WHY SERENDIPITY? – Marilyn Armstrong

For seven years, Serendipity was the “official” name of this blog. One day WordPress decided the money I paid wasn’t enough to protect the title of my blog and we disappeared. Vanished.

To emerge back into the light, I had to come up with a “more unique name” so readers could find us. In between, some kid — one of WordPress’s “happiness engineers” explained that the problem was really that I am irrelevant. People — the general public — no longer (overnight) likes anything I write.

He really pissed me off and I’m still holding a grudge. I actually asked him what award-winning work he was currently writing. He explained he hoped someday to write something pretty good but hadn’t gotten there yet. I asked him if he’d ever written anything at all and he said, “not yet, but he was planning to.”

I wanted to reach through the computer, grab him by the throat, and throttle him. Luckily, I can’t do that … but someday.

A year later, we are very much back as “Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth” which is really the name of the post plus the “subtitle” in one title and you can find all 8,729 posts by using at least half of this annoyingly long title — or the name of whoever posted it the piece.

A few years ago, a few more people started writing for the blog and now, we are five. Garry and Tom write when they feel like it, Ellin and Rich write at least one piece a week and I do whatever remains and these days, a lot of them are pictures of birds.

Rich Paschall – in France

Rich Paschall has been writing, always on Sunday, but sometimes other days. Now that he is retiring, I expect to hear more from him. He has also been an incredible help to me when I’ve been out sick for long periods of time, especially when I was in for, then recovering from, a massive amount of heart surgery.

I don’t know if this site would have survived without his assistance and I will always be deeply grateful for his caring and concern, even though we’ve never personally met. I keep hoping one of these days, we will meet!

Tom Curley in performance

Friends Ellin and Tom Curley — well, we’ve been friends a long time. Tom, and Garry and I all worked at the same college radio station and Ellin is the wife Tom always needed but didn’t know until they met. I love happy marriages!

Ellin Curley

Tom writes when his personal lightning hits while Ellin is a loyal, regular writer and is beginning to get the hang of photography as another way of writing the story.

All of us have a lot to say.

Garry talks about his life as a TV news reporter and all the people he met along the way. Tom talks about his life and views as a TV director, producer, and engineer.

Not to mention his post TV life doing Audio theater in which Ellin is his partner.Garry Armstrong

Everyone has a LOT to say about the political world, mostly not very good stuff, but that’s the way it is these days.

“Serendipity is defined as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” – Dictionary Definition.

Basically, life is all serendipity. I started this site 6-1/2 (seven years in February!) years ago and have garnered closing on 800,000 views from almost every country on the planet.

And still, I see a frightful lack of intelligent life on Earth.

Stupidity is exploding at an unsustainable rate. I thought we had reached epic levels of stupid, but there’s just no stopping it.

Marilyn Armstrong

Watching Jim Jeffries last night “interviewing” the Q people who also appear to be “flat world” believers … and believe Hillary Clinton kills babies for their blood. All of which beliefs are based on zero evidence. None of these bizarre “humans” think “proof” or “evidence” is important. Stupidity reigneth.

When you witness that sort of thing, not only do you get a splitting headache, but you realize seeking intelligent life on Earth may be a futile effort. To seek, yet never find.

There is no intelligent life on Earth. We are like Arthur’s knights seeking a Grail that never got to Britain and possibly never existed. Yet we seek it.

Serendipity? Well, there are two reasons for it as this blog’s title.

First, there is a lovely chocolate shop in Manhattan named “Serendipity.” They serve iced chocolate that is to die for. When I was a teener, it was the place to be, the coolest place in the big city. It continues to exist and I’m betting it’s still the place to be, especially if you live in New York, are young, and looking for life.

A flyaway woodpecker!

The other reason is more obvious. Life is serendipity. You go looking for one thing, you find something else. While you are “settling for that other thing,” you discover you like it more than whatever you were looking for. A lot of my writing is entirely serendipitous. I start writing and something falls out of my hands into the keyboard and sometimes, it’s pretty good.

We are born.

We have no idea who we are or what we will be.

We may never know who we are or what we will be.

We make choices, which may or may not work out, but regardless they are temporary. Because everything changes. We live many different lives and few of them are planned.

Life isn’t something you plan.
It just is.

