CHAPTER TWO: Saturday, June 26th
We woke one by one early Saturday morning and showered up. Both Fish and OD were slated to be battling in the finals that day, so they both had to fill out their team sheets before the competition. Naturally, I got bored and took a video.
Notice how Fish could just feel
the camera and started to make a funny face/pose. Anyway, once those sheets were finished, the three of us geared up and headed down and over to the convention center, which was connected to the hotel by a simple walkway. Nice. Also, the Indiana Democratic Party was holding their convention in our hotel that same weekend, so they were just getting underway. (This will be important soon.)
Once in the center, we wandered around the hallway outside the big battle room until we bumped into Huy, Duy, and godudette. I greeted them all warmly, but the Has were still a little sluggish from being up early out of their time zone. RC pic time, Huy first.
godudette, my fierce karaoke competition!
And last but certainly not least, Duy (nice, Fish).
Fish, OD, and all the other Smogonite competitors got in line to register their teams while I took stock of the room we would be in all afternoon. Huge ceilings, a big roped-off area of tables with DSes for battling, and a bunch of TCG and other shenanigans on the other side. I bumped into Kongler again, and he showed me a paper Koffing some kid had made and given to him. It was apparently mine to carry around for a little while, so I wanted to see if I could mimic its facial expression.
I think I did alright. And then… THE PINS. You probably noticed my super sweet avatar and were wondering, “what IS that?” Well my friend, that is the greatest pin the world has seen (just slightly better than the Nicolas Gazin pin). The Indiana Democrats had a man running for state Senate who just happened to share the moniker of our very own Jason Fisher-Short, so the guys had snagged some of his campaign pins the day before. What better for me to do than wear all three simultaneously with the man himself?
While everyone was milling around and waiting for the competition to start, I was introduced to Ninahaza, who was quiet around me at first but soon opened up. Notice on the left of the picture is Sixfortyfive, who I didn’t realize at the time was a Smogonite.
Finally, the competition was underway! I followed all the Smogonites to their respective tables, noting whom each one was battling. I kept my eye on Fish, and it turned out he was fighting… Ninahaza. Damn.
Huy also fought godudette the first round, which sucked.
It was just the beginning of a long day of Smogonites knocking each other off. I was watching the battles with Arti, Fishy, evan, Dubs, and all the rest of the Smogonites who had not qualified for the finals. Someone in the group noticed rory was playing in the corner and his battle was on the TV, so we all ran over there.
NOTE: skarm had named rory’s team for him, and the ONE thing rory said the previous that he didn’t want was to have his battle on the TV for everyone to see. Of course, it happened in the very first round.
He also had one named xX LoRi Xx, which was my favorite. So, we watch rory fight this guy, and I decide to start rolling the camera, not only to watch the battle (as if I knew what was happening), but to watch everyone around me watch the battle. And then it happened…
WOW. Self-crit with Surf. rory’s reaction is absolutely priceless, we spent all day watching and re-watching this video, laughing our asses off each time. Needless to say, he went on to be victorious in this battle.
The first round matches started winding down, with all the Smogonites emerging victorious (except for Ninahaza and godudette, but that wasn’t their fault). After the battles ended, the competitors would come out and chat while they waited for all the battles of the round to finish. Here we are just hanging around: you can see a little bit of Tyler422 on the left, then Alaka, Huy, evan, Duy, skarm, Fishy, tad, and Synre.
When they called the competitors in for the second round, we stayed in the corner where we were because OD and Imawario got matched up right in front of us. rory also eventually sat down at the same table, and I wondered aloud if he would end up fighting another Smogonite.
Of course, over walks Fish to take his seat. TWO more intra-Smogon battles, it was starting to smell like the fix was in. I should have kept my mouth shut.
We watched those battles, in which Imawario got some pretty bad hax. Sixfortyfive was there watching too, making goofy comments along with me (and also helping me understand what we were commenting on). Some of the other guys were watching a different battle, so I got a pic of the other part of the cheering section.
