Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Teddy-Bear Psychology 101

You may have seen a recent story in the news debunking the 'butter-side-down' school of science. This school aims to solve all those unanswered questions like....does a dropped piece of toast ALWAYS fall butter side down? What is the perfect length of time to boil a boiled egg? If you put 173,862 budgies in a room with a palette of oil paints....will they eventually recreate the Mona Lisa?

Well......all this hoo-hah, I believe, is down to snooty academics thumbing their noses at yet another practice they deem to be below themselves, how very dare these people tarnish the prestigious reputation of academia with such nonsense? I for one think that the 'butter-side-downers' fill an important niche! I want to know how many budgies it takes to recreate the Mona Lisa!! Most of all I'd rather that some crackpot scientists are spending time answering these questions rather than percieving bread falling butter side down as a divine punishment for the sins of mankind, for He is omniscient and omnipresent *wags finger*

SO!! It is for this reason that I have decided to contribute my own 'work' to the 'butter side downers'. I believe I would fall nicely into this side of academia (yes....academia, suck on that Professoré), I have many zany ideas for things that can be researched, and one of them came to me the other day as I was clearing up my room (shoving everything under the bed so I had a patch of floor to stand on). Does one's collection of cuddly toys reflect ones personality and /or psychology? Seeing as people rarely buy these toys for themselves and are instead presented with them at festivals such as 'Christmas' or 'Birthday', or even, heaven forbid....'Valentines', do they in fact reflect what your friends and family think of you? I decided to conduct a preliminary investigation amongst my own collection.

I know I know, those of you out there with even the faintest hint of a scientific background will realise this is RIDDLED with problems. The biggest one being, I'm in charge of deciding what my own psychology is and whether my cuddlies reflect it, obviously I think I'm great, because I am *preens*, and so this is hardly objective, lets give it the benefit of the doubt for now though!

Ok, here's my first set of cuddlies, I have grouped them into.....groups.....that will possibly make no sense whatsoever, preliminary remember!!

Traditionalish Teddies

You may recognise these as Me To You bears. You only recieve Me To You bears if you're great and people love you. As you can see....I have six.

I'm tempted to leave it there, but for the sake of clarity I shall continue.

The person who owns six Me to You bears (me) is someone who inspires feelings of love and affection in others be it through intelligent conversation, loving moments, friendly banter....or superb sexual technique....they make you LOVE them! As if the sheer number were not enough, take the big guy on the far left with the green cast on his leg. You will NEVER find another bear like this one in the world. In November 2007 I broke my foot in a stupid accident and was stuck in a cast for 6 weeks, over my birthday and everything. My cast was green. My mate Vicky works in a vet surgery, and she bought me this little fella and put an exact replica of my cast on his foot. Ladies and that not love and devotion?

People buy Me to You Bears for GREAT people! I'm great.

Cartoon Cuddlies

These are the domain of those who spend far too many a happy childhood hour wandering around the Disney store, trailing fraught parents, demanding every second item they came across. Unfortunately they closed the Disney Store last year and so that wonderful tradition was forced to an end....mum won't take me to the one in Covent Garden :(. People with cartoon cuddlies have a sensitive side, they feel the need to identify with something they recognise, they want to know the personality of inanimate bag of rags they're conversing with or having tea parties with.

People buy cartoony toys for those they deem cheerful, fun loving people. Unless it's Eeyore. If it's Eeyore it's because they think you're maternal, Eeyore looks like he needs some looking after, a bit of love and attention. If you buy someone an Eeyore it says more about you than it does about them.

You'll notice I have an Eeyore, I do have a....I hesitate to use the word 'maternal' and I'll use 'clucky' instead.......clucky side. I don't have to know someone very long before I'm trying to feed them and make sure they get home ok and don't get cold, 'Put your coat on! Shall I make you a sandwich for the trip? Text me when you get home.....don't talk to strangers', and THAT'S just the one-night stands.

Realistic Cuddlies

You'll notice I've separated the cephalopod from the mammals, it's the biology student in me, I'm sorry, I'm just THAT scientific. I never promised this would make sense.

The person who owns toys like this has a serious side, they don't NEED to be constantly amused by the silliness of the cartoon cuddly. They rise above the soulless grins of the Winnie the Pooh's and reach out for the cool elitism of the (slightly more) anatomically correct cuddly. Anyone who owns a cuddly cephalopod certainly has a very serious side, personally, I'm disgusted at my cephalopods lack of ink sac, internal shell and capacity for jet propulsion.....but I suppose there's only so much you can do with a stuffed octopus.

