Holiday Shopping, Plain and Fancy

Every year about this time Almanac's work-study students fan out across campus for an imaginary shopping spree, and the staff join in as helpers. These are some of the ideas we brought back this year.-- K.C.G.

Globetrotting Gifts

You don't have to travel the world to make to be an international shopper at Penn. Nestled just a few steps up from the lobby of International House at 3701 Chestnut Street, The Bazaar Shop is chock full of gifts for the worldly-wise. Make sure to leave yourself time to browse: it's hard to decide when the selection is so big. And that's not counting special orders they'll take for items that are not available. There's something for every taste at this shopper's paradise- -whimsical stocking stuffers to elegant jewelry. Best of all, PennCard holders get a 10 percent discount. Feline fanatics will chuckle at the porcelain teapots from China ($6)--in the shape of a cat holding a goldfish. West African masks come in a range from the simple to the intricate--$35 for the lower end, all the way up to $200. New this year are collectible Delftware houses from Holland; the set of 4 blue and white canal homes is $75. Adorable duck chopstick rests from Japan are just $5. Hand-painted papier mache picture frames from India come in a variety of sizes, including a hard-to-find panorama photograph size ($10-18.75).

The shop has an extensive collection of museum reproduction jewelry; Ashanti earrings are $11; a Tuareg cross necklace from the Eastern Sahara is just $25. A cast iron Japanese lantern spreads holiday light and cheer--a traditional shape is $50, but a unique owl-shaped version is available for $40. If someone on your list loves perfume, how about giving her a bottle necklace ($6) which can hold her favorite scent all day long? Odds-and-ends can be stored neatly away in Egyptian inlaid mother-of-pearl boxes ($40), lined with a rich red velvet. To wrap up your gift-giving, there's even plenty of paper, cards and ornaments.

The University Museum is renowned for its extensive anthropological exhibits--but savvy shoppers are aware that the Museum Shop is a mecca at holiday crunch time. After wandering through the Museum's many halls, you'll want to take a piece of it home with you. For the executives on your list, why not choose official looking chops--these carved Chinese stone insignia are used to place wax seals on envelopes ($10.95). Stressed out friends will appreciate the Apache burden baskets--they can put all their worries in this artfully woven basket when they go to sleep at night ($20-200). Pots made by native American artists are beautiful collectors' pieces ($50-100); bookworms will appreciate the gold-plated bookmarks ($5.95) of various designs. Museum reproduction art and artifacts from Egypt, South America, the Near East, and the Northwest Coast range from $20-85. Adventurous men on your list will appreciate the silk ties with a Near East or Egyptian hieroglyphics motif ($40-50). Stretch your ears' horizons with music from various parts of the world (CDs, $16.50; Tapes, $10.95). Of course, no mention of the Museum Shop would be complete without a survey of its extensive and exquisite collection of jewelry. From brooches, earrings and necklaces of Baltic amber set in sterling silver ($30-400) to Chinese beaded pieces ($50-300), the shop offers a mind-boggling array of adornments both simple and extraordinary. --S.C.M.

Penn Pride

"Come all ye loyal classmates"...and combine your holiday traditions with your campus pride! Gifts for every age and fancy can be found in The Book Store's peerless collection of Penn paraphernalia. Of course, everyone knows about the Champion and Gear for Sports clothing, all emblazoned with our favorite school's logo. You could add a treasured sweatshirt to your loved one's closet for less than $30. Keep someone running right on schedule with a Penn watch ($146.95) or petite clocks ($94.95). They'll be more efficient with their correspondence with a letter opener ($20.95); a gleaming Penn business card holder ($29.95) will leave no doubts as to their pedigree. An Orrefors crystal paperweight ($109.95), with a relief of the Penn seal, makes a strong statement about your taste and sophistication as a gift-giver. If you'd like to give a little bit of the campus, how about the famous "Ben on the Bench" ($495)? Cast in pewter with a bronze finish, each piece is individually numbered and signed by the artist. And don't forget to browse the Book Store's selection of Penn posters, mugs, ties and golf items.--S.C.M.

Fancy Foods & Flowers

Appetizing holiday gift ideas are being cooked up all around campus. From the Sansom Street coffee shops to the Penn Bookstore, the aroma of delicious delicacies is attracting customers looking for tasty gift ideas for this festive season.