At one point I was super hungry (our hotel had no breakfast of any kind), so I went with Arti out to the convention center’s eatery. They all told me the pizza from Pizza (another running joke) was good, but it was all closed, so I settled on some giant turkey wrap from the coffee shop. Ugh. The first three bites made me want to just throw it at the lady at the coffee counter, but I eventually stomached the rest.
About two hours and a few rounds later… I tried to line up a shot that got both Huy and Imawario in it. SUCCESS. Even got the back of mattj’s head on the left, aren’t I amazing?
After hanging around with tyler422 most of the morning, I finally officially introduced myself. I knew who he was because I had been trolling the VGC forum in the week before the trip, so I got an RC pic.
There was a giant Pikachu walking around the room all morning. I had sent my girlfriend a pic of it on my cell phone, and she demanded I pose with it. I walked over there and got a video of him posing with some other kids (I love the little dance he does).
They cut off pictures with Pikachu RIGHT after those kids. Apparently the dude in the costume really needed a break, because they actually turned some little kid and his dad away. I never got another chance, and I consider it an opportunity MISSED.
Back at the battles, it is now round seven, the final round of the Swiss round robin. As you might expect, two Smogonites on the cusp of making the final sixteen get paired up against each other: skarm and rory.
The excitement in the room was palpable at this point, as this was a do or die battle for about half of the field of 62 entrants. Heavy stuff. The crowd had grown considerably in size. Who’da thunk pokemon could be a spectator sport?
We all excitedly watched skarm fight rory, as their battle basically determined which of them moved on. It all came down to one exchange of moves, the very last turn, one poke against another… when RORY’S MOVE LEFT SKARM’S WITH A FRACTION OF LIFE. A huge surprised clamor of gasps and laughs came up from the crowd and skarm finished rory off with the next move. They both left the table in good spirits though, shaking hands and joking about the battle. True sportsmanship. rory said he was happy that if he was going to lose to anyone, at least it was skarm.
I finally officially met Alaka at that point, although I had been following his battles all day. RC pic.
Shortly thereafter, they posted the list of rankings, the entire field from 1 to 62. We were delighted to see the strong Smogon contingent in the top 16, meaning we would have a lot of people to root for on Sunday.
The people on the list, as I know them: 1: BadIntent, 3: Huy, 5: PokemonMaster, 6: Kongler, 10: skarm, 12: mattj, 13: TTS, 14: Duy, 15: Alaka, and 16…. RORY! Yes indeed, the only 4-3 trainer to sneak through was our very own rory, thanks to the strength of his opponents. I REALLY wish I had been rolling my camera at this point, because after the trainers started to thin out around the posting, tad pushed his way to the front and checked the paper… and then turned around and started screaming “RORY! RORY! YEAH, RORY, WHERE ARE YOU!?” He pushed his way back out of the crowd, clotheslining man, woman, and child alike, until he found rory, whom he then picked up in a bearhug and started jumping around. It was one of my favorite Indy moments, and it really defines how great tad is.
Some of the other Smogonites on the list: 17: Cybertron (sucks man, but someone had to be on the bubble), 19: TAY (should have been in the 16, but he’ll rock out next year), 24: Ninahaza, 25: dtrain, 32: Fish, 34: Imawario (I talked with him constantly all day, after round three he already had a bad feeling about his day, nothing ever went right for him), 41: OD, 51: chalkey, 54: godudette. Every trainer played well and left it all on the field. Table. Whatever.
It was still early, so we had a lot of day left. They took the top 16 aside to fill out paperwork and take pictures and whatnot, so the rest of us fooled around while we waited.
Yep, that’s me getting attacked by a Ho-oh and a… nother pokemon? Something. Anyway, they lined up the top 16 around Pikachu for some group pics, so I snuck in and took some as well.
Every time I see Huy proudly holding his little car, I chuckle. No one was really ready for that first one, though, and they ended up taking about 23 pics, so I took another one.
They had the final four trophies in a case near where they took the pictures, so Arti and I wandered over to check them out. Arti started at them longingly, knowing they could have been his, feeling in his heart of hearts that one day he, yes HE, would be the world pokemon master. I SWEAR THIS PIC IS NOT STAGED
I had noticed earlier the awesome modifications Arti made to his Ducks shirt, and I finally got a pic of it.
