Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...


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Friday, November 28, 2008


Mark and Linda Bendiksen celebrated their birthdays today by inviting a bunch of friends and family to the Kurten Church. In true Mark Bendiksen style, it was a night of music, mirth, and mayhem, in delicate balance. Mark is a musician, and as such, the night revolved around music. I won 2 rounds of Name That TV Theme Tune (I named the theme song to Hawaii Five-O in 6 notes -- almost a give-a-way -- while changing Hayden's diaper, and the theme to Dynasty in 3 notes), and enjoyed tunes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Mark also serenaded his wife to Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are", and played Jimmy Buffet's "Pirate Looks At Forty" for himself.

I have the kids this weekend, and they were warmly welcomed. Mark and Linda have 4 children, so they understand. I met up with old friends -- the guy that gave me my first job in College Station, Chris Taylor, and his wife, Sarah, were there, and plenty of people I worked with attended.

Alex, of course, was a bundle of energy, quickly charming many guests easily. In between bouts of artificial flower throwing with several guests and eating birthday cake, he managed many laughs during the evening.

Tim Coones, one of the engineers I work with at Vertafore, told Alex to dance. Alex started jumping in place in the style of Flashdance. Then out of nowhere, he drops to the ground and does a shoulder spin. He nearly pulled off a backspin but could not get the momentum to complete it.

Guests were applauding and asking for more, but I was in shock. Where did he learn THIS? Not that it's a BAD thing -- in fact, I was impressed he pulled off one move, and nearly the second, but it's not exactly something a 4-year-old just knows how to do. This was popular when I was a teenager.

I called his mother and asked her if she knew. In between giggles, snorts, and laughs, she had no idea either. He either saw it on TV or someone taught it to him. I'm guessing TV, but I guess I'll never know.

I can't blame Tim for telling Alex to dance. I might have done the same thing. That, and Tim took one of the best pictures of me and the boys in quite some time. In fact, it's desk worthy, so I have him to thank for that.

Clint Burns, one of my high school classmates, was a Breaker back in the 80s. Maybe I should call him and ask him to tutor Alex. Perhaps there's a career here I never saw...

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