Saturday, February 6, 2016

Memories: March 30th, 2012

It begins on a Friday, Friday the 30th of March 2012, with a relatively big tribute to Dio and Ozzy Osbourne, comparing it with El Foro which is one of the biggest structures for such an event. This bar, the TJ Art & Rock Café, I visit the most now after my confrontation with a dog at the other bar I swore to help in any way possible… sadly betrayed but not angry, why would anyone be angry because of that when you can always walk away. That went well, a bit mashed up, a bit wet, never one to miss on a nice mosh pit, always ready and I was about ready to go speak to someone but then I examined my surroundings. “Got too much meat around that fridge, fuck it I’m out”
I also got the tickets for that Transmetal gig we’re having on April the 20th that Gustavo wants to go see so badly but apparently they don’t have some sort of seal or mark which they’ll put in next week when the guy in charge of the tickets returns with more of them.
Got home at 3 in the morning, had to check some stuff, found some of the guys still up and doing some play testing on someone’s house, Napo I believe it was, for the games we were to setup at 8 AM for a convention called Com Com… we had approximately 3 hours of sleep, when I speak of ‘we’ I mean most of the crew because apparently we all coordinated in a subconscious level and decided to get drunk and deprive ourselves of much needed sleep that not even a shower, hot coffee and some Taquitos de Birria could fix, yeah not even the salsceado ones and don’t look at me weird because of that. Stomach and throat are burning up… I hate gastric acid.
This place is relatively big, the biggest convention probably ever made for this kinda deal, and I dare compare it to Comic-Con International only because I see the possibility of it outgrowing the facility and bringing in more cash and people that ever before which, for this city, is good as we have always lived from the tourism. Getting there was a bit of an adventure and I found it funny at first that there was only another person, Springa, from our Role-playing Group, Tijuana RPG, present. Nevertheless we did our setup but found that we had no chairs or tables for that matter, apparently there was a lack of them everywhere but the staff was clever enough to get us some round tables and chairs plus water, because you can never have enough water for such a thing as being a Game Master.
9 AM and Zilvan arrives telling us that Napo and Rudy are outside waiting to do check in, Rosales and his brother, Luis, came later on with the rest of the stuff and the Dragon head. Alex and Toño, Emmet, who arrived considerably late, and Badilla, who was just playing and chatting around, it was a long day but it was fun as hell to get everything assembled and see people interested in Role-Playing games.
The fifteen tables in front of us have the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card game, should have brought my old deck but I’m sure they would have told me to “Fuck off and die in a fire with my legacy cheap one shot kill deck”.
1 PM and I’m exhausted of pulling people onto the tables, which to our surprise were actually full, brimming with people, we never expected these many, for once I am glad our theory of no one being interested in this wasn’t right at all. Napo, Springa and Emmet saw the most traffic, playing seven tables during the entire duration of the event, then Zilvan saw two or three, Alex saw two tables but they lasted somewhere around two hours, then Toño had two tables, Rosales had one early in the morning and I had two tables by the late part of the day, finally Rudy had no tables because he could never get the idea of Sailor Moon rolling there… no questions asked there. We covered all our bases and by the end of the day everything was said and done, we were tired, hung over, we hadn’t really eaten that much, there wasn’t any water left, we were pumped on sugar, nicotine and adrenaline, our voices boomed for ten hours, some were sweating, we got enough attention for people to interview the group, we were on the map now, no seriously we were on the map of the convention area, but most importantly we were now on the main radar and people now more than ever know that there is a group of Table Top Role-players who gather every Sunday from 1 to 6 PM on an abandoned plaza for our favorite games for no charge, memberships or fees.