At that point, it was pretty much agreed upon that everyone was hungry, so we went to the eatery and all grabbed some food. I finally got some Pizza pizza, and I must say, although $4 a slice is ridiculous, it was surprisingly good. We went to the empty “free battle” room to finally get off our feet and rest up.
Yes, I like taking pictures of my surroundings while I’m hanging out.
Before long, the DSes started popping out and pokemon battles followed soon afterward. Dubs battled evan, TAY battled Arti, and I borrowed Fish’s extra DS to but the stomp on Fishy’s under-leveled team. (It was a complete mismatch, but DAMN did it feel good.) Then everyone switched dance partners (except me) and went again.
It’s funny: in years past, I would have been sitting there like a grumpy prick, commenting on how I was surrounded by “nerds” or “nerdery”. It shows how far I’ve come that I was a willing participant in the nerdery. In the second battle, Fishy switched up her team and stomped me into the ground with a group of CK clones. THAT sucked. (This led to me naming my rival “CK” during my current Fire Red run.)
Our table grew pretty big and full of Smogonites, so I tried to get a picture of the entire group.
We had been discussing since the night before the upcoming Ghana-USA soccer game and had planned on watching it, so the soccerphiles in the group decided we’d watch the game at the Champions sport bar located right across the street in our hotel. We rolled in about 20 strong, which took the hostess by surprise a little bit. They put us in the back by the second (empty) bar, but would NOT allow us to move the tables together, so we ended up sitting in groups of 4-6. (We eventually softened up the waitress a little to let us merge tables, no thanks to TAY.) I sat with Synre, Arti, Ninahaza, TAY, and rory, and poor rory was exhausted from staying up all night working on his team.
I was parched, so I ordered a beer. (I was the only one at my table to do so, and I got some weird looks.) The waitress asked me what size I wanted, and when I inquired about the sizes, she said: “16 ounce, 22 ounce, or 32 ounce.” Um, DUH. Give me the barrel of beer, thank you very much. I ended up having four of those for a grand total of 128 ounces of delicious, refreshing beer.
There was a man and a young girl sitting at a table with tyler422 and Alaka whom I didn’t know, so I asked Arti who they were. When he told me it was mingot, the bulb flashed on in my head. I had forgotten he was even going! Next time he walked by, I got an RC pic. (Please note on the TV the Ghana pussy rolling around pretending to be hurt.)
Shortly thereafter, USA was awarded a penalty kick for a bad Ghana tackle. I had a feeling Landon Donovan would score, so I started rolling on the camera. What I didn’t expect to capture was the aftermath of TAY’s rampage. You can hear me at the beginning of the video telling the waitress to put the plate near me; when she went to do so, Landon scored, TAY raised his fists in the air triumphantly… and punched the plate of spinach artichoke dip right out of her hands and all over the table. He got a bunch on Ninahaza’s keyboard and nearly put the rest right in Synre’s lap. In the video, you can see him ashamedly covering his face while I obliviously celebrate our goal. (Another running joke established: TAY punches waitresses.)
USA would go on to lose the game after extra time, which was quite heartbreaking to everyone left in the room (some of the other guys had gone back to the con center to watch the junior division). In need of a diversion from our patriotic sadness, we headed over to the darts machines and started just messing around. Fishy and I had a little competition (without putting money in) to see who could score more points in a round. We played first to ten, and she ended up winning 10-8. Don’t be surprised that a hayseed can throw darts, it’s in their blood. After that, I gave some pointers to Ninahaza, who ended up throwing some very good darts with my help.
There were also two arcade basketball games next to each other, so, being competitive in nature, we had ourselves a bunch of little mini tourneys. I was slow at first and lost to evan (or was it Fishy?), but once I found my stroke I got into a groove and put up big points. Synre, defying all gay logic, was the master of the game.
