Monday, December 31, 2007

A Romantic New Year

For New Years, I took her down to my place and I made a romantic candlelight dinner for Jennifer.

Salmon Nigiri Sushi and Philadelphia Rolls from Kroger.

Main Course:

Side Dish:
Broccoli and cheese.

A late harvest Riesling.

I made brownies.

Instead of watching the loud countdown on TV, we opened up this for a nice quiet countdown. Our own private New Year countdown.

Happy New Year!

Here is a cute New Years Countdown.
Happy New Year!

Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back Home to Relax

I went back home to my apartment. Unpacked and was basically being lazy and recovering from the trip.

Posted by Eric at 10:14 PM

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hung Out With Quartz

Today I hung around the Jennifer's apartment being lazy and recovering from the trip. She got back from her hometown yesterday also.

Posted by Eric at 10:06 PM

Friday, December 28, 2007

Flying from the Home of My Past to the Home of My Present

I had lunch at Souplantation with Nana, Bonnie, DD, AD, JK and Mom.

Then to the airport.

On the way to Phoenix, I had a woman seated next to me that did not like to fly. She said she is in Navy so of course she does not like to fly. (Insert Village People Song here). To get her mind off of flying I 1st showed her some magic card tricks which she really liked. We then played war a couple of times. I won very quickly the 1st time. Then played crazy 8s.

In Phoenix, my flight was delayed because (wait for it) of a broken toilet. What? When we finally got on the plane I noticed that there were 2 bathrooms in the back of the plane. They could have closed off one of them and we could have used the other. Then I thought, I bet it was the toilet in the front of the plane reserved for first class passengers so they would not have to go though the evil and disgusting coach class passengers. I never found out. Probably good that I did not because I probably would have been pissed if that was the real reason.

So while I was waiting to get on the place and I ended up talking about music to the ticket girl. We were talking about the composers we liked like Arvo Part. She then gave me a list of composers I had not heard of and should listen to and I wrote down a list for her.

Then I finally made it to Jennifer's a little after midnight. What a day.

Posted by Eric at 10:04 PM

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Meeting Up With My Old Friends

I got to meet up with my friend Karla for lunch. We went to Chili's. She is such a bright and positive person. It was great having lunch with her.

I then met up with Dave at the Belmont Brewing Company at 3p. Saw the sun set behind Catalina. What a sight. Then he took me to his house that he newly remodeled. Then to DD's to show him some pictures and music of mine.

Dave and I then went with DD, AD, JK, Mom to BJ's for some great pizza.

Posted by Eric at 10:54 PM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Old Piano

We hung around the house and ate Christmas leftovers. JK went to her parents house with AD. I went to Mom's (my old house) to see how the bedrooms look with no carpet. Mom had ripped out the old carpets this past year to expose the hard wood floors underneath. The rooms look nice with hard wood. I then went through my old children's books and records that I have been keeping for some reason. I got rid of all of the books. I have the few I wanted back at my place that I took when I first moved to Northern Cal. I got rid of all the records except one "The Song of the South." I kept it since Disney pretty much no longer acknowledges that the movie ever existed.

I then played my old piano. I miss my old piano. It still sounds nice a warm and it is still one of the best pianos I have ever played.

Then to the Comedy and Magic Club with DD, AD, JK and Mom. It was fun. Most of the comedians were good. The headliner was ok. He somehow lost his place or flow during the middle of his routine. It was fun going out though.

Posted by Eric at 10:58 PM

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Lighted and Decorated Tree Day

AD, JK, DD and I went to Marcine (my Dad's sister) and her husband Mike's house for the Christmas dinner party. Now I mean a party. Mike's brothers come along with their wives and kids. Dinner is always buffet style. We then did the white elephant present game. It was a fun evening.

Happy Lighted and Decorated Tree Day!!!!!!

Posted by Eric at 11:28 PM

A Singing White Christmas

Here is something to get you in the Christmas mood.

A Singing White Christmas.

Posted by Eric at 5:18 PM

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wesołych Świąt

This year we had Christmas dinner at DD's. This is only the second time we have had it there. We usually had it at Nana's. For years DD always wanted to have it at his place but is place was always to small. Last year he got a house and had the room to host the Christmas dinner. This year we also had it at DD's. We had AD, JK, DD, Mom, Nana, Bonnie, Carol (JK's Mom) and I for dinner.