Of interest, and for those who may want to know, the running tables were Star Wars D20 by Alex, Generic Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition by Zilvan and that other guy who I can’t remember his name, I have no clue what Rosales was doing but I can imagine something like “…And you find an elite mind flayer riding a beholder…”, Napo was running a homebrew of Diablo II on Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, Emmet was running a homebrew version of Final Fantasy Tactics, which was absolutely awesome and he had to make from scratch since the system was no existent for a table top, Toño was running Metal Gear Solid on an unknown system but the setting he had was awesome, which makes me sad because he only had the two tables with two players, Springa was running Slayers D20 with an awesome setup he took half an hour to make, which in no way takes credit away from Emmet or Napo who also took their respective amount of time to build their environments, I was running a homebrew version of X-COM: Enemy Unknown/Ufo Defenses using the D&D 3.5 system which turned out to be way better than expected and showed me, personally, that people are willing to sacrifice themselves for their team mates, and that is how the term Vazquez came to be and has become continuously used for said selfless sacrifice which the reader may remember or watch on the Aliens movie when Vazquez and Gorman blow up with a grenade thus giving the rest some time to escape.
Curiously, later on, I noticed there was a couple watching some of the books setup on the Star Wars table and it turns out that the lady was completely excited as she noticed the Vampire: The Masquerade Core Rule Book laying around in our table, she mentioned her fond memories of it, how she played it some 15 years ago and how much she would like to return to it. Funny thing is that I brought that book because I wanted to read it but I never managed since I was always busy chatting with someone, convincing them that we weren’t charging jack or simply inviting them to play with us.
This gig was done, we have pictures to prove we managed it, we have video, we have fond memories, Com Com 2012 left a good impression on us and so we did onto it, we laughed, enjoyed and everyone parted their own way but not before that happened… that question, which sparked us to sing along and that the reader may find on the bottom of this lecture, diary, story, whatever you want to call it. In any given case I was late for a party and I had to run, had to find something quick to eat but there was nothing nearby the taxi lane, called Bola, told him I would be there in 10, I was starving, had to get a damn hot dog on an Oxxo, a small convenience store just like 7-11 but you’ll find one of these every three or four blocks and that is no joke, and the thing fell off before I could finish preparing it, cleaned it off, ate it, ran, no cabs coming, called Bola to tell him I’m running late, had to go three blocks into the next boulevard and get a red cab, drop on El Mercado de Todos, keep walking down, called back, “Almost there, gimme 5”, got there, Doc was there, Mota is his last name but I have decided to start calling him Doc since 10 years of studying are well damn worth it for someone to be called a Doctor or Doc, then Bola who is Ozzy brother, Ozzy being a friend from high school and a mutual friend of me and Doc, and Choppa, or Chopper, Shoppa, Compulsive Shoppa who we also, at some point, knew as Torres and is a friend we met through Ozzy.
We finally go out to that house, located between lunar craters of all sorts, but not before passing through another Oxxo a couple of blocks away from Bolas’ house to get some beer, a couple of Bohemias and Heineken, and a sandwich because I’m still starving, no change as usual, paid with my credit card and got the money from each one of them, 200 pesos, funny number for a funny night, off we go.
Man, fuck Edgar and his map” Was the general opinion as we ran through this horrendously Paint drawn map that made no sense at all, apparently Bola, Shoppa and Doc had a not so pleasant time trying to translate this with the help of Google Maps and even then we got lost a couple of times, fell into a couple of craters and finally managed to get to the house. Finally a well deserved party for the success of today.
The crew was there, same crew we saw when Edgar graduated on Wednesday, after five and a half years, from the Industrial Engineering career, which reminds me that, from what they said, they are not real Engineers but rather Licenciados which is the lowest step on the college branch… heh, makes me laugh even now. We had a couple of beers, then a couple more, people kept bringing Indio, I hate fucking Indio, but when you have no choice you go for what you get, even Light beer. We saw them playing some games, me from the back because I wasn’t up for any alcohol challenges as I had enough for that day with all that had been going on at the convention and the gig on Friday which had left me pretty roughed up, but I did enjoy a couple of vodka soaked gummy bears and worms, Doc had his full share of ‘em and he wasn’t enjoying them the next day, then I managed to get a smoke from some random dude that apparently was part of the Rebel Alliance group down here in Tijuana, damn the world is small, who I had never seen before although I was aware we had people from the official club down here and even members of the 501st Legion that belongs to the Empire. Bro. A. came by, guy was drunk as hell when we were leaving and talking to his girlfriend on the Netherlands for like two hours but that’s OK as the party he is working for is paying for everything, I think, and hell making a two hour call to the Neatherlands, to your girlfriend, is quite something and I approve of this as I’ve done equal or worse, like an hour to the United Kingdom just to talk with a mate in Ipswich. There was also the weed incident which I will say nothing about except that you should NOT smoke weed in a kitchen where everyone is watching you do it before asking the owner if it’s cool or not, I personally don’t mind what you do with your stupid ass as long as you don’t hurt or kill someone.
