Today in “The Hell With It, I’m Gonna Treat Myself” News

I got myself some stupidly expensive caramels. Why? Because I wanted them, and this is week (mumble mumble) of quarantine, and fuck it, I’m getting myself some stupidly expensive caramels to see if they’ll break up the slog.

Did they? Yup! I’m not going to buy stupidly expensive caramels on a regular basis, but as a momentary mood-lifter, they did the job just fine. Also, I think two of these caramels a day is a hard limit; I could feel the fat in them attaching itself directly to my aorta. Worth it! But, moderation. It’s a thing.

Have you splurged on anything recently? Tell me in the comments.

102 Comments on “Today in “The Hell With It, I’m Gonna Treat Myself” News”

  1. I was doing REALLY well until the last ten days or so. But yesterday I splurged on 2 pounds of fresh Rockfish, because YUMMMM. And the day before I ordered myself 2 new goose down bed pillows.

  2. I bought a lathe. It is a 9″x19″, the biggest I could get up the flight of stairs to my apartment.

    Just having fun running it manually for now, but the plan is to convert it to CnC to match the mill.

    Living alone and working remotely, I’m slowly going insane anyway. So I figured doing so while making odd, potentially dangerous things out of metal has the right sort of style.

  3. Today I bought a 2 gallon tin of cheese popcorn and I can’t wait until it arrives at my doorstep in all its cheesy-popcorny goodness. YUM

  4. A few days ago I bought a bottle of Barolo. It was the most I’ve ever paid for a bottle of wine that was for myself and not a gift for someone else ($37.50). I’m opening it soon.

  5. Planning on getting myself an iPhone 11 Pro for the camera upgrade, my husband is going for Invisalign, replaced a child’s broken Chromebook with a much better one and hit the two youngest Nintendo 3 DS on FB garage sale. It’s a big month as school ends and we have no idea what to do with kids while we keep working.

  6. We have duck fat in our freezer. Hmm… I treated myself to new perfume today. It’s expensive enough that my husband would mutter about it if I asked for it for my birthday; this way, he has no idea.

  7. We’re drinking more and better. Champagne and high end liquor in the cocktails. Drinking more helps with the Trump plague quarantine, you don’t mind being at home so much when the drinks are better than at the fancy restaurants.

    Tonight is our 49th wedding anniversary, so good champagne with crab imperial… splurge!!!

    I know you don’t drink, but we do, in moderation. Not bingeing, just a cocktail in late afternoon, and wine with dinner. Helps with going to sleep a little bit too, with real life and death issues hanging over everyone’s head!

  8. I bought the perfect case for all the cables for my iphone and ipad, including the portable phone charger. And yes, I organized it all neatly. :)

  9. I ordered fudge from Bon Bon (also, coincidentally, with caramel and sea salt, and oh dear ghods is that really really good). (Hey, buying it was supporting a local business – it just wasn’t local to me any more.)

    [Damn. My ability to add a link has gone where everything else with the anomic aphasia goes. Look for https://bonboncandies.com, then the Dark Chocolate Fudge with Caramel and Sea Salt. You won’t regret it.]

    Today’s splurge came with the groceries ordered through the volunteer deliveries for seniors and disabled here – cherries are on sale. And cantaloupe chunks. And strawberries. And I got other fresh fruit, and veggies, and salad mix. And will thaw out some chicken to experiment tomorrow, making the garlic ginger chicken recipe from Mary Anne Mohanraj’s _Feast of Serendib_ cookbook.

  10. We got new pots and pans to replace our 10 year old non-stick without a lot of remaining non-stick. The new stuff is uh …. pretty great.

  11. Pistachio baklava is my favorite vice, after books, and then we went overboard and bought Nutty Irshman lattes to wash them down. It was like drinking candy bars while eating manna. I AM NOT ASHAMED. Tomorrow I clamber back on the wagon.

  12. @grumbles Much joy with your lathe! *So* cool. I considered taking up pen turning an eternity ago before reluctantly deciding against.

    I, ah, splurged on artisan handmade watercolors. I rather expect they will be gorgeous but not at all lightfast with pigments (ah, PB66…) that aren’t used in professional watercolors for a reason. But still, fun!

