Soviet Grits

Tonight I went out on the town and finally tried the famous shrimp and grits that I keep hearing about on foodie TV shows. I’m familiar with the shrimp, of course. It’s the grits part that was mysterious to me.

Turns out grits are the same dish that was a staple of Soviet cuisine known as пшенная каша. I love it and still have tender memories of the clumpy burnt version of the dish that was served in Soviet cafeteria.

Nothing is ever really new.

Disabled Lives Matter

I had no idea that the neighbors across the street had a kid. It turns out that she’s mentally disabled. Now that she’s entering her teens, they can no longer keep her inside. She runs up and down the street all day, dancing, laughing, and listening to something on her headphones. She looks so happy that it’s impossible to see her and not feel some of her happiness.


I had a colleague who once went to a restaurant but tried getting in through the wrong door. People at the restaurant asked him if he was there to make a delivery.

“It’s because I’m Mexican!” the colleague ranted. They see a Mexican face and assume I can only come to a fancy restaurant to make a delivery. It doesn’t occur to them I can be a college professor!”

The guy’s “Mexican face” is whiter than mine but leaving that aside, what’s so humiliating about being a delivery person? Nobody gets upset to be mistaken for a doctor. It’s pure snobbery that masquerades as political grievance.

Imaginary Insults

This happened to me a bunch of times. I didn’t get upset because I don’t think it’s insulting to be taken for a service worker. Service workers aren’t inferior to professors or physicians.

The last time it happened was at Macy’s, and it was an older black woman who thought I was the store assistant. I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t work here. I think the assistant is over there, let’s go ask her.” Then we had a nice little chat about what we were shopping for.

It’s sad to see physicians in such a tenuous psychological state.