A personal taste of Nelson de Gouveia

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Savvy Granny – How my mom knows more than I do

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savvy granny

While I was away in London, my mother grew up and became a savvy granny.

She’s a 71 year-old Margaret Thatcher matriarch of the Portuguese community within Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, with fellow residents from as far afield as Paarl travelling down to get their age-old sequin dresses hemmed and stitched by her soft and wrinkled yet experienced hands. She doesn’t quite skateboard down steep hills or listen to thrash metal locked away in her bedroom but, like a teenager squabbling to her parents for the next Nokia, she seeks out new experiences with youthful aplomb.
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Going Offline: Day 54 – Going Online

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going online

I know, I know, ironic huh? Nelson harped on for ages about his addiction to going online on Facebook and wanted to get off it as it was so time-consuming and affected his relationship with other people, his performance in work, and wrote a few short blog-posts bleeding his heart to the wide world of human beings about his fragile ego needing a rest from a virtual fashion show of people’s lives.

And then he’s back on it.

Well, if you haven’t seen by now, I’m in South Africa spending time with la familia, my dad having been ill for so long and me wanting to be around him before time runs out. But since 2 weeks ago, this I can see will impact greatly on my career in the videogames industry, fragile and precarious as it once was before.

And now, I need Facebook…to contact people.

For all my good intentions of shooting the proverbial shit with my dad and the rest of his brood, no one needs a producer in little ol’ Cape Town, and I found that out the hard way after 2 months of being strung along by someone. It’s time to step up, get off my bum-bum, rewrite my Curriculum Vitae and become a full-fledged rat-race chaser, doing whatever odds and ends necessary to pay for petroleum for a run-down ve-HIC-le that will take me places for work purposes AND for comedic endeavours.

In terms of Facebook, that means being exposed to people again, promoting comedy shows and varying my repertoire, talking to long-lost “pals” and convincing them that I’m a gorgeous good-looking, charming little piece of ass-et that you can’t do without.

AND THEN I’ll be offline, keeping my head down.

So, you can call me a hypocrite for being weak-minded…OR you can stand-up and say, “Nelson…there’s a guy that needs a handyman, I’ll send him your number.”

Yes, yes you can do that.

Going Offline – Day 26: Sorry I forgot your birthday…

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Remember the days when you knew the birthday of your closest relatives and friends based solely on your relationship and proximity with them?

Like, your actual relatives and friends, not Facebook followers?

For years I spent wishing people “Merry Christmas” on friends’ Facebook walls as a constant parody of the blasé attitude people have towards the constant childhood need to be recognised as the lucky sperm that made it, thankfully not wiped away with a tissue or swallowed, which put me in a position not to offend anybody by relying on the social networks to remember those incredible moments in OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES.

But I still do remember before we even had portable telephones in our pockets the important ones, the days we truly wished each other well on the day we realise we survived another year on this planet.

My mom’s, for example, I remember constantly growing up as she received phonecalls from people in the community, which to me was akin to a personal status update. Or my very very FIRST girlfriend’s just cos from age 8 to 12 I really liked her, to the lady that broke my heart as it soon before her 21st we got together.

I remember THOSE birthdays, but for the life of me I can’t recall anybody else’s, even my nephews (sorry boys and girl, I’m coming back to rectify that).

So today is both my sister-in-law’s and my housemate’s birthday, which I remember from last year where I quipped about it over the kitchen table and he went, “Oh yeah?” and returned to his conversation with a hot girl on Facebook chat, but as per usual I’d forgotten a card.

Or should I leave a card for a male housemate to a male housemate? Is that really appropriate to actually go out into a shop and pick up a birthday card for a male? Not a best friend, but a man sharing my house with me, that is a friend and a comedy colleague.

To me, I would say I’d have the same relationship as if I sent him a text message with an “x” at the end of it, and thankfully that is not what I do.

Nor would I do it…for he shall look at me like I’ve been painting “I love ####” all over my chalkboard with the door closed while listening to Celine Dion.

Celine specifically cos they’re both Canadian.

No, his day will be spent getting lurid messages from friends and colleagues and I’ll probably just come home with a few beers.

So, Merry Christmas from me. 😛

Going Offline – Day 23: All this open space…

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outside is real


So what has happened since my deep and tearful goodbye from the virtuous existence of cyber-stalking my nephews and former loves?
Nothing…nothing’s happened.
But I can tell you I feel less than interested about returning to the site on a regular basis to read about what sort of pancake mc-enema someone’s had two weeks ago on the coast of Costa Da Whateva with their moronic brood of inter-spacial Martian children hanging from their steel-girdered nipples conversing in an unintelligible language consisting of clicks and farts.
Seriously, I am.
Yesterday, you may not believe this…but as I walked outside the place I live in, I actually…ok, you’ll be shocked…I, totally, said hello to a stranger. Would you believe that, a complete stranger, someone I had never met, outside my abode, my safe place previously reserved by me to sit in front of my Dell screen clicking on status updates while eating cookies (not biscuits)…and I said yes to them.
I may be writing this sarcastically, but in reality I was more concerned now with what someone has going on around them at that very moment, which are the real moments we keep losing out on every day sitting in front of our electronic communications devices. I betcha Kirk didn’t envisage that when we was strutting through the decks of the Enterprise trying to out-strut Spock.
Which is f***ing insane…Spock’s struts are legendary, even his people turn an eyebrow.
Anyway, I’m glad I’m not on there. And so far, I’m enjoying it. Here’s some recommendations:
  • www.tedisreal.com – A funny movie coming out in August with Mark Walhberg and Mila Kunis, and a VERY rude teddy-bear voiced by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane
  • Game of Thrones is back for a second season, and the first two episodes have been gloriously evil and deliciously dirty with a hint of medieval fantasy. Find it.
  • Community is midway on it’s third season with a turbulent war in the making between Troy and Abed. You can’t miss the best friendship group I’ve never been in myself, duh!
  • Pancakes….just simply pancakes, there’s not enough of ’em and there’s nowhere enough around me to enjoy.

