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[whitespace] Pajamas Golden Goosed

A wealth of gift ideas for the friend who used to have everything

By Genevieve Roja

NEVER HAS this valley seen princes and princesses of the dotcom kingdom go the way of the pauper in such a short amount of time. Same time last year, everyone hung onto something--the jobs, the parties, the venture capital. Now it's about just hanging on. There are plenty of unemployeds and down-and-outers among us. So, what do we give this newly minted, rootless bastion? Love, lots of love. And a few back-to-basics gifts that everyone can enjoy while scanning online classifieds and repeating, "And that's a good thing" after Martha Stewart. Some startup ideas:

That's the Spot

Deep tissue massages for the hyperstressed former dotcommer are a can't-miss gift. Gift certificates are available at a number of local spas, including Violet Johnson's Wellness Spa at 1314 Lincoln Ave. in San Jose. 408.297.4899; Harmonie European Day Spa at 14501 Big Basin Way in Saratoga, 800.391.3300 or 408.741.4997; or Juut at 240 University Ave. in Palo Alto, 650.328.4067.

Making Up

Because being unemployed with no wrinkle cream can get old--quick. A nice cosmetic pick-me-up is a gift certificate for the M.A.C. makeup store at Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair (408.244.6533) or an appointment at the beauty counters at Nordstrom or Macy's.

Smelly Salts

Wash previous dotcom sins--mortal (fatal) and venial (pardonable)--with pampering bath sets. Wash Away Your Sins bath line makes a Bath & Body Sampler, which includes two Cleansing Bars, one Bubble Bath, four Moist Towelettes, and one full-sized Wash Away Your Sins Lip Balm in handy travel sizes. Available for $19.50 at www.sesto-senso.com. The skincare line BlissLabs makes all kinds of spa treats, like the Hot Salt Scrub (about $34), Purifying Soap Salt (about $32) and Lemon Peel (about $25). Available at Nordstrom and Sephora at Valley Fair. Bliss also sold at Waterworks, 261 Hamilton Ave. in Palo Alto. 650.322.8445 and at www.sephora.com.

Magnetic Attraction

What's a refrigerator door without the requisite magnets? Blue Q makes quirky magnet sets the better to hold all those To-Do lists and motivational articles torn from the pages of O, Rosie and Real Simple. (To-Do Today: Find Job. To-Read Today: Oprah's Favorite Things.) At www.fridgedoor.com, Blue Q sells a dress-me-up cutout of Jackie O., Dick and Jane of the popular reading series and Curious George, ranging from $10 to $13. Don't miss some clever, graphically pleasing magnets by Lucy Lu (the magnet designer, not the actress) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dress Down

The unofficial unemployed uniform: fuzzy pajamas and a cotton terry bathrobe. Nick and Nora, whose bathrobes and PJs come in appliquéed pigs, ducks, and cowboys, make some of the best stuff around. Women will find the Breakfast in Bed robe very Sunday morning apropos, with skillet and sunny-side-up eggs appliquéed on. Macho men will like the Round Up Robe in blue and burgundy, complete with lassoing cowboys. Robes are priced at $88; cotton flannel PJs are $68. Visit www.pajamasseenontv.com/nnbr.html for a complete selection. Also found at Linens 'N Things, various locations. For less cartoonish, more sophisticated designs, BedHead makes fabulous cotton flannel pajamas in toile, Oriental and floral prints. Priced at $98 at www.bedheadpjs.com. Also available at Nordstrom and Collage Salon at 1570 La Pradera Dr. in Campbell. 408.378.1355.

Speedy Ticket

A little culture for the soul: Tickets to any productions by local theater companies: American Musical Theatre of San José, San Jose Stage Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks and City Lights Theatre Company of San Jose. Check Metro's stage listings. Concert tickets are win-win too. Some upcoming concerts that would make thoughtful, early Christmas presents: Echo & The Bunnymen on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Fillmore in San Francisco, Neil Diamond Sunday, Dec. 9, at Compaq Center in San Jose; Etta James Monday, Dec. 17, at Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco; G. Love & Special Sauce Friday, Dec. 28, at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Visit www.pollstar.com for more events listings and information.

Hip Knickknacks

Urban Outfitters, the anti-GAP, boasts eclectic gifts for the newly minted self-deprecating individual. For those who can't make it to their San Francisco store, try going online at www.urbn.com. Better than having a real fireplace or fish aquarium? A $10 videotape of a filmed fireplace or fish aquarium. Gifts for the Zen gardener: a bonsai tree kit for $10 (in two varieties) and a grow-your-own-(wheat)-grass kit for $6.99. Job seekers will enjoy plastic, electronic gadgets about the size of a key chain in iMac colors. The orange-colored doodad gives electronic fortunes, the teal horoscopes and the fuschia futures--all in the sale section for $4.99.

Christmas Karma

Retail stress therapy: now available at the Nature Company or at their online enterprise, discoverystore.com. Lucky bamboo, if placed in a specific space in the house, can bring luck and fortune for $38. Aromatherapy feather-and-down pillow, filled with lavender, chamomile and sage for $25. Plenty of Zenlike rock fountains with running water sounds priced from $40 to $70.

Hairy Holidays

And finally, because butt-length hair and greasy locks scream unemployed. Those letting their fingers do the choppin': Faux Salon in Campbell. 378 E. Campbell Ave., 408.378.3289; Donovan Hair Studio at 380 S. First St. in downtown San Jose, 408.294.3080; DiPietroTodd at 2307 Birch St. in Palo Alto, 650.328.4545.

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From the November 15-21, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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