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A HST Moment

Image from the Tool Show, compliments of Spin

On Tuesday, March 4th, I was fortunate enough to find myself at a Tool show, the first one to kick off their tour. They were playing in Spokane, Wa – which, for us that have been spoiled by the ways of Seattle, found ourselves dismayed. Especially this time of year, the mountains that separate eastern and western Washington can be rough traveling, and up until the day before, all the passes were closed. 

I was in fact panicked the night before the show. Originally, I bought 4 tickets, back in January, before being laid off – one for my boyfriend and I each, and the other two with the intent of sharing the joy at cost with people I care about. We found a friend of our’s and also got my brother on board. Our biggest problem was figuring out who’s vehicle to take between our friend and my brother.

At the last minute, my brother’s car gave out, and he was unable to go at all, simply because he lives so far away and couldn’t afford to spare the money for the ticket. Decision made – our friend’s car it is. Except that the same day, our friend’s car gave out as well. We were not officially out of a lift.

After a lot of scrambling and finagling, one of our great friends wanted to go, and offered up his infamous Party Van. This thing is a beast. It comes equipped with party lights on the inside, a lock box filled with goodies, a GameCube and DVD player. Just to name a couple things. This was our optimal way of travel.

party van

 

We made it over the pass, and found our hotel room at the Day’s Inn. I’ve never stayed at the Day’s Inn before, but I’ve never had so easy of a check-in my whole life! $70 for a room, having already told them it was for 4 people. They didn’t ask for my ID, my credit card, to sign anything – nothing. They just handed me two keys and away I went.

The thing about Tool is that they are not just a metal band, and I hesitate to call them that even. Their music is an experience, I would even go so far as to compare them to a modern Pink Floyd. Their music is spiritual, and they are known for their very visual shows. A lot of their music is about raising consciousness, sacred geometry, interdimensional beings, and so on.

So of course – ya gotta trip when you go to a show. No two ways about it!

My boyfriend and I had some acid, mushrooms and some mystery banana chips laced with one of the 2C’s (2CI? 2CE? 2CB? 2CT7? the donator of the product didn’t know, it was just something he had acquired and didn’t want any more and passed along to us months ago). Other things we had in our kit that we had acquired a long the way was some Sass, some Molly, and of course weed (we do live in Washington, don’t we?)

I bought some Cheeze-Its to make the mushrooms go down easier. It’s the texture more than anything that gets me when it comes to mushrooms. I need something crunchy to mask the texture and flavorful too. Though in my experience, another great consumption method is to get some very acidic juice – such as tomato or pineapple. Chopping the mushrooms up in very little bits, let them sit in the juice for about 10 minutes. The acidity begins to break it down. You chug the juice, and you can’t taste the particles, they are just like having bits in orange juice. Because the acidity does most of the work in breaking down the mushrooms, they take a very little amount of time to take effect – so be prepared. For me, it’s too quick, especially when I need to be a little sober to get into my destination.

We walked the mile and a half to the venue, through a beautiful park that still had the remains of snow. I was actually really enjoying Spokane, and it wasn’t even the drugs that was encouraging it. I had no idea it was so big, and that there was so much to it. I put it on a similar scale to Yakima, just being dirty, dusty and conservative (no offense to anyone from Yakima).

When we arrived, the line was two blocks long – and we had arrived late! The ticket said 8pm, which is when we arrived, though, as we found out later, the doors had been open long before that, and an opening band had even played! Oops.

We eventually got in, and found our way into the steep nose-bleed seats. I was nervous. I was worried that when our nom-noms kicked in that I wouldn’t be able to balance well enough if I had to go anywhere. The walkway in front of the seats of the row was narrow, and there was no buffer whatsoever.

Pre-show view from our seats

I began to feel a little…heady – we’ll go for heady, for a lack of better term. I was relieved, since it meant the mushrooms were finally kicking in. My boyfriend had taken a couple hits of acid, and was already well on his way. I was a little perplexed that it had been over an hour since I had taken my mushrooms, and they still weren’t kicking in. Usually the exercise will help speed up the effects, though to counter the effects, we had just eaten a fair bit of food before we set out to the arena.

