Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Physically Impaired.

So yesterday I got to go to a physiotherapist.  This is all-new for me, being that I’m normally pretty well put-together, but since the Wreck of the Hesperus a few weeks ago, I’ve been having some random issues with muscle spasms and, most annoying of all, headaches.  So the doctor gave up on me and sent me to physical therapy.
I show up in my work clothes, because I don’t know any better.  Apparently you’re supposed to wear loose, comfortable clothing.  I was there in a blouse, a sweater, a lace skirt and four-inch heels.  Hm. 
When I walk in, I’m immediately greeted by a youngish woman who gives me the standard sheaf of paperwork to fill out.  I sit in the nice waiting area and start dutifully filling out my entire medical history.  I’m dimly aware of music in the background, which is filtering out to the waiting room from the therapy floor, which I can see from my chair. 
Lots of tables, weights, an indoor pool, and several young men looking purposeful are in the therapy room, along with the standard smattering of patients that make me feel like a giant f*cking hypochondriac.  These people have broken limbs and walkers and sh!t; I have a f*cking headache. 
So anyway.  It takes me a minute to place the music, which is really familiar, some kind of rock song from the 80s or 90s?  And then I hear the chorus and I audibly snort, seriously loud, loud enough that the receptionist looks up at me as I try to snarf quietly through hysterical giggles.
What kind of omen is it when your physiotherapist’s office is playing “Fat-Bottomed Girls” over their sound system?
After a while, I’m retrieved by a deeply-soulful young man who introduces himself as Brady.  Brady is younger than me by at least ten years and has perfect, earnest features and puppy eyes that are so immediately concerned for me that I feel even more like a fraud.  He sits me down on a table and is all, “Let’s dialogue” and I have to tell him all my symptoms.  And then he gets ALL UP CLOSE TO ME like the eye doctor does and puts his hands on my neck to sort of gently manipulate it, and I’m like, “Holy sh!t, Junior, not even my gyno gets this close,” and then I’m distracted because he’s asking questions again and I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to say.  Like, I’m concerned my answers are going to be wrong somehow or something, which is the dumbest fear ever, but like I said, I was already feeling like an assh*le for being there anyway.
So after some more deeply-unsettling close-massaging, Brady puts some electrodes on my neck and back and a heating pad on me and cranks that sucker up and man, it feels kind of awesome.  And then he leaves me alone for fifteen minutes which is the BEST thing ever, because I am really not a good physiotherapy patient.  At all.  Deeply-soulful Brady would be excellent if I was in my late 70s and only had a cat.  As it is, it’s just a wee disturbing and inappropriate. 
After the electrodes thing, the visit is over.  And Brady assures me that yes, I really am legitimately f*cked up, and I need to come back twice more this week and a few times next week, and we’ll go from there.
Which is really a double-edged sword.  Happy that this is something fixable, happy I apparently “passed,” but dude.  Five more close-staring sessions with Brady?   Seriously?   …..Maybe I could just take some Advil?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Experimental Cooking

So, Thomas and I have a kind of ritual.  When I inevitably have to haul him to the grocery store with me, he whines.  And I can’t blame him.  To a five-year-old boy, the grocery store is only slightly less annoying than the dentist’s office.  So our game is that he can pick something new, and I have to figure out how to make it palatable.

This time around, I took him to Whole Foods.  We’d been driving around on a Saturday morning, half-heartedly looking for yard sales after stopping at Starbucks for sustenance – our mother-son Saturday ritual.  We ended up near a Whole Foods, and, well, I remembered we were out of milk and sugar, so in we went.

To a kid for whom Whole Foods is not a regular experience, because we're not the Rockefellers, it can be a little daunting.  Crazy fruits!  Exotic vegetables!  Hold on – are those snails?  In cans?

So I knew it would be kind of a challenge for me.  I was abjectly panicking when he hit the cans of escargot, wondering if I was going to have to figure out how to cook f*cking snails on my electric range.

(Side note:  Whole Foods baffles me.  I love its exoticism and I admire its twee and intense passion towards the eco-friendly, the arrestingly healthy, the hand-crafted.  But to shop there for basic staples is an exercise in mind-boggling wastefulness.  The cheapest sugar I could find there?  $2.39.  For a pound of organic cane sugar, presumably hand-tilled or whatever by Tibetan one-eyed virgins.)

Imagine my relief when he decided on the daikon radish.  With which I am not at all familiar, but at least it wasn’t a g*ddamned invertebrate.

