Not Everyone Owns a Lear Jet…..

Larry Trocha .

I first learned about him on this post from Fugly Horse of the Day. She referred to this newsletter and called him a hero. I liked what I read, so just for kicks I signed up for his newsletter. You know what? I’m glad I did. I am really enjoying reading it several times a week. He’s got great, down to earth advice. He stops just short of telling you exactly how to deal with problems – he gives you overall advice, and if you have enough knowledge and background with horses you can figure out the rest. If you don’t, well, he always recommends one of his videos that will give you the tools to address the problem. The word on the street is that these videos are actually pretty helpful. I’ve seen a few snippets of the videos on his site, and I’m pretty impressed. I’m planning on buying one of his videos and trying it out, as soon as I figure out which one to get.

So, why am I writing about him?

This morning, I woke up and read this newsletter.

And then I scrolled down to peruse the comments, and I found this little gem (if it’s too small for you to read, click on it):

Best. Response. EVER.


Shadow Puppets

I grab my Nook and click on the tiny attached reading light. It’s dark in our bedroom, and the way the light is twisted means that when it turns on, it shines full-force into The Bean’s eyes. He lets out a yelp and squeezes his eyes shut.

“Sorry, sorry!” I mutter, twisting the light to face the ceiling. “Yeesh, that’s bright. Do they really think we need that much light to read a book?

The Bean shrugs and mutters something noncommittal, settling into bed beside me.

I play with the light a bit more, twisting it on different parts of the room, shining it in corners to play with the shadows.

Ooooh! Shadows!

“Here, hold this!” I say, dropping the Nook into The Bean’s hands. “Look!” I put my hand in front of the light and make a shadow dog. “Woof. Woof, woof! Woof. Aaaa-ooooooo!” The “dog” tilts his head back, howling quietly. I grin over at The Bean and discover that he is somehow managing to look down his nose at me, even though we’re both lying flat in bed.

“Oh yeah? I’d like to see you do a better one.”

Silently, The Bean hands the Nook light to me. He takes his time preparing for his shadow puppet, stretching and arranging his fingers just so. Finally, he balls up a fist, wiggling his knuckles slightly. I stare at the ceiling, transfixed, watching the slow curves of the shadow move, undulate, twisting and transforming slowly into….

A giant shadow of him flipping me off.

“Hah, hah, hah,” I shove the Nook light back at him. It’s my turn again, and I decide to impress him. I mean, he probably doesn’t know he’s married to someone who used to be really well-known for her shadow-puppet abilities.

“Here, look, I made this one up when I was eight.” I smile in expectation, remembering the way my sister and I used to make shadow puppets on the walls of our bedroom, their forms wavering and indistinct in the dim light. “Look! It’s a giraffe! And it’s eating a tree!”

I grimace at my first attempt – it looks awful. In fact, it doesn’t really look like a mammal at all. It just looks lie a hand crippled with arthritis, trying to grab at the shadow of another hand. Hmm. That’s not very magical. I twist my hand several different ways, trying to recreate my favorite, but it’s no use. My hands are thicker, older, and I’m too out of practice. “Well, I mean, just pretend. See? It’s a giraffe. Eating. Nom, nom, nom.” Against the starkness of our ceiling something resembling a creepy sea monster makes chewing motions at… well, at my other hand balled up into a fist.

“You know, I remember it looking much cooler.”

“Suuuuure,” says The Bean, rolling his eyes.

“Fine,” I snap. “Look.” I cross my thumbs, and spread the “wings” of my hands majestically. “It’s an eagle!”

Against the ceiling, a spidery-looking bird jerks its wings spastically. I study the overly-long pinion feathers formed by my fingers and decide that it’s not an eagle, but rather a sickly crow.

“Caw! Caw! Caw!” I flap my hands again…

And feel The Bean’s free hand slide slowly up my side, in warm invitation.

“Caw… Caw… Caw…” The bird makes a few more pathetic attempts at flaps before disintegrating as I reach over to the Bean, kissing him deeply. The mood of our bedroom changed drastically, and the air grows warmer.


“Bean,” I whisper.


“Bean, wait.”


“Bean, can we do this another night?”

He leans back, looking at me quizzically. “What’s wrong?”

“I…. I wasn’t done making hand puppets,” I admit, guiltily.

With a disgruntled look, The Bean flops back onto his side of the bed. The Nook light clicks back on, blindingly bright in our dim room.

“Caw! Caw, caw!” The sickly crow flutters happily on the ceiling, drowning out The Bean’s heavy sigh.

Huntington Beach: Some Days It’s Not That Bad

I whine a lot.

“I hate Orange County,” you’ll hear me snivel. “Why can’t we move now?” I’ll whine in an annoying tone ask the Bean in an adult, mature fashion. “Other people seem to manage to survive in Montana, or Colorado. Why not us?”

“‘We’ll get there,” The Bean says in a distracted tone, having been through this particular whinefest scintillating conversation a million times before.

I pout on my way to work, ignoring the beautiful drive down PCH as I feel sorry for myself.

When Becky was in SoCal land: Let poor Becky go,
Oppress’d so hard she could not stand, Let poor Becky go.

Go down, Becky, Way down in SoCal land,
Tell old Pharaoh,
Let poor Becky go.

It’s no secret that I want to move.

There are too many people.

It’s crowded.

There’s too much concrete.

