This is the July 2006 issue of the
SSQQ Newsletter written by Rick Archer.
NO STANDING IN LINE - SIGN UP ON-LINE (SSQQ
WHAT IS NEW
AT SSQQ - WELCOME REBECA AND BJORN!
The big news of the month is the addition of Salsa
instructors Rebeca and Bjorn Bangstein to our
Saturday Salsa Staff. These two accomplished dancers
will be offering an Advanced Salsa class titled
"Salsa Explosion" starting Saturday, July 15, at
4:30. Be sure to check out their story further below
in our "Featured Class of the Month" section.
It has been wonderful having Jack Benard back. It
seems like he was never gone. Everyone is grateful
for the return of our friend. Jack has been a
fixture at every Practice Night; no wonder he stays
This issue of the July Newsletter has many different
topics to explore. Stories in this issue include:
1. The RHAPSODY
RELOADED CRUISE is just around the corner. It is scheduled
to leave Galveston on Sunday, August 23rd. You can feel the
excitement growing! Now that we have added a Club Med style
competition between the Sharks and the Jets, oops, change
that to the Alphas and Betas, I am sure we will be totally
out of control. (By the way, we have
an opening for a single lady at the reduced price of $519)
2. HIGHLIGHTS of the upcoming July Dance Semester features
such goodies as Scott and Cher's Sunday Death Valley class
at 4:30, Dakota's Samba class (Sunday 7), Rick's Advanced
Tango class (Sunday 7), Scott's Advanced Hustle class
(Monday 7), Bryan and Lisa's Rock and Go WCS class (Monday
7), Steve and Danielle's famous Advanced Salsa class
(Tuesday 7), Sharon's Super-Advanced Western Waltz class
(Wednesday 7), Martian Whip on Thursday at 7, Beginning
Western Waltz on Friday at 7, plus the new Salsa Explosion
class on Saturday afternoon.
3. The July Dance Parties include Ballroom and Swing at the
July 15th INDEPENDENCE DAY PARTY and Western Dancing at the
July 29th DUDE RANCH PARTY. The Dude Ranch Party will
feature our you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it Sadie Hawkins
4. I wrote a story about the reason I missed the JUNE SOCK
HOP PARTY (a Bar Mitzvah in California) plus you won't want
to miss Mara's cute pictures from the Sock Hop.
5. SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE was very busy this month with 4
weddings and two engagements. Sometimes the birds and bees
at this studio are almost too hot to believe!
6. I wrote a story called the WONDERFUL WORLD OF SOCIAL
DANCE that explores the reasons why SSQQ is considered a
maverick in the dance business.
7. This month we are offering two LOGIC PUZZLES for the
first time. One is very difficult and one is fairly easy. We
need to get more people to play!
8. Ever hear of the CLINTON HIT LIST? This is a story so
bizarre it sounds like it was taken from an X-Files script
or an Oliver Stone Conspiracy movie. Still, it is very
9. 7 beautiful women and 7 handsome men appeared on the
COVER OF LEISURE LEARNING this month. See the pictures and
read the cute story behind the event.
10. Ever wonder about those lovely pictures on the wall at
SSQQ? There is actually a story behind them. DYNAMIC
11. Ever try your luck at GAMBLING? If you are Michael
Jordan or Charles Barkley, two of America's most famous
gamblers, what do you have to lose? But when a bunch of poor
people goes down to defeat, then you have to wonder
were they thinking? I have included an interesting article
about gambling in this issue.
12. The ever-popular Complaint of the Month section deals
with a hot topic - SAME SEX DANCING AT SSQQ. I am sure you
will curious enough to check this one out.
13. The JOKE PICTURE of the month features a fashion
statement made by a Roman Catholic official that surely you
won't want to miss.
14. Last month I told about how the SSQQ Web Site is
increasingly falling prey to CORPORATE WEB CENSORSHIP. This
month I added several interesting emails on the subject and
explained the reasons why I have decided to print the
infamous BLUE SIDE JOKES where everyone can see them from
now. Now that's radical, yes?
15. Last but not least, have you reached the age where you
think you are losing your mind? Gay Anseman sent in a story
about a woman who really seems to have reached the end of
her rope. If you want to laugh and cry at the same time,
feel free to do so. It is a clever tale. Read the story
SHOOT ME. You won't regret it!
RHAPSODY RELOADED CRUISE UPDATE - Stands at 125!
August 23 - September 3 (Returns the day before Labor
This trip is now only
six weeks away. It is officially our second largest cruise
I have a hunch this is going to be the wildest trip of all
time. I can just sense some serious craziness dying to break
loose. After all the disappointment caused by Hurricane Rita
last year, I can see the frustration on the faces of people
signed up again who are ready to make up for lost time.
There are clearly some very Desperate Cruisers out there.
This year's trip will have a new feature. I have scheduled
five different competitions pitting the Alpha Team against
the Beta Team. By an odd coincidence, you can take all the
people who have cruised with us before and all the people
who are first-time cruisers with us and the numbers come out
practically equal. So the Rhapsody Competition will pit the
Veteran Alpha Team against the inexperienced but very
intensely committed Beta Team.
The Alpha Team will be led by the Alpha Hussy herself,
Leslie (Alph) Goldsmith, and her attention-seeking
counterpart Phyllis Porter. These two women have displayed
an uncanny ability to lead men on a path to destruction, but
can they lead their team to victory? That is a question that
will be answered on this trip.
The Beta Team will be led by Dynamo and Dynamite. These two
women are Femme Fatales who appear to be taking their
leadership role a whole lot more seriously than the Alpha
The first event will be the Balloon Relay Race at our August
22 SSQQ Beach Ball. 12 team members (6 men, 6 women) will
race two different to determine the winner. Please note that
all Rhapsody Cruisers can come to this party for free. We
aren't going to give you any excuses for not showing up and
participating. You can at least cheer your team to victory!
The second event will be the incredible Rhapsody Scavenger
Hunt. It will pit both teams against each other in a frantic
race. First the participants will need to find bizarre items
to earn clues for the Treasure Hunt phase. Then they will
need to go search secret locations throughout the ship to
get the code which, once deciphered, will help them conquer
Phase Three. My bet is on the team that is the most sober.
The third event will be another Scavenger Hunt, the
Rhapsody's own notorious Men in Drag competition. Due to
their experience, my money is on the Alpha Team, but you
never know. For one thing, I know for a fact the Femme
Fatales have some tricks up their sleeve. My bet is on the
team that is the least sober.
The fourth event will be a blood-bath beach volleyball
competition at Cozumel's Chankanaab Beach. I know the Alpha
Team has some good players, but scanning the roster of the
Beta Team, I think they should be favored. My prediction is
the Captains will make the difference. There is enough
talent on both sides for either team to win. Therefore the
team that recruits their best players to participate will
The fifth and final event will be a Jigsaw Puzzle contest.
There will be two boxes of the same 300-piece Jigsaw Puzzle.
