Sunday, April 28, 2013


Spam is a big deal in Hawaii. So big, they shut down a stretch of a busy retail-fronted street and have a festival devoted to the canned meat.
The Waikiki Spam® Jam is a street festival that celebrates the people of Hawaii’s love for Spam®, a canned meat from Hormel Foods. In Hawaii, you will find Spam® at all grocery and convenience stores, many restaurants and in most homes in Hawaii.
This street festival is great for all ages, as the event includes Hawaii’s top restaurants, two stages with free entertainment, and a variety of Hawaiian crafters. This is also a special event that benefits the Hawaii Foodbank, the largest non-profit in Hawaii that feeds the needy.
So big, the Waikiki Spam Jam offers air and hotel packages.

We sampled Spam Yakisoba for dinner.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Comparing Tax Day to running a marathon suddenly seems wholly inappropriate. It's nothing like running the Boston Marathon this April 15th. It was just after my last post that I learned of the news of the horrific events that were unfolding in Boston.

Finish last tax return. Check.

Post to Chocolate Chip Mint about finishing last tax return. Check.

Post to Facebook. Wait... what's this? A friend posted that someone had bombed the Boston Marathon and urged people to search news sources for more information. A quick search resulted in an article. It had pictures. I was staring at my screen in disbelief when my office manager came around the corner with another tax return. (We weren't nearly as close to finishing as I thought.)

I spun around in my chair to face her and she laughed at the blank look on my face. She had very good reason to think my expression was simply the glazed over look of the overworked and overtired. I tried to correct her. I told her someone bombed the Boston Marathon. I had to say it twice before she looked past me to the images on my computer screen.


Of course, my first thought was for the Grump and the offices of the Internet's Most Exclusive Blog. But it only took me a moment to consider that it was highly unlikely the Grump was a participant although there was a very slight possibility he was an onlooker. Staying in touch with the site assured me that everyone affiliated with 76003.1414 was safe.

How crazy was this week for Boston and it's neighbors? Other worldly. I am six time zones away watching the events unfold with everyone else from every place in the nation (and well beyond). I feel so far away but still feel the nationalism such a tragedy inspires.

How can preparing 200 tax returns in a few compressed weeks compare to that? I have my legs. I have my life. We, here at Chocolate Chip Mint, wish to express our sorrow for the people of Boston and Massachusetts, for the participants of the marathon who traveled great distances and fervently chased their aspirations just to get there, the onlookers, the organizers of the marathon, runners as a community, people all over the world who were connected to the Marathon in one way or another, and  people who had nothing to do with the Marathon but were caught up in its events nonetheless. Above all, we express our condolences to the victims and their families.

What do such tragedies inspire? Where do we go from here? The purest moment is already gone. The media frenzy will dissolve into politics. Politics will dissolve into passivity. We'll all move on and forget. There will be movies, eventually.

Just for now, we are together, united somehow. That's all we have and we should embrace that, if nothing else.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hey, look at me! I'm avoiding work! Woo hoo!

It's 4 pm on the Left. Waiting for one more client to come in but then I'm outta here!

It's all just ones and zeros now.

Battle Day! my Office Manager calls it.

March 31st was my last day off. Tomorrow is my next day off.

Today is like running the last mile of a marathon. Exhausting and exhilarating, all at the same time. Dazed, fazed, derelict in avoiding work. Charged up, worn out. Confused and focused. Hopeful and hopeless.

Kellie is already at the office doing battle. She bought a latte for me and put in on my desk to lure me in.

It's working.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1 . . .

This week was a bitch. Thursday, I put in 13 hours at the office and would have stayed all night but my boss made me go home. Friday was only 12 hours which felt like child's play after Thursday and made me feel slightly guilty for only having put in 11 hours a day for most of the last few weeks.

Yesterday, (Saturday, I remind you) I put in another seven but came home to a house full of grand kids which was totally awesome.

Today, I'll go in for a few hours just to touch base with people we haven't heard from yet. (There's a list and we just have to work through it.) But, I slept until 8:30 this morning (with only one 2 am OMG! moment) and I've turned off my alarm clock for tomorrow. 

I still have to file my return but that's it. I'm almost done.

Happy place, here I come!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

This Page Is Blank

If those words weren't written, would you be unable to recognize a blank page? I wonder.

This Page is Blank will be the title of my next unpublished book. Or, it will be the ending to all my previously unpublished books. Or, I could publish a book of blank pages. That would be awesome.

Meanwhile, there are seven days left until April 15th and I was finding it hard to breath this morning. We always make it to the 15th with room to spare, but every year I can't believe it's possible to get it all done.

I was feeling grateful that no one had been to the Emergency Room this year. Or, last year, for that matter. But there has to be a statistic somewhere about the number of accountants that go to the hospital between March 15th and April 15th.

And, then, I got to the office and couldn't log in. One week to go and I am literally forced to goof off. I have to laugh, really. I could jump off the roof of our building but it's only two stories and I would merely break my ankle. I would have to land on my calculator hand if I wanted to get out of any more tax returns.

Maybe when this is all over, I'll tell you who our cloud server is so you can avoid ever doing business with them.

My hands are tired and my elbow is sore. My eyes are bloodshot at the end of they day. I have something like 30 tax returns left to do (I'd tell you exactly how many but I can't log in, remember?) and I don't know how many extensions. The shops across the street don't open for another hour but, I swear to god, if I still can't log in by then, I'm going to buy myself a pair of kick ass red patent leather pumps.

I mean seriously. Goofing off is to working as lighting a cigarette is to dinner being ready. One almost guarantees the other. As I write (and write and write), I expect someone to shout out We're back in! I would be doing the office a favor by buying shoes - expensive ones - because the cloud server would be the only thing to stop me. It has to work.

So, if you see me this Friday with some kick ass shoes you'll know what happened. And, if you don't see me at all Friday night, it's because I'm still at work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I'm at the age when I get offers from AARP. Heck, I'm a card carrying member now! Today, I got an offer from Costco to get hearing aids. To be fair, it was really addressed to Hubby.

There are some days I think he could use them.

Eleven Days Left

The result is an abbreviated tax season with just 75 days. The filing deadline for your U.S. individual income tax returns remains April 15, 2013.
Tax Day Remains April 15, 2013, Despite Holidays And Hopes For Extensions
(Don't forget to feed your accountant.)