Fear Inoculum

So the new TOOL album leaked just after midnight Sunday morning. Some guy posted on reddit that he had access to it at work and was thinking about stealing it and uploading it for everyone.

Of course, everyone encouraged him to do so – what do they have to lose?

I was of course on the side of leaking it. I’ve already preordered my album. I’m going to see them live. Likely will buy a new shirt or two. Point is, they’ll get my money.

But sometimes it’s not about money.

After listening to this album nearly a dozen times I realized that maybe it would have been better to wait. If for no reason other than respect.

I never cared about what TOOL wanted. I didn’t even think about it. I simply had to opportunity to take and I did. No second thoughts. No guilt. Well, until I smoked for the first time in 15 months and rocked out to their album. Then I felt differently.

I used to do a lot of psychedelics. One of the side effects of pot is it seems to mimic the other stuff you’ve done. So if you do a lot of acid, your weed high is going to change. Not necessarily for the better.

I tripped out and heard their album in a completely different way. I could see it from their perspective (or my approximation of whatever that is). And it hit me that maybe letting the hype build and build until everyone got to hear it at once might have been ideal. Sure, everyone who’s already heard it likely loves it. But I imagine the overall effect would have been greatly increased had we all waited.

But whatever. It’s all said and done. The important part is – is it good? And it is. Thank god. I can’t imagine trying to make a record after being dormant for 13 years and it coming out terribly. That’d be awful.

I’m probably not going to smoke again any time soon, but I’m glad I did. Pot does something amazing when used to meditate with music. It has other uses but that’s my favorite. I heard the album in a way I don’t think I could have otherwise. And I greatly appreciate what they’ve done. It’s a masterpiece and I hope it’s not their last.

But if it is, I’m grateful.


A few hours ago I finally got to see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. I’d been looking forward to Tarantino’s newest film for about a year now. But cautiously optimistic. Unlike his previous films, I had no idea what kind of movie this was going to be. And even if I had guessed, I would have been far from the mark.

The movie takes place in the final year of the 60’s and one of the major story arcs is the Manson killings of Sharon Tate and crew. When I heard he was going to do a movie about this I initially felt disgust. Would it be glorifying those deaths? That didn’t seem right to me and it seemed out of the norm for Tarantino. So I figured he probably had something else in mind, but what, I had no idea.

I purposely ignored all interviews and press prior to watching. And I’m glad I did as I kept waiting for the movie to turn dark at any moment and it never did. The ending itself was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, let alone in a Tarantino movie. The build up to it was fantastic. And the editing throughout the film had an eerily psychedelic quality. The narrative followed a weird structure of real time, to flashback, to fake movie, to all things in between. I haven’t used psychedelics in well over a year and I felt like I was on something when I left the theater.

I was expecting Brad Pitt to be a side character in this film, but it turns out that he’s practically the protagonist. His character is one of the best I’ve seen from him. The only other role that comes to mind is his portrayal of the fitness dork from Burn After Reading. I can’t wait to see this one again just to bask in the performance.

At first glance the movie seems boring, like nothing ever happens. It reminds me of Dazed and Confused in that fashion. But the more I ponder on it, the more I see how cleverly he has organized this movie. There are tons of homages and foreshadowing in this movie. More so than your typical Tarantino film. I feel like this movie may initially seem lackluster to many only to be looked upon fondly with nostalgia. Even though he has claimed he will do ten movies and then stop, this could easily have been his last hurrah.


So I just got choked out for the first time at my Jiu Jitsu class. It was incredibly strange. My first thought was that I had some sort of psychotic break. I sensed a time lapse and I was doing this weird quivering thing with my lip (incidentally, I was saying, “tap, tap, tap, tap…” in my mind so I must have been trying to say that). And I started to come back to reality.

I’ve done a lot of drugs. Specifically psychedelics. A common fear is that one day you will take too much and bye-bye reality. My brother experienced this by using meth. He became schizophrenic – hearing voices, talking to people who weren’t there, etc. He was one of the many reasons I decided to give that stuff up.

I haven’t smoked pot in a year, and it’s been even longer since I’ve used LSD or psilocybin, and I’ve been proud of myself. But today I actually thought that I “had done it,” had actually lost my mind.

And it scared me.

The choke out part was actually euphoric so I came back in an elevated mood, but in the back of my mind I was just like, “That was close.” And it made me even more glad that I’ve given that shit up.

Reality is precious to me these day, and it wasn’t always so. For a long time I didn’t care if I lived or died, and in fact sought death. I never actually tried to kill myself, but I wanted to.

But now I don’t feel that way (well, most of the time) and I want to make the best use of my time allotted here. Tonight was a good reminder to cherish the things I love. My sanity included.


So today was a fairly interesting day. Most of my days are pretty rigid. I go to work or go to the gym, otherwise I am at home. Today after gym instead of rushing off like I usually do I decided to stop and chat for a few minutes. This conversation led to an opportunity to get my car washed by my coach’s daughter’s softball team. I don’t care to have my car washed but thought I’d go along with it just the same if only because it was something I wouldn’t normally do. I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and accept invitations whenever possible.

When I arrived I ran into my coach’s husband and got to talking about Tool and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We talked for about twenty minutes and watched a few videos on youtube. This led to inquiring about local places that teach this stuff. Incidentally he was about to attend a class within the hour. I asked to tag along and off we went.

At the class I didn’t really know what I was doing but I felt accepted and in good hands. It helped that I knew three of the people there from the gym. I got my ass thrown by the experts and tried to learn some of the technique, but mostly I was just trying to have fun. I didn’t really pick up on anything other than I do not know what to do in an actual combat situation. Some of my instincts were spot on, but often I found myself in compromising positions without even knowing that I had done so.

After the class we got to roll around just on our own. This is where it became really fun. I had previously tried to apply the techniques I had briefly witnessed to poor success but now I was able to just freely make shit up and try not to get stuck in a position. I’m sure they were going easy on me, but surprisingly I found myself able to hold my own better than I would have thought. I have no doubt that in a few months time I will get better and the fun will only increase as I learn to master these techniques.

Luckily this class seems to fit perfectly into my work/gym schedule so that I will be doing something every day of the week. This is awesome because it gets me out of the house more often, meeting new people, and gaining more experience.

And all because I decided to stay and chat instead of returning to my cave.

Life is pretty cool sometimes.