Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Health... that misplaced word!!

I've decided the best way to work off some nervous energy is to go to the gym, get some rowing and cycling in. I haven't been for a week, so to make it worth my while I should be going back more often. (I used to go three or four times a week last year until I stopped because of fatigue)

I tend to feel better after I've been to the gym, been cycling an rowing for a few hours, and then had a nice relaxing sit in the sauna and steam rooms for a while, and then a nice hot shower before leaving. I'll definitely do that tonight, it'll be good to workout my left leg anyway.

On the subject of all things health-related wise, I had an appointment a few weeks ago with the urologist that I forgot to blog about. Because I've had a few UI's, they sent me as a matter of course to her. I had to do a few tests, flow etc, (how wonderfully innocent that sounds lol) and apparently she is concerned that on that occasion my bladder was way over-full, and she thinks it may not be emptying properly. (apparently this is quite common in ms)

Just to introduce the thought to me for now, she gave me a video and a booklet about self catherterisation, as she wants to do more tests in a few weeks time, but if the results come back the same, she thinks this may be a solution. What shes concerened about is that if my bladder is not emptying properly, I may get what is called "reflux", where urine moves back into the kidneys and causes all sorts of nastiness and damage.

I can't say I'm thrilled at the prosdpect of sticking a tube into where I normally pee out of, I have been told that it doesn't have to be as painful as it sounds, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. A few weeks of drinking alot of water and fruit juice, and we'll see what happens.

My dad read the booklet and it didnt help that he kept wincing all the way through at the diagrams lol

Oh well, we'll have to wait and see, but my prayers are more ferverent at the moment!! lol


Well, it's official.

My job interview is on Saturday morning.

My suit is pressed, my shirt and tie are ready, and my haircut is booked.

Part of my background research of the company im applying for is done, the next few nights will be spent in trying to cram as much info about them as possible into my brain...

They have my cv, so all I can do is wait for the questions.

I hate waiting.

I'm so nervous, in a prepared kind of way...

Roll on 11:00am Saturday...


Dear sir/madam/stupid person,

When I am speaking on the phone, to you, my customer/supplier/warehouse operative/customer services representative/customer,* (* = delete as appropriate)
PLEASE listen carefully to my verbal introduction.

If I say "it's John-Mark from (company) " , I mean the person calling you is called John-Mark. It is NOT John, or Mr. Mark, or even Mark, or John Marr, it is JOHN-MARK!!!

It may have escaped your notice but most people when speaking on the phone use their first name, and not their christian name AND surname... When I say John-Mark, that is my FIRST name!!! I realise it is somewhat unusual in britain, and even in Liverpool to have a hyphenated first name, but it does happen. Please listen carefully and think before you respond to my question or query.

Please get this right, otherwise I will have to come round to wherever you are and chop your kneecaps off, and change your name by deed poll overnight without your knowledge to hilda ramsbottom, or cecil blightley. Then see how you like having a name that people either get wrong or poke fun at.

Yours, in-severe-frustration-at-the-stupidity-of-people-to-get-a-name-right,

John-Mark Cullen.

p.s. I am not french either, so please do not spell my name the french way.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I laugh at my naivety!!

I was chatting as usual on christian chat, and a totla stranger I'd not talked to before pm'd me and asked if I wanted to pnp...

Now, I've always thought that pnp was to do with music downloading, but apparently not lol.

I explained in the course of the very strange conversation we had, that I normally only pm people I'm comfortable with and have chatted to before, and even then I don't tend to do it much. She kept persisting though, and made some bizzarre comments about me looking like mark Wahlberg! (apparently that was a compliment lol) Eventually I gave up and started chatting to her, and she kept saying do you want me to switch my cam on? I kept saying to her "if you want, I'm not really that bothered" lol.