At Bucks County Coffee Co. (34th & Sansom and 40th & Locust) you'll find great buys for a wide variety of delectable treats. Customers will find holiday Christmas tree pretzels dipped in snowy white chocolate ($4.99/lb.); packages of jelly beans wrapped in holiday spirit ($5.25/lb.); '12 cups of Christmas' coupons are the perfect gift for coffee-lovers ($9.95-3 cups are free); and a caffeine-free alternative of spicy egg nog ($1.95, $2.45, $2.95). Without sacrificing quality, Bucks offers an assortment of foods at all price ranges, also providing options for those that are less budget-conscious. Chocolate- covered espresso beans are wonderful stocking-stuffers ($11/lb.) and tasty Mistletoe Blend Brew is ideal for those looking for a unique twist ($9.50/lb.: donated to the Salvation Army). Purchases can be wrapped or put in decorative gift bags for a minimal price (75¢).

Le Bus is yet another Sansom Street coffee shop with marvelous holiday choices. Their savory pies ($10/7in. & $14.95/9in.), freshly baked muffins ($1.40), frosted carrot cake ($16.95, $25), and their variety of almond and chocolate croissants ($1.63) are tasty thoughts for the season. They also offer theme cakes decorated according to the season--available at very few places around campus ($17.95/8in., $26/10in.).

Tuscany also offers extraordinary holiday gift ideas, focused on all types of customers--those that are shopping for simple as well as more elegant products. Their whole bean coffee packages, delicious Pernigotti chocolates, and specialty candies are both reasonably priced and can be packaged in holiday gift boxes. For another, more unique alternative, Tuscany also offers a four-mug set or two mugs with 1 lb. of whole bean coffee ($19.95).

A section of The Book Store, known as the Candy Cupboard, is simply heaven for both candy and chocolate lovers. Their Capricho Candy Toffees ($3.95), Lindt chocolate truffles ($7.29/sm.; $10.75/med.; $17.95/lrg.), and Ferrero Rocher chocolates ($12.95) are tasty delights. In addition, The Book Store also offers Christmas tea bags ($4.95) at a reasonably low price.

Ah, flowers. They are and have always been the 'ideal' gift, appropriate for almost any occasion, time, or person. Flowers scatter smiles upon faces, pour happiness into the hearts of many, and carry festivity and spirit into the holiday season.

Roses, located at Houston Hall, provides a fantastic variety of floral arrangements for all budgets and tastes. Among their large assortment, they offer seasonal poinsettias ($2.99- $12.99), miniature Christmas trees ideal for both dorm room or office ($7.99-$20), magnificently decorated wreaths ($10.99-$14.99), and a choice of house- plants ($12.99). The plants can also be purchased with keepsake gifts such as ceramic jars with a gingerbread motif to Christmas tins that can serve as planters. For those that are less budget-conscious, Roses offers beautiful fruit and gourmet baskets ($35-$150) as well as junk food baskets especially geared towards students ($35 & up). Roses can also takes special orders and can decorate offices and parties. Their services include city-wide, country-wide, and world-wide delivery.

Located both at The Book Store and at The Penn Tower Hotel, the Flower Emporium offers a wide collection of gift items. During the holidays they have lovely poinsettias, Christmas floral creations for moderate prices, as well as fruit, gourmet and silk baskets which are also very popular ($25 & up). The holiday gift baskets can also be customized to suit individuals on your shopping list. In addition, they sell a variety of stuffed toys that can wonderfully complement a flower arrangement. Their services are also city-wide, country-wide, and world- wide. --R.C.

Music & Videos

Shopping for music or video gifts is easier than ever at the University. So many music and video stores are located either on or around campus, that one can find something for just about any taste. Classical Choice, located at 38th and Walnut, carries new and used jazz and classical CDs. Popular new classical CDs include Cecilia Bartoli's "A Portrait" ($12.98), Kathleen Battle's "So Many Stars" ($12.98) and Mandy Patinkin's "Oscar & Steve" ($13.95), while Tony Bennett's "Here's to the Ladies" ($12.98) and new issues of some of John Coltrane's old albums ($12.98 each) are some popular new jazz choices. The store also has a listening bar, so you can listen to any CD in the store before making your selection. If you still can't decide, maybe a membership to the store ($7), which provides discounts on purchases and more money for trade-ins, would be a perfect stocking stuffer for those classical music and jazz aficionados.

For more diverse tastes, Vibes, also located at 38th and Walnut, offers a large selection of smaller label, world music and Latin CDs and tapes (CDs $10.99-$14.99; tapes $9.99). Some best sellers at the store include Joan Osborne's "relish" ($11.99) and The Smashing Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" ($18.99). Vibes has more than just CDs and tapes, including magazines, posters, and T- shirts. If you're unsure about what type of music to give, a simple but useful gift is a CD organizer ($14.99), which resembles a binder with pouches to store CDs. The store also offers gift certificates and can special order CDs.

