This is kind of Enzo's birthday song, but I thought it appropriate. Although my present may be late, at least my birthday wishes won't be. I'm really glad that Damaris took the chance to get to know me, even considering the fact that she was scared to meet me. Christian told us over the phone that he was dating a Brazillian girl, and it sounded more serious than I cared for (at the time), but I had already made him promise that any girl that he was considering marrying had to meet us first. I mean, Christian's kind of a package deal, and anyone who can't accept that is outta there. When Damaris showed up in Hawaii I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I was definitely NOT expecting was how Christian was so romantic, dancing with her in the living room, holding hands as they walked down the street, patiently waiting and helping her during the hikes-- I figured, any girl who could bring that out in Christian was definitely a good catch. Damaris was the one who cooked the first amazing Brazilian dinner that I'd ever had, and topped that off with lilikoi mousse, and she basically had me from then on. I am always delighted to find a kindred spirit in tastes. I never knew how to cook red meat at all before I watched and ate her cooking. It was always a mystery to me how to pick the right cuts and cook it the right way, even after I studied the Joy of Cooking's meat section. Since then I've been cooking her recipes fairly regularly. We were able to get to know each other better when Jake and I visited them in Conneticut, but when they came here to live last year I was pretty excited for them to be close by. I enjoyed being baby-obsessed and food-obsessed; hopefully she did not get bored with my only two subjects of conversation. I'm always sad when people leave Hawaii for "bigger and better" things (quotations not because I don't think that grad school is worthwhile, just because I'm making myself feel better about not really wanting to leave here, ever) because I enjoy having such accessible and good friends close to me. I'm not one to make friends easily (laziness? snobbery? both?)and I like to think that is because good friends don't come around very often. I've really missed having play dates with Amaya's fiance as well. Happy Birthday Da! I hope your day is perfect, and filled with good food. Eat some chocolate chip cookies for me.