So, home with the startlingly-phallic daikon.  I asked for advice online, and the most family-friendly idea was pickling it overnight, which seemed like a surefire winner.  Thomas loves pickles, so anything with vinegar seemed like a slam-dunk.

Chop up the radish, salt it, let it sit in the fridge.  Drain it, douse it with vinegar and pepper and sesame oil, put it back in the fridge overnight.  Easy, right?


Within several hours, we were all making faces as we passed through the kitchen.  Sort of unconsciously, barely noticing anything, but in that “Jesus, we need to clean out the fridge” kind of way. 

By 10:00pm CST, the kitchen was a total no-fly zone.  And it was all the fault of the bowl of pickling radish in the fridge.  Opening the fridge was like opening the door on every reeking horror of your childhood, multiplied by a thousand.  The near-tangible stench of this stuff would have stopped Freddy f*cking Krueger in his tracks and sent him screaming into the night. 

But I persevered.  I had to.  I left it in the fridge.  This was a lesson.  In trying new things. 

So today we pulled out the dish of radishes.


Me:  It might taste good.  Sometimes stinky things taste good.  Like cheese.  (Can you hear the desperation in my voice?)

Thomas:  I dare you to take a bite.

(Fuuuuuck. )

So I got a fork and speared a chunk of radish, trying to keep from gagging, and took a bite.  Surprisingly, the texture of radish held up – it was still crunchy.  But God, it smelled like chilled death.   Chewing it only made the smell magnify in my mouth (Holy sh!t, I could taste the smell).   And I chickened out and made a run for the sink, making any number of ungodly, undignified noises as I spit it out and desperately rinsed my mouth out.

Afterwards, trying to save face, I said brightly, “Well, you’ve gotta try everything once, right?” to Thomas’s seriously skeptical face.  He looked at me a long moment.  He went into the powder room off the kitchen.  And he came back with the citrus air-freshener spray and made a circuit of the entire room, with one spray in the fridge for good measure.  And departed for Spongebob Squarepants with one last withering look my way.

The Moral of the Story According to Thomas:  "Sometimes you should just stick to strawberry tarts. "

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Top Ten Worst Toys Ever -- Little Boys' Edition.

With credit to both Thomas and my husband for their vitriolic, fervent input.

10.  Moon Dough.
Moon Dough is touted as, basically, Play-Doh that never dries out.  It comes in about six thousand colors and is also apparently waterproof or something, and the commercials show nothing strangely amiss, so we spring for it one Saturday afternoon.

The reality:  What they don’t tell you about Moon Dough is that it’s basically a slightly more solid form of talcum powder.  It’s so light it can practically be transmitted by air.  It is Styrofoam with slightly more give.  And as such, this sh!t will end up in every single g*ddamn nook and cranny of your house, even if the kid was playing with it in the garage.  Cleanup will involve putting your house on the market.  Also, it doesn’t hold its shape well, because it doesn’t have the heft of Play-Doh; so inevitably anything your kid makes will crumble like table salt and you will be left to forge your way through a late-afternoon tantrum.

9.  Legos.
Legos are epic.  And they are truly fearsome in terms of creative play.  There are, however, a couple of drawbacks to Legos.  One, the small pieces will forever damage vacuum cleaners, will forever be forgotten until stepped upon by bare feet at 2am, and will forever be lost when you need them. 

Two, if you have a linear-thought type of kid like mine, he will complete a massive, 7-14 project of 400 pieces – and then get bored.  I had to explain to him that you could make just about anything with Legos, and even then he was looking for instructions.  He’s like a little Communist sometimes. 

Three, they add the f*ck UP.  Right now we have a massive Rubbermaid bin full of nothing but Legos.  Which is awesome in theory; however, in practice, it sucks mightily because the one three-prong piece you need is somewhere near the bottom and will never, ever be found.

Additionally, the larger sets will sit around collecting dust, having been cannibalized of their coolest pieces, and will haunt your playroom like castle ghost towns.

8.  The Pillow Pet.
Seriously.  It’s a stuffed animal with a Velcro strap.  Why didn’t I think of this uselessness and make a million? 

7.  The Pillow Pet’s knockoff, the Happy Napper.
A Pillow Pet that you get to shove mercilessly and cruelly inside out so it fits inside its own skin, which is the habitat for the Pet – a barn for a cow, a house for a dog, an igloo for a penguin.  It makes me queasy to watch little kids jam their hands into the poor face of a bear just to get it inside its wee little hollow tree. 

