Thursday, May 29, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The 2008 Greencastle Summer Classical Music Series begins this coming Wednesday. It's about as traditional a classical music series as you can get, so there's some irony that it's organized by someone (me) who is a fan of Greg Sandow, a believer in alternative and innovative concert presentation, improvisation, etc., etc. There's a warm and appreciative audience for classical music in Greencastle, and the culture of our small town is such that "classical" is a selling point, not something to call by another name, not something that needs to be transformed into a post-classical something else.
It started three years ago with six bi-weekly concerts as a way to keep me playing and practicing during the summer, and I played on most of the concerts. Now it's grown to fourteen concerts, from the week after DePauw's Commencement until the week before classes start, and while I play "support cello" on a number of them, only two or three really feature me in a significant way. When I started it, I didn't want it to be too much of an "Eric Edberg and friends" sort of thing. There's an aspect of that to it, of course, but hey, I am the one putting it on! This summer, so many colleagues and friends wanted to play it was hard to fit everyone in. The original plan was twelve concerts, so I added another two.
It helps that we're not trying to make any money. The performers get small honoraria; we all are just happy to have a place to play or sing. The administrative costs are zero; I donate my time organizing the concerts, and the church where we hold them provides some secretarial support. (The piano tuner usually makes more off the series than anyone else.) So we do just fine with donations from a few businesses in Greencastle and about 40 individual donors.
Audiences range from 40-120; there's a feeling of intimacy, and informality. OK, there's where I'm untraditional, I suppose. No black or white tie--usually no ties at all. And the performers talk to the audience about the music during the concert and with them after.
It's going to be fun.
Posted by Eric Edberg at 6:23 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
206.5 on the scale this morning, my lowest yet. Six months of low(er)-carb eating has (have?) done a lot. I was 263.5 when I started keeping track, and my memory is that I was 270 at some point before that. 270 stuck in my mind because I misremembered it as the "seventh of a ton" that the narrator Archie Goodwin suggests is his boss's weight in the Nero Wolfe novels, which I read insatiably during middle and high school. I just checked and 285.7 is the actual number. Good thing it didn't take until I'd reached that point that to get my real attention. No way would I let myself stay as heavy as Nero Wolfe!
People I haven't seen for a while don't recognize me at first. I wear size-36 pants rather than 42. And my home blood sugar readings are in the normal range (the most powerful motivation through this all was diabetic-range blood sugar readings last fall).
My weight loss had slowed down a bit, and I was stalled for weeks bouncing around between 209 and 212. I had grown a bit lax about what I was eating. Allowing myself more carbs, I was having more-than-occasional rolls, and occasional sugary desserts, especially when eating out. And eating Dove "sugar-free" chocolates too frequently. They have a lot of malitol, which, I've learned, raise many people's blood sugar and insulin levels almost as much as sugar.
Sigh. They are delicious.
In the last couple of weeks, I got strict with myself again about sticking to vegetables, berries, and only small amounts of high-fiber bread as my carb sources, and the weight is coming back off. (And only one of those little Dove chocolates, very infrequently.) The 209 barrier has been broken.
A growing number of physicians are supporting low-carb approaches, and studies keep coming, too. I keep track of it all mostly through Jimmy Moore's amazing blog.
Final goal weight? I'm more interested in getting rid of the rest of the flab around my belly than how much I weigh. Now that school's out and the weather is improving (we had an unusually cool, damp, and gray spring), more walking and, OK, OK, strength conditioning.
Posted by Eric Edberg at 12:01 PM
While Tim Nelson's gay-themed production of Charpentier's 1688 David et Jonathas (which I would love to have seen) received mixed reviews in the Washington Post and today's New York Times, both Anne Midgette and Vivien Schweitzer praised the orchestra. Midgette called it "the strongest part of the show" and Schweitzer wrote, "the highlight of the evening was the strong performance by the Ignoti Dei Orchestra, led by Mr. Nelson, which did justice to the beauty of Charpentier’s enchanting score. It deserves to be heard more often."
My beloved ex-wife Allison Edberg, a fantastic Baroque violinist, is a member of the orchestra. You go, girl!
The Post also ran a feature article before the D.C performances. Pro-gay theologians and preachers often use the Jonathan and David story as an example of an at-least-probable gay love depicted in the Bible; others (mostly anti-gay) contest that. It's great that Nelson made this project happen. I'm a definite fan of affirming the reality of same-sex love.
Posted by Eric Edberg at 11:33 AM