Tuesday, April 6, 2021

On Petards and My Imbalanced Work Life.

I don’t write about my professional work life on here. I will allude to it occasionally because I am proud of it and because it takes up at least a third of my normal day, but if I am going to continue to insist that working professional people can ALSO have public creative lives, I need to respect the boundary between those two things just as I think that employers should do.

That being said, are you familiar with the phrase “gird one’s loins”? It means to prepare for something difficult. I have a lot of difficult work to do over the next couple of weeks and I’d hoped it would not come to the point where I have to rev up into high gear, but alas, I am really going to need to knock it out quickly and in quantity.

You wouldn’t know this, but I just had to do this over the holiday break. I was hoping to not have to do it again, but here we are. So this phrase “grid your loins” has been on my mind the past couple of days. So I looked it up and the derivation is kind of unclear. It wasn’t that I couldn’t find a source, I actually found so many that they all called one another into question. Apparently in this phrase “loins” does not refer to genitals, though I’m not sure how that is the case. As far as I can tell,  the phrase basically means to put on a belt … I guess. The idea being that in good old biblical times, people wore clothes that were more flowing and so if you had to move around a lot, you didn’t want your clothes flapping in the way and so you would put on a belt.

That still seems kind of genital-related to me … or perhaps “loins” used to more refer to an area of the body? Like when we say “stomach” we can mean the organ that digests food or the lower middle section of one’s body … I don’t know. I don’t have the time to do a lot of research on this because I try to write one of these each morning and so what these blogs lack in quality at least they make up for in being uninformed!

You know what is another fun idiom???

“Hoisted by your own petard.”

There is a great joke about this on the show Community when Jeff asks Britta what she thinks a “petard” is and she says that it is like a leotard, which I think is what we all kind of think. Like getting hoisted by your own petard means some schoolyard bullies hooked your 80s workout leotard to a flagpole and hoisted you on up.

Well that is not the case!

A “petard” was a kind of medieval explosive used in warfare and “hoist” still meant “lift” but in this case it means to lift by way of explosion. So to be “hoisted by your own petard” actually means “blown up by your own bomb” and that might be just as good of a way to describe my next few weeks as the “girding” thing.

Anyway, I will try to avoid it, but I may not get to write here every morning for the duration of these next couple of weeks, but I will do my best. Though I am kind of tired of doing my best all the time. It is exhausting! I would really like to be able to just do my most C+ all the time and have that be okay.




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