Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deep Breath In . . . and Out

Zach gave me a little talking-to today. It seems my stress level has been unacceptably high.

He's absolutely right.

It's a really, really busy time at work for me right now, and between that and a few extenuating circumstances, I've been stressed and exhausted and, well, kind of cranky.

One of the extenuating circumstances is the long-lasting whiplash (aka "whiplast") I've had since we were rear-ended seven weeks ago. Being in pain is an enormous energy drain, and the injury really depleted my reserves.

Fortunately, I am feeling much better this week and am hoping that the last remnants of the injury will soon dissipate.

I'm also about to get a little psychological boost: I'll be heading to NY next week to spend some quality time with a few of the VIPs in my life. (Zach and I are hoping to be back later in the spring for a proper visit—this is more of a surgical strike.)

In the meantime, I'm trying to take the talking-to to heart. Right now, for instance, I am putting my feet up, switching the TV on, and turning my brain off for a while. . . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Q &A About J & Z

Thanks to Dooce for inspiring this post, in which I answer a series of seemingly random questions about my relationship with Zach:

What are your middle names?
Mine was Nan (after my dad's favorite uncle, Norman) and is now Rosen. His is Stewart, after his dad's brother.

How long have you been together?
Nineteen(!) years this month. We've been married for 16.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Not long. A few weeks. Would have been shorter if I hadn't put up a fight.

Who asked whom out?
It didn't really happen that way. But see above.

How old are each of you?
Forty-two. Ouch.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
It's probably a tie between my sister and Zach's brother (and their families). We'd see Zach's sister (and her husband) more if geography would cooperate a bit more. (And it's about to.)

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Being apart, sans doute.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. Of all the schools we've collectively attended, there is zero overlap. Probably just as well. We agree that had we met in college, for example, we would never have gotten together.

Are you from the same hometown?
Nope again. I was born in NYC and raised in the NJ suburbs. Zach was born in Virginia, although his family was living in Massachusetts at the time. (Long story.) They later lived in Wisconsin, Colorado, Georgia, and Tennessee before settling in the Baltimore area when he was 10.

Who is smarter?
I think Zach's smarter, and he thinks I am, so I'd say we're pretty well matched overall. He did edge me out by 10 points on the verbal portion of the SAT, though, much to my consternation. (We tied on the math.)

Who is the most sensitive?
He is. But then again, he's supposed to be—actor and all.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Here in Los Angeles, at Cliff's Edge.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Hell and back. A few times.

Who has the craziest exes?
Well, I have fewer, that's for sure. No one really charts as crazy, although there's one on my side who made a brief bid for the title. But that was a long time ago. Fortunately.

Who has the worst temper?
Ours come in different flavors. Zach's makes an appearance mainly when he stubs a toe or otherwise does accidental physical harm to his person, and then it's intense but fleeting. Mine shows up even more rarely but tends to be of the slow-burn variety. It takes me longer to shake it off.

Who does the cooking?
I do. Very, very, very occasionally.

Who is the neat freak?
I was, but I've been worn down over the years.

Who is more stubborn?
Depends. Stubbornly optimistic? Zach. Stubbornly punctilious about grammar? That would be me. (The zodiac would give me the nod here—I'm the goat to Zach's crab.)

Who hogs the bed?
Neither, really. He sleepwalks, and I moan, so we're much too busy with other nocturnal activities to wage turf wars.

Who wakes up earlier?
Varies with the day. More often it's me these days, but if Zach has a shoot with a crazy-early call, I take the late shift.

Where was your first date?
Honestly, I'm not really sure. I think we started dating without actually going on an official date. It was a very fluid process. If I had to come up with an answer, I'd say that at some point early on we went to see a very forgettable Kiefer Sutherland/Dennis Hopper movie called "Flashback."

Who is more jealous?
Tied again, pretty much at zero. We lean more toward some of the other deadly sins.

How long did it take to get serious?
We started talking marriage at about the six-month mark.

Who eats more?
Kinds of food? No contest. I am so much better than ever before but still rank among the pickiest eaters either of us knows. If we're talking straight-up quantity, I think we both eat in proportion to our size.

Who does the laundry?
I do my clothes, he does his, and we take turns doing the household laundry. Right now, that chore is on my side of the ledger.