Lol I only found out later by talking to a friend, that pnp tends to mean something other than chatting and usually involves cams!! Lol I'm glad now I got a bit fed up with her and said "No offense but I don't know you, would you stop going on about your cam" lol

She presumbably got fed up of trying to "seduce" me in an internet sort of way, and gave up lol.

I find it really funny that someone at my age and experience in life can be so naive about some things, I guess I'm not so much of an internet nerd as I thought I was!!

Now if someone says pnp, I will run a mile down the broadband cable connection lol

As my friend said "she was probably ugly anyway"...

rofl rofl


A quote by one of my female older colleagues that took me by surprise and left me helplessly giggling on the shop floor:

"please pray when I go out to the bank that I don't get knocked down by a bus... I've just found a hole in my underwear...!!"



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Books, Ambience & My Soul...

Although most of the time I usually moan about my job, today I'm very happy. The shop has been quiet, almost deathly, so I've found myself happily pricing books and unpacking parcels in relative quiet and tranquility. There've been a few phonecalls, and a few customers, but it's mostly been quiet.

That's what I enjoy most about my job, the fact that I have "spaces" in the day where I can chill even though I'm still working away, chances to think and ponder and reflect, and sometimes even to people watch! The front of our shop is all glass windows, so you can look out on the people scurrying by, usually in a hurry.

There's something very therapeutic and peaceful in watching other people rush about madly outside, while you quietly and consistently at an unhurried pace get on with your work. Don't misunderstand, I'm not a slacker, and I certainly don't dawdle, but I take the time to enjoy my work while I'm doing it. Of course it's not always like that, and as a Christian Bookshop, we tend to be busier than most, but there's still the small bookshop atmosphere of unhurriedness and the sense of being surrounded by the written word... it's hard to explain.

I guess I've always been a reader since I was very little, and books and the written word have always been a source of inspiration and challenge for me, so it seems natural that I should continue to work in a field that deals with the written word.

I have a job interview next week for a Supervisory role in a much larger bookshop, and despite what I've just said, I'm looking forward to it. The ethos of this company seems to connect with what I feel about books, and I'm excited at the prospect of potentially working for them. I have been in this present job now for over 8 years, and there comes a time when, no matter how much you enjoy it, it's time to move on and find something new. I'm hoping I'll be successful, because I really would like this job. Even though it will probably be different hours, (being a bigger store, it's open way longer) and although I'd have to travel a bit longer each day, I think I would really like to work there.

Part of the attraction for me to be honest is just the fact that it's not Christian! I have been brought up in the Church, and all my friends and social circle are connected with church, and I've been feeling for a while like I'm living in a little Christian bubble. For me, my faith in Jesus has become something other than a religious thing recently, and I've been feeling the disparity between "being Christian" in my speech, and actually living it out as a way of life.

We'll have to wait and see what happens, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I really would like this job...

Saturday, January 13, 2007


On two levels:

  1. I was feeling better yesterday and so rang work to say I'd be back in today. And here I am. It's the same drudgery, nothing's changed...
  2. The conspiracy I referred to here, it seems is not a conspiracy. There was a power outage at that time in our local area. It affected several homes in our street, I've found out.

So, with great regret and deepest empathy I must apologise to Pizza Leaflet Delivery Guy/Gal... It obviously wasn't you who set off the alarm.

Please don't sue me.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Another Note...

I know, a partlicularly desciptive post title there...

*sighs* I have an excuse.

Since Tuesday afternoon, I have been throwing my guts up (obviously I don't mean this literally, that would be very messy, i mean of course vomiting) and enduring various shivering, feverish and other bug/ms related nastiness. I have a virus my doctor reliably informs me, and I am off work at the moment. I have eaten three pieces of taost since tuesday afternoon, and have managed to keep two of them down, which is actually quite an achievement since I've been throwing up bile, when nothing else was in my stomach.

The infection has caused various symptoms of my ms to flare up, particularly muscle spasms in my legs, so I'm not a very happy bunny at the moment.

