Here’s a list, in no particular order, of some work that doesn’t fit well in the other categories.
Coined (Short Film, 2014)
In 2014, Adam Cornelius and I made several short films about Dogecoin, a form of cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. We only released two rough cuts from our various shoots, after deciding not to make a full feature. Here’s one:
Magazine Profiles & Stuff
I’ve Fallen in Love and I Can’t Get Up (2009)
This was my first This American Life story. You can listen to it for free, though you should have a handkerchief ready. In short, I met a man who is literally paralyzed by happiness. This is the story of how he maintains his marriage and interacts with his stepkids (and grandkids). It ain’t easy. See the Films page for the feature film inspired by this article.
The Unipiper (2013)
My profile of Portland’s unicycling, bagpiping, cosplaying hero. As far as I know, this was in fact the first profile of Brian Kidd, who is now a fixture of Portland’s mainstream image.
Playing to Lose (2013)
My profile of competitive Tetris players Bo Steil and Ben Mullen for The Magazine, Issue 7. You can read Playing to Lose for free. This is one wonderful thing about writing for The Magazine: after a month of exclusivity, I’m free to take my work and share it with the world.
This is my first attempt at what I thought was sports writing. Friends who have read sports writing tell me it’s not like sports writing at all. You decide.
He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died (2008)
I wrote He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died in mid-2008, at a time when I was just figuring out what it meant to be a professional blogger (meaning, I was over a year into the job). The post has since been viewed several million times, and spawned all sorts of coverage. I tell the inside story of how it came about, and what happened afterwards, in The Blogger Abides. If you dig hard enough, you can find me on Canadian Public Radio talking about this as well. You can also find a short film adaptation I made of this article on the Commercials & Shorts page (near the bottom).
Did Blowing into Nintendo Cartridges Really Help? (2012)
I tackled my generation’s biggest question in a lengthy piece for Mental Floss. It got a lot of attention on both sides (pro- and anti-blow). I appeared on the How to Do Everything podcast to talk about the story.
The Wizard, the Power Glove, and Children in Peril (2011)
I wrote a thinky piece about The Wizard, a surprisingly odd movie I only vaguely remembered from my NES-loving childhood. My favorite subheading: The Plot and Other Problems.
A Brief History of Jonestown and “Drinking the Kool-Aid” (2012)
Here’s a good example of an article in which the editor changed the headline without asking. That’s fine—it’s The Atlantic. Read my history of Jonestown, written in one really long sitting on election night in 2012.
Strong Foundation (2013)
My story on the making of Gone Home, 2013’s epic video game, made by a tiny team of people living in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, B.C. This one is currently behind a paywall, so you’ll want to subscribe to The Magazine to read all the great stuff I’ve written for them. Sometimes when I speak to students, I talk about the period I went through writing profiles for magazines. This is an example of that time.