I had the banana chips in my bra, and my boyfriend and I decided to split them. They were stale, and very much not tasty. Really, it was to be expected. We had been sitting on them for at least six months by this point. They tasted like stale banana chips, and I wondered if they were in fact laced with anything at all.

The lights went down, and the band made their way onto the stage. From the get-go, they had me captured. The screens on either side of the stage and behind the band of course started with the artwork from Alex Grey – the phenomenal artist they are closely tied to. Most of their album covers feature his art, and it always pops up during their shows. Much of his artwork goes hand-in-hand with the concepts that Tool’s messages portray – connection with the Universe, higher consciousness and so on.

Tool’s album, Lateralus, featuring Alex Grey’s artwork

I won’t lie, I was more captivated by the visuals that I was the music. I couldn’t hear singer Maynard very well, though what song was playing was always very clear. Along with many of the other people I spoke to, I found myself completely zoning out through the show, sucked into the intense visuals from the screens and lasers – yes, did I mention there were lasers? – And my drugs hadn’t even kicked in!

There was an intermission, and I took this time to complain to my boyfriend that the mushrooms and mystery banana chips were bunk, that neither were taking much effect. I had the slight mental haze of a come-up, but nothing more. I sufficiently navigated my way through the absolute chaos of the arena to the bathroom and back with little problem – that’s how sober I was!

Upon returning, the drummer, Danny Carey, was highlighted with a drum solo, portraying various aspects of Sacred Geometry – something he is well known for. As he drummed, images of different Sac Geo were portrayed directly behind him.

Not one song was played off their album, Opiate, which is debated to be their best album. (I personally disagree, simply because the aspect of Tool I love is not their metal aspect, but their spiritual aspect. Opiate is their angry album.) On the drive over, my friend was telling me about how Tool said they didn’t like Spokane due to their Lateralus release tour. Many of the fans were upset with Tool because they were initially known as an angry metal band, and then they came out with a whole new direction – embracing experiences while you can, enhancing yourself and your consciousness. 

With this tid-bit in mind, I thought it was interesting that not one song was played from their “angry” albums – with the exception of a couple songs from AEnima, though they were more about the next stage of evolution (46 and 2) and new beginnings (AEnima – “Time to bring it down again. Don’t just call me pessimist. Try and read between the lines.”)

The show wrapped up with a flashing copious distraction of laser beams and – glitter bombs, of all things! While there was no encour, I personally was satisfied. As the lights on stage came up enough for each of them to take a bow, and the band to throw their pics and drum sticks into the crowd, I just smiled, in complete gratification of the stress leading up to the show, of being present for this display.

Working with video production, I have seen a great many shows. The last couple years I have seen Thrill Kill Kult, Slipknot, KMFDM, Korn, Rob Zombie, Kimya Dawson, Arlo Guthrie, Beats Antique, The Presidents, EOTO, Bassnectar, Pendulum – and none have compared to the show I saw on Tuesday night.

As we began walking out of the Spokane Arena and back through the snowy park, I began to feel it.

“Hey,” I said to my boyfriend. “I think those banana chips are kicking in.” And thus began my fully annoying rest of the night of being high enough to feel agitated, but not actually tripping, thus not being able to sleep until 5 in the morning. Word to the wise – don’t share your banana chips.

 

Tool has been such a huge part of my adult life, has been the encouragement through my metaphysical studies, the singing mantras in the back of my mind as I struggle through meditation exercises. As I have already said before, they are such a hugely spiritual experience, and where as many people that are not into “metal” might not appreciate their music style, it is worth it to everyone to hear the messages they have in their music.

This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
Embrace this moment. Remember. we are eternal.
all this pain is an illusion

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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My Number One Favorite Drug

I have danced for many many years with this drug. It has held my addiction throughout high schools, was the reason I skipped school – Hell, I even had my principal offer to buy me some. 

Over seas I could only find one worthwhile source, though once they offended me, it was game over, and I veered away, though from time to time I would wander back to the grimy stuff. But when I came home to Washington, where they rule the industry in the Western World, I fell back into old habits. 

Are you curious yet? You’ll be disappointed in me. 

Well, you’ll be disappointed by the build-up.