Discovery Discs in Houston Hall makes spreading the holiday spirit easier with a nice selection of holiday music. Newly released holiday CDs include "This is Christmas" ($11.98) by Luther Vandross and "Superstars of Christmas 1995" ($11.98) which features a collection of popular artists such as Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Richard Marx. For a really special gift, the store has two exciting new box sets, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Playback" ($56.98) and a Carly Simon box set ($39.95). The newly released Enya CD, "The Memory of Trees," ($12.98) is also expected to be a popular choice. The store has a listening bar and is currently offering a $1 discount off new CDs (not already on sale) to all their members.

If you're looking for that "impossible to find" CD, you might want to try Spruce Street Records and Tapes at 40th and Spruce. The store carries a large collection of live CDs and European imports that you won't find anywhere else. And if the store doesn't have it on hand, they can special order it for you within 24 hours. The store also has popular rap CDs, such as Genius/GZA's "Liquid Swords" ($12.99), Onyx's "All We Got Iz Us" ($12.99) and Group Home's "Livin' Proof" ($13.99). Shoppers can listen to their selections at the listening bar or browse over the more than 3,000 used CDs ($.99-9.99). If you still can't find what you're looking for, perhaps a gift certificate or tickets to a show at the Trocadero, Khyber Pass or J.C. Dobbs, would make a perfect gift.

The University Museum Shop's world music selection offers a wonderful chance to give a unique gift that few of your friends will have. The shop carries CDs ($16.50) and cassettes ($10.95) of music from around the world, African drumming, Native American flute music, South American panpipes, music from Egypt, and much more. Shopping for international music has just been made easier with the addition of a new listening station at the shop.

Being able to buy CDs, tapes and videos, for all of your friends and family in one store is definitely a blessing to any holiday shopper, and is quite possible at Sam Goody. The store offers a wide array of music, ranging from classical to heavy metal. Some gift ideas include The Beatles' "Anthology" ($24.99) and the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack ($12.99) featuring music by Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Toni Braxton, just to name a few. The store also has a large selection of holiday music (CDs $5.99-17.99; tapes $2.99-11.49). For video lovers, there is an equally wide range of video selections from popular movies to exercise videos. Popular new videos include the Star Wars Trilogy ($36.99), The Santa Clause ($10.99) and Miracle on 34th Street ($10.99). The entire stock of $14.95 videos is also on sale for $12.99 each or two for $22.

If you're looking for a video to spice up the holidays, Video Library at 41st and Locust has a large selection of holiday video rentals ($1.75 and $2.25/night), including A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Customers can also choose from the regular stock (regular rental $2.25/night; top hit $2.75/night; budget $1.75/night) and relax with a movie during the holiday season. - -J.T.


The Penn Book Store and University Sportswear (next to Wawa at 38th and Spruce) should be your first stops if you're aching to take home some school gear and accessories. While the basics include the numerous "red & blue" sweatshirts ($34.95+), t-shirts ($12.95+) and baseball caps ($13.95), one can also choose from the wide variety of windbreakers and light/heavy weight jackets ($34.95+) to "warm up" your family's holidays. For those special nieces and nephews, check out the Bookstore's kids section. Whether it be pleated mini-jumpers and tops for aspiring cheerleaders ($26.95) or warm-up suits for little athletes- in-training ($36.95), there's something to bring out the cute and cuddliness in every child. Especially good stocking stuffers: adorable and practical Penn booties/baby shoes ($16.95).

For a bigger selection of Penn's casual and sports gear, also visit University Sportswear. You'll probably find some bargains here on T- shirts ($10.98) and especially sweatshirts, which are specially marked "buy-one-get-one-free" for the holidays ($41.98). Embroidery can be made to add a more personal touch to the items (for $5 extra). Penn flannel boxers, an all-time favorite, not only come in sizes for him and her ($12.98), but as part of the Penn teddy bears' ensemble ($17.98 w/ teddy).

For non-Penn clothing, the off-campus favorites include The Gap (on Walnut Street right across from the Van Pelt Library) and Urban Outfitters (on Locust Street, past 40th).

When shopping for essential mix-n-matches, check out The Gap's selection of gray and neutral tone wool polos and sweaters for him ($48+)--with Argyle socks to match ($6.50)--and crisp white shirts ($38) and ribbed turtlenecks ($34) for her. Look especially for a gorgeous black and white wool sweater with snowflake designs ($68). The Gap also has mini Christmas-colored jumpers ($48) and long plaid skirts ($58) that create the perfect ensemble for formal family gatherings or dinners. Comfy pj's--two-piece and long gown flannels, or thermals ($48)--can definitely help you and yours unwind after a tiring day of festivities. Fur-stuffed mocassins ($29.99) available in both his and hers (slippers for her) makes the perfect gift for those active late- night "movers & shakers." For the outdoors, pick up a fashionable Gap baseball hat ($16.50) along with one of the heavy layered jackets, in a variety of bright colors ($145) or fluffy hooded pullovers ($45) available in large and x-large sizes. If you have something specific in mind already, join in the holiday fun and indicate what you want by filling out a "Gap Wish List" (available at the counter).

