Nationals Update

I come with good news!  It is now a week into February and I have been "training" for my Nationals goal for just over a month now.  First- it's still my goal and I haven't gave up on it.  So that's good news number one.

I swam in a meet at the end of January to see where I currently am with my times.  I had the exact same time in the 100 IM- 1:18.5.  The cut time is a 1:13 and that event just seems to be impossible. I'd have to drop over a second per 25 which if you don't know a lot about swimming is VERY hard. So the 100 IM is one heck of a project.  The 50 fly I dropped a little to a 32.2 which leaves me less than a second to the cut time.  Again that is a lot of time to drop for a 50 but I feel like it's attainable. My biggest race at this meet was my 100 fly.  I dropped five seconds- and that was huge for me.  It was a boost in my confidence and it gave me some hope that Nationals is possible.  I did not get the cut time but instead of having to drop 8 seconds I now have to drop 3 seconds.

Following on the heels of cut times leads me to my third part of good news.  My dear friend Julie has told me that meter cut times (for long course Nationals) are typically easier than yard cut times (for short course Nationals).  That was another boost in confidence- I am hoping if I get some yard cut times that I'll be able to get the meter cut times.  The hard part is I have NO idea what my times are for meters because I never swim in meets during the summer.  That will definitely have to change.

The BEST news is that I have been going to a physical therapist for a month now and it is definitely helping!!!!  My neck and shoulder blade pain is hardly bothering me.  David hasn't had to dig is knuckles into my back for over a month now.  It feels better when I swim.  My range of motion for my neck went from a 50 degrees to 70 degrees.  I got bumped to seeing my PT every other week- but I still have exercises to do every day.  My next visit she's going to go over a weight training plan for me.

What's up next?  Well obviously I am going to continue with PT and whatever she gives me to work on.  I got the okay to add paddles (but not buoys) into my practice.  So I am going to purchase some paddles and fins!  Someone needs to improve their dolphin kick. :)  I might try to do one or two longer events at a March meet- we'll see.  I will definitely swim in the Association meet in April. And then just like that we'll be back to swimming 50 meters and I'll be swimming in my first long course meet since I was in High School.



For some inspiration:



ONE Goal for 2015

I failed at all three of my goals for 2014.

Have you ever read about your astrological sign?  My sign is Aries, the Ram.  The most common personality trait I see when I read about Aries is that we're awful at completing tasks.  Need an idea? I have millions.  Need some creative inspiration?  I could be helpful.  Need to finish an assignment, goal or task?  I am not the woman to call.  I know a lot of people think the astrological signs are hogwash.  I have no idea how or why some of the things they list under Aries (and other signs for that matter) are soooo true.  I suck at completing things.  If you were to ask me what my husband and I argue about more than anything I would tell you that the root of our fights are because I don't finish things... and he's the opposite!  (Check out Libra... dang Scale.)

So yes, I failed at all three of my goals for 2014.  One of them I never even started.  All I wanted to do was keep track of my swimming yardage for the year.  There is a website and an easy to use program too... and I still didn't use it.  Ugh!  It was not part of my "routine" (like I even have a routine- psh).  So I always forgot about it.  Fail!

I wanted to get a tattoo.  I got as far as researching tattoo artists and tattoos.  I contacted one artist and he proceeded to draw me two tattoos.  I wasn't keen on either... and then he broke up with me.  Yes, I got dumped by a prideful tattoo artist.  Excuse me, sir.  It's PERMANENT- if I don't like it, I am not putting it on my body.  Fail!

Why are there no Aqua-Bike's in Oregon and Washington?  Okay... so there are like two.  I wasn't able to make it to one of them and by the time the second one rolled around I hadn't biked hardly at all and was not prepared.  So I did not complete an Aqua-Bike either.  Fail!

I'm awesome.  Go 2014.

I didn't sit around my couch all year.  If one of my goals would have been to hike and camp a lot in the summer I would have nailed that.  If I would listed "Visit Zion" last January- I would have accomplished that.  If I would have wrote down "Get published in Portland Monthly" I would have gladly checked that off my list.  If I would have agreed to swim more and go to more yoga classes- I could have put a big check mark on both of those items.  If I would have simply wrote "Be Happy" or "Do what makes you happy" I would have not wrote "Fail" after that goal.  I had a great year and in the end I am happy and healthy... you can't ask for a lot more.