It’s caffeine. Yes. This is my number one favorite drug, and I have to say, it is something to be concerned about. It’s not dangerous, it’s not alcohol or cigarettes, or any of the other various other drugs that are legal and illegal.  But it can be damaging when abused, much like any other drug. 

A little bird walk first, if you will (and I don’t care if you will not!)

Drugs are not bad. There are definitely drugs that can do terrible things to a person, to their body, or the process which its created. However, all drugs that are created by man, were created for a purpose, and they have served their purpose. Meth was used in wars. Heroine was used for pain. Cocaine was used to numb the mouth, throat and neck, and used to stop bleeding. Don’t get me started on the usefulness of cannabis! 

I’m not saying that one should partake in these things simply because they have had their uses in the past. I stay well clear of all of those mentioned drugs. They’re not my deal. But what I am saying, is that everything can have a good and useful purpose when applied properly. Hallucinogens were experimented with for children that had focusing problems in the 50’s and 60’s, and now the idea is being applied in studies that hallucinogenic mushrooms might be useful in treating anxiety and depression. The coca leaf was originally – and still is – used in South America as a rich source of protein, and kept hunting parties going for days just chewing on the leaves, giving them the strength they needed to continue after the game. It would also provide relief from altitude sickness as well.

Caffeine is the same way. There are good properties of coffee and caffeine. In the Gerson Therapy, they talk about coffee enimas, which provides stimulation within the body without  absorbing the acidity that could be harmful. For me, it makes me happier when I have a cup. I feel like the day is amazing and is going to take me to great heights, and that I can do anything.

However, if I want to keep that “high” I gain from caffeine, I have to be sure I don’t consume it too often. I don’t want the headaches when I don’t have it. I don’t like being reliant on things that are not me. 

But I did used to be addicted to it. From the age of 14 I fell in love with it, and have guzzled it ever since – well, untill a coupl eyears ago. 

My grandmother on my dad’s side developed a stomach tumor. It was fine, benign, and they removed it. But when I first heard about it, I was worried. My dad assured me it was fine, that it was just like when he had his. 

When he had his. 

That was news to me. Turns out, when he told me he was in the hospital for ulcers, it was actually tumors. They’ve since been removed and he’s fine, but it would be useful when a doctor asks me my family’s history that I could tell him stomach cancer runs in the family.

That’s a rant for another time. 

After studying nutrition and alternative medicine for so long, it didn’t take long for me to figure out that the common denominator between Grandma and Dad was the amount of coffee they both drink. Grandma has all home grown food, vegetables and fruits she and Grandpa grow and she jars herself. Everything is organic and fresh and delicious. Dad is all processed food, quick and cheap like the American Dream portrays food to be. But coffee, that’s what they both regularly consume quantities of. That line did not stop with them. I too was in the category of needing coffee to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. 

I quit drinking coffee then and there, once I connected the dots. 

I felt great not drinking coffee. Though as time wore on, I fell back into it. And now, with working in a coffee shop, I’ve fallen back into the habit. Though, in my defense, I have to be able to know that my coffee-making skills are still on parr. 

But since my year and a half without coffee, I have found that I can’t handle drip coffee, it’s far too acidic for me, and tears up my stomach. I can’t have more than one within a five hour period, either.

Most importantly, I have learned that my favorite drink to have is a dark chocolate and lavender, hemp milk mocha. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Shall I repeat it? Dark Chocolate Lavender Hemp milk mocha. 

Try it. I promise it’s worth your time.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Promised Groundwork

wineglass

You know, I battled over the use of Layed or Laid. Of course, now when I type it, it say that “layed” is not a word, so clearly these little squiggly lines are trying choosing sides. No matter. The groundwork must be laid.

I live in Washington State. You know, that liberal place in the top left corner that’s still a part of the main land. The one that just legalized the recreational use of Cannabis – oh yes, that one. Well don’t judge. It’s a functional means of relaxation that can also do a fair bit of healing, hence that ability to acquire a medical recommendation for the stuff.

I am born and raised with a background of spending my summers in North Wales. I have a great many – ok, one – reasons for this – though none of the matter other than that the experience taught me to drink!

