Originally uploaded by alannaface.

Dear All:
In light of neglecting to send holiday cards with a fun but not necessarily required update I’m composing an email to keep everyone on the same page. It’s long– I get that from my dad– but if you ask me, distractions from what you should actually be doing are sometimes needed.

It’s a balmy 41 degrees outside here in Waltham, MA and we expect it to get up to 57 degrees later this week. Last week it dipped down below zero but I couldn’t tell you how low because my digital outdoor thermometer only can go to 14 degrees and then just tells me the temperature is “lo,” and that’s good enough for me. Folks around here tell me that eventually it will snow more and get colder and crappier eventually, but while the record snowfall we’ve received melts I maintain a over optimistic hope that spring is coming early this year.

Despite my pain in experiencing my first real winter weather, I know I’m avoiding the pounding rain of a fire scarred California. After just over a month of snow and freezing weather, though, I figured out why Californians are always called wimps. It’s one thing to be soggy and wet, it’s another to have cold burning your face while you’re soggy, wet and cold!

Seems like weather has been preoccupying much of the difference I’ve noticed out here on the east coast, but there are other things to be missed as well. Like fish tacos and Mexican food! There’s no greasy Mexican place around the corner that will satisfy your craving for a burrito with authentic salsa and meat that’s been cooking for days. However, there are loads of Italian places and even a broad smattering of Indian places– where curry has turned everything into Indian food (ie. curry stir fry?). Cuisine out here usually seems so Americanized or blended together. I tell you the truth when I say that nearly every Asian restaurant of any type is a “fusion” food place. Forget just going out for Japanese sushi, you get Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Indonesian food all under one roof and coming from one kitchen. There’s one “fusion” place down the street with “Japanese and Mexican Fusion.” They’ve made Japanese food spicy and raise the price.

When you move to a new place it’s funny what you end up missing. The food, culture and friendliness of California all escape New England but I hope I’ve brought some of it with me. This weekend’s project for my boyfriend, Carlos, and me was putting up shelves in my kitchen for a make shift bar/serving area. My apartment is a bright seafoamy teal, beige and was supposed to also be mint green. The more I look at my happily colored kitchen and living room and soak in the warm beige of my bedroom and bathroom, the more I realize these are famously Californian colors. I’m excited to entertain friends– particularly when the weather gets warm and I can use my patio!– and enjoy the sunshine in my funky apartment in true California style. Poor Carlos (well, he may not get that much sympathy for this) is subjected to me cooking food that reminds me of home from fish tacos to healthy sandwiches and more. I embrace having lobster multiple times a month, but every now and then I would trade that lobster in for a authentic Mexican meal.

Some brief updates on other things: the realty company of my first Boston (Brighton, MA) apartment that I lived in for two months conceded and sent my deposit check back– I don’t know what happened to the two male roommates if they’re still there or not.

Work is okay. I won’t be a recruiter forever and I’m doing all right where I am, but I’m already considering the next career move into something that I can stay in and climb a ladder. Perhaps it’s time to start considering grad school as my boyfriend is studying for his GMAT to get into an MBA program.

The new apartment is great although my stove/oven needs to be replaced and there are a few things to be fixed. I love living alone and having my own place– it was about time!

My boyfriend is still around after being so kind and brave as to come to Christmas dinner at my aunt and uncles’ to meet my grandparents in addition to the aunts, uncles and cousins he’s already met. He made my birthday wonderful this year and I brought in the New Year with his family. If you didn’t know this strange fact already, he’s a fraternal twin (and my dad is an identical twin).

And the last fun fact for now is that I changed my cell phone plan over to Verizon, so if you have Verizon we can text, talk and send picture messages for FREE!

Enough of the distraction, hope everyone is well and in good health.