Alphabetical of Simple Pleasures: E-J

You know the drill: Items under $30 which anyone on a budget can use to themselves.

Yesterday, we ran through Audible books, Chardonnays, Djarum Blacks, Badger shaving brushes. Today, we'll cover a bit more ground. After all, this is not just a self-love primer, but may also provide some gift ideas to those of you with a (not-so) secret aesthete in your lives...Even better: you won't break the bank.

Eternity Shower Gel (for the guys)

Your author has serious problem with a lot of fragrances; the vast majority of scents are too abrasive, too artificial, and don't enhance body chemistry and pheremones very well. One notable exception is Calvin Klein, who does a great job with colognes for men that are rich, subtle, smell like a guy, and a class-act at that; not a truck-stop goon splashed in Brut. My personal fave is Eternity. Not just the cologne (about $50 for 2 ozs), but also the bath gels which transform even hungover louts into an all-day, olifactory sex machine. Priced nicely at $27.50 for a 2.5 oz bottle, it will last months.

Feria Starry Night by Loreal

This is the holy grail of all blue-black, Level 3, hair dyes. The color is sumptuous, rich, shiny, healthy and -surprisingly- not as fake looking as one would expect for an OTC hair dye that has so much blue sheen underneath it. Also, even for an ammonia-based product, it is gentle on the scalp and roots. While I am pretty much consigned to Natural Match these days (when I have the chance or time to do so), I cannot recommend this product enough for the discerning Goth. Priced between $11-$19, and worth every penny.

Gun Oil Lube (for that special lady).

Let's be adults here for a second: sex is natural, fun, cheap, enjoyable, invaluable to our mental, emotional and physical well-being, and is the "canary in the mine" for relationships. So, we need to discuss when exhaustion, mental or physical concerns, aging, or good ole' mother nature is not fully cooperative. What happens then? Try this: Gun Oil Lube, a silicone-based, non-irritating lubricant that is hands down the very finest one on the market...for a variety of applications. Will not interfere with condoms, most toys, or do bad things to your special parts. Non-scented, and easily the least viscous surface on the planet. They must use this stuff to grease microprocessor parts. It is that good...and a little bit goes a long way without worrying about constant reapplication...even if engaged in por anus sexual contact.

It sadly is expensive. For $30, you can probably afford the 4 oz bottle, although I have seen the 16 oz version on sale at Amazon for about $35 (regularly well over $50). Seriously, if you buy one thing off the Alphabetical, make it Gun Oil...you can thank me later.

Hermes Neckties

This French tie manufacturer is a secret gem to those who love good neckwear. While not as expensive (usually) as Hugo Boss, you can find some Hermes products that range well over $100. However, the classic Hermes red power tie is a must for any professional's wardrobe, and, for exactly $29.99 online at iOffer, it meets our $30 criteria too. If you're really lucky, you can find occasional lots of these badboys on eBay for about $25 per tie/per lot.

Classic Hermes red power tie...every man should own at least four such power ties, and you can't go wrong with the Hermes label.

Free. Absolutely, 100% free. Infinitely expandable. Categorically brilliant in its organization, and fully cross platform. This is a true gift; from streaming m3u's (such as GothMetal.net) to powerful file conversion, to organization that makes my OCD heart flutter, to CD/DVD labeling and design, to a wealth of free streaming content, to the powerful app and iTunes stores; this baby does it all. Go take a look around this ubiquitous application, realize how very little resources it requires for all that it is, and can do. Then marvel that it is free. iTunes makes me a better person (well, at least a happier one).

Jisatsu Circle
Right up front: This isn't for everyone. This is a dark, damned depressing, damned violent manga about life and stress in Japan schools; and unrelated (seemingly) suicides. There was an award-winning, ground-breaking (but nauseating) film better known as Suicide Club, which may actually be more depraved than the 6-issue manga. Suicides. Lots and lots of suicides. The gorier the better. Nevertheless this is a suspenseful WTF read, and for fans of horror-mystery, you could (and would) do far worse than this foray into the macabre. Splatter fans, particularly, will love the movie. Incidentally, the film is $14.99 from Movies Unlimited; the Mangas are priced at $13.50 per on YesAsia.

Told ya'....not for everyone.


Happy bargain hunting.



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