  13. I bought chocolate, not just any but imported chocolate from Davis, Oklahoma. It’s my solace and comfort, I usually have a piece in the morning with my tea. And in the afternoon or evening, or when I’ve done something difficult like going to the grocery store.
    Bedrechocolates.com

  14. Sounds delicious! I have splurged on reading trashy romance novels, 2-3 a week. Brain candy. I only read those in times of trouble, and I buy the ebook versions because I’ll only read them once . My hard copy of Last Emporex shows up tomorrow (yay) and I’m sure it will be worthy of shelf space.

  15. I try to order delivery from local restauraunts every Wednesday, and today I ordered curry from my local Indian place, and it was wonderful.

  16. Duck fat? Greasy caramels? I wouldn’t think you could give those away, let alone charge money for them.

    Closest thing to a splurge around here is freeze dried liver for the dogs.But they’re worth it.

  17. I splurged on a new Apple Watch Series 5 in steel – my Series 3 in aluminum has been slogging along but started to look a bit corroded around the underside – I seem to have pretty aggressive sweat ;)
    Also I wanted the new features (ECG, always on display, more memory…)

  18. Last Emperox AND the new Murderbot! Semester’s over, so it’s reading time!!

  19. Sea salt and vinegar + caramel sounds curious. Good?

    Got a black velvet Tudor gown from my favorite costumer (Gallery Serpentine) who was running a special on old stock to generate some fast cash. Everybody wins. And gets to be unnecessarily fabulous.

  20. I keep ordering Savage Worlds game books so when I can get back together with my game group we can all go back to playing Pathfinder because it is the only game we can agree on.

  21. A shipment of books, still to come; a pair of vintage overalls; a pair of wireless earbuds; $80 worth of cheese for Mother’s Day ( a self-serving gift, yes, but SHUT UP); and my home bar is full to the point I’m thinking of exploring other areas of mixological fascination. (Yes, I’m also saving and paying down bills during all this, which is kind of mindboggling in itself!)

  22. We got a Switch bundle (ordered back in early April, finally got it this week) so we can play Animal Crossing. Now if we could just figure out how to navigate it and not keep getting stuck on things….

  23. Expensive smelly candles like Nest’s Bamboo and Moroccan Amber.

    The small (2 oz) votive sizes, appropriately enough, are called “bougies.”

  24. Putting together an order of ‘gourmet’ sauces from hotsauce.com. Love me some mango-pineapple-habanero, some honey chipotle, some…

  25. Duck fat caramels? I think I would prefer butter. No idea what I would like as a splurge. Maybe a good slice of pie. Trouble is, the places I would go for that are closed. Sigh. The pies in stores are barely worth the calories or the money.

  26. Our home theater receiver died, but since it lasted about 25 years, it would be OK to get a nice (but not ridiculously expensive) replacement.

  27. We bought an electric lawn mower. Weird thing to splurge on now (or really any time) considering my husband is out of work (and his business is unlikely to reopen until at least June) it felt quite exorbitant (hell right now brand-name pasta sauce and take out pizza feels exorbitant) but our mower was broke and we couldn’t see throwing good horses after bad on another Craigslist jobber) so we used our stimulus check in part on an all electric mower. Its quite delightful, quieter and possibly lighter then our 1970s era vacuum (which also broke during this, our first pandemic, but we’re much less eager to replace it with something shiny and new right now).

  28. I keep a running wish list of CD’s I want to buy, and I’ve been plowing through that list. Because if now is not the time to finally get my arms and ears around (for example) Public Image Ltd.’s Flowers of Romance, then that time will never come.

  29. I’m still 100% employed, so I’m going to splurge on some long overdue exterior house repairs.

    I am officially middle-aged!

  30. Two little gray kittens! We have been retired just over a year and after our last dog died in 2018 we agreed to wait until we finished some planned travels before adopting again. Since travelling is no longer in the immediate future, we just couldn’t live in an empty house. Had them three days now and they are exactly as we expected. Mostly sleeping punctuated by bouts of insane play and curiosity.

  31. I’ve been splurging by ordering from local restaurants that are struggling to somehow remain open with only curbside pickup or delivery as ways to generate revenue. It’s not a significant splurge for me financially, but if things keep up this way much longer, I’m gonna need bigger bluejeans.

