NO STANDING IN LINE REGISTER FOR CLASSES ON-LINE
WARNING - SO FAR THIS YEAR AT LEAST 3 CARS OF SSQQ STUDENTS HAVE BEEN TOWED FROM THE DOOR WAREHOUSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS OUT OF BUSINESS.
In the extended issue of the Newsletter, you can read the conclusion to the amazing story of
an SSQQ student whose car was towed from the Door Warehouse. Kathy decided to fight back. You will be fascinated by her compelling story.
Do not park in any yellow areas. You can
park legally on the west side of First Street, but not up
above the street.
Do not park on the east side of First
Street. It is designated 'no parking'. No one knows why. You
won't be towed, but you could easily get a ticket.
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JULY SCHEDULE OF SSQQ DANCE CLASSES.
Classes begin the week of Sunday, July 06.
By the way, we are well aware this particular Sunday is part of the July 4th Weekend. However a lot of people have to be back at work Monday, so we figure many people will be strolling back into Houston on Sunday evening and don't mind starting classes the same day.
If you can't make the first Sunday of classes, try to come to a parallel class on another night or simply start in Week Two. There will be others in the same boat - all the SSQQ cruisers for example - so we will make a special effort to catch the latecomers up on what they missed.
HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JULY 2003 SCHEDULE
BEGINNING LINDY HOP in July with Gloria Sanchez will be offered on Sundays at 4:30 pm. Gloria's last Lindy class loved it so much the group stayed together for three months. Come learn about the magic of America's first Swing dance!
ZOOT SUIT RIOT (Level 5) moves to Sunday afternoons for one month in July, then will returns to Monday evenings. Taught by Judy Archer, this is the class where you learn the fanciest patterns and the footwork tricks that make you an excellent Swing dancer.
INTERMEDIATE WESTERN WALTZ returns to SSQQ on Sunday evenings. Taught by Judy Archer, this is the famous Western dance of Romance. Graceful but tricky to learn, Western Waltz is an all-time favorite dance here at SSQQ.
July features the start of a new BEGINNING WHIP/WEST COAST SWING SUPERCLASS cycle. Over the years, July has marked some of our strongest Whip and WCS classes since summers are all about taking on big new challenges. SSQQ has the only program in Houston city where you can take this difficult class on 2 different nights (Monday/Thursday) for the price of one. Plus SSQQ is the only program that teaches the legendary Texas Whip side by side with the popular West Coast Swing. Thus the "Superclass" title.
ON THE TOWN is a new course taught by Judy Archer on Mondays in July. There are three famous Ballroom dances that share almost identical footwork - Foxtrot, Waltz, and Rumba. After you master the subtle differences in the styling and timing, you basically are learning three dances at once!! This course will initiate our new Monday Ballroom Night which will feature Sinatra Foxtrots, Irish Waltzes, smooth Jazz Rumba music, plus Tangos, Slow Dance Ballads and Cha Chas too. During Practice Night, Room 6 will be reserved exclusively for the use of Judy's "On the Town" class.
(To Read More about On the Town and
SWING ACROBATICS LEVEL I will be offered on Monday nights in July followed by Acrobatics II in August. Don't forget - Couples only!! This course is offered only in the summer, so take advantage of the opportunity.
BACHATA will be offered on Tuesdays in July. Taught by Linda Cook, this is a much-requested class so don't miss it!
INTERMEDIATE TANGO will be offered on Tuesdays in July. Delayed several times, it is a sure thing in July!
Sharon Crawford's amazing Waltz class enters its fourth month with SUPER ADVANCED WESTERN
WALTZ in July. It is wonderful to see how beautifully Sharon's students dance the Waltz at Practice Night each Wednesday! Honestly, you should watch for yourself to believe how good some of these dancers have become.
DEATH VALLEY 7 will be offered Fridays in July. Taught by Rick Archer and Cher Longoria, this class proved extremely popular earlier this year so we are bringing it back after a 2 month break. Jump on the roller coaster!
SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN JUNE AND JULY
SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN JUNE
THE FABULOUS SSQQ SOCK HOP SWING DANCE!
Saturday, June 28th, 9:15 - 1 am, Cover Charge $10 (this party is so popular we run it pretty late. Usually we have to throw some people out even at 1 am. We play Inna Gadda Da Vida, but last year someone found a way to continue dancing. Amazing.)
Room 1 for this party is reserved for Swing and Jitterbug Dancing plus all the crazy 50s Line Dances we perform at this party. Room 4 is reserved Whip/WCS dancing to the great Whip music of the 60s and 70s.
Dress Code: Many people make an effort to come in costume from the era. At the very least you should be able to muster a Greaser outfit (jeans, tee shirt, slicked back hair or pony tail), but don't be surprised to see some wonderful poodle skirts, cheerleader outfits and more!
CRASH COURSES AT THE SOCK HOP FROM 7-9 PM:
BEGINNING SWING - Kimberly
DIFFICULT JITT ACROBATICS - Paul (Couples Only)
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Bethany
SHAGGIE JITTERBUG - Rachel
SOCK HOP PARTY LINE DANCES - Rick (includes 9 different dances we will be performing at the party!)
BRYAN'S SLEAZY BAR WHIP PTNS - Bryan Spivey
SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN JULY
INDEPENDENCE DAY SWING/LATIN PARTY
Saturday, July 12th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover Charge $7
Wear Red White and Blue or you'll be Stew!
Music: Swing in Room 1, Latin in Room 4, and Tango in Room 6.
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
BEG LINDY HOP - Gloria
ARGENTINE TANGO - Don
BACHATA - Linda
LATIN HUSTLE - Jack
VIENNESE WALTZ - Judy
SWING CHARLESTON PTNS II - Maureen
THE SSQQ WESTERN HOEDOWN
Saturday, July 26th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover charge $7
Dress Hoedown or Expect a Showdown (i.e., wear whatever you want)
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
BEG TEXAS TWOSTEP - Leo
BEG WESTERN SWING - Diane M.
NIGHT CLUB TWOSTEP - Anita
LINDA'S FAV GHOST TOWN PTNS - Linda
SYNCHRONIZED POLKA - Rick
Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and East Coast Swing in Room 6.
Manhunt Alert: The Hoedown Party is the party where we have our Annual Sadie Hawkins Manhunt. This year you ladies will hunt men for cash as well as glory.
Expect this to be a truly amazing event. Getting paid to catch men. Whoa boy!!
Maybe we should come up with some rewards for the men. Definitely.
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THE SSQQ 4TH OF JULY CRUISE TO COZUMEL (JULY 3 - JULY 7)
As the Newsletter is being written, we are a week away from the annual SSQQ summer cruise.
It looks like we will be taking around 140 plus people. This total easily shatters our previous record of 101. Credit the excellent work of Marla Gorzynski for the increase.
Believe it or not, we could have gone as high as 160. We were inundated with many last-minute requests to go, but unfortunately the ship sold out about two weeks before sailing date. Last time I looked there were nearly 20 people making inquiries. I hated turning these people away.
Oh well. Join us next year! We will shoot for 200.
(Who is Going: http://ssqq.com/information/traveljubilee02.htm
For those of you who are going, don't forget our big meeting at the studio on Sunday, June 29th, 2:30 pm. This is where many of you will meet your roommates and get all your questions answered plus pick up your tickets.
If you can't make the meeting, you will need to make other plans to get your tickets. Email Marla Gorzynski at
email@example.com or call her at 713 862 4428.
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TRIPLE SWING NIGHT ON FRIDAYS
3 Swing Dances, 3 Dance Floors, 3 Dollars.
Every Friday night SSQQ sponsors TRIPLE SWING NIGHT.
East Coast Swing
West Coast Swing
Gulf Coast Swing (Western Swing was born in Houston! Did you know that??)
Each dance has its own floor for you to Swing Dance the Friday Night Away!!
Many of our Sunday and Monday Night Swing dancers may not be aware that Room 6 is now available for East Coast Swing dancing all night long. On Friday, May 16, we made a significant shift in Room 6: we started collecting money for the party in Room 5. In addition we asked our guests to depart through Room 5 as well.
What this means is Room 6 is isolated. People do not walk through your room and stare at you on the way and out. Swing dancers have the room all to themselves. And there are tables to sit at while you are taking a rest.
Now we have more good news - since the studio closed for a week over the Memorial Day Break, we took advantage of the free time to refinish the floors. In addition we were able to remove that irritating "Hump" in Room 1. So all you dancers have smooth sailing again in Room 1.
While we are at it, let us remind that nowhere in Houston will you find more room to dance the Western Swing than at SSQQ every Friday night with Mitch Istre available to take your music requests in Room 1. And no smoke.
And Room 4 is perfect for a night of dancing to the current West Coast Swing dance music of the Backstreet Boys, In Sync, as well as classic Rhythm and Blues Whip music from the past.
