flaviomatani: (the wall teacher)
2017-06-22 03:46 pm

Is there anybody out there

Friends from Wales visiting in London took me to the V&A to see the Pink Floyd exhibition. It was very much worth the £20something admission, especially as I didn't have to pay it!




flaviomatani: (sun flare)
2017-06-21 08:09 pm

A long hot summer and other fictitious stories

35º (according to the car), stuck in traffic for two hours, trying to get to a triple lesson that I had to cancel in the end when the car overheated and I had to pull over and just wait (at least the car held long enough to make it to the big Tesco's near Ikea before dying. There's air con in that Tesco. And cake.) . It's not the worst day I've had, by a long way, but it wasn't the best. Shower now.
flaviomatani: (seventhseal chess)
2017-06-20 06:23 am
Entry tags:

[ Gigs ] Diamanda Galás, Barbican, 19-06-17

That was... amazing, overwhelming even at times. Just watching a woman singing her songs (and others) at the piano. She has been described as 'a force of Nature' and that is what I feel when she performs. Quite an experience.
flaviomatani: (Book of G-Quan)
2017-06-16 11:29 am
Entry tags:

[ Books ] Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


First, a couple of disclaimers: I am not a '80s or '90s computer game kid, I was never that very much into that. Second, I was never a Rush fan. So, the prospects were not good when Bibliogoth set this book for their June 2017 meeting. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. Given the many relatively obscure references to things that I'm not that very interested in that I did get, I wonder how many I missed -the book is a geekfest. Some of the corporate behaviour and the willingness of people to surrender real life for a virtual world don't look like they have to wait for 2144 to become real. The story works, the characters are often drawn with thick brushstrokes but again, they mostly work. I enjoyed it.



View all my reviews
flaviomatani: (Book of G-Quan)
2017-06-13 08:57 am
Entry tags:

[ Books ] The Holy Machine, Chris Beckett

The Holy MachineThe Holy Machine by Chris Beckett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this one a lot, even though I prefer his Dark Eden series. A bit closer to allegory than I normally like but a very good story in a dystopian near-future which is different to other imaginings of it I've recently seen but one that is only just a little bit hyperbolic. It is not so much science-fiction as politics-fiction and society-fiction but then the best SF is.



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flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-06-13 07:27 am

another Tuesday

On the train to Watford for my teaching day at school there, like every Tuesday. Needed a whole lot more coffee! Very short teaching day, as often happens in the summer term. This is not good as it means very little money coming in from that school -when they take you on as an instrumental music teacher you're not an employee in any sense, you only get what the parents pay for the lessons, you get no holiday or sick pay and essentially the school can dismiss you without so much as a good-bye-thanks-for-all-the-fish (somebody was quoting Vogons earlier...)

There are upsides, of course. Well, there must be, I cannot think of any right now! 😝
flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-06-11 11:57 am
Entry tags:

may or may not be....

'She's a dead woman walking / she's living on borrowed time' this could be set to music -Chicago blues, a la Muddy Waters, perhaps? :D



* (yes, I'd already said this on FB...) still..
flaviomatani: (analemma)
2017-06-10 09:10 pm
Entry tags:

outcomes and further awaiting

Much less bad than many of us anticipated. Now to wait and see how this unfolds.

Did I mention the other day that it felt like I'd strayed into a wrong path in the shift-space of the possible universes? It gets weirder and weirder by the hour, out there.

The user icon, btw, is from the book by Neal Stephenson, 'Anathem', from where I also got, amongst many other peculiar ideas, the (probably) wrong usage of the expression 'shift-space'
flaviomatani: (galaxy)
2017-06-08 08:59 pm

books and films... 'Interstellar', 'The Book of Phoenix'

Trying not to look at the news... ah, watched Interstellar. Only three years late. I be only a little musician so wouldn't really know but there might have been a few flaws in the physics there but it doesn't matter, it was a lovely story. Might watch it again tonight, to avoid watching the news. I have this sense of dread impending..

Also reading 'The Book of Phoenix' by Nnedi Okorafor. Quite good although it felt like it could have done with some more proof reading and sub-editing. Trying to think who it was that recommended me the author either here or in FB -if it was here, many thanks; it is a good story with just that proviso.
flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-05-27 09:23 pm

(no subject)

How's your week-end?

I'm just back from a gig, playing classical guitar at an Irish goth wedding.
flaviomatani: (flavguitarpark)
2017-05-20 12:25 pm

picnic....