Peace out, lovely amigos, I’m working tonight at the Painted Grin show in Benny’s Bar, come down and enjoy!

Going Offline – Day 13: 24 Hour Limits

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In other words, once you deactivate, you return to reactivate and THEN it says you have to wait a full day. Talk about waiting.

This is marvelous.

Not only do I ensure that no spammers keep sending me crappy mails telling me to join their group OR come to their show, but now I can literally limit the time I spend on the site itself.

It’s a mental hospital locking you up in a cell for drug abuse, and you’re left screaming.

It’s also…not working, as I’m now spending time on Twitter.

See? Addictive personalities need an addiction to cling on to, may it be substances (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs) or other forms of deprecation that hurts themselves or others…perhaps I can developer a sexual addiction where I just stop caring about rejection, approach every fanny I fall on and then tell them to bugger off.

Thankfully, my newest ones are Twitter, performing comedy shows and watching Star Trek. I swear, if I’m at least funny, I think I can do well being a loser twat with a currently-shaved making people giggle at my insecurities.

Have a happy and joyous weekend, people, and I’ll see you on Twitter (check the panel on the right for details on Twitter and gigs)

Going Offline – Day 11: Not entirely surrendering…

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Ok, so I’ve rescinded on my stance to delete Facebook and never return by reactivating my account and ensuring it never gets deleted from its databanks. I’m not surrendering though.

Why? Two reasons:

1. I actually lost touch with someone for a week. I was worried, confused over the lack of communication that I wasn’t receiving from her, and she lives all the way in South Africa, so it’s not like I could just visit her place to see if I could smell decomposition from the kitchen. thankfully, I went back into Crackbook and she was there, all perplexed at my harrowed shock, only to find that her company’s servers were giving her trouble, and her mobile/cellphone was not receiving international texts.

2. It made me realise that I cannot lose the connections I’ve built up. It’s like a PR professional throwing away her contact book to swim in the lake. It’s silly, it’s stupid.

I’m heading over to South Africa to reconnect with family, but one day would return to London and I would require an easy method to contact old acquaintenances.

But I am still aware that I spend far too much time prowling people’s false perceptions of personal lives, and in the past week I’ve truly felt the feeling of isolation to the point that I then step outside, say hello to fellow human being, share a joke and a drink with an old acquaintance, reconnect.

So I am still off Facebook. It’s not on, you can’t find me there.

But I’ll be back… 😉

P.S. I was surprised people commented at my previous posts. I’m sorry I didn’t follow up on what was happening in my life thanks to the Facebook exile, but I’ll keep on posting about how it’s affected my little social life, and hopefully it helps you in recognising that some IT geek’s communication is another’s way of hiding from the fact that all you need to do to reconnect with someone…is to knock on their door.

So thank you.

Going Offline – Day 3: Chewing at the Furniture

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Ok, so it’s getting harder now not to think about it. I’m coming across so many doubts in my mind about why I even deleted Facebook in the first place I’m chewing at the furniture, as I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying so many options before.

I could sit and chat to whomever I wanted, even though I never truly did, while on some occasions people just popped up a chat window and spoke to me instead.

Also, there’s a nagging fear in me that I’m closing doors on options that may come to me, from people that Iv’e networked with, and if they were to hear from me again maybe they may consider bringing me on for small bits of work that they’d need me.

It’s kind of like sitting in the corner of a pub and someone asking for your help to move a table. It’s not a big deal, but makes a guy feel useful.

But again, I’m not sure if I can implicitly accept that I should reconnect again. Should I? I’m putting myself in a precarious position. What if I need those same connections again? What if I return to London and find that I don’t have any other contact details apart from messaging them on Facebook? These past few days just trying to find anything to do that will add to my coffers has been pretty much fruitless.

I don’t just miss the friends I’ve made, I also miss the possible connections towards a better life.

12 more days till I regret my decision…

Going Offline – Day 2: Still have the option

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So it’s the second day of my account deletion, and I received a mail from Facebook stating that I still have 13 days left to reconsider my decision to reactivate my account. Nice to have an option.

So, what are the pros and cons of me heading back to the site?

Pro: I’ve created a base of 800+ connections that will allow me to communicate my thoughts and ideas to everyone, including marketing myself out as a friend, a comedian or, in the current state that I’m in, a viable employable option amongst all the contacts I’ve created over the years working in the videogames industry.

Con: My addiction will kick in again and I’ll just sit there watching as other people update on their lives about how happy they are with their loved ones (my family live in South Africa) and the places they are at (I’m in a tiny flat in North London

Sufficed to say, it’s tempting.

Still, I’m allowing myself the use of Twitter as it is a clean and quick method of being around for people to interact with should they desire it, while at the same time using it again for the same purposes of communicating those same thoughts, ideas and the projects I’m involving myself in to keep the time going.

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