My Story, Yours Too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's Here, The Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest!!


It's here, the Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest in honor of Mr. anti-blog hop himself, Gary at Klahanie!!

How to play: Write the titles of three PG-13 rated blogfests you would never join - and then add a descriptive sentence or two.

Late for the party? No worries. Just bring extra chocolate and a 250 USD deposit (refundable upon receipt of proof that you didn't break anything) and sign-up here:

Hosted by: Mark “Madman” Koopmans,Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, "Life is Good" Tina, Morgan "The Morg" Shamy, and me, Rawkn Robyn at Life by Chocolate. Gary, Mark called me persuasive names like "Tiramisu," so I couldn't say "no". Who could say "no" to tiramisu? It's not my fault. I swear, but not too often. I'm innocent, less often than I swear. Heck, sit back and enjoy Gary Day!

I would never join #1 because I find arrogance - especially when combined with misuse of the apostrophe - rather ugly. 

1) The How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Way's Blogfest! A word from the host: So, like, okay. Its super hard, but I'm going to list only 101 reason's why I'm awes'ome. Then you get to read it. Cuz like everyone want's to join my blog and I don't return follows becau'se you are totally lucky to find me and I am really cool like that. Want to know more? Hit me up with ques'tions'. Ask away. Hee hee.
The next one, I'd never join because I've had it with the word "meme."Stop it, people! Do you go around saying "meme" at work or in your living room? I didn't think so, so quit using it in blogland! You don't even know what "meme" means, you use it incorrectly, and it doesn't make you sound cool. Not at all.

2) The Meme of Memes Meme Blogfest Meme
Rules: Write a meme about the meme that's your favorite meme meme. Good luck! Meme.
3) Not In My Backyard! Blogfest
 A blogfest for people with no tolerance for those who face mental health problems.

Now, I'm shifting gears to a more serious tone. Gary dedicates himself wholeheartedly to breaking the stigma of mental illness. Since this is Gary Day, I want to draw attention to this critical issue through personal disclosure.

Mental illness has plagued my life for years, and it runs intersect with my career path. Many years ago, a family member, who had always been very sensitive and mild-mannered, was overcome by psychosis and voices (auditory hallucinations). He was diagnosed with schizophrenia.* I've also worked with sweet and gentle clients who were tormented daily by voices telling them to harm themselves and others. The former love of my life, too, combated a slew of mental health problems, none of which he acknowledged --due to societal stigma and his own stubborn pride.

Further, I've battled depression throughout my life. It's under control now, but its vengeance strikes unexpectedly. Despite or perhaps because of this, I am able to laugh and smile. Depression doesn't necessarily have a permanently sad face attached to it.  In fact, it usually doesn't.

I know I'm not alone in this; writers and artists are sensitive types. I've read a number of posts and comments about depression. It's on the rise and ever-rising, here in blogland and across the globe. So too are all forms of mental illness and mental health issues. 

 What can we do but support each other, speak/write through it, and lend a voice to Gary's fight?!

Thank you, Gary, for being an inspiration. Keep up the fight. We love you, and we love your hate for blogfests.

Thank you, dear readers, for your contributions to this fest, for hopping around, and/or for being willing to go dark with me for a moment. I appreciate it.

Keep faith, a smile, and a side of chocolate.

*Despite what most think, schizophrenia does not involve multiple personalities. Multiple Personality Disorder does, and both are horrendous conditions that a person develops through NO FAULT of their own.


  1. I also suffer from episodes where I frequently "misuse the apostrophe." This was beautifully written Robyn. I'm sure that you help so many people as a social worker and continue to help many more on your blog. This makes you and Gary kindred spirits. Thanks for hosting this amazing anti-blogfest and shining light on such an important subject. I'm talking about Gary of course.


  2. You are going to rock his world with that last one, Robyn. Good call.

  3. Such a beautiful post, Robyn (I usually visit via the SIMC meme shhhhh!)

    I had the privilege of meeting Gary via the Tree of Life Challenge and yes, he's easy to love.

    So happy I read this post!

  4. I had to look up the definition of "meme" but still can't use it in a sentence.

  5. Chocolate? Did someone mention chocolate? Me, me, me, me, I did!

    But those other blog's? Uhhh, I for sure ain't nosing around on them!

