>And now for today’s crisis:

>    I got up at the crack of dawn this morning. As usual. My alarm normally goes off at six o’clock anyway. Today was different, however; I had an eight o’clock appointment at the Farmers’ Union Cenex and I meant to make it. I wanted to get my jog in, though, so I was up at six and out jogging by 6:20. I listened to. . . The Dandy Warhols. Thank you, memory. Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia, to be exact – the best darned album the Dandy Warhols have offered so far.
    By 6:55 I was back home and getting in the shower. 7:40 I was saying good-bye to the wife and leaving. I made it to the Cenex a minute or two late, but the Gary – the shop manager – didn’t seem to mind. He was a little surprised that I was going to wait for the diagnosis of the check-engine light and the estimate, though. Strange? Not so much – I guess sometimes the “check engine” light can be squirrelly, especially with newer cars. I went and sat down at one of the pic-a-nic tables before I decided to buy a coffee. I had eaten breakfast, though I hadn’t had time to boil a couple of eggs; I had made do with three slices of lean turkey and two spoons full of peanut butter. Now, I had the chance to get my caffeine on.
    I was about fifteen minutes into watching Sherlock Holmes on my Zune and Gary came back out and told me that I had a bad EGR valve, as well as a bad coolant temperature sensor. I said, “how much?” The EGR valve, Gary said, was about two hundred dollars. The coolant temp sensor was twenty-five. Add labor and the computer hook-up (a rip-off if I ever heard of one,) that’s about another hundred. So I’m thinking, yeah. I’ve got the money. But. . .
    I say, “what’s the downside of skipping the EGR thing?” Gary says, “it’s still gonna run rough,” (It’s been really bad lately,) “and the check engine light’s going to stay on. I can turn it off, but it’s going to come right back on.” So I thought about it. . . (not really. . . ) and then I said, “how long?” About an hour, hour and a half. . . so I said, “ok, let’s do it.” I’m such a sucker. But you know, in Detroit we had this thing. . . can’t fix your car? Run it into the ground. North Dakota, however, has been quite fertile and I’m socking away cash like I’m Eminem on a bad flashback.
    I drove the Saturn away from that place like nothing was ever wrong with it, and I don’t regret that. So anyway, I thought I’d stop at Best Buy on the way to work and see if I could find the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, because I kept hearing Irish punk music, like Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys and such. Best Buy had nothing of the sort. OF COURSE. So I Googled it on my phone, and the only soundtrack anyway is Hans Zimmer. Orchestral!! What?? God!! Some movies did this horrible, unspeakable thing and spawned two separate soundtracks – one for the orchestra and one for the regular music. I know –  it sounds tragic, right?
    But the foray into Best Buy wasn’t a total waste. After all, I hate Best Buy like an abused housewife hates her husband. I can’t help but to go back and see if I can find something good in there. This time, I found the DLO Action Jacket for my Zune HD, with the cord-keeper on the back. Awesome!! I bought it.
    So I went to work, and I worked. Then I left work at 5:30, knowing that I was going to have to be back in Bismarck at 7:15 so that I could see the Spring concert, where Karisa would be playing her bass clarinet in a show titled, “Around the World in 80 Minutes.” It was amazing. They did this medley from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite that just blew Fantasia out of the water. By the end of the concert, however, I was marveling under the surface how many people in the band I had connections with. My wife was playing the bass clarinet. My brother in-law was playing clarinet. My manager at work was playing french horn. The guy at work who helps me on Wednesday morning with the huge stock transfers? His wife was on the other french horn. The only female in the trumpet lineup used to work at Eckroth. Another girl on clarinet was my Music Appreciation teacher last semester. The band’s conductor was my academic advisor. The guy who composed the second-to-last piece, Halls of Anubis, was at my wedding and is someone I see at the store on a regular basis. This is just the tip of the iceberg – I can tell you where half of the other half of the band works! This chick works at K-Mart. That guy works at Target. It’s crazy.
     But I decided when I got home I would do some research to figure out where I’m going to school next year, seeing as how I’m going to be graduated from Bismarck State College in less than a month and I need to get this ball rolling, and here’s where the crisis comes in: I’m not finding any options I like. I’m in a panic! The only college in town that offers Bachelor degrees is University of Mary and they want a structured curriculum and a whole block of theology courses thrown in. The latter is interesting, the former – intolerable. University of North Dakota, I can get a bachelor degree in Psychology online. But there’s no education degrees and no English degrees online. Fail! North Dakota State University has no online degree programs even close to applicable to what I’m looking for. Double fail! So what do I do? What the heck do I do? I just want to get a jump on my Bachelor degree, while simultaneously keeping my student loan lenders at bay – just out of reach, in deferment-land.

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