Miss Vanjie… Miss Vanjie… Miss… Vanjie.

***SPOILER: If you are behind on the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, my new love –nay, obsession — then get current and prepare for a walk down Meme-ory Lane…

I had to post this or I would literally have peed my pants from unrequited sharing.

RuPaul’s Drag Race, you guys. The new obsession in our home. It’s brilliant, poignant, insightful, hilarious, and often cringy. We met and fell in love with Miss Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, only to have her snatched (pun unintended and I’m leaving it) away all too soon.

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A dramatic interpretation of me and the GF watching that night’s episode:

Me: Awwww, how sad! I liked her.

“MISS VANJIE…”

GF: (watches silently, blocking me out)

Me: Poor thing!  She made friends with everyone and already has to leave. I would be so upset!

“MISS VANJIE…”

GF: (turns up volume)

Me: … why is she saying her name a bunch of times though? Is that a thing from earlier??

“…MISS VANJIE.”

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Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and her endearing, albeit confusing exit, captured our hearts and imaginations that night, and of course, the avalanche onto Meme-ory Lane has been generous.

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Those in this post are just a few of my own that were inspired by The Muse, Vanjie.

T shirt line to follow…

miss vanjie record scratch

The Grand Canyon: So F*%@ing Grand, I Literally Can’t Even

For those of you wondering, I strategically wrote this post almost a month after visiting the Grand Canyon due to creative reasons that only an artiste would understand, and not because I’ve been too distracted by drawing and playing with my cats.

After Joshua Tree, we headed east toward Arizona and this allegedly Grand Canyon. If you ever drive on Highway 62, you’ll notice a strange attraction beckoning you from the roadside: the Rice Shoe Fence, in Rice, CA.

Aside from being a delicious side in Mexican dishes, Rice is known for its vast collection of shoes, not unlike my girlfriend.

After snapping some pictures of the ghost town’s local architecture, it was onward, ho!

Onward we ho’d, indeed.

As we neared the California-Arizona border, we saw a ton of signs warning us about wild burros running around on the road. I’m not sure why they’re not just called donkeys, but there were indeed burros galore. I’m also unsure about how burritos got their name, for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there.

I feel like maybe they should put less signs about burros and more signs about vehicular width requirements. Because ol’ Barb was too wide for the bridge over the Colorado River, we had to backtrack an hour to the route for obese RV’s (real nice, Arizona).

The extra time in the hot RV set the tone for the whole state. After that, we just had this vague feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

Fun fact: 93% of the United States outside of California is hellishly hot and humid (except during Polar Vortex, or what we in California call “winter”). To mitigate the heat, we took a slightly longer route to treat ourselves to Culver’s, the In-N-Out of the Midwest, except better and with Concrete Mixers.

After spending a night in a haunted field, we were excited to see the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon!

Everyone should visit the Grand Canyon at some point in their lives. It’s beautiful, but its the sheer vastness of it that’s most compelling. If you ever want to experience how insignificant we are in the scope of the enormity of the universe, go to the Grand Canyon.

Tl; dr

Arizona: 2.5/5 stars, because Lake Havasu City has a Culver’s and it’s home of the Grand Canyon

Haunted field: 2/5 stars

Grand Canyon: ALL OF THE STARS

This Test Predicts with 100% Accuracy Where on the Cat Lady Spectrum You Fall

We made it to Niles, Michigan today after strategically making it through both Ohio and Indiana without buying anything out of principle. It was still light outside until past 9:00, and we took advantage by playing cornhole outside by the RV.

As the sequence of events progressed throughout the night, I was reminded of how severe my cat-ladyism is, and I wanted to share my experience, strength, and hope with you so that you can see just how far into cat-ladydom you’ve gone, or how far you still have to go. May I present the following quiz:

Are You More of a Cat Lady Than Lindsay?

1) Kitten gazes at the outside world, longing for the sweet taste of liberty. I watch her and wonder what she’s thinking.

2) Her pitiful meows at the door interrupt the game of cornhole Tina and I are playing. She’s the saddest, most neglected kitten in the world, nay — the universe. We try not to pay her any mind so she won’t learn to meow when she wants something she ought not have. We do not succeed.

3) Guilty about depriving her, we put Kitten on her leash and attach it to a heavy chair. She sits there on the mat until a noise/a movement/Kitten’s overactive imagination sends her scurrying beneath the RV. We coax (read: drag) her out and take her back inside. We silently scold ourselves for allowing Kitten to be scared on or watch. We wonder if she will be traumatized forever.

4) Despite her escape attempt and possible PTSD, she meowed pathetically to go outside again, so we had no choice but to acquiesce. She “played” (ate grass) and watched us play cornhole (I won two out of three).

5) A tree with some birds in it piques Kitten’s interest. I take 40-or-so pictures while a group of RV campers in their 60’s chuckle at the cat on the leash and the crazy lesbians following her around taking pictures.