Both teams sitting in opposite corners of the same room will
solve the puzzle simultaneously. Ready, Set, Go. First team
to finish wins! Watch out for sabotage. I wouldn't put it
past a desperate team to send a spy over to the other side
in order to swipe a piece or two. It might be the team with
the best security who will win. Don't be surprised to see
both teams coming into the Jigsaw Puzzle contest with two
victories apiece. This could be the competition that decides
By the way, if you want to go on the trip, believe it or not
there is plenty of room left. There is space available in
Oceanview and Inside Cabins at the prevailing rate.
If you want to go, please call now. You do not need a
roommate. With this much time left we should not have any
trouble finding roommates.
phone Marla during the day at 713-862-4428.
THE SSQQ NEW ENGLAND CRUISE
September 23 - September 30
We currently have 37
people signed for this trip and continue to get nibbles from
others who are interested. Marla says there is space
available for our New England Trip. This "Autumn Leaves are
Falling" trip leaves out of Boston on September 23. This is
your opportunity to take a marvelous trip with the SSQQ
Group to an area steeped in history and painted with beauty.
The ship's route hugs the rugged New England coastline and
moves into Canada as well. This will give everyone a
spectacular daily look at some of the prettiest scenery in
Obviously this trip is expensive, but it is well worth it
for you Texans who have never visited this beautiful part of
This is an especially active trip with six ports in six
days. According to Cher Longoria who has scouted the trip
extensively, there are many excursions to choose from,
plenty of places to visit and lots of things to see.
Kayaking, climbing, hiking, biking
you name it
be an extraordinary trip.
One more thing - we have an opening for a single female. In
other words, we have one lady who is already signed up who
needs a roommate.
or phone Marla during the day at 713-862-4428.
THE UPCOMING JULY DANCE SEMESTER - CLASSES BEGIN SUNDAY,
Remember - if you miss the first week of class, you can
always start in the second week. The Second Week Review will
catch you up.
Special classes for
1. Competition Western
dancers Scott Ladell and Cher Longoria bring DEATH VALLEY to
our 4:30 Sunday Western program. Sunday afternoon Western
classes have become a big hit since everyone leaves the
studio right after class to hit Wild West for an evening of
great Western dancing. What better way to start the evening
than to learn the fanciest Western patterns of all time,
then take them to Center Stage over at Wild West?
2. Our friend MG teaches Ghost Town Level 2 on Sunday
afternoons as well. For those of who don't know MG very
well, he loves to teach Ghost Towns more than anything else
in the whole world!
3. Dakota teaches his SIZZLING SAMBA class on Ballroom
Sunday Evening at 7 pm. Samba is the national dance of
Brazil. It is most famous as the featured dance in the
fabulous "Carnivale" held annually in Rio de Janeiro.
Samba has given rise to many different dances. The Bossa
Nova is a Samba derivative. And let us add the "Dirty Samba"
was renamed "Lambada". (Dakota will teach a somewhat less
provocative Samba unless you persuade him otherwise.)
Samba is a major part of all International Latin Dance
Competitions. It is a partner dance that is very sexy when
done right. Using Triple Step footwork to fast-paced music,
Samba is pretty tricky to learn. It is characterized by
pulsing hip motion with an up and down bounce to it as well.
4. BEGINNING BALLROOM on Sundays at 7 will cover Swing,
Foxtrot, and Waltz this month. Jack Benard will be the
5. Marla will teach BEGINNING TANGO on Sundays at 7. Of all
the Ballroom Dances, Tango seems to be the most popular.
Tango is a timeless symbol for the dark side of romance. The
music is haunting and mysterious and the movement of the
dance very dramatic. With songs like "Jalousie" (Jealousy)
and "Ecstasie" (Ecstasy), Tango takes it place in legend as
the dance of pride, anger, and most of all, passion. It is
said that if Count Dracula were to choose a dance, there is
no doubt it would be Tango.
Stylish and very dramatic, Tango combines sleek, hip-locked,
gliding steps with abrupt stops into fans, flicks, flares,
dips, and lunges. The eerie music, sultry motion, and the
haunting sense of dark moods barely under control make Tango
a truly fascinating dance!
6. Rick teaches ADVANCED TANGO Sundays at 7 pm. After a
thorough review of the Intermediate Tango patterns, this
class will also bravely venture into Viennese Lock Turns,
the Suicide Lunge, Flare Side Switches, Flicks and Kicks,
plus the provocative Lunge Plunge. Are you ready for a
7. Jill Banta will teach BEGINNING LATIN CHA CHA. Cha Cha is
a fun and flirtatious dance. It is also the answer to a
trivia question: what dance can be used to the most kinds of
music? Cha Cha is an incredibly versatile dance. Cha Cha can
be used to Tito Puente or Marc Anthony Latin/Salsa music,
romantic Country-Western Polka music, all Disco music, 50s
Sock Hop music like "Johnny Angel", popular music with a
Latin Beat like the Beach Boy's "Kokomo" and Santana's
recent Grammy winner "Smooth".
Cha Cha patterns can vary from the simple to the complex and
will even use double turns when the mood strikes. Best of
all, the Cha Cha has an attractive hip motion that make
pretty dresses do the exact same thing that Gap Khakis do
for Swing dancing.
8. Scott Ladell started off his four-month Hustle cycle with
Beginning Hustle in May. This class was very well attended.
Now in July, Scott will follow up with ADVANCED HUSTLE.
9. Bryan and Lisa teach a special Monday West Coast Swing
class known as "WEST COAST SWING ROCK AND GO PATTERNS". This
class will also include many patterns known as Alternating
Rock and Go Patterns are West Coast Swing shortcut patterns.
When combined with Alternating Triples, Rock and Go Patterns
speed up the dance dramatically with a dozen clever new
patterns including the flashy Tarzan and Jane Chest Lunge
and the Viennese Waltz Alternating Triple Pattern. These
patterns are not difficult and they are a great of fun.
10. Rick and Cher start off a new Whip/West Coast Swing
Superclass cycle with BEGINNING WHIP/WCS on Mondays at 7 pm.
Dakota and his wife Susan will teach the parallel class on
Thursdays at 7 pm.
SSQQ has the only program in Houston that allows you to take
this difficult class on 2 different nights (Sunday/Thursday)
for the price of one. Plus SSQQ is the only program that
still teaches the legendary Texas Whip. Although our
emphasis is on the popular West Coast Swing, the Whip with
its naughty moves and eye-catching hip motion brings Texas
Heat to the class as well. Then stay and join us after class
for our popular Monday and Thursday West Coast Swing
practice night at 9 pm!
11. Tuesday Salsa is phenomenal. Each Tuesday, there is a
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Salsa class that
average 80 to 100 people in each class. In particular, Steve
& Danielle conduct their elite Advanced Salsa class each
Tuesday. The Tuesday Salsa Practice Night hosted by Linda
Cook is smokin'.
12. Sharon Crawford-Shaw begins her final series of Western
Waltz with SUPER-ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ on Wednesdays at 7
13. Texas State Whip Champions Bryan Spivey and Lisa Palmer
bring you MARTIAN WHIP on Thursdays.