  6. What a beautiful tribute with that last one! And I agree, mental illness is an issue that could be better dealt with if those who suffer it wouldn't feel like they had to hide it or ignore it.

  7. Robyn,

    Wonderful post and great choices for Anti-blogfest ideas. You had me LOL'ing...especially at the meme one. I always talk about that! What the heck is a MEME? I still don't know, and I think I just made one the other day.

    Also, wonderful nod to mental illness and depression. You'r such a good girl. And thanks for the kind words on FB.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  8. We are sensitive types. Writing is my medication. It works wonders on my soul.

  9. Totally wouldn't join any of those blogfests either!

    And I definitely think that society's attitude toward mental illness needs to change.

  10. I'm going to start a ME MEME blogfest!

  11. That is a sweet tribute to Gary.

    What does meme mean, anyway?

  12. After that the meme would be all memed out.

  13. Your gear shift was smooth and a perfect way to discuss a subject close to Gary's heart, and anyone who follows him... I googled meme, until now I just thought it was a gif... :)

  14. Nice touch with #3 - just what Gary would want on his special day. Rock on!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  15. LOVED those! Especially the last one...awesome job Robyn and thank you for helping host this shindig :)

  16. I'm with you on the word meme. Don't ever want to hear it again. I never wanted to hear it in the first place.

  17. Great list! I chuckled. Esp. at all the apostrophes!!! As for Meme, I actually do use it in a sentence when I'm talking about memes.

  18. I'm a writer that has bouts of depression, and I'm proud to say that I can manage it without stuffing pills down my face and turning myself into a robot.

    On a lighter note, how about the "misusing memes" bloghop? The rules: take your favorite meme and then misuse it so the joke ends up being extremely unfunny. This one should be easy, since half of my Facebook friends do this.

  19. Oh Robyn... I'm so glad you went serious for a moment. What a beautiful tribute to Gary and for everyone who is struggling.

    (And I especially love that first fest... isn't that too true???)

  20. GAH, so many unnecessary apostrophes, somebody make it stop, MAKE IT STOP!!!!! :-)

    Hear, hear on the mental health bit. I heart Gary's guff 'cause underneath it all is a truly caring man.

    Also - I prefer trope to meme. :-D
    Some Dark Romantic

  21. That last one is my favourite.

    So many memes, so little time...

  22. Kudos on your mental health one! People can be so narrow minded, and frankly, lack compassion on the issue. I don't take it one very seriously, because my goofball reputation is sort of what I stick to, but that is definitely one of the issues I think people need to be educated on.

  23. That second one has my head spinning!

  24. All three are great, but that last one was so good I had to read it twice.

  25. Thanks so much for your kind words, everyone. I'm making rounds as quickly as I can. It was a great honor to co-host. I know Gary is basking in the glory of Gary Day, in spite of himself.

    Stephen, writing has been my #1 coping strategy. I shudder to think of where I'd be without it.

    L.Diane, nobody knows.

    Mina, I like the word "trope" better too, but I don't know what it means either.

    Ida, oh no, now I have to google "gif". LOL. I think "meme" has several dubious definitions.

    BnB, yeah, that blogfest goes on thruout the social media without people realizing it. I read a comment the other day on facebook: "It's one of those meme's." Drove me bonkers!

    Thanks so much, Stephen.


  26. What a fantastic list, Robyn! And thank you for hosting! Those first two are just annoying and that once is just plain evil. Thank goodness for people like Gary fighting the good fight!

  27. I am loving myself, right now... zoinks.. the post are pg, comments crossed over to the r rating!

    The Blog-fest that make me want to say "NO"...
    Jeremy H.

    New Look, New Name and Same Stuff...

  28. Hilarious and heartfelt, all rolled into one meme, I mean memorable, tribute:)

  29. So much fun, you are! Thanks for the post. And...I do not like the word "meme" either. I have no idea why, I just thought it sounded juvenile.

  30. So what does meme actually mean? And when is it supposed to be used? Maybe somebody could get a bloghop going to address this...? Just joking.
    The last one is a great tribute to Gary.
    Thanks for hosting this blogfest Robyn.
    Writer In Transit

  31. Googling made me realise that meme sounds like team...and suddenly it all made sense. I thought it was me-me :D

  32. It's human nature to suffer with depression on occasion, and such a struggle to those who experience it more often. Empathy is called for, and treating others as we would like to be treated. It's great to meet you, Robyn. New follower here :)

  33. I love this Robyn, was a big fan of the blogfest and I hope that Gary loves it as well, such a lot of fun, this is the best blog fest yet!

