Thursday, February 10, 2005

I am a jelly blog.

Winter has returned, though not in awful force. Still, it’s cold enough, below freezing all the time. February, bah.

Not much to report today, though I will say that IBM ThinkPads, the laptop I often use in my work these days, produce a lot of heat. The heat is vented on the left side of the machine. I’ve noticed it before, of course, since it’s like a little sirocco, but I didn’t really appreciate it until today, when I parked a certain chocolate confection on my desk next to the vent. It wasn’t there more than five minutes or so, but when I picked it up, I felt a distinct squishy spot.

I’m still not finished with Robert Dallek’s excellent book on Kennedy, since it takes a while in small drops on the train every day, but the end is nigh. From page 625, re the president’s famous speech in Berlin in 1963: “In the midst of so tumultuous a reception, no one was ready to complain that Kennedy should have said, ‘Ich bin Berliner’ instead of ‘ein Berliner,’ which was colloquial German for a jelly doughnut.”

Actually, I’d heard that before, but forgotten it. Pete Wilson, whom I knew in college, mentioned in Latin class one day that Kennedy had called himself a jelly doughnut, though I don’t remember how it came up. Maybe a discussion on the difficulties of translation. Later, in Germany, I did notice that a jelly doughnut was indeed called a Berliner.


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