Martian Whip is dedicated to teaching the most Advanced West
Coast Swing patterns. This class is especially useful for
students considering competing or performing at some point.
14. Rick and Cher will teach BEGINNING WESTERN WALTZ on
Friday. Western Waltz is considered the "Romantic" Western
dance. The stakes being what they are, no sensible man
should ignore this important dance! The moves are quite
graceful and the music is very pretty.
Western Waltz patterns are taken from Ballroom Waltz. Some
Waltz patterns travel while other Ballroom Waltz patterns
such as the Box Step are danced in one area.
Western Waltz moves include the Ballroom Waltz patterns that
automatically "travel" around the floor just as a Twostep or
Polka would. After you have learned the details of Twostep,
Polka, and Western Swing, Western Waltz becomes the next
dance in progression for all Western dancers.
15. Willie Bushnell teaches Zydeco starting on Saturday at
430. Zydeco dance music originated in the state of
Louisiana. Similar to Cajun music, Zydeco is more heavily
influenced by blues and music from the West Indies. Zydeco
is fun, sexy, and pretty easy to learn! This is a great
Saturday class that will have you laughing all night long!
16. Rebecca and Bjorn Bangstein will present Salsa Explosion
on Saturday at 4:30. Their Explosion class is an Advanced
Salsa class that concentrates on Salsa Styling.
Bjorn and Rebecca are both highly polished Salsa performers.
They have been in competitions and exhibitions for several
years now and plan to bring the secrets of performing to
In Rebecca's own words, "I will teach women (and men)
movement of the arms, shoulders and hips. Women find it
challenging to style while dancing with a partner and
intimidated when left alone to shine."
In addition to the styling, there will be advanced Salsa
patterns as well.
One note: This class is only open to people who have
completed an Advanced Salsa class previously. It is not fair
to have Beginning and Intermediate Salsa dancers come in and
slow this class down. This class is aimed at students who
intend to compete and perform in Salsa Dance. (read more in
the story below)
DANCE CLASS IN JULY: SALSA EXPLOSION SATURDAYS
AT 4:30 PM
As I mentioned earlier, the big news of the month is
the addition of Salsa instructors Rebeca and Bjorn
Bangstein to our Saturday Salsa Staff.
Rebeca sent me this information about her July 15th
Salsa Explosion: Salsa con Sabor y Estilo
(Salsa with Flavor and Style)
"Add flavor and style to your dancing by
incorporating movement of the arms, shoulders and
hips. Improve your leading/following style and
enhance the execution of turn patterns to the beat
of the music."
Bjorn and Rebeca are
practically newly-weds. They will be celebrating their first
year anniversary in July. I am not sure how close the
date of their first class here will be to their anniversary,
but it can't be that far apart!
This very attractive couple is an amazing Fire and Ice team,
North meets South. Three years ago Rebeca and Bjorn met
through their mutual love and passion for salsa. They
found themselves on a dance team together. Due to their good
looks and matching body types, they were often paired up as
dance partners. My guess is chemistry quickly took
over... Salsa has a way of melting all barriers, yes?
Bjorn is originally from Norway where he grew up and
received his training as a principal engineer. Bjorn
came to Houston on an engineering assignment in 2000 and was
immediately caught up in the Salsa Fever brought on by
"Living La Vida Loca". In fact, he had so much fun
with Salsa I am not quite sure how much energy he had left
over to devote to his engineering career at the time.
For the next several years, he combined his Salsa dancing
with his career that called for a great deal of traveling.
Wherever he went, Bjorn made it a point to check out the
local Salsa community. In addition he attended salsa
congresses all over Europe.
Rebeca was born in El Salvador, but came to America at an
early age. She was raised in Houston and discovered salsa in
2001. Today Rebeca is an educational administrator by day
and also teaches a fitness class at a local Y.
Their hobbies include dancing salsa, traveling, doing
outdoor activities and dont be surprised if you see them
hanging out at any Starbucks around Houston!
Below is a brief story of how they joined the SSQQ Staff:
From: Rebeca Bangstein
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 8:26 PM
Subject: dance instructors
My name is Rebeca Bangstein. I am writing to offer you
my services. My husband and I love to teach and dance
salsa, in fact, like many of your students that's
exactly how we met each other. I have been teaching
cardio-styling salsa at the YMCA-Alief for the past
three years. My husband and I also teach partner salsa.
In 2004 we were part of Salsa Eddy's original group and
performed at events. We also competed in a salsa
competition in Houston and Dallas. We have traveled to
Europe and Puerto Rico to attend salsa congresses. I
have assisted Alberto and German teach at Tropicana and
at their Sunday class. My husband and I have an immense
love and devotion for dancing.
My husband's name is Bjorn and he is from Norway.
Originally I am from El Salvador but I've been in
Houston for more than twenty years. My husband is an
engineer and I am a teacher in Alief for intermediate
Over the years I've had many request for a styling
class. I teach movement of the arms, shoulders and hips.
Women find it challenging to style while dancing with a
partner and intimidated when left alone to shine. I also
teach merengue, bachata and cha-cha. My husband and I
are interested in teaching at SSQQ. If you think we
would be a good addition to your team we would like to
audition for you.
Thank you for your time
Sincerely, Rebeca Bangstein
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:03 PM
To: Rebeca Bangstein
Subject: salsa instructors
I am very flattered by your offer, Rebeca.
The truth is we are completely staffed at the moment; in
fact we have one very talented former instructor who is
waiting in line for the next opening.
That said, I am very impressed with your resume. You
obviously would be an excellent addition to our program.
The moment an opening occurs, I will see if you are
Now that I think of it, I will forward your letter to
Linda Cook, the head of our salsa program in case she
can think of a place
perhaps an opening on Saturday
afternoon since we have an extra room now open. Maybe we
could put a different kind of Salsa class in there.
Thank you very much for your letter!
From: Linda Cook
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 11:03 PM
To: Rick Archer
Hi Rick, Rebeca came by and she'll be fantastic. I told
her that we could put her in July on the schedule, but
that I would have to see what you wanted to do
crash course or a class.
Rebeca and her husband are advanced salsa dancers who
want to offer a styling class. Bjorn travels all over
the world so they have moves and styles from everywhere.
I'm sure their class would turn out to be like Steve and
Danielle's class, but on Saturday.
They are very well known so the class should be popular.
I told Rebeca to come to the advanced classes this month
so she can highlight her styling to the students that
would be ready for them. The students would be taking
their salsa up a notch plus Bjorn and Rebeca have their
own advanced moves.
Rebeca also teaches 4 Latin aerobic classes for the Y
right now so that could somewhere be an option later.
Very nice couple. You definitely should hire them!
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 3:58 PM
To: Rebeca Bangstein
Subject: RE: salsa dance instructors
I spoke with Linda Cook and she set me straight - you
guys are very well known!
Let me stat out with two apologies
one for adding an
inadvertent "c" to your name and the other for not
getting back to you quicker today. As always, I feel
like I am writing letters to twenty people at once!
