Miscellaneous Personal Essays

Below is a collection of Ande’s personal essays unrelated to music and theater.


My photo journey

This is a non-chronological series of essays on my personal photography with the stories behind some of my favorite shots.

Photo journey: My quest for the perfect capitol shot

(Published 22 May 2021): This first photo essay discusses how it took me three years to take my perfect, or almost perfect picture of the capitol dome in Washington, D.C.

Photo journey: Reflection obsession

(Published 30 May 2021): This essay discusses my obsession with reflections in photography. I’ve enjoyed trying to capture interesting reflection shots using water as the reflector medium in various locations I’ve visited.

Photo journey: South Meadow Fence Road

(Published 4 June 2021): This essay discusses why I had to capture a picturesque scene in Montgomery Village, MD, and what it has meant to me. I have a fondness for that area of the country, and almost moved there almost 30 years ago.

Photo journey: Geometry

(Published 19 June 2021): This essay explores my geometric fascination. So many mundane sites are interesting if you just explore them from a different angle or perspective and can make a huge difference in how something is perceived.


Hello 2022!

(Published 7 January 2022): This personal essay captures my thoughts at the end of the first week of the new year. It’s been a little unsettling but also very encouraging that people are energized to take on whatever comes along. A lot is brewing, and this could be a very consequential year in ways we haven’t even yet considered.


Goodbye 2021!

Me and my brother

(Published 31 December 2021): This personal essay captures my thoughts at year end as we get ready to begin anew in 2022. A lot has happened in 2021, and actually a lot of good things have happened, but reports tended to inundate us with bad news. We can’t forget the bad or the unimaginable of course, but we also can’t leave out the good as we move ahead. History will capture it all.


Thinking about holidays

(Published 25 December 2021): This personal essay captures some thoughts about our federal holidays, and what makes sense for a federal holiday vs. what doesn’t. It also includes a bit of holiday music.


Fog to clear – a new window to the world

(Published 23 November 2021): This personal essay captures some musings surrounding the difference that a clean, clear window makes compared to a fogged view of the outside world, particularly during an ongoing pandemic. Windows to the outside truly do provide windows to the world at large in multiple ways although it can sometimes be a bit challenging to get the view in focus.


The good side of Facebook

(Published 24 October 2021): This personal essay takes a look at some of the good that social media, in particular Facebook, can do. With so much bad press about the business practices, the tangible benefits of the platform are being lost.


Confessions of a Trekkie

(Published 28 June 2021): This personal essay takes an initial look at my almost lifelong obsession with Star Trek from the time I first encountered the show. The various Star Trek series had a big impact on me through the years, and there’s a lot we can learn from them.


A fitting end to 2020

(Published 30 December 2020): The year 2020 was a memorable one for all of us. This commentary expresses my thoughts about the year we are just now completing. Leap Years aren’t usually this chaotic, but it seems fitting that this extraordinary year ends a day late.


How is living through the pandemic like space?

(Published 6 December 2020): Throughout this crazy year, I’ve been thinking how the isolation forced by the pandemic reminds me of stories I imagined in childhood related to space and science fiction. It’s definitely not the same, but there are some intriguing similarities that come to mind. And like being adrift, we aren’t sure when we’ll be rescued from this misadventure.


Eclipsing Reality

(Published 24 August 2020): This personal essay discusses an example from my past showing the importance of verifying the information we consume and the dangers of spreading propaganda. In this case, a near-miss got blown into something far from the reality of what actually happened. Although this particular incident was a harmless exaggeration, it shows how something of more import could become something dangerous. This essay was also submitted to the Writer’s Digest 2020 Personal Essay contest.


The magic of the written word

(Published 3 August 2020): With all of the turmoil currently facing society, the written word has become far more important in just staying in contact with friends and family. This commentary talks a little about the care we must take in our written communications.


The leapling’s struggle

(Published 29 February 2020): This is just a little essay commemorating the struggles those born on 29 February experience and celebrating the uniqueness of having such a birthday.


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