flaviomatani: (analemma)
2017-07-21 10:05 am
Entry tags:

mostly for myself

Today I should:

- do two lessons. Weirdly, one is a banjo lesson. Until last week I had never even been near one.

- tidy flat (it might happen)

- change the toilet seat (oh, my glamorous life)

- practise guitar (technical stuff and exercises and run through my programme at least once) for recital on Thursday -FB event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/140330019879766/

- change concert guitar's strings (and the three days of constant re-tuning that ensue) for said concert.

- Go to Dead & Buried -on that line of things, check whether a friend who wants to come along (and for whom I have a ticket) is able to make it. D&B FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1726237230999554/
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: (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: (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)
2017-05-09 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)
2017-05-04 09:13 am

the three minutes of hate

There is a very Strong smell of Stables here.... 
(but, actually, horsesh*t would smell much nicer than all this peddling of hate)
 
flaviomatani: (flavdblxp)
2017-04-25 08:44 am

The Better Angels

Perhaps a bit gloomy, that previous post.

OTOH, I've been reading Steven Pinker's 'The Better Angels in our Nature', where he posits that, contrary to our perception of these things, violence and war have been steadily decreasing along the last thousand years of history. He does support this with lots of stats and sources. So at least there is that. Progress may not be inevitable but it does nonetheless happen.
flaviomatani: (seventhseal chess)
2017-04-25 08:06 am

(no subject)

Sitting in my teaching room at the school in Watford where I teach guitar on Tuesdays. It's sunny, there's a piano and a trumpet in the distance. And somebody playing on a drum kit somewhere, but we'll try to ignore that. Short working day here for the rest of the summer term as many pupils are on study leave, etc.

Getting a bit difficult to ignore the drums. How come all rooms in this building are insulated acoustically but the drum room is not?

Strange times. Seeing that headline (was it The Times?) celebrating the fall of the political elite in France... with a huge picture of La Pen celebrating, arms raised. Having to read a module and respond a questionnaire for this school on radicalisation of children and what to do about this if you see signs of it. The rise, as it would seem from here, of an anti-rationalism that has many aspects, from anti-vaxxers to Trumpeteers to the whole anti-expert attitude, the wilful, selfish ignorance that puts Trump in office and UK out of the EU. I've probably worn out the subject by now, but this is not quite the future one envisaged while growing up in the '60s and '70s. We were going to work less for more, there would be less injustice and more freedom, we were going to have more meaningful lives (and maybe that holiday on the Moon). Oh, ok, there was the whole flying car thing, the silver shell suits and the food in pills. Luckily none of those came to pass, says flavio while seeing people on the street that seem to be dressed in their pyjamas... it sometimes does feel, though, like at some point we took a wrong turn in the shift-space of all possible futures. We'll have to wait and see, says flavio, looking away from the paper headlines....
flaviomatani: (ungoliantina)
2017-04-07 01:35 pm

LJ/DW

Paid for a year's account on Dreamwidth. More icons. What else? I never do polls so I don't need that. Or, do I.

Still cross-posting to LJ. If you're reading this there, I'm moving over to DW (together with, it seems, most of my LJ friends) due to the unacceptable Terms & Conditions that LJ is imposing.
flaviomatani: (Harpya2)
2017-04-04 11:05 pm

should i stay or should i go

I'm not likely to move 100% and close this (a permanent) account on livejournal, but given the concerns that the new T&Cs are raising, I'll probably move more towards Dreamwidth. In case you don't know this, it uses the same engine as Livejournal, run by a few enthusiasts and not under the (possible) grip of the KGB (hello, you guys at the FSB, I did mention the KGB here. Nice of you to show an interest in my LJ). At the moment I'm mostly starting posts there and cross-posting to LJ. At some point, depending on things, the latter may stop. Some of my friends have already moved entirely or partially to DW, you might want to consider that.