I shall confess, I bought the octopus and the gorilla myself, the ruffed lemur and giraffe came from Jobie as a peace-offering one day. I'm tempted to talk about how people who buy other people animal cuddlies are sensitive to the recipients respect and love of nature, and their appreciation for the beauty of the animals form. However, the fact is she bought them in the hopes I wouldn't shout at her and hate her worked.....despite being serious, people with animal cuddlies are also shallow and easily placated.

And last but not least....

Yes, that is a tiny penis......a tiny tiny teddy bear penis.

This was purchased for me by an ex-boyfriends sister. I'm not sure what stories he had been telling her, but they were clearly all true. I'll let you make up your own mind about how this may reflect my psychology.....and exactly how it was that Salas's sister thought of me.

I hope you have enjoyed your magical mystery tour of Sproglets Psyche. I'd very much appreciate an Ig Nobel Award for my efforts once I have honed my technique and gathered enough results for statistical analysis :). Do feel free to email me your own stuffed animals, I shall take the time to give you an in depth analysis of your personality. I know you can hardly wait.

Monday, 28 September 2009

All work and no play makes Becki a dull girl

.....or does it?
I'm in the fortunate position of actually enjoying my job. Of course there are apsects of it that I'd rather not have to contend with, but what you have to do is just laugh at them. This morning we tied a load of lab chairs together, threw them onto a few wonky trolleys we have and proceeded to wheel them halfway across campus. After stopping for the hundredth time to pick up the aforementioned chairs when they've collapsed in slow motion before your very eyes....tempers become somewhat frayed. I usually just stop and tell myself that this is what I'm being payed for....and I'm not being paid badly. If they want to pay me to push around some stupid chairs then that's fine, rather that than stuck in front of an endless spreadsheet all day.

For amusement Bruce and I often demand that the person who has asked us to ferry all this stuff over to them comes and gives us a hand.......and the 3 stooges sketch begins.

Here are some pictures of the things Bruce and I get up to on a daily basis:

Bruce in a bin

Oh yes, this is Bruce, he's my manager, and yes, he's prancing around in a paper recycling bin. Funnier pictures would have been him getting in and out, it was all rather ungainly really, but I was laughing too hard to take any pictures. Bruce has decided that if we EVER have to move journals of Physiology, they're only going to one place...the recycling bin. This is one of our epic journies. The bin was full.....we weren't taking those bastard journals back Brucie leaps into action!!!



How often does one get to dress up in a full oxygen tank and mask? I ask thee! I'm glad no one walked in whilst we were taking these pictures. We....randomly....have this oxygen equipment in a case in our room. I believe the story goes that a company was moving out and donated a load of equipment to our old department (Physiology) no one knew what to do with this....but thought it was really cool, so Bruce got lumbered with it. We decided to sell it on ebay for beer money (shhhhh) and so I was called upon, as the most glamorous person in a room of 2 (the other person being a 50-something year old guy) to model.

It never got in ebay, so this was essentially just my boss getting all excited about boys toys and dragging me into the drama. If anyone's interested, make an offer!! It'll be great in a chemical attack.



Brucinda's arrival marked the beginning of a tradition that has carried on throughout the 3 years I've been in the office with Bruce and Linda before she moved out, I shall go into this tradition later.....I bet you're on the edge of your seats. Needless to say she started out life as a plain paperchase easter bunny. Now look at her.....just look. She's glorious. She sits at our window, looking out upon each years new student intake, waving at the contractors, and generally being a red-lightesque slaaaaag. I saw a picture on the UCL website a little while back, in our window you can see a little white smudge. The picture was in a very smart advertising spiel, I just hope that noone zooms in far enough to see Brucinda waving her boobies at the camera.

I get to INVENT things!!

This is my bibbler! I run some student practicals at work, and the solutions we use have to be bubbled before use.....but how to bubble them all at the same time?? With Linda and Becki's Magik Bibbler!! That's how!! Look how it bibbles everything so nicely! With Linda and Becki's Magik Bibbler, all your bibbling worries are put to rest. Only $9.95, ($20.00 postage and packing).


I get to watch LOCUST PORN!!

Now I'll let you into a little secret about locusts, they can change SEX! Well, I know females can change into males.....but only when there are other males present it seems, they need the hormones. The reason I know this, the second year we got locusts we didn't specify all female, and when we emptied them into their cage we noticed a small colourful individual amongst them. We didn't think anymore of it until we returned the next day to find more small, colourful individuals, all joyously and enthusiatically mounting the females. In some cases there were little locust towers going on, as if females were mounting other females in a desperate attempt to escape the mini lotharios only to have him mount the whole heaving mass, plugging away delightedly as he went.


