Skip to content

Posts by Kate Paulk


The Bugger-cat is unwell. Listless, not interested in food, seems a bit wobbly on his feet. Since he’s still on chemo this is not a good thing, so the Bugger-cat has been taken to the local vet, who gave him a chunk of blood tests.

Naturally, the kitty oncologist wants to take a look at His Buggerness since he’s exceedingly anemic, and both sets of vets are worried that his treatment has led to gastric ulcers.

Welcome to the House of Kate, where any time things seem to be settling into a more or less sane pattern, the world will upend you and destroy your plans. Or at least, it seems that way.

In any case, I’m taking him to the oncologist, and in the meantime keeping an eye on him since the Husband and I would rather like him to be around for a good long while. He’s only 13 – not that old for a kitteh, even one who managed to earn himself the name Little Bugger.

He earned that name fair and square, as an itteh bitteh kitteh hiding from the Husband and forcing him to search the entire house in order to get his Little Buggerness to his first vet appointment. And by hiding I include artful camouflage so he wasn’t noticeable even with the Husband looking right at him (I was at work that day. The Husband already had the day off).

Obviously as a kid I had it all wrong thinking that adults had it good. Instead of those nice long days of summer break, time just flies and there’s never enough of it, and that’s when things are going well. Nobody tells you you’re going to get slammed with responsibilities and you’re going to put those ahead of anything else because dammit you’re an adult now and that’s what adulting is all about.

Yeah, I’m a tad frustrated. Bugger was doing so well, damn near doubling his body weight over 6 months. I just hope this is a minor setback, not anything worse.


So I’m off-routine this week because I’m actually taking some vacation time – it can be a challenge to take time out, because where I work, the programmers and me act as upper-level help desk, which means there’s interesting juggling of schedules to keep a decent level of coverage. That interacts with the deployment schedule, and gives some ‘fun’ time-off blackouts to play with.

Since my ability to organize myself kind of crapped out some years back – I suspect the screaming breakdown that ended my very short teaching career was the start – I tend not to take time off nearly as often as I should. So anyway… I’m off-routine which means I forgot to write a post last night, so I’m stream-of-consciousnessing at you.

Read more

May the Fourth be with you

Today is my third Fourth of July as a real USAian. I took citizenship on July 20th, 2016, although I don’t know for sure when I’d started to be more American than Australian. I still sound Australian, and the Oz upbringing is still very much a part of who I am.

It’s been an interesting journey, learning just how much of my normal vernacular is/was Australian and needed to be suppressed or replaced with the American equivalent. Some of it is obvious, some isn’t – and some is really surprising. One thing I did notice – quickly – is that in general (more or less polite) conversation, Americans are rather less tolerant of casual swearing than Aussies. Not that ‘Merkins can’t be foul-mouthed when the occasion warrants it but the Aussie vernacular is rather more… robust even in polite-ish company.

Read more

Erm… Oops?

First up, my apologies for spacing last week. I am a creature of habit and when my routines get disrupted I forget things. I forget things anyway, but if I don’t have a normal whateverdayitis, the chances of me remembering whatever I’m supposed to do on that day take a rather sharp nosedive.

I’ve got any number of little reminder routines set up to keep me from forgetting everything and meandering off into the sunset in an absent-minded haze, but disrupt them in any way and… oooh. What a pretty sunset.

Read more

Money Matters

It’s kind of funny how most of the science fiction and fantasy I’ve read skims over matters of finance. Or maybe not so funny, given that I’ve not run into too many authors who actually get how money works. I will freely admit that my understanding is shallow at best.

At the same time, there are so many opportunities missed by just having some vaguely defined currency unit that every follows, whether said unit be credits (common in science fiction), gold or silver coins (staple of fantasy, although you don’t often see much about the weight of said coins or about shenanigans like degrading gold coins with cheaper metals – and the inflation that follows.

Read more

Faking It

Just so you are aware before you get pulled too far into the vortex, today’s post is brought to you by the wonders of insufficient sleep and excess brain flatulence. Or something. Aka I can’t think of anything sensible to say so I’m going to ramble a bit about faking it in writing.

“It” of course being the deep knowledge of thousands of interlocking specialties we writers pretend to have while we’re writing about them.

Read more

Of Common Earth

I’ll happily agree with Sarah that I’ve got no real idea about how stratified societies work. I can sort of fake it with enough research, but I don’t have that bone-deep knowledge that goes with growing up in a culture where your parents – or more specifically your father’s – name dictates what opportunities you have and how you should behave.

It’s something that Americans and Australians (there are others, but these are the ones I know about) find utterly alien. The average Aussie would have the same reaction to discovering that someone was of royal descent as they would to learning that someone had a notorious highwayman or any other interesting person in their ancestry, namely, “Oh, wow, that’s interesting!” I rather suspect the average American would respond similarly. After all, interesting ancestors can make for good stories. Read more