My address at Dreamwidth, perhaps predictably:

http://flaviomatani.dreamwidth.org/
flaviomatani: (dreamscape with moon 1)
2017-03-28 07:19 am

Through the wall of sleep

Dreams. Endless streams of parallel lives I never lived, outcomes of present and past situations, all glimpsed through that numinous mist, at the same time so fuzzy at the edges and so vividly bright. All the journeys I never made, the houses I never lived in, the people I never met, the solutions (so clear, so obvious) to problems I never knew were so pressing but which vanish on contact with the waking world.
flaviomatani: (ungoliantina)
2017-02-09 11:29 am

the earth is flat, i tell ya...

I must be one of the few people still using Google Plus. There are a few peeps there that are not on FB or LJ/DW; I also follow a few communities (mostly on classical guitar, science-fiction, pop science… I’m predictable like that. One feed I read is that of NASA. It is nearly always interesting but I have to refrain from reading the comments. Why does NASA seem to get more than the usual share of crackpots, conspiracy theorists and just plain loonies? One interface detail I definitely don’t like about G+ is the way it shows a comment at a time, then the next one, in succession. This draws your eyes in and makes it difficult, at least for me, to avoid looking at the wacko comments by said crackpots, conspiracy theorists and loonies. There still are people around that believe that ‘all of it’ (space exploration, modern science, etc) is a hoax made up by the System to keep them subjugated. No idea how that is supposed to work but TBH I can’t be all that bothered to find out how a mind like that works.

Amongst several interesting feeds I follow there, one that stands out is Open Culture (they also have a web site here -just in case :)
flaviomatani: (lowflyingowls)
2017-02-07 07:23 am
Entry tags:

reflections on an opaque mirror

I keep thinking I'm 25. This is an error. I keep thinking that perhaps because I live pretty much the same life I was living then. But that was nearly forty years ago. I don't normally have to think about it that much -I go to parties and do all those things that some of my younger friends no longer do because they're too old for them at age thirty or thirty-five. I do find, however, that after two or three hours at those clubs I've had enough. I wonder whether this increases and you get to a point where at five minutes you've had enough and wish you were home, drinking cocoa and watching soaps or whatever it is that people my age do.

I keep thinking I'm 25, which is an error. I fall in love with a 27 year old woman -again, an error. Cannot happen. It might be even worse if it did (as it unfeasibly has, at some point) happen. Takes me a couple of years to get rid of the blues resulting from that, the 'guayabo'. I fall down with a flu and instead of two days it knocks me down for a couple of weeks and leaves me with a cough, a deadly tiredness and a feeling of end-of-the-world-approaching that last for weeks and weeks. The doctor at the surgery wiggles her finger up and down in admonition. Your blood pressure is a little high ('but it is within normal range', I protest), you should quit coffee (really?), salami (oh, ok) and cheese (Cheese?!? You mean, life without mozzarella or good parmiggiano?). People address you as 'sir'. Worse, your friends address you as 'sir'. Some people seem to expect sensible answers, advice, even. Unlikely -I've managed to learn very little and I haven't lived most of the things that make up adult life -the having children and family, etc. I see people my age around and can't help but see them as reactionary Daily Mail brexiters, supporters of all the meanness and small-mindedness that seems to be taking centre stage in the world once more. And, alas, they often are.

I keep thinking I'm 25 but then I look in the mirror in the morning and see this stranger that looks nothing like my self-image of me. Not that I have a great image of myself, just this clumsy spotty-face long-haired kid from the barrios in Caracas -but even if that is my true self it is possible that it lay buried under many layers of later lives.

Do I miss all the adult lives I never lived? No, not really. Not a bit. We all just make the best of the cards we're dealt. And so do I.
flaviomatani: (maciconspeechbubble)
2017-02-02 08:17 am

[ Mac ]

That moment when the mac mini that holds all your stuff doesn't start. You push various combinations of buttons, nothing. You begin to think of how old the computer is, how it's been on 24/7 for four or five years, all the stuff you keep in it (but that is kind of secondary in that it is all backed up). Reset SMC. Nothing. Leave it till after I've had a shower and a first coffee. Then, unplug everything from the USB ports, press the button... and it starts. Phew.
flaviomatani: (guitar)
2017-01-30 08:37 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)



It's a soggy Monday morning, it's cold, it's raining, it _is_ a Monday, Trump still is president, Brexit still is on, but this might make it a little better for a few minutes:
flaviomatani: (flavlines)
2017-01-16 10:14 am

that Monday feeling...