6) Kitten runs straight up aforementioned tree. Note Tina’s concerned face pictured at the bottom of the photo. Full disclosure, Tina is probably equal parts scared that Kitten might get hurt and worried about my wrath should that come to be.

Now count up how many of these points you empathized with, have done before, or would totally do in the future. That score gives you, with absolute accuracy, the severity of your cat-ladyitis diagnosis!

If you don’t have a cat because you’re allergic (because why else wouldn’t you have one?!), my condolences. Replace “cat” with “dog,” “horse,” “boyfriend,” whatever, and report your results in the comments!

0-1: You’re either a sociopath or an alien. Or both.

2-3: You have some real work to do to be a full-fledged cat lady (or cat dude!). I would suggest obtaining at least two cats as soon as practicable and continuing to read this blog regularly. And ask yourself, Am I willing to commit?

4-5: You own more than one cat-themed sweater and you plan hangout time with your feline friends. Might I suggest a subscription to Cat Fancy as well? I would challenge you to turn down invitations to hang out with friends in order to hang out with your cats. Be creative with your excuses!

6: Let’s be best friends! Well, second best, because you already know who takes the #1 spot.

A Tail of Two Mice

You know when you get to the end of a horror movie and find out it was the boyfriend all along? And looking back on various scenes, it totally makes sense that it was him, but the audience doesn’t realize it until he’s killed half the town? That was how it was with us and the realization that we had mice in the RV.

Skeet Ulrich is the murderous boyfriend in literally every movie.

Kitten had been perched in chicken-like repose, staring into the hollow compartment beneath the bench seats at the table. She regularly sees things that we humans do not, so I wrote it off as Kitten being Kitten.

Kitten singing.

As cats and humans alike were about to settle down for a long summer’s nap, a mouse appeared and scurried across the seat cushion in front of me and then darted behind the trash can.

Tina was in the bathroom getting ready for bed.

“Babe, stay in the bathroom…” I said with complete calmness, my voice level with the confidence of a rodent whisperer.

“Why? What’s going on?”

“Nothing. Just don’t make any sudden movements.”

It’s worth noting at this point in the story that when I was but a young kitten myself, I caught a mouse using nothing but my hands and wits. It had gotten into the break room at the Borders bookstore I worked at (R.I.P. Borders) so I caught it and put it outside on the loading dock. There was a 20-minute video on YouTube of the whole ordeal, but I don’t know what happened to it. I mention all of this because #foreshadowing, duh.

Poor Tina was displeased by the fact that we had the unexpected guest. I had her open the bathroom door all the way to seal off the bedroom (it’s butts up against the shower when fully opened) and stuff a towel under the door. Thank goodness for the towel.

“It’s behind the trash can. I’m going to move it and try to grab it and put it outside.”

(Muffled whimper): “Ok.”

Fun fact: house mice can jump like mofos.

“I’m coming for your family and everything that you hold dear.”

If you’re like we were that night, you’re probably wondering how this little guy could be running around with Kitten chasing him without having been maimed or eaten by now. Welp, to answer that, here’s Kitten after she fell asleep, literally mid-groom, in a toe-touch position. Her feline instincts are more Hello Kitty than Lion King.

She fell asleep in the same position that Peter Griffin ends up in when he falls down the stairs in Family Guy.

In other words, Kitten is more decorative than functional.

Back to the jumping mouse. I pulled the trash can away from the wall and the little bugger ran straight toward the bedroom, which thankfully was air-, or towel-, as it were, -tight. So picture Tina yelling from behind the door while me and Kitten clumsily pawed at this tiny, slippery, jumping mouse.

Finally, I managed to scoop it up with my hands (which were covered in dish towels as primitive hantavirus protection), Tina opened the RV door, and I tossed it out as gently but far away as I could.

Can I just point out the relationship between the words “hantavirus” and “haunted?”

Phew! What an exciting adventure, right?! We figured that we must’ve picked up the little critter in the haunted field we had stayed in a couple nights before.

We finally completed our nighttime routine and went to bed. I was nearly asleep when I felt the RV moving. Though Tina was finishing up in the bathroom and causing some of the motion, I had a sneaking suspicion and got up to check things out. There was Kitten, leaping and diving near the sofa. It was as if… she was chasing something.

Lo and behold! Another mouse!

Without any time to prepare our defenses, the mouse slipped past me and Kitten and under the bathroom door. Never before had I heard screams like that, as if someone was being kidnapped by clowns.

She looks friendly.

I opened the door, snatched it up, and threw it along with the last kitchen hand towel outside into the night. Slamming the door shut, I collapsed on the sofa to catch my breath.

Those were the only two mice that we encountered that night. To prevent Tina from having a nervous breakdown, we bought mouse traps. At first, they were the catch-and-release type, and when that didn’t work, kill-traps.

We ended up killing one mouse which made me sad. After all, the poor things had just accidentally made their way into our living quarters and meant no harm.

But there’s an old adage that I reflect on which helps give me perspective on the situation and makes me feel better: happy wife, happy life without her setting the RV on fire and leaving you to join a nunnery.