Can I ask of myself to have ONE goal this year and complete it?  Aubrie- can you seriously put your mind to one...JUST ONE goal this year?

I would like to say "YES!"  Because deep down I feel like I can do this one goal.  However out of all the years that I have wrote down goals, lists and resolutions this one goal will be the hardest one yet. And that in itself puts doubt in my head.   Plus it's a physical goal.  I never know how my body will hold up.  I'm only 32 but I feel like I'm 64. My neck is messed up, my knees kill me sometimes, who know's what is up with my back shoulder blade and man I could use some flexible legs.

I feel like if I trained properly for this goal that some ailments would go away.  Maybe I would find some flexibility in my legs.  Maybe my knees will stop bothering me.  Who knows.  I do know that if I do this I will be sore.  SORE! And tired.  ...Like for the next eight months.   It will also take more time than what I am currently doing exercise wise.  And I will need some support.  Mental support for sure!  I need someone to tell me to not have a lazy week, even if you're on your period.  I'll need someone (and by someone I mean David) to help me put my feet on the floor at 5 AM.  I will need my swimming friends to say... "you can do this."  I need to plan ahead of time and schedule a few meets to see... to see... IF...

I can make it to Nationals.

Master Swimming Nationals for short course will be in Texas at the end of April.  That gives me four months.  Texas sounds more exciting... four months does not.  The long course Nationals will be held in Ohio in August.  That gives me eight months.  I've been to Ohio (umm hello I'm from Indiana) so as far as local it's not exciting... but it would be a lot of fun if my family could come watch.  My original goal is long course, August, Ohio.  We'll see where I am at come March/April for Nationals in Texas.

Yes, you can just go to Nationals in three events with out having the cut time. But where's the challenge in that?  I'd like to get the cut times.  It will be difficult!  Looking at the times for the events I like to swim... I'm like... OMG!

100 IM: My time: 1:18 (1:13 in 2012)  Cut Time: 1:13.59

200 IM: My time: 2:55.03  Cut Time: 2:35.58

400 IM ...I haven't swam it as a master.   Cut Time: 5:44.07

50 Fly: My time: 32.31 (31.16 in 2012)   Cut Time: 31.94  (...This is the only one that seems doable)

100 Fly: My time: 1:20.09   Cut Time: 1:12.15

200 Fly: My time: 3:04.29   Cut Time: 2:45.30

I am a fly'er and IM'er at heart.  But I don't mind backstroke and freestyle. If I go off my 2012 time for the 50 free it's the only cut time I actually have lol.

50 Free: My time (in 2012 mind you): 28.67  Cut Time: 29.14

50 Back: My time: 35.86   Cut Time: 33.84

100 Back:  I haven't swam it as a master.  Cut Time: 1:13.85

I am going to need 8 months.


I wrote the above post a few days ago.  I wanted to get it all out there, write out the cut times and then sit and think about it for a few days.  I've done a lot of day dreaming (I always do).  ...At some point in my day dreams I started a YouTube channel and put video's up of my training every week.  I became an overnight sensation and had a million followers and was asked to be on Ellen.  Ah, the imagination of Aubrie.  What did I decide?  I decided that the cut times are going to be near impossible but that the training for such a task will be wonderful for my body.  I'm going to go for it!

I already took a few steps in the right direction.  I started an ab routine after swim practice.  I've done an ab workout a whole two days in a row!!!  ...And it hurts to sneeze.  I made a doctors appointment to get my shoulder blade issue checked out (and we'll probably have a looksy at the ol' knees too.)  I don't want to injure myself this year.  And last, but not least I started to find some inspiration. Quotes, photos, songs, etc.  I put together my first inspiration board which will hang on my fridge.  I also put a big sign above my bed that says "NATIONALS."  Hopefully that one word will get me out of bed at 5 AM.

Next step is to come up with some sort of dryland, weight, ab, yoga, swimming schedule.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

Wish this Aries good luck- she's going to need it.  And here's to a happy, healthy 2015.

Skipping (or should I now say swimming...)


I Like Music.

I like music.  ( I realize I just repeated the title but maybe it needed to be said twice.)  I wish I was the person that was into talk radio, books on tape and podcasts.  When I am driving around in my car or at home working or really anytime there is a void of sound I play music to fill the silence.  I can't drive with out it, I can't clean my house with out it, I can't BBQ in the backyard with out it.

A lot of people have way more music than I do.  I stick to a few genres so it probably limits my count a bit.  For the most part I listen to Country, Classic Rock/Oldies, Alternative, Singer-Songwriter and Christian.  You'll find a few "Pop" songs there and there but I don't really own any R&B or Rap. At the moment I have about 2,600 songs from 383 different artists.  It's a fairly good count… but always a work in progress.  If you think there is anyone I should check out (that fall into the above genres) let me know!

Sunday evening I was enjoying some kabobs on the grill with our neighbors.  She enjoyed my music and asked what Pandora station I was listening too.  I told her it was my own station… meaning that I put together a "Summertime" playlist and was playing my music.  I told her I love making "mixes" although I guess nowadays we call them playlists.  I thought I'd share a few (or a lot?) of my favorite songs on my Summertime playlist.  A lot of classics, but maybe there are a few songs in there that will be new to you and you'll enjoy the fresh sound.

First (and most important in my opinion) are the Country songs…

1. "Seventeen" by Tim McGraw
2. "Working on a Tan" by Brad Paisley
3. "Chillin' It" by Cole Swindell
4. "Young & Wild" by Eric Church
5. "Free" by Zac Brown Band
6. "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line
7. "Ain't Going Down til the Sun Comes Up" by Garth Brooks
8. "Blue Clear Sky" by George Strait
9. "Barefoot Bluejean Night" by Jake Owen
10. "Life is Good" by Kenny Chesney
11. "Fishin' in the Dark" by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
12. "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band
13. "Drink in My Hand" by Eric Church
14. "Beachin'" by Jake Owen
15. "When the Sun Goes Down" by Kenny Chesney
16. "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band
17. …And of course this one has to be on your playlist… "Summertime" by Kenny Chesney


1. "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys
2. "Night Moves" by Bob Seger
3. "American Girl" by Tom Petty
4. "Uncle John's Band" by Greatful Dead
5. "Jack & Diane" by John Mellencamp
6. "Traveling Riverside Blues" by Led Zeppelin
7. "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
8. "It's Still Rock n Roll" by Billy Joel
9. "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen
10. "Celebration Day" by Led Zeppelin
11. "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lyrnd Skynyrd
12. "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel
13. "Senator's Son" by CCR
14. "Ventura Highway" by America
15. "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
16. "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley (really anything by Bob Marley)
17. "Into the Great Wide Open" by Tom Petty

Random: (Alternative/Pop/Singer-Songwriter)

1. "One Big Holiday" by My Morning Jacket
2. "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root
3. "We Are Young" by Fun.
4. "Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti
5. "River Water" by Moon Taxi
6. "Down River" by The Temper Trap
7. "Float On" by Modest Mouse
8. "Strawberry Swing" by Coldplay
9. "Cups" by Jean Simon
10. "Kiss Quick" by Matt Nathason
11. "Best Days" by Matt White
12. "Ooh La La" by Counting Crows
13. "Come Pick Me Up" by Ryan Adams
14. "Windows Are Rolled Down" by Amos Lee
15. "Beautiful Day" by Joshua Radin
16. "The General" by Dispatch
17. "Caped Cod Kwassa Kwassa" by Vampire Weekend

It's only about 51 songs and my full Summertime Playlist has about 154 songs so if you need anymore ideas let me know.  Enjoy your music. Enjoy your Summer!



It's The Small Things That Count

Just like my post title read- it is the small things that count.  I'm easily amused and there are a lot of daily things that most people would deem "small" that make me happy.  Happiness has been a theme in the blogger world these past few days.  My friend Macey encouraged everyone to write down ten things that make them happy.  I do what I'm told.

1. I love watching my dog lay outside on the porch, soaking up the sun and being completely content at just watching bugs in the grass.  I can tell he enjoys the sun and in return I enjoy it.

2. Sitcoms.  Although right now I am sad because all the sitcoms I watch have ended and I'm wondering what in the world I am going to watch during my breakfast and lunch.  Suggestions?

3. Rolling down the windows in my Jeep as I cruise around makes me happy.

4. Country music, country radio and country singers bring a smile to my face.

5. Anything to do with polar bears.  Photos, videos, stories, drawings, shirts, mugs, tattoos.  If it has a white bear, I dig it.

6. Tasty leftovers for lunch.  I love opening the fridge and remembering that I either have some take out left over from the night before or some left overs from a tasty dinner I cooked.  It makes choosing my lunch easier and it's less time consuming.  Thank you microwaves.