Strange times. But then maybe it always is strange times. Maybe the enemy is always at the gates, waiting for our guard to slip before pouncing on us. Watching the news is annoying and infuriating these days if you watch them on the BBC, terrifying and infuriating if you watch CNN or Al-Jazeera. Better switch to the Japanese NHK channel to see kawaii J-rock stuff, like eating fistfuls of sugar -but no, instead of cute these days they concentrate far more on the tensions in South East Asia and the movements of armies baring their teeth in that part of the world.

In my little corner of the world, it's not that bad for the moment, apart from fits of loneliness now and then; apart from this I tend to worry over more concrete things -getting the money together to pay the taxman, preparing a little programme for a short local recital in February, worrying over my broken wrist, my failing vision (more expenditures coming) and what I can do about the ongoing disaster of the terrible teeth that Mother Genetic supplied me with -even more, bigger expenditure. But all these are relatively minor things, with the potential to become major in the long run but fairly under control for the moment. On the plus side, I still have a fantastic social life with people I like, have good friends, health on the whole is not too bad. Why then do I feel like the world is about to implode and I'm dancing on the rim of a volcano about to erupt?
flaviomatani: (lowflyingowls)
2017-01-12 09:24 am

livejournal and things.

Maybe I should use this Dreamwidth account a bit more, given all the vagaries regarding the situation and future of Livejournal. It's

ION, finally saw a bit of that press conference yesterday. Only a bit because I found it both cringe-worthy and blood chilling.
flaviomatani: (Harpya2)
2016-12-27 06:02 pm
Entry tags:

Inter-regnum

Interregnum, again… the no-man’s land between Christmas and New Year, a stop in the wilderness between stations. On a train, now, towards Greenwich –perhaps appropriate, to the place where someone decided the hemispheres of the planet split. Something ends, something begins, nothing changes that much.

Is something really ending, something really beginning? Maybe, to an extent at least. We make up these things and we make up their importance but perhaps if it is important for us it is, after all, important.

We make it up, decide that a particular point in the turning of the planet around the sun is the beginning of the year. The year that ends now won’t end the griefs and the fears that came with it –but we do hope that it will be different. Maybe it will, maybe it will, we say and look up at what may come, expectantly.
flaviomatani: (Harpya2)
2016-12-13 07:28 am

different strands

It would seem that I most likely update my LJ while on that train to Watford at unfeasibly early hours on Tuesdays. This might mean I may forget to update for the Christmas period. OTOH, I reckon only two people (maybe three) still read this so the masses are not going to be clamouring for my absent writing.

As life goes on and time passes, it seems to get more bizarre in many ways and at many scales. Apart from the incredible mess that the political world situation at large seems to have got to, with its various apocalyptic threats that seem to be for the most part the product of human stupidity, at a personal level I begin to feel the passing of time -I still party and enjoy it but after two or three hours I've had enough and feel like bailing out. No all nighters for me ever again, I suspect. I need expensive dental treatment and probably expensive eye treatment as well. I've been prescribed blood pressure tablets. My hearing is not as acute as it.. well, never was, but still. It's taken three quarters of a year to recover from that bicycle accident and I'm still not wholly mended. I still fall in love with people that can never correspond -but these days I'm painfully aware from the start that there is zero chance of a relationship forming.

'...but you have us, all your friends, around you, you're not alone', said she. It felt like too much effort to reply to that -and of course it is true, anyway, but, but but... pero, comunque, however...

Life goes on. I think of my friend who I haven't spoken with for many years now and now I never will. In the meantime, life does indeed go on. Thinking of preparing a short recital for late January or, more likely, early February. Wondering whether I can do this slightly differently: charge five or six pounds but only sell tickets online. Maybe ask for people to donate whatever they think this would be worth instead of a fixed fee (although this could of course come back to bite me). I think I have a pretty, short programme (notice the comma) I want to play. Thirty five, forty minutes of guitar. Ideas about this (and possible venues) welcome, by the way, but bear in mind that if it is a general suggestion ('I think you should...') rather than something concretely helpful ('I've got this venue and I can talk to the people there...') I've probably thought about it, tried and discarded it or otherwise.