Way Late Wine Up Wednesday

As much as I love writing Wine Up Wednesday and as funny as I think the Cersei Lannister scoring system is, it’s something I haven’t been able to keep up with. For the two people who actually read my blog, I’m sorry. I have been trying to drink less wine, not that a drink a ton anyway and save some money by not buying things I don’t need. Booze is the last on the list for me when it comes to necessities. Some people would say I’m missing out. Those people are drunks.

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Or this. I know that feel. Image via.

 

Anyway, I plan on keeping this post series going as often as I can. I bought a new bottle of wine today so stay tuned.

This week’s wine is Yellow Tail Chardonnay. This company is well known to even the non-wino crowd as being cheap and featuring a kangaroo logo. The brand isn’t bad; I love their Moscato and Shiraz. But this one missed the mark with me.

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This wine is cheap. Not like Two Buck Chuck cheap, but like could probably feed two people at McDonald’s for the price cheap.

As someone who enjoys a good deal, I don’t always believe you either get or don’t get what you pay for. Some cheap things will last forever, some expensive things are crap. This doesn’t always ring true when it comes to wine.

Wine, like coffee isn’t for everyone. Developing a taste for certain things can take years of evolving. For example, I can drink a Black Americano like it’s water and I used to be all about the Caramel Brûlée. For the coffee drinkers, you will understand the Starbucks lingo. For the less or non-caffeinated, it means I went from sweet to strong.

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Me every day. Image via.

Same goes for wine. I haven’t developed much of a taste for dry whites which is maybe why I didn’t like this wine. I can drink a nice cab all day but some dry whites make me want to heave.

This was one of the them.

Back to the cheapness factor. I’ve bought $3 bottles of wine and I’ve bought $20 bottles of wine. Can I taste the difference? No. Maybe there is one and maybe there isn’t. I’m not a professional wine tester so I have no freakin’ clue. All I know is when I like/don’t like something and plan to write a humorous anecdote about it. Hence, this post.

This wine was not only not good, it tasted cheap and smelled cheap. It was kind of like drinking old Victoria’s Secret body spray and getting heartburn.

1 Cersei

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Lucky’s Market Is The Best Store You’ve Probably Never Been To

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. Sometimes life happens and blogging doesn’t. Lucky for you dear readers, I’ve got a fresh pack of K-Cups and no major plans so I’m back!

Anyway, yesterday after work and getting my taxes done (I adulted so hard yesterday) I hopped (insert Easter pun) over to Lucky’s Market.

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Image via.

The relatively new chain is currently only in eleven states. Labeling itself as “Organic for the 99%”, Lucky’s should have Whole Foods shaking in their vegan leather boots.

Lucky’s is a cross between Aldi and Trader Joe’s, featuring organic and local goods at ridiculously reasonable prices.

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From the Lexington, KY sales flyer.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods wants $17.99 per pound of wild-caught salmon. 

Check out the Lucky’s weekly sales flyer in link above and notice the $6.99 lobster tails. FREAKIN’ LOBSTER TAILS, YA’LL! IN KENTUCKY!

Like I need to sell you any further on this magical place where you can drink beer while you shop that also takes coupons.

Lucky’s offers well-known organic and food alternative brands like Amy’s, Silk, So Delicious, and Nature’s Path as well as their own brand. Not to mention a salad bar, fresh-cut meat, orange juice and smoothies made in-house, sushi, pizza, baked goods, and miles of bulk candy. Not to mention a wide selection of beauty and personal care products.

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Non GMO candy is what will save the world. Image via.

I can see myself setting up shop here on a weekly basis. It’s cheap, close to my work, and offers amazing food. I consider myself pretty lucky to live near Lucky’s (so many puns, I’ll stop now and enjoy my Lucky’s organic K-Cups and chocolate chip scones).

Writing Advice: Just Write

I wouldn’t call myself successful by any means, but I’ve learned a thing or two about writing fiction (and writing in general) in the past year. In that time, I’ve written and self-published a novella, finished the first installment of my book series, started the second, been querying literary agents, started this blog/site, and am constantly scribbling down ideas.