The Christmas dinner begins with the Opłatek (a Christmas Wafer) which is pronounced "Oh-pwah-tek." The sacred white wafer, a semi-transparent wafer of unleavened dough stamped with scenes of the nativity, are shared with each person present. During the exchange, good wishes are expressed. Then we start eating. A Polish dish I always look forward to at Christmas is the Gołabki (Cabbage Roll-Ups) which is pronounced "goh-wab-kee." This Christmas there were 2 different kinds, one with meat and the other with buckwheat. I always like to eat the meat one. A Gołabki recipe.

For desert was booze cake and pumpkin pie. They are both really good but my favorite has always been the booze cake.

During December Mom picks names out of a hat pretending to be one of the family. For example, she says that she is Adam, she picks a name and the name she picks Adam had to get a that person a present. This year I had Bonnie. I got her a CD of Hildegard von Bingen music sung by the Anonymous 4. She really liked the present. Jk had me and got me a CD of really cool film trailer music.

After that, I gave out my presents. A few months ago, my girlfriend Jennifer and I had gone to a book sale at Rice University. We could fill a box up for only 5 bucks. So we filled it up and I got books that my family might like. So today I gave them out. I got Nana a bathroom crossword book, Bonnie a book about Language, AD a book on different configurations of theaters around the world, DD a book on painting marine stuff like boats also writings of Thomas Jefferson and Mom a book of memoirs of Star Trek.

As always, a great Christmas with the family.


More about the Opłatek
More about the Polish Christmas Eve Dinner

Wesołych Świąt (Merry Christmas)!


Posted by Eric at 10:16 PM

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seeing Their Kids Grown Up

I went to Souplantation with AD, JK, DD and Mom. I do not have a place like this in Galveston-Houston. Great salads, pasta and pastries. Then we all hung out at DD's.

I then went to my friends Chrissy and Dennis and their 3 kids Kathrine, Liz and Diana for dinner. We had pizza. I had not seen the kids in at least 4 years and it was strange see them older. The oldest is now in 7th grade. They showed me a DVD of the play that Katherine and Liz were in. I then showed them some of my DVD of my Music Department's Winter Concert. I then showed them some of my pictures.

I was fun seeing the kids again.

Posted by Eric at 10:12 PM

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Animator vs Animation

This is really cool.

Animator vs Animation.

Posted by Eric at 2:14 AM

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lunch with an Old Friend

I slept in on my 1st day of vacation. Kimberly and her guy came by for lunch. We went to Friscos. It was a fun atmosphere and the food was good. Then back to DD's and played her some new piece of mine and showed some of my new pictures. Then Mom came over and played her and DD my new pieces and showed my new pictures. Then dinner at Polly's.
A nice 1st day.

Posted by Eric at 10:44 PM

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back Home to SoCal

Jennifer and I both had late flights so unlike other times when we have traveled, we got to sleep in this time. She did her packing. We had lunch at Freebirds and then off to the airport. We said our good byes and want to our respective airplanes which will take us each to our hometowns. Check in and security was not bad. I and 10 others were the last zone to get on the plane and the plane had no more room in the overhead compartments because stupid people had such big ass carry on luggage. They would take up half the compartment so only 2 per compartment instead of 4. That sucked. So I had to check my bag it and I would not see it until I hot to Long Beach. I said to myself they better not crappen lose it. I know my bag would have fit in the overhead. I have taken this flight before. This is why I use the smaller bag so I would not have to have checked bags.

The flight to Phoenix was sort of long but nothing major. Got off the plane. Looked at the screen for my next gate. It was B20. On my ticket it was B6. This is not a good sign. So I walked all the way to B20. A few minutes later they announced that the flight to Long Beach will be at gate B5. Oh brilliant. So I walk all the way to be B5. Then I find out it is delayed for an hour. Oh fun. Does anyone remember when flying use to be fun?

I do finally get to Long Beach and yay my bag arrived also.
DD took me out to Hof's Hut since I never had dinner.

Finally back Home to SoCal.

Posted by Eric at 11:22 PM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Preparing for the Leap Home

I finished copying my photos and music on to CD's and my stick. Then finished packing my stuff. Then went to Jennifer's to be ready to take us up to the airport tomorrow.

Posted by Eric at 10:06 PM

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Presents from Students

Being a teacher, sometimes my students bring me presents. I got bought cookies from one student and I got homemade fudge and cookies from another.


Posted by Eric at 8:08 PM

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Sounds of the Season

The title of this years Winter Concert with the Galveston College Choir was "The Sounds of the Season."

The choir performed the 1st half.

* In dulci jubio - Michael Praetorius
     (We began our set with a piece from the early Baroque period written in 1609.)

* My Heart is Always Wandering - Sigvald Tveit
     (A piece written in 1990 by a Norwegian composer.)

* A Lullaby - Deen E. Entsminger
     (Not a piece specifically for Christmas but definitely appropriate since it is about a baby sleeping.)

