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RX Bars

The Jackal is a fan of RX Bars. He’s always been a fan of portable food that is tasty and filling. Previously, The Jackal has eaten PowerBars, Cliff Bars, and some coffee flavored compressed food sticks from Japan. None of these things satisfied The Jackal. Every energy bar he had eaten was no better than a candy bar. So much sugar. He was always hungrier and more tired after eating one than he would have been waiting for real food.

RX Bars are different. They have a lot of fiber and protein for an energy bar. The sugar is fructose from dates which is mixed in with fiber. This slows the absorption. The combination of slow-releasing sugar, fiber, and protein make the bar more filling and satisfying.

You, dear reader, can find RX Bars at your local Target or Kroger. Or if you’re savy like The Jackal, you can buy them online. There’s a lot of flavors to choose from. The Jackal’s personal favorites are Peanut Butter Chocolate and Peanut Butter & Berries.

Yes, spare us the jokes, The Jackal loves peanut butter. But don’t think he’ll lick anything just because it has peanut butter on it. The Jackal has some standards. Mix some berries or chocolate in first. Or just use Nutella. The Jackal is a whore for the delicious combination of hazelnut and chocolate.

Thank you for reading Forbidden Jackal. Your task for today is to put on pants. That’s all. You don’t even need to do it properly.

Rant: Respecs

As a professional, there’s nothing The Jackal hates more than rework, which is work coming back to him to be redone. Usually it’s because he screwed the wrong pooch or did it in a way his manager or the customer didn’t approve of. Because if you and a very exceptional poodle are breaking out the sled harnesses in July, you’re obviously doing it wrong. Especially if you’re having fun doing it.

But there’s a special category for what’s boringly called “rework”. And that’s called the “respec”. This is what a respec looks like.

The specification sheet clearly stated you needed a black lab, 4 cucumbers, a business of ferrets (preferably hobs but whatever works), and a bag of generic Twizzlers. It takes a while to find the proper dog, order suitable cucumbers, and herd the ferrets. The Twizzlers you steal from the break room when no one is looking. This takes all week. You do the photo shoot and send it off to the customer.

And then Monday at 4pm, your boss forwards you an email from the customer. You are the most terrible person on the planet. Everything is unusable. You need to redo the photo shoot with a yellow lab and 3 eggplants. But the ferrets and Twizzlers are fine.

— My Life, My Hell by The Jackal

“Respecs” makes The Jackal’s blood boil. It’s not his fault some fucking moron in Nebraska can’t find the pants on their head. But somehow it’s his responsibility to fix.

Tired? Can’t focus? Is your brain starved of sugar?

Today, The Jackal was having a ruff afternoon. He couldn’t do even the simplest task. He wanted to work but couldn’t bring the work into focus. His attention span lasted maybe 30 seconds before any thought became too difficult to imagine.

Thus, The Jackal did begin to despair. Instead of the happy sugar plum fairies of the Christmas season dancing around his head, he had Suicide Fairies. You know, the evil little monsters that tell you that offing yourself will be easier than sticking around to write blog post about how much Suicide Fairies suck. The Jackal thinks those little bastards are pretty self-absorbed. It’s not very nice to ask someone to die simply to save you some bad PR. For those who hadn’t suffered through an eye watering marketing class, PR is Public Relations. (Note to all canines, less is more with cologne. Vulpines, it’s a lost cause, don’t even bother.)

In this afternoon of woe, The Jackal decided to do what he does best and walk away. Just from his desk, not from anything important like jobs, life, or delicious grilled meats. The sidewalk outside his work is well maintained and full of trees that are green when it’s not winter.

The Suicide Fairies delighted. Play in traffic they said. The Jackal ignored them and waited for the cars to pass. Polite jackals do not inconvenience other people by splattering themselves on other people’s windshields. The fairies coincided this was true and let him be for the moment.

Thus, He trotted up and down the sidewalk. It’s a peaceful path filled with positive energy. Like most things, it’s also slippery when covered with mud or wet leaves. He brought to bear his most fearsome and powerful weapon in his arsenal against fairies: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. They shuddered in horror and then redoubled their attacks!

The Jackal searched his mind for the answer to the current infestation of malicious fey. Yes, he had been up far too late reading Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger. (Be like Cutter! Find a Bus! The fairies cried.) Yes, he had done no useful writing the previous day. (You will never be a writer!) These were all things that bothered The Jackal. (There’s a car, die already!) Their siren call had surely brought one or two of these monsters. But surely not an entire hoard.

The Jackal thought harder. He had been eating well enough. He had taken his medication on time. He had done his Morning Pages. He had eaten breakfast and drank plenty of water. He had told himself he was a good jackal who was an expert in his field and capable of a great many other things, a Jackal of One and Many Trades as it were. He had done all of his preventative self-care… well most of it. The Jackal prefers to do his showering and extracurricular activities1 in the evening. But alas, The Jackal had no answers.