At some point, Sixonesix rejoined the group, as he had been with us earlier at lunch. I hadn’t had a chance to meet him then, so I quickly got an RC pic.
evan had indeed brought his guitar to Indy, and he had been patiently carrying it around with him all morning at the con center (because we figured we’d go back to my room and jam sometime). Turns out he carried it for naught, for the group all went back to HIS room after we left Champions. I grabbed Sofia (my guitar) from my room and brought it with me, and we had a full-on jam session. I showed him a bunch of songs I knew, he played me some of his band’s stuff, and we just rocked out. I had wanted to play and sing and everything, but both of us had spent the whole morning and afternoon screaming at the Smogonite trainers, so our voices were pretty shot.
Eventually, someone in the room suggested we sing the pokemon theme song. mingot found the tab on the internet on his phone, and I slightly altered/corrected the chords. mingot then got us the lyrics, and evan and I quickly learned it and shared it with everyone. The following is the result of our diligent work.
There was plenty more playing, and mingot also got a short video of me messing up “I Will Survive” by Donna Summer. We hung out in the room a while longer, and after we finished jamming we all got in on a pokemon trivia game ET had set up on the N64. I somehow got 3 questions right by completely guessing, which was the same amount some people got when they actually knew their pokemon.
After a while, we all got the itch to go out and get yet ANOTHER meal, so we headed back to the TGI Fridays that everyone had eaten at on Thursday. At one point, ET asked if he could borrow my camera for a minute. He and Fishy disappeared, and when they came back I had the following on my camera.
ET had found this poster on his way to the men’s room and really wanted a picture with it. Fishy made him take another one, this time with him looking “longingly” at it.
Dinner went without much of a hitch, aside from everyone changing their orders at the last second (me included) which made the food take forever to come out. But I have to say, it was WELL worth it. We all got that 3-course for $12.99 deal, and it was AWESOME. My pot stickers ruled, the Santa Fe salad kicked ass, and the vanilla bean cheesecake… oh. My. GAWD. I believe you have already seen what Fishy and I thought of the cheesecake.
It might very well be the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. If I lived near a TGI Fridays, I would probably be about 25 pounds heavier by now, already.
TAY had been talking to evan earlier about his iPod, and being the brave boy he is, he brought it to dinner for evan, Dubs, and I (Three Little Indiens) to rate. RMi was a good time, probably not so much for TAY though. evan was very tough on him, giving him a 4 out of 10, while Dubs was a little more generous with his 6. I was going with a 4.5, but rounded it up to 5 to give him a nice average score of 5. Simply put, if he deletes Lady Gaga my score will automatically raise to a 6.
Fish and I had wanted to go off on our own for some quality time, and ET had also talked about going out after the meal for some adult beverages that were NOT Coors Light, so we tried to figure out where we could go. Dubs had been planning on having people up to his room (in our hotel) to watch the Big Lebowski and drink White Russians, which was also a pretty good idea. Fish and I decided to head back to our room to figure out what our next move was. We met up with OD there, who we thought would be asleep. He showed me a picture of himself on Facebook that will not be shared here, but that definitely solidifies his status in the Handsome Club of Smogon.
The three of us eventually headed up to Dubs’s room to see what everyone was up to. Everyone was pretty much hanging out, about to watch the Big Lebowski.
We figured heading back out to bars for drinks was a poor idea, as everything was going to be a good walk from the hotel and it was all going to close in an hour anyway. I felt bad for not being able to get beers with ET, so next time he and I hang out I owe him a Stella Artois, or Heineken, or whatever classy brew he so desires.
Dubs had gone out and gotten the milk to mix with the booze, so our own Lebowskifest was about to happen. Dubs wasn’t sure of the proper mixing amounts, so he nominated me as the bartender. I made a couple White Russians and asked who wanted them; rory and Sixonesix took those. I made a couple more and handed them out, and then made one for myself. Before I had even sat down, rory held up his empty lowball glass and asked for another drink. A second later, Sixonesix did the same. rory commented on how delicious the drink was: “It tastes just like chocolate milk!” Heh. Teenagers.
After I made those and gave them back, we got the movie rolling on Dubs’s laptop. evan and I had a definite problem with saying all the lines out loud right before they were said in the movie, but overall everyone was enjoying the hell out of it anyway (except Fishy, who had fallen asleep, and OD, who smartly went back downstairs to bed).