Tired of Western dancing? Try East Coast Swing. Tired of East Coast Swing? Try West Coast Swing? Want to Waltz? Back down to Room 1. Want to sit and relax? Watch some dance videos on the TV in Room 2 and eat some popcorn.
Great dancers/lots of people to meet
Plenty of room to dance
Lots of air-conditioning
And three floors to choose from.
Ready to dance again? You have 3 floors and 3 Swing dances to choose from.
3 Floors, 3 Dances, 3 Dollars.
Join us on Fridays. Let's have a huge party!!
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BALLROOM DANCING IS COMING TO MONDAYS
JUDY ARCHER'S NIGHT ON THE TOWN!!
SMOOTH JAZZ RUMBAS.
In July, we will offer a special new Ballroom course called "On the
Town". Taught by Judy Archer, this class will cover the moves to three dances: Boxfox (Sinatra music), Waltz (Irish Waltzes), and Rumba (Slow Jazz). Judy created this course herself after making a discovery.
Judy noticed that the patterns and footwork in all three dances are nearly identical. It occurred to her that she could cover a lot of ground in this class by grouping the three dances together. The only difference between the three dances is the timing and styling, but once you master the timing differences, progress becomes swift.
The idea is to learn several patterns a night, then close off Room 6 for Ballroom Practice Night. This will allow Judy's students a private area to practice.
That's when this kind of dancing gets fun!!
There are two styles of Foxtrot. One style includes patterns using Slow Slow Quick Quick timing. However there is another form of the dance known as Box Fox where the timing becomes Slow Quick Quick. This popular style of Foxtrot can easily be danced on a crowded floor. And the music is great too! Many of Frank Sinatra's best known hits are Foxtrots. For starters, "New York New York", "The Way You Look Tonight", and "I Get a Kick out of You!" are all Foxtrot tunes.
Most SSQQ students only know Waltz in its Country-Western Indy 500 form where you race around the floor with complicated patterns. Some of you might enjoy learning the Ballroom style of Waltz where you dance in one area of the floor. And you might be pleasantly surprised to find there is an entire new type of Waltz music to dance to. Judy's Waltz music will be Irish Waltzes. Other than Country-Western music, Waltzes are rare and hard to find. It turns out though that there is a huge tradition in Irish music to include Waltz-tempo music. Some of these songs are unbelievably pretty music that we typically play only at Christmas and New Years parties. Now we will add them on Mondays as well.
Rumba is the Latin Dance of Romance. Rumba is the most beautiful dance most of you have never seen. When I watch Latin Dance competitions, Rumba is always my favorite dance. Sensual, provocative, sexy, cooooool. Rumba is hot and slow like a lazy waterfall in the tropics - drip drip drip and so pleasurable. As for the Rumba music, there are many smooth jazz songs around 100-110 beats per minute that have a Latin feel to them. These songs are perfect for Rumba. Joe Sample, Acoustic Alchemy
you will just have to hear these songs to realize how pretty they are.
BALLROOM DANCING IN GENERAL
"There are moments in every person's life where the opportunity to dance gracefully to a beautiful slow song becomes the most important skill imaginable. This is your chance to learn how." - Description from the SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance Class
There was once a time when you could find a dinner club with a band that played live music you could dance to, but venues like these are tough to find nowadays.
How is anyone going to enjoy Ballroom Dancing is they can't find a place to Practice?
Thanks to the work of Neal Pellis, in Room 6 we added a sound system hooked up to computers. Then we discovered the dancing was interrupted or distracted by a constant stream students walking through. The problem is that the entire studio enters and leaves Practice Night through Room 6. This meant the dancers have zero privacy. So much for Romance.
In June thanks to a suggestion from the lovely Patty O, we decided to ask people to enter and leave Practice Night on Mondays and Fridays through Room 5. This neat trick effectively isolates Room 6 completely. The dancers have complete privacy. Now our students can practice Slow Dancing in July to their hearts content.
In future months, we will be moving Beginning Ballroom over from Tuesdays to Mondays. Including "On the Town" and "Slow Dance and Romance", we will rotate these three classes on Mondays. If students will make a habit of staying, eventually we might even have a regular crowd goodness gracious!
The important thing is to create an environment where Romantic Dance has a place to thrive. This same night can be used for Western Waltzers and Night Club Twosteppers and Western Cha Cha students to practice as well. All these dances fit into the same format. And maybe we can play some It Takes Two to Tangos too!
I made this move as our first tentative stroke to create social Ballroom Dancing at the studio. Our Beginning Ballroom classes have been pretty large, but then they die on the grapevine because the students have nowhere to dance that is fun.
With this in mind, I think the Monday Swing crowd will be more compatible with the Ballroom students. As I said, by changing the entrance and exit to the studio over to Room 5, the room will have more privacy. And to complete the metamorphosis, we will even put out a couple tables for seating!!
I hope many of our students will help us in our quest to revive the "Lost Art of Formal Dance". It should be a very pleasant experiment!
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IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR SSQQ PRACTICE NIGHT
SSQQ has made several significant changes in how we handle Practice Night.
1) Practice Night will begin the moment Room 1 is emptied - this may be 9:05, 9:10. The sooner we start, the better.
2) All Practice Nights will cost $5.
3) All Practice Nights including Friday will cost $3 to a student taking a dance class during the current month. Current customers get discounts.
4) If you are in the building when Practice Night begins, we do not need to see your receipt. The Hall Monitor already took care of that earlier in the evening.
5) All Practice Nights except for Friday will end at 10:30 pm (Friday at Midnight)
6) Anyone who comes in off the street after 9 pm will be asked to pay $5. If you have a current month receipt, please show it to us and we will only charge $3. Please bring your receipt or don't ask for the discount.
7) There will be someone to collect your money until it is time to clean up.
8) There is a good chance after 10 pm that once you leave, you can't come back in. The front door is locked once clean up begins.
9) If there is no Music playing in Room 4, you are welcome to request the type of music you wish.
10) Increasingly, Room 6 will be used as a third dance floor during weeknight Practice Nights. Out of respect to our dancers in this admittedly 'narrow room', many nights we will ask that visitors enter thru Room 5 and that our guests depart thru Room 5. In an emergency, of course you can leave any way you wish, but otherwise out of respect to the dancers in 6, please use the Room 5 Exit.
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THE SSQQ PRACTICE NIGHT BOYCOTT
Rumor has it from a highly reliable source that several ex-ssqq dancers are boycotting ssqq Practice Night on Fridays because we raised our prices. Anybody with an ounce of mathematical ability knows this is nonsense - in reality, we lowered our prices on Friday.
Friday Night Dancing before April was $5. Now it is $3 if you are currently taking a class.
Perhaps I misunderstood and the boycott is on another night of the week. This still makes no sense. Why someone has a problem with the concept of giving a discount to a current customer is beyond me.
Anyone with a sense for business will do some quick math and conclude that SSQQ Practice Nights barely operate at a break-even level using the $3 cover charge. If you wonder why we operate Practice Night at a break-even level, here is the reason: We conduct SSQQ Practice Night simply because it is good business - the more our students practice, the better they get and the more motivated they become to get even better.
I think the real problem with the Boycotters is they got their feelings hurt. SSQQ was once their home, they decided to take lessons elsewhere, and now they feel like they are being treated like an outsider.
Maybe it would make the Boycotters feel better if they knew the real reason for the price hike. Please read on.
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SSQQ UNDER ATTACK REVISITED - written by Rick Archer
Last month I wrote at length how Salsa Eddy
Deynes was systematically using the studio as a means to recruit new
students and how our practice night policies have consequently
Here is one persons response
to the article:
05/22/2003 3:47 PM
to your guns, this Deynes (Salsa Eddy) guy is neither owed an
apology or even civility on your part. You and Judy have
built an organization that provides creative training in an
easy-going atmosphere. I took your swing courses about 2-3 years
ago and have repeated them several times since. It was my
first attempt at dance instruction and the people, both staff and
students, made it one of the best social experiences I have had.
You get nothing but recommendation when I describe SSQQ to others.
Joseph L. Alcorn Jr.,
(Editor's Note: to read the entire
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How do I find out if a course is closed or if there are too many women in it?
Our Registrar has a Bulletin Board on the first screen of the On-Line Registration page which outlines which classes are closed and which classes have serious imbalances. You can check there at any time.
(Editor's Note: Increasingly, our students much prefer using the SSQQ On-Line Registration system designed by David Schroeder. After nearly two years, we are gratified to note there has not been one instance of card theft. Let's hope this continues!!
The only major problem has been an occasional double charge. This is usually created by someone clicking the "Send" button, then getting impatient when they don't get an instant answer. As a result, they figure they didn't click it properly the first time, so they hit the button again. This simple "user error" has caused a couple headaches, but nothing that couldn't get straightened out.
