Today’s Word: sui generis (adjective) –Sui generis (soo-ee JEH-nuh-ris) is a Latin term (literally, “of its own kind”) that is used to describe something that is unique. As I used it today: “Las Vegas is a one-and-only and offers a sui generis experience to all who visit.”

Did You Know?: Adults laugh an average of 17 times a day; children 300 times.

Worth Quoting: “Show me a wealthy gambler and I’ll show you someone who has made his money from something other than gambling.” – Terrence Murphy

What I’m Reading: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin is a “woman’s” book in many ways. It is in good part about the protagonist’s love life. It is told from her perspective, and it focuses on food and dress and petty jealousies/competition among women. It also seems to have a sentimental arch: The heroine is loved by two men and chooses the loyal lapdog. (If I didn’t know that Toibin is a man, I would have guessed that the author was a woman.)

But I liked the book for three reasons: The sentences are well written, the characters are believable, and it does present this piece of American immigrant history, which I find interesting. I grew up in a neighborhood of Irish and Italian families, including mixed Irish/Italian families. I’ve been struck since by how well we got along, how the Irish/Italian marriages produced good, smart kids… and I wondered how that all happened.

Look at This: My Kind of House

We’ve been renting a house in Hollywood Hills this week while visiting two of our sons and their four children. As always, I judge the quality of a house’s decor by how much it makes me want to snoop around. This house is owned by a movie couple — she is a Harvard educated, award-winning director and he is a successful entertainment lawyer. Judging from the art and the bookshelves, these people have led intellectually rich lives. I’ve been looking at their books and records and I’m thinking that we’d like them as friends.