I am a Salsa idiot, Rebeca. I really like the music, I
really like the dancing, and I think the girls are
beautiful, but I have never taken the time to learn the
dance. Back in 2000 my ex-wife Judy jumped into Salsa
just as it was breaking with "Living La Vida Loca".
There were very few Salsa teachers in those days. Judy
saw an opening so she and I made a deal - I would handle
the dances already on the plate and free her up to learn
Salsa. The studio had a trickle of people learning Salsa
during the famous Bush/Gore campaign that paralleled la
vida loca. Six months later the studio was on fire w
Judy's foresight got us there ahead of the pack and
helped keep us there for four years. After she quit in
late 2004, thank goodness our veteran staff stepped up
to fill her shoes. We never missed a beat. Since then,
the program has grown even bigger and I still can't take
any credit for it. It drives me crazy. ;-)
My point is that I have just learned today how famous
you and your husband are in Salsa circles. Linda
suggested I prostrate myself when I finally meet you and
beg your forgiveness for my ignorance of your esteemed
I would be proud to add you and Bjorn to the staff.
Linda mentioned that Saturday opening would be an
acceptable starting point for you. Excellent.
Welcome to SSQQ!
PARTIES IN JULY - THE RED WHITE AND BLUE INDEPENDENCE DAY
SWING AND BALLROOM PARTY
Saturday, July 15th
9:15 pm - 11:30 pm
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7 - 9 PM
$14 Person, $22 Couple
BEG LINDY HOP - Gloria
ARGENTINE TANGO - Don
INTERMEDIATE FOXTROT - Jack
SLOW DANCING - Jill (cpls only)
ZYDECO - Ronnie
ADVANCED WALTZ - Dakota
Party at a Glance:
Ballroom Mix (Swing, Foxtrot, Tango, ChaCha, Rumba, Waltz)
in Room 1
Swing in Room 4
Argentine Tango in Room 6
Dress: Wear Red, White, and Blue or you'll be Stew!!
PARTIES IN JULY - THE SSQQ DUDE RANCH WESTERN PARTY
Saturday, July 29th
9:15 pm - Midnight
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7 - 9 PM
$14 Person, $22 Couple
BEG C&W : TEXAS TWOSTEP - Marla
INT 2STEP/POLKA: CIRCLE TURNS - Rick and Linda
BEG WESTERN SWING - Robert and Cher
NIGHT CLUB - Scott
SHAGGIE JITTERBUG - Paul
ROLE REVERSAL WESTERN SWING - Ben
JACK'S FAVORITE MARTIAN WHIP PTNS - Jack
TO REGISTER FOR A CRASH COURSE, PLEASE COME AT 6:45 AND SIGN
UP AT THE DOOR
Party at a Glance:
Western, Swing, and Western Waltz in Room 1,
Whip/WCS in Room 4,
Night Club in Room 6
Dress: Wear your best Western Outfit. In fact, don't be
afraid to "overdo" it. This party rewards anyone willing to
take a fashion risk.
Dress Slick or Leave Real Quick!!
One more thing: This year's Dude Ranch will feature THE
INFAMOUS SSQQ SADIE HAWKINS MAN HUNT.
Women get MONEY for ruthlessly hunting men down and Men get
GLORY for being elusive.
This is an event you DO NOT want to miss.
2006 SSQQ SOCK HOP AND HENRY'S BAR MITZVAH
I heard through the Grapevine that our recent Sock
Hop Party was a complete and total blast. I was both
glad and sad to hear this. I was glad to hear it
because I always enjoy knowing an SSQQ is
successful. But I was also sad to hear it because I
missed being there.
Marla was invited out to Los Angeles for her nephew
Henry G's Bar Mitzvah. This event served as a huge
family reunion. Living here in Houston, Marla
doesn't get to see her family very often, so she
asked me to accompany her. I hesitated because the
Sock Hop Party is so important to me, but I had
never been to a Bar Mitzvah and I was curious to
know more about this famous Jewish ritual.
I was especially curious about this event due to the
unusual experience of the young man. At his Bar
Mitzvah, Henry had two pairs of parents and four
pairs of grandparents! Henry's parents had divorced
when he was 8 (2001) and he took it very hard. When
I first met Henry in 2004, he was an angry, bitter,
self-centered young man. I also noticed he was a
genius. I was very drawn to this boy because his
story was similar to my own (my parents divorced
when I was 9) and because of his talent.
Both his father and mother remarried within the next
two years. Suddenly Henry went from being an only
child to having two step-brothers his own age plus
three new baby step-brothers and sisters from the
two new marriages.
Henry's father John, a brilliant and wealthy lawyer
who once worked for Donald Trump, spared no expense
in his quest to create a lavish event (and it was!).
Henry's mother Marilyn, an equally brilliant and
talented woman, organized a hugely complicated event
that came off without a hitch. And Henry's two
stepparents Mark and Tina seemed genuinely happy for
their talented and (yes) often troublesome stepson
Amazingly, the two original parents and the two
stepparents co-existed in total harmony at Henry's
Bar Mitzvah. Marla and I gazed in awe at the
spectacle of four people who could have allowed
their past to complicate matters instead take the
high road. The four people smiled, they hugged each
other, they exchanged hand shakes and they shared
pleasantries throughout the weekend. It was
literally one big happy family.
Best of all, Henry showed me that he has matured a
great deal from his bitterness of 2004. He clearly
has begun to grow up. I think the way his four
parents have learned to cooperate and work together
has a great deal to do with his maturity as well. I
am sorry I missed the Sock Hop, but for the lessons
I learned about overcoming the pain of divorce when
children are involved, I think it was well worth the
Thank you, Bruce and Mara,
for sharing your pictures!
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE
June was a huge month for SSQQ
We had two previously unannounced weddings from May
(David Van Camp and Stacey Keith, Ann Weiss and
Trent Cox) plus two June weddings involving John
Moniz and Shey Tekulve plus Kent Carson and Barbara
Jerry Boldra and Barbara Sherwood announced their
engagement. They are taking Sharon's Western Waltz
class. When Barbara shared the news of their
engagement on the first night of their class, it
spread like wildfire. I must have had two dozen
people run up and tell me the good news that night!
In addition, John Otts and Cynthia Hall reported to
Marla they are interested in getting married on our
upcoming Rhapsody Reloaded trip in August.
As I mentioned in last month's newsletter, Larry
NoLastName and Pam NoLastName are also engaged, but
I am still forbidden to reveal their identity or say
anything more. You would have thought once month
would be enough to get around to telling their kids,
but apparently not. Now I am kind of curious about
the mystery. I will check back on them next month!
These announcements bring the 2006 total to 16 at
the halfway point. SSQQ is right on track to
continue its amazing average of two weddings and/or
engagement notices a month. Mind you, we have kept
up this pace every year since 1999!
Congratulations to all! You can read more about
these events on our 2006 Romance Page,
Boldra and Barbara Sherwood
John Moniz and Shey Tekulve
In addition, I was able to add the
pictures of four past wedding couples: Stephen Kirk and
Jennifer Smith 2000, Brenda Evetts and Larry Carlton 2001,
and Laura Jean Brzozowski and Tim Bell 2003, Cindy Hansen
and Mark Billingsley 2001.