* Majesty and Glory of Your Name - Tom Fettke
     (The next piece has been sung by thousands of church and school choirs throughout the world. A powerful piece that sends shivers through me every time I have sung or conducted this piece.)

* Java Jive - Milton Drake and Ben Oakland
     (When it is cold outside, all you want is something hot like coffee and tea. Originally sung by the Ink Spots in 1940 and later sung by the Manhattan Transfer in 1997.)

* All Through the House
     (This piece is not your typical performance of the Night before Christmas. This is more like a realistic performance of what happens today in every house on Christmas Eve. It utilises the use of speech choir techniques like saying words instead of singing them and making sound effects like ring or sleeping noises.)

* The Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas - Craig Courtney
     (In this piece, each day of Christmas is represented by a different musical time period and is an imitation of a particular composer. After the piece I had the audience try to tell me which the composer was imitated.)
     Day 1 from 6th Century Rome was Gregorian Chant.
     Day 2 from 15th Century France was Machaut.
     Day 3 from 16th Century Italy was Giovanni Palestrina.
     Day 4 from 17th Century Italy was Antonio Vivaldi.
     Day 5 from 18th Century Germany was George Frideric Handel.
     Day 6 from 18th Century Austria was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
     Day 7 from 19th Century France was Charles Camille Saint-Saëns.
     Day 8 from 19th Century Germany was Richard Wagner.
     Day 9 from 19th Century Austria was Johann Strauss II.
     Day 10 from 19th Century Italy was Gioachino Antonio Rossini.
     Day 11 from 19th Century Russia was Peter Tchaikovsky.
     And Day 12 from 19th Century USA was John Philip Sousa.

* Mary's Little Boy Chile - Jester Hairston
     (The steel band is not the only group that can perform calypso music.)

* The Son of God Has Come Down - Eric D. Sharp
     (This piece is an original composition that I composed for the choir and steel band. To my knowledge is the 1st piece originally written specifically for choir and a steel drum band. I also wrote the words of this piece. The piece is in the style of island music and since I composed it here on Galveston Island, it is in the style of Galveston Island Music.)

The Island Steel Drum Band continued with the 2nd half.

* The Hammer - Brad Shores
* The Girl from Ipanema - Eric D. Sharp
* Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Eric D. Sharp
* Winter Wonderland - Eric D. Sharp
* Steeling the Blues - Brad Shores
* The Groove in the Mist - Eric D. Sharp

There were over 100 people at the concert. It was a great concert and both groups sounded incredible. Even the president of the college attended. And of course I had way too much fun.

Posted by Eric at 8:06 PM

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Look at me, I am Cooking

Today we mainly just hung around my apartment. I cleaned and she read her books. When I am at her place she usually cooks. She is a really good cook. But since we were at my place I wanted to cook for her. So for lunch I made her quesadillas for lunch. I also made pasta for dinner. It was fun and romantic. I even made brownies for dessert. Ok everyone say it. Awwwwww.

Posted by Eric at 8:04 PM

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pipe Dreams

Jennifer and I went to hear my friend Ron perform his 20th annual Pipe Organ Extravaganza. He is also an internationally acclaimed concert organist. It was a great concert. This will be the 4th time I have attended his recitals.

He performed:

Carillon-Sortie, by Henri Mulet
Pastorale, BMV 590, by Johann Sebastian Bach
Sonate III, by Paul Hindemith
Concert Variations on the Austrian Hymn, by John Knowles Paine
The Nutcracker Suite, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Ronald Wyatt's Bio:

     Mr. Wyatt holds degrees from the University of Texas and Trinity University, where he was awarded the Master of Arts degree in organ. He spent a year in Europe as a student of the celebrated Marie-Claire Alain, with whom he performed on network television. He was also a student of Marie- Madeleine Duruflé, the noted concert organist and wife of one of the twentieth century's greatest composers, Maurice Duruflé.
     Mr. Wyatt has played numerous recitals throughout the United States and Europe, in addition to holding professional posts in churches of various denominations. He was a founder of the first statewide organ playing competition in Texas, which draws students to San Antonio each year to compete for scholarships. He has also been featured in a weekly radio series, and has participated in oratorio accompaniment and master classes at colleges and universities.
     The scope of his musical activities ranges from performing Bach's Brandenburg Concerti on the harpsichord with orchestra to playing the calliope in a parade celebrating the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
      "He plays with a totally sensitive, yet articulate style that few concert organists have mastered," wrote one music critic. "It is apparent that he has a total comprehension of the works he performs."

Posted by Eric at 8:02 PM