Never mind that though.

I have considered myself a mild psychonaught, that is, one that explores the inner depths of the mind. I am intrigued in most mind-altering things, especially what I like to call “hippie drugs” – those that are none addictive but allow me to explore the innermost workings of consciousness. With this knowledge that you the reader have now learned of me, please know that my inebriated writings, rants and ramblings will not just be prompted by alcohol or cannabis (though the latter is rare), but in some (rarer) cases, induced by hallucinogens and perhaps from time to time those drugs which promote the production of serotonin within the brain.

Like I said, those will be rare.

It will be far more common for me to be indulging in red wine – because it’s good for the body and equally common – gin. It’s the English in me.

From time to time I smoke some pot, though it’s rare as well. During my higher evenings (and my sessions do generally occur in the evening, unless on quite a special occasion), I become trapped in myself – a creative whirl of thought that I can’t keep track of when using my verbal capacity to express myself, yet too much thinking to focus on the keyboard in order to hold onto the creative thought I had a firm grasp on just seconds before.

Drinking has never really been my go-to when it comes to creativity. However, I once had a few drinks, everyone had gone to bed, and I began working on a story. I wrote a whole chapter – or maybe it was just a page and a half (I’m not entirely certain), and by the next day, I had forgotten I had worked on it – until I went to go and work on it. I looked and the additional pages, saw that it had last been updated the night before, and was delighted in my brilliance I had portrayed during my slurred memory of the previous evening. I began to wonder if perhaps – just perhaps, I could in fact write when my brain was a bit wet with a bevvy or four.

This is part experiment. Part to know if I can make my way under water – fire? How functional of a writer I am? Can I hold an audience? Can my less-than-mindly-self keep to the promise that is this blog?

Well, it sounds silly when I put it that way.

I like red wine. I used to only like mead which upgraded to sweet Roses (only because I can’t put the accent over the e like I should), which altered to flowery whites. Hell, I used to even know the type of whites I enjoyed drinking. But that all went out the window because of cheese.

I didn’t like Red Wine, or Blue Cheese, until one day some one told me to put the cheese in the center of my tongue and sip at the red wine.

My world was changed. Suddenly I could not wish for any other way to spend my evenings than with a variety pack of cheeses and a bottle of red to share. White became stringy and tart and rose seemed like a fake cheer-leader in comparison to the curvy and robust red wine.

Of course, as time went on and I began my path down my nutritional education, it didn’t help that I found the excuses as to why red wine should be regularly consumed. After all, it’s good for the heart. It’s right there next to dark chocolate – which I consume without guilt as well.

Damn, I’ve done it, haven’t I? I’ve given it away that I’m a woman.

Woman. That word is an interesting taste in my mouth as well. When does a girl become a woman? Is gal an in between phase, much like guy is between boy and man?

I’m straying.

Then I came across the book – the most wonderful book there could possibly be. I found it at the college books store when they were going out of business (sad, really. Especially in a town where there are three colleges and one university! It’s a Dollar Tree now. I’m sure there’s some form of irony there). It was there in a pile of books that were marked some 106597% off – ok, the book was 75 cents. But it was there, waiting just for me. I bought it, though I dare not read it for fear I become a lush. But it was there, hard-bound with a smart jacket and everything, ready to be taken out to dinner 0 “The Red Wine Diet”.

You see why I haven’t read it yet, don’t you.

I let it sit on my shelf and be pretty, waiting for the day when I know that I can say no to that bottle 100% of the time.

Now I do sound like a lush. Well, I assure you, that I do not regularly drink. Perhaps once a week on average. However, if I am to say watch a certain British sitcom about a book store owner who smokes worse than a chimney and puts a goldfish’s drinking to shame – well then I can’t deny the idea that a good glass of red sounds superb. Just like when I used to read certain books about a bounty hunter that used to be a lingerie buyer – I couldn’t say no to a doughnut.

But it’s red. That is the key. It is red, and red is good for the heart and is classy – and no, it doesn’t really but actually does matter that I spent no more than $3 on a bottle. It was on sale. I’m a thrifty non-lush.

Do you know what I am?

I’ll get to that later.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in wine

 

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