    The big financial splurge I’ve made recently has been to ramp up my donations to some of my favorite arts organizations that are really hurting right now. There are two classical music ensembles that have had to cancel parts of their seasons, and our absolute favorite theater troupe just cancelled their entire 2020 season that was supposed to start next month. We are among the “pandemic privileged,” still working fulltime, not in debt and with no dependents other than the cats, so I’ve been splurging by donating at a significantly increased level from usual. I consider it an investment – if the orgs survive, I will definitely recoup more than my money’s worth in enjoyment in future years.

  32. We’re not financially splurging, because only one of us is currently working, but we are baking a ton, and I made four batches of honey vanilla caramels for teacher gifts (because every single one of my kids’ teachers are getting gifts for this extremely challenging end-of-the-school-year, even the school librarians) and they are amazing.

  33. I ordered two new FLASHLIGHTS (the uppercase is a running joke on another forum I regularly visit).

    I really have plenty of FLASHLIGHTS, but you can never have to many. And it’s not that I am outside in the dark a lot. But they were rechargeable, and bright (4000 lumens, although lumen specs are often inflated), and a brand that I bought before.

    I’m thinking about a newer car, but I was thinking about that before the ‘CoronaCooties’ hit, so I guess that doesn’t count.

  34. Online courses to develop the skills I need to transition to a more lucrative and less aggravating line of work.

  35. No splurge, though 20 bucks for real meat candies isn’t really a splurge.

    Our COVID Diversion Tactics have to do with projects around the house. Got the pool deck repainted and painted most of the outside of the house.

    It takes me six months to a year to design a new product for my business anyway, so this is not yet a big deal. Wondering if people will ever by leisure products again is a big deal.

    I have a stand up paddleboard that was finished right before this started. I was going to start taking bids on it when the world stopped turning. No manufacturers of such items are buying, they can’t sell what they are already producing.

  36. I thought I wouldn’t buy new books this year. Then the pandemic hit. I’ve bought eighty books. There isn’t any room for these on my five already full bookcases.

  37. Took my wife out for an hour of sightseeing in our old (1967 Navion Rangemaster) airplane…$50 or so of fuel but well worth it (plus it’s bad for the airplane and engine to sit for too long); bought a couple of way overpriced organic local lamb shanks and made an amazing tagine with preserved lemon, apricots, and dates, washed down with a spendy local pinot. All worth every red (OK, blue, based on where we live) cent.

  38. On the low-price side; I just received my signed copy of Shakespeare for Squirrels. On the high-price side; I just received a shipping notice for my spiffy new PC w/monitor. I may not WANT to leave my apartment for quite a while…

  39. I’m not sure if I would call it a splurge but I am getting myself a new PC. Last one is 8 years old so it is time. Plus I scored DOOM Eternal for my birthday and my current system ain’t up to it. It is an almost exact match for the recommended minimum specification. Can’t have that. $1200 budget.

  40. I have definitely had a bit too much free time to shop online while at home, but my biggest splurge was this week – I ordered a crokinole board. I was debating about it but then my Mom messaged me and said that if they could play with us (when things go back to normal) she would go halvsies with me.

  41. A MacBook Pro and an iMac. The old ones had been used to death and were basically obsolescent.

  42. A) A new MacBook Pro.

    B) I apparently lost 10-15 lbs since quarantine began, so I bought a big bag of potato chips and indulged.

    C) I’m replacing my 34 year old easy chair with.a new one that isn’t broken down.

    (I also replaced my gutters, but that’s not so indulgent…)

  43. I bought myself a dozen tubes of high quality paints to indulge my budding painting skills. Creamy!

  44. Duck Fat Caramels? I’m intrigued. Maybe I just don’t know the first thing about the world of luxury caramels. We are doing some rather expensive newspaper and magazine subscriptions to get us through the lockdown, as I just can’t ‘do’ breakfast without a pile of things to flick through.

  45. Chinese takeout this week. Peach cobbler last week.
    Chocolate at a rate 3x as quick as before, to keep the kite spirit up in the air.
    So yeah… food. I, too, am Italian-American.

  46. Also got a ceramic crown to replace a broken molar. Got to watch the dentist edit the shape of the replacement in real-time 3D and then watched a computerized milling machine make the crown in the office. Start to finish including an hour and a half for lunch: 3 hours. It even accurately matches my off-color teeth.