If anything, the biggest complaint these days is that On-Line Registration can't handle all the registration duties. Sadly, this is true. We still need humans to handle the exceptions.)
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RESULTS OF THE JUNE SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE - SSQQ TRICK OR TREAT!!
This was a pretty tough Logic Puzzle. We had 7 winners.
1. Marlies Whitmoyer
2. Kara Hackwith
3. Dan Rowsey
4. Manny Hernandez
5. Dena Jackson
6. Ron Smith
7. Terri Simon
Notable for her absence is Mara Rivas. She did not solve the June puzzle. Uh oh.
In case you don't remember, I dared Mara Rivas to win again this month because she had a very impressive serious streak going - she had aced every SSQQ puzzle as long as I could remember. After checking I found her Lake Wackawakka solution from last month marked the fifth straight month of solving the ssqq logic puzzle!!
Mara is the SSQQ Puzzle Queen. However as I pointed out in the previous Newsletter the pressure was clearly getting to her. During April after solving the Lake Wackawakka logic puzzle, she told me she was thinking of retiring from puzzles. It was just too much for her!! Then for some reason she decided to solve the infamous Einstein Puzzle located on the ssqq web site.
This ordeal put Mara over the edge. The Einstein Puzzle was so hard it fried her brain. This is what she said to me:
Wed 04/02/2003 2:50 PM Mara Rivas to Rick Archer
"I had it !!!!!
No more puzzles for me ever!!!! you hear me....NO MORE my brain can't handle it.
It is all your fault !!!
I went to sleep really late last night, now I feel terrible....cranky, bitchy, etc. all because I was trying to solve the Einstein Puzzle!
Well the FISH belongs to the (blank) house with the (blank) who drinks (blank) and smokes (blank). Is this right?? I gotta know.
Wed 04/02/2003 3:51 PM Rick Archer to Mara Rivas
"Yes, Mara, you have successfully solved the Einstein Puzzle. Now you really know once and for all that you are smarter than 98 out of 100 people!!
I will sadly report in the Newsletter next month that the Puzzle Queen has announced she is sending her brain on permanent vacation. Maybe we can find a successor who will carry the tradition for you because you have folded under the pressure.
The world will be sad after I write the story of your retirement in the next Newsletter.
Nice job on Einstein - at least you went out with a crowning achievement!
However, unfortunately for Mara, she was right about her brain snapping. Shortly after our conversation, Mara made an incredible mistake! It was unbelievably embarrassing! It was such a colossal mistake I had to conclude Mara's mind really was affected by the pressure of having to solve difficult logic puzzles each month!!
After I pointed out her mistake, I cruelly told her I was going tell the entire incident in the next Newsletter. Here is what she said to me:
Wed 04/09/2003 12:25 PM
"Rick, You can't do that to me....my life will be ruined...
I'm thinking about going into hiding right now. I told (blank) to use another name on her name tag tonight, I for one will be using RETARDED.
I will doing ANYTHING to keep this story out of the Newsletter
So an opportunity for blackmail presented itself to me. After Mara said she was retiring from Logic Puzzles, I told Mara my condition for staying silent was to have her do one more puzzle. I wanted to see just how desperate Mara really was so I told her in no uncertain terms that I was going to print the WHOLE SORDID STORY of her mistake unless she solved the next puzzle. Which now brings us to our next subject.
Believe it or not, Mara called my bluff. Mara did not solve the June Logic Puzzle.
Let me quote Mara one more time, "I will doing ANYTHING to keep this story out of the Newsletter
Well, readers, guess what. Mara did NOTHING. So I have a perfect right to follow through on my ungentlemanly blackmail threat. Do I feel guilty? Nah. She should have solved the puzzle or at least bothered to beg for mercy. I honestly think her mind is so addled that she completely forgot. Too bad.
But a threat is a threat. Here we go!! Read on
IGNORING THE THREAT OF BLACKMAIL, THIS WAS MARA'S BIG MISTAKE
A couple years ago, a former SSQQ instructor named Chris O'Rourke set up a group email chat room called "Dance Patrol". The idea was to create a forum where everyone could publicize upcoming dance events using email. One click and the whole group got the message.
Now for the story. One day in April, one of Mara's girlfriends from ssqq emailed her using Dance Patrol about a change in a dance event she and Mara had discussed attending. After opening the message, without thinking, Mara hit the reply button and sent back a personal message to her girlfriend. Here is the message:
"I will be really busy....may not make it.
So what happened last night Miss Popular, you had all those guys just drooling over you.
I'm so happy for you chica honey.
And how about your new flame (Mara listed the name which I mercifully omitted)??? Tell me everything!!"
In other words, Mara was complimenting her attractive girlfriend about having a lot of men flocking around her at Wild West. No big deal, except that Mara had accidentally used Dance Patrol to email her girlfriend. This meant Mara had just splattered the news of her girlfriend's love life to the entire group of several hundred people. Mara big mistake was that she clearly gave away a big secret by listing the name of the man her girlfriend had her eye on (but he wasn't supposed to know yet!!).
Well, obviously that cat was out of the bag!! Several people on the list knew both women well enough to put two and two together and could effortlessly spread the gossip to the "flame" if they cared to. Or even worse, Mr. Flame might even be on the list himself!! Horrors!
Grinning with devilish delight, I emailed both Mara and her girlfriend to point out the mistake.
The girlfriend replied with a gasp:
"Oh you have got to be kidding me
Mara also replied with a gasp:
"I have to apologize to (name withheld). This is the biggest F----up in my life thus far (sorry for the word) I'm so :-( embarrassed!!!"
The girlfriend replied with a second gasp:
"My boss walked in when I read your first email Rick, and at that time I had just spit diet coke all over the place, including me. He asked me if I was losing it?!? Then he got a big laugh at your email. I'm glad I am not in any of your classes until Sunday. Hopefully you will forget this ever happened by then. :) Again, I bet I'm not going to be that lucky.
I might be in hiding for awhile. Do not be upset with yourself, Mara. I'm sure one day we will laugh about this.
Rick already is!! :) "
(Editor's Note: And yes, I admit I got a big smile out of the whole silly incident. Now that nearly three months have passed, I am sure both ladies will smile if asked about it. To anyone else but these two ladies, it is a yawner, and I imagine at this point neither of them cares too much either. But when it comes to blackmail, you gotta follow through or you lose your credibility.
A threat is a threat!!
By the way, Mara is on the cruise. Let's see if she decides to get me back! Maybe she will put a dead fish in my snorkeling fins or lace my dinner with Tabasco while I am roaming around saying hi to people at the different tables. If I survive, I will keep you posted.)
AND NOW FOR THE JULY SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE -
Difficulty Level: Not as Hard as the One that made Mara lose her Mind.
This month's Logic Puzzle deals with 5 men who live and work in 5 towns. Each day they drive back and forth, unknowingly passing each other during their daily commute. Although the puzzle is somewhat tricky, I managed to solve it on my first try, so obviously it can't be that hard.
Let me add that next month's logic puzzle is a KILLER, so I would definitely try to solve this one.
First three correct answers get a free crash course for two people. Next seven get a free practice night.
Go for it!!
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THE SSQQ SIDEWALK BISTRO
Visitors to the studio in June may have noticed a new table, four chairs, and four potted ligustrum bushes outside on the sidewalk in front of Room 5.
The idea for our little Bistro as I call it came to me when I wrote my article about Susie Merrill and her farewell to the studio back in January. As I was writing the story, I reminisced how she and my friend Mike Fagan used to stand in the parking lot till the wee hours of the morning after Whip class talking about dance, life, and love. It dawned on me how nice it would have been if they had had a place to sit and talk so I decided to create a spot for the future Mike and Susies of the studio to sit and relax.
One of these days maybe I will even remember to add a trash can to the spot. It only took me 25 years to create the table and chairs, so maybe I can cut it down to half that time or even faster, ten years or so.
Not that I really expected a torrent of acknowledgment, but the reaction to this momentous addition has barely registered above the level of a yawn. So far the major response has been heavy teasing from my staff, MG Anseman in particular. MG pointed out that there were no chains on the chairs. I told him that anyone with a bolt cutter could walk those chairs pretty easily and leave me with a mess to clean up. He agreed with me, but said that the chains would discourage honest people from taking them. Now that it was so easy, even he was considering taking them. The class thought this was hysterical and roared with approval.
It didn't help that two of the cheapest plastic chairs on earth were on display at the other end of the sidewalk. MG said any crook with half a brain could see what a prize my chairs were by comparing them to the cheap ones. I replied that I would buy some cheap chairs if the current ones were stolen. I had thought of disfiguring them with spray paint or getting some birds to do their business, but then no one would sit in them.
Now that MG had planted the suggestion that even honest people would consider taking the chairs, it was time for Break. When I returned to Room 5, there in the middle of the room were two of the chairs. No one could imagine how they had gotten there, blaming their presence on likely poltergeist activity.
