November 2000
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Tales of the Lip Sync Show!!

This year's Lip Sync Show on Saturday, November 18th, was clearly our most successful revue to date. I am well aware this event was a lot of work, but the concentrated efforts of the SSQQ Staff and Friends produced a fun, highly entertaining show. The list of people to credit is a long one, but here goes:

Special Thanks go out to:

Susie Merrill. She worked hard to organize her dance team to rehearse "Big Spender" and the notorious "Skit". Then she turned around and Emcee-ed the event very well.

Ben Liles, who passed the torch to a new generation of talented Village People by training them in the act he had helped develop.

Rachel Seff, who put her creative talent to good use and helped create two new very well received skits: Little Red Riding Hood and Copa Cabana.

Ann Bush, who was in every skit… or practically every skit. Her leadership rescued the Supremes, a skit that I thought went very well plus volunteered for the new Do-Re-Mi skit (which with a little practice could probably go in many perverted directions!!), plus helped with the Beach Boys and Big Spender.

Anita Williams, who allowed herself to be persuaded to do "Last Kiss" again despite severe time constraints. She also was a smash hit in "Strangers in the Night" plus appearing in two other skits as well.

Brain White, who single-handedly saved the Beach Boys skit from oblivion, plus was terrific in the Village People act.

Joanne Spuck, who as Connie Francis was absolutely perfect in "Where the Boys Are".

Wil Coulbourn, who organized an entertaining Rolling Stones skit…and to Carol and David Armand for participating.

MG Anseman, who is considering a new career in show biz after his success as Little Red Riding Hood, a handsome man in "Where the Boys Are", and the Biker in Village People.

Marla Jennings for lending her experience to the Supremes.

Tracy King and Jeff Perry, for helping complete the Supremes act.

To all the Heartbeat dancers for two great acts, including "Big Spender" and this year's smash hit, "The Skit".

To Jorge Rodriguez and Brian Spivey for the Village People (as well as Robert Goins, MG Anseman, and Brian White).

To Jack Benard for Where the Boys Are.

To the Heartbeat, including Ann, Brian, Candi Angulo, and Mo Hendrix,

And to all the "Civilians" who also contributed greatly: Gloria Sanchez, Randy Goshorn, Robert Goins, Joe Lachner, John, Tracy, and Rick from the Rolling Stones, Steve Bahnsen in Where the Boys Are, and especially to Mike Waltz for being man enough to be Tiny Tim!!

Great Show!! And we got many thank you notes. Here is my favorite from Margaux Mann, the crazy Balloon Racer with the name that drives my computer's "spell check" mad with passion: 

Hi, Rick,

Just called up the December schedule to see what's on. My figuring is that if Carl isn't going to play volleyball on Tuesday nights then we can finally learn Latin dances. Does that make sense? (I haven't spoken to Carl about this yet.) Also, I love the '4 deliberate mistakes' page. Wish me luck.

AND, I never got to thank you for a fun lip sync night. Carl really didn't want to go so he took me to a movie instead, and on the way home, when I still whined about not going (about 10:45), he pulled into the SSQQ parking lot at the last minute. Well, you sure got him hooked. He loved it and was even critiquing as to how he could do some of the songs better. Uh-oh. He might be signing up for next year. (Not me, though. I embarrass myself enough on balloon night -- or should I say YOU embarrass me . . .) My favorites of the night: your rendition of that horrible song (where the girl dies), Little Red Riding Hood, Joann's song, and the YMCA. There may have been others, but I forget.

Thanks (again),


Grumpy Old Rick Archer, aka the Arrogant Bastard

I had the unpleasant experience of being labeled an "Arrogant Bastard" by one my dance students last week. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. So I decided to say what's on my mind. If you are curious, click here.


Heartbeat Dance Team at the Dallas Dance Festival

Heartbeat blew away the competition at this event (November 4-5). There were four teams that competed and no one else was even close to us. The team did the most perfect performance they have ever done. Half the audience gave them a standing ovation--something unheard of in teams competition. We had dancers from all over Houston come over to tell us how amazed they were. Many had never seen the team perform before. Several who dance on other teams from here in Houston could not get over the difficulty of the choreography and the expertise of the team. We received a personal invitation to the world championships from the directors of the teams competitions at both UCWDC and Fun Country! And perhaps the biggest compliment of all came from the other competitors who came over and asked our women dancers on the sly where on earth we had ever found men who could dance like ours do!!

Susie Merrill 

PS - the Heartbeat Dance Team is looking for new members. Email Rick Archer at if you are interested in performing and training with the Heartbeat.



Bush-Gore Election Musings

Someone asked me the other day why I was keeping my mouth shut on the Election since I usually shoot my mouth off about everything. Hmm. The truth is I have been following the Election controversy closely. I was even one of the idiots who stayed up to 4:30 am the night of the Election only to realize how much trouble we were in as dawn approached. I definitely did not sleep well that night!  Nor was I able to get much work done for the next two days after that as well as I followed the disturbing aftermath. After I finally got back to work, I was too busy catching up to do much writing. 

In addition I have been fighting a depression about the whole mess ever since and have noticed I am not the only one. I will admit I nurse a warm-fuzzy wish the two men could co-lead the nation for 4 years. They both seem like good men to me although some of their aides irritate me a lot. 

I was appalled at the Election coverage. I believe the TV people deeply influenced the election with their premature projections. I think that early call of Florida for Gore could easily have cost Bush dearly in west Florida as well as in other states. And I hate the Pandora's Box of the mis-punched Palm Beach ballots. There is no doubt in my mind that this catastrophe may end up costing Gore the election, but I don't know of any remedy that is fair to both men given what we know now. I have little doubt Dewey would beat Truman if they let people vote again after the fact. 

My contribution to the Election Mess is to reprint this excellent letter I read in the New York Times: 

"In view of our predicament arising from a flawed presidential election, these lessons should be learned: 

  • There should be a uniform closing time nationwide for voting.

  • Exit polling should be banned by federal law. 

  • There should be a uniform ballot for all states. 

  • There should be federal oversight of the presidential and congressional elections process 
    in each state. 

  • Campaign finance reform is needed.

  • The Electoral College system should be constitutionally dissolved, and the election of the president 
    should conform to the popular national vote. 

    Michael W. Richter
    Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Amen. Rick.


Ella O'Neal and Robert Goerz Get Engaged!!

Ella O'Neal and Robert Goerz announced their engagement this week. They got engaged on November 4th and are getting married in the spring. Robert and Ella met here at the SSQQ during a Sunday practice night in July.  

I doubt any of you know this, but Ella beat the devil out of Robert during the Sadie Hawkins Man Chase. I have the footage on video. She grabbed him with both hands, threw him around, and generally pounded him until she was able to pop his balloons. Ella was after this guy, believe me!!  It looks like this Man Hunt was more than a symbolic exercise... Ella caught the man she was after!!  ;-)   Judging from the smile on Robert's face in the video, he didn't seem to mind one bit.

Congratulations to both!


Mike Fagan and Trisha Bradford Get Engaged!!

Mike Fagan is my best friend. He is a computer professor at Rice (oops... he is now head of the "Applied Mathematics" Department) who is also a former State Whip Champion. His style of dance has always been so unusual that Mike was the guy "Martian Whip" was named for. A very talented man, he is not only a genius Computer Science researcher at Rice, but a State Whip Champion, a State Bridge Champion, and a champion at Foosball (although I am not sure what level). His only weakness is he has a great deal of trouble working a VCR remote. I believe it is this tragic flaw that allows me to like him because otherwise he would be too perfect for me. 

Another thing that aggravates me is that Mike is able to get by on about 4 hours of sleep a night. As a result he frequently comes over to my house and watches Rockets and Comets basketball with me on videotape till the wee hours of the morning. Due to my odd lifestyle, it is no big deal for me to get up at 8 or 9 am the next day, but Mike can still get to the office at 7 or 8 am if he has to. I sure wish I had his ability to get by on so little sleep!  He teases me because unless the game is very exciting, I start to doze sometime around the 3rd quarter, waking up periodically to check the score. If the game is close, I struggle to reawaken so I can cheer my team to victory even though deep down inside I realize the game was over 4 hours ago. It is during these dozes that I hand the remote to Mike. The other night I awoke because Mike was cursing - he couldn't get the new VCR to fast forward through the commercial!!  I regained consciousness long enough to show him how to gently nudge the edge of the rotary dial as opposed to sticking his thumb through the middle of the device. Then I dozed back off to the most peaceful sleep in weeks - I was better than Mike at something. 

I have known Tricia Bradford for about 10 years. She is the youngest of 4 sisters - Jan, Elizabeth, and Louise - who have all taken classes here at the studio over the years. When she came to the big city to join her sisters, they immediately dragged her over to SSQQ. She learned to Whip very fast and is now one of the best dancers in the city as far as I am concerned. My guess is Trish has had her eye on Mike for a long time and Mike had the good sense to reciprocate. Trish is good for Mike in that she matches his brain power pretty closely and she teases him back just as much as he teases her. Good for you, Trish!! You go, Girl!!  Mike beats me regularly in the quick wit department, so I applaud anyone who can dish it back!!

Mike and Trish will be married in April. I am very happy for both of them!!


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