  47. Watch batteries. A large number of them. Because I have a habit of putting a ‘dead’ watch in a box then buying a new one. That box is up to a full dozen now…

  48. I have splurged on a 17 disc Blu-Ray set of Avatar: The Last Airbender/ The Legend of Korra.
    The thing is I’ve just been binging Avatar on Netflix here in Oz – I’ve been through all 61 episodes
    four times now. Never seen Korra though, so there is that.
    I think I’m losing it.

  49. I’ve had the duck fat ones before, they were great, but didn’t think they were worth the price. I’m now going to have to hunt for those salt and vinegar caramels though… cause… wow…

  50. Books from Amazon UK. I’d prefer to give the local Waterstones bookstore my money but they are closed due to the virus. I’d be leery of caramels – I have a few old fillings and dentists here are closed for now.

  51. Not sure whether your use of the word “splurge” was intended to be restricted to comestibles, but I am eagerly awaiting the, as yet not officially announced, Google Pixel 4a.
    My Pixel XL is coming up to 3½ years old and I think the Bluetooth chip is wearing out.
    Rumours say there won’t be an XL version of the 4a and that suits me fine. I’ve discovered “too much of a good thing” *is* possible.

  52. Several years ago I ‘splurged’ on a Weber ‘Q’ gas grill and it still cooks better than I do.

    Someone mentioned ‘meat candy’ above. Try this recipe, but glaze with a mix of apricot jam and spicy mustard instead –

  53. Still working, bought books! Plus, trying to convince the wife to let me buy a Nikon D3500

  54. Thanks Dana! You just solved the “what are we making for Memorial Day” quandary!!!

  55. Somehow the chocolate recommendations cause me more spending than the Big Idea posts. Maybe publishers should deliver more chocolates with their Kindle books.

  56. LEGO ISS and the “Light My Bricks” kit to go with it, for the teen daughter and I to build :)

  57. Got myself a resin 3d printer. :D Been printing miniatures and having fun!

    Now I’m curious if anyone’s designed a John Scalzi miniature, and if so, where I would find it? :O

  58. Earlier on, closer to the start of the ‘lock down’ (it’s never really been a lock down where I am), I bought a new TV – went from a 32″ to a 43″. It’s a smart tv, so I don’t have to use my chromecast and cast to it, the colours and resolution are so much better for video gaming. For some of the ones where you can’t increase the text on menus etc, I can actually read it now, without having to stand two feet away. I’ve also bought a wall mount for it and an led strip for bias lighting.

  59. Just ordered a high quality dartboard and darts. I figure there’s always enough time to start sucking at something new.

  60. How are the duck fat caramels? I’m wondering if the duck flavor is weird, or not.

    I HIGHLY recommend LittleJohns (http://littlejohnscandies.com/). Their caramels are amazing, their toffee legendary, and I could mainline their dark chocolate covered honeycomb and their caramello bars.

    The constant indulgence is all the fresh produce – in season or not – we want. This weekend we’re going to be comparing tender steak (tenderloin) with flavorful steak (strip steak) to experience the difference between muscles that are used (flavorful but not tender) and muscles that aren’t (tender but not flavorful).

    About once a month: decamping to a remote cabin for a couple of days.

    Erratic: new, dead-tree books before checking them out of the library. This included a treasured couple of hours at a used bookstore that will open for appointments.

  61. I’ve splurged with my time to write now that I’ve so much of it. Money just the opposite: spent some 25 euros on an online subscription to see the projections of a film festival that in another reality we would have attended anyway. Now I can do it at my own leisure for half of the price. Will only miss out on the encounters with some of the directors.

  62. My treat was going to be very modest: real cream, or even half-n-half, for my coffee.

    Store was out. >|^”'(

  63. Plants for my balcony. Lots and lots of plants, including expensive varieties that I wouldn’t normally buy. I intend my balcony to be Eden this summer.

  64. Funny how my mind puts inexpensive books in the survival category instead of the splurge category. One bag of potato chips did feel like a splurge, as does the yarn. I was just beginning to learn crochet before we started staying home, so I don’t even know if I’ll want to use this yarn, really, but it’s so pretty…

  65. Once i realized we were going to be in the house for the long haul, I went to Costco and bought the biggest TV that would fit into my car. (i’m always running a few years behind on technology, so we “saved” money on the 55-in flat screen.) Took me a month to install on the wall; I am really surprised the kids didn’t melt and open it in the garage. Eventually bought a soundbar, but it has another 2 weeks in the garage.