A couple nights later it was my turn to close. At 10:45 pm, I stumbled exhausted into the parking lot. I noticed that Jack Benard and Maureen Johnston were standing in the middle of the pavement talking. The Bistro was completely ignored. I guess most people can only talk standing up. I rolled my eyes and went home.
Despite the fact I have never seen anyone sitting at the Bistro, there are hints that at least a few people have been using the Bistro. Besides an impressive number of cigarette butts clustered randomly on the ground, each evening as I arrive I notice the chairs are always in a different spot. Maybe it is simply poltergeist movement. The chairs have lasted two weeks. I will keep you posted.
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BEST NEW JOKES OF THE MONTH
The SSQQ Web Site rotates jokes on a monthly basis. At this point we have a Hall of Fame collection of over 600 jokes, many of them real gems. Nevertheless we get some wonderful new jokes each month which we eventually add to the immortal collection.
Unfortunately June was a pretty slow month for new jokes. There were several good ones sent to me, but most of them were already a part of the SSQQ Joke Collection. Below are the two new jokes for June 2003.
Contributed by Chris Holmes
A farmer has 3 sons. One day, his oldest boy comes to him and pleads with him that he is graduating from school and would really like to get a car.
His father says, "Son, come with me." He takes him to the barn and points to the farm tractor and says, "That tractor is needed here on the farm and I promise that as soon as it's paid for, we'll get you a car."
The boy was not too happy, but understood the situation and said okay.
A week later, his second son (10 yrs old) approaches him wanting a new 2-wheel bicycle. Well, he gets the same excuse..... "as soon as the tractor is paid for"
A few days later, Son Number 3, his youngest, comes into the barn bugging him for a tricycle. Again, good 'ole dad gives him the lecture about the tractor being paid for first.
While leaving the barn the young boy, who was more than mildly disgusted with the whole thing, sees a rooster mating with one of the hens. He promptly goes over and kicks the rooster smooth off the hen's back.
His dad asked him why in the world he would do something like when the rooster didn't do anything to deserve it.
The youngest boy looked his dad square in the eye and said "Hey, nobody gets to ride anything around here until that tractor is paid for."
WHAT GENDER IS IT?
Contributed by Bryan Spivey
ZIPLOC BAGS - male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.
SWISS ARMY KNIFE - male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.
KIDNEYS - female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.
SHOE - male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.
COPIER - female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.
TIRE - male, because it goes bald and often is over inflated.
HOT AIR BALLOON - male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it... and, of course, there's the hot air part.
SPONGES - female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGE - female, because it is always getting hit on.
SUBWAY - male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
HOURGLASS - female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMER - male, because it hasn't evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.
REMOTE CONTROL - female... Ha! You thought I'd say male. But consider .
. it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
We enjoyed learned basic two step at SSQQ almost 10 years ago and when Kyle and I decided that we wanted to get into some dance classes to learn more advanced Western Dance, our first choice was SSQQ! We have just completed Beg, Intermed, and Advanced Western Swing and attempted to try West Coast Swing/Whip. Before we go further, we both agree that some practice is now in order!!!!!
I must say that I THOROUGHLY enjoy your Newsletter and had no IDEA that you were such a talented and funny writer! In addition, I cannot imagine when you have time to tap out all of this written material AND be at the Studio night after night! There is a lot of scheduling and coordination that goes into operating SSQQ successfully and I must say you do that all very well!
Thanks for providing such a great place to learn to dance, but thanks TOO for such an awesome and entertaining newsletter!
A Diamond Dancer "in the rough"!"
(Editor's Note: How could I possibly avoid publishing this one?)
VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH WITH JANE DOWNS -
EUDEMONIA - noun. Happiness as the result of an active life governed by reason.
EUDEMONISM - noun. An ethical system teaching that what is morally good should be chosen because this action leads to happiness.
Example - "The old philosopher claimed his peace of mind was the direct result of his practice of eudemonism."
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Last month I printed a thoroughly delightful article supposedly written by curmudgeonly Andy Rooney, the famous social commentator of CBS 60 Minutes fame. I nodded my head in agreement at one vicious stab after another.
Here's a wonderful little right wing gem to give you a rough idea about the direction of the essay
"I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!
My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry self if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines."
Sadly, Jim Landureth took the time to research the article on the famous Snopes Urban Legend site and relayed the disappointing information that the whole story is a fraud.
This information spoiled all my fun.
Too bad. If Andy didn't write it, he should have!!
You can read the original letter in
"Rooney" at the top or type "Rooney" into your
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AND NOW FOR A SECTION OF THE NEWSLETTER DEDICATED TO OUR READERS DRAWN TO THE DARK SIDE OF LIFE
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
Contributed by Chris Holmes
It's that time again! The awards this year are classic. Darwin awards are posthumously bestowed each year to various individuals who by their single-minded self-sacrifice, have done their best to either remove undesirable elements (i.e. themselves) from the human gene pool or at least do something so unbelievably stupid without necessarily succeeding (this means the dumb shit somehow managed to live
) that an honorable mention is in order.
5th RUNNER-UP Goes to a San Anselmo, California man who died when he hit a lift tower at the Mammoth Mountain ski area while riding down the slope on a foam pad. The 22-year old David Hubal was pronounced dead at Central Mammoth Hospital. The accident occurred about 3 a.m., the Mono County Sheriff's department said. Hubal and his friends apparently had hiked up a ski run called Stump Alley and undid some yellow foam protectors from lift towers, said Lt. Mike Donnelly of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. The pads are used to protect skiers who might hit towers. The group apparently used the pads to slide down the ski slope and Hubal crashed into a tower. It has since been investigated and determined the tower he hit was the one with its pad removed.
4th RUNNER-UP Goes to Robert Puelo, 32, who was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call the police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it into his mouth and walked out without paying. Police found him unconscious in front of the store.
Paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat where it had choked him to death.
3rd RUNNER-UP Goes to poacher Marino Malerba of Spain, who shot a stag standing above him on an overhanging rock and was killed instantly when it fell on him.
2nd RUNNER-UP "Man loses face at party" is what the headline read: A man at a West Virginia party (probably related to the winner last year, a man in Arkansas who used the .22 bullet to replace the fuse in his pickup truck) popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth, and tongue.
Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during the party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D. Payne. "Another man had it in an aquarium hooked to a battery and was trying to explode it. It wouldn't go off and Stromyer said: 'I'll show you how to set it off.' He put it into his mouth, bit down and it blew all his teeth out and his lips and tongue off", Payne added.
Stromyer was listed in guarded condition Wednesday with extensive facial injuries, according to a spokesperson at Charleston Area Medical Division. "I just can't imagine anyone doing something like that," Payne said.
1st RUNNER-UP Doctors at Portland University Hospital said an Oregon man shot through the skull by a hunting arrow is lucky to be alive and will be released soon from the hospital. Tony Roberts, 25, lost his right eye last weekend during an initiation into a men's rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous in Grant's Pass, Oregon.
A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow entered Robert's right eye. Doctors said that had the arrow gone 1millimeter to the left, a major blood vessel would have been cut and Roberts would have died instantly. Neurosurgeon Doctor Johnny Delashaw at the University Hospital in Portland said the arrow went through 8 to 10 inches of brain with the tip protruding at the rear of his skull, yet somehow managed to miss all major blood vessels. Delashaw also said that had Roberts tried to pull the arrow out on his own he surely would have killed himself. Roberts admitted afterwards that he and his friends had been drinking that afternoon.
Said Roberts, "I feel so dumb about this." No charges have been filed, but the Josephine County district attorney's office said the initiation stunt is under investigation.
THIS YEAR'S WINNER.
The late John Pernicky and his friend, the late Sal Hawkins, of the great state of Washington, decided to attend a local Metallica concert at the George Washington amphitheater. Having no tickets (but having had 18 beers between them), they thought it would be easy to "hop" over the nine foot fence and sneak into the show.
They pulled their pickup truck over to the fence and the plan was for Mr. Pernicky, who was 100-pounds heavier than Mr. Hawkins to hop the fence and then assist his friend over. Unfortunately for Mr. Pernicky, there was a 30-foot drop on the other side of the fence. Having heaved himself over, he found himself crashing through a tree. His fall was abruptly halted (and broken, along with his arm) by a large branch that snagged him by his shorts. Dangling from the tree with a broken arm, he looked down and saw some bushes below him. Possibly figuring the bushes would break his fall, he removed his pocket knife and proceeded to cut away his shorts to free himself from the tree.
Finally free, Mr. Pernicky crashed into holly bushes. The sharp leaves scratched his ENTIRE body and worse, without the protection of his shorts, a holly branch penetrated his rectum. To make matters worse still, on landing, his pocket knife penetrated his thigh.