I’m going to do a few posts under the tag “writing advice” as a way to share what I’ve learned as a way to help others who might be struggling.

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Pretty much. Image via.

There is no right or wrong way to write. I’ve seen/heard people say, “I want to write but don’t know how.”

Yes, you do. All you have to do is write. It might not be good but trust me, it will get better.

Writing is like working out. The more you do it and practice the better and stronger you get. Writing will be easier for some than others and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

All of your favorite books had rough drafts and were most likely terrible. We all start somewhere, so flex that writing muscle and get to lifting!

Even if you are writing gay Harry Potter fan fiction, you are still a step ahead of the person who says they are going to write gay Harry Potter fan fiction and never does.

Write on!

 

 

 

 

These Peeled Oranges At Whole Foods Are Why Other Countries Hate America

Whole Foods is a magical wonderland full of tasty treats, healthy options, and totally ridiculous items like these packaged pre-peeled oranges.

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This is dangerously close to being as terrible as Donald Trump. Image via.

These oranges were spotted last week and have since led to a much deserved uproar. Whole Foods does offer a wide selection of pre-packaged items like cut fruit, and pre-cooked meals, but these peeled oranges are a deadly and stupid combination of American laziness, someone in marketing thought they had a good idea, and hipster idealism. LOOK I GOT THESE SUPER COOL ORANGES AT WHOLE FOODS FOR $5.99 A POUND! I HAD THEM FIRST BEFORE THEY WERE COOL! *ADJUSTS SCARF AND GLASSES*.

Yes, these were really $5.99 a pound.

These aren’t just ORANGES. No, these are Sumo tangerines. Whatever the hell those are.

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THEY’RE ALL ORANGES! Image via.

There are a multitude of reasons why this is stupid. I don’t need to elaborate as I hope the people reading this are intelligent enough to realize why it is stupid. This move is hypocritical on the part of the chain which clearly prides itself on being Earth-friendly. While it could be argued everyone and every company and whatnot are hypocrites on some level, but this is irresponsible on the part of the store as it cost labor hours and extra money to peel and package the “oranges”. This is even more frustrating considering the store banned plastic bags in 2008.

I bet the scenario went something like this:

Marketing Douche: “Let’s sell these fancy tangerines for far more than they’re worth.”

Marketing Douche #2: “Excellent! That’s what we do at Whole Foods. When you shop here you are paying the name and the fact that you can say you went to Whole Foods!”

Original Marketing Douche: “OMIGOD, GUYS! I have the best idea EVER! Let’s pre-peel them to make people think they are getting something special. No one on the internet is going to make fun of this or be outraged.

Marketing Non-Douche: Internally thinking “aww hell no.”

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Accurate AF. Image via

I admit to have once fallen for the majesty that is Whole Foods (Whole Wallet). After this mishap, I’ll never set a foot in that pretentious wasteland. Like a bad relationship, you eventually will find a flaw you can’t get past and this one is mine.

I can understand shopping at Whole Foods if it is the only store in your area where you can buy certain things, have dietary restrictions, etc. Since I am lucky enough to have other options, I am officially breaking up with Whole Foods.

In response to the criticism, the product has been removed from stores.

Whatever Whole Foods thinks up next, the Internet is ready.

Wine Up Wednesday on Thursday 

Happy Friday Eve!

I’m running a day behind in my Wine Up Wednesday series I promised myself I would write every week. Not sure if I will be able to keep up with the weekly wine posts considering I haven’t bought or opened a new bottle or had any wine for over a week. Some people might call that control, I call it being lazy and poor.

 

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The Queen does not approve.

 

I’ll play this one by ear and see how it goes.

The wine for this week is another one I bought at the magical wonderland that is Trader Joe’s, Amancay Winery Malbec. Before I bought this bottle, I had never tasted a Malbec before. It wasn’t a wine I heard/read about very often and didn’t know anyone who drank it. Thanks to TJ’s for setting up the sample stand and letting me pour this down my word hole!

