Friday, March 23, 2007

My eyes fail to glow eerily

The anti-malarial arthritis drug has this drawback. It can collect in the back of your eyes and make you partially blind. So I stopped in at the optometrist and asked about being checked over for a baseline reading of just how blind I currently am.
Oh, we can get you in now, if you want to wait twenty minutes.
I phoned in to work, and had a cup of tea. Twenty minutes later, my very strong blink reflex (my gag reflex is healthy too) was being tested and my pupils were distended enough for the admission of spelunkers. The conclusion was that the situation in the back of my eyes is stable (I don't extend this assurance to include my brain.)
I went in to work with the reassuring gaze of an opium addict, but fortunately I don't deal with the public. My dad, who was born in 1904, always said 'drug fiends' instead of 'junkies', and although in any other context he would have pronounced it 'feends', in that set phrase it was always 'fee-ends'.
No one at work noticed my fiendishness--one of my minor peeves in fiction is the assumption that people notice each other's eye-colour under circumstances that don't involve staring closely at someone's face. This is especially questionable when secondary characters are called on, usually under conditions of some stress, to notice that the hero or villain has changed his eye colour from mild grey to steely-grey or blue flame, or red flecks of rage are dancing in his eyes, or suchlike.
At home I got Chris to find his blacklight, and we shone it in my eyes, but alas, the effect of the drops had faded, and my eyes did not glow purple.
I endure disappointment. Still, I have a referral to a full opthamological exam, so I may have another chance. I could take the blacklight in to work, and plug it in at my desk.

Just finished reading Unexpected Magic, a collection of stories by Diana Wynne Jones. Mixed bag, as usual with shorts. The novella "Everard's Ride" was the most notable, a Ruritanian romance of sorts, set on the coast of England.
It started me wondering how much the Narnia books owe to the Ruritanian tradition, since they use the basic situation of characters from modern England stumbling into intrigue and plots in strange kingdoms where derring-do is still an option, people dress in romantic old-fashioned clothing, and everything is more highly coloured and vital somehow. Just add magic, some scriptural allegory, and go. I suppose someone has written a decent article on this. I should google and find out.
Trivia: the other name for Ruritanian romance is Graustarkian romance. The first has more recognition because The Prisoner of Zenda sold better than McCutcheon's books and had films made from it. The films are much lighter and more comic-opera-like than the book, by the way.

Suggestions for reliable low-cost web hosting are still being gratefully accepted, by the way. Not to, y'know, pester anyone.


Evan Goer said...

The low-cost (sub-US$10 per month) web hosts are pretty dodgy. You get what you pay for in terms of performance and downtime and customer service.

My web host (FutureQuest) is $10/month, which is not cheap these days. They are also extremely conservative when it comes to rolling out new features, extra diskspace, etc. All that aside, I strongly recommend them. Web hosting is one of those businesses where it's hard to find someone who doesn't suck.

batgirl said...

Thanks, Evan. FutureQuest does look good, and seems to have good reviews.
I don't particularly mind a host being conservative, since I expect to have a fairly barebones site.
I'd be happy with a cheap/free site as far as amenities go, but the reviews I can find seem to suggest that technological imperfections go hand-in-hand with ethical flaws, like charging for services not requested.