Mr. Hawkins, seeing his friend in considerable pain and agony, threw him a rope and tried to pull him to safety by tying the rope to the pickup truck and slowly driving away. However, in his drunken haste/state, he put the truck into reverse and crashed through the fence landing 30' below atop his friend, killing him. Police arrived to find the crashed pickup with its driver thrown 100' from the truck and dead from massive internal injuries. Upon moving the truck, they found John under it half-naked, scratches on his body, a holly stick in his rectum, a knife in his thigh, and his shorts dangling from a tree branch 25-feet in the air.
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THE RETURN OF THE LONGHORN JACKASS
THE RETURN OF THE LONGHORN JACKASS
Editor's Note: There is a jerk who has been making life around the Houston dance scene miserable for women over the years. He particularly enjoyed preying upon ssqq women at the Longhorn back in 2001, but I hadn't heard much about him lately until our friend Mara Rivas met up with him recently. Now that I think about it, maybe it was the encounter with him that drove her crazy and not the logic puzzles!!
The Longhorn may be dead, but the dance floor's answer to Freddy and Michael Myers obviously lives on. This guy is a SERIOUS creep. I published an email last month detailing Mara's encounter with Mr. LJ that was less than pleasant. This letter prompted yet another similar letter to share with our readers from Bronnie Clark.
Sunday, May 25, 2003 4:02 AM
Have just read the article about the return of the Longhorn Jackass. He sure is back. After a period of absence after the closure of the Longhorn, he seems now to have found the Wild West. His appearance is intermittent, but his style hasn't changed.
There are quite a few of us now who make it our job to warn any of his potential targets and, after observing him for some time, those he is likely to hit on are obvious. Anyone new and vulnerable, available looking and standing alone is in a high risk category as they are unaware of who he is and also keen to dance to be asked to dance. It's his perfect scenario. He avoids people like me who have wised up to him. I had my one encounter with him and despite knowing about him, didn't know what he looked like, so didn't identify him for a refusal. Which brings me to the point of this email. It would be great to have a photo of this predator to post along with your warning, but I have no idea how one could be obtained. No doubt you've thought of this yourself.
In the meantime, whenever he appears, I make a point of going around to anyone who looks likely to be approached by him and warn them or, if I've missed them beforehand, I go up to them afterwards to see if they are alright and reassure as generally you are feeling pretty shitty after an encounter with that creep. If enough of us did this maybe we could derail the guy. The dance community is tight enough to cast quite a wide net in this way. Perhaps a mention of this on the page about him might encourage more to do this. There are several of us already on this mission. Thanks for what you do already to warn unsuspecting dancers who are out for a pleasant social dance time and not wanting the sleazy predations of that creep.
(Editor's Note: To read more about Mr. LJ, http://ssqq.com/information/jackass.htm
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SSQQ COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH
UNFAIR TO CHARGE $5 TO FORMER STUDENTS AT PRACTICE NIGHT
I have been taking Dance classes at your studio for several years. In addition I have introduced to your studio many of my friends.
Yesterday (Monday) as usual I came to the practice session. I have always paid $3.00 on Mondays and Tuesdays, as (clearly stated on your practice schedule).
Yet, yesterday I was asked to pay $5.00 because I do not take a class this month.
In my opinion it was rather unfair and petty the way I was treated by the person collecting the money.
And I am reminding you again that your practice schedule states clearly $3:00 for everyone without any mentioning anything else. Your clarification on this matter will be appreciated.
A very unhappy student,
REPLY TO COMPLAINT:
I wrote about this problem at great length in the June Newsletter. However I understand that not everyone has the hours necessary to review the Newsletter. I hope you will take the time to read the story. It will explain why we made the move.
(you can read about this in our previous month issue)
The practice night page of the web site correctly states the price change: "Please note that all Practice Nights are now $3 with a current month class receipt. Otherwise it is $5."
However the web site is so vast, there is bound to be an incorrect price somewhere. Of this I have little doubt.
Please accept my apology for how you were treated. There really is not a 'graceful' way to handle a two-tiered price strategy I suppose.
In the meantime, if you will print this out and bring it with you, all ssqq practice nights for the remainder of June will be $1.
(Editor's Note: I am pleased to note that I saw Mr. V on two different occasions in June happily partaking of his dollar Practice Night. I do not wish to upset our alumni students with our new pricing structure, but it is difficult to explain the problem to everyone ahead of time.)
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KATHY HELLER, THE AMAZING WOMAN WHO DECIDED TO FIGHT BACK AFTER HER CAR WAS
TOWED BY JOEL LOSHAK AND THE DOOR WAREHOUSE!!!!
THE LADY WHO HAD HER CAR TOWED - THE BITTERSWEET CONCLUSION TO THE KATHLEEN HELLER SAGA
There are some people who are mean and vicious beyond belief. One person I nominate for the hall of fame is this pathetic man Joel Loshak, the bankrupt owner of the Door Warehouse. Despite the fact that his business is in bankruptcy and his store closed, he continues to have the cars of innocent SSQQ students towed from his place of business late at night. To my knowledge at least 3 cars have been towed this year. Fortunately since we have publicized his nefarious doings, no one has been victimized since around February 2003.
One SSQQ student, Kathy Heller, had her car towed and - bless her heart - decided to FIGHT BACK. I am so proud of her! Kathy believes the towing was illegal and, you know something, a Bellaire judge agreed with her.
Unfortunately Kathy had experience a horrible NIGHTMARE runaround with a bureaucracy that protects evil people like Loshak and his satrap Cody Culpepper, owner of Cody's Wrecker Service. Most people - me for example - would throw in the towel and give the guy his filthy money, but Kathy had a lot more determination than most people. As documented in each month's Newsletter, Kathy continued to pursue "justice" for the past five months.
Unfortunately as you will soon read she never even came to close to being rewarded despite all her efforts. As we approach July, I think Kathy has reached the end of her path on this odyssey. Here is what she had to say:
Mon 06/23/2003 11:39 PM
Some words, as promised.
What is the status on my pursuit of towing justice?
Nothing has changed since the judge ruled that I had been towed illegally from the Door Warehouse parking lot.
1. I do not have my money back.
2. The incorrectly placed sign has not been moved.
3. I wrote to the City of Bellaire and received a nicely worded letter stating there was nothing the city could do other than "ask" the owner of the Door Warehouse (Joel Loshak) to please place his sign correctly and they said they would do that. Mr. Loshak must not be concerned with befriending city hall since the sign is not moved or removed.
4. I wrote a letter to Cody Culpepper, owner of Cody's Wrecker Service, to see if he would be interested in favorable publicity (after learning that one of his driver's had improperly towed a vehicle, this businessman, providing a service to the community, promptly refunded the $110), but Mr. Culpepper still has not replied to that letter. I can only imagine that the bad press did not bother him.
5. I have a strong case for small claims court. That would cost the filing fee ($100 or so I am told) and the time and effort to go to court twice Even if I won, I probably would have to go back to court AGAIN for contempt of a court order ( the court does not make them pay me; they would only say the money is owed to me; when they don't pay then it is on me to take them back to court to show they have contempt of the court order).
6. It started sounding like a never-ending aggravation. Shipping to Mr. Loshak and Mr. Culpepper an order of Puking Pastilles or Nosebleed Nougats from Hogwarts has a certain appeal.
7. The Better Business Bureau will file my complaint along with the others against Cody's Wrecker Service.
Believe me, I would have chosen a more worthy charity to receive my $110. One lesson I learned is that, although I did not think I could afford the tow charges, I seem to have recovered just fine after all.
RICK ARCHER'S REPLY TO KATHLEEN
I have read everything you have written with a fascination bordering on the morbid. I always thought you would be disappointed in the end but I deeply rooted for you to succeed.
That you seem to have come up empty-handed does not surprise me at all, but I hoped against hope for a happy ending.
I love a brave and decent underdog like yourself railing against the system. Cowardly me would have given up long ago and submitted to the humiliation.
I would like you to accept a free 4-week class here at the studio as my gift to you. Even though you didn't win in the classic sense, I admired your persistence and commitment every step of the way.
Please print this out and bring it with you to show to the registrar in July and PLEASE please please accept my offer. You deserve at least something good in return for trying this hard."
(Editor's Note: If you wish to read the original story about Kathleen,
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THE JULY JOKE
PAGE IS READY
We have 27 classic jokes ready for you to read on our June Joke Page. There are some great engineer jokes this month.