6.  Hot Wheels Anything.

The cars are great.  And we have a million of them.  But where they really screw you is in the elaborate racetrack setups, which appeal like f*cking crack to little boys when you watch the commercial.  “The race cars LEAP over the canyon and land on the track opposite and then JUMP over the rocks and you get to see who wins!”  Well, great.  But until you’ve sat up late at night with a g*ddamned protractor trying to figure out why your particular track is off juuuuust enough so that the cars never land right, you have never known true pain.  Also, if you lose one piece of the track, nothing ever goes back together in any discernible, playable form. 

5.  The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine – the redux.

This damn thing is STILL AROUND, if you can believe it.  And despite the screaming, traumatized-child warnings in my head, I allowed Thomas to get one from a dollar store or something similar.  The results were depressingly still the same – twenty minutes’ worth of agonizing bicep work, producing exactly three shavings of ice.  If you really want to make snow cones, just use the blender and put a f*cking Snoopy sticker on it.

4.  Any Game Involving More Than Four Pieces.


This includes most of the newer games, with gimmicks and flashlights and a million tiny pieces that are vital to the game.  Lose one and you lose the game forever.   Puzzles are the same way, and Thomas specifically asked me to add them to this list.  You spend twenty minutes looking for one piece, only to eventually realize that it’s missing. 

3.  Noisy Toys.

This includes any of Elmo’s incarnations, a Transformer that issues commands, and an R2D2 we have.  The problem really isn’t the noise itself – I’ve never been too bothered by noise – but what happens when you come downstairs at 3am for a drink of water, wakened by a thunderstorm, and there’s a sudden flash of lightning and boom of thunder and Elmo is illuminated horribly and issues forth a falsetto “ELMO WANTS TO PLAY!”.   I really don’t think I’ve ever screamed so loud in my life. 

2.  Anything Valuable or Described as “Collectible."

We have a bunch of Schleich castle pieces – this was what Thomas got for his second birthday.  A massive castle, and like twenty knights on horseback, and a catapult, and several other pieces.  We mostly bought it for us, honestly.  The detail work was amazing, the knights were realistically dressed and everything was studiously and artfully done. 

Within a fortnight, the knights had taken up residence in the bathtub, under a bed, and warding off bad guys at windowsills, respectively.  One of the horses lost most of a head during a particularly trying period of molar development.  The castle pieces, while awesome, are enormous and unwieldy and defy any and all attempts at ergonomic storage. 

The good part about the toys is that they are astonishingly hardy.  Thomas is now nearly six, and the knights are still in heavy rotation, fighting Transformers and robots and Lego men.  Their fierce fighting facial expressions have taken on a look of grim, weary resignation.

1.  Thomas the Tank Engine.

Anything and everything about Thomas the Tank Engine toy-wise is evil incarnate.  I am utterly convinced.  The show was wonderful – narrated by George Carlin and Alec Baldwin, no less! – but the toys can bite my ass.  Children crave them desperately – mine in particular, because he shares a name with the eponymous Thomas – and these things are so g*ddamned expensive you can forget about ever sending the child to college.

You want a Thomas engine for your wooden railway pieces?  $12.99.  The damn thing is less than three inches long.   A Percy engine?  $10.99.  The most modest track set this company makes is a $40.00 no-frills figure-eight track.  It is the world’s biggest racket.   Thankfully, you can make do with the more affordable Melissa and Doug tracks; but you have to get the Thomas engines, because believe me, your kid will know the difference and will inform you via tantrums, screams, and weepy, unintelligible sobfests that he is going to end up in a f*cking clock tower because you bought a fake Gordon engine.

In short, my parents were right.  We really did all like the boxes better anyway.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Which We Are All Woefully Inadequate

Tonight we went to the Open House at Thomas's elementary school.

Bear in mind two things:  1, we are in the south; and 2, we are in the south.

The evening opens with all of us sitting at little benches in the cafeteria, while the principal, Mr. Coker, talks self-importantly into a microphone.  It is difficult to take this man seriously when you stop to realize they actually have a paddling policy at this elementary school.  We had to sign a waiver to get Thomas out of being PHYSICALLY STRUCK by his own principal if he misbehaved in a severe enough fashion. 

