Practicing Safe Computing

30 03 2012

The computer doctor is just one more form of health care I can't afford

One day not long ago I switched on my computer and a strange thing happened. Instead of greeting me in its usual happy manner it displayed the blue screen of death. You know, the one in which it’s filled with so many undecipherable error messages it looks like a hexadecimal bulimic purge after a big meal of bits and bytes.

To fix the problem, I took the scientific approach. I turned off the computer, waited about five seconds and then turned it back on. Being highly technical, I’ve found this sometimes works, especially on temperamental PCs. Sure enough, my laptop whirled back to life, proving all was well by taking what seemed like weeks to boot. After all, we are talking about a bloated PC that came bundled with a bunch of unusable software that does nothing but take up space. Read the rest of this entry »

Toastmasters Will Save My Memory (Unless I Forget to Go to Meetings)

25 03 2012

Stacy Dymalski (left) and Cathy Barker win first place respectively for Area D3 Toastmasters International Speech and Table Topics competitions on March 24, 2012, in Park City, UT

Well, the Toastmasters International Speech Competition for Area D3 in Utah just happened this past Saturday, March 24, at Olympic Park in Park City, UT, and lo and behold I won. I took first place with my speech “Wynton Marsalis Had My Back,” a poignant, yet humorous account of when my saxophone-playing son got to meet his hero, legendary jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. Winning this contest brings me one rung closer to the top level of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, which takes place later this year.

The thing that really amazes me when I win a Toastmasters competition is not that I’m able to write a speech that a smattering of people find entertaining, it’s that I can memorize anything longer than a three-item grocery list when half the time I can’t even remember why I walked into a room in my own house. Honestly, it’s a challenge for me just to get my kids’ names right when I call them. I have a 50/50 chance I’ll match the right child with the correct moniker and most of the time I get it wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Competition Comes in All Forms, But I Like Winning Blogging Awards Best

18 03 2012

Can I call you back? I'm trying to get the kids into Harvard while picking up something for dinner

Yesterday I overheard two moms in the grocery store talking about the schools their kids had applied to and whether or not they thought they’d get in. I have to admit, my ears grew big on this one, since I have a junior in high school, and I know our family is destined to walk this same path any minute.

The moms in the store went on about the pains of soon having to pay thousands of dollars in annual tuition (one even thought she’d have to get a second job), but then quickly added that it was worth it because the education these prestigious schools provide would give their children the leg up they need to get ahead in life. I caught snippets of words like “academic excellence,” “high test scores,” “private school,” “financial aid,” and “French Club.”

As I lingered over the fancy cheese case, pretending to read every label on every individually wrapped hunk of Limburger, I grew increasingly frustrated that the gabbing moms still hadn’t mentioned the names of these coveted institutions of higher learning. Geez Louise, I thought, how rude of them to make me stand there and eavesdrop for so long, when I could be home spying on my neighbors instead. Read the rest of this entry »


15 03 2012

Good golly, I hope I don't forget to pick up the kids again

Here’s wonderful post from the blog Defining Motherhood about what it’s really like for a working mom (isn’t that an oxymoron?) to “have it all.” If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning, you know that I was a stand-up comic in Southern California who thought she could juggle career and kids effortlessly. I refused to be one of those whiney parents who wasn’t smart enough to schedule Gymboree play dates around regular massages and weekly winetasting parties.

What a horse’s ass I was.

Needless to say, motherhood and career didn’t mesh as well as I had so meticulously planned. (However, the unexpected result does build character.)

That’s not to say I don’t believe in feminism and the working mom. I most certainly believe in both. However, I think feminism needs to be redefined as compromise, because when a baby comes along life doesn’t continue as it did before, nor does it stop altogether. However, it does take a hard left turn in ways you never imagined, as this blog post so brilliantly demonstrates.

So if you’d like a little taste of working motherhood reality, please click below on that ever-contraversial (and still evolving) word to enjoy my guest blog post entitled:



Did you like this post? If so, please click on the banner below to vote for me as a Top Mommy Blogger on I don’t win anything except a higher search engine ranking, plus bragging rights to my kids that I’m not as dorky as they think. (Okay, well maybe I am that dorky, but at least I’ll be easier to find on the Web.)

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.

For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on

Everyone’s a Critic (Especially My Kids)

11 03 2012

Just another day at the office

As a comedian and author one of the things that I get asked a lot is how I handle a bad review.

Well, it depends.

If I’m onstage at a comedy club and a heckler starts slinging his Bud Light-induced opinions at me it’s pretty easy to verbally bitch-slap him back down to size. Usually he’s too drunk to even conjugate a verb properly, let alone form a complete sentence that doesn’t include the words “You suck!” In many cases, all I have to do is just stand there and let him dig his own grave (kind of like the Republican debates).

But a bad review in the media is another story. Read the rest of this entry »

My Win at Toastmasters (Or Why I Prefer Toastmasters Over Smokey Bars)

5 03 2012

I have a bit of good news to share. Recently I won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the Park City, UT, Club level, which means I go on to complete at the Area level on March 24. Then if I win there I’ll compete in (and have to win) four more increasingly BIGGER levels to get to the final International competition. It’s a lot of steps to climb to get to the top, but it’s fun because it allows me to get in front of sober audiences without first having to arm wrestle other comedians for valuable stage time.

Ironically, public speaking (especially comedy) isn’t something you can perfect alone. You need an audience to let you know if you’re good or not (and believe me, they let you know). Read the rest of this entry »

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