So despite wisdom to leave it alone, I went ahead and pulled the old one out. What happened next was:
1. lots of oil started dripping out. Lesson learned, next time if I ever have to do this, do it before filling the engine with oil.
2. the new seal is different from the old one. (see pic)
3. It's almost impossible to drive the seal while having a panic attack as oil is dripping out. And using something trying to knock the edges in didn't work for me.
4. Then I though since the clutch bell/housing/basket/whatever you call it sits right before (see image) the rear main seal
seal on bell.jpg
I just placed the seal on the bell, inserted into the engine shaft and put the hex nut back and cranked to tighten. Now I have this: