One of the blogs I regularly enjoy is Art Propelled by an artist who lives in South Africa. In addition to seeing her beautifully carved totems and panels, there also is an exotic quality to her musings about living life in a far off land where I once lived for three years. She recently blogged about Art from the Banal or Discarded, amazing art created from bottle caps, copper wire, metal sheets, safety pins and more. The pieces that bowled me over were by Nigerian artist, Joseph EZE and made from flip flops! You can best view more of his work on another blog, A View From My Corner. The ingenuity of people continually astounds me. I  cringe when I hear anyone say, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” Sounds like such a cop out, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for a good summer read, I  recommend The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (though maybe not so much for you, Mom). As I neared the end of the book earlier this week, I read until one a.m. When I turned out the light my mind kept buzzing and I was awake until 4am. I felt as if there were 30 tap dancers dancing up a storm, slapping knees and clapping hands in my brain. The next day I wasn’t too bad off, but the following two days the lost sleep caught up with me and I found it a bit difficult dragging my considerable butt through the day. It’s not great literature, just a good read and not too formulaic or predictable. After reading a book, I always ask myself, would I recommend this to my friends? And generally the answer is “not really” or it might be “maybe,” but I would caveat the recommendation in some way.

Today was hot and steamy and now it’s thundering and lightning. We got home from the library just in time. New books I picked up to read are: Cat in a Topaz Tango by Carole Nelson Douglas (the cover caught my eye), The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris, a mystery by Chris Ewan (I’m a sucker for any book set in Paris) and one that I had on reserve, You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr (I read a positive review on The Daily Beast).

Currently I’m just getting into the book, On Moving by Louise DeSalvo. So far it’s an interesting meditation on moving, searching for dream houses, and re-imagining our lives with a change of location. I confess that I’m getting the itch to move again. Not necessarily to a different city, though that might be fun too. Just a different point of view, new rooms to decorate, a new neighborhood to explore and so on seem appealing to me.

Like many other people we’re looking forward to the season start of Mad Men tonight, and we’ll be viewing it on our new big screen TV, all 40 diagonal inches of it. People who know us may faint when they read that, we’ve been holdouts for so long. No cheering, please. (Writing this brings to mind the first time I wore a bra in the seventh grade and the girls in the lockers around me clapped and cheered, obviously an embarrassing moment in my life.) Anyway, last weekend we capitulated and walked into the appliance store with a padded (bras must still be on my mind) figure in mind to spend, and walked out having spent, almost to the penny, twice as much. The great American way to shop! But, for the most part, we up-sold ourselves and can’t blame it on the sale guy. So now we can see all the actors pores, wrinkles and bad complexions in high definition. Hallelujah, they are human after all! Just like the rest of us. My husband likes to remind me that what he loves most about me is my humanity. This is code for you’re-not-perfect-either-ha-ha.