Whatever happened to ICEE?

Now that summer’s come early to Manila (read: massive heat wave), I can’t help but scramble for cooling treats like ice cream, cold drinks, etc.  The other day, I waxed nostalgic remembering that cold slushy drink in a cup that predated the Slurpee called ICEE.  As a kid, I used to love going to the supermarket with my mom, knowing that I’d get myself a freezing cola or bright red cherry ICEE afterwards.  Anyone looking to bring in new products to the Philippines, bring back ICEE please! 

ICEE as I remember it

Apparently, the ICEE bear has gotten a makeover from being a bottom-heavy, goofy and loveable layabout (in the tradition of Shaggy from Scooby-doo)…

The good ol' ICEE bear just enjoyed dancing and drinking... ICEE!

… to a “too cool” ice-boarding, sunglass-wearing, “these are modern times so let’s get active” polar bear:

 

Check out the ICEE Company website for information and interesting fan photos like these ones:

Adorable fan photo

Strange fan photo

Apparently ICEE is today available in the US, Canada, Mexico, China and the Middle East.  What happened to the Phils?  We need you back, ICEE bear (goofy or jock version).  It’s hot here…

It’s a Hello Kitty world…

… we just live in it!

I love Japan and their whole appreciation for anything and everything “kawaii” (cuute).  It all started in the late ’70s when I was around 5 years old, and someone gave me some stationery (this was before e-mail) featuring a cat with her name spelled in fat letters – Hello Kitty.  Clean lines, no facial expressions or cartoon bubble talk, Kitty was just a cute little cat in overalls sporting a red ribbon.  Then along the way, something happened and Kitty exploded and became a multi-million dollar global phenomenon.  People like Paris Hilton took the humble cat from Japan and went insane with her.  Here are just a few of many great examples of where Kitty’s at today (many are from kittyhell.com) :

 

Ok, so I do think Hello Kitty fruit is super cute –

I would so buy these! Kawaii bananas at a Japanese supermarket

 

And I would totally buy this yogurt maker if I could find it –

Healthy, calcium-rich and Kitty-cute: what more could a girl ask for?

 

But I don’t think I’d want to be friends with the girl who decides to get married in this get-up–

Scarlett O'Hara meets Cinderella in Hello Kitty Hell

 

Nor would I like to see this in my bathroom…

I think my husband would leave me if I ever installed this

 

Though I may consider delivering  a baby here at the kawaii-cute Hello Kitty hospital in Taiwan–

How could you not love working here? Unless you were a man... who hated Hello Kitty

awwww

 

Then there are the more interesting Kitty items such as –

The Hello Kitty Rosary (for cute Catholics)

 

Conversely, there is the Hello Kitty burqa (for cute Muslims)

 

The Hello Kitty AK-47 …

This model proved unpopular with communist rebels...

 

The Hello Kitty-Louis Vuitton bong for cute, brand-conscious potheads…

 

We get to see Kitty’s super-cute internal organs through the Kitty meets Dr. Romanelli doll…

If only my heart and spleen were that adorable

 

And from the “I didn’t know there was a market for that” department…

Beck’s Hello Kitty Beer

Not a good thing to bring to a tailgate party

 

The equivalent of a huge “Kick Me” sign for any man…

It's the kitted-out Hello Kitty Ferrari

 

You know the universe is coming to an end when Darth Vader becomes a Kitty fan–

Scary Schoolgirl and Hello Darth make for a great disturbance in the Force

Flood Weary in the Philippines

The recent spate of sad events in the Philippines — starting with Typhoon Ondoy on September 26th  — really kept me from adding to this blog.   But, after the tragedies and doing your best to help those affected, life goes on…

But back to the batcave and the rain/floods:  Though we can blame the unusual amount of rainfall on climate change, and the clogged drains on pollution, and denuded forests for the landslides, I always think… it’s been pouring buckets on this country forever!  We just never pre-plan anything here (except for the latest product launch and celeb debut, but I digress), and we never learn from from the past.

Just to prove my point, check out this vintage political cartoon from the 1931 Free Press (below):

Free Press Political Flood Cartoon

Deja Vuuuuu....

