I've only been knitting since May 2011 (not quite a year yet), and I feel like telling all these experienced knitters to STOP TELLING US that the long-tail cast on is "easy." Bullfeathers! It is NOT easy; there are too many ways to get it wrong:
--you can pull way too much, or not quite enough, yarn out for the "long tail"
--you can pull the loops too tight if you're using only one needle
--you can keep dropping one of the needles if, in trying not to get a tight cast-on, you decided to use both needles together
--you can bring the needle "under" instead of "over"
So...now I use either the knitted-on cast-on or the German Twisted Cast-On. Somehow, it's much easier to get a looser tension with either of these methods than with the long-tail cast-on. I may permanently banish it from my repertoire, in fact, now that I've found a site with over four dozen (!) identified cast-ons. (Can't remember it right at the moment, but I'll track it down.)
So: go look at the videos offered here at this site for the knitted-on cast-on and the German Twisted Cast-On. Approach the long-tail again in a few weeks. Try it then with both needles held together, to give yourself extra room when you withdraw the extra needle after all the loops are cast on.