This particular entry may be different that my others ones. Supplies! No politics! But you might think it’s funny if you get through the entire thing. (This might be my longest blog ever since it’s personal, but I think hilarious bc I’m such an idiot).
I once read that Dale Carengie made it a point to remember everyone’s names and address people by them.
“Using a person’s name is crucial, especially when meeting those we don’t see very often. Respect and acceptance stem from simple acts such as remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate.”
I completely agree. It shows people the utmost respect when you know someone by name. I admit I’m awful at it, but I try. One of my biggest obstacles is that I DJ and most of my friends I see in the dark (bc we’re at bars or late night events). I cannot see SHIT in the dark, never could. And ever since I had lasik several years ago, my night vision is even worse. It’s crazy. LED lights refract in my eyes all weird. I cannot even look at or read blue or purple lights.
This, in turn, has resulted in me practically dissing almost everyone I walk past while I’m at an event because I just cannot make out people’s faces. It’s a confusing carnival ride of blurred faces that all kind of look like my friends, but who fucking knows. Which kicks in my social anxiety and I just shut down and roam around till I find someone I fucking recognize or am lucky enough for someone to save me and say Hi first.
Which leads me to my story of how I totally humiliated myself the other night while meeting one of my favorite DJ’s in my life.
Remember Napster? And Limewire. I totally downloaded anything I could find back then. It was magic. I was born in the mid 70’s. The whole MP3 thing revolutionized how us GenXers hear the world. I was just a wee junglist in my younger 20’s when I came across this mix by a guy named DJ Odi. Never heard of him. Didn’t know who the fuck he was, but I dl’ed this FIRE mixtape of his entitled “dj odi-the jeep tape-1994”. It’s a straight up mixtape, mixed with no edits and recorded on cassette. The quality is HORRIBLE but the track selection just really hit me in my sweet spot. It’s one of my top 5 mixes I own to this day, but I cannot listen to it on the system in my whip. I need a mastered version.
I find out DJ Odi is DJing in my hometown and I am one of the DJ’s opening for him that night. I cannot describe the excitement I felt. I am not a fanboi usually, and am not a fan of “celebretay”. I don’t want your fucking autograph or a picture. What I wanted was to A. tell dude his mix was a game changer for me and B. Ask for a mastered copy.
The night of the performance the bar is dark as fuck as usual. With strobes and shit. We record our mixes on livestream (My performance.) We’re called Proper Drum and Bass Chicago) if you’re curious. Inside the DJ booth is a plethora of LED lights lighting up the booth so we show up on video. They completely disorient me. By the time I was done with my set I was practically blind. I made my way to the bar to someone I could recognize (thank you Robin) and told her about my desire to find the DJ, and hoping to give my eyes some time to adjust while we bullshitted. That didn’t happen.
I then walk up to another friend I recognize who is talking to her friend. I can only recognize her because of her hair (it’s curly). I literally walk up to them and sing “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann and THE DJ I AM LOOKING FOR asks if I am singing the original by Springstein or by Mann. I can barely see who is saying this and mumble some shit then tell my friend I am gonna go fangirl out on this DJ and walk in the complete opposite direction to some random stranger (leaving her confused unbeknownst to me).
I walk up to “Jimmy” the graph artist and take his hand, shake it with BOTH my hands and proceed to state “Hi, I’m the DJ that just opened for you and I just want you to know that I am a really big fan but I have this really weird question I have to ask you,” (verbatim) and I proceed to talk about this mix I need a copy of until this gentleman kindly stops me in my tracks and tells me he’s “Jimmy” and walks me back over to my curly haired girlfriend and her friend.
I am an idiot. This is everything I have always worried about for years. I know it’s not the end of the world to walk up to random strangers and talk to them. But, I had avoided it for years by just acting stupid and wandering around until I finally want and need to talk to someone I recognize. Not today. I totally fucked it up. We had a good laugh and I talked to DJ Odi and he knew exactly what mix it was talking about. BTW he does NOT have a master bc it was on cassette and originally it was “for my homie going to Northwestern for his jeep on the way to school from Ohio”. Apparently a girlfriend copied the tape, make copies and it ended up as a poor quality mp3 online on the mid 90’s.
20 years later that mix is still one of my favorites and I am so glad to have such a crazy story to now go along with it.
And now you know, if I don’t say Hi to you, it’s not bc I’m some bitch, it’s bc I can’t fucking see.