Hmm, except for the vintage cars and outfits, and a shark in the water instead of the seriously real crocodiles and snakes from the September flooding, this looks sooo familiar…

 

Bad Food Photos = Great Entertainment

I know it’s strange but I love collecting really bad food photos.  Whether a result of a truly bad recipe, bad food styling or better yet, BOTH,  I’m amazed that ad people back then allowed this stuff to make it to print.  Knowing that it’s almost a science now with Food Testers, Stylists and Photographers being paid top dollar for magazine features and ads, it’s nice to know that once upon a time, people really just didn’t care…

Anything with ‘aspic’ should usually raise red flags

Mmmm!

Mmmm!

 

It’s like raw meat surrounded by little bunches o’ brains

Peas

 

Having mastered Peas, Del Monte then offers up this tempting creamed Corn concoction

Del Monte Corn

 

It’s amazing how creepy spaghetti can look in the wrong hands

spagyuck

 

I love the tagline, “Some things can be copied and some things can’t.”  Well, thank God for that!

Miracle Whip

Run, kids! Mom's made the Haystack!

 

The Frankfurter-Kraut Crown — the perfect holiday centerpiece!

Frankfurter crown2

 

A very rare way of serving “Pork with Spaghetti” or as I call it, “Hairy Pork” : P

Pork with spaghetti

 

Saved the BEST for last! 

Lime Walnut Salad — lime gelatin, celery, pimiento, pineapple and cottage cheese.  Truly. Award. Winning.

Lime Walnut Salad

A lesser-known Weapon of Mass Destruction

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 someday soon… I have a huge collection : O

Mmmm… Bacon

Not this Bacon...

Not this Bacon...

Mmmm...

THIS bacon... Mmmm!

 

When you ask a Vegetarian which food item they were hard-pressed to give up, the anwer is usually… Bacon.  There are a few things in this world that can affect humans as much as the smell of sizzling… Bacon.  Maybe Calvin Klein should create ‘CK Bacon’ and unleash the feral side of any meat-eating woman on the unsuspecting cologne-wearer.  Anyway, I’m apparently not the only person who has a weakness for these strips of pork belly.  There are hundreds of Bacon tribute sites and fan pages online.  Predictably, a lot of strange bacon-related items have been cropping up.  So here’s how I picture a day in the life of a bacon-obsessed person…

 

Have a morning shower with a nice juicy bar of Bacon Soap

bacon soap

 

 

Sit down to breakfast with a morning-brightening Bacon Placemat

bacon placemats

 

 

Mmm, is that coffee or bacon?  Brew a sizzling cup of Maple Bacon Morning coffee

maple_bacon_morning

 

 

Slap on that snazzy Bacon Suit that drives women (and hungry dogs) wild

bacon suit

 

 

If it’s cold, make like a bacon-wrapped weenie dog with the cozy Bacon Scarf

bacon-scarf

 

 

Don’t forget your Bacon Briefcase!

bacon-briefcase

 

 

… And your Bacon Lunchbox!

bacon lunchbox

 

 … And your Bacon Wallet!

bacon wallet

 

 

Make sure all your files are in your trusty Bacon USB Flash Drive

 

usb_flash_disk_

 Get into your delicious-smelling car care of your Bacon Air Freshener

a440_air

 

 

At the end of the day, kick back with a bottle of Squeez Bacon…

Squeezable-Bacon

>yikes<

 

 

Wash it all down with your favorite diet soda…

diet_coke_bacon

 

 

And don’t forget to floss for that extra clean feeling 

bacon flavored floss!

 

 

Unwind and ponder the day with a Bacon Martini

bacon martini

 

Then sit back and welcome the heart attack.

Gitanes Cigarette Ads are beautiful

I don’t smoke, but I really enjoy going through vintage cigarette advertising.  A genre in itself, tobacco ads encompassed all design styles and ranged in subject matter from the scientific to the fashionable and iconic, and even to the bizarre…

Strange "Don't smoke & drive" (?) Russian Ad

Strange "Don't smoke & drive" (?) Russian Ad

 

But I love love classic French cigarette brand Gitanes‘ vintage ads.  The modern (now considered retro-modern) designs and bright, bold colors are just lovely.  And despite the eye-catching designs, the ads are very subtle – there are no cigarette health facts or hard-sell headlines.  Just simple, beautiful designs featuring a gypsy lady.  Here are some examples:

 

Gitanes Tabaco

 

Gitanes2

 

gitanes4

 

gitanes3

 

gitanes5

 

gitanes7

Sophia Loren does not like you…

 I think Jayne Mansfield’s in trouble.
Vassever!

Get this woman and her bread rolls away from Sophia!