-After months and months and months, finally re-connect with college friends and have a great time.
-Enjoy some great Christmas cake with coworkers.
-Go to my boss's daughter's piano recital. Adorable.
-Hizaki invited me to the Versailles tour final at Shibuya Kokaido, which will always and forever be a way better name than "C. C. Lemon Hall". That name is the worst. I let him know I would be bringing Ryota as well.
-The show was great--the stage had FIRE and EXPLOSIONS SORTA and stuff like that. There was a huge tiered stage that Yuki was up on, and periodically Teru would scramble up and down it. The performance was spot-on as usual, although at one point I remember thinking that I really didn't care for the song they were current playing. I turned to Ryota and asked what song this was. He said, "Princess. I don't like it much either." Ha.
-So Versailles is going major in June and that's pretty cool and I'm happy for them. They're also playing 5 days in a row at Rokumeikan. That is insanity. Kamijo told me that originally it was going to be 3 days, but Hizaki pushed for 5 BECAUSE HE IS RIDICULOUS.
-At one point Ryota went to the restroom, and when he came back he hurried back to my side and said, "I just peed next to Shinya." I patted him on the head. "Good for you."
-After the show, people without guest passes were ushered out, and there was a short short after-party on the 2nd floor lobby with everyone. Matenrou Opera was also there, and I randomly ran into people from Hear Japan and J-Rock Revolution as well, so 'sup guys. Also Noriko Shouji was there and she is the VK grandma basically and she is tiny and really sweet.
-'Zaquitos had me come to the final uchiage, and there we talked a bit of business that was quite neat indeed. Basically it was just chillin' and maxin' and relaxin' with Versailles, Matenrou Opera, Dollis Mary, Shinya, and then a small handful of roadies, hair/makeup staff, and then their management and recording engineer.
-I never, every thought that my path would cross with Dir en grey in any capacity, but sure enough Shinya told me that he and Die were learning English but that he wasn't advancing as fast. "So you want to practice right now?" I asked. Nervous and embarrassed, he refused, very Shinya-like.
-Spent the evening with the regular crew of Masaki, Yanagi, Keita, and a nice handful of others at a really relaxing darts bar in Shinjuku. Yanagi is currently in the band SwallowtaiL, and their other two members Rai and Ryuji were also there. Ryuji sang Ayaka's "Mikkazuki" and... I am not exaggerating; Ryuji may very well be the best vocalist in visual kei that I have ever heard. He nailed that song in terms of both technique and soul.
-We did a gift exchange, sort of white elephant style, and pretty much everyone did a great job of gift-giving. I don't think I'm very good at gift giving, so the reaction everyone had when my gift was opened felt pretty good. The one I received is sort of an O. Henry situation; one of our friends is a tattoo artist and part of his gift was one free tattoo. While I am far too fickle to get a tattoo, nor have I really thought about ever getting one ever, I appreciate the gesture and loved the rest of the gift. :)
-I met up with Reina, who had gifts for me from people, and that was great. We headed to Club Quattro in Shibuya, which was smaller than I expected. I got my pass from Ryo and in we went. The crowd was diverse, with lots more foreigners than I'm used to seeing in one place, and a healthy number of males. A few girls there were in those Santa dresses and that was cute, and some of the stage lighting in the beginning felt Christmas-y, so that felt appropriate. :-P
-It was my first (and last, obviously) time really seeing Rentrer en Soi, and it was neat to see them. They seem to have a more relaxed, swaggering energy. Banter is minimal, but when Satsuki did speak he chose his words very carefully. Quite a long set; several encores, and in the 2nd one there were a lot of old songs, which I liked.
-After the show the guests went down to say hello to the guys, and Jasmine You showed up, which was good because otherwise I really only know Ryo. Ryo was excited to introduce me to the rest of the guys, who were friendly and talkative, particularly Mika, and Satsuki was friendly as well. Ryo gave me a really cool business idea so I hope I can find the time to put it to work. :)
-I bought an mp3 player that is modeled after SOUNDWAVE the DECEPTICON TRANSFORMER and it ACTUALLY TRANSFORMS, and I subsequently win all y'all so flippin' hard.
I had a very unconventional Christmas. I'm excited for the developments and happy for the experiences I had, but I wouldn't have much of a problem trading it to spend some time with my distressingly awesome family. :)