7. I enjoy my coffee dates after swim practice with my swimming friends.  Typically about once a week (it seems to always land on a Tuesday) I enjoy a cup of coffee from Starbucks and chat with my girls… wet hair, rocking sweatpants.

8. Going to new restaurants really tickles my fancy.  If I had the power (not to mention the time and money) I would always eat at a new restaurant or coffee shop.

9. I like prop shopping for food photo shoots.  It's fun to pop in to antique stores and find some goodies.

10.  Appropriate for this weekend- our annual Memorial Day camping trip makes me happy.  And this year it might make me even more happy because for once we might not get rained on.

I also want to add that the obvious things in my life still make me happy.  I assume you all know that my husband, God, photography, swimming, yoga and my family all bring joy to my life.

What makes you happy?




I like to eat food. …All sorts of food.
Sometimes I like to cook food and try new recipes.
Sometimes I don't and I feel lazy.
Being lazy is not healthy- because that means you order pizza or take-out Thai food.
Mmmm Pad Kee Mao.
I am trying not to be lazy at this very moment and find inspiration to create a tasty and healthy dinner.
…It's not working.

I thought maybe if I shared my experience and the recipes I tried in my sad attempt to try and follow the Paleo-lifestyle that it would encourage me to cook tonight.  Hopefully by the end of this post I will have found such encouragement.

So… Paleo, huh?  I know, everyone is doing it.  Sometimes you want to roll your eyes at the stupid stuff that "everyone" is doing… kind of like what I did with Twitter.  And then I had PR reps look at me and tell me I need Twitter if I want to be a food photographer.  Twitter didn't seem so stupid after that.  So when people told me about Paleo- that they cut out all grains, sugars and dairy again I rolled my eyes and called it a fad diet.  Which perhaps it is.  However, if you look into it a little bit you realize, fad or not, it makes sense and it's healthier.  I eat too much sugar, I know that.  I'm addicted big time.  (Man, a donut sounds good right now, doesn't it?)  I thought I would give the Paleo-lifestyle a go and try to at least cut down my grain and sugar intake.  I knew off the bat that it wouldn't be a 100% full-commitment type of thing, that's not my style.  In fact I can only think of two things I am 100% committed too- God and my husband.  I LOVE eating out… I mean I am trying to be a food photographer so it comes with the territory.  That has probably been the most difficult part- eating out.  A close second is me being lazy… it takes more effort to buy cauliflower, finely grate it and create rice than throwing my already purchased (extra, extra large bag) of white rice into my rice cooker.

Have I cheated?  Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

I am trying to figure out this new lifestyle and find the correct balance for me.  In the mean time I have come across a lot of stellar recipes- mainly from OMG That's Paleo? cookbook.  I'll share them with you. :)

1. Cilantro Chicken Nuggets.  …I bought a dill flavored and jalapeƱo flavored mustard to go along with these nuggets and other grilled chicken dishes.  Ground chicken might taste better- not sure… I only could find ground turkey and I used that.

2. Pumpkin Cashew Coconut Curry over Coconut "Rice" …Cauliflower rice works and tastes great.  It's messy though!  My husband was not impressed with the kitchen afterwards.

3. Avocado Cilantro Chicken Salad …Great for lunch.

4. Spicy Mexican-Stuffed Poblanos …I did it with 5 peppers and that was more than enough for two people.

5. Blackberry Glazed Pork Chops …Easy-peasy and good.

6. Citrus Mango Spicy Tilapia and Kale …For two people I just used two large fillets and I only had lemon and it was still delish.

7.  Red Curry Scallop Soup … The only dish that I made twice (and in the same week)!!  It was very good.  Unfortunately this was a "new" recipe just for the cookbook I bought so I can't link it up to her blog.  If you'd like the recipe you can either purchase the book or email me.

8. Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Frittata …Obviously for breakfast.  I thought it needed a little something on top (like she mentioned) so I put avocados, cherry tomatoes and a little bit of a chipotle sauce I have.

9. Caramelized Plantain Pancakes… Not only did I make these for the first time but I pre-made the batter and then used it while we were camping.  That changed a few things as far as cooking them- I had to like turn them into little patties almost (like crab cakes).  I enjoyed them still and will definitely try again as more of an actual pancake style.