July Clean Side Jokes
July CS 01: The Funeral Procession - Sylvia Key
July CS 02: Life Imitates Art (A True Story) - Ralph Volz
July CS 03: X-Files: The Roswell Incident - Gary Richardson
July CS 04: The Blonde and the Lawyer - John Hall
July CS 05: The Blonde and the Coke Machine - Kerry Pelham and Jill Banta
July CS 06: The Magic Mermaid - Donna Ruth
July CS 07: The Traveling Salesman - Jill Banta
July CS 08: The Newlywed - Richard Barrett
July CS 09: The Last Straw - Mike Guillory
July CS 10: Don't Fall Asleep in Church - Sharon Russell
July CS 11: The Broadway Show - Kathleen Parker
July CS 12: An Interesting Experiment - Gary Richardson
July CS 13: Pluses, Minuses, and Differences - Donna Ruth
July CS 14: Aggie Obituary - Rick Archer
July CS 15: Waiting at the Pearly Gates - Gary Richardson
July CS 16: The Aggie Van Gogh - Judy Walsh
July CS 17: The Jewish Father - Gary Richardson
July CS 18: The Smartest Dog - Judy Walsh
July CS 19: Two Priests - Chris Holmes
July CS 20: Country-Western Music - Chris Holmes
July CS 21: The Speeding Ticket - Mike Gerstenberger
July CS 22: The Aggie Painter - Angela Dolezal
July CS 23: Cajun Math - Gary Richardson
July CS 24: You Know You are in Houston When - Pat Roberts
July CS 25: The Seeing-Eye Dog - Carole Nelson
Among my favorites are the Blonde and the Lawyer, the Jewish Father, and the Speeding Ticket. And I love the joke Carole Nelson sent in below about the Seeing Eye Dog. Enjoy!!
July CS 25: The Seeing-Eye Dog
Submitted by Carole Nelson
Two men were walking their dogs around the local country club and discussing their recent game of golf. The first man's dog was a big German shepherd, and the second man's dog was a Chihuahua. The first man says, "Let's go into the club and get a drink."
The second man says, "but we can't take our dogs into the club, and I don't wanna leave Chiquita outside."
So the first man says, "Oh, sure we can take our dogs inside, just do as I do, and say what I say."
So, the first man puts on his sunglasses, taps the floor with his golf club, walks into the club, and asks the waiter for a place to sit. The waiter says, "Sorry sir, but you can't have your dog in here."
The man does his best Stevie Wonder impersonation of staring left and right in confusion, then says, "Not even Seeing-Eye dogs?" The waiter immediately apologizes and gives the man a seat.
The second man watched this whole scene and laughs hard. He decides to go for it. He puts on his sunglasses, pull out his putter, and taps his way in with little Chiquita wagging her tail beside him. He asks the same waiter for a seat. The waiter frowns and says, "I'm sorry sir, but you can't have your dog in here."
The second man says, "Not even seeing-eye dogs?"
Then the waiter laughs and says, "That first guy was fishy, but you gotta be kidding, man, you expect me to believe that Chihuahua is a seeing-eye dog?!"
The second man thinks for a moment, then replies, "Oh no! That's terrible!! You mean they sold me a Chihuahua?!?
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THE SSQQ JUNE BLUE SIDE JOKES ARE READY!
(Editor's Note: The Blue Side Jokes are one of the great secrets of the SSQQ web site. Anyone who is on the SSQQ Registration List is welcome to have access. This means if you get the Newsletter, you are invited to visit the dirty jokes page.
All you need to do to get the address is to email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it.
We have some seriously wonderful jokes this month on the Blue Side. I love "The Old Man and the Old Lady, but "Tarzan and Jane" is wonderful!!
July Blue Side Jokes
July BS 01: The Koala Bear & the Hooker - Dana Pattison
July BS 02: Love in the Ozarks - Gary Richardson
July BS 03: The Casino and the Blonde - Richard Barrett
July BS 04: Will You Marry Me? - Sharon Russell
July BS 05: Rodeo Romeo - Mary Collins
July BS 06: Dopey Meets the Pope - Donna Ruth
July BS 07: The Blonde Phones Home - Ralph Volz
July BS 08: Picking a Fight in the Bar - Maureen Brunetti
July BS 09: The Old Man and the Old Lady - Richard Barrett
July BS 10: The Texas Hookers - Carole Nelson
July BS 11: Cajun Vacation - Pat Roberts
July BS 12: The Kid and the Boyfriend - Andre Faust
July BS 13: The Married Couple - Andre Faust
July BS 14: The Neighbor - Chris Holmes
July BS 15: The Ape and the Little Old Lady - Janis Howard
July BS 16: The Ugliest Wife in the World - Mike Guillory
July BS 17: The Clever Stock Boy - Bobby Bush
July BS 18: Me Tarzan, You Jane - Mary Collins
Here is a truly awful joke given to us by Mike Guillory. I am embarrassed to say I love this joke dearly.
July BS 16: The Ugliest Wife in the World
Submitted by Mike Guillory
A guy starts a new job, and his boss says, "If you marry my daughter, I'll make you a partner and give you a $1 million salary."
The guy's puzzled, until he sees a picture of the girl. He groans - she's hideous. But he accepts, figuring the money's worth it, and they get married.
A year later the guy's up on a ladder hanging a picture and yells to his wife, "Bring me my hammer."
She mumbles, "Get the hammer, get the hammer," and grudgingly fetches the hammer.
The guy says, "Hand me the nails."
She mumbles, "Get me some nails, get me some nails," and does so.
The guy starts hammering, hits his thumb, and yells, "Ow! F___ me!"
She shuffles off, mumbling, "I know. Get the bag, get the bag
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BRAGGING ABOUT MY KIDS
Judy Archer and I have a lovely 11 year old daughter named Sam who made Straight A's this year in the Sixth Grade. And she is 5' 4" - taller than many of the lady instructors on our staff who start to walk on tiptoes when Sam is around. It isn't much fun being passed by someone on the way up.
Bryan Spivey, who incidentally has a wonderful mother named Yvonne, has also been teasingly adopted by Judy and I. He asked that the following letter be published:
maybe you could add my grades along with sam's. i have made the deans list both consecutive semesters and have a whopping 3.8 GPA (BS degree)."
20 THINGS THAT IT TOOK ME 50 YEARS TO LEARN
by Dave Barry (contributed by Chris Holmes)
(Editor's Note: Number 9 pertains to dancing. Enjoy!!)
1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"
4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
6. You should not confuse your career with your life.
7. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. If anybody cares how you dance, feel sorry for them. They need to get a life and learn how to have fun. And notice that people who dance and cut loose once in a while, usually live longer.
10. Never lick a steak knife.
11. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.
12. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
13. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
14. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
15. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
16. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.
17. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
18. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
19. Don't think that because a person is having fun, they are drinking to excess. Some people have fun naturally given the moment and you need to find out how they do it.
20. Your friends love you anyway.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO RICE UNIVERSITY FOR WINNING THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP!!
I am sure most of you already know this, but on Monday, June 22nd, Rice defeated Stanford 14-2 (yes, this score is accurate) to bring home the College World Series Baseball Championship. I taped the game and started watching it at 11 pm after I got off from work. Sometime around 2 am, I was screaming and crying for joy at Rice's compelling victory.
I have had a big crush on Rice University ever since I was a little boy. I would ride my bike over to their campus and just walk around in awe of the beautiful buildings and oak trees. I almost went to Rice myself. I transferred there after my freshman year in college and was accepted in 1969, but had a change of heart over the summer and stayed at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore instead.
Over the years I have closely followed Rice sports but there hasn't been much to cheer about. Other than an occasional upset football victory every 15 years over the University of Texas, there has been little to get excited about. This is to be expected since, unlike most other schools these days, Rice recruits athletes who are students and then expects them to study. Imagine that. No one to write papers for these guys.
Indeed I was amazed to find out that Rice University led the nation this year by having 91% of its athletes graduate. Isn't that incredible?? The norm is below 50%. What an accomplishment!!
Last year I watched an excellent Rice University baseball get beaten by an equally talented University of Texas team in the College World Series by a 2-1 score. Rice never recovered while UT went on to win the national championship. It was a very painful loss.
So when I started watching Rice play again in this year's College World Series, there was Texas again. Oh no, I thought to myself. And sure enough, the game got off to a bad start with Rice quickly falling behind 2-0. Here we go again.
But this year, Rice fought back to tie the game and then to my astonishment went on to win it 12-2 when the Texas pitching staff started to walk every batter in sight!!
Then a couple days later Rice had to face its nemesis Texas again for the right to advance to the finals. This game was an incredible nail biter which ended with a one-run victory in extra innings. Now Rice was in the Finals and I was drained. Rice Coach Wayne Graham was ecstatic. He later quipped that even if Rice didn't win the World Series, at least they were the champions of Texas
and that was almost as important!!
Stanford was their opponent. It seemed like every batter in their lineup was a slugger with a .400 batting average. California baseball is considered the best in the country, so the Stanford players face some of the best pitching in the country all year long. Those averages were not deceiving - these guys could hit!! Sure enough, Stanford started off the first inning by hitting ace Rice pitcher Jeff Niemann hard, scoring three quick runs.
