My friend wrote, “I saw this picture and thought of you.” (hairless guinea pig in knitted sweater)My friend wrote, “I saw this picture and thought of you.” (hairless guinea pig in knitted sweater).

Perhaps unfortunately, my on and off vegetarianism has nothing to do with loving animals so much that I can’t eat them. It started over two years ago when my good friend and roommate received street literature (I think) about vegetarians living longer. Together, we became vegetarians, but not of the healthy variety; I started eating grilled cheese and egg sandwiches much more often, and if asparagus happened to be on sale, then asparagus dipped in mayo it was. My “vegetarianism” lasted for many many months, then I got a chronic disease, and months later was on my way to a coffin in the ground because of complications and severe anemia. Even though the anemia wasn’t related to lack of meat, I decided the whole I’m-going-to-live-longer thing probably would not happen anyways. But, having an already-thin vegetarian live-in boyfriend (Ian) launched a whole new approach to vegetarianism. I became a gourmet vegetarian cook in no time, and the only time I cook meat at home is for parties, and even then, the majority of dishes are vegetarian, and many are vegan. Thus, I am usually a vegetarian, unless meat is on a restaurant menu. I’m in love with shrimp rings+cocktail sauce and can’t resist pulled pork. I used to eat chicken-on-a-stick before my last experience, which was raw-chicken-on-a-stick.

Vegetarian or not, I am in no way an animal person. An animal (a goat or sheep) at the petting zoo stole my Ernie doll one time and I freaked out. I had to babysit/housesit/petsit one time for 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 6 puppies that conveniently birthed themselves when I was being interviewed for this week-long job. “Do you like animals?” my philosophy professor said. With my fib gear on, I smiled and said, “I love animals!” That is not just a lie, it is a LIE. By the end of that week, I had stopped walking and feeding the dogs and I didn’t care. Call me cruel, but those pups were too needy for me. My petsitting days had begun and ended in a flash.

The other night I had a dream that I was driving with my boyfriend in hometown Pittsburgh, and we had bought a hermit crab. The dream was much more complex but it boiled down to a central question in my mind: do I put the hermit crab in water with fish or in a water-less tank? In the dream, I never asked anyone, but couldn’t stop milling over this question. A hermit crab is one of the next sea creatures I want to crochet. I have a bunch for sale on Etsy. Interestingly, I just sold a set of 3 to a friend, Amit, which I personally delivered to him at the Idolator party last night. Ian’s friend, Taylor of Podbop bought three in advance. Oyster, Lobster, and Octopus were a bit overwhelmed, but flattered at the same time. This will be my third set now sold, but it never gets easier bidding farewell to my soft ocean friends.