Once gone we were looking for something to eat, we ended up going for some tacos that were 18 pesos, 18 fucking pesos each because they were using New York cut but hell they couldn’t spare any Guacamole, cebollitas, Salsa Verde o Roja, nothing extra aside from the meat, the tortilla and a damn slice of avocado, you, cheap, bastards.
We went to Bolas’ home to sleep. We managed. Doc was continuously visiting the bathroom. Shoppa was up since around 10 AM, same as me, we started chatting and sharing crazy stories, like that time I ended up asleep at Edgars’ bathroom in a party while taking a dump, when asked who was inside I replied with “¡El Papa!” or the Pope, which to clarify was something that started because of El Verguillas, a web series found on YouTube, in which a fighter says that he dedicates his victory to the Pope, or that time Shoppa ended up naked, along with some other thirty people, in a crazy party involving watermelon and date liquor that degenerated pretty fast with strip poker, no one could find their clothing or cell phones, there were five guys sleeping together, one next to each other. Good times.
Edgar had called in early in the morning, apparently someone had taken his keys with that bottle opener, La Llave del Chez as he calls it since it looks like those ancient keys, but that’s a mistake, a stupid rookie mistake, he had to learn from as you never tie a damn bottle opener to your key chain. Couldn’t find them, went back to sleep, but turns out they were on the leather jacket I had taken, Docs jacket as a matter of fact, who was doing the honor of opening the bottles… had to be a Doctor.
Edgar came for his keys, he had Domingo with him who apparently had a rough night, and we decided to go for something for breakfast, I proposed the Andobas but no one knew what it was and they didn’t trust me as it was in the downtown area, yeah you just don’t eat the three tacos for one dollar at first street and Revolucion or you’ll probably get some horrible third world disease you have never heard about, but to hell with it as we were already starving. Lend him a tener each, 10 pesos that is, to Edgar just as I had done to Bola for some gas, fucking 10 pesos a liter, and continued our path, the six of us in that small car but nothing compared to that horrible fucking Cube thing whatever the hell it is that looked like shit… whatever happened to aesthetics. Finally at the Andobas, located in 5th street just below Revolucion Street and not too far away from Le Drug Store, where La Cupula is located in which all the Goths gather every weekend or so, on 4th Street and Revolucion or Cesar’s, located over Revolucion between 5th and 4th street, where, yeah wait for it, Caesar Salad was invented, not the Roman Empire people. Everyone ordered a small torta de carne asada with a side of small fries, let me be clear that the size is relative in this place, with a coke, in my case a coffee, and we waited while they brought in the food by reading the newspaper or talking about random facts, like the Yakuza in the city, fact the government has never accepted, and that only recently they have taken into consideration as a real threat after accusations from certain people or the fact that EPN, the candidate from the PRI Party, looked like a clown, and continued to be the same stupid air-head who should keep his mouth shut unless he was in front of a teleprompter, as he was trying to create empathy with some indigenous tribes on the south of the country by dressing as them.
Finally our food arrived; my credibility rose as everyone gulped down their food and asked me how the hell I had found this place. It all goes back to when I used to go to El Divan de Alicia and Andy had proposed we go for a torta at El Andobitas which is somehow, maybe not, related to El Andobas who came as a reference from El Perro, the manager of El Divan de Alicia, and Alex, the same one that was running the Star Wars D20 table at Com Com. Funny how everything goes round and round.
We get off and I get dropped at the taxi site, fortunately there was a driver waiting to go out, El Tostiloco, and after so much going around, doing this and that, I finally get to take a bath, sit down, relax and enjoy some good hours of sleep on my bed. I know that I am missing details here but my mind is too strained and I cannot begin to figure out anything else except for this message that I leave to you, avid reader, which you may understand now that we have gotten to this point of the story.
And history speaks of a great moment during the convention but it is shrouded in mystery and myth. Only a small logical string remains in all of this… “Is this real life?”

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