the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

They Don’t Eat Fried Squirrel at BlogHer


After writing my last post, I received a few emails asking me if I’m really going to BlogHer this year. After all, I’ve been making fun of the concept for two years now, each year setting up an opposing “BlogHim” conference online where male bloggers curse and talk about sex a lot (which is probably not that different from what the women do at the real-life BlogHer). But after three years of blogging, I know so many female bloggers out there — at least in a virtual way, that I thought it was time to meet them. And don’t worry. I’m not really going there with the hope of getting laid. But, you know, as the saying goes — “Rice-A-Roni, the San Franciso Treat.” I’m not exactly sure what that means in this context, but you can pretty much turn anything into a sexual euphemism.

I haven’t paid for my registration yet, but the early-bird price is ending in a few days, and you know how much I like to get in on the bargain. So, I’ll decide this weekend if I really want to do this. Maybe this will inspire some other guys to go as well… if the women really want us there. I have a feeling some of you might not.

I also promised Heather from OMSH that I would go. I’ve gotten to like this blogger. She’s a Texan, Christian, wife and mother — and on paper we have nothing in common, but blogging changes all that. I like that about blogging — the way you can interact with people you probably wouldn’t even talk in the real world because you live in different social circles, but online — you completely click. We’ve IMed a few times. Here’s our IM conversation from a few days ago:

Neilochka: do u have a specialty dish?
OMSH: curried chicken
Neilochka: no, I meant at breakfast, like pancakes?
OMSH: or rosemary pork loin with curried pumpkin soup. oh. haha. We do big southern breakfasts
Neilochka: like with grits?
OMSH: biscuits and our free range eggs. no, that’s not a Texan thing, that’s Georgia Ttexans do breakfast burritos — burritos, eggs, lots of meat – bacon, sausage, ham
Neilochka: real food, so you can work on the ranch afterwards, lassoing the steer
OMSH: Jeff brought home a hog that we are mixin’ in with some venison for some amazing sausage, real food
for real people. you’ll not catch me dining on sushi or prissy food
Neilochka: for real high cholesterol
OMSH: I have low cholesterol and very healthy blood pressure
Neilochka: do u eat sushi?
OMSH: no
Neilochka: never?
OMSH: no, where do you get sushi here? NO WHERE. I’d have to drive to the city
Neilochka: That’s it. I’m going to BlogHer in SF, just to take you for sushi
OMSH: no, no sushi
Neilochka: yes
OMSH: I don’t want to eat sushi, blech
Neilochka: u got to try it once
OMSH: I think I might have tried it once
Neilochka: or else i will write a post
OMSH: wait no…that was caviar
Neilochka: where I will embarrass you, calling you a wimp
OMSH: the caviar was also disgusting, but I will try anything. I just don’t want to go somewhere where they give you a plate with three or four teensie things on it and call it a dinner
Neilochka: i don’t like that either
OMSH: and I need choices — preferrably choices with things that are baked or fried
Neilochka: japanese places have tons of fried stuff along with the sushi and japanese places have great meat too. I’ll make a deal, if you try sushi, I will eat… uh… some weird type of Texan beef jerky
OMSH: yumm, hahaha, I’m joking
Neilochka: What else is there weird to eat for me? How about fried moose?
OMSH: Thre’s fried squirrel, that’s pretty darn good
Neilochka: have u eaten that?
OMSH: um … yes
Neilochka: That’s baloney. There’s no fried squirrel.
OMSH: my husband goes squirrel hunting
Neilochka: where do you find the squirrels?
OMSH: in the trees
Neilochka: what does it taste like?
OMSH: chicken, hahaha. no, it has its own taste. I’ve had gator. i love gator and shrimp gumbo. I love cajun food. oh my goodness – except that horrible boudan
Neilochka: i searched fried squirrel on google. You weren’t lying. It is real. and wow — there are tons of recipes
OMSH: I know – it is truly a dish, see, there are different seasons, deer season, hog season, squirrel season, and so you stock your freezer with what is in season and then buy a side of beef if you aren’t a cattle rancher and you have your meat for the year. of course I eat hooved animals
Neilochka: actually I’m reading that mike huckabee got some slack during election for liking fried squirrel
OMSH: that’s so ridiculous
Neilochka: hooved animal?
OMSH: it is a joke, y’know, kosher, unclean… you’re Jewish
Neilochka: i wonder if a horse is kosher?
OMSH: I don’t eat horse
Neilochka: you eat squirrel
OMSH: they don’t have split hooves, isn’t that the difference? pigs have split hooves. Isn’t that the kosher law?
Neilochka: hmmm, yeah, like I’m a expert on the Talmud! it never comes up I’ll need to ask my rabbi if I can eat a squirrel.
OMSH: hahaha
Neilochka: i had buffalo burgers. they were good. Is buffalo kosher?
OMSH: They are good, I’m trying to remember where I’ve had those.
Neilochka: and I’ve had ostrich burgers
OMSH: Seriously, I don’t think there is much meat I haven’t tried.– emu, haha — I’ve not tried ostrich or emu, so you’re one up on me
Neilochka: isn’t blogging great…
OMSH: bwahahaha, yes, yes it is
Neilochka: u realize we would never cross paths any other way! i would hear you eat squirrel and I would run the other way
OMSH: oh – you would be so bored if you lived a life only associating with those like you
Neilochka: that’s for sure
OMSH: you need to stretch out in your REAL life and associate with oddball hicks like me
Neilochka: I once thought about actually having a clone of myself and talking to him… that would be so boring…
OMSH: Neil, I’m laughing so hard I’m about to wet myself.
Neilochka: Not on the squirrel skin rug I hope — OK, it’s a deal, if I go to BlogHer, I make you eat sushi!

