New Pointe Shoes Are Very Pink & Very Expensive

Nice Pink Pointe Shoes

I’m learning more than I ever thought possible about pointe shoes this year.  Abigail went “en pointe” in ballet on February 2, and we are now into our third pair of pointe shoes.  My bank account is begging for mercy.  What’s worse, I’m finding myself incredibly intrigued about them… information that is seemingly useless to me.  I even watched several You Tube videos about them.  Here’s one about how they are made, which, after you watch it, you’ll wonder that anyone could afford to buy them at all.

When brand new, they are so lovely, shiny, and pink:

Nice Pink Pointe ShoesOf course, Abigail prefers the more expensive Bloch Heritage ones.  She says, “Well, at least I’m not asking you to buy Gaynors!”

Bloch Heritage Pointe ShoesMind you, these shoes do not come ready to dance in, and if they weren’t expensive enough already, you can’t even wear them out of the box.  They aren’t even complete shoes.  You have to buy pink ribbon and elastic separately and SEW THEM ON.  One of the things I learned in the You Tube videos was that dancers are supposed to sew on their own ribbons and elastics so that they fit the foot perfectly.  Well, I’m 49 and have been sewing my entire life, and it took me over an hour to sew these on.  I can’t imagine handing this task over to my 11 year old.  Imagine how depressed I was upon learning that it only takes professional ballerinas five minutes.

Here was my first try in February.  If you have any experience with pointe shoes, you would notice that I sewed the ribbon on wrong-side out.  Dang it!  Fortunately, Abigail had mercy on me and just dance in them like that.

Sewing Ribbon & Elastic on Pointe ShoesSecond try in June:

Second Try Sewing Pointe ShoesThird try in October.  While it looks pretty good now, I just learned that you’re not supposed to sew anything to that drawstring casing.  Ugh.Third Try Sewing Pointe ShoesThen you cut and burn the ends so they don’t unravel.

Burning Ribbons on Pointe ShoesWhat comes next is breaking in the shoe.  In my mind, this just makes the shoe look old and worn out as soon as possible.  You practically have to beat the things to death, bathe them in vats of rosin, and set them on fire before you can even bear to put them on your feet.

First, you must break in the shank – the nice wooden plank in the sole of the shoe.  Check out the difference in the new shoe versus the broken in shoe.

Breaking in the Shank of New Pointe ShoesThen they must be danced in a great deal before they even start to feel right.

Pointe Shoe Tips

Dirt & Rosin


Here are all three of Abigail’s pairs in progression – hundreds of dollars of sculpture right before your very eyes.

Progression of Pointe ShoesSee the difference in form from new to old?

New & Old Pointe ShoesAnd, for the right price, you too can have these lovely shoes!

Pointe Shoe ReceiptNow, I leave you with a fun and informative video called “How Ballet Dancers Prepare Point Shoes for Performance.”

I owe Zach $1 today

Today’s line up:

  • I will have to pay Zachariah $1 because he won the bet that even though he got a Facebook page a month ago, he held his ground and didn’t accept any friend requests.  (I thought he would cave.  He had to get a Facebook page to apply to be accepted into an on-line music community so he can submit his music for better exposure.)
  • Abigail is wearing fake, black-rimmed glasses to school.
  • My friend Monica Fournier will come help me with my bookkeeping.  I love her, and she is really helping me make good financial plans.
  • I will meet with Irene at 11:00 where we will squeeze onto her desk and fit two people and two computers into a space made for one.  I suppose if it were any number of other people the space could feel small, cramped, or intolerable, but with Irene it’s roomy.  We type on each other’s keyboards sometimes.
  • I will drink all of John’s coffee while I’m there.
  • Zach’s friend Nathaniel will come over after school for a couple of hours so they can collaborate on composing music.  This makes me very happy.
  • Zachariah and I will have a meeting today to go over all his school work.
  • I suppose I will make something for dinner, but I don’t have any plans.
  • Abigail has a monster ballet day today, but not as monster as Friday.  She will dance from 4:00 – 6:30, and then she will have a melt-down about her homework at some point in the evening.  We keep having conversations about pulling her out of that second class for the sake of a happier Tuesday child, but then she melts down even more.  Sigh.
  • At 7:30, Sam Bradford, Freddie Rathbun, Tom Knapp, and Mark Otterson will show up for band practice, and we will play loud music.  Nice.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Time Sheets

On the one hand, creating time sheets in ManicTime is very gratifying.  All those pretty colors, and I can mush stuff around until my time sheets reflect the day I wish I was having.  It helps keep me more focused than if I’m not using time sheets.