  34. Aloha Miss Tiramisu :)

    Wow, thanks for stepping up to the plate and driving in a couple of home runs, Robyn.

    Mental illness has hit my extended family *hard* the last few years and I appreciate your words and comments on the situation.

    Indeed, what you said here...

    "Depression doesn't necessarily have a permanently sad face attached to it. In fact, it usually doesn't."

    ... is a profound statement and one I will share with the family later today.

    Thanks for co-hosting GaryFest and for being awesome, too :)

  35. I am with you on the Meme. What is a meme???? Everyone talks about them, but I am lost here.

    That was a lovely shout out for everyone suffering from any and all sorts of mental illness. Gary will love it. You are absolutely correct about depression... it is spreading. It makes me wonder if it doesn't have something to do with what we are eating. All of the processed and GMO foods cannot be doing anything good for us. Could they be having side effects that run so deep as to affect the chemicals that run our brains? Could be. I strongly recommend to anyone who suffers from any mental illness to try and eat as "cleanly" as possible and see if that helps at all.

    We cannot help one another if we don't talk about it and offer up ideas!

  36. Thank you, kind friends.

    My understanding of "meme" is that it means theme. But what do I know? Nobody seems to use it that way.

    Mark, I'm so glad you find my words helpful. The problem is monstrous, and old-school ideas still exist. Even the National Institute on Mental Illness has closed-minded info on its website (front page) - namely that women get depressed much more frequently than men. This is just plain ignorant and inaccurate. I emailed them, and they never responded. PS You're awesome. Thank you.

    Robin, yes. There's a lot of research on the effects of food and mood. Sugar (my downfall), for instance, promotes depression. Changing diets can dramatically effect mood. Unfortunately, the impoverished can only afford junk-food (sugary, salty foods). It's a complicated beast.

    Take care, all.
    Keep faith.

  37. As fantastic as that meme sounds ... I'll pass. The others take a good consideration! :)

  38. Having working with emotionally disturbed and abused kids I've seen plenty of mental health issues... it can be so difficult for people to understand.

    But no memes? I'm heart broken. ;)

  39. Loved this!! Especially the last one. How awesome of both of you.

  40. Awwwwww! Loved all your choices, but most especially that last one. I can't think of a better way to truly honor Gary than to talk about mental health. You go, girl! Thanks for co-hosting this little party. (Where's the chips and dip?)

  41. Greetings Robyn,

    In my ongoing tour of checking out the blogfest that isn't a blogfest but an anti-blogfest about blogfests that are blogfests that aren't something I would join type blogfests I suddenly realise I'm doing a run-on sentence and no commas.

    Your first one you would never join and well I don't join any of them anyway, well maybe one, but that didn't count and it had nothing to do with mathematics..Um...your first one reminds me of the blatant-self promoters who say stuff like, "You must read my latest posting that ties in nicely with my other posting about the upcoming posting that tells you about my posting that I posted last month about how great my postings are! You know, my blog is a very important place. A meeting place where other lesser bloggers can come and note just how wonderful I am!"

    What the hell is a meme? *Blurb!*...excuse me, I blurbed, em burped!

    And thus, number three. Sadly, we know of such thinking that still persists. The misconceptions, the portrayal of mental illness, exacerbated by the media's insistence on sensationalism of various mental health concerns, needs to be eradicated.

    Dear Robyn, you speak with an honesty, a candour that is to be applauded. With transparency, comes further understanding from those who do want to understand. We both know that mental illness can happen to anyone. Be it environmental, genetics, or a combination of both.

    Your words resonate with the truth that needs to be heard. The unfair stigma must become an alien concept. There is no shame and we both know that.

    Like you, Robyn, there is an underlying theme to my site. My mental health issues are only a small part of who I am. I do my best to live with, rather than suffer from my illness.

    Nobody need feel alone. There are people out there hurting. Robyn, you have told them they need not feel alone.

    With that, I offer you the powerful gift that is empathy.

    A profoundly thoughtful posting. Indeed, writing, verbalising, a positive resource for us to share.