  66. Splurged on getting an iPad Air, with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard three weeks ago. Diet wise it all went to hell back in April. I’m a practicing vegan and had been avoiding vegan junk food. I’ve been eating vegan: cashew cookies; carrot cake; spice cake; blue berry pie; Nada Moo ice cream; corn chips and pop corn. I have also started drinking beer on the weekends again, well because it has been getting hot here in Texas.

  67. Tragically, my default splurge these days is to buy a cake of oldish raw puer tea. From China.

    Which would wind up at the airport at Shanghai or Guangzhou and then enter an indeterminate state until a slot on an airplane turned up for it to ride here in. My order of spring green tea has been in this state for about 2 months now.

    It’s not the kind of product where an English-speaking general-market tea seller is going to have anything I want. There are a few tea sellers in Chinatowns in the US and Canada who sell the kind of thing I’m interested in, but their storage conditions aren’t the best for aged tea, and there’s a substantial premium involved for dealing with a North American brick-and-mortar. But I might weaken soon.

  68. my splurge was duck fat, actually. A big jar of it for cooking. And a bottle of pricey slow-fermented soy sauce.

  69. A brisket. I was ordering meat online and found myself putting a whole brisket in my basket.

    It is going on the smoker at the weekend.

  70. After seeing the loooong line of cars at the district high school stadium on TV news, we splurged on shipping our online stimulus check to the local foodbank. At our ages (153) we don’t that many unsatisfied desires.

  71. A bunch of bat-related items from Speleobooks.com… Highland Park distillery has a free shipping deal going until the end of May, but we just had 2K of vet bills so I’m waffling.

  72. Pretty blank books and notebooks and pens. Because the best way for me to ignore quarantine is to write my way into some other world where it isn’t.

  73. I have a splurge planned – currently awaiting The Criterion Collection’s next twice-a-year month-long 50%-off-everything sale to nab their complete Ingmar Bergman set. (And hope I will have watched a substantial portion of it before the sale after that, by which time their upcoming complete Agnès Varda set will be available….)

  74. An SSD HAT for my Raspberry Pi 4 – and an SSD to go with it of course.
    Abney Park’s latest album.
    A couple of shirts from llbean- turns out I haven’t bought any shirts in 7 years.. so I guess the last batch were decent quality!

  75. I’m still working, so when the stimulus e-check arrived I spent a couple hundred on a Samsung tablet. The one gaming group I’m in that’s still meeting uses D&D Beyond to manage character sheets, and while I _can_ read the site on my phone I turned 58 earlier this month and the larger screen is a big help.
    I’ve also been checking the Culver’s site regularly to determine which days I treat myself to dessert with lunch. Tomorrow is Chocolate Oreo Volcano day ….

  76. Despite having 3 other perfectly decent bikes in the garage, I splurged on a Trek FX Carbon 4. This was so very much a want and not a need, but damn I am having fun on it. Would I have gotten it if not for Stay in Place? Doubtful; I would have waited until August and convinced the Spouse Thingy to get it for my birthday. But now I feel like I need some chocolate covered caramels…but just, you know, something from the grocery store. That would still feel like a splurge.

  77. Dear Wade,

    See if TeaSource in the Twin Cities area has some puers that you might like. Bill Waddington, the owner, was the first purveyor in the US to start bringing in puers and darks after China lifted the ban in the 1990’s.

    They are, unfortunately, out of a lot of the really nice stuff, but this one is extremely good and not too spendy considering the quality:

    https://www.teasource.com/collections/shop-all-tea/products/2006-long-run-816-sheng-puer-tea

    They also have this drinkable dark:

    https://www.teasource.com/collections/shop-all-tea/products/fu-cha-brick-dark-tea

    It’s not exceptional, but it’s very decent and you can’t beat the price.

    Camellia Sinensis in Montreal (free shipping to the US on orders above $50) is very good.

    https://camellia-sinensis.com/en/teas/pu-er-and-aged-tea?