Mr. Coker likes to hear himself talk, so he does, for several minutes.  He calls the teachers "ladies" and "girls" and beams like a benevolent, dictatorial father figure.  Then he instructs the parents to be no more than thirty minutes, tells us to walk "in an orderly fashion" to the classrooms like we're all about to stam-fucking-pede, and then waits for the applause, which is conveniently begun by a woman in the audience whom I suspect strongly is the president of the PTA.

Thomas's classroom looks much like any other of the first-grade variety -- lots of color, lots of labeling, a lot of charts.  His teacher, Mrs. Foster, is overweight and reminds me somewhat of an unpleasant fifth-grade teacher my older sister once had, which isn't a good sign. 

She makes us sit at the desks, which are about twelve inches from the floor.  Thomas crowds into the chair next to me and begins to draw on my hand with a ball-point pen.  (Thomas:  "This is a good guy knocking a bad guy over the head with a bat.  See, these are his brains.")

Mrs. Foster tells us, dazzlingly, of "higher-level spatial learning," which I suspect is total bullshit jargon, and goes on to say she doesn't believe in homework.  She assigns a weekly packet, but it's sort of to be done "whenever you have the time."  This raises Alarm Bell Number One.  I raise my eyebrows at my husband, who raises his in return.  The rest of the time, she explains, we are to "use our resources" to instruct our kids in the list of skills she includes in the weekly newsletters. 

(I should note here that this is our "resource" drawer. Shit.)

Alarm Bell Number Two comes when she points out the clusters of desks, and says each cluster has one child who is solely responsible for getting all the other little kids in the cluster to clear their desks, get in line, take out materials, etc at the right times.  This seems like kind of a lot to ask of a six-year-old.  Her eyes gleam a bit as she says, "These selected children are our leaders.  They set an example."   Even Thomas rolls his eyes when she says this, which tells me a lot.  And also, fuck anyone who decides who the leaders are within one week of class.  I want to ask if these leaders will change, but I don't want to look like a whiner.  Particularly since the woman sitting across from me with her son sits up a bit straighter and beams at her child, who presumably will be responsible for correcting my kid's aberrant behaviors.

Mrs. Foster talks about the reading curriculum, and that's when That Parent speaks up.  There is always a That Parent in every class.  She raises her hand and says, "What if your child is reading far beyond the curriculum?  I mean, what if she's reading, you know, totally independently?".  Mrs. Foster looks pleased and says she'll tailor anything that needs to be changed for "more advanced children."  Ding ding ding, Alarm Bell Number Three.

Another parent raises his hand and asks about hair feather extensions, which are popular with little girls lately.  They're basically just clips with feathers on them, but Mrs. Foster looks solemn and says that apparently Mr. Coker has decided these are inappropriate for little girls.  And then she looks vaguely in our direction as she says, "Little boys are also not allowed to have mohawks."  Alarm Bell Number Four:  We already have a strike against us for this one.

After the presentation, she talks to us randomly and individually as we're getting our things together and trying like hell to get out of the tiny seats.  When she gets to us, I mention to her that Thomas still has some trouble paying attention and focusing, because he's right at the cutoff age and therefore he's kind of young.  And I swear, I can see her inwardly sigh, and she says, looking kinda hard at me, "Mrs. H, They all have that problem."  Aaaand here we have Alarm Bell Number Five.

Now, I am not six years old, but I have never, ever in my life wanted so bad to kick someone square in the damn shins.

Thomas seems to like her well enough, so I will bite right through my tongue if I have to in order to make it through this school year.  But I'll be damned if that child isn't doing some form of homework at night.  "I don't believe in homework."  Is she kidding?

You know what nobody ever tells you when you're pregnant and thinking fondly of raising children?  That children really aren't the difficult part at all.  The really tough part of being a parent is restraining yourself from raising your damn hand and asking, "Is there a paddling policy for teachers?".


Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Diamond Shoes, Y'all, They Are TOO TIGHT.

So, this week, on Tuesday, I was on my way home from work in my spiffy, shiny Nissan Altima, with its awesome 3.5 liter engine and its kick-ass sound system, just listening to some music, minding my own business on the interstate home. 

Traffic slowed down, as it always does at that time at this one certain spot, and came to a stop.  So I stopped, singing along with the damn radio, and I look in my rearview mirror and see a crappy pickup truck behind me, coming up fast.

He’s going to stop, right?  He’s going to stop right?  F*ck me, he’s not going to stop.

*Insert massive crunch sound here.*

It’s a seriously hard hit.  I limp the car to the shoulder, cursed because everything in my purse had flown all over the front seat and passenger side floor, and call the police. 