When I first learned about Malbec on a wine site, I thought it sounded like something gross your grandmother could keep in her cabinet beside the Metamucil and Kaopectate. While the name is less glamourous than Cabernet Sauvignon or even Merlot, Malbec deserves some time in the spotlight. According to Wine Folly, Malbec is growing in popularity.  Could it be Malbec is the next Pumpkin Spice Latte? Doubtful.

 

 This Malbec is much sweeter and less dry than Merlot or even Cab. It has a fruity taste while still being rich and full bodied like a good red should be. One of the coolest things about Malbec is the color. Other red wines have a red (duh), purple, or burgundy color. Malbec has a distinct magenta shade. 

 

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Not only is it tasty, it’s pretty! Win. Image via.

 

This one is tasty by itself and also with some cheddar/mozzarella Frankencheese also from TJ’s. I didn’t have any “real” food with it but I imagine it would go practically well with red meats and rich vegetables.

Official Wine Up Wednesday Score:  5/5Cerseis

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“Making a Murderer” Theories

I tend to have a case of FOMO from time to time and jumped on the Making a Murderer bandwagon pretty quick. While I enjoyed the documentary series and thought it was very well made, the whole thing was so depressing I almost stopped watching. Even though I was enthralled. At one point, I made my friend tell me what happens in case I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped pressing the “next episode” button. I had to force myself to finish and I’m glad I did.

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This documentary is important because not only does it show the scope of corruption in the United State’s justice system but it also explores small town corruption and class which is something we need to talk about more. I’m not here to say all cops and small towns are bad, just that things like what happened in Making a Murderer probably happen all the time but we don’t hear about it until this documentary took over our Netflix queues.

Don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen the series/don’t like spoilers. 

The thing that I found the most shocking about this series wasn’t the horrific crimes committed but rather how the conspiracy against Steven Avery even happened in the first place. How can so many people work together to be so terrible and lie and not a single one of them slip up? It’s obvious Steven Avery is innocent and did not kill Teresa Halbach. I do agree with what one of Avery’s attorneys Dean Strang said. Not sure what the exact quote was but he said something like “I hope Steven is guilty because I hate to think an innocent man is sitting behind bars for something he didn’t do.”

 

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Accurate.

 

Since we know what happened to Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, everyone wants to know what exactly happened to Teresa Halbach?

As a person who has an M.S. in Criminal Justice and has written a murder mystery, my qualifications and experience have failed me when it comes to this. I have no idea who killed Teresa Halbach. Maybe no one else does either.

 

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Teresa Halbach

 

One of the most interesting parts of watching this series is looking into the various theories. As someone who loves fan and conspiracy theories, this post is something I’ve been looking forward to.

After some extended Internet research, I have compiled several MAM theories. Here they are listed from least to most likely.

5. Teresa Halbach isn’t dead. 

This is by far the most unlikely and far-fetched theory courtesy of Steven Avery’s own mother, Dolores. It makes sense she would convince herself of something like this considering everything that has happened to her son and family. Even though the criminal justice officials involved in this case are terrible people, it seems unlikely they would plant random bones to frame someone when there is more evidence in the case.

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Halbach’s car as it was found at the Avery Salvage Yard

 

4. Ryan Hillegas with help from her brother Mike Halbach

Halbach’s ex-boyfriend appeared sketchy on the stand. It doesn’t take a seasoned homicide detective to know those closest to the victim should be questioned first and are usually guilty. Neither Hillegas or Mike Halbach were treated as suspects or were questioned. The fact Hillegas was able to get into Teresa’s voicemail is majorly incriminating. Reports state Hillegas had stalker tendencies and another theory suggests he might have left threatening voicemails on her phone which is why he deleted her voicemails.   Mike Halbach is connected to Hillegas because the two were friends. The big case against Mike is that he mentioned “grieving” for Teresa before her body had even been recovered. Perhaps he was the one who slipped up?  The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that neither one of them lived near the Avery property, which means they (or one of them) had to follow Teresa. These two rubbed me the wrong way from the start. The video below only reinforces my belief. Even with their odd behavior, I’m still not 100% convinced they killed Teresa, but they should have been further investigated and questioned.

3. Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych

These two also seemed suspicious. Tadych is Bobby and Brendan’s stepfather. This theory claims Bobby Dassey and Tadych are the real murderers and Ryan Hillegas and Mike Halbach discovered Teresa’s car at the Avery Salvage Yard, called the police, and James Lenk and Andrew Colburn answered the call and proceeded to frame Steven Avery. The other part of the theory is that Mike and Ryan also were framing Avery for the crime. They knew Teresa was seen on the Avery property which is why they went snooping there in the first place. What this theory boils down to is that there were two Steven Avery frame jobs happening simultaneously.  The thought is pretty insane fills in some of the holes in the story, like who Lenk knew about Halbach’s car. Head over to this Reddit post for a better explanation. It’s a crazy theory. Then again, this whole situation is batshit so the original poster might be onto something.

The big thing that gives this theory credit is it goes along with what Steven Avery thinks happened. In 2009, Avery claimed he believed Bobby Dassey and Tadych were responsible for the murder. Tadych has a history of violence against women and was on the property the same time Teresa was murdered as was Bobby. The two men went hunting together that day and were each other’s alibis (huge red flag) as no one else knew where they were the afternoon of October 31 (when Teresa was murdered). Bobby said he showered before they went hunting and had scratches on his back which he blamed on a puppy. From what I’ve gathered hunting is hard and sweaty work so taking a shower before doesn’t seem logical. Teresa was also shot with a .22 rifle which Tadych and Bobby had that day.

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Pretty much.

 

This is where I think Brendan Dassey comes in. I do not think he is responsible but I feel like he knew or saw something. Brendan claims he was at home around the time of Teresa’s murder. It’s possible Brendan witnessed Teresa’s death or saw the aftermath. If this is true, then the statment his cousin Kayla Avery gave would not be a lie (as she confessed it was in court). Kayla originally told her school counselor she was worried about Brendan’s weight loss and that he told her he saw body parts in a fire. Brendan’s low I.Q. caused him to be easily manipulated by officials. Although I don’t think he is low functioning enough not to defend himself. Maybe he felt guilty because of whatever reason and didn’t have the mental capacity to fight back, or felt like he shouldn’t.

Considering Tadych, Bobby Dassey and everyone else in the Avery family were on the property that day, any of them could have seen (or been responsible for) Teresa’s murder.

2. Steven Avery

He did it and was framed. The police screwed up and here we are today. We don’t want to think Steven is guilty, but he could be. It’s simple, obvious and hopefully not true. This brings me back to Kayla. Check out her frist written statement. The spelling and writing are terrible, FYI. She clearly doesn’t like Steven and mentions she thinks Brendan “did something.” She also mentioned to her school counselor she was afraid because Steven asked one of her cousins to move a body, but never mentioned the cousin by name. Maybe she wasn’t lying after all?

  1. Steven’s brothers Charles and Earl

Steven himself has also said he believes one of his brothers could have killed Teresa. Considering they also lived on the Avery property and both had histories of sexual violence towards women. In 1999, Charles raped and tried to kill his wife. He was also known to make aggressive and unwanted advances towards female customers at the Avery Salvage Yard. Charles was also jealous of Steven’s potential settlement he was supposed to get from his first wrongful conviction and of his then-girlfriend Jodi Stachowski. Jodi claimed Charles came into the house she shared with Steven with a shotgun and said she was “terrified of Chuckie”.

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Charles Avery

 

Earl, the youngest of the Avery brothers sexually assaulted his own daughters in 1995. He was also a hunter who would have access to weapons. Earl is only in a brief scene in the series, which makes him all the more suspicious. Steven himself cited “ [Earl] hid from police when they came to take a DNA sample on Nov. 9, 2005. When the investigators went to his home, he hid in an upstairs bedroom under some clothes.”

These theories here are the just the beginning. We might never know what truly happened to Teresa Halbach on October 31, 2005.If you are interested in finding out more theories/ideas, Google is your friend. Be prepared to be taken down a rabbit hole. 

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