Off in a little while to the Hampstead Alternative Picnic, the first one this year, in front of Kenwood House as usual. What do you say? It may rain? You say it like it's a terrible thing. Or very unusual in London... :D



https://www.facebook.com/events/1858383921112207/
* you might not be able to see the event as it is set to 'private'. If you want I can send you an invite.
flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-05-18 10:30 am

These guitar lessons...

I think I'm lucky in many ways. I arrived late to what I found out I really liked in life and yet I was able to do it, do it more or less well, do a degree on something like playing the guitar (doesn't it sound kind of crazy, to be able to do that?) but it comes with snags and perils.

I'm self-employed. If those lessons don't happen I don't have money coming in. I work in two schools where, very belatedly, they changed my status and I'm no longer freelance but it still is the case that if there are no lessons I get no money. Still also true no paid holidays, sick days, etc. Of course I knew all along that this came with the territory doing work of this kind. If I had arrived a couple of years before I did in the '80s I probably could have got a proper peripatetic guitar teaching job with a local education authority and be assigned to several schools, I would have been paid by the taxpayer so several issues wouldn't arise: these days I get paid what the parents pay (instead of out of general taxation), so if they can't afford guitar lessons the kid cannot have lessons and that's that. Thank Mrs Thatcher for that , as for so many things.

It is a precarious way of making a living ('you call it a living..?') and more for a guitarist than for other instrument players -back upon the time it was vaguely possible to make a living playing little concerts, restaurants and private functions so one didn't depend so much on lessons.. those times are gone. There is hardly any live music in places like restaurants and when there is it is never a guitarist. When (rarely these days) I have been offered this kind of work they've offered me pretty much the same money I used to get paid for that sort of thing in the '90s so.. no, thanks.

I'll never be able to retire but I'm kind of ok with that as long as I'm in good health and doesn't go la-la. Given the inevitability of human decay and the second law of thermodynamics, we'll have to see what comes.

All the schools I have taught at have their particular little annoyances, but that might be for another post (even though it was one of them that made me start this entry...)
flaviomatani: (Book of G-Quan)
2017-05-16 08:27 am
Entry tags:

[ Books] Hunter - Chris Carter

The HunterThe Hunter by Chris Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A short story introducing Robert Hunter, detective, on his first day at LAPD. Brief, very well put together and enjoyable -if the account of a horrible crime, however fictional, can be said to be enjoyable...



View all my reviews
flaviomatani: (Book of G-Quan)
2017-05-16 07:45 am
Entry tags:

[ Books ] Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of EverythingFreakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I came to this book somewhat belatedly after it was recommended to me by a friend. It was a very interesting book even though I didn't always feel I could agree on what the authors were saying, or rather their conclusions, but what it posits is interesting, it does seem to provide useful tools for analysis of things that are not, prima facie, of an economic nature. It is also very entertaining and overall quite well written. Well worth a read if perhaps much more lightweight than you expect at first. There is also a danger, in these Trumpbrexited times, of dismissing experts almost out of hand. This is something that the manufacturers of 'alternative facts' would love you to do.



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flaviomatani: (humped zebra)
2017-05-14 10:27 am

trains and automobiles

Looking at booking train ticket for Infest on the August Holiday. Last year I paid 30-something pounds for the return ticket, bought in June. The cheapest ticket I find today is £76 and the equivalent of the one I bought last year is £111. Is there such thing as trying to book too early?
flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-05-11 09:17 am

M Ponce - Variación 6 - fr Tema Variado y Final - flavio matani, guitar

A take at home of Flavio playing an excerpt of M Ponce's 'Tema Variado y Final'
flaviomatani: (Default)
2017-05-09 07:51 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

There still seems to be a sort of Rapturist view of politics for some people in which we don't get the options we want so we walk out and don't vote for a Macron or a Hillary because they're evil too, even if the alternative is so so much more evil... I've come across a few examples of this recently and don't quite understand it...
flaviomatani: (OBrien1984)
2017-05-08 01:29 pm

Analysis. An alysis. A..

@GreekAnalyst on Twitter:
Brexit 52-48: "Clear, decisive victory."
Trump 46-48: "The people have spoken."
Macron 66-34: "OMG France is so divided."
flaviomatani: (maciconspeechbubble)
2017-05-07 09:31 pm

I saw the news today, oh boy

Phew.

At least the fascists didn't win.

If only the UK would take an example of that.