10. Simple Blueberry Muffins… I made them and my husband loved them and asked me to make them again.  Second time around there were no blueberries at my grocery store (??) so I bought blackberries. I also didn't have quite enough coconut oil… so I did half coconut oil and half lemon grape seed oil.  Since I was going with a little lemon I also tossed in some lemon zest.  They were good too- but the blueberry was probably a little better.

11. Apple Cinnamon Muffins… These were good but not as good as the above muffin recipe.  (Probably because it's missing the most amazing thing- almond butter! lol.)

12. Roasted Grape, Bacon and Kale Salad … OMG is right on this one.  I've made it a handful of times now- it's soooo good.  Of course the "dressing" is basically bacon fat.  I don't have a link for this recipe either but it's a piece of cake.  Take a handful of red grapes throw a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them and then bake them at 425 for about 15 minutes.  While they are baking throw about 4-5 pieces of bacon on a skillet and cook.  Remove bacon and then toss a bunch of chopped Kale into the bacon grease and cook the Kale down.  Toss all three ingredients together (obviously brake up the bacon) and chow down.  It's amazing.

13. Roasted Red Pepper Dip… Great dip.  She has you make Sweet Potato Chips to go along with this dip.  I actually have made the chips and used them with my guacamole recipe instead.  With the pepper dip I used Plantain Chips which she also has a recipe for but no link… or if you're feeling lazy Trader Joe's sells plantain chips.

14. Coconut Curry and Butternut Squash Soup… this is the only recipe I'll link-up that's not from the OMG Paleo book.  This is straight-up Pinterest.  It was alright… because I used a Vitamix I think some of the flavors were too strong like the onion.

Of course there were a lot of things I just made with out a recipe.  I did the obvious spaghetti squash as "spaghetti" and lettuce-wrapped hamburgers.  I made Portobello Mushroom Pizzas which were really good.  And the good ol' standbys… grilled meats, grilled veggies, salads, taco salad, tortilla soup (minus the tortilla and cheese part), smoothies and lots of lots of egg concoctions for breakfast.

I'm sure there are two questions on your mind.  One- Where are the photos, Aubrie?  Can you believe that I did not take photos of any of these recipes!!  I'm thinking that if I continue to do this that I'll have to start photographing the dishes and posting them.  But for this post, sorry, no photos.  Second- did I find my  motivation to cook at home last night?  Yes, last night.  I started this post Friday evening… my husband came home and said "I had a hard week can we go out and get a beer?"  So to answer the question I did find motivation but my husband quickly changed my mind.  If my man needs a beer and needs to go out than dang-it we need to go out!  We ventured over to a really cool new spot in downtown Beaverton called Watson Hall.  Great food, yummy beer and cool atmosphere.  Check it out.

…I now have motivation to write out my recipes for this upcoming week and keep chugging along on this Paleo-lifestyle.

Cheers and happy eating.

PS. If you're out and about in the Northwest/Nob Hill area and need a great spot for yummy salads check out Kiva.  Their Kale Salad was amazing!!


Simple & Sweet | 2014 Goals

Apparently I only blogged three posts this year.  I think it's easy to say that my "personal" blog does not receive as much attention as my photography blog.  I guess I didn't have a lot of things to get off my chest this year as I have had in the past.  This blog is basically here for when I need to unleash some thoughts, list random things I've been thinking about or set goals.  We all know what category this post falls into… after all it is December 31st.

The past two years I have listed a number of goals equal to the year.  So for 2012 I had twelve goals and for 2013 I had thirteen goals.  Guess what I am going to do for 2014??!  … No, I'm not doing 14 goals.  This is going to sound really sad but every year I look back at my goals and I don't accomplish at lot of them. It's not that I didn't accomplish anything, I think it's more that you don't know what will happen in a year and going with the flow is more my style.  This year is simple.  Three things I want to do in 2014.

1. Get my tattoo.  And when I say "my" I mean the one I have thought about, designed in my head and actually wanted now for awhile.  Not just any tattoo but the one I am ready to get now.  It will be on my left arm just below the elbow crease, facing me… the tattoo is for me.  (Does anyone have a a tattoo artist they recommend?  I want someone that is good and not scary lol.)

2. AQUA-BIKE!!!  It's now been on my goal list for two years… third year is a charm. I'm doing one.
I am looking into doing one in July in Bend, Oregon. http://www.deschutesdash.com

3. On the heels of the previous goal… I am on a masters swim team.  It's been about two years now believe it or not.  A lot of the swimmers keep track of their yardage on the USMS website… it's called a FLOG or Fitness Log.  I finally signed up and I am going to keep track my yardage, yoga and biking (you can pretty much keep track of any fitness activity.)  I don't have a set goal in mind as far as reaching a certain amount of yards or miles… first I need to get into the habit of logging.

