Opinion

Word Boy

By Liam Nash

I am trying

To skate. The premise is simple — I’m bored, so why not board? I already own the loud slogan tees, possess a love for thrashy music and fulfill just about every stereotype associated with the skating archetype. It just seemed right. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I’ve never broken a bone, and am looking for the most efficient way to change that. But nonetheless, I now own a skateboard. All seemed well until I actually stepped on the damn thing, unceremoniously tripping and falling two seconds into my newfound recreational journey. I’d comfortably say I fall under the category of ‘kook’. For now, at least.

I am loving

Having a car again. Yes, after voicing my pains of languishing without a motor for near-on four months, I am finally on the road again. Willie Nelson wrote a song about it, and for good reason — damn it feels good to get some independence back. While it is nothing flashy, my auto does what all good vehicles should: gets me from A to B (something I’ve struggled with of late). Although under current restrictions, B isn’t much further than Shepparton’s outskirts, but that hardly matters to me. I'm sure in future the possibilities I'll be able to pack inside my little Ford will know no bounds. But for now, I'm content with being able to take home more than two bags of groceries.

I am listening to

Twice As Tall. Nigeria has put forward a serious candidate for artist of the year with Burna Boy, and he didn’t just step up to the plate with this August release — he smacked it clean out of the park. Enlisting the help of legendary producer Diddy for the LP, the myriad of contrasting styles and features seamlessly merge together to form a powerful aural experience. The track list effortlessly transitions between genres of dancehall, afrobeat, hip-hop and reggae — it’s a mix too good to resist. I imagine that when I’m busy bopping my head to Twice as Tall, I assume the form of a parakeet with a neck ache. That’s how good it is.

I am watching

Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David, the mastermind behind 90s smash-hit sitcom Seinfeld, plays a version of himself which really doesn’t fit the social mould, stumbling through the mundane day to day dealings of a semi-retired multi-millionaire. Which doesn’t exactly sound like a hard sell, I know. But it is hard to put Curb Your Enthusiasm’s essence into words. What I will say about the show, and what is clearly evident through the seasons, is that David employs a fair bit of off-the-cuff improv acting which makes for some genuinely hilarious scenes. It sure beats the crock they are serving up on free-to-air telly nowadays.

Online fashion foray has its hits and misses

Have you picked up a magazine lately?

I haven’t.

Isn’t it funny how, in the most self-indulged era that’s ever existed, the pin-up of cultural exposure doesn’t seem to appeal anymore?

Well, not in its current form at least.

In the digital switch which saw the mobile phone pioneer infinite access to basically anything, it has since decimated its print competition, meaning the periodic publication has dwindled in recent years.

And why is that?

Because they seem to insist on rehashing the dregs of the past when they should remain, well … in the past.

Take fashion, for example.

Mankind domesticated fire, pioneered flight and trended theories of evolution.

So, tell me why we still need cringey fashion advice written by ‘experts’ who try and coax the reader into believing a fedora is still a chic accessory?

Shopping is a two-step process: you like it, you buy it.

Which is what I have been doing lately.

Like most humans, I get sucked in by the tractor beam of internet influence and am prone to the rabbit hole of screen trawling. Specifically, I have started scrolling with a purpose — updating my wardrobe.

Every three years or so, I channel my inner Marie Kondo and set about conducting a mass clothing exodus in the form of a wardrobe declutter. Now, for those who aren’t familiar with the Japanese KonMari craze, it goes something like this: Sift through your worldly possessions, hang onto the ones that "spark joy", and bin the rest. Simples.

However, where it gets fun, and where my penchant for surfing the web comes in, is searching for ways to turn a buck on your unwanted wares, rather than handballing them away for free.

So, over the past month few months, I have got to work on the following process.

First, I rifle through each drawer, launching clothes into selected piles of whichever fate I have decided they will meet. “No, yeah, definitely not, why did I buy this in the first place.”

Next, I whack them all up for sale via eBay, sit back and wait for the cash to roll in.

However, it is in the third phase where things get interesting.

With a fresh wad earned from flicking off all the old garb, I set out about wheeling and dealing on the clothes which will line my wardrobe for the foreseeable future.

Scouting on eBay and other ‘buy and sell’ forums for wearables at a wicked price is a talent — and over time, I have become the master of sniffing out a good deal.

I’ve learnt to tiptoe on the line between acceptable and aggressive lowballing. Perfected the art of whacking in a last-minute offer to whisk away a bargain from beneath the other bidders’ noses. Uncovered the secret to side-stepping eBay’s pesky four per cent fee.

But it is not all sunshine and rainbows — there are casualties in the business of online trade.

I try to keep my BS detector on at all time, but every now again a deal goes awfully awry — we see enough of Trump to know what those look like.

Three months ago, one of the first acquisitions on my clothing hit list as part of the wardrobe overhaul was a sturdy winter coat.

I was seeking something with a bit of conviction to don when going to war with the elements, and after a short amount of perusing the virtual racks I found the one — a sleek North Face number coming all the way from Lithuania.

Unfortunately, the issue is it hasn’t found me yet.

Not sure how the freight policies go in Lithuania, but I think I might have to scratch this one off as a loss.

That doesn’t lessen the blow, however.

Funnily enough, if the infamous jacket does happen to show up, it will have missed its mark and will likely have to wait a year for its debut.

But that is half the fun of the entire process, wondering if you’ve landed on the sale of the century or finding out it was all smoke and mirrors.

If COVID-19 is getting you bogged down, and you have a closet full of clobber gathering dust, I’d encourage you all to have a crack.

It is tax season, after all.