The problem is that I am way too obsessed with these time sheets.  I am documenting every waking minute of my day.

It all started when the Yoda of Super 9 Studios, Gerry LaChance, suggested that I spend 20 hours a week marketing our business.  I swear he can see right through me because he said, “I know you.  You’ll say you’re gonna spend 20 hours doing marketing, and you’ll have all the good intentions of doing it, but you won’t.  You need to have accountability.  In fact, I want you to start creating time sheets and showing them to Irene every week.”

I laughed my head off because I was nailed.  Irene doesn’t care.  She doesn’t even want to see my time sheets.  But I care.  What kills me is that Gerry doesn’t even know who Yoda is.

So, in my efforts to find a system of creating time sheets that was easy, I found this program called ManicTime.  The name of it even screams for me to use it.  You install it on your computer, and it keeps track of every program you open and even what documents you have open and for how long, down to the second.  Very useful!

But then I decided so many other areas of my life needed to be reigned in in this way.  In fact, let’s just document EVERYTHING.  This is another weak point of my character.  I can’t do anything in a small or mediocre way.  Everything must be done in the most systematic and organized fashion possible.  Nothing gets finished, but it does all become very systematic and organized toward the goal of having the most fun possible.  Fun is the bottom line goal of almost everything in my life.  Even laundry can be fun if you do it in a certain way.

Here is a summary of last week from Monday to Saturday (Sundays, I often fall off the grid due to the “no screens” rule I enforce with my children.):
[table id=1 /]

Now that I’m creating these beautiful time sheets, I need to figure out what they mean.  One thing that is bothering me about this is that it doesn’t add up to a perfect 96 hours of awake time.  I’m missing .3 of an hour somewhere.


My Issue With the Laws of Time & Space

The lifelong thorn in my side has been that there is never enough room in my purse, never enough table top to hold all my projects, never enough space on my hard drive, and certainly never enough time in a day to do all the stuff I want to do.

I am constantly trying to make my life more efficient so I can cram more stuff into it.  More activities.  More people.  More red lollipops.  More sharp Ticonderoga #2 HB pencils.  More sheet music.  More jam sessions.  More pianos.  More huge projects that take more and more people to pull off each time.

I find myself at a turning point in my life:  I am wanting to change my behavior so that I don’t have that “heart in the throat” feeling all day long every day.  It’s gotta be a mid-life crisis.  I’m 49.  I would like to be able to wake up refreshed every morning and looking forward to all my tasks for the day.  And all those tasks would be fulfilling, and I would be able to easily accomplish them in the course of a regular day.  And they would all be in line with the values and goals that I have.

For my own satisfaction, I thought I would document my progress.  I have begun creating time sheets for myself of every waking minute in the hope of ripping out everything that gets in the way of my bigger values and goals in life.

Reading and answering e-mail can just not possibly be that important.  At least not as important as giving timely pedicures to my 11-year-old daughter as she dances in these crazy things called pointe shoes.

Non sequitur #1:  Meanwhile, I create incredible numbers of lists.  I’m not sure why I do this.  My friend Lauryn Feiler showed me how to draw tidy little check boxes next to all the items on my “To Do” lists.  Now I find great satisfaction in checking off the boxes.  It keeps everything looking pretty, and then you can still read all the stuff that you did.

Non sequitur #2:  My friend John once referred to me as “a fly.” I think it’s because I can rarely stick with one activity or topic long enough to bring it to completion in one sitting.  I begin several things at once and make my rounds around them until most of them are finished.  A few usually get left off.

Tomorrow, I plan to record my first time sheet and get on with this project.