    I am afraid I haven’t tried any of their puers, so I can’t give you a specific recommendation, and they are considerably more expensive than TeaSource. But I order several greens and oolongs from them on a regular basis and they are of superb quality. (Bill, in fact, recommended them to me.)

    pax / Ctein
    ==========================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    ==========================================

  78. Salt and Vinegar Caramels. Two of my favorite things but I wouldn’t have thought they’d go together – now I may have to splurge!

    As for stupidly expensive quarantine purchases, I’m stranded on desert island in the Turks and Caicos for longer than I thought I’d be so we just got a Nintendo Switch for WAY more than retail but it’s here (almost – should clear customs today) and we need a new entertainment source.

  79. I live in Vermont. In 2013 I had specialty surgery in Santa Barbara California and lived out there for 5 weeks and will never look at East Coast fruit the same way again after tasting California fruit. I just ordered 3 pounds of organic Apricots from California, took my first bite today and felt true joy.

  80. I don’t think they’re stupidly expensive but I did buy two mystery boxes of books from The Book Loft German Villiage in Columbus. I also ordered books from other independent bookstores in Ohio instead of Amazon. Did I pay more and had to wait longer? A little bit, but worth it to support Ohio over Bezos.

  81. 2 94 pound bags of Portland Cement. I’m building a shed in the back yard, and am experimenting with alternate building materials, like bottle and cordwood walls. However, since I am an ‘essential worker’, I had a lot less time to do my construction than I would have liked.

  82. Our son has been doing our Costco runs for us, but they were out of Nutella – those big double jar packages. I went on-line and ordered some from their website. To avoid the delivery charge we ordered 12 pairs. Woohoo! We’re just about set until the vaccine’s ready!

  83. I decided to acknowledge (finally) the arthritis in my hands and am buying a knick comfort tenor recorder from Küng. It looks like a saxophone and a cherrywood recorder loved each other very much.

  84. I bought hardcover versions of my favourite books (and some local authors that were new to me) from my local independent bookstore (curbside pick up, I didn’t go in).
    Dual motive there – 1) I get to sit in the sun and read while being completely disconnected from the internet. 2) I avoided buying something from ……

  85. Right as all this mess really gained momentum in mid-March, I happened to hear the soundtrack for the musical “Come From Away” for the first time, courtesy of YouTube’s music-suggestion algorithm. (For those who haven’t heard it or heard of the stage play, it’s about the town of Gander, Newfoundland and its amazing hospitality and charity towards 7000 stranded airline passengers the week of 9/11/2001). After a couple of weeks of replaying it on YouTube, I bought the soundtrack album and the coffee-table book about the development of the play. I still haven’t gotten tired of listening to it.

    Plus there’s been chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

  86. I splurged on a new camera drone. And a $100,000 Tesla solar roof. I plan to use the drone to document the installation of the roof. They let me put half of the solar roof on a credit card, and I’ll charge the other half on the same card when the project ends. I’ve already set aside the money, so I’ll pay the credit card off to avoid interest. I do like getting the miles.

  87. Dear Kevin,

    Good god, how big a roof do you have!

    pax / Ctein (who owns a Model X and is about to get a PowerWall, but has plain vanilla solar panels)

  88. Duck fat caramels are easy to make and very delicious (better than you’re probably thinking if you’ve never had them and you’re skeptical because duck fat), and duck fat is reasonably widely available. I bought some duck fat by mail order last year, only to find I could have picked some up at the big supermarket in the shopping town about 20 miles from my rural small town. I bought it specifically to make duck fat caramels, and I was not disappointed. Nor were the folks I gave some to for Christmas.

    Note to self: Still have some duck fat. Make some more caramels. But maybe after making key lime pie with the key lime juice that came in the mail last week and the chocolate bread because I scored some flour and yeast recently.

  89. Sorry for double-posting, but I forgot to mention the splurging: books, more and more books that I might never have time to read but I wanted them, so I bought them. I decided to decide that I could justify the purchases because they’re helping a couple of used book stores to stay in business.

    Another splurge: powdered dairy products such as sour cream, butter, and cream cheese. This was partly to test them in case I should buy a boatload to store against shortages in the coming months of who the fuck knows. But also for fun, to play around with in the kitchen. Turns out one can make damn fine cheesecake with powdered cream cheese and powdered sour cream. It ain’t cheap, though, compared to ye olde Philadelphia cream cheese.