While I’m on the phone describing where I am, still dazed, Dude in the pickup is out of his truck and is knocking on the passenger window.  “Are you all right?  Are you all right?” So I hang up, and – not my best moment – screech, “NO I’M NOT FUCKING ALL RIGHT, YOU ASSHOLE.”

The damage to the back end of the car?  Extensive.  It’s not driveable.  I just bought this car three months ago, did I mention that part?

Truck Dude is a total stoner/weirdo, who says, “Oh, my God, I’m SO SORRY, my phone beeped and I just looked down for ONE SECOND.” 

I say pretty much nothing.  My head hurts.  My neck sort of hurts.  I’m shaky and dazed and I HATE HIM.

The cop shows up and takes our information.  Thankfully, Truck Dude seems to be insured.  The cop looks at me closely and says, “Are you okay?”

I sort of frown, I think, and say, “My head hurts.  And my neck sort of hurts.”

That, folks, is all it takes for them to call the ambulance, over my sort-of-weak protests.  I really DO think I probably need to be checked out, but an ambulance seems kind of like overkill, especially since I’m … well, ambulatory. 

The paramedics show up and ask me where I hurt.  I tell them my neck and my head.  And THAT, folks, is all it takes for them to strap me down to a backboard, with a neck brace, in front of an entire highway full of stopped traffic that is riddled with my coworkers on their way home. 


The car is towed to the wrecker, I’m hauled away in an ambulance feeling sh!tty for taking paramedics away from, probably, some real emergency somewhere. 

At the hospital, they leave me in the neck brace until they can take a CT scan of my head and neck to be sure I have no fractures or hematomas or any other completely scary thing which effectively whips me into a quiet, stoic panic. 

Two hours later, the verdict upon examination is a back sprain, and a cervical sprain.  Which is WHIPLASH, y’all.  I am inordinately excited by this.  I’ve never known anyone who’s ever had whiplash, even though it’s routinely trotted out on TV as a farcical and always-faked car-accident injury. 

An hour after THAT and I’m in a cab on the way home with a fistful of prescriptions, a belly full of muscle relaxants and painkillers, and a serious fucking headache.

Total time getting home from work on Tuesday:  Six hours.

Total damage to the car, according to the insurance adjuster and the mechanic:  $9,947.00.

Hospital bills:  Probably around $4,000, which includes medication, ambulance services, a CT scan, and an X-ray.

Cab ride during which the driver regales me with tales of horrifying car accidents he’s had (NOT comforting, assh*le):  $45.

Rental car for four weeks while they repair my vehicle:  $600.

BUT.  The sprains will heal in another week or so.  I was in the car alone, sans child.  The car was not totaled out.  Truck Dude was insured.

Life is still good. 

Friday, August 5, 2011


Oh, how do I love your For Sale listings?  Let me count the ways.
1.  This was in “furniture.”  It’s called a St. Andrews’ Cross.  There are wrist and ankle restraints at each pinnacle of the X.  Does someone strap into this and watch Dancing With the Stars?  The caveat that it is “for novelty use only” is equally enlightening.  Don’t try to make your basement into a real dungeon!  
I might be scarred for life.  OMG Y’ALL I WAS ONLY LOOKING FOR A CHAISE.

2.  The guy in Collectibles who claims he is looking for obsolete police badges “JUST AS COLLECTORS ITEMS.”  Mmm-hmmm.  Suuuuure.
3.  Elk horns.  Artfully arranged with several firearms for authenticity, although “GUN’S NOT FOR SALE JUST FOR DECORATION.”  The seller claims the elk was “harvested” (ew!) by the guy who played Gomer Pyle.  That’s a lot of sh!t going on right there, people.   You would be crazy to pass that up for $200.  (Provided you’re brave enough to actually go to this guy’s house, that is.)

4.  An empty apple cider bottle.  Is this a thing?  Can I start selling my empty orange juice cartons and sh!t on Craigslist?
5.  The Money Chamber.  Look, I’ll pay $5,000 for this if the money comes with it.
6.  Cemetery plots.  I’m a little grossed out by the number of people selling plots on Craigslist.  I mean, what?  Did you change your mind about dying? 