But Rice nickel and dimed its way back with one run here and two runs there against a very good pitcher. The game went into extra innings. Rice won in a spectacular finish when with two outs the pitcher threw wide to first base for an error which caused a hard collision between Austin Davis of Rice and the Stanford first baseman. This crucial error allowed a Rice baserunner to come home for the winning run. Maybe this was Rice's year after all - they were fighting back from deficits and getting breaks as well.
Unfortunately the next day Stanford absolutely clobbered Rice 8-4. The hitting was great and the score was not as close as it ended up. Stanford looked superior in almost every department.
Now the two teams were down to the do or die game. In a game that had an odd parallel to the first Texas game, Stanford self-destructed when its pitchers walked one Rice hitter after another. Rice scored 3 runs in the first inning on one hit and five walks. But Rice didn't rest on its laurels. The walks continued, but so did the hits - Rice got 14 hits and scored at will. Even a bad call at home plate that erased a safe Rice baserunner didn't matter - Rice beat an excellent opponent in the most one-sided championship game in history.
Thank goodness for the romp - my nerves couldn't take another crushing defeat!!
I couldn't have been more proud of these Rice athletes!! Not only are their pitchers terrific and their hitters great, but the fielding of these student-athletes was phenomenal!! Third Baseman Craig Stansberry was an awesome fielder as was Shortstop Paul
Janisch. And Chris Kolkhorst - who should have been the Most Valuable Player - saved the World Series for Rice when he caught a long fly ball on the dead run only to crash headfirst into the wall and manage to hold onto the ball. The game was tied in the eighth inning and two runs would have scored for Stanford. Instead the game went into extra innings and Kolkhorst scored the winning run. These athletes were just remarkable.
Rice finished 58-12 for the year. Early in the season, Rice won 30 baseball games in a row and narrowly missed tying the NCAA record for consecutive victories. Then the team had a mysterious slump towards the end of the season and lost several games in a short period.
I was pretty worried about the team until a sportswriter hinted at a possible explanation. Apparently this occurred at the same time as Rice Final Exams. These kids are expected to study like everyone else and couldn't concentrate on baseball for a while. Isn't that a great story??
What a credit to this great University to have such incredible academic standards and still be able to find athletes with brains to match their excellent baseball abilities! I have never been prouder of this school!!
Oh, and while I am at it - my alma mater Johns Hopkins, a school also known for academic achievement - was in this year's College Lacrosse Finals. They lost a close match to Virginia, but you know I had to feel really blessed to see two talented teams like Rice and Hopkins who run such classy athletic programs still manage to succeed despite all the odds.
So hats off to Rice, Champions of the World Series and Champions of Texas, 2003!! Way to go, Owls!
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THE JULY JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH -
THE CAR ON NOWHERE ISLAND
Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer
Over in Great Britain, there are islands all over the place. Some are big and some are small.
What is odd about this month's picture is our island in particular looks to be about the length of a football field. Except that it has a car. Not one tree, not much grass or greenery, one house, one lighthouse, nowhere to go, not much to look at, a little dirt road from the house to the dock, a boat
and a car.
I have a favor. Send me your reason why a car is on the island. Most interesting reason gets recognition in the August Newsletter - priceless - and a free Practice Night - $3. Be creative. Yes, references to Elvis, aliens, and x-files may be used. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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TFW COMPUTERS MAKES ANOTHER SSQQ STUDENT HAPPY
Mon 06/09/2003 7:36 PM
"Hi Rick --
I just wanted to thank you for posting Gary Richardson's name and number in the SSQQ newsletter. I recently needed to have what I thought was a quite simple transfer of data from one computer to another. More expertise than I had, but nothing earth-shattering. However, my cumulative IBM woes skyrocketed at that point and what should have been a 2-3 hour operation turned into a week-long fiasco.
Long story short...My new IBM computer was DOA at Gary's shop. He and Tim, his associate, tried to get it operating, but it refused to cooperate. I called IBM at that point since I purchased a 24/7 on-site repair contract. Gary was kind enough to let me leave the computer at his shop and to take the IBM phone calls for me. It was a good thing, since IBM refused to send the technician. Instead, we were asked to run hours and hours of diagnostics. I certainly could not do all those diagnostics and I know nothing about fixing computers. Fortunately for me, Gary and Tim worked round-the-clock to deal with IBM and to fix the computer since IBM could not and would not. In fact, they fixed problems that IBM could not fix from the time I got the computer in December!
Their help did not stop there. When all was said and done, I requested that IBM pay Gary's bill, since the computer was, after all, still under warranty. This took another long set of phone calls, one of them to Gary to verify the whole saga. Finally, IBM agreed to pay half - which was a substantial amount. If Gary had not been willing to talk to them - again - I doubt they would have done that much.
So, while I am certainly not a satisfied IBM customer by any stretch of the imagination, I will definitely go back to Gary for my computer needs. Thanks again for recommending him!
(Editor's Note: I try to make SSQQ as Non-Commercial as humanly possible, so some of you may wonder why I go out of my way to plug Gary's computer store so often.
( http://ssqq.com/information/tfwcomputers01.htm )
My reason is that Gary helps people!! He helps a lot of people with a lot of problems. Computers become more and more important every day of our lives, but things go wrong with them all the time as Cathy's letter reminds us. It is incredibly difficult to find someone you can trust and who has the knowledge to solve just about any computer problem.
Gary runs a small 3-man, 1-woman (Betty pays the bills) computer store on Gessner near Spring Woods High School. It isn't easy in this day and age and current economy for a small business to survive, so I send every person I know over to Gary's shop for two reasons:
a) they can buy a great computer if they need one and they will get great service at a very fair price.
b) they will help Gary stay in business - which he deserves to do since he is not only a talented guy, but he is one of the most generous and giving people I have ever met. He helps people all the time from the studio and he deserves to succeed!
His phone number is 713 461 8660 if you have a computer problem or question. You don't need to tell him any code word. I promise you I don't get any kickbacks. If anything he teases me all the time about how stupid I am with computers. I like Gary anyway.
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THE INCREDIBLE DISAPPEARING INTERMEDIATE TANGO CLASS
Intermediate Tango will be offered on Tuesday in July!!
Intermediate Tango has been having problems. It was supposed to be taught by YJ Pu and Jenny Shen in May, but then it got changed at the last minute to Beginning Tango. We advertised Intermediate Tango again for June, only to change our minds a second time.
It is now currently slated to begin in JULY and the class is a GO!! Enjoy.
From: Mona Parikh
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 3:09 PM
Subject: Request: Intermediate Tango?
"We have now completed the Beg. Tango class and request that an Intermediate Tango class be scheduled. Thanks- Pam and Mona Parikh"
"I have one scheduled to start next Tuesday, May 6. Details will follow shortly in the newsletter.
SSQQ Dance Studio"
Wed 05/21/2003 12:41 PM
"Pam and Mona,
You ladies are certain to be angry with me since I promised you an Intermediate Tango class in May, reneged on that, then scheduled another one in June and reneged on that one too.
I swear we will have one in July!!
The problem is our business arrangement with an organization called Leisure Learning. They insist on scheduling classes five months in advance. I tried very hard to cancel Beg Tango with Leisure Learning in May. They said they would make a note of the change, but the right person somehow didn't get the message at LLU.
As a result six people from LLU showed up unexpectedly at the first Tuesday of May which forced the Registrar to cancel Intermediate in May and replace it with Beginning. Then I tried again in June, but by this time someone else had finally gotten the message to move the May class to June so now they had 10 people scheduled for beg Tango in June.
In other words, LLU kept the old class (May) and scheduled the new class (June).
Leisure Learning is a huge business partner to ssqq. I don't particularly like to antagonize them if I can help it even though in this case they made things tough for me by ignoring and heeding my request simultaneously.
If you will print this email out to show to the Registrar, you two of you can attend any Crash Course on June 14th for free as my guest.
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THE DANGERS OF INTERNET DATING REVISITED
Last year I wrote a long article about Internet Dating. Many ssqq student wrote in to share their horror stories only to be amazed at how many people had been deceived by the same tricks.
Internet Dating is not all bad. Susie Merrill, a longtime ssqq instructor, met her husband on the Internet for example and she likes him a lot. But the Horror Stories clearly outweigh the success stories.
From the Houston Chronicle comes an interesting tale about how an Army Colonel serving in Afghanistan managed to carry on 50 parallel romances all at the same time. Amazing.
And if you want to read the SSQQ Article on Internet Dating, visit
It is a great article on the subject.
Colonel courts wrath far worse than Taliban's
By N.R. KLEINFIELD
New York Times
He proposed to Karen. He proposed to Yana. He proposed to Monica. He proposed to Kathy. He proposed to Sarah. He proposed to Susan. He proposed to Vicki. He proposed to Colette.