I tried to go out on Wednesday afternoon, and even with a coat, became so cold that I started shivering so violently I could hardly walk, then as soon as I got back inside broke out into a temperature.

Go figure.

The human body is a wondrous thing yes, but only when it's working.

This short spell of unwellness, has given me a few positives however:

  • I've been able to watch the entire first season of Alias. (yum - jenniffer garner)
  • I've also watched Transporter 2 - Jason Stracham doing unbeilievable and unrealistic stunts with cars and his fists and feet. (highly reccomend this for entertainment value - a truly excellent lads film)
  • I have caught up on sleep, though I still feel wrecked
  • I have not been in work

That said, I think I would have preferred not to have been heaving my guts out, but alas these things happen. Only now am I able to sit up rather than being horizontal, and hoping that the anti-nauseas tablets I've now been given will help me get through some type of meal tommorrow. Tonight was supposed to be my weekly curry night at the pub, but I don't fancy being burned at both ends by a Vindaloo, if you catch my drift.

All other orifaces aside, I'm better than I was.

Here's to good 'ole glasses of water.

Blockbuster unlimited dvd club - you brought me through, u were the medic I truly relied upon.

I knew there was a reason I joined...

Cold Call Scamming?!

Ok, this is definitely a first.

Once, there was the socially-maladjusted spotty herbert schoolboy genius who came up with the unthinkable idea of ringing people up in the middle of their dinner to sell insurance policies to them by pointing out the supposed faults in others.

Next, came the equally spotty but slightly more advanced techie who thought of using sms messages, and acquired the whole shebang of glistening, shiny new metal machines to do his evil bidding at lightening speeds, informing people they needed to keep in touch with their friend using acdotuk or whatever it is, and charging them per message.

Then, came the rather dull pointless scam on email.

Yes people, it has finally happenned!!

I can excitedly tell you, you, my audience of avid readers, that I have been scammed by a company telling me about account details lost from a Bank that I've NEVER had an account at!!!

Oh deary me.

I might have been slightly convinced of your email, rushing to click on the external link in a debt-stricken panic, IF, and I mean IF I had ever had an account at the said bank. You may need me to confirm details of my account number, but I'm afraid my intelligence is only limited to remembering account numbers I actually own and use.

Yes, yes I know it's a damn shame, but that's the way it is.

So, in future, if you really want to scam me?

Can I suggest you pick a bank that I've actually joined, or at least had an account at in the past?

Thank you.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sometimes it pays to be nice!!

A customer has just brought in some biscuits for us be cause we let her use the phone in the shop yesterday when her car broke down.

They're vienese sandwhich biscuits!!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Conspiracy comes to the Cullen household...


"and what pray tell, do you speak of?", I hear you say.

Our burglar alarm was activated at 4:20 a.m. this morning. Viewers should know, it is VERY loud, and as I have an uncanny ability to be immediately alert straight from sleep, (no, dirty-minded people not that type of alert!) I was up and rushing downstairs in a pair of boxies within seconds. (I figured the sight of me in my underwear would be enough to scare anyone from the house)

What I discovered when I reached the bottom of the stairs were several things:

  • it is very cold if you're standing in the hall in a pair of boxies
  • you must be very careful not to slip on loose magazines that are laying about on the floor

Apart from those crucial things, I also discovered a strange phenomenon.

Protruding from our letterbox was what I would class as a junk leaflet, advertising some pizza place or other eaterie. Also, the clock on the oven in the kitchen was completely the wrong time and was flashing on the display panel. This usually happens when we have a power outage.

