Happy birthday to both Erin Dotsey and Melissa Nicholson!  Today goes to further my theory that birthdays of people in my family are not good for Duke.

But first, let’s talk about my passport.

I went to the post office today.  I had yet to hear back from them about the questions I had concerning my passport, so I just took all the stuff I had and went.  I got there just before 10:00, which is what time it was supposed to be open.  I talked to the people behind the counter and it turned out that the lady who does the passports was out for the past few days and would be back tomorrow.  I explained to them that I needed to rush it, and so the lady behind the counter decided to help me, although I’ve got to say that both people initially seemed pretty annoyed about it.

Eventually I was given the forms to fill out (one for the passport, one explaining that the one I got 15 years ago was lost) and told to walk a block and a half down the street to the UPS store to get a passport photo taken.  They looked at me like I was crazy when I said something about getting it done there.  I mean, how dare I consider having a passport picture taken at the post office, when the government website said they could be taken there.  Oh yeah, there was a sign IN THE POST OFFICE saying as much too.  Whatever.  I think the problem was that the two people behind the counter were there to work with mail, and couldn’t take too much time out to help with passports.  I was told that if there were people in line for mail when I got back I’d have to wait for them to all be taken care of.

So I put a little more money in the parking meter and walked on down the street, past the Port City Java where Michael Mercer works and into the UPS store.  The lady there asked where I was going and when I told her I was going on a surfing trip to Costa Rica she asked a little more.  It turned out that Michael had gotten his picture there too, and she not only knew Michael, but she knew Anna Frazelle as well.  I didn’t put it together at the time, even after she told me her name was Laura, but she’s one of the owners of Michael’s Port City Java.  She was real nice to me, gave me a discount on the photo and a card for a free coffee.

So then I proceeded to walk back down the street to the post office.  I was wearing a Duke shirt in anticipation of the game tonight, and a guy I passed told me he liked the shirt.  There may be more Carolina fans than Duke fans, but Wilmington has a good population of Duke fans.

I got back to the post office and waited a while until the line dwindled down.  Every time a person walked in the door I got a little more irritated, but we finally got everything done.  I expected it to cost a bit, especially with the rush I had to put on it, but I didn’t know it was going to cost as much as it did.  Still, I’m not paying for my airfare or my hotel, so I really can’t complain.

Other than that I spent most of the day anticipating the game tonight.  Carolina was visiting Duke tonight, and on the line were two things: the #1 spot in the ACC and Tyler Hansbrough’s undefeated streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there- it didn’t work out like I wanted.  Tyler Hansbrough can now claim to have never been defeated during his four-year college career on Duke’s home court and the Heels, after starting out 0-2, are on top of the ACC.

I talked to Elliot Clark for a little bit before the game.  Just wanted to see how he was feeling about it, but also wanted to see how he and Melissa felt about us disbanding the small group.  He was fine and we talked for several minutes.  He mentioned that he’d bought a Volvo SUV for Melissa for her birthday, which is a pretty nice present!

Amanda and I made cookies then went over to Seth and Dana Holloman’s for the first half of the game.  Randal, a fellow Duke fan from the message board, was there, as well as a friend of Seth’s from work (who grew up next door to Coach K) and his girlfriend or fiancee.

We had a great time in the first half.  Carolina started out hot and got up to a double digit lead, at which point we all thought it was going to be a terrible night.  But then Duke got hot and ended up on top of Carolina by eight points at the half.  Then of course it all went downhill.  Ty Lawson went on a tear and Duke stopped scoring, so the final score was 101-87.  Granted, there were some late game fouls that put Carolina up a bit, but still, it was a tough loss, considering how good Duke played in the first half.  If the team could put together two good halves, they’d be deserving of that #1 spot they had a few weeks ago.

Oddly, I’m not too upset about the loss, which Joel Freeman, as I chatted with him on Facebook later, pointed out, is a bit disappointing in and of itself.  Oh well, we’ll see how the rematch at the Dean Dome goes.  Well, I won’t see how it goes- I’ll be in Costa Rica.

Lisa Hauenstein had her back surgery today.  Justin texted everyone at 4:00 to say she was done and seemed to be doing fine.

Zach Dotsey