Who's better with the computer?
Zach serves as tech support for me and for both of our families. However, I have to speak both PC (work) and Mac (home), so I think I deserve a little bit of credit. Not much. Just a little.

Who drives when you are together?
Zach. I take after my dad and would be just as happy if I never had to drive again. But I love riding shotgun when Z is at the wheel.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Did You See Him?

We've been getting calls and messages all day from friends and relatives who have seen Zach in a promo for tomorrow night's episode of "Lie to Me," a new show on Fox.

If you watch "House" or "24" or "American Idol" or Fox's morning news shows, chances are you recently saw Zach looking a bit malevolent on your TV screen.

If you missed it, don't worry—you can see the actual episode tomorrow night!

He's got a couple of other fun TV appearances coming up this spring. To get e-mail updates with all of the details, go to his website, click "contact," and then follow the instructions to join his mailing list.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Whipped and Lashed

I just looked back at the (paucity of) posts since the beginning of the year and realized that I hadn't written anything about Zach's and my relatively recent experience as the filling in a three-car sandwich.

First things first: We were not seriously injured—no bleeding, no broken bones. (The car wasn't seriously injured either, although both bumpers needed to be replaced.)

We were heading home after my very first LA haircut when traffic slowed down in a hurry.

The car in front of us stopped.

We stopped.

The car behind us stopped, too—just not until it had knocked us into the car in front.

As soon as we stopped (the first time), I made the serious yet involuntary mistakes of a) tensing up and b) looking in the side-view mirror to see if there was anyone behind us.

That meant that a) my muscles were constricted at the moment of impact and b) I saw the crash coming. Not the best possible combination, let me tell you.

In an instant, I had a headache and neck, back, and shoulder pain. Later, when I was asked by the ER nurse to gauge my pain on a scale of one to 10, I rated it a six.

The accident happened just before 6:30PM, and it took about an hour for the police to arrive. (I'm told this is because we said we didn't need an ambulance.) By then we had exchanged all the usual information from our driver's licenses and insurance cards.

Fortunately, the driver of the third car immediately claimed responsibility for the accident, which simplified matters. We gave our statements to the police, and then Zach and I headed to an emergency room to get checked out.

We arrived right around 8PM, just after a mild earthquake struck. We missed it entirely—either we were in the car or walking across the parking lot to the ER entrance at the time—but people in the waiting room definitely felt it.

Seven hours, a battery of X-rays (for each of us), and a head CT (for me) later, we got back in the car and drove home, exhausted and stiff and sore.

Zach had had some back pain, but it abated almost immediately. Nearly six weeks later, I'm still contending with the after-effects of whiplash.

The irony is that the day of the accident, I had scheduled my first physical-therapy appointment so that I could embark on an exercise plan that would not further elevate my risk of lymphedema. That quickly morphed into treatment for soft-tissue damage, which continues still.

The first few weeks after the accident, I was incredibly jumpy in the car. If another vehicle looked to be encroaching on our lane, or bolted out in front of us from a side street or parking lot, or slowed down precipitously, I panicked. I sucked in my breath, clutched the door handle, and executed other maneuvers that could not have made it easy for Zach to remain calm behind the wheel—although remain calm he did, in spades.

The worst of that seems to be behind me, fortunately. I'm not quite sure what changed, but I'm grateful that it has.

However, I discovered this past week that my relative emotional comfort as a passenger has not translated to physical comfort as a driver. Driving has never been my favorite activity, and I hardly ever do it these days—Zach and I have only one car (the "only" seems absurd, I know, but this is Los Angeles), and I take public transportation to work. When we go places together, it's the exceedingly rare exception that I'm seated to his left en route.

But last week I found myself alone in the car twice in the space of 12 hours: for a dinner date with a friend and a doctor's appointment the next morning. Between the two trips, I had to look over my right shoulder several times—to back up or before I changed lanes—and it was not a pleasant sensation.

I'm sure I'll improve over time—especially with twice-weekly physical-therapy sessions that now include massage therapy as well. In the meantime, my driver's license is going to gather even more dust than usual.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I'm in Phoenix for a conference and had the pleasure of attending the welcome reception in this lovely outdoor setting, under a stunning canopy of palm trees.

The sunset was pretty spectacular as well, but I wasn't quick enough on the draw. . . .