People enjoy coming back to the place where they met. When I
spot a couple, I behave just like a school teacher who gets
visited by a kid who has grown up and just come back to see
their teacher! First I get excited to see them, then I ask
to take their picture and add them to our page. I feel just
like an autograph seeker who meets a sports celebrity!
Forgive me my silly ways, but I do enjoy this part of my
By the way, if you have a rumor about an
SSQQ Wedding or Engagement, turn them into our Secret
Romance Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org No news is too salacious
for us to report!
Laura Jean Brzozowski and Tim
Brenda Evetts and Larry Carlton
Stephen Kirk and Jennifer Smith
and Mark Billingsley 2001
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SOCIAL DANCE
SSQQ differs greatly from most dance studios because we
emphasize Group Dance Lessons over Private Lessons.
The traditional model for dance studios is offer group
lesson packages as a way to lure students to the studio,
then sell them on private lesson packages. The goal is for
the students to either compete with their teacher as their
partner (known as "pro-am") or to dance an exhibition with
their instructor at a lavish dance party.
There is nothing wrong with this approach. However, SSQQ is
a maverick. We depart from this approach because we think
most people would rather learn to social dance for the fun
of it. It isn't easy making a huge commitment to dance when
you can barely keep the beat.
Yes, for the one in a hundred students who discover they
have gift for dance, we will point them to a competition
program. When I spot a student with immense talent, I
immediately pull them aside and let them know where they
stand in the dance universe.
But for the other 99% who are perfectly happy who prefer to
learn to dance for the fun of it, SSQQ seems to be a perfect
fit. We may not have our nose in the air and we may be kind
of silly at times. Nevertheless, even though we have classes
with red underwear night and color-coordinated night and
sock hop lines dances and balloon races, we somehow overcome
our weaknesses and still turn out an amazing number of very
For those of you who are curious about the dynamics of Group
Dance Lessons versus Private Dance Lessons, I wrote a
lengthy story known as the "Wonderful World of Social
I hope you enjoy it!
Wonderful World of Social Dance
THE WINNERS OF THE JUNE 2006 LOGIC PUZZLE - THE DANCE
2006 June: The Dance Classes
1. Anita Leung (12 months in a row! - ONE YEAR!)
2. Susan Arevalo (29 months in a row!)
3. Ritesh Laud (22 months in a row!)
4. Ann Faget (30 months in a row!)
5. Randy Piniola (3 months in a row!)
The winners in June were the same winners as in May. Not one
new person has solved the SSQQ Logic Puzzle in 2006. Just
the same boring bunch of 5 Superstars. Like I said last
month, I guess the only logical conclusion to make is that
there are no smart people among the studio's newcomers.
Wouldn't you all agree?
Congratulations to Anita Leung for crossing the One Year
Threshold. She now becomes our fourth Logic Puzzle
Superstar, joining the marvelous threesome of Ann Faget,
Susan Arevalo, and Ritesh Laud.
And hat's off to Randy Piniola who doggedly refused to give
up on solving the difficult June puzzle. His determination
and persistence indicate he intends to become a Logic Puzzle
Superstar as well. Good luck!
And congratulations to Patty Harrison for solving the May
Logic Puzzle, albeit a month late. Better late than never!
THE JULY 2006 HARD LOGIC PUZZLE - THE PRIVATE LESSONS
"At different times on a recent Friday morning, Ms. Forest
and five other women came to SSQQ Dance Studio for private
Two different things were studied in each lesson. First each
woman studied a different Ballroom dance (among them a
Foxtrot), then she concentrated on a special skill that she
wished to become excellent at (such as a Lift).
Each of the six one-hour lessons was consecutive. They were
completed that afternoon at a different hour from 1 to 6 pm.
From the following clues, try to determine each woman's full
name (one first name is Laura), which dance she learned and
what particular skill she worked on, plus the particular
hour each lesson was held. Your job is to figure out which
day the students take their dance classes."
NOTE: The five people who solved last month's Dance Class
Puzzle will do a double-take when they see our new July
puzzle. It is very similar to the June Puzzle. And bad news
- it may be even harder!
THE JULY 2006 LESS DIFFICULT LOGIC PUZZLE - THE ART
You know, not everyone is a Logic Puzzle Superstar. After
all, we have beginner level dance classes and we have
advanced level dance classes.
Starting in July 2006, I will try to offer a somewhat less
difficult Logic Puzzle and see if we can get some more
people involved. The Art Festival Puzzle is not too tough.
Give it a shot!
THE CLINTON HIT LIST
As you know, I will print anything I think is interesting in
the SSQQ Newsletter. I don't see any reason why I should
stick to dancing. After all, It isn't like You the Reader
has to shell out any big bucks to see what nonsense I print
from month to month.
One area of the SSQQ Web Site that kind of hides from people
is the Archives. Here is where I put articles that have
zip/nil/nada to do with dance. You can find anything from an
article on Dubai to Greg Norman's Yacht to the Einstein
Puzzle to Larry the Moron.
One article deals with the Clinton Hit List. By coincidence
or design, 50 or so people closely associated with Bill
Clinton during his presidency have died. It is a bizarre
mortality rate indeed!
Now mind you, I am not out to get Bill Clinton. I am
embarrassed to admit that I would much rather have him
running the country than youknowwho, but at the time Clinton
was in charge, I couldn't wait to get rid of him. As they
say, be careful what you ask for!
Nevertheless, some of the deaths were pretty odd. The
strangest of all was Vince Foster who is said to have
committed suicide. At the time, his own wife said Mr. Foster
showed not the slightest sign of depression. The incident
seemed lifted right out of the pages of a John Grisham
Suspicious? Yes. Do I know anything? No. It just never sat
right with me.
At any rate, if you are an X-Files/Government Conspiracy/The
Truth is Out There /The Mafia Shot JFK kind of person, you
surely will be curious to review the following names:
VINCENT FOSTER- Former White House counselor, and former
colleague of Hilary Clinton at Little Rock's Rose law firm.
Foster was found dead July 20, 1993 of a gunshot to the head
ruled a suicide.
RON BROWN-Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman.
Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A
pathologist close to the investigation reported to the Bob
Grant Radio Show a "hole" in top of Brown's skull resembling
a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being
investigated and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a
deal with prosecutors.
JERRY PARKS-Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in
Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted
intersection outside Little Rock. Park's son said his father
was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened
to reveal this information. After he died the files were
mysteriously removed from his house.
Intrigued? Want to read more?
THE LEISURE LEARNING SALSA
COVER FOR JUNE JULY 2006
Recently 14 SSQQ Salsa dancers got together at the
studio for a photo shoot to be on the cover of
Leisure Learning. The owner of Leisure Learning, Ted
Weisgal, asked me to organize it.