So, now you know my real motivation to go to BlogHer. To tempt a Texan into eating sushi!

By the way, here is the BlogHer submission page where you can make speaker recommendations for the conference.

Now, imagine this — something truly radical — a MALE speaker at BlogHer — perhaps, a friendly blogger who interacts with more female bloggers than most female bloggers… maybe talking about how men feel being in a personal blogging world dominated by women — and how MEN have their own obstacles to joining this community — sort of a cultural exchange program for women to talk about how they relate to men online — and what can women can do to make men feel a bigger part of the personal blogging community at large?!   Are there any other men who would join me?   Do you think anyone would show up?

eh, I changed my mind.  What can I really say of importance?   Not much.    Write your blog.   Don’t be boring.   That’s about it. 

Besides, I’m a lover, not a talker.


  1. sizzle

    Hold up! People actually eat fried squirrel?

    Holy moley. I had no idea.

    I’ll be at BlogHer if I can volunteer. So maybe I’ll see you again. I’ll let you pinch my “toosh” again. 😉

  2. Atomic Bombshell

    I love OMSH, too… Give her a hug from me if you go.

  3. suburbancorrespondent

    Where we live, squirrels are a protected species – and we are being overrun by them. Fried squirrel is beginning to sound pretty good for me. The other, other, other white meat?

  4. Donna

    I look forward to seeing you at BlogHer, Neil (don’t worry – you aren’t the only guy who will be there).

  5. margalit

    I love OMSH too. She’s a riot, and you’re right, there is nobody in my real life like her, but online… I know quite a few hunter wives who eat questionable items like squirrel.

    I KNEW there was going to be a benefit to keeping Kosher and now I know what it is. I DO NOT have to ever eat squirrel, which I consider a perfect food for hawks and not humans!

    I’m not going to Blogher. It’s SO not me, but I will be going to the one day session in Boston. Way less people, less licking of necks and grabbing of boobs. Probably less drinking too. I can’t deal with crowds and frankly, it steams me that Blogher hasn’t yet made many attempts to deal with handicapped people. Last year in Chicago was a complete disaster for the handicapped, and that was after I wrote them and told them so.

    But you go and have a fine time.

  6. Marge

    Oy. In my mind I can just hear Jules saying, “I don’t eat squirrel. Squirrel’s a filthy animal.”

  7. bookfraud

    as a native new yorker, you should have plenty of experience with squirrel meat. it was probably the “chicken” at your local chinese restaurant in queens.

    i’m not going to blogher, and i’m not going to blog her, either.

  8. Lou P.

    “I’m not really going there with the hope of getting laid.”

    Or, alternately, you could go there, nail the hottest chick of the bunch, and then write about it on here in lurid detail.

  9. kristy

    Perhaps we’ll serve sushi at one of the cocktail parties? What do you think?

    Neil, you know I think you HAVE to go. You can hang with Ish and swear and drink beer and grab your testicles if you really need to.

    (p.s. @Margalit – yes, we have. We have not done a good enough job, but we have certainly tried and are continuing to do so. Last year’s venue was great for some reasons, and disastrous for others. We have a thousand bloggers with a thousand different preferences and needs and do our very best to accommodate as many as possible. We care, very much. FWIW, we selected the venue last year because it was — literally — the only one available that could accommodate our size.)

    (@ Lou P. I concur. What we need around here is more X-Rated-ness!)

  10. blackbird

    Oh My Goodness!
    I’m the blog crush of the day?
    You don’t call, you don’t write…

  11. Miss Britt


    I have been trying to get people to request ME as a speaker.

    I’m not worried about what I’ll say.

    I’ll make something up on the free plane ride there.

  12. angellee

    Buffalo is kosher. Squirrel and ostrich are not.

    You know what else is kosher? Giraffe.

  13. Not Fainthearted

    Tree rats can’t possibly be good for you.

  14. Not Fainthearted

    Oh. And I should have gone to BlogHer last year when it was in the midwest. Now, I can’t manage the plane fare and the time off. Since, I don’t actually get paid to blog or anything.

  15. Velvet Verbosity

    Write your blog. Don’t be boring. I think that’s a great speech. I feel inspired already. Thanks Neilochka!

