A thing I’m inordinately proud of never doing

My identity has become increasingly subsumed by the fact that I’ve never had macaroni and cheese. The farther I venture into life the more unlikely that fact seems.

“You’ve never had macaroni and cheese,” people say in a declarative tone that indicates I’m either a liar or don’t really understand what macaroni and cheese is. Like, surely I had it in the Kraft version as a child, or in the more novel and legendary style as the Attic’s Mac and Flaming Hot Cheetos, or in the more sophisticated lobster and mac.

Nope, nope nope. As with many things that screw us up as adults, my aversion to mac and cheese started when I was very young. I’ve never had a problem with macaroni as pasta; it’s always been about the cheese. I wouldn’t eat anything with cheese in it for my entire childhood. My folks and my sister would drop me off at a burger joint (some of you old folks might recall Burgermaster on Palo Verde Avenue just north of Stearns Street; its special was six burgers for a buck) while they scampered off for a cheesy pizza next door.

Eventually, I started to come around. I had my first pizza (ever!) in college at Me-n-Ed’s in Lakewood, and, while it was a revelation, it didn’t make me want to try macaroni and cheese.

And now it’s turned into a thing with me. I’ve made it this far, and now it’s become a source of dubious pride that I refuse to take mac and cheese off my Things I’ve Never Eaten list.

Texas is a mess

CNBC has put out its annual list of the 10 Worst States to Live and Work and perhaps its biggest surprise is that there are nine states that are worse than Florida.

The list factors in several metrics: crime rate, reproductive rights, laws protecting workers, environmental quality, health care, child care, inclusiveness in state laws, voting rights and more.

It took a D-minus grade to even have a chance to make the list, while a solid F would secure you a spot in the hellish bottom half of the list.

The list isn’t terribly surprising (save, perhaps, for Florida’s relatively lofty status as merely the 10th-worst state)—your basic Southern standbys of Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, with Indiana being the sole state to the north.

And your winner (loser), clocking in at No. 1 with no Top 25 finishes in any metric: Texas.

Is that the Texas that is luring so many Californian companies to relocate there? It is. If your company moves to Texas, quit your job. Don’t throw your life away.

What I hope I watched Tuesday night

Again, a Monday deadline for this newsletter means there’s no guarantee that my plans for Tuesday will go off as smoothly as I’d hoped for. But in a world unsullied by complications, I’ll have watched the opening two episodes of the return of the excellent series “Justified,” starring Timothy Olyphant as Sheriff Raylan Givens, who has ricocheted from Florida to Kentucky and now, after an eight-year layoff, he’s found himself in Detroit, an area rich with violent possibilities.

The FX/Hulu series, titled: “Justified: The City Primeval” is based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “The City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit.” The first two of the series’ eight episodes started Tuesday, with subsequent episodes dropping Tuesdays through Aug. 29.

Are all billionaires evil?

Pretty much, yeah. Here’s a brisk little TikTok by The History Wizard to help disabuse you of any warm feelings you might have regarding your favorite ultra-rich person. The bottom line: There’s no ethical way to make a billion dollars.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.