This turned out to be extremely easy - I asked 7
different beautiful women in Jill Banta's Thursday
Salsa class if they would be willing to model. Every
lady I asked said yes. My group of ladies proved to
be a veritable United Nations - two Texas girls, one
Alabama girl, one Russian, one Asian, and two
all very lovely.
I told them to wear a favorite outfit and to line up
their own male salsa dancer for the photo shoot.
D'Lisa Killebrew liked that idea. She immediately
informed me she was going to ask Matthew McConaughey
to help her out.
It worked like a charm. On Thursday, April 27, the
seven ladies were seriously pumped for the event and
the guys seemed to feed off their partner's
enthusiasm. The laughter coming in from the photo
room was infectious. I even started to grin and I
wasn't even in the room!
The only disappointment of the evening was when the
girls found out D'Lisa was unable to persuade her
buddy Matthew. However they screamed with delight
over Lawrence Provins, D'Lisa's handsome second
1. Gina Garza/ Carmen Vito
2. Jill Banta/ Kenny Bennett
3. Sherry Liu/ Phil Liggett
4. Charissa Miller/ ???
5. Rhonda Sherman/ Giovanni Hernandez
6. Olga Bochareva/ Luis Castillo
7. D'Lisa Killebrew / Lawrence Provins
The only downside to the event was my forgetfulness
- I forgot to ask Charissa Miller who her partner
was. Maybe someone can help me out and I can add the
Ever since the cover was released, our 14 dancers
have walked around the studio as celebrities. Yes, I
think they all enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
I even got a perk. I have been eating breakfast at
Andy's in the Heights for seven years now. Ever
since they found out that was my dance studio on the
cover, they seemed very impressed. It might be my
imagination, but my servings seemed to have
increased ever since the cover came out.
THE WALL AT SSQQ
From: A S
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 12:57 PM
Subject: Pictures on your
I spoke with you awhile back about the great artwork
on your studio walls, and I think you told me they
were made by a friend of yours at DynamicGraphics. I
looked up the website but couldn't find the pictures
you have. Did he make them specially for you, or
does he make those for the public? If you have his
phone number, I'd really like to call him and ask
about his work. My girlfriend's birthday is coming
up, and our first dates together were at SSQQ. I
think one of those paintings would be something
memorable to give her. Thanks in advance for your
help. I love your studio.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 1:51 PM
To: adam strawn
Subject: RE: Pictures on your wall
I think you are destined for disappointment since
the art service won't give me a clue as to who he or
Here is the story:
ARTICLE ON GAMBLING FROM THE HOUSTON
(Editor's Note: There is an old saying that 'Gambling is
God's Punishment for those who flunked math class'.
Anyone with a brain knows that over the long haul, gambling
offers a very low return on your investment. However, when
you are poor or desperate, people feel the need to take
I recently ran across this article buried somewhere in my
computer which I saved from seven years ago. I enjoyed this
Thom Marshall article then and of course the lessons still
hold true today. I thought some of you would enjoy reading
Paper: Houston Chronicle
Date: WED 08/18/1999
Page: 23 Metfront
Edition: 3 STAR
GAMBLERS LOSE ALL TO LURE OF LOTTERY
By THOM MARSHALL
A young married couple had some good luck when the owner of
the apartment building where they lived hired them as
managers, but then it turned into bad luck when they started
playing the lottery.
Having resident managers should have been a big help to the
owner who lived miles away and who also was planning to
spend several months out of the country.
The manager of a convenience store in one of the suburbs,
who asked not to be identified in order to protect his job,
said he knew the new apartment managers and the owner.
The couple had been regular customers of the store for quite
awhile, stopping by most every night. The husband would buy
some beer and the wife would buy some chips and other "junk
food" for the kids.
The apartment owner is a nice fellow who sometimes brings
quarters from the apartment washing machines to the
convenience store, "which helps us and him," said the
C-store manager. "He doesn't have to count them. We count
them and it saves us the trouble of getting more quarters
from the bank."
Soon after the couple became apartment managers, they
started buying a few lottery tickets along with their beer
and junk food. After a while they bought a few more lottery
tickets, and then more, and more, until they were buying $50
worth of tickets at a time. And they never hit a big one.
"I remember they won $50 twice," said the C-store manager,
"and eventually they just disappeared."
That disappearance occurred shortly after the apartment
owner returned. He told the C-store manger that he had filed
charges on the couple for taking the rent money while he was
It was about a year later, the C-store manager said, when
the woman came in for some junk food for the kids. When
asked where they had been so long, she explained that her
husband had been in jail for a while for theft.
This C-store manager said that when he becomes concerned
that another of his customers may be falling prey to lottery
addiction, he tells stories of victims he has known over the
past seven years since Texas started promoting gambling.
He has accumulated quite a selection of tales to tell,
beginning on the very first day the lottery opened.
"About 30 minutes after I opened the store at 6 a.m.," he
said, "a young man, perhaps 16 or 17, came in with his dad,
but he was not in his yellow Camaro. I asked him where the
cool car was and he said, `I let her go to one of my
neighbors, but I am gonna buy her back after we do this.' "
Then the young man's father asked for "a whole pack" of 500
Lone Star Millionaire tickets. The C-store manager called
his area manager to ask whether there was a limit to the
number of tickets he could sell at one time. The area
manager asked how the customer was paying and the answer was
cash, and the area manager told the store manager the
customer could buy as many as he wanted.
"Well, this kid and his dad went outside and sat in this
junker car of his dad's and they scratched all those
tickets," the C-store manager said.
When they finished, they came in and cashed $32 worth of
"They did not look very happy at all. They left, and to this
day I have never seen them again," the C-store manager said.
Our state spends tens of millions of bucks a year
advertising the lottery and persuading people to buy
tickets, which results in sales of almost $3 billion and
profits of well over $1 billion.
The C-store manager said the TV commercials and the hype
that accompanies the "endless stream of tickets" delivered
to the store "revolts" him. He calls the lottery "a scam,"
and "underhanded," and "devious." He said employees at his
store often refer to it as "a tax on stupidity" or "a tax on
people bad at math."
Selling the tickets is a part of his job he has disliked
since that first day, when that fellow lost his Camaro
"I used to enjoy talking to the kid in the mornings because
we both liked talking about cars," the C-store manager said.
"A teen-ager's first car is something very special. . . .
And to this day I feel guilty because I feel like it was my
fault that he lost his car. But I only did my job. They made
their own decisions, and it was the state of Texas that
ripped them off, not me."
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - TWO COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE LACK OF
SAME SEX DANCING AT SSQQ
(Editor's Note: At SSQQ, Same Sex Dancing is not permitted
unless an SSQQ Instructor is involved or permission to do so
is granted by SSQQ Administration. I posted this policy on
the SSQQ Web Site on March 27, 2002. You can read more about
the SSQQ Policy at
From: Rashmi S
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 11:06 PM
Subject:Your policy on same sex dancing
"We promise we made these rules for a good reason based on
our experiences over the years."
That's what people who had slaves, or who did not allow
blacks to sit next to them, or countries that do not allow
women to vote and other bigots think too.