And that's it folks.  Not a lot of pressure for 2014.  I always strive to be a good photographer, increase my business and I want to continue working on editorial and food photography.  My photo career is past an every year resolution, it's a lifetime goal.  I'm tired of reading books I don't like so I am over the whole "read classics" idea.  I know David and I will hike, bike, kayak and camp as much as our schedules allow us to- so I don't need to pick a certain amount we should accomplish.  And thankfully I think we found a good church we can call home for awhile so the spiritual growth is on an upwards mend.  Amen.  ;)   So that's it.  2014- here we come!

Happy New Years!



Entertainment vs. Intelligence

So I had this idea to read 5 "classic" novels.  I wanted either a classic book or a famous author.  I just wanted some classics under my belt so if the titles or authors came up in conversation I could participate.  I wanted to be just a little more intelligent.  Expanding the mind is good, right?

So my first book of choice was Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."  I've heard a lot of people, articles and even songs mention Jack and I know "On the Road" was one of his more popular books.  Plus I saw that it would eventually be made into a movie and I always enjoy reading a book and then seeing it on the big screen.  Jack had his moments but for the most part the book was a chore to finish.  I did it though.  One down, four to go.

I took a one-book-break from the classic idea and read from one of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson.  (If you haven't read A Walk in the Woods, do so.)  This time around I read The Lost Continent.  It was a nice change of pace after Kerouac.  I  read my second classic, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."  This book was absolutely amazing and it's now my favorite book.  Enough said.  Two down, three to go.

I was coming off such a high after reading Pride and Prejudice (I finished the book in one week, that's good for me) so I dove head first into my third classic, "Catch-22."  Uggghhhh!  I've spent months now trying to flip through these pages.  I've managed to read 85 pages of this book.  I still don't really know what is going on or what the point is.  And could there be any more characters?   I took the book with me on my trip to Indiana.  I thought three to four hours on a plane would surely give me a lot of time to really dive into this book.  No.  Instead I read like one or two chapters and could barely keep my eyes open.

I had dinner with my college roommate, Lindsay.  She kindly asked why in the world I was wasting my time reading books I didn't like.  Good question.  While I was in Indiana I asked a few people if they were interested in taking "Catch-22" off my hands.  No one wanted the book.  After a week of pondering over whether or not I should read something I'm not interested I decided that I wasn't going to waste any more time on Catch-22.  So the next day at the airport I  rummaged through the bookstore at Midway.  I wanted a fast read, something enjoyable that excited me and where I didn't have to remember 18 characters.  (That's a guess by the way.)  I chose Tracey Graves' "On the Island."  The book is about a teacher who was hired to tutor a sixteen-year-old Chicago student over the summer… in the Maldives.  Well little miss teacher and teenager never make it to the Maldives and instead they are stranded on an island together for about 4 years.  Teenboy- turns into a man.  You get the point.  I couldn't put the book down.  I read the entire plane ride (I hardly ever do that).  I read 200 pages by the time my plane landed.  I even read a chapter while I was trotting down the moving walkway.  This morning I woke up, read a little, read a little at the dentist and by the time lunch rolled around I couldn't handle it and I just sat down and finished the book.  There was no fancy writing, no intense characters or dialog I couldn't follow.  There were no words I had to look up in the dictionary.  It was set in modern day and not World War II era.  And it did not make me a wee bit smarter.

So what do you think?  Should I (or yourself) read books for entertainment?  Or should we read them to broaden our horizons and maybe teach us a few things?  Or should we do both?  Do you suffer through books just because they are classics or everyone else has read them?  If you're not into a book or you think it's boring do you still try to finish it or do you toss it on your bookshelf and tell yourself you'll finish it one day… even though you know that is not happening.  I'd like to know your scoop on picking out titles and thumbing through the pages.  Let me know.

For now… I probably will not read Catch-22.  I read enough to at least know what the catch is, the setting of the book and that Yossarian is the main character.  That's enough for now.  I might continue on this kick of reading chic-lit novels for the time being… and then I'll try to fit in another classic…hopefully I can make it through one of Hemingway's novels.  He's next on my list.  (I hear he has a few short reads.)