Having recovered from the rush of adrenaline, and safely tucked up back in bed, knowing I'd checked all doors and windows with dad, I started forming my theories:

  • Aliens invaded our house wishing to snatch someone but instead decided to have takeout
  • The government switched off all electricity in our house for a matter of seconds to experiment on a new super weapon that they needed the power for
  • Pizza restaurants have gone with the info of a new survey and scientific evidence which suggests that during sleep is the best time to advertise

Several questions arose from these thoughts:

  • why would aliens try our house? Everyone knows we're a wierd family anyway!
  • do aliens really like pizza?
  • do pizza restaurants secretly serve aliens in disguise?
  • is there an MI5 plot to subdue the british public with early morning leafleting?
  • who the hell delivers leaflets at 4:20 a.m?
  • was our oven trying to come to life to murder us in our sleep?
  • did the oven clear its time memory to avoid leaving evidence?

We must wait, my friends, to see what tonight holds in store...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sweets that HAVE to come with a warning...

One of my colleagues at work bought me some Cherry Liqueur Sweets for Christmas, I opened them today... (I hadn't got around to them, but now I've finished all the other choaholic little thingies you get at Christmas - cakes, sweets, biscuits, etc, I thought it was time)


They're reall cherries covered in a dark chocolate, and as if that isn't enough, they're filled with what I can only describe as high octane rocket fuel, but which is in fact (according to the label) brandy.

I can only guess that the sweets must have first been made in 1887 and left to slowly distill until my colleague bought them, because you can feel the heat from one little sweet as it goes down your throat after you swallow... I can imagine millions of teeny little men dressed in fire-fighters uniforms all along my oesophagus muttering to each other, "he's going for another one, brace yourselves!!"

And the cherries, oh the cherries...

Each cherry is full of juicy cherry goodness, oozing out when I bite into the chocolate, and leaving me in a state of cherry bliss...

You could only eat these chocolates slowly beside a roaring fire, in fact I'm sure somewhere the label should say that. When you receive these as a gift, whoever gave them, and however they got them, you know somewhere along the supply line must have ben a black market and death and violence and jealousy.

These sweets cry out that life, however bad, cannot quench the good, that hope still dawns in every explosion of taste, that YOU have MADE IT!!

Stand and applaud, ladies and gentlemen, the un-doer of every well-meaning diet, the fiery delight of the oesophagus, the womb-like comforter on cold and stormy nights...

the one and only...


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Some New Addictions...

HMV & Virgin Vouchers for Christmas are a curse!!

I bought House M.D. season 2 with some, and Alias Season 1. (ok I know Alias started ages ago but I've just got on to it... if you don't have cable or sky, you don't see these things!)

I'm now addicted and will have to wait till I've got enough to buy Season 3 of House. I'm gonna hire season 2 onwards of Alias on my Blockbuster account, (I have the unlimited one) as soon as I finish watching season 1.

I also finished watching 24 season 5 that I got for Christmas. It was awesome, the best conspiracy yet, I loved it!!

So as you can see, between listening to 75 podcasts and watching all these dvd's, I'll surface in the real world in about 2008....

Internet chat addiction and blogging?! Pah!

That's sooooo 2006!!

Catching Up... Oops!!

If anyone wants to contact me the next few days, I'll be stuck in my room sat opposite my computer listening to podcasts...

Due to various festive pressures and work, I've not looked at my computer recently, other than to post very briefly on my blog.

I have 15 podcasts with a month each to listen to!!! That's SEVENTY FIVE podcasts to listen to!!

Oh boy.


One of the most annoying things about m.s, is not the big things like muscle spasms (well, not for me anyway), it's the little things.

It's the New Year, and currently I'm taking antibiotics (trimethoprim) for a water infection, Lactulose because the 'ole bowels are acting up an making me constipated, and my usual daily injection of Copaxone. I could've been on another drug to control facial ticks, but my specialist and myself decided we'd both rather wait and see if it got any worse before taking anything. (the facial ticks happen so infrequently that there seems no point in doping myself up further).

I haven't taken anything for the muscle spasms in my legs because, again, it doesn't happen everyday, though they do seem to be increasing. I've got an appointment on the 8th, I think it's for a bladder scan, though I can't remember now!! Ah well, I'll just turn up and see which oraface they want to poke next, I'm rather blase about it at the moment!!