From funk to formal, Urban Outfitters has everything that "fits." One can find various t- and v-neck cotton shirts, ranging from basic one-color cotton to ribbed stripe and satiny materials ($18-$38). Be sure to check out the sales rack in the back of the store for even more reduced prices on these, some for as low as $9.98 (to $24). If you're into jeans, there are literally stacks of Levi's 501 recycled jeans ($20-$30) or--keeping up (or is it back?) with the times--groovy Buffalo wide-bottom jeans ($46-$62). Urban's Alpaca wool sweaters ($45) may do the trick for those looking to keep warm from the winter chill. These waist-length cropped sweaters come in a variety of color and guarantees to please even the pickiest of friends. For fancier styles, there are classic long flaring skirts in a mix of dark, shiny tones ($38+) and long full-length dresses with or without exotic flowers or ancient Chinese designs ($130). Long-sleeve shimmering button-down shirts adds a less flashy flair for those holiday functions, ($38). To top off the ensemble, pick up a set of silver barrettes, a furry ponytail holder or a pretty charm necklace ($6-$10). Urban's stylish selection of handbags and backpacks ($38+) not only lets you carry your books in style but will help immensely when you're lugging home your goodies.

For guys, high recommendations go to the nice wool sweaters-- especially the olive green with gray-checkered one ($58). In line with the holiday decor, there are festively colorful long-sleeve, zipper-down shirts ($38+), lightweight and practical for all seasons. Take advantage of the 25% off sale on a number of men and women's jackets, including black quilted down jackets ($138, for men and $85, for women), exaggerated wool collar jackets ($68), and much more. --S.T.


What better gift is there than a good book? Penn's four campus book stores, The Book Store, The Penn Book Center, Dolby's Medical Books, and House of Our Own Books, offer a plethora of titles and authors, from Karl Marx to Stephen King.

The Book Store, off Locust Walk near 38th, stocks more than just textbooks. With aisles upon aisles of books separated by discipline, The Book Store also has a special Faculty Authors section, a large section on computer sciences, and an exhaustive Cliffnotes section. Some interesting titles sold here include the following: The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism (Princeton U. Press), by Janos Kornai, for $15.95; Freud and Oedipus (Columbia U. Press), by Peter L. Rudnytsky, for $16; Paul Preston's Franco (Basic Books) for $37.50; and, for $18.95, Passage Through Armageddon: The Russians in War and Revolution (Oxford U. Press), by the eminent Russian hisorian, W. Bruce Lincoln.

The Penn Book Center, behind the Bookstore on Walnut, offers titles separated by discipline, as well as special shelves for university presses, including Harvard, UNC at Chapel Hill, Stanford, LSU, Johns Hopkins, and of course Penn (see Almanac November 21/28 for a feature on the Penn Press), as well as a huge alphabetical literature section. The Penn Book Center also does textbook orders. To name a few titles sold here--Allen Ginsberg: Journals Mid-Fifties 1954-1958 (Harper Collins) for $27.50; Oxford Russian-English Dictionary (Oxford at Clarendon Press), including 82,000 words and phrases, for $29.95; Student's Notebook Atlas (American Map Corporation) for $2.95; and the Alan C. Kors and Edward Peters Witchcraft in Europe 1100-1700: A Documentary History (Penn Press) for $21.95.

Dolby's Medical Books, on Spruce near the Quad, carries a variety of PennMed sweatshirts, hats, and other such paraphernalia, as well as general supplies (notebooks, highlighters, etc.) and more specific supplies (Stethoscopes, medical textbooks, etc.). Veterinary Drug Handbook (Iowa State U. Press), by Donald C. Plumb, sells for $53.50, and Raymond J. Jerome's A Practical Anesthesia Information Guide (Essential Medical Information Systems, Inc.) asks $12.95.

House of Our Own Books, across from HRS on Spruce, offers a great selection of used books, as well as new. In addition, House of Our Own offers a comfortable atmosphere and friendly attitude. Among their many used titles, Gulliver's Travels (Washington Square Press), by Jonathan Swift, sells for a mere $1.50, and Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (The Guerney Press Co.) also asks a neglible price. Among their new books, they offer Paths in Utopia (Beacon Press), by Martin Buber, for $4.45, and GÀsta Esping-Anderson's Politics Against Markets: The Social Democratic Road to Power (Princeton U. Press), for $17.95.