Categories: Birds, Blogging, creativity, Photography, stupidity

Tags: , , , ,

28 replies

  1. “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. Alan Saunders. 🙂

    There IS intelligent life on this planet – they just don’t make the headlines all that much, they don’t draw attention to themselves and very few can be found using social media. Brian Cox might be the exception! 😉


  2. There is something I find very darkly pleasing about throttling someone who has a title like “Happiness Engineer.” Weren’t they “Helper Monkeys” back then, or was that a separate WordPress team that only helped with those year end stat posts that were full of useless information?


  3. I would want to throttle that “Happiness Engineer” for suggesting you were not popular or relevant. How dare he? He’d obviously never read the blog or looked at the stats. He’ll probably never write anything.
    I have read all the team’s posts since they joined in and I really enjoy them. It’s nice for everyone to see the faces behind the work sometimes.


  4. I enjoy you, and your co-writer’s thoughts, words of wisdom, or whatever it is they decide to talk about. I think you are interesting, as are your co-writers. Thank you for all the years, and those to come. I enjoy reading many of the topics you discuss, we don’t all have to agree, nonetheless I am learning as well.


    • It’s nice that we essentially agree on most things, but we have very different ways of expressing how we feel. For the most part, though, we all have something resembling a sense of humor. That REALLY helps.


  5. It was a happy coincidence the day I discovered “Serendipity”, although I think the tag line “in search of intelligent life” was added after I found you. I had some consternation, because you disappeared, and then were reincarnated with that new tag line as part of your title. My first introduction to WordPress and it’s incalculable stupidity or search for dumbing down (IMHO). And I continue to enjoy all the posts offered by Serendipity! Long may you ALL write!!


    • I was very successful for a long time until one day, WordPress decided it was not going to protect site titles anymore. So overnight, I completely lost my place in the WordPress database and no one, including ME, could find us. I was furious. I rebuilt the entire blog all over again, going from nearly zero hits back up to where we had been before. The idiot “happiness engineer” to whom I talked didn’t actually know what a database IS, so he had no idea what I meant when I said they had eliminated my position on it.


  6. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and it has continued to be a wonderful find. I love the interesting humours fun serious questioning look at the world around us and those participating in it. I don’t understand how 800,000 people aren’t enough to keep you current…that blows my mind. I used to think I was doing something with 100 people a day and now (because the same thing happened to me) I’m lucky to have 20 people visit a day. Still, like you, I persist. I love writing and although I may not be particularly talented, I enjoy bringing life to characters and I often share my personal views through poetry. Sometimes it’s just plain fun. Delighted your all here, you make life feel sane!


    • For everything on the internet, there is a base consisting of people interested and/or involved in the site. It’s what we in the biz call a database. It’s how you find anything on the internet. Google is a giant database as is Amazon and Facebook and every other internet group. When they eliminated me from the database, it was like I was wiped off the earth. It wasn’t as bad as the collapse you had, but it was bad enough. I rebuilt it, but I’m still pissed off about it. I lost a lot of my enthusiasm that day.


      • I know, I have too. I’m not as enthusiastic as I once was for sure. Perhaps when we get a place and get settled, it’ll be different because I’ll have 8 hours a day to do with as I please, no more running after anyone else, just the pooch the cat and me for most of the time, my son when he’s off work. They’re thinking of changing their hours to 10 hour days with 3 off so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully this place we’re looking at will go through. It’s looking good so xx fingers and toes.


  7. I agree that “life is serendipity.” Peter did most of his research as serendipity because that was how one often comes across great discoveries.


  8. “Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans.”


  9. Ahh, so that’s who you all are. 🙂


    • Three of us are very old friends going back to the college radio station. Then came Ellen … more than a dozen years ago (my how time has flown!) and I met Rich online and loved his work. We are writers, we are friends, we all have different interests, and unique perspectives. It keeps the writing from getting dull.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the intro to all the writers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It always nice to read about the team, and you are our captain. Sometimes we foul one off, but other times we hit a home run. Each season we hope to make the playoffs. We have a team made to get there. Thanks for the nice words.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I always wondered why this blog was written by others as well. Now I know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just added people. Rich and Garry were first. Garry just wrote because I had the blog and he writes. I love Rich’s writing and invited him. Then Ellin asked if maybe SHE could write too and I said SURE!! and then I pointed out to Tom that he writes, so he could throw a blog or two on the pile also.

      I really like having other voices than my own. It makes it much more interesting for me, too.

      Liked by 1 person


  1. IN THE SPIRIT OF DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING … Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

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