Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Dear Google Ads:


First you offer me a horse-incinerating device . Now you're trying to sell me Axe body spray for my mannequin? I mean, everyone needs their mannequin bow-chicka-wow-wow fresh, right?

Because that's normal, right?

Seriously, Google, you're creeping me out. Quit it.


Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Friday, Friday!

Apparently even roosters like to sing along with Rebecca Black's "Friday".


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Update on My Life

From August 18, 2011

All credit to this wonderful depiction of how I'm feeling goes to the incredibly talented Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. I nabbed it from this post, which is pretty much a biography of my life prior to meeting The Bean.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, Monday, Monday. Curse thee.

  1. Woke up late today.
  2. Seriously considered getting busy with The Bean, but alas: no time (see line item #1).
  3. Began contemplating whether or not we could find time to have a little "busy time" later today... but no, The Bean has an evening class.... maybe tomorrow morning? No... I work out tomorrow morning.... and I have plans tomorrow evening - besides, The Bean has another night class..... Maybe Wednesday morning...?....
  4. Became seriously depressed at the thought that not only is my life so busy I have to "plan" something as fun and spontaneous as "busy time"... but I'm not even sure we do have time, even if we did plan it.
  5. Got in the shower, pouting.
  6. Couldn't find the razor to shave my legs, which mean I wouldn't be able to wear the business skirt I wanted to wear. Instead, I would have to wear my too-tight, too-high, kinda too-short in the legs "wow-I-look-like-a-mom" pants.
  7. Considered not shaving and just taking a chance nobody would actually look at my legs today.
  8. Looked down and saw the long, full forest of leg hair that currently adorns my leg undulate gently in the breeze.
  9. Decided to go with the pants.
  10. Stuffed myself into pants.
  11. Stared morosely in the mirror. Ugh. Fat.
  12. Drove to work.
  13. Stopped to get coffee--- Mmmm. Coffee. At least one thing went well, right?
  14. Received a phone call from The Bean letting me know I had forgotten half of the parts to my pump at home, which means pumping will take twice as long.
  15. Got to work.
  16. Put things down at desk.
  17. Immediately spilled 30 ounces of coffee all over my desk - watched in horror as 30 ounces became something like 425 bazillion ounces and covered everything in sight.
  18. Galumphed Ran nimbly and lightly to the breakroom to get paper towels.
  19. Spent 30 minutes cleaning. Congratulated myself that I managed to sop everything up without losing a single bit of electronics to the coffee madness.
  20. Tried to begin work.
  21. Realized that I did have one casualty - my keyboard, which once again decided it did not want to type the letter "t".
  22. Tried to fix keyboard.
  23. End result: A keyboard that ONLY types the letter T. T. Ttt. TtTtttT. Pages and pages of TttttTTTtttttttttttttttTTTtttttttttttttttTTTttttttttttt.
  24. Disconnected keyboard, opened laptop.
  25. Look at the time: 9:30am. Only seven more hours to go.
  26. Take a break, type up a post complaining about it, post it to blog.
  27. Look at time: 9:46am. Back to work.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Where I Am Now: Part 6

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

“Hey Bean. “


“Guess what?”

The Bean sighed, heavily, already anticipating the punchline. “What?”

“We’re married.”

“Yes. I know,” he said in a slightly annoyed tone, attention already wandering.

I really couldn’t blame him – it was probably the twentieth time I’d said it that afternoon. I still found it hard to believe I was married.



The Bean was my husband. I was Becky Bean. Mrs. Becky Bean. I liked my new last name. Everyone agreed – it suited me.

Still, it took some getting used to.

For a shotgun-style wedding we certainly had a lot of people show up. Well, let me rephrase that--- I had a lot of people show up.

The Bean told his family that we were having a private civil service ceremony.

His family said they understood and mailed off a few sweetly-written "Congratulations!" cards with a couple of checks and gift cards to start us on our new journey together.

Then it was my turn. I told my family that I was having a private civil service ceremony.

After discouraging several people from showing up I ended up only having to cram 19 of my closest family and friends into the miniscule curtained-off area in the Orange County courthouse.

So much for eloping.

I set my foot down and refused to plan anything overly elaborate. We bought a case of hot dogs and several bags of buns from Costco. We threw in a couple of flats of "Kirkland" brand soda, some makings for s'mores, and called it a day.

My mother was a little horrified at how bare bones everything, but she could see that I wasn't going to budge.

We compromised on the dress. It may have been cream colored, but it also had black, and we bought it on sale at Dress Barn.

When The Bean asked me what he should wear, I told him that I liked the way he looked in a fancy, mock-turtleneck and slacks I'd once seen him wearing.

The day of the wedding dawned. I felt surprisingly mellow, considering I'd left so many details for the last minute.

My mom did a beautiful job with my hair, and I showed up at Macy's at the local mall and had one of the makeup girls do my makeup in exchange for me purchasing some eye shadow and lip gloss.

By the time I finished getting ready and arrived back home to throw on my dress and drive to the courthouse, I knew I was going to be late.

