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Thursday, Nov. 06, 2003 - 10:17 a.m.

Itís been wet here for days, all sweaty in my bed and heavy on my skin.

Last night my two worlds got all mixed up with each other: the English department did a poetry reading at the rock club Iíve spent half my life at, and they smiled politely at the indie rock band theyíd wanted me to help book. There ya go, poets. Can you at least stand up while the bandís playing? Can you talk to each other between songs instead of staring silently? Thanks.

It was fun, nevertheless, and I actually heard a poem or two I liked. I also, as promised, got real drunk.

I donít like alcohol much this morning.

I also went to practice with another band last night. Iíd worked on a few songs, but I was suddenly stunned with shyness when I got there. My face kept turning red as I played, and I was slowly reduced to a sputtering weirdo between songs. I donít know what was wrong with me. So one of the songs went pretty well, but the other was a big mess. Ack. I started out a nervous musician back when I was a teenager, but it faded after a while Ė I played terribly at a few open mics, put an ad in the paper and found my current band, played confidently enough with them. But in the last year or so the nerves have come back. Not on stage Ė if I know a song, Iím fine Ė but playing with people outside my band, writing new songsÖI just get very shy. It doesnít help that I keep blaming myself for all the failed side projects. I imagine my face when Iím learning new songs makes me look miserable, or something, or that my jerky mannerisms indicate Iím dissatisfied with the other person. I donít know. Maybe thatís why I havenít called the woman I most recently talked to about a side project.

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