You get the idea.
Col. Kass Saleh of the U.S. Army was part of the force that fought the Taliban in Afghanistan -- work fraught with peril and often lonely. But apparently not that lonely.
The Army said Wednesday it is looking into allegations that he managed to line up dozens of prospective wives back in the United States and Canada whom he met through Internet dating services. Virtually all of them posted ads on a site called tallpersonals.com, which specializes in men and women who are taller than average.
In recent days, as his chronic courting has come to light, some of the betrayed women have compiled a list of 49 women who were romanced by him. The women are heartbroken and intent on revenge. They have complained to the Army that they want to see him court martialed and even thrown in jail.
Col. Roger King, a spokesman for the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., where Saleh is stationed, on Wednesday confirmed that the Army is investigating Saleh.
According to King, Saleh is a 29-year Army veteran who headed up reconstruction and humanitarian efforts for the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan until his tour ended last month. Last July, he led a preliminary investigation into airstrikes on a compound in southern Afghanistan where a late-night, pre-wedding party was going on, an attack that resulted in scores of civilians being killed or wounded.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fletcher, a spokesman for the Army's 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, said it was unclear what possible violations of the law or military rules Saleh may have committed.
Through his busy romantic efforts, the duped women maintain, he managed to attract someone from states all around the country, including Alaska and Hawaii, and two from Canada. They range in age is from 33 to 57. One encountered him as long ago as 1998, and others as recently as March. A few of them met him through either christiansingles.com or match.com, but tallpersonals.com was the most productive source. A few actually met him in person and had affairs with him, the women said.
It's not that the colonel, who is 51 (though he gave various ages to the women), needs a wife. He is already believed to be married.
His scam began to unravel after a television station in Washington state, KNDU-TV, aired a segment in April about a woman in Pasco, Wash., who was engaged to Saleh and was awaiting his return from overseas. Soon, other women who thought they were Saleh's fiancee called KNDU.
According to these women, Saleh was a two-timer of massive proportions. They now derisively refer to him as "Kassanova."
Robin Solod, 43, lives in Manhattan and is studying to become a real estate broker. For four years, she said she had worked the Internet dating scene, looking for a man who would tell her he would pick her up on his Harley.
Last November, she placed an ad on tallpersonals (she is 6 feet) and Saleh answered.
(Women who had seen Saleh said he was about 5 feet 10 inches tall.) "He responded with a beautifully romantic e-mail," she said.
She said he told her he was fighting in Afghanistan. A week later, he called her. "He sounded like Don Johnson," she said. He wrote her daily e-mails, made phone calls to her that sounded exciting: "Baby, I love you. Vehicle coming!"
"There was this connection I felt," Solod said. "Unfortunately, there were 50 of us who felt it."
(Editor's Note: The SSQQ Article on Internet Dating:
It is a very interesting look at the subject. )
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SSQQ EMPLOYEE OF MONTH AWARDS TO SUSAN SCHROEDER AND AMY DIETRICH
Amy Dietrich just started as a Hall Monitor a week ago, but she made a big contribution quickly. For the past couple weeks, students have been complaining they thought they smelled gas in Room 6. It was such a faint odor that I never detected anything, but the volume of reports indicated something might be wrong.
Then one day someone decided to do something about it.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
To: Susan Schroeder
From: Amy Dietrich
Subject: Gas Odor Last night
I have had at least 3 or 4 people complain about the smell of natural gas in the studio on Sunday and Tuesday. I usually have a good sense of smell, but I didn't smell anything. I just thought it was worth mentioning since more than 1 person commented on the smell.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
To: Rick Archer
From: Susan Schroeder
Subject: Natural Gas Odor at Studio
"Rick, this note just came in from last night's hall monitor.
Susan (P.S. I too have smelled the gas.)"
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
To: Susan Schroeder
From: Rick Archer
Subject: RE: Natural Gas Odor at Studio
"How do you handle the problem?? Do you call the gas company and ask them to check?
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
To: Rick Archer
From: Susan Schroeder
Subject: Natural Gas Odor at Studio
"Don't worry about it, Rick, I took care of it. I called Reliant Energy and they immediately sent out a technician to check for a leak. I had to dash over to the studio to meet him. He was already waiting for me in the parking lot when I got there. We first went into the studio and of course he didn't detect any gas. We went to Charlie's BBQ and one of the workers there said she also smelled gas last night. The tech found a small valve leak in the kitchen-nothing significant. Charlie's is going to get it repaired. The tech said the odor, even from a small leak, could build up in the shared attic space and when the studio's AC are turned on it would drawn it all down into the studio...and it could be strong. The tech was also going to check the meter out in back because he remembers repairing a meter leak back there about a year ago. He said it would be best to call Reliant out when the odor is present because he would have better success in tracing it. For now, I don't think the studio is going to explode or anything. :0)
(Editor's Note: Be sure to thank Amy and Susan for going out of their way to make sure the studio is safe for all of us. Their actions were beyond the call of duty. I feel fortunate ssqq has people like these to help run the program.
Nice work, Susan and Amy!!
By the way, did you notice the exciting input Mr. Administrator aka Me had on the process?? I felt my email was definitely the key in solving the problem. Like any good Management person, I suppose I should take most of the credit.
Excellent work, Rick!! Way to ask a question so inane and stupid that another person felt compelled to solve the problem
themselves! That makes you the SSQQ Executive of the
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HERE'S A GEM FOR OUR READERS: MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
Contributed by Chris Holmes
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.
Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.
Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here.
And that, my friends, is how company policy begins.
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SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE - MIKE
HARRAH AND ANN MCGOWAN GET MARRIED!
My friend Gary Richardson reports Mike Harrah and Ann McGowan were
married on Saturday, June 21. Gary was amazed to note there were
around 300 people in attendance. Whoa!!
Congratulations to both! Mike and Ann will be on our cruise next
week. We hope to see them occasionally!
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE - RICK ARCHER AND MARLA GORZYNSKI GET
Yes, the rumor is true. I proposed to Marla up in Colorado during
our trip over the Memorial Day break a month ago. We expect to be
married in a year sometime around Memorial Day, 2004.
Marla and I connected on the SSQQ summer cruise back in August,
2001. I knew Marla from the studio, but not very well.
On the first night, there was a "singles dance" around Midnight in
the disco. I figured I would check it out.
As I entered the disco, Marla was the first lady I spotted from our
group. She was standing in another doorway looking like she was
about to leave. Wasting no time, I immediately walked over and asked
her to dance.
We stayed on the floor for quite a while, then had margaritas at the
bar. It was then that I realized for the first time how interesting
Marla was to talk to. We danced some more, then I invited her
outside to sit on the deck and continue our talk. With a marvelous
wind blowing - Hurricane Chantal was not too far off in the
distance! - the night was cool and mysterious. Marla and I sat in
our deck chairs for hours on end talking about everything
imaginable. Under the watchful gaze of the moon and the starlit sky,
the evening was definitely quite magical for us.
Marla and I got off to a great start and we have been inseparable
Now after two years, I figured it was about time to make a stronger
commitment. I had been thinking about it, but actually it was a spur
of the moment decision. We had been watching the Jim Carrey movie
"Bruce Almighty". One of themes of this movie was the frustration on
the part of the Jennifer Aniston character about Carrey's reluctance
to get engaged. Seeing the woman's point of view in the movie
definitely opened my eyes.
Once we got in the car, I decided it was time to ask. It was not
exactly the most romantic setting imaginable, but when it's time,
I said 'Would you like to get married?' I suppose I should have been
more specific and added the words 'to me', but Marla seemed to get
the idea. She smiled and said 'yes!'
And that's the story!
DID YOU KNOW?? 20 QUESTIONS - THE SSQQ INFORMATION PAGE
The SSQQ Web Site has a question and answer section.
This area of our web site targets the following questions -
01. Private Lessons
03. Referring new students
04. Group Discounts
05. Switching Partners
07. Credit for Unfinished classes
08. Same Sex Dancing
09. Making up a Class
12. Need a Partner?
13. Watching Classes
14. Starting classes a week late
15. Repeating a Class
17. Husbands Who Won't Dance
19. What level of class to take
20. General Questions (like why SSQQ doesn't have bottled water and why we don't have other locations).
If you have a question you want to have answered, let us know!! email@example.com
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AND THATS A WRAP FOR THIS ISSUE
As you can see, the SSQQ Newsletter is mostly written by people just like you who send stuff in. If you have any comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, jokes, pictures or poetry to share, please send it to me, Rick Archer, at
And thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!
. I might add I do have reason to believe some of you simply scroll to the bottom to look for any little surprises I hide down here. ;-)
Anyhow, thanks to all for making it this far!
One more thing. In case you were wondering, this issue of the SSQQ
Newsletter is equivalent in length to 25 pages.
Rick Archer SSQQ Dance Studio
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