However much your rules work toward your own interest,
please spare us and do not justify them.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 09:26 AM
To: Rashmi S
Subject:policy on same sex dancing
Yes, I prefer to stay in business. My policy reflects the
prevalent attitude of the community.
Comparing my policy to slavery and bigotry reflects
immaturity on your part. I never said gay people are not
welcome at my studio. They are indeed welcome as long as
they follow my rules.
From: Rashmi S
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 10:33 PM
Subject: RE: Your policy on same sex dancing
The rules you are making today will be part of bigotry 20
years from now. Please have the vision to NOT change your
rules then and we will see where your business stands at
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 11:37 AM
To: Rashmi S
Subject: policy on same sex dancing
Actually you could be right, Rashmi. Twenty years from now,
perhaps society will be more tolerant of same sex dancing.
If that is the case, don't be surprised if I change my
You might be surprised to know I have a history of doing
what is right before it becomes fashionable. I outlawed
smoking at my studio in 1987 because it was harmful to
everyone. People begged me for a special smokers-only dance
class. I told them that with air conditioning, that would be
like having a special peeing section in a swimming pool, so
forget about it. This cost me business long ago, but current
attitudes show I did the right thing.
Personally speaking, I don't care if men dance with men or
women dance with women. I dance with men occasionally in my
class when I need to help them improve their leads and in
the process I have discovered my masculinity somehow
But as a businessman, it is a practical reality that the
vast majority of my customers don't share your point of
Since we are occasionally short of women in my classes,
sometimes I step in and dance the lady's part. Watching the
men frown and bristle, I am well aware that they are
definitely not comfortable at being forced to dance with me.
Therefore I keep my dancing with the men only to the bare
To quote a famous saying, "Dance with the one who brung
you." The straight community put me in business and keeps me
I don't see what good it is going to do my business to
alienate these people and suddenly cater to someone like you
who insults me by comparing me to a bigot or a slave owner.
Obviously your inability to dance with people of your same
sex at my studio must impose a great hardship on you.
From: Rashmi S
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:39 PM
Subject: policy on same sex dancing
Yes it does impose a great hardship on me. Otherwise I would
not bother. Thanks for your time.
From: H L
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 8:36 PM
Subject: Same Gender Couples
My partner and I read about your tango class in the current
Leisure Learning catalog. We were interested in signing up.
I went to your dance studio web site and was educated, quite
thoroughly I might add, about your policy of changing
partners during dance instruction. While we have no problem
with this and I agree it does facilitate better learning,
would there be a problem of same gender partners dancing
together? My partner and I plan to visit Buenos Aires in the
next year and we've read about some gay tango halls and we'd
like to be able to dance there together and not look totally
gooky and American.
I did notice that Leisure Learning has a inclusive
non-discrimination policy for enrollment and I hope this
carries over to your class.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, HL
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:42 AM
Subject: policy at ssqq on same sex dancing and Same Gender
SSQQ advertises in Leisure Learning with a simple slogan:
"Boy Meets Girl". Recently SSQQ was cited in the Houston
Chronicle as one of the leading places in the city for
creating traditional Marriages. Furthermore, boy-girl
romance is the cornerstone of our marketing!
In other words, we make it clear this dance studio supports
a straight life style.
That said, we are not bigots. People who are gay are more
than welcome here as long as they accept a simple rule: boys
dance with girls in group settings.
SSQQ employs people who are gay on our staff. In addition I
know of several students who are gay. These students are
welcome here at all times because they don't object to
dancing with the opposite sex and because I like
here. And my personal attitude is whatever makes you
happy is fine with me as long as there is no harm to other
people who have no choice in the matter.
Personally speaking, two men or two women dancing together
does not bother me at all. I couldn't care less. For that
matter, the best dance instructor I ever had was gay. I
danced with him for seven years without a problem.
Furthermore he helped me become an excellent dancer.
However many of the people who are SSQQ customers do not
appear to share my views. I know this for a fact based on
the number of men who panic when I suggest they dance with
me so I can test their leads. In these situations I respect
their space. I back off because in the past I have had men
literally leave the building when I "insisted".
Therefore as a Houston Texas businessman, I have learned
from experience that it is prudent that I align my policies
with the prevalent attitudes of the people who continue to
help me pay the rent. This is another way of saying, "I
dance with the people who brung me."
You ask me to risk economic suicide by changing an accepted
rule that has been in place for over 25 years.
I am not in business to make a political statement. I stay
in business by catering to my customers. Therefore same sex
dancing is prohibited in group dance classes and at Practice
Night unless I specifically see a reason to make an
If this seems like discrimination, please forgive. I mean no
offense. I respect where you are coming from, but I cannot
see any sense in granting your request.
I have three suggestions. You can take the group classes if
you are willing to accept the rule. You are always welcome
to dance with your partner in private lessons. Or you can
form a group dance class at an outside location and I will
look for an instructor to assist you.
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 7:03 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: policy at ssqq on same sex dancing and Same
I did not see your "policy" on same sex dancing posted on
your web site until after I had sent my e-mail. I regret
having bothered you. I will be taking my business elsewhere.
(Editor's Note: You can read more about the SSQQ Policy
2006 JOKE PICTURE - FASHION STATEMENT
Sam Longoria submitted the July Joke Picture. This month's
picture deals with the troubles of the Catholic Church as it
wrestles with deeply troubling challenges to its authority.
I have no doubt the picture will offend someone.
PICTURE OF THE MONTH
REPRINT FROM JUNE
SSQQ WEBSITE IS BEING BLOCKED BY CORPORATION WEB CENSORS
(Editor's Note: It appears that
access to the SSQQ Web Site is increasingly being
denied to people at their places of work. Here are
two examples of this disturbing phenomenon.)
From: G G
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 6:03 PM
To: 'Rick Archer'
Subject: RE: August 2005 Newsletter
Oh My Gosh, Rick, our company internet police have
struck again! This is what I got when I tried to
check out SSQQ's site:
"ACCESS DENIED TO INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT"
Strangely enough, it does let the registration pages
thru, but not your main page. Weird! I was able to
get to the https://www153.ssldomain.com/ssqq/ , but
not the jokes...I will have to send it to my
home...will take care of it.
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:23 PM
Subject:F.Y.I. - WWW.SSQQ.COM BEING RESTRICTED "OFF LIMITS"
Just thought I would let you know that my wife and I are no
longer able to access your SSQQ website from our jobs
computer because of the content of the website due to (as I
understand it) the web police convicted you of "morally
offensive humor" (i.e. not P.C.) The most negative impact I
know of from this situation is that we can't do online
registration from work. Since we are not at home on the pc
there very much, this is an inconvenience.
Plus I was just trying to show the website & online
registration to a lady I work with who, with her husband,
have been talking about taking lessons for several months.
But the website couldn't be accessed.
This restriction may also have been made by the nationwide
web police which means that those of us with the web
browsers (MS Internet Explorer) set to exclude
"questionable" websites will not connect either.
A suggestion: Make a second website to hold the photos and
jokes, etc but have one website strictly for your business.