There are too many buildings. I hate the traffic. I hate the city life. I hate living ten feet from my neighbors. I’m scared my sons will grow up and start wearing skinny jeans like the other idiots handsome young men of this city.

I feel like I can’t breathe.

Most days, I feel like I’m in the middle of a prison sentence, just doing my time until I can earn my way to freedom.


Every once in awhile, it’s not that bad.

When the weather’s just right,

and the tourists are all gathered somewhere else,

and you feel like you might have a moment’s solitude…

It’s actually quite beautiful.

And as I watch my son racing along the sand, I realize that when I do move……..

I think I might miss it, just a little.

Because on certain days, living in Huntington Beach is a pretty nice place to be.

I Like to Tease The Bean

I like to tease the Bean.

I try to take him seriously and deal with him a mature, straightforward manner…

But then he gets too serious.

And once he gets all serious/adult/mature/stuck-up, it brings out the little sister in me.

When I look at him, I no longer see an intelligent, handsome man who is joined together with me within the bonds of holy matrimony.

I see someone who needs to be teased, and teased hard.

See, the problem with The Bean is that he is very good at what he does. He is very intelligent, and very persuasive and he started excelling in the business world before he was even allowed to legally drink. We’re only three weeks apart in age, but while I was running around, enjoying lazy summer afternoons, horses, and traveling around the state in my beat up old ’91 Ford Ranger, he was spearheading the development of overseas production plants and working 60 hour weeks to get ahead.

He is used to being taken seriously.

Taking things seriously has never been my strong suit.

What makes it even worse is that he never really tells me “No.” I mean, can you blame me? Who can resist such an open door?

As a little sister, I’m familiar with the way teasing usually goes down.

I tease.

The other person becomes annoyed.

I pick on them harder.

The other person becomes even more annoyed.

I continue picking on them.

The other person snaps at me to “KNOCK IT OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE.”

I heave a contented sigh at a job well-done and wander off to go find another victim.


The Bean never says “No”.

He never says “Quit.”

He never says “Leave me alone.”

During the first few days of our marriage, I remember actively trying to find his breaking point.

What happened if I waited until he was asleep and wrote all over his back with a permanent marker?

Sadly, nothing. The joke was on me – I chose to play my practical joke on a too-warm summer night, and with the lack of air conditioning the Bean just sweated the marker off and stained my favorite sheets.

What happened if I sang the same song thirty times in a row while sitting beside him in a car? THEN would he tell me to be quiet?

The Bean ignored me stoically, hands firmly placed at ten and two, executing safe lane changes and dutifully checking the rearview mirror on a regular basis like the DMV handbook recommends.

What about if I poked him? What would happen if I poked his arm… and then continued poking him even after he’d said “What?” I tried this one day while waiting in line at the store. The Bean ignored me, continuing to place the items on the conveyor belt.

I shifted my weight, annoyed. Where was his breaking point? I upped the ante, moving from poking his arm to slowly poking his head, waiting for some sign of annoyance. An angry look? A grumpy sigh?

Nothing. The Bean continued along with his purchase, digging in his wallet for his ATM card.

I decided to go all out – slowly, giving him every chance possible to avert his head or smack my hand away, I extended my finger, aiming towards his eyeball. Surely. Surely he’ll tell me to stop before I poke his eyeball.

The Bean ignored me, squinting his one eye shut as he continued on with his transaction.

Fascinated, I tried it again. The slooooow finger of doom crept towards his eyeball.

The only sign he noticed it was that he squinted his eye shut milliseconds before I actually touched it.

“STOP IT!” said the cashier in a frustrated, annoyed tone. “LEAVE HIS EYE ALONE.”

I looked up, startled, to find myself beneath the baleful glance of an extremely annoyed woman in her late 50s. Mollified, I let my hand drop back down to my side. Well. At least I’d gotten a reaction from someone.

You know, now that I think about it, I really only managed to get a good reaction out of him one time. Late one evening while we were still living in Long Beach, I waited until he fell asleep, then snuck into the kitchen. I grabbed one of our gigantic, plastic tumblers we used as drinking glasses and filled it full of water, hiding it in on the bottom shelf of our refrigerator. The glasses were enormous – they probably held somewhere close to 30 ounces of water. Snickering, I crept back to bed and fell asleep.

The next morning, as The Bean stumbled sleepily into the bathroom to shower before work, I feigned sleep.

I waited until I heard the sound of the shower door close before throwing off the blankets and tiptoeing into the kitchen to retrieve my gigantic glass of frigid, icy cold water.

There are many disadvantages to living in an absurdly tiny apartment; however, this was one of the times when I managed to make it work in my favor. The bathroom may have been minuscule, but clambering up to stand on the toilet seat put me in a wonderful vantage point above the shower.

“Oh, Beeeeean,” I sang out gaily as I slowly tipped the icy water onto his head.

“Crap! ACK! COLD! COLD! ACK!” said The Bean eloquently as he hopped around the tiny box of a shower in a failed attempt to avoid the icy stream.

“What’s the matter?” I continued in my singsong voice. “It’s just water… you’re already wet….”

“Cold! COLD COLD! ACK! WHY? WHY?! QUIT IT! QUIT IT! QUIT—BBblbllbblbl!” He gasped as dumped the remaining water on his head.

Aaaaah. Finally.

I smiled in satisfaction and hopped off the toilet seat.

Success at last.