So, if you are having trouble coming up with a good gift idea, browse any one of Penn's four fine book stores to find enlightenment. -- Z.M.

Especially from Penn's Press

Although a new list for spring-summer 1996 is in the mail, the Press's current one also has lots to offer both scholars and the general public (some current titles pictured at left). For information or to place an order, call toll free, 1-800-445- 9880.

Gifts for Children

There are a number of treasure troves around campus that have gifts for children. This time of year most of the featured items are fancy but there are also some that are plain and simple--and fun too.

At the Bazaar Shop in International House, there is a choice of a set of five ornate, colorful nesting Santas from Russia ($55) or a pair of small nesting boy/girl dolls from China ($5). For young girls, there are pretty CloisonnÚ bracelets from China ($5) and for infants there are colorful jumpers from Guatemala ($16). The Shop has an assortment of unique card games, including Black Beans from Mexico ($11.95), Briscola from Italy ($9.95) and Black History cards ($8.95).The Curiosity Kits give children a chance to make their own American Indian Rattle ($12.96), or African Trading Bead Kit ($19.95). For a stocking stuffer that could provide year-round exercise, try a hackey sack knit in Guatemala ($5). From music to math--they have flutes, fancy ones from Bangladesh ($5) and plain ones from India ($1), and an abacus from China ($5) or a set of International Dominos ($19.95).

The new Thrift Drugstore on Walnut, near 38th St. is big on bears--they have cute bear shaped soaps in red and green ($4.49), an angel teddy bear with a brass star shaped photo frame ($5.99) or a big 21" sitting brown bear. No need to have bare feet this Christmas season- -they have Christmas socks in many designs (2 pairs/$5). Know someone who has the munchies and would like their own candy dispenser? There's an M&M Fun Machine with candies ($8.99), a Peanut M&M Sport Dispenser, limited edition ($13.99) or a Hershey Kiss Dispenser ($19.99). For a new twist on an old favorite check out the bubble gum candy canes (79 cents).

Equally big on bears and other cuddlers is the HUP Gift Shop (in its latest, but still not permanent, location near the Ravdin entrance). Though smaller than before this shop still goes in for variety in goods and price range, from the littlest bear (under $10) to a dreamy white horse ($..) in the carousel mood.

The Pyramid Shop at the University Museum is enlarged and now carries an expanded book area with topics from all corners of the globe including Folktales from Around the World. There are also ornaments from many countries to broaden children's horizons and brighten their tree. A simple paper snake from China ($2) is one of the most popular novelty items in the shop according to the manager. Origami paper ($3.95) and book ($5) will provide children a chance to make all sorts of creatures. For curious kids try a Curiosity Kit--Explore Human Origins ($26) or make an African Mask ($12). The Mummy Mysteries, double-sized puzzles ($19.95) offer plenty of challenge. For children ages 8-80, they have Pyramid Triazzle 3-D puzzles ($19.95). For old fashioned family fun, no batteries required, consider Chinese checkers ($48). The South American woven barrettes ($4) and the pewter Zodiac talisman ($4.95) are among the many assorted adornments and jewelry. For a personalized, unique, yet inexpensive gift, the Museum now offers Cartouches ($1) from a computerized vending machine. You select the name, up to nine characters, it does the translation in a matter of seconds, and the hieroglyphics are in your hand, suitable for framing.

The Daisy Shop at Children's Hospital isn't just for children who are patients. The Shop has some unique items like a Baking Kit for Kids, which consists of baking muffins in flower pots ($14.95). Want a doctor or nurse in the family? The Shop has mini M.D. and R.N. outfits for girls and boys who can't wait to grow up! They come in sizes small enough for infants and big enough for children ($17.50). For the truly tiny tots there are delightful, colorful Christmas bibs from Northern Appalachia ($9). Puzzled about what to get? Why not a 200-piece puzzle for the sports fan on your list--choose from hockey, football and basketball ($5.50) or a 1000-piece puzzle of U.S. Presidents or American Sports History ($14.50). Want to give the key to happiness? Attach it to a pretty pewter keyring from Canada ($5) in the form of a dolphin, dog, cat or ballet slippers.