Tips for sellers:
  • Nobody wants to go through your old shed/garage/attic.  Don’t try to foist your housekeeping off on unsuspecting Interneters.  I cannot imagine the person dumb enough to respond favorably to an ad like that.  “Oh, awesome!  Yeah, I’ll come to your house in the middle of a field fifty miles from the nearest police station.  Clean out your basement?  Sure!  I bet you have some cool vintage stu—hey, are those manacles?  What are you doing with that wet rag?  Mmmf *thunk*”
  • Do your research and do not underestimate people.  I mean, MAYBE there is someone who wants your 1973 Jim Croce album badly enough to pay $20 for it, but your odds aren’t good.  I’m just saying. 
  • To the guy selling the “Original WW2 German Kriegmarine Overcoat wool eagle” who wants someone to make him an offer, I’ve got one for you:  I’m offering up that it’s creepy as f*ck to collect Nazi memorabilia.  You’re welcome.
  • If you’re selling replicas of firearms of famous people, learn how to spell their names.  It took me a good thirty seconds to figure out what you meant by “White Erp’s guns,” and another thirty minutes to stop laughing.

And lastly, I have found the perfect Christmas gift for my husband.  Who doesn’t like slightly used naked-lady playing cards??

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So lately I've been unhappy with my hair.  I've also had a root canal in the last week.  These two events are related, I promise you.

Because the root canal meant I was on painkillers, and up late at night whimpering on the couch.  And INFOMERCIALS are on late at night.

Hence, I ordered some weirdo conditioner-only haircare line from an informercial.  I blame the drugs.

It's called Wen (what this means, I don't know).  The guy who designed it is apparently a friend of the guy from Flipping Out, which is a show I have never watched, so it's irrelevant to me.  But he was mesmerizing at 3am while I was f*cking high on Vicodin. 

Anyway, it came yesterday.  The cleansing conditioner, a deep conditioner, a styling cream, and texture putty.  Oh, and the comb.

The brochures are AWESOME.  They are covered with CHAZ! (which I say while imagining jazz hands.)  You can see for yourself how soulful and deeply concerned CHAZ! is about the dreadful, unenlightened state of my hair. 

But he promises a "transformation," and I feel kind of like I'm being indoctrinated into a cult.

After gazing zen-like into CHAZ!'s eyes for a while, I broke down and headed for the shower.  First of all, they tell you to thoroughly rinse your hair in "cool water."  Which is not all that conducive to the shower, because it means you're shivering like a f*cking maniac while whispering "CHAZ!" like a mantra.  So I opted for hanging my head over the tub instead, which worked a lot better and was actually kind of refreshing.

That done, I went about applying the cleansing conditioner.  The smell is really quite pleasant.  It's a little herbal, but not medicinal, and a little sweet, but not cloying.  I dutifully separated my hair into sections and went to work.  They tell you to use a SH!TLOAD of this stuff, but I'm trusting CHAZ! here, so I did as I was told.  Next, you have to "massage vigorously" for 1-3 minutes.  Seriously, your hands kind of start to get tired of this. 

Then you comb.  Which I admittedly skipped, because my hair is kind of fine and I'm scared of ending up with bald patches or something, so I just finger-combed and hoped CHAZ! wouldn't be too disappointed.  But I could feel his disapproval from the brochure on the bathroom counter.

Next step:  Leave on for 3-5 minutes "or longer."  So I put on a shower cap and a towel and headed out for a few minutes.  The stuff sort of tingles on your scalp, not unpleasantly, but I'm imagining that in the dead of winter this will suck between the cool rinse and the cooling tingle.

Then it was back to the tub for the rinse.  The rinse takes a while, because your hair basically feels like a big slippery mass of goo.  But the slipperiness does go away a bit. 

The aftermath:  After rinsing, I towel-dried it and applied a little of the same cleansing stuff as a leave-in.  The texture of my hair is interesting.  It feels squeaky, which is nice because it feels clean; and I was worried about it just feeling like, well, conditioner.  But while it's squeaky, it's also not a tangled mess -- it's almost totally detangled without having to do anything to it.  My scalp still feels a little cool, which is nice because it also adds to the sensation of having actually shampooed. 

I'm letting it air-dry, so we'll see how it dries; but for the first application, I'm pleasantly surprised.  It's a lot more work than regular shampooing/conditioning, but the result feels, thus far, like your hair does when you have it washed at a really nice salon.  Maybe CHAZ! is really more than a pair of gentle eyes and a head of tumbled, artful hair. 

P.S.  I have spent the last twelve hours randomly sneaking up on my husband to yell "CHAZ!" and do Fosse hands.