Considering WWW.SSQQ.COM has already been branded, you might
think about bringing a new one up for the business ("WWW.SSQQDANCE.COM"
Good Luck, S.U.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 7:38 AM
Subject: RE: F.Y.I. - WWW.SSQQ.COM BEING RESTRICTED "OFF
Good grief. I don't even begin to know what to say. I guess
its true that my web site is slutty after all. ;-)
There might be a simple way around it. The Online
Registration is at a different site.
See if you can access it from work.
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 10:06 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: RE: F.Y.I. - WWW.SSQQ.COM BEING RESTRICTED "OFF
I can access the registration directly.
That works fine.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 10:51 AM
Subject: RE: F.Y.I. - WWW.SSQQ.COM BEING RESTRICTED "OFF
And thank you for telling me. That was disturbing news, but
I will live.
Besides, people have a way of getting around censors. No one
Brother telling them what to read and see. You know and I
know the ssqq web
site is a little naughty, but mostly it is good, clean fun.
RICK'S POINT OF VIEW ON THE SSQQ WEB SITE FROM THE JUNE
Although I am alarmed that the SSQQ Web Site is falling prey
to corporate censors, I don't see what good it is going to
do to fight the problem.
I suppose the number one problem is our Jokes page, but
seven years of the SSQQ Newsletter has plenty of risquι
stories and references as well.
The problem is incredibly pervasive. I have people who email
me begging me to remove pictures of them in bathing suits
and belly dance outfits from Cruise write-ups and Halloween
Thanks to Google, apparently no one can hide from the
excesses of having good, clean fun.
I would appreciate if other people would email me to report
further cases of censorship. If anyone has any advice or
suggestions about this problem, please let me know.
I have a question: Do you think I should clean up the web
site or just let the Corporate Web Censors have their way?
And if I do decide it isn't worth changing the web site to
make the Internet Police happy, do you think I should add
the infamous Blue Side Jokes to our regular Joke Page?
This is YOUR NEWSLETTER too. It will not succeed without the
support of the people who read it. So I would appreciate any
opinions and input. Your responses will be kept private. I
may reprint them, but I will never use your name.
BEHIND THE DECISION
TO ADD THE BLUE SIDE TO THE SSQQ WEB SITE
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: 2006 February Newsletter
Hi Rick....I take classes off and on with you guys, and have
been a participant of the email newsletter for 5 years now ~
you and your crew are doing a great job !
Please send me the email address for the naughty jokes.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 12:33 PM
Subject: blue joke page
Sorry, it has been discontinued due to internet censorship
From: Robert K
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 4:50 PM
Subject: Blue side jokes
I don't know if this is the address you use for my
registration. In fact, since I don't normally get a
confirmation when I register online you may want to check
the address. Regardless, I would love to have access to the
Blue Side Jokes please.
See you soon, RK
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 9:55 AM
Subject: RE: Blue side jokes
Believe it or not, several business "watchdog" cyber police
listed my site as a porn site. I was forced to remove the
blue jokes page.
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 8:14 PM
To: 'Rick Archer'
Subject: Blue side jokes
Ha!! For perhaps dirty jokes? They should spend some time in
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:01 PM
Subject: blue jokes
Hey Rick! I really like your jokes. Now I want to read your
blue jokes. Can you PLEASE send me the rest of them? I am
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: blue jokes
I looked up your email address in the database and did not
find your email address listed.
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:26 PM
Subject: re: re: blue jokes
That makes sense. I live in New York. You don't really
expect me to fly to Houston and take a dance class just so I
can get in your database, do you? I just want to read your
jokes. Can you do me this favor?
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 04:33 PM
Subject: blue jokes
Unfortunately not. Please forgive.
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2005 11:04 PM
Subject: re: blue jokes
F*** You. I put 'ssqq' and blue jokes into Google and got
the address no sweat. 30 seconds. Now I'm sorry I bothered.
They weren't that good anyway.
BANNED IN BOSTON - ANDREW N's RESPONSE TO RICK'S COMMENTS
From: Andrew N
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2006 5:18 AM
Subject: blue side jokes
I read with interest your comments about the ssqq web site
being blocked by corporation web censors in the june
newsletter. I would rather not list where I work because
google is sure to bust my butt in case you print this, but I
haven't been able to get on your web site from work for
about six months. I always get a popup that says viewing is
blocked due to "lewd and objectionable material". I agree
with you - big brother is watching!
After I read what you said in the email newsletter, from
home I decided to visit your jokes page. Quite frankly, I
see little that is lewd and objectionable. Here is what I
think is going on. Some of those jokes are pretty funny and
I am sure I could easily waste an afternoon at work reading
them. My guess is your site is banned for the simple fact
that it is fun and interesting which in corporate-speak is
synonymous with "lewd and objectionable".
Censorship rarely works. It just makes people take detours.
In one sense, I suppose the powers-that-be have a point -
why permit access to a really interesting web site while
people are at work? Don't get your feelings hurt - it is a
backhanded compliment that says your website is very
At any rate, my suggestion is to go ahead and add all the
dirty jokes you want. My guess is you could spend months
cleaning up your web site and discover you are still banned
in boston by most of the censors. Who knows what they are
picking up on? It is probably the jokes, but your pictures,
your travel page, your newsletter, even some of your
stories... all of them have 'adult content'. Everywhere I
look, I find something that might raise an eyebrow. For
example, in the archive section I found an article on "dance
hall sin". Are you going to remove that too? To go through
your huge web site and delete everything that might bother
someone would end up ruining a fun place to visit. Don't do
Just accept that your site will be off-limits to some of
your students while they are at work and don't worry about
No point in ruining a good thing. Keep up the good work!
RICK'S RESPONSE TO THE CYBERPOLICE REGARDING THE CLEAN
JOKES, THE NAUGHTY JOKES, AND THE WEBSITE BEING BANNED
For the first eight years of the SSQQ web site, I kept the
"naughty jokes" at a secret location here on the web site.
Then, as you have read, this year I discovered that
corporate web censors have begun to block access to the ssqq
web site due to "objectionable content". Apparently even our
clean jokes were offensive! Faced with the choice of
kowtowing to Big Brother and giving the ssqq web site a
thorough clean up, I decided to say the heck with it.
Now that our reputation is ruined, what's the point of
holding back? As they say, if we can't be good any more,
then we might as well be better!
So, starting in July 2006, I decided to add the naughty
jokes in with the clean jokes each month. My guess is after
you read the naughty jokes, you will agree with me they
aren't at all nasty. They simply deal with adult themes.
I added them for one simple reason - they made me laugh. I
hope they do the same for you.
July 8, 2006
ONE MORE THING - MY SPECIAL THANKS TO
Chris Holmes, Gay Anseman, Milt Oglesby, Gareld
McEathron, Doug Hewitt, Ann Faget, Carol Gafford, Lynn
Griffiths, Dakota Wilhelm, and Guy Hoover
For their contributions to our
JOKES OF THE MONTH collection
And that's a wrap for July.
Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ
Newsletter! Sorry it is so slutty as usual.