He returned to his desk in defeat. Perhaps he could just ignore the fairies. It was hours until he could reach home and cry without anyone knowing his torment. He reached for another tool, meditation. This one could possibly stave off the fairies for awhile. The Jackal was not well versed in its use but he was desperate for relief.

The Jackal sat at his desk and closed his eyes and breathed. He focused on his muddy little paws and how wonderful they felt after a walk. The fairies held their breath. The Jackal’s mind wandered over his body, cataloguing all the little aches and pains he usually ignored. Then a revelation came. The fairies gasped in horror.

Meditation had worked. The problem was embarrassingly clear: the Jackal’s brain was starving. His lack of sleep had depleted what little sugar his brain had had and his meals had not replenished it. His breakfast had been a single slice of toast with chicken salad. His lunch had been half a sub sandwich. There had been enough calories for his body, with plenty of protein and wholesome complex carbs, but no simple sugars. In his tired state, his body wasn’t making enough sugar to supply his brain. The solution was simple. The fairies screamed in protest: Don’t eat that energy bar!

The Jackal ignored the fairies. He consumed an entire Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bar and then wrote this blog post. (RX Bars: Whole Food Protein Bars with Real Ingredients.)

Next time you are visited by the Suicide Fairies, don’t forget to check for low blood sugar!

1: Examples of extracurricular activities include but are not limited to: blogging, reading, and consuming cheese burgers.

Meta: The Regularly Scheduled Program

The Jackal has made some decisions. First off. All future posts shall be in third person, to lend an air of dignity and aristocratic arrogance to what little The Jackal has to offer.

Yes, that is to say The Jackal has a tiny penis and he doesn’t really know how to use it all that well despite having spend entirely too many years familiarizing himself with it’s use. If the mile high club had a solo aviator’s division, he would have a small frowny face next to his profile. 🙁

If you thought that last paragraph was vulgar and in poor taste, you would be correct. Low brow and low standards are the rule. The Jackal does not have time or ability to write something more academic on a regular schedule. His ADHD requires his posts tickle his funny bone.

Secondly, The Jackal plans to post one article per week Wednesdays at 2pm Eastern Time (America/Chicago). He has already scheduled the next 3 posts and plans to write many more.

The Jackal would post more often but he has a day job, two novels, and a blog to work on. But at least he doesn’t have friends or a lady jackal to distract him. Just crippling mental illness.

He hopes you enjoy the show.

Music Video: Ed Sheeran – I See Fire

The Jackal really likes this video. He closes his eyes and imagines a nuclear holocaust. At some point hopes to write a short story inspired by this song.

The chorus is really fun.

Now I see fire, inside the mountain
I see fire, burning the trees
And I see fire, hollowing souls
And I see fire, blood in the breeze
And I hope that you’ll remember me

Meta: Autocorrect Goofs are Intentional

You might notice some of the titles on this blog are weird. That’s because I let Autocorrect decide. I write everything off the cuff. Not that jackals wear jackets. We aren’t that fancy. Besides the dry cleaners asked me not to bring my bloody shirts to them anymore. Easier to just not wear the damn things.

This blog exists for me to be witty, occasionally useful, and to bitch endless about everything. Autocorrect goofs in the title are part of the charm. I do try to keep the actual articles free of errors but I do keep the editing to a minimum.

Writing Advice: Fist it in Post

This was originally called Fix it in Post, but autocorrect fucked it and I’m keeping it.

Something I learned last week. It’s okay to write a scene knowing you’ll have to rewrite it in editing. I’ve got a court room scene in Scars We Carry at the moment. I know the basics of how court works thanks to my business law class, reading a lawyer’s blog, and some googling. Also way too many episodes of Law and Order.

Honestly, that’s all you need to write the scene. It’s important to get the energy and the information for the scene down. You can always fix the details later. I know when I get to editing that scene, I’ll pull my copy of Runaway Jury off my bookshelf and ask my lawyer friend where to find courts transcripts.

Your first draft is not about getting things correct, it’s about getting them down.

Writing Advice: Just Say No To Self-Flagellation

First off, I’ve done it, accidentally. Like all IT implements, my Cat-5e of 9 Tails needed some of my blood before it would work properly. Hurt like hell and The Jackal has a low pain threshold. I might have cried a little. There was definitely a yelp. The clips at the end of ethernet cables are sharp.

If you’re going to sit down to write and you’re getting nowhere, don’t go beating yourself up. This is the least productive thing you can do. If the words just don’t flowing, get up and do something else. Or even better, start free writing. Any topic that comes to mind.

My mind usually goes to steamy hot tub scenes. A young, lean wolf — perhaps named Conor — relaxing in the hot tub at a YMCA after doing some weight lifting. The water tempature is just right and the air is a little foggy. He’s thinking about lunch, maybe a chicken wrap, maybe something a little spicy. Because lean chicken breast is really good for you. Lots of protein, not a lot of fat. Also, the The Jackal didn’t start eating lunch until 2pm and this Baja Chicken Wrap™ is really good.

Anyway, just write what comes to mind. Don’t beat yourself up. Free write for 10 minutes, or until you get bored, whatever happens first. Then try to write again.