    Thank you, Robyn.


  42. Love you for that third one, and for hosting this fest. Thanks!

  43. Hahahahha.... ya gotta love Gary.

  44. Both funny and thoughtful, this post. I, too, battle depression. My whole family does, though we're not supposed to 'talk' about it. And you're right. It's doesn't always wear a sad face. Kudos for your bravery and your efforts help those in your life.

  45. It took me forever to learn what a meme was! I certainly don't want to join in on any of those blogfests either!

  46. How do you even pronounce "meme" and what is it exactly? I've not a clue and yeah, not a clue. Seriously, mental illness should not be a stigma in our world today, but it is. Is it right? No. But until we get the word out there and the correct information, people who battle this disease daily, will have to keep their head low, which is unfortunate and very sad. Thanks for bringing it up to the forefront.

  47. The NIMBY syndrome...sad but real. We have a group home down our street and when it first went in, everyone was worried...but they're sweet kids. Never had a problem with them.

  48. I have a hard time writing meme too.
    And that was a lovely tribute to Gary.


  49. Hi Robyn .. what great 'no' to blogfest ideas ..

    The apostrophe I try hard not to misuse .. they slip in occasionally though .. * is that one right?!

    Memes - never liked that word, nor things associated with them .. so they are not part of my language or communication skills ..

    Now mental illness - great notes you've written here ... and we all need to be more aware of the wheels that turn in people's* minds at times when things slip out of gear.

    Gary enlightens us in many ways - and thankfully Penny slips in when required ...

    As Alex mentions .. I am sure Gary will endorse your thoughts here ..

    All the best and congratulations on writing up number three for us .. Hilary

  50. Holy cow...I am a day late reading blogs and there are things happening over here. I would most assuredly read a post of 101 reasons why you are awesome but then you might have to read 101 reasons why I annoy people.

    And who wouldn't want to be included in a meme titled The Meme of Memes Meme Blogfest?

    Robyn, very important subject that needs public awareness and education. Mental illness is horribly stigmatized and misunderstood. We do need to offer support and compassion.

  51. Hi, Robyn,

    Thanks for hosting.... Burst out laughing with your first two!

    Your third, hits all of us! I couldn't agree more. I have met and had to deal with many people with mental illness. And sadly, it is on the rise. I think it was always there, but it more out in the open now. I honestly believe the stress from the times we live in now is part of the problem.

    People losing their jobs, many homeless now. The threat to our security with so many unstable people targeting us. I feel so bad for the children of today. They will never feel the freedom I had growing up. At five, I was walking to school alone. AMAZING. Today parents are picking up their teenagers. It's nuts.

    And, yes, we all feel depression in one form or another. It believe it's part of our creative minds. WE FEEL EVERYTHING and it affects us deeply.

    Our community is a GOD SEND.... At least know we are with people who understand us, and help us because they suffer too.

    Wonderful post, Robyn... ANd thanks for sharing what Gary is doing. I don't know him very well, but after this, I have such respect for him!

  52. Thanks, dear friends. You're very kind.

    My work won't be done until the word "meme" is no longer used. KILL THE MEME. KILL THE MEME.

    Michael, Amen to that. Thank you.

    Gary, Gary, Gary...what's left to say? Keep feeling the love!


  53. Loved all of your post, Robyn. Here's to spreading the word and meeting the challenges of mental illness.

  54. Ah, Robyn, that was the loveliest post ever. You're so kind-hearted and I'm sure Gary appreciates all your effort to shine light on the problem.

    I forgot to post, but I'm enjoying reading others. :-)

  55. Awesome post!

    You've started the blogosphere talking. Great job!

  56. Very good Robyn! The "meme" is so true. I have NEVER said that word. Except when someone says "who wants cake?"

    The last one is very thought provoking.

  57. those are extreme anti hops! i would want to do the opposite! great job!

  58. I laughed through the first 2 fests and cheered at your 3rd!! As a teacher I've taught so many kids who have mental health issues and kids who have parents dealing with the same. We have to be much more open and honest in order to help people become comfortable getting the help they need. Thanks for the post!

  59. Jemi, nicely worded. Teachers do as much social work as they do teaching. Thank you.

    Thanks, all. Your supportive words mean a lot.


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