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Quiet period.

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Preoccupied with this, that and the other so I haven’t had a lot to say lately. I’ll be back on the horse pretty soon, I imagine.

Went to a college basketball game today. My alma mater came to play Lehigh University for only the second time in history.

BU won the first game, in the 1968-69 season, 81-56.

Today’s game was considerably closer. Lehigh held a 66-65 lead with a few seconds to go. But BU’s D.J. Irving hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left to put the Terriers back on top, and a desperation shot by Lehigh didn’t fall in.

I’m guessing there were maybe 2,000 people, tops, at Stabler Arena. Everyone else in the world missed a good game.

I usually dredge a couple of sociological observations from my trips to sporting events. Not this time. It was just an athletic event. An entertaining and well-played athletic event. No deeper resonances of what it means to be American, or any of my usual shite.

A few happy pictures just to pad this out:



The matchup of the game: Lehigh's Mackey McKnight vs. BU's Mo Watson Jr.

The matchup of the game: Lehigh’s Mackey McKnight vs. BU’s Mo Watson Jr.


BU coach Joe Jones makes a point.

BU coach Joe Jones makes a point.

Final score.

Final score.


I do declare, I can float in the air.

You’ve come a long way, WTBU.

Boston University’s student-run radio station recently won Station of the Year honors at the annual College Radio Awards, and was nominated for a couple of other awards.

I was amused to read that even though WTBU has nice new studio space, it’s still barely audible on either AM or FM outside the walls of the building from which it broadcasts.

That was also the case 20 years ago, when I spent the spring semester of 1993 (my sophomore year) simultaneously breaking into the campus radio station and the campus newspaper.

My eventual choice of the newspaper was not difficult. I had no pretensions of radio talent, nor did I perceive it as a career path. But it looked like fun and I felt like trying it for a while, so I did.

I was assigned to shadow an experienced DJ for the semester, and even got to handle the show by myself twice when my mentor had other things to do. (I have tapes of at least one of the shows somewhere, though I would be hard put to sit through it again.)

Nowadays, WTBU overcomes the limitations of its broadcast signal by streaming over the Internet. The station champions local, alternative and otherwise underplayed artists.

In 1993, there was no Internet, and there was no audience.

(Two years later, when I was second-in-command of the campus paper’s weekly arts section, I commissioned a cover story on “A Day In The Life of WTBU,” with reporters sitting in on shows from dawn ’til dusk. One of the common themes: No one called in. No one.)

And there was no organized campaign from the higher-ups, whoever they were, to play alternative artists. You could go down to the cramped little room in the basement of Myles Standish Hall and play whatever the heck you wanted.

(The station’s record collection was weird and scattershot. I remember WTBU had a copy of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Love Beach, which is hilarious, and helps explain why most DJs brought their own tunes with them.)

I remember celebrating the 53rd birthday of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh by playing the three-song “Help On The Way/Slipknot!/Franklin’s Tower” medley from the Blues for Allah album, followed by a relatively concise live cut from the One From The Vault CD.

No one complained, or called in to request Soundgarden, or anything.

You got the feeling — and accurately so — that a big throbbing cosmopolitan city was circulating all around you, paying you no attention, and you might as well have been filing manila folders in an endless subterranean room full of file cabinets.

Anyway, in honor of WTBU, here’s a song I played on at least one and maybe both of the shows I hosted. I picked it up from my mentor, who played it a couple of times himself.

More people will probably hear this song as a result of my blogging it in 2013 than heard it as a result of my playing it on the radio in 1993. Life is weird like that.

I’m not a huge fan of the band, but this one particular song has the same sense of unhinged, inexplicable absurdity as “Surfin’ Bird.” And if you know me, you know that’s high praise, indeed.

“I am the one who controls the sun, and I know that things will pass as time elapses …”

The taste of ’95.

Most of the cuisine of my senior year of college isn’t worth revisiting.

Mostly I remember lots and lots of steamed rice with soy sauce, and too much macaroni and cheese from a box, not to mention lots of take-out.

Another staple of my kitchen table brought together two food items sacred to any college senior — beer and pizza.

Someone in the newsroom of the Boston U. Daily Free Press had lucked into a fact-a-day calendar put out by Samuel Adams, the hometown brewer that, in those days, was at the forefront of the developing craft-brew movement.

One of the page-a-day entries featured a dirt-simple recipe for thick-crust pizza.

All it took was white flour, wheat flour, baking powder and a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager, along with whatever toppings were desired.

The recipe, in my unsteady hand.

I didn’t often have Sam Lager in my fridge back then, due to its relative cost. But I always had beer — inoffensive pale golden beer, perfect for mixing into baked goods.

A little tomato sauce and cheese from the nearby Purity Supreme grocery store (dubbed “Poverty Supreme” for its general grunginess), and you had yourself a warm, filling, homemade dinner. Nay — a warm, filling, homemade pizza dinner with beer. What more could a 21-year-old wish for on a chill New England evening?

To this day, my wife and I still have that fact-a-day calendar entry somewhere in our recipe files. It pops up every couple of years.

And you know where I’m going with this: I got the urge into my head to make it again.

Even though I have come to strongly prefer crisp, thin-crust pizza. Even though I am no longer 21. And even though I should know better than to do stuff like this … I still wanted to do it anyway.

So, I provisioned myself today with the bare necessities, and set about cooking.

I should have opted for either Sam Lager (to be true to the recipe) or some trashy canned beer (to be historically accurate.)

Instead, faced with a dizzying variety of beer, I chose a decent-looking lager more or less at random — Frankenmuth Brewery Pilsener, from Frankenmuth, Michigan. I knew it wouldn’t be too hoppy, anyway, which is the biggest concern when you cook with beer.



The main ingredient goes in.

Jarred pasta sauce is true to 1995, though the Wegmans house brand is probably better than whatever I was buying then.


Ready for the oven. Yes, there are some onions scattered over one corner. I’m weird like that.

Thirty minutes at 425 degrees produced a nicely done if rather dark-topped pizza. (I seem to remember they looked like that in 1995, too.)

Done. (And poorly lit. It didn’t really look quite this diseased.)

Side-angle shot shows thickness of crust.

I thought it was OK, maybe even better than I remembered.

The crust was fairly light and not too bitter — it tastes a little of beer, but not in a bad way. The whole wheat flour lent the recipe a little bit of heft without making it leaden. The tomato sauce and cheese, meanwhile, were tomato sauce and cheese.

My kids weren’t totally sold on it; at one point my younger son referred to it as “gross-crust pizza.”  Most of the pizza in the pan — I’d say 85 percent of it — disappeared anyway.

I might actually make this again on some weekend night when I find myself short on inspiration and bereft of ingredients except cheese, sauce, flour and beer.

I couldn’t tell you anything I learned in my senior-year college classes, but I’m glad to offer you a quick and useful pizza recipe if you want it.

My parents must be speechless with disappointment.