Other Writing

The Mountain of Memory (July 15, 2019)

When I was seven, I spent the summer in rural Greece with my parents and my best friend Andrew. I returned when I was 50, with my own son, and a lot of memories to navigate.

The Video Game That Ate My Life, and Finally Made Me A Believer (Jan. 22, 2019)

For years, it was my firm belief that video games were art, but terrible vehicles for storytelling, despite their champions’ claims to the contrary. Then I played a game that changed my mind.

About a Boy and a (Temporarily) Secret Chord (Jan. 31, 2012)

My son Joshua announced he wanted an iPod for Christmas. It was my job to fill it. That apparently simple task became an obsession, and then a meditation on what music means to us, and how that changes as we grow older. Bonus podcasts with my friend Steve Reynolds are linked from here.

The Kid in the Clover Grill (July 11, 2011)

How I eventually grew up and changed my mind about homosexuality, same-sex marriage and a lot of other stuff. Written for myself, to wrestle with the questions it raised so they might stop bothering me.

What I Did Instead (Faith and Fear in Flushing, May 2, 2011)

Written the night we learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed. The discussion of baseball is just a way of getting at things buried deeper. It’s often that way.

The Saints Are Coming (Faith and Fear in Flushing, Feb. 7, 2010)

We don’t normally do football on Faith and Fear, but this was an exception. A rallying cry for New Orleans and the Saints, and a plea not to let sports clichés obscure what matters.

The 38-Year-Old Springsteen Virgin (May 15, 2008)

When I was a teenager I was one of the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen fans — but had never seen him live. This is the story of how that changed — eventually.

A Long-Awaited Weekend in Venice (The Wall Street Journal Online, April 29, 2008)

I’m not a travel writer, but I was so knocked out by Venice that I felt I had to give it a shot.

RT 3: Quest for the Teenage DM (The Wall Street Journal Online, March 10, 2008)

A eulogy for D&D creator Gary Gygax, with some thoughts on how D&D influenced a generation of thinkers, and a couple of profoundly geeky admissions.

Rock’s Oldest Joke — Yelling ‘Freebird!’ in a Crowded Theater (The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2005)

A front-page story for the Journal, and a lot of fun to write. Johnny Van Zant was flying, and kept putting me off while he tried to get his affairs in order. I finally got him on the phone about half an hour before deadline, when I was beginning to sweat — but the moment he said he’d yelled “Freebird” himself, I relaxed. My only regret is the Van Zant anecdote meant my original ending — a pretty good tale starring the Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli — got left on the cutting-room floor.

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In a previous life, I wrote about technology for WSJ.com. That material’s very old by now, but highlights are here if you’re interested.


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