The Book Store naturally has a wide variety of books for kids of all ages--from babies to the baby boomer generation and beyond. Book Buddy is a squeezable, huggable first book ($14.95) for the pre- reader. A title for the 90s generation, Internet for Kids ($8.95), will have your child surfing the Net. A large, completely revised and updated History of Animation ($34.99) is for the big kid who doesn't want to forget the cartoons of their more youthful days. There is also an assortment of books that come with kits to build-your-own things: Kaleidoscopes ($16.95), Walkie-Talkie ($19.95), Pocahontas Bead Book and Kit ($12.95), or Fun with Beads, Ancient Egypt ($29.95) which comes with 3,500 ceramic and metal beads and a book. For the kids who love food, there is The King of Pizza, a hardcover book and a colorful pizza plate ($14.95) or Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes ($15.95). Rather than playing in their food, the creative kid on your list could play with sand--sand art kits ($9.95-$10.95) offer an alternative. For the traditional girls there are the American Girl books, some sold in sets ($34.95) for the avid readers; and the 3-D Edwardian Doll House ($22.95). Want to satisfy the urge for a pet without all the responsibilities? In Search of the Amazing Dinosaurs comes with a 3 ft. inflatable dinosaur to keep your little one company ($17.99). What about something reminiscent of yesteryear? Gund has come out with Mickey Mouse as he looked when he was first introduced ($16). There are plenty of teddy bears dressed in Penn T-shirts ($12-23) and lots of Penn clothing for the next generation of Penn students to wear before they are old enough to even consider matriculating. --M.F.M.

Back to the past: the personalized cartouches bring history into palm of your hands. Top right, Andrew, and at bottom right, Roberta.

Computer Shopping...

Whether looking for computer hardware, software, or accessories, the high-tech shopper has a variety of options, from plain and simple to the lavish (and expensive!). If you're looking to accessorize your current desktop system with mouse pads and wrist rests, Software Etc. and the Computer Connection in the Book Store are the best bets. Software Etc. offers Mickey "Mouse pads" ($6.99) in addition to pads that feature scenes from Disney's hit animation movie The Lion King ($7.99). The Computer Connection carries a variety of stylish mouse pads and wrist rests--many carry beautiful images from the work of such artists as Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Escher ($6.95). But if a simple design would look best next to your PC or Mac, the Computer Connection also has pads and rests with the Penn logo, or in plain black ($6.95). Wrist rests in similar styles are $9.95.

That ubiquitous desktop mouse has spawned another line of computer accessories made for the mouse that is not in use. The Computer Connection offers many simple and ornate versions. If you're buying for no-nonsense users who need a place to stash their mice, the Allsop Mouse Catch ($6.95) is a plain plastic case that easily attaches to the side of a monitor and matches the dull, off-white color of most of today's computers. To add a splash of character to your system, try Computer Expressions' "Mouse Trap" ($6.95)--which looks just like a mouse trap and also attaches to the side of your monitor. If you'd rather not stick things to the monitor, then keep your mouse warm with the Franklin Mouse Cover ($4.99), available at Radio Shack--this mouse "cosy" is furry and fuzzy and looks like a lovable little mouse.

As programs get larger and disk space on computers becomes more scarce, many will welcome any extra storage space. The simple floppy disk is always a sure way to go. Environmentally friendly high-density disks are available at the Computer Connection for a dollar each. These disks are "recycled" from disks that were unused surplus at software companies and were about to be thrown out. If you need disks in bulk for back-up purposes, go to Software Etc. and pick up a package of 50 high- density floppies ($21.99). And for those who demand more than just a few megabytes here and there, Software Etc. sells the Maxtor Hard Disk Kit, which includes a whopping 1.6 gigabytes of hard disk storage space ($359.99).

Now that you have enough space on your hard disk, how about buying some entertaining software to fill it? For DOS/Windows compatible systems, "The 11th Hour CD" ($54.95) will be a sure hit, the sequel to last year's popular The 7th Guest. This game features stunning graphics and mind-numbing logic puzzles and is available at the Computer Connection. For Mac users shopping at the Computer Connection, two interactive adventure games also offer incredible graphics and nonstop action: Marathon ($39.95) and Marathon II ($45.95). Simpler, more relaxing computer games are available, however. At Software Etc., you can buy DOS/Windows compatible versions of "Hoyle's Classic Games" ($37.99) and "Bicycle Classics" ($39.99), which offer such card games as poker, gin, solitaire, euchre, and cribbage. Or you could always relax with a simple round of golf, available on PGA Tour Golf III ($64.99) for the Power PC. --S.S.

Planned Serendipity

Every shop becomes a gift shop at holiday time, making it possible to trip over the perfect-gift-for-somebody on the way to buying a newspaper at Houston Hall. But for those heading out deliberately to buy gifts, a handful of shops stand out either because they are mainly gift outlets or because whatever else they sell, the proportion of really good gifts is high.

