Holy crap, January is almost over!

With this past weekend's long run, I hit my running distance goal for the month: run a 9-mile run. The LMJS Half Marathon group ran along the Embarcadero on Saturday — from the Ferry Building to Fort Mason and back. (The Marathon group kept going, all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge and back for a total of 18 miles.) I didn't feel too terrible, until I thought about the fact that the half marathon is still 4.1 more miles farther… but I'll get there. I put in a lot of miles this week — almost 30 total — including a very hard speed workout on Tuesday that had me running about 7 miles, a substantial portion at my threshold and interval paces. (And from there, I went to the gym for squats and bench press.) I am feeling strong again post-COVID, post holiday-break, so that's good. I saw my physical therapist too, well-timed since she assured me that the "niggles" I was feeling were probably just that — indeed they went away after seeing her.

Speaking of PT, I finished my personal trainer coursework this week, and I've signed up to take my exam at the end of February. It's pretty hilarious to announce "I'm quitting ed-tech," then take a bunch of online courses, culminating in online test-proctoring. Something to write about, I guess…

And speaking of "something to write about," I am making some headway on my next writing project, which feels like a huge relief. Maybe I will actually still be able to call myself a writer in all my social media profiles.

Of course, we're all being told that ChatGPT spells doom for writing. It's such a familiar story: [Fill in the blank with the latest technology] means the end of [fill in the blank with a profession or institution] as we know it. Remember how MOOCs were going to be the end of college? Remember how self-driving cars were going to upend driving? Remember how Watson was going to remake medicine? Yeah. It's all bullshit futurology but people love these stories, particularly when trying to cultivate panic around labor and the economy. I had several people ask me this week what I thought about ChatGPT and the future of education, and I said "I don't." Or rather, I am far less concerned that robots are going to outperform students (or that students are going to use robots to cheat) than I am that plenty of powerful people seem to prefer it when students are more robotic, foregoing any sort of creative or political curiosity on an educational trajectory to become more mentally mechanistic and compliant. Anyway.

As always, I'm thinking a lot about food these days.

Thought 1: I absolutely love the Antiracist Dietician's newsletter, particularly this week's missive on white-washing and the Mediterranean Diet.

Thought 2: I made gumbo. It was delicious. A riff on Chef Prudhomme's recipe

Thought 3: We finally ate at Tacos Oscar. I had the broccoli taco, and I think it was the best taco I've ever eaten in my life.

Thought 4: I'm experimenting with fueling during my long runs, but as a texture eater I have no desire to even try a product called "Gu." So on Saturday's run, at mile 4.5, I ate a packet of Spring Energy "awesome sauce" — it was like sucking down an ounce or so of applesauce while running. I'm not sure I like eating and running, but as there were no other gerunds — no cramping or shitting — we'll stick with that.

Speaking of shitting, go read Cory Doctorow on the "enshitification" of technology. Me, I'm going to re-read it and think about how this idea applies — very broadly, perhaps, and quite specifically — to some of the technologies and practices I'm thinking about for my new writing project.

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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