12) One More Sushi with Frances and Paul, February
This was the first time I had gotten to break bread with Frances and Paul in several years. In the next three days, I got food poisoning, got accepted to Berkeley, and they got engaged.
How was it? Well, I probably got food poisoning from it, so I dunno. But it seemed good at the time.
11) Gotham Steakhouse with the Math Club exec, May
A huge get-together, replete with formal attire and very very fancy food. This was the first of the two 24oz porterhouse steaks I had in two consecutive days. I guess this was my formal farewell to the Math Club. It might've been a huge pain in the ass sometimes - well, no, it was a pain in the ass sometimes - but I learned a lot and met some great people. (And got a few free meals out of it too.)
How was it? Of the two 24oz steaks, this was the better of the two. Top notch.
10) Boston Pizza with Graham and Eric, July
This was the night I found out Eric knew Jeff Zipp and subsequently had to restructure the whole tree I have in my head of who knows who. Well, I guess it's actually a graph, but whatever.
We had just finished a night of recording and were kicking back. Somehow it was memorable. I really enjoyed the easy camaraderie we had (and have), and this was probably the first time I realized it.
How was it? Come on, it's just Boston Pizza.
9) Boston Pizza with my family, July
I think this was the first meal I had post-gum surgery. My sister had just gotten married. I was only able to chew on the back two teeth on the right side, and the taste of everything was affected by the bandages. But still, it was a family dinner, and far more relaxed than the reception.
How was it? See above.
8) Red Robin with Victor and Jowen, May
Exams were finished and we didn't feel like cooking or something. Even though we had many more meals before this and a few very memorable ones after this, I remember this one because this was us in our element, relaxed and in a burger joint.
How was it? I love that sweet onion burger, I tells you. This might have been the last one I ever got, too.
7) Sui Sha Ya with Jim, Graham, Ian, Ed, and special appearances by Jowen, Janek, and Joyce, July
This makes the list due to the sheer amount of pain that followed. Never allow unseasoned all-you-can-eaters to order at an all-you-can-eat. Notable mostly for the sheer volume of food we consumed, and the crazy schemes we hatched to try and dispose of the food so we wouldn't get charged.
Also notable because this was the day I got the Richform hat, and because it was (almost) my birthday.
How was it? Painful. But good.
6) Steamworks with (almost) everyone I know, August
Everyone was there, and paid for me. It was a very nice send-off for me and I appreciated it a lot. At the time I was starting to feel anxious about the big life change I was facing, and this was just what I needed. Thanks, Thomas, for planning it.
Also notable because Jowen made me 45 minutes late.
How was it? Well, I think they tried to shoo us out of there, so minus 5 points for that. But still, not bad.
5) Chicken curry in my kitchen with Leah, April
It was over between us and we knew it, but we still had some good times left in us. We used to cook together, and this was what ended up being our thing. I don't remember a whole lot about it, to be honest, except that I cut the potatoes too small and we had plenty of chili peppers. Mostly I remember this air of finality, this sort of unspoken acknowledgement that this was it; this would be the last one.
We had plenty of meals before and a few meals after that, but this is the one I remember. Funny how that works.
How was it? Uh, I cut the potatoes too small. Not our finest, but not bad.
4) Pizza Hut with Graham, Eric, and Jowen, August
This was our final get-together of the summer. We did plenty of recording and I'm proud of it, but I think I remember best the crap we did between and after takes. I really enjoyed the easy camaraderie we had, and was glad we finished it off with food rather than any stressful recording.
How was it? Greaseballicious.
3) Jeremiah's with Jeremy, Thomas, and Galen, April
All the stuff I did for the club was made so much easier by these three guys, and I wanted to treat them to some drinks and dinner. We went out and watched the Flames beat the Wings, and just generally hung out. The end of an era.
For all the pomp and circumstance of our trip to Gotham, I prefer to think of this as my last Math Club event. Again? Definitely.
How was it? I remember some good appetizers, and a decent burger. Mostly, I remember darts, which increases the quality of the food at least 20%.
2) Uncle Willy's with Victor and Derek, July
Derek visited for a long weekend, and this was the first time we really got to get together with Victor. I mean, the food was Uncle Willy's food, but it was comforting to see that no matter how much things change, we'll still be able eat a whole lot of marginal food off of plastic trays and make it better with conversation. When Derek had said his goodbyes, I felt really uncertain about what was to become of the Lugs, and wondered if we would ever really see each other again. This meal made most of that go away.
How was it? Well, they had three kinds of meat. But avoid the sunomono at all times.
But all of it takes a backseat to...
1) Morton's at Chicago with Victor, Derek, and Jowen, May
The most extravagant meal I have ever had, and probably will have for the next 4 years. This was our goodbye dinner, our signoff after years of living together. We planned it for months, and when it came time to do it it was perfect.
And what a story. This was my second 24oz porterhouse in two days, and by the end I was feeling it. Jowen needed to take a nap. Victor was going to explode. Derek, with his infinite wisdom, ordered a smaller steak and rubbed it in as we were all in pain.
After all that time together I somehow felt very fraternal towards these gentlemen. We had to go big: there was no other way to say goodbye. Although, it was also decided that the food court in the Village was more our speed, and our reunion dinner would be there.
Of course, the whole "goodbye" effect was dulled by Derek moving back to Vancouver. But still.
How was it? Don't order the steaks medium-rare, because their "medium-rare" is a sane person's "bloody", and that's just too rare for a 24oz porterhouse. But there was the best dessert I ever had.