The day was unseasonably warm, and I sat sweating in the backseat, barking out orders to help my out-of-town friends navigate their way to the courthouse. If you're not used to dancing through the lightening-fast lane changes and complex freeway interchanges that make up the average Friday afternoon drive on a southern California freeway, it can be a little daunting.

We pulled up to the front of the courthouse, and I saw the Bean waiting for me, surrounded by over a dozen of my friends and family that he didn't even know.

He looked distinctly uncomfortable, eyeballing the laughing strangers like a horse about to spook. Of course, I may have been reading into a little too much. He might have just looked uncomfortable because I had ordered him into a wool turtleneck on an 80 degree day and then left him standing in the hot sun waiting for me.

I stepped out of the car to the "oohs" and "aahs" of family and friends, all of them politely ignoring the solid bump that lifted the front of my dress. I may have only been 4 months along, but I had popped out early.

I waited for the Bean to compliment me, and then noticed he was looking almost green.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah. Let's just get inside."

I reached over to hug him and someone shouted, "Give her a kiss! Give her a kiss!"

Robotically, the Bean leaned forward and gave me a chaste, impersonal kiss on the lips.

I could see a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. The sun? Nerves? I wanted to ask him, but with everyone milling around us I knew I wouldn't get anything more than a mumbled answer. For a smooth-talker the Bean is surprisingly introverted, and from what I could sense he was completely out of his comfort zone, to the point he had almost shut down.

"Let's get inside." I grabbed his sweaty hand with my own damp palm and the two of us headed up to the second floor.

The hallway was surprisingly crowded for an early afternoon. Glancing around at the other brides, I had to laugh.

One of the brides wore an exquisite, pearl-encrusted, full-length white wedding gown. The thing looked like it cost a thousand dollars.

She was also at that stage of pregnancy where it looked like if you bumped her too hard her water might break. Suddenly, my worries about my "baby bump" disappeared and I was able to relax a little.

Still, as nervous as I was about the whole day, I don’t really have a clear, fluid memory of the events – instead, I was left with bright, disjointed flashes of memory.

I remember finding a sign that said passports/visas to the left, marriage certificates to the right, and pointing it out to The Bean.

I remember catching him staring at it so intently that I actually began to worry which direction he was going to head..

I remember the look on my Grandma’s face, and her warm hug.

I remember my mom taking pictures - Lordy how she took pictures – pictures in front of the courthouse, pictures walking to the elevator, pictures in the elevator…

I remember looking over as she took pictures of somebody’s shoes. “Mom, what on earth?”

“I ran out of stuff to take pictures of,” she said defensively. “So I’m taking pictures of shoes.”

I remember heading over to a side room to sign our marriage license. It was an insanely busy room, with brides, grooms, family members, witnesses and everyone bumbling about in a melee.

I don’t really remember signing the paper… and I guess that’s for good reason.

The license at the courthouse has The Bean’s signature.

The license has the signature of our two witnesses.

It has the county clerk’s signature.

You know what it doesn’t have?

My signature.

Apparently I got so distracted by the hubbub that I forgot to actually sign the piece of paper. I didn't notice this until I went back to get a copy of it.

Typical me.

Anyways, I remember the officiant calling our name, and our laughter as we tried to fit everyone in the narrow, curtained off area. I don’t think everyone actually made it through the door.

I remember my mom moving around the room, snapping dozens of pictures a minute.

I remember the officiant had a nice speaking voice, and that I agreed with what she had to say about marriage.

I don’t remember what she actually said, though.

I remember laughing as the Bean struggled tried to slip my ring on my finger, and finally pulling my hand out of his grasp and popping it over my knuckle for him.

I remember sliding the ring over his finger and repeating my vows.

To love. To cherish. To honor.

I remember heaving a big sigh and quietly mumbling “and obey” in a sulky, sullen tone after the officiant left that part out. I remember I sounded as grumpy as I felt about adding that line on – but after the years I’d spent mulling over whether or not I wanted it in my wedding ceremony, I decided last minute that it needed to be there.

It’s okay, though. I don’t think The Bean heard me, so I think I’m safe.

I remember sliding the ring over The Bean’s finger…. And looking up to see my mom leaning over his shoulder as she took a picture. She was up on her tiptoes, elbow resting on his shoulder, cheek inches from his cheek as she tried to get a better angle for a picture.

“Why didn’t you tell him to clean his ears?” she would complain later. “You can see his earwax in every shot.”

I remember everyone cheering as we kissed, but I don’t actually remember the kiss.

The drive to the beach and the bonfire was also a blur. Everyone was relaxed and laughing. I remember looking at The Bean from across the fire, watching the firelight play along his jawline, studying the intelligence in his eyes. My husband. I felt both proud and a little unnerved.

We opted to have a photographer friend take photos in lieu of a cheap, weekend honeymoon. We were broke, so it was one or the other.

I’m still happy with the choice we made.

Two days after we were married, I was still trying to find a way to make it all sink in. Married. Me.


I bumped The Bean playfully with my elbow. Again.

“Hey Bean, guess what?”