Cheap and Nasty Tat!

This is one of my favourite pastimes at work. I could see how much Bruce loved Brucinda....I could see it in his eyes when he looked at her (point of fact.....she's still there). So...the next time I went away, I brought back a wonderful gift for Bruce and Linda, gifts that brought tears of joy (I think) to their eyes. In my picture here you can see that my colleagues have taken up the tradition with gusto! I am proudly displaying my sun magnet and macaw from Fuertaventura, my dodo keyring from Mauritius and my streetsign magnet from er....somewhere in Eastern Europe, all care of Bruce! The clog, pencil and shell are all sadly bought for me, by me. The rest of the crap is mainly stolen stuff!

Today, Bruce told me he was off to Spanish class, his homework had been to talk about a souvenir he brought back from his holidays. 'I didn't bring back a souvenir, all I brought back was a couple of pebbles' he says. I laugh.....until he produces 2 pictures of pebbles.

'Are you serious?'

'You're going to talk about pebbles?'

'Yes, look! It's very interesting really' *scoots over to me on his chair and shows me his pebble pictures*

'Oh I see, are you going to talk about how this one is brown and this one is grey?'

*withering look*

'Or about how this one is small and this one is big?'

He actually did proceed to tell me an interesting story about the pebbles on the beach and then some cool pictures of a shipwreck! Then I suggested that he should talk about his tacky souvenir collection á la Becki!! Much funnier than the pebbles!

So, we proceeded looking up words like 'Leprechaun', 'kangaroo' and 'sheep' in Spanish, and I took these wonderful pictures of Bruce carefully wrapping up his treasures, for treasures they are indeed.

From left to right we have the following:
Starfish with a sticky-out tongue! I bought this from Cornwall

Clog from Amsterdam, came with a cheap pen of which we've all lost.

Leprechaun glitter globe from Dublin

Boxing light-up kangaroo pen from Australia, brought back by Linda

Fuzzy-top giraffe print pencil bought from Whipsnade animal park by yours truely!

Lamb clippy thing, from New Zealand, from Linda

Clay sheep from Wales, from ME!

And last, but not least, a Leaning Tower of Pisa magnet (complete with top hat) from...Pisa.

Yay for work!!! :D

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Bloggarisation! and Antarctica

Oh Oh!! I've been told off for being boring and not bloggarising!

You know when you've got craploads going on and seem to be in a constant state of business/hungoverness and yet.....none of it really seems blogworthy? I need to do something new and exciting!!

It was Party Piece again on Tuesday, a late one this time! I don't even want to know how many pints of Guinness we downed, but it was at least 5. Jobie was on late and was quite pissed by the time she got up there, but used some new material which I thought was effing brilliant! I laughed my socks off! Jo wasn't convinced that it captured the entire audience, but it pleased me, and I think that's all that counts.

She also donned a swimming hat for a short time. Dinky, pretty, blonde, drunk comic in a swimming hat. It's made of win! (She'll kill me for that)

I'm back in St Reatham with Bandage Club tonight!! Oh yes, rolling around on the floor bandaging people up, it's glorified S&M is what it is.

Friday a sekrit!! ;)

I would like to take this opportunity to ask all (all....snigger) my devoted readers to please please please vite for Violet Dear to blog her way to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions. As I mentioned on Facebooks, this is not altruism, nowhere near it. It's purely selfishness driven!! I follow her SE Asia travelment bloggage HERE and I'm afraid I want more, sorry people....get voting for her HERE!

Thank you, you lovely people. I shall be back tut suite when I have something that won't completely bore the socks off you :D

Saturday, 5 September 2009

One Lovely Evening

I had a genuinely lovely evening last night. Now, this doesn't mean to say that I don't quite often have great evenings out with mates and such, but last night was extra lovely, making me want to blog blog about it!

I messaged Oggers on Thursday asking what she was up to on Friday night, I was free and had recieved an online invite to Comedy Festival at the Canal Café Theatre near Little Venice, seemed like it could be fun. It was a night Tom had organised and he soon threw his 2p in online and let us know about the Facebookers half price tickets, which pretty much sealed the deal.

Jo and I bimbled over after work and got there pretty early, time enough for a quick one before the show started, which is always good!