  16. Velvet Verbosity

    Oh, and p.s., if you want to go to BlogHer in my place, I’ll let you use my name. Really.

  17. Neil

    Velvet — Are you going to be there?

  18. OMSH

    I return from a perfectly good meal of street rat and find THIS?

    As if I don’t come off oddball enough.



  19. Neil

    OMSH — don’t worry about the oddball stuff… or them thinking you live in a wood shack… if people could saw photos of your home — when I first saw it, I thought you lived in Beverly Hills…

  20. Velvet Verbosity

    No. No I will not be there.

  21. better safe than sorry

    we have tons of squirrels in our backyard, but i prefer to keep them as entertainment for my dog than on the dinner plate. the only “person” i’ve ever heard of eating squirrel was eddie in christmas vacation, but he gave them up because they were high in cholesterol.

  22. V-Grrrl

    In Virginia, the squirrel goes in the Brunswick stew. Those Texans are such weirdos! : ) I know in NY, the squirrels only go in Central Park.

    I’ve never eaten sushi either. Last weekend I was served caviar and politely consumed it and thought to myself BLEAH!

    I don’t do seafood. I have weird standards for meat. I only like animals with hooves, eyelashes, or feathers.

  23. natalie

    when i was little my dad would go squirrel hunting in arkansas with my uncles. they would come home with the squirrels, and before they were skinned and cleaned i would set them up and play with them like they were stuffed animals. i think back on that now and it kinda gives me the creeps. i’m sure it scarred me for life.

  24. Jody

    Do they test the squirrel for rabies before they eat it? Yech!

    I will stick to sushi and mercury combo! 🙂

  25. Jody

    oh, and horses are not kosher. Here’s an interesting fun fact: All reptiles, amphibians, worms and insects — with the exception of four types of locust — are not kosher.
    Got Locust?

  26. Christine

    Down here in my neck of the woods, the other, other white meat is nutria. Every now & then somebody makes a push for eating nutria, saying they’re really mild and taste like… chicken. Anything to get rid of the dreaded nutria down here – even a bounty for hunting them. I had students who earned extra money that way.

  27. Long Story Longer

    Neil, I love how you come across here: u realize we would never cross paths any other way! i would hear you eat squirrel and I would run the other way. Very guy next door. I can’t explain it.

  28. Neil

    Jody — Locusts are kosher?

    Christine — I have to look up nutria, because to me that sounds like some healthy granola cereal I would find at Whole Foods.

    Long Story — Seriously, what would you think if you met someone who ate squirrel for dinner that night?

  29. Avitable

    I think if there was actually a BlogHim, everyone would be up in arms. I really don’t understand the point of BlogHer, especially since the vast majority of bloggers are women.

  30. Jody

    Neil, so says Just as good as being versed on the Talmud. No worries I don’t plan on going out tonight to my local locust dealer to try some. 🙂

  31. Assertagirl

    It would be lovely to meet you at BlogHer.

  32. Annie

    Hey Neil, thanks for putting my painting up as painting of the day. Now I really am in love :-). By the way I love squirrel’s
    so please don’t eat em…

  33. Pants

    I thought you had to have a vagina to attend BlogHer.

  34. V-Grrrl


    Neil wears women’s panties. He may have a vagina–a shy one that keeps a lower profile than his other part.

    Too bad they don’t have a conference for blogging hemaphrodites–BlogHem has a nice ring to it.

  35. churlita

    You should totally go to blogher. just think of how much attention you’d get…

  36. Karl

    Eww, fried squirrel? What’s next? Cats?

    You’ve GOT to go to BlogHer. Dude, we’re the minority. HUNDREDS of women! I’ll be there and so will Hilly.

  37. Neil

    V-Grrrl — BlogHem, ha ha!

  38. HeyJoe

    Why are the vast majority of bloggers women? Has there been a study as to why this is?

  39. Dagny

    I’m glad to see that V-Grrrl set the record straight about squirrel. Because as I was reading, all I could think was, “But that’s a Brunswick Stew ingredient in some circles. That or rabbit.” But the batch I made this weekend was with chicken.

  40. melanie

    Being an ex-Texan, (actually there is no such thing. once from TX always from TX) I have NEVER eaten squirrel. I LOVE sushi, and i don’t go fried as much as I used to.

    and I wont be going to blog-her. this year anyway. speak if they ask you dear. You can talk about penises. I think a lot of women don’t understand they do have thier own voice.


  41. gorillabuns

    I do think you should speak at BlogHer. Your session will be one of the most interesting. You’ll have a room full of women – looking and hanging on to your every word. If ever there were a time to get laid, this will be it.

  42. Christine

    About the nutria – today there was a front page article about the latest in nutria damage in my local paper. Try for the article.

  43. bethany actually

    Hey, I was sitting at Heather’s table while you guys were having that chat…she told me the part about you googling fried squirrel. 🙂

  44. Neil

    Gorillabuns — I wonder if there ever has been a male speaker at BlogHer and if not, why not?

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