We were only about a half hour into the movie when I realized that both rory and Sixonesix had put down three White Russians each. I admit I was making them strong, but that’s just the way I prefer them. I probably should have taken my customers in account, because I noticed rory was getting a little… goofy. Sixonesix was fine, he was his usual, quiet self. After that, I cut rory off and gave his next drink to evan instead.
The movie eventually ended, but I don’t think we were paying it much attention anymore at that point. Everyone was exhausted, rory was drunk, and the rest of us were getting tipsy. rory went on the internet on a phone and attempted to post a visitor message on evan’s wall, instead posting complete gibberish.
rory, though, was a champ, and stayed awake much longer than other people in the room.
dtf indeed. At long last, I said goodnight to all the crazy kids and went back downstairs to my own room to sleep on the floor one last time. I think I finally conked out at about 4:30am, about the same time rory did. Of course, I
didn’t have to battle an undefeated BadIntent in four hours.
CHAPTER THREE: Sunday, June 27th
I heard someone in the room get up and walk by me for a shower, so I figured all three of us would be heading down together. I had an alarm set for 8am, but I groggily turned that right off and went back to sleep.
I was awoken by my phone ringing at a little after 9am by none other than chaos himself. He had been in Indy on Friday before I got there, had left for a wedding and had now returned for the festivities. He told me that the first round was already over and three Smogonites had already been knocked out of the tourney. I got up pretty quickly then and found Fish was still in bed as well, just waking up. I threw on some clothes and headed out the door, leaving Fish behind to shower. (I couldn’t be bothered.)
I walked into the battle room slowly, still shaking off the sleep, and saw everyone standing in a group. They called my name and laughed at me a bit, which was fine. Then I saw chaos, and he came running up to me WAY too quickly and gave me a nice big bear hug. As you can see, the sleep in still in my eyes at this point.
chaos wanted me to take pictures of him with other people in the group, so here is him with Arti and evan.
Fish came over shortly thereafter, so chaos got a picture with him also.
We had heard the bad news: Huy and Duy, being 3rd and 14th seeds (respectively) were forced to play each other in the first round, with Duy being defeated. Deagle had beaten Kongler in the first round as well, and lastly, TTS had lost to some Quick Claw hax. The field of Smogonites had almost been cut in half right away.
The second round was underway, and unfortunately we were about to lose one more Smogonite: skarm and Alaka were in the same bracket and got matched up together. Behind them, Huy takes on Deagle.
Unfortunately, Huy also lost to Deagle, who was turning into quite the Duck-killer (EnFuego would be proud). There was also some last-minute excitement in the Alaka-skarm match (I’m sure you can read one of their stories to hear about it) with skarm narrowly pulling out the win, but I JUST missed recording it. It’s worth it just for me learning Ninahaza’s name, though.
At this point, all my so-called “friends” decided to pick on poor sleepless DM. I kicked my flip-flop at someone in mock frustration… bad idea. chaos picked it up and started playing keepaway with Arti, Synre, and evan. (Fishy’s video
details this entire awful ordeal perfectly.) I did eventually get it back… and then put it on TTS’s backpack and blamed him for everything. Needless to say, he was pretty surprised.
Fish and Duy came back from outside the battle room with a special gift for chaos. Only two are in purple because Duy got sick of the color.
chaos asked me for another picture, this time with skarm and TTS. Huy made a special appearance as well.
Because I had basically become the videographer, skarm and TTS asked me to get a picture of them.
At this point, I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures of the entire group. Alaka was still in the competition, so we had to take the picture with him standing behind the barrier. Kongler and Kevin must have been outside smoking because no one could find them, but we went ahead and took the picture. I asked a girl I had been talking with to take the picture for us; it turned out to be Nekusagi, who lurked and knew Smogon. We gave her about 4 or 5 cameras and cell phones at first to take pictures, and she did an admirable job.
Front row: Duy, Huy, godudette, Fishy, Dubs, ET.