The Houston Hall Shop, a primary destination for cards and wraps, is a good choice because of it's buying philosophy: each carefully-chosen gift item stands out as a value for its price. Thus inexpensive ornaments and collectibles, thus stuffed toys from $10 to $40; thus flavored teas and boxed candies of an elegant simplicity, and one of the best collections of painted boxes to fill with your own goodies. Down the hall, the Jewelry Connection brings in new stock for the holidays and doesn't raise the prices on the abundance of hair ornaments and earrings, scarves and berets that make a mini- boutique of the stall. Over at 3401, the University of Cards seems to specialize in Pop (cartoon characters show up in figurine, stuffed toy or mechanical clock) with a slight edge to the risquÚ, but its wraps are elegant and its 3D jigsaw puzzles (Big Ben, the Empire State) could be worth the trip.

To zero in on gifts in the 3401 vicinity, however, there are only two places to go: both decidedly on the fancy side: the tiny jewel box called Smiles, on Walnut Street, and the rambling Black Cat on Sansom. Different as day and night, they share a sense of abundance and of careful selection of every object in sight. Smiles is day: one tiny bright room, glittering with 12 floor-to-ceiling jewelry cases on the walls and a series of etageres in the center where candlesticks, small sculptures, decorative boxes and wind chimes delight the eye and ear. Jewelry is mostly $20 up, and the wind chimes start there but go to $70 or more for nearly two-footers. There's also a line of softer goods (pillows and throws) with the occasional hand-woven vest, and plenty of brilliant print scarves.

Around the corner on Sansom, the Black Cat is the dernier miaou in eclecticism, but the alert shopper spots the theme right away: animals and food. If the glass angel has wings it has a cat's face, or a cow's. The egg-timer is a chicken-and-egg choice (with an apple for those who can't decide). From modest refrigerator magnets or ceramic salt-and- peppers, to umbrellas, to soft sculptures, quilts or sofa pillows in three figures, zoomorphism is the order of the day. Wandering from one room to another in the nostalgically outfitted shop, one sees an old bathtub filled with plastic frogs, an oven stuffed with rubber chickens, a toy chest where the hand puppets are preying mantises and bees. Animal puppets hang from the ceilings and doorways, and a whole nook is devoted to garden accessories in terra cotta and verdigris. When it comes to upscale ceramics for dining, there are kangaroos on some plates and pink pigs with wings on others--all in the best handmade tradition. An especially handsome crow design (in a cereal bowl or the matching small plate) is one of the many items marked 20% off right now.

At the other end of campus, Urban Outfitters raises "plain" to the level of high art. If the vast warehouse of household goods, clothing and bric-a-brac has a theme, it is the suggestion that urban equals rustic--but with a flair. Urban Outfitters is justly known for its chunky, jewel-tone glass goblets and vases (a two-footer, tall and square, is only $22); handmade throw rugs and pillows, crafted picture frames and a truly astounding collection of candles and candlesticks. The flavor is from around the world, but not the cities of the world: the working craftspeople of the countryside, weaving color and simplicity together to make their own statements about goods and gifts.- - K.C.G.

Gifts That Go on All Year

Memberships in Penn organizations are among the most welcome gifts on campus, especially for colleagues and co-workers whose intellectual interests are known. Easy shopping, to find something that is . . .

...on Exhibit: All Institute of Contemporary Art members get free admission to exhibits, previews, talks, films, performances, and discounts on catalogues, prints, symposia, and lectures. Membership fees: $20 (Students, Artists, Senior Citizens, and Penn Faculty and Staff), $30 (Individuals), $50 (Family/Household), $100 (Participating member), $300 (Contributing member), $500 (Director's Circle). Information: 898-7108. Or, if you want to help out behind the scenes at events or projects, call the ICA, to find out about joining the volunteer staff as an Avant Guard or Staff Aide.

All University Museum members receive these basic benefits: free admission, discounts on programs, events and Museum Shop purchases, invitations to tours and previews, and subscriptions to Expedition and What in the World?. Membership fees: $45 (Individual), $50 (Family/Household), $75 (Sustaining), $125 (Contributing), $250 (Patron), $500 (Fellow), $1,000-10,000 (Loren Eisley Society). For information, including additional benefits, or to charge a membership, call: 898-4026.

...from the Earth: Sales of bulb plants from the Association of Alumnae help support activities for women high school juniors in the Philadelphia area. This year's plants: nine purple crocuses($13); scarlet, white, or pink amaryllis or four paperwhites ($16); miniature red amaryllis or five tete-a-tete narcissi($18). Shipping/handling charges and taxes (for shipments to Pennsylvania addresses) are additional. Order by December 12 for holiday delivery. Information: 898-7811.

