What? I’m writing the Snazz on Thursday this week like I said I was going to? Wow. Unfortunately, I don’t have much new to report on my front, but maybe you guys have more to say.

Reading

I’m still working on The Blind Assassin and loving it–it’s taking me a bit longer than I expected because I got distracted by the science book I’m reading:

Einstein’s Telescope by Evalyn Gates- So far this has proved to be wonderfully accessible and interesting (and has made me jokingly gripe at gravity all week for screwing up everyone’s predictions and theories). Part of me wishes she’d go more into the mechanics of how lenses work because I’ve forgotten, but I understand that she’s trying to keep it simple, and I can’t blame her for that. Also, she’s speaking at Powell’s in April, so maybe I’ll get to hear her comments on her own work.

Listening

It’s just been a Regina Spektor kind of week.

Seeing

The Importance of Being Earnest– Wilde’s plays are always good for a laugh, and Portland Center Stage’s production was rather nicely done. I think my favorite aspect of the staging/direction was the attention paid to class, from the way the city and the country servants behaved to the difference in mannerisms between Gwendolyn and Cecily. Granted, the only other production I’d seen of the play was entirely gender-focused: the play featured an all male cast, and was framed by a scene with Wilde drinking absinthe in Paris and hallucinating the handsome waiters into his own play.

Misc.

Rebeca Rubin- American Girl Dolls have certainly changed a lot since I was little. Okay, so they were always overpriced and toys for the (semi-)wealthy, yes, I know, but I got hours of enjoyment just reading the catalogs, books and fantasizing. Okay, I had a Samantha doll. I admit it. Still drooled over the catalog. In any case, to my surprise, I found out that they’re retiring Samantha to make way for a new Victorian-era girl: Rebeca Rubin. Why is this even remotely interesting? She’s a Russian Jewish immigrant on New York’s Lower-East Side, that’s why! This is exciting for me because it always really did bother me as a young girl that none of the dolls reflected my family’s experiences. I know that there are plenty of histories that get left out of the American Girls, but when you’re little, you don’t consider that. All you know is that none of the dolls are like you, and you feel left out.

I’m intrigued by their decision to retire Samantha, whom I always thought was really popular because of her overall pink and frilliness. Perhaps her story, which is largely about a wealthy Victorian girl coming to terms with her own privilege, came off either as condescending (which seems to clear to me now, that I’m embarrassed for my younger self), or maybe it just wasn’t as exciting as the lives of the likes of Addy,  an escaped slave forging a new life for her family and dealing with racism, or Felicity, who learned to stand up for her beliefs and had adventures in breeches. No matter. I’m excited that there finally is a Jewish doll. Now maybe they’ll diversify even more. The only doll they have to represent East-Asian Americans is in a side-kick role, which seems kind of unfair to me. And how about a South-east Asian? Blah blah blah time/money/concept design/is anyone going to still buy these dolls in the middle of a recession? But, hey, nifty nevertheless, right? (source, and no, I don’t usually look on doll collecting blogs. I found the link elsewhere.)

So what sort of snazz are you enjoying this week?

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