The show itself was cool, 4 acts, and the audience small but perfectly formed, 12 of us altogether. We was good clappers we was :D. The first act has the hard job of warming the audience up, especially one as small and personal as our one last night, but I thought he was awesome, as he was on Party Piece on Thursday. The other three I had never seen before and I thought all 3 were great. The last guy had Jo almost pissing into her pint with his sandwich joke. She lives that sandwich conundrum every single day of her life...I can just tell.

The loveliness of the evening was really embodied...for the drinks afterwards though.

There had been a couple, who I think were on a date, in the audience and I had briefly chatted to the lady in the you do....during the show, she was very lovely. When the show finished we found ourselves chatting to this couple outside the bar, alongside Tom, one of the acts and a few friends of friends etc. Their names were Theresa and Ali and he was obviously a massive fan of comedy, I think she was just dipping her toe and was very interested in the whole process the hell do they get up there? I ask myself the same question every time I watch Jo go up...*shudder*. Just before they left she asked where Jo performed and said she'd be coming to Monkey Business on Thursday to watch her. Whether she actually turns up or not is neither here nor there, it was great of her to say she'd come along for moral support specifically to see Jo.


Then we spent the rest of the evening chatting to Tom, Henry (one of the comedians), Toms mate Alex and her mate Cameron mainly. By now much (too much) beer had been consumed by all parties and the conversation was at some points disgusting, at some points sombre, but consistently entertaining. Eventually we found ourselves the last people outside the pub and someone was trying to take away the pint of beer that we had found and were sharing between us.......ahem. Cameron in particular was loathe to give it up.

So we waddled off in our separate directions, Henry and Tom on bikes, Jo, Cameron and I heading to Royal Oak. Cameron was another of last nights gems lol, very funny, but insists he would die a slow torturous death on stage. He kept Jo and I muchly entertained throughout an arduous journey home involving sitting on the tube platform for quarter of an hour before being informed there's be no trains for AGES, getting a nightbus back to Great Portland Street and trying to decide what to do from there. Very lovely man, even if he had taken to calling me 'Frustrated (at one point possibly even 'desperate') Girl', due to an earlier conversation. I suppose I can forgive small evils.

We parted ways near Euston Station and Jo and I stood and faffed around for a while trying to decide what to do before waving down a cab and asking him to stop at a cashpoint. Big waste of money....but at that time of the morning without an obvious way home...and with Jo dying for a pee...we decided 'feck it!!'

Home was found and chips and chocolate were purchased. We both passed out on the sofa.

If it hadn't have been for having to take that bloody rip-off cab it would have been a perfect evening!! Best mate, comedy, friendly aquaintances, friendly strangers and plenty of Guinness. One simply cannot complain, can one?

Thank you Jo and Tom, for a fabulous evening xx

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Epic Fedora Fever - Pub Crawl....The Pictures

Oh yes, enough of the misery and drama of the last couple of posts. I DO believe it is time for the photographic evidence of Fridays shennanigans.

Now, it wasn't quite the drunken extravaganza we've had in the past, I think partly because a couple of us had partners there...that does change the group dynamic somewhat I've found. But we didn't all have partners there because no matter how many times or how sweetly I asked Wilerf to 'be my boyfwand??' he wouldn't do it!! Gah!!

However!!! Poor Neil decided to turn up in a fedora that he'd bought in Madrid during the week (disclaimer, it may not be a fedora...but for the sake of ease...I don't care :D). Of course, at some point in the evening, this turned into the ideal opportunity for some semi-drunken photos:

This is Ann, Gregs long-suffering wife :D

Greg, looking decidedly less elegant than Ann

Wilf, looking cheeky

Neil, looking suave and happy to have his hat back....even if only for a second...

Linda, looking very cool!! She should have picked one up herself

And me...just being me! :D

Here's a pic of the lot of them, minus me of course!!

There are a few quite funny ones that I haven't put up anywhere yet! But maybe I should ask for permission first ha ha!! For now, here's a little selection of the crawl......

Greg swigging Sam Smiths wheat beer at the Princess Louise

Wilf looking decidedly unimpressed at his cognac being served in a wine glass, at the Seven Stars

Very orderly arrangement of bottle at the Wellington outside Waterloo....I couldn't resist a picture

The Bunk-Bed-Booths at the Bangalore! Yippee!! Did feel slightly for those dining below us though....blessem.

Taxi Driver from Hell - The Sequel

*one thing I forgot to mention in Part One, is that he joked about having a gun with him, before he said he had pepper spray*

Well well well, I'd pretty much decided I was going to complain about this guy. A lovely dude I know read my blog and sent me a link to an organisation I could write to and complain, and possibly get money back too although that I'm not too bothered about.