Back row: Synre, Sixonesix, skarm, TAY, evan, rory, Alaka, tad, DM, chaos, Arti, Fish.
As Nekusagi took the pictures, someone noticed there were other Smogonites standing nearby who weren’t in the picture, so they ran over. They also gave Nekusagi 3 or 4 more cameras/phones to use, and she never once complained.
Added back left: dtrain, Cybertron
Added front left: Blue Cookes, POKEMONBATTLEBRAIN – front right: OD, evan’s guitar
She took one more on mine after people stopped posing, but I might like it better because it’s in better focus.
Back to the action! Alaka was about to take on Deagle in the semi-finals, so we grabbed our front-row seats for the action. OD was interviewed by emcee Nick McCord.
They ran out of chairs, so some devoted Smogonites took to the floor to watch the battle.
chaos needed to get comfortable, so he used rory as a footrest.
Deagle beat Alaka the first round, but Alaka was not deterred. Spurred on by our consistent (and incredibly obnoxious) chants of “ALAKA! ALAKA!” he came back strong and won the second battle, pushing the best of 3 series to a final, winner-take-all fight. Of course, I recorded only the end of the battle.
The third battle started poorly for Alaka. Deagle got a little bit of luck early on and moved out to what seemed like a comfortable and possibly insurmountable advantage. I was recording everyone’s reactions to the match, when all of a sudden…
POWER OUTAGE. Yes, if you can believe it, the power to all the DSes completely shit the bed, leaving all four competitors completely bewildered (and Deagle, I imagine, pretty pissed). We praised and gave thanks to the pokegods (or ET, whoever might have been responsible), because this meant Alaka would have one more chance at the third battle! They moved all the competitors to new tables and had them restart their matches.
We all picked up and moved over to the corner to watch the match on a different TV. Just then, ET returned from his secret trip with a present for chaos.
PITAS! chaos was ecstatic, and he let Deagle know the party was about to start. By then, chaos had been given what would be his prize for the weekend, the paper Koffing, so he asked me for a picture with ET and his new friend.
With the battle underway (and no chairs in sight), the Smogonite cheering section watched the battle unfold from the floor in high spirits.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before li’l rory conked out. I guess four hours of sleep, along with a hangover, might be too much for him.
The battle itself was incredibly exciting, with a bunch of stuff happening. (I have no idea, read their stories.) It came down to the end, Deagle’s two pokes against Alaka’s Blissey, when all of a sudden the Smogonite cheering section became more and more animated. I couldn’t understand what was happening, until chaos said next to me: “It’s over. Alaka won.”
He had done it! Alaka had overcome all odds and beaten Deagle to move on to the finals. Congradulaciens treiner!
chaos gave Alaka the rest of the pita as a prize for his accomplishment.
We milled around while we waited for them to set up the final battle. I saw chaos head over to talk to mattj, so I thought it was the perfect time to tag along and meet him as well. I wasted no time getting a Red Corvette pic.
mattj was pretty cool, definitely much cooler than the Firebot persona he has made for himself. After chaos saw the Red Corvette come out, he demanded a picture with it. I told him we didn’t need to because I had probably done it when I visited him in Kentucky, but to be sure we took it anyway. I thought chaos wanted an action shot, so this is him driving the Red Corvette up into the air off the Koffing.
He thought that was awful, so we took another one. A slight
improvement, I suppose.
The time had come for the final battle. Alaka and his opponent, Wes, were moved over to two podiums in the middle of the huge room. Our group split up, with half in the very front and my half toward the back. I tried to take a picture of the two trainers when IT showed up. Nick McCord: “LOOK WHO’S HERE!” And then the evil thing waddled out onto the stage.
Seriously, how fucking CREEPY can you get? Now I know why rory was so scared of that thing.
It didn’t take long before rory fell asleep and missed the finals.
