were both kind of ready to go back. I realized that if I went back to Athena, I wouldn't be there long enough for it to even be worth it. I just headed back home and took the train to Sannomiya. I just missed my bus so I had some time to kill before the next one, and I just walked around for a bit. I got to my bus and took it home and got home early enough to talk to friends online and stuff.

Last week, I played more TvC with Bill, and on days when I wasn't doing that, I was playing Tales of Graces, which I really like. I like the new battle system, and the main guy character, as well as most of the side characters are pretty likable IMO. The story isn't too bad either. Not nearly as “epic” as the other ones right now, but still quite interesting nonetheless.

This week, however, I decided to stay in on Friday. I went to Bill's place and a few of us ending up drinking alcohol and watching a really bad movie starring Chuck Norris called “The Forest Warrior” which is one of those straight-to-video movies, and it's directed by Aaron Norris, his brother. It was pretty cool, theres a scene where he transforms from a hawk into Chuck Norris and does a flying kick on these evil lumberjack guys trying to cut down trees and stuff. Not to give away anything, but there is a scene where Chuck Norris turns into a bear. REAL TALK, Chuck Norris straight up turns into a bear. First he was Chuck Norris. Then he was a bear. It was probably the most amazing scene in a film that I've ever seen.

Anyways, that was fun and all, and then we just talked for a while before we had to head out. I went back down to my apartment and stayed online for a while before passing out. I woke up mad early because I have a hard time sleeping past 8:30 thanks to my curtains blocking absolutely no light. I got up and did some stuff, ate some breakfast, cleaned up, etc. Around 11ish, I headed to Sannomiya, like usual. I played some MBAA at Magical space for a bit, then headed out and checked out the Rashabang and Melon books and those kinds of stores. Then, I played some AH3 at Sega Sannomiya Sanx, where they increased it to 3/5 rounds for 100 yen as opposed to the usual 2/3 rounds. I beat this one Yoriko player like, 4 times in a row before he stopped, and I just went on and beat the game.

Around 7ish, I was done in Sannomiya, and then I went to Osaka and met up with some friends I know from online. They were at Namba parks eating at Kua Aina, the hawaiian burger place. We talked there for a bit, and then headed to this bar in America-mura. We hung out there and saw some interesting people. Since people were feeling sick, they wanted to get back before too late. So me and my one friend, Ahmed (who I went to high school with, and is now a JET in Osaka), walked around some arcades and stuff for a bit before we headed off our own seperate ways. I went to the 10 hour manga cafe and slept pretty well there, too.

I got up, and headed out of the manga cafe. I went to Athena for a bit because it was open. People were playing BB and MBAA. With BB, I had a revelation, and for the first time in a while, I felt like I knew what I was doing with my character and was actually having a lot of fun playing. I played some Melty Blood after that, and I lost every match I played, but it was all against good players, and I still felt like I was playing well, and did pretty good and learned a lot. It was just a lot of fun in general.

Then, I walked around Denden on my own because I had to pick up some stuff for friends and I had to sell a bunch of games I forgot I had/don't play. I got 13,200 yen for the games, and only a couple of them were actually worth anything. (That being, Smash Bros Brawl and Melty Blood Actress Again). It was really nice to get rid of games I don't use anymore, and now I can use that money toward something else that I might want to get.

After that, I went to Athena and played some AH3. I was doing really well, and then this other Petra player who also used her in AH2 played. He did some stuff with her that I didn't even know she could do. It was awesome and I'm gonna try to figure out some more stuff. There was a tourney at Avion after that, and so everyone went. Since there was a lot of prep time, I just played BB:CS in the meatime against this Ragna player who looks like he's about 40, who beat me the week before (who I used to play against in CT and destroy). He almost beat me the first match, and then I stepped it up and started beating him 3-0 almost every match. This Lambda player also came and was pretty good, but I still won. I was on a 6 winstreak and then they called me to play in the tourney. I played Tall Heart Player first round. He won the first round. I perfected him the second, but he beat me the third round. Oh well. It was fun times anyways and I watched the rest of the tourney. I even played some SFIV on the “beginners” cabinet. The guy I played against was a sagat with 11,000 BP. I only have 8800 BP, and that's with my Chun. I ended up actually winning the first match somehow! I lost two in a row to his sagat after that, but they were good matches, and I probably would have won had I had my actual character to use.

This Mei Fang player who made it to SBO in Ah2 ended up getting First. The Clarice player who used to own me, who I now go even with got 2nd, Karate Kenji, the other Petra, got 3rd, and Tall Heart man got 4th. Fun tourney. After it was over, they put it on freeplay. There's this Lilica player who has a really droopy face, kinda like John Kerry. So I'm calling this guy John Kerry Lilica. He plays Rock Lilica, and everything he does is super gimmicky. He just randomly throws out 3Cs, and since it has super armor he gets the hit a lot. He also just jumps and does 5[D] from really far away and then spins the stick so lilica moves all crazy fast and stuff. He also mashes out the stone stomp move a ton. The last time I played him at Athena, he beat me 4 games in a row. I felt like this is the one dude that I just can't beat. A couple of the guys play a match before they leave, and John Kerry Lilica ends up beating them. I play him and use the Ice arcana and I end up winning. He plays again and I try using time twice in a row, but I get owned. This Kamui/Zenia player came and was doing ok too. He beat me one match with Kamui, but then I beat his Kamui. After that, I got 7 wins in a row against John Kerry Lilica and 2A Mashing Zenia before they turned the machine off of freeplay. But for some reason, I'm doing best with the Ice arcana, which is ironically the first arcana I picked for Petra when I first tried her in AH2.

After that, I went and ate some cheese curry. I then met up with Ahmed again and we went Karaoke with him and a few other ALTs. It was a lot of fun, and its always nice to meet new people. After we were done there, I had to head out because it was getting late. I ended up barely missing a couple of my trains, so I had to take the slooooooow train back to Ono. On one of the trains home, this greasy middle aged guy got on and stood next to me (even tho there were open seats). He then started to get drowsy and started to lean on me. The first couple times I just brushed it off. The third time he did it, I nudged his head off of me, and then he kinda woke up and stuff, but then started to do it again. I couldn't really move cause there was a huge crowd of guys ALSO standing there, so I was in the worst part because every other part of the train wasn't this packed. But like, if you're that tired, and you see seats behind you, why don't you sit down? I was about to get off, so I don't know why he wasn't sitting. And like, yeah, if you're a cute young Japanese girl, I don't mind if you lean your head on my extremely bony shoulder, but when you're this greasy middle aged guy, that's unacceptable in the Rob book. However, better than making a scene and getting mad, I just moved as much out of the way as I could. Anyways, the next train I got on was relaxing, and I just played Scribblenauts on the way home. I got home around 10:45, and was in bed by 11:30ish.

Sorry this is so long, but it's such a pain to write sometimes. And these are answers to the comments left last week on my blog:
Lix – Yeah, 650 for a slice of pizza and a drink is mad expensive, but going with friends and ordering a whole pizza isn't too bad. It's really good so it's completely worth it to me.

Mike – Yeah, Nazuna might be your style. Eko (the girl with the crazy drawn guy) might be good for you too. I say give her a try too, but Nazuna (or Furry McWolfback as I like to call her) is still pretty solid. AH3 is really good, and if you're gonna get into a new game, now is the right time for AH3.

So yeah thats all for now I guess...holiday this thursday, don't know what I'm doing, and depending on what other people are doing, I may hang out with them this weekend. We'll see.