I hadn't quite got around to it by the end of the working day and it was almost out of my mind by the time I got an email from Oglet which read simply:

'Have you called the cab office yet? That cabbie just text me'

Which set off all kinds of alarms bells....frack it, I was straight on the phone. I feel sorry for the poor people at the cab office, I think it was a couple of inexperienced young people by themselves and they weren't sure what to do about me ranting about guns and pepper spray and texts down the phone at them. So they gave me the bosses number.

When I called the boss his wife answered and when I told her why I was calling she was about to put me back through to the cab office. After some pursuasion she FINALLY passed the phone over to her husband, I imagine she was very disgruntled...clearly his day off.

I think once I'd actually told him everything, gun joke, pepper spray etc etc, and THEN the fact that he'd text my Oggerz he kinda understood why the scared people at the office had put me through. To be fair, I wasn't putting the phone down until I'd spoken to someone who ould act on it straight away. If this guy was texting, who's to say he couldn't just turn up on one of our doorsteps?? That's the awful thing about the fact he's a cabby, he knows where both Jo and I live.

Anyway, the boss man was absolutely fabulous, he messaged the guy there and then to tell him to come to the office, and he left me a voicemail later saying he's spoken to him on the phone and that he'll see him face to face tomorrow, he's suspended him from duty and he'll call me again to let me know what happens. Sure....he can't do jack shite about the fact that the guy could turn up outside my house...but if that happened it's be a job for the police, not him. He'll also contact these complaints people directly.

What shennanigans....hopefully this guy is a harmless nutter and not a dangerous one!!

Taxi Driver from Hell!

Oh I had the weirdest drive home last night ever. Taxi's from Ogs to Sprogs normally take about 5 minutes max....I don't know WHAT this guy thought he was up to!

He spent half the journey talking about how dodgy the area he was taking me to was (he picked me up from Bakers Arms for fucks sake!) and begging me not to rob him when we got to the other end, he made sure I was well aware of the pepper spray he had in his drivers side door pocket.

Apparently there's a scam going on whereby ladies will call a cab and then hold the cabbie at knifepoint till he hands over all his dough....personally I think he was bullshitting, when I muttered 'going the long way aren't we?' he mentioned something about this being the safe way.

When we FINALLY got close to where I lived (the other half of the journey being taken up by him trying to FIND where I lived - and did I mention he didn't even know where to pick me up?), he was really nervous and edgy and kept saying things like 'don't take my money please, run away, but don't take my money'. Needless to say I gave him the money, and as soon as I was out of that car he sped off into the distance.

He overcharged me, but I didn't care, by then I wanted rid of him as much as he seemed to want rid of me.


Paranoid people of a nervous disposition should NOT be driving cabs. I'd have felt safer being driven by this lot!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Notting Hill Carnival

For the first time EVER this weekend I went to Notting Hill Carnival, I went Carnival!

Now, my housemate Katrin has described it as her worst nightmare, blazing sunshine herded around narrow streets and surrounded by hundreds of drunk people. That's kind of what I expectoo, but not what I experienced funnily enough, although we took a good stab at fitting in with the drunk image by grabbing our first can as we emerged from the station. Personally I was a little worried...were we REALLY allowed to just drink on the streets?? It took spying a few people with cans and watching Kayles and Tom walk past a few police with theirs blatantly on show before I chilled out and cracked my first one. Lammmmmmme.

I went with my mate Kayleigh and her boyfriend Tom, both of them really into their music. Tom DJ's and it heavy into the drum and bass scene. Going with them I discovered the other side of the Notting Hill carnival, a part that many people wouldn't necessarily see if they came solely to see the procession.

Over in the backstreets, away from the procession route, you have craploads of stalls setup in front gardens, food, drink etc etc, and you have the sound systems. Some of these you can just tell have been hammered together in someones garage somewhere, massive contructs of speakers, wood and metal. One systems we stood next to just vibrated your very soul, if someone with a heart problem had come by they'd have been in trouble!! Kayles and I wanted pee pee somewhere nice for a change and so paid £1.50 each to use a clean bathroom in someones house lol!! We probably got pickpocketed on the way in...but who cares eh?

It was lots of fun just wandering down the backstreets, following the sounds of music coming from one direction or another, dancing in front of massive speakers and generally having a laugh! We did catch the procession once or twice and saw some cool outfits too, so we didn't miss out on that.

Thanks Tom and Kayles for a wicked day! :D