I suppose this is where I mention that Nick McCord is HILARIOUS. I can’t do justice in this story, but he had us dying with laughter. As he had done with the juniors final, Nick narrated the entire match, move by move. That would have been funny enough, explaining pokemon through a loudspeaker, but the things he would say, his little repeated catch phrases, things like: “IT’S A REVOLVING DOOR OF POKEMON!” just had us in stitches. My personal favorite (note my CT) was at the end of a turn, when the screen showed the battle message “Rain continues to fall on the field.” Nick wasted no time announcing: “Ladies and gentlemen, there is RAIN FALLING on the FIELD.” You couldn’t ask for a better face for the tournament, Nick did a great job and I look forward to seeing him at future events.
Long story short, Wes was pretty amazing and beat Alaka two matches to zero. The Smogonite cheering section kinda had the wind taken out of its sails, but we were proud not only with Alaka placing 2nd, but with how well Smogon did as a whole.
With the final battle over, I was facing a long drive home. It was just past noon, and it was going to take 7-8 hours to get home, so I had to leave soon. As I have done at every Smocon, I took one last video to get everyone’s final thoughts on the trip.
Fish and Fishy had wanted me to take a picture of them all weekend long, so we finally got our chance to do that. Also, I know Synre is gay and all, but he is TOTALLY creeping on Fishy’s ass.
Another picture I had wanted throughout the weekend was a “Make CK Jealous” picture. I told Fishy to gaze at me longingly, and I just improvised my own pose. (I’m guessing you’ve already seen this in Firebot, in what is probably the best thread EVER,)
It would have been incredibly remiss of me not to get a picture of the original Men of Room 3360, the Smocon Buds. I must say, the three of us have never looked so handsome as we do here.
chaos was posing with TAY and rory for someone else’s camera, so I snapped a picture of them too.
I went around and gave goodbye hugs to everyone. My favorite was Synre; I shook his hand and said, “What, you’re not going to hug me?” and he replied “Well, I wasn’t sure.” Bitch PLEASE. It’s just like I told Hipmonlee back in the day: Smogonites don’t shake hands, Smogonites HUG.
I sadly said goodbye to the group and walked out of the battle room for the last time. Fish came with me to help me get all my stuff back down to my car. Walking down the hallway, Fish asked me for my camera and said “you NEED a picture with your head in that mouth.” So here I am, getting eaten by Totodile.
It was still hungry though, so it got Fish too.
I got all packed up and said goodbye to OD, who had been in the room. Fish helped me put my stuff in my car, gave me a hug goodbye, and sent me on my way. I made one last entry in my video log.
The trip home was long, boring, and incredibly depressing. I already missed the shit out of everyone in Indy and wanted to turn around and go back. Add to the mix the torrential downpour I drove through for about 5 hours, and yeah, I’ve had much better evenings.
I finally made it back to Buffalo after an 8-hour drive, dragged myself in the door and went right to my computer and got on irc. Some of the guys from Indy were chatting, so I contented myself to converse with them in that manner, although we had just been face to face earlier that very day.
The weekend in Indianapolis was absolutely amazing. I met a whole slew of awesome new Smogonites, met a bunch of OLD Smogonites that I had known for years, and re-established relations with some that had drifted away.
Although it was incredibly sad to come home, I came back with a renewed sense of purpose on Smogon. I had stopped posting and chatting because I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore, but now that I have been exposed not only to more pokemon, but also to the next generation of Smogonites, I see that I still have a place in this community. I loved everyone I met in Indy, and I cherish the time we spent together there.
I once again see myself as a worthwhile part of Smogon. I may no longer be an authoritative figure, but I’m excited to once again be active and give back in the relatively few ways I know how. I am glad to be a part of the solution, part of the future, rather than a part of the past, muttering grumpy nostalgic statements and shaking my cane at everyone.
Additionally, watching the competition in Indy has lit a fire under my ass to play pokemon! I am now going through Fire Red again, and have already logged WAYYY too many hours leveling every pokemon I catch. Each one is named after a Smogonite I like, and I haven’t even come close to running out of names. That’s a testament to this community and how close-knit it always has been, and always will be. I look forward to everything that is to come, but I ESPECIALLY look forward to the VGCs next year, when I will be competing and winning it all. You’ve all been put on notice. COUNT IT.
...And he lived happily ever after, for the rest of his days.