At least I can walk normally, and have my speech. (though both of those get decidedly dodgy when I over exert myself and get fatigued)

Wow. I just re-read this post and it's a huge whine.

My apologies, for the sake of integrity I'll keep it and not delete, though I guess I must be in a whinging mood.


Younger Siblings... Need I Say More?!

Monday, January 01, 2007


For those of you who've noticed, I have a new song on my radio blog, at the top of my blog.

It's gonna be my theme song, as my only resolution this year is to find that special someone.

Ok, I'm not perfect, I have flaws, I'm in debt and I have a disability technically... but why should that stop me?


Watch out girls...


Happy New Year?

I hope so.

Christmas & New Year 2006 haven't been very interesting for me to be honest.

I've sat at home watching dvds and tv, with my parents. No parties to go to no friends to see, nothing to attend. This would normally sound like a moan or a whine, but it is just a reporting of the facts.

I've spent so much time on my own that i don't actually think or dwell on lonliness, the feeling of having no-one, because that's not true. I have my family and my parents and various friends, but rather what bugs me is the fact of being alone. Alone-ness is different from being lonely, and I just can't put words to describing it.

Ok, this will sound like self-pity but I swear it isn't. You know you're alone when the clock chimes 12 midnight on New Year's Eve and you know there's nobody thinking about you, or maybe there's no-one that bothered at how utterly miserable you are. That sounds incredibly self-absorbed and selfish I know, but part of being human is the fact of feeling that you're needed, and when you don't feel that, an emptiness starts to grow in your heart.

Before you get the violin music out, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I've spent that much time on my own that I'm used to my own company now. I know my family loves me, and I love them. It's just that they can't be there all the time, and I can't become dependant on them either. No one wants the lonely brother around on New Year's Eve with their friends.

You know the type. You're on a night out, and the slightly desperate older nerdy brother is there with your mates. Everyone is kind to him cos they feel sorry for him, but in reality, he has nothing in common with any of you, and both you and him know you're being nice to him out of pity. No one needs that. Politeness can be a virtue, but not in this case. It's actually more of a curse.

Technically I could have gone out last night with a member of my family I'm sure of it. But what would have been the point? To go out with people you don't really know or share anything in common with, just because it's the end of the year?

Don't misunderstand. I think my sister and brothers have great friends and i get on with them, but I just don't feel like I fit in. I'm too religious to fit into some of their worlds, and to un-religious to fit into others. I'm kind of a hybrid of sorts, with a foot in both camps.

Now I know what both parties would say: choose one or the other, but my problem is that I can't. I can't stop being a Christian, because it's who I am. At the same time, I can't stop being a human being, because that's who I am too. Earth has as much importance and relevance to me as Heaven does. Now i know that Christians would say I have to focus on Heaven, and Non-Christians would say there is no such thing and I should just live here on earth and enjoy it, but I can't. I hold both of those things in tension, and sometimes one outsways the other admittedly, but I never lose either. I need to find out who I am I suppose, so I can find where I fit.

Please God, can I have some balance and prespective and wisdom this year?

I hope this year I do find some happiness, and I hope i get to pay a big chunk off my debt, and I hope my health improves, or I can at least keep the progression of this disease at bay. That's my wish for this year. I just want to be able to spend next New Year not on my own, and I want my parents to be out somewhere too. Perhaps I am the genetic reflection of my mum and dad. perhaps their isolation and lonliness will be the pattern for me. I hope not. Either way, as long as I'm here I can at least share in that with them, which in itself soothes the pain of being alone a bit.

Ironic huh?

In sharing our lonliness, we keep it at bay for a little while. The cure to your pain is sharing it with others.

Hmm... bit of a deeper post than I wanted to go into.

Ah well, maybe this year is the year of wearing my heart on my sleeve!!

(who am i kidding... every year has been!! lol)

All the best for 2007 for anyone who reads this, and I hope it brings goodness and love for you.