Members of the Morris Arboretum, Pennsylvania's official arboretum, receive Morris Arboretum guest passes, benefits at over 100 public gardens and arboreta nationwide, a quarterly newsletter, and discounts on Arboretum classes, the spring plant sale and invitations to lectures and other events. Membership fees: $20 (Student), $40 (Regular), $60 (Franklinia), $125 (Chestnut), $250 (Holly), $500 (Oak), $1,000 (Laurel). Regular and Franklinia memberships will increase by $5 on January 1, 1996. Information: 247-5777, Ext. 147 or 155. the Gym: Members of the Nautilus/aerobic machines fitness center at Hutchinson Gym can work out from now until August 17 for $155 or $100 (students). Information: 898-7452.

Recreation courses are open to PennCard or Recreation Department ID Card holders. Classes, which meet for five or ten weeks, include aerobics, swimming, water safety, jazz, modern and ballroom dance, scuba diving, yoga, karate, and emergency safety (First Aid and CPR). Fees: 5-week classes: $35, $20/students; 10-week classes: $70, $40/students. Information: 898-6100.

Gift ideas from The Class of 1923 Ice Rink: a 10-pass booklet: $30 with a PennCard, $45 without; seven weeks of group skating lessons ($70). For information, to reserve the rink or Quaker Room for a party, or for the extended Christmas-week skating schedule: 898-1923.

Know someone who loves tennis? Levy Tennis Pavilion memberships, good through September 1, are $10 (students), $20 (faculty and staff), $35 (alumni) or $65 (public). Court fees and lessons are available for an additional fee. Information: 898-4741.

...on the Screen: For movie lovers: a discount film pass ($20) for any five movies shown by the Neighborhood Film/Video Project at International House is a $10 savings over the regular ticket price. Upcoming series include Blaxploitation and Kung Fu movies. Information: 895-6542.Or, trade a few hours of your time as a NFVP volunteer for movie tickets. Information: 895-6593.

For movie makers: a membership ($25; $15 for students) with the Philadelphia Independent Film/Video Association at International House offers workshops, discussions, screenings and access to the group's library and database and Philadelphia Equipment Bank. Information: 895-6594.

...on the Shelf: Friends of the Library of the University of Pennsylvania get a subscription Bibliotheca newsletter, sponsor lectures, symposia, exhibits and other events. Membership fees: $10 (student), $35 (regular), $100 (Sponsor), $250 (Patron), $500 (Benefactor), or $1,000 (Benjamin Franklin Society); $500 and above members get borrowing privileges and $1,000 and above members are recognized as members of the University's Benjamin Franklin Society. To see some of the projects sponsored by the Friends, or to sign up for your own membership on-line, visit their web site ( Information: 573- 3609.

...on Stage: A subscription to ACTSplus--a minimum purchase of four productions--gives discounted prices on theatre, dance and music shows at the Annenberg Center. Subscription benefits include ticket exchanges, additional tickets at discounted rates and a dining guide for University City. Upcoming shows: Chekov's The Three Sisters, Bruce Graham's Cheap Sentiment, The Parsons Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Kronos Quartet. Information: 898-6791.

International House's Folklife Center has a special mid- season offer: three concerts for $36. Upcoming concerts feature African, Mexican, Cajun, Indian and Celtic music. For information or a full schedule: 895-6546. the Table: Let someone try out a few meals at Dining Services; dinnertime now features new, do-it-yourself wok stations. 10- and 25-meal coupon packs: breakfasts ($42/$98), lunches ($70/$168) and dinners ($105/$262); 10 Anvil Club lunches are $70. For information about using coupons for kosher meals, call 898-7013. For information or other gift ideas: 898-7585 or e-mail adam@dining1.dining.upenn.ed u.

Dining Services can also take care of catering holiday parties. Information: 898-7237 or

Another Dining Service gift idea: a pre-paid CHATS Value Card. CHATS cafe stays open late (until midnight on Sundays, 1 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays, and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) and has Taco Bell Express, Uno's Pizza, Gene's Beans coffee and Vie de France pastries.

For faculty, staff or alumni: give a year's membership at the Faculty Club ($30), gift certificates for a meal in the Hourglass Room, or make a deposit to a member's Declining Balance Account. Information: 898-4620. To reserve a room at the Club for a holiday parties: 898-3464.

...or around the World: International House members get discounts on international films, concerts, workshops and Bazaar Shop purchases and learn about other cultures by meeting I-House residents and participating in cultural programs. They can also receive discounts on stays at International Houses in Australia, Korea, the U. K. and U.S. Membership fees: $25 (Student), $30 (Individual), $50 (Family), $100 (Contributing), $250 (Sustaining), $500 (World), $1000 or more (International). Information: Caren Early, 387-5125 ext. 2279. -- M.S.



Tuesday, December 12, 1995
Volume 42 Number 15

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