Happy 27th birthday, Erin Marie Dotsey! I tried calling my first younger sister a bit ago to wish her a happy birthday, but it went straight to voicemail. So I left her a message and sent her a MySpace message. The wonders of the digital age.

Speaking of MySpace, Amanda’s friend and one of the bridesmaids at our wedding, Karen Malay, found my profile and sent me a message.

This Sunday started out like many others. Got up, went to church, went out to eat (IHOP). I was a little miffed at our waitress though. After getting the check I gave her a card and when she came back she didn’t have the card. She left it somewhere! I mean, she came back with it not long after, but she left my check card somewhere. What’s up with that?

The series at church right now is about words. To recap we’ve talked about the evil words can cause and the good words can create. We also talked today about really thinking about what you say before you speak. We were asked what it would be like if everything out of our mouths was a nugget of wisdom. I thought about that afterwards, and I think I would be a much different person. Sometimes I say random, pretty meaningless things. It’s just something I do.

The music was very good today too. The last couple songs were actually old hymns put to rock music. I really like when Duane does the music.

After church and breakfast we went to Target again, this time knowing the measurements for the window treatments we wanted for the full length windows in the kitchen/dining room. Unfortunately they didn’t have the color of the blinds we wanted, so we went to Lowe’s and found some we liked better and for less (and in stock). We bought those and I put them up once we got home, although I had to drill some holes in the door to do it. There was already a small rack up over the windows for some kind of curtain or something, but they didn’t work with what we’d bought. I think it looks really nice.

After that I spent most of the day cleaning up my office. It mostly involved throwing away (well, putting into recycling) a LOT of papers. It’s not quite perfect yet, but it’s better. Michael came home at some point and Bruce followed him around like a lost puppy. I think it was a combination of Bruce missing him and probably the fact that he had Paddy’s scent on him. Paddy is Amanda’s parents’ Jack Russell terrier.

Amanda’s not been feeling well the last couple of days. She didn’t sleep well last night. I went out and picked up some chicken noodle soup and Sunny Delight (which I don’t think can be nearly as good for you as orange juice- it may be, but I have a hard time believing it). I also got a bag of chips for the game. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a bag of chips for a game.

I wish I’d had a beer for the game, too. Or maybe a whole case.

Duke played Maryland at 5:00. Duke started out 5-0 then Maryland went on a 19-2 run. A NINETEEN TO TWO RUN. Duke was down 20 at one point I think, but they got it back to within twelve at the half I think. During the second half they got it down to six with under ten minutes to go, but, as has been the case lately, they couldn’t do anything in the final minutes. They lost 72-60 at Maryland. I swear, it’s so damn frustrating to watch them this year. They started out with some very narrow wins, and it was nail-biting to watch them play those games but at least they were winning them. Then they started playing decently but couldn’t clinch games. Then they let a moderate at best Maryland team get a nearly 20-point run on them. And it only gets tougher from here with their next game at Boston College, a game a Clemson and a close at the Dean Dome. Duke has the record for second most consecutive weeks in the Top 25, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped that this week or next.

The team has talent, of that there’s no question. But they just don’t seem to be able to play offense. They didn’t play tonight with the fire they played Carolina, plus Paulus was back to committing a bunch of turnovers and DeMarcus Nelson got three quick first-half fouls and was hardly a factor. Don’t get me wrong- Paulus was the only one making any shots early in the game and, at the beginning of the second half anyway, Nelson helped out with some nice baskets. Josh McRoberts finally had a pretty good game again too, but I just didn’t see any real intensity.

A lot of us Duke fans were thinking this was a make-or-break game. I hope it’s not. I hope those kids can get so angry with themselves for giving Duke four consecutive losses for the first time in I don’t know when that they come out against Boston College and stomp them and stomp them and stomp them, but I just don’t see it happening. I don’t want to give up on this team. I really don’t. But it’s hard to watch.

Zach Dotsey